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Corporate Corruption News Stories

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In our blood: how the US allowed toxic chemicals to seep into our lives
2023-09-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-24 17:01:23
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/13/us-environmental-protecti...

For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was ... seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical. PFOA is just one of dozens of modern-day chemicals that are found in the bodies of the majority of Americans. Research has also shown that more Americans are facing a growing number of ailments and disorders, from autoimmune disease to developmental disorders such as autism and some cancers. Scientists are increasingly concerned these two truths are linked. Scientists have accumulated enough data to conclude with confidence that humans face significant health risks from exposure to common commercial chemicals, and that regulations designed to protect them are failing. Due to flaws in federal regulation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is perennially playing catch up. The majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing. Kyla Bennett, a former EPA employee [said] that at recent rates of review, it would take thousands of years to assess all 86,000 chemicals currently approved for use. EPA staff ... say the agency’s chemical programs remain understaffed, overwhelmed and burdened by still-ineffective regulations and a persistent culture that enables the chemical industry instead of counterbalancing it.

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


Revolving door redux: The DEA’s recently departed No. 2 returns to a Big Pharma consulting firm
2023-09-20, Associated Press
Posted: 2023-09-24 16:59:56
https://apnews.com/article/dea-opioids-fentanyl-cocaine-drugs-pharmaceutical-...

Louis Milione retired from the DEA a second time this summer amid reporting by The Associated Press on potential conflicts caused by his prior consulting for the pharmaceutical industry. Less than three months later, Milione again landed a plum job at Guidepost Solutions, a New York-based firm hired by some of the same companies he had been tasked with regulating when he returned to the DEA in 2021. Milione had spent four years at Guidepost prior to his return, leveraging his extensive experience and contacts from a 21-year DEA career. Milione is the most senior of a slew of DEA officials to have traded their badge and gun for a globe-trotting consulting job. His career stands out for two cycles through the revolving door between government and industry, raising questions about the potential impact on the DEA’s mission to police drug companies blamed for tens of thousands of American overdose deaths. Milione’s private-sector clientele also included Morris & Dickson Co., the nation’s fourth-largest wholesale drug distributor, as it tried to stave off DEA sanctions for disregarding thousands of suspicious, high-volume orders. The DEA allowed the company to continue shipping drugs for nearly four years after a judge recommended its license be revoked for “cavalier disregard” of rules aimed at preventing opioid abuse. It was not until AP began asking questions this spring that the DEA moved to finally strip the Shreveport, Louisiana-based company of its license to distribute highly addictive painkillers.

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


How “windfall profits” from AI companies could fund a universal basic income
2023-07-28, Vox
Posted: 2023-09-24 16:57:46
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23810027/openai-artificial-intelligence-go...

There’s a lot of money in AI. Economists are predicting a massive boom in productivity as AI use takes off, buoyed by empirical research showing tools like ChatGPT boost worker output. Demis Hassabis, the founder of DeepMind, sold his company to Google in 2014 only after the latter agreed to an independent ethics board that would govern how Google uses DeepMind’s research. ChatGPT maker OpenAI is structured as a nonprofit that owns a for-profit arm. Anthropic, which makes the chatbot Claude, is divesting control over a majority of its board to a trust composed not of shareholders, but independent trustees meant to enforce a focus on safety ahead of profits. Those three companies, plus Microsoft, got together ... to start a new organization meant to self-regulate the AI industry. There are three broad ways the profits reaped by AI companies could make their way to a more general public. The first ... is taxes. The second, considerably less important, is charity. The third is if the companies themselves decide to donate a large share of their profits. This was the key proposal of a landmark 2020 paper called “The Windfall Clause.” The idea is simple: The clause is a voluntary but binding commitment that AI firms could make to donate a set percentage of their profits in excess of a certain threshold to a charitable entity. They suggest the thresholds be based on profits as a share of the gross world product (the entire world’s economic output).

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


Nissan, Kia can collect data on drivers’ ‘sexual activity’ and ‘sex lives’: privacy watchdog
2023-09-06, New York Post
Posted: 2023-09-18 14:20:00
https://nypost.com/2023/09/06/nissan-kia-collect-data-about-drivers-sexual-ac...

