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Increasing Land Grabs in 3rd World, Lloyd's Sues Saudi Arabia over 9/11, Big Drop in Violent Crime
Revealing News Articles
September 27, 2011

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles on Lloyd's insurance suing Saudi Arabia over funding Al Qaeda and 9/11, a big drop in U.S. violent crime, a report revealing increasing land grabs in the developing world, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" box below the summaries. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Personal Note From Fred: Two fascinating essays have had a much more significant impact than any others on my understanding of the big picture of life, our world, and the universe. One is the WingMakers material, which many of you know about and is available here. The other is a written interview with one who calls himself a priest from one of the bloodlines he claims rule the Earth. I finally had time to summarize this lengthy material to focus on the best parts. You can now explore this most intriguing summary at this link.

Special note: For a great three-minute video exposing GMO risks and what you can do, click here. To hear U.S. Congressman Ron Paul explain how the classification of a government cable clearly manipulated public opinion to support war against in Iraq, click here. For a powerfully inspiring six-minute video of an Iraqi survivor of depleted uranium on Australia's X Factor, click here. For an amazingly beautiful 10-minute video combining breath-taking time-lapse photography with gratitude, click here. For a guide on how to avoid GMO foods, click here. For a mind-boggling graphic illustration of the amount of the U.S. debt, click here.

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US sees big drop in violence despite economic woes
September 17, 2011, MSNBC/Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44559363/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts

The number of violent crimes fell by a surprising 12 percent in the United States last year, a far bigger drop than the nation has been averaging since 2001, the Justice Department said. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009. Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010. The big drop dwarfs the 3 percent yearly decline in violent crimes the nation averaged from 2001 through 2009. More than 80 percent of the decline in violent crime was attributed to a plunge in simple assaults, by 15 percent. Those assaults accounted for nearly two-thirds of all violent crimes in 2010. The combined total of property crimes and violent crimes was down 6.6 percent last year, from 20 million to 18.7 million. From 1993 through 2010, the rate of violent crime has declined by a whopping 70 percent: from 49.9 violent crimes per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to only 14.9 per 1,000 in 2010.

Note: A 70 percent drop in violent crime in the last 20 years - that's amazing! Why isn't this inspiring news making top headlines? For excellent FBI graphs and more showing this dramatic decrease in crime, click here.


Lloyd's insurer sues Saudi Arabia for 'funding 9/11 attacks'
September 19, 2011, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lloyds-insurer-sues-saudi-arabia...

A Lloyd's insurance syndicate has begun a landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of indirectly funding al-Qa'ida and demanding the repayment of 136m it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks. Outlined in a 156-page document filed in western Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on 9/11, the claim suggests that the nine defendants "knowingly" provided resources, including funding, to al-Qa'ida in the years before the attack and encouraged anti-Western sentiment which increased support for the terror group. The case singles out the activities of a charity, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC), which was alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several al-Qa'ida operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. It is alleged that at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: "Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to al-Qa'ida members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz."

Note: This article singles out the important connection between Al Qaeda and the wars in Kosovo and Chechnya, where, as in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden's organization provided Muslim jihadis to promote US imperial interests. This activity continued into the summer of 2001 in Macedonia, just a few months before 9/11. Amazingly, the lawsuit described in the article has been dropped. What pressures could have been brought to bear on Lloyd's to cause it to drop its suit two weeks after bringing it?


Oxfam warns of spiralling land grab in developing countries
September 22, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/22/oxfam-land-grab-developing-countries

The scale of the rush by speculators, pension funds and global agri-businesses to acquire large areas of developing countries is far greater than previously thought, and is already leading to conflict, hunger and human rights abuses, says Oxfam. The NGO has identified 227m ha (561m acre ha) of land – an area the size of north-west Europe – as having being reportedly sold, leased or licensed, largely in Africa and mostly to international investors in thousands of secretive deals since 2001. The new land rush, which was triggered by food riots, a series of harvest failures following major droughts and the western investors moving out of the US property market in 2008, is being justified by governments and speculators in the name of growing food for hungry people and biofuels for environmental benefit. "Many of the deals are in fact 'land grabs' where the rights and needs of the people previously living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living," said Oxfam chief executive Dame Barbara Stocking. While some investors might claim to have experience in agricultural production, many may only be purchasing land speculatively, anticipating price increases in the coming years. In addition, developing countries are under pressure from the IMF, the World Bank and other regional banks to put farmland on the international market to increase economic development and improve the balance of payments.

