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.

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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




China to allow direct yuan, New Zealand dollar trades
2014-03-18, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:19:10
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101505319

China has allowed direct domestic trading of the yuan against the New Zealand dollar to encourage such trading as it internationalizes the Chinese currency. The move ... comes after China doubled the yuan's trading band over the weekend in a milestone step that gives investors more freedom to set the value of the tightly controlled currency. The move was seen as promoting trade between the two countries, which rose 25.2 percent to NZ$18.2 billion ($15.71 billion) in 2013. As part of China's sweeping plans to overhaul its maturing economy and let market forces drive a host of industries, the government wants to gradually relax its hold over the yuan and turn it into a global reserve currency that one day rivals the dollar. The government's wish to promote international use of the yuan is partly driven by its concern that China is too vulnerable to the fluctuating value of the dollar. China is home to the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, worth $3.82 trillion at the end of last year. About a third is invested in U.S. government bonds. To promote international use of the yuan, China has signed a series of currency swaps with foreign governments in order to increase the overseas circulation of the Chinese currency. The New Zealand dollar is the 10th foreign currency that can be directly traded against the yuan in China.

Note: The US dollar's role as a global currency is gradually fading.




How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware
2014-03-12, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:17:30
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millio...

Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process. The classified files – provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware “implants.” The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks. The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic. In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.

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




Raging Against Hacks With Muckraker Turned Magazine-Maker Matt Taibbi
2014-03-09, New York Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:14:28
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/matt-taibbi-on-wall-street-first...

In mid-February, [reporter Matt] Taibbi announced he was leaving Rolling Stone, where he has worked for almost a decade, to start a digital magazine for First Look Media, the company owned by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar. The last few weeks have been consumed with business matters—hiring editorial staff, signing off on designs. Taibbi won’t discuss the exact format of the new venture, nor its name—that’s still being worked out, too—but he sees it focusing, in part, on the same matters of corporate malfeasance he’s been covering for years. What people expect, of course, is the ribald, loudly antagonistic voice of a writer who is, in his own words, “full of outrage.” The guy who compared Goldman Sachs to a “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” None of Taibbi’s anger at the “toothlessness” of the media has dissipated. Taibbi says his decision to leave Rolling Stone was predicated in part on ... his desire to “be on Glenn’s side.” Glenn being Glenn Greenwald, who, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is currently editing another First Look property, the national-security-centric The Intercept, which has been live since February. “Glenn’s in this position of being a reporter trying to put out material that came from a whistle-blower, and now they’re both essentially in exile. It’s crazy. If the press corps that existed in the ’60s and ’70s had seen this situation, they’d be rising as one and denouncing the government for it,” Taibbi says.

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




Health conspiracy theories are widely believed
2014-03-19, USA Today
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:12:19
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/19/health-conspiracy-theori...

Nearly half of American adults believe the federal government, corporations or both are involved in at least one conspiracy to cover up health information, a new survey finds. Conspiracy theories on everything from cancer cures to cellphones to vaccines are well known and accepted by sizable segments of the population, according to a research letter published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings reflect "a very low level of trust" in government and business, especially in pharmaceutical companies, says study co-author Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. The online survey of 1,351 adults found: • 37% agree the Food and Drug Administration is keeping "natural cures for cancer and other diseases" away from the public because of "pressure from drug companies." • 20% believe health officials are hiding evidence that cellphones cause cancer. • 20% believe doctors and health officials push child vaccines even though they "know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders." • Smaller numbers endorse theories involving fluoride, genetically modified foods and the deliberate infection of African Americans with HIV. • 49% believe at least one of the theories and 18% believe at least three. The beliefs also go along with certain health behaviors, the survey found. Those who believe at least three health conspiracy theories are less likely to use sunscreen, get flu shots or get check-ups and are more likely to use herbal remedies and eat organic foods.

Note: For an intriguing list of 10 major health cover-ups with evidence to back it up, click here.




Mexico: Knights Templar Drug Cartel Made Recruits Eat Children's Hearts in Initiation Rite
2014-03-21, International Business Times
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:10:21
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mexico-knights-templar-drug-cartel-made-recruits-eat...