Car makers Nissan and Kia can collect data on their drivers’ “sexual activity” and “sex lives” — and may sell the info to third-party advertisers, according to a shocking study by an internet privacy watchdog. The creepy collection of personal information by the two auto companies earned them failing grades from The Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox web browser, which ran privacy checks on 25 car brands. The foundation said most car companies can comb through a variety of sources to glean personal information about drivers after they pair their smartphones with a vehicle’s connected services. “This invasive harvesting of information is collected via a web of sensors, microphones, cameras and the phones, apps, and connected services you use in your vehicle,” according to Mozilla Foundation. The car firms can then take that data and sell it to or share it with vendors, insurance companies and others. Of the 25 car brands that were reviewed, Nissan’s privacy policy “is probably the most ... messed up privacy policy we have ever read,” according to Mozilla Foundation. “They come right out and say they can collect and share your sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information and other sensitive personal information for targeted marketing purposes,” the foundation wrote. Mozilla Foundation also flagged other car companies such as Chrysler, Chevrolet, Toyota, Audi, Jeep, and Honda for “brazenly collecting deeply personal information from the moment they get into a car.”

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.


JPMorgan allegedly processed more than $1bn for Epstein over 16 years
2023-08-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:50:15
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/31/jeffrey-epstein-jpmorgan-1-bi...

JPMorgan Chase told US authorities it processed more than $1bn for Jeffrey Epstein over 16 years. JPMorgan reported the transactions as suspicious to the US treasury department following Epstein’s suicide in 2019, Mimi Liu, a lawyer for the territory, said at a hearing concerning its lawsuit against the largest US bank. Epstein had been a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013, when the bank dropped him. The disgraced financier had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges at the time of his death. The US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two private islands, is suing JPMorgan for at least $190m and likely much more, saying it ignored red flags that Epstein was running a sex-trafficking operation because he was a lucrative client. Liu mentioned the $1bn amount, which had not been previously disclosed, in arguing that the US district judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan should find before the case goes to trial that the bank participated in Epstein’s sex trafficking. She said no reasonable juror could find that JPMorgan was in the dark about its jet-setting client. “JPMorgan was a full service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” Liu said. Felicia Ellsworth, a lawyer for JPMorgan, said it was not appropriate for the judge to determine the question of the bank’s knowledge before trial because current and former employees have testified that they were unaware of Epstein’s sex trafficking. In June, Rakoff preliminarily approved JPMorgan’s $290m settlement with women who say Epstein abused them.

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


EPA approved fuel ingredient with sky-high lifetime cancer risk, document reveals
2023-08-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:48:26
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/04/epa-boat-fuel-cancer-risk...

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer. Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking. Federal law requires the EPA to conduct safety reviews before allowing new chemical products on to the market. If the agency finds that a substance causes unreasonable risk to health or the environment, the EPA is not allowed to approve it without first finding ways to reduce that risk. But the agency did not do that in this case. Instead, the EPA decided its scientists were overstating the risks and gave Chevron the go-ahead to make the new boat fuel ingredient at its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Though the substance can poison air and contaminate water, EPA officials mandated no remedies other than requiring workers to wear gloves, records show. The EPA division that approves new chemicals usually limits lifetime cancer risk from an air pollutant to one additional case of cancer in a million people. That means that if a million people are continuously exposed over a presumed lifetime of 70 years, there would likely be at least one case of cancer on top of those from other risks people already face.

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


EPA’s new definition of PFAS could omit thousands of ‘forever chemicals’
2023-08-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:46:03
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/18/epa-new-definition-pfas-f...

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office responsible for protecting the public from toxic substances has changed how it defines PFAS for a second time since 2021, a move critics say they fear will exclude thousands of “forever chemicals” from regulation and largely benefit industry. Instead of using a clear definition of what constitutes a PFAS, the agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics plans to take a “case-by-case” approach that allows it to be more flexible in determining which chemicals should be subjected to regulations. Among other uses for the compounds, the EPA appears to be excluding some chemicals in pharmaceuticals and pesticides that are generally defined as PFAS, current and former EPA officials say, and the shift comes amid fierce industry opposition to proposed limits on the chemicals. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 15,000 compounds most frequently used to make products water-, stain- and grease-resistant. They have been linked to cancer, birth defects, decreased immunity, high cholesterol, kidney disease and a range of other serious health problems. They are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down in the environment. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, a current EPA employee in the toxics office said the chemical’s definition has been evolving for several years. “EPA can’t get its act together on what PFAS are,” they added.

Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Chemical industry used big tobacco’s tactics to conceal evidence of PFAS risks
2023-06-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:44:33
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/07/pfas-3m-dupont-chemical-i...

In 1953, a paper developed for cigarette maker RJ Reynolds detailed possible cancer-causing agents in tobacco, but the document would remain hidden from public view for decades. In the interim, the industry told the public: “We don’t accept the idea that there are harmful agents in tobacco.” The chemical industry, it seemed, took note. Just a few years later, DuPont scientists found PFAS enlarged lab rats’ livers and likely caused birth defects in workers. Still, the company told its employees the cancer-linked compounds are “about as toxic as table salt”. Like the tobacco industry before it, the chemical industry managed to keep PFAS’s health risks hidden from the public for decades. A new peer-reviewed study dissecting PFAS producers’ public relations strategies provides a smoking gun timeline composed of industry studies and comments from DuPont and 3M officials showing they knew the dangers, but publicly insisted the chemicals were safe. Between 1961 and 2006, the authors identified dozens of instances where DuPont or 3M scientists discovered or acknowledged PFAS toxicity internally, but did not publish the findings or report them to the EPA, as required under federal law. DuPont’s chief toxicologist in 1961 found rats’ livers enlarged at very low doses of exposure, a health impact recognized as “the most sensitive sign of toxicity.” The report recommended PFAS be handled “with extreme care” and that “contact with the skin should be strictly avoided.”

Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Hospitals Improperly Refuse to Allow Ivermectin for COVID and Yet Defend Right to Do So, according to Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
2023-06-19, Yahoo News
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:42:41
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/hospitals-improperly-refuse-allow-ivermectin-1...

A number of hospitals have been sued for refusing to allow patients dying of COVID to receive treatment with ivermectin. If the hospital lost, it appealed the decision, even if the patient did receive ivermectin and recover, according to attorney Andrew Schlafly in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. “Hospitals wanted to establish precedents for their side, so that next time they could deny treatment by pointing to appellate decisions in their favor,” Schlafly writes. They adopted a “strategy of seeking to establish precedents that increased their authority, and to remove any precedents against unlimited power for them.” Ivermectin is a long-established safe drug that is widely used to treat parasitic infections. It has also been shown to have antiviral activity. Many physicians have reported successful use in COVID patients, and many though not all studies have shown safety and benefit. Many state appellate courts cite the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) disparagement of ivermectin as a legal basis for hospitals to deny access by dying patients to this drug, long approved by the FDA as safe. Schlafly writes that the FDA has “been able to evade judicial review for too long. The more the FDA avoids submitting to discovery procedures that are commonplace for every other defendant, the bigger the mushrooms can grow in the dark at this federal agency.”

Note: Explore a comprehensive look into the benefits and uses of ivermectin, despite establishment media's concerted effort to discredit its efficacy and safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Glyphosate Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline in U.S. Adults
2023-08-29, The Defender
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:37:36
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/glyphosate-depression-cognitive-d...

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Internal Pharma Documents Reveal Strategies Used to Corrupt the Medical Field
2023-05-09, Mad in America
Posted: 2023-09-10 20:35:02
https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/05/internal-pharma-documents-reveals-strate...

A recent Cochrane Evidence Synthesis and Methods article examines internal pharma industry documents, primarily obtained through litigation. The study finds that the pharmaceutical industry employs numerous ghost management strategies to corrupt research, circumvent and undermine regulations, manipulate consumers, and protect its interests. The authors write: “The scientific literature using internal documents confirmed widespread corporate influence in the pharmaceutical sector. While the academic literature used internal documents related to only a handful of products, our research results, based on ghostmanagement categories, demonstrate the extent of corporate influence in every interstice of pharmaceutical markets, particularly in clinical research and clinical practice.” Analysis of the articles revealed several common ghost management strategies the pharmaceutical industry utilizes. Ghost management is a system of behind-the-scenes processes by which the industry corrupts researchers, clinicians, and regulatory agencies with gifts and bribes and determines what research will be funded, what scientific journals can publish, and how physicians, etc., will present their product. The present research reveals eight broad categories of ghost management: scientific capture, professional capture, regulatory capture, media capture, market capture, technological capture, civil society capture, and others. Scientific capture was the most commonly analyzed ghost management strategy.

