News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups 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.


 News stories


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.

The Unemployment Puzzle: Where Have All the Workers Gone?
2014-04-04, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:38:27
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579477341062142388

A big puzzle looms over the U.S. economy: Only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force, which ... is down substantially since 2000. As recently as the late 1990s, the U.S. was a nation in which employment, job creation and labor force participation went hand in hand. That is no longer the case. The unemployment rate, the figure that dominates reporting on the economy, is the fraction of the labor force (those working or seeking work) that is unemployed. This rate has declined slowly since the end of the Great Recession. What hasn't recovered over that same period is the labor force participation rate, which today stands roughly where it did in 1977. Labor force participation rates increased from the mid-1960s through the 1990s, driven by more women entering the workforce, baby boomers entering prime working years in the 1970s and 1980s, and increasing pay for skilled laborers. But over the past decade, these trends have leveled off. At the same time, the participation rate has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the recession. The drop is a function of various factors, including simple discouragement, poor work incentives created by public policies, inadequate schooling and training, and a greater propensity to seek disability insurance. Globalization and technological change have also reduced employment and wage growth for low-skilled workers—which raises questions about whether current policy is focused enough on helping workers to achieve the skills necessary to work productively and earn decent incomes.

Note: For more on the devastating impact of financial power and government policy on US workers, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Monsanto: The Enemy Of Family Farmers
2014-04-02, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:36:39
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-kucinich/the-enemy-of-family-farmers_...

Consumers around the world are becoming aware of the dangers of industrial, chemical-based agriculture. The most legitimate science and research bodies recommend turning toward organic and sustainable agriculture, shunning genetically engineered (GE or GMO) products and the chemicals they are designed to promote. With the growth and power of the food movement, corporate giants are beginning to take action. After decades of employing a "block-us-and-we'll-sue-you" approach, Monsanto recently began an intense makeover PR campaign: popularity by association. Monsanto is cozying up to the reputation, authenticity and wholesomeness of family farmers -- and hoping the all-American nostalgia many associate with the small scale farmer rubs off on them. During the Super Bowl, key media markets saw Monsanto's "It Begins with a Farmer" commercials, which were intended to demonstrate that the company shares the same values as family farmers and the consumers they feed and clothe. In reality, Monsanto is no friend to the family farmer or the communities they live in and support. In fact, Monsanto (and other chemical companies like Dow Chemical, Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer/Dupont, and Bayer) have forced small farmers into a dying breed. The cost of industrial agriculture forces farmers to get big or get out. This is particularly true of GE herbicide-resistant seeds, which USDA economists tell us have contributed to increased consolidation of farmland in fewer hands. In the end, family farmers get squeezed out by the mammoth farms enabled by biotechnology.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




10 things wrong with what kids learn in school
2014-04-02, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:35:13
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/04/02/10-things-wron...

Mainstream media, cued by corporate press releases, routinely claim that America’s schools are markedly inferior to schools in other developed nations. The claim is part of an organized, long-running, generously funded campaign to undermine confidence in public schools to “prove” the need to privatize them. Educators have been handicapped for more than a century by a curriculum adopted to serve a too-narrow purpose—admission to college—and failure to address that curriculum’s problems has made the institution vulnerable to destructive corporate and political manipulation. Below are brief descriptions of some of the more obvious of those problems. 1. The standard core curriculum is stuck in the past. Adopted in the late 19th Century, the curriculum now shaping America’s schools reflects the “big idea” of that earlier era—the factory system, standardization of parts, mass production, centralized decision making, and passive worker compliance. None of those fit the present era. 2. The standard core curriculum is so inefficient it leaves little or no time for apprenticeships, internships, co-op programs, projects, and other ways of “learning by doing” (which is how most of us learned most of what we know). 3. The standard core curriculum gives thought processes other than recall short shrift, or no attention at all. The ability to remember is, of course, important, but the main educational challenge—making better sense of real-world experience—requires the ability not merely to recall but to infer, generalize, hypothesize, relate, synthesize, value, and so on. 4. The standard core curriculum ignores vast and important fields of knowledge.




