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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.


CIA may have used contractor who inspired ‘Mission: Impossible’ to kill RFK
2019-02-12, Washington Post
https://www.newsweek.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-corruption-game-speech-now...

Robert A. Maheu was such a colorful character that it’s widely believed the television show “Mission: Impossible” was based on him and his private investigative agency. As an ex-FBI agent, the CIA asked him to handle jobs it wanted to steer clear of, such as lining up prostitutes for a foreign president or hiring the mafia to kill Fidel Castro. For more than 15 years, Maheu [was] on monthly retainer to “The Agency,” CIA records show. Maheu was the right-hand man to Howard Hughes as Hughes ... helped finance CIA operations. A new book alleges that Maheu may have performed another mission for the CIA: the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. Maheu would have had access to the CIA’s experiments in hypnosis and mind control. That would have enabled him to frame Sirhan Sirhan as a patsy for the slaying of Kennedy, while other gunmen actually fired the fatal shots, argues author Lisa Pease, who spent 25 years researching her book, “A Lie Too Big to Fail." Sirhan’s lawyers in 2010 accused the CIA of hypnotizing Sirhan and making him “an involuntary participant.” With Maheu’s contacts throughout the CIA and organized crime, he is “the most credible high-level suspect for the planner of Robert Kennedy’s assassination,” Pease wrote. Chief among that evidence is the autopsy finding that Kennedy was shot point blank in the back of the head, while Sirhan was in front of Kennedy. Witnesses at the scene of the shooting were adamant that Sirhan never got close enough to fire at close range. Not long after the trial, a ballistics expert examined the three bullets recovered from the scene and found that they did not match Sirhan’s gun.

Note: The entire article at the link above is chock full of excellent information which leaves little doubt that RFK was not assassinated by one man. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Kennedy assassinations from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Media Information Center, which show how the media has been complicit in covering huge stories like this and many more.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Corruption Game’ Speech is Now the Most Viewed Twitter Video of Any Politician
2019-02-12, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-corruption-game-speech-now...

A viral video of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez using a "Corruption Game" to highlight the need for campaign finance reform during a House Oversight Committee hearing last Wednesday has become the most viewed video of any politician in Twitter history. In her "corruption game," Ocasio-Cortez launched into a "lightning round" of questions for a panel of ethics experts in a bid to demonstrate just how easy it is for corrupt lawmakers - and even, hypothetically, the president of the U.S. - to avoid accountability under current government ethics laws. The 29-year-old lawmaker was able to highlight how a political "bad guy" would be able to enrich themselves and advance their interests "even if that means putting [their] interests ahead of the American people." Her examples ranged from taking "special interest dark money" from corporate PACs to fund a campaign to using hush money payments to make potential scandals disappear and writing laws that benefit donors and then buying stocks in their companies for personal financial gain. "So," Ocasio-Cortez said, in summary: "We have a system that is fundamentally broken. We have these influences existing in this body, which means that these influences are here, in this committee, shaping the questions that are being asked of you all right now. Would you say that that's correct?" "Yes," one expert, Walter Michael Shaub Jr. ... who previously served as the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, responded.

Note: Note: Don't miss this most revealing video at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Ilhan Omar should be more radical about Israel, not less
2019-02-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/12/ilhan-omar-us-israel-po...

Representative Ilhan Omar is not a vicious antisemite, she is one of few good things about Congress. But she was wrong to suggest this week that America only supports Israel because a powerful lobby buys off US politicians. The American state needs no conspiracy or blackmail to encourage it to do damage around the world. When Democrats dissent on foreign policy, they usually insist that America is a gorgeous dream poorly applied by foolish leaders. Since her election last year, Omar has opened the door to a different, taboo argument. Her interventions over Venezuela and the southern border broke from the Democratic script and caused controversy by hinting that the aims and not only the means pursued by the American state frustrate the achievement of human freedom. By endorsing the global Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Omar moved well beyond those Americans who criticize Benjamin Netanyahu’s excesses confident that Israel, their old ally, remains a noble endeavor now in need of ... counsel from Washington. There is an important Israel lobby in America, and it does a great deal of harm: America’s biggest pro-Israel lobby group is ... Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The lobby makes a just peace harder, and we should not fear condemning it; Democrats lining up to suggest even mentioning it is intrinsically antisemitic show just how cynically, how dangerously Israel’s supporters sometimes see antisemitism as cheap political football.

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


What the CIA Tells Congress (Or Doesn’t) about Covert Operations: The Barr/Cheney/Bush Turning Point for CIA Notifications to the Senate
2019-02-07, National Security Archive
https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/intelligence/2019-02-07/what-cia-tell...

Attorney-General nominee William P. Barr figured prominently in arguments to limit CIA responsibility to provide notification to Congress about covert actions during the 1980s, according to a review of declassified materials published today by the National Security Archive. As the Iran-Contra scandal played out, Barr, who held senior posts at the Justice Department, provisionally supported the idea of the president’s “virtually unfettered discretion” in foreign policy and downplayed Congress’s power. The issue of notification of Congress about imminent clandestine activities was at the heart of the Iran-Contra scandal when President Ronald Reagan and CIA Director William Casey specifically ordered that lawmakers be kept in the dark about the infamous, covert arms-for-hostages deals with Iran. Barr was by no means alone in pushing these views, the documents show. Other notable proponents during the Iran-Contra aftermath included then-Congressman Dick Cheney and John R. Bolton, who was also at the Justice Department. After Cheney became defense secretary he continued to press for extraordinarily broad Executive Branch authority, advising then-President George H. W. Bush to veto the Senate’s intelligence appropriations bill on the grounds it “attacked” presidential prerogatives – resulting in the only known such veto since the CIA’s creation.

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


Family outraged over life-changing treatment going from free to $375,000 a year
2019-02-07, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/family-outraged-over-life-changing...

When Will Schuller was an 18-year-old senior in high school in Overland Park, Kansas, something puzzling was happening. He was “big into running at the time” and seemingly in good health, but ...Will struggled to walk from the school parking lot to his classes, and he couldn’t exercise. Around Christmas 2014, Will was diagnosed with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. LEMS is “a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects strength and muscle fatigue ability,” said Dr. Ted M. Burns, a professor of neurology. There is a drug to treat LEMS that up until recently was free for patients through an FDA program called “compassionate use.” When Schuller got the drug, called ... 3,4-DAP, he instantly felt better. Since 1992, 3,4-DAP, was made by Jacobus Pharmaceuticals, a small New Jersey company, until a different company, Catalyst, recently received the exclusive rights to the drug. Catalyst added a preservative, renamed it Firdapse, and is now charging north of $375,000 a year for the life-changing drug. Will's parents said doctors ... warned them about an impending price increase, but they never imagined it would start costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We're paying ... less than that,” said Bob Schuller, Will’s dad. “But everyone's premiums are going to go up as a result of this. So it's a cost to the entire system.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., sent a letter to Catalyst on Monday demanding an explanation for the new price of Firdapse, calling it "a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers."

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Australia banking inquiry: 'Scathing' report calls for industry overhaul
2019-02-04, BBC
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-47112040

A national inquiry into Australia's scandal-plagued financial sector has proposed sweeping changes in an attempt to end rampant industry misconduct. The Royal Commission spent 12 months investigating wrongdoing by some of the nation's biggest institutions. Prominent scandals included the charging of fees for no service - sometimes to dead customers. The government said it would act on all 76 recommendations made by the inquiry. The Royal Commission - Australia's highest form of public inquiry - came after a decade of scandals that shook confidence in the country's largest industry. After the report was made public on Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the public had paid an "immense" price for the misconduct. "It's a scathing assessment of conduct driven by greed and behaviour that was in breach of existing law and fell well below community expectations," he said. The Royal Commission received more than 10,000 public submissions. It interviewed over 130 witnesses in public hearings. The report made 76 recommendations for reform, including: More than 20 unidentified cases to be referred on to regulators, resulting in possible criminal or civil prosecutions; There should be an overhaul of the sector's sales culture to reduce conflicts of interest; Regulators need to more regularly prosecute breaches, or lose some of their powers. The government has been criticised for initially resisting the probe, which it later described as "regrettable but necessary" action to restore public trust.

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


Sen. Bernie Sanders will ask why a once-free drug now costs $375,000
2019-02-04, CNBC/Reuters
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/sen-bernie-sanders-will-ask-why-a-once-free-d...

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders plans to send a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Monday asking it to justify its decision to charge $375,000 annually for a medication that for years has been available to patients for free. The drug, Firdapse, is used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder. The disorder affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States. The government is intensifying its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising prescription drug prices. Both the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, controlled by Republicans, have begun holding hearings this year on the rising costs of medicines. In the letter dated Feb. 4, Sanders asked Catalyst to lay out the financial and non-financial factors that led the company to set the list price at $375,000, and say how many patients would suffer or die as a result of the price and how much it was paying to purchase or produce the drug. For years, patients have been able to get Firdapse for free ... through a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program called "compassionate use." The program allows patients with rare diseases and conditions access to experimental drugs outside of a clinical trial when there is no viable alternative. Florida-based Catalyst received FDA approval of Firdapse in November, along with exclusive rights to market the medication for several years. In December, Catalyst announced it would price Firdapse at $375,000 a year.

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


FBI investigated civil rights group as 'terrorism' threat and viewed KKK as victims
2019-02-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/01/sacramento-rally-fbi-kkk-dome...

The FBI opened a “domestic terrorism” investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists “extremists” after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016. Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (Bamn), spying on [the] group’s movements in an inquiry that came after one of Bamn’s members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally. The FBI’s Bamn files reveal: The FBI investigated Bamn for potential “conspiracy” against the “rights” of the “Ku Klux Klan” and white supremacists. The FBI considered the KKK as victims and the leftist protesters as potential terror threats, and downplayed the threats of the Klan. The FBI ... cited Bamn’s advocacy against “rape and sexual assault” and “police brutality” as evidence in the terrorism inquiry. The FBI’s 46-page report ... presented an “astonishing” description of the KKK, said Mike German, a former FBI agent. The FBI launched its terrorism investigation and surveillance of Bamn after white supremacists armed with knives faced off with hundreds of counter-protesters, including Bamn activists, at a June 2016 neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento. Although numerous neo-Nazis were suspected of stabbing at least seven anti-fascists in the melee... the FBI chose to launch a inquiry into the activities of the leftwing protesters. California law enforcement subsequently worked with the neo-Nazis to identify counter-protesters, pursued charges against stabbing victims and other anti-fascists, and decided not to prosecute any men on the far-right for the stabbings. In a redacted October 2016 document, the FBI labeled its Bamn investigation a “DT [domestic terrorism] – ANARCHIST EXTREMISM” case.

Note: Why was Newsweek the only major media outlet in the U.S. to write an article on this mind-boggling story? The article states, "Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley teacher and member of BAMN, was stabbed at the rally. Felcara has now been charged with assault and rioting. Police also wanted to bring six charges against Cedric O’Bannon, an independent journalist at the rally who was stabbed by a pole while filming." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become 'end-to-end pain provider,' lawsuit alleges
2019-01-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/health/purdue-pharma-unredacted-lawsuit/index....

Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan, dubbed "Project Tango," to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction, all while owners on the board - members of one of America's richest families - reaped more than $4 billion in opioid profits, according to a lawsuit newly unredacted. The suit says the company and its owners, the Sackler family ... engaged in a decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true: that the highly addictive drugs were resulting in overdoses and deaths. Purdue examined selling overdose antidotes, including Narcan, as "complementary" products to the same doctors to whom it sold its opioids, the lawsuit claims, and although the company maintained a ledger of doctors it suspected of inappropriate opioid prescriptions and other forms of abuse, dubbed "Region Zero," it continued to collect revenue from those doctors. The Sacklers paid themselves more than $4 billion in opioid profits between April 2008 and 2018. In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid-linked drug fatalities in the United States. The unredacted complaint also says consulting firm McKinsey & Co. played a crucial role in advising the company on how to push its product on doctors and boost its profits.

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


On one of the coldest days in Chicago history, someone put 70 homeless people up in a hotel
2019-01-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/us/chicago-good-samaritan-hotel-rooms-homeless...

When a fire forced dozens of homeless people to leave their tents in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, Jackie Rachev at the local Salvation Army was ready to welcome them. Little did she know a Good Samaritan was paying to put them up in hotel rooms. It's been brutally cold in Chicago, with temperatures of 20-25 below zero on Wednesday. The homeless encampment near the Dan Ryan Expressway was heated by 150 to 200 portable propane tanks -- many of them donated by generous citizens. Shortly after noon, one of the tanks in the tent city exploded because it was too close to a space heater. That left city officials with no option but to close the encampment. Rachev said she received a call from the city asking her to help provide shelter for around 70 people. But later she got another call saying it was no longer necessary -- because a Good Samaritan had offered to pay for hotel rooms. "The Salvation Army was prepared to welcome approximately 70 individuals who were affected by the explosion, but was notified those services were not necessary as the individuals were already being taken of," Rachev told CNN. "We are thrilled that they are safe and warm." Rachev said she did not know the identity of the Good Samaritan or which hotel the homeless people were booked in.

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


How Finland Solved Homelessness
2019-01-30, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/homelessness-finland-housing-first_us_5c...

Finland’s much-lauded “housing first” approach ... has been in place for more than a decade. The idea is simple. To solve homelessness you start by giving someone a home, a permanent one with no strings attached. If they want to drink, they can; if they want to take drugs, that’s fine too. Support services are made available to treat addiction, mental health and other problems, and to help people get back on their feet, from assisting with welfare paperwork to securing a job. The housing in Finland is a mix of designated standard apartments sprinkled through the community, and supported housing: apartment blocks with on-site services, built or renovated specifically for chronically homeless people. Formerly homeless residents ... pay rent from their own pockets or through the benefits afforded by Finland’s relatively generous welfare state. The approach is working. As homelessness rises across Europe, Finland’s numbers are falling. In 1987, there were around 18,000 homeless people. In 2017, there were 7,112 homeless people, of which only 415 were living on the streets or in emergency shelters. The vast majority (84 percent) were staying temporarily with friends or relatives. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of people experiencing long-term homelessness dropped by 35 percent. While it’s expensive to build, buy and rent housing for homeless people, as well as provide the vital support services, the architects of the policy say it pays for itself. Studies have found housing one long-term homeless person saves society around €15,000 ($17,000) a year ... due to a reduction in their use of services such as hospital emergency rooms, police and the criminal justice system.

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


Man born with no limbs is now a talented break dancer
2019-01-30, Metro.co.uk (One of the UK's most popular websites)
https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/30/man-born-with-no-limbs-is-now-a-talented-break...

19-year-old Gabe Adams was born with Hanhart syndrome, a rare medical condition characterised by underdeveloped limbs, mouth and jaw. In Gabe’s case, none of his limbs grew at all. At school Gabe tried out for the dance team as a way of making friends – discovering he could use his limbless body to his advantage in the art of break dancing. After graduating from high school he has continued to prove his independence, moving out of the family home and embarking on a career as a motivational speaker. From a young age Gabe started using a wheelchair but his parents were determined that their son would be as independent as possible. At school Gabe would wedge a pencil or pen between his shoulder and cheek to write in class. ‘The day of the dance tryouts they called us all in a line and they said, “okay dancer remember to full out extensions and point your toes”. What am I gonna point? My nose!? ‘I am just standing there in front of the judges and then I see girls do the spins and I am like, “I can do that”, so I do the spins. ‘The next day at school and I hear two girls talking behind me and they say: “They are only gonna put him on the stage because he is handicapped’”and that crushed me. ‘I ran to the dance coach and I said “please do not put me on the team because you feel sorry for me”, and she said: “I would not put you or anybody else on the team because I felt sorry for them, you get a spot on this team because you deserved it”. ‘And that was just a huge opening moment for me.’

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


The Masters of the Universe Are Terrified of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders
2019-01-28, Esquire Magazine
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a26065308/wall-street-democrat...

Early support from deep-pocketed financial executives could give Democrats seeking to break out of the pack an important fundraising boost. But any association with bankers also opens presidential hopefuls to sharp attacks from an ascendant left. And it’s left senior executives on Wall Street flailing over what to do. “I’m a socially liberal, fiscally conservative centrist who would love to vote for a rational Democrat and get Trump out of the White House,” said the CEO of one of the nation’s largest banks, who, like a dozen other executives interviewed for this story, declined to be identified. After mentioning Bloomberg, Wall Street executives who want Trump out list a consistent roster of appealing nominees that includes former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California. Bankers’ biggest fear: The nomination goes to an anti-Wall Street crusader like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sanders. “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” said the CEO of another giant bank. “It has to be someone centrist and someone who can win.” Clearly, they're not afraid that Senator Professor Warren or Bernie Sanders "can't win," but, rather, they're struck into incoherence that one of them can. Somewhere in the gated community holding their souls, they know that there still is a considerable reckoning out there for what they did throughout the Aughts, and that scares them to death. And now, there are popular vehicles through which that reckoning can be wrought. The universe may be shopping for new masters.

Note: Trump promised to drain the swamp of corrupt bankers, only to then appoint many of them to key positions in his administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.


Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt
2019-01-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/opinion/elizabeth-warren-tax-plan.html

There was a time when leading American politicians were proud to proclaim their willingness to tax the wealthy, not just to raise revenue, but to limit excessive concentration of economic power. “It is important,” said Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, “to grapple with the problems connected with the amassing of enormous fortunes” — some of them, he declared, “swollen beyond all healthy limits.” Today we are once again living in an era of extraordinary wealth concentrated in the hands of a few people, with the net worth of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined. Elizabeth Warren has released an impressive proposal for taxing extreme wealth. The Warren proposal would impose a 2 percent annual tax on an individual household’s net worth in excess of $50 million, and an additional 1 percent on wealth in excess of $1 billion. The proposal was released along with an analysis by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of Berkeley, two of the world’s leading experts on inequality. Saez and Zucman found that this tax would affect only a small number of very wealthy people — around 75,000 households. But because these households are so wealthy, it would raise a lot of revenue, around $2.75 trillion over the next decade. The usual suspects are ... already comparing Warren to Nicolás Maduro or even Joseph Stalin, despite her actually being more like Teddy Roosevelt or, for that matter, Dwight Eisenhower. But public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich. One recent poll even found that 45 percent of self-identified Republicans support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion of a top rate of 70 percent.

Note: For more on Warren's proposal, see this Boston Globe article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Big Pharma spends record millions on lobbying amid pressure to lower drug prices
2019-01-24, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/health/phrma-lobbying-costs-bn/index.html

The lobbying group for the pharmaceutical industry spent about $27.5 million on lobbying activities in 2018, federal filings show. This is a record annual total for the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, which represents most of the nation's largest drug and biopharmaceutical research companies. According to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan, independent research group tracking money in US politics, individual companies within the pharmaceuticals and health products sector spent $194.3 million on lobbying as of October 24, 2018 over and above the amount disclosed by PhRMA.The large outlays follow moves within the White House that could limit pharmaceutical companies' price increases and profits on medicines. Congress and the Trump administration continue to push for a drug pricing plan and were given more ammunition Tuesday in the form of a report documenting that insulin cost nearly doubled in the United States between 2012 and 2016. President 'Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to lower drug prices, posted his blueprint for doing so in May. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar remarked last week that despite some "positive developments" in pharmaceutical pricing behavior, "drug companies have a lot further to go."

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


17 “Impossible” Success Stories That Prove We’re Making Progress
2019-01-23, Yes! Magazine
https://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/17-impossible-success-stories-that-...

It takes discipline in the current media environment to find good news. But in the midst of government shutdowns, injustice at the border, and continuing climate chaos, quite a few victories for goodness and progress occurred. 1. The hole in the ozone layer could be fully closed over the Arctic by 2030 and the rest of the world by 2060. 2. Niger reported that, in the last three decades, it has seen the growth of 200 million trees, setting the record for the largest positive impact on the environment in African history. 3. Canada signed a treaty with the Tall Cree First Nation to create the largest protected coniferous forest in the world. 4. China, likely the world’s largest ivory consumer, banned ivory trade in 2017. 5. New York and Virginia became the first two U.S. states to enact laws requiring mental health education in schools. 6. South Africa, the country with the world’s largest population of people living with AIDS, announced a 44 percent decline in new HIV infections since 2012. 7. Paraguay has eliminated malaria, becoming the first country in the Americas to do so since Cuba in 1973. 8. Morocco passed landmark legislation criminalizing violence against women. 9. Tunisia passed a bill to give men and women equal inheritance rights. It’s the first Arab nation to take such a step. 10. The majority of humanity is no longer poor or vulnerable to poverty. September marked a tipping point, where half the world can be classified as middle class.

Note: Don't miss more on these and other great success stories at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The End Of Plastic Cutlery, Plates And Straws: EU Market Says Goodbye To Single-Use Plastic Products
2019-01-22, Forbes Magazine
https://www.forbes.com/sites/anagarciavaldivia/2019/01/22/the-end-of-plastic-...

Europe wants to lead the fight against plastic pollution. On January 18th EU member states confirmed the provisional agreement reached between the presidency of the Council and the European Parliament on a new directive to introduce restrictions on certain single-use plastic products. In 2021 European citizens will say goodbye to plastic cutlery, plastic plates and plastic straws among other products. The aim of the directive ... is to protect the environment and reduce marine litter by avoiding the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of CO2. The measures discussed are closely related to the latest estimates on marine litter. According to the European Commission, plastics make up 85% of beach litter, which is causing catastrophic consequences on the environment. The new rules aim to stop the use of throwaway plastic products and packaging for which alternatives exist and is focused on the most frequently found items polluting European seas: plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks), plastic plates, plastic straws, cotton bud sticks made of plastic, beverage and food containers made of expanded polystyrene (such as fast food and takeaway boxes), and products made from oxo-degradable plastic, which contributes to microplastic pollution. According to the European Commission, together these products constitute 70% of all marine litter items.

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


Celebs and relatives of Martin Luther King Jr. call for new probe into his death ahead
2019-01-20, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6613747/New-probes-demanded-deaths-J...

A group of at least 60 US citizens including journalists, lawyers and historians are calling for new investigations into four history-making assassinations. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) has called for probes into deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. TRC also wants a public inquest to elicit 'testimony from living witnesses, legal experts, investigative journalists, historians and family members of the victims.' The group has called the deaths ... 'organized acts of political violence' and 'the four major assassinations of the 1960s that together had a disastrous impact on the course of American history.' 'John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were each in his own unique way attempting to turn the United States away from war toward disarmament and peace, away from domestic violence and division toward civil amity and justice,' the statement, which was co-written Adam Walinsky, a speechwriter and top aide of Senator Kennedy, said. The document specifically highlighted 10 points of agreement among the signatories relating to the death of JFK, of which many experts, including one of the surgeons who tried to save JFK's life, have said they believe convicted killer Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. The group contends masses of evidence shows JFK's assassination 'was organized at high levels of the U.S. power structure, and was implemented by top elements of the US national security apparatus using, among others, figures in the criminal underworld to help carry out the crime and cover-up.'

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on major assassinations from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent, six-minute clip from Canada's PBS giving powerful evidence based on the excellent work of William Pepper that King was assassinated by factions in government that wanted his movement stopped. The History Channel produced a nine-part series tellingly titled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." The powerful final episode presents incredible evidence implicating a US president and others.


Time to Break the Silence on Palestine
2019-01-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/opinion/sunday/martin-luther-king-palestin...

Until very recently, the entire Congress has remained mostly silent on the human rights nightmare that has unfolded in the occupied territories. Our elected representatives, who operate in a political environment where Israel's political lobby holds well-documented power, have consistently minimized and deflected criticism of the State of Israel. Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent as well ... because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism. They worry ... that their important social justice work will be compromised or discredited by smear campaigns. Many students are fearful of expressing support for Palestinian rights because of the [blacklisting of] those who publicly dare to support boycotts against Israel, jeopardizing their employment prospects and future careers. We must condemn Israel’s ... unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water. We ought to question ... the $38 billion the U.S. government has pledged in military support to Israel. And finally, we must, with as much courage and conviction as we can muster, speak out against the system of legal discrimination that exists inside Israel ... ignoring the rights of the Arab minority that makes up 21 percent of the population.

Note: With a population of less than 9 million, when you divide $38 billion by 9 million, you find that the U.S. provides the equivalent $400 in military support for every citizen of Israel, many times more than support to any other country in the world. Why is this?


Yoga and Veterans: A Different Kind of Warrior
2019-01-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/19/us/yoga-veterans.html

To casual observers of either military service or the practice of yoga, the path from Oorah to Om may not seem obvious. But the intersection of yogi and veteran is natural if unexpected. Many members of the military now often include yoga ... as an element of their workout routine, and veterans turn to the practice for therapeutic applications. The Department of Veterans Affairs has successfully used yoga to help treat opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress. “A lot of vets have post-traumatic stress,” said Thierry Chiapello, who served in the Marines and now teaches yoga at the National Defense University in Washington. “By lengthening the exhalation of breath, this gets people out of those fight-or-flight instincts that drain you,” he continued, putting them in a mode of “rest and recovery that definitely is associated with less aggressive behaviors.” Christian Allaire experiences the service-driven life of yoga through his work for the Veterans Yoga Project, which provides yoga to roughly 1,000 veterans and their families per week as well as trains prospective teachers. “We will have four or five people in a conference room at a V.A.,” he said. “There might be an Iraq war vet in his 20s, a Korean War vet in his 80s, some can barely move, some may be missing limbs and the teacher’s job is to create space. Maybe all they can do is raise their hands above their heads, but we are creating a ritual.”

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


Dance group of women in wheelchairs inspires young girls with disabilities
2019-01-17, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-rollettes-dance-group-of-women-in-wheelchair...

You've heard of the Rockettes, but have you heard of the Rollettes – a dance troupe of women in wheelchairs? The Los Angeles-based group was founded by Chelsie Hill, who always wanted to be a dancer, and wasn't going to let her paralysis stop her. "In high school, I got into a car with a friend who was drinking and we ended up hitting a tree head-on," Hill [said]. She decided that despite the tragedy, she was going to continue doing what she loved. She danced with her high school team in her wheelchair, and when she graduated, she was inspired to show other girls with disabilities they could dance, too. "I found this group of girls on social media who all had spinal cord injuries and I invited them to my hometown to dance with me. It was such an amazing experience," she said. The group put on a show in Monterey, California, where Hill grew up, and the Rollettes were born. Right now, there are six dancers on the team who perform competitively together. Not only does Hill coordinate this small group of dancers, but every year she holds a dance camp for women around the world. Girls of all ages attend the camp and learn how to dance in their chairs. For Hill, it's not just about teaching others the art of dance, it's about giving them a space where they feel like they belong. "I had a girl say it was the most empowering thing that she rolled into a room and everyone was at eye-level. I want people to come into that room feeling so normal, so empowered so that they can go out in the world and conquer anything," Hill said.

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


‘Project Blue Book’ Is Based on a True U.F.O. Story
2019-01-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/arts/television/project-blue-book-history-...

Project Blue Book was the code name for an Air Force program set up in 1952 ... to explain away or debunk as many [UFO] reports as possible in order to mitigate possible panic and shield the public from a genuine national security problem. The prominent astronomer J. Allen Hynek ... was recruited as Blue Book’s scientific consultant and was indeed initially committed to explaining away flying saucers as natural phenomena or mistaken identifications. Hynek, the former U.F.O. skeptic, eventually concluded that they were a real phenomenon in dire need of scientific attention, with hundreds of cases in the Blue Book files still unexplained. Even many of the “closed” cases were resolved with ridiculous, often infuriating explanations, sometimes by Hynek himself. Blue Book compiled reports of 12,618 sightings of unidentified flying objects, of which 701 remain unexplained to this day. The mystery of the elusive flying objects is still far from solved. In 1947. Lt. General Nathan Twining ... sent a secret memo on “Flying Discs” to the commanding general of the Army Air Forces at the Pentagon. Twining stated that “the phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Documents show the C.I.A. then devised a plan for a “national policy,” as to “what should be told the public regarding the phenomenon, in order to minimize risk of panic.” The C.I.A. issued a secret report recommending a broad educational program for all intelligence agencies, with the aim of “training and debunking.” When Blue Book closed in late 1969, the Air Force flatly lied to the American people.

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


Leading cancer expert dies suddenly following routine vaccination
2019-01-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/health/yellow-fever-vaccination-martin-gore-de...

A leading cancer expert, who was described as a "pioneer" in his field by Prince William, has died suddenly after receiving a routine yellow fever vaccination. Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine. Professor Mel Greaves from the Institute of Cancer Research, described Gore as "a force of nature, very energetic, clear-thinking and compassionate." Gore's death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site, according to the NHS. However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs. The NHS estimates that these reactions occur less than 10 times for every million doses. The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease -- a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs -- have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the US government's health protection agency -- warns that viscerotropic disease can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or multi-organ failure and death in close to 60% of cases.

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


As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party’s Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans
2019-01-11, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/01/11/as-democratic-elites-reunite-with-neocons...

President Donald Trump's ... announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria ... provoked bipartisan outrage among Washington’s reflexively pro-war establishment. Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country’s most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump’s decision. A large plurality of Americans support Trump’s Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition. Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans. This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan. While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw. At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives, even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups. MSNBC is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents, while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish. All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats ... a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic.

Note: Some claim that there is only one party in the U.S. – the war party. Read an excellent essay by a top U.S. general revealing how "war is a racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over the Last 25 Years
2019-01-08, Time magazine
http://time.com/5495804/cancer-death-decline/

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death among Americans, behind only heart disease. But there’s good news: the cancer death rate has drastically declined over the past 25 years, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Overall, the cancer death rate dropped by 27% between 1991 and 2016, according to the report’s data, which came from the National Center for Health Statistics. Steadily declining cancer mortality rates saved about 2.6 million lives between 1991 and 2016. Significant reductions in lung cancer mortality explain a large part of the overall trend. Smoking rates have fallen dramatically in recent years, corresponding to a significant dip in lung cancer deaths. And since smoking rates have traditionally been higher among men than women, male death rates have fallen especially far: by 48% between 1990 and 2016, compared to a 23% drop among women between 2002 and 2016. Racial gaps in cancer mortality are narrowing. But black Americans were still about 14% more likely to die from cancer than white Americans in 2016. That’s a sizable drop from 25 years ago, when the difference was 33%, but it still reflects the “inequalities in wealth that lead to differences in risk factor exposures and barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment,” the authors write.

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


Lawmakers demand probe of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's 'sweetheart deal'
2019-01-05, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lawmakers-demand-probe-sex-offender-jeff...

A top Republican senator [Sen. Ben Sasse, R.-Neb.] is demanding answers about why the U.S. Department of Justice cut a 'sweetheart deal' with politically connected sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, 65, was being investigated by the federal government for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls he paid for "massages" ... in the early 2000s. A 53-page indictment was prepared that could have put him behind bars for life. But Epstein, who was friends with the likes of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, wound up pleading guilty in 2008 to state charges of soliciting a single underage victim after federal prosecutors agreed to shelve their case and not prosecute him or his enablers. [US Attorney Alexander] Acosta's office also agreed not to tell the victims about the nonprosecution agreement, an apparent violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act. Epstein wound up serving 13 months in the county jail and was allowed to leave during the day six days a week to go to work for much of his sentence. The letters from Sasse came after 15 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter last week to the DOJ demanding an investigation into Acosta's handling of the Epstein case. Sasse's letters, which were first reported by Axios, might carry more heft because he's chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on oversight, agency action, federal rights and federal courts.

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. 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.


US halts cooperation with UN on potential human rights violations
2019-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/04/trump-administration-un-human-rig...

The Trump administration has stopped cooperating with UN investigators over potential human rights violations occurring inside America, in a move that delivers a major blow to vulnerable US communities and sends a dangerous signal to authoritarian regimes around the world. Quietly and unnoticed, the state department has ceased to respond to official complaints from UN special rapporteurs, the network of independent experts who act as global watchdogs on fundamental issues such as poverty, migration, freedom of expression and justice. There has been no response to any such formal query since 7 May 2018, with at least 13 requests going unanswered. Nor has the Trump administration extended any invitation to a UN monitor to visit the US to investigate human rights inside the country since the start of Donald Trump’s term two years ago in January 2017. [This] marks a stark break with US practice going back decades. Though some areas of American public life have consistently been ruled out of bounds to UN investigators – US prisons and the detention camp on Guantánamo Bay are deemed off-limits – Washington has in general welcomed monitors into the US as part of a wider commitment to upholding international norms. Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human rights program, said the shift gave the impression the US was no longer serious about honoring its own human rights obligations. The ripple effect around the world would be dire.

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


NBC News veteran warns of 'Trump circus' in 2,228-word farewell
2019-01-02, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/02/media/william-arkin-departs-nbc-news/index.html

There are goodbye notes — and then there's William Arkin's frustrated farewell to NBC News. Arkin's 2,228-word memo to his colleagues says that his time at NBC News has been "gratifying." But he bluntly expresses his displeasure with the "Trump circus," US foreign policy failures, and the state of television news. He's far from the only person in a national newsroom to feel that way. But he is spelling it out in no uncertain terms. Arkin has worked for NBC on and off for three decades, sometimes as a military analyst, sometimes as a reporter and consultant. He describes himself as a scholar at heart, and he has authored numerous books about national security. Friday will be his last day at NBC. Arkin is a sharp critic of what he calls "perpetual war" and the "creeping fascism of homeland security." In his farewell memo, he said the American press is not aggressive enough about covering military engagements. "I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders," he said. "I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting." He said that most of his critiques of NBC apply to the rest of the news media, as well. He also said in the memo that the Trump age led NBC to start "emulating the national security state itself — busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play."

Note: See also an excellent interview with Mr. Arkin about his departure from NBC. For more on this, see this concise summary of War Is A Racket, a powerful book written by one of the most highly decorated US generals ever. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Media Information Center.


‘They destroyed me.’ Wells Fargo’s mistake forced her to sell her home.
2018-12-31, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/31/they-destroyed-me-wells-fa...

Michaela Christian lost a long battle with Wells Fargo in 2013 to save her Las Vegas home, a defeat she says changed the course of her life. When the bank refused to modify her mortgage, Christian moved in with a friend and scrambled to rebuild her life. Five years later, Wells Fargo admits it made a mistake. It is a mistake the giant bank admits it made nearly 900 times over several years, pushing hundreds of distressed homeowners into foreclosure. Christian said when she learned of Wells Fargo’s error, “I was sick to my stomach. They destroyed me and destroyed my everything.” Wells Fargo says an internal review found that the bank denied help to hundreds of homeowners after fees charged by foreclosure attorneys were improperly used when the bank determined whom to offer mortgage help. The computer error began in 2010 and was not corrected until last April, the bank said. Wells Fargo’s admission is part of a cascade of lapses that increased scrutiny of the San Francisco-based bank. Over the past two years, the bank paid more than $1 billion in fines after admitting it opened millions of bogus accounts customers didn’t want and then found itself in more trouble after improperly repossessing thousands of cars. Critics have also jumped on Wells Fargo’s decision to cut 26,000 jobs while it reaps the benefits of a corporate tax cut that is expected to boost its profits $3.7 billion this year.

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


The Freshman Congressional Renegades
2018-12-27, U.S. News & World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2018-12-27/the-new-renegades-co...

In the seven weeks since she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joined a protest staged in Nancy Pelosi's office, established a new standard to pay interns $15 an hour, tussled with Sen. Lindsey Graham and the president's eldest son on Twitter. Before this 29-year-old Democratic socialist Latina from the Bronx is even sworn in to the House next week, she's become one of the most influential figures in the Democratic Party – and the unordained leader of a flock of progressive renegade freshman females hellbent on breaking the norms of the institution. Many of their electoral victories were had by skipping the established line, so they're wired to approach governing in the same rebellious way. Their sizable followings on social media provide them with an imposing arsenal of support that can be converted into raw political power. "The freshman class as an aggregate will have more power than the leadership," says Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat. "The balance of power is shifting in the House. The size of your Twitter following and the size of your external base makes a huge difference." Of the 235-member Democratic House majority that will take power on Jan. 3, just over a quarter of the class – totalling 63 members – will be freshmen. And during the transition period, a handful of incoming members – self-described as the "squad" – have signaled their intentions to rock the boat. They not only look different than your father's stodgy, old, whitebread Congress, they're making moves both substantive and symbolic that break with protocol and tradition.

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


An Epstein sex case is settled; Dershowitz denies latest allegation
2018-12-19, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article223315075.html

Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. Accused sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have settled a federal civil lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was ordered under threat of violence to have sex with them and other influential individuals when she was in her early 20s. Among those people [Sarah] Ransome claims she was directed to have sex with was Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who helped negotiate a controversial plea deal that gave the eccentric multimillionaire — and co-conspirators employed by Epstein — federal immunity in 2008. Epstein’s lawyers ... secretly negotiated an unusual plea agreement that allowed him to escape federal sex trafficking charges that could have sent him to prison for life. The agreement, by design, was kept from his victims so that they could not appear at his sentencing. Last week, more than two dozen lawmakers in Washington demanded a federal investigation into that plea deal, which was negotiated, signed and sealed by former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor. The complaint alleges that this all occurred at the same time as Epstein’s lawyers were negotiating with Acosta and other federal prosecutors for a deal to avoid federal sex trafficking charges in connection with a scheme in which he lured underprivileged girls, mostly 13 to 16, to his home in Palm Beach under the pretense that he would pay them $200 to $300 for massages. Instead, police in Palm Beach found that he had been molesting and sexually abusing dozens of girls between 2001 and 2007.

Note: Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Norway sees boom in electric cars, fueled by the government
2018-12-19, Associated Press
https://www.apnews.com/7fdc039fee6c4c62bdc76054972a2e03

A silent revolution has transformed driving in Norway. Some 30 percent of all new cars sport plug-in cables rather than gasoline tanks, compared with 2 percent across Europe overall and 1-2 percent in the U.S. As countries around the world — including China, the world’s biggest auto market — try to encourage more people to buy electric cars to fight climate change, Norway’s success has one key driver: the government. It offered big subsidies and perks that it is now due to phase out, but only so long as electric cars remain attractive to buy compared with traditional ones. “It should always be cheaper to have a zero emissions car than a regular car,” says Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen, who helped push through a commitment to have only sell zero-emissions cars sold in Norway by 2025. To help sales, the Norwegian government waived hefty vehicle import duties and registration and sales taxes. Owners don’t have to pay road tolls, and get free use of ferries and bus lanes in congested city centers. These perks, which are costing the government almost $1 billion this year, are being phased out in 2021, though any road tolls and fees would be limited to half of what gasoline car owners must pay. Gradually, subsidies for electric cars will be replaced by higher taxes on traditional cars. Some 36 percent of all new cars sold are SUVs, which provide safety in the country’s tough winters. Tesla’s SUV, the Model X - the motor of choice for well-to-do environmentally-minded Norwegians.

Note: How strange that this AP article was posted and then removed from both the Washington Post website and ABC news website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on energy corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our New Energy Information Center.


Second woman claims billionaire perv Jeffrey Epstein 'directed' her to have sex with Alan Dershowitz
2018-12-18, New York Daily News
https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-dershowitz-epstein-leaks-201812...

A second alleged trafficking victim of Jeffrey Epstein says the billionaire pedophile "directed" her to have sex with Alan Dershowitz — a claim the prominent attorney adamantly denies. The revelation regarding Sarah Ransome ... alleges in her suit that even as Epstein used an army of powerful attorneys — including Dershowitz — to fight a sex trafficking investigation in Florida, he continued "transporting young females" in New York. Virginia Roberts was the first alleged Epstein victim to claim that he directed her to have sex with Dershowitz. Dershowitz insists he also has never met Roberts, who now lives in Australia. Roberts alleged that [Ghislaine Maxwell] recruited her for Epstein in 1998, when she was 15 years old and working a summer job at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. Roberts sued Maxwell for defamation, claiming the media heiress smeared her by denying the disturbing sex scheme. They settled the case last year. Epstein, a hedge fund manager with a mansion on the Upper East Side and a private Caribbean island, was once friends with the likes of Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen, among other celebs and business titans. "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side," Trump said of Epstein in 2002. The new scrutiny of the Epstein case prompted Dershowitz to tell Axios that the billionaire had once let him and his family stay at his Palm Beach home.

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. 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.


Chickens freezing to death and boiled alive: failings in US slaughterhouses exposed
2018-12-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/17/chickens-freezing-to-deat...

Chickens slowly freezing to death, being boiled alive, drowned or suffocating under piles of other birds are among hundreds of shocking welfare incidents recorded at US slaughterhouses, according to previously unpublished reports. An investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism looked at hundreds of inspection logs from the USDA detailing incidents in poultry plants across the country. Inspectors recorded numerous incidents where: chickens suffocated to death beneath other chickens when they piled up on a conveyor belt that had stopped due to a mechanical failure; chickens drowned after entering the scalding tank while conscious; thousands of birds died of heat stress ... or alternatively, freezing to death. In one incident in January, more than 34,000 chickens froze to death while being kept overnight outside a slaughterhouse in a truck. The ... findings have fuelled concerns that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could see the UK flooded with chicken produced to lower welfare standards. This follows last year’s transatlantic row over chlorinated chicken, which prompted political interventions in both countries. The violations were witnessed between 2014 and this year at some of the largest poultry processors in the country as part of the national inspection system.

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


Teens Are Vaping in Record Numbers. But Fewer Than Ever Are Drinking and Smoking
2018-12-17, Time
http://time.com/5478946/teen-vaping-drinking-rates/

Teen vaping is reaching new heights of popularity, while underage drinking is plummeting to historic lows, according to new data from the 2018 Monitoring the Future survey. [National Institute on Drug Abuse] Director Dr. Nora Volkow says those record-setting peaks and valleys aren’t necessarily related. Volkow says the sleek designs of many top e-cigarette brands are also uniquely appealing to a generation that grew up surrounded by devices. “The new generation, their brain has developed to embrace these technologies,” Volkow says. “There is a massive change in culture that may be contributing to decreases in alcohol drinking, particularly heavy alcohol drinking,” Volkow says. “Many more teenagers interact through social media as opposed to interacting physically with one another. Taking drugs is a social behavior. By decreasing the opportunity that teenagers have of being face to face with one another, you may be decreasing the total exposure to these drugs,” including alcohol. Perhaps for some of the same reasons, other research has shown that teen sex is also on a downward trend. Tobacco use is also as low as it’s ever been, with just 3.6% of high school seniors reporting smoking daily. Aside from vaping, marijuana use was one of the only substance categories that did not decline in this year’s survey. Still, the survey results are largely encouraging for public health, with the exception of the rapidly rising vaping rates.

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


Don't Just [Let It] Sit There; Do Something
2018-12-14, Forbes Magazine
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferpryce/2018/12/14/dont-just-let-it-sit-th...

At the end of 2017, U.S. corporations were sitting on a historic amount of cash: $2.1 trillion in total liquid assets ... up over 150% from a decade earlier. What are businesses doing with their new-found wealth? Many are buying back shares or snapping up other companies. And then there is Patagonia. Last month, Patagonia announced that they would donate the $10 million they are saving from a reduced tax obligation to grassroots environmental organizations protecting our natural resources and finding solutions to the climate crisis. “In this season of giving, we are giving away this tax cut to the planet, our only home, which needs it now more than ever,” CEO Rose Marcario wrote in a blog. Patagonia’s donation aligns with their unique activist ethos, but a growing number of corporations are joining them in recognizing that businesses not only can be part of the solution to challenges facing our planet, but that they must be; that their responsibilities extend beyond shareholders, to the environment and the communities they serve. Patagonia’s decision ... is a powerful statement and a demonstration of how to consider all a company’s assets in pursuit of better long-term business outcomes. Investing cash responsibly is not the solution to all of our problems. For starters, there’s a much larger conversation that needs to be had about the inability of companies to invest for long-term value creation. But for companies who are new to using their assets for impact while still achieving their corporate purpose, investing liquid assets is a good way to begin, and do so quickly. Don’t let your cash sit there; put it to work.

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


Does the Media Have It Out for Elizabeth Warren?
2018-12-14, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/elizabeth-warren-2020...

The headline in the New York Times reads: “Sanders and Warren Meet and Agree: They Both Are Probably Running.” At first, the story ... reads like standard election news. Dig deeper, though, and you find signs of negative media campaigns already beginning in earnest. Over the past few weeks, multiple outlets have published negative pieces about Warren in particular, deploying coverage gimmicks used to disparage candidates early in presidential campaigns before. The gist of the new Times piece is that the Warren and Sanders, if they do run, “will not enjoy an easy path to the nomination.” We’re 23 months away from Election Day. It’s beyond premature to be fretting about electability questions. Common phrases used to camouflage invented narratives include “whispers abound,” “questions linger” and today’s golden oldie from the Times, “concerns” (as in, the prospect of Warren and Sanders running has “stirred concerns”). The papers are all citing each other’s negative stories as evidence for Warren’s problems. Warren is the rare prospective presidential candidate with actual knowledge of how Wall Street works who is not a billionaire, a private equity chief or a bank lawyer. As for Sanders, the Times, which has a history of less-than-friendly history with this candidate, is also engaging in the invented-narrative game already. The national press [is] already inventing frivolous reasons to toss people with good ideas out of the race.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal is a travesty. But we can still find justice.
2018-12-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jeffrey-epsteins-plea-deal-is-a-trave...

The aim of the victims’ rights movement, which arose in the 1970s and has swept through every state in the union and changed federal laws in the years since, is often summed up simply: Crime victims have the right to be “informed, present and heard.” All these rights were trampled by Alexander Acosta, formerly the U.S. attorney in South Florida and currently U.S. secretary of labor, when he struck a secret deal with wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to shield Epstein from federal investigation and prosecution. Acosta’s representatives misled Epstein’s young victims by telling them the FBI was hard at work on their cases and asking them to “be patient.” Even when a handful of the victims - who may number in the hundreds - learned at the last minute that Epstein was entering a guilty plea and receiving a slap on the wrist, they still weren’t told that the federal case was being dropped. And because these victims were not informed, they were not present in court to oppose the deal and could not be heard by the sentencing judge protesting this disgraceful sham. Paul Cassell, perhaps the nation’s foremost legal authority on victims’ rights, has petitioned a federal judge in Florida to invalidate Epstein’s arrangement on grounds that it violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) of 2004. Given Epstein’s last-minute settlement on Dec. 4 of a civil case that might have aired this tawdry laundry, Cassell’s suit may be the last chance these victims have for their day in court.

Note: Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein's slap on the wrist raises a lot of questions. The DOJ needs to get answers.
2018-12-11, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/jeffrey-epstein-s-slap-wrist-raises-lot...

For six years, between 2001 and 2007, Jeffrey Epstein allegedly ran a sex trafficking ring that preyed on minor girls as young as 13. So why was he given a slap on the wrist by federal prosecutors in Florida? Senators, both Republican and Democrat, are asking the same question. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., wrote a series of letters to the Department of Justice last week, calling for the DOJ’s inspector general to review the handling of the case as well as for a congressional review of the “decision-making” process. While the criminal case has been resolved, many questions remain. According to extensive reporting by the Miami Herald, Epstein recruited, manipulated and lured at least 80 girls to his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere, then sexually abused them. Congress has passed stringent laws for sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors because these are heinous crimes. Epstein, however, was able to escape this punishment, despite alleged crimes that by all accounts were indeed heinous. The known facts in this case cry out for an official, thorough inquiry. Why were the identities of minor victims turned over to Epstein’s attorneys? The government’s agreement to suspend and hold in abeyance any grand jury investigation for other people potentially involved in these crimes is simply baffling.

Note: Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sanders and Warren are challenging the post-Cold War foreign policy establishment
2018-12-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sanders-and-warren-are-challenging-th...

Major speeches by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), both potential presidential contenders in 2020, issued a challenge ... to the foreign policy establishment in both parties. Sanders and Warren ... have both issued direct indictments: Sanders at Westminster College and at the School of Advanced International Studies, and Warren at American University and in the pages of the establishment journal Foreign Affairs. Both Sanders and Warren embrace the growing Democratic opposition to wars without end and without purpose. Both Warren and Sanders would end the 17-year war in Afghanistan; both would cut the military budget. And both oppose the trillion-dollar commitment to a new nuclear arms race. Sanders evokes a “global struggle” between the “movement for democracy, equalitarianism, economic, social, racial and environmental justice” and a “growing worldwide movement towards authoritarianism, oligarchy and kleptocracy.” Warren echoes that “democracy is running headlong into the ideologies of nationalism, authoritarianism and corruption.” Sanders and Warren argue ... that the new authoritarians are rising because of the failure of the global economic order.

Note: With their strong anti-war stance and desire to expose the banksters, it is no surprise that the major media (largely controlled by the banks and the military-industrial complex) is already mounting a smear campaign against both Warren and Sanders, as reported by Matt Taibbi in this Rolling Stone article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war.


While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid-off workers struggle during Christmastime
2018-12-11, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/while-sears-executives-get-25-million-bo...

While the executives who presided over the bankruptcy of Sears and Kmart will ring out 2018 with news of $25.3 million in bonuses, laid-off worker Ondrea Patrick will be using her unemployment check to pay for new brakes on her 2000 Dodge Durango. Patrick, who lost her job when the Kmart she worked at in Rockford, Illinois, closed in October, had been hoping to use the money to buy her kids ... something new for Christmas. They’ll be getting hand-me-downs and relying on charity this Christmas while the people in charge are handsomely rewarded. “Those top people and (Sears CEO Eddie) Lampert are having a wonderful Christmas,” Patrick [said]. “They got $25 million in bonuses. Me? I’m late on my bills. The electric company is threatening to shut me off. And I don’t have anything left to spend on the kids this Christmas.” Patrick, who worked part-time for Kmart for nine years, is one of the thousands of workers whose lives were upended in October when Sears Holdings ... declared bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy court judge allowed Sears Holdings to hand out the bonuses after the company successfully argued that it would lose its top people if there’s nothing in their stockings this Christmas. Meanwhile, Patrick’s former co-worker Sheila Brewer, 47, has cancelled Christmas for herself and her husband. The eight weeks of severance she was supposed to get ended after four weeks when the bankruptcy court stopped the rest of the payments to laid-off Sears Holdings workers.

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


Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret
2018-12-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy...

At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times ... reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day. These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds. It’s a hot market, with sales of location-targeted advertising reaching an estimated $21 billion this year. Businesses say their interest is in the patterns, not the identities, that the data reveals. They note that the information apps collect is tied not to someone’s name or phone number but to a unique ID. But those with access to the raw data — including employees or clients — could still identify a person without consent. They could follow someone they knew, by pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person’s home address. More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS.

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


How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location
2018-12-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/technology/prevent-location-data-sharing.html

Hundreds of apps can follow your movements and share the details with advertisers, retailers and even hedge funds. It’s difficult to know for sure whether location data companies are tracking your phone. Any app that collects location data may share your information with other companies, as long as it mentions that somewhere in its privacy policy. You can head off much of the tracking on your own device by spending a few minutes changing settings. Here’s how to limit the snooping. How do I stop location tracking on iOS? Some apps have internal settings where you can indicate that you don’t want your location used for targeted advertising or other purposes. But the easiest method is to go through your device’s main privacy menu. First, open Settings and select Privacy, which has a blue icon with a white hand. Then select Location Services, which is at the top and has a little arrow. You’ll see a list of apps, along with the location setting for each. Tap on apps you want to adjust. Selecting “Never” blocks tracking by that app. The option “While Using the App” ensures that the app gets location only while in use. Choosing “Always,” allows the app to get location data even when not in use. How do I stop it on Android? First, open the Settings on your phone. On the main settings page, tap “Security & location.” On the next screen, tap Location, which can be found in the Privacy section. On the Location screen, tap “App-level permissions.” You’ll see a list of apps. To turn off location for an app, slide the toggle to the left.

Note: For more details, read the entire article at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing privacy news articles from reliable major media sources.


