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.

Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just "bad guys"
2014-05-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:33:34
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/glenn-greenwald-anonymous-mass-s...

The opportunity those in power have to characterise political opponents as "national security threats" or even "terrorists" has repeatedly proven irresistible. In the past decade, the government ... has formally so designated environmental activists, broad swaths of anti-government rightwing groups, anti-war activists, and associations organised around Palestinian rights. One document from the Snowden files, dated 3 October 2012, chillingly underscores the point. It revealed that the agency has been monitoring the online activities of individuals it believes express "radical" ideas and who have a "radicalising" influence on others. Among the information collected about the individuals, at least one of whom is a "US person", are details of their online sex activities and "online promiscuity." The agency discusses ways to exploit this information to destroy their reputations and credibility. The record is suffused with examples of groups and individuals being placed under government surveillance by virtue of their dissenting views and activism – Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement, anti-war activists, environmentalists. The NSA's treatment of Anonymous ... is especially troubling and extreme. Gabriella Coleman, a specialist on Anonymous at McGill University, said that [Anonymous] "is not a defined" entity but rather "an idea that mobilises activists to take collective action and voice political discontent. It is a broad-based global social movement with no centralised or official organised leadership structure. Some have rallied around the name to engage in digital civil disobedience, but nothing remotely resembling terrorism."

Note: This excerpt is from the new book No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald. For more on government surveillance, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Fracking is depleting water supplies in America's driest areas, report shows
2014-02-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:31:13
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/05/fracking-water-america-dro...

America's oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found. Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investor network found. Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America's energy rush. "Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country's most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions," said Mindy Lubber, president of the Ceres green investors' network. Without new tougher regulations on water use, she warned industry could be on a "collision course" with other water users. "It's a wake-up call," said Prof James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine. "[I]t is time to have a conversation about what impacts there are, and do our best to try to minimise any damage." It can take millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well, and much of the drilling is tightly concentrated in areas where water is in chronically short supply, or where there have been multi-year droughts. Half of the 97bn gallons of water was used to frack wells in Texas, which has experienced severe drought for years. "Shale producers are having significant impacts at the county level, especially in smaller rural counties with limited water infrastructure capacity," the report said.

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




Trying to Salvage Remains of Blackwater Case
2014-05-12, New York Times
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:28:14
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/trying-to-salvage-remains-of-blackwater-...

Whether it concerns bankers after the crisis in 2008 or the shooting of innocent civilians by American contractors in Iraq, the prosecution does not seem to be up to the task. [The fatal] shooting [of 17 people by Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries] in Nisour Square [Baghdad in Oct. 2007] became a signature moment in the Iraq war. Five Blackwater security guards were indicted on manslaughter and weapons charges, and a sixth entered a plea deal to testify against his former colleagues. But over the years, a case that once seemed so clear-cut has been repeatedly undermined by the government’s own mistakes. Prosecutors are trying to hold together what is left of it. But charges against one contractor were dropped last year because of a lack of evidence. And the government suffered another self-inflicted setback in April when a federal appeals court ruled that the prosecution had missed a deadline and allowed the statute of limitations to expire against a second contractor. The [episode inflamed] anti-American sentiment abroad and helped cement the image of Blackwater, whose security guards were involved in scores of shootings, as a trigger-happy company that operated with impunity because of its lucrative contracts with the American government. “As citizens, we need to ask why our government fails to achieve any accountability for such blatant wrongdoing,” said Susan Burke, a lawyer who represented Iraqi victims of the Nisour Square shooting in a lawsuit that Blackwater settled by paying an undisclosed amount. “The ongoing delays and mistakes undermine any confidence in the system.”

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




Germany Taps Universities in Its Push for Green Energy
2014-05-11, New York Times
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:26:34
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/world/europe/germany-taps-universities-in-i...

