News Stories
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 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.


 News stories


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.

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'
2014-10-01, NPR Blog
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:56:03
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/10/01/352852976/sen-warren-we-need-r...

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street. "You really do, for a moment, get to be the fly on the wall that watches all of it, and there it is to be exposed to everyone: the cozy relationship, the fact that the Fed is more concerned about its relationship with a too-big-to-fail bank than it is with protecting the American public," Warren says. The recordings don't reveal anything outright illegal. Instead, they reveal Fed officials discussing "legal but shady" transactions and then wringing their hands over how to delicately bring them up with the bank. Warren, who before coming into office led an effort to create the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says that trepidation is another thing wrong with regulators today. "The fact that Goldman could mount a legal defense here is not really the point of these tapes. The point of these tapes is that the regulators are backing off long before anyone's in court making a legal argument about whether or not they came right up to the line or they crossed over the line." The bottom line, Warren says, is that the United States needs regulators "who understand that they work for the American people, not for the big banks."

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




The Fake Terror Threat Used To Justify Bombing Syria
2014-09-28, The Intercept with Glenn Greenwald
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:54:33
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/28/u-s-officials-invented-terror-g...

As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign. The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations ... tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by the Associated Press, who cited unnamed U.S. officials. AP depicted the U.S. officials who were feeding them the narrative as engaging in some sort of act of brave, unauthorized truth-telling. On the morning of September 18, CBS News broadcast a segment that is as pure war propaganda as it gets: directly linking the soon-to-arrive U.S. bombing campaign in Syria to the need to protect Americans from being exploded in civilian jets by Khorasan. As usual, anonymity was granted to U.S. officials to make these claims. As usual, there was almost no evidence for any of this. Nonetheless, American media outlets — eager, as always, to justify American wars — spewed all of this with very little skepticism. Worse, they did it by pretending that the U.S. government was trying not to talk about all of this — too secret! — but they, as intrepid, digging journalists, managed to unearth it from their courageous “sources.”

Note: Read the entire informative article to see how the media participates in manipulating unsuspecting citizens into more war. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




How Former Treasury Officials and the UAE Are Manipulating American Journalists
2014-09-25, The Intercept with Glenn Greenwald
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:51:27
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/25/uae-qatar-camstoll-group/

Qatar has become a hostile target for two nations with significant influence in the U.S.: Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israel is furious over Qatar’s support for Palestinians ... while the UAE is upset that Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This animosity has resulted in a new campaign in the west to demonize the Qataris as the key supporter of terrorism. The Israelis have chosen the direct approach of publicly accusing their new enemy in Doha of being terrorist supporters, while the UAE has opted for a more covert strategy: paying millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm – composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties – to plant anti-Qatar stories with American journalists. That more subtle tactic has been remarkably successful, and shines important light on how easily political narratives in U.S. media discourse can be literally purchased. The Camstoll Group [has] key figures [who] are all former senior Treasury Department officials ... whose responsibilities included managing the U.S. government’s relationships with Persian Gulf regimes and Israel. Most have backgrounds as neoconservative activists. Camstoll’s Managing Director, Howard Mendelsohn, was Acting Assistant Secretary of Treasury, where he also had ample policy responsibilities involving the Emirates. In other words, a senior Treasury official responsible for U.S. policy toward the Emirates leaves the U.S. government and forms a new lobbying company, which is then instantly paid millions of dollars by the very same country for which he was responsible, all to use his influence, access and contacts for its advantage. The UAE spends more than any other country in the world to influence U.S. policy and shape domestic debate, and it pays former high-level government officials who worked with it ... to carry out its agenda within the U.S.




Monsanto gives $4.7M to Colorado campaign against GMO labeling
2014-09-30, Colorado Public Radio
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:49:28
http://www.cpr.org/news/story/monsanto-gives-47m-colorado-campaign-against-gm...

Monsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds. The No on 105 committee has raised almost $10 million through Sept. 24, with Pepsico and Kraft Foods also giving more than $1 million each. The group begins running TV ads against the initiative this week. Meanwhile, the supporters of the labeling initiative, Right to Know GMO, have raised about $323,000, including almost $120,000 in the most recent two weeks. That groups top donors are Food Democracy Action at $140,000 total and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps at $25,000.

Note: In every election where GMO labeling was on the ballot, big industry has poured in many times more money that those in favor of disclosure. This is a very good example of how in the US, it is much more a democracy of every dollar gets one vote rather than every person gets one vote. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.




Domestic violence down since 1995, but not much in past decade
2014-09-24, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:47:55
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Domestic-violence-down-since-1995-but-no...

Domestic violence committed by intimate partners — current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends — has declined by more than 60 percent since the mid-1990s, according to Justice Department figures. Yet the dramatic decrease from 1995 through 2004 has largely stalled, with the numbers stabilizing at a level that appalls people in the prevention field. The latest federal figures for “serious” intimate partner violence — sexual assault or aggravated physical assault — showed 360,820 such incidents in 2013, or roughly 1,000 per day. The sharp decline in domestic violence began soon after the 1994 enactment of the federal Violence Against Women Act, which toughened penalties for offenders, expanded training for law enforcement and improved services for victims. However, that drop in domestic violence coincided with a comparable drop in virtually all types of violent crime. Most law enforcement agencies have vastly improved their handling of domestic violence over the past 20 years, while public attitudes and understanding have lagged behind.

Note: The dramatic decrease in all forms of violence crimes over the past 20 years is one of the most underreported stories out there. For more on this wonderful development, see this article. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Train Turns 50
2014-10-01, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:45:07
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japans-shinkansen-bullet-train-...

Zipping cross-country in a super-high speed train has become commonplace in many countries these days, but it was unheard of when Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka 50 years ago Wednesday. The Shinkansen, as it's called in Japan, gave a boost to train travel in Europe and Asia at a time when the rise of the automobile and the airplane threatened to eclipse it. The first bullet train, with its almost cute bulbous round nose, traveled from Tokyo to Osaka in four hours, shaving two and a half hours off the 513-kilometer (319-mile) journey. The latest model, with a space-age-like elongated nose, takes just two hours and 25 minutes. The first Shinkansen had a maximum speed of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour. The fastest trains previously, in Europe, could reach 160 kph. Today's bullet trains, in Japan and elsewhere, have reached and in some cases exceeded 300 kph (186 mph). By average speed, China has the fastest train in the world, averaging 284 kph. Turkey last year became the ninth country to operate a train at an average speed of 200 kph. South Korea and Taiwan also operate high-speed systems in Asia. The fastest train in the U.S., Amtrak's Acela Express, averages 169 kph (105 mph) on a short stretch between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware. Shanghai launched a German-built maglev train in 2004 on a 30-kilometer route between the city and the airport. It can hit 430 kph (267 mph). A Japanese maglev train in development has topped 500 kph (310 mph) in tests.

Note: Gas and oil interests have lobbied hard to keep Americans wedded to their cars and stop the development of high-speed trains. For more on this, see this excellent article and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on suppressed energy inventions from reliable major media sources.




'Absurd' drug laws 'hinder research' - Prof David Nutt
2013-04-06, BBC News
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:43:23
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-22042994

