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Military Developing Insect-Borne GM Viruses, Woman Jailed for Voting, 50 Years of Activism
Revealing News Articles
October 9, 2018

Dear friends,

Military Developing Insect-Borne GM Viruses, Woman Jailed for Voting.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on a US Defense Department project attempting to use insects to carry man-made viruses designed to infect and genetically modify food crops, a Texas woman jailed for 10 months for the crime of voting, hidden biases in prescription drug clinical trials, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the evolution of activism in the US over the past 50 years, an 81-year-old record-breaking runner who recently also broke a world record for competitive rowing, a man freed from prison after being exonerated following a Golf Digest profile which drew attention to his wrongful murder conviction, 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.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Mark Bailey and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note (sources may be less reliable): Watch the intriguing and inspiring "Pleiadian Message." Watch an awesome 2 1/2 minute video on the choice between fear and love.

Quote of the week: "There is evil cast around us, but it's love that wrote the play."  ~~  David Wilcox in his song “Show the Way”


Viruses Spread by Insects to Crops Sound Scary. The Military Calls It Food Security.
October 4, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/science/darpa-gene-editing.html

Within the Defense Department, one agency’s recent project sounds futuristic: millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks. But in a warning published Thursday in the journal Science, a group of independent scientists and lawyers objected. They argue that the endeavor is not so different from designing biological weapons - banned under international law since 1975 - that could swarm and destroy acres of crops. “Once you engineer a virus that spreads by insect, it is hard to imagine how you would ever control it,” said Guy Reeves, a researcher ... who contributed to the critique. “You haven’t just released a transmissible virus - you’ve released a disease,” he added. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa ... launched the Insect Allies research program in 2016, budgeting $45 million over four years to transform agricultural pests into vectors that can transfer protective genes into plants within one growing season. The critics said publishing the new research findings could establish “preliminary instruction manuals” for developing offensive biological weapons. Foreign military programs are often “driven by perception of competitors’ activities,” the critics warn, and “the mere announcement of this program may motivate other countries to develop their own capabilities in this arena — indeed, it may have already done so.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs.


Crystal Mason begins prison sentence in Texas for crime of voting
September 28, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/28/crystal-mason-begins-prison...

Crystal Mason, the woman who became the poster child for voter suppression when she was sentenced to five years for casting a ballot in Texas, has gone into federal prison. Mason’s crime was to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. An African American woman, she had been encouraged by her mother to do her civic duty and vote. When she turned up to the polling station her name was not on the register, so she cast a provisional ballot that was never counted. She did not read the small print of the form that said that anyone who has been convicted of a felony – as she had, having previously been convicted of tax fraud – was prohibited from voting under Texas law. For casting a vote that was not counted, she will now serve 10 months in the federal system. While locked up it is likely that her final appeals in state court will be exhausted, which means she could be passed at the end of the 10 months directly to state custody for a further five years. Her lawyer, Alison Grinter, said she was dismayed to see Mason ripped from her family. “This is an act of voter intimidation, not the will of a free people.” Grinter added: Texas ... has one of the most strict voter ID laws in the country. Fort Worth ... has been particularly hardline, not only prosecuting Mason but also going after a Hispanic woman, Rosa Ortega, for mistakenly voting as a non-US citizen. Ortega, 37, who had permanent resident status in the US having come to the country as an infant, was sentenced to eight years in prison to be followed by deportation.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in elections and in the judicial system.


Transparency Hasn’t Stopped Drug Companies From Corrupting Medical Research
September 14, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/opinion/jose-baselga-research-disclosure-bias...

In order to get prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, companies must conduct clinical trials to show that the drugs are safe and effective. But drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, so they’ve always contracted with academic researchers to conduct the trials on patients in teaching hospitals and clinics. Traditionally, they gave grants to the institutions for interested researchers to test their drugs, then waited for the results and hoped that their products looked good. That began to change in the 1980s, partly as a result of a new law that permitted researchers and their institutions, even if funded by the National Institutes of Health ... to patent their discoveries and license them exclusively to drug companies in return for royalties. That made them business partners, and the sponsors became intimately involved in all aspects of the clinical trials. Drug company involvement biases research in ways that are not always obvious, often by suppressing negative results. A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies — that is, studies that showed that a drug was effective — were published. But 33 of 36 negative studies were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome. Bias can also be introduced through the design of a clinical trial. It’s often possible to make clinical trials come out the way you and your sponsors want. Disclosure is better than no disclosure, but it does not eliminate the conflict of interest.

