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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.


Why Is the Obama Administration Trying to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed?
2016-04-18, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:14:04
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-is-the-obama-administration-try...

The federal government has been quietly fighting to keep a lid on an 11,000-document cache of government communications relating to financial policy. The Obama administration ... insisted that their release would negatively impact global financial markets. Unsealing some of these materials last week, a federal judge named Margaret Sweeney said the government's sole motivation was avoiding embarrassment. So what's so embarrassing? A sordid history of the government's seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also known as the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. Bailout-era Fannie and Freddie was turned into a kind of garbage facility for other Wall Street institutions, buying up toxic mortgages that private banks were suddenly desperate to unload. Even after the state took over the companies ... Fannie and Freddie continued to buy as much as $40 billion in bad assets per month from the private sector. Fannie and Freddie weren't just bailed out, they were themselves a bailout, used to sponge up the sins of private firms. The government ended up pumping about $187 billion into the companies. Within a few years ... Fannie and Freddie started to make money again. The GSEs went on to pay the government $228 billion over the next three years, or $40 billion more than they owed, [but] none of that money went to paying off Fannie and Freddie's debt. This ... prompted a series of lawsuits. In these suits, the government's pleas for secrecy were so extreme that it asked for, and received, "attorneys' eyes only" status for the documents in question.

Note: Why is no other media covering this important news?  For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Why this genetically modified mushroom gets to skip USDA oversight
2016-04-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:12:02
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/18/why-thi...

For the first time, a food product created using CRISPR – a promising but controversial gene-editing technique – could be on track to be sold and eaten. And it might be the first of many. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that it will not regulate the cultivation and sale of a white-button mushroom created using CRISPR. The decision came in the form of a letter to Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist at Pennsylvania State University who created the new mushroom. Yang's frankenfungi is a simple Agaricus bisporus, the kind of white-button mushroom you could buy at any grocery store. But Yang targeted several genes that code for the protein that causes mushrooms to turn brown as they age or get bruised. The result is a mushroom more resilient to automated harvesting and long storage periods. If you support the labeling of GMOs, the USDA's decision to wave this shroom in without a second thought might strike you as scary. If Yang had tackled mushroom browning by adding bits of genetic code from another organism, it would have been subject to USDA scrutiny as other non-browning produce has been. Until recently, genetic modification required the insertion of foreign viruses or bacteria, but CRISPR is more advanced than that. Because of that loophole, it's not under the USDA's jurisdiction. The EPA only regulates GMOs designed for pest control, and the FDA considers all GMOs to be safe. That leaves this non-browning mushroom cleared for take-off.

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


BMJ editor Fiona Godlee takes on corruption in science
2016-04-19, MSN
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:09:28
http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/other/bmj-editor-fiona-godlee-takes-on-corrupti...

Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ [British Medical Journal], specializes in the unexpected. [A marionette puppet on her desk is] dressed as a doctor, complete with a stethoscope around its neck. Its strings represent the hidden hand of the pharmaceutical industry. Godlee keeps it ... to remind her of the dark forces at work in science and medicine. And she is blunt about the results: "I think we have to call it what it is. It is the corruption of the scientific process." Hundreds of papers are being pulled from the scientific record, for falsified data, for plagiarism, and for a variety of other reasons that are often never explained. Sometimes it's an honest mistake. But it's estimated that 70 per cent of the retractions are based on some form of scientific misconduct. As the editor of one of the oldest and most influential medical journals, Godlee is leading several campaigns to change the way science is reported, including opening up data for other scientists to review, and digging up data from old and abandoned trials for a second look. She has strong words about the overuse of drugs, and the influence of industry on the types of questions that scientists ask, and the conclusions that are drawn from the evidence. "I do have a belief in the fundamentality of science to correct itself. We can't do that under the blanket of secrecy," she says. It matters, Godlee says, because bad science can be dangerous. "We do know that patients are harmed, and we know that the health systems are harmed as a result of poor science."

Note: Retraction Watch is fascinating reading for anyone interested in what goes on behind science's closed doors. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe
2016-04-13, NPR
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:07:34
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/13/474071268/how-lsd-makes-y...

