UFOs Sighted in Every US County, Toy Doll Found to be a Spy Device, Prison Inmates Train Puppies
May 2, 2017
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on a new book that documents a big rise in UFO reports and shows that UFOs have been sighted in every county in the US, the "My Friend Cayla" toy doll banned by German authorities for functioning as a spy device, a possible miracle drug for autism, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the incredible success of a prison program where inmates train puppies for use as leader dogs for the blind, a study showing that cycling to work can cut the risks of cancer and heart disease in half, Ontario, Canada's program to reduce poverty and cut red tape by providing a basic income to those in need, 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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People Are Seeing U.F.O.s Everywhere, and This Book Proves It
April 24, 2017, New York Times
Why have sightings of unidentified flying objects around the nation more than tripled since 2001? Why did they spike in Texas in 2008, or in New Mexico in September 2015? These questions and many others emerge from the first comprehensive statistical summary of so-called close encounters: 121,036 eyewitness accounts, organized county by county in each state and the District of Columbia, from 2001 to 2015. The unlikely compendium, “U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference,” is the work of a couple in Syracuse, who crunched unruly data on U.F.O. reports collected by two volunteer organizations: the Mutual U.F.O. Network, or Mufon, and the National U.F.O. Reporting Center, or Nuforc. It is the reference “U.F.O. researchers dreamed of having,” Gordon G. Spear, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at Sonoma State University ... writes in the foreword. Rebutting a common perception that U.F.O. sightings are on the wane, the Costas’ book shows that sightings have risen in waves, to 11,868 nationwide in 2015 from 3,479 in 2001. Only a small fraction of sightings are actually reported to Mufon or Nuforc. The Costas refrain from speculating on what exactly is happening. For the U.F.O. enthusiast, the pages of graphs and charts are a treasure trove of hard-to-find detail. The arduous breakdown by the nation’s more than 3,000 counties was notable for revealing clusters of sightings in ... places where U.F.O.s are almost never mentioned. But every county in the United States appears to have seen at least one U.F.O.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
Banned In Germany: Kids' Doll Is Labeled An Espionage Device
February 17, 2017, NPR
A doll called My Friend Cayla listens a little too well, according to German regulators who say the toy is essentially a stealthy espionage device that shares what it hears and is also vulnerable to takeover by third parties. "Cayla ist verboten in Deutschland," says Jochen Homann, the president of Germany's Federal Network Agency (the Bundessnetzagentur), announcing a ban on the doll in Germany on Friday. His agency oversees electronic privacy as part of its telecommunications mandate. Cayla looks like an everyday doll and gives no notice that it collects and transmits everything it hears - in this case, to [Nuance], a voice-recognition company in the U.S. whose other customers include intelligence agencies. The My Friend Cayla doll remains for sale in the U.S., including via Amazon. Much of what the German agency says echoes the concerns of privacy and consumer advocates in the U.S., who filed a complaint against Cayla during the recent Christmas shopping season. They criticized the scope of what the Internet-connected toy captures, as well as the vulnerabilities it poses for users who link the doll with their smartphones. Consumer groups have also criticized the doll for its habit of praising commercial products, in what's often seen as a stealth marketing campaign that targets children. "For example, Cayla will happily talk about how much she loves different Disney movies," Norway's Consumer Council says. "Meanwhile, the app-provider has a commercial relationship with Disney."
Note: The use of artificial intelligence in a new Barbie doll generated controversy in 2015, while a New York Times article from that same year called "smart objects" a "train wreck in privacy and security". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
Marijuana may be a miracle treatment for children with autism
April 25, 2017, USA Today
When Noa Shulman came home from school, her mother, Yael, sat her down to eat, then spoon-fed her mashed sweet potatoes - mixed with cannabis oil. Noa is part of the first clinical trial in the world to test the benefits of medicinal marijuana for young people with autism, a potential breakthrough. There is anecdotal evidence that marijuana’s main non-psychoactive compound - cannabidiol or CBD - helps children in ways no other medication has. Now this first-of-its-kind scientific study is trying to determine if the link is real. Israel is ...one of just three countries with a government-sponsored medical cannabis program, along with Canada and the Netherlands. Conducting cannabis research is also less expensive here and easier under Israeli laws, particularly compared to the United States. Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders, affecting 1 in 68 children in the United States. Only two medications have been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the symptoms of autism. Both are antipsychotic drugs that are not always effective and carry serious side effects. Adi Aran, the pediatric neurologist leading the study, said nearly all the participants previously took antipsychotics and nearly half responded negatively. Anecdotal reports of autistic children who benefited from cannabis ... led Aran to pursue more scientific testing. After seeing positive results in 70 of his autistic patients in an observational study, Aran said, “OK we need to do a clinical trial."
