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.
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Boston chief: Wasn't told FBI got Tsarnaev warning
2013-05-09, Houston Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:15:48
The FBI did not initially share with Boston police the warnings it had received from Russia about one suspect in last month's marathon bombings, despite the work of four city police representatives on a federal terrorism task force, Boston's police commissioner told Congress on [May 9]. Boston police learned about the Russian security service warnings only later. The congressional hearing was the first in a series to review the government's initial response to the attacks, ask what information authorities received about Tsarnaev and his brother before the bombings and consider whether everything was handled correctly. Some lawmakers questioned whether Boston police could have more thoroughly investigated Tsarnaev after 2011, based on Russia's vague warnings then to the FBI and CIA or the discovery by the Homeland Security Department in 2012 that he was traveling to Russia for six months, and whether Justice Department rules intended to protect civil liberties constrained the FBI's own inquiry. Led by the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Forces operate in many cities as a way to bring federal, state and local officials together to share information. The model has existed for decades but, after 9/11, task forces sprouted up in cities nationwide to ensure that police were not out of the loop on investigations like the one the FBI conducted into Tsarnaev.
Note: For a powerful 11-minute video presenting undeniable evidence that the Boston bombers' uncle was closely linked to both the CIA and terrorist organizations, click here. Many are questioning whether the recent Boston bombing was a false flag operation. Though it is not conclusive, you can find some very reliable evidence that this might be the case at this link and this one. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the deceptions of intelligence agencies, click here.
Air Force's sexual assault prevention chief arrested for sexual assault
2013-05-06, CBS News
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:14:01
An Air Force officer was arrested for sexual assault. The remarkable thing is the accused man was the chief of the Air Force sexual assault prevention unit. The mug shot of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski shows signs of struggle on his face. The police report alleges that a drunken Krusinski "approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks." The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. News of the incident in the Virginia suburbs of Washington broke the day before the Pentagon is scheduled to release new figures showing a continuing rise in sexual assaults in the military: A six-percent increase from 3,192 to 3,374 reports of sexual assault in fiscal year 2012 compared to the previous year. Estimates of the actual numbers of what is a notoriously underreported crime go much higher. According to the Pentagon figures, an estimated 26,000 servicewomen experienced unwanted sexual contact, up from 19,300 two years ago. Krusinski has been removed from his job, but that will not change the reality that the Pentagon's own figures show sexual assaults are on the rise in the military.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
Sexual Assaults in Military Raise Alarm in Washington
2013-05-08, New York Times
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:12:35
The Pentagon [has] released a survey estimating that 26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted last year, up from 19,000 in 2010. The study, based on a confidential survey sent to 108,000 active-duty service members, was released two days after the officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the Air Force was arrested and charged with sexual battery for grabbing a woman’s breasts and buttocks in an Arlington, Va., parking lot. In a separate report ... the military recorded 3,374 sexual assault reports last year, up from 3,192 in 2011, suggesting that many victims continue not to report the crimes for fear of retribution or a lack of justice under the department’s system for prosecution. The numbers come as the Pentagon prepares to integrate women formally into what had been all-male domains of combat, making the effective monitoring, policing and prosecuting of sexual misconduct all the more pressing. In 2010, a similar Pentagon survey found that 4.4 percent of active-duty women and fewer than 0.9 percent of active-duty men had experienced sexual assault. Pentagon officials could not explain the jump in assaults of women, although they believed that more victims, both men and women, were making the choice to come forward. In the general population, about 0.2 percent of American women over age 12 were victims of sexual assault in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
Long-term unemployed pushed to margins
2013-05-05, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:11:09
George Ross is no longer an official member of the labor force. Out of work for the past two years, he didn't figure in the government's [latest] employment numbers. He's a "marginally attached" worker, although he doesn't see himself that way. Ross, 60, is among the 12.2 million Americans classified as "not in the labor force" by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the monthly reports. Why? Because if they have been looking for a job for more than a year - but not in the past four weeks - they're considered "discouraged" - they just don't feel they can find a job. Or they're "marginally attached," those like Ross, who had to stop looking for other reasons, like family responsibilities. Or they're working fewer than 35 hours a week - their employer cut their hours, it's the best they can find - which means they're "part time for economic reasons" or "involuntary part time."
None of them is counted, but if you added the 2.3 million "discouraged" and "marginally attached" to the 11.7 million officially unemployed, you'd have an unemployment rate closer to 9 percent - not the 7.5 percent reported [on May 3]. Add in the reluctant part-timers (7.2 million) and the rate jumps to 13.9 percent. For the long-term unemployed - those out of work for more than six months - like Ross and 4.4 million others, the prospects are especially daunting. The longer you're out of work the less likely prospective employers will even take a look at you. That goes double if you're older. A Government Accountability Office report last year found "employer reluctance to hire older workers as a key challenge" to reducing unemployment.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on extremes of income inequality, click here.
