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.

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.

Note: How many thousands of innocent people have been executed or given life sentences like this? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prisons news articles from reliable major media sources.




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."




G.O.P. Error Reveals Donors and the Price of Access
2014-09-24, New York Times
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:14:08
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/us/republicans-corporate-donors-governors.html

Republicans and Democrats, and groups sympathetic to each, spend millions on sophisticated technology to gain an advantage. But sometimes, a simple coding mistake can lay bare documents and data that were supposed to be concealed from the prying eyes of the public. Such an error by the Republican Governors Association recently resulted in the disclosure of exactly the kind of information that political committees given tax-exempt status usually keep secret, namely their corporate donors and the size of their checks. The documents, many of which the Republican officials have since removed from their website, showed that many of America’s most prominent companies, from Aetna to Walmart, had poured millions of dollars into the campaigns of Republican governors since 2008. “This is a classic example of how corporations are trying to use secret money, hidden from the American people, to buy influence, and how the governors association is selling it,” said Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21. The trove of documents, discovered by watchdogs at the Democrat-aligned Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, sheds light on the secretive world of 501(c)(4) political groups, just as the battle over their future intensifies. The tax-exempt Republican Governors Public Policy Committee is not required to disclose anything, even as donors hit the links, rub shoulders and trade policy talk with governors and their top staff members. In a tit for tat, the Republican association unearthed documents from the Democratic Governors Association that also name corporate donors and the benefits.

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




NutraSweet to Stop Making Aspartame
2014-09-24, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:12:35
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/nutrasweet-stop-making-aspartame-257...

NutraSweet says it will no longer make the artificial sweetener aspartame as a result of foreign competition. The privately held company said Wednesday it expects to shut down a major portion of a plant that employs about 210 workers, including contractors, by year-end as a result. That will leave it with only about 10 to 20 employees to focus on its two other smaller sweeteners, the company said. "Low-cost imports now dominate the aspartame market, making it impossible for us to sustain a profitable business while maintaining our unmatched standard of quality," NutraSweet CEO William DeFer said in a statement. Aspartame is more commonly known as the ingredient used in Equal, the blue packets of sweetener often found on tables at restaurants. NutraSweet spokesman Hud Englehart said the company started facing competition as a supplier of aspartame once its patents on the artificial sweetener expired.

Note: This article fails to mention anything about the serious risks and dangers of aspartame which have been exposed by top doctors and scientists. See the powerful documentary "Sweet Misery" on this which has saved many lives. For more on health corruption and manipulation, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.




‘The Greater Good’ Takes Child Vaccination Skepticism to Big Screen
2011-11-21, PBS Blog
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:10:34
http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/2011/11/the-greater-good-child-vaccine-documentary

If you’re a parent (or know one) ... you might have already made up your mind about the connection between vaccination and disease. A new documentary, The Greater Good, adds perspective to the issue, asking how much of a good thing a person can take until it’s not all that good any more. “It is an advocacy film,” says The Greater Good producer Chris Pilaro. The filmmakers chose to follow three families whose lives were adversely affected by vaccines because, as director-producer Kendall Nelson says, “Historically, those stories were really not being told.” One thread follows young Jordan King, who before being vaccinated was a “normal,” happy toddler. After being vaccinated... he ended up diagnosed with autism. After her youngest child died after receiving vaccinations, Stephanie Christner, a doctor, dedicated her life to finding connections between vaccination and disease. The most persuasive story is that of Gabi Swank, a teenage girl who saw ads on MTV for the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil and insisted that her mom get her on it. After taking the drug, Gabi experienced a dramatic decline in her health and her family paid a deep financial and emotional cost. Despite her upbeat demeanor and refusal to be perceived as a victim, Gabi’s story is a tragic one. Idaho-based filmmakers Nelson and Pilaro ... gained the co-operation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration and proceeded to interview medical experts, pharmaceutical representatives and lawmakers on opposite sides of the issue. What’s clear after watching the film is not that vaccinations are necessarily bad, but that every child is different and each will have a different response to them. But it’s a hard case to make when your doctor is following state law.

Note: Did you know the government has never done a study comparing the health of vaccinated and non-vaccinated children? Watch a video of the CDC's chief of vaccinations making excuses for why they won't do a study. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccines news articles from reliable major media sources.




The sports car that runs on saltwater
2014-09-01, Daily Mail (U.K.)
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:07:11
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2739768/The-sports-car-runs-SA...