DNA Test Helps Mother Reunite With Daughter She Thought Died Nearly 70 Years Ago
2018-12-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/09/us/mother-reunited-daughter-dna.html

A DNA test has helped reunite a mother and daughter after nearly 70 years by uncovering a startling secret: A baby girl long thought to be dead was alive, and had been covertly adopted by a family in Southern California that lied about her origins. The girl, Connie Moultroup, who is now 69, met her birth mother for the first time this month. “I was absolutely floored,” she said, upon discovering that her mother, Genevieve Purinton, 88, was living in Tampa, Fla. Ms. Purinton was similarly shocked. After giving birth in 1949, she said, she was told her newborn had died. CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist and founder of The DNA Detectives, said the two women are “far from alone.” Ms. Purinton said she was alone when she gave birth on May 12, 1949. She never saw the baby. “I was told it was a girl, but she died,” Ms. Purinton said. The adoption documents, which Ms. Moultroup retrieved from the adoptions and abandonment unit at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Los Angeles County, showed that a doctor at the hospital had arranged for the adoption. Within the paperwork she found her mother’s signature. Ms. Purinton said that she recalled having signed papers at the hospital, but that she assumed they were meant to provide a directive in the event that she died or could no longer care for her daughter. “I had no idea what I signed,” she said. Before being reunited with her daughter, Ms. Purinton thought she was the last surviving member of her immediate family.

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


How power and money colluded to let a sex-obsessed monster get away with abuse
2018-12-07, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-power-and-money-colluded-to-let-a...

Recent revelations about billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s sweetheart deal with government prosecutors ... are the tip of the iceberg in a scandal of money, power, sex, corruption and boys’ club criminality. The story [involves] the sexual abuse of girls as young as 14 — and a decade-long process in which lawyers allegedly violated the victims’ rights under federal law. Alan Dershowitz and former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr [Epstein’s lawyers] negotiated a non-prosecution agreement that ultimately afforded Epstein an absurdly lenient sentence: just over a year in the county jail. Epstein was allowed to stay in a vacant wing of the jail and spend up to 12 hours a day in his office, six days a week. Credible allegations in a 53-page, federal draft indictment ... could have put him away for life. Ten years ago, many of the alleged victims were children and likely unaware of their rights. Now fully informed adults, many of the women ... are seeking to set aside the non-prosecution agreement so that their voices can be heard. There’s no doubt that Epstein’s accusers were denied their rights under the 2004 federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act. Among other things, the law asserts that accusers are to be notified of any legal proceedings ... and they or their attorneys are to be present at such proceedings. None of this happened. The sealed, non-prosecution agreement granted federal immunity not only to Epstein and four named accomplices but also to “any [unnamed] potential co-conspirators.”

Note: The "potential co-conspirators" include Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, many actors, business tycoons, and more according to this Miami Herald article. Another article directly implicates Prince Andrew and details the revelations of Epstein's butler, who feared for his life. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts 'Bipartisan' Congressional Orientation
2018-12-07, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-lobbyists-congress-harvard-...

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib have criticized a “Bipartisan Orientation Program” for congressional freshman as a glorified corporate lobbyist event. The pair railed against this week's three-day program - hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics - in a series of tweets. Tlaib [tweeted]: “Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: 'You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played.'" [To which she responded,] "No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming—a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits." The event was billed as an opportunity for representatives-elect to “forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking.” Organizers wrote online the event is “nationally recognized” as “the preeminent educational and preparatory program” for newly-elected members of congress. A press release ... lists certain speakers from the private sector, including Cohen, General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky. Ocasio-Cortez [tweeted] “our 'bipartisan' Congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where‘s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”

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


How the CIA Used Brain Surgery to Make Six Remote Control Dogs
2018-12-07, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/cia-mkultra-documents-files-remote-control-dogs-1250519

Newly released files from “behavior modification,” or mind control, projects conducted as part of the infamous Project MKUltra reveal the CIA experimented in more than controlling humans with psychotropic drugs, electrical shocks and radio waves—they also created field operational, remote-controlled dogs. The documents were provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by John Greenewald, founder of The Black Vault, a site specializing in declassified government records. In one declassified letter (released as file C00021825) a redacted individual writes to a doctor (whose name has also been redacted) with advice about launching a laboratory for experiments in animal mind control. The writer of the letter is already an expert in the field, whose earlier work had culminated with the creation of six remote control dogs, which could be made to run, turn and stop. The letter writer characterizes the work with remote-controlling dogs as a success, describing “a demonstrated procedure for controlling the free-field behaviors of an unrestrained dog.” Attached to the letter is the writer’s final report from his earlier research, published in 1965, titled “Remote Control Behavior with Rewarding Electrical Stimulation of the Brain,” with the principle investigator’s name redacted. The prospect of a potential new laboratory seems to fire the letter writer’s imagination, who describes potential experimentation on “a range of species,” should they want to move past “basic research.”

Note: If the CIA had this level of sophistication in 1967, what do you think they are capable of now? Read more on the development of microchip implants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on CIA mind control programs.


JFK Assassination Files: FBI Director Hoover Wanted Public Convinced Oswald was Real Assassin as Soon as Possible
2018-12-07, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/jfk-assassination-files-hoover-wanted-public-convinc...

A memo written by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, released among 2,800 declassified records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has shown how in the days after Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, the FBI planned to convince the public that he was the real assassin as soon as possible. In the document, dictated shortly after Oswald was shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, Hoover explains. “The thing I am concerned about, and so is [Attorney General Nicholas] Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,” Hoover said in the 1963 memo. The former FBI director went on to explain that establishing which facts could and could not be made public was important because of the possible foreign policy implications. “There are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations,” Hoover says in the memo. These were namely that the FBI was aware Oswald had contacted both the Cuban embassy in Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Hoover explained that having the interception of these messages - one of them to the “man in the Soviet Embassy in charge of assassinations and similar activities on the part of the Soviet government” - made public would have “muddied the waters internationally.” Roughly 300 documents of the tranche of what would have been 3,100 documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy have been withheld [by] President Donald Trump.

Note: Why are documents related to the JFK assassination still classified over 50 years after that fact? Why did Trump backtrack on his campaign promise to release all of these files? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.


The weedkiller in our food is killing us
2018-12-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/06/the-weedkiller-in-our-f...

Near Tampa Bay, Florida, I watched airboats move up and down the river banks, spraying massive plumes of weedkiller. The main active ingredient in that mist ... is glyphosate. It is now an ingredient in more than 750 products, including ... Monsanto’s Roundup. This August, the jury in a civil trial found Monsanto, which was acquired [by] Bayer, guilty of causing the cancer of Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper. Roughly 8,700 similar cases against Monsanto are also before the courts. Almonds, carrots, quinoa, soy products, vegetable oil, corn and corn oil, canola seeds used in canola oil, beets and beet sugar, sweet potatoes – these are just some of the foodstuffs which typically contain high levels of glyphosate. Research released in August by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and at least 29 other popular breakfast foods contained what the EWG considers unsafe quantities of the herbicide. The environmental group has been urging public action to get the EPA to revise its outdated standards, which currently fail to protect the public from glyphosate in foods. Levels of glyphosate in the bodies of people in some areas appear to have jumped over 1,300% in the past 20 years. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to go through relatively rigorous (if imperfect) testing before being released on the marketplace, the vast majority of chemicals like glyphosate will never be adequately tested for their effects on ecosystems or human beings.

Note: The above article was written by activist Erin Brockovich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


US is enabling war that has made Yemen a hell on earth for civilians
2018-12-06, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/opinions/us-involvement-yemen-war-murphy-opini...

For three years, the United States has supported a coalition led by Saudi Arabia that is waging war inside Yemen. Our role in the coalition is significant -- we sell bombs and weapons to the Saudis, we help them pick targets inside Yemen, and until recently, we refueled their planes in the sky. To anyone paying attention, it's clear that the United States is engaged in a war in Yemen. And yet this war has not been authorized or debated by Congress. Our involvement started quietly under President Barack Obama, and now President Donald Trump has increased our participation. Yemen has become a hell on earth for the civilians caught within its borders. More than 10,000 innocents have been killed in the Saudi-led bombing campaign since the beginning of the civil war. Targets have included schools, hospitals, weddings, a funeral party and recently a school bus carrying 38 children to a field trip. More than 22 million people - three quarters of the population - require humanitarian assistance and protection. The country is on the brink of famine and is in the midst of the worst cholera outbreak in the world. To date, an estimated 85,000 children under the age of 5 in Yemen may have died from starvation and disease. In many ways, this suffering is an intentional byproduct of the Saudi coalition, which has targeted water treatment plants, health clinics and even a Doctors Without Borders hospital, all with US assistance.

Note: The above was written by US senator Chris Murphy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war.


Spare me America's tears for Jamal Khashoggi – this excuse for Trump-bashing ignores the CIA's past crimes
2018-12-06, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/robert-fisk-jamal-khashoggi-trump-gina-h...

America’s finest Republicans and Democrats [are] condemning the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for murdering Jamal Khashoggi. CIA director Gina Haspel, who was happy to sign off on the torture of her Muslim captives ... knew what she was talking about when she testified about Mohammed bin Salman and the agony of Jamal Khashoggi. A generation ago, the CIA’s “Operation Phoenix” torture and assassination programme in Vietnam went way beyond the imaginations of the Saudi intelligence service. In spook language, Khashoggi was merely “terminated with maximum prejudice”. If the CIA could sign off on mass murder in Vietnam, why shouldn’t an Arab dictator do the same on a far smaller scale? But there is something more than this ... 15 of those 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, that George W Bush secretly flew bin Laden family members out of the US after 9/11, that the Saudis themselves are heir to a blighted, rural, cruel version of Sunni Islam ... which has inspired the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Isis and all the other killer cults whom we have proclaimed to be the West’s Enemy No 1. Nailing Mohammed Bin Salman to a crucifix – a method of execution favoured by the Wahhabis – is an easy kill for US senators, of course. You hit the president and smash those unhappy historical details all in one fell swoop.

Note: Jamal Khashoggi's uncle was the notorious billionaire arms dealer and decadent playboy Adnan Khashoggi. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.


Luxembourg to Become the First Country to Offer Free Mass Transit for All
2018-12-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/world/europe/luxembourg-free-mass-transit....

Luxembourg is a small country with big traffic jams. When Prime Minister Xavier Bettel was sworn in for a second term ... his governing coalition promised free mass transit for all, which would make the country the first to offer such a benefit. Luxembourg is barely larger than a city-state, with a population of about 560,000. But more than 180,000 workers commute across the border from Belgium, France and Germany. Luxembourg already has the highest number of cars for its population in the European Union: 662 for 1,000 people, bringing it closest in the region to the United States, a world leader with more than 800 cars per 1,000 people. The number of international commuters has doubled in the past two decades, rising more quickly than the country anticipated. This has caused the kind of congestion that is familiar to those who commute into many big cities. Luxembourg’s highways are packed with cars, and overcrowded trains often suffer delays. Some cities in Europe and elsewhere already offer free mass transit at certain times and to people like retirees or the unemployed. Others are considering widening the circle to all users. This year, Luxembourg budgeted nearly €900 million in public money for its mass transit system. Free mass transit will be available from the beginning of 2020, said Dany Frank, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Mobility.

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


Anti-fascists were stabbed at a neo-Nazi rally. Then police tried to charge them.
2018-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/05/antifa-charges-california-act...

California law enforcement pursued criminal charges against eight anti-fascist activists who were stabbed or beaten at a neo-Nazi rally while failing to prosecute anyone for the knife attacks against them. In addition to the decision not to charge white supremacists or others for stabbings at a far-right rally that left people with critical wounds, police also investigated 100 anti-fascist counter-protesters, recommending more than 500 total criminal charges against them, according to court filings. Meanwhile, for men investigated on the neo-Nazi side of a June 2016 brawl ... police recommended only five mostly minor charges. The documents have raised fresh questions about California police agencies’ handling of rightwing violence and extremism, renewing accusations that law enforcement officials have shielded neo-Nazis from prosecution while aggressively pursuing demonstrators with leftwing and anti-racist political views. The Guardian previously interviewed two victims who were injured, then pursued by police – Cedric O’Bannon, a black journalist and stabbing victim who ultimately was not charged, and Yvette Felarca, a well-known Berkeley activist whose case is moving forward. Previous records also revealed that police had worked with the neo-Nazi groups to target the anti-racist activists. The records disclosed this week provided new details about six other stabbing and beating victims who were treated as suspects by police after the rally ... which was organized by a neo-Nazi group.

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


2 New Yorkers Erased $1.5 Million in Medical Debt for Hundreds of Strangers
2018-12-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/nyregion/medical-debt-charity-ny.html

If a slim, yellow envelope with a Rye, N.Y., return address lands in your mailbox this holiday season, don’t throw it out. It’s not junk. Some 1,300 such envelopes have been sent to New Yorkers around the state, containing the good news that R.I.P. Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit organization, has purchased their medical debt — and forgiven it. Last spring, Judith Jones and Carolyn Kenyon, both of Ithaca, N.Y., heard about R.I.P. Medical Debt, which purchases bundles of past-due medical bills and forgives them to help those in need. So the women decided to start a fund-raising campaign of their own to assist people with medical debt in New York. The women raised $12,500 and sent it to the debt-forgiveness charity, which then purchased a portfolio of $1.5 million of medical debts on their behalf, for about half a penny on the dollar. Many people take on extra jobs or hours to afford health care, and 11 percent of Americans have turned to charity for relief from medical debts, according to a 2016 poll. It has become increasingly easy for regular citizens to purchase bundles of past-due medical bills and forgive them because of the efforts of the debt-relief charity, which was founded in 2014 by two former debt collection industry executives, Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton. After realizing the crushing impact medical debts were having on millions of Americans, the men decided to flip their mind-set. They began purchasing portfolios of old debts to clear them as a public service, rather than try to hound the debtors.

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


It pays to be rich. Just look at the lurid case of Jeffrey Epstein.
2018-12-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/it-pays-to-be-rich-just-look-at-the-l...

Those with the gold make the rules. In an investigative series [the Miami Herald] documents the whitewash of an alleged global conspiracy to traffic underage girls for sexual exploitation. Though [the Herald] identified more than 80 likely victims, [Jeffrey Epstein] was allowed – under a furtive plea deal – to serve just 13 months in country-club conditions. Epstein, a fantastically wealthy creep, ran afoul of the Palm Beach police in 2005 after the parents of a 14-year-old girl reported that he paid their daughter to strip and massage his naked body while he pleasured himself. Investigators soon found evidence ... indicating that troubled girls by the dozens were recruited for molestation and rape. Epstein’s wealth – the origins of which are a bit murky – assembled an all-star team of defense lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard scholar. Left unresolved is whether Epstein’s extensive array of powerful friends may have helped him out, too. In the same “little black book” where he kept the names of underage girls around the world available for “massage,” Epstein also had contact information for Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Michael R. Bloomberg, Prince Andrew, assorted Kennedys and so on. Some of Epstein’s accusers [have been silenced]. Silent, too, is Trump, who once claimed a 15-year acquaintance with Epstein, whom he described as “a lot of fun.” Trump noted Epstein’s interest in women “on the younger side.” And Clinton is uncharacteristically mute, though he used to spend so much time on Epstein’s private jet – dubbed “the Lolita Express” – that, if it were an airline, he’d have platinum status. Two of our past four presidents have been chummy with a registered sex offender. It makes you wonder.

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. And 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.


Serial sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein apologizes — but not to his victims
2018-12-04, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article222597265.html

Jeffrey Epstein, a politically connected multimillionaire who molested dozens of underage girls — and is suspected of trafficking countless other girls around the world — issued a public apology Tuesday. It was not to the victims ... but to one of their lawyers. The apology came as a settlement was announced ... between Epstein, 65, and Fort Lauderdale attorney Bradley Edwards, who represents several of Epstein’s victims. Those victims, now in their late 20s and early 30s, had been scheduled to testify in the trial, which was about to get underway. The case only indirectly involved the abuse inflicted on Epstein’s victims and instead focused on a battle between Epstein and Edwards. The trial ended before it began, with a dramatic statement ... that Epstein admitted now he’d used the civil justice system “as a tool for extortion” in order to intimidate Edwards into abandoning his quest for justice for [Epstein’s] victims. Several of Epstein’s victims described how they felt intimidated and shamed into silence by both Epstein and the federal and state prosecutors. The women were deliberately kept in the dark. Prosecutors effectively sabotaged their case in order to help Epstein, whose friends included former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and actors, academics and world leaders. Edwards hoped to use the forum of the trial to allow sex abuse victims to tell their stories ... for the first time. But over the past several months, the judge had narrowed the scope of the case, prohibiting Edwards from producing evidence that Epstein had abused and trafficked hundreds of young girls between 1999 and 2006.

Note: Once again, the U.S. justice system bends the law to protect a convicted pedophile and the top leaders to whom he served young girls for sex. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources. Then explore other excellent, reliable news summaries on high level sex abuse scandals around the world.


Jeffrey Epstein and the Decline of the American Experiment
2018-12-04, Vanity Fair
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/12/jeffrey-epstein-and-the-decline-of-th...

A decade ago, a billionaire pedophile was able to use his wealth and connections to escape any semblance of a just punishment. The whole system shielded the billionaire from the gravity of his crimes. That its functionaries felt compelled to do so says a lot about our ruling elites. The basic story is this: Jeffrey Epstein is a billionaire financier. He is also a sexual pervert who, until about 12 years ago, preyed serially on teenage children, roughly until they reached the age of consent and became, in his eyes, unattractive. What did authorities do when they found out, back in 2005? They spent a couple of years investigating and drawing up an indictment, then proceeded to quash further investigation, cooperated with Epstein’s lawyers to avoid publicity, violated procedures about plea bargains, made Epstein serve only 13 months in confinement, put him in the county jail rather than state prison ... and concealed most of the terms of the settlement from the public and the victims themselves. Epstein’s enablers weren’t a handful of Palm Beach rogues. Instead, the higher up the chain you went, the more sympathetic to Epstein the players seem to become. Of Epstein’s associates who helped make his crimes possible, none were prosecuted, save one. That was a butler who tried to turn over a so-called “black book” documenting names and dates of Epstein’s escapades to a lawyer for the victims in exchange for $50,000. For this, the butler wound up serving an 18-month sentence, longer than that of his boss.

Note: Epstein's butler feared for his life and ended up dead before he could reveal his secrets. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were good friends of Epstein, as described in this revealing article from Miami's leading newspaper. Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Anti-vaccine Italian Government Sacks Entire Health Expert Board
2018-12-04, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/anti-vaccine-italian-government-sacks-entire-health-...

The vaccine-skeptic Italian government has sacked every member of the country’s health advisory board. Health minister Giulia Grillo removed all 30 members of the Higher Health Council Monday, arguing it is time to “give space to the new.” The council is the country’s most prominent body of technical-scientific experts, who advise the government on health policy. Grillo is a member of the Five Star Movement (MS5)—the senior party in Italy’s ruling coalition, which has previously supported unproven cures for cancer and promised to overturn laws making vaccines mandatory for children. Explaining her decision, Grillo wrote on Facebook, “We are the #governmentofchange and, as I have already done with the appointments of the various organs and committees of the ministry, I have chosen to open the door to other deserving personalities.” MS5 came to power earlier this year on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment. The party’s vaccine-skepticism has also been well-publicized. During this year’s election campaign, MS5 promised to reform a law that made 10 vaccines mandatory and required a doctor’s note to confirm the injections. In June, Grillo said parents could “self-certify” that their children had been vaccinated and waved the requirement for doctor confirmation.

Note: An Italian court awarded 174,000 Euros to a family whose son was found to have developed autism from an MMR vaccine. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote an excellent, highly revealing article on the severe manipulations around vaccines. And don't miss an excellent study showing that nanoparticles of unknown nature are being found in vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks of vaccines from reliable major media sources.


These Kids Are Learning How to Have Bipartisan Conversations
2018-12-04, Greater Good
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/these_kids_are_learning_how_to_...

Dozens of high schoolers and their teachers are flowing into the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, dressed in their debating best and bantering in various languages. All of these students are members of the Junior State of America (JSA), and they’re used to spirited exchanges about government. But they’re here today to practice a different diplomatic skill: having thoughtful conversations across political boundaries. “People say, ‘When I try to have these kinds of conversations, they go really badly,’” [workshop leader Brooke] Deterline says. Such verbal blowouts often breed simmering resentment and fracture relationships. Deterline wants to teach people how to cultivate compassion for others even when they don’t agree with them, which she sees as necessary for a divided country to find a shared vision for its future. From the start, Deterline makes clear that what she’s about to teach is the conversational equivalent of t’ai chi—a philosophy focused on holding back, not charging forward. “I used to think courage was giving somebody a piece of my mind,” she tells the students. “It’s acting with an open heart in the face of conflict. It is a choice, and it also is a muscle.” What often shuts down conversations across the political aisle, she explains, is when our brains go into what she calls “the red zone.” “When we’re stressed, our natural compassion is cut off,” she says. Deterline’s core message is that when you notice your brain heading into the “red zone,” you can take steps to divert its course.

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


Why Does Alex Acosta Still Have a Job?
2018-12-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/03/opinion/alex-acosta-jeffrey-epstein-trump....

Last Wednesday, The Miami Herald published a blockbuster multipart exposé about how the justice system failed the victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a rich, politically connected financier who appears to have abused underage girls on a near-industrial scale. The investigation, more than a year in the making, described Epstein as running a sort of child molestation pyramid scheme, in which girls — some in middle school — would be recruited to give Epstein “massages” ... pressured into sex acts, then coerced into bringing him yet more girls. What’s shocking is ... the way he was able to use his money to escape serious consequences, thanks in part to [Alexander] Acosta, then Miami’s top federal prosecutor. Acosta took extraordinary measures to let Epstein — and, crucially, other unnamed people — off the hook. The labor secretary, whose purview includes combating human trafficking, has done nothing so far to rebut The Herald’s reporting. In 2007, Epstein was facing a federal indictment that could have put him away for the rest of his life. In a deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys, however, Acosta, a rising star in Republican circles, [let] Epstein plead guilty to two felony prostitution charges in state court. Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal ... essentially shut down an ongoing F.B.I. probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes. It was ... one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history.

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. 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.


NFL fumbles domestic-violence issue ... again
2018-12-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/49ers/annkillion/article/NFL-fumbles-domestic-vio...

Where’s the next video? When was the last incident the NFL didn’t follow up on? What’s going to surface next? Those are the questions the public is asking in the wake of yet another very bad week for the NFL when it comes to the issue of domestic violence by the league’s players. That’s a lousy position in which to put the roughly 1,700 men playing on NFL rosters. The vast majority of them are good citizens who contribute to their community, don’t hit women and don’t commit criminal acts. And it’s an even more distressing situation for victims. The NFL’s approach and the individual teams’ strategies place women who suffer domestic assault in an untenable position. They can be almost assured that nothing will be done, except to have their names and reputations ruined. It’s an effective way to suppress reporting. The endgame, it seems, is not justice or holding perpetrators accountable or keeping communities safe. It is hoping there isn’t video, hoping law enforcement looks the other way, hoping things can be settled quietly, and hoping that accusers go away. In other words, follow the Ben Roethlisberger model: The Pittsburgh quarterback was twice accused of rape, settled one claim out of court and saw the other go away. He is now held up as a great family man and elder statesman. The issue isn’t a problem for just the NFL. But ... the NFL is a multibillion-dollar industry [that] can’t seem to make domestic-violence training, education or investigation a real priority.

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


Hope to those serving long prison sentences
2018-12-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Former-lifers-mentor-Ca...

[California] Gov. Jerry Brown has issued more than 1,100 pardons and commuted more than 150 sentences since taking office in 2011 - far more than have his recent predecessors. The governor’s intervention creates a new pathway to justice for people serving long prison sentences under some of the nation’s harshest sentencing laws. His action moves California away from the brutality of mass incarceration and toward a renewed focus on rehabilitation and redemption. I know well the power of hope in the darkness behind prison walls. In 2012, I was released after serving 24 years of a life sentence. Now I lead the Hope and Redemption Team, an initiative funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide rehabilitative programming inside seven state prisons. Our model is unique. Every member of our full-time staff is a former lifer who has served decades of time and is now a living example of redemption. Success stories rarely make the news, but I see them every day. Graduates of our program and job-readiness training offered by the Anti-Recidivism Coalition have earned their release and built careers in the building and construction trades, prison ministry, higher education, entertainment and tech. Trained in violence prevention, they go into juvenile halls and work with youth to break the cycle of incarceration before it begins. They are contributing to society and making communities stronger and safer - things that prison can never accomplish.

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


Human rights activists say hitmen are targeting them in Colombia: U.N.
2018-12-03, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-rights-killings/human-rights-acti...

Human rights activists in Colombia say they are being gunned down by hitmen who can be hired for as little as $100, a top United Nations official said on Monday. A peace deal in Colombia signed two years ago that ended the nation’s half-century civil war has led to a 40 percent decline in the overall murder rate, but killings of activists have risen, Michel Forst, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights defenders said. According to a July report by British-based campaign group, Global Witness, nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week last year, in the deadliest year on record, with Latin America faring the worst. “In rural areas ... men and women (human rights) defenders are an easy target for those who see in them or in their human rights agenda an obstacle to their interests,” Forst said in a statement after a 10-day visit to Colombia. Activists working on human rights and land rights, those defending LGBT+ rights and community leaders from Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups, are most at risk, Forst said. “I was really appalled by what I heard from them,” Forst, who met with more than 200 activists across Colombia, told reporters in the capital Bogota. Forst noted that just during his 10-day official visit, four activists had been murdered. Forst said he was also concerned to hear testimonies from Afro-Colombian activists who claimed attacks on them may have directly or indirectly involved foreign companies operating in Colombia, mainly those from the extractive sector.

Note: Read a 2017 New York Times article describing the involvement of high level state agents and corporate executives in the assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Can lefties and right-wingers find common ground? One site thinks so
2018-12-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Can-lefties-and-right-wingers-fi...

“Have you experienced being the target of intolerance? What causes you to be intolerant?” Sitting in his book-filled Berkeley living room, Lewis Brown Griggs chewed over those questions and others with six other people via the Zoom conferencing app last month. Ranging in age from early 20s to early 70s, and hailing from Colorado, Virginia, Utah, Maryland and California, the group was brought together by Mismatch.org, a site that aims to “mismatch” people who are politically and geographically diverse for group chats with others of varying viewpoints. It’s like a non-romantic dating service for civil discourse. “Our nation has so many problems with division,” said John Gable, Mismatch co-founder. “We need to learn how to talk to people who are different than we are, how to listen to them and understand them as people.” In an increasingly polarized country, Mismatch aims to help people across the political spectrum find common ground via structured conversations on topics like immigration, tax reform and climate change. Mismatch grew out of Living Room Conversations, another trans-partisan project that brings together folks of varying views to engage in discourse. But while Living Room Conversations hosts in-person groups ... Mismatch casts a wider net by seeking people nationwide to meet up via videoconferencing. “It is about understanding each other as humans,” [Gable] said. “We may or may not find common ground, but we always find common humanity.”

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


We dug deep to give a voice and a face to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims
2018-12-02, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/from-the-editor/art...

Much has been written about Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy businessman who sexually abused and trafficked underage girls for years. Yet so little had been heard from the victims, dozens of adolescents, some still wearing braces, who were cut out of the lenient deal that sent the town of Palm Beach sex offender to jail for only 13 months. That is the power of Perversion of Justice, an investigation by Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown that for the first time gives a voice and a face to some of the victims of the Epstein case. A decade after a secret plea agreement ... the victims - now women in their late 20s and early 30s - are still seeking an elusive justice. Brown first became interested in the topic of sex trafficking after completing a series on abuses at a Florida women’s prison. In her early research, the Jeffrey Epstein case came up repeatedly. Brown dug as deeply as possible into the behind-the-scenes machinations that characterized the Jeffrey Epstein prosecution. She was able to identify 80 possible victims, labeled Jane Does in lawsuits to protect their identifies as minors. She reached out to 60 of the women and eight agreed to talk about the case. Four victims ... spoke on the record and on camera, three of them for the first time. Efforts to keep details of the case secret ... are underscored not just by sealed court documents in various civil cases, but by emails between the prosecution and the defense, which talked about an “avoid-the-press” strategy and a deliberate campaign to keep the victims in the dark.

Note: Video of Epstein's victims speaking out is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. military warns electromagnetic pulse weapons in Iran, Russia and North Korea could melt down nuclear power plants, shut down the electricity grid for 18 months and wipe out millions of Americans
2018-12-01, Daily Mail (One of the UK's popular newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6449619/Air-Force-warns-electromagne...

The military is warning the U.S. government to prepare for a potential electromagnetic pulse weapon attack, as countries like North Korea, Russia and Iran develop the special arms. The shocking report, published by the Air Force's Air University, reveals that the U.S. is dismally unprepared for such an attack. And it could take 18 months to restore the electricity grid and social order. 'Based on the totality of available data an electromagnetic spectrum attack may be a threat to the United States, Democracy and world order,' the 2018 report says. 'An EMP would cause instantaneous and simultaneous loss of many technologies reliant on electrical power and computer circuit boards, such as cell phones and GPS devices,' the report says. Military and commercial jets would be degraded, bases would be cut off, and power and GPS would go dark. The U.S. would be unable to determine who even launched the attack as they would be deployed via satellite. The attack would dismantle or interfere with electricity, affecting transportation, food processing and healthcare. 'Failures may include long-term loss of electrical power (due to loss of emergency generators), sewage, fresh water, banking, landlines, cellular service, vehicles,' the report says. The report's authors Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, former CIA director James Woolsey, and Col. Douglas DeMaio want the government to declare a potential EMP attack as a critical issue.

Note: The military report mentioned above is available here. The article fails to mention that EMP weapons already developed by the US could destroy civilization as we know it. Other countries are clearly a threat, yet the biggest threat is the US military. Explore an ABC News article and declassified documents which reveal that the Pentagon once "drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba," as reported in the ABC article.


U.S. Military Says It Has a “Light Footprint” in Africa. These Documents Show a Vast Network of Bases.
2018-12-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/12/01/u-s-military-says-it-has-a-light-footprin...

The U.S. military has long insisted that it maintains a “light footprint” in Africa, and there have been reports of proposed drawdowns ... and closures of outposts on the continent, due to a 2017 ambush in Niger and an increasing focus on rivals like China and Russia. But through it all, U.S. Africa Command has fallen short of providing concrete information about its bases on the continent. Documents obtained from AFRICOM by The Intercept, via the Freedom of Information Act, however, offer a unique window onto the sprawling network of U.S. military outposts in Africa, including previously undisclosed or unconfirmed sites in hotspots like Libya, Niger, and Somalia. The military’s constellation of bases includes 34 sites scattered across the continent, with high concentrations in the north and west as well as the Horn of Africa. These regions, not surprisingly, have also seen numerous U.S. drone attacks and low-profile commando raids in recent years. Libya — the site of drone and commando missions, but for which President Donald Trump said he saw no U.S. military role just last year — is nonetheless home to three previously undisclosed outposts. According to [military expert] Adam Moore ... “It is getting harder for the U.S. military to plausibly claim that it has a ‘light footprint’ in Africa. In just the past five years, it has established what is perhaps the largest drone complex in the world in Djibouti — Chabelley — which is involved in wars on two continents, Yemen, and Somalia.”

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


‘It’s still a blast beating people’: St. Louis police indicted in assault of undercover officer posing as protester
2018-11-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/11/30/its-still-blast-beating-peop...

When a judge acquitted a white St. Louis police officer in September 2017 for fatally shooting a young black man, the city’s police braced for massive protests. But St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Dustin Boone wasn’t just prepared for the unrest - he was pumped. “It’s gonna get IGNORANT tonight!!” he texted on Sept. 15, 2017, the day of the verdict. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these s---heads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart!!!!” Two days later, prosecutors say, that’s exactly what Boone did to one black protester. Boone, 35, and two other officers, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27, threw a man to the ground and viciously kicked him and beat him with a riot baton, even though he was complying with their instructions. But the three police officers had no idea that the man was a 22-year police veteran working undercover, whom they beat so badly that he couldn’t eat and lost 20 pounds. On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted the three officers in the assault. They also indicted the men and another officer, Bailey Colletta, 25, for the attack. Prosecutors released text messages showing the officers bragging about assaulting protesters, with Hays even noting that “going rogue does feel good.” To protest leaders, the federal charges are a welcome measure of justice — but also a sign of how far St. Louis still has to go.

Note: If the man beaten had not been a police officer, we would never have heard about this. How often does it happen to other protestors acting peacefully? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Inside Payless’s elaborate prank to dupe people into paying $600 for shoes
2018-11-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/they-had-us-fooled-inside-...

A mini-runway, lined with stiletto heels, glistens in bright fluorescent lighting. Shoes of various types sit neatly in individual glass shelves. It was a private launch party of a new luxury brand of shoes called Palessi, designed by Italian designer Bruno Palessi. “I would pay $400, $500.’” a woman said as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers. The woman was not actually buying a Palessi because there’s no such brand, and there’s no Bruno Palessi. There is, however, Payless ShoeSource, a discount shoe retailer hoping to shake things up through an ... advertising prank to attract new customers and change the perception that the company sells cheap, unfashionable shoes. The prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not capable of discerning the quality and value of the things they buy, said Philip Graves, a consumer behavior consultant. Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for. On the day of the launch ... after attendees purchased overpriced shoes ― some for $200, $400 and $600 ― they were taken toward the backroom, where the prank was revealed. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” said [one attendee], her eyes wide as she stared down at the overpriced shoes in her hands. “Consumers have been paying hugely inflated prices,” [said Graves]. “Some of the pleasures that we get from things that we buy come from the money we spent on them.”

Note: While this marketing prank demonstrated the public's willingness to ignore product quality in evaluating the cost of purchases, a much more serious study recently found that the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has now reached 339 to 1 across US companies.


Deutsche Bank headquarters raided in Panama Papers probe
2018-11-30, CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/29/business/deutsche-bank-police-raid/index.html

Deutsche Bank's head office and other locations in Frankfurt were raided by 170 police officers and tax investigators on Thursday. The German bank is suspected of helping clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said. Investigators are also looking at whether Deutsche Bank failed to report suspicious transactions. Both the lender and prosecutors said the probe is related to the Panama Papers, a 2016 investigation into money laundering networks and shell companies set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The investigation is yet another headache for Deutsche Bank. The lender struck a $7.2 billion deal with the US government in January 2017 to settle claims that it packaged and sold toxic mortgages. It was fined $630 million the same month over a Russian money laundering scheme. In September, Deutsche Bank was ordered by German regulators to tighten its controls. Other European lenders have also come under scrutiny for potential money laundering. HSBC (HBCYF) and ING (ING) have both settled money-laundering allegations in recent years. Danske Bank (DNKEY), the largest bank in Denmark, said in September that an internal investigation had uncovered a large number of suspicious accounts and transactions at its branch in Estonia. [Former US Treasury] Jimmy Gurulé ... said that stronger deterrents are needed. "Even in the most egregious cases, banks are often only required to pay a monetary penalty for engaging in criminal activity," he said.

Note: For lots more on the shady dealings of this bank, read this New Yorker article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump administration OKs seismic tests that could harm thousands of dolphins and whales
2018-11-30, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-oil-drill-seismic-dolphins-w...

The Trump administration is preparing to take an important step toward future oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic shore, approving five requests from companies to conduct deafening seismic tests that could harm tens of thousands of dolphins, whales and other marine animals. The ... announcement by the National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the Commerce Department, to issue "incidental take" permits allowing companies to harm wildlife is likely to further antagonize a dozen governors in states on the Eastern Seaboard who strongly oppose the administration's proposal to expand federal oil and gas leases to the Atlantic. Federal leases could lead to exploratory drilling for the first time in more than half a century. In addition to harming sea life, acoustic tests — in which boats tugging rods pressurized for sound emit jet-engine-like booms 10 to 12 seconds apart for days and sometimes months — can disrupt thriving commercial fisheries. Seismic testing maps the ocean floor and estimates the whereabouts of oil and gas, but only exploratory drilling can confirm their presence. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that soiled the Gulf of Mexico resulted from an exploratory drill. Nearly 2.5 million dolphins would be harassed or possibly killed by acoustic sound blasts each year in the ... Atlantic, and nearly half a million pilot whales would be impacted. The Obama administration denied six permits for seismic testing weeks before Trump took office ... out of concern for wildlife and fisheries.

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


Years After Plea Deal in Sex Case, Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Will Get Their Day in Court
2018-11-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/29/us/jeffrey-epstein-acosta-florida-sex-abus...

The sordid case against Jeffrey E. Epstein, who was accused of paying dozens of underage girls for sexual massages in Florida, appeared to end a decade ago. The wealthy New York financier struck a deal to avoid any federal criminal charges, enraging some of his victims who got no say in the agreement, which they deemed far too lenient. But the victims and their lawyers have continued to fight in civil court, long after Mr. Epstein ... became a free man. Jury selection is scheduled to begin next week in a West Palm Beach, Fla., courtroom for a civil trial that ... could give Mr. Epstein’s victims, who are now adults, a chance to publicly testify about their attempts to win justice after the sexual abuse they endured as children. Mr. Epstein’s accusers could take the witness stand just days after a local investigative report published new details on how Mr. Epstein preyed on young teenage girls — and how prosecutors appeared to buckle to pressure from Mr. Epstein’s high-powered defense lawyers. Not one of Mr. Epstein’s victims was initially informed of the nonprosecution agreement, whose terms called for it to be kept secret. It was not until afterward that victims and their lawyers learned that no federal prosecutions against Mr. Epstein would be initiated. The secret deal prompted two of the victims ... to sue the government, claiming that the agreement had violated the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which grants victims the right to be informed of crucial steps during a prosecution, such as plea negotiations.

Note: Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


A decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article221897990.html

Jeffrey Epstein had a little black book filled with the names and personal phone numbers of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, from Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to actors, actresses, scientists and business tycoons. For years, Epstein lured an endless stream of teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion, offering to pay them for massages. Instead, police say, for years he coerced middle and high school girls into engaging in sex acts with him and others. As evidence emerged that there were victims and witnesses outside of Palm Beach, the FBI began an investigation in 2006 into whether Epstein and others employed by him were involved in underage sex trafficking. But in 2007, despite substantial evidence that corroborated the girls’ stories of abuse by Epstein, the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, signed off on a secret deal for the multimillionaire, one that ensured he would never spend a day in prison. Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, agreed to seal the agreement so that no one – not even Epstein’s victims – would know the full extent of his crimes or who was involved. The Miami Herald obtained thousands of FBI and court records, lawsuits, and witness depositions, and went to federal court in New York to access sealed documents in the reporting of "Perversion of Justice." The Herald also tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims, some of whom had never spoken of the abuse before.

Note: See the timeline on this critical story. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. 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.


Cops worked to put serial sex abuser in prison. Prosecutors worked to cut him a break
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article214210674.html

[Jeffrey] Epstein, a multimillionaire hedge fund manager whose friends included a constellation of entertainers, politicians, business titans and royalty, for years lured teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion as part of a cult-like sex pyramid scheme, police in the town of Palm Beach found. In 2007, despite ample [evidence], federal prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers quietly put together a remarkable deal for Epstein. He and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges. After the FBI case was closed in 2008, witnesses and alleged victims testified in civil court that there were hundreds of girls who were brought to Epstein’s homes, including girls from Europe, Latin America and former Soviet Republic countries. There were really just two people willing to risk their careers to go after Epstein: Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter and Detective Joseph Recarey. In their first media interviews about the case, Reiter and Recarey revealed [how they were] pressured by then-Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer to downgrade the case to a misdemeanor or drop it altogether. Police reports show that Epstein’s private investigators attempted to conduct interviews while posing as cops; that they picked through Reiter’s trash in search of dirt to discredit him; and that the private investigators were accused of following the girls and their families. “It became apparent to me that some of our evidence was being leaked to Epstein’s lawyers,” Reiter said.

Note: Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article. Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article219494920.html

Jeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably. At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier - accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls - was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida. But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation. Epstein - who had a long list of powerful, politically connected friends - didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. Instead, the multimillionaire was assigned to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, where he was able to hire his own security detail. Even then, he didn’t spend much time in a cell. He was allowed to go to his downtown West Palm Beach office for work release, up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, records show. [Courtney] Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein, is suing the federal government, alleging that prosecutors kept her and other victims in the dark as part of a conspiracy to give Epstein ... one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history. That lawsuit - and an unrelated state court case scheduled for trial on Dec. 4 - could expose more about Epstein’s crimes, as well as who else was involved and whether there was any undue influence that tainted the federal case. Some of Epstein’s victims will finally have an opportunity to testify for the first time.

Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Investigators Raid Offices of President of U.S. Catholic Bishops
2018-11-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/28/us/houston-catholic-church-raid.html

Dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers conducted a surprise search of the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case that has ensnared the local archbishop, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, who also serves as president of the United States Catholic bishops’ conference. The raid in Houston is the latest sign of crisis in the church, with prosecutors growing more aggressive ... and the bishops - led by Cardinal DiNardo - hamstrung by the Vatican in their efforts to carry out reforms. Attorneys general in at least a dozen states have opened inquiries, and the Justice Department has told bishops not to destroy any documents that could relate to sex abuse cases. The attorney general in Michigan executed search warrants on all seven Catholic dioceses in that state. The assistant district attorney in charge of the [Galveston-Houston] investigation said that a search of the church offices was necessary because the Archdiocese ... had turned over only a portion of the evidence. Investigators were searching ... records on the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, who was arrested in September on four felony counts of indecency with a child. Cardinal DiNardo had assigned [Father LaRosa-Lopez] to work in a parish and appointed him as the vicar for Hispanics ... despite knowing that Father LaRosa-Lopez had been accused in 2001 of molesting a teenage girl. The priest was arrested after a second alleged victim - a man - came forward.

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


How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
2018-11-28, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html

In 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz. For Lefkowitz ... the meeting was critical. His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls - with the help of young female recruiters - to coerce into having sex acts ... as often as three times a day. [Epstein] was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show. But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved. The deal ... shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes. Epstein and four of his [named] accomplices ... received immunity from all federal criminal charges. The deal included wording that granted immunity to "any potential co-conspirators" who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement. Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. Court records reveal details of the ... role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation.

Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein's pedophile ring and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed
2018-11-27, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-audit-budget-fraud/

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest single cost center - the Pentagon receives two of every three federal tax dollars collected - after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however ... that a reliable audit was simply impossible. Now, a Nation investigation has uncovered an explanation for the Pentagon’s foot-dragging: For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress - representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions - knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget.

Note: Other than the above article, and weak Bloomberg and Reuters articles, the major media blatantly failed to report on the Pentagon's outrageous accounting failure. CNN posted one article not about the problem, but how the Pentagon claims they are fixing the problem. This demonstrates the military-industrial complex's strangle hold over media reporting. To understand just how serious and deep this problem is, see our carefully researched article using reliable sources to show how trillions are missing and reveal rampant deception and outright lying on the part of the Pentagon.


The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
2018-11-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html

Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, “all we can do is wave our arms and say, ‘It’s not here anymore!’” The most disquieting thing wasn’t the disappearance of certain species of insects; it was the deeper worry ... that a whole insect world might be quietly going missing, a loss of abundance that could alter the planet in unknowable ways. “We notice the losses,” says [entomologist] David Wagner. “It’s the diminishment that we don’t see.” Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented. Like other species, insects are responding to what Chris Thomas, an insect ecologist at the University of York, has called “the transformation of the world”: not just a changing climate but also the widespread conversion, via urbanization, agricultural intensification and so on, of natural spaces into human ones, with fewer and fewer resources “left over” for nonhuman creatures to live on. What resources remain are often contaminated.

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


The story behind a Palm Beach sex offender's remarkable deal (Video)
2018-11-26, Miami Herald (Miami's leading newspaper)
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article222090545.html

Multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, despite sexually abusing dozens of underage girls according to police and prosecutors. [In 2008, Epstein] received what might have been the most lenient plea deal for a serial sex offender in U.S. history. The Miami Herald identified over 60 of his victims, just young middle and high school girls at the time of the abuse. They were betrayed by the very prosecutors who were supposed to hold Epstein accountable. One child would be lured over. [She] would be offered the further inducement of being paid a bounty for anybody else that she was able to bring to [him]. Epstein ... was also suspected of organizing sex activities with underage girls at his homes in New York City, New Mexico and on his private island in the Caribbean. Hundreds of children all over the world ... were alleged sex slaves of Jeffrey Epstein. Flight logs from his plane and his address book read like a Who’s Who of some of the richest and most famous and powerful people in the world—celebrities, actors, philanthropists, academics and world leaders. There was ample physical evidence and witness testimony. [Yet] State Attorney Barry Krischer wanted to charge Epstein only with a misdemeanor. The U.S. Attorney’s Office got involved, [yet Epstein's] attorneys were able to manipulate the sitting U.S. attorney and the assistant U.S. attorney working the cases. The U.S. attorneys here had an indictment, and they were sending it back and forth to Jeffrey’s lawyers for changes. This is a situation where ... the defendant and the government are working together against the victims.

Note: Don't miss the revealing video of all this at the link above. Then read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke this case. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. 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.


Suicide is declining almost everywhere
2018-11-24, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/international/2018/11/24/suicide-is-declining-almos...

Zozh Is A Russian neologism, born of an acronym for a healthy lifestyle. It is part of a social transformation that has helped banish Russia’s demons. As exercise and smoothies have replaced despair and alcohol, the suicide rate in Russia has crashed. And this trend is not unique to Russia. Globally, the rate has fallen by 38% from its peak in 1994. As a result, over 4m lives have been saved—more than four times as many people as were killed in combat over the period. The decline has happened at different rates and different times in different parts of the world. America is the big exception. Until the turn of the century the rate there dropped along with those in other rich countries. But since then, it has risen by 18% to 12.8. The declines in those other big countries, however, far outweigh the rise in America. One big reason seems to be an improvement in the lot of Asian women. Among Chinese women in their 20s, the rate has dropped by nine-tenths since the mid-1990s; that group accounts for around half a million of those 4m lives saved. Greater social freedom is one of the reasons, suggests Jing Jun, a professor at Tsinghua University. There may be something similar going on in India. “Young women face particularly challenging gender norms in India,” says Vikram Patel of the Harvard Medical School. That is changing. Rates among young women have fallen faster than among any other group since 1990; Mr Patel believes they will continue to improve as social liberalisation continues.

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


Signs That Institutional Investors May Be Reorienting Towards Sustainable Investing
2018-11-24, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robday/2018/11/19/signs-that-institutional-inves...

For a long time entrepreneurs, investors and advocates of sustainable investing have spoken longingly about the $2 trillion of institutional investor dollars that have been reputed to be sitting skeptically on the sidelines, teasing everyone with the prospect of finally putting their sizeable investment muscle to work to scale the sector. Throughout this period, institutional investors have argued that they have withheld their dollars over sound investment concerns with the sector. For a number of years, innovative entrepreneurs in growth sectors like food, energy, water and waster have been doing the heavy lifting to demonstrate that some of these smaller-scale projects can provide attractive investment returns for those investors willing to step in and pioneer these structures. Institutional investors are taking notice. Now a new investor survey and report issued by Bright Harbor Advisors, a private fund advisor, provides some compelling evidence that institutional investors are warming to sustainable investing. 81% now have some type of sustainability, impact, or ESG [Environment, Social, and Governance] mandate as part of their formal investment policy. And an increasing number are allocating internal resources to implement these policies. About a third of respondents have someone on their team dedicated to the space and nearly 20% have sustainable private fund managers in a dedicated investment bucket.

Note: See this Forbes article for more on these inspiring shifts in investing. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The famine facing Yemen is a war crime – it must be investigated
2018-11-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/22/famine-yemen-war-crime-...

Today the UN security council will debate a UK-drafted resolution containing a rather gentle entreaty to the warring parties in Yemen. It will ask them to take “constant care to spare civilian objects, including those necessary for food production, distribution, processing and storage”. If that sounds like the safety instructions for a new vacuum cleaner, then welcome to the world of UN resolutions. But what it actually reveals is a far darker, more shameful truth.The truth of a Saudi-led coalition, armed by Britain and the United States, which from the very start of the conflict in 2015 has sought to use starvation as a weapon of war. Their on-off blockades of any ports and airports controlled by the Houthi rebels have drastically cut supplies of food to a Yemeni population that relies on imports to eat. But far more insidiously, and in the absence of imports, the Saudi air force has systematically and deliberately destroyed the domestic means of producing and distributing food inside Yemen. Their bombs have constantly targeted agricultural land, dairy farms, food processing factories, and the markets where food is sold. these are no mistakes. These are medieval tactics with modern weapons deliberately employed by the architect of the Yemen war – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – in an attempt to bring the rebel-held areas of the country to their knees. He could not care less about the impact on Yemen’s civilian population, any more than he cared about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

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


You Snooze, You Lose: How Insurers Dodge The Costs Of Popular Sleep Apnea Devices
2018-11-21, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/21/669751038/you-snooze-you...

Last March, Tony Schmidt discovered something unsettling about the machine that helps him breathe at night. Without his knowledge, it was spying on him. From his bedside, the device was tracking when he was using it and sending the information not just to his doctor, but to the maker of the machine, to the medical supply company that provided it and to his health insurer. Schmidt, an information technology specialist ... was shocked. "I had no idea they were sending my information across the wire." Like millions of people, he relies on a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine that streams warm air into his nose while he sleeps. Without it, Schmidt would wake up hundreds of times a night. As many CPAP users discover, the life-altering device comes with caveats: Health insurance companies are often tracking whether patients use them. If they aren't, the insurers might not cover the machines or the supplies that go with them. And, faced with the popularity of CPAPs ... and their need for replacement filters, face masks and hoses, health insurers have deployed a host of tactics that can make the therapy more expensive or even price it out of reach. A host of devices now gather data about patients, including insertable heart monitors and blood glucose meters. Privacy laws have lagged behind this new technology, and patients may be surprised to learn how little control they have over how the data is used or with whom it is shared.

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


Steve Bannon's far-right Europe operation undermined by election laws
2018-11-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/steve-bannons-rightwing-europe-...

Steve Bannon’s political operation to help rightwing populists triumph in next year’s European parliamentary elections is in disarray after he conceded that his campaign efforts could be illegal in most of the countries in which he planned to intervene. The former chief strategist to Donald Trump has spent months trying to recruit European parties to his Brussels-based group, the Movement, which he promised would operate as kind of a political consultancy for like-minded parties campaigning in the bloc-wide vote in May 2019. But the Guardian has established that Bannon would be barred or prevented from doing any meaningful work in nine of the 13 countries in which he is seeking to campaign. Bannon’s intervention in European politics comes amid heightened sensitivity about foreign involvement in elections. Questions have been mounting over the scale of Russia’s influence over the 2016 US presidential campaign and the UK’s referendum to leave the EU. Bannon ... has pledged to spend millions of dollars to provide nativist and ultra-conservative European parties free access to specialised polling data, analytics, social media advice and help with candidate selection. But officials working on electoral law and independent experts in multiple countries said this kind of assistance would be ... banned in France, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland.

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


Two Decades After 9/11, Militants Have Only Multiplied
2018-11-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/politics/terrorism-islamic-militants.html

Nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on Sept. 11, 2001, despite nearly two decades of American-led campaigns to combat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, a new independent study concludes. That amounts to as many as 230,000 Salafi jihadist fighters in nearly 70 countries, with the largest numbers in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. The report’s conclusions ... underscore the resiliency of these terrorist groups, and the policy failures by the United States and its allies in responding. The findings also highlight the continuing potency of the groups’ ideology and social-media branding in raising money and attracting new recruits as they pivot from battlefield defeats in strongholds like Iraq and Syria to direct guerrilla-style attacks there and in other hot spots. The West has largely failed to address the root causes of terrorism that perpetuate seemingly endless waves of fighters who are increasingly turning to armed drones, artificial intelligence and encrypted communications to foil the allies’ conventional military superiority, the report said. Last week, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs released its annual report, the Costs of War study, in which it calculated that the United States will have spent $5.9 trillion on activities related to the global counterterrorism campaign by October 2019.

Note: According to a top US general, wars are created and fostered to fill the coffers of the big bankers and corporations. Read an excellent essay on how the US helped to create and foster ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and terrorism.


The ‘Neo-Banks’ Are Finally Having Their Moment
2018-11-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/technology/finance-start-ups-neo-banks.html

After the financial crisis 10 years ago, unhappy customers were expected to flee the megabanks for smaller competitors. It didn’t happen. And the big banks became even more entrenched. Now another wave of alternative banks are at it again. Chime, the biggest new name to pop up, has opened two million fee-free online checking accounts and is adding more customers each month than Wells Fargo or Citibank. Venture capitalists are pouring money into American start-ups that are offering basic banking services — known as neo-banks or challenger banks. In 2018 so far, American neo-banks have gotten ... 10 times as much funding as they did in 2015. “In consumer banking, you have what is one of the largest industries in the United States, in terms of profits, and at the same time one of the least disrupted industries, and the most unpopular with consumers,” said Andrei Cherny, the founder of Aspiration, a neo-bank that has attracted nearly a million customers. “Those three things create a perfect storm for disruption.” The banks are struggling to adapt because they have built an expensive infrastructure of local branches and have become increasingly reliant on revenue from fees. Surveys have shown that a wide array of fees, for everything from A.T.M. use to checking account maintenance, have been steadily rising in recent years. The big banks have also held on to the interest payments they get rather than passing them along to depositors.

