Brutal Soldier Abuse Cover-up, ISIS Armed With US Weapons, Film Explores Human Unity
December 21, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the brutal detainee abuses by US soldiers in Afghanistan covered up by the Navy, hundreds of thousands of US weapons now in the hands of ISIS fighters, the manipulation of public perception to steer current and prospective US government officials towards increased militarism, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the new documentary film "Human" exploring what unites us as people, Sweden's growing commitment to renewable energy, New York's effort to treat prison inmates with less cruelty, 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.
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Special note: Meet many respected scientists who oppose excess vaccination. This intriguing article gives evidence that the highest amount of disease outbreaks occur in the most-vaccinated populations. Enjoy this beautiful video of the vocal stars of the 70s and 80s singing "We are the world." For those interested in psychoactive substances, check out this excellent article in the New Yorker titled "The Trip Planners" about erowid.com. Watch this awesome music video of a fantastic acapella group. Watch an intriguing video showing research which suggests water has memory.
Quote of the week: The only way to find your Self is to lose your self. ~~ Jonathan Kolber
Video of the week: Watch a profound three-minute segment of the conversion of a murderer taken from the beautiful, sometimes disturbing documentary "Human." That will likely convince you to watch the entire engaging documentary.
Navy SEALs, a Beating Death and Claims of a Cover-Up
December 17, 2015, New York Times
Navy SEALs stomped on ... bound Afghan detainees and dropped heavy stones on their chests. A few hours earlier, shortly after dawn on May 31, 2012, a bomb had exploded at a checkpoint manned by an Afghan Local Police unit that the SEALs were training. Angered by the death of one of their comrades in the blast, the police militiamen had rounded up half a dozen or more suspects from a market in the village of Kalach and forced them to a nearby American outpost. Along the way, they beat them. A United States Army medic standing guard at the base, Specialist David Walker, had expected the men from SEAL Team 2 to put a stop to the abuse. Instead, he said, one of them “jump-kicked this guy kneeling on the ground.” Two others joined in, [and] beat the detainees so badly that by dusk, one would die. Four American soldiers working with the SEALs reported the episode. The SEAL command, though, cleared the Team 2 members of wrongdoing in a closed disciplinary process that is typically used only for minor infractions. Two of the SEALs and their lieutenant have since been promoted. Several military justice experts ... said that it had been inappropriate for the SEAL command to treat such allegations as an internal disciplinary matter. “It’s unfathomable,” said Donald J. Guter, a retired rear admiral and former judge advocate general of the Navy, in charge of all its lawyers. “It really does look like this was intended just to bury this.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Study indicates ISIS armed with US-made weapons
December 9, 2015, Christian Science Monitor
A new report from Amnesty International links Islamic State (IS) to American-manufactured weapons sourced from ... more than 25 different countries, including Iraqi military stocks that were supplied to the Iraqi army by the United States. “The quantity and range of IS stocks of arms and ammunition ultimately reflect decades of irresponsible arms transfers to Iraq ... as well as endemic corruption in Iraq itself,” the report reads. That stockpile, according to Amnesty International, includes “more than 100 different types of arms and ammunition,” including hundreds of thousands of US-manufactured assault rifles and pistols that were supplied to the Iraqi army between 2003 and 2007, during the US-led occupation. When IS captured several Iraqi cities in 2014, it also captured military bases and remaining weapons stockpiles that had not been secured by Iraqi military forces during the previous war. Since then, the terrorist organization has continued to capture US-manufactured weapons previously owned by the Iraqi military. In order to stop these weapons from continuing to end up in the wrong hands, the report recommends utilizing stricter regulations for the export and transfer of weapons to Iraq and the Iraqi military, and ... upholding the Arms Trade Treaty, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2013 as an attempt to oversee this largely unregulated trade. The United States has signed but not ratified the treaty.