Note: The above was written by Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. For more, see this mercola.com article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Parma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'They're drug dealers in Armani suits': executives draw focus amid US epidemic
September 30, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/30/theyre-drug-dealers-in-armani...

The mayor of the West Virginia city that has come to symbolize America’s opioid epidemic has called for the jailing of pharmaceutical company executives he likens to street corner drug dealers. Steve Williams, mayor of ... a city ravaged by prescription pill and heroin addiction, said he wants to see executives face criminal prosecution, after it was revealed that a member of the family that made billions of dollars from the painkiller that unleashed the epidemic stands to profit further after he was granted a patent for an anti-addiction medicine. “They are drug dealers in Armani suits,” said Williams. “The decisions that have been made within the pharmaceutical industry have ravaged our nation.” In June, Massachusetts became the first state to sue individual executives and owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug, OxyContin, which kicked off the biggest drug epidemic in American history, estimated to be killing more than 115 people a day. The lawsuit seeks to recover the billions of dollars in profit banked by members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue. Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, accused the company and its officials of knowingly profiting from overdoses and death. “Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made,” she said in announcing the lawsuit.

Note: According to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Erik Prince, in Kabul, pushes privatization of the Afghan war
October 4, 2018, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/erik-prince-in-kabul-pushes...

More than a year after his plan to privatize the Afghan war was first shot down by the Trump administration, Erik Prince returned late last month to Kabul to push the proposal on the beleaguered government in Afghanistan, where many believe he has the ear - and the potential backing - of the U.S. president. Prince swept through the capital, meeting with influential political figures within and outside the administration of President Ashraf Ghani. “He’s winning Afghans over with the assumption that he’s close to Trump,” said one well-informed Afghan. Prince also sparked what Ghani ... condemned as “a debate” within the country over “adding new foreign and unaccountable elements to our fight.” At the Pentagon, the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told reporters that “I absolutely do not agree” with Prince’s contention that he could win the war more quickly and for less money with a few thousand hired guns. Prince, the brother of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and a substantial contributor to Trump’s presidential campaign ... has made a controversial career out of providing security for hire. Since severing his ties to Blackwater - the company he founded that was accused of heavy-handed practices, including the killing of civilians, while under U.S. contract in Iraq - Prince has cycled through several iterations of the same business and now runs a Hong Kong-based company called Frontier Services.

Note: A 2015 article titled, "Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high" describes some of Eric Prince's previous business activities in Afghanistan. Prince's companies also got caught systematically defrauding the US government while serving as a "virtual extension of the CIA". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


California just passed its net neutrality law. The DOJ is already suing
October 1, 2018, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/tech/california-net-neutrality-law/index.html

The Department of Justice said it is filing a lawsuit against the state of California over its new net neutrality protections, hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Sunday. The California law would be the strictest net neutrality protections in the country, and could serve as a blueprint for other states. Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers. The Department of Justice says the California law is illegal and that the state is "attempting to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach" to the internet. Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the California bill is on solid legal ground and that California is within its legal rights. California is the third state to pass its own net neutrality regulations, following Washington and Oregon. However, it is the first to match the thorough level of protections that had been provided by the Obama-era federal net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in June. At least some other states are expected to model future net neutrality laws on California's. The original FCC rules included a two page summary and more than 300 additional pages with additional protections and clarifications on how they worked. While other states mostly replicated the two-page summary, California took longer crafting its law in order to match the details in the hundreds of supporting pages.

Note: Read how the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality policymaking process was heavily manipulated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Former Fugitive Pablo Duran Sr. Pleads Guilty in Trafficking Case
September 18, 2018, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/former-fugitive-pablo-duran-sr-pleads...

