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Chicago's Black-Ops Interrogation Site, FBI Manufactures Terrorism, Girl Plays Basketball Despite Cancer
March 2, 2015

Dear friends,

Chicago's Black-Ops Interrogation Site, FBI Manufactures Terrorism

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the secret Chicago Police black-ops detention and interrogation site that denies basic rights to those being held, the FBI's efforts to manufacture terrorism to keep fear alive for the war on terror, revealing UFO files, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the girl that continued to play competitive college basketball despite terminal cancer, the wealthy Chinese businessman that built an entire neighborhood for the less fortunate to live in for free, the multi-faith group of academics that volunteered to take Saudi Arabia's inhuman punishment for public dissent alongside a political blogger sentenced to public lashing, 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,
Mark Bailey and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Financial Note: At the start of every month, the amount we are in the red for the year jumps several thousand dollars. This is because that's when we add our expenses for the month (about $6,000) to the amount we are in the red. The red ink amount then gradually decreases over the course of the month as caring supporters like you make donations. Read more on this. Please help us to decrease our deficit by donating here.

Special note: Read an excellent, informative article on the website of the UK's Guardian exploring deep into the hidden contents in our food. Read also an important article showing that the US government is changing cholesterol guidelines to say that foods with high levels of cholesterol are no longer considered dangerous.

Quote of the Week: "The more I face my fears, the more fearless I become."  ~~  Paz Vizcarra

Video of the Week: Watch a highly informative documentary filled with solid information on vaccines and health titled "Bought." It is available for free viewing until March 6th. Listen to courageous whistleblowers who risked their careers and mothers who have won major lawsuits against big drug companies, yet they've received very little media attention. If you care about your health, this is worth watching.


The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'
February 24, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain...

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound. The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago's west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Police practices at Homan Square [allegedly] include: Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases; Beating by police, resulting in head wounds; Shackling for prolonged periods; Denying attorneys access to the "secure" facility; Holding people [as young as 15] without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours. Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Jacob Church learned about Homan Square the hard way. On May 16 2012, he and 11 others were taken there after police infiltrated their protest against the Nato summit. After serving two and a half years in prison, Church ... and his co-defendants were found not guilty in 2014 of terrorism-related offenses. Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantanamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. "The real danger in allowing practices like Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they ... creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That's how we ended up with a black site in Chicago."

Note: Church was one of three young activists charged with 'terrorism' after police manufactured evidence against peaceful Occupy Wall St protesters in Chicago in 2012. For more, read about the increasing militarization of police in the U.S. after 9/11, or see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles.


Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats?
February 26, 2015, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/26/fbi-manufacture-plots...

The FBI and major media outlets yesterday trumpeted the ... latest counterterrorism triumph: the arrest of three Brooklyn men, ages 19 to 30, on charges of conspiring to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS. It appears that none of the three men was in any condition to travel or support the Islamic State, without help from the FBI informant. One of the frightening terrorist villains told the FBI informant that, beyond having no money, he had encountered a significant problem in following through on the FBI's plot: his mom had taken away his passport. In this regard, this latest arrest appears to be quite similar to the overwhelming majority of terrorism arrests the FBI has proudly touted over the last decade. These cases ... end up sending young people to prison for decades for "crimes" which even their sentencing judges acknowledge they never would have seriously considered, let alone committed, in the absence of FBI trickery. We're constantly bombarded with dire warnings about the grave threat of [terrorism]. But how serious of a threat can all of this be, at least domestically, if the FBI continually has to resort to manufacturing its own plots by trolling the Internet in search of young drifters and/or the mentally ill whom they target? Shouldn't there be actual plots, ones that are created and fueled without the help of the FBI? The Justice Department is aggressively pressuring U.S. allies to employ these same entrapment tactics in order to create their own terrorists, who can then be paraded around as proof of the grave threat. The FBI's terrorism strategy – keep fear alive – drives everything they do.

Note: Human Rights Watch has documented the government manufacture of fake "terrorism" plots being used to keep fear alive in war on terror. There is even evidence that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was an F.B.I. entrapment plan gone awry. In 2012, the New York Times exposed the pattern of F.B.I. entrapment used to produce these fake "terrorism" plots. How can corrupt intelligence agencies continue to blatantly manipulate public perception like this?