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


No app, no entry: How the digital world is failing the non tech-savvy
2023-08-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-03 14:05:45
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/aug/20/no-app-no-entry-how-the-di...

The cashless society is effectively already a reality for most of us, but there remains a minority for whom it represents a continuing headache. The government last week told high street banks that they must offer access to cash machines within three miles of customers after the closure of thousands of branches had reduced the number of ATMs. There are also an estimated to be 1.3 million adults in this country who are “unbanked” – ie do not have a bank account. For them, something as mundane as parking a car is increasingly fraught – a quarter of London councils have removed pay and display parking machines in favour of smartphone-centred apps. The shiny, bright future of full computerisation looks very much like a dystopia to someone who either doesn’t understand it or have the means to access it. And almost by definition, the people who can’t access the digitalised world are seldom visible, because absence is not easy to see. What is apparent is that improved efficiency doesn’t necessarily lead to greater wellbeing. Technology doesn’t have to be dehumanising, but if it’s to avoid that outcome it has to be human-focused, not just consumer-focused, and in particular not just digital-consumer-focused. Cash, like printed air tickets or indeed train tickets, will no doubt one day soon seem as anachronistic as the barter system. In the meantime the transition should focus on ensuring that no one is discounted because they are too old, too poor or too disabled to matter to the gods of efficiency.

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


Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as offsets deemed ‘worthless’
2023-08-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-09-03 13:58:26
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/24/carbon-credit-speculators...

Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as scientific evidence shows many offsets they have bought have no environmental worth and have become stranded assets. Amid growing evidence that huge numbers of carbon credits do nothing to mitigate global heating and can sometimes be linked to alleged human rights concerns, there is a growing pile of carbon credits ... that are unused in the unregulated voluntary market, according to market analysis. Many of the largest companies in the world have used carbon credits for their sustainability efforts from the unregulated voluntary market, which grew to $2bn (£1.6bn) in size in 2021 and saw prices for many carbon credits rise above $20 per offset. The credits are often generated on the basis they are contributing to climate change mitigation such as stopping tropical deforestation, tree planting and creating renewable energy projects. A new study in the journal Science has found that millions of forest carbon credits approved by Verra, the world’s leading certifier, are largely worthless and could make global heating worse if used for offsetting. The analysis ... found that 18 big forest offsetting projects had produced millions of carbon credits based on calculations that greatly inflated their conservation impact. The schemes, which generate credits by avoiding hypothetical deforestation, were found not to reduce forest loss or to reduce it by only small amounts, far less than the huge areas they were claiming to protect, rendering the credits largely hot air.

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


Revealed: WHO aspartame safety panel linked to alleged Coca-Cola front group
2023-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-08-28 16:36:58
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/aug/17/who-panel-aspartame-diet-cok...

In May, the World Health Organization issued an alarming report that declared widely used non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame are likely ineffective for weight loss, and long term consumption may increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality in adults. A few months later, WHO declared aspartame, a key ingredient in Diet Coke, to be a “possible carcinogen”, then quickly issued a third report that seemed to contradict its previous findings – people could continue consuming the product at levels determined to be safe decades ago. That contradiction stems from beverage industry corruption of the review process by consultants tied to an alleged Coca-Cola front group, the public health advocacy group US Right to Know said in a recent report. It uncovered eight WHO panelists involved with assessing safe levels of aspartame consumption who are beverage industry consultants who currently or previously worked with the alleged Coke front group, International Life Sciences Institute (Ilsi). Aspartame was first approved for use in the US in the early 1980s over the objection of some researchers who warned of potential health risks. In recent years, as evidence of health threats has mounted, industry has ramped up a PR campaign to downplay the issues. Ilsi representatives have sought to shape food policy worldwide. [Gary Ruskin, US Right to Know’s executive director], characterized the aspartame controversy as a “masterpiece in how Ilsi worms its way into these regulatory processes”.

