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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.


Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
2015-02-26, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/26/fbi-manufacture-plots-terrorism...

The FBI and major media outlets yesterday trumpeted the ... latest counterterrorism triumph: the arrest of three Brooklyn men, ages 19 to 30, on charges of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. It appears that none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant. One of the frightening terrorist villains told the FBI informant that, beyond having no money, he had encountered a significant problem in following through on the FBI’s plot: his mom had taken away his passport. In this regard, this latest arrest appears to be quite similar to the overwhelming majority of terrorism arrests the FBI has proudly touted over the last decade. These cases ... end up sending young people to prison for decades for “crimes” which even their sentencing judges acknowledge they never would have seriously considered, let alone committed, in the absence of FBI trickery. We’re constantly bombarded with dire warnings about the grave threat of [terrorism]. But how serious of a threat can all of this be, at least domestically, if the FBI continually has to resort to manufacturing its own plots by trolling the Internet in search of young drifters and/or the mentally ill whom they target? Shouldn’t there be actual plots, ones that are created and fueled without the help of the FBI? The Justice Department is aggressively pressuring U.S. allies to employ these same entrapment tactics in order to create their own terrorists, who can then be paraded around as proof of the grave threat. The FBI’s terrorism strategy — keep fear alive — drives everything they do.

Note: Human Rights Watch has documented the government manufacture of fake "terrorism" plots being used to keep fear alive in war on terror. There is even evidence that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an F.B.I. entrapment plan gone awry. In 2012, the New York Times exposed the pattern of F.B.I. entrapment used to produce these fake "terrorism" plots. How can corrupt intelligence agencies continue to blatantly manipulate public perception like this?


Jeremy Hunt to apologise to Savile victims as 'horrific' scale of abuse emerges
2015-02-25, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11434635/Jeremy-Hun...

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, will apologise to dozens of hospital patients who were abused by Jimmy Savile amid new allegations about the "horrific" scale of abuse. An official report, published by barrister Kate Lampard on Thursday, will disclose allegations that Savile assaulted and raped at least 44 victims at Stoke Mandeville hospital. The victims, some of whom were as young as eight, say that their complaints about Savile's behaviour were ignored by the authorities. A former children's doctor has also been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls at the hospital in the 1970s and 1980s, raising fears that there may have been a paedophile ring operating at the hospital. The report will also examine allegations about Savile's activity at a further 43 hospitals across the country. One woman told the inquiry that she was abused when she was eight-years-old and recovering from cancer surgery. At the time she had 144 stitches across the lower part of her body as a result of an operation. She says that when she raised her complaint with a ward sister, she was met with the response: "Be quiet, you silly girl. Do you realise how much he has done for the hospital." Savile, the former Radio 1 DJ and television personality, began volunteering as a porter at Stoke Mandeville in the 1970s and had free use of a flat on site while he helped to raise Ł40 million for its spinal injuries centre. Many people say ‘times have changed’ but it is still not illegal to cover-up claims of abuse to protect an organisation’s profitability and reputation.

Note: For lots more revealing how deep this sex abuse scandal runs, read another Telegraph article on how hospital staff covered up the abuse, and a BBC report on how Jimmy Savile's brother used his family name to sexually abuse psychiatric patients at a London hospital where abuse was also systematically covered up. For solid evidence of a pedophile ring reaching to the highest levels of government, don't miss this powerful documentary. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership clause everyone should oppose
2015-02-25, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kill-the-dispute-settlement-language-i...

The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement. Who will benefit from the TPP? One strong hint is [a provision] called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgement the next. If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts.

Note: The above article was written by courageous US Senator Elizabeth Warren, and further clarifies why the TPP is a pending disaster.


U.S. probes banks over metals markets
2015-02-24, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/24/us-probes-metals-market-manipu...

