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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption. Links are provided to the full stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These news stories are listed by date posted. You can explore the same list by order of importance or by date of news story. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Major publisher retracts 64 scientific papers in fake peer review outbreak
2015-08-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-08-23 21:07:02
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/18/outbreak-of-fake...

Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged. In the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason. Retraction Watch co-founder Ivan Oransky ... said he didn’t know of any instances of retractions for faked peer reviews before 2012. In a report for the journal Nature last fall, Oransky and his colleagues told the story of a ... researcher who wrote peer reviews for 28 of his own papers. Investigations ... have also uncovered a number of services selling names and contact information for made-up experts guaranteed to give an expedited, positive review. In a statement on its Web site in February, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) detailed these agencies’ “systematic, inappropriate attempts” to manipulate the process. COPE’s chair Ginny Barbour wrote in December, “The uncovering of companies systematically manipulating publications, by the use of fake reviewers and more, offers an alarming glimpse into what can happen if reward systems are implemented with no thought or oversight.”

Note: The editor of a top medical journal recently suggested that half all of scientific literature may simply be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.


Apollo 14 astronaut claims peace-loving aliens prevented 'nuclear war' on Earth
2015-08-15, Fox News
Posted: 2015-08-23 21:04:23
http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/08/15/apollo-14-astronaut-claims-peace-lo...

From “The Day the Earth Stood Still” to “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” to “E.T.,” pop culture is filled with stories about friendly, curious extraterrestrials visiting Earth to learn more about mankind. For Apollo 14 veteran Edgar Mitchell that plotline is less fiction than it is reality. The sixth man to walk the surface of the moon told Mirror online that he believes peace-keeping aliens visited our planet to prevent a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. Mitchell claims that military insiders viewed strange flying crafts cruising over U.S. missile bases and the White Sands facility in New Mexico, the site of the first-ever nuclear bomb detonation in 1945. “They wanted to know about our military capabilities,” he said. “My own experience talking to people has made it clear the ETs had been attempting to keep us from going to war and help create peace on Earth.” Mitchell, who grew up near the famous Roswell site in New Mexico, said that he has heard from various Air Force officers who claim UFOs were a regular site during the Cold War. “They told me UFOs were frequently seen overhead and often disabled their missiles,” he added. “Other officers from bases on the Pacific coast told me their (test) missiles were frequently shot down by alien spacecraft.”

Note: For more, read Edgar Mitchell's testimony on a major cover-up of UFOs. The explore a powerful summary of evidence of UFOs presented by highly respected military and government officials. You can find many other excellent, reliable resources in our UFO Information Center.


Prison Guard ‘Beat Up Squad’ Is Blamed in New York Inmate’s Death
2015-08-18, New York Times
Posted: 2015-08-23 21:01:15
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/19/nyregion/fishkill-prison-inmate-died-after-...

On the evening of April 21 in Building 21 at the Fishkill Correctional Facility, Samuel Harrell ... got into a confrontation with corrections officers, was thrown to the floor and was handcuffed. As many as 20 officers repeatedly kicked and punched Mr. Harrell, who is black, with some of them shouting racial slurs, according to more than a dozen inmate witnesses. Mr. Harrell was then thrown or dragged down a staircase. Corrections officers called for an ambulance, but ... mentioned nothing about a physical encounter, [and] told the ambulance crew that Mr. Harrell probably had an overdose of K2, a synthetic marijuana. An autopsy report ... concluded that Mr. Harrell, 30, had cuts and bruises to the head and extremities and had no illicit drugs in his system. The manner of death: Homicide. No officers have been disciplined in connection with the death. Inmate witnesses at Fishkill say they are the ones who have been punished. Several described being put into solitary confinement and threatened with violence after speaking with Mr. Harrell’s family, their lawyers and with news reporters. The Times documented similar allegations of abuse from inmates at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., where in June two convicted murderers escaped, resulting in a three-week manhunt. There, inmates described being beaten and choked with plastic bags by corrections officers seeking information about the escapees.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Undercover Police Have Regularly Spied On Black Lives Matter Activists in New York
2015-08-18, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:58:58
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/18/undercover-police-spied-on-ny-b...

