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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


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

Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


In Hacked D.N.C. Emails, a Glimpse of How Big Money Works
2016-07-25, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-25 17:17:10
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/us/politics/dnc-wikileaks-emails-fundraisin...

19,000 internal Democratic Party emails released on Friday by WikiLeaks [set] off a frenzy on the eve of the party’s quadrennial nominating convention and forc[ed] the resignation of the party chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Some of the emails revealed internal discussion by D.N.C. officials — obligated under party rules to remain neutral in the presidential primary — about how to discredit Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, enraging some of his supporters. Some ... are highly critical of Mr. Sanders. But the leaked cache also included thousands of emails exchanged by Democratic officials and party fund-raisers, revealing in rarely seen detail the elaborate, ingratiating and often bluntly transactional exchanges necessary to harvest hundreds of millions of dollars from the party’s wealthy donor class. The emails capture a world where seating charts are arranged with dollar totals in mind, where a White House celebration of gay pride is a thinly disguised occasion for rewarding wealthy donors and where physical proximity to the president is the most precious of currencies. Donors who raise $1.25 million for the party — or who give $467,000 — are entitled to priority booking in a top hotel, nightly access to V.I.P. lounges and an “exclusive roundtable and campaign briefing with high-level Democratic officials,” according to a promotional brochure obtained by The Times.

Note: This informative article reveals in detail how much influence wealth has on the democratic process. Democracy in America more resembles a system of one dollar per vote than one person per vote. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Mobile phones are 'cooking' men's sperm
2016-02-22, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:56:14
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/12167957/Mobile-phones-are-cookin...

[A] study finds sperm levels of men who kept their phones in their pocket during the day were quite seriously affected in 47 per cent of cases. Fertility experts are warning men that using a mobile for as little as an hour a day is "cooking sperm". The new study shows that having a mobile phone close to the testicles - or within a foot or two of the body - can lower sperm levels so much that conceiving could be difficult. Professor Martha Dirnfeld, of the Technion University in Haifa, said: "We analysed the amount of active swimming sperm and the quality and found that it had been reduced. "We think this is being caused by a heating of the sperm from the phone and by electromagnetic activity." The team monitored more than 100 men attending a fertility clinic for a year. They found that besides men keeping their phones close to their groin many spoke on the phone while it was charging and kept it only a few centimetres from their bed. Even keeping the phone on a bedside table appears to raise lower sperm cell counts. The findings are in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine and support a long-feared link between dropping fertility rates in men and the prevalent use of cellular phones. The quality of sperm among men in Western countries is constantly decreasing and is considered crucial in 40 percent of the cases in which couples have difficulty conceiving a child.

Note: This Newsweek article states that Apple advises not to keep your cell phone in your pocket. For lots more reliable information on cellphone risk, read this well researched article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


29 Pages Revealed: Corruption, Crime and Cover-up Of 9/11
2016-07-16, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:54:01
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-breitweiser/29-pages-revealed-corrupt_b...

When you listen to any member of our government state that the newly released 29 pages are no smoking gun - they are lying. Read the 29 pages and ... remember that they were written during 2002 and 2003. President Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq - not Saudi Arabia. So, 29 full pages that said “Saudi” and “Bandar” instead of “Hussein” and “Iraq” was a huge problem. There was a concerted effort by the FBI and the Bush Administration to keep incriminating Saudi evidence out of the Inquiry’s investigation. The Joint Inquiry was still able to write 29 full pages regarding Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks. No other nation is given such singular prominence in the Joint Inquiry’s Final Report. Not Iraq. Not Iran. Not Syria. Not Sudan. Not even Afghanistan or Pakistan. The 29 pages have been kept secret and suppressed from the American public for fifteen years - not for matters of genuine national security - but for matters of convenience, embarrassment, and cover-up. Instead of calling for an emergency session of Congress to immediately name the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, President Obama continues to downplay, belittle, and ignore the truth leaving us vulnerable to terrorist attacks that are still to this very day being funded by our “ally”. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided operational and financial support to the 9/11 hijackers. That is a fact. And, the U.S. government has been covering up that fact for fifteen years - even to this very day.

