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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media

Below are 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.

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.

‘My therapist gave me a pill’: can MDMA help cure trauma?
2016-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:23:44

For as long as Alice, now 32, can remember, her father, “a major drug dealer with freezers full of cocaine”, was physically abusive towards her and her mother. Alice’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ... went misdiagnosed for many years. She tried [many therapies]. Nothing worked. Then, two and a half years ago, Alice enrolled in a clinical trial for a treatment combining psychotherapy with MDMA. Her “trips” were accompanied by eight-hour therapy sessions. During the session[s], her psychiatrist guided the conversation according to goals she had set with Alice beforehand. Alice’s recovery was astonishing. The clinician-administered PTSD scale, or Caps ... uses a lengthy questionnaire to determine the severity of a patient’s symptoms. Any score over 60 is “severe”. Alice’s score went from 106 to two. It’s now at zero. In other words, her PTSD is gone. Alice is one of 136 patients who have undergone MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in trials run by the not-for-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), based in Santa Cruz, California. [In] one South Carolina study ... 83% of those given the MDMA no longer met the criteria for PTSD following treatment, compared with 25% of those who were not given the drug. Best of all? The results have held for several years. MDMA is not a silver bullet: treatment is heavily reliant on the accompanying therapy, and there is a lot of therapy: three monthly sessions with the drug, lasting eight hours each, punctuated by nine weekly 90-minute sessions without it.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.

U.S. to pay 17 Indian tribes $492 million to settle long-standing disputes
2016-09-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:22:12

The Obama administration has settled lawsuits with 17 Native American tribes that accused the federal government of long mismanaging their funds and natural resources. With these settlements, the administration will have resolved the majority of outstanding claims, some dating back a century, with more than 100 tribes and totaling more than $3.3 billion. The settlements announced Monday, totaling $492.8 million, come at the same time that thousands of Native Americans representing tribes from across the country have joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota to protest the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which they say threatens their water supply and traverses sacred Indian burial grounds. This month, a federal judge ruled against the Standing Rock tribe’s request to halt construction of the crude-oil pipeline. Meanwhile, thousands of Native Americans remain camped out in a nearby field in protest. Native leaders also protested the pipeline Monday in Washington outside the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where tribal leaders met with President Obama. The 17 tribes affected [by the settlements] had accused the federal government of mismanaging trust lands, which are leased for timber harvesting, farming, grazing, and oil and gas extraction, among other uses.

Note: Settling these lawsuits may be a step in the right direction, but the ongoing harm being done to tribal lands by government-protected industry suggests that there is still a long way to go. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.

2 Paths of Bayer Drug in 80's: Riskier One Steered Overseas
2013-05-22, New York Times
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:19:59

A division of the pharmaceutical company Bayer sold millions of dollars of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs - medicine that carried a high risk of transmitting AIDS - to Asia and Latin America in the mid-1980's while selling a new, safer product in the West, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The Bayer unit, Cutter Biological, introduced its safer medicine in late February 1984 as evidence mounted that the earlier version was infecting hemophiliacs with H.I.V. Yet for over a year, the company continued to sell the old medicine overseas, [and] kept making the old medicine for several months more. In Hong Kong and Taiwan alone, more than 100 hemophiliacs got H.I.V. after using Cutter's old medicine. Many have since died. Cutter also continued to sell the older product ... in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Argentina. The Cutter documents, which were produced in connection with lawsuits filed by American hemophiliacs, went largely unnoticed until The Times began asking about them. Federal regulators helped keep the overseas sales out of the public eye. When a Hong Kong distributor in late 1984 expressed an interest in the new product, the records show, Cutter asked the distributor to "use up stocks" of the old medicine. Several months later, as hemophiliacs in Hong Kong began testing positive for H.I.V., some local doctors questioned whether Cutter was dumping "AIDS tainted" medicine into less-developed countries.