Nearly 300 documents, released by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad, reveal more on-the-ground surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists than previous reports have shown. Conducted by a coalition of MTA counterterrorism agents and undercover police in conjunction with NYPD intelligence officers, the protest surveillance ... raises questions over whether New York-area law enforcement agencies are potentially criminalizing the exercise of free speech. In [one] document, sent February 13 concerning a demonstration at Grand Central, Anthony D’Angelis, identified in the document as an MTA liaison with the NYPD’s counterterrorism division, shared and labeled a photo of Alex Seel, a local photographer. Several protesters at Grand Central say they are perturbed by the photo file’s existence, considering that Seel did not share his name publicly that night and usually only comes to the protests as a quiet photographer. Another document from a December 7 protest [includes] a photo of prominent activist and former Philadelphia police officer Ray Lewis, [and mentions] Lewis’ past activities with Occupy Wall Street. Alex Vitale, a Brooklyn College [sociology professor] argues this is part of a long history of police surveillance of activists, [noting that], "in the post-9-11 environment, there’s been a ... massive expansion of intelligence gathering. Protest activity often gets lumped in with terrorism investigation.”

Note: For more along these lines, read about Cointelpro, the program used by corrupt intelligence agencies to spy on and attack the U.S. civil rights movement beginning in the 1960's. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.


Momentum builds to stop the automatic shackling of juveniles in court
2015-08-14, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:55:44
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0814/Momentum-builds-to-stop-the-au...

In some juvenile court systems around the country, young people regularly appear at hearings in handcuffs, leg irons, or both. But 21 states – five this year alone – have reformed such shackling practices. Skye Gosselin was 12 the first time court officers shackled her. She had been charged with disorderly conduct. At 14, she spent several hours handcuffed to another girl as she awaited her hearing, this time for skipping school. Then she was taken into court with metal bands wrapped around both her wrists and ankles, said the now-16-year-old. "The dehumanizing experience shaped not only how others saw me, but how I saw myself for many years. (It) made me think of myself as a criminal,” [she said]. Children as young as 9 have been shackled, as have children who have been abused by their parents. Up to 100,000 youths are shackled each year. [Reformers] say the automatic use of restraints is not in line with the rehabilitative purpose of juvenile court, limits youths’ ability to participate in their defense, tends to hurt and humiliate them, and, in some cases, traumatizes them. It makes little sense that adult courts typically have to follow guidelines to determine if shackling is really needed, but juvenile courts in many states don’t, says Shakyra Diaz, policy manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. The US Supreme Court has ruled that routine shackling of adults in court is unconstitutional because it can undermine the presumption of innocence.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


In graphic detail, medical journal describes ‘heavy overtones’ of sexual assault in operating room
2015-08-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:52:48
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/08/18/anonymous-med...

If you were freaked out by the news in June that an anesthesiologist had talked trash about her patient while he was unconscious on the table in front of her, you'd better brace yourself. There's more and it's ... much worse. In an anonymous essay published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, one physician describes — in graphic detail — what happened to two women when they were asleep in operating rooms. The stories are horrifying. "I bet she's enjoying this," one doctor reportedly said while prepping a woman for a vaginal hysterectomy. In another case, an obstetrician performed an obscene dance after saving the life of a woman who was bleeding out after having a baby. In a letter accompanying the essay, the editorial team agonized over whether to publish the piece. Everyone agreed that [it] was "disgusting and scandalous" and could damage the profession's reputation. But some argued that this was why they shouldn't publish it while others felt that was why they should publish it. In the end they said they decided to do so in order to "expose medicine's dark underbelly." They said the first incident "reeked of misogyny and disrespect — the second reeked of all that plus heavy overtones of sexual assault and racism." The journal's editors ... hope that medical educators and others will use the essay as a "jumping-off point for discussions that explore the reasons why physicians sometimes behave badly. If the essay squelches such behavior even once, then it was well worth publishing," they wrote.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing medical industry news articles from reliable major media sources.


Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana
2014-12-16, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:48:36
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medical-pot-20141216-story.html

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. The bill's passage ... marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so. Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times. Even as Congress has shifted ground on medical marijuana, lawmakers remain uneasy about full legalization. Marijuana proponents nonetheless said they felt more confident than ever that Congress was drifting toward their point of view. Approval of the pot measure comes after the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors last year to stop enforcing drug laws that contradict state marijuana policies.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure". The healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be openly investigated.


