Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups.
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Genetically Modified Babies
2014-02-23, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:49:17
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.
Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert
2014-02-23, Financial Times
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:47:37
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.
Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:46:10
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.
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
2014-02-24, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:44:41
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.
Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ
2014-02-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:42:51
Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally. Yahoo ... denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy". Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ's existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs.
Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users' feeds ... to avoid overloading GCHQ's servers. The documents describe these users as "unselected" – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.
Note: For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan?
2014-02-25, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:41:23
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.
The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
2014-02-12, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:39:39
It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years. Wall Street had spent much of that era arguing that America's banks needed to become bigger and badder, in order to compete globally with the German and Japanese-style financial giants. Bank lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or "modifying," as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and broker. Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America. The [bill] additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally." Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and ... aluminum.
Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Trans-Pacific Partnership: a guide to the most contentious issues
2013-12-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:38:05
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is being negotiated in Singapore this week between Australia, New Zealand, the US, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. The countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$28,136bn on 2012 figures, which represents almost 40% of the world’s GDP. There have been many contentious issues around the TPP: critics are particularly concerned about the secrecy around the agreement given it has the capacity to change many local laws and regulations. The majority of public criticism has centred on arguments relating to intellectual property and the cost of medicines, though many have concerns about environmental issues including climate change, investment, e-commerce and labour laws. The US has been rigid in its demands for stronger intellectual property protection to champion the rights of its global giants such as IT companies and its film and music industries. The US position on [the] investor-state dispute settlement provision ... grants foreign companies the right to sue [a] government under international law. All countries accepted there needed to be agreement on privacy obligations with regard to information-sharing, apart from the US, which reserved its position on privacy. The US position has left people wondering whether the TPP will undermine privacy, particularly in the wake of the NSA revelations from the Snowden documents. There appear to be deep divisions on environment and climate change, with the US and Australia opposing any extension of the text on climate matters.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Silver makes antibiotics thousands of times more effective
2013-06-19, Nature Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:36:26
Bacteria have a weakness: silver. The precious metal has been used to fight infection for thousands of years — Hippocrates first described its antimicrobial properties in 400 BC — but how it works has been a mystery. Now, a team led by James Collins, a biomedical engineer at Boston University in Massachusetts, has described how silver can disrupt bacteria, and shown that the ancient treatment could help to deal with the thoroughly modern scourge of antibiotic resistance. Collins and his team found that silver — in the form of dissolved ions — attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: [silver] makes the cell membrane more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism, leading to the overproduction of reactive, and often toxic, oxygen compounds. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins says. Many antibiotics are thought to kill their targets by producing reactive oxygen compounds, and Collins and his team showed that when boosted with a small amount of silver these drugs could kill between 10 and 1,000 times as many bacteria. The increased membrane permeability also allows more antibiotics to enter the bacterial cells, which may overwhelm the resistance mechanisms that rely on shuttling the drug back out. That disruption to the cell membrane also increased the effectiveness of vancomycin, a large-molecule antibiotic, on Gram-negative bacteria — which have a protective outer coating. Gram-negative bacterial cells can often be impenetrable to antibiotics made of larger molecules.
Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Inmates at Parramatta Girls Home subjected to 'state-sanctioned rape'
2014-02-26, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:34:55
Girls as young as 18 months who came into contact with the [New South Wales, Australia] child welfare authorities from the 1930s onwards were routinely tested for venereal disease and evidence of sexual activity. If they were found, on the basis of a spurious vaginal examination, to have been sexually active, from the age of 10 upwards they could be sent to the Parramatta Girls Home where they were exposed to ''state-sanctioned rape'' perpetrated by doctors, supervising staff and other inmates. The notorious detention centre for girls, which shut down after public outcry in 1974, is the focus of hearings for the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Harrowing testimony is expected as 10 women, who were among the thousands detained in the home or at the associated Institution for Girls at Hay during the period of 1950-1974, take the stand to tell their stories. In the 2005 book Orphans of the Living by Joanna Penglase, a NSW departmental field officer told Dr Penglase how girls picked up on vague grounds of being ''exposed to moral danger'' were subjected to vaginal examinations. Despite having no scientific basis, this test could be used to assign a girl to the Parramatta home, wrote Dr Penglase, who called it state-sanctioned rape. ''Regardless of whether she claimed she had been abused by a parent or foster carer or [someone else], she was seen to be guilty,'' said Bonney Djuric, who was sent to the Parramatta home in 1970 and founded a support network for former inmates, Parragirls, in 2006.