New members of an infamous Mexican drug cartel were forced to eat children's hearts as part of a gruesome initiation rite, informers told authorities in the western state of Michoacan. Officials investigating an organ trafficking ring allegedly run by the Knights Templar cartel said there is evidence the late gang boss Nazario Moreno demanded that recruits proved their loyalty through an act of cannibalism. "At [an] initiation ceremony they used the organs, in this case the heart, and forced people going through this initiatory process to eat it," Alfredo Castillo, the federal government's envoy to Michoacan, told a local radio. "There are statements from some people who were present when Nazario Moreno (El Chayo) came and told others, either as initiation or as part of a ritual: 'Today we are going to eat a person's heart'," Castillo told Noticias MVS. Authorities said they have reason to believe the hearts were mainly taken from local children who were kidnapped and had their organs harvested for trafficking purposes. Moreno, known as El Chayo ("The Rosary") or El Más Loco ("The Craziest One"), was shot dead by security forces earlier this month. Moreno, who founded La Familia cartel before starting up the Knights Templar, was first declared dead by the Mexican government in December 2010 after a shootout with federal police, even though no corpse was found.

Note: For powerful information from a former member of "The Family" on the gruesome rites they were forced to endure and more, click here. Note that Moreno was allegedly declared dead in 2010, which was later found to be a blatant lie, likely caused by corrupt officials paid off to state this.




Pediatricians Say Cell Phone Radiation Standards Need Another Look
2012-07-20, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:08:20
http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/20/pediatricians-call-on-the-fcc-to-recons...

It’s been 18 years since the U.S. government assessed the standards for cell phone radiation. That was back in 1996. Both cell-phone technology and cell-phone use have changed in the interim, which is why last week the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its radiation standards. Current guidelines specify that the specific absorption rate (SAR) — the amount of radiofrequency (RF) energy absorbed by the body when using a cell phone — can’t exceed 1.6 watts per kilogram. The standard tells cell-phone makers how much radiation their products are allowed to emit. This all sounds pretty technical; why, you may wonder, is the AAP getting involved in deliberations over RF and SARs? It comes down to children’s health and well-being, writes AAP President Dr. Robert Block, who notes that standards are based on the impact of exposure on an adult male, not on women or kids: "Children, however, are not little adults and are disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation. In fact, according to [the International Agency for Research on Cancer], when used by children, the average RF energy deposition is two times higher in the brain and 10 times higher in the bone marrow of the skull, compared with mobile phone use by adults." Block points out that standards for all cell phones — even those not aimed at children or teens — need to “be based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded throughout their lifetimes.”

Note: For more on risks from cell phones and other important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Can what you eat affect your mental health? New research links diet and the mind
2014-03-24, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:04:39
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-what-you-eat-affect...

Scientists have recently begun to investigate [whether] food can have as powerful an impact on the mind as it does on the body. Research exploring the link between diet and mental health “is a very new field; the first papers only came out a few years ago,” said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. “But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health.” “Diet quality” refers to the kinds of foods that people eat, how often they eat them and how much of them they eat. In several studies ... Berk and his collaborators have found lower rates of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder among those who consumed a traditional diet of meat and vegetables than among people who followed a modern Western diet heavy with processed and fast foods or even a health-food diet of tofu and salads. “Traditional diets — the kinds of foods your grandmother would have recognized — have been associated with a lower risk of mental health issues,” Berk said. The association between diet and mental well-being may start even before birth. A 2013 study of more than 23,000 mothers and their children, led by Berk’s frequent collaborator and Deakin colleague Felice Jacka, suggests a link between a mother’s consumption of sweets and processed foods during pregnancy and behavioral and mental health issues in her child at age 5.

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




GoldieBlox Helping to Build a Generation of Female Engineers
2013-09-04, ABC News blog
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:02:41
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/09/goldieblox-helping-to-build-a-g...

