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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. Links are provided to the full articles on their media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. These media articles are listed in reverse date order. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by date posted, click here. For a list with headlines and links only to key media articles, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief
2013-12-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/20/gchq-targeted-aid-agencies-ger...

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU's competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal. The papers show GCHQ [and the NSA were] targeting organisations such as the United Nations development programme, the UN's children's charity Unicef and Médecins du Monde, a French organisation that provides doctors and medical volunteers to conflict zones. The head of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) also appears in the documents, along with text messages he sent to colleagues. One GCHQ document, drafted in January 2009, makes clear that the agencies were targeting an email address listed as belonging to another important American ally – the "Israeli prime minister". Ehud Olmert was in office at the time. Three further Israeli targets appeared on GCHQ documents, including another email address understood to have been used to send messages between the then Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, and his chief of staff, Yoni Koren. The names and details are the latest revelations to come from documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. They provoked a furious reaction. The disclosures reflect the breadth of targets sought by the agencies, which goes far beyond the desire to intercept the communications of potential terrorists and criminals, or diplomats and officials from hostile countries.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Royal Commission hears Vatican told priest to offer a Mass every Friday for his victims
2013-12-19, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/royal-commission-hears-...

A Lismore [Australia] Catholic priest who sexually abused children was ordered by the Vatican to “live a life of prayer and penance” and offer a Mass every Friday for his victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told. But the “overwhelming majority” of clerical sex abuse cases are not reported to Rome because the Vatican wants to know only about incidents which occurred within the past 10 years, the Commission heard. The Bishop of Lismore, Geoffrey Jarrett, did not pass on any complaints for five years, probably because a directive from the Pope to do so was filed in a drawer and forgotten, he told the Commission. In a day of astonishing revelations about the Australian Catholic church’s lackadaisical attitude to child sex abuse allegations, Bishop Jarrett admitted he did not pass on a 2002 complaint in which a woman alleged she “walked in on Father [Paul Rex] Brown in the act of sexually abusing a child in the sacristy of the cathedral” in 1959. That alleged incident preceded Father Brown’s abuse of Mrs Jennifer Ingham in the late 1970s by two decades. In 2001 [a] Holy See directive ordered bishops to refer to it every case with a “semblance of truth” involving sexual abuse of children by clerics who were still living. The revised rule that bishops should refer only allegations concerning incidents from the past 10 years came into effect in 2002 after the Holy See was “unable to deal with the vast number of referrals” from all over the world.

Note: For more on sexual abuse of children, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Mysterious ingredients vanish from food labels
2013-12-18, Boston Globe/Associated Press
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/12/18/food-labels-get-closer-look-in...

Take another look at that food label. An ingredient or two may have vanished. As Americans pay closer attention to what they eat, food and beverage companies are learning that unfamiliar ingredients can invite criticism from online petitions and bloggers. The risk of damaging publicity has proven serious enough that some manufacturers have reformulated top-selling products to remove mysterious, unpronounceable components that could draw suspicion. Earlier this year, for example, PepsiCo Inc. said it would stop using brominated vegetable oil in Gatorade and find a another way to evenly distribute color in the sports drink. Last year, Starbucks said it would stop using a red dye made of crushed bugs based on comments it received “through a variety of means,” including an online petition, and switch to a tomato-based extract. Kraft Foods plans to replace artificial dyes with colors derived from natural spices in select varieties of its macaroni and cheese, a nod to the feedback it’s hearing from parents. Ali Dibadj, a Bernstein analyst who covers the packaged food and beverage industry, says the changes reflect a shift from “democratization to activism” by consumers. “It used to be that people would just decide not to buy the product. Now they’re actually agitating for change,” Dibadj said. “There’s a bullhorn — which is the Internet — so you can get a lot of people involved very quickly.” In the past, a customer complaint about an ingredient may have been addressed with a boilerplate letter from corporate headquarters. But now people can go online to share their concerns with thousands of like-minded individuals.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The most important political story you haven’t heard about
2013-12-18, Washington Post blog
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/12/18/the-most-important-...

