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Epstein Plea Deal a Travesty, Major Bonuses in Bankruptcy, Global Middle Class Growing
Revealing News Articles
December 24, 2018

Dear friends,

Epstein Plea Deal.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the travesty of the plea deal with billionaire convicted child molester Jeffrey Epstein, $25.3 million in bonuses handed out to Sears and Kmart executives while laid-off workers struggle through the holidays following a US bankruptcy court decision, extreme mistreatment of chickens by the largest poultry processors in the US revealed by a new investigation of USDA inspection reports, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the incredible growth of the global middle class, the global decline of suicide rates driven by improved living conditions for women in Asia, a mother reunited with her daughter after believing she was dead for 69 years, 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): If you're overwhelmed by all of the negative news in the media, check out 99 good news stories you probably didn't hear about. Watch a fun, two-minute video of a cat and a dolphin playing and loving each other. Listen to or read the inspiring story of a Japanese physicist who healed 4th stage cancer by loving it and loving life. Listen to a very informative interview of Mark Skidmore, the economics professor who found $21 trillion unaccounted for in the US government.

Quote of the week: We are all co-creators in a cosmic dance with All That Is. Our partner in this divine dance can be seen as a singular entity – the integrated collective consciousness of All That Is, or as a multiplicity – the manifold aspects of all creation. Yet we ourselves can also be seen as a singular point of consciousness, or as a multitude of aspects and influences representing all the many parts of who we are. All of this influences or directs our experience of the great mystery of life.


Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal is a travesty. But we can still find justice.
December 11, 2018, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jeffrey-epsteins-plea-deal-is-a-travesty...

The aim of the victims’ rights movement, which arose in the 1970s and has swept through every state in the union and changed federal laws in the years since, is often summed up simply: Crime victims have the right to be “informed, present and heard.” All these rights were trampled by Alexander Acosta, formerly the U.S. attorney in South Florida and currently U.S. secretary of labor, when he struck a secret deal with wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to shield Epstein from federal investigation and prosecution. Acosta’s representatives misled Epstein’s young victims by telling them the FBI was hard at work on their cases and asking them to “be patient.” Even when a handful of the victims - who may number in the hundreds - learned at the last minute that Epstein was entering a guilty plea and receiving a slap on the wrist, they still weren’t told that the federal case was being dropped. And because these victims were not informed, they were not present in court to oppose the deal and could not be heard by the sentencing judge protesting this disgraceful sham. Paul Cassell, perhaps the nation’s foremost legal authority on victims’ rights, has petitioned a federal judge in Florida to invalidate Epstein’s arrangement on grounds that it violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) of 2004. Given Epstein’s last-minute settlement on Dec. 4 of a civil case that might have aired this tawdry laundry, Cassell’s suit may be the last chance these victims have for their day in court.

Note: Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein's slap on the wrist raises a lot of questions. The DOJ needs to get answers.
December 11, 2018, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/jeffrey-epstein-s-slap-wrist-raises-lot...

For six years, between 2001 and 2007, Jeffrey Epstein allegedly ran a sex trafficking ring that preyed on minor girls as young as 13. So why was he given a slap on the wrist by federal prosecutors in Florida? Senators, both Republican and Democrat, are asking the same question. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., wrote a series of letters to the Department of Justice last week, calling for the DOJ’s inspector general to review the handling of the case as well as for a congressional review of the “decision-making” process. While the criminal case has been resolved, many questions remain. According to extensive reporting by the Miami Herald, Epstein recruited, manipulated and lured at least 80 girls to his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere, then sexually abused them. Congress has passed stringent laws for sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors because these are heinous crimes. Epstein, however, was able to escape this punishment, despite alleged crimes that by all accounts were indeed heinous. The known facts in this case cry out for an official, thorough inquiry. Why were the identities of minor victims turned over to Epstein’s attorneys? The government’s agreement to suspend and hold in abeyance any grand jury investigation for other people potentially involved in these crimes is simply baffling.

Note: Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid-off workers struggle during Christmastime
December 18, 2018, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/while-sears-executives-get-25-million...

