Pennsylvania Prisons Ban Free Books, Saudi Arabia Threats, World’s Oldest Barber
Revealing News Articles
October 23, 2018
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the ban on free books in Pennsylvania prisons forcing inmates to purchase costly devices and overpriced e-books if they want to read, Saudi Arabia's threats and suspected murder of journalists critical of the kingdom's political leadership, the troubling increase of international state-directed abductions in recent years, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the world's oldest barber still cutting hair at age 107, lessons the world can learn from Denmark's cooperative workplace culture, the value of vacations to health and well-being, 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 (sources may be less reliable): Watch an excellent, informative video interview with Dr. Nick Begich on the dangers of cell phone radiation. Read about a black FBI whistleblower who is now facing jail for blowing the whistle. Check out an inspiring video on a group who are championing beekeeping in a beautiful way.
Quote of the week: "A smart man can learn from smart men. A wise man can learn from everyone." ~~ Anonymous
Video of the week: Watch a great Tony Robbins video in which he shares a 15-minute practice that can energize you in a beautiful and inspiring way.
Incarcerated Pennsylvanians now have to pay $150 to read.
October 11, 2018, Washington Post
Free access to books has dramatically improved the lives of incarcerated individuals, offering immense emotional and mental relief as well as a key source of rehabilitation. But as of last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has decided to make such rehabilitation much harder. Going forward, books and publications, including legal primers and prison newsletters, cannot be sent directly to incarcerated Pennsylvanians. Instead, if they want access to a book, they must first come up with $147 to purchase a tablet and then pay a private company for electronic versions of their reading material - but only if it’s available among the 8,500 titles offered to them through this new e-book system. Incarcerated people are paid less than $1 per hour. Most of the e-books available to them for purchase would be available free from Project Gutenberg. And nonpublic domain books in Pennsylvania’s e-book system are more expensive than on other e-book markets. This policy, part of a larger trend of censorship in state prisons around the country, should alarm everyone. Not only does it erect a huge financial barrier to books and severely restrict content, it also ... severely damages an incarcerated person’s ability to fully reenter society. Perhaps more alarming is that the head of the Pennsylvania DOC, Secretary John Wetzel, is president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. If Pennsylvania’s policies remain in place, other states are sure to follow suit.
Note: The above was written by Jodi Lincoln, co-chair of Book ’Em, a nonprofit organization that sends free reading material to incarcerated people and prison libraries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics
October 17, 2018, Washington Post
Omar Abdulaziz hit record on his phone and slipped it into the breast pocket of his jacket, he recalled, taking a seat in a Montreal cafe to wait for two men who said they were carrying a personal message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. When they arrived, Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi opposition activist, asked why they had come all the way to Canada to see him. “There are two scenarios,” one of the emissaries said, speaking of Abdulaziz in the third person. In the first, he can go back home to Saudi Arabia, to his friends and family. In the second: “Omar goes to prison.” To drive home what was at stake, the visitors brought one of Abdulaziz’s younger brothers from Saudi Arabia to the meeting. The clandestine recordings - more than 10 hours of conversation - were provided to The Washington Post by Abdulaziz, a close associate of the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They offer a chilling depiction of how Saudi Arabia tries to lure opposition figures back to the kingdom with promises of money and safety. These efforts have sharply escalated since Mohammed became crown prince last year. Khashoggi’s friends said that senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had contacted him in recent months, even offering him a high-level job ... if he returned to the kingdom. He didn’t trust the offer, fearing it was a ruse. Khashoggi has not been heard from since he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish investigators have concluded he was killed ... and then dismembered.
Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
Saudi Arabia Delivers $100 Million Pledged to U.S. as Pompeo Lands in Riyadh
October 16, 2018, New York Times
This summer, Saudi Arabia promised the Trump administration $100 million for American efforts to stabilize areas in Syria. That money landed in American accounts on Tuesday, the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for discussions with the kingdom’s leaders about the fate of a missing Saudi dissident. The timing of the money’s arrival raised eyebrows even among some of the bureaucrats whose programs will benefit from the influx of cash. “The timing of this is no coincidence,” said an American official involved in Syria policy who spoke on condition of anonymity. The disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has battered the image of Saudi Arabia and of its powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a key player in many of the Trump administration’s ambitions for the Middle East. Turkish officials say that Mr. Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by Saudi agents on Oct. 2 while he was trying to secure a document he needed to get married. Saudi leaders have denied harming Mr. Khashoggi, but have not provided a credible explanation of what happened to him. Mr. Trump threatened “severe punishment” if it was confirmed that Saudi Arabia killed Mr. Khashoggi. But after speaking with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Monday, he suggested that “rogue killers” could have been responsible and dispatched Mr. Pompeo to Riyadh to see the Saudi king.
Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
State-directed abductions are on the rise – and the Saudis are dark masters
October 10, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The disappearance, and possible murder, of Jamal Khashoggi, a high-profile critic of the Saudi regime, is the latest, disturbing addition to the rising toll of state-directed, extra-territorial kidnappings, abductions and killings around the world. So here’s the question: why do more and more governments think they can get away with murder, figuratively if not literally? It’s a problem that should concern everybody – because everybody is at risk. It’s tempting to blame the US, a country that ... has come to epitomise the problem. In January 1986, worried about American hostages in Lebanon, Ronald Reagan signed a top-secret covert action directive. The presidential “finding” authorized the CIA to kidnap suspected terrorists anywhere, any place. Reagan’s “snatch and grab” operations inaugurated the modern-day practice of state abduction, leading ineluctably to extraordinary rendition. They set a fateful precedent. George W Bush massively expanded rendition after the 2001 terror attacks. Although the UN classifies one country’s abduction of another country’s citizens as a crime against humanity ... the US and its accomplices have in practice faced no substantive sanction or penalty to date. This grim lesson in impunity has been absorbed and digested by governments everywhere. The Khashoggi disappearance, almost certainly ordered and planned in Riyadh, is the very sort of illegal action that has been normalised ... by very recent American practice from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Cuba.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
How much do your prescription drugs cost? Transparency in TV ads is overdue
October 16, 2018, USA Today
Drugmakers spend billions selling prescription drugs on TV to the public, sometimes turning a new drug into a blockbuster. What you don’t know from the commercials is how much these drugs cost — prices that can be staggering. But that could soon change. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed a huge change in drug advertising, requiring that drugmakers disclose the list price of drugs in their TV spots. The proposed transparency is as welcome as it is overdue. Health care is the only consumer commodity where sellers get to hide the price. Drugmakers have been pitching prescription drugs to consumers for decades, using pleasant music, happy faces, sexy scenes and visuals of people leading better, more fulfilling lives all because they’re taking a prescription drug. In 2016, drugmakers spent more than $6 billion on this effort. The 10 most commonly advertised drugs sport monthly prices ranging from $503 for Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes and blood clots, to more than $11,000 for Cosentyx, to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Whether the proposed regulation is finalized ... depends on the pharmaceutical lobby’s power and the Trump administration’s resolve. Hours before Azar’s announcement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America made its first countermove, announcing an alternate plan to ... disclose prices and co-payments of drugs advertised on TV on a new website starting in the spring.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Trump administration’s new method for cracking down on leakers
October 18, 2018, Colombia Journalism Review
The Trump Administration has now indicted at least five journalists’ sources in less than two years’ time—a pace that, if maintained through the end of Trump’s term, would obliterate the already-record number of leakers and whistleblowers prosecuted under eight years of the Obama administration. The latest case, which broke on Wednesday, shows the administration taking advantage of a new avenue to go after a potential whistleblower. Instead of using the archaic Espionage Act - the 100-year-old law meant for spies, not sources - prosecutors are pursuing the latest alleged leaker using financial laws. A senior Treasury official named Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards has been arrested and charged ... for allegedly sharing “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SARs) about financial red flags with a news organization and its journalist for a series of stories related to the Russia investigation in 2017 and 2018. The complaint contains an interesting allegation, albeit one buried in a footnote: Edwards, according to prosecutors, told investigators she considered herself a “whistleblower.” The government also admitted she had filed a whistleblower complaint within her agency and had talked to Congressional staffers about the issue as well. The Justice Department reportedly has dozens of other [leak] investigations open, and we don’t know who will be next.
