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.

Teen's invention could charge your phone in 20 seconds
2013-05-18, NBC News
Posted: 2014-04-29 11:23:42
http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/teens-invention-could-charge-your-phon...

Waiting hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past, thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student's invention. She won a $50,000 prize ... at an international science fair for creating an energy storage device that can be fully juiced in 20 to 30 seconds. The fast-charging device is a [type of] so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries, according to [the inventor] Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif. Supercapacitors also allowed her to focus on her interest in nanochemistry — "really working at the nanoscale to make significant advances in many different fields." To date, she has used [her] supercapacitor to power a light-emitting diode, or LED. The invention's future is even brighter. She sees it fitting inside cellphones and the other portable electronic devices that are proliferating in today's world, freeing people and their gadgets for a longer time from reliance on electrical outlets. "It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare added. "It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense." Khare's invention won her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, conducted ... in Phoenix, Ariz.

Note: Now let's see if it actually makes it to market or is blocked by the companies that profit from selling many chargers. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Gag Order From Israeli Court Raises Questions
2014-04-18, New York Times
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:20:51
http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/gag-order-from-israeli-court...

The [New York] Times published an article [on April 17] about an Arab citizen of Israel – a 23-year-old journalist and Palestinian rights advocate – who was detained by Israeli authorities last weekend. The man, Majd Kayyal, was not allowed a lawyer until Wednesday night, and he was interrogated for five days on suspicion that he was being recruited by a “hostile organization” after he visited Lebanon. He was released on Thursday but ordered to be kept under house arrest. The Times article mentions a court-imposed gag order that was lifted on [April 17]. What it doesn’t mention is that The Times, too, is subject to such gag orders. According to its bureau chief in Jerusalem, Jodi Rudoren, that is true. The Times is “indeed, bound by gag orders,” Ms. Rudoren said. She said that the situation is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land, and that two of her predecessors in the bureau chief position affirmed to her this week that The Times has been subject to gag orders in the past. The Times’s newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, [said] that he was consulted by Times journalists this week as they considered publishing an article about Mr. Kayyal’s arrest. Although the situation is somewhat murky, he said, “the general understanding among legal counsel in other countries is that local law would apply to foreign media.” “I’ve never seen us actually challenge it,” Mr. McCraw said. Meanwhile, an online publication called The Electronic Intifada published a number of articles about Mr. Kayyal’s detention over the past several days. The author of those articles, Ali Abunimah, said in an email that “readers have a right to know when [the New York Times] is complying with government-imposed censorship.”

Note: For more on mainstream media cover-ups, see the deeply revealing reports available here.




Tamiflu: drugs given for swine flu 'were waste of £500m'
2014-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:19:22
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/swine-flu/10756200/Tamiflu-drugs-given-for-...

The drug Tamiflu, given to tens of thousands of people during the swine flu pandemic, does nothing to halt the spread of influenza and the [UK] Government wasted nearly £500 million stockpiling it, a major study has found. The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accuses the company of “sloppy science”. The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them. Roche claimed at the time of the 2009 swine flu outbreak that trials had shown that it would reduce hospital admissions and complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis. Based on [these claims], the Department of Health bought around 40 million doses of Tamiflu at a cost of £424 million and prescribed it to around 240,000 people. In 2009, 0.5 per cent of the entire NHS budget was spent on the drug. However, researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, a not-for-profit organisation which carries out reviews of health data, found that Tamiflu only cut flu-like symptoms from seven days to 6.3 days and there was no evidence of a reduction in hospital admissions. Eight children who took the drug in Japan ended up committing suicide after suffering psychotic episodes. Other side effects included kidney problems, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Many people reported feeling anxious or depressed when taking the drug.

Note: We sent out numerous messages at the time of all the fear-mongering around the avian and swine flu scares that this was wasting huge amounts of money. Of course the money wasn't just wasted, much of it went into the pockets of Donald Rumsfeld and others, as reported in this newspaper article. For the revealing news articles we compiled showing the blatant greed and corruption involved, click here.