While the executives who presided over the bankruptcy of Sears and Kmart will ring out 2018 with news of $25.3 million in bonuses, laid-off worker Ondrea Patrick will be using her unemployment check to pay for new brakes on her 2000 Dodge Durango. Patrick, who lost her job when the Kmart she worked at in Rockford, Illinois, closed in October, had been hoping to use the money to buy her kids ... something new for Christmas. They’ll be getting hand-me-downs and relying on charity this Christmas while the people in charge are handsomely rewarded. “Those top people and (Sears CEO Eddie) Lampert are having a wonderful Christmas,” Patrick [said]. “They got $25 million in bonuses. Me? I’m late on my bills. The electric company is threatening to shut me off. And I don’t have anything left to spend on the kids this Christmas.” Patrick, who worked part-time for Kmart for nine years, is one of the thousands of workers whose lives were upended in October when Sears Holdings ... declared bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy court judge allowed Sears Holdings to hand out the bonuses after the company successfully argued that it would lose its top people if there’s nothing in their stockings this Christmas. Meanwhile, Patrick’s former co-worker Sheila Brewer, 47, has cancelled Christmas for herself and her husband. The eight weeks of severance she was supposed to get ended after four weeks when the bankruptcy court stopped the rest of the payments to laid-off Sears Holdings workers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.


Chickens freezing to death and boiled alive: failings in US slaughterhouses exposed
December 17, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/17/chickens-freezing-to-death...

Chickens slowly freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowned or suffocating under piles of other birds are among hundreds of shocking welfare incidents recorded at US slaughterhouses, according to previously unpublished reports. An investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism looked at hundreds of inspection logs from the USDA detailing incidents in poultry plants across the country. Inspectors recorded numerous incidents where: chickens suffocated to death beneath other chickens when they piled up on a conveyor belt that had stopped due to a mechanical failure; chickens drowned after entering the scalding tank while conscious; thousands of birds died of heat stress ... or alternatively, freezing to death. In one incident in January, more than 34,000 chickens froze to death while being kept overnight outside a slaughterhouse in a truck. The ... findings have fuelled concerns that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could see the UK flooded with chicken produced to lower welfare standards. This follows last year’s transatlantic row over chlorinated chicken, which prompted political interventions in both countries. The violations were witnessed between 2014 and this year at some of the largest poultry processors in the country as part of the national inspection system.

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


Teens Are Vaping in Record Numbers. But Fewer Than Ever Are Drinking and Smoking
December 17, 2018, Time
http://time.com/5478946/teen-vaping-drinking-rates/

Teen vaping is reaching new heights of popularity, while underage drinking is plummeting to historic lows, according to new data from the 2018 Monitoring the Future survey. [National Institute on Drug Abuse] Director Dr. Nora Volkow says those record-setting peaks and valleys aren’t necessarily related. Volkow says the sleek designs of many top e-cigarette brands are also uniquely appealing to a generation that grew up surrounded by devices. “The new generation, their brain has developed to embrace these technologies,” Volkow says. “There is a massive change in culture that may be contributing to decreases in alcohol drinking, particularly heavy alcohol drinking,” Volkow says. “Many more teenagers interact through social media as opposed to interacting physically with one another. Taking drugs is a social behavior. By decreasing the opportunity that teenagers have of being face to face with one another, you may be decreasing the total exposure to these drugs,” including alcohol. Perhaps for some of the same reasons, other research has shown that teen sex is also on a downward trend. Tobacco use is also as low as it’s ever been, with just 3.6% of high school seniors reporting smoking daily. Aside from vaping, marijuana use was one of the only substance categories that did not decline in this year’s survey. Still, the survey results are largely encouraging for public health, with the exception of the rapidly rising vaping rates.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jamal Khashoggi's Complicated History With The Saudi Royal Family
October 19, 2018, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/10/19/658947600/jamal-khashoggis-complicated-history...

Jamal Khashoggi's grandfather was the doctor to King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. His uncle Adnan Khashoggi became a celebrity billionaire as the weapons broker for another Saudi monarch, King Fahd. For the first time since the journalist's disappearance on Oct. 2, Saudi Arabia acknowledged ... that Jamal Khashoggi died in the country's consulate in Istanbul ... after repeated denials by the Saudis that they knew what had happened to him. Details about his background ... paint an interesting picture of a man known today in the U.S. as a Washington Post columnist but whose family has deep ties to the Saudi monarchy that go back generations. After the 2001 al-Qaida attacks, which included 15 Saudi hijackers, Khashoggi visited the U.S. with the message that the Saudi leadership was still a trustworthy American ally. Khashoggi eventually moved to Washington in 2005. As a journalist in his younger years, Khashoggi interviewed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the 1980s. In 2015 ... Mohammed bin Salman came to power. Until this point, Khashoggi had been a fixture in the Saudi media for years. But as Mohammed bin Salman began shaking up the kingdom, Khashoggi was effectively barred from media appearances. Khashoggi became more critical of the crown prince. "The power struggle is over. [Mohammed is] totally in control, and he has no one to challenge his rules," Khashoggi [said] in May. On Oct. 2, Khashoggi entered, and died at, the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation.


