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Historic Overdose Deaths Spike, Boy Scouts Huge Sexual Abuse Settlement, Gaining by Sharing
Revealing News Articles
July 20, 2021

Dear friends,

Overdose Deaths Historic Spike.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the historic spike in U.S. drug overdose deaths in 2020 to a record 93,000, an $850 million settlement reached between the Boy Scouts of America and 84,000 victims of sexual abuse, a ProPublica investigation that found American billionaires pay virtually nothing in taxes, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a Norwegian cohousing project promoting the idea of gaining by sharing, the overwhelming success of a four day work week in Iceland, U.K. laws formally recognizing animals as sentient beings, 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,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower

Special note: Learn how both the renowned journals Lancet and Nature showed extreme bias in reporting COVID origins as their leadership had deep China connections. Read about strong evidence by insiders that the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab. Learn about the increasing number of COVID cases among the vaccinated. The leading 14 Big Pharma firms paid out more to enrich their investors than they spent on research and development from 2016 to 2020, according to a report by the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

Quote of the week: "We are each a fractal of the Divine.  There is a constant flow of energy from the Creator that longs to express uniquely through each and every one of us.  Surrender to the Creator flowing through you, for this is the most direct path to understanding oneself and All That Is.  The ultimate goal is to express the essence of God in the way it can only be expressed through you and to encourage, see, honor and love every living being's unique embodiment of the Divine." ~~ Kevin Blackwell

Video of the week: Watch a mind-blowing video revealing vaccines that were developed for coronaviruses one year before COVID hit and how even the gene sequence for COVID-19 was known before the pandemic hit.


‘It’s Huge, It’s Historic, It’s Unheard of’: Drug Overdose Deaths Spike
July 14, 2021, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/07/14/upshot/drug-overdose-deaths.html

As Covid raged, so did the country’s other epidemic. Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the largest single-year increase recorded. The deaths rose in every state but two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, with pronounced increases in the South and West. Several grim records were set: the most drug overdose deaths in a year; the most deaths from opioid overdoses; the most overdose deaths from stimulants like methamphetamine; the most deaths from the deadly class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. In recent years, annual drug overdose deaths had already eclipsed the peak yearly deaths from car crashes, gun violence or the AIDS epidemic. The death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 375,000 last year, the largest American mortality event in a century, but drug deaths were experienced disproportionately among the young. In total, the 93,000 deaths cost Americans about 3.5 million years of life, according to a New York Times analysis. By comparison, coronavirus deaths in 2020 were responsible for about 5.5 million years of life. The pandemic itself undoubtedly contributed to the surge in overdose deaths, with disruption to outreach and treatment facilities and increased social isolation. Overdose deaths reached a peak nationally in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic’s most severe period of shutdowns and economic contraction.

Note: This is one of the many, sad but predictable consequences of the lockdown. Note also that the NY Times blames it on the pandemic never once mentioning it was the consequences of the lockdown much more than the pandemic itself that caused these many deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.


Boy Scouts of America settles for $850 million with more than 84,000 sexual abuse victims
July 2, 2021, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/07/02/boy-scouts-settlement-abuse-victims/

The Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement Thursday with tens of thousands of people who say they were sexually abused when they were Scouts over decades and later sued in a case that rocked the historic institution. The settlement, which came after the organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year while facing mounting legal costs over the abuse claims, is one of the largest of its kind in a child sexual abuse case in U.S. history. The lawsuit involved more than 84,000 people who claimed sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1960s. The agreement — the first legal settlement in a litany of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts — is more than double the group’s initial proposal to victims in March. The organization is facing roughly 275 abuse lawsuits and 1,400 potential claims. The settlement notes that local councils are expected to contribute to the settlement fund. The deal also calls for commitments to abuse victims that include youth protection measures, a reporting system and the formation of a Child Protection Committee. But while the settlement was celebrated by some, other lawyers involved in the lawsuit said the deal would fall far short of what abuse survivors deserve. Jason Amala, a lawyer whose firm represents more than 1,000 men who say they were sexually abused by Boy Scouts leaders and volunteers, said he will object to the BSA’s proposal. “We’re very concerned,” Amala [said]. “It equals less than $10,000 per survivor.”

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


US billionaires don’t pay tax, and our politicians don’t seem bothered
June 24, 2021, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/24/us-billionaires-tax-returns...

This month, ProPublica revealed that American billionaires essentially do not pay taxes, and within hours the White House had awkwardly promised no fewer than four federal investigations into the identity of the individual who had alerted the news organization to this fact. By Thursday, a North Carolina congressman was demanding the FBI director explain why he hadn’t made any arrests or at the very least, “executed any search warrants or raided any offices” in the international manhunt for the leaker. ProPublica carefully chose the six billionaires whose tax returns it chose to single out for specific scrutiny. But ProPublica seems to have deliberately underthrown. After breathlessly informing readers they possessed a “trove” of 15 years’ worth of tax returns on literally “thousands” of the world’s richest people, the story’s three authors proceeded to weave a few juicy and non-contextualized facts into a narrative that felt like a protracted sidebar to the “real” story. We learned that the 25 richest billionaires in America added $401bn to their net worths between 2014 and 2018 and paid about 3% of that amount in taxes, but we didn’t learn much about any specific billionaire’s tax avoidance strategies. Fifteen years of tax return information on thousands of American plutocrats is, to be sure, one of the biggest stories of the decade. It’s just not clear ProPublica has that much appetite for sticking with the story.

