News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
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.
Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true. They believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys. Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties. So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place. But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16. It is clear detectives are not just investigating but building criminal cases to take to court. Police said their inquiries into claims that prominent people abused children, and [into] the cases [that] may have been “overlooked” or covered up now spanned 18 separate investigations, including one into the Elm Guest House in London. The police inquiries followed allegations of abuse involving senior politicians and high-profile figures made by the Labour MP Tom Watson.
Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Last March, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on the Senate intelligence committee as it labored to finalize its report on the torture of prisoners. CIA Director John Brennan denied the charge. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “We wouldn’t do that. That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we’d do.” His denial was publicly proved false. "An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program," The New York Times reported. "The report ... found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information." "A panel investigating the C.I.A.’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ... will recommend against punishing anyone," The New York Times reports. "The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were ... done at the behest of John O. Brennan."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.
President Obama [has thus far] failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the ... official government [torture] program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed. The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch are ... calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears increasingly to be “a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes.” The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? Any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.
Note: Some have called for prosecuting those responsible as violators of international rules against human experimentation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices and widespread government corruption.
Drone strikes and "targeted killings" of terror targets by the United States can be counterproductive and bolster the support of extremist groups, the CIA has admitted in a secret report released by WikiLeaks. The document, by the intelligence agency's Directorate of Intelligence, said that despite the effectiveness of "high value targeting" (HVT), air strikes and special forces operations had a negative impact by boosting the popular support of terror organisations. The CIA report is dated 2009 and talks of operations conducted in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen. Operations against terror targets "may increase support for the insurgents, particularly if these strikes enhance insurgent leaders' lore, if non-combatants are killed in the attacks, if legitimate or semi-legitimate politicians aligned with the insurgents are targeted, or if the government is already seen as overly repressive or violent," the report said. "Senior Taliban leaders' use of sanctuary in Pakistan has also complicated the HVT effort," it reveals. "Moreover, the Taliban has a high overall ability to replace lost leaders ... especially at the middle levels." It speaks of drone strikes also having limited effect in Iraq. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drone strikes have killed between 2,400 and 3,888 people in Pakistan in the years 2004 to 2014 and between 371 and 541 people in Yemen in the years 2002 to 2014.
Note: This report proves that the CIA has been aware that drone strikes are ineffective since at least 2009. If drones help terrorists, almost always miss their intended targets, and may be used to target people in the US in the future, what are the real reasons for the US government's drone program?
At the Justice Department, senior officials like to congratulate themselves on the headline-making, big bucks settlements they have imposed upon banks and lenders. Those settlement figures are not quite what they seem, because settlements can be deducted from tax liabilities. For nearly every dollar a bank or lender has pledged to pay ... up to 35 cents will find its way back into bank coffers. Under Attorney General Eric Holder, whose agency has not prosecuted a single major bank or executive in the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown, the Justice Department has [allowed] windfall tax deductions [to be] set against the civil settlements imposed. [These may] total more than $44 billion. Astonishingly, for an economic crisis estimated to have cost the U.S. economy anywhere from $6 trillion to $14 trillion in lost output and value —if not twice that, according to a September 2013 study by the Dallas Federal Reserve bank— tracking the settlements and the deductions against taxes via government websites is almost impossible. There’s [a] self-serving reason for the Justice Department to hike civil settlement payments while allowing for most of the sum to be tax-deductible. The agency receives a cut of up to 3 percent of its share of the total settlements for its Working Capital Fund, a slush fund common across major government agencies. The Justice Department’s slush fund ... signals an institutional interest in getting big numbers.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks. Fracking, as it is known, was heavily promoted as a source of economic revival. Mr. Cuomo had once been poised to embrace it. Instead, the move to ban fracking left him acknowledging that, “I’ve never had anyone say to me, ‘I believe fracking is great,’ ” he said. “Not a single person. What I get is, ‘I have no alternative but fracking.'" The question of whether to allow fracking ... has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years. Fracking is occurring in many states. Environmental advocates, alarmed by the growth of the practice, pointed to New York’s decision as the first ban by a state with significant natural-gas resources. The acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker ... found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. Holding up copies of scientific studies to animate his arguments, Dr. Zucker listed concerns about water contamination and air pollution, and said there was insufficient scientific evidence to affirm the safety of fracking. Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want his family to live in a community where fracking was taking place? His answer was no. “The potential risks are too great.”
Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year. The Times reported previously how individual attorneys general have shut down investigations, changed policies or agreed to more corporate-friendly settlement terms [for] campaign benefactors. But the attorneys general are also working collectively. Out of public view, corporate representatives and attorneys general are coordinating legal strategy and other efforts to fight federal regulations, according to a review of thousands of emails and court documents and dozens of interviews. Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma [used his post] to help start what he and allies called the Rule of Law campaign. That campaign, in which attorneys general band together to operate like a large national law firm, has been used to back lawsuits and other challenges against the Obama administration on environmental issues, the Affordable Care Act and securities regulation. The most recent target is the president’s executive action on immigration. Coordination between the corporations and teams of attorneys general involved in the Rule of Law effort also involves actual litigation to try to clear roadblocks to energy projects, documents show.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The cleanup of Japan’s devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crossed an important milestone on Saturday when the plant’s operator announced it had safely removed the radioactive fuel from the most vulnerable of the four heavily damaged reactor buildings. The company, known as Tepco, had put a high priority on removing the No. 4 unit’s some 1,500 fuel rods because they sat in a largely unprotected storage pool on an upper floor of the building, which had been gutted by a powerful hydrogen explosion. By succeeding in the technically difficult task of extracting those rods, Tepco eliminated one of the plant’s most worrisome vulnerabilities. It took almost four years to reach this goal. The aging Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a triple meltdown after a huge earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, 2011, knocking out vital cooling systems. Tepco still faces the far more challenging task of removing the ruined fuel cores from the three reactors that melted down in the accident. These reactors were so damaged — and their levels of radioactivity remain so high — that removing their fuel is expected to take decades. Some experts have said it may not be possible at all, and have called instead for simply encasing those reactors in a sarcophagus of thick concrete. The fuel cores from those three reactors, Nos. 1-3, are believed to have melted like wax [into] lumps on the bottom of the reactor vessels.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the disastrous pitfalls of nuclear power from reliable major media sources.
Six of the largest U.S. school districts are switching to antibiotic-free chicken, officials said on Tuesday, pressuring the world's top meat companies to adjust production practices in the latest push against drugs used on farms. The move by districts in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County and Orlando County is intended to protect children's health amid concerns about the rise of so-called "superbugs," bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines. The change may raise costs for schools. The six districts ... hope to limit costs by combining their purchasing power. Under the new standards, all chicken products served in the districts must come from birds that were never fed antibiotics. School officials are demanding the change after meeting with industry experts and "really understanding how this affects the human body overall and our future with antibiotic resistance," said Leslie Fowler, executive director of nutrition support services for the Chicago Public Schools. The switch is expected to take several years. Companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrim's Pride Corp have said they will not be able to change production systems quickly. A Reuters investigation in September found that major U.S. poultry firms were administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realized.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
“I think we humans are born to move,” says Stephen Jepson, a Florida-based “exercise innovator” who has developed a fun, fast, easy, and supercharged method to develop new brain cells. “Think about it,” says Jepson, “When did we humans begin to become hunter-gatherers? Nearly two million years ago. When did we quit being hunter gatherers? Only 11,000 years ago, when humans developed agriculture. So, for this huge amount of time in our history, humans evolved to be hunter-gatherers.” All that time we were barefoot, according to Jepson. “We were very careful where we placed our feet,” he says. “How many times will a child, barefoot out in the garden, accidentally step on and get stung by a honey bee? Probably only once.” The 72-year-old’s program, Never Leave the Playground, is showing people it’s never too late to improve their balance, energy and health. He believes his activities just may ward off brain diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, and can prevent one of the most serious threats to older people — falls. “People believe exercise is strenuous but my method is neither arduous nor boring,” says Jepson. “Instead, I focus on movements and games, many similar to those children play on the playground.” The movements he teaches promote balance and dexterity which prevents falls and increase eye – hand coordination. “If you can do only one thing for your health make it to be physically active. Movement makes us smarter.”
Note: Don't miss the inspiring seven minute video of Stephen showing great ways to play for health and longevity.
