Civilian Deaths in Gaza, U.S. Only Country to Vote No on Humanitarian Pause of Israel Bombings, How Finland Became the Happiest Country
Revealing News Articles
October 31, 2023
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the U.S. veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a humanitarian pause in the war in Gaza, the tragic civilian death toll in Gaza, the culture of silence regarding Israel-Palestine violence, and more.
In our independent media section, don't miss articles on Australia's objection to the prosecution of Julian Assange and the controversy surrounding Gaza conflict censorship.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on how Finland became the happiest country in the world, measuring happiness by asking people how happy they are, open dialogue as an alternative to hospitalization in mental health treatment, 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: More than half of the Pentagon's yearly budget goes to private defense contractors. From 2020-2022, the CEOs of the top 5 U.S. defense companies together made $318 million. Read an alarming investigation that reveals the scope of these defense revenues, and how they are fueling and directly enabling war and violence in Gaza.
Quote of the week: Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons. ~~ Arundhati Roy
Video of the week: Watch a recent press conference announcing independent media outlet Consortium News’ lawsuit against the United States government and private news rating system Newsguard for suppressing free speech. “Consortium News‘s court filing charges the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, an element of the Intelligence Community, with contracting with NewsGuard to identify, report and abridge the speech of American media organizations that dissent from U.S. official positions on foreign policy.”
What will the children who survive the onslaught of Gaza think of those who let it happen?
October 23, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
The screams of children are difficult to hear over the noise and fury of the Gaza maelstrom. In a joint statement on Sunday, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada called for “adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians”. But they know full well that, in Gaza, the exact opposite is happening. And it’s not only them. The likes of China and Russia are doing nothing to stop it, either. Last week, the Save the Children charity reported that one child in Gaza was being killed every 15 minutes. On Saturday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor was estimating a daily death toll of 200 children and infants. Of the more than 4,600 Palestinians killed since Israeli forces began their bombardment, about 40% are children, the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry says. Behind these stark figures lies a world of pain. At least 3,250 children have been injured, with 1,240 needing specialised medical care, as of last week. Many have extensive burns and shrapnel wounds or have lost limbs. Yet hospitals and clinics that have been damaged or destroyed or are short of medical supplies – due to Israel’s siege – are unable to treat them adequately. “Israel’s bombardment and unlawful total blockade of Gaza mean that countless wounded and sick children, among many other civilians, will die for want of medical care,” said Human Rights Watch. Killing and targeting civilians, especially children, is illegal under international humanitarian law.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.
The U.N. Is Powerless to Help Gaza. That’s How the U.S. Wants It.
October 21, 2023, The Intercept
On Wednesday, the United States was the only country to vote “no” on a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution authored by Brazil that called for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Twelve countries voted for the resolution, including several surprising ones, such as France and the United Arab Emirates. Two more, Russia and the U.K., abstained. But according to the Security Council’s rules, America’s sole “no” vote meant that the resolution failed. The Security Council has 15 countries. Ten are rotating members, elected by the U.N. General Assembly and serving on the council for a period of two years. Five are permanent members: the U.S., Russia, China, France, and the U.K. If any of the permanent members vetoes a resolution, it will not pass, no matter how many votes are in favor. The first U.S. veto to protect Israel occurred in 1972. Since then, the U.S. has vetoed about four dozen more resolutions criticizing Israel. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has similarly vetoed numerous resolutions to protect its own client state, Syria, as well as itself concerning Ukraine. Since the U.N.’s founding, it has largely always been a debating society because the world’s most powerful countries, led by the U.S., want it that way. There has recently been renewed energy at the U.N. to change things. However, given the fact that the five permanent members can block any changes, the best idea that anyone could come up with was to ask them nicely to change.
Note: With a population similar to the state of New Jersey of about 10 million, Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance, receiving $158 billion since the country’s establishment in 1948. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and government corruption from reliable major media sources.