Stories about NSA surveillance, Snowden leaks win Pulitzers for two news groups
2014-04-14, CNN
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:17:39
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/us/pulitzer-prizes-journalism

Two news organizations' stories about National Security Agency surveillance, based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden, have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service, often described as the highest prize in American journalism. The Washington Post and ... The Guardian each received the prize on [April 14]. The recognition of the NSA reporting was most significant because of the questions raised by Snowden's leaks and the reaction to them. Snowden, who has been living in Russia while seeking asylum from U.S. prosecution, said in a statement that the Pulitzer board's recognition of the coverage was "vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government." "We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance." While Snowden provided a trove of documents, reporters including Glenn Greenwald, working for the Guardian; Barton Gellman, working for The Post; and Laura Poitras, who worked with both, pored over the raw information, decided with their editors what parts were ethical to publish, and turned the information into stories that stunned readers around the world.

Note: For more on the historic Snowden revelations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




9/11 conspiracy theorist and investigative journalist 'commits suicide'
2014-04-15, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:16:03
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605429/9-11-conspiracy-theorist-inve...

9/11 [activist] and investigative journalist Michael Ruppert has reportedly committed suicide. The 63-year-old former narcotics investigator with the LAPD shot himself after his radio show, according to an announcement by author Carolyn Baker who was a guest on his final broadcast on [April 13]. Mr Ruppert was famous for his litany of conspiracy theories which encompassed the CIA to drugs, international politics, the oil industry, Wall Street and 9/11. On her Facebook page, Ms Baker wrote: 'This was not a ''fake'' suicide. It was very well planned by Mike who gave us few clues but elaborate instructions for how to proceed without him.' After leaving the LAPD, Mr Ruppert started a website From The Wilderness which claimed to expose government corruption. It included his claims that he had seen drug-dealing at the CIA. Mr Ruppert gained notoriety by confronting then-CIA Director John Deutch during a meeting in 1995 and telling him that he had seen CIA officers involved in drug-dealing. He later claimed on his website that the CIA and American government was involved in 9/11. In 2004, he published Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. The book alleged that former VP Dick Cheney had conspired with Wall Street and other government officials over the September 11 World Trade Center attacks. In 2009, he starred in a documentary called Collapse where he spoke about his theories involving the demise of mankind following the economic and energy crises.

Note: Mike Ruppert was a great hero who courageously reported reliable information the mainstream media would not touch. For a five-minute video of his public testimony on CIA drug running, click here. For a 10-minute video showing his great despair about the condition of the world, click here. Thank you, Mike, for opening the eyes of so many to the deeper realities in our world. Another courageous hero of the 9/11 movement, John Judge, also died, from complications of a stroke, on April 15. For more on his great work, click here. For a great 8-minute video of his revealing powerful information you may not know, click here.




Window Opens on Secret Camp Within Guantanamo
2014-04-13, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:14:15
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/window-opens-secret-camp-guanta...

Attorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base. Connell is allowed to say virtually nothing about what he saw in the secret camp where the most notorious terror suspects in U.S. custody are held except that it is unlike any detention facility he's encountered. "It's much more isolating than any other facility that I have known," the lawyer says. "I've done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating." The Camp 7 prison unit is so shrouded in secrecy that its location on the U.S. base in Cuba is classified and officials refuse to discuss it. Camp 7 has never been part of the scripted tours of Guantanamo offered to journalists and there are no published photos. It's not even mentioned on a military media handout about the detention center. Military officials, while insisting that they adhere to international human rights standards, refuse to describe Camp 7. A few facts have come out through government reports and court testimony. It apparently holds 15 of the 154 prisoners at Guantanamo. The men are apparently held in solid-walled cells — as opposed to the cage-like structures used soon after the U.S. began using Guantanamo as a prison in 2002 — that are intended to limit their ability to communicate with each other. The secret camp also is apparently falling apart.

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




Canadian Brad Katsuyama in spotlight over 'rigged' markets allegation
2014-04-01, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:12:39
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-brad-katsuyama-in-spotlight-over-rig...

