Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
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The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul. Indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames. Officials say that what is happening is a shift in military decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. Robert Malley, a former senior official in the Obama administration and now vice president for policy at the International Crisis Group, said the uptick in military involvement ... did not appear to have been accompanied by increased planning for the day after potential military victories. The lack of diplomacy and planning for the future in places like Yemen and Syria could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable. Others fear that greater military involvement could drag the United States into murky wars and that increased civilian deaths could feed anti-Americanism and jihadist propaganda. Some insist that this has already happened. “Daesh is happy about the American attacks against civilians to prove its slogans that the Americans want to kill Muslims everywhere and not only the Islamic State’s gunmen,” a resident of the Syrian city of Raqqa wrote via WhatsApp, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.
Note: There is no doubt that U.S. drone killings in the Middle East have created many terrorists. If your innocent mother or sister were killed by a foreign drone, do you think you might develop feelings against that country? Learn how even U.S. generals have said the U.S. has backed terrorists in this well researched essay on the origins of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Muhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi economist, microfinancing pioneer and founder of the grassroots Grameen Bank, has not been resting on his laurels since wining the Nobel peace prize in 2006. The idea behind his multi award-winning idea of microcredit is that everyone is a natural entrepreneur. “Human beings are not born to work for anybody else,” he says. “For millions of years that we were on the planet, we never worked for anybody. We are go-getters. So this is our tradition. There are roughly 160 million people all over the world in microcredit, mostly women. And they have proven one very important thing: that we are all entrepreneurs. Illiterate rural women in the villages ... take tiny little loans - $30, $40 - and they turn themselves into successful entrepreneurs.” In the mid 70s, as a young economics professor, Yunus experimented with lending a mere $27 to 42 women in the village ... near his university. Banks would not lend to the poor ... and moneylenders charged extortionate rates. His experiment was a success, and he began to develop ... the Grameen Bank. The Grameen Bank today has nine million borrowers, 97% of them women. “They own the bank. It is a bank owned by poor women,” he says. “The repayment rate is 99.6%, and it has never fallen below that in our eight years of experience.” Part of his expansion into rich countries includes a program in the US: 19 branches in 11 cities, including eight in New York.
Note: Learn more about the inspiring microcredit movement helping to reduce inequality while securing financial returns for investors.
As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration. At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies. This disappearing act had just begun. Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge. Each defunct page is an effort ... to deliberately undermine our ability to make good policy decisions by limiting access to scientific evidence. In a remote region where data is already scarce, we need publicly available government guidance and records now more than ever before. It is hard enough for modern Arctic researchers to perform experiments and collect data to fill the gaps left by historic scientific expeditions. We don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.
A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting without sufficient regard for lives of noncombatants. Residents desperately trying to flee ... are being blocked by the militants, who frequently use civilians as human shields. Figures compiled by monitoring organizations and interviews with residents paint an increasingly bloody picture, with the number of casualties in March already surpassing records for a single month. The worst alleged attack was in Mosul, where rescue teams are still digging out bodies after what residents describe as a hellish onslaught. Iraqi officials and residents say as many as 200 died in U.S.-led strikes, with more than 100 bodies recovered from a single building. The escalation of U.S. strikes around the city of Raqqa occurred in February. In March, the tempo increased further, with more sites being targeted that have no obvious military value, according to a Syrian ... from Raqqa. “They are hitting everything that isn’t a small house,” including the barges that ferry passengers across the river dividing the city now that the bridges have been disabled, he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern for his family.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Last weekend’s sunny weather was not only good for beers, barbecues and bees, but also drove solar power to break a new UK record. For the first time ever, the amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses in the afternoon on Saturday was lower than it was in the night, because solar panels on rooftops and in fields cut demand so much. National Grid, which runs the transmission network, described the moment as a “huge milestone”. The company sees the solar power generated on the distribution networks – or local roads of the system – as reduced electricity demand. The sunshine meant that solar power produced six times more electricity than the country’s coal-fired power stations on Saturday. Duncan Burt, who manages daily operations at National Grid, said: “Demand being lower in the afternoon than overnight really is turning the hard and fast rules of the past upside down.” Electricity demand usually peaks around 4pm to 6pm at this time of year. The solar industry hailed the landmark. A spokeswoman for the Solar Trade Association said: “This milestone shows the balance of power is shifting, quite literally, away from the old centralised ‘coal-by-wire’ model into the hands of householders, businesses and communities all over the UK who want their own clean solar power.” Solar power installations grew dramatically in 2014 and 2015. An independent report, commissioned by the STA, found the UK’s power network could handle four times more solar capacity than there was today.