'Absurd' laws dealing with magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis are hindering medical research, according to a former government drugs adviser. Prof David Nutt says he has funding to research the use of the chemical psilocybin - found in fungi known as "magic mushrooms" to treat depression. But he says "insane" regulations mean he cannot get hold of the drug. The Home Office said there was "no evidence" that regulations were a barrier to research. It is not the first time Prof Nutt has been at odds with government policy. He was sacked as an adviser over views that ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol. Earlier research at Imperial College London showed that injections of psilocybin could calm a region of the brain which is overactive in depression. The UK's Medical Research Council has given the lab a £550,000 grant to test the idea - in 30 patients who have not responded to at least two other therapies. They have also been given ethical approval. However, there are more stringent regulations for testing the drug as a treatment than in earlier experiments. As a potential medicine it must meet Good Manufacturing Practice requirements set out by the EU. "It hasn't started yet because the big problem is getting hold of the drug," said Prof Nutt. He said finding a company to provide a clinical-grade psilocybin had "yet proved impossible" as none was prepared to "go through the regulatory hoops". He told the BBC: "We have regulations which are 50 years old, have never been reviewed and they are holding us back, they're stopping us doing the science and I think it's a disgrace actually."

Note: Watch an informative three-minute BBC news clip of an interview with Prof. Nutt. Another good five-minute BBC interview is available here. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources. See also the website of MAPS, and excellent organization supporting scientific study of the healing powers of these drugs.




CrowdMed wants to bring crowdsourcing to medicine
2014-05-10, Star Tribune/San Jose Mercury News
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:41:53
http://www.startribune.com/business/258540431.html

What Wikipedia has done for knowledge, a San Francisco company called CrowdMed is betting it can do for medicine. Send your symptoms and a nominal fee to CrowdMed.com, and dozens of medical professionals, students and average Joes will “crowdsource” — that is, share their knowledge and expertise — to help diagnose what’s wrong with you. The company isn’t out to replace your family doctor, but instead take advantage of the reach of social media to tap into an age-old medical practice: seeking second opinions. Or, in this case, hundreds of them. At the UC-Berkeley/UC-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, Dr. Amin Azzam, director of the “problem-based learning” curriculum, wants to use CrowdMed “to push the boundaries of how we train medical students.” Instead of teaching first- and second-year students with “pretend patients,” as is done now, Azzam is proposing adding CrowdMed’s cases to the curriculum. “They might even be more motivated to learn because it’s a real patient,” he said. Within 90 days of a consumer putting a case online, CrowdMed’s algorithm generates a list of the most probable diagnoses submitted by its “medical detectives,” along with their explanations. Patients are asked to give those suggestions to their physicians for consideration. Once it’s confirmed that the suggestions were helpful, the patients are refunded their $50 deposit and the detective who made the correct diagnosis gets his or her reward.

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




Federal prison population drops for 1st time in decades
2014-09-23, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:40:25
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Federal-prison-population-drops-for-1st-...

The federal prison population has dropped in the last year by roughly 4,800, the first time in several decades that the inmate count has gone down. In a speech Tuesday in New York City, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department expects to end the current budget year next week with a prison population of roughly 215,000 inmates. It would be the first time since 1980 that the federal prison population has declined during the course of a fiscal year. The crime rate has dropped along with the prison population, Holder said, proving that “longer-than-necessary prison terms” don’t improve public safety. “In fact, the opposite is often true,” he said. The Bureau of Prisons accounts for roughly one-third of the Justice Department budget, and the prison population has exploded in the last three decades as a result of “well-intentioned policies designed to be 'tough’ on criminals,” Holder said. In August 2013, for instance, he announced a major shift in sentencing policy, instructing federal prosecutors to stop charging many nonviolent drug defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences. More recently, the Justice Department has encouraged a broader swath of the prison population to apply for clemency, and has supported reductions in sentencing guideline ranges for drug criminals that could apply to tens of thousands of inmates. “We know that over-incarceration crushes opportunity. We know it prevents people, and entire communities, from getting on the right track,” Holder said. Holder also said that there should be new ways for the government to measure success of its criminal justice policies beyond how many people are prosecuted and sent to prison.

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




Scientists Create Very First Solar Battery that Stores its Own Power
2014-10-03, Science World Report
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:38:51
http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/17672/20141003/scientists-create-v...