Debbie Sterling is on a mission to build up girls by breaking down a few barriers. Fed up with the lack of women in her engineering field (the latest studies from the National Science Foundation show that 11 percent of engineers of women), Sterling, a graduate of Stanford University, came up with an idea after coming across research that kids’ toys could have a huge impact on their career choices. She set her sights on building a construction toy for girls after visiting a toy store. “I was so disappointed that there weren’t things that would inspire girls to [use] their brains,” Sterling, 30, said. "I wanted to put something in there that girls can see that they too could find a passion in engineering and that they too could find these subjects fun.” And so the idea for GoldieBlox, toys that encourage girls to not just play with dollhouses but build them, was born. “In creating the GoldieBlox character, I wanted to make a character that girls could relate to,” Sterling said. “She’s feminine and she loves building.” To fund the dream, to the tune of $150,000, Sterling made a plea, complete with a video, on Kickstarter. The money started flooding in. “We reached our goal in four days,” she said, “and ended up almost doubling it by the end.” GoldieBlox is now sold in about 500 independent stores in the United States and Canada, and even at Toys R Us. Sterling said her toys had been consistently in the Top 20 best-selling toys on Amazon. "I firmly believe that in my own lifetime I’m going to see a huge shift,” Sterling said. “I’m going to see an enormous shift of more girls entering these fields, inventing amazing things, with men.”

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




How Far Can You Get on Kindness? Man Traveling the World on Goodwill
2013-08-21, ABC News blog
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:01:16
http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/far-kindness-man-traveling-world-strange...

Leon Logothetis [is] on a mission. Riding his yellow motorcycle, which he calls Kindness One, he is attempting to travel around the world on nothing but the kindness of strangers. No money. No food. Nowhere to stay. Logothetis is counting on the generosity of the human spirit to keep him going. So far, he's met with success. In Las Vegas, a family gave him food and a place to sleep. In Nebraska, cowboys let him stay with them on their ranch. "The American people have been absolutely fantastic," Logothetis said. And in Pittsburgh, after a dozen people turned him down, Logothetis met Tony, a homeless man who shared his food and offered to let Logothetis sleep with him in a dilapidated garage. So just how far can kindness get you? Logothetis is determined to find out. "I used to be broker in London, sitting behind a desk, working 12 hour days, and it wasn't for me," he explained. "Then I went and traveled the world and connected with people. And that's what it's all about. That's where the magic is; connection. Heart to heart." Logothetis said he'll board a ship from New York to Europe, adding he'll do so "as a non-paying passenger. Kindness Rocks!" He also lists a tentative itinerary that would see him traveling to France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Istanbul, India, Bhutan, Cambodia and Vietnam, among other countries. His journey will be filmed for a TV show. The trip also serves to raise awareness about and raise funds for Make a Wish International.

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




Following in the footsteps of his father, a Zionist hero, toward a free and democratic Palestine
2013-04-08, Haaretz (One of Israel's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-31 07:59:42
http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/following-in-the-footsteps-of-his-father...

If Miko Peled’s memoir The General’s Son were made into a movie, it would open with this scene: In his San Diego home in 1997, while casually watching CNN, he catches a glimpse of a young girl on a stretcher. There’s been a suicide bombing on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem. As if on cue, he receives a phone call from his mother in Israel saying that his 13-year-old niece Smadar, daughter of his sister Nurit, is missing. Somehow, he knows instinctively she’s the girl he saw on TV. This fear is confirmed several agonizing hours later, when her body is found at a morgue. He must fly back to Israel immediately, as the state funeral for the granddaughter of General Matti Peled, the Independence War hero..., awaits his return. This moment in 1997 marks the beginning of a powerful personal and political journey, recounted in Peled’s new book in a style that is part confessional, part cinematic epic and part emotional appeal for “different answers” to the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum. His sister Nurit’s adamant stance that the occupation was to blame for her daughter’s death was also a key factor. “She said, ‘no real mother would want this to happen to another mother,” recalls Peled, “and for me that crystallized how morally unjustifiable retaliation is.” “If there were a democratic single state tomorrow,” he argues, “would people vote along ethnic or religious lines? Or would they vote for someone who promised better schools, roads and lower taxes? I think the latter.” The one-state solution is inevitable, he says, “not because Israelis are changing,” but because the current situation cannot continue.

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ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption
2014-03-12, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:41:28
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304250204579433312607325596

Last week the [Obama] Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty. This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing. The mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether. Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable." People can ... qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.

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