Please donate here to support this vital work.
Subscribe here to our free email list

Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of key media articles from the media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption. Links are provided to the full articles on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These media articles are listed in reverse date order. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship
2018-01-11, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/11/europe/wikileaks-julian-assange-given-ecuadoria...

Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa announced Thursday. She called the measure "one more ring of protection" for Assange, who has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant. Sweden dropped the charges in May 2017, but Assange remains the subject of a UK arrest warrant. Assange ... has previously expressed concern that if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London he could end up being extradited to the US, where he fears facing the death penalty over allegations of revealing government secrets through WikiLeaks. In December, the Ecuadorian government requested diplomatic status for Assange. But the UK rebuffed the request. Espinosa said Ecuador will continue to pursue a dialogue with the UK to eventually remove Assange from the embassy. "We will continue to protect Julian Assange while his physical and psychological integrity are at risk," Espinosa said. "We are a country that defends human rights and ... respects international law." A 2016 United Nations report concluded that the WikiLeaks founder had been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Note: Read more about the "legal limbo" and propaganda campaign carried out against Assange and Wikileaks. A 2016 United Nations panel found that authorities in Sweden and the UK have acted unlawfully with regard to Assange. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


NYC sues, divests from oil firms over climate change
2018-01-10, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/nyc-taking-steps-divest-pension-fu...

New York City is taking on the oil industry on two fronts, announcing a lawsuit Wednesday that blames the top five oil companies for contributing to global warming and saying the city will sell off billions in fossil fuel investments from the city's pension funds. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio received immediate blowback from some of the companies, while winning praise from environmentalists and others. "We're bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits," the mayor said. "As climate change continues to worsen, it's up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient." The city alleges the fossil fuel industry was aware for decades that burning fuel was impacting climate change. The defendants in the city's federal lawsuit are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. New York's lawsuit ... follows similar litigation filed by San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Cruz in California. Also Wednesday, de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer said they intend to divest the city's five pension funds of roughly $5 billion in fossil fuel investments out of its total of $189 billion. The divestment is the largest of any municipality in the U.S. to date. "Safeguarding the retirement of our city's police officers, teachers and firefighters is our top priority, and we believe that their financial future is linked to the sustainability of the planet," Stringer said.

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


Trump Administration Waives Punishment For Convicted Banks, Including Deutsche — Which Trump Owes Millions
2018-01-09, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-administration-waives-punishme...

The Trump administration has waived part of the punishment for five megabanks whose affiliates were convicted and fined for manipulating global interest rates. One of the Trump administration waivers was granted to Deutsche Bank - which is owed at least $130 million by President Donald Trump ... and has also been fined for its role in a Russian money laundering scheme. The waivers were issued in a little-noticed announcement published in the Federal Register. Under laws designed to protect retirement savings, financial firms whose affiliates have been convicted of violating securities statutes are effectively barred from ... managing those savings. However, that punishment can be avoided if the firms manage to secure a special exemption from the U.S. Department of Labor. In late 2016, the Obama administration extended ... one-year waivers to five banks - Citigroup, JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank. Late last month, the Trump administration issued new, longer waivers for those same banks. Leading up to the new waiver for Deustche Bank, Trump’s financial relationship with the firm has prompted allegations of a conflict of interest. In 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported Trump and his companies have received at least $2.5 billion in loans from Deutsche Bank and co-lenders. In 2015, Deutsche Bank pled guilty in the U.S. to wire fraud for its role in the [LIBOR] scandal. Less than two years later ... Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the Justice Department for misleading investors.

Note: The megabanks again get away with huge manipulations resulting in financial losses for many millions, yet hardly any media focuses on how these banks hardly get a slap on the wrist for their huge criminal offenses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Silver-lined underwear promises to save your sperm
2018-01-09, Cnet.com
https://www.cnet.com/news/silver-lined-underwear-promises-to-save-your-sperm/

Throughout the years that I've written about the potential health hazards of cell phone radiation, I've seen a lot of products promise protection from the radiofrequency (RF) signals that our wireless devices emit. They've ranged from the useless gold-lined radiation "shields" to Pong's more respectable line of phones cases that promise to refocus RF energy away from your head. At CES 2018, a company called Spartan grabbed that promise of protection and took it below the belt with a line of men's underwear. Spartan's boxer briefs claim to block 99 percent of cellphone and Wi-Fi radiation with pure silver fibers woven into the cotton fabric. That Spartan is focused on protecting your balls is significant. Though brain cancer tends to dominate the debate over whether wireless signals are safe, other studies have suggested that cell phones decrease male fertility. Some health advocates who have long been involved with the debate, and even some government agencies (most recently, the California Department of Public Health), recommend that men not carry their phones in a pants pocket to reduce radiation exposure to your nether regions. If the potential danger concerns you, most of the typical recommendations like using a headset, texting instead of making a call (a lot of us already do that) and not sleeping with your phone don't cost a penny.

Note: In 2017, after years of public pressure and a lawsuit, the California Department of Health released guidelines on the health risks of cell phone use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?
2018-01-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/07/is-everything-you-think-you-k...

In the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression. American psychiatrists had produced a book ... called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual [that] laid out nine symptoms that a patient has to show to be diagnosed with depression. If [doctors] followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America? The authors ... decided that there would be a special clause added to the list of symptoms. If you have lost somebody you love in the past year ... all these symptoms are natural, and not a disorder. It was called “the grief exception”. Then ... doctors on the frontline started to come back with another question. If you agree that the symptoms of depression are a logical and understandable response to one set of life circumstances – losing a loved one – might they not be an understandable response to other situations? What about if you lose your job? What if you are stuck in a job that you hate? What about if you are alone and friendless? The grief exception seemed to have blasted a hole in the claim that the causes of depression are sealed away in your skull. It suggested that there are causes out here, in the world, and they needed to be investigated and solved there. Depression ... is a signal that your natural psychological needs are not being met. It is a form of grief – for yourself, and for the culture you live in going so wrong.

Note: The article at the link above is an edited extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari. A 2012 Huffington Post article titled, "Drug Companies Drive the Psychiatric Drugging of Children" describes how fake science and bribes have been used by corrupt pharmaceutical companies to rake in the profits.


Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History
2018-01-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/opinion/sunday/2017-progress-illiteracy-po...

2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity. A smaller share of the world’s people were hungry, impoverished or illiterate than at any time before. A smaller proportion of children died than ever before. The proportion disfigured by leprosy, blinded by diseases like trachoma or suffering from other ailments also fell. We journalists focus on bad news - we cover planes that crash, not those that take off - but the backdrop of global progress may be the most important development in our lifetime. Every day, the number of people around the world living in extreme poverty (less than about $2 a day) goes down by 217,000, according to ... Max Roser, an Oxford University economist who runs a website called Our World in Data. Every day, 325,000 more people gain access to electricity. And 300,000 more gain access to clean drinking water. As recently as the 1960s, a majority of humans had always been illiterate and lived in extreme poverty. Now fewer than 15 percent are illiterate, and fewer than 10 percent live in extreme poverty. In another 15 years, illiteracy and extreme poverty will be mostly gone. After thousands of generations, they are pretty much disappearing on our watch. Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychology professor, explores the gains in a terrific book due out next month, “Enlightenment Now,” in which he recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


New York City records fewest murders, lowest crime rate in decades
2018-01-05, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-city-records-fewest-murders-lowest-crime-rate/s...

New York City ended the year with the fewest murders and the lowest crime figures in decades, the mayor and the NYPD said Friday. There were 290 murders in the nation's largest city in 2017, compared to 335 killings the previous year, said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a news conference. “No one believed it was possible to get under 300 murders,” de Blasio said. The murder rate is a far cry from 1990, when 2,245 people were killed in the city. The numbers of other crimes - shootings, robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies auto - also dropped, officials said. “To see crime levels as low as we have today, you’d have to go back to 1951, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and a slice was 15 cents,” de Blasio added. Overall, 2017 was the fourth straight year of declines in crime in New York City. According to NYPD records there were 96,517 crimes reported last year, compared with 102,052 in 2016, a drop of 5.4 percent.

Note: Major media consistently under-reports the remarkable drop in crime in the US. In 1990, there were nearly twice as many reported violent crimes as there were in 2016.


My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
2018-01-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/01/03/my-life-as-a-new-york-times-reporter-in-t...

The Obama administration was demanding that I reveal the confidential sources I had relied on for a chapter about a botched CIA operation in my 2006 book, “State of War.” I had also written about the CIA operation for the New York Times, but the paper’s editors had suppressed the story at the government’s request. It wasn’t the only time they had done so. My case was part of a broader crackdown on reporters and whistleblowers that had begun during the presidency of George W. Bush and continued far more aggressively under the Obama administration, which had already prosecuted more leak cases than all previous administrations combined. I started covering the CIA in 1995. Success as a reporter on the CIA beat inevitably meant finding out government secrets, and that meant plunging headlong into the classified side of Washington, which had its own strange dynamics. I discovered that there was, in effect, a marketplace of secrets in Washington, in which White House officials and other current and former bureaucrats, contractors, members of Congress, their staffers, and journalists all traded information. This informal black market helped keep the national security apparatus running smoothly, limiting nasty surprises for all involved. The revelation that this secretive subculture existed, and that it allowed a reporter to glimpse the government’s dark side, was jarring. It felt a bit like being in the Matrix.

Note: Article author James Risen is a courageous hero who shared two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting around 9/11 and massive government surveillance. If you read the entire article at the link above, you will learn in detail how the New York Times and other media bow to government pressure and filter what information reaches the public. They also have a strong, but secretive agenda to support war and the military-industrial complex. You will also see how government keeps the media from reporting some of the most important stories.


Low-carbon sources produce majority of UK electricity supply for first time ever
2018-01-03, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-energy-production-electric...

More than half of the electricity generated in the UK in 2017 came from low-carbon sources for the first time ever. Renewables and nuclear provided more electricity than all fossil fuels combined, with wind generation alone supplying twice as much energy as coal, according to analysis by Carbon Brief, a website that tracks climate change and energy policy. Wind made a greater contribution to the country’s electricity needs than coal in every month apart from January. The share from low-carbon sources doubled between 2008 and 2017, Carbon Brief said. The UK has also added wind and solar power generation rapidly, as costs have fallen. Future development will increasingly be possible without the Government subsidies that have aided the industry’s development until now. The UK also passed a series of other milestones last year, including its first day without coal power since 1882, the most electricity produced from solar power at any one moment and the most wind power produced in a day. Wind saw the biggest increase of any energy source, with supply up 31 per cent for the whole of 2017 on 2016’s level. The electricity sector has been the primary focus of renewable power generation as that power can then be used to revolutionise the other sectors, for example through the electrification of transport. Britain’s power system is the fourth cleanest in Europe and the seventh cleanest in the world.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


It's Now Illegal to Pay Men More Than Women in Iceland
2018-01-02, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2018/01/02/illegal-to-pay-men-more-than-women-iceland/

Iceland is the first country to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Equal pay policies is now mandatory for companies with 25 or more employees. Those that cannot show that they provide equal pay will be subject to fines. The law, which was passed last year, went into effect on Jan. 1. Iceland is already a leader in gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iceland as the top country for gender quality for the last nine years based on criteria involving economics, education, health, and politics. For example, Icelandic women make up 48% of the country’s parliament - without a quota system. Despite this, wage inequality has persisted. In 2016, thousands of women in Iceland left work at 2:38 p.m., to protest pay disparity. The time was symbolic of when woman stop receiving pay during their 9 to 5 work day compared to men. The wage gap in Iceland was 72 cents to every man’s dollar. On International Women’s Day in 2017, the country moved to change that. The tiny country, pop. 323,000, aims to completely eliminate the wage gap by 2020.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


China, Moving to Cut Emissions, Halts Production of 500 Car Models
2018-01-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/climate/china-cars-pollution.html

China is suspending the production of more than 500 car models and model versions that do not meet its fuel economy standards, several automakers confirmed Tuesday, the latest move by Beijing to reduce emissions in the world’s largest auto market and take the lead in battling climate change. The suspension, effective Jan. 1, would affect both domestic carmakers and foreign joint ventures ... in China, where 28 million vehicles were produced in 2016. China has dozens of small-scale automakers - some producing just a few hundred cars a year. Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, said that the ban would affect at most 1 percent of the Chinese market. But the government’s decision to cite fuel economy in the deregistration of so many versions at the same time is nonetheless a signal of the government’s commitment to fuel economy. The country, which for years prioritized economic growth over environmental protection ... has emerged as an unlikely bastion of climate action. “They’re sending a signal to everybody,” said Michael Dunne, president of ... a Hong Kong-based consultancy on China’s clean car market. “This shows their emissions standards have teeth.” The Chinese government has already become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars, offering automakers numerous incentives for producing so-called new energy vehicles. Those incentives are set to decrease by 2020, to be replaced by quotas for the number of clean cars automakers must sell.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


With more to come, new JFK documents offer fresh leads 54 years later
2017-12-28, McClatchy News
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article191819019.html

Half-a-dozen 2017 releases of long-secret documents about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy have given plenty of new leads to those who don’t believe alleged gunman Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The 34,963 documents ... have fed the fire tended by researchers and others who believe there is much more to the story how a U.S. president was assassinated in Dallas 54 years ago. One particular document from the August release has created much buzz. It that shows that Earle Cabell, mayor of Dallas at the time of the Nov. 22, 1963, shooting, became a CIA asset in late 1956. Another revelatory JFK document released in full on Dec. 15 was the transcript of a 1978 interview by the House Select Committee on Assassinations with Orest Pena. According to Pena, a bar owner in New Orleans, Lee Harvey Oswald was a U.S. government agent or informant. How did he know? Because Pena himself was an informant. He had given details to the Warren Commission in July 1964 but, as the new document shows, later revealed much more detail about Warren de Brueys, an FBI agent in New Orleans to whom Pena said he reported. Oswald, he claimed, frequented a breakfast place regularly not only with de Brueys but with agents from U.S. Customs and Immigration. Pena believed Oswald had an office in the same government complex. Pena also testified to the House panel that de Brueys had threatened him if he shared with investigators details of their meetings and training of anti-Castro instigators.

Note: Watch an excellent five-minute segment of the History Channel's "Men Who Killed Kennedy," For more along these lines, see our excellent resource center filled with reliable information questions what really happened in the JFK assassination.


The world’s richest became $1 trillion wealthier in 2017 and here’s why that should worry us
2017-12-27, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/worlds-richest-are-getting-richer-general...

The world’s richest individuals increased their wealth by a weighty $1 trillion, or about Ł750bn, in 2017. Most of us here in the UK battled stagnant wages [and] rising shop prices. In fact, the figures are quite startling. Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, which measures the wealth of the world’s top 500 people, shows that the richest of the rich controlled a total of $5.3 trillion in 2017, up from an already staggering $4.4 trillion at the same point in 2016. For context, the United States of America - the world’s largest economy - has a gross domestic product of somewhere around $19 trillion. So all in all, not a bad year to be a billionaire. But what does it mean for the rest of us? Back in 2016 ... a group of academics from such esteemed institutions as the University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell University found that as the rich get richer the rest of us get grumpier. The findings were quite clear: in societies where the richest control the majority of the country’s income, the population as a whole is more likely to report feeling “stressed”, “worried” or “angry”. As the rich get richer, they are responsible for pricing certain goods and services out of the reach of the rest of the population – think top schools, the best hospitals and property in particularly desirable locations. And then there’s also a crucial psychological factor that may play a part: seeing the most prosperous becoming even more affluent might make you feel like your chances of moving up the ladder are fluttering away.

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


Price of 40-year-old cancer drug hiked 1,400% by new owners
2017-12-26, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cancer-drug-lomustine-price-hiked-1400-percent-b...

Prices for a cancer drug called lomustine have skyrocketed nearly 1,400 percent since 2013, putting a potentially life-saving treatment out of reach for patients suffering from brain tumors and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Though the 40-year-old medication is no longer protected by patents, no generic version is available. According to the Wall Street Journal, lomustine was sold by Bristol-Myers Squib for years under the brand name CeeNU at a price of about $50 a capsule for the highest dose. The drugmaker sold lomustine in 2013 to a little-known Miami startup called NextSource, which proceeded to hike lomustine's price nine times since. It now charges about $768 per pill for the medication. According to an analysis done for the Journal ... NextSource this year raised prices for the drug, which it rebranded as Gleostine, by 12 percent in November following a 20 percent increase in August. Soaring prices for cancer drugs are a concern for both patients and doctors because financial pressures can lead to delays in seeking treatment that can easily surpass six figures per year. A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found prices for 24 patented injectible Medicare Part B drugs rose an average of 18 percent annually over the past eight years on an inflation-adjusted basis. Prices continued to rise even when generic versions of the drug became available.

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


A little hope for a homeless solution: Tiny housing units sprout in the Bay Area
2017-12-26, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/A-little-hope-for-a-homeless-solut...

Nearly two years after a smattering of tiny homes popped up in the Bay Area as a peculiar new way of housing homeless people, the technique is exploding from one end of the region to the other. Nearly 1,000 tiny homes or their close cousins - stackable modular housing units, typically with less than 200 square feet of living space - are being planned in San Francisco, San Jose, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland and Santa Rosa. Tiny units can be built in a fraction of the time it takes to construct typical affordable housing, at a sliver of the cost, and that means a lot of homeless people can be housed quickly. In one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, with tent-camp problems everywhere, that prospect sounds like a game-changer to officials. Contra Costa has a $750,000 federal homelessness grant to pay for 50 stackable micro-units of supportive housing, and Richmond Mayor Tom Butt would like to see them in his city. Developer Patrick Kennedy brought a prototype of his MicroPad unit to Richmond in November, and county and city leaders say they are leaning toward choosing it. Tiny homes have also caught on in San Jose, where the City Council this month approved plans for a village of 40 of them for homeless people. “You really have two options,” said [city Councilman Raul] Peralez, who said he wants the village in his downtown district. “You can allow the homeless to live on the streets, or you can provide ... shelter [and] services. In my mind, that’s a way better option for managing this community in an organized way.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Power Prices Go Negative in Germany, a Positive for Energy Users
2017-12-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/25/business/energy-environment/germany-electr...

Germany has spent $200 billion over the past two decades to promote cleaner sources of electricity. That enormous investment is now having an unexpected impact - consumers are now actually paid to use power on occasion, as was the case over the weekend. Power prices plunged below zero for much of Sunday and the early hours of Christmas Day on ... a large European power trading exchange, the result of low demand, unseasonably warm weather and strong breezes that provided an abundance of wind power on the grid. Such “negative prices” are not the norm in Germany, but they are far from rare, thanks to the country’s effort to encourage investment in greener forms of power generation. Prices for electricity in Germany have dipped below zero ... more than 100 times this year alone. Several countries in Europe have experienced negative power prices, including Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. But Germany’s forays into negative pricing are the most frequent. At times, Germany is able to export its surplus electricity to its neighbors, helping to balance the market. Still, its experiences of negative prices are often longer, and deeper, than they are in other countries. In one recent example, power prices spent 31 hours below zero during the last weekend of October. At one point, they dipped as low as minus €83, or minus $98, per megawatt-hour, a wholesale measure. Anyone who was able to hook up for a large blast of electricity at that time was paid €83 per unit for the trouble.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


UFO Existence “Proven Beyond Reasonable Doubt,” Says Former Head of Pentagon Alien Program
2017-12-24, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/ufo-existence-proven-beyond-reasonable-doubt-says-for...

The existence of UFOs had been “proved beyond reasonable doubt,” according the head of the secret Pentagon program that analyzed the mysterious aircrafts. Luis Elizondo [said] of the sightings, “In my opinion, if this was a court of law, we have reached the point of ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’ I think it’s pretty clear this is not us, and it’s not anyone else, so no one has to ask questions where they’re from.” Elizondo led the U.S. Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, investigating evidence of UFOs and alien life, from 2007 to 2012, when it was shuttered. Its existence was first reported by The New York Times last week. Elizondo [said] that there had been “lots” of UFO sightings and witnesses interviewed during the program’s five years. Investigators pinpointed geographical “hot spots” that were sometimes near nuclear facilities and power plants. They also observed trends among the aircrafts, including lack of flight surfaces on the objects and extreme maneuverability. “There was never any display of hostility, but ... they maneuvered in ways no one else in the world had,” he said. Despite Pentagon funding running out in 2012, Elizondo oversaw UFO work for another five years before resigning in October 2017 out of frustration with the secrecy of the investigations. He had pushed for videos of the possible alien sightings to be made public so people could see the footage. In his resignation letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Elizondo asked, “Why aren’t we spending more time and effort on this issue?”

Note: Elizondo is one of several former government officials now employed by To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences, which claims it will "advance research into unexplained phenomena and develop related technology." This may be part of a planned roll out so that the public becomes more comfortable with the existence of UFOs. Many dozens of top officials have spoken openly of their personal involvement in the UFO cover-up, yet the media has failed to make this headlines until now. For more, explore the excellent, reliable resources in our UFO Information Center.


Smartphone users should minimize risk
2017-12-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Smartphone-u...

There’s no more ubiquitous feature of modern life than smartphones. Convenience, necessity and plain fun make the devices a near requirement, but it all comes with a ... doubt: Is there a health risk to a device that’s become almost a human appendage? The California Department of Public Health [has published] guidelines that come close to suggesting that there’s uncertain harm. As people use the devices, more often and at an earlier age, health risks could eventually show up. A Kaiser Permanente study ... found a higher rate of miscarriage for those exposed to radiation emitted by cell phones, power lines and wireless networks. Health dangers indicated in other studies include brain tumors, lower sperm count and impacts on memory, learning and sleep. State health officials are flashing a yellow light. If people want to take steps to minimize risk, the agency has suggestions. On the list is parking a smartphone away from the bedside table at night, storing the device in a purse or backpack instead of a pocket during the day, and generally keeping the phone at a distance from the body. Ease back on phone use when the signal is weak. Such advice sounds easy to accept. But coming from a major state agency, the idea of preventive steps to decrease exposure is sending a message. There are hundreds of millions of phones in this country, and California’s top health experts aren’t convinced there’s no human risk.

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


Think You’re Seeing More Drug Ads on TV? You Are, and Here’s Why
2017-12-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/business/media/prescription-drugs-advertis...

Television advertisements for prescription drugs ... have been running for 20 years. [Yet] it is not your imagination if you think you are seeing more of them these days. Lots more. 771,368 such ads were shown in 2016 ... an increase of almost 65 percent over 2012. “TV ad spending by pharmaceutical companies has more than doubled in the past four years, making it the second-fastest-growing category on television during that time,” Jon Swallen, Kantar’s chief research officer, said. The ads ... have turned to more serious ailments in the last few years. And when the ads come on, [the] audience is also listening intently to all that can befall them if they take a certain drug. An unexpected side effect of ad agency compliance with the drug administration’s regulation, it turns out, is enhanced credibility. “It’s counterintuitive, but everything in our research suggests that hearing about the risks increases consumers’ belief in the advertising,” said Jeff Rothstein, the chief executive officer of Cult Health, an ad agency that specializes in health care.

Note: 25 years ago drug advertising was illegal, as it was believed drugs should sell themselves on their own merits. Now Big Pharma is raking in profits hand over fist by inundating us with fear-based advertising. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.


Star Trek's secret weapon: a scientist with a mushroom fetish bent on saving the planet
2017-12-24, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/paul-stamets-star-trek-mushroo...

On Star Trek: Discovery, the character Lieutenant Paul Stamets is an "astromycologist" - a mushroom expert in outer space who is passionate about the power of fungi. Stamets is actually named after a real U.S. scientist who ... looks nothing like his blond-haired TV counterpart, but he's just as enamoured with fungi. Over 40 years, Stamets has pioneered methods for using mushrooms to do everything from clean up oil spills to save disappearing bees by boosting their immune systems. But he's just as excited about Star Trek's potential to inspire people to create some of the science they see presented in screen - even if it does seem a bit fantastic. So were flip phones when people first saw Spock's, he said. "What I love about Star Trek is that we can actually set the stage for science fact," said Stamets. In a 2008 TED Talk, Stamets explained how fungi can be used to "save the world" by cleaning polluted soil, replacing toxic insecticides and even treating viruses. "I'm just a messenger for the mycelium," he said, referring to the network of fungal filaments under the soil that form the largest organism on earth. Mycelium can be found in every forest, but the biggest one he knows of is a massive, 970-hectare mass - bigger than 1,600 football fields - in an Oregon forest. Stamets believes this network "communicates," not unlike a fungal internet. The filaments transfer nutrients and information, and even sabotage unwelcome plants by spreading toxins.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Tesco: No edible food will go to waste by February 2018
2017-12-23, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42464912

No food fit for human consumption will be wasted by Tesco's UK stores by the end of February, the retail giant says. Chief executive Dave Lewis told the Daily Telegraph food waste had been "talked about for years" as he unveiled the plans for all 2,654 stores. Urging other chains to follow suit, he said edible food should be used for people, not go to waste. Tesco, with all major UK supermarkets, has signed a commitment to cut food waste by one-fifth within a decade. The voluntary agreement is known as the Courtauld Commitment 2025. Mr Lewis ... said the contrast between the amount of wasted food in the UK and the situation in countries suffering food shortages was "really stark". He said: "Last year we sold 10 million tons [10.2 million tonnes] of food to the British public. But even if our waste is just 0.7% of the food, that's still 70,000 tons [71,100 tonnes] of food. Tesco says it cuts waste by selling surplus groceries with "reduced to clear" stickers and [by using] an app, FoodCloud, to scan and upload surplus food that stores have at the end of the day, which is shared with registered charities that collect the food. "That goes a long way in reducing charities' bill burdens, so they can spend the money on ... providing much more needed services," Mr Lewis said. "Food waste has been talked about for years but if Tesco can make this work, with all of our different stores across the country, then why can't everybody," he added.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Paradise Papers: US puts sanctions on billionaire over dealings in DRC
2017-12-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/22/paradise-papers-us-sanctions-bil...

The US government has imposed sanctions on the Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, whose African business dealings were exposed in the Paradise Papers, over “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a strongly worded statement, the US president ... placed sanctions on 13 people and companies associated with them, declaring a state of “national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world”. In November, the Paradise Papers investigation unveiled new details of Gertler’s mining deals in strife-torn but resource-rich DRC, in particular over a $45m loan in shares to one of his companies from the world’s biggest miner, Glencore. In imposing sanctions on Gertler, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the Israeli billionaire’s corrupt dealings had deprived the state coffers of DRC of ... more than $1.36bn in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler. Gertler’s involvement in the DRC spans nearly two decades. He was cited by a 2001 UN investigation that said he had given the DRC’s then-president $20m to buy weapons to equip his army against rebel groups in exchange for a monopoly on the country’s diamonds, and a 2013 Africa Progress Panel report said a string of mining deals struck by companies linked to him had deprived the country of more than $1.3bn in potential revenue.

Note: Gertler had close ties with Mark Rich, who was once on the FBI's 10 most wanted list only to later be pardoned by Bill Clinton. This revealing article on Gertler in the UK's Guardian shows corruption and abuse leading to very high places. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


E.P.A. Officials, Disheartened by Agency’s Direction, Are Leaving in Droves
2017-12-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/22/climate/epa-buyouts-pruitt.html

More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration. Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists. An additional 96 are environmental protection specialists, a broad category that includes scientists as well as others experienced in investigating and analyzing pollution levels. Nine department directors have departed the agency as well as dozens of attorneys and program managers. Most of the employees who have left are not being replaced. The departures reflect poor morale and a sense of grievance at the agency, which has been criticized by President Trump and top Republicans in Congress. That unease is likely to deepen following revelations that Republican campaign operatives were using the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of emails from E.P.A. officials suspected of opposing Mr. Trump and his agenda. Employees say the exodus has left the agency depleted of decades of knowledge about protecting the nation’s air and water. Many also said they saw the departures as part of a more worrisome trend of muting government scientists, cutting research budgets and making it more difficult for academic scientists to serve on advisory boards.

Note: The EPA is one of three federal agencies reported to have been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Gymnast McKayla Maroney was paid to keep quiet about abuse, lawsuit says
2017-12-21, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/20/us/mckayla-maroney-lawsuit/index.html

Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday that USA Gymnastics paid her to be quiet about abuse by the team's longtime doctor Larry Nassar. The lawsuit ... also names as defendants Michigan State University, the US Olympic Committee and Nassar, the former team doctor who has admitted sexually abusing underage girls. "In December of 2016, after suffering for years from psychological trauma of her sexual abuse at the hands of Nassar, and in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment," Maroney was forced to enter into a confidential agreement with USA Gymnastics, the lawsuit said. John Manly, Maroney's attorney, called the confidentiality agreement "an immoral and illegal attempt to silence a victim of child sexual abuse. The US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics were well aware that the victim of child sexual abuse in California cannot be forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of a settlement," he said. "Such agreements are illegal for very good reasons - they silence victims and allow perpetrators to continue committing their crimes." Maroney entered the settlement to "obtain funds necessary to pay for lifesaving psychological treatment and care," according to the lawsuit. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges earlier this month. In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and admitted to using his position to sexually abuse underage girls.

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


Avoiding EMF radiation not as easy as quitting smoking
2017-12-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/article/Avoiding-EMF-radiation-not-as-eas...

How much more proof do we need that being online isn’t healthy for us? The latest terrible tech research is from Kaiser Permanente. In a study of hundreds of pregnant women in the Bay Area, the authors found that those who were more exposed to the kind of radiation produced by cell phones, wireless networks and power lines were nearly three times as likely to suffer miscarriages. These electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, are around every single one of us. There will be tremendous pushback against any research showing how dangerous this stuff may be. An example: San Francisco’s radiation-warning law, championed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, passed in 2010. But after a lawsuit from the cell phone industry, the city backed off on implementing it. Around the same time, the California Department of Public Health drew up its set of guidelines to inform the public about the risks associated with cell phone use. The health department then sat on these guidelines for seven years. The health department’s lawyers ... argued that releasing the guidelines might cause the public to panic. Well, it might be time to start panicking. More and more, it sounds like the long-term effects of our Internet habits could be dangerous, not just for our relationships and our ability to focus, but our brains and bodies as well. The small-but-growing body of EMF research looks like anti-tobacco research must have looked in the 1950s — necessary and important work that will surely gain researchers an ugly, uphill battle against better-funded opponents.

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


Record sexual harassment settlement exposes byzantine congressional process
2017-12-21, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/record-sexual-harassment-settlement...

Of all the secret deals cut on behalf of accused members of congress, the one that resulted in the largest settlement yet uncovered may be the most surprising. With new harassment accusations being revealed on a nearly daily basis in Congress, documents obtained by NBC News from this one case shed light on how taxpayer money ends up being used to essentially sweep such incidents under a bureaucratic rug. In 2011, Winsome Packer, a congressional staffer who worked for the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe ... filed a complaint against the commission, alleging that its chairman at the time, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., made unwanted sexual advances toward her and that she was threatened with retaliation. The details ... are recorded in the complaint she also brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The [House Ethics Committee] closed the case after finding that while the congressman admitted to having made some unprofessional comments, it had found “no additional evidence supporting [Packer’s] allegations.” The federal court also dismissed the case. So how did Winsome Packer end up getting a $220,000 taxpayer-funded settlement in May 2014? And why was that payment, settling sexual harassment claims against a member of the House of Representatives, not included in a disclosure ... of all such settlement payments in the last five years, provided by Congress’ Office of Compliance, the congressional office that approved the payment?

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


Once US murder capital, NYC close to record low in homicides
2017-12-21, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/killings-hit-record-low-york-terror-attack...

Even after two terror attacks and a driver's deadly rampage through Times Square, New York City is on track to smash its modern-era low for homicides in a year. Through Dec. 17, the city of 8.5 million people, once America's murder capital, had recorded 278 killings. That puts it on pace to end this year with killings down 14 percent from last year, and well below the 333 in 2014, which was the year with the fewest homicides since the city began keeping accurate crime statistics. Those numbers mean a person's odds of getting killed by homicide in tightly packed, diverse New York City this year were about the same as they were last year in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. Crime has been dropping for many years in New York, but 2017 saw substantial drops even in places like Brooklyn's 75th Police Precinct, once among the nation's most violent places. There were 126 killings in the precinct in 1993. This year ... there have been 11. A move away from heavy-handed policing may have helped drive crime lower. Arrests are down about 7 percent this year. Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan said there were other tactical changes. The department ditched specialized units within precincts and made most officers general assignment. "We're not going to arrest our way out of the problems here," said Sgt. Timothy Cecchini on a recent patrol through the 75th Precinct. "But now, we are getting the space to think about how to do our jobs and really address issues for people and talk to them."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 52 People and Entities for Abuse and Corruption
2017-12-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/world/global-magnitsky-act-sanctions.html

The United States imposed sanctions on 52 people and entities Thursday for alleged human rights violations and corruption, a list that included Maung Maung Soe, a top Burmese general cited for an ongoing deadly crackdown on the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group. Maj. Gen. Maung Maung Soe was the chief of the Burmese Army’s Western Command during a crackdown that survivors say involved government soldiers stabbing babies, cutting off the heads of boys, gang-raping girls and burning entire families to death. Maj. Gen. Maung Maung Soe is the first high-level Burmese military official to be named in sanctions. “Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the U.S. financial system,” said Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary. Among others penalized on Thursday was Yahya Jammeh, former president of Gambia. Mr. Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad ... that he used to intimidate, interrogate and kill people who threatened him. Benjamin Bol Mel of South Sudan, Dan Gertler, who did business in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mukhtar Hamid Shah of Pakistan were also on the list. The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals or entities hold in the United States and also prevent them from using any American financial institution.

Note: Importantly, billionaire Israeli mine kingpin Dan Gertler is on this list. This revealing article on Gertler in the UK's Guardian shows corruption and abuse leading to very high places. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


US lifts ban on lethal virus experiments despite security risks
2017-12-20, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42426548

The US government has lifted a three-year ban on making lethal viruses in the lab, saying the potential benefits of disease preparedness outweigh the risks. Labs will now be able to manufacture strains of influenza, Sars and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers). The ban was imposed following safety breaches at federal institutions involving anthrax and avian flu. Now a scientific review panel will have to green-light each research proposal. It will only be allowed to go ahead if the panel determines there is no safer way to conduct the research and that the benefits it will provide justify the risk. Critics say such "gain-of-function" research still risks creating an accidental pandemic. The ban was imposed in 2014 after embarrassing safety lapses including ... dozens of workers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) being exposed to anthrax bacteria, [and] long forgotten vials of smallpox left in a cardboard box being discovered at a research centre near Washington. In addition, there was concern that research into transmissible pathogens, which is published, could be used to deliberately engineer a mutant virus. Now, the US National Institutes of Health says it is time to lift the ban on funding such research.

Note: Despite FBI assurance to the contrary, the 2001 weaponized anthrax attacks remain unsolved. From November of 2001 to March of 2002, eleven microbiologists mysteriously died. According to this 2009 ABC News article, swine flu may be a "man-made product of genetic experiments accidently leaked from a laboratory". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.


US government recovered materials from unidentified flying object it 'does not recognise'
2017-12-19, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/pentagon-ufo-alloys-program...

The Pentagon has reportedly recovered metal alloys from unidentified flying objects that scientists "do not recognise”. Materials, which are alleged to have “amazing properties”, are being stored in modified buildings in Las Vegas, the New York Times reports. The US Department of Defence (DoD) has admitted to a secret $22m (Ł15m) programme, which ran between 2007 and 2012, that was tasked with investigating reports of UFOs. “They have some material from these objects that is being studied, so that scientists can try to figure out what accounts for their amazing properties,” [said] Ralf Blumenthal, one of the authors of the New York Times report. Researchers also studied people who claimed they had experienced physical effects from encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena. A previously classified video released by the DoD shows Navy pilots reacting with astonishment after being sent to investigate a mysterious flying object as it hovered off the coast of San Diego. The recently released footage shows a 2004 encounter between an apparent object, roughly the size of a commercial plane, and two Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets. Commander David Fravor and Lieutenant Commander Jim Slaight were on a routine training mission 100 miles out into the Pacific when they were asked to investigate the object. Commander Fravor [said] the object was about 40ft long, had no plumes, wings or rotors, and outpaced their F-18s. It was big enough to churn the sea 50ft below it, he said.

Note: Something smells fishy about all of this. Serious UFO researchers have known for decades about these alien materials, yet the media had failed to cover this. Read this provocative essay which suggests the current sensational coverage may be a way to eventually spread more fear about viruses from space to bring mega-profits to the peddlers of vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Congressional complaint office refuses to release data on sexual harassment settlements
2017-12-19, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/sexual-misconduct/congressional-complaint-o...

The office that receives complaints from Congressional staffers on sexual harassment has refused to release information on settlements in the Senate, keeping secret the amount of taxpayer money spent to quiet such claims. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., asked the Office of Compliance on Dec. 6 to release the number of sexual harassment claims filed against a senator or his or her staff between 2007 and 2017. He also asked for the dollar amounts of the settlements and said he would make the information public. Susan Grundmann, executive director of the OOC, said [that] the statute that created the Office of Compliance prohibits her from releasing the data. "The OOC provided ... a statistical breakdown of settlement amounts involving Senate employing offices from 1997-2017. That information represents the full extent of what we can provide," Grundmann wrote. Kaine ... wasn’t satisfied with Grundmann’s response. In a statement, Kaine said that by not releasing the names of the accused or the accusers, no privacy rights would be violated. The OOC’s response seems to be inconsistent. The office released five years of data in settlements with House offices to the House Administration Committee and is expected to release the first 15 years as well. The only public information surrounding Senate settlements is a $220,000 payment in 2014. Even though the accused was a congressman, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., the case was finally resolved with the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment office.

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


‘Medical marijuana has no public health risks’ should not be withheld from patients’
2017-12-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://guardian.ng/features/health/medical-marijuana-has-no-public-health-ri...

After months of deliberation and investigation, the WHO has concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) is a useful treatment for epilepsy and palliative care, and does not carry any addiction risks. The organization is set to run a fuller review of cannabis next year. The report ... also recommended imposing the strong restrictions available on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which has killed thousands of people in America’s drug addiction epidemic. “There is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications including for palliative care,” the report said. “Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components.” In conclusion, the authors wrote: “Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions.” They added that ‘current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol’, and declared that taking medical marijuana will not lead to addiction to THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis that induces a ‘high’.

Note: More people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug. The UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Honduran opposition angry at US backing for election decision
2017-12-19, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/19/americas/honduras-elections-us-intl/index.html

Opposition parties in Honduras have attacked the failure of the US to denounce the controversial declaration of President Juan Orlando Hernández as winner of a widely disputed election. International observers with the Organization of American States say the vote was so discredited that it was impossible to declare a valid result. But the US State Department noted that an election court had ratified the result of the November 26 election. Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal said Hernández won the election with 42.9% of the votes, edging his main challenger, Salvador Nasralla, who was declared second with 41.24%. The opposition accuses Hernandez of stuffing the court with supporters who helped him change the constitution to allow him to seek a second term. Hundreds of angry opposition supporters protested in the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa Monday following the announcement of the court's decision. The US has a large military base in Honduras, which has led to accusations that both the current and previous US administrations are turning a blind eye to political violence and corruption in the country. The Organization of American States raised a string of concerns about the election, [and] referred to "deliberate human intrusions in the computer system, intentional elimination of digital traces," and "pouches of votes open or lacking votes." The administration of Hernández has also been dogged by allegations of corruption and drug trafficking.

Note: Honduras was one of only eight countries which backed Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. In 2017, leaked court documents raised concerns that the 2016 murder of an Honduran activist was "an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s US–trained special forces". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Cell Phone Radiation May Be Dangerous, California Health Officials Warn
2017-12-18, Time
http://time.com/5069317/california-mobile-phone-radiation/

The science is still out on whether the long-term use of cell phones - which emit electromagnetic radiation when they send and receive signals from towers or WiFi devices - can affect human health. But for people who want to reduce their exposure to this type of energy, the California Department of Public Health has published new guidelines on how to do just that. The guidelines, issued last week, note that “some laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that long-term, high use of cell phones may be linked to certain types of cancer and other health effects.” These include brain cancer, tumors of the acoustic nerve and salivary glands, lower sperm count, headaches and effects on learning, memory, hearing, behavior and sleep. The guidelines recommend keeping phones away from the body when they’re not in use ... and sleeping with phones away from the bed. People can also reduce their exposure by limiting cell-phone use when the cellular signal is weak; when traveling in a high-speed car, bus or train; to stream audio or video; or to download or upload large files. All of these circumstances cause phones to put out higher-than-normal levels of RF energy. In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer published a review stating that cell-phone radiation is “possibly carcinogenic.” And earlier this year, an Italian court ruled in favor of a plaintiff who argued that his brain tumor was the result of excessive work-related cell-phone use over a 15-year period.

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


Could A Zap To The Brain Derail Destructive Impulses?
2017-12-18, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/18/571679556/could-a-zap-to...

Picture this: While reaching for the cookie jar - or cigarette or bottle of booze or other temptation - a sudden slap denies your outstretched hand. When the urge returns, out comes another slap. Now imagine those "slaps" occurring inside the brain. In a report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford neuroscientists say they've achieved this sort of mind-reading in binge-eating mice. They found a telltale pattern of brain activity that comes up seconds before the animals start to pig out - and delivering a quick zap to that part of the brain kept the mice from overindulging. Whether this strategy could block harmful impulses in people remains unclear. The current study used a brain stimulation device already approved for hard-to-treat epilepsy. And based on the new findings, a clinical trial testing this off-the-shelf system for some forms of obesity could start as early as next summer, says Casey Halpern, the study's leader. He thinks the approach could also work for eating disorders and a range of other addictive or potentially life-threatening urges. As a physician-researcher, Halpern specializes in deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical treatment in which battery-powered implants send electrical pulses to brain areas where signals go awry. The Food and Drug Administration has approved DBS therapy for movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, tremor and dystonia. Occasionally DBS is a last-resort treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Note: Remember that secret military and intelligence projects are usually 10 to 20 years ahead of anything being done in the public. Could some groups already have developed microchip implants designed for behavior modification or mind control?


On the Trail of a Secret Pentagon U.F.O. Program
2017-12-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/insider/secret-pentagon-ufo-program.html

Our readers are plenty interested in unidentified flying objects. We know that from the huge response to our front-page Sunday article ... revealing a secret Pentagon program to investigate U.F.O.s. The piece, by the Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper, the author Leslie Kean and myself ... has dominated the most emailed and most viewed lists since. So how does a story on U.F.O.s get into The New York Times? The journey began two and a half months ago with a tip to Leslie, who ... published a 2010 New York Times best seller, “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record.” In a Pentagon City hotel with several present and former intelligence officials and a defense contractor, she met Luis Elizondo, the director of a Pentagon program she had never heard of: the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. She learned it was a secret effort ... starting in 2007, to investigate aerial threats including what the military preferred to call “unidentified aerial phenomena.” This was big news because the United States military had announced as far back as 1969 that U.F.O.s were not worth studying. A few days later Mr. Elizondo and others there ... announced they were joining a new commercial venture, To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, to raise money for research into U.F.O.s. I had known Leslie for years, and she told me this looked like a story for The Times. I agreed.

Note: Listen to the New York Times 'The Daily' podcast titled "The Pentagon's UFO Program." To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences was reported to have several former government officials with insider knowledge of UFOs on its payroll. Watch an excellent 8-minute video showing that something is fishy about this company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program
2017-12-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-rei...

In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it. For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring. The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. The shadowy program ... was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who ... has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur ... Robert Bigelow. The program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift. Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft. Two other former senators and top members of a defense spending subcommittee - Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, and Daniel K. Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat - also supported the program. None of the three senators wanted a public debate ... about the funding for the program, Mr. Reid said. “This was so-called black money,” he said.

Note: Watch a CNN interview with the Navy Pilot who spotted something he is convinced was not of this world. This appears to be part of a planned roll out so that the public becomes more comfortable with the existence of UFOs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Pentagon confirms secret program on UFO sightings since 2007; official wants data released
2017-12-16, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-pentagon-ufo-sightings-prog...

Just before leaving his Defense Department job two months ago, intelligence officer Luis Elizondo quietly arranged to secure the release of three of the most unusual videos in the Pentagon's secret vaults: raw footage from encounters between fighter jets and "anomalous aerial vehicles" - military jargon for UFOs. In interviews, he said his ultimate intention was to shed light on a little-known program Elizondo himself ran for seven years: a low-key Defense Department operation to collect and analyze reported UFO sightings. The existence of the program, known as the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, was confirmed officially for the first time Saturday by a Pentagon spokesman. Spending for the program totaled at least $22 million. The funding officially ended in 2012. But officials familiar with the initiative say the collection effort continued as recently as last month. The program operated jointly out of the Pentagon and, at least for a time, an underground complex in Las Vegas managed by Bigelow Aerospace, a defense contractor that builds modules for space stations. It generated at least one report, a 490-page volume that describes alleged UFO sightings in the United States and numerous foreign countries over multiple decades. The first public revelations of the program came in a video conference aired in October by To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences, the firm Elizondo joined as a consultant after retiring from his Pentagon job.

Note: Elizondo is one of a several former government officials now employed by To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences, which claims it will "advance research into unexplained phenomena and develop related technology." Watch an excellent 8-minute video showing that something is fishy about this company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Trudeau government gag order in CIA brainwashing case silences victims
2017-12-15, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-government-gag-order-mk-ultra-1.4448933

Forty years after revelations that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency funded brainwashing experiments on unsuspecting Canadians, the Trudeau government is continuing a pattern of silencing the victims. A recent Department of Justice gag order in an out-of-court settlement was designed to avoid responsibility and avert compensation to more victims and their families, said Alan Stein, [a lawyer] who has represented numerous survivors who were once patients at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal. Successive federal governments have demanded confidentiality agreements in at least five of the cases he has settled. The Trudeau government's quiet non-disclosure payment in March 2017 to the daughter of a now-deceased victim is just the latest development in a decades-old scandal that saw both the CIA and the Canadian government fund brutal science experiments on unsuspecting patients. Revelations of mental torture on hundreds of Canadian patients first surfaced in the late 1970s. At the centre of the controversy was Dr. Ewen Cameron, a respected psychiatrist and first director of the Allan Memorial Institute, the psychiatric facility at McGill University where the brainwashing experiments took place from 1950 to 1965. Cameron ... ran experiments called "psychic driving" and "depatterning" that attempted to erase a patient's memories and reprogram them with new thoughts. To this day, neither the CIA nor the Canadian government has apologized for its role in the experiments.

Note: Read more on the court cases stemming from Dr Ewen Cameron's CIA-funded experiments in this Times of London article. Read also an excellent summary on the involvement of doctors in the CIA's brainwashing experiments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why did Broward destroy 2016 ballots? Sanders ally seeks US probe.
2017-12-15, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2017/1215/Why-did-Broward-destroy-2016...

A South Florida law professor, running to unseat Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is calling for a federal investigation into the destruction of all ballots cast in the August 2016 Democratic primary in Broward County. The challenger, Tim Canova, has made repeated public-records requests and filed a lawsuit seeking access to paper ballots cast in his unsuccessful race last year against the former Democratic National Committee chair in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. A statistical analysis of the primary conducted last year suggested the election results were “potentially implausible.” the Broward supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes, has taken no action on requests ... to examine the ballots. Instead, Dr. Snipes has urged a judge to throw Canova’s lawsuit out. Despite the pending records requests and the ongoing litigation, Snipes ordered the ballots and other election documents destroyed. The lack of a paper trail verifying voter choices undercuts the ability to identify systemic election fraud and might make such fraud impossible to detect. The Aug. 30 Democratic primary in Broward was being closely watched across the country. A month earlier ... Wasserman Schultz was ousted as chairwoman of the DNC. She was removed over allegations that she and other party officials had rigged the Democratic presidential primary process to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. The pro-Clinton fix was first divulged in DNC emails ... released to the public in the months leading up to the election.

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


CDC gets list of forbidden words: Fetus, transgender, diversity
2017-12-15, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbi...

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including “fetus” and “transgender” - in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, “will continue to use the best scientific evidence available to improve the health of all Americans,” HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd [said]. It’s likely that other parts of HHS are operating under the same guidelines regarding the use of these words. At the CDC, several offices have responsibility for work that uses some of these words. The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention is working on ways to prevent HIV among transgender people and reduce health disparities. The CDC’s work on birth defects caused by the Zika virus includes research on the developing fetus. The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to the CDC’s partners and to Congress. The budget blueprint is generally shaped to reflect an administration’s priorities. The reaction of people in the meeting was “incredulous,” [a CDC] analyst said. “It was very much, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding?’”

