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.
“Has anybody heard of rainbow chard?” Larry Moore asked a group of elementary school children. No one answered. “What about this?” Moore asked again, pointing to green leaves emerging from the dirt, their orange base peeking through the brown soil. “That’s a carrot!” several young voices called out. But this carrot wasn’t growing in the ground or a pot. It was growing in the bed of a red pickup truck, a garden on wheels known as the Louisville Truck Farm. “With this, our primary audience is kids, but I’m always in awe at how amazed adults are when they see vegetables growing in the bed of a truck,” said Moore, one of the educators who takes Truck Farm into the community. For the past year, the 1995 Chevrolet truck has traveled more than 450 miles to visit farmers markets, schools, and community events around Louisville, Kentucky, to show that it’s possible to start a garden anywhere, even in an urban environment. In the warmer months, the truck boasts as many as 40 different plants in its bed so that visitors can experience a variety of sights, smells, and tastes. The truck bed ... opens to reveal a plexiglass tailgate, which allows people to get a visual of what’s going on beneath the soil.
Note: Don't miss the pictures of this amazing mobile garden available 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 nondescript office building just a short walk from the Limmat River – which runs through the picturesque center of Zurich, Switzerland – houses the hub of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. The effect of the nongovernmental organization, however, is anything but ordinary. “We work for the poorest,” says Rupa Mukerji, co-head of advisory services for Helvetas and a member of its management board. The organization operates in 32 countries to address rural poverty, harnessing a $150 million annual budget and the efforts of some 1,500 staffers, more than 95 percent of whom are local to their projects. That mission is personal to Ms. Mukerji. “I am supporting a program in Mali where we are investing our own resources to develop a climate change plan,” she explains. “Many times climate change is seen as an issue of science ... but communities are already feeling the impact,” she says. Her home country of India has been suffering from serious drought – something she sees as showing why her work is so critical. “When you work at the field level, you see how hard [people] work, how difficult the conditions are. Many things they are facing are completely out of their control,” she says. “My passion lies in really addressing these global challenges, and to make life better for the people in these rural communities.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A Russian radio telescope scanning the skies has observed “a strong signal” from a nearby star, HD164595, in the constellation Hercules. The star is a scant 95 light years away and 99% of the size of Earth’s own sun. It has at least one planet, HD164595b, which is about the size of Neptune and has a 40-day year. Seth Shostak of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (Seti) ... was shocked to have learned of the discovery only now – the readings from Russian radio telescope Ratan-600, Shostak said, were taken a year ago. The news came to international attention on Saturday through Claudio Maccone of the University of Turin in Italy, who attended a talk by the scientists who recorded the signal on 15 May 2015. Maccone sent the Guardian his proposed presentation for the International Academy of Astronautics 2016 meeting on the subject of the search for alien life, set for 27 September. He will call for the permanent monitoring of HD164595. “Could it be an ET?” asked Shostak rhetorically. “Of course, but ... it is hard to tell if the signal comes from intelligent life. If it is being broadcast across a large chunk of the radio spectrum, the noise is probably coming from a quasar or another source of stellar “noise”; if it is over a narrower band but very strong, it is likelier to be the product of intelligence.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems. The FBI warning [was] titled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for 10 days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. FBI agents confirmed to [Menzel] that the perpetrators were believed to be foreign hackers, although they were not identified by country. Agents told him they had reached no conclusions, and other experts say the hackers could also have been common cybercriminals hoping to steal personal data on state voters for fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining bogus tax refunds.
Recent attempts at campaign-directed cyber-attacks have raised red flags about just how vulnerable the upcoming U.S. election is to hackers. The most vulnerable aspect of the voting process is the individual ballot. But in a digital world, far more is susceptible to tampering than the ballot itself. With digital tools integrated throughout the electoral process ... potential weak spots show up long before anyone casts the first vote. Gabriella Coleman, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University and author of the book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, warned even poorly executed hacks can be successful. "If you seed enough doubt, it doesn't matter if the system has been hacked or not, because people won't trust the system." With the rise of new technologies there is potential for individuals, governments, terrorist groups or hackers to use internet-based tools strategically to leak sensitive documents, collect private information and influence voter opinion and sentiment. A recent Bloomberg exposé featured a South American political hacker who engaged for a decade in what he calls "psychological operations." He created software to manage and direct an army of fake Twitter accounts. He could change the names, profile pictures, and biographies of thousands of fake accounts to suit his particular needs at the time, using those virtual crowds to sway trends and public opinion.
