US Spent $6.4 Trillion on War Since 2001, Google Invades Medical Data, Violence Declines
Revealing News Articles
December 3, 2019
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the US spending $6.4 trillion ($20,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country) on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, revelations by an anonymous whistleblower that Google is secretly acquiring the medical data of 50 million patients from a major healthcare provider, a cowpox-like virus engineered to kill cancer, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the major decline in violence over mankind's history, a group helping Republicans and Democrats to communicate despite their partisan differences, 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: Learn about Nipun Mehta, a master of paying it forward who has made a big difference in our world in this interview. Learn how the major media are deceiving the public on vaccine safety in this excellent article.
Quote of the week: "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." ~ Albert Einstein, 1954
America has spent $6.4 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, a new study says
November 20, 2019, CNBC News
American taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion on post-9/11 wars and military action in the Middle East and Asia, according to a new study. The report, from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, also finds that more than 801,000 people have died as a direct result of fighting. Of those, more than 335,000 have been civilians. Another 21 million people have been displaced due to violence. The $6.4 trillion figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of America’s wars is not borne by the Defense Department alone, according to Neta Crawford, who authored the study. Crawford explains that the post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria have expanded to more than 80 countries — “becoming a truly global war on terror.” The longer wars drag on, more and more service members will ultimately claim veterans benefits and disability payments. “Even if the United States withdraws completely from the major war zones by the end of FY2020 and halts its other Global War on Terror operations, in the Philippines and Africa for example, the total budgetary burden of the post-9/11 wars will continue to rise as the U.S. pays the on-going costs of veterans’ care and for interest on borrowing to pay for the wars,” Crawford writes. In March, the Pentagon estimated that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost each taxpayer $7,623 through fiscal 2018.
Note: Note that $6.4 trillion divided by the 320 million in the U.S. equals $20,000 spent for every man, woman, and child over the past two decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Google's secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions – whistleblower
November 12, 2019, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. The secret scheme ... involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous through a process of ... de-identification. The disclosed documents include highly confidential outlines of Project Nightingale, laying out the four stages or “pillars” of the secret project. By the time the transfer is completed next March, it will have passed the personal data of 50 million or more patients in 21 states to Google, with 10 million or so files already having moved across – with no warning having been given to patients or doctors. Google has entered into similar partnerships on a much smaller scale with clients such as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. But in that case all the data handed over to the search giant was encrypted, with keys being held only on the medical side.
Breakthrough as scientists create a new cowpox-style virus that can kill EVERY type of cancer
September 11, 2019, MSN/Daily Mail
Scientists have created a new cowpox-style virus in a bid to cure cancer. The treatment, called CF33, can kill every type of cancer in a petrie dish and has shrunk tumours in mice, The Daily Telegraph reported. US cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong is engineering the treatment, which is being developed by Australia biotech company Imugene. They are hoping the treatment will be tested on breast cancer patients, among other cancer sufferers, next year. Professor Fong is currently in Australia to organise the clinical trials, which will also be run overseas. Patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer would be tested in the 'basket study'. The virus, which causes the common cold, was turned into a treatment for brain cancer by scientists in the US. The cancer in some patients disappeared for years before it came back, while others saw tumours shrink considerably. Similarly, a form of the cold sore virus called Imlygic or T-Vec was found to be able to treat melanoma, as it helped the body's immune system recognise and destroy tumours and melanoma cells in the body. Cancer patients would have the engineered virus injected directly into their tumours for the breakthrough treatment. It's hoped the virus would infect the cancer calls and make them explode. The immune system is then expected to be alerted about other cancer cells in the body, prompting the diseased cells to be killed.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on promising cancer research from reliable major media sources.
