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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.


They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported
2017-08-16, NPR
Posted: 2017-08-19 23:58:50
http://www.npr.org/2017/08/16/543650270/they-got-hurt-at-work-then-they-got-d...

However people feel about immigration, judges and lawmakers nationwide have long acknowledged that the employment of unauthorized workers is a reality of the American economy. Some 8 million immigrants work with false or no papers nationwide. They're more likely to be hurt or killed on the job than other workers. Nearly all 50 states, including Florida, have given these workers the right to receive workers' comp. But in 2003, Florida's lawmakers [made] it a crime to file a workers' comp claim using false identification. Since then, insurers have avoided paying for injured immigrant workers' lost wages and medical care by repeatedly turning them in to the state. In a challenging twist of logic, immigrants can be charged with workers' comp fraud even if they've never been injured or filed a claim, because legislators also made it illegal to use a fake ID to get a job. In many cases, the state's insurance fraud unit has conducted unusual sweeps of worksites, arresting a dozen employees. To assess the impact of Florida's law on undocumented workers, ProPublica and NPR analyzed 14 years of state insurance fraud data. We found nearly 800 cases statewide in which employees were arrested under the law. Insurers have used the law to deny workers benefits after a litany of serious workplace injuries. Flagged by insurers or their private detectives, state fraud investigators have arrested injured workers at doctor's appointments and at depositions in their workers' comp cases. Some were taken into custody with their arms still in slings.

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


Google Doesn’t Want What’s Best for Us
2017-08-12, New York Times
Posted: 2017-08-19 23:55:53
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/opinion/sunday/google-tech-diversity-memo....

Google processes more than three billion search queries a day. It has altered our notions of privacy, tracking what we buy, what we search for online - and even our physical location at every moment of the day. It is a monopoly. So it matters how this company works - who it hires, who it fires and why. Last week, Google fired a software engineer for writing a memo that questioned the company’s gender diversity policies and made statements about women’s biological suitability for technical jobs. “Portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes,” Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, wrote. It’s impossible to believe that Google or other large tech companies a few years ago would have reacted like this to such a memo. In 2011 when CNN filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the workplace diversity data on big tech companies, Google [asked] for its data to be excluded. Google began to disclose statistics [in 2014] showing that only 17 percent of its technical work force was female. Today Google is under growing scrutiny, and the cognitive dissonance between the outward-facing “Don’t be evil” stance and the internal misogynistic “brogrammer” rhetoric was too extreme. Google had to fire the offending engineer, James Damore, but anyone who spends time on the message boards frequented by Valley engineers will know that the “bro” culture that gave us Gamergate - an online movement that targeted women in the video game industry - [remains] prevalent.

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


Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks
2017-08-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-08-14 03:09:45
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/09/monsanto-continued-sellin...

Monsanto continued to produce and sell toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs for eight years after learning that they posed hazards to public health and the environment, according to legal analysis of documents put online. More than 20,000 internal memos, minuted meetings, letters and other documents have been published in the new archive, many for the first time. Most were ... digitised by the Poison Papers Project. Bill Sherman, the assistant attorney general for the US state of Washington – which is suing Monsanto for PCB clean-up costs potentially worth billions of dollars – said the archive contained damning evidence the state had previously been unaware of. He told the Guardian: “These records confirm that Monsanto knew that their PCBs were harmful and pervasive in the environment, and kept selling them. They knew the dangers, but hid them from the public in order to profit.” As well as the Washington case, Monsanto is facing PCB contamination suits ... in Seattle, Spokane, Long Beach, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are long-lived pollutants that were mass produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1977. By 1979, they had been completely banned in the US and elsewhere, after a weight of evidence linking them to health ailments ... and to environmental harm. Yet a decade earlier, one Monsanto pollution abatement plan in the archive from October 1969, singled out by Sherman, suggests that Monsanto was even then aware of the risks posed by PCB use.

Note: Read lots more on Monsanto and EPA collusion in this educational article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Trump White House weighs unprecedented plan to privatize much of the war in Afghanistan
2017-08-08, USA Today
Posted: 2017-08-14 02:58:34
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/08/08/war-afghanistan-trump-wh...

