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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.


Four Oakland police officers fired, seven suspended, in sexual misconduct case
2016-09-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:55:16
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/07/oakland-police-officers-fired...

The Oakland, California, police department has fired four officers and suspended seven in a major sexual misconduct case, but critics have questioned why officers haven’t faced criminal charges and why an exploitation victim at the center of the case remains behind bars. The disciplinary actions ... stem from a case involving a teenage girl who was sexually exploited by more than a dozen officers across the northern California region. In 2015, officer Brendan O’Brien reportedly killed himself and left a note that launched an investigation into widespread misconduct allegations. The Oakland newspaper East Bay Express uncovered that three officers had allegedly had sexual relations with a teenage girl when she was underage. The girl ... said she was a sex worker at the time. By law, however, those relationships would be considered statutory rape and human trafficking. A total of at least 14 officers in Oakland as well as eight from other nearby law enforcement agencies are accused of taking advantage of the teenager. Months later, there are still no criminal charges. On the contrary, the woman recently went to a rehab center in Florida where she was arrested. She remains incarcerated at a local jail. Critics of the police department ... said they were particularly disturbed that the exploited woman was behind bars while the officers who have allegedly engaged in misconduct have remained free – many of them still employed by the city.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about police corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


U.S. Special Operations Numbers Surge in Africa's Shadow Wars
2016-12-31, The Intercept
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:53:22
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/31/u-s-special-operations-numbers-surge-in-a...

Africa has seen the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America’s elite troops of any region of the globe over the past decade. In 2006, just 1% of commandos sent overseas were deployed in the U.S. Africa Command area of operations. In 2016, 17.26% of all U.S. Special Operations forces ... deployed abroad were sent to Africa, according to data supplied to The Intercept by U.S. Special Operations Command. That total ranks second only to the Greater Middle East where the U.S. is waging war against enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, the chief of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, told African Defense, a U.S. trade publication, “We are not at war in Africa - but our African partners certainly are.” That statement stands in stark contrast to this year’s missions in Somalia where, for example, U.S. Special Operations forces assisted local commandos in killing several members of the militant group, al-Shabab and Libya, where they supported local fighters battling members of the Islamic State. These missions also speak to the exponential growth of special operations on the continent. U.S. special operators were actually deployed in at least 33 African nations, more than 60% of the 54 countries on the continent, in 2016. The majority of African governments that hosted deployments of U.S. commandos in 2016 have seen their own security forces cited for human rights abuses by the U.S. State Department.

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


A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high
2016-12-31, Washington Post
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:50:00
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-powerful-new-form-of...

Jackson Leyden had always been a healthy kid. But in 2011, a few months after his eighth birthday, he began having seizures several times a day. His parents took him to more than 20 doctors. He tried more than a dozen medications. Nothing worked. Two years ago, the Leydens ... decided to see whether marijuana might help. “Within a few days, he was having hardly any seizures,” says his mother, Lisa. “I was shocked.” Over the next few months, he stopped taking other medications. Not only did the medicine help, it did so without making him high. The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not. Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems, while CBD was thought to be biologically inactive. But in the past 10 years ... dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer. Now 13, Jackson ... continues to use marijuana every day. He still has seizures, but they are less severe and they occur once every week or two, down from around 200 a month before he started using cannabis. Although it doesn’t make users high, CBD ... is classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug [with] no accepted medical use.

Note: While more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug, the UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


This Pesticide Is Prohibited in Britain. Why Is It Still Being Exported?
2016-12-20, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:47:06
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/business/paraquat-weed-killer-pesticide.htm...