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Approximately half of adult Americans’ photographs are stored in facial recognition databases that can be accessed by the FBI, without their knowledge or consent, in the hunt for suspected criminals. About 80% of photos in the FBI’s network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from driver’s licenses and passports. The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are more likely to misidentify black people than white people. These are just some of the damning facts presented at last week’s House oversight committee hearing, where politicians and privacy campaigners criticized the FBI and called for stricter regulation of facial recognition technology at a time when it is creeping into law enforcement and business. The FBI first launched its advanced biometric database ... in 2010, augmenting the old fingerprint database with further capabilities including facial recognition. The bureau did not inform the public ... nor did it publish a privacy impact assessment, required by law, for five years. The FBI made arrangements with 18 different states to gain access to their databases of driver’s license photos. Last year, the US government accountability office (GAO) analyzed the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology and found it to be lacking in accountability, accuracy and oversight. “It doesn’t know how often the system incorrectly identifies the wrong subject,” explained the GAO’s Diana Maurer. “Innocent people could bear the burden of being falsely accused.”
The former president of Penn State University was convicted Friday of keeping a lid on the scandal surrounding notorious child-abusing coach Jerry Sandusky. A jury [found] Graham Spanier guilty of one count of child endangerment. The charge stemmed from Spanier's handling of a complaint against Sandusky, a once-popular assistant football coach whose career at Penn State spanned three decades. The trial centered on how Spanier and two other university leaders handled a complaint by a graduate assistant who said he reported seeing Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a team shower in 2001. The administrators told Sandusky he could not bring children on to the campus any longer, but they did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities. Sandusky was not arrested until 2011 after an anonymous tip led prosecutors to investigate the shower incident. He was convicted the next year of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving a decades-long prison sentence. Four of the eight young men testifying at Sandusky’s trial said the abuse occurred after 2001. “Evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild,” Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte told the jury. The scandal ... resulted in the school paying out more than $90 million to settle civil claims by over 30 accusers. Two of Spanier’s former lieutenants, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges a week ago and testified against Spanier.
Note: Read more about how senior Penn State officials covered up Sandusky's crimes due to fears of bad publicity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
A non-profit organization that tracks civilian casualties caused by airstrikes in the Middle East said it has shifted nearly all of its resources to track a surge of claims regarding U.S.-led strikes in Syria and Iraq. The group, called Airwars.org, had been tracking deaths caused by both Russian and U.S. airstrikes. “Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March - a record claim,” Airwars said in a statement. In the last week, three mass casualty incidents have been attributed to U.S.-led forces in Iraq and Syria, making March one of the most lethal months for civilians in the the two-year-old war against the Islamic State. Last week, U.S. drones targeted what locals deemed a mosque in Aleppo province in a bid to target al-Qaeda leaders. Those on the ground said at least 47 civilians ... died in the strikes. On Monday, a conflict monitoring group ... said a strike near Raqqa targeted a school that was serving as a home for multiple families displaced by fighting in the area, killing at least 33. On Thursday, Iraqi media reported that an airstrike in Mosul killed more than 200 people. According to Airwars, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition, which has admitted to killing only roughly 220 civilians.
Note: Killing civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. Why do we let the US government get away with regularly killing civilians? If American civilians were killed, there would be an uproar. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Black members of Congress are calling for the Justice Department to help police investigate a large number of missing children in Washington, D.C.. The District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, in the first three months of this year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the city's police force. Twenty-two were unsolved as of March 22, police said. [A letter] sent by Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress ... called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to "devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed." D.C. police officials said there has been no increase in the numbers of missing persons in their jurisdiction. "We've just been posting them on social media more often," said Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Rachel Reid. According to local police data, the number of missing child cases in the District dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016. Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, said that despite the assurances from police, it was alarming for so many children to go missing. Wilson said she is concerned about whether human trafficking is a factor, citing the case of 8-year-old Relisha Rudd, who has been missing since she vanished from a city homeless shelter in 2014.
