April 13, 2005
Below are one paragraph summaries of news stories
which did not warrant a separate email, but which may be of interest. Links
are provided to the original sources. By educating ourselves and spreading
the word, we can and will build a brighter future. Take care and have a great
day, Fred Burks for WantToKnow.info.
A Slap in the Face In short, the climate for freedom of the press in the U.S. feels
more ominous than it has for decades. One appropriate response is to protest
vociferously and seek the passage of a federal shield law for journalists.
But it's also crucial for us to reflect on why this is happening now - and
a major reason, I think, is that we in the news media are widely perceived
as arrogant, out of touch and untrustworthy. A recent report from the Pew
Research Center, "Trends 2005," is painful to read. The report says that
45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing in their daily newspapers,
up from 16 percent two decades ago. it's a rare news organization that is
trusted by more than one-third of the people in either party: the one thing
Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the news media are not trustworthy.
New York Times, April 12, 2005
A Slap in the Face
In short, the climate for freedom of the press in the U.S. feels more ominous than it has for decades. One appropriate response is to protest vociferously and seek the passage of a federal shield law for journalists. But it's also crucial for us to reflect on why this is happening now - and a major reason, I think, is that we in the news media are widely perceived as arrogant, out of touch and untrustworthy. A recent report from the Pew Research Center, "Trends 2005," is painful to read. The report says that 45 percent of Americans believe little or nothing in their daily newspapers, up from 16 percent two decades ago. it's a rare news organization that is trusted by more than one-third of the people in either party: the one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the news media are not trustworthy.
Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention
New York Times, April 12, 2005
Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue. "We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed," the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. "I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own." Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges. During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend
New York Times, March 29, 2005
Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement. Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva's watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.
infant vaccine stirs new controversy
Los Angeles Times/Newsday, March 8, 2005
Merck & Co. continued to supply infant vaccine containing a mercury preservative for two years after declaring that it had eliminated the chemical. Thimerosal, which is nearly 50 percent ethyl mercury, has largely been eliminated from most routine childhood vaccines, although it is present in most flu shots. More than 4,200 parents have filed claims in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, alleging that their children suffered autism or other neurological disorders from mercury in their shots.
EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data
Washington Post, March 22, 2005
When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff. What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion. That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents.
Considers Restricting Online Political Activities
Washington Post, March 20, 2005
The Federal Election Commission has begun considering whether to issue new rules on how political campaigns are waged on the Internet, a regulatory process that is expected to take months to complete but that is already generating considerable angst online. That shift has huge significance because it means that people who are conducting political activity on the Internet are suddenly going to have to worry about or at least be conscious of certain legal distinctions and lines they didn't used to have to worry about.
THAN A THOUSAND WHISTLEBLOWER CASES DUMPED
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Feb. 23, 2005
The U.S. Special Counsel has dismissed more than 1,000 whistleblower cases in the past year, according to a letter from the Bush-appointed Special Counsel [Scott Block] released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). According to the figures released by Bloch, in the past year the Office of Special Counsel dismissed or otherwise disposed of 600 whistleblower disclosures where civil servants have reported waste, fraud, threats to public safety and violations of law. In not one of these cases did Bloch's office affirmatively represent a whistleblower to obtain relief before the civil service court system.
Photographer for White House child sex ring arrested
tomflocco.com, March 13, 2005
*Note: This source is clearly less reliable than those usually provided. However, as this is very important news I believe to be largely true based on numerous independent confirmations I've received, I've included it here. The article includes information on the Hunter Thompson suicide and the infamous Franklin case which you can learn about at https://www.WantToKnow.info/resources#conspiracy
According to a Nebraska state police report, Nebraska Senate's Franklin committee investigative report, and a 50-page report by Omaha's Boys Town welfare case officer Mrs. Julie Walters, pedophile victims Nelly and Kimberly Webb detailed a massive child sex, homosexual and pornography operation run out of Nebraska by Larry King--but with close ties directly to the Congress and the White House.
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