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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing media articles from the major media. 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 key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Stop the reckless saber rattling on Iran
2019-05-21, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Stop-the-rec...

As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to avoid getting the U.S. entangled in more wars. As president, Trump has been playing with fire, first with North Korea and now with Iran. For a leader supposedly averse to military confrontation, Trump’s initial mistake with Iran was pulling out of a 2015 deal in which the nation agreed to significantly scale back its nuclear program and submit to inspections in return for a lifting of sanctions. Then Trump last year brought on the the hawkish interventionist John Bolton as his national security adviser. The Bolton influence seems apparent in the administration’s provocative response to still-classified intelligence that the Iranians were positioning to attack U.S. interests in the region. The U.S. show of force included the assignment of the Navy’s Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf, escalating ... tensions. Americans have seen all too tragically how easily brinkmanship can devolve into war. Alleged attacks on two Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin led to the ... congressional resolutions in 1964 that led this nation into full-scale involvement in the Vietnam War. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was justified, in part, by what proved to be false claims that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction. Those miscalculations echo loudly when Americans hear the president or Iran hawks such as Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suggest that war with Iran would be justified by an attack on the U.S. or its allies.

Note: Obama also promised to get the US out of wars in his campaign only to radically change his tune after being elected. The military-industrial complex is incredibly powerful and somehow manages to get every president to support their agenda. To understand how this happens, read what a top US general had to say in this eye-opening essay. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


The U.S. put nuclear waste under a dome on a Pacific island. Now it’s cracking open.
2019-05-20, Washington Post
https://beta.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/05/20/us-put-nuclear-waste-under-...

At 6:45 a.m. on March 1, 1954, the blue sky stretching over the central Pacific Ocean was split open by an enormous red flash. Within seconds, a mushroom cloud towered 4˝ miles high over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Scientists had underestimated the size of what became known as the “Castle Bravo” test, resulting in an explosion that was 2˝ times larger than expected. Radioactive ash dropped more than 7,000 square miles from the bomb site, caking the nearby inhabited islands. The 1954 explosion was part of nuclear tests conducted [by] the American military. From 1946 to 1958, 67 U.S. nuclear tests pulverized the tranquil reefs and islands of the central Pacific. In 1980, a massive concrete dome - 18 inches thick and shaped like a flying saucer - was placed over the fallout debris, sealing off the material on Runit [Island]. But the $218 million project was only supposed to be temporary. Cracks have reportedly started to appear in the dome. Part of the threat is that the crater was never properly lined, meaning that rising seawater could breach the structural integrity. “The bottom of the dome is just what was left behind by the nuclear weapons explosion,” Michael Gerrard, the chair of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, told the ABC. “It’s permeable soil. There was no effort to line it. And therefore, the seawater is inside the dome.” Radioactive material may have already begun to leak from the dome. The Marshallese government, however, does not have the money to shore up the structure.

Note: Reports of the effects of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were systematically suppressed while this nuclear testing occurred. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


I oversaw the U.S. nuclear power industry. Now I think it should be banned.
2019-05-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-oversaw-the-us-nuclear-power-industr...

Working on nuclear issues on Capitol Hill in 1999 as an aide to Democratic lawmakers, the risks from human-caused global warming seemed to outweigh the dangers of nuclear power. By 2005 ... I was serving on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where I saw that nuclear power ... was a powerful business as well as an impressive feat of science. In 2009, President Barack Obama named me the agency’s chairman. Two years into my term, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed four nuclear reactors in Japan. I spent months reassuring the American public that nuclear energy, and the U.S. nuclear industry in particular, was safe. But by then, I was starting to doubt those claims myself. I now believe that nuclear power’s benefits are no longer enough to risk the welfare of people living near these plants. The current and potential costs - in lives and dollars - are just too high. For years, my concerns about nuclear energy’s cost and safety were always tempered by a growing fear of climate catastrophe. But Fukushima provided a good test of just how important nuclear power was to slowing climate change: After the accident, all nuclear reactors in Japan were shuttered indefinitely, eliminating production of almost all of the country’s carbon-free electricity and about 30 percent of its total electricity production. Fewer than 10 of Japan’s 50 reactors have resumed operations, yet the country’s carbon emissions have dropped below their levels before the accident. How? Energy efficiency and solar power.

Note: The above was written by Gregory Jazcko, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of nuclear power.


Banks have been ripping off Americans for too long.
2019-05-17, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/17/perspectives/bernie-sanders-loan-shark-prevent...

The Federal Reserve recently reported that about half of Americans have virtually no wealth at all, with four in 10 unable to afford a $400 emergency expense. That means that if their car breaks down or their child gets sick, they have to charge those expenses to a credit card. And when they do that, they get ripped off — big time. Despite the fact that banks can borrow money from the Fed at less than 2.5%, the median credit card interest rate ... is now over 21%. Last year, Wall Street banks made $113 billion in credit card interest alone, up by nearly 50% in just five years. In other words, while working class Americans pay outrageously high interest rates, Wall Street banks get rich. And if you live in a low-income community without a bank or cannot get a credit card, what do you do when you need to borrow money? You may have to turn to a predatory payday lender where the average interest rate on an annual basis is a jaw-dropping 391%. When banks and payday lenders charge these unconscionably high interest rates, they are not engaged in the business of making credit available. They are involved in extortion. We need a national usury law that caps interest rates ... at 15%. And that's exactly what the legislation I introduced with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would do. Under our Loan Shark Prevention Act, we would make sure that no bank or store in America could charge an interest rate higher than 15%. 88% of Americans support a cap on credit card interest rates.

Note: The above was written by Senator Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and income inequality.


Activists arrested in Venezuelan embassy in Washington after a monthlong occupation
2019-05-16, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/16/codepink-activists-ar...

Tensions have been mounting at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C., where liberal activists from the group CODEPINK have occupied the building for the past month. On Thursday morning, things finally came to a head when law enforcement personnel entered the embassy to arrest and remove the activists. In a press release, CODEPINK said that their activists were charged with "interference with certain protective functions." Activists have been occupying the embassy since April 10. The four-story building has been vacant since the beginning of this year, when President Donald Trump recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, instead of the current Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. CODEPINK denounced the arrests and slammed the Guaido government. “This struggle is far from over. We will continue to fight to stop this embassy from being handed over by the Guaidó supporters,” said CODEPINK Codirector Medea Benjamin. The activists believe that giving the Guaido government control over the embassy could endanger the American Embassy in Venezuela. The State Department withdrew all of its remaining personnel from Venezuela in March. On April 30, Guaido led an effort to oust Maduro, but the uprising failed after the country’s military sided with Maduro instead of the opposition.

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


Reef restored: How Belize saved its beloved coral
2019-05-15, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2019/0515/Reef-restored-How-Belize-save...

As the clock ticks for the world’s coral reefs, Belize offers a compelling example both of how a grassroots environmental movement can spur governments to enact tougher environmental laws and regulations and how, when properly applied, restorative processes can help coral recover from even the most severe damage. In Belize, reefs were being rapidly degraded by both changing environmental factors and human development. The devastation that Ms. Carne witnessed sparked an idea. What if she could help the reef recover by reseeding and replanting coral beds the same way landscapers replenish flower beds? She eventually founded Fragments of Hope to ... develop and maintain coral nurseries. These nurseries are in situ marine laboratories containing submerged grids of rebar (called tables) as well as rope lines that foster young coral until they are big and healthy enough to be transplanted onto coral reefs in need of restoration or replenishment. By 2012 environmental organizations had helped mount a public referendum in which 96% of voters supported the restoration and protection of reef systems. The government [developed] a plan to tighten regulations, preserve mangrove habitats, and enact more oversight of reef systems. In 2015 Belize’s government began to implement a long-term conservation plan, and in 2017 the government took the step, virtually unprecedented around the world, of putting a moratorium on all oil exploration.

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


‘The Redemption Project With Van Jones’ will make you cry — and that’s the point
2019-05-10, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/movies-tv/the-redemption-project-with-van-jo...

Jason Cohen has had a lot of practice trying to be as unobtrusive and emotionally impervious as possible during sensitive conversations and events in strangers’ lives. “I’d be lying if I told you that we weren’t huddled behind the monitors with tears in our eyes during this project,” Cohen, 47, said on a recent morning at his office in Berkeley’s Saul Zaentz Media Center. Cohen was discussing his gripping new CNN limited series, “The Redemption Project with Van Jones.” Filmed over the last 18 months in towns and prisons in California and four other states, the [show takes] viewers inside the powerful, yet little understood, restorative justice process. Each week, victims of a life-altering crime (or their surviving family members) are connected in person with their offender for a bracingly honest conversation, in the hope of taking steps toward healing on both sides. “There was a box of Kleenex at our video village where we watch, and Van had one as well,” Cohen said. He’s been friends with Jones - the superstar CNN commentator, former Obama adviser and criminal-justice-reform advocate - for almost 20 years. Jones has spent 25 years working in criminal justice and is well versed in the ways restorative justice techniques promote real accountability. Jones says what’s surprised him most working on “Redemption Project” is “how simple the questions asked by survivors are. We spend $80 billion a year on the incarceration industry and sometimes ... our system still hasn’t given people basic answers. There’s still so much healing to do.

