News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
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.
Mark Rossini [was] a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau's chief spokesman. A boneheaded move ... cost him his career in 2008. He's making a determined effort ... to close some of the gaping holes in the official 9/11 narrative. Rossini [has] been at the center of one of the enduring mysteries of 9/11: Why the CIA refused to share information with the FBI ... about the arrival of at least two well-known Al-Qaeda operatives in the United States in 2000, even though the spy agency had been tracking them closely for years. The CIA did block him and Doug Miller, a fellow FBI agent assigned to the ... CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, from notifying bureau headquarters about the terrorists. Rossini and Miller [had] learned earlier from the CIA that one of the terrorists (and future hijacker), Khalid al-Mihdhar, had multi-entry visas on a Saudi passport to enter the United States. When Miller drafted a report for FBI headquarters, a CIA manager in the top-secret unit told him to hold off. Incredulous, Miller and Rossini had to back down. Years later, Rossini still regrets complying with that command. If he had disobeyed the gag order, the nearly 3,000 Americans slaughtered on 9/11 would probably still be alive. The CIA has long insisted it shared intelligence about [this] with the FBI, but records gathered by the 9/11 Commission contradict this assertion. No one has come up with a plausible explanation. When the first 9/11 report came out ... all the people who were responsible for not sharing information [had] their names ... taken out. They were commended and moved up.
Note: A 2009 Nova documentary on PBS, “The Spy Factory,” explored and confirmed Rossini's allegations in depth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. See also the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
A system intended to speed help to vaccine-injured Americans has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families. To investigate vaccine court in depth, the AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases. Among the AP's findings: * Prominent attorneys have enlisted expert witnesses whose own work has been widely discredited, including one who treated autism with a potent drug used to chemically castrate serial rapists. Some of the most prominent experts set up nonprofits questioning vaccine safety. Many doctors hired by the government to defend vaccine safety in court have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. * The government fights legitimate claims ... worried that if they concede a vaccine caused harm, the public will react by skipping shots. If government doctors had their way ... 1,600 families would not have gotten more than $1.1 billion in cash and future medical care between the court's opening in 1988 and then end of 2012. * Cases are supposed to be resolved within 240 days. Less than 7 percent of 7,876 claims not involving autism met the 240-day target. Most non-autism cases take at least two and a half years. Hundreds have surpassed the decade mark. Several people died before getting any money. "The system is not working," said Richard Topping, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who handled vaccine injury claims but resigned after concluding his bosses had no desire to fix the major flaws he saw.
Note: Read the entire article to see how the vaccine court is deeply flawed in may ways. Then read an article showing how the government removed data from it's website which showed an increase in court victories by those claiming harm from vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine news articles from reliable major media sources. See also the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Neil Young ... has a new album coming out at the end of June called "The Monsanto Years." And it's a biting attack on the seed giant -- as well as other big corporations. The title track refers to "the poison tide of Monsanto" and describes a farmer who "signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto." Young also lashes out at Starbucks in a song called "A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop." "I want a cup of coffee but I don't want a GMO. I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto," Young sings in his trademark nasal whine. The singer announced ... that he would no longer drink Starbucks lattes because the company, along with Monsanto, was part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association trade group. That organization sued the state of Vermont to overturn a law that would require food and beverage companies to disclose on their labels if GMOs are used in the products. "GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market," Young said. Young also rails against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling on campaign finance in several songs. And he criticizes Walmart's labor practices in a song called "Big Box," which has the following verse: "People working part-time at Walmart never get the benefits for sure." So far, it looks like Walmart isn't planning to retaliate against Young. You can preorder "The Monsanto Years" at Walmart.com.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing genetic modification news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Despite an explosion in technology and a huge increase in worker productivity, the middle class continues its 40-year decline. Today, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages and median family income is almost $5,000 less than it was in 1999. Meanwhile, the wealthiest people and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well. Today, 99 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent, while the top one-tenth of 1 percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. In the last two years, the wealthiest 14 people in this country increased their wealth by $157 billion ... more than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans. Large corporations and their lobbyists have created loopholes enabling corporations to avoid an estimated $100 billion a year in taxes by shifting profits to ... offshore tax havens. US companies are buying back billions of dollars of their own stock in a way that manipulates stock prices, hurts the economy and, by the way, used to be against the law. Instead of putting resources into innovative ways to build their businesses or hire new employees, corporations are pumping their record-breaking profits into buying back their own stock and increasing dividends to benefit their executives and wealthy shareholders. It is a major reason why CEOs are now making nearly 300 times what the typical worker makes. We ... must do a lot more to rebuild the middle class, check corporate greed, and make our economy work again for working families. It is time to say loudly and clearly that corporate greed and the war against the American middle class must end.