Secret Spaceplane, Mystery Mission
2014-04-07, Yahoo News/The Daily Beast
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:33:00
http://news.yahoo.com/secret-spaceplane-mystery-mission-094500663--politics.html

The Air Force’s secret space plane has been up in orbit for nearly 500 days—a space endurance record. But nearly a year and a half into the mission, the Pentagon still won’t say what the X-37B is doing up there, or when it might come back. The U.S. Air Force boosted the robotic X-37B atop the nose of an Atlas-5 rocket in December 2012. Since then it’s orbited the Earth thousands of times, overflying such interesting places as North Korea and Iran. The U.S. Air Force will not comment on what kind of missions the X-37B does in space. The service, which doesn’t mind talking about the space drone as a technological achievement, clams up when discussing actual missions. Brian Weeden, a former Air Force officer with the Space Command’s Joint Space Operations Center and now at the Secure World Foundation, believes that the X-37B is primarily a test bed for new technologies. “I think it is primarily an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platform for testing new sensor technologies or validating new technologies.” Weeden [said]. “The current [flight] has basically been in the same orbit since launch, with only the occasional maneuver to maintain that orbit. That’s consistent with a remote sensing/ISR mission.” The X-37B is probably testing technologies that might be incorporated into the spy satellites of the future. New cameras, radars, and other sensors could be tested in space and then brought back to Earth for study.

Note: For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Jimmy Carter Talks About Iran, Campus Rape, Jesus Christ and the Paintings of W
2014-04-10, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:31:36
http://time.com/56770/jimmy-carter-jesus-christ-iran-putin-clinton-kerry/

After speaking [on April 8] at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, [former President Jimmy] Carter spoke with TIME by phone about his recent [activities] and his recent book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.You say in A Call to Action that Jesus Christ was the greatest liberator of women in his culture. Why was that? One of the examples that he set invariably in every word and deed of his life was to emphasize the equality of women and even to exalt women well beyond any status they had enjoyed in any previous decades or centuries or even since then. What could the U.S. do better to address human trafficking? [In the US] for every brothel owner or pimp or male customer, there are 50 girls who are arrested for being prostitutes. Other countries have tried the other way around, and it works beautifully. Sweden is the No. 1 example that other countries are now emulating, where they bring the charges against the brothel owners and the pimps and the male customers, and they do not prosecute the girls, who quite often are brought into that trade involuntarily. You said last week that “the U.S. is the No. 1 warmonger on earth”. Yes, it is. It has been. You can look at the record: ever since the United Nations was formed after the Second World War, the United States has almost constantly been at war somewhere. There are about 30 countries where we have initiated armed conflict.




Living with death by drone
2012-10-04, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:29:21
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/04/opinion/la-oe-gibson-drones-civilians...

Last week, Stanford University and New York University released a major study about the use of drones in the ever-evolving but never-ending war on terror. Drones are terrorizing an entire civilian population. [We] spent weeks in Pakistan interviewing more than 60 people from North Waziristan. Many were survivors of strikes. Others had lost loved ones and family members. All of them live under the constant threat of annihilation. What my colleagues and I learned from these unnamed and unknown victims of America's drone warfare gave the report its title: "Living Under Drones." Drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above. And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. The routines of daily life have been ripped to shreds. Indisputably innocent people cower in their homes, afraid to assemble on the streets. "Double taps," or secondary strikes on the same target, have stopped residents from aiding those who have been injured. A leading humanitarian agency now delays assistance by an astonishing six hours. What makes this situation even worse is that no one can tell people in these communities what they can do to make themselves safe. No one knows who is on the American kill list, no one knows how they got there and no one knows what they can do to get themselves off. It's all terrifyingly random. Suddenly, and without warning, a missile launches and obliterates everyone within a 16-yard radius.

Note: The author of this report, Jennifer Gibson, is a staff attorney with Reprieve, a London-based legal charity that represents dozens of Pakistani drone victims. For an excellent, seven-minute video by professors exploring the tragic reality of drone strikes in Pakistan, click here. For the "Living Under Drones" website where you can read a summary and download this report by Stanford University and the New York Times, click here. To learn about a beautiful movement to place large photos of children's faces in target areas to stop drone operators from killing innocents, click here.




