Catholic Church Protecting Pedophiles, Oil Blowout Worsens, Banks Launder Drug Money
Revealing News Articles
July 5, 2010
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on continuing revelations of Papal and Church-hierarchy protection of pedophilic priests, the ever-worsening estimates of the rate of flow from the Gulf of Mexico oil blowout, the admission by US banks of massive laundering of Mexican illegal drug money, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: For powerful evidence that the violence at the recent G20 meeting was largely instigated by undercover police, click here. For an excellent article raising serious questions on government destruction of evidence showing that key investors greatly profited from 9/11, click here. Col. Fletcher Prouty is one of the great heroes of our day. If you don't know about him, click here and explore his website here. For his excellent discussion on the real origins of oil, click here. And for a wild trip into the future of mobility, see what may come within a few years in the intriguing three-minute video available here. We are $1,700 in the red for the first six months of the year. Please help us to pull into the black and make a donation at this link.
Pope slams cardinal who exposed abuse cover-up
June 29, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
The Vatican on [June 28] issued an unprecedented rebuke of a top cardinal who had accused the retired Vatican No. 2 of blocking clerical sex abuse investigations, publicly dressing down a man who had been praised for his criticism of church abuse cover-ups. The silencing of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna and long considered a papal contender, drew heated criticism from clerical abuse victims. They said the Vatican should be honoring Schoenborn, not publicly humiliating him, for his calls for greater transparency and demands for a crackdown on priests who rape and sodomize children. Schoenborn has also called for an open discussion of priestly celibacy, views that the Vatican said he "clarified" on Monday during an audience with the pope. Schoenborn had accused the former Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in April of blocking a church investigation into the late Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who was accused by victims in 1995 of abusing boys at a seminary. "With his words, Benedict professes concern for victims. But by his actions, Benedict shows concern for his colleagues," said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Note: For more on sex crimes and the Vatican, click here.
The Catholic Church faces another scandal
June 28, 2010, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
It emerged in April that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a Colombian who for 10 years was in charge of the Vatican department that supervises the clergy, wrote in 2001 with gushing approval to the Bishop of Bayeux, who went to jail rather than give French authorities information about a priest who had raped a minor. "I congratulate you for not turning in a priest to the civil administration," he wrote. "I am delighted to have a colleague ... who ... has preferred prison to turning in his son-priest." The Vatican confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which had been posted on a French website. But then Castrillon Hoyos himself added a crucial detail. In a radio interview he said the letter was the outcome of a high-level meeting of cardinals at which [Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict] had been present. If the Pope wants to purge paedophilia from the church he must confront the compromised figures within the Curia and dismiss them. Pope Benedict XVI would like the Catholic Church to be very different from the one that ballooned out of all proportion under John Paul, purer, more beautiful, more austere. But far from moulding the church in his own image, he now risks having his own heritage fatally compromised.
Note: For more on sex crimes and the Vatican, click here.
Top Catholic Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing His Own Sons
June 21, 2010, ABC News
A prominent Catholic priest, praised by Pope John Paul II as "an efficacious guide to youth," Father Marcial Maciel, sexually abused not only young seminarians under his control but also abused his own children, according to a lawsuit filed today in Connecticut by a man who claims to be Maciel's son. The priest's son, Raul Gonzalez, 30, says he thought his father worked for the CIA or an international oil company, until he saw the priest's picture in a 1997 magazine article detailing allegations of sexual abuse. Under Father Maciel, the Legion of Christ became one of the Roman Catholic Church's most prominent, conservative and financially successful orders. Among its many supporters is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. [The] Vatican ignored reports of sexual abuse by Maciel since the 1950s, until he was forced out of the Legion by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Citing his age, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declined to put Maciel on trial but he was ordered to a "life of prayer and penitence." [A] lawsuit filed by Maciel's alleged son claims the Vatican and the presiding Pope from the 1950's until 2002 "engaged in a conspiracy to conceal their knowledge of Maciel's serial delicts, including the repeated sexual abuse of children." The lawsuit claims Maciel "gained influence and protection from the Vatican through giving substantial monies to Vatican officials" and providing other benefits and gifts.
Note: For more on sex crimes and the Vatican, click here.
