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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.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Attorney general says Justice Dept. has tripled the number of leak probes
2017-08-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/attorney-general-says-...

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Justice Department has more than tripled the number of leak investigations compared with the number that were ongoing at the end of the last administration. Sessions said he was devoting more resources to stamping out unauthorized disclosures, directing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to actively monitor every investigation, instructing the department’s national security division and U.S. attorneys to prioritize such cases, and creating a new counterintelligence unit in the FBI to manage the work. Sessions also said he was reviewing the Justice Department’s policy on issuing subpoenas to reporters. Rosenstein refused to rule out the possibility that journalists would be prosecuted. It has long been Justice Department practice in leak probes to try to avoid investigating journalists directly to find their sources. Prosecutors in the Obama era brought nine leak cases, more than during all previous administrations combined, and in the process called a reporter a criminal “co-conspirator” and secretly went after journalists’ phone records in a bid to identify reporters’ sources. Danielle Brian, executive director at the Project on Government Oversight, said leak investigations might inappropriately target well-intentioned whistleblowers. “Whistleblowers are the nation’s first line of defense against fraud, waste, abuse, and illegality within the federal government,” Brian said in a statement.

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


Too Many Meds? America's Love Affair With Prescription Medication
2017-08-03, Consumer Reports
https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/too-many-meds-americas-lov...

Americans take more pills today than at any other time in recent history - and far more than people in any other country. Much of that medication use is lifesaving or at least life-improving. But a lot is not. The amount of harm stemming from inappropriate prescription medication is staggering. Almost 1.3 million people went to U.S. emergency rooms due to adverse drug effects in 2014, and about 124,000 died from those events. That’s according to estimates based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Other research suggests that up to half of those events were preventable. All of that bad medicine is costly, too. An estimated $200 billion per year is spent in the U.S. on the unnecessary and improper use of medication, for the drugs themselves and related medical costs. Our previous surveys have found that higher drug costs - including more expensive drugs and higher out-of-pocket costs - also strain household budgets, with many people telling us they had to cut back on groceries or delay paying other bills to pay for their prescriptions. Total spending on drug ads targeting consumers reached $6.4 billion last year, 64 percent more than in 2012. That’s $1.3 billion more than the FDA’s entire 2017 budget. Drug companies spend even more - $24 billion in 2012 alone - on marketing just to doctors through ads in medical journals, face-to-face sales, free medication samples, and educational and promotional meetings.

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


Pentagon suppressing book on interrogations: former investigator
2017-08-03, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-torture-idUSKBN1AJ2NG

A former chief investigator at the Guantanamo Bay detention center is accusing the Pentagon of blocking publication of his book on the use of brutal interrogation techniques and top U.S. officials' advocacy of what he calls "torture." Mark Fallon, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) veteran, said his book "Unjustifiable Means" reveals no classified information or new detainee abuse cases but details internal deliberations about interrogation methods, identifies officials who advocated "torture" and describes how he and others objected. "This is more of an inside view of the fight to try to stop torture," he said. "There was a tremendous opposition within the government itself believing these were war crimes, and I name names." The use of the brutal interrogation methods made the country less safe, he said. Fallon said that he was told it would take no more than six weeks for the Defense Department office that scrubs manuscripts for unauthorized information to review his book. That was more than seven months ago. He has since missed his submission deadline, had to cancel a book tour and enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute to fight what he contends is a Pentagon effort to suppress his work and stifle his right to free speech. Now the ACLU and the Columbia University institute are taking Fallon's case to Congress.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Paedophiles should get child sex dolls on the NHS, says charity
2017-08-03, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/paedophiles-should-get-child-sex-dolls-prescription-...

A charity has been criticised after suggesting paedophiles should be given life-like child sex dolls on prescription. The controversial comments ... came after a judge ruled that sex dolls made in Asia to look like young children were "obscene". The landmark ruling related to former primary school governor David Turner, who tried to import a 3ft child doll into the UK – one of more than 100 seized at the border by UK law enforcement. But the charity StopSo, which offers therapy to sex offenders, said the dolls could help those attracted to children manage their behaviour safely. The organisation's chairman, Juliet Grayson, [said]: "If someone comes forward and says, 'I am attracted to young children, and I want help to ensure that I never act on that attraction, so that I never harm a child,' then maybe society should consider the use of dolls in a carefully regulated way. "Society needs to reach a point where a teenager can say to his mum, 'I am a paedophile', and she will get him the right kind of help to manage his behaviours in pro-social ways." The unorthodox approach to reducing child sex offences was not shared by the NSPCC ... however. A spokesman for the NCA said: "We believe that these dolls could normalise a sexual interest in children. "As is often the case, importers of dolls have been prosecuted for associated offending such as possession of indecent images of children. "The dolls are a flag of interest in children. If they hadn't been discovered we would not have been able to prosecute for other aggravating offences."

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


Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria
2017-08-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/world/middleeast/cia-syria-rebel-arm-train...

Early last month, the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, recommended to President Trump that he shut down a four-year-old effort to arm and train Syrian rebels. The president swiftly ended the program. The rebel army was by then a shell, hollowed out by more than a year of bombing by Russian planes. Critics in Congress had complained for years about the costs - more than $1 billion over the life of the program - and reports that some of the C.I.A.-supplied weapons had ended up in the hands of a rebel group tied to Al Qaeda further sapped political support for the program. President Barack Obama ... agreed to the program in 2013. It soon fell victim to the constantly shifting alliances in Syria’s six-year-old civil war. Once C.I.A.-trained fighters crossed into Syria, C.I.A. officers had difficulty controlling them. The fact that some of their C.I.A. weapons ended up with Nusra Front fighters - and that some of the rebels joined the group - confirmed the fears of many in the Obama administration when the program began. Although the Nusra Front was widely seen as an effective fighting force against [President Bashar al-Assad]’s troops, its Qaeda affiliation made it impossible for the Obama administration to provide direct support for the group. American intelligence officials estimate that the Nusra Front now has as many as 20,000 fighters in Syria, making it Al Qaeda’s largest affiliate. Officials also received ... reports that the C.I.A.-trained rebels had summarily executed prisoners and committed other violations of the rules of armed conflict.

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


Monsanto Emails Raise Issue of Influencing Research on Roundup Weed Killer
2017-08-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-s...

Documents released Tuesday in a lawsuit against Monsanto raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the most common weed killer in the world. The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller ... a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, [wrote] in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.” Mr. Miller’s 2015 article on Forbes’s website was an attack on the findings of ... a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen. The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.

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


State Department considers scrubbing democracy promotion from its mission
2017-08-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/08/01/state-department...

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered his department to redefine its mission and issue a new statement of purpose to the world. The draft statements under review right now are similar to the old mission statement, except for one thing - any mention of promoting democracy is being eliminated. Former senior State Department officials from both parties told me that eliminating “just” and “democratic” from the State Department’s list of desired outcomes is neither accidental nor inconsequential. “The only significant difference is the deletion of justice and democracy,” said Elliott Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy during the George W. Bush administration. “We used to want a just and democratic world, and now apparently we don’t.” The change, if it becomes permanent, would sow confusion throughout the ranks of the State Department’s civil and foreign service because hundreds of State Department officials work on congressionally funded programs every day that are meant to promote democracy and justice abroad. Tillerson has made several statements and decisions that indicate he plans to lower the priority of democracy and human rights in U.S. foreign policy. In his first speech to his State Department employees, he said promoting American values “creates obstacles” to pursuing America’s national security interests. In March, he broke tradition by declining to appear personally to unveil the State Department’s annual human rights report.

Note: The US State Department under Rex Tillerson also recently moved to shut down a decades-old office designed to seek justice for victims of war crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico
2017-08-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/meat-industry-dead-zone-g...

The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico. Toxins from manure and fertiliser pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, according to a new report by Mighty, an environmental group chaired by former congressman Henry Waxman. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) will this week announce the largest ever recorded dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be larger than the nearly 8,200 square-mile area that was forecast for July. “This problem is worsening and worsening and regulation isn’t reducing the scope of this pollution,” said Lucia von Reusner, campaign director at Mighty. “These companies’ practices need to be far more sustainable.” The Mighty report analyzed supply chains of agribusiness and pollution trends and found that a “highly industrialized and centralized factory farm system” was ... bringing fertilisers into waterways. Tyson Foods is identified by the report as a “dominant” influence in the pollution. This pollution has also been linked to drinking water contamination. Last week, a report by Environmental Working Group found that in 2015 water systems serving seven million Americans in 48 states contained high levels of nitrates ... linked to an increased risk of contracting certain cancers.

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


Jordanian parliament moves to end 'marry the rapist' clause
2017-08-01, Christian Science Monitor/Associated Press
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0801/Jordanian-parliament-mo...

The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Tuesday scrapped a provision in the kingdom's penal code that allowed a rapist to escape punishment if he married his victim. Cheers and applause erupted from a packed spectators' gallery as legislators voted for repeal, following an emotional debate in which some of the lawmakers jumped up and yelled at each other. The vote was hailed as a major step forward for women in the conservative kingdom. Many areas of Jordan remain socially conservative, with entrenched notions of "family honor." This includes the belief that having a rape victim in the family is shameful, and that such "shame" can be expunged through marriage. In Tuesday's debate, some lawmakers had argued that an amended version of Article 308 was needed to protect rape victims against social stigma by giving them the marriage option. In the end, lawmakers voted in line with the recommendations of the government and a royal committee on legal reforms. The decision must still be approved by parliament's appointed upper house, or Senate, and by King Abdullah II. After the expected final approval, Jordan would join Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt which have canceled their "marry the rapist" clauses over the years. The international rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Lebanon's parliament is also considering repealing such a provision. The clause remains on the books in several other countries in the Middle East and Latin America, as well as in the Philippines and Tajikistan, HRW said.

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


The 'new phenomenon' of child sex dolls
2017-07-31, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40776621

David Turner is awaiting sentence after admitting to a court that he imported an obscene child sex doll into the UK. The 72-year-old ... is one of seven people to have been charged with the importation offence, which has been deemed a "relatively new phenomenon" by the National Crime Agency. More than 100 child sex dolls have been seized in the UK as part of a special operation set up by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force. Investigators believe the dolls, which are made to be as life-like as possible, are being imported by people who have a "sexual interest" in children. Advertised as "adult dolls" on sites including EBay and Amazon, they are manufactured in the Far East and sent to Britain. Each doll costs around Ł800, is made of a silicon-like material and weighs as much as a child. The NCA, which set up Operation Shiraz, says paediatricians have assessed the dolls seized to be "anatomically correct". Since March 2016, 123 dolls have been seized, destined for 120 importers. Seven people have been charged with importation offences, two of whom, Andrew Dobson and Dean Hall, have been convicted and sentenced. Dobson, 49 and from Crewe, was jailed for two years and eight months. He also admitted possessing indecent images of children. Hall, 42, from Bury St Edmunds, was given a two-year suspended term. He was also in possession of indecent images.

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


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

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

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


U.S. Nuclear Comeback Stalls as Two Reactors Are Abandoned
2017-07-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/climate/nuclear-power-project-canceled-in-...

In a major blow to the future of nuclear power in the United States, two South Carolina utilities said on Monday that they would abandon two unfinished nuclear reactors in the state, putting an end to a project that was ... plagued by delays and cost overruns. The two reactors, which have cost the utilities roughly $9 billion, remain less than 40 percent built. The cancellation means there are just two new nuclear units being built in the country - both in Georgia - while more than a dozen older nuclear plants are being retired in the face of low natural gas prices. Originally scheduled to come online by 2018, the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina had been plagued by disputes with regulators and numerous construction problems. Under South Carolina law, the utilities were allowed to charge ratepayers for construction costs before the reactors were finished. The nuclear project now accounts for 18 percent of the electric bills of South Carolina Electric & Gas’s residential customers. Santee Cooper, a state-owned utility, has increased rates five times to pay for the reactors. Some environmental groups are now urging state regulators to refund those charges, arguing that the companies misled their customers. “It was evident from the start that cost overruns, schedule delays and problems with an untested construction method” would doom the project, said Tom Clements, a senior adviser at Friends of the Earth. State regulators have set a hearing on the issue for October.

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


Driving Tesla’s Model 3 Changes Everything
2017-07-31, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-31/driving-tesla-s-model-3-ch...

If you’ve ever driven Tesla’s flagship vehicle - the $140,000 Model S P100D - you’ve experienced an unparalleled version of driving power. Zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds punches you back in the seat. Some people live for that feeling. I’m not one of them. After taking one of the first drives of Tesla’s new Model 3 last week, I came away thinking that CEO Elon Musk has finally delivered an electric car for the everyday road tripper like me. The Model 3 still has plenty of pickup, [and] gets a stunning 310 miles on a charge. The fact that this car still looks, drives, and feels like a Tesla - at a starting price of $35,000 - shows how far the Silicon Valley automaker has come. At current battery prices, Tesla is setting a new standard for value in an electric car. Since Musk handed over keys to the first 30 cars on Friday, I’ve heard a lot of people trying to compare the Model 3 to GM’s all-electric Chevy Bolt. Although they’re similarly priced and both run on batteries, the parallel ends there. The Bolt is basically an economy gasoline car that’s been electrified; the Model 3 is, well, something altogether different. Tesla aims to sell 500,000 electric cars next year. The bigger battery is a gamechanger. Only one other electric car in the world has broken the 300-mile range barrier: the most expensive version of Tesla’s Model S, an ultra-luxury car that starts at $97,500. The new Model 3 has won Tesla the trophy for cheapest range for the money, defeating the $37,500 Bolt, which is outclassed by the Model 3 in virtually every category.

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


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

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

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


Hackers Breach U.S. Voting Machines in 90 Minutes in DEF CON Competition
2017-07-30, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/hackers-breach-usvoting-machines-90-minutes-def-con-c...

Hackers were able to successfully breach the software of U.S. voting machines in less than two hours at a competition in Las Vegas. The event exposed glaring deficiencies in the security of U.S. voting infrastructure. According to the Register, the hackers at the DEF CON conference Friday were given voting machines, and competed to access them by physically breaking them open and hacking them remotely. Some devices had remote ports, which could be used to insert devices with malicious software, others insecure WiFi connections, or outdated software such as Windows XP, rendering them exposed to hacking attacks. The machines, manufactured by companies including Diebold, Sequoia and Winvote equipment, were purchased over eBay or at government auctions. In June, the Intercept published leaked NSA documents showing that Russian agents hacked a U.S. voting systems manufacturer in the weeks leading to last year’s presidential election. NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner, 25, was subsequently charged with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet. “Without question, our voting systems are weak and susceptible. Thanks to the contributions of the hacker community today, we've uncovered even more about exactly how,” said Jake Braun, the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Global Advisors and Managing Director of Cambridge Global Capital, who designed the hacking competition.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Are Aliens Real? NASA Astronauts Share Their Experiences With Extraterrestrials
2017-07-29, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/are-aliens-real-nasa-astronauts-share-their-experience...

Several NASA astronauts believe extraterrestrials exist and have been in touch with humanity for a long period. Data cruncher and blogger Sam Monfort ... on Feb. 21 said the number of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) sightings is currently at an all-time high. According to Monfort's report, there have been 104,947 reported sightings on record over the past 100-plus years. He used information from the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), which ... keeps careful logs of all UFO sightings worldwide. Astronauts such as Edgar Mitchell, Cady Coleman, Edwin Buzz Aldrin and Dr Brian O’Leary ... have claimed to have seen UFOs. In 1971, [Edgar] Mitchell became the sixth person to walk on the Moon, and the journey spiritually transformed his life. He was convinced after the journey to the Moon that "aliens have been observing us and have been here for some time." Mitchell once even claimed that "peace-loving" aliens had visited Earth to save humanity from nuclear war, and ... told Mirror Online that top-ranking military sources had spotted UFOs during weapons tests. He also said that strange crafts flying over missile bases at the White Sands facility have been spotted by military insiders. The facility is a government-owned rocket engine test site where the world's first ever nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945.

Note: Read and watch riveting testimony by numerous astronauts, generals, and other top officials with personal experience in a major UFO cover-up. Check out strong evidence in declassified FBI files that UFOs are quite real. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


The electric jolt that roused Big Oil
2017-07-29, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/29/electric-jolt-roused-big-oil/

Identifying a tipping point is not always easy. But when one of the world’s most powerful oil bosses says he is in the market for an electric car, there can be little doubt. Ben van Beurden, the Royal Dutch Shell boss, last week delivered the clearest indication yet that the burgeoning electric vehicle industry is already hastening the decline of global oil demand. For “Big Oil” it is time to adapt or die, and Shell intends to adapt. Within the next year Shell will unveil early plans for a deeper presence in renewable energy and the electrical chain to tap the boom in electric vehicles. “Everyone is repeatedly surprised at how fast electric cars are coming forward,” Professor Dieter Helm told The Telegraph. The number of new registrations of plug-in cars has grown from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 100,000 at the end of May. “But the political pressure to adopt this technology is increasing all the time. It’s not due to concerns over climate change – it’s city air pollution,” he said. And so it was in the UK last week when the Government’s bid to tackle the country’s worsening air pollution followed the example set by France two weeks earlier in pledging to halt the sale of combustion vehicles by 2040. At the same time, government put the battery boom front and centre in its industrial strategy with Ł246m of funding for research and development. Battery Britain may require a fundamental shift for Europe’s oil majors, automotive giants and embattled refineries.

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


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

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

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


Contaminants in water are legal but still pose big health risks, environmental group says
2017-07-26, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/26/contaminants-water-legal-but-s...

Contaminants detected in water samples throughout the country pose health risks but are perfectly legal. “Most people turn on their tap water and think: It’s clear, I live in America, we have these laws, I’m being protected,” said Nneka Leiba, director of the Healthy Living Science Program for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In 1974, Congress enacted the Safe Drinking Water Act, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set national standards for drinking water. However, it has been more than 20 years since the EPA has added a new contaminant to its list of regulated drinking water pollutants. “The list of regulated chemicals has not kept up with our use of chemicals as a country,” Leiba said. EWG collected data from drinking water tests ... at more than 48,000 water facilities throughout the U.S., looking for 500 unique contaminants. The group found 267 present in water supplies, many at levels above what scientific studies have found pose health risks but are still legal under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EWG's findings: 93 of the contaminants were linked to an increased risk of cancer; 78 were associated with brain and nervous system damage; 63 were connected to developmental harm in children or fetuses; 38 were contaminants that could cause fertility issues; and 45 were endocrine disruptors. More than 40,000 water systems had levels of known or likely carcinogens that exceeded health guidelines.

Note: EWG has made its data available in the form of a public database. Due to systematic distortion of water quality tests by US authorities, up to 98 million Americans may have unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


Feds Crack Trump Protesters’ Phones to Charge Them With Felony Rioting
2017-07-26, Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/feds-crack-trump-protesters-phones-to-charge-the...

Officials seized Trump protesters’ cell phones, cracked their passwords, and are now attempting to use the contents to convict them of conspiracy to riot at the presidential inauguration. Prosecutors have indicted over 200 people on felony riot charges for protests in Washington, D.C. on January 20. Some defendants face up to 75 years in prison. Evidence against the defendants has been scant from the moment of their arrest. As demonstrators, journalists, and observers marched through the city, D.C. police officers channelled hundreds of people into a narrow, blockaded corner, where they carried out mass arrests. Some of those people ... are now suing for wrongful arrest. Police also seized more than 100 cell phones. All of the ... phones were locked. But a July 21 court document shows that investigators were successful in opening the locked phones. Prosecutors moved to use a wealth of information from the phones as evidence, including the phones’ “call detail records,” “SMS or MMS messages,” “contact logs/email logs,” “chats or other messaging applications,” “website search history and website history,” and “images or videos.” One of the more than 200 defendants has pleaded guilty to riot charges after being named extensively in a superseding indictment. But the case against most defendants is less clear; in the superseding indictment, prosecutors accuse hundreds defendants of conspiracy to riot, based on “overt acts” as banal as chanting anti-capitalist slogans or wearing dark clothing.

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


Sperm counts in the West plunge by 60% in 40 years as ‘modern life’ damages men’s health
2017-07-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/sperm-count-west-men-health-drop-60...

Sperm counts have plunged by nearly 60 per cent in just 40 years among men living in the West, according to a major review of scientific studies that suggests the modern world is causing serious damage to men’s health. Pesticides, hormone-disrupting chemicals, diet, stress, smoking and obesity have all been “plausibly associated” with the problem, which is associated with a range of other illnesses ... and a generally increased mortality rate. The researchers who carried out the review said the rate of decline had showed no sign of “levelling off” in recent years. The same trend was not seen in other parts of the world such as South America, Africa and Asia. The researchers ... said total sperm count had fallen by 59.3 per cent between 1971 and 2011 in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Sperm concentration fell by 52.4 per cent. "Endocrine disruption from chemical exposures or maternal smoking during critical windows of male reproductive development may play a role in prenatal life, while lifestyle changes and exposure to pesticides may play a role in adult life. Thus, a decline in sperm count might be considered as a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for male health across the lifespan.”

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


Ancient humans had sex with non humans
2017-07-25, New Zealand Herald
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=&objectid=11894688

New research shows that ancient humans had sex with non human species. According to a study conducted by Omer Gokcumen, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo, ancient humans had intercourse with a "ghost species" of "proto human". Gokcumen explains that humans are only one member of a broader species named "hominins". The research found that humans had sex with other members of the hominins group. Gokcumen found "wildly different" genes in DNA of humans living in Sub-Saharan Africa. He believes these genes can be traced back to about 150,000 years ago when ancient humans were breeding with this mysterious "ghost species". This other species is referred to by the scientific community as a "ghost species" as there are no known fossils that can be analysed. "It seems that interbreeding between different early hominin species is not the exception - it's the norm," Gokcumen said. "Based on our analysis, the most plausible explanation for this extreme variation is archaic introgression - the introduction of genetic material from a 'ghost' species of ancient hominins."

Note: What was this "ghost species"? Could there have been intervention from species outside of planet Earth? Read an essay by WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks for intriguing ideas along these lines.


Robot finds likely melted fuel heap inside Fukushima reactor
2017-07-25, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Robot-finds-likely-melted-fuel-heap-...

Images captured by an underwater robot showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1 meter (3 feet) on the bottom inside of a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor, said the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. On Friday, the robot spotted suspected debris of melted fuel for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and destroyed the plant. Locating and analyzing the fuel debris and damage in each of the plant's three wrecked reactors is crucial for decommissioning the plant. The search for melted fuel in the two other reactors has so far been unsuccessful because of damage and extremely high radiation levels. During this week's probe, cameras mounted on the robot showed extensive damage caused by the core meltdown, with fuel debris mixed with broken reactor parts, suggesting the difficult challenges ahead in the decades-long decommissioning of the destroyed plant.

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


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

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

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


President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination
2017-07-25, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-a-chance-to-dispel-one-of-t...

Later this year - unless President Trump intervenes - the American people will get access to the last of thousands of secret government files about a turning point in the nation’s history: the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The National Archives this week released several hundred of the documents, which come from CIA and FBI files. JFK researchers are scrambling to see whether they contain any new clues about the president’s murder. But many more documents remain under seal, awaiting release by this October, the 25-year deadline set by the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. The law gives only one person - the president - the ability to stop the release from happening. He can act only if he certifies in writing that the documents would somehow endanger national security. About 3,150 ... documents remain totally under seal, along with tens of thousands of pages that have been only partially unsealed because intelligence and law-enforcement agencies opposed their release in the 1990s. Those are the documents that Trump could try to keep secret. And sadly, he appears to be under pressure to do so. Congressional and other government officials have warned us in confidence in recent weeks that at least two federal agencies will make formal appeals to the White House to block the release of some of the files. Which agencies? Which files? The officials would not say. Trump ... has a chance to show that he is committed to resolving some of the biggest conspiracy theories in American politics. We hope he welcomes the opportunity.

Note: The above was written by Larry J. Sabato, author of “The Kennedy Half-Century,” and Philip Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations from reliable major media sources.


Installing microchips in employees is 'the right thing to do,' CEO says
2017-07-24, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/24/installing-microchips-in-employees-is-the-rig...

Forget swiping a credit card or badge to buy food at work. One Wisconsin-based tech firm is offering to install rice-size microchips in its employees' hands. Three Square Market will be the first firm in the U.S. to use the device, which was approved by the FDA in 2004, CEO Todd Westby told CNBC on Monday. "We think it's the right thing to do for advancing innovation just like the driverless car basically did in recent months," he said. The company, which provides technology for break-room markets or mini-market kiosks, is anticipating over 50 employees to be voluntarily chipped. Westby said he and his family will be chipped, too. The chip, which costs $300 per implant, is inserted with a needle between the thumb and forefinger. Once an employee has the chip installed, he or she can purchase food in the break room, open doors and log into computers. And for those who may be concerned about Big Brother watching, Westby said there is no way for employees to be tracked. "Unlike your cell phone that is trackable and traceable pretty much no matter where you are, this device is only readable if you're within six inches of a proximity reader," he said. Three Square Market's partner, BioHax International in Sweden, has already started using the microchips in about 150 of its employees.

Note: A Swedish company's chief executive was recently "chipped" live on stage to promote this dubious technology. And do you really think they are not trackable? Read about the agenda to chip all people in this powerful essay and these news articles.


Vets Are Using Transcendental Meditation to Treat PTSD—With the Pentagon’s Support
2017-07-22, Mother Jones
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/07/vets-are-using-transcendental-med...

Mary-Ann Rich rises at precisely 4:45 every morning. After feeding her cat, she ... sits for 20 minutes, motionless, her mind drifting far from the images of burned and blown up bodies that have haunted her for a decade. For the past four years, Rich has repeated this daily ritual to help heal her emotional scars from the 18 months she spent as an Army nurse in Iraq. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she bounced from one treatment to another without much effect. Then she was introduced to Transcendental Meditation, or TM. She says that TM, more than any kind of therapy or pharmaceutical, has kept [the] horrors [of PTSD] at bay. Thousands of veterans ... have turned to TM to treat their PTSD - with blessing of the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration, which are struggling to treat the epidemic levels of PTSD and suicide among Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Aided by $30 million in grants from the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health, [the nonprofit David Lynch Foundation] has worked ... to bring TM to vets and active-duty soldiers. TM practitioners receive a secret mantra - a meaningless word-sound - and repeat it to trigger a free-flowing 20-minute meditation twice a day. Colonel Brian Rees ... served as a doctor in Iraq and Afghanistan. TM’s simplicity, Rees says, is uniquely suited to the job of treating PTSD. In 2011, he researched 33 different meditation techniques and found that TM had the greatest potential to bolster soldiers’ resilience.