Sports cars may not have the best reputation for being environmentally-friendly, but this sleek machine has been designed to reach 217.5 mph (350 km/h) – using nothing but saltwater. Its radical drive system allows the 5,070lbs (2,300kg) Quant e-Sportlimousine to reach 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, making it as fast as the McLaren P1. After making its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March, the saltwater technology has now been certified for use on European roads. The 920 horsepower (680 kW) Quant e-Sportlimousine uses something known as an electrolyte flow cell power system to power four electric motors within the car. It works in a similar way to a hydrogen fuel cell, however, the liquid used for storing energy is saltwater. The liquid passes through a membrane in between the two tanks, creating an electric charge. This electricity is then stored and distributed by super capacitors. The car carries the water in two 200-litre tanks, which in one sitting will allow drivers to travel up to 373 miles (600km). NanoFlowcell AG, a Lichtenstein-based company behind the drive, is now planning to test the car on public roads in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as the company prepares for series production. It claims the technology offers five times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries of the same weight. 'We've got major plans, and not just within the automobile industry,' says NanoFlowcell AG Chairman of the Board Professor Jens-Peter Ellermann. 'The potential of the NanoFlowcell is much greater, especially in terms of domestic energy supplies as well as in maritime, rail and aviation technology.'

Note: See the link above for photos and videos of this sleek masterpiece. Why isn't this car and it's unique technology getting more press? For more on this amazing car, see its website and read a gizmag article with more on how the car has received approval to run on European roads. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




The coming era of unlimited — and free — clean energy
2014-09-19, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-09-26 12:02:08
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/09/19/the-coming-era-...

In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones. The handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant. The experts are saying the same about solar energy now. They say that solar is inefficient, too expensive to install, and unreliable, and will fail without government subsidies. They too are wrong. Solar will be as ubiquitous as cellular phones are. Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings — or less than 14 years — away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. By Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. In places such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and the Southwest United States, residential-scale solar production has already reached “grid parity” with average residential electricity prices. In other words, it costs no more in the long term to install solar panels than to buy electricity from utility companies. The prices of solar panels have fallen 75 percent in the past five years alone and will fall much further as the technologies to create them improve and scale of production increases. By 2020, solar energy will be price-competitive with energy generated from fossil fuels on an unsubsidized basis in most parts of the world. Within the next decade, it will cost a fraction of what fossil fuel-based alternatives do. Despite the skepticism of experts and criticism by naysayers, there is little doubt that we are heading into an era of unlimited and almost free clean energy.

Note: This article also points out how some big energy companies and the Koch brothers are lobbying to stop alternative technologies from flowering. Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. And explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Grid parity: Why electric utilities should struggle to sleep at night
2014-03-25, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-09-26 11:58:15
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/03/25/grid-parity-why...

What’s good news for those concerned with climate change, and bad news for electric utilities? That’s grid parity. It exists when an alternative energy source generates electricity at a cost matching the price of power from the electric grid. As grid parity becomes increasingly common, renewable energy could transform our world and slow the effects of climate change. Advances in solar panels and battery storage will make it more realistic for consumers to dump their electric utility, and power their homes through solar energy. A 2013 Deutsche Bank report said that 10 states are currently at grid parity: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Vermont. Germany, Spain, Portugal and Australia have reached grid parity. This shift has benefited from a dramatic drop in the price of solar panels, which dropped 97.2 percent from 1975 to 2012. As solar energy gets cheaper, traditional electric utilities are doing the opposite. The cost of maintaining the electric grid has gotten more expensive, but reliability hasn’t improved. If customers leave electric utilities, it starts a downward spiral. Fewer customers will mean higher rates, which encourages remaining customers to jump ship for a solar-battery system. Energy upstarts are led by forward thinkers with disruptive track records and eyes on society’s big problems. NRG Energy chief executive David Crane ... highlighted the climate change concerns in a recent letter to shareholders: “The day is coming when our children sit us down ... look us straight in the eye, with an acute sense of betrayal and disappointment in theirs, and whisper to us, ‘You knew… and you didn’t do anything about it. Why?’”

Note: Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. Then explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
2014-09-21, New York Times
Posted: 2014-09-26 11:54:37
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/heirs-to-an-oil-fortune-join-the-divestm...

