Medical Errors #3 Killer, Obama-Netanyahu Rift, Free Meals for Thousands
May 9, 2016
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the BMJ's new study showing that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, a new analysis of Center for Disease Control data that suggests more than 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written every year in the US leading to a rapid increase in antibiotic-resistant infections, a rift between Obama and Netanyahu affecting massive aid to Israel, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the new restaurant Even Stevens that gives sandwiches away as part of its business model and has provided over 444,000 free meals to the hungry since 2014, a former Palestinian refugee who recently won a prestigious international prize for her excellence in teaching non-violence to Palestinian refugee children, ice cream makers Ben and Jerry speaking out for genuine democracy in the US despite being swept up in mass arrests at the US Capitol as a result of their activism, 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 in a CNN report that all 40 Harvard students who recently came down with the mumps had been vaccinated against the disease. More here. Read about a massive lake hidden beneath Antarctic ice. Read great advice on facing these challenging times in an inspiring article written by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Explore an excellent mercola.com article on how Monsanto and the biotech industry is bribing the US Congress to promote their health-endangering agenda. Check out a fascinating website focusing on hidden archeology.
Quote of the week: "Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." ~~ Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, in 2005 commencement address at Stanford University
Medical errors may be third leading cause of death in the U.S.
May 3, 2016, CNN
You've heard those hospital horror stories where the surgeon removes the wrong body part or operates on the wrong patient. Even scarier, perhaps, is a new study in the latest edition of BMJ suggesting most medical errors go unobserved, at least in the official record. In fact, the study, from doctors at Johns Hopkins, suggests medical errors may kill more people than lower respiratory diseases like emphysema and bronchitis do. That would make these medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States. That would place medical errors right behind heart disease and cancer. Through their analysis of four other studies examining death rate information, the doctors estimate there are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical errors annually in the United States. The authors believe the number is actually much higher, as home and nursing home deaths are not counted in that total. This is a much greater number than a highly cited 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine that put the number in the 44,000 to 98,000 range. Other studies have put estimates closer to 195,000 deaths a year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the inspector general in 2008 reported 180,000 deaths by medical error among Medicare patients alone. Dr. Martin Makary and Dr. Michael Daniel, who did the study, hope their analysis will lead to real reform in a health care system they argue is letting patients down.
Note: The above article does not mention prescription drug deaths. This is surprising, as prescription drugs were reported to have caused 123,000 deaths and 800,000 adverse patient outcomes such as disability in the US in 2014 alone. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Millions of antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, study finds
May 3, 2016, CBS News
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been a growing concern in the United States, leading to thousands of deaths each year. Doctors prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily is a big contributor to the problem, and now a new analysis of government data [has] found that an estimated 30 percent of outpatient oral antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. from 2010 to 2011 may have been unwarranted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant infections affect 2 million people and lead to about 23,000 deaths annually. "Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent public health threats of our time," Dr. Katherine E. Fleming-Dutra, of the CDC, told CBS News. "The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to resistance." For the study, Fleming-Dutra and her team analyzed two CDC national surveys. The results showed that about half of the antibiotics prescribed for acute respiratory infections, including the common cold, bronchitis, and viral sore throat, may have been unnecessary. Across all conditions, about 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions were inappropriate from 2010 to 2011. "This equates to about 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions written every year in the United States," Fleming-Dutra said. The strategy to improve outpatient antibiotic prescribing is twofold. Doctors need to be more cautious about prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily. Patients can play a role in stopping antibiotic misuse, too, [by expressing] their concerns about antibiotic overuse to their clinicians.
