General Warns of Killer Robots, Video Shows Police Planting Drugs, Study on Near-Death Experiences
July 25, 2017
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on a top general's warning to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US may lose control of killer robots if the rules of war currently in place are allowed to expire, police body cam video showing a Baltimore policeman planting drugs at a residence in order to make an arrest, environmentalists around the world being killed in record numbers, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a major research study suggesting that 'out of body' and 'near-death' experiences may be real, a hydrogen-powered boat now touring the globe to promote emissions-free transport, a gravity-powered light to cleanly illuminate the homes of those without electricity, 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: Explore this webpage on the website of Catherine Austin Fitts, one of the heroes of our time, on the trillions of dollars missing at the Pentagon. Lots more reliable information on this is available on this excellent webpage. Watch a great 12-minute segment on key books that have been suppressed. Read a revealing article titled "The US Empire, the CIA, and the NGOs." Watch an inspiring TEDx video titled "From Child Sex Slavery to Victory - My Healing Journey."
Quote of the week: "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." ~~ Robert F . Kennedy
Video of the week: Watch a highly revealing video documentary titled Secrets of the CIA.
US general warns of out-of-control killer robots
July 18, 2017, CNN News
America's second-highest ranking military officer, Gen. Paul Selva, advocated Tuesday for "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control." Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, about his views on a Department of Defense directive that requires a human operator to be kept in the decision-making process when it comes to the taking of human life by autonomous weapons systems. Peters said the restriction was "due to expire later this year." "I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for his reappointment as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He predicted that "there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," but added that he was "an advocate for keeping that restriction." Selva said humans needed to remain in the decision making process "because we take our values to war." His comments come as the US military has sought increasingly autonomous weapons systems.
Note: In another article Tesla founder Elon Musk's warns against the dangers of AI without regulation. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Body Camera Video Allegedly Shows Baltimore Police ‘Plant’ Drugs
July 19, 2017, NBC News
Body camera video produced Wednesday appears to show a Baltimore police officer plant drugs in late January, an act that later resulted in a criminal arrest. The 90-second Baltimore police body camera video, which was made public by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, belongs to Officer Richard Pinheiro, who appears to hide and later "find" drugs among trash strewn on a plot next to a Baltimore residence. Two other officers appear to be with the Pinheiro as he hides the drugs. "This is a serious allegation of police misconduct," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. "There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers ... would plant evidence of crimes on citizens." One of the officers has been suspended, and two others have been placed on "nonpublic contact" administrative duty, Davis told reporters. Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 active cases, and he was even called to testify in a case earlier this week, the Public Defender's Office said. The new video has led to that case's dismissal after an assistant public defender forwarded it to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. Debbie Katz Levi, head of the Baltimore Public Defender's Special Litigation Section, said that Baltimore police have long had a problem with officer misconduct but that the city does not hold individuals accountable. "We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts," Levi said.
Note: And how many thousands of times over the years has this been done and not recorded on video? Watch this video at the NBC link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Environmental defenders being killed in record numbers globally, new research reveals
July 13, 2017, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world. Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago. And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98 killings identified in the first five months of this year. John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said: “There is now an overwhelming incentive to wreck the environment for economic reasons. The people most at risk are people who are already marginalised and excluded from politics and judicial redress, and are dependent on the environment." Most environmental defenders die in remote forests or villages affected by mining, dams, illegal logging, and agribusiness. Many of the killers are reportedly hired by corporations or state forces. Very few are ever arrested or identified. This is why the Guardian is today launching a project, in collaboration with Global Witness, to attempt to record the deaths of everyone who dies over the next year in defence of the environment. We will be reporting from the world’s last wildernesses, as well as from the most industrialised countries on the planet.
United Nations and World Health Organisation call for drugs to be decriminalised
July 1, 2017, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The United Nations and World Health Organisation have issued a call for drugs to be decriminalised. Buried in a joint release on ending healthcare discrimination, the organisations called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states. Among a number of measures, this included “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”. While the WHO has previously called for drugs to be decriminalised in the context of HIV reduction, the UN has limited its calls to health- and evidence-based solutions to drug abuse. Last year, nations meeting at the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs maintained a criminal approach to narcotics, despite strong concerns from a number of countries. But last month, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for tackling the problem through “prevention and treatment,” adhering to human rights. He said: “Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions. Mr Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country launched its landmark drug decriminalisation programme, which also introduced greater resources for drug prevention and treatment projects. Portugal saw its drug fatalities fall to one of the lowest in Europe and also reduced the prevalence of HIV among injectors.
