News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
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.
FBI Director James B. Comey said Wednesday, speaking to a private gathering of more than 100 politicians and top law enforcement officials, ... that the federal government has no better data on police shootings than databases assembled this year by The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper. “It is unacceptable that The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the U.K. are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians. That is not good for anybody,” he said. The FBI has for years collected information about people killed by police officers, but reporting is voluntary and only 3 percent of the nation’s 18,000 police departments comply. As a result, the data is virtually useless. The Post’s database, for example, shows that 758 people have been shot and killed by police so far this year — nearly double the number recorded in a single year by the FBI. The vast majority of those killed were armed with a deadly weapon. However, blacks represent a disproportionate percentage of those who were unarmed when they were killed, the database shows.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct. Federal prosecutors have accused him of agreeing to pay $3.5 million to an unidentified person from his hometown of Yorkville, Illinois, to conceal past misconduct. He was a teacher at Yorkville High School in the 1960s and 1970s. That person has not surfaced publicly, but anonymous law enforcement sources have told several media outlets that Hastert was trying to cover up sexual abuse of a male student when he worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Hastert's agreement, to change his plea to guilty from not guilty in the case, is expected to be submitted to U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Monday, attorneys for Hastert said. "One of the best side effects of taking the plea is that material regarding reported sexual abuse will not come out," said [attorney Amy] Richardson, of the firm Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis. According to the indictment, Hastert withdrew $1.7 million in cash from his bank accounts from 2010 to 2014. He is charged with structuring $952,000 of the withdrawals, taking the funds out in increments of under $10,000 to evade a requirement that banks report large cash transactions. Hastert then told the FBI that he was keeping the cash for himself, which the indictment said was a false statement.
Note: Read more about this powerful politician's sexual misconduct cover up. If you want to understand how pedophile rings have infiltrated the highest levels of government, don't miss the powerful Discovery Channel documentary on this available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
Many watched in disbelief: There he was, Pope Francis, calling people in Osorno, a city in southern Chile, “dumb” for protesting against a bishop accused of being complicit in clerical sexual abuse. “The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” Pope Francis told a group of tourists on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Don’t be led by the nose by the leftists who orchestrated all of this,” the pope said. The video, filmed by an Argentine tourist in May, was obtained by a Chilean television station and broadcast Friday, quickly instilling doubts here about the pope’s commitment to protecting victims of sexual abuse. Bishop Barros was appointed by the pope to head the Diocese of Osorno this year, despite reports that he had covered up sexual abuses committed by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a prominent priest in Santiago, the capital. Bishop Barros spent over 30 years alongside Father Karadima, who was found guilty of sexual abuses by the Vatican in 2011 and ordered to a life of seclusion, prayer and penitence. According to some of Father Karadima’s victims, Bishop Barros was witness to and complicit in the abuses.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
General Augusto Pinochet directly ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat who was killed in a car bomb in Washington DC, according top secret US intelligence documents declassified by the Obama administration. The documents ... also show that the former dictator was so concerned with covering up his role in the murder that he planned to assassinate his own head of intelligence, General Manuel Contreras. Orlando Letelier, a former defence and foreign minister under President Salvador Allende, was tortured and incarcerated after Pinochet’s 1973 coup. He later fled to the US and worked at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington DC. Letelier, who had once been Chile’s ambassador to the US, was murdered on 21 September 1976 by a car bomb planted under the driver’s seat of his vehicle just a mile from the White House. Ronni Moffitt, an American colleague, was also killed in the blast. Letelier’s son, Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, confirmed to the Guardian that he had received copies of the newly released documents, which ... include papers from the CIA. Speculation that the CIA was aware of the plot to kill Letelier is based on previously declassified records showing that Manuel Contreras was paid by the CIA before the bombing and was in regular contact with top officials at the spy agency. Contreras, who died in August, always denied responsibility and blamed the CIA for the bombing.
Note: Members of Pinochet's brutal regime were strongly supported by Washington until very recently. George H.W. Bush was head of the CIA when the assassination described above was carried out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption.