NBC News Is Facing Internal Rebellion Over Mishandling Sexual Misconduct
November 2, 2019, Huffington Post
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and his boss NBC News Chairman Andy Lack are still running the show. They remain at the helm despite the explosive reporting in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” which reveals how Oppenheim and Lack not only shut down the investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory and abusive treatment of women, but how NBC News silenced or ignored multiple allegations of sexual misconduct inside the company ― including overlooking the behavior of “Today” show host Matt Lauer for years before finally firing him in 2017. In an article for Vanity Fair in October, Rich McHugh, the NBC producer who worked with Farrow on the Weinstein investigation, called out Oppenheim and Lack’s handling of the story. “They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news,” he writes. MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes have criticized NBC management on-air. Current and former employees say they want a true independent investigation of what happened at NBC News regarding Lauer, the Weinstein story, and any other incidents of internal sexual misconduct. The Weinstein story wasn’t the only time Oppenheim’s news organization declined to air a story about a powerful man preying on women. NBC famously sat on the “Access Hollywood” tape in which now-President Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
‘The Report’ and the Untold Story of a Senate-C.I.A. Conflict
November 15, 2019, New York Times
A voluminous Senate report documenting the C.I.A.’s use of torture in secret prisons — set for release days later — could lead to riots, attacks on American embassies and the killing of American hostages overseas, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during a conference call in December 2014, citing a classified assessment. This episode is omitted from a new film treatment of the labyrinthine saga involving the Senate report — making a rare case of real life sometimes being more dramatic than the Hollywood portrayal. But the film, “The Report” ... is the first effort at a popular recounting of the tumultuous events surrounding the congressional investigation into the C.I.A. program and the inquiry’s conclusions, which found that the agency’s brutal interrogation methods — sometimes including torture — produced little or no intelligence of value. The senators believed that the intelligence assessment Clapper was quoting flagrantly distorted what the Senate report had said, predicting dire consequences from the release of information that wasn’t even in the report. In their anger, they decided to push ahead and release the report. Only the 528-page executive summary of the 6,000-page volume has been made public. Yet it is the closest thing to date to a public accounting for the C.I.A. interrogation program, the first time in history the government authorized the use of methods the United States had long considered to be illegal torture.
Note: Read an article titled, "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
CIA risks sliding back into illegal torture methods, warns real-life star of The Report
November 15, 2019, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
As chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee, Daniel Jones spent five years poring over internal CIA accounts of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” programme adopted in the “war on terror”, which Congress demanded to see after it emerged that agency officials had destroyed videotapes of the brutal questioning of terrorist suspects. The Amazon movie, The Report, tells the story of what Jones ... and his colleagues found out about the torture programme: the systematic use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and “stress positions”, and the extraordinary fact that the CIA itself had conducted a review that showed none of it was working. The programme did not provide useful intelligence – and yet the CIA hid that conclusion. None of the officials responsible for the torture or the cover-up had been held accountable. Gina Haspel, who ran one of the CIA’s black sites and who wrote a cable calling for the destruction of the torture videotapes, is now director of the CIA. When Obama was elected, he called an end to the torture, but stopped short of confronting the intelligence community. In a famously oddly worded admission in 2014, Obama said: “We tortured some folks.” The 44th president went on to say: “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.” The line still infuriates Jones, who says the real patriots were the CIA whistleblowers.
Note: A former CIA counterterrorism officer who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA torture referred to CIA director Gina Haspel's actions as "war crimes, crimes against humanity". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Alabama Power fees on solar challenged
November 16, 2019, Miami Herald/Associated Press
When Jim Bankston installed solar panels on his Tuscaloosa home, he estimated it would trim his electricity bill, and the savings would eventually offset the cost of the hefty investment. After it was running, he noticed fees on his Alabama Power bill that he didn’t understand and learned there was a $5-per-kilowatt capacity charge on customers who use solar panels to produce a portion of their own electricity. “I am having to pay them just to use the photons that are hitting my own roof,” Bankston said. He had estimated the system would eventually pay for itself in 20 years. With the fees included, he said it could be twice that. “It’s discouraging the use of solar,” said Keith Johnston, managing attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Birmingham office. “We call it a solar tax.” The fee is based on the size of the solar system, so a five kilowatt system would have a monthly fee of $25. The average solar panel setup for a home costs about $10,000, according to the environmental law center. The fees add another $9,000 over the 30-year-lifespan of a system, dramatically increasing a homeowner’s cost and reducing any financial benefit they see from solar, the law group said. The issue of fees has arisen in New Mexico, Arizona and other states, causing clashes between renewable energy proponents and utilities. A power company in Iowa unsuccessfully pushed lawmakers to approve a fee that would require a homeowner with an average solar array to pay about $27 a month.