U.S. probes banks over metals markets
February 24, 2015, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/24/us-probes-metals-market...

U.S. authorities are investigating major banks over potential manipulation of the precious metals market, the latest development in a series of probes related to major financial benchmarks. HSBC is among at least 10 major banks being investigated by U.S. authorities for possible rigging of the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday. The report said other banks being scrutinized include: Goldman Sachs; JPMorgan Chase; Britain-based Barclays; Swiss banking giants UBS and Credit Suisse; Bank of Nova Scotia; Germany-based Deutsche Bank; France-based Société Générale; and South Africa-based Standard Bank Group. U.S. authorities declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, HSBC, UBS and Bank of Nova Scotia have been named as defendants in various putative class-action lawsuits in U.S. federal courts over suspected manipulation of precious metals pricing. The complaints contend that bank traders conspired to manipulate the price of metal derivatives in a bid to reap profits on proprietary trades. The new U.S. investigations follow separate bank probes launched earlier over suspected manipulation of the $5.3-billion-a-day foreign exchange currency trading market, along with rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is used to set rates on billions of dollars in loans, credit cards and mortgages.

Note: When it comes to international banking, it appears that almost everything is rigged. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.


How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle
February 19, 2015, The Intercept
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist

American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world's cellular communications, including both voice and data. The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands. With these stolen encryption keys, intelligence agencies can monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. Possessing the keys also sidesteps the need to get a warrant or a wiretap, while leaving no trace on the wireless provider's network that the communications were intercepted.

Note: In an article that updates the story above, The Intercept reports that Gemalto has now acknowledged this security breach, but is misrepresenting its significance to prevent client and investor fears from harming the company's profitability. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in intelligence agencies and government.


Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher
February 21, 2015, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate...

For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gasses pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming. But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon's work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests. He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as "deliverables" that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress. Dr. Soon has found a warm welcome among politicians in Washington and state capitals who try to block climate action. United States Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who claims that climate change is a global scientific hoax, has repeatedly cited Dr. Soon's work over the years.

Note: One of Dr Soon's primary funding sources is Donors Trust, a secretive organization found to have orchestrated a vast climate denial conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


UFO Files shed light on a bygone era in New England
February 6, 2015, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/02/06/air-force-voluminous-ufo...

James Louis Warsher and a friend were driving across the Anderson Memorial Bridge in Harvard Square when they noticed a dull gray elliptical vessel tinted with muted yellow light descending from the sky. It was around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, 1964, and the two were among 11 Bostonians who reported UFO sightings that night. Air Force investigators said the object was just an advertising plane. They confirmed it by cross-checking the aircraft's flight plan. But the Air Force's official explanation ... couldn't answer one issue: When Warsher and his friend saw the UFO, it was flying within sight of the same plane the investigators purported it to be. This story is one of more than 12,000 chronicled by Project Blue Book, the Air Force's UFO investigation program that ran from 1947 to 1969. The once-classified files ... have become more accessible to the general public in recent years through Fold3, a commercial database of government and military documents. Readers can sort the files by date, state, and when they were added to the website. The collection reveals how the nation's military bureaucracy painstakingly documented what amounted to a cultural phenomenon of the Cold War. Even though the Air Force deemed only a small portion of the reports unexplainable, UFO researcher Stanton Friedman believes Project Blue Book barely scratches the surface of American UFO investigations. Friedman claims "the Air Force has gotten away with carefully worded misrepresentation," of its interest in the aircraft.

Note: Explore Project Blue Book documents at Fold3. The free searchable archive of declassified Project Blue Book Air Force UFO files that used to be available through The Black Vault was recently removed under questionable circumstances. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Mysterious plumes erupt from Mars
February 16, 2015, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/16/mars-erupting-plumes/23497289/

Astronomers have spotted huge cloudlike plumes erupting from Mars – a phenomenon that scientists are at a loss to explain. The bright flares, which have now died away, towered higher than anything else observed in the Martian atmosphere. Their tops reached some 150 miles in altitude, more than twice as high as the highest Martian clouds, and they sprawled across 300 to 600 miles, researchers report in this week's Nature, a science journal. The researchers initially were skeptical, but "we came to the conclusion that what we were seeing is actually real," says study co-author Antonio García Muñoz, a planetary scientist at the European Space Agency. The plumes are "exceptional. ... It's difficult to come to terms with this." This scientific brainteaser first came to light in early 2012. "I don't think it's real. Basic physics says this can't occur," [Planetary scientist Todd Clancy of the Space Science Institute] says, adding that the conditions in Mars's upper atmosphere don't supply the necessary ingredients for clouds. In response, study co-author Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, a planetary scientist and physics professor at the University of the Basque Country in Spain, notes that 19 different observers captured the strange eruptions. He considers the source of the formations "open to discussion," he says via e-mail.

