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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of key media articles from the media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption. Links are provided to the full articles on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These media articles are listed in reverse date order. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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.


U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market
2016-12-26, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/us/politics/united-states-global-weapons-sa...

The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study. Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases. The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as purchases of American weapons grew by around $4 billion and France’s deals increased by well over $9 billion. The report, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015,” was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week. The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. Russia, another dominant power in the global arms market, saw a modest decline in orders for its weapons, dropping to $11.1 billion in sales from the $11.2 billion total in 2014. China reached $6 billion in weapons sales, up from its 2014 total of over $3 billion. The largest buyers of weapons in the developing world in 2015 were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

Note: Read about a lavish party thrown for a Pentagon official in charge of administering arms sales by weapons industry executives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wielding Claims of ‘Fake News,’ Conservatives Take Aim at Mainstream Media
2016-12-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/25/us/politics/fake-news-claims-conservatives-...

The C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the White House may all agree that Russia was behind the hacking that interfered with the election. But that was of no import to the website Breitbart News, which dismissed reports on the intelligence assessment as “left-wing fake news.” Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online. But conservative cable and radio personalities ... have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda. In defining “fake news” so broadly and seeking to dilute its meaning, they are capitalizing on the declining credibility of all purveyors of information. Journalists who work to separate fact from fiction see a dangerous conflation of stories that turn out to be wrong because of a legitimate misunderstanding with those whose clear intention is to deceive. A report, shared more than a million times on social media, that the pope had endorsed Mr. Trump was undeniably false. But was it “fake news” to report on data models that showed Hillary Clinton with overwhelming odds of winning the presidency? Are opinion articles fake if they cherry-pick facts to draw disputable conclusions? “Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue,” said David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, the myth-busting website. “Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we’re doing a disservice to lump all those things together.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


World War Three, By Mistake
2016-12-23, The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/world-war-three-by-mistake

The systems devised to govern the use of nuclear weapons, like all complex technological systems, are inherently flawed. But the failure of a nuclear command-and-control system can have [serious] consequences. Millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions, could be annihilated inadvertently. Today, the odds of a nuclear war being started by mistake are low - and yet the risk is growing, as the United States and Russia drift toward a new cold war. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman [intercontinental ballistic missile] force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015 ... a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Minuteman III is a relic of the Cold War not only in design but also in its strategic purpose. When the atomic bomb was being developed ... the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes - and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use.

Note: The above was written by Eric Schlosser, author of the 2013 book "Command and Control," which documents errors and accidents in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The US came very close to accidentally starting a nuclear war in 1973. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Foreigners must provide social media accounts to enter U.S.
2016-12-23, Miami Herald/McClatchy
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article122774904.html

Foreign travelers will now be asked to provide links to their social media accounts before they enter the U.S. after the government implemented a new policy designed to identify “potential threats”. The request to provide links to accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn is optional. But privacy advocates and some technology companies oppose the move on the grounds it violates civil liberties and freedom of expression. The new policy, which was originally proposed this summer, was adopted Dec. 19 for people arriving via the ... Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which now asks about social media accounts in its online form. There is no clear indication of how the information gathered will be used. “An open-ended inquiry into ‘online presence’ would give DHS a window into applicants’ private lives,” a coalition of 28 civil rights and technology groups wrote in a letter in August in opposition to the proposal. “Scrutiny of their sensitive or controversial online profiles would lead many visa-waiver applicants to self-censor or delete their accounts, with consequences for personal, business, and travel-related activity. “The risk of discrimination based on analysis of social media content and connections is great and will fall hardest on Arab and Muslim communities,” the letter said. “It also poses significant risks to journalists, whose profession requires confidentiality and whose social media networks may convey a profile that, taken out of context, could be misconstrued.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of privacy.


Despite Pledges To Cut Back, Farms Are Still Using Antibiotics
2016-12-22, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/12/22/506599017/despite-pledges-to-c...

