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.
Positive Post-it Day held to encourage Airdrie teen's anti-bullying campaign
2014-10-09, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting station)
A southern Alberta city got a little brighter today after hundreds of neon Post-it notes with inspiring hand-written messages started popping up at homes, shops and offices in Airdrie. The movement was started by a local high school student trying to fight off a bully. Caitlin Prater-Haacke had been sent a message on Facebook telling her to kill herself. Instead of replying to the message, Prater-Haacke took out a marker and some small pads of paper. She decided to fight back by posting positive messages on every locker in her school. "Little simple messages like, 'You're beautiful' [and] 'You shine bright like a diamond,'" she said. But officials at George McDougall High School didn't like the idea and told her it was littering, which didn't sit well with the community. City council then declared Oct. 9 as Positive Post-it Day. "What's come out of it is 100 times better," said Prater-Haacke, adding she can't believe the support she has received. The school is now filled with the sticky notes, and this time the school says the colourful messages can stay. But it wasn't just among students, as other Airdrie residents also embraced the movement. "I think it put a smile on everyone's face this morning and I think it gave them that little bit of extra oomph for the morning to get them going," said resident David Jones. The campaign has taken off online.
Note: Watch an inspiring two-minute video about Caitlan's movement. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Ebola is highly contagious … plus seven other myths about the virus
2014-10-09, The Guardian
The outbreak is certainly a grave issue for west Africa, a public health priority, and has been exacerbated by a slow response from international bodies and rich nations. It has already claimed more than 3,800 lives, and could claim far more without an appropriate international response. But it is also not the species-ending disaster some fear it could be. Compared with most common diseases, Ebola is not particularly infectious. Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days between infection and showing symptoms (though it’s generally shorter). This is part of the fuel behind fears people could travel from west Africa then spread the disease. However, in general, people who display no Ebola symptoms are not yet infectious – and in any case, casual social contact (being nearby, or even shaking hands) generally doesn’t spread the virus. There are many things epidemiologists (and others) think we should worry about far more. Top of the list is a repeat of a deadly pandemic flu. Despite a few near misses, we’ve yet to see a repeat of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, which devastated nations already barely recovered from war, killing the youngest and healthiest. If you must fear a pandemic, it’s a much better candidate than Ebola. There are extensive measures in place for such a situation, but officials agree they all leave much to be desired. Ebola is a serious problem, which anyone with a degree of compassion should be concerned about. But if you’re in the west, it is astonishingly unlikely it will affect you, or anyone you know, personally. Perhaps, though, it’s only that fear that’s making us pay the virus any attention at all.
Note: Read an article by father of Reaganomics Paul Craig Roberts revealing that there may be a hidden agenda in the ebola epidemic. For more examples of medical fear mongering, see powerful media reports suggesting that both the Avian Flu and Swine Flu were manipulated to promote fear and boost pharmaceutical sales. For more accurate information about health, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Justice fears for child sex abuse victims
2014-10-09, Yahoo! News Australia
The ability of the courts to secure justice for child sexual abuse victims may be diminishing, despite decades of law reform, the head of a royal commission says. Justice Peter McClellan gave the warning as data covering almost 20 years showed a massive fall in the number of child sexual abuse cases that make it to court. An analysis of police and court data from NSW suggests a steady increase in the number of incidents of child sexual assault offences reported between 1995 and 2013. But for the same period, the proportion of child sexual assaults reported to police where charges were laid declined dramatically, from around 60 per cent in 1995, to around 15 per cent in 2013. The figures have raised concerns the trend is being replicated across other jurisdictions. "In spite of the issues being well known, and in spite of decades of reform, the preliminary results from some of our research suggest that the opportunity to secure justice for victims of child sexual abuse through the criminal justice system may in fact be decreasing, rather than increasing," he said. Justice McClellan said further reform must be considered, including introducing special child sex abuse courts, and even eliminating juries. The decline in prosecutions also raised the prospect that complainants find the criminal justice system too traumatic or damaging, he said. "If the system is too damaging or traumatic for complainants, then we must consider how the system could be improved for the complainant, while still delivering a fair trial for the accused."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Rotherham child abuse scandal: Missing files 'fuel public suspicion of a deliberate cover-up’, say MPs
