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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption. Links are provided to the full stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These news stories are listed by date posted. You can explore the same list by order of importance or by date of news story. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The rich get government handouts just like the poor. Here are 10 of them.
2015-04-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:19:35
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/09/the-rich-get-gover...

Many of the non-poor — and, in fact, a lot of the rich — receive benefits from government ... for which we don't make them pee in a cup. We've rounded up some ... examples: 1. The mortgage interest deduction for big houses and second homes. 5 million households in America making more than $200,000 a year get a lot more housing aid than the 20 million households living on less than $20,000. 2. The yacht tax deduction. 3. Rental property. If you're a landlord ... you can deduct many of the expenses you incur renting a home. 4. Fancy business meals. Talking business over an expensive dinner [is] tax deductible. That puts taxpayer spending on food stamps into relief. 5. Investment income is taxed at a much lower rate than regular income. 6.The estate tax. 7. Gambling loss deductions. 8. The Social Security earnings limit. Social Security taxes only apply to income up to $118,500 – anything after that is Social Security tax-free. So the more money you make, the less your effective Social Security tax rate is, making this tax about as regressive as they come. Social Security’s own actuaries estimate that eliminating this cap would reduce the program’s long-term deficit by about 86 percent. 9. Retirement plans. 10. Tax prep.

Note: For more, read what the Washington Post had to say about our corporate predator state in 2013, and see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Boxer: Regulators’ 'heads should roll’ over Diablo nuclear plant
2015-04-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:17:10
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Boxer-Regulators-heads-should-roll-ove...

Weeks before Pacific Gas and Electric Co. released a long-awaited seismic report about the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant last year, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials had already drafted talking points declaring the plant safe from earthquakes, Sen. Barbara Boxer said Wednesday. An internal commission memo showed that the agency was planning to tell the public that “the NRC had reviewed the report, and it had concluded Diablo Canyon was seismically safe” — before even seeing the report. Boxer ... used it to illustrate what she called the commission’s lax attitude toward seismic safety, even in the wake of the 2011 meltdown of three reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Her comments shone new light on a controversy that has simmered since the seismic safety report’s release last fall. PG&E released the report on Sept. 10. That same day, the commission — the federal agency that regulates nuclear plants — formally rejected complaints from one of its own former inspectors at Diablo Canyon, who had argued that the plant should be closed. Several newly discovered faults nearby, he said, could produce more violent shaking than Diablo was designed to withstand. Environmental groups ... accused the commission and PG&E of colluding to release both the report and the rejection of the inspector’s complaint on the same day, generating positive press about Diablo’s safety.

Note: Why would Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials ignore their responsibility to protect the public from the potentially disastrous combination of earthquakes and nuclear power plants?


WHO: Long-cleared Roundup ingredient ‘probably’ causes cancer
2015-03-29, PBS
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:13:40
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/roundup-ingredient-probably-carcinogenic-...

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced findings that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp line of pesticides, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, relies on studies conducted on the chemical over the last few decades. Use of glyphosate – which the EPA has deemed safe — has soared in the last two decades with the introduction of crops genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. Glyphosate is also a main ingredient in a new product called “Enlist Duo” recently introduced by Dow Chemical. Widespread use of the chemical has also come under fire because weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to it. Dow has marketed its new product ... as a new tool for farmers battling herbicide-resistant weeds. But agriculture experts say farmers should look at other ways to manage weeds, like cover-cropping, increased rotation and mechanical removal. This week, environmental groups sent a letter to the EPA renewing their calls for the agency to reconsider its decision to approve Enlist Duo. The groups also called on the EPA to reexamine its findings that glyphosate is safe. Monsanto has come out swinging. In a press release, Chief Technology Officer Dr. Robb Fraley said the company is “outraged”. Monsanto has demanded a retraction of the report.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's RoundUp are well known, while the risks and dangers of genetically engineering crops to tolerate such chemicals are becoming increasingly clear.


Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsor of terror list
2015-04-14, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:11:04
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-removes-cuba-from-state-sponsor-...