CIA Mind-Control Experiments
2010-08-06, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:27:11
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2008962_200896...

At the height of the Cold War, the CIA conducted covert, illegal scientific research on human subjects. Known as Project MK-ULTRA, the program subjected humans to experiments with drugs such as LSD and barbiturates, hypnosis and (some reports indicate) radiological and biological agents. In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all documents from Project MK-ULTRA destroyed. Nevertheless, late the following year, the New York Times reported on the illegal activities. In 1975, the Church Committee, headed by Senator Frank Church, and a commission headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller investigated the project. They found that over more than two decades, the CIA spent nearly $20 million, enlisted the services of researchers at more than 30 universities and conducted experiments on subjects without their knowledge. Some of the research was performed in Canada. Some historians argue that the goal of the program was to create a mind-control system by which the CIA could program people to conduct assassinations. In 1953, Richard Condon dramatized the idea in the thriller The Manchurian Candidate, which was adapted into a film starring Frank Sinatra. Such ultimately wacky ideas were also dramatized in the recent George Clooney film The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Note: For more on CIA mind control experiments, see the extensive documentation available here.




Netherlands face prison undercrowding crisis
2014-04-11, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:24:13
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/netherlands-face-prison-undercrowding-crisis/

The Dutch government is facing an unusual crisis: Prison undercrowding. There are now more guards and other prison staff than there are prisoners in the Netherlands for the first time, according to data released by the Justice Ministry. In 2008, there were around 15,000 inmates, in a country of 17 million. As of March of this year, there were just 9,710 inmates remaining, compared with 9,914 guards. And the number of inmates included 650 Belgian criminals the Netherlands is housing as part of a temporary deal. In the U.S., the figure is more like one guard or staff member per five prisoners. The overall U.S. incarceration rate is more than 10 times higher. Justice Ministry spokesman Jochgem van Opstal said "we're studying what the reason for the decline is." The ministry is already in the process of closing prisons and cutting 3,500 staff. Last week, labor union Abvakabo FNV slammed the cuts, saying they were leading to "staffing shortages." "At this moment you can't say there is any safety in Dutch prisons," union leader Corrie van Brenk said in an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS. "It's an explosive situation." The government has rejected the criticism, saying violent incidents at prisons have been declining. One change politicians are considering is ending a practice of granting probation to criminals once they have served two-thirds of their sentences.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Goodbye, Oil: US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer
2014-04-08, International Business Times
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:22:38
http://www.ibtimes.com/goodbye-oil-us-navy-cracks-new-renewable-energy-techno...

After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel. The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it. The Navy’s 289 vessels all rely on oil-based fuel, with the exception of some aircraft carriers and 72 submarines that rely on nuclear propulsion. The breakthrough came after scientists developed a way to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater. The gasses are then turned into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process with the help of catalytic converters. The next challenge for the Navy is to produce the fuel in industrial quantities. It will also partner with universities to maximize the amount of CO2 and carbon they can recapture. ”For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously. That's a big breakthrough," said Dr. Heather Willauer, a research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, adding that the fuel "doesn't look or smell very different."

Note: Strangely, the major media networks appear to be largely silent on this important breakthrough, except for Forbes, which downplays the whole thing, as you can see at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Collective thoughts that heal
2014-03-28, lynnemctaggart.com
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:20:49
http://lynnemctaggart.com/blog/262-collective-thoughts-that-heal