Note: To read Oxfam's summary and report on land grabs worldwide, click here.


A future for drones: Automated killing
September 15, 2011, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/a-future-for-drones-automated-killing...

[A recent] successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. The demonstration laid the groundwork for scientific advances that would allow drones to search for a human target and then make an identification based on facial-recognition or other software. Once a match was made, a drone could launch a missile to kill the target. The prospect of machines able to perceive, reason and act in unscripted environments presents a challenge to the current understanding of international humanitarian law. "The deployment of such systems would reflect a paradigm shift and a major qualitative change in the conduct of hostilities," Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said at a conference in Italy this month. Drones flying over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen can already move automatically from point to point, and it is unclear what surveillance or other tasks, if any, they perform while in autonomous mode.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on Pentagon robotic weapons development projects, click here.


How to win business in Libya
September 23, 2011, Fox News/Reuters
http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/09/23/special-report-how-to-win-business-in-libya/

In August, as rebels fought forces loyal to President Muammar Gaddafi, two representatives of a British business consortium took a "rather long and arduous ferry journey from Malta" to the North African country. The men traveled to Libya at the invitation of the rebel administration. Britain, along with France and the United States, had given political and military support for the uprising against Gaddafi and sponsored the rebel leadership, the National Transitional Council (NTC). This was a chance to close some deals. The visitors keep coming. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron received a heroes' welcome last week when they became the first western leaders to visit since Gaddafi's ouster. Interim leader Abdel Jalil said the rebels' allies could expect preferential treatment in return for their help. It was a clear signal that countries which had not backed the NATO bombing campaign, including Russia, China and Germany, or which were slow to denounce Gaddafi, like Italy, stand to lose out. But if French and British politicians are tallying up the contracts, business executives are leaving little to chance. Dozens of executives from France, Britain, Italy and other countries have spent months building ties with potential Libyan partners. The potential profits are huge.

Note: For a two-page summary of US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler's explanation of the profiteering behind modern wars, click here. For key reports on corporate and government corruption from major media sources, click here and here.


Tony Blair 'visited Libya to lobby for JP Morgan'
September 18, 2011, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8772418/Tony-Blair-visited-Libya...

Tony Blair used visits to Libya after he left office to lobby for business for the American investment bank JP Morgan. New questions over Tony Blair's ties to Col Muammar Gaddafi and his role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber have emerged from documents discovered in Tripoli. A senior executive with the Libyan Investment Authority, the $70 billion fund used to invest the country's oil money abroad, said Mr Blair was one of three prominent western businessmen who regularly dealt with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the former leader. Saif al-Islam and his close aides oversaw the activities of the fund, and often directed its officials on where they should make its investments, he said. The executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials were told the "ideas" they were ordered to pursue came from Mr Blair as well as one other British businessman and a former American diplomat. "Tony Blair's visits were purely lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan," he said. Documents found by The Sunday Telegraph published this weekend showed Mr Blair had made at least three visits to Tripoli, twice in the lead-up to the release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Megrahi in 2008 and 2009 and once last year. On the first two occasions he was flown to the country on planes arranged by Col Gaddafi.

Note: For a two-page summary of US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler's explanation of the profiteering behind modern wars, click here. For key reports on corporate and government corruption from major media sources, click here and here.


Dead federal retirees are paid $120 million annually, report says
September 22, 2011, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dead-federal-retirees-are-paid-120-million-annually...

The federal government pays out millions of dollars to dead people each year – including deceased retired federal workers, according to a new report. In the past five years, the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in benefits payments to deceased federal annuitants, according to the agency's inspector general. Total annual payouts range between $100 million and $150 million. Improper payments to dead retirees increased 70 percent in the past five years, far higher than the 19 percent climb in overall annuity payments, the report said. In one case, a deceased annuitant's son continued receiving federal benefits until 2008 – 37 years after his father's death. OPM learned about the improper payments – which exceeded $515,000 – only after the son died. The agency never recovered the money. Overall, the government's improper payments totaled about $125 billion in fiscal 2010 – a $15 billion year-to-year increase. Last October, an investigation by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) concluded that the government had paid nearly $1 billion to at least 250,000 dead people since 2000.

