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Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption articles reported in the media suggesting a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Pennsylvania Seeks to Close Books on "Kids for Cash" Scandal
2015-08-12, NBC
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pennsylvania-seeks-close-books-kids-cash-...

One of the biggest corruption scandals to hit America's juvenile justice system began unfolding in 2007, when parents in a central Pennsylvania county began to complain that their children had been tossed into for-profit youth centers without a lawyer to represent them. The kickback scheme, known as "kids for cash," has resulted in prison terms for two Luzerne County judges and two businessmen. Convictions of thousands of juveniles have been tossed out. Now the case is entering its final chapter: a few remaining class action lawsuits. One of those claims drew to a close ... when a federal judge signed off on a settlement in which one of the businessmen, Robert Powell, would pay $4.75 million. Powell, who co-owned two private juvenile justice facilities, served an 18-month prison term after admitting to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to former ... Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. and his boss, Judge Michael Conahan. In return, Ciavarella routinely found children guilty and sent them to Powell's facilities. Ciavarella was convicted in 2011 of racketeering and other charges, and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Conahan, a friend of Powell's who oversaw the scam, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to more than 17 years behind bars. A fourth conspirator ... pleaded guilty for his part in the plot and was sentenced to a year in prison.

Note: More than 5,000 kids were exposed to a court that jailed them for profit in this conspiracy involving just a handful of corrupt officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and civil liberties.


Dupont and the Chemistry of Deception
2015-08-11, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/11/dupont-chemistry-deception

DuPont: “one of the most successful and sustained industrial enterprises in the world,” as its corporate website puts it. Perhaps no product is as responsible for its dominance as Teflon. For more than 60 years C8 was an essential ingredient of Teflon. As part of a 2005 settlement over contamination around a West Virginia plant, a team of three scientists ... were charged with determining if and how the chemical affects people. The science panel found that C8 was “more likely than not” linked to ulcerative colitis - as well as to high cholesterol; pregnancy-induced hypertension; thyroid disease; testicular cancer; and kidney cancer. The scientists’ findings, published in more than three dozen peer-reviewed articles, were striking, because the chemical’s effects were so widespread throughout the body and because even very low exposure levels were associated with health effects. DuPont scientists had closely studied the chemical for decades and through their own research knew about some of the dangers it posed. Yet rather than inform workers, people living near the plant, the general public, or government agencies responsible for regulating chemicals, DuPont repeatedly kept its knowledge secret. Another revelation about C8 makes all of this more disturbing: This deadly chemical that DuPont continued to use well after it knew it was linked to health problems is now practically everywhere. A man-made compound that didn’t exist a century ago, C8 is in the blood of 99.7 percent of Americans.

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


Why ‘Smart’ Objects May Be a Dumb Idea
2015-08-10, New York Times
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 Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay
2015-08-09, Huffington Post
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.


Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets
2015-08-09, New York Times
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift...

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories. Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, [and] convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume. “Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response.” Coke’s [campaign] is not the only example of corporate-funded research and advocacy to come under fire lately. The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been criticized by public health advocates for forming partnerships with companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s. Dietitians have also faced criticism for taking payments from Coke to present the company’s soda as a healthy snack. A recent analysis of beverage studies ... found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the manipulation of public perception.


Trader jailed for 14 years over Libor rate-rigging
2015-08-03, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33763628

Former City trader Tom Hayes has been found guilty at a London court of rigging global Libor interest rates. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud. The 35-year old is the first individual to face a jury trial for manipulating the rate, which is used as a benchmark for trillions of pounds of global borrowing and lending. Many of the world's leading banks have paid heavy financial penalties for tampering with the key benchmark. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office, which said Hayes set up a network of brokers and traders spanning 10 financial institutions and cajoled or bribed them to help rig Libor rates for profit. During the trial, jurors were told that Hayes promised to pay a broker up to $100,000 to keep the Libor rate "as low as possible". Defence barrister Neil Hawes asked the judge to take into account the prevalence of Libor manipulation at the time, and also that ... managers and senior managers at Hayes' bank knew of, and in some cases condoned, Libor manipulation. Hayes ... rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while working in Tokyo for UBS, then Citigroup, from 2006 until 2010. Rigging even minor movements in the rate can result in bumper profits for a trader manipulating the rates, or the rate can be moved simply to make a bank look more creditworthy.

Note: Why aren't we hearing about the many other high-level bankers who rigged the Libor rate? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later
2015-08-01, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/us/training-officers-to-shoot-first-and-he-...