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


Former FDA Reviewer Speaks Out About Intimidation, Retaliation and Marginalizing of Safety
2017-07-21, TruthOut.org
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/10524-former-fda-reviewer-speaks-out-about...

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is often accused of serving industry at the expense of consumers. This week, [there are reports] of an institutionalized FDA spying program on its own scientists, lawmakers, reporters and academics that included an enemies list of "actors" and collaborators. "Devicegate" dates back at least to January 2009 when scientists ... wrote President Obama that top FDA managers "committed the most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along." Unsafe [medical] devices - including those that emit excessive radiation - were approved. For reporting the safety risks, the scientists became targets. Some lost their jobs. The ... reprisals against FDA device reviewers [did not surprise former FDA drug reviewer Ronald Kavanagh]. "After FDA management learned I had gone to Congress about certain issues, I found my office had been entered and my computer physically tampered with," [said Kavanagh]. "Then, after I openly reported irregularities in an antipsychotic drug review and FDA financial collusion with outsiders to ... the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I was threatened with prison. The threats, however, can be much worse than prison. One manager threatened my children - who had just turned 4 and 7 years old - and ... I was afraid that I could be killed for talking to Congress and criminal investigators."

Note: Read more on how the FDA spied on whistle-blowing scientists to suppress safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Google now highest-spending company for federal lobbying
2017-07-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Google-now-highest-spending-company-fo...

Google spent the most it ever has in a single quarter trying to influence elected officials in Washington, according to lobbying disclosures made public late Thursday. The past three months have also seen record spending on lobbying by several other major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Uber. Google Inc., according to the disclosure forms, spent $5.93 million between April 1 and June 30. That’s about 40 percent more than it had spent during the same period last year. The only three entities that doled out more money were large business organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($11.68 million), the National Association of Realtors ($10.92 million) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ($6 million). Since the 2016 election, the tech industry has had to navigate ... an administration whose decisions have often cut against Silicon Valley’s business interests. The combined lobbying efforts of some of the most influential tech companies - Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft - totaled $15.79 million. Google’s lobbying efforts come as it faces the largest fine the European Union has ever levied against a company for abusing its dominant market position. In June, the European Union’s antitrust chief hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine, saying the company illegally steered users toward its comparison shopping site. If the ruling is not overturned, it could reshape the company’s behavior and direct the evolving boundaries of tech-industry regulation.

Note: Check out the intriguing, well researched article "How the CIA Made Google." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Mushroom protein is just as filling as meat
2017-07-21, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mushroom-protein-just-filling-meat-1631429

The World Health Organization and the United Nations have been advocating vegetarian and vegan diets for years, to protect against obesity and encourage less energy-intensive farming. For those ... concerned about whether they could stomach a vegan or even just a vegetarian diet, a recent small study has found that mushroom protein can do the job perfectly well. A total of 32 people were given two servings of mushrooms or of meat to eat every day for ten days. On the first day they were given a mushroom or meat breakfast, and rated how full they felt several times in the following hours. Then after three hours, they were given a help-yourself lunch where the scientists recorded how much they ate. Then they were sent home and given either mushrooms or meat to work into their diet for the next nine days. At the all-you-can-eat lunch there was no immediate difference between the mushroom eaters and the meat eaters. But over the following days, people on the mushroom regime reported being less hungry, fuller for longer and found themselves planning smaller meals. But overall, the mushroom eaters didn't eat more or less food than the people on the meat regime, the researchers found. So it seems that eating mushroom protein is at least as good as eating meat protein.

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


The man who sews with his toes: Indian tailor creates bespoke garments… despite not having any ARMS
2017-07-20, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4713808/Armless-Indian-tailor-creates-garments-feet.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4713808/Armless-Indian-tailor-creates...

Madan Lal, 45, from Haryana in India was born without arms but learnt to adapt to the demands of everyday life by using his feet. Now he uses his talented toes to stitch beautiful garments from a shop in his village. He said: 'All the stitching work I do with my feet. From cutting the cloth to measurement, I have to use my feet.' He said: 'When I was young almost every school denied me admission because of my disability. My family couldn't afford to educate me, and I thought ... I'll have to do something to survive in this life.' At the age of 23, Mr Lal decided to take up tailoring, but found it very difficult to get any training. A determined Mr Lal decided to travel to Fatehabad and search for a tailor who was willing to train him. He said: 'I went to Fatehabad to learn stitching from a tailor. He initially refused to teach me. He said, "You don't have any arms, how would you do stitching?" 'I said, "Just give me one chance". He said okay and within 10 to 15 days my teacher started saying, "You will become successful". And I became very happy.' Within a year, Mr Lal had learned the art of tailoring and had opened a shop in his village. The impact on his life was immediate. 'That day I forgot all the sufferings. It was the best day of my life. I saw people coming to my shop to greet me. The whole village was happy, as if they were part of my family.' And now Madan's talent has overcome even the most sceptical of his villagers, and his exploits have made him something of a local hero. He said: 'Now everyone at our village comes to my shop.'

Note: Don't miss the inspiring 3-minute video of this very capable man.


Syrian rebels alarmed by reports covert CIA aid will end
2017-07-20, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/a35244e6-6d2e-11e7-bfeb-33fe0c5b7eaa

For nearly four years, Syrian rebels have clung to a programme of CIA assistance as a symbol of US support in their battle against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. So reports that Donald Trump’s administration will stop the limited scheme to arm and train Syria’s opposition forces have sparked anger and confusion. Rebels say they have not been informed of any changes to the policy introduced ... in 2013 as part of efforts to put pressure on Syria’s president. According to ... the Washington Post newspaper, Mr Trump decided last month to end funding for the CIA programme. Rebels contacted by the Financial Times say their CIA interlocutors had not confirmed any change, and political opposition figures who met US officials this week say they, too, were given no hint of any change. One rebel commander who asked not to be named said US support had been waning for months but noted that the rebels had been given their salaries as normal last month. The CIA funding for rebel groups fed into two internationally backed operations that supported an array of rebel groups. Many observers and even rebels themselves criticised the programme for turning a blind eye to its funding ending up with jihadis. Rebels who received support would return to volatile territories in Syria, only to be pressed by an al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group to hand over a cut. “Frankly so much of the weapons and ammunition were going to [Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate] that it’s probably a good thing,” [an] opposition figure said.

Note: What is the CIA doing paying the salaries of rebels in Syria? For more, see this informative article. Then, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


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

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

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


Body Camera Video Allegedly Shows Baltimore Police ‘Plant’ Drugs
2017-07-19, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/body-camera-video-allegedly-shows-baltimo...

Body camera video produced Wednesday appears to show a Baltimore police officer plant drugs in late January, an act that later resulted in a criminal arrest. The 90-second Baltimore police body camera video, which was made public by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, belongs to Officer Richard Pinheiro, who appears to hide and later "find" drugs among trash strewn on a plot next to a Baltimore residence. Two other officers appear to be with the Pinheiro as he hides the drugs. "This is a serious allegation of police misconduct," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. "There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers ... would plant evidence of crimes on citizens." One of the officers has been suspended, and two others have been placed on "nonpublic contact" administrative duty, Davis told reporters. Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 active cases, and he was even called to testify in a case earlier this week, the Public Defender's Office said. The new video has led to that case's dismissal after an assistant public defender forwarded it to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. Debbie Katz Levi, head of the Baltimore Public Defender's Special Litigation Section, said that Baltimore police have long had a problem with officer misconduct but that the city does not hold individuals accountable. "We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts," Levi said.

Note: And how many thousands of times over the years has this been done and not recorded on video? Watch this video at the NBC link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Keith Kloor’s Endearing Love Affair With GMOs
2017-07-19, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-g...

Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”

Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.


Rep. Barbara Lee won't get her war vote after all
2017-07-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-update...

House Republicans have stripped from a Defense Department spending bill Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to reconsider the authority the president has to wage war. The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly opened the door last month to ending the authorization approved by Congress in 2001 when Lee's amendment was added to a Defense Department measure after 16 years of attempts. Congress would have had 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time, the 2001 authorization would have been repealed. The version of the Defense Department bill approved by the House Rules Committee overnight removes Lee's amendment and replaces it with an amendment ... that gives the White House 30 days to tell Congress its strategy for defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic State. The Rules Committee decides what debate on a bill will look like on the House floor. “Stripping my bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF – in the dead of night, without a vote – may be a new low," Lee said in a statement. Lee ... was the only member of Congress to object in September 2001 to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a resolution in response to the terrorist attacks that paved the way for the war in Afghanistan. The resolution has since been used by President George W. Bush, President Obama and now President Trump to justify more than 35 military actions in nearly 20 countries around the world without going back to Congress for new permission to send troops into harm's way.

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


CNN witnesses US Navy's drone-killing laser
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/politics/us-navy-drone-laser-weapon/index.html

In the sometimes hostile waters of the Persian Gulf looms the US Navy's first - in fact, the world's first - active laser weapon. The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Capt. Christopher Wells and his crew. CNN was granted exclusive access to a live-fire test of the laser. "It is more precise than a bullet," Wells told CNN. "This is a very versatile weapon, it can be used against a variety of targets." For the test, the USS Ponce crew launched the target - a drone aircraft, a weapon in increasing use. Immediately, the weapons team zeroed in. "We don't have to lead a target," Hughes explained. "We see it, we focus on it, and we can negate that target." In an instant, the drone's wing lit up, heated to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurtling down to the sea. The strike comes silently and invisibly. "It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so you don't see the beam, it doesn't make any sound, it's completely silent and it's incredibly effective at what it does," said Hughes. All the $40 million system needs to operate is a supply of electricity, which is derived from its own small generator, and has a crew of three. No multi-million-dollar missile, no ammunition at all. The cost per use? "It's about a dollar a shot," said Hughes.

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


US general warns of out-of-control killer robots
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/paul-selva-gary-peters-autonomous-weap...

America's second-highest ranking military officer, Gen. Paul Selva, advocated Tuesday for "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control." Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, about his views on a Department of Defense directive that requires a human operator to be kept in the decision-making process when it comes to the taking of human life by autonomous weapons systems. Peters said the restriction was "due to expire later this year." "I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for his reappointment as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He predicted that "there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," but added that he was "an advocate for keeping that restriction." Selva said humans needed to remain in the decision making process "because we take our values to war." His comments come as the US military has sought increasingly autonomous weapons systems.

Note: In another article Tesla founder Elon Musk's warns against the dangers of AI without regulation. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump Administration Closing War Crimes Office
2017-07-18, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/trump-war-crimes-torture-tillerson-638404

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is closing a decades-old office in the State Department that has helped seek justice for victims of war crimes. The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the secretary of state on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide, and helps form policy to address such atrocities. It was established ... in 1997. The office has supported the work of criminal courts in countries including Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the Central African Republic, and has pushed for greater U.S. support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The office has also offered rewards that have resulted in information disclosures about and apprehension of war criminals, and has inveighed against brutal dictators. (It has not, however, criticized Saudi Arabia or other American allies with dismal human rights records.) “It just makes official what has been U.S. policy since 9/11, which is that there will be no notice taken of war crimes because so many of them were being committed by our own allies, our military and intelligence officers and our elected officials,” Maj. Todd E. Pierce, a former judge advocate general defense attorney at Guantanamo, told Newsweek. The office was formed following the 1996 passage of the War Crimes Act, which defined a war crime as a “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions. When the CIA began using torture early in the Iraq War and, later, jailing people indefinitely and without trial in Guantanamo, the U.S. was in open breach of the conventions.

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


China is crushing the U.S. in renewable energy
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/18/technology/china-us-clean-energy-solar-farm/

As the Trump administration yanks the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, claiming it will hurt the American economy, Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs in clean power. "Even in China where coal is - or was - king, the government still recognizes that the economic opportunities of the future are going to be in clean energy," said Alvin Lin, Beijing-based climate and energy policy director with the Natural Resources Defense Council. More than 2.5 million people work in the solar power sector alone in China, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S.. While President Trump promises to put American coal miners back to work, China is moving in the opposite direction. Coal still makes up the largest part of China's energy consumption, but Beijing has been shutting coal mines and set out plans last year to cut roughly 1.3 million jobs in the industry, [as well as] pledged in January to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in renewable power generation - solar, wind, hydro and nuclear - by 2020. China's growing dominance in the [renewable power] sector has had a huge effect on the global market. Manufacturers dramatically ramped up production of solar panels, driven by an estimated $42 billion in government subsidized loans between 2010 and 2012. The U.S. accused China of flooding the market and the Commerce Department started imposing steep tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels in 2012 in a bid to protect American producers.

Note: The world's biggest floating solar power plant was recently built in China. And in the US, the solar power industry now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.


Donald Trump's campaign against Isis results in nearly as many civilian deaths as during Obama's entire administration
2017-07-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-syria-death-...

Nearly as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led air strikes under Donald Trump as were killed during the whole administration of Barack Obama, independent analysts say. As of 13 July, more than 2,200 civilians had been killed by the US-led international coalition against Isis since Donald Trump entered the White house in January - compared with the estimated 2,300 civilians who died during similar strikes between 2014 and 2016. Roughly 80 civilians per month died in strikes under Mr Obama but this has now risen to approximately 360 per month ... according to research by the military tracking organisation Airwars. Part of the rise in these figures is due to the changing nature of the war against Isis, as the jihadist group became entrenched in the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa. The coalition's own civilian casualty figures are much lower than Airwars', but they too show an increase. Following a new war plan unveiled by US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis in February, the US has focused its efforts on “annihilation tactics”. In one incident in Mosul in March, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 men, women and children. Britain, France, Australia and Belgium have also taken part in the bombing campaign but the US is the only one to admit responsibility for any civilian deaths.

Note: Coalition airstrikes have reportedly targeted schools and other non-military locations. Killing increasing numbers of civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Good News For Russia: 15 States Use Easily Hackable Voting Machines
2017-07-17, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/electronic-voting-machines-hack-russia_us...

In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten received an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time. Felten’s team then spent the summer working ... to reverse-engineer the machine. In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus. That was more than a decade ago, but Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS. The state is one of five ― the others are Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on [direct-recording electronic machines, or] DREs for voting. Ten other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines that leave no paper trail. Many use a newer version of the AccuVote known as the TSX ― even though computer scientists have demonstrated that machine, too, is vulnerable to hacking. Others use the Sequoia AVC Advantage, which Princeton professor Andrew Appel demonstrated could be similarly manipulated in a 2007 legal filing. On Nov. 7, the day before last year’s elections, former CIA Director James Woolsey flagged DRE voting machines as a key vulnerability. “If I were a bad guy from another country who wanted to disrupt the American system ... I’d concentrate on messing up the touch-screen systems,” he told Fox News.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Can Psychedelics Be Therapy? Allow Research to Find Out
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/upshot/can-psychedelics-be-therapy-allow-r...

In the last few years, calls for marijuana to be researched as a medical therapy have increased. It may be time for us to consider the same for psychedelic drugs. Two general classes of such drugs exist, and they include LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and ecstasy (MDMA). All are illegal in the United States, [and can] cause harm. The best-known adverse event is persistent flashbacks, though these are believed to be rare. More common are symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and panic. Some people have pointed to ... positive effects. People with life-threatening illnesses can also suffer from anxiety, which is hard to treat. In 2014, a small randomized controlled trial was published that examined if LSD could be used to improve this anxiety. Anxiety was significantly reduced in the intervention group for up to a year. More common are studies of the use of psychedelics to treat abuse or addiction to other substances. [One study] exploring LSD’s potential to treat alcoholism [found that] alcohol use and misuse were significantly reduced in the LSD group for six months. Similar studies using psilocybin have also shown promising results. Researchers [have also] examined the potential for MDMA in the treatment of chronic and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. At two months after therapy, more than 80 percent of those in the treatment group saw a clinical improvement versus only 25 percent of those in the placebo group. The beneficial effects lasted for at least four years, even with no further treatment.

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


GOP Seeks to Close Federal Election Agency
2017-07-17, Yahoo! News/Wall Street Journal
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-seeks-close-federal-election-210000506.html

House Republicans are seeking to defund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure. The defunding move comes as the EAC is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine an attack late last year on the agency’s computer systems by a Russian-speaking hacker. The Election Assistance Commission said in December it was “working with federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the potential breach and its effects.” The commission provides election-management guidelines and develops specifications for certifying voting systems, though responsibility for administering elections ultimately falls to state and local governments. The hacking probe is being conducted at the same time the FBI is undertaking a broader investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including attempts to get into state election databases, and whether anyone working with President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded in the effort. Mr. Trump and his campaign have denied any collusion with Russian hacking. The hack appeared to include a breach of the EAC’s administrative-access credentials as well as access to nonpublic reports on flaws in voting machines, according to ... an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


This Self-Fuelling Boat Just Set Off on an Epic 6-Year Global Voyage
2017-07-17, Science Alert
http://www.sciencealert.com/this-self-fuelling-boat-just-embarked-on-an-epic-...

An amazing hydrogen-powered round-the-world ocean voyage has just gotten underway, with the US$5.25-million Energy Observer setting sail from Paris. The French vessel, which is set to make 101 stopovers in 50 countries across the globe during its epic 6-year undertaking, runs on wind and solar power, plus hydrogen generated from seawater. The trip, which will self-sufficiently circumnavigate the globe with zero greenhouse gas emissions, has been described as the 'Solar Impulse of the Seas', in reference to the pioneering solar-powered aircraft that flew around the world in 2016. The Energy Observer runs on solar power harnessed from extensive panelling ... in addition to two large wind turbines at the rear of the 30.5-metre (100-foot) long catamaran. When it's night time or when there's no wind to spin the turbines, the vessel relies on its chief innovation: an electrolysis system that extracts hydrogen from sea water and stores it in an onboard tank. While it all sounds very high tech, the Energy Observer ... is actually a 34-year-old former racing vessel [modified] to now serve as a model for emissions-free transport. That new mission is also why the vessel is expected to take some six years to complete its worldwide tour. Unlike previous renewable-powered sea voyages around the world, the Energy Observer's crew is taking their time ... hoping that each stopover in ports throughout 50 countries along the way will help demonstrate that there's a viable alternative to using environment-destroying fossil fuels.

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


Departing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/politics/walter-shaub-ethics.html

Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards. “It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.” Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Mr. Shaub recommended giving the ethics office limited power to subpoena records, as well as authority to negotiate prohibitions on presidential conflicts of interest; mandating that presidential candidates release tax returns; and revising financial disclosure rules. Hui Chen, who served until recently as an ethics expert in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, said Mr. Shaub’s proposals would give the office greater independence and power to police actions by top federal officials. Mr. Shaub, who is taking a job at a nonprofit group called the Campaign Legal Center, said he had never wanted the role of challenging the president. “I would not have picked this fight,” said Mr. Shaub. “But I have never been one to shy away from bullies.”

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


Don't believe the dangerous myths of 'Drone Warrior'
2017-07-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-browne-ling-drones-memoir-brett-ve...

Drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. But a widely publicized new memoir about America’s covert drone war fails to mention the “outflow increases,” as one internal Air Force memo calls it. “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies” chronicles the nearly 10 years that Brett Velicovich, a former special operations member, spent using drones to help special forces find and track terrorists. Conveniently, it also puts a hard sell on a program whose ranks the military is struggling to keep full. The book is, at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment. Velicovich exaggerates the accuracy of the technology, neglecting to mention how often it fails or that such failures have killed an untold number of civilians. For instance, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults in its attempts to take out Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, who reportedly is still alive. The film rights to “Drone Warrior” were bought over a year ago, with much fanfare, by Paramount Pictures. This development is predictable. The U.S. military and Hollywood have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. But there is something particularly unseemly about Hollywood’s enthusiasm for bringing Velicovich’s version of drone warfare to the big screen.

Note: Documents obtained by a crowdfunded investigative journalism project show that US military and intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and television shows. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Half of all new cars in Norway are now electric or hybrid
2017-07-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/norway-half-new-cars-electric...

Norway said that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far in 2017, as Norway continues its trend towards becoming one of the most ecologically progressive countries in the world. According to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) ... sales of electric cars accounted for 17.6 per cent of new vehicle registrations in January and hybrid cars accounted for 33.8 per cent, for a combined 51.4 per cent. Norway already has the highest per capita number of all-electric cars in the world. The milestone is also particularly significant as a large proportion of Norway’s funds rely on the country’s petroleum industry "This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment minister Vidar Helgesen [said]. Last year, the government agreed on a proposal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered car starting in 2025. It also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of new cars to 85 grams per kilometre by 2020 - a goal it has almost achieved: the figure stood at 88 grams in February compared to 133 grams when the decision was taken five years ago. In December, Norway registered its 100,000th electric car. Norway has also become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
2017-07-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Folk religion with deadly rituals raises safety concerns for law enforcement
2017-07-10, ABC News (Austin, Texas affiliate)
http://www.kvue.com/news/local/growing-folk-religion-raises-safety-concerns-f...

The Pew Research Center estimates about six percent of the world's population - approximately 405 million people - follow folk religions. Santa Muerte, which translates to “Holy Death” and "Saint Death" is among those folk religions growing in popularity in Central Texas. The folk saint’s image is that of a robed skeleton. Santa Muerte is becoming a prominent source of faith among drug traffickers and violent criminals, which is why many narcotics officers feel the public and law enforcement alike should beware. "We're seeing more and more criminals that are praying to Santa Muerte,” says Robert Almonte, who was an El Paso narcotics detective. "Officers are entering homes on drug search warrants and they're encountering elaborate Santa Muerte shrines,” Almonte says. "They believe that the more sacrifice, the more gorier [sic] or intense the sacrifice - the better off they'll be with the Santa Muerte," said the undercover officer. The Mexican government reports La Familia/Knights Templar has sacrificed humans in their rituals. In 2008, Gulf Cartel members kidnapped rival Sinaloa Cartel members ... took the Sinaloa members to public Santa Muerte shrines and executed [them]. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin released in 2014 suggests it was an offering to Santa Muerte. Of greatest concern, the ... ritualistic killings associated with this cult could cross the border and take place in the United States. It has, according to these government reports. Three confirmed deaths in the United States involve sacrifices to Santa Muerte.

Note: Ritual abuses and killings are rarely reported by mainstream media. Cartel violence and the Drug War "has left more than 175,000 people dead over the last 10 years" according to this Los Angeles Times article.


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Read the report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto for the details of these suspicious spyware attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the erosion of civil liberties.


Thom Bond: Changing the Conversation with NVC
2017-07-09, Daily Good
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1664/thom-bond-changing-the-conversation-with-...

In 2002 Thom Bond was a successful environmental engineer, passionate about designing smart buildings that used alternative energy. Then he chanced upon Marshall Rosenberg's landmark book Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life. "I think Marshall Rosenberg's work may be the single most important discovery of the 20th century," [said Thom]. "His discovery that when we bring our attention to our universal human needs, it changes what we focus on, it changes how we think, and we naturally become more compassionate." Two short years after being introduced to Marshall Rosenberg's work ... Bond opened NYCNVC. His work over the past fifteen years has brought the benefits of NVC to tens of thousands of people across the world from diverse backgrounds, including the military, corporate leaders, educators, peace workers and more. "It's about changing the conversation we are having," says Bond succinctly, "The one we are in right now in most spheres is: 'Who is right and who is wrong?' And ... if we change the subject to, 'How can we meet more needs and make this situation work better?' That is the new conversation." This approach isn't about changing people - it's about seeing them in a different way. There is a difference between what I am observing and what I am telling myself about what I am observing. This is judging and it keeps us from being present and connected. When we tune into our feelings and tap into our needs -- our own or someone else's then compassion arises spontaneously.

Note: Watch an excellent 10-minute video of NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg describing this profound process. See also a great, concise guide to NVC which can help you be a more effective and compassionate communicator. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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

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

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


Religious leaders get high on magic mushrooms ingredient – for science
2017-07-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/08/religious-leaders-get-high-on...

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have enlisted two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations, to participate in a study in which they will be given two powerful doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Dr William Richards ... who is involved in the work, said: “With psilocybin these profound mystical experiences are quite common. It seemed like a no-brainer that they might be of interest, if not valuable, to clergy.” The experiment, which is currently under way, aims to assess whether a transcendental experience makes the leaders more effective and confident in their work and how it alters their religious thinking. Despite most organised religions frowning on the use of illicit substances, Catholic, Orthodox and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist and several rabbis were recruited. The team has yet to persuade a Muslim imam or Hindu priest to take part, but “just about all the other bases are covered,” according to Richards. The participants have been given two powerful doses of psilocybin in two sessions, one month apart. “Their instruction is to go within and collect experiences,” Richards said. “So far everyone incredibly values their experience. No one has been confused or upset or regrets doing it.” A full analysis of the outcomes will take place after a one-year follow-up with the participants, whose identities are being kept anonymous. “It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” he said.

Note: In 1962, a similar experiment was conducted called the "Good Friday Experiment." Almost all of the members of the experimental group reported experiencing profound religious experiences. In 2002, a similar experiment at Johns Hopkins University yielded similar results. Learn about both of these in this Wikipedia article. Read more about the potentials of mind altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


More than 120 nations adopt treaty to ban nuclear weapons at UN meeting
2017-07-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/g20-summit-120-countries-ado...

