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Corporate Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: This comprehensive list of corporate corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Revealed: oil sector's 'staggering' $3bn-a-day profits for last 50 years
2022-07-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-08-08 17:58:33
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/revealed-oil-sectors-stag...

The oil and gas industry has delivered $2.8bn (Ł2.3bn) a day in pure profit for the last 50 years, a new analysis has revealed. The vast total captured by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52tn, providing the power to "buy every politician, every system" and delay action on the climate crisis, says Prof Aviel Verbruggen, the author of the analysis. The huge profits were inflated by cartels of countries artificially restricting supply. The analysis, based on World Bank data, assesses the "rent" secured by global oil and gas sales, which is the economic term for the unearned profit produced after the total cost of production has been deducted. The study has yet to be published in an academic journal but three experts at University College London, the London School of Economics and the thinktank Carbon Tracker confirmed the analysis as accurate, with one calling the total a "staggering number". It appears to be the first long-term assessment of the sector's total profits, with oil rents providing 86% of the total. Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have driven the climate crisis and contributed to worsening extreme weather. Oil companies have known for decades that carbon emissions were dangerously heating the planet. The average annual profit from 1970-2020 was $1tn but [Verbruggen] said he expected this to be twice as high in 2022. The fossil fuel industry also benefits from subsidies of $16bn a day, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the energy industry and climate change from reliable major media sources.


Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy
2022-07-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-08-08 17:56:56
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/27/leaked-us-leaked-power-co...

The CEO of the biggest power company in the US had a problem. A Democratic state senator was proposing a law that could cut into Florida Power & Light's (FPL) profits. Landlords would be able to sell cheap rooftop solar power directly to their tenants – bypassing FPL and its monopoly on electricity. "I want you to make his life a living hell ... seriously," FPL's CEO Eric Silagy wrote in a 2019 email to two of his vice-presidents about state Senator JosĂ© Javier RodrĂ­guez, who proposed the legislation. Within minutes, one of them forwarded the directive to the CEO of Matrix, LLC, a powerful but little-known political consulting firm that has operated behind the scenes in at least eight states. RodrĂ­guez was ousted from office in the next election. Matrix employees spent heavily on political advertisements for a candidate with the same last name as RodrĂ­guez, who split the vote. That candidate later admitted he was bribed to run. Hundreds of pages of internal documents – which are only coming to light now because Matrix's founders are locked in an epic feud – detail the firm's secret work to help power companies like FPL protect their profits and fight the transition to cleaner forms of energy. The Matrix saga illustrates the political obstacles policymakers and experts face as they attempt to cut climate pollution from the power sector. Matrix affiliated groups have also worked to advance power companies' interests in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and in front of the Environmental Protection Agency, public records show.

Note: A telling analysis shows a 235% profit jump for big oil funded by us at the gas pumps. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the energy industry from reliable major media sources.


Oil company profits boom as Americans reel from high fuel prices
2022-07-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-08-08 17:55:33
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jul/29/oil-gas-company-profits-fuel...

The US's biggest oil companies pumped out record profits over the last few months as Americans struggled to pay for gasoline, food and other basic necessities. On Friday, ExxonMobil reported an unprecedented $17.85bn (Ł14.77bn) profit for the second quarter, nearly four times as much as the same period a year ago, and Chevron made a record $11.62bn (Ł9.61bn). The sky-high profits were announced one day after the UK's Shell shattered its own profit record. The record profits came after similarly outsized gains in the first quarter when the largest oil companies made close to $100bn in profits. High energy prices are one of the leading factors driving inflation to a four-decade high in the US. Gas prices have fallen slightly in recent weeks but are now averaging $4.25 a gallon across the US, more than $1 a gallon higher than a year ago. Soaring energy prices are being baked into delivery costs, which is driving up the cost of everything from apples to toilet paper. In addition to oil company executives, shareholders also reaped the benefits of high energy prices during the quarter. Since the start of 2022, Exxon and Chevron shares have risen close to 46% and 26%, respectively.

Note: A telling analysis shows a 235% profit jump for big oil funded by us at the gas pumps. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the energy industry from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer accused of pandemic profiteering as profits double
2022-02-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:10:54
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/08/pfizer-covid-vaccine-pill-pr...

Pfizer made nearly $37bn (Ł27bn) in sales from its Covid-19 vaccine last year – making it one of the most lucrative products in history – and has forecast another bumper year in 2022, with a big boost coming from its Covid-19 pill Paxlovid. The US drugmaker's overall revenues in 2021 doubled to $81.3bn. The bumper sales prompted accusations from campaigners of "pandemic profiteering". The group Global Justice Now said the annual revenue of $81bn was more than the GDP of most countries. Pharmaceutical companies have been accused of not sharing the recipe for their vaccines, which would enable drugmakers in poorer countries to produce cheaper versions of them. Global Justice Now pointed out that Pfizer's Covid-19 jab was invented by BioNTech, supported by â‚Ź100m (Ł84m) in debt financing from the publicly owned European Investment Bank and a â‚Ź375m grant from the German government. Tim Bierley, a pharma campaigner at the group, said: "The development of mRNA vaccines should have revolutionised the global Covid response. "But we've let Pfizer withhold this essential medical innovation from much of the world, all while ripping off public health systems." According to Reuters, Pfizer has sold the vaccine to African countries at $3 to $10 a shot. It has indicated that a non-profit dose costs just $6.75, or Ł4.98, to produce, but it has reportedly charged the NHS Ł18 a dose for the first 100m jabs bought and Ł22 a dose for the next 89m, totalling Ł3.76bn ... amounting to an eye-watering 299% mark-up.

Note: If big Pharma really cared about public healthy, don't you think they'd be willing to sacrifice some of their huge profits and charge much less for their injections? Unfortunately, it's the old story of the rich get richer and the rest are left behind. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Medicare could've saved $3.6 billion by buying drugs at same prices as Mark Cuban's online pharmacy, according to a new study
2022-06-21, Fortune
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:09:16
https://fortune.com/2022/06/21/medicare-costs-compared-mark-cubans-pharmacy/

Medicare's drug program could have saved up to $3.6 billion in 2020 by mirroring the pricing strategy of entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban's online pharmacy, according to a new study. Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Co. offers a selection of generic drugs at the cost of manufacturing them plus a flat 15% markup. The direct-to-consumer pharmacy does not accept insurance. The study's authors suggest that Medicare is overpaying for many generic drugs and could save billions a year if it purchased them directly from Cuban's online pharmacy. "The lower prices from a direct-to-consumer model highlight inefficiencies in the existing generic pharmaceutical distribution and reimbursement system, which includes wholesalers, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, and insurers," wrote researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in a brief published ... in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Cuban and his pharmacy did not fund or have any involvement in the study. Cost Plus Drug Co. says it engages in price negotiations with drugmakers. Medicare's drug program, Part D, however, prohibits the government from directly negotiating pharmaceutical prices. Researchers compared 2020 Medicare spending for a total of 89 drugs ... to their prices at Cost Plus Drug Co. in February. They estimate that Medicare overpaid for 77 generic drugs, spending $8.1 billion compared with $4.5 billion if the federal agency had purchased at the same prices as Cost Plus Drug Co. charges.

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


This Is How Big Pharma Wins
2022-02-21, New York Magazine
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:07:01
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/02/this-is-how-big-pharma-wins.html

On September 19, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill ... would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare, a right assumed by the governments of every other major economy. Polls showed support ranging from 80 to an eye-popping 90-plus percent. H.R. 3 was delivered stillborn into Mitch McConnell's Senate in November of 2019. Two years later, when Joe Biden released the massive social-spending and climate-change bill dubbed Build Back Better, H.R. 3's reforms were nowhere to be found. And at every level of government, Pharma's endless river of money continues to flow, the widest, steadiest current of lobbying largesse the capitol has ever known. In 2021, the industry reported spending $124 million on a fleet of 846 lobbyists, roughly two for every member of Congress. Sixty-five percent were former government employees. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are part of a larger coalition that includes the insurance, medical-device, and hospital industries. Its combined resources flow downstream through dozens of lobbying firms, communications shops, and front groups. "If a freshman Democrat so much as signs a letter related to drug prices, the lobby hammers them with phone calls and meeting requests, completely locking up the calendar," says Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works. "The calls come in from ex-Democratic officials and staffers, so they have to take the meetings."

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


Big Pharma Is Hijacking the Information Doctors Need Most
2022-04-28, Time Magazine
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:05:05
https://time.com/6171999/big-pharma-clinical-data-doctors/

Why have so many smart, well-trained doctors stood by as American healthcare descended into a state of profound dysfunction? The answer lies in the gradual, nearly invisible commercial takeover of the medical "knowledge" that doctors are trained to trust. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan slashed government support of university-based medical research. Following the 1980 passage of the University and Small Business Patent Procedures Act, nonprofit institutions and their researchers were allowed to benefit financially from the discoveries made while conducting federally funded research. Over the past few decades, the drug companies have taken over most of our clinical research. In 1991, academic medical centers (AMCs)–hospitals that train doctors and conduct medical research–received 80 percent of the money that industry was spending to fund clinical trials. But by 2004, the percentage of commercially funded clinical trials conducted by AMCs had fallen from 80 to just 26 percent. That ... allowed the commercial funder to own, and thus control, the data from jointly conducted research. Unbeknownst to almost all doctors, peer reviewers are not granted access to the underlying data that serves as the basis for the reported findings. The drug companies own that data and keep it confidential. Reviewers must rely on brief data summaries. Peer reviewers at even the most prestigious medical journals cannot possibly attest to the accuracy and completeness of the articles they review.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


BlackRock Is Now 'Fourth Branch of Government'
2020-05-21, Bloomberg
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:01:20
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-21/how-larry-fink-s-blackrock...

When the Federal Reserve needed Wall Street's help with its pandemic rescue mission, it went straight to Larry Fink. The BlackRock cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer has become one of the industry's most important government whisperers. The company's new assignment is a much bigger version of one it took on after the 2008 financial crisis, when the Federal Reserve enlisted it to dispose of toxic mortgage securities. This time it will help the Fed prop up the entire corporate bond market by purchasing, on the central bank's behalf, what could become a $750 billion portfolio of debt. One part of the Fed's plan is to buy bond exchange-traded funds. BlackRock itself runs ETFs under the iShares brand, and could end up buying funds it manages. "BlackRock is acting as a fiduciary to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York," says a spokesman for the company. "As such, BlackRock will execute this mandate at the sole discretion of the bank." The arrangement is bringing new attention to the company's scale and ubiquity. "It's impossible to think of BlackRock without thinking of them as a fourth branch of government," says William Birdthistle, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. BlackRock's growth raises questions over how big and useful a company can become before its size poses a risk. And then there are the potential conflicts. One arm of BlackRock knows what the Fed is buying, while other parts of the business participating in credit markets could benefit from that knowledge.

Note: Watch an excellent documentary showing how BlackRock, Vanguard, and several other institutions are the largest shareholders in almost every major corporation you can think of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry from reliable major media sources.


US agencies aren't 'following the science' on COVID – and staff are too scared to complain
2022-07-14, New York Post
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:29:42
https://nypost.com/2022/07/14/us-agencies-arent-following-the-science-on-covid/

"It's like a horror movie I'm being forced to watch and I can't close my eyes," one senior FDA official lamented. That particular FDA doctor was referring to two recent developments inside the agency. First, how, with no solid clinical data, the agency authorized COVID vaccines for infants and toddlers, including those who already had COVID. And second, [how] the FDA bypassed its external experts to authorize booster shots for young children. That doctor is hardly alone. At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH's Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. The CDC has experienced a similar exodus. "There's been a large amount of turnover. Morale is low," one high level official at the CDC told us. "Things have become so political, so what are we there for?" Another CDC scientist told us: "I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I'm embarrassed." Why are they embarrassed? First, they demanded that young children be masked in schools. On this score, the agencies were wrong. Compelling studies later found schools that masked children had no different rates of transmission. Next came school closures. The agencies were wrong – and catastrophically so. Poor and minority children suffered learning loss with an 11-point drop in math scores alone and a 20% drop in math pass rates. Then they ignored natural immunity. Wrong again.

Note: Why are so few media reporting on this most important news? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore
2021-08-02, CNN News
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:27:50
https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/02/business/family-homes-wall-street/index.html

Pension funds, investment firms and Wall Street banks are snapping up family homes in Europe and the United States at a rapid pace as prices rocket higher. At the same time, the soaring cost of home ownership means that growing numbers of younger Americans and Brits renting rather than buying houses as they start families. Some of them may find their next landlord is based on Wall Street or in London's financial district. Analysts argue that this will improve standards in the rental sector. But some tenants who rent from corporate landlords dispute this, alleging substandard services and excessive rent increases. If investors are hoovering up existing properties that would otherwise have been sold to individuals, that could squeeze out first-time buyers. Household incomes in the United States and United Kingdom have not kept pace with rising home values in recent years, a trend made worse by the pandemic, which has sent average house prices in both markets to record highs. Invitation Homes, America's biggest single-family home leasing company with some 81,000 houses, is currently facing two lawsuits brought by tenants in California and Maryland who claim that the company's late rent fees constitute illegal penalties under state laws. Current and former tenants of the company ... painted a picture of an uncaring landlord, slow to make repairs and quick to threaten eviction when rent payments are overdue or withheld because of unresolved maintenance issues.

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


Bayer Loses Again as US Supreme Court Allows $87 Million Roundup Award
2022-06-27, Bloomberg
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:26:14
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-27/bayer-loses-again-as-high-...

The US Supreme Court let stand an $87 million award against Bayer AG, rejecting the company for the second time in a week as it tries to fend off tens of thousands of claims that its top-selling Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. The justices, making no comment, on Monday left in place a jury's finding in favor of Alva and Alberta Pilliod in a California case. Bayer argued that a federal law precluded the suit and that the $70 million punitive damages award was so large it violated the Constitution. The court last week rejected Bayer's appeal in a case the company was trying to use to scuttle billions of dollars in potential claims. The company's liability could be the full $16 billion it has set aside to resolve the litigation, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Holly Froum. Earlier this month, a federal appeals court ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency to take another look at whether glyphosate - Roundup's active ingredient - is a carcinogen. Studies have linked it to some cancers. The German chemicals giant said it "is fully prepared to manage the litigation risk associated with potential future claims in the US as previously communicated in July 2021, including a voluntary claims program, transition of active ingredients for glyphosate-based products in the US." Bayer inherited the legal mess in 2018 when it acquired Monsanto Co., the herbicide's maker. Bayer has won four of seven Roundup trials so far, with all its losses occurring in California courts. The case is Monsanto v. Pilliod, 21-1272.

Note: Instead of relying on independent science, the EPA used industry studies to determine that glyphosate was safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


California's new $100 million plan to make insulin cheaper: What you need to know
2022-07-08, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:24:42
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/08/california-will-lower-insulin-prices-by-makin...

California will begin making its own low-cost insulin in an effort to make the essential diabetes treatment more affordable, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday. "Nothing epitomizes market failures more than the cost of insulin," the governor said in a video posted on Twitter, "Many Americans experience out-of-pocket costs anywhere from three hundred to five hundred dollars per month for this life-saving drug." With a budget of $100 million, California plans to "contract and make our own insulin at a cheaper price, close to at cost, and to make it available to all," Newsom said. It's unclear exactly how inexpensive California's insulin will be or when the low-cost drugs will be available. Insulin in the U.S. costs almost $100 per unit, on average. That's nearly four times the price in Chile, which has the second-highest prices among the 34 countries analyzed by the nonprofit Rand Corporation, at less than $25 per unit. Currently, four in five Americans in need of insulin have incurred thousands of dollars in credit card debt to pay for the medication, according to a recent survey commissioned by health care organization CharityRx. The average debt among all survey participants was $9,000. California's program will allot $50 million toward the development of cheaper insulin products and $50 million on an in-state insulin manufacturing facility, Newsom said, adding that the facility "will provide new, high-paying jobs and a stronger supply chain for the drugs."

Note: The unethical corruption of big Pharma is so clearly seen in the ridiculously inflated prices of drugs in the US compared to other countries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States
2016-05-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:21:12
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/03/researchers-...

Nightmare stories of nurses giving potent drugs meant for one patient to another and surgeons removing the wrong body parts have dominated recent headlines about medical care. Lest you assume those cases are the exceptions, a new study by patient-safety researchers provides some context. Their analysis, published in the BMJ ... shows that "medical errors" in hospitals and other health-care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third-leading cause of death in the United States – claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer's. Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ... led the research. Makary's research involves a ... comprehensive analysis of four large studies, including ones by the Health and Human Services Department's Office of the Inspector General and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that took place between 2000 to 2008. His calculation of 251,000 deaths equates to nearly 700 deaths a day – about 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States. Although all providers extol patient safety and highlight the various safety committees and protocols they have in place, few provide the public with specifics on actual cases of harm due to mistakes. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't require reporting of errors in the data it collects about deaths through billing codes, making it hard to see what's going on at the national level.

Note: Read lots more about this disturbing fact. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Supreme Court rejects Bayer's bid to stop lawsuits over Roundup weed killer
2022-06-21, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2022-07-04 13:09:35
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2022-06-21/supreme-court-rejects-ba...

The Supreme Court has rejected Bayer's appeal to shut down thousands of lawsuits claiming that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. The justices on Tuesday left in place a $25-million judgment in favor of Edwin Hardeman, a California man who says he developed cancer from using Roundup for decades to treat poison oak, overgrowth and weeds on his San Francisco Bay Area property. Hardeman's lawsuit had served as a test case for thousands of similar lawsuits. The high court's action comes amid a series of court fights over Roundup that have pointed in different directions. On Friday, a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an Environmental Protection Agency finding from 2020 that glyphosate does not pose a serious health risk and is "not likely" to cause cancer in humans. The appellate court ordered the EPA to reexamine its finding. At the same time, Bayer has won four consecutive trials in state court against people who claimed they got cancer from Roundup. The latest verdict in favor of the pharmaceutical company came last week in Oregon. The EPA says on its website that there is "no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer in humans." But in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." The agency said it relied on "limited" evidence of cancer in people and "sufficient" evidence of cancer in study animals.

Note: Instead of relying on independent science, the EPA used industry studies to determine that glyphosate was safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's ban on gun sales gives sellers 10 strikes before booting them
2022-06-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-07-04 13:01:26
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/09/facebook-gun-sellers-10-...

Facebook prohibits gun sales on its service. But buyers and sellers can violate the rule 10 times before they are kicked off the social network, according to internal guidance obtained by The Washington Post. The policy, which has not previously been reported, is much more lenient than for users who post child pornography, which is illegal, or a terrorist image, which prompts immediate removal from the platform. A separate, five-strikes policy extends even to gun sellers and purchasers who actively call for violence. Facebook's gun policies have long been a source of contention among the company's senior leadership and policymaking teams, who have been torn between the platform's support of free speech and public pressure to curtail weapons sales. Gun sellers have seized on loopholes within Facebook's policy. Journalists have repeatedly uncovered strategies sellers use to evade bans while reaching potential customers in dedicated Facebook groups or on Facebook Marketplace, the company's classified services. One tactic is advertising gun accessories, like holsters or cases, which are permitted for sale on the platform; once a customer contacts the seller, a gun can be sold in Facebook's private messages. After responding to several listings for gun cases, a Post reporter received three private messages with offers to purchase a gun. Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy ... said that banning transactions of a product that was both legal and highly popular would alienate the political right.

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


Amazon calls cops, fires workers in attempts to stop unionization nationwide
2022-06-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-06-20 12:38:23
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/06/13/amazon-union-retaliation...

Matt Litrell, a 22-year-old Amazon employee, was distributing union fliers outside the warehouse where he works this month when the cops showed up. An Amazon manager had called the sheriff's office in Campbellsville, Ky., that afternoon to report that protesters trying to start a union were trespassing on company property. While the officers eventually determined that Litrell wasn't on Amazon's property and left, Litrell plans to add the incident to the illegal-intimidation charge he filed with the National Labor Relations Board in May. Employees at Amazon facilities around the country whose union hopes were buoyed by the labor victory at a warehouse in Staten Island in April say in labor board filings and interviews that the company has been calling police, firing workers and generally cracking down on labor organizing since that historic win. Amazon has been accused of illegally firing workers in Chicago, New York and Ohio, calling the police on workers in Kentucky and New York, and retaliating against workers in New York and Pennsylvania, in what workers say is an escalation of long-running union-busting activities by the company. It's a sign that, even as lawmakers demand Amazon drop its objections to the union win in Staten Island ... the nation's second-largest private employer will continue to put up fierce opposition to any wave of union momentum. Eric Milner, a lawyer representing the Amazon Labor Union, called the company's objections to the election "a frivolous sideshow."

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


Break Government Officials' Monopoly on Public Health
2022-06-10, Newsweek
Posted: 2022-06-20 12:33:56
https://www.newsweek.com/break-government-officials-monopoly-public-health-op...

Public health initiatives in the United States are suffering from a crisis of trust. Recent polls show that only a third of the public trusts insurance and pharmaceutical companies, while just 56 percent trust the government health agencies that are meant to regulate these industries. Another survey during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that only around half of Americans have a "great deal" of trust in the CDC, while a mere third have such trust in the Department of Health and Human Services. When the mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 were made available to the public free of charge, a national conversation began about "vaccine hesitancy"–the phenomenon of Americans choosing not to be vaccinated even when incentivized and, in some cases, coerced. Americans had watched public health experts lie, misdirect, ignore evidence and yield to professional pressure. Few wanted to be their guinea pigs. Not all the COVID-19 gaslighting was the fault of the media or politicians - much was implemented by experts abusing their apolitical position of trust. The experts ... including Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, insisted on the most asinine and evidence-free preventative measures, including facial coverings, lockdowns and social distancing. Their insulated role as health advisers enabled them to manipulate health policy in ways that benefited only themselves. The most stark example was the corruption of data collection at the Center for Disease Control–a scandal that crashed public trust to a new low.

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


Prices of new drugs have soared. Will legislation be able to stop it?
2022-06-07, NBC News
Posted: 2022-06-20 12:31:46
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/prices-new-drugs-soared-will-legis...

The prices of new drugs in the U.S. have climbed for more than a decade, a study published Tuesday finds. According to a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the launch prices of new brand-name drugs increased by nearly 11 percent every year from 2008 through 2021. "These prices are increasing far out of proportion to other health care services," said the lead author, Dr. Benjamin Rome. Rome, and his colleagues observed price increases for all types of drugs, including cancer drugs, non-cancer drugs, pills and injections, he said. "Ultimately," he said, "all health care costs are borne by consumers – either direct out-of-pocket costs, higher premiums or taxes in the case of public health insurance." He added, "Insurance companies can also require prior authorization for expensive new drugs or not cover the drugs at all." The researchers calculated the negotiable sticker prices for new drugs on the market, or the net price. Such prices, which were adjusted for inflation, were calculated in light of rebates many drugmakers offer for the drugs. The researchers limited their scope to drugs sold by public companies; the net price averages included nearly 400 new drugs in total. Median drug prices for a year's supply increased from $2,115 in 2008 to more than $180,000 in 2021. The greatest increases were for cancer drugs and therapies used to treat rare diseases. In 2008, 9 percent of drugs cost $150,000 or more a year, compared to 47 percent in 2021.

Note: For a more detailed and eye-opening analysis, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Wage gap between CEOs and US workers jumped to 670-to-1 last year, study finds
2022-06-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-06-12 13:24:21
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/07/us-wage-gap-ceos-workers-inst...

The wage gap between chief executives and workers at some of the US companies with the lowest-paid staff grew even wider last year, with CEOs making an average of $10.6m, while the median worker received $23,968. A study of 300 top US companies released by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on Tuesday found the average gap between CEO and median worker pay jumped to 670-to-1. The ratio was up from 604-to-1 in 2020. Forty-nine firms had ratios above 1,000-to-1. At more than a third of the companies surveyed, IPS found that median worker pay did not keep pace with inflation. The report ... comes amid a wave of unionization efforts among low wage workers and growing scrutiny of the huge share buyback programs many corporations have been using to inflate their share prices. US companies announced plans to buy back more than $300bn of their own shares in the first quarter of the year and Goldman Sachs has estimated that buybacks could top $1tn in 2022. Share-related remuneration makes up the largest portion of senior executive compensation and as buybacks generally boost a company's share price, they also boost executive pay. The biggest buyback firm was home improvement chain Lowe's, which spent $13bn on share repurchases. That money could have given each of its 325,000 employees a $40,000 raise. Instead, median pay at the company fell 7.6% to $22,697. IPS noted that many of the companies in its sample were also the recipients of large federal government contracts.

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


Broken system making it harder for hospitals and patients to get some life-saving drugs
2022-05-22, CBS News
Posted: 2022-06-06 18:13:31
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/generic-drugs-pharmaceutical-companies-60-minute...

American hospitals have been living with serious drug shortages for more than a decade. Most days, nearly 300 essential drugs can be in short supply. It's not a matter of supply and demand. The drugs are needed and the ingredients are easy to make. Pharmaceutical companies have stopped producing many life-saving generic drugs because they make too little profit. Yet, year after year, the government stays on the sidelines as companies take drug production offline - and doctors worry the shortages are compromising patient care. Neonatologist Dr. Mitch Goldstein treats the most vulnerable patients. Many ... premature and sick babies have undeveloped digestive systems, so Dr. Goldstein keeps them alive with intravenous nutrients, many of which are in short supply. Antony Gobin heads the pharmacy at Loma Linda Hospital. He told us shortages of basic drugs are a constant worry. "We were dealing with shortages long before COVID," [he said]. "They're all very old, fundamental drugs that every hospital in the country needs and uses." Drug shortages can kill. In 2011, when norepinephrine, an old, low profit drug used to treat septic shock, was in short supply, hundreds of people around the country died. Middlemen, the group purchasing organizations and drug distributors take their cut. The drug manufacturers end up with just a small fraction of what the patient pays. Many have simply stopped making the least profitable drugs.

Note: For more, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


The ex-presidents' club
2001-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-06-06 18:01:24
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/31/september11.usa4

The offices of the Carlyle Group are on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, midway between the White House and the Capitol building. The address reflects Carlyle's position at the very centre of the Washington establishment. For 14 years now, with almost no publicity, the company has been signing up an impressive list of former politicians - including the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers - and using their contacts and influence to promote the group. But since the start of the "war on terrorism", the firm - unofficially valued at $3.5bn - has ... become the thread which indirectly links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal financial fortunes of its celebrity employees, not least the current president's father. Among the firm's multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden. "It should be a deep cause for concern that a closely held company like Carlyle can simultaneously have directors and advisers that are doing business and making money and also advising the president of the United States," says Peter Eisner, managing director of the Center for Public Integrity. "The problem comes when private business and public policy blend together. What hat is former president Bush wearing when he tells Crown Prince Abdullah not to worry about US policy in the Middle East?"

Note: Watch a 45-minute video on this subject titled Exposed: The Carlyle Group. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Buoyed by Federal Covid Aid, Big Hospital Chains Buy Up Competitors
2021-05-21, New York Times
Posted: 2022-05-31 01:15:26
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/21/health/covid-bailout-hospital-merger.html

Billions of dollars in Covid aid cushioned financial losses caused by the pandemic at some of the nation's largest hospital chains. But those bailouts also helped sustain the big chains' spending sprees as they expanded even more by scooping up weakened competitors and doctors' practices. More consolidation by several major hospital systems enhanced their market prowess in many regions of the United States, even as rural hospitals and underserved communities were overwhelmed with Covid patients and struggled to stay afloat. The buying spree is likely to prompt further debate and scrutiny of the Provider Relief Fund, a package of $178 billion in congressional aid that drew sharp criticism early on for allocating so much to the wealthiest hospital systems, and that had no limits on mergers and acquisitions. "It was not the intent to be a capital infusion to the largest and most financially stable providers to allow them to simply grow their slice of market share," said Representative Katie Porter. Major employers had warned Congress that bailouts to the health care industry could spur even more consolidation and lead to price-gouging in medical care. Some of the nation's most powerful hospital chains, experts cautioned, would take advantage of the crisis, resulting in even higher prices for medical care. The big well-resourced hospitals had, frankly, a banner year, and they are now in a position to swallow up these smaller, more vulnerable groups.

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


Facebook admits the truth: 'Fact checks' are really just (lefty) opinion
2021-12-14, New York Post
Posted: 2022-05-31 01:12:00
https://nypost.com/2021/12/14/facebook-admits-the-truth-fact-checks-are-reall...

https://nypost.com/2021/12/14/facebook-admits-the-truth-fact-checks-are-really-just...

Facebook finally admitted the truth: The "fact checks" that social media use to police what Americans read and watch are just "opinion." That's thanks to a lawsuit brought by celebrated journalist John Stossel, which has exposed the left's supposed battle against "misinformation" as a farce. Stossel posted a pair of videos that touched the third rail of liberal politics – climate change. Neither questioned whether climate change is real, but each talked about other issues, namely forest management and using technology to adapt. Yet the third party that Facebook contracts to review these pieces, Science Feedback, flagged them as "false," or our favorite, "lacking context." Why? Science Feedback didn't like Stossel's "tone." That is, you can't write anything about climate change unless you say it's the worst disaster in the history of humanity and we must spend trillions to fight it. The Post has faced this same gauntlet too many times. In February 2020, we published a column by Steven W. Mosher asking if COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Lab. This was labeled "false" by Facebook's fact-checkers. Of course, those supposed "independent" scientific reviewers relied on a group of experts who had a vested interest in dismissing that theory – including EcoHealth, which had funded the Wuhan lab. When Twitter "fact checked" and blocked The Post's stories about Hunter Biden's laptop as "hacked materials," what was the basis? Nothing. It wasn't hacked. Guess they didn't like our tone.

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


How drug companies' PR tactics skew the presentation of medical research
2011-05-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-31 01:06:00
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/may/20/drug-companies-ghost-writing-...

When doctors are deciding which drug to prescribe a patient, the idea behind evidence-based medicine is that they inform their thinking by consulting scientific literature. To a great extent, this means relying on medical journals. The trouble is that pharmaceutical companies, who stand to win or lose large amounts of money depending on the content of journal articles, have taken a firm grip on what gets written about their drugs. That grip was strong way back in 2004, when The Lancet's chief editor Richard Horton lamented that "journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry." It may be even tighter now. Drug companies exert this hold on knowledge through publication planning agencies, an obscure subsection of the pharmaceutical industry. The planning companies are paid to implement high-impact publication strategies for specific drugs. They target the most influential academics to act as authors, draft the articles, and ensure that these include clearly-defined branding messages and appear in the most prestigious journals. There are now at least 250 different companies engaged in the business of planning clinical publications for the pharmaceutical industry. Many firms are based in the UK and the east coast of the United States. Having talked to over a dozen publication planners I found that the standard approach to article preparation is for planners to work hand-in-glove with drug companies to create a first draft.

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


'Forever chemicals' may have polluted 20m acres of US cropland, study says
2022-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-23 20:45:41
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/08/us-cropland-may-be-contam...

About 20m acres of cropland in the United States may be contaminated from PFAS-tainted sewage sludge that has been used as fertilizer, a new report estimates. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 9,000 compounds used to make products heat-, water- or stain-resistant. Known as "forever chemicals" because they don't naturally break down, they have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, liver problems, birth defects, immunosuppression and more. Dozens of industries use PFAS in thousands of consumer products, and often discharge the chemicals into the nation's sewer system. The analysis ... is an attempt to understand the scope of cropland contamination stemming from sewage sludge, or biosolids. Regulators don't require sludge to be tested for PFAS or closely track where its spread, and public health advocates warn the practice is poisoning the nation's food supply. Sludge is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process that's a mix of human excrement and industrial waste, like PFAS, that's discharged from industry's pipes. EPA records show over 19bn pounds of sludge has been used as fertilizer since 2016 in ... 41 states. It's estimated that 60% of the nation's sludge is spread on cropland or other fields annually. The consequences are evident in the only two states to consistently check sludge and farms for PFAS contamination. In Maine, PFAS-tainted fields have already forced several farms to shut down.

Note: Read more about the toxic "forever chemicals" accumulating in our environment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


The dangerous business of dismantling America's aging nuclear plants
2022-05-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-05-23 20:44:24
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/05/13/holtec-oyster-creek-nuclea...

The new owner took over the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in 2019, promising to dismantle one of the nation's oldest nuclear plants at minimal cost and in record time. Then came a series of worrisome accidents. One worker was struck by a 100-ton metal reactor dome. Another was splashed with radioactive water. Another worker drove an excavator into an electrical wire on his first day on the job, knocking out power to 31,000 homes and businesses. All three incidents occurred on the watch of Holtec International. In the nearly three years Holtec has owned Oyster Creek, regulators have documented at least nine violations of federal rules. During the lifetime of America's 133 nuclear reactors, ratepayers paid small fees on their monthly energy bills to fill decommissioning trust funds. Trust funds for the country's 94 operating and 14 nonoperating nuclear reactors now total about $86 billion. After a reactor is dismantled ... some of these trust funds must return any money left over to ratepayers. But others permit cleanup companies to keep any surplus as profit – creating incentives to cut costs at sites that house some of the most dangerous materials on the planet. Even after reactors are shut down, long metal rods containing radioactive pellets – known as spent fuel – are stored steps away, in cooling pools and steel-and-concrete casks. Nuclear safety experts say that an industrial accident or a terrorist attack at any of these sites could result in a radiological release with severe impacts.

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


The adverts banned for misleading climate claims
2022-03-06, BBC News
Posted: 2022-05-17 01:01:23
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220302-the-adverts-that-were-banned-for-...

In September 2019, Ryanair circulated a series of adverts on TV, radio and online which urged customers to fly with "Europe's Lowest Fares, Lowest Emissions Airline. Everybody knows that when you fly Ryanair you enjoy the lowest fares. But do you know you are travelling on the airline with Europe's lowest emissions as well?" The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), the UK's advertising watchdog, banned the campaign several months later after concluding that these claims were misleading. Ryanair is far from the only company to come under fire for making misleading climate claims. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, there has been a wave of corporate commitments to reduce emissions. But the increase in enthusiasm for climate responsibility has been matched by a rise in concerns that some companies are using advertising and public messaging, with buzzwords such as "carbon neutrality" and "net zero", to try to appear more sustainable than they actually are. This is referred to by some as "greenwashing". Consumers are increasingly seeing through misleading claims and making more complaints about them as a result. Almost 50 complaints are currently pending globally before a court or an advertising standards body, according to a recent report. The ASA plans to release new guidance to ensure adverts don't mislead the public about the environment in 2022. To date, most complaints regarding misleading climate claims are dealt with by watchdogs, rather than taken to court.

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


Revealed: top US corporations raising prices on Americans even as profits surge
2022-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-09 00:30:39
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/27/inflation-corporate-america-...

As inflation shot to a new peak in March, cost increases exacted a deep toll on the economy. But for many of the US's largest companies and their shareholders it has been a very different story. A Guardian analysis of top corporations' financials and earnings calls reveals most are enjoying profit increases even as they pass on costs to customers, many of whom are struggling to afford gas, food, clothing, housing and other basics. The analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings for 100 US corporations found net profits up by a median of 49%, and in one case by as much as 111,000%. Those increases came as companies saddled customers with higher prices and all but ten executed massive stock buyback programs or bumped dividends to enrich investors. In earnings calls, executives detailed how even as demand and profits rose post-vaccine, they passed on most or all inflationary costs to customers via price increases, and some took the opportunity to add more on top. Margins – the share of sales converted into profits – also improved for the majority of the companies. The Guardian's findings are in line with recent US commerce department data that shows corporate profits rose 35% during the last year and are at their highest level since 1950. Inflation, meanwhile, rose to 8.5% year over year in March. The Guardian's data ... objectively shows a massive "transfer of wealth" from consumers, who pay higher prices, to shareholders and investment firms.

Note: Meanwhile global poverty has skyrocketed. Do the billionaires really care? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Ukraine-Russia Moderation Rules Prompt Cries of Double Standard
2022-04-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:12:55
https://theintercept.com/2022/04/13/facebook-ukraine-russia-moderation-double...

An unprecedented spree of policy changes and carveouts aimed at protecting Ukrainian civilians from Facebook's censorship systems has earned praise from human rights groups. But a new open letter addressed to Facebook and its social media rivals questions why these companies seem to care far more about some attempts to resist foreign invasion than others. In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook and Instagram, rapidly changed its typically strict speech rules in order to exempt a variety of posts that would have otherwise been deleted for violating the company's prohibition against hate speech and violent incitement. The rule change ... included a rare dispensation to call for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin, use dehumanizing language against Russian soldiers, and praise the notorious Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, previously banned from the platform due to its neo-Nazi ideology. In a statement signed by 31 civil society and human rights groups ... criticism is directed squarely at American internet titans like Facebook. "We call for ... equal and consistent application of policies to uphold the rights of users worldwide," reads the letter. "Once platforms began to take action in Ukraine, they took extraordinary steps that they have been unwilling to take elsewhere. From the Syrian conflict to the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar, other crisis situations have not received the same amount of support."

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


With $20 trillion between them, Blackrock and Vanguard could own almost everything by 2028
2017-12-04, Financial Post
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:10:34
https://financialpost.com/investing/a-20-trillion-blackrock-vanguard-duopoly-...

BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group – already the world's largest money managers – are less than a decade from managing a total of US$20 trillion, according to Bloomberg News calculations. Amassing that sum will likely upend the asset management industry, intensify their ownership of the largest U.S. companies and test the twin pillars of market efficiency and corporate governance. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, widely regarded as the father of the index fund, is raising the prospect that too much money is in too few hands, with BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Corp. together owning significant stakes in the biggest U.S. companies. "That's about 20 per cent owned by this oligopoly of three," Bogle said. "It is too bad that there aren't more people in the index-fund business." Vanguard is poised to parlay its US$4.7 trillion of assets into more than US$10 trillion by 2023, while BlackRock may hit that mark two years later, up from almost US$6 trillion today, according to Bloomberg News projections based on the companies' most recent five-year average annual growth rates in assets. BlackRock and Vanguard's dominance raises questions about competition and governance.

Note: This empire directly benefits from relaxation of financial regulations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Details About the CIA's Deal With Amazon
2014-07-17, The Atlantic
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:08:10
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/the-details-about-the-...

The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. For the first time, agencies within the intelligence community will be able to order a variety of on-demand computing and analytic services from the CIA and National Security Agency. What's more, they'll only pay for what they use. For the risk-averse intelligence community, the decision to go with a commercial cloud vendor is a radical departure from business as usual. It is difficult to underestimate the cloud contract's importance. In a recent public appearance, CIA Chief Information Officer Douglas Wolfe called it "one of the most important technology procurements in recent history," with ramifications far outside the realm of technology. The importance of the cloud capabilities the CIA gets through leveraging Amazon Web Services' horsepower is best exemplified in computing intelligence data. Instead of each agency building out its own systems, select agencies ... are responsible for governing its major components.

Note: The CIA tries to "collect everything and hold on to it forever." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Big oil companies are using wartime profits to enrich investors, report says
2022-04-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-04-11 17:35:07
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/05/big-oil-companies-are-usin...

The nation's biggest oil and gas companies have significantly increased stock buybacks and dividends since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, raising questions about whether the firms are using wartime profits to enrich investors instead of curbing Americans' pain at the pump. The report released today by Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and BailoutWatch turns up the heat on the fossil fuel industry ahead of two high-profile congressional hearings this week, when Democrats plan to scrutinize the industry's windfall profits amid rising crude prices sparked by the war in Ukraine. The three groups looked at Securities and Exchange Commission filings and public statements from the 20 largest U.S.-headquartered oil and gas companies. In January and February, seven companies' boards authorized their corporate treasuries to buy back and retire $24.35 billion in stock – a 15 percent increase over all of the buybacks authorized in 2021. Six of those decisions came in February, after fears of Russian aggression against Ukraine lifted stock prices. In total, the 20 companies announced $45.6 billion in stock buybacks since the start of 2021. More than half of the companies boosted their dividends in January and February. Of the 11 companies raising their dividends, nine were increases of more than 15 percent and four were increases of more than 40 percent.

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


Leaked: New Amazon Worker Chat App would Ban Words like "Union," "Restrooms," "Pay Raise," and "Plantation"
2022-04-04, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-04-11 17:27:57
https://theintercept.com/2022/04/04/amazon-union-living-wage-restrooms-chat-app/

Amazon will block and flag employee posts on a planned internal messaging app that contain keywords pertaining to labor unions, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Intercept. An automatic word monitor would also block a variety of terms that could represent potential critiques of Amazon's working conditions, like "slave labor," "prison," and "plantation," as well as "restrooms" – presumably related to reports of Amazon employees relieving themselves in bottles to meet punishing quotas. In November 2021, Amazon convened a high-level meeting in which top executives discussed plans to create an internal social media program that would let employees recognize co-workers' performance with posts called "Shout-Outs." But company officials also warned of what they called "the dark side of social media" and decided to actively monitor posts in order to ensure a "positive community." At the meeting, [head of worldwide consumer business, Dave] Clark suggested that the program should resemble an online dating app like Bumble, which allows individuals to engage one on one. Following the meeting, an "auto bad word monitor" was devised, constituting a blacklist that would flag and automatically block employees from sending a message that contains any profane or inappropriate keywords. Even some phrases like "This is concerning" will be banned. Managers will have the authority to flag or suppress any Shout-Outs that they find inappropriate.

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


Pfizer pushes to intervene in lawsuit seeking COVID vaccine information from FDA
2022-01-26, Reuters
Posted: 2022-04-04 15:17:27
https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/pfizer-pushes-intervene-lawsuit-seek...

Pfizer Inc wants to intervene in a Texas federal lawsuit seeking information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration used in licensing the company's COVID-19 vaccine, a litigation move that plaintiffs who are suing for the data say is premature. Pfizer's lawyers at DLA Piper told U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman on Jan. 21 it wanted a role in the proceedings to help the FDA avoid "inappropriately" disclosing trade secret and confidential commercial information. On Tuesday night, the group of doctors and scientists who sued last year over public access to the FDA's Pfizer licensing records said in a court filing that the company's bid to jump into the lawsuit was untimely because the plaintiffs have not challenged any redactions to requested records. Earlier this month, the judge ordered a fast-track release of hundreds of thousands of documents, calling the case "of paramount public importance." U.S. government agencies control the release of information under federal public-records laws, but companies can challenge and even sue to block the disclosure of certain details. The FDA earlier drew criticism over its plan to release 500 pages a month in response to the lawsuit from Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency, a production schedule that would take more than 50 years to complete. In its filing, Pfizer said the company supports public disclosure of FDA records "to promote transparency and the public's confidence in the vaccine."

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


'Wall of secrecy' in Pfizer contracts as company accused of profiteering
2021-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:49:29
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/05/wall-of-secrecy-in-pfizer-con...

Ministers have agreed [to] a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain's Covid vaccine supply. Large portions of the government's contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret. The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a former senior US health official of "war profiteering'' during the pandemic. Tom Frieden, who was director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Barack Obama, said: "If you're just focusing on maximising your profits and you're a vaccine manufacturer ... you are war profiteering." Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a US consumer advocacy organisation which has examined Pfizer's global vaccine contracts, said: "There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it's unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis." Rizvi said the UK needed to explain why it had agreed to secret arbitration proceedings. He said: "It's the only high-income country we have seen that has agreed to this provision. It allows pharmaceutical companies to bypass domestic legal processes." While AstraZeneca agreed to sell its vaccine at cost during the pandemic, Pfizer wanted to secure its profits. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ... will be one of the most lucrative drugs in pharmaceutical history. One biological engineering expert [claims] the Pfizer vaccine costs just 76p to manufacture for each shot. It is reportedly being sold for Ł22 a dose to the UK government.

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


Lobbying broke all-time mark in 2021 amid flurry of government spending
2022-03-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:46:08
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/03/12/lobbying-record-government...

The lobbying industry had a record year in 2021, taking in $3.7 billion in revenue as companies, associations and other organizations pressed Congress and the Biden administration over trillions of dollars in new pandemic spending and rules affecting health care, travel, tourism and other industries. The revenue figures, compiled in recent weeks from government records by OpenSecrets, show that lobbying spending began steadily growing in 2017. The jump in 2021, when lobbying spending was about 6 percent higher than 2020, came as the government's pandemic interventions and record expenditure took center stage. The surge came as companies and associations aimed to roll back regulations on their industries – many of them pandemic-related – while others vied for a slice of the trillions in new spending. Manufacturers, unions, financial companies and technology firms all spent significantly more in 2021 than in previous years. Thousands of companies and organizations appeared to hire lobbyists for the first time during the pandemic, as more than 3,700 companies and other groups that spent no money lobbying the government in 2019 paid lobbyists last year. The pharmaceutical industry, regularly one of the biggest spenders in Washington, also increased its spending. Its top trade group, the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), topped $30 million in spending last year, up 17 percent from the year prior.

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


Canadian pipeline groups spend big to pose as Indigenous champions
2022-03-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-27 18:44:09
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/10/canadian-pipeline-groups-...

Oil and gas companies and lobby groups in Canada are heavily investing in campaigns to present themselves as defenders of Indigenous interests in the face of high-profile protests against a controversial natural gas pipeline on First Nation land. "I'm being a steward to my land and I'm being a defender," read one of 21 ads targeting British Columbia in November 2021, quoting a Coastal GasLink worker from Nak'azdli Whut'en' First Nation. As the ad conveying Indigenous support for the pipeline appeared on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of people in the Canadian province, 30 Wet'suwet'en Nation members and supporters were being violently evicted from their territory along the pipeline. The fossil fuel groups spent some C$122,000 (US$95,249) on more than 400 targeted Facebook and Instagram ads. The vast majority of the ads, which were shown some 21m times in total, were linked to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the site of intense protest and violent police crackdown in recent years. The construction of the 670km pipeline through unceded Wet'suwet'en territory – land never signed away to the Canadian government – has sparked nationwide protests in recent years. Analysis of Facebook advertisements ... by Eco-Bot.Net, a research project exposing climate crisis misinformation and corporate greenwashing online, has found a steady flow of "Indigenous-washing" ad campaigns from TC Energy, the company behind the pipeline, and associated oil and gas lobby groups.

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


Big Oil profits when prices surge, and corporations will cash in on this crisis
2022-03-14, Denver Post
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:43:01
https://www.denverpost.com/2022/03/14/colorado-oil-gas-prices-fracking-public...

As Russia perpetrates war crimes against the people of Ukraine, the fossil fuel industries in Colorado and across the country are licking their collective chops and preparing to cash in on the crisis, likely generating yet another round of record profits in adherence to one of the most famous maxims, often attributed to Winston Churchill, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." The price of gasoline is high right now. Big Oil is exploiting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on the price of gas to run up record profits. At the end of 2021, BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron all reported the highest profits they've seen since 2014, and every single company attributed those record profits to surging oil prices as post-pandemic demand increased and supply had not yet met that demand. Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that U.S. oil companies are sitting on over 9,000 federal drilling permits, claiming that these should be tapped before additional leases are granted. The industry balked, arguing that "developing a lease takes years and substantial effort to determine whether the underlying geology holds commercial quantities of oil and/or gas," undermining their own point while they're making it: if it takes so long to produce oil from a new lease, how on earth would issuing new leases have any discernible effect on gas prices today? When record-high prices coincide with record profits, as they almost always do, it is lunacy to ignore the obvious connection between the two.

Note: Explore an alternative viewpoint on the Ukrainian situation from a respected source. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Facebook allows war posts urging violence against Russian invaders
2022-03-10, Reuters
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:40:54
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-facebook-instagram-temporarily...

