Violent Crime Drop in US
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Violent Crime's Dramatic Drop in US, Corrupt Saudi Monarchy Rules UN Human Rights Council, EU Countries Say No to GMOs
October 12, 2015

Dear friends,

Violent Crime Drop

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the new FBI report showing violent crime has dropped dramatically in the US despite media claims to the contrary, the secret vote trading deal that got flagrant human rights violator Saudi Arabia elected to a UN council on human rights, Monsanto's hiring of corrupt scientists to promote GMOs, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the 16 EU countries that said no to genetically modified crops, new research showing mealworms can digest some plastics and clean up pollution, the 3-D printed car made without the carbon footprint of an assembly line, 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.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Mark Bailey and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: Watch a fascinating interview with whistleblower Rebekah Roth, an airline attendant who uncovers an abundance of key new information on 9/11. Watch a great video on a poodle with an instinct for healing people. Read a revealing article in Esquire magazine stating that immediately after the JFK assassination, senior CIA officials were "complicit" in keeping "incendiary" information from the Warren Commission. Read a beautiful little story titled "Children Who Shine From Within." If you are in the San Francisco area, come hear WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks speak this weekend on the hidden forces which shape our world. Learn more here.

Quote of the week: "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." ~~ Chinese proverb

Video of the week: Watch an incredibly eye-opening video report by Abby Martin showing how the recent choice of Saudi Arabia as head of the UN panel on human rights reveals blatantly how money trumps ethics. Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime run by a king and an all-powerful monarchy, is one of four countries to still allow public executions, often by beheading. Women must ask permission of their husbands to work and do almost anything in public. Workers from foreign countries are treated almost like slaves. Yet they now head the UN panel on human rights.


UK helped Saudi Arabia get UN human rights role through 'secret deal' to exchange votes, leaked documents suggest
September 30, 2015, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/uk-and-saudi-arabia-made-secret-deal-to-exchange...

Britain allegedly helped Saudi Arabia's controversial election to the UN human rights council (UNHRC) through a secret vote-trading deal, leaked diplomatic cables have reportedly shown. Saudi foreign ministry files, among 61,000 documents released by Wikileaks, reportedly refer to talks with British diplomats ahead of a November 2013 vote in New York and have been translated by Geneva-based human rights organisation UN Watch. The classified exchanges, published by The Australian newspaper, allegedly suggest the UK initiated the secret negotiations by asking Saudi Arabia for its support. Both countries were later elected to the UNHRC, which consists of 47 member states. Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly denounced for its poor human rights record. The Gulf state is planning to imminently behead and crucify Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was arrested in 2012 for his participation in the Arab Spring protests when he was just 17 years old. The wife of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi said the "scandalous" appointment shows that "oil trumps human rights".

Note: Watch an incredibly eye-opening video report by Abby Martin showing blatantly how money trumps ethics. Saudi Arabia, a brutal regime run by a king and an all-powerful monarchy, is one of four countries to still allow public executions, often by beheading. Women must ask permission of their husbands to work and do almost anything in public. Workers from foreign countries are treated like slaves. Watch also an episode of Empire Files documenting the human rights violations of this repressive regime. The UK profits handsomely from selling arms to human rights violators.


How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs
October 3, 2015, Washington Post/Bloomberg
http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId...

Monsanto Co.’s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents. Monsanto says it’s in regular contact with public-sector scientists as it tries to “elevate” public dialog on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group funded by the Organic Consumers Association that obtained e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act, says correspondence revealing Monsanto’s actions shows the “corporate control of science and how compliant some academics are.” The articles have become the latest flashpoint in an information war being waged over plant biotechnology. The articles in question appeared on the Genetic Literacy Project’s website in a series called “GMO - Beyond the Science.” Eric Sachs, who leads Monsanto’s scientific outreach, wrote to eight scientists to pen a series of briefs aimed at influencing “public policy, GM crop regulation and consumer acceptance.” Five of them obliged. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta said he agreed to write “Anti-GMO Activism and Its Impact on Food Security” because communicating science to the public is his job. Folta has faced public criticism since the New York Times ... reported last month about his communications with Monsanto and a $25,000 donation to the science communication program he runs.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.


Bernanke would have jailed Wall Street execs
October 5, 2015, CBS/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernanke-would-have-jailed-wall-street-execs/

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail for their roles in the financial crisis that gripped the country in 2008 and triggered the Great Recession. Billions of dollars in fines have been levied against major banks and brokerage firms in the wake of the economic meltdown that was in large part triggered by reckless lending and shady securities dealings that blew up a housing bubble. But in an interview with USA Today published Sunday, Bernanke said he thinks that in addition to the corporations, individuals should have been held more accountable. "It would have been my preference to have more investigations of individual actions because obviously everything that went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm," Bernanke said. Asked if someone should have gone to jail, the former Fed chairman replied, "Yeah, I think so." He did not, however, name any individual he thought should have been prosecuted and noted that the Federal Reserve is not a law-enforcement agency. Bernanke is promoting his new 600-page memoir, "The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the US government's massive bank bailout of the corrupt financial industry.