Note: Watch a three-minute MSNBC report on this decision by Bayer which resulted in thousands being infected with AIDS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Who Are Syria's 'White Helmets'?
2016-10-03, NBC News
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:17:35

As the Syrian peace accord has crumbled - even threatening to reignite the Cold War - and barrel bombs continue to fall on the rebel-held city of Aleppo, many are fleeing the death and destruction. But one group of residents has vowed to stay behind and help. They are the "White Helmets," a volunteer team of first responders who plunge head-first into crumbling buildings to save civilians trapped in the rubble of Syria's brutal civil war. Named after their iconic protective headgear, the group of about 3,000 rescue workers have reportedly saved more than 60,000 lives since the civil war began. In August, their courage garnered international attention when they rescued 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh, the stunned little boy covered in dust and blood whose photo shocked the world. They have since been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. The heroism of these ordinary citizens - former doctors, shopkeepers, and teachers - is profiled in a 40-minute Netflix documentary. "These are very normal, ordinary people who now do one of the most extraordinary jobs on this planet," said the film's director, Orlando von Einsiedel. "They represent the best of what humanity can be," he said. "It has given us faith in humanity and has made us want to be better people."

Note: When the media seems to want us to hate Muslims, it's so important to read about the beautiful examples of these heroes. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Do trees have brains and talk to each other? They are intelligent, express emotions and make friends, claims a new book.
2016-07-15, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:15:48

There's increasing evidence to show that trees are able to communicate with each other. More than that, trees can learn. When you discover how trees talk to each other, feel pain, nurture each other, even care for their close relatives and organise themselves into communities, it's hard to be sceptical. The support they give each other is not random. Research by Professor Massimo Maffei at the University of Turin shows trees can distinguish the roots of their own species from other plants, and even pick out their own relations from other trees. Some are so tightly connected at the roots that they even die together, like a devoted married couple. Diseased or hungry individuals can be identified, supported and nourished until they recover. They can also send warnings using chemical signals and electrical impulses through the fungal networks that stretch under the soil between sets of roots. These fungi operate like fibre-optic internet cables. Their thin filaments penetrate the earth, weaving through it in almost unbelievable density. One teaspoon of forest soil contains many miles of these tendrils. Over centuries, if left undisturbed, a single fungus can cover many square miles and create a network throughout an entire forest. Through these links, trees can send signals about insects, drought and other dangers. News bulletins are transmitted by chemical compounds and also by electricity. Most of us see trees as practically inanimate. But the truth is very different. They are just as intensely alive as we are ... and for much, much longer.

Note: The above article was adapted from Peter Wohlleben's book, "The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate - Discoveries From A Secret World." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Why An Israeli Company Is Sucking Water From The Sky
2016-09-30, Huffington Post
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:13:30

In the face of a changing climate and the challenges that come with it, companies the world over have been attempting to pull solutions out of thin air - literally. There are firms turning air into fuel and others transforming it into stone. Some are even extracting clean drinking water from it. Israel’s Water-Gen has built devices that create and store drinking water by harvesting condensation from the air. It was among a group of Israeli firms that presented their technological innovations at the United Nations General Assembly last week. “Put simply, [our technology] leverages the same process as a dehumidifier, but instead captures and cleans the moisture,” said Arye Kohavi, Water-Gen’s CEO. “This ‘plug-and-drink’ technology is fully independent of existing water infrastructure. All we require is an electrical outlet and the humidity found in the air.” Water-Gen isn’t the only company to market such a technology, but it says its machines ... are far more energy-efficient than any other water production device. “Our technology takes one-fifth of the amount of energy used by other methods,” Kohavi said. Water-Gen estimates the water its machines generates would cost less than 10 cents per gallon. The smallest device can yield up to 5 gallons daily, while the largest can produce more than 800 gallons a day. “We think it’s possible to bring drinking water to all countries,” Maxim Pasik, Water-Gen’s chairman, [said] in an interview. “What’s important for us is to bring water to the people. This is a basic human right.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

When a Doctor Illegally Put the “HOME” Back Into Nursing Homes, Death Rates Plummeted
Posted: 2016-10-10 15:11:49