Germany has set an ambitious goal: to run its economy almost entirely on renewable energy by 2050. The energy push, known as the Energiewende, or energy transformation, is often compared in scope to the country’s postwar reconstruction. It will require wide-ranging changes in German society — not just in energy supply but in architecture and agriculture, urban planning, and economic markets. Treading onto this unknown territory, Germany has called on its universities to help make the transformation work. While Germany is supporting university research into solar power and other clean energy, perhaps the biggest innovation in higher education is how the Energiewende has triggered the creation of new interdisciplinary approaches, pushing institutions to develop new courses, degrees and departments. Green technology is not necessarily where the breakthroughs need to happen, said Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn, head of the renewable energy department at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s School of Energy. In terms of the transformation, Germany’s biggest challenges today, he said, “are socioeconomic in nature: public awareness, cost and community involvement.” Germany has already made enormous strides in clean energy generation. In roughly a decade, it has expanded its green power supply to account for a quarter of its electricity — which is twice the United States’ share of renewables. On especially sunny and windy days, when wind farms and solar parks churn out power at peak volume, more than two-thirds of the country’s electricity needs are covered by renewables.

Note: For more on promising alternative energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




U.S. alone in West on lack of paid maternity leave
2014-05-13, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:24:19
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/U-S-alone-in-West-on-lack-of-paid-matern...

The United States is the only Western country - and one of only three in the world - that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who have taken maternity leave from their jobs, a new U.N. study reports. Two other countries share the U.S. position of providing "no cash benefits during maternity leave," according to the report, which was released ... by the International Labor Organization: Oman, an absolute monarchy in the Persian Gulf; and Papua New Guinea, a South Pacific nation where the U.S. State Department says violence against women is so common that 60 percent of men in a U.N. study acknowledged having committed a rape. The other 182 countries surveyed provide either a Social Security-like government payment to women who have recently given birth or adopted a child or require employers to continue at least a percentage of the worker's pay. In 70 countries, paid leave is also provided for fathers, the report said, including Australia, which introduced 14 days of paid paternity leave last year, and Norway, which expanded its paternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks. The United States also provides for fewer weeks of maternity leave than what other Western countries mandate, the report said. Under U.S. law, businesses are required to allow a new mother to take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In New Zealand, the leave is 14 weeks; in Australia, it's 18 weeks. Switzerland has allowed women workers to take 18 weeks off since 2005; they're paid 80 percent of their salaries under a government program similar to Social Security in the United States.

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




FBI: 100s have contacted us about pedophile case
2014-05-13, Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:22:46
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/crime/article/FBI-100s-have-contacted-us-about-...

Hundreds of people have contacted the FBI about a teacher suspected of drugging and molesting boys during a four-decade career at international schools on four continents, greatly expanding the potential number of suspected victims. The FBI said last month that William Vahey had molested at least 90 boys, whose photos were found on a memory drive stolen by his maid. Vahey killed himself at age 64 after evidence of molestation was found. He was one of the most beloved teachers in the world of international schools that serve the children of diplomats, well-off Americans and local elites. The discovery of his molestation has set off a crisis in the community of international schools, where parents are being told their children may have been victims, and administrators are scurrying to close loopholes exposed by Vahey's abuses. There were decades of missed opportunities to expose Vahey, starting with an early California sex-abuse conviction that didn't prevent him taking a series of jobs exposing him to children. Vahey began his international teaching career at the American School in Tehran, the first in a series of stays around the Middle East and Europe. He taught history, social studies and related subjects in Lebanon, Spain, Iran, Greece, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, almost always to middle school students. In addition to teaching, he coached basketball and led school trips to Bahrain, Turkey and Africa.

Note: If you are ready to see how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




To Catch Government Workers With Ties to Child Porn, Call the IRS
2012-09-19, Forbes
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:19:17
http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2012/09/19/to-catch-government-workers-w...

There is a national crisis of federal employees engaged in the child porn industry and a related epidemic at the state level. Two states, Vermont and Maine, ... appear to be running state-protected child trafficking rings, with evidence of cops, judges, lawyers, clergy and government employees covering for each other. This kind of racketeering creates powerful, and extremely profitable, pedophile rings. Money drives the crime. Half of all global child porn is produced in America. Estimates of the global profits from child porn range from $3-20 billion. The Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Child Exploitation and Obscenities unit has been, by many accounts, totally disabled under. With so many police, judges, clergy, state and federal employees across America involved in the child porn industry Americans should be able to turn to the IRS’s Whistleblower program. Richard Weber, Chief of IRS’s Criminal Division in Washington DC, is one point of contact. Apparently, the IRS cares about trafficked children. Child trafficking and porn are the fastest growing crimes in America. With billions being laundered in black money it makes solid economic sense for the IRS to focus on the child porn industry. The IRS should be given substantial resources to compensate for DOJ’s disgraceful failure.