‘On Thin Ice’: Some Biden Administration Staffers Feel Stifled Discussing Horrors In Gaza
October 18, 2023, Huffington Post
President Joe Biden departed for Israel on Tuesday evening on a high-stakes diplomatic visit amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. As Biden grapples with the crisis, several U.S. officials told HuffPost it has become difficult to have a full debate within his administration about what’s happening in Israel-Palestine ― and in particular that people who want to talk about Israeli restraint or humanitarian protections for Palestinians feel stifled. Several staffers across multiple agencies, most of whom work on national security issues, told HuffPost they and their colleagues worry about retaliation at work for questioning Israel’s conduct amid the U.S.-backed Israeli campaign to avenge an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. The fear is especially intense among staffers with Muslim backgrounds. On Sunday, presidential personnel office chief Gautam Raghavan organized a call with close to a dozen current and former high-level Muslim appointees to discuss their concerns. Some staffers said they felt unsafe voicing their opinions around colleagues because it could endanger their careers, according to a person on the call. The period since the Hamas attack represents “the first time in the administration that there was a real culture of silence,” one official said. “It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an anti-Semite.”
Law enforcement eyes opioid settlement cash for squad cars and body scanners
October 20, 2023, NPR
Policing expenses mount quickly: $18,000 for technology to unlock cellphones in Southington, Conn.; $2,900 for surveillance cameras and to train officers and canines in New Lexington, Ohio. And in other communities around the country, hundreds of thousands for vehicles, body scanners, and other equipment. State and local governments are turning to a new means to pay those bills: opioid settlement cash. This money — totaling more than $50 billion across 18 years — comes from national settlements with more than a dozen companies that made, sold, or distributed opioid painkillers, including Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and Walmart, which were accused of fueling the epidemic that addicted and killed millions. In August, more than 200 researchers and clinicians delivered a call to action to government officials in charge of opioid settlement funds. "More policing is not the answer to the overdose crisis," they wrote. Years of research suggests law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives have exacerbated the problem. "Police activity is actually causing the very harms that police activity is supposed to be stemming," says Jennifer Carroll, an author of that study and an addiction policy researcher. In Louisiana ... 80% of settlement dollars are flowing to parish governments and 20% to sheriffs' departments. Over the lifetime of the settlements, sheriffs' offices in the state will receive more than $65 million — the largest direct allocation to law enforcement nationwide. And they do not have to account for how they spend it.
Note: Explore past news articles we've summarized on opioids, a crisis fueled by US drug companies and captured government agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Police love Google’s surveillance data. Here’s how to protect yourself.
October 24, 2023, Washington Post
A recent court ruling in Colorado highlighted how Google’s tracking of our locations and web searches helps police find suspects when they have few leads — but it’s also sweeping innocent people into investigations. Google says it has procedures to “protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement.” But defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates say that Google is a gold mine for novel police methods that they call unconstitutional fishing expeditions. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide from law enforcement, relentless digital tracking of Americans risks our information falling into criminals’ hands, too. Law enforcement officials say that Google’s data on people’s locations and search histories helps solve crimes, including in the 2021 Capitol riot. In initial court-ordered warrants to Google, the company typically gives police information that isn’t connected to people’s identity. Only after they single out potentially suspicious data do the police go back for individually identifiable information. But defense lawyers and privacy advocates say the two types of broad warrants to Google turn normal police work upside down and threaten Americans’ rights. In a typical search warrant, police have a suspect in mind and ask for a judge’s approval to search their home, phone data and other potential evidence. In the large-scale search term and location warrants, police know a crime occurred but don’t know who might have committed it.