Note: Big Pharma profits handsomely from unnecessary drug prescriptions. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Obama-Netanyahu Rift Impedes U.S. Offer of Record Aid Deal for Israel
April 28, 2016, New York Times
President Obama has proposed granting Israel the largest package of military aid ever provided by the United States to another nation, but he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remain deeply at odds over a figure for the assistance despite months of negotiations. American officials have balked as their Israeli counterparts insisted on more generous terms for a new 10-year military aid package that could top $40 billion. The divide, which could have broad national security implications for both the United States and Israel, is exacerbated by the pent-up animosity between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, which has been stoked by their radically divergent views of the nuclear deal with Iran. Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of American foreign aid since World War II. Discussions about the agreement are being conducted in strict secrecy. Neither side would detail specific funding levels. But the disputes over money are grounded in more profound rifts over policy, politics and national security strategy. While the president views the Iran agreement as having bolstered Israel’s security ... by restraining Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, the Israelis believe that the lifting of sanctions on Iran has only emboldened a government that directly threatens them. “The administration doesn’t want to lose the Iran battle after they’ve already won it by rewarding Israel with an over-the-top increase in aid,” said Aaron David Miller, vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Note: With a population of about 8.5 million, US yearly aid to Israel is almost $500 to every man, woman, and child in the country. The vast majority of aid to Israel is dedicated to purchasing US military hardware. Watch this video which shows how governments promote war in order to pad the pockets of mega-corporations which profit greatly from arms sales. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Largest US food producers ask Congress to shield lobbying activities
May 2, 2016, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Some of the largest food producers in the US have successfully petitioned Congress to propose a change to the Freedom of Information Act that would shield their communications with boards overseen by the US Department of Agriculture from the scrutiny of the public. The move follows a series of stories that showed the government-backed egg promoter, the American Egg Board, had attempted to stifle competition from ... food startup Hampton Creek, in direct conflict with its mandate. Several agricultural lobbyists including United Egg Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council have now sent a letter to the congressional subcommittee overseeing appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking to be exempted from Foia requests. The bill has not yet been passed. The government-backed food marketing groups are called “checkoff” programs. Their most recognizable presence is in the form of marketing slogans such as “The incredible, edible egg” or “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner”. The administrators of checkoff programs are appointed by the USDA. Contributing to the programs is mandatory [for food producers]. Small producers have long argued that checkoffs exclusively serve the interests of the their largest competitors. Activists say checkoffs often obscure the cruelties of industrial farming.
Note: Read an article showing how the USDA is often bought out by corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Native Lives Matter, Too
October 13, 2015, New York Times
American Indians are more likely than any other racial group to be killed by the police, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which studied police killings from 1999 to 2011. But apart from media outlets like Indian Country Today, almost no attention is paid to this pattern of violence against already devastated peoples. When it comes to American Indians, mainstream America suffers from willful blindness. Economic and health statistics, as well as police-violence statistics, shed light on the pressures on American Indian communities and individuals: Indian youths have the highest suicide rate of any United States ethnic group. Adolescent women have suicide rates four times the rate of white women in the same age group. Indians suffer from an infant mortality rate 60 percent higher than that of Caucasians. At the root of much of this is economic inequality: Indians are the poorest people in the United States. Today’s avoidable tragedies of oppressed Indian lives and troubled deaths remain far too often in the shadows. At this moment, when black Americans are speaking up against systemic police violence, and their message is finally being carried by virtually every major news source, it’s time we also pay attention to a less visible but similarly targeted minority: the people who lived here for many thousands of years before this country was founded, and who also have an unalienable right to respect and justice.
How strangers can hack the phone in your pocket
April 17, 2016, CBS News
"There's really only two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven't." That's what mobile security expert John Hering tells 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi about the danger of cellphone hacking. To prove his point, Hering assembled a group of ace hackers. Jon Oberheide showed 60 Minutes an app he created that looks legitimate but allows him to take control of a phone and suck out ... information [such as] contacts, recent purchases and text messages. Another hacker, Adam Laurie, uses radio frequency identification to hack phones. "He didn't need my phone number," Alfonsi explains. "All he had to do was physically touch my phone." He demonstrated by brushing by her in the lobby of her hotel. When he did ... her phone [automatically] dialed Laurie, allowing him to listen in on anything discussed in the room with Alfonsi's phone. A so-called "CryptoPhone" ... alerts the user when someone is trying to attack or hack into his or her phone. "Certain government facilities will try to get into your phone if you get too close to them," Alfonsi explains. To demonstrate, Les Goldsmith, CEO of ESD America, a company that specializes in countersurveillance technologies, took Alfonsi for a ride ... near a secure government facility. As they were driving past, a red line appeared on the CryptoPhone, indicating that ... if she were using a regular phone, the government agency could hear her call and read her text messages.
NSA and CIA Double Their Warrantless Searches on Americans in Two Years
May 3, 2016, The Intercept
From 2013 to 2015, the NSA and CIA doubled the number of warrantless searches they conducted for Americans’ data in a massive NSA database ostensibly collected for foreign intelligence purposes, according to a new intelligence community transparency report. The estimated number of search terms “concerning a known U.S. person” to get contents of communications within what is known as the 702 database was 4,672 - more than double the 2013 figure. And that doesn’t even include the number of FBI searches on that database. A recently released ... court ruling confirmed that the FBI is allowed to run any number of searches it wants on that database, not only for national security probes but also to hunt for evidence of traditional crimes. No estimates have ever been released of how often that happens. The missing data from the FBI is of great concern to privacy advocates. The USA Freedom Act, passed in June 2015, “conspicuously exempts the FBI” from disclosing how often it searches the 702 database, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) wrote in a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in October 2015. “There is every reason to believe the number of FBI queries far exceeds those of the CIA and NSA,” POGO wrote. “It is essential that you work with the attorney general to release statistics on the FBI’s use of U.S. person queries.” The new report also leaves unanswered how many Americans’ communications are collected in the first place.