2014-10-08, The Independent
Fears of a “deliberate cover-up” by public officials of the sexual abuse of children in Rotherham have been fueled by the large number of documents ... which have vanished, an investigation by MPs has concluded. They urged the Home Office to examine claims that files were stolen from a locked council office in the South Yorkshire town. At least 1,400 girls as young as 11 were groomed and abused by gangs in the town over a 16 year period. The committee raised suspicions that officials colluded to conceal evidence. The MPs heard from a former researcher who was hired by Rotherham Council. She referred in a report, which was about to be sent to the Home Office, to the “alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers”, the committee said. An unknown individual subsequently gained access to her office and removed all of the data relating to the Home Office work. There were no signs of a forced entry and the action involved moving through key-coded and locked security doors. "She was also subjected to personal hostility at the hands of Council officials and police officers,” the committee said. The MPs said: “This is not the first case in which it has been alleged that files of information relating to child sexual exploitation have disappeared. Keith Vaz, the committee chairman, said: “A number of individuals attempted to bring these crimes to light, only to face obstacles from the council and police."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Files on Winona Diocese clergy who abused children are made public
2014-10-08, StarTribune (Leading newspaper of Minneapolis)
Long-sealed records of 14 Catholic priests who worked in four high schools and 45 parishes across southern Minnesota were opened to public scrutiny Tuesday, revealing hundreds of documents indicating that the Diocese of Winona did not report claims of child sex abuse to law enforcement, did not remove offenders from ministry, and continued to financially support the priests even as the patterns of abuse became clear. The Winona Diocese “anticipates eventual bankruptcy” as a result of that lawsuit and others being filed under the new Minnesota Child Victims Act. The 14 priests worked in all four high schools in the diocese. The files, including mental health reports on the priests and detailed complaints of sexual abuse, were made public as part of a groundbreaking lawsuit making its way through Ramsey District Court. “The files being released on each of these credibly accused offenders reflects not only their history of offenses, but how they have been handled by top officials over the years,” said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the lawsuit. “Every time we disclose the past, we make it less likely to be repeated in the future.” The sexual abuse ranged from oral sex to fondling to rape, the documents showed. Emotional abuse often accompanied the physical abuse. For example, the Rev. Richard Hatch would force one of his boy victims to have oral sex and then make him go to confession and confess it as if he were the cause of it, documents showed. Like other dioceses, Winona kept the priests on the move, even after serious allegation of abuse.
Note: How many more terrible abuses like this are not being exposed because the Catholic Church and many other groups refuse to release their secret files showing just how bad it was. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Robert B. Reich: Why we allow Big Pharma to rip us off
2014-10-07, Chicago Tribune
America spends a fortune on drugs, more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations. Of the estimated $2.7 trillion America spends annually on health care, drugs account for 10 percent of the total. Government pays some of this tab through Medicare, Medicaid and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But we pick up the tab indirectly through our taxes. We pay the rest of it directly, through higher co-payments, deductibles and premiums. Drug company payments to doctors are a small part of a much larger strategy by Big Pharma to clean our pockets ... The drug companies say they need the additional profits to pay for researching and developing new drugs. But the government supplies much of the research Big Pharma relies on, through the National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, Big Pharma is spending more on advertising and marketing than on research and development -- often tens of millions to promote a single drug. And it's spending hundreds of millions more every year on lobbying. Last year alone, the lobbying tab came to $225 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's more than the formidable lobbying expenditures of America's military contractors. In addition, Big Pharma is spending heavily on political campaigns. In 2012, it shelled out over $36 million, making it the biggest political contributor of all American industries.