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


Feds have paid undercover informants in migrant caravan
2018-11-20, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/feds-have-paid-undercover-inform...

The Department of Homeland Security is gathering intelligence from paid undercover informants inside the migrant caravan that is now reaching the California-Mexico border as well as monitoring the text messages of migrants, according to two DHS officials. The 4,000 migrants, mainly from Honduras, have used WhatsApp text message groups as a way to organize and communicate along their journey to the California border, and DHS personnel have joined those groups to gather that information. The intelligence gathering techniques are combined with reports from DHS personnel working in Mexico. Paying informants, placing officers in the region or monitoring the communications of non-U.S. citizens is not illegal, said John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence for DHS, but it does raise some concerns about the allocation of resources. "Those resources have to come from some place. They are not being devoted to thwarting terrorist threats, mass shootings, mailed fentanyl coming into the country or cyberattacks," said Cohen. Cohen said the caravan presents a logistical and humanitarian issue, but because the vast majority of its members want to present themselves legally to claim asylum, it is not wise to devote a significant amount of intelligence resources to it. "I find it hard to believe that the highest risk facing this nation comes from this caravan," Cohen said.

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


Steven Pinker Thinks the Future Is Looking Bright
2018-11-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/science/steven-pinker-future-science.html

Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard, has been known to take provocative positions. He has argued that women are intrinsically different from men, that we are more driven by our genes than academics like to acknowledge, and that society is getting less violent over time — despite the mass shootings and other atrocities we hear about daily. The thesis of his latest book, “Enlightenment Now,” is that life on Earth is improving. By every major measure of human well-being, from personal safety to longevity to economic security to happiness, people everywhere are far better off today than they were before the start of the Enlightenment in the 17th century. "I stumbled across data showing that violence had declined over the course of history. The homicide rate in England was 50 times higher in the 14th century than it is today," [said Pinker]. "Like any other news reader, I just assumed that there was as much mayhem as ever. It’s only when you plot it over time ... that you can see the trends. It’s not just in violence that one sees progress, but in poverty, in illiteracy, in access to small luxuries. The percentage of the world getting an education, in gender parity in education - girls are going to school all over the world. Even in ... the world’s most retrograde countries, the rate of female education has increased. It was an epiphany from seeing graphs of human improvement that changed my view of the overall course of history: that progress is a demonstrable fact.

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


MDMA helps people cooperate and rebuild trust, study shows
2018-11-19, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mdma-ecstasy-drug-ptsd-mental-healt...

MDMA, the active ingredient of ecstasy pills, makes people more inclined to cooperate on tasks and quicker to rebuild trust, according to researchers investigating its use in treating psychological disorders. Scans reveal it increases activity in parts of the brain linked to empathy and social behaviour that helps interpret other people’s beliefs and intentions, researchers from King’s College London said. This could make it a useful addition to psychotherapy sessions and the drug is currently undergoing medical trials to assess its use in supporting treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Understanding the brain activity underlying social behaviour could help identify what goes wrong in psychiatric conditions,” said Professor Mitul Mehta from the King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). While it is possible that making users more helpful and collaborative could lead to them being exploited, Professor Mehta and his team found the drug did not make users gullible. During the study ... participants on MDMA were less likely to cheat their partners than those on the placebo. Where they had previously been cheated ... subjects on MDMA were as likely to act selfishly as those on a placebo, however they were quicker to trust these partners again after a run of cooperation. This was backed up with patterns of brain activity.

Note: The study referenced by this article is available here. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


‘It can rewire people’s brains’: how traumatised veterans turned to underground MDMA therapy
2018-11-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/nov/18/it-can-rewire-peoples-brains-how...

Dead Dog on the Left isn’t just a documentary about the use of ecstasy in treating PTSD, it’s a story of the lengths one former marine will go to for friendship. [Tyler] McCourry and [Nigel] Flanigan are the subjects of [the] mini-documentary taken from a forthcoming feature film, MDMA the Movie, which explores the history of the so-called “party drug” more popularly known as ecstasy, its use in therapy, and harm reduction. Both films are directed by Emanuel Sferios. His protagonists may have survived the Iraq war, but only barely. Suicidal thoughts have stalked them both. In May 2012 McCourry did his first [MDMA-assisted psychotherapy] session ... lying in bed, flanked by two therapists. At the beginning of the session he was given a 75mg dose of MDMA. “During those eight hours you’re addressing the most challenging situations in your life,” he says. “It feels very exhausting, like it was some of the most work you’ve ever done in one day.” McCourry calls those trials, now completed, “a transformation of the psyche”. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has “breakthrough therapy” designation by the FDA. “Since the MDMA therapy I’m able to recognise when something comes up that I need to talk about,” [McCourry] says. McCourry hopes that the therapy will be adopted by the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. “If you can cure PTSD after three sessions of MDMA therapy then you don’t have to provide a veteran with medications for the rest of their life and talk therapy once a month.”

Note: A touching 26-documentary on this case is available at the above link. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Audit
2018-11-15, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pentagon-audit/pentagon-fails-its-firs...

The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve. Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters within the Pentagon. “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan added. The U.S. defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was about $700 billion. He did not provide a figure detailing how much money was unaccounted for in the audit. “Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me,” Shanahan added. A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December. Defense officials and outside experts have said it may be years before the Pentagon is able to fix its accounting gaps and errors and pass an audit.

Note: Read a 2017 article documenting an investigation which found $21 Trillion missing from government coffers. Then read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Surprising New Study Confirms the 'Warm Glow' of Kindness Is Real
2018-11-14, Inc.com
https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/surprising-new-study-confirms-warm-glow-of-...

Psychologists at the University of Sussex, after analyzing the brain scans of over 1000 people who made kind decisions, are now able to say for sure that the warm glow of kindness is real. In fact, it exists in a particular place within your brain. For the first time, researchers were able to bring together previous studies that suggested generosity activates the brain's reward network. These scientists were able to differentiate between two types of kindness: altruistic (when there is nothing to be gained from being kind) and strategic (when an act of kindness can lead to something gained). The study's findings revealed ... something unique about altruistic acts of kindness. Being kind with no intent of personal gain not only activates the brain's reward areas, it also activates other brain regions (in the subgenal anterior cingulate cortex) as well. This means that when you act kind with no hope of gaining something in return, your brain will activate more and in different ways than when you are strategically kind. Acting strategically kind can even make you feel worse, and diminish your glow. Co-author of the study and PhD student Jo Cutler explains, "...if after a long day helping a friend move house, they hand you a fiver, you could end up feeling undervalued and less likely to help again. A hug and kind words however might spark a warm glow and make you feel appreciated." Ultimately, it does matter what the intent is behind kindness.

Note: The study described in the article above is available here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study
2018-11-14, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-oceans-heat-error-2018111...

Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change. In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60% more than outlined by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper. “A quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results,” [Lewis wrote]. Coauthor Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame. Keeling said he and his colleagues have redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.

Note: Climate change is possibly the most politicized topic out there. Both sides have exaggerated their claims so much that it's hard to know what is really true, other than that global warming is a reality in most parts of the planet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'Remarkable' decline in fertility rates
2018-11-09, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46118103

There has been a remarkable global decline in the number of children women are having, say researchers. Their report found fertility rate falls meant nearly half of countries were now facing a "baby bust" - meaning there are insufficient children to maintain their population size. The researchers said ... there would be profound consequences for societies with "more grandparents than grandchildren". The study, published in the Lancet, followed trends in every country from 1950 to 2017. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. The fertility rate all but halved to 2.4 children per woman by last year. But that masks huge variation between nations. The fertility rate in Niger, west Africa, is 7.1, but in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus women are having one child, on average. In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries. The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman gives birth to in their lifetime. It's different to the birth rate which is the number of children born per thousand people each year. Whenever a country's rate drops below approximately 2.1 then populations will eventually start to shrink. At the start of the study, in 1950, there were zero nations in this position.

Note: World overpopulation is no longer considered a serious threat. For more on this and other inspiring stats, see this summary. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Immigrant Communities Were The 'Geographic Solution' To Predator Priests
2018-11-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/11/08/665251345/immigrant-communities-were-the-geogr...

Catholic Church leaders in Los Angeles for years shuffled predator priests into non-English-speaking immigrant communities. That pattern was revealed in personnel documents released in a decades-old legal settlement between victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Now clergy sex abuse victims throughout California are calling on the state's attorney general to investigate clergy abuse. [In] 2002 ... California had just removed the statute of limitations for child abuse victims. [Manuel] Barragan joined a lawsuit against the L.A. Archdiocese that eventually resulted in a $660 million settlement involving more than 500 abuse cases. "Not many regions around the country have had that," says attorney Tony DeMarco, who represented Barragan and has been representing clergy sex abuse survivors since. DeMarco says that settlement forced local Catholic officials to turn over thousands of pages of personnel files on accused priests. Those files showed how higher-ups repeatedly sent predators into communities where they knew people were less likely to speak up. "Blatant statements as to 'there is no need to take corrective action, because folks who were undocumented won't report,'" DeMarco says. "That's in some of these files." There are dozens of examples of immigrant communities thrown under the bus. "This is complete pattern," says Patrick Wall, a legal advocate who coined the term 'the geographic solution' to describe the church's actions.

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


New CDC reports show meditation and yoga have grown significantly in popularity
2018-11-08, US News and World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-11-08/yoga-m...

Yoga and meditation have increased in use among both U.S. adults and children in recent years, two new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show, with the number of adults who had recently practiced yoga soaring by nearly 60 percent. In 2017, an estimated 35.2 million adults had put themselves in a downward-facing dog, lotus pose or other yoga position in the past 12 months, accounting for a 14.3 percent population share and up from 22.4 million (9.5 percent) in 2012. Women and adults between 18 and 44 were most likely to have recently practiced yoga in 2017. Meanwhile, a separate CDC report showed that the shares of children ages 4 to 17 who had practiced yoga or meditation each increased substantially. In 2012, an estimated 3.1 percent of children had done yoga in the past 12 months, compared with 8.4 percent in 2017. The estimated share of kids who had meditated recently increased nearly tenfold during that time frame, from 0.6 percent to 5.4 percent. "An increase in promoting yoga or promoting meditation in studios, gyms, et cetera, could play a role in ... more people using these approaches," says Tainya Clarke, an epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Outpacing meditation and use of a chiropractor, yoga remained the most commonly used of the three "complementary health approaches" that were assessed. Still, the share who had meditated in the last year more than tripled between 2012 and 2017, from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent.

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


Night of Firsts: Sharice Davids, Ilhan Omar and More Make History in Midterm Elections
2018-11-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/us/politics/election-history-firsts-blackb...

There were historic firsts across the country on Tuesday night, as voters chose from a set of candidates that was among the most diverse ever to run in the United States. Native American, Muslim and African-American women, and L.G.B.T. candidates, were among those who broke barriers. In next year’s session of Congress, there will be at least 100 women in the House for the first time in history. Sharice Davids [is] the first lesbian Native American to be elected to the House and part of “a rainbow wave” of L.G.B.T. candidates in this year’s election. She has criticized the Republican tax bill and called for “a true tax cut for the middle class.” Ilhan Omar, a Democratic state legislator in Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic former state legislator in Michigan, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress after winning their House races. Ms. Omar will also be the first Somali-American to serve in Congress. Ms. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American attorney, has championed Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ayanna Pressley will become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. She beat a 10-term incumbent in the Democratic primary and vowed to pursue “activist leadership” to advance a progressive agenda. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, became the youngest woman elected to Congress. Like Ms. Pressley, she defeated a white male incumbent who had served 10 terms in a Democratic primary.

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


Interstellar object may have been alien probe, Harvard paper argues, but experts are skeptical
2018-11-06, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/06/health/oumuamua-alien-probe-harvard-intl/index...

A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested. The object, nicknamed 'Oumuamua, meaning "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian, was discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of "interstellar objects." A new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might ... be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization. The theory is based on the object's "excess acceleration," or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January. "Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment," wrote the paper's authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.

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.


UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for first time
2018-11-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/06/uk-renewable-energy-capac...

The capacity of renewable energy has overtaken that of fossil fuels in the UK for the first time, in a milestone that experts said would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In the past five years, the amount of renewable capacity has tripled while fossil fuels’ has fallen by one-third, as power stations reached the end of their life or became uneconomic. The result is that between July and September, the capacity of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower reached 41.9 gigawatts, exceeding the 41.2GW capacity of coal, gas and oil-fired power plants. Imperial College London, which compiled the figures, said the rate at which renewables had been built in the past few years was greater than the “dash for gas” in the 1990s. Dr Iain Staffell, who undertook the research, said: “Britain’s power system is slowly but surely walking away from fossil fuels, and this quarter saw a major milestone on the journey.” In terms of installed capacity, wind is the biggest source of renewables at more than 20GW, followed by solar spread across nearly 1m rooftops and in fields. Biomass is third. In the past year, coal capacity has fallen by one-quarter, and there are only six coal-fired plants left in the UK. Coal operators have been affected by the UK’s carbon tax on electricity generation, as well as competition from gas.

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


CIA's ‘surveillance state’ is operating against us all
2018-11-05, The Hill (Top newspaper of Washington's political elite)
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/414804-surveillance-state-is-al...

Over time, the CIA upper echelon has secretly developed all kinds of policy statements and legal rationales to justify routine, widespread surveillance on U.S. soil of citizens who aren’t suspected of terrorism or being a spy. Newly declassified documents from 2014 ... reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community. The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection. McCullough added that he was concerned about the CIA’s “potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’.” The March 2014 intercepts ... happened amid what’s widely referred to as the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers and mass surveillance scandals. The evidence points to bad actors targeting candidate Donald Trump and his associates in part to keep them - and us - from learning about and digging into an even bigger scandal: our Intelligence Community increasingly spying on its own citizens, journalists, members of Congress and political enemies for the better part of two decades.

Note: The above article was written by Emmy award winning investigative journalist and former news anchor for CBS and CNN Sharyl Attkisson. She has been attacked numerous times for questioning the safety of vaccines and investigating too deeply into the lives of certain politicians. Her top-selling book Stonewalled describes her fight for truth against powerful political forces. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Bologna: The City that Rewards You with Free Beer and Ice Cream for Riding Your Bike
2018-11-05, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/bologna-bike-riding-free...

If you’ve ever felt that your green credentials have gone unrewarded, it might be worth considering a move to the Italian city of Bologna. For six months a year, an initiative called Bella Mossa (“Good Job”) operates within the city, which rewards users of sustainable forms of transport with free beer, ice cream or film tickets. The programme ... aims to reduce pollution and offers residents and visitors an incentive to walk, cycle or take public transport, rather than travel by car. Participants simply download the Better Points app on their phone, where they can log up to four journeys per day. Over 100 businesses in Bologna have signed up to the scheme to offer benefits for points accrued. Points are awarded for the number of trips taken, rather than the distance covered. Whether you travel one kilometre or 10, the points will remain the same. To avoid any abuse of the system, a GPS tracker makes sure people are being honest about the journeys they log and the method of transport used. The app also tells users how much CO2 was saved on each journey. Urban planner Marco Amdori devised the scheme in 2017; it’s funded by the EU and Bologna’s local government. Last year, [Bella Mossa] recorded 3.7 million kilometres of sustainable journeys in the city. This isn’t the first time Bologna has led the way when it comes ethical living. In 2008, the Festival of Responsible Travel was established in the city and has continued to run annually ever since.

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


No, Athletes Will Not 'Shut Up And Dribble' — And They Never Have
2018-11-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/11/05/664232524/no-athletes-will-not-shut-up-and-dri...

The new documentary series Shut Up and Dribble, which premiered the first of its three parts this weekend on Showtime, is a response to commentator Laura Ingraham's dismissive February 2018 sneer in the direction of LeBron James. The idea that athletes — or actors, or writers — shouldn't be politically active in the public sphere is surprisingly widely held. The point of the series is to demonstrate that in the case of black athletes, holding the game at a distance from the society in which it's played is not only contrary to history but impossible. And, perhaps, that it would be irresponsible. Shut Up And Dribble uses its first installment to chronicle several of professional basketball's early standouts who collided with the wider world in different ways: Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, and Isaiah Thomas. The next two installments ... consider the era of Michael Jordan and the explosion of endorsement deals — which ... tamped down public discussions of politics as protection of each athlete's personal brand became critical. While it's about activism and racism, much of this series is about power. Power accumulated by players, whether it's the economic power of endorsements or the bargaining power of free agency, directly enables them to use their platforms without worrying that they'll be, for instance, let go from their teams and unable to get new jobs because a political stand they consider crucial proves to be unpopular, or makes them targets.

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


Industries Turn Freedom of Information Requests on Their Critics
2018-11-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/us/politics/freedom-of-information-request...

Both state-level public records laws and the federal Freedom of Information Act, written to ensure transparency and accountability in government, have morphed into potent weapons in legal and business disputes, raising questions about the chilling effects — and costs — they impose on targets who are doing research in controversial or sensitive fields. A 2017 analysis ... found that “public-oriented inquiries by concerned citizens and their advocates” account for “only a small fraction of the 700,000-plus FOIA requests submitted each year,” wrote David Pozen, a law professor at Columbia University, whose paper reviewed studies on the issue. “The bulk of requests come from businesses seeking to further their own commercial interests by learning about competitors, litigation opponents or the regulatory environment.” Public records requests have long been an important tool for a wide variety of groups, like journalists, political opposition researchers, climate-science skeptics, animal rights advocates and anti-abortion activists. But ... their growing use by advocacy groups and business interests to challenge academic work at public universities has alarmed some experts. The weaponization of such requests poses “a real danger that we’ll hit a tipping point, where the cost and burden of open records laws will overcome the benefits and we’ll have a retrenchment of transparency rights,” said Margaret Kwoka, a University of Denver professor. “This kind of abuse fuels the political will to do that.”

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


Magic mushrooms for depression? FDA gives treatment ‘breakthrough’ status
2018-11-05, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
https://www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/magic-mushrooms-for-depressio...

This week, life sciences company COMPASS Pathways announced that it has received “Breakthrough Therapy” designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration for its psilocybin therapy aimed at individuals with treatment-resistant depression. Psilocybin, the main active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms ... can alter one’s perception, thoughts and feelings or cause hallucinations. Researchers from Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S. have been studying the therapy for many years. In fact, a study published in January found that the psychoactive compound helped revive emotional responsiveness in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Another showed that patients’ mental benefits after two psilocybin treatments lasted for weeks. COMPASS Pathways will begin running the first large-scale psilocybin clinical trial for treatment-resistant depression in Europe and North America within the next two years. "This is great news for patients,” COMPASS executive chairman George Goldsmith said. “We are excited to be taking this work forward with our clinical trial. The FDA will be working closely with us to expedite the development process and increase the chances of getting this treatment to people suffering with depression as quickly as possible.” While treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapy exist, those with severe, treatment-resistant depression ... have trouble finding help. Approximately 100 million around the globe are affected by such treatment-resistant depression.

Note: In 2017, the psychoactive drug MDMA similarly received a "Breakthrough Therapy" designation from the FDA for the promise it shows in treating PTSD. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Brother of billionaire Saudi prince freed after months in detention
2018-11-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/04/middleeast/saudi-prince-khaled-bin-talal-freed...

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have released the brother of a billionaire prince who was in detention for 11 months. Saudi Prince Khaled bin Talal is believed to have been in detention since January. The prince is the brother of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal - one of a group of royal family members and businessmen who were held in the lavish Ritz Carlton in Riyadh last year as part of an anti-corruption purge. Alwaleed, who Forbes estimated had a personal fortune of $17 billion, was released almost three months later. The group paid over $100 billion in settlements for what Saudi authorities said were corruption charges. But critics outside Saudi Arabia said the wave of arrests were part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's efforts to silence potential opposition to his leadership. Khaled's release comes as Saudi Arabia faces increased scrutiny from Western powers over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month. Khashoggi, 59, a royal court insider-turned-critic, was killed after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage. Saudi officials have presented shifting stories about Khashoggi's fate, initially denying any knowledge of his death, then arguing that a group of rogue operators, many of whom belong to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, was responsible for his killing.

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


'School is very oppressive’: why home-schooling is on the rise
2018-11-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/nov/03/get-to-be-free-rise-in-home...

The home-schooling movement emerged in the 1970s, when it was considered a fringe pursuit. Today, it is probably the fastest-growing form of education in the UK. The number of home-schooled children has risen by about 40% over three years, according to recent research by the BBC. Around 48,000 children were being home-educated across the UK in 2016-2017, up from about 34,000 in 2014-15. Many parents who opt to home-school their children say they are avoiding bullying, exam pressure and stress. Others have concerns about special educational needs ... or the school environment. Esmé Biggar, 17, lives [in] Scotland, with her mother, Eula Wilkin. “For some people school is really good, and it works for them because they learn in the way that school teaches,” says Biggar. “But ... it doesn’t work for everyone. And it didn’t work for me.” She started at her local primary when she was four and left when she was eight. By then, her mother was horrified by the change in her. “From being self-motivated and able to read and write, and very focused, she came out angry, distressed and completely phobic of any formal type of education,” says Wilkin. A decade on, Biggar is happy and confident. She is doing online A-levels in English literature, classical civilisation and philosophy. “The government doesn’t want to admit the reason that home-education numbers are rising,” says Chris McGovern, a retired headteacher. “It’s because schools are failing ever greater numbers of children.”

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


Jewish hospital staff treated synagogue shooting suspect as he spewed hate, administrator says
2018-11-01, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/01/health/robert-bowers-jewish-hospital-staff/ind...

When the man charged with killing 11 people Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue arrived with injuries at Allegheny General Hospital, the staff - some of whom are Jewish - stepped up and did their jobs, even as he continued to spew hate, their boss said. "Isn't it ironic that somebody who's yelling in the ambulance and the hospital, 'I want to kill all the Jews,' is taken care of by a Jewish nurse," Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, the facility's top administrator, told CNN's Alex Marquardt a day after the massacre. Cohen is a member of the Tree of Life synagogue, where the shooting unfolded. He lives nearby and even heard the shootout between police and Robert Bowers. When Bowers arrived at the hospital to be treated for multiple gunshot wounds, he was still screaming that he wanted to kill Jews, Cohen [said]. "And the first three people who are taking care of him are Jewish," Cohen said. "I said, 'Well yeah, ain't that a kick in the pants?'" Cohen ... checked on Bowers like he might any other patient, he said. "I asked him, 'How are you feeling?' And he was sort of groggy. He said, 'I'm feeling OK.' And I introduced myself as Dr. Cohen, the president of Allegheny General. And I left," Cohen said. "The FBI agent in charge looked at me and says, 'I don't know how you did that 'cause I'm not sure I could have,'" Cohen recalled. Cohen acknowledged that some on his staff had "conflicting emotions" about Bowers but said ultimately Allegheny General has one mission: to take care of sick people, regardless of who they are or their circumstances.

Note: Read a USA Today article where Jeff Cohen states about the the shooter "He's some mother's son." May this kind of compassion spread far and wide in our world.


Google walkout: global protests after sexual misconduct allegations
2018-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/01/google-walkout-global-prot...

Thousands of Google staff across the world have staged a series of walkouts. Demonstrations at the company’s offices around the world began at 11.10am in Tokyo and took place at the same time in other time zones. They follow allegations of sexual misconduct made against senior executives, which organisers say are the most high-profile examples of “thousands” of similar cases across the company. An image from the Singapore hub showed at least 100 staff protesting. In London, the majority of employees left their desks and occupied the main auditorium in the company’s King’s Cross office. Once the room was filled, some gathered outside, as did a separate contingent of employees from the company’s AI subsidiary, DeepMind. Employees were urged to leave a flyer at their desk that read: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out in solidarity with other Googlers and contractors to protest [against] sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.” The Walkout for Real Change protest comes a week after it emerged that Google gave a $90m (Ł70m) severance package to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile phone software, but concealed details of a sexual misconduct allegations that triggered his departure. In San Francisco, where approximately 2,500 employees work, hundreds gathered in front of the city’s Ferry Building.

Note: Over 20,000 Google employees were reported to have participated in the mass walkout. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Muslim communities raise more than $200,000 in 4 days for synagogue shooting victims
2018-10-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/us/iyw-muslim-crowdfunding-for-synagogue-victi...

A gunman stormed the Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 people in what the ADL called the deadliest attack ever on Jews in the United States. The horrific, hate-filled minutes were a raw manifestation of anger, division and anti-Semitism. But the response has been the opposite as faiths and cultures came together in grief and solidarity. Crowdfunding campaign "Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue" has raised more than $200,000 to help the shooting victims. "We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the donation page says. The campaign is organized by the Muslim-American non-profits CelebrateMercy and MPower Change. It's hosted by LaunchGood, an online crowdfunding platform for the Muslim community. The campaign page invites all faiths to contribute, and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh will work directly with the Tree of Life Synagogue to distribute the funds to the injured victims and grieving families. "The Pittsburgh community is our family; what happens to one of us, is felt by us all," The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh said in a statement. Shay Khatiri, an Iranian immigrant studying in Washington DC, was also inspired to help. He launched the Tree of Life Synagogue Victims campaign on GoFundMe on Saturday with a goal of $50,000. Khatiri has been inspired by the outpouring of support. More than 10 thousand people have donated, raising over $800,000.

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


We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion.
2018-10-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/earth-biodiversity-conservation-bi...

Some scientists, including the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and wildlife species from extinction. Indeed, the food, clean water and air we need to survive and prosper depends on our ability to protect the planet’s biological diversity. In other words, we have to protect half to save the whole. Every one of us - citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders - should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. For my part, I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target. I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished. Indigenous peoples, local leaders and conservation groups around the world are already busy setting aside protected areas that reflect the conservation, economic and cultural values of nearby communities. Financial support from philanthropists and governments is critical to helping these leaders conserve places like the coral reefs of the Caribbean, the glaciers of Argentina and what is known as the “place of many elephants” in Zimbabwe.

Note: The above was written by philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


With $30 Million, Obscure Democratic Group Floods the Zone in House Races
2018-10-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/us/politics/democrats-dark-money-midterms....

Floridians for a Fair Shake and 13 other groups around the country are funded and coordinated out of a single office in Washington, with the goal of battering Republicans for their health care and economic policies during the midterm elections. At the center of the effort is an opaquely named Democratic organization, the Hub Project, which is on track to spend nearly $30 million since 2017 pressuring members of Congress in their districts. The great bulk of its funding has come from so-called dark money - funds from donors who are not legally required to reveal their names. With that money, the Hub Project ... set up an array of affiliate groups around the country, many with vaguely sympathetic names like Keep Iowa Healthy, New Jersey for a Better Future and North Carolinians for a Fair Economy. The Hub Project then used them to mobilize volunteers and run advertising on policy issues against Republican members of Congress many months before the election. Several Democratic operatives involved in the group likened its role to that of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy network funded by the billionaire Koch brothers ... on a significantly smaller scale. Mr. Gerney, the group’s executive director, said in an interview that the initiative targeting several dozen congressional districts had been designed to keep the focus on the Republicans’ legislative agenda in an election heavily dominated by ... personality. He described it as a test case.

Note: Read more about the secretive political groups funded by dark money. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Secret service to testify on 'political paedophiles' at child abuse inquiry
2018-10-31, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/31/secret-service-testify-politi...

Britain's spy agencies will reveal its knowledge of alleged Westminster-related child abuse at a public inquiry amid concerns it aided in an establishment cover-up. MI5, MI6 and GCHQ have given their "full cooperation" with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, lead counsel Andrew O'Connor QC told a preliminary hearing on Tuesday. Some of the evidence the agencies will give may be heard in private due to national security reasons. All three agencies have already provided files and documents relevant to its investigation into the alleged failure to pursue and prosecute child abusers in Whitehall and parliament. Parliamentary whips have also provided documents and archives to determine its involvement in the suspected cover-up. Mr O’Connor said a number of other notorious cases linked to Westminster - including those of the late former MPs, Cyril Smith, a Liberal, and Victor Montagu and Peter Morrison, both Conservatives - will be investigated. Further allegations ... are also expected to be explored. Allegations stemming from claims that police officers were "warned off" investigating cases of child sex abuse committed by senior politicians and other establishment figures in the 1960s, 70s and 80s will be looked at. The inquiry will also examine why the high ranking diplomat Peter Hayman, who died in 1992, escaped prosecution for sending obscene material through the post. The allegations against Hayman, who is believed to have been an MI6 official, were made public under parliamentary privilege in 1981.

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


Alleged CIA leaker: Manhattan jail is worse than North Korea
2018-10-29, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2018/10/29/alleged-cia-leaker-manhattan-jail-is-worse-than...

An ex-CIA technician believed to be behind one of the worst leaks in agency history says the conditions at the federal jail in lower Manhattan are so bad that he’d rather be a prisoner in North Korea. Joshua Schulte ... described the Metropolitan Correctional Center as a living hell where inmates are “dragged from their cages and beaten and maced,” forced to bathe in “s–t-filled showers,” thrown into solitary confinement for no reason and improperly barred from communicating with their lawyers. “They even refuse us pens and stamps so we can’t even write,” Schulte told a judge in a letter that he says he was only able to write after he borrowed a pen from a medical assistant. The ex-CIA software engineer has been in the MCC since last year after the feds raided his New York apartment on suspicion that he had leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks. Immediately following the raid, he was ... charged with possession of kiddie porn. It wasn’t until this year that the feds slapped Schulte with a 13-count superseding indictment for leaking classified information, including national defense information, that he believed could be used “to the injury of the United States and the advantage of a foreign nation.” The MCC has been the target of numerous complaints in recent months. Reputed mobster John “Porky” Zancocchio recently got sprung from the lockup, where he was sent for a bail violation, after his lawyer complained that the food there was hurting his client’s already failing health.

Note: Read more on the "Vault 7" CIA files Schulte is accused of leaking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Confused by Nutrition Research? Sloppy Science May Be to Blame
2018-10-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/well/live/confused-by-nutrition-research-s...

The unstated goal of most company-sponsored studies is to increase the bottom line. “It’s marketing research, not science,” [New York University professor Dr. Marion Nestle] said. Noting that nutrition research, especially that funded by industry, “requires careful interpretation,” she suggests an approach that all consumers would be wise to follow: “Whenever I see studies claiming benefits for a single food, I want to know three things: whether the results are biologically plausible; whether the study controlled for other dietary, behavioral, or lifestyle factors that could have influenced its result; and who sponsored it.” “Fifty years of research has demonstrated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on physicians’ behavior — even giving doctors pads or pens printed with the brand name of a drug can prompt doctors to ignore a generic or competing brand,” Dr. Nestle [said]. However ... while there have been thousands of studies of conflicts of interest among physicians who publish drug studies and those who prescribe industry-touted medications, she could identify only 11 such studies of the influence of industry funding on the outcome of food and beverage research in relation to health. Consumers who are not scientifically savvy can be easily misled by the findings of studies, especially when they emanate from a prestigious institution or professional association. Dr. Nestle says such organizations need to pay closer attention to both blatant and potential conflicts of interest lest they be caught touting sloppy science.

Note: Dr. Marion Nestle recently published a book on this topic titled, "Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat." Read more about the bias in industry-funded nutrition research in this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system.


Heard the One About the Disabled Muslim Comic From Jersey?
2018-10-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/arts/television/maysoon-zayid-disabled-mus...

The stand-up comedian Maysoon Zayid likes to joke that if there were a competition called the Oppression Olympics, she would win gold. “I’m Palestinian, Muslim, I’m a woman of color, I’m disabled,” Zayid, who has cerebral palsy, tells audiences, before pausing a beat to hang her head, her long dark hair curtaining her face, “and I live in New Jersey.” The joke lands laughs whether Zayid tells it in red states or blue. She told it near the beginning of her 2014 TED Talk, which drew nearly 15 million views. She now has a development deal with ABC to create a ... sitcom called “Can-Can,” starring her. If “Can-Can” makes it ... it may push two populations, one widely ignored, the other demonized, from the country’s margins into the mainstream. People with disabilities make up nearly 20 percent of the population yet account for about 2 percent of onscreen characters, some 95 percent of which are played by able-bodied stars. And it is hard to imagine a group more vilified in the United States than Muslims or Middle Easterners. Zayid is a vociferous part of a small, dedicated movement calling attention to disability rights in entertainment, which are consistently overlooked in the quote-unquote diversity conversation. Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic and advocacy organization for disability rights ... said Zayid’s show could crush enduring stigmas disabled people face.

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


Former white supremacist: The fear behind the hate
2018-10-29, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/opinions/fear-behind-hate-white-supremacy-mich...

The first thing I saw on my Facebook feed after news of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue broke was a photo my friend posted from his daughter's bat mitzvah. As a former leader of a white supremacist group in the late 1980s and early 1990s, seeing images of Jewish, black, Latino, Asian and Muslim children today make me ask myself how I could have been so deranged as to think that they were anything less than children. The answer is: fear. Everything I did back then was rooted in fear, as was every genocide in human history. And nationalism cannot exist without fear: fear of losing, fear of others, fear of change. Thus, it's no surprise that nationalism and genocide often go hand in hand. Looking back at how my twisted mind operated when I was a white nationalist, I spun every shred of information to suit that same narrative of fear. They are coming for us. And nationalism was the context necessary to focus fear into an us/them binary. I was incredibly fortunate that the exhaustion of constant spin and fear, along with the loving guidance of my parents and brave people who refused to capitulate to my hostility, eventually led me from nationalism to where I am today: a place in which I embrace diversity, and the constant change that creates it. Embracing those truths is critical to reforming nationalist thinking. It is how we unlearn fear and separatism and find not only peace with change, but joy as well. That is how we create a society where all are valued and included.

Note: The story of a prominent white nationalist who changed his ways is introduced in this article and explored in-depth in this book. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Plunging Emissions Mostly Not Spurred By Natural Gas Nor Renewables, U.S. Government Finds
2018-10-29, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2018/10/29/plunging-emissions-mostly...

Carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity generation fell last year to their lowest level since 1987, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported today, and the strongest driver is neither the shift from coal to natural gas nor the growth of renewables. More than half of the decline in emissions has occurred because of ... a decline in industrial demand for electricity, the EIA reported. "U.S. electricity demand has decreased in 6 of the past 10 years, as industrial demand has declined and residential and commercial demand has remained relatively flat," writes Perry Lindstrom, a senior energy and environmental analyst. Demand for electricity grew by 1.9 percent per year from 1996 to 2005, but has declined since 2005 by -0.1 percent per year, spurred by rapidly decreasing demand in the industrial sector. If that shift had not taken place, Lindstrom concludes, U.S. power sector emissions would have been 654 million metric tons higher last year. That's slightly larger than the decline in emissions from the power sector's shift to using cleaner fuels—natural gas and renewables. Cleaner fuels are responsible for saving 645 MMmt of emissions. Today's EIA report does not investigate the reason for the decline in industrial demand, but EIA's past analyses of the industrial sector offer a clue. In its 2017 Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey, EIA pegged the decline in industrial electricity consumption to a national shift away from energy-intensive industries.

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


Libraries, Writ Small
2018-10-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/books/little-free-library-todd-bol.html

Todd Bol was simply paying homage to his mother, a schoolteacher and lover of books. He built a doll-sized schoolhouse, filled it with his mother’s books and put it out for his neighbors in Hudson, Wis., as a book exchange. Today, just nine years later, more than 75,000 such “Little Free Libraries” dot the globe, from San Diego to Minneapolis, and from Australia to Siberia. Why did they catch on? For starters, they promote a friendly, sharing economy. No one tracks who took what. There’s no due date. No fines. You might never return a book. You might leave another instead. And, they are inherently cute. As Mr. Bol recalled, his neighbors “talked to it like it was a little puppy.” This week, many bore a white ribbon in tribute to Mr. Bol, who died Oct. 18, in Minnesota at the age of 62.

Note: A photo-essay of “Little Free Libraries” is available at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Killing Journalists Is Wrong When the Saudis Do It — and When the United States Does It, Too
2018-10-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/10/26/jamal-khashoggi-killing-tareq-ayoub/

We all now know the name of Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but very few of us know the name of Arab journalist Tareq Ayoub. An elected president of the United States has been blamed for killing Ayoub. We rightly demand justice in the case of Khashoggi, so why not in the case of Ayoub? On the morning of April 8, 2003, less than three weeks after U.S. President George W. Bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayoub was on the rooftop of his network’s Baghdad bureau ... reporting live. An American A-10 Warthog attack jet appeared. “The plane was flying so low that those of us downstairs thought it would land on the roof,” Maher Abdullah, the network’s Baghdad correspondent, later recalled. “We actually heard the rocket being launched. It was a direct hit.” Ayoub was killed. Fifteen minutes later, a second American warplane launched a second missile at the building. But the U.S. government, like the Saudi government in recent weeks, tried to duck responsibility. It was just a “grave mistake,” according to a State Department spokesperson. “This coalition does not target journalists,” a U.S. general told reporters. Al Jazeera’s managing director, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, had written a letter to the Pentagon less than two months earlier ... providing U.S. officials with the exact address and coordinates of the Baghdad bureau. The U.S. military had bombed Al Jazeera’s Kabul office in November 2001, and the network’s bosses wanted to prevent a repeat of such an incident.

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


Google Workers Fume Over Executives’ Payouts After Sexual Harassment Claims
2018-10-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/technology/sexual-harassment-google.html

At Google’s weekly staff meeting on Thursday, the top question that employees voted to ask Larry Page, a co-founder, and Sundar Pichai, the chief executive, was one about sexual harassment. The query was part of an outpouring from Google employees after a New York Times article ... reported how the company had paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives accused of misconduct and stayed silent about their transgressions. In the case of Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, the company gave him a $90 million exit package even after Google had concluded that a misconduct claim against him was credible. While tech workers, executives and others slammed Google for the revelations, nowhere was condemnation of the internet giant’s actions more pointed than among its own employees. The employee rebuke played out on Thursday and Friday in company meetings and on internal message boards. Employees said they were dispirited by how some executives accused of harassment were paid millions of dollars even as the company was fending off lawsuits from former employees and the Department of Labor that claimed it underpaid women. Some Google employees said they had more questions after Mr. Pichai and Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations, wrote ... that the company had fired 48 people, including 13 senior managers, for sexual harassment over the last two years and that none of them received an exit package.

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


This machine can make gallons of fresh drinking water right out of thin air
2018-10-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/25/world/fresh-water-green-machine-trnd/index.html

Machines designed by a California-based team can produce, in some cases, up to 300 gallons of fresh drinking water a day by pulling it straight from the air. And the team just won a $1.5 million prize for it. Skywater machines, housed in big metal boxes, are atmospheric water generators that condense water vapor from the atmosphere and turn it into drinking water. The machines can be powered by solar energy or the burning of biofuels. They can be used for households, for farming or for emergency relief efforts. The prize, called the Water Abundance XPRIZE, was awarded Saturday by XPRIZE, a California nonprofit ... aimed at creating solutions for the world's problems. The Water Abundance XPRIZE was a two-year competition that sought to find answers to the global water crisis by facilitating the development of new technologies. David Hertz, one of leaders of the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, says he's excited about what the Skywater machines could do for people living in parts of the world where water is becoming more scarce. "I've just been very, very interested in ... the importance of fresh water to mankind," Hertz [said]. "And in being in California, the issues are fast approaching crisis proportions." Hertz says there's more than enough water vapor in the air from which the machines can extract to produce gallons of water every day. Hertz estimates there's about "37.5 million billion gallons of water" in the atmosphere at any given time, which Skysource says is more fresh water than in all the rivers on Earth.

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


Apple Just Killed The 'GrayKey' iPhone Passcode Hack
2018-10-24, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/10/24/apple-just-killed-the-...

Apple has managed to prevent the hottest iPhone hacking company in the world from doing its thing. In March, Atlanta-based Grayshift promised governments its GrayKey tech could crack the passcodes of the latest iOS models, right up to the iPhone X. From then on, Apple continued to invest in security in earnest, continually putting up barriers for Grayshift to jump over. Grayshift continued to grow, however, securing contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Secret Service. Now, though, Apple has put up what may be an insurmountable wall. Multiple sources familiar with the GrayKey tech tell Forbes the device can no longer break the passcodes of any iPhone running iOS 12 or above. On those devices, GrayKey can only do what’s called a “partial extraction,” sources from the forensic community said. That means police using the tool can only draw out unencrypted files and some metadata, such as file sizes and folder structures. Previously, GrayKey used “brute forcing” techniques to guess passcodes and had found a way to get around Apple’s protections preventing such repeat guesses. But no more. Though it’s clear Apple has locked GrayShift out, no one actually knows just how the iPhone maker has done it. Vladimir Katalov, chief of forensic tech provider Elcomsoft, has repeatedly uncovered weaknesses in Apple technology. But he was stumped too.

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


Scott Morrison's national apology to Australian survivors and victims of child sexual abuse
2018-10-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/22/scott-morrisons-nation...

Text of the apology speech for institutional child sexual abuse as delivered in parliament: Silenced voices. Muffled cries in the darkness. Unacknowledged tears. The never heard pleas of tortured souls bewildered by an indifference to the unthinkable theft of their innocence. Why weren’t the children of our nation loved, nurtured and protected? Why was their trust betrayed? Why did those who know cover it up? While we can’t be so vain to pretend to answers, we must be so humble to fall before those who were forsaken and beg to them our apology. Nothing we can do now will right the wrongs inflicted on our nation’s children. The steady compassionate hand of the commissioners and staff resulted in 17,000 survivors coming forward and nearly 8,000 of them recounting their abuse. We are all grateful to the survivors who gave evidence to the commission. It is because of your strength and your courage that we are gathered here today. Even after a comprehensive royal commission, which finally enabled the voices to be heard and the silence to be broken, we will all continue to struggle. We honour every survivor in this country, we love you, we hear you and we honour you. Elsewhere in this building and around Australia, there are others who are silently watching and listening to these proceedings, men and women who have never told a soul what has happened to them. To these men and women I say this apology is for you too. The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, scout troops, orphanages, foster homes, sporting clubs, group homes, charities, and in family homes as well. As a nation, we failed them, we forsook them. That will always be our shame.

Note: The importance of the prime minister's mention of ritual sexual abuse should not be downplayed. Organized groups of powerful people, mostly men, are behind huge amounts of child abuse and trafficking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse from reliable major media sources. 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.


You can cut your cancer risk by eating organic
2018-10-22, CNN News
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/health/organic-food-cancer-study/

You can protect yourself from cancer by eating organic. Those who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine finds. Specifically, those who primarily eat organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer compared to those who rarely or never ate organic foods. A team of researchers looked at the diets of 68,946 French adults. More than three-quarters of the volunteers were women, in their mid-40s on average. Comparing the participants' organic food scores with cancer cases, the researchers calculated a negative relationship between high scores (eating the most organic food) and overall cancer risk. Those who ate the most organic food were 25% less likely to develop cancer. Specifically, they were 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 21% less likely to develop post-menopausal breast cancer. Even participants who ate low-to-medium quality diets yet stuck with organic food experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the authors found. The authors theorize a "possible explanation" for the negative relationship between organic food and cancer risk stems from the "significant" reduction of contamination that occurs when conventional foods are replaced by organic foods. The new findings are consistent with those of the International Agency for Research in Cancer, which found pesticides are cancer causing in humans

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


Australia sexual abuse: National apology delivered to victims
2018-10-22, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-45935843

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given a national apology to victims of child sexual abuse. It follows a five-year inquiry which found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in the nation's institutions over decades. "Today, we finally acknowledge and confront the lost screams of our children," he said. The inquiry, which concluded last December, heard more than 8,000 testimonies from victims about abuse in organisations such as churches, schools and sports clubs. Many survivors have criticised the government's response to the inquiry - especially its terms for a national compensation scheme. Victims are eligible for payments of up to A$150,000 (Ł80,000; $106,000) each. Some say the compensation is not enough, and onerous to obtain. Mr Morrison said the government had accepted most recommendations from the inquiry, but it was still considering the remaining proposals. Those not yet adopted include recommendations where federal and state responsibilities overlap. The most contentious is a proposal to make reporting abuse mandatory. In August, the Catholic Church formally rejected that call - meaning it will not force priests to break confession rules. In their final report, the commissioners said: "It is not a case of a few 'rotten apples'. Society's major institutions have seriously failed." They said over 15,000 people had contacted the inquiry, raising allegations against more than 4,000 institutions.

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


Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict
2018-10-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/22/monsanto-cancer-roundup-weed...

A California judge has rejected Monsanto’s appeal to overturn a landmark jury verdict which found that its popular herbicide causes cancer. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper ... won a $289m award over the summer after alleging that his exposure to Roundup weedkiller gave him cancer. Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, filed an appeal of the verdict, which said the company was responsible for “negligent failure”, knew or should have known that its product was “dangerous”, and had “acted with malice or oppression”. San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos ... has ruled to reduce punitive damages from $250m to $39m. The August verdict was a major victory for campaigners who have long fought Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Studies have repeatedly linked the glyphosate chemical ... to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a type of blood cancer. Internal Monsanto emails uncovered in the litigation suggested that the corporation has repeatedly worked to stifle critical research over the years while “ghost-writing” scientific reports favorable to glyphosate. Thousands of plaintiffs across the country have made similar legal claims, alleging that glyphosate exposure caused their cancer or resulted in the deaths of their loved ones. Last week, four jury members spoke to the Guardian about the judge questioning their unanimous decision, urging her to allow the verdict to stand.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry-sponsored studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Danone Bets on Healthy Eating Business to Boost Growth
2018-10-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/10/22/business/22reuters-danone-forecast...

Danone is banking on its expansion into the lucrative healthy eating business to produce sales growth that will beat the French food company's rivals over the coming decade. The world's biggest yoghurt maker told an Investor Seminar in London on Monday that it was relying on its fast-growing food categories such as probiotics, organic food and water to deliver "superior sustainable profitable growth" by 2030. As more consumers opt for healthier diets they are prepared to pay a premium for trying to pursue a more socially responsible lifestyle. Danone - along with rivals such as Nestle - has been seeking to rebuild consumers' trust in big food companies. Last year, for example, Danone bought U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave in a $12.5 billion deal, to boost growth and bring the company closer to current healthier eating trends. Francisco Camacho, executive vice president for Danone's 'Essential Dairy and Plant Based' business told the investor meeting he expected to triple the size of the plant-based business to 5 billion euros ($5.75 billion) by 2025 from 1.7 billion euros in 2018. Danone has been stepping up efforts to attract young consumers with products featuring probiotics, protein and plant-based ingredients, all fast-growing product categories.

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


Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools. Where are they buried?
2018-10-21, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/thousands-of-canadas-indige...

Researchers across Canada are racing to shed light on a bleak part of the country’s history: How many indigenous children died at residential schools, and where are their unmarked graves? From 1883 to 1998, nearly 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to the government-funded, church-run boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. Once there, they were frequently neglected and abused. What happened at the schools was akin to “cultural genocide,” concluded a 2015 report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also found that at least 3,200 students died at residential schools ... though the commission contended that the number was probably much higher and merited further investigation. In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, [which include] creating a register of the missing children and mapping their graves. But nearly three years later, some say that a lack of resources and missing documents is inhibiting progress, increasing the likelihood that the relatives of missing residential-school children will die without knowing the fate of their loved ones, and that unmarked graves could be destroyed. School records were often destroyed or inconsistently kept. Officials also frequently failed to record the name and gender of students who died or the cause of death. Authorities even neglected to report the deaths to the parents.

Note: Read more about the role of these schools in Canada's "cultural genocide" of First Nation peoples. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


Political rivals stun voters with unexpected duet
2018-10-19, CBS
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lucy-rogers-vermont-political-rivals-stun-voters...

In Lamoille County, Vermont ... everywhere you look, bursts of Lucy Rogers green, and Zac Mayo red, white and blue. "We don't need as much government," Zac said. He's the Republican. She's the Democrat. "I'm pretty centrally focused on healthcare," Lucy said. They're aggressively competing for a state House seat. Both have visited, or plan to visit, every single home in the district — all 2,000 plus. The locals say they've never seen anything like it. But this highly competitive race took a dramatic turn recently. During their debate ... the candidates asked for a few extra minutes at the end. They stood up from their tables and began moving the furniture. No one knew what was coming. Indeed, what happened at the local library that night was totally unexpected and unprecedented in modern American politics. Political rivals Lucy Rogers and Zac Mayo shocked voters by coming together for a duet." Because we asked them if we could have a few minutes at the end to play a duet," Lucy said. "It strikes a chord," Zac said. "To say to the world that this is a better way." With that, the Democrat and the Republican united in perfect harmony. There weren't enough tissues to go around. "It marked a turning point for us," one person said. "It gave me a lot of hope," said another. The song they played that night -- and for us after -- is about longing for a less competitive society. Their rendition so resonated with folks in northern Vermont, CBS News actually saw houses that had signs for both candidates -- a clear indication that the winner of this race has already been decided: A landslide victory for civility.

Note: The Washington Post also carried a touching article on this inspiring event. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Shane Bauer goes back to prison, comes out with a new book
2018-10-19, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/shane-bauer-goes-back-to-prison-comes-...

Imprisoned himself for two years in an Iranian prison after being arrested while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border in 2009, [Journalist Shane] Bauer returned to the United States in 2011 and began examining the inhumane practice of long-term solitary confinement. When he realized that America’s growing private-prison industry (which houses 8 percent of all inmates) was even more impenetrable to reporters than public institutions, Bauer decided to embark on an undercover reporting experiment to better understand the ethically confounding state of corporate incarceration. Using his own name, he applied and was hired as an entry-level, $9-hour guard at Winn Correctional Center in rural Wingfield, La. “Am I really going back to prison?” he writes in the introduction to his eye-opening and troubling new book, “American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment.” Bauer’s book is a searing indictment of the corruption and cruelty rampant in a system with post-slavery origins that is based not on rehabilitation but profitability. "It’s important to not take the kind of prison system we have today as a given. It was something that was invented here in this country, has floundered many times, and part of what has kept it alive throughout American history is that companies and states were making money on their prisoners, not because it was necessarily keeping society safe or rehabilitating people," [said Bauer].

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


Conquering Mt. Everest, Against All Odds
2018-10-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/travel/blind-climber-against-all-odds.html

Reaching the summit of Mount Everest is a triumph for any climber, but for Erik Weihenmayer, the accomplishment is even more impressive. That’s because he is blind. Born with a rare eye disease, Mr. Weihenmayer lost his sight at age 13 and later discovered a sense of freedom through climbing. Over the years, the 50-year-old has reached the highest peaks on seven continents and also kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. A former schoolteacher, Mr. Weihenmayer co-founded No Barriers, a nonprofit organization that teaches outdoor skills to those with physical challenges. "Growing up in Connecticut, my Dad would drive me three hours to Massachusetts once a month to this adventure program for the blind, [said Mr. Weihenmayer]. "They took us to New Hampshire and we rock climbed on these beautiful granite rock faces. It was very tactile. That’s what I really loved about it. You can feel all these little knobs and cracks and fissures and little dishes in the rock. So you’re problem-solving with your hands and feet as your eyes. You had to put your body in all these cool, acrobatic positions to get yourself from point A to point B and you’re trying to solve this puzzle that’s embedded in the rock. I loved the great adventure. I got to the top and I could hear the valley below me. I could hear the wind blowing through the trees. And I thought this is so stunning. This is what I want out of my life."

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


GOP candidate improperly purged 340,000 from Georgia voter rolls, investigation claims
2018-10-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/19/georgia-governor-race-voter-s...

Georgia secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp improperly purged more than 340,000 voters from the state’s registration rolls, an investigation charges. Greg Palast, a journalist and the director of the Palast Investigative Fund, said an analysis he commissioned found 340,134 voters were removed from the rolls on the grounds that they had moved – but they actually still live at the address where they are registered. “Their registration is cancelled. Not pending, not inactive – cancelled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote. That’s wrong,” Palast [said]. It’s the latest voting rights controversy to crop up in the Georgia governor’s race, which pits Republican Kemp against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who if elected would become the first African American woman governor of any state. Lawsuits have also charged that Kemp blocked the registrations of 50,000 would-be voters, 80% of them black, Latino or Asian, because of minor discrepancies in the spelling or spacing of their name. Another suit targeted the state’s most diverse county after it rejected an unusually large number of absentee ballots. “Brian Kemp has abused his power as secretary of state of Georgia to purge the voting rolls of Georgia primarily of black and brown people,” said Joe Beasley, an Atlanta civil rights activist. “If he had ... integrity, he would have stepped aside as secretary of state, because you can’t referee an election in which you stand to be a winner.”

