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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


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

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


PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies
2016-03-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:37:26
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-malkan/pr-firm-attacks-organic-food-then-...

News that Ketchum Inc., the public relations firm leading the charge to promote chemical-dependent GMO agriculture, is launching a new “specialty group” to capture a slice of the growing organic food market caught many food industry players by surprise last week. Ketchum’s new branch, called “Cultivate,” is pitching itself to “help purpose-driven brands with a natural, organic, and sustainable focus.” The news comes as Ketchum remains a key player in PR efforts to dampen demand for organic foods, spinning messages that tell consumers organics are over-priced and over-hyped. In 2013, Monsanto hired Ketchum’s parent company, Omnicom, to “reshape” its reputation amid fierce opposition to GMOs, according to the Holmes Report. Ketchum now works closely with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry on its massively funded PR efforts to promote genetically engineered food and crops, stop GMO labeling, downplay concerns about pesticides, counteract consumer advocates and convince consumers that organic food is no different from conventional food. A closer look at Ketchum’s past and current activities turns up more reasons that purpose-driven organic and natural food companies might want to steer clear of Ketchum’s “Cultivate” branch. Emails from the late 1990s indicate that Ketchum was involved in espionage against nonprofit groups that were raising concerns about GMOs. Ketchum ... has worked to undermine consumer advocates and the organic foods industry. It would be unwise for organic companies to hire the PR firm.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Why The FDA Has Never Looked At Some Of The Additives In Our Food
2015-04-04, NPR
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:35:37
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/04/14/399591292/why-the-fda-is-cluel...

Companies have added thousands of ingredients to foods with little to no government oversight. That's thanks to a loophole in a decades-old law that allows them to deem an additive to be "generally recognized as safe" - or GRAS - without the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's blessing, or even its knowledge. The loophole was originally intended to allow manufacturers of common ingredients like vinegar and table salt ... to bypass the FDA's lengthy safety-review process. But over time, companies have found that it's far more efficient to take advantage of the exemption to get their products on shelves quickly. Some of these products contain additives that the FDA has found to pose dangers, [and] companies regularly introduce new additives without ever informing the FDA. The Government Accountability Office ... published a report in 2010 that found that "FDA's oversight process does not help ensure the safety of all new GRAS determinations." And even when a company does go through the FDA review process, safety decisions have been criticized. For example ... lawsuits allege that mycoprotein, a type of fungus used in vegetarian products, has caused consumers to suffer a range of reactions, including nausea and anaphylactic shock. The complaints prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the FDA in 2011 to revoke the ingredient's GRAS status. In the past five decades, the number of food additives has skyrocketed — from about 800 to more than 10,000.

Note: Common additives in processed foods have been linked with temper tantrums, poor concentration and hyperactivity, and allergic reactions in children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


13-Year-Old Designs Super-Efficient Solar Array Based on the Fibonacci Sequence
2016-07-15, Popular Science
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:33:59
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-08/13-year-old-designs-breakthr...

Aidan Dwyer, 13, went to the woods and had a eureka moment that could be a major breakthrough in solar panel design. The 7th-grader ... noticed a pattern among tree branches, and determined (as naturalist Charles Bonnet did in 1754) that the pattern represented the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. Aidan wondered why, and figured it had something to do with photosynthesis. In a pretty innovative experiment, this intrepid young scientist set about duplicating an oak tree, comparing its sunlight-capturing abilities to a traditional rooftop solar panel array. He copied the pattern using a computer program, and built an oak tree-shaped solar array out of PVC pipe. He next built a flat-panel array mounted at 45 degrees, like a typical home rooftop array, and attached data loggers to each model to monitor voltage. Aidan's award-winning essay ... walks you through his experiment design and his results. But the short story is that his tree design generated much more electricity - especially ... when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. At that point, the tree design generated 50 percent more power, without any adjustments to its declination angle. He determined the tree's Fibonacci pattern allowed some solar panels to collect sunlight even if others were in shade, and prevented branches on a tree from shading other branches. Now Aidan is studying other tree species and improving his PVC model to determine how it could be used to make more efficient solar arrays.

