Excerpts of Key Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key media articles from the major media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption.
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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.
Elizabeth Warren’s ‘A Fighting Chance’: An exclusive excerpt on the foreclosure crisis
2014-04-26, Boston Globe
In fall 2009, Secretary Timothy Geithner invited people working on TARP oversight to a meeting. After we had listened to the secretary go on and on about his department’s cheery projections for recovery, I finally interrupted with a question about a new topic. Why, I asked, had Treasury’s response to the flood of foreclosures been so small? The Congressional Oversight Panel had been sharply critical of Treasury’s foreclosure plan. We thought that the program was poorly designed and poorly managed and provided little permanent help, and we worried that it would reach too few people to make any real difference. The secretary ... quickly launched into a general discussion of his approach to dealing with foreclosures, rehashing the plan that the Congressional Oversight Panel had already reviewed. Next, he explained why Treasury’s efforts were perfectly adequate. Then he hit his key point: The banks could manage only so many foreclosures at a time, and Treasury wanted to slow down the pace so the banks wouldn’t be overwhelmed. And this was where the new foreclosure program came in: It was just big enough to “foam the runway” for them. There it was: The Treasury foreclosure program was intended to foam the runway to protect against a crash landing by the banks. Millions of people were getting tossed out on the street, but the secretary of the Treasury believed the government’s most important job was to provide a soft landing for the tender fannies of the banks.
Note: Adapted from A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren. For more on the government's collusion with the big banks before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis brought about by fraudulent mortgage sales, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Vermont Ups the Ante on Genetically Modified Foods
2014-04-25, ABC News/Associated Press
Vermont has raised the stakes in the debate over genetically modified foods by becoming the first state to pass a bill requiring that they be labeled as such in the grocery aisle, making the move despite the opposition of the powerful U.S. food industry.
The Vermont bill says genetically modified foods "potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture, and the environment" and includes $1.5 million for implementation and defense against lawsuits expected from the food and biotech industries. It's unclear how GMO labeling might affect consumers' wallets or food companies' bottom line if shoppers reject labeled foods. The labels will say "produced with genetic engineering" for packaged raw foods, or "partially produced with genetic engineering" or "may be produced with genetic engineering" for processed food that contains products of genetic engineering. Meat and dairy would be exempt. A national New York Times poll in January 2013 found that 93 percent of respondents said foods containing GMOs should be labeled. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills recently to require GMO labeling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 60 countries require such labeling, according to the Vermont Right to Know campaign. Some farmers in Vermont, known for its organic food operations, see the bill's passage as a David-vs.-Goliath victory. "This vote is a reflection of years of work from a strong grass-roots base of Vermonters who take their food and food sovereignty seriously and do not take kindly to corporate bullies," Will Allen, manager of Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, said.
Note: For more on the good reasons to require GMO labels on foods, see the excellent summary of the risks from GMOs available here.
Things To Think About While Shopping For Dinner
Of all our daily human activities, what we eat has perhaps the largest direct impact on the environment. Agriculture uses an estimated 70 percent of global freshwater to grow our food, and in the U.S., 22 percent of all our energy use is gobbled up by the food system. [In addition], the agriculture sector produces about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases. A common myth is that the food system uses so much fossil fuel because we ship food around the globe. [But] our addiction to “convenience foods” uses far more. From the making of fertilizer [to] running your refrigerator, the food system uses an enormous amount of energy. Not only are most of those fast and packaged foods higher in sugar and lower on nutrients. They are also wasting valuable energy resources. ‘Conventional’ food uses far more energy than organic [food does]. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2007, U.S. agriculture used more than a billion pounds of pesticides. The USDA also reports farmers used 22 million tons of synthetic fertilizer in 2011. The amount of energy used to create synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (more than 13 million tons) could heat 5.5 million homes for a year. Junk food wastes money and precious resources. In 2013, Americans drank close to 39 gallons of soda per person (at a cost of about $150 per person), and in 2011, roughly 25 percent of the calories we consumed came from snack foods. And yet we willingly pay 1000 times more for that can of soda then what it actually costs. It turns out, it is not organic food that is the rip off.