Every year, more restaurants and food companies announce that they will sell only meat produced with minimal or no use of antibiotics. And every year, despite those pledges, more antibiotics are administered to the nation's swine, cattle and poultry. According to the latest figures, released this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, antibiotic sales for use on farm animals increased by 1 percent in 2015, compared to the previous year. The increase was slightly greater – 2 percent — for antibiotics used as human medicine. The FDA and other public health agencies have been pushing farmers to rely less on these drugs. Heavy use of antibiotics both in human medicine and in agriculture has led to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, complicating the task of treating many infections. But the FDA finds a glimmer of good news in the latest figures, pointing out that the rate of increase has slowed. In the previous year, antibiotic use had increased by 4 percent, and a total of 22 percent from 2009 to 2014.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about food system corruption and health


A Quarter of Florida's Black Citizens Can't Vote. A New Referendum Could Change That.
2016-12-22, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/22/a-quarter-of-floridas-black-citizens-cant...

By far the most populous of the three states that strip lifelong voting rights from people with felony convictions, Florida is home to some 1.5 million residents who can never again cast a ballot unless pardoned by the state’s governor. Florida’s legions of disenfranchised voters are disproportionately Democrat-leaning minorities - including nearly a quarter of Florida’s black population - numbers that advocates say amount to a long-standing and often ignored civil rights catastrophe. This ... mass disenfranchisement could have changed the outcome of some particularly important elections. Recently, after the state’s ... governor clamped down on the ability of ex-felons to have their rights restored, Donald Trump won the crucial swing state by a margin less than a tenth the size of the state’s disenfranchised population, leading some to question the effect that felony disenfranchisement may have had on the size of Trump’s Electoral College win. National groups, including the Democratic Party, have shown little interest in placing real resources behind recent efforts to roll back the country’s most impactful voting restriction. Yet in recent weeks, even without any significant organizational backing, a coalition composed largely of disenfranchised Floridians quietly reached a new landmark in a long and laborious fight to overturn the state’s law. On Monday ... Florida’s high court announced it had set a March date to consider the proposal to allow a referendum on the 2018 ballot asking voters to roll back the state’s felony voting restriction.

Note: For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Ex-Scientologists tell disturbing stories about David Miscavige, the 'pope of Scientology,' on A&E series
2016-12-21, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/ct-scientology-david-miscavige...

Actress Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in 2013 - after 35 years as a devout member - and ever since, she has been on a crusade to expose the controversial organization's secrets. On "Scientology and the Aftermath," her new series on A&E, Remini seeks to "delve deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences." Tuesday night's episode had a theme: Disturbing stories about the organization's leader David Miscavige, whom ex-members refer to as "the pope of Scientology," as well as the "undisputed dictator." Remini ... interviewed people about Miscavige's alleged physical abuse against his staff, including Jeff Hawkins, who was the Scientology "marketing guru" for years. He liked the idea of Scientology's anti-war stance and spiritual component, particularly the strong belief about the afterlife. So Hawkins signed a ... contract and started working closely with Miscavige. Then, he says, Miscavige assaulted him several times. During one incident, he explains, Miscavige once started making fun of him in a room full of people; and when Hawkins asked him not to, Miscavige took that as a sign of disrespect and started hitting him in the face. Hawkins says that he, as well as everyone in the room at the time, was too afraid to fight back. Initially, he thought the bad times would pass; but when he realized Miscavige would be running Scientology for a very long time, he left the church.

Note: Scientology has raised a lot of controversy over the years. We acknowledge the many who have had their lives transformed in a powerful way by this religion. Yet others, including a few of the church's top officials, have left Scientology after many years strongly disillusioned. We do not take a stand on this, yet we have found that Scientology has played an important hidden role in the history of our planet. For an excellent timeline on Scientology and remote viewing, see this webpage.


This 13-year-old formed a charity that has helped provide 500,000-plus meals
2016-12-21, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2016/1221/Thi...