When police officers shoot people under questionable circumstances, Dr. Lewinski is often there to defend their actions. He has testified in or consulted in nearly 200 cases over the last decade. His conclusions are consistent: The officer acted appropriately, even when shooting an unarmed person. Even when shooting someone in the back. Even when witness testimony, forensic evidence or video footage contradicts the officer’s story. He has appeared as an expert witness in criminal trials, civil cases and disciplinary hearings, and before grand juries. In addition, his company, the Force Science Institute, has trained tens of thousands of police officers. His research has been roundly criticized by experts. An editor for The American Journal of Psychology called his work “pseudoscience.” The Justice Department denounced his findings as “lacking in both foundation and reliability.” Civil rights lawyers say he is selling dangerous ideas. In the protests that have followed police shootings, demonstrators have often asked why officers are so rarely punished for shootings that seem unwarranted. Dr. Lewinski is part of the answer. In testimony on the stand, for which he charges nearly $1,000 an hour, he ... sprinkles scientific explanations with sports analogies. Dr. Lewinski and his company have provided training for dozens of departments. His messages often conflict, in both substance and tone, with the training now recommended by the Justice Department and police organizations.

Note: An article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, titled The Uncounted, describes why the U.S. government claims it is unable to keep track of killings by police, but does not mention that police shootings rise as crime falls. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Don't Leave GMOs in the Dark
2015-07-30, US News & World Report
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/07/30/dont-stop-stat...

The use of GMOs is controversial. There is debate in the scientific community as to whether the consumption of GMO foods hurts people directly. But there is no denying that GMOs result in vastly more herbicide (such as Roundup, a top weed killer) being dumped on food crops, and that glyphosphate (the active ingredient in Roundup) probably causes cancer in the quantities used. Other Roundup ingredients are suspect as well. Those who oppose GMOs don't have the upper hand in Congress and so they ... seek to establish a uniform labeling system so that food producers clearly identify whether their products have GMOs or not. Labeling is very popular among American consumers: In multiple polls conducted over the years by many different firms, about 90 percent of Americans consistently support mandatory labeling. Mandatory labeling initiatives are in play in many states, and have passed in three (Maine, Vermont and Connecticut). But Big Ag is spending heavily to block these efforts. The House and Senate are listening to Big Ag rather than to American consumers. The House recently passed a bill that gives the appearance of supporting GMO disclosure while doing the opposite. The bill, H.R. 1599, carries a brilliantly deceptive name that would make George Orwell proud. Called the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014" the bill would reinforce the current voluntary disclosure system but would prohibit individual states and counties from enacting more stringent legislation. The detractors have branded this bill the "DARK Act" as in "Deny Americans the Right to Know"."

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


UN paid millions to Russian aviation firm since learning of sex attack on girl
2015-07-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/30/united-nations-utair-congo-sexua...

The United Nations has spent half a billion dollars on contracts with a Russian aviation company since discovering one of its helicopter crews in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drugged and raped a teenage girl in a sexual attack. The girl was dumped naked and unconscious inside the helicopter base. Internal UN documents, marked “strictly confidential” and leaked to the Guardian, reveal how the UN’s internal complaints unit uncovered evidence the woman was abused ... by the manager in charge of UTair’s base in Kalemie, eastern DRC. The main investigative report, from March 2011, warned of a possible “culture of sexual exploitation and abuse” at UTair. Copies of that report were circulated among top officials at the UN. The company was permitted to continue doing business with the UN on the condition it introduce a new training regime overseen by a monitor. The disclosures come at a critical moment for the UN secretary general, who has struggled to contain the fallout from recent revelations concerning the sexual abuse of children by French and other peacekeeping troops in the neighbouring Central African Republic. “It wasn’t just one or two bad apples,” said a senior UN official familiar with the report and its fallout. “It was clear the problems of sexual exploitation were wider.” In total, the company ... has been granted contracts worth $543.3m for services provided in 11 countries since the UN became aware it had a problem with sexual exploitation.

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for Justification
2015-07-23, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/business/drug-companies-pushed-from-far-and...