Scientists may have created the very first solar battery. Researchers have succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device, which could be huge in terms of renewable energy capture and storage. "The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy," said Yiying Wu, one of the researchers, in a news release. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost." The key to the new device is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery. There's also a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode; inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery. "Basically, it's a breathing battery," said Wu. "It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges." The mesh solar panel forms the first electrode. Beneath the mesh is a thin sheet of porous carbon, which acts as the second electrode, and a lithium plate, which acts as the third electrode. Between the electrodes are layers of electrolyte to carry electrons back and forth. During charging, light hits the mesh solar panel and creates electrons. Then inside the battery, electrons are involved in the chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, and the lithium ions are stored in the battery as lithium metal after capturing the electrons. The findings could be huge in terms of creating sustainable energy for powering a variety of devices. Currently, the researchers are continuing to move forward in improving the efficiency of the battery and the amount of power the panel can absorb and convert. The findings are published in the journal Nature.

Note: For astounding major media articles on new energy inventions which have gotten very little press, explore this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




U.S. to pay Navajo Nation $554 million in largest settlement with single Indian tribe
2014-09-24, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:37:11
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-pay-navajo-nation...

In the largest settlement with a single American Indian tribe, the Obama administration will pay the Navajo Nation $554 million to settle claims that the U.S. government has mismanaged funds and natural resources on the Navajo reservation for decades. The settlement, to be signed in Window Rock, Ariz., on Friday, resolves a long-standing dispute between the Navajo Nation and the U.S. government, with some of the claims dating back more than 50 years. The sprawling Navajo reservation, located in parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, is the largest and most populous Indian reservation, with 14 million acres of trust lands, which are leased for farming, grazing, and oil, gas and other mineral extraction. The land is also leased for businesses, rights-of-way, easements and housing. “The Navajo Nation has worked tirelessly for many years to bring this issue to a close,” said Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation. “After a long, hard-won process, I am pleased that we have finally come to a resolution on this matter to receive fair and just compensation for the Navajo Nation.” Shelly said the tribe will host town hall meetings across the Navajo Nation to decide how the funds can be used or invested. Although the settlement marks the largest ever with one tribe, the Obama administration has made several other multimillion-dollar agreements with tribes since 2009 to settle long-standing grievances by Native Americans. Along with the Navajo Nation, the administration has negotiated settlements resulting in a total of $2.61 billion paid to 80 tribes since 2010 for tribal trust accounting and trust management claims.

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




U.S. Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
2014-09-21, New York Times
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:36:03
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/us-ramping-up-major-renewal-in-nuclear-a...

A sprawling new plant [near Kansas City] in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines. It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars. This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy. Supporters of arms control, as well as some of President Obama’s closest advisers, say their hopes for the president’s vision have turned to baffled disappointment as the modernization of nuclear capabilities has become an end unto itself. “A lot of it is hard to explain,” said Sam Nunn, the former senator whose writings on nuclear disarmament deeply influenced Mr. Obama.

Note: Consider the possibility the Obama, shortly after becoming president, may have received a death threat to his children if he didn't comply with the desires of powerful, greedy forces which want everlasting war on our planet. The trillion-dollar war industry has no qualms threatening anyone who gets in the way of their profits. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources and read what a top US general had to say about how he was manipulated.




Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate
2014-09-23, The Intercept With Glenn Greenwald
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:33:15
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/23/nobel-peace-prize-fact-day-syri...

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan. That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq. The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force). It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters is that it be at war, always and forever. Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. They do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.

Note: Read this powerful essay showing how the US has fed Islamic extremism in order to fill the pockets of those who run the war machine. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.




Who profits from our new war? Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans
2014-09-24, Salon
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:30:36
http://www.salon.com/2014/09/24/heres_who_profits_from_our_new_war_inside_nsa...