Note: Don't miss this most profound series, which shows what true rehabilitation can look like. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A gift from a stranger tucked into a book sets off a chain of random acts of kindness
2019-05-09, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/09/us/iyw-money-falls-from-self-help-book-and-a-k...

Ashley Jost and her friends had just made a pledge to read more books. The 27-year-old bought the book, "Girl, Stop Apologizing," and began reading it when she got home. There was a surprise waiting for her inside. Five dollars fell out on the floor. She knew the cash wasn't hers because she doesn't carry any, she said. When the college administrator started thumbing through the pages, she found a neon pink Post-it note stuck inside with a handwritten message. The note read: "I was having a tough day. I thought maybe I could brighten someone else's with this little surprise. Go buy a coffee, a donut or a face mask. Practice some self-care today. Remember that you are loved. You are amazing. You are strong. Love, Lisa." Jost was deeply moved. She felt obligated to share the note. So she took a picture and posted it on her Twitter account. "It sort of caught fire," she said. A few of her friends shared it - and the local paper picked it up. Even the book's author, Rachel Hollis, encouraged her followers to pay it forward in their own ways. Jost's tweet has been liked more than 3,000 times and shared around the world after the BBC got wind of the story. People are pledging their own random acts of kindness -- including her. Once a day for a week, Jost hid surprise love notes and "lots of Starbucks gift cards" totaling five dollars a day in coffee shops, restaurants and libraries. Jost says she plans to do at least one kind thing every week from now on.

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


Internal documents show 3M hid PFAS dangers for decades
2019-05-09, Detroit Free Press (Part of the USA Today network)
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/05/09/3-m-lawsuit-pfas-w...

A 3M environmental specialist, in a scathing resignation letter, accused company officials of being "unethical" and more "concerned with markets, legal defensibility and image over environmental safety" when it came to PFAS, the emerging contaminant causing a potential crisis throughout Michigan and the country. [The] explosive resignation letter is just one of a large cache of internal 3M memos and documents obtained by the Free Press through public records law from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Then-Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson obtained the internal documents from the Minnesota-based company after suing 3M in 2010 over its environmental contamination in the state. The company settled the suit last year for $850 million. The nonstick compounds were used for decades ... in aqueous firefighting foam, industrial processes and a host of popular consumer products: Teflon nonstick pots and pans, ScotchGard stain protectants ... Gore-Tex water-resistant shoes and clothing, and more. But the same qualities that made PFAS compounds so useful also makes them almost indestructible in the environment, giving them the ominous nickname "the forever chemicals." PFAS can now be found in the blood of nearly 99% of Americans. It has even been found in polar bears in the Arctic Circle. Some 46 sites in Michigan are known to have groundwater with PFAS levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime health advisory guideline

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


The ‘holy grail’ of plastic? Scientists create material that can be recycled over and over again
2019-05-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-berkeley-holy-grail-of-...

The “holy grail” of plastic – a material that can be repeatedly recycled without any loss of quality – has been created by scientists. Placed in an acid bath, it can be fully broken down into its component parts. Like lego, these monomers can then be reassembled into different shapes, colours and textures, according to the scientists at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who created it. Currently, less than a third of recyclable plastic is re-purposed to create new materials, leaving the majority of it to end up in landfill or the ocean. The new material called poly (diketoenamine) or PDK can, unlike normal plastics, have its monomers separated by dunking the material in a highly acidic solution. The acid breaks the bonds between monomers and separates them from additives that give the plastic its distinctive look and feel. These monomers can be recovered for reuse for as long as possible, or “upcycled” to make another product. “We’re interested in the chemistry that redirects plastic lifecycles from linear to circular. We see an opportunity to make a difference for where there are no recycling options,” said Brett Helms, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. Dr Helms added: “With PDKs, the immutable bonds of conventional plastics are replaced with reversible bonds that allow the plastic to be recycled more effectively.” The research team believe their recyclable plastic could be an alternative to non-recyclable plastics in use today.

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


The White House revoked my press pass. It’s not just me — it’s curtailing access for all journalists.
2019-05-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-white-house-has-revoked-my-press-...

For the past 21 years, I have had the high privilege of holding a White House press pass. But no more. The White House eliminated most briefings and severely restricted access to official events. And this week came the coup de grace: After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump’s press office had revoked my White House credential. I’m not the only one. I was part of a mass purge of “hard pass” holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps, including all seven of The Post’s White House correspondents. The Post requested exceptions for its seven White House reporters and for me. The White House press office granted exceptions to the other seven, but not to me. I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic. The White House is drastically curtailing access for all journalists. Briefings have been abolished in favor of unscheduled “gaggles” ... in the White House driveway. The Pentagon and State Department have done similarly. The White House has also restricted access by allowing only one journalist from a news organization at most events, and by admitting journalists to events only if they register days in advance. This has sharply reduced journalists’ attendance at the White House. White House officials offered me and others it disqualified a lesser credential called a six-month pass. They say it will grant equivalent access, but for various technical reasons, that isn’t true.

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


We Might Finally Be Able to Safely Drink Salt Water
2019-05-08, Popular Mechanics
https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a27406103/desalination-wa...

Being able to drink the waters of the ocean could solve countless problems across the globe. The only problem? Desalination has a dark side known as brine, an environmentally harmful byproduct. A new approach from Columbia University, however, could radically change the limits of desalination. They call it Temperature Swing Solvent Extraction (TSSE). TSSE can desalinate extremely salty brine up to seven times as salty as the ocean. For comparison, the current methods can only handle brine twice as salty. The TSSE solvent isn't dependent on the evaporation of water, meaning it doesn't need high temperatures to work. It can be activated by low-grade heat (less than 70 degrees celsius) that is easy to attain, sometimes to the point of it being natural. In a study, TSSE removed up to 98.4 percent of the salt in brine. “We think TSSE will be transformational for the water industry. It can displace the prevailing practice of costly distillation for desalination of high-salinity brines and tackle higher salinities that RO cannot handle,” [said Ngai Yin Yip, assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia]. “This will radically improve the sustainability in the treatment of produced water, inland desalination concentrate, landfill leachate, and other hypersaline streams of emerging importance. We can eliminate the pollution problems from these brines and create cleaner, more useable water for our planet.”

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


The EPA is meant to protect us. The Monsanto trials suggest it isn't doing that
2019-05-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/07/epa-monsanto-round-up-t...

Ever since Monsanto introduced its line of Roundup weedkillers to the world in 1974, the products have been touted by the company and regulators as extremely safe. But the emergence of long-held corporate secrets in three public trials has revealed a covert campaign to cover-up the pesticide’s risks and raised troubling questions about lax oversight of all pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies. Two recently concluded Roundup product liability trials in California have resulted in large damage awards against Monsanto, after juries found the company’s herbicides contributed to cancer and that it failed to warn of the risks. Monsanto never conducted epidemiology studies for Roundup and its other formulations made with the active ingredient glyphosate, to see if the products could lead to cancer in people who used them. At the same time ... the company was spending millions of dollars on secretive PR campaigns – including $17m budgeted in a single year – to finance ghostwritten studies and op-eds aimed at discrediting independent scientists whose work found dangers with Monsanto’s herbicides. When the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry sought to evaluate glyphosate toxicity in 2015, Monsanto ... engaged the assistance of EPA officials to delay that review. The efforts delayed the release of the public draft of the review ... until earlier this month. As Monsanto had feared, the agency’s review found links between cancer and glyphosate.

Note: Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


America’s Defense Budget Is Bigger Than You Think
2019-05-07, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/tom-dispatch-america-defense-budget-bigger-...

In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities. If passed by Congress, it will be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam wars. That $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national-security state. There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought. The Pentagon’s regular, or base, budget is slated to be $544.5 billion in fiscal year 2020. The Pentagon’s own Defense Business Board found that cutting unnecessary overhead, including a bloated bureaucracy and a startlingly large shadow workforce of private contractors, would save $125 billion over five years. The Pentagon also maintains its very own slush fund, formally known as the Overseas Contingency Operations account, or OCO. In theory, the fund is meant to pay for the War on Terror. Of the nearly $174 billion proposed for the war budget and “emergency” funding, only a little more than $25 billion is meant to directly pay for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. The rest will be set aside for what’s termed enduring activities that would continue even if those wars ended or for routine Pentagon activities. Our final annual tally for war, preparations for war, and the impact of war comes to more than $1.25 trillion, more than double the Pentagon’s base budget.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Facebook bans Alex Jones and other controversial figures for hate speech
2019-05-02, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-facebook-ban-alex-jones-...

