Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
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.
Six of the largest U.S. school districts are switching to antibiotic-free chicken, officials said on Tuesday, pressuring the world's top meat companies to adjust production practices in the latest push against drugs used on farms. The move by districts in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County and Orlando County is intended to protect children's health amid concerns about the rise of so-called "superbugs," bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines. The change may raise costs for schools. The six districts ... hope to limit costs by combining their purchasing power. Under the new standards, all chicken products served in the districts must come from birds that were never fed antibiotics. School officials are demanding the change after meeting with industry experts and "really understanding how this affects the human body overall and our future with antibiotic resistance," said Leslie Fowler, executive director of nutrition support services for the Chicago Public Schools. The switch is expected to take several years. Companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrim's Pride Corp have said they will not be able to change production systems quickly. A Reuters investigation in September found that major U.S. poultry firms were administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realized.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s last act as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee ... had Washington’s most powerful forces arrayed against her. At the end ... Feinstein said she was more determined than ever to release the summary of a 6,700-page report on the CIA’s use of torture after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “She has been vilified, the committee was spied on, the CIA and its supporters ran what amounted to a domestic disinformation campaign against the report and the committee,” said Stephen Rickard, executive director of the Open Society Policy Center, a civil liberties and human rights group in Washington. “She did her job.” Her job was to provide congressional oversight of an executive branch agency, and she met prolonged and intense resistance. Feinstein called the report “the most significant and comprehensive oversight report in the committee’s history, and perhaps in that of the U.S. Senate.” The Senate panel examined nearly 6.3 million pages of documents, without Republican cooperation and against the resistance of the CIA, which went so far as to hack Intelligence Committee computers and threaten to bring criminal charges against the staff. Although President Obama insisted he wanted the report made public, administration officials reportedly pressed for redactions that Senate Democrats said would make the report meaningless.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.
While [Ketamine] has been used as an anesthetic for decades, small studies at prestigious medical centers like Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest it can relieve depression in many people who are not helped by widely used conventional antidepressants like Prozac or Lexapro. And the depression seems to melt away within hours, rather than the weeks typically required for a conventional antidepressant. Pharmaceutical companies hope to [develop] drugs that work like ketamine but without the side effects, which are often described as out-of-body experiences. Some doctors and patients are not waiting for the pharmaceutical industry. Because ketamine has long been approved for anesthesia, doctors are allowed to use it off-label to treat depression. ”There is clearly a need for new drugs. “Almost half of depressed patients are not being treated adequately by existing drugs,” said Dr. Sheldon H. Preskorn, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. That, he said, is because virtually all the antidepressants used in the last 60 years work essentially the same way. Ketamine would represent a new mechanism of action. “Synaptic connections that help us to cope seem to grow back,” said Dr. John H. Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale and a pioneer in the study of ketamine for depression.
Note: A 2012 NPR story provides more detail about the ketamine research done at Yale to treat depression. Could this put a stop to the thousands of horror stories involving conventional antidepressants?
The end-of-year spending bill deal crafted by congressional leaders Tuesday would dramatically expand the amount of money that wealthy political donors could inject into the national parties, drastically undercutting the 2002 landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul. The language – inserted on page 1,599 of the 1,603-page bill – would allow ... a donor who gave the maximum $32,400 this year to the Democratic National Committee or Republican National Committee ... to donate another $291,600 on top of that to the party’s additional arms -- a total of $324,000, ten times the current limit. In a two-year election cycle, a couple could give $1,296,000 to a party's various accounts. "These provisions have never been considered by the House or Senate, and were never even publicly mentioned before today," said Fred Wertheimer, president of the advocacy group Democracy 21. Adam Smith, spokesman for the group Every Voice, said in a statement, “Very few people can write checks almost twice the size of the country’s median income, but that’s what this provision will allow. It gives the biggest donors another opportunity to influence politics and buys them more access to politicians.” Campaign finance experts were taken aback by the scope of the measure, rumors of which first surfaced Tuesday, hours before the deal was finalized.