Note: Dozens of studies have found evidence that CBD can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses. While more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug, the UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Diet Sodas May Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke, Study Finds
April 24, 2017, NBC News
People who drink diet sodas daily have three times the risk of stroke and dementia compared to people who rarely drink them, researchers reported Thursday. It's yet another piece of evidence that diet drinks are not a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, and suggests that people need to limit both, doctors said. The researchers, led by Matthew Pase ... and colleagues, studied more than 4,000 people for their report, published in the journal Stroke. "We found that those people who were consuming diet soda on a daily basis were three times as likely to develop both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years as compared to those who did not consume diet soda," Pase told NBC News. "Our study provides further evidence to link consumption of artificially sweetened beverages with the risk of stroke," the team wrote. "To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and an increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer's disease." The team did not find the same risk for sugar-sweetened beverages. But they found other troubling signs. "Those who more frequently consume sugary beverages such as fruit juices and sodas had greater evidence of accelerated brain aging such as overall smaller brain volumes, they had poorer memory function and they also had smaller hippocampus, which is an area of the brain important for memory consolidation," Pase said.
Note: Previous research has linked diet soda with abdominal fat gain, as well as found a variety of serious health risks to be associated with the popular artificial sweetener aspartame. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Former Spain central bank chief investigated for failed IPO
February 13, 2017, Seattle times/Associated Press
Spain’s National Court is summoning the former heads of Spain’s central bank and the stock market watchdog to be questioned for failing to stop the disastrous flotation of a savings bank that had to be bailed out. Eight officials, including former Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez and Julio Seguro, the former president of market regulator CNMV, allegedly failed to stop Bankia’s listing in 2011 despite “repeated warnings” the bank was “unviable,” according to an investigation led by the court’s magistrates. Created by merging the assets of seven struggling Spanish banks, Bankia offered shares in an initial public offering in July 2011 and initially reported a profit for the year of 309 million euro ($327 million.) Months later, it amended its statements to show a 3 billion euro loss. The lender was nationalized in 2012 after a rescue that cost Spanish taxpayers around 22 billion euros ($23 billion). Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia at the time of the IPO. Rato since has been investigated in separate, but related cases of alleged corruption. Internal central bank reports made clear the savings bank’s “severe and growing problems of profitability, liquidity and solvency,” a court order issued Monday stated.
Suit: Wells Fargo targeted ‘undocumented immigrants’ for accounts
April 26, 2017, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents. In sworn declarations obtained by ... attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The alleged scheme ... raises fresh questions about whether bank employees merely deceived customers by opening accounts in their names - or further crossed a line. Under federal law, banks must verify the identities of customers. Given Wells Fargo’s well-documented rush to hit sales goals, experts say it’s quite possible that employees did not follow procedures. In any case, targeting immigrants to hit sales goals should have raised red flags. The documents were filed Wednesday as part of a shareholder lawsuit filed ... in San Francisco Superior Court against Wells Fargo’s top executives. Last year, the San Francisco banking giant admitted that thousands of employees created up to 2 million fraudulent accounts in the names of real consumers without their consent. Wells Fargo ultimately fired CEO John Stumpf and paid $185 million in fines.
Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Former Police Chief Has A Plan For 'How To Fix America's Police'
July 10, 2016, NPR
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper says in his book To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America's Police that policing is in crisis. He says more emphasis needs to be put on community policing. "Policing is broken. Tragically, it has been broken from the very beginning of the institution. It has evolved as a paramilitary, bureaucratic, organizational arrangement that distances police officers from the communities they've been sworn to protect and serve," [said Stamper]. "We've got to find a way to build trust. And that's not going to happen as a result of some cosmetic public relations approach. The ... problem, I think, is that police officers in the United States believe that they must maintain control from beginning to end of every single contact they make. They're taught that by their culture. In some cases, they're taught that in the police academy. We've also militarized American law enforcement beyond all measure. The drug [war] has contributed dramatically to the militarization of policing. If you're engaged in a war, you have to have an enemy. You also have to have propaganda. You don't fight wars without enemies and propaganda. And so we've taught our cops that they're on the front lines of an occupational force. And I would argue that they lose control when they embrace that attitude.
