Deep Vatican Corruption Exposed, Violence Against Women, US Stores Reject GMO Salmon
Revealing News Articles
March 10, 2014
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the deep corruption in the Vatican, violence against women in Europe and the US, CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee which 'oversees' it, and more.
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Watch 'Secrets of the Vatican'
February 27, 2014, Seattle Times blog
Here is how a stunning PBS documentary describes itself: "In Secrets of the Vatican, FRONTLINE tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict papacy and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers." Take everything you have ever heard about the Catholic Church and the global clergy child sexual abuse scandals, the dodgy Vatican bank, add in drug abuse, and multiply it all by ten. A primary insight is that Pope Benedict really did not step down from the papacy so much as flee the job. No one could make up what this documentary reveals. For all of the horror on display, the reality is basic: arrogance, hubris and insularity will bring down any organization, even one ordained to do God's work on earth. A human organization manifests all human frailties. Allow it to make its own rules and hide, and the worst happens. This is a tragedy that defies description. Abuse of people, power and a benefit of the doubt that goes with the job description. Pope Francis is [presented] as the institutional savior who comes from far enough outside the Roman Curia and the inner sanctum to instigate and sustain change. The only optimism in the documentary are references to a new beginning for a wounded church, and a religious crusade to save the church. Watch "Secrets of the Vatican." You might know the story line. You have no clue about the depth of the shame.
Note: To watch this devastating documentary, click the link above or click here. For a more detailed description, click here. For more on institutional secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Report reveals 'extensive' violence against women in EU
March 4, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Violence against women is "an extensive human rights abuse" across Europe with one in three women reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse since the age of 15 and 8% suffering abuse in the last 12 months, according to the largest survey of its kind on the issue. The survey, based on interviews with 42,000 women across 28 EU member states, found extensive abuse across the continent, which typically goes unreported and undetected by the authorities. Morten Kjaerum, director of FRA, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which was responsible for the survey, said: "Violence against women ... is an extensive human rights abuse that the EU cannot afford to overlook." The FRA study provides ample evidence of the size of the problem, as well as suggestions on how to fix it. In a foreword to the report, Kjaerum calls for all member states to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Istanbul convention, which demands more protection for women, as well as action from private and public organisations. Among the findings: � One in 10 women have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, while one in 20 has been raped. � One in 10 women have been stalked by a previous partner. � Most violence is carried out by a current or former partner, with 22% of women in relationships reporting partner abuse. � Violence against women is one of the least reported crimes. Only 14% of women reported their most serious incident of partner violence to the police, while a similar percentage (13%) reported their most serious incident of non-partner violence. � Just over one in 10 women experienced some form of sexual violence by an adult before they were 15.
Note: For more on sexual abuse and violence against women, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
True Story Inspires Tale of Sex Trade
March 20, 2013, New York Times
Enough films about human trafficking have been made in recent years that the outlines of "Eden" should be painfully familiar. But that familiarity doesn't cushion this movie's excruciating vision of under-age women conscripted into sexual slavery by a criminal enterprise from which there is seemingly no escape. The movie, directed by Megan Griffiths, is loosely based on the true story of Chong Kim, who was born in South Korea and moved to the United States as a toddler. As a teenager in the mid-1990s, she became a captive of the domestic sex trade. She eventually survived her ordeal and has become a crusader against human trafficking. In the film she is a Korean-American teenager named Hyun Jae (Jamie Chung), who works in her parents' New Mexico gift shop. She is picked up in a bar by a handsome, friendly young firefighter who offers her a ride home. Along the way, he makes a stop and exits the vehicle. Moments later she is kidnapped and drugged and has her identification and possessions confiscated. Renamed Eden, she soon finds herself in a regiment of sex slaves, most of them immigrants, imprisoned under close guard in a converted storage facility. The women are suspended from the ceiling and whipped. After an incident in which Eden ... desperately tries to flee, she is handcuffed and thrown into a bathtub filled with ice cubes. We learn late in the film that the babies of the girls who become pregnant are sold. And it is suggested that by the age of 20, when a girl is considered to have outlived her commercial shelf life, she faces execution and burial in the desert.
Note: If you are ready to see how investigations into a massive child sex abuse ring have led to the highest levels of government, watch the suppressed Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available here.