Note: For key reports on government corruption from major media sources, click here.


'Wi-fi refugees' shelter in West Virginia mountains
September 12, 2011, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14887428

[Diane] Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment. Symptoms range from acute headaches, skin burning, muscle twitching and chronic pain. Diane believes her illness was triggered by emissions from a mobile phone mast. New research by scientists at Louisiana State University and published by the International Journal of Neuroscience, claims to show that EHS can be caused by low frequency electromagnetic fields found in the environment. "The study provides direct evidence that linking human symptoms with environmental factors, in this case EMF," says Dr Andrew Marino, a neurology professor who led the study. "It's a watershed in that regard. There have been no previous studies that scientifically assess whether electromagnetic fields in the environment could produce human symptoms. And the symptoms matter because they are the first steps that show how EMFs produce human disease."

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.


Bolivian anti-drugs cop jailed for cocaine trafficking
September 23, 2011, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15039500

The former chief of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police has been jailed by an American court for cocaine trafficking. A Miami federal judge imposed the 14-year sentence on Rene Sanabria, 54. Gen Sanabria was head of Bolivia's anti-drug agency until 2009, and was an intelligence adviser to the government at the time of his arrest. He pleaded guilty in June to taking part in a conspiracy to ship hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Bolivia to Chile and then on to Miami. The court heard the plot was set up by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as an undercover sting operation. Sanabria was detained in Panama and taken to the United States by DEA agents for trial. He had served for 32 years in Bolivia's police force. The charge carries a required minimum 10-year sentence. But US District Judge Ursula Ungaro said he was giving Sanabria a higher sentence because of his leadership role, and to send an anti-corruption message to other government officials.

Note: So the former chief of anti-narcotics was dealing drugs. What does this say about the war on drugs? For powerful evidence from award-winning reporters that elements within the CIA and DEA are involved in the drug trade, click here.


EPA chief warns GOP moves may risk public health
September 23, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/22/MNPT1L8BSB.DTL

The chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said [on Sep. 2] that Republican-sponsored proposals moving in the House would threaten the agency's ability to regulate toxic air emissions. Administrator Lisa Jackson told a panel of lawmakers that the legislation, coupled with two GOP-offered amendments, "would weaken or destroy our ability to address those toxic pollutants," putting thousands of lives at risk every year. The legislation would delay an EPA rule for reducing mercury pollution and the upcoming agency rule limiting cross-state air pollution from power plants. The bill would also require a new interagency committee to analyze the financial impact of several EPA rules next year. The House also will consider two floor amendments to the bill. One, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., would delay the mercury and cross-state rules by several additional years at least and loosen the minimum standards for new emissions rules. The other, sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, would require the EPA to draw up air-quality rules with regard to "cost and feasibility." Currently, the rules must be based solely on evidence regarding public health and environmental impacts. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said the amendments would roll back 40 years of EPA regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act.

Note: Agreeing with Rep. Waxman, the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, calls the bill "one of the most significant votes on air pollution in two decades."


In Germany, Sex Workers Feed a Meter
September 1, 2011, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/world/europe/01germany.html

The city of Bonn has begun collecting taxes from prostitutes with an automated pay station similar to a parking meter, proving again that German efficiency knows few if any bounds. Bonn is not the only city in Germany to charge such a tax, but it is the first to hit upon the idea of a ticket machine that prints out receipts for the nightly flat fee of 6 euros (currently about $8.65) for the privilege of streetwalking. The meter went into service over the weekend, and by Monday morning had collected $382 for the city's coffers. Prostitution is legal in Germany; the Reeperbahn in Hamburg is one of the largest red-light districts in Europe. Attempts are often made to regulate the industry, unionize the workers and tax the proceeds, but they are not always effective, given both the discretion and the unpredictability that are inherent in the business. Street prostitution as practiced in Bonn, once the capital of West Germany and a town better known for sleepiness than sexiness, would be unfamiliar to many people outside Germany for its unusual degree of organization and institutionalization. The Siemens-built meter machine ... cost $11,575 including installation.