The C.I.A. developed tools to spy on Mac computers by injecting software into the chips that control the computers’ fundamental operations, according to the latest cache of classified government documents published on Thursday by WikiLeaks. All of the surveillance tools that have been disclosed were designed to be installed on individual phones or computers. But the effects could be much wider. Cisco Systems, for example, warned customers this week that many of its popular routers, the backbone of computer networks, could be hacked using the C.I.A.’s techniques. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has offered to share the precise software code used by the C.I.A.’s cyberweapons with the affected companies. But major tech companies have been reluctant to directly engage with him for fear of violating American laws. The spy software described in the latest documents was designed to be injected into a Mac’s firmware, a type of software preloaded in the computer’s chips. It would then act as a “listening post,” broadcasting the user’s activities to the C.I.A. whenever the machine was connected to the internet. Tools that operate at the chip level can hide their existence and avoid being wiped out by routine software updates. Under an agreement struck during the Obama administration, intelligence agencies were supposed to share their knowledge of most security vulnerabilities with tech companies. The C.I.A. documents suggest that some key vulnerabilities were kept secret.
Twenty some years ago David Milarch hovered above the bed, looking down at his motionless body. Years of alcoholism had booted him out of his life. An inexplicable cosmic commandment would return him to it. His improbable charge? To clone the world's champion trees - the giants that had survived millennia and would be unvanquished by climate change. Experts said it couldn't be done. Fast-forward to today, and Milarch is now the keeper of a Noah's Ark filled with the genetics for repopulating the world's most ancient trees. Founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive he is on a mission to restore the lungs of the planet. "Spend a couple of days in an old-growth forest, you'll come out different from when you went in. Those trees affect our physical, mental and especially our spiritual bodies. And I do believe that anyone, everyone can learn to communicate with them," [said Milarch]. "98% of the old-growth forests in the US are gone. We didn't even study those trees. We didn't know what they did for the quality of life on earth - the water, air, shade. In Jim Robbins’ book, "The Man Who Planted Trees," he writes about the new science of trees and what roles they play for all living things on earth. #1. Trees talk to all the other trees, not only in the forest, but also over great distances. #2. Trees feel and register pain, and they express that pain, and other trees pick it up #3. There are critically important aerosols that come out of the needles and leaves of trees that prevent endemic diseases from spreading over the planet.
A small stem cell trial in which patients with severe spinal injuries appeared to make remarkable progress is still showing excellent results. One of the patients in the trial is 21-year-old Kris Boesen ... whose story we reported on last year. A car crash had left the Bakersfield, California native with three crushed vertebrae, almost no feeling below his neck, and a grim prognosis. Doctors believed he would live the rest of his life as a paraplegic. Enter stem cell therapy. Most treatments for serious spinal injuries concentrate on physical therapy to expand the range of the patient’s remaining motor skills and to limit further injury, not to reverse the actual damage. But last April ... researchers injected Boesen with 10 million stem cells. By July, he had recovered use of his hands to the point where he could use a wheelchair, a computer and a cellphone, and could take care of most of his daily living needs. Boesen is not the only patient to have improved in the trial, according to Asterias Biotherapeutics, which is conducting the research. Six patients who were experiencing various levels of paralysis and were injected with the 10 million stem cell dose. In a Jan. 24 update, the company said five of those patients had improved. On Tuesday, Asterias issued a new update, announcing that the sixth patient in the cohort has experienced a similar improvement. Last week, at 11 months post-injection, the elder Boesen said Kris has continued to improve.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
President Trump recently selected Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine skeptic who believes that shots may cause autism, to chair a panel on the safety of vaccines. The appointment has provoked howls of outrage from public health officials. Unfortunately, in their zeal to defend the benefits of vaccines, these advocates have pushed a narrative that vaccines are without risk. Every year, thousands of Americans receive vaccinations and then suffer a host of well-recognized reactions, ranging from chronic pain to paralysis. A 30-year-old federal program - meant to encourage vaccinations - compensates these patients for their medical costs and suffering. Unlucky patients who have terrible reactions to vaccines can seek compensation for their lost wages, medical bills and suffering through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Established in 1986, the vaccine program [grants] vaccine makers and doctors immunity from lawsuits. One of the most common vaccines, the flu shot, can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome. Each year, as many as 6,000 Americans contract the disease, which causes an individual’s immune system to attack its own nerve cells. Persons diagnosed with the syndrome ... may experience permanent nerve damage, respiratory failure, or even death. Instead of seeking compensation from drugmakers, vaccine-injured patients can file a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The program has awarded 5,269 victims more than $3.5 billion to date out of 17, 935 petitions filed.