Note: If you are ready to see how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report
2014-03-10, New York Times
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:16:09
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/us/use-of-public-transit-in-us-reaches-high...

More Americans used buses, trains and subways in 2013 than in any year since 1956 as service improved, local economies grew and travelers increasingly sought alternatives to the automobile for trips within metropolitan areas, the American Public Transportation Association said in a report. 10.65 billion passenger trips were taken on transit systems during the year, surpassing the post-1950s peak of 10.59 billion in 2008, when gas prices rose to $4 to $5 a gallon. The ridership in 2013, when gas prices were lower than in 2008, undermines the conventional wisdom that transit use rises when those prices exceed a certain threshold, and suggests that other forces are bolstering enthusiasm for public transportation, said Michael Melaniphy, the president of the association. "People are riding transit in record numbers,” Mr. Melaniphy said in an interview. “We’re seeing a fundamental shift in how people are moving about their communities.” From 1995 to 2013, transit ridership rose 37 percent, well ahead of a 20 percent growth in population and a 23 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled, according to the association’s data. Overall public transit ridership increased by 1.1 percent from 2012, with the biggest gains in rail service and in bus service for smaller cities. In New York, where use of all modes of transit in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority increased 3.6 percent last year. Todd Litman, an analyst at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria, British Columbia, [said] “A lot of people would prefer to drive less and rely more on walking, cycling and public transit, provided that those are high-quality options.”

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




Why teenagers aren't drinking and smoking like they used to
2013-12-26, The Week Magazine
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:13:42
https://theweek.com/article/index/254568/why-teenagers-arent-drinking-and-smo...

Teenage alcohol and tobacco use is at a historic low, according to a recent survey by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The study, which surveyed teenagers from 1975 to 2012, revealed that young people are drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes less frequently than previous generations. The survey also showed that teens are less likely to experiment with unpredictable synthetic drugs ... but use cannabis more frequently. In the past year, high school students who reported smoking cigarettes in the previous 30 days declined from 10.6 percent to 9.6 percent — a statistically significant reduction. Teenage smoking peaked between 1996-1997 and the numbers have been steadily declining since, according to the survey. The use of synthetic marijuana (known as K-2 or Spice) and "bath salts" also sharply decreased among teens in the past year. Marijuana use, however, has been on the rise in recent years. The percentage of eighth grade students who have used marijuana in the previous 12 months rose from 11.4 to 12.7 and 10th grade students saw an increase from 28 to 29.8 percent. The survey seems to suggest that the increase is driven by students' perceived lack of risk in using marijuana. Most other individual illicit drugs did not see significant change. Alcohol use also saw a dramatic decline, particularly among younger teens. Alcohol use and binge drinking among the grades surveyed is at the lowest it has been since the 1990s.

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




The Kids Are More Than All Right
2012-02-02, New York Times blog
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:12:19
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/the-kids-are-more-than-all-right/

Every few years, parents find new reasons to worry about their teenagers. And while there is no question that some kids continue to experiment with sex and substance abuse, the latest data point to something perhaps more surprising: the current generation is, well, a bit boring when it comes to bad behavior. While marijuana use has recently had an uptick, teenagers are smoking far less pot than their parents did at the same age. In 1980, about 60 percent of high-school seniors had tried marijuana and 9 percent smoked it daily. Among seniors today, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked teenage risk behaviors since 1975, 45.5 percent have tried the drug and 6.6 percent are smoking it frequently. Adolescent use of alcohol, tobacco and most illegal drugs is also far lower than it was 30 years ago. Today’s teenagers are also far less likely to have sex or get pregnant compared with their parent’s generation. In 1988, half of boys 15 to 17 had experienced sex; by 2010 that number fell to just 28 percent. The percentage of teenage girls having sex dropped to 27 percent from 37.2 percent, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What about TV shows like “Teen Mom” and “Gossip Girl” that suggest adolescence is dominated by sex and booze? “There is a lot more media hype around the kids who are raising hell,” says Dr. John Santelli, president-elect for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. “There are a lot of kids who are pretty responsible.”