Note: Read these pages that they didn't want you to see on this webpage and explore good commentary at this link. Check out also five key revelations of these documents. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


As need grows for painkiller overdose treatment, companies raise prices
2016-07-17, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:51:56
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-naloxone-sales-20160707-snap-story.html

Naloxone works by blocking the effect that painkillers and heroin have in the brain and reversing the slowed breathing and unconsciousness that come with an overdose. But as the demand for naloxone has risen - overdose deaths now total 130 every day, or roughly the capacity of a Boeing 737 - the drug’s price has soared. Not long ago, a dose of the decades-old generic drug cost little more than a dollar. Now the lowest available price is nearly 20 times that. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. That was 50% more deaths than from highway accidents ... and more overdose deaths than any year on record. The overdose crisis has its roots in the 1990s, when doctors began prescribing more and higher doses of painkillers [in response] to campaigns, often funded behind the scenes by drug makers, that urged doctors to prescribe the strongest painkillers not just to cancer patients and others in severe pain, but also to those with milder pain. The narcotic manufacturers’ funding of those campaigns ... came to light through evidence unearthed in lawsuits and investigative journalism reports. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled. During that same time, deaths from those drugs quadrupled. The lethal side effects of that booming prescription painkiller market has now sparked a moneymaking opportunity with naloxone.

Note: Tens of thousands of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. If Big Pharma sees this as an opportunity to profit, what does that say about the healthcare system?


One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana
2016-07-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:49:36
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/13/one-striking-chart-sho...

Painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. When medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. Now a new study [provides] clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdoses. Researchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. In the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. They found that, in medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. Estimating the cost savings to Medicare from the decreased prescribing, [the study] found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013. The estimated annual Medicare prescription savings would be nearly half a billion dollars if all 50 states were to implement similar programs.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and an increasing number of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes
2016-05-19, Bloomberg
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:47:26
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-19/the-real-reason-big-pharma-...

In August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent. Within days, Turing contacted ... PSI, a charity that helps people meet the insurance copayments on costly drugs. Turing wanted PSI to create a fund for patients with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is most often treated with Daraprim. Having just made Daraprim much more costly, Turing was now offering to make it more affordable. But this is not a feel-good story. It’s a story about why expensive drugs keep getting more expensive, and how U.S. taxpayers support a billion-dollar system in which charitable giving is, in effect, a very profitable form of investing for drug companies - one that may also be tax-deductible. PSI, which runs similar programs for more than 20 diseases, jumped at Turing’s offer. PSI is a patient-assistance charitable organization, commonly known as a copay charity. It’s one of seven large charities ... offering assistance to some of the 40 million Americans covered through the government-funded Medicare drug program. A million-dollar contribution from a pharmaceutical company to a copay charity can keep hundreds of patients from abandoning a newly pricey drug. Fueled almost entirely by drugmakers’ contributions, the seven biggest copay charities, which cover scores of diseases, had combined contributions of $1.1 billion in 2014. For that $1 billion in aid, drug companies “get many billions back” from insurers.

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


A 'slow catastrophe' unfolds as the golden age of antibiotics comes to an end
2016-07-11, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:45:10
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-antibiotic-resistance-201607...

On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann. Within hours, a preliminary analysis deepened concern at the lab. Over the next several days, more sophisticated genetic sleuthing confirmed McGann’s worst fears. There, in the bacterium’s DNA, was a gene [that] made the pathogen impervious to the venerable antibiotic colistin. More ominously, the gene’s presence ... suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well. It was a milestone public health officials have been anticipating for years. In a steady march, disease-causing microbes have evolved ways to evade the bulwark of medications used to treat bacterial infections. For a variety of those illnesses, only colistin continued to work every time. Now this last line of defense had been breached as well. Almost as soon as they were given to patients, scientists began finding evidence that disease-causing bacteria were developing resistance to these new wonder drugs. Humans have accelerated this natural process by indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics and by routinely feeding the drugs to livestock.

Note: Millions of unnecessary drug prescriptions and rampant overuse of antibiotics in livestock also produces autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Guantánamo detainee who wrote a book about his torture to be released
2016-07-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:41:25
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/20/mohamedou-ould-slahi-release-...

