News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


Below are many 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.


 News stories


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.

Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers
2014-11-14, NBC News (San Francisco Affiliate)
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:32:26
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Waste-Water-from-Oil-Fracking-Inject...

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation. Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA. California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, “There have been past issues where permits were issued to operators that they shouldn’t be injecting into those zones." In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of. Marshall said that often times, oil and gas companies simply re-inject that waste water back deep underground where the oil extraction took place. But other times, Marshall said, the waste water is re-injected into aquifers closer to the surface. In the State’s letter to the EPA, officials admit that in at least nine waste water injection wells, the waste water was injected into “non-exempt” or clean aquifers. For the EPA, “non-exempt” aquifers are underground bodies of water that are “containing high quality water” that can be used by humans to drink, water animals or irrigate crops. "It should not have been permitted,” said Marshall.

Note: The complete article summarized above includes maps of the Bakersfield, CA wells contaminated by these fracking waste injections. For more along these lines, read this Los Angeles Times article about how fracking poisons drinking water, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




New Orleans Police Routinely Ignored Sex Crimes
2014-11-12, New York Times
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:29:53
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/us/new-orleans-police-special-crimes-unit-i...

A scathing examination of this city’s Police Department has concluded that five detectives tasked with investigating sex crimes failed to pursue hundreds of reported cases. “It was a persistent, systemic problem,” said Howard Schwartz, the inspector general’s lead investigator. The report described how victims’ charges of sexual assault were ignored, referrals from medical personnel were dismissed, and evidence was not processed; in some cases the detective would mark down in a report that evidence had been sent to the state laboratory, though no records could be found that the laboratory received anything. In one case, a 2-year-old was brought to the emergency room on suspicion of having been the victim of a sexual assault and was found to have a sexually transmitted disease. The detective did no follow-up and closed the case. In another, a nurse collected DNA evidence from a victim in a rape kit, but the detective apparently never submitted the kit for testing. That same detective, the report said, told at least three different people that he or she “did not believe that simple rape should be a crime.” These findings are not new to the New Orleans police force, which is under federal court supervision after having been found to have a pattern of inefficient, abusive and corrupt police work.

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable sources.




Historical abuse inquiry: Police examine 'possible homicide'
2014-11-14, BBC News
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:26:40
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30052726

Police are investigating "possible homicide" linked to what has been described as a paedophile ring involving powerful people in the 1970s and 1980s. The group is alleged to have included senior figures in public life, the military, politics and law enforcement. A key witness who has spoken to police has told the BBC that he was abused for nine years as a boy. The Metropolitan Police said, "At this early stage in this inquiry, with much work still to do, it is not appropriate to issue appeals or reveal more information." Using the name "Nick", the alleged victim said he had given three days of video-taped evidence to detectives. His accounts are being assessed as part of ... a new Scotland Yard investigation. Nick, now in his 40s, says ... the group was "very organised" and would arrange for chauffeur-driven cars to pick up boys, sometimes from school, and drive them to "parties" or "sessions" at locations including hotels and private apartments in London and other cities. "Some of them were quite open about who they were. They had no fear at all of being caught, it didn't cross their mind." Nick said he had one motivation for speaking to the BBC - to encourage other alleged victims or those who unwittingly assisted the abusers to come forward. "People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. We weren't smuggled in under a blanket through the back door. It was done openly and people must have questioned that and they need to come forward."

Note: Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. And read an abundance of major media news articles showing rampant child sexual abuse at high levels in many prominent organizations.




Organised child sex abuse 'widespread in England', MPs say
2014-11-18, BBC News
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:24:23
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-30083835

Organised child sex abuse is widespread in England, a report by MPs on the Rotherham exploitation scandal says. Their report said: "On the evidence we took, the alarming conclusion is that Rotherham was not an outlier and that there is a widespread problem of organised child sexual exploitation in England." The MPs inquiry was prompted by a report by Prof Alexis Jay, which revealed up to 1,400 children were estimated to have been victims of abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. Ofsted, which carried out a series of inspections during the period, said it had introduced a "more rigorous inspection framework". The parliamentary committee called for an investigation into missing files at the council and said council officials "should be held accountable for their actions." In a statement, Ofsted said it welcomed "the opportunity to give evidence to the committee. In common with a number of organisations, we accept that past inspections may not have given child sexual exploitation the forensic focus it needed and deserved," it said.

