As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we depend almost entirely on donations from people like you.
We really need your help to continue this work! Please consider making a donation.
Subscribe here and join over 13,000 subscribers to our free weekly newsletter

Media Articles

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

For further exploration, delve into our comprehensive Information Centers.

Explore our comprehensive news index on a wide variety of fascinating topics.
Explore the top 20 most revealing news media articles we've summarized.
Check out 10 useful approaches for making sense of the media landscape.

Sort articles by: Article Date | Date Posted on WantToKnow.info | Importance

Biden Administration Strips Federal Funding From Nonprofit at Center of COVID Lab Leak Controversy
2024-05-15, Aol News/Reason
https://www.aol.com/news/biden-administration-strips-federal-funding-21253768...

The Biden administration suspended federal funding to the scientific nonprofit whose research is at the center of credible theories that the COVID-19 pandemic was started via a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was immediately suspending three grants provided to the New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) as it starts the process of debarring the organization from receiving any federal funds. For years now, EcoHealth has generated immense controversy for its use of federal grant money to support gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab. HHS said that EcoHealth had failed to properly monitor the work it was supporting at Wuhan. It also failed to properly report on the results of experiments showing that the hybrid viruses it was creating there had an improved ability to infect human cells. In testimony to the House's coronavirus subcommittee, [EcoHealth President Peter ] Daszak claimed that EcoHealth attempted to report the results of its gain-of-function experiments on time in 2019, but was frozen out of NIH's reporting system. [An] HHS memo released today says a forensic investigation found no evidence that EcoHealth was locked out of NIH's reporting system. The department also said that EcoHealth had failed to produce requested lab notes and other materials from the Wuhan lab detailing the work being done there.

Note: Watch our 15-min Mindful News Brief video on the strong evidence that bioweapons research created COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Weight Loss Drugs Go Hand-in-Hand With Junk Food Industry
2024-05-14, CounterPunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/05/14/weight-loss-drugs-go-hand-in-hand-wit...

What Americans eat, how they diet and exercise, what nutritional supplements they take, the sugar content of their sodas, the high fructose corn syrup in their processed foods, and the price of their diabetes medication have long been objects of endless gambling on Wall Street. Now, with drugs like Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Ozempic in the mix, new vistas of corporate exploitation have opened up. It’s not a conspiracy theory that food addiction is a tool of corporate profiteering. Consider that tobacco companies, upon being regulated out of the business of addictive smoking, turned their sights onto addictive eating. Health columnist Anahad O’Connor wrote, “In America, the steepest increase in the prevalence of hyper-palatable foods occurred between 1988 and 2001—the era when Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds owned the world’s leading food companies.” Many of these ultra-processed foods are specially marketed to children, which in turn can change their brain chemistry to desire those foods for life. Alongside the aggressive marketing of hyper-palatable foods is a massively profitable weight-loss industry that preys upon individual shame to the tune of more than $60 billion a year. In fact, some of the same companies pushing high-calorie foods are in the business of weight loss. The ultra-processed food industry is becoming symbiotic with the weight-loss drug industry. The former ensures we eat poorly and the latter is there to feed off our shame.

Note: This is strangely comparable to when pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction. It is now estimated that 1 in 8 adults in the US have taken Ozempic or another weight-loss drug. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Hilary Cass Says U.S. Doctors Are ‘Out of Date’ on Youth Gender Medicine
2024-05-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/13/health/hilary-cass-transgender-youth-puber...