Some users of LSD say one of the most profound parts of the experience is a deep oneness with the universe. The sensation ... correlates to changes in brain connectivity while on LSD, according to a study published Wednesday in Current Biology. An MRI scanner [showed that] the brains of people on acid looked markedly different than those on the placebo. Their sensory cortices, which process sensations like sight and touch, became far more connected than usual to the frontal parietal network, which is involved with our sense of self. "The stronger that communication, the stronger the experience of the dissolution (of self)," says Enzo Tagliazucchi, the [study's] lead author. Researchers also measured the volunteers' brain electrical activity with another device. Our brains normally generate a regular rhythm of electrical activity called the alpha rhythm, which links to our brain's ability to suppress irrelevant activity. But in a different paper published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he and several co-authors show that LSD weakens the alpha rhythm. He thinks this weakening could make the hallucinations seem more real. The idea is intriguing ... says Dr. Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "They may genuinely be on to something. This should really further our understanding of the brain and consciousness." And, he says, the work highlights hallucinogens' powerful therapeutic potential.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


Microsoft sues government for secret searches
2016-04-14, CNN
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:05:33
http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/14/technology/microsoft-secret-search-lawsuit/

Microsoft filed a landmark lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday. The company accuses the federal government of adopting a widespread, unconstitutional policy of looking through Microsoft customers' data - and forcing the company to keep quiet about it. Over the past 18 months, federal judges have approved 2,600 secret searches of Microsoft customers. In two-thirds of those cases, Microsoft can't even notify their customers that they've been searched - ever - because there's no expiration date on these judicial orders. At issue here is the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which creates a double standard when it comes to a person's right to know when police are rummaging through their stuff. "People do not give up their rights when they move their private information from physical storage to the cloud," Microsoft says in its lawsuit. "The government, however, has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations." In its lawsuit, Microsoft claims that federal agents have been violating the company's First Amendment right to speak to its own customers, as well as their customers' Fourth Amendment right to know when they're being searched. This lawsuit also notes the odd, modern distinction that the government makes between searching your computer and searching your information on a company's computer. Law enforcement agents often remain covert when they dig through information stored on company data backup services.

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


Enron redux: Shell bilked California in energy crisis, judge finds
2016-04-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:03:42
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Enron-redux-Shell-bilked-California-in...

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge has found that a division of Shell Oil engaged in fraud and market manipulation during California’s energy crisis, with company traders joking on tape about burning the evidence if they were ever caught. The tentative decision ... holds Shell and Spanish energy company Iberdrola liable for $1.1 billion in ill-gotten profits, money that could be refunded to Californians if the decision stands. It could end the last legal case over the expensive, long-term power purchase contracts that California signed under duress during the 2000-01 crisis. The state has already settled with all other companies accused of unjustly profiting from the long-term contracts, settlements worth a total of $7.7 billion. Officials are still pushing complaints against 13 companies involved in short-term contracts during the crisis, but have settled with others for a total of roughly $4 billion. The initial decision ... details Shell traders using schemes similar to those employed by Enron to drive up day-to-day power prices, which then increased the price California had to pay on its long-term contracts. As a result, Californians ended up overpaying Shell by $779 million and Iberdrola by $371 million. One scheme the judge cited, called “Ricochet” by Enron and more commonly known as “megawatt laundering,” involved buying electricity within California to ship to a destination outside of the state while simultaneously selling the same power back into the state’s market at a higher price.

Note: Read the text of tape recordings of Enron traders laughing at the misery they caused in California. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


30 years after blast, labor to clean Chernobyl’s nuclear traces
2016-04-20, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:00:29
http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/30-years-after-blast-labor-to-clean-72728...