Thinking about aging conjures unpleasant imagery of becoming weak and frail, losing our autonomy, and being placed in a nursing home to live out the remainder of our days alone. Self-described “Nursing Home Abolitionist” Dr. Bill Thomas has been working on changing that, and his ideas and philosophy are reforming the traditional long-term care model. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1986, Dr. Thomas worked in emergency care. He went on to become the medical director of [a] nursing home in upstate New York. The institutionalized and depressing atmosphere of the facility prompted him to take action. Even though animals in nursing homes were illegal at the time, Dr. Thomas brought in two dogs, four cats, hens, rabbits, 100 parakeets, a multitude of plants, a flower garden, and vegetable patch. The Washington Post reported that the illegal act was a resounding success. There was a 50% drop in medical prescriptions along with a dramatic decrease in death rates – but most importantly, the residents were simply happier. It inspired Dr. Thomas to create The Green House Project, a national non-profit organization that creates alternative living environments to traditional nursing home care facilities. Traditional nursing homes are torn down and replaced with small, home-like environments where people can live a full and interactive life. In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded ... a five-year $10 million grant to help the organization create Green House projects in all fifty states.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities, Scientific Review Shows
2015-06-29, Newsweek
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:58:25

If you’re like two-thirds of Americans, fluoride is added to your tap water for the purpose of reducing cavities. But the scientific rationale for putting it there may be outdated. Water fluoridation ... first began in 1945. Those opposed to the process have argued - and a growing number of studies have suggested - that the chemical may present a number of health risks, for example interfering with the endocrine system and increasing the risk of impaired brain function; two studies in the last few months, for example, have linked fluoridation to ADHD and underactive thyroid. Others argue against water fluoridation on ethical grounds, saying the process forces people to consume a substance they may not know is there - or that they’d rather avoid. Despite concerns about safety and ethics, many are content to continue fluoridation because of its purported benefit: that it reduces tooth decay. You might think, then, that fluoridated water's efficacy as a cavity preventer would be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But new research suggests that assumption is dramatically misguided. Consuming fluoridated water may have no positive impact. The Cochrane Collaboration ... recently set out to find out if fluoridation reduces cavities. They reviewed every study done on fluoridation that they could find. Then they ... published their conclusion in a review earlier this month. “There’s really hardly any evidence” the practice works, [said dean of the Hull York Medical School Trevor Sheldon].

Note: Read lots more excellent information on corruption around the fluoridation of water in this article on For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Congress overrides Obama's veto of 9/11 bill
2016-09-28, CNN News
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:56:23

Families of those killed in the terror attacks on 9/11 are now legally allowed to sue Saudi Arabia, after Congress voted Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of the legislation, the first override of his presidency. The votes by the House and Senate were overwhelming. Members of both parties broke into applause on the House floor after the vote. The bipartisan vote on the Hill was a rebuke of the President who had argued the Justice for State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) - which for the first time would allow suits in American courts against state sponsors of terrorist attacks inside the US - could open the US government to lawsuits for the actions of military service members and diplomats. Obama also warned it could damage America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, a troubled but key Middle East ally, and other allies who might be accused of terrorism. But the powerful emotional appeal of providing 9/11 families a legal avenue to pursue justice proved too strong and carried the day. "The victims of 9/11 have fought for 15 long years to make sure that those responsible for the senseless murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children, and injuries to thousands others, are held accountable. JASTA becoming law is a tremendous victory toward that effort," said Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism.

Note: A presidential veto, Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive, and its $750 billion threat did not stop this legislation from moving forward. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.

Public understands Wells Fargo’s bad behavior, that’s the problem
2016-09-28, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:54:43

Following widespread outrage and a blistering Senate Banking Committee hearing last week, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has said he’ll forfeit his outstanding stock awards of about $41 million. Wells Fargo’s former retail-banking head, Carrie Tolstedt, has agreed to forfeit outstanding stock awards of about $19 million. The givebacks are being done in response to charges that the bank opened some 2 million fraudulent deposit and credit card accounts in its customers’ names. Wells Fargo had already agreed to pay $185 million to settle those charges with regulators, but, clearly, that wasn’t enough. The public is worn out by Wall Street’s bad behavior - and it’s also tired of watching low-level employees be scapegoated while top executives get off scot-free. Wells had fired more than 5,000 employees connected to the illegal sales practices, but done nothing to punish senior executives. No one is buying the story that a scandal this large was the work of rogue employees at the bottom of the totem pole. Part of the reason for the alleged unauthorized accounts was employees were pressured to meet unachievable sales goals. Wells has also pledged to end the controversial sales goal program for employees in the retail banking division. The financial meltdown of 2008 ... resulted out of extreme complexity - most politicians and citizens can’t parse a credit default swap. Opening a bank account in someone else’s name without their permission, however, is a wrong that everyone can understand.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

