Excerpts of Key Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key media articles from the major media that suggest major cover-ups.
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Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan?
2014-02-25, The Intercept
In the early morning hours of February 5, a group of armed men – some dressed in Pakistani police uniforms – appeared at Kareem Khan’s home, awoke him and his family at gunpoint, and took him away in an unmarked vehicle. Khan was hooded, shackled around the wrists and ankles, and driven for hours, eventually arriving at a building where he was thrown into a windowless holding cell. There he stayed for more than a week, during which he was subjected to sensory deprivation and physical abuse. Khan says he was repeatedly beaten on the soles of his feet and threatened with death by his captors. He was kept hooded and shackled for most of the day, and fed only dry bread and water. Khan has no doubts about why he was targeted. He is the first person to attempt a legal challenge to the CIA drone program in Pakistan, after his son and brother were killed in a drone strike near his home in North Waziristan on December 31st 2009. His abduction and detention occurred just over a week before Khan was to travel with [his Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad] Akbar and Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer with the UK-based legal charity Reprieve, to speak with European parliamentarians about the CIA drone program. Among the topics of discussion were the extralegal nature of the program, as well as covert intelligence sharing by European spy agencies. While in captivity, Khan was interrogated by men who refused to identify themselves, and who questioned him repeatedly about his plans to speak with the media and about the cases of others who had been killed by drones. Since the start of the “War on Terror” it has been estimated by local human rights groups that as many as 8,000 Pakistani citizens have been “disappeared” by local intelligence agencies, often at the behest of their American counterparts.
Note: The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. For more on the atrocities committed by the US and UK in the illegal "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
2014-02-24, The Intercept
Western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. Today, [The Intercept is] publishing [a document from GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group], entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups. Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government.
Note: To see a guidebook developed by intelligence agencies full of charts and information on how to infiltrate and deceive the public, click here. The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. Note that Greenwald fails to mention that Sunstein's almost exclusive focus was on "conspiracy theories" advocated by the 9/11 truth movement. For more on his call for what amounts to a new COINTELPRO, see David Ray Griffin's book Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.
Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert
2014-02-23, Financial Times
Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50 per cent of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price, which is set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale in a process known as the “London gold fixing”. Fideres’ research found the gold price frequently climbs (or falls) once a twice-daily conference call between the five banks begins, peaks (or troughs) almost exactly as the call ends and then experiences a sharp reversal, a pattern it alleged may be evidence of “collusive behaviour”. “[This] is indicative of panel banks pushing the gold price upwards on the basis of a strategy that was likely predetermined before the start of the call in order to benefit their existing positions or pending orders,” Fideres concluded. “The behaviour of the gold price is very suspicious in 50 per cent of cases. This is not something you would expect to see if you take into account normal market factors,“ said Alberto Thomas, a partner at Fideres. Alasdair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney, a dealer in physical gold, added: “When the banks fix the price, the advantage they have is that they know what orders they have in the pocket.” BaFin, the German regulator, has launched an investigation into gold-price manipulation and demanded documents from Deutsche Bank. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is also examining how the price of gold and other precious metals is set as part of a wider probe into benchmark manipulation following findings of wrongdoing with respect to Libor and similar allegations with respect to the foreign exchange market.
Important Note: The above article was removed from the Financial Times website just two days after it was posted. How strange. To read the full article on another website, click here. And for a BBC article which shows how the Rothschilds fixed gold prices in the past, click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Genetically Modified Babies
2014-02-23, New York Times
An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations. The F.D.A. calls them mitochondrial manipulation technologies. The procedures involve removing the nuclear material either from the egg or embryo of a woman with inheritable mitochondrial disease and inserting it into a healthy egg or embryo of a donor whose own nuclear material has been discarded. Any offspring would carry genetic material from three people — the nuclear DNA of the mother and father, and the mitochondrial DNA of the donor. Developers of these modification techniques say they are a way for women with mitochondrial disease to give birth to healthy children to whom they are related genetically. Some are also promoting their use for age-related infertility. These procedures are deeply problematic in terms of their medical risks and societal implications. Will the child be born healthy, or will the cellular disruptions created by this eggs-as-Lego-pieces approach lead to problems later on? What about subsequent generations? And how far will we go in our efforts to engineer humans? Unfortunately, there are now worrisome signs that opposition to inheritable genetic modifications, written into law by dozens of countries, according to our count, may be weakening. British regulators are also considering mitochondrial manipulations, and proponents there, like their counterparts in the United States, want to move quickly to clinical trials.