The White House is actively considering a bold plan to turn over a big chunk of the U.S. war in Afghanistan to private contractors. Under the proposal, 5,500 private contractors, primarily former Special Operations troops, would advise Afghan combat forces. The plan also includes a 90-plane private air force that would provide air support in the nearly 16-year-old war against Taliban insurgents, Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater security firm, [said]. The U.S. military has 8,400 U.S. troops [in Afghanistan]. They do not have a direct combat role, and presumably would be replaced gradually by the contractors. The plan remains under serious consideration within the White House despite misgivings by Trump's national security adviser ... and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Prince, who has met frequently with administration officials to discuss his plan, is the brother of Trump's education secretary, Betsy Devos. Prince said the contractors would be “adjuncts” of the Afghan military and would wear that nation’s military uniforms. Currently, troops from a U.S.-led coalition ... are not embedded with conventional combat units in the field. Under the plan the contractors would be embedded with Afghanistan's more than 90 combat battalions throughout the country. Blackwater has attracted controversy under Prince's leadership. In 2007, four Blackwater security personnel were accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Note: When Blackwater changed its name to Academi, the US paid $309 million to this company to conduct counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan. These operations reportedly contributed to the Afghan opium boom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and war.


Scant Oversight, Corporate Secrecy Preceded US Weed Killer Crisis
2017-08-09, Huffington Post/Reuters
Posted: 2017-08-14 02:50:42
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scant-oversight-corporate-secrecy-precede...

As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away. The photographs served as early warnings of a crisis that has damaged millions of acres of farmland. New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it. As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters ... demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator. Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility - a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields. Monsanto provided samples of XtendiMax before it was approved by the EPA. However, the samples came with contracts that explicitly forbade volatility testing. Arkansas blocked Monsanto’s product because of the lack of extra volatility testing ... but approved BASF’s [product]. Thirty-three other states - every other state where the products were marketed - approved both products.

Note: A new project called "The Poison Papers" lays out a 40-year history of deceit and collusion involving the chemical industry and the regulatory agencies that were supposed to be protecting human health and the environment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wells Fargo charged 570,000 customers for auto insurance they didn’t need
2017-07-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:39:22
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2017/07/28/wells-fargo-charge...

Wells Fargo acknowledged Friday that for six years about 570,000 of its customers were charged for auto insurance they didn’t need, potentially driving some to default on their loan and have their cars repossessed. The San Francisco bank said it would start refunding about $80 million, or about $140 each, to customers next month. The revelation quickly sparked a backlash from lawmakers still angry after Wells Fargo admitted last year that thousands of its employees had created millions of fake credit card and bank accounts for customers without their knowledge. “No wonder so many hard-working Americans believe the system is rigged against them in Wall Street’s favor,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee, said in a statement. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ... renewed her call for the Federal Reserve to force Wells Fargo’s board of directors to resign. “There are surely deep ... problems at a bank when it opens millions of fake customer accounts and charges nearly a million customers for a financial product they don’t need,” Warren said in a statement. “The Wells Fargo Board is ultimately responsible for that failure.” Wells Fargo said the most recent scandal is centered on its auto lending business. Customers’ loan contracts require them to maintain auto insurance and allow the bank to buy it for them if there is no evidence that the customers have a policy, the bank said. But ... customers were being charged for auto insurance premiums even though they already had another policy.

Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. Steve Glazer, chairman of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee, recently compared this bank's actions with the behavior of Enron when its culture of corruption initially came to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail
2017-07-31, The New Yorker
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:34:25
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

