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.
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How did Alexander Shulgin become known as the Godfather of Ecstasy?
2014-06-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-06-09 08:03:18
The explosion of dance music culture during the late '80s and early '90s conferred fame on some unlikely people, but few were quite as unlikely as Alexander Shulgin, who died on 2 June at his home in California at the age of 88. He was nearly 70 by the time he became known as the Godfather of Ecstasy, a title that made it sound like he had invented MDMA, which he hadn't: Shulgin had only introduced the drug to west coast psychotherapists in the late 70s. But, he had created more than 200 psychoactive compounds in his home laboratory, tested them all on himself and his wife and written about them in a 1991 book titled Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved. The combination of the book, his association with ecstasy, and that drug's burgeoning popularity made him a hugely celebrated figure. Shulgin thought all drugs should be legalised, but he seemed about as far removed from the bug-eyed psychedelic proselyte of popular myth as it was possible to get. His writing was measured, calm and witty. He did not court the attention of the rave generation. If anything, he seemed faintly exasperated by the way MDMA was being used. "Go banging about with a psychedelic drug for a Saturday night turn-on, and you can get into a really bad place, psychologically," he had warned. Later he was to lament that MDMA had been "sidetracked into the Yahoo generation". None of the drugs Shulgin invented became as famous as the one he didn't. In the late '90s, there was talk that a compound called 2CB was "the new ecstasy" but it never attained the ubiquity of E. Nevertheless, Shulgin's legend was assured.
Note: To see Shulgin's fun and iconoclastic character, watch this fun four-minute video. Explore major media articles showing breakthroughs in therapy from an excellent compilation of news articles on mind altering drugs. And read the personal journey to healing of courageous CNN reporter Amber Lyon using these "medicines."
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity needs better diagnosis standards
2014-06-03, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-06-09 08:01:46
Why are Americans spending billions on gluten-free products? Is it just a fad or does it make a difference? Perhaps the latter. Several of my patients avoid gluten without any apparent need to do so, and they are convinced their health has improved. One told me that her abdominal bloating, gas and pain have improved. Another says her skin cleared up, and she no longer retains water. Another claims that her "brain fog" is gone, and still another believes that her chronic neck pain due to muscle tension has improved significantly. What are they self-treating? None of them has celiac disease [or] a wheat allergy. They suffer from a syndrome that has yet to be clearly defined. The term "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" (NCGS) appears to be gaining traction. NCGS is what we call a "clinical diagnosis," a syndrome defined by symptoms alone, not by tissue biopsy or blood test. What are the symptoms of NCGS? Abdominal pain, eczema and/or rash, headache, "foggy mind," fatigue, diarrhea, depression, extremity numbness and joint pain. There is nothing unique about these symptoms, which occur in many other conditions. Though the small intestine of those with NCGS looks normal, symptoms appear to go away when gluten is removed from the diet and reappear when gluten is reintroduced. Ultimately, a powerful medical group, such as the American Gastroenterological Association, needs to issue criteria by which someone can be said to have gluten sensitivity.
Note: Some speculate that modern wheat strains, GMOs, and processing methods are behind the increase in gluten sensitivity. For more on this, see this merocla.com article and this article on the history of wheat.
Portions of 9/11 victims’ remains taken to landfill, report says
2012-02-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-06-09 08:00:00
Some human remains recovered from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa., were incinerated and dumped in a landfill, the Defense Department said ... in the latest revelation about mishandled body parts at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary. A new Pentagon review of the troubled mortuary disclosed several other problems — including fresh allegations of fraud and misplaced remains — over the past decade. The report said that the Sept. 11 remains in question “could not be tested or identified,” apparently because they were too small or charred to allow for DNA analysis. The remains were cremated and then mixed with biomedical waste at the Dover mortuary, where they were given to a contractor who incinerated them and dumped the residue in a landfill. The report cites Army and Air Force memos from July and August 2002 directing that an unspecified number of “remains from the Attack on the Pentagon” be incinerated. The report indicates that unidentified remains from the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, were disposed of in a similar manner. But the Pennsylvania coroner who oversaw the handling of remains from that attack said no body parts from Shanksville were ever sent to Dover or taken to a landfill. Wallace Miller, the Somerset, Pa., county coroner, said in news reports on Tuesday that all unidentified remains from Shanksville were buried in three caskets on Sept. 12 at a memorial site for Flight 93 as part of the 10th anniversary of the hijacking.