Facebook on Thursday banned conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones and the accounts of other controversial figures. The company, citing violations of its policies on hate speech and promoting violence, is also blocking religious leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for sharing anti-Semitic views; Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who ran for Congress in 2018; far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer; and conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson. Those individuals and accounts that represent them are also banned from photo-sharing app Instagram, which Facebook owns. “They have rules, but enforcement is completely random,” said Roger McNamee, a high-profile Silicon Valley investor who has become a sharp critic of Facebook. “They don’t do anything about it until massive harm has been done and they can no longer find a dodge. Facebook is clearly feeling pressure.” McNamee said Facebook’s business model depends on amplifying content that stimulates fear and outrage, and banning a few influential figures doesn't change that. "It is sacrificing a handful of the most visible extreme voices in order to protect a much larger number of users it needs to maximize profits," he said. The Menlo Park, Calif., company didn’t say what specific posts or actions led to the bans, though a spokesperson said that Jones, Yiannopoulos and Loomer have all recently promoted Gavin McInnes, founder of the violence-prone far-right group the Proud Boys, whom Facebook banned in October.

Note: What happened to freedom of speech guaranteed in the US Constitution? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


High Levels of Toxic PFAS Chemicals Pollute Breast Milk Around the World
2019-04-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/04/30/breast-milk-pfas-chemicals/

Decades after DuPont and 3M first discovered that the perfluorinated chemicals making them fortunes could be transmitted from mothers to babies, millions of women around the world are passing dangerous amounts of these toxic compounds to their children, according to a report published on Monday. Women’s breast milk in many countries now contains chemicals belonging to a class of compounds known as PFAS at levels well above the safety thresholds set by governments, says the report from international environmental group IPEN. In Jordan, for instance, researchers found breast milk contained, on average, 144 parts per trillion of PFOA, according to a 2015 study. That’s more than double the 70 ppt health advisory level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set for that chemical in drinking water; more than seven times the 20 ppt drinking water safety level recently set by the state of Vermont; and more than 10 times the 14 ppt drinking water threshold the state of New Jersey proposed for PFOA earlier this month. One woman’s milk contained 1,120 ppt of PFOA, according to the Jordanian study, which also found that 96 percent of cow’s milk samples also contained PFOS and PFOA. PFAS chemicals — used in nonstick pans, firefighting foam, and hundreds of other products — have also been found in breast milk in at least 19 countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, according to a study published in November in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

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


How tech is bringing Israelis and Palestinians together
2019-04-30, BBC
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48053200

Israel may be known as the Start-up Nation, famed for its tech start-ups that are supported by one of the largest venture-capital industries per capita in the world. But Israeli-Palestinian relations have been relentlessly grim. Initiatives like Tech2Peace are trying to bridge divides between the two communities. The student and volunteer-led programme brings Israeli and Palestinian youths together to learn tech skills - 3D and graphic design, website creation, app development - and to engage in conflict resolution dialogue. [Participant Zada] Haj says she had "zero knowledge" of animation or 3D modelling before, but by the end of the session she was able to turn her ideas into creation and develop skills that would help her get a job. Palestinian entrepreneur Adnan Awni Jaber also says Tech2Peace was the gateway for him to make Jewish friends in Israel. "I believe that technology can break walls between any two sides of the conflict because it's borderless," he tells the BBC. When [Tomer Cohen] and his Israeli and Palestinian co-founders were thinking of ways they could foster long-term partnerships between youngsters, they came up with the idea of giving them life skills that could enable them to continue working together. "We thought, OK, let's do this with technology and programming," says Mr Cohen. "When young people come to our seminar, they're not thinking, 'OK, you're Palestinian and I'm Israeli,' they're thinking, 'I want to improve my life and you want to, as well. We have something in common'."

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


Infertility fears: WiFi killing men's sperm, study reveals
2019-04-29, New Zealand Herald (New Zealand's leading newspaper)
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=12226105

WiFi is having a harmful and detrimental effect on men's sperm, a new study has revealed. According to a Japanese study, further evidence has shown electromagnetic (EM) waves from WiFi devices are contributing to the declining fertility rates in developed countries. The study is believed to be the first to trial a WiFi shield to help protect sperm from the effects of electromagnetic waves. Fifty-one male patients took part in the study. Sperm samples were taken from the men and were divided into three groups, one where samples were not exposed to electromagnetic waves from the WiFi router, one group who were protected by a small WiFi shield, and the last group who were exposed to the waves. [Researcher] Kumiko Nakata ... said sperm samples from participants were placed near a pocket WiFi router similar to how a mobile phone would be carried in a man's trousers. After two hours of being exposed to electromagnetic waves, the motility rate of the shield group was 44.9 per cent and the exposed group sat at just 26.4 per cent, compared to 53.3 per cent from the group not exposed to the waves. After 24 hours, the dead sperm rate of the group not exposed was 8.4 per cent, the shield group was 18.2 per cent, and the exposed group was 23.3 per cent. Nakata says the study strongly shows electromagnetic waves are killing human sperm and that WiFi devices are a contributing factor to declining fertility.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies .


Who Got Rich This Week: Zuckerberg, Bezos And Three Other Billionaires Gain $13 Billion Combined
2019-04-27, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/hayleycuccinello/2019/04/27/who-got-rich-this-we...

Mark Zuckerberg has had plenty of difficult days in the past year, but this past week was a good one for him. The Facebook CEO’s net worth jumped $5.5 billion in the week through Thursday April 25. The 34-year-old is worth $71.3 billion, $20 billion more than at the beginning of 2019. He is now the 5th richest person in the world, up from No. 8 in March. The positive quarterly earnings report overshadowed news that Facebook is setting aside as much as $5 billion to pay a fine to the Federal Trade Commission over privacy issues. Zuckerberg’s gain was by far the biggest of the week, but he is in good company. The fortunes of Zuckerberg and four other tech billionaires, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, rose by a collective $13 billion in seven days. A day after Facebook released its first-quarter earnings report, Amazon announced a quarterly profit of $3.6 billion, an all-time record for the e-commerce giant. Amazon’s share price rose 2.2% in the week through Thursday, causing Bezos’ net worth to surge by $3.2 billion. The net worth of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO, rose $1.7 billion in the week through Thursday as the software giant’s share price increased by 4.7%. Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, is now worth $40 billion after gaining $1.4 billion in a week due to a 6.6% stock uptick. Larry Page, the cofounder of Google and CEO of its parent company Alphabet, got $1.1 billion richer, with an estimated fortune of $57.6 billion.

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


In Case Brought by School Speech Pathologist, Texas Federal Court Becomes the Third to Strike Down Pro-Israel Oath as Unconstitutional
2019-04-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/04/26/in-case-brought-by-school-speech-patholog...

A federal court in Texas issued a ruling on Thursday afternoon preliminarily enjoining enforcement of Texas’ law banning contractors from boycotting Israel. The court ruled that the law plainly violates the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. Following similar decisions by federal courts in Kansas and Arizona, the ruling becomes the third judicial finding – out of three who have evaluated the constitutionality of such laws – to conclude that they are unconstitutional attacks on the free speech rights of Americans. The case was brought by Bahia Amawi, a longtime elementary school speech pathologist in Austin, Texas, whose contract renewal was denied due to her refusal to sign an oath certifying that she does not participate in any boycotts of Israel. Amawi, a U.S. citizen and mother of four U.S.-born children, was required to sign the pro-Israel oath due to a new law enacted with almost no dissent by the Texas State Legislature in May 2017, and signed into law two days later by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott. When signing the bill, Gov. Abbott proclaimed: “Any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy.” But this was precisely the mentality, along with the virtually unanimous pro-Israel sentiment in the Texas State Legislature, that the Texas federal judge identified when explaining why the pro-Israel oath so blatantly violates the free speech guarantees of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Note: Watch a video documenting Amawi's story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Boy Scouts Of America Estimates More Than 12,000 Victims Of Sexual Abuse
2019-04-25, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2019/04/25/717246012/boy-scouts-of-america-estimates-more...