In 1991, in the tiny town of New Berlin, in upstate New York, a young physician named Bill Thomas ... had just taken a new job as medical director of Chase Memorial Nursing Home. More farmer than doctor, [Thomas] had a Paul Bunyan beard and was more apt to wear overalls beneath his white coat than a tie. From the first day on the job, he felt the stark contrast between the giddy, thriving abundance of life that he experienced on his farm and the confined, institutionalised absence of life that he encountered every time he went to work. So, acting on little more than instinct, he decided to try to put some life into the nursing home. They moved in ... one hundred parakeets, four dogs, two cats, plus a colony of rabbits and a flock of laying hens. [They also planted] hundreds of indoor plants and a thriving vegetable and flower garden, [and introduced] on-site child care for the staff. Researchers studied the effects of this programme over two years, comparing a variety of measures for Chase’s residents with those of residents at another nursing home nearby. Their study found that the number of prescriptions required per resident fell to half that of the control nursing home. The total drug costs fell to only 38 per cent of the comparison facility. Deaths fell 15 per cent. The study couldn’t say why. But Thomas thought he could.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Some of the highest employment rates in the advanced world are in places with the highest taxes and most generous welfare systems, namely Scandinavian countries. The United States and many other nations with relatively low taxes and a smaller social safety net actually have substantially lower rates of employment. In Scandinavian countries, working parents have the option of heavily subsidized child care. Leave policies make it easy for parents to take off work. Heavily subsidized public transportation may make it easier for a person in a low-wage job to get to and from work. And free or inexpensive education may make it easier to get the training to move from the unemployment rolls to a job. Wages for entry-level work are much higher in the Nordic countries than in the United States, reflecting a higher minimum wage, stronger labor unions and cultural norms that lead to higher pay. Perhaps more Americans would enter the labor force if even basic jobs paid [adequate wages], regardless of whether the United States provided better child care and other services. There is a lesson from Scandinavia useful in its simplicity: If you make it easier for people to work, it may be the case that more will.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Leana Wen created the “Who’s My Doctor” campaign last year. The effort ... goes a step further than the federal government’s mandate requiring physicians to disclose all money they receive from drug companies. Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data that outlined the $3.5 billion that companies paid to the nation’s doctors. The Open Payments database ... was heavily opposed by physician groups and pharmaceutical companies. “Incentives matter,” said Wen in a recent TED talk, “If you go to your doctor because of back pain, you might want to know he’s getting paid $5,000 to perform spine surgery versus $25 to refer you to see a physical therapist.” As part of the “Who’s My Doctor” effort, each physician voluntarily publishes a “Total Transparency Manifesto,” which ... flows into a searchable database that prospective patients can use. One year after starting the project, only 34 “transparent doctors” are listed on the website. There are many more who were less than pleased. “I thought some doctors would sign on and others wouldn’t, but I had no idea of the backlash that would ensue,” she said in her TED talk. The criticism quickly went beyond online comments. Soon, people were asking Wen’s employer to fire her, and sending mail to her home address with threats.
Congress has passed, and President Obama has said he would sign, a budget bill that allows banks to use your savings when they make giant financial bets called derivatives. Again. And because those savings are insured by the federal government, you, the taxpayer, would be on the hook if those bets go south. Again. This isn’t arcane financial stuff we can ignore. These are the exact financial mechanisms that led to the global crisis just six (short!) years ago. The Dodd-Frank reform law that was passed in the wake of that crisis forbade this from ever happening. People in the personal finance field love to talk about how if we could just get more Americans to save, if we could just get more Americans to learn the basics of the stock market, if we could just convince Americans to forego that latte at Starbucks, if we could just put Americans on a budget, then things would be OK. But how is any of that supposed to work when banks can use people’s savings to play the roulette wheel that is the stock market – and then when they lose, they just order another cup of coffee and use the federal budget to make sure that the losses fall not on them but on the people who just tried to save a little money in the first place? This one is only on workers if they say nothing and fail to educate themselves on what is being plundered from their futures. The powers that be are counting on you not to pay attention, or to feel so impotent that you just give up.
Note: Read how literally hundreds of trillions of dollars are being recklessly gambled by the banks using our savings and retirement. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance.
For the most part, we’re avoiding [the subject of cost effectiveness] when we talk about health care. When the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the body specifically set up to do comparative effectiveness research, was founded, the law explicitly prohibited it from funding any cost-effectiveness research at all. As it says on its website, “We don’t consider cost effectiveness to be an outcome of direct importance to patients.” As a physician, a health services researcher and a patient ... I think understanding how much bang for the buck I, my patients and the public are getting from our health care spending is of great importance. The United States Preventive Services Task Force ... was set up by the federal government to rate the effectiveness of preventive health services on a scale of A to D. When it issues a rating, it almost always explicitly states that it does not consider the costs of providing a service in its assessment. And because the Affordable Care Act mandates that all insurance must cover, without any cost sharing, all services that the task force has rated A or B, that means that we are all paying for these therapies, even if they are incredibly inefficient. If we are going to mandate that recommendations and interventions must be covered by health insurance ... it seems logical that we at least consider their economic value.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
One quiet consequence of this week’s sensational release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the C.I.A. detention program was a telephone call that a human rights lawyer, Meg Satterthwaite, placed to a client in Yemen, Mohamed Bashmilah. For eight years since Mr. Bashmilah, 46, was released from C.I.A. custody, Ms. Satterthwaite ... had been trying without success to get the United States government to acknowledge that it had held him in secret prisons for 19 months and to explain why. In the phone call on Wednesday, she told him that the Senate report listed him as one of 26 prisoners who, based on C.I.A. documents, had been “wrongfully detained.” After learning the news, Mr. Bashmilah pressed Ms. Satterthwaite, who heads the global justice program at New York University Law School, to tell him what might follow from the Senate’s recognition. Would there be an apology? Would there be some kind of compensation? Among the others mistakenly held for periods of months or years, according to the report, were an “intellectually challenged” man held by the C.I.A. solely to pressure a family member to provide information; two people who were former C.I.A. informants; and two brothers who were falsely linked to Al Qaeda. Ms. Satterthwaite was not able to answer Mr. Bashmilah’s question about an apology or reparation. No apology was forthcoming from the C.I.A., which declined to comment on specific cases.
