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Media Articles
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.

Report: Judge said du Pont heir wouldn't "fare well" in prison
2014-03-31, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-judge-says-du-pont-heir-wont-fare-well-in-...

A judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation in the rape of his three-year-old daughter said in court documents that he would "not fare well" in prison. The rape case against Robert H. Richards IV became public this month after his ex-wife reportedly filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the abuse of his daughter. According to a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, Richards raped his daughter, now 11, in 2005 when she was 3, telling her "to keep what he had done to her a secret." The girl told her grandmother in October 2007, and Richards pleaded guilty in June 2008 to one count of fourth-degree rape to avoid jail time, court records show. The lawsuit also alleged that Richards abused his toddler son. Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden's sentencing order for Richards suggested that he needed treatment instead of prison time and considered unique circumstances when deciding his fate, reports the [News Journal of Delaware]. Attorney General Beau Biden initially indicted Richards on two counts of second-degree rape of a child, punishable by ten years in prison for each count. But as part of a plea agreement days before his 2008 trial, Richards pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape -- reportedly a Class C violent felony that can bring up to 15 years in prison, though guidelines suggest zero to 2 1/2 years. At Richards' 2009 sentencing, prosecutor Renee Hrivnak recommended probation. Richards, a great-grandson of du Pont patriarch Irenee du Pont, is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, [and] owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville and a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach.

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




Is the U.S. stock market rigged?
2014-03-30, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged/

In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington have both launched investigations into high-frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market. The probes were announced just ahead of a much anticipated book on the subject by best-selling author Michael Lewis called Flash Boys. In it, Lewis argues that the stock market is now rigged to benefit a group of insiders that have made tens of billions of dollars exploiting computerized trading. The story is told through an unlikely cast of characters who figured out what was going on and have devised a plan to correct it. It could have a huge impact on Wall Street. Tonight, Michael Lewis talks about it for the first time. Steve Kroft: What's the headline here? Michael Lewis: Stock market's rigged. The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged. Steve Kroft: By whom? Michael Lewis: By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders. Steve Kroft: Who are the victims? Michael Lewis: Everybody who has an investment in the stock market. If it wasn't complicated, it wouldn't be allowed to happen. The complexity disguises what is happening. If it's so complicated you can't understand it, then you can't question it. Steve Kroft: And this is all being done by computers? Michael Lewis: All being done by computers. It's too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace. The insiders are able to move faster than you.

Note: For an amazing story of greed and manipulation exposed on Wall Street, see the New York Times article on Flash Boys at this link.




Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders
2014-03-29, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/29/der-spiegel-nsa-ghcq-ha...

Secret documents newly disclosed by the German news magazine Der Spiegel ... shed more light on how aggressively the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have targeted Germany for surveillance. A series of classified files from the archive provided to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden ... reveal that the NSA appears to have included Merkel in a surveillance database alongside more than 100 other foreign leaders. The documents also confirm for the first time that, in March 2013, the NSA obtained a top-secret court order against Germany as part of U.S. government efforts to monitor communications related to the country. [A] document, dated 2009, indicates that Merkel was targeted in a broader NSA surveillance effort. She appears to have been placed in the NSA’s so-called “Target Knowledge Base“ (TKB), which Der Spiegel described as the central agency database of individual targets. An internal NSA description states that employees can use it to analyze “complete profiles“ of targeted people. But the NSA’s surveillance of Germany has extended far beyond its leader. A separate document from the NSA’s Special Source Operations unit ... shows that the Obama administration obtained a top-secret court order specifically permitting it to monitor communications related to Germany. Special Source Operations is the NSA department that manages what the agency describes as its “corporate partnerships” with major US companies, including AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, and Google.

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




Defense lawyers: Did FBI pressure push Boston bomber over the edge?
2014-03-29, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0329/Defense-lawyers-Did-FBI-pressu...

Three days after an FBI agent was cleared of wrongdoing in the bizarre killing of an associate of slain Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only surviving bombing suspect, alleged that the FBI attempted to recruit the elder Tsarnaev as an informant. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team said that new information suggests the FBI interviewed Tamerlan on several occasions before the attack, and even pressured him to surreptitiously report on the Chechen underworld. The Bureau has continued to emphatically state that it didn’t know the identities of the two suspected bombers until they were fingerprinted, and have denied any involvement with the brothers aside from following up on a tip from a Russian emissary that the elder Tsarnaev may have been seeking jihad. In the case of Ibragim Todashev, who allegedly took part with Tamerlan in a robbery turned triple-homicide in Waltham, in 2011, family members have also stated that FBI pressure may have pushed the 20-something ethnic Chechen and mixed martial arts fighter to the brink of violence. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Bureau has stepped up surveillance of specific racial, ethnic and religious communities, including the use of informants. The tactics have ... left the Bureau open to charges of entrapment, not to mention assorted Internet conspiracy theories. Part of those post-9/11 tactics are the use of “voluntary interviews … often encouraging interviewees to serve as informants in their communities,” writes the American Civil Liberties Union.

