Corporate Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
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Chickens slowly freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowned or suffocating under piles of other birds are among hundreds of shocking welfare incidents recorded at US slaughterhouses, according to previously unpublished reports. An investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism looked at hundreds of inspection logs from the USDA detailing incidents in poultry plants across the country. Inspectors recorded numerous incidents where: chickens suffocated to death beneath other chickens when they piled up on a conveyor belt that had stopped due to a mechanical failure; chickens drowned after entering the scalding tank while conscious; thousands of birds died of heat stress ... or alternatively, freezing to death. In one incident in January, more than 34,000 chickens froze to death while being kept overnight outside a slaughterhouse in a truck. The ... findings have fuelled concerns that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could see the UK flooded with chicken produced to lower welfare standards. This follows last year’s transatlantic row over chlorinated chicken, which prompted political interventions in both countries. The violations were witnessed between 2014 and this year at some of the largest poultry processors in the country as part of the national inspection system.
At the end of 2017, U.S. corporations were sitting on a historic amount of cash: $2.1 trillion in total liquid assets ... up over 150% from a decade earlier. What are businesses doing with their new-found wealth? Many are buying back shares or snapping up other companies. And then there is Patagonia. Last month, Patagonia announced that they would donate the $10 million they are saving from a reduced tax obligation to grassroots environmental organizations protecting our natural resources and finding solutions to the climate crisis. “In this season of giving, we are giving away this tax cut to the planet, our only home, which needs it now more than ever,” CEO Rose Marcario wrote in a blog. Patagonia’s donation aligns with their unique activist ethos, but a growing number of corporations are joining them in recognizing that businesses not only can be part of the solution to challenges facing our planet, but that they must be; that their responsibilities extend beyond shareholders, to the environment and the communities they serve. Patagonia’s decision ... is a powerful statement and a demonstration of how to consider all a company’s assets in pursuit of better long-term business outcomes. Investing cash responsibly is not the solution to all of our problems. For starters, there’s a much larger conversation that needs to be had about the inability of companies to invest for long-term value creation. But for companies who are new to using their assets for impact while still achieving their corporate purpose, investing liquid assets is a good way to begin, and do so quickly. Don’t let your cash sit there; put it to work.
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While the executives who presided over the bankruptcy of Sears and Kmart will ring out 2018 with news of $25.3 million in bonuses, laid-off worker Ondrea Patrick will be using her unemployment check to pay for new brakes on her 2000 Dodge Durango. Patrick, who lost her job when the Kmart she worked at in Rockford, Illinois, closed in October, had been hoping to use the money to buy her kids ... something new for Christmas. They’ll be getting hand-me-downs and relying on charity this Christmas while the people in charge are handsomely rewarded. “Those top people and (Sears CEO Eddie) Lampert are having a wonderful Christmas,” Patrick [said]. “They got $25 million in bonuses. Me? I’m late on my bills. The electric company is threatening to shut me off. And I don’t have anything left to spend on the kids this Christmas.” Patrick, who worked part-time for Kmart for nine years, is one of the thousands of workers whose lives were upended in October when Sears Holdings ... declared bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy court judge allowed Sears Holdings to hand out the bonuses after the company successfully argued that it would lose its top people if there’s nothing in their stockings this Christmas. Meanwhile, Patrick’s former co-worker Sheila Brewer, 47, has cancelled Christmas for herself and her husband. The eight weeks of severance she was supposed to get ended after four weeks when the bankruptcy court stopped the rest of the payments to laid-off Sears Holdings workers.
At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times ... reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day. These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds. It’s a hot market, with sales of location-targeted advertising reaching an estimated $21 billion this year. Businesses say their interest is in the patterns, not the identities, that the data reveals. They note that the information apps collect is tied not to someone’s name or phone number but to a unique ID. But those with access to the raw data — including employees or clients — could still identify a person without consent. They could follow someone they knew, by pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person’s home address. More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing privacy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Note: For more details, read the entire article at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing privacy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib have criticized a “Bipartisan Orientation Program” for congressional freshman as a glorified corporate lobbyist event. The pair railed against this week's three-day program - hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics - in a series of tweets. Tlaib [tweeted]: “Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: 'You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played.'" [To which she responded,] "No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming—a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits." The event was billed as an opportunity for representatives-elect to “forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking.” Organizers wrote online the event is “nationally recognized” as “the preeminent educational and preparatory program” for newly-elected members of congress. A press release ... lists certain speakers from the private sector, including Cohen, General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky. Ocasio-Cortez [tweeted] “our 'bipartisan' Congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where‘s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”
Near Tampa Bay, Florida, I watched airboats move up and down the river banks, spraying massive plumes of weedkiller. The main active ingredient in that mist ... is glyphosate. It is now an ingredient in more than 750 products, including ... Monsanto’s Roundup. This August, the jury in a civil trial found Monsanto, which was acquired [by] Bayer, guilty of causing the cancer of Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper. Roughly 8,700 similar cases against Monsanto are also before the courts. Almonds, carrots, quinoa, soy products, vegetable oil, corn and corn oil, canola seeds used in canola oil, beets and beet sugar, sweet potatoes – these are just some of the foodstuffs which typically contain high levels of glyphosate. Research released in August by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and at least 29 other popular breakfast foods contained what the EWG considers unsafe quantities of the herbicide. The environmental group has been urging public action to get the EPA to revise its outdated standards, which currently fail to protect the public from glyphosate in foods. Levels of glyphosate in the bodies of people in some areas appear to have jumped over 1,300% in the past 20 years. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to go through relatively rigorous (if imperfect) testing before being released on the marketplace, the vast majority of chemicals like glyphosate will never be adequately tested for their effects on ecosystems or human beings.