Note: Robert F. Kennedy is highly respected for his great work as a lawyer defending the environment and much more. Yet now that he is challenging the safety of vaccines, most of the media are making him out to be a kook. If you want to understand why he is a threat to big pharma, which has a lot of control over the media, read Kennedy's excellent article "Deadly Immunity." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources.
There was once a time - before the investigations, before the sexual abuse conviction - when rich and famous men loved to hang around with Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire money manager who loved to party. President Trump called Epstein a “terrific guy” back in 2002, saying that “he’s a lot of fun to be with. He likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” Now, Trump is on the witness list in a Florida court battle over how federal prosecutors handled allegations that Epstein, 64, sexually abused more than 40 minor girls, most of them between the ages of 13 and 17. The lawsuit questions why Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta ... cut a non-prosecution deal with Epstein a decade ago rather than pursuing a federal indictment that Acosta’s staff had advocated. Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state charge of felony solicitation of underage girls in 2008 and served a 13-month jail sentence. Epstein’s unusually light punishment - he was facing up to a life sentence had he been convicted on federal charges - has raised questions about how Acosta handled the case. In [a] 2011 letter explaining his decision in the Epstein case, Acosta said he backed off from pressing charges after “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” who represented Epstein.
A Florida mother first brought billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s peculiar caprices to the attention of Palm Beach police in 2005. Eventually, federal investigators and prosecutors built a case against Epstein ... that involved 17 witnesses and five other underaged women. But in September 2007, a Florida federal prosecutor named R. Alexander Acosta cut a secret plea deal with Epstein’s lawyers giving him ... an unusually lenient part-time, eight-hours a day county jail sentence, rather than the ten years or more in prison that a less powerful person might have gotten for repeated sex with minors. Acosta also deviated from legal norms when he granted the deal without first notifying the young women who had spoken to investigators about their experiences with the billionaire. Details of the deal were not made public until a federal judge unsealed it as part of a civil lawsuit brought by four women in 2015. Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14. He ultimately served only 13 months in prison. On Wednesday, Acosta ... testified in front of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee as Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Labor. Asked about the Epstein deal, he characterized it as within the bounds of normal prosecutorial behavior. “Acosta is pretending the failure to prosecute was routine,” [a] former prosecutor told Newsweek, asking for anonymity. “But that’s bullshit. What happened here was completely and totally out of the main.”
Hazardous waste sites are scattered all across the country, from a Brooklyn canal once surrounded by chemical plants to a shuttered garbage incineration facility in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. There are more than 1,300 of these spots in all - dubbed "Superfund sites" by the federal government - where toxic chemicals from factories and landfills were dumped for decades, polluting the surrounding soil, water and air. “The Superfund list contains the worst of toxic sites in the U.S.," says Chris Portier, former director of the Agency for Toxic Substances ... which is responsible for assessing each site’s hazard level. The name "Superfund site" comes from legislation Congress passed in 1980 creating a "Superfund" program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and clean up hazardous waste sites. Superfund sites are often concentrated in highly populated areas. New Jersey - the densest state by population - has more toxic sites than any other state in the country, at 114, with California and Pennsylvania close behind. The cleanup program may face cuts under President Trump, whose proposed budget includes ... reducing the Superfund program from over $1 billion to $762 million in funding. In Florida, a study ... recently found that people living in counties containing Superfund sites were 6% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people living in counties without the sites. There have also been findings of increased cancer rates near specific Superfund sites in other states.
