Prince Andrew Linked to Sex Trafficking, Pope's Edict on Climate Change, Inspiring Teacher Empowers Deaf Teens
January 5, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the US court case linking the UK's Prince Andrew with his former friend's elite sex trafficking ring, the Pope's call for a new financial and economic system to fight climate change and wealth inequality, the small handful of corporate lawyers that get privileged treatment by the US Supreme Court, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the Ugandan teacher empowering deaf teens with sign language, the progress towards greater health and peace in 2014, the monkey that gave another monkey first aid, and more. You can also skip to this section now.
Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special Note: Listen to Madonna's intriguing new song "Illuminati" and read the lyrics here. What does she know that the public doesn't? Read incriminating evidence that Tony Blair is linked to pedophile rings on high. See a CNN article showing the depths of corruption in the New York Police Department. Enjoy the fun New Yorker piece "An iPhone Learns a Dark Truth About Itself."
Quote of the Week: "All of your emotions, especially your strongest and most difficult, are storehouses of unlimited energy" ~~ Karla McLaren in Emotional Genius
Video of the Week: Watch an awesome 2 1/2 minute video on the choice between fear and love.
Prince Andrew sex case claim denied
January 2, 2015, BBC
Buckingham Palace has denied "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors" by Prince Andrew, after he was named in US court papers. This is [part of] a long-running, complicated legal action which began in 2011 against an American businessman called Jeffrey Epstein. In these court documents ... an unnamed woman alleges she was forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew when she was a minor, three times in three different locations. The court document, first reported on by Politico Magazine, alleges: "Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe ... making her available for sex to politically connected and financially powerful people. "Epstein's purposes in 'lending' Jane Doe (along with other young girls) to such powerful people were to ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political, and financial gain, as well as to obtain potential blackmail information." Prince Andrew ... is named as part of evidence relating to a wider case of an alleged sex trafficking scheme, involving US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who spent time in jail in 2008-9 for a sex offence with a minor. Two women (known as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2) are suing the US government, saying it failed to protect their rights when it entered into a plea deal with Epstein. Now, two further women (Jane Doe #3 and #4) want to join this case, and it's Jane Doe #3 who has made claims against the Duke of York, as part of this. The prince strongly denies the allegations.
Note: Read the full legal text of the claims against Prince Andrew in this article in the UK's Telegraph. Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Ministry of Defence pays out �2 million to settle cadets' sex abuse claims
January 1, 2015, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Ministry of Defence has paid out more than �2 million in out-of-court settlements in the last three years as a result of claims that young cadets were sexually abused. The cases includes allegations that teenage boys performed ritual sex acts on younger cadets, and a cadet who was raped by an instructor and gave birth to her abuser's child. Some of the settlements are understood to relate to historic abuse, perpetrated against adults when they were children. Others relate to abuse carried out in recent years. [One] settlement involved a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her adult cadet instructor while she was a cadet under his charge. Eventually she gave birth to her abuser's child, leading to her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic depression. The MoD admitted liability at an early stage and settled the claim for �210,000. Among the settlements made in 2012, four people made a successful claim for �900,000 after alleging they were abused when they were young members of the Army Cadets in Harborne, Birmingham. An MoD spokesperson said: "We take any allegation of abuse extremely seriously. All adult volunteers undergo enhanced criminal record checks and are made fully aware of their responsibility to protect children from harm."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pope Francis's edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches
December 27, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on [climate change] to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world's main religions. The reason for such frenetic activity, says Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is the pope's wish to directly influence next year's crucial UN climate meeting in Paris. The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion. In March ... the pope will publish a rare encyclical on climate change and human ecology. Urging all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds, the document will be sent to the world's 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will distribute it to parishioners. In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. Francis's environmental radicalism is likely to attract resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US. Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, said Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be "un-biblical" and a false religion. "The pope should back off," he said.
At America's court of last resort, a handful of lawyers now dominates the docket
December 8, 2014, Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court building proclaims a high ideal: "Equal Justice Under Law." But inside, an elite cadre of lawyers has emerged [to give] their clients a disproportionate chance to influence the law. A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court ... were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others. About half [of these 66 lawyers] worked for justices past or present, and some socialize with them. Although they account for far less than 1 percent of lawyers who filed appeals to the Supreme Court, these attorneys were involved in 43 percent of the cases the high court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012. The Reuters examination of the Supreme Court's docket, the most comprehensive ever, suggests ... a decided advantage for corporate America. Some legal experts contend that the reliance on a small cluster of specialists, most working on behalf of businesses, has turned the Supreme Court into an echo chamber – a place where an elite group of jurists embraces an elite group of lawyers who reinforce narrow views of how the law should be construed. Of the 66 most successful lawyers, 51 worked for law firms that primarily represented corporate interests. In cases pitting the interests of customers, employees or other individuals against those of companies, a leading attorney was three times more likely to launch an appeal for business than for an individual, Reuters found.