Note: Why didn't the FBI reveal its attempt to recruit the elder Tsarnaev when the bombing happened? Something is quite fishy here.




Italy's bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported
2014-03-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italys-bishops-pass-vaticanbac...

Italy's bishops have adopted a policy, with backing from the Vatican, that states they are not obliged to inform police officers if they suspect a child has been molested. The Italian Bishops' Conference said the guidelines ... reflected suggestions from the Vatican's office that handles sex abuse investigations. Victims have denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by moving priests while keeping prosecutors in the dark. Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law. [The] guidelines cite a 1985 treaty between the Vatican and Italy stipulating that clergy aren't obliged to tell magistrates about information obtained through their religious ministry. The guidelines remind bishops, however, they have a ''moral duty“ to contribute to the common good. The ruling comes less than a week after Pope Francis appointed a former child victim as one of the first members of a new commission to help the Catholic Church put an end to clerical sexual abuse. A UN report published in March blasted what it called the Vatican's code of silence" around abusive priests. UN children's rights experts estimate "tens of thousands of children worldwide" have been sexually abused by predatory clerics as a result of moving, rather than reporting, paedophiles.

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




Collective thoughts that heal
2014-03-28, lynnemctaggart.com
http://lynnemctaggart.com/blog/262-collective-thoughts-that-heal

A remarkable study carried out by Harvard University [is] detailed in Dr. Joe Dispenza’s fascinating new book You are the Placebo. In 1981, eight men in their 70s and 80s attended a five-day retreat at a monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, organized by Harvard University, where they were asked to pretend that they were 22 years younger than their present age. When they got there, they discovered constant reminders of two decades previously: old issues of Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post, shows on TV that had been popular in the late 50s, radios playing Perry Como and Nat King Cole. The men were asked to discuss events that had been current two decades before: Fidel Castro’s sudden ascendancy to power in Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev’s stand-off with Eisenhower in a US meeting, homeruns hit by Mickey Mantle and knock-out punches by Floyd Patterson. This carried on throughout the five days of the retreat. After the retreat ended, the researchers took the same physiological measurements they’d carried out at start of the study and discovered that the men actually had grown ‘taller’; they showed improved height, weight and gait, their postured straightened, their joints had become more flexible, their hearing, eyesight, grip strength, memory and general mental cognition had all improved. In fact, by the end of the five days, many of these octogenarians had given up their canes and were playing touch football. Once they’d been reminded of their younger selves, their bodies actually became younger – and all in less than a week. ‘The change wasn’t just in their minds,’ wrote Dispenza, ‘it was also in their bodies.’

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




The 67 People As Wealthy As The World's Poorest 3.5 Billion
2014-03-25, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2014/03/25/the-67-people-as-wealth...

Oxfam International, a poverty fighting organization, made news at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year with its report that the world’s 85 richest people own assets with the same value as those owned by the poorer half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people (including children). Both groups have $US 1.7 trillion. That’s $20 billion on average if you are in the first group, and $486 if you are in the second group. By the time Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List in early March, it took only 67 of the richest peoples’ wealth to match the poorer half of the world. Each of the 67 is on average worth the same as 52 million people from the bottom of the world’s wealth pyramid. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $76 billion, is worth the same as 156 million people from the bottom. Who are the 67? The biggest group—28 billionaires, or 42% of them—is from the United States. No other country comes close. Germany and Russia have the second-highest number, with six each. The rest are sprinkled among 13 countries in Western Europe, APAC and the Americas. That the biggest group of the super rich comes from the U.S. should not be a surprise, as the country holds almost a third of the world’s wealth (30%), significantly more than any other country, according to the Global Wealth Databook, from Credit Suisse Research Institute.

Note: For more on income and wealth inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Can what you eat affect your mental health? New research links diet and the mind
2014-03-24, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-what-you-eat-affect...

Scientists have recently begun to investigate [whether] food can have as powerful an impact on the mind as it does on the body. Research exploring the link between diet and mental health “is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago,” said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. “But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health.” “Diet quality” refers to the kinds of foods that people eat, how often they eat them and how much of them they eat. In several studies ... Berk and his collaborators have found lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads. “Traditional diets — the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized — have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues,” Berk said. The association between diet and mental well-being may start even before birth. A 2013 study of more than 23,000 mothers and their children, led by Berk’s frequent collaborator and Deakin colleague Felice Jacka, suggests a link between a mother’s consumption of sweets and processed foods during pregnancy and behavioral and mental health issues in her child at age 5.

