The FBI's Eyes in the Sky, Leaked TISA Trade Deal, Peace is the Real Norm
June 8, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the fleet of spying aircraft operating throughout U.S. skies by fake companies run by the FBI, DEA and Marshals Service, the leaked details of the secret international TISA trade deal, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's indictment in connection with a sex abuse cover-up and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the grassroots religious cooperation happening in Belgium and how interfaith peace is the real but under-reported norm, Denmark's relationship-focused sexuality education that leads to better public health outcomes than standard sex education, how there are 200 million fewer people living in hunger than 25 years ago, 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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Quote of the week: "If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten." ~~ Anthony Robbins, Inspirational Speaker
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FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft Over US Cities
June 2, 2015, ABC News/Associated Press
Scores of low-flying planes circling American cities are part of a civilian air force operated by the FBI and obscured behind fictitious companies. The aircraft are equipped with high-tech cameras, and ... technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones. The surveillance equipment is used for ongoing investigations, the FBI says, generally without a judge's approval. The Drug Enforcement Administration has its own planes, also registered to fake companies, according to a 2011 Justice Department ... report. At the time, the DEA had 92 aircraft in its fleet. And since 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service has operated an aerial surveillance program with its own fleet equipped with technology that can capture data from thousands of cellphones. "These are not your grandparents' surveillance aircraft," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union. Evolving technology can record higher-quality video from long distances, even at night, and can capture certain identifying information from cellphones using a device known as a "cell-site simulator" [to] trick pinpointed cellphones into revealing identification numbers of subscribers, including those not suspected of a crime. The Obama administration [has] been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices. During the past few weeks, the AP tracked planes from the FBI's fleet on more than 100 flights over at least 11 states plus the District of Columbia.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt intelligence agencies that facilitate the erosion of privacy rights in the U.S. and elsewhere.
WikiLeaks releases documents related to controversial US trade pact
June 3, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
WikiLeaks on Wednesday released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), a controversial pact currently being hashed out between the US and 23 other countries – most of them in Europe and South America. The document dump comes at a tense moment in the negotiations over a series of trade deals. President Barack Obama has clashed with his own party over the deals as critics have worried about the impact on jobs and civil liberties. Unions, which fear heavy job losses once long-standing trade protections are dismantled, reacted with dismay following publication of the previously hidden documents. Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary of the Public Services International union, said: “It is outrageous that our democratically elected governments will not tell us the laws they are making. What has our democracy come to when the community must rely on Wikileaks to find out what our governments are doing on our behalf?” Nick Dearden, director of the charity Global Justice Now ... said: “These leaks reinforce the concerns of campaigners about the threat that TISA poses to vital public services. There is no mandate for such a far-reaching programme. It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing.”
Note: According to an investigation by The Guardian, it cost about $1,148,971 to "fast-track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another secret trade deal. How much are corrupt corporations paying to corrupt politicians to purchase their favor for TISA?
Hastert's hush money was to cover up sexual misconduct with former student
June 1, 2015, CNN
Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was paying a former student to keep quiet about allegations of sexual abuse from the time when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois, two sources with knowledge of the federal government investigation told CNN on Friday afternoon. Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville, Illinois between 1965 and 1981 before entering politics. Federal prosecutors indicted Hastert on Thursday for lying to the FBI about $3.5 million he agreed to pay to an undisclosed person to "cover up past misconduct." A federal law enforcement official confirmed to CNN early Friday evening that the former student was a male and a minor when the alleged abuse took place. Federal law enforcement officials also said that investigators decided not to pursue a possible extortion case in the matter. Much remains unclear in the seven-page indictment federal officials lodged against the former Republican House speaker. The indictment lists relevant facts as including Hastert's time working as a teacher and coach in Yorkville for 16 years. But Hastert was not approached by "Individual A" until 2010. From 2010 until 2014, Hastert first negotiated with and then made secret payments to the unknown subject. Charges were not filed against Hastert until Thursday, a half century after the first relevant date listed in the indictment.
Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pope's commissioner for child protection says Cardinal Pell is a 'dangerous individual' and 'almost sociopathic'
June 1, 2015, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
Cardinal George Pell is "a dangerous individual" and "almost sociopathic" in his response to child sexual abuse victims, Pope Francis' specially-appointed commissioner for the protection of children, Peter Saunders, says. Pope Francis last December appointed Mr Saunders, a British survivor of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, to the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to ensure the Catholic Church acted with greater accountability and transparency in relation to child sexual abuse. Mr Saunders said that ... Cardinal Pell was "making a mockery of the Papal Commission, of the Pope himself, but most of all, of the victims and the survivors". "I think anybody who is a serious obstacle to the work of the commission and to the work of the Pope in trying to clean up the church's act over this matter, I think they need to be taken aside very, very quickly and removed from any kind of position of influence." Cardinal Pell was appointed to manage the Vatican's finances in February last year, making him one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church. Questions have been raised over whether Cardinal Pell had supported notorious paedophile priests, including Gerald Ridsdale, instead of protecting victims and their families. Cardinal Pell has previously apologised to the commission for accompanying Ridsdale to court in 1993, but has denied he tried to bribe a victim to keep quiet as part of a cover-up and that he was dismissive of victims and their families.
Note: Watch a revealing 60 Minutes video on Pell's case. These accusations were originally made back in 2002, but were later dismissed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
May 31, 2014, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
When Caron Ryalls was asked to sign consent forms so that her then 13-year-old daughter, Emily, could be vaccinated against cervical cancer, she assumed it was the best way to protect Emily’s long-term health. Emily soon suffered side effects. “The symptoms grew increasingly worse after the second and third injections,” Emily, now 17, said. “One time I couldn’t move anything on one side of my body. I didn’t know what was happening.” Emily is one of the thousands of teenage girls who have endured debilitating illnesses following the routine immunisation. She is yet to recover. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) [has] received almost 22,000 “spontaneous suspected” adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports [over the last 10 years] in 13 routine immunisation categories. In the HPV category alone, ADRs numbered 8,228, of which 2,587 were classified as “serious”. The agency estimates it receives [only] about 10 per cent of all reports. Last year, Japan withdrew its recommendation for the HPV vaccine because of reported side effects. In an article published last week in the Springer journal Clinical Rheumatology, Dr Manuel Martinez-Lavin ... said these illnesses are “more frequent after HPV vaccination”. He wrote: “Seemingly inexplicit adverse reactions have been described after the injection of the newer vaccines vs human papillomavirus (HPV). Adverse reactions appear to be more frequent after HPV vaccination when compared to other type of immunisations.”
CIA sex abuse and torture went beyond Senate report disclosures, detainee says
June 2, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US Central Intelligence Agency used a wider array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture than was disclosed in a Senate report last year, according to a Guantanamo Bay detainee turned government cooperating witness. Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his “private parts” – none of which was described in the Senate report. Khan’s is the first publicly released account from a high-value al-Qaida detainee who experienced [these] “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The 35-year-old Khan ... is awaiting sentencing after [confessing] to delivering $50,000 to al-Qaida operatives in Indonesia. Khan was captured in Pakistan and held at an unidentified CIA “black site” from 2003 to 2006, according to the Senate report. In the interviews with his lawyers, Khan described a carnival-like atmosphere of abuse when he arrived at the CIA detention facility. He said that he experienced excruciating pain when hung naked from poles and that guards repeatedly held his head under ice water. In a July 2003 session, Khan said, CIA guards hooded and hung him from a metal pole for several days and repeatedly poured ice water on his mouth, nose and genitals. When a doctor arrived to check his condition, Khan begged for help. Instead, Khan said, the doctor instructed the guards to again hang him from the metal bar. After hanging from the pole for 24 hours, Khan was forced to write a “confession” while being videotaped naked.
Note: For more, read about the 10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture and many other questionable intelligence agency practices.