A remarkable study carried out by Harvard University [is] detailed in Dr. Joe Dispenza’s fascinating new book You are the Placebo. In 1981, eight men in their 70s and 80s attended a five-day retreat at a monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, organized by Harvard University, where they were asked to pretend that they were 22 years younger than their present age. When they got there, they discovered constant reminders of two decades previously: old issues of Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post, shows on TV that had been popular in the late 50s, radios playing Perry Como and Nat King Cole. The men were asked to discuss events that had been current two decades before: Fidel Castro’s sudden ascendancy to power in Cuba, Nikita Khrushchev’s stand-off with Eisenhower in a US meeting, homeruns hit by Mickey Mantle and knock-out punches by Floyd Patterson. This carried on throughout the five days of the retreat. After the retreat ended, the researchers took the same physiological measurements they’d carried out at start of the study and discovered that the men actually had grown ‘taller’; they showed improved height, weight and gait, their postured straightened, their joints had become more flexible, their hearing, eyesight, grip strength, memory and general mental cognition had all improved. In fact, by the end of the five days, many of these octogenarians had given up their canes and were playing touch football. Once they’d been reminded of their younger selves, their bodies actually became younger – and all in less than a week. ‘The change wasn’t just in their minds,’ wrote Dispenza, ‘it was also in their bodies.’

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Meditation Has the Power to Influence Your Genes
2013-12-09, Psychology Today
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:19:03
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/meditation-has-th...

In a groundbreaking discovery, a collaborative team of researchers from Wisconsin, Spain, and France reported in December 2013 the first evidence of specific molecular changes at a genetic level following a period of mindfulness meditation. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice," says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. The study compared the effects of a single day of intensive mindfulness practice between a group of experienced meditators and a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After an intensive day of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a dramatic range of genetic and molecular differences. Meditation was found to alter levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation. "Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs," says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona in Spain, where the molecular analyses were conducted. In past studies, mindfulness-based training has been shown to have beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders. Meditation is endorsed by the American Heart Association as an effective way to lower [the] risk for heart disease. Another study from April 2011 found that meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain.

Note: For an excellent and inspiring book on how your thinking and feeling can change your genes, check out Bruce Lipton's Biology of Belief, available here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Growing Evidence That Autism Is Linked to Pollution
2014-03-14, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:50:42
http://time.com/25424/growing-evidence-that-autism-is-linked-to-pollution/

A new study offers strong evidence that environmental toxins play a role in [autism]. The report looked at birth defects associated with parental exposure to pollution and found a 1% increase in the defects corresponded to a 283% increase in autism. Several studies have shown a link between air pollution and autism, but a new study published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology is one of the largest to put the two together. Researchers studied insurance claims from around 100 million people in the U.S., and used congenital malformations in boys as an indicator for parental exposure to environmental toxins. “Autism appears to be strongly correlated with [the] rate of congenital malformations of the genitals in males across the country. This gives an indicator of environmental load and the effect is surprisingly strong,” study author Andrey Rzhetsky from the University of Chicago said in a statement. Every 1% increase in malformations corresponded to a 283% increase in autism in the same county. Although the findings are still new, the researchers say they offer support for the theory that environmental pollutants, in addition to genetics, play a role in autism development.

Note: For more good evidence on this, click here. And for strong evidence reported in the major media of a link between autism and vaccines, click here.




Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders
2014-03-29, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:48:55
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/29/der-spiegel-nsa-ghcq-ha...

Secret documents newly disclosed by the German news magazine Der Spiegel ... shed more light on how aggressively the National Security Agency and its British counterpart have targeted Germany for surveillance. A series of classified files from the archive provided to reporters by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden ... reveal that the NSA appears to have included Merkel in a surveillance database alongside more than 100 other foreign leaders. The documents also confirm for the first time that, in March 2013, the NSA obtained a top-secret court order against Germany as part of U.S. government efforts to monitor communications related to the country. [A] document, dated 2009, indicates that Merkel was targeted in a broader NSA surveillance effort. She appears to have been placed in the NSA’s so-called “Target Knowledge Base“ (TKB), which Der Spiegel described as the central agency database of individual targets. An internal NSA description states that employees can use it to analyze “complete profiles“ of targeted people. But the NSA’s surveillance of Germany has extended far beyond its leader. A separate document from the NSA’s Special Source Operations unit ... shows that the Obama administration obtained a top-secret court order specifically permitting it to monitor communications related to Germany. Special Source Operations is the NSA department that manages what the agency describes as its “corporate partnerships” with major US companies, including AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, and Google.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




NSA performed warrantless searches on Americans' calls and emails – Clapper
2014-04-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:47:16
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/01/nsa-surveillance-loophole-americ...