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


E.P.A. Contractor Has Spent Past Year Scouring the Agency for Anti-Trump Officials
2017-12-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/us/politics/epa-scott-pruitt-foia.html

One of the top executives of a consulting firm that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently hired to help it with media affairs has spent the past year investigating agency employees who have been critical of the Trump administration, federal records show. The firm, Definers Public Affairs ... specializes in conducting opposition research, meaning that it seeks to find damaging information on political or corporate rivals. A vice president for the firm, Allan Blutstein, federal records show, has submitted at least 40 Freedom of Information Act requests to the E.P.A. since President Trump was sworn in. Many of those requests target employees known to be questioning management at the E.P.A. since Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator, was confirmed. Mr. Blutstein, in an interview, said he was taking aim at “resistance” figures in the federal government, adding that he hoped to discover whether they had done anything that might embarrass them or hurt their cause. Jahan Wilcox, a spokesman at the E.P.A., said [Definers] signed a $120,000 no-bid contract to monitor and collect news coverage about the agency. The contract, which was awarded this month, is part of an unconventional news media operation that Mr. Pruitt has set up at the agency as he tries to get a handle on the coverage of him by newspapers, including The New York Times, and criticism by Democrats in Congress and environmental groups.

Note: The EPA is one of three federal agencies reported to have been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


'Changes must be made': Shocking Australian child abuse inquiry ends
2017-12-14, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/asia/australia-child-abuse-hearing-conclusion-i...

Children are still being sexually assaulted in Australian institutions. That was the stark warning of an exhaustive five-year investigation by an Australia Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse that concluded Thursday. Hon Justice Peter McClellan, who has headed the investigation, said the "nation thanks the survivors" who gave testimony about decades of systematic abuse and cover-ups in religious and state institutions such as churches, youth groups, care homes and schools. More than 8,000 people gave evidence in private sessions, and 2,559 referrals were made to authorities. "The sexual abuse of children is not just a problem from the past. Child sexual abuse in institutions continues today," said McClellan. "In some case studies into schools the alleged abuse was so recent that the children are still attending school." McClellan singled out the Roman Catholic Church in particular for often putting reputation above the safety of children in what they found to be decades of systematic sexual abuse. Earlier this year the commission released shocking statistics that 7% of Catholic priests, working between 1950 and 2009, have been accused of child sex crimes. In total, 4,444 alleged cases were recorded. Many cases are continuing to be heard through the courts as a result. Earlier this year 85 recommendations were made ahead of the final findings in a criminal justice report issued by the commission, including the fact priests should be charged for failing to report child sexual abuse spoken of in a confession box.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Inequality is not inevitable – but the US 'experiment' is a recipe for divergence
2017-12-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/14/inequality-is-not-inevitab...

Today’s inaugural World Inequality Report shows that income inequality has increased in nearly every country around the world since 1980 – but at very different speeds. Since [1980], the gap between the richest and the rest has surged in the US, while in western Europe it has increased only moderately. In both regions, the top 1% of adults earned about 10% of national income in 1980. Today that cohort’s share has risen modestly to 12% in western Europe, but dramatically to 20% of all income in the US. The good times have rolled especially fast for those at the very top in the US, with annual income booming by 205% since 1980 for the top 1%. But this boomtime at the very top has not benefited the rest of the American population in any measurable way. For the 117 million American adults in the bottom 50%, income growth has been nonexistent for a generation. In western Europe, by contrast, incomes of the bottom half have matched overall economic growth. What explains this dramatic divergence? The US has experienced a perfect storm of radical policy changes. The tax system, which used to be progressive, has become much less so over time. The federal minimum wage has collapsed, unions have been weakened and access to higher education has become increasingly unequal. At the same time, deregulation in the finance industry and overly protective patent laws have contributed to booms on Wall Street and in the healthcare sector, which now makes up 20% of national income.

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


Companies that do good things have higher returns
2017-12-13, CNBC
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/13/dan-hesse-good-deeds-give-companies-roughly-3...

Companies that enforce employee-centric and customer-centric cultures are likely to see better financial gains than their competitors, Just Capital's Dan Hesse told CNBC on Wednesday. "What we've seen from a financial performance point of view is that you have [a] higher return on equity of these companies that do good things," Hesse, the former CEO of Sprint, told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. Just Capital, a private, non-profit research firm, recently conducted a survey of 72,000 individuals across the United States. On Tuesday, Just Capital and Forbes released a ranking of the top 100 most "just" U.S. companies based on the results. Many leading technology companies landed high in the ranks, with Intel, Texas Instruments and Nvidia taking the top three spots. But one of the most sweeping commonalities was how consumers felt about tax reform, Hesse said. While investors might get excited about the potential for share buybacks and dividend increases if corporate tax reform is passed, consumers couldn't be less thrilled about it, Hesse said. "If there's one overall theme in the data, it's that they believe companies are focused too much on just shareholders versus all the other stakeholders," he told Cramer. "They'll say shareholders, yes, important, but your employees are No. 1 and your customers are No. 2," Hesse continued. "So are the communities, the environment, a lot of other stakeholders. So they will want to see companies take this money and invest in their employees and in some of these other areas."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


World Bank Group pledges to stop investing in oil and gas exploration
2017-12-12, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/12/world-bank-group-pledges-stop-...

One of the world’s most important financial and development institutions, the World Bank Group (WBG), is to stop financing oil and gas exploration, in a bid to help combat climate change. After 2019, the WBG – which includes the World Bank and three other institutions – will stop investing in upstream oil and gas, it announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Wednesday. The summit was hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, with 164 world leaders, government members, business leaders and prominent figures joining him. This move marks a major change in strategy for the the WBG, which has historically sought to support extraction of natural resources. The World Bank currently holds $961m (Ł722m) of guarantee operations, set up to support private sector investments in gas and oil explorations. Upstream oil and gas constitute 2pc of the WBG portfolio. Across the World Bank Group institutions, the total portfolio is worth around $280bn. This comes as the WBG signed a $1.15bn loan with the Government of Egypt aimed at reducing fossil fuel subsidies and encouraging low-carbon energy investment. “Everyday, climate change becomes a more urgent economic, social, and existential threat to all countries and all people,” WBG president, Jim Yong Kim, said. This change in approach was to ensure “alignment of our support to countries to meet their Paris goals,” he added.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Twenty companies join nations planning coal phase out
2017-12-12, CNBC/Reuters
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/12/reuters-america-twenty-companies-join-nations...

About 20 companies including Unilever, EDF and Iberdrola joined an international alliance of 26 nations on Tuesday pledging to phase out coal to combat global warming. At a climate summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, new members of the "Powering Past Coal Alliance" agreed that traditional coal power should be phased out by 2030 in rich nations and by 2050 in other parts of the world. Nations including Sweden, Ethiopia and Latvia, as well as the U.S. state of California, also joined the alliance as part of commitments under the 195-nation Paris climate agreement reached on December 12 two years ago. The coal phase-out plan, launched last month by about 20 governments, widened on Tuesday to companies also including BT, Engie, Kering, Diageo, Marks & Spencer, Orsted, Storebrand and Virgin Group. The companies committed to setting targets to end the use of traditional coal from the power sector, both for consumption and in generating electricity. Founder members of the alliance, launched at U.N. climate negotiations in Germany, include Britain, France, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica and the Marshall Islands. A declaration said that coal-fired power plants produce almost 40 percent of global electricity. Most of the countries in the alliance are already cutting their use of coal.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The world's greenest cruise ship will have sails
2017-12-11, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/11/technology/green-cruise-ship-ecoship

Cruise ships have a bad rap with environmentalists. One cruise operator is hoping to change that. Peace Boat, a Japanese non-governmental organization ... is working on an ambitious project to build the most sustainable vessel in the booming industry. Now in the last stages of planning, the "Ecoship" will be built by Finland's Arctech. It will cost about $500 million, financed in part by impact investors - funds, rich families and individuals who want to use their cash to improve the world as well as make a profit. A conventional cruise ship can burn hundreds of tons of heavy fuel oil a day and emit as much particulate matter as a million cars. The "Ecoship" will be fueled by a much cleaner combination of solar panels, wind power and liquid natural gas, and should produce 40% less carbon dioxide than a traditional cruise ship. "We will have 10 sails, so it will use the wind like traditional sailing ships," [Peace Boat founder Yoshioka] Tatsuya explained. The "Ecoship" is designed to mimic the shape of a whale. While smaller than many cruise ships currently being built, it will accommodate 2,000 passengers, and host conferences and events while docked. Peace Boat hopes it will set sail on its maiden voyage in 2020, and that it will quickly become a showcase for the future of the industry. "There's potential with a very green cruise ship to get a lot of attention at each port of call and that can make an impact," Tatsuya said. And he doesn't plan to stop at one ship. Demand for cruises, and green tourism is booming.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'We Can Take Them Apart.' ICAN Chief Beatrice Fihn Accepts Nobel Peace Prize for Group's Work to Ban Nuclear Weapons
2017-12-10, Time
http://time.com/5056523/beatrice-fihn-nobel-peace-prize/

When Beatrice Fihn received a call on Oct. 6 informing the 35-year-old Swede that her group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, she suspected a possible prank. Not that you should blame her - ICAN is just 10 years old, and the group’s aims can seem positively fanciful: the complete elimination of the world’s roughly 15,000 nuclear warheads. But that call from the Norwegian Nobel Committee was real, and so is Fihn’s goal. ICAN, a global coalition of 440 partner organizations in 98 countries, was honored for its efforts to advance the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was successfully finalized by two-thirds of the United Nations’ 192 members this summer. The treaty—which would outlaw nuclear weapons’ use, production and possession—is now open for ratification, and will become international law after 50 countries sign on. Those countries almost certainly won’t include the members of the nuclear club: The U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Fihn is realistic that nuclear weapons won’t be abolished overnight. But just as earlier treaties banning biological weapons and land mines eventually led to such munitions being phased out, she believes a nuclear arms ban could help turn the public against these truly horrific weapons of mass destruction.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Quebec to offer basic income for 84,000 people unable to work
2017-12-10, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-proposes-basic-income-poverty-e...

Quebecers who have a severely limited capacity to work will gradually be able to access a guaranteed minimum income beginning next year, Premier Philippe Couillard's government announced. The measure is part of a $3-billion action plan to fight poverty and promote "economic inclusion," but falls short of offering a basic income for all Quebecers, a demand of many anti-poverty groups. An estimated 84,000 Quebecers would qualify for the minimum income measure, largely those with physical and intellectual disabilities. Of the 84,000, the vast majority are single people, long a neglected demographic when it comes to poverty reduction programs in Quebec. By next year, they will see their government assistance increased by at least $73 per month. That figure will reach $440 per month by 2023, bringing their annual guaranteed minimum to $18,029. Many of the measures announced Sunday either encourage low-income Quebecers to enter the job market or help them stay employed. This includes $1.8 million in funding to improve the digital skills of those living in poverty and nearly $34 million for Quebecers who receive social assistance and want to learn more skills. The measures also come one year after the Couillard government introduced controversial new rules that penalized social assistance recipients who failed to take steps to find a job. The $3 billion in spending will be spread out over several years, with the goal of helping 100,000 Quebecers out of poverty by 2023.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?
2017-12-08, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2017/12/08/has-our-government-spent-21...

On July 26, 2016, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report “Army General Fund Adjustments Not Adequately Documented or Supported”. The report indicates that for fiscal year 2015 the Army failed to provide adequate support for $6.5 trillion. Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress. An appendix to the July 2016 report shows $2 trillion in changes to the Army General Fund balance sheet due to unsupported adjustments. On the asset side, there is $794 billion increase in the Army's Fund Balance with the U.S. Treasury. There is also an increase of $929 billion in the Army's Accounts Payable. What is the source of the additional $794 billion in the Army's Fund Balance? The July 2016 report is not the only such report of unsubstantiated adjustments. Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015. [And why] after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, [was] the OIG's webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported "accounting adjustments," ... mysteriously taken down?

Note: Explore this webpage for a brief background to this astounding news. See also a detailed analysis of these missing trillions, which amount to $65,000 per man, woman, and child in the US. And don't miss this highly revealing interview with Prof. Mark Skidmore of Michigan State with even more startling news.


Report: Industry hid decades-old study showing sugar's unhealthy effects
2017-12-08, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sc-hlth-industry-hid-effects-...

More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer. The results of that study were never made public. Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer. "This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that." Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate. Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol. Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.

Note: Read more about the sugar industry conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the scientific community.


The U.S. health care industry could learn a lot from India's doctors
2017-12-08, Popular Science
https://www.popsci.com/us-health-care-industry-generates-ton-waste-it-should-...

The medical industry produces plenty of waste ... in addition to using loads of energy. The health care sector accounts for 10 percent of carbon pollution in the United States. “Unfortunately, the way we practice medicine today has a negative impact on our environment and, in turn, human health,” [said NYU Langone Health professor Cassandra Thiel]. She and her colleagues decided to examine the problem of health industry emissions to see if they could find greener approaches. They studied cataract surgeries performed in a health care center in India, the Avravind Eye Care System, which is seen as a model for its low cost and excellent results. Because the United States and other developed nations rely largely on single-use materials in surgery, “we wanted to examine whether a different approach, where surgical supplies are mostly reused, could make a bigger impact on reducing emissions,” she said. Their paper appears in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. “India currently performs over seven million cataract surgeries a year,” Thiel said. “If all were done with the U.K.’s process, they would emit nearly one million metric tons of greenhouse gases. If all were conducted with Aravind’s process, they would emit about 40,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses. This difference is equivalent to removing over 230,000 passenger vehicles from the road.”.

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


‘Every 45 minutes, I was sold for $120 to $350’: Former sex slave recalls brutal life in brothels
2017-12-06, Fox News (Connecticut affiliate)
http://fox61.com/2017/12/06/every-45-minutes-i-was-sold-for-120-to-350-former...

At 21, Shandra Woworunti was a financial analyst in her native Indonesia but in 1998, she lost her job in the Asian banking crisis. In 2001, at age 24, she answered an ad for a six-month seasonal job in the United States thinking she would work as a waitress in the hotel industry. She said a man named Johnny Wong picked her up at Kennedy Airport in Queens and delivered her to another man. "I saw the man hand a big envelope of money to Johnny Wong," Woworunti recalled. Woworunti was entering the world of human trafficking. She was turned over to other men and ended up at a house in Bayside, Queens, she said, where the owner put Woworunti and two other young women in the attic. She said he ordered them to undress to make sure they didn't have a skin disease. Woworunti said that when she refused, the man put a gun to her forehead. Woworunti said she quickly realized she would have to comply with the wishes of her customers. "Every 45 minutes, I was sold for $120 to $350," Woworunti said. "I was trafficked in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan. Up and down I-95. I used to get trafficked to Foxwoods Casinos." Woworunti fled ... and ended up on the streets until a sailor in the U.S. Navy noticed her and contacted the FBI. Woworunti told federal agents what she knew, and the FBI eventually raided the house in Sunset Park that she'd escaped from. Now, Woworunti is about to be honored for the organization she founded, Mentari, which helps trafficking survivors mainstream back into society.

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


Is It a Crime to Avoid Vaccines? People Who Refuse Are Being Punished With Jail and Job Loss
2017-12-05, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/sending-parents-jail-refusing-vaccinate-doesnt-work-s...

Don’t want to get a vaccine for yourself or your child? Prepare to face the consequences. In the last month, a Detroit mother went to jail because she refused to vaccinate her child. Fifty people lost their jobs at a group of Midwestern hospitals and clinics because they declined a flu shot. And an Oregon university has blocked students from registering for classes unless they have a meningitis shot. All states have some vaccine requirements for public education—no shots, no school. All but three states - Mississippi, West Virginia and California - allow parents to send their child to school without vaccines based on some kind of non-medical exemption. In 2013, more than 90 percent of American children had been vaccinated for chicken pox, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, a significant number of people ... hesitate when a doctor offers them a vaccine. A new study released on Monday found that 27 percent of the parents surveyed could be classified as moderately or highly hesitant around vaccines. That same study found these people may be particularly concerned with the purity of vaccines. Increasingly, parents who choose not to vaccinate are warned of harsh penalties. People who choose not to vaccinate themselves may also face serious consequences. Some states have laws guiding which vaccinations people working at hospitals or other health care facilities must have; more often, requirements may be enshrined in a facility's policy, not in law.

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


Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?
2017-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-i...

When the drugs came, they hit all at once. It was the 80s, and by the time one in 10 people had slipped into the depths of heroin use - bankers, university students, carpenters, socialites, miners - Portugal was in a state of panic. In 2001 ... Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them. The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015. Portugal’s remarkable recovery ... could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs. Portugal’s policy rests on three pillars: one, that there’s no such thing as a soft or hard drug, only healthy and unhealthy relationships with drugs; two, that an individual’s unhealthy relationship with drugs often conceals frayed relationships with loved ones, with the world around them, and with themselves; and three, that the eradication of all drugs is an impossible goal. In spite of Portugal’s tangible results, other countries have been reluctant to follow.

Note: Portugal's successful policy has contributed to public health outcomes that starkly contrast US trends.


7,500 Strangers Just Bought A Crumbling French Chateau Together
2017-12-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/05/568594889/7-500-strangers-...

Crowdfunding has been used to finance films, board games, classical music, scientific research and infertility treatments. Add this to the list of things bought with collective purchasing power: A chateau in the French countryside, complete with moat. The platform used to raise the funds announced on Friday that the castle had been purchased by milliers d'internautes – that is, thousands of Internet users, who each paid at least 50 euros (about $60) to "adopt" the chateau and help restore it. In just 40 days, the site raised the 500,000 euros it needed to buy it. "It's done, it's historic!" [the announcement] said. "The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers now belongs to thousands of Internet users. Through this collective purchase, we believe in the preservation and development of the heritage of tomorrow and prove that civic strength is always the greatest." The chateau dates to the 13th century, and it was looted and abandoned during the French Revolution. In 1809, a rich Parisian entrepreneur bought and restored it. In March 1932, a fire broke out, destroying the roof and causing the chateau to be abandoned once more. Sadly, a suite at the castle is not part of the deal for the thousands of donors, though a gift of at least 60 euros (about $71) gives each patron a membership card and "access to part of the castle." The real gift, the campaign explains, is that patrons can become investors in a company that will own the castle, and "collectively decide its future."

Note: Don't miss video of this amazing abandoned castle at the link above.


Pentagon: 'Troubling' Lapses in Giving Criminal Data to FBI
2017-12-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/12/05/us/politics/ap-us-church-shooting...

The Pentagon's watchdog agency said Tuesday it found a "troubling" number of failures this year by military law enforcement agencies to alert the FBI to criminal history information. The Pentagon's inspector general happened to be wrapping up a monthslong review of compliance with reporting requirements when former Air Force member Devin P. Kelley opened fire in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church on Nov. 5, killing 25 people. Kelley had been convicted of assaulting family members in a 2012 court martial ... but the information was not passed on to the FBI as required by Pentagon regulations. The lapse, acknowledged by the Air Force, meant he was not flagged in databases used for background checks of gun buyers. Tuesday's report said that from February through October, the military's law enforcement organizations failed to submit 24 percent of required fingerprint cards for inclusion in FBI databases and 31 percent of required reports of court martial convictions, known as final disposition reports. The data is supposed to be submitted to the FBI for many offenses, including assault, murder and desertion. The Army's failure rate on fingerprint reporting was 28 percent, the Navy's and Marine Corps' both were 29 percent. The Air Force's was 14 percent. The Army failed to submit final disposition reports in 41 percent of cases; the Navy and the Marine Corps in 36 percent of cases, and the Air Force in 14 percent of cases.

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


The compelling case for working a lot less
2017-12-05, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20171204-the-compelling-case-for-working-a-l...

Non-stop activity isn’t the apotheosis of productivity. It is its adversary. Researchers are learning that it doesn’t just mean that the work we produce at the end of a 14-hour day is of worse quality than when we’re fresh. This pattern of working also undermines our creativity and our cognition. Over time, it can make us feel physically sick – and even, ironically, as if we have no purpose. “The idea that you can indefinitely stretch out your deep focus and productivity time to these arbitrary limits is really wrong,” says research scientist Andrew Smart. “If you’re constantly putting yourself into this cognitive debt, where your physiology is saying ‘I need a break’ but you keep pushing yourself, you get this low-level stress response that’s chronic – and, over time, extraordinarily dangerous.” One meta-analysis found that long working hours increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 40% – almost as much as smoking (50%). Another found that people who worked long hours had a significantly higher risk of stroke, while people who worked more than 11 hours a day were almost 2.5 times more likely to have a major depressive episode than those who worked seven to eight. The reason we have eight-hour work days at all was because companies found that cutting employees’ hours had the reverse effect they expected: it upped their productivity. If eight-hour days are better than 10-hour ones, could even shorter working hours be even better? Perhaps.

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


Philippines Orders Probe Into Sanofi Dengue Vaccine for 730,000 Children
2017-12-04, New York Times/Reuters
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/12/04/business/04reuters-sanofi-dengue-p...

The Philippines ordered an investigation on Monday into the immunization of more than 730,000 children with a vaccine for dengue that has been suspended following an announcement by French drug company Sanofi that it could worsen the disease in some cases. The World Health Organization said it hoped to conduct a full review by year-end of data on the vaccine, commercially known as Dengvaxia. In the meantime, the WHO recommended that it only be used in people who had a prior infection with dengue. The government of Brazil, where dengue is a significant health challenge, confirmed it already had recommended restricted use of the vaccine but had not suspended it entirely. Amid mounting public concern, Sanofi explained its "new findings" at a news conference in Manila but did not say why action was not taken after a WHO report in mid-2016 that identified the risk it was now flagging. A non-governmental organization (NGO) said it had received information that three children who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia in the Philippines had died and a senator said he was aware of two cases. Last week, the Philippines Department of Health halted the use of Dengvaxia after Sanofi said it must be strictly limited due to evidence it can worsen the disease in people not previously exposed to the infection. Nearly 734,000 children aged 9 and over in the Philippines have received one dose of the vaccine as part of a program that cost 3.5 billion pesos ($69.54 million).

Note: This US government webpage states, "Since 1988, over 18,897 petitions have been filed with the VICP [Vaccine Injury Compensation Program]. Over that 29-year time period, 16,857 petitions have been adjudicated, with 5,782 of those determined to be compensable. Total compensation paid over the life of the program is approximately $3.7 billion." Why aren't these large numbers being reported in the media? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.


Professor reveals aluminium in jabs may cause sufferers to have up 10 times more of the metal in their brains than is safe
2017-12-03, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5133049/Aluminium-vaccines-cause-au...

Aluminium in vaccines may cause autism, controversial new research suggests. Autistic children have up to 10 times more of the metal in their brains than what is considered safe in adults, a study found. Study author Professor Chris Exley from Keele University, said: 'Perhaps we now have the link between vaccination and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the link being the inclusion of an aluminium adjuvant in the vaccine.' The researchers speculate autism sufferers may have genetic changes that cause them to accumulate aluminium which healthy people are able to remove. Research at Keele University, published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, provides the strongest indication yet that aluminium is a cause of ASD. The aluminium content of brain tissues from five donors who died with a diagnosis of ASD was found to be extraordinarily high; some of the highest values yet measured in human brain tissue. Why for example, would one of the four major brain lobes of a 15-year-old boy with autism be 8.74 (11.59) micrograms/g dry weight - a value which is at least 10 times higher than might be considered as acceptable for an adult never mind a child? The new evidence strongly suggests aluminium is entering the brain in ASD via inflammatory cells which have become loaded up with aluminium in the blood and/or lymph, much as has been for certain immune cells at injection sites for vaccines that contain aluminium to increase the body's immune response.

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


Electric cars already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel
2017-12-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/01/electric-cars-already-che...

Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel cars in the UK, US and Japan, new research shows. The lower cost is a key factor driving the rapid rise in electric car sales now underway. At the moment the cost is partly because of government support, but electric cars are expected to become the cheapest option without subsidies in a few years. The researchers analysed the total cost of ownership of cars over four years, including the purchase price and depreciation, fuel, insurance, taxation and maintenance. Pure electric cars came out cheapest in all the markets they examined. Pure electric cars have much lower fuel costs – electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel – and maintenance costs, as the engines are simpler. In the UK, the annual cost was about 10% lower than for petrol or diesel cars in 2015, the latest year analysed. Hybrid cars which cannot be plugged in and attract lower subsidies, were usually a little more expensive than petrol or diesel cars. Plug-in hybrids were found to be significantly more expensive. “We were surprised and encouraged because, as we scale up production, [pure] electric vehicles are going to be becoming cheaper and we expect battery costs are going to fall,” said James Tate, who conducted the research. At current rates, sales of electric cars could outstrip diesel cars as early as May 2019.

Note: China is the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars, and will require one out of every five cars sold there to run on alternative fuel by 2025.


Shell should face investigation over murder and rape by Nigerian military, says Amnesty International
2017-11-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/shell-nigeria-murder-rape-mil...

Shell should face investigations in three countries for alleged complicity in Nigerian government abuses, including murder and rape, more than two decades ago in the oil-rich Niger River delta, Amnesty International said. Authorities in Nigeria, the Netherlands and UK should investigate Shell’s conduct, especially in the Ogoni area of the southern delta, the London-based human-rights group said. Violations linked to Europe’s largest energy company amounted to criminal infractions for which it should be prosecuted, it said. “The evidence we have reviewed shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when it knew the horrors this would lead to,” Audrey Gaughran, director of Global Issues at Amnesty International, said. Shell “even provided the military with material support, including transport, and in at least one instance paid a military commander notorious for human rights violations,” she said. Shell, the oldest energy company in Africa’s biggest oil producer, operates a joint venture with the government that pumps more than a third of the nation’s crude, the state’s main source of revenue. Other joint ventures are run by ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Eni. Protests by the Ogoni ethnic minority against Shell in the 1990s alleging widespread pollution and environmental degradation prompted a repressive response from the military government then in power. Nine ethnic-minority activists, including the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, were executed in 1995.

Note: It was reported in 2010 that pollution linked to oil production had reduced rural Nigerian life expectancy to "little more than 40 years of age". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Discover the World
2017-11-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/opinion/forget-trump-and-discover-the-worl...

China has been busy creating a cashless society, where people can pay for so many things now with just a swipe of their cellphones - including donations to beggars - or even buy stuff at vending machines with just facial recognition, and India is trying to follow suit. These are big trends, and in a world where data is the new oil, China and India are each creating giant pools of digitized data that their innovators are using to write all kinds of interoperable applications — for cheap new forms of education, medical insurance, entertainment, banking and finance. “It’s transforming the lives of ordinary people,” explained Alok Kshirsagar, a McKinsey partner based in Mumbai. Now any Indian farmer can just go to one of 250,000 government community centers - each with a computer, Wi-Fi and a local entrepreneur who manages it - log into a government digital services website with the farmer’s unique ID and instantly print out a birth certificate or land records needed for transactions. Similar innovations are going on in energy, explained Mahesh Kolli, president of Greenko, India’s largest renewable power provider. Greenko just built the largest solar project in the world - a 3,000-acre field of Chinese-made solar panels generating 800 megawatts powering over 600,000 homes in Andhra Pradesh. Two more such fields are on the way up. “No new coal or gas power plants are being built in India today,” he added, “not because of regulations, but because solar, wind, hydro are all now able to compete with coal plants without subsidies.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Washington Post uncovers fake Roy Moore story 'sting'
2017-11-28, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42150322

The Washington Post says it has uncovered a failed "sting operation" by a group trying to peddle a sensational but false story to its journalists. A source told the newspaper she had been impregnated as a teenager by US politician Roy Moore. The Post said its research debunked her story, and that she worked for a group called Project Veritas, which it said "targets the mainstream news media". The group said the Washington Post was reporting "an imagined sting". The Washington Post said it was originally approached by a woman the day after it published allegations that US Senate candidate Roy Moore had once initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl. The woman, who used a fake name, claimed to have had a sexual relationship with Mr Moore when she was 15. "She said that she got pregnant, that Moore talked her into an abortion and that he drove her to Mississippi to get it," the newspaper said of the conversations. Project Veritas has posted a series of tweets claiming to expose bias at the Washington Post. It claimed the newspaper was attempting to divert attention by inventing the "sting operation" story. But many journalists on social media claimed the attempt to prove the Washington Post had published unverified claims had backfired - and showed the opposite.

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


Veterans, grappling with PTSD, are helping to boost public support for medical marijuana
2017-11-26, CNBC News/Associated Press
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/26/veterans-grappling-with-ptsd-are-helping-to-b...

Against the backdrop of the nation's largest Veterans Day parade, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this month he'd sign legislation making New York the latest in a fast-rising tide of states to OK therapeutic pot as a PTSD treatment, though it's illegal under federal law. Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia now include PTSD in their medical marijuana programs, a tally that has more than doubled in the last two years. The increase has come amid increasingly visible advocacy from veterans' groups. Retired Marine staff sergeant Mark DiPasquale says the drug freed him from the 17 opioids, anti-anxiety pills and other medications that were prescribed to him for migraines, post-traumatic stress and other injuries from service that included a hard helicopter landing in Iraq in 2005. In a sign of how much the issue has taken hold among veterans, the 2.2-million-member American Legion began pressing the federal government this summer to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical marijuana where it's legal. The Legion started advocating last year for easing federal constraints on medical pot research, a departure into drug policy for the nearly century-old organization. "People ask, `Aren't you the law-and-order group?' Why, yes, we are," Executive Director Verna Jones said at a Legion-arranged news conference early this month at the U.S. Capitol. But "when veterans come to us and say a particular treatment is working for them, we owe it to them to listen and to do scientific research required."

Note: This Associated Press article no longer appears on CNBC's website. Here's an alternate link for the complete article. The illegal drug MDMA was recently fast tracked for FDA approval after preliminary studies found it to be effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. While police in the US arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined, articles like these suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream credibility.


When Sexual Assault Victims Are Charged With Lying
2017-11-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/24/opinion/sunday/sexual-assault-victims-lyin...

There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted. This month, a retired police lieutenant in Memphis, Tenn., Cody Wilkerson, testified, as part of a lawsuit against the city, not only that police detectives sometimes neglected to investigate cases of sexual assault but also that he overheard the head of investigative services in the city’s police department say, on his first day in charge: “The first thing we need to do is start locking up more victims for false reporting.” It’s an alarming choice of priorities. In 2015 we wrote an article ... about Marie, an 18-year-old who reported being raped. Instead of interviewing her as a victim, [detectives] interrogated her as a suspect. Under pressure, Marie eventually recanted - and was charged with false reporting, punishable by up to a year in jail. More than two years later, the police in Colorado arrested a serial rapist - and discovered a photograph proving he had raped Marie. Cases like hers can be found around the country. In 1997, a legally blind woman reported being raped at knife point in Madison, Wis. That same year, a pregnant 16-year-old reported being raped in New York City. In 2004, a 19-year-old reported being sexually assaulted at gunpoint in Cranberry Township, Pa. In all three instances, the women were charged with lying. In all three instances, their reports turned out to be true. The men who raped them were later identified and convicted.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


High schooler spreads the message that nobody should have to dine alone
2017-11-24, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spreading-the-message-that-nobody-should-have-to...

When the lunch bell rings at Boca Raton High School in Florida, 3,400 kids spill into the courtyard and split into their social groups. But not everyone gets included. Someone always sits alone. "It's not a good feeling, like you're by yourself. And that's something that I don't want anybody to go through," said Denis Estimon. Denis is a Haitian immigrant. When he came here in first grade, he says he felt isolated - especially at lunch. So with some friends, Denis started a club called "We Dine Together." Their mission is to go into the courtyard at lunchtime to make sure no one is starving for company. For new kids especially, the club is a godsend. Since it started last year, hundreds of friendships have formed - some very unlikely. Jean Max Meradieu said he met kids he would never "ever" meet on the football team. Jean actually quit the football team - gave up all perks that come with it - just so he could spend more time with this club. "I don't mind not getting a football scholarship," Jean said. "This is what I really want to do." Just imagine how different your teenage years would have been, if the coolest kids in school all of a sudden decided you mattered. Since we first told this story, Denis has graduated from high school - but not from this mission. He's now travelling the country, opening "We Dine Together" chapters at other schools - 15 so far, with more than 100 slated for the new year. And if we're lucky, when he's done showing kids how to make outsiders feel accepted, he can teach the rest of us.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Diplomats Sound the Alarm as They Are Pushed Out in Droves
2017-11-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/24/us/politics/state-department-tillerson.html

Republicans pilloried Hillary Clinton for what they claimed was her inadequate attention to security as secretary of state in the months before the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Congress even passed legislation mandating that the department’s top security official have unrestricted access to the secretary of state. But in his first nine months in office, [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson turned down repeated and sometimes urgent requests from the department’s security staff to brief him. Mr. Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, has made no secret of his belief that the State Department is a bloated bureaucracy. Even before Mr. Tillerson was confirmed, his staff fired six of the State Department’s top career diplomats. None were given any reason for their dismissals. Since he decided before even arriving at the State Department to slash its budget by 31 percent ... Mr. Tillerson has frozen most hiring and recently offered a $25,000 buyout in hopes of pushing nearly 2,000 career diplomats and civil servants to leave by October 2018. The number of those with the department’s top two ranks of career ambassador and career minister - equivalent to four- and three-star generals - will have been cut in half by Dec. 1, from 39 to 19. “The United States is at the center of every crisis around the world, and you simply cannot be effective if you don’t have assistant secretaries and ambassadors in place,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat who was an under secretary of state. “It shows a disdain for diplomacy.”

Note: The US State Department under Rex Tillerson recently shut down a decades-old office designed to seek justice for victims of war crimes, as well as removed the terms "just" and "democratic" from the State Department’s list of desired outcomes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


FCC net neutrality process ‘corrupted’ by fake comments and vanishing consumer complaints, officials say
2017-11-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/11/24/fcc-net-neutrali...

As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to dismantle its net neutrality rules for Internet providers, a mounting backlash from agency critics is zeroing in on what they say are thousands of fake or automated comments submitted to the FCC that unfairly skewed the policymaking process. “The process the FCC has employed,” wrote New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week in a letter to the FCC, “... has been corrupted by the fraudulent use of Americans’ identities.” The New York attorney general's office has been reviewing the comments filed at the FCC on net neutrality. It found that “hundreds of thousands” of submissions may have impersonated New York residents. Some consumers have complained ... that their own names or addresses have been hijacked and used to submit false comments to the FCC. Public comments play an important role at the FCC, which typically solicits feedback from Americans before it votes. At its Dec. 14 meeting, the FCC plans to repeal Obama-era regulations that aimed at ensuring all websites, large and small, are treated equally by Internet providers. Without the rules, Internet providers could begin charging some websites or services more to reach ... regular Internet users. Internet providers have also spent significant time and money lobbying for the regulations to be reversed. And some of the public comments ... bear a striking resemblance to industry talking points.

Note: In the first quarter of 2017 alone, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon spent $11 million lobbying against net neutrality. A Guardian article makes it clear that "pretty much everyone outside the large cable companies supports the FCC’s net neutrality rules." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Brands pull YouTube ads over images of children
2017-11-24, CNBC News/Reuters
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/24/reuters-america-brands-pull-youtube-ads-over-...

Lidl, Cadbury maker Mondelez, Diageo and other big companies have pulled advertising from YouTube after the Times newspaper found the video sharing site was showing clips of scantily clad children alongside the ads of major brands. Comments from hundreds of paedophiles were posted alongside the images, which appeared to have been uploaded by the children themselves. One video of a pre-teenage girl in a nightie drew 6.5 million views. The paper said YouTube, a unit of Alphabet subsidiary Google, had allowed sexualised imagery of children to be easily searchable and not lived up to promises to better monitor and police its services to protect children. German discount retailer Lidl, Diageo - the maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whiskey - and Cadbury chocolate maker Mondelez confirmed they had pulled advertising campaigns from YouTube. "It is ... clear that the strict policies which Google has assured us were in place to tackle offensive content are ineffective," a Lidl spokeswoman said. Diageo said it was deeply concerned and had begun an urgent investigation. "We are enforcing an immediate stop of all YouTube advertising until we are confident the appropriate safeguards are in place," the company said. The Times investigation alleged that YouTube does not pro-actively check for inappropriate images of children but instead relies on software algorithms, external non-government organisations and police forces to flag such content.

Note: Read a much more in-depth article on serious problems with kids videos on the Internet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Livia Firth’s Eco-Age – Time to End Our Fast-Fashion Binge
2017-11-23, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/livia-firths-eco-age-time-to-end-our-fa...

Thursday 16th November marked the 7th Annual Lovie Awards. This year, Livia Firth was the winner of the Emerging Entrepreneur Award for her fight for sustainable fashion as the founder and creative director of Eco-Age. Livia founded Eco-Age in 2009 as a brand consultancy providing sustainability strategies and communication tools to fashion brands. Their modus operandi is to demystify the supply chain so that brands can be sure they are working with suppliers and manufacturers that guarantee responsible sourcing and production of materials and ethical labour practices. She and her team work with several brands to help them become sustainable and conscious as part of their core operations and values – not as a token ‘project’ seeking to gain sustainability credentials. Livia points to a tactic of some large, fast-fashion brands, of producing a product or small number of products ‘sustainably’, that are then heavily promoted in an attempt to create a cleaner, greener brand image, which she dismisses as “bullshit green-washing”, to divert attention from the dirty fashion practices continuing throughout the supply chain in those brands. Eco-Age refuses to conduct business with fast-fashion businesses due to the ethical crimes being committed and their failure to provide a living wage. She comments that being awarded a Lovie is recognition of her engagement with the public ... to inform, educate and enlighten consumers.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The craze for ethical investment has reached Japan
2017-11-23, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21731630-it-led-top-down...

Japan is prone to fads. One has hit finance: investing in assets screened for ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. In 2014-16 funds invested in ESG assets grew faster in Japan than anywhere else. Today Japan’s sustainable-investment balance is $474bn, or some 3.4% of the country’s total managed assets - low compared with Europe or America, but high for Asia. The shift is driven from the top down, rather than, as elsewhere, by ethically minded individual investors. The big boost for ethical investing in Japan came from the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s biggest public-sector investor, with $1.3trn of assets under management. In 2015 GPIF signed the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment. This year it invested 3% of its holdings in socially responsible assets, using three ESG indices. Smaller investors have started to follow suit. Hiromichi Mizuno, GPIF’s chief investment officer, says the decision to invest in three ESG indices is for the long-term future, rather than with an eye on short-term returns or to support government policy: “The more companies pay attention to the sustainability of the environment, society and governance, the more likely investors are to find investment opportunities in them.” Analysts say GPIF is setting a trend for sustainable investing not just in Japan but globally. It has said it wants to increase its allocations in ESG funds to 10% of its assets.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Trump's Swamp of Billionaires and Lobbyists Revealed in Secret White House Visitor Logs
2017-11-22, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-white-house-billionaires-big-business-in...

Wall Street billionaires, corporate lobbyists and far right conservatives flooded the White House almost immediately after Donald Trump’s presidential victory, newly released White House visitor logs reveal. The White House was forced to release the list of visitors ... after the Washington transparency group Property of the People sued. The searchable logs, published Tuesday by ProPublica, provide a glimpse into the creation of the president’s political agenda, spearheaded almost entirely by business interests. Officials at the Office of Management and Budget, for example, met periodically with CEOs from the health care industry and big businesses, a handful of lobbyists representing Koch Industries and several billionaires. The logs also reveal how much money can be spent by lobbying groups just to get their foot in the door. Budget chief Mick Mulvaney’s former congressional Chief of Staff Al Simpson was hired by the lobbying firm Mercury in February, soon after Trump appointed Mulvaney to run the management and budget office. Clients, including powerhouse corporations like Cemex and pharma firms like AmerisourceBergen, paid Simpson’s lobbying firm $360,000 throughout 2017. The purposes behind several White House meetings remain shrouded in mystery. For example, Mulvaney met with Jeff Bell, a member of the controversial religious group Opus Dei. Meanwhile, out of the 8,807 meetings and people listed in the logs, 2,169 names and subject matter are redacted - nearly 25 percent of the data dump.

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


Sugar Industry Long Downplayed Potential Harms
2017-11-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/21/well/eat/sugar-industry-long-downplayed-po...

The sugar industry funded animal research in the 1960s that looked into the effects of sugar consumption on cardiovascular health - and then buried the data when it suggested that sugar could be harmful, according to newly released historical documents. Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the new report, said that even though the newly discovered documents are 50 years old, they are important because they point to a decades-long strategy to downplay the potential health effects of sugar consumption. “This is continuing to build the case that the sugar industry has a long history of manipulating science,” Dr. Glantz said. The documents described in the new report are part of a cache of internal sugar industry communications that Cristin E. Kearns, an assistant professor at the U.C.S.F. School of Dentistry, discovered in recent years. Last year, an article in The New York Times highlighted some of the previous documents that Dr. Kearns had uncovered, which showed that the sugar industry launched a campaign in the 1960s to counter “negative attitudes toward sugar” in part by funding sugar research that could produce favorable results. The campaign was orchestrated by John Hickson, a top executive at the sugar association who later joined the tobacco industry. Mr. Hickson secretly paid two influential Harvard scientists to publish a major review paper in 1967 that minimized the link between sugar and heart health and shifted blame to saturated fat.

Note: Read more about the sugar industry conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the scientific community.


Trump's Secret War? U.S. Military's Presence in Middle East Has Grown 33 Percent in Past Four Months
2017-11-21, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-secret-war-us-militarys-presence-middle-east-h...

President Donald Trump has increased the number of U.S. troops and civilians working for the Department of Defense in the Middle East to 54,180 from 40,517 in the past four months, representing a 33-percent rise. This number doesn't even account for the big rise in troops stationed in Afghanistan since ... late August. These numbers are no secret, which raises concerns about the apparent lack of discourse over the expansion of the U.S. military. The Trump administration has been quite vocal about the recent increase in troops in Afghanistan. But the rise in the presence of the U.S. military elsewhere in the Middle East has been relatively under the radar. Some in the U.S. military even seem to be unaware of the recent increase in personnel in the region. On November 16 ... Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. was asked about troop numbers in Syria and Iraq at a press briefing, and he said, "In Syria, we have ... about 503 operating. And in Iraq, we have approximately 5,262, I believe is the number. So those are the numbers." However, the U.S. has 1,720 troops in Syria and 8,892 in Iraq. With Trump in the White House, there has been an increase in U.S. troops killed in action overseas as well as a large spike in civilian deaths from airstrikes. A United Nations report in October claimed civilian deaths had increased by 50 percent in Afghanistan compared to the same point last year.

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


Web of secret money hides one mega-donor funding conservative court
2017-11-21, Sacramento Bee (Leading newspaper of California's capital city)
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article185832818.html

A small nonprofit called the Judicial Crisis Network poured millions into a campaign to stop the Senate from confirming Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick last year, and then spent millions more supporting President Donald Trump’s choice for the same seat. JCN’s money came almost entirely from yet another secretive nonprofit, the Wellspring Committee, which flooded JCN with nearly $23.5 million in 2016. Most of Wellspring’s funds, in turn, came from a single mysterious donor who gave the organization almost $28.5 million. Like JCN, Wellspring - at one time tied to ... conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch - is a nonprofit that is supposed to be dedicated to social welfare functions and doesn’t have to disclose the names of its benefactors. Since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision loosened certain constraints on political spending, these and other ... groups have become increasingly politically active while providing anonymity to their donors. "Wellspring Committee acted as a dark money conduit to provide an extra layer of secrecy to whomever was bankrolling the Judicial Crisis Network ads," [said] Brendan Fischer of the ... Campaign Legal Center. "This has the effect of layering secrecy on top of secrecy, and almost entirely insulating donors from any form of public accountability." The American Future Fund, another former Koch “dark money” nonprofit, pulled in $2 million from Wellspring last year. It spent more than $12.7 million in 2016 federal elections without disclosing its donors.

Note: Read more about the influence of billionaire oligarchs on US politics. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


50 Workers Fired For Refusing Flu Shot
2017-11-21, NBC (Chicago Affiliate)/Associated Press
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/50-Workers-Fired-For-Refusing-Flu-Shot-...

A Minnesota-based health system has fired about 50 employees who refused to get a flu shot. Essentia Health announced last month that employees would be required to get vaccinated for influenza unless they received a religious or medical exemption. The company said it wanted to help keep patients from getting sick at its 15 hospitals and 75 clinics in Minnesota, Idaho, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Essentia says 99 percent of the company's 13,900 eligible employees had gotten the shot, received an exemption or were getting an exemption by the Monday deadline. The United Steelworkers filed an injunction to try to delay the policy, but a federal judge denied the request. Minnesota Public Radio reports at least two other unions are filing grievances on behalf of workers who lost their jobs.

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


U.S. Government Planned False Flag Attacks to Start War With Soviet Union, JFK Documents Show
2017-11-20, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/us-soviet-aircraft-jfk-docs-cover-operations-717460

The U.S. government [planned] false flag attacks with Soviet aircraft to justify war with the USSR or its allies, newly declassified documents surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy show. In a three-page memo, members of the National Security Council wrote, "There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a ... provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack US or friendly installations to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention." The memo shows that the department, along with the CIA, considered buying Soviet aircraft to stage the attacks, even getting estimates from the Air Force on how long it would take and how much it would cost to produce the planes domestically and covertly. The document also outlined the possibility of purchasing such aircraft from non-Soviet Bloc countries that had received planes from the USSR, or from pilots that had defected, instead of building them domestically. The CIA deemed those plans too risky. It is unclear when the memo was written or circulated. The NSC staff mention a meeting on March 22, 1962, when a "Special Group" discussed the attorney general's questions about acquiring Soviet aircraft. The document was last reviewed by the CIA in February 1998, and a stamp shows it was declassified in March 2016. But, strangely, the document's cover letter shows a date of "00/00/00."

Note: ABC News back in 2001 was the only major media to report on Operation Northwoods, which is the code name for a very similar plan, when the first documents on this were declassified. As these earlier documents show, the plan was approved by the top Pentagon chiefs to create a pretext for war with Cuba by sinking an American ship in the Havana harbor or creating a "terror campaign" in cities like Miami and Washington D.C. Why was this stunning news only reported by ABC? For a possible reason, see this excellent summary of testimony by major media whistleblowers.


Victims 'told not to report' Jehovah's Witness child abuse
2017-11-20,

Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the organisation not to report it. Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religion's own rules protected perpetrators. BBC ... spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity. Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse. The 41-year-old ... said she was told not to go to police. "I asked [the organisation], 'what should I do? Do you report it to the police, [or] do I report it to the police'? "And their words were that they strongly advised me not to go to the police because it would bring reproach on Jehovah." What most of [the victims] keep coming back to is something known as the "two witness rule". It is a procedure set by the main governing body of the religion and means for any sin committed, there must be two witnesses to it in order for the elders of the congregation to take any action. The problem with this is it can be rare to have witnesses in cases of abuse. The victims I've spoken to said the organisation self-polices and teaches members to avoid interaction with outside authorities or to take another member of the religion to court. To do so, they say, could lead to expulsion from the religion.

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


The Coast Guard’s ‘Floating Guantánamos’
2017-11-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/magazine/the-coast-guards-floating-guantan...

The U.S. Coast Guard is targeting low-level smugglers in international waters - shackling them on ships for weeks or even months before arraignment in American courts. The U.S. Coast Guard never intended to operate a fleet of “floating Guantánamos,” as a former Coast Guard lawyer put it. But a set of laws, including the 1986 Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act ... defined drug smuggling in international waters as a crime against the United States. Through the 2000s, maritime detentions averaged around 200 a year. Then in 2012, the Department of Defense’s Southern Command [was] tasked with leading the war on drugs in the Americas. In 2016, under the Southern Command’s strategy, the Coast Guard ... detained 585 suspected drug smugglers, mostly in international waters. That year, 80 percent of these men were taken to the United States to face criminal charges, up from a third of detainees in 2012. In the 12 months that ended in September 2017, the Coast Guard captured more than 700 suspects and chained them aboard American ships. Most of these men remain confounded by their capture by the Americans, dubious that U.S. officials had the authority to arrest them and to lock them in prison. But it is the memory of their surreal imprisonment at sea that these men say most torments them. These detainees paint a grim picture of the conditions of their extended capture. The ... periods of detention employed by the United States in its antidrug campaign run counter to international human rights norms.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure" with an "overwhelmingly negative" public health impact. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


A billionaire wages war on poverty in Oklahoma
2017-11-20, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/1120/A-billionaire-wages-war-on-po...

Across the United States, millionaires and billionaires are increasingly stepping in with private money to try to solve problems that were once largely or exclusively the purview of government. In Detroit, philanthropic dollars helped build a streetcar system. In Kalamazoo, Mich., donors are underwriting college tuition programs. Elsewhere, philanthropists are funding the mapping of all cells in the human body to try to stamp out disease and pouring money into preventing obesity. Yet few if any of today’s megadonors are involved in as many programs targeting the poor in one city as [George] Kaiser. The oil and gas industrialist believes that every child deserves a chance to succeed and that effectively spent charitable dollars ... can unlock their potential. His foundation has given away more than $1 billion over the past decade, almost all of it in Tulsa, [Okla.]. Over the next decade, his foundation wants to target every poor child born in Tulsa, from birth until third grade, so that a patchwork of public programs – prenatal care, parenting classes, child care – becomes a seamless quilt. “They’re making a very big bet in one community on a comprehensive strategy that can be truly transformative,” says Nancy Roob, chief executive officer of the New York-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. The idea behind all these efforts – fighting poverty with philanthropic wealth – is one that holds great promise in an era of dazzling private fortunes, yawning economic inequality, and public-sector austerity.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work
2017-11-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/business/student-loans-licenses.html

Few people realize that the loans they take out to pay for their education could eventually derail their careers. But in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts. Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work. Firefighters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their credentials suspended or revoked. Determining the number of people who have lost their licenses is impossible because many state agencies and licensing boards don’t track the information. Public records requests by The New York Times identified at least 8,700 cases in which licenses were taken away or put at risk of suspension in recent years, although that tally almost certainly understates the true number. With student debt levels soaring — the loans are now the largest source of household debt outside of mortgages — so are defaults. Lenders have always pursued delinquent borrowers: by filing lawsuits, garnishing their wages, putting liens on their property and seizing tax refunds. Blocking licenses is a more aggressive weapon, and states are using it on behalf of themselves and the federal government. Tennessee is one of the most aggressive states at revoking licenses. From 2012 to 2017, officials reported more than 5,400 people to professional licensing agencies. Many - nobody knows how many - lost their licenses. Some ... lost their careers.