After 30 years as one of England’s top pediatricians, Dr. Hilary Cass ... took on a project that would throw her into an international fire: reviewing England’s treatment guidelines for the rapidly rising number of children with gender distress, known as dysphoria. Staff members who said they felt pressure to approve children for puberty-blocking drugs had filed whistle-blower complaints. Over the next four years, Dr. Cass commissioned systematic reviews of scientific studies on youth gender treatments and international guidelines of care. She also met with young patients and their families, transgender adults, people who had detransitioned, advocacy groups and clinicians. Her final report, published last month, concluded that the evidence supporting the use of puberty-blocking drugs and other hormonal medications in adolescents was “remarkably weak.” On her recommendation, the N.H.S. will no longer prescribe puberty blockers outside of clinical trials. Dr. Cass also recommended that testosterone and estrogen, which allow young people to develop the physical characteristics of the opposite sex, be prescribed with “extreme caution.” “We have to stop just seeing these young people through the lens of their gender and see them as whole people, and address the much broader range of challenges that they have ... I’ve spoken to young adults where it was the wrong decision, where they have regret, where they’ve detransitioned. The critical issue is trying to work out how we can best predict who’s going to thrive and who’s not going to do well," [said Dr. Cass]. "Medicine should never be politically driven. It should be driven by evidence and ethics and shared decision-making with patients and listening to patients’ voices. Once it becomes politicized, then that’s seriously concerning, as you know well from the abortion situation in the United States."

Note: We believe that everyone has a right to exist and express themselves the way they want. Yet when it comes to transgender medicine, research suggests significant health concerns. Why aren't we openly discussing this so that people (especially children) can make informed choices about their bodies? Explore our concise summaries of important news articles on transgender medicine.


The Well-Heeled and Our Personal Well-Being
2024-05-09, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/09/the-well-heeled-and-our-personal-well-being/

People who live in societies with wide gaps between the wealthy and everyone else turn out to live briefer lives than people who call more equal societies home. People who live in more equal societies, meanwhile, tend to live happier lives than their unequal-society counterparts. They face less crime. Their economies crash less often. Recent studies from Northwestern’s Maryam Kouchaki and her colleagues ... have been illuminating how unequal distributions of income and wealth are serving to increase “the acceptability of self-interested unethical behaviors.” The bottom line: People who live in highly unequal societies feel “a lower sense of control” and look less askance at unethical behaviors, either from others or from themselves, than do people who live in distinctly more equal societies. “Overall,” Kouchaki and her colleagues conclude, “our results suggest inequality changes ethical standards.” Other recent psychological research has come to the same core conclusion. “When are people more open to cheating?” asked the Canadian researchers Anita Schmalor, Adrian Schroeder, and Steven Heine in a paper published earlier this year. “Economic inequality makes people expect more everyday unethical behavior.” The longer we let inequality define our contemporary daily lives, this new research helps us understand, the more the unethical behavior all around us will seem to reflect just the way our world naturally works. Economic inequality, in effect, normalizes unethical behavior.

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


Pfizer agrees to settle over 10K lawsuits linking Zantac to cancer
2024-05-08, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/05/08/business/pfizer-to-settle-over-10k-lawsuits-lin...

Pfizer has agreed to settle more than 10,000 lawsuits which alleged that the company failed to warn patients about possible cancer risks caused by the anti-heartburn medication Zantac. The lawsuits were filed in state courts across the country, but the agreements don’t completely resolve Pfizer’s exposure to the claims linking Zantac and cancer. Zantac was brought to market in 1983 by Glaxo Holdings, a company that is now part of the GlaxoSmithKline company. By 1988, it was the world’s best selling drug as patients reported benefits for conditions such as heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration asked drugmakers to pull Zantac and its generic versions off the market after a cancer-causing substance called NDMA was found in samples of the drug. Thousands of lawsuits began piling up in federal and state courts against Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim. Last month, Sanofi reached an agreement in principle to settle 4,000 lawsuits linking Zantac to cancer. Sanofi did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Bloomberg News reported that the company will pay $100 million — or $25,000 to each plaintiff. Sanofi still faces about 20,000 lawsuits over Zantac in Delaware state court. A judge in Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington is weighing the fate of about 70,000 cases filed against Sanofi and other defendants, including GSK, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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


A college professor wants to use Section 230 against Big Tech
2024-05-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/college-professor-wants-us...