One of the most tortured men in the history of Guantánamo Bay has received clearance from the wartime prison’s quasi-parole board to leave after nearly 14 years of detention without charge. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen whose harrowing account of his torture at Guantánamo Bay became an international bestseller in 2015, will soon leave behind the Cuban detention center where US military personnel contorted his body; bombarded him with noise; deprived him of sleep; stuffed his clothing with ice during a nighttime boat ride meant to to convince him he was headed to an even worse place; threatened his life; and threatened his mother with rape. A nonlegal panel representing various US security agencies tasked with assessing threats posed by Guantánamo’s 76 residual detainees, found Slahi to represent no “continuing significant threat to the security of the United States”. The consensus decision, reached on 14 July, was made public on Wednesday. A federal judge in 2010 [had previously] ordered him freed for lack of evidence untainted by torture to justify his detention, yet the US justice department appealed. In the summer of 2003, senior Guantánamo officials, believing Slahi was an important link to al-Qaida, sought and received permission from the Pentagon to torture him. US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally approved Slahi’s torture. In his book, Slahi recalled ... that he would tell his tormentors whatever they wished to hear. “I don’t care, as long as you are pleased,” Slahi informed his interrogators.

Note: By the time Slahi's bestselling book Guantanamo Diary was published, leaked documents obtained by BBC News had revealed that more than 150 innocent people were detained at Guantanamo after being rounded up for no reason. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists.


Election Observers Cut to Conform With Voting Rights Act Ruling
2016-07-17, Newsweek/Reuters
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:38:45
http://www.newsweek.com/election-observers-cut-voting-rights-act-ruling-48116...

Federal election observers can only be sent to five states in this year’s U.S. presidential election, among the smallest deployments since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to end racial discrimination at the ballot box. The plan ... reflects changes brought about by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down parts of the Act, a signature legislative achievement of the 1960s civil rights movement. Voting rights advocates told Reuters they were concerned that the scaling-back of observers would make it harder to detect and counter efforts to intimidate or hinder voters, especially in southern states with a history of racial discrimination at the ballot box. The Supreme Court ruling undercut ... the Justice Department’s ability to select voting areas it deemed at risk of racial discrimination and deploy observers there. Eleven mostly Southern states had been certified as needing federal observers by the department. Federal observers can still be sent to monitor elections but only when authorized by federal court rulings. Currently, courts have done so in five states: Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, and New York, according to the Justice Department. In recent presidential elections, the Justice Department has sent more than 780 people to watch elections around the country. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Friday the Justice Department's ability to deploy election observers had been "severely curtailed" by the Supreme Court’s decision.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


The Price of Prevention: Vaccine Costs Are Soaring
2014-07-02, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:36:21
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/health/Vaccine-Costs-Soaring-Paying-Till-It...

Vaccination prices have gone from single digits to sometimes triple digits in the last two decades, creating dilemmas for doctors and their patients as well as straining public health budgets. Some doctors have stopped offering immunizations because they say they cannot afford to buy these potentially lifesaving preventive treatments that insurers often reimburse poorly, sometimes even at a loss. Childhood immunizations are so vital to public health that the Affordable Care Act mandates their coverage at no out-of-pocket cost and they are generally required for school entry. Old vaccines have been reformulated with higher costs. New ones have entered the market at once-unthinkable prices. Together, since 1986, they have pushed up the average cost to fully vaccinate a child with private insurance to the age of 18 to $2,192 from $100, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The costs for the federal government, which buys half of all vaccines for the nation’s children, have increased 15-fold during that period. The most expensive shot for young children in Dr. Irvin’s refrigerator is Prevnar 13, which prevents diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria, from ear infections to pneumonia. Each shot is priced at $136, and most states require children to get four doses before entering day care or preschool. Pfizer, the sole manufacturer, had revenues of nearly $4 billion from its Prevnar vaccine line last year.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and vaccine controversies from reliable major media sources.


North Dakotans soundly reject corporate farming measure
2016-06-15, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:33:46
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/15/reuters-america-update-1-north-dakotans-soundl...