Where’s the next video? When was the last incident the NFL didn’t follow up on? What’s going to surface next? Those are the questions the public is asking in the wake of yet another very bad week for the NFL when it comes to the issue of domestic violence by the league’s players. That’s a lousy position in which to put the roughly 1,700 men playing on NFL rosters. The vast majority of them are good citizens who contribute to their community, don’t hit women and don’t commit criminal acts. And it’s an even more distressing situation for victims. The NFL’s approach and the individual teams’ strategies place women who suffer domestic assault in an untenable position. They can be almost assured that nothing will be done, except to have their names and reputations ruined. It’s an effective way to suppress reporting. The endgame, it seems, is not justice or holding perpetrators accountable or keeping communities safe. It is hoping there isn’t video, hoping law enforcement looks the other way, hoping things can be settled quietly, and hoping that accusers go away. In other words, follow the Ben Roethlisberger model: The Pittsburgh quarterback was twice accused of rape, settled one claim out of court and saw the other go away. He is now held up as a great family man and elder statesman. The issue isn’t a problem for just the NFL. But ... the NFL is a multibillion-dollar industry [that] can’t seem to make domestic-violence training, education or investigation a real priority.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Human rights activists in Colombia say they are being gunned down by hitmen who can be hired for as little as $100, a top United Nations official said on Monday. A peace deal in Colombia signed two years ago that ended the nation’s half-century civil war has led to a 40 percent decline in the overall murder rate, but killings of activists have risen, Michel Forst, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights defenders said. According to a July report by British-based campaign group, Global Witness, nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week last year, in the deadliest year on record, with Latin America faring the worst. “In rural areas ... men and women (human rights) defenders are an easy target for those who see in them or in their human rights agenda an obstacle to their interests,” Forst said in a statement after a 10-day visit to Colombia. Activists working on human rights and land rights, those defending LGBT+ rights and community leaders from Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups, are most at risk, Forst said. “I was really appalled by what I heard from them,” Forst, who met with more than 200 activists across Colombia, told reporters in the capital Bogota. Forst noted that just during his 10-day official visit, four activists had been murdered. Forst said he was also concerned to hear testimonies from Afro-Colombian activists who claimed attacks on them may have directly or indirectly involved foreign companies operating in Colombia, mainly those from the extractive sector.
Note: Read a 2017 New York Times article describing the involvement of high level state agents and corporate executives in the assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
A mini-runway, lined with stiletto heels, glistens in bright fluorescent lighting. Shoes of various types sit neatly in individual glass shelves. It was a private launch party of a new luxury brand of shoes called Palessi, designed by Italian designer Bruno Palessi. “I would pay $400, $500.’” a woman said as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers. The woman was not actually buying a Palessi because there’s no such brand, and there’s no Bruno Palessi. There is, however, Payless ShoeSource, a discount shoe retailer hoping to shake things up through an ... advertising prank to attract new customers and change the perception that the company sells cheap, unfashionable shoes. The prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not capable of discerning the quality and value of the things they buy, said Philip Graves, a consumer behavior consultant. Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for. On the day of the launch ... after attendees purchased overpriced shoes ― some for $200, $400 and $600 ― they were taken toward the backroom, where the prank was revealed. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” said [one attendee], her eyes wide as she stared down at the overpriced shoes in her hands. “Consumers have been paying hugely inflated prices,” [said Graves]. “Some of the pleasures that we get from things that we buy come from the money we spent on them.”
Note: While this marketing prank demonstrated the public's willingness to ignore product quality in evaluating the cost of purchases, a much more serious study recently found that the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has now reached 339 to 1 across US companies.