Ethan Zuckerman, a longtime technologist and social media scholar, thought he fully understood Section 230, the 1996 statute that contains the famous “26 words that created the internet.” But three years ago, he was reading its full text aloud to his class at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst when suddenly, in his words, “a lightbulb went off in my head.” It struck him that the law, widely understood to shield tech companies from being sued for their users’ posts, also protects users. In particular, it protects people who build tools to filter or moderate online content. People like Zuckerman’s friend Louis Barclay, a developer who in 2021 was permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for developing a tool called “Unfollow Everything” that lets users, well, unfollow everything and restart their feeds fresh. Three years later, that eureka moment has turned into a lawsuit — one that, if successful, could loosen Big Tech’s grip on how people use social media. The suit ... asks a California court to declare that Meta can’t ban or sue him for building an unfollowing tool inspired by Barclay’s. If the suit succeeds, Zuckerman plans to release the tool, called “Unfollow Everything 2.0,” and hopes a wave of other tools to give users more control over their online lives will follow. Such tools are sometimes called “middleware” and have been touted by the Stanford political scientist Francis Fukuyama as a way to break Silicon Valley’s chokehold on online speech.

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


The internet is in decline – it needs rewilding
2024-05-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/04/the-internet-is...

[Tim] Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, [came] up with the idea for a “world wide web” as a way of locating and accessing documents that were scattered all over the internet. He was able to do this because the internet, which had been publicly available since January 1983, enabled it. The network had no central ownership or controller. The result was an extraordinary explosion of creativity, and the emergence of ... a kind of global commons. However, the next generation of innovators to benefit from this freedom – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple et al – saw no reason to extend it to anyone else. The creative commons of the internet has been gradually and inexorably enclosed. Google and Apple’s browsers have nearly 85% of the world market share. Microsoft and Apple’s two desktop operating systems have almost 90%. Google runs about 90% of global search. More than half of all phones come from Apple and Samsung, while 99% of mobile operating systems are from Google or Apple. Apple and Google’s email clients manage nearly 90% of global email. GoDaddy and Cloudflare serve about 50% of global domain name system requests. And so on. One of the consequences of this concentration, say Farrell and Berjon, is that the creative possibilities of permissionless innovation have become increasingly constrained. The internet has become an extractive and fragile monoculture. We can revitalise it, but only by “rewilding” it.

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


Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening?
2024-05-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/03/health/covid-vaccines-side-effects.html

Thousands of Americans believe they suffered serious side effects following Covid vaccination. As of April, just over 13,000 vaccine-injury compensation claims have been filed with the federal government. Only 19 percent have been reviewed. Only 47 of those were deemed eligible for compensation, and only 12 have been paid out, at an average of about $3,600. In a recent interview, Dr. Janet Woodcock, a longtime leader of the Food and Drug Administration ... said she believed that some recipients had experienced uncommon but “serious” and “life-changing” reactions beyond those described by federal agencies. “I feel bad for those people,” said Dr. Woodcock, who became the F.D.A.’s acting commissioner in January 2021. “I believe their suffering should be acknowledged, that they have real problems, and they should be taken seriously.” The government’s understaffed compensation fund has paid so little because it officially recognizes few side effects for Covid vaccines. People who said they had been harmed by Covid shots ... described a variety of symptoms following vaccination, some neurological, some autoimmune, some cardiovascular. All said they had been turned away by physicians, told their symptoms were psychosomatic, or labeled anti-vaccine by family and friends — despite the fact that they supported vaccines. The National Institutes of Health is conducting virtually no studies on Covid vaccine safety, several experts noted.

Note: While mainstream narratives emphasize how rare these injuries are, the numbers speak for themselves. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a voluntary government reporting system that only captures a portion of the actual injuries. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publicly available, and currently show 1,637,441 COVID vaccine injury reports, 37,544 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths, and 216,213 COVID Vaccine Reported Hospitalizations. Explore our nuanced, uncensored investigation about this important issue.


Columbia Crackdown Led by University Prof Doubling as NYPD Spook
2024-05-03, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/03/columbia-crackdown-led-by-university-prof-d...