Note: This leak prosecution follows the sentencing of Reality Winner to five years in prison for providing evidence of high-level interference in a US election to the media. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
Let $289 million jury award stand in Monsanto case
October 14, 2018, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
A San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded a historic $289 million verdict against the agrochemical conglomerate Monsanto. A California judge is considering taking away that jury award for punitive damages. When we learned that Dewayne “Lee” Johnson had taken Monsanto to court saying he got his terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from on-the-job exposure to Monsanto’s ubiquitous weed killer, Roundup, we were so captured by Johnson’s battle that we traveled to San Francisco to watch the trial. Johnson’s was the first of some 4,000 similar claims headed for courts across America. The judge appeared to be bending over backward to help Monsanto. Johnson’s jury heard evidence that, for four decades, Monsanto maneuvered to conceal Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists, ghostwriting science and engaging in scientific fraud. The jury found that these activities constituted “malice, fraud and oppression” warranting $250 million in punitive damages. We were among the many who applauded. However, California judges have the power to reduce, or even eliminate, a jury award. The jurors would be shocked to know that the product of their weeks of careful consideration ... could be thrown out at the whim of a judge who disagrees with the verdict. If a judge intervenes to alter their verdict, then what, after all, is the point of having jurors?
Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
'We won't go': Proposal to limit White House protests draws howls from civil rights groups
October 12, 2018, USA Today
A Trump administration proposal to limit protests at the White House and the National Mall, including by potentially charging fees for demonstrations, is meeting stiff resistance from civil rights groups who say the idea is unconstitutional. The National Park Service is considering a plan to push back a security perimeter so that it would include most of the walkway north of the White House, a spot closed to traffic since 1995 that has become a regular venue for demonstrations. The proposal also floats the idea of allowing the agency to charge a fee for protests. Though the ideas were proposed earlier this year, they are facing renewed attention given President Donald Trump's recent comments on protests following the confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump called the protesters "screamers." The proposals "harken back to the era in which the courts had to be called upon to protect the right to dissent in the nation’s capital," the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a public comment letter to the National Park Service. "Many of the proposed amendments would be unconstitutional if adopted." ACLU attorneys wrote that if a "cost recovery" fee for demonstrations had been in place in 1963, the historic March on Washington – in which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech – probably "couldn't have happened."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
275,000 in Belgium Protest Handling of Child Sex Scandal
October 21, 1996, New York Times
Tens of thousands of Belgians gathered in the heart of Brussels today, waving white balloons and white flowers in a popular outpouring of anger and frustration over a widening child sex scandal. The "White March," as it was called by organizers, was one of the largest in the country's recent history, drawing some 275,000 Belgians. It capped a week of spontaneous protests that erupted after Belgium's highest court removed a magistrate widely seen as a hero in the scandal, Jean-Marc Connerotte, from investigations into a pedophile and child pornography ring. So far, 13 people have been charged in the case, which involves the kidnapping, sexual abuse and killing of several children, with at least seven young girls still missing. The court ruled that Mr. Connerotte had compromised his impartiality by accepting a free dinner at a fund-raiser for the parents of missing children. The ruling prompted the public ... to take to the streets. The dismissal also followed press reports that Mr. Connerotte was on the verge of disclosing the names of senior government officials who had been recognized on confiscated videotapes, and during allegations of a high-level cover-up. The march was intended not only as a protest ... but also as an expression of sympathy with the victims of a gang reportedly led by a convicted child rapist, Marc Dutroux, one of the 13 charged. He was released 10 years early in 1992 from a 13-year sentence for multiple child rape. Scores of videos with child pornography were seized along with him.
