Take a look at some of the main stories from the week and an insight into The Ferret's work.
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Hi ,

Our For Fact's Sake podcast is back!

We've got brand new guests, brand new features, and the same old hosts (sorry).

We're starting this year's series with a three-part special on the upcoming elections in 2024.

First off, how will AI impact the general election?

We spoke to former Guardian journalist Polly Curtis, now chief executive of think-tank Demos, about how artificial intelligence supercharges misinformation and could profoundly affect the way we do politics in future.
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Story of the week
An in-depth look at a Ferret investigation
As asbestos cement pipes supplying drinking water degrade across the UK, experts ask whether they pose a risk to human health.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related diseases in the world, connected to a history of heavy industry where asbestos was previously used. In 2014 Scotland was found to have the highest global rate of mesothelioma, a cancer of the linings of certain organs.

Now experts fear that Scotland and other nations may be on the cusp of a new wave of asbestos cases.

An investigation by The Ferret, part of a cross-border probe into asbestos in the environment, looked at the legacy of ageing asbestos cement water pipes which supply drinking water.

What did we dig up this week?
A round up of our investigations in the last seven days
Edinburgh-headquartered Natwest and Lloyds were both underwriters on a £500m bond issuance by North Sea oil firm Ithaca Energy in July 2021.
A claim has been repeatedly posted on social media suggesting that two-fifths of Scots do not pay any tax at all thanks to being under the earnings threshold.
A US oil firm exported drilling equipment from Montrose to Russia three months after Scottish ministers called on businesses to cease trading with the country.
For Fact's Sake
Our misinformation and fact-checking podcast

Will AI disinformation sway the general election?

For Fact’s Sake is back for a brand new series, kicking off with a special three-part look at the impact of misinformation on the upcoming elections this year.

In the first episode, we spoke to Polly Curtis from think-tank Demos about how AI could affect the general election, and democracy more widely.

Demos has recently produced a report on the potential of AI to alter democracy.

We also launched our newest feature, the Conspiracy Dictionary, with a look at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Question of the Week
Are you concerned about AI's impact on democracy?
We now have a platform exclusive for Ferret Underground subscribers where you can share ideas about future investigations, answer polls and more!

Create an account here to get access.
Best of the rest
Investigations we've enjoyed from around the world
Santander arranged billion-dollar oil bond after making green pledge
HSBC also helped on refinery deal that will boost Amazon oil production (The Bureau)
Republicans hatched a secret assault on the Voting Rights Act in Washington state
After he helped create the state’s voting maps, a redistricting commissioner worked with Republican figures to bring a lawsuit against his own work. (ProPublica)
Behind closed doors: how Tories used dark money-funded report to undermine workers' rights
New law to curb power of trade unions based on decade-old report from opaquely-funded TaxPayers' Alliance, government documents show. (Democracy For Sale)
Any comments? Have you seen something we could include? Email us at

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