''For many girls having this examination was essentially their first sexual experience, if you can call it that,'' Ms Djuric said. ''Being raped by having a metal object inserted is something you never forget.''
Note: For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
How paedophiles infiltrated the left and hijacked the fight for civil rights
2014-03-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:33:05
How did the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) [become so influential in the 1970s]? "It was an extraordinarily liberal period," said Harry Fletcher, a criminal justice expert who at the time was the senior social worker for the National Council for One Parent Families. People were pushing at every boundary – sexual, moral, legal. Many on the left thought that criminalising sexual behaviour between consenting teenagers was misguided and wanted it lowered to 14, a proposal endorsed by the NCCL's [National Council for Civil Liberties] executive committee. Others, like Fletcher, felt such a move would give a licence to older men to prey on young girls. Into this permissive climate crept the PIE, a group that actively promoted sex between children and adults and that was allowed not only to affiliate to the NCCL ... but enjoyed considerable recognition and support for its right to speak out on such issues. The group inveigled itself so successfully into the NCCL that, as reported in the May 1978 edition of its magazine MagPIE, the council's annual meeting passed a motion in support of PIE's rights. Admittedly, any group could join the NCCL, which had more than 1,000 affiliate member organisations and the council's motion probably owed more to defending the principle of free speech than defending PIE. And it would be wrong to portray PIE as a major force. Being small, comprising only a handful of activists and with a membership estimated to be between 300 and 1,000, PIE was not a powerful voice at a time when the main debates within the council were about sexual equality and race relations. But its views were so profoundly abhorrent to most of Britain that it is still hard to see why the council did not do more to disown PIE from the start.
Note: For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Bikers Against Child Abuse: International Organization Comprised Of Bikers Supports And Protects Victims Of Child Abuse
2012-07-19, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:30:20
When children who have been the victims of abuse hear the approaching roar of a group called the Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), they know they've got back-up. BACA, an international non-profit that uses a biker's tough image to make child abuse victims feel more secure, has a motto that says it all: 'No child deserves to live in fear.' BACA members are usually asked to intervene by local law enforcement officials or even by a parent. According to the group's mission statement, members will do everything from attending a child's court hearings to actually staying with a victim if he/she is afraid. “Our mission is to empower these children, allow them not to be afraid of the world, to stand up to the abuser and say you can’t do that me. I’ve got friends, I got backup; if you try to do that to me, you’re going to have go through us,” the Missouri chapter public relations officer, Mopar (the members use ride names for security purposes) told Columbia Magazine. Bikers Against Child Abuse was founded in 1995 by a Native American child psychologist whose ride name is Chief, when he came across a young boy who had been subjected to extreme abuse and was too afraid to leave his house. He called the boy to reach out to him, but the only thing that seemed to interest the child was Chief's bike. Soon, some 20 bikers went to the boy's neighborhood and were able to draw him out of his house for the first time in weeks. Chief's thesis was that a child who has been abused by an adult can benefit psychologically from the presence of even more intimidating adults that they know are on their side.
Note: For a short video on this highly unusual group, click here. For more on sexual abuse scandals, 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
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:28:02
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.
