EPA Shuts Out Journalists, Saudi Feminists Branded as Terrorists, Finding Meaning in Life
May 29, 2018
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) shutting out journalists from a national summit on water contaminants, Saudi feminists being branded as 'terrorists,' a US consulate worker treated for brain injury following an 'abnormal' sound incident in China similar to an earlier 'sonic attack' incident in Cuba, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the ways our stories help us to find meaning in life, the unexplained healing powers of Charlie Goldsmith that have withstood credible scientific scrutiny, Lhakpa Sherpa's record-breaking ninth climb of Mount Everest, 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): Read an intriguing article presenting evidence that a weaponized pathogen may be the cause of chronic fatigue and many other syndromes. Explore an informative article on the $21 trillion missing from US government accounts. Learn about how to get free access to a huge database of scientific journal articles. Watch an inspiring two-minute video of a 102-year-old woman setting track records for her age group.
Quote of the week: “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~~ Brene Brown
EPA again blocks journalists from attending summit
May 23, 2018, CNN
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday barred journalists for the second consecutive day from attending a national summit focused on water contaminants, telling reporters from CNN and other news organizations that they would not be permitted inside the venue. Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico, said in a statement that her publication "would much rather be writing about the agency's efforts to address this health problem than about reporters being excluded. "The summit was focused on an important public health crisis that has affected drinking water supplies across the country, and chemicals that are present in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans," she added. "We believe it is important that the news media have access to the entirety of this discussion to keep the public informed." On Tuesday, the EPA blocked several journalists, including those from CNN and the Associated Press, from entering the venue when Scott Pruitt, the agency's chief, was speaking. Only those journalists specifically selected by the EPA were permitted to enter the premises. Sally Buzbee, executive editor of the Associated Press, called the move to block journalists "a direct threat to the public's right to know about what his happening inside their government." Less than two weeks ago, CNN aired a special report, "Pruitt Under Fire: The Battle at the EPA," about the various scandals plaguing the federal agency.
In harsh Saudi crackdown, famous feminists are branded as ‘traitors’
May 19, 2018, Washington Post
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has cast himself as a reformer, advocating equality for women and granting them the right to drive. But in the past few days, Saudi activists who called for exactly those things were arrested, accused by the authorities of undermining national security and branded “traitors” in pro-government newspapers. The unusually vicious state-led crackdown has targeted Saudi Arabia’s most prominent women’s rights advocates, including activists who led the first protests against the driving ban decades ago and were jailed for their defiance. The arrests have been puzzling for their timing — occurring just weeks before the driving ban is set to be lifted. But Saudis have also been stunned by the gravity of the charges and the deeply personal attacks on the activists, whose pictures were circulated in government-friendly media outlets in what human rights groups called a smear campaign intended to silence calls for women’s rights. But the detentions of the women’s rights advocates continue a pattern: Over the past year, as the crown prince has consolidated power, authorities have locked up dozens of dissidents and perceived enemies, including rights activists, clerics, businessmen and princes.
Note: Why is the US such close allies with such a repressive Muslim regime with almost total disregard for human rights? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and threats to civil liberties.
U.S. cautions citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound incident
May 23, 2018, Reuters
An American citizen working at the U.S. consulate in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has reported suffering from “abnormal” sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday. China said it was investigating the incident. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was concerned about the “serious medical incident” and raised it with China’s visiting State Councillor Wang Yi. Pompeo told a news conference with Wang, “We’re working together to resolve [this] ... I hope we can figure it out.” The unnamed American citizen ... had reported a variety of “physical symptoms” dating from late 2017. “The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI),” the embassy said. “We cannot at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities,” a U.S. embassy official [said]. The U.S. government ... issued a health alert to Americans in China. “If you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present,” the emailed alert said. The U.S. government in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats ... for what it said was Cuba’s failure to protect staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana from mysterious health incidents at one point thought to possibly have been acoustic “attacks”. The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.