Former fugitive Pablo Duran, Sr., who sat down in an exclusive interview with FRONTLINE for its investigation Trafficked in America, has pleaded guilty to encouraging illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals, some of them minors, for financial gain. His plea and conviction are part of a major trafficking plot in 2014 that saw Guatemalan teenagers smuggled across the border into America and compelled into grueling labor at egg farms in Ohio against their will. Duran, Sr., also known as Pablo Duran Ramirez, is one of seven people to have been convicted for their role in the case. Duran Ramirez admitted he had been fully aware some of the people brought on at Trillium Farms in Ohio were undocumented minors, and that the process of getting them to Ohio involved bullying and strong-arm tactics. Duran Ramirez co-owned a contracting company, Haba Corporate Services, which Trillium Farms hired and paid approximately $6 million to between 2013 and 2014 to find workers. One family ... owed Castillo-Serrano $15,000 for shuttling their son into the United States. The family put the deed of their house on the line as collateral. Once in the U.S., the young Guatemalans were sent to the egg farm to work off their parents’ debt - and routinely had most of their paycheck confiscated to cover it. If they complained, they became targets. “Many of my friends told me that they received death threats,” one former Trillium employee [said]. “They would kill their father or mother, if they didn’t want to pay or work.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, could be key in helping veterans with PTSD
September 18, 2018, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mdma-the-main-ingredient-in-ecstasy-could-be-key-in...

It's the little things that Jon Lubecky appreciates now, like playing a board game with his family. But it wasn't always that way for the former Army sniper, who came home in 2006 after nearly a year in Iraq with a traumatic brain injury from a mortar attack and a nasty case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traditional treatments, including the use of antidepressants like Zoloft, were useless. Over three sessions, Lubecky spent six to eight hours under the influence of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy. Finally, Lubecky was able to talk about his trauma and thus make progress dealing with it. Rick Doblin runs the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a non-profit advocating for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. "It starts by reducing activity in the amygdala, which is the fear-processing part of the brain, so that people's fearful emotions linked to trauma can be more easily recalled and processed," Doblin said. Once the drug produces feelings of safety, veterans can then access memories which had been crippling before. While one in three veterans found pills like Zoloft and Paxil effective in treating their PTSD, a study including 24 veterans showed PTSD was eliminated in 68 percent of vets treated with MDMA-assisted therapy and significantly reduced in the other 32 percent. MDMA-assisted therapy is now about to begin its third phase of FDA testing. If all goes well, MDMA will be available by prescription as early as 2021.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs.


Psychedelic Mushrooms Are Closer to Medicinal Use
October 3, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/science/magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-scheduleiv...

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have recommended that psilocybin, the active compound in hallucinogenic mushrooms, be reclassified for medical use, potentially paving the way for the psychedelic drug to one day treat depression and anxiety. The suggestion to reclassify psilocybin from a Schedule I drug, with no known medical benefit, to a Schedule IV drug, which is akin to prescription sleeping pills, was part of a review to assess the safety and abuse of medically administered psilocybin. Before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify the drug, though, it has to clear extensive study and trials, which can take more than five years, the researchers wrote. The study comes as many Americans shift their attitudes toward the use of some illegal drugs. The widespread legalization of marijuana has helped demystify drug use, with many people now recognizing the medicinal benefits for those with anxiety, arthritis and other physical ailments. Psychedelics, like LSD and psilocybin, are illegal and not approved for medical or recreational use. But in recent years scientists and consumers have begun rethinking their use to combat depression and anxiety. Researchers who conducted the new study included Roland R. Griffiths, a professor ... at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who is one of the most prominent researchers on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs.