Rand Paul calls for release of 9/11 documents
June 2, 2015, Washington Post
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), fresh off a fight over the Patriot Act, has turned his attention to another national security battle: declassifying 28 pages of a 2002 Senate inquiry into the cause of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Paul is sponsoring the "Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act," which would require President Obama to declassify and make public the pages. The issue is a politically charged one, with some claiming the pages will show that Saudi Arabia financed the attacks. Paul appeared at a Capitol Hill press conference with a bipartisan group of House sponsors, including Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), and Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.). The group were flanked by members of the group 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism. Paul pointed out that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, saying that information that has been reported over the years "does raise question about their (the government's) support" and if it was provided to the hijackers. "We cannot let page after page of blanked out documents to be obscured by a veil, leaving these family members to wonder if there is additional information surrounding these horrible acts," Paul said. "The 28 pages in the report of over 800 pages go to the question of who financed 9/11and they point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia," Graham said.
Note: Rand Paul joins several prominent current and former US politicians that are working to expose the Saudi government money behind terrorism by declassifying this material. Explore the statements of over 3,000 respected government officials, professors, military officers, architects, engineers who have gone on the record raising serious questions about the 9/11 official story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 investigation news articles from reliable major media sources.
Coal giant exploited Ebola crisis for corporate gain, say health experts
May 20, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
As part of a PR offensive to rebrand coal as a “21st-century fuel” that can help solve global poverty, it has emerged that at the height of Ebola’s impact in Africa, Peabody Energy promoted its product as an answer to Africa’s devastating public health crisis. Greg Boyce, the chief executive of Peabody, a US-based multinational with mining interests around the world, included a slide on Ebola and energy in a presentation to a coal industry conference in September last year. The slide suggested that more energy would have spurred the distribution of a hypothetical Ebola vaccine. Public health experts who were involved in fighting the spread of Ebola were outraged at Peabody’s suggestion that expanding energy access with coal generation could have hindered the spread of Ebola and helped with the distribution of a vaccine – especially as there is no approved vaccine against the disease. Skip Burkle, a senior fellow of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative ... said Peabody’s claims were “absolutely ludicrous”. He went on: “The coal industry is going down but there are other answers to this and it is not to dump it in Africa. It is just an insult to the population.” The Ebola claims surfaced amid growing pressure on Peabody Energy from the downturn in coal and a global anti-apartheid style fossil fuel divestment campaign.
SolaRoad generates more power than expected
May 11, 2015, CBC News/Associated Press
A Dutch bike path designed to generate solar power has produced more power than expected in its first six months. SolaRoad has generated more than 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity since the 70-metre-long strip officially opened in November 2014, in Krommenie, a village northwest of Amsterdam, the project reported late last week. It said that was enough to power a single-person household for a year. "We did not expect a yield as high as this so quickly," said Sten de Wit, spokesman for the public-private partnership project, in a statement that deemed the first half-year of a three-year pilot a success. Based on what it has produced so far, the bike path is expected to generate more than 70 kilowatt hours per square metre per year, close to the upper limit predicted based on lab tests. SolaRoad is made of concrete paving slabs embedded with ordinary solar panels. The solar panels are protected by a centimetre-thick layer of transparent, skid-resistant tempered safety glass that can support bicycles and vehicles. So far, more than 150,000 cyclists have zipped over the solar-generating part of the bike path. SolaRoad says they "hardly notice it is a special path."The SolaRoad project hopes to test the technology on smaller municipal roads next. Meanwhile, a similar project called Solar Roadways is underway in the U.S.