The U.S. Supreme Court building proclaims a high ideal: “Equal Justice Under Law.” But inside, an elite cadre of lawyers has emerged [to give] their clients a disproportionate chance to influence the law. A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court ... were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others. About half [of these 66 lawyers] worked for justices past or present, and some socialize with them. Although they account for far less than 1 percent of lawyers who filed appeals to the Supreme Court, these attorneys were involved in 43 percent of the cases the high court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012. The Reuters examination of the Supreme Court’s docket, the most comprehensive ever, suggests ... a decided advantage for corporate America. Some legal experts contend that the reliance on a small cluster of specialists, most working on behalf of businesses, has turned the Supreme Court into an echo chamber – a place where an elite group of jurists embraces an elite group of lawyers who reinforce narrow views of how the law should be construed. Of the 66 most successful lawyers, 51 worked for law firms that primarily represented corporate interests. In cases pitting the interests of customers, employees or other individuals against those of companies, a leading attorney was three times more likely to launch an appeal for business than for an individual, Reuters found.
Note: How interesting that no major media seem to have picked up this revealing story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year. The Times reported previously how individual attorneys general have shut down investigations, changed policies or agreed to more corporate-friendly settlement terms [for] campaign benefactors. But the attorneys general are also working collectively. Out of public view, corporate representatives and attorneys general are coordinating legal strategy and other efforts to fight federal regulations, according to a review of thousands of emails and court documents and dozens of interviews. Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma [used his post] to help start what he and allies called the Rule of Law campaign. That campaign, in which attorneys general band together to operate like a large national law firm, has been used to back lawsuits and other challenges against the Obama administration on environmental issues, the Affordable Care Act and securities regulation. The most recent target is the president’s executive action on immigration. Coordination between the corporations and teams of attorneys general involved in the Rule of Law effort also involves actual litigation to try to clear roadblocks to energy projects, documents show.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Eric Garner was not the first American to be choked by the police, and he will not be the last, thanks to legal rules that prevent victims of police violence from asking federal courts to help stop deadly practices. The 1983 case City of Los Angeles v. Lyons vividly illustrates the problem. That case also involved an African-American man choked by the police without provocation. Unlike Mr. Garner, Adolph Lyons survived. He then filed a federal lawsuit, asking the city to compensate him for his injuries. He also asked the court to prevent the Los Angeles Police Department from using chokeholds in the future. The trial court ordered the L.A.P.D. to stop using chokeholds. The Supreme Court overturned this order. The court explained that Mr. Lyons would have needed to prove that he personally was likely to be choked again in order for his lawsuit to be a vehicle for systemic reform. This is the legal standard when a plaintiff asks a federal court for an injunction — or a forward-looking legal order. When the stakes are this deadly, federal courts should step in. If police departments still failed to comply, federal judges could impose penalties. How do we know? Consider school segregation. Local officials had promised change but failed to ensure it. It took decades of close supervision by federal courts to make a dent in the problem. As the courts started to leave this field in more recent years, de facto segregation returned.
In the largest opium harvest in Afghanistan's history; with a record 224,000 hectares under cultivation this year, the country produced an estimated 6,400 tons of opium, or around 90 percent of the world's supply. In Afghanistan today, according to U.N. estimates, the opium industry accounts for 15 percent of the economy. The Afghan narcotics trade has gotten undeniably worse since the U.S.-led invasion: The country produces twice as much opium as it did in 2000. In the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, I arrange an interview with a drug smuggler. I'll call him Sami. He grew up in a camp near the border town of Chagai, in Pakistan. After finishing 11th grade, he got work as a driver and began ... smuggling opium through the desert. Baramcha, a smuggling hub on the Afghan side of the border ... functions as a kind of switching station for much of the opium trade. "The security situation is good ... the drug smugglers and the ISI are tight together," he says, referring to Pakistan's intelligence service. The United States' alliances with opium traffickers in Afghanistan go back to the 1980s, when the CIA waged a dirty war to undermine the Soviet occupation of the country. Large-scale cultivation was introduced [with] support from the ISI and the CIA. U.S. counternarcotics programs, which have cost nearly $8 billion to date, and the Afghan state-building project in general, are perversely part of ... the drug trade.
Note: Read the complete article above for an in depth look at the Afghan narcotics trade. For more, read this 2002 news article, which shows that the Taliban had nearly eliminated opium production in Afghanistan prior to the US led invasion. Yet once the allies defeated the Taliban, opium production hit new records. Today, Afghanistan produces 90% of the global opium supply. This huge source of income is used to fund all kinds of secret projects. Read powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.