Note: More on this is available in this MSNBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jamal Khashoggi's Complicated History With The Saudi Royal Family
2018-10-19, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/10/19/658947600/jamal-khashoggis-complicated-history...

Jamal Khashoggi's grandfather was the doctor to King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. His uncle Adnan Khashoggi became a celebrity billionaire as the weapons broker for another Saudi monarch, King Fahd. For the first time since the journalist's disappearance on Oct. 2, Saudi Arabia acknowledged ... that Jamal Khashoggi died in the country's consulate in Istanbul ... after repeated denials by the Saudis that they knew what had happened to him. Details about his background ... paint an interesting picture of a man known today in the U.S. as a Washington Post columnist but whose family has deep ties to the Saudi monarchy that go back generations. After the 2001 al-Qaida attacks, which included 15 Saudi hijackers, Khashoggi visited the U.S. with the message that the Saudi leadership was still a trustworthy American ally. Khashoggi eventually moved to Washington in 2005. As a journalist in his younger years, Khashoggi interviewed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the 1980s. In 2015 ... Mohammed bin Salman came to power. Until this point, Khashoggi had been a fixture in the Saudi media for years. But as Mohammed bin Salman began shaking up the kingdom, Khashoggi was effectively barred from media appearances. Khashoggi became more critical of the crown prince. "The power struggle is over. [Mohammed is] totally in control, and he has no one to challenge his rules," Khashoggi [said] in May. On Oct. 2, Khashoggi entered, and died at, the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

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


An Esteemed Doctor, Child Sexual Abuse Claims and a Hospital That Knew for Years
2018-10-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/18/nyregion/dr-reginald-archibald-rockefeller...

For almost 30 years, parents sought out Dr. Reginald Archibald when their children would not grow. They came to his clinic at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent New York research institution. He also may have sexually abused many of them. The hospital sent a letter last month to former patients of Dr. Archibald asking about their contact with him [and] posted a statement online saying it had evidence of the doctor’s “inappropriate” behavior with some patients and that it first had learned of credible allegations against him in 2004. The New York Times spoke with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents. Most of them learned of the possibility of other victims for the first time when they received the letter. A few, however, said they had filed complaints with the hospital or authorities in the past, but their allegations were not investigated. The men all described similar experiences with Dr. Archibald, who would tell them to disrobe when they were alone in his examination room. He would masturbate them or ask them to masturbate. The doctor took pictures of them, while they were naked, with a Polaroid camera, and measured their penises both flaccid and erect. The alleged abuse would have occurred in an era in which few safeguards existed for those patients. Under current New York law, the statute of limitations for victims to sue the hospital has long passed. A hospital spokesman declined to answer questions about when the hospital first learned of the allegations. [An] inquiry turned up two ... reports dating to the 1990s.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse by doctors from reliable major media sources. Then explore other media articles exposing systemic, institutional sex abuse.


The Trump administration’s new method for cracking down on leakers
2018-10-18, Colombia Journalism Review
https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/trump-leaker-arrest-natalie-mayflower-sour...

The Trump Administration has now indicted at least five journalists’ sources in less than two years’ time—a pace that, if maintained through the end of Trump’s term, would obliterate the already-record number of leakers and whistleblowers prosecuted under eight years of the Obama administration. The latest case, which broke on Wednesday, shows the administration taking advantage of a new avenue to go after a potential whistleblower. Instead of using the archaic Espionage Act - the 100-year-old law meant for spies, not sources - prosecutors are pursuing the latest alleged leaker using financial laws. A senior Treasury official named Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards has been arrested and charged ... for allegedly sharing “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SARs) about financial red flags with a news organization and its journalist for a series of stories related to the Russia investigation in 2017 and 2018. The complaint contains an interesting allegation, albeit one buried in a footnote: Edwards, according to prosecutors, told investigators she considered herself a “whistleblower.” The government also admitted she had filed a whistleblower complaint within her agency and had talked to Congressional staffers about the issue as well. The Justice Department reportedly has dozens of other [leak] investigations open, and we don’t know who will be next.

Note: This leak prosecution follows the sentencing of Reality Winner to five years in prison for providing evidence of high-level interference in a US election to the media. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better
2018-10-17, Vox
https://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7272929/global-poverty-health-crime-literacy-g...

For most Americans, these feel like bleak times. But ... under the radar, some aspects of life on Earth are getting dramatically better. Extreme poverty has fallen by half since 1990, and life expectancy is increasing in poor countries — and there are many more indices of improvement like that everywhere you turn. But many of us aren’t aware of ways the world is getting better because the press — and humans in general — have a strong negativity bias. Bad economic news gets more coverage than good news. Negative experiences affect people more, and for longer, than positive ones. Survey evidence consistently indicates that few people in rich countries have any clue that the world has taken a happier turn in recent decades — one poll in 2016 found that only 8 percent of US residents knew that global poverty had fallen since 1996. It’s worth paying some attention to this huge progress. Nothing’s permanent, and big challenges ... remain, but the world is getting much, much better on a variety of important, underappreciated dimensions. Probably the most important [is] a huge decline in the share of the world population living on less than $1.90 a day, from nearly 35 percent in 1987 to under 11 percent in 2013.

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


Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics
2018-10-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/secret-recordings-give-insight-into-saud...

Omar Abdulaziz hit record on his phone and slipped it into the breast pocket of his jacket, he recalled, taking a seat in a Montreal cafe to wait for two men who said they were carrying a personal message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. When they arrived, Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi opposition activist, asked why they had come all the way to Canada to see him. “There are two scenarios,” one of the emissaries said, speaking of Abdulaziz in the third person. In the first, he can go back home to Saudi Arabia, to his friends and family. In the second: “Omar goes to prison.” To drive home what was at stake, the visitors brought one of Abdulaziz’s younger brothers from Saudi Arabia to the meeting. The clandestine recordings - more than 10 hours of conversation - were provided to The Washington Post by Abdulaziz, a close associate of the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They offer a chilling depiction of how Saudi Arabia tries to lure opposition figures back to the kingdom with promises of money and safety. These efforts have sharply escalated since Mohammed became crown prince last year. Khashoggi’s friends said that senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had contacted him in recent months, even offering him a high-level job ... if he returned to the kingdom. He didn’t trust the offer, fearing it was a ruse. Khashoggi has not been heard from since he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish investigators have concluded he was killed ... and then dismembered.

Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


State Department provided 'clearly false' statements to derail requests for Clinton docs, 'shocked' federal judge says
2018-10-17, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/state-department-provided-clearly-false-stat...

In a combative exchange at a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., a federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing "clearly false" affidavits to derail a series of lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also said he was "shocked" and "dumbfounded" when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton's server, according to a court transcript. The Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, noted ... in June that it was "inconsistent with typical investigative strategy" for the FBI to allow Mills to sit in during the agency's interview of Clinton during the email probe, given that classified information traveled through Mills' personal email account. "[T]here are serious potential ramifications when one witness attends another witness' interview," the IG wrote. The transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn't respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Parallel lawsuits ... are probing issues like Clinton's server, whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.

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


How much do your prescription drugs cost? Transparency in TV ads is overdue
2018-10-16, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/10/16/prescription-drugs-price-tr...

Drugmakers spend billions selling prescription drugs on TV to the public, sometimes turning a new drug into a blockbuster. What you don’t know from the commercials is how much these drugs cost — prices that can be staggering. But that could soon change. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed a huge change in drug advertising, requiring that drugmakers disclose the list price of drugs in their TV spots. The proposed transparency is as welcome as it is overdue. Health care is the only consumer commodity where sellers get to hide the price. Drugmakers have been pitching prescription drugs to consumers for decades, using pleasant music, happy faces, sexy scenes and visuals of people leading better, more fulfilling lives all because they’re taking a prescription drug. In 2016, drugmakers spent more than $6 billion on this effort. The 10 most commonly advertised drugs sport monthly prices ranging from $503 for Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes and blood clots, to more than $11,000 for Cosentyx, to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Whether the proposed regulation is finalized ... depends on the pharmaceutical lobby’s power and the Trump administration’s resolve. Hours before Azar’s announcement, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America made its first countermove, announcing an alternate plan to ... disclose prices and co-payments of drugs advertised on TV on a new website starting in the spring.

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


Saudi Arabia Delivers $100 Million Pledged to U.S. as Pompeo Lands in Riyadh
2018-10-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-money-syria....

This summer, Saudi Arabia promised the Trump administration $100 million for American efforts to stabilize areas in Syria. That money landed in American accounts on Tuesday, the same day that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for discussions with the kingdom’s leaders about the fate of a missing Saudi dissident. The timing of the money’s arrival raised eyebrows even among some of the bureaucrats whose programs will benefit from the influx of cash. “The timing of this is no coincidence,” said an American official involved in Syria policy who spoke on condition of anonymity. The disappearance of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has battered the image of Saudi Arabia and of its powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a key player in many of the Trump administration’s ambitions for the Middle East. Turkish officials say that Mr. Khashoggi was slain inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by Saudi agents on Oct. 2 while he was trying to secure a document he needed to get married. Saudi leaders have denied harming Mr. Khashoggi, but have not provided a credible explanation of what happened to him. Mr. Trump threatened “severe punishment” if it was confirmed that Saudi Arabia killed Mr. Khashoggi. But after speaking with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Monday, he suggested that “rogue killers” could have been responsible and dispatched Mr. Pompeo to Riyadh to see the Saudi king.

Note: There is much more than meets the eye on this Khashoggi case. Read this fascinating article for a taste. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


The Rising Rate of Autism in Kids
2018-10-15, Psychology Today
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/suffer-the-children/201810/the-rising...

In 1970, only 1 child in 10,000 was diagnosed with autism. Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number is 1 in 59. There are two camps in the autism world. One camp holds that ... autism is a genetic condition, something like Down syndrome. However, despite decades of intensive research, no “autism gene” or combination of autism genes has yet been discovered. The second camp argues that ... environmental triggers like pesticides, certain foods, allergens, vaccines, and even stress can trigger an immune reaction in the child’s body which impacts the brain and can cause symptoms of autism. The environmental camp extends to researchers who seek a connection between pesticides and autism. Recently research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that maternal exposure to the pesticide DDT is associated with autism in her infant. A recent book in the camp of environmental causes for autism is J. B. Handley’s controversial How to End the Autism Epidemic. In 2004, Handley’s son was diagnosed with severe autism. He and his wife Lisa were told that their son would probably be institutionalized. When the Handleys asked if making changes in their son's diet would help, their doctor, a world famous autism expert, replied that this was merely a placebo for parents. Wanting to try every alternative for their son, the Handleys found Bay Area physician Dr. Lynne Mielke. The boy's symptoms improved significantly with dietary interventions.

Note: Read an informative article titled "How to End the Autism Epidemic." Then check out the best-selling book by the same name.


Let $289 million jury award stand in Monsanto case
2018-10-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Let-289-million-jury-aw...

A San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded a historic $289 million verdict against the agrochemical conglomerate Monsanto. A California judge is considering taking away that jury award for punitive damages. When we learned that Dewayne “Lee” Johnson had taken Monsanto to court saying he got his terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from on-the-job exposure to Monsanto’s ubiquitous weed killer, Roundup, we were so captured by Johnson’s battle that we traveled to San Francisco to watch the trial. Johnson’s was the first of some 4,000 similar claims headed for courts across America. The judge appeared to be bending over backward to help Monsanto. Johnson’s jury heard evidence that, for four decades, Monsanto maneuvered to conceal Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists, ghostwriting science and engaging in scientific fraud. The jury found that these activities constituted “malice, fraud and oppression” warranting $250 million in punitive damages. We were among the many who applauded. However, California judges have the power to reduce, or even eliminate, a jury award. The jurors would be shocked to know that the product of their weeks of careful consideration ... could be thrown out at the whim of a judge who disagrees with the verdict. If a judge intervenes to alter their verdict, then what, after all, is the point of having jurors?

Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


'We won't go': Proposal to limit White House protests draws howls from civil rights groups
2018-10-12, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/12/donald-trump-new-regu...

A Trump administration proposal to limit protests at the White House and the National Mall, including by potentially charging fees for demonstrations, is meeting stiff resistance from civil rights groups who say the idea is unconstitutional. The National Park Service is considering a plan to push back a security perimeter so that it would include most of the walkway north of the White House, a spot closed to traffic since 1995 that has become a regular venue for demonstrations. The proposal also floats the idea of allowing the agency to charge a fee for protests. Though the ideas were proposed earlier this year, they are facing renewed attention given President Donald Trump's recent comments on protests following the confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Trump called the protesters "screamers." The proposals "harken back to the era in which the courts had to be called upon to protect the right to dissent in the nation’s capital," the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a public comment letter to the National Park Service. "Many of the proposed amendments would be unconstitutional if adopted." ACLU attorneys wrote that if a "cost recovery" fee for demonstrations had been in place in 1963, the historic March on Washington – in which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech – probably "couldn't have happened."

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


Internet Hacking Is About to Get Much Worse
2018-10-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/opinion/internet-hacking-cybersecurity-iot...

It's no secret that computers are insecure. The risks are about to get worse, because computers are being embedded into physical devices and will affect lives, not just our data. Many of today’s new computers are not just screens that we stare at, but objects in our world with which we interact. A refrigerator is now a computer that keeps things cold; a car is now a computer with four wheels and an engine. These computers sense us and our environment, and they affect us and our environment. They talk to each other over networks ... and they have physical agency. They drive our cars, pilot our planes, and run our power plants. They control traffic, administer drugs ... and dispatch emergency services. These connected computers and the network that connects them - collectively known as “the internet of things” - affect the world in a direct physical manner. Computers fail differently than most other machines: It's not just that they can be attacked remotely - they can be attacked all at once. It’s impossible to take an old refrigerator and infect it with a virus or recruit it into a denial-of-service botnet, and a car without an internet connection simply can’t be hacked remotely. But that computer with four wheels and an engine? It - along with all other cars of the same make and model - can be made to run off the road, all at the same time. Do we want to allow vulnerable automobiles on the streets and highways during the weeks before a new security patch is written, tested, and distributed?

Note: A 2015 New York Times article called the Internet of Things a "train wreck in privacy and security". Read how a hacked vehicle may have resulted in journalist Michael Hastings' death in 2013. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy and the risks of wireless technologies.


Incarcerated Pennsylvanians now have to pay $150 to read.
2018-10-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/incarcerated-pennsylvanians-now-have-...

Free access to books has dramatically improved the lives of incarcerated individuals, offering immense emotional and mental relief as well as a key source of rehabilitation. But as of last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has decided to make such rehabilitation much harder. Going forward, books and publications, including legal primers and prison newsletters, cannot be sent directly to incarcerated Pennsylvanians. Instead, if they want access to a book, they must first come up with $147 to purchase a tablet and then pay a private company for electronic versions of their reading material - but only if it’s available among the 8,500 titles offered to them through this new e-book system. Incarcerated people are paid less than $1 per hour. Most of the e-books available to them for purchase would be available free from Project Gutenberg. And nonpublic domain books in Pennsylvania’s e-book system are more expensive than on other e-book markets. This policy, part of a larger trend of censorship in state prisons around the country, should alarm everyone. Not only does it erect a huge financial barrier to books and severely restrict content, it also ... severely damages an incarcerated person’s ability to fully reenter society. Perhaps more alarming is that the head of the Pennsylvania DOC, Secretary John Wetzel, is president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. If Pennsylvania’s policies remain in place, other states are sure to follow suit.

Note: The above was written by Jodi Lincoln, co-chair of Book ’Em, a nonprofit organization that sends free reading material to incarcerated people and prison libraries. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Georgia Republican candidate for governor puts 53,000 voter registrations on hold
2018-10-11, USA Today/Associated Press
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/10/11/georgia-rep...

Marsha Appling-Nunez was showing the college students she teaches how to check online if they're registered to vote when she made a troubling discovery. Despite being an active Georgia voter who had cast ballots in recent elections, she was no longer registered. She tried re-registering, but with about one month left before a November election ... Appling-Nunez's application is one of over 53,000 sitting on hold with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's office. Kemp, who's also the Republican candidate for governor, is in charge of elections and voter registration in Georgia. His Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Stacey Abrams, and voting rights advocacy groups charge that Kemp is systematically using his office to suppress votes and tilt the election, and that his policies disproportionately affect black and minority voters. Through a process that Kemp calls voter roll maintenance and his opponents call voter roll purges, Kemp's office has cancelled over 1.4 million voter registrations since 2012. Nearly 670,000 registrations were cancelled in 2017 alone. According to records obtained from Kemp's office through a public records request, Appling-Nunez's application - like many of the 53,000 registrations on hold with Kemp's office - was flagged because it ran afoul of the state's "exact match" verification process. An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity in the process. Georgia's population is approximately 32 percent black, according to the U.S. Census, but the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp's office is nearly 70 percent black.

Note: More on this is available in this MSNBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources.


State-directed abductions are on the rise – and the Saudis are dark masters
2018-10-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/10/jamal-khashoggi-disappe...

The disappearance, and possible murder, of Jamal Khashoggi, a high-profile critic of the Saudi regime, is the latest, disturbing addition to the rising toll of state-directed, extra-territorial kidnappings, abductions and killings around the world. So here’s the question: why do more and more governments think they can get away with murder, figuratively if not literally? It’s a problem that should concern everybody – because everybody is at risk. It’s tempting to blame the US, a country that ... has come to epitomise the problem. In January 1986, worried about American hostages in Lebanon, Ronald Reagan signed a top-secret covert action directive. The presidential “finding” authorized the CIA to kidnap suspected terrorists anywhere, any place. Reagan’s “snatch and grab” operations inaugurated the modern-day practice of state abduction, leading ineluctably to extraordinary rendition. They set a fateful precedent. George W Bush massively expanded rendition after the 2001 terror attacks. Although the UN classifies one country’s abduction of another country’s citizens as a crime against humanity ... the US and its accomplices have in practice faced no substantive sanction or penalty to date. This grim lesson in impunity has been absorbed and digested by governments everywhere. The Khashoggi disappearance, almost certainly ordered and planned in Riyadh, is the very sort of illegal action that has been normalised ... by very recent American practice from Afghanistan and Iraq to Libya and Cuba.

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


Why Following Your Passions Is Good for You (and How to Get Started)
2018-10-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/10/smarter-living/follow-your-passion-hobbies...

A 2015 study published in The Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that pursuing your passion both lowers stress and contributes to greater happiness over all. Researchers found that participants who engaged in hobbies were 34 percent less stressed and 18 percent less sad during the activities, as well as for some time after. Laura Vanderkam, a productivity expert, advocates finding time for yourself as a means to greater happiness over all. “Life just feels better when you have things in your hours that you want to do,” Ms. Vanderkam said. “There’s moments where time almost has no meaning because we’re so happy about what we’re doing. The more time you can spend in that zone, the better life feels.” We’re all busy. Most of us feel as if we can’t cram anything more into our schedules. But Ms. Vanderkam wants to dispel that idea. “When you say you don’t have time, what you’re really saying is, it’s not a priority,” she said. To figure out where extra time lives in your schedule, she recommends thinking of time in weeks, rather than days. A week “is really the cycle of life as people actually live it,” she said. If you’re prone to procrastination, start small and specific. Procrastination often happens when we get overwhelmed and stall before we even start. “Taking very small steps is key,” Ms. Vanderkam said. “If you take small steps repeatedly, they really do add up. Say, I’m going to do just three things today. That’s 15 things per workweek; that’s 750 things in a year. If you do 750 important things in a year, that’s a pretty good year.”

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


Cyber Tests Showed 'Nearly All' New Pentagon Weapons Vulnerable To Attack, GAO Says
2018-10-09, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/10/09/655880190/cyber-tests-showed-nearly-all-new-pe...

Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office. The flaws are highlighted in a new GAO report, which found the Pentagon is "just beginning to grapple" with the scale of vulnerabilities in its weapons systems. Drawing data from cybersecurity tests conducted on Department of Defense weapons systems from 2012 to 2017, the report says that by using "relatively simple tools and techniques, testers were able to take control of systems and largely operate undetected" because of basic security vulnerabilities. The GAO says the problems were widespread: "DOD testers routinely found mission critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapon systems that were under development." The Pentagon has only recently made it a priority to ensure the cybersecurity of its weapons systems. It's still determining how to achieve that goal - and at this point, the report states, "DOD does not know the full scale of its weapon system vulnerabilities." Part of the reason for the ongoing uncertainty ... is that the Defense Department's hacking and cyber tests have been "limited in scope and sophistication." When problems were identified, they were often left unresolved. The GAO cites a test report in which only one of 20 vulnerabilities that were previously found had been addressed.

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


Peer-reviewed homeopathy study sparks uproar in Italy
2018-10-09, Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06967-0?sf199635105=1

A study that claims to show that a homeopathic treatment can ease pain in rats has caused uproar after it was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Groups that promote homeopathy in Italy, where there is currently a debate about how to label homeopathic remedies, have held the study up as evidence that the practice works. But several researchers have cast doubt on its claims. The authors acknowledge some errors ... but stand by its overall conclusions. This latest claim has attracted attention, in part, because it passed peer review at the journal Scientific Reports. “Either the paper is true, so it’s of extraordinary importance, or it’s false and should be closely scrutinized,” says Enrico Bucci, the researcher who carried out [an] analysis of the paper. Homeopathy is based on the claim that illnesses can be treated using substances that produce similar symptoms. Mostly, these have been heavily diluted in water or alcohol so that none or only a few molecules of the active ingredient are present. Some supporters of the practice say that the water or alcohol ‘remembers’ the substance, which triggers a healing response. In the ... study, Patil and colleagues report that a homeopathic product - a heavily diluted extract from Toxicodendron pubescens, a plant commonly known as Atlantic poison oak - is as effective as the prescription drug gabapentin in reducing inflammation and pain responses in both cells grown in the lab and in animals.

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


British paedophile who campaigned to legalise sex with children sued by alleged Filipino victims in landmark case
2018-10-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/british-paedophile-sued-child-sex...

A British paedophile is being sued for damages by five young men who allege they were sexually abused by him when he lived in the Philippines. Douglas Slade’s accusers will give evidence to the High Court in London by video link during a case thought to be the first of its kind. Slade, a founding member of a group which campaigned to legalise sex with children, was jailed for 24 years in 2016 for abusing five boys in the UK between 1965 and 1980. He had been extradited the previous year from the Philippines, where he moved in 1985. During three decades living in the country, he is alleged to have repeatedly enticed young people into his home and sexually abused them. The 77-year-old denies the allegations. Slade’s civil trial ... is believed to be the first time alleged victims from overseas have brought legal action against a British national in UK courts over abuse said to have been committed abroad. Four young men and one boy at the centre of the case are suing Slade for "personal injuries arising out of sexual abuse". The youngest was 10 at the time the abuse allegedly began. One accuser told the BBC: "Many people avoid me and think that I have a disease because of what I did. I'm teased. I am too embarrassed to get out of the house." Slade, formerly of Bristol, was investigated by Filipino police but never faced charges. He was expelled from the country in 2015, and charged with 13 counts of child abuse and rape upon his return to the UK.

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. It includes a segment on the Pedophile Information Network. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


How 20 years of stop and search has widened America’s racial divide
2018-10-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/oct/09/how-20-years-of-stop-and-search-...

Not all stops are created equal. Sometimes the police pull people over for traffic-safety reasons – for speeding or running a red light, for example. More nefariously, recent reports ... have shown that police departments ... have used traffic enforcement to generate fines to fund local government. But [another] kind of stop – an investigatory or pretext stop – uses the traffic laws to uncover more serious crime. Such stops (and subsequent searches) exploded in popularity in the 1990s. Pretext stops are responsible for most of the racial disparity in traffic stops in the US. Political scientist Charles Epp found that when the police are actually enforcing traffic safety laws, they tend to do so without regard to race. But when they are carrying out investigatory or pretext stops, they are much more likely to stop black and other minority drivers: black people are about two-and-a-half times more likely to be pulled over for pretext stops. The damage from a pretext stop – of a driver, a pedestrian, a loiterer – doesn’t end with the stop itself. The pretext-stop regime ... propels disparities in the rest of the criminal justice system. By ... 2000, we had been steadily, incrementally, building the punitive criminal justice system we still live with today. Most of the pieces – the aggressive prosecutions and policing, longer sentences, prison-building, collateral consequences of convictions such as losing the right to vote or the chance to live in public housing – had been put in place. The years since [have] been primarily dedicated to maintaining ... that basic architecture.

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


New Evidence of Hacked Supermicro Hardware Found in U.S. Telecom
2018-10-09, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-09/new-evidence-of-hacked-sup...

A major U.S. telecommunications company discovered manipulated hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network and removed it in August, fresh evidence of tampering in China of critical technology components bound for the U.S., according to a security expert working for the telecom company. The security expert, Yossi Appleboum, provided ... evidence of the discovery following the publication of an investigative report in Bloomberg Businessweek that detailed how China’s intelligence services had ordered subcontractors to plant malicious chips in Supermicro server motherboards over a two-year period ending in 2015. [Appleboum’s company] was hired to scan several large data centers belonging to the telecommunications company. Unusual communications from a Supermicro server and a subsequent physical inspection revealed an implant built into the server’s Ethernet connector. The executive said he has seen similar manipulations of different vendors' computer hardware made by contractors in China, not just products from Supermicro. “Supermicro is a victim - so is everyone else,” he said. There are countless points in the supply chain in China where manipulations can be introduced, and deducing them can in many cases be impossible. The manipulation of the Ethernet connector appeared to be similar to a method also used by the U.S. National Security Agency, details of which were leaked in 2013.

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


The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Still Cutting Hair Full Time
2018-10-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/07/nyregion/worlds-oldest-barber-anthony-manc...

Anthony Mancinelli shook out a barber towel and welcomed the next customer to his chair in Fantastic Cuts, a cheery hair salon in a nondescript strip mall. “Hey, paisan - same as usual,” said John O’Rourke to Mr. Mancinelli, who began layering Mr. O’Rourke’s hair with his steady, snipping scissors. “I don’t let anyone else touch my hair,” said Mr. O’Rourke. “The guy’s been cutting hair for a century.” Mr. Mancinelli is 107 and still working full time, cutting hair five days a week from noon to 8 p.m. He has been working in barbershops since he was 11. In 2007, at a mere 96 years old, he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest working barber. Since then, the commendations have rolled in - from local civic groups, elected officials and barbering companies - all congratulating him: 100 years, 101, 102, and so on. Mr. Mancinelli just keeps outdating the awards. As hairstyles have changed over the decades, Mr. Mancinelli has adapted. “I cut them all,” he said, “long hair, short hair, whatever was in style - the shag, the Buster Brown, straight bangs, permanents.” Some customers have been coming to him for well over 50 years, having gotten hundreds of haircuts. “I have some customers, I cut their father, grandfather and great-grandfather - four generations,” said Mr. Mancinelli, who has six great-great-grandchildren. His son, Bob Mancinelli, said: “Some of his older customers, he helps them. He’ll say to an 80-year-old guy, ‘Listen, when you get to be my age. ...’ They love hearing that.”

Note: Explore a collection of concise summaries of news articles on amazing seniors.


The mushroom dream of a 'long-haired hippie' could help save the world's bees
2018-10-06, Chicago Tribune/Seattle Times
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-tns-bc-env-mushrooms-bees-...

The epiphany that mushrooms could help save the world's ailing bee colonies struck Paul Stamets while he was in bed. In 1984, Stamets had noticed a "continuous convoy of bees" traveling from a patch of mushrooms he was growing and his beehives. The bees actually moved wood chips to access his mushroom's mycelium, the branching fibers of fungus. Decades later, he and a friend began a conversation about bee colony collapse that left Stamets ... puzzling over a problem. Bees across the world have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Parasites like mites, fast-spreading viruses, agricultural chemicals and lack of forage area have ... threatened wild and commercial bees alike. Waking up one morning, "I connected the dots," he said. "Mycelium have sugars and antiviral properties," he said. What if it wasn't just sugar that was useful to those mushroom-suckling bees so long ago? Research published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports ... describes how bees given a small amount of his mushroom mycelia extract exhibited remarkable reductions in the presence of viruses associated with parasitic mites that have been attacking, and infecting, bee colonies for decades. To test Stamets' theory, the researchers ... separated two groups of mite-exposed bees into cages, feeding one group sugar syrup with a mushroom-based additive and the other, syrup without the additive. For several virus strains, the extract "reduced the virus to almost nothing," said [researcher] Brandon Hopkins.

Note: The research described in the above article is available here. Read more about Paul Stamet's incredible work with mushrooms in this article.


Undercover cops break Facebook rules to track protesters, ensnare criminals
2018-10-05, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/undercover-cops-break-facebook-rules-tra...

In the summer of 2015, as Memphis exploded with protests over the police killing of a 19-year-old man, activists began hearing on Facebook from someone called Bob Smith. His profile picture [was] a Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of anti-government dissent. Smith acted as if he supported the protesters. Over the next three years, dozens of them accepted his friend requests, allowing him to observe private discussions. He described himself as a far-left Democrat, a “fellow protester” and a “man of color.” But Smith was not real. He was the creation of a white detective in the Memphis Police Department’s Office of Homeland Security whose job was to keep tabs on local activists. The detective, Tim Reynolds, outed himself in August under questioning by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, which sued the police department for allegedly violating a 1978 agreement that prohibited police from conducting surveillance of lawful protests. The revelation validated many activists’ distrust of local authorities. It also provided a rare look into the ways American law enforcement operates online. Social media monitoring - including the use of software to crunch data about people’s online activity - illustrates a policing “revolution” that has allowed authorities to not only track people but also map out their networks, said Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel at [the] Brennan Center for Justice. But there are few laws governing this kind of monitoring.

Note: Memphis police were recently reported to have systematically spied on community activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


The Pentagon is studying an insect army to defend crops. Critics fear a bioweapon.
2018-10-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/04/pentagon-is-studying-an-ins...

The Pentagon is studying whether insects can be enlisted to combat crop loss during agricultural emergencies. The bugs would carry genetically engineered viruses that could be deployed rapidly if critical crops such as corn or wheat became vulnerable to a drought, a natural blight or a sudden attack by a biological weapon. The concept envisions the viruses making genetic modifications ... during a single growing season. The program, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a warm and fuzzy name: “Insect Allies.” But some critics find the whole thing creepy. A team of skeptical scientists and legal scholars published an article in the journal Science on Thursday arguing that the Insect Allies program opens a “Pandora’s box" and involves technology that “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery.” The authors ... contend that Insect Allies could potentially be interpreted as a violation of an international treaty called the Biological Weapons Convention. “We argue that there is the risk that the program is seen as not justified by peaceful purposes,” [said] co-author Silja Voeneky, a professor of international law. She said the use of insects as a key feature of the program is particularly alarming, because insects could be deployed cheaply and surreptitiously by malevolent actors.

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


Viruses Spread by Insects to Crops Sound Scary. The Military Calls It Food Security.
2018-10-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/science/darpa-gene-editing.html

Within the Defense Department, one agency’s recent project sounds futuristic: millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks. But in a warning published Thursday in the journal Science, a group of independent scientists and lawyers objected. They argue that the endeavor is not so different from designing biological weapons - banned under international law since 1975 - that could swarm and destroy acres of crops. “Once you engineer a virus that spreads by insect, it is hard to imagine how you would ever control it,” said Guy Reeves, a researcher ... who contributed to the critique. “You haven’t just released a transmissible virus - you’ve released a disease,” he added. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa ... launched the Insect Allies research program in 2016, budgeting $45 million over four years to transform agricultural pests into vectors that can transfer protective genes into plants within one growing season. The critics said publishing the new research findings could establish “preliminary instruction manuals” for developing offensive biological weapons. Foreign military programs are often “driven by perception of competitors’ activities,” the critics warn, and “the mere announcement of this program may motivate other countries to develop their own capabilities in this arena — indeed, it may have already done so.”

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


Erik Prince, in Kabul, pushes privatization of the Afghan war
2018-10-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/erik-prince-in-kabul-p...

More than a year after his plan to privatize the Afghan war was first shot down by the Trump administration, Erik Prince returned late last month to Kabul to push the proposal on the beleaguered government in Afghanistan, where many believe he has the ear - and the potential backing - of the U.S. president. Prince swept through the capital, meeting with influential political figures within and outside the administration of President Ashraf Ghani. “He’s winning Afghans over with the assumption that he’s close to Trump,” said one well-informed Afghan. Prince also sparked what Ghani ... condemned as “a debate” within the country over “adding new foreign and unaccountable elements to our fight.” At the Pentagon, the head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, told reporters that “I absolutely do not agree” with Prince’s contention that he could win the war more quickly and for less money with a few thousand hired guns. Prince, the brother of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and a substantial contributor to Trump’s presidential campaign ... has made a controversial career out of providing security for hire. Since severing his ties to Blackwater - the company he founded that was accused of heavy-handed practices, including the killing of civilians, while under U.S. contract in Iraq - Prince has cycled through several iterations of the same business and now runs a Hong Kong-based company called Frontier Services.

Note: A 2015 article titled, "Former Blackwater gets rich as Afghan drug production hits record high" describes some of Eric Prince's previous business activities in Afghanistan. Prince's companies also got caught systematically defrauding the US government while serving as a "virtual extension of the CIA". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Psychedelic Mushrooms Are Closer to Medicinal Use
2018-10-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/science/magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-schedul...

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have recommended that psilocybin, the active compound in hallucinogenic mushrooms, be reclassified for medical use, potentially paving the way for the psychedelic drug to one day treat depression and anxiety. The suggestion to reclassify psilocybin from a Schedule I drug, with no known medical benefit, to a Schedule IV drug, which is akin to prescription sleeping pills, was part of a review to assess the safety and abuse of medically administered psilocybin. Before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify the drug, though, it has to clear extensive study and trials, which can take more than five years, the researchers wrote. The study comes as many Americans shift their attitudes toward the use of some illegal drugs. The widespread legalization of marijuana has helped demystify drug use, with many people now recognizing the medicinal benefits for those with anxiety, arthritis and other physical ailments. Psychedelics, like LSD and psilocybin, are illegal and not approved for medical or recreational use. But in recent years scientists and consumers have begun rethinking their use to combat depression and anxiety. Researchers who conducted the new study included Roland R. Griffiths, a professor ... at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who is one of the most prominent researchers on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs.


Earth could shrink to 100m across if particle accelerator experiments go wrong
2018-10-02, New Zealand Herald
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12135674

Professor Lord Martin Rees has revealed the "worst case scenario" for particle accelerators - and they could mean the end of Earth as we know it. He warns that if things went wrong, they could result in a black hole being formed, or the Earth being turned into a "hyperdense sphere". Particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout. While they have led to massive breakthroughs ... they also carry a high risk, Rees says in his new book On The Future: Prospects for Humanity. "Maybe a black hole could form," he writes. "The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets. Under some hypotheses a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth. Many of us are inclined to dismiss these risks as science fiction, but give the stakes they could not be ignored." Cern writes on their website "The LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) reaffirms and extends the conclusions of the 2003 report that LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern. Whatever the LHC will do, nature has already done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies."

Note: Why aren't any other media reporting on this vitally important topic? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the nature of reality.


California just passed its net neutrality law. The DOJ is already suing
2018-10-01, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/tech/california-net-neutrality-law/index.html

The Department of Justice said it is filing a lawsuit against the state of California over its new net neutrality protections, hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Sunday. The California law would be the strictest net neutrality protections in the country, and could serve as a blueprint for other states. Under the law, internet service providers will not be allowed to block or slow specific types of content or applications, or charge apps or companies fees for faster access to customers. The Department of Justice says the California law is illegal and that the state is "attempting to subvert the Federal Government's deregulatory approach" to the internet. Barbara van Schewick, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the California bill is on solid legal ground and that California is within its legal rights. California is the third state to pass its own net neutrality regulations, following Washington and Oregon. However, it is the first to match the thorough level of protections that had been provided by the Obama-era federal net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in June. At least some other states are expected to model future net neutrality laws on California's. The original FCC rules included a two page summary and more than 300 additional pages with additional protections and clarifications on how they worked. While other states mostly replicated the two-page summary, California took longer crafting its law in order to match the details in the hundreds of supporting pages.

Note: Read how the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality policymaking process was heavily manipulated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'They're drug dealers in Armani suits': executives draw focus amid US epidemic
2018-09-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/30/theyre-drug-dealers-in-armani...

The mayor of the West Virginia city that has come to symbolize America’s opioid epidemic has called for the jailing of pharmaceutical company executives he likens to street corner drug dealers. Steve Williams, mayor of ... a city ravaged by prescription pill and heroin addiction, said he wants to see executives face criminal prosecution, after it was revealed that a member of the family that made billions of dollars from the painkiller that unleashed the epidemic stands to profit further after he was granted a patent for an anti-addiction medicine. “They are drug dealers in Armani suits,” said Williams. “The decisions that have been made within the pharmaceutical industry have ravaged our nation.” In June, Massachusetts became the first state to sue individual executives and owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug, OxyContin, which kicked off the biggest drug epidemic in American history, estimated to be killing more than 115 people a day. The lawsuit seeks to recover the billions of dollars in profit banked by members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue. Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey, accused the company and its officials of knowingly profiting from overdoses and death. “Purdue Pharma and its executives built a multi-billion-dollar business based on deception and addiction. The more drugs they sold, the more money they made,” she said in announcing the lawsuit.

Note: According to a former DEA agent, Congress helped drug companies fuel the opioid epidemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


More than half the world’s population is now middle class
2018-09-30, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/e3fa475c-c2e9-11e8-95b1-d36dfef1b89a

More than half the world’s population is for the first time living in households earning enough to be considered middle or upper class, with five people joining their ranks every second. The rapid growth of the middle class, most of which is taking place in Asia, will have significant economic and political effects, as people become more demanding of businesses and governments, said Kristofer Hamel, chief operating officer of World Data Lab, the non-profit organisation that compiled the figures. “The milestone is important because the middle class is the engine of modern economies,” Mr Hamel said, adding that about half of global economic demand is generated by household consumption, with half of this coming from the middle class. The World Data Lab defines middle class as someone earning between $11 and $110 per day, on a 2011 purchasing power parity basis, a benchmark used by many organisations and governments, including India and Mexico. It concluded earlier this month that 3.59bn people make up the global middle class, and forecast that the group would grow to 5.3bn by 2030. Almost 90 per cent of the new middle class is expected to be found in Asia. By 2030, the spending power of the American middle class will remain the greatest in the world — at about $16tn on a 2011 PPP basis — with China ($14tn) and India ($12tn) not far behind.

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


New Benchmark Will Rank Companies On Their SDG Success
2018-09-29, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2018/09/29/new-benchmark-will-rank-com...

In the world of social enterprise and impact investing, perhaps the most universally accepted guide is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals [SDG]. Introduced in 2015, the 17 inter-connected goals now form an organizing principle for many entrepreneurs, as well as investors. To monitor and track how successful all that activity is, you ... need consistent benchmarks for measuring and comparing just how all those companies are doing. That’s where the World Benchmarking Alliance comes in. Recently announced at the United Nations General Assembly, it will develop free, publicly available benchmarks which will rank companies on their contributions to achieving the SDGs. With that in hand, everyone from consumers and investors to governments will have a comprehensive tool for deciding where to spend their money. Ultimately, the goal is to clarify what society expects from business. Some examples of factors in various benchmarks: For the SDG category of food and agriculture, they would include whether companies are producing food in an environmentally friendly way and ensuring acceptable livelihoods for farmers. For climate and energy, they would show to what extent companies in high carbon-emitting industries are contributing to the Paris Agreement. The aim is to develop all the benchmarks by 2023 to assess the world’s largest 2,000 companies. The first crop, due to be published in 2020, will address food and agriculture, climate and energy digital inclusion and gender equality and empowerment.

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


Crystal Mason begins prison sentence in Texas for crime of voting
2018-09-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/28/crystal-mason-begins-prison-s...

Crystal Mason, the woman who became the poster child for voter suppression when she was sentenced to five years for casting a ballot in Texas, has gone into federal prison. Mason’s crime was to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election. An African American woman, she had been encouraged by her mother to do her civic duty and vote. When she turned up to the polling station her name was not on the register, so she cast a provisional ballot that was never counted. She did not read the small print of the form that said that anyone who has been convicted of a felony – as she had, having previously been convicted of tax fraud – was prohibited from voting under Texas law. For casting a vote that was not counted, she will now serve 10 months in the federal system. While locked up it is likely that her final appeals in state court will be exhausted, which means she could be passed at the end of the 10 months directly to state custody for a further five years. Her lawyer, Alison Grinter, said she was dismayed to see Mason ripped from her family. “This is an act of voter intimidation, not the will of a free people.” Grinter added: Texas ... has one of the most strict voter ID laws in the country. Fort Worth ... has been particularly hardline, not only prosecuting Mason but also going after a Hispanic woman, Rosa Ortega, for mistakenly voting as a non-US citizen. Ortega, 37, who had permanent resident status in the US having come to the country as an infant, was sentenced to eight years in prison to be followed by deportation.

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


The Crisis of Election Security
2018-09-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/magazine/election-security-crisis-midterms...

As the 2018 elections approach, the American intelligence community is issuing increasingly dire warnings about potential interference from Russia and other countries. D.H.S. has now conducted remote-scanning and on-site assessments of state and county election systems. These [measures] don’t address core vulnerabilities in voting machines or the systems used to program them. And they ignore the fact that many voting machines that elections officials insist are disconnected from the internet — and therefore beyond the reach of hackers — are in fact accessible by way of the modems they use to transmit vote totals on election night. Add to this the fact that states don’t conduct robust postelection audits ... and there’s a good chance we simply won’t know if someone has altered the digital votes in the next election. How did our election system get so vulnerable, and why haven’t officials tried harder to fix it? The answer, ultimately, comes down to politics and money: The voting machines are made by well-connected private companies that wield immense control over their proprietary software, often fighting vigorously in court to prevent anyone from examining it when things go awry. The stakes are high. But the focus on Russia, or any would-be election manipulators, ignores the underlying issue — the myriad vulnerabilities that riddle the system and the ill-considered decisions that got us here.

Note: The major media have severely neglected reporting on elections manipulations that have been going on for many decades. For undeniable evidence of this, see our Elections Information Center.


How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you've never heard of
2018-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/26/koch-brothers-americans-for-p...

A little-known, billionaire-funded organization, called Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has tilted American politics to the right. [It] is at the center of the political network created and directed by the billionaire conservative industrialists, Charles and David Koch. AFP has quietly pushed behind the scenes for many of the most important conservative victories across the nation, including the anti-union bills that passed in former union strongholds such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. AFP’s laser-like focus on anti-union legislation ... reflects strategic calculations. AFP has recognized that to make lasting change in US politics, the Koch network would need to permanently weaken the organizations that support liberal candidates and causes – and above all, the labor movement. In constructing AFP, the Kochs have created a vehicle that is perfectly positioned to reshape American politics. AFP focuses on both elections and policy battles at all levels of government. Its activities are mostly centrally directed. And even though grassroots participants do not have much say in the direction of the group, AFP has nearly 3 million citizen activists signed up to mobilize for candidates and policy causes. Taken together, AFP’s grassroots volunteers and staffing rival those of the Republican party itself. By providing resources to support GOP candidates and officials, and exerting leverage on them once elected, AFP has been able to pull the Republican party to the far right on economic, tax and regulatory issues.

Note: The Koch brothers' secretive empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. Along with opposing organized labor, this empire has been killing public transit projects across the country. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


The man who beat Monsanto: 'They have to pay for not being honest'
2018-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/25/monsanto-dewayne-johnson-can...

Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying. Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live. The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller. Johnson ... was the first person to take Monsanto to trial on allegations that the global seed and chemical company spent decades hiding the cancer risks of its herbicide. He is also the first to win. The groundbreaking verdict further stated that Monsanto “acted with malice” and knew or should have known that its chemicals were “dangerous”. The chemical that changed Johnson’s life is glyphosate, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974. The corporation presented the herbicide as a technological breakthrough that could kill nearly every weed without posing dangers to humans or the environment. Roundup products are now registered in 130 countries. Glyphosate can be found in food, water sources and agricultural workers’ urine. Research ... has repeatedly raised concerns about potential harms linked to the herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


There Were 1 Billion Monarch Butterflies. Now There Are 93 Million.
2018-09-26, Yahoo/Esquire
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/were-1-billion-monarch-butterflies-150300...

The Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus, which is an actual thing, held a bipartisan twilight event that involved the release of 50 monarch butterflies into the darkening sky. This was a nice moment. As Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, said, "We should all be able to agree on butterflies." The CPPC is serious business. Between the destruction of monarch habitats ... and the ongoing mystery of colony collapse among the bees, American agriculture is endangered. In 2017, according to the Center For Biological Diversity, the overwintering population of monarchs dropped by a third. The butterfly's dramatic decline has been driven in large part by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops. The vast majority of U.S. corn and soybeans are genetically engineered for resistance to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, a potent killer of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar's only food. The dramatic surge in the use of Roundup ... has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in the Midwest's corn and soybean fields. Overall monarchs have declined by more than 80 percent over the past two decades. In the mid-1990s the population was estimated at nearly one billion butterflies, but this year’s population is down to approximately 93 million butterflies. The [Trump] administration is determined to defang the Endangered Species Act while a review of the monarch's status under the ESA is pending.

Note: Recently, Monsanto's Roundup herbicide was also linked to the rapid decline of bee populations by a major study. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs.


Japan's Space Rovers Send Pictures Back After First Ever Successful Landing On Asteroid
2018-09-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/asteroid-japan-rove...

Two tiny robots have landed safely on an asteroid after a Japanese spacecraft dropped them there on Friday. The scientists behind the historic mission expressed their delight as the rovers sent back the first images from the surface of the space rock Ryugu. Dubbed MINERVA-II1, the robotic explorers are the first of their kind to be successfully landed on an asteroid. The Japanese space agency JAXA announced that both units were operational after a period of silence between the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa-2 depositing them and connection being established with the team on Earth. “I cannot find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realise mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid,” said Hayabusa-2 project manager Dr Yuichi Tsuda. The rovers will use the low gravity conditions on Ryugu to hop across the asteroid’s surface, measuring temperatures and sending images back to Earth via Hayabusa-2. “I was so moved to see these small rovers successfully explore an asteroid surface because we could not achieve this at the time of Hayabusa, 13 years ago,” said project mission manager Dr Makoto Yoshikawa. The small rovers are the first component of Hayabusa-2’s mission to Ryugu. Next month the spacecraft will deploy an explosive device to blast a hole in the asteroid, allowing rock samples to be taken from its depths. Following that it will release a French-German landing vehicle known as the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) to explore the surface in greater detail.

Note: Check out the fascinating photos of an actual asteroid at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'Our time is now': world youth poll reveals unexpected optimism
2018-09-24, The Guardian (one of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2018/sep/24/our...

Teenagers in Kenya and Mexico are more optimistic about their future than those in France and Sweden, according to polling across 15 countries, which found young people in developing nations have more positive outlooks. The survey, conducted by Ipsos ... found young people across all countries were more optimistic than adults, though there was widespread dissatisfaction with politicians. More than nine in 10 teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China, Nigeria and India reported feeling positive about their future. Their responses contrasted with those of young people in France and Sweden, the most pessimistic of countries surveyed. Dr Alex Awiti, from Aga Khan University, who has researched youth attitudes across east Africa, said young people in the region are optimistic because they know that their voices count. “If young people want to mobilise, all the governments in east Africa could be toppled within a matter of days,” he said. “What is impressive is young people across east Africa really know what they want.” Awiti pointed to the large numbers of youth-led organisations in countries such as Kenya, where under-35s make up about 80% of the population. Young people are still, however, under-represented in politics.

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


Death at Delta Sig: Heiress Wages a Million-Dollar War on Frats
2018-09-24, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-09-24/death-at-delta-sig-heiress...

Deborah Tipton settles down to study the evidence once again. She pores over the [pages] containing text messages from her dead son. “Getting hazed bad now and need Xanax. I didn’t even sleep last night and was shaking ... What could they do that’s so bad in two hours. They’re just going to yell at us a bunch and maybe make us work out or eat something nasty. They can’t kill us.” Tipton has struggled to untangle the last hours of her son’s life ever since March 26, 2012. Robert [was] a junior at High Point University in North Carolina. The authorities would later rule his death an accident, a drug overdose, another example of fraternity partying run amok. Case closed. To his mother, however, it remains very much open. Her singular quest to solve it may test the power of America’s college fraternities, which ... tap into an unrivaled alumni network of presidents, members of Congress, corporate executives and Wall Street investors. Tipton says she has found plenty to make her question the official story. Autopsy photos showed ... bruises on his face, around his neck and on his legs and buttocks, as well as a jagged gash on his head. A police detective had jotted down notes. “Bruises?’” she scrawled. “Talk to Frat Brothers.” Tipton says the university is covering up the truth. Parents like Deborah Tipton are fighting to pierce the veil of secrecy that has protected fraternities for two centuries on American college campuses. Grieving families are pushing to investigate deaths once dismissed as roughhousing gone wrong.

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


Study: ‘Toxic Air Events’ Happening On More Flights Than FAA Reports
2018-09-24, CBS (San Francisco affiliate)
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/09/24/study-shows-toxic-air-events-hap...

A flawed design in almost all airplanes is putting flight attendants and pilots at risk, and passengers can unknowingly become victims as well. On July 16, 2018, at 3:43 p.m., Flight 1097 ... made an emergency landing. There were sick passengers on board. “People were being hospitalized,” said an Alaska Airlines flight attendant. We’re calling her Jane to ... protect her from feared retaliation. “The crew felt symptoms of nausea. That is what caused the diversion,” said Jane. Contaminated air leaked into the cabin on that diverted flight and that it wasn’t the first time it had happened. It is what’s known in the industry as a “fume event”. Workers ... are fearful of speaking out. “Anybody who is trying to communicate about these instances, they have been pulled in by the company and threatened with their jobs,” said Jane. The travelling public is, for the most part, unaware that they could be at risk. “[The airlines] have known about it for a long time,” said aviation attorney Mike Danko. “We get about five fume events per day in the U.S.” Danko says toxic cabin air has been a known concern ... going back 50 years. At extremely high temperatures, all oils used in jet engines give off fumes. “The fumes contain ... neurotoxins. Same stuff that is used in nerve gas,” explained Danko. “We have had cases where one pilot was essentially totally incapacitated, and the other pilot although having difficulties managed to land the plane, and that has happened more than a few times, without question,” said Danko.

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


Meet The White Nationalist Who Walked Away From It All
2018-09-24, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rising-out-of-hatred-derek-black-white-n...

Derek Black was the heir apparent to America’s white nationalist movement. He was the son of Don Black, the founder of the hate site Stormfront and the godson of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the KKK. The kingdom was Derek Black’s for the taking. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, he walked away from it all. In the new book “Rising Out of Hatred” by Washington Post investigative reporter Eli Saslow, the story of how Black came to leave it all behind is told. Saslow dives deep into Black’s transformation, which took place at a small liberal arts college. When members of the student body discovered a white nationalist living in their midst, many of them publicly shamed him. But a handful of students did the opposite, practicing a form of extreme acceptance. "When I first found [Derek Black], he was unequivocal that he did not want to be written about," [said Saslow]. "He naively thought he could leave it all behind. Meanwhile, white nationalism was seeing a rise in the political space. There were ... phrases he had helped popularize becoming mainstream. Derek felt increasingly culpable. He was haunted by it. That’s when he decided he needed to start talking about it more openly." Derek was on a campus that was ... social justice minded. Students were smart enough to be able to explain concepts like systematic oppression and privilege. But coming from people he respected, those ideas suddenly had real merit to him. He took time to engage and really think about it."

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


'Treating protest as terrorism': US plans crackdown on Keystone XL activists
2018-09-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/20/keystone-pipeline-protest...