In the summer of 2012, a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate released a report. [After] looking into the London-based banking group HSBC, [investigators] discovered that ... the bank had laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels, and violated sanctions. No criminal charges were filed, and no executives or employees were prosecuted. Instead, HSBC pledged to clean up its institutional culture, and to pay a fine of nearly two billion dollars: the equivalent of four weeks’ profit for the bank. In the years since the mortgage crisis of 2008 ... corporate executives have essentially been granted immunity. As recently as 2006, when Enron imploded, such titans as Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were convicted of conspiracy and fraud. Something has changed in the past decade, however, and federal prosecutions of white-collar crime are now at a twenty-year low. As Jesse Eisinger, a reporter for ProPublica, explains in a new book ... a financial crisis has traditionally been followed by a legal crackdown, because a market contraction reveals all the wishful accounting and outright fraud that were hidden when the going was good. After the mortgage crisis, people in Washington and on Wall Street expected prosecutions. Eisinger reels off a list of potential candidates for criminal charges: Countrywide, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, A.I.G., Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley. Although fines were paid ... there were no indictments, no trials, no jail time.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Newly Released Documents Show Government Misled Public on Fannie/Freddie Takeover
2017-07-25, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:31:56
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-government-misled-public...

In August 2012, [the US] unilaterally changed the terms of the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government originally insisted on a 10 percent annual dividend in exchange for what ultimately became a $187 billion rescue. In 2012, the government quietly changed that 10 percent deal to one in which the state simply seized all profits. The press paid almost no attention to this event, [even though] it was one of the most important decisions of the bailout era. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were two of the biggest companies on earth, and held about $5 trillion in mortgage debt. They had gone bust during the crash years. But by the summer of 2012 ... they were about to start making [enormous piles of] money again. The government has always insisted it didn't know this. Officials have insisted that they needed 100 percent of Fannie and Freddie's profits because ... Fannie and Freddie would otherwise be unable to pay back what they owed. But documents just released in a court case show that the government privately believed just the opposite before it made its historic decision. [One key document] concluded that the government would end up getting more through the "revenue sweep" than it would ... if "the 10% [dividend] was still in effect." The documents that came out this week were released in a lawsuit brought by Fannie and Freddie shareholders who believe that the government stole billions of dollars in profits from them.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


100,000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn For Decades — Until Now
2017-07-26, The Intercept
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:30:17
https://theintercept.com/2017/07/26/chemical-industry-herbicide-poison-papers/

For decades, some of the dirtiest, darkest secrets of the chemical industry have been kept in Carol Van Strum’s barn. The ... structure in rural Oregon housed more than 100,000 pages of documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others. As of today, those documents and others ... will be publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers. The library contains more than 200,000 pages of information and “lays out a 40-year history of deceit and collusion involving the chemical industry and the regulatory agencies that were supposed to be protecting human health and the environment,” said Peter von Stackelberg, a journalist who along with the Center for Media and Democracy and the Bioscience Resource Project helped put the collection online. Van Strum didn’t set out to be the repository for the people’s pushback against the chemical industry. But [in 1974] she realized the Forest Service was spraying her area with an herbicide called 2,4,5-T. The chemicals hurt people and animals. Residents ... filed a suit that led to a temporary ban on 2,4,5-T in their area in 1977 and, ultimately, to a total stop to the use of the chemical in 1983. For Van Strum, the suit was also the beginning of lifetime of battling the chemical industry. “We didn’t think of ourselves as environmentalists, that wasn’t even a word back then,” Van Strum said. “We just didn’t want to be poisoned.”

Note: The herbicide 2,4,5-T is a main ingredient of Agent Orange. As recently as 2012, Monsanto, a manufacturer of Agent Orange, agreed to pay $93 million to settle claims of this poison's pollution of a US town. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Bernie Sanders’ Drug Price Bill Would Save Billions, Congressional Analysts Say
2017-07-31, International Business Times
Posted: 2017-08-06 16:26:19
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/bernie-sanders-drug-price-bill-would...

Allowing Americans to purchase lower-priced medicines from other countries would save the federal government alone more than $6 billion, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. Under existing law, drugmakers are permitted to produce pharmaceuticals abroad and then import them into the United States, where ... they charge Americans the highest prices for medicines in the world. However, while drugmakers themselves are allowed to import medicines, current law prohibits U.S. consumers and pharmaceutical wholesalers from doing so, even when the same medicines are sold at much lower prices abroad. Spending millions on campaign donations and lobbying, the pharmaceutical industry has for years successfully fought off legislation to end the prohibition. This year — nearly 17 years after President Bill Clinton’s administration killed ... drug importation legislation — the importation initiative has once again been renewed. Looking to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s promise to lower drug prices, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ... introduced the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act on Feb. 28. Overall, campaign spending by the pharmaceutical industry is skyrocketing. Congressional donations from pharmaceutical PACs are up 11 percent as compared with a similar time frame in 2015, and donations to ranking members of health-related committees have risen by 80 percent from two years ago. Lobbying is also on the rise, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis.