North Dakotans on Tuesday soundly rejected a law enacted last year that changed decades of family-farming rules in the state by allowing corporations to own and operate dairy and hog farms. Some 75 percent of North Dakotans who went to the ballot box voted to repeal Senate Bill 2351. The law ... exempted dairy and swine production from the state's Depression-era corporate farming prohibition. The North Dakota Farmers Union and other groups that collected signatures to put the referendum on the ballot said family farmers cannot compete with large agricultural firms with no ties to the communities where they operate. Corporate and foreign control of U.S. farmland has been a hot-button issue in several major agricultural states in recent years. State laws prohibiting corporations and foreign entities from owning U.S. farmland complicated a $4.7 billion acquisition in 2013 of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods by China's Shuanghui International. The deal ultimately closed. This February, a U.S. district judge issued an injunction barring Nebraska officials from enforcing the state's ban on farmland ownership by corporations. North Dakota, with about 740,000 residents, has a heavily agricultural economy. It is one of nine states that have laws limiting corporate farming, according to the National Agricultural Law Center. The North Dakota law says farming or ranching companies must have no more than 15 shareholders or members who must belong to the same family, to a distance of first cousins.

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


A one-time dress-shop owner now runs an urban community garden that feeds thousands
2015-06-08, Daily Good
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:31:44
http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=6815

Our area is considered a food desert by the USDA: local residents can’t buy healthy food within walking distance, and four in ten don’t own cars. You could buy all the junk food and fried fish you wanted, but you couldn’t buy an apple, orange or banana. I found myself giving people rides to the grocery store, and I started thinking, ‘This would be a lot easier if people could grow their own food.’ We started gardening with one bed, 16 feet by 16 feet, and 10 kids, growing tomatoes and potatoes. The children were so excited. It was like magic for them. And sometimes, it was magic for me, too. The garden began as the project of an urban studies grad student and continued under the leadership of University of Illinois Master Gardeners. But in 2006, the garden faced foreclosure. No one wanted to continue. I knew what it meant, so I became the volunteer steward, and the Randolph Street Community Garden was born. To fund the garden, I took a part-time job at FedEx. We have 65 beds now. When people come to church for food assistance, their eyes light up at the sight of fresh tomatoes, beans and potatoes. I recruit them to become gardeners and offer them a bed of their own to plant. Now we have families growing their own vegetables, and community members purchasing affordable food at our marketplace. More than 1,800 people received fresh produce, and we gave away more than 4,000 pounds of surplus prepared foods. We have a lot of divisions in our community, but in the garden everyone is the same.

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


U.S. Navy banned from using sonar that could harm whales and other marine life
2016-07-16, New York Daily News/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:30:06
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/u-s-navy-banned-sonar-harm-whales-ar...

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the U.S. Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar that could harm whales and other marine life. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision upholding approval granted in 2012 for the Navy to use low-frequency sonar for training, testing and routine operations. The five-year approval covered peacetime operations in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. Sonar, used to detect submarines, can injure whales, seals, dolphins and walruses and disrupt their feeding and mating. The 2012 rules adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service permitted Navy sonar use to affect about 30 whales and two dozen pinnipeds, marine mammals with front and rear flippers such as seals and sea lions, each year. The Navy was required to shut down or delay sonar use if a marine mammal was detected near the ship. Loud sonar pulses also were banned near coastlines and in certain protected waters. Environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco in 2012, arguing that the approval violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The appellate court ruled 3-0 that the approval rules failed to meet a section of the protection act requiring peacetime oceanic programs to have "the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammals." The panel concluded that the fisheries service "did not give adequate protection to ... the world's oceans."

Note: Explore concise summaries of news articles about marine mammals and how amazing they are.


Germany Announces Revolutionary Bike Highway
2016-07-13, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2016-07-24 22:28:08
http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/germany-announces-revolutionary-bike-highwa...

Leave it to Germany to build a bicycle autobahn that connects 10 cities within its borders. The goal? To take some 50,000 vehicles off the actual highways and make commuting by bike a much easier - and safer - proposition. The idea was sparked six years ago when a cultural project caused the one-day closure of the road between Duisburg and Dortmund and more than three million people flooded the road on bikes, skates, and feet. Last December, Germany’s first stretch of bike highway opened for business between Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen. Eventually, the Radschnellweg will link 10 cities and four universities with 62 miles of bike highway. The bikeways - and parallel pedestrian paths - are completely separated from the vehicle lanes, with a 13-foot width, tunnels, lights, and snow clearing because safety and accessibility issues are two of the biggest obstacles to biking. Coupled with Europe’s blossoming affection for electric bikes and Germany’s proximity between cities, the Radschnellweg stands to attract a new wave of pedal-powered commuters. Of course, the Germans are only the latest to enter the bike highway fray. The Netherlands started building its network of bikeways 10 years ago and continue to expand it, while Denmark focused its efforts on Copenhagen. Norway will soon be getting in on the action too with bikeways connecting nine cities.