The American Red Cross regularly touts how responsible it is with donors' money. "We're very proud of the fact that 91 cents of every dollar that's donated goes to our services," Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern said in a speech in Baltimore last year. The problem with that number: It isn't true. After inquiries by ProPublica and NPR, the Red Cross removed the statement from its website. In recent years, the Red Cross' fundraising expenses alone have been as high as 26 cents of every donated dollar. But even that understates matters. The charity spends additional money on "management and general" expenses. That means the portion of donated dollars going to overhead is even higher. After being contacted by ProPublica and NPR, the charity changed the wording on its website to another formulation it frequently uses: that 91 cents of every dollar the charity "spends" goes to humanitarian services. But that too is misleading to donors. The charity spent $467 million, or 14 percent of total spending, on its famous domestic disaster response programs, including the expensive Sandy relief effort. The Red Cross doesn't break down its spending on overhead and declined ProPublica and NPR's request to do so. Other figures the Red Cross frequently cites also appear to be unreliable.
Note: This ongoing NPR/ProPublica investigation has also found that the Red Cross used courts to hide its spending habits, and diverted funds from disaster relief to manipulate the media. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about corporate corruption from reliable sources.
No one likes -- or trusts -- the government. At this point, that's accepted conventional wisdom. And most people assume it has always been like that. But that lack of trust hasn't always been a part of the American experience -- as this awesome chart from our friends at the Pew Research Center shows. The downward trajectory is stark. The collapse began during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, which, not coincidentally, overlapped with the Vietnam War. The 1970s -- thanks to Vietnam and Watergate -- sped up the loss of faith in the government. And, after a quasi-resurgence during the 1980s, the trend line for the past few decades is quite clear. With the exception of relatively brief spikes that overlap with the first Gulf War and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the number of people who trust the government has been steadily declining; the last time Pew asked the question, in February, just 24 percent said they trust the government "always" or "most of the time". Exit polling from the 2014 midterms makes clear that things haven't improved. That's a tough starting place for any politician. But, if the chart [linked to] above is any indication, it's the new normal.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption.
Entrepreneurs and established companies alike depend on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly released documents reveal that the office, tasked with evaluating and protecting the rights to intellectual property, has a covert system for delaying controversial or inconvenient patents. It’s a system that ... could function as a way to limit or stomp out emerging companies. Before today, the program — named the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) — has been mentioned only anecdotally by examiners who work in or with the office, and in a government memo that was leaked in March 2006. However, a new 50-page document obtained by a law firm’s Freedom of Information Act request shows the sweeping scope and conflicting interests of this particular set of rules. The law firm behind the request, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, frequently represents major tech companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter, and Oracle. For Thomas Franklin, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend, applications that he prosecutes typically issue as patents 22 months after filing. Any application that is categorized in SAWS, however ... can be delayed for years. There is no official channel to notify an applicant once her patent is placed in the system. Franklin told Yahoo Tech., “That’s what piqued my interest as a constitutional issue. There’s a secret program that they’re not supposed to talk about.”
Note: When the government has a "property interest" in any patent application, it may be rejected, stolen, or classified according to secret criteria. Among new energy technology researchers, it is well known that the patent office can block patents of amazing inventions that could cost oil and energy companies billions of dollars. Read this excellent summary for more on this.
In Xiaolin Zheng's version of the future, installing solar panels could be as simple as applying a sticker. “In China, the rooftops of many buildings are packed with solar energy devices,” says Zheng. “One day my father mentioned how great it would be if a building’s entire surface could be used for solar power, not just the roof, but also walls and windows.” An invention from Zheng's research team at Stanford University might someday make that possible. They have created a type of solar cell that is thin, flexible, and adhesive—a solar sticker. “Our new technique lets us treat the solar cells like a pizza,” explains Zheng. “When you bake pizza, you use a metal pan that can tolerate high temperatures. But when it’s time to distribute the pizza economically, it’s placed in a paper box." Working with her students, Zheng set out to fabricate solar cells on a silicone or glass surface as usual, but she inserted a metallic layer between the cell and the surface. After some trial and error, the team was finally able to peel away the metallic layer from the surface. The result was ... skinny, bendable cells [that] can produce the same amount of electricity as rigid ones. According to Zheng. “The silicon wafers come through the process clean and shiny. So just like a pizza pan, they can be used again and again, which translates to savings.” And because the solar stickers are lighter than conventional panels, they will be easier and less expensive to install.