U.S. authorities are investigating major banks over potential manipulation of the precious metals market, the latest development in a series of probes related to major financial benchmarks. HSBC is among at least 10 major banks being investigated by U.S. authorities for possible rigging of the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. The report said other banks being scrutinized include: Goldman Sachs; JPMorgan Chase; Britain-based Barclays; Swiss banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse; Bank of Nova Scotia; Germany-based Deutsche Bank; France-based Société Générale; and South Africa-based Standard Bank Group. U.S. authorities declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, HSBC, UBS and Bank of Nova Scotia have been named as defendants in various putative class-action lawsuits in U.S. federal courts over suspected manipulation of precious metals pricing. The complaints contend that bank traders conspired to manipulate the price of metal derivatives in a bid to reap profits on proprietary trades. The new U.S. investigations follow separate bank probes launched earlier over suspected manipulation of the $5.3-billion-a-day foreign exchange currency trading market, along with rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is used to set rates on billions of dollars in loans, credit cards and mortgages.

Note: When it comes to international banking, it appears that almost everything is rigged. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
2015-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-american...

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Police practices at Homan Square [allegedly] include: Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases; Beating by police, resulting in head wounds; Shackling for prolonged periods; Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility; Holding people [as young as 15] without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours. Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. After serving two and a half years in prison, Church ... and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses. Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. “The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they ... creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”

Note: Church was one of three young activists charged with 'terrorism' after police manufactured evidence against peaceful Occupy Wall St protesters in Chicago in 2012. For more, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11, or see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles.


Water Fluoridation May Increase Risk of Underactive Thyroid Disorder
2015-02-24, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/water-fluoridation-may-increase-risk-underactive-thyr...

A large study that looked at data from nearly every general medical practice in England suggests that water fluoridation may increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition, in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, is associated with symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression. The study found that locations with fluoridated water supplies were more than 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low levels of the chemical in the water. Overall, there were 9 percent more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places. Fluoride is added to the water of about 10 percent of England’s population—and to the taps of about two-thirds of Americans—for the purpose of preventing cavities. Fluoride was used to treat hyperthyroidism (or an overactive thyroid) in the 1950s. It may put a damper on the gland’s activities by suppressing the activity of various enzymes, causing physical damage or interfering with the absorption and use of iodine, a substance that is critical for thyroid health. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened a panel that recommended lowering the maximum allowable level of fluoride in water. Nine years later, the EPA is still considering whether or not to revise its fluoride standards.

Note: Read lots more excellent information on fluoridation of water in this article on mercola.com. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists
2015-02-23, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11430087/Fluoride-in-dri...

Last year Public Health England released a report saying fluoride was a ‘safe and effective’ way of improving dental health. But new research from the University of Kent suggests that there is a spike in the number of cases of underactive thyroid in high fluoride areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England. In England, around 10 per cent of the population (6 million) live in areas with a naturally or artificially fluoridated water supply of 1 mg fluoride per litre of drinking water. The researchers compared areas to records from 7935 general practices covering around 95 per cent of the English population in 2012-2013. Rates of high underactive thyroid were at least 30 per cent more likely in practices located in areas with fluoride levels in excess of 0.3 mg/l. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts, depending on the region and it is also found in certain foods and drinks, including tea and fish. It helps combat tooth decay by making enamel more resistant to bacteria. But previous studies have found that it inhibits the production of iodine, which is essential for a healthy thyroid. The thyroid gland, which is found in the neck, regulates the metabolism as well as many other systems in the body. An underactive thyroid can lead to depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles and affects 15 times more women than men, around 15 in 1,000 women.

Note: Read lots more excellent information on fluoridation of water in this article on mercola.com. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


A UFO story lands in a hall of history
2015-02-23, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/02/23/berkshires-museum-says-alien-enco...