Since the tender age of 7, Will has been focused on feeding the hungry. It all started when he saw a man on a street corner begging for food, and he decided he wanted to do something about it. With the help of his parents – Julie, a teacher, and Bill, a financial adviser – he established the charity Friends Reaching Our Goals, or FROGs. He named the organization himself ... and designed FROGs with a dual purpose: to inspire youths to carry out service work in their communities and to feed those at risk of going hungry. That was October 2010. Since then, he has helped provide more than 500,000 meals to those in need. He raises funds, he plans, he ropes in friends, and more. Tonight he is serving Asian-themed dishes as part of the monthly FROGs Dinner Club, a central event. Each time, Will and his fellow volunteers aim to serve a free, fresh meal with the twist that the recipients be introduced to new foods and healthier options. This go-round, honey-seared chicken is dished up with brown or white rice alongside Vietnamese chicken salad rolls. And edamame. “When I was 7, I was riding home from a Little League baseball game when I saw a man on a street corner who held a sign that said, ‘Need Meal,’ ” Will elaborates. “And it made me sad to realize that there are people in my community who didn’t have enough food to eat. So I started FROGs. Our motto is to have fun while helping others.” Will’s efforts have helped amass $852,000 worth of food items for hunger-fighting charities.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Child abuse: Documenting Australia's shame
2016-12-20, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38301488

In Australia, a boy of 10 is raped by an Anglican clergyman, who cuts his victim with a small knife and smears blood over his back. This happened in the 1960s ... but only now has this and other decades-old stories of sexual violence and degradation been heard, catalogued and, crucially for many victims, believed. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is an unprecedented investigation into an epidemic of depravity across Australia. The ... inquiry began in 2013 and has heard from thousands of survivors of paedophiles who worked, or volunteered, in sporting clubs, schools, churches, charities, childcare centres and the military. It has the power to look at any private, public or non-government body that is, or was, involved with children. The Commission's task is to make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to protect the young. To date, it has held more than 6,000 private sessions, along with several high-profile public hearings. The chief royal commissioner, Justice Peter McClellan ... is one of six commissioners; two women and four men, and they include a former Queensland police chief, a consultant child psychiatrist and a retired federal politician. When it hands down its final report at the end of 2017, this painstaking inquiry will have lasted for almost five years. Already, more than 1,700 cases have been referred to the authorities, including the police. More prosecutions will almost certainly follow

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Murders Up in U.S. Cities – But Crime Rate Still Near Record Lows
2016-12-20, Time Magazine
http://time.com/4607059/murder-rate-increase-us-cities-2016/

The 30 largest U.S. cities saw a double-digit increase in their murder rate in 2016, according to a new year-end report, even as crime nationwide remains near all-time lows. Chicago again accounts for almost half of the total murder increase nationwide. New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice projects that the 2016 murder rate for the largest U.S. cities is up 14% from 2015 while the violent crime rate rose by 3.3%. The overall crime rate, however, increased by just 0.3%, thanks in large part to historically low levels of property crime. Two cities are largely driving the spike in violent crime: Chicago and Charlotte. Violent crime in Chicago is up 17.7% ... this year, and the city accounts for almost 44% of the total increase in murders. Charlotte has experienced a number of drug-related murders as well as homicides related to domestic violence and is projected to see a 13.4% increase in violent crime this year. While the murder rate has increased, overall crime across the U.S. is near all-time lows. Of the 30 cities studied, just eight showed an increase in their crime rates from 2015.

Note: The media has given lots of attention to Chicago's major increase in murders in 2016, yet virtually no attention to the fact, as reported in this Wall Street Journal article, that the rate of major crimes in New York City dropped to the lowest levels yet recorded. Read more on the dramatic drop in violent crime rates over the past two decades in this informative essay.


This Pesticide Is Prohibited in Britain. Why Is It Still Being Exported?
2016-12-20, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/business/paraquat-weed-killer-pesticide.htm...

Paraquat, one of many pesticides that can’t be used in Europe but is sold in the United States and elsewhere, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease in a growing body of research. The [paraquat factory in Huddersfield, England] recently celebrated its centennial. Paraquat [is] one of the world’s most enduring weed killers - but not one that can be purchased in ... Britain or across the Channel in the rest of the European Union. So it will be sent to the United States, or another part of the globe that still allows paraquat to be sprayed on weeds. Now regulators in the United States are grappling with a wave of research linking paraquat to ... Parkinson’s disease. In a recent ... regulatory filing, the Environmental Protection Agency said, “There is a large body of epidemiology data on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.” The agency is weighing whether to continue allowing the chemical to be sprayed on American cropland, although a decision is not expected until 2018. In the meantime, many of the nations that ban paraquat and other chemicals whose use is contentious still allow them to be manufactured as long as they are exported to faraway fields. Even the government of China, a nation not known for environmental regulation, said in 2012 that it would phase out paraquat “to safeguard people’s lives.” As Europe and China move away from paraquat, its use is rebounding in the United States. That is particularly true for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used is up more than fourfold over the past decade.

