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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.


Sen. Warren Leads Charge to Break Up Big Banks
2013-07-07, CNBC
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000182337

CNBC’s BRIAN SULLIVAN: Is there anyone else in the Senate that is a professor? ELIZABETH WARREN: I don't think so. ... We had the big crash in 2008. What does everyone say about it? They say too much concentration in financial services creates too big to fail. It puts us at bigger risk. And what's happened since 2008? The four biggest financial institutions are now 30% bigger than they were in 2008. The central premise behind a 21st century Glass-Steagall is to say if you want to get out there and take risks, go ahead and do it. But ... you can't get access to FDIC insured deposits when you do. That way ... at least one portion of our banking sector stays safe. From 1797 to 1933, the American banking system crashed about every 15 years. In 1933, we put good reforms in place, for which Glass-Steagall was the centerpiece, and from 1933 to the early 1980s, that’s a 50 year period, we didn’t have any of that – none. We kept the system steady and secure. And it was only as we started deregulating, [you hit] the S&L crisis, and what did we do? We deregulated some more. And then you hit long-term capital management at the end of the 90s, and what did we do as a country? This country continued to deregulate more. And then we hit the big crash in 2008. You are not going to defend the proposition that regulation can never work, it did work. SULLIVAN: I didn’t say regulation never worked, Senator. By far and away, and I agree, there were fewer bank failures in that time after Glass-Steagall. ELIZABETH WARREN: “Fewer,” as in, of the big ones, zero.

Note: Sen. Warren is one of the few bright lights in Congress. Watch this interview to see why. To read about later censorship of this interview by NBC, click here.


HSBC Judge Approves $1.9B Drug-Money Laundering Accord
2013-07-03, Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-07-02/hsbc-judge-approves-1-9b-dr...

HSBC Holdings Plc’s $1.9 billion agreement with the U.S. to resolve charges it enabled Latin American drug cartels to launder billions of dollars was approved by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, signed off yesterday on a deferred-prosecution agreement. HSBC was accused of failing to monitor more than $670 billion in wire transfers and more than $9.4 billion in purchases of U.S. currency from HSBC Mexico, allowing for money laundering, prosecutors said. The bank also violated U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, Libya, Sudan, Burma and Cuba, according to a criminal information filed in the case. The bank, Europe’s largest, agreed to pay a $1.25 billion forfeiture and $665 million in civil penalties under the settlement, prosecutors announced in December. At a hearing the same month, Gleeson told prosecutors there had been “publicized criticism” of the agreement, which lets the bank and management avoid further criminal proceedings over the charges. Lack of proper controls allowed the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico and the Norte del Valle cartel in Colombia to move more than $881 million through HSBC’s U.S. unit from 2006 to 2010, the government alleged in the case. The bank also cut resources for its anti-money-laundering programs to “cut costs and increase profits,” the government said in court filings. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, the U.S. allows a target to avoid charges.

Note: HSBC was founded to service the international drug trade, and is considered too big to criminally prosecute. Big bank settlements often amount to "cash for secrecy" deals that are ultimately profitable for banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about financial industry corruption.


Why Our Health Care Lets Prices Run Wild
2013-07-01, Time Magazine
http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/01/why-our-health-care-lets-prices-run-wild/

Of all the oddities of the U.S. health care system, one stands out: we spend far more on health care per person than other industrialized nations yet have no better health outcomes. Understanding why isn’t easy. A 2012 paper by the Commonwealth Fund found that among 13 industrialized countries studied, the U.S. has the highest rate of obesity, which is usually a factor in higher health care costs. Yet, the U.S. ranks far behind many other countries in our rates of citizens who smoke or are over 55, two other strong indicators of increased spending. So why is our health care spending more than 17% of our gross domestic product, far more than any other country? A central reason U.S. health care spending is so high is that hospitals and doctors charge more for their services and there’s little transparency about why. There is no uniformity to the system, in which public and private insurers have separate, unrelated contracts with hospitals and doctors. The result is a tangled, confusing and largely secretive collection of forces driving health care prices higher and higher. This isn’t possible in many other countries either because governments set prices for health care services or broker negotiations between coalitions of insurers and providers. Known as “all-payer rate setting,” insurers in these systems band together to negotiate as groups. In contrast, U.S. insurers closely guard the secrecy of their contracted prices with health care providers and negotiate individually. This is why a hospital hosting five patients for knee replacements might get paid five different amounts for the surgeries.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Breaking the Seal on Drug Research
2013-06-30, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/business/breaking-the-seal-on-drug-research...