Emissions scandal: Nissan, Fiat, Volvo and many other cars found to emit far more pollution than previous EU tests show
September 30, 2015, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/emissions-scandal-nissan-fiat-volvo-and...

Diesel cars produced by manufacturers like Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen and Volvo have become embroiled in the emissions scandal, after they were found to emit higher levels of pollution in tests closer to real-life driving conditions than during EU emissions tests. As reported by The Guardian, research from motoring association Adac claims that some diesel cars produced by these manufacturers emitted more than 10 times as much pollution as they did during EU emissions tests. The higher emissions were revealed when the cars were put through the WLTC test, a different test to the EU standard. The emissions scandal began when it was revealed that Volkswagen was using illegal software in their cars that could manipulate emissions and cheat US governmental tests. The software could detect when the car was being tested and cause it to emit much lower NOx levels than it would usually emit during normal driving. The CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn, resigned after the scandal came to light, and the company is currently preparing a recall of an estimated 11 million vehicles that contain the illegal software.

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


The Real Reason for the Growing Gap Between Rich and Poor
September 28, 2015, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/real-reason-growing-gap-between-rich-and-poor-377662

You often hear inequality has widened because globalization and technological change have made most people less competitive, while making the best educated more competitive. There’s some truth to this. The tasks most people used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines. But this common explanation overlooks ... the increasing concentration of political power in a corporate and financial elite that has been able to influence the rules by which the economy runs. As I argue in my new book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, this transformation has ... resulted in higher corporate profits, higher returns for shareholders and higher pay for top corporate executives and Wall Street bankers – and lower pay and higher prices for most other Americans. [These changes] amount to a giant pre-distribution upward to the rich. The underlying problem ... is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining power. The most important political competition over the next decades will not be between the right and left, or between Republicans and Democrats. It will be between a majority of Americans who have been losing ground, and an economic elite that refuses to recognize or respond to its growing distress.

Note: This essay was written by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Mickey Mouse protection, the TPP and why America remains unequal
October 7, 2015, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/robert-reich-saving-capitalism-tpp-1.3256940

According to a new book called Saving Capitalism ... rather than rescuing capitalism, the newly announced Trans-Pacific Partnership deal may simply perpetuate the problems identified by the book's author ... former U.S. labour secretary Robert Reich. From the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields the firearms industry from lawsuits by bereft family members, to laws that let companies charge high rates for slow internet, Reich offers a depressing litany of rules made by governments for the sole purpose of protecting rich corporations at the expense of the American public. "Contrary to the conventional view of an American economy bubbling with innovative small companies, the reality is quite different," Reich writes. In left-leaning circles, the conventional view is that creating equality requires redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Reich says the real problem is something he calls "pre-distribution." By lobbying for laws such as those that make life-saving pharmaceuticals expensive and technological patents unbreakable, large corporations and their teams of lawyers rig the game in their favour long before the issue of redistribution arises. Drug companies are rewarded not for inventing drugs but for extending the exclusivity of existing drugs. (The TPP does exactly that.) Companies like Google, Amazon and Apple capture the value of patents and then are rewarded for "strategic litigation" to prevent anyone else from using them.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


When Crime Pays: J&J’s Drug Risperdal
September 17, 2015, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/opinion/nicholas-kristof-when-crime-pays-jjs-drug...

Risperdal is a billion-dollar antipsychotic medicine with real benefits — and a few unfortunate side effects. It can cause strokes among the elderly. And it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts; one boy developed a 46DD bust. Yet Johnson & Johnson marketed Risperdal aggressively to the elderly and to boys while allegedly manipulating and hiding the data about breast development. J&J got caught, pleaded guilty to a crime and has paid more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements. But that pales next to some $30 billion in sales of Risperdal around the world. In 1994, J&J released Risperdal. The Food and Drug Administration said it ... was effective primarily for schizophrenia in adults. That’s a small market. So J&J reinvented Risperdal as a drug for a broad range of problems, targeting everyone from seniors with dementia to children with autism. The company also turned to corporate welfare: It paid doctors and others consulting fees and successfully lobbied for Texas to adopt Risperdal in place of generics. Even though Risperdal wasn’t approved for the elderly, J&J formed a sales force called ElderCare. The F.D.A. protested and noted that there were “an excess number of deaths” among the elderly who took the drug. At the same time, J&J ... began peddling the drug to pediatricians, so that by 2000, more than one-fifth of Risperdal was going to children and adolescents. In 2003, the company had a “back to school” marketing campaign for Risperdal. By 2004 Risperdal was a $3-billion-a-year drug.