Paraquat, one of many pesticides that can’t be used in Europe but is sold in the United States and elsewhere, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease in a growing body of research. The [paraquat factory in Huddersfield, England] recently celebrated its centennial. Paraquat [is] one of the world’s most enduring weed killers - but not one that can be purchased in ... Britain or across the Channel in the rest of the European Union. So it will be sent to the United States, or another part of the globe that still allows paraquat to be sprayed on weeds. Now regulators in the United States are grappling with a wave of research linking paraquat to ... Parkinson’s disease. In a recent ... regulatory filing, the Environmental Protection Agency said, “There is a large body of epidemiology data on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.” The agency is weighing whether to continue allowing the chemical to be sprayed on American cropland, although a decision is not expected until 2018. In the meantime, many of the nations that ban paraquat and other chemicals whose use is contentious still allow them to be manufactured as long as they are exported to faraway fields. Even the government of China, a nation not known for environmental regulation, said in 2012 that it would phase out paraquat “to safeguard people’s lives.” As Europe and China move away from paraquat, its use is rebounding in the United States. That is particularly true for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used is up more than fourfold over the past decade.

Note: Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss company known for manipulating international trade deals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Platform Cooperatives Like Stocksy Have A Purpose Uber And Airbnb Never Will
2016-10-01, Forbes
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:44:27
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danpontefract/2016/10/01/platform-cooperatives-li...

You are undoubtedly familiar with so-called “sharing economy” titans such as Uber and Airbnb. Both companies are wreaking havoc on existing business models. But there is a problem. These are not truly “sharing economy” companies. For the record, I’m with Harvard Business Review authors Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi who made a strong case against using the term “sharing economy” when it comes to firms like Uber and Airbnb. The authors suggested these sorts of businesses - where products and services are traded on the basis of access rather than ownership, when trade is done temporarily and not permanently - ought to be referred to as the “access economy.” While there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with companies like Uber or Airbnb ... they are not examples of organizations who are truly “sharing”. [Each company] extracts money from its “partners” and reinvests the profit in itself, not those who are its laborers. Which brings me to ... the business model of a “Platform Cooperative.” In its simplest form, a Platform Cooperative is defined as “worker–owned cooperatives designing their own apps-based platforms, fostering truly peer-to-peer ways of providing services and things”. Put differently, those doing the work are owners and are both compensated for such effort and regarded as members of the greater team. A Platform Cooperative is not in it to extract money from its labourers through the rental of talent, service or even capital. Its business model is not about renting access.

Note: Read a great article describing 11 "platform cooperatives" which create a real sharing economy.


Solar and wind power cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time
2017-01-05, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:40:53
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/solar-and-wind-power-cheaper-than-fo...

Solar energy is now cheaper than traditional fossil fuels. Solar and wind is now either the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The influential foundation has described the change as a "tipping point" that could make fighting climate change into a profitable form of business for energy companies. But investors and energy firms are still failing to put money into such green solutions despite the fact that they are cheaper than more traditional forms of electricity generation. “Renewable energy has reached a tipping point – it now constitutes the best chance to reverse global warming,” said Michael Drexler, Head of Long Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development at the World Economic Forum. Just ten years ago, generating electricity through solar cost about $600 per MWh, and it cost only $100 to generate the same amount of power through coal and natural gas. But ... today it only costs around $100 the generate the same amount of electricity through solar and $50 through wind. The cheap price of solar and wind energy is already encouraging companies to build more plants to harvest it. The US is adding about 125 solar panels every minute ... and investment in renewables in 2015 rose to $286 billion, up 5 per cent from the year before. Even despite that cheap price ... the worldwide investment is only 25 per cent of the $1 trillion goal set in the landmark Paris climate change accord.

Note: Why are most of the media in the US hardly reporting this inspiring news at all? Read more on this great news in this informative essay.


Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson alleges network suppressed stories on ‘corporate partners’
2014-10-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:36:20
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/10/28/former-cbs-new...