Note: Watch a video of this amazing process at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A campaign launching Tuesday aims to get growing businesses to do what San Francisco’s Salesforce.com did in its infancy 15 years ago: Promise to donate 1 percent of its equity, 1 percent of its employees’ time and 1 percent of the firm’s products to charity. Called the Pledge 1% Program — and led by Salesforce and others — it aims to get 500 other corporations to do the same over the next year. Those who have bought into the idea have seen other benefits. “It’s good for business, too,” said Bradley Heinz, program manager at Optimizely.org. The San Francisco company — which includes several top execs who used to work at Salesforce — is participating in the program. If a younger company can make philanthropy part of its DNA when it is smaller, it will become a way of life as it grows. It is somewhat easier to convince a young firm to volunteer time and offer its product at a deeply discounted rate. San Francisco’s income inequality divide — the fastest-growing in the country — is inspiring other growing companies to look at what they can do to help. Employees at Practice Fusion, a cloud medical records company in San Francisco, decided that they would take $50,000 that would have been used for their holiday gift and give it to the poor. “People were not that into the gifts and schwag,” said Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard. “They wanted to give back.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
In a damning 2009 report, Ireland’s independently-run Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse – which spent nine years investigating thousands of allegations of abuse at religious-run institutions – spoke of a culture of “endemic sexual abuse” in the country’s Catholic boys’ schools and of the “deferential and submissive attitude” of the Irish state towards the religious orders who ran them. What emerged from the investigation, and from a separate Dublin-specific inquiry concluded the same year, was that institutional child abuse was widespread and that it had occurred not only in schools, but in many places where young people were in the care of religious orders. The commissions also revealed that very often when children reported the abuse, they were largely ignored and even punished. The state, too, had willfully turned a blind eye. The very ordinariness of [the abuse] struck photographer Kim Haughton as profoundly disturbing. This was molestation that was at once hidden and woven into the fabric of everyday life. “So much of this happened in places like schools and churches, and in homes,” she tells TIME. And so she embarked on In Plain Sight, a project in which the [actual] sites of these abuses became the subjects of her lens ... places that, when taken at face value, seem unremarkable. “The work, I hope, challenges us to confront these crimes in the context in which they happened,” Haughton adds, “everyday life.”
Note: Read the complete story to see photos from In Plain Sight. Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals also reach to the highest levels of government in the US. And read an abundance of major media news articles showing rampant child sexual abuse at high levels in many prominent organizations.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance. Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person. Snowden is wanted by the US on charges under the Espionage Act. His chances of a deal with the US justice department that would allow him to return home are slim and he may end up spending the rest of his days in Russia. His supporters hope that a west European country such as Sweden might grant him asylum. The awards jury, in its citation, said Snowden was being honoured “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights”. The chamber was filled with members of parliament from almost all the parties. The Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, was also among the recipients. The jury citation said his award was in celebration of “building a global media organisation dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest, undaunted by the challenge of exposing corporate and government malpractices”.
Note: For more along these lines, read how Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales considers Edward Snowden a hero. For more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Americans have grown accustomed to images of police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. One such image is now going viral, but not for the reason one might think. The photo ... shows 12-year-old Devonte Hart and Portland Police Sgt. Bret Barnum embraced in a hug outside of a Ferguson rally on Tuesday. Hart’s mother ... explained that she and Hart went to downtown Portland “with the intention of spreading love and kindness.” Hart brandished a “Free Hugs” sign as he stood alone in front of a police barricade. His mother says he started to get emotional during the rally: “He wonders if someday when he no longer wears a ‘Free Hugs’ sign around his neck, when he’s a full-grown black male, if his life will be in danger for simply being.” That’s when Sgt. Barnum noticed Hart crying and called the boy over to him. Barnum ... asked why he was crying. Hart’s mother says his response was “about his concerns regarding the level of police brutality towards young black kids was met with an unexpected: “Yes. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Next, Sgt Barnum asked if he could have one of the “Free Hugs” advertised on his sign. Barnum [said] “it’s a blessing for me that I didn’t miss an opportunity to impact this child.” The image has now been shared widely across social media. Hart’s mother called the tearful hug “one of the most emotionally charged experiences I’ve had as a mother.”