Peter Doshi ... is one of the most influential voices in medical research today. Dr. Doshi’s renown comes not from solving the puzzles of cancer or discovering the next blockbuster drug, but from pushing the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to open their records to outsiders. Together with a band of far-flung researchers and activists, he is trying to unearth data from clinical trials — complex studies that last for years and often involve thousands of patients across many countries — and make it public. The current system, the activists say, is one in which the meager details of clinical trials published in medical journals, often by authors with financial ties to the companies whose drugs they are writing about, is insufficient to the point of being misleading. For years, researchers have talked about the problem of publication bias, or selectively publishing results of trials. Concern about such bias gathered force in the 1990s and early 2000s, when researchers documented how, time and again, positive results were published while negative ones were not. Taken together, studies have shown that results of only about half of clinical trials make their way into medical journals. In 2009, Dr. Doshi and his colleagues set out to answer a simple question about the anti-flu drug Tamiflu: Does it work? Resolving that question has been far harder than they ever envisioned, and, four years later, there is still no definitive answer.

Note: If the public is going to be taking these drugs, shouldn't all safety studies be publicly available? What are the drug companies hiding? For more on corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


How Chevron turned the tables in Ecuador
2013-06-28, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2013/06/28/how-chevron-turned-the-tables-in-ecu...

Faced with a $19 billion fine for polluting Ecuador’s rainforest, Chevron Corp. has done a remarkable job of turning the tables on its foes. The lawyers who sued Chevron in Ecuador, winning that eye-popping judgment, have come under non-stop attack from the oil company. Chevron has hauled them into court in New York, accusing them of fraud and extortion. The company has gone after Ecuador’s judicial system as well, claiming judges there conspired with the other side. That aggressive strategy has worked wonders, putting Chevron’s opponents on the defensive and convincing many people that the Ecuador suit is a sham. And you can trace much of that strategy back to a 2008 memo by San Francisco’s master of crisis communications, Sam Singer. In October of 2008, he sent Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson a four-page memo outlining steps the company could take to change public perceptions of the Ecuador lawsuit. Singer recommended going on the offensive. The company should portray Ecuador’s court system as corrupt, with collusion between judges and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Pointing out the leftward tilt of Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa wouldn’t hurt. And Singer recommended “counter attacks” on the plaintiffs and their legal team, particularly lead lawyer Steven Donziger. Bear in mind that the memo was written more than two years before the Ecuadoran judge presiding over the lawsuit ruled against Chevron, in February of 2011. Some of Singer’s recommendations didn’t fly. For example, he suggested portraying Ecuador as “the next major threat to America.” But the company took much of his advice to heart.


How Barrett Brown shone light on the murky world of security contractors [and is now jailed]
2013-06-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/24/surveillance-us-national-...

[Barrett] Brown is not a household name like Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning. But after helping expose a dirty tricks plot, he faces jail. Brown made a splash in February 2011 by helping to uncover "Team Themis", a project by intelligence contractors retained by Bank of America to demolish the hacker society known as Anonymous. The Team Themis story began in late 2010, when Julian Assange warned WikiLeaks would release documents outlining an "ecosystem of corruption [that] could take down a bank or two." Bank of America went into damage-control mode and, as the New York Times reported, assembled "a team of 15 to 20 top Bank of America officials … scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public." Days later, Bank of America retained the well-connected law firm of Hunton & Williams [which] "proposed various schemes to attack" WikiLeaks. Its partners suggested creating false documents and fake personas to damage progressive organizations. The tech companies' emails – which Anonymous hacked and Barrett Brown helped publicize – listed planned tactics: "Feed[ing] the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization. Submit fake documents and then call out the error." Brown [has] been cooling his heels in a jail outside Dallas ... awaiting two separate trials that could put him on ice for more than 100 years. In contrast to the FBI's aggressive pursuit of Brown, no probe of the Team Themis project was launched – despite a call from 17 US House representatives to investigate a possible conspiracy to violate federal laws.