FBI snooped on singer Pete Seeger for 20 years
December 19, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Pete Seeger, composer of classic American folk tunes including "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", was spied on by FBI agents for more than two decades because he wrote a protest letter as a young man concerned about plans to deport tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens at the end of the second world war. A vast file on Seeger was released ... in response to a request under the freedom of information act. The bureau’s spies first took an interest in the singer in 1943, [and continued] into the early 1970s. The suspicion was that Seeger, who died in early 2014, was a security risk with close connections to the Communist party. The FBI file on him has nearly 1,800 pages – 90 of them are still withheld for security reasons. Throughout the 1950s, when Seeger was part of the Weavers folk group, the bureau commissioned hundreds of reports on him. As the Weavers scored chart hits, Seeger was blacklisted for his suspected Communist party links. In 1955 he was called before the House Committee on un-American Activities and asked if he was a communist. “I am not going to answer any questions as to my associations, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs or how I voted in any election or any of these private affairs,” Seeger replied. Two years later he was cited for contempt of Congress and then, four years later, found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. Let free on bail, Seeger’s conviction was overturned a year later.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nuclear Waste Leaking at 'American Fukushima' in Northwest
May 3, 2016, Newsweek
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation sits on the plains of eastern Washington. The site is nearly 600 square miles in area and has been largely closed to the public for the past 70 years. Late last year, though, it became part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. A total of nine reactors operated at Hanford, and though they are now decommissioned, the reactors have left behind 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. Recent reports [indicate] new breaches in the tanks holding the nuclear waste. Workers on the site have been sickened too, suggesting that the rush to designate Hanford as a park may have been premature. The government has hired private contractors to build a plant that will solidify the waste and prepare it for permanent safe storage. The project will cost an astonishing $110 billion ... making it what many believe to be the most expensive, and extensive, environmental remediation project in the world. Completion is about five decades away. In 2013, construction of the Waste Treatment Plant - which will pump nuclear sludge out of the tanks and turn them into a hardened, glasslike substance - was slow. Whistleblowers, meanwhile, were alleging that private contractors had neglected safety and engineering concerns. Observers likened the place to a nuclear tinderbox. “America’s Fukushima?” asked the resulting Newsweek cover story. [One containment tank] was already known to be leaking toxic sludge into the soil. Now a second double-shelled tank ... is believed to be leaking as well.
Note: We are still 50 years and $110 billion away from safely containing the waste from just this one nuclear site, which was decommissioned 70 years ago. Why are we still using nuclear power? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear power news articles from reliable major media sources.
Congressional Energy Chairs Form Fundraising Committee, Rake In Oil, Gas Cash As They Push Bills For Fossil Fuel Industry
November 5, 2015, New York Times
The fossil fuel industry had already managed to shape a bill moving rapidly through Congress last summer, gaining provisions to ease its ability to export natural gas. But one key objective remained elusive: a measure limiting the authority of local communities to slow the construction of pipelines because of environmental concerns. Then, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton ... who chaired the House Energy Committee, gave the industry an opportunity to amplify its influence. Joining forces with Sen. Lisa Murkowski ... who chaired the Senate Energy Committee, he launched a so-called joint fundraising committee, a campaign war chest that would accept donations from a range of contributors, with the proceeds divided between the two lawmakers. Executives at one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies soon deposited more than $80,750 into the joint fund’s coffers. The very next day, Upton delivered on the industry’s aspirations: He rushed a bill through his legislative panel that would not only streamline the approval process for new pipelines but also empower federal officials to impose tight deadlines ... to review their potential environmental impacts. While joint fundraising committees have been a part of politics for decades ... the Murkowski-Upton committee stands out as a uniquely explicit means of influencing legislation, say campaign finance experts, because it ... gives the oil and gas industry an opportunity to write one check knowing the proceeds are reaching the leaders of the two panels that write the rules regulating their business.
Key Articles From Years Past
Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.
October 19, 2014, Boston Globe
The Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, but Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried. Our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defence and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. Glennon spoke with Ideas from his office. IDEAS: Where does the term “double government” come from? GLENNON: Walter Bagehot - the scholar who presided over the birth of The Economist magazine. IDEAS: What evidence exists for saying America has a double government? GLENNON: The documented evidence in the book is substantial — there are 800 footnotes. I think the American people ... believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.