Meta Platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy. The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators. "As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders.' We still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. The calls for the leaders' deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company's rules on violence and incitement. Last week, Russia said it was banning Facebook in the country in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on the platform. Moscow has cracked down on tech companies, including Twitter, which said it is restricted in the country, during its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a "special operation." Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited.

Note: Read more about Facebook permitting praise for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Intrepid reporter Ben Swann gives a great, balanced view on the biolabs in the Ukraine, including efforts to scrub one particularly incriminating video from the Internet. And explore an alternative viewpoint on the Ukrainian situation from a respected source. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


This ex-undercover agent infiltrated Pablo Escobar's cartel as a money launderer
2016-07-15, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:33:38
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/15/this-ex-undercover-agent-infiltrated-pablo-es...

Robert Mazur was a federal agent. He infiltrated Pablo Escobar's Colombian drug cartel for two years in the mid-1980s by pretending to be Robert Musella, a money-laundering, mob-connected businessman. "My role was to come across to the cartel as a credible money launderer," Mazur said. As an undercover operative, he was working with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a Luxembourg-based bank with branches in more than 70 countries, in order to launder the cartel's money. BCCI was known to have accounts of drug operatives, terrorists, dirty bankers and others who want to hide money. At one point, he was out at a social event in Miami with a senior bank officer at BCCI who asked him point blank, "You know who the biggest money launderer in the world is? It's the Federal Reserve, of course." That sounds like a crazy allegation, but Mazur said the banker connected the dots for him: In Colombia, it's illegal for anyone to have a U.S. dollar account. But at the state-run Bank of the Republic there is a window they call the "sinister window" or the "anonymous window." There, you can trade in as much U.S. currency as you want. The central bank exchanges it for Colombian pesos at a high rate immediately. Mazur recalls the banker asking: "What do you think happens with that cash? It gets put on pallets, they shrink-wrap it and they're sending hundreds of millions of dollars back to the Federal Reserve. Why didn't anyone ... ask where this money was coming from?"

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


Here Comes the Full Amazonification of Whole Foods
2022-02-28, New York Times
Posted: 2022-03-14 17:41:27
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/28/technology/whole-foods-amazon-automation.html

"Would you like to sign in with your palm?" That was the question a cheerful Amazon employee posed when greeting me last week at the opening of a Whole Foods Market in Washington's Glover Park neighborhood. For the next 30 minutes, I shopped. Then I simply walked out, no cashier necessary. Whole Foods – or rather Amazon – would bill my account later. More than four years ago, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13 billion. Now the Amazon-ification of the grocery chain is physically complete. Amazon designed my local grocer to be almost completely run by tracking and robotic tools for the first time. The technology, known as Just Walk Out, consists of hundreds of cameras with a god's-eye view of customers. Sensors are placed under each apple, carton of oatmeal and boule of multigrain bread. Deep-learning software analyzes the shopping activity to detect patterns and increase the accuracy of its charges. The Whole Foods in Glover Park ... has sparked a spirited local debate, with residents sparring on the Nextdoor community app and a neighborhood email list over the store's "dystopian" feeling versus its "impressive technology." Some ... said they had found errors in their bills and complained about the end of produce by the pound. Everything is now offered per item, bundle or box. Some mourned the disappearance of the checkout line, where they perused magazines. Many were suspicious of the tracking tech. "It's like George Orwell's '1984,'" said Allen Hengst, 72, a retired librarian.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Switzerland at risk of EU blacklist after Credit Suisse leak
2022-02-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-14 17:35:46
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/feb/21/switzerland-at-risk-of-eu-blackl...

The fallout from a huge leak of Credit Suisse banking data threatened to damage Switzerland's entire financial sector on Monday after the European parliament's main political grouping raised the prospect of adding the country to a money-laundering blacklist. The European People's party (EPP), the largest political grouping of the European parliament, called for the EU to review its relationship with Switzerland and consider whether it should be added to its list of countries associated with a high risk of financial crime. Experts said that such a move would be a disaster for Switzerland's financial sector, which would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to rogue nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EPP released the proposal after media outlets including the Guardian, SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Le Monde revealed how a massive leak of Credit Suisse data had uncovered apparently widespread failures of due diligence by the bank. The investigation, called Suisse secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. The country's addition to the EU high-risk third countries list would mean regulated professions, such as bankers, lawyers and accountants, would be required to conduct enhanced due diligence on any transaction or commercial relationship with a person or company in the country.

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


Covid-19: WHO efforts to bring vaccine manufacturing to Africa are undermined by the drug industry
2022-02-09, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2022-03-06 22:55:34
https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o304

A foundation representing the vaccine maker BioNTech has been accused of seeking to undermine the World Health Organization's initiative to bring covid vaccine manufacturing to the African continent. The kENUP Foundation, a consultancy hired by BioNTech, has claimed that WHO's hub, which is creating a covid-19 mRNA vaccine that African companies can make, is unlikely to be successful and will infringe on patents, documents obtained by The BMJ have shown. Instead, they show kENUP promoting BioNTech's proposal to ship mRNA factories housed in sea containers from Europe to Africa, initially staffed with BioNTech workers, and a proposed new regulatory pathway to approve the vaccines made in these factories. The novel pathway has been described as paternalistic and unworkable. The move threatens the pan-African venture backed by WHO that seeks to scale up African production of lifesaving vaccines from 1% to 60% by 2040. WHO's technology transfer hub, launched in June 2021 and based in South Africa, uses publicly available information to recreate Moderna's vaccine, to teach companies and scientists across the continent how to use mRNA technology. It will then develop a comparable vaccine, which, if successful in clinical trials and approved by regulators, it will manufacture industrially. In a document sent to South African government officials after a visit to the country on 11-14 August last year, the kENUP Foundation said that the hub's activity should be stopped.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources


World spends $1.8tn a year on subsidies that harm environment, study finds
2022-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-06 22:53:53
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/feb/17/world-spends-18tn-a-year-...

The world is spending at least $1.8tn (Ł1.3tn) every year on subsidies driving the annihilation of wildlife and a rise in global heating, according to a new study, prompting warnings that humanity is financing its own extinction. From tax breaks for beef production in the Amazon to financial support for unsustainable groundwater pumping in the Middle East, billions of pounds of government spending and other subsidies are harming the environment, says the first cross-sector assessment for more than a decade. This government support, equivalent to 2% of global GDP, is directly working against the goals of the Paris agreement and draft targets on reversing biodiversity loss, the research on explicit subsidies found, effectively financing water pollution, land subsidence and deforestation with state money. The fossil fuel industry ($620bn), the agricultural sector ($520bn), water ($320bn) and forestry ($155bn) account for the majority of the $1.8tn, according to the report. No estimate for mining, believed to cause billions of dollars of damage to ecosystems every year, could be derived. Lack of transparency between governments and recipients means the true figure is likely to be much higher, as is the implicit cost of harmful subsidies. Last year, an International Monetary Fund report found the fossil fuel industry benefited from subsidies worth $5.9tn in 2020.

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


How The Covid-19 Vaccine Injected Billions Into Big Pharma–And Made Its Executives Very Rich
2021-05-14, Forbes
Posted: 2022-02-27 19:38:30
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesdigitalcovers/2021/05/14/virus-book-excerp...

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Big Pharma had been easing out of the vaccine business for decades. Ultimately, Operation Warp Speed (OWS)–the U.S. government's Covid-19 relief program–would dole out $22 billion to Big Pharma. The amounts of money were the kinds of sums normally seen in the smaller defense budget line items, but were massive for a public health project–$2.5 billion to Moderna, $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca, half a billion dollars to Johnson & Johnson, and $1.6 billion to a small company called Novavax. Only Pfizer opted out of ponying up to the trough at first–it didn't want to devote resources to coordinating with the US government on its work. In July, Pfizer signed a $1.95 billion deal to sell one hundred million doses of its two-shot vaccine to the United States, enough for fifty million people. By February, the government had ordered three hundred million doses from Moderna, with its first shipment of one hundred million priced at thirty dollars per double-shot dose–cheaper than Pfizer partly because the United States had forked over nearly a billion dollars to Moderna research. Even more money was raining down on company insiders trading on good-news releases. Executives at Moderna and Pfizer cashed in on the vaccine, selling shares timed precisely to clinical trial press releases. Pfizer executives ... earned $14 million from stock sales in 2020. Moderna executives made $287 million from timed stock sales in 2020–and kept going.

Note: Explore hundreds of personal stories of severe vaccine injury and death that are being strongly suppressed by government and the major media. An MD's excellent research reveals that the government knew about and actively suppressed safe, effective, low-price treatments for COVID and targeted physicians who prescribed them. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer revenue and profits soar on its Covid vaccine business
2021-11-02, CNN News
Posted: 2022-02-27 19:36:58
https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/02/business/pfizer-earnings/index.html

Pfizer reported that earnings and sales more than doubled in the past quarter, and it raised its outlook for results the full year, thanks greatly to its Covid-19 vaccine. The company reported adjusted earnings of $7.7 billion, up 133% from a year earlier. Revenue soared to $24.1 billion, up 134%. Both easily cleared results forecast by analysts. The vaccine business alone was responsible for more than 60% of the company's sales, as vaccine revenue rose to $14.6 billion from only $1.7 billion a year earlier. The company said its Covid vaccine sales accounted for $13 billion of that revenue. Revenue outside of its Covid vaccine business was up a far more modest 7%. This year, the Covid vaccine has brought in revenue of $24.3 billion. And Pfizer said it expects a total of $36 billion from the vaccine for all of 2021 – nearly $12 billion more in revenue the final quarter of the year. And it said based on contracts it now has signed it expects revenue $29 billion from the Covid vaccine in 2022. The company said it now expects full-year 2021 revenue of between $81 billion to $82 billion, up $2 billion from its earlier guidance. It also raised its earnings per share outlook by about 3% to 5% above what it had been expected to earn. About 67% of the total US population has had a least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 58% are fully vaccinated, according to data tracked by the Mayo Clinic.

Note: Explore hundreds of personal stories of severe vaccine injury and death that are being strongly suppressed by government and the major media. An MD's excellent research reveals that the government knew about and actively suppressed safe, effective, low-price treatments for COVID and targeted physicians who prescribed them. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Vaccine monopolies make cost of vaccinating the world against COVID at least 5 times more expensive than it could be
2021-07-09, Oxfam
Posted: 2022-02-21 19:09:34
https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/vaccine-monopolies-make-cost-vaccinat...

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren't profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People's Vaccine Alliance said today. New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production. Colombia, for example, has potentially overpaid by as much as $375 million for its doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, in comparison to the estimated cost price. Despite a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths across the developing world, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have sold over 90 percent of their vaccines so far to rich countries, charging up to 24 times the potential cost of production. Last week Pfizer/BioNTech announced it would licence a South African company to fill and package 100 million doses for use in Africa, but this is a drop in the ocean of need. Neither company have agreed to fully transfer vaccine technology and know-how with any capable producers in developing countries, a move that could increase global supply, drive down prices and save millions of lives. Analysis of production techniques for the leading mRNA type vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna â₏•which were only developed thanks to public funding to the tune of $8.3 billionâ₏• suggest these vaccines could be made for as little as $1.20 a dose.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer Reaps Hundreds of Millions in Profits From Covid Vaccine
2021-05-04, New York Times
Posted: 2022-02-21 19:07:48
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/business/pfizer-covid-vaccine-profits.html

Last year, racing to develop a vaccine in record time, Pfizer made a big decision: Unlike several rival manufacturers, which vowed to forgo profits on their shots during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pfizer planned to profit on its vaccine. On Tuesday, the company announced just how much money the shot is generating. The vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of this year, nearly a quarter of its total revenue, Pfizer reported. The vaccine was, far and away, Pfizer's biggest source of revenue. The company did not disclose the profits it derived from the vaccine, but it reiterated its previous prediction that its profit margins on the vaccine would be in the high 20 percent range. That would translate into roughly $900 million in pretax vaccine profits in the first quarter. The company's vaccine is disproportionately reaching the world's rich – an outcome, so far at least, at odds with its chief executive's pledge to ensure that poorer countries "have the same access as the rest of the world" to a vaccine that is highly effective at preventing Covid-19. As of mid-April, wealthy countries had secured more than 87 percent of the more than 700 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines dispensed worldwide, while poor countries had received only 0.2 percent. Pfizer has kept the profitability of its vaccine sales opaque. The United States, for example, is paying $19.50 for each Pfizer dose. Israel agreed to pay Pfizer about $30 per dose.

Note: If Pfizer is truly concerned about global health, why are they reaping such huge profits when other companies were willing to forgo profits. And why are they not helping the economically disadvantaged countries? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Covid vaccine profits mint 9 new pharma billionaires
2021-05-21, CNN News
Posted: 2022-02-21 19:05:36
https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/21/business/covid-vaccine-billionaires/index.html

Covid-19 vaccines have created at least nine new billionaires after shares in companies producing the shots soared. Topping the list of new billionaires are Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech, which has produced a vaccine with Pfizer (PFE). Both CEOs are now worth around $4 billion, according to an analysis by the People's Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International. Senior executives from China's CanSino Biologics and early investors in Moderna have also become billionaires on paper as shares skyrocketed, partly in expectation of profits earned from Covid vaccines, which also bode well for the companies' future prospects. Moderna's share price has gained more than 700% since February 2020, while BioNTech has surged 600%. CanSino Biologics' stock is up about 440% over the same period. The company's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in China in February. Activists said the wealth generation highlighted the stark inequality that has resulted from the pandemic. The nine new billionaires are worth a combined $19.3 billion. According to the World Health Organization, 87% of vaccine doses have gone to high- or upper middle-income countries, while low income countries have received just 0.2%. In a paper published Friday, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said that vaccinating 60% of the global population by mid-2022 would cost just $50 billion.

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


COVID vaccines are set to be among the most lucrative pharmaceutical products ever
2021-11-24, NPR
Posted: 2022-02-21 19:04:19
https://www.npr.org/2021/11/24/1059041725/covid-vaccines-are-set-to-be-among-...

This year, Pfizer expects to bring in $36 billion from worldwide sales of its COVID-19 vaccine. That would shatter the previous record in annual sales for a single pharmaceutical product - about $20 billion for the anti-inflammatory drug Humira - and make the Pfizer vaccine the bestselling pharmaceutical product ever. Moderna will deliver fewer doses but is still expecting up to $18 billion in sales for the year for its COVID-19 vaccine. Humira, has been ... churning out tens of billions of dollars a year for multiple years on end. And it's not entirely clear that the mRNA vaccines will do that. Just because Pfizer and Moderna are selling billions of doses now doesn't mean that will last forever. The vaccines could work so well they eliminate the need for further boosters, though it's also possible COVID shots could become routine, like flu shots. The uncertainty puts a premium on maximizing sales now. Any vaccine manufacturer is going to realize that there's a risk that they're going to have a very short lifecycle. Moderna got a lot of government funding, offsetting costs and minimizing risks. But the COVID-19 vaccine is its only product on the market. Pfizer, on the other hand, didn't accept early government investment and took on a lot of those upfront costs itself. But it has dozens of other products in its portfolio that it makes and will continue to make once the pandemic ends.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Gen. Butler Bares 'Fascist Plot' To Seize Government by Force
1934-11-21, New York Times
Posted: 2022-01-30 02:17:41
https://www.nytimes.com/1934/11/21/archives/gen-butler-bares-fascist-plot-to-...

A plot of Wall Street interests to overthrow President Roosevelt and establish a Fascist dictatorship, backed by a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers and others, was charged by Major Gen. Smedley D. Butler, retired Marine Corps officer, who appeared yesterday before the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, which began hearings on the charges. [The committee] heard testimony from General Butler and Gerald P. Maguire, a bond salesman in the Stock Exchange firm of Grayson M.P. Murphy & Co., 52 Broadway, named by General Butler as having urged him to head the proposed Fascist army. There were immediate emphatic denials by the purported plotters. From Philadelephia came word that General Butler had told friends there that General Hugh S. Johnson, former NRA administrator, was scheduled for the role of dictator, and that J. P. Morgan & Co. as well as Murphy & Co. were behind the plot.

Note: General Butler, who was greatly loved by his troops, only discovered how he and his troops had been used by Wall Street bankers after retiring from the military. As a result, he wrote a seminal book titled "War is a Racket" for which you can find an excellent summary on this webpage. Explore a suppressed book on this titled "The Plot to Seize the White House." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Major airlines warn of "catastrophic disruption" to travel and shipping from 5G debut set for Wednesday by Verizon and AT&T
2022-01-18, CBS News
Posted: 2022-01-25 14:25:48
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/5g-airlines-disruption-warning-verizon-att/

The chief executives of America's largest airlines warned of a "catastrophic disruption" to travel and shipping operations if telecommunication companies roll out their 5G technology as planned Wednesday without limiting the technology near U.S. airports. On Tuesday, AT&T and Verizon both confirmed to CBS News that they have voluntarily agreed to postpone turning on a limited amount of towers around certain airports. "We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner," an AT&T spokesperson said in a statement, reiterating that the rest of their 5G launch will continue as planned. The executives, writing to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other U.S. government officials, highlighted the risk of "economic calamity" should Verizon and AT&T proceed with deploying the new technology before the necessary upgrades and changes have been made to aviation equipment. "We are writing with urgency to request that 5G be implemented everywhere in the country except within the approximate two miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA on January 19, 2022," the CEOs said in a Monday letter. "To be blunt, the nation's commerce will grind to a halt," they said. The letter was signed by CEOs of major airlines including American, United, Delta and Southwest, as well as the leaders of shipping giants FedEx and UPS.

Note: For powerful evidence there are serious risks to human health with 5g technology, see these major media articles. The former chief of Microsoft Canada has issued an urgent warning on this.


After Year of Vaccine Profiteering, Pfizer Hikes Prices on 125 Drugs
2022-01-13, Common Dreams
Posted: 2022-01-25 14:15:44
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/01/13/after-year-vaccine-profiteering-...

After raking in enormous profits from its coronavirus vaccine in 2021, the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has kicked off the new year by hiking the prices of more than 120 of its drugs, resulting in significantly higher costs for patients amid a deadly pandemic. That's according to a new report released Thursday by Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD), which found that pharmaceutical companies have raised the prices of 554 medicines this month alone. Pfizer led the way with 125 price hikes to start 2022, leading P4AD to label the company the industry's "poster child for greed." "Due to sales of its Covid-19 vaccine, which is set to be the best-selling drug of all time, Pfizer shattered profit records in 2021. Projected sales for 2022 are $54.5 billion–more than double the previous record for one-year sales for a prescription drug," the report notes. "To put this into perspective, AbbVie's Humira previously held the spot with $19.8 billion in sales, and Pfizer's best-selling product just prior to the pandemic achieved worldwide revenues of $5.8 billion." "Despite this record revenue in 2021," the report continues, "Pfizer began 2022 with price hikes on seven of its 10 best-selling drugs," including its pneumonia vaccine (up 6.9%), a breast cancer medication (up 6.9%), and a treatment for people with cardiovascular disease (up 6%). "These hikes of 5% or 6% can translate into thousands of dollars in higher costs for patients," P4AD notes.

Note: See also a Forbes article asking why physicians aren't challenging outrageous pricing for medical costs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


A fed-up judge condemns the inequities in America's legal system
2021-02-19, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-01-18 11:50:39
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/a-fed-up-judge-condemns-the-inequities...

In "Why the Innocent Plead Guilty and the Guilty Go Free: And Other Paradoxes of Our Broken Legal System," [Judge Jed S.] Rakoff reaches far beyond corporate boardrooms to highlight an array of shortcomings within the criminal justice system. His proposed fixes are worthy of consideration but also lay bare a harsh reality: The entrenched interests tolerating the system's inequities and, in some cases, profiting from the status quo pose significant obstacles to reform. Rakoff realized that America's "system of justice is failing its mission" after becoming a federal district court judge a quarter-century ago. What's the nature of this failure? The country imprisons millions of indigent Americans yet routinely allows white-collar criminals to avoid punishment. "To a federal judge," he declares, the government's reluctance to hold executives accountable and instead enter into "cosmetic prosecution agreements" with corporations that are repeatedly violated and unenforced "is disturbing ... in what it says about the DOJ's apparent disregard for equality under the law." Rakoff fittingly cites Pfizer to exemplify his point. The four deferred-prosecution agreements between the pharmaceutical giant and federal authorities from 2002 to 2009 – all devised to prevent future misconduct – failed to stop the company from flouting the law. Through it all, Pfizer's executives went unpunished, and the fines the company paid represented a fraction of its ill-gotten gains.

Note: For a much deeper analysis and discussion of Judge Rakoff's highly revealing book by courageous journalist Matt Taibbi, see this excellent essay. Consider subscribing to Taibbi's excellent work. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the court system and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


The Plot Against American Democracy That Isn't Taught in Schools
2022-01-01, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2022-01-18 11:43:58
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/coup-jan6-fdr-new-dea...

For 33 years and four months [the highly decorated General Smedley] Butler had been a United States Marine. Butler knew what most Americans did not: that in all those years, he and his Marines had destroyed democracies and helped put into power the Hitlers and Mussolinis of Latin America, dictators like the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo and Nicaragua's soon-to-be leader Anastasio Somoza – men who would employ violent repression and their U.S.-created militaries to protect American investments and their own power. He had done so on behalf of moneyed interests like City Bank, J. P. Morgan, and the Wall Street financier Grayson M.P. Murphy. And now a bond salesman, who worked for Murphy, was pitching Butler on a domestic operation that set off the old veteran's alarm bells. The bond salesman was Gerald C. MacGuire. He made his proposal: The Marine would lead half a million veterans in a march on Washington, blending the Croix de Feu's assault on the French legislature with the March on Rome that had put Mussolini's Fascisti in power. They would be financed and armed by some of the most powerful corporations in America – including DuPont, the nation's biggest manufacturer of explosives and synthetic materials. The purpose of the action was to stop Roosevelt's New Deal, the president's program to end the Great Depression, which one of the millionaire du Pont brothers deemed "nothing more or less than the Socialistic doctrine called by another name." Butler recognized this immediately as a coup.

Note: Read a concise summary of the highly decorated US General Butler's important book "War is a Racket." He makes clear that the reason we have so much war has little to do with national security and everything to do with padding the pockets of those in the military-industrial complex. Read more about the fascist plot to take over the US that he uncovered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Companies spent nearly $30 billion in one year marketing medical products to Americans
2019-01-09, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2022-01-03 10:03:10
https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-medical-marketing-money-...

Drug makers and other healthcare companies spent almost $30 billion in a single year to influence the medical choices made by Americans and steer them toward treatments that were newer, vastly more expensive and sometimes riskier than their tried-and-true alternatives, new research shows. The 2016 expenditures paid for TV commercials, sponsorships of patients' groups, promotional meetings for doctors, free drug samples and perks for prescribers. The amount represents a 70% increase since 1997, when drug companies began making direct appeals to American consumers. The study ... offers the most comprehensive accounting of healthcare marketing efforts to date. It traces broad shifts in the media and regulatory environment in which health companies operate, as well as the drugs and services – including erectile dysfunction pills, DNA testing kits and robotic surgery services – they are keen to sell. While lawmakers and regulators have tried to counter the impact of healthcare marketing in recent years, the reforms have had little effect on an industry that accounts for nearly 18% of the country's gross domestic product. The drug industry has increasingly turned to a more indirect approach in its marketing: sponsoring disease-awareness campaigns. Such campaigns, in which a company sponsors ads that do not name a particular medication, rose from 44 in 1997 to 401 in 2016, with an attendant spending increase from $177 million to $430 million.

Note: The pharmaceutical industry provides 75% of television advertising revenue when many countries do not allow drug advertising. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


This Is Your Brain On Drug Ads
2021-09-08, NPR
Posted: 2021-12-27 01:24:10
https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1035147636

British people are [asking]: What is the deal with all of these medicine ads in the U.S.? England doesn't allow commercials for prescription drugs. While there are ads for over-the-counter drugs in most of the world, the U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow drug companies to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers. Commercials for prescription drugs do not exist in Europe or South America or Asia or Africa or Mexico or Australia, just in the U.S. and New Zealand, which is a much smaller market. It wasn't too long ago that TV in the U.S. was like the rest of the world, completely free of prescription drug ads. The '60s, the '70s, most of the '80s, there are no ads like this. By the '80s, though, ... drug companies started saying, we don't want to advertise our drugs just to doctors and pharmacists anymore. We want to market our drugs directly to consumers. The FDA was worried about how commercials would impact demand for drugs - misuse, overuse, all kinds of things. But there were compelling reasons to go directly to consumers. So in 1981, the first direct-to-consumer ad runs in print in Reader's Digest. The FDA [decided television] commercials need to say, out loud, the major risks of a drug. You just had to include the major risks of a drug, along with places where consumers could get more information about the drug, like a phone number or a website or a recommendation just to talk to your doctor. And this is what really opens the TV ad floodgates.

Note: The pharmaceutical industry provides 75% of television advertising revenue in the US. So how likely are TV stations to carry stories that reveal problems with drugs or corruption in the industry? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Investigative journalist wins British Journalism Award for "expertly researched" BMJ series
2021-12-09, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2021-12-27 01:22:33
https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n3052

A journalist writing for The BMJ has won a British Journalism Award for his series on the financial interests of medical experts advising US and UK governments during the covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the articles written by Paul Thacker, an investigative journalist, the financial disclosures of members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were published for the first time. Thacker's first story looked at two groups critical to the UK government's pandemic response–SAGE and the Vaccine Taskforce. He examined both and found that they did not disclose their members' financial conflicts. Some members were tied to companies with a monetary interest in the government's purchases. Thacker ... filed freedom of information (FoI) requests with multiple government departments and Oxford University. In a second story he wrote about the government's repeated refusal to turn over these data. However, the FoI ... revealed that Thacker's original request was apparently sent to a special government department to handle any reporter considered a "campaigner" or to have "extreme views." Eventually, the government relented and published the financial conflicts for the members of SAGE. In the final story of the series Thacker looked at the panels that the US and UK governments used to authorize vaccines and revealed that ... disclosure policies were inadequate. Some experts evaluating the vaccines had significant industry ties that were not disclosed.

Note: Read the full text of Thacker's article titled, "Covid-19: How independent were the US and British vaccine advisory committees?" and another titled "How the case of the Oxford professor exposes a transparency crisis in government." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


These Chemicals Disrupt the Sexual Development of Children - And They're Everywhere
2021-12-07, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-12-27 01:14:56
https://theintercept.com/2021/12/07/epa-dinp-phthalates-child-sexual-developm...

Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. "I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics," she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group's request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano's claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates – an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year – seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.

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


Oil companies' profits soared to $174bn this year as US gas prices rose
2021-12-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-12-20 00:47:39
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/06/oil-companies-profits-exxon-...

The largest oil and gas companies made a combined $174bn in profits in the first nine months of the year as gasoline prices climbed in the US, according to a new report. The bumper profit totals ... show that in the third quarter of 2021 alone, 24 top oil and gas companies made more than $74bn in net income. From January to September, the net income of the group, which includes Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP, was $174bn. Gasoline prices have hit a seven-year high in the US due to the rising cost of oil, with Americans now paying about $3.40 for a gallon of fuel compared with around $2.10 a year ago. The Biden administration has warned the price hikes are hurting low-income people, even as it attempts to implement a climate agenda that would see America move away from fossil fuels, and has released 50m barrels of oil from the national strategic reserve to help dampen costs. But oil and gas companies have shown little willingness so far to ramp up production to help reduce costs and the new report, by the government watchdog group Accountable.US, accuses them of "taking advantage of bloated prices, fleecing American families along the way" amid ongoing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The analysis of major oil companies' financials shows that 11 of the group gave payouts to shareholders worth more than $36.5bn collectively this year, while a dozen bought back $8bn-worth of stock.

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


Ready, Set, Embargo
2018-08-11, New York Times
Posted: 2021-12-12 15:52:07
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/insider/embargoes-reporting.html

When Ron Nixon, The New York Times's homeland security correspondent, got an exclusive story about a top Department of Health and Human Services official admitting the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children, he couldn't publish it right away. It was, without a doubt, the kind of breaking news The Times considers important to delve into quickly and thoroughly. But Mr. Nixon had agreed to an embargo that required him to wait until 10 a.m. on the morning of a congressional hearing about how the agency was keeping track of migrant children to publish his article. Embargoes, set by government agencies, medical journals, theater groups, publishing houses and countless other sources are a common practice in journalism. They entail an agreement between a source and a reporter, or the reporter's publication, that the story will not be published before a given date and time. While it's certainly not a crime to break an embargo, – and in fact, many reporters do so by accident, by misreading a time zone, for example – it comes with consequences. When one news outlet breaks an embargo and hits the publish button, the embargo is lifted for all of the outlets, sometimes instigating a scramble to the finish line. For anyone who breaks an embargo, there's a risk of losing a relationship with a source. Sometimes, the damage is necessary in order to serve readers best. And sometimes ... a reporter may not want to break an embargo. "I try to keep my word," Mr. Nixon said. "That's currency."

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


Guinea Pig Kids
2004-11-19, BBC News
Posted: 2021-12-05 21:50:53
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/this_world/4035345.stm

During a nine month investigation, the BBC has uncovered the disturbing truth about the way authorities in New York City are conducting the fight against Aids. HIV positive children - some only a few months old - are enrolled in toxic experiments without the consent of guardians or relatives. In some cases where parents have refused to give children their medication, they have been placed in care. The city's Administration of Children's Services (ACS) does not even require a court order to place HIV kids with foster parents or in children's homes, where they can continue to give them experimental drugs. In 2002, the Incarnation Children's Center - a children's home in Harlem - was at the hub of controversy over secretive drugs trials. [Reporter Jamie Doran] speaks to a boy who spent most of his life at Incaranation. Medical records, obtained by the This World team, prove the boy had been enrolled in these trials. "I did not want to take my medication," said the boy, "but if you want to get out of there, you have to do what they say." He also conveys a horrifying account of what happened to the children at Incarnation who refused to obey the rules. "My friend Daniel didn't like to take his medicine and he got a tube in his stomach," he said. For months, the BBC tried to get information from the people responsible for the trials, but none would comment. The companies that supply drugs for the trials are among the world's largest, including Britain's own Glaxo SmithKline (GSK).

Note: Read a long list of examples of humans being treated as guinea pigs by corporate and governmental programs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


EPA Withheld Reports of Substantial Risk Posed by 1,200 Chemicals
2021-11-01, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-11-28 20:20:49
https://theintercept.com/2021/11/01/epa-toxic-chemicals-reports-withheld/

The Environmental Protection Agency has withheld information from the public since January 2019 about the dangers posed by more than 1,200 chemicals. By law, companies must give the EPA any evidence they possess that a chemical presents "a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment." Until recently, the agency had been making these reports – known as 8(e) reports, for the section of the Toxic Substances Control Act that requires them – available to the public. But since 2019, the EPA has only posted one of the reports to its public website. During this time, chemical companies have continued to submit the critical studies to the agency, according to two EPA staff members with knowledge of the matter. Since January 2019, the EPA has received at least 1,240 reports documenting the risk of chemicals' serious harms, including eye corrosion, damage to the brain and nervous system, chronic toxicity to honeybees, and cancer in both people and animals. PFAS compounds are among the chemical subjects of these notifications. Not only has the agency kept all but one of these reports from the public, but it has also made them difficult for EPA staff to access, according to the two agency scientists, who are choosing to remain anonymous. The substantial risk reports have not been uploaded to the databases used most often by risk assessors searching for information about chemicals. They have been entered only into an internal database that is difficult to access and search.

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


Synthetic chemical in consumer products linked to early death, study finds
2021-10-12, CNN News
Posted: 2021-11-22 00:08:41
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/12/health/plastic-chemical-early-death-wellness/i...

Synthetic chemicals called phthalates, found in hundreds of consumer products such as food storage containers, shampoo, makeup, perfume and children's toys, may contribute to some 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths a year among people ages 55 to 64 in the United States, a new study found. People with the highest levels of phthalates had a greater risk of death from any cause, especially cardiovascular mortality, according to the study published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution. Phthalates are known to interfere with the body's mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and they are "linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems," according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Even small hormonal disruptions can cause "significant developmental and biological effects," the NIEHS states. Prior research has connected phthalates with reproductive problems, such as genital malformations and undescended testes in baby boys and lower sperm counts and testosterone levels in adult males. Often called "everywhere chemicals" because they are so common, phthalates are added to consumer products such as PVC plumbing, vinyl flooring, rain- and stain-resistant products, medical tubing, garden hoses, and some children's toys. Other common exposures come from the use of phthalates in food packaging, detergents, clothing, furniture and automotive plastics.

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


Billions Hidden Beyond Reach
2021-10-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-11-14 16:41:11
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2021/pandora-papers-offsh...

A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and – in 14 cases involving current country leaders – citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities.

Note: Some have suggested that the CIA was responsible for the earlier Panama Papers leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


World's Leading ICU Doctor Files Lawsuit Against Hospital System After Being Barred from Administering Proven COVID-19 Treatments
2021-11-10, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2021-11-14 16:38:54
https://www.yahoo.com/now/flccc-tells-children-health-defense-144600640.html

Paul Marik, MD, one of the most highly published critical care physicians in the world and the Director of the ICU at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, was recently told by Sentara Healthcare that he could no longer administer a range of highly effective COVID-19 treatments to critically ill patients - the same treatments he has successfully used to reduce COVID deaths in the ICU by as much as 50%. The result of the prohibition has been a sharp increase in patient mortality. Because Dr. Marik can no longer stand by while patients needlessly die without proper treatment, he has filed a lawsuit to allow him and his colleagues to administer the combination of FDA-approved drugs and other therapies that has saved thousands of critically ill COVID-19 patients in the last 18 months. The Complaint filed today in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk, Virginia states that Sentara Healthcare is "preventing terminally ill COVID patients from exercising their right to choose and to receive safe, potentially life-saving treatment determined to be appropriate for them by their attending physician." Under Virginia law, every patient has the right to receive treatment deemed appropriate for them by their attending physician, and terminally ill patients have the right to try investigational medicines that their treating physician recommends. Through its arbitrary prohibition of the COVID-19 treatment protocol ... Sentara is violating the law and unjustly depriving critically ill patients of lifesaving treatment.

Note: Watch a video detailing successes with these treatments and obstruction by authorities of these life-saving treatments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Demoralized F.D.A. Struggles to Cope
1977-03-14, New York Times
Posted: 2021-11-14 16:21:28
https://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/14/archives/demoralized-fda-struggles-to-cope...

In just a decade the Food and Drug Administration has evolved from amorphous obscurity deep within the capital bureaucracy into both the world's paramount regulator of consumer goods and the Federal Government's most criticized, demoralized and fractionalized agency. With the agency's ban on saccharin, it is again at a storm center of complaints from consumer groups that the action was too long delayed and from diet food interests that the step was capricious and without scientific justification. But the agency, a bureaucratic waif that is responsible for overseeing a staggering $200 billion worth of products yearly, is not only whipsawed by the public controversy, it is so demoralized that a number of its top positions long go unfilled, so burdened that it cannot keep up with the explosion of consumer goods and so battered by lawsuits and outside pressures that its power to make its decisions stick is sometimes undermined. In just the last three years the agency has been the target of more than 100 Congressional investigations, 50 highly critical reports by the General Accounting Office and a series of internal inquiries despairing of ever setting the place right. After his departure as Commissioner of the agency in 1969, Dr. Herbert E. Ley said that "what the F.D.A. is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day." He complained further that during his 18 month tenure he had been under "constant, tremendous, sometimes unmerciful pressure" from drug industry officials.

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


Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer's vaccine trial
2021-11-02, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2021-11-07 15:35:34
https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635

In autumn 2020 Pfizer's chairman and chief executive, Albert Bourla, released an open letter to the billions of people around the world who were investing their hopes in a safe and effective covid-19 vaccine to end the pandemic. "As I've said before, we are operating at the speed of science," Bourla wrote, explaining to the public when they could expect a Pfizer vaccine to be authorised in the United States. But, for researchers who were testing Pfizer's vaccine at several sites in Texas during that autumn, speed may have come at the cost of data integrity and patient safety. A regional director who was employed at the research organisation Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer's pivotal phase III trial. Staff who conducted quality control checks were overwhelmed by the volume of problems they were finding. After repeatedly notifying Ventavia of these problems, the regional director, Brook Jackson, emailed a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ventavia fired her later the same day. Jackson has provided The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails. Jackson has told The BMJ that, during the two weeks she was employed at Ventavia in September 2020, she repeatedly informed her superiors of poor laboratory management, patient safety concerns, and data integrity issues.

Note: Yet every major media proudly announces "brought to you by Pfizer." Learn about Brianne Dressen, Ph.D., a volunteer for early COVID vaccines clinical trials who ended up with serious adverse effects the evening of the shot and was later hospitalized, yet then the study sponsors did not follow up with her. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Twitter slammed for fact-checking Seattle mom's obituary that mentioned COVID vaccine
2021-10-04, New York Post
Posted: 2021-11-07 15:24:29
https://nypost.com/2021/10/04/twitter-criticized-for-fact-checking-seattle-mo...

Twitter has been slammed for fact-checking the obituary of a Seattle mother that attributed her death to blood clots brought on by the COVID-19 vaccine after she was forced to get the shot due to "heavy-handed" state mandates. The online obituary for 37-year-old Jessica Berg Wilson, who died Sept. 7, was marked as "misleading" by the social media giant over the weekend. The fact-check warning was removed by Twitter on Monday morning following the backlash. The tribute ... said the mother of two died from "COVID-19 Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia" – a rare blood disorder that can occur in some cases after the vaccine. Wilson had been "vehemently opposed" to getting the vaccine because she was in good health, but she eventually relented after Washington state made it mandatory for teachers and those wanting to volunteer in schools, her obituary said. "During the last weeks of her life, however, the world turned dark with heavy-handed vaccine mandates. Local and state governments were determined to strip away her right to consult her wisdom and enjoy her freedom." The social media giant fact-checked the obituary after it was shared by Twitter user Kelly Bee alongside a tweet that read: "Jessica Berg Wilson, an 'exceptionally healthy and vibrant 37-year-old young mother with no underlying health conditions,' passed away from COVID Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia. She did not want to get vaccinated."

Note: Learn lots more about this tragedy in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles coronavirus vaccines and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Merck wants Americans to pay $712 for a Covid drug that taxpayers helped develop
2021-10-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-10-24 18:19:50
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/14/merck-drug-prices-us-he...

Merck is planning to charge Americans 40 times its cost for a Covid drug whose development was subsidized by the American government. Americans are facing not merely expensive drugs but prices that are examples of outright profiteering. In many cases, the medicines we are being gouged on are those that we the public already paid for. These facts show us that pharma-bankrolled Democrats trying to kill drug pricing measures aren't just bought and paid for in this particular skirmish – they are foot soldiers in the pharmaceutical industry's larger multi-decade campaign to seal off and rig America's alleged "free market". A new Public Citizen analysis shows that the 20 top-selling medicines generated almost twice as much pharmaceutical industry revenue in the United States as in every other country combined. For all the pharmaceutical industry's self-congratulatory rhetoric about its own innovations, the federal government uses your tax dollars to fund a lot of that innovation, research and development. A study from the National Academy of Sciences tells that story: the federal government spent $100bn to subsidize the research on every single one of the 200-plus drugs approved for sale in the United States between 2010 and 2016. We now routinely face immoral situations like last week's news that pharmaceutical giant Merck is planning to charge Americans $712 for a Covid drug that cost only $17.74 to produce and whose development was subsidized by the American government.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Drug Industry Hires its Former Critics as Lobbyists Against Medicare Price Negotiations
2021-10-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-10-24 18:18:23
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/13/medicare-drug-lobbying-former-democratic-...

The popular, once bipartisan idea to hold down Medicare costs is now at the center of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda. Legislation backed by the administration calls for Medicare to mirror other government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, in being able to negotiate for cheaper medicine through the Part D program. The idea could potentially save the government nearly $500 billion over a decade. The drug pricing proposal could also translate to lower prescription costs across the board. The drug industry, according to its top lobbyist, Stephen Ubl, has made defeating the provision its top priority. Inside the Beltway, the opposition is coming from familiar faces. Many leading Democratic lawmakers and staff have been hired by the drug industry to convince their former colleagues to abandon the drug pricing proposal. Pfizer alone has assembled a lobbying team that includes Dean Aguillen, a former adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Remy Brim, a former health policy adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and over half a dozen aides to senior Senate Democrats. Ann Jablon, former chief of staff to Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass. ... currently represents several drug companies as a lobbyist, including Amgen Inc., Astellas Pharma, and Bayer. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the trade group that represents the largest drug companies in the world, has also gone on a hiring spree of Democratic lobbyists.

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


Revealed: Facebook's Secret Blacklist of "Dangerous Individuals and Organizations
2021-10-12, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-10-24 18:16:44
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/12/facebook-secret-blacklist-dangerous/

To ward off accusations that it helps terrorists spread propaganda, Facebook has for many years barred users from speaking freely about people and groups it says promote violence. The restrictions appear to trace back to 2012, when ... Facebook added to its Community Standards a ban on "organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity." This modest rule has since ballooned into what's known as the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, a sweeping set of restrictions on what Facebook's nearly 3 billion users can say about an enormous and ever-growing roster of entities deemed beyond the pale. But as with other attempts to limit personal freedoms in the name of counterterrorism, Facebook's DIO policy has become an unaccountable system that disproportionately punishes certain communities, critics say. It is built atop a blacklist of over 4,000 people and groups, including politicians, writers, charities, hospitals, hundreds of music acts, and long-dead historical figures. A range of legal scholars and civil libertarians have called on the company to publish the list so that users know when they are in danger of having a post deleted or their account suspended for praising someone on it. The company has repeatedly refused to do so, claiming it would endanger employees and permit banned entities to circumvent the policy. The Intercept has reviewed a snapshot of the full DIO list and is today publishing a reproduction of the material in its entirety.

Note: Facebook was found to be the number one platform for political disinformation campaigns in 2019. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


Facebook whistleblower says company incentivizes "angry, polarizing, divisive content"
2021-10-04, CBS News
Posted: 2021-10-11 15:57:13
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen-60-minutes...

Frances Haugen spent 15 years working for some of the largest social media companies in the world including Google, Pinterest, and until May, Facebook. Haugen quit Facebook on her own accord and left with thousands of pages of internal research and communications that she shared with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 60 Minutes obtained the documents from a Congressional source. On Sunday, in her first interview, Haugen told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley about what she called "systemic" problems with the platform's ranking algorithm that led to the amplification of "angry content" and divisiveness. Evidence of that, she said, is in the company's own internal research. Haugen said Facebook changed its algorithm in 2018 to promote "what it calls meaningful social interactions" through "engagement-based rankings." She explained that content that gets engaged with – such as reactions, comments, and shares – gets wider distribution. "Political parties have been quoted, in Facebook's own research, saying, we know you changed how you pick out the content that goes in the home feed," said Haugen. "And now if we don't publish angry, hateful, polarizing, divisive content, crickets." "We have no independent transparency mechanisms," Haugen [said]. "Facebook ... picks metrics that are in its own benefit. And the consequence is they can say we get 94% of hate speech and then their internal documents say we get 3% to 5% of hate speech. We can't govern that."

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


Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed
2021-10-03, BBC News
Posted: 2021-10-11 15:55:19
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58780465

The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.

Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Merck Sells Federally Financed COVID Pill to U.S. for 40 Times What it Costs to Make
2021-10-05, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-10-11 15:50:10
https://theintercept.com/2021/10/05/covid-pill-drug-pricing-merck-ridgeback/

A five-day course of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a "huge advance" in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King's College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price. Like the vast majority of medicines on the market, molnupiravir – which was originally investigated as a possible treatment for Venezuelan equine encephalitis – was developed using government funds. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a division of the Department of Defense, provided more than $10 million of funding in 2013 and 2015 to Emory University, as research done by the nonprofit Knowledge Ecology International has revealed. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, also provided Emory with more than $19 million in additional grants. Yet only Merck and Ridgeback will reap the profits from the new antiviral, which ... could bring in as much as $7 billion by the end of this year. After the announcement of the encouraging clinical trial results on Friday, Merck's stock price climbed. Good government advocates are pointing out that because federal agencies spent at least $29 million on the drug's development, the government has the obligation to ensure that the medicine is affordable.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


YouTube is banning prominent anti-vaccine activists and blocking all anti-vaccine content
2021-09-29, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-10-04 21:50:00
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/29/youtube-ban-joseph-mercola/

YouTube is taking down several video channels associated with high-profile anti-vaccine activists including Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who experts say are partially responsible for helping seed the skepticism that's contributed to slowing vaccination rates across the country. As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous. Mercola, an alternative medicine entrepreneur, and Kennedy, a lawyer and the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy who has been a face of the anti-vaccine movement for years, have both said in the past that they are not automatically against all vaccines, but believe information about the risks of vaccines is being suppressed. Facebook banned misinformation on all vaccines seven months ago, though the pages of both Mercola and Kennedy remain up on the social media site. Their Twitter accounts are active, too. In an email, Mercola said he was being censored. Kennedy also said he was being censored. "There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy has advanced either democracy or public health," he said in an email. Social media companies have hired thousands of moderators and used high-tech image- and text-recognition algorithms to try to police misinformation. YouTube has removed over 133,000 videos for broadcasting coronavirus misinformation.

Note: Listen to first hand tragic stories of those who died or were seriously injured by COVID injections. Read one woman's harrowing story of suffering severe side effects from the Pfizer injection only to have her story suppressed even though she supports vaccines in general. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and media corruption from reliable sources.


Facebook keeps researching its own harms – and burying the findings
2021-09-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-09-27 01:27:50
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/09/16/facebook-files-internal-...

Facebook knew that teen girls on Instagram reported in large numbers that the app was hurting their body image and mental health. It knew that its content moderation systems suffered from an indefensible double standard in which celebrities were treated far differently than the average user. It knew that a 2018 change to its news feed software, intended to promote "meaningful interactions," ended up promoting outrageous and divisive political content. Facebook knew all of those things because they were findings from its own internal research teams. But it didn't tell anyone. In some cases, its executives even made public statements at odds with the findings. The world's largest social network employs teams of people to study its own ugly underbelly, only to ignore, downplay and suppress the results of their research when it proves awkward or troubling. A pattern has emerged in which findings that implicate core Facebook features or systems, or which would require costly or politically dicey interventions, are reportedly brushed aside by top executives, and come out only when leaked to the media by frustrated employees or former employees. For instance, the New York Times reported in 2018 that Facebook's security team had uncovered evidence of Russian interference ahead of the 2016 U.S. election, but that Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Vice President of Global Public Policy Joel Kaplan had opted to keep it secret for fear of the political fallout.

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


The end of the world as we know it
2007-09-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-09-20 00:40:07
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/sep/15/politics

Many writers have pointed to the havoc and ruin that have accompanied the imposition of free markets across the world. Whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America or post-communist Europe, policies of wholesale privatisation and structural adjustment have led to declining economic activity and social dislocation on a massive scale. Anyone who has watched a country lurch from one crisis to another as the bureaucrats of the IMF impose cut after cut in pursuit of the holy grail of stabilisation will recognise the process Naomi Klein describes in her latest and most important book to date. As Klein sees it, the social breakdowns that have accompanied neo-liberal economic policies are not the result of incompetence or mismanagement. They are integral to the free-market project, which can only advance against a background of disasters. There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books. Ranging across the world, Klein exposes the strikingly similar policies that enabled the imposition of free markets in countries as different as Pinochet's Chile, Yeltsin's Russia, China and post-Saddam Iraq. But has the free market experiment failed? As Klein sees it, free market shock therapy may actually have succeeded in achieving its true objectives. Post-invasion Iraq may be "a ghoulish dystopia where going to a simple business meeting could get you lynched, burned alive or beheaded". Even so, Klein points out, Halliburton is making handsome profits.