Note: Explore powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support. Watch this video which shows how the US and its allies stoke war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Defense Contractors Laud Themselves for Steering Candidates Toward Militarism
December 7, 2015, The Intercept
A group formed this year by executives and lobbyists for the defense contracting industry is taking credit for “driving the national debate on foreign policy during the 2016 presidential election,” and in particular for getting Republican presidential candidates to call for escalating military action in Syria. In an email to supporters over the weekend, Mike Rogers, the founder of Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security, hailed the group for “pushing candidates on national security.” The email also highlighted a quote from Jeb Bush at an APPS forum calling for the U.S. to be prepared for a “long haul” war on ISIS, and a similar comment from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who said the U.S. should engage ISIS as it had against the Taliban in Afghanistan. APPS was formed by current and former officials from Raytheon, BAE Systems, SAIC, and other major defense contractors. Lobbyists who represent the defense industry are also involved. Rogers, the former House Intelligence Committee chairman who retired from Congress last year, also represents private clients. To “help elect a president who supports American engagement and a strong foreign policy,” the group spends money on public events in primary states and encourages presidential candidates to take hawkish positions.
Busted: EPA Discovers Dow Weedkiller Claim, Wants It Off The Market
November 25, 2015, NPR
Dow AgroSciences, which sells seeds and pesticides to farmers, made contradictory claims to different parts of the U.S. government about its latest herbicide. The Environmental Protection Agency just found out, and now wants to cancel Dow's legal right to sell the product. The herbicide, which the company calls Enlist Duo, is a mixture of two chemicals: glyphosate (also known as Roundup) and 2,4-D. It's Dow's answer to the growing problem of weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, which has become the weed-killing weapon of choice for farmers across the country. The new formulation is intended to work hand-in-hand with a new generation of corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate sprays of both herbicides. When Dow applied for permission to sell Enlist Duo in 2011, it told the EPA that this mixture of glyphosate and 2,4-D is no more toxic than the two chemicals are, if considered separately. The EPA ... approved the new herbicide just over a year ago, [yet later] discovered that Dow had been telling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a different story. Dow's patent application for Enlist Duo claims that this mixture of chemicals does, in fact, offer farmers something new: "synergistic herbicidal weed control." Last month, the EPA asked Dow to explain these synergistic effects. On Nov. 9, the company responded with what the EPA calls "extensive information." The EPA, after taking a look at the new information, decided to ask the court for a chance to reverse its approval of Enlist Duo.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
The High Tech Hijacking of GMO Food Labeling
November 18, 2015, Huffington Post
Americans may not agree on much. But according to polls, more than 90 percent support genetically engineered (GE) food labeling. Despite the industrial food complex spending hundreds of millions on lobbying against labeling, three states have responded to the call from their voters and passed labeling laws. Vermont's laws will require that companies start labeling by July, 2016. This deadline has the agribusiness community scrambling for a way out. The biotech industry, along with its top enabler at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Tom Vilsack, is trying to sell the idea that the long derided and poorly utilized QR code is the answer to consumer concerns about GE foods. A QR code ... is similar to a bar code. To use it, a person must have a smartphone device, an internet connection, and a QR code reader downloaded onto his or her phone. Vilsack and now even Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are promoting QR code information on GE foods as sufficient to rescind the mandatory on package clear and accessible labeling required by the state laws. Substituting clear and accessible on-package labeling with QR codes would be a form of discrimination against the poor, the rural, the elderly and many other groups. We do not want this discriminatory, burdensome and privacy invasive technology to become the norm.
Note: Read more about why the overwhelming majority of Americans believe GMO foods should require labels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Where’s Bernie? Media Ignores Sanders Though He’s More Popular Than Trump
December 17, 2015, The Intercept
The headlines about Donald Trump hitting new highs in national polls are tremendously deceptive, as they only measure his support among self-declared Republican primary voters, a small subset of the nation as a whole. For example, in [a] recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Trump was the first choice of 27 percent of the Republican voters who responded. Given the weighted samples in this poll (38 percent identify as Republican or leaning Republican) this translates into Trump capturing the support of about 11 percent of American voters in total. In the same poll, 37 percent of Democratic voters supported Democratic contender Bernie Sanders. Given the weighted samples (43 percent identify as Democrat or leaning Democrat) that translates into roughly 16 percent of all American voters. Additionally, in a recent Quinnipiac poll, Sanders beat Trump in a head-to-head matchup - by an even larger margin than Hillary Clinton did. But in terms of coverage by the mainstream media, Trump is besting Sanders 23 to 1, by some estimates. Some of this can be explained by the fact that Trump is the GOP frontrunner, and Sanders has consistently run second to Clinton. But it’s also partly because of what a spectacle Trump has made of himself - and because the media has consistently treated Sanders as a marginal candidate. Media executives view Trump’s outrageous antics as good for their bottom line. “Go Donald! Keep getting out there!” Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, [recently] cheered.