The violent crackdown carried out on Columbia University students protesting Israel’s genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip was led by a member of the school’s own faculty, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared. During a May 1 press conference, just hours after the New York Police Department arrested nearly 300 people on university grounds, Adams praised adjunct Columbia professor Rebecca Weiner, who moonlights as the head of the NYPD counter-terrorism bureau, for giving police the green light to clear out anti-genocide students by force. Weiner maintained an office at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Her SIPA bio describes her as an “Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs” who simultaneously serves as the “civilian executive in charge of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau.” In that role ... Weiner “develops policy and strategic priorities for the Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau and publicly represents the NYPD in matters involving counterterrorism and intelligence.” A 2011 AP investigation revealed that a so-called “Demographics Unit” operated secretly within the NYPD’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau. This shadowy outfit spied on Muslims around the New York City area. The unit was developed in tandem with the CIA. As a former police official told the AP, the unit attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

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


Israeli Weapons Firms Required To Buy Cloud Services From Google And Amazon
2024-05-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/05/01/google-amazon-nimbus-israel-weapons-arms-...

Google and Amazon are both loath to discuss security aspects of the cloud services they provide through their joint contract with the Israeli government, known as Project Nimbus. Both the Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense Forces are Nimbus customers. According to a 63-page Israeli government procurement document ... two of Israel’s leading state-owned weapons manufacturers are required to use Amazon and Google for cloud computing needs. Though details of Google and Amazon’s contractual work with the Israeli arms industry aren’t laid out in the tender document, which outlines how Israeli agencies will obtain software services through Nimbus, the firms are responsible for manufacturing drones, missiles, and other weapons Israel has used to bombard Gaza. Project Nimbus ... has already created a public uproar. Google and Amazon have faced backlash ranging from street protests to employee revolts. Following anti-Nimbus sit-ins organized at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, California, offices, Google fired 50 employees. Emaan Haseem, [was] a cloud computing engineer at Google until she was fired after participating in the Sunnyvale protest. “A lot of us signed up or applied to work at Google because we were trying to avoid working at terrible unethical companies,” she said. “Why are we pretending that because my logo is colorful and has round letters that I’m any better than Raytheon?”

Note: When Google employees protested Project Maven, a DoD drone program that used Google technology, the Big Tech giant dropped the contract with the Pentagon in 2018. Read about how Silicon Valley has been infiltrated by intelligence agencies.


In This Police Youth Program, a Trail of Sexual Abuse Across the U.S.
2024-05-01, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/05/01/police-explorer-sexual-abuse-bo...

Created by the Boy Scouts of America decades ago, law enforcement Explorer posts are designed to help teens and young adults learn about policing. [There are] at least 194 allegations that law enforcement personnel, mostly policemen, have groomed, sexually abused or engaged in inappropriate behavior with Explorers since 1974, an ongoing investigation by The Marshall Project has found. The vast majority of those affected were teenage girls — some as young as 13. In many programs, armed officers were allowed to be alone with teenage Explorers. In a few instances, departments minimized or dismissed the concerns of those who reported troubling behavior, records show. The officers accused of abusing teenagers spanned the ranks, from patrolmen to police chiefs. Some were department veterans cited in news articles for their community work. Many cases led to criminal charges. Some officers went to prison, while others received probation or weren’t required to register as sex offenders. A few departments allowed officers to keep their jobs after a reprimand or short suspension. The Marshall Project’s analysis found at least 14 departments, among 111 agencies, that had a history of repeated allegations. Slightly more than half of the cases reporters found occurred since 2000. In 2022, the Boy Scouts agreed to settle with more than 82,000 people, most of them men, who said they were abused as minors in Scouting programs.

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


Border Patrol Agents Joked About Killing Migrant Children, Records Show
2024-04-30, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/border-patrol-agents-joked-about-killing-migra...