How ‘political intelligence’ can come from Congress itself
2013-05-06, Washington Post
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:09:25
On the same morning a congressional staffer told investors in a private call that odds were improving for a government decision that would help medical insurers, trading spiked in a major health-care company. The private call, arranged by a consulting firm called Capitol Street, took place the morning of March 18. At 11:05 a.m., a certain form of speculative trading in Humana, the health insurer, jumped. That day, there was nearly 10 times as much volume as any day in the previous two weeks. There is no evidence that the trades were in response to the Capitol Hill phone call with a top aide for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). But the conference call reveals the extent to which a direct pipeline of valuable political insight exists between Capitol Hill and Wall Street, one that ordinary Americans and investors do not enjoy. “Political intelligence” firms — companies that sell their analysis of federal actions to investors — have drawn much of the scrutiny from lawmakers and investigators worried about potential insider trading. Congress itself has become a source of sophisticated political analysis for investors, for whom every nugget of exclusive information can translate to millions of dollars in profit. Information in Washington is both highly valuable and extremely fluid. This has given rise to a booming business in researchers claiming to offer political intelligence that could give investors an edge in their trading. Stan Brand, a Washington lawyer specializing in congressional ethics, said he is hearing increasingly about Hill staffers being called to participate in financial industry and investor briefings like the one hosted by Capitol Street.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Does antibacterial soap cause more harm than good?
2013-05-02, CBS News
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:07:50
The Food and Drug Administration is finally going to decide whether antibacterial soap actually works, or if it's causing more harm than good. Government researchers plan to deliver a review this year on the effectiveness and safety of triclosan, the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the United States. The chemical has been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, used for cleaning kitchens, people's bodies and clothing. The chemical is also found in mouthwash, toothpaste and toys, and depending on what the FDA finds, a $1 billion industry could be affected. The agency's review comes amid growing pressure from lawmakers, consumer advocates and others who are concerned about the safety of triclosan. Recent animal studies of triclosan have led scientists to worry that it could case hormone-related problems in humans including an increase the risk of infertility and early puberty. The concerns over triclosan offer a sobering glimpse at a little-known fact: Many chemicals used in everyday household products have never been formally approved by U.S. health regulators. That's because many germ-killing chemicals were developed decades ago before there were laws requiring scientific review of cleaning ingredients. The controversy also highlights how long it can take the federal government to review the safety of such chemicals. It's not uncommon for the process to drag on for years.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Lipstick findings not pretty, maybe toxic
2013-05-02, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:06:25
Lipstick can give your lips color, sheen and texture, but may also put you at risk of ingesting potentially toxic metals, UC Berkeley researchers say in the latest study to ferret out questionable compounds in cosmetics. The scientists said [on May 2 that] they found metals in every one of the 32 lipsticks and lip glosses they tested. Some of those substances, including lead, cadmium and chromium, are banned from cosmetics in Europe, but not in the United States. Previous studies had detected traces of lead in lipstick, but the researchers said theirs was the first to find a variety of other metals that can be toxic in high doses. Manganese, for example, which was found in varying amounts in the tested products, is linked to neurological defects in humans who inhale it on a continuous basis. Makeup manufacturers in the United States sometimes use metals as color additives. The researchers believe that potentially harmful metals are present in possibly thousands of lip products beyond the 32 they tested. "The fact that virtually all of them have some metals of some concern leads me to say that it's a concern in general," said Katharine Hammond, a UC Berkeley environmental health sciences professor and the study's primary investigator. The report appears in the current issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. Consumers should not be burdened with figuring out which products are safe, [Hammond] argued. Instead, she said, the responsibility belongs to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Smoking Marijuana Regularly May Reduce Risk of Some Neck, Head Cancers
2009-08-26, Fox News
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:05:04
In a study, researchers have found that long-term pot smokers were roughly 62 percent less likely to develop head and neck cancers than people who did not smoke pot. The new study featured 434 patients with head and neck cancers, which include tumors in the mouth, tongue, nose, sinuses, throat and lymph nodes in the neck, and 547 individuals without these cancers seen in the Greater Boston area from December 1999 to December 2003. After factoring out the impact of smoking, drinking, and other factors that might influence the results, smoking marijuana from once every two weeks to three times every two weeks, on average, was associated with about half the risk of head and neck cancer, compared with less frequent use. Those who took up pot smoking at an older age appeared to have less risk of these cancers than those who started it at a younger age. Compared to people who never smoked pot, those who began smoking marijuana between the ages of 15 and 19 years were 47 percent less likely to develop head and neck cancer, while users who began at age 20 or older had a 61 percent reduced risk, Kelsey and colleagues found. The authors note that chemicals in pot called cannabinoids have been shown to have potential antitumor effects. Other studies have linked marijuana use to a reduced risk of some cancers, such as cancer of the prostate, and now head and neck cancer. It's also been suggested that smoking pot may help stave off Alzheimer's disease and help combat weight loss associated with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients.