Note: For more on the dangers to society of genetic engineering, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US Federal Reserve knew about Libor rigging three years before the financial scandal exploded but did not take any firm action, documents have revealed. According to newly published transcripts of the central bank’s meetings in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a senior Fed official first flagged the issue at a policy meeting in April 2008. William Dudley expressed fears that banks were being dishonest in the way they were calculating the London interbank offered rate – a global benchmark interest rate used as the basis for trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts. Three years after his remarks, it emerged that traders at more than a dozen banks, including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, had routinely been trying to fix the official Libor rate in order to boost their own bonuses and profits. The transcript of the Fed’s April 2008 meeting raises questions about why the central bank did not move to properly tackle the scandal. There was no official regulator for Libor at the time, and officials at the US Federal Reserve tried to blame British authorities for allowing the benchmark interest rate to get out of control in the first place. The Fed declined to comment on the transcripts or why it had not taken firm action..
Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Judge Tosses Muslim Spying Suit Against NYPD, Says Any Damage Was Caused by Reporters Who Exposed It
2014-02-21, The Intercept
A federal judge in Newark has thrown out a lawsuit against the New York Police Department for spying on New Jersey Muslims, saying if anyone was at fault, it was the Associated Press for telling people about it. In his ruling ... U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini simultaneously demonstrated the willingness of the judiciary to give law enforcement alarming latitude in the name of fighting terror, greenlighted the targeting of Muslims based solely on their religious beliefs, and blamed the media for upsetting people by telling them what their government was doing. The NYPD’s clandestine spying on daily life in Muslim communities in the region — with no probable cause, and nothing to show for it — was exposed in a Pulitzer-Prize winning series of stories by the AP. The stories described infiltration and surveillance of at least 20 mosques, 14 restaurants, 11 retail stores, two grade schools, and two Muslim student associations in New Jersey alone. In a cursory, 10-page ruling issued before even hearing oral arguments, Martini essentially said that what the targets didn’t know didn’t hurt them: "None of the Plaintiffs’ injuries arose until after the Associated Press released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents. Nowhere in the Complaint do Plaintiffs allege that they suffered harm prior to the unauthorized release of the documents by the Associated Press. This confirms that Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries flow from the Associated Press’s unauthorized disclosure of the documents. The harms are not “fairly traceable” to any act of surveillance."
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
A shy boy, a three-legged dog and a soul-binding friendship
2014-02-21, Fox News
When 7-year-old Owen Howkins met his new dog, Haatchi, he was a shy boy suffering from a rare syndrome that left his muscles permanently flexed and his mobility limited. When Haatchi met Owen, he was recovering from losing his left rear leg after being hit by a train in north London. For the boy in the wheelchair and the three-legged Anatolian Shepherd, it was an instant, soul-binding friendship, one that Owen says “changed my life.” In the video “A Boy and his Dog,” recently released on YouTube, Owen’s stepmother Colleen Drummond explains, “The day that Haatchi met Owen was utterly incredible. It was electric. It was spiritual…they immediately understood they were going to work together as a team.” Owen has a condition called Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, which his father, Will, explains leaves his muscles in a permanently flexed state. Because they never relax, it affects his balance and Owen uses a walker or wheelchair to get around. Now, Owen says, he and Hattachi “like going for walks in my electric wheelchair.” “His confidence has grown and grown this past year,” his father reports. Owen agrees. “Everything changed in my life with him,” he says, referring to Haatchi, who was rescued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Among the many things Owen says Haatchi taught him is not to be afraid of strangers. Says Drummond, “Owen and Haatchi simplify everything by pure love.” Adds Owen, “Haatchi is my best friend.”
Note: Don't miss the touching, nine-minute video of this boy and his dog at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On
2014-02-20, Yes! Magazine
On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, N.Y., outside of Ithaca. On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building. The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that's beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike. For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort. "We've raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days," he says, and the number of volunteers has been "in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now." The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.
Note: For lots more on the tiny house movement, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Indiana Woman Sues US Customs Over Detention
2014-02-20, CBS Cleveland
An Indiana University faculty member has sued two U.S. customs agents for detaining her after the government eavesdropped on emails she exchanged with a Greek friend. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit [on February 19] alleging the customs agents violated Christine Von Der Haar’s constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. “This case raises troubling issues about the power of the government to detain and question citizens,” said Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana legal director who represents Von Der Haar. The lawsuit alleges Von Der Haar, a senior lecturer in the sociology department at Indiana University in Bloomington, was confined in a guarded room at Indianapolis International Airport for more than 20 minutes on June 8, 2012, while she was questioned about her relationship with her friend. The lawsuit alleges the questioning was based on surreptitious monitoring of communications between Von Der Haar and her friend, Dimitris Papatheodoropoulus. The two “communicated frequently through emails. Some of these emails were flirtatious and romantic in nature,” the lawsuit said. Von Der Haar felt she had no choice but to answer questions from the agents, whom she believed to be armed, and did not believe she could leave until they released her, the lawsuit said. “The detention of Dr. Von Der Haar was without cause or justification,” the complaint said, and “caused her anxiety, concern, distress and other damages.” The lawsuit names the two customs agents as defendants and seeks damages.