Cameron aide arrested over allegations relating to child abuse images
March 3, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A senior aide to David Cameron resigned from Downing Street last month the day before being arrested on allegations relating to child abuse images. Patrick Rock, who was involved in drawing up the government's policy for the large internet firms on online pornography filters, resigned after No 10 was alerted to the allegations. Rock was arrested at his west London flat the next morning. Officers from the National Crime Agency subsequently examined computers and offices used in Downing Street by Rock, the deputy director of No 10's policy unit. The arrest of Rock, 62, who had been tipped for a Tory peerage, will have come as a severe shock to the PM and the Tory establishment. Cameron and Rock worked together as special advisers to Michael Howard in his time as home secretary in the mid 1990s. Rock later worked for Lord Patten alongside Cameron's chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, during his time as a European commissioner in Brussels. Rock helped to draw up government policy which led to the deal with the internet giants on online filters. Under the deal, all households connected to the internet will be contacted to be asked if they would like the filters installed.
Note: For more on sexual abuse and violence against women and children, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Report: CIA spied on Senate committee staff
March 5, 2014, CBS News
As staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee gathered information to conduct oversight of the CIA, the CIA was secretly monitoring them, according to reports from McClatchy [News] and the New York Times. The committee staff was reviewing documents in a secure room at CIA headquarters as part of its investigation into the CIA's now-defunct detention and interrogation program, but the agency was secretly monitoring their work, according to reports. Complaints about the spying have reportedly prompted the CIA inspector general -- the agency's internal watchdog -- to look into the agency's behavior. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., seemed to reference the surveillance in a letter to President Obama ... in which he urged the president to support the fullest declassification of the committee's CIA report. "As you are aware, the C.I.A. has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee in relation to the internal C.I.A. review, and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the committee's oversight responsibilities and for our democracy," Udall wrote. "It is essential that the Committee be able to do its oversight work -- consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers -- without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today." Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., another member of the intelligence committee, declared in a statement Wednesday, "The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around."
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Renting Judges for Secret Rulings
March 1, 2014, New York Times
Should wealthy litigants be able to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret? The answer should be an easy no, but if the judges of Delaware's Chancery Court persuade the United States Supreme Court to take their case and reverse lower federal court rulings outlawing that practice, corporations will, in Delaware, be able to do just that. The state has long been a magnet for corporate litigation because of its welcoming tax structures and the court's business expertise. Yet the State Legislature became concerned that Delaware was losing its "pre-eminence" in corporate litigation to a growing market in private dispute resolution. To compete, Delaware passed a law in 2009 offering new privileges to well-heeled businesses. If litigants had at least $1 million at stake and were willing to pay $12,000 in filing fees and $6,000 a day thereafter, they could use Delaware's chancery judges and courtrooms for what was called an "arbitration" that produced enforceable legal judgments. Instead of open proceedings, filings would not be docketed, the courtroom would be closed to the public and the outcome would be secret. The Delaware Supreme Court could review judgments, but that court has not indicated whether appeals would also be confidential. A group called the Coalition for Open Government, including news and civic organizations, objected that Delaware's legislation was unconstitutional. In 2012, a federal judge agreed that the law violated the public's right of access to civil proceedings under the First Amendment.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
FBI Investigates Prison Company
March 7, 2014, ABC News/Associated Press
The FBI has launched an investigation of the Corrections Corporation of America over the company's running of an Idaho prison with a reputation so violent that inmates dubbed it "Gladiator School." CCA has operated Idaho's largest prison for more than a decade, but last year, CCA officials acknowledged it had understaffed the Idaho Correctional Center by thousands of hours in violation of the state contract. CCA also said employees falsified reports to cover up the vacancies. The announcement came after an Associated Press investigation showed CCA sometimes listed guards as working 48 hours straight to meet minimum staffing requirements. The understaffing has been the subject of federal lawsuits and a contempt of court action against CCA. The ACLU sued on behalf of inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center in 2010, saying the facility was so violent that inmates called it "Gladiator School" and that understaffing contributed to the high levels of violence there. In 2012, a Boise law firm sued on behalf of inmates contending that CCA had ceded control to prison gangs so that they could understaff the prison and save money on employee wages, and that the understaffing led to an attack by one prison gang on another group of inmates that left some of them badly injured.