Angeline Cheek is preparing for disaster. The indigenous organizer from the Fort Peck reservation in Montana fears that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline could break and spill. But environmental catastrophe is not the most immediate threat. The government has characterized pipeline opponents like her as “extremists” and violent criminals and warned of potential “terrorism”. Recently released records [suggest] that police were organizing to launch an aggressive response to possible Keystone protests, echoing the actions against the Standing Rock movement in North Dakota. There, officers engaged in intense surveillance and faced widespread accusations of excessive force. Documents obtained by the ACLU ... have renewed concerns from civil rights advocates about the government’s treatment of indigenous activists known as water protectors. Notably, one record revealed that authorities hosted a recent “anti-terrorism” training session in Montana. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency also organized a “field force operations” training to teach “mass-arrest procedures”, “riot-control formations” and other “crowd-control methods”.

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


How Golf Digest and College Students Helped Free a Man Wrongly Convicted of Murder
2018-09-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/nyregion/Valentino-Dixon-golf-digest-exone...

There were dozens of witnesses when a gunfight broke out on a street corner in Buffalo on Aug. 10, 1991. Torriano Jackson, 17, was killed. Valentino Dixon, then 21, was at the scene. Hours later, he was arrested. And in 1992, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to almost 40 years to life in prison. For years, Mr. Dixon fought that conviction from behind bars, insisting on his innocence. No physical evidence had ever connected him to the murder, and another man had confessed to it more than once. His murder conviction was vacated on Wednesday, and Mr. Dixon, 48, walked free. As he struggled to get his conviction overturned, Mr. Dixon got help from ... Martin Tankleff, who was imprisoned for 17 years after being wrongly convicted of murdering his parents. In prison, [Dixon] liked to draw detailed landscapes in colored pencil. Golf courses were a frequent subject. That caught the interest of journalists at Golf Digest, and the magazine profiled Mr. Dixon. In 2017, a new district attorney, John Flynn, took office in Erie County. And in 2018, a course called the Prison Reform Project was offered for the first time at Georgetown University ... with Mr. Tankleff [serving] as an adjunct professor. Three students chose Mr. Dixon’s case and gathered evidence. Their work helped Donald M. Thompson, a lawyer for Mr. Dixon, make his case to the district attorney’s office. Mr. Flynn, the district attorney, said the newly discovered evidence from various witnesses attesting to Mr. Dixon’s innocence was deemed credible.

Note: Read the Golf Digest profile featuring Mr. Dixon's artwork which brought much-needed attention to his wrongful incarceration. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Octopuses Get Strangely Cuddly On The Mood Drug Ecstasy
2018-09-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/20/648788149/octopuses-get-...

The psychoactive drug known as ecstasy can make people feel extra loving toward others. A study published Thursday suggests it has the same effect on octopuses. Octopuses are almost entirely antisocial, except when they're mating. Scientists who study them have to house them separately so they don't kill or eat each other. However, octopuses given the drug known as MDMA (or ecstasy, E, Molly or a number of other slang terms) wanted to spend more time close to other octopuses and even hugged them. Octopuses' ... brains have a host of strange structures that evolved on a completely different trajectory from the human path. "They have this huge complex brain that ... has absolutely no business acting like ours does — but here they show that it does," says [neuroscientist Judit] Pungor. "This ... gentle, cuddly behavior is really pretty fascinating." The idea to test the drug's effect in octopuses came from Gul Dolen, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University. "My lab has been studying MDMA for a long time, she says, "and we have worked out a lot of neural mechanisms that enable MDMA to have ... pro-social effects." Dolen got interested in octopuses a few years ago, when scientists sequenced the full genetic code of a ... California two-spot octopus. It turns out that octopuses and people have almost identical genes for a protein that binds the signaling molecule serotonin to brain cells. This protein is also the target of MDMA, so Dolen wondered how the drug would affect this usually unfriendly animal.

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


Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings
2018-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/se...

Recently, secret documents have been unearthed detailing what the energy industry knew about the links between their products and global warming. In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels. in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections. The effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge.

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


MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy, could be key in helping veterans with PTSD
2018-09-18,
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mdma-the-main-ingredient-in-ecstasy-could-be-key...

It's the little things that Jon Lubecky appreciates now, like playing a board game with his family. But it wasn't always that way for the former Army sniper, who came home in 2006 after nearly a year in Iraq with a traumatic brain injury from a mortar attack and a nasty case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traditional treatments, including the use of antidepressants like Zoloft, were useless. Over three sessions, Lubecky spent six to eight hours under the influence of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy. Finally, Lubecky was able to talk about his trauma and thus make progress dealing with it. Rick Doblin runs the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a non-profit advocating for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. "It starts by reducing activity in the amygdala, which is the fear-processing part of the brain, so that people's fearful emotions linked to trauma can be more easily recalled and processed," Doblin said. Once the drug produces feelings of safety, veterans can then access memories which had been crippling before. While one in three veterans found pills like Zoloft and Paxil effective in treating their PTSD, a study including 24 veterans showed PTSD was eliminated in 68 percent of vets treated with MDMA-assisted therapy and significantly reduced in the other 32 percent. MDMA-assisted therapy is now about to begin its third phase of FDA testing. If all goes well, MDMA will be available by prescription as early as 2021.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs.


Microfragmentation: a breakthrough for coral reef restoration
2018-09-18, Medium.com
https://medium.com/@amykwilson/microfragmentation-a-breakthough-for-coral-ree...

The benefits coral reefs provide are endless. Not only are they the home of up to 9 million species but are a source of food, medicine, cosmetics and tourism. Unfortunately, coral reefs around the world are declining at a rapid rate due to ... human-related factors. In some areas of Florida and the Caribbean, coral cover has declined by 50–80 per cent in just the last three decades. Coral scientists are working hard to restore corals as fast as possible. At the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration they have managed to develop a micro-fragmentation and fusion method to speed the growth of ... important reef-building species [of coral], known for their slow growth in the wild. The fragmentation technique consists of breaking the corals into smaller pieces of 1 to 5 polyps, using a specialised saw. This stimulates the coral tissue to grow ... at 25 to 50 times the normal growth rate. The fragments are then placed in their shallow water tanks. Algal growth and debris are removed regularly. Clone fragments recognise each other so instead of fighting each other for resources [they] fuse together to form larger colonies. After 4- 12 months the fully grown corals are now ready to be planted back into the ocean or fragmented to restart the process. Labs are able to fragment, grow and recombine corals in under 2 years to a size which would normally take 100 years. They have now successfully planted more than 20,000 corals onto depleted reefs in the Florida Keys.

Note: Watch an inspiring three-minute video on this process.


Former Fugitive Pablo Duran Sr. Pleads Guilty in Trafficking Case
2018-09-18, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/former-fugitive-pablo-duran-sr-ple...

Former fugitive Pablo Duran, Sr., who sat down in an exclusive interview with FRONTLINE for its investigation Trafficked in America, has pleaded guilty to encouraging illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals, some of them minors, for financial gain. His plea and conviction are part of a major trafficking plot in 2014 that saw Guatemalan teenagers smuggled across the border into America and compelled into grueling labor at egg farms in Ohio against their will. Duran, Sr., also known as Pablo Duran Ramirez, is one of seven people to have been convicted for their role in the case. Duran Ramirez admitted he had been fully aware some of the people brought on at Trillium Farms in Ohio were undocumented minors, and that the process of getting them to Ohio involved bullying and strong-arm tactics. Duran Ramirez co-owned a contracting company, Haba Corporate Services, which Trillium Farms hired and paid approximately $6 million to between 2013 and 2014 to find workers. One family ... owed Castillo-Serrano $15,000 for shuttling their son into the United States. The family put the deed of their house on the line as collateral. Once in the U.S., the young Guatemalans were sent to the egg farm to work off their parents’ debt - and routinely had most of their paycheck confiscated to cover it. If they complained, they became targets. “Many of my friends told me that they received death threats,” one former Trillium employee [said]. “They would kill their father or mother, if they didn’t want to pay or work.”

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


Governments Can Spy on Journalists in the U.S. Using Invasive Foreign Intelligence Process
2018-09-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/09/17/journalists-fisa-court-spying/

The U.S. government can monitor journalists under a foreign intelligence law that allows invasive spying and operates outside the traditional court system, according to newly released documents. Targeting members of the press under the law, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, requires approval from the Justice Department’s highest-ranking officials. Prior to the release of these documents, little was known about the use of FISA court orders against journalists. Previous attention had been focused on the use of National Security Letters against members of the press; the letters are administrative orders with which the FBI can obtain certain ... records without a judge’s oversight. FISA court orders can authorize much more invasive searches and collection, including the content of communications, and do so through hearings conducted in secret and outside the sort of ... judicial process that allows journalists and other targets of regular criminal warrants to eventually challenge their validity. The rules apply to media entities or journalists who are thought to be agents of a foreign government, or ... possess foreign intelligence information. “There’s a lack of clarity on the circumstances when the government might consider a journalist an agent of a foreign power,” said [Knight Institute staff attorney Ramya] Krishnan. “Think about WikiLeaks; the government has said they are an intelligence operation.”

Note: In its latest instruction manual for federal prosecutors, the US Justice Department removed a subsection titled “Need for Free Press and Public Trial”. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Ten Years After The Financial Crisis, The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself
2018-09-15, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/financial-crisis-10-years-later-ben-bern...

By the time Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in American history on Sept. 15, 2008, the country had been navigating stormy global financial waters for more than a year. Throughout the mess, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury had been permitting the largest banks in the country to funnel as much cash as they wanted to their shareholders ― even as it became clear those same banks could not pay their debts. Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner ... didn’t really rescue the banking system. They transformed it into an unaccountable criminal syndicate. Since the crash, the biggest Wall Street banks have been caught laundering drug money, violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Cuba, bribing foreign government officials, making illegal campaign contributions to a state regulator and manipulating the market for U.S. government debt. Citibank, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and UBS even pleaded guilty to felonies for manipulating currency markets. Not a single human being has served a day in jail for any of it. As a percentage of each family’s overall wealth, the poorer you were, the more you lost in the crash. The top 1 percent of U.S. households ultimately captured more than half of the economic gains over the course of the Obama years, while the bottom 99 percent never recovered their losses from the crash. The result has been a predictable and terrifying resurgence of authoritarian politics unseen since the Second World War.

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


Solar observatory closed due to
2018-09-15, CBS/Associated Press
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sunspot-solar-observatory-closed-new-mexico-ongo...

An observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the sun has found itself at the center of a mystery that is creating a buzz here on earth. Authorities [say] only that an undisclosed security concern was behind the decision to abruptly vacate and lock up the remote facility on Sept 6. The Sunspot Solar Observatory has been closed for more than a week. The FBI referred all questions to the group that manages the site, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The vagueness continued to fuel speculation. The telescope at Sunspot was originally built by the U.S. Air Force. After several years of operation, it was transferred to the National Solar Observatory, which is part of the National Science Foundation. Sunspot's one-of-a-kind telescope produces some of the sharpest images of the sun available in the world, officials said.

Note: Watch NASA footage showing very strange objects occluding the sun at exactly the time this solar observatory was closed and evacuated. What did someone not want us to know for "security" reasons? The official explanation leaves many questions unanswered.


Transparency Hasn’t Stopped Drug Companies From Corrupting Medical Research
2018-09-14, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/opinion/jose-baselga-research-disclosure-b...

In order to get prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, companies must conduct clinical trials to show that the drugs are safe and effective. But drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, so they’ve always contracted with academic researchers to conduct the trials on patients in teaching hospitals and clinics. Traditionally, they gave grants to the institutions for interested researchers to test their drugs, then waited for the results and hoped that their products looked good. That began to change in the 1980s, partly as a result of a new law that permitted researchers and their institutions, even if funded by the National Institutes of Health ... to patent their discoveries and license them exclusively to drug companies in return for royalties. That made them business partners, and the sponsors became intimately involved in all aspects of the clinical trials. Drug company involvement biases research in ways that are not always obvious, often by suppressing negative results. A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies — that is, studies that showed that a drug was effective — were published. But 33 of 36 negative studies were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome. Bias can also be introduced through the design of a clinical trial. It’s often possible to make clinical trials come out the way you and your sponsors want. Disclosure is better than no disclosure, but it does not eliminate the conflict of interest.

Note: The above was written by Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. For more, see this mercola.com article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Parma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Manafort’s guilty plea exposes hardball tactics he used to thrive in Washington swamp
2018-09-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manaforts-guilty-plea-exposes-hardbal...

Before he was Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort embraced extreme tactics in his lobbying efforts. He enlisted a foreign politician who was secretly on his payroll to deliver a message to President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. And he gleefully fueled allegations that an Obama Cabinet member who had spoken out against his Ukrainian client was an anti-Semite. With his guilty plea Friday, Manafort admitted the lengths to which he went to manipulate the American political system and the media for massive profit, exposing how he thrived in the Washington swamp that Trump railed against during his campaign. By pleading guilty, Manafort agreed that he knew he was required by law to publicly report that a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party was paying him and his stable of lobbyists, which included former leaders of Austria, Poland and Italy. Instead, he operated in the dark, working diligently to keep his lobbying for Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych a secret and pocketing millions routed through offshore bank accounts to hide his work and avoid paying taxes. Trump has downplayed Manafort’s wrongdoing. “What he did, some of the charges they threw against him, every consultant, every lobbyist in Washington probably does,” the president told Fox News. Paul Miller, who runs the Institute for Lobbying and Ethics ... acknowledged that there is a “widespread problem” of lobbyists failing to register their activities. But Manafort went far beyond that, Miller said.

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


Ten Years After the Crash, We’ve Learned Nothing
2018-09-13, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/financial-crisis-ten-...

On Saturday, September 13th, 2008, the world was about to end. The New York Federal Reserve was a zoo. The crowd included future Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then-Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Hank Paulson, the representatives of multiple regulatory offices, and the CEOs of virtually every major bank in New York. In the twin collapses of top-five investment bank Lehman Brothers and insurance giant AIG, Wall Street saw a civilization-imperiling ball of debt hurtling its way. The legend of that meeting ... is that the tough-minded bank honchos found a way to scrape up just enough cash to steer the debt-comet off course. The plan included a federal bailout of incompetent AIG, along with key mergers – Bank of America buying Merrill, Barclays swallowing the sinking hull of Lehman, etc. The legend is bull. Accurate chronicles of the crisis period [include] the just-released Financial Exposure by Elise Bean of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The crisis response dramatically accelerated two huge problems. First, we made Too Big To Fail worse by making the companies even bigger and more dangerous through ... state-aided mergers. In the next crisis, letting losers lose will be even more unimaginable. Secondly, an already-serious economic inequality issue became formalized. The people responsible for the crisis weren’t just saved, but made beneficiaries of another decade of massive unearned profits.

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


The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain
2018-09-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/opinion/pope-catholics-sexual-abuse.html

Pope Francis has summoned senior bishops from around the world for the first global gathering of Roman Catholic leaders to address the crisis of clerical pedophilia. The action is long overdue. The latest barrage of revelations and developments - including a gut-wrenching report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania detailing seven decades of sexual abuse of at least 1,000 children, and probably thousands more, by more than 300 Catholic priests - has left no question that Pope Francis’ legacy will be decided by how he confronts this crisis. To be meaningful, any further response must include openly addressing allegations that the pope was himself party to a cover-up. The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, met with the pope on Thursday to demand a full investigation into how the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, rose to high rank despite a long and apparently well-known history of sexual predation. The crisis has been further complicated by a scathing public letter from a former Vatican envoy to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganň, accusing Francis of lifting sanctions against Cardinal McCarrick. The Viganň letter, the culture wars it reveals within the church, the McCarrick affair and even the Pennsylvania grand jury report must not deflect attention from the core of the crisis. This is a pattern of widespread and gross violations ... and of cover-ups stretching [to every corner of] the world.

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


Abusive media moguls harmed more than just individual women. They shaped a misogynistic culture.
2018-09-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/abusive-media-moguls-harmed-mo...

The powerful and now-departed men of CBS - [Les] Moonves, [Jeff] Fager and star interviewer Charlie Rose - helped shape how our society sees women. The network, after all, is the most-watched in the nation. “60 Minutes” for 50 years has been the very definition of quality broadcast journalism: the gold standard. It’s impossible to know how different America would be if power-happy and misogynistic men hadn’t been running the show in so many influential media organizations - certainly not just CBS. What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as ... “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.) What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time? (O’Reilly was forced out after it emerged that he had made a $32 million settlement with an accuser.) What if Roger Ailes hadn’t presided for decades over Fox News, where his own well-documented abuses bled freely into his network’s commentary. A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm. He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line. All these little moments add up.

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


To narrow toxic divides, students build bridges between faiths
2018-09-12, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/to-narrow-toxic-divides-students-build-brid...

As part of the Interfaith Youth Core, students and educators from colleges around the nation are coming together to find common ground while respecting differences. The nonprofit was founded on the notion that ... a 21st century democracy can thrive only if its citizens have the skills to successfully navigate divides of all kinds. Eboo Patel is the founder and president of the organization, the largest of its kind in North America. Patel is Muslim, born in Mumbai, India, and raised in middle-class suburban Chicago. There are chapters on nearly 500 campuses now, focusing on service in the community, pressing issues on campus, and making meaningful cooperation with others a normal part of the college experience in and outside the classroom. "I was a big part of both the diversity and the service learning movements in college," [said Patel]. "And part of the intersection of that movement was the idea that you bring people from different racial and class and geographic backgrounds together to do service. That doesn't mean we're going to agree on every election. That doesn't mean we're going to agree on economic policy, but we can start a baseball league together. We can help make the school play successful. We can participate in disaster relief efforts together. If we're not willing to do the work of citizens with other citizens, you can't have a healthy, diverse democracy."

Note: Eboo Patel recently released a book titled "Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise." Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


This breakthrough in a type of photosynthesis could provide the world with unlimited energy
2018-09-12, MarketWatch
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-breakthrough-in-a-type-of-photosynthes...

Imagine a new, potent generation of solar panels capable of producing unlimited amounts of energy, using only sunshine and algae. This could be possible, thanks to a breakthrough made by researchers from the University of Cambridge, documented in a Nature Energy 2018 article. They were able to split water into its components, oxygen and hydrogen, using what is known as semi-artificial photosynthesis. The procedure has ... never been used to generate large amounts of energy due to expensive and toxic catalysts necessary for the reaction. Photosynthesis [is] the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy. Oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis when water absorbed by plants is “split.” Most of the oxygen on Earth is here because of this photochemical reaction. Hydrogen ... is also produced this way. Now, by combining algae and man-made components, researchers have been able to bypass both natural inefficiency and the use of toxic reactants. This was achieved by enabling a dormant process in algae that uses a special enzyme (hydrogenase) to reduce water into hydrogen and oxygen. Katarzyna Sokol, a researcher on the project ... explains: "Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen. During evolution, this process has been deactivated because it wasn’t necessary for survival, but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to [split] water into hydrogen and oxygen."

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


Could yoga save prisoners from a life of crime?
2018-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/11/yoga-prisons-crime-cut-reoffe...

New research shows the meditative exercise improves mental health, reduces stress and can prevent reoffending. The power of yoga to change [a prisoner's] life is backed by two Swedish studies that found it may reduce reoffending. The new study, led by Professor Nóra Kerekes at University West, Trollhätten, in Sweden, and published last week in Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that 10 weeks of regular yoga can lead to a significant reduction in obsessive-compulsive and paranoid thinking, which in turn, say researchers, can make reoffending less likely. This effect is specific to yoga, and not to exercise in general, they found. It can also lead to a decrease in “somaticisation” (mental distress leading to physical symptoms such as breathing problems, heart pains and stomach upsets). The study of 152 volunteers in nine medium- and high-security prisons in Sweden builds on a 2017 study of the same volunteers that showed that yoga improved stress levels, concentration, sleep quality, psychological and emotional wellbeing, as well as reducing aggression and antisocial behaviour. A Prison Service spokeswoman says: “Research shows activities like this can make prisoners less likely to reoffend, keeping the public safer.” She was unable to explain why, given this evidence, it wasn’t government policy to make yoga available to all prisoners, but said it was up to individual prison governors to decide which activities to offer.

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


September 11: nearly 10,000 people affected by 'cesspool of cancer'
2018-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/10/911-attack-ground-zero-manhat...

John Mormando was in the best shape of his life – a marathon runner and triathlete training for an Ironman competition – when he noticed a small bump on his chest. He ... soon received the shocking diagnosis: breast cancer. Mormando, 51, was at a loss to explain his rare diagnosis. Then colleagues reminded him of the months he worked close to the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center. Tens of thousands of people who lived or worked in the neighborhood at the time found themselves breathing in air thick with toxic fumes and particles. Many have since become sick, many have died and new cases are still occurring. The latest example is a cluster of men who have developed breast cancer, including Mormando. The new cluster of male breast cancer diagnoses is just one face of a health crisis that is only getting worse 17 years after the terrorist attacks. New York is nearing a grim milestone: 10,000 people diagnosed with cancer linked to 9/11. Last week, FBI director Christopher Wray said he had lost three colleagues who responded to the 2001 attacks in the last six months alone. There were 9,375 members of the World Trade Center Health Program certified as having a related cancer as of the end of June. An additional 420 members who had cancer have died. In all, more than 43,000 people have been certified with a 9/11 related health condition. The head of the EPA at the time has admitted she was wrong to assure the public that the air around Ground Zero was safe.

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.


The White House’s new attack on the international system
2018-09-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/09/11/white-houses-new-attack-inter...

In his first major policy address since joining the White House in April, national security adviser John Bolton offered a particularly aggressive demonstration of President Trump's "America First" agenda. He threatened the International Criminal Court, a U.N.-mandated body based in The Hague, with punitive measures should it pursue an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. He warned that the United States would ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the country, sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system and punish any company or government that complies with an ICC investigation into Americans. The ICC's chief prosecutor announced last November that she had "reasonable evidence" to investigate allegations regarding the abuse, torture and even rape of at least 88 Afghan detainees, allegedly carried out by U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan and at clandestine CIA interrogation centers in Europe. The ICC is far from a perfect institution. But it still represents a key cog in the international system, and one that could yet provide justice for the hideous crimes of those like ... Myanmar's generals. Instead, it may yet become another casualty of Trump's wider war on liberal internationalism. "It is an all-out bid by Donald Trump to end the ICC, the world’s foremost criminal tribunal, and with it, the very concept of international justice," wrote the Guardian's Simon Tisdall. "Bolton is the man wielding the knife. And there is a strong possibility they will succeed."

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


Global demand for fossil fuels will peak in 2023, says thinktank
2018-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/11/global-energy-demand-fossil-...

Global demand for fossil fuels will peak in 2023, an influential thinktank has predicted. Explosive growth in wind and solar will combine with action on climate change and slowing growth in energy needs to ensure that fossil fuel demand peaks in the 2020s, Carbon Tracker predicted. The projection is much more bullish than estimates by the global energy watchdog and oil and gas companies, which mostly expect demand to peak in the mid-2030s. Coal reached its peak in 2014. The group, which popularised the notion of a carbon bubble – where fossil fuel assets lose their value in the switch to a low-carbon economy – said the findings spelled disruption for energy firms. The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has already warned that markets face a “huge hit” from the transition. The Carbon Tracker report warned incumbency and size would be no protection, and compared the fate of fossil fuel firms to the horse and cart at the start of the 20th century. “Demand for incumbents peaks early, and investors in incumbents lose money early,” it said. The first two decades of this century were the innovation period for renewables, the authors said, while the “endgame” for fossil fuels – when renewables overtake them – would come from 2050 onwards. Falling wind and solar costs would lead to some emerging countries “leapfrogging” fossil fuels and opting for renewables to meet most of their growing energy needs, the thinktank said.

Note: Ireland recently became the first country to fully divest from fossil fuels. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Mill Valley joins effort to constrain 5G proliferation
2018-09-09, Marin Independent Journal (The leading newspaper for Marin County, CA)
https://www.marinij.com/2018/09/09/mill-valley-joins-effort-to-constrain-5g-p...

The city of Mill Valley has enacted an urgency ordinance to regulate “small cell” towers amid concerns that cellphone companies want to grow their 5G networks and install new equipment in Marin [County]. The decision came on a unanimous vote by the City Council on Thursday, after residents from across Marin packed the council chambers as part of a campaign urging local officials to block cellphone companies from attempting to build 5G towers in the county. The issue is that 5G towers ... could exacerbate health symptoms already suspected as a result of exposure to electromagnetic fields. Those symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, ringing in the ears and increased cancer risk. San Anselmo and Ross have adopted ordinances similar to Mill Valley’s, while other Marin communities are struggling with how to develop rules, a task complicated by federal restrictions already in place. “There are some federal and state regulations that preempt local control,” said Fairfax Mayor Peter Lacques. Federal and state laws make it so municipalities cannot regulate: radio frequencies or electromagnetic waves that comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations, certain modifications to existing wireless telecommunications facilities, [or] the installation of wireless telecommunications facilities on existing utility poles in the public rights of way.

Note: The major media has failed to report on the strong grass roots campaign against the new 5G technology being rolled out across the world. Something smells fishy with all this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves Steps Down After Sexual Harassment Claims
2018-09-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/business/les-moonves-longtime-cbs-chief-ma...

Leslie Moonves, the longtime chief executive of the CBS Corporation, stepped down on Sunday night from the company he led for 15 years. His fall from Hollywood’s highest echelon was all but sealed after the publication earlier in the day of new sexual harassment allegations against him. Mr. Moonves ... could still walk away with more than $120 million. However, [he] will not receive any severance payment until the completion of an independent investigation into the allegations. He has been under intense pressure since July, when The New Yorker published an article by the investigative journalist Ronan Farrow in which six women accused Mr. Moonves of sexual harassment. On Sunday, the magazine published another article by Mr. Farrow in which six more women detailed claims against Mr. Moonves. Mr. Moonves is the latest high-powered entertainment figure to be ousted from his perch in the #MeToo era. The movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused by scores of women of sexual assault and now faces felony charges. Matt Lauer stepped down as the anchor of NBC’s most valuable news program, “Today,” after several women alleged incidents of sexual harassment. Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS left the airwaves after he, too, was implicated by multiple women. And Fox News saw the departures of the founding executive Roger Ailes and its top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly. The allegations go back years — in some cases even decades.

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


Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers
2018-09-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/americas/donald-trump-venezuela-mili...

The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro. One of the Venezuelan military commanders involved in the secret talks ... is on the American government’s own sanctions list of corrupt officials in Venezuela. He and other members of the Venezuelan security apparatus have been accused by Washington of a wide range of serious crimes, including torturing critics, jailing hundreds of political prisoners, wounding thousands of civilians, trafficking drugs and collaborating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States. In a series of covert meetings ... the military officers told the American government that they represented a few hundred members of the armed forces who had soured on Mr. Maduro’s authoritarianism. The officers asked the United States to supply them with encrypted radios, citing the need to communicate securely, as they developed a plan to install a transitional government. American officials did not provide material support, and the plans unraveled after a recent crackdown that led to the arrest of dozens of the plotters. On Feb. 1, Rex W. Tillerson ... delivered a speech in which he said the United States had not “advocated for regime change or removal of President Maduro.” Yet, responding to a question afterward, Mr. Tillerson raised the potential for a military coup.

Note: The US has a long history of supporting coups and human rights abuses in Latin America. The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Federal Judge expedites GA paper ballot lawsuit
2018-09-07, NBC News (Georgia affiliate)
https://www.wsav.com/news/your-local-election-hq/georgia-voters-watch-their-b...

Georgia and four other states do not use paper ballots as a backup for electronic voting machines. In Washington, a group of bi-partisan lawmakers are banding to mandate the extra security measure across the nation. But right now, the Secretary of State, Brian Kemp is facing a federal lawsuit because he's reluctant to make the change before the upcoming November 6 election. In 2017, an investigation into the current system which uses 15 year old voting kiosks, was determined in serious jeopardy. But nothing was done. Instead, several databases with vital information was missing that could've assisted in the remedy. Democrat candidate Lisa Ring says voters are complaining they've been expunged from the rolls, that their designated and confirmed polling place was closed when they arrived for the Primary election, even worse, some saw their vote changing in front of their eyes. Candidate Lisa Ring/(D) Georgia 1st District: "We've heard reports all over the state of these old machines often not taking a person's vote. It'll change. Change the vote. And, sometimes, if people don't catch it, we don't know if the vote is being recorded accurately." Georgia is facing other election concerns as well. There is controversy over the boundary line drawn for at least one voting district, several polls were almost closed in a majority black district and the lawsuit looming in federal court. Georgia voters head to the polls November 6 to elect a new governor.

Note: How strange that the article was initially titled "Georgia Voters Watch Their Ballots Mysteriously Switch," as you can tell by looking at the URL, yet then it was changed. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


A Dutch Teenager Had a Dream to Clean Up the World's Oceans. 7 Years On, It's Coming True
2018-09-07, Time
http://time.com/5389782/boyan-slat-plastic-ocean-cleanup/

Boyan Slat spends a lot of time thinking about the ocean. The Dutch inventor has designed the world’s first ocean plastic cleanup system. After five and a half years of hard work, the 23-year-old Slat will watch from dry land as System 001 — a floating barrier nearly 2,000ft long — snakes its way out under the Golden Gate Bridge into the Pacific. Its destination is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of plastic waste twice the size of Texas held in position by ocean currents between California and Hawaii. If all goes to plan ... an array of 60 systems could reduce the amount of plastic there by half by 2025. “I hope that this will be a turning point for the plastic pollution problem,” Slat [said]. “For sixty years it has only gotten worse and worse. Now hopefully we’re turning the tide.” The eradication of the garbage patch, and more broadly the salvation of our oceans, has been Slat’s single-minded goal ever since he was 16 years old, when a diving trip to Greece yielded more plastic bag sightings than fish. Struck by the idea for a floating barrier that could collect plastic using the power of ocean currents alone, he founded his company, The Ocean Cleanup, aged just 18. Because the system is solid rather than a net, Slat says sea life will be protected from becoming ensnared. The hope is that plastic will accumulate as if on a seashore, ready to be collected by boats and taken for recycling.

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


Beyond Alex Jones: Twitter and Facebook face heat over alleged bias
2018-09-07, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0907/Beyond-Alex-Jones-Twitter-and-Fa...

Two weeks ago, conservative commentator David Harris Jr. took a video of himself posting to Facebook. Why video something so common? Because he had a hunch what would happen. Sure enough, his post went through, but a photo of a letter that accompanied the post mysteriously vanished and did not show up in his feed until days later – proof, he said, that the sharing service was biased against conservatives. At a Wednesday House committee meeting, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was barraged with examples from Republican congressmen of how conservative voices were being suppressed on its service. On the same day, the US Department of Justice announced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would meet with state attorneys general to discuss concerns tech companies "may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The immediate result is increasing and bipartisan pressure for social media platforms to be more transparent about their algorithms and how they block certain content. Longer-term, the threat is more regulation of the platforms, something that even free-market conservatives are reluctantly talking about doing if social media doesn’t clean up its act. Twitter’s Dorsey and Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg repeatedly denied that their companies were trying to tip the scales for or against any party or political ideology. But the pileup of anecdotal evidence clearly has exasperated conservative lawmakers.

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


How This Fashion Brand Is Bringing Women From Israel And Palestine Together
2018-08-31, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellemartin/2018/08/31/how-fashion-is-bringin...

When retired American couple, Dr. Whitman Jones and his wife Paula created The Center for Emerging Futures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing some of the most difficult situations that humans face, they didn’t realize they would also be launching an innovative fashion brand soon thereafter. After visiting Israel and seeing the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians firsthand, Jones began looking for ways to facilitate peaceful connections that could transcend the conflict. Given the skill sets of women in the region, Jones had the idea to bring Israeli seamstresses and designers together with Palestinian embroiderers to create a high-end fashion collection that could create jobs and highlight talents from both sides of the conflict. The result, Two Neighbors ... is dedicated to bringing today’s opposing cultures in Israel and Palestine together by providing jobs for women and a pathway to collaboration and peace in a very broken society. Many of the women producing the goods, both Palestinian and Israeli, are often undereducated, so the Two Neighbors team equips the women with the tools and training needed to make the business run efficiently. The ultimate goal is for the US partners to exit the company. At the end of the day, Two Neighbors is about creating peace at the ground level through individuals. Their mission is creating beautiful products through a shared humanity and their most significant achievement is the partnership created among team members in Israel and Palestine.

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


Ronan Farrow’s Ex-Producer Says NBC Impeded Weinstein Reporting
2018-08-30, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/business/media/ronan-farrow-weinstein-prod...

In October, when Ronan Farrow published his first article in The New Yorker on the alleged transgressions of Harvey Weinstein, people in the media and entertainment industries wondered how NBC had missed the story. After all, Mr. Farrow had spent months gathering material on the mogul when he was with NBC News. Now a producer who worked closely with Mr. Farrow has accused the network of putting a stop to the reporting, saying the order came from “the very highest levels of NBC.” Rich McHugh, the producer, who recently left his job in the investigative unit of NBC News, is the first person affiliated with NBC to publicly charge that the network impeded his and Mr. Farrow’s efforts to nail down the story of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct. He called the network’s handling of the matter “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” “Three days before Ronan and I were going to head to L.A. to interview a woman with a credible rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein, I was ordered to stop, not to interview this woman,” Mr. McHugh said. “And to stand down on the story altogether.” There was a point in our reporting where I felt there were obstacles to us reporting this externally, and there were obstacles to us reporting this internally,” the producer said. “Externally, I had Weinstein associates calling me repeatedly. I knew that Weinstein was calling NBC executives directly. One time it even happened when we were in the room.”

Note: NBC's chief executive stepped down amid sexual harassment claims 10 days after this article came out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


SF Roundup case demonstrates importance of independence in scientific evidence
2018-08-29, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/SF-Roundup-case-demonst...

It’s been three weeks since a San Francisco jury found that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides contributed to former school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s terminal cancer and awarded a stunning $289 million in damages. During that time, we’ve seen repeated assertions from the pesticide giant and its allies that, in fact, the jury was wrong. Corporate assurances of safety leave out one important word - a word that is critically important to anyone who wants to make an informed decision about the cancer risk associated with ... glyphosate-based herbicides. That word is “independent.” Truly independent research has shown that there is reason for concern. Independent and peer-reviewed works ... convinced the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization to determine that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. In the wake of that WHO finding, California added glyphosate to the state’s list of cancer-causing chemicals. Monsanto’s response to that 2015 classification was more manipulated science. An “independent review” of glyphosate showed up in a peer-reviewed scientific journal decrying the IARC classification. The review not only was titled as being independent, but declared that no Monsanto employee had any involvement in the writing of it. Yet the company’s internal emails, turned over in discovery associated with the litigation, revealed that a Monsanto scientist in fact aggressively edited and reviewed the analysis prior to its publication.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


In a Catholic Church where even the pope covers for sexual abuse, everywhere is as bad as Boston
2018-08-28, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/08/28/pope-francis-knew-cardinal-...

A report released this weekend by a former Vatican ambassador to the United States charges that Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, removed a suspension placed on him by Pope Benedict, and proceeded to make the known abuser one of his most trusted advisors. Pope Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator, [but] he covered for him to the bitter end,” wrote Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, nuncio to Washington from 2011-2016, before demanding the pontiff resign. That is a damning allegation coming from a very senior church leader. Even more profound is the charge by an Argentinian woman who says the sexual abuse of her son was covered up by this pope, who had her forcibly removed from his office when she tried to report the crime when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, and then known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. The harsh reality that all Catholics need to realize is that ... there are few protections when the predators are the bishops who are empowered to police themselves and instead cover up for each other, from the pope on down. A trope of the last six papacies has been [known] to extol the advances of a supposed “Springtime of Vatican II,” the revolutionary church council from 1962-65 that was called to open the Church to the modern world. Far from a spring flowering, the festering sex-abuse scandal shows that the Church of Rome is actually going through a long, cold, very dark winter.

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


US voter suppression: why this Texas woman is facing five years' prison
2018-08-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/27/crime-of-voting-texas-woman-c...

When Crystal Mason appears in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, this week she has been warned by her lawyers to be prepared for the worst. Mason, a 43-year-old mother of three, has been sentenced to five years in Texas state penitentiary. All because she committed the crime of voting. On 8 November 2016 ... she walked to her local Fort Worth polling station to perform her civic duty as a US citizen. To her surprise, her name wasn’t registered on the voting rolls, so she cast a provisional ballot. She didn’t ... know that under Texas’s strict electoral laws, she was ineligible to vote. By dint of a previous conviction for tax fraud, for which she had served five years in prison ... she was one of 500,000 Texans barred from the electoral process. After Trump’s victory she was called to a Fort Worth courthouse [and] received her five-year sentence for illegal voting. There is a cruel irony to Crystal Mason’s predicament. While it is true that Fort Worth has a major problem with democracy ... the crisis is not that people are voting illegally, but that they are not voting at all. In 2016, researchers at Portland State University compared the turnout in mayoral ballots in 50 US cities. Fort Worth ... had a turnout of just 6%. With participation rates at such dire levels, politicians might be expected to try with equal urgency to boost voting. But at both national and Texas state level, the response from Republicans has been quite the opposite – they have embarked on a rash of efforts that tend to suppress turnout.

Note: A commission formed by President Trump to investigate supposed voter fraud found no evidence to support Trump's claims that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in 2016. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said the commission was, "the most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Police accused over raids on activist's family
2018-08-26, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/26/memphis-police-raids-activist...

Was it coincidence that a mass raid on two Memphis homes occurred on the first day of a trial in which police face claims of illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter campaigners? More than two dozen police cars, most unmarked, blocked off the street before officers raided two homes. Witnesses described more than 50 heavily armed officers: local police, sheriff’s deputies, some from other agencies. Many shielded their identity with black ski masks. Minutes away, at a downtown courthouse, the police department was entering its first day on trial. The case, brought by activists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleges the Memphis police department (MPD) engaged in illegal surveillance of activists involved with Black Lives Matter and Fight for 15, including “catfishing” them with fake social media accounts. The homes raided belonged to the uncle and grandmother of ... one of the targets of the alleged police spying. Following the raids, activists reported police searching a community garden, tailing activists in unmarked cars, and ... pulling over a vehicle in which one passenger was an ACLU lawyer representing the activists. The lawyer was briefly detained, in handcuffs. A federal judge is currently considering his verdict on the ACLU lawsuit. He has already ruled that the city violated a federal consent decree barring the city from engaging in political surveillance.

Note: Memphis police were recently reported to have systematically spied on community activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


DHS Asks For 'Positive Gems' About War-Torn Countries To Justify Returning Immigrants
2018-08-25, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/08/25/641652912/dhs-asks-for-positive-gems-about-war...

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration in an attempt to restore protected status to immigrants from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. Thousands from those four countries were given safe haven in the U.S. following crippling natural disasters and civil conflict, but earlier this year the Trump administration officially ended their protected status. Lawyers for the ACLU and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network convinced the court to order the federal government to disclose communication between DHS officials and other federal agencies. The messages reveal that DHS asked staffers to find "positive gems" about war-torn countries to justify sending more than 300,000 people back to their homelands. The internal back-and-forths also demonstrate more subtle ways DHS sought to downplay the severity of conditions in volatile countries, like using the word "challenges," instead of "disasters" in talking points to the public. That guidance raised alarms with seasoned State Department officials. To ACLU lawyer Ahilan Arulanantham ... the emails show that DHS is more concerned with carrying out Trump's hardline stance on immigration than it is with following the law. "They cut diplomats out of the decision-making process. They rewrote their reports, downplayed sometimes really horrific problems in countries and basically did everything they could to justify the result that the Trump administration wanted," Arulanantham said

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


For Female Candidates, Harassment and Threats Come Every Day
2018-08-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/us/politics/women-harassment-elections.html

Four days before the 2016 congressional primary in her Northern California district, Erin Schrode woke up to tens of thousands of messages. They were ... in her email, on her cellphone, on her Facebook and her Twitter and her Instagram. “All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in,” one said. It has been two years since Ms. Schrode ... lost her Democratic primary and moved on. But the abuse - a toxic sludge of online trolling steeped in misogyny and anti-Semitism that also included photoshopped images of her face stretched into a Nazi lampshade and references to “preheating the ovens” - never stopped. The 2018 election cycle has brought a surge of female candidates. A record number of women ran or are running for the Senate, the House and governorships. And in the process, they are finding that harassment and threats, already common for women, can be amplified in political races - especially if the candidate is a member of a minority group. Last year, sexist and anti-Semitic abuse helped drive Kim Weaver, an Iowa Democrat, out of her race against Representative Steve King. The neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer published an article ... titled, as Ms. Weaver recalled it, “Meet the Whore Who’s Running Against Steve King,” increasing what was already an onslaught of threats. When she withdrew from the race, Mr. King suggested she had made up the threats. No independent organization appears to formally track incidents of harassment.

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


People Are Now Taking Placebo Pills to Deal With Their Health Problems – And It's Working
2018-08-23, Time
http://time.com/5375724/placebo-bill-health-problems/

The medical community has been aware of the placebo effect – the phenomenon in which a nontherapeutic treatment (like a sham pill) improves a patient’s physical condition – for centuries. But Ted Kaptchuk, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School ... was tired of letting the people in his studies think they were taking a real therapy and then watching what happened. Instead, he wondered, what if he was honest? In 2009 the university’s teaching hospital ... launched the first open-label placebo, or so-called honest placebo, trial to date, starting with people who had [irritable bowel syndrome, or] IBS. Nearly twice as many people in the trial who knowingly received placebo pills reported experiencing adequate symptom relief, compared with the people who received no treatment. [Patients] taking the placebo also doubled their rates of improvement to a point that was about equal to the effects of two [common] IBS medications. Researchers are learning that placebo has nuance too. For instance, the effect appears to be stronger if people are told a medication is hard to get or expensive, and color may also matter, with people responding better to blue pills as sedatives and white pills for pain. More important to Kaptchuk than understanding why honest placebos work is figuring out how the gain in scientific knowledge could translate into clinical practice. “Placebo has generally been denigrated in medicine, but I always wanted to figure out ways to ethically harness it,” he says.

Note: A 2009 Scientific American article describes how the placebo effect reduced the size of tumors. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Antibiotic side effects in kids lead to nearly 70,000 emergency room visits each year
2018-08-23, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/antibiotic-side-effects-kids-lead-70000-emergen...

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medications for children in the United States, but new research shows that they sometimes cause more harm than good. A study supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... used nationwide estimates for outpatient antibiotic prescriptions and data from a nationally representative sample of emergency room visits [to look] at the use of antibiotics by those under the age of 19. From 2011-2015, reactions and other side effects from antibiotics led to an estimated 70,000 ER visits each year. Most visits, 86 percent, were for allergic reactions which ranged from mild, the most common (rash, itching) to moderate and severe (anaphylaxis, angioedema, severe swelling beneath the skin). The risk of an ER visit also varied by the child's age and the type of antibiotic. Children aged 2 or younger carried the highest risk of a side effect, with 41 percent of visits involving children in this age group. Amoxicillin, Amoxicillin and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, both commonly prescribed antibiotics, were the most implicated in side effects among children aged 9 or younger and 10-19, respectively. Nearly a third, if not more, of outpatient pediatric prescriptions for antibiotics, are unnecessary, according to the CDC. A recent study showed that 78 percent of parents did not recall any discussions of possible antibiotic harms during their child’s last doctor visit.

Note: Millions of unnecessary drug prescriptions and rampant overuse of antibiotics in livestock have also contributed to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and health.


Marilu Henner, the Former ‘Taxi’ Star, Doesn’t Need a Grocery List
2018-08-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/style/marilu-henner-broadway.html

Marilu Henner had her last bite of cheese 39 years and one day ago. “I celebrated my health birthday yesterday,” said Ms. Henner ... as - inevitably - the details began flooding back. “August 15, 1979, I gave up dairy products. It was a Wednesday. The weather that day was beautiful. And I went to see a doctor who told me, ‘You have to give up dairy products. You’re not going to be healthy unless you give up dairy.’” Ms. Henner is famous for playing the cabby Elaine Nardo in the 1970s sitcom “Taxi.” She has also written 10 books (mostly about health and well-being); starred in another TV series, “Evening Shade”; and appeared in several movies and Broadway shows. But thanks to a “60 Minutes” segment in 2010, Ms. Henner has become famous for what neuroscientists call highly superior autobiographical memory — the ability to recall past life experiences, including day of the week and date, with remarkably vivid detail. “You don’t know for how many years people have been talking about my memory,” Ms. Henner said. “And then they’ll ask me about something from two weeks ago and I tell them, ‘You can go a little further back than that.’” Back, say, to when she learned about being cast in “Taxi.” It was June 4, 1978, a Sunday.

Note: Explore more on this unusual woman in this ABC News article. Watch an excellent 14-minute segment from Australia's 60 Minutes on numerous individuals with the gift of perfect memory. How is this possible?


Scotland’s floating turbine smashes tidal renewable energy records
2018-08-22, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/scotland-floating-turbine-tidal-pow...

A floating tidal stream turbine off the coast of Orkney has produced more green energy in a year than Scotland’s entire wave and tidal sector produced in the 12 years before it came online. In 12 months of full-time operation, the SR2000 turbine supplied the equivalent annual power demand of about 830 households. It produced 3GWh of renewable electricity during its first year of testing. Over the 12 years before its launch ... wave and tidal energies across Scotland had collectively produced 2.983GWh. Andrew Scott, chief executive officer of developers Scotrenewables Tidal Power, said: “The SR2000’s phenomenal performance has set a new benchmark for the tidal industry. “Its first year of testing has delivered a performance level approaching that of widely deployed mature renewable technologies.” He added: “The ability to easily access the SR2000 for routine maintenance has been a significant factor in our ability to generate electricity at such levels over the past 12 months, including over winter.” The team ... said their success – combined with Meygen’s generation of more than 8GWh over the past year from four tidal turbines deployed in the Pentland Firth – is evidence that tidal power generation could be rolled out more widely.

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


Elizabeth Warren introduces sweeping ethics bill
2018-08-21, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-unveils-anti-corruption-legisla...

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday introduced what she describes as the most ambitious anti-corruption legislation since Watergate. Warren's Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act ... aims to nix the influence of big money in politics. The legislation would "padlock" the revolving door in Washington by placing a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, presidents and agency heads. The legislation would also expand the definition of who is a lobbyist to anyone who spends any time attempting to influence government. The proposal would also prohibit the world's largest companies, something defined by a company's annual revenue or market capitalization, from hiring or paying any former senior government official for four years after they leave government. Former senior officials would also have to file income disclosures for four years after federal employment. Warren's legislation would also ban members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, federal judges and other top government officials from owning and trading stocks. Currently, members simply need to disclose their stocks and trades. The bill would also create an entirely new office designed to police public corruption, called the Office of the Public Integrity, to strengthen enforcement and investigate possible violations.

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


States Rush to Rein In Prescription Costs, and Drug Companies Fight Back
2018-08-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/us/politics/states-drug-costs.html

States around the country are clamping down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to disclose and justify price increases, but the drug manufacturers are fighting back, challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights. Even more states are, for the first time, trying to regulate middlemen who play a crucial role by managing drug benefits for employers and insurers, while taking payments from drug companies in return for giving preferential treatment to their drugs. Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs. Maryland tried a particularly bold approach. After reports of huge increases in the prices of certain generic drugs, Maryland banned “price gouging,” defined as an unconscionable increase in the price of any “essential off-patent or generic drug.” A drug company that flouts the law could be fined $10,000 and be required to pay refunds to consumers. [A] lobby for generic drug companies ... filed suit to block the law, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., struck down the law, saying it interfered with interstate commerce in violation of the Constitution. In a lengthy dissent, Judge James A. Wynn Jr. said that Maryland should be able to protect the health and welfare of its citizens. The court, he said, was accepting the drug companies’ view that they were “constitutionally entitled to impose conscience-shocking price increases” on consumers.

Note: Read how a major drug price increase nearly bankrupted the city of Rockford, Illinois. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Supersized solar farms are sprouting around the world (and maybe in space, too)
2018-08-18, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/supersized-solar-farms-are-sprouting-aro...

Utilities around the world are supersizing their solar farms. Nowhere is that more apparent than in southern Egypt, where what will be the world’s largest solar farm — a vast collection of more than 5 million photovoltaic panels — is now taking shape. When it’s completed next year, the $4 billion Benban solar park near Aswan will cover an area 10 times bigger than New York’s Central Park and generate up to 1.8 gigawatts of electricity. But Benban probably won’t hold on to its title for long. China is planning to build a two-gigawatt solar farm in the northwestern province of Ningxia, and the state of Gujarat in western India recently gave the go-ahead for a five-gigawatt facility. Japan is even talking about putting a large-scale solar farm in space. “There are huge savings for larger projects,” says Benjamin Attia, a solar analyst. A 2017 report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the cost of photovoltaic systems shrank by a factor of five from 2010 to 2017. Even the punitive tariffs on Chinese solar panels enacted earlier this year by the Trump administration are unlikely to slow the spread of large-scale solar, which in the U.S. is already cheaper and much cleaner than coal. “Governments have wised up,” says Attia. “They just want the cheapest, fastest way to add new electricity supplies. For nuclear, procurement can take a decade. For gas, it’s up to four years. If you’re talking solar and things go smoothly, you can build a reasonably large project in 18 months.”

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


US CEOs earned 312 times more than workers in 2017: Study
2018-08-17, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/us-ceos-earned-312-times-workers-2017-study/s...

CEOs at the 350 largest U.S. companies received 312 times as much in compensation as typical employees in 2017, according to a study released Thursday. The average chief executive received $18.9 million last year, a 17.6 percent increase from 2016, as the wages of a typical worker rose just 0.3 percent, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank. The highest CEO-to-worker pay ratio ever recorded is 344-to-1, in 2000. In 1965, it was 20-to-1. In 1989, it was 58-to-1. "CEO compensation has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits," EPI said in an online summary of the findings. "CEO compensation rose by 979 percent [based on stock options granted] or 1,070 percent [based on stock options realized] between 1978 and 2017. ... Higher CEO pay does not reflect correspondingly higher output or better firm performance. Exorbitant CEO pay therefore means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers."

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


World's 'poorest' ex-president Mujica turns down pension
2018-08-15, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45195188

Former Uruguayan leader José Mujica, who was dubbed "the world's poorest president" for his modest lifestyle, says he does not want any pension from his time as a senator. Mr Mujica resigned on Tuesday from the post of senator, which he had held since 2015, when his five-year-term as president had ended. He said he would not serve out his term until 2020. The ex-president made his resignation official in a letter to the head of the Senate, Lucía Topolansky, who is also Uruguay's vice-president and Mr Mujica's wife of 13 years. In it he said "the motives [for resigning] are personal, I would call them 'tiredness after a long journey'." His down-to-earth lifestyle and refusal to live in the presidential palace during his time in office [made him] famous. Then and now, he and his wife, who was his life partner and fellow guerrilla fighter long before they married in 2005, live on a modest flower farm on the outskirts of Montevideo. He donated most of his salary as president to charity and the only possession he had when he took office in 2010 was his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. The light-blue, beat-up Beetle became so famous he was offered $1m (Ł780,000) for it in 2014, but turned the offer down because he said he would have no way of transporting his three-legged dog without it.

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


The San Onofre nuclear plant is a 'Fukushima waiting to happen'
2018-08-15, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-chapple-san-onofre-20180815-story....

Southern California Edison is keeping 3.6 million pounds of lethal radioactive waste at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant in San Clemente. The waste poses a significant threat to the health, safety and economic vitality of the region’s more than 8 million residents. But Edison’s plan for storing it is unnerving at best. The idea is to bury the spent fuel on site, about 100 feet from the ocean and just a few feet above the water table. Edison has already begun transferring the waste from cooling pools into specially designed steel canisters. The containers are prone to corrosion and cracking, and cannot be monitored or repaired. Work crews even discovered a loose bolt inside one of the canisters earlier this year. But flawed storage containers are just one of many worrisome aspects of the scheme. San Onofre sits on an active earthquake fault, in an area where there is a record of past tsunamis. The ocean is expected to keep rising over the next few decades, bringing seawater closer to the canisters. If hairline cracks or pinholes in the containers were to let in even a little bit of air, it could make the waste explosive. Unlike the case of Fukushima, there are no federal or state evacuation plans for a disaster at San Onofre. Experts say there are safer storage configurations that Southern California Edison could implement. But these are all short-term solutions. The only real long-term solution is for Edison to develop adequate storage technology — a system that is not prone to severe leaks.

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


More Than 4,000 New MKULTRA Documents Requested from CIA After Crowdfunding Campaign
2018-08-15, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/project-mkultra-documents-cia-brainwashing-technique...