Note: With the wide focus on the privatized national security state by the leaks from Edward Snowden, there is renewed interest in Brown's plight and the campaign for justice in his case. For more on this and to support Barret Brown, click here. For more on intelligence agency corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Livestock antibiotic use rampant despite warnings
2013-06-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/Livestock-antibiotic-use-rampant-de...

In March, the head of the Centers for Disease Control issued an alarm, echoed by virtually every health authority in the world, that antibiotic-resistant bacteria threaten to return humans to the days when ordinary infections routinely killed and maimed. Yet the United States continues to use at least 70 percent of its antibiotics on livestock. Millions of pounds of antibiotics are routinely administered at low doses to large numbers of animals living in crowded conditions ... to speed their growth and prevent possible infections, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to become resistant. At the same time, drug-resistant infections acquired in hospitals kill 70,000 people a year. The problem is so dire that the Obama administration is paying drug companies to develop new antibiotics, and some groups want to test them directly on sick people to speed approval. While many physicians try to limit antibiotic use on sick patients to slow the spread of resistance, livestock growers can buy antibiotics over the counter at a feed store. "Many hospitals have implemented antimicrobial stewardship programs, in which every milligram of antibiotic use is scrutinized," said Dr. Tom Newman, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF. About once a month, Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease researcher at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said he sees patients with abdominal or urinary tract E. coli infections that resist all oral antibiotics. Doctors are down to "one or two last-ditch IVs," or intravenous administration of antibiotics against some bacteria.

Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Chipotle labels all GM items on menu
2013-06-20, Chicago Tribune
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-20/features/chi-gmo-news-chipotle-...

As part of its "Food With Integrity" program, Chipotle this week posted information on its website identifying which items on its menu contain genetically modified ingredients. The chain posted a chart noting that 12 out of 25 ingredients, including its rice, barbacoa, chips, chicken, vegetable fajitas, steak and flour tortillas (except in certain restaurants) use either genetically modified corn or soybean oil, the vast majority of which is derived from GM soybeans. The chain said that those ingredients are "currently unavoidable" but that it is "working hard" to eliminate them. This move comes on the heels of Ben & Jerry's announcement that all of its flavors will be GM ingredient free by the end of the year and Whole Foods pledge to phase out all foods with GM ingredients by 2018. Although GM crops ... are considered safe by federal authorities and are legal to plant and sell, some independent studies have linked them to health and environmental problems. The announcements happen amid a flurry of state bills to require mandatory labeling of food with GM ingredients. In more GM news, this afternoon the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to require labeling of GM salmon as part of a 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Overseas, where the labeling question is largely over, the GM debate rages over expanding GM crop planting approvals in the European Union. Asked [whether UK Prime Minister David] Cameron would eat GM foods or allow his children to eat them, the spokesman steadfastly declined to answer.

Note: Much of Europe labels their food for GMOs, which are even banned in many areas. Read an MSN article on the banning of GM foods from all restaurants and food in the UK's parliament at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


Shocking list of popular foods and drinks readily available in U.S. grocery stores that are BANNED in other countries
2013-06-20, Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345564/Shocking-list-US-foods-BANNED...

Many of the chemicals found in America's most common foods are considered to be so unhealthy that they're actually illegal in other countries. Rich Food, Poor Food by [Dr.] Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a certified nutritionist, features a list of what the authors call 'Banned Bad Boys' - a list of the ingredients, where they're banned and what caused governments to ban them. One of the most common 'Bad Boys' is different variations of food coloring, which actually is made from petroleum and is found in everyday items like soda, sports drinks, mac and cheese, cake, candy and several other common, American products. The chemicals used to make these different dyes have proven to cause various different cancers and can even potentially mutate healthy DNA. European countries like Norway, Finland, France and Austria all have banned at least one variation of petroleum-containing food coloring. Another common additive banned in other countries but allowed in the U.S. is Olestra, which essentially is a fat substitute found in products that traditionally have actual fat. For example, low-fat potato chips ... contain Olestra - which is shown to cause the depletion of fat-soluble vitamins. Olestra has been banned in several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. In 2003, the FDA lifted a requirement forcing companies that use Olestra in their products to include a label warning consumers that the food their eating could cause 'cramps and diarrhea,' despite the fact that the agency received more than 20,000 reports of gastrointestinal complaints among olestra eaters.