Note: For an abundance of solid information on this major cover-up of child sex trafficking rings leading to high levels in government, don't miss the most excellent documentary Imperium, which provides reliable, verifiable information on all that is going on. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Declassified Memo Hinted of 1941 Hawaii Attack
November 29, 2011, US News and World Report
Three days before the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt was warned in a memo from naval intelligence that Tokyo's military and spy network was focused on Hawaii. In the newly revealed 20-page memo from FDR's declassified FBI file, the Office of Naval Intelligence on December 4 warned, "In anticipation of open conflict with this country, Japan is vigorously utilizing every available agency to secure military, naval and commercial information, paying particular attention to the West Coast, the Panama Canal and the Territory of Hawaii." The memo, published in the new book December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World went on to say that the Japanese were collecting "detailed technical information" that would be specifically used by its navy. To collect and analyze information, they were building a network of spies through their U.S. embassies and consulates. Historian and acclaimed Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, author of the just released December 1941, doesn't blame FDR for blowing it, but instead [said] that it "does suggest that there were more pieces to the puzzle" that the administration missed. He compares the missed signals leading up to Japan's attack to 9/11, which government investigations also show that the Clinton and Bush administrations missed clear signals that an attack was coming. "So many mistakes through so many levels of Washington," said Shirley. "Some things never change."
Note: Explore powerful evidence that US president Franklin Roosevelt was baiting Japan into an attack on Pearl Harbor. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Deception on Capitol Hill
January 15, 1992, New York Times
It's plainly wrong for a member of Congress to collaborate with a public relations firm to produce knowingly deceptive testimony on an important issue. Yet Representative Tom Lantos of California has been caught doing exactly that. Mr. Lantos is co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. An article last week on The Times's Op-Ed page by John MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's magazine, revealed the identity of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who told the caucus that Iraqi soldiers had removed scores of babies from incubators and left them to die. The girl, whose testimony helped build support for the Persian Gulf war, was identified only as "Nayirah." She is not just some Kuwaiti but the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S.. Saddam Hussein committed plenty of atrocities, but not, apparently, this one. The teen-ager's accusation, at first verified by Amnesty International, was later refuted by that group as well as by other independent human rights monitors. But the issue is not so much the accuracy of the testimony as the identity and undisclosed bias of the witness. How did the girl's testimony come about? It was arranged by the big public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton on behalf of a client, the Kuwaiti-sponsored Citizens for a Free Kuwait, which was then pressing Congress for military intervention. Mr. Lantos knew the girl's identity but concealed it from the public and from the other caucus co-chairman, Representative John E. Porter of Illinois.
Note: Read more about this fabricated story used to push a pro-war agenda in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and the manipulation of public perception.
The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Still Cutting Hair Full Time
October 7, 2018, New York Times
Anthony Mancinelli shook out a barber towel and welcomed the next customer to his chair in Fantastic Cuts, a cheery hair salon in a nondescript strip mall. “Hey, paisan - same as usual,” said John O’Rourke to Mr. Mancinelli, who began layering Mr. O’Rourke’s hair with his steady, snipping scissors. “I don’t let anyone else touch my hair,” said Mr. O’Rourke. “The guy’s been cutting hair for a century.” Mr. Mancinelli is 107 and still working full time, cutting hair five days a week from noon to 8 p.m. He has been working in barbershops since he was 11. In 2007, at a mere 96 years old, he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest working barber. Since then, the commendations have rolled in - from local civic groups, elected officials and barbering companies - all congratulating him: 100 years, 101, 102, and so on. Mr. Mancinelli just keeps outdating the awards. As hairstyles have changed over the decades, Mr. Mancinelli has adapted. “I cut them all,” he said, “long hair, short hair, whatever was in style - the shag, the Buster Brown, straight bangs, permanents.” Some customers have been coming to him for well over 50 years, having gotten hundreds of haircuts. “I have some customers, I cut their father, grandfather and great-grandfather - four generations,” said Mr. Mancinelli, who has six great-great-grandchildren. His son, Bob Mancinelli, said: “Some of his older customers, he helps them. He’ll say to an 80-year-old guy, ‘Listen, when you get to be my age. ...’ They love hearing that.”
