Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
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The last remaining U.S. manufacturer of cluster bombs is ending production of the controversial weapon, citing regulatory scrutiny and reduced orders for the internationally banned munitions. The decision by the Rhode Island-based Textron, whose subsidiary Textron Systems produces the bombs, follows a White House order last May to block the transfer of a Textron shipment of CBU-105 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. The White House had come under intense pressure by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International after those groups documented instances in which Saudi-led forces used CBU-105 munitions in multiple locations across Yemen. The blocked transfer was the first concrete step the United States took to demonstrate its unease with the Saudi bombing campaign. Following media coverage of the White House’s block, peace activists picketed outside the Wilmington, Massachusetts, offices of Textron Systems, calling for an end to the production of cluster bombs. Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Mary Wareham praised the decision. “Textron was the last U.S. manufacturer of cluster munitions, so this decision now clears the path for the administration and Congress to work together to permanently end U.S. production, transfer, and use of cluster munitions,” she said.
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A nondescript office building just a short walk from the Limmat River – which runs through the picturesque center of Zurich, Switzerland – houses the hub of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. The effect of the nongovernmental organization, however, is anything but ordinary. “We work for the poorest,” says Rupa Mukerji, co-head of advisory services for Helvetas and a member of its management board. The organization operates in 32 countries to address rural poverty, harnessing a $150 million annual budget and the efforts of some 1,500 staffers, more than 95 percent of whom are local to their projects. That mission is personal to Ms. Mukerji. “I am supporting a program in Mali where we are investing our own resources to develop a climate change plan,” she explains. “Many times climate change is seen as an issue of science ... but communities are already feeling the impact,” she says. Her home country of India has been suffering from serious drought – something she sees as showing why her work is so critical. “When you work at the field level, you see how hard [people] work, how difficult the conditions are. Many things they are facing are completely out of their control,” she says. “My passion lies in really addressing these global challenges, and to make life better for the people in these rural communities.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Classy. Professional. Sportsmanlike. Words not often used to describe soccer players these days – but this football team is gaining world attention for exactly those qualities. The players are 12 and 13 years old. A video of Barcelona’s Infantil B side has been posted to YouTube showing the children, from La Masia, comforting their Japanese opposition players after beating them in the final of the World Challenge Cup in Tokyo over the weekend. The Barcelona under–13s won 1–0 thanks to a goal by Xavi Planas, and after the final whistle many of the Omva players were in tears. Barcelona’s youth teams are arguably the most famous in the world, thanks to the La Masia academy, which has produced countless superstars over the years. But on this occasion, rather than bask in their success, the Spanish children consoled their opponents and offered words of advice, with the captain urging the devastated losers to keep their heads up. He then led his side to a bow in front of the crowd.
Note: Don't miss this beautiful, one-minute clip, which has received over 75 million views. Such grace!!!
A former Monsanto executive who tipped the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accounting improprieties involving the company's top-selling Roundup product has been awarded more than $22 million from the agency's whistleblower program. The award of $22,437,800 was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, according to the [executive's] lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York. It is the agency's second largest under the program. The Dodd Frank financial reform law empowered the SEC to award money to whistleblowers who give information to the agency which leads to a fine. Awards to 33 whistleblowers by the SEC's program have now surpassed a total of $107 million since the agency launched the program in 2011, the agency said. Monsanto's $80 million SEC settlement followed allegations that the company misstated its earnings in connection with Roundup, a popular weed killer. The SEC's case against Monsanto revolved around a corporate rebate program designed to boost Roundup sales. The SEC had said that Monsanto lacked sufficient internal controls to account for millions of dollars in rebates that it offered to retailers and distributors. It ultimately booked a sizeable amount of revenue, but then failed to recognize the costs of the rebate programs on its books. That led the St. Louis-based agriculture company to "materially" misstate its consolidated earnings for a three-year period. The award represents more than 28 percent of the total penalty and nearly the 30 percent maximum allowed under the SEC's bounty program.