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


College Was Once Free and For the Public Good—What Happened?
2017-07-20, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2017-07-30 19:20:15
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/college-was-once-free-and-for-the-publ...

Among politicians, college administrators, educators, parents and students, college affordability seems to be seen as a purely financial issue. The roots of the current student debt crisis are neither economic nor financial in origin, but predominantly social. In 2012, more than 44 million Americans were still paying off student loans. And the average graduate in 2016 left college with more than $37,000 in student loan debt. Student loan debt has become the second-largest type of personal debt among Americans. From 1995 to 2015, tuition and fees at 310 national universities ... rose considerably, increasing by nearly 180 percent at private schools and more than 225 percent at public schools. During the 19th century, college education in the United States was offered largely for free. College education was considered a public good. Students who received such an education would put it to use in the betterment of society. The perception of higher education changed dramatically [as] private colleges began to attract more students from upper-class families. In 1927, John D. Rockefeller began campaigning for charging students the full cost it took to educate them. Further, he suggested that students could shoulder such costs through student loans. Tuition - and student loans - thus became commonly accepted aspects of the economics of higher education. If the United States is looking for alternatives to what some would call a failing funding model for college affordability, the solution may lie in looking further back than the current system.

Note: According to former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the sharply increasing cost of a college education serves to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


How Obama’s Failure To Prosecute Wall Street Set The Stage For Trump’s Win
2017-07-11, Huffington Post
Posted: 2017-07-30 19:17:58
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chickenshit-club_us_5963fcc6e4b005b0fdc7bacb

As president, Barack Obama oversaw a civil rights renaissance. But his failure to prosecute Wall Street executives for causing the collapse of the housing market ushered in an era of populist rage ... according to Jesse Eisinger’s new book, The Chickenshit Club. “If they had, the history of the country would be different,” Eisinger, a veteran financial reporter at ProPublica whose investigation on shady crisis-era Wall Street practices won a Pulitzer Prize, [said]. “There would be a sense of accountability after the crisis, the reforms would be tougher.” The book traces Department of Justice impotence on corporate crime back two decades. Changes to the way the Justice Department treated white collar crime came into sharp relief after the 2007 financial crisis. [A] Corporate Fraud Task Force [created in] 2002 boasted nearly 1,300 fraud convictions by the time Obama replaced it in 2009 with the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The new entity [lacked] the focus or prosecutorial muscle of its predecessor. The first stages of a corporate criminal probe are typically carried out by a law firm hired by the company under investigation. “The great secret to corporate criminal prosecution is that we have privatized and outsourced it to the companies themselves,” Eisinger said. “The company is going to be studiously incurious about following investigative threads that might lead to the CEO or board rooms. Instead, they point the finger at a middle manager or someone expendable, and that’s the person who gets indicted by the general government.”

Note: The revolving door between Washington and Wall Street leads to corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Tobacco companies tighten hold on Washington under Trump
2017-07-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-07-30 19:15:58
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/13/tobacco-industry-trump-administ...

Tobacco companies have moved swiftly to strengthen their grip on Washington politics. Day one of Donald Trump’s presidency started with tobacco donations, senior figures have been put in place within the Trump administration who have deep ties to tobacco, and lobbying activity has increased significantly. America’s largest cigarette manufacturers, Reynolds American and Altria Group, donated $1.5m to help the new president celebrate his inauguration. The donations allowed executives to dine and mingle with top administration officials and their families. In the first quarter of 2017, tobacco companies and trade associations spent $4.7m lobbying federal officials. Altria, the company behind Marlboro, hired 17 lobbying firms. Reynolds, makers of the Camel brand, hired 13. Politicians and officials with deep ties to the tobacco industry now head the US health department, the top attorney’s office and the Senate. Agencies in charge of reviewing large mergers let a window slip by in which they might have requested information about a $49bn merger between Reynolds and British American Tobacco (BAT). That merger ... will make BAT the biggest listed tobacco company in the world, and puts proceeds from eight out of 10 cigarettes sold in the US into the pockets of two companies: Altria and BAT. Trump himself ... has revealed that he had investments in tobacco companies, including Philip Morris International, its American spinoff Altria Group, and Reynolds American Inc..