Note: In the US, former tax lobbyists often write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Millions become millionaires during Covid pandemic
June 23, 2021, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57575077

More than five million people became millionaires across the world in 2020 despite economic damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. While many poor people became poorer, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to 56.1 million globally, Credit Suisse research found. In 2020, more than 1% of adults worldwide were millionaires for the first time. Wealth creation appeared to be "completely detached" from the economic woes of the pandemic. The number of ultra-high net worth individuals, usually defined as those having investable assets of more than $30m, grew by 24% worldwide in 2020, the fastest rate of increase since 2003. Credit Suisse said its total of the number of millionaires might be higher than other organizations' estimates because it included both investable and non-investable assets, such as owner-occupied homes. [Economist] Anthony Shorrocks ... said the pandemic had an "acute short-term impact on global markets", but added this was "largely reversed by the end of June 2020". "Global wealth not only held steady in the face of such turmoil, but in fact rapidly increased in the second half of the year," he said. However, wealth differences between adults widened in 2020, and Mr Shorrocks said if asset price increases, such as house price rises, were removed from the analysis, "then global household wealth may well have fallen". "In the lower wealth bands where financial assets are less prevalent, wealth has tended to stand still, or, in many cases, regressed," he said.

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


What happens at Sun Valley, the secret gathering of unelected billionaire kings?
July 12, 2021, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/12/what-happens-at-sun-valley-the...

Did you make it to the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho this past week? The investment bank sponsors the annual schmooze-fest and “summer camp for billionaires” for the same reason that companies give away their luxury products in Oscars gift baskets: because if you spoil rich people enough, they may develop sufficiently warm feelings towards you to throw you some business one day. At Sun Valley each year, the billionaires are feted by the mere millionaires; the millionaires drum up enough deals to allow them to buy their third and fourth homes. The Sun Valley conference is primarily known as a place where tech and media moguls gather to do a little fly fishing and strike multibillion-dollar merger deals. More fundamentally, the conference is, like Davos, a mechanism for the concentration of wealth, dressed up as something friendlier. Here, America’s wealthiest mega-billionaires gather with the chief executive of America’s most powerful companies, the director of the CIA, and America’s most worthless pseudo-journalists ... to develop the social and business connections that allow the top 0.00001% of earners to continue to accumulate a share of our nation’s wealth that already exceeds the famously cartoonish inequality of the Gilded Age of Rockefeller and Carnegie. We are developing a private class of billionaire kings whose will is omnipotent and untouchable by any democratic force. This is the state of affairs that the Sun Valley conference serves to intensify.

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


'Heartbreaking' conditions in US migrant child camp
June 23, 2021, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57561760

At a US border detention centre in the Texan desert, migrant children have been living in alarming conditions - where disease is rampant, food can be dangerous and there are reports of sexual abuse. The tented camp in the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas, is the temporary home for over 2,000 teenaged children who have crossed the US-Mexico border alone. A number of tents have also been set up just to accommodate the large numbers of sick children - the children have nicknamed it 'Covid city'. In addition to Covid, outbreaks of the flu and strep throat have also been reported since the camp opened in late March. And some children in need of urgent medical attention have been neglected. Photos and video smuggled out of the facility by staff and given to the BBC, show rows of flimsy bunks, set inches from each other, extending in long lines. There are reports of staff sexually abusing children at the Fort Bliss camp. At a camp training session, secretly recorded by a staff member and shared with the BBC, an employee voiced concern. "We have already caught staff with minors inappropriately," she said. Another employee told the BBC that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had spoken to staff about a rape. "DHS mentioned there was a rape - they are giving the girls pregnancy tests," she said. "And I heard the other night that another contractor was caught in a boys' tent, you know, doing things with him."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office
July 2, 2021, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/02/epa-chemical-safety-corruption-whistleblowers/

Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists’ conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.

Note: 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


Pentagon racks up $35 trillion in accounting adjustments in one year
January 22, 2020, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2020/01/22/pentagon-racks-trillion-accounting...

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone — a total that’s larger than the entire US economy and underscores the Defense Department’s continuing difficulty in balancing its books. The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way. The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest US budget. The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year. Auditors ... flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments. There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The watchdog agency will report on the subject ... after reviewing more than 200,000 fourth-quarter 2018 adjustments totaling $15 trillion. The "combined errors, shorthand, and sloppy record-keeping by DoD accountants do add up to a number nearly 1.5 times the size of the US economy," said Speier. The report shows the Pentagon "employs accounting adjustments like a contractor paints over mold. Their priority is making the situation look manageable, not solving the underlying problem." The GAO estimated based on a sample that at least 96 percent of 181,947 automatic adjustments made in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 "didn’t have adequate supporting documentation."