Note: The above article was written by 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
More than 300 international companies including Pepsi, Ikea, FedEx, AIG, Deutsche Bank and Abbott Laboratories allegedly secured secret deals from Luxembourg to drastically reduce their global tax bills. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), citing leaked documents, reported that the companies appear to have channelled hundreds of billions of dollars through the European duchy, and saved billions of dollars in taxes. PricewaterhouseCoopers is alleged to have helped multinational companies obtain at least 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010. These legal secret deals allegedly feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions. The rulings provide written assurance that companies' tax-saving plans will be viewed favourably by Luxembourg authorities. Some firms have allegedly enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1% on the profits they've shuffled into Luxembourg. The ICIJ claims to have reviewed 28,000 pages of confidential documents before reaching its conclusion. The documents include hundreds of private tax rulings, known as "comfort letters", that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favourable tax treatment. Earlier, the European Union (EU) initiated a probe on Luxembourg over its tax treatment of big companies such as Amazon and Fiat Finance, which apparently violated European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU in connection with the investigation but have refused to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, Wikileaks says [citing] "top secret intelligence reports and technical documents" from the NSA. A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it. According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington ... discussed Mr Sarkozy's plan to express his "frustration" over US unwillingness to sign a "bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement". "The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France," the intercept says. [One analyst commented] "Of course they know that spying goes on – even between friends. But the cardinal rule is not to get found out. When you do, you must expect the full force of diplomatic outrage." In response to the alleged leaks, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said: "As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike." In 2013 Brazilian media reported that NSA documents showed the agency had also spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. [Also] in 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German media later reported that Germany's national intelligence agency had spied on ... the EU's headquarters on behalf of the US.
Note: The claim of a "threat to national security" is widely used both to perpetrate and to cover up huge amounts of illegal behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy excesses from reliable major media sources.
Politicians, lawyers, activists and survivors of child abuse crowded into a committee room in the Palace of Westminster ... demanding a thorough and transparent government inquiry into historic child sex abuse allegations. Rumours have swirled in recent years about a cover-up in the British establishment involving senior politicians and police that has seen prominent figures engaging in child abuse and murder. Police have described evidence from one survivor relating to abuse at the Dolphin Square estate in London and at least three murders "credible and true". Yesterday's event, arranged by the WhiteFlowers group, was designed to keep up the pressure on home secretary Theresa May. The group has recently been vocal in challenging May's decision to exclude representatives of victims' groups from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which has been dogged by controversy after both Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf were forced to resign from chairing it due to their links to establishment figures. A New Zealand judge was appointed to chair the inquiry earlier this year. She has said that "the appointment of victims or survivors to the panel will not, in my view, be consistent with the objectivity, independence and impartiality that is required of members of an independent panel" - comments that have left campaigners furious. John Mann MP ... spoke, demanding that the Official Secrets Act be lifted. One survivor who was placed in care in homes in Rotherham, Warrington, North Wales and Rochdale, told the audience in an earlier meeting that abuse had taken place in each home.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
The increasingly tense relationship between the United States and Russia might be about to face a new challenge: a Russian investigation into American moon landings. In an op-ed published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Tuesday, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the government's official Investigative Committee, argued that such an investigation could reveal new insights into the historical space journeys. According to a translation by the Moscow Times, Markin would support an inquiry into the disappearance of original footage from the first moon landing in 1969 and the whereabouts of lunar rock, which was brought back to earth during several missions. "We are not contending that they did not fly [to the moon]. But all of these scientific – or perhaps cultural – artifacts are part of the legacy of humanity, and their disappearance without a trace is our common loss. An investigation will reveal what happened," Markin wrote, according to the Moscow Times translation. In 2009, NASA itself admitted that it had erased the original video recordings of the first moon landing among 200,000 other tapes in order to save money, according to Reuters. However, NASA has since restored copies of the landing, using recordings from other sources such as CBS News. The organization says that due to restoration efforts, the recordings' quality is superior to the original one that has gone missing.