Note: For a great nine-minute video presenting major media reports showing how marijuana is a very promising cancer treatment that is being suppressed, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Victorian police in pedophile rings: victims
2004-07-08, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:03:35
A highly-organised paedophile ring involving Victorian police and former politicians had been operating in the state since the 1970s, anti-child abuse groups claimed today. Dr Reina Michaelson of The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program (CSAPP) and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston today said they had been told by child sex abuse victims that former Victorian elected politicians and police members were involved in child pornography and prostitution. Dr Michaelson said she was working with child sex abuse victims who said they had witnessed significant police corruption and protection of paedophilia rings. The allegations come in response to a damning report released by Victoria's Ombudsman George Brouwer yesterday into Victoria Police's botched handling of four cases of child sex abuse. Ms Michaelson and Ms Johnston today called for the confidential Ombudsman's report to be made public and for a royal commission into child sexual abuse and corruption. "When problems within Victoria Police are shown to have extended into the investigation of serious sex crimes against children, as has been revealed by the Ombudsman's investigation, it is time for the Victorian government to act," Dr Michaelson said.
Note: Because of intense pressure from politicians and police and disturbing threats, Dr. Michaelson eventually gave up trying to push for justice in these sexual abuse cases. For lots more solid information on this disturbing news, click here and here. And if you are willing to explore how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here.
Tesla’s Model S receives top rating from Consumer Reports
2013-05-09, Washington Post/Bloomberg
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:02:11
Tesla Motors Inc.’s electric Model S, Motor Trend’s 2013 “Car of the Year,” received the highest rating from Consumer Reports in an evaluation of the luxury sedan that led first-quarter North American plug-in car sales. The Model S from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla scored 99 out of 100 points, the non-profit magazine said in an e-mailed statement. The $89,650 car bought by Consumer Reports “performed better, or just as well overall” as any vehicle it’s ever tested, the ... magazine said. “It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. No rechargeable car has won a score as high as the Model S. The magazine last gave a vehicle 99 points in 2007, when Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus LS460L ranked that high. Model S shortcomings include limited range, long charge times and “coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and impedes access,” Consumer Reports said. Along with reliability that isn’t yet determined, Tesla still has a limited service network, the magazine said. The test vehicle had an 85-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery pack and averaged about 200 miles (322 kilometers) per charge in real-world driving, the magazine said. The Tesla “is easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date,” Consumer Reports said.
Note: After undeniable suppression of the electric car by car manufacturers, independent upstart Tesla Motors has done it! Expect to see more breakthroughs from this great new company. For more on the company's amazing namesake and how his inventions were suppressed, click here.
Solar-powered plane completes first leg of cross-country journey
2013-05-04, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:00:37
[Solar Impulse HB-SIA, a] solar-powered aircraft making a landmark cross-country flight [piloted by Bertrand Piccard], successfully completed its first leg [on May 4], and will rest about a week in [Phoenix] Arizona before taking to the skies again. "It's a little bit like being in a dream," Piccard told the Associated Press. The aircraft, running off solar cells and electric batteries rather than fossil fuels, ... travels at a leisurely 43 mph and cruises at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet. Spokeswoman Alenka Zibetto [said] that the exact length of the stay would depend on weather. It is proving to be a popular attraction. Online registration for the Sunday slots -- with space for 150 people per hour -- filled up within a day, Zibetto said. The solar company SunPower [manufactured] the solar cells lining the 208-foot wingspan of Solar Impulse.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles on exciting new energy technologies, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
The Falling Cost Of Solar Energy Is Surprising Everyone
2013-05-02, Business Insider
Posted: 2013-05-14 08:58:16
Citi has just named solar photovoltaics, which convert solar radiation into electric currents via semiconductors, to its list of 10 world-disrupting technologies. In a note this week in advance of the disruption report, Citi's Jason Channell said that in many cases, renewables are already at cost parity with established forms of electricity sources. The biggest surprise in recent years has been the speed at which the price of solar panels has reduced, resulting in cost parity being achieved in certain areas much more quickly than was ever expected; these fast ‘learning rates’ are likely to continue, meaning that the technology just keeps getting cheaper. At peak solar exposure, parts of the southwest U.S. are now already capable of meeting their electricity needs via solar panels. The rapidly expanding parity provides enormous scope for growth in the solar industry, driven by standalone economics as opposed to subsidies, which are becoming ever scarcer in an austerity-driven world. Gas isn't going away, but renewables are coming on strong.