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


Top general says he would resist "illegal" nuke order from Trump
2017-11-18, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-strategic-command-gen-john-hyten-resist-ille...

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saturday that he has given a lot of thought to what he would say if a president ordered a strike he considered unlawful. As head of STRATCOM, Hyten is responsible for overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal. "I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do," Hyten added. "And if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works." Hyten said he has been trained every year for decades in the law of armed conflict, which takes into account specific factors to determine legality - necessity, distinction, proportionality, unnecessary suffering and more. Running through scenarios of how to react in the event of an illegal order is standard practice, he said. "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life," Hyten said. Hyten's comments come against the backdrop of continued tension with North Korea. In the past, the president has pledged to unleash "fire and fury" and to "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary. Hyten's comments also come as Congress is re-examining the authorization of the use of military force and power to launch a nuclear strike.

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


Companies are realizing that renewable energy is good for business
2017-11-16, Popular Science
https://www.popsci.com/renewable-energy-business-climate-change

The conservative city of Georgetown, Texas, runs on renewable energy. After all, wind and solar power are more predictable and easier to budget than oil and gas. Clean power pushes may be associated with more left-leaning cities, but Republican mayor Dale Ross called the switch to renewables a no-brainer. In 2017, at least 15 weather events cost the government more than a billion dollars each. The most expensive events we have in the U.S. are floods. The money spent preparing for and preventing these events ... pays itself back double, triple, and even quadruple times over. But companies and private citizens often fail to prepare properly because the money spent on prevention is private, whereas costs after the fact are often allotted through government organizations. Many fail to connect the cost of switching to renewable energy with the eventual savings of avoiding natural disasters. On an even larger scale, the costs of switching to renewable energy are larger up front, though they save money in the future. For example, Denmark struggled to store its wind power in a way that allowed them to save it for times of high electricity demand. Then they encouraged residents to buy electric cars. Now these vehicles act like moving batteries, and people can sell the energy back to the grid when the cars are parked.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


How Prosecutors Turn a Protest Into a ‘Riot’
2017-11-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/opinion/how-prosecutors-turn-a-protest-int...

I traveled from Baltimore to join hundreds of thousands of protesters at counterdemonstrations around Mr. Trump’s swearing-in. Little did I know that I would be swept up into a legal nightmare that demonstrates how prosecutors intimidate and manipulate defendants into giving up their rights. Minutes after I got to downtown Washington on Jan. 20, police officers used pepper spray, “sting-ball” grenades and flailing batons to sweep up an entire city block in a mass-arrest tactic known as “kettling.” Next, prosecutors ... took the highly unusual step of indicting more than 200 of those arrested. Most of the people in the group, which includes journalists, legal observers and volunteer medics, face charges of engaging in a riot, inciting a riot, conspiracy to riot and property damage. In addition to seizing the contents of at least 100 cellphones, prosecutors secured broad warrants for Facebook pages. The government has failed to provide most defendants in the case with evidence of their alleged individual wrongdoing. For example, I was offered a plea deal (to a single misdemeanor charge) on the basis of virtually nothing more than being at the site of the protest. This serves to illustrate a critical problem in the American justice system: Prosecutors have the power to single-handedly destroy lives, and there are few consequences for abuse of that power. At the same time, their main measure of success is the ability to secure convictions, not the degree to which justice is served.

Note: United Nations officials recently said that the US government's treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Does ‘Elsagate’ prove YouTube is too big to control?
2017-11-15, The Week
http://www.theweek.co.uk/89701/does-elsagate-prove-youtube-is-too-big-to-control

In February, YouTube announced it had hit a staggering milestone: visitors were now consuming the equivalent of a billion hours’ worth of video every day. Some of YouTube’s most popular channels are aimed at children, with creators ... gaining millions of subscribers and billions of views. But there is a problem. YouTube is absolutely flooded with extremely violent, inappropriate, sexually suggestive videos targeted at children. These videos are finding their way into autoplay lists alongside age-appropriate clips. Journalist James Bridle delved into this unsettling phenomenon, dubbed Elsagate. He found that as content creators chase viewers, successful - and originally harmless - formulas for garnering views are “endlessly repeated across the network in increasingly outlandish and distorted recombinations”. At their most extreme, these include a legion of unsettling videos which appear to be produced, or in some cases automatically generated, in response to popular keywords. They often feature disturbing themes and sexual or violent content. For instance, a search for “Peppa Pig dentist” returns a homemade clip in which the popular children’s character is “tortured, before turning into a series of Iron Man robots and performing the Learn Colours dance”. ElsaGate has exposed a long-standing truth about YouTube that can no longer be ignored, says Polygon: the filters designed to protect users of all ages from disturbing, violent or illegal content are not up to the job.

Note: Read a much more in-depth article on serious problems with kids videos on the Internet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


First digital pill approved despite worries about biomedical Big Brother
2017-11-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/First-digital-pill-approved-despite-wo...

Regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken. The digital pill combines two existing products: the former blockbuster psychiatric medication Abilify - long used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - with a sensor tracking system first approved in 2012. Experts say the technology could be a useful tool, but it will also change how doctors relate to their patients as they’re able to see whether they are following instructions. The pill has not yet been shown to actually improve patients’ medication compliance, a feature insurers are likely to insist on before paying for the pill. Additionally, patients must be willing to allow their doctors and caregivers to access the digital information. The technology carries risks for patient privacy, too, if there are breaches of medical data or unauthorized use as a surveillance tool, said James Giordano, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Could this type of device be used for real-time surveillance? The answer is of course it could,” said Giordano. The new pill, Abilify MyCite, is embedded with a digital sensor that is activated by stomach fluids, sending a signal to a patch worn by the patient and notifying a digital smartphone app that the medication has been taken.

Note: In 2010, it was quietly reported that Novartis AG would be seeking regulatory approval for such "chip-in-a-pill technology". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on microchip implants and the disappearance of privacy.


'Nothing about it felt right': More than 50 people describe sexual harassment on Capitol Hill
2017-11-14, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/politics/sexual-harassment-congress/index.html

Be extra careful of the male lawmakers who sleep in their offices - they can be trouble. Avoid finding yourself alone with a congressman or senator in elevators, late-night meetings or events where alcohol is flowing. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss - it could cost you your career. These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda. There is also the "creep list" - an informal roster passed along by word-of-mouth, consisting of the male members most notorious for inappropriate behavior. CNN spoke with more than 50 lawmakers, current and former Hill aides and political veterans who have worked in Congress, the majority of whom spoke anonymously to be candid and avoid potential repercussions. With few exceptions, every person said they have personally experienced sexual harassment on the Hill or know of others who have. On Tuesday, a House committee held a hearing to examine the chamber's sexual harassment policies, and the Senate last week passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory for senators, staff and interns - two clear acknowledgments of the need for reform. Travis Moore, a former aide to ex-Rep. Henry Waxman, started a signature-gathering campaign last week calling on congressional leaders to reform "inadequate" sexual harassment. His letter has gathered over 1,500 signatures.

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


Raqqa’s dirty secret
2017-11-13, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/raqqas_dirty_secret

Lorry driver Abu Fawzi thought it was going to be just another job. He drives an 18-wheeler ... in northern Syria. But this time, his load was to be human cargo. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters opposed to IS, wanted him to lead a convoy that would take hundreds of families displaced by fighting ... to a camp further north. [He was told] the job would take six hours. He and his fellow drivers ... had been lied to. Instead, it would take three days of hard driving, carrying a deadly cargo - hundreds of IS fighters, their families and tonnes of weapons and ammunition. The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa ... would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. But it also enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part. Has the pact, which stood as Raqqa’s dirty secret, unleashed a threat to the outside world - one that has enabled militants to spread far and wide across Syria and beyond? Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. Publicly, the SDF said that only a few dozen fighters had been able to leave, all of them locals. But one lorry driver tells us that isn't true. "We took out around 4,000 people including women and children," [the lorry driver said]. The convoy was six to seven kilometres long. In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.

Note: The rise of Islamic State militants was a predicted outcome of a CIA and MI6 program to transfer weapons from Libyan stockpiles to Syrian rebels in 2012. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Under New Guidelines, Millions More Americans Will Need to Lower Blood Pressure
2017-11-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/health/blood-pressure-treatment-guidelines...

The nation’s leading heart experts on Monday issued new guidelines for high blood pressure that mean tens of millions more Americans will meet the criteria for the condition. Under the guidelines ... the number of men under age 45 with a diagnosis of high blood pressure will triple, and the prevalence among women under age 45 will double. The number of adults with high blood pressure, or hypertension, will rise to 103 million from 72 million under the previous standard. The number of people who are new candidates for drug treatment will rise ... by an estimated 4.2 million people. To reach the goals others may have to take more drugs or increase the dosages. The change is due largely to convincing data from a federal study published in 2015. That study, called Sprint, explored whether markedly lower blood pressure in older people - lower than researchers had ever tried to establish - might be both achievable and beneficial. In participants who were assigned to get their systolic pressures below 120, the incidence of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes fell by a third, and the risk of death fell by nearly a quarter. But more intensive drug treatment in so many more patients may increase rates of kidney disease. In the Sprint trial, the incidence of acute kidney injury was twice as high in the group receiving drugs to reduce their systolic pressure to 120. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can help many patients lower blood pressure. But many of the newly diagnosed are likely to wind up on drugs.

Note: The effect of this huge change is that billions more dollars will now flow into Big Pharma as millions of consumers are led to believe their blood pressure is dangerously high. Are drugs the best answer? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and health.


Trump picks former pharma exec, ex-Bush official to lead HHS department
2017-11-13, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/politics/alex-azar-health-and-human-services-se...

President Donald Trump on Monday announced he is nominating Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive and George W. Bush administration official, to succeed Tom Price as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. He previously served as HHS general counsel and deputy secretary for President George W. Bush. Following his time with the administration, he worked for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. [He] became president of Lilly USA in 2012. As part of his role at Lilly USA, Azar was on the board of directors for the Boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a drug lobbying group. In an October letter, Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, wrote that under his leadership, Azar's company fought "against federal and state legislation to increase drug pricing transparency." And a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts in early 2017 alleges that the company shot up prices on insulin "in near lock step" with two other pharmaceutical manufacturers. Following Yale Law School, Azar clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and later joined the Whitewater independent counsel headed by his "mentor" Ken Starr.

Note: Rather than draining the swamp, Trump continues to deepen the swamp in his administration. Besides this most recent appointment, he has installed Goldman Sachs executives as his Treasury secretary, top economic adviser, deputy national security adviser and chief strategist. Even his top Wall Street regulator is a former attorney for Goldman. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core
2017-11-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/12/us/nsa-shadow-brokers.html

Jake Williams, [a] cybersecurity expert, was dismayed to discover that ... the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries [had] identified him - correctly - as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed. Then the Shadow Brokers astonished him by dropping technical details that made clear they knew about highly classified hacking operations that he had conducted. America’s largest and most secretive intelligence agency had been deeply infiltrated. Current and former agency officials say the Shadow Brokers disclosures, which began in August 2016, have been catastrophic for the N.S.A., calling into question its ability to protect potent cyberweapons and its very value to national security. Fifteen months into a wide-ranging investigation by the agency’s counterintelligence arm, known as Q Group, and the F.B.I., officials still do not know whether the N.S.A. is the victim of a brilliantly executed hack ... an insider’s leak, or both. Three employees have been arrested since 2015 for taking classified files, but there is fear that one or more leakers may still be in place. There is broad agreement that the damage from the Shadow Brokers already far exceeds the harm to American intelligence done by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who fled with four laptops of classified material in 2013. For decades after its creation in 1952, the N.S.A. — No Such Agency, in the old joke — was seen as all but leakproof. But since Mr. Snowden flew away with hundreds of thousands of documents in 2013, that notion has been shattered.

Note: In 2014, it was reported that the NSA was developing tools to make it relatively easy to hack millions of computers at once. Two years later, a large collection of NSA hacking tools was leaked. Now, these tools are being used by criminals against people all over the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Podesta Group on the verge of shuttering amid ties to Mueller probe
2017-11-11, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/11/politics/podesta-group-mueller-investigation/in...

One of Washington's most prominent lobbying firms is on the verge of shuttering after becoming ensnared by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Kimberley Fritts, the chief executive of the Podesta Group, told employees during a Thursday staff meeting that the firm would cease to exist at the end of the year. The developments come after the Podesta Group was tied last week to Mueller's indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who pleaded not guilty after being charged with failing to file as foreign agents relating to a decade of work they did for ... a pro-Russia political party in the Ukraine. Mueller's special investigation team has also interviewed multiple people from the Podesta Group, which was recruited by Manafort and Gates to work along with another firm. Talk of potentially closing the Podesta Group marks a dramatic downfall of one of K Street's most iconic and well-connected firms. In its heyday, Podesta Group was the largest non-law firm lobbying organization in Washington. Tony Podesta, the firm's founder and chairman, helped fuel the company with work for foreign governments. He and his brother, John, founded the company almost three decades ago. John Podesta chaired Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He left the firm in 1993. Mueller is looking into whether the Podesta Group properly identified to federal authorities its foreign advocacy for ... a Brussels-based non-profit group that federal prosecutors have called a mouthpiece for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians.

Note: The Podesta brothers were deeply implicated in the Pizzagate affair. Though many believe Pizzagate was just a "conspiracy theory," our careful research shows powerful evidence that the Podestas were indeed involved in a child sex abuse ring. Could it be that behind the curtains, some are taking action against the Podestas for their involvement in these child abuse rings? For some intriguing, yet difficult to verify evidence along these lines, see this webpage.


U.S. Army Now Taking Applicants With Histories of Mental Illness, Drug Abuse, and Self-Mutilation
2017-11-11, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/army-accepting-mental-health-drug-mutilation-709045

People with a history of mental illness, drug abuse and self-mutilation can now apply to serve in the U.S. Army, according to a report on Sunday, which emerged as a former Air Force recruit’s mass shooting at a Texas church continues raising questions about the military’s handling of mental health problems. The Army signed off on the change of policy in August but never announced it. Under the new policy, applicants with mental health issues that previously would have barred them from service can ask for waivers allowing them to sign up. This ends an eight-year ban on the waivers that started after a spike in suicides among American fighters. More than 200 active-duty servicemembers have died by suicide every year since 2008, according to Pentagon data. The latest mental health controversy began last week after Devin Kelley ... shot and killed 26 people. Kelley had been kicked out of the Air Force in 2012 for assaulting his wife and infant stepson, and he was also committed to a mental health facility in New Mexico, where he escaped after threatening to kill his superiors. The Air Force said Kelley was ... never entered into a federal criminal database, which would have stopped him from buying weapons. This is the second consecutive year the Army has changed its recruiting standards to meet crushing demands for more troops.

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


FBI database for gun buyers missing millions of records
2017-11-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fbi-database-for-gun-buyers-missing-m...

The FBI’s background-check system is missing millions of records of criminal convictions, mental illness diagnoses and other flags that would keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands. Experts who study the data say government agencies responsible for maintaining such records have long failed to forward them into federal databases used for gun background checks. As the shooting at a Texas church on Sunday showed, what the FBI doesn’t know can get people killed. In that case, the gunman had been convicted at a court-martial of charges stemming from a domestic violence case. Officials say the Air Force never notified the FBI of his conviction, so when he purchased weapons at a retail store, he cleared the background check. The FBI said it doesn’t know the scope of the problem, but the National Rifle Association says about 7 million records are absent from the system, based on a 2013 report [which] determined that “at least 25% of felony convictions "are not available" to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System maintained by the FBI. In light of the Texas shooting, Air Force officials have ... faulted the staff at an air base for not sending the necessary information to the FBI, but federal officials who work in the database effort say the problem of military nonreporting of domestic violence cases extends far beyond a single base or service branch. A large number of people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence - who also are prohibited from buying guns - are absent from the FBI database as well.

Note: For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Can anything stop bitcoin? Price above $8,000
2017-11-10, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/20/investing/bitcoin-prices/index.html

Forget about boring stocks. Bitcoin is where it's at these days for investors. The virtual currency is now trading at a record high above $8,200. If this keeps up, bitcoin could be trading at $10,000 before the end of the year. The price of one bitcoin has surged more than 735% this year alone and has skyrocketed nearly 40,000% in the past five years. Some investors are likely flocking to bitcoin as a speculative bet. But there's also a legitimate case to be made that bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and other cryptocurrencies are the future of money and that more and more people will conduct actual transactions using these currencies. To that end, Square - the popular mobile payment service run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey - recently announced a trial that will let some users of its Cash app purchase bitcoin. "We're always listening to our customers and we've found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin," said a spokesperson for Square. "We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system," the Square spokesperson added. And CME Group, owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, said earlier this month it plans to soon list bitcoin futures contracts. Futures let investors buy and sell an asset at a specified price at a later date, They're popular bets for currencies, metals and agricultural commodities. In other words, CME Group is now treating bitcoin as a legitimate financial asset.

Note: If you invested $100 in Bitcoin five years ago, it would now be worth about $5 million. Even since this article was written a week ago, Bitcoin's price has surged more than 10%. The fact that the media is hardly reporting this suggests it may have a ways to climb and that digital currencies might even dominate other currencies some day.


From Brussels to Arkansas, a Tough Week for Monsanto
2017-11-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/business/eu-arkansas-monsanto-weedkiller.html

Opposition from France and Italy doomed a European Union vote on Thursday to reauthorize the world’s most popular weedkiller, glyphosate, a decision that came hours after Arkansas regulators moved to ban an alternative weedkiller for much of 2018. The decisions are a double blow to the agrochemical industry and particularly to the chemicals giant Monsanto. The effort to reauthorize the weedkiller failed to receive a majority even though regulators were seeking only a five-year reauthorization instead of the typical 15, amid controversy and disputes about cancer risk that have made glyphosate’s future in Europe uncertain. Its approval in the region expires in mid-December. In Arkansas, regulators voted on Wednesday to ban the use of another major weedkiller, dicamba ... amid widespread reports of crop damage. Dicamba has been around for decades, but new versions have been developed by Monsanto, BASF and DuPont as an alternative to Roundup. Taken together, the decisions reflect an increasing political resistance to pesticides in Europe and parts of the United States, as well as the specific shortcomings of dicamba. Dicamba has damaged more than 3.6 million acres of soybean crops in 25 states. The European Union’s decision followed years of haggling and delay. But glyphosate ... has been plunged into controversy since the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, declared it a probable carcinogen in 2015.

Note: Monsanto was recently banned from the European parliament after shunning important hearings with regulators. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of its products from getting out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Saad Hariri’s resignation as Prime Minister of Lebanon is not all it seems
2017-11-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/lebanon-prime-minister-saad-hariri-resign...

When Saad Hariri’s jet touched down at Riyadh on the evening of 3 November, the first thing he saw was a group of Saudi policemen surrounding the plane. When they came aboard, they confiscated his mobile phone and those of his bodyguards. Thus was Lebanon’s prime minister silenced. It was a dramatic moment in tune with the soap-box drama played out across Saudi Arabia this past week: the house arrest of 11 princes ... and four ministers and scores of other former government lackeys. But back to Hariri. He was in a cabinet meeting in Beirut. Then he received a call, asking him to see King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Hariri ... set off at once. Out of the blue and to the total shock of Lebanese ministers, Hariri, reading from a written text, announced on Saturday on the Arabia television channel ... that he was resigning as prime minister of Lebanon. There were threats against his life, he said – though this was news to the security services in Beirut – and Hezbollah should be disarmed and wherever Iran interfered in the Middle East, there was chaos. These were not words that Hariri had ever used before. They were not, in other words, written by him. The Saudis had ordered the prime minister of Lebanon to resign and to read his own departure out loud from Riyadh. There will be no complaints from Washington or London, whose desire to share in the divvying up of Saudi Aramco (another of the crown prince’s projects) will smother any thoughts of protest or warning.

Note: In 2015, Saudi Arabia began a massive public relations campaign to charm American policy makers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Tesla Model S range can be hacked to hit 600 miles - but it will cost you
2017-11-08, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/tesla-model-s-range-can-be-hacked-hit-600-miles-it-w...

A Tesla Model S has been hacked in the Netherlands to allow the electric car to run off a second fuel supply - hydrogen cells. Gas supplier Hulthausen Group claims it has doubled the Tesla Model S's range from about 300 miles per charge to 620 miles. "Project Hesla", as it was dubbed by the company's founder, sourced a second-hand Model S and made the modifications without involvement from Tesla. The hack uses the car's electrical mainframe and adds a second layer of charging via hydrogen cells. But as tempting as increased range is, interested customers face heavy drawbacks. Refueling the hydrogen battery will become tricky as there are only seven public refuelling stations across the UK. The United States has 39 public stations across four states. Price will also be a deterrent. The Tesla Model S starts at Ł64,700 and can rise all the way to Ł122,200. The cost of installing the hydrogen power source is about Ł44,000. If owners really want to go far and fast in their cars, a Model S P100D could end up costing them about Ł170,000.

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


Mumps Makes a Comeback, Even Among the Vaccinated
2017-11-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/well/family/mumps-makes-a-comeback-even-am...

More than 6,000 cases of mumps were reported in the United States last year, the highest number in 10 years. Around 2010, total annual cases were down in the hundreds. Most of the recent cases occurred in outbreaks, including a large one in Arkansas, rather than as a sporadic here-a-case, there-a-case disease. Most of the outbreaks were among people 18 to 22 years old, most of whom had had the requisite two doses of mumps vaccine in childhood. “We are seeing it in a young and highly vaccinated population,” Dr. Routh said. Mumps is transmitted by droplets of saliva or mucus. It can be spread by coughing and sneezing, but also by sharing cups ... close contact. Many of the recent outbreaks occurred in college dorms or among athletic teams. Mumps vaccine is now combined with measles and rubella vaccine in the M.M.R., given at ages 1 and 4. But the immunity wanes over time in some people, and with close contact, there can be sufficient exposure to sufficient quantities of virus to overcome the vaccines’ protection. Dr. Alan Lucerna [also] reported in February 2017 on a case of mumps in a fully immunized adult, in an article titled “Still a pain in the neck after all this time.”

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


The fasting diet CAN keep you young: Harvard study explains how plans like the 5:2 protect your cells from aging
2017-11-06, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5055701/Fasting-extend-life-aging.html

Intermittent fasting can keep the body ‘young’ at a cellular level. Researchers at Harvard found that temporarily restricting diet keeps the mitochondria – an important part of the cell to health aging – in homeostasis, which in turn helps to improve lifespan. Last year, Newcastle University research confirmed the crucial role of the mitochondria in human cell aging, and therefore, the aging of our bodies. Mitochondria break down carbohydrates and fatty acids, giving energy to the cell. For this reason, they are often referred to as the ‘powerhouses’ of our cells. The Newcastle University researchers found that without their aged mitochondria, cells appeared younger. Mitochondria exist in two states, and when they are alternating appropriately between these two states, they are in homeostasis. The Harvard researchers found that mitochondria stay in homeostasis better when an organism – in their study, a nematode worm – has an intermittently restricted diet. At the same time, being able to swing as they’re supposed to from one state to the other is key to the longevity-enhancing effects of intermittent fasting. The researchers also found that intermittent fasting helped to coordinate the activities of the mitochondria with peroxisomes, other cell parts that have an antioxidant effect and contribute to longevity. This newfound understanding of how fasting works at a cellular level could be a key to discovering therapies that could be beneficial to extending life expectancies and keeping the body younger.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Paradise Papers Shine Light on Where the Elite Hide Their Money
2017-11-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/05/world/paradise-papers.html

It’s called the Paradise Papers: the latest in a series of leaks made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shedding light on the trillions of dollars that move through offshore tax havens. The core of the leak, totaling more than 13.4 million documents, focuses on the Bermudan law firm Appleby, a 119-year old company that caters to blue chip corporations and very wealthy people. As with the Panama Papers, the Paradise Papers leak came through ... the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and was then shared with I.C.I.J., a Washington-based group that won the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the millions of records of a Panamanian law firm. The release of that trove of documents led to the resignation of one prime minister last year. This week, The New York Times is publishing articles on the Paradise Papers that were reported in cooperation with our I.C.I.J. partners. The predominantly elite clients of Appleby contrast with those of Mossack Fonseca - the company whose leaked records became the Panama Papers - which appeared to be less discriminating in the business it took on. Americans - companies and people - dominate the list of clients. Past disclosures, such as the 2013 “Offshore Leaks” from two offshore incorporators in Singapore and the British Virgin Islands, the 2015 “Swiss Leaks” from a private Swiss bank owned by the British bank HSBC and another leak in 2016 from the Bahamas were dominated by clients not from the United States.

Note: A directory of several New York Times articles detailing specific revelations from the Paradise Papers is available at the link above. In the US, many large companies pay little or no federal taxes, and former tax lobbyists now write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


The White House's Leak Hunt Is Battling the Wrong Enemy With the Wrong Weapons
2017-11-05, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/why-white-house-searching-leakers-inste...

The Trump administration has declared all-out war on leakers. But the administration is battling the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons. Digital secrets stolen from the National Security Agency represent the real ... security problem. More than half a billion pages have been swiped. The stolen data includes some of the NSA’s most prized cyber weapons. Most were created by the agency’s own hacker team, the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit. Government hackers search for ways to crack into widely used computer operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows. When they discover a way in ... rather than notify the companies that their products are dangerously flawed, the NSA often secretly stores these vulnerabilities and later converts them into powerful cyber weapons, known as “exploits.” Like burglar’s tools, the exploits can secretly open a crack in a system, such as Windows, and insert an “implant” containing NSA malware - enabling the agency to take control of any computer using that Windows program. Unknown to the public, the NSA has for years been negligent in protecting its top-secret material, including these cyber weapons. Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues searching for someone who passed a few tidbits about White House bickering to a reporter, rather than focus on the NSA losing potentially deadly cyber weapons.

Note: In 2014, it was reported that the NSA was developing tools to make it relatively easy to hack millions of computers at once. Two years later, a large collection of NSA hacking tools was leaked. Now, these tools are being used by criminals against people all over the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters
2017-11-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/business/media/youtube-kids-paw-patrol.html

Parents and children have flocked to Google-owned YouTube Kids since it was introduced in early 2015. The app’s more than 11 million weekly viewers are drawn in by its seemingly infinite supply of clips, including those from popular shows by Disney and Nickelodeon, and the knowledge that the app is supposed to contain only child-friendly content that has been automatically filtered from the main YouTube site. But the app contains dark corners, too, as videos that are disturbing for children slip past its filters, either by mistake or because bad actors have found ways to fool the YouTube Kids algorithms. In recent months, parents ... have complained that their children have been shown videos with well-known characters in violent or lewd situations and other clips with disturbing imagery, sometimes set to nursery rhymes. Many have taken to Facebook to warn others, and share video screenshots showing moments ranging from a Claymation Spider-Man urinating on Elsa of “Frozen” to Nick Jr. characters in a strip club. While the offending videos are a tiny fraction of YouTube Kids’ universe, they are another example of the potential for abuse on digital media platforms that rely on computer algorithms, rather than humans, to police the content that appears in front of people - in this case, very young people. And they show, at a time when Congress is closely scrutinizing technology giants, how rules that govern at least some of the content on children’s television fail to extend to the digital world.

Note: Read a much more in-depth article on serious problems with kids videos on the Internet.  For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


One step beyond organic or free-range: Dutch farmer’s chickens lay carbon-neutral eggs
2017-11-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/05/carbon-neutral-eggs-dutch...

There’s the much-criticised battery hen egg, and then the pricier organic and free-range varieties. But for the truly ethically committed, how about the carbon-neutral egg, laid in what has been billed as the world’s most environmentally friendly farm? Dutch stores are now selling so-called “Kipster eggs” laid at a shiny new farm. The intention is to rethink the place of animals in the food chain, according to Ruud Zanders, the poultry farmer and university lecturer behind the farm. Mass-producing farms, even those that have moved on from cages, produce extremely cheap eggs at a heavy cost to the environment and the welfare of the animals laying them. The cost-cutting model is blamed by many for the regular food scares in northern Europe, including the recent enforced destruction of millions of eggs due to contamination by the toxic insecticide fipronil. The organic and free-range varieties, where farmers prioritise the welfare of the chickens, often sell at a higher price – but again at a cost to the wider environment, feeding the chickens expensive imported corn that could be better used to feed people. “It makes no sense for us to be competing with animals for food,” Zanders said. “And 70% of the carbon footprint in eggs is accounted for by the feed for the chickens.” Zanders’s selling point is that his farm has the highest welfare standards – as endorsed by Dutch animal activist group Animals Awake – matched with the lowest possible environmental cost. By using waste food as feed, the farm is ... cutting deeply into its carbon footprint.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Ozone hole over Antarctica shrinks to smallest peak since 1988
2017-11-03, CBS News/Associated Press
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ozone-hole-antarctica-shrivels-smallest-peak/

The ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest peak since 1988, NASA said Thursday. The huge hole in Earth's protective ozone layer reached its maximum this year in September, and this year NASA said it was 7.6 million square miles wide. The hole size shrinks after mid-September. "In the past, we've always seen ozone at some stratospheric altitudes go to zero by the end of September," said Bryan Johnson, NOAA atmospheric chemist. "This year our balloon measurements showed the ozone loss rate stalled by the middle of September and ozone levels never reached zero." This year's maximum hole is more than twice as big as the United States, but it's 1.3 million square miles less than last year and 3.3 million square miles smaller than 2015. Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said stormy conditions in the upper atmosphere warmed the air and kept chemicals chlorine and bromine from eating ozone. He said scientists haven't quite figured out why some years are stormier - and have smaller ozone holes - than others. "It's really small this year. That's a good thing," Newman said. Newman said this year's drop is mostly natural but is on top of a trend of smaller steady improvements likely from the banning of ozone-eating chemicals in a 1987 international treaty. The ozone hole hit its highest in 2000 at 11.5 million square miles.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Soros fund manager raped, beat Playboy models, $27M lawsuit alleges
2017-11-03, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/03/playboy-models-among-3-seeking-27m-say-s...

Two Playboy Playmates and a third woman have filed a lawsuit seeking $27 million, alleging a former fund manager for billionaire George Soros raped and beat them in a New York City penthouse described as a dungeon. The three plaintiffs, who were not identified, claim portfolio manager Howie Rubin beat them to the point they needed extensive medical attention, the New York Post reported, citing a lawsuit filed in federal court. “I’m going to rape you like I rape my daughter,” Rubin, a former Bear Stearns trader, yelled out during one of the attacks, according to the lawsuit. It states that Rubin rented out the $8 million penthouse in Manhattan and paid women $2,000 to $5,000 for brutal sex sessions in a side room with ropes, chains and sex toys. The New York Post said it reached out to Rubin, but he declined to comment. John Balestriere, the lawyer who filed the suit, said Rubin gagged, tied up and abused women in the penthouse. Balestriere alleged Rubin punched one woman in the head. In another encounter, Rubin is accused of beating a woman’s “breasts so badly that her right implant flipped,” the lawsuit stated. The suit alleges the woman was paid $20,000 by Rubin to repair the damage. The New York Post report also said Rubin had the women sign non-disclosure agreements. Rubin collaborated with two female fixers and a lawyer who sought to “cover up” his “sexual misconduct and criminal abuse of women and to serve as a cover for his wide-ranging human trafficking scheme,” Balestriere added.

Note: The NY Post article is available here. This may be related to Pizzagate sex abuse rings. For evidence this may be the case, read this speculative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Promise of Ecstasy for PTSD
2017-11-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/opinion/ecstasy-ptsd.html

In July, the Food and Drug Administration took the important step of approving two final-phase clinical trials to determine whether a party drug that has long been on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I list of banned substances could be used to treat a psychiatric condition that afflicts millions. The drug is MDMA, a psychedelic commonly known as Ecstasy. The trials aim to determine whether the drug is, as earlier trials have suggested, a safe and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The F.D.A. approval is a beacon of hope for the roughly eight million Americans believed to suffer from PTSD, a group that includes victims of abuse, refugees and combat veterans. The shortcomings in the way we have typically treated PTSD mean that many are condemned to suffer from the condition for years, even decades, with little relief. Less than 20 percent of patients are estimated to get effective treatment through prescription psychiatric drugs ... which, along with psychotherapy, have been the global standard of mental health care since the 1990s. This could change with the F.D.A.’s decision, which has given MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD the status of a potential “breakthrough therapy.” This designation permits the fast-tracking of trials in hopes of proving the drug, which has psychedelic and stimulant effects, to be safe and capable of doing what no other drug on the market can.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found to be highly effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Gitmo judge sends Marine general lawyer to 21 days confinement for disobeying orders
2017-11-01, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/articl...

The USS Cole case judge Wednesday found the Marine general in charge of war court defense teams guilty of contempt for refusing to follow the judge’s orders and sentenced him to 21 days confinement and to pay a $1,000 fine. Air Force Col. Vance Spath also declared “null and void” a decision by Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, 50, to release three civilian defense attorneys from the capital terror case. The lawyers resigned last month over ... something so secretive at the terror prison that the public cannot know. Wednesday evening ... Judge Spath issued another order: Directing the three lawyers - Rick Kammen, Rosa Eliades and Mary Spears - to litigate Friday in the death-penalty case against Abd al Rahim al Nashiri remotely from the Washington D.C., area by video feed to Guantánamo. The judge’s dizzying pace of events ... came as the colonel sought to force the civilian, Pentagon-paid attorneys back on the case. Spath, who has declared they had no good cause to quit, had ordered Kammen, Eliades and Spears to come to Guantánamo on Sunday with other war court staff for a pretrial hearing. They refused. Kammen, a veteran capital defense attorney who had represented Nashiri for a decade, said Spath’s order to travel was an “illegal” effort to have three U.S. citizens “provide unethical legal services to keep the façade of justice that is the military commissions running.” Nashiri is accused of orchestrating al Qaida’s Oct. 12, 2000 suicide bombing of the U.S. warship off Yemen. No trial date has been set.

Note: Nashiri was reportedly tortured by the CIA. Read the 10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Where There Is Gravity, Let There Be Light
2017-10-31, National Geographic
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/sponsor-content-where-there-is-gr...

British designers are using the power of gravity to generate electricity, bringing safe and affordable light to people living off-grid. The kerosene that fuels most off-grid lamps is very expensive. Kerosene is also dirty and dangerous. In 2009 ... designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves were challenged to create a safe, affordable, and sustainable lamps for low-income families living off-grid. Looking beyond solar and battery power, they had a lightbulb moment about gravity. Lifting a weight creates a potential energy store which is turned into kinetic energy as the weight descends. Through the GravityLight’s innovative gear train, this kinetic energy spins a generator that produces enough electrical energy to power an LED bulb. When the light goes out, the weight is simply hoisted back up to begin again. GravityLight has been piloted in Kenya where kerosene lamps are used extensively, especially in rural areas. A 50-night roadshow, supported by International celebrities, saw GravityLight engage with communities and organizations across the country. The results were impressive, with 90% of people saying they were happy to switch from kerosene. Little wonder, as the benefits quickly stack up. The GravityLight pays for itself in just seven weeks, and delivers an immediate improvement in the air quality of the home. It is clean, robust, renewable, reliable, and safe—as well as being better for the environment, giving off no CO2 or black carbon emissions.

Note: Watch a great two-minute video on this ingenious invention.


Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years
2017-10-31, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/defense-department-war-terror-has-co...

American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001. The Department of Defense periodically releases a “cost of war” report. The newly released version ... covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017. The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion. The report’s costs include only direct war-related expenses. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran’s benefits for troops who serve in these wars or the intelligence community’s expenses related to Global War on Terror. A 2011 paper ... estimated the cost of veterans’ benefits as $600 billion to $1 trillion over the next 40 years. According to the Congressional Research Service, the only war in U.S. history to cost more than the Global War on Terror is World War II, at more than $4.1 trillion in present dollars. Direct war-related expenses from the Vietnam War cost $738 billion in today's dollars.

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


Seawater desalination will quench the thirst of a parched plane
2017-10-27, Yahoo News
https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/seawater-desalination-quench-thirst-parched...

Roughly forty percent of the world's population - 2.3 billion people - lives in water-stressed areas. Seawater desalination offers the potential for an abundant and steady source of fresh water. Large-scale desalination efforts began in the 1930s, though they relied on [an energy intensive] process known as multi-stage flash distillation (MSF). It wasn't until the late 1950s that the modern, membrane-based reverse osmosis (RO) technology came into existence. Currently, state of the art research is exploring the use of water-channeling proteins called aquaporins (AQPs), which the human body uses to ferry water across cellular membranes, as well as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for incorporation into RO applications. As of 2015, roughly 18,000 desalination plants were in operation worldwide. Today, RO is the most efficient and widely accessible means of desalination at our disposal. Modern RO systems consume around a third of the power required by older MSF plants. These two distillation technologies are not mutually exclusive and have been combined into hybrid MSF/RO systems. Take the soon-to-be-completed Al Khafji desalination plant in the UAE, for example. It will produce 60,000 cubic meters of water per day while drawing power from a grid-connected solar power plant spanning more than 119 hectares and generating up to 45.7MW of power. Not only do these hybrid systems reduce the plant's carbon footprint but up to 40 percent, they drastically reduce fuel costs.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


When an Algorithm Helps Send You to Prison
2017-10-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/opinion/algorithm-compas-sentencing-bias.html

Eric Loomis pleaded guilty to attempting to flee an officer, and no contest to operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. Neither of his crimes mandates prison time. At Mr. Loomis’s sentencing, the judge cited, among other factors, Mr. Loomis’s high risk of recidivism as predicted by a computer program called COMPAS, a risk assessment algorithm used by the state of Wisconsin. The judge denied probation and prescribed an 11-year sentence. No one knows exactly how COMPAS works; its manufacturer refuses to disclose the proprietary algorithm. We only know the final risk assessment score it spits out, which judges may consider at sentencing. Mr. Loomis challenged the use of an algorithm as a violation of his due process rights. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear his case, meaning a majority of justices effectively condoned the algorithm’s use. Shifting the sentencing responsibility [from judges] to a computer does not necessarily eliminate bias; it delegates and often compounds it. Algorithms like COMPAS simply mimic the data with which we train them. An algorithm that accurately reflects our world also necessarily reflects our biases. A ProPublica study found that COMPAS predicts black defendants will have higher risks of recidivism than they actually do, while white defendants are predicted to have lower rates than they actually do.

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


A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People's Bodies
2017-10-26, Time
http://time.com/4993877/weed-killer-roundup-levels-humans/

The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide’s possible contributions to poor health. The study ... tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples. The percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time. Exactly what that means for human health isn’t quite clear yet. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to ... a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. [Researcher Paul] Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats. Mills says the findings should make people more aware of what they are ingesting along with their food. While Roundup was developed to eliminate most weeds from genetically modified crops - and thus reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on them - recent studies have found that many weeds are now resistant to Roundup. That means growers are using more Roundup, which could only exacerbate potential negative health effects on people who consume those products.

Note: Glyphosate is the most heavily used agricultural chemical in human history. According to a recent UN report, "the assertion promoted by the agrochemical industry that pesticides are necessary to achieve food security is not only inaccurate, but dangerously misleading." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Drug company founder John Kapoor arrested for alleged opioid scheme
2017-10-26, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/drug-company-founder-john-kapoor-arrested-for-al...

Federal agents arrested the founder of a major drug company in an early-morning raid Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged scheme to get doctors to illegally prescribe a powerful opioid to patients who don't need it. John Kapoor ... is the billionaire founder and former CEO of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. He faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and fraud. Kapoor is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be criminally charged in response to the nationwide opioid crisis. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January but still serves on its board. The company makes a spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid intended only for cancer patients. Authorities allege Insys marketed the drug as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it. Numerous physicians were allegedly paid bribes by the company to push the painkilling drug. Insys made 18,000 payments to doctors in 2016 that totaled more than $2 million. Headache doctors, back pain specialists and even a psychiatrist ... received thousands of dollars to promote the drug last year. Last December, six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in Boston in connection with the alleged scheme to bribe doctors to unnecessarily prescribe the painkilling drug.

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


Federal government quietly compensates daughter of brainwashing experiments victim
2017-10-26, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cia-brainwashing-allanmemorial-mentalhealth-1...

Alison Steel was only 4˝ years old when her mother's life changed forever. In 1957, Jean Steel was admitted to Montreal's Allan Memorial Institute. In the months that followed, Steel became the victim of CIA-funded brainwashing experiments conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron. She was kept in a chemically induced sleep for weeks and subjected to rounds of electroshocks, experimental drugs and tape-recorded messages played non-stop. Steel said her mother was never quite the same. Now, 60 years after Cameron's experiments left her mother damaged for life, Alison Steel has finally won a measure of justice for her family. The federal government quietly reached an out-of-court settlement with Steel earlier this year, paying her $100,000 in exchange for dropping the legal action she launched in September 2015. The settlement with Steel is the latest development in the decades-old saga that began with Cameron's experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute in the '50s and '60s. What patients and their families didn't know was that Cameron's experiments were ... being funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's MK Ultra program. The CIA ... funded mind-control experiments across North America. In 1992, Conservative Justice Minister Kim Campbell decided to compensate dozens of Cameron's former patients. An estimated 70 patients were compensated, but hundreds more who applied were rejected because the government said they hadn't been "de-patterned" enough to warrant compensation.

Note: Read more about the CIA's MK Ultra program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


China shuts down 40% of factories in sharp pollution crackdown
2017-10-25, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/china-shuts-down-40percent-of-factories-...

Pollution kills more than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined. 16% of all the deaths in the world, as a matter of fact. And many of these are in China, where in 2015 it was estimated that the dense air pollution contributes to between 700,000 and 2.2 million deaths every year. What happens when a regime on the more ... authoritarian [end] of the spectrum decides to take the environment seriously? We’re finding out in China, which has temporarily shut down 40% of its factories in the past year, and charged staff from over 80,000 of them with criminal offences for breaking emission limits. "[B]asically, you're seeing these inspectors go into factories for surprise inspections," Gary Huang from 80/20 Sourcing told NPR. "They're instituting daily fines, and sometimes – in the real severe cases – criminal enforcement. People are getting put in jail." “For those areas that have suffered ecological damage, their leaders and cadres will be held responsible for life,” said Yang Weimin, the deputy director of the Communist Party’s office of the central leading group on financial and economic affairs. “Our people will be able to see stars at night and hear birds chirp.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Monsanto Faces Blowback Over Cancer Cover-Up
2017-10-24, Der Speigel (One of Germany's leading newspapers)
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/monsanto-papers-reveal-company-cove...

Monsanto is under fire because the company's herbicide, Roundup (active ingredient: glyphosate), is suspected of being carcinogenic. The longstanding dispute about glyphosate has been brought to a head by the release of explosive documents. Monsanto's strategies for whitewashing glyphosate have been revealed in internal e-mails, presentations and memos. Even worse, these "Monsanto Papers" suggest that the company doesn't even seem to know whether Roundup is harmless to people's health. "You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen," Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer wrote in one of the emails. "We have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement." The email ... is one of more than 100 documents that a court in the United States ordered Monsanto to provide as evidence after about 2,000 plaintiffs demanded compensation from Monsanto in class-action suits. They claim that Roundup has caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of lymph node cancer. "The Monsanto Papers tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation and the withholding of information," says Michael Baum, a partner in [a] law firm ... bringing one of the US class actions. Monsanto ... also behaved irresponsibly when it comes to the question of Roundup's absorption into the body. Back in 2002, the company's experts discovered that "between 5 and 10 percent" of the substance penetrated the skin of rats. As a consequence, the author of the email wrote: "We decided thus to STOP the study."

Note: Monsanto was recently banned from the European parliament after shunning important hearings with regulators. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of its products from getting out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Raised Their Kids Tech-Free — And It Should've Been a Red Flag
2017-10-24, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/bill-gates-and-steve...

Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains. Research has found that an eighth-grader's risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force. But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book "Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber." It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history - Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create. "What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don't?" the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology. Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft ... didn't let his kids get cell phones until they turned 14. Jobs, who was the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012 ... prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad. "It's interesting to think that in a modern public school, where kids are being required to use electronic devices like iPads," the authors wrote, "Steve Jobs's kids would be some of the only kids opted out."

Note: Silicon Valley uses "brain hacking" to make new products more addictive. Such techniques add to a vast arsenal of behavior modification technologies developed by government and industry to control people. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


3-month-old and 5-year-old girls rescued in sex trafficking crackdown
2017-10-24, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/19/us/sex-trafficking-operation-arrests/index.html

Two sisters, one 5 years old and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this year's FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, officials said. The alleged trafficker, a friend of the children's family, made a deal to sell them for sex for $600, the FBI said. The friend communicated with an undercover agent, the FBI said in announcing details of Operation Cross Country XI. 82 other juveniles were rescued during last week's nationwide sweep. Some 120 people were arrested. On October 13, the second day of the operation, a minor was rescued by the FBI in El Paso, Texas, when a 16-year-old female victim was advertised online for "entertainment," officials said. The girl was accompanied by a 21-year-old female who offered an undercover agent sexual intercourse with both her and the underage victim for $200. According to the FBI report, the woman as well as the driver, another female, who took the minor and 21-year-old to the undercover officer's location, were arrested. Among the recovered victims across the country was one from Russia. Local and state agencies were involved in the operation, as were police as far away as the Philippines and Thailand. The average age of the victims recovered from this year's operation is 15, the FBI said.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Afghan Opium Production Reaches Record High
2017-10-24, Voice of America (A US government news source)
https://www.voanews.com/a/afghanistan-opium-production/4083875.html

Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opium, has harvested a record crop this year that more than doubled last year’s production. Salamt Azimi, the country’s minister for counter-narcotics, told VOA's Pashto service that insecurity kept the government from implementing poppy eradication programs, leading to a 64 percent jump in land dedicated to the lucrative crop to 340,000 hectares. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that opium accounted for some 16 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product last year, including more than two-thirds of the entire agricultural sector. In addition to fueling insecurity, violence and insurgency, the drug production is discouraging private and public investment, a UNODC report said. Afghanistan’s opium production plunged in 2001 after the Taliban-led government banned it. But it jumped back to pre-ban levels - and higher - after the U.S. led invasion of the country late that year. U.S. anti-drug officials say the Taliban provides protection to traffickers in exchange for weapons, funding and other support. A single kilogram of heroin can generate approximately $1.5 million by the time it reaches users, and the U.S. is trying to cope with a rise in addiction to opiates, both prescription drugs and illegally produced drugs like heroin. That leads to opportunities to bribe police, judges and customs officials, feeding Afghanistan’s endemic corruption and scaring off foreign investment.

Note: How is it that under the Taliban opium production was decimated, yet once the US invaded, it has continually set record highs. Could it be that factions of the power elite benefit greatly from this illegal trade? According to a 2016 New York Times article, Afghan government officials closely allied with US military and intelligence officials have been directly involved in the opium trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Harvey Weinstein's British assistant breaks 20 year silence about ordeal
2017-10-23, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/23/harvey-weinsteins-british-assistan...

Harvey Weinstein's British former assistant has told how the disgraced movie mogul sexually harassed her when they were alone in hotel rooms. Zelda Perkins signed a non-disclosure agreement with Weinstein in 1998 and was paid Ł125,000 in damages. But she decided to break​ the agreement and speak publicly about her former boss in the wake of a slew of allegations about him. She told the Financial Times: "He went out of the room and came back in his underwear. He asked me if I would give him a massage. Then he asked if he could massage me." Ms Perkins declined but said Weinstein would frequently be naked in a hotel room and and ask her to stay while he bathed. "This was his behaviour on every occasion I was alone with him," she said. In 1998 at the Venice film festival a colleague came to her "white as a sheet and shaking and in a very bad emotional state" after "something terrible had happened" with Weinstein. Ms Perkins said she tried to get the woman to go to the police but she was too upset. They later made contact with lawyers in London which led to a settlement of Ł250,000, divided between them, and non-disclosure agreements. Ms Perkins called the process of reaching the agreement was "incredibly distressing". She underwent days of questioning including a 12-hour session with Weinstein's lawyers that ended at 5am. Under non-disclosure agreements those who sign them could be forced to repay their financial settlements plus damages and legal fees.

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


Critics fault FBI over domestic terrorist threats
2017-10-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Critics-fault-FBI-over-domestic-terroris...