Note: Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. And read an abundance of major media news articles showing rampant child sexual abuse at high levels in many prominent organizations.




Government planes mimic cellphone towers to collect user data
2014-11-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:22:21
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/14/government-planes-mimic-cellphon...

The US justice department is reportedly using electronic equipment on aircraft to simulate cellphone towers so it can collect phone location and identifying information on a mass scale from users on the ground below. The US Marshals Service has for seven years flown Cessna aircraft ... that mimic cellular towers, permitting the collection of thousands of unique IDs and location data from users. The planes operate from at least five metropolitan airports, permitting a “flying range covering most of the US population”. [This] indiscriminate collection would permit ... justice department agencies to avoid having to seek records from the phone companies themselves, especially in criminal investigations where a court order may be required. The legal basis for the previously undisclosed program is unclear. It is not reportedly a national security or counterterrorism program. Michael German, a former FBI agent now with New York University Law School, said: “The government’s attitude seems to be if it can, it should, without regard to the violation of Americans’ rights, so long as nobody knows. This program is being kept secret so that the thousands of innocent Americans whose data is being collected improperly won’t complain. We shouldn’t have to just trust that the government will handle the data it intercepts about our communications properly.”

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and privacy news articles from reliable sources.




Leaked treaty is a Hollywood wish list. Could it derail Obama’s trade agenda?
2013-11-12, Washington Post Blog
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:20:11
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/13/leaked-treaty-is...

Officially, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade treaty that will ease the flow of goods and services among the United States ... and other nations along the Pacific Rim. But it has attracted criticism for its secrecy, and for the inclusion of controversial provisions related to copyright, patent, and trademark protections. Wikileaks released an August draft of the "intellectual property" chapter of the treaty. The United States has been using the treaty as a vehicle to pressure its negotiating partners to make their laws more favorable to the interests of U.S. filmmakers, drug companies, and other large holders of copyright and patent rights. Several proposed items are drawn from Hollywood's wish list. The United States has also pushed for a wide variety of provisions that would benefit the U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The Obama administration wants to require the extension of patent protection to plants, animals, and medical procedures. It wants to require countries to offer longer terms of patent protection to compensate for delays in the patent application process. The United States also wants to bar the manufacturers of generic drugs from relying on safety and efficacy information that was previously submitted by a brand-name drug maker — a step that would make it harder for generic manufacturers to enter the pharmaceutical market and could raise drug prices.

Note: Why was this vitally important, yet little-reported news relegated to a blog? Read an October, 2014 update on the secret trade deal in The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers). The Environment Chapter of the TPP has also been leaked. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about government secrecy.




The Fed Needs Governors Who Aren’t Wall Street Insiders
2014-11-19, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:17:28
http://online.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-warren-and-joe-manchin-the-fed-needs...

The Federal Reserve's Board of Governors and the New York Fed have been responsible for supervising Wall Street banks. After the 2008 crisis and the regulatory lapses it revealed, Congress gave the Fed even more oversight authority. Two recent reports highlight that the Fed isn’t very good at supervising certain banks. In September, Carmen Segarra, a former bank examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, released secret recordings she had made of meetings at the New York Fed in 2012. The recordings revealed that New York Fed employees had identified concerns with a proposed Goldman Sachs deal. The New York Fed didn’t attempt to make Goldman address these concerns. The recordings also showed Ms. Segarra’s superiors pressuring her to soften her finding that Goldman did not comply with federal regulations on conflicts of interest. An October report from the Fed’s Office of Inspector General provided additional confirmation that the Fed is failing to oversee the big banks. The report found that the New York Fed had failed to examine J.P. Morgan Chase’s Chief Investment Office despite a recommendation to do so in 2009. The report concluded that the New York Fed needed to improve its supervision of the biggest, most complex banks. We’re all counting on the Fed to monitor the big banks and stop them from taking on too much risk, but evidence is mounting that this faith in the Fed is misplaced.

