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U.S. Military Aid Recipients Use Child Soldiers, More Young People Dying Since 2021, Trained Animals Sniff Out Cancer
Revealing News Articles
August 22, 2023

Dear friends,

U.S. Military Aid Recipients Use Child Soldiers.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on child soldiers being used by U.S. military aid recipients, the mysterious sharp increase in the deaths of younger people in the U.S. beginning in fall 2021, a study finding that early-onset cancers increased substantially between 2010 and 2019, and more.

In our independent media section, don't miss articles on the debt trap Ukraine is being pushed into and the C.I.A.'s outsize role in the Ukraine war.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on animals trained to sniff out cancer and other illnesses, the rise of regenerative agriculture, biodegradable plastics made from dead flies, and more. You can also skip to this section now.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Mark Bailey and Amber Yang, for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: Tune into a 28-min informative podcast interview with independent journalist Aaron Maté as he reports on his recent Twitter Files story revealing FBI-Ukrainian collaboration in censoring social media accounts. He also analyzes the proxy war in Ukraine, including how it could have been avoided and how it's being prolonged.

Quote of the week: Reality is an aspect of property. It must be seized. And investigative journalism is the noble art of seizing reality back from the powerful. ~ Julian Assange

Video of the week: For a comprehensive update on the proxy war in Ukraine and the tragic outcomes of what's happening in Ukraine, tune into an excellent interview with former UN weapons inspector and former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter.


The US cannot be complicit in allowing child soldiers
July 31, 2023, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/international/4125729-the-us-cannot-be...

In its newly released 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Biden administration provided a glaring, but largely unnoticed, admission that it has failed to implement a key provision of U.S. law aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The report acknowledged that the administration has yet to finalize a congressionally mandated list of governments complicit in child soldier recruitment or use. With this list responsible for spurring urgently needed U.S. child soldier prevention efforts, its delay could have potentially severe consequences. Despite decades of concerted action to end the use of children as tools of war, the recruitment and use of child soldiers remains one of the most widespread abuses inflicted upon children in conflict, with the UN having verified the recruitment and use of 7,622 child soldiers last year — a 21 percent increase compared to 2021. Among those implicated in the use of child soldiers are security forces and armed groups led or supported by governments that rely heavily on U.S. defense cooperation to sustain their security operations. Somalia, for example, which recruited and used dozens of child soldiers in 2022, is among the most significant recipients of U.S. military aid in sub-Saharan Africa, with U.S. security assistance to and peacekeeping operations in the country amounting to roughly $3 billion over the past decade. The Biden administration can incentive governments implicated in the recruitment or use of child soldiers to put an end to these horrendous practices.

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


More young Americans are dying – and it's not COVID. Why aren't we searching for answers?
August 11, 2023, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2023/08/11/more-americans-dying...

Life insurance actuaries are reporting that many more people are dying – still – than in the years before the pandemic. Among working people 35 to 44 years old, a stunning 34% more died than expected in the last quarter of 2022, with above-average rates in other working-age groups, too. “COVID-19 claims do not fully explain the increase,” a Society of Actuaries report says. There was an extreme and sudden increase in worker mortality in the fall of 2021 even as the nation saw a precipitous drop in COVID-19 deaths. In the third quarter of 2021, deaths among workers ages 35-44 reached a pandemic peak of 101% above ... the three-year pre-COVID baseline. In two other prime working-age groups, mortality was 79% above expected. In the year ending April 30, 2023 ... at least 104,000 more Americans died than expected. In the U.K., 52,427 excess deaths were reported in that period; in Germany, 81,028; France, 17,731; Netherlands, 10,418; and Ireland, 2,640. The actuarial reports can only speculate on the factors causing these deaths, including oft-cited delayed health care, drug overdoses and even weather patterns. But the question remains: What explains this ongoing wave of excess deaths? Life insurance data suggests something happened in the fall of 2021 in workplaces, especially among white-collar workers. These are people whose education, income level and access to health care would predict better outcomes.

Note: Critical care physician Dr. Pierre Kory, one of the co-authors of this article, recently published an in-depth explanation on what he believes is behind the excess death among American youth, and why it wasn’t mentioned in the USA Today article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Researchers find increase in younger people diagnosed with cancer
August 16, 2023, The Hill
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4155325-researchers-find...