A Canadian who works on Wall Street is emerging in some quarters as a hero for revealing the inner workings of high frequency traders who critics have accused of rigging the stock market and taking investors for billions. Brad Katsuyama now runs IEX – the Investors Exchange – a new Wall Street trading platform he founded. But it was in his former capacity as the head trader in New York for RBC Capital Markets that he caught the attention of popular financial writer Michael Lewis. Katsuyama gets star billing in Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Katsuyama told Lewis that he had uncovered the methods high frequency traders use to get what he considers to be an unfair advantage over other investors. Katsuyama noticed that when he would send a large stock order to the market, it would only be partially filled, and then he would have to pay a higher price for the rest of the order. When he investigated, he found that his orders travelled along fibre-optic lines and hit the closest exchange first, where high frequency traders would use their speed advantage to buy the shares he wanted and then sell them to him at a slightly higher price – all in milliseconds. "They are able to identify your desire to buy shares in Microsoft and buy them in front of you and sell them back to you at a higher price," Lewis told 60 Minutes. “The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged.” The main thrust of Lewis’s new book is that high-frequency traders use their speed advantage in predatory ways that end up cheating market participants small and large.

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




Data uncover nation’s top Medicare billers
2014-04-06, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:11:10
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/data-uncover-nations-top-medic...

The Medicare program is the source of a small fortune for many U.S. doctors, according to a trove of government records that reveal unprecedented details about physician billing practices nationwide. The government insurance program for older people paid nearly 4,000 physicians in excess of $1 million each in 2012, according to the new data. The release of the information gives the public access for the first time to the billing practices of individual doctors nationwide. Consumer groups and news outlets have pressured Medicare to release the data for years. The American Medical Association and other physician groups have resisted the data release, arguing that the information violates doctor privacy and that the public may misconstrue details about individual doctors. Among the highest billers were: a cardiologist in Ocala, Fla., who took in $18.1 million, mainly putting in stents; a New Jersey pathologist who received $12.6 million performing tissue exams and other tests; and a Michigan vascular surgeon who got $10.1 million. In some instances, the extremely high billing totals could signal fraudulent doctor behavior, as government inspectors have previously found. Indeed, three of the top 10 earners already had drawn scrutiny from the federal government, and one of them is awaiting trial on federal fraud charges. The greatest tallies also may signal that the Medicare payments for some procedures are too high for the amount of work involved or that perverse incentives lead doctors to overuse a procedure. The specialties most common at the top ranks of the Medicare payments were ophthalmologists, oncologists and pathologists.

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




S.F.'s 19th century Russian battle over bigamy, child abuse
2014-04-19, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:09:39
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-s-19th-century-Russian-battle-over-...

For four years in the late 19th century, a lurid controversy racked the small Russian community of San Francisco - one that featured a pair of strong-willed antagonists hurling accusations of bigamy, arson, murder conspiracy and child abuse. One was the new leader of the Russian Orthodox church in San Francisco, Bishop Vladimir. His bitter enemy was Dr. Nicholas Russel, a revolutionary who had fled Russia to implant his radical ideas in what he hoped would be the fertile soil of America. Of all the ugly exchanges between these two men of diametrically opposed political and religious views, none was uglier than the charge that Bishop Vladimir had sodomized children. There was overwhelming evidence to support it, but a combination of factors - the authorities' unwillingness to investigate a high-ranking churchman, Victorian reticence and the bishop's cunningly aggressive tactics - allowed an obvious case of pederasty to go unpunished. It was among the first - though not, unfortunately, the last - cover-ups of sexual misconduct by a religious leader. Terence Emmons laid out the details in his meticulous 1997 study of the affair, Alleged Sex and Threatened Violence: Doctor Russel, Bishop Vladimir, and the Russians in San Francisco, 1887-1892. Russel ... started checking into rumors about the bishop's relations with the boys he had brought to San Francisco. Russel went to a lawyer, who interviewed three of the boys. They submitted affidavits alleging that Vladimir had forced them to "commit the crime against nature" with him, and had threatened them and mistreated them in other ways.

Note: This article shows how people in power have been protected from child abuse for centuries, even when it is quite blatant. If you want to understand how pedophile rings have infiltrated the highest levels of government, don't miss the powerful Discovery Channel documentary on this available here.




The CIA Schemes to Kill Castro — with a Seashell
2010-08-06, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:07:46
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2008962_200896...