Note: If the above link fails, click here. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance. For additional information, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.




The growing wealth and clout of the richest .01 percent
2014-11-18, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:15:22
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/sns-201411181330--tms--amvoices...

According to new research by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, the richest one-hundredth of one percent of Americans now hold more than 11 percent of the nation's total wealth. That's a higher share than the top .01 percent held in 1929, before the Great Crash. We're talking about 16,000 people, each worth at least $110 million. This explosion of wealth at the top has been accompanied by an erosion of the wealth of the middle class and the poor. Some might think [that] if those at the top are winning big while the bottom 90 percent is losing, too bad. That's the way the game is played. But the top .01 percent have also been ... changing the game. Their political investments have paid off in the form of lower taxes on themselves and their businesses, subsidies for their corporations, government bailouts, federal prosecutions ... where executives don't go to jail, watered-down regulations, and non-enforcement of antitrust laws. Since the top .01 began investing big time in politics, corporate profits and the stock market have risen to record levels. That's enlarged the wealth of the richest .01 percent. But the bottom 90 percent ... rely on wages, which have been trending downward. Politicians don't seem particularly intent on reversing this trend. If you want to know what's happened to our democracy, follow the richest .01 percent. They'll lead you to the politicians who have been selling our democracy.

Note: For more along these lines, see these summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles.




Ukraine crisis is about Great Power oil, gas pipeline rivalry
2014-03-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:12:34
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/06/ukraine-cris...

Russia's armed intervention in the Crimea undoubtedly illustrates President Putin's ruthless determination to get his way in Ukraine. But less attention has been paid to the role of the United States in interfering in Ukrainian politics and civil society. Both powers are motivated by the desire to ensure that a geostrategically pivotal country with respect to control of critical energy pipeline routes remains in their own sphere of influence. The reported leak of the recording of an alleged private telephone conversation between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt ... suggests active US government interference. A recent US State Department-sponsored report notes that "Ukraine's strategic location between the main energy producers (Russia and the Caspian Sea area) and consumers in the Eurasian region ... make the country "a potentially crucial player in European energy transit" - a position that will "grow as Western European demands for Russian and Caspian gas and oil continue to increase." Ukraine is caught hapless in the midst of this accelerating struggle to dominate Eurasia's energy corridors in the last decades of the age of fossil fuels. For those who are pondering whether we face the prospect of a New Cold War, a better question might be - did the Cold War ever really end?

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




New revelations in attack on American spy ship
2007-10-02, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:09:10
http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-liberty_tuesoct02-story.html#page=1

Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism: "I'm angry! I'm seething with anger! Forty years, and I'm seething with anger!" Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty, a super-secret spy ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, when four Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel on June 8, 1967, the fourth day of what would become known as the Six-Day War. Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping. Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel. In declassifying the most recent and largest batch of materials last June 8, the 40th anniversary of the attack, the NSA ... acknowledged that the attack had "become the center of considerable controversy." It was not the agency's intention, it said, "to prove or disprove any one set of conclusions, many of which can be drawn from a thorough review of this material." Air Force Capt. Richard Block was ... monitoring Middle Eastern communications [on June 8, 1967]. "Some of the pilots did not want to attack," Block said. "The pilots said, 'This is an American ship. Do you still want us to attack?'" And ground control came back and said, 'Yes, follow orders.'"

Note: The Jerusalem Post has now confirmed that Israel knew the USS Liberty was American. Watch the powerfully incriminating documentary "The Day Israel Attacked America" about the 1967 intentional attack on the USS Liberty which was virtually erased from all historical accounts.




Spencer Bachus, incoming House financial chairman, gets heat for saying regulators should 'serve' banks
2010-12-15, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:06:14
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/12/spencer-bachus-banks-regulat...