F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic
2014-04-24, New York Times
The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead. The Federal Communications Commission said on [April 23] that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers. The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. The proposal comes three months after a federal appeals court struck down, for the second time, agency rules intended to guarantee a free and open Internet. The regulations could radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers. The rules are also likely to eventually raise prices as the likes of Disney and Netflix pass on to customers whatever they pay for the speedier lanes, which are the digital equivalent of an uncongested car pool lane on a busy freeway. Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
2014-04-23, New York Times
The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The numbers ... suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true. The findings are striking because the most commonly cited economic statistics — such as per capita gross domestic product — continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world’s richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.
Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Monsanto GM Soy Is Scarier Than You Think
2014-04-23, Mother Jones
More than 90 percent of the soybeans churned out on US farms each year are genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, nearly all of them involving one called Roundup. Organic production, by contrast, is marginal—it accounts for less than 1 percent of total American acreage devoted to soy. After harvest, the great bulk of soybeans are crushed and divided into two parts: meal, which mainly goes into feed for animals that become our meat, and fat, most of which ends up being used as cooking oil or in food products. According to the US Soy Board, soy accounts for 61 percent of American's vegetable oil consumption. Given soy's centrality to our food and agriculture systems, the findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry are worth pondering. The authors found that Monsanto's ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans, engineered to withstand its own blockbuster herbicide, contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior. They found residues of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) and aminomethylphosphonic acid, or AMPA, the compound glyphosate breaks down into as it decays, on all 10 of the GM samples—and in none of the non-GM and organic ones. The researchers found residue levels hovering above a level Monsanto itself has characterized as "extreme." Independent research ... found that Roundup in water at 3 ppm induced morphological changes in frogs.
Note: For more on the risks to health from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here.
IG: Agency didn’t report polygraph admissions of child molestations
2014-04-22, Washington Post blog
The federal government’s spy-satellite agency failed to alert authorities after some of its employees and contractors admitted during polygraph tests to crimes including child molestation and lying on security-clearance questionnaires, according to a watchdog. The intelligence community’s inspector general released two reports ... saying the National Reconnaissance Office did not refer some of the cases because of confusion about reporting expectations and requirements. According to one of the reports, an Air Force lieutenant colonel admitted during a 2010 lie-detector test to touching a child in a sexual way and downloading child pornography on his work computer. The NRO only reported that case to the Air Force division that oversees security clearances instead of the Justice Department or the Air Force’s special-investigations office, the inspector general said. The NRO is not legally required to report certain state crimes such as child molestation. Thirty individuals who took NRO lie-detector tests from 2009 through 2012 admitted to child abuse or using child pornography, according to the report. The NRO failed to report three of those cases. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the review after a McClatchy news investigation raised concerns about the matter in 2012, said the NRO showed a “complete lack of common sense in failing to require reporting of serious state crimes of this sort.”
Note: The NRO is the agency that was running a drill on the morning of 9/11 of an airplane crashing into one of its Washington, DC buildings, as reported in this USA Today article. It has also allegedly been involved in the UFO cover-up, as reported in this testimony.
Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts
2014-04-22, New York Times
The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive. The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies’ employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive says. The directive prohibits unauthorized “contact with the media about intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities and judgments,” without regard to whether it is classified. It says that employees who violate the policy “may be subject to administrative actions that may include revocation of security clearances or termination of employment.” At a minimum, the directive adds, any violation of the policy “will be handled in the same manner as a security violation.” Mr. Clapper signed the directive on March 20, and it was quietly posted on the office’s website last week. The directive limiting contact with reporters was reported Monday by Steve Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist for the Federation of American Scientists. In a blog post, Mr. Aftergood portrayed the directive as seeking to ensure that “the only news about intelligence is to be authorized news.” He criticized the policy as going too far, arguing that routine interactions between agency employees and reporters about unclassified matters did not pose a threat to national security, but that limiting them would hurt the public.