Note: Read more about South American political hacker Andrés Sepúlveda's effective manipulation of elections in nine countries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.
America has been enmeshed in a wrenching discussion about how the police treat young black men. But this week’s blistering report from the Justice Department on police bias in Baltimore also exposed a different, though related, concern: how the police in that majority-black city treat women, especially victims of sexual assault. In six pages of the 163-page report documenting how Baltimore police officers have systematically violated the rights of African-Americans, the Justice Department also painted a picture of a police culture deeply dismissive of sexual assault victims and hostile toward prostitutes and transgender people. It branded the Baltimore Police Department’s response to sexual assault cases “grossly inadequate.” Baltimore officers sometimes humiliated women who tried to report sexual assault, often failed to gather basic evidence, and disregarded some complaints filed by prostitutes. Some officers blamed victims or discouraged them from identifying their assailants. And the culture seemed to extend to prosecutors, investigators found. In one email exchange, a prosecutor referred to a woman who had reported a sexual assault as a “conniving little whore.” A police officer, using a common text-message expression for laughing heartily, wrote back: “Lmao! I feel the same.” Other “pattern or practice” investigations of police departments - including in New Orleans; Puerto Rico; and Missoula, Mont. - have also identified gender bias.
On Sunday morning, the South Carolina honey bees began to die in massive numbers. The dead worker bees littering the farms suggested ... acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single apiary - Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply, in Summerville - 46 hives died on the spot, totaling about 2.5 million bees. Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman wrote ... was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.” To the bee farmers, the reason is ... clear. Their bees had been poisoned by Dorchester’s own insecticide efforts, casualties in the war on disease-carrying mosquitoes. On Sunday morning, parts of Dorchester County were sprayed with Naled, a common insecticide that kills mosquitoes on contact. An airplane dispensed Naled in a fine mist, raining insect death from above. The county says it provided plenty of warning, spreading word about the pesticide plane via a newspaper announcement. Local beekeepers felt differently. “Had I known, I would have been camping on the steps doing whatever I had to do screaming, ‘No you can’t do this,'” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said in an interview. Stanley [said] that the bees are her income, but she is more devastated by the loss of the bees than her honey. The county acknowledged the bee deaths Tuesday. “Dorchester County is aware that some beekeepers in the area that was sprayed on Sunday lost their beehives,” Jason Ward, county administrator, said in a news release. As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”
Note: The threats posed by the Zika virus appear greatly exaggerated. Explore other zika virus news articles suggesting this is largely fear mongering to bring more profits to corporations involved in creating vaccines and more.
A former Monsanto executive who tipped the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accounting improprieties involving the company's top-selling Roundup product has been awarded more than $22 million from the agency's whistleblower program. The award of $22,437,800 was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, according to the [executive's] lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York. It is the agency's second largest under the program. The Dodd Frank financial reform law empowered the SEC to award money to whistleblowers who give information to the agency which leads to a fine. Awards to 33 whistleblowers by the SEC's program have now surpassed a total of $107 million since the agency launched the program in 2011, the agency said. Monsanto's $80 million SEC settlement followed allegations that the company misstated its earnings in connection with Roundup, a popular weed killer. The SEC's case against Monsanto revolved around a corporate rebate program designed to boost Roundup sales. The SEC had said that Monsanto lacked sufficient internal controls to account for millions of dollars in rebates that it offered to retailers and distributors. It ultimately booked a sizeable amount of revenue, but then failed to recognize the costs of the rebate programs on its books. That led the St. Louis-based agriculture company to "materially" misstate its consolidated earnings for a three-year period. The award represents more than 28 percent of the total penalty and nearly the 30 percent maximum allowed under the SEC's bounty program.