Note: For more on government abuses of civil liberties, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Discipline With Dignity: Oakland Classrooms Try Healing Instead of Punishment
2014-02-19, Yes! Magazine
Tommy, an agitated 14-year-old high school student in Oakland, Calif., was in the hallway cursing out his teacher at the top of his lungs. A few minutes earlier, in the classroom, he’d called her a “b___” after she twice told him to lift his head from the desk. Eric Butler, the school coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) heard the ruckus and rushed to the scene. They walked together to the restorative justice room. Slowly, the boy began to open up and share what was weighing on him. His mom, who had been successfully doing drug rehabilitation, had relapsed. She’d been out for three days. The 14-year-old was going home every night to a motherless household and two younger siblings. He had been holding it together as best he could, even getting his brother and sister breakfast and getting them off to school. He had his head down on the desk in class that day because he was exhausted from sleepless nights and worry. Eric ... facilitated a restorative justice circle with [Tommy's mom], Tommy, the teacher, and the principal. Punitive justice asks only what rule of law was broken, who did it, and how they should be punished. It responds to the original harm with more harm. Restorative justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and obligations of all affected, and how does everyone affected figure out how to heal the harm. Tommy ... told his story. On the day of the incident, he had not slept, and he was hungry and scared. He felt the teacher was nagging him. He’d lost it. Tommy apologized.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
The David Miranda judgment has chilling implications for press freedom, race relations and basic justice
2014-02-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
One person's freedom fighter may be another's terrorist, but David Miranda is very clearly neither. Yet he was detained at Heathrow airport for nine hours under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. That the high court has now found his detention to be lawful is disappointing, to say the least. If someone travelling as part of journalistic work can be lawfully detained like this – questioned for hours without a lawyer present, his electronic equipment confiscated and cloned and all without the merest suspicion of wrongdoing required – then clearly something has gone wrong with the law. Schedule 7 suffers the same glaring flaws as the old section 44 counter-terrorism power that also allowed stop and search without suspicion. Such laws leave themselves wide open to discriminatory misuse: section 44 never once led to a terrorism conviction but was used to stop people like journalist Pennie Quinton. In a significant victory, Liberty took her case to the European court of human rights and the power was declared unlawful. Liberty and other organisations intervened in [Miranda's] case on just this point, arguing that the detention violated article 10 of the European convention, the right to freedom of expression. Our riled security services' transparent intimidation and interference with Miranda is shocking. But it's also important that we use his case to shed light on the murky everyday reality of schedule 7.
Note: For more on threats to civil liberties, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Pedophile Rights Campaign Still Causing a Stink for Harriet Harman -- 40 Years On
2014-02-19, International Business Times
The Labour party is facing fresh revelations about the relationship between some of its most senior members and an organisation called the Paedophile Information Exchange, which campaigned for the legalisation of sex with children under five, during the 1970s. The discredited organisation has been linked to a number of big Labour names including the party's current deputy leader, Harriet Harman, by a Daily Mail investigation. Harman and her husband, Labour's shadow minister for policing Jack Dromey, are tied to Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) by their shared past in the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), the former name of human rights group Liberty. Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt was general secretary of the NCCL from 1974-83, Harman was its legal officer from 1978-82 and Dromey sat on the group's executive committee for nine years, between 1970 and 1979. During those years, the NCCL built links with PIE and lobbied parliament on behalf of its agenda. Close relations between the groups were apparently founded on the shared principle of social and sexual progressiveness. PIE members maintained that sexual relations between children and adults did not harm the former. In 1978, Harman claimed that sex abuse images should be given back to paedophiles by police who had seized them because doing otherwise would be censorship.