Note: The New York Times has reported that the moon rock donated to the Dutch was a fake. And explore an intriguing article about the disappearance of the original lunar landing videos. How could NASA lose and/or erase what are among the most historic video recordings ever made? And how could it be possible to restore the quality of the original videos using major media sources? For an abundance of stunning, reliable information along these lines, see the excellent resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
Meet Sam Tsemberis. He's all but solved chronic homelessness. His research, which commands the support of most scholars, has inspired policies across the nation. The results have been staggering. Late last month, Utah, the latest laboratory for Tsemberis's models, reported it has nearly eradicated chronic homelessness. Phoenix, an earlier test case, eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans. Then New Orleans housed every homeless veteran. Homelessness has long seemed one of the most intractable of social problems. For decades, the number of homeless from New York City to San Francisco surged – and so did the costs. At one point around the turn of the millennium, New York was spending an annual $40,500 on every homeless person with mental issues. Tsemberis ...unfurled a model so simple children could grasp it, so cost-effective fiscal hawks loved it, so socially progressive liberals praised it. Give homes for the homeless, and you will solve chronic homelessness. Success begat success. The federal government tested the model on 734 homeless across 11 cities, finding the model dramatically reduced levels of addiction as well as shrank health related costs by half. "Adults who have experienced chronic homelessness may be successfully housed and can maintain their housing," the report declared. Utah's Gordon Walker, explain[s] how his state succeeded at eliminating homelessness – and saved millions, "It was costing us in state services, health-care costs, jail time, police time, about $20,000 per person. Now, we spend $12,000 per person."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
For more than 10 years, I spent hours at a time ... looking for the inner light. This meditation was how I opened myself to the divine within me. Then, one day, my brother Billy, a troubled soul and sometime drug addict, changed all that by telling me an important secret. "Being in an earthly body limits the way you perceive light. Your eyes can't see the light directly, only the things it shines upon, so the light remains invisible, just like the soul does. The light of the higher worlds makes visible what is invisible on earth: the divine nature of all things. God, or Spirit, or whatever you choose to call it, is undeniable where I am. The light rays that sparkle all around me ... erase any harm I suffered in my entire lifetime." Had Billy said these words when he was still alive, I might have thought he was experiencing drug-induced euphoria. But quite miraculously, my brother shared this with me months after he died. To sync with Billy [I tried] to emulate what he's doing up there down here. Put On Your "Divine-Colored" Glasses: 1. Close your eyes and imagine rays of light beaming into you from higher, kinder, more beautiful worlds. 2. Take a few deep breaths and with each inhalation, imagine you are breathing this divine presence filled with understanding and healing deep into your core. 3. Rest in this space for a while; float in it like a warm, soothing pool. Everything in existence, what you can and even what you can't see, is sending you light. As you practice this, over time ... you'll feel nurtured and protected. Your mind may ease up on focusing on what is "wrong" and become more attuned to the simple beauty of being alive.