Note: The above shows that Monsanto has been lying to their investors about how profitable Roundup is while major lawsuits build over the connection between Roundup and cancer. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As the United States and its allies continue their bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, many more noncombatants are perishing than they seem prepared to admit. Airwars, the organization I lead, at present estimates that at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the United States-led coalition. Similar or higher tallies are reported by other monitoring groups, like Iraq Body Count and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But coalition officials have publicly admitted just 55 deaths. It may just be a matter of looking. “Our policy is not to go out and seek” allegations of civilian casualties, a senior official from United States Central Command, or Centcom, which oversees the bombing campaign, told me recently when I asked about the discrepancy between reports of noncombatant deaths and official investigations. It took about 15 months into the war for any admission of civilian deaths in Iraq - despite thousands of airstrikes and more than 130 reported incidents. An average of 173 days still passes between a civilian casualty in Iraq or Syria and any public admission of responsibility. The Pentagon is not alone in its accounting failures. Russia still denies the more than 2,000 deaths it has most likely caused in Syria, while all 12 of the United States’ coalition partners insist they have killed only “bad guys.” This then is a systemic problem, one that suggests militaries are at present unfit - or unwilling - to count the dead accurately from above.
Note: The above was written by Chris Woods, author of “Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
China’s leaders have been accused of delivering a calculated diplomatic snub to Barack Obama after the US president was denied a red-carpet welcome during his chaotic arrival in Hangzhou ahead of the start of the G20. Chinese authorities have rolled out the red carpet for leaders including India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, Russian president Vladimir Putin, South Korean president Park Geun-hye, Brazil’s president Michel Temer and British prime minister Theresa May, who touched down on Sunday morning. But [Obama] was forced to disembark from Air Force One through a little-used exit in the plane’s belly after no rolling staircase was provided when he landed in the eastern Chinese city. When Obama did find his way onto the tarmac, there were heated altercations between US and Chinese officials, with one Chinese official caught on video shouting: “This is our country! This is our airport!” Obama suggested his Chinese hosts might have found the size of the US delegation “a little overwhelming”. “We’ve got a lot of planes, a lot of helicopters, a lot of cars and a lot of guys. If you are a host country, sometimes it may feel a little bit much.” Susan Rice, the US national security adviser, admitted she had been surprised by the handling of the president’s arrival. “They did things that weren’t anticipated,” she told reporters.
Note: If the above is the part of this event that is being reported to the public, what parts of it are being kept secret?
The devastating trauma and abuse inflicted on children held by Australia in offshore detention has been laid bare in the largest cache of leaked documents released from inside its immigration regime. More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty. Children are vastly over-represented in the reports. More than half of the 2,116 reports – a total of 1,086 incidents, or 51.3% – involve children, although children made up only about 18% of those in detention on Nauru during the time covered by the reports, May 2013 to October 2015. The findings come just weeks after the brutal treatment of young people in juvenile detention in the Northern Territory was exposed. Allegations of sexual assault ... are a persistent theme of the files. In one report an asylum seeker described being told she was “on a list” written by local Nauruan guards naming single women they were “waiting for”. In [another] report a “cultural adviser” for Wilson Security, the company that employs guards at the detention camp, allegedly told an asylum seeker who had been sexually assaulted in camp that “rape in Australia is very common and people don’t get punished”.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly 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 on corruption in government and sexual abuse scandals.
When should police be able to deactivate your social media account? The question is becoming more urgent, as people use real-time connections in the middle of critical incidents involving law enforcement. In the case of Korryn Gaines in Baltimore County, Md., earlier this month, police said that a suspect actively using a social media connection makes a standoff worse. Gaines posted videos to Instagram of the unfolding standoff with police, who were outside her apartment trying to get her to surrender. Gaines was shot and killed by Baltimore County police, [who] got Instagram's parent company, Facebook, to temporarily suspend her account. These days, police can use a special Web page provided by the social media company where they can make an emergency request to take down somebody's account. For cops, this is no different than the old practice of cutting a phone line. But to Rashad Robinson, it is different. He runs Color of Change, an online racial justice organization. He says live social media are much more than just a line of communication. "As the movement around police accountability has grown, it's been fueled by video evidence, the type of video that gives us a real insight into what's happening and creates the narrative, builds the narrative, for people to understand," he says. Robinson says imagine if police in Minnesota had blocked the Facebook Live video of the aftermath of the police shooting of Philando Castile earlier this summer. There wouldn't have been nearly the same kind of public reaction.