Note: For more on sexual abuse of children, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Journalist Sues Police Who Questioned Drone Use
2014-02-18, ABC News/Associated Press
A journalist filed a lawsuit [on February 18] alleging that Hartford [Connecticut] police officers violated his free-speech rights by questioning his use of a remote-controlled aircraft to record images of a car wreck. Pedro Rivera['s] complaint says that officers demanded that Rivera stop flying the remote-controlled aircraft, asked him to leave the area and told his employer that he had interfered with a police investigation. "I told them I was there on my personal time," said Rivera, who was suspended for a week from his on-call job with a Connecticut television station. "They went to my employer and caused a lot of problems for me and my job." The lawsuit ... seeks damages for Rivera but also asks the court to declare that he did not break any laws by operating the 2 1/2-pound, four-rotor aircraft above the scene of the fatal Feb. 1 wreck. It says that Rivera made clear he was not working for the television station, WFSB-TV, although he acknowledged that he occasionally sent the video feed from his drone to the station. "The suit is as much about trying to make sure police officers don't legislate from the beat as it is about getting a court to weigh in and say what the standards are," said Norm Pattis, the attorney for Rivera. Rivera, 29, of Hartford, argues in the lawsuit that police violated his First Amendment right to free expression as well as his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures.
Note: This could be a key case which determines who has the right to use drones. Do we really want only the military and government to have the right to use them?
One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
2014-02-17, New York Magazine
Recently, our nation’s financial chieftains have been feeling a little unloved. Venture capitalists are comparing the persecution of the rich to the plight of Jews at Kristallnacht, Wall Street titans are saying that they’re sick of being beaten up, and this week, a billionaire investor, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that “the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons.” Ross's statement seemed particularly odd, because two years ago, I met Ross at an event that might single-handedly explain why the rest of the country still hates financial tycoons – the annual black-tie induction ceremony of a secret Wall Street fraternity called Kappa Beta Phi. It was January 2012, and Ross, ... the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks. I’d heard whisperings about the existence of Kappa Beta Phi. It was a secret fraternity, founded at the beginning of the Great Depression, that functioned as a sort of one-percenter’s Friars Club. Each year, the group’s dinner features comedy skits, musical acts in drag, and off-color jokes, and its group’s privacy mantra is “What happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.” For eight decades, it worked. No outsider in living memory had witnessed the entire proceedings firsthand. The first and most obvious conclusion was that the upper ranks of finance are composed of people who have completely divorced themselves from reality. No self-aware and socially conscious Wall Street executive would have agreed to be part of a group whose tacit mission is to make light of the financial sector’s foibles. Not when those foibles had resulted in real harm to millions of people in the form of foreclosures, wrecked 401(k)s, and a devastating unemployment crisis.
Note: This article is adapted from Kevin Roose’s new book Young Money. For more on secret societies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Amory Lovins: energy visionary sees renewables revolution in full swing
2014-02-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Amory Lovins last year harvested from his small garden more than 30 pounds of bananas, along with guava, mango, papaya, loquat, passion and other exotic fruit. Nothing remarkable in that, except that the energy analyst and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) does not live in the tropics but in an unheated house 6,500 feet up a mountain near Aspen, Colorado, where the temperature falls to -44C and where last week more than two feet of snow fell in less than 24 hours. The fruit is grown in a greenhouse that is part of the sprawling, experimental, super-insulated house at Old Snowmass, built 30 years ago for $500,000 (£300,000) and an inspiration for a generation of energy thinkers, designers and sustainable builders. Visited by 100,000 people, it was the archetype for the European Passivhaus movement. "Heating systems are so 20th century," he says. "We have found you actually save money by not putting in a heating system. It's cheaper. The monitoring system uses more energy than the lights." Lovins has always maintained that energy conservation not only pays for itself, but that energy-saving technology can lead to higher quality of life at lower cost. He has advised many of the world's largest companies and dozens of countries how to reduce bills with renewables but has also challenged the giant car, aviation and construction industries to rethink the way they operate. Renewables have scaled up incredibly fast, he says. "Worldwide it is faster than mobile phones. More Kenyans now get first electricity now from solar than the grid. China got more generation from wind in 2012 than from nuclear and it added more generation from non-hydro renewable energy than fossil and nuclear combined. It is now the world leader in seven of the 10 renewable energies and wants to be top in all 10.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Study finds toxic chemicals linked to autism, ADHD
2014-02-16, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Leading chemical experts are calling for a radical overhaul of chemical regulation to protect children from everyday toxins that may be causing a global ''silent epidemic'' of brain development disorders such as autism, dyslexia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. A review published in The Lancet Neurology on [February15] said current regulations were inadequate to safeguard fetuses and children from potentially hazardous chemicals found in the environment and everyday items such as clothing, furniture and toys. In the past seven years, the number of recognised chemical causes of neurodevelopmental disorders doubled from six to 12. These include lead, arsenic, pesticides such as DDT, solvents, methylmercury that is found in some fish, flame retardants that are often added to plastics and textiles, and manganese - a commonly mined metal that can get into drinking water. The list also controversially includes fluoride, a mineral found in water, plants and toothpaste. Many health authorities including the World Health Organisation and ... governments say low levels of fluoride in drinking water is safe and protects teeth against decay, but [the researchers] said a meta-analysis of 27 studies, mainly from China, had found children in areas with high levels of fluoride in water had significantly lower IQ scores than those living in low-level fluoride areas. Since 2006, the number of chemicals known to damage the human brain more generally, but that are not regulated to protect children's health, had increased from 202 to 214. Of the newly identified toxins, pesticides constitute the largest group.