Newly exposed court testimony suggests the Boy Scouts of America had considerably more leaders involved in the sexual abuse of minors than previously thought. The Boy Scouts of America's own records show that more than 12,000 children have been sexually assaulted while participating in Scouting programs. The documents came to light through court testimony given by a researcher the Scouts had hired to do an internal review. The records reveal allegations against thousands of Scout leaders, allegations that date from the 1940s. With such a huge number of victims, the organization could be facing bankruptcy. As disturbing as the figures are, the reality that only the Boy Scouts of America knows who these alleged perpetrators are is just as distressing. The Boy Scouts of America have never actually released these names in any form that can be known to the public. And they may have removed them from Scouting. They may have kept them in their perversion files. But they never alerted the community. The Boy Scouts have more than 2 million Scouts, and hundreds of victims are expected to file suit. One prominent sexual abuse attorney has already signed more than 180 clients. The Scouts have extensive landholdings across the country where members hike, camp and play. The prospect that the Boy Scouts may declare bankruptcy has victims and their lawyers crying foul. A bankruptcy filing could allow the 109-year-old organization to continue operating by shielding its assets and information.

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


Crime Is Down, Yet U.S. Incarceration Rates Are Still Among the Highest in the World
2019-04-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/us-mass-incarceration-rate.html

For all the talk of curbing America’s appetite for mass incarceration and bipartisan support for reducing prison sentences, the number of people incarcerated in the United States declined only slightly in 2017, according to data released on Thursday by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. The United States still has the largest known incarcerated population in the world. A drop in the federal prison population, due in large part to a 2014 decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce sentences for drug crimes, accounts for a third of the year-over-year decline. And while some states have significantly reduced their prison populations in recent years, others continue to set records for the number of people they are keeping locked up. The size of the United States prison population has resulted from not only locking more people up, but also keeping them locked up longer. A record number of people are serving life sentences. In fact, while the United States accounts for about 4 percent of the world’s population, it has more than a third of the estimated number of people serving life sentences. As measures like parole and compassionate release have been curtailed, or even eliminated in some places, prisoners have become older and more costly. According to the report, more than one in 10 prison inmates in 2017 were 55 years or older. The racial disparity among men remains stark, with black men serving prison sentences at almost six times the rate of white men.

Note: The privatized prison-industrial complex brings huge profits to key individuals. And the media hardly mentions FBI statistics showing violent crime has dropped to 1/3 or less of what it was 25 years ago. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the incarceration industry.


US Navy introducing guidelines for pilots to report UFO sightings
2019-04-24, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/24/politics/us-navy-ufo-guidelines/index.html

Navy pilots who think they may have seen unidentified flying objects will now have a detailed means of reporting unexplainable events so the military can keep track of what may, or may not, be happening. "The Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities," they said in a statement. The Navy does not think that aliens have been flying in US airspace, one Navy official told CNN. But there have been "a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," according to the statement. "The Navy and the USAF ... investigates each and every report." The new policy will standardize how incidents are reported, and what radar or other data may be gathered that the military can store long term for further analysis. Separately a senior military official told CNN that some of the recent sightings are highly classified military aviation programs undergoing testing. Because the sightings have garnered public attention, senior Navy intelligence officials have briefed Congress, as well as aviators on the safety hazards. The Pentagon has intermittently over the decades funded various efforts to evaluate unexplained incursions and phenomena, but the last official effort was shuttered in 2012. A former Pentagon official, who led that program and resigned in protest when it was ended, told CNN's Erin Burnett in 2017 "that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone."

Note: Another article suggests Navy pilots pushed for this. Yet it may be that this is part of a controlled acculturation to UFOs by the deep state. For strong evidence of this, see our two-page summary on UFOs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources.


Saudi Arabia executes 37 people, crucifying one, for terror-related crimes
2019-04-24, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/23/middleeast/saudi-executions-terror-intl/index....

Saudi Arabia has executed 37 men convicted of terror-related crimes, the kingdom's official news agency said Tuesday. One of the convicts was crucified. In Saudi Arabia, crucifixion means the body of someone executed is strung up and put on display as a deterrent to others. The majority of those executed were Shia men, according to Amnesty International, which dismissed the legal proceedings that led to the convictions as "sham trials that violated international fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture." The kingdom has repeatedly denied allegations of torture. Those executed include 11 men convicted of spying for Iran, and at least 14 others who were convicted of violent offenses related to participation in anti-government demonstration. One of the men listed in Tuesday's government statement was Abdulkareem al-Hawaj, who, according to Amnesty, was arrested at the age of 16 and convicted of offenses related to his involvement in anti-government protests. Since Prince Mohammed bin Salman first emerged onto the kingdom's political scene in 2015, he has overseen an intensified crackdown on dissent. He began his political career as defense minister and was elevated to Crown Prince in 2017. In recent years, the Crown Prince has ordered the rounding up of scores of activists, high-profile clerics, analysts, businessmen and princes, as well as women's rights defenders who were allegedly tortured.

Note: How is it that this monarchy which brands famous feminists as "traitors", beheads its enemies and strings up their bodies in public display is one of the closest allies of the US? According to this ABC news article a 2010 massive arms sale to the kingdom was "the single largest sale of weapons to a foreign nation in the history of the U.S." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why the U.N. chief’s silence on human rights is deeply troubling
2019-04-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/24/why-un-chiefs-silence-huma...

Halfway through his first five-year term, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres is becoming defined by his silence on human rights - even as serious rights abuses proliferate. Numerous governments have voiced concerns about China’s detention of 1 million Turkic, mainly Uighur, Muslims for forced indoctrination. Yet Guterres has not said a word about it in public. Instead, he praises China’s development prowess. Guterres has also repeatedly declined to exercise his authority to establish fact-finding missions into egregious rights violations, such as Saudi Arabia’s murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the murder of two U.N. sanctions monitors in Congo. Apart from his spokesman’s feeble appeal to the United States to fulfill its legal obligations as host for the United Nations, Guterres has stayed silent on the Trump administration’s revocation of a visa for the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor over possible investigations of U.S. torture in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Guterres is a skilled and conscientious diplomat, but his decision to suppress his voice on human rights, especially as civilians are targeted in armed conflicts, is misguided. For more than two years, Guterres offered excuses for not publicly defending human rights. He wanted to focus on internal reforms. He needed to stabilize relations with Trump. But today’s crises are too acute, the civilian victims too numerous, for Guterres to reduce his job to mediator in chief.

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


'They think they are above the law': the firms that own America's voting system
2019-04-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machine-private-com...

In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag ... especially as many states have outsourced vote-counting to the private sector. Democracy in the United States is now largely a secretive and privately-run affair conducted out of the public eye with little oversight. The corporations that run every aspect of American elections, from voter registration to casting and counting votes by machine, are subject to limited state and federal regulation. The companies are privately-owned and closely held, making information about ownership and financial stability difficult to obtain. The software source code and hardware design of their systems are kept as trade secrets. A small network of companies ... have near-monopolies on election services, such as building voting machines. Across the spectrum, private vendors have long histories of errors that affected elections, of obstructing politicians and the public from seeking information, of corruption, suspect foreign influence, false statements of security and business dishonesty. The computer security world has been sounding the alarm since voting machines were adopted. Now lawmakers, election officials and national security experts are joining in.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


First major drug distribution company, former executives, criminally charged in opioid crisis
2019-04-23, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-ceo-major-drug-distribution-compa...

In a national first in the fight against the opioid crisis, a major drug distribution company, its former chief executive and another top executive have been criminally charged in New York. Rochester Drug Co-Operative, one of the top 10 largest drug distributors in the United States, was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports. Laurence Doud III, the company's former chief executive, and William Pietruszewski, the company’s former chief compliance officer, are individually charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.. Pietruszewski is also charged with willfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA. The U.S. attorney's office also filed a lawsuit against Rochester Drug Co-Operative on Tuesday seeking "penalties and injunctive relief." Between 2012 and 2016, Rochester Drug Co-Operative is accused of distributing tens of millions of doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids to pharmacies that its own compliance department found had no legitimate need for them. Prosecutors said Rochester Drug Co-Operative went against the DEA and its own policies and distributed drugs to pharmacies that were "filling controlled substances prescriptions issued by practitioners acting outside the scope of their medical practice, under investigation by law enforcement, or on RDC’s 'watch list.'"

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


America's new voting machines bring new fears of election tampering
2019-04-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machines-paper-ball...

For almost 17 years, states and counties around the country have conducted elections on machines that have been repeatedly shown to be vulnerable to hacking, errors and breakdowns, and that leave behind no proof that the votes counted actually match the votes that were cast. Now ... states and counties across the country are working to replace these outdated machines with new ones. The purchases replace machines from the turn of the century that raise serious security concerns. But the same companies that made and sold those machines are behind the new generation of technology, and a history of distrust between election security advocates and voting machine vendors has led to a bitter debate over the viability of the new voting equipment. The draw of the new machines, called ballot-marking devices (BMD), is the promise of a paper ballot. But there are concerns with the integrity of the paper trail a BMD would create at every stage. Many BMD models on the market print a sort of two-in-one ballot with one section to be read by machines and another to be read by humans. Barcodes – or QR codes – that represent a voter’s choices are printed on the ballot along with plain text showing, presumably, the same information in a way people can understand. When the ballot is scanned, it is the barcode that is scanned and counted, not the text that voters can read. If a barcode is printed that represents a different choice, or the scanners were hacked, voters would not know the difference.