Note: We don't usually use the Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as this article is so important and no other major media is reporting it, we decided to include it here. For more on corporate and government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here and here.


The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis
2013-06-19, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-last-mystery-of-the-financial-c...

It's long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it. Everybody else got plenty of blame: the greed-fattened banks, the sleeping regulators, the unscrupulous mortgage hucksters. But what about the ratings agencies? Thanks to a mountain of evidence gathered for a pair of major lawsuits by the San Diego-based law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, ... we now know that the nation's two top ratings companies, Moody's and S&P, have for many years been shameless tools for the banks, willing to give just about anything a high rating in exchange for cash. In incriminating e-mail after incriminating e-mail, executives and analysts from these companies are caught admitting their entire business model is crooked. Ratings agencies are the glue that ostensibly holds the entire financial industry together. Their primary function is to help define what's safe to buy, and what isn't. But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission published a case study in 2011 of Moody's in particular and discovered that between 2000 and 2007, the agency gave nearly 45,000 mortgage-backed securities AAA ratings. One year Moody's doled out AAA ratings to 30 mortgage-backed securities every day, 83 percent of which were ultimately downgraded. "This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies," the commission concluded.

Note: This is another great, well researched article by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi. Why isn't the major media coming up with anything near the quality of this man's work? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.


U.K. Bankers Face Decade Bonus Delay and Criminal Sanctions
2013-06-19, Bloomberg/Washington Post
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-MOLK2O07SXL101-0E799136C7JHEP4...

Senior employees at U.K. banks may face a 10-year wait for bonuses under proposals put forward by a committee investigating the failures of the industry, which also recommended making “reckless” management of lenders a crime. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards' ... proposal to introduce a criminal offence for mismanagement, which could see executives of failed firms facing jail time, was endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron. “The potential rewards for fleeting short-term success have sometimes been huge, but the penalties for failure, often manifest only later, have been much smaller or negligible,” the authors of the report said. "Performance should be assessed using a range of measures rather than just return on equity, which creates “perverse incentives,” the committee said. "Taxpayers have bailed out the banks. The public have the sense that advantage has been taken of them, that bankers have received huge rewards, that some of those rewards have not been properly earned, and in some cases have been obtained through dishonesty, and that these huge rewards are excessive, bearing little or no relationship to the value of the work done.” The committee recommended introducing an offence for “reckless misconduct” and potential prison time for bankers found responsible for the worst mismanagement, the first such sanctions."

Note: For a related article in the London Review of Books, which starts "the blame in Spain falls mainly on the banks – as it does in Ireland, in Greece, in the US, and pretty much everywhere else too," click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Tech firms push back on digital spying
2013-06-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/technology/article/Tech-firms-push-back-on-digital...

Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower shining spotlights on federal surveillance practices, made a rhetorical - and volatile - point during an online question-and-answer session Monday. "If Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the intelligence community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?" he asked. Snowden's point implies that tech companies should push back on all government requests for data on their users. Prosecuting these much-used companies for noncompliance would only shed light on the extent of the programs they aimed to keep secret in the first place. Whether a tech company dares go that far remains to be seen. But in the past week a number of household names in Silicon Valley have at least started demanding more freedom to disclose what the government wants to know about their users. As the tech companies associated with Snowden's leaked materials scramble to comply with government requests, they're also scrambling to save face with customers. It's still not clear what exact technical mechanism the government used to acquire information about users of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple, among others. But it is clear that some Internet users have come to view these tech giants as proxy spies as a result of their assumed compliance. The companies say they would like nothing better than to clear their names, but they simply aren't allowed to release details about government requests.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government assaults on privacy, click here.


Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment
2013-06-18, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/google-challenges-us-gag-or...

Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on [June 18] to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government. The legal filing, which invokes the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, is the latest move by the California-based tech giant to protect its reputation in the aftermath of news reports about broad National Security Agency surveillance of Internet traffic. Revelations about the program, called PRISM, have opened fissures between U.S. officials and the involved companies, which have scrambled to reassure their users without violating strict rules against disclosing information that the government has classified as top secret. A high-profile legal showdown might help Google’s efforts to portray itself as aggressively resisting government surveillance, and a victory could bolster the company’s campaign to portray government surveillance requests as targeted narrowly and affecting only a small number of users. [The] unusual legal move came after days of intense talks between federal officials and several of the technology companies, including Google, over what details can be released. It also comes as the firms increasingly show signs of wanting to outdo each other in demonstrating their commitment to protecting user privacy. Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo in recent days have won federal government permission to include requests from the court as part of the overall number of data requests they receive from federal, state and local officials.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government assaults on privacy, click here.


