Blackwater Gets Rich on Afghan Drug Trade, Stock Market Rigging Confirmed, Forgiveness is Liberating after Apartheid
April 6, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on how the US contractor Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) is getting rich off the Afghan drug trade, stock market rigging now widely confirmed, the lawsuit against John Hopkins Medical Corp. for its role in a US government human experimentation program, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on liberating power of forgiveness after apartheid in South Africa and what this could teach the US, the New Mexico kindergarten teacher whose incredible generosity keeps her students fed and clothed, the 1000 year old treatment for MRSA found in an antique medical manuscript, 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: Read a fascinating article with photos on eight amazing archaeology finds that don't fit current understanding and defy explanation. Watch a 20/20 episode with a remarkable and exciting way to heal chronic back pain. Read about how India is making the new Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi available for under $10/pill while in the US it cost $1,000/pill. Check out a scientific paper showing why it would be wise to use the precautionary principle with GMOs. Read a CBS report on how hundreds of smart meters exploded and thousands lost power after a power surge caused by a truck accident.
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Quote of the Week: "The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously. ~ Tom Robbins in his fascinating novel Jitterbug Perfume
Video of the Week: Watch an excellent video of Dr. Bruce Lipton talking about how our beliefs play a much more important role in life than our DNA.
Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high
March 31, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In a war full of failures, the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year. One clear winner in the anti-drug effort is ... the infamous mercenary company formerly known as Blackwater. Statistics released on Tuesday reveal that the rebranded private security firm, known since 2011 as Academi, reaped over a quarter billion dollars from the futile Defense Department push to eradicate Afghan narcotics, some 21% of the $1.5 bn in contracting money the Pentagon has devoted to the job since 2002. The company is the second biggest beneficiary of counternarcotics largesse in Afghanistan. Only the defense giant Northrop Grumman edged it out, with $325m. According to the US inspector general for Afghanistan "reconstruction", the $309m Academi got from US taxpayers paid for "training, equipment, and logistical support" to Afghan forces conducting counternarcotics. Far from eradicating the deep-rooted opiate trade, US counternarcotics efforts have ... contributed to the opium boom. In December, the United Nations reported a 60% growth in Afghan land used for opium poppy cultivation since 2011, up to 209,000 hectares. The estimated $3bn value of Afghan heroin and morphine represents some 15% of Afghan GDP. Academi and its former Blackwater incarnation have an infamous history in Afghanistan. It once set up shell companies to disguise its business practices, according to a Senate report, so that its contracts would be unimpeded by company employees' killings of Iraqi and Afghan civilians.
Note: Blackwater, now called Academi, got caught systematically defrauding the US government, while serving as a "virtual extension of the CIA". The CIA has been linked to the Afghan heroin trade for decades. In 2000, the Taliban had all but eradicated Afghan opium production. Once Afghanistan was under US control, opium production surged to record levels.
Stock market rigging is no longer a 'conspiracy theory'
March 25, 2015, New York Post
The stock market is rigged. With stock prices rushing far ahead of economic reality over the last six or so years, more experts in the financial markets are coming to the same conclusion. Ed Yardeni, a longtime Wall Street guru ... said flat out last week that the market was being propped up. "These markets are all rigged, and I don't say that critically. I just say that factually," he asserted on CNBC. Yardeni's claim is the most basic one: that the Federal Reserve won't do anything that will upset Wall Street and, in fact, is doing all it can to help the stock market. The Bank of Japan [has been] "aggressively purchasing stock funds." The benefits, Japan's central bank believes, will then trickle down to the rest of the economy. One American exchange has made intervention in – rigging – foreign governments easier and cheaper to accomplish. CME Group, the Chicago exchange that trades options and commodities, had an incentive program under which foreign central banks could buy stock market derivatives like the Standard & Poor's futures contracts at a discount. S&P futures contracts are the vehicle of choice for rigging the market. There's another kind of market rigging ... being done by companies themselves. Since corporate profits and revenues aren't growing enough to justify current high stock prices, companies have been aggressively buying back massive quantities of their own shares. By doing this, companies reduce the number of their shares owned by the public [to boost] the calculation of profit-per-shares. Today's markets aren't fair [and] stock prices are artificially inflated.