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


Environmental defenders being killed in record numbers globally, new research reveals
2017-07-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-07-24 01:57:52
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/13/environmental-defenders-b...

Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world. Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago. And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98 killings identified in the first five months of this year. John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said: “There is now an overwhelming incentive to wreck the environment for economic reasons. The people most at risk are people who are already marginalised and excluded from politics and judicial redress, and are dependent on the environment." Most environmental defenders die in remote forests or villages affected by mining, dams, illegal logging, and agribusiness. Many of the killers are reportedly hired by corporations or state forces. Very few are ever arrested or identified. This is why the Guardian is today launching a project, in collaboration with Global Witness, to attempt to record the deaths of everyone who dies over the next year in defence of the environment. We will be reporting from the world’s last wildernesses, as well as from the most industrialised countries on the planet.

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


Some seeking help for opioid abuse are lost in a circle of lies
2017-07-08, Boston Globe
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:35:49
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/08/statopioid/tS5LOG86odKWCXtL4rEgo...

Drug users, desperate to break addictions to heroin or pain pills, are pawns in a sprawling national network of insurance fraud, an investigation by The Boston Globe and STAT has found. They are being sent to treatment centers hundreds of miles from home for expensive, but often shoddy, care that is paid for by premium health insurance benefits procured with fake addresses. Patient brokers are paid a fee to place insured people in treatment centers, which pocket thousands of dollars in claims for each patient. Patients from across the United States have been taken in by these profiteers capitalizing on the surge in opioid addiction. The patients are often enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act that connects patients to insurers in dozens of states. The brokers, patients’ families, or marketers for the treatment centers pay the insurance premium. Within a few weeks, the insurer is billed tens of thousands of dollars for what is often subpar care. Many patients have no idea how their insurance coverage was obtained or that they are part of a scam. They are often told they are receiving free care — or that their insurance is being taken care of by the patient broker. Some find out their coverage is from a company in a state where they have never lived only when a billing problem arises or when the broker stops paying the premium. By then, they’re far from home, stranded without any insurance.

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


Ajit Pai: the man who could destroy the open internet
2017-07-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:30:35
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/12/ajit-pai-fcc-net-neutralit...

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has a reputation as a nice guy. This is the man who could destroy the open internet. Pai ... is spearheading the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback of net neutrality protections. Net neutrality, which some have described as the “first amendment of the internet”, is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally – whether that’s an email from your mother, an episode of House of Cards on Netflix or a bank transfer. It means that cable ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T or Verizon don’t get to choose which data is sent more quickly and which sites get blocked or throttled based on which content providers pay a premium. In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to more strictly regulate ISPs and to enshrine in law the principles of net neutrality. The vote reclassified wireless and fixed-line broadband service providers as title II “common carriers”, a public utility-type designation. But Trump’s FCC, with Pai at the helm, wants to repeal the rules. Pai’s views echo those of the big broadband companies. That might have something to do with the huge sums AT&T, Comcast and Verizon throw toward lobbying, collectively spending $11m in the first quarter of 2017. Pretty much everyone outside the large cable companies supports the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Note: Members of the public can support net neutrality by sending comments to the FCC until July 18. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan
2017-07-10, New York Times
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:25:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/world/asia/trump-afghanistan-policy-erik-p...

President Trump’s advisers recruited two businessmen who profited from military contracting to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan. Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser. Soliciting the views of Mr. Prince and Mr. Feinberg ... raises a host of ethical issues, not least that both men could profit from their recommendations. Mr. Feinberg ... met with the president on Afghanistan, according to an official, while Mr. Prince briefed several White House officials, including General McMaster. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in May, [Mr. Prince] called on the White House ... to use “private military units” to fill the gaps left by departed American soldiers. If Mr. Trump opted to use more contractors and fewer troops, it could also enrich DynCorp, which has already been paid $2.5 billion by the State Department for its work in the country. Mr. Feinberg controls DynCorp through Cerberus Capital Management.