As complaints grow about exorbitant drug prices, pharmaceutical companies are coming under pressure to disclose the development costs and profits of those medicines and the rationale for charging what they do. So-called pharmaceutical cost transparency bills have been introduced in at least six state legislatures in the last year, aiming to make drug companies justify their prices, which are often attributed to high research and development costs. “If a prescription drug demands an outrageous price tag, the public, insurers and federal, state and local governments should have access to the information that supposedly justifies the cost,” says the preamble of a bill introduced in the New York State Senate in May. In an article being published Thursday, more than 100 prominent oncologists called for support of a grass-roots movement to stem the rapid increases of prices of cancer drugs, including by letting Medicare negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies and letting patients import less expensive medicines from Canada. “There is no relief in sight because drug companies keep challenging the market with even higher prices,” the doctors wrote in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Pressure is mounting from elsewhere as well. The top Republican and Democrat on the United States Senate Finance Committee last year demanded detailed cost data from Gilead Sciences, whose hepatitis C drugs, which cost $1,000 a pill or more, have strained the budgets of state and federal health programs.

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


Don’t Get Cancer if You’re in Prison
2015-07-22, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/2015/07/31/dont-get-cancer-if-youre-prison-356010.html

There are constitutional requirements for providing adequate health care to our incarcerated populations. In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Estelle v. Gamble that “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the ‘unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain’ ... proscribed by the Eighth Amendment.” In 1993, in Helling v. McKinney, the court decided that prison officials cannot expose inmates to environments that “pose an unreasonable risk of serious damage” to their future health. Since then, however, frequent reports and lawsuits ... strongly suggest that many U.S. prisons and jails have ignored these rulings. Allegations of subpar care in Arizona provide a good example of how correctional health care dysfunction puts cancer patients at extreme risk. In March 2012, the ACLU and allied prisoners’ rights groups filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) and several state officials [that] points to several cases of what it describes as poorly treated, or untreated, cancer. The American Friends Service Committee-Arizona released a report in October 2013 [which] found that some 105 prisoners died in custody from March 2012 to June 2013. The AFSC studied 14 deaths in depth. Six involved metastatic cancers. “This clearly indicates that the conditions were long-standing and suggests that these deaths might have been preventable had the individuals received more timely care,” the report charges.

Note: In 2013, the ADC terminated its contract with prison health contractor Wexford. A billion dollar company named Corizon then got the lucrative contract. According to the New York Times, inmate deaths increase at Corizon-serviced facilities. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt prison industry.


California science panel warns that fracking poses unknown risk
2015-07-09, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-california-science-panel-warns-that-...

Hydraulic fracturing uses a host of highly toxic chemicals that could be contaminating drinking water supplies, wildlife and crops, according to a report released Thursday by a California science panel. The long-awaited final assessment from the California Council on Science and Technology said that because of data gaps and inadequate state testing, overwhelmed regulatory agencies do not have a complete picture of what oil companies are doing. The risks and hazards associated with about two-thirds of the additives used in fracking are not clear, and the toxicity of more than half, the report concluded, remains “uninvestigated, unmeasured and unknown. Basic information about how these chemicals would move through the environment does not exist.” Seth Shonkoff, lead author on the public health sections of the report, said he was surprised to learn during his research that recycled wastewater from oil fields was being used on crops. “We've got to know what to test for ... to know that what we are putting onto the crops is safe,” he said. “Until we have that data, I don't know how we can assure farmers and consumers that their food is safe.” Among the findings of the report: Oil operations in federal waters offshore are discharging wastewater directly into the ocean, against EPA regulations, more than half the produced water from fracked wells is disposed of in unlined pits, [and] about one-third of the oil field wastewater pits in the Central Valley are operating without proper permits.

Note: 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.


Libor rates could be changed for a Mars bar, court hears
2015-07-08, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33448210

A court has heard that manipulating Libor rates was so commonplace an offer of a Mars bar could get it changed. Tom Hayes, who worked for UBS and Citigroup ... is the first person to face a jury trial for manipulating the key interest rate, used to set trillions of pounds of investments. The court was shown ... transcripts of exchanges between traders using UBS's internal messaging system. The conversations all related to moving Libor rates, said Mr Hayes, to assist the traders' and banks' commercial interests, something he said he found it hard to see as wrong. In one chat, Mr Hayes suggests the market is rife with dealers attempting to influence rates: "Very, very hard to price stuff with the fixes so manipulated and inconsistent." His correspondent replies: "The fixes are manipulated?" "Yes, of course they are," says Mr Hayes. "Just give the cash desk a Mars bar and they'll set wherever you want." He has alleged throughout his trial that ... senior managers, even the chief executive of the bank, knew all about it. He said he was "shocked" when his manager phoned him asking him not to mention Libor rate-setting in any emails. The court was also shown an email exchange between senior management appearing to show they had reservations about Mr Hayes. "Personally I find it embarrassing when he calls up his mates to ask for favours on high/low fixings. What's the legal risk to UBS asking others to manipulate rates?" The Libor scandal has seen a number of the world's leading banks fined for manipulating rates.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Eric Holder, Wall Street Double Agent, Comes in From the Cold
2015-07-08, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/eric-holder-wall-street-double-agen...