Note: Prostitution is legal and regulated in Germany and seven other European countries.


Roll Over Einstein: Law of Physics Challenged
September 22, 2011, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/cern-claims-faster-light-particle-measured-14582841

One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity – that nothing can go faster than the speed of light – was [challenged] by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked [a] subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the [speed of light]. The researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. "The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy. CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.

Note: This article fails to mention that the speed of light barrier was broken and seriously questioned several decades ago. To read more on this fascinating development, click here.


'Where Children Sleep'
August 4, 2011, New York Times
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/where-children-sleep/

It was a small room, at the top of the house. For a time, it was home to tropical fish. Later, two pet mice slept there, in a home made of fruit crates. The walls of the room were covered with posters of Madonna and Duran Duran. Then it was the Rolling Stones. Then Jimi Hendrix. This was the childhood bedroom in Oxford, England, of James Mollison, 37, a documentary photographer. He had the luxury as a boy of adapting his bedroom to reflect his changing interests. Mr. Mollison's new book, Where Children Sleep, had its origins in a project undertaken for a children's charity several years ago. As he considered how to represent needy children around the world, he wanted to avoid the common devices: pleading eyes, toothless smiles. His subjects came from Boy Scout troops and sumo wrestling clubs. They were introduced through friends of friends. Mr. Mollison posed his young subjects – more than 200 of them – in front of blank white backgrounds for their portraits, leaving their bedrooms to do the talking. More than 50 pairings are in the book, which has a glow-in-the-dark cover (a nod to the glow-in-the-dark stars on so many childhood ceilings). As much as the project is about the quirkiness of childhood, it is, more strikingly, a commentary on class and on poverty. But the diversity also provides a sense of togetherness. Everybody sleeps. And eventually, everybody grows up.

Note: Don't miss the moving photo essay at this link. It will only take you a minute or two, yet is quite moving. And for other highly inspiring news articles, click here.


Key Articles From Years Past


A pill to make you smarter? Drug grows brain cells
July 8, 2010, Reuters News
http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/08/us-memory-drug-idUSTRE6675GT20100708

Researchers have found a drug that can help the brain grow new cells and said their study may lead to ways to improve experimental Alzheimer's drugs. The researchers' work, done on rodents, builds on findings that all mammals, including humans, make brain cells throughout their lives. Most of these die, but this drug helps more of the baby cells survive and grow to become functioning brain cells. "We make new neurons every day in our brain," Andrew Pieper of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview. "What our compound does is allow more of them to survive." The compound is called P7C3 for now, and the researchers have already started tweaking it to make it more effective. They said it seems safe and appears to work even when taken as a pill. The compound is similar to Medivation Inc and Pfizer Inc's experimental Alzheimer's drug, Dimebon, and may provide ways to improve its effects, Pieper and colleagues reported in the journal Cell. Alzheimer's gradually destroys the brain and affects 26 million people globally. Drugs, such as Pfizer's Aricept, improve symptoms only minimally.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.


Former Homeless Man's Videos Profile Life On Street
March 6, 2010, NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124356908

Most people have never walked down the street and looked for homeless people – most look the other way. But not Mark Horvath. A former Hollywood insider, Horvath has been a drug addict, con artist and, for a brief period, homeless. He says he's left that life behind, and these days, he's drawing on his dark past to inspire his Web site – Invisiblepeople.tv. The site is a collection of YouTube-length video profiles of homeless people he's met across the country, and it's become a surprise hit in social media circles. Horvath's style is simple and effective: Let people talk. It's personal for Horvath. Fifteen years ago, he was homeless. He had been fired from a six-figure salary job at a television syndication distribution company. He dabbled in drug dealing and credit card fraud, but neither venture paid very well. He found help, and God, at a faith-based shelter. He cleaned up, moved to the Midwest, and worked for a televangelist. Horvath insists all the money raised goes right back into the Web site. Chris Brogan is the author of Trust Agents, a New York Times bestseller about social media. He says Invisiblepeople.tv marks a new way of supporting a social cause – not through some big non-profit, but directly through one person doing one good thing.


Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Tod for all the time and skill he puts into this. The box below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.

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