Police killings: families, Obama taskforce and more welcome 'essential' public count
June 1, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US government does not keep a comprehensive record of people killed by law enforcement, often leaving families, politicians and advocates powerless to quantify and analyse the size of the issue at hand. The lack of data has been glaring amid the protests, riots and the national debate set in motion by the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown last summer in Ferguson, Missouri. “We lack the ability right now to comprehensively track the number of incidents,” the outgoing US attorney general Eric Holder said before stepping down earlier this year. “Fixing this is an idea that we should all be able to unite behind.” The Guardian has begun an investigative project, The Counted, to record the deaths of people at the hands of US police. When informed of the comprehensive reporting project, which will also be crowdsourced, the families of those whose deaths led to international attention called The Counted a breakthrough. [Many] relatives, campaign groups, activists and authorities ... argue that a national standard of mandatory accounting is a prerequisite for an informed public discussion about the use of force by police. Erica Garner-Snipes, daughter of Eric Garner: "Giving this kind of data to the public is a big thing. Other incidents like murders and robberies are collected, so why not police-involved killings? With better records, we can look at what is happening and what might need to change."
Note: Another recent Guardian article, titled The Uncounted, describes why the U.S. government claims it is unable to keep track of killings by police, but does not mention that police shootings rise as crime falls.
Key Articles From Years Past
Mexico's war on drugs is one big lie
August 31, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
During January 2011, Anabel Hernandez's extended family held a party at a favourite cafe in the north of Mexico City. As one of the country's leading journalists ... Hernandez had to leave early, as so often, "to finish an article". After she left ... gunmen burst in. But this was no robbery – it was "pure intimidation, aimed at my family, and at me." Hernandez's offence was to write a book about the drug cartels that have wrought carnage across Mexico, taking some 80,000 lives. Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers [is] about the mafia state; how the old Guadalajara cartel of the 1980s was protected by the Mexican government just as its heir, Guzman's Sinaloa syndicate, is now. The threats began when Hernandez's book was published in Mexico in 2010. Veteran reporter Mike O'Connor works full-time on behalf of Mexico's menaced reporters, based in Mexico City for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The silencing of the press and killing of journalists is integral to the reality, the big story, of what is happening here," explains O'Connor. "The cartels are taking territory. For the cartels to take territory, three things have to happen. One is to control the institutions with guns – basically, the police. The second is to control political power. And, for the first two to be effective, you have to control the press." Hernandez is "very pleased my book is being published in English, so it can be read in London and New York. I want it published ... where HSBC took Chapo Guzman's money."
Note: Read more in this revealing article, or find out about the sweetheart deal the U.S. gave to the HSBC executives that were caught knowingly laundering millions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels.
Is The FDA Being Compromised By Pharma Payments?
August 7, 2013, Forbes
In ... the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME), Donald W. Light of the School of Public Health, University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ, wrote an article entitled “Risky Drugs: Why The FDA Cannot Be Trusted”. The bulk of his essay focuses not on his views about pharma’s competence but rather on his issues with the FDA. While I found a number of his comments troubling, the following stood out. “The ... article in JLME also presents systematic, quantitative evidence that since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, as it makes large contributions to Congressmen ... drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths.” This is a pretty damning comment. Basically, Light is saying that pharma paid congressmen to sponsor legislation that results in the FDA being beholden to pharma for funding for its work. Implicit in this is that, as a result of these large “contributions”, the grateful FDA is rapidly approving medicines that are harmful.
Belgian Muslim Community Reminds Us That Peacefully 'Living Together' Is the Under-reported Norm
June 3, 2015, Huffington Post
Have you heard the story about the Muslim community in Belgium that raised money to restore a local synagogue? Probably not. But it is really important that you do. The oldest Jewish house of worship in Belgium, Synagogue d'Arlon, had been forced to close its doors because of structural problems with the building. The Jewish congregation was short of the funds needed to re-open, [so] a local Muslim community took it upon themselves to call for donations at Friday prayer - even though they themselves do not have a permanent mosque and pray in a converted house. The movement ... spread to Muslims across Belgium who contributed to the fund. In a communiqué released by the Association of Muslims of Arlon (AMA), Hajib el-Hajjaji urged fellow Muslims to contribute. The Muslim community ended up raising 2,400 Euro (about 2,600 dollars), which they presented to Rabbi Jacobs at an emotional roundtable discussion on the theme of "Living Together". Ultimately it was not about the money, but about "a much larger project," [General Secretary of AMA] Bouezmarni explained: "Jews and Muslims have lived together for centuries. Do you know that the first hydraulic clock was invented by a Jew so that Muslims can observe prayer times? Imams in France protected Jews during war. It is regrettable that religions are used for political purposes and sow discord between men." This intentional peacemaking is happening all around the globe.