Sticking the public with the bill for the bankers' crisis
June 27, 2010, Globe and Mail (One of Toronto's leading newspapers)
My city feels like a crime scene and the criminals are all melting into the night, fleeing the scene. No, I'm not talking about the kids in black who smashed windows and burned cop cars on Saturday. I'm talking about the heads of state who, on Sunday night, smashed social safety nets and burned good jobs in the middle of a recession. Faced with the effects of a crisis created by the world's wealthiest and most privileged strata, they decided to stick the poorest and most vulnerable people in their countries with the bill. How else can we interpret the G20's final communiqué, which includes not even a measly tax on banks or financial transactions, yet instructs governments to slash their deficits in half by 2013. This is a huge and shocking cut, and we should be very clear who will pay the price: students who will see their public educations further deteriorate as their fees go up; pensioners who will lose hard-earned benefits; public-sector workers whose jobs will be eliminated. And the list goes on. These types of cuts have already begun in many G20 countries including Canada, and they are about to get a lot worse. But there is nothing to say that citizens of G20 countries need to take orders from this hand-picked club. Already, workers, pensioners and students have taken to the streets against austerity measures in Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Greece, often marching under the slogan: "We won't pay for your crisis." And they have plenty of suggestions for how to raise revenues to meet their respective budget shortfalls. Many are calling for a financial transaction tax that would slow down hot money and raise new money for social programs.
Note: This report from Toronto is by Naomi Klein, the author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. For powerful evidence that the violence at the recent G20 meeting was largely instigated by undercover police, click here.
Each day, another way to define worst-case for oil spill
June 23, 2010, Washington Post
The base-line measures of the [Gulf of Mexico] crisis have steadily worsened. The estimated flow rate keeps rising. The well is like something deranged, stronger than anyone anticipated. Week by week, the truth of this disaster has drifted toward the stamping ground of the alarmists. The most disturbing of the worst-case scenarios ... is that the Deepwater Horizon well has been so badly damaged that it has spawned multiple leaks from the seafloor, making containment impossible and a long-term solution much more complicated. Much of the worst-case-scenario talk has centered on the flow rate of the well. Rep. Edward J. Markey [said on NBC's "Meet the Press], "I ... have a document that shows that BP actually believes it could go upwards of 100,000 barrels per day. So, again, right from the beginning, BP was either lying or grossly incompetent." Today the official government estimate of the flow, based on multiple techniques that include subsea video and satellite surveys of the oil sick on the surface, is 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day. In effect, what BP considered the worst-case scenario in early May is in late June the bitter reality -- call it the new normal -- of the gulf blowout.
Note: A NASA photo of the extent of the gulf oil spill speaks a thousand words at this link.
Oil Spill Outrage
June 7, 2010, CNN
CAMPBELL BROWN: [There is] growing outrage over the millions of gallons of chemical dispersants BP is dumping into the gulf. Some local residents insist the chemicals along with the oil are making them violently ill. Kerry Kennedy from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights has been touring the coast and talking to folks who complain that they are being exposed to a lot of unknown toxins right now. Kerry, people who have come in contact with the oil and the dispersants are complaining of nausea, headaches, burning eyes. Talk to me a little bit about your experience when you were touring these gulf communities. KERRY KENNEDY: People are getting sick. And the patients, the health care providers cannot properly diagnose what the problems are because BP will not give them the names of the chemicals that are in the dispersants. However, we know that they're the same types of illnesses that people reported in Alaska. Now, the average lifespan of a person who did cleanup on the Exxon Valdez is 51 years old. Almost all those people who did work on the Exxon Valdez are now dead. And BP still here, once again, is big oil not giving the information to the doctors and health care officials. A county nurse was not given permission to go on to the BP property. When she finally did that, the people who work at BP who were coming to see her were only allowed to get band aids and aspirin from her. And they were told that they only could go to the BP doctors if they wanted to get treated.
Note: For a powerful, one-minute CNN News video of this segment, click here.
U.S. banks' role in Mexican drug trade
June 30, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg News
Wachovia [Bank] ... made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers - including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine. The admission ... sheds light on the largely undocumented role of U.S. banks in contributing to the violent drug trade that has convulsed Mexico for the past four years. Wachovia admitted it didn't do enough to spot illicit funds in handling $378.4 billion for Mexican currency exchange houses from 2004 to 2007. That's the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history - a sum equal to one-third of Mexico's current gross domestic product. "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case. "It's the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy," said Martin Woods, director of Wachovia's anti-money-laundering unit in London from 2006 to 2009. Woods says he quit the bank in disgust after executives ignored his documentation that drug dealers were funneling money through Wachovia's branch network. "If you don't see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico, you're missing the point," he said.
