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.

LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy
2014-03-04, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:32:49
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/health/lsd-reconsidered-for-therapy.html

On [March 4], The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is posting online results from the first controlled trial of LSD in more than 40 years. The study, conducted in the office of a Swiss psychiatrist near Bern, tested the effects of the drug as a complement to talk therapy for 12 people nearing the end of life. Most of the subjects had terminal cancer, and several died within a year after the trial — but not before having a mental adventure that appeared to have eased the existential gloom of their last days. “Their anxiety went down and stayed down,” said Dr. Peter Gasser, who conducted the therapy and followed up with his patients a year after the trial concluded. The new publication marks the latest in a series of baby steps by a loose coalition of researchers and fund-raisers who are working to bring hallucinogens back into the fold of mainstream psychiatry. Before research was effectively banned in 1966 in the United States, doctors tested LSD’s effect for a variety of conditions, including end-of-life anxiety. But in the past few years, psychiatrists in the United States and abroad — working with state regulators as well as ethics boards — have tested Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress; and other trials with hallucinogens are in the works. “The effort is both political and scientific,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed many of the studies. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab.”

Note: For more on mind altering drugs, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Thyroid cancer overdiagnosed, many researchers say
2014-03-04, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:31:28
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Thyroid-cancer-overdiagnosed-many-resear...

It sounds counterintuitive: Researchers found rates of the most common type of thyroid cancer had tripled since the 1970s, but they weren't particularly alarmed. That's because they say the problem is rooted in the way we diagnose the disease rather than the cancer itself. In essence, technology is allowing us to find tiny tumors that may never even go on to cause symptoms, let alone death. The study ... found that despite the threefold increase from 1975 to 2009 in this particular form of thyroid cancer, mortality rates have remained unchanged. Add papillary thyroid cancer to the list of cancers that more and more researchers believe may [be] overdiagnosed because of overzealous screenings and advanced technologies. Other studies have suggested this problem may include such conditions as slow-growing prostate cancer and precancerous ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, of the breast. The concern among the researchers is that treatment of these diseases may cause more patient harm than the disease itself. "In the last few years, the tide has turned. People are recognizing overdiagnosis more and more," said Dr. Louise Davies, the thyroid cancer study's author. The disease in the thyroid ... is often detected incidentally, meaning that it's discovered during a scan for something else or picked up during a routine exam. "The cancers that are picked up incidentally are not causing symptoms and are small. Those are the ones that are probably not going to be a problem," said Davies. "The risk of death from thyroid cancer is very, very small ... but it's not zero."

Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Why The 'Non-GMO' Label Is Organic's Frenemy
2014-02-28, NPR blog
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:29:55
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/28/283460420/why-the-non-gmo-label-i...

It's easy to think of "organic" and "non-GMO" as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores — most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture. In fact, the movement to eliminate genetically modified crops — GMOs — from food is turning out to be organic's false friend. The non-GMO label has become a cheaper alternative to organic. "More and more, there's concern [among organic food companies] that they created a monster," says Mark Kastel, a pro-organic activist who's co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute. No food retailer likes high costs. If it can offer a cheaper product that attracts the same consumers, it will do it. According to Kastel, that's how Whole Foods and others are using non-GMO labels. "This is a potent marketing vehicle designed to blur the line between organic and nonorganic," he says. David Bruce, director of eggs, meat, produce and soy for Organic Valley, a major organic food company, says the non-GMO labels "definitely" are diverting some consumers away from organic food. "We call it trading down," he says. Bruce says organic companies need to draw a clear line that sets organics apart from any alternatives. "The goal is to educate consumers that 'non-GMO' or 'natural' products are not 100 percent the same as an organic product," he says.

Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




As Water Supply Reaches Record Low, California Combats Drought With Weather Control Technology
2014-03-07, Forbes
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:28:26
http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2014/02/04/as-water-supply-reache...

Last year was the driest year in recorded history for many areas of California and conditions have yet to improve in 2014, according to recent snow surveys. The state has ramped up efforts to induce rainfall through a controversial weather modification technology known as cloud seeding. Cloud seeding involves spraying fine particles of silver iodide into a cloud system, which causes water droplets in the clouds to form ice crystals that grow larger and turn into snowflakes. In 2005, John Marburger, President George W. Bush’s primary science and technology advisor, requested that Senator Kay Hutchison from Texas defer consideration of proposed legislation that would have established a federal cloud seeding program. [But] California state agencies appear to have embraced cloud seeding as a cost-effective strategy for mitigating the impacts of a severe and prolonged drought. Critics have claimed for years that cloud seeding was widely used by electric utilities and ski area operators. For example, Sacramento Municipal Utility District has reportedly hired pilots to seed clouds over areas where additional snowfall would enhance their hydroelectric operations. The California Department of Water Resources, which [supplies] water to 25 million Californians and roughly 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland, estimated cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. It is unclear whether [California] has the legal right to take water from other regions by artificially inducing precipitation. It is also unclear whether the technology is safe.