The FBI counterterrorism division’s identification of a movement it calls “black identity extremists” is the latest addition to the list of protesters and dissidents the agency puts under the “domestic terrorism” umbrella. But many national security experts say the designation [is] simply a label that allows the FBI to conduct additional surveillance on “basically anyone who’s black and politically active,” said Michael German, who left the FBI in 2004. While the practice of labeling certain protest groups as domestic terrorists is not unique to President Trump’s administration, Hina Shamsi ... at the American Civil Liberties Union, said there’s concern that “abusive and unjustified investigations” by the FBI are rising. The problem, Shamsi said, is partly in the overly broad definition of domestic terrorism in the Patriot Act as a violation of the criminal laws ... intended to “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” Eighty-four members of Congress cited that intention to intimidate or coerce in a letter to the Justice Department last week that asked whether the department had labeled Dakota Access Pipeline protesters domestic terrorists. The Justice Department did not respond to questions about the letter. The FBI report that focused on black identity extremists ... had interest groups questioning whether the designation has been used to single out members of Black Lives Matter.

Note: The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since 2014, in some cases producing "minute-by-minute reports on protesters’ movements". For more along these lines, read about Cointelpro, the program used by corrupt intelligence agencies to spy on and attack the U.S. civil rights movement beginning in the 1960's. See also concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the erosion of civil liberties.


Pollution killing more people every year than wars, disasters and hunger, study says
2017-10-20, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/science/ct-deadly-pollution-st...

Environmental pollution - from filthy air to contaminated water - is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 - about 9 million - could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study ... in The Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses - or about 6.2 percent of the global economy. The report marks the first attempt to pull together data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined. "Pollution is a massive problem that people aren't seeing because they're looking at scattered bits of it," [lead study author Philip] Landrigan said. Experts say the 9 million premature deaths the study found was just a partial estimate, and the number of people killed by pollution is undoubtedly higher. And there are still plenty of potential toxins still being ignored, with less than half of the 5,000 new chemicals widely dispersed throughout the environment since 1950 having been tested for safety or toxicity. The vast majority of pollution-related deaths ... occur in low- or middle-income developing countries, where policy makers are chiefly concerned with developing their economies. In wealthier countries where overall pollution is not as rampant, it is still the poorest communities that are more often exposed, the report says.

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


New study suggests insect populations have declined by 75% over 3 decades
2017-10-20, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/19/europe/insect-decline-germany/

A new scientific study has found "dramatic" and "alarming" declines in insect populations. In German nature reserves, flying insect populations have declined by more than 75% over the duration of the 27-year study. "The flying insect community as a whole... has been decimated over the last few decades," said the study. "Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services." Co-author Caspar Hallman said he and his colleagues were "very, very surprised" by the results. "These are not agricultural areas, these are locations meant to preserve biodiversity, but still we see the insects slipping out of our hands," he told CNN. Entomologists have long had evidence of the decline of individual species, said [researcher] Tanya Latty. However, few studies have taken such a broad view of entire insect populations. Latty says the importance of insects - which make up around 70% of all animal species - is underestimated. "Insects pollinate the crops we eat, they contribute to pest control. They're even crucial in waste control - most of the waste in urban areas is taken care of by ants and cockroaches." Insects, she says, are "crucial" to biodiversity, and "we exist because of biodiversity." Indeed, "ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the USA," the study says, quoting an earlier study. Some 80% of wild plants rely on insects for pollination; 60% of birds rely on insects as a food source, according to the study.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and mass animal deaths.


The US government keeps spectacularly underestimating solar energy installation
2017-10-19, Quartz
https://qz.com/1103874/the-us-government-underestimated-solar-energy-installa...

Every two years, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), America’s official source for energy statistics, issues 10-year projections about how much solar, wind and conventional energy the future holds for the US. Every two years, since the mid-1990s, the EIA’s projections turn out to be wrong. Last year, they proved spectacularly wrong. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, and Statista recently teamed up to analyze the EIA’s predictions for energy usage and production. They found that the EIA’s 10-year estimates between 2006 to 2016 systematically understated the share of wind, solar and gas. Solar capacity, in particular, was a whopping 4,813% [or 48 times] more in 2016 than the EIA had predicted in 2006 it would be. The EIA regularly underestimates the growth in renewables but overestimates US fossil-fuel consumption. These estimates matter because they form the basis for actions by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies. The agency’s “projections bear little resemblance to market realities” because they ignore publicly available evidence, argues the clean-energy non-profit Advanced Energy Economy. Michael Grunwald at Politico reports the EIA seems to base its projections on the assumption that renewable energy costs won’t fall much, when in fact they keep plunging.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


How big pharma's money – and its politicians – feed the US opioid crisis
2017-10-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/19/big-pharma-money-lobbying-us-...

Trump’s nominee for drug czar, the US congressman Tom Marino, was forced to withdraw after a report by the Washington Post and CBS’s 60 Minutes highlighted his role in forging legislation that hinders the DEA’s ability to move against drug distributors or pharmacies recklessly dispensing the opioid painkillers at the heart of the epidemic, which claims more than 100 lives a day. Marino’s acceptance of substantial donations from those same companies compromised his nomination to head the federal agency charged with tackling the opioid crisis. But for Congress, the process was nothing unusual. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow to lobbyists and politicians on Capitol Hill each year to shape laws and policies that keep drug company profits growing. The impact of so much drug company money coursing through the veins of Congress is often incremental or largely unseen by the American public. But on occasion it has a hugely visible impact. While lobbying shapes medical policy across the board, it has had a profound impact on the opioid epidemic as deaths quadrupled between 1999 and 2015. The pharmaceutical industry poured resources into attempting to place blame for the crisis on the millions who have became addicted instead of on the mass prescribing of powerful opioids. Some of the pressure came through industry-funded groups such as the Pain Care Forum, which spent $740m over a decade lobbying in Washington and state legislatures against limits on opioid prescribing.

Note: This excellent article has lots more on the intense level of corruption found in this opioid crisis. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


How MDMA Went From Club Drug to ‘Breakthrough Therapy’
2017-10-18, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-mdma-went-from-club-drug-to-breakthrough-the...

Stephen Ross spends most of his time helping people quit drugs. But early next year, he will begin administering MDMA in his ... medical research lab. MDMA, aka ecstasy, will still be an illegal drug. But it’s emerging as one of the most promising treatments for intractable post-traumatic stress disorder. Rick Doblin ... encountered MDMA for the first time [in 1982]. Two years later, he watched a patient suffering from PTSD undergo MDMA-assisted therapy. “That completely persuaded me of its therapeutic potential,” Doblin says. In 1985, Doblin learned that the DEA was moving to ban the drug ... and founded a nonprofit - the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - to fight the prohibition. In 2000 [Doblin] met Michael Mithoefer, a therapist specializing in PTSD. Mithoefer had grown frustrated by the available treatments. Mithoefer and his wife and co-therapist, Annie, conducted the first MAPS-funded Phase II trial in 2004, which used MDMA to treat PTSD in victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse. These were patients with chronic cases that had proved resistant to other treatment methods. A second group, made up of veterans, firefighters and police officers, followed. Therapists refer to MDMA as an empathogen - something that enables patients to feel empathy not just for others but also for themselves. Of the 90 people who completed the 12-month follow-up after Phase II, 68% of them “did not meet PTSD criteria,” according to the study results MAPS submitted to the FDA. Of the remaining third, many had some reduction in symptoms.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Visit the World's Only Carbon-Negative Country
2017-10-17, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/bhutan/carbon-neg...

Bhutan is arguably the world’s happiest country. It’s also one of the greenest. That’s no coincidence. In fact, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck developed his signature Gross National Happiness index based on four pillars: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance. Other countries have taken note, since the Himalayan kingdom is not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative. Also noteworthy: This is happening despite increasing tourism. As a travel destination Bhutan remains unique, sandwiched between its heavily industrialized neighbors China and India. The isolated nation only opened up to foreign visits in 1974 and allowed TVs in 1999. Bhutan has built sustainability into its national identity. In fact, the constitution mandates that 60 percent of its landmass be maintained and protected as forest. “The health facilities in Bhutan are free and education up to high school is also free. For those who advance, the education is free until the [college] degree,” a representative of the Bhutan Tourism Council wrote in an email. There are many reasons Bhutan is carbon negative. Aside from its protected forests, it has won world records for planting the most trees per hour, says Erin Levi, the author of the forthcoming Bradt Travel Guide to Bhutan. “The ratio of people to land mass—it's about the same size as Switzerland with just one tenth the population. Its slow path to development—the first road was only built in the 1960s, which also means people were very slow to get cars,” Levi said.

Note: Watch Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay deliver a TED Talk on the important connection between happiness and environmental sustainability.


Women speak out on systemic harassment in California politics
2017-10-17, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-politics-women-speak-out-on-systemic-...

Women in California politics are speaking out on systemic harassment in the workplace in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, in which dozens of women accused the film mogul of harassment, predatory behavior and rape. More than 140 female lawmakers, staffers, consultants and lobbyists signed an op-ed pledging "not to tolerate perpetrators or their enablers." The letter was first published by The Los Angeles Times. "As women leaders in politics, in a state that postures itself as a leader in justice and equality, you might assume our experience has been different. It has not," the letter published in the L.A. Times reads. "Each of us has endured, or witnessed or worked with women who have experienced some form of dehumanizing behavior by men with power in our workplaces." The letter decries the "pervasive" problem of groping, non-consensual touching, inappropriate comments, insults, sexual innuendo disguised as jokes, and men who undermine "our professional positions and capabilities." Men have made promises, or threats, about our jobs in exchange for our compliance, or our silence," it continues. "Why didn't we speak up? Sometimes out of fear. Sometimes out of shame. Often these men hold our professional fates in their hands. Our relationships with them are crucial to our personal success. The authors also created a Twitter account and website - @WeSaidEnough and WeSaidEnough.com - to encourage others to share their stories and "get involved in finding a solution."

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


#MeToo: Social media flooded with personal stories of assault
2017-10-16, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/15/entertainment/me-too-twitter-alyssa-milano/inde...

Two simple words became a rallying cry on Twitter to stand against sexual harassment and assault. "Me too." Social media was flooded with messages Sunday, mostly from women, who tagged their profiles to indicate that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted. On Sunday actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note that read "Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet," she wrote. The movement started in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and its ensuing fall out. Weinstein has been disgraced after several women have accused him of sexual misconduct. After Milano posted the message to her Twitter account, an onslaught of women - some famous and many not - tweeted "Me too" and shared their experiences. The declarations also took over Facebook and reportedly French women did something similar by tweeting their experiences of being sexually harassed at work using the hashtag "balancetonporc" or "squeal on your pig." Milano said she is passionate about women's rights. "Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace are not just about Harvey Weinstein," she wrote." We must change things in general." On Monday Twitter confirmed ... that #MeToo had been tweeted more than a half a million times.

Note: Watch the five-minute video at the link above to hear the harrowing personal experiences of woman pressured to be sexual against their will. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


This Incredible Power Plant Produces Nothing But Electricity And Stone
2017-10-16, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/hellisheidi-power-plant-produces-nothin...

The Hellisheidi geothermal power plant situated on the mid-Atlantic ridge, is the newest and largest geothermal plant in Iceland - a country that heats 90% of its homes using geothermal water. The plant has now become the first in history to capture carbon dioxide from ambient air, using a system of fans and filters, and then store it in bedrock 700 metres down. There the gas reacts with basaltic rock and forms solid minerals, creating a permanent storage solution, and turning Hellisheidi into a negative emissions site. The EU-funded project [is] capable of capturing 50 metric tons of CO2 each year. Christoph Gebald, Founder and CEO at Climeworks, said: “The potential of scaling-up our technology in combination with CO2 storage, is enormous. Our plan is to offer carbon removal to individuals, corporates and organizations as a means to reverse their non-avoidable carbon emissions.′ It also costs $600 per ton of carbon dioxide, a figure they are hoping to reduce to $100 per ton. Iceland currently runs 100% of it’s electricity from renewable sources.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist
2017-10-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/16/malta-car-bomb-kills-panama-pap...

The journalist who led the Panama Papers investigation into corruption in Malta was killed. Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday afternoon when her car ... was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the Politico website as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”. Her most recent revelations pointed the finger at Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan. Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats. The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35pm on Monday, and the explosion ... was reported to police just after 3pm. Caruana Galizia ... set her sights on a wide range of targets, from banks facilitating money laundering to links between Malta’s online gaming industry and the Mafia. Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5m documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Her family have filed a court application demanding a change of inquiring magistrate. Investigations into the case are being led by Consuelo Scerri Herrera. But Herrera had come under criticism by Galizia in her blog.

Note: The release of the Panama Papers exposed tax-dodging elites in many countries. There is speculative evidence that the CIA had a hand in releasing these documents. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jesus Campos, Vegas security guard shot before rampage, appears to have vanished
2017-10-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-jesus-campos-vegas-20171016-story.html

The story seemed straightforward: The unarmed security guard approached Stephen Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, distracting the gunman and potentially saving lives. With a gunshot wound to his leg, he helped point officers to the gunman’s location and stayed behind to evacuate hotel guests. He was hailed a hero by many, even as the story changed. Twice. Now, the man that many want to honor and who can help bring clarity about the timeline of the shooting has vanished from the public eye, less than two weeks since the Oct. 1 massacre, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 others injured. David Hickey, president of the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America union, said it had been four days since he last saw Jesus Campos. “We have had no contact with him…. Clearly, somebody knows where he is," he said. Hickey said he was with Campos on Thursday, coordinating a series of interviews that the guard was scheduled to give about the attack. Hickey said he was attending a meeting with MGM representatives in one room of the suite as Campos waited with a security guard - hired by MGM - and another union member in the living room. When the meeting ended about 2 p.m., Hickey said Campos was no longer in the room. "When I got in touch with the other union member, I was told Campos was taken to the Quick Care" health clinic, Hickey said. He didn't hear from the guard afterward and announced to a scrum of reporters that night that Campos had canceled interviews.

Note: A Fox News article states Campos disappeared moments before TV interviews.


This is what America's eco city of the future looks like
2017-10-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/16/texas-town-georgetown-ene...

[Dale] Ross is the mayor of Georgetown, population 65,000, and he has become a minor celebrity in environmental circles as a result of a pioneering decision in 2015 to get all the city’s electricity from renewable sources. Georgetown’s location in oil-and-gas-centric Texas and Ross’s politics add to the strangeness of the tale. The mayor is a staunch Republican. “You should see the fan mail that I get, especially with the movies,” Ross grinned. The 58-year-old said the decision to follow the lead of Burlington, Vermont – the first US city to run solely on renewable energy – was not the product of liberal do-gooder vapours wafting up Interstate 35 from nearby Austin. It was based on cold-eyed pragmatism, the fruit of the kind of careful numerical analysis he performs in his day job as a certified public accountant. “The revolution is here,” he said. “And I’m a good little Republican, a rightwing fiscal conservative. When it comes to making decisions based on facts, that’s what we do.” The facts, Ross said, are that when Georgetown negotiated power supply deals the cost was about the same between natural gas and wind and solar, but the natural gas option would provide only a seven-year guaranteed contract whereas 20-25 year proposals were on the table from renewable providers. Georgetown officials decided to lock in a long-term rate to eliminate price volatility. [Energy] prices in the city, Ross said, have declined from 11.4˘ per kilowatt hour in 2008 to 8.5˘ this year.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Will Trump allow release of final JFK assassination documents?
2017-10-16, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/06/politics/jfk-records-act-deadline-trump-grassle...

More than 50 years after President John F. Kennedy was slain in full view of the world, the final government documents about his death are set for release. The documents are among the last of still-secret papers the government amassed on the assassination. Some grand jury and tax documents will remain secret. The JFK Records Act passed in 1992. The law mandated the government release the remaining files to the public and gave it 25 years to do so. October 26, 2017 ... is the deadline for full release. The National Archives said government agencies had deemed files covered by the act prior to its passage too sensitive for release. They run the gamut from FBI to CIA materials and all manner of documents said to pertain to investigations into Kennedy's death. The Archives said the full collection ... spans millions of documents. Many files have been released about the Kennedy assassination over the years, including some in redacted form. Barring a waiver from the President, the obscured text will be revealed. The full release of the documents would mark the end of a decades-long struggle for researchers to get a hold of all available information. A Gallup poll in 2013 showed 61% of respondents said more than one person was involved in the shooting and some pointed to the Mafia, the government, the CIA, Cuba and others as playing a role.

Note: An October 21 AFP article reported that Trump said he intends to allow these files to be released as planned. Many are unaware that an official report from 1979 by the U.S. House of Representatives stated: "The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Kennedy assassination news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Drug Industry's Triumph Over the DEA
2017-10-15, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/investigations/dea-drug-industry...

In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets. By then, the opioid war had claimed 200,000 lives. Overdose deaths continue to rise. A handful of members of Congress, allied with the nation’s major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law. The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies, according to internal agency and Justice Department documents and an independent assessment. Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill. “The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” said Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s division responsible for regulating the drug industry and led a decade-long campaign of aggressive enforcement until he was forced out of the agency in 2015. “I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.” The DEA and Justice Department have denied or delayed more than a dozen requests filed by The Post and “60 Minutes” under the Freedom of Information Act for public records that might shed additional light on the matter.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in pharmaceutical industry.


Lucy in the sky with doctors
2017-10-14, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/10/14/lucy-sky-with-doctors/On92CQWm0YC...

A nascent movement of activists working to reframe psilocybin as both a medicine and as a tool for personal or spiritual growth [thinks] researchers and policy makers should be able to discuss, in a dispassionate way, the medical or recreational use of hallucinogenic drugs — a subject that not long ago was unthinkable. The Boston Entheogenic Network (BEN) ... formed last year. Instead of the more familiar, more polarizing adjective “psychedelic,” BEN uses the term “entheogenic” - meaning “generating the divine within” - to describe multiple methods of achieving altered states of consciousness. Proof of medical usefulness was the first step toward marijuana’s legalization. Could it be the same for hallucinogens? In fact, medical applications for psilocybin abound. Recent studies have found that MDMA seems to be a remarkably useful tool in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, when combined with psychotherapy. In August, the FDA designated the drug as a “breakthrough therapy,” meaning that it may have substantial advantages over existing PTSD treatments. Other studies suggest psilocybin has promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, “microdosing” - the regular use of tiny amounts of LSD or other psychedelics not to hallucinate but to improve creativity and mood - has become a Silicon Valley trend. Advocates for psychedelics have come a long way from Leary’s indiscriminate call for young people to “turn on, tune in, and drop out,” but many still believe these drugs could change the world.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


The C.I.A.’s Fake News Campaign
2017-10-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/opinion/cia-fake-news-russia.html

For more than two decades during the Cold War, the public was bombarded by an enormous publicity campaign to shape American views of Russia. The campaign may have been the largest and most consistent source of political advertising in American history. And it was orchestrated by a big, powerful intelligence service: the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1950, [the CIA] created Radio Free Europe, a government-sponsored broadcasting station. Ostensibly, it provided unbiased news for Eastern Europeans, but in fact the agency used it to wage a subversive campaign to weaken Communist governments. But how to hide the agency’s hand? Simple: pretend that ordinary Americans are paying the bills. A well-heeled and well-connected front group, the National Committee for a Free Europe ... ran an enormous fund-raising campaign ... that implored Americans to donate “freedom dollars” to combat Kremlin lies. The donations barely covered the cost of running the “fund-raising drives,” to say nothing of Radio Free Europe’s $30 million annual budgets. But that wasn’t the point. Declassified documents reveal that almost from the start, the CIA saw that it could exploit the fund-raising campaign as a conduit for domestic propaganda. It was a way to rally public support for the Cold War. Our post-truth media environment [carries] voices from this past. The crusade blasted all information from enemy sources as lies and deceit — fake news, we could say.

Note: The US government was legally prevented from broadcasting propaganda to domestic audiences for many years. This prohibition ended when new rules were adopted in 2013. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Hollywood Sex Abuse Film 'An Open Secret' Released Online
2017-10-13, Hollywood Reporter
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-sex-abuse-film-an-open-secret...

An Open Secret, a documentary about the sexual abuse of teenage boys at the hands of Hollywood big-wigs, generated plenty of publicity a few years ago. Now, with new sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others in the movie and TV industry coming practically daily, the producer of An Open Secret has posted his film online for the first time. "It's so funny to keep seeing headlines about how Harvey's abuse was 'an open secret' in Hollywood, and that's the name of our film," said producer Gabe Hoffman. The movie got a limited theatrical release a few years ago, and Hoffman is still seeking more distribution. Much of the movie focuses on the now-defunct Digital Entertainment Network. DEN [is] remembered today for hosting wild parties with drugs, alcohol and underage boys at the former residence of founder, Marc Collins-Rector, now a registered sex offender. Another case explored in An Open Secret involves talent manager Marty Weiss, who pleaded no contest to lewd acts on a child and is heard in the film admitting molestation. Also explored is talent manager Bob Villard, who used to represent Leonardo DiCaprio and also pleaded no contest to lewd acts with a child. "We haven't got any offers from major distributors yet because Hollywood doesn't want to expose its dirty laundry," [said Hoffman]. "Harvey Weinstein, by the way, is not the only one who has used confidentiality settlements. That's why more of Hollywood's behavior hasn't been exposed. This is the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Note: Read a summarized review of this film, or a much more detailed report on the issues it exposes. Then learn how the film's director strangely distanced herself from the film, likely because she was threatened. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Oil giant Shell bets on electric cars
2017-10-12, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/12/investing/shell-oil-buys-electric-car-charging/

One of the world's largest fossil fuel companies is betting on electric cars. Royal Dutch Shell revealed a deal on Thursday to acquire NewMotion, one of Europe's largest electric vehicle charging providers. NewMotion specializes in converting parking spots into electric charging stations. The Dutch firm has more than 30,000 electric charge points in Europe, [and] says its founding mission was to "contribute to a cleaner world by eradicating fossil fuels." Now, it will be owned by one of the world's largest fossil fuel companies, albeit one that is investing more on renewable energy. That makes sense because European investors and governments have been cracking down on oil's most reliable customer: the internal combustion engine. Norway, France, Germany and the U.K. have all announced efforts to phase out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels. Shell is based in The Netherlands, where electric cars are popular and the government has set a target to boost sales even further. Barclays warned in a recent report that by 2025 oil demand could be lowered by 3.5 million barrels per day due to electric vehicles and increased fuel efficiency on conventional autos. If electric vehicles become one-third of the car market by 2040, oil demand could drop by 9 million barrels per day from today's levels, Barclays estimates.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Close Guantanamo Bay and Give Us a Fair Trial
2017-10-12, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/dear-president-trump-close-guantanamo-and-give-us-fai...

I’m a taxi driver from Karachi, in Pakistan. Fifteen years ago I was sold for a bounty and taken by the U.S. military to a secret prison in Afghanistan. They mistook me for someone called Hassan Gul, and I was tortured for over a year before they flew me to Guantanamo. There’s no disputing this—it’s in the U.S. Senate report on torture. I’ve been held here ever since then, without charge or trial. I’ve been through a lot - but a new punitive medical regime at this prison might finally kill me. In May 2013, without any way of defending myself or securing my freedom, I resorted to peaceful protest, and began a hunger strike. On September 20, things abruptly changed. A new senior medical officer (SMO) arrived, bringing in a new Trump administration policy of refusing to tube-feed anyone on hunger strike. They apparently don’t mind if people die because of the injustice here, because they figure nobody cares about Guantanámo anymore, and nobody will notice. I’ve lost more weight than ever before - I’m well under 100 pounds - but they have stopped bringing anyone to check my vitals, weigh me, or force-feed me. They want this peaceful protest over. So they refuse us access to medical care. The doctors here do what the new medical boss tells them. He wants me to beg him for food, but I will not. He is like a dictator. They tell me it’s my fault if I die. But all I am asking for is basic justice - a fair trial or freedom. I am innocent, but I’m not allowed to prove it. I don't want to die, but they will not succeed in breaking my strike.

Note: The horrific treatment of Guantánamo Bay detainees is well documented. For more, read about the 10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture and many other questionable intelligence agency practices.


Pressure mounts for Vegas police to explain response time
2017-10-12, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press
http://www.latimes.com/nation/sns-bc-us--las-vegas-shooting-20171011-story.html

Pressure mounted Wednesday for Las Vegas police to explain how quickly they reacted to what would become the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history after two hotel employees reported a gunman spraying a hallway with bullets six minutes before he opened fire on a crowd at a musical performance. On Monday, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo revised the chronology of the shooting and said the gunman, Stephen Paddock, had shot a hotel security guard through the door of his suite and strafed a hallway of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino with 200 rounds six minutes before he unleashed a barrage of bullets into the crowd. That account differed dramatically from the one police gave last week when they said Paddock ended his hail of fire on the crowd in order to shoot through his door and wound the unarmed guard, Jesus Campos. The parent company of the hotel has raised concerns that the revised timeline presented by police may be inaccurate. "We cannot be certain about the most recent timeline," said Debra DeShong, a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International. "We believe what is currently being expressed may not be accurate." Undersheriff Kevin McMahill earlier defended the hotel and said the encounter between Paddock and the security guard and maintenance man disrupted the gunman's plans, but he would not comment on the revised timeline.

Note: Was this timeline discrepancy caused by poor communication, police department corruption, or something more sinister? Explore powerful evidence that Paddock (and other mass shooters) may have been a Manchurian Candidate programmed to do his deed.


Fmr. Manager of DOD Aerospace Threat Program: “UFOs are Real”
2017-10-11, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fmr-manager-of-dod-aerospace-threat-prog...

Something extraordinary was revealed today. Former high-level officials and scientists with deep black experience who have always remained in the shadows came forward on one platform. These insiders have long-standing connections to government agencies which may have programs investigating unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP/UFOs). The team includes a 25-year veteran of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, a Lockheed Martin Program Director for Advanced Systems at “Skunk Works”, and a former deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Today marked the official launch of To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTS/AAS) an innovative Public Benefit Corporation which will advance research into unexplained phenomena and develop related technology. Luis Eiizondo [is] the former Director of Programs to investigate Unidentified Aerial Threats for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As a result of his position managing the DOD program for almost a decade, Lue said “I learned that the phenomena is indeed real.” Lue does not speak for the DOD, since he is no longer employed there; he speaks independently as part of the TTS Academy. Lue also stated: “We are also planning to provide never before released footage from real US Government systems...not blurry, amateur photos, but real data and real videos.” And even more significant: “We are inviting our Government colleagues and friends in Defense to participate regularly with their own findings.”

Note: Watch an intriguing 40-minute video of this group of very high level military intelligence talking openly about UFOs (transcript here). This is clearly a carefully planned and staged event. The question is to what end? Watch an excellent eight-minute video showing something is seriously fishy about Tom DeLonge and his company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress
2017-10-11, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-dea-agent-opioid-crisis-fueled-by-drug-indust...

In the midst of the worst drug epidemic in American history, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to keep addictive opioids off U.S. streets was derailed - that according to Joe Rannazzisi, one of the most important whistleblowers ever interviewed by 60 Minutes. Rannazzisi ran the DEA's Office of Diversion Control, the division that regulates and investigates the pharmaceutical industry. He says the opioid crisis was allowed to spread - aided by Congress, lobbyists, and a drug distribution industry that shipped, almost unchecked, hundreds of millions of pills to rogue pharmacies and pain clinics providing the rocket fuel for a crisis that, over the last two decades, has claimed 200,000 lives. His greatest ire is reserved for the ... middlemen that ship the pain pills from manufacturers, like Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson to drug stores all over the country. Rannazzisi accuses the distributors of fueling the opioid epidemic. "This is an industry that allowed millions and millions of drugs to go into bad pharmacies and doctors' offices, that distributed them out to people who had no legitimate need for those drugs," [said Rannazzisi]. In 2013, Joe Rannazzisi and his DEA investigators were trying to crack down. Then ... with the help of members of Congress, the drug industry began to quietly pave the way for legislation that essentially would strip the DEA of its ... ability to immediately freeze suspicious shipments of prescription narcotics to keep drugs off U.S. streets.

Note: See also this informative Washington Post article for more information on this sad topic. Lots more available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in pharmaceutical industry.


How NBC gave up Ronan Farrow's explosive Harvey Weinstein scoop
2017-10-11, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/11/media/nbc-new-yorker-harvey-weinstein/index.html

Reporter and NBC contributor Ronan Farrow pursued leads about Harvey Weinstein's misconduct for months, but NBC passed on the chance to publish his story. "Ronan was basically told to stop working on this," according to a source. So Farrow contacted David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker. Now the magazine is receiving widespread acclaim for publishing the investigation. What happened at NBC is a media world mystery. Did the network's executives not have the stomach for the inevitable legal threats? Were they trying to protect relationships in Hollywood? Or were there other reasons? The official explanation, from the news division's president Noah Oppenheim, is that "we didn't feel that we had all the elements that we needed to air it," so Farrow "took it to The New Yorker." But some staffers aren't buying that. And they're wondering why Farrow's taped interviews with accusers aren't being broadcast now. The question of how NBC could have let this scoop get away is big enough that it even came up on sister network MSNBC Tuesday night. Host Rachel Maddow asked Farrow, "Why did you end up reporting this story for The New Yorker and not for NBC News?" "Look," Farrow responded, "you would have to ask NBC and NBC executives about the details of that story." Earlier in the interview, he had mentioned that he taped one of his on-camera interviews way back in January.

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


I-Team: Public company launched to investigate UFOs
2017-10-11, CBS Las Vegas Affiliate
http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-public-company-launched-to-investigate...

A team of former spies and spooks came out of the shadows Wednesday to talk about UFOs. The men formerly worked in national security positions within the Pentagon or intelligence agencies, which is where they were first exposed to classified information about UFO encounters. Now, they've signed on with rock star Tom DeLonge in his quest to build a public company that could study and harness exotic technology. The fact that these high-level government operatives would appear on the same stage with a rock star turned UFO hunter ... shows that serious people think it's time for secrecy to end and public involvement to begin. Part of what was learned in Wednesday's announcement involves a stunning UFO encounter with one of the most powerful warships in the world. On a sunny day in 2004 off the coast of San Diego, the USS Nimitz battle group encountered a technology beyond anything known on earth. It was a mystery aircraft shaped like a 46-foot long Tic Tac that hovered and maneuvered for hours and defied the F-18's sent to intercept. "In a series of discreet tumbling maneuvers that appear to defy the laws of physics, the object takes a position directly behind the approaching F-18. The pilots capture gun camera footage and infrared imagery of the object but are outmatched by a technology they have never seen," said Chris Mellon, former Defense Department intelligence official. An investigation by the navy was hushed up. The only public mention was in a little known aviation magazine read by pilots.

Note: Watch an intriguing 40-minute video of this group of very high level military intelligence talking openly about UFOs (transcript here). This is clearly a carefully planned and staged event. The question is to what end? Watch an excellent eight-minute video showing something is seriously fishy about Tom DeLonge and his company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Harvey Weinstein Is Gone. But Hollywood Still Has a Problem.
2017-10-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/movies/harvey-weinstein-hollywood.html

When I read the recent allegations that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed women for decades, I thought — well, of course. Mr. Weinstein was a famously swaggering bully, and while I hadn’t heard about the specific charges of sexual abuse by women working for him, such behavior fits the movie industry’s pervasive, unrepentant exploitation of women. And then on Tuesday, The New Yorker revealed that three women, including the Italian actress-turned-director Asia Argento, said that “Weinstein raped them.” It’s greatly encouraging that women like Gwyneth Paltrow have gone public about Mr. Weinstein. But he is not an aberration. He is an ordinary, malignant symptom of systemic sexism, as is everyone who facilitated him, shrugs it off now or offensively asks why women didn’t say something sooner. What largely separates Mr. Weinstein from other predators, within and without the entertainment world, is that he was once powerful, he got caught and a number of gutsy women are on the record. Together, their voices are creating a forceful rejoinder to an industry that runs on fear and in which silence is at once a defense and a weapon as well as a condition of employment. One problem is that the entertainment industry is extraordinarily forgiving of those who have made a lot of money. Despite pressure, including from the likes of Ava DuVernay and Lena Dunham, the industry resists change. Those in power don’t see an upside in ceding it.

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


The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics
2017-10-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/oct/10/the-science-of-spying-how-the-ci...

In perhaps its most audacious and elaborate incursion into academia, the CIA has secretly spent millions of dollars staging scientific conferences around the world. Its purpose was to lure Iranian nuclear scientists out of their homeland and into an accessible setting, where its intelligence officers could approach them individually and press them to defect. While a university campus might have only one or two professors of interest to an intelligence service, the right conference – on drone technology, perhaps, or Isis – could have dozens. The FBI and CIA swarm conferences. At gatherings in the US, says one former FBI agent, “foreign intelligence officers try to collect Americans; we try to collect them”. The CIA is involved with conferences in various ways: it sends officers to them; it hosts them through front companies in the Washington area, so that the intelligence community can tap academic wisdom; and it mounts sham conferences to reach potential defectors from hostile countries. Scientific conferences have become such a draw for intelligence agents that one of the biggest concerns for CIA operatives is interference from agency colleagues trapping the same academic prey. “We tend to flood events like these,” a former CIA officer who writes under the pseudonym Ishmael Jones observed in his 2008 book, The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the intelligence community.


Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military
2017-10-11, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-wanted-dramatic-increase-nuclear-arsen...

President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room. Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve. According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Some officials present said they did not take Trump’s desire for more nuclear weapons to be literally instructing the military to increase the actual numbers. But his comments raised questions about his familiarity with the nuclear posture and other issues. Two officials present said that at multiple points in the discussion, the president expressed a desire not just for more nuclear weapons, but for additional U.S. troops and military equipment. Any increase in America’s nuclear arsenal would not only break with decades of U.S. nuclear doctrine but also violate international disarmament treaties signed by every president since Ronald Reagan. Nonproliferation experts warned that such a move could set off a global arms race.

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


From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories
2017-10-10, The New Yorker
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/from-aggressive-overtures-to-sexual-...

There have been few movie executives as dominant, or as domineering, as Harvey Weinstein. His movies have earned more than three hundred Oscar nominations. For more than twenty years, Weinstein, who is now sixty-five, has also been trailed by rumors of sexual harassment and assault. His behavior has been an open secret to many in Hollywood and beyond, but ... too few people were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, payoffs, and legal threats to suppress their accounts. On October 5th, the New York Times ... revealed multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, an article that led to the resignation of four members of the Weinstein Company’s all-male board, and to Weinstein’s firing. There is more to know and to understand. In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Their allegations corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims. Three of the women ... told me that Weinstein had raped them. Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies ... said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Virtually all of the people I spoke with told me that they were frightened of retaliation.

Note: The recording of Weinstein attempting to seduce a model and admitting to groping her breasts mentioned in this article and available here is quite revealing. And why was an NBC reporter who had the inside scoop "told to stop working on this"? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mass media corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


Inside Knowledge About Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Could Lead To World-Changing Technology
2017-10-10, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/inside-knowledge-about-unidentified-aeri...

Former high-level officials and scientists with deep black experience ... are now stepping into the light. These insiders ... intend to move into the private sector and to make all declassified information, and any future knowledge, available for all to see. It all started with award-winning platinum recording artist ... Tom DeLonge. Tom spent many years studying UFOs, and essentially left his previous lucrative career to ... set up an entertainment company called To The Stars (TTS). It had the goal of disseminating information about UFOs, consciousness, the paranormal and other unexplained mysteries. He has assembled a new team of collaborators and created The To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTS/AAS). According to a TTS/AAS statement, it’s team members who have been “operating under the shadows of top-secrecy for decades” believe that “there is sufficient credible evidence of [UFOs] that proves exotic technologies exist that could revolutionize the human experience.” The Science division will conduct the research, which will also include consciousness, engineering space-time, brain-computer interface, genomics, and creating a database of supranormal experiences. Aerospace will apply the science to create “next-generation energy and propulsion concepts for transportation and spaceflight that could forever change movement across land, water, air”, and Entertainment will offer “informative storytelling that provides insight into the journey.”

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


Israeli, Palestinian women join peace march through desert
2017-10-09, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/09/middleeast/israeli-palestinian-women-peace-marc...

Under a white tent on the shores of the Dead Sea, Huda Abuarquob's frustration melted away. Dancing arm-in-arm with thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women, she felt hope surround her. The women, who came together Sunday morning in the "Peace Tent," had marched through the desert to the lowest point on earth, to demand an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The march was the culmination of two weeks of events, attended by more than 30,000 women, throughout Israel and the West Bank, organized by Women Wage Peace, a grassroots organization calling for a "bilaterally acceptable political agreement." The last round of [peace] negotiations ... fell apart in April 2014, with the two sides blaming each other. A few months later, Israel and Gaza were at war. Women Wage Peace was founded in the aftermath of the Gaza war, when organizers felt there was a need for a different approach. "Something happened in 2014," said Yael Triedel, an Israeli who participated in the march. "The recognition that this is it. We have to do it. The leaders didn't manage to do it so far, and it's our responsibility to make it happen." On Sunday evening, tens of thousands of women gathered ... for the conclusion of the peace march. Former Knesset member Shakib Shanan, whose son was one of two border police officers killed near Jerusalem's holiest site in mid-July, spoke at the park. "We are allowed to say this out loud - we are lovers of peace.

Note: Don't miss pictures of this beautiful and powerful event at the link above.


Sick customers at the world's first sex doll brothel are demanding child and rape experiences
2017-10-09, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/sick-customers-worlds-first-sex-doll-brothel-are-dem...

The owner of the world's first sex doll brothel says he is resisting demands for child sex dolls and rape fantasy scenarios from disturbed customers. Sergi Prieto, co-founder of LumiDolls in Barcelona, is proud his brothel can offer punters a wide range of services with any of their four silicon working girls – but thinks some requests are just unacceptable. LumiDolls' website has a picture of one of the 'women' in school uniform and claims "schoolgirl is one of the most popular fetishes". But every ethical businessman has to draw a line somewhere – and for Pietro, it is an obvious one. He said: "Some customers prefer the service because they have a rape fantasy. Obviously we don't want to promote this kind of activity." Likewise, he acknowledged a sickening demand for child sex dolls, which were recently outlawed in Britain, where a couple of men have already been convicted of importing them. "In this market there are lots of suppliers that sell dolls that look like children. There exist dolls that are small and look like children," Prieto [said]. "That's an ethical option for us not to provide this kind of service. We could do that, but we don't want to promote this kind of behaviour." Some academics have controversially argued that child sex dolls could be used to prevent paedophiles from attacking real children.

Note: Read more about the controversy surrounding these products. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


China Hastens the World Toward an Electric-Car Future
2017-10-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/business/china-hastens-the-world-toward-an...

There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles - and that reason is China. Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation. Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025. Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s carmakers to sell more alternative-energy cars here if they wanted to continue selling regular ones. China has reshaped industries before. This, however, would be on a different scale. If China succeeds - and there is no guarantee - Beijing’s policy makers will be front and center reimagining the global auto industry. Already, China is the world’s largest maker and seller of electric cars. Chinese buyers are on track to snap up almost 300,000 of them this year, three times the number expected to be sold in the United States and more than the rest of the world combined. The country’s market heft is considerable. China buys more General Motors-branded cars than Americans do. Even for Tesla, the still-small American maker of luxury electric sedans, China has become the second-largest market, even though China’s taxes on imported cars are 10 times as high as those in the United States.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Italy's high-rise forests take root around the world
2017-10-08, News 24/AFP
http://www.news24.com/Green/News/italys-high-rise-forests-take-root-around-th...

As balconies bristle with tree branches and sunshine dapples the leaves of thousands of plants, two apartment buildings in the heart of Milan have almost disappeared under lush forest. The brainchild of Milanese architect Stefano Boeri, the Bosco Verticale ... uses more than 20,000 trees and plants to adorn the high-rise buildings from top to bottom - a project now being exported all over the world. Cherry, apple and olive trees spill over balconies alongside beeches and larches, selected and positioned according to their resistance to wind and preference for sunlight or humidity. Boeri said the idea came from his obsession with trees and determination to make them "an essential component of architecture," particularly as a weapon to combat climate change. Boeri worked closely with botanists to create a nursery of a thousand trees that have been trained to grow under specific conditions. The team faced numerous challenges, from how the balconies should be structured to take the weight of the plants, to ... what needed to go into the soil. They even carried out resistance tests at a hurricane centre in Miami. "For every human being living in the building, there are about two trees, 10 shrubs and 40 plants," Boeri said. The vegetation soon transformed into a veritable wildlife park: 9,000 ladybirds brought over from Germany to eat parasites - to leave the plants pesticide free - multiplied over the space of a few weeks. "We did not expect ... the incredible amount of birds that nested here," Boeri said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Will Psychedelic Therapy Transform Mental Health Care?
2017-10-06, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/will-psychedelic-therapy-transform-menta...

In the mid-1950s, LSD and other psychedelic drugs took the medical world by storm. Studies at the time suggested that the hallucinogens were effective against a variety of difficult-to-treat mental health problems. The research stalled in the early 1970s ... but [it] is picking up again. If the drugs prove to be as safe and effective as recent research suggests, we may be on the brink of what some are calling a revolution in mental health care. People with mood disorders, including those who are unresponsive to conventional therapies, might be able to ditch their antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Those with terminal illness could enjoy their remaining days without the fear of death looming over them, while people with PTSD could return to a normal life unobstructed by paralyzing flashbacks. We’re not at this point yet. But such is the promise of psychedelic medicine. What makes psychedelic therapy so powerful? Experts say it may be because the drugs work on a deep emotional as well as biological level, with patients experiencing a transformative sense of positivity, benevolence, and unity. "Unlike almost all other psychiatric medications ... these drugs seem to work through biology to open up a psychological opportunity," says Matthew Johnson, a Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist. And the drugs’ benefits may go beyond simply treating specific disorders. In 2011, Johnson and his colleagues showed that a single psilocybin session can give people a more "open" personality, as well as a greater appreciation of new experiences.

Note: Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


‘Calm Before the Storm’: Trump Makes Cryptic Remark at Military Dinner
2017-10-06, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/calm-storm-trump-makes-cryptic-r...

President Donald Trump made a series of cryptic remarks during a pre-dinner photo session with his top military advisers and their spouses Thursday night in the State Dining Room of the White House. As photographers snapped pictures and recorded video, Trump asked reporters: "You guys know what this represents?" “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” he said, answering his own question. "What's the storm?" one reporter asked. “Could be the calm before the storm,” he repeated. It was not immediately clear whether Trump was referring to one of a handful of thorny military or foreign policy areas - North Korea, the fight against ISIS, Iran's nuclear program, or the recent deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Niger - or simply making a joke. "We have the world's great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And uh, we're gonna have a great evening, thank you all for coming." "What storm, Mr. President?" NBC News' Kristen Welker asked again. "You'll find out," Trump replied, before reporters were ushered out of the room. NBC News has reached out to the White House for comment. In remarks to military leaders at the event, Trump thanked them and spoke of “pressing national security issues facing our country,” according to an official White House transcript. The mystery continued into Friday. Trump, asked again during a brief session with U.S. manufacturers what he meant the night before, said only that "you'll find out" and winked.

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


FEMA removes — then restores — statistics about drinking water access and electricity in Puerto Rico from website
2017-10-06, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/05/fema-removes-...

As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page. By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page. The statistics that are on the FEMA page, as of Thursday afternoon, include these: There are now 14,000 federal workers on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, up from 12,300 earlier in the week. All airports, federally maintained ports and post offices are open. More than 30 miles of roadway have been cleared, up from about 20 miles earlier in the week. About 65 percent of grocery stores have reopened, along with nearly all hospitals and dialysis centers. And 64 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working on generator power. Those statistics illustrate President Trump's assertions that the island is quickly making tremendous strides toward full recovery and that the media have exaggerated the conditions on the ground.

Note: As of Friday afternoon, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is once again reporting the percentage of Puerto Ricans who have access to drinking water and the percentage of the island that has power.


Not so sweet: 75 percent of honey samples had key pesticide
2017-10-05, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/sweet-75-percent-honey-samples-key...

When researchers collected honey samples from around the world, they found that three-quarters of them had a common type of pesticide suspected of playing a role in the decline of bees. That demonstrates how pervasive a problem the much-debated pesticide is for honeybees, said authors of a study published ... in the journal Science. "What this shows is the magnitude of the contamination," said study lead author Edward Mitchell ... adding that there are "relatively few places where we did not find any." Over the past few years, several studies - in the lab and the field - link insecticides called neonicotinoids ... or neonics, to reduced and weakened honeybee hives. Neonics work by attacking an insect's central nervous system. As part of a citizen science project, the Swiss researchers asked other experts, friends and relatives to ship them honey samples. More than 300 samples arrived and researchers tested 198 of them for five of the most common types of neonics. Overall, 75 percent of the samples had at least one neonic, 45 percent had two or more and 10 percent had four or more. Results varied by region. In North America, 86 percent of samples had the pesticide; Asia, 80 percent; Europe, where there's a partial ban, 79 percent; Africa 73 percent; the Australian region, 71 percent and South America, 57 percent. The study found that nearly half of the honey samples exceeded a level of the pesticide that some previous research said weakens bees.

Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that pesticide manufacturer Bayer covered up the link between its neonicotinoids and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The FBI’s Hunt for Two Missing Piglets Reveals the Federal Cover-Up of Barbaric Factory Farms
2017-10-05, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/05/factory-farms-fbi-missing-piglets-animal-...

FBI agents are devoting substantial resources to a multistate hunt for two baby piglets that the bureau believes are named Lucy and Ethel. The two piglets were removed over the summer from the Circle Four Farm in Utah by animal rights activists who had entered the Smithfield Foods-owned factory farm to film the brutal, torturous conditions in which the pigs are bred. The rescue of these two particular piglets has literally become a federal case - by all appearances, a matter of great importance to the Department of Justice. On the last day of August, a six-car armada of FBI agents in bulletproof vests ... descended upon two small shelters for abandoned farm animals. Subsequent events confirmed that this show of FBI force was designed to intimidate the sanctuaries, which played no role in the rescue. Obviously, the FBI and Smithfield - the nation’s largest industrial farm corporation - don’t really care about the missing piglets. What they care about is the efficacy of a political campaign intent on showing the public how animals are abused at factory farms, and they are determined to intimidate those responsible. Deterring such campaigns ... is, manifestly, the only goal here. What made this piglet rescue particularly intolerable was an article that appeared in the New York Times days after the rescue, which touted the use of virtual reality technology by animal rights activists to allow the public to immerse in the full experience of seeing what takes place in these companies’ farms.

Note: Those who expose at wrongdoing at factory farms are increasingly treated more harshly by US law than the companies perpetrating this wrongdoing. When activist drone footage exposed toxic cesspools around Smithfield Farms in 2014, North Carolina responded with legislation designed to silence whistle-blowers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system.


Detroit-area mom jailed for ignoring deal to vaccinate son
2017-10-05, CBS News/Associated Press
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rebecca-bredow-detroit-area-mom-jailed-for-ignor...

A suburban Detroit woman was handcuffed Wednesday and sent to a jail for seven days for failing to follow an agreement to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated. An Oakland County judge noted that Rebecca Bredow agreed to the immunization last November. Her ex-husband wanted their son vaccinated, but Bredow is the primary caregiver. Bredow ... said she takes "full responsibility" for her actions. She said vaccinations go against her beliefs and she should have raised her objections sooner. "I'm a passionate mother who cares deeply about my children, their health and their well-being ... If my child was forced to be vaccinated, I couldn't bring myself to do it," Bredow said. The judge said Bredow has a history of making child-rearing decisions without consent from her ex-husband. McDonald granted temporary custody to him and ordered the boy to be properly vaccinated. Tasha Shurgin was among protesters gathered outside the courthouse, CBS Detroit reports. "I don't think that going to jail is ever good, but I think it's important that people stand for what they believe," she told CBS Detroit. "I don't think she could live with herself; I know I couldn't live with myself if I was forced to make a decision that goes against everything I believe in."

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


Wells Fargo shareholder lawsuit can proceed, judge rules
2017-10-05, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Wells-Fargo-shareholder-lawsuit-can-pr...

Wells Fargo & Co. executives and directors accused of steering the bank into the worst scandal of its modern history were ordered to defend a lawsuit accusing them of profiting from the creation of millions of fake customer accounts. A San Francisco federal judge ruled this week that shareholders can proceed with a suit alleging the company’s top brass “repeatedly and brazenly” failed to serve Wells Fargo’s best interests. He found the complaint properly laid out evidence showing that executives and directors made false statements about the scheme in the bank’s filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The ruling came a day after Sen. Elizabeth Warren ... attacked Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan while he testified before Congress. “You should be fired,” Warren said. “You enabled this fake account scam, you got rich off it, and you tried to cover it up.” Last month, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ... dismissed insider trading claims under California law against Sloan and Wells Fargo Chief Risk Officer Michael Loughlin, as well as former CEO John Stumpf and former head of community banking Carrie Tolstedt. An independent probe commissioned by the bank concluded in April that senior bank managers failed to heed warnings of spreading sales abuses for more than a decade, treating thousands of fired employees as rogues, and then downplayed the mounting terminations as the board began raising questions.

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 factory farming is not just cruel – but also a threat to all life on the planet
2017-10-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/04/factory-farming-destructi...