The incoming Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is facing fire for recently saying that Washington and banking regulators should "serve" the banks. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who recently beat back a challenge from Ed Royce of Fullerton to win the chairmanship of the powerful committee, made the comments in an interview with the Birmingham News. "In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks," Bachus said. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly dubbed him "Big Bank Bachus" and highlighted the more than $1 million in campaign contributions he has received from Wall Street over the years. Outgoing Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) jumped into the fray. He slammed Bachus' intentions to scale back the recently enacted financial reform law, including trying to limit the powers of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying the comments showed "a seriously flawed view of the relationship that should exist between financial institutions and those who set the rules governing safety and soundness. His view of the role of regulation, expressed before he ‘clarified’ his genuine belief, explains why he is so opposed to an independent consumer financial protection bureau, and why he wants to weaken restraints on speculation by banks with depositors’ money,” Frank said.

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance. For additional information, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.




New Jersey ACLU app gives new meaning to 'police tape'
2012-07-06, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-11-23 18:04:01
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/06/business/la-fi-tn-aclu-nj-record-poli...

If you've ever been in a did-that-really-just-happen scenario, you might have wished you had a recorder running -- particularly when it comes to run-ins with the law. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey just released an app that allows Android phone users to record and store their interactions with police to "hold police accountable." The app, cleverly called "Police Tape," also includes legal information about citizens' rights during encounters with law enforcement. What sets this apart from being just a video camera with a send button is that you can also record in "stealth mode." The app disappears from the screen once the recording starts, "to prevent any attempt by police to squelch the recording," according to the ACLU of New Jersey site. Users can send the recording to the organization through the app for backup storage and analysis. Though there is no federal law preventing recording police in public, some states have different statutes covering such activity. Earlier, the New York American Civil Liberties Union released its Stop and Frisk Watch application. The New York ACLU promotes that app as a way for bystanders and designated event observers to record incidents. That's probably a better idea than whipping out your phone when a cop asks for your license, particularly if you are in an emotionally charged or intense setting. That's probably not going to be received well.

Note: Other states now have this app, which you can read about at this link and this one.




Turning Education Upside Down
2013-10-09, New York Times Blog
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:59:58
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com//2013/10/09/turning-education-upside-down/

Turning Education Upside Down
October 9, 2013, New York Times Blog
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com//2013/10/09/turning-education-upside-down/

Three years ago, Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, became a “flipped school” — one where students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons, which students watch on their smartphones, home computers or at lunch in the school’s tech lab. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates. In the fall of 2011, Clintondale flipped completely — every grade, every class. “On average we approximated a 30 percent failure rate,” said Green. “With flipping, it dropped to under 10 percent.” Graduation rates rose dramatically, and are now over 90 percent. College attendance went from 63 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2012. Flipping also changes the distribution of teacher time. In a traditional class, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who tend to need the most attention. The biggest effect of flipping classrooms is on the students at the bottom. “It’s tough to fail a flipped class, because you’re doing the stuff in here,” said Rob Dameron, the head of the English department. “I used to have about a 30 percent failure rate in English. Now, out of 130 kids, I have three who are failing — mostly due to attendance problems.” Flipped classrooms require more creativity and energy from the teacher. “Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant to this — they like to build time into the day when kids are working to do their taxes or catch up on email.”.

Note: Watch a great five-minute video on this phenomenon. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Living Simply in a Dumpster
2014-09-11, The Atlantic
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:57:56
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/the-simple-life-in-a-dump...

Tucked behind the women’s residence halls in a back corner of Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas, sits a green dumpster. Were it not for the sliding pitched roof and weather station perched on top, a reasonable person might dismiss the box as “just another dumpster”—providing this person did not encounter the dean of the University College Jeff Wilson living inside. Until this summer, the green dumpster was even less descript than it is now. There was no sliding roof; Wilson kept the rain out with a tarp. The goal was to establish a baseline experience of the dumpster without any accoutrements, before adding them incrementally. Not long ago, Wilson was nesting in a 2,500 square foot house. Now he says almost everything he owns is in his 36-square-foot dumpster, which is sanctioned and supported by the university as part of an ongoing sustainability-focused experiment called The Dumpster Project. “We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,” Wilson said at the launch, “[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.” Wilson, known around town as Professor Dumpster, recounted in another recent interview that he now owns four pairs of pants, four shirts, three pairs of shoes, three hats, and “eight or nine” bow ties. He keeps all of this in cubbies under a recently installed false floor.