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




One Man, One Computer, 10 Million Students: How Khan Academy Is Reinventing Education
2012-11-02, Forbes Magazine
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:10:27
http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelnoer/2012/11/02/one-man-one-computer-10-mi...

The headquarters of what has rapidly become the largest school in the world, at 10 million students strong, is stuffed into a few large communal rooms in a decaying 1960s office building hard by the commuter rail tracks in Mountain View, Calif. The Khan Academy, which features 3,400 short instructional videos along with interactive quizzes and tools for teachers to chart student progress, is a nonprofit, boasting a mission of “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” There will be no IPO; funding comes from philanthropists, not venture capitalists. The next half-century of education innovation is being shaped right now. Global spending on education is $3.9 trillion, or 5.6% of planetary GDP. America spends the most–about $1.3 trillion a year–yet the U.S. ranks 25th out of the 34 OECD countries in mathematics, 17th in science and 14th in reading. It’s those latter statistics that motivate Khan. The site covers a staggering array of topics–from basic arithmetic and algebra to the electoral college and the French Revolution. The videos are quirky affairs where you never see the instructor (usually Salman Khan himself, who personally has created nearly 3,000 of them). Instead, students are confronted with a blank digital blackboard, which, over the course of a ten-minute lesson narrated in Khan’s soothing baritone, is gradually filled up with neon-colored scrawls illustrating key concepts. Over the past two years Khan Academy videos have been viewed more than 200 million times. The site is used by 6 million unique students each month.

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




Vermont governor signs GMO food labeling into law
2014-05-08, CNN
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:24:37
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/08/health/vermont-gmo-labeling

Vermont's governor on [May 8] signed a bill into law that will require the labeling of genetically modified foods -- hailing it as the first such law in the nation. Under the new law, food offered for retail sale that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering must be labeled as such by July 2016. "Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what's in the food we buy," said Gov. Peter Shumlin. "More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state -- Vermont -- will also ensure that we know what's in the food we buy and serve our families." In the absence of federal action, other states have introduced similar legislation or ballot initiatives, according to the non-profit Center for Food Safety. Maine and Connecticut passed laws requiring labeling, but they won't go into effect until other states pass GMO-labeling laws. Vermont is the first to pass a "no strings attached" bill, the watchdog group said. Supporters of the law expect it will be challenged in court. "I can make no predictions or promises about how the courts will ultimately rule but I can promise that my office will mount a vigorous and zealous defense of the law that has so much support from Vermont consumers," said Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service approved a non-GMO label for meat and liquid egg products in June, the first time the department has approved such a label from a third party. GMO foods were approved for human consumption in 1995.

Note: For more on the major risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here. For many major media articles laying bare the serious risks and dangers of GMOs in our food, click here.




Vermont just passed the nation’s first GMO food labeling law. Now it prepares to get sued.
2014-05-09, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:23:31
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/04/29/how-vermont-plans-t...

Vermont on [May 8] became the first state in the nation to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed that mandate into law on Thursday afternoon, saying in a statement “we believe we have a right to know what’s in the food we buy.” The new law represents a significant victory for advocates who have for years pushed such measures at the state and local level. But there remains one more hurdle to overcome: a likely lawsuit. Legislators, officials and advocates are preparing for the state to be sued over the new law. Last month, state Attorney General Bill Sorrell told Vermont Public Radio that he would be “very surprised” if the state isn’t sued. And officials were so sure of a challenge that the measure itself creates a $1.5 million legal defense fund, to be paid for with settlements won by the state. “The threat of a lawsuit worked for a while, but now it doesn’t work anymore,” says Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, whose organization has for years worked with activists and lawmakers in Vermont on the issue. At least 25 states have considered such legislation, according to a recent report on labeling requirements from the nonprofit Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. And advocates are hopeful they will get a measure on the Oregon ballot this year. Proponents argue that the science behind genetically modified food is far from conclusive and ask why consumers should take risks without knowing what they’re eating. If companies truly stand behind the safety of GMO foods, they shouldn’t worry about having to identify them, advocates for labeling argue.

Note: For many major media articles laying bare the serious risks and dangers of GMOs in our food, click here. For more on the major risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing summary available here.




Vatican Defrocks 848 Priests in 10 Years of Abuse
2014-05-06, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:21:19
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/vatican-defrocks-848-priests-10...