Note: Don't forget that Bernie Madoff was once the head of the NASDAQ exchange. 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.
HSBC is 'cast-iron certain' to breach banking rules again, executive admits
April 2, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A senior HSBC executive has privately admitted that the bank is "cast-iron certain" to have another major regulatory breach in the future. Global head of sanctions Lee Hale ... was meeting with independent lawyers monitoring HSBC as part of a controversial 2012 deal with the US Department of Justice, in which the bank avoided prosecution over sanctions-busting and money-laundering in its Mexican branch in exchange for paying a $1.9bn fine and receiving additional regulatory scrutiny for a period of five years. The deferred prosecution agreement was signed by the then US attorney for the eastern district of New York, Loretta Lynch. During a long exchange about HSBC's new policy on sanctions and internal breaches of company rules, Hale told the regulator that "given the size and scale of HSBC", in his view "it is a cast-iron certain[ty] this will happen, at some point in the future we're going to have some big breach, some regulatory breach". He added: "I hope it doesn't happen, but it is likely." The recorded monitor discussions also touched on problems in the bank's US compliance team. Hale said: "The internal audit team have done a US review and it's not great in terms of what they've found." The findings, according to Hale, prompted the bank to terminate the employment of one of the bank's senior compliance executives in New York, a former sanctions official at the US Treasury. In 2012, a US Senate report noted that a high turnover of compliance staff at the bank's US subsidiary had made reforms difficult to implement.
Note: Read lots more on HSBC's sweetheart deal with U.S. officials in a Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi. Is it even possible to root out corruption in a bank founded to service the international drug trade? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about systemic corruption in government and the financial industry.
Billion dollar lawsuit filed over study on sexually transmitted diseases
April 2, 2015, CBS/Associated Press
More than 750 plaintiffs are suing the Johns Hopkins Hospital System Corp. over its role in a series of medical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and 1950s during which subjects were infected with venereal diseases. The lawsuit in Baltimore seeks $1 billion in damages for individuals, spouses and children of people infected with syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases through a U.S. government program between 1945 and 1956. The suit claims Johns Hopkins officials had "substantial influence" over the studies, controlling some advisory panels, and were involved in planning and authorizing the experiments. A Hopkins spokesperson ... confirmed that faculty members took part in reviewing funding applications, but said this did not warrant a lawsuit against the medical center. The statement expressed "profound sympathy for individuals and families impacted by the deplorable 1940s syphilis study conducted by the U.S. Government in Guatemala," and noted that the ethical standards for conducting medical research have changed significantly in the decades since then. It's the latest in a series of lawsuits over the studies. A federal judge in 2012 dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. government involving the same study.
Note: Explore an excellent list of dozens of studies over the years in which humans were used unknowingly as guinea pigs in clear breach of ethical standards. Links are provided for verification of each study. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the medical industry and in government.
Child sex abuse: Judges, MPs, media entertainers, actors, police and clergy implicated in Met Police corruption probe
March 29, 2015, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Metropolitan Police is being investigated over further allegations of corruption in relation to child sex offences dating back to the 1970s, including the claim that evidence gathered against MPs, judges, media entertainers, police, clergy and actors was dropped due to police intervention. The fresh allegations are in addition to the 14 cases being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), revealed earlier this month, dating from the 1970s to the 2000s. The three new investigations relate to allegations about police suppressing evidence, hindering or halting investigations, and covering up offences due to the involvement of members of parliament and police officers. One case addressed the allegation that a child abuse investigation in central London, which gathered evidence against MPs, judges, media entertainers, police, actors, clergy, and others, was dropped. It has been claimed that two months after the file had been submitted to start proceedings against those identified, an officer was called in by a senior Met officer and told to drop the case. The two further allegations relate to a child abuse investigation conducted in the 1980s, with one relating directly to police actions in the case. The IPCC said it was also assessing a further six referrals it had received from the Met relating to similar matters.
Note: Explore powerful evidence from 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 news articles about sexual abuse scandals and government corruption from reliable major media sources.