Key Articles From Years Past


Hurt that doesn’t heal
September 16, 2016, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://doctors.ajc.com/patient_stories_sexual_abuse_doctors/

Doctors are supposed to touch during an exam, but not fondle. Psychiatrists should listen to a patient’s darkest secrets, but never parlay the intimacy into a kiss. Anesthesiologists put patients under for surgery, but shouldn’t have their way with them. When physicians barge through the sacred boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship, the damage to patients can last for years – if not forever. Frequently, patients who are abused start to avoid doctors altogether. Some resort to seeing only female doctors. Many can’t get help because they can’t get comfortable with a therapist. Making matters worse, victims often aren’t believed if they do report a doctor, or the complaint is brushed off to preserve the physician’s career. That response, some experts say, can be as damaging as the sexual violation. “First there’s the betrayal by the actual predator himself. Then there is the betrayal by the colleagues and supervisors,” said David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, a support and advocacy organization for people sexually abused by clergy, doctors, therapists and others. “You’ve got people who are deeply wounded in the first place by a predator, and they turn to the appropriate officials for help and they get ignored at best or rebuffed and attacked at worst.” Many patients keep silent for fear they won’t be believed. That’s one reason no one knows the pervasiveness of physician sexual misconduct.

Note: The above article details the stories of five abuse victims. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse by medical professionals.


Prestige protects even the worst abusers
September 16, 2016, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://doctors.ajc.com/why_abusive_doctors_not_caught/

Caught in the act, Dr. Earl Bradley needed to think fast. “What the hell are you doing, you bastard?” his patient’s mother had screamed when she found Bradley with his hand in her daughter’s diaper. Now the police were coming. Bradley would say the mother - poor, young, unwed - must have been trying to extort money from him. It worked. A detective wrote that, compared to the doctor, the mother was “not credible.” A medical board investigator found that Bradley “specialized in welfare ... patients,” so a shakedown was “a distinct possibility.” The case was closed. And the doctor who would become one of the nation’s most prolific sexual predators moved on. For 15 more years, Earl Bradley raped, molested and sodomized a generation of his pediatric patients along the Delaware seashore. He recorded 13 hours of the assaults on video. Before he finally went to jail in 2009, he victimized 1,200 children, maybe more. Reported cases of doctors sexually assaulting children are unusual; vulnerable victims are not. Most are adult women, especially those who are poor or dependent on narcotic painkillers or lacking the credibility or social standing to pursue legal action. Still ... Bradley’s case underscores how American medicine so often puts doctors’ interests ahead of patient protection. The AJC documented eight instances in which Bradley was the subject of accusations between 1994 and 2008. Each time, in ways that echo through hundreds of other cases the newspaper examined, Bradley avoided punishment.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse by medical professionals.


Inspiring Articles


From tear gas to tweets: 50 years in the evolution of US activism
July 27, 2018, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2018/0727/From-tear-gas-to-tweets-50-years...

On a cross-country drive from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., our quest was to find out how activism has evolved in the past 50 years. Hours of interviews with former and current activists showed us that while the blueprints for battle have changed, the issues many people are fighting for have not. In 1968, the goal was to raise public awareness about the struggle of marginalized communities. Activists then used music, art, and writing as well as protests to bring that struggle forward. “What drove those movements was a rather wild hope that it was time for the country to repair what had been broken in American history,” says sociologist Todd Gitlin, author of “The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.” Across the country, we saw people waking up to causes – conservative and liberal – they can support and finding a way to fight for them, just as activists did in 1968. Back then it might have meant wearing a brown beret or a black jacket, taking photos for a magazine, or writing a song with a person whose skin was a different color. Today it would look more like donning a pink hat or waving a rainbow flag or running for office when everyone says you can’t or shouldn’t. “I’ve become more aware at all levels,” says Ms. Oakes, [an] English teacher in West Virginia [who helped organize a successful strike]. “We have a platform to build on that I don’t think we had a year ago. And it’s been inspiring to see how we’ve started something.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


81-year-old runner is breaking records but says 'the best is yet to come'
July 31, 2018, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/31/health/jeanne-daprano-runner-80s-longevity...