Note: Don't miss the pictures of this amazing invention at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The Intelligent Plant
2013-12-23, The New Yorker
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:32:37
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/23/the-intelligent-plant

In 1973, a book claiming that plants were sentient beings that feel emotions, prefer classical music to rock and roll, and can respond to the unspoken thoughts of humans hundreds of miles away landed on the New York Times best-seller list. “The Secret Life of Plants,” ... described the experiments of a former C.I.A. polygraph expert named Cleve Backster, who ... found that simply by imagining [a houseplant] being set on fire he could make it rouse the needle of the polygraph machine. Much of the research on plant intelligence has been inspired by ... the ways in which remarkably brainy behavior can emerge in the absence of actual brains. “If you are a plant, having a brain is not an advantage,” Stefano Mancuso points out. Mancuso is perhaps the field’s most impassioned spokesman for the plant point of view. His somewhat grandly named International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, a few miles outside Florence, occupies a modest suite of labs and offices. Giving a tour of the labs, he showed me maize plants, grown under lights, that were being taught to ignore shadows; a poplar sapling hooked up to a galvanometer to measure its response to air pollution; and a chamber in which ... an advanced kind of mass spectrometer continuously read all the volatiles emitted by a succession of plants. “We are making a dictionary of each species’ entire chemical vocabulary,” he explained. He estimates that a plant has three thousand chemicals in its vocabulary, while, he said with a smile, “the average student has only seven hundred words.”

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


Tenn. church, Islamic center embrace post 9/11
2011-09-08, CBS News
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:31:09
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tenn-church-islamic-center-embrace-post-9-11/

Following 9/11, reports of hate crimes against Arab-Americans, or those perceived to be, went up 1,700 percent. While distrust and ignorance toward American Muslims remains a reality today, we found the opposite in one Tennessee community. On one recent Sunday morning in Cordova, Pastor Steve Stone was rocking along with his congregation, clapping and singing along with the choir. Heartsong Church, just outside Memphis, sits on a rural road - directly across the street from a Muslim worship center. When Dr. Bashar Shala, co-founder of the Memphis Islamic Center, or MIC, began construction two years ago, at best, he hoped to be ignored. Instead, Stone welcomed the Muslims with a surprise - a sign welcoming MIC to the neighborhood. When they saw the sign, Shala said, "We knew that we have good neighbors." Acting on the biblical phrase "love thy neighbor," the two sides forged a friendship that's now expanded to plans for building a park with land from both sides of the road, connected by a bridge or a tunnel, and to interfaith events, such as a joint Labor Day party. One church member, Lee Raines, looking at tables with Muslims and Christians together, called it "awesome." Stone and Shala say they hope others will practice being good neighbors as they do. Not only have they fed the homeless and organized food drives together, this Sunday, on the 9/11 anniversary, they're hosting a joint blood drive.

Note: Watch a wonderfully inspiring, three-minute video on this unusual friendship.


Obama: Oceans Key to Protecting Planet From Climate Change
2016-09-15, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:29:55
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/obama-oceans-key-protecting-planet...

Creating the Atlantic Ocean's first marine national monument is a needed response to dangerous climate change, oceanic dead zones and unsustainable fishing practices, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The new Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument consists of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast. "If we're going to leave our children with oceans like the ones that were left to us, then we're going to have to act and we're going to have to act boldly," Obama said at a ... conference. More than 20 countries represented at the meeting were also announcing the creation of their own marine protected areas. Monument designations come with restrictions on certain activities. The designation will lead to a ban on commercial fishing, mining and drilling, though a seven-year exception will occur for the lobster and red crab industries. Others, such as whiting and squid harvesters, have 60 days to transition out. Recreational fishing will be allowed. The ... monument will include three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and four underwater mountains. It is home to such protected species as the sperm, fin and sei whales, and Kemp's ridley turtles. Expeditions also have found species of coral found nowhere else on earth. Supporters of the new monument say protecting large swaths of ocean from human stresses can sustain important species and reduce the toll of climate change.

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


Wells Fargo fined $185M for fake accounts; 5,300 were fired
2016-09-09, USA Today
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:48:11
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/09/08/wells-fargo-fined-185m-over-un...

Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation's largest banks, has been hit with $185 million in civil penalties for secretly opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts that harmed customers, federal and state officials said Thursday. Employees of Wells Fargo (WFC) boosted sales figures by covertly opening the accounts and funding them by transferring money from customers' authorized accounts without permission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Los Angeles city officials said. An analysis by the San Francisco-headquartered bank found that its employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Many of the transfers ran up fees or other charges for the customers, even as they helped employees make incentive goals. The bank agreed to pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's civil penalty fund - the largest in the regulator's five-year operating history. Wells Fargo will pay a separate $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Additionally, Wells Fargo said it terminated approximately 5,300 employees and managers over a five-year period for their involvement with the unauthorized accounts.

Note: No Wells Fargo executives have been held responsible for this bank's institutionalized breach of customer trust. Do you think these actions were taken without approval from at least one executive? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


New dengue vaccine could instead cause more cases, experts warn
2016-09-01, CNN News
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:46:31
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/dengue-vaccine-increase-disease/

The newly licensed vaccine against the dengue virus - trade name Dengvaxia - could lead to an increase in the number of cases of the disease if not implemented correctly, experts warn in a new study. The number of people affected by dengue has increased in recent years, with 390 million people estimated to be infected each year. Cases of the disease have [been] reported in more than 100 countries worldwide. Dengvaxia was produced by Sanofi Pasteur, which, after spending 20 years developing the vaccine, published promising findings on its effectiveness in 2015. Trials showed the vaccine to be 59.2% effective against dengue when results were pooled across populations and age groups. [Study author] Neil Ferguson used data from the clinical trials to assess the impact of using the vaccine in different settings and found that its use in areas with low levels of disease, where people are unlikely to have been previously exposed to dengue, could lead to an increase in people severely affected by the infection due to the complexities of the virus and the way it interacts with our immune system. "Unlike most diseases, the second time you get dengue, it's much more likely to be severe than the first time you get it," Ferguson said. When people who have never experienced the infection get immunized, the vaccine may act like a silent infection, gearing them up for a more severe infection should they face the real form of the virus. "It can have the potential to make things worse if it's misused," Ferguson said.

Note: Dengue fever is carried by aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also carry zika virus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources.


A George Carlin Special Too Raw After Sept. 11 Resurfaces Now
2016-09-04, New York Times
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:43:55
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/arts/george-carlin-raw-pre-sept-11-special-...

On Sept. 10, 2001, George Carlin, the greatest political comic in history if measured only by stand-up specials, recorded a bracing hour of social commentary for his new HBO special. The next day, he shelved it. It wasn’t only the title, “I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die,” that seemed in bad taste after nearly 3,000 people were killed a day later in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Mr. Carlin also told a joke about a fart so potent it blew up an airplane. “You know who gets blamed? Osama bin Laden,” Mr. Carlin joked. “The F.B.I. is looking for explosives. They should be looking for minute traces of rice and bok choy.” Fifteen years later, his lost special is finally being released. It’s a polished hour of new jokes. Mr. Carlin, who died in 2008, had always been a left-leaning comic whose skepticism of government would be right at home with the Tea Party. In a 1999 special, he even ridiculed airport security as a pointless charade, saying Americans are “always willing to trade away a little of their freedom” in exchange for “the illusion of security.” But like so many other people, he was transformed by Sept. 11. He released an entirely new special only two months after the attack - “Complaints and Grievances” - in which he talks more about survival than freedom, setting up one premise by saying that dire events call for us to cooperate with “unsavory people” like George W. Bush. Mr. Carlin’s more tentative attitude toward the government is a reminder of the anxiety about even doing comedy after Sept. 11.

Note: Carlin's recorded comedy show will be publicly released on September 16. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


New York attorney general launches antitrust probe of Mylan's EpiPen contracts
2016-09-06, CNBC
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:42:11
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/06/new-york-attorney-general-launches-antitrust-p...