This New Restaurant Feeds Thousands of Hungry People Every Day
April 29, 2016, Huffington Post
48.1 million Americans have insecure access to food, including 32.8 million adults and 15.3 million children. Several restaurants ... are trying to win the war against hunger. For example, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia, has a “pay-it-forward” concept allowing customers to feed local homeless people a slice of pizza for one dollar. Even Stevens, a new restaurant based in Salt Lake City, gives a sandwich to a local hungry person with every sandwich sold. According to their website, Even Stevens has donated 444,022 sandwiches so far. The founder of Even Stevens, Steve Down, is a serial entrepreneur. As the father of millennials who care deeply about social consciousness and giving, Down saw the opportunity to use his skills ... to turn the food service industry into a force for social good. The result is “a sandwich shop with a cause.” Even Stevens is growing rapidly, with ... seven current locations since the first opened in Salt Lake City in June, 2014. Down plans to have 20+ locations open by the end of 2016. The 10 year plan is to have 4,000 locations feeding over 1,000,000 people per day. To put these numbers in perspective, Subway has approximately 34,000 locations and Chipotle has approximately 2,000. Anyone inside the restaurant industry would consider the objectives of Even Stevens to be ludicrous. Yet, Down ... believes the results of Even Stevens speak for themselves, with each location currently opened achieving profitability within the first 30-60 days.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Palestinian ex-refugee Hanan al-Hroub wins $1m Global Teacher Prize for her work with refugee children
March 14, 2016, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A Palestinian woman who grew up as a refugee and who now teaches refugee children has been awarded with a $1million (£707,000) global prize for reaching excellence. Hanan al-Hroub, who teaches primary school children in the West Bank city of al-Bireh, just outside of Ramallah, was handed the second annual Global Teacher Prize which recognises an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the profession. The Pope announced Ms al-Hroub – who teaches about non-violence - as the winner in a video message while Prince William also sent his congratulations. "I feel amazing and I still can't believe that the Pope said my name," al-Hroub told The Associated Press. "For an Arab, Palestinian teacher to talk to the world today and to reach the highest peak in teaching could be an example for teachers around the world." In her acceptance speech, Ms al-Hroub repeated her mantra of “No to violence” and spoke of the importance of having dialogue. She said: “I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage,” the BBC reported, and has promised to spend the prize money on creating scholarships for students who excel to encourage them to become teachers. Ms al-Hroub grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem. She went into teaching after her children witnessed a shooting on her way home from school, which made her think about how teachers can help children who experience trauma. She educates children about non-violence and has written a book called “We Play and Learn,” which focusses on the importance of playing, trust, respect, honesty and literacy.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Ice cream makers Ben and Jerry arrested at US Capitol
April 19, 2016, Christian Science Monitor
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, aren't just ice cream makers. They are also advocates of social change – even if that means getting arrested. The two were among the 300 people arrested and soon released at the US Capitol on Monday, as part of "Democracy Spring" protests that have been ... campaigning for finance reform and voting rights. Many protesters are staunch supporters of Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whom the famous ice cream duo has publicly backed with a variety of initiatives from ice cream itself to illuminated road signs. Democracy "looks great from the outside, but inside it’s a disappointing mess," reads a statement on Ben & Jerry's website. "With corporations and billionaires pouring unlimited, unchecked dollars into politicians' pockets and new voter restrictions popping up across the country, this is no longer a government of the people and for the people; this is a government of the rich, and for the rich." On Tuesday, the [website] featured a blog detailing the arrests of the co founders, including pictures of the two as they were participating the protests. It's not the first time Ben & Jerry's has brought its political views to the table. "You could say that our passion for social justice has been baked right into everything we’ve ever done," the owners wrote. They've been vocal supporters of Senator Sanders, too.
Note: The media's reluctance to cover "Democracy Spring" has not stopped Ben & Jerry from speaking up to fix the US political process. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
San Francisco Rooftop Solar Panels On New Buildings Required As Part Of New Law
April 21, 2016, International Business Times
San Francisco passed legislation this week that will require all new buildings under 10 stories tall to be outfitted with solar panels. The California city will become the largest municipality in the U.S. with such a mandate. “By increasing our use of solar power, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in the fight against climate change and the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels,” Scott Wiener, the city supervisor who introduced the legislation, said. The legislation makes explicit references to combating climate change and expresses concern about the city’s future. Smaller California cities already have similar laws in place. Beginning in 2017, all new San Francisco buildings with 10 or fewer floors must have either solar photovoltaic or solar water panels. The measure builds on a California law that mandates new buildings have at least 15 percent of their roof space exposed to sunshine for solar panel use in the future.
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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