A former Jehovah's Witness has offered a rare insight into the religious group, describing it as a cult that "tries to control emotions, thought, information and behavior of a person". The man ... shared his experience of growing up as a Jehovah's Witness in Poland in an Ask Me Anything post on Reddit. Using the username "Ohmyjw", the former Jehovah's Witness (JW) elder speaks out against the group's rules, such as prohibiting blood transfusion "even if that costs them their life" or believing the world "will end in Armageddon 'very soon'". However, he said he tried to "never give an impression that JWs are dumb or intelligent", adding that "many of them are actually quite intelligent, albeit deluded people". He also described how his family now refused to acknowledge him and his wife after they left the group. When asked how women were regarded in JW society, the former elder said they were thought of as "a complement for a man", adding: "She should be submissive to her husband, who is the head of their family and ... makes all the important decisions. He also criticised the group for having a "big problem with child abuse," saying "they believe child abuse is only a sin, not really a crime, the elders in almost all cases don't report to the authorities, instead they try to handle it inside the congregation". The group allegedly requires "two witnesses to the event" and regularly decide to "leave the matter in the hands of Jehovah". "They basically value the 'good name of the organisation' more than the safety of the children," he adds.
Note: Read more about the techniques used by Jehovah's Witnesses to systematically silence abuse victims. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Department of Defense personnel spent more than $1 million at casinos and strip clubs on government credit cards in one year, a Pentagon audit by the DOD Inspector General has revealed. Civilian and military employees racked up the vast majority of those charges - about $950,000 - at casinos from July 2013 to June 2014. They charged roughly $96,000 at strip clubs. Using the cards did not violate laws because the cardholders paid their "personal" expenses, DOD officials told NBC News. Taxpayer dollars were not spent in the transactions, officials said. However, the charges did run foul of some standards for the agency. Administrative action has been taken against 364 cardholders, and most have gone through "counseling" for card use. Officials could not confirm to NBC if any of the cardholders lost their jobs.
Note: The US Defense Department routinely lies about its budget and occasionally loses track of trillions of dollars. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The last remaining U.S. manufacturer of cluster bombs is ending production of the controversial weapon, citing regulatory scrutiny and reduced orders for the internationally banned munitions. The decision by the Rhode Island-based Textron, whose subsidiary Textron Systems produces the bombs, follows a White House order last May to block the transfer of a Textron shipment of CBU-105 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. The White House had come under intense pressure by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International after those groups documented instances in which Saudi-led forces used CBU-105 munitions in multiple locations across Yemen. The blocked transfer was the first concrete step the United States took to demonstrate its unease with the Saudi bombing campaign. Following media coverage of the White House’s block, peace activists picketed outside the Wilmington, Massachusetts, offices of Textron Systems, calling for an end to the production of cluster bombs. Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Mary Wareham praised the decision. “Textron was the last U.S. manufacturer of cluster munitions, so this decision now clears the path for the administration and Congress to work together to permanently end U.S. production, transfer, and use of cluster munitions,” she said.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Classy. Professional. Sportsmanlike. Words not often used to describe soccer players these days – but this football team is gaining world attention for exactly those qualities. The players are 12 and 13 years old. A video of Barcelona’s Infantil B side has been posted to YouTube showing the children, from La Masia, comforting their Japanese opposition players after beating them in the final of the World Challenge Cup in Tokyo over the weekend. The Barcelona under–13s won 1–0 thanks to a goal by Xavi Planas, and after the final whistle many of the Omva players were in tears. Barcelona’s youth teams are arguably the most famous in the world, thanks to the La Masia academy, which has produced countless superstars over the years. But on this occasion, rather than bask in their success, the Spanish children consoled their opponents and offered words of advice, with the captain urging the devastated losers to keep their heads up. He then led his side to a bow in front of the crowd.