President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. The U.S. has long since stopped actively accusing Cuba of supporting terrorism. When Obama and [Cuban President Raul] Castro announced a thaw in relations in December, the U.S. president expressed his willingness to remove Cuba from that list. Removing Cuba from the terror list could pave the way for the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana and other steps. Cuba was designated a state sponsor of terror in 1982 because of what the White House said was its efforts “to promote armed revolution by organizations that used terrorism.” Cuba renounced its direct support for foreign militants years ago. The terror list has been a particularly charged issue for Cuba because of what the government there sees as the U.S. history of supporting exile groups responsible for attacks on the island, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger flight from Barbados that killed 73 people aboard. The attack was linked to Cuban exiles with ties to U.S.-backed anti-Castro groups. Both men accused of masterminding the crime took shelter in Florida, where one, Luis Posada Carriles, lives to this day.

Note: Read about WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks' bizarre encounter with the US legal system after a visit to Cuba in this Los Angeles Times article and this editorial in the Oakland Tribune.


Cop accused of brutally torturing black suspects costs Chicago $5.5 million
2015-04-15, Washington Post
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:09:02
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/15/closing-the-book...

Whenever Chicago Police commander Jon Burge needed a confession, he would walk into the interrogation room and set down a little black box, his alleged victims would later tell prosecutors. The box had two wires and a crank. Burge ... would attach one wire to the suspect’s handcuffed ankles and the other to his manacled hands. Then [he] would place a plastic bag over the suspect’s head. Finally, he would crank his little black box and listen to the screams of pain as electricity coursed through the suspect’s body. As many as 120 African-American men on Chicago’s South Side ... were allegedly tortured by Burge between 1972 and 1991. On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the establishment of a $5.5 million fund for these victims. Some of the men spent years on Illinois’s death row because of confessions allegedly obtained by Burge under duress. In 2003, Governor George Ryan pardoned four men on death row who claimed to have been tortured by Burge, [whom] the Chicago Police Board voted to fire [in 1993] for his alleged torture activities. [He] was allowed to keep his $4,000 per month pension. In 2002, Cook County appointed [a special prosecutor] to investigate Burge’s conduct. The investigation took four years and cost $7 million, but the 300-page report didn’t recommend bringing any charges against the former cop. The statute of limitations for the alleged crimes had expired, Egan argued.

Note: According to the Chicago Reader, Burge may have learned how to torture prisoners while serving as a soldier in Vietnam. Chicago police maintain hidden interrogation sites where brutal treatment of suspects is used to obtain criminal confessions. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about civil liberties and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


FAA investigating Florida mailman's landing of gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn
2015-04-15, Tampa Bay Times (One of Florida's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:06:40
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/ruskin-mailman-tries-flying-t...

Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, told his friends he was ... going to fly a gyrocopter through protected airspace and put it down on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, then try to deliver 535 letters of protest to 535 members of Congress. After 2˝ years of planning, Hughes ... flew straight up the expanse of the National Mall and brought his small craft down right in front of the Capitol, where he was quickly surrounded by police. The incident brought out dozens of reporters and cameras from national media outlets — exactly what Hughes had hoped for. Hughes contacted a Tampa Bay Times reporter last year, saying he wanted to tell someone about his plan and motivation. Hughes is a slender, soft-spoken, pedantic man, with thinning gray hair and hearing aids. He has no criminal record. But he said he needed [this] very dramatic public act of civil disobedience to focus the nation's attention on campaign finance reform. Money, he says, has corrupted the democracy. At the root of Hughes' disdain is the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, in which the court decided campaign contributions were a form of "political speech" and struck down limits on how much corporations and unions could give to political contenders. The decision changed the game. Campaign spending went through the roof. In Hughes' mind, there was a parallel spike in favor-dealing and the government is now practically owned by the rich.

Note: The text of Hughes' letter to congress is available at the article above. Other articles on this on CBS and NBC missed important details about the suicide of his son and his political objective. Did this stunt make more people aware that billionaire oligarchs influence elections with dark money?


Big money buys off institutions democracy depends on
2015-04-08, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:04:05
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Big-money-buys-off-institutions-d...

Not long ago I was asked to speak to a religious congregation about widening inequality. Shortly before I began, the head of the congregation asked that I not advocate raising taxes on the wealthy. I had a similar exchange last year with the president of a small college who had invited me to give a lecture that his board of trustees would be attending. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t criticize Wall Street,” he said. It seems to be happening all over. A nonprofit group devoted to voting rights decides it won’t launch a campaign against big money in politics for fear of alienating wealthy donors. A Washington think tank releases a study on inequality that fails to mention the role big corporations and Wall Street have played ... presumably because the think tank doesn’t want to antagonize its corporate and Wall Street donors. A major university shapes research and courses around economic topics of interest to its biggest donors, notably avoiding any mention of the increasing power of large corporations and Wall Street on the economy. It’s bad enough that big money is buying off politicians. It’s also buying off nonprofits that used to be sources of investigation, information and social change, from criticizing big money. Our democracy is directly threatened when the rich buy off politicians. But no less dangerous is the quieter and more insidious buy-off of institutions democracy depends on to research, investigate, expose and mobilize action against what is occurring.