Over eight years, President Barack Obama has created the most intrusive surveillance apparatus in the world. To what end?
2016-09-07, Foreign Policy
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:52:36

Over his two terms, Obama has created the most powerful surveillance state the world has ever seen. From 22,300 miles in space, where seven Advanced Orion [spy satellites] now orbit; to a 1-million-square-foot building in the Utah desert that stores data intercepted from personal phones, emails, and social media accounts; to taps along the millions of miles of undersea cables that encircle the Earth like yarn, U.S. surveillance has expanded exponentially since Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. The effort to wire the world ... has cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion. Yet has the president’s blueprint for spying succeeded on its own terms? An examination of the unprecedented architecture reveals that the Obama administration may only have drowned itself in data. Privacy hasn’t been traded for security, but for the government hoarding more data than it knows how to handle. A panel set up by Obama [in 2013] to review the NSA’s operations concluded that the agency had stopped no terrorist attacks. Beyond failures to create security, there is the matter of misuse or abuse of U.S. spying, the effects of which extend well beyond violations of Americans’ constitutional liberties. Obama, meanwhile, has taken virtually no steps to fix what ails his spying apparatus, [but] has gone after people blowing the whistle on intelligence abuses. The Justice Department has charged eight leakers — more than double the number under all previous presidents combined.

Note: The above was written by James Bamford, whistleblower and author of "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America." Former US Senator Frank Church warned of the dangers of creating a surveillance state in 1975. By 2013, it had become evident that the US did not heed his warning. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.

High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history
2016-09-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:50:32

The German writer Norman Ohler['s] book ... "The Total Rush" – or, to use its superior English title, "Blitzed" – reveals the astonishing and hitherto largely untold story of the Third Reich’s relationship with drugs, including cocaine, heroin, morphine and, above all, methamphetamines (aka crystal meth). The story Ohler tells begins in the days of the Weimar Republic, when ... Hitler’s inner circle established an image of him as an unassailable figure who was willing to work tirelessly on behalf of his country, and who would permit no toxins – not even coffee – to enter his body. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, “seductive poisons” were immediately outlawed. Some drugs, however, had their uses. A substance that could “integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists and whiners” into the labour market might even be sanctioned. Ohler describes [the methyl-amphetamine Pervitin] as National Socialism in pill form. In 1940, as plans were made to invade France through the Ardennes mountains, a “stimulant decree” was sent out to army doctors, recommending that soldiers take [Pervitin]. The invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. In Berlin, Hitler was [prescribed injections of] a designer opiate. He would combine it with twice daily doses of the high grade cocaine. The effect of the drugs could appear to onlookers to be little short of miraculous. One minute the Führer was so frail he could barely stand up. The next, he would be ranting unstoppably at Mussolini.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.

For $178 million, the U.S. could pay for one fighter plane – or 3,358 years of college
2016-09-21, Reuters
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:47:41

Does free college threaten our all-volunteer military? That is what Benjamin Luxenberg, on the military blog War on the Rocks says. Unlike nearly every other developed country, which offer free or low cost higher education ... in America you need money to go to college. Right now there are only a handful of paths to higher education in America: have well-to-do parents; be low-income and smart to qualify for financial aid, take on crippling debt, or ... join the military. Overall, 75 percent of those who enlisted or who sought an officer’s commission said they did so to obtain educational benefits. And in that vein, Luxenberg raises the question: If college was cheaper, would they still enlist? It is a practical question worth asking, but raises more serious issues. Do tuition costs need to stay high to help keep the ranks filled? Does unequal access to college help sustain our national defense? A single F-35 fighter plane costs $178 million. Dropping just one plane from inventory generates 3,358 years of college money. We could pass on buying a handful of the planes, and a lot of people who now find college out of reach could go to school. The defense budget is some $607 billion, already the world’s largest by far. The cost of providing broader access to higher education would be a tiny fraction of that amount, far below any threshold where a danger to America’s defense could be reasonably argued.