What Is Morgellons? Singer Joni Mitchell's Disputed Diagnosis
April 1, 2015, New York Times Blog
Joni Mitchell, 71, was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday after she was found unconscious at her Los Angeles home. In recent years, the singer has complained of a number of health problems, including one particularly unusual ailment: Morgellons disease. People who believe they have the condition report lesions that don't heal, "fibers" extruding from their skin and uncomfortable sensations like pins-and-needles tingling or stinging. Sufferers may also report fatigue and problems with short-term memory and concentration. But Morgellons is not a medically accepted diagnosis. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 115 people who said they had the condition. In a report published in 2012, they said they were unable to identify an infectious source for the patients' "unexplained dermopathy." The investigators cast doubt on Morgellons as a distinct condition and said that it might be something doctors were already familiar with: delusional infestation, a psychiatric condition characterized by an unshakable but erroneous belief that one's skin is infested with bugs or parasites. These patients have a reduced quality of life, the researchers concluded, but the cause is not clear. Science one day may find that Morgellons has a physical basis, but at the moment most experts treat it as a psychiatric disorder – to the great frustration of people, like Ms. Mitchell, who ... are afflicted with it.
Iceland looks at ending boom and bust with radical money plan
March 31, 2015, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Iceland's government is considering a revolutionary monetary proposal - removing the power of commercial banks to create money and handing it to the central bank. The proposal, which would be a turnaround in the history of modern finance, was part of a report written by a lawmaker from the ruling centrist Progress Party, Frosti Sigurjonsson, entitled "A better monetary system for Iceland". In Iceland, as in other modern market economies, the central bank controls the creation of banknotes and coins but not the creation of all money, which occurs as soon as a commercial bank offers a line of credit. The central bank can only try to influence the money supply with its monetary policy tools. Under the so-called Sovereign Money proposal, the country's central bank would become the only creator of money. "Crucially, the power to create money is kept separate from the power to decide how that new money is used," Mr Sigurjonsson wrote in the proposal. "As with the state budget, the parliament will debate the government's proposal for allocation of new money," he wrote. Banks would continue to manage accounts and payments, and would serve as intermediaries between savers and lenders. Mr Sigurjonsson, a businessman and economist, was one of the masterminds behind Iceland's household debt relief programme launched in May 2014 and aimed at helping the many Icelanders whose finances were strangled by inflation-indexed mortgages signed before the 2008 financial crisis.
Note: Iceland so far has been the only country to really challenge the banksters. For more on this, see this article. Will Iceland's proposed new monetary policy help check the power of the corrupt financial industry?
Recruitment a big benefit for B Corps
April 2, 2015, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Change.org is a B Corporation – a for-profit company committed to social or environmental goals in addition to its financial obligations. Because the San Francisco firm tries to benefit not just its shareholders, but also society, Change.org is an especially appealing place to work for civic-minded job-seekers, said David Hanrahan, head of global human resources. Hanrahan has an eye toward recruiting Millennials. B (for beneficial) Corporations are the creation of B Lab, a Pennsylvania nonprofit that awards the certification to companies that meet its standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. A 2014 Brookings Institution report, "How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America," found that the "desire on the part of Millennials for their daily work to reflect and be a part of their societal concerns will make it impossible for corporate chieftains to motivate Millennial employees simply by extolling profits." In 2012 ... California [became] the 28th state to provide a legal structure allowing companies to become certified B Corps. Since then, such firms have flocked to the Bay Area. The region is home to the highest concentration of certified B Corps on the planet. The certification process is a way to tell the difference between "good companies" and good marketing, [consultant Ryan] Honeyman wrote in his book, "The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good." Many companies want to do good, but they don't know how to do it," said Honeyman. "The B Corp certification process gives them the tools to do so."
CDC's 'inconsistent' lab practices threaten its credibility, report says
March 20, 2015, CNN
A report on lab safety at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together by a committee of external experts calls the agency's commitment to safety "inconsistent and insufficient." The report, which was completed in January but posted on the agency's website this week, also says "laboratory safety training is inadequate." An external group of 11 experts in biosafety, laboratory science and research [say] in the report [that] they are "very concerned that the CDC is on the way to losing credibility." The agency created the advisory group to improve lab safety in July in the wake of two mishaps and other issues that were uncovered. One incident occurred in June when dozens of employees in a bioterrorism lab working with the deadly anthrax virus, were at risk because of a failure to properly follow sterilization techniques. The head of that lab resigned after the incident. This followed a May incident in which avian influenza samples, thought to not be dangerous, were unintentionally mixed with the deadly H5N1 influenza virus and then shipped to a USDA lab. Then in December, with the advisory group already working to reduce lab safety risks and improve the culture of safety, employees in the Ebola lab were potentially exposed to that virus when a technician mistakenly transported the wrong specimens from a high-level lab to a lower-level lab. Internal investigations were done after each incident.