Deutsche Bank's head office and other locations in Frankfurt were raided by 170 police officers and tax investigators on Thursday. The German bank is suspected of helping clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said. Investigators are also looking at whether Deutsche Bank failed to report suspicious transactions. Both the lender and prosecutors said the probe is related to the Panama Papers, a 2016 investigation into money laundering networks and shell companies set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The investigation is yet another headache for Deutsche Bank. The lender struck a $7.2 billion deal with the US government in January 2017 to settle claims that it packaged and sold toxic mortgages. It was fined $630 million the same month over a Russian money laundering scheme. In September, Deutsche Bank was ordered by German regulators to tighten its controls. Other European lenders have also come under scrutiny for potential money laundering. HSBC (HBCYF) and ING (ING) have both settled money-laundering allegations in recent years. Danske Bank (DNKEY), the largest bank in Denmark, said in September that an internal investigation had uncovered a large number of suspicious accounts and transactions at its branch in Estonia. [Former US Treasury] Jimmy Gurulé ... said that stronger deterrents are needed. "Even in the most egregious cases, banks are often only required to pay a monetary penalty for engaging in criminal activity," he said.
Note: For lots more on the shady dealings of this bank, read this New Yorker article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Jeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably. At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier - accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls - was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida. But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation. Epstein - who had a long list of powerful, politically connected friends - didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. Instead, the multimillionaire was assigned to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, where he was able to hire his own security detail. Even then, he didn’t spend much time in a cell. He was allowed to go to his downtown West Palm Beach office for work release, up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, records show. [Courtney] Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein, is suing the federal government, alleging that prosecutors kept her and other victims in the dark as part of a conspiracy to give Epstein ... one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history. That lawsuit - and an unrelated state court case scheduled for trial on Dec. 4 - could expose more about Epstein’s crimes, as well as who else was involved and whether there was any undue influence that tainted the federal case. Some of Epstein’s victims will finally have an opportunity to testify for the first time.
Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
In 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz. For Lefkowitz ... the meeting was critical. His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls - with the help of young female recruiters - to coerce into having sex acts ... as often as three times a day. [Epstein] was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show. But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved. The deal ... shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes. Epstein and four of his [named] accomplices ... received immunity from all federal criminal charges. The deal included wording that granted immunity to "any potential co-conspirators" who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement. Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. Court records reveal details of the ... role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation.
Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein's pedophile ring and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night. Without his knowledge, it was spying on him. From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, but to the maker of the machine, to the medical supply company that provided it and to his health insurer. Schmidt, an information technology specialist ... was shocked. "I had no idea they were sending my information across the wire." Like millions of people, he relies on a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine that streams warm air into his nose while he sleeps. Without it, Schmidt would wake up hundreds of times a night. As many CPAP users discover, the life-altering device comes with caveats: Health insurance companies are often tracking whether patients use them. If they aren't, the insurers might not cover the machines or the supplies that go with them. And, faced with the popularity of CPAPs ... and their need for replacement filters, face masks and hoses, health insurers have deployed a host of tactics that can make the therapy more expensive or even price it out of reach. A host of devices now gather data about patients, including insertable heart monitors and blood glucose meters. Privacy laws have lagged behind this new technology, and patients may be surprised to learn how little control they have over how the data is used or with whom it is shared.
After the financial crisis 10 years ago, unhappy customers were expected to flee the megabanks for smaller competitors. It didn’t happen. And the big banks became even more entrenched. Now another wave of alternative banks are at it again. Chime, the biggest new name to pop up, has opened two million fee-free online checking accounts and is adding more customers each month than Wells Fargo or Citibank. Venture capitalists are pouring money into American start-ups that are offering basic banking services — known as neo-banks or challenger banks. In 2018 so far, American neo-banks have gotten ... 10 times as much funding as they did in 2015. “In consumer banking, you have what is one of the largest industries in the United States, in terms of profits, and at the same time one of the least disrupted industries, and the most unpopular with consumers,” said Andrei Cherny, the founder of Aspiration, a neo-bank that has attracted nearly a million customers. “Those three things create a perfect storm for disruption.” The banks are struggling to adapt because they have built an expensive infrastructure of local branches and have become increasingly reliant on revenue from fees. Surveys have shown that a wide array of fees, for everything from A.T.M. use to checking account maintenance, have been steadily rising in recent years. The big banks have also held on to the interest payments they get rather than passing them along to depositors.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Both state-level public records laws and the federal Freedom of Information Act, written to ensure transparency and accountability in government, have morphed into potent weapons in legal and business disputes, raising questions about the chilling effects — and costs — they impose on targets who are doing research in controversial or sensitive fields. A 2017 analysis ... found that “public-oriented inquiries by concerned citizens and their advocates” account for “only a small fraction of the 700,000-plus FOIA requests submitted each year,” wrote David Pozen, a law professor at Columbia University, whose paper reviewed studies on the issue. “The bulk of requests come from businesses seeking to further their own commercial interests by learning about competitors, litigation opponents or the regulatory environment.” Public records requests have long been an important tool for a wide variety of groups, like journalists, political opposition researchers, climate-science skeptics, animal rights advocates and anti-abortion activists. But ... their growing use by advocacy groups and business interests to challenge academic work at public universities has alarmed some experts. The weaponization of such requests poses “a real danger that we’ll hit a tipping point, where the cost and burden of open records laws will overcome the benefits and we’ll have a retrenchment of transparency rights,” said Margaret Kwoka, a University of Denver professor. “This kind of abuse fuels the political will to do that.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Thousands of Google staff across the world have staged a series of walkouts. Demonstrations at the company’s offices around the world began at 11.10am in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones. They follow allegations of sexual misconduct made against senior executives, which organisers say are the most high-profile examples of “thousands” of similar cases across the company. An image from the Singapore hub showed at least 100 staff protesting. In London, the majority of employees left their desks and occupied the main auditorium in the company’s King’s Cross office. Once the room was filled, some gathered outside, as did a separate contingent of employees from the company’s AI subsidiary, DeepMind. Employees were urged to leave a flyer at their desk that read: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest [against] sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.” The Walkout for Real Change protest comes a week after it emerged that Google gave a $90m (Ł70m) severance package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile phone software, but concealed details of a sexual misconduct allegations that triggered his departure. In San Francisco, where approximately 2,500 employees work, hundreds gathered in front of the city’s Ferry Building.