US intelligence chiefs have confirmed that the National Security Agency has [performed] warrantless searches on Americans’ communications. The NSA's collection programs are ostensibly targeted at foreigners, but in August the Guardian revealed a secret rule change allowing NSA analysts to search for Americans' details within the databases. Now, in a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the intelligence committee, the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has confirmed the use of this legal authority to search for data related to “US persons”. The legal authority to perform the searches, revealed in top-secret NSA documents provided ... by Edward Snowden, was denounced by Wyden as a “backdoor search loophole.” Many of the NSA's most controversial programs collect information under the law affected by the so-called loophole. These include Prism, which allows the agency to collect data from Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and other tech companies, and the agency's Upstream program – a huge network of internet cable taps. Confirmation that the NSA has searched for Americans’ communications in its phone call and email databases complicates President Barack Obama’s initial defenses of the broad surveillance in June. Wyden and Udall [said] “Today’s admission by the Director of National Intelligence is further proof that meaningful surveillance reform must include closing the back-door searches loophole and requiring the intelligence community to show probable cause before deliberately searching through ... the communications of individual Americans."

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




White House Defends 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir Unrest
2014-04-04, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:45:45
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/white-house-defends-cuban-twitter-st...

The Obama administration on [April 3] defended its creation of a Twitter-like Cuban communications network [called ZunZuneo] to undermine the Communist government, declaring the secret program was "invested and debated" by Congress and wasn't a covert operation that required White House approval. But two senior Democrats on congressional intelligence and judiciary committees said they had known nothing about the effort. An Associated Press investigation found that the network was built with secret shell companies and financed through a foreign bank. The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. First, the network was to build a Cuban audience, mostly young people. Then, the plan was to push them toward dissent. Yet its users were neither aware it was created by [USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development] with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes. Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, said ... that the ZunZuneo program "shows once again that the United States government has not renounced its plans of subversion against Cuba, which have as their aim the creation of situations of destabilization in our country to create changes in the public order and toward which it continues to devote multimillion-dollar budgets each year."

Note: If any other country did this to the U.S., how do you think the U.S. government would respond?




Defense lawyers: Did FBI pressure push Boston bomber over the edge?
2014-03-29, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:43:56
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0329/Defense-lawyers-Did-FBI-pressu...

Three days after an FBI agent was cleared of wrongdoing in the bizarre killing of an associate of slain Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only surviving bombing suspect, alleged that the FBI attempted to recruit the elder Tsarnaev as an informant. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team said that new information suggests the FBI interviewed Tamerlan on several occasions before the attack, and even pressured him to surreptitiously report on the Chechen underworld. The Bureau has continued to emphatically state that it didn’t know the identities of the two suspected bombers until they were fingerprinted, and have denied any involvement with the brothers aside from following up on a tip from a Russian emissary that the elder Tsarnaev may have been seeking jihad. In the case of Ibragim Todashev, who allegedly took part with Tamerlan in a robbery turned triple-homicide in Waltham, in 2011, family members have also stated that FBI pressure may have pushed the 20-something ethnic Chechen and mixed martial arts fighter to the brink of violence. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Bureau has stepped up surveillance of specific racial, ethnic and religious communities, including the use of informants. The tactics have ... left the Bureau open to charges of entrapment, not to mention assorted Internet conspiracy theories. Part of those post-9/11 tactics are the use of “voluntary interviews … often encouraging interviewees to serve as informants in their communities,” writes the American Civil Liberties Union.

Note: Why didn't the FBI reveal its attempt to recruit the elder Tsarnaev when the bombing happened? Something is quite fishy here.




Ruling Spurs Rush for Cash in Both Parties
2014-04-05, New York Times
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:42:14
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/us/politics/ruling-sets-off-a-bipartisan-ru...