Note: Yet another major effort to muzzle whistleblowers. For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
John Paul's Legacy Stained by Sex Abuse Scandal
2014-04-21, ABC News/Associated Press
The sexual abuse scandal that festered under [Pope John Paul's] watch remains a stain on his legacy. Pope Francis has inherited John Paul's most notorious failure on the sex abuse front — the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. The Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children. Yet the Legion's 2009 admission about the Rev. Marcial Maciel's double life was by no means news to the Vatican. Documents from the archives of the Vatican's then-Sacred Congregation for Religious show how a succession of papacies ... simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud. The documents show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel's drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit. Maciel's fraud, one of the greatest scandals of the 20th-century Catholic Church, raises uncomfortable questions for today's Vatican about how so many people could have been duped for so long. [This] brings into question how the church's own structure, values and priorities enabled a cult-like order to grow from within and how far accountability for all the harm done should go. It begs the question of whether the order has really been purged of the abuses that allowed generations of priests to subject themselves to blind obedience to a false prophet.
Note: It is all too clear that a succession of popes and cardinals of the Catholic church were well aware of these severe child sex abuse scandals for decades, yet took no serious steps to stop the harm being inflicted on innocent children. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of both political and religious leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link and read the astounding news reports available here.
The brain injury that made me a math genius
If you could see the world through my eyes, you would know how perfect it is, how much order runs through it, and how much structure is hidden in its tiniest parts. The universe itself and everything we can touch and all that we are is made of the most beautiful geometric patterns imaginable. I know because they’re right in front of me. Because of a traumatic brain injury, the result of a brutal physical attack, I’ve been able to see these patterns for over a decade. This change in my perception was really a change in my brain function, the result of the injury and the extraordinary and mostly positive way my brain healed. All of a sudden, the patterns were just . . . there, and I realize now that my injury was a rare gift. I’m lucky to have survived, but for me, the real miracle—what really saved me—was being introduced to and almost overwhelmed by the mathematical grace of the universe. Doctors tell me that nothing in my brain was newly created or added when I was injured. Rather, innate but dormant skills were released. This theory comes from psychiatrist Darold Treffert, who is considered the world’s leading authority on savants and acquired savants. He ... suggested that all of us have extraordinary skills just beneath the surface, much as birds innately know how to fly in a V-formation and fish know how to swim in a school. Why the brain suppresses these remarkable abilities is still a mystery, but sometimes, when the brain is diseased or damaged, it relents and unleashes the inner genius. This isn’t just my story. It’s the story of the potential secreted away in all of us.
Note: Excerpted from Struck By Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel by Jason Padgett and Maureen Seaberg. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds
2014-04-20, ABC News
Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies
2014-04-19, Los Angeles Times
The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states. Alarmed environmentalists and their allies in the solar industry have fought back, battling the other side to a draw so far. Both sides say the fight is growing more intense as new states, including Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, enter the fray. At the nub of the dispute are two policies found in dozens of states. One requires utilities to get a certain share of power from renewable sources. The other, known as net metering, guarantees homeowners or businesses with solar panels on their roofs the right to sell any excess electricity back into the power grid at attractive rates. Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model. Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates. The group's campaign in [Kansas] compared the green energy mandate to Obamacare, featuring ominous images of Kathleen Sebelius, the outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services, who was Kansas' governor when the state adopted the requirement.