U.S. Border Patrol agents freely used the derogatory slur “tonk” to describe unauthorized migrants on government computers, at times while joking about killing or beating them, according to emails and text messages disclosed to HuffPost under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents, from 2017 to 2020, reveal yet another instance of the Border Patrol’s use of a slang term that officials in Washington have condemned but have struggled to stamp out. This is the second disclosure that Border Patrol personnel used the word in internal communications since HuffPost first requested a global search of its use among Border Patrol agents four years ago. The origin of the term is uncertain, but most insiders believe it comes from the sound made by bashing an arrested migrant’s head with a government-issued flashlight. Some of the records reference that origin story, with one agent writing: “ah, savor the sound.” Use of the term remained surprisingly common among both rank-and-file agents and those in leadership positions, the records show. Many agents appeared to use the term as a synonym for unauthorized migrants, with little apparent derogatory intent. But the slur often appeared alongside expressions of raw contempt for the people whom Border Patrol officers police. Border Patrol agents who used the slur at times gloated about migrants’ misfortunes or made references to beating them. In one instance, agents joked about killing migrant children in their custody.

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


War Zone Surveillance Technology Is Hitting American Streets
2024-04-30, NOTUS
https://www.notus.org/technology/war-zone-surveillance-border-us

Federal and state Homeland Security grants allow local law enforcement agencies to surveil American citizens with technology more commonly found in war zones and foreign espionage operations. At least two Texas communities along the U.S.-Mexico border have purchased a product called “TraffiCatch,” which collects the unique wireless and Bluetooth signals emitted by nearly all modern electronics to identify devices and track their movements. The product is also listed in a federal supply catalog run by the U.S. government’s General Services Administration, which negotiates prices and contracts for federal agencies. Combining license plate information with data collected from wireless signals is the kind of surveillance the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have long used, with devices mounted in vehicles, on drones or carried by hand to pinpoint the location of cell phones and other electronic devices. Their usage was once classified and deployed in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, similar devices are showing up in the streets of American cities. The Supreme Court has said that attaching a GPS tracking device to a car or getting historical location data from a cell carrier requires a search warrant. However, law enforcement has found ways around these prohibitions. Increasingly, as people walk around with headphones, fitness wearables and other devices ... their data can be linked to a car, even after they have ditched the car. Courts have not definitively grappled with the question: Under what circumstances can law enforcement passively capture ambient signal information and use it as a tracking tool?

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


Plastic-eating bacteria can help waste self-destruct
2024-04-30, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-68927816

Scientists have developed a "self-digesting plastic", which, they say, could help reduce pollution. Polyurethane is used in everything from phone cases to trainers, but is tricky to recycle and mainly ends up in landfill. However, researchers have come up with a sci-fi like solution. By incorporating spores of plastic-eating bacteria they've developed a plastic that can self-destruct. The spores remain dormant during the useful lifetime of the plastic, but spring back to life and start to digest the product when exposed to nutrients in compost. There's hope "we can mitigate plastic pollution in nature", said researcher Han Sol Kim, of the University of California San Diego, La Jolla. And there might be an added advantage in that the spores increase the toughness of the plastic. "Our process makes the materials more rugged, so it extends its useful lifetime," said co-researcher, Jon Pokorski. "And then, when it's done, we're able to eliminate it from the environment, regardless of how it's disposed." The plastic is currently being worked on at the laboratory bench but could be in the real world within a few years, with the help of a manufacturer, he added. The type of bacteria added to the plastic is Bacillus subtilis, widely used as a food additive and a probiotic. Crucially, the bacteria has to be genetically engineered to be able to withstand the very high temperatures needed to make plastic.

Note: Explore more positive stories about healing the Earth.