Note: The author of this article wrote the popular book "The Afterlife of Billy Fingers." Explore lots of incredibly inspiring information on near-death experiences. And don't miss a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A baffling and beautiful rescue [raises] questions about the power of prayer. People are scouring some 70 photographs looking for man they swear they saw at the scene of a car accident. He prayed, a life was saved. Why did he disappear, even from the photos. It's being called the Missouri miracle. A teenager with a beautiful smile, 19-year-old Katie Lentz, trapped in her mangled car, hit by a drunk driver. And first responders trying to get her out. [The] fire chief ... was concerned, because he was out of options. The tools weren't working. While inside that car, Katie had one request, to pray with the rescuers out loud. And then, right there, amidst the rows of corn, at the scene blocked off for nearly a mile, a man appears. He was dressed with a black priest's shirt, with a white collar. He had a small little white container of anointment oil. He asked if he could anoint the girl in the car. They allowed him to do it. A sense of calmness came over her. [One firefighter said] "we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work." Moments later, it happened. A neighboring fire department arrives with a new set of stronger tools, finally able to cut through in the frame. They all turned to thank the priest, but he was gone. In fact, in all of those photos at the scene, no sign of the priest. Tonight, family and friends are grateful. Whether it was just a priest serving as an angel, or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie. Katie's mother [was] very pleased that Katie's near tragic accident provides proof to all that miracles still happen. In Katie's words, pray out loud. Everyone at the scene, touched by that stranger.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
An extraordinary heart-shaped solar farm is set to be built on the Pacific island of New Caledonia. The 2MW "Heart of New Caledonia" is being built by solar company Conergy and should start producing power for 750 homes from early next year. The plant ... is expected to save around 2m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over its projected 25-year lifetime and reduce the French overseas territory's dependence on oil, gas and coal. The eye-catching heart shaped installation is made up of 7,888 panels across the four-acre site on Grand Terre, New Caledonia's largest island, with the design only visible from the air. The design is inspired by the "Coeur de Voh", or "Heart of Voh", an area of nearby wild mangrove vegetation that has naturally taken the shape of a heart. The "Coeur de Voh" gained worldwide recognition thanks to the aerial photography of environmental campaigner Yann Arthus-Bertrand in the best-selling book, The Earth from Above. David McCallum, managing director of Conergy Australia, said, "The 'Coeur de Voh' is an important landmark for the people of New Caledonia, and shows just how extraordinary nature can be. The 'Heart of New Caledonia' solar plant will be its man-made double, a landmark for clean power generation. It will also probably be the world's first beautiful PV plant, and perhaps the first beautiful power station of any description, anywhere on the planet."
Note: See a photo of this beautiful solar array at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A US appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a claim against former attorney general John Ashcroft and other Justice Department officials, stemming from the abuse of Arab and Muslim men and others detained for months ... after the September 11 attacks. The unusual decision cleared the way for once-anonymous plaintiffs to advance charges that the top officials in the Justice Department had violated their constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. Officials ... knew the abuse was happening and that they knew the detainees weren’t terrorism suspects. The court wrote, “The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy.” The case was first brought 13 years ago by the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit. The current complaint is joined by eight named plaintiffs, all of whom were caught up in law enforcement sweeps that netted hundreds of men after the 9/11 attacks. The “9/11 detainees” had in common an unresolved immigration status and a perceived Arab or Muslim background. The result, in some cases, was months of detention without charges, abuse at the hands of guards, solitary confinement and other punitive measures. The complaint details gratuitous strip searches, beatings, broken bones and verbal abuse. In one case, a Buddhist from Nepal ... was arrested for filming a Queens street, and held and abused in a Brooklyn detention center for three months. The appeals court found those measures to be “punitive and unconstitutional”.