Jared Fogle's plea deal puts Subway back in spotlight
2015-08-19, USA Today
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:45:56
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/08/18/jared-fogel-subway-plea/31951175/

The Subway sandwich chain is working vigorously to emphasize that it has cut its ties to its longtime ad pitchman, Jared Fogle, whose plea deal for having sex with underage girls and possession of child pornography was announced on Wednesday. Yet the case, just as it did in July when federal agents raided Fogle's home, put Subway back in a spotlight. Fogle, of Zionsville, Ind., appeared in court in Indianapolis Wednesday on charges of having had sex with minors and distributing and receiving child pornography. Under the deal, Fogle agrees to to a prison sentence of not less than five years. When media reports about impending deal surfaced Tuesday night, Subway sent out a tweet: "We have already ended our relationship with Jared and have no further comment." One crisis management public relations expert, Jonathan Bernstein, credits Subway for yanking their sponsorship of Fogle in July when search warrants were served by federal agents. But, he adds the sandwich chain would have been wiser to have parted ways when trouble first started surfacing last spring, when the head of Fogle's charitable arm, the Jared Foundation, was arrested in the case. "They probably didn't do it soon enough," says Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management. Before parting company with Subway, Fogle served as the face of the chain for many years to give it a healthy fast-food orientation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


How realistic is TNT’s ‘Proof’? Ask a real-life near-death researcher
2015-07-25, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:44:19
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-realistic-is-tnts-proof-as...

How realistic is your favorite paranormal TV drama? “Proof,” a new summer series on TNT ... stars Jennifer Beals as a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon recruited by a billionaire to investigate near-death experiences. You may or may not believe in such phenomena, but there are serious researchers exploring this realm. The University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies [is] one of only two university-affiliated labs in the country still doing parapsychology research. How realistic does “Proof” seem to real-life near-death researchers? [According to] Jim Tucker, director of U.Va.’s perceptual studies lab: “Patients who’ve died for a time have accurately reported conversations that took place outside of their hospital rooms. Some have reported seeing deceased relatives that at the time they didn’t know were deceased." But the researchers give a thumbs-down to the show’s treatment of reincarnation studies. “Seems a little unrealistic,” said Tucker, after watching an episode where a patient undergoes hypnosis and suddenly remembers a past life. Tucker and his colleagues “don’t place much stock in the idea of hypnotic regression of adults in order to remember past lives.” The Virginia lab has extensively explored the potential of past-life memories, he said — but with an exclusive focus on very young children who, in their early years of talking, have spontaneously reported what seem to be accounts of previous lives, no hypnosis involved. "They left out the most important part, which is that the children we work with report actual memories of past lives."

Note: See our near-death experience resource center for lots more fascinating, reliable information on this vital topic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about near-death experiences.


Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking
2013-08-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:41:52
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/05/children-ban-talking-about...

Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with ... a leading oil and gas driller. The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom. The Hallowich family had earlier accused oil and gas companies of destroying their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania and putting their children's health in danger. Their property was adjacent to major industrial operations ... which the Hallowich family said contaminated their water supply and caused burning eyes, sore throats and headaches. The family gag order was a condition of the settlement. The couple told the court they agreed because they wanted to move to a new home away from the gas fields, and to raise their children in a safer environment. "We need to get the children out of there for their health and safety," the children's mother, Stephanie Hallowich, told the court. She was still troubled by the gag order, however. "I'm not quite sure I fully understand. We know we're signing for silence forever but ... my daughter is turning seven today, my son is 10." The court transcripts were released in response to an open records request by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which first reported on the children's lifetime gag order.

Note: Why isn't the US major media giving more coverage this craziness? The fracking industry poisons drinking water, causes earthquakes and yet remains shrouded in secrecy.


The ‘only town’ in America where cops grant amnesty to drug addicts seeking help
2015-08-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:38:19
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/08/17/the-only-town-...