Note: Read how cancer research is crippled by the greed of drug companies in the New York Times article Profits Over Patients. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Secretly Buying Access to a Governor
2014-10-07, New York Times
Addicted to each other’s power and money, the political parties and their corporate donors are constantly trying to enlarge their relationship out of sight of the American public. An accidental Internet disclosure last month showed that the stealthy form of political corruption known as “dark money” now fully permeates governor’s offices around the country, allowing corporations to push past legal barriers and gather enormous influence. This has been going on nationally for several years ... after wealthy interests claimed that a series of legal decisions allowed them to give unlimited and undisclosed amounts to “social welfare” groups that pretended not to engage in politics. (The tax code prohibits these groups from having politics as a primary purpose.) Now it turns out that both the Republican and Democratic governors’ associations have also set up social welfare groups ... with the purpose of raising secret political money. Thanks to the computer slip ... we now know some of the people and corporations that secretly contributed. Companies that gave at the highest level (more than $250,000) included Exxon Mobil, the Corrections Corporation of America, Pfizer and the Koch companies. In exchange for their private donations, “members” of [one key] group were invited to a symposium last year [where] they were allowed to meet with (and lobby) some of the highest-ranking officials and regulators in states with Republican governors. Big donors are given “the greatest opportunity possible to meet and talk informally with the Republican governors and their key staff members.” The Democratic Governors Association does exactly the same thing, regularly providing access to top state executives in exchange for large contributions. Both parties are routinely selling access to the nation’s governors and their staffs to those with the most resources.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Key Democrats, Led by Hillary Clinton, Leave No doubt that Endless War is Official U.S. Doctrine
2014-10-07, The Intercept with Glenn Greenwald
Any doubts about whether Endless War ... is official American doctrine should be permanently erased by this week’s comments from two leading Democrats, both former top national security officials in the Obama administration. Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama’s new bombing campaign: “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.” He criticized Obama ... for being insufficiently militaristic. Then we have Hillary Clinton [who] at an event in Ottawa yesterday ... proclaimed that the fight against these “militants” will “be a long-term struggle” that should entail an “information war” as “well as an air war.” The new war, she said, is “essential” and the U.S. shies away from fighting it “at our peril.” Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear ... that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama’s foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational. “Endless War” is not dramatic rhetorical license but a precise description of America’s foreign policy. It’s not hard to see why. A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights. It also entails a massive transfer of public wealth to the “homeland security” and weapons industry (which the US media deceptively calls the “defense sector”). The War on Terror ... was designed from the start to be endless. This war ... thus enables an endless supply of power and profit to flow to those political and economic factions that control the government regardless of election outcomes.
Note: Read the prophetic writings of one of the most highly decorated US generals ever describing how he discovered after retirement that war is created by bankers and mega-corporations to funnel ever more tax-payer money into their coffers. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
First hint of 'life after death' in biggest ever scientific study
2014-10-07, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely. Scientists at the University of Southampton have spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria. And they found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted. One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room. Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines. “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,” said Dr Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University ... who led the study. “But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. The man described everything that had happened in the room." Of 2060 cardiac arrest patients studied, 330 survived and of 140 surveyed, 39 per cent said they had experienced some kind of awareness while being resuscitated. One in five said they had felt an unusual sense of peacefulness. Some recalled seeing a bright light. 13 per cent said they had felt separated from their bodies.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring near-death experience news articles and explore other fascinating resources on this most vital topic.
Can life in a nursing home be made uplifting and purposeful?
2014-10-04, The Telegraph
In 1991, in the tiny town of New Berlin, in upstate New York, a young physician named Bill Thomas ... had just taken a new job as medical director of Chase Memorial Nursing Home. More farmer than doctor, [Thomas] had a Paul Bunyan beard and was more apt to wear overalls beneath his white coat than a tie. From the first day on the job, he felt the stark contrast between the giddy, thriving abundance of life that he experienced on his farm and the confined, institutionalised absence of life that he encountered every time he went to work. So, acting on little more than instinct, he decided to try to put some life into the nursing home. They moved in ... one hundred parakeets, four dogs, two cats, plus a colony of rabbits and a flock of laying hens. [They also planted] hundreds of indoor plants and a thriving vegetable and flower garden, [and introduced] on-site child care for the staff. Researchers studied the effects of this programme over two years, comparing a variety of measures for Chase’s residents with those of residents at another nursing home nearby. Their study found that the number of prescriptions required per resident fell to half that of the control nursing home. The total drug costs fell to only 38 per cent of the comparison facility. Deaths fell 15 per cent. The study couldn’t say why. But Thomas thought he could.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Why war? It's a question Americans should be asking.
2014-10-04, Los Angeles Times
As the United States charges once more into war, little debate has centered on the actual utility of war. Instead, policymakers and pundits have focused their comments on combating the latest danger to our nation and its interests. In late August, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed Islamic State was an “imminent threat to every interest we have” and that the sophisticated group was “beyond anything we've seen.” With few dissenting voices, either in Congress or in the American media, U.S. air forces plunged again into the unstable region of the Middle East. For well over a decade — one might suggest over multiple decades — the United States has been engaged in war, yet so few in the public sphere seem willing to ask, as a Vietnam-era hit song did: “War, what is it good for?” It seems plausible to argue that war is a phenomenon increasingly serving itself rather than any durable political goals. War as a political tool has more and more demonstrated its inability to deliver. As historian Mary Dudziak has artfully suggested, “Military conflict has been ongoing for decades, yet public policy rests on the false assumption that it is an aberration.” If war provides meaning, why, as Dudziak asks, does military engagement no longer require “the support of the American people but instead their inattention”? If a theory of forward defense, of fighting on someone else's shores rather than our own, is the rationale for constant war, when will we achieve a sense of national security that no longer requires constant battle? What if peace never comes? What if war only engenders new enemies and new threats? War ... has not assuaged our fears of vulnerability. It has not left us with a more stable international environment. So we come back to that song's question: “War, what is it good for?” And we have to at least consider the song's answer: “Absolutely nothing.”