Note: Why would the Pentagon order the remains incinerated? Could it be they don't want an forensic investigation of the remains as they are not what is claimed? For more on the 9/11 cover-up, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds
2014-06-05, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-06-09 07:58:16
Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough. Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection. Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases. The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system. "It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California. "And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting. Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system." Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Leon Logothetis' trip around the world on the currency of kindness
2013-12-27, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-06-09 07:56:48
I just got home from a four-month-long around-the-world trip. When I left Los Angeles on my motorcycle on Aug. 10, I took almost nothing with me, except hope. My pockets were empty. I had no money, nothing, really, to offer those I met along the way except my story and my gratitude for their kindness in providing me with food, shelter and money for gasoline. My trip took me across the United States and to and through 19 countries, from the Hollywood sign to the plains of Nebraska, to the streets of Pittsburgh, to the shores of Lake Como, Italy, to the slums of India, to the ecstasy of Bhutan and into the rigors of Vietnam. I crossed two oceans and thousands of miles on sometimes terrible roads. I faced rejection, exhaustion and the constant challenge of making my way in a sometimes unfriendly world. Now, 28,000 miles later, I have returned to Los Angeles, a much richer man than when I left. It sounds crazy, I know. I found a world that is much saner than I expected, and I found myself much more centered because I was concentrating on connections with people, not accumulation of things. I found my heart. Traveling the world on kindness, carried by a 1978 Chang Jiang motorcycle with a BMW motor, was a monster undertaking. Under my rules, I didn't carry any money and I couldn't accept any. I had to rely on the goodness of humankind. This is how I approached it: I would go up to people and explain what I was doing. I would tell them I needed a place to stay or some gas or a meal. Sometimes the rejection was hard to take. But then I would encounter that person who was willing to reach out his hand and help me.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns' message to gay teens is heartfelt, resonating
2010-10-15, Dallas Morning News (One of Dallas' leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-06-09 07:55:10
If the now-viral video of Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns' extraordinary address during an otherwise routine meeting ... does not move you to tears, you surely have a tough, leathery little peanut for a heart. Burns, who is gay, spoke directly to young victims of anti-gay bullying. He shared his own teenage experience of ugly, mindless victimization, and he made the promise to kids enduring similar torment: "It gets better." That's "It Gets Better" - with caps - since it's the name for an informal online video project of adults sharing their coming-out stories to teens who are struggling with their sexual orientation and especially vulnerable to harassment. Burns' statement ... could save somebody's life. It might already have [done so]. Burns first showed photos and told stories of a half-dozen teens whose recent suicides have been linked to ridicule they received for being - or being thought to be - gay. As cruel as these stories are, they are the most poignant evidence there is against the absurd notion that sexual orientation is a "lifestyle choice" instead of a biological reality. Burns deliberately sought the attention of scared, isolated kids who fear their misery is permanent. "I know that life can seem unbearable … but I want you to know that it gets better," he said. "You will get out of the household that doesn't accept you. You will get out of that high school, and you don't ever have to deal with those jerks again, if you don't want to."
Note: For the beautiful, touching 12-minute video where this courageous city council member talks about stopping school bullying which is killing innocent children, click here. And watch a touching seven-minute video about a very tough decision made by a caring couple about the gender of their child. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Meet the New Heroes: Muhammad Yunus
Posted: 2014-06-09 07:53:31
Muhammad Yunus has had phenomenal success helping people lift themselves out of poverty in rural Bangladesh by providing them with credit without requiring collateral. Yunus developed his revolutionary micro-credit system with the belief that it would be a cost effective and scalable weapon to fight poverty. Yunus told his story and that of the bank in the book Banker to the Poor, co-authored [with] Alan Jolis. In the book, Yunus recalls that in 1974 he was teaching economics at Chittagong University in southern Bangladesh, when the country experienced a terrible famine in which thousands starved to death. As the famine worsened he began to dread his own lectures. "Nothing in the economic theories I taught reflected the life around me. How could I go on telling my students make believe stories in the name of economics? I needed to run away from these theories and from my textbooks and discover the real-life economics of a poor person's existence." Yunus went to the nearby village of Jobra where he learned the economic realities of the poor. Grameen Bank was born and an economic revolution had begun. The bank has provided $4.7 billion dollars to 4.4 million families in rural Bangladesh. With 1,417 branches, Grameen provides services in 51,000 villages, covering three quarters of all the villages in Bangladesh. Today, more than 250 institutions in nearly 100 countries operate micro-credit programs based on the Grameen Bank model, while thousands of other micro-credit programs have emulated, adapted or been inspired by the Grameen Bank.