Thousands of new documents from Project MKUltra, the Central Intelligence Agency’s mid-century mind control program, will soon be released. The new records include 4,358 undisclosed pages regarding MKUltra’s “behavior modification” efforts. John Greenewald, founder of The Black Vault, a site specializing in declassified government records obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, first uploaded MKUltra documents in 2004 - tens of thousands of pages, spread over four CD-ROMs. Still, the trove of MKUltra material available on The Black Vault represent only a small fraction of the material from the sprawling, multi-decade program, with the majority lost to history after CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKUltra files destroyed in 1973. This makes the new documents crucial to expanding our narrow perspective on the CIA’s actions from the operation’s beginnings in 1953 through the cover-up twenty years later. Project MKUltra was an illegal program of human experimentation undertaken by the CIA to discover methods, both pharmacological and psychological, for controlling the human mind. More than 80 colleges, prisons, pharma companies and hospitals collaborated in the program, including renowned psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, who served president of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association. The existence of the previously unknown MKUltra pages was discovered in 2016, when a Black Vault user, Oscar Diggs, discovered irregularities in the collection the CIA disclosed to Greenewald.

Note: Read details of the CIA's bizarre efforts to keep these missing documents away from the public on this page. While Black Vault makes the MKUltra archive available for bulk download, you can view individual MKUltra files from this archive on this WantToKnow.info page. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


11-year-old hacks replica of Florida’s election system in 10 minutes
2018-08-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/midterm-elections-florida-s...

An 11-year-old has been able to hack into a replica of Florida’s election system in 10 minutes during a test ahead of upcoming US midterm elections this November. The boy was the fastest of 35 children who were able to hack into replicas of the websites of six swing states during the three-day Def Con security convention. The results of those efforts to test the strength of US election infrastructure will be passed onto the states, and the National Association of Secretaries of State - the officials responsible for tallying and confirming vote totals - said that they welcome the efforts. The results highlight potential security lapses amid heightened concern that American voter rolls will be tampered with in the upcoming midterm elections, and after President Donald Trump’s national security team warned that Russia had launched “pervasive” efforts to interfere in America’s 2018 elections. The convention indicated that the hackers were able to change party names in the systems, and added as many as 12 billion votes to candidates. “Candidates names were changed to ‘Bob Da Builder’ and ‘Richard Nixon’s head’,” the convention said in a tweet. The winning hacker was identified as Emmett Brewer, a boy whose Twitter account says he lives in Austin, Texas.

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


The scale of the Catholic Church’s criminality still shocks
2018-08-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-scale-of-the-catholic-churchs-cri...

The Catholic Church’s decades-long practice of enabling and systematically covering up the rape and molestation of children by priests is by now sickeningly familiar. Yet the scale of abuse; the breadth and depth of trauma inflicted by predators wearing Roman collars; and the coldbloodedness of senior church figures zealous in their resolve to protect the church but indifferent to the suffering of minors, retain their power to shock the conscience. So it was Tuesday when Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court released a massive report on decades of alleged abuse in six of the state’s eight dioceses, where nearly 2 million Catholics live today. The report ... lays out what amounts to a criminal conspiracy, breathtaking in its scope, reaching from parishes and parochial schools to the Vatican. The report names some 300 accused predator priests, who allegedly abused at least 1,000 victims. Yet even as the findings were published, the coverup continues: The report is heavily redacted, owing to ongoing litigation by unidentified clergymen and others seeking to block publication of certain names. That, Attorney General Josh Shapiro noted, is a coverup of a decades-long coverup. The conspiracy — as in Boston and practically every major city in the United States and many overseas — involved bishops, archbishops and even cardinals. Even as apologists for the Vatican ... continue peddling the myth that the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandals simply reflect society’s problems, the weight of evidence is overwhelming proof to the contrary.

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


More than 300 accused priests listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse
2018-08-14, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/08/14/pennsylvania-...

More than 300 Catholic priests across Pennsylvania sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up, according to a sweeping grand jury report released Tuesday. The investigation ... identified 1,000 children who were victims, but reported that there probably are thousands more. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades,” the grand jury wrote in its report. The 18-month investigation covered six of the state’s dioceses ... and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses. The grand jury reviewed more than 2 million documents, including from the “secret archives” - what church leaders referred to the reports of abuse they hid from public for decades, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. Few criminal cases may result from the massive investigation. “As a consequence of the coverup, almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the report said. The grand jury’s report follows the resignation last month of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a towering figure in the U.S. church and a former archbishop of Washington who was accused of sexually abusing children and adults for decades.

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


Companies Shouldn’t Be Accountable Only to Shareholders
2018-08-14, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-shouldnt-be-accountable-only-to-shareh...

Corporate profits are booming, but average wages haven’t budged. In the early 1980s, large American companies sent less than half their earnings to shareholders, spending the rest on their employees and other priorities. But between 2007 and 2016, large American companies dedicated 93% of their earnings to shareholders. Because the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households own 84% of American-held shares, the obsession with maximizing shareholder returns effectively means America’s biggest companies have dedicated themselves to making the rich even richer. In the four decades after World War II, shareholders on net contributed more than $250 billion to U.S. companies. But since 1985 they have extracted almost $7 trillion. That’s trillions of dollars in profits that might otherwise have been reinvested in the workers who helped produce them. Before “shareholder value maximization” ideology took hold, wages and productivity grew at roughly the same rate. But since the early 1980s, real wages have stagnated even as productivity has continued to rise. Workers aren’t getting what they’ve earned. Companies also are setting themselves up to fail. Retained earnings were once the foundation for long-term investments. But from 1990 to 2015, nonfinancial U.S. companies invested trillions less than projected, funneling earnings to shareholders instead. This underinvestment handcuffs U.S. enterprise and bestows an advantage on foreign competitors. We should insist on a new deal.

Note: The above was written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren in conjunction with her introduction of the "Accountable Capitalism Act". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.


Google found to track the location of users who have opted out
2018-08-13, NBC/AP
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/google-tracks-your-movements-it-or-not...

Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you've used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so. Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP's request. Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks. So the company will let you "pause" a setting called Location History. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored." That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude - accurate to the square foot - and save it to your Google account. Since 2014, Google has let advertisers track the effectiveness of online ads at driving foot traffic, a feature that Google has said relies on user location histories. The company is pushing further into such location-aware tracking to drive ad revenue, which rose 20 percent last year to $95.4 billion.

Note: This article instructs you how to effectively delete Google's tracking of your movements. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


John Oliver Confronts Fake Grassroots Movements
2018-08-13, Time
http://time.com/5365190/john-oliver-astroturfing-last-week-tonight/

Astroturfing is when corporations or organization[s] try to make it seem as though whatever they are selling is part of a grassroots movement. For example when a seeming small group calling themselves Americans Against Food Taxes run a national ad campaign against a potential beverage tax. It’s not paid for by a small grassroots movement of concerned citizens, but a large beverage conglomerate lobbying against a soda tax. According to [John] Oliver, in the wake of U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, astroturfing is becoming increasing common. Like a national wetlands organization funded by real estate developers and oil companies and a seeming restaurant worker group campaigning against minimum wage increase. “It’s pure straight up opposite world,” said Oliver. Some astroturfing experts work with many special interest groups, creating nonprofit shell companies of sorts to ensure that their ties to the fake grassroots campaigns can be kept secret. One of “the most infuriating tools” of astroturfing is the use of paid protestors. These paid protestors show up at places like town hall meetings masquerading as concerned citizens and reciting lines fed to them by special interest groups. The existence of these paid protestors is now a common theme on conspiracy message boards. “That is hugely dangerous,” said Oliver.

Note: The New York Times recently reported on the Koch Brothers' use of tactics like this to kill public transit projects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million to cancer patient in Roundup lawsuit
2018-08-10, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/08/10/jury-orders-monsanto-pay-289-m...

A jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay $289 million Friday to a school groundskeeper who got terminal cancer after using Roundup, one of the world's most popular weed killers. The Superior Court jury [found] that Dewayne Johnson's non-Hodgkin lymphoma was at least partly due to using glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup. Johnson regularly used glyphosate to spray fields while working as a groundskeeper. Monsanto "acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct," Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos announced in court. Hundreds of lawsuits claiming Roundup causes cancer have been given the green light to proceed to trial. Cancer victims and families presenting cases say Monsanto knew about the ingredient's risk for years, but failed to warn buyers. Johnson's doctors testified he is unlikely to live past 2020. The 46-year-old Bay-area resident worked for a California county school system and applied the weed killer up to 30 times per year as part of his pest-control responsibilities. During that time, he mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of the chemical. “Today the jury confirmed what we have known since our investigation began — that Monsanto knew Roundup contained cancer-causing ingredients and failed to take this product off the shelf and protect consumers. The company chose corporate profit and greed above humanity,” said Micah Dortch of the Potts Law Firm.

Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Torture of al-Qaeda suspect described in 2002 cables sent by CIA Director Gina Haspel
2018-08-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/torture-of-al-qaeda-su...

The torture of a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist, including waterboarding, is described in meticulous detail in newly-declassified cables that CIA Director Gina Haspel sent to agency headquarters in late 2002, when she headed a secret U.S. detention facility in Thailand. The suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was believed to have been involved in planning the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000. Nashiri’s treatment during interrogation — forced nudity, shackling, being slammed against walls, being confined in a small box and mock executions, as well as waterboarding — has been previously mentioned in broad terms in official reports, hearings, court cases and news reports. But many specifics about what happened to Nashiri during his several-week stay at the Thailand facility, while Haspel was briefly in charge, have not been made public. They are contained in 11 cables obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive, a private research institute. On the 12th day of his detention, one cable to the home office reported, “interrogation escalated rapidly from subject being aggressively debriefed by interrogators to multiple applications of the walling technique, and ultimately, multiple applications of the watering technique.” The interrogators, it later said, “covered subject’s head with the hood and left him on the water board, moaning, shaking and asking God to help him repeatedly.”

Note: The above article contains graphic descriptions of torture overseen and then covered up by Gina Haspel. Another article, by a former CIA counterterrorism officer who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA torture, referred to Haspel's actions as "war crimes, crimes against humanity". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Global tree cover has increased 7% since 1982, finds biggest ever study
2018-08-10, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/tree-cover-increase-world-deforesta...

Amid growing urbanisation, deforestation and agricultural expansion, it’s long been thought the number of trees across the planet is being reduced. However, that belief is probably wrong, according to new figures. The biggest ever analysis of global land change has discovered there are more trees across the earth today than there were 36 years ago. The study, published in the journal Nature this month, shows trees now cover 7 per cent more of the earth’s surface – roughly 2.24 million square kilometres – than they did in 1982. “This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics,” the report states. The study, led by scientists from the University of Maryland, in the US, analysed 35 years’ worth of satellite data to provide the most comprehensive picture ever made of the changing use of land. Tree loss in the tropics is caused by agricultural expansion, while the new growth areas [are] in regions which were previously too cold to support such flourishing life, suggesting global warming is causing previously unidentified changes to the planet’s landscapes. The study ... states that 60 per cent of all change appears to be directly driven by human activity. Of the remaining 40 per cent, the study suggests, most of the change can be attributed to indirect results of human actions.

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


‘Supervillain-Level’ Cyberattack Test on Cities Uncovers Shocking Flaws
2018-08-09, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/supervillain-level-cyberattacks-cities-test-uncovers...

Research unveiled today shows how vulnerabilities in “smart city” technology could be compromised by hackers. Bugs were found in major cities in the U.S. and Europe, with teams from IBM and Threatcare disclosing a series of “disturbing” scenarios that could soon play out for real. These included the abuse of flood warnings, radiation alarms and, yes, traffic networks. “If someone ... were to abuse vulnerabilities like the ones we documented in smart city systems, the effects could range from inconvenient to catastrophic,” a report said. The experts were inspired by the recent incident in Hawaii in which an alert warned citizens that a ballistic missile was inbound. The blaring island alarms, made in error, caused mass panic. Research found 17 major flaws in four smart city systems, eight of which were labeled “critical.” They spotted basic errors, including weak passwords and basic authentication flaws. “Security around these sensors and controls must be a lot more stringent,” wrote IBM’s Daniel Crowley. “Attackers could manipulate water level sensor responses to report flooding in an area where there is none - creating panic, evacuations and destabilization,” Crowley wrote. In another example, he said: “Controlling additional systems could enable an attacker to set off a string of building alarms or trigger gunshot sounds on audio sensors across town, further fueling panic.”

Note: This 2015 New York Times article calls 'smart' devices, "a train wreck in privacy and security." Watch an excellent documentary uncovering the serious dangers of smart meters. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the disappearance of privacy.


Organic solar cells set 'remarkable' energy record
2018-08-09, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45132427

Chinese researchers have taken what they say is a major step forward for the development of a new generation of solar cells. Manufacturers have long used silicon to make solar panels because the material was the most efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. But organic photovoltaics, made from carbon and plastic, promise a cheaper way of generating electricity. This new study shows that organics can now be just as efficient as silicon. Organic photovoltaics (OPV) can be made of compounds that are dissolved in ink so they can be printed on thin rolls of plastic, they can bend or curve around structures or even be incorporated into clothing. Commercial solar photovoltaics usually covert 15-22% of sunlight, with a world record for a silicon cell of 27.3% reached in this summer in the UK. Organics have long lingered at around half this rate. In April researchers were able to reach 15% in tests. Now this new study pushes that beyond 17% with the authors saying that up to 25% is possible. This is important because according to estimates, with a 15% efficiency and a 20 year lifetime, organic solar cells could produce electricity at a cost of less than 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 2017, the average cost of electricity in the US was 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Flexible, printed solar cells offer a wide range of possibilities. They can work indoors and they can be made semi-transparent, so they could be incorporated into windows and generate power during daylight.

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


Airstrike by U.S.-backed Saudi coalition on bus kills dozens of Yemeni children
2018-08-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/airstrike-by-us-ally-on-bus-...

Dozens of civilians, mostly children, were killed or injured in an airstrike on Thursday by U.S. allies on a bus in a crowded market in northern Yemen. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the attack struck a bus carrying children in ... Saada province, which borders Saudi Arabia. “Body parts were scattered all over the area,” said Hassan Muwlef, executive director of the Red Crescent office in Saada. “The school bus was totally burned and destroyed.” Most of the children were under the age of 10, [said] Johannes Bruwer, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Yemen. The assault was the latest airstrike against civilians carried out by an American-backed regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The coalition entered Yemen’s civil war more than three years ago to fight northern Houthi rebels, who seized power from Yemen’s internationally recognized government. The conflict has also turned into a proxy war ... between the Sunni Muslim coalition and Iran’s Shiite theocracy, which is widely believed to be backing the rebels. The United States is helping the coalition, the only party in the conflict to use warplanes, with refueling, intelligence and billions in weapons sales. Human rights groups and Washington Post journalists have seen remnants of U.S.-made bombs at attack sites where civilians were struck. Civilian deaths have continued to multiply, even as the coalition promises not to target civilians.

Note: With weapons and support from the US and UK for the Saudi-led coalition, this war has already caused over 10,000 civilian deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Pence details plans for 'Space Force' in what would be sixth branch of the military
2018-08-09, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-space-force-20180809-story....

The White House on Thursday announced ambitious plans to create the U.S. Space Force as a sixth, separate military warfighting service by 2020. Military leaders and experts have questioned the wisdom of launching an expensive, bureaucratic new service branch. Vice President Mike Pence announced the new force during a Pentagon speech, fleshing out an idea that President Donald Trump has extolled in recent months as he vowed to ensure American dominance in space. Pence described space as a domain that was once peaceful and uncontested but has now become crowded and adversarial. The last time the U.S. created a new uniformed military service was in 1947. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed steps to reorganize the military's space-warfighting forces and create a new command, but he previously opposed launching an expensive new service. The military's role in space has been under scrutiny because the United States is increasingly reliant on orbiting satellites that are difficult to protect. U.S. intelligence agencies reported earlier this year that Russia and China were pursuing "nondestructive and destructive" anti-satellite weapons for use during a future war. And there are growing worries about cyberattacks that could target satellite technology. Much of the military's current space power is wielded by the Air Force Space Command, which ... has about 38,000 personnel and operates 185 military satellite systems, including the Global Positioning System and communications and weather satellites.

Note: In 1974, the founder of modern rocket science Wernher Von Braun told his spokesperson Dr. Carol Rosin that "first the Russians are going to be considered the enemy. Then terrorists would be identified. The next enemy was asteroids – against asteroids we are going to build space-based weapons. Then ... the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens, and all of it is a lie."


Tech Companies Banned Infowars. Now, Its App Is Trending.
2018-08-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/technology/infowars-app-trending.html

Just days after Google, Facebook and Apple purged videos and podcasts from the right-wing conspiracy site Infowars from their sites, the Infowars app has become one of the hottest in the country. On Wednesday, Infowars was the No. 1 overall “trending” app on the Google Play store. Among news apps, Infowars was No. 3 on Apple and No. 5 on Google, above all mainstream news organizations. The Infowars app, which includes news articles and the shows of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, had likely been downloaded a few hundred to a few thousand times a day on average after its introduction last month, said Randy Nelson ... at Sensor Tower, which tracks app data. Now, it is likely getting 30,000 to 40,000 downloads a day, Mr. Nelson estimated. “This is such a niche app with niche content, that for it to make that sort of jump means it has become very interesting to a much broader audience,” said Jonathan Kay, a co-founder of Apptopia, an app analytics firm. “Essentially, it’s gone from being niche to being mainstream.” Mr. Jones has achieved infamy and financial success for spreading lies. Many of his most outlandish claims are made during his show, which runs live for four hours each weekday and is streamed and rebroadcast across the internet. YouTube, Facebook, Spotify and Apple’s podcasts service were all important distribution points for the show.

Note: How many other conspiracy websites will be shut down for "spreading lies"? What happened to freedom of speech? Will the major media be shut down for "spreading lies" of it own? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable major sources.


Even the FBI Agrees: When Undercover Agents Pose as Journalists, it Hurts Real Journalists' Work
2018-08-07, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/08/07/fbi-undercover-journalist-documentary-bun...

The FBI doesn’t want the public to know more about how its agents pose as journalists during undercover investigations. But, in a federal court case, Justice Department lawyers ... acknowledged in a court filing that FBI agents who pretend to be journalists create a chilling effect, making it harder for real journalists to gain trust and cooperation from sources. The astonishing admission came as the FBI attempted to fend off litigation from Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which has filed requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The Reporters Committee’s litigation involves documents related to an FBI undercover operation in which agents posed as documentary filmmakers from a fake company called Longbow Productions to investigate Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters. In a motion filed July 23, Assistant U.S. Attorney Johnny H. Walker argued that providing FBI documents about the Bundy investigation and others in which a journalistic cover may have been used would not only disclose sensitive investigative techniques but also ... “would allow criminals to judge whether they should completely avoid any contacts with documentary film crews, rendering the investigative technique ineffective.” The FBI has previously disclosed that agents have pretended to be news reporters to further investigations. But questions remain about how often such covers are used and what policies are in place to govern the deployment of fake reporters.

Note: A mistrial was recently declared in the case against Cliven Bundy and others after the Justice Department was found to have withheld "massive amounts of evidence undermining federal charges". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Designing the Death of a Plastic
2018-08-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/06/science/plastics-polymers-pollution.html

Most synthetic polymers - Greek for “many parts,” because they are long chains of many identical molecules - were not designed to disintegrate. They were meant to last as long as possible. But synthetic polymers became so popular [that] they’re at the root of the global burden of billions of tons of plastic waste. The environmental effects of plastic buildup and the declining popularity of plastics have helped to spur chemists on a quest to make new materials with two conflicting requirements: They must be durable, but degradable on command. In short, scientists are in search of polymers or plastics with a built-in self-destruct mechanism. The starting point requires picking polymers that are inherently unstable. Dismantling these polymers is sometimes called unzipping them, because once the polymers encounter a trigger ... their units fall off one after another until the polymers have completely switched back to small molecules. “We can have a big change in properties or complete degradation of the polymer just from one event,” says Elizabeth Gillies, a polymer chemist. On-demand, rapid disintegration gives unzipping polymers an edge ... she says, as biodegradation is often slow and difficult to control. These next-generation polymers could help mitigate pollution problems associated with plastic products. If the units were collected after unzipping to make new polymers, that would lead to chemical recycling. Most recycling done today simply involves melting the plastic and remolding it.

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


The spot where Emmett Till’s body was found is marked by this sign. People keep shooting it up.
2018-08-05, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/08/05/the-spot-where-e...

Emmett Till’s black, broken body was plucked from the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi days after his killing in August 1955, a heavy cotton gin fan tied on his neck with barbed wire. It took 19 days for two white men, Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law J.W. Milam, to be acquitted of murder by an all-white jury. Then it took 52 years for historical markers to be erected at locations related to the teenager’s death, which galvanized the civil rights movement after the acquittal. And now, at the spot marking where Till’s body was pulled from the river, it took just 35 days since installation for a replacement sign to be pierced by gunfire. Again. Till was lynched, shot and tortured before his death, and a grim trail of his final moments is marked by signs installed by the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, a museum supported by Tallahatchie County. But the sign - the third iteration after the first was stolen and the second was destroyed by gunfire - apparently was pierced by four bullets ... five weeks after it was dedicated, center co-founder Patrick Weems said. The marker has drawn visitors to the site outside Glendora, Miss., the final stop on a civil rights movement driving tour across the Mississippi Delta. It has also become a beacon for racist expressions of violence, and a signal that work toward justice and equality remains unfinished.

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


FDA knew doctors were misusing powerful opioids
2018-08-03, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/fda-knew-doctors-w...

The Food and Drug Administration knew that some doctors were wrongly prescribing powerful opioid painkillers. The drugs include mouth sprays and lozenges meant to provide immediate relief for breakthrough cancer pain ... in patients who have been taking opioids for long periods of time. The formulations, referred to as transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl products, or TIRF products, can kill patients who take them without having first developed tolerance. But they were prescribed to patients who had no tolerance, and for migraines or dental pain, the team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said. The U.S. is suffering through an epidemic of opioid abuse. Opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, killed 42,000 people in 2016. At the same time, the CDC reported last year, the number of prescriptions for the painkillers tripled from 1999 to 2015. The FDA set up a special plan to control [TIRF products], called a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy. The FDA asked one of its expert panels ... to help review how the strategy for the TIRF opioids has been working. It has not worked as designed, the Johns Hopkins team said in testimony given to the panel. The strategy has "generated red flags for years," the team said in written testimony. “FDA had evidence as early as April 2016 that TIRFs were being prescribed for many patients who were not opioid tolerant,” they wrote in their testimony. “Of more than 25,000 patients receiving TIRFs, as many as 51 percent were not opioid tolerant.”

Note: A recent CNN report titled, "The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make" shows how doctors have profited from over-prescribing these dangerous drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma.


‘The most bizarre thing I’ve ever been a part of’: Trump panel found no widespread voter fraud, ex-member says
2018-08-03, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/03/the-most-bizarre-t...

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, one of the 11 members of the commission formed by President Trump to investigate supposed voter fraud, issued a scathing rebuke of the disbanded panel on Friday, accusing Vice Chair Kris Kobach and the White House of making false statements and saying that he had concluded that the panel had been set up to try to validate the president’s baseless claims about fraudulent votes in the 2016 election. Before it was disbanded by Trump in January, the panel had never presented any findings or evidence of widespread voter fraud. But the White House claimed at the time that it had shut down the commission despite “substantial evidence of voter fraud” due to the mounting legal challenges it faced from states. Dunlap said of ... more than 8,000 pages of [commission documents that were turned over to him], “It wasn’t just a matter of investigating President Trump’s claims that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, but the goal of the commission seems to have been to validate those claims.” Dunlap said that ... the voting fraud panel was marked by obfuscation, secrecy and confusion related to the work the panel was engaged in. So Dunlap filed a lawsuit against the commission ... alleging that he and the other Democratic members were being excluded from its work and materials. He received the documents he sought only ... after a federal judge ordered the administration to turn them over, despite the objections of the Justice Department.

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


We’re drowning in trash. These Dutch scientists have a solution.
2018-08-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/08/02/biomass/?nored...

The sprawling, gated campus of the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) sits on a spit of land about an hour north of Amsterdam. In a nearby control room, engineers ... were working on one of clean energy’s intransigent problems: how to turn waste into electricity without producing more waste. Decades ago, scientists discovered that when heated to extreme temperatures, wood and agricultural leftovers, as well as plastic and textile waste, turn into a gas composed of underlying chemical components. The resulting synthetic gas, or “syngas,” can be harnessed as a power source, generating heat or electricity. But gasified waste has serious shortcomings: it contains tars, which clog engines and disrupt catalysts, breaking machinery, and in turn, lowering efficiency and raising costs. This is what the Dutch technology is designed to fix. The MILENA-OLGA system, as they call it, is a revolutionary carbon-neutral energy plant that turns waste into electricity with little or no harmful byproducts. The MILENA-OLGA process ... is 11 percent more efficient than most existing energy-from-waste plants and over 50 percent more efficient than incinerators of a comparable scale. The process also emits zero wastewater and produces no particulates or other pollutants. Just 4 percent of the original material is left over as inert white ash, which can be used to make cement.

Note: A similar technology was developed and implemented over 10 years ago, as detailed in this Popular Science article. Why wasn't this amazing invention widely reported and used? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Pope Francis changes Catholic Church teaching to say death penalty is ‘inadmissible’
2018-08-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pope-francis-changes-catholic-church-tea...

Pope Francis has changed Catholic Church teaching to fully reject the death penalty, the Vatican announced Thursday, saying it would work to abolish capital punishment worldwide. The revision to several sentences of the catechism, the compendium of Catholic beliefs, has the potential to recast debates around the world on how to handle those accused of the most heinous crimes. The church’s updated teaching describes capital punishment as “inadmissible” and an attack on the “dignity of the person.” Previously, the church allowed for the death penalty in very rare cases, only as a means of “defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” Francis has for years been a vocal critic of the death penalty, calling it an “inhuman measure.” The Argentine pontiff has pointed to the church’s stance on the death penalty as evidence of how the Vatican can evolve: The church for centuries permitted executions, but in 1997, John Paul II dramatically narrowed the standards for when the punishment was permissible. Francis’s latest move places the issue toward the forefront of his own efforts to overhaul and modernize the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to social justice. The full political significance of the new teaching stands to emerge slowly, as priests and bishops speak more clearly about the death penalty to planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Because the practice has already been abolished in most countries with large Catholic populations ... the United States is among the places where the shift could have the greatest consequence.

Note: In 2014, a major study found that about 300 wrongfully-convicted people had been executed in the US between 1973 and 2004. from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Memphis police accused of using fake accounts to surveil black activists
2018-08-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/01/memphis-police-black-lives-ma...

A trove of documents released by the city of Memphis late last week appear to show that its police department has been systematically using fake social media profiles to surveil local Black Lives Matter activists, and that it kept dossiers and detailed power point presentations on dozens of Memphis-area activists. The surveillance project was operated through the Memphis police department’s office of homeland security. In a deposition for a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union over the information gathering, officials said it ... began to focus on “local individuals or groups that were staging protests” [around 2016]. This included the publication of daily joint information briefings on potential protests and known protesters. The briefings regularly included information about meetings on private property, panel discussions, town halls, and even innocuous events like “Black Owned Food Truck Sunday”. A good deal of that information appears to have been obtained by a fake MPD Facebook profile for a “Bob Smith”, which the ACLU said was used “to view private posts, join private groups, and otherwise pose as a member of the activist community”. The briefings, which contained ... photographs, dates of birth, addresses, and mental health histories were distributed beyond the department according to the ACLU lawsuit, to a number of local businesses including the region’s largest employer FedEx and the county school district.

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


Sweden to reach its 2030 renewable energy target by the end of 2018
2018-08-01, ZMEscience
https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/renewable-energy-ecology/sweden-renewable-...

While most countries are struggling to reach their renewable energy targets, others are breezing past them. Thanks to both its geography and impactful policies, Sweden is set to achieve its 2030 goals in mere months. In 2012, years before the Paris Agreement, Norway and Sweden signed a joint agreement to increase production of electricity from renewables by 28.4 terawatt hours within eight years. It only took a few years for Sweden to realize it was ahead of schedule, and in 2017, it increased its target, aiming to add another 18 TWh by 2030. Lo and behold, once more, Sweden is moving much faster than anticipated and now there’s a good chance it will reach the 2030 goal in mere months — maybe even by the end of the year. Wind energy is one of the main drivers propelling Sweden’s renewable targets forward. According to the World Economic Forum ... there will be 3,681 turbines functioning in the country by the end of the year. But this is only the start of the road for Sweden. Sweden already has a cross-party agreement to achieve 100% renewable energy production by 2040, and the figure is already hovering around 57%. The country has also set a target of net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045. According to the Paris Agreement, all EU countries have agreed to achieve 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

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


81-year-old runner is breaking records but says 'the best is yet to come'
2018-07-31, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/31/health/jeanne-daprano-runner-80s-longevity/ind...

Jeanne Daprano wants the world to know something: She's not leaving anything behind. No regrets, no fear. At 81 years old, she's still pushing her body to the limit. She's still running competitive races, breaking world records and taking on new challenges. "The thing I'm learning about aging is, it's inevitable," Daprano said. "I'm not going to escape it. There are two ways to go: You can either press on or give up. Do I want to go back to 50, 40? No. Because I think the best is yet to come." As an elementary school teacher, she began running in order to keep up with her students. "I was known as the running teacher," she said. It might have started there, but Daprano's life as a runner took off in ways she never could have predicted. She began running competitively with 5K and 10K road races before moving to the track. She is now the world record holder in the women's 70-year-old age group mile and the women's 75-year-old age group 400 meters and 800 meters. And she's not done. In February, Daprano took on a new challenge: her first indoor rowing competition. In classic fashion, she broke the world record in the 80-to-84 age group, rowing 2,000 meters in 9:23.7. For those hoping to either start getting in shape or stay in shape for a long time, she offers this advice: "Listen to your body. What are you passionate about? Don't look ahead or compare yourself to somebody else. I'm still doing it, and I probably have a greater passion now than ever, because I'm understanding who I am."

Note: Read more on this amazing woman and her routine. Explore a collection of concise summaries of news articles on amazing seniors.


The Freshest Ideas Are in Small Grocery Stores
2018-07-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/dining/grocery-store.html

In New Prague, Minn., population around 7,600, Kendra and Paul Rasmusson [opened a grocery] store that is largely unstaffed. The couple’s young daughter has epilepsy, and they discovered early on that a healthy diet could help her feel better. They couldn’t find enough local, organic items at the big-box store close to town. So ... they opened Farmhouse Market. The numbers wouldn’t work if they were to run it in a traditional way. Inspired by a nearby 24-hour fitness center, they had an idea: Why not create a store that didn’t need staff, for shoppers who wanted organic [food] from local farmers? Members pay $99 a year and use a key card to open the door. They can shop anytime they want. Local farmers, beekeepers and other suppliers have cards, too, so they can restock their supplies at midnight if they want. In Baltimore, the Salvation Army market is tackling an urban version of the grocery-store drought. The DMG Foods was built in the front of a Salvation Army distribution center in a neighborhood where families in public housing mix with Johns Hopkins students and older people who grew up there. The cheery store, whose name is an abbreviation of the organization’s motto, Doing the Most Good, feels a little bit like what Amazon would ship if you typed “grocery store” into the search bar. And in a way, that’s what [founder Maj. Gene]. Hogg did. “We didn’t do this to make money selling groceries,” Mr. Hogg said. “We did this so people could have a neighborhood grocery store with fresh food.”

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


'Stand your ground' has become a get-out-of-jail-free license to kill
2018-07-30, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/spotlight/2018/07/30/stand-yo...

As has happened before in Florida, "stand your ground" is being appropriately scrutinized in the aftermath of the shocking shooting death of Markeis McGlockton, an unarmed black man who was gunned down for trying to protect his family - including his young children - in a dispute over a handicapped parking space. The local sheriff concluded that shooter Michael Drejka pulled the trigger because he was in fear, and therefore stand your ground applied. According to this inexplicable interpretation of the law, Drejka needed to defend himself from a man who ... was backing away from the confrontation. Florida’s stand your ground law emerged as an outgrowth of the traditional “castle doctrine,” which allowed individuals to defend their home (or “castle”) with whatever force was necessary. Somehow, that concept has been warped into a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card that is essentially a license to kill. Five members of Congress, including three U.S. senators, have called for the Department of Justice to investigate why stand-your-ground immunity was extended to a man carrying a concealed weapon who angrily approached a car ... and created a confrontation. Had McGlockton been the one to pull out a gun, there is no way stand your ground would have been extended to him, a man of color. The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported a significant increase in unlawful homicides since stand your ground was enacted in Florida in 2005.

Note: Watch the disturbing video of the incident at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Interference in US elections has been going on for years. The reason? Voter purges
2018-07-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/28/voter-purges-interferin...

In every American election there are some voters who show up to their polling place ready to cast a ballot, only to find their name isn’t on the registration list. The reason? Voter purges, an often flawed effort to update voter rolls by removing voters’ names from registration lists. Virginians fell victim in 2013, when nearly 39,000 voters were removed when the state relied on faulty data to determine which names should be deleted. In 2016 it was New Yorkers, when the New York City board of elections wrongly deleted more than 200,000 names. A new Brennan Center report found that purges could threaten the right to vote for millions in November. Purges have increased particularly in a handful of largely southern states which were freed from oversight by the supreme court’s landmark 2013 decision in Shelby County v Holder. Before Shelby County, areas around the country with histories of racial discrimination in voting were prohibited from making election changes without first showing that the change would not make minority voters worse off. Some states and jurisdictions are using bad information to determine who should be removed from the rolls, like relying on a faulty list that flags eligible voters as ineligible. Some are depending on matching criteria used by a problematic purge database called Crosscheck, which has been found to be more likely to flag African American, Asian American and Latino voters for removal than Caucasian voters.

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


CBS chief Leslie Moonves accused of sexual misconduct in Ronan Farrow article
2018-07-27, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/cbs-chief-leslie-moonves-accused-sexual-...

The New Yorker has published a bombshell investigation of the head of CBS Corporation that includes allegations of sexual misconduct. The article by Ronan Farrow alleges that CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, including unwanted kissing and touching that occurred over 20 years ago. Farrow told ABC News that his latest piece is "about six women who did an incredibly brave thing: overcoming tremendous fear of retaliation to speak about their experiences with Moonves. But it’s also a story about dozens and dozens of sources who told us that a culture of harassment and retaliation had permeated various facets of his company," he said. The women recalled events when they were threatened with retaliation when rebuffing advances and detailed accounts of sexual assault. They "say that they are still afraid of Les Moonves," Farrow said. "They are speaking because they believe there is a broader culture around him in which he has protected other men who have engaged in similar misconduct," Farrow said. Moonves denied any allegations of sexual assault but acknowledged, "I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances. Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely." A person "familiar with the situation" told The Wall Street Journal that CBS has no plans to sideline Moonves.

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


Venting about press, Trump has repeatedly sought to ban reporters over questions
2018-07-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/venting-about-press-trump-has-repeate...

President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials. He has also asked that retaliatory action be taken against them. Until this week ... Trump’s senior aides have resisted carrying out his directives. On Wednesday, however, newly installed Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took action against CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, telling her she could not attend Trump’s open-media event in the Rose Garden because they objected to her questioning of the president earlier in the day. The move revealed a fresh willingness inside the West Wing to execute the president’s wishes to punish reporters. It immediately drew a chorus of protest throughout the media, including from Fox News Channel, Trump’s favorite network and Shine’s former employer. Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said the group would challenge any further efforts by Trump to curtail the access of reporters who offend him. “In keeping with the spirit of the First Amendment, reporters who cover the White House should be free to do their jobs without the specter of reprisal from the government,” he said in a statement. During his campaign, Trump barred reporters from about a dozen media organizations ... from being credentialed at his rallies, news conferences and other events.

Note: The Department of Homeland Security recently began seeking a contractor to "gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


From tear gas to tweets: 50 years in the evolution of US activism
2018-07-27, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2018/0727/From-tear-gas-to-tweets-50-ye...

On a cross-country drive from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., our quest was to find out how activism has evolved in the past 50 years. Hours of interviews with former and current activists showed us that while the blueprints for battle have changed, the issues many people are fighting for have not. In 1968, the goal was to raise public awareness about the struggle of marginalized communities. Activists then used music, art, and writing as well as protests to bring that struggle forward. “What drove those movements was a rather wild hope that it was time for the country to repair what had been broken in American history,” says sociologist Todd Gitlin, author of “The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage.” Across the country, we saw people waking up to causes – conservative and liberal – they can support and finding a way to fight for them, just as activists did in 1968. Back then it might have meant wearing a brown beret or a black jacket, taking photos for a magazine, or writing a song with a person whose skin was a different color. Today it would look more like donning a pink hat or waving a rainbow flag or running for office when everyone says you can’t or shouldn’t. “I’ve become more aware at all levels,” says Ms. Oakes, [an] English teacher in West Virginia [who helped organize a successful strike]. “We have a platform to build on that I don’t think we had a year ago. And it’s been inspiring to see how we’ve started something.”

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


U.S. Secret Wars in Africa Rage On, Despite Talk of Downsizing
2018-07-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/07/26/us-special-operations-africa-green-berets...

Last October, four U.S. soldiers – including two commandos – were killed in an ambush in Niger. Since then, talk of U.S. special operations in Africa has centered on missions being curtailed and troop levels cut. Press accounts have suggested that the number of special operators on the front lines has been reduced. At the same time, a “sweeping Pentagon review” of special ops missions on the continent may result in drastic cuts in the number of commandos operating there. [Yet], there is no evidence yet of massive cuts, gradual reductions, or any downsizing whatsoever. In fact, the number of commandos operating on the continent has barely budged since 2017. Nearly 10 months after the debacle in Niger, the tally of special operators in Africa remains essentially unchanged. 16.5 percent of commandos overseas are deployed in Africa. This is about the same percentage of special operators sent to the continent in 2017 and represents a major increase over deployments during the first decade of the post-9/11 war on terror. In 2006, for example, just 1 percent of all U.S. commandos deployed overseas were in Africa. While media reports have focused on the possibility of imminent reductions, the number of commandos deployed in Africa is nonetheless up 96 percent since 2014 and remains fundamentally unchanged since the deadly 2017 ambush in Niger.

Note: Read more about the "shadow wars" being waged in Africa by US Special Operations forces. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Liquid water 'lake' revealed on Mars
2018-07-25, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44952710

Researchers have found evidence of an existing body of liquid water on Mars. What they believe to be a lake sits under the planet's south polar ice cap, and is about 20km (12 miles) across. Previous research found possible signs of intermittent liquid water flowing on the martian surface, but this is the first sign of a persistent body of water on the planet in the present day. Lake beds like those explored by Nasa's Curiosity rover show water was present on the surface of Mars in the past. However, the planet's climate has since cooled due to its thin atmosphere, leaving most of its water locked up in ice. The result is exciting because scientists have long searched for signs of present-day liquid water on Mars, but these have come up empty or yielded ambiguous findings. It will also interest those studying the possibilities for life beyond Earth. Following the water is key to astrobiology - the study of potential life beyond Earth.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the nature of reality and UFO phenomena.


“This Is Unacceptable”: How the UN Falls Short in Responding to Alleged Sex Abuse
2018-07-24, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/this-is-unacceptable-how-the-un-fa...

When UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited the Central African Republic (CAR) in October of 2017, his words echoed a theme that he’d been sounding since taking office in January: Stemming the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers was among his top priorities. The same month of Guterres’ visit to CAR, the UN had received a report of a new rape case there. A young woman named Mauricette, who was 17 at the time, said she was raped by peacekeepers on her way home from a funeral. Mauricette went months without hearing from the UN after her initial interview with them. The details of what allegedly happened to Mauricette are grim. “She was vomiting,” says Jean-Gaston Endjileteko, who works at Samaritans’ Medical Center, where Mauricette had been treated. “She told me she had drunk some drugged tea spiked with a powder at the Mauritanian checkpoint. The hospital reported Mauricette’s rape, and she was interviewed by a local UN representative. But then, the UN went silent. “I’ve heard nothing,” Mauricette says. “No news.” That was approximately two months after Mauricette’s initial interview with the UN — so [PBS correspondent Ramita] Navai brought the delay to the attention of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Head of UN Mission, Central African Republic. Mauricette still hadn’t heard anything further from the UN — four months after FRONTLINE brought the delay in communication with her about her case to the UN’s attention.

Note: An hour-long episode of PBS FRONTLINE details the sad case introduced by the article above. In 2015, more than a year after allegations of UN peacekeepers sexual abusing children came to light, it was reported that the UN had taken disciplinary action against the whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing, but not against the soldiers accused of abuses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Man dying of cancer testifies in weed-killer suit against Monsanto
2018-07-24, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Benicia-man-dying-of-cancer-testi...

A former school groundskeeper, diagnosed with terminal cancer, told a San Francisco jury Monday that he called a Monsanto Co. hotline twice - once before his diagnosis, once after - and asked whether the herbicide he was spraying on the job, the most widely used weed killer in the world, could cause harm to humans. Both times ... the person at the other end of the line listened to his account of being accidentally doused with the herbicide glyphosate, and said someone would call him back. No one ever did. “I would never have sprayed the product around school grounds or around people if I thought it would cause them harm,” Johnson told a Superior Court jury. Johnson ... was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2014 and with ... a more aggressive form of the cancer in March 2015. Even after the latter diagnosis, Johnson said he continued to spray Monsanto’s product, a high-concentration brand of glyphosate called Ranger Pro, until he became convinced that it was dangerous and refused to use it in his final months on the job. His damage suit, now into its third week, is the first of about 4,000 nationwide to go to trial against Monsanto, now a subsidiary of Bayer. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. [Johnson] said ... a supervisor told him the product was safe as long as he wore long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.

Note: As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


'Dark Money' turns campaign finance into a political thriller
2018-07-24, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-dark-money-documentary-2...

The documentary “Dark Money” turns a story about campaign finance into a political thriller. Beyond that - in a veritable magic trick in these divisive times - viewers may well find themselves rooting for politicians who don’t share their political views. “Dark Money” ... delves into a seemingly nonpartisan issue: the use of anonymous funds to influence political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. Director Kimberly Reed ... first became interested in the topic after Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that political spending was a protected form of free speech. “I joked around for years that I was going to change my name to Cassandra, because nobody was listening to my prophecies of doom,” said Reed. “You could just see that campaign finance was going to get worse and worse, and I watched it happen every election cycle.” The outcome has been even grimmer than she imagined. In addition to the flood of corporate money that funded super PACs, a more insidious tidal wave started to wash over the country in the form of anonymous donations, or “dark money.” Looking for a way into the challenging material, Reed found it in ... her home state of Montana. Former Federal Election Commission Chair Ann Ravel appears in “Dark Money” to provide a depressing counterpoint to Montana’s battle. “It’s such a good movie,” Ravel said, “because Kim juxtaposes what’s happening on the federal level with the hopeful side in Montana and in other states.”

Note: Find out more about this important documentary on the film's official website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Chemicals in Food May Harm Children, Pediatricians’ Group Says
2018-07-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/well/chemicals-food-children-health.html

A major pediatricians’ group is urging families to limit the use of plastic food containers, cut down on processed meat during pregnancy and consume more whole fruits and vegetables rather than processed food. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued the guidelines. Certain chemicals that enter foods may interfere with the body’s natural hormones in ways that may affect long-term growth and development. Among the chemicals that raised particular concern are nitrates and nitrites, which are used as preservatives, primarily in meat products; phthalates, which are used to make plastic packaging; and bisphenols, used in the lining of metal cans. Also of concern to the pediatricians are perfluoroalkyl chemicals, or PFCs, used in grease-proof paper and packaging, and perchlorates, an antistatic agent used in plastic packaging. “Avoiding canned food is a great way to reduce your bisphenol exposure in general, and avoiding packaged and processed food is a good way to avoid phthalates exposures,” [guidelines author] Dr. Trasande said. He also suggested wrapping foods in wax paper in lieu of plastic wrap. The A.A.P. statement was particularly critical of a regulatory process by which the F.D.A. designates food additives “generally recognized as safe,” citing a ... review of the program that determined “the F.D.A. is not able to ensure the safety of existing or new additives through this approval mechanism.”

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


I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to
2018-07-23, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-missile-arms-deals-west-us-uk-saud...

Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. I found [it] printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year. At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California ... and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn. Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. There were dozens of other used-up identical missile casings in the same underground room in the ruins of eastern Aleppo. These anti-armour missiles ... were not individual items smuggled into Syria. These were shipments, whole batches of weapons that left their point of origin on military aircraft pallets. There are videos of Islamist fighters using the BGM-71E-1B variety in Idlib province two years before I found the casings of other anti-tank missiles in neighbouring Aleppo. There is neither an obligation nor an investigative mechanism on the part of the arms manufacturers to ensure that their infinitely expensive products are not handed over ... to Isis, al-Nusra/al-Qaeda – which was clearly the case in Aleppo – or some other [group] branded by the US State Department itself as a “terrorist organisation”. Why don’t Nato track all these weapons as they leave Europe and America? Why don’t they expose the real end-users of these deadly shipments? The arms manufacturers I spoke to in the Balkans attested that Nato and the US are fully aware of the buyers of all their machine guns and mortars.

Note: This article was written by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Fisk. More on this available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Who Represents Us When Our Political Parties Represent Only Corporations?
2018-07-23, Yes! Magazine
https://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/who-represents-us-when-our-political-...

We the people of the United States find ourselves in a political crisis. Irrespective of where we fall on the political spectrum, a great many of us don’t trust our own political system. Nor should we: It represents power that is captive to interests quite at odds with our own. Two recent news stories brought this home ... in a way that might help us find common cause. The first story was about a meeting of the World Health Organization. Ecuador introduced a resolution calling on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and to restrict promotion of food products found to have deleterious effects on young children. Most ... rallied behind the initiative. The United States’ representatives stood firmly in opposition. They even threatened Ecuador with trade sanctions and a cutback in military aid. The U.S. representatives left ... no doubt that they were representing the interest of transnational corporations that sell infant formula. Within days of the breastfeeding incident, President Trump was attacking the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe for spending too little on their militaries. At first mention his argument seemed reasonable. But ... our problem is not that our allies are spending too little on war, but that we are spending far too much. The interests served by bloated military ... are corporations that profit from defense contracts. Defense contractors and infant formula corporations are just two examples of the abuse of unaccountable institutional power in which both ... parties have been complicit for decades.

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


Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations – review
2018-07-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jul/22/rise-kill-first-secret-history-...

In January 2010 Israeli agents converged on a luxury hotel in Dubai: their target was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, an arms supplier for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip. The mission involved 27 operatives of the Mossad secret service who were posing as tourists or tennis players. The hit team and their watchers flew in from different European airports using false passports. Communications were routed via Austria to avoid surveillance. Mabhouh was killed in his room using a paralysing drug and his body left to be discovered by hotel staff the next day. The snag was that the killing exposed the Mossad to global scrutiny – and angered an Arab country with a record of quiet cooperation with Israel. CCTV caught the agents changing disguises and stalking their prey – seen as a legitimate candidate for extrajudicial execution as he had killed an Israeli soldier and, more importantly, was a logistical link with Iran, sworn enemy of the Jewish state. Ronen Bergman’s account of his country’s targeted assassinations contains a wealth of detail about this and other killings. In recent years Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the western world. Bergman’s long view sharpens understanding of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict – and of the limits of force. Bergman’s style tends to the sensational but that does not mask a critical strand that questions the morality and effectiveness of Israel’s approach to dealing with the enemy in its own backyard.

Note: Rise and Kill First by Ronen Bergman is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and assassinations.


Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it.
2018-07-22, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/sanders-wing-party-terrifies-moder...

Pragmatism may be a tougher sell in the Donald Trump era, but with the 2020 presidential race just around the corner, moderate Democrats know they are running out of time to reassert themselves. The ["Opportunity 2020" convention] was just that - an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump. The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare. The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality. With much of the recent policy innovation on the Democratic side happening on the left, the "Opportunity Agenda" unveiled here tries to equip moderates with their own big ideas. Some of the key initiatives are a massive apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training.

Note: A recent New York Times article describes how the political left in the US is beginning to create secretive political groups funded by dark money in a similar way Koch brothers have.


As inequality grows, so does the political influence of the rich
2018-07-21, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/07/21/as-inequality-grow...

With few exceptions, today’s populist insurgents are more concerned with immigration and sovereignty than with the top rate of income tax. This disconnect may be more than an oddity. It may be a sign of the corrupting influence of inequality on democracy. Rather than straightforwardly increasing pressure on politicians to do something about skewed income distributions ... rising inequality might instead boost the power of the rich, thus enabling them to counter the popular will. Research in political science gives substance to the impression that America’s rich wield outsize influence. The relation between concentrated wealth and the political power of the rich is scarcely limited to political spending, or to America. The rich have many means to shape public opinion: financing nominally apolitical think-tanks, for instance, or buying media outlets. Although their power may sometimes be used to influence the result of a particular vote, it is often deployed more subtly, to shape public narratives about which problems deserve attention. Rising inequality ... is associated with political agendas more focused on matters related to “social order”, such as crime and immigration. Issues such as economic justice are crowded out. As their wealth increases, [the rich] have a greater ability to press politicians to emphasise some topics rather than others. The rich are powerful, but not all-powerful. If political leaders tried it, they might well find that redistribution is a winner at the ballot box.

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


A 4-Day Workweek? A Test Run Shows a Surprising Result
2018-07-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/world/asia/four-day-workweek-new-zealand.html

A New Zealand firm that let its employees work four days a week while being paid for five says the experiment was so successful that it hoped to make the change permanent. The firm, Perpetual Guardian, which manages trusts, wills and estates, found the change actually boosted productivity among its 240 employees, who said they spent more time with their families, exercising, cooking, and working in their gardens. Similar experiments in other countries have tested the concept of reducing work hours as a way of improving individual productivity. In Sweden, a trial in the city of Gothenburg mandated a six-hour day, and officials found employees completed the same amount of work or even more. In Perpetual Guardian’s case, workers said the change motivated them to find ways of increasing their productivity while in the office. Meetings were reduced from two hours to 30 minutes, and employees created signals for their colleagues that they needed time to work without distraction. “They worked out where they were wasting time and worked smarter,” [Jarrod Haar, a human resources professor] said. Andrew Barnes, the company’s founder ... said he came up with the idea for a four-day workweek after reading a report that suggested people spent less than three hours of their work day productively employed, and another that said distractions at work could have effects on staff akin to losing a night’s sleep.

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


The IRS found a way to make ‘dark money’ spent on politics even darker
2018-07-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-irs-darkmoney-20180719-story....

Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations supposedly devoted to “social welfare” can spend large amounts of money to influence elections without publicly disclosing the identities of their donors. But instead of cracking down on the use of “dark money” for political purposes, the Internal Revenue Service has decided to stop requiring these groups to reveal even to the government the sources of their funding. On Monday, the IRS and the Treasury Department announced they would no longer require 501(c)(4) groups ... to supply the government with the identities of donors who gave more than $5,000 in a single year. It’s a step backward that could make it easier for money from foreign sources to find its way into U.S. elections. But while this week’s policy change may not affect what the public may learn about political spending by so-called social welfare groups, it could make it more difficult for the government to police laws against spending by foreigners on U.S. elections. Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign reform group Democracy 21, warned that, with the end of the reporting requirement, “there is no way to determine if a 501(c)(4) advocacy group that is spending money to influence federal elections is taking that money from [a] foreign interest.”

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


NASA Could Have People Living on the Moon in 8 Years. And That's Just the Beginning
2018-07-19, Time
http://time.com/5342743/nasa-moon-mars/

From December 1968 to December 1972, nine crews of human beings orbited and walked on and even drove on the face of the ancient moon. But as suddenly as the visits began, they stopped. The humans left and the quiet resumed. All of that, however, may soon change. For the first time in five decades, the U.S. - along with private-industry and international partners - has committed itself to returning to the moon, and to doing it on a defined timeline. In December 2017, President Trump signed the first of three Space Policy Directives, putting manned lunar exploration back at the top of the NASA agenda. Rather than the so-called flags-and-footprints model of lunar exploration - with short-term crews in throwaway vehicles landing on the surface ... the U.S. now hopes to establish a long-term presence on and around the moon. The centerpiece of the new system will be what NASA calls the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a mouthful of a name that hides a relatively simple idea. Gateway, as NASA sees it, will be a sort of mini space station in lunar orbit. Like the ... International Space Station, this one would be built with the help of more than a dozen other nations. Unlike the existing station, which consists of 15 habitable modules and a vast array of solar panels, Gateway will be comparatively small–a 75-ton assembly, consisting of just one or two habitable modules, each roughly the size of a school bus, plus a snap-on module for power and propulsion and two others that would serve as an air lock for spacewalking astronauts and a docking port for incoming vehicles.