Note: Unlike many countries which are subsidizing solar power as a clean energy source, some places in the US are discouraging solar by taxes like this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
U.S. Lags in Toxicity Data, Report Says
May 3, 2000, Los Angeles Times
The nation’s health experts are unable to gauge the effect of many potentially toxic chemicals on humans because the federal government has failed to study such exposure and has “a long way to go” before remedying the situation, according to a report released Tuesday. The study by the General Accounting Office was begun nearly two years ago. The study reviewed more than 1,400 chemicals that pose potential threats to human health and found that only 6% are being tracked by HHS and the EPA. And only a small percentage of the chemicals known or thought to be carcinogenic are being tracked by the government. In some situations where medical experts wanted to collect “human exposure” data - from blood, hair or urine, for example - and examine it for chemicals, they were constrained by financial resources. Such situations included suspected “cancer clusters” or contact with toxic chemicals. State and federal environmental health officials said that current budgets allow them to collect or use such data in less than half the cases where they thought it to be necessary. Even when laboratories have the capacity to collect the data, no laboratory method has been developed for assessing exposure levels in human tissue for many of the 1,400 chemicals known to pose a threat to human health. Data on how environmental toxins affect children are particularly lacking, according to physicians and public health officials who testified at Tuesday’s hearing
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Former Air Force officers say UFOs interfered with nuclear missiles
October 27, 2010, ABC News
The U.S. government's official line may be that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) don't pose a national security threat, but a group of former Air Force officers gathered Monday in the nation's capital to tell a different story. During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., seven former Air Force officers once stationed at nuclear bases around the country said that not only have UFOs visited Air Force bases, some have succeeded in disabling nuclear missiles stationed there. "I want the government to acknowledge that this phenomenon exists," said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer. Salas said he doesn't think the UFOs he claims to have encountered had any offensive intent, but he believes they wanted to leave an impression. "They wanted to shine a light on our nuclear weapons and just send us a message," he said. "My interpretation is the message is get rid of them because it's going to mean our destruction." Other former officers recounted similar stories of unexplained moving lights and odd-shaped flying objects during their time in the service. Leslie Kean, an investigative journalist and author of the new book "UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record," said thousands of pages of documentation support the officers' accounts. She spent the last 10 years researching UFOs and combing through thousands of pages of declassified government material. Kean said that one declassified document that she researched for her book, relating to the Salas incident, said, "the fact that no apparent reason for the loss of the 10 missiles can easily be identified is a cause for grave concern to this headquarters."
Note: Watch CNN coverage of this most fascinating testimony. This is not the first time government and military witnesses have testified at the National Press Club about a major cover-up of UFOs. Watch 22 witnesses testifying to remarkable personal stories in May 2001. A two-page written summary presents amazing UFO testimony from top officials. And don't miss these fascinating news articles on UFOs. What may be the best UFO documentary ever made, Out of the Blue, is also available for free viewing.
September 24, 2011, Wall Street Journal
Evidence of our bloody history is not hard to find. Consider the genocides in the Old Testament and the crucifictions in the New, the gory mutilations in Shakespeare's tragedies and Grimm's fairy tales, the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals. Today, the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. A look at the numbers shows that over the course of our history, humanity has been blessed with ... major declines of violence. The first was a process of pacification: the transition from the anarchy of the hunting, gathering, and horticultural societies in which our species spent most of its evolutionary history to the first agricultural civilizations, with cities and governments, starting about 5,000 years ago. On average, about 15% of people in prestate eras died violently, compared to about 3% of the citizens of the earliest states. Centuries ago, the great powers were almost always at war, and until quite recently. Western European countries tended to initiate two or three new wars every year. The cliche that the 20th century was "the most violent in history" ignores the second half of the century. Though it's tempting to attribute the Long Peace to nuclear deterrence, non-nuclear developed states have stopped fighting each other as well. Political scientists point instead to the growth of democracy, trade and international organizations - all of which, the statistical evidence shows, reduce the liklihood of conflict.