Note: Here is a picture that shows Mars' strange behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about our enigmatic universe from reliable major media sources.


A UFO story lands in a hall of history
February 23, 2015, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/02/23/berkshires-museum-says-alien...

This is how the story goes: It's 1966, and 6-year-old Thomas Reed is in his bedroom on his family's horse farm in the Berkshires when the encounters begin. Suddenly, he's in the woods near his home looking at a UFO. The following year, there is another incident. Two years later, the family is driving on Route 7 when they see strange lights in the sky. Thomas and his brother and mother and grandmother find themselves in a giant room. Next thing, he's back near the car. Reed has told these stories many times, and it has not always gone well. But recently, his tale had found recognition in an unlikely place. The Great Barrington Historical Society & Museum has formally inducted the UFO story. "We believe it is true," said Debbie Oppermann, the director of the society. "I know we're going to get a lot of backlash. But ... based on the evidence we've been given, we believe this is a significant and true event." The historical society believes it is the first time a "mainstream" historical society or museum in the United States has declared a UFO encounter to be historical fact. What most interests the historical society is the 1969 encounter, because dozens of people in the area reported seeing an unidentified flying object around that time. Many of those eyewitnesses called the local radio station, WSBS, which covered the sightings. The radio station has provided documentation to the historical society, which interviewed one of those eyewitnesses.

Note: The Great Barrington Historical Society joins a former presidential aide, a respected astronaut, countless others in legitimizing historic accounts of UFO activity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles about The UFO cover-up and disclosure effort from reliable major media sources.


The '60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues
March 9, 2014, NPR
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/09/288285764/the-60s-are-gone-but-psychedelic...

Psychedelic drug research is coming back. But the research still faces stigma, and funding is hard to get. Stanislav Grof was one of the leading researchers on the therapeutic applications of LSD in the 1950s and '60s. He studied the effect of hallucinogens on mental disorders, including addiction. Grof tells NPR's Arun Rath, "This was a tremendous deepening and acceleration of the psychotherapeutic process. Compared with the therapy in general, which mostly focuses on suppression of symptoms, here we had something that could actually get to the core of the problems." The Schedule 1 classification of LSD and other hallucinogenic substances in 1970 was a huge blow to research. But by the '90s, attitudes had begun to change. By the 2000s, a small but growing research community was picking up where Grof and others had left off. One area that showed promise was using hallucinogens to ease anxiety and depression in patients with cancer, like Erica Rex. "I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2, in 2009," Rex says. "I went through the treatment, and then there are some drugs that have terrible side effects." She says she became obsessed with the possibility of her death, and it was crippling. Then Rex [was approved] for a study on the experimental drug psilocybin, an active compound in psychedelic mushrooms. In the end, she says, it helped her depression.

Note: Food justice champion Michael Pollan recently wrote a fascinating article prominently featured in the venerable magazine The New Yorker about the amazing power of psilocybin mushrooms to create profound healing in carefully controlled environments. It is subtitled "Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results." Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?


Jeremy Hunt to apologise to Savile victims as 'horrific' scale of abuse emerges
February 25, 2015, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11434635...