Money is flooding into federal elections in the post-Citizens United era. And yet the agency tasked with monitoring and regulating all of that activity is close to crippled due to staff cuts and partisan bickering. That’s according to Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, which released a massive analysis on the Federal Election Commission and its problems earlier this week. Among the problems with the agency Levinthal identified include: * The commission over the past year has reached a paralyzing all-time low in its ability to reach consensus, stalling action on dozens of rulemaking, audit and enforcement matters, some of which are years old. * Despite an explosion in political spending hastened by key Supreme Court decisions, the agency’s funding has remained flat for five years and staffing levels have fallen to a 15-year low. * Analysts charged with scouring disclosure reports to ensure candidates and political committees are complying with laws have a nearly quarter-million-page backlog. This is the rule-making and rule-enforcing entity for all federal money in politics. We live in an age in which public financing of presidential elections is a thing of the past — 2012 is the first election since Watergate where neither major party nominee accepted public funds for the general election – and, thanks to super PACs, wealthy individuals have more power than ever. The price tag for the 2012 election topped $6 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. As Levinthal puts it: “As the nation heads into what will undoubtedly be the most expensive midterm election in history and a 2016 presidential election that, in no small way, has already begun, the FEC is rotting from the inside out.”

Note: For more on deep problems in the US electoral system, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Senate Asks C.I.A. to Share Its Report on Interrogations
2013-12-18, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/us/politics/senators-ask-to-see-internal-ci...

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the C.I.A. for an internal study done by the agency that lawmakers believe is broadly critical of the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program but was withheld from congressional oversight committees. The committee’s request comes in the midst of a yearlong battle with the C.I.A. over the release of the panel’s own exhaustive report about the program, one of the most controversial policies of the post-Sept. 11 era. The Senate report, totaling more than 6,000 pages, was completed last December but has yet to be declassified. According to people who have read the study, it is unsparing in its criticism of the now-defunct interrogation program and presents a chronicle of C.I.A. officials’ repeatedly misleading the White House, Congress and the public about the value of brutal methods that, in the end, produced little valuable intelligence. Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, disclosed the existence of the internal C.I.A. report during an Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday. He said he believed it was begun several years ago and “is consistent with the Intelligence’s Committee’s report” although it “conflicts with the official C.I.A. response to the committee’s report.” “If this is true,” Mr. Udall said ... “this raises fundamental questions about why a review the C.I.A. conducted internally years ago — and never provided to the committee — is so different from the C.I.A.’s formal response to the committee study.”

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




NSA’s indiscriminate spying ‘collapsing,’ Snowden says in open letter
2013-12-17, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nsas-indiscriminate-spying-collapsing-sno...

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in a lengthy “open letter to the people of Brazil” that he has been inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of documents and that the NSA’s culture of indiscriminate global espionage “is collapsing.” In the letter, Snowden commended the Brazilian government for its strong stand against U.S. spying. He wrote that he would be willing to help the South American nation investigate NSA spying on its soil but could not fully participate in doing so without being granted political asylum, because the U.S. “government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.” The documents revealed that Brazil is the top NSA target in Latin America, in spying that has included the monitoring of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s cellphone and hacking into the internal network of the state-run oil company Petrobras. In his letter, Snowden dismissed U.S. explanations to the Brazilian government and others that the bulk metadata gathered on billions of e-mails and calls was more “data collection” than surveillance. “There is a huge difference between legal programs, legitimate spying ... and these programs of dragnet mass surveillance that put entire populations under an all-seeing eye and save copies forever,” he wrote. “These programs were never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.” Brazilian senators have asked for Snowden’s help during hearings about the NSA’s targeting of Brazil, an important transit hub for transatlantic fiber-optic cables that are hacked.

Note: To read Snowden's full, inspiring letter, click here.




Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs
2013-12-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/business/glaxo-says-it-will-stop-paying-doc...

The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said ..., effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest. The announcement appears to be a first for a major drug company — although others may be considering similar moves — and it comes at a particularly sensitive time for Glaxo. It is the subject of a bribery investigation in China, where authorities contend the company funneled illegal payments to doctors and government officials in an effort to lift drug sales. For decades, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors to speak on their behalf at conferences and other meetings of medical professionals, on the assumption that the doctors are most likely to value the advice of trusted peers. But the practice has also been criticized by those who question whether it unduly influences the information doctors give each other and can lead them to prescribe drugs inappropriately to patients. Under the plan, which Glaxo said would be completed worldwide by 2016, the company will no longer pay health care professionals to speak on its behalf about its products or the diseases they treat “to audiences who can prescribe or influence prescribing.” It will also stop providing financial support directly to doctors to attend medical conferences, a practice that is prohibited in the United States through an industry-imposed ethics code but that still occurs in other countries.