Does the Media Have It Out for Elizabeth Warren?
December 14, 2018, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/elizabeth-warren-2020-run...

The headline in the New York Times reads: “Sanders and Warren Meet and Agree: They Both Are Probably Running.” At first, the story ... reads like standard election news. Dig deeper, though, and you find signs of negative media campaigns already beginning in earnest. Over the past few weeks, multiple outlets have published negative pieces about Warren in particular, deploying coverage gimmicks used to disparage candidates early in presidential campaigns before. The gist of the new Times piece is that the Warren and Sanders, if they do run, “will not enjoy an easy path to the nomination.” We’re 23 months away from Election Day. It’s beyond premature to be fretting about electability questions. Common phrases used to camouflage invented narratives include “whispers abound,” “questions linger” and today’s golden oldie from the Times, “concerns” (as in, the prospect of Warren and Sanders running has “stirred concerns”). The papers are all citing each other’s negative stories as evidence for Warren’s problems. Warren is the rare prospective presidential candidate with actual knowledge of how Wall Street works who is not a billionaire, a private equity chief or a bank lawyer. As for Sanders, the Times, which has a history of less-than-friendly history with this candidate, is also engaging in the invented-narrative game already. The national press [is] already inventing frivolous reasons to toss people with good ideas out of the race.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Key Articles From Years Past


Whistleblower wins ruling in UN Bosnia case
August 9, 2002, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/09/news/whistleblower-wins-ruling-in-un-bosnia...

A British tribunal has ruled that a former member of the UN police force in Bosnia was unfairly fired after she reported to her superiors that colleagues in the police force used women and children as sex slaves in connivance with Balkan traffickers. It was at least the third scandal this year involving international aid workers and vulnerable local populations. The UN officially has not commented on the latest case, in which the whistleblower, Kathryn Bolkovac, an American citizen living in the Netherlands, charged she was fired in 2000 for sending e-mails to her employer, the U.S. recruitment agency DynCorp, stating that other UN police officers from several countries were linked with prostitution rings. Bolkovac was posted to Sarajevo in 1999 to investigate sex trafficking but soon began filing reports that UN officials and international aid workers themselves were involved in it. She said UN workers frequented bars where girls as young as 15 were forced to dance naked on tables and engage in sexual acts with clients. UN peacekeepers stood by while girls who refused to take part in sex acts were beaten and raped by pimps. One police officer paid $1,000 for a girl he kept captive in his apartment. Earlier this year, a joint report by Save the Children and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that about 70 workers from aid organizations and UN agencies were suspected of extorting sexual favors from children and young women among refugees in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in exchange for food.

Note: The case of this courageous whistleblower was turned into a movie. For lots more, see this article from the UK's Independent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


United States of Secrets: William Binney
December 13, 2013, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/government-elections-politics/united...

A 36-year NSA veteran, William Binney resigned from the agency and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop - nicknamed ThinThread - were being used to spy on Americans. So 2005, December, The New York Times article comes out. ... How important was it? "It touched on that real issues," [said Binney]. "The warrantless wiretapping was not really a major component of it, but it touched on the data mining, which is really, really the big issue, data mining of the metadata and content. That was really the big issue, because that's how you can monitor the entire population simultaneously, whereas the warrantless wiretaps were isolated cases. You could pick an isolated number of them and do them, whereas in the mining process, you would do the entire population." The administration [used] this article to start an aggressive whistleblowing hunt. "[On July 22, 2005] the FBI was in my house ... pointing a gun at me when I was coming out of the shower. The raid took about seven hours. At the time we didn't know that Tom Drake had gone to The Baltimore Sun," [said Binney]. "Material [Tom Drake was indicted for] was clearly marked unclassified, and all they did was draw a line through it and classified that material, and then they charged him with having classified material. It's like framing him. The judge in the court ... knew they were framing him," [said Biney].