Note: Read more from Naomi Klein about disaster profiteering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Democrats Who Joined Republicans to Increase Military Budget Have Strong Defense Ties
2021-09-03, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-09-13 20:44:23
https://theintercept.com/2021/09/03/democrats-defense-industry-military-budget/

Just two days after the U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan, more than a dozen Democrats with strong ties to the military establishment defied President Joe Biden and voted to add nearly $24 billion to the defense budget for fiscal year 2022. On Wednesday, 14 Democrats joined 28 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to adopt an amendment from Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., to the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would boost Biden's $715 billion spending proposal to $738.9 billion. The move follows the Senate Armed Services Committee's vote to similarly raise the top line to more than $740 billion in its July markup of the bill. Many of the Democrats who voted for the $24 billion increase have close ties to the defense establishment. Their districts are home to job-promoting manufacturing sites and military bases. Many of the Democrats have also received generous campaign donations from contractors. In fact, Federal Election Commission data shows that in the first six months of this year, the 14 Democrats collectively received at least $135,000 from PACs representing the country's top 10 defense vendors: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, L3Harris, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Leidos, Honeywell, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

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


The Sacklers, Who Made Billions From OxyContin, Win Immunity From Opioid Lawsuits
2021-09-01, NPR
Posted: 2021-09-06 02:34:53
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1031053251/sackler-family-immunity-purdue-phar...

Members of the Sackler family who are at the center of the nation's deadly opioid crisis have won sweeping immunity from opioid lawsuits linked to their privately owned company Purdue Pharma and its OxyContin medication. Federal Judge Robert Drain approved a bankruptcy settlement on Wednesday that grants the Sacklers "global peace" from any liability for the opioid epidemic. "This is a bitter result," Drain said. "I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties have liability for those [opioid OxyContin] claims. ... I would have expected a higher settlement." The complex bankruptcy plan ... grants "releases" from liability for harm caused by OxyContin and other opioids to the Sacklers, hundreds of their associates, as well as their remaining empire of companies and trusts. In return, they have agreed to pay roughly $4.3 billion, while also forfeiting ownership of Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers, who admit no wrongdoing and who by their own reckoning earned more than $10 billion from opioid sales, will remain one of the wealthiest families in the world. Critics of this bankruptcy settlement, meanwhile, said they would challenge Drain's confirmation because of the liability releases for the Sacklers. "This order is insulting to victims of the opioid epidemic who had no voice in these proceedings," said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The Department of Justice urged Drain to reject the settlement. Attorneys general for nine states and the District of Columbia also opposed the plan.

Note: Purdue Pharma spent $1.2 million on lobbying just before making this deal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Snopes Retracts 60 Articles Plagiarized by Co-Founder
2021-08-13, New York Times
Posted: 2021-08-22 22:15:45
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/business/media/snopes-plagiarism-David-Mik...

Snopes, which has long presented itself as the internet's premier fact-checking resource, has retracted 60 articles after a BuzzFeed News investigation found that the site's co-founder plagiarized from news outlets as part of a strategy intended to scoop up web traffic. "As you can imagine, our staff are gutted and appalled by this," Vinny Green, the Snopes chief operating officer, said. He said the Snopes editorial team was conducting a review to understand just how many articles written by David Mikkelson, the site's co-founder and chief executive, featured content plagiarized from other news sites. As of Friday afternoon, the team had found 60, he said. By Friday morning, dozens of articles had been removed from the site, with pages that formerly featured those articles now showing the word "retracted" and an explanation that "some or all of its content was taken from other sources without proper attribution." Mr. Mikkelson, who owns 50 percent of Snopes Media Group, will continue to be Snopes's chief executive, but his ability to publish articles has been revoked, Mr. Green said. In a statement, Mr. Mikkelson acknowledged he had engaged in "multiple serious copyright violations of content that Snopes didn't have rights to use." From 2015 to 2019 – under the Snopes byline, his own name and another pseudonym – Mr. Mikkelson published dozens of articles that included language that appeared to have been copied directly from The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, the BBC and other news sources.

Note: There are many serious questions about the biases of Snopes and some of their unscrupulous tactics, as is covered in this Forbes article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption from reliable sources.


As Purdue Pharma Sought Controversial Bankruptcy Settlement, It Spent Over $1.2 Million on Lobbying
2021-08-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-08-22 22:06:18
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/13/purdue-pharma-sackler-bankruptcy-lobbying/

As Purdue Pharma seeks approval for a controversial bankruptcy settlement, it has retained the services of highly compensated lobbying firms Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Capitol Hill Consulting Group. At the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy trial that began Thursday, Judge Robert Drain is widely expected to approve a proposed settlement of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy that would release members of the billionaire Sackler family, the company's owners, from all current and future opioid-related civil claims. In the year and a half leading up to the trial, Purdue spent at least $1.2 million on federal lobbying expenses as it worked toward the settlement, an Intercept review of lobbying records shows. If the settlement is approved, the Sacklers will be making a contribution of $4.28 billion, which will leave them with over $6 billion at minimum in total assets – money that will be effectively untouchable by opioid crisis victims, even though it is Purdue going bankrupt, not the Sacklers. "This whole bankruptcy was the Sacklers trying to buy immunity," said activist Ed Bisch, who lost his son to an OxyContin overdose in 2001 and is a claimant and active opponent of the settlement. "The only question was what would be the price." Among the lobbyists paid by Purdue Pharma – maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin – since it filed for bankruptcy reorganization in September 2019 are politically connected Brownstein Hyatt, which received $480,000, and Capitol Hill Consulting Group, which got $300,000.

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


Revealed: the true extent of America's food monopolies, and who pays the price
2021-07-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-08-16 00:15:52
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/jul/14/food-monop...

A handful of powerful companies control the majority market share of almost 80% of dozens of grocery items bought regularly by ordinary Americans, new analysis reveals. A joint investigation by the Guardian and Food and Water Watch found that consumer choice is largely an illusion – despite supermarket shelves and fridges brimming with different brands. In fact, a few powerful transnational companies dominate every link of the food supply chain: from seeds and fertilizers to slaughterhouses and supermarkets to cereals and beers. The size, power and profits of these mega companies have expanded thanks to political lobbying and weak regulation which enabled a wave of unchecked mergers and acquisitions. The size and influence of these mega-companies enables them to largely dictate what America's 2 million farmers grow and how much they are paid, as well as what consumers eat and how much our groceries cost. It also means those who harvest, pack and sell us our food have the least power: at least half of the 10 lowest-paid jobs are in the food industry. Farms and meat processing plants are among the most dangerous and exploitative workplaces in the country. Overall, only 15 cents of every dollar we spend in the supermarket goes to farmers. The rest goes to processing and marketing our food. Less competition among agribusinesses means higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. Just four companies – Walmart, Costco, Kroger and Ahold Delhaize – control 65% of the retail market.

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


The Untold Story of Purdue Pharma's Cozy Relationship With the American Medical Association
2021-08-05, Mother Jones
Posted: 2021-08-16 00:06:38
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/08/purdue-pharma-american-medical-a...

The American Medical Association's new training on pain management arrived in the midst of a burgeoning crisis. It was September 2007, and doctors were prescribing enough opioid painkillers each year for every American adult to have a bottle of the addictive pills. Overdoses were at a historic high and showed no signs of slowing down. Just four months earlier, executives at Purdue Pharma had pleaded guilty to felony charges for misleading regulators and physicians about the dangers of OxyContin. In light of this news, one might have expected the AMA ... to bring attention to the crisis in its newly updated continuing education course on how to treat pain. Instead, the 12-module training suggested that doctors were still too tentative about prescribing narcotics. "The effectiveness of opioid therapy may be undermined by misconceptions about their risks, particularly risks associated with abuse and addiction," read materials from one session. Down in the fine print, the AMA-branded course materials reveal that the training's development and distribution was made possible by an educational grant from Purdue Pharma. By now, the story of how Purdue Pharma sowed the seeds for the overdose crisis is the stuff of history books. But the years of Purdue's involvement with the AMA have been strangely absent from that narrative. Between 2002 and 2018, the AMA and the organization's philanthropic arm, the AMA Foundation, received more than $3 million from Purdue Pharma.

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


Vaccine monopolies make cost of vaccinating the world against COVID at least 5 times more expensive than it could be
2021-07-29, Oxfam
Posted: 2021-08-08 17:50:32
https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/vaccine-monopolies-make-cost-vaccinat...

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren't profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from The People's Vaccine Alliance said today. New analysis by the Alliance shows that the firms Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are charging governments as much as $41 billion above the estimated cost of production. Colombia, for example, has potentially overpaid by as much as $375 million for its doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, in comparison to the estimated cost price. Despite a rapid rise in COVID cases and deaths across the developing world, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have sold over 90 percent of their vaccines so far to rich countries, charging up to 24 times the potential cost of production. Neither company have agreed to fully transfer vaccine technology and know-how with any capable producers in developing countries, a move that could increase global supply, drive down prices and save millions of lives. Analysis of production techniques for the leading mRNA type vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna ―which were only developed thanks to public funding to the tune of $8.3 billion― suggest these vaccines could be made for as little as $1.20 a dose. Yet COVAX, the scheme set up to help countries get access to COVID vaccines, has been paying, on average, nearly five times more.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Huge data leak shatters the lie that the innocent need not fear surveillance
2021-07-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-08-08 17:48:03
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jul/18/huge-data-leak-shatters-lie-inno...

Few pause to think that their phones can be transformed into surveillance devices, with someone thousands of miles away silently extracting their messages, photos and location, activating their microphone to record them in real time. Such are the capabilities of Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by NSO Group, the Israeli purveyor of weapons of mass surveillance. The Guardian will be revealing the identities of many innocent people who have been identified as candidates for possible surveillance by NSO clients in a massive leak of data. Without forensics on their devices, we cannot know whether governments successfully targeted these people. But the presence of their names on this list indicates the lengths to which governments may go to spy on critics, rivals and opponents. Journalists across the world were selected as potential targets by these clients prior to a possible hack using NSO surveillance tools. People whose phone numbers appear in the leak ... include lawyers, human rights defenders, religious figures, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, senior government officials and heads of state. One phone that has contained signs of Pegasus activity belonged to our esteemed Mexican colleague Carmen Aristegui, whose number was in the data leak and who was targeted following her exposÄ‚© of a corruption scandal involving her country's former president Enrique PeÄ‚±a Nieto. At least four of her journalist colleagues appear in the leak

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


J&J exploring putting talc liabilities into new business that would file for bankruptcy
2021-07-18, CNBC News
Posted: 2021-08-01 18:02:33
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/18/jj-exploring-putting-talc-liabilities-into-ba...

Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection. During settlement discussions, one of the health-care conglomerate's attorneys has told plaintiffs' lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand. Plaintiffs' lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step. J&J faces legal actions from tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging its Baby Powder and other talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. The plaintiffs include women suffering from ovarian cancer and others battling mesothelioma. Should J&J proceed, plaintiffs who have not settled could find themselves in protracted bankruptcy proceedings with a likely much smaller company. Future payouts to plaintiffs would be dependent on how J&J decides to fund the entity housing its talc liabilities. J&J is now considering using Texas's "divisive merger" law, which allows a company to split into at least two entities. For J&J, that could create a new entity housing talc liabilities that would then file for bankruptcy to halt litigation. The maneuver is known among legal experts as a Texas two-step bankruptcy. A 2018 Reuters investigation found J&J knew for decades that asbestos, a known carcinogen, lurked in its Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products.

Note: Can we trust this company with vaccines? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


We got the bill for having a baby – $37,000. Welcome to life in America
2021-07-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-08-01 17:58:22
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/17/baby-got-bills-week-in-...

Last week the hospital bill finally came. The cost of an uncomplicated vaginal birth? $37,617.69. The bulk of the charge was for three nights' "room and board" in a semi-private room (containing two beds separated by a curtain) which was $10,350 a night. Our health insurance covers about $31,000 – leaving us with a balance of around $6,000. Although, of course, that doesn't make the ridiculously high prices OK. We're still covering the costs indirectly via our enormous insurance premiums which, we were recently informed by Oxford Health, part of UnitedHealth Group, are going to go up by 16% next year. The UnitedHealth Group's chief executive made over $50m in salary, bonus and stock option compensation in 2019. It's not just the extortionate prices in America's health system that are problematic. It's the lack of transparency. My partner called our insurance company multiple times before the birth to try to find out how much we would expect to pay. We were told on each occasion that we wouldn't have to pay anything. Which was obviously baloney. America's healthcare system isn't just a nightmare to navigate – it's inefficient and inequitable. The US may spend more on healthcare as a share of the economy than any other developed country, but it also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world and maternal deaths have been increasing since 2000. And Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

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


Pfizer Hikes 2021 Outlook After Vaccine Boosts Sales, Profit
2021-07-28, U.S. News & World Report
Posted: 2021-08-01 17:56:26
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2021-07-28/pfizer-r...

Strong sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and other medicines helped Pfizer nearly double its second-quarter revenue and boost its profit an impressive 59%, beating Wall Street expectations and leading the drug giant to sharply hike its 2021 sales and profit forecasts. Amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccine became Pfizer's top seller, bringing in nearly half its revenue – $7.84 billion from direct sales and revenue split with its partner, Germany's BioNTech. Pfizer now anticipates revenue from the two-dose vaccine this year to reach $33.5 billion for the 2.1 billion doses it's contracted to provide by year end. That doesn't include a contract struck last week to provide an additional 200 million doses to the U.S. The New York company on Wednesday disclosed that ongoing testing of a booster shot, given six months after the second vaccine dose, showed it raised antibody levels against the more-transmissible Delta variant to 11 times higher in older people and five times higher in younger people, compared to levels after two doses. Pfizer has delivered more than 1 billion doses of the vaccine globally and expects to make 3 billion doses this year, with many more going to low- and middle-income countries from now through year's end. Most doses of all the COVID-19 vaccines produced in Europe and the U.S. so far have gone to wealthy countries.

Note: When public health is at stake, should private companies be making huge profits like this? Read more in this information article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Fat Cats on a Hot Tin Roof
2021-06-12, New York Times
Posted: 2021-07-26 15:54:33
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/12/opinion/billionaires-taxes.html

ProPublica cracked open the vault on America's biggest tax grifters, revealing how the Midas men dip, dodge and duck, paying pennies on the dollar, if that, while we suckers have to pony up. How rich. "In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world's richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes," ProPublica reported. "He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes. "Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row." "Taken together," ProPublica concluded, "it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The I.R.S. records show that the wealthiest can – perfectly legally – pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year." ProPublica shed light on the fact that "the superrich earn virtually all their wealth from the constantly rising value of their assets, particularly in the stock market, and that the sales of those assets are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income from a paycheck." And while the value of those assets grows by the billion, untaxed, these rich folks can borrow against them.

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


130 nations agree to support U.S. proposal for global minimum tax on corporations
2021-07-01, CNBC News
Posted: 2021-07-26 15:52:51
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/01/nations-agree-to-support-us-proposal-for-glob...

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Thursday that a group of 130 nations has agreed to a global minimum tax on corporations, part of a broader agreement to overhaul international tax rules. If widely enacted, the GMT would effectively end the practice of global corporations seeking out low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and the British Virgin Islands to move their headquarters to, even though their customers, operations and executives are located elsewhere. "For decades, the United States has participated in a self-defeating international tax competition, lowering our corporate tax rates only to watch other nations lower theirs in response. The result was a global race to the bottom: Who could lower their corporate rate further and faster? No nation has won this race," said Yellen in a statement on the accord. "Today's agreement by 130 countries representing more than 90 percent of global GDP is a clear sign: the race to the bottom is one step closer to coming to an end," Yellen said. The deal also reportedly includes a framework to eliminate digital services taxes, which targeted the biggest American tech companies. In their place, officials agreed to a new tax plan that would be linked to the places where multinationals are actually doing business, rather than where they are headquartered. The groundwork for adopting a GMT has already been laid by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which released a blueprint ... outlining a two-pillar approach to international taxation.

Note: The most profitable companies sometimes pay no US taxes at all. A recent ProPublica investigation revealed that American billionaires also pay almost nothing in taxes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office
2021-07-02, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-07-19 15:05:56
https://theintercept.com/2021/07/02/epa-chemical-safety-corruption-whistleblo...

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

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


How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America
2021-06-30, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-07-11 20:08:31
https://theintercept.com/2021/06/30/epa-pesticides-exposure-opp/

Interviews with more than two dozen experts on pesticide regulation – including 14 who worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, or OPP – described a federal environmental agency that is often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many former EPA scientists once they leave the agency. The enormous corporate influence has weakened and, in some cases, shut down the meaningful regulation of pesticides in the U.S. and left the country's residents exposed to levels of dangerous chemicals not tolerated in many other nations. This reporting has brought to light several instances in which the overlooking, burying, or scuttling of science has had direct consequences for human health. The alarming discoveries include an EPA report warning about the link between the pesticide glyphosate and cancer that never saw the light of day; the failure to consider evidence that a neonicotinoid pesticide causes brain damage; the refusal to investigate evidence that another pesticide that is an ingredient in Roundup may cause cancer ... and the agency's waiving of the vast majority of toxicity tests at the request of industry. The scientists who have identified these hazards described immense pressure from within the agency to overlook the risks they found. And several said they faced retribution for calling attention to the dangers of pesticides.

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


Hospitals Have Started Posting Their Prices Online. Here's What They Reveal
2021-07-02, NPR
Posted: 2021-07-11 20:06:40
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/07/02/1012317032/hospitals-hav...

A colonoscopy might cost you or your insurer a few hundred dollars – or several thousand, depending on which hospital or insurer you use. Long hidden, such price variations are supposed to be available in stark black and white under a Trump administration price transparency rule that took effect at the start of this year. It requires hospitals to post a range of actual prices – everything from the rates they offer cash-paying customers to costs negotiated with insurers. While imperfect and potentially of limited use right now to the average consumer, the disclosures that are available illustrate the huge differences in prices – nationally, regionally and within the same hospital. Prices are all over the map. In Virginia, for example, the average price of a diagnostic colonoscopy is $2,763, but the range across the state is from $208 to $10,563. Patients can try to find the price information themselves by searching hospital websites, but even locating the correct tab on a hospital's website is tricky. But if you do want to try, here's one tip: "You can Google the hospital name and the words 'price transparency' and see where that takes you," says Caitlin Sheetz, director and head of analytics at the consulting firm ADVI Health. When it comes to compliance, "we're seeing the range of the spectrum," says Jeffrey Leibach, a partner at the consulting firm Guidehouse, which found earlier this year that about 60% of 1,000 hospitals surveyed had posted at least some data, but 30% had reported nothing at all.

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


Lawmaker Threatens to Subpoena Exxon After Secret Video
2021-07-02, New York Times
Posted: 2021-07-11 19:55:04
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/02/climate/congress-exxon-climate-change.html

The chairman of a House subcommittee is demanding that executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell, Chevron and other major oil and gas companies testify before Congress about the industry's decades-long effort to wage disinformation campaigns around climate change. Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, said Friday he was prepared to use subpoena power to compel the companies to appear before lawmakers if they don't do so voluntarily. The move comes a day after a secretive video recording was made public in which a senior Exxon lobbyist said the energy giant had fought climate science through "shadow groups" and had targeted influential senators in an effort to weaken President Biden's climate agenda. "The video was appalling," Mr. Khanna said in an interview on Friday. He called it the latest evidence of the fossil fuel industry's efforts to "engage in climate denialism and to manipulate public opinion and to exert undue influence in shaping policy in Congress." Mr. Khanna said the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Environment, which he chairs, will issue letters next week to top executives at Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and other oil and gas companies and trade groups demanding documents and testimony. One major target of the panel's inquiry are dark money groups that have been funded by fossil fuel companies to disseminate falsehoods about climate science and policy solutions. The hearing is expected to be held in the fall.

Note: Learn more in this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and climate change from reliable major media sources.


Facebook's Secret Rules About the Word "Zionist" Impede Criticism of Israel
2021-05-14, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-06-21 14:59:43
https://theintercept.com/2021/05/14/facebook-israel-zionist-moderation/

Facebook's secret internal rules for moderating the term "Zionist" let the social network [to] suppress criticism of Israel amid an ongoing wave of Israeli abuses and violence, according to people who reviewed the policies. The rules appear to have been in place since 2019, seeming to contradict a claim by the company in March that no decision had been made on whether to treat the term "Zionist" as a proxy for "Jew" when determining whether it was deployed as "hate speech." The policies ... govern the use of "Zionist" in posts not only on Facebook but across its subsidiary apps, including Instagram. Both Facebook and Instagram are facing allegations of censorship following the erratic, widespread removal of recent posts from pro-Palestinian users critical of the Israeli government, including those who documented instances of Israeli state violence. Mass violence has gripped Israel and Gaza since last week. Israeli security forces stormed the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city. The Palestinian militant group Hamas responded with rocket fire aimed at Israel. Israel, in turn, unleashed massive aerial bombardments and artillery attacks against the occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip. Though none of Facebook and Instagram's content removal has been tied conclusively to the term "Zionist," users and pro-Palestinian advocates were alarmed by disappearing posts and notices of policy violations over the last week.

Note: Read how a U.S. Congresswoman is being slammed for asking legitimate questions about Israel. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


Johnson & Johnson must pay $2.1 billion talc baby powder award as Supreme Court rejects appeal
2021-06-01, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2021-06-14 20:15:07
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-johnson-talc-supreme-court-202...

Johnson & Johnson must pay a $2.1 billion award to women who claimed its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, after the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the largest verdict in the almost decadelong litigation over the iconic product. The top U.S. court without comment on Tuesday refused to consider J&J's objections to a St. Louis jury's 2018 finding that its talc-based powder helped cause ovarian cancer in 20 women. J&J prepared for the appeal's denial by announcing in February it was setting aside almost $4 billion to cover the St. Louis verdict. The company still faces more than 25,000 lawsuits blaming baby powder for causing cancers. J&J pulled the product off U.S. and Canadian shelves last year. Jurors in the St. Louis case awarded each woman $25 million in compensatory damages. The panel then added more than $4 billion in punitive damages, making the award the sixth-largest in U.S. legal history. The original verdict sparked a significant drop in J&J's shares. J&J has lost other cases at trial, with juries across the U.S. ordering it to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Judges slashed some of those awards while others have been thrown out or are on appeal. J&J has won cases as well. Asbestos, which is often found where talc is mined, is a recognized carcinogen. The women also contended that J&J showed years of deceit about its product and disregard for the health of its customers and argued that warranted the punitive damage award.

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


IRS records show wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, paid little in income taxes as share of wealth, report says
2021-06-08, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-06-13 18:25:53
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/08/wealthy-irs-taxes/

The wealthiest Americans – including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos – paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The information published Tuesday shows how billionaires are able to legally reduce their tax burden, highlighting how the American tax system can hit ordinary wage earners harder than the richest people in the country. That's often because the richest Americans tend to have their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate, allowing them to avoid taxes on unrealized profits. The U.S. tax system focuses on income, not what is known as unrealized gains from unsold stocks, real estate or other assets. The records ... purport to show Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, as having paid $23.7 million in federal income taxes on total income of $125 million from 2014 to 2018, which would indicate a personal income tax rate of 19 percent. ProPublica estimated that Buffett saw his wealth soar by $24.3 billion during that period and so his "true tax rate" was 0.10 percent. Musk, chief executive of Tesla, paid $455 million on $1.52 billion in income during the same period, when his wealth grew by $13.9 billion, accounting for a "true tax rate" of 3.27 percent. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98 percent "true tax rate."

Note: Learn about important facts this article leaves out in this excellent piece. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


This is Sinclair, 'the most dangerous US company you've never heard of'
2017-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-06-13 18:19:30
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/17/sinclair-news-media-fox-trump-w...

Sinclair Media Group is the owner of the largest number of TV stations in America. "Sinclair's probably the most dangerous company most people have never heard of," said Michael Copps, the George W Bush-appointed former chairman of Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the top US broadcast regulator. The New York Times refers to the group as a "conservative giant" that, since the Bush presidency, has used its 173 television stations "to advance a mostly right-leaning agenda". Already the biggest broadcaster in the country, Sinclair is poised to make its biggest move yet. If the FCC approves Sinclair's $3.9bn purchase of an additional 42 stations, it would reach into the homes of almost three-quarters of Americans. Sinclair forces its local stations to run pro-Trump "news" segments. In 2004 ... as George W Bush faced criticism over the faltering war in Iraq, Sinclair ordered seven of its stations not to run an episode of Nightline in which host Ted Koppel read the names of every American soldier killed in the war, saying it "undermine[d] the efforts of the United States in Iraq". Meanwhile, with its 2015 purchase of Circa, a mobile aggregated news app, Sinclair has control for the first time of a national text-based news outlet.

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


Yes, your phone is taking 'invisible' pictures of you
2021-05-15, ABC News (Utah affiliate)
Posted: 2021-06-06 21:45:19
https://www.abc4.com/news/tech-social-media/yes-your-iphone-is-taking-invisib...

A video showing a mobile device snapping infrared images of an iPhone user is circulating around the internet. In the Tik Tok shared by user Brie Thomason, a digital camera using an infrared lens is seen filming an iPhone user observing their home screen. As the iPhone user stares blatantly at the device, Thomason's digital camera captures the iPhone snapping multiple infrared images every 5-10 seconds. While this discovery may cause some users to panic, Apple claims this is actually just an aspect of the iPhone that allows users to control their face ID and Animoji (the animated emoji function). According to Apple, this feature was first debuted as the iPhone X's most groundbreaking function; since it is not even discernible at first glance, even though it literally stares you in the face. The company calls this feature: the new TrueDepth IR camera. This camera, housed in the black notch at the top of the display, includes a number of high-tech components such as a "flood illuminator," infrared (IR) camera, and an infrared emitter. Officials say as an iPhone is used, the latter emits 30,000 infrared dots in a known pattern when a face is detected, enabling the iPhone X to generate a 3D map of a user's face. According to the team, this TrueDepth IR camera can also do this fast enough to support the creation of 3D motion data as well. So, yes, your iPhone is essentially taking "invisible" photos of you, but not for the reasons you would think.

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


1 in 5 CEOs are psychopaths, study finds
2016-09-13, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-06-06 21:41:56
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/13/1-in-5-ceos-are-psychopaths-austr...

An Australian study has found that about one in five corporate executives are psychopaths – roughly the same rate as among prisoners. The study of 261 senior professionals in the United States found that 21 per cent had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits. The rate of psychopathy in the general population is about one in a hundred. Nathan Brooks, a forensic psychologist who conducted the study, said the findings suggested that businesses should improve their recruitment screening. He said recruiters tend to focus on skills rather than personality features and this has led to firms hiring "successful psychopaths" who may engage in unethical and illegal practices or have a toxic impact on colleagues. "Typically psychopaths create a lot of chaos and generally tend to play people off against each other," he said. "Psychopaths ... don't mind if they violate morals. It is about getting where they want in the company and having dominance over others." The global financial crisis in 2008 has prompted researchers to study workplace traits that may have allowed a corporate culture in which unethical behaviour was able to flourish. Mr Brooks's research ... was based on a study of corporate professionals in the supply chain management industry across the US. The researchers have been examining ways to help employers screen for potential psychopaths. "We hope to implement our screening tool in businesses ... to hopefully identify this problem," Mr Brooks said.

Note: This study was retracted in 2018 following allegations of plagiarism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Covid vaccine profits mint 9 new pharma billionaires
2021-05-21, MSN News
Posted: 2021-06-01 00:00:04
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/covid-vaccine-profits-mint-9-new-pharma-...

Covid-19 vaccines have created at least nine new billionaires after shares in companies producing the shots soared. Topping the list of new billionaires are Moderna CEO StÄ‚©phane Bancel and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech, which has produced a vaccine with Pfizer. Both CEOs are now worth around $4 billion, according to an analysis by the People's Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International. Senior executives from China's CanSino Biologics and early investors in Moderna have also become billionaires on paper as shares skyrocketed. Moderna's share price has gained more than 700% since February 2020, while BioNTech has surged 600%. CanSino Biologics' stock is up about 440% over the same period. The company's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was approved for use in China in February. Activists said the wealth generation highlighted the stark inequality that has resulted from the pandemic. The nine new billionaires are worth a combined $19.3 billion, enough to fully vaccinate some 780 million people in low-income countries. "These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines," Anne Marriott, Oxfam's health policy manager, said. "These vaccines were funded by public money and should be first and foremost a global public good, not a private profit opportunity," she added.

Note: You would hope that with all the suffering going on in our world, big Pharma wouldn't gouge and make huge profits on their vaccines. Sadly, this is far from the truth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


Why Billionaires Like Bill Gates Can't Fix the Problems They Helped Create
2021-05-25, New York Times
Posted: 2021-05-31 23:58:07
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/25/opinion/bill-melinda-gates-foundation.html

For years, the Gates Foundation has been steered by an unusually small board of trustees, made up of Bill, his estranged wife, Melinda, and the billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The larger the foundation became, the less anyone seemed willing to ask tough questions about its secretive management structure or its penchant for giving money to lucrative pharmaceutical and credit card companies such as Mastercard, despite the fact that giving away billions to wealthy corporations set an unusual and troubling precedent in the philanthropic sector. Billionaires who make their fortunes through corporate practices that undercut workers and deepen inequality – like corporate tax avoidance, insufficient sick pay and the immoral gap in pay between executives and low-paid workers – are not the solution to problems they generate. Asking Bill Gates to fix inequality is like asking an arsonist to hose down your house after he just set it on fire. In April last year, the University of Oxford was reportedly considering offering a Covid-19 vaccine developed by its scientists on a nonexclusive basis. But then, Kaiser Health News reported, "Oxford – urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices." This dealmaking .. seemed to conflict with the Gates Foundation's stated mission to improve global access to medicines, but it's not surprising.

Note: Read more about the Gates Foundation's startling degree of media influence during the pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


Big Pharma's Deadly COVID-19 Vaccine Monopoly
2021-05-12, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-23 15:51:50
https://theintercept.com/2021/05/12/intercepted-covid-vaccine-intellectual-pr...

A week ago, the Biden administration announced support for waiving intellectual property protection for Covid-19 vaccines. In response, Bio, a trade association representing biotechnology companies, issued a statement saying, "The United States has unfortunately chosen to set a dangerous precedent with these actions." Efforts to maintain intellectual property rights from life-saving drugs to vaccines have hindered the global response. The Biden administration surprised a lot of observers by coming out in favor of this ... temporary suspension of IP and patent enforcement on certain medications related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Right now, the way that wealthier countries – the U.S. and others – are confronting this crisis for the developing world is through voluntary agreements. There are really two ways to combat this crisis. There's a way to do it in a sense that maximizes profit for the healthcare companies, the pharmaceutical companies. And then there's the more collaborative, nonprofit approach. And early on, pharmaceutical companies were fighting this more collaborative approach. The pharmaceutical companies, in addition, have said they plan to increase prices once the pandemic quote-unquote ends. These companies are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to increase prices.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


Documents Reveal Pharma Plot to Stop Generic COVID-19 Vaccine Waiver
2021-05-14, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-23 15:50:01
https://theintercept.com/2021/05/14/covid-vaccine-waiver-generic-phrma-lobby/

The pharmaceutical industry is distributing talking points, organizing opposition, and even collecting congressional signatures in an attempt to reverse President Joe Biden's support for worldwide access to generic Covid-19 vaccines. The behind-the-scenes moves ... come as the U.S. last week announced that it would support the World Trade Organization proposal, led by India and South Africa, to temporarily waive enforcement of intellectual property and patent rights on coronavirus vaccines. Without a radical expansion in vaccine manufacturing capacity, many developing countries will not achieve mass vaccination rates until 2023 or 2024. The waiver request, which was unexpectedly endorsed by Biden's administration on May 5, is designed to provide legal immunity for drug firms to copy the formulas of existing vaccines to supply low-cost vaccines to low-income countries. On Wednesday, Jared Michaud, a lobbyist with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group that represents Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and other major drug firms, sent an email laying out the industry's role in coaxing lawmakers to push back against a waiver. One of the documents laid out potential national security concerns and suggested that lawmakers should argue the waiver could empower Russia and China. PhRMA ... spent over $24 million on federal lobbying last year and is one of the biggest corporate players in election spending.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


US millionaire CEOs saw 29% pay raise while workers' pay fell, report finds
2021-05-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-05-23 15:42:09
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/11/us-millionaire-ceos-saw-29-p...

The Institute for Policy Studies calculated that the average CEO compensation in 2020 was $15.3m, when looking at the 100 companies with the lowest median wage for workers in the S&P 500 index. The median worker pay was $28,187. This means that chief executives saw a 29% pay raise compared to 2019, while workers saw a 2% decrease. For all 100 companies, median worker pay was below $50,000 for 2020. The compensation hike came as companies gave their top leaders hefty bonuses and forgiving performance benchmarks during the pandemic, allowing the top executives to cash in while their low-wage employees were essential workers. Hilton's CEO, Christopher Nassetta, had a compensation package worth $55.9m in 2020, the highest of the executives analyzed in the report, while median pay at the company was $28,608, down from $43,695 in 2019. Since the pandemic affected the company's expected performance, and thus Nassetta's expected compensation, the company's board restructured its stock awards to give its CEO ample pay in 2020, according to the report. Other CEOs were met with friendly treatment from their respective corporate boards. Chipotle's board removed the company's poor financial results from the peak of the shutdown and excluded Covid-related costs when calculating CEO Brian Niccol's compensation. Niccol received $38m last year, which is 2,898 times more than the company's median worker pay of $13,127.

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


The drug industry keeps ramping up its spending on lobbying
2021-05-07, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-05-16 21:57:07
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/05/07/health-202-drug-industry-k...

The pharmaceutical industry keeps turning up the dial on lobbying, setting massive new spending records in its intensive effort to influence Congress and the Biden administration. Yet this week, President Biden angered drugmakers when he said he supports the waiving of intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines. Drug and health product manufacturers, along with their national association, spent a combined $92 million to lobby the federal government from January through March. That puts the industry on track to break its spending record for the second year in a row. Not only that, but its first-quarter spending was more than double what was spent by the second-highest-spending industry, electronics companies. There are currently 1,270 registered lobbyists for pharmaceuticals and health products – more than two lobbyists for every member of Congress. Pfizer, maker of one of the three coronavirus vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, was the biggest spender of any individual drug company. And last year, as it was developing its vaccine, the federal government agreed to pay the company $1.95 billion for the first 100 million doses it produced. The company reported it had $3.5 billion in revenue from sales of the vaccine so far this year. Pfizer was outflanked on lobbying spending only by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America – the national association that represents the interests of drugmakers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus vaccine from reliable major media sources.


Covid-19 testing is a financial windfall for hospitals and other providers
2021-05-10, CNN News
Posted: 2021-05-16 21:53:22
https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/10/health/covid-testing-financial-khn/index.html

Hospitals are charging up to $650 for a simple, molecular covid test that costs $50 or less to run, according to Medicare claims analyzed for KHN by Hospital Pricing Specialists (HPS). Charges by large health systems range from $20 to $1,419 per test, a new national survey by KFF shows. And some free-standing emergency rooms are charging more than $1,000 per test. The insurance company passes on its higher costs to consumers in higher premiums. Gargantuan volume – 400 million tests and counting, for one type – combined with loose rules on prices have made the service a bonanza for hospitals and clinics. Lab companies have been booking record profits by charging $100 per test. Even in-network prices negotiated and paid by insurance companies often run much more than that. In some cases, hospitals and clinics have supplemented revenue from covid tests with extra charges that go far beyond those for a simple swab. Warren Goldstein was surprised when Austin Emergency Center, in Texas, charged him and his wife $494 upfront for two covid tests. He was shocked when the center billed insurance $1,978 for his test, which he expected would cost $100. His insurer paid $325 for "emergency services" for him, even though there was no emergency. "It seemed like highway robbery," said Goldstein. A World Health Organization cost assessment of running 5,000 covid tests on Roche and Abbott analyzers ... came to $17 and $21 per test, respectively.

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


Medicating Kids - Dr. Peter Breggin
2000-05-03, PBS
Posted: 2021-05-16 21:49:05
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/interviews/breggin....

We're giving more and more psychiatric drugs to children. What medicine and psychiatry have done is to take essentially behavioral problems - problems of conflict between adults and children - and redefine them as medical problems. I believe that there is no scientific reason or justification for giving psychoactive agents to children. Take a healthy animal, like a chimpanzee, who wants to groom its neighbor, wants to play, socialize, wants to explore, and particularly would like to escape - that's a normal animal. If you give the animal a stimulant drug, it loses all its spontaneous behavior. And instead, obsessive narrow behavior is enforced. These drugs make good caged animals. Now, if you get all that same behavior in a child, if you crush a child's desire to socialize, to play, to escape, to be full of stuff like kids are, and instead you enforce a narrow obsessive focus, teachers will see this universally as improved behavior. Parents have also been lied to: flat-out lied to. They've been told that children have a neurobiological disorder. On what basis? Physicians and the public grabbed on to what is essentially a PR campaign ... that if you have a mental disturbance, it's biochemical. Now they run into problems. Because the next drug that comes along affects a different neurotransmitter, and then the next one affects a different neurotransmitter. And they're all working, because they all cause certain disabilities of the brain that some people experience as an improvement.

Note: Learn about Dr. Breggin's key role in stopping lobotomies and much more in this informative interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street's Cooked Books Fueled the Financial Crisis in 2008. It's Happening Again.
2021-04-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:39:36
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/20/wall-street-cmbs-dollar-general-ladder-ca...

It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked," the billionaire investor Warren Buffett has famously said. During the crash of 2008, the whole world learned just how dangerously nude Wall Street was. Now it may be happening again – this time not with residential mortgage-backed securities, based on loans for homes, but commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, based on loans for businesses. John M. Griffin and Alex Priest are, respectively, a prominent professor of finance and a Ph.D. candidate at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. In a study released last November, they sampled almost 40,000 CMBS loans with a market capitalization of $650 billion underwritten from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2019. "Overall," they write, "actual net operating income falls short of underwritten income by 5% or more in 28% of loans." This was just the average, however: Some originators – including an unusual company called Ladder Capital as well as the Swiss bank UBS, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley – were significantly worse, "having more than 35% of their loans exhibiting 5% or greater income overstatement." With almost every lender, including Ladder, the overstatement increased as time went on. These income overstatements might cause defaults under any circumstances. But it has been particularly dangerous in a severe economic downturn like the one caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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


Facebook survey asks users if they condone pedophilia
2018-03-05, New York Post
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:32:45
https://nypost.com/2018/03/05/facebook-survey-asks-users-if-they-condone-pedo...

Facebook is under fire for publishing a stomach-churning survey that asked users whether pedophiles should be allowed to solicit "sexual pictures" from underage girls. The cringeworthy poll surfaced at the top of Facebook's home page for an unspecified number of users this past weekend, according to a report. "In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook's policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures," one question in the survey reads. The disgusting multiple-choice poll gave users the option to condone the sick behavior, allowing them to vote that the "content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it." Another possible, nausea-inducing response was that "the content should be allowed on Facebook, but I don't want to see it." The twisted survey was spotted by an editor at the Guardian, who published screenshots. Yet another ... question asked users who should decide whether pedophilic content was allowed on Facebook – users, Facebook and users, just Facebook or an outside entity. On Monday, the social networking giant headed by Mark Zuckerberg admitted that it was a "mistake" to publish the survey, which appeared to suggest that Facebook execs were openly debating whether to allow pedophiles on the site. "We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies," Facebook vice president Guy Rosen said.

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


Pharmaceutical Industry Dispatches Army of Lobbyists to Block Generic COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-04-23, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:55:43
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/23/covid-vaccine-ip-waiver-lobbying/

The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines. Over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO. Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative. The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration "oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights." Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world's population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024.

Note: Has it ever been more clear that big Pharma places profits above health, even when it might cause huge numbers of people to die? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Study reveals Americans pay four times more for medicine compared to wealthy countries
2021-04-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:49:25
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bernie-sanders-...

A government study commissioned by Senator Bernie Sanders has revealed that Americans pay two to four times more on prescription medicine compared to other wealthy countries. Analysis released by the Government Acountability Office (GAO) found that US consumers and insurers paid 2.82 times more than in Canada, 4.25 times more than in Australia, and 4.36 times more than in France for 20 brand-named prescription drugs in 2020. France and Australia both operate on a universal, publicly funded healthcare system, which can explain some of the discrepancy in prescription drug prices. Canada, similar to the United States, does not provide prescription drug coverage to all of its residents. But the analysis found that US residents typically paid two to eight times more than Canadians when paying for the same prescription drug. For example, 30 tablets of Xarelto, which treats blood clots, costs $558.33 in the US but just $85.44 in Canada. When purchasing 28 tablets of Epclusa to treat Hepatitis C, an infection that attacks the liver, it costs $36,743 in the US compared to $17,023.63 in Canada, according to the analysis. But Mr Biden's $1.8tn infrastructure plan ultimately left out popular progressive initiatives that would alter the healthcare system in America, including lowering the Medicare eligibility age and allowing the federal government to directly negotiate prescription drug prices. These policy ideas were both left out despite receiving overwhelming approval from the US public.

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


Rates of Parkinson's disease are exploding. A common chemical may be to blame
2021-04-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-04-25 22:14:51
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/07/rates-of-parkinsons-dis...

Asked about the future of Parkinson's disease in the US, Dr Ray Dorsey says, "We're on the tip of a very, very large iceberg." Dorsey, a neurologist ... believes a Parkinson's epidemic is on the horizon. Parkinson's is already the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world; in the US, the number of people with Parkinson's has increased 35% the last 10 years, says Dorsey, and "We think over the next 25 years it will double again." Researchers increasingly believe that one factor is environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical compound used in industrial degreasing, dry-cleaning and household products such as some shoe polishes and carpet cleaners. To date, the clearest evidence around the risk of TCE to human health is derived from workers who are exposed to the chemical in the work-place. A 2008 peer-reviewed study in the Annals of Neurology, for example, found that TCE is "a risk factor for parkinsonism." And a 2011 study echoed those results, finding "a six-fold increase in the risk of developing Parkinson's in individuals exposed in the workplace to trichloroethylene (TCE)." While some countries heavily regulate TCE (its use is banned in the EU without special authorization) the EPA estimates that 250m lb of the chemical are still used annually in the US. TCE is currently estimated to be present in about 30% of US groundwater. Using activated carbon filtration devices (like Brita filters) can help reduce TCE in drinking water.

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


CEOs of public U.S. firms earn 320 times as much as workers. Even some CEOS say the gap is too big.
2021-04-07, NBC News
Posted: 2021-04-18 15:03:53
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/corporations/ceos-public-u-s-firms-earn-320-...

Research Medical's owner, HCA Healthcare Inc., is a profitable, publicly traded network of 185 hospitals. Even in the year of Covid-19, 2020, the company generated $51.5 billion in revenue and increased its pretax earnings by 3.6 percent. That performance helped boost the total compensation HCA's chief executive, Samuel N. Hazen, received last year to $30.4 million, a 13 percent rise from 2019. The total worth of his compensation package equaled 556 times the compensation received by the median employee at HCA – $54,651. The figures highlight the growing CEO pay gap, a problem among many public companies according to some investors and workers and even a few CEOs. In 2019, for example, the average pay ratio among 350 large American companies was 320-to-1, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute. In 1989, the average was 61-to-1. Because [Jamelle] Brown, [an] emergency department worker, makes even less than the median, Hazen got roughly 1,000 times Brown's pay. Brown says he lives with his sister because he doesn't earn enough from his job at Research Medical to pay for his own apartment. HCA isn't alone in paying its chief executive vastly more than what rank-and-file workers earn. Acuity Brands, an industrial technology company, paid its CEO, Neil M. Ashe, $21 million last year, or 2,316 times the median employee's pay. Starbucks ... paid its CEO, Kevin Johnson, $14.7 million last year. That was 1,211 times the pay of its median employee.

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


At least 55 of America's biggest companies paid no federal taxes on billions in profits, study finds
2021-04-02, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2021-04-12 13:28:27
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-aud-nw-nyt-companies-no-federal-ta...

Just as the Biden administration is pushing to raise taxes on corporations, a new study finds that at least 55 of America's largest firms paid no taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits. The sweeping tax bill passed in 2017 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. But dozens of Fortune 500 companies were able to further shrink their tax bill – sometimes to zero – thanks to a range of legal deductions and exemptions that have become staples of the tax code. Salesforce, Archer-Daniels-Midland and Consolidated Edison were among those named in the report, which was done by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Twenty-six of the companies listed, including FedEx, Duke Energy and Nike, were able to avoid paying any federal income tax for the last three years even though they reported a combined income of $77 billion. Many also received millions of dollars in tax rebates. Publicly traded corporations are required to file financial reports. The institute used that data along with other information supplied by each company. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief act ... contained a provision that temporarily allowed businesses to use losses in 2020 to offset profits earned in previous years. Tax avoidance strategies include a mix of old standards and new innovations. Companies, for example, saved billions by allowing top executives to buy discounted stock options in the future and then deducting their value as a loss.

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


Plummeting sperm counts, shrinking penises: toxic chemicals threaten humanity
2021-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-04-06 02:16:47
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-...

The end of humankind? It may be coming sooner than we think, thanks to hormone-disrupting chemicals that are decimating fertility at an alarming rate around the globe. A new book called Countdown, by Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist ... finds that sperm counts have dropped almost 60% since 1973. Following the trajectory we are on, Swan's research suggests sperm counts could reach zero by 2045. Zero. Let that sink in. That would mean no babies. No reproduction. No more humans. Forgive me for asking: why isn't the UN calling an emergency meeting on this right now? The chemicals to blame for this crisis are found in everything from plastic containers and food wrapping, to waterproof clothes and fragrances in cleaning products, to soaps and shampoos, to electronics and carpeting. Some of them, called PFAS, are known as "forever chemicals", because they don't breakdown in the environment or the human body. They just accumulate and accumulate – doing more and more damage. Swan's book is staggering in its findings. "In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35," Swan writes. In addition to that, Swan finds that, on average, a man today will have half of the sperm his grandfather had. Given everything we know about these chemicals, why isn't more being done? Right now, there is a paltry patchwork of inadequate legislation responding to this threat.

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


Biden's Inner Circle Maintains Close Ties to Vaccine Makers, Disclosures Reveal
2021-03-24, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-04-06 02:14:34
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/24/covid-vaccine-stocks-biden-conflict/

In the coming months, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, will hear from a growing chorus of developing nations about the foundering efforts to distribute the coronavirus vaccine globally. The nations, many of which have not even begun vaccinating their populations, are demanding that the U.S. support proposals to temporarily waive certain patent and intellectual property rights so that generic coronavirus vaccines can be produced. The proposals have been fiercely opposed by American drugmakers, including Pfizer. ASG ... represents Pfizer. Many leading figures in Biden's administration, including key White House advisers, State Department leaders, and health care officials have financial stake in or professional ties to vaccine manufacturers, which are now lobbying to prevent policies that would cut into future profits over the vaccine. ASG in particular has unusual amounts of sway in the Biden administration. State Department officials Victoria Nuland, Wendy Sherman, Uzra Zeya, and Molly Montgomery previously worked at ASG, as did Philip Gordon, Vice President Kamala Harris's national security adviser. The pharmaceutical industry, in a bid to shield an expected financial windfall, has pressed the Biden administration not only to oppose the waiver, but also to impose trade-related sanctions on countries that back [a] proposal or move to manufacture coronavirus vaccines without permission from patent holders.