Thirty years after the world’s worst nuclear accident, the Chernobyl power plant is surrounded by both desolation and clangorous activity. Hundreds of workers labor to construct a vast ... structure that is to be the first step in removing the tons of radioactive waste that remain. The $2.3 billion New Safe Confinement project, funded by international donations and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is a race against time. After the explosion and the fire that spewed a cloud of fallout over much of northern Europe, Soviet workers constructed a so-called sarcophagus over the reactor building ... to keep waste from escaping into the atmosphere. The rush-job construction, completed in just five months, was intended to last only about 30 years and has shown signs of serious deterioration. When the new structure, which resembles a 30-story Quonset hut, is finished, it is to be slowly moved on rails over the sarcophagus and reactor building. After that, robotic machinery inside the structure will begin dismantling the sarcophagus and the destroyed reactor and gather up the wastes to be transported to a nearby storage facility. Under current plans, that process is expected to begin in 2017. [The new structure is] planned to last 100 years. Life of a sort continues in the village of Chernobyl, where workers who maintain and monitor the plant live on a short-term basis, often two weeks on and then two weeks away to minimize their exposure to the fallout that poisoned the soil.

Note: 30 years later and this nuclear reactor is still far from safe. Why are we still using nuclear power? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.


Innocent man ends up pals with crooked cop that framed him
2016-04-15, CBS News
Posted: 2016-04-24 22:58:39
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/on-the-road-innocent-michigan-man-ends-up-working...

Back in 2005, Jameel McGee says he was minding his own business when a police officer accused him of - and arrested him for - dealing drugs. "It was all made up," said McGee. Of course, a lot of accused men make that claim, but not many arresting officers agree. "I falsified the report," former Benton Harbor police officer Andrew Collins admitted. "Basically, at the start of that day, I was going to make sure I had another drug arrest." And in the end, he put an innocent guy in jail. "I lost everything," McGee said. "My only goal was to seek him when I got home and to hurt him." Eventually, that crooked cop was caught, and served a year and a half for falsifying many police reports, planting drugs and stealing. Of course McGee was exonerated, but he still spent four years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Today both men are back in Benton Harbor, which is a small town. Last year, by sheer coincidence, they both ended up at faith-based employment agency Mosaic, where they now work side by side in the same café. And it was in those cramped quarters that the bad cop and the wrongfully accused had no choice but to have it out." I said, 'Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I'm sorry,'" Collins explained. McGee says that was all it took. "That was pretty much what I needed to hear." Today they're not only cordial, they're friends. Such close friends, not long ago McGee actually told Collins he loved him. "And I just started weeping because he doesn't owe me that. I don't deserve that," Collins said.

Note: Don't miss the beautiful video of this story at the link above.


Breaking Down the Walls and Helping Vets Become 'Horse Whisperers'
2013-08-15, ABC News
Posted: 2016-04-24 22:56:59
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/08/breaking-down-the-walls-and-hel...

After Bob Nevins, a medevac pilot for the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War, returned home to the U.S., he found that working with horses was the thing that soothed him best. "I realized then that there was some kind of deep emotional connection that actually opened people up," said Nevins. For the last three years, Nevins has been giving veterans and victims of trauma a chance to connect with world-class racehorses - and themselves - through the Saratoga Warhorse Foundation. "We're creating an experience for the veterans that creates a very deep, emotional bond with the thoroughbred. That's a catalyst for a very traumatic transformation, healing-wise, for the veteran," Nevins said. "We teach them the horse's language. What they're able to do then is communicate in this silent language. That experience is so emotionally powerful that the walls just tumble for the veterans." Spc. TJ Hawkins, a former National Guardsman, said he'd completely shut down after watching his best friend die in action. "He meant a lot. The best brother anybody could ask for," he said. "[I] didn't want anybody to ask me about any good experiences in Iraq, any bad experiences." He said his time in the corral with a horse felt "amazing." "I'm on the top of the world," Hawkins said. "It brought back the happiness I had lost from going to Iraq. This is the first time I've truly been happy since I've been home." Nevins said his program was about helping veterans, not just talking about it.

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


Why US skies keep getting cleaner
2016-04-20, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2016-04-24 22:55:28
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0420/Why-US-skies-keep-getting-cleaner-...