Thailand's top human trafficking cop requests asylum
December 10, 2015, Christian Science Monitor
A high-ranking member of Thailand’s police force charged with investigating human trafficking has fled to Australia and requested asylum. Major General Paween Pongsirin said he ... believed his life was in danger after the investigation uncovered evidence that members of Thailand’s military and police force were participating in human trafficking operations. “I worked in the trafficking area to help human beings who were in trouble,” he said. “But now it is me who is in trouble. Paween began leading the investigation in May, after more than 30 bodies were found buried in graves near Thailand’s southern border with Malaysia. Paween’s investigation has led to allegations of trafficking against 153 people, including at least one senior military official, though he said other government officials would be implicated. The suspected traffickers are accused of starving refugees and denying health treatment, among other offenses. Thailand’s military has held leadership in the country since a coup d'état last year. Paween told the Guardian he resigned in November after the five-month investigations was halted. Despite his protests, Paween was transferred to southern Thailand, where he said "senior police" officials were linked to the human trafficking trade. “Human trafficking is a big network that involves lots of the military, politicians and police,” he told the Guardian. “Unfortunately, those bad police and bad military are the ones that have power.”
Jehovah's Witnesses 'fostered distrust' of secular authority – royal commission counsel
December 1, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A damning submission to the royal commission on child sexual abuse has recommended 77 adverse findings against the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia. The church fostered distrust of secular authorities and its response to child sexual abuse fell short of best practice, counsel to the commission Angus Stewart QC found in his submission. Since 1950 the church has received 1,066 allegations against its members and did not report any of them to police. Stewart ... was critical of the church for requiring abuse victim BCB, who gave evidence at the July hearing, to confront her abuser and for not allowing the involvement of women when her complaint was being investigated. The evidence in July was that although elders in the Western Australia congregation – where BCB was abused by elder Bill Neill – believed her, Neill was allowed to keep his job. BCB – who was in her mid-teens and had been groomed by Neill for a number of years – was made to continue to attend Bible classes with him and discouraged from discussing the abuse with anyone, Stewart found. Among the other findings open to the commission was that there was no justification for the Jehovah’s Witnesses not to report to police when the victim was a minor and others were still at risk, Stewart said.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this sad subject. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Study: Smaller Counties Driving US Jail Population Growth
December 15, 2015, ABC/Associated Press
U.S. jails now hold nearly 700,000 inmates on any given day, up from 157,000 in 1970, and the Vera Institute of Justice found that smaller counties now hold 44 percent of the overall total, up from just 28 percent in 1978. Jail populations in mid-sized counties with populations of 250,000 to 1 million residents grew by four times and small-sized counties with 250,000 residents or less grew by nearly seven times, Vera's analysis shows. In that time large county jail populations grew by only about three times. Exactly what's behind that trend is not clear but experts say a range of factors likely contribute, from law enforcement's increased use of summonses and traffic tickets to the closing of state mental hospitals in that time. Unlike state prisons that hold inmates doing lengthy terms, local jails and county lockups are generally used to house pretrial detainees or those who have been sentenced to serve stints of a year or less for relatively minor crimes. Jail use continues to rise though crime rates have declined since peaking in 1991, the analysis shows. Blacks are jailed at nearly four times the rate of whites and the number of women locked up in jails has grown 14-fold since 1970, according to the Vera report. The number of jails with 1,000 beds or more has soared from 21 in 1970 to 145 in 2014, and the average number of days people stay locked up in jail has grown from nine in 1978 to 23 in 2014.