Note: The WSJ requires a subscription to read this article. You can find it free on the website of the author, Steven Pinker. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker – review
November 19, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The Better Angels of Our Nature takes a thesis I would love to believe; indeed, have casually believed for most of my life. It is that humans have grown less horrible with time. The 20th century, the century of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, of Mao in China and Mobutu in the Congo, was appalling, but the number of deaths by violence as a proportion of the total population remained modest compared with the ferocious cruelties of the wars of religion in the 17th century. The modern nation state – the Leviathan of the philosopher Hobbes – has had a civilising effect almost everywhere. Education has helped, as has the empowerment of women, and the idea, too, of human rights. Within the epic sweep of history from ice age hunter gatherers to modern suburban householders, [author Steven] Pinker examines both the big picture and the fine detail, with surprises on every page. Overall ... he finds examples of falling murder rates everywhere (including among male English aristocrats 1330-1829). Murder rates as a percentage of population were far higher among the supposedly peace-loving and cooperative hunter-gatherer communities – the Inuit of the Arctic, for instance, the !Kung of the Kalahari and the Semai of Malaysia – than in the trigger-happy US in its most violent decade. Unexpectedly, deaths in warfare, once again as a percentage of total population, were far higher among the Gran Valley Dani of New Guinea, or in Fiji in the 1860s, than in Germany in the whole of the 20th century.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
How to Get Trump Voters and Liberals to Talk: Don’t Make Anyone Sit in a Circle
November 3, 2019, New York Times
When four Republicans and five Democrats got together at a high-end condominium complex to talk for seven hours in San Francisco this fall it was such a curiosity that a crowd of more than a dozen gathered just to watch. The host was a nonprofit called Better Angels, which is putting on half a dozen events around the country every week through the election. The polarized were at a square table supervised by two moderators, a therapist and a retired psychiatrist. They were mostly in their 50s and 60s, and wore red and blue name tags to correspond with their political leanings. The moderators referred to them as the reds and the blues. The conservatives were surprised the liberals thought at all about religion. The liberals were surprised the conservatives were so anxious about being seen as racist. Over a lunch break ... the two groups stayed largely separate. Many of the blue side said they came just for the opportunity to meet and question someone who disagreed with them politically. “Outside of this group, I’ve got no Republican friends,” said Monty Worth. People on the red side said they came to the workshop to be in a safe space where they could be open about their politics and argue their case. After the 2016 election, [David Blankenhorn] and two friends got together and led the first Better Angels workshop in Ohio. Now more than 15,000 people have gone through one of their programs (8,000 have joined as dues-paying members), and the group has trained more than 620 volunteer workshop moderators.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Schools replace punishment with meditation and see drastic results
September 23, 2016, Miami Herald
Students who are misbehaving are usually taken out of class and sent to the principal, who punishes the child by revoking privileges, calling home or sometimes suspending them. But students in some Baltimore schools are sent somewhere different when they are acting out: a designated meditation room where they can calm down and decompress. The Mindful Moment room is equipped with bean bags and dim lighting, and students go through calming exercises with trained staff. At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School, teachers and staff can refer students to the room for an emotional “reset” when they are worked up. The student is led through breathing exercises and is encouraged to discuss the emotions that led to an outburst. They work with the adult to come up with a plan to use mindfulness in a similar situation in the future, to prevent an outburst. After about 20 minutes in the room, they rejoin classmates. Students usually show “visible signs of relaxation and emotional de-escalation after guided practices” in the room. The program also includes a “Mindful Moment” twice a day, which leads students in breathing exercises for 15 minutes over the PA system. Students can also participate in yoga classes. It has drastically reduced suspensions, with zero reported in the 2013-14 school year. The program has also been implemented with older students, including those at Patterson High School, [which] has also seen a decrease in suspensions both in the hallways and in class.
Note: For more, see this webpage.
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