Note: For more on this, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




What's wifi doing to us? Experiment finds that shrubs die when placed next to wireless routers
2013-12-16, Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2524598/Experiment-finds-plant...

A group of schoolgirls claims to have made a scientific breakthrough that shows wifi signals could damage your health – by experimenting with cress. The 15-year-olds set out to test whether mobile phone signals could be harmful. They say the result could affect millions of people around the world. An experiment in Denmark claims to show that Wi-Fi signals are powerful enough to kill cress seeds after just 12 days of exposure. Pupil Lea Nielsen said: ‘We all thought we experienced concentration problems in school if we slept with our mobile phones at the bedside, and sometimes we also found it difficult sleeping.’ However, because they were not able to monitor their brain activity at their school in Denmark, they chose to monitor plants near wireless routers, which emit similar radio waves to mobile phones. When the girls grew trays of garden cress next to wifi routers, they found that most of the seedlings died. In the experiment, they placed six trays in a room without any equipment and another six trays in a room next to two routers. Over 12 days many of the seedlings in the wifi room turned brown and died, whereas those in the others room thrived. Kim Horsevad, the students’ biology teacher at Hjallerup School, said: ‘This has sparked quite a lively debate in Denmark regarding the potential adverse health effects from mobile phones and wifi equipment.’ The results will bolster the findings of researchers in Holland, who found that trees exposed to wireless radio signals suffered from damaged bark and dying leaves.

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




Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev believed in 'majestic mind control'
2013-12-16, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alleged-boston-marathon-bomb...

Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev heard voices inside his head and had an alter-ego, a report published in The Boston Globe claimed yesterday. Donald Larking, 67, who attended the same Boston mosque as the suspected bomber, said Tsarnaev believed the voices were part of a “majestic mind control”, which was “a way of breaking down a person and creating an alternative personality with which they must coexist." Larking also told the Globe that Tsarnaev was “torn” between himself and an alter-ego. “You can give a signal, a phrase or a gesture, and bring out the alternate personality and make them do things,” he said; “Tamerlan thought someone might have done that to him.” According to the report, the voices “came to [Tsarnaev] at unexpected times, an internal rambling that he alone could hear. Alarmed, he confided to his mother that the voice 'felt like two people inside of me. “As he got older, the voice became more authoritative, its bidding more insistent. Tamerlan confided in a close friend that the voice had begun to issue orders and to require him to perform certain acts, though he never told his friend specifically what those acts were.” Tamerlan, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 20, are alleged to have planted the two pressure cooker bombs that killed three and injured more than 260 at the Boston Marathon in April. While Tamerlan was later killed in a shootout with police, his brother was captured and now potentially faces the death penalty under charges of terrorism.

Note: Many have long suspected that most mass murderers are mind control victims subject to top secret mind control programs, like those revealed in declassified government documents on this webpage. For the full investigative report in the Boston Globe, click here. For lots more verifiable information on these mind control programs, click here.




The Soviet Union Spent $1 Billion On Mind-Control Experiments During The Cold War As Part Of Arms Race With The US: Report
2013-12-16, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/soviet-union-spent-1-billion-mind-control-experiments-...

The battle between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, for technological and scientific one-upmanship, included a costly effort that involved the two superpowers' attempts to develop mind-control weapons, according to a new study. A blog post at the Physics arXiv Blog, citing a new paper by researcher Serge Kernbach, said that both the U.S. and the Soviet Union experimented with parapsychology, mind control and remote influence. And, while some of the work conducted by the U.S. on these topics is now public, much less is known about the Soviet body of knowledge, which reportedly cost about a billion dollars to gather. “The Soviets had a similar program. This included experiments in parapsychology, which the Soviets called psychotronics,” the blogpost said. “The work built on a long-standing idea in Soviet science that the human brain could receive and transmit a certain kind of high frequency electromagnetic radiation and that this could influence other objects too.” Kernbach provided an overview of the Soviet Union’s efforts in unconventional research between 1917 and 2003, [based] on publications in Russian technical journals and recently declassified documents. The U.S. developed a 20-year CIA program, called Project MKULTRA, which began in the early 1950s to study ways of manipulating people’s minds and altering their brain functions. The Soviets too focused on a similar program and developed a device called a "cerpan" that could generate and store high-frequency electromagnetic radiation produced by the human brain in hopes of influencing other objects.