Note: Over 20,000 Google employees were reported to have participated in the mass walkout. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The unstated goal of most company-sponsored studies is to increase the bottom line. “It’s marketing research, not science,” [New York University professor Dr. Marion Nestle] said. Noting that nutrition research, especially that funded by industry, “requires careful interpretation,” she suggests an approach that all consumers would be wise to follow: “Whenever I see studies claiming benefits for a single food, I want to know three things: whether the results are biologically plausible; whether the study controlled for other dietary, behavioral, or lifestyle factors that could have influenced its result; and who sponsored it.” “Fifty years of research has demonstrated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on physicians’ behavior — even giving doctors pads or pens printed with the brand name of a drug can prompt doctors to ignore a generic or competing brand,” Dr. Nestle [said]. However ... while there have been thousands of studies of conflicts of interest among physicians who publish drug studies and those who prescribe industry-touted medications, she could identify only 11 such studies of the influence of industry funding on the outcome of food and beverage research in relation to health. Consumers who are not scientifically savvy can be easily misled by the findings of studies, especially when they emanate from a prestigious institution or professional association. Dr. Nestle says such organizations need to pay closer attention to both blatant and potential conflicts of interest lest they be caught touting sloppy science.
Note: Dr. Marion Nestle recently published a book on this topic titled, "Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat." Read more about the bias in industry-funded nutrition research in this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system.
At Google’s weekly staff meeting on Thursday, the top question that employees voted to ask Larry Page, a co-founder, and Sundar Pichai, the chief executive, was one about sexual harassment. The query was part of an outpouring from Google employees after a New York Times article ... reported how the company had paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives accused of misconduct and stayed silent about their transgressions. In the case of Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, the company gave him a $90 million exit package even after Google had concluded that a misconduct claim against him was credible. While tech workers, executives and others slammed Google for the revelations, nowhere was condemnation of the internet giant’s actions more pointed than among its own employees. The employee rebuke played out on Thursday and Friday in company meetings and on internal message boards. Employees said they were dispirited by how some executives accused of harassment were paid millions of dollars even as the company was fending off lawsuits from former employees and the Department of Labor that claimed it underpaid women. Some Google employees said they had more questions after Mr. Pichai and Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations, wrote ... that the company had fired 48 people, including 13 senior managers, for sexual harassment over the last two years and that none of them received an exit package.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A California judge has rejected Monsanto’s appeal to overturn a landmark jury verdict which found that its popular herbicide causes cancer. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper ... won a $289m award over the summer after alleging that his exposure to Roundup weedkiller gave him cancer. Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, filed an appeal of the verdict, which said the company was responsible for “negligent failure”, knew or should have known that its product was “dangerous”, and had “acted with malice or oppression”. San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos ... has ruled to reduce punitive damages from $250m to $39m. The August verdict was a major victory for campaigners who have long fought Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Studies have repeatedly linked the glyphosate chemical ... to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a type of blood cancer. Internal Monsanto emails uncovered in the litigation suggested that the corporation has repeatedly worked to stifle critical research over the years while “ghost-writing” scientific reports favorable to glyphosate. Thousands of plaintiffs across the country have made similar legal claims, alleging that glyphosate exposure caused their cancer or resulted in the deaths of their loved ones. Last week, four jury members spoke to the Guardian about the judge questioning their unanimous decision, urging her to allow the verdict to stand.
Note: The EPA continues to use industry-sponsored studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.