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


Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine is set to be one of the most lucrative drugs in the world
2021-02-02, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2021-04-06 02:11:21
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-set-203223913.html

Pfizer expects to sell $15 billion worth of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021. That would make it the second-highest revenue-generating drug anytime, anywhere, according to industry reports. The maker of the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for use in advanced markets has released its earning forecasts for 2021 today. Pfizer expects to earn between $59 billion and $61 billion - up from $42 billion it made in 2020. Sales of the vaccine are set to bring in about a fourth of Pfizer's total revenue this year. That would be nearly as much as its three best-selling products combined. The company is expecting profit margins for the vaccine to be between 25% and 30% which means profits from the vaccine could be around $4 billion. All of Pfizer's costs and profits from the vaccine are split evenly with BioNTech, the biotech company that helped develop the treatment. There are is only one drug in the world that sells more - Humira, a prescription medication for arthritis. Pfizer plans on selling 2 billion doses of the vaccine this year, but that demand should subside in coming years so the revenue of Covid-19 vaccine won't be stable, Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla said on an call with analysts and investors. The company expects to continue profiting from it by selling booster doses, including ones required to shield against new variants of the virus, Bourla said. Further, Pfizer is pursuing more avenues to employ the mRNA technology underlying the vaccine, including a flu vaccine and other therapeutic applications.

Note: Read more in this revealing Reuters article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


AstraZeneca accused of cherry-picking vaccine study data
2021-03-23, ABC News
Posted: 2021-04-06 02:09:07
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-astrazeneca-outdated-info-vaccin...

AstraZeneca may have included "outdated information" in touting the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in a U.S. study, federal health officials said Tuesday in an unusual public rift that could further erode confidence in the shot. In an extraordinary rebuke, just hours after AstraZeneca on Monday announced its vaccine worked well in the U.S. study, an independent panel that oversees the study scolded the company for cherry-picking data, according to a senior administration official. The panel wrote to AstraZeneca and U.S. health leaders that it was concerned the company chose to use data that was outdated and potentially misleading instead of the most recent and complete findings. The NIH's Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the incident "really is what you call an unforced error" and that he expects the discrepancy to be straightened out. But that nitty-gritty seldom is seen by the public, something now exposed by the extraordinary microscope being applied to development of the world's COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine is used widely in Britain, across the European continent and in other countries, but its rollout was troubled by inconsistent study reports about its effectiveness, and then last week a scare about blood clots that had some countries temporarily pausing inoculations. Company executives refused repeated requests from reporters to provide a breakdown of the 141 COVID-19 cases it was using to make the case for the shot's effectiveness.

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


When half a million Americans died and nobody noticed
2012-04-27, The Week
Posted: 2021-03-29 00:37:34
https://www.theweek.co.uk/us/46535/when-half-million-americans-died-and-nobod...

In September 2004, Merck, one of America's largest pharmaceutical companies, issued a sudden recall of Vioxx, its anti-pain medication widely used to treat arthritis-related ailments. The recall came just days after Merck discovered that a top medical journal was about to publish a study by an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) investigator indicating that the drug in question greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes and had probably been responsible for at least 55,000 American deaths during the five years it had been on the market. It soon turned out Merck had known of potential lethal side effects even before launching Vioxx in 1999, but had brushed all such disturbing tests under the rug. A class-action lawsuit dragged its way through the courts for years, eventually being settled for $4.85 billion in 2007. [Researcher Ron] Unz makes the point that the users of Vioxx were almost all elderly, and it was not possible to determine whether a particular victim's heart attack had been caused by Vioxx or other factors. But he concludes: "Perhaps 500,000 or more premature American deaths may have resulted from Vioxx, a figure substantially larger than the 3,468 deaths of named individuals acknowledged by Merck during the settlement of its lawsuit. I'm just as astonished. From 2004 onwards, huge numbers of America's toughest trial lawyers were suing Merck for billions based on Vioxx casualties - didn't they notice the dramatic drop in the national death rate [after Vioxx was discontinued]?"

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


David Graham On The Vioxx Verdict
2005-08-19, Forbes
Posted: 2021-03-29 00:34:44
https://www.forbes.com/2005/08/19/merck-vioxx-graham_cx_mh_0819graham.html?sh...

No single person has come to more represent the big questions about drug safety that emerged following the withdrawal of Merck's painkiller Vioxx than the Food and Drug Administration's David Graham. And now that a Texas jury has awarded the widow of one Vioxx patient $253 million, Graham, who works in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, is more critical than ever. Of the drug, and his employer, for whom he doesn't speak. "If the judgment is that there's blood on Merck's hands," Graham says, "there's blood on the FDA's hands as well." Graham has estimated that Vioxx killed some 60,000 patients - as many people, he points out, as died in the Vietnam War. He says that fundamental problems at the FDA led to those deaths. "People should turn to Congress and demand a drug safety system that is free from corporate influence - and a distinct center for drug safety." In Graham's eyes, the problem at the FDA is that the same scientists who approve drugs are the ones charged with deciding whether or not they are safe enough to remain on the market when problems crop up. Graham says that he thinks there should be formal, periodic reviews of the safety of new medicines - and that the FDA should release documents that explain its reasoning. "The FDA does not think anything it did is a mistake," he says. "[Yet] none of its decisions are evidence-based." "Today Merck was on trial, and a judgment was rendered," he says. "But when will the public hold the FDA accountable for its role, its complicity, in this catastrophe?"

Note: Learn how Merck blatantly altered the death numbers in their drug trials in this Seattle Times article. This article persuasively argues the actual death numbers were around 500,000. WTK founder Fred Burks had a shocking encounter where he learned about intense corruption at the FDA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Police Probe Sudden Death of Anti-Vaccine Activist
2020-12-15, Newsweek
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:57:38
https://www.newsweek.com/police-probe-sudden-death-anti-vaccine-activist-1554784

The sudden death of a prominent anti-vaccination activist has led to a police probe. Brandy Vaughan, 45, was found dead on December 7. On Monday, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death. "The decedent has been positively identified and the death is believe [sic] to be a result of natural causes based on an autopsy exam conducted last week," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Public Information Officer Raquel Zick said. "The final cause and manner of death determination are pending toxicology screening which normally takes 4-6 weeks." Vaughan, a former Merck pharmaceutical representative, was an outspoken critic of mandatory vaccinations and pharmaceutical companies. She founded non-profit organization Learn The Risk in a bid to educate people "on the dangers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines and unnecessary medical treatments." [Vaughan] once worked for Merck pharmaceutical as a sales representative for Vioxx, a painkiller eventually taken off the market."I realized that just because something is on the market doesn't mean it's safe," Vaughan writes. "Much of what we are told by the healthcare industry just simply isn't the truth." In a Facebook post dated December 4 of 2019, Vaughan asks: "Ever wonder why I speak out against Big Pharma and suffer the major consequences? Because I will fight for my son and humanity and I will educate people on pharmaceutical product dangers until my last breath!"

Note: This article fails to mention that the number of deaths due to Vioxx are estimated to be between 40,000 and 500,000. Read also an article titled "Mystery surrounds death of Tanzanian president who defied COVID lockdown." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Nobel laureates condemn 'judicial harassment' of environmental lawyer
2020-04-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:51:29
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/18/nobel-laureates-condemn-judicia...

Twenty-nine Nobel laureates have condemned alleged "judicial harassment" by Chevron and urged the release of a US environmental lawyer who was put under house arrest for pursuing oil-spill compensation claims on behalf of indigenous tribes in the Amazon. The open letter signed by scientists, authors, environmentalists and human rights activists said the treatment of lawyer Steven Donziger, whose movements have been restricted for more than 250 days, was one of the world's most egregious cases of judicial harassment and defamation. Donziger represents 30,000 indigenous people and small farmers who won a $9.5bn class action lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuadorean courts in 2013, as compensation for the contamination of their land by oil extraction activities. This judgment was one of the largest ever against an oil company, but not a cent of these damages has been paid to the plaintiffs. Donziger, who has been involved with the case for 27 years, has pressed for justice and payment of damages to his clients at increasing personal cost. His reputation, legal credentials and liberty have come under attack. Chevron has lobbied for his removal from bar associations and launched a countersuit accusing him of bribery and fraud, which was upheld by district judge Lewis A Kaplan in 2014. It was later reported that Chevron paid more than a million dollars for one of the key witnesses in the case – an Ecuadorean judge – to come to the United States. That witness later said he lied under oath.

Note: For lots more, read this Mother Jones article titled "How Did a Lawyer Who Took on Big Oil and Won End up Under House Arrest?." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Chinese Fund Backed By Hunter Biden Invested in Major Chinese Surveillance Firm
2019-05-03, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:49:30
https://theintercept.com/2019/05/03/biden-son-china-business/

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released a troubling report, which it has since walked back, about a phone application made by the Chinese government. The app provides law enforcement with easy, daily access to data detailing the religious activity, blood type, and even the amount of electricity used by ethnic minority Muslims living in the western province of Xinjiang. The app relies heavily on facial recognition software supplied by Face++, a division of the Chinese startup Megvii. The flurry of media reports this week about Face++ ... and the role of the private sector in building China's increasingly sprawling surveillance state, however, left out another prominent investor in the company: Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden's investment company in China, known as Bohai Harvest RST, has pooled money, largely from state-owned venture capital, to buy or invest in a range of industries. In 2017, Bohai Harvest bought into Face++. Bohai Harvest ... has brought Hunter Biden into close proximity to influential Chinese government and business figures. The investment fund has also partnered with a subsidiary of HNA Group. The HNA Group has made unusually extensive efforts to cultivate U.S. officials. The company floated an offer to buy out the hedge fund owned by former White House official Anthony Scaramucci; retained the legal services of Gary Locke, the former U.S. ambassador to China, shortly before his confirmation; and provided financing to a private-equity firm backed by Jeb Bush.

Note: This informative video delves into the shady dealings of Hunter Biden. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People's Bodies
2017-10-24, Time
Posted: 2021-03-23 01:46:54
https://time.com/4993877/weed-killer-roundup-levels-humans/

The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide's possible contributions to poor health in certain communities. The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples during that time. The percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. [Researcher Paul] Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats. While Roundup was developed to eliminate most weeds from genetically modified crops – and thus reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on them – recent studies have found that many weeds are now resistant to Roundup. That means growers are using more Roundup, which could only exacerbate potential negative health effects on people who consume those products.

Note: Bayer recently agreed to a $10 billion settlement over claims that its glyphosate-containing product RoundUp causes cancer. Meanwhile, Mexico is banning glyphosate and GMO corn. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: Monsanto owner and US officials pressured Mexico to drop glyphosate ban
2021-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-03-14 16:30:46
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/16/revealed-monsanto-mexico-us-...

Monsanto owner Bayer AG and industry lobbyist CropLife America have been working closely with US officials to pressure Mexico into abandoning its intended ban on glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer that is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkillers. The moves to protect glyphosate shipments to Mexico have played out over the last 18 months, a period in which Bayer was negotiating an $11bn settlement of legal claims brought by people in the US who say they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to exposure to the company's glyphosate-based products. The pressure on Mexico is similar to actions Bayer and chemical industry lobbyists took to kill a glyphosate ban planned by Thailand in 2019. Records show alarm starting to grow in the latter part of 2019 after Mexico said it was refusing imports of glyphosate from China. In denying a permit for an import shipment, Mexican officials cited the "precautionary principle", which generally refers to a policy of erring on the side of caution. Industry executives told US government officials that they feared restricting glyphosate would lead to limits on other pesticides and could set a precedent for other countries to do the same. Mexico may also reduce the levels of pesticide residues allowed in food, industry executives warned. "If Mexico extends the precautionary principle" to pesticide residue levels in food, "$20bn in US annual agricultural exports to Mexico will be jeopardized", [CropLife president Chris] Novak wrote to US officials.

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


Pfizer plant boosting vaccines has repeat quality offenses
2021-03-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2021-03-14 16:26:41
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Pfizer-plant-boosting-vaccines-has-repeat...

The factory that Pfizer Inc. plans to use to boost production of its covid-19 vaccine for the massive U.S. inoculation effort was cited by federal inspectors last year for repeated quality-control violations. Food and Drug Administration inspectors visited the McPherson, Kansas, plant at the end of 2019 into January 2020, according to an inspection report. They found the drug giant released medications for sale after failing to thoroughly review quality issues that arose in routine testing, the report shows. Additionally, the report says inspectors found bacteria and mold in supposedly sterile areas, an issue seen in previous visits to the facility. And the plant failed to properly sample drug products to ensure they didn't have excessive levels of certain toxins, the inspectors wrote. The FDA sent Pfizer a warning letter, the agency's strongest rebuke, concerning the factory in 2017 after the agency detected issues similar to those it found in 2020. The FDA concluded that Pfizer had addressed the violations in June 2018, a month before it returned to the facility and found more problems. The company plans to supply the U.S. with 200 million doses of its two-shot vaccine regimen by the end of May. The FDA halted all inspections of drugmaking facilities at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, though it has since resumed some domestic visits. Pfizer's plant in Kansas is also authorized to make the Covid-19 treatment remdesivir.

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


Drug Lobby Asks Biden to Punish Foreign Countries Pushing for Low Cost Vaccines
2021-03-03, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-03-14 16:24:37
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/03/vaccine-coronavirus-big-pharma-biden/

President Joe Biden's administration is being asked to punish Hungary, Colombia, Chile, and other countries for seeking to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics without express permission from pharmaceutical companies. The sanctions are being urged by the drug industry, which has filed hundreds of pages of documents to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative outlining the alleged threat posed by any effort to challenge "basic intellectual property protections" in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The drug industry has sharply criticized any attempt to share vaccine patents or the technological knowledge needed to manufacture them, despite global need. The strident corporate opposition to any intellectual property flexibility has rankled public health advocates, many of whom note that much of the vaccine technology has been financed by the public sector. The Pfizer vaccine, noted Prabhala, was developed in partnership with the European firm BioNTech, which received $445 million from the German government to help accelerate vaccine development and manufacturing. The U.S. government provided about $1 billion for the research and testing by Moderna to create its coronavirus vaccine. Johnson & Johnson received over $1.45 billion in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for its recently approved Covid-19 vaccine.

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


LA nursing home 'dumped' residents to bring in lucrative COVID-19 patients, authorities say
2021-03-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2021-03-07 21:49:39
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/LA-nursing-home-dumped-residents-to-bring...

A nursing home accused of illegally "dumping" patients onto city streets and into ill-equipped homes in order to take in more lucrative COVID-19 patients will nearly double its nursing staff, allow increased oversight and pay $275,000 in penalties and costs to settle a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles city attorney's office. City Attorney Mike Feuer on Monday announced the legal agreement with the Lakeview Terrace skilled nursing facility, which he had accused of "sustained" and "intentional" misconduct in failing to adequately tend to some patients, while pushing others out of the 99-bed home. The city alleged in its lawsuit that the facility west of downtown had an incentive to discharge long-term residents in order to make room for COVID-19 patients, who brought Lakeview Terrace much higher reimbursement payments from Medicare. In one instance, the lawsuit said, an 88-year-old man with dementia was transferred from the nursing home in the Westlake neighborhood to a boarding house in Van Nuys, only to be found a day later wandering the streets, profoundly confused. Health care experts have warned that the money skilled nursing facilities are paid under a plan by the federal government to care for people stricken by the coronavirus would lead to patient-dumping by unscrupulous operators. The reimbursement plan pays more than four times more for COVID-19 patients than homes can charge for long-term residents with relatively mild conditions.

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


Revealed: how Mexico's Sinaloa cartel has created a global network to rule the fentanyl trade
2020-12-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-03-07 21:44:46
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/08/mexico-cartel-project-synthetic...

Carlos is a Mexican businessman. Two associates accompanied him as he travelled [to] India. There, [he] met Manu Gupta, a businessman active in a variety of sectors. On 25 September 2018 he was arrested in the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, along with a Mexican associate and an Indian chemist. The three men were wearing masks and gloves – and were in possession of more than 10kg of fentanyl – an ultra-potent synthetic opioid. The case sheds light on the international networks which Mexican cartels have built up – and the business methods they employ to dominate the lucrative fentanyl market. Fentanyl increasingly displaced heroin on the underground market, causing record numbers of overdoses around the world. In 2018, fentanyl and similar synthetic drugs accounted for nearly half of the 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the US. This year, overdoses have rocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 40 US states reporting an increase in drug mortality rates – particularly from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In theory, sales of precursors are highly regulated. In reality, the extent of the problem is revealed with a simple Google search. Entering keywords for fentanyl precursors quickly leads you to the social network Pinterest, where – nestled between wedding moodboards and home decor inspiration – are posts from Chinese companies offering fentanyl precursors for export – many directed towards Mexico.

Note: Pharmaceutical executives have been caught bribing doctors to prescribe fentanyl-containing painkillers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


What Are Sperm Telling Us?
2021-02-20, New York Times
Posted: 2021-03-01 16:33:52
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/opinion/sunday/endocrine-disruptors-sperm....

Sperm counts have been dropping; infant boys are developing more genital abnormalities; more girls are experiencing early puberty; and adult women appear to be suffering declining egg quality and more miscarriages. It's not just humans. Scientists report genital anomalies in a range of species, including unusually small penises in alligators, otters and minks. In some areas, significant numbers of fish, frogs and turtles have exhibited both male and female organs. Experts say the problem is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which mimic the body's hormones and thus fool our cells. This is a particular problem for fetuses as they sexually differentiate early in pregnancy. Endocrine disruptors can wreak reproductive havoc. These endocrine disruptors are everywhere: plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, cushions, pesticides, canned foods and A.T.M. receipts. They often aren't on labels and can be difficult to avoid. Chemical companies ... lobby against even safety testing of endocrine disruptors, so that we have little idea if products we use each day are damaging our bodies or our children. Still, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the President's Cancer Panel and the World Health Organization have all warned about endocrine disruptors, and Europe and Canada have moved to regulate them. But in the United States, Congress and the Trump administration seemed to listen more to industry lobbyists than to independent scientists.

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


Is Drug-Company Money Tainting Medical Education?
2009-03-06, Time Magazine
Posted: 2021-03-01 16:20:41
http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1883449,00.html

It's not often that a place like Harvard Medical School gets an F – particularly when rivals Stanford, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania are pulling A's and B's. But that's what happened recently when the members of the increasingly influential – and increasingly noisy – American Medical Student Association (AMSA) decided to grade 150 med schools on just how much money and gifts they're collecting from drug companies. The more goodies a school is vacuuming up from the industry, the worse its grade. It turns out that many professors and instructors are, legally, on the dole as well, and students are beginning to worry that what they're being taught is just as one-sided as what patients are being prescribed. Harvard, at the moment, is at the center of it. Of Harvard's 8,900 professors and lecturers, 1,600 admit that either they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies – sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – that could bias their teaching or research. Additionally, pharma contributed more than $11.5 million to the school last year for research and continuing-education classes. And while Harvard might be the highest-profile name that was posted on AMSA's grade list, it was hardly the only one that flunked: 40 out of the 150 schools surveyed received F's; only 22 got an A or B. Harvard has convened a 19-member committee ... to review its pharma policy, though the university is hedging on whether it actually plans to change the way it operates.

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


New report finds toxic heavy metals in popular baby foods. FDA failed to warn consumers of risk.
2021-02-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-02-21 19:44:30
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/04/toxic-metals-baby-food/

A congressional report found many of the products made by the country's largest commercial baby food manufacturers contain significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, which can endanger infant neurological development. The report ... from the House Oversight Committee's subcommittee on economic and consumer policy found heavy metals in rice cereals, sweet potato puree, juices and sweet snack puffs made by some of the most trusted names in baby food. Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY (made by Nurture) and Earth's Best Organic baby foods (made by Hain Celestial Group) complied with the committee's request to submit internal testing documents. Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent's Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate. Although there are no maximum arsenic levels established for baby food ... the FDA has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic. Hain ... used many ingredients in its baby foods with as much as 309 ppb of arsenic. Lead levels in baby foods should not exceed 1 ppb. Beech-Nut used ingredients containing as much as 886.9 parts per billion of lead. In addition, Gerber used carrots containing as much as 87 ppb of cadmium and Nurture sold baby foods with as much as 10 ppb of mercury. And even when baby foods tested over companies' internal limits for these heavy metals, they were sold anyway.

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


New Report From Rep. Katie Porter Reveals How Big Pharma Pursues 'Killer Profits' at the Expense of Americans' Health
2021-01-29, Common Dreams
Posted: 2021-02-14 16:53:54
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/29/new-report-rep-katie-porter-reve...

Rep. Katie Porter on Friday published a damning report revealing the devastating effects of Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions on U.S. healthcare, and recommending steps Congress should take to enact "comprehensive, urgent reform" of an integral part of a broken healthcare system. The report, entitled Killer Profits: How Big Pharma Takeovers Destroy Innovation and Harm Patients, begins by noting that "in just 10 years, the number of large, international pharmaceutical companies decreased six-fold, from 60 to only 10." While pharmaceutical executives often attempt to portray such consolidation as a means to increase operational efficiency, the report states that "digging a level deeper 'exposes a troubling industry-wide trend of billions of dollars of corporate resources going toward acquiring other pharmaceutical corporations with patent-protected blockbuster drugs instead of putting those resources toward' discovery of new drugs." Big pharmaceutical companies are not responsible for most major breakthroughs. Rather, innovation is driven in small firms, which are often spun off of taxpayer-funded academic research. These small labs are then purchased by giant firms. Instead of producing lifesaving drugs for diseases with few or no cures, large pharmaceutical companies often focus on small, incremental changes to existing drugs in order to kill off generic threats to their government-granted monopoly patents. Mergers in the pharmaceutical industry have had an overall negative effect on innovation.

Note: The major media, sponsored largely by Big Pharma, completely failed to report on this important study. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


YouTube Cancels the U.S. Senate
2021-02-02, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2021-02-08 23:58:37
https://www.wsj.com/articles/youtube-cancels-the-u-s-senate-11612288061

Google's YouTube has ratcheted up censorship to a new level by removing two videos from a U.S. Senate committee. They were from a Dec. 8 Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on early treatment of Covid-19. One was a 30-minute summary; the other was the opening statement of critical-care specialist Pierre Kory. Dr. Kory is part of a world-renowned group of physicians who developed a groundbreaking use of corticosteroids to treat hospitalized Covid patients. His testimony at a May Senate hearing helped doctors rethink treatment protocols and saved lives. At the December hearing, he presented evidence regarding the use of ivermectin, a cheap and widely available drug that treats tropical diseases caused by parasites, for prevention and early treatment of Covid-19. He described a just-published study from Argentina in which about 800 health-care workers received ivermectin and 400 didn't. Not one of the 800 contracted Covid-19; 58% of the 400 did. Before being removed from YouTube and other websites, Dr. Kory's opening statement had been viewed by more than eight million people. Unfortunately, government health agencies don't share that interest in early treatment. A year into the pandemic, NIH treatment guidelines for Covid patients are to go home, isolate yourself and do nothing other than monitor your illness. The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn't be able to hear what senators heard.

Note: You can access the entire article free of charge on this webpage. Can it be any more blatant that facebook is in cahoots with big Pharma in not wanting cheap, effective treatments for COVID-19? Watch an excellent, eye-opening 14-minute interview with a facebook insider revealing how censorship works. Read about how Silicon Valley is shutting down even live streams by legitimate journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus patients could be cash cows for nursing homes
2020-05-03, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2021-02-08 23:49:14
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-03/coronavirus-nursing-homes...

The nursing home industry has been devastated by the coronavirus, with outbreaks killing thousands of elderly residents. But the health crisis presents operators with a potential financial upside. Patients with COVID-19 could be worth more than four times what homes are able to charge for long-term residents with relatively mild health issues. Some patient advocates and industry experts fear the premium pay available for coronavirus patients – and a simultaneous easing of regulations around transfers – could tempt some home operators to move out low-paying residents to bring in more lucrative COVID-19 patients, despite the obvious health risks to residents and staff. "There are probably some unscrupulous operators who would jump at this," said David Grabowski, a professor of healthcare policy at Harvard Medical School. A new Medicare reimbursement system that went into effect last fall pays nursing homes substantially more for new patients – including those released from a hospital – particularly for the first few weeks. Under those guidelines, COVID-19 patients can bring in upward of $800 per day. By contrast, facilities collect as little as $200 per day for long-term patients with dementia. Nursing homes have always had a financial incentive to attract the short-term patients ... Grabowski said. But the health risks for existing residents and staff are so high with COVID-19, Grabowski said, "I'd be a little suspicious of a low-quality nursing home that's jumping to the head of the line for this."

Note: Another excellent article presents more important questions on how this might skew death statistics for the coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Death By Prescription
2016-09-27, US News & World Report
Posted: 2021-01-25 22:01:57
https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-09-27/the-...

Americans are taking more medications than ever before. Nearly 60 to 70 percent of us take at least one prescribed drug. Meanwhile, new drug approvals have reached a 19-year high. There's no formal process for quantifying injuries, hospitalizations or even deaths caused by therapeutic drug use – which excludes overdose or misuse. "Risk management begins with measuring things accurately, so you know what the threats are and the ones where you should be paying attention," says Thomas J. Moore ... at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. But he notes that there's no system in place or accepted methodology for developing these tallies for prescription drugs, unlike with overdoses. Health providers and consumers are encouraged to report adverse drug reactions to the Food and Drug Administration. But the FDA says it's unable to use the incomplete adverse event reporting data to quantify overall deaths that result from therapeutic drug use. A ... recent analysis estimates 128,000 Americans die each year as a result of taking medications as prescribed. "By far the greatest number of [prescription drug-related] hospitalizations and deaths occur from drugs that are prescribed properly by physicians and taken as directed," says Donald Light ... lead author of a 2013 paper that detailed the estimate, entitled "Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs." "About 2,460 people per week are estimated to die from drugs that were properly prescribed," says Light.

Note: According to some studies, medical errors including adverse drug reactions may be the third leading cause of death in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Peter Breggin on the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Complex
2016-04-18, Psychology Today
Posted: 2021-01-25 22:00:18
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethinking-mental-health/201604/peter...

Throughout my career as a psychiatrist, I have found, on a clinical and scientific basis, psychiatric drugs do much more harm than good. My professional website (www.breggin.com) began as an attempt to present my scientific research. At the time that I started my reform efforts in the early 1970s, I was nearly alone among psychiatrists or any other professionals in standing up to the pharmaceutical industry, the electroshock industry, the American Psychiatric Association, the AMA, and other members of what I defined as the "psychopharmaceutical complex." When taken for months or years, all psychiatric drugs can seriously damage the brain, prevent recovery, and ruin the individual's quality of life. The psychiatric model of human suffering has caused untold damage to hundreds of millions of victims of involuntary treatment, psychiatric hospitals, drugs and electroshock. It has also set back civilization by undermining Western traditions of individuality, personal responsibility, and love. It has convinced modern society that emotional suffering is based in so-called biochemical imbalances when in reality it is rooted in a complex combination of human nature, individual experience and choice-making, and societal influences. This flawed biological model ignores all the important realities in human life from the dreadful effects of childhood trauma and adult disappointment and loss to the importance of living by worthwhile principles and ideals.

Note: Learn about Dr. Breggin's key role in stopping lobotomies and much more in this informative interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pfizer: Nigeria drug trial victims get compensation
2011-08-11, BBC News
Posted: 2021-01-11 16:29:36
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14493277

US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has made the first compensation payment to Nigerian families affected by a controversial drug trial 15 years ago. It paid $175,000 (Ł108,000) each to four families in the first of a series of payments it is expected to make. The payouts are part of an out-of-court settlement reached in 2009. In 1996, 11 children died and dozens were left disabled after Pfizer gave them the experimental anti-meningitis drug, Trovan. The payouts were made to the parents of four of the children who died. Their parents told the BBC they welcomed the payment, but it would not replace the loss of their loved ones. The children were part of a group of 200 given the drug during a meningitis epidemic in the northern city of Kano as part of a medical trial comparing Trovan's effectiveness with the established treatment. For years Pfizer maintained that meningitis - not the drug - caused the deaths and disabilities. But after a lengthy and expensive litigation process, it reached a settlement with the Kano government in northern Nigeria. The trials were carried out in Kano and the state government fought Pfizer on behalf of victims and their families. It has taken two years and DNA tests to establish who is entitled to payments, the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Lagos says. It could take another year for payments to be concluded, he says. Pfizer also agreed to sponsor health projects in Kano as well as creating a fund of $35m to compensate those affected.

Note: A BMJ article about this case states, "The families allege that the company failed to tell them that their children were being enrolled in an experimental drug trial and that free, effective treatment was available ... at the same hospital. Five children in the trovafloxacin arm and six in the ceftriaxone arm died, according to Pfizer." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


America's biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work
2020-12-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-01-04 18:44:14
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/business/50-biggest-companies-co...

With few exceptions, big businesses are having a very different year from most of the country. Between April and September, one of the most tumultuous economic stretches in modern history, 45 of the 50 most valuable publicly traded U.S. companies turned a profit. Despite their success, at least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers. Corporate leaders are touting their success and casting themselves as leaders on the road to economic recovery. Many of their firms have put Americans out of work and used their profits to increase the wealth of shareholders. 21 big firms that were profitable during the pandemic laid off workers anyway. Berkshire Hathaway raked in profits of $56 billion during the first six months of the pandemic while one of its subsidiary companies laid off more than 13,000 workers. Salesforce, Cisco Systems and PayPal cut staff even after their chief executives vowed not to do so. Companies sent thousands of employees packing while sending billions of dollars to shareholders. Walmart, whose CEO spent the past year championing the idea that businesses "should not just serve shareholders," nonetheless distributed more than $10 billion to its investors during the pandemic while laying off 1,200 corporate office employees. Economists estimate at least 100,000 small businesses permanently closed in the first two months of the pandemic alone.

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


These NHS Staff Were Told The Swine Flu Vaccine Was Safe, And Now They're Suffering The Consequences
2018-02-23, BuzzFeed
Posted: 2020-12-21 15:18:13
https://www.buzzfeed.com/shaunlintern/these-nhs-staff-were-told-the-swine-flu...

When nurse Meleney Gallagher was told to line up with her colleagues on the renal ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital, for her swine flu vaccination, she had no idea the injection she was about to have had not gone through the usual testing process. It had been rushed into circulation after the swine flu virus had swept across the globe in 2009. Gallagher was one of thousands of NHS staff vaccinated with Pandemrix, a vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Eight years later, her career in the NHS is a memory and she's living with incurable, debilitating narcolepsy and suffers from cataplexy, a sudden, uncontrollable loss of muscle tone that can cause her to collapse without warning. Because of her condition, she can no longer work or drive. People with narcolepsy experience chronic fatigue and difficulty sleeping at night. They can have night terrors, hallucinations, and a range of mental health problems. Gallagher is not alone. More than a dozen frontline NHS staff are among around 1,000 adults and children across Europe who are believed to have developed narcolepsy after being given Pandemrix. Gallagher and four other NHS professionals – two nurses, a community midwife, and a junior doctor – have told how they felt pressured into receiving the vaccine, were given misleading information, and ultimately lost their careers. They are all suing GlaxoSmithKline seeking compensation for what they believe was a faulty drug that has left them with lifelong consequences.

Note: Yet the media and big Pharma continually tout the safety of their vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Vaccines are among big pharma's best-selling products
2016-04-24, Financial Times
Posted: 2020-12-13 20:37:54
https://www.ft.com/content/93374f4a-e538-11e5-a09b-1f8b0d268c39

Ask people to name Pfizer's best-selling product and many would opt for one of its most famous drugs: Viagra, for erectile dysfunction, or Lipitor, to reduce high cholesterol. But they would all be wrong. The top-seller is not a drug but a vaccine: Prevnar, which prevents pneumonia, meningitis and other infections caused by pneumococcus bacteria. Prevnar generated revenues of $6.25bn last year – almost three times as much as Viagra. This was up 40 per cent from the year before, after the expert panel that advises on US vaccine policy recommended its use in over-65s as well as in children. Pfizer is one of just four pharma groups with large vaccines operations. The others are GlaxoSmithKline of the UK, Sanofi of France and Merck of the US. All four reported stronger sales growth in vaccines than in pharmaceuticals last year and operating margins were comparable with pharma at around 25-30 per cent. Pricing remains a sensitive topic, however, especially in the developing world. MĂ©decins Sans Frontières, the health charity, last month launched a challenge against Pfizer's patent on Prevnar in a bid to allow Indian companies to produce the vaccine cheaper. Manica Balasegaram, executive director of the MSF Access Campaign, says it could be produced in India for $6 per child, compared with Pfizer's reduced $10 price. Critics argue that consolidation in the industry has left too few companies, developing too few vaccines – and that those that do exist tend to be aimed at rich countries.

Note: Read this eye-opening article showing how powerful financial interests control the public narrative about vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


After Admitting Mistake, AstraZeneca Faces Difficult Questions About Its Vaccine
2020-11-25, New York Times
Posted: 2020-12-07 02:13:37
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/25/business/coronavirus-vaccine-astrazeneca-o...

The announcement this week that a cheap, easy-to-make coronavirus vaccine appeared to be up to 90 percent effective was greeted with jubilation. But since unveiling the preliminary results, AstraZeneca has acknowledged a key mistake in the vaccine dosage received by some study participants, adding to questions about whether the vaccine's apparently spectacular efficacy will hold up under additional testing. Scientists and industry experts said the error and a series of other irregularities and omissions in the way AstraZeneca initially disclosed the data have eroded their confidence in the reliability of the results. The regimen that appeared to be 90 percent effective was based on participants receiving a half dose of the vaccine followed a month later by a full dose; the less effective version involved a pair of full doses. AstraZeneca disclosed in its initial announcement that fewer than 2,800 participants received the smaller dosing regimen, compared with nearly 8,900 participants who received two full doses. Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. initiative to fast-track coronavirus vaccines, noted another limitation in AstraZeneca's data. On a call with reporters, he suggested that the participants who received the half-strength initial dose had been 55 years old or younger. The fact that the initial half-strength dose wasn't tested in older participants, who are especially vulnerable to Covid-19, could undermine AstraZeneca's case to regulators that the vaccine should be authorized for emergency use.

Note: Learn in this revealing article how vaccine trials are rigged. This article spells out how vaccine makers are above the law and face no consequences for damage from vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal criminal charges related to nation's opioid crisis
2020-11-30, CNN News
Posted: 2020-12-07 02:06:47
https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/24/us/purdue-pharma-oxycontin-guilty-plea/index.html

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three federal criminal charges related to the company's role in creating the nation's opioid crisis. Purdue Pharma board chairman Steve Miller pleaded guilty on behalf of the company during a virtual federal court hearing in front of US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. The counts include one of dual-object conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and two counts of conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The plea deal announced in October includes the largest penalties ever levied against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, including a criminal fine of $3.544 billion and an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice press release. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018, just one year of the opioid crisis, and about 70% of those deaths were caused by prescription or illicit opioids like OxyContin. Several civil lawsuits against Purdue Pharma related to the opioid crisis are still ongoing as the company undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. The Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation Multi-District Litigation called Purdue Pharma's guilty plea "long overdue." "Their illegal and profit-seeking actions were egregious. It is important to note, however, that they are just one company in one part of the larger opioid supply chain," [the plaintiffs'] attorneys ... said.

Note: The company pays huge fines for the deaths of countless thousands, yet the CEO and others responsible face no legal charges. Where is the deterrent for this egregious behavior? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Is the FDA Too Cozy With Drug Companies?
2016-09-28, Time
Posted: 2020-12-07 02:01:54
https://time.com/4510025/fda-drug-companies-pharmaceutical-industry-medical-r...

People who work at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as medical reviewers are responsible for parsing the risks and benefits of a particular drug before it gets the agency's approval. But a new report from two researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, published in the journal The BMJ, suggests many of these medical reviewers go on to work for the drug companies they oversaw while working for the government. The study's authors ... looked at the FDA's list of haematology-oncology drug approvals from 2006 to 2010 and scanned all medical reviews from 2001 to 2010 in the agency's database, then looked up the subsequent jobs of the people who worked as medical reviewers for those drug approvals. The researchers found that among 55 people who worked as haematology-oncology medical reviewers from 2001 to 2010, 27 continued in their roles at the FDA, two people worked at the FDA but held other appointments, and 15 left the FDA to work with or consult for the biopharmaceutical industry. "If you know in the back of your mind that a major career opportunity after the FDA is going to work on the other side of the table, I worry it can make you less likely to put your foot down," says study author Dr. Vinay Prasad. "Regulators may be less willing to be very tough, and I worry that is happening." Prasad says he would like to see more transparency from the FDA on the number of people who go from the agency to the drug industry.

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


Before the pandemic, top contractor received billions from government to help prepare the nation for biowarfare
2020-06-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-11-29 20:08:40
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/before-the-pandemic-top-contrac...

The Trump administration this month announced that one of its largest pandemic-related contracts would go to a little-known biodefense company named Emergent BioSolutions. The $628 million deal to help manufacture an eventual vaccine cemented Emergent's status as the highest-paid and most important contractor to the HHS office responsible for preparing for public health threats and maintaining the government's stockpile of emergency medical supplies. Emergent has long been the government's sole provider of BioThrax, a vaccine for anthrax poisoning. Emergent's advocacy for biodefense spending over more than a decade was aided by influential allies in Washington and tens of millions of dollars in lobbying campaigns. "It has strategically placed itself to be, let's just say, the company that can't fail," said a former senior government official who worked with Emergent on stockpile operations. The company that would become Emergent began as BioPort Corp., formed in 1998 to buy an aging, state-owned company in Lansing, Mich., that was the only licensed supplier of anthrax vaccine to the Pentagon. The Pentagon ... awarded a $29 million no-bid contract for the anthrax vaccine, BioThrax. Controversy swamped the operation. Hundreds of U.S. troops who received the BioThrax treatment complained of bad reactions, such as headaches and nerve problems. Some troops risked courts-martial by refusing vaccination. Emergent spent nearly $4 million on lobbying last year alone.

Note: To understand the huge influence of lobbying and profits on the development and stockpiling of vaccines, don't miss reading this entire, eye-opening article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and vaccines from reliable major media sources.


One-Third Of New Drugs Had Safety Problems After FDA Approval
2017-05-09, NPR
Posted: 2020-11-29 19:48:17
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/05/09/527575055/one-third-of-n...

The Food and Drug Administration is under pressure from the Trump administration to approve drugs faster, but researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that nearly a third of those approved from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after the medications were made widely available to patients. Seventy-one of the 222 drugs approved in the first decade of the millennium were withdrawn, required a "black box" warning on side effects or warranted a safety announcement about new risks, Dr. Joseph Ross ... and colleagues reported in JAMA. The Yale researchers' previous studies concluded that the FDA approves drugs faster than its counterpart agency in Europe does and that the majority of pivotal trials in drug approvals involved fewer than 1,000 patients and lasted six months or less. It took a median of 4.2 years after the drugs were approved for these safety concerns to come to light, the study found, and issues were more common among psychiatric drugs, biologic drugs, drugs that were granted "accelerated approval" and drugs that were approved near the regulatory deadline for approval. "All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective," [Dr. Caleb Alexander] says. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it's on the market and only after use among a broad population."

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


Pfizer CEO Sold Millions In Stock After Coronavirus Vaccine News, Raising Questions
2020-11-11, NPR
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:45:18
https://www.npr.org/2020/11/11/933957580/pfizer-ceo-sold-millions-in-stock-af...

The chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, sold $5.6 million worth of stock in the pharmaceutical company on Monday. The sale took place on the same day Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective. Bourla's sale of Pfizer stock was part of a trading plan set months in advance. Known as 10b5-1 plans, they essentially put stock trades on autopilot. Executives are supposed to adopt these plans only when they are not in possession of inside information that can affect a company's stock price. On Aug. 19, Bourla implemented his stock-trading plan. The next day, Aug. 20, Pfizer issued a press release ... confirming that Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, were "on track to seek regulatory review" for its vaccine candidate. Daniel Taylor, an expert in insider trading ... told NPR that the close timing between the adoption of Bourla's stock plan and the press release looked "very suspicious." "It's wholly inappropriate for executives at pharmaceutical companies to be implementing or modifying 10b5-1 plans the business day before they announce data or results from drug trials," Taylor said. The stock sales by Pfizer's CEO brought to mind similar concerns with another coronavirus vaccine-maker, Moderna. Multiple executives at Moderna adopted or modified their stock-trading plans just before key announcements about the company's vaccine. Those executives have sold tens of millions of dollars in Moderna stock.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Moderna executives hiked their stock sales after announcing positive vaccine trial
2020-07-21, CBS News
Posted: 2020-11-22 23:43:33
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/moderna-executives-increased-stock-sales-after-c...

Moderna CEO StÄ‚©phane Bancel more than tripled the number of his company shares to be sold through an executive stock plan that was changed just days after the biotech in May announced positive early results for its coronavirus vaccine. Moderna's shares spiked on the May news, rising 30% in just one day. After seeking the executive stock plan change in May, Bancel sold more than 72,000 Moderna shares in the first 16 days of July, generating nearly $4.8 million for the executive. That was more than triple the 22,000 shares he had previously scheduled to sell during the same period through the company's executive trading plan. Another top Moderna executive, President Stephen Hoge, also had his pre-programmed executive trading plan reset around the same time. The change allowed him to sell $1.9 million worth of Moderna stock in the first two weeks of July. The executives' ... sales were made through what are known as 10b5-1 stock plans. These arrangements must be set up or amended at least 30 days before any transactions are executed; they are commonly used at publicly traded companies to help shield executives from potential claims of insider trading. The fact that the plans were changed during the pandemic as news was emerging about the company's closely watched coronavirus vaccine raises new questions about how Moderna executives have pocketed millions of dollars in recent months.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


YouTube Is A Pedophile's Paradise
2020-03-20, Huffington Post
Posted: 2020-11-16 01:25:47
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/youtube-pedophile-paradise_n_5e5d79d1c5b6732f5...

Eleven-year-old Allie sways back and forth. She rolls her eyes into her head and collapses onto the bed behind her. After lying there motionless for a moment, she pops back up. "Um, I wasn't really sure what else to add, 'cause all that was requested was to faint while putting my eyes backwards," she says to the camera, thanking a user who goes by "Martin" for the suggestion. Allie's channel is full of skits that she has eagerly filmed at the request of strangers on YouTube. She's learned that her audience particularly enjoys watching her pretend to pass out and hypnotize herself; those kinds of requests come in all the time. For Allie ... the attention is exciting. To the girl's great delight, her dizzy-themed videos randomly blow up sometimes, pulling in thousands of views despite her small following. She refers to her viewers as "fans" and promises to film whatever they'd like to see. That often means unwittingly acting out sexual fetishes for predators, who flock to her content like flies. This didn't happen by accident. YouTube's automated recommendation engine propels sexually implicit videos of children like Allie from obscurity into virality and onto the screens of pedophiles. Executives at the Google-owned company are well aware of this. Over the years, YouTube has claimed repeatedly that keeping children safe on its platform is a top priority. But ... the company has actually continued to amplify such videos into virality and to specifically steer them toward users seeking sexual content and footage of partially clothed kids.

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


Harvard, Yale Accused Of Failing To Report Hundreds Of Millions In Foreign Donations
2020-02-13, NPR
Posted: 2020-11-16 01:20:19
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/13/805548681/harvard-yale-targets-of-education-de...

The U.S. Department of Education says it is opening an investigation into Yale and Harvard universities for failing to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts and contracts from foreign donors. The two Ivy League schools have been singled out in a federal crackdown on institutions of higher learning for allegedly not reporting foreign donations of more than $250,000, as required by law under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. The Department of Education said Yale failed to disclosed a total of $375 million in foreign money and that it was concerned that Harvard may not have fully complied with reporting requirements. The investigation of Yale and Harvard is part of a larger examination by the DOE, which says its enforcement efforts, since July, have triggered the reporting of approximately $6.5 billion in previously undisclosed foreign money, much of it from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, according to the department. In the case of Yale, the letter from the DOE specifically requested all records from the school related to gifts or contracts from Saudi Arabia, Saudi nationals, China, Huawei Technologies and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE ... were placed on a U.S. sanctions blacklist last year. In February of last year, a Senate report described China's influence on the U.S. education system as "effectively a black hole," because universities were failing to report foreign money.

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


Why tech giants limited the spread of NY Post story on Biden
2020-10-15, Star Tribune/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-11-01 23:13:16
https://www.startribune.com/why-tech-giants-limited-the-spread-of-ny-post-sto...

When Facebook and Twitter moved quickly this week to limit the spread of an unverified political story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post, it led to predictable cries of censorship from the right. But it also illustrated the slippery hold even the largest tech companies have on the flow of information. While Facebook and Twitter have often been slow to combat apparent misinformation ... their response in this case shows how quickly they can move when they want to. For the first time in recent memory, the two social media platforms enforced rules against misinformation on a story from a mainstream media publication. The story in question, which has not been confirmed by other publications, cited unverified emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son that were reportedly discovered by President Donald Trump's allies. Facebook used the possibility of false information as the reason to limit the article's reach, which means its algorithm shows it to fewer people, much the way you might not see as many posts from friends you don't interact with often. Twitter, meanwhile, blocked users from tweeting out the link to the story and from sending it in private messages. Though they acted quickly, both companies stumbled on communicating their decision to the public. In part because of this, and in part by the mere act of trying to limit the story, the tech platforms soon became the story.

Note: For more on this important story, read Matt Taibbi's article titled "With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


OxyContin Maker Purdue to Plead Guilty Over Opioid Practices, Deal Sparks Opposition
2020-10-21, US News & World Report/Reuters
Posted: 2020-10-27 19:37:30
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-10-21/oxycontin-maker-purd...

Purdue Pharma LP agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin, in a deal with U.S. prosecutors that effectively sidestepped paying billions of dollars in penalties and stopped short of criminally charging its executives or wealthy Sackler family owners. Prosecutors imposed significant penalties exceeding $8 billion against Purdue, though the lion's share will go largely unpaid. Purdue agreed to pay $225 million toward a $2 billion criminal forfeiture, with the Justice Department foregoing the rest if the company completes a bankruptcy reorganization dissolving itself and shifting assets to a "public benefit company," or similar entity, that steers the $1.775 billion unpaid portion to thousands of U.S. communities suing it over the opioid crisis. A $3.54 billion criminal fine and $2.8 billion civil penalty are likely to receive cents on the dollar as they compete with trillions of dollars of other claims from those communities and other creditors in Purdue's bankruptcy proceedings. Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue agreed to pay a separate $225 million civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare, according to court records. Neither the Sacklers nor any Purdue executives were criminally charged. Purdue reaped more than $30 billion from sales of OxyContin over the years, enriching Sackler family members while funneling illegal kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies.

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


Alleged animal abuse in US dairy sector under investigation
2020-10-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-10-27 18:23:54
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/15/alleged-animal-abuse-in-u...