More than 120 countries approved the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons Friday at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations. To loud applause, Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the UN conference that has been negotiating the legally binding treaty, announced the results of the “historic” vote — 122 nations in favour, the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining. “We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Whyte Gomez said. “We (are) ... saying to our children that, yes, it is possible to inherit a world free from nuclear weapons. The world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years,” since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 at the end of World War II, she said. None of the nine countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — is supporting the treaty. The treaty will be opened for signatures in September and come into force when 50 countries have ratified it, [Whyte Gomez] said, and its language leaves the door open for nuclear weapon states to become parties to the agreement. The treaty requires of all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices - and the threat to use such weapons.

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Gulf Arabs vs. Qatar: Why all the fuss over Al Jazeera?
2017-07-07, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0707/Gulf-Arabs-vs.-Qatar-Wh...

Amid all the talk of Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, at the core of the Gulf Arab countries’ ongoing blockade of the oil- and gas-rich emirate is one major source of contention: Al Jazeera. A central demand of the Gulf states lead by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ... is for the Gulf country to “close Al Jazeera network and its affiliates.” Other key demands: downgrading ties with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in Doha. Why the intense focus on the pan-Arab TV network? When launched in 1996, the network was seen as a revolutionary force bucking a largely conservative and autocratic status quo. In an era in which state-run media dominated the Arab world, Al Jazeera for the first time broadcast differing views and opinions, and raised political awareness. Today ... states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are exerting all their diplomatic and economic might to bring an end to Al Jazeera in a vain bid to close its Pandora’s box of democratic and liberal social values. Al Jazeera has addressed social issues and taboos often discussed in heated debates at home but never broadcast on-air: honor killings, the plight of migrant workers, suicide bombings, sexual harassment. “We opened a huge debate and exposed a lot of contradictions in the well-established orthodoxy of traditional organizations, including political and religious groups,” says Wadah Khanfar, former director general of Al Jazeera from 2003 to 2011.

Note: Al Jazeera is one of the very few media outlets that has raised serious questions about many of the issues raised by WantToKnow.info, so no wonder the powers that be want it shut down. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and mass media.


Texas companies penalized in less than 3% of illegal air pollution cases
2017-07-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/06/illegal-air-pollution-tex...

Texas companies involved in illegal air pollution releases were penalized by the state in fewer than 3% of all cases, according to a new report. The report, Breakdowns in Enforcement ... found that overall Texas imposed penalties for 588 out of 24,839 “malfunction and maintenance events” reported by companies from 2011 to 2016. The incidents caused the emission of over 500m pounds of pollutants and total fines amounted to $13.5m. In 2016 there were 3,720 unauthorised pollution events but only 20 times did the state regulator, the Texas commission on environmental quality (TCEQ), impose a penalty, the report found. Texas is the US’s leading oil and gas producer, making it a template for others. The analysis also claims that many polluters, such as oil and gas wells, are escaping regulators’ attention by wrongly asserting that they emit under 25 tons of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds each year, a tally entitling them to a permit exemption under state and federal law. Allegations of slack controls in Texas come as Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ... has tried to undo, delay or block more than 30 environmental rules in his first four months in the job. Texas’ government has [also] passed laws in recent years that make it harder for local authorities to assert control and pursue cases in court. In one example, after the city of Denton, near Dallas, prohibited fracking, the state moved swiftly in 2015 to ban the ban.

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


Forty-five States Refuse to Give Voter Data to Trump Panel
2017-07-06, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/forty-four-states-refuse-give-vot...

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia are mounting a bipartisan rebellion against President Donald Trump’s commission on vote fraud by either declining to release any of the requested data or by providing only limited information to the panel. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity's request for extensive personal information about voters has ignited a firestorm in many states, including from both Republican and Democrat officials who oversee elections. The panel is seeking "dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information." Nineteen states - both red and blue - and D.C. are flat-out refusing to comply with the request, citing privacy concerns and some claiming the 15-member vote fraud panel is politically-motivated. Many officials have expressed disbelief and outrage at the commission's call to hand over a staggering amount of voter data, some of which they say is confidential or sensitive. It is unclear how the commission plans to move forward after the backlash. The panel is slated to meet later this month.

Note: After several lawsuits, the voting panel is now telling states to hold off on sending data. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Naomi Klein: How power profits from disaster
2017-07-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/naomi-klein-how-power-profits...

In New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive. I started to notice the same tactics in disaster zones around the world. I used the term “shock doctrine” to describe the brutal tactic of using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures. As Lee Fang reported ... “President Donald Trump [appointed] defence contractors and lobbyists to key government positions as he seeks to rapidly expand the military budget and homeland security programmes … At least 15 officials with financial ties to defence contractors have been either nominated or appointed so far.” One noticeable thing about Trump’s contractor appointees is how many of them come from firms that did not even exist before 9/11: L-1 Identity Solutions (specialising in biometrics), the Chertoff Group (founded by George W Bush’s homeland security director Michael Chertoff), Palantir Technologies (a surveillance/big data firm cofounded by PayPal billionaire and Trump backer Peter Thiel), and many more. This creates a disastrous cocktail. Take a group of people who directly profit from ongoing war and then put those same people at the heart of government. Who’s going to make the case for peace?

Note: The above article was extracted from bestselling author Naomi Klein's new book, "No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


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

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

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


Government Ethics Chief Resigns, Casting Uncertainty Over Agency
2017-07-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/us/politics/walter-shaub-office-of-governm...

Walter M. Shaub Jr., the government’s top ethics watchdog, who has repeatedly gone head-to-head with the Trump administration over conflicts of interest, said on Thursday that he was calling it quits. “There isn’t much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation,” Mr. Shaub said in an interview on Thursday. “O.G.E.’s recent experiences have made it clear that the ethics program needs to be strengthened.” The intensity of feeling over what is usually an obscure job speaks to the central role ethics have come to play in Mr. Trump’s Washington, where the vast holdings of the president and his cabinet, as well as an influx of advisers from businesses and lobbying firms, have raised a rash of accusations of conflicts of interest. It is the job of the ethics office, a creation of a post-Watergate Congress, to work with a web of ethics officials at each agency to help people entering the government sidestep potential conflicts. Recently, Mr. Shaub and the administration fought over a routine request by the ethics office for copies of waivers issued to White House appointees to work in the Trump administration. The White House eventually released the waivers, which showed that it had granted at least a dozen exemptions for aides to work on policy matters they had handled as lobbyists or to engage with former colleagues in private-sector jobs. Mr. Shaub objected to the fact that many of the waivers were undated and unsigned, and that some approved actions retroactively.

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


Hobby Lobby to pay $3m fine over smuggled Iraqi artifacts, prosecutors say
2017-07-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/hobby-lobby-iraq-artifacts-fine

The arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3m fine and forfeit thousands of smuggled ancient Iraqi artifacts that the US government alleges were intentionally mislabeled. Hobby Lobby became a household name when the US supreme court ruled in its favor in the 2014 case Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores, which in effect gave certain “closely-held” corporations the same religious rights as individuals. Hobby Lobby had begun acquiring a variety of historical Bibles and other artifacts in 2009 [and] executed an agreement to purchase more than 5,500 artifacts in December 2010 for $1.6m. Packages bore shipping labels that described their contents as “ceramic tiles”. Importing Iraqi cultural property into the US has been restricted since 1990 and banned outright since 2004. In the Hobby Lobby case, a dealer based in the United Arab Emirates shipped ... artifacts to three different corporate addresses in Oklahoma City. Five shipments that were intercepted by federal customs officials bore shipping labels that falsely declared that the artifacts’ country of origin was Turkey. In September 2011, a package containing about 1,000 clay bullae, an ancient form of inscribed identification, was received by Hobby Lobby from an Israeli dealer and accompanied by a false declaration stating that its country of origin was Israel. The illegal sale of historical artifacts is one way in which militant groups such as al-Qaida and Islamic State finance their activities.

Note: The rape of ancient Iraqi artifacts during the war is an incredibly important and underreported story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Swiss Re shifts $130 bln investments to track ethical indices
2017-07-06, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/06/reuters-america-swiss-re-shifts-130-bln-invest...

Swiss Re is switching the entire $130 billion it holds in liquid assets to track ethical indices, the latest move towards principled investments by the insurance industry. The world's second-largest reinsurer ... said taking social and governance (ESG) criteria into account reduced the risk of losses especially for long term investors. "This is not only about doing good, we have done it because it makes economic sense," Swiss Re Chief Investment Officer Guido Fuerer told Reuters. Institutional investors are increasingly looking at how companies perform on environmental, social and governance-related issues, given the potential for poor behaviour to lead to a share price hit. A Bank of America Merrill Lynch Equity and Quant Strategy team last month said ESG-based investing reduced bankruptcy risks for U.S. stocks, while companies with the widest credit default swap spreads are the ones with the weakest ESG credentials, according to research by Hermes Investment Management. "The ultimate point is to put incentives to companies to become more sustainable," said Swiss Re's Fuerer. He said Swiss Re is the first insurer to base its whole portfolio on ethical principles, with portfolio managers being told to use MSCI's environmental, governance and social indices when making investment decisions. MSCI rates companies according to various ethical criteria, with the score combined with market capitalisation weight to create an index. Companies with a more ethical performance have a greater weight in the index.

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


A year after slayings, Dallas police train in 'mindfulness'
2017-07-06, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/year-slayings-dallas-police-train-mindfuln...

Only hours after the ambush that killed five Dallas law enforcement officers, mental health experts began thinking ahead, searching for ways to ease the long-term effects of the attack on the men and women who patrol the nation's ninth-largest city. As she watched the July 7, 2016, assault unfold on the news, Dallas philanthropist Lyda Hill immediately thought of research she had funded to help returning combat veterans. Maybe it could help police too. A year later, Dallas officers are still grieving, but scores of them have received or are on track to receive specialized training in "mindfulness" and other stress-management techniques that aim to teach police how to better understand and control their emotions, both on and off the job. "One of the most powerful things you can do is teach people that it's OK to be human," said Richard Goerling, a police lieutenant in Hillsboro, Oregon, who teaches the mindfulness training. Goerling, who has been a leader in mindfulness training for the last decade, said traditional stress management often does not work for police. "You aren't going to stop the stress, but you are able to change how you respond to it," he said. The training has been done on a smaller scale in Seattle; Madison, Wisconsin; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and smaller California departments, among others. It aims to help officers recalibrate their responses to emotions so when in stressful situations, they can respond instead of react, Goerling said.

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


United Nations and World Health Organisation call for drugs to be decriminalised
2017-07-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/united-nations-world-health-organisa...

The United Nations and World Health Organisation have issued a call for drugs to be decriminalised. Buried in a joint release on ending healthcare discrimination, the organisations called for the “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” by member states. Among a number of measures, this included “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use”. While the WHO has previously called for drugs to be decriminalised in the context of HIV reduction, the UN has limited its calls to health- and evidence-based solutions to drug abuse. Last year, nations meeting at the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs maintained a criminal approach to narcotics, despite strong concerns from a number of countries. But last month, on the International Day Against Drug Abuse, UN Secretary General António Guterres called for tackling the problem through “prevention and treatment,” adhering to human rights. He said: “Despite the risks and challenges inherent in tackling this global problem, I hope and believe we are on the right path, and that together we can implement a coordinated, balanced and comprehensive approach that leads to sustainable solutions. Mr Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the country launched its landmark drug decriminalisation programme, which also introduced greater resources for drug prevention and treatment projects. Portugal saw its drug fatalities fall to one of the lowest in Europe and also reduced the prevalence of HIV among injectors.

Note: The war on drugs is a "trillion-dollar failure". Portugal's remarkable success with decriminalization suggests that drug addiction can be curbed without sacrificing human rights. Read the account of Mike Levine, a 25-year veteran of the DEA who personally witnessed large-scale drug smuggling by the government, to find out why some of those in power strongly oppose drug decriminalization.


How Trump’s nationwide voter data request could lead to voter suppression
2017-06-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/30/how-trumps-nationwide-...

President Trump's Election Integrity Commission is asking all 50 states to turn over all publicly available voter registration data, including highly sensitive information about voters' political affiliation, Social Security numbers, criminal history and military status. The request was initiated by commission co-chair Kris Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas and a fervent believer that voter fraud is widespread despite decades of evidence to the contrary. In Kansas, Kobach championed the use of Crosscheck, a multistate database of voter registration information that authorities use to check whether voters are registered in two states. Kobach has said he's interested in using a similar process to compare state voter roll data to a federal database of legal immigrants. Crosscheck's matching algorithms are highly inaccurate. A recent working paper by researchers at Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard and Microsoft found that Crosscheck's algorithm returns about 200 false positives for every one legitimate instance of double registration it finds. “We're concerned about unlawful voter purging, which has been something that Kris Kobach has been leading the charge,” said Vanita Gupta of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the Justice Department's civil rights division. Some of Kobach's voter ID requirements have been struck down in federal court, with one federal judge ruling that they constituted “mass denial of a fundamental constitutional right.”

Note: Learn how 25 states are resisting this request in this Washington Post article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Mastermind of lottery fraud admits he rigged jackpots
2017-06-30, CNBC News/Associated Press
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/30/mastermind-of-lottery-fraud-admits-he-rigged-j...

A man who helped write the computer code behind several U.S. lotteries, including some of its biggest, pleaded guilty Thursday to masterminding a scheme through which he rigged the winning numbers for jackpots in several states and collected millions of dollars. Eddie Tipton, who worked for the Multi-State Lottery Association from 2003 until 2015 and was its computer information security director for his last two years there, appeared in a Des Moines courtroom, where he pleaded guilty to one count of ongoing criminal conduct and publicly acknowledged his lead role in the scheme. "I wrote software that included code that allowed me to understand or technically predict winning numbers, and I gave those numbers to other individuals who then won the lottery and shared the winnings with me," Tipton said when asked by Judge Brad McCall to explain what he did. Tipton ... provided cohorts with the winning numbers for jackpots in Colorado in 2005, Wisconsin in December of 2007, Kansas in December of 2010 and Oklahoma in 2011. The group, which included Tipton's brother [and former Texas magistrate] Tommy Tipton ... also attempted to collect a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket in December 2010 in Iowa, but Iowa lottery officials refused to pay it because the men tried to cash it anonymously. Rob Sand, the assistant state attorney general who prosecuted the case, said after the hearing that it appears much of the stolen money is gone. Sand said the scheme resulted in payouts of $2.2 million.

Note: For every person like this who gets caught, how many get away with it?


US quietly publishes once-expunged papers on 1953 Iran coup
2017-06-29, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-quietly-publishes-expunged-p...

Once expunged from official State Department history, the U.S.-backed 1953 coup in Iran and what led up to it can be glimpsed in documents that the department has quietly published. The operation ultimately pushed the country toward its Islamic Revolution and hostility with the West. The CIA's role in the coup, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh and cemented the control of the shah, was well known when the State Department offered its first compendium on the era in 1989. But any trace of American involvement in the putsch had been wiped from the report, causing historians to call it a fraud. The 1,007-page report [released this month] shows U.S. officials discussing a coup up to a year before it took place. The CIA at one point "stockpiled enough arms and demolition material to support a 10,000-man guerrilla organization for six months" and paid out $5.3 million for bribes and other costs, which would be equivalent to $48 million today. One CIA document [states] that "several leading members of these (Iranian) security services are paid agents of this organization." The CIA also described hoping to use "powerfully influential clergy" in Shiite Iran to back the coup. To this day, Iran's clerical leaders portray the U.S. as a hostile foreign power bent on subverting and overthrowing its government. As President Dwight Eisenhower wrote ... in 1953, if knowledge of the coup became public, "We would not only be embarrassed in that region, but our chances to do anything of like nature in the future would almost totally disappear."

Note: The complete collection of State Department documents on this CIA-backed coup is available here. More recently, US policy reportedly fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Australian Cardinal and Aide to Pope Is Charged With Sexual Assault
2017-06-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/world/australia/cardinal-george-pell-charg...

Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault, the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday. The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses. The case will test the credibility of Francis’ initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world. Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, had been accused in hearings before Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse of mishandling misconduct cases against clergy members while he served as the leader of the Archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney. Then allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused minors himself beginning early in his priesthood and continuing until he became archbishop of Melbourne. In recent decades, more than 50 Roman Catholic bishops worldwide have been accused of sexually abusing children, according to BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group ... that documents sexual abuse in the church. Few, however, have faced criminal charges. It is rare for a cardinal, a prince of the church, to be accused of sexual abuse, though one of the most notorious cases involved Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna, who resigned in 1995 over accusations that were deemed credible by his successor.

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


Audacious sacrifice with incredible payoff: the purpose journey of REI
2017-06-28, Daily Good
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1636/audacious-sacrifice-with-incredible-payof...

On Friday 27th November 2015, REI did a remarkable thing. It closed the doors of all 143 of its retail stores, its headquarters and its two distribution centres. On this day, REI paid every one of its 12,000 employees to #OptOutside – to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family – and invited all its customers and the entire American nation to join them. The most astonishing fact about the #OptOutside store closure was that it took place on Black Friday: the biggest shopping day of the year. Turning its back on millions of dollars’ worth of sales, REI went ... against a cardinal rule of traditional business. Instead of cashing in on a one-day opportunity for inflated profits, it chose to act in a way that would best support its purpose – that of ‘inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship’. Here’s how Jerry Stritzke, REI’s president and CEO, explained the decision: “As a member-owned co-op, our definition of success goes beyond money. We think that Black Friday has gotten out of hand and so we are choosing to invest in helping people get outside with loved ones this holiday season, over spending it in the aisles.” It was a risk for sure, but the payoff has been sensational. More than 1.4 million people responded to REI’s invitation to #OptOutside, and 175 organisations – companies as well as non-profits – joined the movement. It was a response that showed not just tremendous levels of engagement, but engagement of the highest order.

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


Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’s Hold on Cyberweapons
2017-06-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/technology/ransomware-nsa-hacking-tools.html

Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has [not acknowledged] its role in developing the weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions ... by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. The silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. There is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands. On Wednesday, the calls for the agency to address its role in the latest attacks grew louder. Representative Ted Lieu ... who serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees, urged the N.S.A. to help stop the attacks and to stop hoarding knowledge of the computer vulnerabilities upon which these weapons rely. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, said outright that the National Security Agency was the source of the “vulnerabilities” now wreaking havoc. For the American spy agency ... what is unfolding across the world amounts to a digital nightmare. It was as if the Air Force lost some of its most sophisticated missiles and discovered an adversary was launching them against American allies — yet refused to respond, or even to acknowledge that the missiles were built for American use.

Note: It was reported in 2014 that the NSA had developed specialized tools to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems. More recently, a large number of NSA hacking tools were put up for sale online. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


California to List Herbicide as Cancer-Causing; Monsanto Vows Fight
2017-06-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/27/us/27reuters-usa-glyphosate-califo...

Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65. The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015. Dicamba, a weed killer designed for use with Monsanto's next generation of biotech crops, is [also] under scrutiny in Arkansas after the state's plant board voted last week to ban the chemical. OEHHA said the designation of glyphosate ... will proceed following an unsuccessful attempt by Monsanto to block the listing in trial court. Listing glyphosate as a known carcinogen ... would require companies selling the chemical in the state to add warning labels to packaging. Monsanto and other glyphosate producers would have roughly a year from the listing date to re-label products or remove them from store shelves if further legal challenges are lost.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


3 CNN journalists resign over retracted story
2017-06-26, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-cnn-journalists-resign-over...

CNN accepted the resignations Monday of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund. The story was posted on the network's website on Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting. The story had been quickly questioned both internally and externally, including by the conservative site Breitbart News. It was determined that the story was posted without going through the expected checks and balances for a story of such sensitivity, the executive said. The failure to follow proper procedures is what led to the resignations, the CNN executive said. It's not immediately clear what in the story is factually incorrect, or whether CNN will continue to report on the issue. The retracted story had said the Senate investigations committee was looking into a January 16 discussion between Scaramucci and Kirill Dmitriev, whose Russian Direct Investment Fund guides investments by U.S. entities in Russia. Scaramucci, in the story, said he exchanged pleasantries in a restaurant with Dmitriev. The report also said that two Democratic senators wanted to know whether Scaramucci had indicated in the meeting whether sanctions against Russia would be lifted, a decision that could impact the investment fund.

Note: CNN supervising producer John Bonifield was recently caught on camera admitting that CNN's Russia narrative is unsupported by proof but good for ratings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable sources.


Why don't deficit hawks care about the cost of military adventurism?
2017-06-26, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-johnson-deficit-welfare-military-2...

Crippling deficits and a nightmarish national debt are popular, recurring tropes in American politics. Politicians and the pundit class ... complain that America is running out of money when it comes to helping the poor, people of color, the disabled and the elderly. Their worries miraculously disappear whenever the military wants to start a new war. A recent editorial in the Washington Post [alleged] that single payer in the U.S. is simply unaffordable. Yet in the past 20 years of editorials on U.S. wars - every one of which the paper has supported - the Post has never framed the issue of bombing and occupying as one of cost. Most glaringly, its 2003 editorials in support of invading Iraq never mentioned dollars and cents, even though that war ended up costing the U.S. more than $2 trillion. In the presidential debates, billionaire Pete Peterson’s pro-Social Security privatization group, the “bipartisan” Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, was mentioned twice by the moderators ... in the context of deficits and the alleged impending insolvency of Social Security. Yet none of the 178 mentions of Russia, 71 mentions of Syria, or 67 mentions of Iran had anything to do with costs to the U.S. Treasury. An estimated 44,000 Americans die a year because they don’t have access to healthcare, whereas you’re more likely to die taking a bath than at the hands of a terrorist. Why is spending on the latter existential and beyond cost-cutting, but working urgently to address the former a budget-buster we can’t afford?

Note: Despite reports of massive budgetary mismanagement, the Pentagon has never been audited. Could it be that the real reason the Pentagon is the only branch of US government that doesn't balance its books is that they don't want us to know where the money is going? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


'No doesn't really mean no': North Carolina law means women can't revoke consent for sex
2017-06-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/north-carolina-rape-legal-loo...

In North Carolina, a person cannot withdraw consent for sex once intercourse is taking place. Because of a 1979 state supreme court ruling that has never been overturned, continuing to have sex with someone who consented then backed out isn’t considered to be rape. The North Carolina law is an example of how the US legal system has not always kept pace with evolving ideas about rape, sex and consent. Just last year, an Oklahoma court ruled that the state’s forcible sodomy statute did not criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. The toughest charge available to prosecutors was unwanted touching. But the North Carolina law appears to be unique. And it has shocked even those who are used to dealing with such legalistic vagaries. “It’s absurd,” said John Wilkinson, a former prosecutor and an adviser to AEquitas, a group which helps law enforcement pursue cases of sexual violence. “I don’t think you could find anyone today to agree with this notion that you cannot withdraw consent. People have the right to control their own bodies. If sex is painful, or for whatever reason, they have the right to change their mind.” The ruling has devastated victims and frustrated prosecutors in North Carolina for years. State senator Jeff Jackson ... has introduced legislation to amend the law. “North Carolina is the only state in the country where no doesn’t really mean no,” he said in a statement. “We have a clear ethical obligation to fix this obvious defect in our rape law.”

Note: A local North Carolina newspaper, the Fayetteville Observer, drew widespread attention to this bizarre law by reporting on a case of sexual abuse involving US military personnel. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on judicial system corruption and sexual abuse scandals.


Obama and Trump both promised peace. They delivered war.
2017-06-23, The Week
http://theweek.com/articles/706992/obama-trump-both-promised-peace-delivered-war

We have had two consecutive presidents - Barack Obama and Donald Trump - who have in their own way recognized the limits of American military power in achieving political outcomes across the globe, yet we have been at war the whole time they've been in office. They were preceded by a president who promised a "humble foreign policy," no nation-building, and military involvement only where the exits were clearly marked. But George W. Bush's abandonment of those campaign planks set the United States on a foreign-policy course that has clearly not worked as planned. Still, at least he was operating in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, before all the unintended consequences of Iraq-style regime change were so blatantly known. Neither Obama nor Trump has that excuse. Obama largely owes his presidency to his 2002 speech opposing the invasion of Iraq and other "dumb wars." Trump won the 2016 South Carolina primary the day after denouncing the Iraq war in terms that got Ron Paul nearly tossed off the debate stage in the same state a decade ago. The foreign policy advice presidents receive is predominantly hawkish. So is the reinforcement they get from the Washington establishment. Things happen all over the world that seem to cry out for some kind of American response. But ... until some of this institutional bias in favor of intervention changes, we will keep voting for presidents who promise peace but deliver war.

Note: Read an excellent article showing how the power elite and their war machine corrupt world leaders. Powerful political and economic interests profit immensely from an endless war on terror. A top US general long ago exposed the corrupt roots of war in his penetrating book War is a Racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


A former exec at Trader Joe’s grows another kind of grocery store
2017-06-23, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/2017/0623/A-former-exec-a...

[Dave] Rauch worked for 31 years at Trader Joe’s, the last 14 as a president. He helped grow the small retail chain in California into a grocery store with a national presence. He retired in 2008. But Rauch wasn’t really ready to call it quits. He started growing another food store – Daily Table, located in a low-income neighborhood of Boston. “I failed retirement,” says Rauch, his eyes crinkling when he smiles. Since it opened two years ago, Daily Table has been a pioneer in its approach to food waste, food deserts, hunger, and obesity. It’s a nonprofit grocery store, selling healthy food at bargain prices. The food that Daily Table sells is excess food – either donated by various organizations or bought at steep discounts from big-name companies looking to unload items that are close to their expiration dates. The items are resold at a fraction of retail prices – and yes, they still haven’t reached their expiration dates. Daily Table looks like a Trader Joe’s. [The store is filled with] stacks of organic cereal, produce piled high on display tables, and in a refrigerated section, precooked meals and fresh salads made on-site. As many as 49 million Americans are food insecure, says Rauch, citing a common statistic. The data have frustrated him. “We’re one of the richest nations in the history of food production,” he says. “It just seemed so incongruous to me.” To get excess healthy food into the hands of those in need, Rauch searched for “inefficiencies in the system.” He found them and channeled what he learned into Daily Table.

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


The United States is stumbling into another decade of war
2017-06-22, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-united-states-is-...