In an astonishing media tour following her resignation from CBS News last spring, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson sat before interviewers ranging from radio host Chris Stigall to CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter and launched attacks on her newly former employer. “With various stories, you do get the idea at some point that they want you to stop, especially if you start to dig down right into something very, very important. And it’s not just with political stories - it’s with stories that go after other interests, corporations, different things,” Attkisson told Stigall. Perhaps the most spectacular allegation against Attkisson’s former employer relates to influence by corporate interests on the news product. Despite the hassles, Attkisson and her colleagues plow ahead with such stories. Until she catches wind that the bureau chief has requested to see her notes on a story about “an American Red Cross disaster response.” After Attkisson complains that it’s inappropriate to ask to see the notes, the bureau chief says, “I know. I don’t know what else to do.” Discouragement of Attkisson’s reporting, confesses the bureau chief, comes from powerful forces within CBS News. “We must do nothing to upset our corporate partners,” says the bureau chief, per [Attkisson's book] “Stonewalled.”

Note: There is much more to this story. Please read the analysis of top independent reporter Jon Rappoport on this webpage showing how sharp investigative reporters who threaten the powers that be are forced out, as Attkisson was. And watch Attkisson give a Tedx Talk on how the public is deceived in dangerous ways be powerful corporations and interests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


Is the Era of Great Famines Over?
2016-05-08, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:33:12
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/09/opinion/is-the-era-of-great-famines-over.ht...

The worst drought in three decades has left almost 20 million Ethiopians - one-fifth of the population - desperately short of food. And yet the country’s mortality rate isn’t expected to increase: In other words, Ethiopians aren’t starving to death. I’ve studied famine and humanitarian relief for more than 30 years, and I wasn’t prepared for what I saw during a visit to Ethiopia last month. I saw imported wheat being brought to the smallest and most remote villages. Water was delivered to places where wells had run dry. Malnourished children were being treated in properly staffed clinics. Compare that to the aftermath of the 1984 drought, which killed at least 600,000 people, [and] caused the economy to shrink by nearly 14 percent. How did Ethiopia go from being the world’s symbol of mass famines to fending off starvation? Peace, greater transparency and prudent planning. Ethiopia’s success in averting another disaster is confirmation that famine is elective because, at its core, it is an artifact and a tool of political repression. After countries have passed a certain threshold of prosperity and development, peace, political liberalization and greater government accountability are the best safeguards against famine. So is the era of great famines finally over? Let’s just say it could be. Famine isn’t caused by overpopulation, and as Ethiopia’s experience shows, it’s not a necessary consequence of drought. Politics creates famine, and politics can stop it.

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


Acidity in atmosphere minimized to preindustrial levels
2016-09-24, Science Daily
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:30:53
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160924223232.htm

New research shows that human pollution of the atmosphere with acid is now almost back to the level that it was before the pollution started with industrialisation in the 1930s. The results come from studies of the Greenland ice sheet and are published in the scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology. By drilling ice cores down through the kilometre-thick ice sheet, the researchers can analyse every single annual layer, which can tell us about ... pollutants in the atmosphere. Acid in the atmosphere can come from large volcanic eruptions and human-made emissions from industry. For many years, there has been a quest to solve the problem of measuring acidity in the porous annual layers of the ice and now scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute have succeeded [by employing] a Continuous Flow Analyses or CFA method. The CFA system can ... distinguish whether the emissions come from volcanic eruptions, large forest fires or industry. The researchers can therefore filter out both volcanic eruptions and forest fires in the assessment of industrial pollution and the new results are revolutionary. "We can see that the acid pollution in the atmosphere from industry has fallen dramatically since humanmade acid pollution took off in the 1930s and peaked in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1970s, both Europe and the United States adopted the 'The clean air act amendments', which required filters in factories, thus reducing acid emissions," explains [researcher] Helle Astrid Kjćr.

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


Teen birthrate reaches all-time low, CDC report says
2016-04-30, PBS
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:29:03
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/teen-birthrate-reaches-all-time-low-cdc-report...

