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.

Scott Volkers: Swimming coach accused of child abuse 'too good to sack'
2014-07-10, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:19:00
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/scott-volkers-swimming-coach-accused-of-child-abuse...

When Australia's Susie O'Neill claimed the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she dedicated her victory to Scott Volkers, the swimming coach who had taken over her training two years earlier. By this time, three women who had been Volkers' students were losing belief in themselves and the swimming community. Julie Gilbert, Kylie Rogers and Simone Boyce took the stand at the royal commission into child abuse in Sydney this week to describe their mental breakdowns, eating disorders, anxiety and isolation from a swimming hierarchy that refused to believe them or failed to explore the possibility that Volkers molested them – as girls aged 12 to 18 – in the 1980s. Volkers remained on the payroll of elite Australian swimming institutions until 2010, when he was finally forced to move to Brazil, where he still works as a leading coach. Was it Australia's win-at-all-costs swimming culture that kept him in the presence of young athletes? An exasperated Andrew Boe, the lawyer representing Gilbert, Rogers and Boyce, pointed out: "This is not an examination of whether he was a good swimming coach or not." Nor is it an examination of the guilt or innocence of Volkers – against whom charges concerning these three alleged victims were dropped in 2002 – or other swimming coaches. It is an inquiry into the institutional responses to abuse. Swimming Australia's association with Volkers [ended] in 2005, when the coach's fourth accuser came forward with claims that Volkers had groped her breasts and attempted to stimulate her vagina in the late 1990s, when she was 15. The allegations were very similar to the earlier cases.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.




Cost Of Military Jet Could House Every Homeless Person In U.S. With $600,000 Home
2014-07-11, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:17:43
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/11/military-jet-spending_n_5575045.html

The $400 billion program to create a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike fighter jets, which ... is seven years behind schedule, ... could have housed every homeless person in the U.S. with a $600,000 home. The amount spent per year to build the F-35 jets could easily fulfill a $16.7 billion request by the United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs to save countless lives from preventable causes [of death] — and then have enough left over to fund UNICEF's budget request, too. The full cost of the jets program could also fund the National School Lunch Program, which feeds about 31 million students annually, for the next 24 years. "Spending our taxes on the military doesn't yield much to make our lives or our communities better," [Steven] Conn, a professor [at] Ohio State University, wrote ... in April. "Big weapons systems and overseas military installations, to say nothing of feckless military adventures in Vietnam or Iraq, have done very little to fix our roads, improve our kids' education, or push the boundaries of medical research." According to data provided by the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government spent roughly 19 times more on defense and international security assistance than it did on education in 2013. The U.S. spends more on defense than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the U.K., Germany, Japan and India combined.

Note: If you do the math and divide $400 billion by the US population of 320 million, you'll find that every US citizen paid an average of over $1,000 for the F-35. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Have UFOs shut down our government's defense systems?
2008-12-31, CNN
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:16:23
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0812/31/lkl.01.html

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, have UFOs shut down our government's defense systems? There is evidence that something caused missiles to malfunction during test launches. Former Air Force officers tell their incredible story about the film that was confiscated by the CIA and what was on it and why officials don't want us to see it. Our first guests claim UFOs have activated missile systems at five Air Force Bases in five different states. They also claim a cover-up, that the United States government is keeping the information secret. Robert Hastings [is] author of UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites. He has been investigating sightings at weapon sites for years. Bob Salas is a former captain [in] the United States Air Force. He was at Malstrom Air Force Base in 1967, where there were claims that a UFO caused missiles to malfunction. He's co-author of Faded Giant: the 1967 Missile/UFO Incidents. Bob Jamison is ... a former U.S. Air Force officer. He was at Malstrom, as well, in 1967 and he says his superiors told him UFOs caused the malfunctions. And ... Dr. Bob Jacobs, ... former U.S. Air Force photographic instrumentation officer. A UFO showed up on film that he shot in 1954 at Vandenberg Air Force Base and that was later confiscated by CIA agents. What's your explanation for UFOs at nuclear weapon sites? ROBERT HASTINGS: There are hundreds of declassified documents which indicate that UFOs have demonstrated a distinct and ongoing interest in our nuclear weapons sites. I've also interviewed nearly a hundred [men] who were involved in these incidents at various Air Force bases. This is very widespread.

Note: Don't miss this fascinating CNN broadcast. Robert Salas provided WantToKnow.info with an excellent summary of his personal research on the astounding UFO event of which he was a part. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources.