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


We Should Beware Police Killings by Robot or Drone
2016-07-12, Newsweek
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:24:18
http://www.newsweek.com/we-should-beware-police-killings-robot-or-drone-47970...

On July 7, Dallas police officers used a bomb robot to kill the suspected perpetrator of a shooting that left five Dallas-area police officers dead and seven others wounded. While police have used robots to deliver chemical agents and pizza, it looks as if the deployment of the robot bomb on Thursday night was the first time American police officers have used a robot to kill someone. According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown, “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was.” The death of the alleged shooter in Dallas should prompt us to think carefully about how new technologies will be used by police to deliver lethal force. Robots like the one used by Dallas police are used by police departments across the country as part of bomb squads. But it’s worth keeping in mind that these robots will continue to improve, making it easier for police to use them in situations like the standoff in Dallas. Other tools such as drones could also potentially be used to kill suspects. In fact, North Dakota has legalized the use of armed drones in some circumstances, and Florida law defines a police drone as one that can “carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.” As technology improves, using tools such as robots to kill dangerous suspects will become easier, and we shouldn’t be surprised if they proliferate. Amid such changes we should keep a careful eye on how and when police use remote devices, especially in cases not as clear cut as the recent standoff.

Note: The use of robots in warfare has been increasing. Militarization of US police, led by the Pentagon, suggests that robots will also be increasingly used in domestic law enforcement. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


What does Dallas's 'bomb robot' mean for the future of policing?
2016-07-09, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:22:40
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2016/0709/What-does-Dallas-s-bomb-rob...

Havoc broke out at a peaceful protest against police violence and racism in Dallas on Thursday evening when a sniper opened fire, shooting 12 officers and 2 civilians. Police cornered the suspect, now known to be Micah Johnson. Around 3 a.m., police reported that the sniper ... was killed by explosives delivered by a remote-controlled robot. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was,” said Dallas police chief David Brown. Experts say this is the first use of a robot to kill a suspect in the history of US law enforcement. Debate about Johnson's death is situated within a larger conversation about police militarization and why it has become a law enforcement trend. That question has been central to the Black Lives Matter movement. Militarized equipment, including this bomb-wielding robot, has become increasingly common in domestic police forces, as a result of the government’s 1033 program that filters excess military equipment into domestic law enforcement departments. Joseph Pollini, a retired NYPD lieutenant commander, [said] the use of an explosive was more surprising than the use of a robot. “In my entire career I’ve never heard of using an explosive device to terminate someone,” he says. “There is a huge concern about the weaponization of robotic platforms, as these technologies become more sophisticated and more autonomous, and weapons are actually quite easy to attach to them,” both by civilians and police, he says.

Note: The use of robots in warfare has been increasing. Militarization of US police, led by the Pentagon, suggests that robots will also be increasingly used in domestic law enforcement. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Vets' vaccine alert after claims of dog deaths
2016-07-02, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:20:45
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/02/dogs-dying-after-having-protective...

Thousands of dogs across Britain are dying or suffering severe allergic reactions after being treated with a vaccine meant to protect them against mild bacterial infections. Fears over the safety of the vaccine against leptospirosis - a bacterial infection spread to dogs through rats and wild animals – have now led veterinary organisations to issue warnings about its side effects. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is urging owners not to use Nobivac L4 vaccine on puppies under 12 weeks old. However, [it] is still being administered in veterinary practices across Britain to dogs from seven weeks old, with little warning of the potential side effects. According to reports made to the Government's Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) by pet owners, more than 120 dogs are feared to have died after receiving a dosage in the three years the product has been on the market. In the last two years, regulators have received 2,000 reports of dogs having suspected adverse or fatal reactions. Owners that have opted for the L4 vaccine ... have reported adverse effects including epileptic fits, swollen glands and blindness. The vaccine, which is manufactured by MSD Animal Health, a subsidiary of American conglomerate Merck Sharp & Dohme, is currently being monitored by the VMD. The regulator has however refused to reveal the total number of animals that had been affected since the product came onto the market, prompting concern among dog owners that the scale of problem is being kept hidden from the public.