Rigged-Benchmark Probes Proliferate From Singapore to UK
2013-06-16, Bloomberg Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-06-16/rigged-benchmark-probes-prolifera...

The probe of Libor manipulation is proving to be the tip of the iceberg as inquiries into assets from derivatives to foreign exchange show that if there’s a chance to rig benchmark rates in world markets, someone is usually willing to try. Singapore’s monetary authority last week censured 20 banks for attempting to fix interest rate levels in the island state and ordered them to set aside as much as $9.6 billion. Britain’s markets regulator is looking into the $4.7 trillion-a-day currency market after Bloomberg News reported that traders have manipulated key rates for more than a decade, citing five dealers. “It’s happened time and again: all of these markets have been influenced by major market-makers, which is a polite way of saying they’ve been rigged,” Charles Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, said. While the indexes under scrutiny are little known to the public, their influence extends to trillions of dollars in securities and derivatives. Barclays, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland have been fined about $2.5 billion in the past year for distorting the London interbank offered rate, which is tied to $300 trillion worth of securities. Regulators are also probing ISDAfix, a measure used in the $370 trillion interest-rate swaps market, as well as how some oil products prices are set. Inquiries are broadening into the transparency of benchmarks whose levels can be determined by the same people whose income they affect. In the case of Libor, traders who stood to profit worked with bank employees responsible for submissions for the benchmark to rig the price.

Note: To read highly revealing major media articles showing just how crazy and unregulated the derivatives market is, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.


Former Bank of America workers allege lies to homeowners
2013-06-14, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/sns-bank-of-america-workers-a...

Six former Bank of America Corp. employees have alleged that the bank deliberately denied eligible home owners loan modifications and lied to them about the status of their mortgage payments and documents. The bank allegedly used these tactics to shepherd homeowners into foreclosure, as well as in-house loan modifications. Both yielded the bank more profits than the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program, according to documents recently filed as part of a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court. The former employees, who worked at Bank of America centers throughout the United States, said the bank rewarded customer service representatives who foreclosed on homes with cash bonuses and gift cards to retail stores such as Target Corp and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. At the same time, the bank punished those who did not make the numbers or objected to its tactics with discipline, including firing. About twice a month, the bank cleaned out its HAMP backlog in an operation called "blitz," where it declined thousands of loan modification requests just because the documents were more than 60 months old, the court documents say. The testimony from the former employees also alleges the bank falsified information it gave the government, saying it had given out HAMP loan modifications when it had not. Borrowers filed the civil case against Bank of America in 2010 and are now seeking class certification.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.


Secret tax-haven names released to public
2013-06-14, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting network)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/06/14/offshore-leak-database-released...

An enormous trove of leaked records about secret companies and accounts is being opened to the public in hope it will shed light on the murky world of offshore finance. The information, contained in a new online database released [on June 14], has the names of more than 100,000 offshore entities — mainly companies and trusts set up in locales such as the British Virgin Islands and Cook Islands — and the people associated with them. Media outlets worldwide have been reporting on the information leak since it came to light in early April, with far-reaching global repercussions. The online names database was released ... by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and contains a basic subset of the 260 gigabytes of leaked tax-haven files that the Washington-based group obtained and shared with global news organizations. "What we're doing for the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, and other offshore havens is what's routinely done in many countries around the world — making the control and ownership of companies a matter of public record," said Michael Hudson, a senior editor at the journalism consortium. The newly released database shows the names and, where available, the shareholders and directors of offshore companies, and visually maps out links between them. [ICIJ] said it hopes people will browse the names and tip off reporters to new revelations about people and companies doing business offshore.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


America's private prison system is a national disgrace
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/13/aclu-lawsuit-east-mississ...