Note: A map showing the locations of these Superfund sites is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Cathy Byrd’s 2-year-old son, Christian Haupt, was a baseball prodigy who spent countless hours pitching and hitting balls. In her new memoir, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, Byrd shares an ... improbable story that even she had trouble believing at first: She claims that Christian was the reincarnation of baseball legend Lou Gehrig, who played for the Yankees nearly a century ago. Byrd had not believed in reincarnation. But she says she began to explore it based on the statements Christian makes about Gehrig’s life. Still too young to read, and not exposed to any baseball lore from his non-baseball-fan family, Byrd writes that Christian shared baseball history he could not possibly have known. When Christian sees a photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Byrd says that her son declared: “they didn’t talk to each other.” Byrd discovers it was true. “There was no reasonable explanation ... I found myself straddling the great divide between logic and intuition,” writes Byrd, a practicing Catholic. “The concept of reincarnation was diametrically opposed to my rational thoughts and my religious beliefs, yet my heart was telling me not to ignore what Christian was ... trying to tell me.” Byrd also seeks help along the way from [professor] Jim B. Tucker, M.D., author of Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives. It was during a meeting with Tucker that Christian delivers the ... news that he chose Byrd to be his mother when she was born. When Tucker asks Christian when he picked Byrd, [he replied], “In the sky.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
On Thursday, Donald Trump released a preliminary budget proposal that calls for a $52bn increase in military spending. But just last December, a Washington Post investigation found that the Pentagon had buried a report that outlines $125bn in waste at the Department of Defense. Although it’s required to by law, the DoD has never had an audit, something every American person, every company and every other government agency is subject to. The result is an astounding $10tn [that $10 trillion!] in taxpayer money that has gone unaccounted for since 1996. “Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” the director of the Audit the Pentagon coalition, Rafael DeGennaro, told the Guardian. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.” Legislation in the early 1990s demanded that all government agencies had annual audits, but the Pentagon has exempted itself without consequence for 20 years now. In the meantime, the GAO and Office of the Inspector General (IG) have published an endless stream of reports documenting financial mismanagement: $500m in aid to Yemen lost here, $5.8bn in supplies lost there, $8,000 spent on helicopter gears that really cost $500. During this past election cycle, both the Democratic and Republican platforms called for the Pentagon’s audit. But despite broad support, the issue has remained stagnant in Washington.
Note: When every business in the country and every other branch of government is required to account for every dollar, how can the Pentagon get away with failing to account for literally trillions of dollars year after year? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
In a heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., sits the massive headquarters of a spy agency few know exists. The [National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or] NGA remains by far the most shadowy member of the Big Five spy agencies, which include the CIA and the National Security Agency. Despite its lack of name recognition, the NGA’s headquarters is the third-largest building in the Washington metropolitan area. The NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones ... and spy satellites. The agency has never been involved in domestic spy scandals. However, there’s reason to believe that this will change. In March 2016, the Pentagon released the results of an investigation initiated by the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General to examine military spy drones in the United States. The report ... revealed that the Pentagon used unarmed surveillance drones over American soil. The investigation also quoted from an Air Force law review article pointing out the growing concern that technology designed to spy on enemies abroad may soon be turned around to spy on citizens at home. In 2016, unbeknownst to many city officials, police in Baltimore began conducting persistent aerial surveillance using a system developed for military use in Iraq. Few civilians have any idea how advanced these military eye-in-the-sky drones have become.
Note: This article was written by former ABC News producer James Bamford, whose 2001 article on Operation Northwoods revealed that the top Pentagon generals signed off on top-secret plans which stated, "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." And showing the level of major media complicity, only ABC News reported on this. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
The newest resident of "Sesame Street" has orange hair and a fondness for her toy rabbit. She also has autism. Julia has been a part of the "Sesame Street" family via its storybooks and was so popular that the decision was made to add the character to the TV series. "I think the big discussion right at the start was, 'How do we do this? How do we talk about autism?,'" one of the show's writers, Christine Ferraro, told "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl. Over the almost five decades "Sesame Street" has been on the air, it has established a reputation for inclusion with its characters. Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the founders of the Children's Television Workshop which developed "Sesame Street," said it has also not been afraid to deal with real life issues. Julia's debut episode will deal with what autism can look like. The brain disorder can make it difficult for people with autism to communicate with and relate to others. The character of Big Bird talked to Stahl about his first interaction with Julia in which she ignored him. "I thought that maybe she didn't like me," he said. "Yeah, but you know, we had to explain to Big Bird that Julia likes Big Bird," the Elmo character added. "It's just that Julia has autism. So sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things." Ferraro hopes that along with educating viewers about autism the new character will settle in as a part of the neighborhood. "I would love her to be not Julia, the kid on Sesame Street who has autism," the writer said. "I would like her to be just Julia."
Important 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.