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Inspiring Articles


More than half the world’s population is now middle class
September 30, 2018, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/e3fa475c-c2e9-11e8-95b1-d36dfef1b89a

More than half the world’s population is for the first time living in households earning enough to be considered middle or upper class, with five people joining their ranks every second. The rapid growth of the middle class, most of which is taking place in Asia, will have significant economic and political effects, as people become more demanding of businesses and governments, said Kristofer Hamel, chief operating officer of World Data Lab, the non-profit organisation that compiled the figures. “The milestone is important because the middle class is the engine of modern economies,” Mr Hamel said, adding that about half of global economic demand is generated by household consumption, with half of this coming from the middle class. The World Data Lab defines middle class as someone earning between $11 and $110 per day, on a 2011 purchasing power parity basis, a benchmark used by many organisations and governments, including India and Mexico. It concluded earlier this month that 3.59bn people make up the global middle class, and forecast that the group would grow to 5.3bn by 2030. Almost 90 per cent of the new middle class is expected to be found in Asia. By 2030, the spending power of the American middle class will remain the greatest in the world — at about $16tn on a 2011 PPP basis — with China ($14tn) and India ($12tn) not far behind.

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


Suicide is declining almost everywhere
November 24, 2018, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/international/2018/11/24/suicide-is-declining-almost...

Zozh Is A Russian neologism, born of an acronym for a healthy lifestyle. It is part of a social transformation that has helped banish Russia’s demons. As exercise and smoothies have replaced despair and alcohol, the suicide rate in Russia has crashed. And this trend is not unique to Russia. Globally, the rate has fallen by 38% from its peak in 1994. As a result, over 4m lives have been saved—more than four times as many people as were killed in combat over the period. The decline has happened at different rates and different times in different parts of the world. America is the big exception. Until the turn of the century the rate there dropped along with those in other rich countries. But since then, it has risen by 18% to 12.8. The declines in those other big countries, however, far outweigh the rise in America. One big reason seems to be an improvement in the lot of Asian women. Among Chinese women in their 20s, the rate has dropped by nine-tenths since the mid-1990s; that group accounts for around half a million of those 4m lives saved. Greater social freedom is one of the reasons, suggests Jing Jun, a professor at Tsinghua University. There may be something similar going on in India. “Young women face particularly challenging gender norms in India,” says Vikram Patel of the Harvard Medical School. That is changing. Rates among young women have fallen faster than among any other group since 1990; Mr Patel believes they will continue to improve as social liberalisation continues.

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


DNA Test Helps Mother Reunite With Daughter She Thought Died Nearly 70 Years Ago
December 9, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/09/us/mother-reunited-daughter-dna.html

A DNA test has helped reunite a mother and daughter after nearly 70 years by uncovering a startling secret: A baby girl long thought to be dead was alive, and had been covertly adopted by a family in Southern California that lied about her origins. The girl, Connie Moultroup, who is now 69, met her birth mother for the first time this month. “I was absolutely floored,” she said, upon discovering that her mother, Genevieve Purinton, 88, was living in Tampa, Fla. Ms. Purinton was similarly shocked. After giving birth in 1949, she said, she was told her newborn had died. CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist and founder of The DNA Detectives, said the two women are “far from alone.” Ms. Purinton said she was alone when she gave birth on May 12, 1949. She never saw the baby. “I was told it was a girl, but she died,” Ms. Purinton said. The adoption documents, which Ms. Moultroup retrieved from the adoptions and abandonment unit at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Los Angeles County, showed that a doctor at the hospital had arranged for the adoption. Within the paperwork she found her mother’s signature. Ms. Purinton said that she recalled having signed papers at the hospital, but that she assumed they were meant to provide a directive in the event that she died or could no longer care for her daughter. “I had no idea what I signed,” she said. Before being reunited with her daughter, Ms. Purinton thought she was the last surviving member of her immediate family.

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


Luxembourg to Become the First Country to Offer Free Mass Transit for All
December 6, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/world/europe/luxembourg-free-mass-transit.html

Luxembourg is a small country with big traffic jams. When Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was sworn in for a second term ... his governing coalition promised free mass transit for all, which would make the country the first to offer such a benefit. Luxembourg is barely larger than a city-state, with a population of about 560,000. But more than 180,000 workers commute across the border from Belgium, France and Germany. Luxembourg already has the highest number of cars for its population in the European Union: 662 for 1,000 people, bringing it closest in the region to the United States, a world leader with more than 800 cars per 1,000 people. The number of international commuters has doubled in the past two decades, rising more quickly than the country anticipated. This has caused the kind of congestion that is familiar to those who commute into many big cities. Luxembourg’s highways are packed with cars, and overcrowded trains often suffer delays. Some cities in Europe and elsewhere already offer free mass transit at certain times and to people like retirees or the unemployed. Others are considering widening the circle to all users. This year, Luxembourg budgeted nearly €900 million in public money for its mass transit system. Free mass transit will be available from the beginning of 2020, said Dany Frank, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Mobility.

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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Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Mark Bailey of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Mark for all the time and skill he puts into this. The section below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.

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