Privatization [of government functions] often comes with a lack of oversight and a series of abuses. One particularly stunning example is the American prison system, the realities of which should be a national disgrace. Some of those realities are highlighted in a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF). EMCF houses severely mentally ill prisoners, with the supposed intent of providing both incarceration and treatment. Instead, the ACLU contends, the facility, which is operated by private contractors, is rife with horrific abuses. The complaint lists a litany of such horrors, [including]: Rampant rapes. Placing prisoners in solitary confinement for weeks, months or even years at a time. Rat infestations so bad that vermin crawl over prisoners. Many suicide attempts, some successful. Denying or delaying treatment for infections and even cancer. Stabbings, beatings and other acts of violence. Malnourishment and chronic hunger. Officers who deal with prisoners by using physical violence. The [US] prison system is increasingly built and run by for-profit corporations, who have a financial interest in increasing the number of people in prison while decreasing the amount of money it costs to house them. Since 1980, the US prison population has grown by 790%. We have the largest prison population of any nation in the history of the world.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption and human rights abuses in prisons, click here.


Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz launch the B Team challenge
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/richard-branson-jochen-z...

In a sign that the corporate sustainability movement may be entering a new dynamic phase, Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, former chief executive of Puma and current director of Kering, today launched a new global collaboration to drive transformational change in the business sector. The B Team brings together an initial 14 leaders from major corporations around the world, including Unilever, Natura, Celtel, Tata and Kering, in an attempt to enlarge projects that demonstrate that long-term business success can be built only by prioritising people and planet alongside profit. The collective ... has issued a declaration that places much of the blame for the world's problems directly on the doorstep of companies. Recognising that their views will be seen by many competitors as an "affront", the declaration states: "Business is now waking up to the reality that if we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they'll quite simply run out. With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world. Unemployment rates are at frightening levels. Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act. While there are myriad reasons we've arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of business as usual." Rather than go it alone, the B Team is forging partnerships with other organisations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ashoka, a leading light in the social enterprise movement.

Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.


Reformer in the black hat
2013-06-07, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/diaz/article/Reformer-in-the-black-hat-458...

Jack Abramoff had just delivered a primer on the corruption of Congress when a University of San Francisco graduate student in public affairs posed the question: Does ethical lobbying exist, or is the cutting of moral corners just part of the job description? Abramoff, whose mastery of capital sleaze earned him a fortune and then a prison term, estimated that 95 percent of the thousands of lobbyists who populate Washington are ethical. He was, by his own admission, among the 5 percent. "The problem is, when you're one of those (unethical) lobbyists, you will be able to crush the other lobbyists," said Abramoff, now 55, repentant after 43 months in federal prison and on a crusade to reform the system he exploited so adroitly. Abramoff's reform plan ... would expand the definition of lobbyist to anyone (person or corporation) that tries to influence legislation, impose a limit on campaign contributions to $500 per election cycle and prohibit legislators, staffers and administration decisionmakers from lobbying activity for 10 years after leaving government. In Abramoff's eyes, well-directed money is the only way to overcome the corrosive influence of strategically distributed money in Washington. He has written a book, Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist, and become an advocate of political reform. He still owes nearly $44 million in restitution for defrauding his tribal clients.

Note: Abramoff, who manipulated tens of millions of dollars, was sentenced to a total of 10 years in jail, yet was released after less than four years. At the same time petty thieves caught three times in many US states are sentenced to life in prison. Where's the justice? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.


America's 50 worst charities rake in nearly $1 billion for corporate fundraisers
2013-06-06, Tampa Bay Times (one of Florida's largest newspapers)
http://www.tampabay.com/topics/specials/worst-charities1.page

You've given them more than $1 billion. They've given almost nothing to the needy. The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4 percent of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities give even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station. Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids. Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations. In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms. But Kids Wish is not an isolated case, a yearlong investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting has found. These nonprofits adopt popular causes or mimic well-known charity names that fool donors. Then they rake in cash, year after year. Even as they plead for financial support, operators at many of the 50 worst charities have lied to donors about where their money goes, taken multiple salaries, secretly paid themselves consulting fees or arranged fundraising contracts with friends. One cancer charity paid a company owned by the president's son nearly $18 million over eight years to solicit funds.

Note: For lots more excellent reporting on this important subject, click here. For a webpage which shows that many of those who call asking you for donations (including Firefighters Charitable Foundation, International Union of Police Associations, and National Veterans Service Fund) are not using your money for the causes they claim to represent, click here.


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