Note: For abundant reports from reliable sources on the many dubious ways in which major financial firms make their profits, click here.
High Court Sides With Ex-Enron CEO Skilling
June 24, 2010, NPR
The U.S Supreme Court has severely restricted the ability of federal prosecutors to bring corruption cases against public officials and corporate executives. The court unanimously imposed stark limits on the so-called honest services law that for decades has been a key tool in prosecuting corruption cases. The court's ruling came in the case of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling, convicted of engaging in a scheme to enrich himself by deceiving shareholders about his company's true financial condition. He was convicted of a variety of charges, including depriving the Enron investors of his honest services. The Supreme Court ruled that the definition of honest services in federal law was so broad that, if viewed literally, it would be unconstitutionally vague, providing inadequate notice to citizens about what conduct is legal and what is not. Instead, a six-justice majority led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg declined to invalidate the law outright, but read it narrowly to cover only bribery and kickbacks. Three other justices – Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas – would have, for all practical purposes, invalided the statute in its entirety.
Study links bee decline to cell phones
June 30, 2010, CNN
A new study has suggested that cell phone radiation may be contributing to declines in bee populations in some areas of the world. Bee populations dropped 17 percent in the UK last year, according to the British Bee Association, and nearly 30 percent in the United States says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Parasitic mites called varroa, agricultural pesticides and the effects of climate change have all been implicated in what has been dubbed "colony collapse disorder" (CCD). But researchers in India believe cell phones could also be to blame for some of the losses. In a study at Panjab University in Chandigarh, northern India, researchers fitted cell phones to a hive and powered them up for two fifteen-minute periods each day. After three months, they found the bees stopped producing honey, egg production by the queen bee halved, and the size of the hive dramatically reduced. It's not just the honey that will be lost if populations plummet further. Bees are estimated to pollinate 90 commercial crops worldwide. Their economic value in the UK is estimated to be $290 million per year and around $12 billion in the U.S..
Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table
June 26, 2010, New York Times
The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat – salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate. The salmon's approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals. The salmon was developed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies and would be raised in fish farms. It is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. Under a policy announced in 2008, the F.D.A. is regulating genetically engineered animals as if they were veterinary drugs and using the rules for those drugs. And applications for approval of new drugs must be kept confidential by the agency. Critics say the drug evaluation process does not allow full assessment of the possible environmental impacts of genetically altered animals and also blocks public input. "There is no opportunity for anyone from the outside to see the data or criticize it," said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and [agriculture] program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. When consumer groups were invited to discuss biotechnology policy with top F.D.A. officials last month, Ms. Mellon said she warned the officials that approval of the salmon would generate "a firestorm of negative response."
Note: For a valuable summary of the dangers of genetically engineered foods, click here.
FDA is sued for failing to regulate bisphenol A
June 30, 2010, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
A top environmental group has sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its failure to regulate bisphenol A, a ubiquitous chemical linked to reproductive harm, cancer and obesity in studies. The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit [on June 29] in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit arguing that millions of Americans have been unnecessarily exposed to the substance - found in everything from soda bottles and tuna cans to children's sippy cups - in the two years since it first petitioned the agency to outlaw bisphenol A. Under the FDA's own rules, it was required to approve, deny or otherwise respond to the October 2008 petition within 180 days, the lawsuit said. After maintaining for decades that bisphenol A was safe, the FDA reversed position in January, saying exposure to the chemical was of "some concern" for infants and children. The FDA also said it would further study bisphenol A over the next two years. "More research is always welcome and interesting, but at some point you have to say, 'We know enough,' and take action. We've reached that point," said Sarah Janssen, senior scientist at the NRDC's Environment and Public Health program in San Francisco.