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




Wealth Over Work
2014-03-24, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/opinion/krugman-wealth-over-work.html

It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade. Mr. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to “patrimonial capitalism,” in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent. Six of the 10 wealthiest Americans are already heirs rather than self-made entrepreneurs, and the children of today’s economic elite start from a position of immense privilege. As Mr. Piketty notes, “the risk of a drift toward oligarchy is real and gives little reason for optimism.” Business income, and income from capital in general, is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people. In 1979 the top 1 percent of households accounted for 17 percent of business income; by 2007 the same group was getting 43 percent of business income, and 75 percent of capital gains. Both Koch brothers are numbered among the 10 wealthiest Americans, and so are four Walmart heirs. Great wealth buys great political influence — and not just through campaign contributions. Many conservatives live inside an intellectual bubble of think tanks and captive media that is ultimately financed by a handful of megadonors.

Note: For more on income and wealth inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Mexico: Knights Templar Drug Cartel Made Recruits Eat Children's Hearts in Initiation Rite
2014-03-21, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mexico-knights-templar-drug-cartel-made-recruits-eat...

New members of an infamous Mexican drug cartel were forced to eat children's hearts as part of a gruesome initiation rite, informers told authorities in the western state of Michoacan. Officials investigating an organ trafficking ring allegedly run by the Knights Templar cartel said there is evidence the late gang boss Nazario Moreno demanded that recruits proved their loyalty through an act of cannibalism. "At [an] initiation ceremony they used the organs, in this case the heart, and forced people going through this initiatory process to eat it," Alfredo Castillo, the federal government's envoy to Michoacan, told a local radio. "There are statements from some people who were present when Nazario Moreno (El Chayo) came and told others, either as initiation or as part of a ritual: 'Today we are going to eat a person's heart'," Castillo told Noticias MVS. Authorities said they have reason to believe the hearts were mainly taken from local children who were kidnapped and had their organs harvested for trafficking purposes. Moreno, known as El Chayo ("The Rosary") or El Más Loco ("The Craziest One"), was shot dead by security forces earlier this month. Moreno, who founded La Familia cartel before starting up the Knights Templar, was first declared dead by the Mexican government in December 2010 after a shootout with federal police, even though no corpse was found.

Note: For powerful information from a former member of "The Family" on the gruesome rites they were forced to endure and more, click here. Note that Moreno was allegedly declared dead in 2010, which was later found to be a blatant lie, likely caused by corrupt officials paid off to state this.




Seems like the whole world is 'Happy'
2014-03-20, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/showbiz/music/happy-pharrell-williams-song/inde...

There are happy songs -- and then there is "Happy." The bouncy tune by singer/composer/producer/rapper Pharrell Williams has occupied the No. 1 spot on the charts for more than a month. It's spurred countless covers -- including one by Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, reprising her guest star role in the 100th episode of "Glee." There is even a YouTube version of "Happy" that has gone completely to the dogs. It has managed to seemingly capture the rush of happiness in its lyrics and melody. Not a bad trick for a tune that slowly grew from a single on last summer's "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack to such popularity that Robert Morast, a writer for the Virginian-Pilot, recently entered into a debate of whether it should be considered for the official state song of Virginia. "Pharrell's hit track is a jolt of mood-lifting music," wrote Morast. "And while it's fine to be happy, the best art is crafted with a range of emotional perspectives." Even with its slow build, "Happy" caught ears from the beginning. Upon release it was quickly dubbed "an instant contender for 2013's Song of the Summer" by Rolling Stone. Since then, it's topped the charts in more than a dozen countries besides the United States, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland. Williams has partnered with the United Nations Foundation in celebration of Thursday's International Day of Happiness, encouraging fans to donate to the organization and submit content to his 24Hoursof Happiness.com site.

Note: To watch this awesome four-minute happy video which has had over 100 million views, click here. To see the website which has great videos of people in happy dance 24 hours a day based on this song, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Why happiness is healthy
2014-03-20, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/health/happiness-wellbeing-health

Happiness -- you know it when you see it, but it's hard to define. We also know that we don't always have control over our happiness. Research suggests that genetics may play a big role in our normal level of subjective well-being, so some of us may start out at a disadvantage. On top of that, between unexpected tragedies and daily habitual stress, environmental factors can bring down mood and dry up our thirst for living. Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind, said Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health. Many scientific studies ... have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being. A 2012 review of more than 200 studies found a connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction, and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles were also associated with a better sense of well-being in this study. Some researchers speculate that positive mental states ... have a direct effect on the body, perhaps by reducing damaging physical processes.