This is how the story goes: It’s 1966, and 6-year-old Thomas Reed is in his bedroom on his family’s horse farm in the Berkshires when the encounters begin. Suddenly, he’s in the woods near his home looking at a UFO. The following year, there is another incident. Two years later, the family is driving on Route 7 when they see strange lights in the sky. Thomas and his brother and mother and grandmother find themselves in a giant room. Next thing, he’s back near the car. Reed has told these stories many times, and it has not always gone well. But recently, his tale had found recognition in an unlikely place. The Great Barrington Historical Society & Museum has formally inducted the UFO story. "We believe it is true,” said Debbie Oppermann, the director of the society. “I know we’re going to get a lot of backlash. But ... based on the evidence we’ve been given, we believe this is a significant and true event.” The historical society believes it is the first time a “mainstream” historical society or museum in the United States has declared a UFO encounter to be historical fact. What most interests the historical society is the 1969 encounter, because dozens of people in the area reported seeing an unidentified flying object around that time. Many of those eyewitnesses called the local radio station, WSBS, which covered the sightings. The radio station has provided documentation to the historical society, which interviewed one of those eyewitnesses.

Note: The Great Barrington Historical Society joins a former presidential aide, a respected astronaut, countless others in legitimizing historic accounts of UFO activity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles about The UFO cover-up and disclosure effort from reliable major media sources.


A Pesticide Banned, or Not, Underscores Trans-Atlantic Trade Sensitivities
2015-02-23, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/business/international/a-pesticide-banned-o...

Syngenta, a Swiss chemicals company, produces one of America’s most popular herbicides. It is called atrazine, and 73.7 million pounds of the chemical compound were applied in the United States in 2013. It was used on more than half of all corn crops, two-thirds of sorghum and up to 90 percent of sugar cane. The weed killer is banned as a pesticide in the European Union as well as in Switzerland over concerns that it is a groundwater contaminant. Syngenta, however, did not get the memo. Even though the European Union banned atrazine over a decade ago, the company has long insisted that the pesticide was not banned. Sensitivity over regulatory gaps between the United States and Europe has flared during trans-Atlantic trade talks, which have been underway since 2013. An increasing number of critics of the process are concerned that the outcome could favor corporations more than consumers. Advocacy groups have particularly focused on chemicals, given the disparities in policy. Baskut O. Tuncak, a senior lawyer at the Center for International Environmental Law, said that in his view the chemical proposals that have surfaced so far “reflect a lot of industry’s demands and their concerns with more protective E.U. policies.” He added that proposed changes could “slow or stop and possibly weaken efforts to develop stronger chemical regulation in either the E.U. or the U.S.”

Note: Syngenta did everything in its power to discredit atrazine researcher Tyrone Hayes after Hayes published science proving that Syngenta's products were poisonous. The New Yorker published a detailed article on Syngenta's smear campaign. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher
2015-02-21, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate-chang...

For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gasses pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming. But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests. He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress. Dr. Soon has found a warm welcome among politicians in Washington and state capitals who try to block climate action. United States Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who claims that climate change is a global scientific hoax, has repeatedly cited Dr. Soon’s work over the years.

Note: One of Dr Soon's primary funding sources is Donors Trust, a secretive organization found to have orchestrated a vast climate denial conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Senior London Telegraph Writer Peter Oborne Quits Over HSBC Allegations
2015-02-20, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/peter-oborne-resignation-senior...

A senior writer at the Daily Telegraph has dramatically quit the newspaper after accusing its owners, the Barclay Brothers, of suppressing reports about the HSBC scandal out of fear of losing advertising revenue. Peter Oborne, the paper’s chief political commentator and an award-winning author, announced his resignation [and] accused the Telegraph of committing a “fraud” on readers. Mr Oborne detailed a series of investigations about HSBC, and other financial scandals, which he said executives at the newspaper had closed down. Mr Oborne wrote: “From the start of 2013 onwards stories critical of HSBC were discouraged [because] HSBC [had] suspended its advertising with the Telegraph. “Its account ... was extremely valuable. HSBC, as one former Telegraph executive told me, is ‘the advertiser you literally cannot afford to offend’. “Winning back the HSBC advertising account became an urgent priority. It was eventually restored after approximately 12 months. Executives say that Murdoch MacLennan [chief executive of Telegraph Media Group] was determined not to allow any criticism of the international bank.” As a result of a 2012 investigation into accounts held by HSBC in Jersey, he claimed: “Reporters were ordered to destroy all emails, reports and documents related to the HSBC investigation. I [resigned] as a matter of conscience. The past few years have seen the rise of shadowy executives who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed across the mainstream media."