New York state's attorney general on Tuesday opened an investigation into the pharmaceuticals giant [Mylan], focused on its contracts with local school systems to buy its lifesaving EpiPens. The skyrocketing price of those auto-injection devices, used to counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions, has drawn intense criticism. The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it launched its probe after a preliminary review revealed Mylan might have inserted anti-competitive terms into its deals to sell EpiPens. Schneiderman's move came within hours of U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan violated federal antitrust laws. "As the cost of EpiPens skyrocketed, schools seeking relief turned to Mylan's 'EpiPen4Schools' program," Blumenthal's office said. "Some of these schools were required to sign a contract agreeing not to purchase any products from Mylan's competitors for a period of 12 months - conduct that can violate the antitrust laws." Schneiderman's probe also comes on the heels of news that Minnesota's attorney general, Lori Swanson, has asked Mylan to provide documents that would justify the company having raised the retail price of EpiPens more than 400 percent. "No child's life should be put at risk because a parent, school, or health-care provider cannot afford a simple, lifesaving device because of a drug-maker's anti-competitive practices," Schneiderman said.

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


F.D.A. Bans Sale of Many Antibacterial Soaps, Saying Risks Outweigh Benefits
2016-09-02, New York Times
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:40:13
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/03/science/fda-bans-sale-of-many-antibacterial...

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals on Friday, saying industry had failed to prove they were safe to use over the long term or more effective than using ordinary soap and water. In all the F.D.A. took action against 19 different chemicals and has given industry a year to take them out of their products. About 40 percent of soaps — including liquid hand soap and bar soap – contain the chemicals. Triclosan, mostly used in liquid soap, and triclocarban, in bar soaps, are by far the most common. The rule applies only to consumer hand washes and soaps. Other products may still contain the chemicals. At least one toothpaste, Colgate Total, still does. Public health experts applauded the rule, which came after years of mounting concerns that the antibacterial chemicals that go into everyday products are doing more harm than good. Experts have pushed the agency to regulate antimicrobial chemicals, warning that they risk scrambling hormones in children and promoting drug-resistant infections. Studies in animals have shown that triclosan and triclocarban can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism, and health experts warn that their effects could be the same in humans.

Note: The US government allows corporations to decide what is "generally regarded as safe" for public health, which is why so many substances once considered safe are later found to be toxic and even deadly. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Banned PCB Chemicals Still Tied to Autism in U.S. Kids
2016-08-23, US News & World Report
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:38:10
http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2016-08-23/banned-pcb-chemicals...

Children exposed to relatively high levels of PCBs in the womb may have an increased risk of developing autism, a new study suggests. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are man-made chemicals once used in a wide range of products, from electrical appliances to fluorescent lighting. Use of these chemicals was banned in the 1970s because of concerns about their health effects. But since they do not easily break down, PCBs still linger in the environment - and in people. In the new study, researchers found that when pregnant women had relatively high levels of certain PCBs in their blood, their children were about 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism versus other kids. Those children also had a roughly twofold higher risk of intellectual disabilities unrelated to autism. "Autism is a complex condition with many different causes, and those causes vary among individuals," said Kristen Lyall, lead researcher on the study. Experts believe that for children to develop autism, they have to have a genetic susceptibility and be exposed to certain environmental factors during critical periods of early brain development. Researchers are still trying to figure out what those environmental factors are. But some suspects include prenatal exposure to poor nutrition, certain infections, heavy air pollution and pesticides, according to the non-profit Autism Speaks. The new findings suggest that PCBs could be another one of the "puzzle pieces," said Lyall.

Note: Monsanto and other chemical manufacturers spent decades dumping PCBs in low-income areas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


The 'Shocking' Truth About Election Rigging in the United States
2016-09-05, Truth-Out.org
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:36:14
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/37486-the-shocking-truth-about-election-ri...

If there is anything positive to say about the 2016 elections, it's that they have finally forced an end to the official denial of computerized election rigging. In the past month, the fact that our voting technology is a hacker's paradise has been validated by no less than all the major TV news networks. Of course, the corporate media and political parties are now professing "shock" at the very prospect that US elections can be manipulated, and yes, even stolen. Yet it has long been an open secret that game-changing races have been decided not by voters, but by insiders; from the presidential race of 1960, appropriated for John Kennedy by Democratic muscle in Chicago, to the two victories secured for George W. Bush by GOP fixers in Florida and hackers in Ohio. Among other suspect elections in recent years are key Congressional races hijacked by combinations of voter suppression, gerrymandering, dark money and the ugly little secret of American elections: rigged voting machines. How is this possible? Because over many decades, our public elections have been privatized and outsourced to a handful of corporations and dozens of private service vendors. Some have even been convicted of crimes, including bribery, bid rigging, kickback schemes, lying to voting officials and computer fraud. In turn, these shady corporations have sold us billions in "proprietary" computerized voting systems, [while] election laws have slowly been altered to facilitate this quiet transition to more "expedient" private control.