Eric Holder has gone back to work for his old firm, the white-collar defense heavyweight Covington & Burling. Holder will reassume his lucrative partnership (he made $2.5 million the last year he worked there) and take his seat in an office that reportedly was kept empty for him in his absence. At issue is the extraordinary run Holder just completed as one of history's great double agents. For six years, while brilliantly disguised as the attorney general of the United States, he was actually working deep undercover ... as the best defense lawyer Wall Street ever had. After six years of letting one banker after another skate on monstrous cases of fraud, tax evasion, market manipulation, money laundering, bribery and other offenses [by] handing out soft-touch settlements to practically every Too Big to Fail bank in the world, [Holder] returns to a firm that represents many of those same companies: Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, to name a few. Going by the massive rises in share price observed after he handed out these deals, his service was certainly worth many billions of dollars to Wall Street. Now he will presumably collect assloads of money from those very same bankers. It's one of the biggest quid pro quo deals in the history of government service. Holder ... institutionalized a radical dualistic approach to criminal justice, essentially creating a system of indulgences wherein the world's richest companies paid cash for their sins and escaped the sterner punishments the law dictated.

Note: The revolving door between Wall Street and government officials is well known. But in Holder's case, the corporate door remained wide open throughout his time as a public servant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


JPMorgan to pay over $125 million to settle US credit card debt probes
2015-07-08, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/08/jpmorgan-to-pay-over-125-million-to-settle-us-...

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay at least $125 million to settle probes by U.S. state and federal authorities that the bank sought to improperly collect and sell consumer credit card debt. The settlement also includes about $50 million in restitution. The nation's largest bank has been accused of ... going after consumers for debts they may not have owed and for providing inaccurate information to debt buyers. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 47 states and the District of Columbia are expected to announce the settlements as soon as Wednesday. Mississippi and California are not expected to settle at the same time. Both have lawsuits pending against JPMorgan over debt collection practices. California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued in 2013, claiming the bank engaged in fraudulent and unlawful debt collection practices against 100,000 California credit card borrowers over some three years. The state claims the bank flooded state courts with questionable lawsuits, filing thousands every month, including 469 such lawsuits in one day alone. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's lawsuit filed a similar lawsuit against JPMorgan in 2013. In September 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered JPMorgan to refund $309 million to about 2 million customers for illegal credit card practices, including charging consumers for credit card monitoring services they did not receive.

Note: Read how JPMorgan Chase uses settlements like the ones described above to hide criminal wrongdoing while actually making money in "The $9 Billion Witness". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


Secrecy over fracking chemicals clouds environmental risks, advocates say
2015-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/05/fracking-injection-chemica...

A report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month found that hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can lead, and has led, to the contamination of drinking water. It was the first time the federal government had admitted such a link. But Gretchen Goldman, a lead analyst at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union for Concerned Scientists, told the Guardian that the EPA’s study – which is now open for comment – was nothing “more than a literature review” and called for the industry to be required to divulge greater data. Goldman says the EPA backed down from its initial promise to undertake prospective studies, which would have involved following a well site and testing its waters before, during and after fracking activities had begun. Such a study would have shed objective light on the fracking process and pushed scientific knowledge forward, she says. Even when companies were forced to share information through state regulations, they were still allowed to withhold ... the identity and mixture of chemicals that are injected into the ground through wells, together with water, at high intensity to fracture underground rocks and release oil or gas. In 2005 lobbying efforts by the oil and gas industry proved successful, with hydraulic fracturing activities exempted from certain sections of the Safe Drinking Water Act, including permit application.

Note: 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.