Evidence of what appears to be aggressive animal abuse, practices leading to heightened disease risk and cows being passed off as organic at a Texan auctioneers has been presented to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) by undercover welfare investigators. The ... investigation centres on Texan auctioneers, Erath County Dairy Sales (ECDS). Undercover video footage filmed at ECDS between January and March 2020 ... was delivered to the USDA by the US-Brazil based NGO, Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development (Seed). In one video, the undercover investigator, hired as an animal handler, is told that removing a cowâ₏™s ear tags, and replacing them with new â₏Œback tagsâ₏ť that indicate a cow is organic, can triple or quadruple their meat sale value. The investigator said he witnessed the tag switching process. First, a bladed tool was used to remove the ear tags, which are part of the USDAâ₏™s animal disease traceability framework. These tags were not replaced. Instead, another tag, known as a back tag or sticker, was glued to the cowâ₏™s back. The stickers indicate the cow is organic and from Texas. A lawyer for California-based NGO, Animal Legal Defense Fund, said she was â₏Œnot too surprisedâ₏ť by the tag switching accusations. â₏ŒWe have seen this type of thing before,â₏ť said Kelsey Eberly. She fears the practice is â₏Œmore commonâ₏ť than people would expect, mainly â₏Œbecause the price premium is so much higherâ₏ť for organic and better welfare meat and dairy.

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


New Documents Reveal How the Animal Agriculture Industry Surveils and Punishes Critics
2020-10-10, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-10-19 17:02:33
https://theintercept.com/2020/10/10/new-documents-reveal-how-the-animal-agric...

Animal agriculture industry groups defending factory farms engage in campaigns of surveillance, reputation destruction, and other forms of retaliation against industry critics and animal rights activists, documents obtained through a FOIA request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveal. That the USDA possesses these emails and other documents demonstrates the federal government’s knowledge of, if not participation in, these industry campaigns. These documents detail ongoing monitoring of the social media of news outlets, including The Intercept, which report critically on factory farms. They reveal private surveillance activities aimed at animal rights groups and their members. They include discussions of how to create a climate of intimidation for activists who work against industry abuses, including by photographing the activists and publishing the photos online. And they describe a coordinated ostracization campaign that specifically targets veterinarians who criticize industry practices. One of the industry groups central to these activities is the Animal Agriculture Alliance, which represents factory farms and other animal agriculture companies. The group boasts that one of its prime functions is “Monitoring Activism,” by which they mean: “We identify emerging threats and provide insightful resources on animal rights and other activist groups by attending their events, monitoring traditional and social media and engaging our national network.”

Note: Watch an interview with Dr. Crystal Heath, a veterinarian targeted by Animal Agricultural Alliance for her activism against inhumane factory farming practices. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Operation Warp Speed's Big Vaccine Contracts Could Stay Secret
2020-09-29, NPR
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:31:41
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/29/917899357/how-operation-...

The Trump administration has compared Operation Warp Speed's crash program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to the Manhattan Project. And like the notoriously secretive government project to make the first atomic bomb, the details of Operation Warp Speed's work may take a long time to unravel. One reason is that Operation Warp Speed is issuing billions of dollars' worth of coronavirus vaccine contracts to companies through a nongovernment intermediary, bypassing the regulatory oversight and transparency of traditional federal contracting mechanisms, NPR has learned. Instead of entering into contracts directly with vaccine makers, more than $6 billion in Operation Warp Speed funding has been routed through a defense contract management firm called Advanced Technologies International, Inc. ATI then awarded contracts to companies working on COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, the contracts between the pharmaceutical companies and ATI may not be available through public records requests, and additional documents are exempt from public disclosure for five years. [Robin] Feldman, of UC Hastings, says the administration's comparison of Operation Warp Speed to the Manhattan Project is troubling. "I think that's completely the wrong image," she says. "The right analogy, I think, for Operation Warp Speed is the penicillin effort in World War II. We can do a lot of good together, but we have to make sure pharma companies aren't taking advantage of the crisis."

Note: Read an excellent article showing how most of these contracts are linked to the CIA and DHS and more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


‘Mighty whiteboard of truth’: The weapon Rep. Katie Porter used to school a pharma exec — and plenty others
2020-10-01, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:22:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/01/katie-porter-whiteboard-math...

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) got out her marker and scrawled a figure on the whiteboard beside her: $13 million. “Do you know what this number is?” she asked Mark Alles, the former CEO of the pharmaceutical company Celgene, as he testified remotely before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. “Does it ring any bells?” Alles could hardly get his answer out before Porter scribbled more math on the board. That multimillion figure — his total compensation in 2017 — was already 200 times the average income in the United States, the congresswoman pointed out. It got even larger, she said, after Celgene needlessly tripled the cost of a cancer medication, thus securing himself hefty bonuses in return. As of early Thursday, the rapid-fire interrogation had been viewed more than 15 million times on Twitter — the latest in a long list of her viral cross-examinations. These stunning exchanges at congressional hearings have themselves gained plenty of attention beyond Capitol Hill — especially when Porter pulls out what one person on Twitter dubbed “her mighty whiteboard of truth.” It is this kind of clear, insistent inquiry that has made Porter — a consumer protection lawyer ... who studied bankruptcy law under Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — so effective at grilling everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to little-known Trump appointees, all with a dry-erase marker and some simple math. “No one has ever wielded a weapon as terrifying as Katie Porter’s whiteboard,” wrote Molly Wood, a public radio journalist.

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


Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation
2020-09-22, MSN News
Posted: 2020-10-12 00:20:20
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/facebook-suspends-environmental-groups-d...

Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform. Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook over the weekend. Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended. The suspended people and groups were all involved in a Facebook event from May last year that targeted KKR & Co, a US investment firm that is backing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670km-long gas development being built in northern British Columbia, Canada. The suspensions, the day before another online action aimed at KKR & Co, has enraged activists who oppose the pipeline for its climate impact and for cutting through the land of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, a First Nations people. “Videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are allowed to persist on Facebook,” said Delee Nikal, a Wet’suwet’en community member. “Yet we are banned.” Many of the accounts have now been restored, but a handful are still blocked. The suspensions came just a few days after the social media giant said it was launching a “climate science information center” to counter ... posts that reject the established science of the climate crisis.

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


Why The Social Dilemma is the most important documentary of our times
2020-09-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-10-04 21:02:29
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/social-dilemm...

Netflix’s brilliant new 90-minute docu-drama, The Social Dilemma ... might be the most important watch of recent years. The film, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January, takes a premise that’s unlikely to set the world alight ... ie that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al aren’t exactly creating a utopia. Its masterstroke is in recruiting the very Silicon Valley insiders that built these platforms to explain their terrifying pitfalls – which they’ve realised belatedly. You don’t get a much clearer statement of social media’s dangers than an ex-Facebook executive’s claim that: “In the shortest time horizon I’m most worried about civil war.” The commonly held belief that social media companies sell users’ data is quickly cast aside – the data is actually used to create a sophisticated psychological profile of you. What they’re selling is their ability to manipulate you, or as one interviewee puts it: “It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception. It’s the only thing for them to make money from: changing what you do, how you think, who you are.” Despite it being public knowledge that Vote Leave and Trump’s 2016 election campaign harvested voters’ Facebook data on a gigantic scale, The Social Dilemma still manages to find fresh and vital tales of how these platforms destabilise modern politics. Russia’s Facebook hack to influence the 2016 US election? “The Russians didn’t hack Facebook. They used the tools that Facebook made for legitimate advertisers,” laments one of the company’s ex-investors.

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


Global banks seek to contain damage over $2 trillion of suspicious transfers
2020-09-21, MSN News/Reuters
Posted: 2020-09-28 03:31:11
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/global-banks-seek-to-contain-damage-o...

Global banks faced a fresh scandal about dirty money on Monday as they sought to limit the fallout from a cache of leaked documents showing they transferred more than $2 trillion in suspect funds over nearly two decades. Britain-based HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Plc, Germany's Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, and U.S.-headquartered JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of New York Mellon Corp were among the lenders named in the report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and based on leaked documents. The report was based on 2,100 leaked suspicious activity reports (SARs), covering transactions between 1999 and 2017, filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Banks are required to file an SAR whenever handling funds that cause grounds for suspicion of criminal activity. The reports revealed broader problems with the monitoring system at the heart of global policing of money laundering and other criminal activity. Investors worried about the potential fallout for global banks, many of which have faced hefty fines in the past for lapses in controls and spent billions of dollars to bolster compliance. "It confirms what we already knew: that there are huge amounts of SARs being filed with relatively low numbers of cases brought through to prosecution,” said Etelka Bogardi, a Hong Kong-based financial services partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. "It also brings out the point that managing financial crime risk goes beyond making SARs," Bogardi said.

Note: The original ICIJ report is titled “Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals and terrorists.” Compare with the title of the New York Times article on this, “Banks Suspected Illegal Activity, but Processed Big Transactions Anyway.” A search on this topic shows that headlines of almost all major media have watered this down, likely to not upset the big banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Journalism’s Gates keepers
2020-08-21, Colombia Journalism Review
Posted: 2020-09-07 23:14:30
https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php

Last August, NPR profiled a Harvard-led experiment to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods. Every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project. NPR itself receives funding from Gates. The story ... is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees. And that speaks to a larger trend - and ethical issue - with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations ... an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation. During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid - even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively - both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.

Note: Watch an excellent 15-minute presentation by courageous journalist Ben Swann on the agenda of facebook fact checkers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


Does Gates funding of media taint objectivity?
2011-02-19, Seattle Times
Posted: 2020-09-07 23:12:38
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/does-gates-funding-of-media-taint-o...

Perhaps you saw Ray Suarez’s three-part series on poverty and AIDS in Mozambique on the PBS NewsHour. Or listened to Public Radio International’s piece on the rationing of kidney dialysis in South Africa. These reports ... were all bankrolled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Better-known for its battles against global disease, the giant philanthropy has also become a force in journalism. The foundation’s grants to media organizations such as ABC and The Guardian, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, raise obvious conflict-of-interest questions: How can reporting be unbiased when a major player holds the purse strings? The foundation has invested millions in training programs for journalists. It funds research on the most effective ways to craft media messages. Gates-backed think tanks turn out media fact sheets and newspaper opinion pieces. Magazines and scientific journals get Gates money to publish research and articles. Experts coached in Gates-funded programs write columns that appear in media outlets from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, while digital portals blur the line between journalism and spin. Over the past decade, Gates has devoted $1 billion to these programs. Beyond direct links to media, the foundation also supports a dizzying mix of organizations whose goals include influencing media coverage. An interested citizen might think she’s getting news and information from a variety of sources, but many of them might be funded by Gates.

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


Big Pharma's Covid-19 Profiteers
2020-08-13, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2020-08-24 16:20:39
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/big-pharma-covid-19-p...

What Americans need to understand about the race to find vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 is that in the U.S., even when companies appear to downshift from maximum greed levels – and it's not at all clear they've done this with coronavirus treatments – the production of pharmaceutical drugs is still a nearly riskless, subsidy-laden scam. Americans reacted in horror five years ago when a self-satisfied shark of an executive named Martin Shkreli, a.k.a. the "Pharma Bro," helped his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raise the price of lifesaving toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Shkreli, who smirked throughout congressional testimony ... was held up as a uniquely smug exemplar of corporate evil. Really, the whole industry is one big Shkreli, and Covid-19 – a highly contagious virus with unique properties that may require generations of vaccinations and booster shots – looms now as the ultimate cash cow for lesser-known Pharma Bros. "The power of the industry combined with fear is driving extraordinary spending," says U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who has been ... warning about pandemic profiteering. "It all suggests rosy times ahead for the pharmaceutical industry." Recent House and Senate emergency-spending bills allocate as much as $20 billion or more for vaccine development, and another $6 billion for manufacturing and distribution. "The public will pay for much research and manufacturing," says Doggett. "Only the profits will be privatized."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources


Federal charges describe elaborate scheme, bankrolled by FirstEnergy, to corrupt Ohio politics and secure nuclear bailout
2020-07-22, MSN News
Posted: 2020-08-24 16:16:43
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/federal-charges-describe-elaborate-sc...

Federal charging documents unsealed Tuesday describe how the company, FirstEnergy, spent $60 million to get House Speaker Larry Householder and his favored candidates elected, securing in return a $1.3 billion bailout, paid for by Ohio ratepayers. Householder and Jeff Longstreth, a top aide ... set up Generation Now, a secretive political nonprofit that could raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. “Having secured Householder’s power as Speaker, the Enterprise transitioned quickly to fulfilling its end of the corrupt bargain with Company A — Passing nuclear bailout legislation,” the complaint reads. After Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill ... opponents, allied with natural-gas and environmental interests in the state, got to work trying to repeal it. They cleared an initial hurdle, collecting 1,000 valid signatures from voters. They had until Oct. 21 to gather hundreds of thousands more signatures. FirstEnergy and FirstEnergy Solutions sent $38 million to Generation Now. The campaign spent millions on mailers and ads discouraging Ohioans from signing the petitions. It also hired petition firms to prevent them from working for the repeal side. “For example,” the complaint reads,” in a meeting on July 24, 2019, which was recorded, [lobbyist Neil] Clark stated that he wired about $450,000 today hiring signature collections people to not work.” Some of the petitioners worked as “blockers,” disrupting the other side’s signature gathering efforts by following them around and making possible signers uncomfortable.

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


Lawyers seek to halt Purdue Pharma political contributions
2020-07-11, Associated Press
Posted: 2020-08-24 16:08:33
https://apnews.com/0f5546a3fb25e50f029bdd1ec8a4424a

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma should not be able to make any more political contributions without a judge’s permission, lawyers for its creditors said in a court filing. The issue came up this week after it was reported that the company, which has a long history of influencing policymakers, made contributions to national associations representing state attorneys general and governors. The money was sent after Purdue entered bankruptcy protection last year in an effort to settle thousands of lawsuits accusing it of helping spark an opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has contributed to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S.. State attorneys general are among those trying to negotiate a nationwide settlement. The committee of creditors that asked for recipients to return the money to Purdue said the contributions represent a conflict. “The Political Contributions — $185,000 in donations to associations whose members include the very public servants with whom the Debtors are attempting to negotiate a consensual resolution of these cases — are precisely the sort of transaction that demand close scrutiny,” they said in a filing. In 2016, an investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that Purdue and other companies in the opioid industry, along with the advocacy groups largely funded by the industry, spent more than $880 million from 2006 through 2015 to influence state and local governments. Those efforts helped fight off restrictions on drug prescriptions.

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


Millions of Americans Have Lost Jobs in the Pandemic — And Robots and AI Are Replacing Them Faster Than Ever
2020-08-06, Time magazine
Posted: 2020-08-16 20:57:58
https://time.com/5876604/machines-jobs-coronavirus/

For 23 years, Larry Collins worked in a [toll] booth. But one day in mid-March, as confirmed cases of the coronavirus were skyrocketing, Collins’ supervisor called and told him not to come into work the next day. Collins’ job was disappearing, as were the jobs of around 185 other toll collectors at bridges in Northern California, all to be replaced by technology. The drive to replace humans with machinery is accelerating as companies struggle to avoid workplace infections of COVID-19 and to keep operating costs low. The U.S. shed around 40 million jobs at the peak of the pandemic. Some will never return. One group of economists estimates that 42% of the jobs lost are gone forever. This replacement of humans with machines may pick up more speed in coming months as companies move from survival mode to figuring out how to operate while the pandemic drags on. Robots could replace as many as 2 million more workers in manufacturing alone by 2025. “Look at the business model of Google, Facebook, Netflix. They’re not in the business of creating new tasks for humans,” says Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist. The U.S. government incentivizes companies to automate, he says, by giving tax breaks for buying machinery and software. A business that pays a worker $100 pays $30 in taxes, but a business that spends $100 on equipment pays about $3 in taxes, he notes. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered taxes on purchases so much that “you can actually make money buying equipment,” Acemoglu says.

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


Inside TikTok owner’s dystopian Chinese censorship machine
2020-07-12, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-08-16 20:47:55
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/07/12/inside-tiktoks-dystopian-ch...

It's a fairly ordinary evening on TikTok, the video-sharing app. Things do not seem so different on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, where a live streaming boom has minted new social media millionaires. Behind the scenes, however, Chinese streamers are subject to an elaborate regime of automated surveillance and censorship. One system can use facial recognition to scan live streamers' broadcasts and guess their age. Another checks whether users' faces match their state ID cards. Another system assigns streamers, who are expected to uphold "public order and good customs", a "safety rating", similar to a "credit score". If the score dips below a certain level, they are punished automatically. Meanwhile, speech and text recognition is used to ferret out sins such as "feudal superstition" [and] defamation of the Communist Party. These methods are laid bare in a little-known document from TikTok and Douyin's parent company, ByteDance, and unearthed by New York City journalist Izzy Niu, which explains how the apps have adapted China's strict internet censorship laws to the unprecedented speed and chaos of live streaming. The document raises difficult questions for TikTok, which faces privacy probes in the US and UK and has already been banned in India. Some of these methods are common in the West, too. Both Facebook and YouTube use AI to police their services, and have massively expanded their censorship during the pandemic.

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


A plasma shot could prevent coronavirus. But feds and makers won't act, scientists say
2020-07-10, MSN News
Posted: 2020-08-10 18:21:06
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-plasma-shot-could-prevent-coronavi...

Scientists have devised a way to use the antibody-rich blood plasma of COVID-19 survivors for an upper-arm injection that they say could inoculate people against the virus for months. Using technology that's been proven effective in preventing other diseases such as hepatitis A, the injections would be administered to high-risk healthcare workers, nursing home patients, or even at public drive-through sites. But the idea exists only on paper. Federal officials have twice rejected requests to discuss the proposal, and pharmaceutical companies — even acknowledging the likely efficacy of the plan — have declined to design or manufacture the shots. The antibodies in plasma can be concentrated and delivered to patients through a type of drug called immune globulin, or Ig, which can be given through either an IV drip or a shot. Yet for the coronavirus, manufacturers are only developing an intravenous solution of Ig. Intravenous plasma products are traditionally the main economic driver for the industry. The money-making antibodies are also far more diluted in intravenous drugs than in injectable ones, which boosts profit margins. “They charge a fortune off of intravenous drugs in the hospital. They don't want to devote the manufacturing plant to something that won't make oodles of money,” said one infectious disease expert. Researchers also said industry executives have little incentive to produce the immunity shots for the coronavirus, given the possibility that a longer-lasting vaccine could replace it within a year.

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


The race for a coronavirus vaccine is making some corporate insiders very rich.
2020-07-27, New York Times
Posted: 2020-08-10 18:19:18
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/27/business/the-race-for-a-coronavirus-vaccin...

Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members are making millions of dollars after announcing positive developments, including support from the government, in their efforts to fight Covid-19. After such announcements, insiders from at least 11 companies – most of them smaller firms whose fortunes often hinge on the success or failure of a single drug – have sold shares worth well over $1 billion since March, according to figures compiled for The New York Times. The sudden windfalls highlight the powerful financial incentives for company officials to generate positive headlines in the race for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, even if the drugs might never pan out. Some officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have grown concerned about whether companies are trying to inflate their stock prices by exaggerating their roles in Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19. In some cases, company insiders ... appear to be pouncing on opportunities to cash out while their stock prices are sky high. And some companies have awarded stock options to executives shortly before market-moving announcements about their vaccine progress. "It is inappropriate for drug company executives to cash in on a crisis," said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs. "Every day, Americans wake up and make sacrifices during this pandemic. Drug companies see this as a payday."

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


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It
2020-01-08, New York Times
Posted: 2020-08-02 16:58:33
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recogn...

Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously. His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants. Without public scrutiny, more than 600 law enforcement agencies have started using Clearview in the past year. The computer code underlying its app ... includes programming language to pair it with augmented-reality glasses; users would potentially be able to identify every person they saw. The tool could identify activists at a protest or an attractive stranger on the subway, revealing not just their names but where they lived, what they did and whom they knew. And it’s not just law enforcement: Clearview has also licensed the app to at least a handful of companies for security purposes. Because the police upload photos of people they’re trying to identify, Clearview possesses a growing database of individuals who have attracted attention from law enforcement. The company also has the ability to manipulate the results that the police see.

Note: For lots more on this disturbing new technology, read one writer's personal experience with it. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine
2020-07-25, MSN News
Posted: 2020-08-02 16:56:19
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/corporate-insiders-pocket-dollar1-b...

On June 26, a small South San Francisco company called Vaxart made a surprise announcement: A coronavirus vaccine it was working on had been selected by the U.S. government to be part of Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19. The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and some companies and investors are betting that the winners stand to earn vast profits from selling hundreds of millions – or even billions – of doses to a desperate public. Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members ... are making millions of dollars after announcing positive developments, including support from the government, in their efforts to fight Covid-19. After such announcements, insiders from at least 11 companies – most of them smaller firms whose fortunes often hinge on the success or failure of a single drug – have sold shares worth well over $1 billion since March. Senior officials appear to be pouncing on opportunities to cash out. And some companies have awarded stock options to executives shortly before market-moving announcements about their vaccine progress. Some companies are attracting government scrutiny for ... using their associations with Operation Warp Speed as marketing ploys. Vaxart's news release declared: "Vaxart's Covid-19 Vaccine Selected for the U.S. Government's Operation Warp Speed." But Vaxart is not among the companies selected to receive significant financial support from Warp Speed.

Note: MSN strangely removed this article a few days after posting it. A similar article by the New York Times titled "The race for a coronavirus vaccine is making some corporate insiders very rich" is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: oil giants help fund powerful police groups in top US cities
2020-07-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-08-02 16:48:18
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/27/fossil-fuels-oil-gas-industry...

Big corporations accused of driving environmental and health inequalities in black and brown communities through toxic and climate-changing pollution are also funding powerful police groups in major US cities, according to a new investigation. Some of America’s largest oil and gas companies, private utilities, and financial institutions that bankroll fossil fuels also back police foundations – opaque private entities that raise money to pay for training, weapons, equipment, and surveillance technology for departments across the US. The investigation by the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit corporate and government accountability research institute ... details how police foundations in cities such as Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Salt Lake City are partially funded by household names such as Chevron, Shell and Wells Fargo. Police foundations are industry groups that provide substantial funds to local departments, yet, as nonprofits, avoid much public scrutiny. The investigation details how firms linked to fossil fuels also sponsor events and galas that celebrate the police, while some have senior staff serving as directors of police foundations. The report portrays the fossil fuel industry as a common enemy in the struggle for racial and environmental justice. “Many powerful companies that drive environmental injustice are also backers of the same police departments that tyrannize the very communities these corporate actors pollute,” it states.

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


Taxpayers paid to develop remdesivir but will have no say when Gilead sets the price
2020-05-26, MSN News
Posted: 2020-07-26 22:03:18
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/taxpayers-paid-to-develop-remdesivir-but-wi...

The drug that buoyed expectations for a coronavirus treatment and drew international attention for Gilead Sciences, remdesivir, started as a reject. To make progress, Gilead needed help from U.S. taxpayers. Lots of help. Three federal health agencies were deeply involved in remdesivir’s development every step of the way, providing tens of millions of dollars of government research support. Federal agencies have not asserted patent rights to Gilead’s drug. That means Gilead will have few constraints other than political pressure when it sets a price. “Without direct public investment and tax subsidies, this drug would apparently have remained in the scrapheap of unsuccessful drugs,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) ... said earlier this month. Doggett and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for a detailed financial accounting of federal support for remdesivir’s discovery and development. Watchdog groups ... have documented the large taxpayer-funded contributions toward the drug. Public Citizen estimates public investment at a minimum of $70 million. An independent organization that measures the cost-effectiveness of drugs said Gilead could be justified in charging up to $4,500 for a 10-day course of treatment for a single coronavirus patient. But advocates, citing a study by academic researchers on what it costs to make the drug, have said Gilead could break even by charging $1 per dose.

Note: According to this CNBC article Gilead is charging from $2,000 to $3,120 per patient despite huge subsidies. Gilead is the same company which developed Tamiflu and licensed it to Roche. Aggressive sales of Tamiflu to governments around the world brought profits of over $1 billion yet almost none of the doses sold were ever used, as described in this Reuters article. The study that is being used to tout Remdesivir was conducted by none other than Gilead. Could there be conflict of interest here? For more, see summaries of revealing news articles on big Pharma corruption.


It was his dream job. He never thought he'd be bribing doctors and wearing a wire for the feds.
2020-07-07, NBC News
Posted: 2020-07-20 01:37:20
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/it-was-his-dream-job-he-never-though...

When Oswald Bilotta landed his dream job as a sales representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in 1999, he thought he'd be doing good. He had no idea that just over a decade later, he'd be part of a vast federal investigation into kickbacks at Novartis and that he'd be paying cash bribes to doctors while wearing a wire for prosecutors. On July 1, Ozzie Bilotta's years long effort to blow the whistle at Novartis paid off. The Justice Department announced a $678 million settlement with the company over improper inducements it made to doctors to prescribe 10 of the company's drugs, including the anti-hypertension drug Lotrel. The deal represents the biggest whistleblower settlement under the federal anti-kickback law, Bilotta's lawyer said. Bilotta ... could receive a pretax sum of $75 million through the settlement. In the settlement, Novartis admitted to "certain conduct" alleged by the government and will sharply curtail practices exposed by Bilotta that gave doctors incentives to prescribe its drugs. Novartis derived at least $40 million as a result of the conduct, money that was paid by federal health care programs, the government said. "For more than a decade, Novartis spent hundreds of millions of dollars on so-called speaker programs, including speaking fees, exorbitant meals, and top-shelf alcohol that were nothing more than bribes to get doctors across the country to prescribe Novartis's drugs," said Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney for southern New York, whose office prosecuted the case.

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


Deutsche Bank reaches $150m settlement linked to Jeffrey Epstein
2020-07-07, MSN News
Posted: 2020-07-12 16:13:45
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/deutsche-bank-reaches-150m-settlement-l...

Deutsche Bank (DBK.DE) has agreed to pay $150m (Ł119m) over compliance failings in part linked to dealings with Jeffrey Epstein. New York’s Department of Financial Services said in a statement on Tuesday it had imposed the penalty on Deutsche Bank’s New York branch for “significant compliance failures in connection with the Bank’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein,” the accused child sex trafficker who died in police custody last year. The penalty also covers anti-money laundering failings linked to Danske Bank Estonia and Middle Eastern bank FBME. Epstein, who is believed to have been a billionaire, became a client of Deutsche Bank’s in 2013, five years after he pleaded guilty to procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18 in Florida. Despite coverage of the settlement and subsequent allegations against Epstein, investigators found Deutsche Bank failed to properly monitor his account. “Hundreds of transactions totalling millions of dollars” that raised red flags were missed, the New York Department of Financial Services said. These included payments to Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators, settlement payments with victims totalling $7m, payments to Russian models, payments for women’s school tuition and expenses, and payments to “numerous women with Eastern European surnames” that were “consistent with public allegations of prior wrongdoing.” Repeated “suspicious” cash withdrawals by Epstein — totally over $800,000 over four years — also failed to raise concerns.

Note: 60 Minutes Australia has produced an excellent segment on Jeffrey Epstein and his recently arrested sidekick Ghislaine Maxwell. How did Epstein get away with sexually abusing hundreds of teenage girls for decades? The government and multiple police departments knew what was happening, yet key officials in high positions of power protected him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid
2020-07-06, MSN/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-07-12 16:05:15
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-connected-lobbyists-reap-windfa...

Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid. The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump’s campaigns. Trump pledged to clamp down on Washington's influence peddling with a “drain the swamp” campaign mantra. But during his administration, the lobbying industry has flourished, a trend that intensified once Congress passed more than $3.6 trillion in coronavirus stimulus. While the money is intended as a lifeline to a nation whose economy has been upended by the pandemic, it also jump-started a familiar lobbying bonanza. Shortly after Trump took office, he issued an executive order prohibiting former administration officials from lobbying the agency or office where they were formerly employed, for a period of five years. Another section of the order forbids lobbying the administration by former political appointees for the remainder of Trump's time in office. Yet five lobbyists who are former administration officials have potentially done just that during the coronavirus lobbying boom. Public Citizen's Craig Holman, who himself is a registered lobbyist, said the group intends to file ethics complaints with the White House. But he's not optimistic that they will lead to anything.

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


New records show Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have thousands of previously unreported military and law enforcement contracts
2020-07-08, MSN News
Posted: 2020-07-12 16:01:04
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/new-records-show-google-microsoft-a...

Ties between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon are deeper than previously known, according to thousands of previously unreported subcontracts published Wednesday. The subcontracts were obtained through open records requests by accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry. They show that tech giants including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have secured more than 5,000 agreements with agencies including the Department of Defense, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the FBI. Tech workers in recent years have pressured their employers to drop contracts with law enforcement and the military. Google workers revolted in 2018 after Gizmodo revealed that Google was building artificial intelligence for drone targeting through a subcontract with the Pentagon — after some employees quit in protest, Google agreed not to renew the contract. Employees at Amazon and Microsoft have petitioned both companies to drop their contracts with ICE and the military. Neither company has. The newly-surfaced subcontracts ... show that the companies' connections to the Pentagon run deeper than many employees were previously aware. Tech Inquiry's research was led by Jack Poulson, a former Google researcher. "Often the high-level contract description between tech companies and the military looks very vanilla," Poulson [said]. "But only when you look at the details ... do you see the workings of how the customization from a tech company would actually be involved."

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


Gilead's $2,340 price for coronavirus drug draws criticism
2020-06-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-07-05 19:40:09
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Gilead-prices-coronavirus-drug-at-2-340-f...

The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries. Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors. The price was swiftly criticized; a consumer group called it “an outrage” because of the amount taxpayers invested toward the drug's development. In 127 poor or middle-income countries, Gilead is allowing generic makers to supply the drug; two countries are doing that for around $600 per treatment course. The drug, given through an IV, interferes with the coronavirus’s ability to copy its genetic material. In a U.S. government-led study, remdesivir shortened recovery time by 31% — 11 days on average versus 15 days for those given just usual care. Peter Maybarduk, a lawyer at the consumer group Public Citizen, called the price “an outrage.” “Remdesivir should be in the public domain” because the drug received at least $70 million in public funding toward its development, he said. “The price puts to rest any notion that drug companies will ‘do the right thing’ because it is a pandemic,” Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert ... said. “The price might have been fine if the company had demonstrated that the treatment saved lives. It didn’t.”

Note: The March coronavirus package passed in the U.S. "not only omitted language that would have limited drug makers’ intellectual property rights, it specifically prohibited the federal government from taking any action if it has concerns that the treatments or vaccines developed with public funds are priced too high." While many suffer economically from the virus, big Pharma is raking in big bucks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: how drug firms 'hoodwink' medical journals
2003-12-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-07-05 19:32:38
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/dec/07/health.businessofresearch

Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies, an Observer inquiry reveals. The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products. Estimates suggest that almost half of all articles published in journals are by ghostwriters. While doctors who have put their names to the papers can be paid handsomely for 'lending' their reputations, the ghostwriters remain hidden. In the United States a legal case brought against drug firm Pfizer turned up internal company documents showing that it employed a New York medical writing agency. One document analyses articles about the anti-depressant Zoloft. Some of the articles lacked only one thing: a doctor's name. In the margin the agency had put the initials TBD, which Healy assumes means 'to be determined'. Dr Richard Smith, editor of the British Journal of Medicine, admitted ghostwriting was a 'very big problem'. 'We are being hoodwinked by the drug companies. The articles come in with doctors' names on them and we often find some of them have little or no idea about what they have written,' he said.

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


Bayer reaches over $10 billion settlement in Roundup cancer lawsuits
2020-06-04, MSN/NBC News
Posted: 2020-06-29 19:10:43
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/bayer-reaches-105-billion-settlement-in-rou...

Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits regarding claims that its Roundup herbicide causes cancer, the company announced. Monsanto, bought by Bayer in 2018, lost a lawsuit that same year brought by a school groundskeeper who claimed its weedkiller had caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Since then, thousands of U.S. lawsuits have been filed against the company. The settlement, however, does not contain an admission of wrongdoing or liability. Bayer will pay $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to settle existing lawsuits and then another $1.25 billion that will cover any potential litigation in the future. Lawsuits allege that Monsanto ignored warnings that its herbicide contained potentially cancer causing chemicals, then concealed the threat to consumers. A jury awarded California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson nearly $290 million in damages in August 2018 after they found Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and other consumers about the risks posed by its weed-killing products. A judge upheld the decision upon appeal, but lowered the damages to $78 million due to what she considered an overreach in punitive damages decided by the jury. And last year, a California jury awarded a husband and wife more than $2 billion in damages in a suit that claimed Roundup caused their illness. German pharmaceuticals and chemical giant Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018 just months before Johnson won his suit against the company. Bayer eliminated the Monsanto name, but maintained the brands.

Note: The negative health impacts of Roundup are well known. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Moderna's coronavirus vaccine announcement set off a frenzy on Wall Street. Now some are calling for an investigation
2020-06-01, CNN News
Posted: 2020-06-22 21:06:01
https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/01/business/moderna-vaccine-stock-sales-invs/inde...

Moderna set off a frenzy on Wall Street earlier this month when it announced positive, preliminary results from its coronavirus vaccine trial. As the hype grew, the young biotech company and its leading investor wasted no time capitalizing on the briefly surging stock price. Even as critics accused Moderna of overhyping the results released on May 18, a series of transactions were executed before its share price fizzled over the next week. The timing of those deals, former SEC officials said, appear to be "highly problematic" and should be investigated for potential illegal market manipulation. Just hours after revealing the promising vaccine results, Moderna (MRNA) sold 17.6 million shares to the public. That share sale, unveiled after the closing bell on May 18, was priced at $76; Moderna traded at just $48 as recently as May 6. The deal instantly raised $1.3 billion. Two of Moderna's top executives also cashed in on the boom at their company, which had suddenly amassed a $29 billion market value despite the fact it has no marketed products. By the time the selling was disclosed to the public via securities filings, Moderna's stock price had crashed back to Earth. The timing of the transactions - coupled with concerns from some medical experts that Moderna overstated the significance of its Phase 1 vaccine trial - should be investigated by authorities. Thomas Gorman, [a] former SEC official, said the agency should "absolutely" be investigating the situation at Moderna.

Note: Why didn't the media report that the Moderna vaccine trial had a 20% serious injury rate in the high dose group? Learn about this and much more in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


YouTube censors epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski for opposing lockdown
2020-05-16, New York Post
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:32:41
https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/youtube-censors-epidemiologist-knut-wittkowski-...

Big Tech companies are aggressively tamping down on COVID-19 “misinformation” — opinions and ideas contrary to official pronouncements. Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views. Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary. Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population. “I was just explaining what we had,” Wittkowski told The Post of the video, saying he had no idea why it was removed. “They don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards. There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it violated.” In articles and interviews across the web, he has likened COVID-19 to a “bad flu.” That likely made him a target for YouTube. “Anything that goes against [World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our policy,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN.

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


Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia
2020-05-08, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:28:48
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tec...

During New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. The inspiration ... was a video visit from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life. Just one day earlier, Cuomo had announced a similar partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop “a smarter education system.” It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future. This is a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone, then screen “shared” on a mediated platform. It’s a future in which our every move, our every word, our every relationship is trackable, traceable, and data-mineable by unprecedented collaborations between government and tech giants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
2017-10-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:20:26
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silic...

Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook. He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes”, which he describes as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” that can be as hollow as they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: he was the Facebook engineer who created the “like” button. There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it. Drawing a straight line between addiction to social media and political earthquakes like Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, they contend that digital forces have completely upended the political system and, left unchecked, could even render democracy as we know it obsolete. It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned.

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


Coronavirus: YouTube bans 'medically unsubstantiated' content
2020-04-22, BBC News
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:10:49
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52388586

YouTube has banned any coronavirus-related content that directly contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) advice. The Google-owned service says it will remove anything it deems "medically unsubstantiated". Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the media giant wanted to stamp out "misinformation on the platform". The move follows YouTube banning conspiracy theories falsely linking Covid-19 to 5G networks. Mrs Wojcicki made the remarks on Wednesday during her first interview since the global coronavirus lockdown began. "So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” Last week, Facebook announced users who had read, watched or shared false Covid-19 information would receive a pop-up alert urging them to visit the WHO's website. Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, meanwhile, stopped users forwarding messages already shared more than four times by the wider community to more than one chat at a time. It comes as some of the UK's largest news publishers, including Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, criticised Google for failing to be transparent about its approach to filtering adverts alongside coronavirus-related content, according to the Financial Times.

Note: So now anything posted by those not deemed to be "experts" will be banned. Whatever happened to free speech? Watch YouTube's CEO spell this out in this video. More excellent, little-known information here in an interview with a respected MD whose video was banned. And how can BBC state links between 5G and Covid-19 are false, when that has yet to be established? Is it just a coincidence this CNBC article states China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? See also concise summaries of revealing coronavirus news articles.


YouTube, Facebook split on removal of doctors' viral coronavirus videos
2020-04-30, NBC News
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:04:03
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/youtube-facebook-split-removal-doctors...

YouTube has removed two videos of California doctors ... Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Bakersfield, California [which] downplayed the risk of the coronavirus and asserted that stay-at-home measures were unnecessary. Facebook, however, has not removed the doctors' videos. The different reactions of YouTube and Facebook highlight the challenges of moderating high-stakes misinformation as it goes viral, especially when it is considered to be expert opinion. The video removed by YouTube showed a one-hour news conference livestreamed by local media, including NBC and ABC affiliates in Bakersfield. By Wednesday, the video had been seen at least 15 million times. Erickson and Massihi, owners of several urgent care centers in the area, presented data from 5,213 COVID-19 tests. The data, they claimed, showed that the coronavirus was widespread in the community already but had caused few deaths. Their data, they said, supported the need to rethink state stay-at-home measures. Furthermore, Erickson ... claimed that COVID-19 death numbers were inaccurate, citing other unnamed doctors in Wisconsin and California who he said had told him that they were urged to list the disease as a cause of death even if it was unrelated. "The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians on screen had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge," said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Massihi posted a video to his personal Facebook page Tuesday thanking supporters while insisting that their comments were meant only to share their own data, not to drive national or even state policy.

Note: Watch an excellent follow-up interview with Dr. Erickson exposing further deception. Even if these doctors are wrong about some of their conclusions, don't they have a right to express their opinions? Will anyone who disputes the claims of government officials be banned from expressing their opinions on social media? Sadly, this BBC article shows that is already true for the coronavirus on YouTube. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Billionaires' Donations to Fight Coronavirus are Largely Self-Serving
2020-04-13, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:15:15
https://www.newsweek.com/robert-reich-billionaires-donations-fight-coronaviru...

As millions of jobless Americans line up for food and others risk their lives delivering essential services, the nation's billionaires are making conspicuous donations - $100 million from Amazon's Jeff Bezos for food banks, billions from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for a coronavirus vaccine, thousands of ventilators and N95 masks from Elon Musk, $25 million from the Walton family and its Walmart foundation. The list goes on. Much of this is self-serving rubbish. First off, the amounts involved are tiny relative to the fortunes behind them. Bezos' $100 million amounts to about 11 days of his income. The well-publicized philanthropy also conveniently distracts attention from how several of these billionaires are endangering their workers and, by extension, the public. Bezos still doesn't provide sick leave for Amazon workers unless they test positive. On March 20, four senators sent him a letter expressing concern that the company wasn't doing enough to protect its warehouse workers. [Another] way conspicuous philanthropy is self-serving is by suggesting that government shouldn't demand more from the super-rich, even in a national emergency. As Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal editorial page put it, if we had a wealth tax like Elizabeth Warren proposed, "it's unlikely [Bill Gates] would have the capacity to act this boldly." That's absurd. Warren's tax would have cost Gates about $6 billion a year, roughly his annual income from his $100 billion. The worst fear of the billionaire class is that the government's response to the pandemic will lead to a permanently larger social safety net.

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


American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
2020-04-22, MSN News
Posted: 2020-04-25 19:37:59
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/american-billionaires-have-gotten-280...

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from a great equalizer. In the same month that 22 million Americans lost their jobs, the American billionaire class's total wealth increased about 10%–or $282 billion more than it was at the beginning of March. They now have a combined net worth of $3.229 trillion. The initial stock market crash may have dented some net worths at first–for instance, that of Jeff Bezos, which dropped down to a mere $105 billion on March 12. But his riches have rebounded: As of April 15, his net worth has increased by $25 billion. These "pandemic profiteers," as a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, calls them, is just one piece of the wealth inequality puzzle in America. In the background is the fact that since 1980, the taxes paid by billionaires, measured as a percentage of their wealth, dropped 79%. "We're reading about benevolent billionaires sharing .0001% of their wealth with their fellow humans in this crisis, but in fact they've been rigging the tax rules to reduce their taxes for decades–money that could have been spent building a better public health infrastructure," says Chuck Collins [of] the Institute for Policy Studies and coauthor of the new report, titled "Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers." Another key finding of the report is that after the 2008 financial crisis, it took less than 30 months for billionaire wealth to return to its pre-meltdown levels. That wealth then quickly exceeded pre-2008 levels. But as of 2019, the middle class in America has not even yet recovered to the level of its 2007 net worth.

Note: This New York Post article shows how 43,000 millionaires in the U.S. will receive a "stimulus" gift averaging $1.6 million each. At the same time, this Reuters article claims that the coronavirus lockdown could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. And this BBC article warns of potential massive famines. So who is this lockdown really serving? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates
2017-05-04, Politico
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:18:06
https://www.politico.eu/article/bill-gates-who-most-powerful-doctor/

Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency in Geneva. The world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second biggest donor, second only to the United States. This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. The result, say his critics, is that Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s. When Gates started throwing money into malaria eradication, top officials — including the chief of the WHO’s malaria program — raised concerns that the foundation was distorting research priorities. “The term often used was ‘monopolistic philanthropy’, the idea that Gates was taking his approach to computers and applying it to the Gates Foundation,” said a source close to the WHO board. “He is treated liked a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20,” a Geneva-based NGO representative said. Some health advocates fear that because the Gates Foundation’s money comes from investments in big business, it could serve as a Trojan horse for corporate interests to undermine WHO’s role in setting standards and shaping health policies. The Gates Foundation has pumped more than $2.4 billion into the WHO since 2000. Dues paid by member states now account for less than a quarter of WHO’s $4.5 billion biennial budget. The rest comes from ... governments, Gates, other foundations and companies. Since these funds are usually earmarked for specific projects or diseases, WHO can’t freely decide how to use them.

Note: Just to be clear, Bill Gates is neither an MD nor a PhD. This entire article has astounding information on the unethical relationship between Gates and the WHO and his desire to have a global ID to ensure everyone in the world is vaccinated. This Forbes article is titled "Bill Gates Calls For National Tracking System For Coronavirus During Reddit AMA." For lots more, see this highly revealing video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Bill Gates and his coronavirus conflicts of interest
2020-04-02, Washington Times
Posted: 2020-04-12 22:57:21
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/bill-gates-and-his-coronaviru...

Bill Gates ... just called for a complete and utter shutdown and quarantining of the entire American nation. “Despite urging from public health experts,” Gates wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, “some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. Until the case numbers start to go down ... no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.” He then added that the impacts of the new coronavirus could linger another 18 months or so, until a vaccine was developed. For the peons of America, work isn’t an option. It’s food. It’s survival. The fate of a hard-earned dream shouldn’t rest with a globalist billionaire who’s warning of dire coronavirus consequences to come — all the while making hands-over-fist coronavirus money. It’s a conflict of interest. WHO didn’t announce the coronavirus as a pandemic until the very day after Gates ... made a very large donation to a cause that benefits WHO. In a 2017 piece titled, “Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates,” Politico wrote: “Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency. Over the past decade, the world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second-biggest donor, second only to the United States. … This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. … The result, say his critics, is that Gates‘ priorities have become the WHO‘s.”

Very Important Note: To understand how the coronavirus is being used to exert more control over humanity, don't miss this incredibly important video focused on how Bill Gates is using fear around the coronavirus to push through his agenda to vaccinate everyone on the planet and then require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For other reliable, verifiable informing demonstrating how Gates' vaccine agenda has already harmed hundreds of thousands of children read this excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


Banks Pressure Health Care Firms to Raise Prices on Critical Drugs, Medical Supplies for Coronavirus
2020-03-19, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:11:47
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-pric...

Investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies. Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. Executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previously served as president of the U.S. division of drug giant Eli Lilly and on the board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug lobby group. During a congressional hearing ... Azar rejected the notion that any vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 should be set at an affordable price. "We can't control that price because we need the private sector to invest," said Azar. "The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won't get us there." The initial $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill passed in early March ... contained a provision that prevents the government from delaying the introduction of any new pharmaceutical to address the crisis over affordability concerns. The legislative text was shaped, according to reports, by industry lobbyists.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


It's morally repulsive how corporations are exploiting this crisis. Workers will suffer
2020-03-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:09:49
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/large-corporations-expl...

Before the coronavirus virus crushed the US stock market, the Republican senator Richard Burr apparently used information he gleaned from his role as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee about the ferocity of the coming pandemic to unload 33 stocks held by him and his spouse. They were estimated at being worth between $628,033 and $1.72m. While publicly parroting Trump’s happy talk at the time, Burr confided to several of his political funders that the disease would be comparable to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. When society faces a common threat, exploiting a special advantage is morally repugnant. Call it “Burring”. The coronavirus should have altered business as usual. But last week’s Senate Republican relief package, giving airlines $58bn and billions more to other industries, is pure Burring. Walmart, the largest employer in America, doesn’t give its employees paid sick leave. 88% of Walmart employees report sometimes coming to work when sick. None of the giants of the fast-food industry – McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Duncan Donuts, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway – gives their workers paid sick leave, either. Amazon, one of the richest corporations in the world, which paid almost no taxes last year, is offering unpaid time off for workers who are sick. These corporations have made sure they and other companies with more than 500 employees are exempt from the requirement in the House coronavirus bill that employers provide paid sick leave.

Note: Read a New York Times article for further information on how Senator Burr, the head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, after being briefed of impending disaster, unloaded $1 million in investments while telling the public everything was fine. Read an article in The Atlantic showing how the Coronavirus is giving the world's leaders a rich opportunity for a power grab. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


FDA medical adviser: 'Congress is owned by pharma'
2019-03-13, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:23:36
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/congress-big-pharma-money-123757664.html

Pharmaceutical companies are under the spotlight with congressional hearings on the cost of drug prices and allegations of the industry’s role in the opioid crisis. Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist ... and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA. Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it “because Congress is owned by pharma.” “The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he [said]. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.” OpenSecrets, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics. It ranked the top 20 members of the House and the Senate that have received the most campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. Kevin McCarthy, now the House minority leader after midterms, received ... a total of $380,350 in campaign contributions, with a large sum coming from pharma companies. “Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said. “If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the president is because it’s really about Congress.”

Note: Learn more on how big Pharma controls politicians in this very well researched video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups
2020-03-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:18:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/07/us/politics/erik-prince-project-veritas.html

Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda. One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of ... one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. The next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations. Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide ... appears to have become interested in using former spies to train Project Veritas operatives in espionage tactics sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war. Mr. Prince invited Project Veritas operatives ... to his family’s Wyoming ranch for training in 2017. [They] shared social media photos of taking target practice with guns at the ranch, including one post ... saying that with the training, Project Veritas will be “the next great intelligence agency.”

Note: Mr. Prince's Blackwater operation got caught systematically defrauding the government. Then Blackwater changed its name to Academi and made over $300 million off the Afghan drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Zika Virus – Fear is the Key.
2016-02-11, BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:09:47
https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i841/rr

I wonder how many of the readers remember the WHO’s pandemic alert on swine ‘flu some years ago? When the WHO was proactive to announce a pandemic then without any scientific justifications I was the one who wrote that that was a business stunt! People did not believe and the British Medical Journal rejected my paper. After one long year what I had predicted came true. Council of Europe Health Committee Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg said that the declaration of a swine flu pandemic was a false alarm. “There are many signs that there is close cooperation between the WHO and pharmaceutical companies. We have to find out whether there was pressure or whether there was money given as an incentive to the WHO to have this pandemic declared,” Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg adds. To give a simple example of the swine flu drug Tamiflu when given to a million people, 45,000 will experience vomiting, 31,000 will experience headache and 11,000 will have psychiatric side-effects. These figures might be insignificant if Tamiflu cures swine flu. That is not the case. Raising the fear levels in society is the surest way of depressing their immune system! This is good for business. With people’s immune system depressed they are prone to all kinds of infections. What follows next is the usual history. Greedy drug companies will now vie with each other to produce a vaccine. Vaccination is big business. This pattern goes on and on as long as money and medicine are related.