Leonard Campanello ... posts frequent “Gloucester Police Chief Updates” to the police department’s Facebook page. “Since January of this year, we have responded to dozens of opiate-related overdoses and, unfortunately, the City has seen 4 deaths in this time that are heroin related,” he wrote [on March 6], adding: “4 deaths is 4 too many.” He continued: “If you are a user of opiates or heroin, let us help you. We know you do not want this addiction. We have resources here in the City that can and will make a difference in your life. Do not become a statistic.” The post collected 1,226 “likes” and more page views than there were people in the city. The community, he said, was hungry for different ideas. “The war on drugs is over,” Campanello said in an interview. “And we lost. There is no way we can arrest our way out of this. We’ve been trying that for 50 years. The only thing that has happened is heroin has become cheaper and more people are dying.” He now wanted to turn Gloucester’s police station into an oasis of amnesty in the drug addict’s perilous world. No heroin addict who entered the police seeking help — unless they had outstanding warrants — would face charges or arrest. Even if they toted their drugs and paraphernalia. Instead, they would get help. In another Facebook post in early May, he laid it out. Things then happened fast. The force opened a non-profit called the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative. So far, Campanello said, 109 addicts have sought help at the police station.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Wal-Mart joins farmworker pay initiative in Fla
2014-01-16, USA Today/Associated Press
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:36:20
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/16/wal-mart-joins-initia...

Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday joined an initiative that will require its Florida tomato suppliers to increase farmworker pay and protect workers from forced labor and sexual assault, among other things. The nation's largest retailer became the most influential corporation to join the initiative promoted by ... the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. "Through this collaboration, not only will thousands of hard-working farmworkers see concrete improvements to their lives, but millions of consumers will learn about the Fair Food Program and of a better way to buy fruits and vegetables grown and harvested here in the U.S," said Cruz Salacio, a spokesman for the Coalition. Florida tomato suppliers in the Fair Food Program pass on to their buyers a penny-per-pound of tomatoes pay increase for farmworkers. They also must have zero tolerance for forced labor and sexual assault and put in place a mechanism for resolving labor disputes between growers and farmworkers. The program also requires growers to allow farmworkers to form health and safety committees on each farm. Growers in compliance earn a "Participating Grower" designation, and if they lose the designation through violations, they won't be able to sell their tomatoes to the participating buyers, such as Wal-Mart. "This signifies a tremendous change," Lucas Benitez, a coalition leader, said of Wal-Mart's participation.

Note: Read more on this inspiring initiative.


Alice Herz-Sommer, Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor And Pianist, Shares Music And Wisdom In New Film
2013-10-17, Huffington Post
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:34:13
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/alice-herz-sommer-lady-in-number-6-d...

Alice Herz-Sommer is known for her grace and wisdom. The 109-year-old, who is the oldest living pianist and Holocaust survivor, is undoubtedly one of the most inspirational people in the world. Now, a documentary called "The Lady In Number 6" is telling her incredible story from beginning to end - but just the 11-minute preview in itself is amazing enough. "Every day in life is beautiful," Herz-Sommer says in the video above. The 38-minute-long documentary is directed by Malcolm Clarke and produced by Nicholas Reed and has already been shortlisted for the Academy Awards' documentary short subject category, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Kids all over the world grow up on superheroes," Reed writes on the documentary's website. "What we, their parents, must remind them, is documentaries tell stories about ‘real superheroes.' Superheroes are based on great people, real people, like Alice Herz Sommer.” Despite everything she's been through, Herz-Sommer insists that she's never hated the Nazis and never will. "I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times - including my husband, my mother and my beloved son," she says on the documentary's website. "Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Nanny’s idea inspires a wild rice giant
2013-10-21, Boston Globe
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:31:24
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/10/20/nanny-wild-rice-idea-grows-int...

When George Denny hired a 24-year-old nanny to care for his three children in 1996, the successful private equity investor ... wasn’t expecting to gain a future business partner. But Barbara Mattaliano was certain that a wild rice farm Denny owned in California had big commercial potential. We can create a niche brand of wild rice, she told him, and it will sell. Slowly, he came around. In 2009 they started Goose Valley Natural Foods to sell the rice grown on Denny’s 6,700-acre farm in Shasta County. Today, Goose Valley claims to be the world’s largest producer of organic and natural wild rice, harvesting between 5 million and 6 million pounds annually. As founding partner, Mattaliano earns a six-figure salary and owns a piece of the company. Just over a decade ago, she was cobbling together an income of about $17,000 working as a nanny and rotating through several part-time jobs. She [had] cut short her college education after being severely injured. For years, Denny had been content to sell his rice to SunWest Foods, a California company that buys and processes the rice from over 300 farmers. But Mattaliano had a different idea. She saw an opportunity to cash in on the growing popularity of natural and organic foods ... and kept pushing her idea to Denny. “I told him that in all this time at the ranch in the summers I learned the agriculture end of the business,” she said. The turning point came [once Denny admitted], “This is not just Barbara pestering me — this could be a nice business opportunity.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Why ‘Smart’ Objects May Be a Dumb Idea
2015-08-10, New York Times
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:41:41
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/opinion/zeynep-tufekci-why-smart-objects-ma...