New research has found an increase in early-onset cancer rates among younger people between 2010 and 2019. In a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers found that “the incidence rates of early-onset cancers increased substantially” between 2010 and 2019. The researchers said that gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing rates among all the ones they looked at. The study, using data from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, found that there was a .74 percent increase among all age groups in the incidence of early-onset cancers. The study found that the rates increased in those aged 30 to 39 years and remained stable in all other age groups below the age of 50. “There is a need to inform health care professionals about the increasing incidence of early-onset cancer, and investigations for possible tumors need to be considered when clinically appropriate, even in patients younger than 50 years,” the study’s discussion states. “These data ... serve as a call to action for further research into the various environmental factors that may be associated with this concerning pattern,” the discussion said. Rates also “disproportionately” increased among women, American Indian or Alaska Native individuals and Asian or Pacific Islander individuals. The study found that while gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest growing rates, breast cancer had the highest number of incident cases. 

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Gov’t scientists got $325M in royalties from China, Russia, pharma firms: report
August 9, 2023, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/08/09/325m-in-royalty-payments-to-nih...

National Institutes of Health scientists raked in more than $325 million in royalties from Chinese and Russian entities — as well as pharmaceutical companies — over more than a decade, according to a new report. Former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci were among the thousands of government whitecoats who took the cash between September 2009 and October 2020, the taxpayer watchdog OpenTheBooks.com revealed. Several of those royalties came from companies that in turn received federal contracts and grants, prompting concerns about conflicts of interest. Unredacted documents obtained by the group through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show at least 34 Chinese companies are licensing NIH technologies initially funded by US taxpayers. Some of those licensing fees came from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese government-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, which produced a COVID-19 vaccine. In 2016, the biological products company moved its headquarters next to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where risky “gain-of-function” research funded by the US government may have led to the outbreak of the pandemic. The late Dr. Robert Chanock, the former head of the NIAID’s laboratory of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, his successor, were just a few of the virologists on the take from the Wuhan-based company.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community from reliable major media sources.


Fire Razes Rand Paul's Kentucky Office Amid Senator's Investigation Into Fauci's Taxpayer-Funded U.S. Marshals Service
July 21, 2023, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fire-razes-rand-paul-s-kentucky...

A fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning causing extensive damage to a building housing the Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's Bowling Green law office. According to Bowling Green Fire Department spokeswoman Katie McKee, fire crews were alerted to the blaze on State Street at approximately 1:45 a.m., and upon arrival, they found a vicious blaze that required additional units. “We have just been working on this structure fire ever since,” McKee said of their efforts. Six fire teams were deployed to fight the flames, with firefighters utilizing aerials to combat the fire from above. The intensity of the blaze caused the roof of the building to collapse, and come sunrise, a plume of dense gray smoke billowed from the top of the building and clouded the sky. Authorities are still investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

Note: This fire happened immediately after Sen. Rand Paul announced that he was referring Anthony Fauci to the Department of Justice for prosecution for lying to Congress.


AI can be a force for good or ill in society, so everyone must shape it, not just the ‘tech guys’
August 11, 2023, The Guardian(One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/aug/11/ai-tech...

Superpower. Catastrophic. Revolutionary. Irresponsible. Efficiency-creating. Dangerous. These terms have been used to describe artificial intelligence over the past several months. The release of ChatGPT to the general public thrusts AI into the limelight, and many are left wondering: what will happen when the way we do business and live our lives changes entirely? Generative AI may impress us with its ability to produce headshots, plan vacation agendas, create work presentations, and even write new code, but that does not mean it can solve every problem. Despite the technological hype, those deciding how to use AI should first ask community members: “What are your needs?” and “What are your dreams?”. The answers to these questions should drive constraints for developers to implement, and should drive the decision about whether and how to use AI. Whose role is it to balance the design of AI tools with the decision about when to use AI systems, and the need to mitigate harms that AI can inflict? Everyone has a role to play. Technologists and organisational leaders have clear responsibilities in the design and deployment of AI systems. Policymakers have the ability to set guidelines for the development and use of AI ... to direct it in ways that minimise harm to individuals. Funders and investors can support AI systems that centre humans and encourage timelines that allow for community input and community analysis. All these roles must work together.