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


Yes, It's Possible to Hack the Election
2016-08-19, ABC News
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:34:19
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hack-election/story?id=41489017

Could an American election’s outcome be altered by a malicious actor on a computer keyboard? I have had three jobs that, together, taught me at least one thing: If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. I served as the White House senior cybersecurity policy adviser. I served on [President Obama's] five-person post–Edward Snowden investigative group on the National Security Agency, intelligence and technology. And for over a decade I have advised American corporations on cybersecurity. Those experiences confirm my belief that if sophisticated hackers want to get into any computer or electronic device, even one that is not connected to the internet, they can do so. Now consider that a majority of states use some kind of combination of electronic voting and a type of paper trail, but there is no standard nationwide. In most states the data that are used to determine who won an election are processed by networked, computerized devices. There are almost no locations that exclusively use paper ballots. Some states ... employ electronic voting machines that produce no paper trail, therefore there is nothing to count or recount and no way to ensure that what a voter intended is what was recorded and transmitted. If someone makes the charge after this election that the results were altered by hackers, our country has almost no way of credibly refuting that claim. Thus American voters will have no way to know if they can trust the results of the election.

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


What 80 million unexploded US bombs did to Laos
2016-09-06, CNN News
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:32:24
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/05/asia/united-states-laos-secret-war/

For two years after the accident, Yei Yang refused to leave his home. "I couldn't farm, I couldn't go to see friends, as they might be afraid of me," Yang tells CNN. "I didn't want to live." Yang was just 22 and burning rubbish near his village in the province of Xieng Khoung in north-eastern Laos, when a bomb blast tore off one of his eyelids, his top lip and an ear, mutilated one of his arms, and left him with severe scarring from the waist up. His wounds were not caused by a modern day conflict, but by the remnants of a war that was waged more than 40 years ago, and is still destroying lives in this small Southeast Asian nation. Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country - the deadly legacy of what became known as America's "secret war" in Laos - a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War. In total, between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped more than two million tons of bombs - one of the heaviest aerial bombardments in history. Most of the munitions dropped were cluster bombs, which splinter before impact, spreading hundreds of smaller bomblets. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been removed, according to US-based NGO Legacies of War, which is spearheading the campaign to clear them. More than 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by the unexploded ordnance (UXOs) since the war ended, and currently, 50 people are maimed or killed every year. Around 40% of those are children.

Note: Big banks profited immensely from the cluster bomb trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Unaccountable: The high cost of the Pentagon's bad bookkeeping
2013-07-02, Reuters
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:30:32
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/pentagon/#article/part1

As Christmas 2011 approached, U.S. Army medic Shawn Aiken was once again locked in desperate battle with a formidable foe: the U.S. Defense Department. Aiken ... was in his second month of physical and psychological reconstruction ... after two tours of combat duty. But the problem that loomed largest that holiday season was [that] Aiken had no money. The Defense Department was withholding big chunks of his pay ... and resisted Aiken's pleas for explanation and redress. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS ... is responsible for accurately paying America's 2.7 million active-duty and Reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. It often fails at that task, a Reuters investigation finds. Aiken's case is hardly isolated. Pay errors in the military are widespread. Precise totals on the extent and cost of these mistakes are impossible to come by, and for the very reason the errors plague the military in the first place: the Defense Department's jury-rigged network of mostly incompatible computer systems for payroll and accounting, many of them decades old, long obsolete, and unable to communicate with each other. The department's authorized 2013 budget, after sequester, totals $565.8 billion - by far the largest chunk of the annual federal budget approved by Congress. Yet the Pentagon is literally unable to account for itself. A law in effect since 1992 requires annual audits of all federal agencies. The Pentagon alone has never complied. It annually reports to Congress that its books are in such disarray that an audit is impossible.