Note: Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss company known for manipulating international trade deals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


US 'got it so wrong' on Saddam Hussein, says CIA interrogator of the Iraq dictator
2016-12-19, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-wrong-iraq-saddam-huss...

The US "got it wrong" about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, the CIA analyst who interrogated the former dictator has said. John Nixon had numerous conversations with the deposed leader and now says that America was critically mistaken about their intervention Iraq. In particular, he claims, the CIA’s view of Hussein’s attitude to using chemical weapons was wrong. During the interrogations, Mr Nixon asked Hussein if he’d ever thought of engaging in a pre-emptive strike with WMDs against US troops based in Saudi Arabia. According to Mr Nixon ... the former dictator’s reply was: “We never thought about using weapons of mass destruction. It was not discussed. Use chemical weapons against the world? Is there anyone with full faculties who would do this?” Mr Nixon admitted this was “not what we had expected to hear”. The main reason the American and British governments used to justify the controversial invasion of Iraq was the supposed risk posed by the WMDs possessed by the country. Nearly 200,000 people have died in the conflicts that followed. Iraq is now widely regarded as a failed state, and still suffers from widespread violence. Thirteen years on, at least 5,000 American troops remain in the country. Mr Nixon also spoke out against Mr Bush, who was rude towards him and reportedly made inappropriate jokes about the missing WMDs. Mr Bush blamed the CIA for Iraq’s failures, Mr Nixon said, adding that he “called its analysis ‘guesswork’ while hearing only what he wanted to hear”.

Note: Have you noticed how every Arabic nation to which the U.S. has sent armed forces has ended up not with a stronger democracy, but in a situation of chaos? Do you think this might be intentional? The war machine makes huge profits from conditions of chaos. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


'Hidden Figures,' 'The Glass Universe,' And Why Science Needs History
2016-12-18, NPR
http://www.npr.org/2016/12/18/505592663/hidden-figures-the-glass-universe-and...

The history of science is, like so much else, a human history. But history tends to get simplified; a map becomes a single road leading from point to point. It's not surprising that some scientists who contributed invaluably to the field have been kept out of the dominant narrative because they were women. But in the last days of the 19th century and the early days of the 20th, Henrietta Swan Leavitt - one of the many woman "computers" at the Harvard Observatory - used the measurements of variable stars to determine fixed distances across space. And fifty years later, Katherine Johnson - a black woman working at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia when the state was still deeply segregated - would map John Glenn's space flight, and America's trip to the moon. Women are indelible contributors to the field, and two of this year's best histories - Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, and Dava Sobel's The Glass Universe - are out to prove it. There's deep value to these stories in the here and now. Women fought prejudice (twice over, in the case of Hidden Figures) and did crucial work that shaped our understanding and exploration of the universe. From a glass-plate storage room in the Observatory, Williamina Fleming could look at a far-off star and map it in a sea of numbers; in a segregated Virginia, Katherine Johnson could look at a sea of numbers and map out a path to the Moon. Taken together, these books make a case not just for acknowledging women's contributions to the field, but for the value of science itself.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Inside the Deadly Mississippi Riot That Pushed the Justice Department to Rein in Private Prisons
2016-12-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/17/inside-the-deadly-mississippi-riot-that-p...