Note: The war on drugs is a "trillion-dollar failure". Portugal's remarkable success with decriminalization suggests that drug addiction can be curbed without sacrificing human rights. Read the account of Mike Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA who personally witnessed large-scale drug smuggling by the government, to find out why some of those in power strongly oppose drug decriminalization.
Departing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’
July 17, 2017, New York Times
Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards. “It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.” Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Mr. Shaub recommended giving the ethics office limited power to subpoena records, as well as authority to negotiate prohibitions on presidential conflicts of interest; mandating that presidential candidates release tax returns; and revising financial disclosure rules. Hui Chen, who served until recently as an ethics expert in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, said Mr. Shaub’s proposals would give the office greater independence and power to police actions by top federal officials. Mr. Shaub, who is taking a job at a nonprofit group called the Campaign Legal Center, said he had never wanted the role of challenging the president. “I would not have picked this fight,” said Mr. Shaub. “But I have never been one to shy away from bullies.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Rep. Barbara Lee won't get her war vote after all
July 19, 2017, Los Angeles Times
House Republicans have stripped from a Defense Department spending bill Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to reconsider the authority the president has to wage war. The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly opened the door last month to ending the authorization approved by Congress in 2001 when Lee's amendment was added to a Defense Department measure after 16 years of attempts. Congress would have had 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time, the 2001 authorization would have been repealed. The version of the Defense Department bill approved by the House Rules Committee overnight removes Lee's amendment and replaces it with an amendment ... that gives the White House 30 days to tell Congress its strategy for defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic State. The Rules Committee decides what debate on a bill will look like on the House floor. “Stripping my bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF – in the dead of night, without a vote – may be a new low," Lee said in a statement. Lee ... was the only member of Congress to object in September 2001 to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a resolution in response to the terrorist attacks that paved the way for the war in Afghanistan. The resolution has since been used by President George W. Bush, President Obama and now President Trump to justify more than 35 military actions in nearly 20 countries around the world without going back to Congress for new permission to send troops into harm's way.
Trump Administration Closing War Crimes Office
July 18, 2017, Newsweek
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is closing a decades-old office in the State Department that has helped seek justice for victims of war crimes. The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the secretary of state on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide, and helps form policy to address such atrocities. It was established ... in 1997. The office has supported the work of criminal courts in countries including Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the Central African Republic, and has pushed for greater U.S. support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The office has also offered rewards that have resulted in information disclosures about and apprehension of war criminals, and has inveighed against brutal dictators. (It has not, however, criticized Saudi Arabia or other American allies with dismal human rights records.) “It just makes official what has been U.S. policy since 9/11, which is that there will be no notice taken of war crimes because so many of them were being committed by our own allies, our military and intelligence officers and our elected officials,” Maj. Todd E. Pierce, a former judge advocate general defense attorney at Guantanamo, told Newsweek. The office was formed following the 1996 passage of the War Crimes Act, which defined a war crime as a “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions. When the CIA began using torture early in the Iraq War and, later, jailing people indefinitely and without trial in Guantanamo, the U.S. was in open breach of the conventions.
Donald Trump's campaign against Isis results in nearly as many civilian deaths as during Obama's entire administration
July 17, 2017, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Nearly as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led air strikes under Donald Trump as were killed during the whole administration of Barack Obama, independent analysts say. As of 13 July, more than 2,200 civilians had been killed by the US-led international coalition against Isis since Donald Trump entered the White house in January - compared with the estimated 2,300 civilians who died during similar strikes between 2014 and 2016. Roughly 80 civilians per month died in strikes under Mr Obama but this has now risen to approximately 360 per month ... according to research by the military tracking organisation Airwars. Part of the rise in these figures is due to the changing nature of the war against Isis, as the jihadist group became entrenched in the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa. The coalition's own civilian casualty figures are much lower than Airwars', but they too show an increase. Following a new war plan unveiled by US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis in February, the US has focused its efforts on “annihilation tactics”. In one incident in Mosul in March, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 men, women and children. Britain, France, Australia and Belgium have also taken part in the bombing campaign but the US is the only one to admit responsibility for any civilian deaths.