Note: Explore a comprehensive overview of key scientific studies on aspartame harms, and how they were covered up by the sugar industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


From fatal eyedrops to mislabeled melatonin, why the FDA is failing the public
2023-08-21, Salon
Posted: 2023-08-28 16:26:15
https://www.salon.com/2023/08/21/from-fatal-eyedrops-to-mislabeled-melatonin-...

A 2022 investigation by the journal The BMJ declared that FDA oversight of clinical trials, including those for Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, was "grossly inadequate," from not conducting enough inspections to failing to alert scientific journals or the public when violations were flagged. But the issues here are not confined to behind the pharmacy counter. Dr. John Abramson, author of the recent book "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It," traces the roots of issue back decades. "In 1992, when what turned out to be effective HIV drugs were stuck in the bottleneck of the FDA, they didn't have enough staff to get them through quickly enough. Many people were dying, and it was a real crisis," he explains. "The solution was that the Prescription Drug User Fee Agreement was passed. The drug companies started to pay a user fee with that was due upon application for new drug approval. And now roughly 65% of the FDA budget for overseeing human products comes from the drug and device companies. This comes with rigid timelines, and as I see from the outside, some degree of influence and obligation to the drug companies that derives from this agreement." The numbers here vary — Forbes puts that budget figure as high as 75%. Another similar conflict of interest that concerns Abramson is what he calls "the revolving door that goes between FDA and the drug industry."

Note: Read about Brook Jackson, a researcher for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials, who discovered patient safety concerns, data integrity issues, and other significant issues at her site. When she reported it to the FDA, she was fired the same day. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Gov’t scientists got $325M in royalties from China, Russia, pharma firms: report
2023-08-09, New York Post
Posted: 2023-08-20 16:32:18
https://nypost.com/2023/08/09/325m-in-royalty-payments-to-nih-scientists-incl...

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

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


What progressives get wrong when it comes to crypto
2023-08-12, Fortune
Posted: 2023-08-20 16:26:00
https://fortune.com/crypto/2023/08/12/what-progressives-get-wrong-when-it-com...

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

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


What if We’re the Bad Guys Here?
2023-08-02, New York Times
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:30:04
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/02/opinion/trump-meritocracy-educated.html

When I began my journalism career in Chicago in the 1980s, there were still some old crusty working-class guys around the newsroom. Now we’re not only a college-dominated profession; we’re an elite-college-dominated profession. Only 0.8 percent of college students graduate from the super-elite 12 schools (the Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford, M.I.T., Duke and the University of Chicago). A 2018 study found that more than 50 percent of the staff writers at the beloved New York Times and The Wall Street Journal attended one of the 29 most elite universities in the nation. Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired. Does this mean that I think the people in my class are vicious and evil? No. Most of us are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But we take for granted and benefit from systems that have become oppressive.

Note: Watch an excellent interview of journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon discussing how journalism has shifted from being a working class trade that held the powerful accountable to an elite industry that serves the upper class. She articulates that mainstream news has abandoned and divided the working class by creating a culture war around identity and race. Elites shaping the news industry benefit from this political polarization, which hides the tragic reality of income inequality that affect all races across political lines.


Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?
2023-08-05, The Hill
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:26:06
https://thehill.com/homenews/nexstar_media_wire/4133806-map-does-your-drinkin...

So-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected? If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT). EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts. PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals that are used to make nonstick pans, food packaging, fire-fighting foams, to-go boxes, furniture, rugs, clothing and more. The chemicals are so ubiquitous it would be nearly impossible for most Americans to rid their home of them. The chemicals are both extremely common and potentially dangerous. Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage. Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.

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Chemical companies’ PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger
2023-08-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2023-08-15 13:24:40
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/03/chemical-companies-pfas-p...

When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as “the largest drinking water settlement in American history”, and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic “forever chemicals”. A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great ... the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by big tobacco in the 1990s. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver conditions, immune disorders, birth defects and other health problems. The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated private wells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from dental floss to cookware to clothing, and have been found to contaminate food, soil and air.

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