Note: Explore news articles we've summarized on the troubling nature of the use of location tracking by governments and corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The FBI released its annual national crime stats. The data is horribly incomplete
October 22, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
After a spike of homicides in 2020 and 2021, the rate of violent crimes, including homicide, in the US fell last year to pre-pandemic levels, even as other types of crime increased, data released this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) show. But experts say these findings should be viewed with caution, since much of it is based on incomplete data from local police departments. The FBI data is based on voluntary reporting by individual law enforcement agencies, and last year, half of US police departments, including those in big cities such as Los Angeles and New York, failed to submit data for 2021. In 2022, 83% of US law enforcement agencies submitted data to the federal government, which means that about 10% of the population is not represented in this data, according to the FBI. Less than half of the nation’s violent crimes, like rapes and robberies, are reported to law enforcement. In recent years ... the bureau had been transitioning to a new data collection system, the national incident-based reporting system (NIBRS). But only 52% of US law enforcement agencies had submitted their full 2021 data by the deadline, covering roughly 65% of the population. This gap in data was consequential: it means that on the heels of an unprecedented single-year increase in homicides in 2020, and with crime a consistent top-of-mind issue for US voters, the FBI could not definitively say whether or not violence rose, fell or was unchanged in 2021.
Note: Violent crime had been falling for decades before 2020. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
New York Court Just Reinstated Fired Unvaccinated Workers – What That Could Mean For Workers Across The Country
October 28, 2022, Forbes
George Garvey, along with several other individuals (collectively, Petitioners) are former NYC Department of Sanitation workers who got fired for their failure to get vaccinated or obtain an approved exemption. They filed a lawsuit pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. They sued NYC, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the NYC Department of Sanitation, the NYC Commissioner of the NY Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Mayor of NYC (collectively, Respondents). Judge Ralph J. Porzio issued an order essentially dismissing the Respondent’s arguments and accepting most of the Petitioners’ arguments. The order commanded that all terminated Petitioners be reinstated on October 25, 2022 and collect back pay from their date of termination. The court held that the vaccination mandate was unlawful. First, it was arbitrary and capricious. The court ... argued that it treated similarly situated people differently without providing evidence to support the unequal treatment. Athletes, performers and artists could be exempted from the vaccination requirement, but the Petitioner could not. The court noted that the Petitioners could continue working while their exemption requests were being processed. Therefore, the court felt that the vaccination mandate was never about public safety. Because if it was, any unvaccinated workers would have immediately been placed on leave until a decision concerning their requests for a coronavirus vaccine exemption.
Key Articles From Independent Media
Is Biden Willing to Damage Relations With a Staunch Ally Like Australia in His Headlong Prosecution of Julian Assange?
October 22, 2023, LA Progressive
Last month, a multi-party delegation of Australian Members of Parliament visited the United States to actively lobby U.S. officials to cease their efforts to extradite Julian Assange. The founder of Wikileaks is an Australian citizen facing charges filed by the Trump administration under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing US war crimes and violations of international law. The revelations were called “Cable gate,” a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department that disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale. On January 4, 2021, British criminal court judge Vanessa Baraister denied the US government’s request to extradite Assange. Given the fact that he had been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years and then held in the Balmarsh high-security prison since April 12, 2019, the judge found that Assange’s mental condition “is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.” The Biden DOJ appealed that ruling and convinced the British higher courts to reverse Judge Baraister. As a result, Assange is now subject to extradition unless his further legal appeals can prevail. For Australians, securing the release of Assange is broadly supported by a coalition that transcends partisan politics. The Australian delegation last month included members of Parliament from the majority Labor Party, the conservative opposition, the Greens, the National party, and an independent party.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Media Decides Censorship Is Bad Now That It Hits The Left
October 23, 2023, Public on Substack