Note: For more, read this New York Times article. Most of the "9/11 detainees" were deported after being cleared of any involvement in terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about investigations into 9/11 and its aftermath, or read the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
At any given time, roughly 480,000 people sit in America's local jails awaiting their day in court, according to an estimate by the International Centre for Prison Studies. These are people who have been charged with a crime, but not convicted. They remain innocent in the eyes of the law. Three quarters of them ... are nonviolent offenders, arrested for traffic violations, or property crimes, or simple drug possession. Many will be found innocent and have their charges dropped completely. Defendants who [are] detained before trial [wait] a median of 68 days in jail. Many ... are forced to wait simply because they can't afford to post bail. A 2013 analysis by the Drug Policy Alliance ... found that nearly 40 percent of New Jersey's jail population fell into this category. People sit behind bars not because they're dangerous, or because they're a flight risk, but simply because they can't come up with the cash. A recent analysis by the Vera Institute ... found that 41 percent of New York City's inmates were sitting in jail on a misdemeanor charge because they couldn't meet a bail of $2,500 or less. For low income people, the consequences of a pre-trial detention, even a brief one, can be disastrous. And in many cases, these people will eventually be found to be innocent. Some civil rights reformers [argue] that bail policies are tantamount to locking people up for being poor. We spend somewhere in the ballpark of $17 billion dollars annually to keep innocent people locked up as they await trial.
Retailers have the ability to scan your face digitally, and use that identification to offer you special prices or even recognize you as a prior shoplifter. But should they use it? Should they get your permission first? Privacy advocates announced Tuesday they have walked away from a government-run effort with industry intended to ... hash out voluntary protocols for facial recognition technology in a way that doesn't hurt consumers. The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, was acting as mediator. The two sides had been meeting for 16 months ... until the nine major privacy groups said they had hit a dead end and that "people deserve more protection than they are likely to get in this forum. At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they've never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology," the groups said. "We have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise." The ability to apply a unique signature to a person's face, even if you don't identify them by name, is particularly invasive, according to privacy advocates. "You can change your password and your credit card number; you cannot change your fingerprints or the precise dimensions of your face. Through facial recognition, these immutable, physical facts can be used to identify you, remotely and in secret, without any recourse."
Note: Read this article for more in this matter. Remember, the same technologies that lead to the disappearance of privacy rights for individuals are also used by corrupt corporations against nonprofit civic organizations to undermine democracy.
The leak of new information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) shows the mega-trade deal could provide more ways for multinational corporations to influence Australia’s control of its pharmaceutical regulations. Revealed via Wikileaks, the annexe on “transparency and procedural fairness for pharmaceutical products and medical devices” uncovered the draft agreements regarding medicines between the 12 TPPA member countries [representing] 40% of the world’s economy. The leaked text, dated December 2014, laid out the draft rules for member countries regarding medicines under national health care programs, in Australia’s case, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This ‘transparency’ annexe seeks to erode the processes and decisions of agencies that decide which medicines and medical devices to subsidise the public money and by how much. That will mean fewer medicines are subsidised, or people will pay more as co-payments. However, [trade minister Andrew] Robb said ... that the government would not accept anything that would adversely affect the PBS. Parliamentarians were offered the chance to see the TPP draft by Robb [only] if they agreed to a four year non-disclosure agreement. Senator Peter Whish-Wilson ... who has not seen the draft as he refused to agree to the terms of the agreement, said the latest leak suggested the Australian PBS could be undermined.
Note: The Trans-Pacific Partnership may be a pending disaster. But we do not know for sure, because its contents remain secret. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
A subplot to the vociferous debate over the student vaccination bill moving through California’s Capitol is opponents’ allegations that the effort reflects the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. Critics of Senate Bill 277, which would eliminate the personal belief and religious exemptions for schoolchildren, accuse the measure’s supporters in the Legislature of doing the bidding of donors who make vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. The bill’s proponents and drug companies dismiss the charge. Pharmaceutical companies and their trade groups gave more than $2 million to current members of the Legislature in 2013-2014, about 2 percent of the total raised. Nine of the top 20 recipients are either legislative leaders or serve on either the Assembly or Senate health committees. Receiving more than $95,000, the top recipient of industry campaign cash is Sen. Richard Pan, a Sacramento Democrat and doctor who is carrying the vaccine bill. In addition, the industry donated more than $500,000 to outside campaign spending groups that helped elect some current members last year. Leading pharmaceutical companies also spent nearly $3 million more during the 2013-2014 legislative session lobbying the Legislature, the governor, the state pharmacists’ board and other agencies, according to state filings.