Note: Many are not aware that effective weather control technologies have been used for decades. For powerful information showing this technology has been developed to the point where it can even cause tsunamis and possibly earthquakes and hurricanes, click here.



U.S. stores say no to genetically engineered salmon
2014-03-03, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:26:37
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-gmo-salmon-20140303,0,873900....

The nation’s two largest conventional grocery chains, Kroger and Safeway, have announced that they will not sell genetically engineered salmon. They join several other chains, including Target, Whole Foods ... and Trader Joe’s. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet decided whether to approve the salmon, with DNA retooled so that the fish grow twice as fast as conventional salmon. The FDA’s final decision on the fish has been expected for a long time, and there is speculation that the agency has been holding off mainly because it knows that the public is inclined to look suspiciously on the new product. Consumer groups have taken matters into their own hands by appealing to food markets not to carry the fish, and they’re obviously having some notable successes. The other markets should fall in line; they don’t need these salmon in their fish departments in order to succeed, and, in fact, they stand a good chance of turning off consumers who worry about making over the DNA of an animal that, for all the fish farms, is essentially a wild creature.

Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus
2014-03-05, The Atlantic Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:25:06
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/5-year-olds-can-learn-ca...

The familiar, hierarchical sequence of math instruction ... actually “has nothing to do with how people think, how children grow and learn, or how mathematics is built,” says pioneering math educator and curriculum designer Maria Droujkova. She echoes a number of voices from around the world that want to revolutionize the way math is taught, bringing it more in line with these principles. The current sequence is merely an entrenched historical accident that strips much of the fun out of what she describes as the “playful universe” of mathematics, with its more than 60 top-level disciplines, and its manifestations in everything from weaving to building, nature, music and art. “Calculations kids are forced to do are often so developmentally inappropriate, the experience amounts to torture,” she says. They also miss the essential point—that mathematics is fundamentally about patterns and structures, rather than “little manipulations of numbers,” as she puts it. It’s akin to budding filmmakers learning first about costumes, lighting and other technical aspects, rather than about crafting meaningful stories. Droujkova ... advocates a more holistic approach she calls “natural math,” which she teaches to children as young as toddlers, and their parents. This approach, covered in the book she co-authored with Yelena McManaman, Moebius Noodles: Adventurous math for the playground crowd, hinges on harnessing students’ powerful and surprisingly productive instincts for playful exploration to guide them on a personal journey through the subject.

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




Tiny houses helping with homeless problem in U.S.
2014-02-26, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:23:38
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiny-houses-helping-with-homeless-problem-in-us

While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless. There's a growing effort across the nation from advocates and religious groups to build these compact buildings because they are cheaper than a traditional large-scale shelter, help the recipients socially because they are built in communal settings and are environmentally friendly due to their size. "You're out of the elements, you've got your own bed, you've got your own place to call your own," said Harold "Hap" Morgan, who is without a permanent home in Madison. He's in line for a 99-square-foot house built through the nonprofit Occupy Madison Build, or OM Build, run by former organizers with the Occupy movement. The group hopes to create a cluster of tiny houses like those in Olympia, Wash., and Eugene and Portland, Ore. Many have been built with donated materials and volunteer labor, sometimes from the people who will live in them. Most require residents to behave appropriately, avoid drugs and alcohol and help maintain the properties. The tiny house effort in Eugene, Ore., sprung up after the city shut down an Occupy encampment that turned into a tent city for the homeless. Andrew Heben and others worked with the city, which provided them with land for the project. "It's an American success story. ... Now we see in different cities people coming up with citizen driven solutions," Heben said. Ministries in Texas and New York also are developing communities with clusters of small houses.

Note: For lots more on the tiny house movement, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On
2014-02-20, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:22:24
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/tiny-house-villages-for-the-homeless-a...

On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, N.Y., outside of Ithaca. On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building. The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that's beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike. For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort. "We've raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days," he says, and the number of volunteers has been "in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now." The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.