The air quality in many cities has improved markedly thanks to improved technology in fuel-burning mechanisms, although problem areas remain, the American Lung Association announced Wednesday. The biggest improvement came as counties studied across the United States lowered the levels of particle pollution in the air. Although weather patterns change air quality, 16 US cities hit their lowest levels of particle pollution ever for the entire year. This included Los Angeles, although it remains the nation's most polluted city for ozone pollution, while Bakersfield topped the list for particle pollution. Many cities benefited from both new practices at power plants fueled by coal and better emissions and engine technology in cars and larger vehicles. Improvement came across the United States, and many areas are seeing the effects of the 1970 federal Clean Air Act. Although some still have dirty air, many of the nation's most polluted cities were slightly cleaner than last year. In Ohio, for example, particle pollution readings improved in Cleveland, making it among 16 cities that reported their lowest levels of particle pollution on record. The American Lung Association lauded the federal Clean Air Act, currently on hold by the Supreme Court, but urged states to individually evaluate their air quality to determine paths to improvement. As scientific information has become more available, cities have been able to make specific plans because they know their targets for clean air.

Note: Our older readers may remember when smog alerts in large cities were commonplace in the 1960s and many lakes that were practically devoid of life have now returned to life. We are definitely making progress in some areas.


Businesses find new opportunity in food that once went to waste
2016-04-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-04-24 22:53:47
http://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Businesses-find-new-opportunity-in-fo...

Bay Area shoppers will soon be able to get a new kind of local produce at Whole Foods stores. Affectionately known as ugly produce, the fruits and vegetables are perfectly healthy and safe yet are usually left to rot because they don’t meet typical supermarket cosmetic standards. Bags of the aesthetically challenged produce will arrive at Northern California Whole Foods outposts later this month ... thanks to Emeryville’s Imperfect, one of several new Bay Area companies taking advantage of crops that are usually wasted in California fields. Of the estimated 62.5 million tons of food Americans waste annually, much more is generated in homes, stores and restaurants than farms, but the loss at farms is more suitable for reuse, [and is] responsible for almost 20 percent of American food waste. For some specialty California crops, such as greens, 50 percent is left in the field because it’s not worth harvesting, said Christine Moseley, founder and chief executive officer of Full Harvest, a San Francisco startup that aggregates ugly produce from Salinas Valley growers for Bay Area food and beverage companies. “I found out that there’s this massive problem with food waste, and I saw that as an opportunity,” said Moseley. She has projects in the works with larger national companies and has contracts in place to deliver 1 million pounds of imperfect and surplus produce this year. Since it launched last year, Full Harvest has rescued 15,000 pounds of previously worthless produce.

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


Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill
2016-04-15, New York Times
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:49:32
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofecono...

Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts. The [Obama] administration ... has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently ... thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot. Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of ... Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts. The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil.

Note: The above article shows that underneath Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive is a $750 billion threat. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. 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.


Top secret "28 pages" may hold clues about Saudi support for 9/11 hijackers
2016-04-08, CBS News
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:46:58
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-secret-28-pages-may-hold-clues-about-saudi-su...

Current and former members of Congress, U.S. officials, 9/11 Commissioners and the families of the attack's victims want 28 top-secret pages of a congressional report released. Bob Graham, the former Florida governor, Democratic U.S. Senator and onetime chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says the key section of a top secret report ... should be declassified to shed light on possible Saudi support for some of the 9/11 hijackers. Graham was co-chair of Congress' bipartisan "Joint Inquiry" into intelligence failures surrounding the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that issued the report in 2003. Graham and his Joint Inquiry co-chair in the House, former Representative Porter Goss (R-FL) - who went on to be director of the CIA - say the 28 pages were excised from their report by the Bush Administration in the interest of national security. Graham wouldn't discuss the classified contents, but says the 28 pages outline a network of people he believes supported hijackers in the US, [and] believes the hijackers were "substantially" supported by Saudi Arabia. Asked if the support was from government, rich people or charities, the former senator replies, "all of the above." Graham and others think the reason for classifying the pages was to protect the U.S. relationship with ally Saudi Arabia. In addition to Graham and Goss ... Tim Roemer, former Democratic U.S. Representative from Indiana who was the only person to serve on both Congress' Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission [has] read the redacted pages. Roemer says it's time to let everyone know what's in the top secret documents.

Note: Watch this revealing video segment on the CBS website. Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. 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.


Nancy Pelosi wants top-secret 28 pages on 9/11 declassified
2016-04-11, CBS News
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:45:05
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nancy-pelosi-wants-top-secret-28-pages-on-911-dec...