For nearly two decades, the Bureau of Prisons has contracted with a handful of private companies to incarcerate thousands of non-U.S. citizens. Held in a dozen so-called “criminal alien requirement” prisons ... the inmates in private custody are, for the most part, locked up for immigration offenses or drug violations. CAR facilities have ... a track record of abuse and neglect. In August, it seemed that years of pressure [from advocacy organizations] had finally paid off, when the Justice Department announced it would begin phasing out private prisons. Under the DOJ directive, the facilities ... would see their contracts reduced or allowed to expire without renewal and the inmates in their custody transferred. Within hours of the announcement, the stocks of industry heavyweights Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group plummeted more than 35 percent. The momentum was short-lived. On November 9, as it became clear that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidency, Fortune declared private prisons “the biggest (stock market) winner in Trump’s victory,” noting a 49 percent surge in CCA stock. In the weeks that followed, Trump would tap Jeff Sessions as his choice for attorney general. Not only could Sessions ... undo the DOJ’s directive, but the plans promoted by Trump and his advisers threaten to drastically increase the number of people held by companies that have repeatedly demonstrated the conflict of profit motive when it comes to depriving people of physical liberty.

Note: Read the complete article above for a detailed account of the substandard conditions at a CCA facility which led to inmate and corrections officer deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


20 States Accuse Generic Drug Companies of Price Fixing
2016-12-15, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/15/business/generic-drug-price-lawsuit-teva-my...

A wide-ranging investigation into generic drug prices took its most significant turn yet on Thursday, as state attorneys general accused two industry leaders, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Mylan, and four smaller companies of engaging in brazen price-fixing schemes - and promised that more charges were coming. A civil complaint filed by 20 states accuses the companies of conspiring to artificially inflate prices on an antibiotic and a diabetes drug, with executives coordinating through informal industry gatherings and personal calls and text messages. Officials said the case was a small example of broader problems in the drug business. “We believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” George C. Jepsen, Connecticut’s attorney general, whose office started the inquiry that led to the charges, said. “I stress that our investigation is continuing, and it goes way beyond the two drugs in this lawsuit, and it involves many more companies than are in this lawsuit.” The complaint on Thursday describes a cozy industry culture defined by regular dinners and social outings, and argues that those events often cross the line to violate antitrust rules. Generic drug makers hoping to begin selling a new drug first seek out rivals, the suit says, in hopes of reaching an agreement on how to maintain market share and avoid competing on price. “These agreements had the effect of artificially maintaining high prices for a large number of generic drugs and creating an appearance of competition when in fact none existed,” the lawsuit says.

Note: A separate anti-trust investigation into Mylan was recently launched in New York over price-fixing on public school EpiPen contracts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wells Fargo is conducting itself like Enron did
2016-12-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Wells-Fargo-is-conductin...

San Francisco’s Wells Fargo set up an incentivized system of rewards and punishments for its staff at every level that led to the creation of phony accounts and illicit fees being charged to millions of customers. Yet Wells Fargo ... refused to appear before my state Senate committee last month and has sidestepped federal regulators and inquiries. The last company to conduct itself in such a way before a California legislative committee was Enron. These criminal activities affected up to 2 million accounts - nearly 900,000 in California alone. The financial cost to consumers was in the millions of dollars, and the loss in trust is untold. Wells Fargo knew it had a problem - firing more than 1,000 employees a year for five years is testament to that. Yet, it took no effective steps to stop the fraud. These weren’t just low-level employees. After my staff pressed them, Wells now says that of the 5,300 staff fired for unethical sales practices, 480 were bank branch managers or higher. An untold number of managers continue to work at the bank despite the fact that they engaged in fraudulent behavior. Wells Fargo has begun to make amends by entering into a settlement agreement with local and federal regulators, paying $185 million in fines. It also has retained an outside accounting firm to audit accounts to identify and fully reimburse every customer for any fees associated with an unauthorized account. Wells Fargo must come clean on how pervasive this scheme was.

Note: The above was written by Steve Glazer, chairman of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That's Cheaper Than Wind
2016-12-15, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-15/world-energy-hits-a-turnin...