The United States is stumbling into another decade of war in the greater Middle East. And this next decade of conflict might prove to be even more destabilizing than the last one. In the fight against the Islamic State, U.S. forces have been aggressively initiating attacks, resulting in a sharp rise in civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. And in a dramatic escalation, this week the United States shot down a Syrian warplane, putting Washington on a collision course with Syria’s ally, Russia. Worse yet, it is unclear how this belligerence toward the Bashar al-Assad regime will achieve the sole stated mission of the United States’ involvement in Syria: to defeat the Islamic State. In Afghanistan, Trump has delegated the details of a mini-surge of 4,000 more troops to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The United States has been in Afghanistan for 16 years. And yet, Mattis acknowledges that the United States is “not winning.” What will an additional 4,000 troops now achieve that 130,000 troops could not? In Yemen, the United States is more actively engaged in a conflict that does little to advance the fight against radical Islamist terrorism. Washington is further fueling Saudi Arabia’s proxy war against Iran - a war that has led the kingdom into a de facto alliance with al-Qaeda in Yemen. In almost every situation that U.S. forces are involved in, the solutions are more political than military. After 16 years of continuous warfare ... somebody in Washington needs to ask - before the next bombing or deployment: What is going on?

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


In Yemen's secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates
2017-06-22, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-interrogates-detainees-yemen...

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme - including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found. Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture. The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others. Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present. Inside war-torn Yemen, however ... nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons, a number so high that it has triggered near-weekly protests.

Note: Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen has strong US military support, and flagrantly violates international law. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Homeland Security official: Russian government actors tried to hack election systems in 21 states
2017-06-21, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/homeland-security-offi...

People connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states. Samuel Liles, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division, said vote-tallying mechanisms were unaffected and that the hackers appeared to be scanning for vulnerabilities — which Liles likened to walking down the street and looking at homes to see who might be inside. Liles was testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Officials in Arizona and Illinois had previously confirmed that hackers targeted their voter registration system. In a separate hearing ... former Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson testified that Russia’s meddling ... was “unprecedented, the scale and the scope of what we saw them doing.” He said the severity of Russia’s efforts persuaded him to sign onto an Oct. 7 statement publicly blaming the Kremlin for what had happened. “We needed to do it, and we needed to do it well before the election to inform American voters of what we saw,” Johnson said. FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap ... said Russia for years has tried to influence U.S. elections but that the “scale” and “aggressiveness” of its efforts in 2016 made the attempts more significant.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting, yet only now that Russia is involved is it getting widespread coverage. Do you really think the Russians are the only ones who have hacked US elections? Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations
2017-06-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/20/us/cia-torture.html

Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program. He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture. The two psychologists ... are defendants in the only lawsuit that may hold participants accountable for causing harm. Revelations about the C.I.A. practices ... led to an eventual ban on the techniques and a prohibition by the American Psychological Association against members’ participation in national security interrogations. The two psychologists argue that the C.I.A., for which they were contractors, controlled the program. But it is difficult to successfully sue agency officials because of government immunity. Under the agency’s direction, the two men ... proposed [and applied] the “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Their business received $81 million. When [the psychologists] wanted to end the waterboarding sessions as no longer useful, C.I.A. supervisors ... ordered them to continue. Dr. Mitchell said that the C.I.A. officials told them: “‘You guys have lost your spine.’ I think the word that was actually used is that you guys are pussies. There was going to be another attack in America and the blood of dead civilians are going to be on your hands.”

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


The US seems keener to strike at Syria's Assad than it does to destroy Isis
2017-06-20, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-isis-usa-trump-kurds-keen-to-destro...

The extraordinary destruction of a Syrian fighter jet by a US aircraft on Sunday has precious little to do with the Syrian plane’s target in the desert near Rasafa – but much to do with the advance of the Syrian army close to the American-backed Kurdish forces along the Euphrates. The American strike on Monday was ... a warning to the Syrians to stay away from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces – the facade-name for large numbers of Kurds and a few Arab fighters – since they are now very close to each other in the desert. But the Syrian military are still winning against Isis and its fellow militias – with Russian and Hezbollah help, of course – although comparatively few Iranians are involved. The US has been grossly exaggerating the size of the Iranian forces in Syria, perhaps because this fits in with Saudi and American nightmares of Iranian expansion. So who is fighting Isis? And who is not fighting Isis? The Syrian army, supported by the Russians, is fighting Isis. But what is America doing attacking first Assad’s air base near Homs, then the regime’s allies near Al-Tanf and now one of Assad’s fighter jets? It seems that Washington is now keener to strike at Assad – and his Iranian supporters inside Syria – than it is to destroy Isis. That would be following Saudi Arabia’s policy. If we are to believe all the Americans now say, they want to destroy Isis but are quite prepared to go on attacking the Syrian government forces that are fighting Isis. Does Washington want simply to break up Syria and leave it as a failed state?

Note: US policy reportedly fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Memo Shows Watergate Prosecutors Had Evidence Nixon White House Plotted Violence
2017-06-20, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/nbc-news-exclusive-memo-shows-w...

Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News. The document, an 18-page 1973 investigative memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how prosecutors were investigating attempts at domestic political violence by Nixon aides, an extremely serious charge. A plot to physically attack Ellsberg is notable because the former Pentagon official has long alleged that Nixon operatives did more than steal his medical files, the most well-known effort to discredit him. [The memo] states that “an extensive investigation” found evidence that Nixon operatives plotted an “assault on antiwar demonstrators” at a rally at the U.S. Capitol featuring Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables.” The anti-war demonstration occurred near a viewing of recently deceased FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An accompanying memo [states that] the attack would be on "long-haired demonstrators, in particular Ellsberg” ... with the objectives of impugning Ellsberg for protesting near to Hoover lying in state and "simply having Ellsberg beaten up.”

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


Personal details of nearly 200 million US citizens exposed
2017-06-19, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40331215

Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. The 1.1 terabytes of data includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers and political views of nearly 62% of the entire US population. The data was available on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server. Anyone could access the data. The information seems to have been collected from a wide range of sources - from posts on controversial banned threads on the social network Reddit, to committees that raised funds for the Republican Party. The information was stored in spreadsheets uploaded to a server owned by Deep Root Analytics. It had last been updated in January. Although it is known that political parties routinely gather data on voters, this is the largest breach of electoral data in the US to date and privacy experts are concerned about the sheer scale of the data gathered. "This is not just sensitive, it's intimate information, predictions about people's behaviour, opinions and beliefs that people have never decided to disclose to anyone," [said] Privacy International's policy officer Frederike Kaltheuner. However, the issue of data collection and using computer models to predict voter behaviour is not just limited to marketing firms - Privacy International says that the entire online advertising ecosystem operates in the same way.

Note: Elites like hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer have been backing a major effort to produce powerful new forms of mind control by combining mass media with Big Data. As the data collected for this purpose becomes increasingly accessible, privacy disappears.


Trump's Administration is the Same as Obama's, Outgoing Republican Chaffetz Claims
2017-06-19, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-administration-same-obamas-claims-outgoing-cha...

A Republican set to leave Congress in two weeks has lashed out at President Donald Trump’s administration. Representative Jason Chaffetz, who was a vocal critic of former President Barack Obama, said he does not see a lot of change in the current administration when compared to its predecessor. Chaffetz, who acted as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, handed in his resignation a month ago and had withdrawn his support for Trump shortly before the presidential election. He told the Sinclair Broadcast Group that federal agencies’ actions under Trump had left him disappointed, explaining he had hoped they would be more accommodating with requests from the House Oversight Committee. “In many ways it's almost worse, because we're getting nothing, and that's terribly frustrating, and with all due respect, the attorney general has not changed at all,” he said in the interview. “I find him to be worse than what I saw with [former Attorney General] Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available. That's my experience, and that's not what I expected.” Announcing his resignation on May 18, Chaffetz - who could have stayed on as House Oversight chairman until 2020 - explained he “did not believe Congress should be a lifetime career.”

Note: Most progressives held high hopes for Obama after his 2008 election. Yet it wasn't long before Obama began solid support of the war machine and resisted almost all attempts to support whistleblowers and the release of documents. Most conservatives held high hopes for Trump after his 2016 election. Yet it wasn't long before Trump began solid support of the war machine and resisted almost all attempts to support whistleblowers and the release of documents. To understand why this is, see "War is a Racket" by a highly decorated US general and see this series of essays.


Mexican journalists, activists targeted with spyware
2017-06-19, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/report-mexican-journalists-activis...

Mexican journalists, lawyers and activists were targeted by spyware produced by Israel’s NSO Group that is sold exclusively to governments. [A] report by Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said the targets included people, such as prominent journalists Carmen Aristegui and Carlos Loret de Mola, who were investigating alleged government corruption and purported human rights abuses by security forces. The people targeted received messages with links that, if clicked on, opened up their devices to being exploited and spied upon. NSO’s Pegasus spyware allows hackers access to phone calls, messages, cameras and personal data. Other targets included members of the Centro Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, a prominent human rights group that has investigated cases such as the disappearance of 43 students whom police allegedly detained and turned over to drug gang killers; the anti-graft group Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity; and the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, a civil society group working on economic policy and combatting corruption. Aristegui, who exposed a case of possible conflict of interest involving a luxury home acquired from a government contractor ... was aggressively targeted. She received more than two-dozen messages with NSO links claiming to be from “the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Amber Alerts, colleagues, people in her personal life, her bank, phone company and notifications of kidnappings,” the report said.

Note: If the above link is not working, this Associated Press article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the erosion of civil liberties.


Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city
2017-06-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/foxconn-life-death-forbidd...

Foxconn’s enormous Longhua plant is a major manufacturer of Apple products. It might be the best-known factory in the world; it might also might be among the most secretive and sealed-off. The vast majority of plants that produce the iPhone’s component parts and carry out the device’s final assembly are based here. The sprawling factory was once home to an estimated 450,000 workers. In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. Workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves. “It’s not a good place for human beings,” says [a former Foxconn worker], who goes by the name Xu. He’d worked in Longhua for about a year, until a couple of months ago, and he says the conditions inside are as bad as ever. The work is very high pressure and he and his colleagues regularly logged 12-hour shifts. Management is both aggressive and duplicitous, publicly scolding workers for being too slow and making them promises they don’t keep, he says, [painting] a bleak picture of a high-pressure working environment where exploitation is routine and where depression and suicide have become normalised.

Note: This is an edited extract from "The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone" by Brian Merchant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'Full Measure': Quitting Congress
2017-06-18, ABC News (Washington DC affiliate)
http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/full-measure-quitting-congress

Just a couple of months ago, we profiled Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee which was poised to dig deep on wide-ranging investigations into government mischief, waste, fraud and abuse. A few weeks later, Chaffetz abruptly resigned from Congress. We asked the "Oversight Man" what changed his mind. "The reality is, sadly, I don't see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration," [Chaffetz said]. "I thought ... these floodgates would open up with all the documents we wanted from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon. "We have everything from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which is really one of the critical things. There was the investigation into the IRS. And one that was more than seven years old is Fast and Furious. We have been in court trying to pry those documents out of the Department of Justice and still to this day, they will not give us those documents. And at the State Department, nothing. Stone-cold silence."

Note: Watch this very important interview which shows why neither Obama nor Trump are able to get to the bottom of what is really going on in the US government.


Amazon has a patent to keep you from comparison shopping while you’re in its stores
2017-06-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/06/16/amazon-has-a-pa...

As grocery shoppers work to digest Amazon’s massive acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, the digital storefront recently scored a victory that aims to reinforce the company’s growing investments in brick-and-mortar retail. Amazon was awarded a patent May 30 that could help it choke off a common issue faced by many physical stores: Customers’ use of smartphones to compare prices even as they walk around a shop. But Amazon now has the technology to prevent that type of behavior when customers enter any of its physical stores and log onto the WiFi networks there. Titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” Amazon’s patent describes a system that can identify a customer’s Internet traffic and sense when the smartphone user is trying to access a competitor’s website. When that happens, Amazon may take one of several actions. It may block access to the competitor’s site, preventing customers from viewing comparable products from rivals. It might redirect the customer to Amazon’s own site or to other, Amazon-approved sites. It might notify an Amazon salesperson to approach the customer. Or it might send the customer’s smartphone a text message, coupon or other information designed to lure the person back into Amazon’s orbit.

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


World’s Top Religious Leaders Issue Rare Joint Appeal
2017-06-15, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/worlds-top-religious-leaders-issue-rare-j...

In a rare move, major religious leaders ― from Pope Francis to the Dalai Lama ― issued a joint appeal Wednesday asking people to follow a simple bit of advice: Make friends with people of other faiths. “Our advice is to make friends to followers of all religions,” Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Al-Milani, one of the U.K.’s most senior Shia Muslim clerics, said in a video recording. “Personal contact, personal friendship, then we can exchange a deeper level of experience,” the Dalai Lama said. Pope Francis chose to speak about his long friendship with the Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who also appeared in the video. “Make Friends” is an initiative of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, an interfaith organization with offices in Israel and the United States. In a press release, organizers said the project’s mission is to counter the idea that people view each others’ religions with distrust or disdain - and to potentially even reduce violence conducted in the name of religion. Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, the Elijah Interfaith Institute’s director, said that this project ... affirms the need for friendship between faiths. The 22 leaders involved in the appeal represent a wide spectrum of religious beliefs. Each leader contributed a personal statement specifically for the purposes of this project.

Note: How strange that very few major media picked up on this important and inspiring article.


Stunning Photos Bust Stereotypes Of What ‘Everyday Africa’ Looks Like
2017-06-14, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/everyday-africa-instagram-photos_us_59404...

An Instagram account seeks to counter misconceptions about people and countries in Africa by sharing gorgeous photos of everyday life on the continent. Everyday Africa, which started five years ago and now has about 340,000 followers, regularly publishes pictures from more than 30 photographers, most of whom are African themselves. Their work reflects a range of experiences on the continent: kids playing in a pool, young women taking selfies, people selling food at a street market. The project, largely directed at an American audience, aims to use photography to upend stereotypes about Africa ― namely that it is mainly a region of war, poverty and safaris ― and instead celebrate its rich diversity. “The way news functions is to focus on the extremes ― often it’s the very negative,” co-founder Peter DiCampo [said]. “The war and poverty parts are certainly present, but there’s so much else.” The project just released a book. Since 2013, DiCampo and others have visited more than 2,500 students in classrooms, mainly in Chicago and Washington, D.C., to teach kids about the Everyday Africa project and stereotypes in the media. Teachers then use their curriculum ― free to the public ― over several weeks to teach students about media and photography, and to have students do their own “everyday” projects. Everyday Africa is just one of many efforts ... to push back against stereotypes of the continent. The Twitter hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou ... also sought to break [these] stereotypes.

Note: Don't miss the beautiful photos at the link above.


Tax evaders exposed: why the super-rich are even richer than we thought
2017-06-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-su...

Tax records are invaluable for the study of economic inequality. Graphs published on the World Wealth and Income Database, for example, show just how ... this information can inform the public debate. The top 1% income share is now closely scrutinised by journalists and policymakers. But if the rich dodge taxes more than others, tax records will underestimate inequality. The key data source used in rich countries to study tax evasion is random tax audits – but these audits do not capture tax evasion by the very wealthy. In our recent study, however, we exploited a massive trove of data leaked from HSBC Switzerland, the so-called HSBC files, to fill this gap. We also made use of the Panama Papers, which last year revealed the identity of the shareholders of shell companies created by the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca. Just as with HSBC, this leak is valuable as it can be seen as a random event and involves a prominent provider of offshore financial services. We combined random audits with these new sources of information to shed light on who really evades taxes. The higher one moves up the wealth distribution, the higher the probability of hiding assets. So what are the consequences for inequality? At the very top of the pyramid, it is much greater than previously estimated. In Norway, where the available wealth data is particularly detailed, the super-wealthy appear to be 30% wealthier than previously though. The share of wealth owned by the top 0.1% increases from 8% to 10%.

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


'Staggering' loss of civilian life from US-led airstrikes in Raqqa, says UN
2017-06-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/14/staggering-civilian-deaths-from...

UN war crimes investigators have denounced a “staggering loss of civilian life” caused by the US-backed campaign to reclaim Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State. The independent commission of inquiry tasked with investigating violations of international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria said the intensification of airstrikes by the US-led coalition had led to the deaths of at least 300 civilians in the city. The Raqqa operation began last week with a ground assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group comprising Kurdish and Arab militiamen armed by the US and supported by coalition airstrikes. “The intensification of airstrikes ... has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,” Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the UN commission of inquiry, told the human rights council in Geneva. The civilian cost of the campaign was highlighted last week when footage emerged of coalition planes deploying white phosphorus in the city, which is home to tens of thousands of civilians, prisoners of war, enslaved Yazidi women, and a few thousand Isis militants. Human Rights Watch urged the coalition separately on Wednesday to exercise great caution when using white phosphorus, saying it could cause “horrific and long-lasting harm” in crowded cities such as Raqqa.

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


Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known
2017-06-13, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-s...

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before [the recent] election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported. In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states. The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step -- complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict. The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept ... paint a worrisome picture for future elections: [This is] the newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting, yet only now that Russia is involved is it getting widespread coverage. Do you really think the Russians are the only ones who have hacked US elections? Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


'Seductive names' make vegetables more appealing
2017-06-13, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40245922

How do you get more people to eat their greens? Give vegetables seductive names, say US researchers. A team at Stanford tried it out on students in the university cafeteria and found veggie sales went up by 25% when indulgent labels were used. "Sizzlin' beans", "dynamite beets" and "twisted citrus-glazed carrots" tempted diners to fill their plates. Healthy labels, such as "wholesome", were a turn-off, even though the dishes were identical in every other way. The indulgent labels came out top and included "twisted garlic-ginger butternut squash wedges" and "dynamite chilli and tangy lime-seasoned beets". The researchers, Brad Turnwald and colleagues, say the findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, make sense when you consider the psychology behind food choices. "When most people are making a dining decision, they are motivated by taste. And studies show that people tend to think of healthier options as less tasty for some reason. "Labels really can influence our sensory experience, affecting how tasty and filling we think food will be. So we wanted to reframe how people view vegetables, using indulgent labels." Although most of us know that we should eat plenty of veg, too few of us do it. People are advised to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Roughly a quarter of UK adults actually achieve this, however.

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


World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record
2017-06-13, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/coal-s-era-starts-to-wane-...

It’s the end of an era for coal. Production of the fossil fuel dropped by a record amount in 2016, according to BP Plc’s annual review of global energy trends. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years and use dropped in the U.S to a level last seen in the 1970s, the company’s data show. Coal, the most polluting fuel that was once the world’s fastest growing energy source, has been a target of countries and companies alike as the world begins to work toward the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Consumption is falling as the world’s biggest energy companies promote cleaner-burning natural gas, China’s economy evolves to focus more on services than heavy manufacturing and renewable energy like wind and solar becomes cheaper. U.S. demand for coal fell by 33.4 million tons of oil equivalent last year to 358.4 million, the biggest decline in the world in absolute terms, BP data show. Global consumption dropped 1.7 percent last year compared with an average 1.9 percent yearly increase from 2005 to 2015, according to BP. Consumption of coal fell in every continent except Africa, the BP data show. Germany, Europe’s biggest user, consumed 4.3 percent less coal. U.K. demand fell 52.5 percent, the biggest percentage decline among the world’s major economies, according to BP’s data.

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


Television reporters told to stop recording in Senate hallways, prompting outcry
2017-06-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/television-reporters-told-to-stop-fi...

Television reporters covering the Capitol were told midday Tuesday to stop recording interviews in Senate hallways, a dramatic and unexplained break with tradition that was soon reversed amid a wide rebuke from journalists, Democratic lawmakers and free-speech advocates. The episode heightened concerns about reporters’ access to Washington leaders in an era when hostility toward the political media has increasingly become the norm. For some, the move to protect senators from impromptu on-camera interviews fell into a wider Trump-era pattern of efforts to roll back press freedoms, whether by barring reporters from interviewing officials or denying them access to briefings, trips and events. “These are actions that are without precedent in the history of the White House and Congress,” said Ben Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the group’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “Even if some of the violations are of norms rather than rights, the effect is to make the government less transparent at precisely the moment when congressional oversight has been at its weakest,” Wizner said.

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


Hypnosis, grounded in science
2017-06-12, The Globe and Mail (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/science-hypnos...

Hypnosis isn’t just for hucksters and Hollywood villains any more. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating anxiety, phobias, skin rashes, irritable-bowel syndrome and acute and chronic pain. In North America, medical centres such as the Mayo Clinic have added hypnosis to their pain-management tools. As with mindfulness meditation, hypnosis harnesses the brain’s natural abilities to regulate the body and control the random thoughts that ricochet through our minds, says Dr. David Patterson, a University of Washington psychologist. But, he adds, meditation can take weeks or months of practice before it helps patients. With hypnosis, “the relief is just a lot quicker and more dramatic.” About 10 per cent to 15 per cent of adults are “highly hypnotizable,” meaning they can easily slip into a trance and act on hypnotic suggestions. The same percentage of adults do not respond to hypnosis at all, while the rest are somewhere in between. In hypnosis circles, the word “powerful” comes up a lot. But it’s hardly an overstatement when you consider the work of Dr. Marie-Elisabeth Faymonville, director of the pain clinic ... at the University Hospital of Ličge, Belgium. Hypnosis allows patients to avoid general anesthesia in surgeries ranging from mastectomies to heart-valve replacements, Faymonville says. Since 1992, she has treated more than 9,500 surgery patients with “hypno-sedation,” combining hypnosis with small amounts of local anesthesia. Of those patients, just 18 had to switch to general anesthesia.

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


Is your diet making you depressed?
2017-06-12, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/06/12/is-your-diet-making-depressed.html

Globally, millions of people suffer from depression, an estimated 300 million to be exact. In fact, major depression constitutes one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. For decades, people have correlated healthy eating with feeling better, including in the area of mental health. However, many people who do not eat well also have outside stress factors, such as a busy schedule or low income. Health professionals can easily attribute any depression in these groups to these outside factors strained by a poor diet. However, one study set out to evaluate the direct link between diet and depression. The researchers ... observed 67 patients with moderate to severe depression. Patients [in the control group] received social support rather than switching their eating habits. The other patients then received a series of seven one-hour dietary counseling sessions where they were advised to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. After the trial period, the researchers found that over 30 percent of the patients had gone into remission with their depression. Only 8 percent of the control group actually experienced this same improvement. The participants that showed the most remarkable results had improved their diet the most. According to the research, diet and depression do go hand in hand. Those suffering from depression should eliminate processed foods as much as possible. Instead, they should replace them with a plant-rich diet alongside lean, quality meats.

Note: Read an essay by Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, that describes how replacing processed foods with healthy, non-GMO meals at an Appleton Wisconsin high school led to dramatic improvements in the mood and behavior of students. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


'Amazing change' for Montreal homeless men taking part in urban beekeeping program
2017-06-12, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting system)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/accueil-bonneau-bee-homeless-program-1...

Helping homeless people in Montreal reintegrate into society by teaching them to care for bees may seem like an unusual approach, but organizers of the Accueil Bonneau honey program say it's been a real success story. "When they get to be hands on, they see that it's all about being confident and being at peace with the bees," said Genevičve Kieffer Després, director of communications and special projects. Accueil Bonneau, a local group that offers a drop-in day centre and variety of services for homeless men, partnered with Montreal urban beekeeping company Alvéole four years ago. Now the program, whose aim is to teach job skills and encourage social interaction, has 60 hives in seven locations across the city. "The most important thing is that it's not just a job. It's learning to do something you love and getting rewarded for it. That is something we want to teach," she said. The honey harvested from the hives is sold at various locations in the city, the proceeds of which help fund the program and provide a small fee for participants. Kieffer Després says that working with the bees teaches participants, homeless men aged 25 and up, to be calm, gentle and more comfortable with socializing. She recalls one example of a man who started out very shy interacting with the public at one of points of sale and eventually was able to come out of his shell. "We started selling honey at the beginning of October, and by November, he was the guy going up to people telling them, 'come see the stand, come try the honey.' Amazing change."

Note: Don't miss the pictures and video of this incredible program available at the link above.


As Standing Rock Camps Cleared Out, TigerSwan Expanded Surveillance to Array of Progressive Causes
2017-06-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/06/21/as-standing-rock-camps-cleared-out-tigers...

Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline. By the time law enforcement officers began evicting residents of the ... resistance camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on February 22, the brutal North Dakota winter had already driven away most of the pipeline opponents. It would have been a natural time for the private security company in charge of monitoring the pipeline to head home. But internal communications between TigerSwan and its client, pipeline parent company Energy Transfer Partners, show that the security firm instead reached for ways to stay in business. Indeed, TigerSwan appeared to be looking for new causes, too. The ... firm’s sweeping surveillance of anti-Dakota Access protesters had already spanned five months and expanded into Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois. TigerSwan became particularly interested in Chicago. [Leaked] documents dated between February 19 and February 21 describe TigerSwan’s efforts to monitor an anti-Trump protest organized by the local chapter of the Answer Coalition, an anti-war, anti-racism group. Answer Coalition’s ... John Beacham, who organized the protest TigerSwan described, said that [the NoDAPL movement] was not the event’s primary focus. “They’re trying to make connections where they aren’t. It’s almost like they’re trying to cast conspiracy theories across the entire progressive movement,” he told The Intercept.

Note: The above article is part of an in-depth series, and includes many original source documents. Standing Rock activists were also targeted for investigation by the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Mr. Trump Goes After the Inspectors
2017-06-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/opinion/mr-trump-goes-after-the-inspectors...

Michael Horowitz, chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, was at a hockey game when he began getting calls from other inspectors general in federal agencies. The inspectors ... were furious. Trump aides had let them know they might be replaced; for the first time ever, a president might fire them en masse. The administration later backed down. But it has continued to undermine the inspectors’ role by failing to hire for open positions and planning to slash the offices’ budgets. Every major federal agency and program has an inspector general ... whose staff investigates cases of wasteful spending, criminal activity, employee misconduct and plain bad management. These are watchdogs with real teeth. Today nearly one-quarter of inspector general offices have either an acting director or no director at all, including the offices at the C.I.A., the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and the Social Security Administration. Acting directors can be reluctant to make extensive changes ... particularly if they hope to be nominated for a permanent appointment. The inspectors’ offices are deeply affected by the current federal hiring freeze and would be further harmed by the administration’s proposed budget cuts. The budget takes unexplained specific aim at the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, created in part to monitor the $700 billion taxpayer bailout for big banks.