Note: Why was this not front page news? Why is it the vast majority of people know so little about Pentagon corruption? Read lots more in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?
July 25, 2008, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-independent-are-vaccine-defenders/

They're some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit. But CBS News has found these three have something more in common - strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend. The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces. A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine - which makes $2 billion a year in sales. A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine - which made $1.5 billion a year in sales. Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too - but wouldn't tell us how much. Then there's Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He's gone so far as to say babies can tolerate "10,000 vaccines at once." In fact, he's a vaccine industry insider. Offit holds a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck. And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash.

Note: An excellent report endorsed by many respected doctors and nurses reveals the serious risks of vaccines. Read an incisive list of questions regarding vaccines that are rarely raised by the media. The report available on this US government webpage states, "Since 1988, over 24,200 petitions have been filed with the VICP [Vaccine Injury Compensation Program] ... with 8,162 of those determined to be compensable. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $4.5 billion." Why isn't that huge price tag for vaccine injuries being talked about?


Inspiring Articles


Norwegian Cohousing Project Is Designed Around 'Gaining by Sharing'
June 22, 2021, Tree Hugger
https://www.treehugger.com/vindmollebakken-coliving-project-helen-and-hard-architects...

The way that our cities and suburbs are structured are not particularly amenable to building strong local communities; everyone has their own single-family house or isolated apartment and very little in terms of shared communal space or daily crossing of paths that might help foster these much-needed deeper social connections. But that's why it's important to see a different way of doing things can indeed work, as in the case with one recently completely cohousing project called Vindmøllebakken in Stavanger, Norway. Vindmøllebakken is a kind of intentional community that includes 40 co-living units, four townhouses, and 10 apartments. These are all privately owned homes with their own conventional amenities (like kitchens and bathrooms), which are clustered around 5,382 square feet of shared communal spaces for recreation, gardening, or dining. Early in the [design] process, workshops were organized that presented the concept and invited residents to influence the individual units and suggest activities for the common areas. Most importantly it was a chance to get to know each other and engage creatively in informing their future common home together. Upon moving in, residents continue to take part in self-organized groups that manage the shared facilities and tasks, like cooking, gardening, car-sharing and even curating art for the communal spaces. Many cohousing residents report better quality of life and health compared to peers of the same age.

Note: Learn more about this fascinating new movement on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Four-day week 'an overwhelming success' in Iceland
July 6, 2021, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-57724779

Trials of a four-day week in Iceland were an "overwhelming success" and led to many workers moving to shorter hours, researchers have said. The trials, in which workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours, took place between 2015 and 2019. Productivity remained the same or improved in the majority of workplaces, researchers said. A number of other trials are now being run across the world. In Iceland, the trials run by Reykjavík City Council and the national government eventually included more than 2,500 workers, which amounts to about 1% of Iceland's working population. A range of workplaces took part, including preschools, offices, social service providers, and hospitals. Many of them moved from a 40 hour week to a 35 or 36 hour week, researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) in Iceland said. The trials led unions to renegotiate working patterns, and now 86% of Iceland's workforce have either moved to shorter hours for the same pay, or will gain the right to, the researchers said. Workers reported feeling less stressed and at risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also reported having more time to spend with their families, do hobbies and complete household chores. Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: "This study shows that the world's largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success."

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


Animals to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law
May 12, 2021, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/12/animals-to-be-formally-recognised-as...

Animals are to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law for the first time, in a victory for animal welfare campaigners, as the government set out a suite of animal welfare measures including halting most live animal exports and banning the import of hunting trophies. The reforms will be introduced through a series of bills, including an animal sentience bill, and will cover farm animals and pets in the UK, and include protections for animals abroad, through bans on ivory and shark fins, and a potential ban on foie gras. Some of the measures – including microchipping cats and stopping people keeping primates as pets – have been several years in preparation, and others – such as the restriction of live animal exports – have been the subject of decades-long campaigns. George Eustice, the environment secretary, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers and were the first country in the world to pass animal welfare laws. Our action plan for animal welfare will deliver on our manifesto commitment to ban the export of live animal exports for slaughter and fattening, prohibit keeping primates as pets, and bring in new laws to tackle puppy smuggling.”

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


Why Finland has the best schools
March 18, 2016, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0318-doyle-finnish-schools-2016031...

Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation. In Finland, children don't receive formal academic training until the age of 7. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light. Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. One evening, I asked my son what he did for gym that day. “They sent us into the woods with a map and compass and we had to find our way out,” he said. In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors. “Our mission as adults is to protect our children from politicians,” one Finnish childhood education professor told me. “We also have an ethical and moral responsibility to tell businesspeople to stay out of our building.” Skeptics might claim that the Finnish model would never work in America's inner-city schools. But what if the opposite is true? What if high-poverty students are the children most urgently in need of the benefits that, for example, American parents of means obtain for their children in private schools, things that Finland delivers on a national public scale.

Note: For more, read this informative article.


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