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses. In recent years, 180 institutions — including philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds and local governments ... have pledged to sell assets tied to fossil fuel companies from their portfolios and to invest in cleaner alternatives. In all, the groups have pledged to divest assets worth more than $50 billion from portfolios. Some say they are taking action to align their assets with their environmental principles. Others want to shame companies that they believe are recklessly contributing to a warming planet. Ultimately ... their actions, like those of the anti-apartheid divestment fights of the 1980s, could help spur international debate, while the shift of investment funds to energy alternatives could lead to solutions to the carbon puzzle. At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, there is no equivocation. The fund has already eliminated investments involved in coal and tar sands entirely while increasing its investment in alternate energy sources. The family has also engaged in shareholder activism with Exxon Mobil, the largest successor to Standard Oil. Members have met privately with the company ... in efforts to get it to moderate its stance on issues pertaining to the environment and climate change. They acknowledged that they have not caused the company to greatly alter its course.

Note: Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. Then explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Grenade launchers in schools? U.S. school police stock up on free military gear
2014-09-17, Toronto Star/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:42:39
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/09/17/grenade_launchers_in_schools_us_...

School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles. At least 26 school districts across the country have participated in the Pentagon’s surplus program. Federal records show schools in California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Utah obtained surplus military gear. Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups sent a letter earlier this week to the Pentagon and the Justice and Education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police. The Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second-largest school district, enrolling more than 900,000 students — said in a statement this week that it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired under the program in 2001 because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission” of the district’s police force. But the district plans to keep 60 M16s and a MRAP, a military vehicle used in Iraq and Afghanistan that is built to withstand mine blasts. Los Angeles school board member Steve Zimmer said the district will likely also let go of the MRAP, too. The board was told of the specific equipment the district had received only after the protests last month in Ferguson, Zimmer said. Jill Poe, police chief in the Southern California’s Baldwin Park school district, said she’ll be returning the three M16 rifles acquired under her predecessor.

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




Obama's legal rationale for ISIS strikes: shoot first, ask Congress later
2014-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:40:54
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/obama-isis-syria-air-strikes-leg...

In the space of a single primetime address on [September 10], Barack Obama dealt a crippling blow to a creaking, 40-year old effort to restore legislative primacy to American warmaking. The administration’s rationale, at odds with the war it is steadily expanding, is to forestall an endless conflict foisted upon it by a bloodthirsty legislature. Yet one of the main authorities Obama is relying on for avoiding Congress is the 2001 ... document known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that few think actually applies to ISIS. Taken together with the congressional leadership’s shrug, Obama has stripped the veneer off a contemporary fact of American national security: presidents make war on their own, and congresses acquiesce. An allergy to congressional authorisation is enmeshed with the president’s stated desire to end what he last year termed a “perpetual war” footing. It has led Obama in directions legal scholars consider highly questionable. Not only has Obama rejected restrictions of his warmaking power, he has also rejected legislative expansions of it - a more curious choice. Obama has been wary that Congress will offer up new laws that entrench and expand an amorphous war that, in his mind, he has waged with the minimum necessary amount of force. Obama last year advocated the eventual repeal of the 2001 authorisation - as well as the 2002 congressional approval of the Iraq war - to aid in turning a page on a long era of US warfare. [After Obama's address] a senior administration official told reporters that the 2001 authorisation covered the war against ISIS.

Note: The war machine marches on as the US presidency claims ever more power over Congress. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.




Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?
2014-09-16, The Nation Magazine
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:39:23
http://www.thenation.com/article/181601/whos-paying-pro-war-pundits#

Retired General Anthony Zinni [has demanded] up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle ISIS. Retired General Jack [Keane has made] more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region. Many of these former Pentagon officials [have a vested interest] as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry. Keane is a great example of this phenomenon. His think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, ... has provided the data on ISIS used for multiple stories by The New York Times, the BBC and other leading outlets. Keane has appeared on Fox News at least nine times over the last two months to promote the idea that the best way to stop ISIS is through military action—in particular, through air strikes deep into ISIS-held territory. Left unsaid during his media appearances ... are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a “venture partner” to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an “operations management decision support system” company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC. Retired General Anthony Zinni, perhaps the loudest advocate of a large deployment of American soldiers into the region to fight IS, is a board member to BAE Systems’ US subsidiary, and also works for several military-focused private equity firms.

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




US Senator: 'US Turned Blind Eye to Saudi Role in 9/11, Fuelling Rise of Isis'
2014-09-14, International Business Times
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:37:52
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/us-senator-us-turned-blind-eye-saudi-role-9-11-fuell...