Note: Could these sonic attacks possibly be false flag operations? Read more about the mysterious "sonic attack" incident in Cuba that injured American and Canadian diplomats. Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.
Electromagnetic radiation from power lines and phone masts poses 'credible' threat to wildlife, report finds
May 18, 2018, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Electromagnetic radiation from power lines, wi-fi, phone masts and broadcast transmitters poses a ‘credible’ threat to wildlife, a new report suggests. An analysis of 97 studies by the EU-funded review body EKLIPSE concluded that radiation is a potential risk to insect and bird orientation and plant health. The charity Buglife warned that despite good evidence of the harms there was little research ongoing to assess the impact, or apply pollution limits. The charity said ‘serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out’ and called for 5G transmitters to be placed away from street lights, which attract insects, or areas where they could harm wildlife. Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife said: “We apply limits to all types of pollution to protect the habitability of our environment, but as yet, even in Europe, the safe limits of electromagnetic radiation have not been determined, let alone applied." As of March, 237 scientists have signed an appeal to the United Nations asking them to take the risks posed by electromagnetic radiation more seriously. The EKLIPSE report found that the magnetic orientation of birds, mammals and invertebrates such as insects and spiders could be disrupted by electromagnetic radiation (EMR). It [found] that plant metabolism is also altered by EMR. The authors of the review conclude that there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.
Banned Ozone-Depleting Chemical Is Still Being Produced Somewhere, Scientists Say
May 17, 2018, NPR
Someone appears to be producing a banned ozone-depleting chemical, interfering with the recovery of Earth's damaged ozone layer, according to a newly published study led by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The illicit emissions are believed to be coming from somewhere in eastern Asia, but nothing else is known about the offender. It's a scientific whodunit. The scientists say the atmospheric level of trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, is ... not declining as quickly as it should be. "It appears that emissions of CFC-11 have increased in recent years, which is quite a surprise given the fact that production has been phased out," [the study's lead author Stephen] Montzka says. CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, "were once widely used in the manufacture of aerosol sprays, as blowing agents for foams and packing materials, as solvents, and as refrigerants." But scientists realized the chemicals were harming the ozone layer. So in the late 1980s, the world agreed to phase out the use of the chemicals. Production was supposed to have stopped as of 2010. The amount of CFC-11 in the atmosphere should be declining more and more each year, allowing the ozone layer to replenish. The scientists ... concluded that CFC-11 emissions started to increase after 2012, two years after production of the chemical was reportedly at zero.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.
Sweden distributes 'be prepared for war' leaflet to all 4.8m homes
May 21, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war. Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs ... what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defence”. The 20-page pamphlet, illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing their homes, also prepares the population for dangers such as cyber and terror attacks and climate change, and includes a page on identifying fake news. Similar leaflets were first distributed in neutral Sweden in 1943, at the height of the second world war. Updates were issued regularly to the general public until 1961. “Society is vulnerable, so we need to prepare ourselves as individuals,” said Dan Eliasson of the Swedish civil contingencies agency, which is in charge of the project. “There’s also an information deficit in terms of concrete advice, which we aim to provide.” The publication comes as the debate on security – and the possibility of joining Nato – has intensified in Sweden in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and recent incursions into Swedish airspace and territorial waters by Russian planes and submarines. The country has begun reversing military spending cuts and last year staged its biggest military exercises in nearly a quarter of a century.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Why are for-profit US prisons subjecting detainees to forced labor?