Note: Another recent Guardian article titled "Fantasy fears about AI are obscuring how we already abuse machine intelligence" questions the ethics behind our use of this new technology. More specifically, how the fears of AI bury conversations about the governments and corporations that run and deploy the for political ends.


What progressives get wrong when it comes to crypto
August 12, 2023, Fortune
https://fortune.com/crypto/2023/08/12/what-progressives-get-wrong...

Progressives are confused and distressed over the choice by many of our allies to devalue decentralization in the technology space, and even to portray it as worse than Big Tech alternatives. In recent months, a number of progressive commentators have attacked the very idea of decentralization, arguing that it’s a distraction from other political goals. This has also led to progressives making crypto a favorite target and, bizarrely, taking the positions of big banks, which are notoriously monopolistic. To us, the more pressing concern is legacy tech platforms—and their ongoing capture of user data. Decentralizing technology will prove crucial in ensuring that the world isn’t run by a handful of unelected technologists. Crypto is an exception to so much technology because it runs on blockchain and no single person or corporation can control it. We value a world where power is dispersed to the people, where no one is so powerful that they can dictate terms to the rest of us. A blockchain allows everyone to own their own data, to control their own information, and to port that information and data to another system at their discretion. It also allows for people to exchange both data and money in a peer-to-peer manner, without permission from expensive, bureaucratic, and—in many cases—unnecessary intermediaries. Migrants also use crypto to send money to their home countries, and this activity alone will become increasingly important as political and climate migration continues to accelerate.

Note: The US government financially attacked Wikileaks in 2010 after the organization published documentation of US military war crimes. This attack would have ended Wikileaks, but the organization instead embraced bitcoin and survived for several more years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Senate Democrats Blocked Watchdog For Ukraine Aid — Ignoring Lessons From Afghanistan
August 2, 2023, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/08/02/ukraine-aid-special-inspector...

Hours after Senate Democrats blocked an effort to install greater oversight over the billions of dollars the United States is sending to Ukraine, the watchdog who oversaw U.S. spending in Afghanistan issued a warning. Spending too much too fast, with little oversight, would lead to “unanticipated consequences,” John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said at an event. Sopko especially warned about the risk of fueling corruption, perhaps the most damaging legacy of the billions the U.S. spent in Afghanistan and a major factor in the collapse of its effort in the country. “If that much money is coming in, you know some of it is going to be stolen,” he said. “In Afghanistan, corruption was the existential threat. It wasn’t the Taliban. It was corruption that did us in.” Debate over installing a special inspector for Ukraine modeled after SIGAR began swirling on Capitol Hill as it became clear that U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion would reach unprecedented levels. Congress approved some $113 billion in aid to Ukraine last year, and some analysts put the full figure to date at closer to $137 billion. By comparison, the U.S. spent some $146 billion in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2022 (although it spent far more going to war there in the first place). “By the end of this year, we will have spent more money in Ukraine than we did to do the entire Marshall Plan after World War II,” Sopko said.

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


Key Articles From Independent Media


Resisting the Shock Doctrine: A Conversation on Ukraine, Debt and Reconstruction
July 16, 2023, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/resisting-the-shock-doctrine-a-conversation...

The IMF and other neoliberal institutions in Ukraine are saying that there are quite a few jobs being created there. But the people I speak to can’t find jobs. On top of that, there are those 12 million people who are abroad. Where will there be jobs for them? There is a lot of talk about the Marshall Plan. But the main lessons from the Marshall Plan I did not see reflected in these recovery plans. First of all, there was the write-off of debts. Second of all, there were grants given to countries, and states were allowed to act as investors and were allowed to directly buy food for families or buy supplies for industries. This is not the case in Ukraine. In reality, a big part of the financial assistance given to Ukraine is in the form of debt. The help supposedly given by the IMF of $15 billion ... is actually $15 billion of debt. And because it’s debt, the interest rate on this debt will be something like 7 or 8 percent. What the European Union is doing with Ukraine is what they did with Greece after 2010. The European Union made an agreement in 2010 with the IMF to gather money to give to the Greek government with very strong and brutal conditionalities. And that’s exactly what [is happening] with the type of assistance given to Ukraine. The debt trap for Ukraine is very dangerous. With the new financial assistance given to Ukraine, in the next ten years, the debt will increase by something like $40 billion. Essentially, from $132 to $170 billion. And the creditors know perfectly that it will be impossible for Ukraine to pay back all this debt.