Note: For an excellent two-page summary of reliable information on secret government mind control programs, click here. For more on mind control research and operations by the CIA, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Environmental groups sue over Navy sonar plans
2013-12-16, Fox News/Associated Press
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/16/environmental-groups-sue-navy-over-sonar...

Environmental organizations filed a lawsuit [on December 16] against the National Marine Fisheries Service to demand it force the Navy to consider alternatives to its five-year plan that will intensify its sonar use off Southern California and Hawaii. Earthjustice, representing several groups, filed the lawsuit ... only hours after the federal agency announced it had decided to grant the Navy permits to move ahead with its plans for training and testing in the Pacific. Environmentalists [favor] creating zones that would be off-limits to biologically sensitive areas [and] want the Navy to avoid training in certain spots seasonally when they are rich in marine life. "The science is clear: sonar and live-fire training in the ocean harms marine mammals," said Marsha Green of Ocean Mammal Institute. "There are safer ways to conduct Navy exercises that include time and place restrictions to avoid areas known to be vital for marine mammals' feeding, breeding and resting." Reported mass strandings of beaked whales have increased around the world since the military started using sonar more than half a century ago. The sounds can scare animals into shallow waters where they can become disoriented and wash ashore. Aside from beachings, biologists are concerned about prolonged stress from changes in diving, feeding and communication habits. Two recent studies off the Southern California coast found certain endangered blue whales and beaked whales stopped feeding and fled from recordings of noise similar to military sonar. Beaked whales are highly sensitive to sound and account for the majority of strandings near military exercises.

Note: Consider that naval sonar doesn't "scare" marine mammals, but rather drives them insane with the intensity of noise. Imagine a huge siren right next to your ears. You would certainly flee to try to get away. This is likely what is causing many of the whale and dolphin strandings. Studies have found stranded animals to have perforated ear drums, as you can read in this NBC News article. How much sound does it take to perforate an ear drum? For more on threats to marine mammals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




What 'charity' should really mean
2013-12-16, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2013/1216/What-charity-should-...

As the tax year draws to a close, the charitable tax deduction beckons. America’s wealthy are its largest beneficiaries. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $33 billion of last year’s $39 billion in total charitable deductions went to the richest 20 percent of Americans, of whom the richest 1 percent reaped the lion’s share. The generosity of the super-rich is sometimes proffered as evidence they’re contributing as much to the nation’s well-being as they did decades ago when they paid a much larger share of their earnings in taxes. Think again. A large portion of the charitable deductions now claimed by America’s wealthy are for donations to culture palaces – operas, art museums, symphonies, and theaters – where they spend their leisure time hobnobbing with other wealthy benefactors. Another portion is for contributions to the elite prep schools and universities they once attended or want their children to attend. These aren’t really charities as most people understand the term. They’re often investments in the life-styles the wealthy already enjoy and want their children to have as well. Increasingly, being rich in America means not having to come across anyone who’s not. As with all tax deductions, the government has to match the charitable deduction with additional tax revenues or spending cuts; otherwise, the budget deficit widens. In economic terms, a tax deduction is exactly the same as government spending. Which means the government will, in effect, hand out $40 billion this year for “charity” that’s going largely to wealthy people who use much of it to enhance their lifestyles.

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




The miracle of profit-sharing: Year 65 and still no layoffs
2013-12-15, PBS
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/the-miracle-of-profit-sharing-year-65-and...