Stressed at work? Meditating really does work - and you'll see a difference in just three days, say researchers
2014-07-04, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:14:35
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2681138/Stressed-work-Meditati...

Meditating can have an almost instant effect on reducing stress, researchers have found. They say three consecutive days of 25 minute sessions can have a dramatic effect. Researchers studied 'mindful[ness] meditation' - a technique developed in the 1970s. Inspired by ancient Buddhist meditation, mindfulness courses were developed in the late 1970s by US doctors to combat stress. The guiding principle is to live more ‘in the moment’, spending less time going over past stresses and worrying about future problems. Techniques include moving the focus of attention around the body and observing sensations that arise – the so-called ‘body scan’. A secular practice, it is said to help people recognise and overcome negative thoughts while noticing small pleasures. 'More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,' said lead author J. David Creswell. For the study, Creswell and his research team had 66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 years old participate in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, the individuals were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to ... speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience.

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




Vitamin D May Double Chances of Surviving Breast Cancer
2014-03-07, TIME Magazine
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:13:24
http://time.com/16148/vitamin-d-may-double-chances-of-surviving-breast-cancer/

In a new study, researchers found that breast-cancer patients who had high levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive [as] women with low levels. They reviewed five studies that observed more than 4,440 women. “The study has implications for including vitamin D as an adjuvant to conventional breast cancer therapy,” study co-author Dr. Heather Hofflich, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego, said in a press release. The researchers recommend that vitamin D should be added to the various treatments given to women fighting breast cancer. The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but milk, fatty fish and other foods can also boost production. Patients could also take vitamin D supplements.

Note: This is huge news! Why isn't this exciting development getting more press coverage? Read numerous major media articles revealing potential cancer cures which have received little attention. And see an excellent article with more on the Vitamin D connection.




UNICEF: Child deaths down
2013-09-13, CBS News
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:12:00
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/unicef-child-deaths-down-but-many-still-dying-of-...

Child death rates since the 1990s have dropped drastically, but more needs to be done to prevent the deaths of children under five, a new report from international agency UNICEF finds. Since 1990, the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 90 deaths per 1,000 children to 48 deaths per 1,000 in 2012. A total of 17,000 fewer children died each day in 2012 than they did in 1990 -- about 90 million lives worldwide spared over the past two decades. Despite all these advances, the world is still shy of reaching the "Millennium Development Goal 4," a joint goal from the UN and World Health Organization to cut the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, UNICEF warned. In total, 216 million children have died before they turned five since 1990. Most of the under-five deaths in 2012 occurred because of preventable diseases. Pneumonia (17 percent of deaths), diarrhea (9 percent) and malaria (7 percent) were the [top] preventable killers of young children, taking the lives of 4,600 kids each day last year.

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




'The League of Afghanistan': One Man's Quest To Bring Wheelchair Basketball To War-Torn Region
2012-04-28, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:10:46
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/28/league-of-afghanistan-wheelchair_n_1...

Think of it sort as an updated take on "Hoop Dreams," except that its basketball-playing dreamers use wheelchairs. And they live in Afghanistan, not the Windy City. Jess Markt, originally from the Portland, Ore. area, is ... at the center of "The League of Afghanistan," a new documentary film currently in development. In 2009, Markt, whose spinal cord was injured in a car accident at the age of 19 and [who] relies on a wheelchair to get around, traveled to northwest Afghanistan to coach a wheelchair basketball team hoping to create a nationwide league. When Aaron Cooley, a Los Angeles-based producer with Joel Schumacher's production company, caught wind of Markt's experience, he saw the seeds of a great film. Today, the documentary, which aims to tell the story of Markt's efforts to bring basketball to disabled men and women [throughout Afghanistan], is in its early stages of filming. From Jess' perspective, he is the outsider American who comes into a legitimately ... hostile situation. For the local players, we're looking at how the introduction of this game can help rebuild the hope and the purpose that is in their own lives, which were shattered by their own injuries.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring video on this beautiful story. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Covering New War, in Shadow of Old One
2014-06-29, New York Times
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:27:39
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/public-editor/covering-new-war-in-shadow-of...