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


Investigative Reporter: “The CIA Is Playing an Outsize Role” in Ukraine
July 19, 2023, Truthout
https://truthout.org/video/investigative-reporter-the-cia-is...

A new investigation reveals the extent of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, where the agency operates clandestinely in what, under a formal declaration of war, would be the domain of the military. The author of the investigation [is] William Arkin, a national security reporter and senior editor at Newsweek, who says that the CIA has “got its hand in a little bit of everything” in Ukraine. "This might come as a surprise to some people, but, as my sources explained it to me, the reality is that Ukraine is not an ally of the United States," [said Arkin]. "We have no treaty obligations towards Ukraine. And the United States is not at war with Russia. So this is a particularly unique battlefield in which the CIA is playing an outsize role, but it is playing an outsize role because the Biden administration has been firm in saying that the U.S. military will not be involved in any direct way in the fighting or on the battlefield or, indeed, inside Ukraine." The CIA is no stranger to Ukraine. Clearly, in the post-World War II period, it was involved in developing right-wing groups within Ukraine that were opposing the Soviet Union, a lot of them former neo-Nazis. "I don’t see much movement or much interest even on the part of the U.S. government in Washington ... to find a peaceful resolution" [said Arkin]. "So, really, no one is playing that role. The United Nations is not playing that role. There is no neutral party that really is playing the role of trying to end the conflict between the two parties."

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


Key Articles From Years Past


Report: Election Vendors Are 'Prime Targets,' Need Oversight
November 12, 2019, ABC News/Associated Press
read on abcnews.go.com

The private companies that make voting equipment and build and maintain voter registration databases lack any meaningful federal oversight despite the crucial role they play in U.S. elections, leaving the nation's electoral process vulnerable to attack, according to a new report. The Brennan Center for Justice on Tuesday issued the report, which calls on Congress to establish a framework for federal certification of election vendors. The authors say this could be established as a voluntary program similar to how voting machines are certified, with incentives for state and local election officials to use vendors that have completed the process. It would include the establishment of federal standards and the ability for federal officials to monitor compliance and address any violations. The report's co-author Lawrence Norden acknowledged it was too late for any of this to happen in time for the 2020 presidential election. Although Congress sent $380 million to states last year for election security, Norden said it was a "drop in the bucket" of what is needed as state and local election officials look to fund the replacement of outdated and insecure voting systems, increase cybersecurity personnel and add security upgrades. Just three companies provide more than 80% of voting systems in the U.S.. Other systems like voter registration databases and electronic pollbooks are also supplied and, in some case, maintained by vendors.

Note: Why is it that the U.S. government is not allowed to have oversight over the companies that build and maintain voting machines and databases? What if one or more of them is bought off by a foreign or even domestic interest? Isn't this crazy? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Inspiring Articles


What does cancer smell like? These animals can sniff it out
February 27, 2023, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/these-animals-detect...

Next time you’re irritated that ants have gotten into your kitchen, you might take a moment to consider their extraordinary powers of perception. These tiny animals can detect markers of illness, such as cancer. In fact, ants are just one of many creatures whose senses can register signs of human disease: dogs, rats, bees, and even tiny worms can as well. The silky ant, Formica fusca, a common species found throughout Europe, can be taught to identify the scent of breast cancer in urine. Research from the University Sorbonne Paris Nord in France published this year in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows ants can learn to distinguish between the scent of urine derived from mice carrying human breast cancer tumors from that of healthy mice. Ants and other animals pick up signs of disease by perceiving various volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These chemicals are produced in a variety of ways and can be found in exhaled breath, and in sweat, urine, and blood. Diseases can change the VOCs we emit, resulting in giving off a different odor. By placing a sugar reward near the cancer sample the ants learned to seek out that scent, a process called operant conditioning. Dogs can be trained to smell several types of cancers, including melanoma, breast and gastrointestinal cancers and some infectious diseases in humans, including malaria and Parkinson’s disease. They can also smell infectious disease in other animals, including chronic wasting disease, which affects the brains of deer and can be fatal.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


‘This way of farming is really sexy’: the rise of regenerative agriculture
August 14, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/14/this-way-of...