Note: How interesting that no major media seem to have picked up this revealing story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption from reliable major media sources.
North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims
January 1, 2015, The Intercept
The identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown. President Obama, in a December 19 press conference, announced: "We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack." He then vowed: "We will respond. We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States." The ... campaign to blame North Korea actually began two days earlier, when The New York Times [reported] that North Korea was 'centrally involved' in the hacking of Sony Pictures computers. The same day, The Washington Post ... devoted most of its discussion to the "retaliation" available to the U.S. The NYT and Post [did not note] how sparse and unconvincing was the available evidence against North Korea. The day before Obama's press conference, long-time expert Marc Rogers detailed his reasons for viewing the North Korea theory as "unlikely"; after Obama's definitive accusation, he comprehensively reviewed the disclosed evidence and was even more assertive: "there is NOTHING here that directly implicates the North Koreans" and "the evidence is flimsy and speculative at best." None of this expert skepticism made its way into countless media accounts of the Sony hack. North Korea was [reported to be] responsible for the hack, because the government said it was. That kind of reflexive embrace of government claims is ... dangerous [because such] claims can serve as a pretext for U.S. aggression.
Note: Read the complete article above to see why Glen Greenwald compares this propaganda campaign with the run-up to the Iraq War and the Gulf of Tonkin fraud. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about mass media deception from reliable sources.
Go to the bank, go to jail
December 26, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
[Making bank deposits of] less than $10,000 is illegal if it is done to evade a federal bank reporting requirement. [By] a practice known as civil asset forfeiture, prosecutors can seize [such bank deposits]. As an individual, you may be presumed innocent unless or until you are proven guilty, but your money and possessions have no such protections. To get your money back, you have to go to court essentially to prove that you and your assets are not guilty. Federal agents have used this power to seize medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana ... to shut down what are legal businesses under California law without having to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the owners violated federal drug laws. Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and President Obama's nominee to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General, has been an aggressive practitioner of asset seizures. Lynch's office has served as a major forfeiture operation, bringing in more than $113 million in civil actions from 123 cases between 2011 and 2013. [One] case involves Bi-Country Distributors, a Long Island family business that stocks convenience stores. In May 2012, federal agents seized more than $400,000 from the business bank account. Brothers Jeffrey, Richard and Mitch Hirsch who run the business ... made frequent deposits under $10,000. Federal prosecutors grabbed the money, but didn't charge the Hirsches with a crime.
Note: This story references facts from a Wall Street Journal article that calls civil asset forfeiture "an all-purpose cash machine for police departments and prosecutors." For more along these lines, see this deeply revealing summary of a New York Times article that shows how cops steal from innocents to pad police department budgets.
The Government Problem
December 23, 2014, Chicago Tribune
Consider the new spending bill Congress and the president agreed to a few weeks ago. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn't rise as a percent of the total economy. If the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year. The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who's stuck with the tab. Only about 12 percent of federal spending goes to individuals and families. An increasing portion goes to corporate welfare. In addition to the provisions in the recent spending bill that reward Wall Street, health insurers, the travel industry, food companies and defense contractors, other corporate goodies have long been baked into the federal budget. Big agribusiness gets price supports. Hedge-fund and private-equity managers get their own special "carried-interest" tax loophole. The oil and gas industry gets its special tax subsidies. Big Pharma gets a particularly big benefit: a prohibition on government using its vast bargaining power under Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate low drug prices. The new spending legislation, just enacted, makes it easier for wealthy individuals to write big checks to political parties. Much of government is no longer working for the vast majority it's intended to serve. Unless or until we can reverse the vicious cycle of big money getting political favors that makes big money even bigger, we can't get the government we want and deserve.
Space Engine Breaks Laws of Physics?