A safe that tallies the cash that is placed in it. A sniper rifle equipped with advanced computer technology for improved accuracy. A car that lets you stream music from the Internet. All of these innovations sound great, until you learn the risks that this type of connectivity carries. Recently, two security researchers, sitting on a couch and armed only with laptops, remotely took over a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee speeding along the highway ... while a Wired reporter was driving. A hacked car is a high-profile example of what can go wrong with the coming Internet of Things — objects equipped with software and connected to digital networks. The selling point ... is added convenience and better safety. In reality, it is a ... train wreck in privacy and security. That smart safe? Hackers can empty it with a single USB stick while erasing all [evidence] of their crime. That high-tech rifle? Researchers managed to remotely manipulate its target selection without the shooter’s knowing. The Internet of Things is also a privacy nightmare. Databases that already have too much information about us will now be bursting with data on the places we’ve driven, the food we’ve purchased and more. Last week, at Def Con, the annual information security conference, researchers set up an Internet of Things Village to show how they could hack everyday objects like baby monitors, thermostats and security cameras. Connecting everyday objects introduces new risks if done at mass scale. Once a hacker is in - she's in everywhere.

Note: Read how a hacked vehicle may have resulted in journalist Michael Hastings' death in 2013. The networked computerization of everyday objects means that these objects can spy on you, accelerating the disappearance of privacy in the name of convenience. What will happen when the "internet of things" expands to include microchip implants in people?


The Pentagon’s Dangerous Views on the Wartime Press
2015-08-10, New York Times
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:38:17
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/10/opinion/the-pentagons-dangerous-views-on-th...

The Defense Department earlier this summer released a comprehensive manual outlining its interpretation of the law of war. The 1,176-page document, the first of its kind, includes guidelines on the treatment of journalists covering armed conflicts that would make their work more dangerous, cumbersome and subject to censorship. Journalists, the manual says, are generally regarded as civilians, but may in some instances be deemed “unprivileged belligerents,” a legal term that applies to fighters that are afforded fewer protections than the declared combatants in a war. The manual warns that “Reporting on military operations can be very similar to collecting intelligence or even spying.” It says that governments “may need to censor journalists’ work or take other security measures so that journalists do not reveal sensitive information to the enemy.” Allowing this document to stand as guidance for commanders, government lawyers and officials of other nations would do severe damage to press freedoms. Authoritarian leaders around the world could point to it to show that their despotic treatment of journalists — including Americans — is broadly in line with the standards set by the United States government. The document’s broad assertion that journalists’ work may need to be censored lest it reveal sensitive information to the enemy ... seems to contravene American constitutional and case law, and offers other countries that routinely censor the press a handy reference point.

Note: Read a critical analysis of the Pentagon’s new manual from the Committee to Protect Journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.


The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay
2015-08-09, Huffington Post
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:36:11
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-outrageous-ascent-of-_b_796336...

The Securities and Exchange Commission just ruled that large publicly held corporations must disclose the ratios of the pay of their top CEOs to the pay of their median workers. About time. In 1965, CEOs of America's largest corporations were paid, on average, 20 times the pay of average workers. Now, the ratio is over 300 to 1. It turns out the higher the CEO pay, the worse the firm does. Professor Michael J. Cooper of the University of Utah [and colleagues] recently found that companies with the highest-paid CEOs returned about 10 percent less to their shareholders than do their industry peers. So why aren't shareholders hollering about CEO pay? Because corporate law in the United States gives shareholders at most an advisory role. They can holler all they want, but CEOs don't have to listen. Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, received a pay package in 2013 valued at $78.4 million, a sum so stunning that Oracle shareholders rejected it. That made no difference because Ellison controlled the board. In Australia, by contrast, shareholders have the right to force an entire corporate board to stand for re-election if 25 percent or more of a company's shareholders vote against a CEO pay plan two years in a row. Which is why Australian CEOs are paid an average of only 70 times the pay of the typical Australian worker. The new SEC rule requiring disclosure of pay ratios ... isn't perfect. Some corporations could try to game it. But the rule marks an important start.