Note: Coalition airstrikes have reportedly targeted schools and other non-military locations. Killing increasing numbers of civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
July 12, 2017, New York Times
It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.
Good News For Russia: 15 States Use Easily Hackable Voting Machines
July 17, 2017, Huffington Post
In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten received an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time. Felten’s team then spent the summer working ... to reverse-engineer the machine. In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus. That was more than a decade ago, but Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS. The state is one of five ― the others are Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on [direct-recording electronic machines, or] DREs for voting. Ten other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines that leave no paper trail. Many use a newer version of the AccuVote known as the TSX ― even though computer scientists have demonstrated that machine, too, is vulnerable to hacking. Others use the Sequoia AVC Advantage, which Princeton professor Andrew Appel demonstrated could be similarly manipulated in a 2007 legal filing. On Nov. 7, the day before last year’s elections, former CIA Director James Woolsey flagged DRE voting machines as a key vulnerability. “If I were a bad guy from another country who wanted to disrupt the American system ... I’d concentrate on messing up the touch-screen systems,” he told Fox News.
Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.
GOP Seeks to Close Federal Election Agency
July 17, 2017, Yahoo! News/Wall Street Journal
House Republicans are seeking to defund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure. The defunding move comes as the EAC is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine an attack late last year on the agency’s computer systems by a Russian-speaking hacker. The Election Assistance Commission said in December it was “working with federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the potential breach and its effects.” The commission provides election-management guidelines and develops specifications for certifying voting systems, though responsibility for administering elections ultimately falls to state and local governments. The hacking probe is being conducted at the same time the FBI is undertaking a broader investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including attempts to get into state election databases, and whether anyone working with President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded in the effort. Mr. Trump and his campaign have denied any collusion with Russian hacking. The hack appeared to include a breach of the EAC’s administrative-access credentials as well as access to nonpublic reports on flaws in voting machines, according to ... an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.
Key Articles From Years Past
Navy seeks autonomous drones despite warnings from critics
February 16, 2016, CNN News
The Navy is looking to increase its use of drones that are more and more independent of direct human control. In recent days, Pentagon officials and Navy leaders have spoken about the program and the push to develop more autonomous and intelligent unmanned systems. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in a speech earlier this month confirmed that the United States was developing "self-driving boats which can network together to do all kinds of missions, from fleet defense to close-in surveillance." And Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, the Navy's director of Unmanned Warfare Systems, discussed the effort at a January event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The drive is being dubbed "human machine teaming," which uses unmanned vehicles that are more independent than those piloted or supervised by human operators. Girrier told the audience that the "technology is there" and that more autonomous drones would allow the United States "to achieve supremacy at a lower cost." The Navy's push comes despite critics expressing increasing alarm at further automating drones, advances that have sparked fears of militaries developing robots that can kill without accountability. In July a group of concerned scientists, researchers and academics ... argued against the development of autonomous weapons systems. They warned of an artificial intelligence arms race and called for a "ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control."
Note: In another article Tesla founder Elon Musk's warns against the dangers of AI without regulation. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Life after death? Largest-ever study provides evidence that 'out of body' and 'near-death' experiences may be real
October 7, 2014, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
There is scientific evidence to suggest that life can continue after death, according to the largest ever medical study carried out on the subject. A team based in the UK has spent the last four years seeking out cardiac arrest patients to analyse their experiences, and found that almost 40 per cent of survivors described having some form of “awareness” at a time when they were declared clinically dead. Dr Sam Parnia ... who led the research, said that he previously [believed] that patients who described near-death experiences were only relating hallucinatory events. One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life – and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room. About the evidence provided by a 57-year-old social worker ... Dr Parnia said: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. “But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes. “The man described everything that had happened in the room.” Dr Parnia’s study involved 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals ... and has been published in the journal Resuscitation. Of those who survived, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections, nine per cent had experiences compatible with traditional definitions of a near-death experience and two per cent exhibited full awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events – or out-of-body experiences.