Note: For lots more on this courageous pioneer and his great work, click here and here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders
2014-05-26, NPR blog
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:07:25
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain. The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. The new program will fund development of high-tech implanted devices able to both monitor and electrically stimulate specific brain circuits. The effort will be led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital. The UCSF team will begin its work by studying volunteers who already have probes in their brains as part of treatment for epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. That will allow researchers to "record directly from the brain at a level of resolution that's never [been] done before," says Eddie Chang, a neurosurgeon at UCSF. And because many of the volunteers also have depression, anxiety and other problems, it should be possible to figure out how these conditions have changed specific circuits in the brain, Chang says. The scientists ... hope to design tiny electronic implants that can stimulate the cells in faulty brain circuits. "We know that once you start putting stimulation into the brain, the brain will change in response," Chang says.
Note: Do we really want the military implanting chips in people's brains? What other behavior might they want to control? For more on microchip implants, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
IMF chief says banks haven't changed since financial crisis
2014-05-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:06:11
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, told an audience in London that six years on from the deep financial crisis that engulfed the global economy, banks were resisting reform and still too focused on excessive risk taking to secure their bonuses at the expense of public trust. She said: "The behaviour of the financial sector has not changed fundamentally in a number of dimensions since the crisis. The industry still prizes short-term profit over long-term prudence, today's bonus over tomorrow's relationship. Some prominent firms have even been mired in scandals that violate the most basic ethical norms - Libor and foreign exchange rigging, money laundering, illegal foreclosure." Lagarde warned the too-big-to-fail problem among some of the world's largest financial institutions was still unresolved and remained a major source of systematic risk, with implicit subsidies of $70bn (£42bn) in the US, and up to $300bn in the eurozone. Lagarde said international progress to reform the financial system was too slow. Lagarde told [the] conference that rising inequality was also a barrier to growth, and could undermine democracy and human rights. The issue has risen up the agenda in recent months with the publication of the French economist Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. "One of the leading economic stories of our time is rising income inequality, and the dark shadow it casts across the global economy," Lagarde said.
Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Europe's Secret Success
2014-05-26, New York Times
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:04:04
European economies, France in particular, get very bad press in America. Our political discourse is dominated by reverse Robin-Hoodism — the belief that economic success depends on being nice to the rich, who won’t create jobs if they are heavily taxed, and nasty to ordinary workers, who won’t accept jobs unless they have no alternative. And according to this ideology, Europe — with its high taxes and generous welfare states — does everything wrong. So Europe’s economic system must be collapsing, and a lot of reporting simply states the postulated collapse as a fact. The reality, however, is very different. Yes, Southern Europe is experiencing an economic crisis thanks to [a money muddle caused by Europe's premature adoption of a single currency]. But Northern European nations, France included, have done far better [than America]. French adults in their prime working years (25 to 54) are substantially more likely to have jobs than their U.S. counterparts. France’s prime-age employment rate overtook America’s early in the Bush administration. Other European nations with big welfare states, like Sweden and the Netherlands, do even better. On the core issue of providing jobs for people who really should be working, at this point old Europe is beating us hands down despite social benefits and regulations that, according to free-market ideologues, should be hugely job-destroying.