The Vatican revealed [on May 6] that over the past decade, it has defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned another 2,572 with lesser penalties, providing the first ever breakdown of how it handled the more than 3,400 cases of abuse reported to the Holy See since 2004. The Vatican's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, released the figures during a second day of grilling by a U.N. committee monitoring implementation of the U.N. treaty against torture. Tomasi insisted that the Holy See was only obliged to abide by the torture treaty inside the tiny Vatican City State, which has a population of only a few hundred people. But significantly, he didn't dispute the committee's contention that sexual violence against children can be considered torture. Legal experts have said that classifying sexual abuse as torture could expose the Catholic Church to a new wave of lawsuits since torture cases in much of the world don't carry statutes of limitations. The Vatican in 2001 required bishops and religious superiors to forward all credible cases of abuse to Rome for review after determining that they were shuffling pedophile priests from diocese to diocese rather than subjecting them to church trials. Only in 2010 did the Vatican explicitly tell bishops and superiors to also report credible cases to police where local reporting laws require them to. The Vatican statistics ... showed that far from diminishing in recent years, the number of cases reported annually to the Vatican has remained a fairly constant 400 or so since 2010.

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




Now That’s Rich
2014-05-09, New York Times
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:20:08
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/09/opinion/krugman-now-thats-rich.html

The 25 highest-paid hedge fund managers ... made a combined $21 billion in 2013. In particular, let’s think about how their good fortune refutes several popular myths about income inequality in America. Apologists for soaring inequality almost always try to disguise the gigantic incomes of the truly rich by hiding them in a crowd of the merely affluent. Instead of talking about the 1 percent or the 0.1 percent, they talk about the rising incomes of college graduates. The goal of this misdirection is to soften the picture, to make it seem as if we’re talking about ordinary white-collar professionals who get ahead through education and hard work. But many Americans are well-educated and work hard. The vast gulf that now exists between the upper-middle-class and the truly rich didn’t emerge until the Reagan years. Second, ignore the rhetoric about “job creators” and all that. Conservatives want you to believe that the big rewards in modern America go to innovators and entrepreneurs, people who build businesses and push technology forward. But that’s not what those hedge fund managers do for a living; they’re in the business of financial speculation. Once upon a time, you might have been able to argue with a straight face that all this wheeling and dealing was productive, that the financial elite was actually providing services to society commensurate with its rewards. But, at this point, the evidence suggests that hedge funds are a bad deal for everyone except their managers; they don’t deliver high enough returns to justify those huge fees, and they’re a major source of economic instability. We’re still living in the shadow of a crisis brought on by a runaway financial industry.

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




California tax plan could rein in CEO pay
2014-05-02, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:18:48
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/California-tax-plan-could-rein-in...

Until the 1980s, corporate CEOs in America were paid, on average, 30 times what their typical worker was paid. Since then, CEO pay has skyrocketed to 280 times the pay of a typical worker; in big companies, to 354 times. Meanwhile, over the same 30-year span, the median American worker has seen no pay increase at all, adjusted for inflation. Even though the pay of male workers continues to outpace that of females, the typical male worker between the ages of 25 and 44 peaked in 1973 and his pay has been dropping ever since. Wages of the median male worker across all age brackets have dropped 10 percent, after inflation, since 2000. CEOs and other top executives use their fortunes to fuel speculative booms followed by busts. CEOs and top corporate executives in Europe, Canada and Japan don't get paid vast multiples of what their employees earn. At the same time, their workers are starting to command better pay than the typical American. The median wage in Canada is already higher than the median wage in the United States. There's no easy answer for reversing this trend, but ... a bill introduced in the California Legislature ... creates the right incentives. The proposed legislation sets corporate taxes according to the ratio of CEO pay to the pay of the company's typical worker. Corporations with low pay ratios get a tax break. Those with high ratios get a tax increase. For the last 30 years, almost all the incentives for companies have been to lower the pay of their workers while increasing the pay of their CEOs and other top executives. It's about time some incentives were applied in the other direction.

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




Keith Alexander Unplugged: on Bush/Obama, 1.7 million stolen documents
2014-05-08, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:17:19
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/05/08/keith-alexander-unplugged-busho...