Note: The above shows that Monsanto has been lying to their investors about how profitable Roundup is while major lawsuits build over the connection between Roundup and cancer. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
When should police be able to deactivate your social media account? The question is becoming more urgent, as people use real-time connections in the middle of critical incidents involving law enforcement. In the case of Korryn Gaines in Baltimore County, Md., earlier this month, police said that a suspect actively using a social media connection makes a standoff worse. Gaines posted videos to Instagram of the unfolding standoff with police, who were outside her apartment trying to get her to surrender. Gaines was shot and killed by Baltimore County police, [who] got Instagram's parent company, Facebook, to temporarily suspend her account. These days, police can use a special Web page provided by the social media company where they can make an emergency request to take down somebody's account. For cops, this is no different than the old practice of cutting a phone line. But to Rashad Robinson, it is different. He runs Color of Change, an online racial justice organization. He says live social media are much more than just a line of communication. "As the movement around police accountability has grown, it's been fueled by video evidence, the type of video that gives us a real insight into what's happening and creates the narrative, builds the narrative, for people to understand," he says. Robinson says imagine if police in Minnesota had blocked the Facebook Live video of the aftermath of the police shooting of Philando Castile earlier this summer. There wouldn't have been nearly the same kind of public reaction.
The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems. The FBI warning [was] titled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for 10 days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. FBI agents confirmed to [Menzel] that the perpetrators were believed to be foreign hackers, although they were not identified by country. Agents told him they had reached no conclusions, and other experts say the hackers could also have been common cybercriminals hoping to steal personal data on state voters for fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining bogus tax refunds.
A Russian radio telescope scanning the skies has observed “a strong signal” from a nearby star, HD164595, in the constellation Hercules. The star is a scant 95 light years away and 99% of the size of Earth’s own sun. It has at least one planet, HD164595b, which is about the size of Neptune and has a 40-day year. Seth Shostak of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (Seti) ... was shocked to have learned of the discovery only now – the readings from Russian radio telescope Ratan-600, Shostak said, were taken a year ago. The news came to international attention on Saturday through Claudio Maccone of the University of Turin in Italy, who attended a talk by the scientists who recorded the signal on 15 May 2015. Maccone sent the Guardian his proposed presentation for the International Academy of Astronautics 2016 meeting on the subject of the search for alien life, set for 27 September. He will call for the permanent monitoring of HD164595. “Could it be an ET?” asked Shostak rhetorically. “Of course, but ... it is hard to tell if the signal comes from intelligent life. If it is being broadcast across a large chunk of the radio spectrum, the noise is probably coming from a quasar or another source of stellar “noise”; if it is over a narrower band but very strong, it is likelier to be the product of intelligence.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
A former Jehovah's Witness has offered a rare insight into the religious group, describing it as a cult that "tries to control emotions, thought, information and behavior of a person". The man ... shared his experience of growing up as a Jehovah's Witness in Poland in an Ask Me Anything post on Reddit. Using the username "Ohmyjw", the former Jehovah's Witness (JW) elder speaks out against the group's rules, such as prohibiting blood transfusion "even if that costs them their life" or believing the world "will end in Armageddon 'very soon'". However, he said he tried to "never give an impression that JWs are dumb or intelligent", adding that "many of them are actually quite intelligent, albeit deluded people". He also described how his family now refused to acknowledge him and his wife after they left the group. When asked how women were regarded in JW society, the former elder said they were thought of as "a complement for a man", adding: "She should be submissive to her husband, who is the head of their family and ... makes all the important decisions. He also criticised the group for having a "big problem with child abuse," saying "they believe child abuse is only a sin, not really a crime, the elders in almost all cases don't report to the authorities, instead they try to handle it inside the congregation". The group allegedly requires "two witnesses to the event" and regularly decide to "leave the matter in the hands of Jehovah". "They basically value the 'good name of the organisation' more than the safety of the children," he adds.