Note: For more, see this NY Times article and this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Fortune 500 Companies Using Tax Havens To Avoid $620B in US Taxes: Report
October 6, 2015, International Business Times/Reuters
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/fortune-500-companies-using-tax-havens...

A new report provides data illustrating just how big a budgetary issue tax avoidance has become. The analysis released Tuesday comes from ... Citizens for Tax Justice and U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The groups find that almost 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies are operating subsidiaries in so-called “tax haven” countries like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. In all, those firms are “holding more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore for tax purposes.” The report says that among the U.S.-based firms with the biggest overseas cash holdings are major financial firms such as Citigroup and Bank of America, which were bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 financial crisis. Also on the list are tech giants such as Microsoft - which International Business Times last year reported was keeping $92 billion offshore. Assuming a tax rate of just 6 percent on those profits - far less than the official U.S. corporate tax rate and less than Trump’s proposed “repatriation” rate - the groups estimate that the firms “would collectively owe $620 billion in additional federal taxes” if they weren’t able to shelter their cash in tax havens. For comparison, that’s more than the federal government’s entire projected budget deficit for 2015.

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


One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the U.S. Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan
October 3, 2015, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2015/10/03/one-day-after-warning-russia-of-civilian-casualties...

Yesterday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power marched to Twitter to proclaim: “We call on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians.” Along with that decree, she posted a statement from the U.S. and several of its closest authoritarian allies — including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.K. — warning Russia that civilian casualties “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.” Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the U.S. dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. The airstrike killed at least nine of the hospital’s medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients. This strike on a hospital in Afghanistan comes days after the Saudi-led coalition bombed a wedding in Yemen that killed more than 130 people. After days of silence from the U.S. government ... the Saudi Foreign Minister told CBS News that “We work with our allies including the United States on these targets.” This last week has been a particularly gruesome illustration of continuous U.S. conduct under the War on Terror banner, including under the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president. The formula by now is clear: bombing whatever countries it wants, justifying it all by reflexively labelling their targets as “terrorists,” and then dishonestly denying or casually dismissing the civilians they slaughter as “collateral damage.” Russia [uses] this exact rhetorical template in Syria.

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


U.S. Developed Its Own ‘Xbox’ Improvised Explosives, Book Says
August 20, 2015, Bloomberg
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-20/u-s-developed-its-own-xbox-improvised...

U.S. special operations forces in Iraq developed an untraceable explosive device they nicknamed the Xbox to kill Iraqi Shiite militiamen smuggling roadside bombs from Iran to attack American troops, according to a new book. Starting in about 2007, Army Delta Force commandos in a special task force in the war to oust Saddam Hussein used the bombs against Iranian collaborators whose improvised explosive devices were powerful enough to destroy the most heavily armored U.S. vehicles, Sean Naylor wrote in “Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command.” The Xbox bomb “was designed to look and behave exactly like one made by Iraqi insurgents” with a hodgepodge of Russian, Chinese and Pakistani-made parts, wrote Naylor, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy. The intent was that if the device were sent to the FBI for analysis, even its experts “would mistakenly trace the bomb back” to a particular terrorist bomb maker. Using the bomb ... the command “found a way around the political restrictions by killing its enemies without leaving any U.S. fingerprints,” according to the book.

Note: The "war on terror" is designed to be endless. The above shows how blurry the line between terrorism and military deception has become.


Barbie Wants to Get to Know Your Child
September 16, 2015, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/magazine/barbie-wants-to-get-to-know-your-child.html?_r=0

Since there have been toys, we have wanted them to speak to us. But in the past five years, breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and speech recognition have given the devices around us — smartphones, computers, cars — the ability to engage in something approaching conversation. Artificial intelligence for children [is arriving] most prominently in the pink, perky form of Mattel’s Hello Barbie. Hello Barbie is by far the most advanced to date in a new generation of A.I. toys. Every one of Barbie’s potential conversations was mapped out like the branches of a tree, with questions leading to long lists of predicted answers, which would trigger Barbie’s next response, and so on. The writers marked important questions with "flags," and this enabled Hello Barbie’s most unnerving power: She could remember the answers and use them for conversation starters days or weeks later. "She should always know that you have two moms and that your grandma died, so don’t bring that up, and that your favorite color is blue, and that you want to be a veterinarian when you grow up," [ToyTalk writer Sarah] Wulfeck said. For psychologists ... the primary concern with A.I. toys is not that they encourage kids to fantasize too wildly. Instead, researchers worry that a conversational doll might prevent children, who have long personified toys without technology, from imagining wildly enough. Hello Barbie ... is limited by programming — and public-relations concerns. Mattel, rather than kids, ultimately controls what she can say.