Note: It's rather strange that most mainstream media have hardly reported on this most awesome news at all. For another article showing that solar energy cost is already near parity with other energy sources, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles on exciting new energy technologies, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Profile: Global campaign group Avaaz
2013-02-28, BBC News
Posted: 2013-05-14 08:56:56
Avaaz - meaning "voice" in Farsi as well as several other European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages - describes itself as "a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere". According to the group's website, it was launched in 2007 with a mission to "organise citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want". It campaigns in 15 languages and is served by a small core team of 52 full-time staff worldwide and thousands of volunteers in all 192 UN member states, including Iran and China, where its website is illegal. "Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force," it says. Avaaz's founder and executive director, Ricken Patel, told the Times newspaper earlier this month: "There are two types of fatalism. The belief the world can't change, and the belief you can't play a role in changing it." The group employs a wide variety of tactics in its campaigns, including collating petitions with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of signatures; organising demonstrations and phone-ins; fundraising, and paying for advertising. It says its successes range from helping to uphold the EU ban on GM crops to helping to circumventing the Burmese government's ban on international aid after Cyclone Nargis.
Note: The membership of this great organization has rapidly grown to over 20 million worldwide. Consider joining them and making your voice heard at avaaz.org. You can start a petition there which just might draw millions of supporters and make a real difference in building a better world. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Top economist Jeffrey Sachs says Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash
2013-04-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:24:41
One of the world's most respected economists has said Wall St is full of "crooks" and hasn't reformed its "pathological" culture since the financial crash. Professor Jeffrey Sachs told a high-powered audience at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve earlier this month that the lack of reform was down to “a docile president, a docile White House and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice.” Sachs, from Columbia University, has twice been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and is an adviser to the World Bank and IMF. “What has been revealed, in my view, is prima facie criminal behavior,” he said. “It’s financial fraud on a very large extent. There’s also a tremendous amount of insider trading. We have a corrupt politics to the core, I am afraid to say, and . . . both parties are up to their neck in this. This has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans." Sachs described an environment of Wall Street influencing politicians with growing campaign contributions. In the 2012 election cycle, political contributions by the securities and investment sector hit $271.5 million, compared with $176 million in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. “I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. They have no responsibility to pay taxes; they have no responsibility to their clients; they have no responsibility to people, to counterparties in transactions,” he said. “They are tough, greedy, aggressive and feel absolutely out of control in a quite literal sense, and they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on criminal practices of Wall Street corporations, click here.
With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
2013-04-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:23:15
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency. All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader. “We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.” The C.I.A. ... has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing. Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” Now, Mr. Karzai is seeking control over the Afghan militias raised by the C.I.A. to target ... insurgent commanders, potentially upending a critical part of the Obama administration’s plans for fighting militants as conventional military forces pull back this year. But the C.I.A. has continued to pay.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law
2013-04-29, Bloomberg News
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:21:57
Former fashion jewelry saleswoman Rebecca Gonzales and former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson have one thing in common: J.C. Penney Co. no longer employs either. The similarity ends there. Johnson, 54, got a compensation package worth 1,795 times the average wage and benefits of a U.S. department store worker when he was hired in November 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gonzales’s hourly wage was $8.30 that year. Across the [S&P] 500 Index of companies, the average multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204, up 20 percent since 2009, the data show. Almost three years after Congress ordered public companies to reveal actual CEO-to-worker pay ratios under the Dodd-Frank law, the numbers remain unknown. As the Occupy Wall Street movement and 2012 election made income inequality a social flashpoint, mandatory disclosure of the ratios remained bottled up at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which hasn’t yet drawn up the rules to implement it. Some of America’s biggest companies are lobbying against the requirement. “It’s a simple piece of information stockholders ought to have,” said Phil Angelides, who led the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which investigated the economic collapse of 2008. “The fact that corporate executives wouldn’t want to display the number speaks volumes.” The lobbying is part of “a street-by-street, block-by-block fight waged by large corporations and their Wall Street colleagues” to obstruct the Dodd-Frank law, he said.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on income inequality, click here .