Note: How sad that the media focuses so little on the many inspiring stories of people of differing faiths working together and supporting each other. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The case for starting sex education in kindergarten
May 27, 2015, PBS
Welcome to “Spring Fever” week in primary schools across the Netherlands, the week of focused sex ed classes. In the Netherlands, the approach, known as “comprehensive sex education,” starts as early as age 4. You’ll never hear an explicit reference to sex in a kindergarten class. In fact, the term for what’s being taught here is sexuality education rather than sex education. All primary school students in the Netherlands must receive some form of sexuality education. The system allows for flexibility in how it’s taught. But it must address certain core principles — among them, sexual diversity and sexual assertiveness. That means encouraging respect for all sexual preferences and helping students develop skills to protect against sexual coercion, intimidation and abuse. The underlying principle is straightforward: Sexual development is a normal process that all young people experience, and they have the right to frank, trustworthy information on the subject. “There were societal concerns that sexualization in the media could be having a negative impact on kids,” [health promotion official Robert] van der Vlugt said. “We wanted to show that sexuality also has to do with respect, intimacy, and safety.” The Dutch approach to sex ed has garnered international attention, largely because the Netherlands boasts some of the best outcomes. The teen pregnancy rate in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in the world, five times lower than the U.S. Rates of HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases are also low.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Peter Sharp - Reminding Humanity Of Our Common Connection
June 3, 2015, Daily Good
Peter Sharp of Liberators International ... has created impromptu dance parties in the Perth CBD, he’s shocked shoppers by dancing through aisles at the supermarket and, most recently, he challenged notions of racism by staging an act in which a blindfolded Aboriginal girl stood on the beach with a sign asking for free hugs – and received them. In Spain, Pete would wander the streets of Barcelona. "Spain [had] just been smashed by the economic crisis. There’s so much negativity, uncertainty for the future. I thought what we could do is create positive actions in a public space that prove to people that we don’t need to feel this despair." Pete grabbed a bunch of his mates ... and welcomed a busload of tourists arriving in Barcelona as if they were celebrities. Next ... they started approaching people with biscuits and saying “How could you pay for this cookie without money?” At first confused, people soon started getting creative. Someone started singing opera for a cookie, others danced in the street. “It’s just astounding how much creativity is out there – every single moment of every single day if you create the platform for that to be expressed,” Pete says. If people were so willing to connect, to share love and joy when given the opportunity, perhaps there was no need for the distrust that permeates modern society. Perhaps, Pete pondered, we could rewire our brains to trust others, to connect with strangers, to spread love and kindness.
Note: Watch videos of Sharp's playful, inspiring work in action at the link above.
U.N. Reports About 200 Million Fewer Hungry People Than in 1990
May 27, 2015, New York Times
The number of hungry people globally has declined from about one billion 25 years ago to about 795 million today, or about one person out of every nine, despite a surge in population growth, the United Nations reported Wednesday. In developing regions, the number of hungry people has fallen to 780 million today, or 12.9 percent of the population, from 991 million 25 years ago, or 23.3 percent of the population at the time. Despite the finding that nearly 800 million people in the world remain hungry, the report described the progress made as a significant achievement. It said that 72 of the 129 nations monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organization had achieved the target under the so-called Millennium Development Goals of halving the percentages of hungry people in their populations and that developing regions had missed the target by only a small margin. The Millennium Development Goals are a set of eight international objectives, including hunger eradication, established by the United Nations in 2000. “The near-achievement of the M.D.G. hunger targets shows us that we can indeed eliminate the scourge of hunger in our lifetime,” said José Graziano da Silva, the director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Progress was most pronounced in East Asia, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. But the report also illustrated failures, especially in parts of Africa, where ... “extreme weather events, natural disasters, political instability and civil strife have all impeded progress.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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