Note: For more on the growth of the solar energy industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals
2014-04-19, New York Times
Two weeks ago, a pair of F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced at the door of a member of the defense team for one of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a contractor working with the defense team at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the man was bound by the same confidentiality rules as a lawyer. But the agents wanted to talk. They asked questions, lawyers say, about the legal teams for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists who will eventually stand trial before a military tribunal at Guantánamo. Before they left, the agents asked the contractor to sign an agreement promising not to tell anyone about the conversation. With that signature, Mr. bin al-Shibh’s lawyers say, the government turned a member of their team into an F.B.I. informant. The F.B.I.’s inquiry became the focus of the pretrial hearings at Guantánamo this week, after the contractor disclosed it to the defense team. It was a reminder that, no matter how much the proceedings at the island military prison resemble a familiar American trial, the invisible hand of the United States government is at work there in ways unlike anything seen in typical courtrooms. “It’s a courtroom with three benches,” said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. “There’s one person pretending to be the judge, and two other agencies behind the scenes exerting at least as much influence.” Thirteen years after 9/11, nobody has been convicted in connection with the attacks.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
S.F.'s 19th century Russian battle over bigamy, child abuse
2014-04-19, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
For four years in the late 19th century, a lurid controversy racked the small Russian community of San Francisco - one that featured a pair of strong-willed antagonists hurling accusations of bigamy, arson, murder conspiracy and child abuse. One was the new leader of the Russian Orthodox church in San Francisco, Bishop Vladimir. His bitter enemy was Dr. Nicholas Russel, a revolutionary who had fled Russia to implant his radical ideas in what he hoped would be the fertile soil of America. Of all the ugly exchanges between these two men of diametrically opposed political and religious views, none was uglier than the charge that Bishop Vladimir had sodomized children. There was overwhelming evidence to support it, but a combination of factors - the authorities' unwillingness to investigate a high-ranking churchman, Victorian reticence and the bishop's cunningly aggressive tactics - allowed an obvious case of pederasty to go unpunished. It was among the first - though not, unfortunately, the last - cover-ups of sexual misconduct by a religious leader. Terence Emmons laid out the details in his meticulous 1997 study of the affair, Alleged Sex and Threatened Violence: Doctor Russel, Bishop Vladimir, and the Russians in San Francisco, 1887-1892. Russel ... started checking into rumors about the bishop's relations with the boys he had brought to San Francisco. Russel went to a lawyer, who interviewed three of the boys. They submitted affidavits alleging that Vladimir had forced them to "commit the crime against nature" with him, and had threatened them and mistreated them in other ways.
Note: This article shows how people in power have been protected from child abuse for centuries, even when it is quite blatant. If you want to understand how pedophile rings have infiltrated the highest levels of government, don't miss the powerful Discovery Channel documentary on this available here.
Gag Order From Israeli Court Raises Questions
2014-04-18, New York Times
The [New York] Times published an article [on April 17] about an Arab citizen of Israel – a 23-year-old journalist and Palestinian rights advocate – who was detained by Israeli authorities last weekend. The man, Majd Kayyal, was not allowed a lawyer until Wednesday night, and he was interrogated for five days on suspicion that he was being recruited by a “hostile organization” after he visited Lebanon. He was released on Thursday but ordered to be kept under house arrest. The Times article mentions a court-imposed gag order that was lifted on [April 17]. What it doesn’t mention is that The Times, too, is subject to such gag orders. According to its bureau chief in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, that is true. The Times is “indeed, bound by gag orders,” Ms. Rudoren said. She said that the situation is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land, and that two of her predecessors in the bureau chief position affirmed to her this week that The Times has been subject to gag orders in the past. The Times’s newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, [said] that he was consulted by Times journalists this week as they considered publishing an article about Mr. Kayyal’s arrest. Although the situation is somewhat murky, he said, “the general understanding among legal counsel in other countries is that local law would apply to foreign media.” “I’ve never seen us actually challenge it,” Mr. McCraw said. Meanwhile, an online publication called The Electronic Intifada published a number of articles about Mr. Kayyal’s detention over the past several days. The author of those articles, Ali Abunimah, said in an email that “readers have a right to know when [the New York Times] is complying with government-imposed censorship.”
Note: For more on mainstream media cover-ups, see the deeply revealing reports available here.