Note: Kudos to the LA Times for publishing this article, though it fails to mention that war is very good for lining the pockets of all involved with the huge warm industry. Read the prophetic writings of one of the most highly decorated US generals ever describing how he discovered after retirement that war is created by mega-corporations to funnel ever more tax-payer money into their coffers. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
A Supersecret Spacecraft Comes Back to Earth After Two Years
The U.S. Air Force has kept an unmanned space shuttle in orbit for the past two years. No one without security clearance knows what it’s been doing up there. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which can enter orbit and land without human intervention, is scheduled to touch down this week. The landing will mark completion of the program’s third and longest mission. The Air Force has two such spacecraft for these low-earth orbit missions, all of which are classified. “The mission is basically top secret,” says Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman. Marco Caceres, a space analyst with Teal Group, says the Air Force is most likely interested in having a surveillance platform that can “maneuver in orbit faster” than satellites. The Air Force appears to be planning a future for the program. Speculation has flourished online about what the government is doing. Theories range from surveillance to [developing] the platform for a new generation of kinetic weapons that can be used from space [to] testing the craft so it can eventually drop special-forces soldiers from space to anywhere on the planet, within minutes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government secrecy from reliable major media sources.
Scientists Create Very First Solar Battery that Stores its Own Power
2014-10-03, Science World Report
Scientists may have created the very first solar battery. Researchers have succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device, which could be huge in terms of renewable energy capture and storage. "The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy," said Yiying Wu, one of the researchers, in a news release. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost." The key to the new device is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery. There's also a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode; inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery. "Basically, it's a breathing battery," said Wu. "It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges." The mesh solar panel forms the first electrode. Beneath the mesh is a thin sheet of porous carbon, which acts as the second electrode, and a lithium plate, which acts as the third electrode. Between the electrodes are layers of electrolyte to carry electrons back and forth. During charging, light hits the mesh solar panel and creates electrons. Then inside the battery, electrons are involved in the chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, and the lithium ions are stored in the battery as lithium metal after capturing the electrons. The findings could be huge in terms of creating sustainable energy for powering a variety of devices. Currently, the researchers are continuing to move forward in improving the efficiency of the battery and the amount of power the panel can absorb and convert. The findings are published in the journal Nature.
Note: For astounding major media articles on new energy inventions which have gotten very little press, explore this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The NSA and Me: By Former ABC Producer James Bamford
2014-10-02, The Intercept
My biggest battle with the NSA came before my book [The Puzzle Palace] was even published. I had obtained the criminal file that the Justice Department had opened on the NSA. Marked as Top Secret, the file was so sensitive that only two original copies existed. Never before or since has an entire agency been the subject of a criminal investigation. Senior officials at the NSA were even read their Miranda rights. Issued on June 6, 1975, the report noted that both the NSA and CIA had engaged in questionable and possibly illegal electronic surveillance. As a result, Attorney General Edward Levi established a secret internal task force to look into the potential for criminal prosecution. Focusing particularly on NSA, the task force probed more deeply into domestic eavesdropping than any part of the executive branch had ever done before. The report’s prosecutive summary also pointed to the NSA’s top-secret “charter” issued by the Executive Branch, which exempts the agency from legal restraints placed on the rest of the government. This ... meant the NSA did not have to follow any restrictions placed on electronic surveillance “unless it was expressly directed to do so.” In short, the report asked, how can you prosecute an agency that is above the law? More than three decades later, the NSA, like a mom-and-pop operation that has exploded into a global industry, now employs sweeping powers of surveillance that Frank Church could scarcely have imagined in the days of wired phones and clunky typewriters. At the same time, the Senate intelligence committee he once chaired has done an about face, protecting the agencies from the public rather than the public from the agencies. Without adequate oversight, or penalties for abuse, the only protection that citizens have comes not from Congress or the courts, but from whistleblowers.