UK firm Octel bribed Iraqis to keep buying toxic fuel additive
June 30, 2010, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The former chief executive of a British chemical company faces the prospect of extradition to the US after the firm admitted million-dollar bribes to officials to sell toxic fuel additives to Iraq. Paul Jennings, until last year chief executive of the Octel chemical works ... and his predecessor, Dennis Kerrison, exported tonnes of tetra ethyl lead (TEL), to Iraq. TEL is banned from cars in western countries because of links with brain damage to children. Iraq is believed to be the only country that still adds lead to petrol. The company recently admitted that, in a deliberate policy to maximise profits, executives from Octel – which since changed its name to Innospec – bribed officials in Iraq and Indonesia with millions of dollars to carry on using TEL, despite its health hazards. Senior Iraqi oil ministry officials are accused of taking British bribes throughout the UK-US occupation, up until 2008. US prosecutors say multi-million dollar bribes to Iraq were agreed in 2001-3, when Kerrison was chief executive. A decade ago, Octel decided to remain the world's only manufacturer of TEL for cars, after it was banned in the US and Europe. They used high profits from non-western countries to diversify into other products and to pay back investors, mainly US hedge funds run by Connecticut billionaire Jeffrey Gendell. According to prosecutors, the strategy included the corrupt blocking of health campaigns.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Mafia plot to smear Kennedys using Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe
June 14, 2010, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Mafia bosses planned to "compromise" Bobby and Edward Kennedy at a New York party in a plot involving Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, according to FBI documents. The intention was to work through "associates" of the two stars to lure the Kennedys, as well as Peter Lawford, their British actor brother-in-law and fellow member of Sinatra's "rat pack", into actions they would regret. The plot is thought to have fizzled out, but it is consistent with other accounts of the extraordinary links between [the Kennedys], the country's biggest stars and organised crime. Monroe, who died in 1962, allegedly had affairs with both Bobby Kennedy and John F Kennedy. It has previously been claimed that she passed on pillow talk from Bobby Kennedy to Sinatra who in turn passed them on to his mafia friends. As attorney general Robert Kennedy launched several investigations into the mob which it may have felt warranted a measure of retribution. From early on in his four-decade career in the senate, Edward Kennedy, the youngest of the three brothers, was known for his affairs with women and extravagant drinking habits. Papers released earlier this year the library of former president Richard Nixon showed that in the early 1970s he discussed with the aides the possibility of discrediting Kennedy by leaking news of his infidelities. Agents in Milwaukee took the information from an unidentified source "who had furnished reliable information in the past," according to the memo. However, the informant could not verify the truth of any of the rumor's details.
Blind To Failure
June 18, 2001, Time magazine (Cover story)
Scaling Everest requires the enthusiasm and boosterism of a physical-education teacher combined with the survival instinct of a Green Beret. You have to want that summit. Erik Weihenmayer, 33, wasn't just another yuppie trekker. Blind since he was 13 ... he began attacking mountains in his early 20s. For Erik ... excelling as an athlete was the result of accepting his disability rather than denying it."Climbing with Erik isn't that different from climbing with a sighted mountaineer. You wear a bell on your pack, and he follows the sound ... using his custom-made climbing poles to feel his way along the trail. His climbing partners shout out helpful descriptions: "Death fall 2 ft. to your right!" Almost 90% of Everest climbers fail to reach the summit. Many--at least 165 since 1953--never come home at all. When Erik and the team began the final ascent from Camp 4 ... they had been on the mountain for two months ... getting used to the altitude and socking away enough equipment [before they made the final, successful] summit push. "He was the heart and soul of our team," says Eric Alexander. "The guy's spirit won't let you quit."
Note: Don't miss the entire inspiring story at the link above. For an inspiring video of Erik in Peru, click here.
Key Articles From Years Past
Why governments are selling Vitamin D short
October 23, 2009, Financial Times
Reinhold Vieth, [a] professor at the University of Toronto's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Patho-biology, ... is among the most knowledgeable people in the world on the subject of vitamin D. In the US and Canada, official vitamin D policy is set by the Institute of Medicine. And in the opinion of Vieth, the current recommendations – 200 International Units per day for people under 50, 400 for people aged 51-70, and 600 for those 71 and older – are outrageously low. Vieth and other vitamin D advocates have good reason to think there will be minimal changes made to dietary guidelines. Last December, the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a 465-page report that concluded there was no need to raise vitamin D recommendations. "The evidence favouring vitamin D is probably as good as the evidence that shows smoking is bad for you," Vieth says, explaining that just as smoking is correlated with certain cancers, so are low vitamin D levels. "But when these government officials see the same kind of evidence that deals with vitamin D as they see with smoking they go, 'Oh wait a minute. We can't really trust this.'" Vieth pauses, as though he can barely stand to talk about such a miserable state of affairs. "It's easy to say 'don't do something – don't smoke'. It's very hard to say 'take this. Take vitamin D.'"
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
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