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


Child Abusers Run Rampant as Tech Companies Look the Other Way
2019-11-09, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:52:32
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/09/us/internet-child-sex-abuse.html

The two sisters live in fear of being recognized. Ten years ago, their father did the unthinkable: He posted explicit photos and videos on the internet of them, just 7 and 11 at the time. Many captured violent assaults in their Midwestern home, including him and another man drugging and raping the 7-year-old. The men are now in prison, but in a cruel consequence of the digital era, their crimes are finding new audiences. This year alone, photos and videos of the sisters were found in over 130 child sexual abuse investigations involving mobile phones, computers and cloud storage accounts. The digital trail of abuse — often stored on Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive — haunts the sisters relentlessly, they say, as does the fear of a predator recognizing them from the images. The scope of the problem is only starting to be understood because the tech industry has been more diligent in recent years in identifying online child sexual abuse material, with a record 45 million photos and videos flagged last year. But the same industry has consistently failed to take aggressive steps to shut it down, an investigation by The New York Times found. Approaches by tech companies are inconsistent, largely unilateral and pursued in secret, often leaving pedophiles and other criminals who traffic in the material with the upper hand. There is no common standard for identifying illegal video content, and many major platforms — including AOL, Snapchat and Yahoo — do not even scan for it.

Note: Listen to a disturbing, yet vitally important New York Times podcast showing this huge problem that few are willing to look at. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


U.S. peach grower awarded $265 million from Bayer, BASF in weedkiller lawsuit
2020-02-16, Reuters
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:50:32
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-dicamba-lawsuit/us-peach-grower-awar...

A Missouri jury’s $265 million award to peach grower Bill Bader in his lawsuit against herbicide providers Bayer and BASF has raised the stakes for the two companies as at least 140 similar cases head to U.S. courts. A jury in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, handed Bader, the state’s largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. He sued the companies saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed by herbicide that they produce, which drifted onto its trees from nearby farms. The three-week trial was the first case in the United States to rule on the use of dicamba-based herbicides alleged to have damaged tens of thousands of acres of U.S. cropland. The herbicide can become a vapor and drift for miles when used in certain weather, farmers have claimed. Bayer faces separate multi-billion-dollar litigation over the Roundup weedkiller made by Monsanto, the U.S. firm it took over for $63 billion in 2018. Monsanto made Roundup and dicamba, and Bayer is being sued over both products. Bader Farms, in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border, said it lost many trees when the herbicide containing dicamba was used on nearby soybean and cotton farms and drifted onto its property. The farm said repeated dicamba exposure beginning in 2015 killed or weakened the fruit trees. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed restrictions on the use of dicamba in November 2018 over concerns about potential damage to nearby crops.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


More than a third of U.S. healthcare costs go to bureaucracy
2020-01-06, Yahoo! News/Reuters
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:44:34
https://news.yahoo.com/more-third-u-healthcare-costs-222257777.html

U.S. insurers and providers spent more than $800 billion in 2017 on administration, or nearly $2,500 per person - more than four times the per-capita administrative costs in Canada's single-payer system, a new study finds. Over one third of all healthcare costs in the U.S. were due to insurance company overhead and provider time spent on billing, versus about 17% spent on administration in Canada, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. Cutting U.S. administrative costs to the $550 per capita (in 2017 U.S. dollars) level in Canada could save more than $600 billion, the researchers say. "The average American is paying more than $2,000 a year for useless bureaucracy," said lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, a distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York. "That money could be spent for care if we had a 'Medicare for all program'," Himmelstein said. Why are administrative costs so high in the U.S.? It's because the insurance companies and health care providers are engaged in a tug of war, each trying in its own way to game the system. "Some folks estimate that the U.S. would save $628 billion if administrative costs were as low as they are in Canada," said Jamie Daw, an assistant professor ... at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "That's a staggering amount," Daw said. "It's more than enough to pay for all of Medicaid spending or nearly enough to cover all out-of-pocket and prescription drug spending by Americans."

Note: The study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Big Pharma Prepares to Profit From the Coronavirus
2020-03-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-16 18:43:32
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/13/big-pharma-drug-pricing-coronavirus-profits/

As the new Coronavirus spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem ... one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely. "Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity," said Gerald Posner, author of "Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America." The world needs ... treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them. The ability to make money off of pharmaceuticals is already uniquely large in the U.S., which lacks the basic price controls other countries have, giving drug companies more freedom over setting prices for their products than anywhere else in the world. During the current crisis, pharmaceutical makers may have even more leeway than usual because of language industry lobbyists inserted into an $8.3 billion coronavirus spending package, passed last week, to maximize their profits from the pandemic. Initially, some lawmakers had tried to ensure that the federal government would limit how much pharmaceutical companies could reap from vaccines and treatments for the new coronavirus that they developed with the use of public funding. But many Republicans opposed adding language to the bill that would restrict the industry's ability to profit, arguing that it would stifle research and innovation. The final aid package not only omitted language that would have limited drug makers' intellectual property rights, it specifically prohibited the federal government from taking any action if it has concerns that the treatments or vaccines developed with public funds are priced too high.

Note: For glaring examples of how big Pharma and select public officials made money hand over fist during previous virus scares, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.


How the Senate Paved the Way for Coronavirus Profiteering, and How Congress Could Undo It
2020-03-02, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:37:30
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-vaccine-price-gouging-senate/

Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress. After extraordinary blowback, the administration insisted that in the end, any treatment would indeed be affordable. The federal government, though, under the Clinton administration, traded away one of the key tools it could use to make good on the promise of affordability. Gilead Sciences, a drugmaker known for price gouging, has been working with Chinese health authorities to see if the experimental drug remdesivir can treat coronavirus symptoms. But remdesivir, which was previously tested to treat Ebola virus, was developed through research conducted at the University of Alabama ... with funding from the federal government. That’s how much of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development is funded. The public puts in the money, and private companies keep whatever profits they can. It wasn’t always that way. Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed. In April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.

Note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


A dark web tycoon pleads guilty. But how was he caught?
2020-02-08, MIT Technology Review
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:32:53
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615163/a-dark-web-tycoon-pleads-guilty-but...

Cybercriminal Eric Eoin Marques pleaded guilty in an American court this week. Marques faces up to 30 years in jail for running Freedom Hosting, which temporarily existed beyond reach of the law and ended up being used to host drug markets, money-laundering operations, hacking groups, and millions of images of child abuse. Investigators were somehow able to break the layers of anonymity that Marques had constructed, leading them to locate a crucial server in France. This discovery eventually led them to Marques himself. Marques was the first in a line of famous cybercriminals to be caught despite believing that using the privacy-shielding anonymity network Tor would make them safe behind their keyboards. The case demonstrates that government agencies can trace suspects through networks that were designed to be impenetrable. Marques has blamed the American NSA’s world-class hackers, but the FBI has also been building up its efforts since 2002. And, some observers say, they often withhold key details of their investigations from defendants and judges alike—secrecy that could have wide-ranging cybersecurity implications across the internet. The FBI had found a way to break Tor’s anonymity protections, but the technical details of how it happened remain a mystery. “Perhaps the greatest overarching question related to the investigation of this case is how the government was able to pierce Tor’s veil of anonymity,” Marques’s defense lawyers wrote in a recent filing.

Note: For more on this important case, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How Healthcare Costs Hurt American Workers and Benefit the Wealthy
2020-02-20, Time
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:06:24
https://time.com/5785945/health-care-problems-america/

The percentage of national income that is absorbed by health care has grown over the past half-century, from 5% in 1960 to 18% in 2017, reducing what is available for anything else from 95% in 1960 to 82% today. The costs of health care contribute to the long-term stagnation in wages; to fewer good jobs, especially for less educated workers; and to rising income inequality. American health care is the most expensive in the world, and yet American health is among the worst among rich countries. The U.S. has lower life expectancy than the other wealthy countries but vastly higher expenditures per person. In 2017, the Swiss lived 5.1 years longer than Americans but spent 30% less per person; other countries achieved a similar length of life for still fewer health dollars. How is it possible that Americans pay so much and get so little? The money is certainly going somewhere. What is waste to a patient is income to a provider. The industry is not very good at promoting health, but it excels at promoting wealth among health care providers. Employer-based coverage is a huge barrier to reform. So is the way that the health care industry is protected in Washington by its lobbyists—five for every member of Congress. Our government is complicit in an extortion that is an important contributor to income inequality. Through pharma companies that get rich by addicting people, and through excessive costs that lower wages and eliminate good jobs, the industry that is supposed to improve our health is undermining it.

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


The Price of Wells Fargo’s Fake Account Scandal Grows by $3 Billion
2020-01-21, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:00:28
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/business/wells-fargo-settlement.html

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3 billion to settle criminal charges and a civil action stemming from its widespread mistreatment of customers in its community bank over a 14-year period, the Justice Department announced on Friday. From 2002 to 2016, employees used fraud to meet impossible sales goals. They opened millions of accounts in customers’ names without their knowledge, signed unwitting account holders up for credit cards and bill payment programs, created fake personal identification numbers, forged signatures and even secretly transferred customers’ money. In court papers, prosecutors described a pressure-cooker environment at the bank, where low-level employees were squeezed tighter and tighter each year by sales goals that senior executives methodically raised, ignoring signs that they were unrealistic. Part of Friday’s deal ... is a deferred prosecution agreement, a pact that could expose the bank to charges if it engages in new criminal activity. During the final five years of abuse, the bank quietly fired thousands of employees for falsifying records in response to customer complaints. The practices covered by the settlement ... are not the only misbehavior the bank has revealed since 2016. The bank has also admitted it charged mortgage customers unnecessary fees and forced auto loan borrowers to buy insurance they did not need. The mortgage and auto loan claims are not part of Friday’s deal. Wells Fargo’s profits last year totaled nearly $20 billion.

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


The Golden Age Of White Collar Crime
2020-02-10, Huffington Post
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:26:02
https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/white-collar-crime/

The criminal justice system has given up all pretense that the crimes of the wealthy are worth taking seriously. In January 2019, white-collar prosecutions fell to their lowest level since researchers started tracking them in 1998. Since 2015, criminal penalties levied by the Justice Department have fallen from $3.6 billion to roughly $110 million. Illicit profits seized by the Securities and Exchange Commission have reportedly dropped by more than half. In 2018, a year when nearly 19,000 people were sentenced in federal court for drug crimes alone, prosecutors convicted just 37 corporate criminals. Tax evasion ... siphons up to 10,000 times more money out of the U.S. economy every year than bank robberies. In 2017, researchers estimated that fraud by America’s largest corporations cost Americans up to $360 billion annually between 1996 and 2004. That’s roughly two decades’ worth of street crime every single year. Over the last four decades, the agencies responsible for investigating elite and white-collar crime ... have seen their enforcement divisions starved into irrelevance. More than a third of the FBI investigators who patrol Wall Street were reassigned between 2001 and 2008. Even though auditing millionaires and billionaires is one of the most cost-effective government activities imaginable—an independent report estimated in 2014 that it yielded up to $4,545 in recovered revenue per hour of staff time—the IRS investigated the returns of just 3 percent of American millionaires in 2017.

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


How a Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.
2019-12-29, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:16:40
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/world/middleeast/shah-iran-chase-papers.html

40 years ago, a worn-out white Gulfstream II jet descended over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carrying a regal but sickly passenger almost no one was expecting. Aboard were a Republican political operative, a retinue of Iranian military officers ... and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the newly deposed shah of Iran. The only one waiting to receive the deposed monarch was a senior executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, which had not only lobbied the White House to admit the former shah but had arranged visas for his entourage. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 4, 1979, vowing revenge for the admission of the shah to the United States, revolutionary Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran and then held more than 50 Americans — and Washington — hostage for 444 days. The shah, Washington’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf, had fled Tehran in January 1979. The shah sought refuge in America. But President Jimmy Carter ... refused him entry for the first 10 months of his exile. Chase Manhattan Bank and its well-connected chairman worked behind the scenes to persuade the Carter administration to admit the shah, one of the bank’s most profitable clients. For Mr. Carter, for the United States and for the Middle East it was an incendiary decision. The ensuing hostage crisis enabled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to consolidate his theocratic rule, started a four-decade conflict between Washington and Tehran ... and helped Ronald Reagan take the White House.

Note: More information is available in this 1991 New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Merck accused of stonewalling in mumps vaccine antitrust lawsuit
2015-06-04, Reuters
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:21:44
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-vaccine/merck-accused-of-stonewalling-...

Two former Merck & Co Inc scientists accusing the drugmaker of falsifying tests of its exclusive mumps vaccine said in a court filing on Monday that Merck is refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Attorneys at Constantine Cannon, who represent the scientists, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request, which asks the company to give the efficacy of the vaccine as a percentage. Instead of answering the question ... Merck has been consistently evasive, using “cut-and-paste” answers saying it cannot run a new clinical trial to determine the current efficacy, and providing only data from 50 years ago. The two scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed their whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 claiming Merck, the only company licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a mumps vaccine in the United States, skewed tests of the vaccine by adding animal antibodies to blood samples. As a result, they said, Merck was able to produce test results showing that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, even though more accurate tests would have shown a lower success rate. The plaintiffs said these false results kept competitors from trying to produce their own mumps vaccines, since they were unable to match the effectiveness Merck claimed. The case is United States ex rel Krahling et al v. Merck & Co Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 10-4374.

Note: Why didn't this get reported widely? A search reveals no major media other than Reuters and WSJ covered this. This article in a local paper states the two whistleblowers were threatened by Merck with jail if they went public with this. It also says all students in a Syracuse University mumps outbreak had been properly vaccinated. This excellent article gives a 2019 update and reveals how the vaccines caused injury in a very high percentage of cases. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Is overuse of antibiotics on farms worsening the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
2020-01-05, CBS News
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:24:37
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-overuse-of-antibiotics-on-farms-worsening-the...

More than 12 million pounds of medically important antibiotics sold in this country are not for use in humans; they're for livestock. And the antibiotics are driving the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in the animals that can get passed on to us through food. Yet it's almost impossible to get on the farms to conduct inspections and stop infection outbreaks from spreading, even for public health officials. In 2015, Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist investigated an outbreak of antibiotic resistant salmonella tied to roaster pigs. The salmonella was resistant to antibiotics. Lindquist traced the cause of the outbreak to a slaughterhouse. "We come in and we find the bacteria, essentially everywhere," [said Lindquist]. "So I want to go back to the farms and I wanna sample the pigs at the farm." But to his surprise, Lindquist, who was conducting the investigation, was flatly turned down. Thwarted, he says, by the National Pork Producers Council, the lead lobbying group for the $23 billion pork industry. They sent Lindquist a letter denying him access to the farms. Even federal inspectors have trouble getting on farms. They are not allowed on a farm to look for bacteria that make people sick without the farmer's permission. Farmers started using antibiotics decades ago ... to make animals grow faster with less food. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration told farmers to stop using antibiotics in animals for growth purposes, but ... they are permitted to use them for disease prevention, and there are no reporting requirements.

Note: For lots more, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


America’s Radioactive Secret
2020-01-21, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:22:33
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radi...

In a squat rig fitted with a 5,000-gallon tank, Peter crisscrosses the expanse of farms and woods near the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, the heart of a region that produces close to one-third of America’s natural gas. He hauls a salty substance called “brine,” a naturally occurring waste product that gushes out of America’s oil-and-gas wells to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons a year. At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth. Through a grassroots network of Ohio activists, Peter was able to transfer 11 samples of brine to the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, which had them tested in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. The results were striking. Radium ... is so dangerous it’s subject to tight restrictions even at hazardous-waste sites. The most common isotopes are radium-226 and radium-228, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires industrial discharges to remain below 60 for each. Four of Peter’s samples registered combined radium levels above 3,500, and one was more than 8,500. Peter’s samples are just a drop in the bucket. Oil fields across the country — from the Bakken in North Dakota to the Permian in Texas — have been found to produce brine that is highly radioactive.

Note: In addition to producing this radioactive waste, fracking employs secret chemical mixtures and poisons drinking water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


How the Environmental Lawyer Who Won a Massive Judgment Against Chevron Lost Everything
2020-01-29, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:20:05
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/29/chevron-ecuador-lawsuit-steven-donziger/

Few news outlets covered the detention of [attorney] Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. On August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse ... with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Despite Donziger�s current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. An Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world. But ... Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country.

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


Tamiflu Fraud Bilked $1.5 Billion from Government, Alleges Whistleblower
2020-01-23, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:14:44
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tamiflu-fraud-bilked-1-5-163100939.html

Drug company Hoffmann-La Roche ... bilked U.S. federal and state governments out of $1.5 billion by misrepresenting clinical studies and falsely claiming that its well-known influenza medicine Tamiflu was effective at containing potential pandemics, according to a recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the drugmaker's scheme involved publishing misleading articles falsely stating that Tamiflu reduces complications, severity, hospitalizations, mortality and transmission of influenza. The company then used those articles to aggressively market the drug to the government for pandemic use. Relying on the supposed truthfulness of Roche's claims, federal and state governments spent about $1.5 billion to stockpile Tamiflu to combat influenza pandemics, according to the complaint. The lawsuit brings claims under the False Claims Act, which allows individuals to bring claims on behalf of the government. Whistleblower Dr. Thomas Jefferson, a physician and public health researcher affiliated with the respected global Cochrane Collaboration research network, has researched neuraminidase inhibitors like Tamiflu for more than two decades. He began questioning Tamiflu's efficacy in 2009 and spearheaded efforts to have the company release the underlying clinical study data. When he finally received the data in 2013, Dr. Jefferson analyzed it and concluded that the clinical data does not support Roche's claims about Tamiflu's effectiveness for use in an influenza pandemic.

Note: Though the major media is ignoring this major allegation, it was reported on the website of the highly respected British Medical Journal. Note also that Former U.S. Sect. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made $5 million from the sales of Tamiflu. More details are available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Former Wells Fargo CEO fined $17.5 million for sales scandal
2020-01-23, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:03:45
https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Former-Wells-Fargo-CEO-fined-17-...

Federal regulators have slapped former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf with a $17.5 million fine for his role in the bank’s sales practices scandal. Stumpf also accepted a lifetime ban from the banking industry. Along with its fine against Stumpf, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Thursday it is suing five other former Wells Fargo executives for a combined total of $37.5 million. This is the first time regulators have punitively punished individual executives for Wells Fargo’s wrongdoing. The San Francisco-based bank has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and penalties for encouraging employees to open up millions of fake accounts in order to meet unrealistic sales goals. As part of their settlements and lawsuits against these Wells’ executives, regulators seek to ban all of them from ever working in the banking industry again. “The root cause of the sales practices misconduct problem was the Community Bank’s business model, which imposed intentionally unreasonable sales goals and unreasonable pressure on its employees to meet those goals and fostered an atmosphere that perpetuated improper and illegal conduct,” the OCC said in its complaint. “Community Bank management intimidated and badgered employees to meet unattainable sales goals year after year, including by monitoring employees daily or hourly and reporting their sales performance to their managers, subjecting employees to hazing-like abuse, and ... terminating employees for failure to meet the goals.”

Note: Though it's great that someone has finally been fined at Wells Fargo, a small time robber gets locked up in jail for years. Why aren't these people who were the cause of huge white collar crime being jailed? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


PG&E: Monopoly Power and Disasters by the Rich 1%
2020-01-21, Project Censored
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:43:59
https://www.projectcensored.org/pge-monopoly-power-and-disasters-by-the-rich-1/

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has diverted over $100 million from safety and maintenance programs to executive compensation at the same time it has caused an average of more than one fire a day for the past six years killing over 100 people. PG&E is the largest privately held public utility in the United States. A new research report shows that 91% of PG&E stocks are held by huge international investment management firms, including BlackRock and Vanguard Group. PG&E is an ideal investment for global capital management firms with monopoly control over five million households paying $16 billion for gas and electric in California. Between 2006 and the end of 2017, PG&E made $13.5 billion in net profits. Over those years, they paid nearly $10 billion in dividends to shareholders, but found little money to maintain safety on their electricity lines. A 2013 Liberty Consulting report showed that 60% of PG&E’s power lines were at risk of failure due to obsolete equipment and 75% of the lines lacked in-line grounding. Between 2008 and 2015, the CPUC found PG&E late on thousands of repair violations. A 2012 report further revealed that PG&E illegally diverted $100 million from safety to executive compensation and bonuses over a 15-year period. In November, 2018, the PG&E caused Camp fire burned 153,336 acres, killing 86 people, and destroying 18,804 homes, business, and structures. PG&E has caused some $50 billion in damages from massive fires started by their failed power lines.

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


Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’
2020-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:32:46
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak...

An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” are set to be released over the next months. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Kaiser ... decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year.” Kaiser said the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people. The unpublished documents contain material that suggests the firm was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017 even while under investigation as part of Mueller’s inquiry and emails that Kaiser says describe how the firm helped develop a “sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics”.

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


In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.
2019-12-27, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:52:12
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/27/upshot/expensive-health-care-world-compari...

The International Federation of Health Plans, a group representing the C.E.O.s of health insurers worldwide, publishes a guide every few years on the international cost for common medical services. Its newest report, on 2017 prices, came out this month. Every time, the upshot is vivid and similar: For almost everything on the list, there is a large divergence between the United States and everyone else. Patients and insurance companies in the United States pay higher prices for medications, imaging tests, basic health visits and common operations. Those high prices make health care in the U.S. extremely expensive, and they also finance a robust and politically powerful health care industry, which means lowering prices will always be hard. For a typical angioplasty, a procedure that opens a blocked blood vessel to the heart, the average U.S. price is $32,200, compared with $6,400 in the Netherlands, or $7,400 in Switzerland, the survey finds. A typical M.R.I. scan costs $1,420 in the United States, but around $450 in Britain. An injection of Herceptin, an important breast cancer treatment, costs $211 in the United States, compared with $44 in South Africa. These examples aren't outliers. Researchers at Harvard conducted an exhaustive study last year of things that make health systems in developed countries different from one another. The clear finding of those researchers was that it's this huge gap in prices ... that helps explain why the United States is such an expensive place to be sick.

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


More Drugmakers Hike U.S. Prices as New Year Begins
2020-01-01, US News & World Report/Reuters
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:50:21
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-01-01/more-drugmakers-hike...

Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Gilead Sciences Inc, and Biogen Inc hiked U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs on Wednesday, bringing total New Year's Day drug price increases to more than 250, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors. Reuters reported on Tuesday that drugmakers including Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Sanofi SA were planning to increase prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States on Jan. 1. More early year price increases could still be announced. Many branded drugmakers have pledged to keep their U.S. list price increases below 10% a year, under pressure from politicians and patients. The United States, which leaves drug pricing to market competition, has higher prices than in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control the costs, making it the world's most lucrative market for manufacturers. Soaring U.S. prescription drug prices are expected to again be a central issue in the presidential election.

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


A new name for a new agenda: One of the food industry’s biggest trade groups rebrands itself
2019-09-25, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:10:16
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/25/grocery-manufacturers-association-rebrands-it...

One of the most powerful Big Food lobbyists wants to change its image. The Grocery Manufacturers Association ... is planning to change its name to the Consumer Brands Association in 2020, a sign the group is trying to distance itself from past troubles. In the past two years, food companies like Campbell, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Hershey and Unilever have left the GMA, amid disputes. Among the issues that were fiercely debated were how and when to disclose the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The organization says each of the former members left for individual reasons, but the common thread was a failure by the organization to adapt as consumer sentiments and trends were evolving. “Gone are the days when we could have one face to policymakers and a different one to consumers,” said GMA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. ″Policymakers have little to no influence on the decisions consumers make,” he said. The organization’s agenda is based on the industry’s realization that it must react to consumers’ demands, rather than fight them, Freeman said. The new name more clearly identifies the companies in its membership: branded names in food, beverage, personal care and household products. GMA wants to fix what it believes is a broken system to help address the country’s recycling crisis. The U.S. does not have uniform recycling laws, which has led to contamination of shipments meant for recycling. Exacerbating this issue, China ... has begun to refuse America’s garbage.

Note: In 2016, the Grocery Manufacturers Association was forced to pay $18 million in damages for violating Washington State law in its opposition to a GMO labeling initiative. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Corporations paid 11.3 percent tax rate last year, in steep drop under Trump’s law
2019-12-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:24:44
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/16/corporations-paid-percent-...

400 of America’s largest corporations paid an average federal tax rate of about 11 percent on their profits last year, roughly half the official rate established under President Trump’s 2017 tax law. The 2017 tax law lowered the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but in practice large companies often pay far less than that because of deductions, tax breaks and other loopholes. In the first year of the law, the amount corporations paid in federal taxes on their incomes — their “effective rate” — was 11.3 percent on average ... according to a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. From 2008 to 2015, under the previous tax code, the corporations’ effective rate was about 21 percent. The report also found that 91 corporations in the Fortune 500, many worth billions of dollars, paid no federal taxes last year. The findings come amid an explosion in the federal deficit, which this year rose to almost $1 trillion. Corporate tax revenue fell markedly during the first year of the tax law, from about $300 billion in 2017 to $204 billion in 2018. “When drafting the tax law, lawmakers could have eliminated special breaks and loopholes in the corporate tax to offset the cost of reducing the statutory rate,” the report says. “Instead, the new law introduced many new breaks and loopholes, though it eliminated some old ones.” The 91 profitable Fortune 500 corporations that paid no federal tax in 2018 earned a combined $101 billion last year. As a group, their effective federal tax rate was -5.9 percent.

Note: How is it that 91 of the biggest corporations in the U.S. get away with paying no taxes? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Google's secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions – whistleblower
2019-11-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:58:42
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/12/google-medical-data-projec...

A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. The secret scheme ... involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous through a process of ... de-identification. The disclosed documents include highly confidential outlines of Project Nightingale, laying out the four stages or “pillars” of the secret project. By the time the transfer is completed next March, it will have passed the personal data of 50 million or more patients in 21 states to Google, with 10 million or so files already having moved across – with no warning having been given to patients or doctors. Google has entered into similar partnerships on a much smaller scale with clients such as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. But in that case all the data handed over to the search giant was encrypted, with keys being held only on the medical side.

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


NBC News Is Facing Internal Rebellion Over Mishandling Sexual Misconduct
2019-11-02, Huffington Post
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:54:29
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nbc-news-weinstein-ronan-farrow-oppenheim-me-t...

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and his boss NBC News Chairman Andy Lack are still running the show. They remain at the helm despite the explosive reporting in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” which reveals how Oppenheim and Lack not only shut down the investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory and abusive treatment of women, but how NBC News silenced or ignored multiple allegations of sexual misconduct inside the company ― including overlooking the behavior of “Today” show host Matt Lauer for years before finally firing him in 2017. In an article for Vanity Fair in October, Rich McHugh, the NBC producer who worked with Farrow on the Weinstein investigation, called out Oppenheim and Lack’s handling of the story. “They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news,” he writes. MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes have criticized NBC management on-air. Current and former employees say they want a true independent investigation of what happened at NBC News regarding Lauer, the Weinstein story, and any other incidents of internal sexual misconduct. The Weinstein story wasn’t the only time Oppenheim’s news organization declined to air a story about a powerful man preying on women. NBC famously sat on the “Access Hollywood” tape in which now-President Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women.

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


ABC Killed Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking Story Three Years Ago, News Anchor Amy Robach Caught on Camera Saying
2019-11-05, Newsweek
Posted: 2019-11-12 00:52:28
https://www.newsweek.com/abc-jeffrey-epstein-story-amy-robach-prince-andrew-1...

ABC News' Amy Robach, best known as co-anchor of 20/20, claimed that ABC killed her story about convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking of minors three years ago in sensational hot microphone footage leaked Tuesday. In the footage, reportedly taken in August and published online Tuesday by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas, Robach, 46, says: "I've had this story for three years. I've had this interview with [Epstein accuser] Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all I was told, 'Who is Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'" "Then the palace found out we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us in a million different ways," Robach continues, referring to the British royal that Roberts alleged in a 2015 court filing Epstein trafficked her to when she was 17. "[Roberts] told me everything," Robach says in the clip. "She had pictures. She had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton. Everything." Epstein was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to sex traffic minors in July. He was found dead in his New York prison cell in August. Epstein's death has been ruled suicide by hanging, however, Epstein's family believe he was murdered. A private pathologist hired by the Epstein estate said last week that Epstein's autopsy showed injuries more consistent with "homicidal strangulation" than suicide.

Note: Watch the incredible interview of this revelation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


The fight to stop Nestlé from taking America's water to sell in plastic bottles
2019-10-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-11-12 00:50:03
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/29/the-fight-over-water-how-...

The network of clear streams comprising California’s Strawberry Creek run down the side of a steep, rocky mountain in a national forest two hours east of Los Angeles. Last year Nestlé siphoned 45m gallons of pristine spring water from the creek and bottled it under the Arrowhead Water label. Though it’s on federal land, the Swiss bottled water giant paid the US Forest Service and state practically nothing, and it profited handsomely: Nestlé Waters’ 2018 worldwide sales exceeded $7.8bn. Conservationists say some creek beds in the area are now bone dry and once-gushing springs have been reduced to mere trickles. The Forest Service recently determined Nestlé’s activities left Strawberry Creek “impaired” while “the current water extraction is drying up surface water resources”. Still, a year later, the Forest Service approved a new five-year permit that allows Nestlé to continue using federal land to extract water, a decision critics say defies common sense. At the national level, former agriculture secretary Ann Veneman serves on Nestlé’s board. Former Forest Service special uses leader Gary Earney administered Nestlé’s water permit between 1984 and 2007 and is now one of its most vocal critics. During that time, he witnessed “devastating” Forest Service budget cuts that made it impossible to monitor Nestle’s activities or properly manage the forest. Former San Bernardino national forest supervisor Gene Zimmerman ... left the agency in 2006 to work as a contractor for Nestlé.

Note: Nestlé is one of the companies pushing to transform fresh water into a Wall Street commodity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat
2016-09-13, NPR
Posted: 2019-11-12 00:38:08
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sug...

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine. The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding. There's no evidence that the SRF directly edited the manuscript published by the Harvard scientists in 1967, but there is "circumstantial" evidence that the interests of the sugar lobby shaped the conclusions of the review, the researchers say. The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine: "Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola's cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. More recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not."

Note: Read more on the sugar industry's manipulation of science. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Government Loophole Gave Oil Companies $18 Billion Windfall
2019-10-24, New York Times
Posted: 2019-11-04 20:33:31
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/climate/oil-lost-revenue-gao.html

The United States government has lost billions of dollars of oil and gas revenue to fossil-fuel companies because of a loophole in a decades-old law. The loophole dates from an effort in 1995 to encourage drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by offering oil companies a temporary break from paying royalties on the oil produced. However, the rule was poorly written, the very politicians who originally championed it have acknowledged, and the temporary reprieve was accidentally made permanent on some wells. As a result, some of the biggest oil companies in the world, including Chevron, Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil and others, have avoided paying at least $18 billion in royalties on oil and gas drilled since 1996, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The companies, which hold government leases to drill in the Gulf, continue to extract oil and gas from those wells while not being required to pay royalties, a right the industry has gone to court to defend. Roughly 22 percent of oil production from federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico was royalty-free in 2018 because of the loophole, the Interior Department said. The report of the windfall to oil companies comes as the Trump administration has moved to further reduce the cost of offshore drilling for the industry, proposing to significantly weaken safety rules put in place after the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: A 2013 Washington Post article suggests practices like this are common across major industries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Investigation Shows Hundreds Of Patients Dying At California Rehab Centers
2019-06-25, CBS (Bay Area affiliate)
Posted: 2019-11-04 20:29:13
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/06/25/hundreds-of-patients-dying-in-ca...

The average 30-day stay at a California rehab costs families $40,000. It’s expensive and often highly risky. The Russells [checked] their 19-year-old son, Teddy Russell, into Mountain Vista last summer. “During intake, they had trouble with the blood pressure cuff and she said, ‘No, I have no medical training at all,’” said Anne Russell, talking about the counselor at the rehab. Mountain Vista Farm is a state licensed residential detox facility, which in California is not required to have a doctor on site. Anne Russell believes the lack of medical support drastically changed the course of her family’s life. “We trusted them to help him and our son trusted us and it was just a nightmare,” she said. Detox centers must check on patients every 30 minutes for the critical first 72 hours but that didn’t happen. Seven hours after being dropped off at Mountain Vista Farm, Teddy Russell was dead. The state has the power to suspend a rehab facility’s license after a Class A deficiency. Teddy’s death resulted in two of those. But the state didn’t shut this place down. In fact, we’ve learned it rarely shuts any rehab down. Instead the penalty in Teddy’s case was a $700 fine. Public records show Teddy’s story is not unique. 190 people have died at other rehab facilities in California since 2010. We found dozens of deficiencies, from falsifying records, failing to report deaths, and employing unqualified staff to not monitoring patient vitals, like what happened to Teddy.

Note: John Oliver has a hard-hitting video on the serious problems found at many rehab centers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


NBC News can’t seem to shake Ronan Farrow and the scandal he uncovered
2019-10-27, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-11-04 20:26:51
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-scandal-that-keeps-on-givi...

NBC News just can’t seem to escape the talk of scandal. For weeks, the network has been rebutting allegations by a former correspondent, Ronan Farrow, that it suppressed his reporting on sexual assault allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and covered up harassment and assault accusations against its former star, Matt Lauer. The story has been propelled by Farrow’s best-selling book, “Catch and Kill,” which asserts ... that NBC stopped Farrow’s reporting on Weinstein in mid-2017 after Weinstein threatened to reveal Lauer’s misconduct. Farrow published a blockbuster story about Weinstein in the New Yorker seven weeks later. In an extraordinary segment on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow urged NBC News to undertake an independent investigation of the network’s conduct. “The allegations about the behavior of Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer are gut-wrenching,” said Maddow, MSNBC’s biggest star and the second, after MSNBC host Chris Hayes, to call out her bosses on an NBC-owned platform. Brooke Nevils [is] a “Today” show producer who in Farrow’s book accuses Lauer of raping her. Network officials deny any pattern of harassment complaints or “hush-money” settlements, and say Lauer was fired just hours after Nevils came forward with her accusation in late 2017. But NBC has resisted calls for the kind of independent investigation that other news organizations have undertaken in the wake of harassment scandals.

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


Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men
2019-10-21, Huffington Post
Posted: 2019-11-04 20:24:50
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/women-ernst-young-how-to-dress-act-around-men_...

When women speak, they shouldn’t be shrill. Clothing must flatter, but short skirts are a no-no. After all, “sexuality scrambles the mind.” Women should look healthy and fit, with a “good haircut” and “manicured nails.” These were just a few pieces of advice that around 30 female executives at Ernst & Young received at a training held in the accounting giant’s gleaming new office in Hoboken, New Jersey, in June 2018. The 55-page presentation, used during the day-and-a-half seminar on leadership and empowerment, was given to HuffPost by an attendee who was appalled by its contents. Full of out-of-touch advice, the presentation focused on how women need to fix themselves to fit into a male-dominated workplace. The training, called Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP ... was billed to participants as advice on how to be successful at EY, according to Jane, a training attendee and former executive director at the firm. Attendees were even told that women’s brains are 6% to 11% smaller than men’s, Jane said. She wasn’t sure why they were told this, nor is it clear from the presentation. Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, the attendees were told. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square. The only reason to talk to women about their size of their brains is to make them feel inferior to men, said Bruce McEwen, a neuroscientist at Rockefeller University.

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


General Motors Sides With Trump in Emissions Fight, Splitting the Industry
2019-10-28, New York Times
Posted: 2019-11-04 20:23:03
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/climate/general-motors-california-emission...

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota said Monday they were intervening on the side of the Trump administration in an escalating battle with California over fuel economy standards for automobiles. Their decision pits them against leading competitors, including Honda and Ford, who this year reached a deal to follow California’s stricter rules. The Trump administration has proposed a major weakening of federal auto emissions standards set during the Obama administration, prompting California to declare that it will go its own course and keep enforcing the earlier, stricter standards. The automakers siding with the administration, led by the industry group the Association of Global Automakers, say that the federal government, not California, has the ultimate authority to set fuel economy standards. The legal fight between the Trump administration and California over auto pollution rules has swelled into a battle over states’ rights and climate change that is likely to only be resolved once it reaches the Supreme Court. The Obama-era national fuel economy standard requires automakers to build vehicles that achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which would eliminate about six billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution over the lifetime of those vehicles. The Trump administration is planning to roll back the fuel-economy standard to about 37 miles per gallon. Nearly two dozen other states have filed suit against the Trump administration, alongside California, over the emissions rules.

Note: This is proof that the mileage our cars get is not determined by market forces, but rather by government regulation. Average mileage has risen consistently with regulation, not with innovation. For lots more on this, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Mark Zuckerberg's plea for the billionaire class is deeply anti-democratic
2019-10-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-10-28 22:38:42
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/21/mark-zuckerberg-plea-bi...

Hitting back against presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s assertion that billionaires should not exist – and his calls to tax their wealth at much higher rates – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, worth $70bn, took to Fox News to defend his beleaguered class. Billionaires, he argued, should not exist in a “cosmic sense,” but in reality most of them are simply “people who do really good things and kind of help a lot of other people. And you get well compensated for that.” He warned too about the dangers of ceding too much control over their wealth to the government, allegedly bound to stifle innovation and competition. Zuckerberg’s reasoning isn’t unique among the 1%. As common as this argument is, it also happens not to be true. Take the basis of Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune. The internet was developed out of a small Pentagon network intended to allow the military to exchange information during the Cold War. And of the top 88 innovations rated by R & D Magazine as the most important between 1971 and 2006, economists Fred Block and Matthew Keller have found that 77 were the beneficiaries of substantial federal research funding, particularly in early stage development. This isn’t all to say that the private sector hasn’t played a significant role in driving innovation. But the the fortunes built off of each couldn’t exist were it not for the government more often than not taking the first step, funding innovation far riskier than venture capitalists and angel investors can usually stomach.

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


Not in front of the telly: Warning over 'listening' TV
2015-02-09, BBC News
Posted: 2019-10-28 22:35:59
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31296188

Samsung is warning customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set. The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature. When the feature is active, such TV sets "listen" to what is said and may share what they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said. Privacy campaigners said the technology smacked of the telescreens, in George Orwell's 1984, which spied on citizens. The warning came to light via a story in ... the Daily Beast which published an excerpt of a section of Samsung's privacy policy for its net-connected Smart TV sets. These record what is said when a button on a remote control is pressed. The policy explains that the TV set will be listening to people in the same room to try to spot when commands or queries are issued via the remote. It goes on to say: "If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party." Corynne McSherry, an intellectual property lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, [said] that the third party was probably the company providing speech-to-text conversion for Samsung. She added: "If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I'd definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form." The third party handling the translation from speech to text is a firm called Nuance, which specialises in voice recognition, Samsung has confirmed to the BBC.

Note: Read more about Samsung's privacy issues in this 2013 Houston Chronicle article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Science institute that advised EU and UN 'actually industry lobby group'
2019-06-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-10-14 23:33:15
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/03/science-institute-that-advise...

An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity, according to a peer-reviewed study. The Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) describes its mission as “pursuing objectivity, clarity and reproducibility” to “benefit the public good”. But researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence-peddling. The paper’s lead author, Dr Sarah Steele, a Cambridge university senior research associate, said: “Our findings add to the evidence that this nonprofit organisation has been used by its corporate backers for years to counter public health policies. ILSI should be regarded as an industry group – a private body – and regulated as such, not as a body acting for the greater good.” Around this time, ILSI was caught up in a separate controversy, when the Guardian revealed that ILSI Europe’s vice-president Prof Alan Boobis chaired a UN panel that found glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic to humans. The final panel report included no conflict of interest statements, even though ILSI Europe had received donations of $500,000 (Ł344,234) from Monsanto, which uses glyphosate in its RoundUp weedkiller, and $528,500 from its industry representative, Croplife International.

Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto’s Spies
2019-09-16, Huffington Post
Posted: 2019-10-06 17:45:11
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/monsantos-spies_n_5d7ba20de4b03b5fc88233c4?

About a half a dozen journalists were in a northern California courtroom to cover a third lawsuit alleging that Monsanto’s pesticide glyphosate causes cancer. [Sylvie] Barak told others that she was a freelancer for the BBC. When journalists searched the internet for Barak, they noticed that her LinkedIn account said she worked for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that Monsanto and Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, had engaged for consulting. Monsanto has also previously employed shadowy networks of consultants, PR firms, and front groups to spy on and influence reporters. And all of it appears to be part of a pattern at the company of using a variety of tactics to intimidate, mislead and discredit journalists and critics. In the latest example of Monsanto’s efforts to track journalists, The Guardian reported in August on internal documents from the company’s “fusion center,” which worked to discredit reporters and nonprofits via third-party actors. In the California trial, the reporter who first identified Barak as an FTI plant said she ... saw an uptick in Monsanto’s industry partners contacting her as she covered the trial. A guy named Jay Byrne ... contacted her on social media to discuss how GMO criticism was part of a Russian influence campaign; when she Googled Byrne, she learned he is Monsanto’s former director of communications. In a January deposition, a Monsanto representative said that in 2016 the company spent “around $16 or 17 million” on activities to defend glyphosate.

Note: Major lawsuits are now unfolding over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


A Shadowy Industry Group Shapes Food Policy Around the World
2019-09-16, New York Times
Posted: 2019-10-06 17:40:52
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/health/ilsi-food-policy-india-brazil-china...

When the Indian government bowed to powerful food companies last year and postponed its decision to put red warning labels on unhealthy packaged food, officials also sought to placate critics of the delay by creating an expert panel to review the proposed labeling system, which would have gone far beyond what other countries have done in the battle to combat soaring obesity rates. But the man chosen to head the three-person committee, Dr. Boindala Sesikeran, a veteran nutritionist and former adviser to Nestle, only further enraged health advocates. That’s because Dr. Sesikeran is a trustee of the International Life Sciences Institute, an American nonprofit with an innocuous sounding name that has been quietly infiltrating government health and nutrition bodies around the world. Created four decades ago by a top Coca-Cola executive, the institute now has branches in 17 countries. It is almost entirely funded by Goliaths of the agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical industries. The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations. In addition to its far-flung offices, ILSI runs a research foundation and an institute focused on health and environmental issues that is largely funded by the chemical industry.

Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Medication or housing': why soaring insulin prices are killing Americans
2019-09-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-09-29 16:24:16
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/23/diabetes-americans-soaring-in...

Jada Renee Louis of Newport News, Virginia, died on 22 June 2019 about a week after requiring emergency hospital care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication caused by a lack of insulin, and a foot ulcer. She was 24. A type 1 diabetic, Louis, who did not have health insurance coverage, couldn’t afford the cost of her insulin doses and pay her rent. She chose to skip doses in order to pay her rent. Today a vial of insulin – which will last 28 days once opened – costs about $300 in the US. “People are literally dying over $300 like my sister did. People shouldn’t have to choose between medications or shelter. That’s the most outrageous decision for somebody to have to make, yet people are doing it daily,” Jazmine Baldwin, Louis’s sister, [said]. Price gouging of insulin and other barriers to accessing it are symptomatic of America’s broken healthcare system, diabetes advocates argue, and the resulting deaths and struggles of those with diabetes demonstrate the need for systemic reforms. Between 2012 to 2016, the average cost of insulin in the United States nearly doubled to $5,705 per year for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Production costs for a vial of insulin are estimated to cost around $5 while pharmaceutical companies charge as high as $540 per vial and Americans are dying as a result of being unable to afford it in addition to the expensive costs of medical care, and supplies such as syringes and glucose monitors. Some 1.25 million Americans are currently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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


The New Cholesterol Guidelines And Conflicts Of Interest
2013-11-20, Forbes
Posted: 2019-09-29 16:14:08
https://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2013/11/20/the-new-cholesterol-guide...

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medicines. The big winners are expected to be the drug makers that sell statins, since other types of pills were not recommended. Of the 15 panelists that authored these new guidelines, six reported having recent or current ties to drugmakers that already sell or are developing cholesterol medications. And among the half dozen who disclosed these relationships was one of the two panel co-chairs, which contradicts an Institute of Medicine suggestion about managing conflicts and leadership roles on such panels. To be specific, the Institute of Medicine wrote that, “whenever possible, guideline development group members should not have conflicts of interest ... and the chair or co-chairs should not be a person(s) with conflicts of interest.” The Institute of Medicine also wrote that members with conflicts should not represent a majority (here is the IOM report). “One of the reasons the IOM recently recommended eliminating rather than ‘managing’ financial conflicts of interest in guideline development groups is because of concerns about implicit bias,” says Lisa Cosgrove ... at the University of Massachusetts. “When individuals have commercial ties they are vulnerable to developing subtle, but sometimes powerful, pro-industry ways of thinking. Transparency ... can actually worsen the problem, because some people think simply disclosing a tie relieves any moral concern.”

Note: For lots more on this, see an informative article titled "The Statin Mafia Censors Pharmaceutical Harm." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Life, Death and Insulin
2019-01-07, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-09-23 15:53:05
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/01/07/feature/insulin-is...

The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk. All three have raised list prices to similar levels. According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289. The companies appear to have increased [prices] in lockstep over a number of years, prompting allegations of price fixing. All three companies denied these charges. (In 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican companies for price collusion on insulin, an allegation Eli Lilly also denied.) In the United States, a federal prosecutor and at least five state attorneys general are currently investigating the companies’ pricing practices. There is also another, less known corporate entity in the mix: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which include Express Scripts, OptumRx and CVS Health; all are now named in lawsuits on high insulin prices. These corporate entities are powerful special interests. In 2017, the pharmaceutical and health product industry ... spent nearly $280 million on lobbying, the biggest spender by far of 20 top industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also has a revolving door to government. Alex Azar, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, was the president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. division until 2017.

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


Top MIT official resigns in wake of explosive report on donations facilitated by Jeffrey Epstein
2019-09-08, CNN News
Posted: 2019-09-16 17:52:17
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/08/us/jeffrey-epstein-mit-official-resigns/?iid=o...

Joi Ito, the director of the Media Lab at MIT, resigned Saturday and the university is calling for an independent investigation following explosive allegations that he and at least one other person at the lab made efforts to make sure Jeffrey Epstein's name was not associated with donations he made or helped solicit. Internal communications and documents obtained by CNN - first reported by the New Yorker - show Epstein was integral to incoming donations from major donors, including $2 million from Bill Gates and at least $5 million from Leon Black, the founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Internal email exchanges show Ito was in direct contact with Epstein about the late financier's donations, which documents show at one point were earmarked for a research scientist. As discussions continued about the funding for the researcher, the Director of Development and Strategy, Peter Cohen, sent an email to an undisclosed recipient, saying "Jeffrey money, needs to be anonymous." Internal communications dating back to 2014 include several references to Epstein being allowed to make small donations anonymously. The communications show that Epstein helped as an intermediary on high-dollar proposals. In October of 2014 Ito sent an email stating, "This is a $2M gift from Bill Gates directed by Jeffrey Epstein." His director of Development and Strategy - Cohen - responds "Great! For gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffreys name as the impetus for this gift."