From 1960 to 1965, the CIA brainstormed at least eight plots to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro. According to a report prepared in 1967 and declassified 36 years later, the CIA thought of using cigars, contaminated air, poisoned pills, fungus and a poison-filled syringe to take out the Communist leader. One plot, which sought only to damage Castro's image, suggested placing thallium salt in his shoes, in the hope that his beard would fall out. But one idea stood out above the rest: the plan to kill Castro with a booby-trapped seashell. You see, the dictator was a fan of skin diving, so intelligence agents plotted to place an especially spectacular shell in a reef Castro was known to frequent. The hope was that the shell would be so beautiful that Castro would pick it up and, by doing so, trigger an explosive. Desmond Fitzgerald, the CIA's head of Cuban operations, went as far as to buy two books on Caribbean mollusks. But the elaborate scheme was deemed impractical.

Note: For more on assassinations as a tool of government policy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'
2014-04-17, NPR
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:05:55
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/17/303772556/plant-breeders-release-...

A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign to change the rules that govern seeds. They are releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that is intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. The new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa. Anyone receiving the seeds must pledge not to restrict their use by means of patents, licenses or any other kind of intellectual property. Any future plant that is derived from these open source seeds also has to remain freely available as well. Irwin Goldman, a vegetable breeder at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, ... doesn't like the consequences of restricting access to plant genes — what he calls germplasm. "If we don't share germplasm and freely exchange it, then we will limit our ability to improve the crop," he says. Sociologist Jack Kloppenburg, also at the University of Wisconsin, has been campaigning against seed patents for 30 years. His reasons go beyond Goldman's. He says turning seeds into private property has contributed to the rise of big seed companies that in turn promote ever-bigger, more specialized farms. "The problem is concentration, and the narrow set of uses to which the technology and the breeding are being put," he says.

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




French parliament bans cultivation of GM maize
2014-04-15, Reuters
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:04:45
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/15/us-france-gmo-idUSBREA3E1NY20140415

France's lower house of parliament adopted a law on [April 15] prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize, saying it posed a risk to the environment. France adopted a decree last month to halt the planting of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize, the only GM crop allowed for cultivation in the European Union. The law also applies to any strain adopted at EU level in future, including another GM variety, Pioneer 1507 developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical, which could be approved by the EU executive later this year after 19 out of 28 member states failed to gather enough votes to block it. The Socialist government, like its conservative predecessor, has opposed the growing of GM crops because of public suspicion and widespread protests by environmentalists. Jean-Marie Le Guen, the minister in charge of relations with parliament, told the National Assembly, "This bill strengthens the decree passed last March by preventing the immediate cultivation of GMO and extending their reach to all transgenic maize varieties." A debate on the future of GM policy is going on at EU level, with the European Commission suggesting an opt-out that would allow individual countries to ban such crops. Le Guen called for a stable EU system that would ensure member states' decisions could not be challenged legally.

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




10 ways to keep your diet GMO-free
2014-03-25, CNN
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:03:23
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/25/health/upwave-gmo-free-diet/index.html

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology, a leading source of GMO-health-risk information, says several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified foods altogether. Ready to go GMO free? Here are 10 ways to shop smarter: 1. Go organic. The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs, so shopping organic is a great way to avoid them. 2. Load up on fruits and veggies. Most fresh produce is non-GMO, says Smith, but zucchini, yellow summer squash, edamame, sweet corn and papaya from Hawaii or China are considered high risk and are best avoided. Only buy those high-risk fruits and vegetables if they are labeled "organic" or "non-GMO," he advises. 3. Look for the non-GMO-verified seal. Since GMOs require no labeling, this seal is one of the best ways to tell when foods are free of genetic modification. 4. Join the Tipping Point Campaign. This network of local activists is working to educate communities on the dangers of GMOs. 5. Beware of additives. The five most common GMOs -- corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets -- often end up as additives (in the form of corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents or thickeners) in packaged foods.