August 5, 2014, Popular Mechanics
NASA has tested a microwave thruster that seemingly violates the law of conservation of momentum. Originally reported by Wired, the technology bounces microwaves around to create thrust. British engineer Roger Shawyer designed the original and dubbed it the Emdrive. If the Emdrive actually works, it could be a game changer in the spacecraft business because it doesn't require propellant. Propellant is heavy, and once a spacecraft runs out of it, it loses the ability to change direction. Space historian Amy Shira Teitel makes an interesting point on the website Motherboard: "If a spacecraft, say a deep space probe like New Horizons, which is less than a year from its encounter with Pluto, didn't need propellant, that extra weight and space could be devoted to scientific instruments, larger solar arrays, or a larger power source." Last year, a Chinese team made an Emdrive and reported that they had created enough thrust to move a small satellite. NASA spent eight days testing an Emdrive that was built by Guido Fetta, an inventor based out of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The lab detected a thrust of 30-50 microNewtons, about 1/20 of what the Chinese team measured. On a side note, the NASA lab doing the testing is the same one that is trying to develop the Alcubierre warp drive, another pie-in-the-sky idea. We'll know more once NASA publishes everything (right now, only the abstract is available) and outside experts weigh in on the experiment and data.
Special K, a Hallucinogen, Raises Hopes and Concerns as a Treatment for Depression
December 9, 2014, New York Times
While [Ketamine] has been used as an anesthetic for decades, small studies at prestigious medical centers like Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest it can relieve depression in many people who are not helped by widely used conventional antidepressants like Prozac or Lexapro. And the depression seems to melt away within hours, rather than the weeks typically required for a conventional antidepressant. Pharmaceutical companies hope to [develop] drugs that work like ketamine but without the side effects, which are often described as out-of-body experiences. Some doctors and patients are not waiting for the pharmaceutical industry. Because ketamine has long been approved for anesthesia, doctors are allowed to use it off-label to treat depression. "There is clearly a need for new drugs. "Almost half of depressed patients are not being treated adequately by existing drugs," said Dr. Sheldon H. Preskorn, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. That, he said, is because virtually all the antidepressants used in the last 60 years work essentially the same way. Ketamine would represent a new mechanism of action. "Synaptic connections that help us to cope seem to grow back," said Dr. John H. Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale and a pioneer in the study of ketamine for depression.
Note: A 2012 NPR story provides more detail about the ketamine research done at Yale to treat depression. Could this put a stop to the thousands of horror stories involving conventional antidepressants?
Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Research, a First
December 17, 2014, New York Times
Colorado will spend more than $8 million researching marijuana's medical potential. The grants awarded by the Colorado Board of Health will go to studies on whether marijuana helps treat epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the studies still need federal approval. Though the awards are relatively small, researchers say they're a big step forward. While several other federal studies currently in the works look at marijuana's health effects, all the Colorado studies are focused on whether marijuana actually helps. "This is the first time we've had government money to look at the efficacy of marijuana, not the harms of marijuana," said Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a Scottsdale, Arizona, psychiatrist who will help run a study on marijuana for veterans with PTSD. Federal approval to study marijuana's medical potential requires permission of the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and either the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services. Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana use by people with various medical conditions. But under federal law, pot is considered a drug with no medical use and doctors cannot prescribe it. Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado's Chief Medical Officer, says the lack of research on marijuana's medical value leaves sick people guessing about how pot may help them and what doses to take.
Note: For more on the proven benefits from many mind-altering drugs, see these deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources.
Whistleblower Claims CDC Covered Up Data Showing Vaccine-Autism Link
August 28, 2014, Time
There's a war going on between those who believe in the health benefits of vaccines ... and those that believe that the immunizations do more harm than good. Now one of the authors of a 2004 government study that found similar vaccination rates among children with and without autism says the study omitted some important data. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and one of the authors of a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics, spoke with Brain Hooker, who serves on the board of Focus Autism (which was founded to "put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors"), about the data that was not included in the final report. Hooker and Thompson ... discussed a subset of the 624 children with autism and 1824 without the condition who were studied. Thompson admitted that among African-American boys, the incidence of autism was higher among those who were vaccinated than among those who weren't. But that information was not part of the paper. Did the CDC cover up the data? Thompson claims that the findings were statistically significant, but ... that the way that the 2004 study was presented does not negate the importance of vaccination, [and that] the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.
Note: Thompson claims he was not aware that the discussion was being recorded, and his statements appeared in a video released on YouTube on August 22 entitled "CDC Whistleblower Revealed." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free)
October 29, 2014, Washington Post Blog
Since 1985, U.S. college costs have surged by about 500 percent, and tuition fees keep rising. In Germany, they've done the opposite. The country's universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October. Tuition rates were always low in Germany, but now the German government fully funds the education of its citizens -- and even of foreigners. Explaining the change, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg, said tuition fees "discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study." Germany's higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them "excellent institutions." What's more, Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences. For some German degrees, you don't even have to formally apply. The vast degree offerings in English are intended to prepare German students to communicate in a foreign language, but also to attract foreign students, because the country needs more skilled workers.