The Washington Post has published at least four long articles dismissing the censorship revealed by the Twitter Files and Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, which is headed to the Supreme Court. By contrast, in its story on the censorship of pro-Palestinian voices, the Washington Post expresses great skepticism of Big Tech and sympathy for the people censored — the exact opposite of how it treated the issue when it was non-Leftists who were being censored. To be sure, there has been a concerning increase in demands for censorship and blacklisting since the October 7 Hamas attacks. New York University appears to be investigating a student who said, “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.” But the alarm that the news media are raising is in striking contrast to the indifference ... to the evidence of governmental and nongovernmental censorship of a variety of disfavored views and voices relating to climate change, Covid, Ukraine, and the Biden family’s influence-peddling. Media outrage about censorship of pro-Palestinian voices sent social media platforms scrambling in order to end the censorship. The Washington Post’s queries forced at least one social media company to stop censoring. “After The Washington Post sent questions to TikTok about the video, the sound was restored.” A Meta spokesperson said a “bug” had caused some of the trouble. “We fixed a problem that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations in some of our products,” the statement said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
The secret history of Area 51, explained by an expert
September 18, 2019, Vox
Annie Jacobsen [is] author of the book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base. To write the book, Jacobsen interviewed over 70 people who had first-hand knowledge of the secret facility, including 32 who lived and worked at Area 51. The result is basically the most comprehensive account of the history of Area 51 you can get without a super-high-level security clearance. "Area 51 was the birthplace of overhead espionage for the CIA," [said Jacobsen]. "It’s where the U-2 spy plane was first built back in the 1950s, and it’s where the intelligence community has worked with its military partners and others to work on espionage platforms. It’s also a place where all elements of the Defense Department work on some of their most classified programs along with members of the intelligence community. There’s also an element of Area 51 where the CIA trains its foreign paramilitary partners in counterterrorism tactics. They do this out on the wilds of Area 51 because they can bring some foreign fighters there who would otherwise not be welcomed into the country. I have interviewed scores of very smart, very highly placed government personnel who visited the base and believe the technology they saw is so advanced that they question whether or not it’s manmade. That’s intriguing to me. I don’t report on that because there is no documentation to support that claim, but that is the opinion of many people that I know."
Note: Don’t miss Jacobsen’s engaging, educational book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, which reveals how the public, U.S. Congress, and even presidents were lied to about what was going on at this mysterious facility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.
Group Calls for Disclosure of UFO Info
May 10, 2001, ABC News
read on abcnews.go.com
A group of about 20 former government workers, many of them military and security officials ... stepped forward on Wednesday to say they had witnessed evidence of aliens and unidentified flying objects and called for congressional hearings about such sightings. "These testimonies establish once and for all that we are not alone," said Steven Greer, director of the Disclosure Project, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to disclosing alleged alien sightings. Greer, who organized the program at the National Press Club in Washington, argued that the United States and other governments have known about UFOs for at least 50 years and have been keeping the information secret. Greer said there were some 400 witnesses who claim to have firsthand experience with UFO sightings or alien evidence, and are willing to testify before Congress. Among them is Daniel Sheehan, a well-known Washington lawyer who is acting as counsel for members of Greer's group. Sheehan told reporters that during the Carter administration he found out about government-held UFO information that then-CIA Director George Bush, father of the current president, would not release. Sheehan said he was then led into the National Archives, where he was shown photographs of captured UFOs, complete with what appeared to be alien writing symbols. Former Air Force Maj. George Filer III told reporters that when he was at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, an alien craft came down, and an alien got out and was shot by a military policeman. "Our security police went out there and found him at the end of the runway dead," Filer said.
Note: To watch a video of this most intriguing program, click here. An MD and former hospital ER director, Dr. Steven Greer has videotaped interviews with over 100 military and government witnesses who had personal experiences with the UFO cover-up. For lots more reliable, verifiable information on this intriguing topic, click here.