Note: Oborne's online resignation provides a unique window into some of the ways that big money is used to manipulate the media. Read lots more on HSBC's empire of corruption in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. HSBC was founded to service the international drug trade in the 19th century, and launders money for mobsters and terrorists on a massive scale.


Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten
2015-02-20, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/together-with-earth/replace-the-gospel-of-m...

David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance. This month, Korten, who is also the co-founder and board chair of YES!, publishes a new book challenging readers to rethink their relationship with Earth—indeed, with all creation, from the smallest quantum particle to the whole of the universe. The world needs “a new story,” he says. Buying into the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule. It’s the traditional development model, or transnational capitalism, that damages Earth as a living community, including not just humans but all life forms. Control of money is the ultimate mechanism of social control in a society in which most every person depends on money for the basic means of living. The only legitimate purpose of the economy is to serve life, is to serve us as living beings making our living in co-productive partnership with living Earth.

Note: David Korten's new book is titled: Change the Story, Change the Future. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


When Americans Lynched Mexicans
2015-02-20, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/opinion/when-americans-lynched-mexicans.htm...

The recent release of a landmark report on the history of lynching in the United States is a welcome contribution to the struggle over American collective memory. One dimension of mob violence that is often overlooked, however, is that lynchers targeted many other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including Native Americans, Italians, Chinese and, especially, Mexicans. Americans are largely unaware that Mexicans were frequently the targets of lynch mobs, from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century, second only to African-Americans in the scale and scope of the crimes. From 1848 to 1928, mobs murdered thousands of Mexicans. These lynchings occurred not only in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, but also in states far from the border, like Nebraska and Wyoming. Some of these cases did appear in press accounts, when reporters depicted them as violent public spectacles, as they did with many lynchings of African-Americans in the South. The story of mob violence against Mexicans in the Southwest compels us to rethink the history of lynching. Southern blacks were the group most often targeted, but comparing the histories of the South and the West strengthens our understanding of mob violence in both.

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


How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
2015-02-19, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist

American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data. The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands. With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider’s network that the communications were intercepted.

Note: In an article that updates the story above, The Intercept reports that Gemalto has now acknowledged this security breach, but is misrepresenting its significance to prevent client and investor fears from harming the company's profitability. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in intelligence agencies and government.


A Whistleblower's Horror Story
2015-02-18, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/a-whistleblowers-horror-story-20150218

One man's story in particular highlights just about everything that can go wrong when you give evidence against your bosses in America: former Countrywide/Bank of America whistleblower Michael Winston. Two years ago this month, Winston was being celebrated in the news as a hero. He'd blown the whistle on Countrywide Financial, the bent mortgage lender that ... nearly blew up the global economy. Today, Winston [has] spent over a million dollars fighting Countrywide (and the firm that acquired it, Bank of America) in court. At first, that fight proved a good gamble, as a jury granted him a multi-million-dollar award for retaliation and wrongful termination. But after Winston won that case, an appellate judge not only wiped out that jury verdict, but allowed Bank of America to counterattack him. The bank eventually beat him for nearly $98,000 in court costs. That single transaction means a good guy in the crisis drama, Winston, had by the end of 2014 paid a larger individual penalty than virtually every wrongdoer connected with the financial collapse of 2008. When Winston protested his preposterous punishment on the grounds that a trillion-dollar company recouping legal fees from an unemployed whistleblower was unreasonable and unnecessary, a California Superior Court judge denied his argument — get this — on the grounds that Winston failed to prove a disparity in resources between himself and Bank of America! Four years later, we're still waiting for the first criminal conviction against any individual for crisis-era corruption. There's been no significant reform. What we've seen instead is a series of cash deals with the most corrupt companies.