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


Flu shot effectiveness for 2015-16 disappointing, data shows
2016-07-10, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:18:46
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canada-flu-shot-vaccine-skowronski-h1n1-1.3669427

It's the time of year when experts crunch the numbers to see how well the flu shot worked. The result? Better than last year, but still not good enough. "Just shy of 45 to 50 per cent," said Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control, who presented the data to the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness meeting at the World Health Organization last week. In 2014-15, the flu shot offered essentially zero protection against the circulating influenza virus of that season. Back then, the prevailing strain was H3N2. This year's main circulating virus was H1N1. Skowronski said the vaccine was ... disappointing. Experts used to believe the annual flu shot protection was much higher, around 70 to 90 per cent. But not anymore. Those early estimates were based on industry-funded clinical trials that were extrapolated to apply across all ages and flu seasons. "It was a blanket assumption that is simply not true," Skowronski said. That assumption changed dramatically, after Skowronski and colleagues developed a protocol that revealed the true picture of vaccine efficacy. It's called the test negative design (TND) first piloted in Canada in 2004. "The test negative design has opened our eyes to all kinds of variables that we were blind to for years," said Skowronski. Scientists also once again observed [that] people who get the shot with no prior vaccine exposure seem to have better protection than people who get the shot year after year.

Note: A National Institute of Health study found in 2007 that flu shots do not protect the elderly. More recent studies have shown that some flu shots actually increase the risk of infection. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.


How a $2 Roadside Drug Test Sends Innocent People to Jail
2016-07-07, New York Times
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:16:55
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/magazine/how-a-2-roadside-drug-test-sends-i...

Police officers arrest more than 1.2 million people a year in the United States on charges of illegal drug possession. Field tests ... help them move quickly from suspicion to conviction. But the kits - which cost about $2 each and have changed little since 1973 - are far from reliable. Some tests ... use a single tube of a chemical called cobalt thiocyanate, which turns blue when it is exposed to cocaine. But cobalt thiocyanate also turns blue when it is exposed to more than 80 other compounds, including methadone, certain acne medications and several common household cleaners. Other tests use three tubes, which the officer can break in a specific order to rule out everything but the drug in question - but if the officer breaks the tubes in the wrong order, that, too, can invalidate the results. There are no established error rates for the field tests, in part because their accuracy varies so widely depending on who is using them and how. In Las Vegas, authorities re-examined a sampling of cocaine field tests conducted between 2010 and 2013 and found that 33 percent of them were false positives. By 1978, the Department of Justice had determined that field tests “should not be used for evidential purposes,” and the field tests in use today remain inadmissible at trial in nearly every jurisdiction. But this has proved to be a meaningless prohibition. Most drug cases in the United States are decided well before they reach trial, by the far more informal process of plea bargaining.

Note: Drug test field kits sometimes produce wildly inaccurate results. And recently the FBI was found to have faked an entire branch of forensic science. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing judicial corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Spending on jails outpaced spending on schools by three times over the last 30 years
2016-07-07, Miami Herald
Posted: 2016-07-17 20:14:42
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article88229277.html

Over the last 30 years, local and state governments increased how much they spend on putting people in jail three times more than how much they spend on educating students, according to a new analysis by the Department of Education. From 1979-1980 to 2012-2013 ... governments increased spending on incarceration by 324 percent (from $17 to $71 billion). This is more than three times the spending increase on education, which only grew 107 percent (from $258 to $534 billion) over the same time period. All of the 50 states had lower expenditure growth rates for PK-12 education than for corrections. “When I think about the lives of those who are incarcerated, I can’t help but feel disheartened,” Education Secretary John King wrote on Medium. “I can’t help but think about their families, spouses, sons, daughters, and parents - or about the art not created; the entrepreneurial ideas that may never reach the drawing board; the classrooms these Americans will never lead; and the discoveries they’ll never make.” King also cited research showing [that] a 10-percent increase in high school graduation rates leads to a 9-percent decrease in the rates of criminal arrest, and reduces murder and assault rates by 20 percent. “Redirecting some of the funds currently spent on corrections in order to make investments in education that we know work,” the Department of Education report said, “could provide a more positive and potentially more effective approach to both reducing crime and increasing opportunity.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the criminal justice system.


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