The rise of ISIS has been aided by the failure of the US government to investigate the connection between the Saudi Arabian government and jihadist networks, said former senator Bob Graham. Senator Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that successive administrations had failed to examine the connections between the Saudis and Sunni militant groups. "I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions ... has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for ISIS," he said. The Saudis have been accused of using Sunni militant groups as proxies, channeling money to Islamist groups battling the forces of president Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, as Sunni and Shia battle for hegemony in the Middle East. The Shia Iranians are chief backers of Assad, and Nouri al Maliki's Shia-dominated government which collapsed following ISIS' onslaught in Iraq, accused the Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS, and facilitating "genocide". [Graham] said that Saudi Arabia gives support to the "the most extremist elements among the Sunni". Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was the son of a wealthy construction magnate, who had close ties to the Saudi royal family. It is alleged that redacted pages of the [Joint Congressional 9/11 inquiry] report establish links between Saudi government officials and al-Qaida.

Note: Watch the highly illuminating BBC documentary "Power of Nightmares" that reveals that al-Qaida, under the control of Osama bin Laden, has never actually existed, but is a US/UK-government psychological operation to launch the "Global War on Terror". For more on this, read Prof. David Ray Griffin's deeply revealing book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?




U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data
2014-09-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:36:18
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/us-threatened-massive-fine-...

The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications — a request the company believed was unconstitutional — according to court documents unsealed [on September 11] that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM program. The documents ... outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the NSA extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms. The ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review became a key moment in the development of PRISM, helping government officials to convince other Silicon Valley companies that unprecedented data demands had been tested in the courts and found constitutionally sound. Eventually, most major U.S. tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL, complied. Microsoft had joined earlier, before the ruling, NSA documents have shown. PRISM was first revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year. Documents made it clear that the program allowed the NSA to order U.S.-based tech companies to turn over e-mails and other communications to or from foreign targets without search warrants for each of those targets. Other NSA programs gave even more wide-ranging access to personal information of people worldwide, by collecting data directly from fiber-optic connections.

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




Snowden: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Isn’t Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance
2014-09-15, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:34:44
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/15/snowden-new-zealand-surveillance

Prime Minister John Key ... has denied that New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB engages in mass surveillance, mostly as a means of convincing the country to enact a new law vesting the agency with greater powers. Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance. The prime minister’s claim to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks. It means they have the ability see every website you visit, every text message you send, every call you make, every ticket you purchase, every donation you make, and every book you order online. From “I’m headed to church” to “I hate my boss” to “She’s in the hospital,” the GCSB is there. Your words are intercepted, stored, and analyzed by algorithms long before they’re ever read by your intended recipient.

Note: New Zealand's prime minister has acknowledged that Snowden may be right, as reported in this article. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.




The billionaire, the NSA and the no-fly list: America's 'state secret' obsession has gone too far
2014-09-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:33:05
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/16/america-state-secret-pri...

In lawsuits challenging NSA mass surveillance, torture and drone strikes on Americans in recent years, the US government has turned what was once a narrow legal privilege into an immunity trump card – a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for “matters of national security”. And now, despite publicly promising to restrict its use, attorney general Eric Holder is trying to expand the power even further. In [the] New York Times, Matt Apuzzo [reports on a] court case between two private parties in which the US justice department has invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. A Greek shipping magnate has accused an advocacy group pushing for sanctions on Iran of lying about him, but the government argues that the case must be dismissed with hardly an explanation, citing only a “concerned federal agency”. Holder refuses to disclose the agency demanding secrecy, the type of information he wants [to keep] secret, or even the basis for invoking the state secrets clause (which, by the way, is an invention of the US supreme court from a 1953 case that was later proved to be based on a lie). The Obama justice department has been using the controversial clause to squash cases of more significant consequence for years. Holder allegedly created a policy for restricting its use to all but the most critical national-security cases when he first came into office. But, alas, Holder has since proceeded to shut down the exact types of cases for which George W Bush was so harshly criticized.

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




The Artful Dodgers
2014-09-11, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:30:58
http://time.com/3326573/the-artful-dodgers/

Corporations in the U.S. today are hoarding about $2 trillion in profits overseas, arguing that the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35% makes it too difficult to bring this cash home and invest it here–better to keep the money abroad and pay lower taxes in other countries. Yet the truth is that legions of tax lawyers make sure that most big American corporations never pay anywhere close to that rate. FORTUNE 500 companies on average pay more like 19.4%, and a third pay less than 10%, chiefly because of all the generous loopholes Congress has afforded corporations over the years. Partly as a result, U.S. firms are enjoying record profit margins, making more money than ever before yet paying a lower share of the overall U.S. tax pie than they have in decades. They want the benefits of U.S. talent and markets but not the responsibilities. Taxpayer-funded, early-stage investments in areas like the Internet, transportation and health care research are the reason many of the largest U.S. companies got so big and successful to begin with. As the academic Mariana Mazzucato argues in her excellent book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, many of the most lauded corporate innovations, including the parts of smartphones that make them smart (Internet, GPS, touchscreen display and voice recognition), came out of state-funded research. Ditto any number of pharmaceutical, biotech and cybersecurity innovations. “In so many cases, public investments have become business giveaways, making individuals and their companies rich but providing little return to the economy or the state,” says Mazzucato. Tax [dodges] that expatriate the gains of American corporations to enrich a tiny managerial caste symbolize a whole new genre of selfish capitalism.