Inside the Shadowy Business of Prison Phone Calls
2015-07-02, International Business Times
http://atavist.ibtimes.com/fcc-prison-telecom-industry

The prison phone business is a wildly complex, fiercely secretive and enormously lucrative industry. Over the last decade, [this] business has become a scandalous industry, characterized by lawsuits, exorbitant fees, high phone rates and monopolistic relationships between public jails and private companies that openly offer kickbacks to local sheriffs. "This is about shifting the cost of the police state onto the backs of the poor people being policed," says Paul Wright, executive director of Human Rights Defense Center. [There are] an estimated 2.2 million inmates currently behind bars in America. If you've ever tried to call an inmate, there's a good chance you've heard of Securus, or its main competitor, Global Tel*Link (GTL). The two companies reportedly make up about 80 percent of the prison phone business, which drives about $1.2 billion per year in revenues. In the last few years, Securus, especially, has emerged into one of the largest, if not most secretive, prison technology companies in the business. The company employs 1,000 associates in 46 states, contracts with 2,600 jails and prisons across North America, and provides service to more than 1 million inmates and their families. Securus earned $114.6 million in profits 2014, on revenues of about $404 million. When companies like Securus send proposals to jails and prisons around the country, they offer a percentage of the call rate back to the sheriff's office. It's typical for commissions to range anywhere from 40 percent and 80 percent.

Note: Read more in this Huffington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prisons corruption from reliable major media sources.


How pharmaceutical company Alexion set the price of the world's most expensive drug
2015-06-25, CBC (Canada's PBS)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/how-pharmaceutical-company-alexion-set-the-pric...

What if your life depended on a drug that cost half a million dollars a year, every year, for the foreseeable future? That's the price of Soliris, one of the world's most expensive drugs. It is the only medicine available for people suffering from two ultra-rare diseases. And for both diseases, Soliris is not a cure, but ... patients can go back to living normal lives. But only if they can get the drug, and many can't, because it is priced beyond the reach of almost everyone. So how can one drug cost more than the annual income of all but a tiny percentage of households? The reason is ... orphan drug pricing, where actual research and development costs are carefully guarded secrets known only to drug company executives. "Orphan" in this context refers to rare diseases [for which] the patient population was too small to attract the interest of drug companies. But now medications to treat these ultra-rare diseases are becoming more profitable than traditional drugs, because of ... a business model based on extreme pricing. The extreme prices of these new orphan drugs are largely arbitrary, and have very little to do with the development and manufacturing costs. Most drugs are based on scientific discoveries made in publicly funded research labs, by academic scientists. In case of Soliris, most of the research and development was done by university researchers working in academic laboratories supported by public funds. Soliris is Alexion's only drug, but it's a blockbuster, earning revenues of more than $6 billion in just eight years, and making Alexion one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


No More Plastic: Lego Pledges $150 Million to Go Green
2015-06-25, Yahoo! News
https://www.yahoo.com/makers/lego-pledges-150-million-to-go-green-12244194943...

Lego just announced a bold 10-year plan to makes its goods more environmentally friendly. This comes after a 2013 partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to develop a plan in reducing its overall carbon emissions, as well as those of its supply chain. Lego pledged to invest $150 million to find a replacement for the plastic used in its blocks as well as to reduce the size of its packaging. A commitment for this kind of strategy includes using recycled or renewed materials and improving the recyclability of its products. Hasbro and Mattel, producers of such iconic toys as Play-Doh and Hot Wheels, respectively, have also vowed to invest in this global issue. By 2020, Hasbro plans to reduce its waste, water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions. It is also overhauling the packaging for most of its brands. These strides have led to Hasbro being named a winner of the EPA's 2014 Climate Leadership Award. After caving to mounting pressure from Greenpeace, Mattel committed to source new materials for its packaging, setting a goal of 85 percent recycled materials by the end of 2015. "The investment announced is a testament to our continued ambition to leave a positive impact on the planet, which future generations will inherit," said Lego Group owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Words we should all try to live by.

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


Neil Young's new album blasts Walmart, Monsanto
2015-06-19, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/19/investing/neil-young-monsanto-starbucks-walma...

Neil Young ... has a new album coming out at the end of June called "The Monsanto Years." And it's a biting attack on the seed giant -- as well as other big corporations. The title track refers to "the poison tide of Monsanto" and describes a farmer who "signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto." Young also lashes out at Starbucks in a song called "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop." "I want a cup of coffee but I don't want a GMO. I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto," Young sings in his trademark nasal whine. The singer announced ... that he would no longer drink Starbucks lattes because the company, along with Monsanto, was part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association trade group. That organization sued the state of Vermont to overturn a law that would require food and beverage companies to disclose on their labels if GMOs are used in the products. "GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market," Young said. Young also rails against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling on campaign finance in several songs. And he criticizes Walmart's labor practices in a song called "Big Box," which has the following verse: "People working part-time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure." So far, it looks like Walmart isn't planning to retaliate against Young. You can preorder "The Monsanto Years" at Walmart.com.

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