Note: Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste
2013-11-18, Reuters
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:28:25
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/pentagon/#article/part2

Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts. Every month ... the Navy would [dump] numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” - in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called “plugs,” to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s. And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information. The Defense Department’s 2012 budget totaled $565.8 billion. How much of that money is spent as intended is impossible to determine. The Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.

Note: Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why the Pentagon’s many campaigns to clean up its accounts are failing
2013-12-23, Reuters
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:26:27
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/pentagon/#article/part3

The Pentagon has for years kept lousy books with impunity. [A] 2009 law requiring the Defense Department to be audit-ready by 2017 provides for no penalties if it misses the deadline. From 1995 through 2002, Senator Charles Grassley pushed through an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill requiring the Pentagon to account for its expenditures by following one seemingly simple procedure: match each payment to the expense it covered. The order was ignored, and Grassley gave up. Each branch has insisted on building from scratch its own systems for basic accounting, logistics and personnel, roughly tripling costs. The Army, Navy and Air Force also routinely disregard department-wide standards and rules imposed by the secretary of defense’s office. The Pentagon’s inefficient method of pursuing efficiency has been on full display in the Army, which ... has been building three separate new systems to handle accounting. In 2008, as work on all three projects was under way, the Army office that oversees acquisition of information systems issued a report, [which] recommended that the Army halt work and consolidate the three systems. Doing so, it said, would save between 25% and 50% of the estimated $4.7 billion construction and operating costs of the three separate systems. The report’s recommendations were ignored. Piecemeal fixes that don’t address overarching dysfunction reduce even further the chances the Pentagon will be audit-ready by 2017.

Note: Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


This Republican mayor has an incredibly simple idea to help the homeless. And it seems to be working.
2016-08-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:24:09
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/08/11/this-republic...

Republican Mayor Richard Berry was driving around Albuquerque last year when he saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read: “Want a Job. Anything Helps.” Throughout his administration, as part of a push to connect the homeless population to services, Berry had taken to driving through the city to talk to panhandlers about their lives. His city’s poorest residents told him they didn’t want to be on the streets begging for money, but they didn’t know where else to go. Seeing that sign gave Berry an idea. The city could bring the work to them. Next month will be the first anniversary of Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way program, which hires panhandlers for day jobs beautifying the city. The job pays $9 an hour, which is above minimum wage, and provides a lunch. At the end of the shift, the participants are offered overnight shelter as needed. In less than a year since its start, the program has given out 932 jobs clearing 69,601 pounds of litter and weeds from 196 city blocks. And more than 100 people have been connected to permanent employment. Berry’s effort is a shift from the movement across the country to criminalize panhandling. A recent National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty report found a noticeable increase, with 24 percent of cities banning it altogether and 76 percent banning it in particular areas. When panhandlers have been approached in Albuquerque with the offer of work, most have been eager for the opportunity to earn money, Berry said. They just needed a lift.

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Obama announces $90 million to clear Laos' unexploded bombs
2016-09-06, CNN News
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:22:42
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/06/asia/laos-obama-aid-package/

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that US has an "obligation" to help Laos recover from a brutal secret bombing campaign that destroyed parts of the Southeast Asian nation. During an address to the Lao people in the country's capital, Obama pledged $90 million in a joint three-year project with the country's government to clear ... some 80 million unexploded cluster bombs dropped during a secret US bombing campaign as part of the Vietnam War 40 years ago. "The remnants of war continue to shatter lives here in Laos," Obama said. "That's why I've dramatically increased or funding to remove these unexploded bombs." The move was welcomed by Laos President Bounnhang Vorachit as a way of strengthening mutual trust after the devastating campaign, that still maims or kills 50 people who stumble upon unexploded mines each year. Efforts to find the bombs will be aided the Pentagon, who will supply records of where they were dropped. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been cleared, according to US-based non-government organization Legacies of War. US funding for clearance of unexploded ordnance and victims' assistance has steadily grown since 2010. This year, Congress allotted $19.5 million, but now, for the first time, an American president has publicly recognized that the US has a responsibility to do more. "That conflict was another reminder that whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts terrible toll, especially on innocent men, women and children," Obama said.

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