Note: Watch an inspiring four-minute video of this courageous man. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Drug Prices in the U.S. Are Ridiculous
April 28, 2017, Yes! Magazine
Public money and public universities boost Big Pharma’s profits, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford the drugs? Almost 1 in 2 people used a prescription drug in the past month, and more than 1 in 5 used three or more. As the population ages and deals with more chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression, the percentage of people needing prescription medicines is growing. But what really sets us apart is how much they cost. Medicines in the US cost 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world. 1 in 5 Americans - 35 million people - do not get their prescriptions filled because they don't have enough money. Big Pharma says high prices are necessary to invest in breakthrough research. But corporations don't actually do much of that, [and] have shifted money away from new-drug research to quick-profit minor variations on proven moneymakers. So who funds new-drug and breakthrough-drug research? Taxpayers. 84% of new-drug research is funded by the government. The public also subsidizes drug research through generous R&D tax credits. Using public research (plus charging high prices) gives corporations big profits. Drug companies' annual stock returns are twice the standard.
Note: A comprehensive infographic showing Big Pharma's preferential treatment by US regulators can be found at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.
The Day You Changed The Economy
April 26, 2017, Huffington Post
Despite the urgings of all of the world’s great religions, “neoliberalism,” the economic narrative that now runs the world, has convinced us that “greed is good.” The sole goal of the economy and business, it says, is to generate financial wealth. Markets are perfect and all of us individualistically maximizing our own desires will somehow deliver a world that works. Except that it didn’t. Today eight men have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion humans on earth. The middle class is sinking into poverty with mothers working two jobs to support their families, while proponents of austerity cut social services to give greater tax benefits to the richest one percent. The rich call themselves “job creators.” But they invest not in new companies, but in financial instruments that benefit the big banks. So in 2016 the bonuses paid to Wall St. bankers, if shared among minimum wage earners, would have doubled the minimum wage. Just the bonuses. The old narrative is based on ... assumptions that scientists now reject. Psychologists, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and others find that most people are not greedy, rugged individualists. We seek to meet our needs, but more, people seek goodness, connection, and caring. We desire to be rewarded for meaningful contributions with a decent living. We are not mostly motivated to acquire wealth. To thrive, businesses and society must pivot toward a new purpose: shared well-being on a healthy planet.
Note: The above article was written in support of the Regenerative Future Summit, which will take place in May 2017 in Boulder, Colorado. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.
For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity
April 21, 2017, New York Times
Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity. Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the “pea souper” fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate. For many living in the mining towns up and down the country, it was not just the backbone of the economy but a way of life. But the industry has been in decline for some time. The last deep coal mine closed in December 2015, though open cast mining has continued. Reducing the world’s reliance on coal and increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power have long been part of proposals to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. Now on a path to phase out coal-fired power generation altogether by 2025, Britain, also the home of the first steam engine, is currently closing coal plants and stepping up generation from cleaner natural gas and renewables, like wind and solar. Some countries have already left coal behind in power generation. In Switzerland, Belgium and Norway, “every day is a coal-free day,” Carlos Fernández Alvarez, a coal analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris, pointed out. In the United States, where coal still accounts for about 30 percent of power generation, Vermont and Idaho are the only coal-free states, and California is close behind, he said.
Note: In the US, the solar power industry now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.