The teenage birth rate in the United States has hit an all-time low, according to a report this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says during the last 25 years, the teen birth rate has fallen from 62 births for every 1,000 teenage women to 24 per 1,000. The drop is steepest among minorities in the past decade, with pregnancies down 44 percent for black teens and down 51 percent among Hispanics. Dr. Wanda Barfield, the CDC’s director of the Division of Reproductive Health [explains this dramatic] decrease: "What we’re seeing is that community-based interventions appear to be effective in preventing teen births. We’re seeing declines in sexual activity among teens, as well as increases in the use of the most effective contraceptive methods available. Sexual health education plays an important role in the prevention of teen pregnancy. Even states that may have low rates of teen pregnancy may have areas where we’re seeing high rates of teen pregnancy within specific communities. So, as a result, it’s really important that we look locally, that we engage communities in teen pregnancy prevention."

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


Dutch justice? Falling crime rates and prison closures
2016-10-17, DutchNews.nl
Posted: 2017-01-08 22:26:14
http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2016/10/falling-crime-rates-and-prison-closu...

The closure of five prisons in as many years against the background of a falling crime rate, is the kind of news many governments would give their eye teeth for. The impact could have been even more dramatic if the government had adopted the recommendations of a prison service report published in July, which concluded that eight jails and three youth detention centres will be surplus to requirements by the year 2021. The official figures indicate that recorded crime has been falling for around a decade. Between 2014 and 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, recorded crime was down by nearly 5%, according to national statistics office CBS. In total, recorded crime has shrunk by 25% over the past eight years. Crime figures [have] been falling in nearly all western nations this century, but the decline in the Dutch prison population has been spectacular. In 2006 the Netherlands had the second highest number of inmates in Europe with 125 prisoners per 100,000 population. Only the UK, with 145, had a larger share. But by last year the Dutch were down to Scandinavian levels, with 69 out of every 100,000 citizens behind bars. The government says prison closures are inevitable because it costs too much to keep empty cells open. Official forecasts predict that the downward trend in crime will continue, though how far the fall reflects an actual drop in criminal behaviour remains a hotly contested issue.

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


The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border
2016-12-28, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 20:09:03
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/homeland-security-border-bribes.html?_r=0

A review by The New York Times of thousands of court records and internal agency documents showed that over the last 10 years almost 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws. These employees have looked the other way as tons of drugs and thousands of undocumented immigrants were smuggled into the United States, the records show. They have illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents, have entered law enforcement databases and given sensitive information to drug cartels. In one case, the information was used to arrange the attempted murder of an informant. The Times’s findings most likely undercount the amount of bribes because in many cases court records do not give a tally. The findings also do not include gifts, trips or money stolen by Homeland Security employees. Convicted former border and immigration agents give different reasons for taking bribes, from financial troubles to drug use. But for many, it was simple greed. Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol, currently lacks proactive programs to weed out corruption. Instead ... the agency based its investigations on reporting from other employees, other government agencies or the public, by which time the corruption could have festered for decades.

Note: These are only the known cases. How many receive bribes and get away with it? And how many others are caught and then covered up? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Where Secret Arrests Were Standard Procedure
2016-12-28, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 20:06:51
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/opinion/where-secret-arrests-were-standard-...

For a shocking glimpse of what’s been happening in the name of criminal justice in America, look no further than a Justice Department report last week on police behavior in Louisiana. Officers there have routinely arrested hundreds of citizens annually without probable cause, strip-searching them and denying them contact with their family and lawyers for days - all in an unconstitutional attempt to force cooperation with detectives who finally admitted they were operating on a mere “hunch” or “feeling.” This wholesale violation of the Constitution’s protection against unlawful search and seizure ... was standard procedure. The report described as “staggering” the number of people who were “commonly detained for 72 hours or more” with no opportunity to contest their arrest, in what the police euphemistically termed “investigative holds.” The sheriff’s office in Evangeline, with a population of 33,578, initiated over 200 such arrest-and-grilling sessions between 2012 and 2014. In Ville Platte, which has 7,303 residents, the local police department used the practice more than 700 times during the same years. The residents faced demands for information, the report said, “under threat of continued wrongful incarceration,” resulting in what may have been false confessions and improper convictions. “Literally anyone in Evangeline Parish or Ville Platte could be arrested and placed ‘on hold’ at any time,” the report found.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why?
2016-09-02, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 20:04:54
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/upshot/new-geography-of-prisons.html?_r=0