Note: See our near-death experience resource center for lots more fascinating, reliable information on this vital topic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about near-death experiences.
This Self-Fuelling Boat Just Set Off on an Epic 6-Year Global Voyage
July 17, 2017, Science Alert
An amazing hydrogen-powered round-the-world ocean voyage has just gotten underway, with the US$5.25-million Energy Observer setting sail from Paris. The French vessel, which is set to make 101 stopovers in 50 countries across the globe during its epic 6-year undertaking, runs on wind and solar power, plus hydrogen generated from seawater. The trip, which will self-sufficiently circumnavigate the globe with zero greenhouse gas emissions, has been described as the 'Solar Impulse of the Seas', in reference to the pioneering solar-powered aircraft that flew around the world in 2016. The Energy Observer runs on solar power harnessed from extensive panelling ... in addition to two large wind turbines at the rear of the 30.5-metre (100-foot) long catamaran. When it's night time or when there's no wind to spin the turbines, the vessel relies on its chief innovation: an electrolysis system that extracts hydrogen from sea water and stores it in an onboard tank. While it all sounds very high tech, the Energy Observer ... is actually a 34-year-old former racing vessel [modified] to now serve as a model for emissions-free transport. That new mission is also why the vessel is expected to take some six years to complete its worldwide tour. Unlike previous renewable-powered sea voyages around the world, the Energy Observer's crew is taking their time ... hoping that each stopover in ports throughout 50 countries along the way will help demonstrate that there's a viable alternative to using environment-destroying fossil fuels.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Using gravity to light up homes
September 27, 2016, CNBC
According to the International Energy Agency, 1.2 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity, while over 2.7 billion people live without clean cooking facilities. In Africa, the lives of many people are made harder by a lack of access to reliable sources of power. Many people living off-grid use kerosene lamps for cooking and lighting. While this can be cheap, the environmental and health hazards are considerable. One piece of kit looking to push kerosene out of people's homes is the GravityLight. "GravityLight was invented by two designers looking for a safe alternative to kerosene lamps, which are used by over a billion people without electricity," Caroline Angus, co-founder of the GravityLight Foundation, said. In Kenya, [GravityLight] will cost roughly 2,500 shillings ($24.70). Once a user has set it up, it costs nothing to run. "Gravity Light is an off-grid light. It's powered by just lifting a weight, so you fill a bag with rocks or sand and winch up the weight, and as it gradually falls, it will turn a gear box which generates power," Angus added. For one villager, the Gravity Light has the potential to be life-changing. "This light will benefit me and my children, they will be able to read well, food will be cooked well in the evening, and the whole house will be well lit," they said. "The need for light is universal," Angus said. "Given there are solutions out there that can replace a kerosene lamp ... we need to urgently get those out there," she added.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Is lunchtime meditation the latest craze?
March 17, 2017, Washington Post
Although the practice of meditation dates to ancient times, sleek, boutique for-profit mindfulness centers - outfitted with Instagram-worthy interiors, complimentary tea stations and soothing Spotify playlists - have spread like Starbucks in Los Angeles and New York. So, when three new meditation centers popped up in Washington, D.C., in a four-month span, I became intrigued. It’s not surprising that the District, filled as it is with overworked, sleep-deprived, stressed-out Type A personalities, is seeking out meditation as a form of self-care. Researchers have found that mindfulness-based programming not only helps individuals manage stress, depression and anxiety but also enhances productivity, creativity and concentration. Meditation-related physical benefits include lowered blood pressure, improved sleep and chronic pain management. Fortune 500 companies, elementary schools and sports teams are also following the trend, offering free guided sessions in an effort to boost efficiency and quality of output; basketball star Kobe Bryant, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Oprah Winfrey are outspoken practitioners. The meditation buzz in Washington began with Just Meditate in Bethesda, which opened in November, and in December was quickly followed by recharj, a meditation and power-nap center within a block of the White House. Take Five, which opened its doors in Dupont Circle on Feb. 24, prides itself on being the city’s first meditation-only studio.
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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