Prisoners give back, train puppies to guide blind, deaf
September 5, 2016, The Detroit News (Detroit's leading newspaper)
Nico is one of 11 puppies in the Leader Dogs for the Blind Prison Puppies program, trained by 23 inmates at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven. At the ... all-male prison, it’s common to see inmates toting puppies on leashes through the grounds, eating in the Chow Hall with a lab or golden retriever by their side and passing time with a four-legged cellmate, who takes up a share of the 8-foot-by-11-foot space. “He’s with us 24/7,” said [Mario] Carines, who’s raising Nico with teammate James Fuson. “The puppy is a blessing,” he said, explaining that since the dogs arrived last summer, the morale of both the inmates and staff has improved. “Seeing animals around when the program first began, guys couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t seen a dog in 22 years,” he said. Prison Puppies started in 2002. Leader Dog coordinators noticed a difference in the success rate. Up to 60 percent of puppies raised in prisons become leader dogs, assisting the blind or deaf; the graduation rate of puppies outside prisons is about 45 percent. “Many of our dogs raised in correctional facilities go on to ... have long-term successful working careers as guide dogs,” said [program coordinator] Melissa Spooner. Prison Puppies is a “win-win-win,” Spooner said, since it benefits the recipient, Leader Dog and 108 inmates in the voluntary year-long program. In fact, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found only 17 percent of inmates in Prison Puppies return to prison after being released. The national recidivism rate is about 50 percent.
Note: Watch an inspiring short video of this inspiring program.
Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study
April 20, 2017, BBC News
Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work, say scientists. The biggest study into the issue linked using two wheels with a halving of the risk of cancer and heart disease. The five-year study of 250,000 UK commuters also showed walking had some benefits over sitting on public transport or taking the car. The ... study compared people who had an "active" commute with those who were mostly stationary. Overall, 2,430 of those studied died, 3,748 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,110 had heart problems. But, during the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled the greater the health boon. Walking cut the odds of developing heart disease but the benefit was mostly for people walking more than six miles per week. "This is really clear evidence that people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, were at lower risk," Dr Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC News website. People who combined cycling and public transport in their commute also showed health benefits. Clare Hyde from Cancer Research UK said: "This study helps to highlight the potential benefits of building activity into your everyday life. "You don't need to join a gym or run the marathon. "Anything that gets you a bit hot and out of breath ... can help make a difference."
Ontario to try giving poor a basic income
April 24, 2017, BBC News
Canada's largest province is experimenting with giving poor people a basic income with no strings attached. The three-year study will test whether this basic income is better than current social welfare programmes. Randomly selected participants living in three communities in Ontario will be given at least C$16,989 ($12,600, £9,850) a year to live on. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said it is time to be "bold" in figuring out how to help society's most vulnerable. Ontario is not the only one trying this policy out. Finland recently launched its own trial in January, and the Scottish government has expressed interest. The idea is popular with both progressives and libertarians alike because it has the potential to reduce poverty and cut out red tape. Ontario's pilot project will roll out in Hamilton and Thunder Bay this spring, and Lindsay this fall. The program will cost C$50m a year, and will include 4,000 households from across those three communities. Participants must have lived in one of the areas for over a year, be between 18-64 and be living on a lower income. Single adults will be given a yearly income of C$16,989, while couples will earn C$24,027, minus 50% of any income earned from a job. By allowing people to keep part of their earnings, the government hopes people will be encouraged to work and not rely solely on assistance. "It's not an extravagant sum by any means," Wynne said, noting that many people who are struggling in the province are employed part-time and need additional assistance to make ends meet.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
U.S. meeting on ocean conservation nets $5.3 billion in pledges
September 16, 2016, Reuters
International participants at a high-level conference on the world's oceans pledged more than $5.3 billion for conservation and designated vast areas as protected waters, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday. More than 90 countries took part in the two-day conference, the third of its kind, in an effort to galvanize attention to the dangers that pollution, climate change and over-fishing may pose to the world's oceans. More than 1.3 million square miles (3.4 million square km) gained protected designation. The United States and more than 20 countries joined on Thursday at the conference to create 40 marine sanctuaries around the world to protect the oceans. They limit commercial fishing, oil exploration and other activities that affect ocean ecosystems. President Barack Obama also designated the first U.S. marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean: 4,913 square miles (12,724 square km) known for underwater mountains and canyons off the coast of New England. The announcement was part of more than 136 new initiatives unveiled during the event. Kerry, speaking to a Georgetown University audience on Friday as part of the conference, stressed the health of the world's oceans for national security and global stability. "This is life and death. This is national security. It is international security," he said, saying nearly 50 percent of the world depends on food from the ocean and 12 percent of the world's work force relies on the ocean for their livelihood.
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