Survivors of CIA torture have sued the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. In an extraordinary step, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen now face a federal lawsuit for their role in convincing the CIA to subject terror suspects to mock drowning, painful bodily contortions, sleep and dietary deprivation and other methods long rejected by much of the world as torture. In practice, CIA torture meant disappearances, mock executions, anal penetration ... and at least one man who froze to death, according to a landmark Senate report last year. On behalf of torture survivors ... as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman – who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit against Mitchell and Jessen on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington state. The suit calls the torture program a “joint criminal enterprise” and a “war crime” in which the CIA, Mitchell and Jessen colluded and from which Mitchell and Jessen financially profited. Although numerous US government investigations have pierced the veneer of secrecy around the torture program, the program’s government architects have faced no legal reprisal. A Justice Department inquiry ended in 2012 without prosecutions. The new lawsuit, aimed not at government officials but the contractors Mitchell and Jessen, aims to break the trend.
Note: 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. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
On October 3, a U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontičres in Kunduz, Afghanistan, partially destroying it. The U.S. has repeatedly attacked civilian facilities in the past but the targets have generally not been affiliated with a European, Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian organization such as MSF. On the seventh day of Operation Desert Storm, [a] U.S.-led coalition bombed the Infant Formula Production Plant in the Abu Ghraib suburb of Baghdad. The CIA’s own investigation later concluded the site had been bombed “in the mistaken belief that it was a key BW [Biological Weapon] facility.” In 1998, the Clinton administration targeted the Al Shifa [pharmaceutical] factory with 13 cruise missiles [claiming] the plant was “associated with the bin Laden network” and was “involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons.” The Clinton administration never produced any convincing evidence. The plant had produced 90 percent of Sudan’s major pharmaceutical products. Due to its destruction “tens of thousands of people ... have suffered and died. At the beginning of the U.S-led invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. attacked the complex housing the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul. Then the U.S. bombed the same complex again. The second attack destroyed warehouses containing tons of food and supplies for refugees. Several weeks after the Red Cross attacks, the U.S. bombed the Kabul bureau of Al Jazeera, destroying it and damaging the nearby office of the BBC.
Note: Yet the US military claims it has incredible accuracy with its bombings and the information on which they are based. The link above provides a list of major recent US military attacks on civilian institutions. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Until now, parents of children with autism who have spoken up about their fears that their child's disorder came on the heels of vaccination have been given the status of heretic. But it turns out that the increase in autism we have been witnessing over the last few decades could also be a result of the over-all increase in the body burden caused by mercury in our air and water, and by proxy the fish we eat, our vaccines and dental fillings, and now, in our high fructose corn syrup, a substance marketed and consumed most often by those most at risk: children. In 2004, a study ... compared the rate of special education programs in Texas and the amount of mercury found in the environment: "On average, for each 1000 lb of environmental mercury released, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism." The news on Monday that HFCS contains mercury is ... alarming. First, the FDA had evidence of this in 2005 and did absolutely nothing - no testing, no warning the companies using the tainted HFCS to produces their ketchup, chocolate syrup, cereal bars and soda. Therefore, more time has passed when mercury could bio-accumulate in our bodies. Second, there has been a previous association made between diet and autistic functionality - and specifically HFCS has been singled out as a cause for worsening the disorder. This means that there has been a growing body of evidence relating mercury to autism for some time, in which HFCS is only a new development.
Note: Read a carefully researched essay showing the FDA and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have consciously concealed solid evidence of a link between mercury in vaccines and the rise in autism.
Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, pledged in 2009 to put an end to homelessness. Now they say they've fulfilled their promise. No one in the city spends more than 10 days in an emergency shelter or on the streets. If you've got no place to go, they'll simply provide you with housing. "We're pretty much able to meet that standard today. Even quicker, actually, sometimes," [said] Mayor Ted Clugston. Clugston admits that when the project began in 2009, when he was an alderman, he was an active opponent of the plan. "I even said some dumb things like, 'Why should they have granite countertops when I don't,'" he says. "However, I've come around to realize that this makes financial sense." Clugston says that it costs about $20,000 a year to house someone. If they're on the street, it can cost up to $100,000 a year. "This is the cheapest and the most humane way to treat people," he says. "Housing First puts everything on its head. It used to be, 'You want a home, get off the drugs or deal with your mental health issues,'" Clugston says. "If you're addicted to drugs, it's going to be pretty hard to get off them, if you're sleeping under a park bench." And the strategy has worked. In Medicine Hat, emergency room visits and interactions with police have dropped. But there was one change that initially surprised Clugston — court appearances went up. "They end up dealing with their past, atoning for their sins," he says. Clugston believes that no one on the streets is unreachable.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
After decades on the fringes, impact investing is going mainstream. Though the phrase isn’t yet commonplace, the concept is familiar enough to have spawned several monikers: values-based investing, green investing, mission-driven investing, sustainable investing, socially responsible investing, principled investing. Some 3,000 investors and entrepreneurs convened at Fort Mason this week to discuss the idea at SOCAP, the leading conference for people who want to support social innovation with their money. “Social-impact investors want to make sure they are doing good in the world but as a genuine investment, not philanthropy,” said Eryc Branham, CEO of MissionHub, which produces the conference. The rapidly growing field measures returns not just in dollars and cents but in social and environmental change. On the financial side, some investors accept lower returns as a trade-off for doing good. But they don’t necessarily have to. A new report from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found that pursuing a social agenda doesn’t come at a financial price. After studying 53 funds with 557 investments, Wharton found that their rate of return from 2000 to 2014 was in line with benchmarks like the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. While impact investing amounts are still small compared with the multitrillion-dollar financial market, the potential for making a difference is immense.
Note: Learn how the microcredit movement is providing investors with financial returns while empowering small business owners and lifting people out of poverty.
Caitlin Prater-Haacke of Alberta, Canada was urged by bullies to kill herself, via Facebook post. Instead of sinking into negativity she turned the situation into a positive lesson. Lee Hirsch, director of the documentary “Bully,” which aired Monday on PBS Monday, is among those lending their support to Caitlin, who was reprimanded by her school for her “Positive Post-It Day” approach to bullies. In late September, someone broke into Caitlin’s locker at George McDougall High School in Airdrie, a community just north of Calgary, and wrote a Facebook status using Caitlin’s iPad that encouraged her to die. Rather than letting the bully win, the 11th grader wrote inspiring, positive, encouraging messages on 800 Post-It notes and left them around her school - with messages like "You're beautiful," "Love yourself," and "You're awesome.” Now her campaign has also taken to Twitter with the tag #PositivePostItDay. "Bullying is not necessarily addressed, and people get really down about it, I wanted to do something positive - it was about due time," Caitlin told the Toronto Sun. Caitlin’s town, led by a mayoral proclamation, banded together to launch a new anti-bullying campaign called “Positive Post-it Day” which encourages residents to leave anonymous notes of kindness for one another each year on Oct. 9. “What I really got out of this story is the way this student chose not to be derailed by this negative experience,” said Hirsch. “She became a role model to her classmates, teachers, her mayor and her town.”
Note: Watch a short video on this inspiring news story.
The FBI says crime rates, including murder, were down last year. The report is in contrast to headlines this year. In 2014 the U.S. recorded the fewest murders since 2009. Most other violent crimes, such as robbery, burglary, theft and arson have declined, while aggravated assaults and rapes, which now includes a broader definition, were on the rise in 2014. The 2014 numbers do not reflect an increase this year in murders and other violent crimes reported in some cities. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates highlighted progress made for cities compared to decades past. "We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980's - both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity," Yates said, adding that "even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country." While the FBI has expanded the report to include new statistics such as hate crimes and human trafficking arrests, it addressed concerns of transparency in the reporting of potential violent crimes committed by law enforcement officers on civilians.
Note: This article, like almost all media articles on the topic, fails to report the incredible news that violent crime rates have dropped to 1/3 of what they were just 20 years ago. Why are they not highlighting this incredibly inspiring news? For details on this awesome development, see this excellent webpage. See also an excellent graph on this.