Note: For more on the collusion of the US government with financial corporations to maintain their profitability, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Despite Obama's new rules, no end in sight for drone war
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:02:39
A year after Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, U.S. forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them: to strike only when there is an imminent threat to Americans and when there is virtually no danger of taking innocent lives. Although Obama promised greater transparency in his speech at the National Defense University, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly critical of the secrecy surrounding the operations. There are growing concerns in Washington that the net effect of the targeted-killing program may be counterproductive. [Obama] is showing no sign of relinquishing what has become his counterterrorism weapon of choice since he took office in 2009. Drones are spreading to new areas ... in far-flung places like Somalia and in Nigeria. "Here we are, a year later, asking 'what has really changed?'" said University of Notre Dame law professor Mary Ellen O'Connell, a leading expert on extrajudicial killings who has testified before U.S. congressional committees. "The drones are still flying and the president still sees the attractiveness of this cold and antiseptic means of killing." Obama's vision of shifting control of the drone program from the shadowy paramilitary arm of the Central Intelligence Agency to the more publicly accountable Pentagon is moving at what one national security source described as a "glacial pace." The Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command is widely believed to have been behind the December 12 drone strike in a remote part of Yemen that hit a convoy later identified as a wedding procession, killing 15 people.
Note: For more on the expansion of drones in skies worldwide, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Edward Snowden responds to release of e-mail by U.S. officials
2014-05-29, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:01:15
Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden responded to questions from The Washington Post following the release of an e-mail he had sent while working for the National Security Agency. Q: How do you respond to today’s NSA statement and the release of your email with the Office of General Counsel? A: The NSA’s new discovery of written contact between me and its lawyers - after more than a year of denying any such contact existed - raises serious concerns. It reveals as false the NSA’s claim ... that “after extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention.” Today’s release is incomplete, and does not include my correspondence with the Signals Intelligence Directorate’s Office of Compliance. [But] whether my disclosures were justified does not depend on whether I raised these concerns previously. That’s because the system is designed to ensure that even the most valid concerns are suppressed and ignored, not acted upon. The fact that two powerful Democratic Senators - Ron Wyden and Mark Udall - knew of mass surveillance that they believed was abusive and felt constrained [not] to do anything about it underscores how futile such internal action is -- and will remain -- until these processes are reformed. Still, the fact is that I did raise such concerns both verbally and in writing, and on multiple, continuing occasions - as I have always said.
Note: For more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
NBC Censors Snowden’s Critical 9/11 Comments From Prime Time Audience
2014-05-30, Global Research
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:58:03
Statements made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden regarding the 9/11 terror attacks were edited out of his NBC Nightly News interview with Brian Williams ... in what appears to be an attempt to bolster legitimacy for the agency’s controversial surveillance programs. Snowden’s comments surrounding the failure of dragnet surveillance in stopping the 9/11 attacks were censored from the prime time broadcast and instead buried in an hour long clip on NBC’s website. "The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.” NBC’s decision to bury Snowden’s comments are unsurprising given the fact that the 9/11 attacks are exhaustively used by the federal government as the prime justification for surveilling millions of innocent Americans. Snowden remarked on the government’s prior knowledge of the accused Boston bombers as well, also cut from the prime time interview. ‘We’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name,” Snowden said. Despite ... government officials pointing to 9/11 foreknowledge, whether missed or ignored, establishment media outlets have continually worked to keep such voices out of relevant reporting.
Note: We've never used globalresearch.ca as a top source respected by the general public, but as none of the major media is covering this critical information, we are making an exception here. For more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong
2014-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:55:46
On the Today show and CBS, [Sec. of State John Kerry] said [Edward] Snowden "should man up and come back to the United States" to face charges. But John Kerry is wrong. As Snowden told Brian Williams on NBC later that night, ... he would have no chance whatsoever to come home and make his case – in public or in court. Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, ... probably [for] the rest of his life. The current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing. The other NSA whistleblower prosecuted, Thomas Drake, was barred from uttering the words "whistleblowing" and "overclassification" in his trial. In the recent case of the State Department contractor Stephen Kim, the presiding judge ruled the prosecution "need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage US national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially." Without reform to the Espionage Act that lets a court hear a public interest defense – or a challenge to the appropriateness of government secrecy in each particular case – Snowden and future Snowdens can and will only be able to "make their case" from outside the United States. Snowden acted in full knowledge of the constitutionally questionable efforts of the Obama administration, in particular, to use the Espionage Act in a way it was never intended by Congress: as the equivalent of a British-type Official Secrets Act criminalizing any and all unauthorized release of classified information.