Note: Computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model of electronic voting machine to be vulnerable to hacking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Florida reform school yields evidence of more graves
2019-04-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/a-type-of-justice-florida-ref...

For Jerry Cooper and the friends he knows as the White House boys, the memories never fade. The brutal beatings, rapes and other physical and psychological abuse they endured at a notorious Florida reform school were more than half a century ago, but there is always something to trigger the flashbacks. This time, it was the discovery of 27 “possible” graves at the site of the Arthur G Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. It is no surprise that more victims of systemic, decades-long sexual abuse and violence could still be in the ground. A study that ended in 2016 saw University of South Florida (USF) anthropologists uncover human remains in 55 graves, several with gunshot wounds or blunt force trauma. Yet to the White House survivors, named for a whitewashed cottage in the grounds of the state-run school where the worst of the abuse took place, it was confirmation that the final chapters of a dark episode have yet to be written. “I was sure I wasn’t going to survive,” said Cooper, 74, who spent two years at Dozier as a teenager in the early 1960s. “But there were those of us who didn’t ... there’s a lot more boys dead than the 55 they located. We’ve always known this.” Official records, poorly maintained and incomplete, indicated 31 burials from 1914 to 1973. But USF researchers partnered with local and state law enforcement and the University of North Texas science centre set the figure at a minimum of 98.

Note: Read more about the notorious Dozier School for Boys. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and sexual abuse scandals.


How art and golf freed innocent man from life sentence
2019-04-19, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/sport/valentino-dixon-art-golf-drawing-masters...

Caged for a murder he didn't commit, Valentino Dixon sought solace in art. He loved to draw as a child, and took up sketching again to escape the harsh realities of prison after being handed 39 years to life for the fatal shooting of a man in downtown Buffalo in 1991. Art became Dixon's salvation, and he drew for up to 10 hours a day. His reputation as an artist led the warden at the tough Attica Correctional Facility ... to ask him to draw Augusta National's famous 12th hole from a picture in Golf Digest. In 2012, he sent some of his art work to Golf Digest's editorial director Max Adler. Along with the pictures, he included details of his case. Adler was intrigued and dug deeper. Golf Channel got involved, too. Meanwhile, several appeals against his conviction had failed. But then in January 2018 three undergraduate students and their professors from Georgetown University thoroughly researched Dixon's case as part of their studies. The students re-interviewed witnesses and officials and unearthed new evidence. Another man, LaMarr Scott - already serving a life sentence for his part in an armed robbery in 1993 - confessed again to shooting Jackson, just as he had on the night it happened. Through the work of Adler, the students, his daughter Valentina ... and attorney Donald Thompson, paid for by Dixon's wife Louise - whom he married while in prison - the fresh evidence was presented to the new district attorney of Erie County, John Flynn. Dixon was exonerated on September 19, 2018.

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


The Healing Power of Gardens
2019-04-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/opinion/sunday/oliver-sacks-gardens.html

All of us have had the experience of wandering through a lush garden or a timeless desert, walking by a river or an ocean, or climbing a mountain and finding ourselves simultaneously calmed and reinvigorated. The importance of these physiological states on individual and community health is fundamental and wide-ranging. In 40 years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical “therapy” to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens. I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication. My friend Lowell has moderately severe Tourette’s syndrome. In his usual busy, city environment, he has hundreds of tics and verbal ejaculations each day - grunting, jumping, touching things compulsively. I was therefore amazed one day when we were hiking in a desert to realize that his tics had completely disappeared. The remoteness and uncrowdedness of the scene, combined with some ineffable calming effect of nature, served to defuse his ticcing, to “normalize” his neurological state. The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure.

Note: The above is excerpted from “Everything in Its Place,” a posthumous collection of writings by Dr. Oliver Sacks. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


U.S. military spending set to increase for fifth consecutive year, nearing levels during height of Iraq war
2019-04-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/04/18/us-military-spending-set-...

America’s military budget is set to grow for a fifth consecutive year to near-historic highs in 2020. The Trump administration has proposed $750 billion in defense spending as part of its budget request to Congress for next year, as well as steep cuts to domestic programs in health care and education. House Democrats in their budget proposed increasing defense spending to $733 billion a year ... in exchange for Republican support for an increase in domestic spending that would be twice as large. Under either budget plan, the United States is expected to spend more on its military in 2020 than at any point since World War II, except for a handful of years at the height of the Iraq War, said Todd Harrison, a defense budget expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Overall, military spending has already increased from $586 billion in 2015 to $716 billion in 2019. Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office projected the United States would spend more than $7 trillion on defense over the next decade, which is in line with both the White House’s and House Democrats’ budget plans. Some prominent Democrats ... have called for cutting military spending as a way to free up funding for their other projects. At European levels of U.S. military spending, America could fund a universal child-care policy, extend health insurance to the approximately 30 million Americans who lack it or provide substantial investments in repairing the nation’s infrastructure. But cuts to military spending are unlikely.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


The timeless intrigue of redactions
2019-04-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2019/04/11/mad-libs-but-for-demo...

Redactions ... symbolize the ongoing tug-of-war between discretion and truth, between a government that knows what we don’t need to know and a citizenry that desires the whole story. That desire is inflamed after two years of theorizing about the Mueller report. “I think it’s going to be more disappointing than not, and frustrating to many,” says D.C. attorney Mark S. Zaid, who handles cases involving national security and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Zaid once sued the government for records related to the death of Princess Diana and the FBI surrendered reams of material. Zaid was thrilled, until he opened the boxes. Two thousand pages of redactions. Every page, blacked out. In 2003 the Department of Justice released a 186-page report on its hiring practices, and half of it was blacked out. American leaders brag about transparency but their agencies historically have cultivated a “culture of caution.” By the turn of last century at least 1.5 billion documents over 25 years old were kept from the public because of national security concerns. Classification cost the federal government $18.49 billion in fiscal year 2017 alone. Redactions can be cosmetic, or historic [like] the 14 blank pages of a 2002 Pentagon assessment of Iraq’s nuclear-weapons program. [Yet] when 19,045 documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination were released last year, Nate Jones of the National Security Archive was struck by the banality of the information the government had insisted on keeping secret for years.

Note: Why was so much material around the death of Princess Diana redacted? Explore some of the strangeness around the killing of Princess Diana in this news article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy from reliable major media sources.


Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations
2019-04-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/tech/amazon-alexa-listening/index.html

Not only is Alexa listening when you speak to an Echo smart speaker, an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too. Amazon (AMZN) employs a global team that transcribes the voice commands captured after the wake word is detected and feeds them back into the software ... Bloomberg reports. Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as "mundane" and even sometimes "possibly criminal," including listening to a potential sexual assault. In a response to the story, Amazon confirmed to CNN Business that it hires people to listen to what customers say to Alexa. Amazon doesn't "explicitly" tell Alexa users that it employs people to listen to the recordings. Amazon said in its frequently asked question section that it uses "requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems." People can opt out of Amazon using their voice recordings to improve the software in the privacy settings section of the Alexa app. Alexa auditors don't have access to the customers' full name or address, but do have the device's serial number and the Amazon account number associated with the device. Amazon previously has been embroiled in controversy for privacy concerns regarding Alexa.

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


Inventor Makes ‘Music Memory Box’ So Dementia Patients Can Reconnect With Their Loved Ones
2019-04-11, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dementia-patients-reconnect-with-family-thank...

The Music Memory Box was created as a means of using photographs, objects, and music to help people with dementia to remember their past. The box is programmed to play certain songs that are associated with the various possessions and photos. When one of the objects is placed in the center of the box, a sensor triggers box’s speakers so that it plays the song that corresponds with the object. 28-year-old designer Chloe Meineck says that her great-grandmother’s experience with dementia served as the inspiration for the box. Whenever Meineck when to visit the senior at her nursing home, the woman always failed to recognize her. Upon hearing certain songs, however, Meineck’s great-grandmother would suddenly begin to recall heartfelt stories from her past. 74-year-old Monica Garrity [said] she and her husband Steve, who has dementia, began using the box in 2017 as a means of helping him to remember events from their marriage – and they’ve been regularly using the box ever since. “We have been able to connect again, it is wonderful,” says Monica. “He doesn’t usually communicate with me but when the music plays, he hums along and even holds out his hand to grab mine. It takes us back to when we got married.” In addition to receiving dozens of awards for her design, Meineck recently held a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the manufacturing of the first batch of Music Memory Boxes. Within two weeks, she was able to raise the necessary funds.