As constitutional scholars digest the [Supreme Court’s latest decision freeing donors to spend more money on campaigns], it has already set off a bipartisan scramble for campaign cash, thrusting party leaders, lawmakers with leadership PACs, and candidates into a fierce competition. The ruling allows donors to make the maximum contribution to an unlimited number of campaigns, freeing donors from caps that required them to pick and prioritize from among each party’s candidates and national committees. And while the decision could inject tens of millions of additional dollars into the 2014 races, it has also left some candidates and party leaders with a new concern: that the biggest donors will get tired of writing new checks. Fund-raisers and donors in both parties said they had begun to get a wave of tentative and not-so-tentative requests for new checks or future commitments, as the leaders of the parties’ congressional wings compete with each other and with the Republican and Democratic National Committees. All are focusing on a relatively limited group of donors in both parties who appeared to have given the maximum allowed or come close to the old cap — the people most likely to write additional checks after [the court’s] decision.

Note: For more on corruption in the US electoral process, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




CIA lied about torture to justify using it
2014-04-01, MSNBC
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:40:48
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/cia-lied-about-torture-justify-using-it

A Senate intelligence committee investigation found that the Central Intelligence Agency employed brutal interrogation methods that turned out to be largely useless and then lied about their effectiveness. The Senate report contradicts the main defenses of the Bush-era torture program: That harsh methods were needed to produce "actionable results," and that the program itself helped save American lives by foiling terror attacks. Instead, the CIA overstated the effectiveness of the program and concealed the harshness of the methods they used. Intelligence breakthroughs credited to the “enhanced interrogation” program by the CIA were instead gleaned through other means, and then used by the agency to bolster defenses of the program. Conservative media figures incessantly hyped former Bush administration officials’ at times verifiably false claims about the efficacy of the program. The Bush administration’s trip to the “dark side” provided pundits, op-ed columnists, and other media personalities an endless stream of satisfaction from talking like the greased up protagonists of 1980s action films.

Note: For an article explaining how even though this report may be declassified, the public will not have access to most of it, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Italy's bishops pass Vatican-backed rule that child molestation does not have to be reported
2014-03-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:39:13
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italys-bishops-pass-vaticanbac...

Italy's bishops have adopted a policy, with backing from the Vatican, that states they are not obliged to inform police officers if they suspect a child has been molested. The Italian Bishops' Conference said the guidelines ... reflected suggestions from the Vatican's office that handles sex abuse investigations. Victims have denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by moving priests while keeping prosecutors in the dark. Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law. [The] guidelines cite a 1985 treaty between the Vatican and Italy stipulating that clergy aren't obliged to tell magistrates about information obtained through their religious ministry. The guidelines remind bishops, however, they have a ''moral duty“ to contribute to the common good. The ruling comes less than a week after Pope Francis appointed a former child victim as one of the first members of a new commission to help the Catholic Church put an end to clerical sexual abuse. A UN report published in March blasted what it called the Vatican's code of silence" around abusive priests. UN children's rights experts estimate "tens of thousands of children worldwide" have been sexually abused by predatory clerics as a result of moving, rather than reporting, paedophiles.

Note: For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Report: Judge said du Pont heir wouldn't "fare well" in prison
2014-03-31, CBS News
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:37:41
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-judge-says-du-pont-heir-wont-fare-well-in-...

A judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation in the rape of his three-year-old daughter said in court documents that he would "not fare well" in prison. The rape case against Robert H. Richards IV became public this month after his ex-wife reportedly filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the abuse of his daughter. According to a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, Richards raped his daughter, now 11, in 2005 when she was 3, telling her "to keep what he had done to her a secret." The girl told her grandmother in October 2007, and Richards pleaded guilty in June 2008 to one count of fourth-degree rape to avoid jail time, court records show. The lawsuit also alleged that Richards abused his toddler son. Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden's sentencing order for Richards suggested that he needed treatment instead of prison time and considered unique circumstances when deciding his fate, reports the [News Journal of Delaware]. Attorney General Beau Biden initially indicted Richards on two counts of second-degree rape of a child, punishable by ten years in prison for each count. But as part of a plea agreement days before his 2008 trial, Richards pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape -- reportedly a Class C violent felony that can bring up to 15 years in prison, though guidelines suggest zero to 2 1/2 years. At Richards' 2009 sentencing, prosecutor Renee Hrivnak recommended probation. Richards, a great-grandson of du Pont patriarch Irenee du Pont, is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, [and] owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville and a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach.

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