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.

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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




The heir, the judge and the homeless mom: America's prison bias for the 1%
2014-04-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:36:20
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/02/dupont-heir-homeless-mom...

In 2009, when Robert H Richard IV, an unemployed heir to the DuPont family fortune, pled guilty to fourth-degree rape of his three-year-old daughter, a judge spared him a justifiable sentence – indeed, only put Richard on probation – because she figured this 1-percenter would "not fare well" in a prison setting. Richard’s ex-wife filed a new lawsuit accusing him of also sexually abusing their son. Since then, the original verdict has been fueling some angry speculation ... that the defendant's wealth and status may have played a role in his lenient sentencing. Inequality defines our criminal justice system just as it defines our society. It always has and it always will until we do something about it. America incarcerates more people than any other country on the planet, with over 2m currently in prison and more than 7m under some form of correctional supervision. More than 60% are racial and ethnic minorities, and the vast majority are poor. There is an abundance of evidence ... that both conscious and unconscious bias permeate every aspect of the criminal justice system, from arrests to sentencing and beyond. Unsurprisingly, this bias works in favor of wealthy (and white) defendants, while poor minorities routinely suffer. In August of last year the Sentencing Project, a non-profit devoted to criminal justice reform, released a comprehensive report on bias in the system. This is the sentence you need to remember: "The United States in effect operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and minorities."

Note: For more on systemic injustice within the US prison/industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Venezuela: A Call for Peace
2014-04-02, New York Times
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:34:36
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/opinion/venezuela-a-call-for-peace.html

Venezuelans ... have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people. According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent. We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil. Since 1998, the movement founded by Hugo Chávez has won more than a dozen presidential, parliamentary and local elections through an electoral process that former American President Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.” Recently, the United Socialist Party received an overwhelming mandate in mayoral elections in December 2013, winning 255 out of 337 municipalities. Popular participation in politics in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past decade. The claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people.

Note: This article was written by Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela. We have long observed a strong media bias against Venezuela. Thanks to the New York Times for finally printing an article in support of this country which, despite its problems, has made remarkable strides in recent years.




BlackLight Power, Inc. Announces Sustained Production of Electricity Using Photovoltaic Conversion of Millions of Watts of Brilliant Plasma
2014-04-03, Yahoo News
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:31:17
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/blacklight-power-inc-announces-sustained-201700...

BlackLight Power, Inc. [has] achieved sustained electricity production from a primary new energy source by using photovoltaic technology to transform brilliant plasma, with power comprising millions of watts of light, directly into electricity. By applying a very high current through its proprietary water-based solid fuel in BlackLight Power’s breakthrough Solid Fuel-Catalyst-Induced-Hydrino-Transition (SF-CIHT) technology, water ignites into brilliant plasma, a ... bright flash of extraordinary optical power that has a power density of over 1,000,000 times that of any prior controllable reaction. BlackLight Power has now successfully converted the brilliant plasma directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells (solar cells). Simply replacing the consumed H2O regenerated the fuel, and the fuel can be continuously fed into the electrodes to continuously output optical power that can be converted into electricity. [This] safe, non-polluting power-producing system catalytically converts the hydrogen of the H2O-based solid fuel into a non-polluting ... lower-energy state hydrogen called “Hydrino,” by allowing the electrons to fall to smaller radii around the nucleus. The energy release is 200 times that of burning the equivalent amount of hydrogen with oxygen. Using readily-available components, BlackLight has developed a system engineering design of an electric generator that is closed, except for the addition of H2O fuel, and generates ten million watts of electricity, enough to power ten thousand homes. Remarkably, the device is less than a cubic foot in volume.

Note: How strange that the major media are not picking up on this story of major proportions. For a 2008 CNN article showing Blacklight had attracted $60 million and was no longer seeking funding, click here. For more on Blacklight Power, click here. For more evaluation of this development, click here.




The 3 best plants to clean your air
2014-04-03, The Intelligent Optimist
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:29:51
http://theoptimist.com/3-best-plants-clean-air/#!CRsQt

The world’s air quality is deplorable. You don’t have to look far to find examples of how bad it is. Harder to find are solutions to this problem. Government mandates and clean air initiatives help the goal of reducing greenhouse gases on a larger scale, but these measures do little to help improve the quality of air that you’re breathing right now. [Here is information about] three plants that create enough oxygen to keep you alive, even if you’re sitting with them inside a sealed container, though we don’t suggest you try that. Dypsis lutescens [or] bamboo palm: In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the air and replacing it with oxygen, the bamboo palm filters out air particles that can be dangerous when inhaled. The main particles the bamboo palm removes from the air are xylene, a byproduct of the petroleum and chemical industries, and toluene, a component of car exhaust. It is recommended to have 4 shoulder high palms per person in your house. Sansevieria trifasciata [or] snake plant: Snake plant ... converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at night [and] removes nitrogen oxide, a by-product of car exhaust and fertilizer, and formaldehyde, a component of textile and wood production, from its environment. It is suggested to have 6–8 waist high plants per person per household. Epipremnum aureum [or] devil’s ivy: Devil’s ivy ... filters out formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene, a byproduct of petroleum combustion, from the air you’re breathing. A handful of these 12-inch high plants should do wonders for making the air quality in your house better.

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




Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s Base Salary Falls to $1
2014-04-01, MSN
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:28:14
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=BLOOM&date=20140401&id=1...