Note: Read more about the techniques used by Jehovah's Witnesses to systematically silence abuse victims. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. Many of the recipients of these weapons became brave and important battlefield allies. But many more did not. The weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses. The Pentagon said it has records for [about 700,000] firearms. This is an amount ... that only accounts for 48 percent of the total small arms supplied by the U.S. government that can be found in open-source government reports. By this year, various internet arms traders, including many on Facebook, were hawking a seemingly unending assortment of weapons of obvious American origin. Facebook closed many pages in the Middle East that were serving as busy arms bazaars, including pages in Syria and Iraq on which firearms with Pentagon origins accounted for a large fraction of the visible trade. But many new arms-trading Facebook pages have since cropped up, including, according to their own descriptions, virtual markets operating from Baghdad and Karbala. The procession of arms purchases and handouts has continued to this day.
Note: A 2015 report describes how the US armed ISIS in Iraq. This eye-opening report shows how the US was involved in the creation of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
EpiPen prices aren't the only thing to jump at Mylan. Executive salaries have also seen a stratospheric uptick. Proxy filings show that from 2007 to 2015, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch's total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase. During the same period, the company raised EpiPen prices, with the average wholesale price going from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461 percent increase. In 2007 the company bought the rights to EpiPen, a device used to provide emergency epinephrine to stop a potentially fatal allergic reaction and began raising its price. In 2008 and 2009, Mylan raised the price by 5 percent. At the end of 2009 it tried out a 19 percent hike. The years 2010-2013 saw a succession of 10 percent price hikes. And from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016, Mylan steadily raised EpiPen prices 15 percent every other quarter. After Mylan acquired EpiPen the company also amped up its lobbying efforts. In 2008, its reported spending on lobbying went from $270,000 to $1.2 million, according to opensecrets.org. Legislation that enhanced its bottom line followed, with the FDA changing its recommendations in 2010 that two EpiPens be sold in a package instead of one. And in 2013 the government passed a law to give block grants to states that required they be stocked in public schools.
When it comes to women’s progress, the United States doesn’t exactly bring home the gold. We rank 72nd in women’s political participation, with women holding less than 20% of congressional seats. Paid maternity leave? The United States comes in last. But at long last, we’re number one at something: Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. The rate of women dying from pregnancy complications doubled from 2010-2014. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that there was another major happening around women’s health in Texas during those years: the deliberate closure of clinics that provide abortion and a drastic funding cut to the state’s family planning budget. Texas gutted the state’s family planning budget by more than $73m in 2011, forcing clinics to shut down and dramatically reducing the number of women they could provide services to. By 2014, 600 women had died from pregnancy-related complications. It’s almost as if what feminists have been saying for years is true: limiting reproductive rights hurts women across the board. Access to reproductive care is necessary not just to prevent or end pregnancies, but to ensure healthy outcomes for those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term.
Children exposed to relatively high levels of PCBs in the womb may have an increased risk of developing autism, a new study suggests. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are man-made chemicals once used in a wide range of products, from electrical appliances to fluorescent lighting. Use of these chemicals was banned in the 1970s because of concerns about their health effects. But since they do not easily break down, PCBs still linger in the environment - and in people. In the new study, researchers found that when pregnant women had relatively high levels of certain PCBs in their blood, their children were about 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism versus other kids. Those children also had a roughly twofold higher risk of intellectual disabilities unrelated to autism. "Autism is a complex condition with many different causes, and those causes vary among individuals," said Kristen Lyall, lead researcher on the study. Experts believe that for children to develop autism, they have to have a genetic susceptibility and be exposed to certain environmental factors during critical periods of early brain development. Researchers are still trying to figure out what those environmental factors are. But some suspects include prenatal exposure to poor nutrition, certain infections, heavy air pollution and pesticides, according to the non-profit Autism Speaks. The new findings suggest that PCBs could be another one of the "puzzle pieces," said Lyall.