The “Twinkie defense”: What we know about diet and crime
2024-04-29, Big Think
https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/is-the-twinkie-defense-legitimate/

In the 1979 murder trial of Dan White, his legal team seemed to attempt to blame his heinous actions on junk-food consumption. The press dubbed the tactic, the "Twinkie defense." Various studies have demonstrated that consuming nutritious, whole foods rather than processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods improves mental health, mood, and academic outcomes. All heavily factor into one's likelihood of committing crime. In the 1980s. Under the direction of a nutritionist, food staff secretly altered the diet at a juvenile detention facility in Virginia to reduce the amount of refined sugar fed to inmates. Social scientist and criminologist Dr. Stephen J. Schoenthaler oversaw the trial. He found that prisoners on the better diet had a 45% lower incidence of documented disciplinary actions. This preliminary success led to a dozen trials at other correctional facilities. “In the twelve correctional institutions that we studied, through 1985, we found that there was a 47% reduction in documented offenses, infractions, and other indicators of antisocial behavior,” Schoenthaler said. Is it possible that investing in better prison nutrition would save money overall? Schoenthaler thinks so. “A single preventable infraction that leads to four months of additional jail or prison time might cost us $10,000 or more. If you look at this through the larger lens of prevention and treatment along the entire criminal justice continuum, then the financial savings would be incalculable,” he said.

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


U.S.-Trained Burkina Faso Military Executed 220 Civilians
2024-04-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/04/25/burkina-faso-military-massacre-civilians/

Burkina Faso’s military summarily executed more than 220 civilians, including at least 56 children, in two villages in late February, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. “We saw the bloody corpses riddled with bullets. We were able to save a 2-year-old child whose mother was killed shielding him with her body,” a 19-year-old witness [said]. “The attackers were soldiers from our own army. They arrived on motorbikes and in vehicles, and they were armed with Kalashnikovs and heavy weapons.” The mass killings came as the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in the West African Sahel crumbled, with U.S.-trained military officers launching a long string of coups, including in Burkina Faso itself. Despite the coups and massacres, the U.S. has not cut ties with Burkina Faso, and a contingent of U.S. personnel remain in-country to “engage” with the armed forces serving the ruling junta. The United States has assisted Burkina Faso with counterterrorism aid since the 2000s, providing funds, weapons, equipment, and American advisers, as well as deploying commandos. In 2018 and 2019, alone, the U.S. pumped a total of $100 million in “security cooperation” funding into Burkina Faso, making it one of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid in West Africa. U.S.-trained Burkinabè military officers have also repeatedly overthrown their government. At the same time, militant Islamist violence skyrocketed. Burkina Faso ... suffered 7,762 fatalities from militant Islamist attacks last year.

Note: Since 2008, the US has supported at least nine coups in African countries, with a vast network of military bases scattered across the continent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Watch these hungry waxworms eat through plastic and digest it too
2024-04-24, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240419-the-worms-that-eat-through-plastic

At first glance there's nothing particularly remarkable about waxworms. The larval form of wax moths, these pale wriggling grubs feed on the wax that bees use to make their honeycomb. For beekeepers, the pests are something to swiftly get rid of without a second thought. But in 2017 molecular biologist Federica Bertocchini ... stumbled on a potentially game-changing discovery about these creatures. Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, threw some of the waxworms in a plastic bag after cleaning her hive, and left them alone. A short time later, she noticed the worms had started producing small holes in the plastic, which begun degrading as soon as it touched the worms' mouths. The worms were doing something that we as humans find remarkably difficult to do: break down plastic. Not only that, but the worms appeared to be digesting the plastic as though it was food. Bertocchini and her fellow researchers began collecting the liquid excreted from the worms' mouths. They found this "saliva" contained two critical enzymes, Ceres and Demeter – named after the Roman and Greek goddesses of agriculture, respectively – which were able to oxidise the polyethylene in the plastic, essentially breaking down that material on contact. Bertocchini is now chief technology officer at bioresearch startup Plasticentropy France, working with a team to study the viability of scaling up these enzymes for widespread use in degrading plastic.

Note: Explore more positive stories about healing the Earth.


Why do people forgive? It's messy, complex and 'the best form of self-interest'
2024-04-23, Minneapolis Star Tribune
https://www.startribune.com/forgiveness-project-minneapolis-laura-yuen/600360...

