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Investigations

Respiratory therapist Deena Neace checks James Muncy's blood pressure and pulse during a therapy session at the New Beginnings Pulmonary Rehab Clinic in South Williamson, Ky. Muncy is one of thousands of coal miners across Appalachia who are dying of advanced black lung. Matthew Hatcher for NPR hide caption

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Matthew Hatcher for NPR

'I Figured It Was Going To Be A Horrible Death, And It Probably Will Be'

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"There's a lot of memories here, some good, some bad," says Smith, while reflecting on his years working at the now defunct Solid Energy mine in Pike County. Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR hide caption

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Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It

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In the photo above, dust circles a worker during the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel in 1930. Workers on the project were exposed to toxic levels of silica dust; hundreds ultimately died. Courtesy of Elkem Metals Collection, West Virginia State Archives hide caption

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Courtesy of Elkem Metals Collection, West Virginia State Archives

Before Black Lung, The Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster Killed Hundreds

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Coal miner Nick Stiltner reviews an X-ray of his lungs showing black lung disease at the Stone Mountain Clinic in Grundy, Va. Courtesy of Elaine McMillion Sheldon/PBS Frontline hide caption

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Courtesy of Elaine McMillion Sheldon/PBS Frontline

Illinois Department of Corrections officers participate in a role-playing exercise during a March training session on working with female inmates, at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill. Bill Healy for SJNN hide caption

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Bill Healy for SJNN

In Prison, Discipline Comes Down Hardest On Women

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Mary Kathleen "Kathy" Tyler, an 82-year-old woman incarcerated at Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, was sentenced to life in prison in 1978. She is an avid reader, artist and pianist; is employed as a court reporter; and has accumulated a handful of degrees since she was incarcerated. Jessica Earnshaw for NPR hide caption

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Jessica Earnshaw for NPR

In Iowa, A Commitment To Make Prison Work Better For Women

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Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., shown in 2016, said Tuesday he will hold hearings next year in response to an NPR and Frontline probe that revealed that government regulators failed to identify and prevent dangerous conditions. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Using a mannequin to simulate dangerous scenarios, a team at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center learns standard treatments for obstetric emergencies like hemorrhage. Bethany Mollenkof for NPR hide caption

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Bethany Mollenkof for NPR

To Keep Women From Dying In Childbirth, Look To California

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In central Appalachia, the black lung rate for working coal miners with at least 25 years experience underground is the highest it's been in a quarter century. Don Klumpp/Getty Images hide caption

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Don Klumpp/Getty Images

A roof bolter secures the roof of a newly mined section of a coal mine. Studies show roof bolters sometimes have high exposure to the silica dust that is especially toxic to lungs. Thorney Lieberman/Getty Images hide caption

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Thorney Lieberman/Getty Images

U.S. Army soldiers pass out water, provided by FEMA, to residents in a neighborhood without grid electricity or running water in San Isidro, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 17, 2017. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

James Meadours delivers the keynote address at a summit in New Jersey to propose reforms to prevent sexual abuse of people with intellectual disabilities. Meadours, a rape survivor with an intellectual disability, travels the country to raise awareness. Joseph Shapiro/NPR hide caption

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Joseph Shapiro/NPR

States Aim To Halt Sexual Abuse Of People With Intellectual Disabilities

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U.S. Army soldiers in Puerto Rico unload food on Oct. 17, 2017. Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria hit, the federal government was still delivering basic supplies, like food and water. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

FEMA Blamed Delays In Puerto Rico On Maria; Agency Records Tell Another Story

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Sheralin Greene, 57, mined coal for 20 years. She now suffers paralyzing coughing fits from black lung and receives payments and medical care from the federal trust fund. Courtesy of Sheralin Greene hide caption

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Courtesy of Sheralin Greene

The rate of the advanced stage of the deadly disease black lung is growing in central Appalachia, according to a new study. Tyler Stableford/Getty Images hide caption

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Tyler Stableford/Getty Images

New Studies Confirm A Surge In Coal Miners' Disease

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Alicia Nichols holds her daughter Diana in her home in February. After the birth of Diana, Nichols suffered unusual postpartum blood loss that she feels was not taken seriously by her doctor. Kayana Szymczak for NPR hide caption

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Kayana Szymczak for NPR

For Every Woman Who Dies In Childbirth In The U.S., 70 More Come Close

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Jaime Degraff sits outside on Sept. 23, 2017, as he waits for the Puerto Rican electrical grid to be fixed after Hurricane Maria. The island is still struggling with power outages. Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press hide caption

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Carol Guzy/ZUMA Press

How Puerto Rico's Debt Created A Perfect Storm Before The Storm

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David Zatezalo, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, was asked about the advanced black lung epidemic at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6, 2018. Huo Jingnan/NPR hide caption

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Huo Jingnan/NPR

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease

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Under sweeping new recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors would see new mothers sooner and more frequently, and insurers would cover the increased visits. FatCamera/Getty Images hide caption

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FatCamera/Getty Images

A new study offers a systematic look at what midwives can and can't do in different states, offering evidence that empowering them could boost maternal and infant health. Trina Dalziel/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Trina Dalziel/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Florida state Sen. Gary Farmer speaks during the 2017 session in Tallahassee, Fla. He has introduced a new bill that would eliminate the false identity provision and clarify the statute so that it applies only to people who commit traditional workers' comp fraud, such as lying about injuries or eligibility for benefits. Steve Cannon/AP hide caption

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Steve Cannon/AP

Pauline stands in her room after coming home from a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities. Michelle Gustafson for NPR hide caption

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Michelle Gustafson for NPR

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

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