A bipartisan campaign to reduce mass incarceration has led to enormous declines in new inmates from big cities, cutting America’s prison population for the first time since the 1970s. But large parts of rural and suburban America ... have gone the opposite direction. Prison admissions in counties with fewer than 100,000 people have risen even as crime has fallen. Just a decade ago, people in rural, suburban and urban areas were all about equally likely to go to prison. But now people in small counties are about 50 percent more likely to go to prison than people in populous counties. The stark disparities in how counties punish crime show the limits of recent state and federal changes to reduce the number of inmates. Far from Washington and state capitals, county prosecutors and judges continue to wield great power over who goes to prison and for how long. And many of them have no interest in reducing the prison population. The divide does not appear to be driven by changes in crime, which fell in rural and urban areas at roughly equal rates. Cities have adopted a more lenient approach to drug offenses in particular, diverting many low-level drug offenders to probation or treatment rather than to jail. Those choices have started to reverse - if only modestly - longstanding racial disparities in American prisons, where blacks and Hispanics are incarcerated at drastically higher rates than whites. But rural, mostly white and politically conservative counties have continued to send more drug offenders to prison.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion-dollar failure," and spending on jails outpaced spending on schools by three times over the last 30 years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about judicial system corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


New Healthcare Law Is A Win For Lobbyists And Drug Companies
2016-12-01, International Business Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 20:02:53
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/new-healthcare-law-win-lobbyists-dru...

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers is rushing to finalize a new healthcare law that would overhaul the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bill, called the 21st Century Cures Act, is also a huge win for lobbyists: 1,455 lobbyists, working on behalf of 400 different healthcare companies, medical device makers and research institutions weighed in on the 900 pages of regulatory tweaks and research grants. Originally conceived as a bill to boost research ... pro-industry groups have used the bill as a vehicle to achieve their long standing legislative agenda. It effectively makes it easier for drug companies and medical device manufacturers to get FDA approval for their products without demonstrating that consumer safety has been taken into account. Consumer advocates are particularly concerned with several provisions that make it much easier for pharmaceutical companies to bypass stringent testing requirements to market and sell drugs for multiple uses. Currently, if a company wanted to sell a drug to treat more than one ailment, it must conduct randomized scientific trials showing the product does indeed work for each separate illness it's marketed for. The 21st Century Cures Act lowers that threshold. The bill also frees pharmaceutical companies to work with insurance companies to promote off-label uses for their drugs and creates a new category of ... medical devices which qualify for expedited regulatory approval. The lawmakers who introduced the measure are bankrolled by the healthcare industry.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Despite Pledges To Cut Back, Farms Are Still Using Antibiotics
2016-12-22, NPR
Posted: 2017-01-02 20:00:59
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/12/22/506599017/despite-pledges-to-c...

Every year, more restaurants and food companies announce that they will sell only meat produced with minimal or no use of antibiotics. And every year, despite those pledges, more antibiotics are administered to the nation's swine, cattle and poultry. According to the latest figures, released this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, antibiotic sales for use on farm animals increased by 1 percent in 2015, compared to the previous year. The increase was slightly greater – 2 percent — for antibiotics used as human medicine. The FDA and other public health agencies have been pushing farmers to rely less on these drugs. Heavy use of antibiotics both in human medicine and in agriculture has led to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, complicating the task of treating many infections. But the FDA finds a glimmer of good news in the latest figures, pointing out that the rate of increase has slowed. In the previous year, antibiotic use had increased by 4 percent, and a total of 22 percent from 2009 to 2014.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about food system corruption and health


Wielding Claims of ‘Fake News,’ Conservatives Take Aim at Mainstream Media
2016-12-25, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 19:59:11
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/25/us/politics/fake-news-claims-conservatives-...