5 Mindfulness Steps That Guarantee Increased Success And Vitality
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:24:31
Dr. Ellen Langer, a renowned mindfulness expert, experimental social psychologist and psychology professor at Harvard University, [is] the author of the groundbreaking book Mindfulness. Dr. Langer is considered the “mother of mindfulness” and has been researching mindfulness for more than 35 years, producing an important body of work on the impact of mindfulness on expanding success, health and vitality. Dr. Langer is convinced that virtually all of our suffering — professional, personal, interpersonal, societal — is the direct or indirect result of our mindlessness. In fact her studies suggest to her that most of us are mindless most of the time. Her research has found that increasing mindfulness results in increases in health, competence and happiness. More specifically, when people become more mindful, they become more charismatic, more innovative, less judgmental. Memory and attention improve, relationships expand, and mindfulness even leaves its imprint on the products we produce. By increasing mindfulness she’s found that stress decreases, pain diminishes, symptoms of arthritis, ALS and the common cold decrease, among other findings. Most astounding is that when seniors were encouraged to be mindful, they actually lived longer. How can we become more mindful in our lives, and create more success and vitality in the process? Dr. Langer suggests we take these 5 critical steps: Seek out, create, and notice new things. Realize how behavior can be understood differently in different contexts. Reframe mistakes into successes. Be aware that stress — indeed, all emotion — is a result of our views about events. Be authentic.
Note: For more on major health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Meet the College Student Who's Turning Campus Leftovers Into Meals for Thousands of Hungry Neighbors
2014-02-07, People Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:22:53
How much food could be rescued if college dining halls saved their leftovers? Turns out more than 200,000 pounds in three years – according to the Food Recovery Network, which has mobilized college students across the nation to feed hungry people in the most commonsense way possible. At the University of Maryland’s 251 North dining hall, ... the dining hall staff began placing stainless-steel trays filled with unused food on an island countertop near the end of a spacious industrial kitchen. One by one, steaming trays were stacked on top of the other as several college students snapped on latex gloves and discussed their game plan. Their objective was simple, really: to intercept the food before it’s thrown away and deliver it to hungry people in need. The ever-expanding Food Recovery Network ... was founded on Maryland’s campus in September 2011 by Ben Simon, the nonprofit’s executive director. Food is thrown out at 75 percent of college campuses across the United States. That’s roughly 22 million meals per year, trashed. Overall, Americans waste 36 million tons of food annually. But since the founding of the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland ... in January 2012, the organization has expanded to 49 campuses nationwide.
Note: For an inspiring, four-minute video on this, click here. For the Food Recovery Network website, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Disabled veteran overcomes all odds to walk again
2012-05-12, CBS News
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:18:01
Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try -- he couldn't do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story. Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey - he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going. Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP's specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility -- which gave him hope that maybe someday, he'd be able to walk again. His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Neither Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.
Note: For an awesome, five-minute video on this inspiring transformation, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
One-Percent Jokes and Plutocrats in Drag: What I Saw When I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society
2014-02-17, New York Magazine
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:47:09
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.
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
2014-02-14, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:45:27
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.
Finland No. 1, US sinks to 46th in global press freedom rankings
2014-02-12, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:44:05
The United States did not live up to the promise of the First Amendment last year, “far from it,” sinking to 46th in global press freedom rankings, a respected international nonprofit group said. The U.S. plummeted 13 slots to 46th overall “amid increased efforts to track down whistle-blowers and the sources of leaks,” Reporters Without Borders warned in an annual report. “The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest,” the organization said. The group ... also cited the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records and a court’s pressure on New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA staffer accused of leaking classified information. “The whistle-blower is clearly the enemy in the U.S.,” Delphine Halgand, who heads the RSF outpost in Washington, told Yahoo News. “Eight whistle-blowers have been charged under the Obama administration, the highest number of any administration, of all other administrations combined.” Overall, RSF said in its report, “countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it.” “Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result,” the group said.
Note: As if to underscore the sad state of US press freedom, we couldn't find any major media who reported this sad news, other than a Washington Post blog at this link, which simply downplays the news and tries to explain it away. To read how the media censors some of the biggest stories never reported, 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)
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:41:47
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.