Note: Don't miss a video of the Music Memory Box 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.


Hormel Lawsuit Reveals What ‘Natural’ Meat Really Means
2019-04-10, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-10/hormel-advertising-suit-re...

American shoppers are reaching for healthier, more environmentally and animal-friendly meat products, with 39 percent saying “all-natural” is the most important claim when purchasing red meat. But there’s one problem: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that when it comes to meat and poultry, the term “natural” means only that the product has no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed. It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. Companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Hormel Foods Corp. have been snapping up smaller, outwardly progressive competitors. At the same time, however, some of the major meat companies have been offering their own products as “natural,” replete with labels featuring blue skies and green fields. On April 8, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia - a jurisdiction with stringent consumer protection laws - dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. The court held that as long as manufacturer labels are approved by the USDA, the advertising can use the “natural” claims. In statements disclosed in the filing, a company executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. “It’s a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer,” said David Muraskin, a food project attorney.

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


Wall Street loves socialism for bankers – but not for ordinary people
2019-04-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/08/wall-street-socialism-j...

In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling. According to the Justice Department, JPMorgan acknowledged it had regularly and knowingly sold mortgages that should have never been sold. To state it another way, Dimon and other Wall Street CEOs helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis when the dangerous and irresponsible loans their banks were peddling – on which they made big money – finally went bust. But instead of letting the market punish the banks (which is what capitalism is supposed to do) the government bailed them out and eventually levied paltry fines which the banks treated as the cost of doing business. Call it socialism for rich bankers. America’s five biggest banks, including Dimon’s, now control 46% of all deposits, up from 12% in the early 1990s. But, of course, Dimon isn’t really ... concerned about socialism. Dimon’s real concern is that America may end the kind of socialism he and other denizens of the Street depend on – bailouts, regulatory loopholes, and tax breaks.

Note: The above was written by former US secretary of labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


American billionaires call for upgrades to capitalism, starting with higher taxes on themselves
2019-04-08, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/08/american-billionaires-call-for-upgrades-to-ca...

American billionaires are calling for changes to the system that enabled them to get rich. Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, Ray Dalio, Bill Gates and a list of others say that capitalism in its current form simply doesn’t work for the rest of the United States. Some of their remedies involve higher taxes. Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio is the most recent to criticize the current economic system. On Monday, the Bridgewater founder told CNBC that while it doesn’t need to be destroyed, capitalism does need to present an equal opportunity, which Dalio said he received through public education. The issue chafing billionaires and politicians alike is a growing income gap. The inequality between rich and poor Americans is as high as it was in late 1930s, Dalio pointed out in a paper posted online. The wealth of the top 1 percent of the population is now more than that of the bottom 90 percent of the population combined. Dalio called growing inequality and lack of investment in public education “an existential risk for the U.S.” Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett - third on Forbe’s 2019 billionaires list - has repeatedly said the wealthy should be taxed more. In 2006, the CEO committed to give all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. He and Bill and Melinda Gates have asked hundreds of wealthy Americans to pledge at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity in the so-called “the Giving Pledge.” There are now 190 people signed on, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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


Why Finland comes out on top on happiness and more
2019-04-07, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-ollila-finland-happiness-20190407...

When the U.N.’s 2019 World Happiness Report came out last month, Finland ranked on top for the second year in a row. Small Finland — about 75% the size of California with just 5.5 million people — consistently trounces the United States and other developed nations on ratings of life satisfaction, health, safety, governance, community and social progress. The underlying reason Finns are faring so well is because we have a different mindset about success — one that’s based on equity and community. In the United States, happiness and success are perceived as individual pursuits, indeed, even competitive ones. In Finland, success is a team sport. While Finland is by no means struggling financially, its GDP per capita is lower than those of its neighboring Nordic countries, and much lower than that of the U.S. The difference is, in the words of Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, “the Finns are good at converting wealth into well-being.” The more equal a society is, the happier its citizens are. Finland is ranked among the most equal of all the 36 OECD countries. This ... helps support overall high levels of trust. Finns trust one another and, perhaps more impressively, they trust their government. And although Finns pay some of the highest taxes worldwide, there is a transparency to the Finnish system that many other countries lack. Every year the government makes public the tax data of all its citizens and corporations on what has come to be called National Envy Day.

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A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy
2019-04-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/health/drug-resistant-candida-auris.html

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.” C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections. For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened life spans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. But lately, there has been an explosion of resistant fungi as well. Yet as the problem grows, it is little understood by the public — in part because the very existence of resistant infections is often cloaked in secrecy. With bacteria and fungi alike, hospitals and local governments are reluctant to disclose outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs. Even the C.D.C., under its agreement with states, is not allowed to make public the location or name of hospitals involved in outbreaks.

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


U.S. Revokes Visa of I.C.C. Prosecutor Pursuing Afghan War Crimes
2019-04-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/05/world/europe/us-icc-prosecutor-afghanistan...

The United States has revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor because of her attempts to investigate allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, including any that may have been committed by American forces. Ms. Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer for the court, which is based in The Hague, formally requested an investigation more than a year ago into war crimes in Afghanistan. The inquiry would mostly focus on large-scale crimes against civilians attributed to the Taliban and Afghan government forces. But it would also examine alleged C.I.A. and American military abuse in detention centers in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, and at sites in Poland, Lithuania and Romania, putting the court directly at odds with the United States. The United States is not a member state of the I.C.C. and does not recognize the court’s authority to prosecute Americans. In the past, though, the United States has cooperated with the court on other investigations, and Washington played a central role in establishing international criminal law at the Nuremberg trials. [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, in a March news briefing in Washington, said investigators “should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States” if they are part of a I.C.C. investigation. “These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts,” Mr. Pompeo said at the time. “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the I.C.C. does not change its course.”

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


Five myths about whistleblowers
2019-04-05, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-whistleblo...

Despite the essential role whistleblowers play in illuminating the truth and protecting the public interest, several myths persist about them. The overwhelming majority of employees who see problems want to blow the whistle internally first. Understanding this can - and should - encourage employers to respond appropriately when workers report problems. Similarly, employees who understand that they are in fact whistleblowers when they raise concerns inside the workplace will be better prepared to navigate their rights, risks and options. While many employees who witness wrongdoing in the workplace stay silent, fearing reprisal or futility, those who do raise concerns ... demonstrate faith that their employers are committed to compliance and that they can make a difference. Whistleblowers who report externally typically do so because the problem is significant and their employers have failed to address it or engaged in reprisal (or both). Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional mass collection of telephone metadata, and Reality Winner’s disclosures about Russian efforts to hack state elections as the Trump campaign was denying Russian involvement, clearly meet this standard of significance. While reporters may use the term “leak” to describe information received from anonymous insiders, the failure to distinguish between leaking and anonymous whistleblowing risks undermining the legitimacy and importance of disclosures that clearly advance the public’s interest.

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


Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age
2019-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/chernobyl-nuclear-power...

In 1986, the Soviet minister of hydrometeorology, Yuri Izrael, had a regrettable decision to make. It was his job to track radioactivity blowing from the smoking Chernobyl reactor in the hours after the 26 April explosion and deal with it. If the slow-moving mass of radioactive clouds reached Moscow, where a spring storm front was piling up, millions could be harmed. Soviet air force pilots ... made the easy one-hour flight to Chernobyl, where the reactor burned. When they caught up with a cloud, they shot jets of silver iodide into it. Wherever pilots shot silver iodide, rain fell, along with a toxic brew of a dozen radioactive elements. No one told the Belarusians that the southern half of the republic had been sacrificed to protect Russian cities. The Chernobyl explosions issued 45m curies of radioactive iodine into the atmosphere. Emissions from Soviet and US bomb tests amounted to 20bn curies of radioactive iodine, 500 times more. When the Chernobyl accident occurred, experts in radiation medicine called for a long-term epidemiological study on Chernobyl-exposed people. That study never occurred. Fortunately, Chernobyl health records are now available to the public. They show that people living in the radioactive traces fell ill from cancers, respiratory illness, anaemia, auto-immune disorders, birth defects, and fertility problems two to three times more frequently in the years after the accident than before.