Note: Explore a collection of concise summaries of news articles on amazing seniors.
Four Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Denmark's Work Culture
January 25, 2016, Forbes
Denmark has consistently ranked high on Forbes’ and other lists of Best Countries for Business. Entrepreneurship may not seem obvious in a society with a generous social welfare system and one which places a high value on the notion of equality, and a single, rather than upper or lower class, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from Denmark’s work culture which can be applied ... anywhere. Danish work culture focuses on teamwork, rather than pitting employees against each other. Competition is not institutionalized in the same way it is in other countries. The absence of this cutthroat environment creates a less stressful workplace and more opportunities for collaboration. Management in Denmark often eat alongside teams, which is an extension of ... open plan office design. Open plan removes the hierarchy and that environment, naturally, makes the flow of information from top to bottom much more organic. Independent thinking and autonomy are just as highly valued in Danish business culture as teamwork. And yes, the two can co-exist. Rather than discouraging staff from identifying problems outside their area of expertise ... Danish businesses encourage employees to spot problems or ways the company can work better and provide solutions whether relevant to their direct tasks or not. This kind of inclusion makes every employee a stakeholder and essentially instills a sense that everyone’s voice is heard and is working for the good of the company.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Taking Time Off Is Good For Your Body, Your Mind, And Your Business
July 21, 2014, Huffington Post
The average American employee only takes advantage of half of their earned vacation days, and 61 percent of workers admit to working during their supposed time off. However, science shows that taking a true vacation ... not only allows the body to physically repair itself, but can also leave you feeling inspired when you return. Designer Stefan Sagmeister embraced the necessity of time off and has come to rely on it to help produce his most meaningful artwork. Combining his passions for art and music, he is responsible for famous album covers for Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, to name a few. He also co-founded Sagmeister & Walsh, Inc. with Jessica Walsh, where he now works as a graphic designer and typographer. And every seven years, he shuts down their New York City studio for a full year while he travels to a faraway place to rest, explore and seek inspiration. “Right now we spend the first 25 years of our lives learning, then there’s another 40 years that’s really reserved for working, and then tacked on at the end of it are about 15 years for retirement,” said Sagmeister. “And I thought it might be helpful to basically cut off five of those retirement years and intersperse them between those working years. The work that comes out of these years flows back into the company and into society at large rather than just benefiting a grandchild or two.”
Note: Watch Stefan Sagmeister's TED Talk “The Power Of Time Off” for more on the value of vacationing. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A black man's quixotic quest to quell the racism of the KKK, one robe at a time
December 8, 2016, Los Angeles Times
"Who’s this black guy trying to make friends with the Ku Klux Klan?” A raised eyebrow, a shake of the head. Such were the sentiments of Scott Shepherd, a former Klan grand dragon, when he first saw Daryl Davis, a piano-playing bluesman who travels the nation attempting to dispel racism from those who hate him most. It doesn’t often work, but over the decades Davis, like a man on a quixotic pilgrimage, has collected more than two dozen Klan robes from those who have disavowed white supremacy. His unlikely story unfolds in “Accidental Courtesy,” a documentary by Matt Ornstein that follows Davis on an odd and lively quest to Confederate monuments, Klansmen houses, boogie joints, churches and a hot dog stand. “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” Davis asks in the film, which opens in Los Angeles on Friday. “Throughout my life I have been looking for an answer to that.” The son of a foreign service officer, Davis spent part of his childhood overseas, far from the racism many African Americans learn early. His first encounter with bigotry came when he was a 10-year-old Cub Scout. Bottles and rocks were thrown at him as he marched in a parade. The bewildering incident was the seed of a mission that years later found him ... starting a conversation with Klan Imperial Wizard Roger Kelly. The two became close. When Kelly quit the Klan, he gave Davis his robe. Talking to Klansmen “has worked for me,” said Davis. “I don’t seek to convert them but if they spend time with me, they can’t hate me.”
Note: Watch an awesome video about this brave black man who all but ended the KKK in Maryland by making friends with their leaders. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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