Note: See powerful media reports suggesting that both the Avian Flu and Swine Flu were manipulated to promote fear and boost pharmaceutical sales. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
The Skinny on Diet Soda
March 19, 2015, Time Magazine
Diet soda gives you a sugar rush far stronger than the granulated stuff in a sugar bowl ever could – and for no calories. But research is mounting that low-and no-calorie sweeteners may not be great choices for dieters. A recent study found that over nine years, diet-soda drinkers gained nearly triple the abdominal fat–3 in. (8 cm)–as those who didn't drink diet soda. Though scientists are still puzzling over how this may happen, here's what they think is going on. The most popular artificial sweetener in diet drinks ... is about 200 times sweeter than sugar without triggering a feeling of satiety. Bad things can happen when you strip sweetness of its power to satisfy: the link between eating and the role of calories in your body starts to crumble. It may also mess with your [digestive] microbes, [and] be bad for your heart. In a study based on dietary questionnaires of 9,500 people, those who said they drank one can of diet soda a day had a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome – a cluster of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes – than those who didn't drink diet soda. The study stopped short of drawing a cause-and-effect link, but the association surprised the authors, who called for more research.
Note: If you can't access this article on the Time website, you can read it here. What this article fails to mention is the copious amount of research and many researchers who have found that aspartame, which is the sweetener used in most diet drinks, can be highly hazardous to health. Read more on this important fact.
Man Arrested, Ordered To Keep The Peace On Suspicion He May Commit Terrorism
March 25, 2015, Huffington Post/Canadian Press
The RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] have arrested a man after a peace bond was ordered against him based on allegations he might commit a terrorism offence. Police say Amir Raisolsadat was released on unspecified conditions and ordered to return to court on April 20. No other information about the man, including where he is from, was released by the RCMP, citing the fact there is an ongoing criminal investigation in the case. Radio station Toronto 680 News says the man was arrested in Prince Edward Island, but a spokeswoman for the Mounties in that province would not comment, referring questions about the case to RCMP national headquarters in Ottawa. The RCMP in Ottawa issued a news release on the arrest, but declined to answer any questions. The news release says police may pursue an application for an order requiring someone to keep the peace and be of good behaviour under the Criminal Code if they believe that person may commit a terrorism offence.
Key Articles From Years Past
Documentary looks at possible problems with smart grids
August 12, 2013, USA Today
Josh del Sol got curious in the summer of 2011 after a friend linked a serious illness to the recent installation of a "smart meter." Del Sol subsequently learned that electrical utilities across North America had been quietly installing "smart grids" that ... monitor Internet-connected meters and appliances in homes and businesses. Now, del Sol is on the verge of premiering a feature-length documentary ... titled Take Back Your Power, disclosing questionable industry practices in support of implementing networked control systems for power plants. The film links billing mistakes, invasive monitoring, even human illnesses to the rising use of smart grids in the U.S. and Europe. "Take Back Your Power delivers an ominous, powerful message about the energy industry's shift to closely watching how customers use energy in their home in an invasive, controversial manner," says Lee Waterworth, president of Yekra, a video-on-demand company. Del Sol says access to industry sources was tough. "We had a difficult time getting anyone in the industry to talk to us on camera once they found out that we were wanting to get to the bottom of some of these concerns," he says. The filmmaker was surprised by the contrast between the views of industry officials and those of ordinary citizens trying to get to the bottom of safety, privacy and health concerns. Del Sol hopes the documentary helps to prompt the electricity industry "to provide more transparency, accountability and clarity on the issues we explore in the film."
Note: You can find this documentary on the Internet. For more, read how solar providers are using "smart" systems to help their customers save money while traditional utilities use these systems only to cut their own costs. Meanwhile, concerns about the health impacts of wireless tech and the ongoing erosion of privacy rights continue to grow.