Note: For more evidence that fluoride in the water supply can be damaging to health, click here and here. For more on possible causes of autism including vaccines, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
NSA monitored US law firm and overseas client
2014-02-16, Boston Globe/New York Times
The list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: US lawyers. A top-secret document, obtained by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that a US law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance of Americans ensnared by the eavesdroppers and is of particular interest because US lawyers with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance. The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. The NSA’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the US law firm, and offered to share information. The NSA is banned from targeting Americans, including businesses, law firms, and other organizations based in the United States, for surveillance without warrants, and intelligence officials have repeatedly said the NSA does not use spy services of its partners in the so-called Five Eyes alliance — Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand — to skirt the law. The Australians told officials at an NSA liaison office in Canberra, that “information covered by attorney-client privilege may be included” in the intelligence gathering. Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under US law from NSA eavesdropping.
Note: For more on intense deception perpetrated by the intelligence community, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Homeless Hungarian man hits lottery jackpot with his last few coins
2014-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Unemployed, in debt and facing another year living on the streets in Hungary, László Andraschek spent his last remaining coins on a lottery ticket. Now the formerly homeless man has a choice of accommodation around the world after becoming one of Hungary's biggest lottery winners, with a prize of about £1.7m. Andraschek, whose 630m Hungarian forint win last September went unnoticed until he made a significant donation to a hostel for the homeless this month, said buying the ticket was a chance decision at a railway station on his way to Budapest for a workshop for recovering alcoholics. [He] now plans to use his winnings to establish a foundation for addicts and women abused by their husbands. He and his wife, Anikó, said they will invest their money cautiously and avoid the ruinous spending splurges of many a lottery winner. "I have become rich but I have not become a different person. I could buy a large-screen TV because I can afford it, but I won't buy three because I can afford it." Having struggled with alcoholism, Andraschek finally quit five years ago and says he "now has no need to return". The news of Andraschek's dramatic upturn in fortunes came as human rights activists organised a wave of protests worldwide against a new Hungarian law that bans sleeping rough, in a country that has 30,000 homeless people.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Three Years Later, A Harrowing Visit To Fukushima
2014-02-15, NPR Blog
At a motel in the town of Hirono, just outside a restricted zone in Fukushima Prefecture, [the] residents were all men, all apparently working on the cleanup of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down and a fourth caught on fire after a quake and tsunami in 2011. The plant's operator is mostly using subcontractors to supply labor, which drives down the pay and tends to leave the poorest workers living in crowded dormitories. Workers and labor activists say that Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is subcontracting the work out to avoid taking direct responsibility — financial and otherwise — for the dangers the workers face each day at the plant. Recent days and weeks have brought embarrassing news for Tepco, including that levels of radioactive strontium in wells in the plant were reported months late, and were 10 times lower than the actual amount. TEPCO says it was a measurement error. Some critics say that TEPCO can't be trusted and that the world's largest nuclear accident is still waiting to happen at Fukushima, such as an accidental nuclear reaction that releases large amounts of harmful radiation into the air. TEPCO dismisses predictions like this as alarmist. Japanese themselves are highly divided on the issue, just as they are about whether or not their country should continue to rely on nuclear power, which previously supplied up to a third of their electricity. One thing that seems certain is that the work of cleaning up and shutting down the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will go on for a long time. TEPCO predicts it could last 30 or 40 years. Others say that estimate is blindly optimistic.
Note: Why is this critical news getting so little coverage? For more on deception and corruption around nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
2014-02-14, Rolling Stone
The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays. The U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. They issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses. For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years. The bank also ... aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash. That nobody from the bank went to jail or paid a dollar in individual fines is nothing new in this era of financial crisis. What is different about this settlement is that the Justice Department, for the first time, admitted why it decided to go soft on this particular kind of criminal. It was worried that anything more than a wrist slap for HSBC might undermine the world economy. "Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a press conference to announce the settlement, "HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the U.S., the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized."
Note: For more on the collusion of government with the biggest, most corrupt banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.