Note: Countrywide bought political influence to more effectively defraud institutional investors and taxpayers. Thanks to Winston, they were caught and proven guilty. But Bank of America purchased Countrywide, and has been paying off officials in secret deals to continue skirting the law without admitting wrongdoing. And Michael Winston now has to pay Bank of America for their trouble.


Rabbis' absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia's Orthodox Jewish community
2015-02-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/19/rabbis-absolute-power-h...

From a Melbourne courtroom, the torment of the Chabad rabbis was streamed live to the world as the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse probed the city’s secretive and powerful Yeshivah community. Sharp divisions in the Jewish world have been exposed. Two rabbis, including one of the nation’s most prominent, have been forced from their posts. Whistleblowers, humiliated and ostracised for years by Yeshivah, have been dramatically vindicated. More victims have come forward. More criminal charges may follow. Yeshivah schools face a nightmare of civil litigation. The cast is Jewish, yet the bones of this story are familiar to anyone who has followed the scandal of child abuse in Christian schools and parishes. The witness stand of a royal commission is a cruel place for men of any faith. Cardinals and preachers are not used to being held to account. In their world, facts don’t necessarily matter. Belief is everything. Up against the law, compelled to answer, they find themselves trapped in daylight. Over 10 long days of hearings in Melbourne, rabbi after rabbi apologised for the failings of the Chabad-Lubavitcher communities of St Kilda and Bondi. Some did so bluntly. Some only when they were cornered by tough questioning. Only Rabbi Moshe Gutnick seized the opportunity. “I and many of my so-called ultra-Orthodox friends and colleagues share the outrage as to what has gone on here,” he told the commissioners.

Note: For more on this disturbing story read this article also in the UK's Guardian. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Swiss prosecutors are shocked by HSBC's tax scandal
2015-02-18, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2015/02/18/swiss-prosecutors-are-shocked-shocked-by-hsbcs-...

A scandal implicating HSBC in alleged tax evasion widened further Wednesday, as Swiss prosecutors raided the Geneva headquarters of its private bank in Switzerland. The raid, in connection with an investigation into ‘aggravated money-laundering’, marks the latest twist in a saga that dates back 10 years. Materials leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ... indicated that HSBC aggressively marketed schemes suitable for tax evasion to rich clients across the world. The materials come from a stash of files stolen from HSBC by Hervé Falciani, a former employee and whistleblower. Falciani was indicted in Switzerland in December for industrial espionage and for breaking the law on banking secrecy. Falciani’s files have already led to criminal investigations in France, Belgium and Argentina. The Swiss authorities’ action Wednesday, however, is the first to suggest that they regard tax evasion itself as a bigger crime than exposing it. [HSBC has also recently] been found guilty of manipulating benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates, [and] desperately needs to be able to prove that it has not aided or abetted tax evasion or money-laundering since December 2012. That was when it signed a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. after admitting to helping Iran get round sanctions and laundering the profits of Mexican drug trafficking gangs. Any evidence that it has broken that DPA could lead to it losing its all-important license to bank in the U.S., destroying its status as a global bank overnight.

Note: Read lots more on HSBC's sweetheart deal with U.S. officials in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. US Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to bring justice in this case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in government and the financial industry.