Note: Don't miss this beautiful, one-minute clip, which has received over 75 million views. Such grace!!!
Rob and Sam Fatzinger, lifelong residents of Bowie, Md., lead a single-income family in one of the country’s most expensive regions. Rob’s income never topped $50,000 until he was 40; he’s now 51 and earns just north of $100,000 as a software tester. They have 13 children. Which means they require things like a seven-bedroom house and a 15-passenger van. Four children have graduated from college, three are undergrads and six are on the runway. Yet they paid off their mortgage early four years ago. They have no debt - never have, besides mortgages. And Rob is on track to retire by 62. This family is the Einstein of economical. These days, frugality is not about clipping coupons. It’s about rethinking your finances, and maybe your life. Rob’s philosophy: “Spend money on what makes you truly happy and on what you enjoy. We don’t feel deprived or poor. We pick and choose carefully.” Until a couple of years ago, Rob Fatzinger had a blog called Sardonic Catholic Dad, focusing on family, faith and frugality. Two of his hits: “College on the Cheap — How the Sardonic Family Does It” and “How to Retire Early With 13 Kids.” Frugalism is often about math, determination and thinking a bit differently. A few key principles: How much you save, as a percentage of your paycheck, will foretell when you’ll be able to build your own business or retire. Small financial changes can make a big impact. And it’s not really about your income; it’s about your savings.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
California’s booming solar industry had a record day this week when the state’s largest utilities generated more power than ever from the sun. The state’s largest power grid, the California Independent System Operator, or ISO, on Tuesday managed enough solar energy to power 2 million homes. Its 8,030 megawatts recorded at 1:06 p.m. from solar sources stood out as double the network’s best day in 2014. It also was 2,000 megawatts more than its solar peak from last year. “It’s a great milestone for California and the solar industry,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president for state policy at the Solar Energy Industries Association. He said California represents about half of the nation’s solar industry in megawatts produced. The utilities have been racing to meet the state’s increasingly stringent renewable fuels mandates, which require them to produce a third of their power from renewable sources by 2020 and half by 2030. With those goals in mind, PG&E has added over the last two years two of the largest photovoltaic solar installations in the world. The company’s Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, connected to the grid last year, can generate up to 300 megawatts from the sun. When it’s finished, its capacity is expected to hit 550 megawatts. Meanwhile, PG&E’s Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Ariz., brings in another 300 megawatts. It was completed in 2014.
Note: California's success with solar power pales in comparison with the entire country of Germany, which produced 22 gigawatts of electricity back in 2012, nearly three times the record amount produced by California in 2016.
The United States Army's finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General ... said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. The "forced" adjustments rendered the statements useless because "DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions." [This] is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money. "Where is the money going? Nobody knows," said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon. For years, the Inspector General - the Defense Department's official auditor - has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that "the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive." DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Services] also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system.
Note: $6.5 trillion is the equivalent of $20,000 for every citizen of the US. If any business or other branch of government had balance sheets like this, it would be all over the news with people demanding reform. Why does the military get away with this year after year? See the actual Department of Defense report for more. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns. Many of the recipients of these weapons became brave and important battlefield allies. But many more did not. The weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses. The Pentagon said it has records for [about 700,000] firearms. This is an amount ... that only accounts for 48 percent of the total small arms supplied by the U.S. government that can be found in open-source government reports. By this year, various internet arms traders, including many on Facebook, were hawking a seemingly unending assortment of weapons of obvious American origin. Facebook closed many pages in the Middle East that were serving as busy arms bazaars, including pages in Syria and Iraq on which firearms with Pentagon origins accounted for a large fraction of the visible trade. But many new arms-trading Facebook pages have since cropped up, including, according to their own descriptions, virtual markets operating from Baghdad and Karbala. The procession of arms purchases and handouts has continued to this day.
Note: A 2015 report describes how the US armed ISIS in Iraq. This eye-opening report shows how the US was involved in the creation of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.