Jeanne Daprano wants the world to know something: She's not leaving anything behind. No regrets, no fear. At 81 years old, she's still pushing her body to the limit. She's still running competitive races, breaking world records and taking on new challenges. "The thing I'm learning about aging is, it's inevitable," Daprano said. "I'm not going to escape it. There are two ways to go: You can either press on or give up. Do I want to go back to 50, 40? No. Because I think the best is yet to come." As an elementary school teacher, she began running in order to keep up with her students. "I was known as the running teacher," she said. It might have started there, but Daprano's life as a runner took off in ways she never could have predicted. She began running competitively with 5K and 10K road races before moving to the track. She is now the world record holder in the women's 70-year-old age group mile and the women's 75-year-old age group 400 meters and 800 meters. And she's not done. In February, Daprano took on a new challenge: her first indoor rowing competition. In classic fashion, she broke the world record in the 80-to-84 age group, rowing 2,000 meters in 9:23.7. For those hoping to either start getting in shape or stay in shape for a long time, she offers this advice: "Listen to your body. What are you passionate about? Don't look ahead or compare yourself to somebody else. I'm still doing it, and I probably have a greater passion now than ever, because I'm understanding who I am."

Note: Read more on this amazing woman and her routine. Explore a collection of concise summaries of news articles on amazing seniors.


How Golf Digest and College Students Helped Free a Man Wrongly Convicted of Murder
September 20, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/nyregion/Valentino-Dixon-golf-digest...

There were dozens of witnesses when a gunfight broke out on a street corner in Buffalo on Aug. 10, 1991. Torriano Jackson, 17, was killed. Valentino Dixon, then 21, was at the scene. Hours later, he was arrested. And in 1992, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to almost 40 years to life in prison. For years, Mr. Dixon fought that conviction from behind bars, insisting on his innocence. No physical evidence had ever connected him to the murder, and another man had confessed to it more than once. His murder conviction was vacated on Wednesday, and Mr. Dixon, 48, walked free. As he struggled to get his conviction overturned, Mr. Dixon got help from ... Martin Tankleff, who was imprisoned for 17 years after being wrongly convicted of murdering his parents. In prison, [Dixon] liked to draw detailed landscapes in colored pencil. Golf courses were a frequent subject. That caught the interest of journalists at Golf Digest, and the magazine profiled Mr. Dixon. In 2017, a new district attorney, John Flynn, took office in Erie County. And in 2018, a course called the Prison Reform Project was offered for the first time at Georgetown University ... with Mr. Tankleff [serving] as an adjunct professor. Three students chose Mr. Dixon’s case and gathered evidence. Their work helped Donald M. Thompson, a lawyer for Mr. Dixon, make his case to the district attorney’s office. Mr. Flynn, the district attorney, said the newly discovered evidence from various witnesses attesting to Mr. Dixon’s innocence was deemed credible.

Note: Read the Golf Digest profile featuring Mr. Dixon's artwork which brought much-needed attention to his wrongful incarceration. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


New Benchmark Will Rank Companies On Their SDG Success
September 29, 2018, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2018/09/29/new-benchmark-will-rank...

In the world of social enterprise and impact investing, perhaps the most universally accepted guide is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals [SDG]. Introduced in 2015, the 17 inter-connected goals now form an organizing principle for many entrepreneurs, as well as investors. To monitor and track how successful all that activity is, you ... need consistent benchmarks for measuring and comparing just how all those companies are doing. That’s where the World Benchmarking Alliance comes in. Recently announced at the United Nations General Assembly, it will develop free, publicly available benchmarks which will rank companies on their contributions to achieving the SDGs. With that in hand, everyone from consumers and investors to governments will have a comprehensive tool for deciding where to spend their money. Ultimately, the goal is to clarify what society expects from business. Some examples of factors in various benchmarks: For the SDG category of food and agriculture, they would include whether companies are producing food in an environmentally friendly way and ensuring acceptable livelihoods for farmers. For climate and energy, they would show to what extent companies in high carbon-emitting industries are contributing to the Paris Agreement. The aim is to develop all the benchmarks by 2023 to assess the world’s largest 2,000 companies. The first crop, due to be published in 2020, will address food and agriculture, climate and energy digital inclusion and gender equality and empowerment.

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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