Note: A New York Times article from 2015 states that, "at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because of a long-simmering dispute between the Obama administration and its own watchdogs." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Now let's fight back against the politics of fear
2017-06-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/10/naomi-klein-now-fight-back-agai...

The term “shock doctrine” describes the quite brutal tactic of systematically using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures, often called “shock therapy”. From the evidence so far, it’s clear that Trump and his top advisers are ... trying to pull off a domestic shock doctrine. The goal is all-out war on the public sphere and the public interest, whether in the form of antipollution regulations or programmes for the hungry. In their place will be unfettered power and freedom for corporations. It’s a programme so defiantly unjust and ... corrupt that it can only be pulled off with the assistance of divide-and-conquer racial and sexual politics, as well as a nonstop spectacle of media distractions. And, of course, it is being backed up with a massive increase in war spending. Trump’s cabinet of billionaires and multimillionaires tells us a great deal about the administration’s underlying goals. ExxonMobil for secretary of state; General Dynamics and Boeing to head the department of defence; and the Goldman Sachs guys for pretty much everything that’s left. This is ... a naked corporate takeover, one many decades in the making. We have to tell a different story from the one the shock doctors are peddling, a vision of the world compelling enough to compete head to head with theirs. Most of all, that vision needs to offer those who are hurting – for lack of jobs, lack of healthcare, lack of peace, lack of hope – a tangibly better life.

Note: The above was written by Naomi Klein, bestselling author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Facebook wants to secretly watch you through your smartphone camera
2017-06-09, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/facebook-wants-secretly-watch-you-through-your-smart...

Facebook wants to get up close and personal with its users after a patent was revealed detailing a desire to secretly watch users through their webcam or smartphone camera, spying on your mood in order to sell you tailored content or advertisements. The purpose behind the invasive idea is to analyse people through the camera in real time while they browse online and if it recognises you looking happy, bored or sad, it would deliver an advert fitting your emotion. If you were forlorn, for example, it would be able to serve an ad to perk you up, or know what products you had previously looked at online and put them under your nose at just the right time. The social network has filed several patents over the years on emotion-based technology but this, based on 'passive imaging data' is perhaps the most unnerving, considering it would take control of cameras that weren't even switched on by the user. As described by CB Insights: "This patent proposes capturing images of the user through smartphone or laptop cameras, even when the user is not actively using the camera. By visually tracking a user's facial expression, Facebook aims to monitor the user's emotional reactions to different types of content." Other patents listed by Facebook include a text messaging platform to detect a user's mood by measuring how hard and fast they were typing, then augment the message format, such as adding emojis or changing the font size, to match their emotion.

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


As Colombia's FARC disarms, rebels enlisted to fight deforestation
2017-06-09, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-deforestation-peace-idUSKBN19102V

Muddy rivers snake through rolling forested hills stretching to the horizon in Colombia's southern province of Caqueta that for decades were rebel lairs and an epicentre of the civil war. A peace deal signed last year between the government and the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ended half a century of conflict. The accord has seen about 7,000 FARC fighters leave their strongholds and gather in 26 demobilization zones where so far rebels have surrendered about a third of their weapons to the United Nations. But now a new battle is on: to preserve Colombia's forests that are under threat from farmers seeking grazing land and criminal gangs cutting down trees for illegal gold mining. Colombia - in partnership with Norway - is focusing efforts to halt forest loss with a scheme that offers former fighters training and jobs as forest guardians. Norway is donating about $3.5 million over two years to the pilot project it hopes will stem deforestation by offering paid jobs to ex-FARC fighters and communities to safeguard forests. About 1,100 ex-FARC fighters ... will be trained in how to track and report illegal logging, along with sustainable farming methods and eco-tourism projects - a way of helping them integrate back into civilian society. Many former fighters have spent most of their lives fighting in the jungle and have few other skills and little education. By providing skills training and jobs, rebels are less likely to pick up a weapon again and join other criminal groups.

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


China's Clean Energy Ambition Floats on Abandoned Coal Mine
2017-06-08, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-08/china-s-clean-energy-ambit...

China’s ambitions to dominate new energy technologies are unfolding at the site of an abandoned coal mine about 300 miles (483 kilometers) northwest of Shanghai. There, in Anhui province, Sungrow Power Supply Co. has built the world’s largest floating solar farm with 166,000 panels on a lake created when a nearby mine collapsed. While not an entirely unique idea - similar facilities are working in Japan, the U.K. and Israel - the project’s scale represents a step forward for China in shaping the future of energy. With plans to spend $360 billion on renewable energy by 2020, China is seeking to appear as a global leader on the environment, marking a contrast with U.S. President Donald Trump’s rebuke of the Paris Agreement on climate change. “The Chinese are really investing in the research and development side of innovation,” said Helen Clarkson, chief executive officer of The Climate Group, a non-governmental organization that works to promote clean energy technologies and policy. While Trump has said repeatedly he wants to stimulate fossil fuels and especially coal, China is funding a series of ground-breaking projects that generate power without pollution. Whether with massive floating solar farms like the one in Anhui, sprawling wind farms or ambitious plans to develop geothermal reserves, the world’s most-populous nation is asserting itself as a powerhouse of clean-energy technology.

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


Fast and Furious hearing rips Holder, DOJ for deception in gun-running scandal
2017-06-07, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/07/fast-and-furious-report-slams-hold...

Members of a congressional committee at a public hearing Wednesday blasted former President Barack Obama and his attorney general for allegedly covering up an investigation into the death of a Border Patrol agent killed as a result of a botched government gun-running project known as Operation Fast and Furious. The House Oversight Committee also Wednesday released a scathing, nearly 300-page report that found Holder’s Justice Department tried to hide the facts. Terry died in a gunfight. [His] death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them as they were transported into Mexico. But the agency lost track of more than 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they allowed smugglers to buy. Two of those guns were found at the scene of Terry's killing. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, testified Wednesday in front of the committee, accusing DOJ and ATF officials of obstructing the investigation and working to silence ATF agents who informed the Senate of Fast and Furious. One of those silenced ATF agents, John Dodson, testified Wednesday that he remains “in a state of purgatory” since objecting to Fast and Furious and has been the subject of reprisals. Grassley's and Dodson's testimony reinforced findings of the report, which states that the Justice Department knew before Terry’s death that the ATF was “walking” firearms to Mexico and knew the day after the agent’s death that Fast and Furious guns were involved in the shootout -- despite denying these facts.

Note: The Obama administration invoked executive privilege in an unsuccessful attempt to cover this story up. Whistleblower John Dodson published a book on this scandal in 2013. The ATF tried and failed to silence him, then lied about the whole thing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why Weight Training Is Ridiculously Good For You
2017-06-06, Time
http://time.com/4803697/bodybuilding-strength-training/

Modern exercise science shows that working with weights - whether that weight is a light dumbbell or your own body - may be the best exercise for lifelong physical function and fitness. Brad Schoenfeld, an assistant professor of exercise science at New York City’s Lehman College ... has published more than 30 academic papers on every aspect of resistance training - from the biomechanics of the push-up to the body’s nutrient needs following a hard lift. Later in life, bone tissue losses accelerate and outpace the creation of new bone. This loss of bone tissue leads to the weakness and postural problems that plague many older adults. “Resistance training counteracts all those bone losses and postural deficits,” he says. For anyone at risk for metabolic conditions - type-2 diabetes, but also high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome - strength training is among the most-effective remedies. Strength training also seems to be a potent antidote to inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other conditions. More research has linked strength training to improved focus and cognitive function, better balance, less anxiety and greater well-being. If all that isn’t convincing enough ... perhaps this is: maintaining strength later in life “seems to be one of the best predictors of survival," says [University of Michigan professor Mark] Peterson. “When we add strength ... almost every health outcome improves.”

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


'Spectacular' drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost
2017-06-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/06/spectacular-drop-in-renew...

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell. Plummeting prices for solar and wind power ... led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options. The new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 was 161GW, a 10% rise on 2015 and a new record, according to REN21, a network of public and private sector groups covering 155 nations and 96% of the world’s population. New solar power provided the biggest boost – half of all new capacity – followed by wind power at a third and hydropower at 15%. It is the first year that the new solar capacity added has been greater than any other electricity-producing technology. Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the Paris agreement and is now convenor of Mission 2020, said: “The economic case for renewables as the backbone of our global energy system is increasingly clear and proven. Offering ever greater bang-for-buck, renewables are quite simply the cheapest way to generate energy in an ever-growing number of countries.”

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


Who Won the Election? NSA Report Suggests Russia Might Have Hacked Voting System
2017-06-05, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/who-won-election-nsa-report-suggests-russia-might-hav...

Russian military intelligence attempted to cyber-attack a U.S. voting software supplier and more than 100 local election officials in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, The Intercept reported Monday. According to an NSA document ... Russian military intelligence cyber-attacked a U.S. voting software supplier, using information gained in that attack to “launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations. Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions,” the document states. The operation gave the hackers “persistent access” to the targeted computers, allowing them to “survey the victims for items of interest.” But Pamela Smith, president of election integrity watchdog Verified Voting, said the hacking might have kept some Americans from voting. “If someone has access to a state voter database, they can take malicious action by modifying or removing information,” she told The Intercept. “This could affect whether someone has the ability to cast a regular ballot or be required to cast a ‘provisional’ ballot — which ... may mean the voter has to jump through certain hoops such as proving their information to the election official before their eligibility is affirmed.”

Note: Why have those who set up our elections allowed private companies to develop software which can be hacked? For undeniable evidence our voting systems have not been safe for years, read summaries of these major media news articles.


'Extraordinary' month for Scottish renewable energy
2017-06-05, BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-40149604

Scotland had "another extraordinary month" for renewable energy in May, according to environmental groups. Wind turbines alone provided enough electricity to supply 95% of Scottish homes. WWF Scotland analysed renewables data, [and] found that in several parts of Scotland, homes fitted with solar PV panels had enough sunshine to generate more than 100% of the electricity needs of an average household. Wind turbines provided 863,495 MWh of electricity to the National Grid during May, an increase of almost 20% compared to May 2016 when wind energy provided 692,896 MWh. Overall the data showed that wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on 11 of the 31 days in May. Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: "The global energy revolution is unstoppable and continues at pace here in Scotland. "On one day in particular, 15 May, output from turbines generated enough electricity to power 190% of homes or 99% of Scotland's total electricity demand. Month after month, renewables play a vital role in cutting carbon emissions and powering the Scottish economy." Homes with solar PV (photovoltaic) panels generated over 100% of average household electricity needs in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Lerwick. Dr Gardner added: "Thanks to a super sunny month, solar was on sizzling form and could have met more than 100% of household electricity demand in towns and cities across Scotland."

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


At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard
2017-06-04, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-prison-costs-20170604-htmlstory.html

The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year. That’s enough to cover the annual cost of attending Harvard University and still have plenty left over. The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase. The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest. Since 2015, California’s per-inmate costs have surged nearly $10,000, or about 13%. New York is a distant second in overall costs at about $69,000. Critics say with fewer inmates, the costs should be falling. “Now that we’re incarcerating less, we haven’t ramped the system back down,” said Chris Hoene, executive director of the ... California Budget & Policy Center. California was sued over prison overcrowding, and to comply with a federal court-imposed population cap, the Brown administration now keeps most lower-level offenders in county jails instead of state prisons. Additionally, voters in 2014 reduced penalties for drug and property crimes and last fall approved the earlier releases.

Note: Could it be that the privatization of prisons is driving up prison costs? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prison system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Train Which Runs on Virtual Railway Track Unveiled in China
2017-06-03, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/train-virtual-transport-t...

A train that runs on virtual rails has been unveiled in China. The Autonomous Rapid Transit (Art), which was unveiled in the city of Zhuzhou on 2 June, is around 30metres long and is fitted with sensors that detect the dimensions of the road. This enables the vehicle to follow routes without the need for metal rails. Each vehicle can hold up to 307 passengers, and is said to navigate the streets easier than a bus while being more adaptable than a train. It has a top speed of 70kmph. The technology behind the Art was developed by Chinese railmaker CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive which also designs parts for the country’s high-speed railway. Instead of having steel wheels like a train, Art is fitted with rubber wheels attached to a plastic core which are linked to its especially designed guiding technology. Its creators say that Art is significantly cheaper than a metro service, which costs between 400 to 700millon yuan (Ł46 to Ł80million) per km to build. In contrast, Art costs between 15million yuan (Ł2million). The virtual train was unveiled as engineers across the world attempt to modernise transport infrastructure. In the US, Tesla and SpaceX owner Elon Musk is developing the Hyperloop, which is proposed to run at at top speed of 760mph using pod-like vehicles in a tube with reduced pressure.

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


Bilderberg: the world’s most secretive conference is as out of touch as ever
2017-06-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/02/bilderberg-secretive-conference...

Say what you like about Bilderberg, but they’ve got a sense of humour. The agenda for this year’s secretive summit of the global elite [gets] big laughs straight off the bat by describing themselves as “a diverse group of political leaders and experts”. They’re trumpeting the diversity of a conference where less than 25% of the participants are female. And as for racial diversity, there are more senior executives of Goldman Sachs at this year’s Bilderberg than there are people of colour. Perhaps by “diverse” they mean that some of the participants own hedge funds, whereas others own vast industrial conglomerates. Some are on the board of HSBC, others are on the board of BP. That sort of thing. But my favourite joke by far from this year’s agenda is this item: “The war on information”. Bilderberg is concerned about fake news? The world’s most secretive conference, which is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping the press away from its sacred discussions, which has spent decades lying and obfuscating about itself, wants to ensure the spread of truth? Many times before I’ve been detained by armed police for trying to report on this conference. If Bilderberg wants an answer to “Why is populism growing?” – another question on the agenda – they might take a look in the mirror. People aren’t all that comfortable with unaccountable technocratic elites and billionaire globalists lobbying their ministers and party leaders behind closed doors.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Bilderberg and other influential secret societies.


Republicans and Democrats Continue to Block Drug Reimportation – After Publicly Endorsing It
2017-06-02, Rolling Stone
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-on-republicans-and-democ...

The entire pharmaceutical industry is floated by a protectionist racket. Drugs that are in fact very cheap to make are kept artificially expensive – we have drugs that cost $1,000 a pill here in America that sell for $4 in India, for instance. The means of keeping prices high vary, but include lengthy patents to push production of generics into the future, the barring of foreign competition, and the prohibition of negotiations to lower prices for bulk purchases by both the federal and state governments. Without government intervention, the pharmaceutical industry would be profitable, but it wouldn't be the massive cash factory it is now. In 2015, for instance, the 20 largest drug companies made a collective $124 billion in profits. All the industry needs to protect those sums is the continued cooperation of Congress. So naturally it spends money ... to make sure they always have just enough dependable people in office to block change. Which brings us ... to drug importation. Trump announced early in the race that he was in favor of bringing in cheaper drugs from Canada and made it a big stump theme. The Democrats, meanwhile, put allowing importation of drugs from countries like Canada in their platform last summer. The seeming synergy of the two candidates' positions led to the hope that something might actually be done about the problem, no matter who won. No such luck. Trump's support for drug importation basically went up in smoke from the moment he started filling out his executive appointees.

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


Trump Administration Starts Returning Copies of C.I.A. Torture Report to Congress
2017-06-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/us/politics/cia-torture-report-trump.html?...

Senators, spies and a president spent years in a pitched battle over how the history is told of one of the most controversial chapters of America’s campaign against terrorism, the detention and interrogation of prisoners in secret C.I.A. jails. Congressional officials said on Friday that the [Trump] administration had begun returning to Congress copies of a 6,700-page Senate report from 2014 about the C.I.A. program. The move raises the possibility that most of the copies could be locked in Senate vaults indefinitely or even destroyed. The classified report [tells] the story of how ... the C.I.A. began capturing terrorism suspects and interrogating them ... beyond the reach of the American judicial and military legal systems. The central conclusion of the report is that the spy agency’s interrogation methods - including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other kinds of torture - were far more brutal and less effective than the C.I.A. described to policy makers, Congress and the public. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which was run by Democrats when the executive summary was released, sent copies of the entire report to at least eight federal agencies, asking that they incorporate it into their records — a move that would have made the documents subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The agencies all refused to add the report to their records, and instead kept their copies locked up, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the C.I.A. for access to the full report.

Note: See a revealing New York Times article listing seven key points from this torture report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


World's biggest floating solar power plant in China can power 15,000 homes
2017-06-02, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.in/worlds-biggest-floating-solar-power-plant-china-can-...

China has activated the world's biggest floating solar power plant, which is situated in the city of Huainan, in the central Anhui province. According to Sungrow Power Supply, the firm that built the facility, the new plant can generate 40 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power as many as 15,000 homes. The new solar farm, which was connected to Huainan's power grid in May, is constructed on an area that was used for rigorous coal mining for years. Gradual sinking of the area and heavy rain thereafter created a lake, where Sungrow now have installed floating solar panels, ranging in depth from four to 10 metres. China is currently considered to be the world's largest solar energy producer with a capacity of 77.42 gigawatts by the end of 2016. According to reports, solar power accounts for only one percent of China's energy output. However, this could soon change as the country has shifted its attention towards clean energy. Currently, renewables represent only 11 percent of China's energy use, but that number could go up to 20 percent by 2030. China also unveiled the world's biggest solar farm in a far-off region of the Tibetan plateau, in western Qinghai province earlier this year. The facility, named Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, covers nearly 27 square kilometres, with an ability to generate energy to power 200,000 homes.

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


Secretive Bilderberg group meetings begin in Virginia
2017-06-01, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40125253

A secretive group of elite power brokers is meeting in the US state of Virginia for closed-door discussions over four days. The Bilderberg Meetings have 131 participants from 21 countries in Europe and North America, the group said in a press release. A couple of top advisers to President Donald Trump are to attend the forum, 30 miles (48km) from the White House. The shadowy group is a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists. This year's group includes Mr Trump's Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, his National Security Adviser HR McMaster and Peter Thiel, the billionaire Paypal creator who has been a vocal supporter of the president. The forum - at a Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly - is also being attended by Trump critic Eric Schmidt, head of Google's parent company. "There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written," the group's rules state. "Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued." Other guests include Dutch King Willem-Alexander; David Rubenstein, head of private equity juggernaut the Carlyle Group; and former CIA director John Brennan. Several journalists are joining this year's forum, including London Evening Standard editor George Osborne. A full list of participants is here. Some critics have accused the group - which has met every year since 1954 - of plotting to impose a one-world government.

Note: An article in the U.K.'s Guardian mentions that Chantilly, VA, is the headquarters to the highly secretive National Reconnaissance Office, which has a budget of $10.3 billion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Bilderberg Group and other secret societies.


Donald Trump exempts 17 senior White House staff including Steve Bannon from ethics rules
2017-06-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-white-house-sta...

The White House disclosed Wednesday evening that it has granted ethics waivers to 17 specific appointees who work for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, including four former lobbyists. The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential conflicts of interest. In addition, a blanket waiver was given to all executive office appointees to interact with news organisations. Three of the former lobbyists given waivers to work in the White House serve as staffers to the National Economic Council, headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn. (Cohn himself did not need a waiver because he recuses himself from participating in matters specific to Goldman Sachs, according to a White House official.) His aides that received ethics exemptions include Michael Catanzaro, a domestic energy and environmental policy adviser. Catanzaro was granted permission to work on ... matters of interest to his former energy sector clients, including emissions regulations, clear air standards and renewable fuel standards. Shahira Knight, a White House adviser on tax and retirement policy, received a waiver to participate in a range of tax and financial policy matters. Knight, a former tax lobbyist, served as vice president of Fidelity Investments' public affairs and policy group. Trump's predecessors also issued ethics waivers to appointees who had potential conflicts of interest. The Obama administration handed out at least 66 such exemptions.

Note: Despite the White House's assurances to the contrary, the NEC's Gary Cohn is reportedly spearheading a plan to sell US infrastructure to large financial firms, including his former employer Goldman Sachs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Scottish child abuse inquiry hears apologies over 'deplorable' attacks
2017-05-31, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-40093270

The first hearing in the Scottish child abuse inquiry has heard apologies from organisations which ran children's homes around the country. More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated. The inquiry, which is being chaired by Lady Smith, is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care. It is expected to report in late 2019 - four years after it was set up. The opening session in Edinburgh heard apologies from groups who said they "deplored that physical sexual abuses could occur". The High Court judge revealed the number of survivors who had already spoken to the inquiry team was "very far in excess" of 200. The inquiry states its purpose as being "to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland", while considering "the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty", in particular seeking any "systemic failures". The inquiry has been plagued by problems since it was set up in October 2015. Around Ł6m has been spent on it during this period. Its original chairwoman, Susan O'Brien QC, resigned from her post in July 2016, citing government interference. A second panel member, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned, claiming the inquiry was "doomed".

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


Aerospace Executive ‘Absolutely Convinced’ There Are Aliens On Earth
2017-05-30, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/robert-bigelow-ufos-aliens-on-earth_us_59...

In an eye-opening interview on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, aerospace mogul and entrepreneur Robert Bigelow said he was ‘absolutely convinced’ there were alien visitors to Earth. Most of the segment focused on how NASA and the Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace are in a partnership to develop an expandable craft for humans to use in space. However, during the “60 Minutes” interview with correspondent Lara Logan, the conversation shifted to Bigelow’s reported obsession with UFOs and aliens. Logan: “Do you believe in aliens?” Bigelow: “I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it.” Logan: “Do you also believe that UFOs have come to Earth?” Bigelow: “There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence. And I spent millions and millions and millions ― I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.” Bigelow wouldn’t elaborate on what kind of results he had achieved from his well-funded UFO research. When asked if he thought future space missions would result in any encounters between humans and aliens, Bigelow said, “You don’t have to go anywhere. It’s just like right under people’s noses.” While Bigelow declined to describe his personal UFO encounters, he offered more elaborate details about UFOs, extraterrestrials and the private space industry during an interview on the national radio program, “Coast to Coast AM.”

Note: See the CBS 60 Minutes piece about this on this webpage. 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.


How Congress dismantled federal Internet privacy rules
2017-05-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-congress-dismantled-federal-inter...

They wanted to kill landmark privacy regulations that would soon ban Internet providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, from storing and selling customers’ browsing histories without their express consent. While the nation was distracted by the House’s pending vote to repeal Obamacare, Senate Republicans would schedule a vote to wipe out the new privacy protections. On March 23, the measure passed on a straight party-line vote, 50 to 48. President Trump signed the bill in early April without ceremony or public comment. “While everyone was focused on the latest headline crisis coming out of the White House, Congress was able to roll back privacy,” said former Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, who worked for nearly two years to pass the rules. The process to eliminate them took only a matter of weeks. The Internet privacy rules were adopted ... after an intense battle that pitted large Internet service providers, the advertising industry and tech giants against consumer advocates and civil rights groups. The rules required Internet service providers to get explicit consent before they gather their customers’ data - their browsing histories, the locations of businesses they physically visit and the mobile applications they use - and sell it to third parties. The requirements were modeled after a law passed decades ago by Congress that prohibited telephone companies from collecting customers’ calling histories and selling the information to third parties.

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


US army veterans find peace in protecting rhinos from poaching
2017-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/30/us-army-veterans-find-pea...

In northern South Africa, former soldiers are fighting both the illegal wildlife trade and the twin scourges of unemployment and PTSD. The job of [Ryan] Tate, a 32-year-old former US Marine, and the group of US military veterans he has assembled in a remote private reserve in the far north of South Africa is simple: keep the rhinos and the rest of the game in the bush around their remote base alive. The men are not mercenaries, or park rangers – they work for Tate’s Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife (Vetpaw), a US-based nonprofit organisation funded by private donations. All have seen combat, often with elite military units, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The scale of the challenge of protecting South Africa’s rhinos is clear to everyone, with a rise in poaching in recent years threatening to reverse conservation gains made over decades. Patchy law enforcement, corruption and poverty combine to exacerbate the problem. Tate founded Vetpaw after seeing a documentary about poaching and the deaths of park rangers in Africa. His team now work on a dozen private game reserves covering a total of around 200,000 hectares in Limpopo, the country’s northernmost province. But if one aim of Vetpaw is to counter poaching, another is to help combat veterans in the US, where former servicemen suffer high levels of unemployment and mental illness. “Everyone gets PTSD when they come back from war … I saw a need in two places and just put them together,” says Tate.

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


Raw milk: a superfood or super risky?
2017-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/30/raw-milk-health-superfoo...

The vast majority of milk we drink is pasteurized – heat-treated to kill off harmful pathogens. Raw milk, on the other hand, goes straight from udder to bottle. Fans call it milk as nature intended: nutrient-rich and full of probiotics, the good kind of bacteria. Some fans go further, calling it a superfood that aids digestion, boosts the immune system and treats asthma, eczema and allergies. Due to concerns about safety, retail sales of raw milk are prohibited in about 20 states. Something called a “herd-share” scheme ... lets people buy an “interest” in a group of dairy cows. “As a part-owner, you’re entitled to what that cow produces,” [food blogger Jennifer McGruther] explains. “It’s difficult for the state to say you can’t drink the milk from cows you own.” The US government estimates that 3.2% of people now drink it. But ... pasteurization is the norm for a reason – it’s highly effective at killing things such as E coli, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria. Raw milk, on the other hand, relies heavily on the skill of the farmer and the cleanliness of the operation to avoid contamination. A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says raw milk illnesses have spiked as more people drink it. Between 2009 and 2014, raw milk and raw milk cheese caused the vast majority (96%) of all illnesses linked to contaminated dairy products. Several European studies and observations of Amish farm children do suggest those who drink raw milk have less asthma and fewer allergies.