May 17, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In 2017, officials at the Stewart immigration detention center in Georgia placed Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh, in solitary confinement for encouraging fellow workers to stop working. His punishment was solitary confinement for 10 days. Stewart is operated by the largest prison corporation in the US, CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America), under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice). A growing number of detained immigrants ... are subjected to forced labor. In April, we filed a lawsuit ... against CoreCivic, alleging that the prison corporation violates human trafficking laws and employs a deprivation scheme to force immigrants detained at Stewart to work for sub-minimum wages, and then threatens to punish them for refusing to work through solitary confinement or loss of access to necessities. A lawsuit against Geo Group, another prison corporation, is moving forward for using similar practices. CoreCivic’s abuse and exploitation ... constitute a contemporary form of slavery as we detailed in a submission to the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. None of this bothered a group of 18 Republican lawmakers ... who sent a letter to Jeff Sessions, Ice, and the Department of Labor asking them to help ... Geo Group defend itself against the lawsuits. These legislators’ support for the prison corporations perhaps should not come as a surprise. Private prison companies contributed $1.6m during the 2016 federal election cycle.
Note: The federal class action lawsuit described in the article above was filed against CoreCivic by Project South jointly with the Southern Poverty Law Center, attorney Andrew Free, and the law firm Burns Charest LLP. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison industry corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
We surveyed 100 security experts. Almost all said state election systems were vulnerable.
May 21, 2018, Washington Post
We brought together a panel of more than 100 cybersecurity leaders from across government, the private sector, academia and the research community for a new feature called The Network — an ongoing, informal survey. Our first survey revealed deep concerns that states aren’t prepared to defend themselves against the types of cyberattacks that disrupted the 2016 presidential election. Several experts said that state voter registration databases are particularly vulnerable — and make an appealing target for attackers who want to sow confusion and undermine confidence in the voting process. “The voting machines themselves are only part of the story,” said Matt Blaze, a cryptographer and computer science professor. “The ‘back end’ systems, used by states and counties for voter registration and counting ballots, are equally critical to election security, and these systems are often connected, directly or indirectly, to the Internet.” Jay Kaplan, co-founder of the cybersecurity firm Synack, notes a bright spot: The Election Assistance Commission has a national voting system certification program to independently verify that a voting system meets security requirements. “However, testing for this certification is completely optional,” said Kaplan. “States can set their own standards for voting systems. As such, some states are significantly more buttoned up than others. The reality is states are understaffed, underfunded, and are too heavily reliant on election-system vendors securing their own systems.”
Note: Many states have purchased electronic voting machines that are surprisingly easy to hack from private companies. It has also been clearly demonstrated that elections software purchased from private companies to manage voter registration in many states is vulnerable to common cyberattacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
New report highlights massive pay gap between CEOs and typical workers
May 22, 2018, CNN
This is the first year that businesses are required to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay in their annual proxies, due to a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed during the Obama administration. The AFL-CIO's annual Executive PayWatch database, released Tuesday, compiled that data and shows that in many cases, the pay for top executives is hundreds — or even thousands — of times that of the median worker at their companies. The largest pay gap for proxies released so far in 2018 ... belongs to Mattel (MAT), according to the AFL-CIO. But companies will continue to release their pay ratios in SEC filings in coming months, so any superlatives are subject to change. The AFL-CIO said it will keep updating its database as the relevant documents are filed. Mattel CEO Margo Georgiadis was awarded almost $31.3 million in 2017. Meanwhile, the median worker at the company, earned $6,271. The ratio? 4,987 to 1. Mattel is followed by McDonald's (MCD), where CEO Steve Easterbrook, who earned nearly $21.8 million last year, made 3,101 times as much as the company's median employee. The newly available pay ratios also highlight exactly how much standard workers earn. Amazon disclosed that the median pay for its employees was just $28,446 in 2017.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
How Baby Boomers Broke America
May 17, 2018, Time
About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down. The First Amendment became a tool for the wealthy to put a thumb on the scales of democracy. America’s rightly celebrated dedication to due process was used as an instrument to block government from enforcing job-safety rules ... and otherwise protecting the unprotected. Election reforms ... wound up undercutting democracy. Ingenious financial and legal engineering turned our economy ... into a casino with only a few big winners. Distinctly American ideas became the often unintended instruments for splitting the country into two classes: the protected and the unprotected. The protected overmatched, overran and paralyzed the government. The unprotected were left even further behind. Income inequality has soared: Middle-class wages have been nearly frozen for the last four decades, while earnings of the top 1% have nearly tripled. For adults in their 30s, the chance of earning more than their parents dropped to 50% from 90% just two generations earlier. Many of the most talented, driven Americans used what makes America great - the First Amendment, due process, financial and legal ingenuity, free markets and free trade, meritocracy, even democracy itself - to chase the American Dream. And they won it, for themselves. Then, in a way unprecedented in history, they were able to consolidate their winnings ... and pull up the ladder so more could not share in their success or challenge their primacy.