Note: The above article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor and UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
2014-10-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:02:06
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/14/greater-manchester-police-fail...

Child sex grooming gangs have avoided prosecution due to a failure by one of the country’s biggest police forces to pursue claims against them. Greater Manchester police (GMP), the third largest force in England and Wales, has been accused by serving and former detectives of attempting to cover up failings to tackle gangs of Asian men who were abusing young girls. Responding to the claims, GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy [said] that officers had developed a “mindset” that victims in sexual abuse cases were “unreliable” but, while this had since changed, it was still present within the courts. The claims against GMP come just months after a damning report found at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, with “blatant” collective failings by the council and South Yorkshire police blamed for the abuse. Another GMP detective, who has remained anonymous ... revealed there was reluctance by senior officers to investigate sexual abuse claims despite her warnings the problem was spiralling out of control. In a letter seen by ITV News, one serving officer claims there has been a “cover-up” and an internal report commissioned two years ago has been “re-written on nine separate occasions”. A statement from the police force said: “Considerable resources are now invested in a number of ongoing investigations and we have already made clear that further arrests will be made.

Note: Explore powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about sexual abuse scandals and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Conventional vs. Grass-fed Beef
2014-05-28, Huffington Post
Posted: 2015-04-20 17:00:28
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-ells/conventional-vs-grassfed-_b_5405894....

Chipotle's ... vision is to change the way people think about and eat fast food. Nothing is more important to us than serving our customers fresh, delicious ingredients that are raised responsibly. Over the years, we have had great success serving the premium beef we call Responsibly Raised, which is produced according to high standards requiring, among other things, that animals be raised without hormones or antibiotics. Sometimes the existing supply of the premium meats we serve is unable to meet our growing demand. This has been the case recently with a portion of the steak we serve, as the size of the total U.S. cattle herd has shrunk to its lowest point in more than 60 years. Returning to grass-based farming systems for cattle is a core component of our long-term vision. Most livestock today spend much of their lives in conditions far from the natural ecosystems in which they evolved. Most cattle spend the latter part of their lives in feedlots, where they are fed grain like corn and soy. There's also evidence suggesting that grass-fed beef is healthier for the people who eat it, and when managed properly, easier on the environment. Over time, we hope that our demand for grass-fed beef will help pave the way for more American ranchers to adopt a grass-fed program. We want to encourage more American ranchers to make the transition to raising cattle entirely on grass.

Note: The above was written by Steve Ells, founder and Co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill. It is great to see a major food company encouraging American farmers to transition out of the unsustainable and extremely unhealthy practice of factory-farming.


Who's in charge here? No one
2003-04-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-20 16:58:35
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/apr/27/theobserver.observerbusiness7

Semco, Brazil's most famous company ... made its name by standing the conventional corporate rulebook on its head. Semco doesn't have a mission statement, its own rulebook or any written policies. It doesn't have an organisation chart, a human resources department or even, these days, a headquarters. Subordinates choose their managers, decide how much they are paid and when they work. Meetings are voluntary, and two seats at board meetings are open to the first employees who turn up. Salaries are made public, and so is all the company's financial information. Six months is the farthest ahead the group ever looks. Its units each half-year decide how many people they require for the next period. Naturally it doesn't plan which businesses to enter. Instead it 'rambles' into new areas by trial, error and argument. Its current portfolio is an odd mixture of machinery, property, professional services and fledgling hi-tech spin-offs. That's right, Semco is the epitome of managerial incorrectness. Sounds like a recipe for chaos, eh? Yet Semco has surfed Brazil's rough economic and political currents with panache, often growing at between 30 and 40 per cent a year. It turns over $160 million, up from $4m when [company founder Ricardo] Semler joined the family business two decades ago, and it employs 3,000 [people]. $100,000 invested in this barmy firm 20 years ago would now be worth $5m. But conventional control attitudes are deeply programmed. Even now, laments Semler, 'we're only 50 or 60 per cent where we'd like to be'.