The lead-up to the war in Iraq in 2003 was not The Times’s finest hour. Some of the news reporting was flawed, driven by outside agendas and lacking in needed skepticism. Many Op-Ed columns promoted the idea of a war that turned out to be both unfounded and disastrous. Readers have not forgotten. In recent weeks, with Iraq in chaos, military intervention there again has been under consideration, and readers are on high alert. Given The Times’s troubled history when it comes to this subject, readers have good reason to be wary about what appears in the paper about military intervention in Iraq. Many readers have complained ... that The Times is amplifying the voices of hawkish neoconservatives and serving as a megaphone for anonymously sourced administration leaks, while failing to give voice to those who oppose intervention. The readers have a point worth considering. On the Op-Ed pages and in the news columns, there have been very few outside voices of those who opposed the war last time, or those who reject the use of force now. But the neoconservatives and interventionists are certainly being heard. A recent profile of the historian Robert Kagan, a leading proponent of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 who is once more in the news, was one focus of sharp reader criticism. The coverage has not featured the kind of in-depth attention that readers want as a counterbalance to pieces like the one on Mr. Kagan.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater
2014-06-30, New York Times
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:26:27
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/us/before-shooting-in-iraq-warning-on-black...

Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq.” American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country. After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.” “The management structures in place to manage and monitor our contracts in Iraq have become subservient to the contractors themselves,” the investigator, Jean C. Richter, wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007, memo to State Department officials. “Blackwater contractors saw themselves as above the law,” he said, adding that the “hands off” management resulted in a situation in which “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and in control.”

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war crimes news articles from reliable major media sources.




Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show
2014-06-30, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:25:08
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/court-gave-nsa-broad-le...

A classified 2010 legal certification and other documents indicate the NSA has been given a far more elastic authority than previously known, one that allows it to intercept through U.S. companies not just the communications of its overseas targets but any communications about its targets as well. The certification — approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and included among a set of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — lists 193 countries that would be of valid interest for U.S. intelligence. The certification also permitted the agency to gather intelligence about entities including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The documents underscore the remarkable breadth of potential “foreign intelligence” collection. An affidavit in support of the 2010 foreign-government certification said the NSA believes that foreigners who will be targeted for collection “possess, are expected to receive and/or are likely to communicate foreign intelligence information concerning these foreign powers.” That language could allow for surveillance of academics, journalists and human rights researchers. A Swiss academic who has information on the German government’s position in the run-up to an international trade negotiation, for instance, could be targeted if the government has determined there is a foreign-intelligence need for that information. If a U.S. college professor e-mails the Swiss professor’s e-mail address or phone number to a colleague, the American’s e-mail could be collected as well, under the program’s court-approved rules.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency news articles from reliable major media sources.




Leaders Get Immunity at New African Rights Court
2014-07-01, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:23:47
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leaders-immunity-african-rights...

Leaders at an African summit have voted to give themselves and their allies immunity from prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at a new African Court of Justice and Human Rights. The continent ... has two sitting presidents and one ousted president facing charges at the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International called it "a backward step in the fight against impunity and a betrayal of victims of serious violations of human rights." The decision came [on June 27] at an African Union summit vote in Equatorial Guinea from which journalists were excluded, Amnesty International said. News of the vote was imparted obliquely in a statement [on June 30] about the summit outcomes. A paragraph listing legal instruments agreed at the meeting included the "Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights." That amendment bars the court from prosecuting sitting African leaders and vaguely identified "senior officials." Forty-two African and international civil society and rights groups had objected to the amendment, noting in an open letter before the summit that the impunity violates international and domestic laws as well as the constitution of the African Union.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war crimes news articles from reliable major media sources.




Elizabeth Warren says the U.S. economy is rigged. Many conservatives agree.
2014-06-27, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:22:31
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/27/elizabeth-warren-sa...

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has built a sizable political profile — including the requisite presidential speculation — by espousing a simple idea: that the system is "rigged" against average Americans. And you might be surprised who agrees with her: A whole bunch of conservatives. According to a new Pew survey, 62 percent of Americans think that the economic system unfairly favors the powerful, and 78 percent think that too much power is concentrated in too few companies. The discontent isn't limited to those who share Warren's liberal ideology; 69 percent of young conservative-leaning voters and 48 percent of the most conservative voters agree that the system favors the powerful, according to Pew. Although Warren seems an outlier in the legislative branch for her fiery discontent with inequality — and the role she says Wall Street plays in exacerbating it — the Pew survey suggests that the vast majority of Americans are at least open to her underlying premise.

Note: Watch Chris Matthews of Fox News interview Elizabeth Warren to see how the right is opening to support of good people on the left. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.




Former Downing Street adviser charged over child abuse images
2014-06-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:21:20
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/former-downing-street-adviser-char...