When Canadian journalist ... Frank Koller published his book Spark: How Old-Fashioned Values Drive a Twenty-First-Century Corporation: Lessons from Lincoln Electric's U, about the profit-sharing model pioneered at Cleveland’s Lincoln Electric, it encouraged Making Sense to return to the manufacturer after first reporting on them back in 1992. Two years later, Koller now updates us on yet another profitable year for Lincoln. Frank Koller: Here are the latest numbers for the Ohio-based multinational welding manufacturer, now 118 years old. 80: uninterrupted years of paying an employee bonus (i.e. profitable every year since 1934). $33,029: average 2013 bonus per U.S. employee (roughly 3,000 employees). $81,366: average 2013 total earnings per U.S. employee (wages or salary + bonus). $100.7 million: total pre-tax profit shared with employees, Lincoln’s largest bonus pool ever. 0: number of layoffs in 2013 (that makes 65 years without any layoffs) #1: Lincoln Electric remains number one in the global marketplace in its industry. These figures once again provide convincing and reassuring evidence that with an unwavering commitment to respecting employees by offering the opportunity to significantly share in the profits of the firm, while demanding their very best, it is possible to run a very profitable, very large, technologically superior multinational business based in North America while also honoring a firm’s obligations to its customers, investors and society at large.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder
2013-12-15, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/health/the-selling-of-attention-deficit-dis...

After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating. Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond. But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990. He questioned the rising rates of diagnosis and called them “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.” “The numbers make it look like an epidemic. Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous,” Dr. Conners, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, said in a subsequent interview. “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustifiable levels.” The rise of A.D.H.D. diagnoses and prescriptions for stimulants over the years coincided with a remarkably successful two-decade campaign by pharmaceutical companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents. With the children’s market booming, the industry is now employing similar marketing techniques as it focuses on adult A.D.H.D., which could become even more profitable.

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




Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup
2013-12-15, New York Post
http://nypost.com/2013/12/15/inside-the-saudi-911-coverup/

After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors. But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. It was kept secret and remains so today. President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. The pages are completely blank. Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally. The Saudis deny any role in 9/11. The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents [say] they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks. Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. [Ambassador Bandar ibn-Saud] made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president.

Note: For verifiable evidence the bin Ladens were evacuated shortly after 9/11, click here. Why are most media not reporting this important story? A search showed only one other major media outlet in the US (Boston Globe at this link) that covered this news. The appearance of this article in the most popular tabloid in New York is being interpreted by some observers as a sea change in public attitudes to the tragedy of 9/11. Of course the most important question is whether there was US government involvement in the attacks. For abundant evidence implying this, see the deeply revealing reports available at our 9/11 Information Center.




Uruguay's president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills
2013-12-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/uruguay-president-jose-mujica

If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay's president, who has forsworn a state palace in favour of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle. But the former guerrilla fighter is clearly disgruntled by those who tag him "the world's poorest president" and – much as he would like others to adopt a more sober lifestyle – the 78-year-old has been in politics long enough to recognise the folly of claiming to be a model for anyone. "If I asked people to live as I live, they would kill me," Mujica said during an interview in his small but cosy one-bedroom home set amid chrysanthemum fields outside Montevideo. The president is a former member of the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which was notorious in the early 1970s for bank robberies, kidnappings and distributing stolen food and money among the poor. He was shot by police six times and spent 14 years in a military prison, much of it in dungeon-like conditions. Since becoming leader of Uruguay in 2010, however, he has won plaudits worldwide for living within his means, decrying excessive consumption and pushing ahead with policies on same-sex marriage, abortion and cannabis legalisation that have reaffirmed Uruguay as the most socially liberal country in Latin America. But the man who is best known as Pepe says those who consider him poor fail to understand the meaning of wealth. "I'm not the poorest president. The poorest is the one who needs a lot to live," he said. "My lifestyle is a consequence of my wounds. I'm the son of my history."

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




NSA review to leave spying programs largely unchanged, reports say
2013-12-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/nsa-review-to-leave-spying-progr...

A participant in a White House-sponsored review of surveillance activities described as “shameful” an apparent decision to leave most of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk spying intact. Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute, said [on December 13] that ... “The review group was searching for ways to make the most modest pivot necessary to continue business as usual.” Should the review group’s report resemble descriptions that leaked ... the report “does nothing to alter the lack of trust the global populace has for what the US is doing, and nothing to restore our reputation as an ethical internet steward,” said Meinrath, who met with the advisory panel and White House officials twice to discuss the bulk surveillance programs that have sparked international outrage. Leaks about the review group’s expected recommendations to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal strengthened Meinrath and other participants’ long-standing suspicions that much of the NSA’s sweeping spy powers would survive. The Times quoted an anonymous official familiar with the group saying its report “says we can’t dismantle these programs, but we need to change the way almost all of them operate”. According to the leaks, the review group will recommend that bulk collection of every American’s phone call data continue, possibly by the phone companies instead of the NSA, with tighter restrictions than the “reasonable, articulable suspicion” standard for searching through them that the NSA currently employs.