Back in December, 60 Minutes broadcast a now-notorious segment of pure access journalism in which they gullibly disseminated one false NSA claim after the next. The program claimed that Snowden “is believed to still have access to 1.5 million classified documents he has not leaked”. Ever since then, that Snowden “stole” 1.7 or 1.8 million documents from the NSA has been repeated over and over again by US media outlets as verified fact. The Washington Post‘s Walter Pincus, citing an anonymous official source, purported to tell readers that “among the roughly 1.7 million documents he walked away with — the vast majority of which have not been made public — are highly sensitive, specific intelligence reports”. Reuters frequently includes in its reports the unchallenged assertion that “Snowden was believed to have taken 1.7 million computerized documents.” In fact, that number is and always has been a pure fabrication, as even Keith Alexander admits. The claimed number has changed more times than one can count: always magically morphing into randomly chosen higher and scarier numbers. The reality, in the words of the General, is that the US Government ”really [doesn't know] what he actually took with him” and they ”don’t have an accurate way of counting”. All they know is how many documents he accessed in his entire career at NSA, which is a radically different question from how many documents he took. But that hasn’t stopped American media outlets from repeatedly affirming the inflammatory evidence-free claim that Snowden took 1.7 million documents.

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




Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds
2014-05-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:15:43
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/09/honeybees-dying-insecticid...

The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear. "We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering 'colony collapse disorder' [CCD] in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter," said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health [who led the study]. The loss of honeybees in many countries in the last decade has caused widespread concern because about three-quarters of the world's food crops require pollination. The decline has been linked to loss of habitat, disease and pesticide use. In December 2013, the European Union banned the use of three neonicotinoids for two years. In the new Harvard study, published in the Bulletin of Insectology, the scientists studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 till April 2013. At each location, two colonies were treated with realistic doses of imidacloprid, two with clothianidin, and two were untreated control hives. "Bees from six of the 12 neonicotinoid-treated colonies had abandoned their hives and were eventually dead with symptoms resembling CCD," the team wrote. "However, we observed a complete opposite phenomenon in the control colonies."

Note: For more on mass deaths of many species of animal, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Things To Think About While Shopping For Dinner
2014-04-25, Forbes
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:11:56
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2014/04/25/things-to-think-about-whil...

Of all our daily human activities, what we eat has perhaps the largest direct impact on the environment. Agriculture uses an estimated 70 percent of global freshwater to grow our food, and in the U.S., 22 percent of all our energy use is gobbled up by the food system. [In addition], the agriculture sector produces about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases. A common myth is that the food system uses so much fossil fuel because we ship food around the globe. [But] our addiction to “convenience foods” uses far more. From the making of fertilizer [to] running your refrigerator, the food system uses an enormous amount of energy. Not only are most of those fast and packaged foods higher in sugar and lower on nutrients. They are also wasting valuable energy resources. ‘Conventional’ food uses far more energy than organic [food does]. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2007, U.S. agriculture used more than a billion pounds of pesticides. The USDA also reports farmers used 22 million tons of synthetic fertilizer in 2011. The amount of energy used to create synthetic nitrogen fertilizer (more than 13 million tons) could heat 5.5 million homes for a year. Junk food wastes money and precious resources. In 2013, Americans drank close to 39 gallons of soda per person (at a cost of about $150 per person), and in 2011, roughly 25 percent of the calories we consumed came from snack foods. And yet we willingly pay 1000 times more for that can of soda then what it actually costs. It turns out, it is not organic food that is the rip off.




White House Reinstalls Solar Panels For First Time in Nearly 30 Years
2014-05-09, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-05-12 07:10:09
http://time.com/94067/white-house-solar-panels/

The Obama Administration has installed solar panels on the White House for the first time in nearly 30 years. Of course, they could eventually be taken down again, as President Jimmy Carter’s were in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. [In] the meantime, however, they serve as a a symbol of the clean energy revolution. “Solar panels in the White House ... are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz said in a White House video about the panels released [May 9]. “I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our energy future.” “Everything from the solar components, to the inverter technology, to the labor that put the panels on the roof, was all American,” added Cyrus Waida, an assistant director of clean energy at the White House. “Every four minutes, some small business or homeowner is going solar. We’re going through a transition here and the industry is going through a transition that we’re just seeing the beginning of.”

Note: For more on promising alternative energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





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