Mark Zuckerberg has decided he’s a $1-a-year man. Zuckerberg, who is Facebook Inc.’s chief executive officer and also the 22nd richest person in the world as ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was paid $1 in salary for 2013, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. That’s down from a base salary of $503,205 in 2012, the year that Facebook went public. Zuckerberg is following the well worn path of other Silicon Valley technology moguls who also chose to take on the symbolic annual salary of $1 after they were already wealthy. Apple Inc.’s late co-founder Steve Jobs helped popularize the practice, which is today also espoused by Google Inc. co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, among others. All own sizable equity stakes in their own companies. Zuckerberg, whose wealth totals around $27 billion, owns Facebook shares that give him 61.6 percent of voting power in the Menlo Park, California-based social network, according to the filing. He saw his net worth balloon last year as Facebook’s stock more than doubled in value. The 29-year-old has ramped up his public service and philanthropy, including starting a group called Internet.org to connect the world to the Web. Zuckerberg’s total compensation last year was $653,165, down from $1.99 million in 2012. The amount, besides the $1 salary, was for the passenger fees, fuel, crew and catering costs for his use of private planes for personal reasons, as part of his security program, according to the filing. The CEO also made $3.3 billion last year after exercising stock options to purchase 60 million shares, according to the filing.

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




Why happiness is healthy
2014-03-20, CNN
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:24:25
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/health/happiness-wellbeing-health

Happiness -- you know it when you see it, but it's hard to define. We also know that we don't always have control over our happiness. Research suggests that genetics may play a big role in our normal level of subjective well-being, so some of us may start out at a disadvantage. On top of that, between unexpected tragedies and daily habitual stress, environmental factors can bring down mood and dry up our thirst for living. Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind, said Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health. Many scientific studies ... have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being. A 2012 review of more than 200 studies found a connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction, and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles were also associated with a better sense of well-being in this study. Some researchers speculate that positive mental states ... have a direct effect on the body, perhaps by reducing damaging physical processes.

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




A shy boy, a three-legged dog and a soul-binding friendship
2014-02-21, Fox News
Posted: 2014-04-07 14:22:54
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/02/21/shy-boy-three-legged-dog-and-soul-bin...

When 7-year-old Owen Howkins met his new dog, Haatchi, he was a shy boy suffering from a rare syndrome that left his muscles permanently flexed and his mobility limited. When Haatchi met Owen, he was recovering from losing his left rear leg after being hit by a train in north London. For the boy in the wheelchair and the three-legged Anatolian Shepherd, it was an instant, soul-binding friendship, one that Owen says “changed my life.” In the video “A Boy and his Dog,” recently released on YouTube, Owen’s stepmother Colleen Drummond explains, “The day that Haatchi met Owen was utterly incredible. It was electric. It was spiritual…they immediately understood they were going to work together as a team.” Owen has a condition called Schwartz-Jampel syndrome, which his father, Will, explains leaves his muscles in a permanently flexed state. Because they never relax, it affects his balance and Owen uses a walker or wheelchair to get around. Now, Owen says, he and Hattachi “like going for walks in my electric wheelchair.” “His confidence has grown and grown this past year,” his father reports. Owen agrees. “Everything changed in my life with him,” he says, referring to Haatchi, who was rescued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Among the many things Owen says Haatchi taught him is not to be afraid of strangers. Says Drummond, “Owen and Haatchi simplify everything by pure love.” Adds Owen, “Haatchi is my best friend.”

Note: Don't miss the touching, nine-minute video of this boy and his dog at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science
2014-03-16, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:23:34
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/science/billionaires-with-big-ideas-are-pri...

American science, long a source of national power and pride, is increasingly becoming a private enterprise. In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.” This is philanthropy in the age of the new economy — financed with its outsize riches, practiced according to its individualistic, entrepreneurial creed. Yet that personal setting of priorities is precisely what troubles some in the science establishment. Many of the patrons, they say, are ignoring basic research — the kind that investigates the riddles of nature and has produced centuries of breakthroughs, even whole industries — for a jumble of popular, feel-good fields.

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




Wealth Over Work
2014-03-24, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:22:12
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/opinion/krugman-wealth-over-work.html

It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year — and maybe of the decade. Mr. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to “patrimonial capitalism,” in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent. Six of the 10 wealthiest Americans are already heirs rather than self-made entrepreneurs, and the children of today’s economic elite start from a position of immense privilege. As Mr. Piketty notes, “the risk of a drift toward oligarchy is real and gives little reason for optimism.” Business income, and income from capital in general, is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people. In 1979 the top 1 percent of households accounted for 17 percent of business income; by 2007 the same group was getting 43 percent of business income, and 75 percent of capital gains. Both Koch brothers are numbered among the 10 wealthiest Americans, and so are four Walmart heirs. Great wealth buys great political influence — and not just through campaign contributions. Many conservatives live inside an intellectual bubble of think tanks and captive media that is ultimately financed by a handful of megadonors.

Note: For more on income and wealth inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The 67 People As Wealthy As The World's Poorest 3.5 Billion
2014-03-25, Forbes
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:20:42
http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2014/03/25/the-67-people-as-wealth...

Oxfam International, a poverty fighting organization, made news at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year with its report that the world’s 85 richest people own assets with the same value as those owned by the poorer half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people (including children). Both groups have $US 1.7 trillion. That’s $20 billion on average if you are in the first group, and $486 if you are in the second group. By the time Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List in early March, it took only 67 of the richest peoples’ wealth to match the poorer half of the world. Each of the 67 is on average worth the same as 52 million people from the bottom of the world’s wealth pyramid. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $76 billion, is worth the same as 156 million people from the bottom. Who are the 67? The biggest group—28 billionaires, or 42% of them—is from the United States. No other country comes close. Germany and Russia have the second-highest number, with six each. The rest are sprinkled among 13 countries in Western Europe, APAC and the Americas. That the biggest group of the super rich comes from the U.S. should not be a surprise, as the country holds almost a third of the world’s wealth (30%), significantly more than any other country, according to the Global Wealth Databook, from Credit Suisse Research Institute.

Note: For more on income and wealth inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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