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




Health conspiracy theories are widely believed
2014-03-19, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/19/health-conspiracy-theori...

Nearly half of American adults believe the federal government, corporations or both are involved in at least one conspiracy to cover up health information, a new survey finds. Conspiracy theories on everything from cancer cures to cellphones to vaccines are well known and accepted by sizable segments of the population, according to a research letter published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings reflect "a very low level of trust" in government and business, especially in pharmaceutical companies, says study co-author Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. The online survey of 1,351 adults found: • 37% agree the Food and Drug Administration is keeping "natural cures for cancer and other diseases" away from the public because of "pressure from drug companies." • 20% believe health officials are hiding evidence that cellphones cause cancer. • 20% believe doctors and health officials push child vaccines even though they "know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders." • Smaller numbers endorse theories involving fluoride, genetically modified foods and the deliberate infection of African Americans with HIV. • 49% believe at least one of the theories and 18% believe at least three. The beliefs also go along with certain health behaviors, the survey found. Those who believe at least three health conspiracy theories are less likely to use sunscreen, get flu shots or get check-ups and are more likely to use herbal remedies and eat organic foods.

Note: For an intriguing list of 10 major health cover-ups with evidence to back it up, click here.




Chemist says omitting MSG cured daughter's autism
2014-03-19, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Chemist-says-omitting-MSG-cured-daughter...

Katherine Reid, a Bay Area biochemist with a daughter who was autistic, believes she may have found an antidote to the neurodevelopment disorder - and it's as simple as changing a person's diet. It has become increasingly popular for parents of children with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to turn to gluten- and casein-free, or dairy-free, diets in hopes that it will make a difference. But Reid's diet is different. She thinks what it comes down to, at least for some people with autism, is permanently eliminating just a single chemical compound known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG - an ingredient many people associate with Chinese food. Actually, Reid said, the chemical is in nearly every processed food imaginable, but it only appears on food labels as MSG about 1 percent of the time. Instead, MSG is sometimes labeled as flavor or flavoring, soy protein, barley malt, pectin, corn starch or yeast extract, Reid said. "We're getting an abundance of MSG," she said. "It's in 95 percent of processed food. And we don't need it in our diet - ever." While there is no science to back up many of her claims, Reid said the most convincing evidence to her is the results she saw in her daughter. At age 7, Brooke is completely cured, Reid said. [This] persuaded her to quit her high-paying job and help other parents with what she learned, establishing the Fremont nonprofit foundation Unblind My Mind. "Out of the 75 cases of diagnosed autism I've worked on, 74 drastically improved within five weeks," she said.

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




NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls
2014-03-18, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-surveillance-progra...

The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden. A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance. The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere. In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary. Analysts listen to only a fraction of 1 percent of the calls, but the absolute numbers are high. Each month, they send millions of voice clippings, or “cuts,” for processing and long-term storage. At the request of U.S. officials, The Washington Post is withholding details that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned.

Note: Though technically it is illegal for the NSA to snoop on Americans without good cause, all they have to do is to share this technology with another country like the UK, and then ask the UK to do the snooping and send the results back to them, thereby circumventing the law. For more on NSA surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




California drought: Solar desalination plant shows promise
2014-03-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-Solar-desalination-p...

Quietly whirring away in a dusty field in the Central Valley is a shiny solar energy machine that may someday solve many of California's water problems. It's called the WaterFX solar thermal desalination plant, and it has been turning salty, contaminated irrigation runoff into ultra-pure liquid for nearly a year for the Panoche Water and Drainage District. It's the only solar-driven desalination plant of its kind in the country. Right now its efforts produce just 14,000 gallons a day. But within a year, WaterFX intends to begin expanding that one small startup plant into a sprawling collection of 36 machines that together can pump out 2 million gallons of purified water daily. Within about five years, WaterFX company co-founder Aaron Mandell hopes to be processing 10 times that amount throughout the San Joaquin Valley. And here's the part that gets the farmers who buy his water most excited: His solar desalination plant produces water that costs about a quarter of what more conventionally desalinated water costs: $450 an acre-foot versus $2,000 an acre-foot. That brings Mandell's water cost close to what farmers are paying, in wet years, for water from the Panoche and other valley districts - about $300 an acre-foot. And that makes it a more economically attractive option than any of the 17 conventional desalination plants planned throughout California. If Mandell can pull it off, the tiny farming town where he is starting his enterprise could be known as ground zero for one of the most revolutionary water innovations in the state's history.