Forgiveness is a principle promoted by just about every faith tradition. Even neuroscientists agree on its mental and physical benefits — from lowered risk of heart attacks to improved sleep. Twenty years ago, UK-based journalist Marina Cantacuzino launched the Forgiveness Project, a collection of stories from survivors and victims of crime and conflict, as well as perpetrators who reshaped their aggression into a force for peace. Cantacuzino documented real-life stories of seemingly supernatural examples of forgiveness. A Canadian woman who forgave her husband's killer. An Israeli filmmaker wounded in a terrorist attack. A Minneapolis mother who grew to love the person who murdered her only child. But even Cantacuzino admits it can seem difficult to relate to those who forgive the seemingly unforgivable. Are they morally superior? Extremely religious? Some are, but they are more likely to share the traits of curiosity, empathy and a flexible viewpoint. It feels like those characteristics are harder to come by today. The cacophony of "if you're not with us, you're against us" has divided families and entire communities. One's ability to recognize the pain on both sides of the Israel-Hamas war can evoke outrage, for example. But Cantacuzino continues to support discussions that bring together Israeli and Palestinian victims of the conflict, stories that require people to embrace complexity and contradiction while honoring the "sanctity of every human life ... Stories stick, whereas facts fade," she says. The Forgiveness Project's exhibit has now journeyed to 17 countries, including Kenya, Australia and Israel.

Note: Explore Cantacuzino's latest inspiring book, Forgiveness: An Exploration, which delves into the politics, mechanics and psychology of forgiveness. Explore more positive stories that reveal the power of healing social division and polarization.


What you eat could alter your unborn children and grandchildren’s genes and health outcomes
2024-04-23, Yahoo News
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/eat-could-alter-unborn-children-123630907.html

Epigenetics refers to shifts in gene expression that occur without changes to the DNA sequence. Some epigenetic changes are an aspect of cell function, such as those associated with aging. However, environmental factors also affect the functions of genes, meaning people’s behaviors affect their genetics. For instance, identical twins develop from a single fertilized egg, and as a result, they share the same genetic makeup. However, as the twins age, their appearances may differ due to distinct environmental exposures. One twin may eat a healthy balanced diet, whereas the other may eat an unhealthy diet, resulting in differences in the expression of their genes that play a role in obesity. Nutritional epigenetics is the study of how your diet, and the diet of your parents and grandparents, affects your genes. The dietary choices a person makes today affects the genetics of their future children. A ... study in sheep showed that a paternal diet supplemented with the amino acid methionine given from birth to weaning affected the growth and reproductive traits of the next three generations. Methionine is an essential amino acid involved in DNA methylation, an example of an epigenetic change. These studies underscore the enduring impact parents’ diets have on their children. They also serve as a powerful motivator for would-be parents and current parents to make more healthy dietary choices, as the dietary choices parents make affect their children’s diets.

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


Compassion is making a comeback in America
2024-04-23, Vox
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/24137520/americans-empathy-new-compassion-...

Since the late 1970s, psychologists have measured empathy by asking millions of people how much they agreed with statements such as “I feel tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me.” In 2011, a landmark study led by researcher Sara Konrath examined the trends in those surveys. The analysis revealed that American empathy had plummeted: The average US college student in 2009 reported feeling less empathic than 75 percent of students three decades earlier. A few months ago, [Konrath] and her colleagues published an update to their work: They found that empathy among young Americans is rebounding, reaching levels indistinguishable from the highs of the 1970s. Our biased minds tempt us to see the worst in people. The empathy decline reported 13 years ago fit that narrative and went viral. This decline is almost certainly an illusion. In other surveys, people reported on kindness and morality as they actually experience it — for instance, how they were treated by strangers, coworkers, and friends. Answers to these questions remained steady over the years. As with the decline, we might grasp for explanations for this rise. One possibility is collective suffering. Hard times can bring people together. In her beautiful book, A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit chronicles disasters including San Francisco’s 1906 and 1989 earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, and 9/11. In the wake of these catastrophes, kindness ticked up, strangers stepping over lines of race and class to help one another.

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


Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.