Note: For lots more on the tiny house movement, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Genetically Modified Babies
2014-02-23, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:49:17
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/genetically-modified-babies.html

An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is set to begin two days of meetings tomorrow to consider radical biological procedures that, if successful, would produce genetically modified human beings. This is a dangerous step. These techniques would change every cell in the bodies of children born as a result of their use, and these alterations would be passed down to future generations. The F.D.A. calls them mitochondrial manipulation technologies. The procedures involve removing the nuclear material either from the egg or embryo of a woman with inheritable mitochondrial disease and inserting it into a healthy egg or embryo of a donor whose own nuclear material has been discarded. Any offspring would carry genetic material from three people — the nuclear DNA of the mother and father, and the mitochondrial DNA of the donor. Developers of these modification techniques say they are a way for women with mitochondrial disease to give birth to healthy children to whom they are related genetically. Some are also promoting their use for age-related infertility. These procedures are deeply problematic in terms of their medical risks and societal implications. Will the child be born healthy, or will the cellular disruptions created by this eggs-as-Lego-pieces approach lead to problems later on? What about subsequent generations? And how far will we go in our efforts to engineer humans? Unfortunately, there are now worrisome signs that opposition to inheritable genetic modifications, written into law by dozens of countries, according to our count, may be weakening. British regulators are also considering mitochondrial manipulations, and proponents there, like their counterparts in the United States, want to move quickly to clinical trials.

Note: For more on the dangers to society of genetic engineering, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert
2014-02-23, Financial Times
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:47:37
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d5e00172-9b14-11e3-946b-00144feab7de.html

Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50 per cent of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. The findings come amid a probe by German and UK regulators into alleged manipulation of the gold price, which is set twice a day by Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale in a process known as the “London gold fixing”. Fideres’ research found the gold price frequently climbs (or falls) once a twice-daily conference call between the five banks begins, peaks (or troughs) almost exactly as the call ends and then experiences a sharp reversal, a pattern it alleged may be evidence of “collusive behaviour”. “[This] is indicative of panel banks pushing the gold price upwards on the basis of a strategy that was likely predetermined before the start of the call in order to benefit their existing positions or pending orders,” Fideres concluded. “The behaviour of the gold price is very suspicious in 50 per cent of cases. This is not something you would expect to see if you take into account normal market factors,“ said Alberto Thomas, a partner at Fideres. Alasdair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney, a dealer in physical gold, added: “When the banks fix the price, the advantage they have is that they know what orders they have in the pocket.” BaFin, the German regulator, has launched an investigation into gold-price manipulation and demanded documents from Deutsche Bank. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is also examining how the price of gold and other precious metals is set as part of a wider probe into benchmark manipulation following findings of wrongdoing with respect to Libor and similar allegations with respect to the foreign exchange market.

Important Note: The above article was removed from the Financial Times website just two days after it was posted. How strange. To read the full article on another website, click here. And for a BBC article which shows how the Rothschilds fixed gold prices in the past, click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:46:10
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/libor-scandal/10654977/Fed-knew-about-Libo...

The US Federal Reserve knew about Libor rigging three years before the financial scandal exploded but did not take any firm action, documents have revealed. According to newly published transcripts of the central bank’s meetings in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a senior Fed official first flagged the issue at a policy meeting in April 2008. William Dudley expressed fears that banks were being dishonest in the way they were calculating the London interbank offered rate – a global benchmark interest rate used as the basis for trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts. Three years after his remarks, it emerged that traders at more than a dozen banks, including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, had routinely been trying to fix the official Libor rate in order to boost their own bonuses and profits. The transcript of the Fed’s April 2008 meeting raises questions about why the central bank did not move to properly tackle the scandal. There was no official regulator for Libor at the time, and officials at the US Federal Reserve tried to blame British authorities for allowing the benchmark interest rate to get out of control in the first place. The Fed declined to comment on the transcripts or why it had not taken firm action..

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




How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
2014-02-24, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:44:41
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

Western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. Today, [The Intercept is] publishing [a document from GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group], entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups. Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government.

Note: To see a guidebook developed by intelligence agencies full of charts and information on how to infiltrate and deceive the public, click here. The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. Note that Greenwald fails to mention that Sunstein's almost exclusive focus was on "conspiracy theories" advocated by the 9/11 truth movement. For more on his call for what amounts to a new COINTELPRO, see David Ray Griffin's book Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.




Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ
2014-02-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:42:51
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-...

Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally. Yahoo ... denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of "a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy". Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. The system, eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, was used for experiments in automated facial recognition, to monitor GCHQ's existing targets, and to discover new targets of interest. Such searches could be used to try to find terror suspects or criminals making use of multiple, anonymous user IDs. Rather than collecting webcam chats in their entirety, the program saved one image every five minutes from the users' feeds ... to avoid overloading GCHQ's servers. The documents describe these users as "unselected" – intelligence agency parlance for bulk rather than targeted collection.