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, will apologise to dozens of hospital patients who were abused by Jimmy Savile amid new allegations about the "horrific" scale of abuse. An official report, published by barrister Kate Lampard on Thursday, will disclose allegations that Savile assaulted and raped at least 44 victims at Stoke Mandeville hospital. The victims, some of whom were as young as eight, say that their complaints about Savile's behaviour were ignored by the authorities. A former children's doctor has also been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls at the hospital in the 1970s and 1980s, raising fears that there may have been a paedophile ring operating at the hospital. The report will also examine allegations about Savile's activity at a further 43 hospitals across the country. One woman told the inquiry that she was abused when she was eight-years-old and recovering from cancer surgery. At the time she had 144 stitches across the lower part of her body as a result of an operation. She says that when she raised her complaint with a ward sister, she was met with the response: "Be quiet, you silly girl. Do you realise how much he has done for the hospital." Savile, the former Radio 1 DJ and television personality, began volunteering as a porter at Stoke Mandeville in the 1970s and had free use of a flat on site while he helped to raise £40 million for its spinal injuries centre. Many people say 'times have changed' but it is still not illegal to cover-up claims of abuse to protect an organisation's profitability and reputation.

Note: For lots more revealing how deep this sex abuse scandal runs, read another Telegraph article on how hospital staff covered up the abuse, and a BBC report on how Jimmy Savile's brother used his family name to sexually abuse psychiatric patients at a London hospital where abuse was also systematically covered up. For solid evidence of a pedophile ring reaching to the highest levels of government, don't miss this powerful documentary. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


When Americans Lynched Mexicans
February 20, 2015, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/opinion/when-americans-lynched-mexicans...

The recent release of a landmark report on the history of lynching in the United States is a welcome contribution to the struggle over American collective memory. One dimension of mob violence that is often overlooked, however, is that lynchers targeted many other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including Native Americans, Italians, Chinese and, especially, Mexicans. Americans are largely unaware that Mexicans were frequently the targets of lynch mobs, from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century, second only to African-Americans in the scale and scope of the crimes. From 1848 to 1928, mobs murdered thousands of Mexicans. These lynchings occurred not only in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, but also in states far from the border, like Nebraska and Wyoming. Some of these cases did appear in press accounts, when reporters depicted them as violent public spectacles, as they did with many lynchings of African-Americans in the South. The story of mob violence against Mexicans in the Southwest compels us to rethink the history of lynching. Southern blacks were the group most often targeted, but comparing the histories of the South and the West strengthens our understanding of mob violence in both.

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


Key Articles From Years Past


Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says
July 18, 2007, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/world/africa/18iht-iraq...

The leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi. As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed. On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi's ability to escape attack: He never existed. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima. The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, [and] install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements. Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and a Middle East expert ... suggested that the disclosures made Wednesday might not be the final word on Baghdadi and the leaders of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. "First, they say we have killed him," Riedel said, referring to the statements by some Iraqi government officials. "Then we heard him after his death and now they are saying he never existed. That suggests that our intelligence on Al Qaeda in Iraq is not what we want it to be."

Note: The above was written in 2007. More recently, the current Islamic State caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported in Newsweek to have been held alongside Al Qaeda militants by U.S. forces at Camp Bucca, a "virtual terrorist University" in Iraq.


Inspiring Articles


Girl dying of cancer realizes basketball dream
November 2, 2014, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lauren-hill-ohio-girl-dying-of-brain-cancer...

The Division III basketball game between Mount St. Joseph's and Hiriam College ... was special because of one freshman forward, number 22, Lauren Hill, who made her college basketball debut while battling an inoperable brain tumor that has given her just months left to live. Hill had long dreamed of playing college basketball, of fulfilling a hope she had had since middle school. The freshman forward made an uncontested left-handed layup for the opening basket. Her shot brought a standing ovation from a sellout crowd at Xavier University's 10,000-seat arena. Her coach said normally 50 people attend their games. Hill has a brain tumor the size of a lemon, and it is growing daily. She was diagnosed last fall after suffering from vertigo and dizziness while playing for her high school team. Despite her condition, she committed this year to playing basketball, a game she first fell in love with in the 6th grade. "She's chasing a dream," her father, Brent Hill, told CBS News' Steve Hartman. "And she wants people to see that - that they can do that." Her parents said she actually asked the doctor: "Can I at least still play basketball?" Her attitude is remarkable -- the only tears a CBS News crew ever saw when interviewing her were of joy when she read about all the people who were supporting her charity called the "The Cure Starts Now." Curing pediatric brain cancer is one of her two top priorities. The other [was] simply to live long enough to play in her first college game.

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


Millionaire Chinese businessman bulldozes run down huts in village where he grew up and builds luxury flats for residents instead... for free
November 26, 2014, Daily Mail (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2850436/Millionaire-Chinese...