Note: The Pentagon is the only segment of US government that doesn't balance its books, and Pentagon auditors are heavily pressured to look the other way on blatant corruption. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

How the 13th Amendment didn’t really abolish slavery, but let it live on in U.S. prisons
2016-09-21, New York Daily News
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:46:10

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution did not end slavery. In fact, it is the first time the word "slavery" was ever mentioned in the Constitution and it is in this amendment where it is ... given the constitutional protection that has maintained the practice of American slavery in various forms to this very day. It is why, right now, the largest prison strike in American history is about to enter its third week - the men and women inside of those prisons are effectively slaves. Their free or nearly free labor represents, according to Alice Speri, “a $2 billion a year industry that employs nearly 900,000 prisoners while paying them a few cents an hour in some states, and nothing at all in others. “In addition to work for private companies, prisoners also cook, clean, and work on maintenance and construction in the prisons themselves — forcing officials to pay staff to carry out those tasks in response to work stoppages. ‘They cannot run these facilities without us,’ organizers wrote ahead of the strike. ‘We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.’” The entire 13th Amendment ... is just 47 words long. About a third of those words aren't about ending slavery, but are shockingly about how and when slavery could receive a wink and a nod to continue. In essence, the 13th Amendment both banned and justified slavery in one fell swoop. Slavery is legal in prisons.

Note: It's strange to note that very few major media have given any coverage to this important story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system.

Extreme torture: Inside China’s correctional facilities
2016-06-21, (A leading Australian news website)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:44:31

Jintao Liu’s body shuddered in pain as he endured yet another day of extreme torture. He had woken to pins being pushed into his nails before he was forced to stand still in a yard for some 18 hours. During a lengthy stint in a series of Beijing detention centres and labour camps between 2006 and 2009 ... he was subjected to electric shocks, medical tests, forced feedings, beatings, violent sexual assaults and other barbaric forms of torture designed by prison guards to humiliate and inflict maximum pain. Mr Liu, 36, is one of thousands of people who have been incarcerated in some of China’s worst jails, labour camps and detention centres for practising Falun Gong. Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) Australia spokeswoman Sophia Bryskine said the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners was still extensive with many being locked up “with no legal proceedings”. Since the Chinese government outlawed Falun Gong [in 1999], it has detained thousands - most likely hundreds of thousands - of practitioners, according to a 2008 report by the Congressional Commission on China. In 2006 the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Novak, concluded that 66 per cent of all prisoners in China were Falun Gong practitioners. Mr Lin said he witnessed many other political prisoners being tortured and humiliated during his stint behind bars. Some prisoners were tortured to death, he said.

Note: If you can stomach it, several victims give their testimony in a video at the link above. For more, see this news article. Another article reveals how in extreme cases, government officials operate on imprisoned victims to take precious organs and sell them for use in transplants, sometimes resulting in the death of the victims. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the prison system.

Farrell scandal puts Catholic church's attitude to Australian law under the microscope
2016-09-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:42:09

Father Brian Lucas ... put everything he had this week into convincing the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that his handling of the case of Father John Farrell – who was abusing children from the moment he was ordained in 1981 – was absolutely proper. Lucas was the go-to man when paedophiles had to be persuaded to leave the church. Rules set in Rome made it essentially impossible to dismiss these men. They could be suspended from duties, given no work, forbidden to celebrate mass – but they had to consent to their own sacking. How many cases he had handled before he confronted Farrell he couldn’t exactly say. Perhaps 35. He never turned them over to the police. And he never took notes. Lucas was not alone when he met Farrell in September 1992. With him were two senior churchmen: Monsignor John Usher, director of the Catholic charity Centacare, and the judicial vicar of the Armidale diocese, Father Wayne Peters. Peters made a document. Lucas had a policy then of not encouraging victims to go to the police: not dissuading, but not encouraging. Lucas ... still maintains no useful admissions were made by Farrell and that Peters’ letter is not accurate. Once the first charges were laid in October 2012, Farrell was protected by non-publication orders and the pseudonym Father F. They were lifted in May this year when he was sentenced for 62 historical sex crimes against children, with a further 17 offences taken into account.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and sexual abuse scandals.