Note: The article above includes many amazing photos of Wilson's unconventional home. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




These 14 Teenage Inventors Built a Glove That Translates Sign Language—and Other Tech Solutions
2014-11-11, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:55:39
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/these-14-teenage-inventors-made-a-glo...

These 16 individuals under 20 have all invented solutions that have somehow eluded those who can legally drink. Many of these kids were inspired by simple necessity. Others were driven by compassion. Some of them were just doing science fair projects. Eesha Khare: This 18-year-old from Saratoga, California, was still in high school when she invented a battery that can be charged in 20 seconds. It also lasts 10 times as long as a standard battery. Ryan Patterson: The inability to communicate with most hearing people makes life difficult for deaf persons. Knowing this, Colorado-born Ryan invented a glove that translates sign language. It’s simply a golf glove that uses sensors, a radio frequency transmitter, and a microcontroller to interpret hand movements. He was 17. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? Raquel Redshirt: Growing up in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation, Raquel experienced poverty so extreme that her family and neighbors often couldn’t afford electricity, making it near impossible to cook anything. So at 16, she discovered a way to make solar-powered ovens using the simple materials collected around the area. Working with old tires, aluminum foil, shredded paper, and dirt, she made these usually expensive ovens for the people in her community. Have you built any ovens for your neighbors lately?

Note: Why aren't some of these inventions being hailed and promoted widely in the media? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Obama administration endorses treaty banning torture
2014-11-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:53:34
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administration-en...

The Obama administration has formally endorsed provisions of an international treaty banning torture and cruel treatment of prisoners held by the United States. In a statement Wednesday to a U.N. treaty-monitoring committee in Geneva, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said, “We believe that torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are forbidden in all places, at all times, with no exceptions.” State Department legal adviser Mary E. McLeod affirmed to the committee that the definition covers all areas under U.S. jurisdiction and territory. McLeod also reaffirmed that no statement made by a person as a result of torture is admissible in any legal proceeding. The ... issue is likely to reemerge in the United States with the release of a lengthy summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s classified report on the detention and interrogation program that was put in place following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The release has been held up in a dispute between the committee majority and the CIA over portions of the report the intelligence agency believes should remain secret. In her remarks to the committee, McLeod said that “in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we regrettably did not always live up to our own values. As President Obama has acknowledged, we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that.

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




Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize
2014-11-09, New York Times
Posted: 2014-11-16 22:05:40
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/us/police-use-department-wish-list-when-dec...

Civil asset forfeiture ... allows the government, without ever securing a conviction or even filing a criminal charge, to seize property. The practice ... has become a staple of law enforcement agencies because it helps finance their work. Under a Justice Department program, the value of assets seized has ballooned to $4.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year from $407 million in 2001. From Orange County, N.Y., to Rio Rancho, N.M., forfeiture operations are being established or expanded. Much of the nuts-and-bolts how-to of civil forfeiture is passed on in continuing education seminars for local prosecutors and law enforcement officials, some of which have been captured on video. In the sessions, officials ... offered advice on dealing with skeptical judges, mocked Hispanics whose cars were seized, and ... gave weight to the argument that civil forfeiture encourages decisions based on the value of the assets to be seized rather than public safety. Prosecutors boasted in the sessions that seizure cases were rarely contested or appealed. Civil forfeiture places the burden on owners, who must pay court fees and legal costs. And often the first hearing is presided over not by a judge but by the prosecutor whose office benefits from the proceeds. Mr. McMurtry [chief of the forfeiture unit in the Mercer County, N.J., prosecutor’s office] said his handling of a case is sometimes determined by department wish lists. “If you want the car, and you really want to put it in your fleet, let me know — I’ll fight for it.”