Note: Read lots more on this inspiring incident and the challenging background of Devonte Hart. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Pope Francis stood Saturday for two minutes of silent prayer facing east in one of Turkey's most important mosques, a powerful vision of Christian-Muslim understanding at a time when neighboring countries are experiencing violent Islamic assault on Christians and religious minorities. The Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi called it a moment of "silent adoration." It was a remarkably different atmosphere from Francis' first day in Turkey, when the simple and frugal pope was visibly uncomfortable with the pomp and protocol required of him for the state visit part of his trip. With President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mega-palace, honor guard and horseback escort now behind him, Francis got down to the business of being pope, showing respect to Muslim leaders, celebrating Mass for Istanbul's tiny Catholic community and meeting with the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. Francis' visit comes at an exceedingly tense time for Turkey, with Islamic State militants grabbing territory next door in Syria and Iraq and sending some 1.6 million refugees fleeing across the border. Some refugees were expected to attend Francis' final event on Sunday before he returns to Rome. Francis was following in the footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, who visited Turkey in 2006 amid heightened Christian-Muslim tensions over a now-infamous papal speech linking violence with the Prophet Mohammed.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
New York state health officials have stopped a nonprofit group from providing free medical care to thousands of patients lacking health insurance during a four-day dental conference that starts Friday. The nonprofit, Remote Area Medical, had raised $3 million and enlisted hundreds of volunteer doctors and other medical workers to offer a range of health services, including dental care, new eyeglasses and other services. The group had planned to treat about 7,000 patients at the New York Sate event. In September, the New York State Department of Health told the volunteer group, founded in 1985, that it could not treat patients at the conference unless it partnered with an established, state-licensed medical organization. Despite last-minute efforts, the partnership could not be arranged in time, and the nonprofit group said it found out this week that the state would not waive the requirement. “This was incredibly disappointing and will mean that thousands of patients won’t get the care they desperately need,” said Stan Brock, the founder of Remote Area Medical. Brock said state health officials told him during negotiations that the free health services his organization provides were not needed. But Brock said there are tens of thousands of New Yorkers, including homeless people, who are in need of free healthcare.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Goldman Sachs and HSBC are among four platinum and palladium dealers to be sued in New York for allegedly fixing the price of the metals. The four companies are said to have rigged prices for eight years. BASF and Standard bank were also sued in the first lawsuit of its kind in the US. The four defendants declined to comment. Modern Settings, a Florida-based maker of jewellery and police badges, said purchasers lost millions of dollars. The Florida company filed the complaint in Manhattan federal court. The companies were accused of having conspired since 2007 to rig the twice-daily platinum and palladium fixings. It is alleged that the companies illegally shared customer data and then used that information to engage in front running ... a form of market manipulation in which traders profit by using information about their clients' trading intentions. Traders will often know how a particular client order will affect the market and can place their own trades ahead of that order to benefit. The four companies in this case are also accused of manufacturing "spoof" orders. Goldman, HSBC and Standard Bank declined to comment. International regulators have tightened scrutiny of pricing benchmarks in recent years. The tighter regulation comes after a currency trading scandal and the Libor scandal, which fixed a benchmark interest rate.
Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in banking and finance. For additional information, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.
A millionaire Chinese businessman has bulldozed the wooden huts and muddy roads where he grew up - and built luxury homes for the people who lived there. Xiong Shuihua was born in Xiongkeng village in the city of Xinyu, southern China and said that his family had always been well looked after and supported by residents in his childhood. So when the 54-year-old ended up making millions in the steel industry he decided to repay the favour. The business tycoon decided to return to the village and give everybody a place of their own to live - for free. Five years ago, the area was run down and many lived in basic homes. But the area has been transformed in recent years and now 72 families are enjoying life in luxury new flats. Meanwhile, 18 families, who were particularly kind to the businessman, were given villas of their own in a project costing close to Ł4 million. After moving in, he even promised three meals a day to the older residents and people on a low income to make sure they could get by. The multimillionaire made his money first of all in the construction industry and later by getting involved in the steel trade. He said: 'I earned more money than I knew what to do with, and I didn't want to forget my roots. 'I always pay my debts, and wanted to make sure the people who helped me when I was younger and my family were paid back.' Elderly local Qiong Chu, 75, said: 'I remember his parents. They were kind-hearted people who cared very much for others, and it's great that their son has inherited that kindness.'
Note: See pictures of the neighborhood Shuihua built at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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.