Bank of America analysts think there's a 50 per cent chance we live in The Matrix
2016-09-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:40:27

Analysts at Bank of America have reportedly suggested there is a 20 to 50 per cent chance our world is a Matrix-style virtual reality and everything we experience is just a simulation. The report, which was issued to clients, also implies even if our world was an illusion, we would never know about it. “It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors," the report stated. The analysts took inspiration from inventor ... Elon Musk, who believes there is a high probability the world is part of an artificial intelligence created by a future civilisation. Its claims also appeal to the work of a philosophy professor from the University of Oxford. In 2003, Professor Nick Bostrom concluded there is significant possibility we "live in a simulation". The Bank of America’s report, which was looking at the implications of virtual reality, explained: “Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50 per cent probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. “In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion. The argument is that we are already approaching photorealistic 3D simulations that millions of people can simultaneously participate in.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the mysterious nature of reality.

Schools replace punishment with meditation and see drastic results
2016-09-23, Miami Herald
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:38:35

Students who are misbehaving are usually taken out of class and sent to the principal, who punishes the child by revoking privileges, calling home or sometimes suspending them. But students in some Baltimore schools are sent somewhere different when they are acting out: a designated meditation room where they can calm down and decompress. The Mindful Moment room is equipped with bean bags and dim lighting, and students go through calming exercises with trained staff. At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, teachers and staff can refer students to the room for an emotional “reset” when they are worked up. The student is led through breathing exercises and is encouraged to discuss the emotions that led to an outburst. They work with the adult to come up with a plan to use mindfulness in a similar situation in the future, to prevent an outburst. After about 20 minutes in the room, they rejoin classmates. Students usually show “visible signs of relaxation and emotional de-escalation after guided practices” in the room. The program also includes a “Mindful Moment” twice a day, which leads students in breathing exercises for 15 minutes over the PA system. Students can also participate in yoga classes. It has drastically reduced suspensions, with zero reported in the 2013-14 school year. The program has also been implemented with older students, including those at Patterson High School, [which] has also seen a decrease in suspensions both in the hallways and in class.

Note: For more, see this photo essay and these testimonials.

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in America
2016-09-21, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:37:02

In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. Four other states have passed similar laws and more than half have considered doing so this year - more than two decades after the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 directed states to make it easier for citizens to register to vote at offices that provide public assistance, including motor vehicle agencies. In Oregon, DMV customers ... who show up in the department’s computer system as eligible but unregistered, are added by default to voter rolls without party affiliation; they later select a political party or opt out using a form sent to them in the mail. That subtle difference - requiring people to take an extra step to opt out if they don’t want to be registered - is producing results. “So far, it’s working,” said Jonathan Brater, of the Brennan Center of Justice at the New York University School of Law, an advocate for the modernization of voter registration. Just two years ago, barely a handful of states were considering this form of voter registration. But technology has made it easier to seamlessly transfer data between agencies, and states increasingly are taking advantage of it. Legislatures in three other states have passed automatic voter registration laws: West Virginia, Vermont, and California.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Does this 25 year-old hold the key to winning the war against superbugs?
2016-09-25, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:35:33

Not many 25-year-olds can claim to get up at 4am and work weekends to save the world from an impending Armageddon that could cost tens of millions of lives. But for the past three years, Shu Lam, a Malaysian PhD student at the University of Melbourne, has confined herself to a scientific laboratory to figure out how to kill superbugs that can no longer be treated with antibiotics. She believes that she has found the key to averting a health crisis so severe that last week the United Nations convened its first ever general assembly meeting on drug-resistant bacteria. The overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics has rendered some strains of bacteria untreatable, allowing so-called “superbugs” to mutate. Last Wednesday, the problem was described by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a “fundamental threat” to global health and safety. [Lam] believes her method of killing bacteria using tiny star-shaped molecules, built with chains of protein units called peptide polymers, is a ground-breaking alternative to failing antibiotics. Her research, published this month in the prestigious journal, Nature Microbiology, has already been hailed by scientists as a breakthrough that could change the face of modern medicine. Lam successfully tested the polymer treatment on six different superbugs in the laboratory, and against one strain of bacteria in mice. Even after multiple generations of mutations, the superbugs have proven incapable of fighting back.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.

Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.