Note: Ricardo Semler's wonderfully subversive book, The Seven Day Weekend is available on amazon.com. Don't miss the inspiring TedTalk of this highly innovative man.


The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life
2015-04-15, New York Times Blog
Posted: 2015-04-20 16:57:03

Exercise has had a Goldilocks problem, with experts debating just how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount to improve health and longevity. Two new, impressively large-scale studies provide some clarity. In the broader of the two studies, researchers ... found that, unsurprisingly, the people who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death. But those who exercised a little, not meeting the recommendations but doing something, lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent. The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised. At that point, the benefits plateaued, the researchers found, but they never significantly declined. The other new study of exercise and mortality reached a somewhat similar conclusion, [and found that] if someone engaged in even occasional vigorous exercise, he or she gained a small but not unimportant additional reduction in mortality.

Note: For some great ideas on healthy exercises, see this article by WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks.


Gravity Payments CEO Will Live on $70,000 Worker Wage, Thinks His Life Will Be Luxe Enough
2015-04-14, ABC News
Posted: 2015-04-20 16:55:11
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/ceo-live-70000-worker-wage-thinks-life-luxe/st...

The CEO of a credit-card payments company in Seattle said executive pay is "out of whack," so he's cutting his own pay and creating a minimum salary for his workers. Now, he will be earning $70,000 like many of them, and he's OK with it. Dan Price, 30, announced this week that any employee at his company, Gravity Payments, making less than $70,000 annually will receive a $5,000-per-year raise or be paid a minimum of $50,000, whichever is greater. The aim: By December 2017, everyone will earn $70,000 or more. To facilitate this change, Price said his salary will decrease to $70,000 from about $1 million. "My salary wasn't $1 million because I need that much to live, but that's what it would cost to replace me as a CEO," Price told ABC News. Price started the company in 2004 when he was only 19 years old, [when] the cost of living in Seattle was much lower than it is today. When Gravity launched, the company paid $24,000 per year even for senior positions. Today, the company, which pays an average salary of $48,000, has 120 employees. 70 of their paychecks will grow with this plan. "I may have to scale back a little bit, but nothing I’m not willing to do." Price chose the $70,000 figure based on a 2010 Princeton University study that showed happiness, or "life evaluation," is positively impacted up to $70,000 or $75,000 per year; but increases above that figure did not have a significant positive effect on happiness.

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


Did This City Bring Down Its Murder Rate by Paying People Not to Kill?
2014-08-00, Mother Jones
Posted: 2015-04-20 16:53:36
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/richmond-california-murder-rate-g...

It was a crazy idea, but Richmond, California, wouldn't have signed off on DeVone Boggan's plan if it had been suffering from an abundance of sanity. For years, the Bay Area city had been battling one of the nation's worst homicide rates and spending millions of dollars on anti-crime programs to no avail. Boggan, who'd been working to keep teen offenders out of prison ... wondered: What if we identified the most likely perpetrators and paid them to stay out of trouble? In late 2007, Boggan launched the Office of Neighborhood Safety, an experimental public-private partnership that's introduced the "Richmond model" for rolling back street violence. It has done it with a mix of data mining and mentoring, and by crossing lines that other anti-crime initiatives have only tiptoed around. The program's street team sifts through police records and its own intelligence to determine, with actuarial detachment, the 50 people in Richmond most likely to shoot someone and to be shot themselves. ONS tracks them and approaches the most lethal (and vulnerable) on the list, offering them a spot in a program that includes a stipend to turn their lives around. So far, the results have been promising. In 2007, when Boggan's program began, Richmond was America's ninth most dangerous city, with 47 killings among its 106,000 residents. In 2013, it saw its lowest number of homicides in 33 years, and its homicide rate fell to 15. In exchange for shunning dangerous behavior, ONS fellows receive anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per month.

Note: For more on this amazing crime-reduction program, read this article. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Lobbyists for Spies Appointed To Oversee Spying
2015-04-09, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-04-12 20:07:01
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/09/lobbyists-for-spies-appointed-t...