A millionaire Chinese businessman has bulldozed the wooden huts and muddy roads where he grew up - and built luxury homes for the people who lived there. Xiong Shuihua was born in Xiongkeng village in the city of Xinyu, southern China and said that his family had always been well looked after and supported by residents in his childhood. So when the 54-year-old ended up making millions in the steel industry he decided to repay the favour. The business tycoon decided to return to the village and give everybody a place of their own to live - for free. Five years ago, the area was run down and many lived in basic homes. But the area has been transformed in recent years and now 72 families are enjoying life in luxury new flats. Meanwhile, 18 families, who were particularly kind to the businessman, were given villas of their own in a project costing close to £4 million. After moving in, he even promised three meals a day to the older residents and people on a low income to make sure they could get by. The multimillionaire made his money first of all in the construction industry and later by getting involved in the steel trade. He said: 'I earned more money than I knew what to do with, and I didn't want to forget my roots. 'I always pay my debts, and wanted to make sure the people who helped me when I was younger and my family were paid back.' Elderly local Qiong Chu, 75, said: 'I remember his parents. They were kind-hearted people who cared very much for others, and it's great that their son has inherited that kindness.'

Note: See pictures of the neighborhood Shuihua built at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Top US academic: 'Let me be lashed instead of Saudi blogger'
February 28, 2015, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia...

A group of top American intellectuals have volunteered to "take" the 1,000 lash sentence imposed by the Saudi government on a prominent liberal blogger. Raif Badawi ... received the sentence for insulting his country's hardline Islamic clerics. The move, which follows widespread international outrage at the sentence, is being led by Robert P. George, a leading professor at Princeton University. Professor George said: "Together with six colleagues on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, I sent a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the US calling on the Saudi government to stop the horrific torture of Raif Badawi – an advocate of religious freedom and freedom of expression in the Saudi Kingdom. If the Saudi government refuses, we each asked to take 100 of Mr. Badawi's lashes so that we could suffer with him. The seven of us include Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Christians, Jews, and a Muslim." Mr Badawi, 31, who set up a liberal website to discuss Saudi politics in which he criticised the country's hardline religious establishment, has been sentenced to ten years in prison as well as 1,000 lashes. So harsh is the flogging that it has to be administered in individual sessions of 50 lashes a time in order to stop the recipient dying or suffering serious injury during the process. The first bout of 50 lashes was dished out to Mr Badawi on January 9, before hundreds of spectators in a public square in front of a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The date for a second set of lashes has so far been postponed as doctors have said that Mr Badawi's injuries from the first flogging have not yet healed.

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


Challenge Day
2007-08-31, Denver Post (Denver's leading newspaper)
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_6764621

Wadded-up tissues littered Rishel Middle School's gym floor as tough teenagers sobbed, hugged their peers and told gut-wrenching stories about their lives during an all-day session intended to break down barriers. One 13-year-old said he was abandoned by his parents and that he lies awake at night scared by sounds of gunshots outside his window. A 15-year-old girl talked about attempting suicide and urged anyone with similar thoughts to reach out for help. And a teacher tearfully warned students about their actions by revealing he was a bully when he was younger – until the person he tormented tried to kill himself. The confessions were shared ... as part of "Challenge Day," a nationally recognized anti-bullying program that travels to schools around the country. Challenge Day promotes self respect and acceptance, and inspires students to become positive leaders in their schools and communities. [The] 20-year-old program [was] designed by Yvonne and Rich St. John-Dutra. "We want to create a world where every child feels safe," said Rich St. John-Dutra. The program, which was featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," was brought to Denver Public Schools ... as part of the district's mission to change cultures inside the schools. The events combined ice-breaking routines to get students to drop their guards with soul-searching exercises designed to reveal their true selves. Students wept as their troubles tumbled out - from worries about their parents, medical problems within the family, troubles with gangs, and battles with alcohol and drugs. Students later apologized to others who they had put down or teased over the years. "This is going to change people," said Eddie Castillo, 13. "I never knew people had problems with their families and their brothers and drugs. I never saw that sensitive side until now."

Note: For one of the most inspiring video clips ever, watch the incredibly moving 15-minute clip from an Emmy-award winning documentary on Challenge day available here.


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