The world desperately needs joined-up action on industrial farming if it is to avoid catastrophic impacts. Philip Lymbery, chief executive of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and the author of Farmageddon and more recently Deadzone, said: “Every day there is a new confirmation of how destructive, inefficient, wasteful, cruel and unhealthy the industrial agriculture machine is. We need a total rethink of our food and farming systems before it’s too late.” His comments came on the eve of Compassion’s Livestock and Extinction conference in London which will bring together scientists, campaigners, UN representatives and multinational food corporations [to] connect up the many impacts that factory farming has on our planet. Lymbery argues that factory farming is not – as some contend – an efficient, space-saving way to produce the world’s food but rather a method in which the invisible costs are actually far higher than the savings. “Factory farming is shrouded in mythology,” he said. “One of the myths is that it’s an efficient way of producing food when actually it is highly inefficient and wasteful. Antibiotic use is another red flag area. There is now overwhelming evidence that the routine prophylactic use of antibiotics is leading to the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, and the World Health Organisation has issued warnings that if we don’t do something to curb antibiotic use in both human and animal medicine we will face a post-antibiotic era where currently treatable diseases will once again kill.”

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


New Marine Parks Protect 290,000 Square Miles of Ocean
2017-10-04, National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/niue-chile-marine-parks-ocean-cons...

The countries of Chile and Niue just made a huge splash in the world of ocean conservation. Niue, a tiny South Pacific island nation with a population of roughly 1,600, has turned 40 percent of its exclusive economic zone into a marine park, and Chile added two new marine parks where fishing and all other extractive activities are banned. Together, the three new parks protect some 290,000 square miles of ocean - an area more than twice the size of Germany. The two countries will announce their new marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Our Ocean conference. The Niue reserve ... protects 49,000 square miles of ocean - more than 30 square miles for each man, woman, and child living on the island today. Like the similarly small Cook Islands, which have protected more than 700,000 square miles of ocean, Niue currently lacks representation in the UN. “It is no small feat for a small-island developing state to make such a tremendous and tangible contribution to ocean conservation,” says Brendon Pasisi, director of the Niue Ocean Wide (NOW) project. On the other side of the Pacific, Chile has unveiled two new reserves that protect 240,000 square miles of ocean from fishing and all other extractive activities - a combined area nearly the size of France. “Chile is a fishing country, and most fisheries there are fully exploited ... but this government has realized that there is no future of fisheries without significant protection,” says National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Google shows off wireless headphones that it says can translate languages on the fly
2017-10-04, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/04/google-translation-earbuds-google-pixel-buds-...

Google released a line of new products on Wednesday, including its first pair of premium wireless headphones, which can support live translation between languages. When the Google Pixel Buds are paired with a new handset, the Google Pixel 2, the earbuds can tap into Google Assistant, Google's artificially intelligent voice-activated product. In addition to the translation of 40 languages, Google Assistant can also alert users to notifications, send texts and give directions. The translation feature can be conjured by saying "help me speak French," or any other language. "It's an incredible application of Google Translate powered by machine learning - it's like having a personal translator by your side," [Google product manager Juston] Payne said. Payne and another Google employee demonstrated a conversation between someone speaking Swedish and another person responding in English. During the demonstration, one employee, speaking Swedish, had Pixel Buds and the Pixel phone. When the phone was addressed in English, the earbuds translated the phrase into Swedish in her ear. The Swedish speaker then spoke back in Swedish through the earbuds by pressing on the right bud to summon Google Assistant. Google Assistant translated that Swedish reply back into an English phrase, which was played through the phone's speakers so the English speaker could hear.

Note: Watch a demonstration of this new translation assistant in action at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Buy Nothing Project: free clothes, toys, food - even a wedding
2017-10-03, Seattle Times/Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sns-tns-bc-hby-buy-nothing-20171003-...

When Erika Dudra moved to Beacon Hill two years ago, she didn't know any of her neighbors. Dudra soon discovered a Facebook group called Buy Nothing Beacon Hill North. The premise of the group was simple: Offer up something that you don't need, or ask for something you do need. She joined to get rid of a couch, but then started asking for baby things. As a result, "I have a 2-year-old now who basically cost me nothing," she said. When Dudra remarried ... she threw a "Buy Nothing wedding" with a donated dress, cake, decor, flowers, an American Sign Language interpreter for deaf relatives and a wedding photographer. To participants, Buy Nothing is about more than just fighting consumer culture, though. Today, all of Dudra's best friends are people she met on Buy Nothing. Since this network was started in 2013 ... members and volunteers have spread the Buy Nothing gospel to more than half a million people in 20 countries. Buy Nothing co-founder Liesl Clark likes to say the project is one-half internet giveaway group and one-half prehistoric Himalayan economics. Inspiration comes from high up in the Himalayas, where Clark has filmed archaeology documentaries for National Geographic and the PBS series "NOVA." In 2007, Clark visited a village in the Upper Mustang area of Nepal that didn't operate on currency. Instead, the village of Samdzong operated on a "gift economy" when a villager needed something, she or he would simply ask. Residents kept communal goats and sheep and took turns watching each other's fields.

Note: Watch an inspiring video on this great project.


Roman Polanski Accused of Rape by Former German Actress
2017-10-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/movies/roman-polanski-rape-accusation.html

Renate Langer, a 61-year-old former German actress, has reported to the Swiss police that the film director Roman Polanski raped her at a house in Gstaad in February 1972, when she was 15. Ms. Langer is the fourth woman to publicly accuse Mr. Polanski of sexual assaulting her when she was a teenager. The police in St. Gallen, Switzerland, confirmed that they met with Ms. Langer on Sept. 26. Ms. Langer provided The New York Times with a copy of an email - sent by a Swiss police officer - saying that another office would make the determination as to whether she could pursue a criminal complaint. Switzerland has eliminated its statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. Ms. Langer said ... she had approached the Swiss police because she believed the statute of limitations would allow her complaint to be investigated. Harland Braun, a lawyer for Mr. Polanski, the 84-year-old award-winning French-Polish film director, declined to comment. Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer when she was 13. In August, a woman in Los Angeles, identified only as Robin M., came forward at a news conference to report that Mr. Polanski had sexually assaulted her in 1973 when she was 16. In 2010, the British actress Charlotte Lewis also accused Mr. Polanski of abusing her sexually when she was 16. Mr. Polanski has been living in exile from the United States since fleeing the country in 1978 on the eve of his sentencing in the Geimer case.

Note: According to many former child actors, pedophiles have long operated with impunity in Hollywood. Don't miss the incredible film "An Open Secret" which follows five boys and their families who were gradually ensnared by a secret Hollywood pedophile ring which ruins their lives. It is available for free viewing on this webpage. The entire "Secret Societies in Hollywood" series is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Las Vegas shooting: Woman told crowd 'you're all going to f***ing die' before attack started
2017-10-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/vegas-shooting-stephen-padd...

Concert goers were told “You’re all going to f***ing die” less than an hour before the Las Vegas shooting started, it has been claimed. A woman in the crowd is said to have yelled the warning about 45 minutes before the Route 91 Harvest festival became the venue for the worst mass shooting in US history. After her outburst, it was claimed, the woman and her male companion were made to leave the venue by security. Less than an hour later, an attack began that left at least 50 people dead. Witness Brianna Hendricks... said: “It seemed she was telling us to either warn us, or she was part of it and she was telling us because she knew we were going to die. It was so scary. “It felt like she had knowledge of what was about to happen.” Ms Hendricks returned to the Mandalay hotel about 15 minutes before the shooting, and witnessed the subsequent carnage from her hotel room. She described the woman who gave the warning as “Hispanic, probably about 5ft 5, [with] brown hair”, and said the woman’s boyfriend was also Hispanic. The authorities have yet to comment on whether the woman’s warning was just a bizarre coincidence, or whether it actually did have something to do with the mass shooting.

Note: Public statements by police regarding this event have been wildly inconsistent. Explore powerful evidence that Paddock (and other mass shooters) may have been a Manchurian Candidate programmed to do his deed.


Cold War radiation testing in US widespread, author claims
2017-10-02, CBS/Associated Press
http://wsbt.com/news/health/cold-war-radiation-testing-in-us-widespread-autho...

Members of Congress are demanding answers after a St. Louis scholar's new book revealed details of secret Cold War-era U.S. government testing in which countless unsuspecting people, including many children, pregnant women and minorities, were fed, sprayed or injected with radiation and other dangerous materials. Lisa Martino-Taylor ... wrote "Behind the Fog: How the U.S. Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans," [using] Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain previously unreleased documents, including Army records. She found that a small group of researchers, aided by leading academic institutions, worked to develop radiological weapons and later "combination weapons" using radioactive materials along with chemical or biological weapons. Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout the U.S., as well as parts of England and Canada, were subjected to potentially deadly material through open-air spraying, ingestion and injection. "They targeted the most vulnerable in society," Martino-Taylor said. "They targeted children. They targeted pregnant women. People who were ill in hospitals. They targeted wards of the state. And they targeted minority populations." [House Democrat William Lacy] Clay said he was angered that Americans were used as "guinea pigs" for research. "I join with my colleagues to demand the whole truth about this testing," Clay said in a statement.

Note: See this news article for photos and a video of this event. Read about dozens of other incidents in which humans were used as guinea pigs, at times resulting in deaths that were covered up. Another video is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research
2017-10-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/02/attacks-on-the-credibil...

For a quarter of a century, the concept of “false memories” has provided a scientific fig leaf for sceptics of child sexual abuse allegations. The “false memory” argument is deceptively simple: children and adults are prone to invent false memories of child sexual abuse that never occurred, particularly if encouraged by a therapist. So-called “recovered memories”, in which adults recall sexual abuse in childhood after a period of amnesia, have been a particular focus of disbelief. In fact ... studies find that children are far less suggestible than we have been led to believe. Brain imaging studies have identified the neurological mechanisms involved in the process of forgetting and then recalling sexual abuse as an adult. However, for those uncomfortable with the social and legal reforms required to address child sexual abuse, the idea that large numbers of allegations are the product of “false memories” remains attractive. This argument underpins recent reporting in the Australian, which has called into question the findings of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, on the basis that sexual abuse survivor testimony cannot be trusted. Allegations of sexual abuse are always a challenge to authority. In response, many are driven to reject the allegations outright, rather than examine the uncomfortable truths they reveal. Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors and advocates, and on the findings of the royal commission ... are not justified by research on sexual abuse and traumatic memory; far from it.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


DOJ demands Facebook information from 'anti-administration activists'
2017-09-30, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/28/politics/facebook-anti-administration-activists...

Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant. The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described ... as "anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration's policies." One of those users, Emmelia Talarico, operated the disruptj20 page where Inauguration Day protests were organized and discussed; the page was visited by an estimated 6,000 users whose identities the government would have access to if Facebook hands over the information. Talarico says if her account information was given to the government, officials would have access to her "personal passwords, security questions and answers, and credit card information," plus "the private lists of invitees and attendees to multiple political events." The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the three Facebook users, filed a motion to quash the warrants Thursday. "What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to [be] scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting," said ACLU attorney Scott Michelman. Facebook was initially served the warrants in February 2017 along with a gag order which barred the social media company from alerting the three users that the government was seeking their private information.

Note: United Nations officials recently said that the US government's treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Animal cruelty could result in five-year jail sentence under new law
2017-09-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/animal-cruelty-could-result-in-...

People who abuse animals in England will now face up to five years in prison under a tough new crackdown. The environment secretary, Michael Gove, said the tenfold increase from the present six-month sentence was needed to combat cruelty. The move comes after a series of cases in which courts said they would have liked to impose tougher sentences if they had the option. These include instances when a man bought a number of puppies just to brutally and systematically beat, choke and stab them to death. The new legislation will also enable courts to deal more effectively with ruthless gangs involved in organised dog fights, the Department of the Environment said. “We are a nation of animal lovers and so we must ensure that those who commit the most shocking cruelty towards animals face suitably tough punishments,” Gove said. “These plans will give courts the tools they have requested to deal with the most abhorrent acts. This is one part of our plan to deliver world-leading standards of animal welfare in the years ahead.” Under the government’s plans, courts will retain the ability to hand out an unlimited fine and ban an offender from owning animals in the future but they will also have the ability to sentence the worst cases more harshly. The move will bring maximum sentences for animal cruelty in England into line with Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Note: The UK's move to improve animal welfare starkly contrasts a recent US government action which deleted thousands of documents detailing animal welfare violations from a public website.


Monsanto banned from European parliament
2017-09-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/monsanto-banned-from-euro...

Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings. Monsanto officials will now be unable to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or use digital resources on parliament premises in Brussels or Strasbourg. While a formal process still needs to be worked through, a spokesman for the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said that the leaders of all major parliamentary blocks had backed the ban in a vote this morning. MEPs had been incensed at a Monsanto decision to shun a hearing organised by the environment and agriculture committees, with academics, regulators and campaigners, on 11 October. The meeting is expected to hear allegations that Monsanto unduly influenced regulatory studies into the safety of glyphosate, a key ingredient in its best-selling RoundUp weedkiller. “Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European parliament,” said the Green party president Philippe Lamberts. “US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.” Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (Ł260,000 - Ł350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels.

Note: Monsanto's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of its products from getting out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Saudi Arabia to let women drive at last
2017-09-27, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/politics/saudi-arabia-woman-drive/

Saudi Arabia is easing restrictions on women driving, finally allowing almost half its population to get behind the wheel. A royal decree has been issued that will allow women in the country to drive, the Saudi Foreign ministry said Tuesday. The government will have until June 24, 2018, to implement the new decree. Manal al-Sharif, one of the women behind the Women2Drive campaign, celebrated the victory by posting a photo on Twitter of herself behind the wheel of a car. Sharif, who now lives in Australia, was jailed in Saudi Arabia 2011 after posting a video on YouTube of herself, wearing a black headscarf and sunglasses, driving a car. The act provoked death threats and spurred her to start the campaign. Liesl Gerntholtz, executive director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, told CNN while it was a "very important step" there was still a long way to go for Saudi women. "This prohibition on driving is just one in a vast series of laws and policies which prevent women from doing many things," she said. "The guardianship rule stops women from making every decision in her life without the assistance of a male relative, even if that relative is her 7-year-old son. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a strict form of Wahhabi Islam that bans the mixing of sexes at public events and places numerous curbs on women. These restrictions are enforced by religious police.

Note: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the strongest allies of the US, yet it is also about the most backward country in the world on women's rights. And it is a dictatorship by monarchy. Why isn't there more reporting on this? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Love Little Free Libraries? These People Didn’t Stop at Books
2017-09-27, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/just-transition/love-little-free-libraries-...

From seed banks to free food pantries, the little library movement is taking off in neighborhoods across the country. Audrey Barbakoff ... wanted a place for people to share and donate vegetable, flower, and herb seeds. Barbakoff, who works as a librarian on Bainbridge Island, Washington, thought that the public library was the perfect place to house a seed library. In 2014, the group and the library staff teamed up to build a seed shed right behind the Bainbridge branch. Residents bring their seeds to the library and the staff organize, label, and store them in the shed where people are free to take what they need. In March, Holly Dyck ... decided to host a clothes swap on campus. Her idea caught on with more than 50 students who gathered in a student lounge to swap clothes that had rarely or never been worn. Darla Bradish ... heard about the Little Free Library movement and imagined a similar concept, but with food. “I see the need for little free food pantries in my community,” Bradish says. “It’s hard for some people ... to get to the local food bank, so I thought why not place little food pantries in the neighborhoods.” Bradish got her program, Kitsap Neighborhood Little Free Pantries, approved by her county’s public health district and set up the first two little pantries. The success of her project led to the local corrections department offering to build her more pantry boxes. “One guy got his paycheck, but couldn’t cash it until the next day,” she says. “So, he came to one of the pantries to find out what he was going to eat for dinner.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


White Nationalism is as Much of a Threat to U.S. as ISIS, FBI's Open Investigations Show
2017-09-27, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/white-nationalism-much-threat-us-isis-fbis-open-inves...

The threat of white nationalist violence in the U.S. is at least as big a threat as that posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) and similar groups, the FBI revealed. Director Chris Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that there are currently 1,000 open investigations into domestic terrorist groups and another 1,000 probes into groups with radical Islamist ideology. The number of attacks carried out by white supremacists were “almost triple” those of those carried out by people who identified with groups such as ISIS, said Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. And government data obtained by The Hill suggests the number of white supremacist attacks compared to those from radical Islamist groups was as many as two to one. “We have had zero hearings on the threat of domestic terrorists and the threat they pose and our response to it,” McCaskill said, explaining there had been a number of hearings about ISIS, but none about white supremacists. Wray ... explained domestic and international terrorism was investigated differently. “A lot of the [domestic terrorism] cases we bring, we’re able to charge under gun charges, explosive charges, all manner of other crimes,” Wray explained. His comments on the open investigations at the department come as the Department of Justice announced there were “systemic” problems within the FBI that included failure to properly tackle allegations of serious misconduct, and FBI employees failing polygraph tests.

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


Mystery Surrounds Metal Towers Popping Up In Tunnels & Bridges
2017-09-27, CBS News (New York City affiliate)
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/09/27/mysterious-metal-towers/

Mysterious metal towers are popping up at local tunnels, and soon they’ll start appearing at bridges, too. But even people on the MTA board in charge of the towers can’t say why they’re being used or what’s in them. It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So what are they exactly? The MTA’s man in charge of the bridges and tunnels, Cedrick Fulton, dodged Carlin’s questions Wednesday. “I said no comment,” he said. Some MTA board members, including New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, say they know too little about the towers - even with half the money already spent and some of the towers already up. “A lot of the board members felt they didn’t have all the details they would have wanted, myself included,” she said. Residents suspect there is much more going on in the towers than meets the eye and wonder if they’ll ever really know what’s going on inside of them. CBS2 demanded answers from MTA Chairman Joe Lhota. Carlin: “Some of your own board members say they don’t know the specifics.” Lhota: “The base of these new pieces that are going up include whatever fiber optics are necessary for those Homeland Security items.” In other words, anti-terror technology. Could that one day include facial recognition? We don’t know and Lhota won’t say. “I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” he told Carlin. Lhota said all necessary Homeland Security technology remains in place at all crossings, even the ones that don’t have the new towers yet.

Note: See video of these strange new towers containing secret Homeland Security technology at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


As Google Fights Fake News, Voices on the Margins Raise Alarm
2017-09-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/technology/google-search-bias-claims.html

When David North, the editorial chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, noticed a drop in the site’s traffic in April, he initially chalked it up to news fatigue. But when he dug into the numbers, Mr. North said, he found a clearer explanation: Google had stopped redirecting search queries to the site. He discovered that the top search terms that once brought people to the World Socialist Web Site were now coming up empty. Accusations that Google has tampered with search results are not uncommon. But they are taking on new life amid concerns that technology behemoths are directly - or indirectly - censoring controversial subjects in their response to concerns over so-called fake news. In April, Google announced an initiative called Project Owl to provide “algorithmic updates to surface more authoritative content” and stamp out fake news stories from its search results. To some, that was an uncomfortable step toward Google becoming an arbiter of what is and is not a trustworthy news source. “They’re really skating on thin ice,” said Michael Bertini, a search strategist at iQuanti, a digital marketing agency. “They’re controlling what users see." In an open letter to Google last month, Mr. North traced his site’s traffic decline to Project Owl. Mr. North said he believed that Google was blacklisting the site, using concerns over fake news as a cover to suppress opinions from socialist, antiwar or left-wing websites and block news that Google doesn’t want covered.

Note: Visits to WantToKnow.info have dropped to less than half of what they were just eight months ago, largely due to a drop in visits from Google's search engine. Many alternative news websites have lost a lot of visits as Google prioritizes "mainstream" sources over alternative viewpoints. Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


4 NCAA Basketball Coaches, Adidas Executive Charged in Bribe Scheme
2017-09-26, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/college-basketball-coaches-allegedly-too...

A federal investigation into the "dark underbelly" of college basketball exposed bribery schemes in which coaches at top programs took cash to steer star athletes to certain managers and helped funnel payoffs to players' families to ensure they signed with particular schools, prosecutors said Tuesday. Some of the biggest names in college sports - from Adidas to the University of Louisville - were caught up in the probe, which began in 2015 with the help of a fallen financial adviser. Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said the FBI and prosecutors ... found a pay-to-play culture flourishing in some corners of the NCAA. "The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one - coaches at some of the nation’s top programs taking cash bribes, managers and advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of a global sportswear company funneling cash to families of high school recruits," he said. On Tuesday, federal agents executed search warrants at the offices of ASM Sports, which represents 30 current NBA players but which was not charged in the three criminal complaints filed in Manhattan. Those documents detail a web of corruption. "If we take care of everybody and everything is done, we control everything," Christian Dawkins, a former recruiter for ASM who was reportedly fired for using a player’s credit card, told an undercover agent, according to one complaint. ”You can make millions off one kid."

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


Wind power is now cheaper than nuclear – the energy revolution is happening
2017-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/26/offshore-wind-power-ene...

In March I went to see Henrik Poulsen, the boss of Dong Energy, in Copenhagen. Dong stands for Danish oil and natural gas. It was, like Shell and BP, involved in fossil fuel exploration and production. But in less than a decade it has become an 85% offshore wind company, and is divesting its coal, oil and gas interests. By 2023, Dong Energy will be very close to zero carbon. That is a pretty staggering transformation in a very short space of time. Talking to Poulsen made me realise that we were on the cusp of a quiet revolution. From being the most expensive form of renewable energy, offshore wind was fast becoming the cheapest form of large-scale, low-carbon generation bar none. As Poulsen said: “When you go 10 years into the future and you look back, I think we will look at these years, 2016, 2017, 2018, as the inflection point. I think we’ll look back and say wow ... Something happened for wind and solar energy during those years that completely changed the dynamic.” But he also said that “without the UK government and what they have done for the past five or six years, we wouldn’t have been where we are today. I’m glad to see that it’s paying off.” There’s a pleasing symmetry in fighting climate change, a truly enormous problem that remains invisible to most people in the UK, with offshore wind, an equivalently huge and equally invisible solution.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Man removes Nazi swastika tattoos after unlikely friendship
2017-09-25, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/US/man-removes-nazi-swastika-tattoos-friendship/story?i...

Colorado resident Michael Kent recently sat down at a tattoo parlor in Colorado Springs to have his swastikas covered up. Kent, a former neo-Nazi, credits an African-American parole officer named Tiffany Whittier with helping him to see beyond skin color and changing his views about white supremacy. “If it wasn’t for her I would have seeped back into it,” said Kent. “I look at her as family.” Whittier, 45, even inspired Kent, 38, to take down the Nazi flags he had hanging in his living room and replace them with smiley faces. “I’m not here to judge him. That’s not my job to judge. My job is to be that positive person in someone’s life,” Whittier said. Redemption Ink, a national non-profit that offers free removals of hate-related tattoos, helped connect Kent with Fallen Heroes Tattoo in Colorado to begin the 15-hour process of covering his swastikas. The sterile environment is new to Kent who had his previous ink work done in prison. “I’ve never, never, never been inside of a tattoo shop getting a professional tattoo,” he said. Kent believes the painful process will help him move forward after spending years as a member of a violent skinhead group based in Arizona. As a father of two young children, Kent also hopes his children will see the world differently. “I don’t want my kids to live the life I lived and live with hate,” said Kent. “I want my kids to know me for who I am now—a good father, a hard worker, and a good provider.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Trump to NFL owners: Fire players who kneel during national anthem
2017-09-23, CBS News/Associated Press
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-to-nfl-owners-fire-players-who-kneel-durin...

President Trump has some advice for National Football League owners: Fire players who kneel during the national anthem. He's also encouraging fans to walk out in protest. And the president is bemoaning what he describes as a decline in violence in the sport. Several athletes, including a handful of NFL players, have refused to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the trend last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, hasn't been signed by an NFL team for this season. The NFL Players Association reacted to Mr. Trump's comments Saturday morning in a statement: "This union ... will never back down when it comes to constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men in a game that exposes them to great risks." During his campaign, Mr. Trump often expressed nostalgia for the "old days" - claiming, for example, that protesters at his rallies would have been carried out on stretchers back then. He recently suggested police officers should be rougher with criminals and shouldn't protect their heads when pushing them into squad cars. It's also not the first time he's raised the kneeling issue. Earlier this year he took credit for the fact that Kaepernick hadn't been signed.

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


You don't usually hear this word at a rally
2017-09-23, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/opinions/you-dont-hear-this-at-a-rally-costello...

All you need is love. Love is all you need. I'm singing that old Beatles song in my head and trying to wrap my mind around a beautiful love-fueled relationship between members of Black Lives Matter and the most passionate Trump supporters. That word - love - came up in a conversation with Hawk Newsome, who represents Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. "At some point, we're going to have to talk to the other side," he told me. And realize, he added, sometimes the situation calls for "words, for love, for compassion, as opposed to words of anger." He realized that smack in the middle of hundreds of pro-Trumpers at the Mother of All Rallies event ... in Washington, DC. As Newsome and his fellow activists waded through the mostly white crowd, ready to do battle, something totally radical happened. A Trump supporter, speaking from a makeshift stage, invited him to speak. "We're going to give you two minutes of our platform to put your message out," the Trump supporter told Newsome. "Whether they disagree or agree with your message is irrelevant. It's the fact you have a right to have the message." "This was a first-time occurrence," [Newsome said]. "It was hostile before we were invited on that stage." But, when he took the stage and started shouting his beliefs and found that some in the crowd actually listened, that word popped into his head - love. It's a small thing, which shines the light on what we already know - love and compassion go a long way. We just have to listen to that song in our heads.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Fluoride exposure in utero linked to lower IQ in kids, study says
2017-09-21, CNN News
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/19/health/fluoride-iq-neurotoxin-study/index.html

Increased levels of prenatal fluoride exposure may be associated with lower cognitive function in children, a new study says. The study, published ... in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, evaluated nearly 300 sets of mothers and children in Mexico and tested the children twice for cognitive development over the course of 12 years. The study found a drop in scores on intelligence tests for every 0.5 milligram-per-liter increase in fluoride exposure beyond 0.8 milligrams per liter found in urine. Although the researchers found a potential connection to a child's exposure to fluoride in utero, they found no significant influence from fluoride exposure on brain development once a child was born. "Childhood exposure to fluoride is safer than prenatal. The fetal system tends to be more sensitive to environmental toxicants than once the child is born," said the study's lead author, Howard Hu, founding dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water in the United States in order to improve dental health, though a number of communities including Portland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona, have rejected water fluoridation. What the new research means for pregnant women in the United States is up in the air. Previous studies have found fluoride to be a potential neurotoxin at extremely high levels.

Note: This Newsweek article and this MSNBC article also raise serious questions about the benefits and risks of fluoride in our water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Federal employees ordered to attend anti-leaking classes
2017-09-21, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Federal-employees-are-ordere...

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information. It is part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies. The Associated Press obtained training materials from the hourlong class. Government employees who hold security clearances undergo background checks and extensive training in safeguarding classified information. Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep "Controlled Unclassified Information" from unauthorized disclosure. President Donald Trump has expressed anger repeated leaks of potentially embarrassing information to media organizations. In a speech last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said those responsible for the "staggering number of leaks" coming out of the administration would be investigated and potentially prosecuted. "We share the White House's concern with the unlawful leaks throughout the government," Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said. A three-page fact sheet sent to EPA employees as part of the training warned that leaks of even unclassified information could have serious consequences to national security.

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


Children's IQ Could Be Lowered by Mothers Drinking Tap Water While Pregnant
2017-09-19, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/childrens-iq-could-be-lowered-drinking-tap-water-whil...

Adding fluoride to public drinking water for dental purposes has been controversial since the practice first began in 1945. A new study suggests that prenatal exposure to this chemical may affect cognitive abilities and that children born to mothers exposed to high amounts of fluoride could have lower IQs. The study ... found an association between lower intelligence and prenatal fluoride exposure in 299 mother-child pairs in Mexico. Even when other possible factors were taken into account, such as exposure to other chemicals, results continually showed that higher prenatal fluoride exposure was linked to lower scores on tests of cognitive function in children at age 4 and then again between 6 and 12. The mothers in this study did not have fluoride added to their water. In Mexico, fluoridated salt is the main way that women get salt into their diet, says Hu, unlike in the U.S., where fluoridated water is the main avenue. The data could renew the debate about the safety of adding fluoride to tap water, in part because experts have not been quick to dismiss the findings. "This is a very well-conducted study, and it raises serious concerns about fluoride supplementation in water," says Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician who studies potential links between environmental exposures and health problems at New York University. Trasande ... also explains that fluoride is known to disrupt thyroid function, which in turn is crucial for brain development.

Note: Another Newsweek article and this MSNBC article also raise serious questions about the benefits and risks of fluoride in our water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Forget getting rich - sex and sleep are the real keys to happiness
2017-09-19, MSN/The Telegraph
http://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/mindandbody/forget-getting-rich-sex-and-sleep...

It is often said that money doesn’t bring happiness, but researchers may have found the two things that do – sex and sleep. The Living Well Index, developed by researchers Oxford Economics, found that spending time in the bedroom is a lot more significant than quadrupling your income. A poll carried out by the National Centre for Social Research found that the most rested people score 15 points higher on the index than those who struggled with their sleep. People who are deeply dissatisfied with their sex lives score seven points lower on average than those who say they were very satisfied. By the same metric, increasing household income from Ł12,500 to Ł50,000 results in an increase of just two points. The report ... said: “For the typical Brit, improving their sleep to the level of someone at the top of the index would be equivalent to them having over four times as much disposable income,” adding that sleep was the “strongest indicator of a broader sense of well-being”. Other factors include living in a strong community, job security and the health of close relatives. The analysis also found ... a strong association between happiness and having a young child at home. “Baby boomers” who were still in work were the second-happiest group because of good job security and a high standard of living. The survey of 8,250 adults also found that older people are objectively happier than younger ones – even when other factors, such as wealth and lifestyle, are controlled.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Former whistleblower starts legal aid group to guide would-be tipsters
2017-09-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-whistleblower-s...

John N. Tye wants to make it easier to expose government wrongdoing without getting fired or breaking the law. Tye, a former State Department whistleblower, and lawyer Mark S. Zaid have formed Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit law office to help would-be tipsters in government and the military navigate the bureaucratic and legal morass involved in reporting governmental misdeeds. Whistleblowing can be a challenge for people who have taken an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution ... Tye said in a telephone interview. “Then you get into government and you see something wrong,” he said. “You’ve sworn to stop it, but there aren’t a lot of tools at your disposal, especially if it’s your supervisor who’s breaking the law. People are scared. They’re worried about their jobs. If it involves classified information, they can be criminally prosecuted.” Tye’s interest in whistleblowing came from a stint as section chief for Internet freedom in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He came forward as a whistleblower to publicize the government’s electronic surveillance practices. He wrote about it in 2014 in a Washington Post opinion piece that he submitted to the State Department for approval. His quest to air his concerns cost him $13,000 in legal fees. If a whistleblower comes to Whistleblower Aid with classified information, he or she will be steered to investigators with security clearances and the power to do something about it.

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


'The man who saved the world' died and the world didn't notice — Who was Stanislav Petrov?
2017-09-18, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://www.ajc.com/news/world/the-man-who-saved-the-world-died-and-the-world-...

One September morning in 1983, Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, a 44-year-old commanding officer with the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces, saved the world from erupting into nuclear war. Petrov died on May 19 ... at his home in the Moscow suburb of Fryazino. According to the New York Times, he lived at his Fryazino home alone on a pension. How did Petrov “save the world?” On Sept. 26, 1983, Oko (the Soviet Union’s early-warning satellite system for nuclear attack) detected that the United States had launched five ballistic missiles, all headed toward the USSR. But as the alarms went off and screens flashing the word “LAUNCH” lit up, Petrov, who was just a few hours into his shift as duty officer at command center Serpukhov-15, remained calm. “For 15 seconds, we were in a state of shock,” he told The Washington Post in 1999. Petrov’s gut feeling ... led him to believe the launch reports were probably false. “When people start a war, they don't start it with only five missiles,” he remembered thinking. He said his decision to stand down ... was “at best, a ‘50-50’ guess.” And, as Wired Magazine put it in 2007, “he hoped to hell he was right.” That gut feeling and Petrov’s calm, common-sense analysis saved the world from potential catastrophe. The satellite that signaled the false alarm had picked up the sun’s reflection atop the clouds, mistaking it for a missile launch. After the classified incident became public ... Petrov went on to earn the German Media Prize in 2012 (other GMP winners include Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama and Kofi Anan).

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Governments Turn Tables by Suing Public Records Requesters
2017-09-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/09/17/us/ap-us-sunshine-year-turning-th...

An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home. College journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct. Instead, they got something else: sued by the agencies they had asked for public records. Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests - taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense. The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged, [and] name the requesters as defendants. The recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it's becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. At least two recent cases have succeeded in blocking information while many others have only delayed the release. Even if agencies are ultimately required to make the records public, they typically will not have to pay the other side's legal bills. "You can lose even when you win," said Mike Deshotels, an education watchdog who was sued by the Louisiana Department of Education after filing requests for school district enrollment data last year.

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


America’s slow-motion military coup
2017-09-16, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/09/16/america-slow-motion-military-c...

In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Already they have exerted a stabilizing influence. Mattis refuses to join the rush to bomb North Korea, Kelly has imposed a measure of order on the White House staff, and McMaster pointedly distanced himself from Trump’s praise for white nationalists after the violence in Charlottesville. Being ruled by generals seems preferable to the alternative. It isn’t. Trump has made clear that when he must make foreign policy choices, he will defer to “my generals.” Military commanders are trained to fight wars, not to decide whether fighting makes strategic sense. That is properly the job of diplomats. Many Americans ... are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation.

Note: Check out this excellent article which shows how Trump, like Obama and his other predecessors, has been co-opted to support the hugely profitable war machine. According to this recent New York Times article, John Kelly now directly controls what news President Trump is and is not allowed to see. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Reading, writing and empathy: How Denmark is a leader in teaching social skills
2017-09-15, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2017/0915/Reading-writing-and-empathy-...

The importance of empathy as a character trait is garnering increased attention in an age of rapid technological change. In Denmark, empathy has long been a part of the zeitgeist of the nation, taught and valued everywhere, from preschools to corporate suites. By many measures, Denmark ... excels at instilling emotional well-being. Still, Denmark is facing challenges that would sound familiar to American educators. At the Hedegĺrdenes school ... one-third of the 400 students, from the first year of school through the ninth year, come from immigrant backgrounds, and another third from what administrators call troubled homes. As a result, says Thomas Brinch, vice principal, “the work with empathy is more important than ever. The kids need to treat each other with respect no matter where they are from, what their religion is.” Schools see empathy as a way to deal with another challenge as well: the saturation of social media. In the classroom of Ida Nielsen, a fifth-year teacher at the Hedegĺrdenes school ... the class has drawn up social media user guidelines together and is now discussing what they mean in practice. One of the first rules sounds simple enough: Don’t say anything mean. But it leads one boy to question if that just applies to people, or whether they may make negative statements about not liking longer school hours. Such discussions are crucial, says Ms. Nielsen, when asked about the pressures to devote time to academic learning during the day. “This is their lives,” she says.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Harvard withdraws invitation to Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow amid backlash
2017-09-15, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/09/15/harvard-withdraws-i...

Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier who spent seven years in prison for leaking classified documents, will not be distinguished visiting fellow at Harvard after growing backlash prompted the school to rescind the invitation. The school withdrew Manning's invite two days after announcing she would be one of roughly ten visiting fellows this fall. Manning's designation as a visiting fellow led to Mike Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, to resign his post as a senior fellow at Harvard University, CBS reported. CIA Director Mike Pompeo also canceled a speaking event Thursday at a Harvard forum in protest of what he called the school's decision to place Manning in a "position of honor." Manning was convicted of leaking more than 700,000 classified documents, including battlefield reports on Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables, while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. She said the leaks were intended to expose wrongdoing. Manning was arrested in May 2010 and given a 35-year sentence, which was commuted in the final days of the Obama administration. Manning was known as Pvt. Bradley Manning at the time of her arrest, but announced she was transgender during her incarceration. Elmendorf said Manning will still spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in the Forum, though she will not be designated a visiting fellow.

Note: Read about Manning's wartime whistleblowing in this CNN story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies and in the corporate world.


Mystery of Sonic Weapon Attacks at US Embassy in Cuba Deepens
2017-09-14, The Guardian/Associated Press
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/14/mystery-of-sonic-weapon-attacks...

The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. The agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room. Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. New details learned by the Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling US officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up. Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has confounded the FBI, the state department and US intelligence agencies involved in the investigation. Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August – nine months after symptoms were first reported. The cases vary deeply: different symptoms, different recollections of what happened. In several episodes recounted by US officials, victims knew it was happening in real time, and there were strong indications of a sonic attack.

Note: Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


Study prompts call to examine flu vaccine and miscarriage
2017-09-13, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/study-prompts-call-examine-flu-vaccine...

A puzzling study of U.S. pregnancies found that women who had miscarriages between 2010 and 2012 were more likely to have had back-to-back annual flu shots that included protection against swine flu. Past studies have found flu vaccines are safe during pregnancy, though there’s been little research on impact of flu vaccinations given in the first three months of pregnancy. This study focused only on miscarriages, which occur in the first 19 weeks of pregnancy and are common. The study’s authors, two of whom are CDC researchers, saw a big difference when they looked at women who had miscarried within 28 days of getting a shot that included protection against swine flu, but it was only when the women also had had a flu shot the previous season. They found 17 of 485 miscarriages they studied involved women whose vaccinations followed that pattern. Just four of a comparable 485 healthy pregnancies involved women who were vaccinated that way. Some of the same researchers are working on a larger study looking at more recent data to see if a possible link between swine flu vaccine and miscarriage holds up.

Note: Shortly after publication, this article was removed from the ABC News website. The complete article text is available here. The study in Vaccine can be found on this page. An important article on this study by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on this webpage further states "in women who received the H1N1 vaccine in the previous flu season, the odds of spontaneous abortion in the 28 days after receiving a flu vaccine was 7.7 times greater." Could it be that the major media don't want to lose the huge revenue gained by drug ads by pharmaceuticals?


Wells Fargo aggressive with consumers, careful with companies
2017-09-12, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Wells-Fargo-aggressive-with-consu...

Wells Fargo’s admission that its employees created up to 3.5 million fraudulent accounts suggests a reckless, out-of-control culture. But the San Francisco banking giant seems to have a split personality of sorts. While branch employees aggressively pressured consumers ... commercial bankers adopted a relatively stingy approach to lending money to companies. That strategy allowed Wells Fargo to avoid the same kind of bad commercial loans that wiped out many banks during the financial crisis a decade ago. Had Wells Fargo applied the same due diligence to consumer banking as it did to commercial banking, the company might have avoided its current troubles. How do we reconcile these reckless/conservative sides of Wells Fargo? For one thing, federal regulators were not exactly keeping a close watch over Wells Fargo’s consumer business. Over the past two decades, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is charged with protecting consumers, issued just 448 enforcement actions against Wells Fargo, even as the bank’s total assets have soared from nearly $200 billion in 1998 ... to $1.85 trillion today. The sheer size ... of the bank allows different divisions to essentially act like separate companies. That means community and commercial operations can boast completely different strategies and methods of compensating employees. In Wells Fargo’s case, branch employees would receive more pay if they hit aggressive sales goals, prompting them to open fraudulent accounts.

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.


Democrats Fought For 25 Years Over Single-Payer. Now Many Back Medicare-For-All
2017-09-12, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/democrats-fought-25-years-over-singl...

When U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ introduces his Medicare-for-All legislation on Wednesday, advocates of a single-payer, government-sponsored health care hope it will be the end of a bitterly fought policy battle that has roiled the Democratic Party for generations. Since Democratic President Harry Truman first proposed a government-sponsored universal health care system in 1945 - and since a Democratic president and Democratic congress first enacted Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s - progressives have hoped that the United States would follow other industrialized countries by guaranteeing health care to all citizens. Now ... Democrats from across the party’s ideological spectrum are flocking to [Sanders'] legislation. With polls showing rising support for government-sponsored health care, the party’s long civil war over the issue may be over, potentially allowing a more unified party to campaign on Medicare-for-All in 2018. As some ... continue to oppose single-payer, popular support for the idea is rising: 53 percent of Americans support “a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan,” according to a June Kaiser Health survey.

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


Sinead O’Connor Details Years of Physical and Sexual Abuse at the Hands of Her Mother: ‘She Ran a Torture Chamber'
2017-09-11, People
http://people.com/music/sinead-oconnor-emotional-sexual-abuse-mother/

Sinead O’Connor is opening up about the horrifying sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother in an emotional interview on Dr. Phil. The “Nothing Compares 2 U” singer ... detailed how her mother Marie O’Connor “ran a torture chamber” and tormented her until she ran away from home at 13. “She was not well. She was very, very, very not well. I would say she was possessed. Although I’m not sure I believe in such things,” O’Connor, 50, said.“I ran away,” the singer added. “She used to make me say over and over ‘I am nothing. I am nothing’ or else she’d beat me.” Marie O’Connor died decades ago in a car crash when Sinead was 19 years old. O’Connor has made headlines in recent years for her erratic behavior. Despite this, she denied that she is mentally unstable, telling Dr. Phil, “I am fed up of being defined as the crazy person; the child abuse survivor.”

Note: Watch excerpts from Sinead O’Connor's interview with Dr. Phil. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Nuclear plans 'should be rethought after fall in offshore windfarm costs'
2017-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/huge-boost-renewable-powe...

The government is under pressure to reconsider its commitment to a new generation of nuclear power stations after the cost of offshore wind power reached a record low. Experts said green energy had reached a tipping point in the UK after two windfarms secured a state-backed price for their output that was nearly half the level awarded last year to Britain’s first new nuclear power site in a generation, Hinkley Point C. Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the breakthrough should prompt a rethink of the government’s energy plans, which have pencilled in atomic plants at Wylffa in Wales, Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex. “The spectacular drop in the cost of offshore wind is extremely encouraging and shows the need for a radical reappraisal by government of the UK’s energy provision,” he said. The government spending watchdog this year described Hinkley as a “risky and expensive” project that generations of British consumers will have to pay for through electricity bills. The auction results are unlikely to halt the Hinkley project. But they pose a serious dilemma for ... new nuclear power plants around the UK and are likely to feed into a flagship government review of energy costs out next month. Most industry watchers had expected future nuclear projects to cost Ł80-Ł90 per MWh, a long way from the Ł62.14 average awarded to offshore windfarms. The price of building offshore windfarms has fallen by nearly a third since 2012 as the technology matured.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Saudi Arabia government ‘funded dry run' for 9/11, legal documents claim
2017-09-10, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/911-saudi-government-embassy...

The Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington DC may have funded a “dry run” of the 9/11 attacks, according to evidence submitted to an ongoing lawsuit against the Saudi government. As reported by the New York Post, the embassy might have used two of its employees for the so-called dry run before a dozen hijackers flew two planes into the Twin Towers. The complaint, filed on behalf of 1,400 family members of the victims, stated that the Saudi Government paid two nationals, posing as students in the US, to take a flight from Phoenix to Washington and test out flight deck security before 9/11. FBI documents, submitted as evidence, claimed that the two Saudi nationals ... Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi, were in fact members of “the Kingdom's network of agents” in the country. The documents claimed the men trained in Afghanistan with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives that participated in the attacks. Qudhaeein was allegedly employed at the Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and Shalawi was a “longtime employee of the Saudi government” in Washington DC. In November 1999 they boarded an America West flight to Washington, and tried to access the cockpit several times. Their plane tickets were reportedly paid for by the Saudi Embassy. The allegations in the class action lawsuit were based on almost 5,000 pages of evidence. A total of 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Hundreds of thousands of US documents regarding Saudi Arabia remain secret.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race
2017-09-10, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-10/china-s-fossil-fuel-deadli...

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market. Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday. The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban ... will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities. “The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter. The U.K. said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Norway and the Netherlands are considering a more aggressive way to put an end on fossil fuel cars years earlier than its European peers.

Note: According to a recent study, subsidies propping up the global fossil fuel industry "were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later."


The first New Yorkers go to college tuition-free
2017-09-08, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/07/pf/college/new-york-excelsior-scholarship-fre...

New York's Excelsior Scholarship is the first of its kind. It covers the cost of tuition for qualifying students who are enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program at any of the state's 88 public colleges and university campuses. Plans for the scholarship were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January. At first, students planning to attend college this fall didn't know whether it would become reality in time. It was officially approved by the legislature in April. When Governor Cuomo announced the program he said that college, like high school, "should always be an option even if you can't afford it." While similar programs in other states have made tuition free for community college students, the Excelsior Scholarship is the first to include those pursuing a four-year degree. The scholarship could save students as much as $27,000 over four years by cutting out tuition costs. The award doesn't cover fees charged by the school, or room and board. Students must also agree to live in state after college for the same number of years they received the scholarship, or it will be converted to a loan. Bonnie Tang, [a] Stony Brook freshman, is commuting from her home in Brooklyn, saving her about $13,000 in room and board costs. She'll have to buy a monthly train pass [and] pay about $2,560 in fees this year. But everything else is free. "My tuition is paid for and that saves me a lot of money," she said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


AI Can Tell if You're Gay: Artificial Intelligence Predicts Sexuality from One Photo with Startling Accuracy
2017-09-08, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/ai-can-tell-if-youre-gay-artificial-intelligence-pred...

Two Stanford University researchers have reported startling accuracy in predicting sexual orientation using computer technology. Dr. Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, whose research will be published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, say that AI can distinguish between the face of a heterosexual man and a homosexual man in 81 percent of cases. For women, the predictive accuracy is 71 percent. The average human is less adept at identifying between straight and gay people purely based on an image: We are only able to guess correctly in 61 percent of cases for men and 54 percent for women. When scientists presented the algorithm with five facial images of a single person, the accuracy increased to 91 percent for men and 83 percent for women. Kosinski and Wang used “deep neural networks” to sample 35,326 facial images of men and women taken from a dating website. The findings advance discussion about the biological factors that may determine one’s sexual orientation. However, Kosinski tells The Economist, the research is not intended to be used to profile or “out” homosexual men and women. Rather, it is designed to demonstrate - or even warn - that technological advances can be used for such means and could pose a threat to our privacy, given that digital information is so easily accessible. The researchers argue the “digitalization of our lives and rapid progress in AI continues to erode the privacy of sexual orientation and other intimate traits.”

Note: Emerging artificial intelligence technologies are currently being developed for use in warfare. According to a United Nations report, misuse of these technologies may threaten human rights. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing privacy news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sally Quinn has cast 3 hexes, and worries they worked
2017-09-08, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/09/08/sally-quinn-has-cast-3-hexes-a...

In her new "spiritual memoir" titled Finding Magic, veteran journalist Sally Quinn ... the widow of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee ... describes her lifelong belief in the occult and worries that hexes she once put on three people may have worked. "My family were Scots," [said Quinn]. "They all believed in Scottish myths and mysticism and the stones and psychic behavior and ghosts and astrology and palmistry and all that. And then of course we all went to church. So I had this kind of two-pronged religious upbringing. I would say my prayers to God and Jesus every night ... but I also believed in all this other stuff. When I was in my late 20s and early 30s, there were three people who hurt me in some way, or (hurt) somebody I loved, and so I decided to put a hex on them. I had never done it before. What I wanted to have happen was for them to feel what I had felt. I didn’t mean for them to die." One person died right away, another person got fired immediately and then died, and then the other one died. I’ve never done it again. And believe me, since (Donald) Trump was elected, and since the election, I can’t tell you how many friends have asked me to put a hex on Donald Trump, and I won’t do it. I just said no. I don’t do that anymore." The environment right now is more toxic and more poisonous than I’ve ever seen....(But I have) still been able to pull away and still find a sense of faith and joy and magic in the world."

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


Meth, Coke And Oil: A Drug Boom In The Texas Shale Patch
2017-09-07, Huffington Post/Reuters
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/meth-coke-and-oil-a-drug-boom-in-the-texa...

While drug use is a problem among industrial workers nationwide, it raises particular concern in the oil patch as U.S. production surges to record levels in what is already one of the nation’s most dangerous sectors - with a fatality rate about three times the average for other industries. Drug use is a significant factor in workplace injuries and crimes involving oilfield workers, according to drug counselors, hospital and police officials and court records in West Texas, the epicenter of the U.S. shale sector. As the shale revolution has spawned waves of hiring here since 2010, law enforcement authorities have tracked a boom in drug trafficking and related crime. In Midland and Ector counties, home to many Permian Basin oil workers, state and local police in 2016 seized more than 95 pounds of methamphetamine - up from less than four pounds in 2010. Despite corporate and regulatory efforts to curb drug abuse, many oilfield workers regularly use stimulants on long shifts of grueling work for relatively high pay. When oil jobs are plentiful, companies desperate for labor sometimes will disregard signs of substance abuse, said three recovering drug addicts who worked in the oilfield. “These oilfield bosses - they party, too,” [oilfield worker] Forsythe said. “As long as you’re getting the job done and not making a scene, they won’t drug test you.”