Note: Monsanto and other chemical manufacturers spent decades dumping PCBs in low-income areas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
A Massachusetts-based lesbian couple received an amazing display of solidarity from their neighbors this week after vandals stole a Pride flag from the front of their home and egged their front porch while they were out of town. Lauri and Cari Ryding initially hung the Pride flag following the Pulse nightclub massacre. The incident at their home served as a reminder why they hung the flag in the first place. "It was our first experience in Natick of having any type of prejudice," Cari Ryding said. "We hadn't experienced it all, and it kind of broke open our little cocoon." After the egging of the Ryding's home, their neighbors came together to show their love and support for the couple ― by flying rainbow flags from all of their houses as well. Over 40 homes in the neighborhood made hung flags from their houses, showing love and support for their lesbian neighbors. "It just happened so quickly ― the whole neighborhood said, Get me a flag. Get me a flag. Get me a flag," neighbor Penni Rochwerger [said]. This moment in Boston is just one of many powerful displays of community-based solidarity with the LGBT community since the Pulse nightclub massacre. The Rydings ... filed a police report in case the vandals return, but they feel encouraged and hopeful from the support from their friends and neighbors.
Note: Don't miss the video on this inspiring expression of neighborly support at the link above.
Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros claims in an explosive new lawsuit that disgraced ex-network chairman Roger Ailes sexually harassed her and that high-ranking executives fostered a newsroom culture in which abusive behavior flourished. Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny, the suit reads. Ailes was the primary culprit, according to the suit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation. Tantaros' suit is the second leveled against Ailes, but the first to name the network itself and several current executives as co-defendants. Last month, former Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson opened the floodgates of sexual harassment accusations against Ailes, a legendary TV executive who built and ran Fox News for two decades after serving as a leading Republican operative and former adviser to three presidents. Ailes is reportedly now advising Republican nominee Donald Trump. Less than two weeks after Carlson made her claims, Ailes stepped down as Fox News chairman. In the suit, Tantaros claimed that Fox News' ... public relations department leaked unflattering information about her, didn't adequately promote her, refused legitimate media requests, and used 'sock puppet' social media accounts to post or direct negative comments about her.
Note: For more on this, see this informative Vanity Fair article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations. The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department’s credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste. But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. The dump, officially known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, was designed to place waste from nuclear weapons production since World War II into ancient salt beds, which engineers say will collapse around the waste and permanently seal it. The equivalent of 277,000 drums of radioactive waste is headed to the dump, according to federal documents. It had operated problem-free for 15 years and was touted by the Energy Department as a major success until the explosion. Though [an] error at the Los Alamos lab caused the accident, a federal investigation found more than two dozen safety lapses at the dump. The dump’s filtration system was supposed to prevent any radioactive releases, but it malfunctioned.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the grave risks of nuclear technologies.
The United States Army's finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General ... said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. The "forced" adjustments rendered the statements useless because "DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions." [This] is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money. "Where is the money going? Nobody knows," said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon. For years, the Inspector General - the Defense Department's official auditor - has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that "the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive." DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Services] also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system.