Why this is the worst economic recovery on record
2013-04-15, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:20:34
We’re now witnessing what happens when all of the economic gains go to the top. Four years into a so-called recovery and we’re still below recession levels in every important respect except the stock market. A measly 88,000 jobs were created in March, and total employment remains some 3 million below its pre-recession level. Labor-force participation is it’s lowest since 1979. The underlying problem is the vast middle class is running out of money. They can’t borrow more — and shouldn’t, given what happened after the last borrowing binge. Real annual median household income keeps falling. It’s down to $45,018, from $51,144 in 2010. All the gains from the recovery continue to go to the top. Widening inequality is not inevitable. If we wanted to reverse it and restore middle-class prosperity, we could. We could award tax cuts to companies that link the pay of their hourly workers to profits and productivity, and that keep the total pay of their top 5 executives within 20 times the pay of their median worker. And impose higher taxes on companies that don’t. We could raise the minimum wage to half the average wage. We could increase public investment in education, including early-childhood. We could eliminate college loans and allow all students to repay the cost of their higher education with a 10 percent surcharge on the first 10 years of income from full-time employment. And we could pay for all this by adding additional tax brackets at the top and increasing the top marginal tax rate to what it was before 1981 – at least 70 percent.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collapse of the global economy assisted by speculation and profiteering by financial corporations, click here.
Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:19:05
Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s 14th-richest person, and his wife, Elena Rybolovleva, have been brawling for almost five years in at least seven countries over his $9.5 billion fortune. In a divorce complaint originated in Geneva in 2008, Rybolovleva accused her husband of using a “multitude of third parties” to create a network of offshore holding companies and trusts to place assets -- including about $500 million in art, $36 million in jewelry and an $80 million yacht -- beyond her reach. She has brought legal action against the 48-year-old Rybolovlev in the British Virgin Islands, England, Wales, the U.S., Cyprus, Singapore and Switzerland, and is seeking $6 billion. The suits provide a window into the offshore structures and secrecy jurisdictions the world’s richest people use to manage, preserve and conceal their assets. According to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system, wealthy individuals were hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets. More than 30 percent of the world’s 200 richest people, who have a $2.8 trillion collective net worth ...control part of their personal fortune through an offshore holding company or other domestic entity where the assets are held indirectly. These structures often hide assets from tax authorities or provide legal protection from government seizure and lawsuits.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on failure of governments to regulate great accumulations of wealth, click here.
Flow of Tainted Water Is Latest Crisis at Japan Nuclear Plant
2013-04-30, New York Times
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:17:32
Two years after a triple meltdown that grew into the world’s second worst nuclear disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is faced with a new crisis: a flood of highly radioactive wastewater that workers are struggling to contain. Groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute. It becomes highly contaminated there, before being pumped out to keep from swamping a critical cooling system. A small army of workers has struggled to contain the continuous flow of radioactive wastewater, relying on ... storage tanks sprawling over 42 acres of parking lots and lawns. The tanks hold the equivalent of 112 Olympic-size pools. But even they are not enough to handle the tons of strontium-laced water at the plant — a reflection of the scale of the 2011 disaster. In a sign of the sheer size of the problem, the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, plans to chop down a small forest on its southern edge to make room for hundreds more tanks, a task that became more urgent when underground pits built to handle the overflow sprang leaks in recent weeks. While the company has managed to stay ahead, the constant threat of running out of storage space has turned into what Tepco itself called an emergency, with the sheer volume of water raising fears of future leaks at the seaside plant that could reach the Pacific Ocean. Two years after the meltdowns, the plant remains vulnerable to the same sort of large earthquake and tsunami that set the original calamity in motion.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on risks and corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.
UN report wants to terminate killer robots, opposes life-or-death powers over humans
2013-05-02, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-05-07 08:08:46
Killer robots that can attack targets without any human input “should not have the power of life and death over human beings,” a new draft U.N. report says. The report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission ... deals with legal and philosophical issues involved in giving robots lethal powers over humans. Report author Christof Heyns, a South African professor of human rights law, calls for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. The United States, Britain, Israel, South Korea and Japan have developed various types of fully or semi-autonomous weapons. Heyns focuses on a new generation of weapons that choose their targets and execute them. He calls them “lethal autonomous robotics,” or LARs for short, and says: “Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans — while they are fallible — at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not.” The report goes beyond the recent debate over drone killings. Drones do have human oversight. The killer robots are programmed to make autonomous decisions on the spot without orders from humans. “Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) ... would add a new dimension to this distancing [i.e., the remote control of drones], in that targeting decisions could be taken by the robots themselves. In addition to being physically removed from the kinetic action, humans would also become more detached from decisions to kill - and their execution,” he wrote.
Note: The U.N. draft report is available at this link.