Note: The above article links to this graphic on illegal drugs shadow oil boom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


This Pen Can Diagnose Cancer in 10 Seconds
2017-09-06, Time
http://time.com/4928010/diagnose-cancer-pen/

When it comes to treating cancer, surgeons want to get rid of as much cancerous tissue as possible during tumor removal. Now a new technology - the size of a pen - is attempting to make that easier by distinguishing between tumors and healthy tissue in just 10 seconds. The MasSpec Pen is a real-time diagnostic tool created by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. In a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the researchers report that their handheld device (which is not yet FDA-approved) uses tiny droplets of water to analyze human tissue samples for cancer. “It’s a gentle, simple chemical process,” says study author Livia Schiavinato Eberlin. “It’s highly specific and highly sensitive. The fact that it’s non-destructive brings a new approach to cancer diagnosis.” Getting rid of all cancerous tissue while also preventing any harm to healthy tissue is a delicate process. Other tools available to surgeons for tissue diagnosis ... use gases or solvents that can be harmful for the human body [and] are slower than the MasSpec Pen. In the study, the researchers tested 253 human tissue samples from lung, ovary, thyroid and breast cancer tumors and compared them to samples of healthy tissues. The device was 96% accurate at identifying cancerous tissues. The researchers also tested the MasSpec Pen in live mice with tumors and found that the device was able to identify the presence of cancer without harming healthy surrounding tissues.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Rights group finds ‘assembly line’ of torture in Egypt
2017-09-06, Washington Post/Associated Press
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/rights-group-finds-assembly-...

An international rights group says Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has given a “green light” to systematic torture inside detention facilities.” Human Rights Watch says el-Sissi, a U.S. ally who was warmly received at the White House earlier this year ... “has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at the New York-based group. The allegations, the group said, amount to crimes against humanity. Most of the detainees are alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which rose to power after the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt arrested or charged some 60,000 people in the two years after Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader who became Egypt’s first freely elected president, was overthrown following a divisive year in power. Hundreds have gone missing in what appear to be forced disappearances, and hundreds of others have received preliminary death sentences. Based on interviews with 19 Egyptians detained as far back as 2013, the rights group documented abuses ranging from beatings to rape and sodomy. Local rights groups have documented dozens of deaths under torture in police custody. The Interior Ministry ... denied allegations of systemic torture. Citing national security, the government has shut down hundreds of websites, including many operated by independent journalists and rights groups.

Note: The US financially supports Egypt's military. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in police departments.


A Funeral of 2 Friends: C.I.A. Deaths Rise in Secret Afghan War
2017-09-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/world/asia/cia-afghanistan-war.html

This summer, operatives with the Central Intelligence Agency gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to bury two of their own. Brian Ray Hoke and Nathaniel Patrick Delemarre, elite gunslingers who worked for the C.I.A.’s paramilitary force, were laid to rest after a firefight with Islamic State militants. Their deaths this past October were never acknowledged by the C.I.A., beyond two memorial stars chiseled in a marble wall at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va. Today there are at least 18 stars on that wall representing the number of C.I.A. personnel killed in Afghanistan - a tally that has not been previously reported, and one that rivals the number of C.I.A. operatives killed in the wars in Vietnam and Laos nearly a half century ago. The deaths are a reflection of the heavy price the agency has paid in a secret, nearly 16-year-old war, where thousands of C.I.A. operatives have served since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The deaths of Mr. Hoke, 42, and Mr. Delemarre, 47, show how the C.I.A. continues to move from traditional espionage to the front lines, and underscore the pressure the agency faces now that President Trump has pledged to keep the United States in Afghanistan with no end in sight.

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


The Fake-News Fallacy
2017-09-04, The New Yorker
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/the-fake-news-fallacy

On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying. Aliens had landed just down the road, a newscaster announced. Dock ... prepared to face down the invaders. But ... he’d been duped by Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds.” The next day, newspapers were full of stories like Dock’s. This early fake-news panic lives on in legend, but [historian A. Brad] Schwartz is the latest of a number of researchers to argue that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. There was no mass hysteria, only small pockets of concern that quickly burned out. Newspapers exaggerated the panic to better control the upstart medium of radio, which was becoming the dominant source of breaking news in the thirties. Newspapers wanted to show that radio was irresponsible and needed guidance from its older, more respectable siblings in the print media, such “guidance” mostly taking the form of lucrative licensing deals and increased ownership of local radio stations. To some, the lesson of the panic was that the F.C.C. needed to take an even more active role to protect people from malicious tricksters like Welles. Yet Schwartz says that the people calling for a government crackdown were far outnumbered by those who warned against one. Today, Facebook and Google have taken the place of the F.C.C. in the conservative imagination. With a powerful, well-funded propaganda machine ... conservatives aren’t the ones who have the most to fear.

Note: Historian A. Brad Schwartz is the author of a bestselling book titled, "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


The bad news is that fish are eating lots of plastic. Even worse, they may like it
2017-09-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-bad-news-is-that-f...

More than 50 species of fish have been found to consume plastic trash at sea. This is bad news, not only for fish but potentially also for humans who rely on fish for sustenance. Fish don’t usually die as a direct result of feeding on the enormous quantities of plastic trash floating in the oceans. But that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful for them. Some negative effects that scientists have discovered when fish consume plastic include reduced activity rates and weakened schooling behavior, as well as compromised liver function. Most distressingly for people, toxic compounds that are associated with plastic transfer to and bioaccumulate in fish tissues. This is troubling because these substances could further bio­accumulate in people who consume fish that have eaten plastic. Plastic trash poses a serious threat to marine animals, but we are still trying to understand why animals eat it. Typically, research has concluded that marine animals visually mistake plastic for food. While this may be true, the full story is probably more complex. For example, colleagues at the University of California at Davis and I showed in a recent study that plastic debris may smell attractive to marine organisms. That’s a problem, because if plastic looks and smells interesting to fish, it will be very hard for them to discern that it is not food.

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


How a Crackdown on Leaks Threatens Confidential Sources
2017-09-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/04/insider/how-a-crackdown-on-leaks-threatens...

It was just four years ago that roughly two dozen representatives of major news organizations crowded around a conference table at the Justice Department for a meeting with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Our agenda? Strengthening the Justice Department’s guidelines that limit when federal prosecutors can serve subpoenas on the news media. It had just been revealed that federal investigators had secretly seized the phone records of The Associated Press and the emails of a Fox News correspondent during leak investigations. The result was important: The Justice Department revised its internal guidelines to make it harder for prosecutors to obtain subpoenas for reporters’ testimony and records. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after being chided by President Trump for being weak, recently declared a war on leakers and made clear that the news media was also on his mind. It seems all but certain that the Justice Department will try to chip away at the subpoena guidelines, [which] say that prosecutors are to seek testimony and evidence from journalists only as a last resort, and that news organizations should have a chance to go to court to challenge any subpoenas. The guidelines are far from ironclad. If a prosecutor were to ignore them, a journalist would have no right to go into court and demand they be followed. When federal courts dial back protection for reporters, the guidelines become an essential first line of defense against overzealous prosecutors.

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


Taxify Takes on Uber in Crowded London Taxi-Hailing Market
2017-09-04, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-competition-taxify/taxify-takes-on-ub...

Estonian start-up Taxify is to go head to head with Uber in London’s highly competitive taxi-hailing market. Taxify said it will launch services across London on Tuesday after signing up 3,000 private hire taxi drivers, who have been vetted to ensure they meet local licensing requirements. In London, it enters a crowded market where the city’s famous black cab taxi drivers and private hire taxi firms such as Addison Lee compete with ride-hailing apps including Gett and Hailo, which is now part of Daimler’s MyTaxi. Uber counts 40,000 drivers and has 3 million London users, who take 1 million trips a week. Taxify is a fraction of Uber’s size - being active in just under 25 cities compared to Uber’s presence in nearly 600 cities worldwide - but runs on a lower cost business model, allowing passengers to pay marked-down fares and letting drivers retain a bigger share of the profits. Taxify said on Monday it would take a 15 percent commission on rides booked through its online platform, versus the 20-25 percent Uber charges in London. Taxify also said it will accept cash as well electronic payments from riders, unlike Uber. Uber has struggled over the past year with legal setbacks, workplace harassment scandals, driver protests and bitter disputes among directors.

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


San Francisco could become first local government to use open-source voting system
2017-09-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/San-Francisco-could-become-first-...

San Francisco has taken a tentative step toward deciding on whether it will become the first local government in the country to run its voting machines on open-source software. The notion of shifting away from using proprietary technology sold by private companies to computer code made freely available for anyone to use and modify has been talked about for years. But it’s been getting more attention since the city allocated $300,000 to study the issue. Proponents of open-source voting systems say local governments using them would be able to hold elections with an unprecedented level of control, transparency and security. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has said he would support an open-source voting system, assuming it could pass the state’s certification protocols. Open-source software could allow the city to more fully understand and adjust how votes are tallied. Currently, vendors of electronic voting equipment provide few details about how their machines operate, claiming those details are proprietary. Governments are also beholden to private vendors if they want to make a change to the software running the machines.

Note: How crazy that the technology behind the US electronic voting system is held privately and the government cannot even inspect the technology used. Do you think there is the potential for fraud? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Pollution levels in Bolivia plummet on nationwide car-free day
2017-09-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/03/bolivia-car-free-day-pollution

Air pollution levels have plunged in cities across Bolivia as the country marked a nationwide car-free day in which all non-emergency vehicles were banned from city streets. As Bolivia’s middle-class population has increased over the past 10 years so has the number of cars clogging city streets. The car-free event started 18 years ago in Cochabamba, one of Latin America’s five most polluted cities, and has gradually taken root across the country. By 2011, it had become so popular that Bolivia’s legislature declared a yearly “Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist in Defence of Mother Earth”. Families love it. Jesus Romero, who lives on the northern edge of Cochabamba, said: “We really enjoy that it is so quiet and peaceful without any cars around, and that’s there’s space in the streets for the kids to play.” Deyanira López, 14, highlighted another benefit. “Our city is very beautiful but you just don’t see it because of all the cars,” she said. Andres Clares, 16, agreed, saying: “I really like walking at least one day without cars. It’s quieter and the air is so much fresher.” In a typically noisy city, the sudden silence is striking. This year the event’s catchphrase is “leave your green footprint in Cochabamba”. Six eco-stations are focused on different themes in coordination with local businesses and charities. “These educate about the air, animals, water, recycling, protected areas and trees,” said Gaviota Borda, head of the municipal department of environmental protection.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Wormwood review – Errol Morris's splendidly spooky doc about death, LSD and the CIA
2017-09-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/02/wormwood-review-errol-mo...

America’s love affair with LSD did not begin in Haight-Ashbury or during the summer of love. Instead it was seeded ... in Midwestern laboratories and government offices, where it comprised one strand of an extensive germ warfare programme. Errol Morris’s splendidly clammy, mysterious docu-drama Wormwood reopens the file on Frank Olson, a jobbing biochemist who fell to his death from a New York hotel. At the time (December 1953) Olson’s death was ruled to be suicide. But 20 years later evidence emerged that complicated the official verdict and prompted Olson’s family to sue the federal government. Even today elderly Eric Olson is in search of a definitive answer. He casts himself in the role of a Cold War Hamlet, haunted and harried by his father’s ghost. So what became of luckless Frank Olson? Did he fall or was he pushed? Infuriatingly – perhaps fittingly – we will have to wait to find out. For Morris’s docu-drama is a six-part series, commissioned by Netflix. So we’re left to blunder on, hands outstretched, past pensive Eric Olson and ... through spooky archive footage of a 1970s congressional hearing where sleazy Colonel Ruwet – surely the villain of the piece – sits with his back to the camera, meaning that we can only see his starched collar and his bald spot and the hint of a smile when he responds to a question. Who, then, can predict how this investigation turns out?

Note: A 1975 US government report said that Frank Olson committed suicide after being given LSD without his knowledge as part of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. The lawsuit filed by his sons claimed Olson was killed by the CIA after he "raised concerns about testing chemical and biological weapons on human subjects without their consent". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


President Trump is giving police forces weapons of war. This is dangerous
2017-08-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/31/president-trump-giving-...

This week, Donald Trump lifted the ban on certain military-grade weapons and equipment available from the Pentagon to our local police forces across the nation. Before Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2015 limiting the transfer of certain types of military equipment under the Pentagon’s 1033 Program, the Department of Defense transferred more than $5bn in surplus military equipment directly to police agencies. The Pentagon program creates a pipeline that bypasses normal ... procurement processes, enabling police departments to acquire expensive-to-maintain and often unneeded military equipment directly from the Pentagon without the approval or even knowledge of [elected] government officials. Citizens are left to pay the price when these military “toys” are put into the anxious hands of often untrained local law enforcement. Handing our police weapons of war, including but not limited to large-capacity, rapid-fire weapons and ammunition – including .50-calibers – bayonets, grenade launchers, armored vehicles including military tanks, unmanned vehicles (armed drones), explosives and pyrotechnics, and similar explosive devices, makes us less safe. It also drives a wedge between police officers and ... communities. Our nation was built on the principle that there are clear lines between our armed forces and domestic police. Moreover ... law enforcement is subject to civilian authority. This program blurs those lines. Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful.

Note: The above was written by US Congressman Hank Johnson, author of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2017. The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


The Idaho town that stared down hate – and won
2017-08-31, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0831/The-Idaho-town-that-stared-do...

From his self-proclaimed Aryan Nations church, a retired engineer named Richard Butler preached hate to his followers. [The Idaho town of] Coeur d’Alene became code for white supremacists. But what happened here offers an antidote of hope. The community came together, rejecting the vision of Mr. Butler’s small band, and organizing a tenacious effort to drive them out. [Norman] Gissel and others involved in that campaign ... embraced some old-fashioned phrases – freedom, equality, and justice – and decided on a way to challenge the Aryan Nations. When the Aryan Nations marched, the group sponsored counter protests as far away as Spokane to draw the crowds down. For one event, [organizer Tony] Stewart enlisted local businesses and individuals to pledge money to human rights groups for every minute of a planned Aryan Nations march, and then publicly urged Butler to march slowly to raise more money for his opponents. “They marched for 27 minutes and we got $34,000,” Stewart chuckled. It was the group’s violence that finally brought it down ... in 1998. The compound’s guards ... terrorized [an American Indian woman and her son] at gunpoint. The Southern Poverty Law Center pounced on the incident, bringing lawsuits on behalf of the victims. They won a $6.3 million judgment in 2000 against Butler, and two of his bodyguards served prison time for assault. Butler’s compound was seized in the judgment, used as a training exercise by the fire department and burned to the ground.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Acid flashback: CIA’s mind-control experiment reverberates 40 years after hearings
2017-08-30, Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/30/cias-mk-ultra-lsd-mind-contr...

In the summer of 1977, Capitol Hill was gripped by revelations of the CIA’s top-secret MK-Ultra mind control research program, targeting unsuspecting American citizens, in some cases by luring them to brothels to be fed LSD-laced cocktails. Hearings that summer, chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ... touched some of the country’s rawest nerves. The August 1977 MK-Ultra hearings specifically explored what seemed like an outlandish idea straight out of science fiction: the possibility of government mind control. Kennedy ... had a complex relationship with the CIA, given what the agency knew about the assassinations of his brothers Robert and John in the 1960s. One MK-Ultra project involved CIA-run brothels in San Francisco and New York City, established specifically to study LSD’s effects on unsuspecting adults. Project Midnight Climax ran in San Francisco from 1955 to 1965. Operatives reported that it helped refine sexual blackmail tactics, surveillance technology, LSD’s use in interrogations and how to better use empathy as an investigation tactic. Brothel operatives later [admitted] that they had dosed unsuspecting subjects at nearby restaurants, bars and beaches. In one case, a U.S. marshal held up a San Francisco bar with his service revolver after an MK-Ultra agent slipped LSD into his bourbon and soda. In the early 1970s, CIA Director Richard Helms, who ran the agency from 1966 to 1973, along with one of MK-Ultra’s architects, Sidney Gottlieb, ordered all the relevant paperwork destroyed.

Note: Read more about Midnight Climax and the CIA's MK ULTRA program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


Hints of Trigonometry on a 3,700-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet
2017-08-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/science/trigonometry-babylonian-tablet.html

Two Australian mathematicians assert that an ancient clay tablet was a tool for working out trigonometry problems, possibly adding to the many techniques that Babylonian mathematicians had mastered. “It’s a trigonometric table, which is 3,000 years ahead of its time,” said Daniel F. Mansfield of the University of New South Wales. Dr. Mansfield and his colleague Norman J. Wildberger reported their findings last week in the journal Historia Mathematica. The tablet, known as Plimpton 322, was discovered in the early 1900s in southern Iraq and ... contains 60 numbers organized into 15 rows and four columns. With all the publicity, the tablet has been put on display at [Columbia] University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Plimpton 322 has been dated to between 1822 and 1762 B.C. One of the columns on Plimpton 322 is just a numbering of the rows from 1 to 15. The other three columns are ... Pythagorean triples - sets of integers, or whole numbers, that satisfy the equation a2 + b2 = c2. That by itself was remarkable given that the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, for whom the triples were named, would not be born for another thousand years. “You don’t make a trigonometric table by accident,” Dr. Mansfield said. “Just having a list of Pythagorean triples doesn’t help you much. That’s just a list of numbers. But when you arrange it in such a way so that you can use any known ratio of a triangle to find the other sides of a triangle, then it becomes trigonometry. That’s what we can use this fragment for.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


In NYC, A Teenager Crawls Over High Beams To Gently Talk To, Hold And Comfort A Suicidal Stranger
2017-08-29, Daily Kos
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/8/29/1694399/-In-NYC-A-Teenager-Crawls-...

At a subway station [in New York City] a despondent young woman climbed over a railing and crawled over open girders that were 25 feet above the ground and over 5 feet apart. And began sobbing. According to a witness, Michal Klein, "The only thing I overheard was the young girl saying nobody cares about her." Then a young man on the first level saw her, and ran up to the second floor. He climbed and crawled over the beams to where she was sitting. He began talking to her quietly. Then he put his arm around her. After a minute, she put her head on his shoulder. They were up there for almost ten minutes before the fire department arrived. They both crawled back over the ledge ... holding hands the entire time. She was then taken away by ambulance to the hospital. And this young man picked up his backpack, got on a subway, and left. "It was just like a random person who went over to keep her calm," [said Klein]. "He actually cared enough, whoever he was, to help her. A lot of people seemed to be like, ‘Oh, it’s New York,’ and kept walking. I don’t think I would’ve climbed over to do that." Another witness noted that most people didn’t even break stride as they quickly glanced up. Said another, "Angels come in many forms."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Can 10 Minutes of Meditation Make You More Creative?
2017-08-29, Harvard Business Review
https://hbr.org/2017/08/can-10-minutes-of-meditation-make-you-more-creative

What do you do when you run out of good ideas? One increasingly popular solution is mindfulness meditation. Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic are among the many leading firms that have introduced meditation and other mindfulness practices to their employees. Meditation is not only useful as a stress-reduction tool but can also enhance creativity, opening doors where once there seemed to be only a wall. To further verify that creativity is among the early benefits of mindfulness meditation ... we set up an experiment. One hundred twenty-nine participants (all of them students) were divided into three groups and assigned a creative task: Generate as many business ideas as possible for using drones. Before the individual brainstorming began, one group participated in a 10-minute audio-guided mindfulness meditation, and a second group participated in a 10-minute fake meditation exercise (they were instructed to think freely by letting their minds wander). A third group started to brainstorm immediately. Each of the three groups generated roughly the same number of ideas. The main difference was that meditators ... demonstrated a 22% wider range of ideas than the two non-meditating groups. We also found that a short meditation, similar to physical exercise, often put people in a more positive and relaxed frame of mind. In the group that had meditated, most people felt less negative. In particular, meditation decreased participants’ feeling of restlessness (by 23%), nervousness (by 17%), and irritation (by 24%).

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Americans hold polarized views on terrorists — but the threat is minimal
2017-08-28, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Americans-hold-polarized...

Who’s a bigger terror threat to the United States right now: Islamic extremists or white nationalists? That’s been a big question on Americans’ minds. Democrats are more worried about white nationalists, while Republicans are more likely to identify Islamic extremists as the greater terror threat. But here’s what neither side will tell you: In both cases, the threat is negligible. Americans radically exaggerate the danger of radical terrorism. And that speaks to the real problem here, which doesn’t have to do with terrorism at all. It’s the hyper-polarization of our politics, which leads us to demonize the other team. Most Muslims are not Islamic extremists, any more than most supporters of President Trump are white nationalists. But the bogeyman of terrorism blinds us to these distinctions, transforming our political opponents into existential enemies. But guess what? In the grand scheme, all of these threats are infinitesimal. Since 2001, your chance of being crushed to death by an unstable television or piece of furniture has been greater than your chance of dying at the hands of a terrorist. There are plenty of bigots in the United States, of every creed and color. And yes, we have to be vigilant about identifying and neutralizing the real terrorists among them, whether Muslim or white supremacist. But imagining everyone in the other camp as a potential terrorist - or as an apologist for the same - is the ultimate red herring. It’s bipartisan, infecting liberals and conservatives alike. And it’s time for it to stop.

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


Trump rolling back limits on military gear for police
2017-08-28, Miami Herald/Associated Press
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article169730727.html

Local police departments will soon have access to grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and other surplus U.S. military gear after President Donald Trump signed an order Monday reviving a Pentagon program that civil rights groups say inflames tensions between officers and their communities. President Barack Obama had sharply curtailed the program in 2015. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called the plan a dangerous expansion of government power that would "subsidize militarization." Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said the program "incentivizes the militarization of local police departments, as they are encouraged to grab more equipment than they need." Congress authorized the program in 1990, allowing police to receive surplus equipment to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism. Agencies requested and received everything from camouflage uniforms and bullet-proof vests to firearms, bayonets and drones. More than $5 billion in surplus equipment has been given to agencies. The new order largely lets local agencies set their own controls and rules governing use of the equipment. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable plans to resolve allegations of pervasive civil rights violations. Sessions ... has also revived a widely criticized form of asset forfeiture that lets local police seize cash and property with federal help.

Note: The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". The civil asset forfeiture program now being revived was widely criticized because it made it easy for corrupt police to steal money and property from poor people and seize private assets based on departmental "wish lists".


Kenya brings in world's toughest plastic bag ban: four years jail or $40,000 fine
2017-08-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/28/kenya-brings-in-worlds-to...

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 (Ł31,000) from Monday, as the world’s toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect. The east African nation joins more than 40 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy. Many bags drift into the ocean, strangling turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until they die of starvation. “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” said Habib El-Habr, an expert on marine litter working with the UN environment programme in Kenya. Plastic bags, which El-Habr says take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down, also enter the human food chain through fish and other animals. In Nairobi’s slaughterhouses, some cows destined for human consumption had 20 bags removed from their stomachs. “This is something we didn’t get 10 years ago but now it’s almost on a daily basis,” said county vet Mbuthi Kinyanjui as he watched men in bloodied white uniforms scoop sodden plastic bags from the stomachs of cow carcasses. Kenya’s law allows police to go after anyone even carrying a plastic bag. But Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s environment minister, said enforcement would initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers. It took Kenya three attempts over 10 years to finally pass the ban.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Ecstasy could be ‘breakthrough’ therapy for soldiers, others suffering from PTSD
2017-08-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ecstasy-could-be-break...

For Jon Lubecky, the scars on his wrists are a reminder of the years he spent in mental purgatory. He returned from an Army deployment in Iraq a broken man. He got every treatment offered by Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. But they didn’t stop him from trying to kill himself - five times. Finally, he signed up for an experimental therapy and was given a little green capsule. The anguish stopped. Inside that pill was the compound MDMA, better known ... as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool in years for the military’s escalating PTSD epidemic. The MDMA program was created by a small group of psychedelic researchers who had toiled for years in the face of ridicule, funding shortages and skepticism. But the results have been so positive that this month the Food and Drug Administration deemed it a “breakthrough therapy” - setting it on a fast track for review and potential approval. Only two drugs are approved for treating PTSD: Zoloft and Paxil. Both have proved largely ineffective. By giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas. In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms - to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Seth Rich, Conspiracy Theorists, and Russiagate ‘Truthers’
2017-08-25, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/seth-rich-conspiracy-theorists-and-russiaga...

Seth Rich [was] a mid-level staffer at the DNC who was murdered on July 10, 2016. Conspiracy theorists ... pounced on the story. Rich, they declared, was killed ... because he had stolen vast swaths of data from the DNC and handed it to WikiLeaks. "Whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material. A 27-year-old that works for the DNC was shot in the back, murdered ... in Washington," [WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange said in an interview]. Days later, WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information about the murder of Rich. On May 16, Malia Zimmerman, a Fox reporter ... published a story on DC’s Fox 5 News outlining a conspiratorial view of the Rich murder. That night, Sean Hannity broadcast a lengthy segment based on Zimmerman’s story. The star witness was Rod Wheeler. But in [a new lawsuit, filed on August 1], Wheeler says that he was a victim of manipulation by others involved in the story. On May 23, Fox would retract the entire story and purge it from its archives. Wheeler ... was recruited [by Fox contributor Ed Butowsky] to serve as a paid investigator by the Rich family. Enter Sy Hersh. According to Wheeler’s lawsuit, “even before Butowsky had ever contacted Mr. Wheeler, Butowsky had already had a conversation on this topic with Seymour (Sy) Hersh.” Hersh claimed - and there’s a recording to support this - that he, Hersh, had had access to a secret FBI report about the Rich case. Hersh also said that Rich had created a Dropbox for DNC e-mails, that WikiLeaks had access to it, that Rich had warned friends in case “something happens to me,” and more.

Note: An intriguing six-minute video by whistleblower website Newsbud presents powerful evidence the Wikileaks DNC leak was not the result of Russian hackers. As reported in the above article, venerable journalist Seymour Hersh stated that murdered Clinton aid Seth Rich was behind the leak and that the whole thing was a CIA operation. Hints of more cover-up and manipulation around this can be found in this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and media manipulation.


A black man went undercover online as a white supremacist. This is what he learned.
2017-08-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/08/24/a-black-man-went...

As soon as Theo Wilson started making YouTube videos about culture and race, trolls using racial slurs started flocking to his page. After engaging in endless sparring matches in the comments section, Wilson began to notice something curious: His trolls seemed to speak a language unto themselves, one replete with the same twisted facts and false history. Curious about where his trolls were getting their revisionist history lessons, Wilson ... decided to go undercover in their world. In 2015, he started by creating a ghost profile named “Lucious25,” a digital white supremacist. Within a few weeks Wilson's alternate identity was questioning President Barack Obama's birthplace [and] railing against Black Lives Matter. After several months, he was a disaffected fixture on alt-right websites that draw white supremacists. During his eight months as a racist troll, Wilson never revealed his true identity. When it was all over, Wilson said, he came to appreciate the way in which the far-right media bubble disables its participants - offering an endless stream of scapegoats for their problems but no credible solutions. "There are still people who think black people are not fully human and that we are lagging in terms of evolution," [said Wilson]. "My compassion comes from knowing these people are still so vulnerable to social programming. But the social forces that make racism commonplace aren't necessarily going away. Look at what happened in Charlottesville, for example. How did a brand-new generation of white guys get that hateful?"

Note: Theo Wilson describes his experience as an undercover racist in this Tedx video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Japan's Tepco gets slapped with new U.S. lawsuit over Fukushima
2017-08-24, CNBC/Reuters
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/reuters-america-japans-tepco-gets-slapped-wit...

Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings said on Thursday it has been hit with another lawsuit filed in a U.S. court seeking $5 billion for compensation over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the second filed against the utility in a U.S. court. The suit filed by 157 individuals is seeking that amount to set up a compensation fund for the costs of medical tests and treatment they say they need after efforts to support the recovery from the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The utility, known as Tepco, is being sued regarding improper design, construction and maintenance. Tepco has been hit with more lawsuits than in any previous Japanese contamination suit over the meltdowns of three reactors at its Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo [in] 2011. Radiation forced 160,000 people from their homes, many never to return, and destroyed businesses, fisheries and agriculture. In June, a federal appeals court cleared the way for a group of U.S. military personnel to file a suit against Tepco over radiation exposure that they say occurred during recovery efforts on board the USS Ronald Reagan. Shareholders of Tepco are suing the utility's executives for a record 5.5 trillion yen ($67.4 billion) in compensation. The company's former chairman and other executives of the company appeared in court in June to answer charges of professional negligence, in the first criminal case after the meltdowns. The criminal and civil legal cases do not threaten financial ruin for Tepco, which is backstopped by Japanese taxpayers.

Note: Following the Fukushima disaster, at least three Tepco officials were indicted for knowingly operating an unsafe nuclear power plant. And though the plant is extremely toxic now years after the disaster, top officials still claim nuclear power is extremely safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown.


New ads accuse Big Tobacco of targeting soldiers and people with mental illness
2017-08-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-ads-accuse-big-tob...

Truth Initiative, a leading tobacco-control nonprofit, has bought TV ads to run this Sunday during MTV’s Music Awards that accuse tobacco companies of purposely targeting mentally ill people and U.S. soldiers. The ads focus on this stark but little known fact: Roughly 40 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S. are smoked by people with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety or substance-abuse problems. The ads also note that 38 percent of military smokers start after enlisting. Robin Koval, chief executive of Truth Initiative, accused tobacco companies of exploiting the mentally ill and military for profit. The latest ads from Truth cite internal tobacco industry documents that discuss ways to make inroads into the mentally ill population. They note that tobacco companies even distributed free cigarettes to psychiatric facilities at one point, and tried to sell the idea that they would help steady patients’ nerves. For years, experts say, psychiatrists and therapists often resisted counseling their patients to quit smoking. Their reasoning was that patients would be overburdened by trying to quit smoking. [A] change in approach has begun to spark new partnerships and joint programs between tobacco-control groups and groups like the National Alliance for Mental Illness. At the same time, concern has also increased about smoking among military service members, because of the [young] age when most enlist.

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


Julian Assange slams 'absurd' US plan to label WikiLeaks 'non-state intelligence service'
2017-08-24, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/julian-assange-slams-absurd-us-plan-label-wikileaks-...

Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks, has spoken out against a passing US Senate bill which aims to officially label his organisation as a "non-state hostile intelligence service". WikiLeaks has recently been publishing documents allegedly pilfered from inside the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), something that has led its director, Mike Pompeo, to shift from openly citing its publications to harshly criticising them. The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief ... wrote: "Media organisations develop and protect sources. So do intelligence agencies. But to suggest that media organisations are 'non-state intelligence services is absurd. It is equivalent to suggesting that the CIA is a media organisation." The day prior to the statement's release, it emerged that US senator Ron Wyden was the sole politician to vote against the intelligence committee's authorisation bill. Wyden said: "My concern is that the use of the novel phrase 'non-state hostile intelligence service' may have legal, constitutional, and policy implications, particularly should it be applied to journalists inquiring about secrets. The language in the bill suggesting that the US government has some unstated course of action against 'non-state hostile intelligence services' is equally troubling." Legally, experts warn it is largely impossible to prosecute WikiLeaks without also bringing charges against The New York Times, The Guardian or other mainstream publications. Despite this, US attorney general Jeff Sessions has still pledged to "put some people in jail".

Note: In May, United Nations officials said that the US treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Across the nation, priest sexual abuse cases haunt Catholic parishes
2017-08-23, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/08/23/priest-sexual-abuse-cases-cath...

In May 2003, Thomas O’Brien, then bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, admitted to sheltering at least 50 priests accused of sexual abuse, often shuffling them around to parishes across the state. O'Brien's admission ... acknowledged he "allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct." Thirteen years later, in a lawsuit filed last September, O'Brien - now bishop emeritus - was accused of sexually abusing a grade-school boy. In recent months, [reporters] have uncovered scores of allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam, where a former altar boy's accusation last summer that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him in the 1970s has prompted other revelations. Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere in the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged. In the O'Brien case, an Arizona man sued, claiming repressed memories resurfaced two years ago. The lawsuit accuses O'Brien, now 81, of sexual abuse from 1977 through 1982. The suit names 60 other Roman Catholic priests or church employees, dating back to the 1950s and alleges a cover-up. The diocese itself eventually exposed some priests as part of an agreement with Arizona prosecutors in the early 2000s. At least two of the priests fled the U.S. and remain at large, and a substantial number are now dead.

Note: The above article outlines lawsuits in seven US states involving hundreds of victims of alleged abuse by clergy. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


As Taser warns of more and more risks, cities bear a burden in court
2017-08-23, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-taser-legal/

At least 442 wrongful death suits have been filed over fatalities that followed the use of a Taser, almost all since the stun guns began gaining widespread popularity with police in the early 2000s, Reuters found in a nationwide review of legal filings. Police departments and the municipalities they represent have faced 435 of these suits. The manufacturer was a defendant in 128 of them. In all, wrongful death lawsuits were filed in at least 44 percent of the 1,000-plus incidents Reuters identified in which someone died after being stunned with a Taser by police. In more than 60 percent of the resolved cases against municipalities, government defendants paid settlements or judgments. Reuters documented at least $172 million in publicly funded payouts to resolve the litigation. Yet one party is increasingly absent from the courtroom: Taser International. From 2004 through 2009, the company was named as a defendant in more than 40 percent of the wrongful death suits filed against local governments. Typically, those suits alleged the company failed to warn adequately of the risks posed by its weapons. Late in 2009, as evidence of cardiac risks mounted, Taser made a crucial change: It warned police to avoid firing its stun gun’s electrified darts at a person’s chest. The manufacturer’s warnings have made it far more difficult to successfully sue the company. So now ... plaintiffs are suing governments, not the manufacturer. Behind these legal battles is a troubling truth: Many officers aren’t aware Tasers have the potential to kill.

Note: For lots more, see the entire Reuters series on Tasers on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


KKK leader claims hate group has grown at record pace since Trump became President
2017-08-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/kkk-trump-member...

The Ku Klux Klan has grown faster since Donald Trump’s inauguration than any time in recent memory, a Klan leader has claimed. “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I haven’t seen the Klan grow at the pace it’s growing now,” Chris Barker, an Imperial Wizard of the KKK, told The Independent. Mr Barker said that after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville he received 50 applications to join his group in one day. The next day, he received 80. Mr Barker leads the Loyal White Knights of the KKK, which has less than 200 members. As one of the most active Klan groups in the US, the group takes part in “activism” such as burning crosses, advocating for the murder of immigrants, and distributing leaflets claiming, among other things, “transgender is an abomination”. Mr Barker contacted The Independent about a previous article, from which he had gained notoriety for calling a Univision journalist a “n*****” and threatening to burn her out of the country. Approximately 30 KKK groups were active over the course of 2016 – a decrease from the year before. That number has since risen to 40. This summer also marked a departure from the trend of small, scattered, and sparsely attended KKK demonstrations. Several different Klan groups turned out for the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists from around the country protested the removal of a Confederate statue. The rally, which Mr Barker’s group also participated in, was said to be the largest white supremacist gathering in the US in decades.

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


A 911 plea for help, a Taser shot, a death - and the mounting toll of stun guns
2017-08-22, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-taser-911/

In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths. Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help. As her husband stalked around the back yard, upending chairs and screaming about demons, Nancy Schrock ... dialed the police. “He needs to be in the hospital,” she told a 911 dispatcher. Tom Schrock had struggled with depression ... throughout their 35-year marriage. Police had visited the family’s [house] more than a dozen times. Typically, Tom was taken to the hospital, medicated and sent home after 72 hours. Not this time. Three officers answered the call, categorized by the dispatcher as a disturbance involving an unarmed man with mental health issues. Nancy took them through the house to the back; Santiago Mota, a veteran cop, drew his Taser. As officers came out the back door, Tom strode toward them. Mota fired the Taser. Tom buckled, then retreated. Mota followed, pressed the electric stun gun to Tom’s chest and fired again. The 57-year-old collapsed [and] never regained consciousness. “I called for help,” Nancy said. “I didn’t call for them to come and kill him.” Reuters documented 1,005 incidents in the United States in which people died after police stunned them with Tasers. In nine of every 10 incidents, the deceased was unarmed. More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the increasing use of non-lethal weapons.


Irish church aims to end stigma for the children of priests
2017-08-22, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/wireStory/irish-church-aims-end-stigma-childr...

Bishops in Ireland have created detailed guidelines to address an issue the Roman Catholic Church has tried to keep under wraps for centuries: the plight of children born to Catholic priests and the women who bear them. The policy, approved in May and made public recently ... says the mother must be respected and involved in decision-making, and that the priest "should face up to his responsibilities — personal, legal, moral and financial." The guidelines are believed to represent the first comprehensive public policy by a national bishops' conference on the issue, which has long been shrouded in secrecy. The policy is, in many ways, the fruit of a campaign by an Irish psychotherapist, Vincent Doyle, who discovered late in life that his father was a priest. Doyle launched Coping International ... to help eliminate the stigma he and others like him have faced, and educate them and the church about the emotional and psychological problems that can be associated with the secrecy often imposed on them. There are no figures about the number of children fathered by Catholic priests. The Vatican must report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child on steps it has taken to assess the number of priests' children in the world and ensure that their rights are being respected. In a 2014 report, the Geneva-based committee called for an end to the confidentiality requirements that the Catholic Church often imposes on mothers as a condition for receiving financial assistance.

Note: Vatican secrecy policies have reportedly also been used to cover up sexual abuse.


Ambrosia: the startup harvesting the blood of the young
2017-08-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/shortcuts/2017/aug/21/ambrosia-the-startu...

Baby Boomers are sucking the blood of the young. They are ... after the plasma. In Monterey, California, a new startup has emerged, offering transfusions of human plasma: 1.5 litres a time, pumped in across two days, harvested uniquely from young adults. Ambrosia, the vampiric startup concerned, is run by a 32-year-old doctor called Jesse Karmazin, who bills $8,000 (Ł6,200) a pop for participation in what he has dubbed a “study”. So far, he has 600 clients, with a median age of 60. The blood is collected from local blood banks, then separated and combined – it takes multiple donors to make one package. The idea has become faddish in tech circles. Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley sitcom recently parodied the notion, with arch-tech guru Gavin Belson relying on a “blood boy” following him around to donate pints of sticky red at inopportune moments. That fictionalised account may well be based on the real-life adventures of Peter Thiel, the PayPal founder. A 2014 Harvard report ... seems to have kickstarted the present revival of interest in transfusions. There, scientists injecting old mice with the plasma of a younger generation found it improved their memory and their ability to learn. Conversely, injecting old blood into young seemed to knobble the young rodents. The scientific community has rolled its eyes at the “trial” element of Ambrosia. There is no control group and, with participation costing so much, no one involved is very randomised.

Note: Read more about Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel's investment in this questionable technology. One university researcher has found that many in the European royalty until the end of the 18th century practiced selective cannibalism in the belief if would keep them young. Another article goes into greater depth about the practice some elder members of the wealthy elite taking blood infusions from young people to stay young.


Oakland congresswoman wages lonely battle over president’s war authority
2017-08-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Oakland-congresswoman-wages-lonely-...

Sixteen years ago, Rep. Barbara Lee was the sole member of Congress to vote against authorizing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Throughout the presidencies of Bush and Barack Obama, Lee waged a lonely crusade to repeal the war resolution initially aimed at al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Last month, she won a stunning victory when a bipartisan House committee voted to repeal the authorization in an amendment to the 2018 defense spending bill. But her win was short-lived. House Republican leaders stripped the amendment from the bill without a vote in a late-night maneuver that blocked Lee from leading a larger House debate on the president’s use of military force without further approval by Congress. The 2001 authorization was passed by Congress three days after the 9/11 attacks. “It was hastily written; it was overly broad; it was 60 words,” Lee said. Citing the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of Congress, Lee said presidents have used the authorization at least 37 times since the initial Afghanistan invasion in October 2001. The [current] administration, Lee noted, has proposed severe cuts to domestic spending to pay for a bigger military. Escalating the Afghanistan conflict, she said, will come at the expense of “schools and infrastructure and jobs and health care - all the nation-building resources that we need here, here in my own district. “Yet they’re cutting these programs to fund these wars, and that’s ... unfair to the country,” she said.

Note: Read about the unprecedented plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan. According to Congressman Thomas Massie, the US government has made deals with the Taliban to give them electricity and turn a blind eye to their opium trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots
2017-08-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/20/elon-musk-killer-robots-ex...

Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons. The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots. In their letter, the founders warn the review conference ... that this arms race threatens to usher in the “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear arms. The founders wrote: “Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend.” The founders call for “morally wrong” lethal autonomous weapons systems to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons (CCW) brought into force in 1983, which includes chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons. Musk ... has repeatedly warned for the need for pro-active regulation of AI, calling it humanity’s biggest existential threat. While the suggestion of killer robots conjures images from science fiction ... lethal autonomous weapons are already in use.

Note: Despite Gen. Paul Selva's recent warning against putting "robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," the US is among several countries currently moving forward with automating warfare. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Legal deal over harsh CIA interrogations marks a milestone
2017-08-18, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-cia-torture-lawsuit-20170818-st...

A settlement in a landmark lawsuit against two psychologists who helped design the CIA's harsh interrogation methods used in the war on terror marked the first time the agency or its private contractors have been held accountable for the program, legal experts said. The deal in the lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union also makes it unlikely the CIA will again pursue the tactics, said Deborah Pearlstein, professor at the Cardozo Law School in New York. “This sends a signal to those who might consider doing this in the future,” Pearlstein said, adding, “This puts an exclamation mark at the end of ‘don't torture.’” Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but it avoided a civil trial set for Sept. 5 in federal court. The ACLU sued psychologists James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen on behalf of three former detainees, including one who died in custody, who contended they were tortured at secret CIA prisons overseas. Mitchell and Jessen were under contract with the federal government following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The lawsuit claimed they designed, implemented and personally administered an experimental torture program. The techniques they developed included waterboarding, slamming the three men into walls, stuffing them inside coffin-like boxes, exposing them to extreme temperatures, starving them and keeping them awake for days, the ACLU said. A U.S. Senate investigation in 2014 found that Mitchell and Jessen's techniques produced no useful intelligence. They were paid $81 million for their work.

Note: Prior to condemning torture, some of the American Psychological Association’s top officials sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by supporting the CIA's brutal interrogation methods. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.


What Humpback Whales Can Teach Us About Compassion
2017-08-18, Smithsonian.com
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-humpback-whales-teach-us-co...

[Humpbacks whales] deliberately interfere with attacking killer whales to help others in distress. They don’t just defend their own babies or close relatives. They intervene on behalf of other species - a gray whale calf with its mother, a seal hauled out on an ice floe, even an ocean sunfish. Humpbacks act to improve the welfare of others; the classic definition of altruism. Robert Pitman, a marine ecologist ... describes a pivotal encounter he witnessed in Antarctica in 2009. A group of killer whales washed a Weddell seal they were attacking off an ice floe. A pair of humpbacks ... inserted themselves into the action. One of the huge humpbacks rolled over on its back and the 180-kilogram seal was swept up onto its chest between the whale’s massive flippers. And when the seal started slipping off, the humpback, according to Pitman, “gave the seal a gentle nudge with its flipper, back to the middle of its chest. Moments later, the seal scrambled off and swam to the safety of a nearby ice floe.” Pitman started asking people to send him similar accounts. Soon he was poring through observations of 115 encounters between humpbacks and killer whales, recorded over 62 years. So are humpbacks compassionate? When I pose the ... question to Pitman he [responds], “When a human protects an imperiled individual of another species, we call it compassion. If a humpback whale does so, we call it instinct. But sometimes the distinction isn’t all that clear.”

Note: Learn more about the amazing world of marine mammals.


Grandpa had a pension. This generation has cryptocurrency
2017-08-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/grandpa-had-a-pension-this-gener...

Most readers have probably heard of Bitcoin, the digital coin that dominates the cryptocurrency market. It has gained notice both because of its skyrocketing value (from less than a cent in early 2010 to around $2,600 currently). But do you know Ethereum, with a total value of coins in circulation of close to $20 billion? Then there are more than 800 lower-value and often creatively named coins among those listed on Coinmarketcap.com. After years as a niche market for technologically sophisticated anarchists and libertarians excited about a decentralised financial network not under government control, digital coins may be on the verge of going mainstream. Cryptocurrency has understandable appeal to millennials, who came of age during the 2008 financial crisis. “There’s a low cost for entry, you don’t pay a lot of fees and millennials are the most tech-savvy,” said John Guarco, 22. Like most of the people interviewed for this article, [Guarco] asked that names of the coins he has invested in not be published. Unlike previous generations, many of these greenhorn investors don’t have pensions, are mistrustful of saving money in mutual funds, and are fully accustomed to owning digital assets. As traditional paths to upper-middle-class stability are being blocked by debt, exorbitant housing costs and a shaky job market, these investors view cryptocurrency not only as a hedge against another stock market crash, but also as the most rational, and even utopian, means of investing their money.

Note: The media has given surprisingly little coverage to the huge gains of bitcoin and other digital currencies. If you had invested $1,000 in Bitcoin four years ago when the price was about $110 per coin, your investment would now be worth nearly $44,000, a whopping 40 times increase. The fact that the media is covering this so little suggests that the price may continue to rise as more people find out, though this is highly speculative and uncertain.


Once Shot For Advocating For Girls' Education, Malala Is Going To Oxford
2017-08-17, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/17/544191839/once-shot-for-adv...

Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for campaigning for the education of girls. Now, she has been accepted to Oxford, one of the world's elite universities. She is also the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She was co-laureate in 2014 with Kailish Satyarthi, an advocate for the rights of children in India. The Nobel committee cited their "struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education." A little more than a month ago, Malala posted this on her last day of secondary school: "I enjoyed my school years and I am excited for my future. But I can't help thinking of the millions of girls around the world who won't complete their education. I was almost one of those girls." Her father, an educator, was determined she would go to school. But in 2007 Taliban militants took control of Swat and banned the education of girls. It was then that Malala began blogging for the BBC about life under Taliban domination. In 2011, Malala returned to school and began publicly advocating for girls' education. While she was going home from classes one day in 2012, a masked gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, then shot her. She survived but was flown in critical condition to London for treatment. After multiple surgeries, she relocated with her family to Birmingham, England. In a speech before the United Nations on her 16th birthday, Malala urged other young women to take action. "If you want to see your future bright, you have to start working now and not wait for anyone else," she said.

Note: Learn more about this inspiring girl's fight for equal education on the Malala Fund website. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Probiotic Bacteria Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infection
2017-08-16, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/08/16/543920822/probiotic-bacte...

Scientists in the U.S. and India have found an inexpensive treatment that could possibly save hundreds of thousands of newborns each year. And it turns out, the secret weapon was sitting in Asian kitchens all along: probiotic bacteria that are common in kimchi, pickles and other fermented vegetables. Feeding babies the microbes dramatically reduces the risk newborns will develop sepsis, scientists report ... in the journal Nature. Sepsis is a top killer of newborns worldwide. Each year more than 600,000 babies die of the blood infections. "All the sudden the baby stops being active. It stops crying and breastfeeding," says Dr. Pinaki Panigrahi, a pediatrician ... who led the study. For the past 20 years, Panigrahi has been working on a way to prevent sepsis. The tricky part, Panigrahi says, was figuring out the best strain of bacteria to protect against sepsis. "We screened more than 280 strains," Panigrahi says. "So it was a very methodical process." In the end, the one that seemed the most promising was a strain of lactobacillus plantarum. So Panigrahi and his team decided to move forward with a large-scale study. They were shocked by how well the bacteria worked. Babies who ate the microbes for a week ... had a dramatic reduction in their risk of death and sepsis. They dropped by 40 percent, from 9 percent to 5.4 percent. But that's not all. The probiotic also warded off several other types of infections, including those in the lungs. Respiratory infections dropped by about 30 percent. A course of the probiotic costs about $1 per baby.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Gulf of Mexico dead zone is
2017-08-16, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gulf-of-mexico-largest-dead-zone-ever-measured-f...

The largest dead zone ever recorded in the U.S. has appeared at the mouth of the Mississippi River. According to scientists, it's primarily caused by fertilizer and sewage that wash off farmland in the river's watershed and eventually make their way to the sea. Scientists announced this month the dead zone measures nearly 9,000 square miles – about the size of New Jersey. Underwater video recorded Tuesday afternoon shows the transition from life to death as green fades to black. It becomes so dark, divers need flashlights to find their way around. The abyss stretches over an enormous portion of the Gulf. "This is the largest one we've ever measured. And the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused dead zone in the ocean," said Nancy Rabalais, the nation's foremost expert on dead zones. She's been measuring oxygen levels in the Gulf since 1985. Dead zones happen when agricultural runoff sends nitrogen-rich fertilizer downstream into the sea. The fertilizer feeds harmful amounts of algae at the surface that eventually die and sink to the bottom. Bacteria feast on the dead algae, removing oxygen from the water. "The solution lies upstream in the watershed with better agricultural management practices - a switch to crops that have deeper roots and don't need as much fertilizer," Rabalais said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and mass animal deaths.


They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported
2017-08-16, NPR
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.


US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website
2017-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/14/donald-trump-inauguration-prote...