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




The Vatican's Precious Manuscripts Go Online
2014-04-11, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:01:39
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303873604579495370743103510

Almost 600 years after Pope Nicholas V founded the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Holy See is now turning to 50 experts, five scanners and a Japanese IT firm to digitize millions of pages from its priceless manuscripts, opening them to the broader public for the first time. When the project is finished, one of the richest and most important collections of historical texts in the world will be available with a click of the mouse—and free. [The] institution known as the Popes' Library ... houses more than 82,000 manuscripts, some dating back to the second century. Scholars must now submit a detailed request to gain access to the library, which sits within the Vatican walls. The most precious works of art ... have been mostly off-limits. For the past year, Vatican officials have worked closely with experts at Japanese IT firm NTT DATA to test special scanners designed to handle particularly delicate documents. The machines have a protective screen to limit the manuscripts' exposure to light, and windows must remain shut and curtains drawn during the scanning procedure to keep dust and extraneous light out of the room. With the test phase finished, about 50 Italian and Japanese operators will soon begin the process of digitizing the first batch of 3,000 manuscripts under the watchful eye of Vatican librarians. That process, which will take place entirely inside the library, is expected to take four years. After each document is scanned, it will be formatted for long-term storage and then released onto the library's website. The first digital images are expected to be put online in the second half of this year.

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




Is the U.S. stock market rigged?
2014-03-30, CBS News
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:49:49
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged/

In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington have both launched investigations into high-frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market. The probes were announced just ahead of a much anticipated book on the subject by best-selling author Michael Lewis called Flash Boys. In it, Lewis argues that the stock market is now rigged to benefit a group of insiders that have made tens of billions of dollars exploiting computerized trading. The story is told through an unlikely cast of characters who figured out what was going on and have devised a plan to correct it. It could have a huge impact on Wall Street. Tonight, Michael Lewis talks about it for the first time. Steve Kroft: What's the headline here? Michael Lewis: Stock market's rigged. The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged. Steve Kroft: By whom? Michael Lewis: By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders. Steve Kroft: Who are the victims? Michael Lewis: Everybody who has an investment in the stock market. If it wasn't complicated, it wouldn't be allowed to happen. The complexity disguises what is happening. If it's so complicated you can't understand it, then you can't question it. Steve Kroft: And this is all being done by computers? Michael Lewis: All being done by computers. It's too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace. The insiders are able to move faster than you.

Note: For an amazing story of greed and manipulation exposed on Wall Street, see the New York Times article on Flash Boys at this link.




Slouching toward oligarchy
2014-04-02, Baltimore Sun
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:48:17
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2014-04-02/news/bal-slouching-toward-oligarc...

America is not yet an oligarchy, but that's where Charles and David Koch and a few other billionaires are taking us. Around a quarter century ago, as income and wealth began concentrating at the top, the Republican and Democratic parties started to morph into mechanisms for extracting money, mostly from wealthy people. Finally, after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010, billionaires began creating their own political mechanisms, separate from the political parties. They now give big money directly to political candidates of their choice, and mount their own media campaigns to sway public opinion toward their own views. So far in the 2014 election cycle, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers' political front group, has aired more than 17,000 broadcast TV commercials, compared with only 2,100 aired by Republican Party groups. Americans for Prosperity has also been outspending top Democratic super PACs in nearly all of the Senate races Republicans are targeting this year. In seven of the nine races, the difference in total spending is at least 2-to-1, and Democratic super PACs have had virtually no air presence in five of the nine states. Four of the top five contributors to 2014 super PACs are now giving money to political operations they themselves created, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Billionaires squaring off against each other isn't remotely a democracy. When billionaires supplant political parties, candidates are beholden directly to the billionaires. And if and when those candidates win election, the billionaires will be completely in charge.

Note: For more on the systemic control of money in US elections, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Inside the FBI’s secret relationship with the military’s special operations
2014-04-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:45:51
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/inside-the-fbis-secret-...

The FBI’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency to a counterterrorism organization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been well documented. Less widely known has been the bureau’s role in secret operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other locations around the world. With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States. The bureau’s agents, in turn, could preserve evidence and maintain a chain of custody should any suspect be transferred to the United States for trial. In early 2003, two senior FBI counterterrorism officials traveled to Afghanistan to meet with the Joint Special Operations Command’s deputy commander at Bagram air base. The pace of activity in Afghanistan was slow at first. An FBI official said there was less than a handful of [Hostage and Rescue Team] deployments to Afghanistan in those early months; the units primarily worked with the SEALs as they hunted top al-Qaeda targets. The tempo quickened with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. At first, the HRT’s mission was mainly to protect other FBI agents when they left the Green Zone, former FBI officials said. In 2005, all of the HRT members in Iraq began to work under JSOC.