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




Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan?
2014-02-25, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:41:23
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/25/tried-silence-drone-victim-kare...

In the early morning hours of February 5, a group of armed men – some dressed in Pakistani police uniforms – appeared at Kareem Khan’s home, awoke him and his family at gunpoint, and took him away in an unmarked vehicle. Khan was hooded, shackled around the wrists and ankles, and driven for hours, eventually arriving at a building where he was thrown into a windowless holding cell. There he stayed for more than a week, during which he was subjected to sensory deprivation and physical abuse. Khan says he was repeatedly beaten on the soles of his feet and threatened with death by his captors. He was kept hooded and shackled for most of the day, and fed only dry bread and water. Khan has no doubts about why he was targeted. He is the first person to attempt a legal challenge to the CIA drone program in Pakistan, after his son and brother were killed in a drone strike near his home in North Waziristan on December 31st 2009. His abduction and detention occurred just over a week before Khan was to travel with [his Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad] Akbar and Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer with the UK-based legal charity Reprieve, to speak with European parliamentarians about the CIA drone program. Among the topics of discussion were the extralegal nature of the program, as well as covert intelligence sharing by European spy agencies. While in captivity, Khan was interrogated by men who refused to identify themselves, and who questioned him repeatedly about his plans to speak with the media and about the cases of others who had been killed by drones. Since the start of the “War on Terror” it has been estimated by local human rights groups that as many as 8,000 Pakistani citizens have been “disappeared” by local intelligence agencies, often at the behest of their American counterparts.

Note: The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. For more on the atrocities committed by the US and UK in the illegal "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
2014-02-12, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:39:39
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the...

It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years. Wall Street had spent much of that era arguing that America's banks needed to become bigger and badder, in order to compete globally with the German and Japanese-style financial giants. Bank lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or "modifying," as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and broker. Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America. The [bill] additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is "complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally." Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and ... aluminum.

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




Trans-Pacific Partnership: a guide to the most contentious issues
2013-12-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:38:05
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/trans-pacific-partnership-a-guid...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is being negotiated in Singapore this week between Australia, New Zealand, the US, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. The countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$28,136bn on 2012 figures, which represents almost 40% of the world’s GDP. There have been many contentious issues around the TPP: critics are particularly concerned about the secrecy around the agreement given it has the capacity to change many local laws and regulations. The majority of public criticism has centred on arguments relating to intellectual property and the cost of medicines, though many have concerns about environmental issues including climate change, investment, e-commerce and labour laws. The US has been rigid in its demands for stronger intellectual property protection to champion the rights of its global giants such as IT companies and its film and music industries. The US position on [the] investor-state dispute settlement provision ... grants foreign companies the right to sue [a] government under international law. All countries accepted there needed to be agreement on privacy obligations with regard to information-sharing, apart from the US, which reserved its position on privacy. The US position has left people wondering whether the TPP will undermine privacy, particularly in the wake of the NSA revelations from the Snowden documents. There appear to be deep divisions on environment and climate change, with the US and Australia opposing any extension of the text on climate matters.

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




Silver makes antibiotics thousands of times more effective
2013-06-19, Nature Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:36:26
http://www.nature.com/news/silver-makes-antibiotics-thousands-of-times-more-e...

Bacteria have a weakness: silver. The precious metal has been used to fight infection for thousands of years — Hippocrates first described its antimicrobial properties in 400 BC — but how it works has been a mystery. Now, a team led by James Collins, a biomedical engineer at Boston University in Massachusetts, has described how silver can disrupt bacteria, and shown that the ancient treatment could help to deal with the thoroughly modern scourge of antibiotic resistance. Collins and his team found that silver — in the form of dissolved ions — attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: [silver] makes the cell membrane more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism, leading to the overproduction of reactive, and often toxic, oxygen compounds. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins says. Many antibiotics are thought to kill their targets by producing reactive oxygen compounds, and Collins and his team showed that when boosted with a small amount of silver these drugs could kill between 10 and 1,000 times as many bacteria. The increased membrane permeability also allows more antibiotics to enter the bacterial cells, which may overwhelm the resistance mechanisms that rely on shuttling the drug back out. That disruption to the cell membrane also increased the effectiveness of vancomycin, a large-molecule antibiotic, on Gram-negative bacteria — which have a protective outer coating. Gram-negative bacterial cells can often be impenetrable to antibiotics made of larger molecules.

Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Inmates at Parramatta Girls Home subjected to 'state-sanctioned rape'
2014-02-26, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:34:55
http://www.smh.com.au/national/inmates-at-parramatta-girls-home-subjected-to-...

Girls as young as 18 months who came into contact with the [New South Wales, Australia] child welfare authorities from the 1930s onwards were routinely tested for venereal disease and evidence of sexual activity. If they were found, on the basis of a spurious vaginal examination, to have been sexually active, from the age of 10 upwards they could be sent to the Parramatta Girls Home where they were exposed to ''state-sanctioned rape'' perpetrated by doctors, supervising staff and other inmates. The notorious detention centre for girls, which shut down after public outcry in 1974, is the focus of hearings for the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Harrowing testimony is expected as 10 women, who were among the thousands detained in the home or at the associated Institution for Girls at Hay during the period of 1950-1974, take the stand to tell their stories. In the 2005 book Orphans of the Living by Joanna Penglase, a NSW departmental field officer told Dr Penglase how girls picked up on vague grounds of being ''exposed to moral danger'' were subjected to vaginal examinations. Despite having no scientific basis, this test could be used to assign a girl to the Parramatta home, wrote Dr Penglase, who called it state-sanctioned rape. ''Regardless of whether she claimed she had been abused by a parent or foster carer or [someone else], she was seen to be guilty,'' said Bonney Djuric, who was sent to the Parramatta home in 1970 and founded a support network for former inmates, Parragirls, in 2006. ''For many girls having this examination was essentially their first sexual experience, if you can call it that,'' Ms Djuric said. ''Being raped by having a metal object inserted is something you never forget.''

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




How paedophiles infiltrated the left and hijacked the fight for civil rights
2014-03-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:33:05
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/02/how-paedophiles-infiltrated-t...

How did the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) [become so influential in the 1970s]? "It was an extraordinarily liberal period," said Harry Fletcher, a criminal justice expert who at the time was the senior social worker for the National Council for One Parent Families. People were pushing at every boundary – sexual, moral, legal. Many on the left thought that criminalising sexual behaviour between consenting teenagers was misguided and wanted it lowered to 14, a proposal endorsed by the NCCL's [National Council for Civil Liberties] executive committee. Others, like Fletcher, felt such a move would give a licence to older men to prey on young girls. Into this permissive climate crept the PIE, a group that actively promoted sex between children and adults and that was allowed not only to affiliate to the NCCL ... but enjoyed considerable recognition and support for its right to speak out on such issues. The group inveigled itself so successfully into the NCCL that, as reported in the May 1978 edition of its magazine MagPIE, the council's annual meeting passed a motion in support of PIE's rights. Admittedly, any group could join the NCCL, which had more than 1,000 affiliate member organisations and the council's motion probably owed more to defending the principle of free speech than defending PIE. And it would be wrong to portray PIE as a major force. Being small, comprising only a handful of activists and with a membership estimated to be between 300 and 1,000, PIE was not a powerful voice at a time when the main debates within the council were about sexual equality and race relations. But its views were so profoundly abhorrent to most of Britain that it is still hard to see why the council did not do more to disown PIE from the start.

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




Bikers Against Child Abuse: International Organization Comprised Of Bikers Supports And Protects Victims Of Child Abuse
2012-07-19, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:30:20
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/bikers-against-child-abuse_n_1681351...

When children who have been the victims of abuse hear the approaching roar of a group called the Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), they know they've got back-up. BACA, an international non-profit that uses a biker's tough image to make child abuse victims feel more secure, has a motto that says it all: 'No child deserves to live in fear.' BACA members are usually asked to intervene by local law enforcement officials or even by a parent. According to the group's mission statement, members will do everything from attending a child's court hearings to actually staying with a victim if he/she is afraid. “Our mission is to empower these children, allow them not to be afraid of the world, to stand up to the abuser and say you can’t do that me. I’ve got friends, I got backup; if you try to do that to me, you’re going to have go through us,” the Missouri chapter public relations officer, Mopar (the members use ride names for security purposes) told Columbia Magazine. Bikers Against Child Abuse was founded in 1995 by a Native American child psychologist whose ride name is Chief, when he came across a young boy who had been subjected to extreme abuse and was too afraid to leave his house. He called the boy to reach out to him, but the only thing that seemed to interest the child was Chief's bike. Soon, some 20 bikers went to the boy's neighborhood and were able to draw him out of his house for the first time in weeks. Chief's thesis was that a child who has been abused by an adult can benefit psychologically from the presence of even more intimidating adults that they know are on their side.

Note: For a short video on this highly unusual group, click here. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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