Why Mumps And Measles Can Spread Even When We're Vaccinated
More than two months ago, a nasty mumps virus triggered fever, headache and painfully swollen glands among a handful of students at Ohio State University. Now the outbreak has ballooned to 234 cases at last count, and has spilled into the surrounding community in Columbus, Ohio. "Columbus officials are calling it the city's biggest outbreak since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s," WOSU reporter Steve Brown [said]. "It even pushed them to open a new clinic." So far, most of those infected are students or workers at Ohio State, Brown says. And here's what's surprising: Many of those who got sick had previously been immunized against mumps via one of the top weapons against childhood diseases: the MMR vaccine. That's a two-dose shot most of us got when we were kids to protect against three diseases — measles, mumps and rubella. A young woman in New York caught the measles in 2011 even though she, too, had been vaccinated, scientists reported last week. "Measles Mary," as Science magazine her, also spread the virus to four others. Why can you still get the mumps and measles even if you're vaccinated? Measles is a terrific vaccine. If you get two doses, it's predicted to protect 99.99 percent of people for life. The mumps vaccine, on the other hand, is not so good. The protection rate varies from study to study. But it's usually in the mid-80s. Both vaccines, for mumps and measles, are tamed versions of the viruses. The viruses aren't killed but what we call attenuated, live viruses. The outbreak at Ohio State University is due to "vaccine failure," not declining immunization rates in the U.S.
Note: For more on major problems with many vaccines, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
2014-04-17, BBC News
The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it. They conclude: "We believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."
Note: For more on the antidemocratic impacts of income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'
A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign to change the rules that govern seeds. They are releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that is intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. The new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa. Anyone receiving the seeds must pledge not to restrict their use by means of patents, licenses or any other kind of intellectual property. Any future plant that is derived from these open source seeds also has to remain freely available as well. Irwin Goldman, a vegetable breeder at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, ... doesn't like the consequences of restricting access to plant genes — what he calls germplasm. "If we don't share germplasm and freely exchange it, then we will limit our ability to improve the crop," he says. Sociologist Jack Kloppenburg, also at the University of Wisconsin, has been campaigning against seed patents for 30 years. His reasons go beyond Goldman's. He says turning seeds into private property has contributed to the rise of big seed companies that in turn promote ever-bigger, more specialized farms. "The problem is concentration, and the narrow set of uses to which the technology and the breeding are being put," he says.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Iranian killer's execution halted at last minute by victim's parents
2014-04-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
When he felt the noose around his neck, Balal must have thought he was about to take his last breath. Seven years ago Balal, who is in his 20s, stabbed 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh during a street brawl in the small town of Royan, in the northern province of Mazandaran [Iran]. But what happened next marked a rarity in public executions in Iran, which puts more people to death than any other country apart from China. The victim's mother approached, slapped the convict in the face and then decided to forgive her son's killer. The victim's father removed the noose and Balal's life was spared. Balal's mother hugged the grieving mother of the man her son had killed. The two women sobbed in each other's arms – one because she had lost her son, the other because hers had been saved. [The slain boy's father, Abdolghani] Hosseinzadeh said a dream prompted the change of heart. "Three days ago my wife saw my elder son in a dream telling her that they are in a good place, and for her not to retaliate … This calmed my wife and we decided to think more until the day of the execution." Many Iranian public figures, including the popular TV sport presenter Adel Ferdosipour, had called on the couple, who have a daughter, to forgive the killer. Although they did so, Balal will not necessarily be freed. Under Iranian law the victim's family have a say only in the act of execution, not any jail sentence.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
This Man With A Van Has A 'Wild Obsession' With Helping Homeless People
2014-04-16, Huffington Post
Armed with a van and fueled by passion, Aaron Reddin is on a mission to help homeless individuals in need. After conquering his own drug addiction, Reddin began to run a long-term drug and alcohol program and a homeless shelter. Through this experience, he developed a "wild obsession" with helping the homeless. "I was dissatisfied with the number of folks that were sleeping outside, and the fact that everyone expected them to somehow come to us to help," Reddin says in the video above. "I said, you know what, let's raise a thousand bucks and buy a crappy old van." With his van, Reddin began a nonprofit called The One, Inc. The organization aims to help any "one" person on the streets. Whether it be through providing shoes, blankets, food, supplies or just lending a helping hand, the organization works to make contributions big or small. A large part of their mission includes mobility. "We primarily serve these needs by going to the people in need, wherever they may be," the website states. "We visit current homeless camps, search for new camps, comb alleyways, check under bridges and seek out the needy deep in the woods."
Note: The One, Inc. now has four buses in four cities. To learn more about The One, Inc., click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
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