A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity. This has happened in isolated projects in the past. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects. While solar was bound to fall below wind eventually, given its steeper price declines, few predicted it would happen this soon. “Solar investment has gone from nothing ... five years ago to quite a lot,” said Ethan Zindler, head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF. “A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar” and helping other countries finance their own projects. The world recently passed a turning point and is adding more capacity for clean energy each year than for coal and natural gas combined. Peak fossil-fuel use for electricity may be reached within the next decade. Thursday’s BNEF report, called Climatescope, ranks and profiles emerging markets for their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy projects. The top-scoring markets were China, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, and India. For populations still relying on expensive kerosene generators, or who have no electricity at all, and for those living in the dangerous smog of thickly populated cities, the shift to renewables and increasingly to solar can’t come soon enough.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


U.S. election agency breached by hackers after November vote
2016-12-15, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-election-hack-commission-idUSKBN1442VC

The U.S. agency charged with ensuring that voting machines meet security standards was itself penetrated by a hacker after the November elections, according to a security firm working with law enforcement on the matter. The security firm, Recorded Future, was monitoring underground electronic markets where hackers buy and sell wares and discovered someone offering log-on credentials for access to computers at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Posing as a potential buyer, the researchers ... discovered that the Russian-speaking hacker had obtained the credentials of more than 100 people at the election commission after exploiting a common database vulnerability. The hacker was trying to sell information about the vulnerability to a Middle Eastern government for several thousand dollars. The election commission certifies voting systems and develops standards for technical guidelines and best practices for election officials across the country. The researchers said the hacker had an unusual business model, scanning for ways to break into all manner of businesses and other entities and then moving rapidly to sell that access. “We don’t think he actually works for any government or is super sophisticated,” Barysevich said. In the case of the election commission, the hacker used methods including an SQL injection, a well known and preventable flaw, obtaining a list of user names and obfuscated passwords, which he was then able to crack.

Note: The security firm Recorded Future was launched by the investment arms of the CIA and Google. 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.


Trump’s Cabinet nominees want to reshape the nation — and the Earth
2016-12-15, San Francisco Chronicle (One of SF's leading newspapers)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Trump-s-Cabinet-nominees-want-to-...

The latest batch of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees are poised to reshape not only the nation, but also the planet. The man tapped to be America’s chief diplomat is a trusted friend of Russia, the nation’s longtime geopolitical rival. The man tapped to lead the Department of Energy has long pledged to kill it. Russia [awarded him] its Order of Friendship in 2013, one of the highest awards Moscow gives foreigners. The man nominated to shepherd the Labor Department opposes raising the minimum wage. And Trump’s nominees to run the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Interior and Energy are dubious about the science behind climate change. Trump tapped these men — most of his nominees are wealthy, white men — because they are top “deal-makers.” And while they may not be creatures of Washington, they are still part of the nation’s elite and a far cry from Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of entrenched power-brokers. “It’s a cabinet of tycoons,” said Eleni Kounalakis, a San Francisco business executive who served as U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 2010 to 2013. “He believes business tycoons know what’s best. Like what’s best for Exxon is best for America.”


Government Watchdog Conducting New Investigation Into Pentagon Whistleblower Retaliation
2016-12-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/13/government-watchdog-conducting-new-invest...

The watchdog wing of Congress has quietly launched an investigation into the “integrity” of the Pentagon’s whistleblower protection program. The Government Accountability Office, which serves as the investigative arm of Congress, has been looking into the extent to which Department of Defense whistleblower policies ... reassure employees of their rights to raise concerns “without fear of reprisal.” The investigation will also likely target senior Pentagon officials accused of destroying evidence that would have exculpated former senior NSA official Thomas Drake, who raised internal complaints about what he believed to be NSA misconduct and waste before ultimately approaching journalists. Rather than having his concerns acknowledged, Drake spent months fighting charges against him under the Espionage Act. His career in the intelligence community was ended. “Bureaucratic abuses of power are the primary reason otherwise circumspect national security whistleblowers leak to the media. It is too dangerous to work within an untrustworthy system,” Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, wrote in a statement. John Crane, formerly the assistant inspector general in the Pentagon, revealed his role in attempting to protect Drake’s identity and investigate the document destruction involved in his case last May - an effort he claims cost him his job. The implications of the investigation may eventually be important for evaluating the actions of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Note: Mass surveillance whistleblower Thomas Drake attempted to work within the system and was was targeted for prosecution. John Crane was forced out of the Pentagon in 2013. His story is told in a new book, titled, Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing In The Age of Snowden by Mark Hertsgaard. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


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