Note: A 2012 mercola.com article on the raw milk debate suggests that US regulators are against raw milk because it can not be safely produced by large factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


China’s ‘Sharing Economy’ Is Booming. But Can It Last?
2017-05-29, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2017/05/29/china-sharing-economy-booming/

Fancy shooting some hoops, but don't have a basketball? Caught in the rain with no umbrella? Smartphone run out of juice? China's rapidly expanding "sharing economy," which already provides car rides and bicycle hire on demand, can help. China's government ... expects the "sharing economy" to grow about 40% this year to 4.83 trillion yuan ($705 billion). By 2020, it should account for around one tenth of GDP, illustrating China's aspiration to become a sharing economy leader on a global scale. At least 1.69 billion yuan ($247 million) in mostly series-A, or early stage, funding was invested in April-May in over two dozen start-ups offering sharing services. Twelve firms renting out power banks - typically compact, mobile battery chargers - secured 1.13 billion yuan, while newer businesses such as basketball and umbrella-sharing took in about 25 million yuan ($3.65 million) combined. While mobile-savvy, convenience-obsessed Chinese welcome the innovations, some critics question whether the demand is real, or sustainable. They say the low-revenue, capital-intensive model means profitability can be elusive. "Young people are embracing renting as a way of life instead of possessing things," said Emma Zhu, investment director at Beijing-based Innoangel fund, who has held off investing in any of these start-ups. "But the sharing model won't work in every situation. In some cases, they're trying to meet genuine demand, while in others they're not."

Note: While some companies in the "sharing economy" may misrepresent their practices, others appear to be getting it right. Read a great article describing 11 "platform cooperatives" which create a real sharing economy.


The anti-terror ad going viral in the Middle East
2017-05-29, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/29/media/ramadan-advertisement-terror-zain/index...

A hard-hitting video advertisement of a suicide bomber being challenged by victims of terrorism has gone viral in the Middle East. Kuwaiti telecom company Zain launched the TV ad on Saturday at the start of Ramadan, the holiest month in the Muslim calendar, in an effort to counter terrorism. Since then, the three minute music video has been viewed nearly 2.4 million times on YouTube. The message of the company's ad is unmistakeable. "Worship your God with love, with love not terror," sings Hussain Al Jassmi, an Emirati star famous in the region. "Be tender in your faith, gentle not harsh. Confront your enemy, with peace not war." Ramadan is typically a huge month for TV audiences as families gather to break their dawn-to-dusk fast and watch TV shows together. Advertisers spend a large proportion of their budget during the month. Zain has struck a chord before with its creative ads. Its spot last year carrying a message of peace was viewed 13 million times while its Eid holiday ad, which marked the end of Ramadan, had more than 24 million views. This latest project recreates the aftermath of a bus bombing as the suicide bomber walks through the carnage. The terrorist recites Islamic phrases but he is corrected by those sitting in front of him. The ad also features survivors of previous attacks including a man from the blast at a Kuwaiti mosque in 2015 and a bride from an attack on a wedding in Amman, Jordan, in 2005.

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


FBI 'warned MI5 in January that Salman Abedi was planning terror attack in UK'
2017-05-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fbi-warned-mi5-january-manches...

British intelligence agency MI5 was reportedly warned by its US counterpart that Salman Abedi was planning an attack on UK soil, three months before he blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. FBI agents are said to have informed British officials that the 22-year-old was part of a North African Islamic State cell based in the north west of England that was plotting an attack in the UK. “In early 2017 the FBI told MI5 that Abedi belonged to a North African terror gang based in Manchester, which was looking for a political target in this country," a security source [said]. “The information came from the interception of his communications by US federal agents, who had been investigating Abedi since the middle of 2016, and from information unearthed in Libya, where his family was linked to terrorist groups. “Following this US tip-off, Abedi and other members of the gang were scrutinised by MI5. It was thought at the time that Abedi was planning to assassinate a political figure. But nothing came of this investigation and, tragically, he slipped down the pecking order of targets.” MI5 has faced questions over the fact that Abedi was on its radar but slipped through the net in order to carry out the attack that killed 22 people and seriously injured 64. Police have so far arrested 14 people on suspicion of terror offences in conjunction with the Manchester attack, two of whom have since been released.

Note: Read this revealing article for more evidence that the Manchester atrocity was possibly allowed to happen, or worse. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.


11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida
2017-05-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/sunday/it-was-forced-on-me-child-m...

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating - so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding. Today she is ... part of a nationwide movement to end child marriage in America. Meanwhile, children 16 and under are still being married in Florida at a rate of one every few days. In fact, more than 167,000 young people age 17 and under married in 38 states between 2000 and 2010. Among the states with the highest rates of child marriages were Arkansas, Idaho and Kentucky. The number of child marriages has been falling, but every state in America still allows underage girls to marry, typically with the consent of parents, a judge or both. Twenty-seven states do not even set a minimum age by statute. A great majority of the child marriages involve girls and adult men. Such a sexual relationship would often violate statutory rape laws, but marriage sometimes makes it legal. Johnson ... says that her family attended a conservative Pentecostal church and that other girls of a similar age periodically also married. Often, she says, this was to hide rapes by church elders. She says she was raped by both a minister and a parishioner. A judge approved the marriage to end the rape investigation, she says, telling her, “What we want is for you to get married.”

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


Trump Administration Conflicts Of Interest: How Gary Cohn Could Sell U.S. Infrastructure To Goldman Sachs
2017-05-26, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-administration-conflicts-inter...

President Donald Trump's administration this week touted an infrastructure plan that would sell off public assets to private financial firms. Leading the White House privatization initiative is Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, who received a $285 million dollar payout upon ... taking a job as the director of Trump’s National Economic Council. As Cohn has led the infrastructure privatization initiative from that perch, Goldman Sachs declared that it continues to look at “new business initiatives” that revolve around taking ownership of public assets, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents. Cohn is spearheading the administration’s infrastructure policy despite a White House official telling Bloomberg News in February that he “will recuse himself from participating in any matter directly involving his former employer.” That pledge seemed at the time to show that Cohn was following ethics rules ... enacted in January. Those rules require federal officials to sign an ethics pledge in which they agree to wait two years before they “participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer.” Those rules, however, empower Trump to waive the restrictions whenever he wants. Whether or not Cohn has received such a waiver remains secret: the administration has not released a list of waivers, and has moved to block federal agencies from disclosing such waivers to federal ethics regulators.

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


21 Across U.S. Are Indicted in ‘Modern-Day Sex Slave’ Ring
2017-05-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/us/raid-sex-trafficking-thailand.html?_r=0

The young women, many of them from poor families in Thailand, were promised trips to the United States. They would also receive visas. But the promises, the federal authorities say, came with an enormous toll: The women were required to work as prostitutes in cities all over this country until they could pay off exorbitant “bondage debts.” Law enforcement authorities on Thursday announced federal sex-trafficking conspiracy charges against 21 people, part of what they described as one of the most elaborate ... sex-trafficking operations they had seen. The operation had gone on for at least eight years, netted tens of millions of dollars, and involved hundreds of women. “The women ... were modern-day sex slaves,” an indictment unsealed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Minnesota said, laying out criminal counts against a long list of defendants, including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. [United States attorney] Gregory Brooker ... described the ring as “a multimillion-dollar, modern-day organized crime operation.” While still in Thailand, the women were usually told that they would work as prostitutes, the indictment said, but the terms of the deals shifted substantially once they arrived in the United States. Threats were made. Bondage debts suddenly skyrocketed. Some women were even told to have plastic surgery to make them more “appealing” to customers, then ordered to reimburse the cost of surgery as part of their ever-growing debt.

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


US Army Lost Track of $1 Billion Worth of Weapons and Equipment: Report
2017-05-24, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/us-military-lost-track-1-billion-worth-weapons-and-eq...

The U.S. Army failed to properly monitor more than $1 billion worth of arms transfers in Iraq and Kuwait, according to a declassified government audit obtained by Amnesty International. Amnesty obtained the documents through Freedom of Information law requests. The group’s research documents lax controls and record-keeping ... which has resulted in arms manufactured in the U.S. and other countries winding up in the hands of armed groups known to be committing war crimes and other atrocities, such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The U.S. Department of Defense audit from September 2016 shows that the DoD “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of ... tens of thousands of assault rifles (worth $28 million), hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armored vehicles destined for use by the central Iraqi Army. A previous DoD audit, in 2015, pointed to even less rigorous stockpile monitoring procedures being enforced by the Iraqi armed forces. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has overbilled the U.S. military for fuel by almost $6 billion over the past seven years, and then used the money to bolster underfunded or mismanaged defense programs, according to a report in The Washington Post on Saturday. Earlier, the federal Government Accountability Office criticized the U.S. for failing to account for thousands of rifles issued to Afghan security forces. The 2009 report said some weapons were documented to be in the hands of insurgents.

Note: Since 1996, approximately $10 trillion in taxpayer money has gone unaccounted for at the US Dept. of Defense. Read a verifiable and carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


India cancels plans for huge coal power stations as solar energy prices hit record low
2017-05-24, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/india-solar-power-electricity-cancel...

India has cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – with the price for solar electricity “free falling” to levels once considered impossible. Analyst Tim Buckley said the shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuel and towards solar in India would have “profound” implications on global energy markets. According to his article on the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis’s website, 13.7GW of planned coal power projects have been cancelled so far this month – in a stark indication of the pace of change. In January last year, Finnish company Fortum agreed to generate electricity in Rajasthan with a record low tariff, or guaranteed price, of 4.34 rupees per kilowatt-hour. At the time analysts said this price was so low would never be repeated. But, 16 months later, an auction for a 500-megawatt solar facility resulted in a tariff of just 2.44 rupees – compared to the wholesale price charged by a major coal-power utility of 3.2 rupees (about 31 per cent higher). “For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India,” Mr Buckley said. “Measures taken by the Indian Government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable ... because of the prohibitively high cost of imported coal relative to the long-term electricity supply contracts”.

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


Netflix series ‘The Keepers’ spurs Baltimore police to create online crime reporting form
2017-05-23, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2017/05/23/netflix-series-t...

The new Netflix series “The Keepers” focuses on the slaying of Sister Catherine Cesnik in 1969, but also examines allegations of sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests and covered up by the church. On Tuesday, Baltimore police created an online form for those who think they were victimized long ago and may now want to report it. Cesnik taught at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore and disappeared in November 1969. Her body was found ... in January 1970. Her killer was never found. In the 1990s, a number of women came forward to allege that the chaplain at Keough, the Rev. A. Joseph Maskell, had sexually molested them. One woman told the Baltimore Sun that Maskell had taken her to Cesnik’s body. Other women said that they confided in Cesnik about sexual abuse by Maskell and that she may have been preparing to confront the priest about this. Maskell denied committing any sex crimes or murder and was never charged before his death in 2001. A seven-part documentary about the case was released by Netflix on Friday. Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said after the series was released, “We’ve heard from people who previously hadn’t reported their offense. We just wanted to streamline the process. This is a crime that occurred to them, they don’t need to constantly relive the nightmare, telling the story over and over again.” Smith said he did not know how many calls his department had received but noted that victims in the case were probably teenagers at the time.

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


Federal Court Revives Wikimedia’s Challenge to N.S.A. Surveillance
2017-05-23, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/politics/nsa-surveillance-warrantless-w...

A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a high-profile challenge to the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of internet communications. The ruling ... increases the chances that the Supreme Court may someday scrutinize whether the N.S.A.’s so-called upstream system for internet surveillance complies with Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The ruling reversed a Federal District Court judge’s decision to throw out the case. The district judge had ruled that the plaintiffs - including the Wikimedia Foundation - lacked standing to sue because they could not prove that their messages had been intercepted. Because of how the internet works, surveillance of communications crossing network switches is different from traditional circuit-based phone wiretapping. While the government can target a specific phone call without touching anyone else’s communications, it cannot simply intercept a surveillance target’s email. Instead ... to find such emails it is necessary first to systematically copy data packets crossing a network switch and sift them in search of components from any messages involving a target. Documents provided by [Edward] Snowden and declassified by the government have shown that this system works through equipment installed at the facilities of companies, like AT&T, that [connect] the American internet to the rest of the world. Privacy advocates contend that the initial copying and searching of all those data packets ... violates Fourth Amendment protections against government search and seizure.

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


Saudis gave the U.S. $360b in deals. Now they want Trump to rescind 9/11 lawsuit law.
2017-05-22, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article152029307.html

President Donald Trump struck a series of deals with Saudi Arabia on his two-day visit but the kingdom is still anxiously waiting for him to deliver on something else: the repeal of a contentious 2016 law that allows relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the kingdom for their deaths. Saudi officials have been quietly lobbying the administration and Congress to overturn the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which led more than 800 families to file suit. Trump supported the bill and can’t do much to change it. Still, Saudis are convinced the man they consider the ultimate salesman will make a deal. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al Falih, said in an interview in March that his nation believed that the new administration and Congress would eventually reverse course. “If Trump supports the JASTA, he will lose the relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Mohammed Alhamza, a social researcher and writer, said bluntly through a translator. “Do you expect Trump will pass JASTA after (billions of) Saudi riyals went to the United States?” Alhamza asked, a reference to a series of agreements Trump and Saudi King Salman had signed totaling $360 billion in weapons sales and economic development. Congress passed [JASTA] last September ... after the release of a long-withheld 28-page section of the first U.S. report on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks outlining possible links between the hijackers and Saudi officials. Saudi Arabia organized a massive lobbying to stop the legislation.

Note: An Obama-era presidential veto did not stop JASTA from moving forward. Neither did Saudi Arabia's influential charm offensive, or its $750 billion threat. 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.


School District Switches to Local and Organic Meals, Cuts Carbon Footprint—and Saves Money
2017-05-22, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/school-district-switches-to-local-and-organ...

When her eldest son was in elementary school in the Oakland Unified School District, Ruth Woodruff became alarmed by the meals he was being served at school. A lot of it was frozen, processed foods, packed with preservatives. So in late 2008, she and a group of parents got together to urge the school district to reconsider how and where it was buying the food it served students. Now, five years after the district responded by overhauling the menus at its 100-plus schools - serving less meat and adding more fruits and vegetables - a new report has revealed some surprising results. The study by the environmental nonprofit, Friends of the Earth (FOE), found that the district’s Farm to School initiative not only provided its 48,000 or so students with access to healthier foods, but that between 2012 and 2015 its overall food costs declined and its carbon footprint shrank. The [Farm to School] program saves the district money because cooks prepare school meals from scratch. The lunch menu in OUSD schools transformed from a smorgasbord of processed foods to local, organic options. School cooks season and roast antibiotic-free chicken in-house, instead of heating up pre-cooked drumsticks. They also substitute frozen vegetables with fresh sides, like carrot salads made from scratch. In addition to a healthier menu, students get to go on field trips to local farms and take cooking classes through the program.

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


Swiss vote to withdraw country from use of nuclear power
2017-05-21, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/swiss-vote-withdraw-country-nuc...

Swiss voters are supporting a referendum to withdraw the country from nuclear power in favor of renewable energy. A projection from Sunday's referendum shows a majority of cantons (states) voted for the plan. Under Switzerland's direct democracy system, initiatives need a majority of both cantons and votes to pass. The projection for SRF public television showed 58 percent of voters in favor and 42 percent against the proposal. The Swiss government wants to ban the construction of new nuclear power plants and decommission the country's five existing ones at the end of their technically safe operating lives. The plan would also boost renewable energies such as water and wind and make cars and electronic devices more energy efficient.

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


Genius inventor, 43, is helping scores of children by making state-of-the-art Spider-Man and Harry Potter-themed prosthetic arms in his garden shed
2017-05-20, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4525834/Inventor-Stephen-Davies-creat...

Inventor Stephen Davies was himself born without a left lower arm and never forgot the stigma of the NHS-issue prosthetic he wore as a child. After several years of not using one, [Davies] began looking at designs available on the NHS – only to discover they had barely improved in three decades. More sophisticated bionic arms ... can cost upwards of Ł30,000. However, having learned how far lighter limbs could be created on a 3D printer, he began to experiment in his garden shed. He has now set up Team UnLimbited, which creates customised ‘cool’ limbs for children, featuring their choice of colour and pattern. The father of three said, "We’ve done Iron Man designs, Harry Potter, Lego and Spider-Man. The key is making something the child actually wants to wear and feels is cool enough to show their friends. Sometimes children with prosthetics get bullied at school and something like this can make a huge difference to their confidence." The limbs work for children born without a lower arm. When the wearer moves their elbow, the fist closes, enabling objects to be grasped. Each arm costs about Ł30 to make, and takes a few days to print and assemble. All are made in the shed. Mr Davies – along with his partner ... Drew Murray – never charge the children for the cost of the limbs, and have instead raised their costs through crowdfunding.

Note: Watch a great video of smiling kids using their new hands.


Struck by Uganda's Water Problem, One Student Did Something About It
2017-05-19, National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/kathy-ku-spouts-uganda-water-filte...

While teaching in Uganda in 2010, American college student Kathy Ku noticed that both she and her host family were getting sick a lot from drinking the water. She kept thinking about the problem even after she was back in school at Harvard University, designing a ceramic water filter and getting other students involved. She [then] took a year off to pursue the idea in earnest. Ku wasn’t aiming just to bring water filters into Uganda. She wanted to actually make them there, sourcing the needed clay and sawdust locally. Now, five years after that exploratory visit during her year off, Ku and co-founder John Kye have a full-fledged water filter factory near Kampala. Their organization, Spouts, has grown to more than 40 staffers and distributed about 14,000 ceramic filters, which remove 99.9 percent of bacteria. "There’s this method of cleaning your drinking water by leaving it out in clear plastic bottles in the sun. So I figured, OK, let me try that. I took a swig of the water and essentially spit it back out because it tasted like burnt plastic, and it was really warm," [said Kathy]. "I thought there had to be a better solution that people would actually like to use." Our [new] factory has the capacity to make 10,000 filters a month. We’re closer to 1,500 to 2,000 filters a month now, but ... it has the machinery and the capacity to do a lot more."

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


New Lawsuit Alleges Baylor Players Gang-Raped Women As 'Bonding Experience'
2017-05-17, NPR
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/17/528804172/new-lawsuit-alleg...

A new federal lawsuit against Baylor University accuses football players of drugging and gang-raping young women as part of a hazing or bonding ritual - and the university of failing to investigate the pervasive sexual assault. The suit ... was filed by "Jane Doe," who says she was raped by four to eight Baylor players in February 2012. Her Title IX suit says the school's "deliberately indifferent response" effectively denied her educational opportunities. The alleged assaults and other criminal activities took place during former head football coach Art Briles' tenure at the school in Waco, Texas. Briles and former university President Ken Starr were both removed from their posts last year after a wave of sexual assault allegations against Baylor players. Earlier this year, a lawsuit by "Elizabeth Doe" alleged that ... at least 52 rapes and at least five gang rapes were carried out by more than 30 Baylor players. The suit also describes a culture of sexual assault woven into hazing rituals: "Members of the Baylor football team ... developed a system of hazing their freshman recruits by having them bring or invite freshman females to house parties hosted by members of the football team. At these parties, the girls would be drugged and gang raped. "The gang rapes were considered a 'bonding' experience for the football players. "Photographs and videotapes of the semi-conscious girls would be taken during the gang rapes and circulated amongst the football players."

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


Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to "Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies"
2017-05-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2017/05/27/leaked-documents-reveal-security-firms-co...

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states. TigerSwan, [working] at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, [described] the movement as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and [compared] the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters. “Daily intelligence updates” developed by TigerSwan ... were shared with law enforcement officers, thus contributing to a broad public-private intelligence dragnet. [Leaked] documents ... also reveal a widespread and sustained campaign of infiltration of protest camps and activist circles. TigerSwan agents using false names and identities regularly sought to obtain the trust of protesters, which they used to gather information they reported back to their employer. In an October 3 report, TigerSwan discusses how to use its knowledge of internal camp dynamics: “Exploitation of ongoing native versus non-native rifts, and tribal rifts between peaceful and violent elements is critical in our effort to delegitimize the anti-DAPL movement.” The way TigerSwan discusses protesters as “terrorists,” their direct actions as “attacks,” and the camps as a “battlefield,” reveals how the protesters’ dissent was not only criminalized but treated as a national security threat.

Note: The above article is part of an in-depth series, and includes many original source documents. Standing Rock activists were also targeted for investigation by the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


The brain is the next logical frontier for futurists
2017-05-17, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/ac9e8d4c-371f-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3?accessToken=z...

Your perceptions of the outside world arise through brain activity. Scientists in China have managed to reverse-engineer this process, using brain activity to guess what people are looking at. Their algorithm, which analyses functional MRI brain scans collected while volunteers gaze at digits and letters, is able to furnish uncannily clear depictions of the original images. It has been termed a mind-reading algorithm; a more accurate, though less catchy, description would be a “reconstruction of visual field” algorithm. The algorithm, called the Deep Generative Multiview Model, was highlighted this month by MIT Technology Review as an emerging technology to watch. What is true for the visual cortex is also true for our auditory systems: if you hear a song, the auditory part of your brain whirrs into action. Scientists in the US have developed a programme that can turn the associated firing of neurons back into real sounds. These technologies are turning thoughts into pictures and sounds. In short, science is coming remarkably close to being able to access what is inside our heads. If such algorithms were to find their way into advertising, we may find ourselves digitally stalked not only by images of hotels and consumer goods that we once clicked on, but also by pictures we glanced at or by songs that we streamed. This requires access to brain signals, but who would bet against such a future? Millions of people, by wearing fitness bands, sign up to having their physiological signals charted round the clock.

Note: Software breakthroughs like this have many potential benefits. But these new technologies may also be used for electronic harassment or mind control. And a 2008 US Defense Intelligence Agency report described the brain as the "battlefield of future".


Feds sue UnitedHealth alleging at least $1 billion in false claims
2017-05-17, Star Tribune (Minneapolis' leading newspaper)
http://www.startribune.com/feds-sue-unitedhealth-alleging-false-claims/422660...

The federal government sued UnitedHealth Group on Tuesday alleging the Minnetonka-based health care company wrongly received from Medicare at least $1 billion in “risk adjustment” payments based on inaccurate data submissions. The federal government’s civil fraud action comes in a whistleblower case first brought by a former UnitedHealth Group employee. Earlier this year, the federal government disclosed it had ongoing investigations about risk adjustment practices at four other carriers including Aetna and a division of Cigna. In Medicare Advantage plans, the government pays health insurers a per-member per-month payment for enrollees. The government says the fees can be increased when health plans submit information about an enrollee’s health that justifies a higher “risk score” for the patient. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday highlighted UnitedHealth’s program to review charts, calling it a “one-sided revenue-generating program.” The insurer collected “millions of medical records” and employed chart reviewers “in order to mine for diagnoses that the providers themselves did not report to United for their patients,” the lawsuit states. “United used the results of the chart reviews to only increase government payments ... while in bad faith systematically ignoring other information from the chart reviews which would have led to decreased payments.”

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


This 11-Year-Old Just Schooled Cybersecurity Experts By ‘Weaponizing’ a Teddy Bear
2017-05-16, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2017/05/17/reuben-paul-cybersecurity-hacking/

Cybersecurity experts were shocked Tuesday when a sixth grader showed them just how easy it would be to hack their mobile devices and weaponize a seemingly innocuous item - in this case, his smart teddy bear. At a cyber safety conference in the Hague, Netherlands, 11-year-old prodigy Reuben Paul used a small computer called a "raspberry pi" to hack into audience members' bluetooth devices and download phone numbers. Paul then reportedly used one of the numbers to hack into the teddy bear, which connects to the Internet via Bluetooth or WiFi, and used the toy to record a message from the audience by using a computer language program called Python. "I basically showed how I could connect to [a remote Internet-connected device], and send commands to it," Paul told AFP. He warned that Internet-enabled everyday objects "can be used and weaponized to spy on us or harm us," for example by scraping private information like passwords. Toys could even be programmed to say "meet me at this location and I will pick you up," he added. Though not yet a teenager, Paul is already well known among his community in Austin, Texas, and beyond. In 2014, the wunderkind founded his own company, an educational gaming website called PrudentGames. Paul is now the company's CEO.

Note: An internet-connected toy doll was recently banned in Germany because it operates "as an espionage device". A 2015 New York Times article called "smart objects" a "train wreck in privacy and security". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


From Addiction to Academy Founder: Dr Teri DeLane Teaches Kids to Trust
2017-05-15, Daily Good
http://www.dailygood.org/story/1590/from-addiction-to-academy-founder-dr-teri...

Founder and principal of San Francisco’s Life Learning Academy, Dr. Teri Delane says that the success of the school that serves the city’s highest-risk, highest-need students can be replicated. The school tracks a 99% graduation rate with 85% of the students going on to college. The kids that do so well here [have] histories of school failure, truancy, arrest and substance abuse. The ones that traditional school settings can’t provide for. [Life Learning Academy] has it roots in the Delancey Street Foundation, a well-known San Francisco-based self-help program for drug addicts and ex-offenders. Delane ... has first hand experience of the Delancey Street program - entering the program as an addict herself. Delane incorporated practices of the program that would could be integrated into a school environment: creating community, engagement, leadership, dress code and working toward rewards. And woven through it all is Delane’s philosophy. “What we do at the school is a circle around the kids with a number of things that have to be included in their lives in order for them to have a full life: education, a job, having money and ... learning how to give back,” she said. “I teach that the way you get is by giving. Not by sitting around talking about your problems. We don’t stay stuck in our past.” All the students know Delane’s background, see what she has accomplished and witness her giving back every day.

Note: Listen to an interview with this amazing school's founder. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


U.S. Customs Officers Allegedly Assaulted Coworkers In ‘Rape Table’ Ritual
2017-05-13, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/customs-officers-newark-hazing-rape-table...