Note: If the full text is unavailable at the link above, see this webpage.


An Alabama man walked almost 20 miles to his new job. When his boss found out, he gave him a car.
2018-07-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/07/18/an-alabama-ma...

Walter Carr sent his friends a flurry of increasingly pleading text messages. The college student’s car had broken down, and he was supposed to begin his new job as a mover the next morning — at a home 20 miles from his apartment near Birmingham, Ala. He struck out finding a ride, but he wasn’t about to miss his first day of work. Carr, 20, needed the work. He ... concluded there was only one option: He would walk it. As a former high school cross-country runner, he knew he could do it. When his legs began to burn, he stayed focused on his goal. Around 4 a.m. ... he still had hours more to walk to get to the house. He sat down in a bank parking lot. A police car pulled up and ... asked if Carr was all right. Carr said yes, and explained what he was doing. [Officer] Knighten offered to take him to get something [to eat] “I said, ‘I just paid my rent. I have no cash on me at all,’ ” Carr recalled. Knighten told him to get in the car, the meal was on him. At 6:30 a.m., [another officer] explained to homeowner Jenny Lamey what had happened. “The officer told me, ‘I’ve got this nice kid in my car. He’s been walking all night to get to your house,’ ” Lamey said. “That’s when the tears started coming.” Lamey offered him a bed to take a nap, and some food. Carr replied, “ ‘No, I’d rather get started,’ ” The following day, Lamey called Carr’s supervisor, and the two cried together on the phone about what Carr had done. Lamey posted the story on Facebook, and it took off. On Sunday, Carr’s boss, Bellhops chief executive Luke Marklin, called to thank him. When they met, Marklin gave him his own car, a 2014 Ford Escape. He said it would be in better hands with Carr than with him.

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


Election Hacking: Voting-Machine Supplier Admits It Used Hackable Software Despite Past Denials
2018-07-17, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/election-hacking-voting-machines-software-1028948

One of the country’s largest voting machine makers has admitted in a letter to a U.S. senator that some of its past election-management systems had remote-access software preinstalled, despite past denials that any of its systems were equipped with such software. Election Systems and Software (ES&S) told Democratic Senator Ron Wyden ... that the company provided election equipment with remote connection software to an unspecified number of states from 2000 to 2006. “ES&S provided pcAnywhere remote connection software on the [Election-Management System] workstation to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” wrote Tom Burt, ES&S president. The election-management system is used to count official election results and sometimes to program voting machines. PcAnywhere was the name of the remote-access software made by Symantec. In 2012, Symantec told all of its customers to disable or to uninstall the software after admitting it had been hacked in 2006, at the same time that ES&S was selling election-management systems with pcAnywhere preinstalled. ES&S would not say how many systems were sold with the software from 2000 to 2006 but stressed the company stopped using it in 2007, after it was prohibited by the Election Assistance Commission. A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University discovered in 2011 that the technology was pre-installed on an election-management system that was sold to a Pennsylvania county.

Note: For more on this threat to democracy, see this excellent essay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Homegirl Cafe Offers 'Platos' by Ex-Gang Members With Hope
2018-07-17, US News and World Report/Associated Press
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2018-07-17/homegi...

Homegirl Cafe, a Los Angeles breakfast and lunch spot with a Latino twist, offers a unique dining experience prepared by former gang members. The popular cafe in the city's Chinatown allows visitors to relish carefully crafted meals while getting inspired by former inmates who willingly retell their stories about seeking a better life. The cafe is an offshoot of the Homeboy Industries social enterprises founded by Jesuit priest Greg Boyle to give former gang members job training and social services. Trainees learn all aspects of culinary arts while developing new social prowess that gives visitors a tender encounter. Plates like chilaquiles — fresh crisp tortilla chips tossed with warm tomatillo salsa, egg, crema fresca, and queso cotija — are made from ingredients that come straight from urban farms.

Note: Read more about Homeboy Industries' success in providing former gang members with a path to a better life. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Israeli parliament votes to ban state and army critics from schools
2018-07-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/17/israeli-parliament-votes-to-ban...

Israel’s parliament has passed a law that could ban groups critical of the armed forces or the state from entering schools and speaking to students. As an amendment to the country’s education act, the law grants extensive powers to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the education minister and head of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party. He can decide to ban groups, the bill states, if they “actively promote legal or international political actions to be taken outside Israel against soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces ... or against the state of Israel”. However, critics warn the law is so vague that it could apply to any person or body that criticises Israel to a foreign entity or government – for example, an Israeli rights group that submits an unfavourable report to a UN agency. The legislation has been dubbed the “Breaking the Silence” bill, a reference to an anti-occupation Israeli human rights group run by military veterans that collects and publishes testimony on army abuses. Bennett has been deeply scathing of the organisation, accusing it of damaging Israel’s image abroad and putting soldiers and officials at risk of prosecution for alleged war crimes. Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, said the law was “the broadest restriction on freedom of expression for political reasons ever put into Israeli law”. He said its goal was to silence criticism of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

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


GAO: Less Than Half of School Districts Test Water for Lead
2018-07-17, US News and World Report/Associated Press
https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2018-07-17/gao-le...

A survey of school districts around the country finds that less than half test their water for lead, and among those that do more than a third detected elevated levels of the toxin. The report, released by the Government Accountability Office, is based on a survey of 549 school districts across the United States. It estimates that 41 percent of school districts, serving 12 million students, did not test for lead in the water in 2016 and 2017. Of the 43 percent that did test for lead, about 37 percent reported elevated levels. Sixteen percent of schools said they did not know whether they test for lead. A 2005 memorandum signed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance to schools, including a testing protocol and suggestions for disseminating results, educating the school community about the risks and health effects of exposure and what actions should be taken to correct the problem. But there are still major information gaps, the report says, and no federal law that requires schools to test for lead.

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


This 84-Year-Old Grandmother Is Still Pole Vaulting. What’s Your Excuse?
2018-07-16, Runners World
https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a22160755/pole-vaulting-grandma/

Many people worry that they’ll end up slowing down as they get older. But that doesn’t seem to be concern for 84-year-old Flo Meiler. In fact, this grandmother is just hitting her stride. Meiler, of Shelburne, Vermont, is a regular at the state’s senior games each year. There, she competes in all of the events, from the hurdles to the pole vaulting. Meiler was a late bloomer to track and field. A sales rep for 30 years, she hit the track for the first time at age 60. Five years later, she tried pole vaulting. Why? It simply seemed like fun, she believed. So she bought herself a “How to pole vault” video and essentially taught herself the skills she needed to compete. With roughly 750 medals under her belt so far for her age group and senior games victories, Meiler has no plans of stopping. She wants to continue going after records, many of which she already owns. One notable one is her six-foot pole vaulting clearance when she was 80, a world record. So if you’re ever feeling insecure about your ability to start something new or reach a goal, just think about Meiler: That 84-year-old is still pole vaulting in Vermont. What’s your excuse?

Note: Watch an inspiring 4-minute BBC video on this amazing woman. Then explore a collection of concise summaries of news articles on amazing seniors.


Here's how patients say they reversed early Alzheimer's symptoms
2018-07-16, ABC News
http://abc7news.com/health/heres-how-patients-say-they-reversed-early-alzheim...

Two prominent California doctors, with bestselling books, insist we have the power to heal our own brains from diseases. They say it should start when we're young and begin with a look at the way we eat. Two women we spoke with who followed that advice say ... they reversed their early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease by making food and lifestyle changes based on research by neuroscientist Dr. Dale Bredesen. He wrote a book called "The End of Alzheimer's." "Two years ago, I scored mildly cognitively impaired on a cognitive assessment test," said Dr. Sally Weinrich. "Most recently, I scored perfect!" Weinrich, a former cancer researcher and grandmother, followed the Bredesen protocol for several months and is able to cook once again for her large family, pick up the grandkids from school and she's learning Spanish. Deborah, a very active mother of four and a lawyer, says, "Over a period of four to six months, the symptoms I was experiencing all reversed and I returned to my cognitive functioning that had been my norm when I was younger." She was able to recover her ability to sight-read notes when she plays the piano. Adda, an active 51-year-old grandmother, [said] that she improved her ability to think clearly and she lost almost 80 pounds after making dramatic food and lifestyle changes ... after she started working for cardiologist Dr. Steven Gundry nearly six years ago. He wrote a book called "The Plant Paradox."

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


Europe keeps setting clean-energy records
2018-07-14, Quartz
https://qz.com/1328344/renewable-energy-europe-keeps-setting-new-records-and-...

This week, two of the biggest economies in Europe set new records for clean energy. The UK’s electrical grid has not burned any coal for about 1,000 hours so far this year. Though it’s just a symbolic achievement, the pace at which the UK is reaching such figures shows the pace of the energy transition. In 2016 and 2017, the comparable figures for the full year stood at 210 hours and 624 hours, respectively. There are two reasons for the shift: a carbon tax on coal has made cleaner natural gas more attractive, and subsidies for solar and wind power have ensured wider deployment of new clean-energy technologies. Germany’s case has been slightly different. Though it began pushing for renewable energy much earlier than the UK, its gains have been slower. The coal lobby in Germany is a lot stronger than in the UK. But as the costs of renewable energy have come down, change is finally showing. In 2018 so far, coal generated about 35.1% of the country’s electricity. In comparison, renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and biomass, generated about 36.5%. At the half-year mark, it’s the first time in Germany’s history that renewables sources have generated more electricity than coal. Such records and falling renewable costs have made it easier for the EU to set more ambitious clean-energy goals. Last month, the bloc’s member nations agreed that each country must get 32% of all its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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


Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry, analysis finds
2018-07-12, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-migrant-child-detention-201...

Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually — a tenfold increase over the past decade. Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million dollars in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody. Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states. By far the largest recipients of taxpayer money have been Southwest Key and Baptist Child & Family Services. From 2008 to date, Southwest Key has received $1.39 billion in grant funding to operate shelters; Baptist Child & Family Services has received $942 million. International Educational Services also was a big recipient, landing more than $72 million in the last fiscal year before folding amid a series of complaints about the conditions in its shelters. The recipients of the money run the gamut from nonprofits, religious organizations and for-profit entities. They are essentially government contractors for the Health and Human Services Department — the federal agency that administers the program keeping immigrant children in custody. In a recently released report, the State Department decried the general principle of holding children in shelters, saying it makes them inherently vulnerable.

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


The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on black people
2018-07-12, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article213647764.html

The indictment was damning enough: A former police chief of Biscayne Park and two officers charged with falsely pinning four burglaries on a teenager. But the accusations revealed in federal court last month left out far uglier details of past policing practices in tranquil Biscayne Park, a [suburb] of Miami. Records obtained by the Miami Herald suggest that during the tenure of former chief Raimundo Atesiano, the command staff pressured some officers into targeting random black people to clear cases. “If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” one cop, Anthony De La Torre, said in an internal probe ordered in 2014. “They were basically doing this to have a 100% clearance rate for the city.” In a report from that probe, four officers — a third of the small force — told an outside investigator they were under marching orders to file the bogus charges to improve the department’s crime stats. Only De La Torre specifically mentioned targeting blacks, but former Biscayne Park village manager Heidi Shafran, who ordered the investigation after receiving a string of letters from disgruntled officers, said the message seemed clear for cops on the street. The federal case doesn’t raise allegations of racial profiling, but records show the false charges were filed against a black Haitian-American teen identified only as T.D. in the indictment.

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


Ireland becomes first country in world to pull money from fossil fuels
2018-07-12, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ireland-stop-fossil-fuel-mone...

Ireland will become the first country in the world to fully divest from fossil fuels after politicians voted to withdraw all public funds from oil and gas companies. In an effort to meet the country's climate change commitments, as embodied in the Paris agreement, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill will probably be brought into force after parliament's summer recess. First introduced by independent MP Thomas Pringle in 2016, the bill has since been backed by all opposition parties. Taking inspiration from universities and cities around the world that have withdrawn financial support from the fossil fuel industry, Mr Pringle began working on the idea after meeting Irish international development charity Trocaire. The passing of the bill will compel the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell off its fossil fuel investments, which stand at more than €300m (Ł265m) across 150 companies worldwide. Mr Pringle said the withdrawal of this money will not only remove funds from some of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, it will act as a gesture of Ireland’s commitment to tackling climate change. Eamonn Meehan, executive director of Trocaire, agreed that the bill made a “powerful statement” that would serve to improve the nation’s reputation as a “climate laggard”.

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


Whistleblowers need help. This tech entrepreneur wants to provide it
2018-07-12, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-whistleblowers-high-tec...

Public esteem for whistleblowers reached its high water mark in 2002. That’s when three whistleblowers were named Time’s Persons of the Year. Their employers were the corrupt companies Enron and WorldCom and the pre-9/11 FBI. Since that time, corporate managements and government agencies have become more secretive, making whistleblowing even more crucial for exposing wrongdoing. But the people who sacrifice their jobs and careers to bear witness are commonly viewed as turncoats or even traitors, ending up in jail or exile. Plainly, whistleblowers need help. Gilles Raymond is stepping forward. Raymond is the founder of the Signals Network, which is just beginning operations in San Francisco as a support organization for whistleblowers. The network ... will help whistleblowers find legal help and PR representation, work to build secure communications systems, and provide temporary housing to shield a whistleblower from harassment and threats. Signals ... has reached cooperative agreements with five international news organizations, including Germany’s Die Zeit, Britain’s Daily Telegraph, and the Intercept, a U.S.-based investigative news source. In the 16 years since that Time magazine cover, secrecy has become not only embedded more deeply in business and government practice, but safeguarded by law and administrative fiat.

Note: Read an excellent essay by CIA whistleblower Kevin Shipp on the many ways the US government prevents its employees from exposing illegal government activities. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Riveting Documentary Sheds Light On 'Dark Money' In Montana Politics
2018-07-12, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/07/12/626693116/riveting-documentary-sheds-light-on-...

Which is worse, corruption you can see or corruption you can't? In Dark Money, a documentary about invisible corporate shenanigans in her home state of Montana, director Kimberly Reed makes the incisive case that the latter threatens to sink our democracy outright. Dark Money opens and closes with a flock of geese flying over a toxic copper quarry. As Reed's story unfolds, we learn that the beautiful birds' mass demise is only a tiny fraction of the wreckage caused by shady money moguls tinkering with electoral campaigns over a hundred years of Montana history. Montana is also ... the only state, according to Reed, to have fought back locally against the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 rollback of laws preventing corporations and unions using their treasury funds for electioneering. Reed shows how Democrats and Republicans running for political and judicial office found themselves targeted by vicious attack ads from deep-pocketed non-profits with blandly vanilla names like Citizens United or Americans For Prosperity, or strategically crowd-pleasing monikers like Mothers Against Child Predators. No one had ever heard of these shape-shifting advocacy groups, and it was difficult to track the money back to the shadowy ideologues hiding behind them. [The] film shows how, with the Internet's global reach and the ever-growing concentration of money and power, dark money is redrawing the political landscape in ways that render parties irrelevant and imperil democracy itself.

Note: Find out more about this important documentary on the film's official website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


The Remarkable Rise Of ESG
2018-07-11, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgkell/2018/07/11/the-remarkable-rise-of-esg/...

Responsible investing is widely understood as the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment processes and decision-making. ESG factors cover a wide spectrum of issues that traditionally are not part of financial analysis, yet may have financial relevance. This might include how corporations respond to climate change, how good they are with water management, how effective their health and safety policies are ... how they manage their supply chains, [and] how they treat their workers. The term ESG was first coined in 2005 in a landmark study entitled “Who Cares Wins.” Today, ESG investing is estimated at over $20 trillion in AUM or around a quarter of all professionally managed assets around the world, and its rapid growth builds on the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) movement that has been around much longer. Cynics may argue that responsible investing is just a fad. But a closer look at the forces that have driven the movement over the past 15 years suggests otherwise. The big challenge for most corporations is to adapt to a new environment that favors smarter, cleaner and healthier products and services, and to leave behind the dogmas of the industrial era when pollution was free, labor was just a cost factor and scale and scope was the dominant strategy. Today, ESG investing has matured to the point where it can greatly accelerate market transformation for the better.

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


The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report
2018-07-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/nyregion/shambhala-sexual-misconduct.html

Mipham Rinpoche ... is the head of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, Shambhala International, a network of more than 200 outposts in over 30 countries where thousands come for training in meditation. He is known as the Sakyong, a Tibetan word that translates roughly as king, and his students take vows to follow him that are binding across lifetimes. Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up. On Friday ... the governing council of Shambhala International, which is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, resigned en masse, “in the interest of beginning a healing process for our community.” The Sakyong ... took leave from running Shambhala as an outside firm investigates abuse allegations against him and other Shambhala teachers. He would, the announcement stated, “enter a period of self-reflection.” The Sakyong is not only another executive or religious leader dethroned by #MeToo, but the sole holder of the most sacred teachings in a custody chain that goes back centuries, the only one who can transmit them, according to the traditions of his lineage.

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


‘There have to be limits’: Guantanamo attorneys challenge lifetime imprisonment without charge
2018-07-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/there-have-to-be-limit...

Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been held for as long as 16 years without being charged cannot be imprisoned indefinitely, attorneys argued in federal court Wednesday. Speaking before U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan in Washington, attorneys representing eight men detained at the military facility said the Trump administration had violated prisoners’ rights because it did not intend to try them or resettle them overseas. The case shines a light on the few remaining prisoners at Guantanamo, which President Trump has promised to keep open and potentially use to house new suspects, reversing his predecessor’s failed quest to shutter the facility. The men’s collective challenge ... is a reminder of the unsettled questions that continue to surround the prison, which for critics symbolizes what they see as excesses that followed the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. At its peak, the military facility ... held more than 700 prisoners. After 2009, President Barack Obama, seeking to close the prison, resettled close to 200 more but was unable to overcome congressional opposition to shutting the prison. Two of the men whose challenge was heard Wednesday, Tofiq Nasser Awad al-Bihani and Abdul Latif Nasser, have already been deemed eligible for resettlement overseas by a government panel, but they remain at Guantanamo. Much of the hearing revolved around the government’s assertion that it could continue to hold the detainees until hostilities against the United States cease, no matter how long that takes.

Note: A letter written by Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained without charges for over 15 years, sheds further light on the plight of these prisoners. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Top Ecuador court upholds $9 billion ruling against Chevron
2018-07-11, Miami Herald/Associated Press
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article214688105.html

Ecuador's highest court has upheld a $9.5 billion judgment against oil giant Chevron for decades of rainforest damage. Plaintiffs celebrated the constitutional court's decision announced Tuesday night, saying it should pave the way for indigenous tribes to receive compensation for oil spills that contaminated groundwater and soil in their Amazon home. But the ruling is largely symbolic as Chevron no longer operates in the South American country. That means Ecuador's government will have to pursue assets owned by the ... company in foreign courts, where it so far has had little luck. Last week, an appeals court in Argentina rejected an attempt by Ecuador to collect on its award, echoing earlier rulings by courts in Canada, Gibraltar and Brazil. In 2014, a U.S. court of appeals ... also denied Ecuador's request, arguing that the original judgment was obtained through bribery, coercion and fraud. In an added twist, the American lawyer who for years represented Ecuador in the matter was barred Tuesday from practicing law in New York state. The New York state appeals court found Steven Donziger guilty of professional misconduct, saying that in his appeal of the 2014 ruling he did not challenge the judge's findings of bribery, witness tampering, and the ghostwriting of a court opinion.

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


Dying Organs Restored to Life in Novel Experiments
2018-07-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/10/health/mitochondria-transplant-heart-attac...

Mitochondria are tiny organelles that fuel the operation of the cell. A series of experiments has found that fresh mitochondria can revive flagging cells and enable them to quickly recover. In animal studies ... mitochondrial transplants revived heart muscle that was stunned from a heart attack. Infusions of mitochondria also prolonged the time organs could be stored before they were used for transplants, and even ameliorated brain damage that occurred soon after a stroke. In ... human tests, mitochondrial transplants appear to revive and restore heart muscle in infants that was injured in operations to repair congenital heart defects. The idea for mitochondrial transplants was born of serendipity. Dr. Emani is a pediatric surgeon. Dr. McCully is a scientist who studies adult hearts. Both were wrestling with ... how to fix hearts that had been deprived of oxygen during surgery or a heart attack. One day, [Dr. McCully] decided simply to pull some mitochondria from healthy [pig] cells and inject them into the injured cells. To his surprise, the mitochondria moved like magnets to the proper places in the cells and began supplying energy. The pig hearts recovered. Meanwhile, Dr. Emani was struggling with the same heart injuries in his work with babies. [When] the two researchers met, “it was almost an ‘aha’ moment,” Dr. Emani said. The scientists have now treated 11 babies with mitochondria. All of the more recent patients survived and are doing well.

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


Trying to Cut Crime in Public Housing by Making It More Livable
2018-07-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/10/opinion/new-york-crime-public-housing.html

New York City is the safest big city in the nation. The city is betting it can [get even safer]. The Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety is being employed in 15 of the most dangerous public housing complexes in the city. The idea is to lower crime by making these neighborhoods better - places where residents live in well-maintained buildings, have necessary services, are engaged in civic life and can collaborate to solve problems. Working elevators, summer jobs for teenagers, community centers open till midnight, residents who know what to do when the trash piles up - no one would doubt that these are good things. But it seems a stretch to call them crime prevention measures. Will people really commit fewer robberies and shootings if the trash gets picked up? Crime has dropped more in the 15 complexes involved in the plan than in other public housing. Why? It might be this: Crime is in part a function of trust. “Trust is the heartbeat of civic life,” said Elizabeth Glazer, head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “These neighborhoods feel completely estranged.” Perhaps more important ... is what social scientists call “collective efficacy” - achieved when neighbors feel that they can trust and rely on one another and work together to get things done. Collective efficacy is so important that the lack of it - common in disadvantaged neighborhoods - is most of the reason poor communities have more crime. When they build collective efficacy, even without other changes, crime drops.

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


Trump pardons Oregon ranchers who sparked 2016 militia standoff
2018-07-10, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44775113

President Donald Trump has pardoned two Oregon cattle ranchers whose sentence for arson led armed militiamen to seize control of a wildlife refuge in 2016. Dwight Hammond, 76, and his son Steven Hammond, 49, were convicted in 2012 after a prescribed burn on their land spread to nearby public lands. The pair served time in jail, but a judge later ruled that they must serve their full five-year sentence. The ruling sparked anti-government protests that left one rancher dead. The case had drawn the attention of limited-government proponents, including the family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who was himself facing charges relating to an armed standoff with law enforcement. His son, Ammon Bundy, then began a social media campaign backing the Hammonds, and travelled to Burns, Oregon, to organise protests calling for their release. On 2 January, 2016 [Mr Bundy and his group] took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and widened the range of demands. The standoff ended when police arrested several members and fatally shot the group's spokesman, LaVoy Finicum. The Obama administration insisted the Hammonds receive a mandatory minimum sentence of five years - but Mr Trump has other ideas. Tuesday's announcement marks seven pardons by Mr Trump, as well as two commuted sentences. Last month, Mr Trump granted clemency to 63-year-old Alice Johnson after meeting with celebrity Kim Kardashian, who lobbied the president for her release.

Note: The above article fails to mention that a mistrial was declared in the case against Cliven Bundy after prosecutors were caught withholding massive amounts of evidence undermining federal charges. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Judge: Experts Can Testify That Roundup Linked to Cancer
2018-07-10, US News and World Report
https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2018-07-10/judge-experts-can-te...

Evidence that Roundup weed killer can cause cancer seems "weak," but experts can still make that claim at trial, a U.S. judge ruled Tuesday. The decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco allows hundreds of lawsuits against Roundup's manufacturer, Monsanto, to move forward. The lawsuits by cancer victims and their families say the agrochemical giant long knew about Roundup's cancer risk but failed to warn them. The judge wanted to determine whether the science behind the claim that Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had been properly tested and met other requirements to be considered valid. Before issuing his ruling, Chhabria spent a week in March hearing dueling testimony from epidemiologists. He peppered them with questions about potential strengths and weaknesses of research on the cancer risk of glyphosate. Beate Ritz, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, testified for the plaintiffs that her review of scientific literature led her to conclude that glyphosate and glyphosate-based compounds such as Roundup can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ritz said a 2017 National Institute of Health study that found no association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had major flaws. A federal judge in Sacramento in February blocked California from requiring that Roundup carry a label stating that it is known to cause cancer.

Note: As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court
2018-07-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/09/monsanto-trial-roundup-weedk...

Monsanto has long worked to “bully scientists” and suppress evidence of the cancer risks of its popular weedkiller, a lawyer argued on Monday in a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation. “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully ... and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. Wisner ... is representing DeWayne Johnson, known also as Lee, a California man whose cancer has spread through his body. The father of three ... is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer. Thousands have made similar legal claims across the US. The suit centers on glyphosate ... which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974, presenting it as a technological breakthrough that could kill almost every weed without harming humans. Studies have suggested otherwise, and in 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Glyphosate has been found in food, a variety of water sources, and the urine of agricultural workers. A number of countries have policies banning or restricting the sale and use of glyphosate.

Note: For more, see this article from the San Francisco Chronicle. As major lawsuits like this one against Monsanto unfold, the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras
2018-07-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/business/china-surveillance-technology.html

China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, bringing people more freedom and connecting them to the world. In China, it has brought control. Cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-size displays ... list the names of people who don’t pay their debts. Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes. Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras. Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel. Invasive mass-surveillance software has been set up in the west to track members of the Uighur Muslim minority and map their relations with friends and family. [At] the intersection south of Changhong Bridge in the city of Xiangyang ... police put up cameras linked to facial recognition technology and a big, outdoor screen. Photos of lawbreakers were displayed alongside their names and government I.D. numbers. China’s surveillance companies are also looking to test the appetite for high-tech surveillance abroad. At home, China is preparing its people for next-level surveillance technology. A recent state-media propaganda film called “Amazing China” showed off a ... virtual map that provided police with records of utility use. “If there are anomalies, the system sends an alert,” a narrator says, as Chinese police officers pay a visit to an apartment with a record of erratic utility use.

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


Two years after Philando Castile’s death, programs aim to transform relations between police, residents
2018-07-07, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/two-years-after-philando-castiles-dea...

An African American family of six sits inside the Nissan Quest in this first-ring suburb of St. Paul. The car tells a story of poverty: Plastic covers a broken window; rust lines the wheel wells. Officer Erin Reski pulled the vehicle over for a burned-out taillight, a problem similar to the one that led an officer to stop Philando Castile in the Twin Cities two years ago. That incident ... ended with Castile fatally shot. This situation ends very differently. Reski walks back to the minivan ... hands over a sheet of paper and offers a brief explanation. The response is swift and emphatic. “Oh, thank you!” the driver says. Scenes like this have been taking place across the Twin Cities thanks to the Lights On program, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Instead of writing tickets for minor equipment problems, police officers are authorized to issue $50 coupons so motorists can have those problems fixed at area auto shops. Twenty participating police departments have given out approximately 660 coupons in a little more than a year. For motorists such as Sandy Patterson, another African American resident who was pulled over for a burned-out headlight in January, the small gesture of being offered a coupon makes a big difference. “I was relieved that I was getting a voucher to purchase a service that could’ve been quite expensive,” she said. “I had an overwhelming feeling of decreased anxiety because of the whole way the communication went, with somebody helping out versus giving a ticket.”

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


76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
2018-07-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/05/climate/trump-environment-rule...

President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration ... has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry. To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources. The Environmental Protection Agency has been involved in more than a third of the policy reversals. Scott Pruitt, the head of the E.P.A. who spearheaded the administration’s agenda of environmental deregulation, resigned after facing a number of ethics scandals. The new acting chief of the agency is a former coal lobbyist. Rules targeted for reversal so far include ... air and water pollution controls and protections for threatened animals and habitats. The Trump administration has, in many instances, pared back these regulations in favor of more expansive energy extraction policies — often as a direct response to petitions from oil, gas and coal companies. All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could lead to at least 80,000 extra deaths per decade and cause respiratory problems for more than one million people, according to a recent analysis. That number, however, is likely to be “a major underestimate of the global public health impact,” said Francesca Dominici, a professor ... at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Note: The Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency have all reportedly been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and climate change.


A migrant child was returned to his mother covered in lice
2018-07-06, MSN
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-migrant-child-was-returned-to-his-mother-...

One of the children separated from his parents at the US-Mexico border was returned months later with lice, looking as if he hadn’t been bathed in weeks, and with irrevocable changes to his personality ... according to documents filed in a lawsuit against the Trump administration. The lawsuit, from 17 states and the District of Columbia, calls for an end to Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and demands the administration reunite all families that were separated at the border. One mother, Olivia Caceres, alleged that she was separated from her son in November at a legal point entry ... and wasn’t with him for 12 weeks. When he was returned to her custody, Caceres’s son was infested with lice and appeared as though he had not been bathed for the entirety of their separation. "[My son] is not the same since we were reunited. I thought that, because he is so young he would not be traumatized by this experience, but he does not separate from me. He cries when he does not see me. That behavior is not normal.” The stories about what happens to children who are reunited with their families are playing out as still hundreds more kids remain separated from their parents. On June 26, HHS was given a deadline to reunite children under the age of 5 to their families within 14 days and all children within 30 days. HHS Secretary Alex Azar ... admitted that they don’t know which of the nearly 3,000 migrant children in HHS’s custody have been separated from their parents.


'Predatory police': the high price of driving while black in Missouri
2018-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/05/missouri-driving-while-black-...

A 2014 federal report found that St Louis area police’s use of traffic stops to raise revenue through fines was an underlying cause of racial unrest. A study published last month by the state attorney general’s office confirmed what many fear about “driving while black” in Missouri. It concluded black motorists were 85% more likely to be pulled over in traffic stops last year. It is the highest disparity since stops data began being collected 18 years ago. “There’s still an idea that cities should be using the municipal courts as a grab bag to help their coffers, and black Missourians are disproportionately on the other end of that,” said Nimrod Chapel, president of the Missouri chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Last summer, Chapel was one of the primary agitators behind the NAACP’s first ever statewide travel advisory, issued for Missouri. This extraordinary advisory warned black drivers that “they are traveling and living in Missouri at their own risk and subject to unnecessary search, seizure and potential arrest”.

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


Claims of 'non-stop cycle of torture' involving top officials in Ethiopian jail
2018-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/05/claims-torture-inv...

Ethiopia’s new prime minister has been urged to investigate a raft of gruesome torture and abuse allegations involving senior officials in the country’s most notorious prison. Jail Ogaden, officially known as Jijiga central prison, is home to thousands of prisoners and lies at the heart of Jigjiga, the capital of Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region. According to a report by Human Rights Watch ... prisoners are routinely brutalised and denied access to adequate medical care, family, lawyers, and sometimes food. Many have never been convicted of any crime. Former prisoners claimed they saw people dying in their cells after being tortured by officials. The report provides the most extensive catalogue to date of human rights abuses in eastern Ethiopia under Somali regional president Abdi Mohamed Omar, commonly known as Abdi Iley. The study documents alleged abuses including rape, sleep deprivation, long-term arbitrary detention, collective punishment and forced confessions between 2011 and early 2018. It highlights, in particular, the role of a 40,000-strong Somali special police unit known as the Liyu, which Abdi, then head of regional security, established in 2008 as part of a brutal counter-insurgency campaign targeting the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a secessionist rebel group. Most Jail Ogaden inmates are accused of some affiliation to the group. “Torture in detention is a serious problem throughout Ethiopia, but Jail Ogaden is in a class of its own,” said Felix Horne, the report’s author.

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


American-made bombs in Yemen are killing civilians, destroying infrastructure and fueling anger at the U.S.
2018-07-03, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/american-made-bombs-in-yemen-are-killing-ci...

War rains down from the sky in Yemen, where an aerial bombing campaign by Saudi-led and American-backed coalition hammers much of the north. The U.S. military supports the campaign against the Houthi rebels with logistics and intelligence, and sells the Saudis many of the bombs it drops on that country. In the mountains outside the capital, we gained exclusive access to the site where the Houthis store unexploded American-made bombs, like this 2000 pound Mark 84 bomb made in Garland, Texas. It landed in the middle of the street in the capital, we are told. The Houthis also let us see a storage site with the remains of American-made cluster bombs. Cluster bombs are amongst the most deadly to civilians, filled with baseball-sized smaller bombs that scatter over a larger area. Any that don’t explode stay where they fell, primed, and often wounding civilians like land mines. Deep into Yemen’s countryside ... I found a Doctors Without Borders cholera treatment center completely destroyed by an airstrike the day before. It was just about to open its doors to patients. The war has made it harder for people to access clean running water, leading to the worst cholera outbreak in modern history. Most people here, whether they support the Houthis or not, know that many of the bombs being dropped are American. It provides a strong propaganda tool for the Houthi rebels, who go by the slogan “Death to America.”

Note: PBS special correspondent Jane Ferguson smuggled herself across the front lines into Yemen to report this series. In 2015, the New York Times was caught making false claims about US-made cluster munitions. The international trade in cluster bombs is funded by major banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


China Builds Laser Rifle That Can Remotely Set Fire to People's Skin
2018-07-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/china-laser-ri...

Chinese researchers are working on a new handheld laser weapon capable of burning skin and clothing from up to half a mile away. Boasts about the ... laser rifle's capabilities come amid a diplomatic row between the US and China over the use of blinding lasers on military aircraft. The new laser rifle will be used by anti-terrorism squads in the Chinese Armed Police, the South China Morning Post reports, with prototypes of the device already being tested ... at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The ZKZM assault rifle causes "instant carbonisation" of human tissue, according to the researchers behind it, and will "burn through clothes in a split second. " The unnamed researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences added: "If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire." While the gun is not powerful enough to kill someone, the researcher said: "The pain will be beyond endurance." Aerospace and defence giant Lockheed Martin has previously developed laser beam systems that can be attached to planes or ground-based vehicles. In May, the Pentagon made a formal complaint to the Chinese government over Chinese nationals allegedly pointing lasers at US planes in east Africa. While there has been no word on when China's new laser gun might see service, the US Navy recently announced its own $300 million research fund aimed at creating a family of laser weapons for its fleet. In 2016, the US military said it would be deploying laser weapons as early as 2023.

Note: China was reported in 2006 to be using lasers to blind American spy satellites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


How Google cleared a path for companies to buy clean power
2018-07-02, Fast Company
https://www.fastcompany.com/40584636/how-google-is-clearing-a-path-for-compan...

In southeast Georgia, in an area filled with farms, construction will soon begin on a sprawling new 120-megawatt solar plant. It will be the first solar facility in the county, and it will exist in part because Google - which has a large data center in Georgia - is working to bring renewable electricity to every region in which it operates. The solar farm is one of two new projects in Georgia that will sell energy to Google via the local utility, and is also the latest example of the company’s work to open energy markets to corporations that want to support new sources of renewable electricity. The company pioneered the practice in 2010; now, companies from Nike to Starbucks and AT&T are doing the same thing. Traditionally, wind farms and solar farms sold wholesale power only to utilities, and regulations made it impossible for companies to buy that clean energy. But the company realized that it could apply to the federal government for the right to buy and sell wholesale power itself, and then create long-term contracts - called power purchase agreements - with the developers of renewable projects. The first project was a wind farm in Iowa. By 2017, with around 20 similar projects, Google met a longstanding goal to buy as much renewable energy as it uses globally, sourced from new wind and solar plants. Ultimately, the company wants to use clean energy everywhere it works, all the time. The next step in that process is to buy renewable energy on every local grid where Google works.

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


A chemical breakthrough could eat the plastic pollution crisis
2018-07-01, Wired
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/plastic-pollution-environment-chemical-process

One single-use plastic bag takes at least 450 years to degrade. Give Miranda Wang three hours and she can reduce ten of them into liquid. Recycling plastic today is a mechanical process ... limited to only certain types of plastics: PET, used in water bottles, and HDPE, used in milk jugs. The five other types of commonly used plastics ... cannot be recycled. Adding to this is that most plastics thrown away are covered in food and grease and so are automatically rejected by markets with strict quality standards. These are the plastics Wang has her sights on. “Our technology can turn these dirty films that have food or dirt or any kind of grime or any kind of contamination on it and we turn this material into a combination of four different kinds of chemicals, called organic acids,” says Wang. One of these chemicals is adipic acid, a precursor for materials like nylon and polyamines used in fashion, for electronic parts and in the automotive industry for car parts. “Our vision is to transform a polyethylene, which right now does not have any downstream market value once its consumed and is used for one life cycle, and we turn it into a chemical that is of the same quality as what is immediately made from petroleum - adipic acid,” says Wang. “This first helps us not allow film plastics from becoming pollution and second ... displaces petroleum from being needed to be extracted to make new materials.”

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


Ivy League student known for fighting sexual violence is charged with child sex crimes
2018-06-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/28/ivy-league-stud...

For a 22-year-old Columbia University student, Joel Davis had built an impressive reputation as an activist for ending sexual violence. He was the founding executive director of the international organization Youth to End Sexual Violence [and] served as a youth ambassador for the United Nations special representative on sexual violence in conflict. Davis traveled around the world, worked alongside high-profile activists such as Angelina Jolie, delivered a TED talk and appeared on media panels. Yet behind this virtuous front, Davis was allegedly committing the same types of crimes he claimed to be fighting, federal prosecutors say. On Tuesday, authorities arrested Davis on charges of attempting to sexually exploit a child, enticing a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing child pornography. Over the course of several weeks ... prosecutors say, Davis exchanged text messages with undercover FBI agents, trying to arrange meetings with a 9-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. Davis allegedly sent the undercover agents sexually explicit photos and videos of children as young as infants and made clear that he wanted to have sex with children of any age, according to a federal criminal complaint. He also admitted to meeting a 13-year-old boy on the dating app Grindr, speaking with him on Snapchat and engaging in sexual activity with the boy at Davis’s Manhattan apartment

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


AFSOC General Calls for More Emphasis on Directed-Energy Weapons
2018-06-27, Air Force Magazine
http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2018/June%202018/AFSOC-General-Call...

The US should put more emphasis on directed-energy weapons, including concentrating on developing a doctrine for their use, said Brig. Gen. William Whittenberger, assistant to the director of strategic plans at Air Force Special Operations on Command. “Our entire integrated air defense can be dismantled through directed-energy efforts,” he [said], including both laser and microwave energy. “Radar [can be] overloaded, computers and terminals overheated, rendering command and control centers ineffective, guidance capability on missiles blinded or burned, satellites overloaded, cell phone towers destroyed, all by directed-energy systems, those are simple, effective, offensive actions ... with less risk, increased effectiveness, less cost, less collateral damage over today’s capabilities,” he said. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approved its version of the Fiscal 2019 funding bill ... which included a total of $317 million in directed energy programs. Whittenberger said the US must “harden against these threats or become a victim to our own success as these technologies will be pirated by other peer nations,” which will also make directed-energy weapon advances of their own. More emphasis also must be placed on doctrine. Currently, he said, work on military use of directed-energy technology is being done “from the bottom up.” However, he noted, “We need to flip that to working doctrinally down and making sure that we have the right requirements in place."

Note: Read more on the exotic weapons being developed for the US military. And even more here. China was recently reported to be working on a new handheld laser weapon designed to set people on fire from half a mile away. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


California, of All Places, Has Banned Soda Taxes. How a New Industry Strategy Is Succeeding.
2018-06-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/27/upshot/california-banning-soda-taxes-a-new...

For years, the soda industry had an ironclad strategy when a city wanted to enact a soda tax: Spend a lot of money, rally local businesses, and shoot it down. That strategy worked again and again, until it didn’t. In 2014, Berkeley, Calif., passed the nation’s first tax on sugary drinks. Since then, eight communities, including three more cities in California, enacted similar bills. Now ... instead of fighting the ordinances city by city, [the beverage industry] is turning to states, trying to pass laws preventing any local governments from taxing their products. In California, the legislature passed a bill Thursday that will pre-empt any new local beverage or food taxes for 12 years. Arizona and Michigan have passed similar laws. In Oregon, the state’s grocers have collected enough signatures to bring a ballot initiative barring any taxes on grocery items. And legislators are considering pre-emption bills in other states, including Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington. In California, the arrival of the bill to pre-empt soda taxes ... came as a shock. The state has passed more soda taxes than any other, shepherded by progressive lawmakers who see them as ... a tool to fight obesity and diabetes. “The irony is that the soda companies screamed very loudly about government overreach when soda taxes began to get passed,” said Kelly Brownell, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. “But now they are looking for the ultimate government overreach when it works in their favor.”

Note: Learn how healthcare groups in California are fighting this measure in this Los Angeles Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Public bank that would boost pot shops, affordable housing could go before L.A. voters this fall
2018-06-26, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-public-bank-vote-20180626-story.html

The Los Angeles City Council is preparing to ask voters if they want to create a publicly owned bank, something no city or state in the United States has done in nearly a century. Council members voted Tuesday to start the process of putting a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot that would allow for the creation of such a bank by amending the city charter. The move is an early step in council President Herb Wesson’s plan to create a public bank, which he said could offer accounts to scores of city cannabis businesses that are shunned by commercial banks because of federal drug laws. It also could help finance affordable housing, he said. David Jette, legislative director of advocacy group Public Bank L.A., said putting the issue to a citywide vote could be a make-or-break moment for public banking, an idea that has gained steam since the financial crisis and lately seen an influx of support from the cannabis industry. Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and the state of California are all in the process of studying whether they can or should start public banks, in part to serve cannabis businesses. For now, though, the U.S. has just one public bank: the Bank of North Dakota, established in 1919. “We’re cautiously ecstatic,” Jette said after Tuesday’s vote. “This will be a referendum on the idea of public banking. I think this is an existential vote for our entire national movement.”

Note: The measure was approved and will be on the November ballot for LA voters. For more, see this excellent webpage. Read a revealing article on how the Bank of North Dakota allowed the state to sail through the 2008 financial crisis while all other 49 states suffered. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities
2018-06-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/att-internet-nsa-spy-hubs/

Thousands of people pass by the buildings each day and rarely give them a second glance, because their function is not publicly known. They are an integral part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks – and they are also linked to a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory. The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.

Note: The NSA was authorized in 2016 to share communications data it collected without warrants on Americans with 16 intelligence and law enforcement agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Mexico detains entire police force days after mayoral candidate's killing
2018-06-25, NBC News/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/mexico-detains-entire-police-force-days-a...

State police have detained and disarmed the entire police force of a town in western Mexico where a mayoral candidate was killed on Thursday. Video of the detention aired by local media showed uniformed officers hitting each other as gunshots go off in the background. The Michoacán state police force said, "All the officers of the Ocampo municipal police force were detained for an internal affairs investigation." The state police department did not directly tie the detentions to the ... killing of Fernando Ángeles Juárez, the mayoral candidate for the leftist Democratic Revolution Party. He was killed in Ocampo, Michoacán. Ángeles Juárez is just one of at least 18 candidates killed so far in campaigns leading up to the July 1 elections. Just last week, another mayoral candidate was also gunned down in the conflict-ridden rural town of Aguililla in Michoacán. Almost all of the 18 candidates killed across the country so far have been running for local posts in the July 1 elections, which will also decide the presidency, governorships and Congress. Other politicians who were considering a run have been killed before they could even register as candidates. [Mexican security analyst Alejandro] Hope noted, “there has been a breakdown in the management of disputes,” largely in rural areas, where turf wars between rival gangs have heated up, even as the government has become overextended and less able to intervene.

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


Supreme Court rules that police generally need a warrant to access cell phone data
2018-06-22, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/supreme-court-rules-police-warrant-access-cel...

The Supreme Court ruled that police generally need a search warrant to review cell phone records that include data like a user's location, which will impose a higher bar for law enforcement to access data collected on the millions of people who use smartphones on a daily basis. The plaintiff in the case, Timothy Carpenter, was convicted of multiple robbery and gun offenses in 2010 but challenged the conviction saying that officers investigating the case didn't get a warrant for his cell phone records. The government argued that law enforcement doesn't need a warrant to get cell phone records from the service provider since it's a third party. The Court ruled that the government's search, in this case, did not meet the bar for probable cause for a warrant. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority decision that the government is obligated to get a warrant before compelling a wireless provider to provide cell phone records in an investigation. "We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier's database of physical location information," Roberts said.

Note: While this ruling limits police powers, the NSA was authorized in 2016 to freely share communications data it collected without warrants on Americans with 16 intelligence and law enforcement agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook
2018-06-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/21/opinion/sunday/facebook-patent...

A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die. Taken together, Facebook’s patents show a commitment to collecting personal information, despite widespread public criticism of the company’s privacy policies and a promise from its chief executive to “do better.” “A patent portfolio is a map of how a company thinks about where its technology is going,” said Jason M. Schultz, a law professor at New York University. One patent application discusses predicting whether you’re in a romantic relationship using information such as how many times you visit another user’s page [and] the number of people in your profile picture. Another proposes using your posts and messages to infer personality traits ... then using those characteristics to select which news stories or ads to display. Another patent application discusses tracking your weekly routine and sending notifications to other users of deviations from the routine. In addition, it describes using your phone’s location in the middle of the night to establish where you live. As long as Facebook keeps collecting personal information, we should be wary.

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


The Billion-Dollar Business of Operating Shelters for Migrant Children
2018-06-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/migrant-shelters-border-crossing.html

The business of housing, transporting and watching over migrant children detained along the southwest border is not a multimillion-dollar business. It’s a billion-dollar one. Southwest Key Programs has won at least $955 million in federal contracts since 2015 to run shelters and provide other services to immigrant children in federal custody. Its shelter for migrant boys at a former Walmart Supercenter in South Texas has been the focus of nationwide scrutiny, but Southwest Key is but one player in the lucrative, secretive world of the migrant-shelter business. About a dozen contractors operate more than 30 facilities in Texas alone, with numerous others contracted for about 100 shelters in 16 other states. Trump’s order ... calling for migrant families to be detained together likely means millions more in contracts. A small network of private prison companies already is operating family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, and those facilities are likely to expand. Defense contractors and security firms are also building a presence in the system, including General Dynamics ... and MVM Inc.. In Harlingen, [Texas] one recent morning, the federal courthouse that hears immigration cases was packed. Teenagers who had been apprehended crossing the border sat in the courtrooms. In the lobby, a group of men and women ... patiently waited for the hearings to end. They were there for the migrant youth. But they were neither relatives nor lawyers. They were contractors.

Note: What this article doesn't include is the possibility that some of these children are being fed into secret mind control programs and possibly even clandestinely sold into sex trafficking. For more on this, read this essay . For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Parents' record-breaking Facebook fundraiser will help reunify migrant families
2018-06-21, NBC Today
https://www.today.com/parents/facebook-fundraiser-immigrant-kids-raises-9-mil...

A record-breaking fundraiser started by Dave and Charlotte Willner to help families separated at the border continues exceeding all expectations. While President Trump signed an executive order to halt his policy of breaking up families, the Willners said some of the $16 million raised will help a nonprofit to return children to their families. The additional money raised by the Willners will help Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) provide lawyers to immigrants as well as reunite families. The Willners said RAICES has unified three families already. The fundraiser first started after the Willners saw the photo of a 2-year-old Honduran girl crying at the border and they thought immediately of their own 2-year-old daughter. They felt they had to act so they started a fundraiser on Facebook, hoping to raise $1,500 for RAICES. It soon became clear this was no ordinary fundraiser. At one point, people were donating between $2,000 and $4,000 a minute, the family shared. The average donation is $38. As the fundraiser neared $5 million dollars, Facebook updated its platform so that the family could continue raising money. The Willners were among Facebook's first employees, and now both work at different tech companies in Silicon Valley. They raised more than $16 million in five days for the RAICES, and the Willners reset their goal to $20 million.

Note: The donations continue to pour in and now exceed $20 million. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Voting machine vendor treated election officials to trips to Vegas, elsewhere
2018-06-21, Fresno Bee/McClatchy
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/article213558729.html

The nation’s largest voting equipment vendor has for at least nine years coaxed state and local elections officials to serve on an “advisory board” that gathers twice annually for company-sponsored conferences, including one last year at a ritzy Las Vegas resort hotel. The arrangement could compromise the integrity of the officials' decisions. As many as a dozen election officials attended the March 2, 2017 Las Vegas meeting, with a number of them accepting airfare, lodging, meals and, according to one participant, a ticket to a show on the Strip from their voting systems vendor, Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software (ES&S). The unusual practice, which has not previously been reported, offers a glimpse of one way in which a voting equipment manufacturer has sought to cement relationships with government officials, some of whom play roles in the award of millions of dollars in contracts. Ethics experts and election watchdogs say the company's hospitality and hobnobbing with government officials is potentially corrupting. Many states are continuing a shift to voting systems that produce paper backup ballots, so vote counts can be verified in post-election audits. ES&S is peddling electronic ballot-marking devices that produce paper ballots to be fed into optical scanners – equipment that critics contend should be limited to use by disabled voters. Paper ballots, they say, are far less expensive and can be scanned and quickly tabulated.

Note: Why all the focus on Russia manipulating US elections, when this alone shows how US elections are being manipulated by internal groups? For undeniable evidence that elections have been manipulated for years by political groups in the country, see our Elections Information Center.


Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died
2018-06-21, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/health/koko-gorilla-death-trnd/index.html

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language and showed the world what great apes can do, has died. She died Tuesday in her sleep at age 46. "Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy," the [The Gorilla Foundation] said. The western lowland gorilla was born at the San Francisco Zoo in 1971 and began to learn sign language early in life. Researchers moved her to Stanford in 1974 and established The Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to preserve and protect gorillas. Koko and The Gorilla Foundation later moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains. She liked to read and be read to. She purred at parts of books she particularly enjoyed. She was very maternal toward kittens, and has had several throughout her lifetime. Her "tenderness" showed people how loving a gorilla can be, the foundation said. Koko made famous friends like Fred Rogers, who appeared on TV as Mr. Rogers, and Robin Williams. She used her sign language skills to communicate with them. She was said to have understood some 2,000 words of spoken English, and could usually keep up with conversations. Koko appeared in several documentaries and twice on the cover of National Geographic. The first cover featured a photo she'd taken of herself in a mirror. The foundation will continue its work on conservation and preservation of gorillas with continued projects, including a sign language application featuring Koko.

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


Why Palestinians risk their lives to protest near Gaza-Israel fence
2018-06-21, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/why-palestinians-risk-their-lives-protest-...

Before the bullet tore through his left leg, Hadad Gamry knew that he was venturing too close to the razor-wire fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. But the 20-year-old wanted the world to know how angry he was, so Gamry says he taunted the soldiers on the other side anyway. That decision resulted in him becoming ... one of the more than 13,000 Palestinians protesters injured near the barrier. At least 142 demonstrators have also been killed by Israeli troops. Israel maintains that Hamas, the Islamist group ... that many countries consider a terrorist organization, has encouraged civilians to put themselves in harm’s way. Gamry and others NBC News spoke to in Gaza rejected the idea that Hamas had compelled them to go to the fence, saying they went because they had run out of ways to make the world pay attention to their suffering. The pervasive threat of violence backs up the land, sea and air blockade imposed in 2007. Hamas won elections the previous year. Economically, the blockade is making life intolerable for many of Gaza’s 2 million residents. Almost none of the water is clean, raw sewage is pumped straight into the sea and worsening power shortages mean Gazans have electricity for only around four hours a day on average. Unemployment rates are close to 50 percent — more than 65 percent among those under 30. Israel and much of the world officially refuses to deal with Hamas and long-term talks aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state ... have stalled.

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


Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?
2018-06-21, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/thirty-years-on-how-well-do-global-warming-predi...