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




The “Cuban Twitter” Scam Is a Drop in the Internet Propaganda Bucket
2014-04-04, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:44:13
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/04/04/cuban-twitter-scam-social-media...

This week, the Associated Press exposed a secret program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development to create “a Twitter-like Cuban communications network” run through “secret shell companies” in order to create the false appearance of being a privately owned operation. Unbeknownst to the service’s Cuban users was the fact that “American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes”–specifically, to manipulate those users in order to foment dissent in Cuba and subvert its government. This sort of operation is frequently discussed at western intelligence agencies, which have plotted ways to covertly use social media for ”propaganda,” “deception,” “mass messaging,” and “pushing stories.” One previously undisclosed top-secret document–prepared by GCHQ for the 2010 annual “SIGDEV” gathering of the “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance comprising the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.–explicitly discusses ways to exploit Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media as secret platforms for propaganda. Those programs, carried out in secrecy and with little accountability ... threaten the integrity of the internet itself, as state-disseminated propaganda masquerades as free online speech and organizing. There is thus little or no ability for an internet user to know when they are being covertly propagandized by their government, which is precisely what makes it so appealing to intelligence agencies, so powerful, and so dangerous.

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




Why aren't we putting US agencies on trial for financing El Chapo's drug war?
2014-04-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:40:23
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/10/us-agencies-financing-el...

Since [the days of Al Capone,] Chicago officials have awarded "Public Enemy No 1" status to only one other person: cartel billionaire Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known – now to the world over – as "El Chapo". But nearly seven weeks before [his February] capture at a beach resort, the Mexican newspaper El Universal reported how US agencies had armed and financed El Chapo's Sinaloa criminal empire for at least 12 years. That link has been substantiated by DEA and Justice Department court testimonies, and even US agents confirmed the financing had been approved by high-ranking officials and federal prosecutors. But the American media barely reported how entrenched the American government has become in the Mexican drug trade. The latest installment of the "war on drugs" has killed 100,000 people since its official declaration by Mexican President Filipe Calderon and US President George W Bush in 2006. During this period, the US-El Chapo partnership was reportedly never closer: under the deal, Washington allowed El Chapo's Sinaloa cartel to carry on business as usual while top Sinaola members, for their part, provided information on their rivals. DEA agents met with their informants more than 50 times, El Universal reported, as the agents offered their whisperers immunity. American patronage goes well beyond stoking the largest and most powerful of the Mexican cartels (Sinaloa), as well as the most heinous (Golfo and Los Zetas). Drug arrests of cartel associates amounted to less than 2% of over 50,000 arrests made in the first four years of the Bush-Calderon partnership.

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




The Unemployment Puzzle: Where Have All the Workers Gone?
2014-04-04, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:38:27
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304441304579477341062142388

A big puzzle looms over the U.S. economy: Only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force, which ... is down substantially since 2000. As recently as the late 1990s, the U.S. was a nation in which employment, job creation and labor force participation went hand in hand. That is no longer the case. The unemployment rate, the figure that dominates reporting on the economy, is the fraction of the labor force (those working or seeking work) that is unemployed. This rate has declined slowly since the end of the Great Recession. What hasn't recovered over that same period is the labor force participation rate, which today stands roughly where it did in 1977. Labor force participation rates increased from the mid-1960s through the 1990s, driven by more women entering the workforce, baby boomers entering prime working years in the 1970s and 1980s, and increasing pay for skilled laborers. But over the past decade, these trends have leveled off. At the same time, the participation rate has fallen, particularly in the aftermath of the recession. The drop is a function of various factors, including simple discouragement, poor work incentives created by public policies, inadequate schooling and training, and a greater propensity to seek disability insurance. Globalization and technological change have also reduced employment and wage growth for low-skilled workers—which raises questions about whether current policy is focused enough on helping workers to achieve the skills necessary to work productively and earn decent incomes.

Note: For more on the devastating impact of financial power and government policy on US workers, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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