Britain allegedly helped Saudi Arabia's controversial election to the UN human rights council (UNHRC) through a secret vote-trading deal, leaked diplomatic cables have reportedly shown. Saudi foreign ministry files, among 61,000 documents released by Wikileaks, reportedly refer to talks with British diplomats ahead of a November 2013 vote in New York and have been translated by Geneva-based human rights organisation UN Watch. The classified exchanges, published by The Australian newspaper, allegedly suggest the UK initiated the secret negotiations by asking Saudi Arabia for its support. Both countries were later elected to the UNHRC, which consists of 47 member states. Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly denounced for its poor human rights record. The Gulf state is planning to imminently behead and crucify Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested in 2012 for his participation in the Arab Spring protests when he was just 17 years old. The wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi said the "scandalous" appointment shows that "oil trumps human rights".
Note: Watch an incredibly eye-opening video report by Abby Martin showing blatantly how money trumps ethics. Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime run by a king and an all-powerful monarchy, is one of four countries to still allow public executions, often by beheading. Women must ask permission of their husbands to work and do almost anything in public. Workers from foreign countries are treated like slaves. Watch also an episode of Empire Files documenting the human rights violations of this repressive regime. The UK profits handsomely from selling arms to human rights violators.
Monsanto Co.’s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents. Monsanto says it’s in regular contact with public-sector scientists as it tries to “elevate” public dialog on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group funded by the Organic Consumers Association that obtained e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act, says correspondence revealing Monsanto’s actions shows the “corporate control of science and how compliant some academics are.” The articles have become the latest flashpoint in an information war being waged over plant biotechnology. The articles in question appeared on the Genetic Literacy Project’s website in a series called “GMO - Beyond the Science.” Eric Sachs, who leads Monsanto’s scientific outreach, wrote to eight scientists to pen a series of briefs aimed at influencing “public policy, GM crop regulation and consumer acceptance.” Five of them obliged. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta said he agreed to write “Anti-GMO Activism and Its Impact on Food Security” because communicating science to the public is his job. Folta has faced public criticism since the New York Times ... reported last month about his communications with Monsanto and a $25,000 donation to the science communication program he runs.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail for their roles in the financial crisis that gripped the country in 2008 and triggered the Great Recession. Billions of dollars in fines have been levied against major banks and brokerage firms in the wake of the economic meltdown that was in large part triggered by reckless lending and shady securities dealings that blew up a housing bubble. But in an interview with USA Today published Sunday, Bernanke said he thinks that in addition to the corporations, individuals should have been held more accountable. "It would have been my preference to have more investigations of individual actions because obviously everything that went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm," Bernanke said. Asked if someone should have gone to jail, the former Fed chairman replied, "Yeah, I think so." He did not, however, name any individual he thought should have been prosecuted and noted that the Federal Reserve is not a law-enforcement agency. Bernanke is promoting his new 600-page memoir, "The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath."
Diesel cars produced by manufacturers like Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen and Volvo have become embroiled in the emissions scandal, after they were found to emit higher levels of pollution in tests closer to real-life driving conditions than during EU emissions tests. As reported by The Guardian, research from motoring association Adac claims that some diesel cars produced by these manufacturers emitted more than 10 times as much pollution as they did during EU emissions tests. The higher emissions were revealed when the cars were put through the WLTC test, a different test to the EU standard. The emissions scandal began when it was revealed that Volkswagen was using illegal software in their cars that could manipulate emissions and cheat US governmental tests. The software could detect when the car was being tested and cause it to emit much lower NOx levels than it would usually emit during normal driving. The CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, resigned after the scandal came to light, and the company is currently preparing a recall of an estimated 11 million vehicles that contain the illegal software.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
You often hear inequality has widened because globalization and technological change have made most people less competitive, while making the best educated more competitive. There’s some truth to this. The tasks most people used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines. But this common explanation overlooks ... the increasing concentration of political power in a corporate and financial elite that has been able to influence the rules by which the economy runs. As I argue in my new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, this transformation has ... resulted in higher corporate profits, higher returns for shareholders and higher pay for top corporate executives and Wall Street bankers – and lower pay and higher prices for most other Americans. [These changes] amount to a giant pre-distribution upward to the rich. The underlying problem ... is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining power. The most important political competition over the next decades will not be between the right and left, or between Republicans and Democrats. It will be between a majority of Americans who have been losing ground, and an economic elite that refuses to recognize or respond to its growing distress.