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


Epstein’s donations to universities reveal a painful truth about philanthropy
2019-09-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-09-08 23:43:48
https://beta.washingtonpost.com/local/education/epsteins-donations-to-univers...

Jeffrey Epstein forged deep ties with some of the nation’s elite universities and their scholars, showering them with millions of dollars in donations. The financier’s donations supported important research and helped scientists work toward discoveries, but they also provided a veneer of credibility to a convicted sex offender. The ensuing fallout ... illuminates enduring questions for academia about the money that fuels research, and how institutions nurture relationships with donors in the race to excel. Epstein gave repeatedly to MIT and Harvard University. At MIT, the president, L. Rafael Reif, apologized to Epstein’s victims in a message to campus. The school accepted about $800,000 of Epstein’s money over 20 years, Reif wrote, with gifts to the MIT Media Lab and to a mechanical engineering professor. “With hindsight,” Reif wrote, “we recognize with shame and distress that we allowed MIT to contribute to the elevation of his reputation, which in turn served to distract from his horrifying acts. No apology can undo that.” The largest gift to Harvard University from Epstein was $6.5 million in 2003, for the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. Martin Nowak, director of that program, said there was only one gift from Epstein in support of his research, and that money was spent by 2007. In 2006, when Epstein was facing sex-crime charges, the Harvard Crimson reported that the school would not return the gift, although some prominent recipients of Epstein’s donations had done so.

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


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis
2019-08-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-09-02 18:12:48
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/johnson-and-johnson-is-responsible-for-...

A judge Monday found Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, ordering the health-care company to pay $572 million to remedy the devastation wrought by the epidemic on the state and its residents. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s landmark decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s. More than 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. With more than 40 states lined up to pursue similar claims against the pharmaceutical industry, the ruling ... could influence both sides’ strategies in the months and years to come. Plaintiffs’ attorneys around the country cheered the decision, saying they hoped it would be a model for an enormous federal lawsuit brought by nearly 2,000 cities, counties, Native American tribes and others scheduled to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, in October. Johnson & Johnson’s products ... were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma. But Hunter painted the company as an industry “kingpin” because two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies. “At the root of this crisis was Johnson & Johnson, a company that literally created the poppy that became the source of the opioid crisis,” the state charged. The state also said the health-care giant actively took part in ... an aggressive misinformation campaign.

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


EPA defies California rules, says glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup is OK
2019-08-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2019-08-26 16:01:58
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Trump-s-EPA-defies-California-rul...

In a direct challenge to California regulators and Bay Area environmentalists, the Trump administration Thursday ordered companies to ignore state requirements that businesses warn customers if their products contain glyphosate, a weed killer that has been linked to cancer. The decision flies in the face of three California court rulings against Monsanto, which markets the chemical as Roundup. The agricultural giant faces more than 13,000 suits nationwide by users of Roundup, the world’s best-selling herbicide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would no longer approve labels saying glyphosate is known to cause cancer. The state requires companies to warn customers about chemicals known to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Glyphosate was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. Lawyers for sick clients who were awarded tens of millions of dollars after suing Monsanto introduced evidence that glyphosate can cause genetic damage that leads to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They claimed Monsanto ignored that information and published information “ghost written” by staffers denying the toxicity of the chemical. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith said there was clear evidence that Monsanto, after learning of the dangers, “made efforts to impede, discourage or distort scientific inquiry” by regulators.

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


How Monsanto's 'intelligence center' targeted journalists and activists
2019-08-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-08-26 15:59:46
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/07/monsanto-fusion-center-journ...

Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism. The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller. Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including ... directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews. Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy. The internal records don’t offer significant detail on the activities or scope of the fusion center, but ... government fusion centers have increasingly raised privacy concerns surrounding the way law enforcement agencies collect data, surveil citizens and share information.

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


Apple contractors 'regularly hear confidential details' on Siri recordings
2019-07-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-08-12 22:24:54
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/26/apple-contractors-regularl...

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant. Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation ... understand you better and recognise what you say”. But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings. A whistleblower working for the firm, who asked to remain anonymous due to fears over their job, expressed concerns about this lack of disclosure, particularly given the frequency with which accidental activations pick up extremely sensitive personal information. The whistleblower said: “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details, and app data.” Although Siri is included on most Apple devices, the contractor highlighted the Apple Watch and the company’s HomePod smart speaker as the most frequent sources of mistaken recordings. As well as the discomfort they felt listening to such private information, the contractor said they were motivated to go public about their job because of their fears that such information could be misused.

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


Banks Sued for LIBOR Collusion — Again!
2019-07-26, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2019-08-12 22:21:07
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/banks-libor-lawsuit-8...

Two summers ago, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, made news when he announced that LIBOR – the leading benchmark for setting global interest rates – had a “sustainability” issue. The rate is supposed to measure the rate at which banks borrow from each other, but Bailey said it wasn’t based on real borrowing. LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, helps set rates for hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial instruments. If Bailey was right, it meant a sizable portion of global economic activity rested on magical thinking. A secondary concern involved manipulation. If banks were inventing numbers to submit to the LIBOR committee, could they not also be manipulating rates to line pockets? The possibility ... seemed to exist that the world’s major investors – including localities and pension funds – were being systematically ripped off. A class of investors and retirement funds including Putnam Bank and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund did recently bring an antitrust suit alleging just such a scheme. The July 1 complaint is an amended version of a class action suit originally filed earlier this year. The action against JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, and numerous other banks uses both documentary evidence and data to argue that banks have been purposefully depressing interest rates. The idea would be to lower payouts to investors who are contractually due to receive LIBOR, while lessening costs for LIBOR borrowers.

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


3 companies pay California $70 million for delaying drugs
2019-07-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2019-08-12 22:19:26
https://www.sfgate.com/news/medical/article/4-companies-pay-California-70-mil...

Three pharmaceutical companies collectively are agreeing to pay California nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to keep prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years. Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement received by any state. Such agreements let the developer of brand name drugs keep their monopolies over the drugs after their patents expire, thereby letting them continue to charge consumers higher prices. The drug developer pays the generic manufacturer to keep the cheaper version of the drug from entering the marketplace for an agreed period of time. Such agreements can force consumers and the health care market to pay as much as 90% more than if there were generic alternatives. More than $25 million of the settlement will go to a consumer fund for California residents who purchased Provigil, Nuvigil or Modafinil between 2006 and 2012. The second, $760,000 settlement is with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma USA over keeping a genetic alternative to the pain patch Lidoderm from entering the market for nearly two years. Both settlements bar the companies from pay-for-delay agreements for several years.

Note: They are only barred from pay-for-delay agreements for several years? Shouldn't this practice be illegal? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic
2019-07-19, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:24:49
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/internal-drug-company-emails-sh...

In May 2008, as the opioid epidemic was raging in America, a representative of the nation’s largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio. Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and “[i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce?” Then Borelli joked, “destroy this email ... Is that really possible? Oh Well...” Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs’ filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judge’s order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry. A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012. Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fueling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000. The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of America’s biggest and best-known companies - including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma - amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise.

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


An onslaught of pills, hundreds of thousands of deaths: Who is accountable?
2019-07-20, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-08-04 18:22:30
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/an-onslaught-of-pills-hundreds-...

The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of America’s catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). “This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together,” said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. “We’re seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money.” The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, can’t be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didn’t flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.

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


Undocumented, vulnerable, scared: the women who pick your food for $3 an hour
2019-07-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-07-22 18:18:31
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/10/undocumented-women-farm-worke...

In the fields of south Texas Mexican women work long hours in dangerous conditions under the ever-present threat of deportation. Many of them are paid on a contract basis, by the box. A box of cilantro will earn a worker $3; experienced farmworkers say they can fill one within an hour, which means a typical 5am to 6pm work day would earn them $39 total. The work can vary from physically uncomfortable and mundane (cilantro, lettuce, beets) to outright painful and dangerous (watermelon, parsley, grapefruit). The few women who work in the fields face even more hardships. Instances of workplace sexual harassment and rape are rampant and are both underreported and under-prosecuted. It is common for women to relent to a supervisor’s advances because she can’t risk losing her job or deportation. Most of these women are supporting children as well. [They] represent a diverse cross-section of lives upturned by drug-related and domestic violence in Mexico. Under new US immigration protocols, these are extraordinarily tense times for immigrants. A report by Human Rights Watch notes that although US law entitles undocumented workers to workplace protections, “the US government’s interest in protecting unauthorized workers from abuse conflicts with its interest in deporting them.” That report was written in 2015, but President Trump’s heightened drive for deportation and border closure has only made things more impossible for undocumented farmworkers attempting to protect their labor rights.

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


Disturbing Undercover Video Shows Animal Abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana
2019-06-05, NBC News (Chicago Affiliate)
Posted: 2019-06-28 01:43:02
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/fair-oaks-farms-indian...

A northwest Indiana dairy farm has fired four employees seen in a graphic undercover video released Tuesday by an animal welfare organization showing animals being abused. Following an investigation into the abuse, at least three retailers announced Wednesday that they would remove all Fairlife products from their shelves. The Coca Cola Corporation, which distributes the brand, said it was in talks to have sourcing from the farm in question discontinued. The Animal Recovery Mission called it the “largest undercover dairy investigation in history” and said the video documents “systemic and illegal abuse” at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. ARM said an investigator spent three months undercover at the Prairies Edge North Barn after being hired as a calf care employee. The group noted that Fair Oaks Farms North Barn was not targeted, but rather the barn was the first farm to hire the investigator, who had applied to multiple dairy farms in Jasper and Newton Counties in Indiana. “Employees were observed slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing and slamming calves,” ARM said in a statement. “Calves were stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hard plastic milking bottles, kneed in the spine, burned in the face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures, provided with improper nutrition, and denied medical attention.” The footage was released on social media (warning: footage is graphic) Tuesday, where it has since garnered more than 100,000 views on Facebook and more than 1 million views on Vimeo.

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


Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?
2019-06-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-06-17 19:16:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pfizer-had-clues-its-blockbus...

A team of researchers inside Pfizer made a startling find in 2015: The company’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent. The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial - and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed. Researchers in the company’s division of inflammation and immunology urged Pfizer to conduct a clinical trial on thousands of patients, which they estimated would cost $80 million ... according to an internal company document obtained by The Washington Post. Pfizer’s deliberations, which previously have not been disclosed, offer a rare window into the frustrating search for Alzheimer’s treatments inside one of the world’s largest drug companies. Pfizer did share the data privately with at least one prominent scientist, but outside researchers contacted by The Post believe Pfizer also should at least have published its data, making the findings broadly available to researchers. “Of course they should. Why not?” said Rudolph E. Tanzi, a leading Alzheimer’s researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School. “It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there,” said Keenan Walker, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins.

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


Arms Manufacturers Tell Investors that Iran Tension Fuels Business
2019-05-28, The Intercept
Posted: 2019-06-09 18:52:14
https://theintercept.com/2019/05/28/arms-manufacturers-investors-iran-business/

Defense executives from around the country crowded into Goldman Sachs’ glimmering tower in downtown Manhattan in mid-May, eager to present before a conference of bankers and financial analysts. While much of the world was on edge over simmering tension in the Middle East, as the U.S. and its allies have stoked tensions with Iran, the businessmen at the conference talked of opportunity. Eric DeMarco, the president of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, addressed the conference, arguing that his company is “very well-aligned” for the shift in the military budget away from asymmetrical fighting toward nation-state warfare. The rising threat of war with Iran, Russia, and China, DeMarco continued, could threaten U.S. naval power, which could require ballistic missile threat upgrades, the type of systems Kratos Defense specializes in. Large arms manufacturers from across the industry have similarly told investors that escalating conflict with Iran could be good for business. The statements to investors come as the U.S. has openly threatened to launch a new war. In recent weeks, the Trump administration discussed sending 120,000 soldiers to the Middle East in preparation for war with Iran, a move that comes after two years of increasing sanctions and militant rhetoric about the threat posed by the government in Tehran. The escalating tensions, while raising the potential for catastrophic conflict and loss of human life, could also be good for companies in the business of war.

Note: Read an essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. generals titled "War is a Racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Johnson & Johnson opioids helped create 'worst man-made public health crisis in history,' Oklahoma says in court
2019-05-28, NBC News
Posted: 2019-06-02 13:00:37
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/johnson-johnson-opioids-helped-create-wo...

The first trial against a pharmaceutical opioid manufacturer started Tuesday in Oklahoma in what could be a precedent-setting case for hundreds of other claims around the country. The state's attorney general, Mike Hunter, began the day by accusing Johnson & Johnson of putting profits over responsibility and argued that the company was responsible for the "worst man-made public health crisis in the history of our state and country." In the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the drugmaker, lawyers for the state argued that Johnson & Johnson knew about the addictive nature of opioids, but misled doctors by downplaying the risks of the drugs while touting its benefits. Brad Beckworth, a lawyer for Oklahoma, argued that Johnson & Johnson was motivated to increase sales on multiple fronts as both the manufacturer of the drugs Duragesic and Nucynta and as a supplier of the raw materials for other opioid manufacturers. He argued that a marketing push by Johnson & Johnson lead doctors to overprescribe opioids in Oklahoma. “If you oversupply, people will die,” Beckworth repeatedly said in his opening statement while showing email communications from Johnson & Johnson sales representatives. Oklahoma settled with two other drug manufacturers before Tuesday’s opening statements. In March, Purdue Pharma settled for $270 million, and on Sunday, Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million, leaving Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendants in what could a monthslong bench trial.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales
2019-05-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-06-02 12:57:42
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-he...

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that kickstarted the US opioid epidemic, corruptly influenced the World Health Organization in order to boost painkiller sales across the globe, according to a report by members of Congress. An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the US opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs. “The web of influence we uncovered paints a picture of a public health organization that has been corrupted by the opioid industry,” said Clark. “The WHO appears to be lending the opioid industry its voice and credibility, and as a result, a trusted public health organization is trafficking dangerous misinformation that could lead to a global opioid epidemic.” The report ... accuses Purdue of using pharma-funded organizations and specialists to influence the writing of WHO policy to encourage much wider prescribing of addictive high-strength opioids across the globe. It said that, as a result, “WHO guidelines are serving as marketing materials for Purdue”. [The] report alleges two WHO guidelines ... “contain dangerously misleading and, in some instances, outright false claims about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioids”. “Alarmingly, these guidelines mirror Purdue’s marketing strategies to increase prescriptions and expand sales,” the report found.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials suggest it isn't doing that
2019-05-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-05-20 03:22:14
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/07/epa-monsanto-round-up-t...

Ever since Monsanto introduced its line of Roundup weedkillers to the world in 1974, the products have been touted by the company and regulators as extremely safe. But the emergence of long-held corporate secrets in three public trials has revealed a covert campaign to cover-up the pesticide’s risks and raised troubling questions about lax oversight of all pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies. Two recently concluded Roundup product liability trials in California have resulted in large damage awards against Monsanto, after juries found the company’s herbicides contributed to cancer and that it failed to warn of the risks. Monsanto never conducted epidemiology studies for Roundup and its other formulations made with the active ingredient glyphosate, to see if the products could lead to cancer in people who used them. At the same time ... the company was spending millions of dollars on secretive PR campaigns – including $17m budgeted in a single year – to finance ghostwritten studies and op-eds aimed at discrediting independent scientists whose work found dangers with Monsanto’s herbicides. When the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry sought to evaluate glyphosate toxicity in 2015, Monsanto ... engaged the assistance of EPA officials to delay that review. The efforts delayed the release of the public draft of the review ... until earlier this month. As Monsanto had feared, the agency’s review found links between cancer and glyphosate.

Note: 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.


Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water
2018-11-02, Bloomberg
Posted: 2019-05-20 03:20:25
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-3M-groundwater-pollution-problem/

When Cottage Grove, Minnesota’s drinking-water panic began, Mayor Myron Bailey was at a conference. It was May 22, 2017, and the state health department wanted to give Bailey a heads-up. It was about to set a new, lower level for a type of unregulated chemical found in Minnesota’s drinking water. And Cottage Grove’s would exceed the new threshold. He had known for years that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS) ... lingered in the water around Cottage Grove. 3M’s factory had been churning out some varieties since the 1950s for the water- and stain-repellant Scotchgard. 3M also sold its PFAS to other companies to make Teflon, outdoor gear, greaseproof food papers and firefighting foams. Recent studies have linked widely used PFAS, including the varieties called PFOA and PFOS, to reduced immune response and cancer. That new evidence had stirred Minnesota’s health department to act. “There was always a perception in our community that cancer was caused by the drinking water,” Bailey said, but after the state’s announcement, “people freaked out.” Water tests show that 110 million Americans have levels of PFAS in their water that the most cautious scientists call unsafe. At the same time, new studies show how the chemicals can cause harm even at tiny doses. As awareness spreads, 3M has been named in dozens of lawsuits, several this year alone. Some target industrial sources. But most focus on airports where the chemicals were sprayed onto the ground in firefighting foams.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


High Levels of Toxic PFAS Chemicals Pollute Breast Milk Around the World
2019-04-30, The Intercept
Posted: 2019-05-20 03:18:30
https://theintercept.com/2019/04/30/breast-milk-pfas-chemicals/

Decades after DuPont and 3M first discovered that the perfluorinated chemicals making them fortunes could be transmitted from mothers to babies, millions of women around the world are passing dangerous amounts of these toxic compounds to their children, according to a report published on Monday. Women’s breast milk in many countries now contains chemicals belonging to a class of compounds known as PFAS at levels well above the safety thresholds set by governments, says the report from international environmental group IPEN. In Jordan, for instance, researchers found breast milk contained, on average, 144 parts per trillion of PFOA, according to a 2015 study. That’s more than double the 70 ppt health advisory level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set for that chemical in drinking water; more than seven times the 20 ppt drinking water safety level recently set by the state of Vermont; and more than 10 times the 14 ppt drinking water threshold the state of New Jersey proposed for PFOA earlier this month. One woman’s milk contained 1,120 ppt of PFOA, according to the Jordanian study, which also found that 96 percent of cow’s milk samples also contained PFOS and PFOA. PFAS chemicals — used in nonstick pans, firefighting foam, and hundreds of other products — have also been found in breast milk in at least 19 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, according to a study published in November in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


3M Knew About the Dangers of PFOA and PFOF Decades Ago, Internal Documents Show
2018-07-31, The Intercept
Posted: 2019-05-20 03:16:36
https://theintercept.com/2018/07/31/3m-pfas-minnesota-pfoa-pfos/

News that the Environmental Protection Agency pressured the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to suppress a study showing PFAS chemicals to be even more dangerous than previously thought drew outrage this spring. The EPA pressure delayed the study’s publication for several months. But the dangers presented by these industrial chemicals have been known for decades, not just a few months or years. A lawsuit filed by Minnesota against 3M, the company that first developed and sold PFOS and PFOA, the two best-known PFAS compounds, has revealed that the company knew that these chemicals were accumulating in people’s blood for more than 40 years. 3M researchers documented the chemicals in fish, just as the Michigan scientist did, but they did so back in the 1970s. The suit, which the Minnesota attorney general filed in 2010, charges that 3M polluted groundwater with PFAS compounds and “knew or should have known” that these chemicals harm human health and the environment, and “result in injury, destruction, and loss of natural resources of the State.” The complaint argues that 3M “acted with a deliberate disregard for the high risk of injury to the citizens and wildlife of Minnesota.” 3M settled the suit for $850 million in February, and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office released a large set of documents — including internal studies, memos, emails, and research reports — detailing what 3M knew about the chemicals’ harms.

Note: Much more is available in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Internal documents show 3M hid PFAS dangers for decades
2019-05-09, Detroit Free Press (Part of the USA Today network)
Posted: 2019-05-20 03:13:18
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/05/09/3-m-lawsuit-pfas-w...

A 3M environmental specialist, in a scathing resignation letter, accused company officials of being "unethical" and more "concerned with markets, legal defensibility and image over environmental safety" when it came to PFAS, the emerging contaminant causing a potential crisis throughout Michigan and the country. [The] explosive resignation letter is just one of a large cache of internal 3M memos and documents obtained by the Free Press through public records law from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Then-Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson obtained the internal documents from the Minnesota-based company after suing 3M in 2010 over its environmental contamination in the state. The company settled the suit last year for $850 million. The nonstick compounds were used for decades ... in aqueous firefighting foam, industrial processes and a host of popular consumer products: Teflon nonstick pots and pans, ScotchGard stain protectants ... Gore-Tex water-resistant shoes and clothing, and more. But the same qualities that made PFAS compounds so useful also makes them almost indestructible in the environment, giving them the ominous nickname "the forever chemicals." PFAS can now be found in the blood of nearly 99% of Americans. It has even been found in polar bears in the Arctic Circle. Some 46 sites in Michigan are known to have groundwater with PFAS levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime health advisory guideline

Note: Much more is available in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Facebook bans Alex Jones and other controversial figures for hate speech
2019-05-02, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2019-05-12 02:18:10
https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-facebook-ban-alex-jones-...

Facebook on Thursday banned conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones and the accounts of other controversial figures. The company, citing violations of its policies on hate speech and promoting violence, is also blocking religious leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for sharing anti-Semitic views; Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who ran for Congress in 2018; far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer; and conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson. Those individuals and accounts that represent them are also banned from photo-sharing app Instagram, which Facebook owns. “They have rules, but enforcement is completely random,” said Roger McNamee, a high-profile Silicon Valley investor who has become a sharp critic of Facebook. “They don’t do anything about it until massive harm has been done and they can no longer find a dodge. Facebook is clearly feeling pressure.” McNamee said Facebook’s business model depends on amplifying content that stimulates fear and outrage, and banning a few influential figures doesn't change that. "It is sacrificing a handful of the most visible extreme voices in order to protect a much larger number of users it needs to maximize profits," he said. The Menlo Park, Calif., company didn’t say what specific posts or actions led to the bans, though a spokesperson said that Jones, Yiannopoulos and Loomer have all recently promoted Gavin McInnes, founder of the violence-prone far-right group the Proud Boys, whom Facebook banned in October.

Note: What happened to freedom of speech guaranteed in the US Constitution? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
2019-04-23, NBC News
Posted: 2019-05-06 16:37:55
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-ceo-major-drug-distribution-compa...

In a national first in the fight against the opioid crisis, a major drug distribution company, its former chief executive and another top executive have been criminally charged in New York. Rochester Drug Co-Operative, one of the top 10 largest drug distributors in the United States, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports. Laurence Doud III, the company's former chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the company’s former chief compliance officer, are individually charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.. Pietruszewski is also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. The U.S. attorney's office also filed a lawsuit against Rochester Drug Co-Operative on Tuesday seeking "penalties and injunctive relief." Between 2012 and 2016, Rochester Drug Co-Operative is accused of distributing tens of millions of doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids to pharmacies that its own compliance department found had no legitimate need for them. Prosecutors said Rochester Drug Co-Operative went against the DEA and its own policies and distributed drugs to pharmacies that were "filling controlled substances prescriptions issued by practitioners acting outside the scope of their medical practice, under investigation by law enforcement, or on RDC’s 'watch list.'"

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


UK babies given toxic vaccines, admits Glaxo
2002-06-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-05-06 16:25:47
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/jun/30/tracymcveigh.antonybarnett

British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has finally admitted that thousands of babies in this country were inoculated with a batch of toxic whooping cough vaccines in the 1970s. Some experts believe that these Trivax vaccines - which had not passed critical company safety tests - may have caused permanent brain damage and even fatalities in young children. In 1992, the family of an Irish boy, Kenneth Best, who suffered brain damage from one of these toxic vaccines, was awarded Ł2.7 million in compensation by the Irish Supreme Court. The boy's family finally won this historic case after his mother Margaret made a startling find when sifting through tens of thousands of company documents. She discovered that the Trivax vaccine used on her son, from a batch numbered 3,741, had been released by the company despite it having failed to pass a critical safety test. Documents revealed that the 60,000 individual doses within this batch were known to be 14 times more potent than normal. Last year an investigation by The Observer found evidence to suggest that vaccines from this faulty batch ... had also been used in Britain. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker raised questions in the House of Commons, asking whether vaccines from this batch had been given to British babies. Then Health Minister Yvette Cooper wrote to the company asking for information. Now, almost a year later, GlaxoSmithKline has replied that it is 'highly probable' the toxic batches had been used in Britain.

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


America's new voting machines bring new fears of election tampering
2019-04-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:25:41
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machines-paper-ball...

For almost 17 years, states and counties around the country have conducted elections on machines that have been repeatedly shown to be vulnerable to hacking, errors and breakdowns, and that leave behind no proof that the votes counted actually match the votes that were cast. Now ... states and counties across the country are working to replace these outdated machines with new ones. The purchases replace machines from the turn of the century that raise serious security concerns. But the same companies that made and sold those machines are behind the new generation of technology, and a history of distrust between election security advocates and voting machine vendors has led to a bitter debate over the viability of the new voting equipment. The draw of the new machines, called ballot-marking devices (BMD), is the promise of a paper ballot. But there are concerns with the integrity of the paper trail a BMD would create at every stage. Many BMD models on the market print a sort of two-in-one ballot with one section to be read by machines and another to be read by humans. Barcodes – or QR codes – that represent a voter’s choices are printed on the ballot along with plain text showing, presumably, the same information in a way people can understand. When the ballot is scanned, it is the barcode that is scanned and counted, not the text that voters can read. If a barcode is printed that represents a different choice, or the scanners were hacked, voters would not know the difference.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'They think they are above the law': the firms that own America's voting system
2019-04-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:23:20
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machine-private-com...

In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag ... especially as many states have outsourced vote-counting to the private sector. Democracy in the United States is now largely a secretive and privately-run affair conducted out of the public eye with little oversight. The corporations that run every aspect of American elections, from voter registration to casting and counting votes by machine, are subject to limited state and federal regulation. The companies are privately-owned and closely held, making information about ownership and financial stability difficult to obtain. The software source code and hardware design of their systems are kept as trade secrets. A small network of companies ... have near-monopolies on election services, such as building voting machines. Across the spectrum, private vendors have long histories of errors that affected elections, of obstructing politicians and the public from seeking information, of corruption, suspect foreign influence, false statements of security and business dishonesty. The computer security world has been sounding the alarm since voting machines were adopted. Now lawmakers, election officials and national security experts are joining in.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Elizabeth Warren: Corporate executives must face jail time for overseeing massive scams
2019-04-02, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:14:31
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/elizabeth-warren-its-time-to-scare-co...

Opening unauthorized bank accounts. Cheating customers on mortgages and car loans. If you can dream up a financial scam, there’s a good chance that Wells Fargo ran it on its customers in recent years. After years of pressure, the company finally parted ways with its second chief executive in three years. But this isn’t real accountability. When a criminal on the street steals money from your wallet, they go to jail. When small-business owners cheat their customers, they go to jail. But when corporate executives at big companies oversee huge frauds that hurt tens of thousands of people, they often get to walk away with multimillion-dollar payouts. Too often, prosecutors don’t even try to hold top executives criminally accountable. They claim it’s too hard to prove that the people at the top knew about the corporate misconduct. This culture of complicity warps the incentives for corporate leaders. The executives know that, at worst, the company will get hit with a fine — and the money will come out of their shareholders’ pockets, not their own. It doesn’t have to be this way. With sustained resources and a commitment to enforcing the law, we can bring more cases under existing rules. Beyond that, we should enact the Ending Too Big To Jail Act, which I introduced last year. That bill would make it easier to hold executives at big banks accountable for scams by requiring them to certify that they conducted a “due diligence” inquiry and found that no illegal conduct was occurring on their watch.

Note: The above was written by US Senator Elizabeth Warren. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation
2018-03-20, The Nation
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:34:02
https://www.thenation.com/article/how-big-wireless-made-us-think-that-cell-ph...

In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A week later, [Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association president Tom] Wheeler announced that his industry would pay for a comprehensive research program. Cell phones were already safe, Wheeler told reporters; the new research would simply “re-validate the findings of the existing studies.” George Carlo seemed like a good bet to fulfill Wheeler’s mission. In 1995, Carlo began directing the industry-financed Wireless Technology Research project (WTR), whose eventual budget of $28.5 million made it the best-funded investigation of cell-phone safety to date. He and Wheeler would eventually clash bitterly over the ... findings, which Carlo presented to wireless-industry leaders on February 9, 1999. By that date, the WTR had commissioned more than 50 original studies and reviewed many more. Those studies raised “serious questions” about cell-phone safety. A livid Tom Wheeler began publicly trashing Carlo to the media. Wheeler’s tactics succeeded in dousing the controversy. In the years to come, the WTR’s cautionary findings would be replicated by numerous other scientists ... leading the World Health Organization in 2011 to classify cell-phone radiation as a “possible” human carcinogen and the governments of Great Britain, France, and Israel to issue strong warnings on cell-phone use by children.

Note: Read the complete article above to learn how far the wireless industry has gone to hide the dangers of its products from the public. Also worthy of attention is a Harvard study titled "How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology
2019-04-03, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:32:17
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/technology/amazon-facial-recognition-techn...

At least 25 prominent artificial-intelligence researchers, including experts at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and a recent winner of the prestigious Turing Award, have signed a letter calling on Amazon to stop selling its facial-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies because it is biased against women and people of color. The letter, which was publicly released Wednesday, reflects growing concern in academia and the tech industry that bias in facial-recognition technology is a systemic problem. Amazon sells a product called Rekognition through its cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services. The company said last year that early customers included the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. In January, two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a peer-reviewed study showing that Amazon Rekognition had more trouble identifying the gender of female and darker-skinned faces in photos than similar services from IBM and Microsoft. It mistook women for men 19 percent of the time, the study showed, and misidentified darker-skinned women for men 31 percent of the time. “There are no laws or required standards to ensure that Rekognition is used in a manner that does not infringe on civil liberties,” the A.I. researchers wrote. “We call on Amazon to stop selling Rekognition to law enforcement.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations
2019-04-11, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:30:19
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/tech/amazon-alexa-listening/index.html

Not only is Alexa listening when you speak to an Echo smart speaker, an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too. Amazon (AMZN) employs a global team that transcribes the voice commands captured after the wake word is detected and feeds them back into the software ... Bloomberg reports. Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as "mundane" and even sometimes "possibly criminal," including listening to a potential sexual assault. In a response to the story, Amazon confirmed to CNN Business that it hires people to listen to what customers say to Alexa. Amazon doesn't "explicitly" tell Alexa users that it employs people to listen to the recordings. Amazon said in its frequently asked question section that it uses "requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems." People can opt out of Amazon using their voice recordings to improve the software in the privacy settings section of the Alexa app. Alexa auditors don't have access to the customers' full name or address, but do have the device's serial number and the Amazon account number associated with the device. Amazon previously has been embroiled in controversy for privacy concerns regarding Alexa.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Hormel Lawsuit Reveals What ‘Natural’ Meat Really Means
2019-04-10, Bloomberg
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:28:28
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-10/hormel-advertising-suit-re...

American shoppers are reaching for healthier, more environmentally and animal-friendly meat products, with 39 percent saying “all-natural” is the most important claim when purchasing red meat. But there’s one problem: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that when it comes to meat and poultry, the term “natural” means only that the product has no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed. It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. Companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Hormel Foods Corp. have been snapping up smaller, outwardly progressive competitors. At the same time, however, some of the major meat companies have been offering their own products as “natural,” replete with labels featuring blue skies and green fields. On April 8, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia - a jurisdiction with stringent consumer protection laws - dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. The court held that as long as manufacturer labels are approved by the USDA, the advertising can use the “natural” claims. In statements disclosed in the filing, a company executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. “It’s a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer,” said David Muraskin, a food project attorney.

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


American billionaires call for upgrades to capitalism, starting with higher taxes on themselves
2019-04-08, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:26:37
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/08/american-billionaires-call-for-upgrades-to-ca...

American billionaires are calling for changes to the system that enabled them to get rich. Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, Ray Dalio, Bill Gates and a list of others say that capitalism in its current form simply doesn’t work for the rest of the United States. Some of their remedies involve higher taxes. Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio is the most recent to criticize the current economic system. On Monday, the Bridgewater founder told CNBC that while it doesn’t need to be destroyed, capitalism does need to present an equal opportunity, which Dalio said he received through public education. The issue chafing billionaires and politicians alike is a growing income gap. The inequality between rich and poor Americans is as high as it was in late 1930s, Dalio pointed out in a paper posted online. The wealth of the top 1 percent of the population is now more than that of the bottom 90 percent of the population combined. Dalio called growing inequality and lack of investment in public education “an existential risk for the U.S.” Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett - third on Forbe’s 2019 billionaires list - has repeatedly said the wealthy should be taxed more. In 2006, the CEO committed to give all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. He and Bill and Melinda Gates have asked hundreds of wealthy Americans to pledge at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity in the so-called “the Giving Pledge.” There are now 190 people signed on, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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


Wall Street loves socialism for bankers – but not for ordinary people
2019-04-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:24:03
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/08/wall-street-socialism-j...

In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling. According to the Justice Department, JPMorgan acknowledged it had regularly and knowingly sold mortgages that should have never been sold. To state it another way, Dimon and other Wall Street CEOs helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis when the dangerous and irresponsible loans their banks were peddling – on which they made big money – finally went bust. But instead of letting the market punish the banks (which is what capitalism is supposed to do) the government bailed them out and eventually levied paltry fines which the banks treated as the cost of doing business. Call it socialism for rich bankers. America’s five biggest banks, including Dimon’s, now control 46% of all deposits, up from 12% in the early 1990s. But, of course, Dimon isn’t really ... concerned about socialism. Dimon’s real concern is that America may end the kind of socialism he and other denizens of the Street depend on – bailouts, regulatory loopholes, and tax breaks.

Note: The above was written by former US secretary of labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. court pays $6 million to Gardasil victims
2014-12-31, Washington Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:18:02
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/us-court-pays-6-million-gard...

Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), may not be as safe as backers claim. Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated. “This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded. Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. The CDC recommends the Gardasil vaccine, made by Merck Pharmaceuticals, for all females between 9 and 26 years to protect against HPV. The facts appear to contradict the FDA’s safety statements. The adverse reaction reports detail 26 new deaths reported between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011 as well as incidents of seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short term memory loss and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. While it is not clear exactly what is causing so many adverse reactions, Gardasil does contain genetically engineered virus-like protein particles as well as aluminum, which can affect immune function. Merck studied the Gardasil vaccine in fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 prior to it being released to the market under a fast-tracked road to licensure.

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


A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy
2019-04-06, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:12:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/health/drug-resistant-candida-auris.html

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.” C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections. For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened life spans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. But lately, there has been an explosion of resistant fungi as well. Yet as the problem grows, it is little understood by the public — in part because the very existence of resistant infections is often cloaked in secrecy. With bacteria and fungi alike, hospitals and local governments are reluctant to disclose outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs. Even the C.D.C., under its agreement with states, is not allowed to make public the location or name of hospitals involved in outbreaks.

Note: For more on this new disease, see this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.
2019-04-03, USA Today
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:10:16
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/03/abortion-gun...

Each year, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduce thousands of bills dreamed up and written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks. Disguised as the work of lawmakers, these so-called “model” bills get copied in one state Capitol after another, quietly advancing the agenda of the people who write them. A two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity reveals for the first time the extent to which special interests have infiltrated state legislatures using model legislation. USA TODAY and the Republic found at least 10,000 bills almost entirely copied from model legislation were introduced nationwide in the past eight years, and more than 2,100 of those bills were signed into law. In a separate analysis, the Center for Public Integrity identified tens of thousands of bills with identical phrases, then traced the origins of that language. Model bills passed into law have ... limited access to abortion and restricted the rights of protesters. In all, these copycat bills amount to the nation’s largest, unreported special-interest campaign, driving agendas in every statehouse and touching nearly every area of public policy. USA TODAY found more than 4,000 bills benefiting industry were introduced nationwide during the eight years it reviewed. More than 80 of those bills limit the public's ability to sue corporations, including limiting class-action lawsuits, a plaintiff's ability to offer expert testimony, and cap punitive damages for corporate wrongdoing.

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


The great Equifax mystery: 17 months later, the stolen data has never been found, and experts are starting to suspect a spy scheme
2019-02-13, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-04-06 23:15:46
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/13/equifax-mystery-where-is-the-data.html

On Sept. 7, 2017, the world heard an alarming announcement from credit ratings giant Equifax: In a brazen cyberattack, somebody had stolen sensitive personal information from more than 140 million people, nearly half the population of the U.S. The information included Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, information from credit disputes and other personal details. Then, something unusual happened. The data disappeared. Completely. CNBC talked to eight experts. All of them agreed that a breach happened, and personal information from 143 million people was stolen. But none of them knows where the data is now. Security experts haven't seen the data used in any of the ways they'd expect in a theft like this — not for impersonating victims, not for accessing other websites, nothing. Most experts familiar with the case now believe that the thieves were working for a foreign government and are using the information not for financial gain, but to try to identify and recruit spies. One former senior intelligence official ... summarized the prevailing expert opinion on how the foreign intelligence agency is using the data. First, he said, the foreign government is probably combining this information with other stolen data, then analyzing it using artificial intelligence or machine learning to figure out who's likely to be — or to become — a spy for the U.S. government. Second, credit reporting data provides compromising information that can be used to turn valuable people into agents of a foreign government.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Jurors say Roundup contributed to a 2nd man's cancer. Now thousands more cases against Monsanto await
2019-03-20, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-06 23:11:39
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/20/health/monsanto-verdict-federal/index.html

A federal jury dealt a huge blow to Monsanto, saying its popular weedkiller Roundup was a substantial factor in causing a California man's cancer. It's the second time in eight months that a jury has reached such a decision. But Edwin Hardeman's case against Monsanto is the first to be tried in federal court. And thousands of similar cases are still pending at the federal or state level. But this trial isn't over yet. While the first phase focused on whether Roundup caused Hardeman's cancer, the second phase ... focuses on whether Monsanto is liable. It's unclear how much the jury might award Hardeman in damages, if anything at all. But last August, in the first state trial over whether Roundup can cause cancer, California jurors awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages. A judge later reduced the total award to $78 million. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who used Roundup started suing Monsanto by the hundreds after a World Health Organization report ... said glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans." While debate continues over whether glyphosate is safe, parts of the country are limiting or banning it, said the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. "Following the state court decision last year, we saw a huge uptick in local ordinances that would regulate the use of Roundup on playgrounds, schoolyards and public parks," said PIRG's Kara Cook-Schultz, who leads a campaign to ban Roundup.

Note: 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.


Pentagon Says Google’s Work on Drones is Exempt from the Freedom of Information Act
2019-03-25, The Intercept
Posted: 2019-04-06 23:06:32
https://theintercept.com/2019/03/25/google-project-maven-pentagon-foia/

In September 2017, Aileen Black wrote an email to her colleagues at Google. Black, who led sales to the U.S. government, worried that details of the company’s work to help the military guide lethal drones would become public through the Freedom of Information Act. “We will call tomorrow to reinforce the need to keep Google under the radar," Black wrote. According to a Pentagon memo signed last year, however, no one at Google needed worry: All 5,000 pages of documents about Google’s work on the drone effort, known as Project Maven, are barred from public disclosure, because they constitute “critical infrastructure security information." The memo is part of a recent wave of federal decisions that keep sensitive documents secret on that same basis - thus allowing agencies to quickly deny document requests. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed more than a year ago, seeking documents related to Project Maven’s use of Google technology, the Defense Department said that it had discovered 5,000 pages of relevant material - and that every single page was exempt from disclosure. Some of the pages included trade secrets, sensitive internal deliberations, and private personal information about some individuals, the department said. Such information can be withheld under the act. But it said all of the material could be kept private under “Exemption 3" of the act, which allows the government to withhold records under a grab bag of other federal statutes.

Note: Read more about Project Maven. Google employees strongly opposed working on war technology, and circulated a petition to stop the project. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


U.S.’s Biggest Christian Charity Reportedly Channeled $56.1 Million to Purported Hate Groups
2019-03-20, Newsweek
Posted: 2019-04-01 19:39:43
https://www.newsweek.com/biggest-christian-charity-funding-hate-groups-1370055

The nation's eighth-largest nonprofit donated $56.1 million to a series of organizations identified as hate groups from 2015 to 2017, according to a report from Sludge. National Christian Foundation, which identifies itself as the largest Christian grant maker and one of the largest donor-advised funds in the nation, has served as a vehicle for individuals trying to anonymously send money. Donor-advised funds allow individuals sending the tax deductible contributions to remain anonymous from the IRS and instruct where they want the payments to be sent. For those donating via NCF, this meant sending money to 23 organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled hate groups. Most of the hate organizations that received money from the NCF opposed LGBT rights. The report also found that the NCF donated to anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant organizations. Organizations receiving the most funds from NCF included the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has advocated for sterilizing transgender individuals, and the Family Research Council, which has advocated conversion therapy. Members of the Family Research Council including Tony Perkins, the organization's president, have sought to link pedophilia and homosexuality. The NCF's website says it has "accepted over $12 billion in contributions and made over $10 billion in giver-recommended grants to more than 55,000 charities."

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


Purdue Pharma to pay $270 million to settle historic Oklahoma opioid lawsuit
2019-03-26, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-01 19:36:05
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/health/purdue-pharma-oklahoma-opioid-lawsuit-s...

Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $270 million to settle a historic lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general, who accused the OxyContin maker of aggressively marketing the opioid painkiller and fueling a drug epidemic that left thousands dead in the state. The settlement comes after Purdue [sought] to delay the start of the trial, which is scheduled for May 28. Attorney General Mike Hunter said ... that $102.5 million of the settlement would be used to help establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University. The company will also provide $20 million of addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the center. A remaining $12.5 million from the settlement will be used directly to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis. The Sackler family, who founded and own Purdue Pharma, will also contribute $75 million over the next five years to the treatment and research center. The lawsuit was brought by Hunter against some of the nation's leading makers of opioid pain medications, alleging that deceptive marketing over the past decade fueled the epidemic in the state. Hunter has said the defendants - Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and others - deceived the public into believing that opioids were safe for extended use. The settlement was only with Purdue Pharma, and the other defendants are still scheduled to go to trial. Thirty-six states have brought cases against Purdue and other opioid drugmakers.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Daily Mail Snopes Story And Fact Checking The Fact Checkers
2016-12-22, Forbes
Posted: 2019-04-01 19:25:06
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/12/22/the-daily-mail-snopes-st...

Yesterday afternoon a colleague forwarded me an article from the Daily Mail, asking me if it could possibly be true. The article in question is an expose on Snopes.com, the fact checking site used by journalists ... that Facebook recently partnered with to fact check news stories on its platform. The Daily Mail’s article makes a number of claims about the site’s principles and organization, [and questions] whether the site could possibly act as a trusted and neutral arbitrator of the “truth.” The Daily Mail appeared to be sourcing its claims from a series of emails and other documents from a court case. Neither Snopes nor its principles had issued any kind of statement ... disclaiming the story. When I reached out to David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, for comment, I fully expected him to respond with a lengthy email in Snopes’ trademark point-by-point format. It was with incredible surprise therefore that I received David’s one-sentence response which read in its entirety “I'd be happy to speak with you, but I can only address some aspects in general because I'm precluded by the terms of a binding settlement agreement from discussing details of my divorce.” This absolutely astounded me. Here was the one of the world’s most respected fact checking organizations, soon to be an ultimate arbitrator of “truth” on Facebook, saying that it cannot respond to a fact checking request because of a secrecy agreement. In short, when someone attempted to fact check the fact checker, the response was the equivalent of “it's secret.”

Note: For lots more on this, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


The cashless society is a con – and big finance is behind it
2018-07-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-03-25 04:01:08
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/19/cashless-society-con-bi...

All over the western world banks are shutting down cash machines and branches. They are trying to push you into using their digital payments and digital banking infrastructure. Financial institutions ... are trying to nudge us towards a cashless society and digital banking. The true motive is corporate profit. Payments companies such as Visa and Mastercard want to increase the volume of digital payments services they sell, while banks want to cut costs. The nudge requires two parts. First, they must increase the inconvenience of cash. Second, they must vigorously promote the alternative. But a cashless society is not in your interest. It is in the interest of banks and payments companies. Their job is to make you believe that it is in your interest too, and they are succeeding in doing that. The recent Visa chaos, during which millions of people who have become dependent on digital payment suddenly found themselves stranded when the monopolistic payment network crashed, was a temporary setback. Digital systems may be “convenient”, but they often come with central points of failure. Cash, on the other hand, does not crash. It does not rely on external data centres, and is not subject to remote control or remote monitoring. The cash system allows for an unmonitored “off the grid” space. This is also the reason why financial institutions and financial technology companies want to get rid of it. Cash transactions are outside the net that such institutions cast to harvest fees and data.

Note: For more on this questionable trend, see this article and this one in the UK's Guardian. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages
2019-03-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2019-03-25 03:54:35
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wikipedia-paid-editing-pr-facebook-nbc-axios_n...

The vast majority of the people who propose and make changes to Wikipedia are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit. That’s [paid Wikipedia editor Ed] Sussman’s business. And in just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid him to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check. One of Wikipedia’s more well-known rules is its prohibition on editing pages that you have any sort of direct connection to. But ... anyone, even someone financially tied to the subject in question, is allowed to merely suggest edits in the hopes that a less conflicted editor might come by, agree, and implement the changes for them. This is where a paid editor like Sussman comes in. On his website, Sussman identifies himself as “a journalist, lawyer, academic and technology entrepreneur” who “is often called upon in ‘crisis management’ situations where inaccurate or misleading information has been placed in a Wikipedia article.” Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Weedkiller 'raises risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 41%'
2019-02-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-03-04 13:56:28
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/14/weed-killing-products-increa...

A broad new scientific analysis of the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate herbicides, the most widely used weedkilling products in the world, has found that people with high exposures to the popular pesticides have a 41% increased risk of developing a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The findings by five US scientists contradict the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assurances of safety over the weed killer and come as regulators in several countries consider limiting the use of glyphosate-based products in farming. Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG face more than 9,000 lawsuits in the US brought by people suffering from NHL who blame Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides for their diseases. The first plaintiff to go to trial won a unanimous jury verdict against Monsanto in August. The next trial, involving a separate plaintiff, is set to begin on 25 February, and several more trials are set for this year and into 2020. The new analysis could potentially complicate Monsanto’s defense of its top-selling herbicide. Three of the study authors were tapped by the EPA as board members for a 2016 scientific advisory panel on glyphosate. The new paper was published by the journal Mutation Research /Reviews in Mutation Research, whose editor in chief is EPA scientist David DeMarini. “This paper makes a stronger case than previous meta-analyses that there is evidence of an increased risk of NHL due to glyphosate exposure,” said [study] co-author Lianne Sheppard.

Note: 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.


'This is about saving capitalism': the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite
2019-02-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-03-04 13:48:05
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/01/rutger-bregman-world-economi...

Rutger Bregman had not really intended to stick it to the global elite. But when the Dutch historian decided to go off-piste at the World Economic Forum and tell the assembled billionaires they should stop avoiding paying tax, he became an overnight social media sensation. “It’s been a crazy week and just for stating the obvious,” said Bregman, when asked about a panel discussion at the WEF last month in which he said the issue was “taxes, taxes, taxes, and all the rest is bullshit in my opinion”. Bregman had not been to Davos before. He was invited on the basis of the book Utopia for Realists, which argued for a basic income and a shorter working week. But he grew more irritated as the week wore on. He was surprised and maddened by the pushback when he mentioned tax. As a result, Bregman decided to change his plan for a panel on inequality. What Bregman said, put simply, was the Davos emperors have no clothes. They talk a lot about how something must be done about inequality and the need to address social unrest, but cavil at the idea they might be a big part of the problem. He told his audience that people in Davos talked about participation, justice, equality and transparency, but “nobody raises the issue of tax avoidance and the rich not paying their share. It is like going to a firefighters’ conference and not talking about water.” As a historian, Bregman noted the most successful period for capitalism occurred in the years after the second world war, when the top rate of tax in the US was above 90%.