A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. INSCOM’s “global intelligence support” contract will place the contractors at the center of this fight. Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world. INSCOM announced the global intelligence contract two days after President Obama, in a speech to the nation, essentially declared war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria and outlined a campaign of airstrikes and combat actions to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group. The top contractors on the INSCOM contract are already involved in the war. Lockheed Martin, for example, makes the Hellfire missiles that are used extensively in U.S. drone strikes. Northrop Grumman makes the Global Hawk surveillance drone. Both companies have large intelligence units. 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget is spent on private contractors. This spending [is] estimated at around $70 billion a year. [There is a] revolving door between INSCOM and its contractors. The system is corrupted by the close relationships between the companies and their agencies, said [Tom] Drake, who as a whistle-blower was nearly sent to prison for exposing the waste, fraud and abuse in a contracted program at the NSA that ended up losing over $7 billion.

Note: Read a powerful essay written by a top US general showing how he was fooled into supporting wars that were generated by the powerful global elite who want never-ending war in order to keep their profits flowing.




St. Louis Police Academy offers 'highly entertaining' media training course on Ferguson shooting
2014-09-21, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:25:30
http://news.yahoo.com/st-louis-police-ferguson-media-training-course-14022601...

The police response to the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. — which included heavily armed militarized police clashing with protesters in the St. Louis suburb — is a case study for how not to manage a crisis. The St. Louis Police Academy seems to agree, offering a new fall course that teaches "tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA!" According to the Oct. 24 program's description, the "highly entertaining" class will cover lessons learned from both Ferguson and Newtown: • Meet the 900-Pound Gorilla • Feeding the Animals • "No Comment" is a comment • Dont' Get Stuck on Stupid! • Managing Media Assault and Battery. The one-day course, led by former WGN anchor-turned-public relations consultant Rick Rosenthal, is aimed at "upper-echelon law enforcement professionals" who expect to face the media, including "top-level decision-makers," supervisors and public information officers. During the protests, the city of Ferguson retained a PR firm to help its communications department deal with the "large volume of media queries." But some criticized the city for hiring a firm, Common Ground, with an all-white staff.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Doctors’ Magical Thinking About Conflicts of Interest
2014-09-08, New York Times
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:23:56
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/upshot/doctors-magical-thinking-about-confl...

When the Food and Drug Administration creates an advisory committee to help it decide whether to approve drugs, it often asks academic physicians to serve on the committee as external experts. This is supposed to help the committee render judgments that are unbiased and scientific. A study published today brings that assumption into question. [It] reviewed the voting behavior and financial interests of almost 1,400 F.D.A. advisory committee members. On average, 13 percent of participants on each committee had some reported financial interest in a drug company whose product was up for a review. About half of all meetings had at least one participant with such a financial interest. One quarter included an ownership interest. Over all, committee members had a 52 percent chance of voting in favor of a sponsor of a drug. But members who had financial interests [had an approval] probability of 63 percent. If members served on advisory boards for only the company whose product was up for review, then the chance they would vote in favor of it shot up to 84 percent. Data show[s] that top Medicare prescribers of the expensive drug Acthar had financial ties to its maker. Financial relationships between doctors and industry are not uncommon. In 2007, research showed that 94 percent of physicians in the United States had such relationships. More than 80 percent of doctors had accepted gifts, and 28 percent had received payments for consulting or research. [One study] followed doctors who went to two all-expenses-paid symposia on new drugs. Their prescriptions for those drugs nearly tripled after the meetings. Conflicts of interest are real, and they are still influencing decisions from the level of the patient all the way up to national health policy.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.




GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Fined $488.8 Million for 'Massive Bribery Network' in China
2014-09-19, ABC News
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:22:04
http://abcnews.go.com/International/glaxosmithkline-gsk-fined-4888-million-ma...