After the first revelations of domestic surveillance by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, President Obama defended the spying programs by claiming they were “subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate.” But as Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., and other members of Congress have pointed out, there is essentially a "two-tiered" system for oversight, with lawmakers and staff on specialized committees, such as the House and Senate committees on Intelligence and Homeland Security, controlling the flow of information and routinely excluding other Congress members. A large number of lobbyists and consultants [pass] through the revolving door between the intelligence community and the watchdogs who purportedly oversee the intelligence community. Lobbyist influence is a particularly sensitive issue when it comes to intelligence committees, since those committees oversee secret “black budgets” in which money is disbursed with greatly reduced public oversight. The potential for self dealing is significant; former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., was caught accepting bribes to essentially earmark government contracts into a black budget. Lobbyist control over the House and Senate intelligence and homeland security committees may have a profound impact on a range of surveillance issues debated by Congress this year, including the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act and the Patriot Act.

Note: The above article details several examples of industry lobbyists now operating in key government oversight positions within an unaccountable intelligence establishment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in intelligence agencies.


Why being 'overweight' means you live longer: The way scientists twist the facts
2015-04-10, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-12 20:04:42
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/why-bein...

Many medical "facts" are simply not true. By definition, being "overweight" must be bad for your health – or we wouldn't call it overweight. But we do not define overweight as being the weight above which you are damaging your health; it has an exact definition. To be overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. In 2009, a German group did a painstaking meta-analysis of all studies on overweight and obesity that they could find. As with most other researchers, they found that being overweight was good for you. Of course, they didn't phrase it in this way. They said: "The prevailing notion that overweight increases morbidity and mortality, as compared to so-called normal weight, is in need of further specification." In need of further specification? An interesting phrase, but one that hints at the terrible problems researchers have when their findings fail to match prevailing dogma; if the prevailing consensus is "if your BMI is between 25 and 29, it is damaging your health and you should lose weight", then you challenge this at your peril. Despite the fact that study after study has demonstrated quite clearly that "overweight" people live the longest, no one can bring themselves to say: "Sorry, we were wrong. A BMI between 25 and 29 is the healthiest weight of all. For those of you between 20 and 25, I say, eat more, become healthier." Who would dare say such a thing? Not anyone with tenure at a leading university, that's for sure.

Note: Don't miss the entire article to see how scientists severely manipulate the results of their data when it does not fit established norms. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.


Big oil is pressuring scientists not to link fracking to earthquakes in Oklahoma
2015-04-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-12 20:02:23
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/03/big-oil-is-pressuring-sc...

Many Oklahomans can still vividly recall the day they experienced their first earthquake. Ever since 2009/2010, earthquakes in the state have increased exponentially – leading to what are called “seismic swarms”. In 2000 there was not a single earthquake, but in 2014 we experienced 585 quakes of magnitude three or larger. For some time now, scientists have wondered whether fracking-related activities, such as wastewater injection, might be the source of increased seismic activity in Oklahoma. In May of last year, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, an affiliate entity of the University of Oklahoma, released a statement in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey, saying that wastewater injection was a “likely contributing factor the increase in earthquakes”. Not long after this statement, David Boren, president of the university, summoned the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s lead seismologist Austin Holland, who was also one of the authors of the statement, to a meeting with Harold Hamm, CEO of ... one of Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies. Boren facilitated the meeting despite the fact that he also serves as a member of the Continental Resources board of directors. In July 2014, Continental Resources released a presentation positing an alternative theory for the seismic swarms and downplaying the influence of induced seismicity. One can only imagine the pressure this meeting must have brought upon Holland and his team of scientists.

Note: Jason W Murphey, an Oklahoma State Representative, wrote the above. For more on this, read this informative New York Times article titled "As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.


Lawmakers pushed to keep troubled defense programs alive
2015-04-05, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:59:45
http://graphics.latimes.com/missile-defense-congress/

Patrick J. O’Reilly was at times “a cheerleader and an advocate” for the Missile Defense Agency during his four years as director. But he broke ranks with his predecessors at the agency by questioning flawed programs. In a series of interviews, O’Reilly said members of Congress whose states or districts benefited from missile defense spending fought doggedly to protect three of the programs long after their shortcomings became obvious. He described how Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) reacted when he outlined his reservations about the Airborne Laser project, envisioned as a fleet of Boeing 747s that would be modified to fire laser beams at enemy missiles. “He’d immediately start talking about, ‘How much money do you need?’ I was trying to say, ‘On the technical merits, it doesn’t make sense.’” The project was killed in 2012, after a decade of testing and $5.3 billion in spending. O’Reilly grew skeptical of another missile defense project, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, after he learned that Navy ships would have to be retrofitted ... to accommodate the 40-foot-long rocket. Existing ships could not carry interceptors longer than 22 feet, he said. The project’s backers included Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, [and] Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama. O’Reilly said the three senators bristled when he suggested that the Kinetic Energy Interceptor was unworkable. The program nevertheless was discontinued [in 2009]. By then, $1.7 billion had been spent on it.