More families of Sandy Hook victims, FBI agent sue Infowars' Alex Jones
May 23, 2018, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
Six more families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims sued right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for alleged defamation Wednesday for claiming the shooting was a hoax and the relatives are paid actors. An FBI agent who responded to the shooting joined the families as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court in Connecticut. The families of two other victims filed similar defamation lawsuits against Jones last month in Travis County, Texas, where his media company, Infowars, is based. The families say Jones' comments have tormented them and subjected them to harassment and death threats by his followers. After the first two lawsuits were filed last month, Jones responded in a YouTube video, saying that the families are being used by the Democratic Party and the news media and that he believes Sandy Hook "really happened." Also named as defendants is Wolfgang Halbig, who the families say is a frequent guest on Jones' show who also questions whether the school shooting actually happened. Halbig, 71, a former police officer ... said Wednesday that he does believe people died in the shooting, but authorities have refused to answer his questions. The lawsuit filed Wednesday cites ... the case of a Florida woman, Lucy Richards, who believed the shooting was a hoax and was sentenced to prison last year for threatening the father of one of the slain children.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says this one issue keeps progressive policies from advancing
May 15, 2018, USA Today
Sen. Bernie Sanders, speaking at a policy forum here Tuesday, identified a singular roadblock to achieving success on a host of progressive policies. It’s American oligarchy. Sanders ... argued that the small number of multi-billionaires who now have power over the country’s economic, political and social life is “one issue out there which is so significant and so pervasive that, unless we successfully confront it, it will be impossible to succeed on any of these other important issues.” The solution, he said, is not only ending voter suppression, “extreme gerrymandering” and overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which helped pave the way for super PACs, but moving toward automatic voter registration. He called for Wall Street, billionaires and big corporations to start paying their “fair share” in taxes, and for “substantially” increasing the estate tax. The annual conference ... was billed in part as an opportunity for speakers to “preview and sharpen the best arguments for rejecting far-right conservatism and for enacting progressive policies” at all levels of government. During his speech Tuesday, Sanders ... said the current “grotesque level” of income and wealth inequality is immoral and causing “massive suffering.”
How Do We Find Meaning in Life?
November 17, 2017, Time
Your mind may require meaning. Studies show it’s one of the key factors underlying happiness and motivation. So what is meaning in life and what does research say about how we might be able to find it? Some research indicates that to have meaning in your life you must have a story. You need to reflect on how things could have been and why they turned out the way they did. Seeing that things had a direction and a purpose provides meaning. Fundamentally, our brains may not be able to tell the difference between the real and the story. What’s even more interesting is the truth may not matter. Feeling that you know yourself creates a strong sense of meaning in life — whether or not you actually know yourself doesn’t make a difference. That may seem depressing but it also means that you can craft the stories in your life to build meaning and fulfillment. Timothy Wilson, author of Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change, has talked about how the process of “story-editing” can help us improve our lives: The “do good, be good” method ... capitalizes on the tried-and-true psychological principle that our attitudes and beliefs often follow from our behaviors, rather than precede them. As Kurt Vonnegut famously wrote, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.“ People who do volunteer work, for example, often change their narratives of who they are, coming to view themselves as caring, helpful people.