Note: For more on corruption in the prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
James Tague, key JFK assassination witness, dies
March 1, 2014, Yahoo News
James Tague was standing in Dallas's Dealey Plaza when the shots were fired on Nov. 22, 1963. A bullet presumably meant for Kennedy instead struck a curb near where Tague was standing and sent debris flying into his face. Tague's daughter, Suanna Holloway, said her father died at his home 70 miles north of Dallas on Friday following a brief illness. He was 77. Tague's experience at Dealey Plaza ultimately led Warren Commission investigators to conclude that one of the three shots missed and that one of the rounds went through both JFK and Texas Gov. John Connally. JFK researcher Debra Conway said the commission was initially going to settle with two shots hitting the president and one hitting the governor. But because Mr. Tague was near the missed shot and was wounded ... they had to account for the missed shot," said Conway, president of JFK Lancer, a historical research group. "Jim is a very important witness." Critics of the Warren Commission have long questioned the so-called "magic bullet theory," arguing that the bullet could not have traversed multiple layers and angles. Through the years, Tague's own curiosity transformed him from eyewitness to JFK assassination researcher. He befriended other JFK assassination buffs, visited the National Archives to inspect evidence and amassed a huge collection of Kennedy-related books. Tague also authored two books, including last year's LBJ and the Kennedy Killing in which he alleges a cover-up plot. "Personally, I'm urging young people to keep the truth alive," he told Yahoo News.
Note: For more on the JFK assassination, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy
March 4, 2014, New York Times
On [March 4], The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is posting online results from the first controlled trial of LSD in more than 40 years. The study, conducted in the office of a Swiss psychiatrist near Bern, tested the effects of the drug as a complement to talk therapy for 12 people nearing the end of life. Most of the subjects had terminal cancer, and several died within a year after the trial – but not before having a mental adventure that appeared to have eased the existential gloom of their last days. "Their anxiety went down and stayed down," said Dr. Peter Gasser, who conducted the therapy and followed up with his patients a year after the trial concluded. The new publication marks the latest in a series of baby steps by a loose coalition of researchers and fund-raisers who are working to bring hallucinogens back into the fold of mainstream psychiatry. Before research was effectively banned in 1966 in the United States, doctors tested LSD's effect for a variety of conditions, including end-of-life anxiety. But in the past few years, psychiatrists in the United States and abroad – working with state regulators as well as ethics boards – have tested Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress; and other trials with hallucinogens are in the works. "The effort is both political and scientific," said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed many of the studies. "We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab."
Note: For more on mind altering drugs, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Thyroid cancer overdiagnosed, many researchers say
March 4, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
It sounds counterintuitive: Researchers found rates of the most common type of thyroid cancer had tripled since the 1970s, but they weren't particularly alarmed. That's because they say the problem is rooted in the way we diagnose the disease rather than the cancer itself. In essence, technology is allowing us to find tiny tumors that may never even go on to cause symptoms, let alone death. The study ... found that despite the threefold increase from 1975 to 2009 in this particular form of thyroid cancer, mortality rates have remained unchanged. Add papillary thyroid cancer to the list of cancers that more and more researchers believe may [be] overdiagnosed because of overzealous screenings and advanced technologies. Other studies have suggested this problem may include such conditions as slow-growing prostate cancer and precancerous ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, of the breast. The concern among the researchers is that treatment of these diseases may cause more patient harm than the disease itself. "In the last few years, the tide has turned. People are recognizing overdiagnosis more and more," said Dr. Louise Davies, the thyroid cancer study's author. The disease in the thyroid ... is often detected incidentally, meaning that it's discovered during a scan for something else or picked up during a routine exam. "The cancers that are picked up incidentally are not causing symptoms and are small. Those are the ones that are probably not going to be a problem," said Davies. "The risk of death from thyroid cancer is very, very small ... but it's not zero."
Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Why The 'Non-GMO' Label Is Organic's Frenemy
February 28, 2014, NPR blog
It's easy to think of "organic" and "non-GMO" as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores – most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture. In fact, the movement to eliminate genetically modified crops – GMOs – from food is turning out to be organic's false friend. The non-GMO label has become a cheaper alternative to organic. "More and more, there's concern [among organic food companies] that they created a monster," says Mark Kastel, a pro-organic activist who's co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute. No food retailer likes high costs. If it can offer a cheaper product that attracts the same consumers, it will do it. According to Kastel, that's how Whole Foods and others are using non-GMO labels. "This is a potent marketing vehicle designed to blur the line between organic and nonorganic," he says. David Bruce, director of eggs, meat, produce and soy for Organic Valley, a major organic food company, says the non-GMO labels "definitely" are diverting some consumers away from organic food. "We call it trading down," he says. Bruce says organic companies need to draw a clear line that sets organics apart from any alternatives. "The goal is to educate consumers that 'non-GMO' or 'natural' products are not 100 percent the same as an organic product," he says.
Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
As Water Supply Reaches Record Low, California Combats Drought With Weather Control Technology
March 7, 2014, Forbes
Last year was the driest year in recorded history for many areas of California and conditions have yet to improve in 2014, according to recent snow surveys. The state has ramped up efforts to induce rainfall through a controversial weather modification technology known as cloud seeding. Cloud seeding involves spraying fine particles of silver iodide into a cloud system, which causes water droplets in the clouds to form ice crystals that grow larger and turn into snowflakes. In 2005, John Marburger, President George W. Bush's primary science and technology advisor, requested that Senator Kay Hutchison from Texas defer consideration of proposed legislation that would have established a federal cloud seeding program. [But] California state agencies appear to have embraced cloud seeding as a cost-effective strategy for mitigating the impacts of a severe and prolonged drought. Critics have claimed for years that cloud seeding was widely used by electric utilities and ski area operators. For example, Sacramento Municipal Utility District has reportedly hired pilots to seed clouds over areas where additional snowfall would enhance their hydroelectric operations. The California Department of Water Resources, which [supplies] water to 25 million Californians and roughly 750,000 acres of irrigated farmland, estimated cloud seeding projects generate 400,000 acre-feet of additional water supply annually in the state. It is unclear whether [California] has the legal right to take water from other regions by artificially inducing precipitation. It is also unclear whether the technology is safe.
Note: Many are not aware that effective weather control technologies have been used for decades. For powerful information showing this technology has been developed to the point where it can even cause tsunamis and possibly earthquakes and hurricanes, click here.
U.S. stores say no to genetically engineered salmon
March 3, 2014, Los Angeles Times
The nation's two largest conventional grocery chains, Kroger and Safeway, have announced that they will not sell genetically engineered salmon. They join several other chains, including Target, Whole Foods ... and Trader Joe's. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet decided whether to approve the salmon, with DNA retooled so that the fish grow twice as fast as conventional salmon. The FDA's final decision on the fish has been expected for a long time, and there is speculation that the agency has been holding off mainly because it knows that the public is inclined to look suspiciously on the new product. Consumer groups have taken matters into their own hands by appealing to food markets not to carry the fish, and they're obviously having some notable successes. The other markets should fall in line; they don't need these salmon in their fish departments in order to succeed, and, in fact, they stand a good chance of turning off consumers who worry about making over the DNA of an animal that, for all the fish farms, is essentially a wild creature.
Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus
March 5, 2014, The Atlantic Magazine
The familiar, hierarchical sequence of math instruction ... actually "has nothing to do with how people think, how children grow and learn, or how mathematics is built," says pioneering math educator and curriculum designer Maria Droujkova. She echoes a number of voices from around the world that want to revolutionize the way math is taught, bringing it more in line with these principles. The current sequence is merely an entrenched historical accident that strips much of the fun out of what she describes as the "playful universe" of mathematics, with its more than 60 top-level disciplines, and its manifestations in everything from weaving to building, nature, music and art. "Calculations kids are forced to do are often so developmentally inappropriate, the experience amounts to torture," she says. They also miss the essential point–that mathematics is fundamentally about patterns and structures, rather than "little manipulations of numbers," as she puts it. It's akin to budding filmmakers learning first about costumes, lighting and other technical aspects, rather than about crafting meaningful stories. Droujkova ... advocates a more holistic approach she calls "natural math," which she teaches to children as young as toddlers, and their parents. This approach, covered in the book she co-authored with Yelena McManaman, Moebius Noodles: Adventurous math for the playground crowd, hinges on harnessing students' powerful and surprisingly productive instincts for playful exploration to guide them on a personal journey through the subject.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Tiny houses helping with homeless problem in U.S.
February 26, 2014, CBS News/Associated Press
While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless. There's a growing effort across the nation from advocates and religious groups to build these compact buildings because they are cheaper than a traditional large-scale shelter, help the recipients socially because they are built in communal settings and are environmentally friendly due to their size. "You're out of the elements, you've got your own bed, you've got your own place to call your own," said Harold "Hap" Morgan, who is without a permanent home in Madison. He's in line for a 99-square-foot house built through the nonprofit Occupy Madison Build, or OM Build, run by former organizers with the Occupy movement. The group hopes to create a cluster of tiny houses like those in Olympia, Wash., and Eugene and Portland, Ore. Many have been built with donated materials and volunteer labor, sometimes from the people who will live in them. Most require residents to behave appropriately, avoid drugs and alcohol and help maintain the properties. The tiny house effort in Eugene, Ore., sprung up after the city shut down an Occupy encampment that turned into a tent city for the homeless. Andrew Heben and others worked with the city, which provided them with land for the project. "It's an American success story. ... Now we see in different cities people coming up with citizen driven solutions," Heben said. Ministries in Texas and New York also are developing communities with clusters of small houses.
Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On
February 20, 2014, Yes! Magazine
On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, N.Y., outside of Ithaca. On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building. The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that's beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike. For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort. "We've raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days," he says, and the number of volunteers has been "in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now." The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.
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