Note: or more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
End Mass Incarceration Now
2014-05-25, New York Times
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:54:03
For more than a decade, researchers across multiple disciplines have been issuing reports on the widespread societal and economic damage caused by America’s now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens. Several recent reports provide some of the most comprehensive and compelling proof yet that the United States “has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits,” and that mass incarceration itself is “a source of injustice.” That is the central conclusion of a two-year, 444-page study prepared by the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The report highlights many well-known statistics: Since the early 1970s, the nation’s prison population has quadrupled to 2.2 million, making it the world’s biggest. That is five to 10 times the incarceration rate in other democracies. A report by Human Rights Watch notes that ... “in its embrace of incarceration, the [US] seems to have forgotten just how severe a punishment it is.” The severity is evident in the devastation wrought on America’s poorest and least educated, destroying neighborhoods and families. From 1980 to 2000, the number of children with fathers in prison rose from 350,000 to 2.1 million. Since race and poverty overlap so significantly, the weight of our criminal justice experiment continues to fall overwhelmingly on communities of color, and particularly on young black men. After prison, people are sent back to the impoverished places they came from, but are blocked from re-entering society.
Note: For more on the prison-industrial complex in the US, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
2014-05-12, NBC News
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:52:32
A Florida couple who retired from their management jobs to care for the poor vowed ... to wage a tenacious legal fight days after being fined more than $300 each for violating a local law. Debbie and Chico Jimenez openly admit committing the act that earned them two citations apiece: feeding more than 100 people who are homeless in Daytona Beach. Police in Daytona Beach also threatened them with arrest and incarceration, if they offer any more of their home-cooked meals at Manatee Island Park, a gathering the Jimenezes say they’ve hosted every Wednesday for the past year. Debbie Jimenez, 52, a retired auto parts store manager ... and her husband, 60, a retired construction manager, operate [the] New Smyrna Beach-based ministry called Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word. “We were given 10 days to either pay the fine or tell them we're going to court. We’re going to court. The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t,” [Debbie Jimenez said]. In all, police officers ticketed six people, including four volunteers who helped the Jimenezes on Wednesday – one of them, a man in a wheelchair who recently escaped homelessness and participated “to pay it forward,” Debbie Jimenez said. The fines levied by authorities total $2,238. Daytona Beach is not alone among cities that formally and legally restrict non-governmental individuals who seek to share food with homeless people in public or private spaces, according to a report co-released by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
10 companies profiting most from war
2012-02-28, Market Watch/24-7 Wall St
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:51:04
Global sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest defense contractors increased in 2010 to $411.1 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The increase reflects a decade-long trend of growing military spending. Since 2002, total arms sales among the 100 largest arms manufacturers have increased 60%. More and more, battles are fought remotely through air surveillance and strikes rather than on-the-ground combat. As a consequence, seven of the 10 largest companies are among the leading aerospace companies. Surveillance and battlefield communications also are increasingly important in modern warfare. All of the companies in the top 10 have significant electronics divisions. Of the 100 companies on the list, 44 are based in the U.S. The American companies account for more than 60% of arms sales revenue of the 100 manufacturers. Seven of SIPRI’s top 10 are American, one is British, one is Italian and one is a multinational EU conglomerate. These are the 10 companies profiting most from war. 10. United Technologies. Arms sales 2010: $11.41 billion 9. L-3 Communications. Arms sales 2010: $13.07 billion 8. Finmeccanica. Arms sales 2010: $14.41 billion 7. EADS. Arms sales 2010: $16.36 billion 6. Raytheon. Arms sales 2010: $22.98 billion 5. General Dynamics. Arms sales in 2010: $23.9 billion 4. Northrop Grumman. Arms sales 2010: $28.15 billion 3. Boeing. Arms sales 2010: $31.36 billion 2. BAE Systems. Arms sales 2010: $32.88 billion 1. Lockheed Martin. Arms sales 2010: $35.73 billion.