Note: Watch the video at the link above showing a trainer teaching cops how to steal a car that a cop might want legally. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and civil liberties news articles from reliable sources.




The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare
2014-11-06, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-11-16 22:02:21
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106

[Alayne] Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion ... to keep the public from hearing. In 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud." This past year she watched as Holder's Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The idea that Holder had cracked down on Chase was ... fiction. The settlement, says Kelleher, "was ... crafted to bypass the court system. The DOJ and JP-Morgan were trying to avoid disclosure of their dirty deeds." Chase emerged with barely a scratch. The settlement put you, me and every other American taxpayer on the hook. Chase was allowed to treat some $7 billion of the settlement as a tax write-off. The bank's share price soared six percent on news of the settlement. Chase actually made money from the deal. What's more, to defray the cost of this and other fines, Chase last year laid off 7,500 lower-level employees. But no one made out better than [Chase CEO Jamie] Dimon. The board awarded [him] a 74 percent raise. The people who stole all those billions are still in place. And the bank is more untouchable than ever. Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresny, who represented Chase for some of this case, have since been named to the two top jobs at the SEC.

Note: Read this entire, fascinating article to understand just how corrupt both the banks and our government are. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance. For additional information, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.




Three Ways Courts Screw the Innocent Into Pleading Guilty
2014-11-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:58:50
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/07/how-the-innocent-get-screwed

(senior federal district judge) Jed A. Rakoff’s essay in The New York Review of Books ... tries to explain why innocent people so often plead guilty. At least 20,000 people have pled guilty to and gone to jail for felonies they did not commit — if you very conservatively take criminologists’ lowest estimates, and cut them in half. Rakoff identifies three ways the criminal justice system obstructs its own “truth seeking mechanism,” a trial by jury: 1. By embracing the increasingly popular plea bargain. 97 percent of federal trials were resolved last year through plea bargain. Plea bargains ... are weighted largely in favor of the prosecutor. The notion that a plea bargain is a contractual mediation between two relatively equal parties, Rakoff argues, “is a total myth”. 2. Through mandatory minimum sentences. The combination of mandatory sentences and prosecutorial discretion forces the defendant [to] run the risk of losing the case and serve the maximum sentence or take a reduced charge, at a reduced sentence, even when innocent. 3. Via the unfettered rise of prosecutorial power. Prosecutors have far more power ... than any other party involved in the criminal justice system. The one mechanism that could check their power is the jury trial, which is becoming “virtually extinct” in federal court, Rakoff writes. One possible solution to all these problems — aside from repealing mandatory minimum sentences and generally reducing the severity of sentences — is greater judicial oversight.

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




Dark money looms large in 2014 midterms
2014-11-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:56:24
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/diaz/article/Dark-money-looms-large-in-2014-mid...

The most disturbing trend in the financing of American political campaigns is not the magnitude of the money being spent. It’s that more and more of that money is not going through the campaigns themselves — where donations must be disclosed and limited — but from nonprofit groups that are being set up for the express purpose of frustrating any attempt to identify their funders. This infusion of “dark money” all but obliterates the post-Watergate notion that Americans have a right to know who is behind ... candidates. In this new world order, various players are operating under different sets of rules — and some seem to be creating their own, aware that this Supreme Court seems disinclined to stop them. We know, for example, that billionaire investor Tom Steyer spent $74 million on behalf of Democratic candidates who were committed to doing something about climate change. There is no exact figure on how much was spent at the other end of the spectrum by the Koch brothers, the conservative oil barons who funnel much of their donations through nonprofits that are not required to list their funding sources under the tax code. A memo by the Koch brothers’ main political arm, leaked to Politico in May, forecast a budget of $125 million in this election. Such obfuscation is becoming more commonplace. The average voter is left without knowing who really is behind these campaigns. But make no mistake: Our elected officials are well aware of their benefactors and their expectations.

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