Several officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency have come forward with bombshell allegations against their colleagues at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Three officers told NBC New York they were sexually assaulted as part of disturbing rituals that involved being duct-taped to a table other officers called the “rape table.” While no one ever removed their clothes, other officers would forcibly rub their genital areas on the victims strapped to the table, as well as grab them. This practice has been happening for years. “Hazing wouldn’t do this justice,” CBP officer Vito Degironimo told NBC. “This is complete assault. They take you in a room and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you.” Diana Cifuentes and Dan Arencibia told the station they managed to avoid the table, but experienced other horrific harassment from colleagues. At one point, Cifuentes said, someone pointed a gun at her in the office. CBP agent [Charlie Smith] corroborated the trio’s allegations in an interview with the Daily Beast, saying he’s heard stories of 17 similar assaults. Smith, who began working at Newark in 2015, said he was “recently” transferred out for his own protection after he reported the assault against Degironimo to whistleblower hotlines. He also [said] that Degironimo had already reported the attack to his own supervisors, but instead of launching an internal investigation, management simply removed the table.

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


With New Digital Tools, Even Nonexperts Can Wage Cyberattacks
2017-05-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/hack-ransomware-scam-cyberattac...

A decade-old internet scourge called ransomware went mainstream on Friday when cybercriminals seized control of computers around the world, from the delivery giant FedEx in the United States to Britain’s public health system, universities in China and even Russia’s powerful Interior Ministry. Ransomware is nothing new. For years, there have been stories of individuals or companies horrified that they have been locked out of their computers and that the only way back in is to pay a ransom to someone, somewhere who has managed to take control. But computer criminals are discovering that ransomware is the most effective way to make money in the shortest amount of time. Friday’s attacks were a powerful escalation of earlier, much smaller episodes. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft servers that was first discovered by the National Security Agency and then leaked online. It allowed the ransomware to spread [to] more than 70,000 organizations. There is even now a concept of “ransomware as a service” - a play on the Silicon Valley jargon “software as a service,” which describes the delivery of software over the internet. Now anyone can visit a web page, generate a ransomware file with the click of a mouse, encrypt someone’s systems and demand a ransom to restore access to the files. If the victim pays, the ransomware provider takes a cut of the payment. Ransomware criminals also have customer service lines that victims can call to get help paying a ransom.

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


The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.
2017-05-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-labels-said-organic-but-t...

A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation. The cargo began as ordinary soybeans. They were fumigated with a pesticide [and] priced like ordinary soybeans. But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch - the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation - boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain. About 21 million pounds of the soybeans have already been distributed to customers. The multimillion-dollar metamorphosis of the soybeans, as well as two other similar grain shipments in the past year examined by The Post, demonstrate weaknesses in the way that the United States ensures that what is sold as “USDA Organic” is really organic. The three shipments, each involving millions of pounds of “organic” corn or soybeans, were large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities. All three were presented as organic, despite evidence to the contrary. USDA officials say that their system for guarding against fraud is robust. The system suffers from multiple weaknesses: Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections ... lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.

Note: Sign an online petition to stop an Oregon county from forcing a well-established organic farm to spray their gardens with Monsanto's poisonous Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


Inside the raid on a suspected pedophile's cybersex den
2017-05-12, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/child-cybersex-abuse-webcam-philippines-pedophile...

The suspected pedophile could see people banging on his front door. The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation smashed their way [in]. Children's underwear, toddler shoes, cameras, bondage cuffs, fetish ropes, meth pipes and stacks of hard drives and photo albums cluttered [David Timothy Deakin's] townhouse. In his computer were videos and images of young boys and girls engaged in sex acts. Deakin's arrest ... reveals one of the darkest corners of the internet, where pedophiles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia pay facilitators on the other side of the world to sexually abuse children, even babies, directing their moves through online livestreaming services. Webcam sex tourism is spreading rapidly. The FBI says ... that at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online. Almost every case stems from the Philippines, where good English speakers, increased internet connections and widespread international cash transfer systems combine with widespread poverty and easy access to vulnerable kids. There have been as many as three busts a week there this spring. The youngest victim ... was an infant, two months old. Most are under 12. Because it's a newer crime, legal systems grapple with how to prosecute. In the U.S., the buyers are typically charged with possessing, distributing or producing child pornography. In the Philippines, it's a human trafficking crime. Deakin's bust turned out to be one of the largest seizures of its kind in the Philippines.

Note: A recent University of Portsmouth study found that sites with paedophile material account for 83% of all "Dark Web" traffic. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


Tuskegee syphilis study descendants speak about tragedy, seek healing
2017-05-10, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tuskegee-syphilis-study-descendants-speak-about-t...

Decades later, it's hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, then President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. But it did not mark the end of the study's ugly legacy. Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, what's commonly known as the "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." In 1929, government doctors ... recruited 600 black men into a health program with the promise of free medical checks, free food, free transportation and burial insurance. Health workers told syphilitic fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles only that they had "bad blood." None of the men was asked to consent to take part in a medical study, [or] told that "bad blood" actually was a euphemism for syphilis. Instead, doctors purposely hid the study's purpose from the men, subjecting them ... to painful spinal taps and blood tests. Medical workers periodically provided men with pills and tonic that made them believe they were being treated, but they weren't. And doctors never provided them with penicillin after it became the standard treatment for syphilis in the mid-1940s.

Note: The "Tuskegee Syphilis Study" is one of many known cases of humans being used as guinea pigs by corrupt scientists.


Tiny houses approved for the City of Atlanta
2017-05-09, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (A leading newspaper of Atlanta, Georgia)
http://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/home/tiny-houses-approved-for-the-city-atlanta/...

Tiny houses are closer than ever to being a reality in Atlanta. Last week, the Atlanta City Council voted on and approved an amendment to city zoning laws allowing “accessory dwelling units.” Local advocacy group Tiny House Atlanta called it “a great step in the right direction.” The language in the amendment ... carves out space for accessory dwelling units of larger main structures. A tiny house counts as one of these secondary units if it is less than 750 square feet and has its own kitchen. The amendment also allows “accessory dwelling units without off-street parking on parcels without a curbcut or parcels without off-street parking,” making the affected areas more attractive to car-less Atlantans. While the change sets out possibilities for tiny houses that are satellites of existing homes, it does not allow for standalone tiny homes on their own lots. The new language specifically prohibits subdividing accessory units from the primary house. It also says nothing about tiny homes on wheels. Many tiny home owners make their homes into RVs, which subject them to a whole separate set of rules. Still, tiny house advocates said they are happy with the changes. “The sky’s the limit to what’s possible,” Atlanta city councilman Kwanza Hall, the bill’s sponsor, [said]. “It’s just up to us as a community to figure out what we want to do, what we envision in the future, and opening up as many possibilities as we can dream up.”

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


Life expectancy gap between rich and poor US regions is 'more than 20 years'
2017-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/may/08/life-expectancy-gap-rich-p...

Your average life expectancy now varies by more than 20 years depending on where you live in the United States, according to an in-depth study by the University of Washington. America’s “life expectancy gap” is also predicted to grow even wider in future, with 11.5% of US counties having experienced an increase in the risk of death for residents aged 25–45 over the period studied (1980-2014). No previous study has put the disparity at even close to 20 years. “This is way worse than any of us had assumed,” said [study author] Ali Mokdad. The researchers found that while residents of certain affluent counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancy at 87 years, people in several counties of North and South Dakota, typically those with Native American reservations, could expect to die far younger, at only 66. “Inequalities will only increase further if recent trends are allowed to continue uncontested,” the report states. If the figures are surprising, the factors cited in the study to explain the “large and increasing” geographic inequalities perhaps are not. The authors point the finger at differences in socioeconomic and race/ethnicity factors, the availability of – and access to – quality healthcare and insurance, and “preventable risk factors” such as smoking, drinking and physical inactivity. “You expect disparities in any country, but you don’t expect the disparities to be increasing in a country with our wealth and might,” Mokdad said.

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


Anti-protest bills would 'attack right to speak out'
2017-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/08/donald-trump-anti-protest-bills

More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a move that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”. The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest. The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild have said many of the bills are likely unconstitutional. The flurry of legislation has prompted UN experts to intervene, with two special rapporteurs from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – the UN body which works to promote and protect human rights – to complain to the US state department at the end of March. In a recent letter to the government, David Kaye and Maina Kiai, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), listed specific pieces of legislation which they said were “criminalizing peaceful protests”. Kaye and Kiai ... said the bills represent “a worrying trend that could result in a detrimental impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country”.

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


Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea
2017-05-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/09/full-tilt-giant-offshore-...

Dutch officials have opened what is being billed as one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, with 150 turbines spinning far out in the North Sea. Over the next 15 years the Gemini windpark ... will meet the energy needs of about 1.5 million people. At full tilt the windpark has a generating capacity of 600 megawatts and will help supply 785,000 Dutch households with renewable energy, according to the company. “We are now officially in the operational stage,” the company’s managing director Matthias Haag said, celebrating the completion of a project first conceived in 2010. The €2.8bn ($3bn) project is a collaboration between the Canadian independent renewable energy company Northland Power, wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord and waste processing company HVC. Gemini would contribute about 13% of the country’s total renewable energy supply and about 25% of its wind power. The Netherlands remains dependant on fossil fuels which still make up about 95% of its energy supply, according to a 2016 report from the ministry of economics affairs. The Dutch government has committed to ensuring 14% of its energy comes from renewable sources such as wind and solar power by 2020, and 16% by 2023, with the aim of being carbon neutral by 2050. Gemini “is seen as a stepping stone” in the Netherlands and has “shown that a very large project can be built on time, and in a very safe environment”, Haag said.

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


This Is the Fastest Growing Job in the U.S.
2017-05-08, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2017/05/08/solar-panels-fastest-growing-jobs-us/

As the solar industry continues to grow, so do its job opportunities. It's no surprise then that the fastest-growing job in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016 was for a solar photovoltaic installers or someone who assembles solar panels on roofs. The job pays about $42,500 a year. Overall, the U.S. added 211,000 jobs in April, MarketWatch reports. This is an overall increase in employment, but some states and industries performed better than others. The second fastest-growing field was for mathematics and computer jobs, two of the fields that fall under STEM. Out of all 50 states, Michigan performed the best in this field—boasting a 200% increase in computer and information research scientists between 2012 and 2016. Other industries also saw growth - namely personal care jobs and skincare specialist occupations. For example, in Utah, the number of personal care aids increased 313% to 6,780 jobs. But the salary isn't great: MarketWatch reports those positions only pay $21,890 per year. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the number of skincare specialist grew 187% to 890 positions. The average salary is $33,760.

Note: The above article does not mention that the solar power industry in the US now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.


Police arrest 870 suspected paedophiles and rescue hundreds of children after smashing international internet ring
2017-05-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/europol-fbi-joint-investigatio...

A global child sexual exploitation ring has been taken down by the FBI and Europol, leading to the arrest of hundreds of suspected paedophiles. Florida man Steven W Chase, 58, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for creating what is believed to have been “the world’s largest child pornography website” with more than 150,000 users. In total some 870 people were arrested or convicted worldwide, including 368 in Europe alone, and so far at least 259 sexually abused children have been identified or rescued from abusers outside the US. Chase created the website, called 'Playpen', in August 2014 on the Dark Web network Tor, where people can communicate and access material anonymously through "hidden service" websites. Special Agent Dan Alfin ... pointed out the initial difficulty in investigating the case. “Given the nature of how Tor hidden services work, there was not much we could do about it," he said. However, in December 2014, Chase accidently revealed Playpen’s IP address in Florida, prompting a foreign law enforcement agency to contact the FBI. A copy of the website was seized by US law enforcement; search warrants were issued for email accounts and eventually, said Mr Alfin, “everything led back to Steven Chase”. One month later the FBI, along with support from European and local law enforcement, launched Operation Pacifier to find Playpen’s thousands of members.

Note: A recent University of Portsmouth study found that sites with paedophile material represent just 2% of the estimated 45,000 hidden services websites online at any one time, but account for 83% of all "Dark Web" traffic. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.


The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
2017-05-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-r...

The story of Cambridge Analytica is one of the most profoundly unsettling of our time. SCL/Cambridge Analytica [is] effectively part of the ... defence establishment. This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics. It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. David Miller, a professor of sociology ... and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy.” David, [an] ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, [was] working at the firm when it introduced mass data-harvesting to its psychological warfare techniques. “It brought psychology, propaganda and technology together in this powerful new way,” David [said]. Facebook was the source of the psychological insights that enabled Cambridge Analytica to target individuals. The company ... bought consumer datasets – on everything from magazine subscriptions to airline travel – and uniquely it appended these with the psych data to voter files. “The goal is to capture every single aspect of every voter’s information environment,” said David. “And the personality data enabled Cambridge Analytica to craft individual messages.” Cambridge Analytica could target people high in neuroticism, for example, with images of immigrants “swamping” the country. Brexit came down to ... just over 1% of registered voters. It’s not a stretch to believe that ... the global 1% found a way to influence this crucial 1% of British voters.

Note: Another Guardian article recently exposed how billionaire Robert Mercer used new technology to build a corporate empire capable of swinging elections. The above article further details how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control.


The CIA has a long history of helping to kill leaders around the world
2017-05-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/05/cia-long-history-kill-leaders...

[The CIA] has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders, but was forced to cut back after a Senate investigation in the 1970s. Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies. But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has ... succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents. On Friday, [North Korea accused] the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind an alleged recent assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un. Such a claim cannot be dismissed as totally outlandish – given the long list of US involvement in coups and assassinations worldwide. The agency was forced to cut back on such killings after ... then president Gerald Ford signed in 1976 an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” In spite of this, the US never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings. A leaked document obtained by WikiLeaks and released earlier this year showed the CIA in October 2014 looking at hacking into car control systems, [potentially allowing] an agent to stage a car crash.

Note: Strong evidence suggests that courageous journalist Michael Hastings was killed when his car controls were hacked causing him to crash head on into a tree. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on verified or suspected assassinations from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon investigation: US hit mosque complex in Syria
2017-05-05, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/04/politics/syria-mosque-march-strike-us-investiga...

A US Central Command investigation found that a March US airstrike in northern Syria did in fact strike a building that was part of a "mosque complex." For days following the March 16 strike, the Pentagon adamantly rejected the notion that a mosque was hit and that there were civilian casualties - even as numerous social media reports showed images of bodies being taken out of the rubble. Instead, in the initial hours following the strike by US drones and aircraft, the Pentagon insisted that it hit only a building some 40 feet away from the mosque, where it said al Qaeda members were holding a meeting. Typically any religious structure would be on a so-called no-strike list, along with hospitals and schools. There are procedures to move structures off the no-strike list if it is clear they have lost their protected status because terrorists are using them and there are no civilians present. It is ... not clear if the building was listed as a religious site on a database that the mission planners were unaware of. One official said the investigation found that "religious use" was a primary function of the building at times. The day after the strike, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters: "We do not currently assess there were any civilian casualties."

Note: Record numbers of civilians have reportedly been killed by US-led strikes in recent months. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently misreported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


America’s Tap Water: Too Much Contamination, Not Enough Reporting, Study Finds
2017-05-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/tapwater-drinking-water-study.html

If you live in the United States, there is a nearly one-in-four chance your tap water is either unsafe to drink or has not been properly monitored for contaminants in accordance with federal law, a new study has found. In 2015, nearly 77 million Americans lived in places where the water systems were in some violation of safety regulations, including the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, according to the report released on Tuesday from the Natural Resources Defense Council. It’s not only that some tap water has high levels of lead, nitrates, arsenic or other pollutants, said Mae Wu, a senior attorney with the council’s health program. It is that too often, a lack of reporting means residents cannot be sure whether their drinking water is contaminated or not. Marc Edwards, a scientist at Virginia Tech ... played a major role in bringing the crisis to national attention. Mr. Edwards said he agreed with the resources defense council’s conclusion that the government has not done enough to enforce regulations on drinking water safety. “This has been tolerated so long, and it is so ingrained in the E.P.A. culture to look the other way,” he said. “They’re going to need outside pressure to act and enforce existing laws.” The council’s report found that there were around 80,000 reported violations of drinking water safety regulations in 2015. Of those, more than 12,000 were “health-based” violations, or cases that involved actual contamination problems. In addition, the N.R.D.C. said, “Nearly nine in 10 violations were subject to no formal action.”

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


Wild dolphins' immune systems are failing because of ocean pollution
2017-05-04, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/wild-dolphins-immune-systems-are-failing-because-oce...

Wild dolphins are struggling with high levels of mercury and industrial pollution in the oceans off the coasts of Florida and South Carolina. The pollution is putting their immune system on constant alert, which makes it less able to fight off bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites in the water, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. The industrial pollution was strongest in the oceans near Charleston, South Carolina in the US. Organic compounds released into the water accumulate in microorganisms – that are eaten by fish, which are in turn eaten by dolphins. The toxins become more concentrated in each step of the food chain. Large amounts of mercury were found in dolphins that live in the Indian River Lagoon. Previous research has shown that the Indian River Lagoon dolphins developed a fungal skin disease because of their suppressed immune systems and new viruses. Some of these are also potentially infectious to humans. By comparison, the dolphins kept in the Georgia Aquarium had fewer diseases and their immune systems were under a lot less stress. This is because the environment at the aquarium is more tightly controlled for water quality. Keeping dolphins in captivity comes with its own impact on the overall health of the mammals. Dolphins are highly intelligent and have complex social structures that can't be maintained in small tanks. As a result, dolphins in captivity live shorter lives than those in the wild.

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


Hog Farms Spray Pig Urine, Feces Into Air Around North Carolina's Black Communities
2017-05-03, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/hog-farms-spray-pig-urine-feces-air-around-north-carol...

Residents in North Carolina are fighting back against one of the state's most prominent industries: hog farming. But the legislation may not be on their side - a group of lawmakers in the state passed House Bill 467 last week, legislation that limits how much residents can collect in damages from hog farms. Hog farms in North Carolina dispose of pig feces and urine by spraying it, untreated, into the air where residents live. In response, nearly 500 of those residents ... from eastern North Carolina, brought a class action suit against Murphy-Brown, the state's largest producer of hogs. The lawsuit has now made its way to federal court. Residents have said the process of waste disposal has caused health problems. Much of the waste disposal affects low-income residents and black communities. "It can, I think, very correctly be called environmental racism or environmental injustice that people of color, low-income people bear the brunt of these practices," [University of North Carolina professor] Steve Wing ... said. "I shut my hog operation down, and I got out of it. And I ... just couldn't do another person that way, to make them smell that," Don Webb, a former pig factory farm owner, told Democracy Now. "You get stories like, 'I can't hang my clothes out.' Feces and urine odor comes by and attaches itself to your clothes." HB 467 ... was passed by both houses of the North Carolina Legislature. The bill would prevent people from recovering damages like those for healthcare bills and pain and suffering.

Note: In 2014, video footage of toxic cesspools around North Carolina farms exposed shockingly lax agricultural waste disposal standards. In response, the North Carolina Legislature passed a law to prevent whistle-blowers from exposing corporate wrongdoing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Upworthy’s Quest to Engineer Optimism for an Anxious Age
2017-05-01, Wired
https://www.wired.com/2017/05/upworthys-quest-engineer-optimism-anxious-age/

The world finds itself in an age saturated with anxiety - at least, that’s the sense created by the daily deluge of news portraying a grim present of economic hardship, global tensions, terrorism, and political upheaval. The five-year-old site Upworthy doesn’t want you to see the world that way. In March of 2012, Eli Pariser - one of the leaders of the activist group MoveOn - and Peter Koechley - also of MoveOn and an editor at The Onion - launched Upworthy with several million dollars of seed money and a surfeit of hope. It was and is a bold attempt at reframing what constitutes news. Fear and anger are the currency of the media realm. Upworthy seeks to upend that formula and focus instead not on what is going wrong but on what might go right. Upworthy ... insists that stories “can make the world a better place” and engage people in a way that makes them want to do something instead of tuning out. On the numbers, Upworthy has 11 million subscribers, 20 million unique visitors to its website, and more important, substantial community engagement through its main distribution platform, Facebook. For those of you who think Upworthy has faded, Facebook’s own research ... demonstrates that the site and its stories have some of the highest community engagement of any Facebook page, behind Fox News but ahead of CNN. The site’s audience is surprisingly diverse in terms of politics and geography. Its experiment seems to be more one of tone: positive encouragement rather than inflammatory antagonism.

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


Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic
2017-05-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-your-organic-milk-may-not...

The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big. The complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers. But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that “organic” food is really organic. The critical issue is grazing. Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season. The cows are supposed to be grass-fed, not confined to barns and feedlots. But during visits by The Washington Post to Aurora’s High Plains complex across eight days last year, signs of grazing were sparse, at best. During most Post visits the number of cows seen on pasture numbered only in the hundreds. The milk from Aurora also indicates that its cows may not graze as required by organic rules. Testing ... by Virginia Tech scientists shows that on a key indicator of grass-feeding, the Aurora milk matched conventional milk, not organic. The inspectors who visited Aurora’s High Plains dairy and certified it as “USDA Organic” ... conducted the annual audit well after grazing season, [and] would not have seen whether the cows were grazing as required, a breach of USDA inspection policy.

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.


Drug Prices in the U.S. Are Ridiculous
2017-04-28, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/science/why-drug-prices-in-the-us-are-ridic...

Public money and public universities boost Big Pharma’s profits, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford the drugs? Almost 1 in 2 people used a prescription drug in the past month, and more than 1 in 5 used three or more. As the population ages and deals with more chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and depression, the percentage of people needing prescription medicines is growing. But what really sets us apart is how much they cost. Medicines in the US cost 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world. 1 in 5 Americans - 35 million people - do not get their prescriptions filled because they don't have enough money. Big Pharma says high prices are necessary to invest in breakthrough research. But corporations don't actually do much of that, [and] have shifted money away from new-drug research to quick-profit minor variations on proven moneymakers. So who funds new-drug and breakthrough-drug research? Taxpayers. 84% of new-drug research is funded by the government. The public also subsidizes drug research through generous R&D tax credits. Using public research (plus charging high prices) gives corporations big profits. Drug companies' annual stock returns are twice the standard.

Note: A comprehensive infographic showing Big Pharma's preferential treatment by US regulators can be found at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the pharmaceutical industry.


Crowdfunding for medical expenses is rising — when it should be eradicated
2017-04-28, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-crowdfunding-medical-20...

Public appeals by families or individuals for help paying basic medical bills seem to be on the rise in the United States. Crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.com report that medical expenses rank as their largest single category of appeals; other sites such as HelpHopeLive have sprung up specifically for medical expense appeals. [This points] to a crisis in the American healthcare system in two ways. One involves the gaps and other problems with U.S. healthcare that make crowdfunding campaigns necessary. Lawmakers who support policies that drive people to expose their personal lives in order to obtain desperately needed care should be ashamed of themselves. The other crisis underscored by the rise of crowdfunding concerns the ethical issues raised by public appeals for medical care itself. Those are addressed in a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.. Crowdfunding for expenses that should be met by private insurers or government healthcare programs ... can make the delivery of healthcare fundamentally unfair. They can direct resources away from patients who need them the most toward those whose campaigns are merely “more vocal, photogenic, or emotionally appealing.”

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


Suit: Wells Fargo targeted ‘undocumented immigrants’ for accounts
2017-04-26, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Suit-Wells-Fargo-targeted-undocum...

Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents. In sworn declarations obtained by ... attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The alleged scheme ... raises fresh questions about whether bank employees merely deceived customers by opening accounts in their names - or further crossed a line. Under federal law, banks must verify the identities of customers. Given Wells Fargo’s well-documented rush to hit sales goals, experts say it’s quite possible that employees did not follow procedures. In any case, targeting immigrants to hit sales goals should have raised red flags. The documents were filed Wednesday as part of a shareholder lawsuit filed ... in San Francisco Superior Court against Wells Fargo’s top executives. Last year, the San Francisco banking giant admitted that thousands of employees created up to 2 million fraudulent accounts in the names of real consumers without their consent. Wells Fargo ultimately fired CEO John Stumpf and paid $185 million in fines.

Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Day You Changed The Economy
2017-04-26, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-day-you-changed-the-economy_us_5900cb...

Despite the urgings of all of the world’s great religions, “neoliberalism,” the economic narrative that now runs the world, has convinced us that “greed is good.” The sole goal of the economy and business, it says, is to generate financial wealth. Markets are perfect and all of us individualistically maximizing our own desires will somehow deliver a world that works. Except that it didn’t. Today eight men have as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion humans on earth. The middle class is sinking into poverty with mothers working two jobs to support their families, while proponents of austerity cut social services to give greater tax benefits to the richest one percent. The rich call themselves “job creators.” But they invest not in new companies, but in financial instruments that benefit the big banks. So in 2016 the bonuses paid to Wall St. bankers, if shared among minimum wage earners, would have doubled the minimum wage. Just the bonuses. The old narrative is based on ... assumptions that scientists now reject. Psychologists, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and others find that most people are not greedy, rugged individualists. We seek to meet our needs, but more, people seek goodness, connection, and caring. We desire to be rewarded for meaningful contributions with a decent living. We are not mostly motivated to acquire wealth. To thrive, businesses and society must pivot toward a new purpose: shared well-being on a healthy planet.

Note: The above article was written in support of the Regenerative Future Summit, which will take place in May 2017 in Boulder, Colorado. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.


The Placebo Effect Can Mend Your Broken Heart, Study Suggests
2017-04-26, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-get-over-a-breakup-according-to-sc...

A new study suggests the best way to get over a breakup is to fake it until you make it. Simply believing you’re doing something positive to get over your ex can influence brain regions associated with emotional regulation and lessen the pain you’re feeling. Remaining open to the possibility that what you’re doing could potentially make you feel better works like a placebo. [Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder] studied 40 young people who’d experienced an unwanted breakup in the past six months. The participants were asked to bring in two photos: one of their ex and one of a close friend. Inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the heartbroken parties were shown images of their exes and asked to reflect on the breakup. Then they saw the images of their friend (the control variable). They were also given a jolt of physical pain (a hot stimulus on their left forearm). As these stimuli were alternately repeated ... the fMRI machine tracked activity in the brain. Similar areas of the brain lit up during both emotional pain ... and physical pain - suggesting that the heartache you feel after a breakup is very real. The subjects were [then] given a nasal spray. Half were told the spray was a “powerful analgesic effective in reducing emotional pain,” while the rest were told it was merely a saline solution. [After experiencing] the same painful stimuli as before ... the placebo group felt less physical and emotional pain, [and] there was reduced activity in the areas of the brain associated with social rejection.