Note: Explore a concise, excellent guide to finding life purpose and intentions. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The amazing healing powers Charlie Goldsmith has kept secret for 17 years
October 5, 2015, Daily Telegraph (One of the Australia's leading newspapers)
It is claimed Charlie Goldsmith has healed people with powers no one quite understands. That’s why he’s seeking help from medical researchers and scientists to investigate what has been described as his “healing gift”. Goldsmith ... doesn’t charge fees for his treatment that he can do over the phone, on the internet or in person. He earns a living running [a] communications agency. Goldsmith was the subject of a study at New York’s NYU Lutheran Hospital, the results of which recently appeared in [the] international Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine. Over three weeks, Goldsmith treated 50 different patients with a 76 per cent success rate of pain related conditions and 79 per cent of conditions other than pain with “marked improvement” and the results were often immediate. Patient illnesses varied from kidney stones to urinary tract infections and allergies. Goldsmith’s intention is to expose his work to multiple scientific studies, which will ultimately include a double blind controlled trial that directly tests outcomes. New York Lutheran Hospital doctor Ramsey Joudeh was involved in the first study and labelled Goldsmith’s healing as a “miracle”. “At first I thought his gift was something we could do at least to give patients a piece of mind and comfort,” [he said] “When I saw Charlie work, it really changed my belief and thoughts on the entire process from maybe something that could augment to something that could in and of itself heal.”
Note: See this miracle worker's website at https://www.charliegoldsmith.com.
After ninth ascent of Mount Everest, Lhakpa Sherpa wants to inspire other women
May 23, 2018, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
The most successful female Everest climber said after finishing her ninth ascent of the world's highest mountain that she wants to inspire all women so they too can achieve their dreams. Lhakpa Sherpa was guiding some 50 climbers with her brother when she scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak last week, breaking her own record for the most climbs of Mount Everest by a woman. "If an uneducated woman who is a single mother can climb Everest nine times, any woman can achieve their dreams," Sherpa said. "I want be an inspiration to all the women in the world that they too can achieve their goal," she said. The 44-year-old Sherpa never got a chance for formal education because she was already working carrying climbing gear and supplies for the trekkers. She plans to climb the mountain again next year. Her recent climb was the toughest of the nine, she said, adding there was a lot of wind and snow. This successful expedition is likely to help her brother Mingma's mountaineering company grow. It would also mean that Lhakpa can continue to climb Everest. She says she is also looking forward to seeing her three children back in Connecticut, where she works as a dishwasher at the Whole Foods Market in West Hartford. At [a] ceremony in Kathmandu, [the] tourism community honored her and and the overall record-holder for successful Everest climbs, Kami Rita, who has reached the summit 22 times, for their achievement.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Kenneth Ring: 'You Never Recover Your Original Self'
August 28, 1988, New York Times
Probably the oldest mystery to vex mankind is what, if anything, occurs after death. For a decade, Kenneth Ring, a psychology professor and researcher at the University of Connecticut, has looked into the question through the near-death experiences of others. Mr. Ring ... talked with hundreds of people between the ages of 18 and 84 who have come close to physical death. [His books] Life at Death [and] Heading Toward Omega both deal with near-death experiences and how they change people's lives. A near-death experience ... often happens to individuals who find themselves on the verge of imminent biological death. It involves ... a sense of the most profound peace and well-being that is possible to imagine. It's a sense of being separate from the physical body and sometimes being able to see it as though a spectator off to one side or from up above. These people have a sense of moving through a dark space or tunnel toward a radiantly beautiful white or golden light. They are absorbed in that light, having in some cases a panoramic life review in which virtually everything that they've ever done in their life they're able to see; perhaps meeting the spirits of deceased love ones or friends. And in some cases, they are asked to make a decision as to whether they would like to continue or go back to their body. The most powerful antidote to the fear of death is coming close to death ... and remembering one of these experiences. After having a near-death experience, people believe the end of life isn't [the end]; they believe in some sort of life after death. [Those] who have a near-death experience almost totally lose their fear of death.
Note: The documented experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and come back to life are some of the most mind-boggling and inspiring cases to have ever surfaced. To read some of the most amazing of these cases and explore other excellent resources on the topic, click here.
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