Note: For the top 10 most expensive weapons, including the $326 billion F35 fighter, click here.
Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No
2011-12-21, New York Times
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:49:12
If you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, [you should] vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer. [This] information ... about a constitutional doctrine called “jury nullification” is absolutely true. But if federal prosecutors in New York get their way, telling the truth to potential jurors could result in a six-month prison sentence. Earlier this year, prosecutors charged Julian P. Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor, with jury tampering because he stood outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan providing information about jury nullification to passers-by. The prosecutors in this case are wrong. The First Amendment exists to protect speech like this — honest information that the government prefers citizens not know. Laws against jury tampering are intended to deter people from threatening or intimidating jurors. To contort these laws to justify punishing Mr. Heicklen, [is] unconstitutional. Jury nullification is not new; its proponents have included John Hancock and John Adams. The doctrine is premised on the idea that ordinary citizens, not government officials, should have the final say as to whether a person should be punished. As Adams put it, it is each juror’s “duty” to vote based on his or her “own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”
Note: For more on the important, yet little-known right of jury nullification, click here.
Former NSA executive Thomas A. Drake may pay high price for media leak
2010-07-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:47:29
For seven years, Thomas A. Drake was a senior executive at the nation's largest intelligence organization with an ambition to change its insular culture. He had access to classified programs that purported to help the National Security Agency tackle its toughest challenges. Today, he wears a blue T-shirt and answers questions about iPhones at an Apple store in the Washington area. He is awaiting trial in a criminal media leak case that could send him to prison for 35 years. In his years at the NSA, Drake grew disillusioned, then indignant, about what he saw as waste, mismanagement and a willingness to compromise Americans' privacy without enhancing security. He first tried the sanctioned methods -- going to his superiors, inspectors general, Congress. Finally, in frustration, he turned to the "nuclear option": leaking to the media. Drake, 53, may pay a high price for going nuclear. In April he was indicted, accused of mishandling classified information and obstructing justice. His supporters consider him a patriotic whistleblower targeted by an Obama administration bent on sealing leaks and on having something to show for an investigation that spans two presidencies. What led Drake to this point, friends and others say, is a belief that his actions were justified if they forced such a powerful and secretive agency to be held accountable. "He tried to have his concerns heard and nobody really wanted to listen," said Nina Ginsberg, an attorney.
Note: On June 9, 2011, all ten original charges against Thomas A Drake were dropped and he was not incarcerated, yet it is cases like this that keep people like Edward Snowden from making his case in US courts.
Dolphins Guide Scientists to Rescue Suicidal Girl
2014-05-29, National Geographic
Posted: 2014-06-02 10:45:19
My research team and I were following a school of bottlenose dolphins near shore ... off Los Angeles, California. The dolphins were still feeding in circle near shore, when suddenly, one individual changed direction heading out toward deeper water. A minute later, the rest of the school turned to follow. Seeing them abruptly leave a foraging ground and change direction came as a surprise to the research team. I decided to follow them. The dolphins increased their speed. Somewhere near three miles offshore the dolphin group stopped, forming a sort of ring around a dark object in the water. “Someone’s in the water!” yelled my assistant, standing up and pointing at the seemingly lifeless body of a girl. As the boat neared, she feebly turned her head toward us, half-raising her hand as a weak sign for help. If we didn’t act immediately, the girl would die. We [pulled] the frail and hypothermic body on board. “She is cyanotic,” said one of my researchers, also a lifeguard, after a cursory examination. “She has severe hypothermia. We need to get her warm!” We managed to get some of her wet garments off and wrap her in a blanket. We took turns keeping her warm by huddling with her under the blanket. A couple of hours later, we were all waiting outside the emergency room at the Marina del Rey hospital. The ER doctor came out to talk with us. The girl, it seems, would pull through, and he thanked us for our quick action. He tells us the girl was vacationing in L.A. from Germany and, as the letter found in her plastic bag explained, she was attempting suicide. If we hadn’t found her, if the dolphins hadn’t led us offshore when they did, to that specific place, she would have died.
Note: This article has been adapted from the book Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. For more on the amazing capacities of dolphins and other marine mammals, as well as the threats they face from human activities, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
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