Note: When Blackwater changed its name to Academi, the US paid $309 million to this company to conduct counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan. These operations reportedly contributed to the Afghan opium boom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Why journalism is shifting away from 'objectivity'
2017-07-06, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:22:08
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/0706/Why-journalism-is-shifting-a...

Amid the unusual pressures of the Trump era, some are advocating a more interpretive or even combative approach to journalism – and argue that will do more to help society. When President Trump retweeted a meme earlier this week, sending out a cartoonishly doctored video that showed him clotheslining a person representing CNN, it escalated the conflict between Mr. Trump and the press. For the president, his tweet was a “modern-day presidential” counter-punch to his critics. But coming on the heels of his ... reference in February to the nation’s news media as “the enemy of the American people,” many journalists took it seriously. They saw not a joke but a dangerous portrayal of violence against their profession. The press has long been seen as essential to the idea of democratic self-governance. Free speech, enshrined in the First Amendment, is one of the bulwarks of individual liberty and equality. This has not always included the idea of impartiality and objectivity, however. In the 18th and 19th century, in fact, most newspapers were often aggressively partisan. Today, standards are different. “I think for a long time now people judge quality in journalism by how ‘balanced’ it is,” says Mitchell Stephens, a professor of journalism at New York University. “It seems that journalism is attacked for not being balanced more than it’s being attacked for not getting things right.” Professor Stephens ... suggests that American news organizations, abandoning a “pretense to objectivity,” could be returning to their “loud, boisterous, and combative” ways.

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


Mexico spying targeted international experts in student kidnapping case
2017-07-10, The Guardian/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:18:16
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/10/spyware-mexico-kidnapping-inves...

Investigators have revealed that targets of high-tech spying in Mexico included an international group of experts backed by the Organization of American States who had criticized the government’s investigation into the disappearance of 43 students. Previous investigations by the internet watchdog group Citizen Lab found that the spyware had been directed at journalists, activists and opposition politicians in Mexico. But targeting foreign experts operating under the aegis of an international body marks an escalation of the scandal. The experts had diplomatic status, making the spying attempt even graver. The spyware, known as Pegasus, is made by the Israel-based NSO Group, which says it sells only to government agencies for use against criminals and terrorists. It turns a cellphone into an eavesdropper, giving snoopers the ability to remotely activate its microphone and camera and access its data. The spyware is uploaded when users click on a link in email messages. Citizen Lab said the spyware attempts against the international experts occurred in March 2016 as the group was preparing its final, critical report on the government investigation into the disappearances. The 43 students were detained by local police in the city of Iguala on 26 September 2014, and were turned over to a crime gang. Only one student’s remains have been identified. The experts criticized the government’s conclusions, saying ... that government investigators had not looked into other evidence.

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Soaring Numbers of Children on Powerful Adult Psychiatric Drugs
2012-08-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2017-07-17 09:12:55
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/children-antipsychotics_b_1771...

Unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of toxic antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the “success” of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a comparison between the years 1993-1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs for per 100 children (0-13 years old) rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That’s more than a sevenfold increase. Given that most of prescriptions are for the older children in this age range, the rate would be substantially higher among preteens and 13-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly fivefold. The drugging of children with antipsychotic drugs is a direct result of off-label (unapproved) uses promoted by the drug companies in cooperation with unscrupulous psychiatrists and researchers. The new ... study confirms that most of the prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs to children have indeed been off-label for disruptive behavioral disorders. Instead of helping parents and teachers to improve their methods of disciplining children, psychiatrists are suppressing the overall mental life and behavior of these youngsters with antipsychotic drugs. As I describe in my new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families, health professionals must stop the psychiatric drugging of children and focus on developing facilities and approaches for helping children as well as adults to withdraw from these drugs as safely as possible.

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