Note: The above article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Facial Recognition Software Moves From Overseas Wars to Local Police
2015-08-12, New York Times
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:34:37
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/us/facial-recognition-software-moves-from-o...

Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country. It is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure. Facial recognition ... is among an array of technologies, including StingRay tracking devices and surveillance aircraft with specialized cameras, that were used in overseas wars but have found their way into local law enforcement. The F.B.I. is pushing ahead with its $1 billion Next Generation Identification program, in which the agency will gather data like fingerprints, iris scans and photographs, as well as information collected through facial recognition software. The F.B.I. system will eventually be made accessible to more than 18,000 local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies. But people who are not criminal suspects are included in the database, and the error rate for the software is as high as 20 percent — meaning the authorities could misidentify millions of people. Among the cities that use facial recognition technology are New York and Chicago, which has linked it to 25,000 surveillance cameras. In many ways, though, San Diego County is at the forefront. Here, beat cops, detectives and even school police officers have been using hand-held devices to create a vast database of tens of thousands of photos of people — usually without the person’s consent.

Note: For more along these lines, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11, or see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of privacy rights.


What happens to Americans who film police violence?
2015-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:32:48
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/15/filming-police-violence-walter...

18-year-old Michael Brown ... was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson. The final few minutes of Brown’s life had been captured by a small surveillance camera rolling inside a nearby grocery shop. As protesters have taken to the streets to demonstrate over Brown’s death, even a year on, so a legion of amateur cameramen and women have begun watching officers closely, posting recordings that undermine the monopoly once held by police on the official version of events. The surge in vigilante recording is being met with aggressive resistance from police. Judges uphold the right of American people to film law enforcement officers under the first amendment of the US constitution. But officers increasingly complain that filming interferes with their duties. An increasing number are taking direct action to prevent recordings – snatching or smashing phones or demanding the handover of footage, sometimes even after it has been livestreamed directly online. For many who capture horrific acts of violence, returning to a normal life becomes impossible. They complain of harassment by police, of threats against their life and of recurring trauma as a result of the death and brutality they have witnessed. Carlos Miller [is] a former journalist who now tracks the issue on his website Photography Is Not A Crime. Already this year, the site has reported on 87 cases in which people were arrested, manhandled or threatened for filming police. The rate of such incidents has increased in recent years, Miller says.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Could Pot Help Veterans With PTSD?
2015-08-02, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:31:01
http://www.newsweek.com/pot-and-ptsd-358139

Marijuana and the Veterans Affairs Hospital system’s relationship is complicated. On the one hand, 23 states plus the District of Columbia say marijuana is legal for sanctioned medical use, and veterans are clamoring for it for their post-combat symptoms. On the other, marijuana is classified a Schedule I drug. Veterans [have] been stuck in the middle. As many as 20 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Antidepressants like Zoloft and Paxil, along with other heavy-duty pills, have been the traditional mainstays in VA doctors’ arsenals. Non-FDA approved options, marijuana among them, haven’t been options at all. But that has started to change. The Veterans Equal Access Act ... aims to open the entire VA system to judicious prescription of medical cannabis. Prior to its introduction, VA doctors couldn’t even discuss cannabis with their patients, much less prescribe it. Arizona psychiatrist Sue Sisley [has] spent two decades treating patients with PTSD. “All we have now is Zoloft and Paxil. And if you know much about those meds, you know there are many side effects, and they often don’t work. If they are effective, then patients are dealing with these side effects,” Sisley adds. “Vets come home from service, and they just want to reintegrate into their family. And we make them fat and impotent and mired in a bunch of disabling side effects.” When asked why marijuana might be better than other options, Sisley’s quick to answer: “A single plant can provide monotherapy for this whole constellation of symptoms.”

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure". The healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be openly investigated.


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