Fifteen years ago, greedy traders plunged California into the energy crisis with its first supplier-caused blackout. That crisis almost bankrupted California. From 2000 through 2001, California overpaid for electricity by at least $20 billion. To prevent the utilities from going bankrupt and to keep the lights on, the state paid those overcharges by selling bonds. We will pay the costs of that fraud in our utility bills every month until 2022. In 2000, the PUC issued more than 120 subpoenas for information from all energy companies in the California market. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stymied California’s efforts to obtain critical information that would prove the energy sellers’ collusion. Those sellers, and the Wall Street banks that backed them and bet on them, ran to the FERC to quash California’s subpoenas. The federal commission accommodated the conspirators then, and continues to do their bidding now. California took the federal commission to court and, starting in 2004, the courts sided with California. FERC had to be ordered repeatedly by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to allow California to obtain and present evidence. At least two market-manipulation cases brought by California are still pending before the federal commission and haven’t yet been settled by the state PUC. Winning these cases could mean billions of dollars for California families and businesses.
Note: The above was written by Loretta M. Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission. Read undeniable proof that greedy traders caused the crisis in this CBS article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Two bishops in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned their posts Monday, the second time this spring that American church leaders have stepped aside after complaints over their handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests. In Minnesota, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, announced their departures less than two weeks after prosecutors in St. Paul accused the archdiocese of willfully ignoring warning signs of a pedophile priest. Their resignations followed the April exit of Bishop Robert W. Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor for failing to report a priest who took pornographic pictures of girls. Under Pope Francis, the Vatican has stepped up efforts to hold bishops accountable for covering up or failing to take action in sexual abuse cases, including the announcement last week of a tribunal to weigh such cases. John J. Choi, the prosecutor in Ramsey County, Minn., said the resignations would not affect his office’s criminal and civil cases against the archdiocese, which accused church leaders of failing to intervene against a priest despite repeated complaints of misconduct. That priest ... has since been defrocked and imprisoned on sexual abuse charges. Since ... 1978, 16 other bishops have resigned or been forced from office under a cloud of accusations that they mishandled abuse cases, according to research by BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
With every video that surfaces of questionable or shocking police conduct, at least two questions arise. The first is how exactly each incident happened. The second is how common such incidents are. The first question can be addressed though investigation, which can surprise both police and their critics, and eventually through better training. The second question is more straightforward - and the lack of an answer is unacceptable. The U.S. Department of Justice actually has two separate counts of deaths in police custody - one by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and one by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Each count misses half of all deaths; the department hoped that by combining them, it would get a reasonably accurate number. Its hope was misplaced. The department pretty much acknowledges that its number is unreliable. The Bureau of Justice Statistics suspended its data collection more than a year ago and has since been examining ways to improve the accuracy of its count. A law passed last December with strong bipartisan support allows the attorney general to withhold up to 10 percent of some federal grants to states if they fail to comply with reporting requirements. The law gives states 120 days to begin reporting deaths on a quarterly basis, but the department will not set any requirements for reporting until it completes an internal review of its own data collection. Better numbers won't solve the problem. But they can be a useful gauge through which to measure and focus any proposed solution.
Note: An article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, titled The Uncounted, describes why the U.S. government claims it is unable to keep track of killings by police, but does not mention that police shootings rise as crime falls. The Guardian now independently tracks killings by U.S. police.
Important Note: 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.