The US government is seeking to unmask every person who visited an anti-Trump website in what privacy advocates say is an unconstitutional “fishing expedition” for political dissidents. The warrant appears to be an escalation of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) campaign against anti-Trump activities, including the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters. On 17 July, the DoJ served a website-hosting company, DreamHost, with a search warrant for every piece of information it possessed that was related to a website that was used to coordinate protests during Donald Trump’s inauguration. The warrant ... seeks to get the IP addresses of 1.3 million people who visited [the site], as well as the date and time of their visit and information about what browser or operating system they used. The warrant was made public Monday, when DreamHost announced its plans to challenge the government in court. The government has aggressively prosecuted activists arrested during the 20 January protests in Washington DC. In April, the US attorney’s office in Washington DC filed a single indictment charging more than 217 people with identical crimes, including felony rioting. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been advising DreamHost, characterized the warrant as “unconstitutional”. “I can’t conceive of a legitimate justification other than casting your net as broadly as possible,” senior staff attorney Mark Rumold [said]. “What they would be getting is a list of everyone who has ever been interested in attending these protests.”

Note: In May, United Nations officials said that the US treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of privacy.


Why Are Drug Prices So High? These Politicians Might Have The Answer
2017-08-14, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/why-are-drug-prices-so-high-these-po...

Why do Americans continue to pay the highest prices for medicine in the world? Lawmakers have sculpted specific policies, often not found in many other nations, that boost pharmaceutical industry profits. Meanwhile, the drug industry has spent $61 million on state elections and nearly $67 million on federal elections since 2010. Both parties have made pivotal decisions ... that have kept drug prices high. Insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, across the U.S., face at least nine class-action lawsuits alleging they attached arbitrary premiums to the prices of often less-expensive, generic prescription drugs. The plaintiffs also accuse the PBMs and insurers of imposing so-called “gag clauses” on pharmacies to keep pharmacists from telling consumers that they could save money by paying out of pocket. The system could be denying customers $120 billion in discounts and rebates. Should drugs developed at taxpayer expense be sold to Americans at sky high prices? In the past, the federal government passed a rule saying no — but that rule was rescinded in 1995. If Americans were allowed to import lower-priced drugs from places like Canada, it would save government agencies alone $6 billion. But ... Americans are still prohibited from engaging in such importation. The federal government could [also] save billions of dollars a year by having Medicare use its huge market power to negotiate - or require - lower drug prices for the program's beneficiaries.

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


A Legacy of Environmental Racism
2017-08-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/08/13/exxon-mobil-is-still-pumping-toxins-into-...

A loud boom cut through the night and a stream of fire lit up the sky. A strong, unpleasant odor settled over the street. None of the neighbors reported what happened that night - nor the ... symptoms that followed. For [Joseph] Gaines, the symptoms included an intense sudden headache, tearing eyes, a runny nose, and congestion. A block and a half from Gaines’s house, the street ends in an Exxon Mobil refinery that ... releases at least 135 toxic chemicals, many of which - including 1,3-butadiene, benzo[a]pyrene, and styrene - are carcinogens. The plant is regularly in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act. Yet many of the people [in] Charlton-Pollard said they felt there was no point in trying to reduce the emissions. They raised [their concerns] in a formal complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency 17 years ago. The filing [described] the chemical pollution. And the complaint went further, arguing that the location of the oil refinery - next to a neighborhood where 95 percent of residents were African-American - was a civil rights violation. The majority of civil rights complaints the EPA accepted for investigation between 1996 and 2013 languished for years. As the people of Charlton-Pollard and Flint — as well as Tallassee, Alabama; Pittsburg, California; and Chaves County, New Mexico — can attest, the EPA’s lack of responsiveness to civil rights complaints spans not just many years, but also several presidential administrations. While pollution protections are moving backward, Exxon Mobil is planning to expand its Beaumont operations.

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


Google Doesn’t Want What’s Best for Us
2017-08-12, New York Times
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.


Let’s hear it for the four-hour working day
2017-08-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/11/oliver-burkeman-four-hou...

How much proper brainwork – not zoning out in meetings, or reorganising the stationery cupboard, but work that involves really thinking – should you aim to get done in one day? The answer isn’t some sophisticated version of: “It depends.” The answer is four hours. That, anyway, is the persuasive conclusion reached by Alex Pang in his book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. This column has evangelised before about the truth of that subtitle, what with the nine-to-five being a relic of the industrial revolution with no relevance to modern “knowledge work” – but what’s so striking about Pang’s argument is its specificity. Ranging across history and creative fields, he keeps encountering the same thing. Charles Darwin worked for two 90-minute periods in the morning, then an hour later on; the mathematician Henri Poincaré from 10am till noon then 5pm till 7pm; the same approximate stretch features in the daily routines of Thomas Jefferson, Alice Munro, John le Carré and many more. And maybe it’s not just creative work. Half a century ago, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins caused a stir by suggesting that people in hunter-gatherer societies aren’t ceaselessly struggling for survival; on the contrary, they’d built “the original affluent society”, by keeping their needs low, then meeting them. Crunching numbers from Africa and Australia, he calculated the average number of hours hunter-gatherers must work per day, to keep everyone fed. That’s right: it was “three to five hours”. Don’t you think it’s time we took the hint?

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


All slaughterhouses in England to have compulsory CCTV
2017-08-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/11/all-slaughterhouses-in-en...

All slaughterhouses in England will be fitted with compulsory CCTV under plans to be unveiled on Friday by environment secretary Michael Gove, as part of a series of measures to bolster welfare standards and enforce laws against animal cruelty. The government will also raise standards for farm animals and domestic pets by modernising statutory animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technological advances and the latest research and advice from vets. The codes will remain enshrined in law and the first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat. Animal welfare groups have been calling for compulsory cameras – backed by an independent monitoring system for years, while the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, British Veterinary Association, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the RSPCA have also all backed slaughterhouse CCTV. Between 2009 and 2016, the animal welfare group Animal Aid secretly filmed inside 11 randomly chosen UK slaughterhouses. Their undercover researchers found clear evidence of cruelty and law-breaking in 10 of those 11. UK supermarkets have also backed compulsory CCTV, with the vast majority now insisting that their suppliers have it.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, psychologists find
2017-08-10, Science Daily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170810141729.htm

Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research. "We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health," said study senior author Iris Mauss. "Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you're not giving them as much attention," Mauss said. "And perhaps, if you're constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up." The study ... tested the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults. People who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed. By contrast, those who generally allow such bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months. "It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being," said study lead author Brett Ford. "People who accept these emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Many Doctors Get Goodies from Opioid Makers
2017-08-10, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/many-doctors-get-g...

About one out of every 12 U.S. doctors gets money, lunch or something else of value from companies that make opioid drugs, researchers reported Wednesday. Companies are spending much more time and effort marketing opioids to doctors than they are other, less addictive painkillers, the researchers found. They say their findings help explain why doctors have played such an important role in the opioid overuse epidemic. “A large proportion of physicians received payments - one in 12 physicians overall,” said Dr. Scott Hadland of the Boston Medical Center. “Tens of millions of dollars were transferred for marketing purposes for opioids. In some cases they are money provided directly to physicians - for example, the speaking fees, the consultant fees and the honoraria. In other cases it is reimbursement for things like travel,” Hadland said. Between 2013 and 2015, the team found 375,266 payments worth $46 million made to more than 68,000 doctors. “The top 1 percent of physicians (681 of them) received 82.5 percent of total payments in dollars,” the team wrote in their report. A study published last year found that physicians who accepted even one meal sponsored by a drug company were much more likely to prescribe a name-brand drug to patients later. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors are definitely helping drive the addiction crisis. The result is deadly. More than 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2015.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sowing seeds of hope in Harlem's children
2017-08-10, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/health/cnn-hero-tony-hillery-harlem-grown/index...

Six years ago, Tony Hillery was volunteering at a New York City public school in Harlem. In the lunchroom one day, he met a kindergartner who told him that tomatoes grew in the supermarket. "It was a real conversation, and she was adamant," he recalled. "And then I did an informal poll with the other students, and they agreed. They had no idea what is healthy food or where it comes from." Many students lived at or below the poverty line, he said, and lacked affordable, fresh food. But Hillery was shocked to find that many children couldn't properly identify vegetables. Across the street from the school was an abandoned community garden, and Hillery had an idea. He made a few calls, registered it with the city and turned it into what has become a thriving urban farm. "I got this big patch of dirt in the middle of Harlem, and I had never planted anything prior to then," he said. Today, his nonprofit, Harlem Grown, has 10 urban farms throughout the neighborhood. Hillery and his staff teach children how to grow food from seed to harvest and cook healthy meals using the fruits of their labor. Yet Hillery insists that urban farming is the hook to engage the youth. Then his group further enriches their lives through mentoring and exposure to higher education and possible career paths. "The whole world can come through this little farm," said Hillery, whose programs reach more than 4,000 young people a year. "Poverty is just lack of access. We bring that access and that opportunity here to them."

Note: Don't miss the video of this incredible project at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks
2017-08-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
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.


American diplomats in Cuba struck by covert sonic device, US officials say
2017-08-10, CNBC/Associated Press
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/09/us-diplomats-in-cuba-suffer-severe-hearing-lo...

The two-year-old U.S. diplomatic relationship with Cuba was roiled Wednesday by what U.S. officials say was a string of bizarre incidents that left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device. In the fall of 2016, a series of U.S. diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing. Some of the diplomats' symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early. U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences. It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. retaliated by expelling two Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington on May 23. The Cuban Foreign Ministry said it had been informed of the incidents on Feb. 17 and had launched an "exhaustive, high-priority, urgent investigation." U.S. officials told The Associated Press that about five diplomats, several with spouses, had been affected and that no children had been involved. Cuba employs a state security apparatus that keeps many people under surveillance and U.S. diplomats are among the most closely monitored people on the island. The use of sonic devices to intentionally harm diplomats would be unprecedented.

Note: Could this attack on US embassy officials have been a false flag attack to turn public opinion against Cuba and reverse Obama's warming of US Cuban relations? Sound weapons developed for war and increasingly used against civilian populations are well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


US Contractor Bought Luxury Cars, Paid Fat Salaries to Partners on Afghanistan Contract
2017-08-09, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/us-contractor-bought-luxury-cars-paid-fat-salaries-pa...

A U.S. contractor bilked the American military out of $50 million spent on Bentleys, Aston Martins and big salaries for senior staffers’ significant others, according to a government audit. Senator Claire McCaskill demanded on Wednesday that the Pentagon explain why it was allowed to get away with it. The British company New Century Consulting (NCC) was deployed by the U.S. overseas to train Afghanistan forces. It was originally subcontracted by the now-defunct company Imperitas from 2008 to 2013 but has since taken over the contract completely. Under Imperitas, NCC ... paid the significant others of senior staff an average of $420,000 as “executive assistants” who worked from home, auditors found. It’s not clear whether Imperitas or NCC actually completed their work in Afghanistan, as neither retained complete training records. In a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis Wednesday, McCaskill ... wrote that “NCC was unable to provide evidence that these executive assistants actually performed any work.” This is not the first time that NCC or Imperitas spending has been questioned or the companies investigated. In 2016, a federal lawsuit was brought in New York by investors against Imperitas. In 2015, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction had an ongoing criminal investigation open against both NCC and Imperitas. And in 2012, two former employees of Imperitas ... sued the company, alleging their co-workers abused alcohol and drugs and possessed illegal weapons—all violations of U.S. policy.

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


Scant Oversight, Corporate Secrecy Preceded US Weed Killer Crisis
2017-08-09, Huffington Post/Reuters
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.


GM is selling a $5,000 electric car in China
2017-08-08, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/07/autos/gm-china-electric-car/?sr=twCNN080717gm...

General Motors will start selling a tiny electric car in China this week that will cost about $5,300 after national and local electric vehicle incentives. For that sort of price, the Baojun E100 is no Cadillac, of course. The two-seat car's wheelbase - the distance from the center of the front wheels to the center of the rear wheels - is just 63 inches. Prices for the car start at RMB 93,900, or about $14,000, before incentives. The E100, which is Baojun's first electric car, is powered by a single 39-horsepower electric motor and has a top speed of 62 miles an hour. The E100 can drive about 96 miles on a fully charged battery. Baojun is a mass-market car brand from General Motors' SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture in China. It's China's eighth most popular car brand. More than 5,000 people have already registered to buy the first 200 vehicles, according to GM. Another 500 vehicles will be made available this week, and buyers will be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis, a GM spokesperson said. Sales will initially be limited to the Guanxi region of southern China, but GM plans to sell the car more widely in China. A GM spokesperson declined to say exactly how many it expects to sell. China is the largest automotive market in the world, and its government is making a big push for electric cars. Already, China accounts for 40% of all electric cars sold worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Trump White House weighs unprecedented plan to privatize much of the war in Afghanistan
2017-08-08, USA Today
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.


Why Martin Shkreli Won’t Be the Last Pharma Bro
2017-08-08, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2017/08/08/martin-shkreli-pharma-bro-pharmaceutical-compan...

Martin Shkreli - famously known as the guy that jacked up the price of a lifesaving AIDS treatment by 5,000% - finally saw his day in court, albeit for a completely unrelated case involving an unrelated company. The trial ... found Shkreli guilty of three counts of fraud for essentially lying to his investors about how he would invest their money and when they would be paid back. The conviction, carrying a potential 20 years in prison, is no joke. Yet the notorious self-promoter took the opportunity to ... let the world know he wasn’t fazed. And why should he be? How Shkreli got rich in the first place remains not just legal but celebrated. The real crime of the Pharma Bro is the unrepentant greed that drives him, as well as the industry he’s thrived in. Sen. Bernie Sanders has attempted to put a stop to this greed with recently introduced legislation to cap prices for pharmaceuticals developed by government-funded research. Far from a new idea, Sanders has been pushing for a bill like this for decades. While raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000% rightfully drew the scorn of millions of people, price gouging is all too common for the industry. Take the EpiPen, the lifesaving device for kids and adults with severe allergies, whose price was famously hiked up over 500% ... after it was acquired by Mylan. Laws that protect investors in these companies are what landed Shkreli in court. Yet until there are laws to protect patients from drug company extortion, like the one proposed by Sanders, the line of Pharma Bros ready to take his place is already queued up.

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


Our Broken Economy, in One Simple Chart
2017-08-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequ...

Many Americans can’t remember anything other than an economy with skyrocketing inequality, in which living standards for most Americans are stagnating and the rich are pulling away. It feels inevitable. But it’s not. A well-known team of inequality researchers ... has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality. The message is straightforward. Only a few decades ago, the middle class and the poor weren’t just receiving healthy raises. Their take-home pay was rising even more rapidly, in percentage terms, than the pay of the rich. The post-inflation, after-tax raises that were typical for the middle class during the pre-1980 period - about 2 percent a year - translate into rapid gains in living standards. At that rate, a household’s income almost doubles every 34 years. In recent decades, by contrast, only very affluent families ... have received such large raises. Yes, the upper-middle class has done better than the middle class or the poor, but the huge gaps are between the super-rich and everyone else. The basic problem is that most families used to receive something approaching their fair share of economic growth, and they don’t anymore.

Note: The graphics at the link above clearly show how inequality has been skyrocketing in recent years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year
2017-08-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/au...

Fossil fuels are expensive. Much of their costs are hidden, however, as subsidies. If people knew how large their subsidies were, there would be a backlash against them from so-called financial conservatives. A study was just published in the journal World Development that quantifies the amount of subsidies directed toward fossil fuels globally, and the results are shocking. The authors work at the IMF and are well-skilled to quantify the subsidies discussed in the paper. The subsidies were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later. According to the authors, these subsidies are important because first, they promote fossil fuel use which damages the environment. Second, these are fiscally costly. Third, the subsidies discourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that compete with the subsidized fossil fuels. Finally, subsidies are very inefficient means to support low-income households. With these truths made plain, why haven’t subsidies been eliminated? We are talking enormous values of 5.8% of global GDP in 2011, rising to 6.5% in 2013. Petroleum and coal receive much larger subsidies compared to their counterpart fuels. There are two key takeaway messages. First, fossil fuel subsidies are enormous and they are costs that we all pay, in one form or another. Second, the subsidies persist in part because we don’t fully appreciate their size. These two facts, taken together, further strengthen the case to be made for clean and renewable energy.

Note: Even competing with such heavily subsidized fossil fuels, the solar power industry in the US now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing energy news articles from reliable major media sources.


New device can heal with a single touch, and even repair brain injuries
2017-08-07, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/07/miracle-device-can-...

A new device developed at The Ohio State University can start healing organs in a "fraction of a second," researchers say. The technology, known as Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), has the potential to save the lives of car crash victims and even deployed soldiers injured on site. It's a dime-sized silicone chip that "injects genetic code into skin cells, turning those skin cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions," according to a release. And, it not only works on skin cells, it can restore any type of tissue, Chandan Sen, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies, said. For example, the technology restored brain function in a mouse who suffered a stroke by growing brain cells on its skin. This is a breakthrough technology, because it's the first time cells have been reprogrammed in a live body. “This technology does not require a laboratory or hospital and can actually be executed in the field," Sen said. "It’s less than 100 grams to carry and will have a long shelf life.” It is awaiting FDA approval, but Sen, who has been working on this for four years, expects TNT will be tested on humans within the year. He says he's talking with Walter Reed National Medical Center now. "We are proposing the use of skin as an agricultural land where you can essentially grow any cell of interest," Sen said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Barbara Lee’s Long War on the War on Terror
2017-08-07, Slate
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/is_barbara_l...

The House Appropriations Committee’s voice vote on June 29, to approve an amendment repealing the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, came as a surprise to congressional leaders; reporters on Capitol Hill; and the amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Barbara Lee. The AUMF is the controversial legal authority under which most U.S. counterterrorism activities are conducted. Lee has been on a mission to repeal it since Sept. 14, 2001, when she cast the one and only vote in Congress against the original authorization. In the 16 years that followed, Lee has sponsored numerous bills ... intended to overturn the authorization, to no avail. The vote in June, the first time a congressional committee had passed an AUMF repeal, showed that she’s finally no longer alone in believing that the authorization she describes as a “blank check” is no good. In the end, the House Rules Committee stripped Lee’s amendment out of the bill. History has vindicated many of Lee’s concerns about the AUMF: It has, as she warned, dramatically expanded the president’s power to use military force, reduced congressional oversight, and vastly grown the U.S. military footprint around the world with no end in sight to the escalation. The measure includes no time or geographic distinctions, and three presidential administrations have taken full advantage of that ambiguity. A 2016 Congressional Research Service report found that the AUMF’s authority had been invoked 37 times for operations in 14 countries.

Note: Read more on Rep. Lee's ongoing fight to repeal the AUMF. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Dying From an Opioid Overdose Is More Common Than You Think
2017-08-07, Time
http://time.com/4890536/opioid-heroin-overdose-deaths/

Since 2000, the number of overdose deaths from drugs in the U.S. has risen more than 137%. Deaths from opioids - which include painkillers and heroin - make up a large portion of these deaths; 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Federal numbers like these reveal a dire situation. But a new study finds that many opioid-related deaths are underreported, and that the full picture of the epidemic may be worse than even those numbers show. In the report, Christopher Ruhm, a professor of public policy & economics at the University of Virginia ... found that nationwide, the death rate from opioids is 24% higher than what has been estimated previously. Deaths related to heroin, which is cheaper than prescription painkillers, are 22% higher, he says. When hospitals enter the cause of death on a person’s death certificate, the drugs that contributed might not be specified, or multiple drugs will be listed as present. Between 20%-25% of the overdose death certificates Ruhm studied did not have any drug specified, suggesting that statewide estimates of deaths linked to opioids could be significantly off. Ruhm found that the overall death rates from opioids were substantially underreported across the U.S. - by more than half in Pennsylvania, for example. The growth in death rates from 2008 to 2014 - the time period Ruhm studied - was also substantially underestimated in many states.

Note: The city of Everett, Washington is currently suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, for the company's alleged role in the diversion of its pills to black market buyers. For other reliable information on pharmaceutical involvement in the huge increase in opioid deaths, see Dr. Mercola's excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing pharmaceutical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Yoga can help improve symptoms of depression, study finds
2017-08-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/yoga-depression-symptoms-help-improve...

Scientists say that there is one form of exercise that could help improve low mood, anxiety and reduce stress - beating depression in some cases. At the 125th Annual Convention of the America Psychological Association, six presentations looked at studies which found yoga could have healing effects on people with depression of differing severities. One of the studies, conducted the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, found that male veterans who took twice-weekly yoga glasses for eight weeks had fewer symptoms. Another study, by Alliant University in San Francisco, found women aged 25 to 45 who took part in twice-weekly Bikram aka hot yoga sessions over a period of eight weeks also had significantly reduced depression symptoms compared to those on a waiting list for classes. The studies, which covered a wide range of ages, occupations and genders all found that there was a positive correlation between practising yoga and lessening symptoms or feelings of depression. The researchers add that while this form of exercise is proven to help, it shouldn’t replace traditional therapy completely. “We can only recommend yoga as a complementary approach, likely most effective in conjunction with standard approaches delivered by a licensed therapist,” explains Hopkins. “There seems to be a lot of potential.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Mayor Ben McAdams posed as a homeless person for 3 days and 2 nights. Here’s what he saw
2017-08-06, Salt Lake Tribune (One of Utah's leading newspapers)
http://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/08/06/sl-co-mayor-ben-mcadams-posed-...

The first piece of advice he got was “Don’t take off your shoes.” The second, “Don’t go to the bathroom after dark.” Though Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams heeded both, it didn’t make him feel any less vulnerable ... as he settled in for a night at the downtown Road Home homeless shelter. He’d visited the grim neighborhood before. He’d read about ... the homeless people unable to access welfare services. Experiencing it firsthand was different. “That was shocking to me.” McAdams’ stay at The Road Home - what he describes as a fact-finding mission - was part of three days and two nights he spent posing as a homeless person to gather information before recommending a new shelter location. During his three days experiencing life on the streets, McAdams said his time was consumed by solving two pressing needs: Where am I going to sleep? And where am I going to get food? “You have to plan your day around that,” he said, realizing that leaves little energy left to search for jobs or housing. As he spoke with homeless people, listening to their stories and getting their input, McAdams bumped into a small family — a mom, dad and daughter — as they were leaving The Road Home. The little girl, nine years old, kept asking where they were going to sleep and what they were going to eat. The parents didn’t know. The encounter reaffirmed for McAdams his top priority: moving families out of the shelter’s harsh environment. That was accomplished July 15.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Attorney general says Justice Dept. has tripled the number of leak probes
2017-08-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/attorney-general-says-...

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Justice Department has more than tripled the number of leak investigations compared with the number that were ongoing at the end of the last administration. Sessions said he was devoting more resources to stamping out unauthorized disclosures, directing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to actively monitor every investigation, instructing the department’s national security division and U.S. attorneys to prioritize such cases, and creating a new counterintelligence unit in the FBI to manage the work. Sessions also said he was reviewing the Justice Department’s policy on issuing subpoenas to reporters. Rosenstein refused to rule out the possibility that journalists would be prosecuted. It has long been Justice Department practice in leak probes to try to avoid investigating journalists directly to find their sources. Prosecutors in the Obama era brought nine leak cases, more than during all previous administrations combined, and in the process called a reporter a criminal “co-conspirator” and secretly went after journalists’ phone records in a bid to identify reporters’ sources. Danielle Brian, executive director at the Project on Government Oversight, said leak investigations might inappropriately target well-intentioned whistleblowers. “Whistleblowers are the nation’s first line of defense against fraud, waste, abuse, and illegality within the federal government,” Brian said in a statement.

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


Too Many Meds? America's Love Affair With Prescription Medication
2017-08-03, Consumer Reports
https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/too-many-meds-americas-lov...

Americans take more pills today than at any other time in recent history - and far more than people in any other country. Much of that medication use is lifesaving or at least life-improving. But a lot is not. The amount of harm stemming from inappropriate prescription medication is staggering. Almost 1.3 million people went to U.S. emergency rooms due to adverse drug effects in 2014, and about 124,000 died from those events. That’s according to estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Other research suggests that up to half of those events were preventable. All of that bad medicine is costly, too. An estimated $200 billion per year is spent in the U.S. on the unnecessary and improper use of medication, for the drugs themselves and related medical costs. Our previous surveys have found that higher drug costs - including more expensive drugs and higher out-of-pocket costs - also strain household budgets, with many people telling us they had to cut back on groceries or delay paying other bills to pay for their prescriptions. Total spending on drug ads targeting consumers reached $6.4 billion last year, 64 percent more than in 2012. That’s $1.3 billion more than the FDA’s entire 2017 budget. Drug companies spend even more - $24 billion in 2012 alone - on marketing just to doctors through ads in medical journals, face-to-face sales, free medication samples, and educational and promotional meetings.

Note: For more, see this informative article . For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering and health.


Pentagon suppressing book on interrogations: former investigator
2017-08-03, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-torture-idUSKBN1AJ2NG

A former chief investigator at the Guantanamo Bay detention center is accusing the Pentagon of blocking publication of his book on the use of brutal interrogation techniques and top U.S. officials' advocacy of what he calls "torture." Mark Fallon, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) veteran, said his book "Unjustifiable Means" reveals no classified information or new detainee abuse cases but details internal deliberations about interrogation methods, identifies officials who advocated "torture" and describes how he and others objected. "This is more of an inside view of the fight to try to stop torture," he said. "There was a tremendous opposition within the government itself believing these were war crimes, and I name names." The use of the brutal interrogation methods made the country less safe, he said. Fallon said that he was told it would take no more than six weeks for the Defense Department office that scrubs manuscripts for unauthorized information to review his book. That was more than seven months ago. He has since missed his submission deadline, had to cancel a book tour and enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute to fight what he contends is a Pentagon effort to suppress his work and stifle his right to free speech. Now the ACLU and the Columbia University institute are taking Fallon's case to Congress.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Paedophiles should get child sex dolls on the NHS, says charity
2017-08-03, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/paedophiles-should-get-child-sex-dolls-prescription-...

A charity has been criticised after suggesting paedophiles should be given life-like child sex dolls on prescription. The controversial comments ... came after a judge ruled that sex dolls made in Asia to look like young children were "obscene". The landmark ruling related to former primary school governor David Turner, who tried to import a 3ft child doll into the UK – one of more than 100 seized at the border by UK law enforcement. But the charity StopSo, which offers therapy to sex offenders, said the dolls could help those attracted to children manage their behaviour safely. The organisation's chairman, Juliet Grayson, [said]: "If someone comes forward and says, 'I am attracted to young children, and I want help to ensure that I never act on that attraction, so that I never harm a child,' then maybe society should consider the use of dolls in a carefully regulated way. "Society needs to reach a point where a teenager can say to his mum, 'I am a paedophile', and she will get him the right kind of help to manage his behaviours in pro-social ways." The unorthodox approach to reducing child sex offences was not shared by the NSPCC ... however. A spokesman for the NCA said: "We believe that these dolls could normalise a sexual interest in children. "As is often the case, importers of dolls have been prosecuted for associated offending such as possession of indecent images of children. "The dolls are a flag of interest in children. If they hadn't been discovered we would not have been able to prosecute for other aggravating offences."

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria
2017-08-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/world/middleeast/cia-syria-rebel-arm-train...

Early last month, the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, recommended to President Trump that he shut down a four-year-old effort to arm and train Syrian rebels. The president swiftly ended the program. The rebel army was by then a shell, hollowed out by more than a year of bombing by Russian planes. Critics in Congress had complained for years about the costs - more than $1 billion over the life of the program - and reports that some of the C.I.A.-supplied weapons had ended up in the hands of a rebel group tied to Al Qaeda further sapped political support for the program. President Barack Obama ... agreed to the program in 2013. It soon fell victim to the constantly shifting alliances in Syria’s six-year-old civil war. Once C.I.A.-trained fighters crossed into Syria, C.I.A. officers had difficulty controlling them. The fact that some of their C.I.A. weapons ended up with Nusra Front fighters - and that some of the rebels joined the group - confirmed the fears of many in the Obama administration when the program began. Although the Nusra Front was widely seen as an effective fighting force against [President Bashar al-Assad]’s troops, its Qaeda affiliation made it impossible for the Obama administration to provide direct support for the group. American intelligence officials estimate that the Nusra Front now has as many as 20,000 fighters in Syria, making it Al Qaeda’s largest affiliate. Officials also received ... reports that the C.I.A.-trained rebels had summarily executed prisoners and committed other violations of the rules of armed conflict.

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


Monsanto Emails Raise Issue of Influencing Research on Roundup Weed Killer
2017-08-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-s...

Documents released Tuesday in a lawsuit against Monsanto raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the most common weed killer in the world. The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller ... a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, [wrote] in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.” Mr. Miller’s 2015 article on Forbes’s website was an attack on the findings of ... a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen. The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.

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


State Department considers scrubbing democracy promotion from its mission
2017-08-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/08/01/state-department...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered his department to redefine its mission and issue a new statement of purpose to the world. The draft statements under review right now are similar to the old mission statement, except for one thing - any mention of promoting democracy is being eliminated. Former senior State Department officials from both parties told me that eliminating “just” and “democratic” from the State Department’s list of desired outcomes is neither accidental nor inconsequential. “The only significant difference is the deletion of justice and democracy,” said Elliott Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy during the George W. Bush administration. “We used to want a just and democratic world, and now apparently we don’t.” The change, if it becomes permanent, would sow confusion throughout the ranks of the State Department’s civil and foreign service because hundreds of State Department officials work on congressionally funded programs every day that are meant to promote democracy and justice abroad. Tillerson has made several statements and decisions that indicate he plans to lower the priority of democracy and human rights in U.S. foreign policy. In his first speech to his State Department employees, he said promoting American values “creates obstacles” to pursuing America’s national security interests. In March, he broke tradition by declining to appear personally to unveil the State Department’s annual human rights report.

Note: The US State Department under Rex Tillerson also recently moved to shut down a decades-old office designed to seek justice for victims of war crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico
2017-08-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/meat-industry-dead-zone-g...

The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico. Toxins from manure and fertiliser pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, according to a new report by Mighty, an environmental group chaired by former congressman Henry Waxman. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) will this week announce the largest ever recorded dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be larger than the nearly 8,200 square-mile area that was forecast for July. “This problem is worsening and worsening and regulation isn’t reducing the scope of this pollution,” said Lucia von Reusner, campaign director at Mighty. “These companies’ practices need to be far more sustainable.” The Mighty report analyzed supply chains of agribusiness and pollution trends and found that a “highly industrialized and centralized factory farm system” was ... bringing fertilisers into waterways. Tyson Foods is identified by the report as a “dominant” influence in the pollution. This pollution has also been linked to drinking water contamination. Last week, a report by Environmental Working Group found that in 2015 water systems serving seven million Americans in 48 states contained high levels of nitrates ... linked to an increased risk of contracting certain cancers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and mass animal deaths.


Jordanian parliament moves to end 'marry the rapist' clause
2017-08-01, Christian Science Monitor/Associated Press
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0801/Jordanian-parliament-mo...

The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Tuesday scrapped a provision in the kingdom's penal code that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim. Cheers and applause erupted from a packed spectators' gallery as legislators voted for repeal, following an emotional debate in which some of the lawmakers jumped up and yelled at each other. The vote was hailed as a major step forward for women in the conservative kingdom. Many areas of Jordan remain socially conservative, with entrenched notions of "family honor." This includes the belief that having a rape victim in the family is shameful, and that such "shame" can be expunged through marriage. In Tuesday's debate, some lawmakers had argued that an amended version of Article 308 was needed to protect rape victims against social stigma by giving them the marriage option. In the end, lawmakers voted in line with the recommendations of the government and a royal committee on legal reforms. The decision must still be approved by parliament's appointed upper house, or Senate, and by King Abdullah II. After the expected final approval, Jordan would join Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt which have canceled their "marry the rapist" clauses over the years. The international rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Lebanon's parliament is also considering repealing such a provision. The clause remains on the books in several other countries in the Middle East and Latin America, as well as in the Philippines and Tajikistan, HRW said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail
2017-07-31, The New Yorker
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.


The 'new phenomenon' of child sex dolls
2017-07-31, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40776621

David Turner is awaiting sentence after admitting to a court that he imported an obscene child sex doll into the UK. The 72-year-old ... is one of seven people to have been charged with the importation offence, which has been deemed a "relatively new phenomenon" by the National Crime Agency. More than 100 child sex dolls have been seized in the UK as part of a special operation set up by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force. Investigators believe the dolls, which are made to be as life-like as possible, are being imported by people who have a "sexual interest" in children. Advertised as "adult dolls" on sites including EBay and Amazon, they are manufactured in the Far East and sent to Britain. Each doll costs around Ł800, is made of a silicon-like material and weighs as much as a child. The NCA, which set up Operation Shiraz, says paediatricians have assessed the dolls seized to be "anatomically correct". Since March 2016, 123 dolls have been seized, destined for 120 importers. Seven people have been charged with importation offences, two of whom, Andrew Dobson and Dean Hall, have been convicted and sentenced. Dobson, 49 and from Crewe, was jailed for two years and eight months. He also admitted possessing indecent images of children. Hall, 42, from Bury St Edmunds, was given a two-year suspended term. He was also in possession of indecent images.

Note: Read more about the controversy surrounding these products. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


U.S. Nuclear Comeback Stalls as Two Reactors Are Abandoned
2017-07-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/climate/nuclear-power-project-canceled-in-...

In a major blow to the future of nuclear power in the United States, two South Carolina utilities said on Monday that they would abandon two unfinished nuclear reactors in the state, putting an end to a project that was ... plagued by delays and cost overruns. The two reactors, which have cost the utilities roughly $9 billion, remain less than 40 percent built. The cancellation means there are just two new nuclear units being built in the country - both in Georgia - while more than a dozen older nuclear plants are being retired in the face of low natural gas prices. Originally scheduled to come online by 2018, the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina had been plagued by disputes with regulators and numerous construction problems. Under South Carolina law, the utilities were allowed to charge ratepayers for construction costs before the reactors were finished. The nuclear project now accounts for 18 percent of the electric bills of South Carolina Electric & Gas’s residential customers. Santee Cooper, a state-owned utility, has increased rates five times to pay for the reactors. Some environmental groups are now urging state regulators to refund those charges, arguing that the companies misled their customers. “It was evident from the start that cost overruns, schedule delays and problems with an untested construction method” would doom the project, said Tom Clements, a senior adviser at Friends of the Earth. State regulators have set a hearing on the issue for October.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Driving Tesla’s Model 3 Changes Everything
2017-07-31, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-31/driving-tesla-s-model-3-ch...

If you’ve ever driven Tesla’s flagship vehicle - the $140,000 Model S P100D - you’ve experienced an unparalleled version of driving power. Zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds punches you back in the seat. Some people live for that feeling. I’m not one of them. After taking one of the first drives of Tesla’s new Model 3 last week, I came away thinking that CEO Elon Musk has finally delivered an electric car for the everyday road tripper like me. The Model 3 still has plenty of pickup, [and] gets a stunning 310 miles on a charge. The fact that this car still looks, drives, and feels like a Tesla - at a starting price of $35,000 - shows how far the Silicon Valley automaker has come. At current battery prices, Tesla is setting a new standard for value in an electric car. Since Musk handed over keys to the first 30 cars on Friday, I’ve heard a lot of people trying to compare the Model 3 to GM’s all-electric Chevy Bolt. Although they’re similarly priced and both run on batteries, the parallel ends there. The Bolt is basically an economy gasoline car that’s been electrified; the Model 3 is, well, something altogether different. Tesla aims to sell 500,000 electric cars next year. The bigger battery is a gamechanger. Only one other electric car in the world has broken the 300-mile range barrier: the most expensive version of Tesla’s Model S, an ultra-luxury car that starts at $97,500. The new Model 3 has won Tesla the trophy for cheapest range for the money, defeating the $37,500 Bolt, which is outclassed by the Model 3 in virtually every category.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Bernie Sanders’ Drug Price Bill Would Save Billions, Congressional Analysts Say
2017-07-31, International Business Times
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.


Hackers Breach U.S. Voting Machines in 90 Minutes in DEF CON Competition
2017-07-30, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/hackers-breach-usvoting-machines-90-minutes-def-con-c...

Hackers were able to successfully breach the software of U.S. voting machines in less than two hours at a competition in Las Vegas. The event exposed glaring deficiencies in the security of U.S. voting infrastructure. According to the Register, the hackers at the DEF CON conference Friday were given voting machines, and competed to access them by physically breaking them open and hacking them remotely. Some devices had remote ports, which could be used to insert devices with malicious software, others insecure WiFi connections, or outdated software such as Windows XP, rendering them exposed to hacking attacks. The machines, manufactured by companies including Diebold, Sequoia and Winvote equipment, were purchased over eBay or at government auctions. In June, the Intercept published leaked NSA documents showing that Russian agents hacked a U.S. voting systems manufacturer in the weeks leading to last year’s presidential election. NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner, 25, was subsequently charged with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet. “Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible. Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community today, we've uncovered even more about exactly how,” said Jake Braun, the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Global Advisors and Managing Director of Cambridge Global Capital, who designed the hacking competition.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Are Aliens Real? NASA Astronauts Share Their Experiences With Extraterrestrials
2017-07-29, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/are-aliens-real-nasa-astronauts-share-their-experience...

Several NASA astronauts believe extraterrestrials exist and have been in touch with humanity for a long period. Data cruncher and blogger Sam Monfort ... on Feb. 21 said the number of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) sightings is currently at an all-time high. According to Monfort's report, there have been 104,947 reported sightings on record over the past 100-plus years. He used information from the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), which ... keeps careful logs of all UFO sightings worldwide. Astronauts such as Edgar Mitchell, Cady Coleman, Edwin Buzz Aldrin and Dr Brian O’Leary ... have claimed to have seen UFOs. In 1971, [Edgar] Mitchell became the sixth person to walk on the Moon, and the journey spiritually transformed his life. He was convinced after the journey to the Moon that "aliens have been observing us and have been here for some time." Mitchell once even claimed that "peace-loving" aliens had visited Earth to save humanity from nuclear war, and ... told Mirror Online that top-ranking military sources had spotted UFOs during weapons tests. He also said that strange crafts flying over missile bases at the White Sands facility have been spotted by military insiders. The facility is a government-owned rocket engine test site where the world's first ever nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945.

Note: Read and watch riveting testimony by numerous astronauts, generals, and other top officials with personal experience in a major UFO cover-up. Check out strong evidence in declassified FBI files that UFOs are quite real. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


The electric jolt that roused Big Oil
2017-07-29, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/29/electric-jolt-roused-big-oil/

Identifying a tipping point is not always easy. But when one of the world’s most powerful oil bosses says he is in the market for an electric car, there can be little doubt. Ben van Beurden, the Royal Dutch Shell boss, last week delivered the clearest indication yet that the burgeoning electric vehicle industry is already hastening the decline of global oil demand. For “Big Oil” it is time to adapt or die, and Shell intends to adapt. Within the next year Shell will unveil early plans for a deeper presence in renewable energy and the electrical chain to tap the boom in electric vehicles. “Everyone is repeatedly surprised at how fast electric cars are coming forward,” Professor Dieter Helm told The Telegraph. The number of new registrations of plug-in cars has grown from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 100,000 at the end of May. “But the political pressure to adopt this technology is increasing all the time. It’s not due to concerns over climate change – it’s city air pollution,” he said. And so it was in the UK last week when the Government’s bid to tackle the country’s worsening air pollution followed the example set by France two weeks earlier in pledging to halt the sale of combustion vehicles by 2040. At the same time, government put the battery boom front and centre in its industrial strategy with Ł246m of funding for research and development. Battery Britain may require a fundamental shift for Europe’s oil majors, automotive giants and embattled refineries.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing energy 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
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.


Contaminants in water are legal but still pose big health risks, environmental group says
2017-07-26, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/26/contaminants-water-legal-but-s...

Contaminants detected in water samples throughout the country pose health risks but are perfectly legal. “Most people turn on their tap water and think: It’s clear, I live in America, we have these laws, I’m being protected,” said Nneka Leiba, director of the Healthy Living Science Program for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In 1974, Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set national standards for drinking water. However, it has been more than 20 years since the EPA has added a new contaminant to its list of regulated drinking water pollutants. “The list of regulated chemicals has not kept up with our use of chemicals as a country,” Leiba said. EWG collected data from drinking water tests ... at more than 48,000 water facilities throughout the U.S., looking for 500 unique contaminants. The group found 267 present in water supplies, many at levels above what scientific studies have found pose health risks but are still legal under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EWG's findings: 93 of the contaminants were linked to an increased risk of cancer; 78 were associated with brain and nervous system damage; 63 were connected to developmental harm in children or fetuses; 38 were contaminants that could cause fertility issues; and 45 were endocrine disruptors. More than 40,000 water systems had levels of known or likely carcinogens that exceeded health guidelines.

Note: EWG has made its data available in the form of a public database. Due to systematic distortion of water quality tests by US authorities, up to 98 million Americans may have unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


100,000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn For Decades — Until Now
2017-07-26, The Intercept
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.


Feds Crack Trump Protesters’ Phones to Charge Them With Felony Rioting
2017-07-26, Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/feds-crack-trump-protesters-phones-to-charge-the...

Officials seized Trump protesters’ cell phones, cracked their passwords, and are now attempting to use the contents to convict them of conspiracy to riot at the presidential inauguration. Prosecutors have indicted over 200 people on felony riot charges for protests in Washington, D.C. on January 20. Some defendants face up to 75 years in prison. Evidence against the defendants has been scant from the moment of their arrest. As demonstrators, journalists, and observers marched through the city, D.C. police officers channelled hundreds of people into a narrow, blockaded corner, where they carried out mass arrests. Some of those people ... are now suing for wrongful arrest. Police also seized more than 100 cell phones. All of the ... phones were locked. But a July 21 court document shows that investigators were successful in opening the locked phones. Prosecutors moved to use a wealth of information from the phones as evidence, including the phones’ “call detail records,” “SMS or MMS messages,” “contact logs/email logs,” “chats or other messaging applications,” “website search history and website history,” and “images or videos.” One of the more than 200 defendants has pleaded guilty to riot charges after being named extensively in a superseding indictment. But the case against most defendants is less clear; in the superseding indictment, prosecutors accuse hundreds defendants of conspiracy to riot, based on “overt acts” as banal as chanting anti-capitalist slogans or wearing dark clothing.

Note: In May, United Nations officials said that the US treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Sperm counts in the West plunge by 60% in 40 years as ‘modern life’ damages men’s health
2017-07-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sperm-count-west-men-health-drop-60...

Sperm counts have plunged by nearly 60 per cent in just 40 years among men living in the West, according to a major review of scientific studies that suggests the modern world is causing serious damage to men’s health. Pesticides, hormone-disrupting chemicals, diet, stress, smoking and obesity have all been “plausibly associated” with the problem, which is associated with a range of other illnesses ... and a generally increased mortality rate. The researchers who carried out the review said the rate of decline had showed no sign of “levelling off” in recent years. The same trend was not seen in other parts of the world such as South America, Africa and Asia. The researchers ... said total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 per cent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Sperm concentration fell by 52.4 per cent. "Endocrine disruption from chemical exposures or maternal smoking during critical windows of male reproductive development may play a role in prenatal life, while lifestyle changes and exposure to pesticides may play a role in adult life. Thus, a decline in sperm count might be considered as a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for male health across the lifespan.”

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


Ancient humans had sex with non humans
2017-07-25, New Zealand Herald
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=&objectid=11894688

New research shows that ancient humans had sex with non human species. According to a study conducted by Omer Gokcumen, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo, ancient humans had intercourse with a "ghost species" of "proto human". Gokcumen explains that humans are only one member of a broader species named "hominins". The research found that humans had sex with other members of the hominins group. Gokcumen found "wildly different" genes in DNA of humans living in Sub-Saharan Africa. He believes these genes can be traced back to about 150,000 years ago when ancient humans were breeding with this mysterious "ghost species". This other species is referred to by the scientific community as a "ghost species" as there are no known fossils that can be analysed. "It seems that interbreeding between different early hominin species is not the exception - it's the norm," Gokcumen said. "Based on our analysis, the most plausible explanation for this extreme variation is archaic introgression - the introduction of genetic material from a 'ghost' species of ancient hominins."

Note: What was this "ghost species"? Could there have been intervention from species outside of planet Earth? Read an essay by WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks for intriguing ideas along these lines.


Robot finds likely melted fuel heap inside Fukushima reactor
2017-07-25, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Robot-finds-likely-melted-fuel-heap-...

Images captured by an underwater robot showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1 meter (3 feet) on the bottom inside of a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor, said the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. On Friday, the robot spotted suspected debris of melted fuel for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and destroyed the plant. Locating and analyzing the fuel debris and damage in each of the plant's three wrecked reactors is crucial for decommissioning the plant. The search for melted fuel in the two other reactors has so far been unsuccessful because of damage and extremely high radiation levels. During this week's probe, cameras mounted on the robot showed extensive damage caused by the core meltdown, with fuel debris mixed with broken reactor parts, suggesting the difficult challenges ahead in the decades-long decommissioning of the destroyed plant.

Note: Following the Fukushima disaster, at least three Tepco officials were indicted for knowingly operating an unsafe nuclear power plant. And though the plant is extremely toxic now years after the disaster, top officials still claim nuclear power is extremely safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown.


Newly Released Documents Show Government Misled Public on Fannie/Freddie Takeover
2017-07-25, Rolling Stone
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.


President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination
2017-07-25, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-a-chance-to-dispel-one-of-t...

Later this year - unless President Trump intervenes - the American people will get access to the last of thousands of secret government files about a turning point in the nation’s history: the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The National Archives this week released several hundred of the documents, which come from CIA and FBI files. JFK researchers are scrambling to see whether they contain any new clues about the president’s murder. But many more documents remain under seal, awaiting release by this October, the 25-year deadline set by the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. The law gives only one person - the president - the ability to stop the release from happening. He can act only if he certifies in writing that the documents would somehow endanger national security. About 3,150 ... documents remain totally under seal, along with tens of thousands of pages that have been only partially unsealed because intelligence and law-enforcement agencies opposed their release in the 1990s. Those are the documents that Trump could try to keep secret. And sadly, he appears to be under pressure to do so. Congressional and other government officials have warned us in confidence in recent weeks that at least two federal agencies will make formal appeals to the White House to block the release of some of the files. Which agencies? Which files? The officials would not say. Trump ... has a chance to show that he is committed to resolving some of the biggest conspiracy theories in American politics. We hope he welcomes the opportunity.

Note: The above was written by Larry J. Sabato, author of “The Kennedy Half-Century,” and Philip Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations from reliable major media sources.


Installing microchips in employees is 'the right thing to do,' CEO says
2017-07-24, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/24/installing-microchips-in-employees-is-the-rig...

Forget swiping a credit card or badge to buy food at work. One Wisconsin-based tech firm is offering to install rice-size microchips in its employees' hands. Three Square Market will be the first firm in the U.S. to use the device, which was approved by the FDA in 2004, CEO Todd Westby told CNBC on Monday. "We think it's the right thing to do for advancing innovation just like the driverless car basically did in recent months," he said. The company, which provides technology for break-room markets or mini-market kiosks, is anticipating over 50 employees to be voluntarily chipped. Westby said he and his family will be chipped, too. The chip, which costs $300 per implant, is inserted with a needle between the thumb and forefinger. Once an employee has the chip installed, he or she can purchase food in the break room, open doors and log into computers. And for those who may be concerned about Big Brother watching, Westby said there is no way for employees to be tracked. "Unlike your cell phone that is trackable and traceable pretty much no matter where you are, this device is only readable if you're within six inches of a proximity reader," he said. Three Square Market's partner, BioHax International in Sweden, has already started using the microchips in about 150 of its employees.

Note: A Swedish company's chief executive was recently "chipped" live on stage to promote this dubious technology. And do you really think they are not trackable? Read about the agenda to chip all people in this powerful essay and these news articles.


Vets Are Using Transcendental Meditation to Treat PTSD—With the Pentagon’s Support
2017-07-22, Mother Jones
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/07/vets-are-using-transcendental-med...

Mary-Ann Rich rises at precisely 4:45 every morning. After feeding her cat, she ... sits for 20 minutes, motionless, her mind drifting far from the images of burned and blown up bodies that have haunted her for a decade. For the past four years, Rich has repeated this daily ritual to help heal her emotional scars from the 18 months she spent as an Army nurse in Iraq. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she bounced from one treatment to another without much effect. Then she was introduced to Transcendental Meditation, or TM. She says that TM, more than any kind of therapy or pharmaceutical, has kept [the] horrors [of PTSD] at bay. Thousands of veterans ... have turned to TM to treat their PTSD - with blessing of the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration, which are struggling to treat the epidemic levels of PTSD and suicide among Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Aided by $30 million in grants from the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health, [the nonprofit David Lynch Foundation] has worked ... to bring TM to vets and active-duty soldiers. TM practitioners receive a secret mantra - a meaningless word-sound - and repeat it to trigger a free-flowing 20-minute meditation twice a day. Colonel Brian Rees ... served as a doctor in Iraq and Afghanistan. TM’s simplicity, Rees says, is uniquely suited to the job of treating PTSD. In 2011, he researched 33 different meditation techniques and found that TM had the greatest potential to bolster soldiers’ resilience.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Former FDA Reviewer Speaks Out About Intimidation, Retaliation and Marginalizing of Safety
2017-07-21, TruthOut.org
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/10524-former-fda-reviewer-speaks-out-about...