Finland is the world's happiest country, but Finns say we're confusing happiness for something else
June 10, 2023, Business Insider
Finland's high levels of social trust could be one reason the country has been ranked as the world's happiest for six years in a row. As the World Happiness Report, which does the ranking, notes, most Finns expect their wallet to be returned to them if they lose it. Finns have liberated children, trust their neighbors, commune with nature, and leave work on time. But ask them what they think of the happiness report, and you'll get a surprising answer. "We're always surprised that we are still the first," Meri Larivaara, a mental-health advocate, told me in [a] Helsinki coffee shop. "Every year there is a debate like, 'How is this possible?'" In fact, locals I talked to were exasperated by the survey and even annoyed by the global perception of them as happy. Finnish people are often stereotyped as introverted and keeping to themselves. But it's also true that Finns are very content with what they have. "They call us up and just ask if we like our lives. We just say there's nothing wrong right now, maybe call back tomorrow," one local said of the survey. Maybe it's not so much that Finns are happy but that they don't have some of the intense fears you might find in other places. Finland's government sponsors one of the most robust welfare systems in the world. In 2021, the Nordic country spent 24% of its gross domestic product on social protection — the highest of any other OECD country that year. Healthcare and education are free for all residents — all the way through to the Ph.D. level.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
A surprisingly radical proposal: Make people happier — not just wealthier and healthier
October 18, 2023, Vox
Economists love things they can measure objectively, like the number of deaths in a village or the number of dollars in an account. So over the past century, they’ve focused on measuring health and wealth. The best policy programs for society are deemed to be the ones that save the most lives, say, or increase gross domestic product (GDP) by the widest margin. And there’s a good rationale for using a metric like GDP as a shorthand for well-being: There is a very high correlation between a nation’s GDP per capita and its self-reported life satisfaction. But a strong predictor is not a perfect predictor. As we’ve gathered more data on the happiness of different populations, it’s become clear that increasing wealth and health do not always go hand in hand with increasing happiness. By the economists’ objective measures, people in rich countries like the US should be doing great — and yet Americans are only becoming more miserable. A growing chorus of experts argues that helping people is ultimately about making them happier — not just wealthier or healthier — and the best way to find out how happy people are is to just ask them directly. It’s a revolution in thinking that’s gathering force in policy and charity circles alike, and it’s starting to upend conventional wisdom about the best ways to do good. Part of the virtue of the subjective approach is that people can bring whatever matters to them into their assessments. So, how much meaning you have in your life could be an input into that.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
‘This feels more like spin-the-bottle than science’: my mission to find a proper diagnosis – and treatment – for my son’s psychosis
February 25, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Psychosis is often thought to be genetic, or a symptom of brain chemistry gone awry, which is what I was led to believe for much of my journey through the traditional mental health system. [My son] Zach’s first diagnosis was psychosis NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). Later ... he was classified with either schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, depression with psychotic symptoms or, more recently, schizoaffective disorder. I craved solutions, and the more I searched the more confused I became. First, I discovered that no disease markers show up in brain scans or blood tests for any of these so-called disorders. Nobody seems to know for sure what is really going on, which feels more like a spin-the-bottle game than science. The effects of the antipsychotic drugs were intolerable for Zach, far worse than the symptoms that they were meant to alleviate. In Finland, a more radical understanding of extreme distress led to a programme called Open Dialogue which aims to avoid hospitalisation and medication with therapy that revolves around families and other networks, and involves contact, preferably in the person’s home. It has contributed to lowering the suicide rate in Finland; one of the highest in the world in the 1990s, it has dropped by 50% since Open Dialogue began. Despite a quarter of a trillion pounds spent on mental health in Britain since the 1980s, it is the only area of medicine where outcomes have stalled, and by some measures are even going backwards.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Iceland is beating teenage substance abuse
March 3, 2017, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting system)
read on cbc.ca
Icelandic teenagers are saying no to drugs by getting high on life. For the last 20 years, the island country has seen a dramatic decrease in adolescent drug and alcohol abuse after the federal government made a concerted effort to offer teens a more natural high. The multifaceted approach includes state-sponsored recreational activities and after-school programs meant to enhance family ties and community bonds. [Dr. Harvey Milkman, the psychologist behind Iceland's strategy], says the results have been exceptional. Since 1998, for example, the number of 15- to 16-year-olds that self-reported to have been drunk within the last 30 days dropped from 43 to 5 per cent. In 1992, Milkman and his team opened up their laboratory, Project Self-Discovery, in Denver. The program used art, music, dance, poetry, and nature activities to reduce stress in lieu of drugs and alcohol. Once teens embraced these natural highs, their risk of drug use decreased dramatically. At the same time, rates of teenage substance use were exceptionally high in Iceland. Following Milkman's success in Denver, the Icelandic government reached out to him to put his research into practice on a national scale. Over the last 20 years, Milkman's research has helped inform what's now known as the Iceland approach. "The whole country of Iceland kind of bought into that idea of creating opportunities for the kids to feel good without taking drugs," [said Milkman].
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