Note: Violent crime rates have dropped to 1/3 of what they were just 20 years ago. See an excellent graph on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli arrested for securities fraud
December 17, 2015, Washington Post
Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager notorious for jacking up the price of an obscure but critical drug, was arrested Thursday on securities fraud charges. The charges are unrelated to Shkreli’s leadership of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Instead, the charges brought by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York are related to Shkreli’s time at Retrophin, another bio-pharmaceutical company he founded, and his time at MSMB Capital Management, a hedge fund. Federal prosecutors alleged that for five years, Shkreli lied to investors in two hedge funds and bio-pharmaceutical company Retrophin, all of which he founded. After losing money on stock bets he made through one hedge fund, Shkreli allegedly started another and used his new investors’ money to pay off those who had lost money on the first fund. Then, as pressure was building, Shkreli started Retrophin, which was publicly traded, and used cash and stock from that company to settle with other disgruntled investors. Shkreli “engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit,” U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers told reporters. “His plots were matched only by efforts to conceal the fraud, which led him to operate his companies ... as a Ponzi scheme.” At his arraignment Thursday afternoon, Shkreli pleaded not guilty. He was released on $5 million bond.
Saudi Arabia’s Execution Spree
December 14, 2015, New York Times
Ali al-Nimr was sentenced to beheading and crucifixion for participating in a protest at age 17. Raif Badawi was to receive a thousand lashes - a punishment sure to kill - for his blog posts. A Sri Lankan maid, whose name has not been released, was sentenced, on scant evidence, to death by stoning for adultery. These are just some of the people awaiting horrific punishment in Saudi Arabia for things most of the world would not consider serious crimes, or crimes at all. Saudi Arabia’s justice system has gone into murderous overdrive. More than 150 people have been executed this year, the most since 1995. More than 50 people are reported to be scheduled for imminent execution on terrorist charges, though some are citizens whose only crime was protesting against the government. This wave of killing has prompted some to compare Saudi Arabia to the Islamic State: both follow Shariah law. Part of the problem is the lack of a penal code defining specific crimes and punishments, leaving judges complete discretion. That Saudi Arabia serves on the United Nations Human Rights Council makes this year’s execution spree all the more egregious. It is shameful that the United States and other democracies that consider Saudi Arabia a valuable ally are so often silent in the face of such gruesome excesses.
Note: Yet Saudi Arabia is one of the closest allies of the US. George H.W. Bush was even at a conference with Bin Laden's brother the day before 9/11, as reported in this Washington Post article. And this Wall Street Journal article reports how Bush along with his Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State "have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia: First women councillors elected
December 13, 2015, BBC News
Women have been elected to municipal councils in Saudi Arabia for the first time after a ban on women taking part in elections was lifted. At least four women were elected, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. Other news agencies put the number between nine and 17. The vote is being seen as a landmark in the conservative kingdom. However, the councils have limited powers. Saudi women still face many curbs in public life, including driving. A total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men. Officials said about 130,000 women had registered to vote in Saturday's poll, compared with 1.35 million men. The disparity was attributed by female voters to bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of transport, the AFP news agency says. Female candidates were also not allowed to address male voters directly during campaigning. Elections of any kind are rare in the Saudi kingdom - Saturday was only the third time in history that Saudis had gone to the polls. There were no elections in the 40 years between 1965 and 2005. The decision to allow women to take part was taken by the late King Abdullah and is seen as a key part of his legacy. In announcing the reforms, King Abdullah said women in Saudi Arabia "have demonstrated positions that expressed correct opinions and advice". Before he died in January, he appointed 30 women to the country's top advisory Shura Council. There were 2,100 council seats available in Saturday's vote. An additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval from the king.
Note: Remember that Saudi Arabia was recently selected to head a UN human rights panel. Yet they only now are allowing women to vote and public beheadings are still commonplace.