Note: James Bamford is the courageous ABC producer and investigative reporter who first exposed the declassified Operation Northwoods files in the May of 2001. These files showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the top Pentagon generals were willing to carry out false flag terrorism activities which would kill innocent civilians in order to foment war fever against Cuba. Yet only ABC News out of all the major media outlets was willing to report this most shocking news. Don't miss the entire, highly revealing article by Bamford at the link above.
Resurrecting a Disgraced Reporter
2014-10-02, New York Times
As part of their insurgency against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, some of the C.I.A.-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report. Gary Webb, a journalist at The San Jose Mercury News, thought it was a far-fetched story to begin with, but in 1995 and 1996, he dug in and produced a deeply reported and deeply flawed three-part series called “Dark Alliance.” That groundbreaking series was among the first to blow up on the nascent web, and he was initially celebrated, then investigated and finally discredited. Pushed out of journalism in disgrace, he committed suicide in 2004. [The movie] “Kill the Messenger” ... suggests that he told a truth others were unwilling to. Mr. Webb was not the first journalist to come across [such matters]. In December 1985, The Associated Press reported that three contra groups had “engaged in cocaine trafficking, in part to help finance their war against Nicaragua.” Major news outlets mostly gave the issue a pass. Peter Landesman, an investigative journalist who wrote the screenplay, was struck by the reflex to go after Mr. Webb. “Planeloads of weapons were sent south from the U.S., and everyone knows that those planes didn’t come back empty, but the C.I.A. made sure that they never knew for sure what was in those planes,” he said. “But instead of going after that, they went after Webb." In 1998, Frederick P. Hitz, the C.I.A. inspector general, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that after looking into the matter at length, he believed the C.I.A. was a bystander — or worse — in the war on drugs. However dark or extensive, the alliance Mr. Webb wrote about was a real one.
Note: Webb's story was not deeply flawed, as reported in this article. His editor even commented that four Washington Post writers could not find one significant factual error, but then changed his mind after CIA leaders threatened the paper. Read a Sacrament Bee newspaper article for more on Webb and his story. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mass Media Information Center.
Our Dysfunctional Financial System
2014-10-02, Time Magazine
Did anyone ever doubt that the New York Fed was in hock to Wall Street? Or that Fed bank examiners ... might fear alienating the powerful financiers on whom they depend for information or future jobs? It’s one thing to know and another to hear in painful, crackling detail how the Fed’s financial cops slip on their velvet gloves to deal with Goldman Sachs. Or how Segarra, one of a group of examiners brought in after the financial crisis to keep a closer watch on the till, was fired, perhaps for doing her job. Consider one of the shady deals highlighted on the secret tapes of New York Fed meetings, which Segarra made with a spy recorder before she was let go and which were made public on Sept. 26. The Fed employees, who work inside the banks they examine (yes, it’s literally an inside job), knew the deal was dodgy. Numerous experts believe that the size of the financial sector is slowing growth in the real economy by sucking the monetary oxygen out of the room. Banks don’t want to lend; they want to trade, often via esoteric deals that do almost nothing for anyone outside Wall Street. This disconnect between the real economy and finance is now being closely studied by policymakers and academics. Adair Turner, a former British banking regulator, thinks that only about 15% of U.K. financial flows go to the real economy; the rest stay within the financial system, propping up existing corporate assets, supporting trading and enabling $40 million briefcase-watching fees. If the New York Fed really wants to redeem itself, it might consider commissioning a similar study to look at Wall Street’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.
Scientists Prove That Telepathic Communication Is Within Reach
2014-10-02, Smithsonian Magazine
In a recent experiment, a person in India said “hola” and “ciao” to three other people in France. Today, the Web, smartphones and international calling might make that not seem like an impressive feat, but it was. The greetings were not spoken, typed or texted. The communication in question happened between the brains of a set of study subjects, marking one of the first instances of brain-to-brain communication on record. The team, whose members come from Barcelona-based research institute Starlab, French firm Axilum Robotics and Harvard Medical School, published its findings earlier this month in the journal PLOS One. Study co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone ... hopes this and forthcoming research in the field will one day provide a new communication pathway for patients who might not be able to speak. “We want to improve the ways people can communicate in the face of limitations — those who might not be able to speak or have sensory impairments,” he says. “Can we work around those limitations and communicate with another person or a computer?” Pascual-Leone’s experiment was successful — the correspondents neither spoke, nor typed, nor even looked at one another. But he freely concedes that the test was more a proof of concept than anything else, and the technique still has a long way to go. Brain-to-brain communication could find applications across many disciplines. At the same time, Pascual-Leone cautions that scientists must also keep in mind the ethics of telepathy.