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


Texas makes it nearly impossible to obtain records in police abuse cases
2017-04-25, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/04/25/texas-makes-it-ne...

A couple in the town of Mesquite, [Texas] have spent the past several years trying to learn how and why their son died after being arrested by local police. [Kathy Dyer was told that her son] Graham had been out of his mind on LSD and had bitten one of the officers while they were taking him into custody, [and that] he’d seriously injured himself inside the police cruiser as they drove to the jail. After the funeral, his parents noticed items in the hospital records that didn’t match the police account the night he was arrested. So they asked police department for records. They were denied. Under state law, police agencies aren’t required to turn over records from investigations that don’t result in a conviction. Because Graham is dead, there would be no conviction. Graham’s parents did finally get ... videos [of the arrest]. They showed clear discrepancies between how her son died and how local police claim he died. He was Tasered repeatedly, including in the testicles, and put in a restraint chair. Even after Graham showed signs of distress, police waited more than two hours to call an ambulance. Before they had obtained the video, the Dyers had filed a complaint in federal court. It was quickly dismissed for being too vague. After the videos, a federal ... judge allowed the lawsuit to go forward. This problem isn’t limited to Texas. Law enforcement agencies know that federal courts require specificity in these types of lawsuits. So there’s a strong incentive to be as stingy with information as possible.

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


Marijuana may be a miracle treatment for children with autism
2017-04-25, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/25/marijuana-pot-treatment-...

When Noa Shulman came home from school, her mother, Yael, sat her down to eat, then spoon-fed her mashed sweet potatoes - mixed with cannabis oil. Noa is part of the first clinical trial in the world to test the benefits of medicinal marijuana for young people with autism, a potential breakthrough. There is anecdotal evidence that marijuana’s main non-psychoactive compound - cannabidiol or CBD - helps children in ways no other medication has. Now this first-of-its-kind scientific study is trying to determine if the link is real. Israel is ...one of just three countries with a government-sponsored medical cannabis program, along with Canada and the Netherlands. Conducting cannabis research is also less expensive here and easier under Israeli laws, particularly compared to the United States. Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders, affecting 1 in 68 children in the United States. Only two medications have been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the symptoms of autism. Both are antipsychotic drugs that are not always effective and carry serious side effects. Adi Aran, the pediatric neurologist leading the study, said nearly all the participants previously took antipsychotics and nearly half responded negatively. Anecdotal reports of autistic children who benefited from cannabis ... led Aran to pursue more scientific testing. After seeing positive results in 70 of his autistic patients in an observational study, Aran said, “OK we need to do a clinical trial."

Note: Dozens of studies have found evidence that CBD can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses. While more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug, the UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Diet Sodas May Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke, Study Finds
2017-04-24, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/diet-sodas-raise-risk-dementia-stro...

People who drink diet sodas daily have three times the risk of stroke and dementia compared to people who rarely drink them, researchers reported Thursday. It's yet another piece of evidence that diet drinks are not a healthy alternative to sugary drinks, and suggests that people need to limit both, doctors said. The researchers, led by Matthew Pase ... and colleagues, studied more than 4,000 people for their report, published in the journal Stroke. "We found that those people who were consuming diet soda on a daily basis were three times as likely to develop both stroke and dementia within the next 10 years as compared to those who did not consume diet soda," Pase told NBC News. "Our study provides further evidence to link consumption of artificially sweetened beverages with the risk of stroke," the team wrote. "To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and an increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer's disease." The team did not find the same risk for sugar-sweetened beverages. But they found other troubling signs. "Those who more frequently consume sugary beverages such as fruit juices and sodas had greater evidence of accelerated brain aging such as overall smaller brain volumes, they had poorer memory function and they also had smaller hippocampus, which is an area of the brain important for memory consolidation," Pase said.

Note: Previous research has linked diet soda with abdominal fat gain, as well as found a variety of serious health risks to be associated with the popular artificial sweetener aspartame. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Former child soldier wins prize for risking his life to protect Congo's wildlife
2017-04-24, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/23/africa/goldman-prize-rodrigue-katembo/

He has been beaten, threatened and imprisoned. But the former child soldier and winner of this year's Goldman Environmental Prize says he will not stop until those wanting to destroy the Democratic Republic of Congo's protected wildlife "are held responsible for their actions." "Even if I or others are not able to (make this happen)," says Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, "then the future generations will have this information and will do it." Katembo ... has been awarded the top environmental prize in recognition of the heroism he showed in preventing oil exploration inside Virunga - Africa's oldest national park. His dangerous undercover investigations exposed bribery and corruption among officials. The park is home to a quarter of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas, there are less than 900 left globally. Covering the size of a small country, Virunga is more than 3,000 square miles packed with volcanoes, lush forests and mountain glaciers that tear through the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. As a park ranger, Katembo has one of the most dangerous jobs in the region. Amidst political instability, armed poachers and rebels - who have been warring in the park for the past 20 years - outnumber park rangers ten to one. Protecting Virunga hasn't been easy. In 2013, Katembo was arrested and held for 17 days [after attempting] to stop construction of an oil communication device within the park. Local chiefs have [also] offered him bribes, "to help them get oil exploration going in the park," he says.

Note: A Netflix documentary called "Virunga" follows Katembo, colleagues André Bauma, Emmanuel du Merode and French investigative journalist Mélanie Gouby, as they battle oil exploration and armed conflict in the park.


People Are Seeing U.F.O.s Everywhere, and This Book Proves It
2017-04-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/science/ufo-sightings-book.html?_r=0

Why have sightings of unidentified flying objects around the nation more than tripled since 2001? Why did they spike in Texas in 2008, or in New Mexico in September 2015? These questions and many others emerge from the first comprehensive statistical summary of so-called close encounters: 121,036 eyewitness accounts, organized county by county in each state and the District of Columbia, from 2001 to 2015. The unlikely compendium, “U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference,” is the work of a couple in Syracuse, who crunched unruly data on U.F.O. reports collected by two volunteer organizations: the Mutual U.F.O. Network, or Mufon, and the National U.F.O. Reporting Center, or Nuforc. It is the reference “U.F.O. researchers dreamed of having,” Gordon G. Spear, emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at Sonoma State University ... writes in the foreword. Rebutting a common perception that U.F.O. sightings are on the wane, the Costas’ book shows that sightings have risen in waves, to 11,868 nationwide in 2015 from 3,479 in 2001. Only a small fraction of sightings are actually reported to Mufon or Nuforc. The Costas refrain from speculating on what exactly is happening. For the U.F.O. enthusiast, the pages of graphs and charts are a treasure trove of hard-to-find detail. The arduous breakdown by the nation’s more than 3,000 counties was notable for revealing clusters of sightings in ... places where U.F.O.s are almost never mentioned. But every county in the United States appears to have seen at least one U.F.O.

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.


Ontario to try giving poor a basic income
2017-04-24, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39675442

Canada's largest province is experimenting with giving poor people a basic income with no strings attached. The three-year study will test whether this basic income is better than current social welfare programmes. Randomly selected participants living in three communities in Ontario will be given at least C$16,989 ($12,600, Ł9,850) a year to live on. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said it is time to be "bold" in figuring out how to help society's most vulnerable. Ontario is not the only one trying this policy out. Finland recently launched its own trial in January, and the Scottish government has expressed interest. The idea is popular with both progressives and libertarians alike because it has the potential to reduce poverty and cut out red tape. Ontario's pilot project will roll out in Hamilton and Thunder Bay this spring, and Lindsay this fall. The program will cost C$50m a year, and will include 4,000 households from across those three communities. Participants must have lived in one of the areas for over a year, be between 18-64 and be living on a lower income. Single adults will be given a yearly income of C$16,989, while couples will earn C$24,027, minus 50% of any income earned from a job. By allowing people to keep part of their earnings, the government hopes people will be encouraged to work and not rely solely on assistance. "It's not an extravagant sum by any means," Wynne said, noting that many people who are struggling in the province are employed part-time and need additional assistance to make ends meet.

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


For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity
2017-04-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/world/europe/britain-burning-coal-electric...

Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity. Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the “pea souper” fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate. For many living in the mining towns up and down the country, it was not just the backbone of the economy but a way of life. But the industry has been in decline for some time. The last deep coal mine closed in December 2015, though open cast mining has continued. Reducing the world’s reliance on coal and increasing the use of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power have long been part of proposals to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. Now on a path to phase out coal-fired power generation altogether by 2025, Britain, also the home of the first steam engine, is currently closing coal plants and stepping up generation from cleaner natural gas and renewables, like wind and solar. Some countries have already left coal behind in power generation. In Switzerland, Belgium and Norway, “every day is a coal-free day,” Carlos Fernández Alvarez, a coal analyst at the International Energy Agency in Paris, pointed out. In the United States, where coal still accounts for about 30 percent of power generation, Vermont and Idaho are the only coal-free states, and California is close behind, he said.

Note: In the US, the solar power industry now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.


Scientists Observe Epigenetic Memories Being Passed Down For 14 Generations In Roundworms
2017-04-21, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/scientists-observe-epigenetic-memories-being-passed-do...

The DNA in our cells, which contains the genetic instructions that make us human, is passed on from parent to child along an unending line of generations. However, as recent experiments in mice have demonstrated, there is more to transgenerational inheritance than that. “Learned” experiences, which do not alter the underlying genetic material, can be passed on from one generation to the next - in mice, fruit flies, and possibly even humans. A new study ... has shown that such “epigenetic” memories can be passed down for 14 generations. This is the longest maintenance of transgenerational environmental memory observed in any animal to date. The researchers inserted a gene coding for fluorescent protein in [a species of] worms that, when activated, made them glow brightly under ultraviolet light. If the worms were kept at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the array of transgenes was less active ... but when they were exposed to a warmer temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), the activity of the transgenes was significantly increased. When these worms were moved back to the cooler temperature, their transgenes remained active - a sign that they were retaining the memory of their exposure to warmth. This high activity level was passed on for seven subsequent generations. Keeping worms at 25 degrees for five generations led to the transgene activity being maintained for at least 14 generations.

Note: Read more about the emerging science of epigenetics, which clarifies how environmental factors and lifestyle choices influence our genetic makeup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Diet sodas may be tied to stroke, dementia risk
2017-04-20, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/health/diet-sodas-stroke-dementia-study/index.html

Gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain, a new study suggests. Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which was published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. The researchers analyzed how many sugary beverages and artificially sweetened soft drinks each person in the two different age groups drank, at different time points, between 1991 and 2001. Then, they compared that with how many people suffered stroke or dementia over the next 10 years. Compared to never drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, those who drank one a day were almost three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels, the researchers found. They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Separate previous studies have shown an association between the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and adverse health effects, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and possibly even heart failure.

Note: Explore lots more about the risks and dangers of aspartame in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study
2017-04-20, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39641122

Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work, say scientists. The biggest study into the issue linked using two wheels with a halving of the risk of cancer and heart disease. The five-year study of 250,000 UK commuters also showed walking had some benefits over sitting on public transport or taking the car. The ... study compared people who had an "active" commute with those who were mostly stationary. Overall, 2,430 of those studied died, 3,748 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,110 had heart problems. But, during the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled the greater the health boon. Walking cut the odds of developing heart disease but the benefit was mostly for people walking more than six miles per week. "This is really clear evidence that people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, were at lower risk," Dr Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC News website. People who combined cycling and public transport in their commute also showed health benefits. Clare Hyde from Cancer Research UK said: "This study helps to highlight the potential benefits of building activity into your everyday life. "You don't need to join a gym or run the marathon. "Anything that gets you a bit hot and out of breath ... can help make a difference."

Note: This study was published in the British Medical Journal. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Forget the Mother of All Bombs — fear the Mother of All Algorithms
2017-04-19, San Diego Union-Tribune (San Diego's leading newspaper)
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-autonomous-weapons-...

The Mother of All Bombs made news last week after the U.S. military dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb at a site in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. This massive ... explosive device may seem a high-tech marvel. But the technology is old news, based on ... World War II-era theories. Yet there’s plenty of new news on the military weapons front. The military’s new toys are often fantastically costly. Yet in some categories, technological advances create opportunities for cheap but powerful military tools ... starting with weaponized drones. The Defense Department is designing robotic fighter jets that would fly into combat alongside manned aircraft. It has tested missiles that can decide what to attack, and it has built ships that can hunt for enemy submarines ... without any help from humans. The dilemma posed by artificial intelligence-driven autonomous weapons - which some scientists liken to the “third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms” - is that to take fullest advantage of such weapons, the logical move would be to leave humans entirely out of lethal decision-making, allowing for quicker responses to threats. But if future presidents and Pentagons trusted algorithms to make such decisions, conflicts between two nations relying on such technology could rapidly escalate - to possibly apocalyptic levels - without human involvement. More than 20,000 AI researchers, scientists and [others have signed] a ...petition endorsing a ban on offensive autonomous weapons.

Note: In 2013, the United Nations investigated the rise of lethal autonomous robots, and reported that this technology endangers human rights and should not be developed further without international oversight. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Pharmaceutical giant 'plotted to destroy cancer drugs to drive prices up 4,000%'
2017-04-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/drug-giant-aspen-plot-destroy-cancer...

Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes of cancer drugs. After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline, [Aspen Pharmacare] tried to sell the medicines ... for up to 40 times their previous price. When bargaining over drug prices in Spain, the pharmaceutical giant is said to have threatened to stop selling the cancer treatments unless the health minister agreed to price rises of up to 4,000 per cent. Now another leaked email appears to reveal that staff at Aspen discussed destroying their supplies of the drug in the row. The price increases were made possible by a loophole that allows drug companies to change the price of medicines if they are no longer branded with the same name. The loophole is designed to make drugs cheaper once their patents have expired – but if drug companies have no competition, they are free to rise prices as well. A ruling by the Italian competition watchdog found Aspen had taken an “aggressive” approach to negotiations in the country. The company said it would stop supplying Italy with the drugs in October 2013 if authorities did not agree to price rises of up to 2,100 per cent in three months.

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


Aircraft Carrier Wasn’t Sailing to Deter North Korea, as U.S. Suggested
2017-04-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/world/asia/aircraft-carrier-north-korea-ca...

Just over a week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy ... 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events ... which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea. By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. In South Korea ... fears of a full-blown war erupted. The government rushed to reassure the public that the Carl Vinson was coming only to deter North Korean provocations. After a week of war drums, fueled by the reports of the oncoming armada, tensions subsided when the weekend passed with only a military parade in Pyongyang and a failed missile test, [while] the Carl Vinson ... was thousands of miles from where most of the world thought it was.

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


MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
2017-04-18, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-weapons-attack-syr...

A leading weapons academic has claimed that the Khan Sheikhoun nerve agent attack in Syria was staged. Theodore Postol, a [former scientific advisor at the Department of Defense (DoD)], issued a series of three reports in response to the White House's finding that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad perpetrated the attack on 4 April. Postol said: "I have reviewed the [White House's] document carefully, and [it] does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. "In fact, a main piece of evidence that is cited in the document point to an attack that was executed by individuals on the ground, not from an aircraft, on the morning of 4 April. "My own assessment is that the source [of the sarin release] was very likely tampered with or staged, so no serious conclusion could be made from the photographs cited by the White House." The image Postol refers to is that of a crater containing a shell inside, which is said to have contained the sarin gas. His analysis of the shell suggests that it could not have been dropped from an airplane as the damage of the casing is inconsistent from an aerial explosion. Instead, Postol said it was more likely that an explosive charge was laid upon the shell containing sarin, before being detonated. The implication of Postol's analysis is that [the attack] was carried out by anti-government insurgents as Khan Sheikhoun is in militant-controlled territory of Syria.

Note: See an excellent list of 10 points with strong evidence Assad was not behind the chemical attacks the media has pinned on him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Why Is Diet Soda So Bad For Your Brain?
2017-04-17, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2017/04/27/why-is-diet-soda-so-bad-...

A study in the journal Stroke showed a correlation between drinking diet soda and both stroke and dementia: people who drank at least one diet soda a day were three times as likely to have a stroke or develop dementia as those who avoided the beverages. Previous research had already uncovered a possible link with higher stroke risk. The findings in this study add some support to those results. The link with dementia, however, is new, and at minimum is enough cause for concern that it's worth studying further. Why might diet sodas contribute to these risks? Diet sodas are designed to trick the brain into thinking it’s getting an extra dose of glucose (the brain’s fuel), but eventually the trick is on us because the brain adapts to not receiving the added glucose by overcompensating in other ways (leading to a variety of effects still under investigation). Diet sodas could imbalance the bacterial jungle in our guts - the microbiome - causing unpredictable results. Since there’s a bacterial superhighway from gut to brain, which we know interacts with key neurotransmitters, this theory may eventually tell us more of a much bigger brain story. This study didn’t narrow down the exact types of artificial sweeteners that were consumed, so it’s an open question how one may have affected the brain differently than another. In the meantime, curtailing how much of any artificial sweetener you ingest, along with added sugar, is a reasonable position to take.

Note: Artificial sweeteners have also been connected with blood sugar level spikes, obesity, and diabetes. There is undeniable evidence that aspartame is toxic to the human body. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food industry corruption and health.


Too Clean for Our Children’s Good?
2017-04-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/well/family/too-clean-for-our-childrens-go...

Many parents, quite reasonably, worry about germs and dirt finding their way into a child’s mouth. But many have also heard in recent years of the “hygiene hypothesis,” which holds that some exposure to germs and microorganisms in early childhood is actually good for us because it helps develop the immune system. Jack Gilbert, the director of the Microbiome Center and a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago ... was one of the authors of a well-known 2016 study ... which compared the immune profiles of Amish children, growing up on small single-family farms, and Hutterite children, who are similar genetically but grow up on large, industrialized farms. The Amish, living in an environment ... full of barnyard dust, had strikingly low rates of asthma. Since understanding that microbes cause disease, human beings have tried as hard as possible to wall off their bodies from the microbial world of bacteria, viruses and fungi. A study published in 2016 ... profiled the microbial development of a group of babies in the United States, examining the ways in which their bacterial populations were affected by mode of birth, by formula feeding versus breast-feeding, and by antibiotic exposure. What we have learned, Dr. Gilbert said, is that early life exposure to microbes can shape not only the immune system, affecting a child’s likelihood of developing autoimmune conditions ... but also the endocrine system, and even the child’s neurodevelopment.

Note: Dr. Gilbert is a co-author of a new book on the topic called “Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System.” A 2013 New York Times article describes how waging an indiscriminate war on germs can lead to poor health outcomes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Big Business Pushes Coal-Friendly Kentucky To Embrace Renewables
2017-04-17, NPR
http://www.npr.org/2017/04/17/523763826/big-business-pushes-coal-friendly-ken...

Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal. A few years ago, Toyota decided that by 2050 all of its operations, all around the world, should be zero-carbon. It's part of a larger business shift. In Kentucky, General Motors, Ford, Walmart, L'Oreal and others also have big goals to reduce emissions. "There's not enough renewable energy being manufactured right now for all of us to do what we say we want to do," Butt says. "The future is renewables and the large corporations that want renewables," says Jim Gardner, who used to regulate power companies as a member of Kentucky's Public Service Commission. Two years ago, Gardner was struck by an encounter with a local man who worked remotely for Facebook. He told Gardner that big corporations were actually deciding where to expand based on where they could get renewable energy. "He made it seem like there was ... a list with a lot of states with big X's marked in," says Gardner, "so that Facebook and others were not looking because [some states] were not going to be open to renewables." The Public Service Commission worried the state was missing out. It quietly issued an official statement — "a clear signal to people outside of the state," says Gardner - that if a big customer wanted renewable energy, Kentucky's utilities could cut a special deal to provide it.

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


Assad Says Videos of Dead Children in Syria Chemical Attack Were Faked
2017-04-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/world/middleeast/assad-syria-video-faked.h...

Vilified by accusations of using a chemical bomb, Syria’s president intensified his counterpropaganda campaign on Thursday, suggesting that child actors had staged death scenes to malign him and that American warplanes had bombed a terrorist warehouse full of poison gases, killing hundreds of people. In his first interview since an April 4 attack on the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed over 80 people, sickened hundreds and outraged the world, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria not only repeated the government’s denials of responsibility but contended without evidence that the episode had been fabricated as a pretext for an American retaliatory missile strike. “We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun,” Mr. Assad told Agence France-Presse in the television interview from Damascus. Medical examiners in Turkey, where many of the Khan Sheikhoun victims were taken, have said that autopsies showed they had been attacked with sarin, a lethal nerve agent and a banned chemical weapon. The interview with Mr. Assad was broadcast as the Syrian government’s news agency asserted without evidence that American warplanes had bombed what it called a chemical weapons cache possessed by Islamic State militants in Syria on Wednesday, leaving hundreds dead, including “a large number of civilians, due to suffocation caused by the inhalation of toxic materials.”

Note: Isn't it strange the press blamed the April 4th chemical attacks on Assad, but no one bothered to ask him at the time and report if he claimed responsibility? Only nine days later did the above article come out reporting that he denied being behind them. And as reported on CNN, Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a "disgrace" for questioning who was behind the chemical attack. Could the war mongers have so wanted to blame this on Assad that they purposely waited over a week to report this denial?


What We Know About the CIA’s Midcentury Mind-Control Project
2017-04-13, Smithsonian Magazine
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-we-know-about-cias-midcentury-m...

In 1953, the then-Director of Central Intelligence officially approved project MKUltra. Originally intended to make sure the United States government kept up with presumed Soviet advances in mind-control technology ... MKUltra has gone down in history as a significant example of government abuse of human rights. The intent of the project was to study “the use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior,” according to ... official testimony. Under MKUltra, the CIA gave itself the authority to [experiment on] unwitting test subjects, like drug-addicted prisoners, marginalized sex workers and terminal cancer patients. “The covert testing programs resulted in massive abridgements of the rights of American citizens, sometimes with tragic consequences,” concluded a Senate hearing in 1975-76. MKUltra wasn’t one project, as the US Supreme Court wrote in a 1985 decision. It was 162 different secret projects that were indirectly financed by the CIA, but were “contracted out to various universities ... and similar institutions.” In all, at least 80 institutions and 185 researchers participated, but many didn’t know they were dealing with the CIA. Many of MKUltra’s records were destroyed. But 8,000 pages of records - mostly financial documents that were mistakenly not destroyed in 1973 - were found in 1977. Nobody ever answered for MKUltra. Two lawsuits related to the program reached the Supreme Court, [writes Melissa Blevins for Today I Found Out], “but both protected the government over citizen’s rights.”

Note: Unfortunately, MK-ULTRA is far from the only program to have used humans as guinea pigs in attempts to create more powerful mind control technologies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


Sexual Abuse at Choate Went On for Decades, School Acknowledges
2017-04-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/nyregion/sexual-abuse-choate-connecticut-s...

Choate Rosemary Hall, the elite Connecticut boarding school, said on Thursday that at least 12 former teachers had sexually molested - and, in at least one case, raped - students in a pattern of abuse dating to the 1960s. A report prepared by an investigator for the board of trustees [said that] the parents of a Choate student complained to the school in the early 1980s after their daughter contracted herpes from an English teacher. And in another case, the report describes a student’s rape on a school trip to Costa Rica. None of the teachers’ actions were reported to the police. Choate ... is the latest in a string of prestigious private academies that have faced accusations of sexual abuse by faculty members, including St. George’s School, in Rhode Island, and Horace Mann and Poly Prep in New York City. In a letter to members of the school community that accompanied the report, Michael J. Carr, the chairman of the board of trustees, and Alex D. Curtis, the headmaster, apologized and thanked the victims who came forward. The report names 12 former faculty members who it says abused students, both male and female. In some cases, faculty members had sexual relationships with students for months. For years, the school kept allegations of sexual misconduct from getting out, according to the report. “Sexual misconduct matters were handled internally and quietly,” it said. “Faculty was ... was cautioned to say nothing about the situation if asked.”

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


Eyes of the highways: Raising a 'trucker army' for trafficking fight
2017-04-12, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/12/world/truckers-human-trafficking-freedom-project/

There was a time when truck driver Kevin Kimmel knew little about the scourge of human trafficking. That all changed when he pulled into a gas station [and] a "kind of unusual" family recreational vehicle parked nearby caught his eye. Kimmel ... saw what he thought was a "minor female" appear from behind [a] curtain before abruptly disappearing. He immediately [called] the local sheriff. Police cars were soon on the scene. He later saw on the news that the woman he spotted was a 20-year-old sex trafficking victim. She had been lured away from her home in Iowa, held against her will and subjected to ... forced prostitution. Yet without the concern or quick thinking of Kimmel, she may never have been found. Truckers ... are increasingly seen as operating on the front line in the fight against human trafficking. Kimmel, who still drives a truck and speaks about his experiences at anti-trafficking events around the country, says that truckers tend to spend a lot of time in the places that victims pass through given the transient nature of their job. "[Traffickers] are constantly moving these people," he explains. "But when you're moving them, then you come into my world. If we know the signs and are vigilant then we can make a big piece of this problem go away." This is a point echoed by Kendis Paris of anti-trafficking charity Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). Her organization seeks to educate truckers about what to look out for, how to report suspected incidences of trafficking and why it is important to do so.

Note: Learn about the inspiring Truckers Against Trafficking movement and watch the excellent video there.


UN Child Sex Ring Left Victims but No Arrests
2017-04-12, New York Times/Associated Press
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/04/12/world/americas/ap-cb-un-peacekeep...

An Associated Press investigation of U.N. missions during the past 12 years found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel around the world. More than 300 of the allegations involved children. Only a fraction of the alleged perpetrators served jail time. In Haiti, at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers exploited nine children in a sex ring from 2004 to 2007, according to an internal U.N.