Note: This historian later confronted Tucker Carlson of Fox News, who had a few choice dirty words for him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and corporate corruption.


Despite record profits, Amazon didn't pay any federal income tax in 2017 or 2018.
2019-02-15, CNN News
Posted: 2019-02-25 04:39:59
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/amazon-federal-income-tax/index.html

Amazon hasn't paid any taxes to the US government in the past two years. Actually, Amazon received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits in 2017 and 2018. That might seem nuts, considering Amazon is the third-most valuable company in the world and earned a record $10 billion last year. But critics of Amazon's tax bill aren't accusing Amazon of doing anything improper. "This is tax avoidance, not tax evasion. There's no indication of any wrongdoing, except on the part of Congress," said Matthew Gardner, senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. US tax code allows money-losing companies to reduce their future taxable income. Amazon's total earnings have easily topped its losses — many times over. But some of Amazon's earnings came from sales outside the United States, on which Amazon paid either lower or no US taxes. Many companies that lose money pay little or no federal income taxes. For example, General Motors (GM) has paid little federal tax money since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, despite posting record profits for several years. Amazon declined to comment on its federal tax payments.

Note: Read how former tax lobbyists now run the tax-writing committees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Private Eyes Detail Inner Workings of National Enquirer ‘Blackmail’ Machine
2019-02-08, Daily Beast
Posted: 2019-02-25 04:30:10
https://www.thedailybeast.com/private-eyes-detail-inner-workings-of-national-...

It may have shocked the world when the publisher of the National Enquirer allegedly tried to use nude pictures to coerce Jeff Bezos. But it came as no surprise to ... veterans of the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. “The threats, the blackmail, that’s their business model,” one former National Enquirer staffer told The Daily Beast. That model burst out into public view on Thursday night when Bezos - the world’s richest man, the founder of Amazon, and the owner of The Washington Post - published emails from AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard that threatened the release of a “d*ck pick” if the Post didn’t relent in its investigation of AMI. It was a familiar moment to Paul Barresi, a private investigator who spent years working on cases that informed stories in AMI. “The National Enquirer had some people who would go to a celebrity and say, ‘unless you give in to a one-on-one interview ... we’re going to report XYZ,” he said. “The nice way of calling it was quid pro quo, but really it was blackmail.” The supermarket tabloid company’s bag of dirty tricks is well-chronicled and includes catch-and-kill operations: paying for an exclusive interview only to bury it, as a favor to an ally or after using the dirt to convince a celebrity to play ball with them. Most infamously, AMI has admitted it paid ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 in hush money for her story of an affair with Donald Trump, which never saw the light of day.

Note: WTK founder Fred Burks saw personally how the Enquirer is much more highly guarded than any other major media. He is almost certain it is a CIA front used to manage disinformation and discredit real stories that seem unbelievable. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in mass media.


USDA Reclassifies ‘Pink Slime’ as ‘Ground Beef’
2019-02-12, MSN
Posted: 2019-02-25 04:26:30
https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/usda-reclassifies-pink-slime-...

The inner-workings of a beef processing plant in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, might not sound like compelling national news, but in 2012, ABC changed that with two little words: “pink slime.” As you probably recall, the news outlet questioned Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) about its ground beef filler known as “lean finely textured beef” (LFTI), utilizing the pejorative term “pink slime” in the process. The backlash from the report hit BPI’s bottom line hard, despite the fact that they maintained that LFTI is safe and made from 100 percent beef, and so the South Dakotan company sued ABC News. The news organization eventually settled out of court ... paying nine figures to BPI to end the whole mess. BPI survived the ordeal and are back in the news again for – guess what – lean finely textured beef. But don’t call it “LFTI.” And definitely don’t call it “pink slime.” According to Beef Magazine, the USDA has given its approval for BPI to call “lean finely textured beef” simply “ground beef.” “We approached USDA about the possibility of reclassifying our product,” Nick Ross, BPI vice president of engineering, [said] “After reviewing BPI’s submission of a new product and new production process, [the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)] determined that the product meets the regulatory definition of ground beef ... and may be labeled accordingly,” a FSIS spokesperson [confirmed]. But for consumers, the change won’t really mean that much.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become 'end-to-end pain provider,' lawsuit alleges
2019-01-31, CNN News
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:39:05
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/health/purdue-pharma-unredacted-lawsuit/index....

Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan, dubbed "Project Tango," to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction, all while owners on the board - members of one of America's richest families - reaped more than $4 billion in opioid profits, according to a lawsuit newly unredacted. The suit says the company and its owners, the Sackler family ... engaged in a decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true: that the highly addictive drugs were resulting in overdoses and deaths. Purdue examined selling overdose antidotes, including Narcan, as "complementary" products to the same doctors to whom it sold its opioids, the lawsuit claims, and although the company maintained a ledger of doctors it suspected of inappropriate opioid prescriptions and other forms of abuse, dubbed "Region Zero," it continued to collect revenue from those doctors. The Sacklers paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between April 2008 and 2018. In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid-linked drug fatalities in the United States. The unredacted complaint also says consulting firm McKinsey & Co. played a crucial role in advising the company on how to push its product on doctors and boost its profits.

Note: Many doctors also profited from excessive prescribing of dangerous opioids. And according to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sen. Bernie Sanders will ask why a once-free drug now costs $375,000
2019-02-04, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:37:23
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/sen-bernie-sanders-will-ask-why-a-once-free-d...

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders plans to send a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Monday asking it to justify its decision to charge $375,000 annually for a medication that for years has been available to patients for free. The drug, Firdapse, is used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. The disorder affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States. The government is intensifying its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising prescription drug prices. Both the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, controlled by Republicans, have begun holding hearings this year on the rising costs of medicines. In the letter dated Feb. 4, Sanders asked Catalyst to lay out the financial and non-financial factors that led the company to set the list price at $375,000, and say how many patients would suffer or die as a result of the price and how much it was paying to purchase or produce the drug. For years, patients have been able to get Firdapse for free ... through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program called "compassionate use." The program allows patients with rare diseases and conditions access to experimental drugs outside of a clinical trial when there is no viable alternative. Florida-based Catalyst received FDA approval of Firdapse in November, along with exclusive rights to market the medication for several years. In December, Catalyst announced it would price Firdapse at $375,000 a year.

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Family outraged over life-changing treatment going from free to $375,000 a year
2019-02-07, NBC News
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:35:44
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/family-outraged-over-life-changing...

When Will Schuller was an 18-year-old senior in high school in Overland Park, Kansas, something puzzling was happening. He was “big into running at the time” and seemingly in good health, but ...Will struggled to walk from the school parking lot to his classes, and he couldn’t exercise. Around Christmas 2014, Will was diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. LEMS is “a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects strength and muscle fatigue ability,” said Dr. Ted M. Burns, a professor of neurology. There is a drug to treat LEMS that up until recently was free for patients through an FDA program called “compassionate use.” When Schuller got the drug, called ... 3,4-DAP, he instantly felt better. Since 1992, 3,4-DAP, was made by Jacobus Pharmaceuticals, a small New Jersey company, until a different company, Catalyst, recently received the exclusive rights to the drug. Catalyst added a preservative, renamed it Firdapse, and is now charging north of $375,000 a year for the life-changing drug. Will's parents said doctors ... warned them about an impending price increase, but they never imagined it would start costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We're paying ... less than that,” said Bob Schuller, Will’s dad. “But everyone's premiums are going to go up as a result of this. So it's a cost to the entire system.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent a letter to Catalyst on Monday demanding an explanation for the new price of Firdapse, calling it "a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers."

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Australia banking inquiry: 'Scathing' report calls for industry overhaul
2019-02-04, BBC
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:34:02
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-47112040

A national inquiry into Australia's scandal-plagued financial sector has proposed sweeping changes in an attempt to end rampant industry misconduct. The Royal Commission spent 12 months investigating wrongdoing by some of the nation's biggest institutions. Prominent scandals included the charging of fees for no service - sometimes to dead customers. The government said it would act on all 76 recommendations made by the inquiry. The Royal Commission - Australia's highest form of public inquiry - came after a decade of scandals that shook confidence in the country's largest industry. After the report was made public on Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the public had paid an "immense" price for the misconduct. "It's a scathing assessment of conduct driven by greed and behaviour that was in breach of existing law and fell well below community expectations," he said. The Royal Commission received more than 10,000 public submissions. It interviewed over 130 witnesses in public hearings. The report made 76 recommendations for reform, including: More than 20 unidentified cases to be referred on to regulators, resulting in possible criminal or civil prosecutions; There should be an overhaul of the sector's sales culture to reduce conflicts of interest; Regulators need to more regularly prosecute breaches, or lose some of their powers. The government has been criticised for initially resisting the probe, which it later described as "regrettable but necessary" action to restore public trust.

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


The Global Con Hidden in Trump’s Tax Reform Law, Revealed
2018-02-06, New York Times
Posted: 2019-02-17 17:28:38
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/opinion/business-economics/trump-tax-refor...

President Trump reserved a few minutes of his State of the Union address to praise his tax reform law, which turned a year old last month. Mr. Trump ... promised Americans that drastically lowered corporate tax rates would bring home large sums of capital that had been stashed overseas and finance a surge of domestic investment. The White House argued they wanted a system that “encourages companies to stay in America, grow in America, spend in America, and hire in America.” Yet the bill he signed into law includes a sweetheart deal that allows companies that shift their profits abroad to pay tax at a rate well below the already-reduced corporate income tax. Now that a full year has passed since the tax bill became law, we have hard numbers. There is no wide pattern of companies bringing back jobs or profits from abroad. The global distribution of corporations’ offshore profits ... hasn’t budged from the prevailing trend. Eliminating the complex series of loopholes that encourage offshoring was a major talking point ... but most of them are still in place. The craftiest and largest corporations can still legally whittle down their effective tax rate into the single digits. (In fact, the new law encourages firms to move “tangible assets” - like factories - offshore). Overall, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amounted to ... sleight of hand. According to the Treasury Department’s tally for fiscal year 2018, corporate income tax receipts fell by 31 percent, an unprecedented year-over-year drop in a time of economic growth.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


An Esteemed Doctor, Child Sexual Abuse Claims and a Hospital That Knew for Years
2018-10-18, New York Times
Posted: 2019-02-03 22:33:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/nyregion/dr-reginald-archibald-rockefeller...

For almost 30 years, parents sought out Dr. Reginald Archibald when their children would not grow. They came to his clinic at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent New York research institution. He also may have sexually abused many of them. The hospital sent a letter last month to former patients of Dr. Archibald asking about their contact with him [and] posted a statement online saying it had evidence of the doctor’s “inappropriate” behavior with some patients and that it first had learned of credible allegations against him in 2004. The New York Times spoke with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents. Most of them learned of the possibility of other victims for the first time when they received the letter. A few, however, said they had filed complaints with the hospital or authorities in the past, but their allegations were not investigated. The men all described similar experiences with Dr. Archibald, who would tell them to disrobe when they were alone in his examination room. He would masturbate them or ask them to masturbate. The doctor took pictures of them, while they were naked, with a Polaroid camera, and measured their penises both flaccid and erect. The alleged abuse would have occurred in an era in which few safeguards existed for those patients. Under current New York law, the statute of limitations for victims to sue the hospital has long passed. A hospital spokesman declined to answer questions about when the hospital first learned of the allegations. [An] inquiry turned up two ... reports dating to the 1990s.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse by doctors from reliable major media sources. Then explore other media articles exposing systemic, institutional sex abuse.


The lucrative business of crowds for hire
2018-01-03, CNN News
Posted: 2019-01-21 13:41:19
https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/16/business/crowds-for-hire/index.html

Next time you're watching a campaign rally for a politician, or a glitzy premiere, take a close look at the enthusiastic faces waving banners at the front. There is a good chance that some are paid performers. If they are, it is likely that one Adam Swart put them there. Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Swart has pioneered the 'supporter-for-hire' business. His start-up Crowds on Demand, launched in 2012, has established itself as a popular resource. The company repertoire has now expanded to cover product launches, PR stunts, and social justice movements. One popular side-line is using crowds to apply pressure to one side - or even both - of a corporate litigation dispute. Swart claims the business has "more than doubled" in size each year, and can now call on tens of thousands of performers to cover several events each day, in dozens of cities across the US. "When a clients spends $10,000 on a protest and wins a $20 million settlement, that's a clear return on investment," says the entrepreneur. The role of crowd members is carefully calibrated. Recruits are generally actors, who are expected be enthusiastic, but not so zealous as to risk arrest. Critically, they must look and sound authentic. "They almost always hold signs and chant, and sometimes talk to media on behalf of the event," says Swart. Employees also sign non-disclosure forms that protect the client's anonymity, to avoid the embarrassment of their paying for support coming to light.

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


Don't Just [Let It] Sit There; Do Something
2018-12-14, Forbes Magazine
Posted: 2019-01-21 13:12:57
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferpryce/2018/12/14/dont-just-let-it-sit-th...

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.

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


Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
2018-12-10, New York Times
Posted: 2019-01-06 02:04:39
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy...

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.


How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location
2018-12-10, New York Times
Posted: 2019-01-06 02:03:12
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/technology/prevent-location-data-sharing.html

Hundreds of apps can follow your movements and share the details with advertisers, retailers and even hedge funds. It’s difficult to know for sure whether location data companies are tracking your phone. Any app that collects location data may share your information with other companies, as long as it mentions that somewhere in its privacy policy. You can head off much of the tracking on your own device by spending a few minutes changing settings. Here’s how to limit the snooping. How do I stop location tracking on iOS? Some apps have internal settings where you can indicate that you don’t want your location used for targeted advertising or other purposes. But the easiest method is to go through your device’s main privacy menu. First, open Settings and select Privacy, which has a blue icon with a white hand. Then select Location Services, which is at the top and has a little arrow. You’ll see a list of apps, along with the location setting for each. Tap on apps you want to adjust. Selecting “Never” blocks tracking by that app. The option “While Using the App” ensures that the app gets location only while in use. Choosing “Always,” allows the app to get location data even when not in use. How do I stop it on Android? First, open the Settings on your phone. On the main settings page, tap “Security & location.” On the next screen, tap Location, which can be found in the Privacy section. On the Location screen, tap “App-level permissions.” You’ll see a list of apps. To turn off location for an app, slide the toggle to the left.

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.


While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid-off workers struggle during Christmastime
2018-12-11, NBC News
Posted: 2018-12-23 20:06:02
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/while-sears-executives-get-25-million-bo...

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.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.


Chickens freezing to death and boiled alive: failings in US slaughterhouses exposed
2018-12-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-12-23 20:04:18
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/17/chickens-freezing-to-deat...

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.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts 'Bipartisan' Congressional Orientation
2018-12-07, Newsweek
Posted: 2018-12-16 23:40:29
https://www.newsweek.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-lobbyists-congress-harvard-...

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?”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


The weedkiller in our food is killing us
2018-12-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-12-16 23:37:37
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/06/the-weedkiller-in-our-f...

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.

Note: The above article was written by activist Erin Brockovich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


NFL fumbles domestic-violence issue ... again
2018-12-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-12-16 23:22:59
https://www.sfchronicle.com/49ers/annkillion/article/NFL-fumbles-domestic-vio...

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.


Study: ‘Toxic Air Events’ Happening On More Flights Than FAA Reports
2018-09-24, CBS (San Francisco affiliate)
Posted: 2018-12-10 21:48:48
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/09/24/study-shows-toxic-air-events-hap...

A flawed design in almost all airplanes is putting flight attendants and pilots at risk, and passengers can unknowingly become victims as well. On July 16, 2018, at 3:43 p.m., Flight 1097 ... made an emergency landing. There were sick passengers on board. “People were being hospitalized,” said an Alaska Airlines flight attendant. We’re calling her Jane to ... protect her from feared retaliation. “The crew felt symptoms of nausea. That is what caused the diversion,” said Jane. Contaminated air leaked into the cabin on that diverted flight and that it wasn’t the first time it had happened. It is what’s known in the industry as a “fume event”. Workers ... are fearful of speaking out. “Anybody who is trying to communicate about these instances, they have been pulled in by the company and threatened with their jobs,” said Jane. The travelling public is, for the most part, unaware that they could be at risk. “[The airlines] have known about it for a long time,” said aviation attorney Mike Danko. “We get about five fume events per day in the U.S.” Danko says toxic cabin air has been a known concern ... going back 50 years. At extremely high temperatures, all oils used in jet engines give off fumes. “The fumes contain ... neurotoxins. Same stuff that is used in nerve gas,” explained Danko. “We have had cases where one pilot was essentially totally incapacitated, and the other pilot although having difficulties managed to land the plane, and that has happened more than a few times, without question,” said Danko.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Human rights activists say hitmen are targeting them in Colombia: U.N.
2018-12-03, Reuters
Posted: 2018-12-10 21:40:23
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-rights-killings/human-rights-acti...

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.


You Snooze, You Lose: How Insurers Dodge The Costs Of Popular Sleep Apnea Devices
2018-11-21, NPR
Posted: 2018-12-10 21:28:35
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/21/669751038/you-snooze-you...

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.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the disappearance of privacy.


Inside Payless’s elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes
2018-11-30, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-12-10 21:25:59
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-...

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.


The ‘Neo-Banks’ Are Finally Having Their Moment
2018-11-20, New York Times
Posted: 2018-12-10 21:21:12
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/technology/finance-start-ups-neo-banks.html

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.


Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-12-03 05:15:27
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article219494920.html

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.


How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-12-03 05:11:46
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html

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.


Deutsche Bank headquarters raided in Panama Papers probe
2018-11-30, CNN
Posted: 2018-12-03 04:59:04
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/29/business/deutsche-bank-police-raid/index.html

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.


The Chemical Industry Scores a Big Win at the E.P.A.
2018-06-07, New York Times
Posted: 2018-11-19 22:57:42
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/politics/epa-toxic-chemicals.html

The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show. Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products. But ... reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week. Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical. Disposal of chemicals - leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance - will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them. The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


Confused by Nutrition Research? Sloppy Science May Be to Blame
2018-10-29, New York Times
Posted: 2018-11-19 22:55:15
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/well/live/confused-by-nutrition-research-s...

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.


Whistleblowers need help. This tech entrepreneur wants to provide it
2018-07-12, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2018-11-13 05:16:23
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-whistleblowers-high-tec...

Public esteem for whistleblowers reached its high water mark in 2002. That’s when three whistleblowers were named Time’s Persons of the Year. Their employers were the corrupt companies Enron and WorldCom and the pre-9/11 FBI. Since that time, corporate managements and government agencies have become more secretive, making whistleblowing even more crucial for exposing wrongdoing. But the people who sacrifice their jobs and careers to bear witness are commonly viewed as turncoats or even traitors, ending up in jail or exile. Plainly, whistleblowers need help. Gilles Raymond is stepping forward. Raymond is the founder of the Signals Network, which is just beginning operations in San Francisco as a support organization for whistleblowers. The network ... will help whistleblowers find legal help and PR representation, work to build secure communications systems, and provide temporary housing to shield a whistleblower from harassment and threats. Signals ... has reached cooperative agreements with five international news organizations, including Germany’s Die Zeit, Britain’s Daily Telegraph, and the Intercept, a U.S.-based investigative news source. In the 16 years since that Time magazine cover, secrecy has become not only embedded more deeply in business and government practice, but safeguarded by law and administrative fiat.

Note: Read an excellent essay by CIA whistleblower Kevin Shipp on the many ways the US government prevents its employees from exposing illegal government activities. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Industries Turn Freedom of Information Requests on Their Critics
2018-11-05, New York Times
Posted: 2018-11-13 05:13:17
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/us/politics/freedom-of-information-request...

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.


Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations
2018-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-11-05 02:22:44
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/01/google-walkout-global-prot...

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.


Google Workers Fume Over Executives’ Payouts After Sexual Harassment Claims
2018-10-26, New York Times
Posted: 2018-11-05 02:21:19
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/technology/sexual-harassment-google.html

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.


Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict
2018-10-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-10-28 21:47:44
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/22/monsanto-cancer-roundup-weed...

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.


How much do your prescription drugs cost? Transparency in TV ads is overdue
2018-10-16, USA Today
Posted: 2018-10-22 02:58:03
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/16/prescription-drugs-price-tr...

Drugmakers spend billions selling prescription drugs on TV to the public, sometimes turning a new drug into a blockbuster. What you don’t know from the commercials is how much these drugs cost — prices that can be staggering. But that could soon change. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed a huge change in drug advertising, requiring that drugmakers disclose the list price of drugs in their TV spots. The proposed transparency is as welcome as it is overdue. Health care is the only consumer commodity where sellers get to hide the price. Drugmakers have been pitching prescription drugs to consumers for decades, using pleasant music, happy faces, sexy scenes and visuals of people leading better, more fulfilling lives all because they’re taking a prescription drug. In 2016, drugmakers spent more than $6 billion on this effort. The 10 most commonly advertised drugs sport monthly prices ranging from $503 for Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes and blood clots, to more than $11,000 for Cosentyx, to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Whether the proposed regulation is finalized ... depends on the pharmaceutical lobby’s power and the Trump administration’s resolve. Hours before Azar’s announcement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America made its first countermove, announcing an alternate plan to ... disclose prices and co-payments of drugs advertised on TV on a new website starting in the spring.

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


Let $289 million jury award stand in Monsanto case
2018-10-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-10-22 02:53:57
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Let-289-million-jury-aw...

A San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded a historic $289 million verdict against the agrochemical conglomerate Monsanto. A California judge is considering taking away that jury award for punitive damages. When we learned that Dewayne “Lee” Johnson had taken Monsanto to court saying he got his terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from on-the-job exposure to Monsanto’s ubiquitous weed killer, Roundup, we were so captured by Johnson’s battle that we traveled to San Francisco to watch the trial. Johnson’s was the first of some 4,000 similar claims headed for courts across America. The judge appeared to be bending over backward to help Monsanto. Johnson’s jury heard evidence that, for four decades, Monsanto maneuvered to conceal Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists, ghostwriting science and engaging in scientific fraud. The jury found that these activities constituted “malice, fraud and oppression” warranting $250 million in punitive damages. We were among the many who applauded. However, California judges have the power to reduce, or even eliminate, a jury award. The jurors would be shocked to know that the product of their weeks of careful consideration ... could be thrown out at the whim of a judge who disagrees with the verdict. If a judge intervenes to alter their verdict, then what, after all, is the point of having jurors?

Note: The EPA continues to use industry 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.


Amazon pulls child sex dolls after criticism from UK watchdog
2018-04-12, Reuters
Posted: 2018-10-14 08:23:02
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-children-sexcrimes/amazon-pulls...

Child sex dolls have been pulled from sale by online retail giant Amazon.com Inc after widespread criticism from a watchdog and charities in Britain over concerns that people who use such lifelike dolls may go on to sexually abuse children. More than a dozen child sex dolls were removed from sale, having been listed by third-party sellers, according to Amazon. “All Marketplace sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action including potential removal of their account,” an Amazon spokesman said in a statement. England Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, said Amazon should explain how the dolls were permitted to be posted on their website, and ensure they cannot be put back up for sale. Britain allows people to manufacture and own child sex dolls yet it is illegal to import them. A British man was convicted last year for doing so in what police said was a landmark case in the fight against a new form of sex crime against children. Opinion is divided over the use of child sex dolls, which have the appearance, weight and anatomy of real children. Some charities argue such dolls should be made available on prescription to help prevent people who are sexually attracted to children acting on their desires. Other organizations, such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), say sex dolls can be dangerous proxies to act out fantasies like rape or child abuse.

Note: Though the US House of Representatives passed a bill in June of 2018 banning sex dolls that look like children, it has yet to be approved by the Senate as of Oct., 2018. And this article shows amazon is still selling child-like sex dolls, though they are not listed as children.


New Evidence of Hacked Supermicro Hardware Found in U.S. Telecom
2018-10-09, Bloomberg
Posted: 2018-10-14 08:19:31
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-09/new-evidence-of-hacked-sup...

A major U.S. telecommunications company discovered manipulated hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network and removed it in August, fresh evidence of tampering in China of critical technology components bound for the U.S., according to a security expert working for the telecom company. The security expert, Yossi Appleboum, provided ... evidence of the discovery following the publication of an investigative report in Bloomberg Businessweek that detailed how China’s intelligence services had ordered subcontractors to plant malicious chips in Supermicro server motherboards over a two-year period ending in 2015. [Appleboum’s company] was hired to scan several large data centers belonging to the telecommunications company. Unusual communications from a Supermicro server and a subsequent physical inspection revealed an implant built into the server’s Ethernet connector. The executive said he has seen similar manipulations of different vendors' computer hardware made by contractors in China, not just products from Supermicro. “Supermicro is a victim - so is everyone else,” he said. There are countless points in the supply chain in China where manipulations can be introduced, and deducing them can in many cases be impossible. The manipulation of the Ethernet connector appeared to be similar to a method also used by the U.S. National Security Agency, details of which were leaked in 2013.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Transparency Hasn’t Stopped Drug Companies From Corrupting Medical Research
2018-09-14, New York Times
Posted: 2018-10-08 04:24:33
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/opinion/jose-baselga-research-disclosure-b...

In order to get prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, companies must conduct clinical trials to show that the drugs are safe and effective. But drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, so they’ve always contracted with academic researchers to conduct the trials on patients in teaching hospitals and clinics. Traditionally, they gave grants to the institutions for interested researchers to test their drugs, then waited for the results and hoped that their products looked good. That began to change in the 1980s, partly as a result of a new law that permitted researchers and their institutions, even if funded by the National Institutes of Health ... to patent their discoveries and license them exclusively to drug companies in return for royalties. That made them business partners, and the sponsors became intimately involved in all aspects of the clinical trials. Drug company involvement biases research in ways that are not always obvious, often by suppressing negative results. A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies — that is, studies that showed that a drug was effective — were published. But 33 of 36 negative studies were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome. Bias can also be introduced through the design of a clinical trial. It’s often possible to make clinical trials come out the way you and your sponsors want. Disclosure is better than no disclosure, but it does not eliminate the conflict of interest.

Note: The above was written by Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. For more, see this mercola.com article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Parma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'They're drug dealers in Armani suits': executives draw focus amid US epidemic
2018-09-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-10-08 04:22:34
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/30/theyre-drug-dealers-in-armani...

The mayor of the West Virginia city that has come to symbolize America’s opioid epidemic has called for the jailing of pharmaceutical company executives he likens to street corner drug dealers. Steve Williams, mayor of ... a city ravaged by prescription pill and heroin addiction, said he wants to see executives face criminal prosecution, after it was revealed that a member of the family that made billions of dollars from the painkiller that unleashed the epidemic stands to profit further after he was granted a patent for an anti-addiction medicine. “They are drug dealers in Armani suits,” said Williams. “The decisions that have been made within the pharmaceutical industry have ravaged our nation.” In June, Massachusetts became the first state to sue individual executives and owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug, OxyContin, which kicked off the biggest drug epidemic in American history, estimated to be killing more than 115 people a day. The lawsuit seeks to recover the billions of dollars in profit banked by members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue. Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, accused the company and its officials of knowingly profiting from overdoses and death. “Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made,” she said in announcing the lawsuit.

Note: According to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Erik Prince, in Kabul, pushes privatization of the Afghan war
2018-10-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-10-08 04:19:11
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/erik-prince-in-kabul-p...

More than a year after his plan to privatize the Afghan war was first shot down by the Trump administration, Erik Prince returned late last month to Kabul to push the proposal on the beleaguered government in Afghanistan, where many believe he has the ear - and the potential backing - of the U.S. president. Prince swept through the capital, meeting with influential political figures within and outside the administration of President Ashraf Ghani. “He’s winning Afghans over with the assumption that he’s close to Trump,” said one well-informed Afghan. Prince also sparked what Ghani ... condemned as “a debate” within the country over “adding new foreign and unaccountable elements to our fight.” At the Pentagon, the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told reporters that “I absolutely do not agree” with Prince’s contention that he could win the war more quickly and for less money with a few thousand hired guns. Prince, the brother of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and a substantial contributor to Trump’s presidential campaign ... has made a controversial career out of providing security for hire. Since severing his ties to Blackwater - the company he founded that was accused of heavy-handed practices, including the killing of civilians, while under U.S. contract in Iraq - Prince has cycled through several iterations of the same business and now runs a Hong Kong-based company called Frontier Services.

Note: A 2015 article titled, "Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high" describes some of Eric Prince's previous business activities in Afghanistan. Prince's companies also got caught systematically defrauding the US government while serving as a "virtual extension of the CIA". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


California just passed its net neutrality law. The DOJ is already suing
2018-10-01, CNN News
Posted: 2018-10-08 04:17:38
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/tech/california-net-neutrality-law/index.html

The Department of Justice said it is filing a lawsuit against the state of California over its new net neutrality protections, hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Sunday. The California law would be the strictest net neutrality protections in the country, and could serve as a blueprint for other states. Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers. The Department of Justice says the California law is illegal and that the state is "attempting to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach" to the internet. Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the California bill is on solid legal ground and that California is within its legal rights. California is the third state to pass its own net neutrality regulations, following Washington and Oregon. However, it is the first to match the thorough level of protections that had been provided by the Obama-era federal net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in June. At least some other states are expected to model future net neutrality laws on California's. The original FCC rules included a two page summary and more than 300 additional pages with additional protections and clarifications on how they worked. While other states mostly replicated the two-page summary, California took longer crafting its law in order to match the details in the hundreds of supporting pages.

Note: Read how the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality policymaking process was heavily manipulated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Former Fugitive Pablo Duran Sr. Pleads Guilty in Trafficking Case
2018-09-18, PBS
Posted: 2018-10-08 04:15:46
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/former-fugitive-pablo-duran-sr-ple...

Former fugitive Pablo Duran, Sr., who sat down in an exclusive interview with FRONTLINE for its investigation Trafficked in America, has pleaded guilty to encouraging illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals, some of them minors, for financial gain. His plea and conviction are part of a major trafficking plot in 2014 that saw Guatemalan teenagers smuggled across the border into America and compelled into grueling labor at egg farms in Ohio against their will. Duran, Sr., also known as Pablo Duran Ramirez, is one of seven people to have been convicted for their role in the case. Duran Ramirez admitted he had been fully aware some of the people brought on at Trillium Farms in Ohio were undocumented minors, and that the process of getting them to Ohio involved bullying and strong-arm tactics. Duran Ramirez co-owned a contracting company, Haba Corporate Services, which Trillium Farms hired and paid approximately $6 million to between 2013 and 2014 to find workers. One family ... owed Castillo-Serrano $15,000 for shuttling their son into the United States. The family put the deed of their house on the line as collateral. Once in the U.S., the young Guatemalans were sent to the egg farm to work off their parents’ debt - and routinely had most of their paycheck confiscated to cover it. If they complained, they became targets. “Many of my friends told me that they received death threats,” one former Trillium employee [said]. “They would kill their father or mother, if they didn’t want to pay or work.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


The Crisis of Election Security
2018-09-26, New York Times
Posted: 2018-09-30 22:22:49
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/magazine/election-security-crisis-midterms...

As the 2018 elections approach, the American intelligence community is issuing increasingly dire warnings about potential interference from Russia and other countries. D.H.S. has now conducted remote-scanning and on-site assessments of state and county election systems. These [measures] don't address core vulnerabilities in voting machines or the systems used to program them. And they ignore the fact that many voting machines that elections officials insist are disconnected from the internet – and therefore beyond the reach of hackers – are in fact accessible by way of the modems they use to transmit vote totals on election night. Add to this the fact that states don't conduct robust postelection audits ... and there's a good chance we simply won't know if someone has altered the digital votes in the next election. How did our election system get so vulnerable, and why haven't officials tried harder to fix it? The answer, ultimately, comes down to politics and money: The voting machines are made by well-connected private companies that wield immense control over their proprietary software, often fighting vigorously in court to prevent anyone from examining it when things go awry. The stakes are high. But the focus on Russia, or any would-be election manipulators, ignores the underlying issue – the myriad vulnerabilities that riddle the system and the ill-considered decisions that got us here.

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 event domestic interest? Isn't this crazy? The major media have severely neglected reporting on elections manipulations that have been going on for many decades. For undeniable evidence of this, see our Elections Information Center.


There Were 1 Billion Monarch Butterflies. Now There Are 93 Million.
2018-09-26, Yahoo/Esquire
Posted: 2018-09-30 22:18:15
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/were-1-billion-monarch-butterflies-150300...

The Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus, which is an actual thing, held a bipartisan twilight event that involved the release of 50 monarch butterflies into the darkening sky. This was a nice moment. As Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, said, "We should all be able to agree on butterflies." The CPPC is serious business. Between the destruction of monarch habitats ... and the ongoing mystery of colony collapse among the bees, American agriculture is endangered. In 2017, according to the Center For Biological Diversity, the overwintering population of monarchs dropped by a third. The butterfly's dramatic decline has been driven in large part by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops. The vast majority of U.S. corn and soybeans are genetically engineered for resistance to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, a potent killer of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar's only food. The dramatic surge in the use of Roundup ... has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in the Midwest's corn and soybean fields. Overall monarchs have declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades. In the mid-1990s the population was estimated at nearly one billion butterflies, but this year’s population is down to approximately 93 million butterflies. The [Trump] administration is determined to defang the Endangered Species Act while a review of the monarch's status under the ESA is pending.

Note: Recently, Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was also linked to the rapid decline of bee populations by a major study. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs.


The man who beat Monsanto: 'They have to pay for not being honest'
2018-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-09-30 22:16:37
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/25/monsanto-dewayne-johnson-can...

Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying. Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live. The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller. Johnson ... was the first person to take Monsanto to trial on allegations that the global seed and chemical company spent decades hiding the cancer risks of its herbicide. He is also the first to win. The groundbreaking verdict further stated that Monsanto “acted with malice” and knew or should have known that its chemicals were “dangerous”. The chemical that changed Johnson’s life is glyphosate, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974. The corporation presented the herbicide as a technological breakthrough that could kill nearly every weed without posing dangers to humans or the environment. Roundup products are now registered in 130 countries. Glyphosate can be found in food, water sources and agricultural workers’ urine. Research ... has repeatedly raised concerns about potential harms linked to the herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry 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.


Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings
2018-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-09-30 22:12:14
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/se...

Recently, secret documents have been unearthed detailing what the energy industry knew about the links between their products and global warming. In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels. in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections. The effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and climate change.


How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you've never heard of
2018-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-09-30 22:10:14
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/26/koch-brothers-americans-for-p...

A little-known, billionaire-funded organization, called Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has tilted American politics to the right. [It] is at the center of the political network created and directed by the billionaire conservative industrialists, Charles and David Koch. AFP has quietly pushed behind the scenes for many of the most important conservative victories across the nation, including the anti-union bills that passed in former union strongholds such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. AFP’s laser-like focus on anti-union legislation ... reflects strategic calculations. AFP has recognized that to make lasting change in US politics, the Koch network would need to permanently weaken the organizations that support liberal candidates and causes – and above all, the labor movement. In constructing AFP, the Kochs have created a vehicle that is perfectly positioned to reshape American politics. AFP focuses on both elections and policy battles at all levels of government. Its activities are mostly centrally directed. And even though grassroots participants do not have much say in the direction of the group, AFP has nearly 3 million citizen activists signed up to mobilize for candidates and policy causes. Taken together, AFP’s grassroots volunteers and staffing rival those of the Republican party itself. By providing resources to support GOP candidates and officials, and exerting leverage on them once elected, AFP has been able to pull the Republican party to the far right on economic, tax and regulatory issues.

Note: The Koch brothers' secretive empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. Along with opposing organized labor, this empire has been killing public transit projects across the country. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing
2018-09-13, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2018-09-23 21:39:42
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/financial-crisis-ten-...

On Saturday, September 13th, 2008, the world was about to end. The New York Federal Reserve was a zoo. The crowd included future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then-Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Hank Paulson, the representatives of multiple regulatory offices, and the CEOs of virtually every major bank in New York. In the twin collapses of top-five investment bank Lehman Brothers and insurance giant AIG, Wall Street saw a civilization-imperiling ball of debt hurtling its way. The legend of that meeting ... is that the tough-minded bank honchos found a way to scrape up just enough cash to steer the debt-comet off course. The plan included a federal bailout of incompetent AIG, along with key mergers – Bank of America buying Merrill, Barclays swallowing the sinking hull of Lehman, etc. The legend is bull. Accurate chronicles of the crisis period [include] the just-released Financial Exposure by Elise Bean of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The crisis response dramatically accelerated two huge problems. First, we made Too Big To Fail worse by making the companies even bigger and more dangerous through ... state-aided mergers. In the next crisis, letting losers lose will be even more unimaginable. Secondly, an already-serious economic inequality issue became formalized. The people responsible for the crisis weren’t just saved, but made beneficiaries of another decade of massive unearned profits.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and income inequality.


Ten Years After The Financial Crisis, The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself
2018-09-15, Huffington Post
Posted: 2018-09-23 21:37:26
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/financial-crisis-10-years-later-ben-bern...

By the time Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in American history on Sept. 15, 2008, the country had been navigating stormy global financial waters for more than a year. Throughout the mess, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury had been permitting the largest banks in the country to funnel as much cash as they wanted to their shareholders ― even as it became clear those same banks could not pay their debts. Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner ... didn’t really rescue the banking system. They transformed it into an unaccountable criminal syndicate. Since the crash, the biggest Wall Street banks have been caught laundering drug money, violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Cuba, bribing foreign government officials, making illegal campaign contributions to a state regulator and manipulating the market for U.S. government debt. Citibank, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and UBS even pleaded guilty to felonies for manipulating currency markets. Not a single human being has served a day in jail for any of it. As a percentage of each family’s overall wealth, the poorer you were, the more you lost in the crash. The top 1 percent of U.S. households ultimately captured more than half of the economic gains over the course of the Obama years, while the bottom 99 percent never recovered their losses from the crash. The result has been a predictable and terrifying resurgence of authoritarian politics unseen since the Second World War.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and income inequality.


Beyond Alex Jones: Twitter and Facebook face heat over alleged bias
2018-09-07, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2018-09-23 21:30:33
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0907/Beyond-Alex-Jones-Twitter-and-Fa...

Two weeks ago, conservative commentator David Harris Jr. took a video of himself posting to Facebook. Why video something so common? Because he had a hunch what would happen. Sure enough, his post went through, but a photo of a letter that accompanied the post mysteriously vanished and did not show up in his feed until days later – proof, he said, that the sharing service was biased against conservatives. At a Wednesday House committee meeting, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was barraged with examples from Republican congressmen of how conservative voices were being suppressed on its service. On the same day, the US Department of Justice announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would meet with state attorneys general to discuss concerns tech companies "may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The immediate result is increasing and bipartisan pressure for social media platforms to be more transparent about their algorithms and how they block certain content. Longer-term, the threat is more regulation of the platforms, something that even free-market conservatives are reluctantly talking about doing if social media doesn’t clean up its act. Twitter’s Dorsey and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly denied that their companies were trying to tip the scales for or against any party or political ideology. But the pileup of anecdotal evidence clearly has exasperated conservative lawmakers.

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


CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves Steps Down After Sexual Harassment Claims
2018-09-09, New York Times
Posted: 2018-09-17 04:03:56
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/business/les-moonves-longtime-cbs-chief-ma...

Leslie Moonves, the longtime chief executive of the CBS Corporation, stepped down on Sunday night from the company he led for 15 years. His fall from Hollywood’s highest echelon was all but sealed after the publication earlier in the day of new sexual harassment allegations against him. Mr. Moonves ... could still walk away with more than $120 million. However, [he] will not receive any severance payment until the completion of an independent investigation into the allegations. He has been under intense pressure since July, when The New Yorker published an article by the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow in which six women accused Mr. Moonves of sexual harassment. On Sunday, the magazine published another article by Mr. Farrow in which six more women detailed claims against Mr. Moonves. Mr. Moonves is the latest high-powered entertainment figure to be ousted from his perch in the #MeToo era. The movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused by scores of women of sexual assault and now faces felony charges. Matt Lauer stepped down as the anchor of NBC’s most valuable news program, “Today,” after several women alleged incidents of sexual harassment. Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS left the airwaves after he, too, was implicated by multiple women. And Fox News saw the departures of the founding executive Roger Ailes and its top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly. The allegations go back years — in some cases even decades.

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


Abusive media moguls harmed more than just individual women. They shaped a misogynistic culture.
2018-09-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-09-17 04:01:59
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/abusive-media-moguls-harmed-mo...

The powerful and now-departed men of CBS - [Les] Moonves, [Jeff] Fager and star interviewer Charlie Rose - helped shape how our society sees women. The network, after all, is the most-watched in the nation. “60 Minutes” for 50 years has been the very definition of quality broadcast journalism: the gold standard. It’s impossible to know how different America would be if power-happy and misogynistic men hadn’t been running the show in so many influential media organizations - certainly not just CBS. What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as ... “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.) What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time? (O’Reilly was forced out after it emerged that he had made a $32 million settlement with an accuser.) What if Roger Ailes hadn’t presided for decades over Fox News, where his own well-documented abuses bled freely into his network’s commentary. A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm. He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line. All these little moments add up.

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


New AUSTRAC boss Nicole Rose shocked by 'depth and breadth' of money laundering
2018-04-04, ABC News (Australia affiliate)
Posted: 2018-09-11 04:42:52
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-05/new-austrac-boss-shocked-by-money-laund...

Australia's financial intelligence czar Nicole Rose says she is shocked at the depth of money laundering in the economy involving organised crime, child exploitation and drug importation. "I thought coming from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that I had a pretty good handle on serious and organised crime," she [said]. "I didn't appreciate the depth and breadth of involvement with private entities and banks. I didn't appreciate how many industries it does actually touch. There's a misperception that money laundering is a victimless white collar crime. It has a massive impact on everyday life whether that's child exploitation, serious and organised crime or drug importation. It all involves money laundering." A career public servant specialising in anti-terrorism strategy, Ms Rose was appointed chief executive of the Australian Transactions Reports & Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) in November last year. Ms Rose, a former deputy head of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, inherited AUSTRAC's high stakes case against the Commonwealth Bank which is fighting almost 54,000 allegations that it broke anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws. While not commenting directly on the CBA case, Ms Rose said she was confident that all Australian banks are now aware of the money laundering risk. However, Ms Rose was uncertain when the $10,000 reporting threshold on cash transactions would be extended from financial institutions to other high-risk sectors.

Note: Explore an eye-opening article by Fiona Barnett, which claims the Watergate break in's real purpose was steal a list of high level political pedophiles from both parties. As reported in this Sydney Morning Herald article, Ms. Barnett testified to Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on being a victim of a high level pedophile ring. More on this is available in this article from the UK's Daily Mail.


Ronan Farrow’s Ex-Producer Says NBC Impeded Weinstein Reporting
2018-08-30, New York Times
Posted: 2018-09-11 04:26:52
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/business/media/ronan-farrow-weinstein-prod...

In October, when Ronan Farrow published his first article in The New Yorker on the alleged transgressions of Harvey Weinstein, people in the media and entertainment industries wondered how NBC had missed the story. After all, Mr. Farrow had spent months gathering material on the mogul when he was with NBC News. Now a producer who worked closely with Mr. Farrow has accused the network of putting a stop to the reporting, saying the order came from “the very highest levels of NBC.” Rich McHugh, the producer, who recently left his job in the investigative unit of NBC News, is the first person affiliated with NBC to publicly charge that the network impeded his and Mr. Farrow’s efforts to nail down the story of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. He called the network’s handling of the matter “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” “Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman,” Mr. McHugh said. “And to stand down on the story altogether.” There was a point in our reporting where I felt there were obstacles to us reporting this externally, and there were obstacles to us reporting this internally,” the producer said. “Externally, I had Weinstein associates calling me repeatedly. I knew that Weinstein was calling NBC executives directly. One time it even happened when we were in the room.”

Note: NBC's chief executive stepped down amid sexual harassment claims 10 days after this article came out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


11-year-old hacks replica of Florida’s election system in 10 minutes
2018-08-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-09-02 23:22:51
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/midterm-elections-florida-s...

An 11-year-old has been able to hack into a replica of Florida’s election system in 10 minutes during a test ahead of upcoming US midterm elections this November. The boy was the fastest of 35 children who were able to hack into replicas of the websites of six swing states during the three-day Def Con security convention. The results of those efforts to test the strength of US election infrastructure will be passed onto the states, and the National Association of Secretaries of State - the officials responsible for tallying and confirming vote totals - said that they welcome the efforts. The results highlight potential security lapses amid heightened concern that American voter rolls will be tampered with in the upcoming midterm elections, and after President Donald Trump’s national security team warned that Russia had launched “pervasive” efforts to interfere in America’s 2018 elections. The convention indicated that the hackers were able to change party names in the systems, and added as many as 12 billion votes to candidates. “Candidates names were changed to ‘Bob Da Builder’ and ‘Richard Nixon’s head’,” the convention said in a tweet. The winning hacker was identified as Emmett Brewer, a boy whose Twitter account says he lives in Austin, Texas.

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


The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine
2018-02-21, New York Times
Posted: 2018-09-02 23:20:19
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/magazine/the-myth-of-the-hacker-proof-voti...

Many critical election systems in the United States are poorly secured and protected against malicious attacks. In the 15 years since electronic voting machines were first adopted by many states, numerous reports by computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model to be vulnerable to hacking. The systems were not initially designed with robust security in mind, and even where security features were included, experts have found them to be poorly implemented with glaring holes. But for as long as experts have warned about security problems, voting machine makers and election officials have denied that the machines can be remotely hacked. Election officials also assert that routine procedures they perform would detect if someone altered transmitted votes or machine software. Experts, however, say ... that vendor claims about security can’t be trusted. "Vendors have absolutely fumbled every single attempt in security," says Jacob D. Stauffer, vice president of operations for Coherent Cyber, who has conducted voting-machine security assessments for California’s secretary of state for a decade. Stauffer and colleagues ... found the voting machines and election-management systems to be rife with security problems. Attackers could theoretically intercept unofficial results as they’re transmitted on election night — or, worse, use the modem connections to reach back into election machines at either end and install malware or alter election software and official results.

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


States Rush to Rein In Prescription Costs, and Drug Companies Fight Back
2018-08-18, New York Times
Posted: 2018-09-02 23:16:52
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/us/politics/states-drug-costs.html

States around the country are clamping down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to disclose and justify price increases, but the drug manufacturers are fighting back, challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights. Even more states are, for the first time, trying to regulate middlemen who play a crucial role by managing drug benefits for employers and insurers, while taking payments from drug companies in return for giving preferential treatment to their drugs. Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs. Maryland tried a particularly bold approach. After reports of huge increases in the prices of certain generic drugs, Maryland banned “price gouging,” defined as an unconscionable increase in the price of any “essential off-patent or generic drug.” A drug company that flouts the law could be fined $10,000 and be required to pay refunds to consumers. [A] lobby for generic drug companies ... filed suit to block the law, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., struck down the law, saying it interfered with interstate commerce in violation of the Constitution. In a lengthy dissent, Judge James A. Wynn Jr. said that Maryland should be able to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. The court, he said, was accepting the drug companies’ view that they were “constitutionally entitled to impose conscience-shocking price increases” on consumers.

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


SF Roundup case demonstrates importance of independence in scientific evidence