What is the meaning of life? 'Human' documentary digs for an answer
September 16, 2015, Christian Science Monitor
What unites us as human beings? French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand filmed interviews with more than 2,000 people in 60 countries to answer that ambitious question for his latest project, "Human." "For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress," Mr. Arthus-Bertrand writes. For more than two years, his crew ... traveled the world, seeking answers. Without any disclosure of location or identity, each subject answers the same 40 questions, including: What is the toughest trial you have had to face, and what did you learn from it? Why are our differences so great? What is your message for the inhabitants of the planet? When is the last time you said "I love you" to your parents? And so on. The result ... is a riveting portrait of life, love, anger, and desire, as told by real-life characters ranging from a laborer in Bangladesh to a death-row inmate in the United States to the former president of Uruguay. Arthus-Bertrand released a web-adapted version of the project on YouTube ... with subtitles available in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. "The film speaks to ... the difficulties we each encounter in relation to our own lives, in maintaining valuable connections with our families and those around us and coming to terms with our personal ethics," Arthus-Bertrand says. "The older I get, the more I understand how difficult those objectives are to achieve. But the answer is always love. Love is the answer."
Note: Watch a profound three-minute segment of the conversion of a murderer taken from this beautiful, sometimes disturbing documentary. That will likely convince you to watch the entire engaging documentary "Human."
Sweden Boosts Renewables to Become First Fossil-Fuel-Free Nation
September 15, 2015, Bloomberg
Sweden said it’s targeting to become one of the first nations in the world to be free of fossil fuels and that it will invest 4.5 billion kronor ($546 million) in climate-protection measures next year as a step toward that goal. The government will increase support for solar, wind, energy storage, smart grids and clean transport. Investment in photovoltaics will rise nearly eightfold. Sweden got about two-thirds of its electricity generation capacity from clean and low-carbon sources last year. It plans to significantly reduce its emissions by 2020. It didn’t set a target date for the nation becoming fossil free, though Stockholm may reach that goal by 2050. Sweden will also spend 50 million kronor annually on electricity storage research, 10 million kronor on smart grids and 1 billion kronor to renovate residential buildings and make them more energy efficient. The Scandinavian country will also increase its funding of climate-related projects in developing countries, raising its budget to 500 million kronor. The government hopes it will send an “important signal” before the United Nations conference in Paris in December.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
New York Announces 'Dramatic Reform' Of Solitary Confinement Rules
December 16, 2015, NPR
Finalizing the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged overuse of solitary confinement, New York will change the way it handles such confinement in its prison system. The 79-page agreement ends a lawsuit filed by New York's ACLU chapter, which accused one of the largest prison systems in the country of using inhumane and torturous methods in dealing with prisoners. New York state will immediately move roughly 1,100 inmates into alternative programs. They will also develop training programs for corrections officers designed to encourage the use of forms of discipline and security other than isolation. Prisoners still held in solitary for more than 180 days will receive additional counseling, social time, and access to telephones. Today's change comes months after California changed how it handles solitary confinement, settling a lawsuit that said the practice of putting people in long-term isolation violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The New York settlement also includes a change in diet, requiring the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision "to replace the Loaf ... with a nutritious, calorie-sufficient, and palatable alternative meal composed of regular food items." Providing an example, the settlement says "a sack lunch consisting of fruit, cheese, cold cuts, sandwich bread, and coleslaw would meet the requirements of this subsection." That would be a step up from the notorious "Loaf," which The New York Times describes as "a foul-tasting brick."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Canadian Catalin Duru breaks world record for furthest hoverboard flight
May 24, 2015, BBC News
A man from Canada has broken the world record for the furthest hoverboard flight. Catalin Alexandru Duru's propeller-based prototype managed to travel a total distance of 275.9m (905ft 2in) along the edge of Lake Ouareau in Quebec. The inventor claims the machine, which he built and designed over 12 months, can be used anywhere and can reach "scary heights" which he says he'd like to explore in the future. Catalin had to travel more than 50m to set a new Guinness World Records title, but smashed that by travelling more than five times the target. He said: "I wanted to showcase that a stable flight can be achieved on a hoverboard and a human could stand and control with their feet." A Guinness World Records spokesperson said: "This is a truly mesmerising and incredible feat in the world of engineering and transportation."
Note: Don't miss an exciting video of this new invention. Way cool!
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