"Forgiveness Is Liberating": Desmond Tutu On Healing A Nation's Racist Past
December 12, 2014, Yes! Magazine
In the mid-90s, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard thousands of hours of testimony about human rights violations. The goal was to confront the crimes of apartheid while reconciling black and white South Africans who committed and suffered from them. Over the course of three years, more than 15,000 statements were taken. [Civil rights activist Angela] Davis hopes a similar process could help reconcile the wounds of deep, systemic American racism today. "To move toward a reconciled America, we have to do the work ourselves," Davis wrote. So far, Davis' piece has garnered overwhelming interest, with readers and leaders around the country offering to help establish such a commission. Here we offer a piece from the archives, an excerpt of [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu's speech to the South African press club in 1997: This process has made a contribution to reconciliation, to healing, as the 1995 Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act says. After the first hearing in East London, Matthew Goniwe's brother came to me and said, "We have told our story many, many times already. But this is the first time that, after telling it, it is as if a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders." Now we will know what happened to the Cradock Four, the Pepco Three, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, Steve Biko, and others. Despite inquests and inquiries, all these truths had remained concealed. The TRC process has helped to expose the real truth, and this surely is helping to heal.
Note: Perhaps a truth and reconciliation commission would help to reveal and even heal all of the massive corruption taking place around the world. Read this article for more. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Albuquerque teacher gets big surprise on 'Ellen Show'
March 19, 2015, KQRE (a leading Albuquerque, NM television news station)
Sonya Romero has spent years helping students, and this week, Ellen DeGeneres gave her a big gift in return. Romero, a kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary has gained international recognition for her generosity towards students. She always makes sure her students have clean clothes and food before they start their day. Thursday on the Ellen Show, Romero got a big surprise. "There's a kindergarten teacher from Albuquerque. I want you to meet her, Sonya Romero come on down," Ellen announced to the audience. Romero ... had no idea what would come next. On the show, Ellen played a video that Romero's students and faculty all took part in. "I was speechless, speechless," said Romero. "That to me is just absolutely priceless to hear what my school and the students had to say." Lots of Romero's kids have hard lives outside of school. Six months ago, she became a foster mom to two of them. When Ellen got wind of her story, she got Romero's whole school involved. "We love you Ms. Sonya!" The whole school shouted, holding a sign for Ms. Sonya in the video played on the Ellen Show. "You're an amazing woman," Ellen said, teary eyed. But that wasn't the end. Ellen presented Romero with a $10,000 check from Target, then another $10,000 check from Target, made out to Lew Wallace Elementary. After the show aired, Romero [said], "I'm glad that it gives teachers some exposure to what really goes on in our classrooms." For Romero, hearing from her kids, and knowing that she's helping them is what matters most.
Note: Watch an inspiring video on this amazing teacher.
1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
March 30, 2015, BBC
Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library. Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the University of Nottingham, translated the recipe for an "eye salve", which includes garlic, onion or leeks, wine and cow bile. Experts from the university's microbiology team recreated the remedy and then tested it on large cultures of MRSA. The leechbook is one of the earliest examples of what might loosely be called a medical textbook. It seems Anglo-Saxon physicians may actually have practised something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation. Dr Lee said there are many similar medieval books with treatments for what appear to be bacterial infections. She said this could suggest people were carrying out detailed scientific studies centuries before bacteria were discovered. The team's findings will be presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology, in Birmingham.
Note: The recipe for the medieval remedy is available at the link above. For more see this CBS article. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Replace the Gospel of Money: An Interview With David Korten
February 20, 2015, Yes! Magazine
David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance. This month, Korten, who is also the co-founder and board chair of YES!, publishes a new book challenging readers to rethink their relationship with Earth–indeed, with all creation, from the smallest quantum particle to the whole of the universe. The world needs "a new story," he says. Buying into the "Sacred Money and Markets" story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule. It's the traditional development model, or transnational capitalism, that damages Earth as a living community, including not just humans but all life forms. Control of money is the ultimate mechanism of social control in a society in which most every person depends on money for the basic means of living. The only legitimate purpose of the economy is to serve life, is to serve us as living beings making our living in co-productive partnership with living Earth.
Note: David Korten's new book is titled: Change the Story, Change the Future. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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