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




It’s Official, Secret Money Corrupts
2014-03-18, New York Times blog
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/its-official-secret-money-corr...

Lawmakers of both parties are desperately trying to stop the Internal Revenue Service from interfering with the most powerful political invention that ever fell into their laps: the use of non-profit groups as a source of unlimited and anonymous campaign money. An investigation now unfolding in Utah ... exposes in remarkable detail how profoundly the non-profit system can be corrupted for the benefit of a single industry and a single politician. The politician involved was John Swallow, a former lobbyist for an empire of payday-loan and check-cashing companies. When Mr. Swallow ran for Utah Attorney General as a Republican in 2012, his strategist established several social-welfare groups, which don’t have to name their donors, so that the payday-loan industry could support him financially without anyone knowing. The groups collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret donations from the industry, and the money was used to run attack ads against Mr. Swallow’s opponent, who wanted to crack down on payday lenders. The ads worked, and Mr. Swallow was elected. When the I.R.S. started looking into the non-profit groups and demanding documentation, ... Congressional Republicans accused the agency (falsely) of singling out conservative non-profit groups. Eventually, a parallel state investigation drove Mr. Swallow from office; he resigned last fall, and last week a state legislative panel accused him of breaching the public trust by hanging “a veritable ‘for sale’ sign on the office door that invited moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors.”

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




China to allow direct yuan, New Zealand dollar trades
2014-03-18, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101505319

China has allowed direct domestic trading of the yuan against the New Zealand dollar to encourage such trading as it internationalizes the Chinese currency. The move ... comes after China doubled the yuan's trading band over the weekend in a milestone step that gives investors more freedom to set the value of the tightly controlled currency. The move was seen as promoting trade between the two countries, which rose 25.2 percent to NZ$18.2 billion ($15.71 billion) in 2013. As part of China's sweeping plans to overhaul its maturing economy and let market forces drive a host of industries, the government wants to gradually relax its hold over the yuan and turn it into a global reserve currency that one day rivals the dollar. The government's wish to promote international use of the yuan is partly driven by its concern that China is too vulnerable to the fluctuating value of the dollar. China is home to the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, worth $3.82 trillion at the end of last year. About a third is invested in U.S. government bonds. To promote international use of the yuan, China has signed a series of currency swaps with foreign governments in order to increase the overseas circulation of the Chinese currency. The New Zealand dollar is the 10th foreign currency that can be directly traded against the yuan in China.

Note: The US dollar's role as a global currency is gradually fading.




Wave of Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain
2014-03-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/europe/wave-of-sexual-abuse-allegatio...

Prompted by publicity surrounding recent child abuse scandals involving well-known figures, dozens of British men are breaking decades of silence about molestation they say they suffered as boys at expensive private schools, forcing the schools to confront allegations that in the past might have been hushed up, ignored or treated derisively. In one instance involving Aldwickbury School, which educates boys ages 4 to 13, a former student, who requested anonymity because of the intimate details of the case, said he suffered profound feelings of confusion and guilt after being abused by a teacher in the 1970s. He said the teacher molested him regularly during English lessons over a period of two years. The former Aldwickbury student is one of dozens of people who have come forward. Last month, a former headmaster of Caldicott, a school in Buckinghamshire attended by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, was jailed for past child abuse offenses. The former headmaster, Roland Peter Wright, now 83, was convicted of abusing students 8 to 13 from 1959 to 1970. Other schools facing compensation claims include Ashdown House, which has educated, among others, the queen’s nephew, Viscount Linley. Most of these claims are directed at Britain’s preparatory schools, which typically admit children 4 to 13, with students living at the school starting at 7 or 8. The very nature of boarding schools — closed environments in which teachers can wield enormous power — can make them attractive to child abusers.

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




Catholics, Anglicans, and Muslims join to fight world slavery
2014-03-17, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2014/0317/Catholics-Anglican...

Christians and Muslims have joined to try to help free millions of men, women and children held in modern-day slavery, forced to work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual laborers. The Global Freedom Network, launched [on March 17] at the Vatican, aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labor. The initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery. Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes' list of the world's richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion, and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world's foremost seat of Sunni learning, on board with the initiative. Representatives from all three gathered ... at the Vatican to sign an agreement to launch the project, which will be based at the Vatican and have a chief executive responsible for implementing a five-year business plan. Objectives include getting the G20 to condemn modern-day slavery, persuading 50 major corporations to commit to slavery-proofing their supply chains, and convincing 160 governments to endorse a seven-year, $100 million fundraising effort to implement anti-slavery programs globally.

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





 

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