The C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the White House may all agree that Russia was behind the hacking that interfered with the election. But that was of no import to the website Breitbart News, which dismissed reports on the intelligence assessment as “left-wing fake news.” Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online. But conservative cable and radio personalities ... have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda. In defining “fake news” so broadly and seeking to dilute its meaning, they are capitalizing on the declining credibility of all purveyors of information. Journalists who work to separate fact from fiction see a dangerous conflation of stories that turn out to be wrong because of a legitimate misunderstanding with those whose clear intention is to deceive. A report, shared more than a million times on social media, that the pope had endorsed Mr. Trump was undeniably false. But was it “fake news” to report on data models that showed Hillary Clinton with overwhelming odds of winning the presidency? Are opinion articles fake if they cherry-pick facts to draw disputable conclusions? “Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue,” said David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, the myth-busting website. “Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we’re doing a disservice to lump all those things together.”

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


U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market
2016-12-26, New York Times
Posted: 2017-01-02 19:57:18
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/us/politics/united-states-global-weapons-sa...

The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study. Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases. The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as purchases of American weapons grew by around $4 billion and France’s deals increased by well over $9 billion. The report, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015,” was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week. The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. Russia, another dominant power in the global arms market, saw a modest decline in orders for its weapons, dropping to $11.1 billion in sales from the $11.2 billion total in 2014. China reached $6 billion in weapons sales, up from its 2014 total of over $3 billion. The largest buyers of weapons in the developing world in 2015 were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

Note: Read about a lavish party thrown for a Pentagon official in charge of administering arms sales by weapons industry executives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


World War Three, By Mistake
2016-12-23, The New Yorker
Posted: 2017-01-02 19:54:48
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/world-war-three-by-mistake

The systems devised to govern the use of nuclear weapons, like all complex technological systems, are inherently flawed. But the failure of a nuclear command-and-control system can have [serious] consequences. Millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions, could be annihilated inadvertently. Today, the odds of a nuclear war being started by mistake are low - and yet the risk is growing, as the United States and Russia drift toward a new cold war. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman [intercontinental ballistic missile] force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015 ... a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Minuteman III is a relic of the Cold War not only in design but also in its strategic purpose. When the atomic bomb was being developed ... the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes - and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use.

Note: The above was written by Eric Schlosser, author of the 2013 book "Command and Control," which documents errors and accidents in the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The US came very close to accidentally starting a nuclear war in 1973. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Foreigners must provide social media accounts to enter U.S.
2016-12-23, Miami Herald/McClatchy
Posted: 2017-01-02 19:52:52
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article122774904.html

Foreign travelers will now be asked to provide links to their social media accounts before they enter the U.S. after the government implemented a new policy designed to identify “potential threats”. The request to provide links to accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn is optional. But privacy advocates and some technology companies oppose the move on the grounds it violates civil liberties and freedom of expression. The new policy, which was originally proposed this summer, was adopted Dec. 19 for people arriving via the ... Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which now asks about social media accounts in its online form. There is no clear indication of how the information gathered will be used. “An open-ended inquiry into ‘online presence’ would give DHS a window into applicants’ private lives,” a coalition of 28 civil rights and technology groups wrote in a letter in August in opposition to the proposal. “Scrutiny of their sensitive or controversial online profiles would lead many visa-waiver applicants to self-censor or delete their accounts, with consequences for personal, business, and travel-related activity. “The risk of discrimination based on analysis of social media content and connections is great and will fall hardest on Arab and Muslim communities,” the letter said. “It also poses significant risks to journalists, whose profession requires confidentiality and whose social media networks may convey a profile that, taken out of context, could be misconstrued.”

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