China has fined the British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $488.8 million (3 billion Yuan) for a "massive bribery network" to get doctors and hospitals to use its products. Five former employees were sentenced to two to four years in jail, but ordered deported instead of imprisoned, according to state news agency Xinhua today. The fine was the biggest ever imposed by a Chinese court. The court gave Mark Reilly, former head of GSK Chinese operations, a three-year prison sentence with a four-year reprieve, which meant he is set to be deported instead of serving his time in a Chinese jail. Reilly was accused of operating a “massive bribery network” in May. The police said it is believed Reilly authorized his salespeople to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK’s products since 2009. Throughout 2012 a stream of anonymous emails alleging bribery authorized by senior staff at GSK were sent to Chinese regulators. At the beginning of 2013, the anonymous emails began to arrive at GSK headquarter in London, along with a sex tape of Mark Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend. The charges claim that GSK hired Shanghai-based investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, to locate the whistleblower. The Humphreys were detained and charged with illegally obtaining phone logs, travel records and other data which then they put in a report to GSK. GSK released a statement of apologies to the Chinese government and people on its website. "GSK Plc has reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes, has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI, and must work hard to regain the trust of the Chinese people," the statement said.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.




Snowden Honored With 'Alternative Nobel'
2014-09-24, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:20:09
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/snowden-honored-alternative-nob...

Edward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. The decision to honor the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement. Snowden split the honorary portion of the award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden. The award foundation cited Snowden's "courage and skill" in revealing the extent of government surveillance and praised Rusbridger "for building a global media organization dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest." Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes. Snowden, who has reportedly also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He has been charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and could face up to 30 years in prison. Though the honorary award doesn't include any money, the foundation would offer to help pay Snowden's legal costs. Von Uexkull said the foundation was denied access to the Swedish Foreign Ministry's media room, where it has announced the awards since 1995, after it gave the ministry advance notice of the winners.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.




30 Years Later, 2 Men's Convictions Overturned in Rape-Murder
2014-09-03, NBC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:18:12
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/55979430/ns/us_news/t/nc-mens-convictions-overturne...

One of North Carolina's longest-serving death-row inmates and his half brother are being freed after three decades in prison after another man's DNA was discovered on a cigarette butt left near the body of a girl the siblings were convicted of killing. On Tuesday, a judge overturned the convictions of Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, in the 1983 rape and murder of Sabrina Buie, citing the new evidence that they didn't commit the crime. The ruling is the latest twist in a notorious legal case that began with what defense attorneys said were coerced confessions from two scared teenagers with low IQs. McCollum was 19 at the time and Brown was 15. Defense lawyers petitioned for their release after a recent analysis from the butt pointed to another man who lived near the soybean field where Buie's body was found in Robeson County. That man is already serving a life sentence for a similar rape and murder that happened less than a month later. The DNA from the cigarette butts doesn't match Brown or McCollum, and fingerprints taken from a beer can at the scene aren't theirs either, attorneys say. No physical evidence connects them to the crime. Ken Rose, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, has represented Henry McCollum for 20 years. "It's terrifying that our justice system allowed two intellectually disabled children to go to prison for a crime they had nothing to do with, and then to suffer there for 30 years," Rose said.

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High schoolers protest conservative proposal
2014-09-24, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:15:50
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/colorado-high-schoolers-protest-conservative-prop...

Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday to protest a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay. The youth protest involving six high schools in the state's second-largest school district follows a sick-out by teachers that shut down two high schools in the politically and economically diverse area that has become a key political battleground. Student participants said their demonstration was organized by word of mouth and social media. Many waved American flags and carried signs, including messages that read, "There is nothing more patriotic than protest." The school board proposal that triggered the walkouts in Jefferson County calls for instructional materials that present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage. It would establish a committee to regularly review texts and course plans ... to make sure materials "promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" and don't "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." A student demonstrator [said] the nation's foundation was built on civil protests, "and everything that we've done is what allowed us to be at this point today. And if you take that from us, you take away everything that America was built off of." Superintendent Dan McMinimee has met with some of the students and renewed his offer to continue discussions on the issue. "I respect the right of our students to express their opinions in a peaceful manner," he said. "I do, however, prefer that our students stay in class."





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