On June 23, 1988, [James E. Hansen], the NASA scientist testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He expressed to the senators his “high degree of confidence” in “a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” Mr. Hansen’s testimony described three possible scenarios for the future of carbon dioxide emissions. He called Scenario A “business as usual,” as it maintained the accelerating emissions growth typical of the 1970s and ’80s. This scenario predicted the earth would warm 1 degree Celsius by 2018. Scenario B set emissions lower, rising at the same rate today as in 1988. Mr. Hansen called this outcome the “most plausible,” and predicted it would lead to about 0.7 degree of warming by this year. He added a final projection, Scenario C, which he deemed highly unlikely: constant emissions beginning in 2000. Thirty years of data have been collected since Mr. Hansen outlined his scenarios. And the winner is Scenario C. Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El Nińo of 2015-16. It isn’t just Mr. Hansen who got it wrong. Models devised by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have, on average, predicted about twice as much warming as has been observed since global satellite temperature monitoring began 40 years ago.

Note: The full text of this article is available on this webpage. There is virtually no doubt that global warming is real, yet there has been rampant fear mongering and exaggeration around it. For more on this, see this intriguing article. For an alternative view, see this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.


These Americans suffered severe neurological disorders in Cuba. Now they have a lawyer.
2018-06-20, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article2134...

Several U.S victims of alleged "health attacks" in Cuba have hired a lawyer out of concern over how the U.S. government will handle their long-term medical treatment. "That's not at all clear," said lawyer Mark Zaid, who represents eight of the at least 24 U.S. diplomats, intelligence officers and relatives affected by the incidents in Havana. "Some already had to spend their own money" on treatment. "Are they being treated or are they being studied? It's not entirely clear what is happening," the lawyer said, adding that some of the victims had problems accessing their medical records at the UPenn treatment center because the records are government property. Zaid added that ... the cases have placed the government in a predicament because of the mystery not just on the so-called attacks but the injuries experienced. For example, federal employees who have been injured by incidents such as explosions, "the wounds have been specific and concrete, not strange brain and neurological damages. It's much more complicated." In a separate case, another Zaid client - Mike Beck, a retired National Security Agency counterintelligence officer - suffered a "potentially similar attack" in the 1990s when he traveled to an unidentified country. Years later, Beck and a companion on the trip were found to be suffering from Parkinson's disease. A confidential report convinced him that his illness was linked to a covert attack with a weapon that used microwaves, Beck told The Washington Post last year.

Note: There is no doubt that the US has electromagnetic weapons that can cause neurological disorders like this. We suspect this was a false flag attack to turn the American public against the recently opened U.S. embassy in Havana. To learn about how electromagnetic weapons can be used to torture anyone without legal recourse, listen to this revealing interview. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and non-lethal weapons.


These college students moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire. Seniors love it.
2018-06-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/06/20/these-college...

When Andrew Parker’s grandfather began suffering from dementia three years ago, his grandmother had to start taking care of the house and caring for him. It was hard work, and one day, Parker got the idea to hire a college student to help out. His grandfather loved it. So did his grandmother. For a few hours, he said, “She got to go do her own thing.” It got Parker thinking. “There’s so many seniors and so many college students out there.” So in January, [he] launched a business called Papa, after his name for his grandfather. It connects students with seniors for light housekeeping or driving chores, but the company’s real goal is in its slogan: “Grandkids on-Demand.” “We are specifically a service that links two generations,” Parker said. “Our emphasis is this is a really fun day for a senior. Someone who might say, ‘I don’t want to bother my daughter or son but I want someone who can be with me for a day so I don’t have to annoy my kids.’” To date, the company has around 250 members who pay a monthly fee of $15 to $30 to belong, and then pay $15 per hour for visits by students, or Papa Pals. Pals must be enrolled in a 4-year college, or be working on a masters degree, a social work degree, or a nursing or medical degree. They must have a four-door car and pass a background check. “The biggest thing we’re focusing on is curing loneliness,” Parker said. The ... nature of the relationship – and the relative youth of the Pals – can also make them easier to work with than more traditional aides.

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


Canada becomes second nation in the world to legalize marijuana
2018-06-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/health/canada-legalizes-marijuana/index.html

Recreational marijuana use will soon be legal in Canada after the Senate passed a "historic" bill. Canada is only the second country in the world - and the first G7 nation - to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market. In the neighboring US, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use. The Cannabis Act, stems from a campaign pledge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime. Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana's production, sale and consumption in December 2013. The justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, ... applauded the vote. "This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada," she tweeted. "This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime." Once the bill is formally approved, adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households. However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana. Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from [regulated] retailers. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco. The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws, to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.

Note: In the US, more people are arrested for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined.


In Italy, how one cooperative is trying to counter the Mafia’s influence
2018-06-20, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/2018/0620/In-Italy-how-on...

The first time Simmaco Perillo arrived in the Italian hamlet of Maiano di Sessa Aurunca, everything around him was abandoned. It was 2005, and nobody wanted to cultivate former Mafia land. “We wanted to make a farm for the reintegration of disadvantaged people,” says Mr. Perillo. Today, the social cooperative Al di lŕ dei sogni, or Beyond the Dreams, is making pasta and growing organic vegetables on land that once belonged to the powerful Camorra Mafia. The cooperative [works] with ... those recovering from addiction, former prisoners, and people who were released from public mental hospitals, to provide sustainable livelihoods and combat the influence of the Mafia. Perillo and others in the cooperative ... were able to [acquire the land] thanks to national law 109/96, passed in 1996, which permits the social reuse of property confiscated from the criminal organizations. The cooperative was granted the land, but threats and attacks were not long in coming. “After the keys were handed to us, they [Mafia gangsters] arrived at night. They pulled down walls, broke through the windows, severed the electrical system, destroyed the plumbing. So we decided to sleep inside” to guard the property, Perillo recalls with a proud smile. Despite the setting of several intimidating fires, among other tactics, the cooperative was able to set up a sustainable business. Today 32 people are members of the cooperative, and more than half are disadvantaged people.

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


US quits UN Human Rights council: What message does it send to the world?
2018-06-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/politics/us-human-rights-council-intl/index.html

The United States has quit the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the body is a "cesspool of political bias." US ambassador Nikki Haley announced the move Tuesday, which followed criticism by the UNHRC of Israel's shooting of unarmed protesters and the separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. While US officials have tried to frame the move as pro-human rights, Washington's withdrawal is likely to renew criticism that the Trump administration places less value on human rights than its predecessors, as exemplified by Trump's dealings with alleged human rights abusers like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The UNHRC is only the latest international body or agreement that the Trump administration has withdrawn from, including the Paris climate accords, the Iran nuclear deal, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both Haley and Trump have previously sparred with the wider UN ... with Haley claiming the international community pays outsized attention to Washington's actions while ignoring the "reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council." That comment was in response to UN criticism of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. However, both the Trump White House and previous US administrations have been open to dealing economically and otherwise with human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt.

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


World's Richest People Have More Than Doubled Their Wealth Since 2008
2018-06-19, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2018/06/19/worlds-richest-people-wealth/

The combined wealth of the world’s millionaires and billionaires has hit $70.2 trillion, reaching a new record for collective wealth among the world’s richest, Capgemini revealed on Tuesday in its annual World Wealth Report. The research firm said that it was sixth-straight year of high-net-worth individuals adding more cash to their coffers. The collective wealth was more than double the $32.8 trillion in wealth the world’s richest people had in 2008. The study defines a high-net-worth individual as someone who has assets of $1 million or more. That sum needs to be available to invest and cannot include a primary residence and collectibles, among other products. The U.S. has the most wealthy people in the world with 5,285 individuals hitting the mark of a high-net-worth individual. Japan and Germany landed in second and third place with 3,162 and 1,365 wealthy people, respectively. In its evaluation of the world’s wealthiest people, Capgemini analyzed how their wealth is dispersed among asset classes. It found that 30.9% of their wealth is kept in equities and 27.2% in cash and cash equivalents. Another 16.8% of their wealth resides in real estate. Additionally, Capgemini found that high-net-worth individuals are investing in cryptocurrency more than ever. More than 71% of younger high-net-worth individuals place a high importance on getting cryptocurrency information from their wealth managers, compared to 13% of those aged 60 and over.

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


How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country
2018-06-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html

Americans for Prosperity ... is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes. In cities and counties across the country ... the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit. At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties. In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success. Early polling ... suggested that [a] $5.4 billion transit plan would easily pass. But the outcome of the May 1 ballot stunned the city: a landslide victory for the anti-transit camp. The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending ... dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads. Since 2015, Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots. Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-backed groups have also opposed more than two dozen other transit-related measures ... by organizing phone banks, running advertising campaigns, staging public forums, issuing reports and writing opinion pieces in local publications.

Note: The Koch brothers built a secretive empire to manipulate the political process in the US. This empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


'Space force': Trump orders new branch of US military
2018-06-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/18/space-force-donald-trump-orde...

Donald Trump said on Monday he would direct the Pentagon to create a “space force” as a new branch of the US military to shore up American dominance in space. Trump claimed that the plan will ensure that America, which plans a return to the moon and a mission to Mars, stays ahead of China and Russia in any new space race. But it is likely to raise fears over the militarisation of space. “Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” the president said at the White House. “We are going to have the air force and we are going to have the space force – separate but equal.” The president was speaking at the third meeting of the National Space Council, revived after a quarter of a century. He was joined by Mike Pence, the new Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. But there was a skeptical reaction from Bill Nelson, the Democratic senator for Florida. He tweeted: “The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want. During his remarks, Trump ... insisted: “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. So important.” Trump has floated the idea of a space force before but met both mockery and high-level resistance.

Note: In 1974, the founder of modern rocket science Wernher Von Braun told his spokesperson Dr. Carol Rosin that "first the Russians are going to be considered the enemy. Then terrorists would be identified. The next enemy was asteroids – against asteroids we are going to build space-based weapons. Then ... the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens, and all of it is a lie."


Trump team cannot get its story straight on separating migrant families
2018-06-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/06/18/dai...

“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted. President Trump’s top domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, was quoted in Sunday’s New York Times touting the crackdown. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry,” he said. “Period.” DHS announced last week that around 2,000 children have been taken from their families during the six weeks since the policy went into effect, and officials acknowledge the number may be even higher. More than a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s new “zero tolerance” policy to great fanfare, members of the administration continue to struggle with how to talk about it – alternating between defending the initiative as a necessary deterrent, distancing themselves, blaming Democrats, trying to use it as leverage for negotiations with Congress or denying that it exists at all. Former first lady Laura Bush compares what’s happening to Japanese internment: “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.”

Note: On June 20th, Trump signed an executive order intended to keep families of immigrant detainees together, though the fate of the more than 2,300 children already separated is not clear. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Equal Rights Amendment has been dead for 36 years. Why it might be on the verge of a comeback.
2018-06-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/06/18/the-equal-r...

On May 30, Illinois became the 37th state to pass the Equal Right Amendment (ERA), which says, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Next, advocates aim to secure the final state needed to ratify the amendment. They will probably target Virginia, North Carolina or Georgia. The law is overdue. Many Americans assume that the United States already has gender-equality rules. The Civil Rights Act, Title IX and the Equal Pay Act all offer protections against discrimination. But these are pieces of legislation. New laws and Supreme Court rulings can diminish their power. An amendment, by contrast, would force a constitutional reckoning for sex-based discrimination. Activists lobbied, marched, went on strike and persuaded Congress to pass the amendment in 1972. Within just two years, 34 states ratified it. Then the momentum faltered. The amendment failed to secure ratification from the four additional states needed before 1982, the expiration date set by Congress. Passing the ERA will not be easy. Fierce opposition has long accompanied feminist surges, and this is already happening today. In Illinois, Republicans largely spoke out against the amendment. The dominant party could block the ERA’s path at the federal level, and other states could rescind their decades-old ratification. Securing the final state to pass the ERA will probably prove as challenging as it was to secure the final state to pass the 19th Amendment a century ago.

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


Attacking Hodeidah is a deliberate act of cruelty by the Trump administration
2018-06-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/yemen-hodeidah-attack-trump-administrati...

A short press statement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, effectively [gives] a green light for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch an offensive in Yemen aimed at capturing Hodeidah on the Red Sea. The port city is the point of entry for 70 per cent of food and medical supplies for the eight million Yemenis whom the UN says are on the brink of starvation out of the 22 million in need of humanitarian aid. Pompeo was deliberately low-key in his three sentence statement about Hodeidah: “I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.” Absent from this message for the first time was any call for Saudi Arabia and the UAE not to attack Hodeidah. The US and UAE have been working hard on a smokescreen of misinformation about who is responsible for what is happening and why they are launching the offensive now. The 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on Hodeidah are not an independent force but are paid for and under the control of the UAE. Air support is provided by the Saudis and the UAE with the US providing essential services such as mid-air refuelling and target intelligence. The Hodeidah operation may ... turn a humanitarian disaster, which the UN is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, into complete catastrophe. Three quarters of the 27 million Yemenis already require aid to survive and this may be cut off in the next few days.

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


Marc Benioff of Salesforce: ‘Are We Not All Connected?’
2018-06-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/15/business/marc-benioff-salesforce-corner-of...

Salesforce may not be a household name like Facebook or Twitter, but the software company and its chief executive, Marc Benioff, are hugely influential. Salesforce is worth roughly $100 billion, and Mr. Benioff is a billionaire many times over. Success has emboldened him. A fan of Buddhism, Mr. Benioff has installed meditation rooms throughout Salesforce offices and emerged as an outspoken voice on social issues including L.G.B.T.Q. rights, the gender pay gap and the deleterious effects of social media. "There’s a shift going on," [said Benioff]. "When I went to U.S.C., it was all about maximizing value for shareholders. But we’re moving into a world of stakeholders. It’s not just about shareholders. Your employees are stakeholders, so are your customers, your partners, the communities that you’re in, the homeless that are nearby, your public schools. A company like ours can’t be successful in an unsuccessful economy or in an unsuccessful environment or where the school system doesn’t work. We have to take responsibility for all of those things." This idea that somebody put into our heads — that companies are somehow these kind of individuated units that are separate from society and don’t have to be paying attention to the communities they’re in — that is incorrect. We need to have a more enlightened view about the role of companies. This company is not somehow separate from everything else. Are we not all connected? Are we not all one? Isn’t that the point?"

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


McDonald's to scrap plastic straws in UK and Ireland
2018-06-15, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/15/news/mcdonalds-plastic-straws/index.html

McDonald's has joined the fight against plastic pollution by switching to paper straws at its restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The change, which will begin to take effect in September, follows trials of paper straws at select locations. The US fast food chain said a majority of its customers supported the move away from plastic. McDonald's ... uses 1.8 million straws each day at its 1,361 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company said the changeover would be complete in 2019. Plastic straws are the sixth most common type of litter globally. Only 1% are recycled. According to the UK government, 1 million birds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die every year from eating or getting tangled in plastic waste. And research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050. UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove called on other companies to follow the example of McDonald's. "McDonald's has made a significant investment in UK manufacturing to produce an alternative to plastic, showing British businesses are taking a global lead," he said in a statement. The flurry of commitments comes as efforts to eliminate single-use plastic intensify. The European Union moved last month to ban 10 items - including plastic cutlery, straws and cotton swabs - by 2030 in a bid to clean up the oceans.

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


A third of start-ups aim for social good
2018-06-14, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/d8b6d9fa-4eb8-11e8-ac41-759eee1efb74

Across the world, almost half as many people are creating ventures with a primarily social or environmental purpose as those with a solely commercial aim, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The movement is driven mainly by younger entrepreneurs and its growth has taken place against a backdrop of corporate scandals in mainstream businesses ... that have brought capitalism’s values into question. “Social entrepreneurship has gone mainstream and global,” argues Peter Drobac, a doctor who created healthcare ventures in Rwanda. Dr Drobac ... was inspired to get into the field 20 years ago when HIV infection was running unchecked. “Younger generations in my experience are much more deeply connected to the world and to societal challenges. They want careers that allow them to create positive change,” he says. Other factors, Dr Drobac adds, include the changing nature of work, “which means that the prospect of spending one’s entire career in the same company is becoming vanishingly small”. At the same time, technology is creating opportunities for disruptive innovation in sectors such as education and healthcare. While research suggests the majority of social entrepreneurs worldwide are young, the movement has been inspired by figures such as Muhammad Yunus. The septuagenarian Bangladeshi founder of Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for pioneering microcredit — loans for entrepreneurs too poor to get traditional bank loans, many of them women.

Note: Read more about the microcredit movement mentioned in the article above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds
2018-06-14, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html

IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame, a new study says. Norwegian researchers analyzed the IQ scores of Norwegian men born between 1962 and 1991 and found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points each decade for those born between 1962 to 1975 - but then saw a steady decline among those born after 1975. Studies in Denmark, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia have demonstrated a similar downward trend in IQ scores. "The causes in IQ increases over time and now the decline is due to environmental factors," said [study co-author Ole] Rogeburg. These environmental factors could include changes in the education system and media environment, nutrition, reading less and being online more, Rogeberg said. Researchers have long preferred to use genes to explain variations in intelligence over environmental factors. However, the new study turns this thinking on its head. Intelligence is heritable, and for a long time, researchers assumed that people with high IQ scores would have kids who also scored above average. Moreover, it was thought that people with lower scores would have more kids than people with high IQ scores. The study not only showed IQ variance between children the same parents, but because the authors had the IQ scores of various parents, it demonstrated that parents with higher IQs tended to have more kids, ruling out the dysgenic fertility theory as a driver of falling IQ scores.

Note: This New York Times article shows that pesticide exposure can affect IQ. And this Newsweek article shows how flame retardants can harm IQ. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


How a nightmare childhood inspired his one-of-a-kind gifts
2018-06-14, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/14/us/cnnheroes-rob-scheer-comfort-cases/index.html

When Rob Scheer was 12 years old, he ended up in foster care after a childhood filled with violence and abuse. As he moved through the system, he carried his limited belongings in a trash bag. Yet he was determined to overcome the obstacles. He went on to join the US Navy and launch a successful corporate career, and he always knew he wanted to be a father. In 2008, Scheer and his husband, Reece Scheer, decided they would adopt children out of foster care. All the children showed up with their belongings in trash bags. "I couldn't believe it. The trash bag that I had carried so many years prior to that had found its way back into my life," Rob Scheer said. "It's just not acceptable that any child should carry their belongings in something that we all throw our trash in." The couple adopted the four children, and as a family, the Scheers began compiling supplies to donate to local foster children. Their nonprofit, Comfort Cases, was born. "We started building cases for kids that came into foster care, making sure that they had the basics," Scheer said. The backpacks are loaded with necessities like soap and toothbrushes, along with a book, journal, blanket, stuffed animal and other items. Since 2013, the group has assembled more than 20,000 Comfort Cases for children in foster care all over the country. "We want to make them feel loved," Scheer said. "I want them to know that even though they started their life in the system, the system still is not defining them. They deserve more."

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


Millionaires Now Control Half of the World’s Personal Wealth
2018-06-14, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-14/millionaires-now-control-h...

The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster. Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12 percent gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, Boston Consulting Group said in a report released Thursday. Booming equity markets swelled fortunes, and investors outside the U.S. got an exchange-rate bonus as most major currencies strengthened against the greenback. The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from slightly less than 45 percent in 2012, according to the report. In North America, which had $86.1 trillion of total wealth, 42 percent of investable capital is held by people with more than $5 million in assets. Investable assets include equities, investment funds, cash and bonds.

Note: Read an intriguing CNBC article on the good habits of the rich that help them to the top. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Puerto Rico Has Released New Data Detailing Deaths in the Wake of Hurricane Maria
2018-06-13, Time/Associated Press
http://time.com/5310664/puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-death-toll-2/

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Efrain Perez felt a pain in his chest. Doctors near his small town sent him to Puerto Rico’s main hospital. But when the ambulance pulled into the parking lot in the capital, San Juan ... a doctor ran out to stop it. “He said, ‘Don’t bring him in here, I can’t care for him,'” Perez’s daughter, Nerybelle, recalled. Perez died as the ambulance drove him back ... but he is not included in the island’s official hurricane death toll of 64 people, a figure at the center of a growing legal and political fight over the response to the Category 4 storm that hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. Facing at least three lawsuits demanding more data on the death toll, Puerto Rico’s government released new information on Tuesday that added detail to the growing consensus that hundreds or even thousands of people died as an indirect result of the storm. According to the new data, there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same time period over the previous four years. The Puerto Rican government says it believes more than 64 people died as a result of the storm but it will not raise its official toll until George Washington University completes a study of the data being carried out on behalf of the U.S. territory. Like Perez, thousands of sick Puerto Ricans were unable to receive medical care in the months after the storm caused the worst blackout in U.S. history, which continues to this day, with 6,983 home and businesses still without power.

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


Health concerns arise as mobile network companies plan to roll out 5G in selected cities
2018-06-12, International Business Times
https://www.ibtimes.co.in/health-concerns-arise-mobile-network-companies-plan...

Experts believe that the next generation of smartphones will be ruled by 5G networks. Even though 5G network will provide a much faster connection than 4G, a section of health experts believes that the hazards which may be caused by the updated service ... may turn potentially dangerous. Research conducted on cellphone radiations have fetched mixed results. Even though many studies have ruled out the possibility of health hazards due to cell phone radiation exposure, some extensive studies have hinted that older wireless service generations may result in various types of cancers, heart disorders, and reproductive issues. 5G connection makes use of millimetre waves (MMWs) to transmit data, rather than microwaves which are being used in previous generation networks. Dr Joel Moskowitz, a public health professor at the University of California, Berkeley reveals that millimetre waves could pose serious health hazards [to] the general public. "The deployment of 5G, or fifth generation cellular technology, constitutes a massive experiment on the health of all species. MMW bio-effects may be transmitted through molecular mechanisms by the skin or through the nervous system. 5G will use high-band frequencies, or millimetre waves, that may affect the eyes, the testes, the skin, the peripheral nervous system, and sweat glands," [said] Moskowitz. The health expert also added that millimetre waves used in 5G networks will make many pathogens resistant to antibiotics.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


Charitable giving is at a record high. Here’s where we’re donating our money
2018-06-12, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/06/12/charity-charitable...

Charitable giving surged to a record high in 2017 as Americans gave more than $400 billion for the first time ever to a wide variety of organizations. Giving jumped 5.2% from last year to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017, according to Giving USA 2018, the Giving USA Foundation’s annual report on philanthropy. The report, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found that giving from all sources grew in 2017. Three of the four sources posted gains of more than 5%: Giving by corporations increased 8%, foundations 6% and individuals 5%. "The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock markets, as evidenced by the nearly 20% growth in the S&P 500," said Amir Pasic, dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Gifts to foundations saw the biggest increase in 2017, rising 15.5%, as large investment returns were the basis for several large gifts given by individual philanthropists to their foundations. The second-largest increase was an 8.7% jump in gifts to the arts, culture and humanities. Religious organizations, however, continue to receive the most charitable support, with contributions rising 2.9% to $127.37 billion. While the overall amount of giving by Americans has risen ... The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that from 2000 to 2014, the share of Americans donating to charity fell from 66.2% to 55.5%. Many nonprofits have turned their focus to attracting more big gifts.

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


A lowered probability of pregnancy in females in the USA aged 25–29 who received a human papillomavirus vaccine injection
2018-06-11, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15287394.2018.1477640

Birth rates per 1000 females aged 25–29 fell from 118 in 2007 to 105 in 2015. One factor may involve the vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV). Shortly after the vaccine was licensed, several reports of recipients experiencing primary ovarian failure emerged. This study analyzed information gathered in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which represented 8 million 25-to-29-year-old women residing in the United States between 2007 and 2014. Approximately 60% of women who did not receive the HPV vaccine had been pregnant at least once, whereas only 35% of women who were exposed to the vaccine had conceived. For married women, 75% who did not receive the shot were found to conceive, while only 50% who received the vaccine had ever been pregnant. The probability of having been pregnant was estimated for females who received an HPV vaccine compared with females who did not receive the shot. Results suggest that females who received the HPV shot were less likely to have ever been pregnant than women in the same age group who did not receive the shot. If 100% of females in this study had received the HPV vaccine, data suggest the number of women having ever conceived would have fallen by 2 million. Further study into the influence of HPV vaccine on fertility is thus warranted.

Note: Read an article on how this information is being suppressed by both government and industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and vaccine controversies.


How big brands are trying to pull off a recycling revolution
2018-06-11, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/11/news/companies/recycling-revolution/

Coca-Cola said in January that by 2030, it will collect and recycle one bottle or can for each one it sells. Dunkin' Donuts said it will try to stop using foam cups by 2020. Several others, including McDonald's and Procter & Gamble, have made their own ambitious commitments to use sustainable packaging. Recycling can give companies better control over their supply chains, explained Bridget Croke, who leads external affairs for Closed Loop Partners, which invests in recycling technologies. Recycled materials aren't always cheaper than raw materials, she said, but their prices are consistent. There are other advantages to going green. Kevin Wilhelm, who runs a sustainability consulting firm, said that companies typically make recycling pledges because they've found that waste hurts their bottom line. The Closed Loop Fund and the Recycling Partnership, [a nonprofit group], count several major corporations as their funding partners, including Amazon, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Target, Walmart (WMT) and others. Croke said that at this stage, companies are better served by joining forces than by trying to work separately. "Smart companies," she said, are trying to figure out, "'What are the disruptive collective actions we can take to make the most out of our resources?'" Working together, companies can pour significant funds into development projects and create collective demand for sustainable products, like recyclable, compostable paper cups.

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


Free Power From Freeways? China Is Testing Roads Paved With Solar Panels
2018-06-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/11/business/energy-environment/china-solar-ro...

The potential appeal of solar roads - modified solar panels that are installed in place of asphalt - is clear. Generating electricity from highways and streets, rather than in fields and deserts packed with solar panels, could conserve a lot of land. Those advantages are particularly important in a place like China, a heavily populated country where demand for energy has risen rapidly. Now, such roads are finally becoming viable. China’s leaders in solar road development are Pavenergy and Qilu Transportation. The surface of these panels, made of a complex polymer that resembles plastic, has slightly more friction than a conventional road surface, according to Zhang Hongchao, an engineering professor. Still, a litany of outstanding challenges means the wide deployment of solar roads is a long way off. Solar roads are ... more expensive than asphalt. It costs about $120 a square meter, or about $11 a square foot, to resurface and repair an asphalt road each decade. By comparison, Pavenergy and Colas hope to be able to bring the cost of a solar road to $310 to $460 a square meter with mass production. Panels on a highway would likely need to be replaced less often than asphalt, Professor Zhang said. And a solar road can produce about $15 a year worth of electricity from each square meter of solar panels. Less clear is whether the panels would be able to take the pounding of millions of tires each year for more than a decade, or whether they might be stolen.

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


RFK Jr. reflects on his father's life and the circumstances of his death
2018-06-07, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-kennedy-junior-reflects-fathers-legacy-as...

When Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated just minutes after winning California's 1968 Democratic primary, the United States was fiercely divided. Many looked to him to help heal that divide. That's part of an unfulfilled legacy his son, Robert Kennedy Jr., describes in his new book, "American Values." It's a history of the ... 40-year tension between my family and the CIA," he said. The Kennedy feud with the CIA was multi-generational. The family patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, sat on a commission that called for an end to the CIA's paramilitary operations. And his sons John and Robert Kennedy both railed against the CIA's role in Vietnam. "The first thing [my father] was gonna do was to remove the clandestine services from the CIA and make the CIA ... an intelligence gathering organization," he said. But the seeds of doubt about who killed his father weren't planted by that notion. "I never suspected at any level that anybody other than Sirhan Sirhan had killed my father until maybe three years ago," he said. What changed for Kennedy? "Well, Paul Schrade." Schrade was a close friend of Robert Kennedy and was with the candidate the night he was shot. Schrade ... has insisted for decades that Sirhan could not have acted alone. He's now raised serious questions in Kennedy Jr.'s mind as well. "It's hard to believe that Sirhan shot my dad, that his bullets hit my dad. Because Sirhan was always in front of my father. And yet, all shots, all the four shots that hit my father came from behind him," he said.

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


Germany's Bayer closes $63 billion Monsanto takeover, plans to drop US company's name
2018-06-07, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/07/germanys-bayer-closes-monsanto-deal-plans-to-...

German conglomerate Bayer on Thursday closed its $63 billion merger with Monsanto after getting the required nod from U.S. and EU regulators. The closing sets the stage for the ... brand name "Monsanto" to be dropped by Bayer. Monsanto's agricultural biotechnology research and development operations that are going to Bayer are the largest in the world. "The entire business is essentially going over to Bayer intact," said ... analyst Seth Goldstein. "Taking away the Monsanto name is more of a branding. It should allow for easier PR for Bayer." The annual Harris Poll of corporate reputation ratings among America's "100 most visible companies" has regularly shown Monsanto rank toward the lower end of the list. Monsanto ranked 97 on the list of 100 companies in 2017 and survey results this year put it at 95. Monsanto has spent upwards of $100 million in some years on advertising costs. Some of the corporate efforts have been in direct response to social media attacks ... against genetically modified organisms. Monsanto also has faced protests over the American company's Roundup herbicide product containing glyphosate. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic" back in 2015. "It's not a surprise Bayer is dropping the Monsanto name since the brand has so many issues and there was international rejection of GMOs," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety.

Note: Monsanto has become the target of a negative publicity campaign for very good reasons because of it's huge support of GMOs and RoundUp. Now, Bayer is hoping to erase this negative image, yet they are far from a responsible company. See this post documenting how Bayer collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews and much more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in the food system.


The Chemical Industry Scores a Big Win at the E.P.A.
2018-06-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/politics/epa-toxic-chemicals.html

The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show. Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products. But ... reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week. Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical. Disposal of chemicals - leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance - will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them. The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.

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


Shell's Starship Initiative semi truck looks crazy, is crazy efficient
2018-06-06, Cnet.com
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/shell-starship-initiative-semi-truck-coast...

Would it sound weird if we told you that Shell (yes, the petrochemical company) is building a starship? Probably. It would probably be less weird if we said that the Starship was actually a hyper-efficient bespoke semi truck that just did a coast-to-coast run from San Diego, California, to Jacksonville, Florida. To build the Starship, Shell teamed up with the AirFlow truck company to ruthlessly apply all of the best aerodynamic tricks and materials science hacks to the design of the truck in search of something more important to big trucks than simple miles-per-gallon: ton-miles per gallon. A truck's ton-miles per gallon figure compares the vehicle's fuel efficiency with the amount of cargo being carried since that dramatically affects how hard a diesel engine has to work. A typical long-haul diesel truck will weigh around 57,000 pounds, including a cargo load of 22,500 pounds. The Starship gross vehicle weight was right around 73,000 pounds, 39,900 pounds of which was cargo, despite that, the Starship averaged 8.94 miles per gallon versus a typical truck's average of 6.4 miles per gallon. The Starship's best mileage was just over 10 miles per gallon. Over the course of a million miles, the Starship would save over 44,000 gallons of diesel fuel versus a standard truck. That's a little more than 4,000 barrels of oil or 168,000 gallons of crude saved by one truck.

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


U.S.-Led Coalition Accused of War Crimes in Syria, May Have Killed Hundreds of Raqqa Civilians
2018-06-05, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/us-led-coalition-accused-war-crimes-syria-may-have-ki...

The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS may have committed war crimes as its airstrikes rained down on civilians trapped by the brutal fighting in the Syrian city of Raqqa last year, a new report claims. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, American, British and French strikes on the city from June to October 2017 “decimated extended families and neighborhoods” as the coalition embarked on a “war of annihilation.” Amnesty [claimed] its investigation provided “prima facie evidence that several coalition attacks that killed and injured civilians violated international humanitarian law.” After heavy fighting, surviving ISIS fighters were allowed to leave the city in October 2017. The U.S., British and French militaries claimed they did everything possible to minimize the risk of collateral damage during the operation, but Amnesty says hundreds died and thousands more were injured during the assault. The U.S. said it fired more than 30,000 artillery rounds during the five-month operation, and American forces were responsible for 90 percent of the airstrikes. The organization interviewed 112 civilian residents of Raqqa and visited the sites of 42 air, artillery and mortar strikes. The report focused on four cases in particular, which Amnesty said amounted to war crimes. In all cases “witnesses reported that there were no fighters in the vicinity at the time of the attacks,” Amnesty said. “Such attacks could be either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks.”

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


A Growing Drive to Get Homelessness to Zero
2018-06-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/opinion/homelessness-built-for-zero.html

Over the past three years, nine communities in the United States have reached a rigorous standard known as “functional zero” for either veteran or chronic homelessness - a standard that indicates that homelessness is rare and much briefer than in the past for their populations - and 37 others have accomplished measurable reductions toward that goal. What’s illuminating is how they’re doing it: by making whole systems smarter. They are linking in a national network ... to improve their performance. Rockford, Ill., was the first community in the United States to reach the functional zero level for veterans. “We get everybody in our community who works on the issue ... and we bring them into a room,” [said Jennifer Jaeger, the city’s community services director]. “So if we’re working on veterans, we’ll have the V.A., the local veteran agencies, mental health agencies and substance abuse agencies. We’ll sit down with the list and say: ‘O.K., John Smith is No. 1. Who’s working with him? How do we get him housed as fast as we can?’ And we go literally name by name. It makes a huge difference because they stop being ‘the homeless’ and become people we all know. And we become very vested in making sure John Smith is housed and safe and has the services he needs.” Successes get turned into mini case studies and are logged in Built for Zero’s menu of strategies. So if a community partner wants to know how to do effective street outreach or improve housing retention ... there’s an inventory of proven ideas to draw from.

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


Cops are called when a senator tries to see kids taken from their immigrant parents
2018-06-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/06/04/dai...

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) went to a shuttered Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, that has been converted into a detention center for immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. He asked for a tour. Instead, the government contractor that runs the converted store called the cops. An officer filled out a police report, and the senator was asked to leave. The half-hour incident at a strip mall near the southern border with Mexico underscores the lack of transparency from President Trump’s administration about its intensifying efforts to break up undocumented families caught crossing the border, the centerpiece of a “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month. “The administration calls this ‘zero tolerance.' ... It is really a ‘zero humanity’ policy," Merkley said. The senator said he tried to go through proper channels to arrange a site visit but was rebuffed. Merkley said he’s also sought to figure out just how many kids are being held at the old Walmart ... but he still cannot get a straight answer. [This] policy may split up an untold number of families. Minors are not allowed in criminal jails, where adults are held when they’re charged with crimes related to crossing the border. Children are sent to separate facilities. This happens even if their folks present themselves at official ports of entry and declare that they are seeking asylum.

Note: The response from the White House to this incident was to blame Merkley for immigrant crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


California City Fights Poverty With Guaranteed Income
2018-06-04, New York Times/Reuters
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/06/04/us/04reuters-california-income.html

Michael Tubbs, the 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, has a radical plan to combat poverty in his cash-strapped city: a "no strings" guaranteed basic income of $500 a month for its residents. Starting in early 2019, Tubbs plans to provide the monthly stipend to a select group of residents as part of a privately funded 18-month experiment to assess how people use the money. "And then, maybe, in two or three years, we can have a much more informed discussion about the social safety net, the income floor people deserve and the best way to do it, because we'll have more data and research," Tubbs told Reuters. The idea of governments providing a universal basic income to their citizens has been gaining traction globally. The Finnish government is running a two-year trial to provide 2,000 unemployed people with monthly payments of approximately $660. In Alaska, each resident has long received an annual dividend check from oil revenues from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which Tubbs said is a model for his approach. For 31-year-old Shay Holliman ... an extra $500 a month would just allow her to make ends meet. She ... works a 9-5 job at a local nonprofit then drives for Uber and Lyft in the evenings and at weekends. "I still can't pay all my bills," she said. Tubbs says he "felt almost a moral responsibility" to do something "a little bit out the box" for his city. "And I know, for me, I want to live in a community where people's basic needs are met," he said.

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


Edward Snowden: 'The people are still powerless, but now they're aware'
2018-06-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/04/edward-snowden-people-still-p...

Edward Snowden has no regrets five years on from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history. He is wanted by the US. He is in exile in Russia. But he is satisfied with the way his revelations of mass surveillance have rocked governments, intelligence agencies and major internet companies. What has happened in the five years since? The most important change, he said, was public awareness. “The government and corporate sector preyed on our ignorance. But now we know. People are aware now. People are still powerless to stop it but we are trying. The revelations made the fight more even.” He said he had no regrets. His own life is uncertain, perhaps now more than ever, he said. His sanctuary in Russia depends on the whims of the Putin government, and the US and UK intelligence agencies have not forgiven him. For them, the issue is as raw as ever. One of the disclosures to have most impact was around the extent of collaboration between the intelligence agencies and internet companies. In 2013, the US companies were outsmarting the EU in negotiations over data protection. Snowden landed like a bomb in the middle of the negotiations and the data protection law that took effect last month is a consequence. But he will not be marking the anniversary with a “victory lap”. There is still much to be done. “The fightback is just beginning,” said Snowden. “The governments and the corporates have been in this game a long time and we are just getting started.”

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


Seymour Hersh’s Memoir of a Life Making the Mighty Sweat
2018-06-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/business/media/seymour-hersh-reporter-memo...

Seymour M. Hersh didn’t even want to write a memoir. His publishers at Alfred A. Knopf ... “said, ‘Write a memoir,’ and I said, ‘No way,’” Mr. Hersh, 81, recalled the other day. The story of a working-class [kid who] exposed the horror of the My Lai massacre, revealed domestic and foreign abuses by the C.I.A. and harried Washington’s elite ... was not finished. Not for the first time in his career, the editors prevailed. “Reporter,” a 355-page memoir, will be released on Tuesday. The book ... reconstructs his reporting on Vietnam, his feuds with Henry Kissinger, the foibles of former bosses. He notes that major publications passed on his My Lai exposé, fearful of government denials that American soldiers had murdered dozens of Vietnamese civilians. In the end, Mr. Hersh syndicated the stories himself, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. Mr. Hersh’s place in the pantheon of reporters is secure, but his current status is ambiguous. In arguably the most fertile moment for investigative reporting since Watergate, he has been on the sidelines. By choice, he said. Mr. Hersh has found himself at odds with much of Washington’s reporting establishment since The New Yorker declined to publish his report on the death of Osama bin Laden — a story that directly contradicted the account given by the Obama White House and much of the mainstream press. His subsequent reporting on Syria, which questioned whether President Bashar al-Assad had gassed his own people, was similarly derided. But Mr. Hersh is unrepentant.

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


Facebook Gave Device Makers Deep Access to Data on Users and Friends
2018-06-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/03/technology/facebook-device-par...

As Facebook sought to become the world’s dominant social media service, it struck agreements allowing phone and other device makers access to vast amounts of its users’ personal information. Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device makers - including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung. The partnerships ... raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission. Facebook allowed the device companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders. Some device makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing. In interviews, several former Facebook software engineers and security experts said they were surprised at the ability to override sharing restrictions. “It’s like having door locks installed, only to find out that the locksmith also gave keys to all of his friends so they can come in and rifle through your stuff without having to ask you for permission,” said Ashkan Soltani, a research and privacy consultant who formerly served as the F.T.C.’s chief technologist.

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


A debate over plant consciousness is forcing us to confront the limitations of the human mind
2018-06-03, Quartz
https://qz.com/1294941/a-debate-over-plant-consciousness-is-forcing-us-to-con...

A debate over plant consciousness and intelligence has raged in scientific circles for well over a century - at least since Charles Darwin observed in 1880 that stressed-out flora can’t rest. Biologists believe that plants communicate with one another, fungi, and animals by releasing chemicals via their roots, branches, and leaves. Plants also send seeds that supply information, working as data packets. They even sustain weak members of their own species by providing nutrients to their peers. They also have memories, and can learn from experience. But does any of this qualify as consciousness? The answer to that question seems to depend largely on ... how humans choose to define our conceptions of the self and intelligence. We believe that our experience of life is what defines consciousness. But there is some evidence that other modes of existence are equally complex, which suggests that other living things have arguably intelligent or conscious experiences. Evolutionary ecologist Monica Gagliano insists that plants are intelligent, and she’s not speaking metaphorically. “My work is not about metaphors at all,” Gagliano tells Forbes. Gagliano’s behavioral experiments on plants suggest that - while plants don’t have a central nervous system or a brain - they behave like intelligent beings. Expanding definitions of consciousness and intelligence could mean admitting we’ve been limited in our worldview. What if everything around us is intelligent in its own way, and we’re just not smart enough to see it?

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


Reality Winner has been in Jail for a Year. Her Prosecution is Unfair and Unprecedented.
2018-06-03, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/06/03/reality-winner-nsa-paul-manafort/

This is a tale of two defendants and two systems of justice. Suspected of colluding with the Russian government, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump, [Paul Manafort, was] indicted on a dozen charges involving conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, and lying to federal investigators. Manafort avoided jail by posting $10 million in bond, though he was confined to his luxury condo in Alexandria, Virginia. Reality Winner, an Air Force veteran and former contractor for the National Security Agency ... was accused of leaking an NSA document that showed how Russians tried to hack American voting systems in 2016. Her case is related to Manafort’s in this sense: While Manafort is suspected of aiding the Russian effort, Winner is accused of warning Americans about it. Even though she has been indicted on just one count of leaking classified information and faces far less prison time than Manafort, the judge in her case ... denied her bail. Winner spent the holidays at the Lincolnton jail, which is smaller in its entirety than Manafort’s Hampton’s estate. The U.S. government rarely acts kindly toward the leakers it chooses to prosecute - unless they happen to be popular figures like David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who shared with his girlfriend several notebooks filled with top-secret information; he was allowed to plead guilty to just a misdemeanor charge. Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions proudly announced that the DOJ was investigating three times as many leaks as in the Obama era.

Note: The NSA document Winner is accused of leaking revealed high-level interference in a US election. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the intelligence community and in the judicial system.


Google to drop Pentagon AI contract after employee objections to the ‘business of war’
2018-06-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/06/01/google-to-drop-p...

Google will not seek to extend its contract next year with the Defense Department for artificial intelligence used to analyze drone video, squashing a controversial alliance that had raised alarms over the technological buildup between Silicon Valley and the military. Google ... has faced widespread public backlash and employee resignations for helping develop technological tools that could aid in warfighting. Google will soon release new company principles related to the ethical uses of AI. Thousands of Google employees wrote chief executive Sundar Pichai an open letter urging the company to cancel the contract, and many others signed a petition saying the company’s assistance in developing combat-zone technology directly countered the company’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto. Several Google AI employees had told The Post they believed they wielded a powerful influence over the company’s decision-making. The advanced technology’s top researchers and developers are in heavy demand, and many had organized resistance campaigns or threatened to leave. The sudden announcement Friday was welcomed by several high-profile employees. Meredith Whittaker, an AI researcher and the founder of Google’s Open Research group, tweeted Friday: “I am incredibly happy about this decision, and have a deep respect for the many people who worked and risked to make it happen. Google should not be in the business of war.”

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


Damyanti Gupta: First female engineer with an advanced degree at Ford Motor Company
2018-06-01, Time
http://time.com/collection-post/5296993/damyanti-gupta-firsts/

I was born in a small town in British India. One of the bloodiest partitions in the history of the world took place in my country. In 1947, the British had finally left India, which led to a division of the country into India and Pakistan. There were riots everywhere, and, when I was 5, we had to flee in the middle of the night to the coastal town of Karachi. It wasn’t until I was 13 that I even heard the word engineer. The Prime Minister of India [Jawaharlal Nehru] visited my small city. He said, “after 200 years of British rule, India has no industry and that we need engineers. I was the first woman admitted to the engineering college that I attended in India. There wasn’t even a ladies’ room on the campus. At 19, I came across a biography of Henry Ford, and I started dreaming about one day working for the company he had built. After finishing college in India, my parents gave me their lifetime savings to help me fulfill my dream. I arrived in the Motor City, Detroit, Mich., in January of 1967 without snow boots, a warm jacket, or a car. The first time I applied to Ford, I wasn’t hired, but I didn’t give up. When I tried again a few months later, the HR person was confused. He looked at my resume and said, “You’re applying for an engineering job, but we have no females here.” I told him, “I’m here, and unless you hire me, you’ll never have any.” It worked. I became the first female with a Masters in Engineering ever hired by the Ford Motor Company.

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


EPA’s Pruitt spent $1,560 on 12 customized fountain pens from Washington jewelry store
2018-06-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/06/01/epas-pru...

Tiny Jewel Box, which calls itself Washington’s “premier destination for fine jewelry and watches,” had promised to expedite the order of a dozen customized silver fountain pens — each emblazoned with the seal of the Environmental Protection Agency and the signature of its leader, Scott Pruitt. Now all that the EPA staff member working with the store needed was for a top Pruitt aide to sign off on the $3,230 order. “The cost of the Qty. 12 Fountain Pens will be around $1,560.00,” the staffer emailed Aug. 14 to Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s head of scheduling. “All the other items total cost is around $1,670.00 ... Please advise.” “Yes, please order,” Hupp responded. The exchange, included among thousands of pages of emails released this week as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Sierra Club, offered another glimpse of the high-end tastes of the EPA chief, who has faced months of scrutiny over his expenditures of taxpayer money on first-class travel, an unprecedented security detail, a $43,000 phone booth, a top-of-the-line SUV and other office upgrades. In a Senate hearing last month, Pruitt came as close as he ever has to publicly acknowledging any personal fault in the ethical decisions that have triggered a dozen federal inquiries, including probes by the EPA’s inspector general, the Government Accountability Office and the White House itself. “There have been decisions over the past 16 months that, as I look back, I would not make the same decisions again,” Pruitt told lawmakers.

Note: EPA scientists have been leaving the agency in droves. 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.


Ali Banat: the man with the Gift of Cancer
2018-05-31, Daily Times
https://dailytimes.com.pk/247087/ali-banat-the-man-with-the-gift-of-cancer/

Ali Banat, an Australian based charity worker, social activist, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and founder of the MATW (Muslims Around The World) Project passed away on Tuesday, May 30, 2018. His story resonated with the millions of people who came to know of him after his ‘Gifted With Cancer’ video went viral. His diagnosis of fourth stage Testicular cancer ... completely changed his life, and he decided to donate all his wealth in charity to Muslims Around the World. As he showed off, in the viral video, his huge bedroom lined with Louis Vuitton shoes ... along with a bracelet that cost him $60,000, with one of his cars which included a Ferrari Spider worth $600,000, one could see that ever since he got sick, none of it meant anything to him. Banat was told by the doctors that he had seven months to live, but instead, he lived for another blessed three years. In all this time, he was only dedicated to doing good as he donated his wealth and money to thousands of people across a number of countries including Togo, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. To make sure that his organisation, MATW, was run in good hands, Ali visited ... to see that 100% of the donations would go into the project and not be divided with administrative fees. With the money collected, MATW aimed at building villages for over 200 widows, a mosque, a school that would house 600 orphans, a mini-hospital/medical centre, as well as businesses to support the local community.

Note: Watch a moving interview at the link above showing how his life was totally changed in a positive way by cancer. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Florida brewery introduces biodegradable, edible six-pack rings
2018-05-31, CBS (Local Utah affiliate)
http://kutv.com/news/nation-world/florida-brewery-introduces-biodegradable-ed...

A microbrewery in Delray Beach, Florida has devised a crafty solution to plastic six-pack rings that often wreak havoc on marine wildlife. After years of research and development, Saltwater Brewery has introduced six-pack rings made of wheat and barley. The brewery developed the rings with a start-up company called E6PR. Whereas plastic rings can become tangled in the wings of sea birds, warp the shells of growing sea turtles and choke seals, Saltwater Brewery's new rings are not only biodegradable but also perfectly edible. "E6PR hopes other breweries - both small and large - will buy into the new rings and help bring costs down," Nola.com reports. The Louisiana State University (LSU) reports that the Gulf of Mexico has one of the highest concentrations of marine plastic in the world. Every net that LSU dipped into the Gulf's water came up with some form of plastic. "We found it every time," LSU's Mark Benfield [said]. E6PR is testing the edible rings with "a select group of craft breweries," but the company is not yet ready to discuss specifics.

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


The epidemic of denial about sexual abuse in the evangelical church
2018-05-31, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/05/31/feature/the-...

Across the United States, evangelical churches are failing to protect victims of sexual abuse among their members. While some church leaders have worked to prevent abuse and harassment, many have not. The causes are manifold: authoritarian leadership, twisted theology, institutional protection, obliviousness about the problem and, perhaps most shocking, a diminishment of the trauma sexual abuse creates — especially surprising in a church culture that believes strongly in the sanctity of sex. “Sexual abuse is the most underreported thing — both in and outside the church — that exists,” says Boz Tchividjian, a grandson of Billy Graham and a former Florida assistant state attorney. As a prosecutor, Tchividjian saw dozens of sexual abuse victims harmed by a church’s response to them. In 2004, Tchividjian founded [a] nonprofit organization ... which trains Christian institutions in how to prevent sexual abuse and performs independent investigations. Tchividjian says sexual abuse in evangelicalism rivals the Catholic Church scandal of the early 2000s. According to research from the evangelical publishing company LifeWay ... pastors drastically underestimate the number of victims in their congregations.

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


Ending America's War on Drugs Would Finally Unleash the Therapeutic Potential of Psychedelics
2018-05-30, Time
http://time.com/5295544/war-on-drugs-ptsd-mdma-rick-doblin/

It was only after U.S. veteran Jonathan Lubecky pulled the trigger on a loaded gun aimed at his head and it misfired that he finally decided to seek help. He had tried to commit suicide five times after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for PTSD, Zoloft and Paxil ... didn’t work for combat-related PTSD. Out of desperation, he volunteered as a subject in an experimental study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. The study was sponsored by the ... Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and funded entirely by private donations. After his treatment with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, Lubecky managed to heal from his PTSD to the point that he became National Veterans Director for Senator Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential primary campaign. His recovery is not unusual. The Lancet Psychiatry published a scientific paper about the study Lubecky volunteered for; it reported that two-thirds of the 26 veterans, firefighters and police officers treated no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD one month after their second MDMA session, with their reduction of PTSD symptoms lasting over time. Drug prohibition has for decades delayed medical research into the healing properties of Schedule 1 drugs. Now that this research is finally being conducted, we’re learning that enormous suffering and many suicides could have been prevented over these decades.

Note: The above was written by MAPS founder Rick Doblin. Read more about how MDMA, also known as 'ecstasy,' has been found to be 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.


Questions Raised About 5G Health Risks Months Before Sacramento Launches Service
2018-05-29, CBS (Sacramento, CA affiliate)
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/05/29/questions-raised-about-5g-health-r...

Sacramento will be the first city in the country to get 5G cell service later this summer, but health concerns are now being raised about the equipment. 5G uses high frequency waves and is supposed to be 100 times faster than the current cell phone service. However, the 5G waves don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies so instead of large cell phone tower equipment spread far apart, the 5G requires small cell sites closer together. The FCC does set exposure limits for cell site antennas that transmit signals to phones. According to the National Cancer Institute, “A limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumor risks.” Firefighters in San Francisco have reported memory problems and confusion after the 5G equipment was installed outside of fire stations. The firefighters claim the symptoms stopped when they relocated to stations without equipment nearby. The City of Sacramento partnered with Verizon to offer 5G. Sacramento issued a statement to CBS13- reading in part: “The City currently has six 5G sites active. The City does not/cannot regulate wireless devices.” Some cities, including Santa Rosa, have put their 5G plans on hold while health concerns are addressed.

Note: According the the CBS video at the link above, 5G towers are planned to be installed every 1,000 feet. Learn how cities can be sued if they question health concerns of 5G technology in this CBS news article. Real also on the website of the International Association of Firefighters a statement opposing the place of cell phone towers near fire stations because of safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


US lost track of 1,500 immigrant children, but says it's not 'legally responsible'
2018-05-28, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/26/politics/hhs-lost-track-1500-immigrant-childre...

The federal government has placed thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children in the homes of sponsors, but last year it couldn't account for nearly 1,500 of them. Steven Wagner, a top official with the Department of Health and Human Services, disclosed the number to a Senate subcommittee last month while discussing the state of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that oversees the care of unaccompanied immigrant children. Wagner is the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. After a stay in an ORR shelter, the majority of children are sent to live with sponsors who have close ties to the children - typically a parent or close relative, Wagner said, though some end up living with "other-than-close relatives or non-relatives." Between October and December 2017, Wagner told the subcommittee, the ORR reached out to 7,635 unaccompanied children to check on them. But the ORR "was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children," Wagner testified. That's more than 19% of the children that were placed by the ORR. But Wagner said HHS is not responsible for the children. "ORR is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care," Wagner said. Wagner's statement has received increased scrutiny a month after the Department of Homeland Security defended an agency policy that will result in more families being separated at the border.

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


Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn't believe it was Sirhan Sirhan.
2018-05-26, Washington Post