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she wants 28 redacted pages declassified from a 2003 congressional report on the intelligence community's preparedness for and response to the 9/11 attacks. "As the former Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and top the House Democrat on the Joint Congressional investigation looking into the 9/11 attacks, I agree with former Senator Bob Graham that these documents should be declassified and made public, and that the Bush Administration's refusal to do so was a mistake," Pelosi said in a statement. Her statement came the same day that "60 Minutes" aired a story featuring Graham and other current and former government officials who want the report's top secret pages declassified. Graham, who declined to detail the redacted section, helped author the report and he now says the redacted portion could highlight possible Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers. He also suggested that it sheds light on a network of people he believes supported the hijackers in the US. There is ... tension between the the Saudis and the U.S. over doubts about the Saudi commitment to combating violent Islamist extremism.

Note: Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11 and the hidden 9/11 report pages. 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.


Clinton campaign chair: 'The American people can handle the truth' on UFOs
2016-04-07, CNN
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:43:04
http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/07/politics/john-podesta-hillary-clinton-ufo/index...

There has long been an air of conspiracy surrounding theories of alien life, and the head of Hillary Clinton's campaign said Thursday it's time to do away with the secrecy. "The U.S. government could do a much better job in answering the quite legitimate questions that people have about what's going on with unidentified aerial phenomena," [Clinton campaign chair John] Podesta said. During his time serving in the Obama administration, Podesta tweeted, "Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files." Clinton herself pledged in January to "get to the bottom" of ... rumors of U.S. contact with extraterrestrial life. In regard to Area 51, Podesta echoed Clinton's call, saying, "What I've talked to the secretary about, and what she's said now in public, is that if she's elected president, when she gets into office, she'll ask for as many records as the United States federal government has to be declassified, and I think that's a commitment that she intends to keep and that I intend to hold her to." Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said the 42nd president once "asked for some information about some of these things, and in particular, some information about what was going on at Area 51." Asked if there is evidence of alien life, Podesta said, "That's for the public to judge once they've seen all the evidence that the U.S. government has." And he made clear: "The American people can handle the truth."

Note: Check out strong evidence in declassified FBI files that UFOs are quite real. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


The new Gilded Age: Close to half of all super-PAC money comes from 50 donors
2016-04-15, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:41:28
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-new-gilded-age-close-to-half-of-a...

A small core of super-rich individuals is responsible for the record sums cascading into the coffers of super PACs for the 2016 elections, a dynamic that harks back to the financing of presidential campaigns in the Gilded Age. Close to half the money - 41 percent - raised by the groups by the end of February came from just 50 mega-donors and their relatives, according to a Washington Post analysis. Donors this cycle have given more than $607 million to 2,300 super PACs, which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals and corporations. That means super PAC money is on track to surpass the $828 million that the Center for Responsive Politics found was raised by such groups for the 2012 elections. The top 50 contributors together donated $248 million personally and through their privately held companies, or more than $4 out of every $10 raised by all super PACs. The last time political wealth was so concentrated was in 1896, when corporations and banking moguls helped McKinley, the Republican candidate, outspend Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan. Populist anger over how presidential races were financed led to a 1907 ban on corporations donating to federal campaigns. Forty years later, Congress prohibited unions and corporations from making independent expenditures in federal races. The picture dramatically changed in 2010, when the Supreme Court said in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations and unions could spend unlimited sums on politics.

Note: The "Koch Empire" alone plans to spend $889 million on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Panama Papers: 1,000 secret Nevada firms, 2 overseas addresses
2016-04-08, USA Today
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:38:49
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/04/07/1000-secret-nevada-firms-and-mo...

A USA Today analysis of more than 1,000 American-based companies registered by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers leak, casts the United States openly into an uncomfortable role: an offshore haven of corporate secrecy for wealthy business operations across the globe. Both Nevada and Wyoming have become secretive havens much like Bermuda and Switzerland have long been. And at least 150 companies set up by Mossack Fonseca in those states have ties to major corruption scandals in Brazil and Argentina. The corporate records of 1,000-plus Nevada business entities linked to the Panamanian law firm reveal layers of secretive ownership, with few having humans' names behind them, and most tracing back to a tiny number of overseas addresses. For about 700 of the American shell companies, the corporate officers are business entities rather than people, meaning no individual is linked to the Nevada firm in state records. Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, [said], “We should be thinking about this as a very American problem, and a problem that arguably is worse here in the states than it is in Panama.” In Wyoming, where Mossack Fonseca has also registered about two dozen companies, corporations are even harder to trace. Mossack Fonseca defended its practices and said incorporating companies in different jurisdictions is “the normal activity of lawyers and agents around the world.”

Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Oxfam: Top U.S. Corporations Have Stashed $1.4 Trillion Offshore
2016-04-14, Time Magazine
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:36:39
http://time.com/4293728/us-companies-tax-evasion-oxfam/

The top 50 U.S. companies have stored $1.4 trillion in tax havens, Oxfam America reported Thursday. Oxfam released its new report, “Broken at the Top,” ahead of Tax Day in the U.S. and shortly after of the Panama Papers leak to show the extent to which major corporations such as Pfizer, Walmart, Goldman Sachs, Alphabet, Disney and Coca-Cola keep money in offshore funds. The use of over 1,600 subsidiaries lowered their global tax rate on $4 trillion of profit to an average of 26.5%, compared to the statutory minimum of 35%, according to Oxfam. Additionally, for every dollar of taxes these companies paid, they collectively received $27 in federal loans, loan guarantees and bailouts - footed by American taxpayers. “The vast sums large companies stash in tax havens should be fighting poverty and rebuilding America’s infrastructure, not hidden offshore in Panama, Bahamas, or the Cayman Islands,” Oxfam America president Raymond Offenheiser said in a statement.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Cable News Devotes 30 Seconds to Mass Arrests Protesting Political Corruption
2016-04-12, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:31:16
https://theintercept.com/2016/04/12/democracy-spring-media-coverage/

A protest movement calling on Congress to “end the corruption of big money in our politics” and “ensure free and fair elections,” converged on Capitol Hill on Monday, staging a nonviolent sit-in that resulted in over 400 arrests. While the action, dubbed #DemocracySpring, garnered wide coverage on social media and over 136,000 tweets, cable news programs found little time to cover the political protests. During daytime and afternoon news segments, CNN did not devote any coverage to the actions. MSNBC mentioned the protests for approximately 12 seconds, while Fox News mentioned the arrests and discussed the protests for about 17 seconds. Hosts on both networks misrepresented the protests. The focus on systemic political corruption ... during the rally yesterday was ignored. The protests were widely covered by CSPAN, Al Jazeera, and NPR, among other outlets. But cable news programs, which specialize in American political news, were another story. The parent companies of cable news networks are closely tied to the Washington establishment being challenged by protesters. Comcast, parent company of MSNBC, is among the biggest spenders on political lobbying. Broadcasting companies have lobbied in recent years against reforms that would diminish the role of big money in election campaigns largely because the bulk of campaign funds are spent on television advertisements. [An] estimated ... $4.4 billion [will] be spent on television ads during the election cycle this year.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about elections corruption and the manipulation of public opinion.


LSD's impact on the brain revealed in groundbreaking images
2016-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:29:32
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/11/lsd-impact-brain-revealed-gro...

The profound impact of LSD on the brain has been laid bare by the first modern scans of people high on the drug. The images, taken from volunteers ... revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another. Further images showed that other brain regions that usually form a network became more separated in a change that accompanied users’ feelings of oneness with the world, a loss of personal identity called “ego dissolution”. David Nutt, the government’s former drugs advisor ... and senior researcher on the study, said, “This is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics.” [Study co-author Robin] Carhart-Harris said, “We saw many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD, even though volunteers’ eyes were closed.” The more prominent the effect, the more intense people rated their dreamlike visions. Under the influence, brain networks that deal with vision, attention, movement and hearing became far more connected. But at the same time, other networks broke down. The drug can be seen as reversing the more restricted thinking we develop from infancy to adulthood. The study could pave the way for LSD or related chemicals to be used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nutt said the drug could pull the brain out of thought patterns seen in depression and addiction through its effects on brain networks.

Note: For more, see an NPR article titled "How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe". This ground-breaking study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


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