Note: To learn more, see this infographic describing the process, and read another informative article exploring this fascinating topic.
Moral Courage & The Story of Sister Megan Rice
2014-10-01, Daily Good
The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oakridge, Tennessee, is supposed to be impregnable. But on July 28th 2012, an 84 year-old nun called Sister Megan Rice broke through a series of high-security fences surrounding the plant and reached a uranium storage bunker at the center of the complex. She was accompanied by Greg Boertje-Obed (57) and Michael Walli (63). The trio ... sat down for a picnic. When the security guards arrived they offered them some bread. Two years later, Rice, Walli and Boertje-Obed were sentenced to federal prison terms of between three and five years, plus restitution in the amount of $53,000 for damage done to the plant - far in excess of the estimates produced at their trial. When questioned about her actions at her trial by Judge Amul Thapar, Rice told him that her actions were intended to draw attention to the US stockpile of nuclear weapons that she and her co-defendants felt was illegal and immoral. They also wanted to expose the ineffectiveness of the security systems that were supposed to protect these weapons from theft or damage. “We were acutely mindful of the widespread loss to humanity that nuclear weapons have already caused,” wrote Rice afterwards in a letter to her supporters, “and we realize that all life on earth could be exterminated through intentional, accidental or technical error. Our action exposed the storage of weapons-making materials deliberately hidden from the general public.” All three defendants were found guilty of “sabotage of the national defense.” Just before they were sentenced, Rice made a statement to the court which ended like this: “We have to speak, and we’re happy to die for that. To remain in prison for the rest of my life is the greatest honor that you could give me. Please don’t be lenient with me. It would be an honor for that to happen.”
Note: If you would like to receive copies of Sister Rice’s letters to her supporters, please email email@example.com. Mailing addresses for Sister Rice and her co-defendants can be found here and here. You can also sign a petition requesting their pardon.
Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'
2014-10-01, NPR Blog
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street. "You really do, for a moment, get to be the fly on the wall that watches all of it, and there it is to be exposed to everyone: the cozy relationship, the fact that the Fed is more concerned about its relationship with a too-big-to-fail bank than it is with protecting the American public," Warren says. The recordings don't reveal anything outright illegal. Instead, they reveal Fed officials discussing "legal but shady" transactions and then wringing their hands over how to delicately bring them up with the bank. Warren, who before coming into office led an effort to create the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says that trepidation is another thing wrong with regulators today. "The fact that Goldman could mount a legal defense here is not really the point of these tapes. The point of these tapes is that the regulators are backing off long before anyone's in court making a legal argument about whether or not they came right up to the line or they crossed over the line." The bottom line, Warren says, is that the United States needs regulators "who understand that they work for the American people, not for the big banks."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Train Turns 50
2014-10-01, ABC News/Associated Press
Zipping cross-country in a super-high speed train has become commonplace in many countries these days, but it was unheard of when Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka 50 years ago Wednesday. The Shinkansen, as it's called in Japan, gave a boost to train travel in Europe and Asia at a time when the rise of the automobile and the airplane threatened to eclipse it. The first bullet train, with its almost cute bulbous round nose, traveled from Tokyo to Osaka in four hours, shaving two and a half hours off the 513-kilometer (319-mile) journey. The latest model, with a space-age-like elongated nose, takes just two hours and 25 minutes. The first Shinkansen had a maximum speed of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour. The fastest trains previously, in Europe, could reach 160 kph. Today's bullet trains, in Japan and elsewhere, have reached and in some cases exceeded 300 kph (186 mph). By average speed, China has the fastest train in the world, averaging 284 kph. Turkey last year became the ninth country to operate a train at an average speed of 200 kph. South Korea and Taiwan also operate high-speed systems in Asia. The fastest train in the U.S., Amtrak's Acela Express, averages 169 kph (105 mph) on a short stretch between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware. Shanghai launched a German-built maglev train in 2004 on a 30-kilometer route between the city and the airport. It can hit 430 kph (267 mph). A Japanese maglev train in development has topped 500 kph (310 mph) in tests.
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