A former Downing Street adviser has been charged with making and possessing indecent images of children. Patrick Rock ... was involved in Government policy on filtering online child abuse images. The 63-year-old has had a glittering career as a Conservative Party adviser spanning 30 years. On Friday, he was charged with three offences of making indecent images of children and one offence of possession of 59 indecent images of children. [He] resigned shortly before his arrest in February. Mr Rock has been an influential figure behind the scenes in the Conservative Party for decades and unsuccessfully stood as an MP three times. He met David Cameron when they were fellow advisers to the then Home Secretary, Michael Howard, in the 1990s and the Prime Minister brought him into the Downing Street policy unit in 2011. Judith Reed, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service's organised crime division, said: “We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.” Mr Rock has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 July.

Note: Why is it mentioned so casually that this man was involved in setting policy on child abuse images? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.




Vatican ex-ambassador convicted of sex abuse
2014-06-27, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:20:08
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jozef-wesolowski-vatican-ex-ambassador-convicted-...

The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative. The Vatican said [on June 27] that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is a citizen of the tiny city state. The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski on Aug. 21, 2013, and relieved him of his job after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic. Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse, and his case raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation. The case is particularly problematic for the Vatican since Wesolowski was a representative of the pope, accused of grave crimes that the Holy See has previously sought to distance itself from by blaming the worldwide sex abuse scandal on wayward priests and their bishops who failed to discipline them, not Vatican officials.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.




Rolf Harris child sex abuse education video surfaces after entertainer found guilty in London court
2014-07-01, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:18:59
http://www.smh.com.au/world/rolf-harris-child-sex-abuse-education-video-surfa...

Rolf Harris, then a trusted and beloved entertainer, strolls into [the] shot flanked by four youngsters [in] what is now an unsettling 20-minute long anti-child-abuse video that prosecutors planned to play for the jury at Harris’ indecent assault trial. Overnight, Harris was declared guilty of all 12 charges of indecent assault against four girls, from 1968 to 1986. The video, called 'Kids Can Say No', was developed in the mid-1980s, when he was indecently assaulting young women and girls - including one as young as seven or eight. Harris had commissioned and fronted the child protection video, with endorsement from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, after being inspired by similar programs in Australia. In the period when the video began to be widely shown in schools, youth clubs and health institutes in the United Kingdom, the court found he was also having sexual encounters with his daughter’s best friend. In 1986, he had sexually abused an eight-year-old girl at a community centre near her home when Harris performed ‘Two Little Boys’ for the children.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.




How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater
2013-08-25, New York Times
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:17:40
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/health/exploring-salines-secret-costs.html?...

It is one of the most common components of emergency medicine: an intravenous bag of sterile saltwater. Luckily for anyone who has ever needed an IV bag to replenish lost fluids or to receive medication, it is also one of the least expensive. The average manufacturer’s price, according to government data, has fluctuated in recent years from 44 cents to $1. Yet there is nothing either cheap or simple about its ultimate cost, as [revealed by] the commercial path of IV bags from the factory to the veins of more than 100 patients struck by a May 2012 outbreak of food poisoning in upstate New York. Some of the patients’ bills would later include markups of 100 to 200 times the manufacturer’s price, not counting separate charges for “IV administration.” And on other bills, a bundled charge for “IV therapy” was almost 1,000 times the official cost of the solution. At every step from manufacturer to patient, there are confidential deals among the major players, including drug companies, purchasing organizations and distributors, and insurers. These deals so obscure prices and profits that even participants cannot say what the simplest component of care actually costs, let alone what it should cost. And that leaves taxpayers and patients alike with an inflated bottom line and little or no way to challenge it. The real cost of a bag of normal saline, like the true cost of medical supplies from gauze to heart implants, disappears into an opaque realm of byzantine contracts, confidential rebates and fees that would be considered illegal kickbacks in many other industries.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing medical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Red Cross: How we spent Sandy money is a “trade secret”
2014-06-28, Salon/ProPublica
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:16:07
http://www.salon.com/2014/06/28/red_cross_how_we_spent_sandy_money_is_a_trade...

Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy? The charity has hired [law firm Gibson Dunn] to fight a public request [ProPublica] filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a “trade secret.” The Red Cross’ “trade secret” argument has persuaded the state to redact some material, though it’s not clear yet how much since the documents haven’t yet been released. The Red Cross releases few details about how it spends money after big disasters. That makes it difficult to figure out whether donor dollars are well spent. An attorney from [Gibson Dunn] appealed to the attorney general to block disclosure of some of the Sandy information, citing the state Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption. Doug White, a nonprofit expert who directs the fundraising management program at Columbia University, said that it’s possible for nonprofits to have trade interests — the logo of a university, for example — but it’s not clear what a “trade secret” would be in the case of the Red Cross. He called the lawyer’s letter an apparent “delaying tactic.” Ben Smilowitz of the Disaster Accountability Project, a watchdog group, said, “Invoking a ‘trade secret’ exemption is not something you would expect from an organization that purports to be ‘transparent and accountable.’”