Hollie Fallick looks over Brading on the Isle of Wight, at a patchwork of fields bordered by ancient oaks. She farms with her best friend, Francesca Cooper. The friends ... are part of a growing global movement practising regenerative agriculture – or regen ag for short. “Regenerative agriculture is nature-friendly farming,” says Fallick. “It’s thinking about the health of soil, animals, humans and how they all link together.” On Nunwell home farm, which sits alongside land the pair manage for the Wildlife Trust and produces meat and eggs for their direct-to-consumer business, chickens peck away alongside belted Galloway cows, nomadic pigs graze on grass as well as kale and bean “cover crops” sown to boost nutrients in the soil. The idea is that by following the basic principles of regen ag – not disturbing the soil, keeping it covered, maintaining living roots, growing a diverse range of crops and the use of grazing animals – they can regenerate tired and depleted soil and produce nutritious food.  The work, they argue, is urgent. Up to 40% of the world's land is now degraded by industrial and harmful farming methods, according to the UN. Barnes Edwards, co-director of the Garlic Farm ... argues that regen ag farmers recognise the “hideously negative impact” of badly managed livestock farming. But they also argue “it’s the how, not the cow”, and say that cows pooing and trampling in diversely planted fields boosts soil health, micronutrients and attracts insects, birds and butterflies.

Note: Don't miss Kiss the Ground, a powerful documentary on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to build global community, reverse the many environmental crises we face, and revive our connection to the natural world. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Dead flies could be used to make biodegradable plastic, scientists say
August 14, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/14/dead-flies...

Dead flies could be turned into biodegradable plastic, researchers have said. The finding, presented at the autumn meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), could be useful as it is difficult to find sources for biodegradable polymers that do not have other competing uses. “For 20 years, my group has been developing methods to transform natural products – such as glucose obtained from sugar cane or trees – into degradable, digestible polymers that don’t persist in the environment,” said the principal investigator, Karen Wooley. A colleague suggested she could use waste products left over from farming black soldier flies. The larvae of the flies contain proteins and other nutritious compounds so are being raised for animal feed. However, adult flies are less useful and are discarded. Wooley’s team has been trying to use these carcasses to make useful materials from a waste product. The researchers found that chitin, a sugar-based polymer, is a major component of the flies and it strengthens the shell, or exoskeleton, of insects and crustaceans. From the fly products, the team created a hydrogel that can absorb 47 times its weight in water in just one minute. This product could be used in cropland soil to capture flood water and then slowly release moisture during droughts. The scientists hope they will soon be able to create bioplastics such as polycarbonates or polyurethanes, which are traditionally made from petrochemicals, from the flies. These plastics will not contribute to the plastic pollution problem.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Dolphins Guide Scientists to Rescue Suicidal Girl
May 29, 2014, National Geographic
read on web.archive.org

My research team and I were following a school of bottlenose dolphins near shore ... off Los Angeles, California. The dolphins were still feeding in circle near shore, when suddenly, one individual changed direction heading out toward deeper water. A minute later, the rest of the school turned to follow. Seeing them abruptly leave a foraging ground and change direction came as a surprise to the research team. I decided to follow them. The dolphins increased their speed. Somewhere near three miles offshore the dolphin group stopped, forming a sort of ring around a dark object in the water. “Someone’s in the water!” yelled my assistant, standing up and pointing at the seemingly lifeless body of a girl. As the boat neared, she feebly turned her head toward us, half-raising her hand as a weak sign for help. If we didn’t act immediately, the girl would die. We [pulled] the frail and hypothermic body on board. “She is cyanotic,” said one of my researchers, also a lifeguard, after a cursory examination. “She has severe hypothermia. We need to get her warm!” We managed to get some of her wet garments off and wrap her in a blanket. We took turns keeping her warm by huddling with her under the blanket. A couple of hours later, we were all waiting outside the emergency room at the Marina del Rey hospital. The ER doctor came out to talk with us. The girl, it seems, would pull through, and he thanked us for our quick action. He tells us the girl was vacationing in L.A. from Germany and, as the letter found in her plastic bag explained, she was attempting suicide. If we hadn’t found her, if the dolphins hadn’t led us offshore when they did, to that specific place, she would have died.

Note: This article has been adapted from the book Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. For more on the amazing capacities of dolphins and other marine mammals, as well as the threats they face from human activities, click here. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


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