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


The Pentagon Wins Again
2019-04-04, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/defense-budget-818035/

The Democrat-controlled House Budget Committee voted 19-17 Wednesday to move a bill sponsored by Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) out of committee. Called the “Investing for the People Act of 2019,” it’s essentially the Democrats’ answer to Donald Trump’s radical budget proposal from early March. The Trump budget ... seeks a whopping 9% cut overall in non-defense or NDD spending ... while seeking a 5% increase in defense spending. Trump wants to reward the Pentagon for flunking its first-ever audit last year by giving it a fat bump - from a record $716 billion to new record of $750 billion. Meanwhile, Trump hopes to slash non-defense spending from last year’s $597 billion figure to $543 billion this year. Now, in the Yarmuth budget bill, $733 billion is the Democrats’ opening offer to the Pentagon. Trump’s 2020 budget proposal made a joke of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which essentially forced Congress to raise and lower defense and non-defense spending together through a series of caps. Roughly speaking, defense is supposed to be capped at around 53-54% of discretionary spending. The Pentagon has always been able to get around even those generous caps ... with Overseas Contingency Operations or “OCO” spending. Often called “war funding,” OCO budgets technically don’t count as defense spending, even though they are. To make his defense-hike/non-defense cut strategy work under the Budget Control Act, Trump this year had to propose a massive hike in OCO funding, going from $69 billion last year to $165 billion this year.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Congress just told Trump to get US troops out of Yemen. Next, Afghanistan?
2019-04-04, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/04/congress-yemen-war-powers-b...

Congress made history this week by passing a resolution that cuts off U.S. support for Saudi-led forces in the civil war in Yemen. This is the first time since Congress originally passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973 that we have used it to call on the president to withdraw from an undeclared war. The passage of this resolution has implications far beyond Yemen and opens a much broader and extremely important debate about how and when the United States uses our military, and who must authorize that use. According to a recent study by the Costs of War Project at Brown University, the War on Terror will have cost American taxpayers almost $5 trillion through Fiscal Year 2019. When taking in to account future health care obligations for veterans injured in post-9/11 wars, the bill comes closer to $6 trillion. Even after this enormous expense, the world has more militants, not fewer. A November 2018 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that the number of militants has continued to grow. “Despite nearly two decades of U.S.-led counterterrorism operations,” the report said, “there are nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants today as there were on September 11, 2001.” The time is long overdue for Congress to reassert its constitutional responsibility over war making. We need a serious national debate over when and where we put our military in harm’s way. Congress’s historic vote on Yemen this week is an important beginning in that process, now we must continue forward.

Note: The above was written by senators Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.
2019-04-03, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/03/abortion-gun...

Each year, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduce thousands of bills dreamed up and written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks. Disguised as the work of lawmakers, these so-called “model” bills get copied in one state Capitol after another, quietly advancing the agenda of the people who write them. A two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity reveals for the first time the extent to which special interests have infiltrated state legislatures using model legislation. USA TODAY and the Republic found at least 10,000 bills almost entirely copied from model legislation were introduced nationwide in the past eight years, and more than 2,100 of those bills were signed into law. In a separate analysis, the Center for Public Integrity identified tens of thousands of bills with identical phrases, then traced the origins of that language. Model bills passed into law have ... limited access to abortion and restricted the rights of protesters. In all, these copycat bills amount to the nation’s largest, unreported special-interest campaign, driving agendas in every statehouse and touching nearly every area of public policy. USA TODAY found more than 4,000 bills benefiting industry were introduced nationwide during the eight years it reviewed. More than 80 of those bills limit the public's ability to sue corporations, including limiting class-action lawsuits, a plaintiff's ability to offer expert testimony, and cap punitive damages for corporate wrongdoing.

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


Toyota to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents
2019-04-03, CNBC/Reuters
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/03/reuters-america-update-1-toyota-to-give-royal...

Toyota Motor Corp plans to offer royalty-free access to its hybrid-vehicle technology patents as early as this year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Toyota, which holds roughly 20,000 active patents in the field, is expected to make accessible most of the latest ones covering motors, power converters and batteries. Since pioneering the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 12 million cars featuring the technology, which twins a conventional gasoline engine and electric motor, saving fuel by capturing energy during coasting and breaking and using it to power the motor. Hybrid vehicles account for around 3 percent of all vehicles sold globally, eclipsing the roughly 1 percent share of all-battery EVs. Toyota vehicles account for more than 80 percent of the hybrid vehicle market. Global automakers have pledged to electrify their vehicle offerings in the coming years amid tightening global emissions regulations, but many acknowledge that shifting to all-battery EVs will take time due to the high cost of the required batteries. Toyota has long held to its belief that its hybrids, whose fuel efficiency is roughly double that of gasoline cars, are a cost-effective alternative to all-battery EVs, due to their lower cost, lack of need for charging infrastructure, and because they operate more or less like gasoline cars.

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A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology
2019-04-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/technology/amazon-facial-recognition-techn...

At least 25 prominent artificial-intelligence researchers, including experts at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and a recent winner of the prestigious Turing Award, have signed a letter calling on Amazon to stop selling its facial-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies because it is biased against women and people of color. The letter, which was publicly released Wednesday, reflects growing concern in academia and the tech industry that bias in facial-recognition technology is a systemic problem. Amazon sells a product called Rekognition through its cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services. The company said last year that early customers included the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. In January, two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a peer-reviewed study showing that Amazon Rekognition had more trouble identifying the gender of female and darker-skinned faces in photos than similar services from IBM and Microsoft. It mistook women for men 19 percent of the time, the study showed, and misidentified darker-skinned women for men 31 percent of the time. “There are no laws or required standards to ensure that Rekognition is used in a manner that does not infringe on civil liberties,” the A.I. researchers wrote. “We call on Amazon to stop selling Rekognition to law enforcement.”

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


One-Third Of World's Power Plant Capacity Is Now Renewable
2019-04-03, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnparnell/2019/04/03/one-third-of-worlds-power...

One-third of the world's installed electricity generation capacity is from renewable sources, according to the latest industry statistics. The data compiled by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that two-thirds of the power capacity added around the world in 2018 was from renewables. Wind and solar accounted for 84% of that total. 2018 was characterized by a spate of solar and wind pricing breakthroughs. Falling interest rates for investors, ongoing technology improvements and regulatory frameworks that encourage competition among would-be developers have all played a part. The geographical distribution of the new plants includes developing and developed economies but it is the former leading the way. The three fastest growing regions were Oceania, Asia and Africa. Asia also became the first terrawatt region, just, with IRENA’s figures putting installed renewable capacity at 1,024GW. More than two-thirds of that is in China. Offshore wind capacity has doubled since 2015 but only represented around 4.4GW of the 171GW of renewable power plant deployed in 2018. The concentration of offshore wind remains firmly in Europe (~80%). Solar was the runaway leader of the pack adding 94GW in 2018 to 49GW of wind, on- and offshore. Half of the world’s total installed capacity is currently hydropower but China was the only nation to make substantial hydro additions last year. Bioenergy [added] 6GW.

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Elizabeth Warren: Corporate executives must face jail time for overseeing massive scams
2019-04-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/elizabeth-warren-its-time-to-scare-co...

Opening unauthorized bank accounts. Cheating customers on mortgages and car loans. If you can dream up a financial scam, there’s a good chance that Wells Fargo ran it on its customers in recent years. After years of pressure, the company finally parted ways with its second chief executive in three years. But this isn’t real accountability. When a criminal on the street steals money from your wallet, they go to jail. When small-business owners cheat their customers, they go to jail. But when corporate executives at big companies oversee huge frauds that hurt tens of thousands of people, they often get to walk away with multimillion-dollar payouts. Too often, prosecutors don’t even try to hold top executives criminally accountable. They claim it’s too hard to prove that the people at the top knew about the corporate misconduct. This culture of complicity warps the incentives for corporate leaders. The executives know that, at worst, the company will get hit with a fine — and the money will come out of their shareholders’ pockets, not their own. It doesn’t have to be this way. With sustained resources and a commitment to enforcing the law, we can bring more cases under existing rules. Beyond that, we should enact the Ending Too Big To Jail Act, which I introduced last year. That bill would make it easier to hold executives at big banks accountable for scams by requiring them to certify that they conducted a “due diligence” inquiry and found that no illegal conduct was occurring on their watch.

Note: The above was written by US Senator Elizabeth Warren. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. hackers helped UAE spy on Al Jazeera chairman, BBC host
2019-04-01, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-raven-media-specialreport/special-repo...