Note: Will this new toy have similar issues as other "smart" objects?


Inspiring Articles


Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs
October 3, 2015, Time
http://time.com/4060476/eu-gmo-crops-european-union-opt-out/

Sixteen countries have alerted the European Union that they want to opt out of E.U.-approved GM crops. Members of the economic bloc have until Oct. 3 to let the E.U. know if they were requesting to opt out of growing GMO produce from major companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer, and according to the Food Navigator, a food trade publication, countries including Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria and Cyprus recently filed their requests and applications, increasing the number to 16. In August, Scotland publicly said it would prohibit GMO crops out of concern that they could damage the country’s “clean and green” brand. “Scotland is known around the world for our beautiful natural environment – and banning growing genetically modified crops will protect and further enhance our clean, green status,” Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement at the time. “A growing number of governments are rejecting the commission’s drive for GM crop approvals,” Greenpeace’s E.U. food policy director Franziska Achterberg told the Guardian. “They don’t trust the E.U. safety assessments and are rightly taking action to protect their agriculture and food. The only way to restore trust in the E.U. system now is for the commission to hit the pause button on GM crop approvals and to urgently reform safety testing and the approval system.”

Note: Read also an article on how the American Academy of Pediatrics has cut ties with Monsanto. To understand the serious risks and dangers of GMOs, see this excellent summary of the acclaimed book "Seeds of Deception."


Styrofoam-eating mealworms might help reduce plastic waste, study finds
September 30, 2015, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/us/styrofoam-eating-mealworms-plastic-waste/index.html...

Plastic, long considered nonbiodegradable and one of the biggest contributors to global pollution, might have met its match: The small, brownish, squirmy mealworm. Researchers have learned that the mealworm can live on a diet of Styrofoam and other types of plastic. Inside the mealworm's gut are microorganisms that are able to biodegrade polyethylene, a common form of plastic, according to new studies published in Environmental Science and Technology. The findings could help solve the plastic pollution problem affecting the world. The research documented 100 mealworms that consumed 34 to 39 milligrams of Styrofoam, which is about the weight of a pill, every day. Scientists also paid attention to the mealworms' overall health and saw larvae that ate a diet subsisting strictly of Styrofoam were as healthy as mealworms eating a normal diet of bran, [and] transformed the plastic they ate into carbon dioxide, worm biomass and biodegradable waste. This waste seemed safe to use in soil for plants and even crops, the studies said. Being able to find insects that can safely degrade plastic is critical to potential pollution management because other insects such as cockroaches can also consume plastic, but they have not shown biodegradation.

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


Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar
August 4, 2015, NBC/Reuters
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/57704197/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/eco...

The sleek race car dubbed 'Blade' didn't come off an assembly line - but out of a 3D printer. Kevin Czinger of Divergent Microfactories has spent most of his career in the automotive industry. One day he realized that no matter how fuel-efficient or how few tailpipe emissions the modern car has, the business of car manufacturing is destroying the environment. "3D printing of metal radically changes that," said Czinger. Currently cars are pieced together on long assembly lines inside large factories that use massive amounts of energy. Even the most fuel-efficient car has a large carbon footprint before ever leaving the plant. Czinger and his team's approach was to take the large plant out of the equation. To accomplish this they printed the modular pieces that are used to connect carbon rods that make up the Blade's chassis. The 3D printed chassis is only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel. By using carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum for the body, the entire vehicle only weighs 1400 pounds (635kg). The Blade ... runs on natural gas, reducing its carbon footprint even further. The core enabling technology, the ability to print out car components that can be easily assembled, is what Kevin Czinger hopes will revolutionize car manufacturing. He says electric cars are a step in the right direction, but alone they won't be enough to curb greenhouse emissions given the projected rise in demand for cars globally unless the way they are manufactured changes.

Note: Watch a five-minute video showing this exciting process.


Sweden introduces six hour work day
October 1, 2015, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-introduces-six-hour-work-day...

Sweden is moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier. Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, which said the aim was to get more done in a shorter amount of time and ensure people had the energy to enjoy their private lives. Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time. Filimundus, an app developer based in the capital Stockholm, introduced the six-hour day last year. “The eight-hour work day is not as effective as one would think," Linus Feldt, the company’s CEO told Fast Company. Mr Feldt has said staff members are not allowed on social media, meetings are kept to a minimum, and that other distractions during the day are eliminated - but the aim is that staff will be more motivated to work more intensely while in the office. He said the new work day would ensure people have enough energy to pursue their private lives when they leave work – something which can be difficult with eight-hour days.

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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