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




Growing wealth gap pinching states’ budgets
2014-09-14, Boston Globe/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:27:33
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/09/14/wealth-gap-putting-squeeze-sta...

Income inequality is taking a toll on state governments. The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue. Even as income for the affluent has accelerated, it has barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can mean a double-whammy for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend less of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue. As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets. ‘‘Rising income inequality is not just a social issue,’’ said Gabriel Petek, the S&P credit analyst who wrote the report. ‘‘It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policy makers.’’ Stagnant pay for most people has compounded the pressure on states to preserve funding for education, highways, and social programs such as Medicaid. Income inequality isn’t the only factor slowing state tax revenue. Online retailers account for a rising chunk of consumer spending. Yet they often manage to avoid sales taxes. Consumers are spending more on untaxed services, too. Before income inequality began to rise consistently, state tax revenue grew an average of 9.97 percent a year from 1950 to 1979. That average steadily fell with each subsequent decade, dipping to 3.62 percent between 2000 and 2009.

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




A brief history of psychedelic psychiatry
2014-09-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:25:53
http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2014/sep/02/psychedelic-ps...

On 5th May, 1953, the novelist Aldous Huxley dissolved four-tenths of a gram of mescaline in a glass of water, drank it, then sat back and waited for the drug to take effect. Huxley took the drug in his California home under the direct supervision of psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, to whom Huxley had volunteered himself as “a willing and eager guinea pig”. Osmond was one of a small group of psychiatrists who pioneered the use of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism and various mental disorders in the early 1950s. He coined the term psychedelic, meaning ‘mind manifesting’ and although his research into the therapeutic potential of LSD produced promising initial results, it was halted during the 1960s for social and political reasons. While at St. George’s [Hospital after WWII], Osmond and his colleague John Smythies learned about Albert Hoffman’s discovery of LSD at the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company in Bazel, Switzerland. Osmond and Smythies started their own investigation into the properties of hallucinogens. Osmond tried LSD himself and concluded that the drug could produce profound changes in consciousness. Osmond and [Abram] Hoffer also recruited volunteers to take LSD and theorised that the drug was capable of inducing a new level of self-awareness which may have enormous therapeutic potential. In 1953, they began giving LSD to their patients, starting with some of those diagnosed with alcoholism. Their first study involved two alcoholic patients, each of whom was given a single 200-microgram dose of the drug. One of them stopped drinking immediately after the experiment. The other stopped 6 months later. Osmond and Hoffer were encouraged, and continued to administer the drug to alcoholics. Their studies seemed to show that a single, large dose of LSD could be an effective treatment for alcoholism, and reported that between 40 and 45% of their patients given the drug had not experienced a relapse after a year.

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




Book review: ‘Acid Test,’ on psychedelic drug therapy for PTSD
2014-09-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:24:03
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/book-review-acid-test-on-lsd-as-therap...

LSD, ecstasy (MDMA) and other psychedelics are powerful, mind-altering drugs that, as described by former Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder, “intrinsically [challenge] the rationalist, materialist underpinnings of Western culture.” For most of a century, our society has struggled to come to grips with these “profoundly threatening drugs,” largely without success. They’ve all been made illegal. For decades, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration have strictly banned scientific investigations into their potential benefits — which is unfortunate, since these psychoactive drugs also seem able to do incredible good, particularly in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Every year, as many as 5 million Americans suffer from its effects. Frequent consequences include depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and a host of associated health problems. In “both humanitarian and economic terms,” the costs are staggering. And PTSD stubbornly resists treatment. Psychoactive drugs such as LSD and MDMA seem to bring powerful healing energies to bear on the underlying issues. But despite a growing mountain of evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits delivered by these drugs, government authorities have blocked scientific and therapeutic explorations of their potential. Fortunately, the government’s prohibitions may be loosening, thanks to a cadre of psychedelic advocates who have steadfastly refused to surrender to the taboos. The story of those people and their efforts to win scientific and therapeutic approval for psychedelic drugs is the central thrust of Shroder’s strangely wonderful new book, Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal.

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





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