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often accused of serving industry at the expense of consumers. This week, [there are reports] of an institutionalized FDA spying program on its own scientists, lawmakers, reporters and academics that included an enemies list of "actors" and collaborators. "Devicegate" dates back at least to January 2009 when scientists ... wrote President Obama that top FDA managers "committed the most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along." Unsafe [medical] devices - including those that emit excessive radiation - were approved. For reporting the safety risks, the scientists became targets. Some lost their jobs. The ... reprisals against FDA device reviewers [did not surprise former FDA drug reviewer Ronald Kavanagh]. "After FDA management learned I had gone to Congress about certain issues, I found my office had been entered and my computer physically tampered with," [said Kavanagh]. "Then, after I openly reported irregularities in an antipsychotic drug review and FDA financial collusion with outsiders to ... the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I was threatened with prison. The threats, however, can be much worse than prison. One manager threatened my children - who had just turned 4 and 7 years old - and ... I was afraid that I could be killed for talking to Congress and criminal investigators."

Note: Read more on how the FDA spied on whistle-blowing scientists to suppress safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Google now highest-spending company for federal lobbying
2017-07-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Google-now-highest-spending-company-fo...

Google spent the most it ever has in a single quarter trying to influence elected officials in Washington, according to lobbying disclosures made public late Thursday. The past three months have also seen record spending on lobbying by several other major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Uber. Google Inc., according to the disclosure forms, spent $5.93 million between April 1 and June 30. That’s about 40 percent more than it had spent during the same period last year. The only three entities that doled out more money were large business organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($11.68 million), the National Association of Realtors ($10.92 million) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($6 million). Since the 2016 election, the tech industry has had to navigate ... an administration whose decisions have often cut against Silicon Valley’s business interests. The combined lobbying efforts of some of the most influential tech companies - Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft - totaled $15.79 million. Google’s lobbying efforts come as it faces the largest fine the European Union has ever levied against a company for abusing its dominant market position. In June, the European Union’s antitrust chief hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine, saying the company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping site. If the ruling is not overturned, it could reshape the company’s behavior and direct the evolving boundaries of tech-industry regulation.

Note: Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Mushroom protein is just as filling as meat
2017-07-21, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mushroom-protein-just-filling-meat-1631429

The World Health Organization and the United Nations have been advocating vegetarian and vegan diets for years, to protect against obesity and encourage less energy-intensive farming. For those ... concerned about whether they could stomach a vegan or even just a vegetarian diet, a recent small study has found that mushroom protein can do the job perfectly well. A total of 32 people were given two servings of mushrooms or of meat to eat every day for ten days. On the first day they were given a mushroom or meat breakfast, and rated how full they felt several times in the following hours. Then after three hours, they were given a help-yourself lunch where the scientists recorded how much they ate. Then they were sent home and given either mushrooms or meat to work into their diet for the next nine days. At the all-you-can-eat lunch there was no immediate difference between the mushroom eaters and the meat eaters. But over the following days, people on the mushroom regime reported being less hungry, fuller for longer and found themselves planning smaller meals. But overall, the mushroom eaters didn't eat more or less food than the people on the meat regime, the researchers found. So it seems that eating mushroom protein is at least as good as eating meat protein.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The man who sews with his toes: Indian tailor creates bespoke garments… despite not having any ARMS
2017-07-20, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4713808/Armless-Indian-tailor-creates-garments-feet.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4713808/Armless-Indian-tailor-creates...

Madan Lal, 45, from Haryana in India was born without arms but learnt to adapt to the demands of everyday life by using his feet. Now he uses his talented toes to stitch beautiful garments from a shop in his village. He said: 'All the stitching work I do with my feet. From cutting the cloth to measurement, I have to use my feet.' He said: 'When I was young almost every school denied me admission because of my disability. My family couldn't afford to educate me, and I thought ... I'll have to do something to survive in this life.' At the age of 23, Mr Lal decided to take up tailoring, but found it very difficult to get any training. A determined Mr Lal decided to travel to Fatehabad and search for a tailor who was willing to train him. He said: 'I went to Fatehabad to learn stitching from a tailor. He initially refused to teach me. He said, "You don't have any arms, how would you do stitching?" 'I said, "Just give me one chance". He said okay and within 10 to 15 days my teacher started saying, "You will become successful". And I became very happy.' Within a year, Mr Lal had learned the art of tailoring and had opened a shop in his village. The impact on his life was immediate. 'That day I forgot all the sufferings. It was the best day of my life. I saw people coming to my shop to greet me. The whole village was happy, as if they were part of my family.' And now Madan's talent has overcome even the most sceptical of his villagers, and his exploits have made him something of a local hero. He said: 'Now everyone at our village comes to my shop.'

Note: Don't miss the inspiring 3-minute video of this very capable man.


Syrian rebels alarmed by reports covert CIA aid will end
2017-07-20, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/a35244e6-6d2e-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa

For nearly four years, Syrian rebels have clung to a programme of CIA assistance as a symbol of US support in their battle against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. So reports that Donald Trump’s administration will stop the limited scheme to arm and train Syria’s opposition forces have sparked anger and confusion. Rebels say they have not been informed of any changes to the policy introduced ... in 2013 as part of efforts to put pressure on Syria’s president. According to ... the Washington Post newspaper, Mr Trump decided last month to end funding for the CIA programme. Rebels contacted by the Financial Times say their CIA interlocutors had not confirmed any change, and political opposition figures who met US officials this week say they, too, were given no hint of any change. One rebel commander who asked not to be named said US support had been waning for months but noted that the rebels had been given their salaries as normal last month. The CIA funding for rebel groups fed into two internationally backed operations that supported an array of rebel groups. Many observers and even rebels themselves criticised the programme for turning a blind eye to its funding ending up with jihadis. Rebels who received support would return to volatile territories in Syria, only to be pressed by an al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group to hand over a cut. “Frankly so much of the weapons and ammunition were going to [Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate] that it’s probably a good thing,” [an] opposition figure said.

Note: What is the CIA doing paying the salaries of rebels in Syria? For more, see this informative article. Then, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


College Was Once Free and For the Public Good—What Happened?
2017-07-20, Yes! Magazine
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.


Body Camera Video Allegedly Shows Baltimore Police ‘Plant’ Drugs
2017-07-19, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/body-camera-video-allegedly-shows-baltimo...

Body camera video produced Wednesday appears to show a Baltimore police officer plant drugs in late January, an act that later resulted in a criminal arrest. The 90-second Baltimore police body camera video, which was made public by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, belongs to Officer Richard Pinheiro, who appears to hide and later "find" drugs among trash strewn on a plot next to a Baltimore residence. Two other officers appear to be with the Pinheiro as he hides the drugs. "This is a serious allegation of police misconduct," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. "There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers ... would plant evidence of crimes on citizens." One of the officers has been suspended, and two others have been placed on "nonpublic contact" administrative duty, Davis told reporters. Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 active cases, and he was even called to testify in a case earlier this week, the Public Defender's Office said. The new video has led to that case's dismissal after an assistant public defender forwarded it to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. Debbie Katz Levi, head of the Baltimore Public Defender's Special Litigation Section, said that Baltimore police have long had a problem with officer misconduct but that the city does not hold individuals accountable. "We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts," Levi said.

Note: And how many thousands of times over the years has this been done and not recorded on video? Watch this video at the NBC link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Keith Kloor’s Endearing Love Affair With GMOs
2017-07-19, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-g...

Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”

Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.


Rep. Barbara Lee won't get her war vote after all
2017-07-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-update...

House Republicans have stripped from a Defense Department spending bill Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to reconsider the authority the president has to wage war. The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly opened the door last month to ending the authorization approved by Congress in 2001 when Lee's amendment was added to a Defense Department measure after 16 years of attempts. Congress would have had 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time, the 2001 authorization would have been repealed. The version of the Defense Department bill approved by the House Rules Committee overnight removes Lee's amendment and replaces it with an amendment ... that gives the White House 30 days to tell Congress its strategy for defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic State. The Rules Committee decides what debate on a bill will look like on the House floor. “Stripping my bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF – in the dead of night, without a vote – may be a new low," Lee said in a statement. Lee ... was the only member of Congress to object in September 2001 to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a resolution in response to the terrorist attacks that paved the way for the war in Afghanistan. The resolution has since been used by President George W. Bush, President Obama and now President Trump to justify more than 35 military actions in nearly 20 countries around the world without going back to Congress for new permission to send troops into harm's way.

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


CNN witnesses US Navy's drone-killing laser
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/politics/us-navy-drone-laser-weapon/index.html

In the sometimes hostile waters of the Persian Gulf looms the US Navy's first - in fact, the world's first - active laser weapon. The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Capt. Christopher Wells and his crew. CNN was granted exclusive access to a live-fire test of the laser. "It is more precise than a bullet," Wells told CNN. "This is a very versatile weapon, it can be used against a variety of targets." For the test, the USS Ponce crew launched the target - a drone aircraft, a weapon in increasing use. Immediately, the weapons team zeroed in. "We don't have to lead a target," Hughes explained. "We see it, we focus on it, and we can negate that target." In an instant, the drone's wing lit up, heated to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurtling down to the sea. The strike comes silently and invisibly. "It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so you don't see the beam, it doesn't make any sound, it's completely silent and it's incredibly effective at what it does," said Hughes. All the $40 million system needs to operate is a supply of electricity, which is derived from its own small generator, and has a crew of three. No multi-million-dollar missile, no ammunition at all. The cost per use? "It's about a dollar a shot," said Hughes.

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


US general warns of out-of-control killer robots
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/paul-selva-gary-peters-autonomous-weap...

America's second-highest ranking military officer, Gen. Paul Selva, advocated Tuesday for "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control." Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, about his views on a Department of Defense directive that requires a human operator to be kept in the decision-making process when it comes to the taking of human life by autonomous weapons systems. Peters said the restriction was "due to expire later this year." "I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for his reappointment as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He predicted that "there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," but added that he was "an advocate for keeping that restriction." Selva said humans needed to remain in the decision making process "because we take our values to war." His comments come as the US military has sought increasingly autonomous weapons systems.

Note: In another article Tesla founder Elon Musk's warns against the dangers of AI without regulation. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump Administration Closing War Crimes Office
2017-07-18, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/trump-war-crimes-torture-tillerson-638404

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is closing a decades-old office in the State Department that has helped seek justice for victims of war crimes. The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the secretary of state on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide, and helps form policy to address such atrocities. It was established ... in 1997. The office has supported the work of criminal courts in countries including Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the Central African Republic, and has pushed for greater U.S. support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The office has also offered rewards that have resulted in information disclosures about and apprehension of war criminals, and has inveighed against brutal dictators. (It has not, however, criticized Saudi Arabia or other American allies with dismal human rights records.) “It just makes official what has been U.S. policy since 9/11, which is that there will be no notice taken of war crimes because so many of them were being committed by our own allies, our military and intelligence officers and our elected officials,” Maj. Todd E. Pierce, a former judge advocate general defense attorney at Guantanamo, told Newsweek. The office was formed following the 1996 passage of the War Crimes Act, which defined a war crime as a “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions. When the CIA began using torture early in the Iraq War and, later, jailing people indefinitely and without trial in Guantanamo, the U.S. was in open breach of the conventions.

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


China is crushing the U.S. in renewable energy
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/18/technology/china-us-clean-energy-solar-farm/

As the Trump administration yanks the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, claiming it will hurt the American economy, Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs in clean power. "Even in China where coal is - or was - king, the government still recognizes that the economic opportunities of the future are going to be in clean energy," said Alvin Lin, Beijing-based climate and energy policy director with the Natural Resources Defense Council. More than 2.5 million people work in the solar power sector alone in China, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S.. While President Trump promises to put American coal miners back to work, China is moving in the opposite direction. Coal still makes up the largest part of China's energy consumption, but Beijing has been shutting coal mines and set out plans last year to cut roughly 1.3 million jobs in the industry, [as well as] pledged in January to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in renewable power generation - solar, wind, hydro and nuclear - by 2020. China's growing dominance in the [renewable power] sector has had a huge effect on the global market. Manufacturers dramatically ramped up production of solar panels, driven by an estimated $42 billion in government subsidized loans between 2010 and 2012. The U.S. accused China of flooding the market and the Commerce Department started imposing steep tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels in 2012 in a bid to protect American producers.

Note: The world's biggest floating solar power plant was recently built in China. And in the US, the solar power industry now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.


Donald Trump's campaign against Isis results in nearly as many civilian deaths as during Obama's entire administration
2017-07-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-syria-death-...

Nearly as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led air strikes under Donald Trump as were killed during the whole administration of Barack Obama, independent analysts say. As of 13 July, more than 2,200 civilians had been killed by the US-led international coalition against Isis since Donald Trump entered the White house in January - compared with the estimated 2,300 civilians who died during similar strikes between 2014 and 2016. Roughly 80 civilians per month died in strikes under Mr Obama but this has now risen to approximately 360 per month ... according to research by the military tracking organisation Airwars. Part of the rise in these figures is due to the changing nature of the war against Isis, as the jihadist group became entrenched in the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa. The coalition's own civilian casualty figures are much lower than Airwars', but they too show an increase. Following a new war plan unveiled by US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis in February, the US has focused its efforts on “annihilation tactics”. In one incident in Mosul in March, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 men, women and children. Britain, France, Australia and Belgium have also taken part in the bombing campaign but the US is the only one to admit responsibility for any civilian deaths.

Note: Coalition airstrikes have reportedly targeted schools and other non-military locations. Killing increasing numbers of civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Good News For Russia: 15 States Use Easily Hackable Voting Machines
2017-07-17, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/electronic-voting-machines-hack-russia_us...

In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten received an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time. Felten’s team then spent the summer working ... to reverse-engineer the machine. In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus. That was more than a decade ago, but Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS. The state is one of five ― the others are Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on [direct-recording electronic machines, or] DREs for voting. Ten other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines that leave no paper trail. Many use a newer version of the AccuVote known as the TSX ― even though computer scientists have demonstrated that machine, too, is vulnerable to hacking. Others use the Sequoia AVC Advantage, which Princeton professor Andrew Appel demonstrated could be similarly manipulated in a 2007 legal filing. On Nov. 7, the day before last year’s elections, former CIA Director James Woolsey flagged DRE voting machines as a key vulnerability. “If I were a bad guy from another country who wanted to disrupt the American system ... I’d concentrate on messing up the touch-screen systems,” he told Fox News.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Can Psychedelics Be Therapy? Allow Research to Find Out
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/upshot/can-psychedelics-be-therapy-allow-r...

In the last few years, calls for marijuana to be researched as a medical therapy have increased. It may be time for us to consider the same for psychedelic drugs. Two general classes of such drugs exist, and they include LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and ecstasy (MDMA). All are illegal in the United States, [and can] cause harm. The best-known adverse event is persistent flashbacks, though these are believed to be rare. More common are symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and panic. Some people have pointed to ... positive effects. People with life-threatening illnesses can also suffer from anxiety, which is hard to treat. In 2014, a small randomized controlled trial was published that examined if LSD could be used to improve this anxiety. Anxiety was significantly reduced in the intervention group for up to a year. More common are studies of the use of psychedelics to treat abuse or addiction to other substances. [One study] exploring LSD’s potential to treat alcoholism [found that] alcohol use and misuse were significantly reduced in the LSD group for six months. Similar studies using psilocybin have also shown promising results. Researchers [have also] examined the potential for MDMA in the treatment of chronic and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. At two months after therapy, more than 80 percent of those in the treatment group saw a clinical improvement versus only 25 percent of those in the placebo group. The beneficial effects lasted for at least four years, even with no further treatment.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.


GOP Seeks to Close Federal Election Agency
2017-07-17, Yahoo! News/Wall Street Journal
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-seeks-close-federal-election-210000506.html

House Republicans are seeking to defund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure. The defunding move comes as the EAC is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine an attack late last year on the agency’s computer systems by a Russian-speaking hacker. The Election Assistance Commission said in December it was “working with federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the potential breach and its effects.” The commission provides election-management guidelines and develops specifications for certifying voting systems, though responsibility for administering elections ultimately falls to state and local governments. The hacking probe is being conducted at the same time the FBI is undertaking a broader investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including attempts to get into state election databases, and whether anyone working with President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded in the effort. Mr. Trump and his campaign have denied any collusion with Russian hacking. The hack appeared to include a breach of the EAC’s administrative-access credentials as well as access to nonpublic reports on flaws in voting machines, according to ... an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


This Self-Fuelling Boat Just Set Off on an Epic 6-Year Global Voyage
2017-07-17, Science Alert
http://www.sciencealert.com/this-self-fuelling-boat-just-embarked-on-an-epic-...

An amazing hydrogen-powered round-the-world ocean voyage has just gotten underway, with the US$5.25-million Energy Observer setting sail from Paris. The French vessel, which is set to make 101 stopovers in 50 countries across the globe during its epic 6-year undertaking, runs on wind and solar power, plus hydrogen generated from seawater. The trip, which will self-sufficiently circumnavigate the globe with zero greenhouse gas emissions, has been described as the 'Solar Impulse of the Seas', in reference to the pioneering solar-powered aircraft that flew around the world in 2016. The Energy Observer runs on solar power harnessed from extensive panelling ... in addition to two large wind turbines at the rear of the 30.5-metre (100-foot) long catamaran. When it's night time or when there's no wind to spin the turbines, the vessel relies on its chief innovation: an electrolysis system that extracts hydrogen from sea water and stores it in an onboard tank. While it all sounds very high tech, the Energy Observer ... is actually a 34-year-old former racing vessel [modified] to now serve as a model for emissions-free transport. That new mission is also why the vessel is expected to take some six years to complete its worldwide tour. Unlike previous renewable-powered sea voyages around the world, the Energy Observer's crew is taking their time ... hoping that each stopover in ports throughout 50 countries along the way will help demonstrate that there's a viable alternative to using environment-destroying fossil fuels.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Departing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/politics/walter-shaub-ethics.html

Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards. “It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.” Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Mr. Shaub recommended giving the ethics office limited power to subpoena records, as well as authority to negotiate prohibitions on presidential conflicts of interest; mandating that presidential candidates release tax returns; and revising financial disclosure rules. Hui Chen, who served until recently as an ethics expert in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, said Mr. Shaub’s proposals would give the office greater independence and power to police actions by top federal officials. Mr. Shaub, who is taking a job at a nonprofit group called the Campaign Legal Center, said he had never wanted the role of challenging the president. “I would not have picked this fight,” said Mr. Shaub. “But I have never been one to shy away from bullies.”

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


Don't believe the dangerous myths of 'Drone Warrior'
2017-07-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-browne-ling-drones-memoir-brett-ve...

Drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. But a widely publicized new memoir about America’s covert drone war fails to mention the “outflow increases,” as one internal Air Force memo calls it. “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies” chronicles the nearly 10 years that Brett Velicovich, a former special operations member, spent using drones to help special forces find and track terrorists. Conveniently, it also puts a hard sell on a program whose ranks the military is struggling to keep full. The book is, at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment. Velicovich exaggerates the accuracy of the technology, neglecting to mention how often it fails or that such failures have killed an untold number of civilians. For instance, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults in its attempts to take out Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, who reportedly is still alive. The film rights to “Drone Warrior” were bought over a year ago, with much fanfare, by Paramount Pictures. This development is predictable. The U.S. military and Hollywood have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. But there is something particularly unseemly about Hollywood’s enthusiasm for bringing Velicovich’s version of drone warfare to the big screen.

Note: Documents obtained by a crowdfunded investigative journalism project show that US military and intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and television shows. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Half of all new cars in Norway are now electric or hybrid
2017-07-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/norway-half-new-cars-electric...

Norway said that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far in 2017, as Norway continues its trend towards becoming one of the most ecologically progressive countries in the world. According to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) ... sales of electric cars accounted for 17.6 per cent of new vehicle registrations in January and hybrid cars accounted for 33.8 per cent, for a combined 51.4 per cent. Norway already has the highest per capita number of all-electric cars in the world. The milestone is also particularly significant as a large proportion of Norway’s funds rely on the country’s petroleum industry "This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment minister Vidar Helgesen [said]. Last year, the government agreed on a proposal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered car starting in 2025. It also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of new cars to 85 grams per kilometre by 2020 - a goal it has almost achieved: the figure stood at 88 grams in February compared to 133 grams when the decision was taken five years ago. In December, Norway registered its 100,000th electric car. Norway has also become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Tobacco companies tighten hold on Washington under Trump
2017-07-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
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)
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.


Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
2017-07-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the mysterious nature of reality.


Ajit Pai: the man who could destroy the open internet
2017-07-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
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.


How Obama’s Failure To Prosecute Wall Street Set The Stage For Trump’s Win
2017-07-11, Huffington Post
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.


Folk religion with deadly rituals raises safety concerns for law enforcement
2017-07-10, ABC News (Austin, Texas affiliate)
http://www.kvue.com/news/local/growing-folk-religion-raises-safety-concerns-f...

The Pew Research Center estimates about six percent of the world's population - approximately 405 million people - follow folk religions. Santa Muerte, which translates to “Holy Death” and "Saint Death" is among those folk religions growing in popularity in Central Texas. The folk saint’s image is that of a robed skeleton. Santa Muerte is becoming a prominent source of faith among drug traffickers and violent criminals, which is why many narcotics officers feel the public and law enforcement alike should beware. "We're seeing more and more criminals that are praying to Santa Muerte,” says Robert Almonte, who was an El Paso narcotics detective. "Officers are entering homes on drug search warrants and they're encountering elaborate Santa Muerte shrines,” Almonte says. "They believe that the more sacrifice, the more gorier [sic] or intense the sacrifice - the better off they'll be with the Santa Muerte," said the undercover officer. The Mexican government reports La Familia/Knights Templar has sacrificed humans in their rituals. In 2008, Gulf Cartel members kidnapped rival Sinaloa Cartel members ... took the Sinaloa members to public Santa Muerte shrines and executed [them]. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin released in 2014 suggests it was an offering to Santa Muerte. Of greatest concern, the ... ritualistic killings associated with this cult could cross the border and take place in the United States. It has, according to these government reports. Three confirmed deaths in the United States involve sacrifices to Santa Muerte.

Note: Ritual abuses and killings are rarely reported by mainstream media. Cartel violence and the Drug War "has left more than 175,000 people dead over the last 10 years" according to this Los Angeles Times article.


Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan
2017-07-10, New York Times
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.


Mexico spying targeted international experts in student kidnapping case
2017-07-10, The Guardian/Associated Press
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.

Note: Read the report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto for the details of these suspicious spyware attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the erosion of civil liberties.


Thom Bond: Changing the Conversation with NVC
2017-07-09, Daily Good
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1664/thom-bond-changing-the-conversation-with-...

In 2002 Thom Bond was a successful environmental engineer, passionate about designing smart buildings that used alternative energy. Then he chanced upon Marshall Rosenberg's landmark book Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life. "I think Marshall Rosenberg's work may be the single most important discovery of the 20th century," [said Thom]. "His discovery that when we bring our attention to our universal human needs, it changes what we focus on, it changes how we think, and we naturally become more compassionate." Two short years after being introduced to Marshall Rosenberg's work ... Bond opened NYCNVC. His work over the past fifteen years has brought the benefits of NVC to tens of thousands of people across the world from diverse backgrounds, including the military, corporate leaders, educators, peace workers and more. "It's about changing the conversation we are having," says Bond succinctly, "The one we are in right now in most spheres is: 'Who is right and who is wrong?' And ... if we change the subject to, 'How can we meet more needs and make this situation work better?' That is the new conversation." This approach isn't about changing people - it's about seeing them in a different way. There is a difference between what I am observing and what I am telling myself about what I am observing. This is judging and it keeps us from being present and connected. When we tune into our feelings and tap into our needs -- our own or someone else's then compassion arises spontaneously.

Note: Watch an excellent 10-minute video of NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg describing this profound process. See also a great, concise guide to NVC which can help you be a more effective and compassionate communicator. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


More than 200,000 children married in US over the last 15 years
2017-07-08, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/200000-children-married-us-1...

More than 200,000 children were married in the US over the past 15 years, new figures have revealed. The minimum age for marriage across most of the US is 18, but every state has exemptions – such as parental consent or pregnancy – which allow younger children to tie the knot. In May, the ... governor for New Jersey declined to sign into law a measure that would have made his state the first to ban child marriage without exception. At least 207,468 minors married in the US between 2000 and 2015, according to data compiled by Unchained At Last, a group campaigning to abolish child marriage. Eight-seven per cent of the minors who married across the country between 2000 and 2015 were girls, with the majority either 16 or 17. The youngest wedded were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee who married men aged 24, 25 and 31 in 2001. The youngest groom was an 11-year-old who married a 27-year-old woman in the same state in 2006. Children as young as 12 were granted marriage licences in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina, while 11 other states allowed 13-year-olds to wed. More than 1,000 children aged 14 or under were granted marriage licences. Only 14 per cent of the children who wedded were married to other minors. In rare cases children were permitted to wed someone decades older. A 14-year-old girl married a 74-year-old man in Alabama, while a 17-year-old wed a 65-year-old groom in Idaho. Child brides usually come from poor backgrounds, said Dr Nicholas Syrett, author of American Child Bride.

Note: This New York Times article tells the story of an 11-year-old girl forced to marry a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Some seeking help for opioid abuse are lost in a circle of lies
2017-07-08, Boston Globe
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.


Religious leaders get high on magic mushrooms ingredient – for science
2017-07-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/08/religious-leaders-get-high-on...

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have enlisted two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations, to participate in a study in which they will be given two powerful doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Dr William Richards ... who is involved in the work, said: “With psilocybin these profound mystical experiences are quite common. It seemed like a no-brainer that they might be of interest, if not valuable, to clergy.” The experiment, which is currently under way, aims to assess whether a transcendental experience makes the leaders more effective and confident in their work and how it alters their religious thinking. Despite most organised religions frowning on the use of illicit substances, Catholic, Orthodox and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist and several rabbis were recruited. The team has yet to persuade a Muslim imam or Hindu priest to take part, but “just about all the other bases are covered,” according to Richards. The participants have been given two powerful doses of psilocybin in two sessions, one month apart. “Their instruction is to go within and collect experiences,” Richards said. “So far everyone incredibly values their experience. No one has been confused or upset or regrets doing it.” A full analysis of the outcomes will take place after a one-year follow-up with the participants, whose identities are being kept anonymous. “It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” he said.

Note: In 1962, a similar experiment was conducted called the "Good Friday Experiment." Almost all of the members of the experimental group reported experiencing profound religious experiences. In 2002, a similar experiment at Johns Hopkins University yielded similar results. Learn about both of these in this Wikipedia article. Read more about the potentials of mind altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


More than 120 nations adopt treaty to ban nuclear weapons at UN meeting
2017-07-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/g20-summit-120-countries-ado...

More than 120 countries approved the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons Friday at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations. To loud applause, Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the UN conference that has been negotiating the legally binding treaty, announced the results of the “historic” vote — 122 nations in favour, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining. “We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Whyte Gomez said. “We (are) ... saying to our children that, yes, it is possible to inherit a world free from nuclear weapons. The world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years,” since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 at the end of World War II, she said. None of the nine countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — is supporting the treaty. The treaty will be opened for signatures in September and come into force when 50 countries have ratified it, [Whyte Gomez] said, and its language leaves the door open for nuclear weapon states to become parties to the agreement. The treaty requires of all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices - and the threat to use such weapons.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Gulf Arabs vs. Qatar: Why all the fuss over Al Jazeera?
2017-07-07, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0707/Gulf-Arabs-vs.-Qatar-Wh...

Amid all the talk of Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, at the core of the Gulf Arab countries’ ongoing blockade of the oil- and gas-rich emirate is one major source of contention: Al Jazeera. A central demand of the Gulf states lead by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ... is for the Gulf country to “close Al Jazeera network and its affiliates.” Other key demands: downgrading ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Doha. Why the intense focus on the pan-Arab TV network? When launched in 1996, the network was seen as a revolutionary force bucking a largely conservative and autocratic status quo. In an era in which state-run media dominated the Arab world, Al Jazeera for the first time broadcast differing views and opinions, and raised political awareness. Today ... states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are exerting all their diplomatic and economic might to bring an end to Al Jazeera in a vain bid to close its Pandora’s box of democratic and liberal social values. Al Jazeera has addressed social issues and taboos often discussed in heated debates at home but never broadcast on-air: honor killings, the plight of migrant workers, suicide bombings, sexual harassment. “We opened a huge debate and exposed a lot of contradictions in the well-established orthodoxy of traditional organizations, including political and religious groups,” says Wadah Khanfar, former director general of Al Jazeera from 2003 to 2011.

Note: Al Jazeera is one of the very few media outlets that has raised serious questions about many of the issues raised by WantToKnow.info, so no wonder the powers that be want it shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mass media.


Texas companies penalized in less than 3% of illegal air pollution cases
2017-07-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/06/illegal-air-pollution-tex...

Texas companies involved in illegal air pollution releases were penalized by the state in fewer than 3% of all cases, according to a new report. The report, Breakdowns in Enforcement ... found that overall Texas imposed penalties for 588 out of 24,839 “malfunction and maintenance events” reported by companies from 2011 to 2016. The incidents caused the emission of over 500m pounds of pollutants and total fines amounted to $13.5m. In 2016 there were 3,720 unauthorised pollution events but only 20 times did the state regulator, the Texas commission on environmental quality (TCEQ), impose a penalty, the report found. Texas is the US’s leading oil and gas producer, making it a template for others. The analysis also claims that many polluters, such as oil and gas wells, are escaping regulators’ attention by wrongly asserting that they emit under 25 tons of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds each year, a tally entitling them to a permit exemption under state and federal law. Allegations of slack controls in Texas come as Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ... has tried to undo, delay or block more than 30 environmental rules in his first four months in the job. Texas’ government has [also] passed laws in recent years that make it harder for local authorities to assert control and pursue cases in court. In one example, after the city of Denton, near Dallas, prohibited fracking, the state moved swiftly in 2015 to ban the ban.

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


Forty-five States Refuse to Give Voter Data to Trump Panel
2017-07-06, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/forty-four-states-refuse-give-vot...

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are mounting a bipartisan rebellion against President Donald Trump’s commission on vote fraud by either declining to release any of the requested data or by providing only limited information to the panel. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity's request for extensive personal information about voters has ignited a firestorm in many states, including from both Republican and Democrat officials who oversee elections. The panel is seeking "dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information." Nineteen states - both red and blue - and D.C. are flat-out refusing to comply with the request, citing privacy concerns and some claiming the 15-member vote fraud panel is politically-motivated. Many officials have expressed disbelief and outrage at the commission's call to hand over a staggering amount of voter data, some of which they say is confidential or sensitive. It is unclear how the commission plans to move forward after the backlash. The panel is slated to meet later this month.

Note: After several lawsuits, the voting panel is now telling states to hold off on sending data. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Naomi Klein: How power profits from disaster
2017-07-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/naomi-klein-how-power-profits...

In New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive. I started to notice the same tactics in disaster zones around the world. I used the term “shock doctrine” to describe the brutal tactic of using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures. As Lee Fang reported ... “President Donald Trump [appointed] defence contractors and lobbyists to key government positions as he seeks to rapidly expand the military budget and homeland security programmes … At least 15 officials with financial ties to defence contractors have been either nominated or appointed so far.” One noticeable thing about Trump’s contractor appointees is how many of them come from firms that did not even exist before 9/11: L-1 Identity Solutions (specialising in biometrics), the Chertoff Group (founded by George W Bush’s homeland security director Michael Chertoff), Palantir Technologies (a surveillance/big data firm cofounded by PayPal billionaire and Trump backer Peter Thiel), and many more. This creates a disastrous cocktail. Take a group of people who directly profit from ongoing war and then put those same people at the heart of government. Who’s going to make the case for peace?

Note: The above article was extracted from bestselling author Naomi Klein's new book, "No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Why journalism is shifting away from 'objectivity'
2017-07-06, Christian Science Monitor
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.


Government Ethics Chief Resigns, Casting Uncertainty Over Agency
2017-07-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/us/politics/walter-shaub-office-of-governm...

Walter M. Shaub Jr., the government’s top ethics watchdog, who has repeatedly gone head-to-head with the Trump administration over conflicts of interest, said on Thursday that he was calling it quits. “There isn’t much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation,” Mr. Shaub said in an interview on Thursday. “O.G.E.’s recent experiences have made it clear that the ethics program needs to be strengthened.” The intensity of feeling over what is usually an obscure job speaks to the central role ethics have come to play in Mr. Trump’s Washington, where the vast holdings of the president and his cabinet, as well as an influx of advisers from businesses and lobbying firms, have raised a rash of accusations of conflicts of interest. It is the job of the ethics office, a creation of a post-Watergate Congress, to work with a web of ethics officials at each agency to help people entering the government sidestep potential conflicts. Recently, Mr. Shaub and the administration fought over a routine request by the ethics office for copies of waivers issued to White House appointees to work in the Trump administration. The White House eventually released the waivers, which showed that it had granted at least a dozen exemptions for aides to work on policy matters they had handled as lobbyists or to engage with former colleagues in private-sector jobs. Mr. Shaub objected to the fact that many of the waivers were undated and unsigned, and that some approved actions retroactively.

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


Hobby Lobby to pay $3m fine over smuggled Iraqi artifacts, prosecutors say
2017-07-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/hobby-lobby-iraq-artifacts-fine

The arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3m fine and forfeit thousands of smuggled ancient Iraqi artifacts that the US government alleges were intentionally mislabeled. Hobby Lobby became a household name when the US supreme court ruled in its favor in the 2014 case Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, which in effect gave certain “closely-held” corporations the same religious rights as individuals. Hobby Lobby had begun acquiring a variety of historical Bibles and other artifacts in 2009 [and] executed an agreement to purchase more than 5,500 artifacts in December 2010 for $1.6m. Packages bore shipping labels that described their contents as “ceramic tiles”. Importing Iraqi cultural property into the US has been restricted since 1990 and banned outright since 2004. In the Hobby Lobby case, a dealer based in the United Arab Emirates shipped ... artifacts to three different corporate addresses in Oklahoma City. Five shipments that were intercepted by federal customs officials bore shipping labels that falsely declared that the artifacts’ country of origin was Turkey. In September 2011, a package containing about 1,000 clay bullae, an ancient form of inscribed identification, was received by Hobby Lobby from an Israeli dealer and accompanied by a false declaration stating that its country of origin was Israel. The illegal sale of historical artifacts is one way in which militant groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State finance their activities.

Note: The rape of ancient Iraqi artifacts during the war is an incredibly important and underreported story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Swiss Re shifts $130 bln investments to track ethical indices
2017-07-06, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/06/reuters-america-swiss-re-shifts-130-bln-invest...

Swiss Re is switching the entire $130 billion it holds in liquid assets to track ethical indices, the latest move towards principled investments by the insurance industry. The world's second-largest reinsurer ... said taking social and governance (ESG) criteria into account reduced the risk of losses especially for long term investors. "This is not only about doing good, we have done it because it makes economic sense," Swiss Re Chief Investment Officer Guido Fuerer told Reuters. Institutional investors are increasingly looking at how companies perform on environmental, social and governance-related issues, given the potential for poor behaviour to lead to a share price hit. A Bank of America Merrill Lynch Equity and Quant Strategy team last month said ESG-based investing reduced bankruptcy risks for U.S. stocks, while companies with the widest credit default swap spreads are the ones with the weakest ESG credentials, according to research by Hermes Investment Management. "The ultimate point is to put incentives to companies to become more sustainable," said Swiss Re's Fuerer. He said Swiss Re is the first insurer to base its whole portfolio on ethical principles, with portfolio managers being told to use MSCI's environmental, governance and social indices when making investment decisions. MSCI rates companies according to various ethical criteria, with the score combined with market capitalisation weight to create an index. Companies with a more ethical performance have a greater weight in the index.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A year after slayings, Dallas police train in 'mindfulness'
2017-07-06, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/year-slayings-dallas-police-train-mindfuln...

Only hours after the ambush that killed five Dallas law enforcement officers, mental health experts began thinking ahead, searching for ways to ease the long-term effects of the attack on the men and women who patrol the nation's ninth-largest city. As she watched the July 7, 2016, assault unfold on the news, Dallas philanthropist Lyda Hill immediately thought of research she had funded to help returning combat veterans. Maybe it could help police too. A year later, Dallas officers are still grieving, but scores of them have received or are on track to receive specialized training in "mindfulness" and other stress-management techniques that aim to teach police how to better understand and control their emotions, both on and off the job. "One of the most powerful things you can do is teach people that it's OK to be human," said Richard Goerling, a police lieutenant in Hillsboro, Oregon, who teaches the mindfulness training. Goerling, who has been a leader in mindfulness training for the last decade, said traditional stress management often does not work for police. "You aren't going to stop the stress, but you are able to change how you respond to it," he said. The training has been done on a smaller scale in Seattle; Madison, Wisconsin; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and smaller California departments, among others. It aims to help officers recalibrate their responses to emotions so when in stressful situations, they can respond instead of react, Goerling said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


United Nations and World Health Organisation call for drugs to be decriminalised
2017-07-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/united-nations-world-health-organisa...

The United Nations and World Health Organisation have issued a call for drugs to be decriminalised. Buried in a joint release on ending healthcare discrimination, the organisations called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states. Among a number of measures, this included “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”. While the WHO has previously called for drugs to be decriminalised in the context of HIV reduction, the UN has limited its calls to health- and evidence-based solutions to drug abuse. Last year, nations meeting at the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs maintained a criminal approach to narcotics, despite strong concerns from a number of countries. But last month, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for tackling the problem through “prevention and treatment,” adhering to human rights. He said: “Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions. Mr Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country launched its landmark drug decriminalisation programme, which also introduced greater resources for drug prevention and treatment projects. Portugal saw its drug fatalities fall to one of the lowest in Europe and also reduced the prevalence of HIV among injectors.

Note: The war on drugs is a "trillion-dollar failure". Portugal's remarkable success with decriminalization suggests that drug addiction can be curbed without sacrificing human rights. Read the account of Mike Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA who personally witnessed large-scale drug smuggling by the government, to find out why some of those in power strongly oppose drug decriminalization.


How Trump’s nationwide voter data request could lead to voter suppression
2017-06-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/30/how-trumps-nationwide-...

President Trump's Election Integrity Commission is asking all 50 states to turn over all publicly available voter registration data, including highly sensitive information about voters' political affiliation, Social Security numbers, criminal history and military status. The request was initiated by commission co-chair Kris Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas and a fervent believer that voter fraud is widespread despite decades of evidence to the contrary. In Kansas, Kobach championed the use of Crosscheck, a multistate database of voter registration information that authorities use to check whether voters are registered in two states. Kobach has said he's interested in using a similar process to compare state voter roll data to a federal database of legal immigrants. Crosscheck's matching algorithms are highly inaccurate. A recent working paper by researchers at Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Microsoft found that Crosscheck's algorithm returns about 200 false positives for every one legitimate instance of double registration it finds. “We're concerned about unlawful voter purging, which has been something that Kris Kobach has been leading the charge,” said Vanita Gupta of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the Justice Department's civil rights division. Some of Kobach's voter ID requirements have been struck down in federal court, with one federal judge ruling that they constituted “mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right.”

Note: Learn how 25 states are resisting this request in this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Mastermind of lottery fraud admits he rigged jackpots
2017-06-30, CNBC News/Associated Press
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/30/mastermind-of-lottery-fraud-admits-he-rigged-j...

A man who helped write the computer code behind several U.S. lotteries, including some of its biggest, pleaded guilty Thursday to masterminding a scheme through which he rigged the winning numbers for jackpots in several states and collected millions of dollars. Eddie Tipton, who worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association from 2003 until 2015 and was its computer information security director for his last two years there, appeared in a Des Moines courtroom, where he pleaded guilty to one count of ongoing criminal conduct and publicly acknowledged his lead role in the scheme. "I wrote software that included code that allowed me to understand or technically predict winning numbers, and I gave those numbers to other individuals who then won the lottery and shared the winnings with me," Tipton said when asked by Judge Brad McCall to explain what he did. Tipton ... provided cohorts with the winning numbers for jackpots in Colorado in 2005, Wisconsin in December of 2007, Kansas in December of 2010 and Oklahoma in 2011. The group, which included Tipton's brother [and former Texas magistrate] Tommy Tipton ... also attempted to collect a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket in December 2010 in Iowa, but Iowa lottery officials refused to pay it because the men tried to cash it anonymously. Rob Sand, the assistant state attorney general who prosecuted the case, said after the hearing that it appears much of the stolen money is gone. Sand said the scheme resulted in payouts of $2.2 million.

Note: For every person like this who gets caught, how many get away with it?


US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup
2017-06-29, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-quietly-publishes-expunged-p...

Once expunged from official State Department history, the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran and what led up to it can be glimpsed in documents that the department has quietly published. The operation ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West. The CIA's role in the coup, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cemented the control of the shah, was well known when the State Department offered its first compendium on the era in 1989. But any trace of American involvement in the putsch had been wiped from the report, causing historians to call it a fraud. The 1,007-page report [released this month] shows U.S. officials discussing a coup up to a year before it took place. The CIA at one point "stockpiled enough arms and demolition material to support a 10,000-man guerrilla organization for six months" and paid out $5.3 million for bribes and other costs, which would be equivalent to $48 million today. One CIA document [states] that "several leading members of these (Iranian) security services are paid agents of this organization." The CIA also described hoping to use "powerfully influential clergy" in Shiite Iran to back the coup. To this day, Iran's clerical leaders portray the U.S. as a hostile foreign power bent on subverting and overthrowing its government. As President Dwight Eisenhower wrote ... in 1953, if knowledge of the coup became public, "We would not only be embarrassed in that region, but our chances to do anything of like nature in the future would almost totally disappear."

Note: The complete collection of State Department documents on this CIA-backed coup is available here. More recently, US policy reportedly fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Australian Cardinal and Aide to Pope Is Charged With Sexual Assault
2017-06-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/australia/cardinal-george-pell-charg...

Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault, the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday. The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses. The case will test the credibility of Francis’ initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world. Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, had been accused in hearings before Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse of mishandling misconduct cases against clergy members while he served as the leader of the Archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney. Then allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused minors himself beginning early in his priesthood and continuing until he became archbishop of Melbourne. In recent decades, more than 50 Roman Catholic bishops worldwide have been accused of sexually abusing children, according to BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group ... that documents sexual abuse in the church. Few, however, have faced criminal charges. It is rare for a cardinal, a prince of the church, to be accused of sexual abuse, though one of the most notorious cases involved Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna, who resigned in 1995 over accusations that were deemed credible by his successor.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


Audacious sacrifice with incredible payoff: the purpose journey of REI
2017-06-28, Daily Good
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1636/audacious-sacrifice-with-incredible-payof...

On Friday 27th November 2015, REI did a remarkable thing. It closed the doors of all 143 of its retail stores, its headquarters and its two distribution centres. On this day, REI paid every one of its 12,000 employees to #OptOutside – to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family – and invited all its customers and the entire American nation to join them. The most astonishing fact about the #OptOutside store closure was that it took place on Black Friday: the biggest shopping day of the year. Turning its back on millions of dollars’ worth of sales, REI went ... against a cardinal rule of traditional business. Instead of cashing in on a one-day opportunity for inflated profits, it chose to act in a way that would best support its purpose – that of ‘inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship’. Here’s how Jerry Stritzke, REI’s president and CEO, explained the decision: “As a member-owned co-op, our definition of success goes beyond money. We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand and so we are choosing to invest in helping people get outside with loved ones this holiday season, over spending it in the aisles.” It was a risk for sure, but the payoff has been sensational. More than 1.4 million people responded to REI’s invitation to #OptOutside, and 175 organisations – companies as well as non-profits – joined the movement. It was a response that showed not just tremendous levels of engagement, but engagement of the highest order.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
2017-06-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/technology/ransomware-nsa-hacking-tools.html

Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has [not acknowledged] its role in developing the weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions ... by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. The silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. There is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands. On Wednesday, the calls for the agency to address its role in the latest attacks grew louder. Representative Ted Lieu ... who serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees, urged the N.S.A. to help stop the attacks and to stop hoarding knowledge of the computer vulnerabilities upon which these weapons rely. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, said outright that the National Security Agency was the source of the “vulnerabilities” now wreaking havoc. For the American spy agency ... what is unfolding across the world amounts to a digital nightmare. It was as if the Air Force lost some of its most sophisticated missiles and discovered an adversary was launching them against American allies — yet refused to respond, or even to acknowledge that the missiles were built for American use.

Note: It was reported in 2014 that the NSA had developed specialized tools to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems. More recently, a large number of NSA hacking tools were put up for sale online. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


California to List Herbicide as Cancer-Causing; Monsanto Vows Fight
2017-06-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/27/us/27reuters-usa-glyphosate-califo...

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65. The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015. Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is [also] under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical. OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate ... will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court. Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen ... would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


Special Report: How the Federal Reserve serves U.S. foreign intelligence
2017-06-26, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fed-accounts-intelligence-specialrepo/spec...

The Federal Reserve’s little-known role housing the assets of other central banks comes with a unique benefit to the United States: It serves as a source of foreign intelligence for Washington. Senior officials from the U.S. Treasury and other government departments have turned to these otherwise confidential accounts several times a year to analyze the asset holdings of the central banks of Russia, China, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Libya and others, according to more than a dozen current and former senior Fed and Treasury officials. The U.S. central bank keeps a tight lid on information contained in these accounts. But according to the officials interviewed by Reuters, U.S. authorities regularly use a “need to know” confidentiality exception in the Fed’s service contracts with foreign central banks. Some 250 foreign central banks and governments keep $3.3 trillion of their assets at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, about half of the world’s official dollar reserves, using a service advertised in a 2015 slide presentation as “safe and confidential.” Other major central banks and some commercial banks offer similar services. But only the Fed offers direct access to U.S. debt markets and to the world’s reserve currency, the dollar. In all, the people interviewed by Reuters identified seven instances in the last 15 years in which the accounts gave U.S. authorities insights into the actions of foreign counterparts or market movements, at times leading to a specific U.S. response.

Note: It's quite telling that no other major media picked up this important piece. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


3 CNN journalists resign over retracted story
2017-06-26, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-cnn-journalists-resign-over...

CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted on the network's website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting. The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity, the executive said. The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said. It's not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN will continue to report on the issue. The retracted story had said the Senate investigations committee was looking into a January 16 discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.

Note: CNN supervising producer John Bonifield was recently caught on camera admitting that CNN's Russia narrative is unsupported by proof but good for ratings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


Why don't deficit hawks care about the cost of military adventurism?
2017-06-26, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-johnson-deficit-welfare-military-2...

Crippling deficits and a nightmarish national debt are popular, recurring tropes in American politics. Politicians and the pundit class ... complain that America is running out of money when it comes to helping the poor, people of color, the disabled and the elderly. Their worries miraculously disappear whenever the military wants to start a new war. A recent editorial in the Washington Post [alleged] that single payer in the U.S. is simply unaffordable. Yet in the past 20 years of editorials on U.S. wars - every one of which the paper has supported - the Post has never framed the issue of bombing and occupying as one of cost. Most glaringly, its 2003 editorials in support of invading Iraq never mentioned dollars and cents, even though that war ended up costing the U.S. more than $2 trillion. In the presidential debates, billionaire Pete Peterson’s pro-Social Security privatization group, the “bipartisan” Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, was mentioned twice by the moderators ... in the context of deficits and the alleged impending insolvency of Social Security. Yet none of the 178 mentions of Russia, 71 mentions of Syria, or 67 mentions of Iran had anything to do with costs to the U.S. Treasury. An estimated 44,000 Americans die a year because they don’t have access to healthcare, whereas you’re more likely to die taking a bath than at the hands of a terrorist. Why is spending on the latter existential and beyond cost-cutting, but working urgently to address the former a budget-buster we can’t afford?

Note: Despite reports of massive budgetary mismanagement, the Pentagon has never been audited. Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


'No doesn't really mean no': North Carolina law means women can't revoke consent for sex
2017-06-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/north-carolina-rape-legal-loo...

In North Carolina, a person cannot withdraw consent for sex once intercourse is taking place. Because of a 1979 state supreme court ruling that has never been overturned, continuing to have sex with someone who consented then backed out isn’t considered to be rape. The North Carolina law is an example of how the US legal system has not always kept pace with evolving ideas about rape, sex and consent. Just last year, an Oklahoma court ruled that the state’s forcible sodomy statute did not criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The toughest charge available to prosecutors was unwanted touching. But the North Carolina law appears to be unique. And it has shocked even those who are used to dealing with such legalistic vagaries. “It’s absurd,” said John Wilkinson, a former prosecutor and an adviser to AEquitas, a group which helps law enforcement pursue cases of sexual violence. “I don’t think you could find anyone today to agree with this notion that you cannot withdraw consent. People have the right to control their own bodies. If sex is painful, or for whatever reason, they have the right to change their mind.” The ruling has devastated victims and frustrated prosecutors in North Carolina for years. State senator Jeff Jackson ... has introduced legislation to amend the law. “North Carolina is the only state in the country where no doesn’t really mean no,” he said in a statement. “We have a clear ethical obligation to fix this obvious defect in our rape law.”