Note: This clearly shows which countries place a high priority on the education of their citizens. Along with Germany, the article discusses Finland, France, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia, and Brazil.
Disabled Ugandan teenager beams as he overcomes the odds and finds his voice for the very first time
November 21, 2014, Daily Mail (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
15-year-old Patrick Otema, from Kampala in Uganda, found his voice for the very first time. Patrick, who was born deaf, was unable to even express himself to his family and, had things not changed, would have been condemned to a life of silence. But thanks to a pioneering new programme, he has finally been taught to communicate using sign language. But Patrick has been lucky. His teacher is Raymond Okkelo who is deaf himself - and who is one of the few Ugandans to use sign language. 'In the past I was also like him,' he explains. 'I couldn't use sign language, the only thing I could do was hide in fear.' Raymond became deaf as a child after a bout of malaria. Six months ago, he travelled to the Ugandan capital Kampala for intensive training in sign language. Now able to communicate with the outside world, Raymond is determined to change the lives deaf people in sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom have never been taught sign language. Raymond ... has also opened the very first sign language school in the country - which Patrick now attends. But nothing is as heart-warming as the moment that Patrick finally realises he can communicate, with joy spreading across his face as he grasps the significance of what he has learned. Patrick's transformation is nothing short of breathtaking. But Patrick won't be the only deaf child to benefit. Buoyed by the success of his first cohort of students, Raymond hopes to take his school on tour and help many more children on the way.
Goodbye to one of the best years in history
December 26, 2014, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
2014 has probably been the best year in history. Take war, for example – our lives now are more peaceful than at any time known to the human species. Archaeologists believe that 15 per cent of early mankind met a violent death, a ratio not even matched by the last two world wars. Since they ended, wars have become rarer and less deadly. We have recently been celebrating a quarter-century since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which kicked off a period of global calm. The Canadian academic Steven Pinker has called this era the "New Peace", noting that conflicts of all kinds – genocide, autocracy and even terrorism – went on to decline sharply the world over. Global life expectancy now stands at a new high of 71.5 years, up six years since 1990. In India, life expectancy is up seven years for men, and 10 for women. It's rising faster in the impoverished east of Africa than anywhere else on the planet. In Rwanda and Ethiopia, life expectancy has risen by 15 years. The Ebola crisis has led to 7,000 deaths, each one a tragedy. But far more lives have been saved by the progress against malaria, HIV and diarrhoea. The World Bank's rate of extreme poverty (those living on less than $1.25 a day) has more than halved since 1990, mainly thanks to China. We still have a lamentably long list of problems to solve. But in the round, there's no denying it: we are living in the Golden Era.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Monkey Gives First Aid to Electrocuted Friend
December 25, 2014, New York Times
Onlookers at a train station in northern India watched in awe as a monkey came to the rescue of an injured friend – resuscitating another monkey that had been electrocuted and knocked unconscious. The injured monkey had fallen between the tracks, apparently after touching high-tension wires at the train station in the north Indian city of Kanpur. His companion came to the rescue and was captured on camera lifting the friend's motionless body, shaking it, dipping it into a mud puddle and biting its head and skin – working until the hurt monkey regained consciousness. The first monkey, completely covered in mud, opened its eyes and began moving again. Crowds of travelers watched the Sunday scene in amazement, filming and snapping pictures.
Note: Watch a one-minute video of this most unusual heroic act.
Teacher Has Students Write Letters To Their Future Selves, Then Posts Them 20 Years Later
December 15, 2014, Huffington Post
For decades, American high school teacher Bruce Farrer has been asking his students to write letters to their future selves. 20 years later, he tracks down the students and posts their letters to them. Speaking in a video for US airline West Jet, Farrer says that the letters have become more valuable because we now communicate far less by letters than we did 20 years ago. He created the assignment because he wanted his students to do an exercise "that was different, that would be interesting and one that they would value". An old pupil of Farrer says when he was asked to write a 10 page letter to his future self, he thought it was "a lesson just to pass the time, to keep us busy for a few hours while he did other things". He now understands what a dedicated teacher Farrer was. Of course, tracking down your students 20 years after teaching them is a challenging task. Farrer describes it as "a lot of detective work" but he is excited to find out the different paths his ex-pupils have taken. The video shows the reactions of some of Farrer's old students upon opening their letters. One describes it as an "emotional roller-coaster" as she reads about the passing of her grandmother and aunt, experienced through the eyes of her younger self. Despite the profound effect that receiving the letters has on its recipients, Farrer remains modest about his diligence and commitment. "I'm just a regular teacher who happened to assign a rather different assignment", he says.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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