Note: $6.5 trillion is the equivalent of $20,000 for every citizen of the US. If any business or other branch of government had balance sheets like this, it would be all over the news with people demanding reform. Why does the military get away with this year after year? See the actual Department of Defense report for more. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Could an American election’s outcome be altered by a malicious actor on a computer keyboard? I have had three jobs that, together, taught me at least one thing: If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. I served as the White House senior cybersecurity policy adviser. I served on [President Obama's] five-person post–Edward Snowden investigative group on the National Security Agency, intelligence and technology. And for over a decade I have advised American corporations on cybersecurity. Those experiences confirm my belief that if sophisticated hackers want to get into any computer or electronic device, even one that is not connected to the internet, they can do so. Now consider that a majority of states use some kind of combination of electronic voting and a type of paper trail, but there is no standard nationwide. In most states the data that are used to determine who won an election are processed by networked, computerized devices. There are almost no locations that exclusively use paper ballots. Some states ... employ electronic voting machines that produce no paper trail, therefore there is nothing to count or recount and no way to ensure that what a voter intended is what was recorded and transmitted. If someone makes the charge after this election that the results were altered by hackers, our country has almost no way of credibly refuting that claim. Thus American voters will have no way to know if they can trust the results of the election.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
This election cycle has been more dramatic than most. But the real political drama this year has taken place in the streets of cities like Oakland, New York, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and St. Paul. The anger on display in the presidential race built on the outrage expressed in protest movements from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, in places like Manhattan, where activists occupied City Hall Park for fairer policing practices; in North Carolina, where they challenged voting rights restrictions; and in Chicago, where teachers went on strike for the schools Chicago students deserve. Americans have rediscovered the fine art of direct action, making what Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis calls “good trouble, necessary trouble” to bring about the change that they want to see. This new wave began of activism began in 2008. Although inequality in the U.S. had been expanding for decades, the financial crisis - which caused people to lose their jobs, evaporated retirement savings and evicted families from their homes - raised its profile. It’s not just inequality of income that has driven people to the streets, though. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown, Jr., John Crawford III, Eric Garner and other black men sent protesters to the streets declaring “Black Lives Matter.” People were angry at the way it seemed that a police officer could shoot or choke a black man to death and walk away with a few weeks of desk leave while the man who videotaped the killing could lose his job or end up in jail himself. The movements that have shaken the country in recent years ... have fed one another, overlapped and intersected. As the streets ring with protest again this year, we should remember this country’s long history of making trouble to make change.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
As the United States and its allies continue their bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, many more noncombatants are perishing than they seem prepared to admit. Airwars, the organization I lead, at present estimates that at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the United States-led coalition. Similar or higher tallies are reported by other monitoring groups, like Iraq Body Count and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But coalition officials have publicly admitted just 55 deaths. It may just be a matter of looking. “Our policy is not to go out and seek” allegations of civilian casualties, a senior official from United States Central Command, or Centcom, which oversees the bombing campaign, told me recently when I asked about the discrepancy between reports of noncombatant deaths and official investigations. It took about 15 months into the war for any admission of civilian deaths in Iraq - despite thousands of airstrikes and more than 130 reported incidents. An average of 173 days still passes between a civilian casualty in Iraq or Syria and any public admission of responsibility. The Pentagon is not alone in its accounting failures. Russia still denies the more than 2,000 deaths it has most likely caused in Syria, while all 12 of the United States’ coalition partners insist they have killed only “bad guys.” This then is a systemic problem, one that suggests militaries are at present unfit - or unwilling - to count the dead accurately from above.
Note: The above was written by Chris Woods, author of “Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The large-scale, long-term decline in wild bees across England has been linked to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides by a new study. Over 18 years, researchers analysed bees who forage heavily on oilseed rape, a crop widely treated with "neonics". The scientists attribute half of the total decline in wild bees to the use of these chemicals. Several studies, conducted in the lab and in the field, have identified a negative effect on honey bees and bumble bees from the use of neonics. But few researchers have looked at the long term impacts of these substances. This new paper examined the impacts on populations of 62 species of wild bees across England over the period from 1994-2011. The team ... used distribution data on wild bees, excluding honey and bumblebees collected by the bees, ants and wasps recording scheme. They were able to compare the locations of these bees and their changing populations with growing patterns of oilseed rape across England over 18 years. The amount of this crop being sown has increased significantly over the period of the study, from around 500,000 hectares in 1994 to over 700,000 in 2011. A key innovation was the commercial licensing of neonicotinoid insecticides for the crop in the UK in 2002. Seeds are coated with the chemical and every part of the plant becomes toxic. The European Food Safety Authority is currently conducting a review of the scientific evidence about neonicotinoids. An EU-wide moratorium on their use was implemented in 2013 and is still in place.
Note: Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.