Note: An ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Bashmilah and others flown to prisons on C.I.A. aircraft was dismissed on the grounds that it might expose state secrets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.
For decades, officials at Bob Jones University told sexual assault victims that they were to blame for their abuse, and to not report it to the police because doing so would damage their families, churches and the university, according to a long-awaited independent report released Thursday. Bob Jones, an evangelical Christian institution, displayed a “blaming and disparaging” attitude toward abuse victims, according to 56 percent of the 381 current and former students and employees who replied to a confidential survey and said they had knowledge of how the university handled abuse cases. Abuse victims said the university actively discouraged them from going to the police. “I was abused from the ages of 6 to 14 by my grandfather,” one respondent said. “When I went for counselling I was told: ‘Did you repent for your part of the abuse?" Another person said that at Bob Jones, “abuse victims are considered ‘second-rate Christians.’ ” And another said, “by the time I left B.J.U., I didn’t think God loved me at all.” The criticism of Bob Jones differs from that prompted by the sexual-assault scandals that have erupted at colleges across the country, in that it is not primarily about assaults on or near campus. Rather, the university has been criticized for penalizing victims who reported incidents or sought treatment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found. Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm. The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans. “We saw turtles that ate plastic bags and fish that ingested fishing lines,” said Julia Reisser, a researcher based at the University of Western Australia. “But there are also chemical impacts. When plastic gets into the water it acts like a magnet for oily pollutants. It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans." The research, the first of its kind to pull together data on floating plastic from around the world, will be used to chart future trends in the amount of debris in the oceans. But researchers predict the volume will increase due to rising production of throwaway plastic, with only 5% of the world’s plastic currently recycled.
Note: Ocean acidification was number one on 2014's top 25 stories subjected to press censorship.
Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture. The War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. In 2002, Maher [Arar], a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent who worked as an engineer, was travelling back home to Ottawa when he was abducted by the U.S. Government at JFK Airport, [secretly] interrogated for weeks, then “rendered” to Syria where the U.S. arranged to have him brutally tortured ... for 10 months. He was completely innocent, [and was] unceremoniously released back to his life in Canada as though nothing had happened. U.S. courts refused even to hear his case, accepting the Obama DOJ’s claim that it was too secret to safely adjudicate. The Canadian government ... publicly apologized for its role, and paid him $9 million. There are hundreds if not thousands of Maher Arars the U.S. media could easily and powerfully interview. The detainees held without charges, tortured, and then unceremoniously released from Guantanamo and Bagram are rarely if ever heard from on U.S. television, even when the U.S. Government is forced to admit that they were guilty of nothing.
The “war on terror” is not the CIA’s first venture into human experimentation. At the dawn of the Cold War, German scientists and doctors with Nazi records of human experimentation were given new identities and brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip. In 1953, the CIA established the MK-ULTRA program, [which] evolved into experiments in psychological torture. During the Vietnam War, the CIA developed the Phoenix program, which combined psychological torture with brutal interrogations, human experimentation and extrajudicial executions. In 1963, the CIA produced a manual titled “Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation” to guide agents in the art of extracting information. An updated version of the Kubark guide [was] produced in 1983 and titled “Human Resource Exploitation Manual” [for CIA supported] right-wing regimes in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Here we are again. On April 15, 2002, [psychologists hired by the CIA] Mitchell and Jessen arrived at a black site in Thailand to supervise the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the first “high-value detainee” captured by the CIA. From then ... at least thirty-eight people were subjected to psychological and physical torments, and the results were methodically documented and analyzed. That is the textbook definition of human experimentation.
Note: For more along these lines, see this list depicting the rampant use of humans as guinea pigs in government, military, and medical experiments over the last century, or watch "Human Resources", a two-hour documentary on the subject. For more, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.
Important Note: 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.