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Insights challenging science's unshakable 'truths'
2014-06-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:14:55
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/29/five-insights-challenging-scie...

We have come to think that if something is "in our genes", it is our inevitable destiny. However, this is a gross oversimplification. We have each inherited a particular set of genes, but the outcome of that inheritance is not fixed. Our environment, diet and circumstance flood our bodies with molecules that switch the genes on or off. The result can make a huge difference to our destiny – and that of our descendants. One example of these "epigenetic" changes occurs when a bundle of carbon and hydrogen atoms known as a methyl group attaches itself to the DNA and changes the way its instructions are carried out. Methyl groups often come from what we eat. Lack of food seems to have an epigenetic effect, too. A study of Dutch women starved by the Nazis during the second world war ... found elevated levels of schizophrenia, breast cancer and heart disease. The data suggest that the alterations to which genes are turned on or off survive at least two generations: the one that suffered in the womb during the famine, and their children. They may go much further. A 2011 study published by researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, demonstrated epigenetic mutations that lasted for at least 30 generations in plants. What you eat, what your mother ate, the age when your grandfather started smoking, the amount of pollution in your neighbourhood – these factors have all been linked to epigenetic changes that get passed down through the generations. Armed with this new insight, we can take far more control of our health – and the health of future generations.

Note: For a truly engaging and revolutionary book on this topic, read The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, a top researcher in the field of cell biology. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.




Psychedelic mushrooms put your brain in a “waking dream,” study finds
2014-07-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:13:21
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/07/03/psychedelic-d...

Psychedelic mushrooms can do more than make you see the world in kaleidoscope. Research suggests they may have permanent, positive effects on the human brain. In fact, a mind-altering compound found in some 200 species of mushroom is already being explored as a potential treatment for depression and anxiety. People who consume these mushrooms, after “trips” that can be a bit scary and unpleasant, report feeling more optimistic, less self-centered, and even happier for months after the fact. But why do these trips change the way people see the world? According to a study published today in Human Brain Mapping, the mushroom compounds could be unlocking brain states usually only experienced when we dream, changes in activity that could help unlock permanent shifts in perspective. The study examined brain activity in those who’d received injections of psilocybin, which gives “shrooms” their psychedelic punch. After injections, the 15 participants were found to have increased brain function in areas associated with emotion and memory. The effect was strikingly similar to a brain in dream sleep, according to Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, a post-doctoral researcher in neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and co-author of the study. Administration of the drug just before or during sleep seemed to promote higher activity levels during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, when dreams occur. An intriguing finding, Carhart-Harris says, given that people tend to describe their experience on psychedelic drugs as being like “a waking dream.”

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind altering drugs news articles from reliable major media sources.




Guiding Rage Into Power
2014-06-30, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:12:02
http://www.dailygood.org/story/770/guiding-rage-into-power-janis-daddona

“Us versus them” is not a paradigm that Jacques Verduin buys into. As the founder and director of the prison program Insight-Out, he believes that prison serves a purpose for people who cannot contain themselves when they act dangerously, but he has also learned that none of us is much different from the incarcerated. Thankfully Jacques has shown that the empowerment and transformation of prisoners is a big part of what prison reform looks like, and San Quentin State Prison has become a successful social experiment that is one of the best-kept secrets around. His programs, the Insight Prison Project and Insight-Out, are teaching prisoners to transform rage and pain into a positive force in the prison community as well as their own neighborhoods. In a year-long program participants make bonds with each other that transcend age [and] racial, economic, and gang differences. It takes time, but as group members get comfortable with the concept, they practice “sitting in the fire.” As Jacques explains, “By sitting with their own primary pain—the pain that initiated them into a suppression of their feelings—and their secondary pain—the pain associated with hurting others—they find strength in the midst of their overwhelming emotions. They need a support system to share their struggle of living up to these expectations. Shame runs deep in all of us. We all need a support system to help us connect with our wounded but more authentic self. Rather than fix ourselves, which assumes something is wrong with us, let’s accept and talk about our warts. By being vulnerable we take the power out of shame. That’s where authenticity lies.”

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





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