Note: Secrecy and lies about missile defense, whether owing to incompetence or government corruption have been commonplace in Washington for many years - sometimes to devastating effect.


DEA sued over secret bulk collection of Americans' phone records
2015-04-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:57:50
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/08/dea-bulk-collection-phone-records

Human rights campaigners have prepared a federal lawsuit aiming to permanently shut down the bulk collection of billions of US phone records – not, this time, by the National Security Agency, but by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The program ... served as a template for the NSA’s gigantic and ongoing bulk surveillance of US phone data after 9/11. The revelation of mass phone-records collection in the so-called “war on drugs” raises new questions about whether the Obama administration or its successors believe US security agencies continue to have legal leeway for warrantless bulk surveillance on American citizens. Starting in 1992, the so-called “USTO” effort operated without judicial approval, despite the US constitution’s warrant requirement. Attorney general Eric Holder ended USTO in September 2013 out of fear of scandal following Snowden’s disclosures. While Snowden did not expose USTO, several NSA programs he has exposed referenced the DEA as an NSA partner, giving the DEA another secret pathway to massive amounts of US communications records. The warrantless bulk records collection provides prosecutors the ability to enter into evidence incriminating material that could otherwise be thrown out of court, [and] has not stopped the upward growth of domestic narcotics consumption.

Note: In order to deny due process to people accused of crimes, the DEA's Special Operations Division constructs lies about the origins of data obtained from warrantless mass surveillance. Award-winning journalists have presented powerful evidence of direct DEA and CIA involvement in and support of drug running and drug cartels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Political Smears in U.S. Never Change: the NYT’s 1967 Attack on MLK’s Anti-War Speech
2015-04-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:55:47
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/07/political-rhetoric-us-never-cha...

John Oliver’s Monday night interview of Edward Snowden ... renewed all the standard attacks in Democratic circles accusing Snowden of being a traitor in cahoots with the Kremlin. What’s most striking about this — aside from the utter lack of evidence for any of it — is how identical it is to what Nixon officials said to smear the last generation’s greatest whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg. I defy anyone to listen to any Democratic apparatchik insinuate that Snowden is a Russian agent and identify any differences with how Nixon apparatchiks smeared Ellsberg (or, for that matter, how today’s warnings from Obama officials about the grave harm coming from leaks differ from the warnings issued by Bush and Nixon officials). The script for smearing never changes. One of the most illustrative examples of this: an April 1967 New York Times editorial harshly chastising Martin Luther King for his anti-war activism. That editorial was published three days after King’s speech on the Vietnam War at the Riverside Church in New York City, which ... denounced the U.S. government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” as well as the leading exponent of “the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long.” The attack of the NYT editors on King for that speech is ... identical to how anti-war advocates in the U.S. are maligned today [by] Washington smear merchants.

Note: The media smear campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King was followed by his government-sponsored assassination, as a 1999 trial in Memphis, TN ultimately revealed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools
2015-04-08, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:52:50
http://www.newsweek.com/2015/04/10/national-scandal-break-france-over-decades...

Global horror over child abuse and its concealment by the Establishment, hitherto focused squarely on the UK, now needs to be widened to France as well. Thousands of children in French schools have been sexually abused by paedophile teachers, an international NGO has claimed, accusing the French education authorities of a decades-long “cover-up”. The French education system is set to become the focus of a national scandal after minister for education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was forced to admit last week that 16 teachers were allowed to work in schools last year despite holding previous convictions for paedophilia. Homayra Sellier, founder of Innocence en Danger, an NGO dedicated to child abuse victims, says: “The ministry of education has covered this up for years. The government has never been inclined to listen to these stories.” Sellier forecasts thousands of cases will emerge, a concern echoed by another French NGO, Lueur d’Enfance, which works to support and defend the rights of children. Teachers who try to speak out about child abuse at the hands of other teachers are silenced by school directors and local officials, and even threatened with legal action – usually defamation. Others have lost their jobs. As for the teachers the children accuse, they usually stay at the same school, or are quietly transferred to another.

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