Note: This essay was written by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
According to a new book called Saving Capitalism ... rather than rescuing capitalism, the newly announced Trans-Pacific Partnership deal may simply perpetuate the problems identified by the book's author ... former U.S. labour secretary Robert Reich. From the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields the firearms industry from lawsuits by bereft family members, to laws that let companies charge high rates for slow internet, Reich offers a depressing litany of rules made by governments for the sole purpose of protecting rich corporations at the expense of the American public. "Contrary to the conventional view of an American economy bubbling with innovative small companies, the reality is quite different," Reich writes. In left-leaning circles, the conventional view is that creating equality requires redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Reich says the real problem is something he calls "pre-distribution." By lobbying for laws such as those that make life-saving pharmaceuticals expensive and technological patents unbreakable, large corporations and their teams of lawyers rig the game in their favour long before the issue of redistribution arises. Drug companies are rewarded not for inventing drugs but for extending the exclusivity of existing drugs. (The TPP does exactly that.) Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple capture the value of patents and then are rewarded for "strategic litigation" to prevent anyone else from using them.
Risperdal is a billion-dollar antipsychotic medicine with real benefits — and a few unfortunate side effects. It can cause strokes among the elderly. And it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts; one boy developed a 46DD bust. Yet Johnson & Johnson marketed Risperdal aggressively to the elderly and to boys while allegedly manipulating and hiding the data about breast development. J&J got caught, pleaded guilty to a crime and has paid more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements. But that pales next to some $30 billion in sales of Risperdal around the world. In 1994, J&J released Risperdal. The Food and Drug Administration said it ... was effective primarily for schizophrenia in adults. That’s a small market. So J&J reinvented Risperdal as a drug for a broad range of problems, targeting everyone from seniors with dementia to children with autism. The company also turned to corporate welfare: It paid doctors and others consulting fees and successfully lobbied for Texas to adopt Risperdal in place of generics. Even though Risperdal wasn’t approved for the elderly, J&J formed a sales force called ElderCare. The F.D.A. protested and noted that there were “an excess number of deaths” among the elderly who took the drug. At the same time, J&J ... began peddling the drug to pediatricians, so that by 2000, more than one-fifth of Risperdal was going to children and adolescents. In 2003, the company had a “back to school” marketing campaign for Risperdal. By 2004 Risperdal was a $3-billion-a-year drug.
A new report provides data illustrating just how big a budgetary issue tax avoidance has become. The analysis released Tuesday comes from ... Citizens for Tax Justice and U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The groups find that almost 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies are operating subsidiaries in so-called “tax haven” countries like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. In all, those firms are “holding more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes.” The report says that among the U.S.-based firms with the biggest overseas cash holdings are major financial firms such as Citigroup and Bank of America, which were bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 financial crisis. Also on the list are tech giants such as Microsoft - which International Business Times last year reported was keeping $92 billion offshore. Assuming a tax rate of just 6 percent on those profits - far less than the official U.S. corporate tax rate and less than Trump’s proposed “repatriation” rate - the groups estimate that the firms “would collectively owe $620 billion in additional federal taxes” if they weren’t able to shelter their cash in tax havens. For comparison, that’s more than the federal government’s entire projected budget deficit for 2015.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “We call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies — including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.K. — warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.” Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. The airstrike killed at least nine of the hospital’s medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients. This strike on a hospital in Afghanistan comes days after the Saudi-led coalition bombed a wedding in Yemen that killed more than 130 people. After days of silence from the U.S. government ... the Saudi Foreign Minister told CBS News that “We work with our allies including the United States on these targets.” This last week has been a particularly gruesome illustration of continuous U.S. conduct under the War on Terror banner, including under the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president. The formula by now is clear: bombing whatever countries it wants, justifying it all by reflexively labelling their targets as “terrorists,” and then dishonestly denying or casually dismissing the civilians they slaughter as “collateral damage.” Russia [uses] this exact rhetorical template in Syria.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: 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.