Note: For more on massive government intrusions of citizens' privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Police: NC teen fatally shot self in head while handcuffed
2013-12-12, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-teen-shot-self-in-head-while-handcuffed-in...

Officials in North Carolina are investigating how a teen allegedly shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said ... at a news conference that Jesus Huerta, 17, died of a self-inflicted gunshot [wound] to the head in November. Lopez said a handgun was found in the car and that Huerta was still handcuffed from behind, according to the station. "The medical examiner's office has confirmed that Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound to his head," Lopez said. "Whether that wound was accidental or intentional is unknown at this time." Huerta [had been] picked up early on Nov. 19 on a trespassing warrant stemming from a July incident, after family members reported concerns for his safety in a 911 call. Chief Lopez said Huerta was searched by police prior to the shooting incident and the weapon was not detected. "I know that it is hard for people not in law enforcement to understand how someone could be capable of shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back," Lopez said. "While incidents like this are not common, they unfortunately have happened in other jurisdictions in the past." Huerta’s family released a statement following the news conference. "How did Jesus end up dead in the parking lot at police headquarters in these circumstances? Searched. Handcuffed behind the back. How is it even possible to shoot oneself?" the statement reads.

Note: If, as the police chief states, other incidents of people shooting themselves while handcuffed behind the back have happened, maybe it's time for a thorough investigation of these police forces. For more on the deadly corruption in the government-prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




California study: Half of all police officers don't wear seat belts
2013-12-12, Denver Post/Associated Press
http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_24706310/california-study-half-all-p...

If you've ever been pulled over by a police officer for not wearing a seat belt, there's a decent chance the officer also wasn't buckled up either. While 86 percent of Americans wear seat belts, an upcoming study that will be published by California's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training estimates that roughly half of law enforcement officers don't wear them. With traffic-related fatalities the leading cause of death of officers on duty, departments nationwide are buckling down to get officers to buckle up. In 14 of the past 15 years, it wasn't a shooting but a traffic incident that was the leading cause of officer deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the 733 law enforcement officers killed in a vehicle accident from 1980 through 2008, 42 percent weren't wearing seat belts. "This is such low-hanging fruit. This fruit is on the ground almost," said Police Commission president Steve Soboroff.




Small-house movement: Living in 120 square feet
2013-12-12, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Small-house-movement-Living-in-120-s...

Jay Shafer sweats the small stuff. Hopping into a waist-high metal bathtub smaller than a shower stall, Shafer swung a faucet over his head to demonstrate how one bathes in the combination tub/shower/sink. Gesturing at the composting toilet a foot away, he added: "This bathroom is the part of this house I'm proudest of. It was inspired by the Japanese model of being very compact and very efficient. The whole room is 11 square feet, smaller than a standard closet." Thinking small, targeting simplicity and paying meticulous attention to detail exemplify Shafer's craft: designing tiny houses. The Sonoma County resident is considered a father of the tiny house movement, a burgeoning trend to live more efficiently in less space. "Jay articulated and popularized a philosophy of live small, live debt free, and have more time and freedom to pursue your life's passions," said Ryan Mitchell, editor of TheTinyLife.com, a website dedicated to living in small-scale structures. "He backed it up with some really attractive designs." From a 119-square-foot house in Graton, Shafer, 49, writes books about small dwellings; whips up blueprints for Craftsman-style houses ranging from 98 to 288 square feet; plans weekend workshops for DIYers; and sketches out his latest brainstorm: an entire village with dozens of tiny dwellings, each less than 400 square feet, plus a larger common house and other shared amenities, to be erected in Sonoma County. In fact, the county is a hotbed of the small-house movement, with an annual exhibit at the Sonoma County Fair, several small-house companies and at least 100 tiny dwellings.

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