TV News and the Idea of Truth
2015-02-17, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/us/tv-news-and-the-idea-of-truth.html?_r=0

I have been the guest of both Jon Stewart and Brian Williams, the newsy comedian and the comedic newsman who announced very different sorts of leave-taking last week. As they depart — Mr. Stewart honorably, Mr. Williams with his integrity in doubt — I found myself recalling very different experiences on their shows. On Mr. Stewart’s show, the truth was a process; on Mr. Williams’s, it was an outcome. “The Daily Show” deconstructed purported truths. “Nightly News” took precarious facts and fallible “experts” and constructed them into something purporting to be Truth. An under-told aspect of Mr. Stewart’s legacy is how much his deconstructing spirit meant to many in the less open parts of the world. On a reporting trip to China some years ago, I was struck by the risks young people took to download the show illegally and, in some cases, to subtitle and disseminate it for others. I telephoned one such Stewart fan in Beijing to ask how she was coping with his departure. “We hope he can delay his resigning until after the 2016 election,” said Maggie Chen. “We’re not interested in your politics,” she said, adding: “We’re interested in the style of the show, and the idea that you can use jokes to tell the truth.” As a young Chinese woman living through a widening crackdown on free speech, Ms. Chen admires the show’s exploration of “the things behind the news or within the news.”

Note: "The Daily Show" has used irreverent comedy to talk about NSA spying, financial industry malfeasance, racial inequality, and even to celebrate child heroes of a global human rights struggle.


Mysterious plumes erupt from Mars
2015-02-16, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/16/mars-erupting-plumes/23497289/

Astronomers have spotted huge cloudlike plumes erupting from Mars – a phenomenon that scientists are at a loss to explain. The bright flares, which have now died away, towered higher than anything else observed in the Martian atmosphere. Their tops reached some 150 miles in altitude, more than twice as high as the highest Martian clouds, and they sprawled across 300 to 600 miles, researchers report in this week's Nature, a science journal. The researchers initially were skeptical, but "we came to the conclusion that what we were seeing is actually real," says study co-author Antonio García Muńoz, a planetary scientist at the European Space Agency. The plumes are "exceptional. … It's difficult to come to terms with this." This scientific brainteaser first came to light in early 2012. "I don't think it's real. Basic physics says this can't occur," [Planetary scientist Todd Clancy of the Space Science Institute] says, adding that the conditions in Mars's upper atmosphere don't supply the necessary ingredients for clouds. In response, study co-author Agustin Sánchez-Lavega, a planetary scientist and physics professor at the University of the Basque Country in Spain, notes that 19 different observers captured the strange eruptions. He considers the source of the formations "open to discussion," he says via e-mail.

Note: Here is a picture that shows Mars' strange behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about our enigmatic universe from reliable major media sources.


Spy agencies could be funding geo-engineering research in pursuit of weaponising the weather, scientists claims
2015-02-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/spy-agencies-could-be-funding-geoen...

A senior American climate scientist has spoken of the fear he experienced when US intelligence services apparently asked him about the possibility of weaponising the weather as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week. During a debate on the use of geo-engineering to combat climate change ... Prof Robock said: “I got a phone call from two men who said we work as consultants for the CIA and we'd like to know if some other country was controlling our climate, would we know about it? ”I told them, after thinking a little bit, that we probably would because if you put enough material in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight we would be able to detect it and see the equipment that was putting it up there. “At the same time I thought they were probably also interested in if we could control somebody else's climate, could they detect it?” Professor Robock, who has investigated the potential risks and benefits of using stratospheric particles to simulate the climate-changing effects of volcanic eruptions, said he felt “scared” when the approach was made. “I'd learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that haven't followed the rules and I thought that wasn't how I wanted my tax money spent. Professor Robock’s concerns come as a major report on geo-engineering is to be published this week by the US National Academy of Sciences. Among the report’s list of sponsors is the “US intelligence community." The professor alleges that ... the US government had a proven history of using the weather in a hostile way.

Note: The National Academy of Science's two-part report says that geoengineering technologies "present serious known and possible unknown environmental, social, and political risks, including the possibility of being deployed unilaterally." With a deeply corrupt scientific establishment being guided by corrupt intelligence agencies to meddle with the planet's total ecology, and with low public awareness about the messy history of mysterious atmospheric experiments over cities in the U.S. and elsewhere, what could possibly go wrong? For solid evidence the military has used the weather as a weapon, read about HAARP.


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