A group of American hackers who once worked for U.S. intelligence agencies helped the United Arab Emirates spy on a BBC host, the chairman of Al Jazeera and other prominent Arab media figures during a tense 2017 confrontation pitting the UAE and its allies against the Gulf state of Qatar. The American operatives worked for Project Raven, a secret Emirati intelligence program that spied on dissidents, militants and political opponents of the UAE monarchy. A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven’s existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed U.S. journalists. At first, the goal was to crack down on terrorism by helping the UAE monitor militants around the region. But Raven’s mission quickly expanded to include monitoring and suppressing a range of UAE political opponents. Among its targets was Qatar, which the UAE and Saudi Arabia had long accused of fueling political opposition across the region, in part through the Qatari government’s funding of Al Jazeera. The Emiratis also tapped Raven in the effort to contain dissent at home. After the Arab Spring, the operatives were increasingly tasked with targeting human rights activists and journalists who questioned the government. The Raven effort went beyond the Middle East. Operatives [targeted] the mobile phones of other media figures the UAE believed were being supported by Qatar, including journalists for London-based Arabic media outlets.

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


Tesla boom lifts Norway's electric car sales to record market share
2019-04-01, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-autos/tesla-boom-lifts-norways-elec...

Exempting battery engines from taxes imposed on diesel and petrol cars has upended Norway’s auto market, elevating brands like Tesla and Nissan, with its Leaf model, while hurting sales of Toyota, Daimler and others. In 2018, Norway’s fully electric car sales rose to a record 31.2 percent market share from 20.8 percent in 2017, far ahead of any other nation, and buyers had to wait as producers struggled to keep up with demand. The sales figures consolidate Norway’s global lead in electric car sales per capita, part of an attempt by Western Europe’s biggest producer of oil and gas to transform to a greener economy. The International Energy Agency (IEA), which includes plug-in hybrids when calculating electric car sales, measured Norway’s share of such cars at 39 percent in 2017, far ahead of second-placed Iceland on 12 percent and Sweden on 6 percent. In China, the market share was 2.2 percent in 2017, and in the United States just 1.2 percent, IEA data show. While the numbers will vary from month to month, half of all cars sold in 2019 in Norway will probably be fully electric, the head of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association (NEV) said. “We are pretty sure we are going to reach 50 percent market share in total this year. Maybe even pass it, which is pretty amazing,” NEV Secretary General Christina Bu told Reuters. Cars that rely solely on internal combustion engines with no hybrid electric unit had a market share of only 22.7 percent in March, the lowest on record.

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Leaked reports reveal severe abuse of Saudi political prisoners
2019-03-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/31/leaked-reports-reveal-abuse-sau...

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia are said to be suffering from malnutrition, cuts, bruises and burns, according to leaked medical reports that are understood to have been prepared for the country’s ruler, King Salman. The reports seem to provide the first documented evidence from within the heart of the royal court that political prisoners are facing severe physical abuse, despite the government’s denials that men and women in custody are being tortured. The Guardian has been told the medical reports will be given to King Salman along with recommendations that are said to include a potential pardon for all the prisoners, or at least early release for those with serious health problems. Pressure on Saudi Arabia over the detention and treatment of political prisoners has been growing in recent months amid claims that some female activists have been subjected to electric shocks and lashings in custody. With the kingdom also reeling from the aftermath of the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, King Salman is said to have ordered a review of the decision to arrest and detain about 200 men and women in a crackdown ordered by his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. According to the medical reports seen by the Guardian, the comments about the detainees suggest many have been severely ill-treated and have a range of health problems. In almost all cases, the reports demanded the prisoners be urgently transferred from solitary confinement to a medical centre.

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A suburbia for the homeless exists and they can live there forever
2019-03-28, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/us/iyw-town-for-the-homeless-trnd/index.html

The world looks a little brighter from the front porch of your own home. It's a sight more than 200 formerly homeless people are waking up to each morning at the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. And they can take their time getting used to it; residents are invited to stay for the rest of their lives. Community First! Village is built and run by the nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes to lift the most chronically homeless off the streets and into a place they can call home. They live in about 100 RVs and 125 micro homes arranged on streets with names like "Peaceful Path" and "Goodness Way." Heavy machinery has broken ground on the neighboring 24 acres to add another 310 housing units. When complete, Mobile Loaves and Fishes believes it will be able to provide permanent homes for approximately 40% of the chronically homeless in Austin. The 51-acre planned village was designed to create a sense of community. The homes are "micro" on purpose, providing just enough comfort and privacy but small enough to encourage the owners to step outside. There they find front porches dotted along stone-paved paths that lead to community kitchens, laundry and wash rooms, meeting halls, playgrounds, a dog park, a barber shop, an outdoor movie theater, a medical facility and a community market. New residents might initially keep to themselves, but it is hard to resist the smell of Texas barbecue on the grill, or the sight of fresh vegetables grown on site and being sliced for the community potluck dinner.

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Liquor fortune heiress collapses after judge in sex-slave case asks her about Michael Avenatti and Mark Geragos
2019-03-28, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/clare-bronfman-nxivm-liquor-fortune-heiress-coll...

An already bizarre case accusing a secretive self-help group in upstate New York of engaging in sex-trafficking took another strange turn Wednesday thanks to firebrand attorney Michael Avenatti and a courtroom scene caused by a wealthy defendant he's tried to represent. At a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors confirmed that Avenatti appeared on behalf of liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman at a closed-door meeting last week that also included Mark Geragos, another high-profile lawyer representing Bronfman. Bronfman ... has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing her of bank-rolling NXIVM, an alleged cult-like organization accused of brainwashing and branding women who served as sex slaves for its spiritual leader. When U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis asked Geragos whether he and Avenatti, the lawyer best known for representing porn actress Stormy Daniels, had told prosecutors Avenatti was being brought into the case, he responded, "That's exactly what happened." Under stern questioning by the judge about which lawyers are actually representing Clare Bronfman and whether she knew if Geragos was involved in a criminal case revealed this week against Avenatti, she turned pale, staggered away from the bench and collapsed into a chair. An ambulance was called, but she later left the courthouse on the arm of Geragos. The development came only two days after Avenatti was arrested on charges accusing him of trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

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


Trump wants to give 62 cents of every dollar to the military. That's immoral
2019-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/27/trump-budget-military-i...

Donald Trump recently unleashed his dark vision for our nation and our world, in the form of his budget request to Congress. With this budget, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and disperses fully $750bn to the military. Out of every taxpayer dollar, in other words, 62 cents go to the military and our militarized Department of Homeland Security. (Veterans’ benefits take another seven cents.) The budget also cuts billions from non-discretionary anti-poverty programs outside of this $1tn. Medicaid and food stamps would be cut and disfigured beyond recognition. At every turn, the Trump budget finds vast billions for militarization, while it cuts much smaller poverty and other programs, claiming the goal is to save money. It includes $164bn in war funding, but it cuts $4.7bn in economic development and food assistance to other nations. It finds $14bn for a vanity project military branch called the space force, while it cuts $1.2bn for a program that’s built and preserved more than 1m affordable homes. It includes $11bn for contractor Lockheed Martin to build more F-35 jet fighters, but it cuts $3.7bn in heating and cooling assistance for 6m poor households. And it includes more than $12bn for a wall at our border, while it cuts $1bn for Job Corps. Unjust budgets and misplaced priorities aren’t just a Trump problem. The United States has been addicted to excessive military spending at the expense of true security at home for decades.

Note: Read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the military.


Purdue Pharma to pay $270 million to settle historic Oklahoma opioid lawsuit
2019-03-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/health/purdue-pharma-oklahoma-opioid-lawsuit-s...

Purdue Pharma has agreed to pay $270 million to settle a historic lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general, who accused the OxyContin maker of aggressively marketing the opioid painkiller and fueling a drug epidemic that left thousands dead in the state. The settlement comes after Purdue [sought] to delay the start of the trial, which is scheduled for May 28. Attorney General Mike Hunter said ... that $102.5 million of the settlement would be used to help establish a national addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University. The company will also provide $20 million of addiction treatment and opioid rescue medications to the center. A remaining $12.5 million from the settlement will be used directly to help cities and counties with the opioid crisis. The Sackler family, who founded and own Purdue Pharma, will also contribute $75 million over the next five years to the treatment and research center. The lawsuit was brought by Hunter against some of the nation's leading makers of opioid pain medications, alleging that deceptive marketing over the past decade fueled the epidemic in the state. Hunter has said the defendants - Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and others - deceived the public into believing that opioids were safe for extended use. The settlement was only with Purdue Pharma, and the other defendants are still scheduled to go to trial. Thirty-six states have brought cases against Purdue and other opioid drugmakers.

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


Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas
2019-03-26, Bloomberg
https://about.bnef.com/blog/battery-powers-latest-plunge-costs-threatens-coal...

Two technologies that were immature and expensive only a few years ago but are now at the center of the unfolding low-carbon energy transition have seen spectacular gains in cost-competitiveness in the last year. The latest analysis by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) shows that the benchmark levelized cost of electricity, or LCOE, for lithium-ion batteries has fallen 35% to $187 per megawatt-hour since the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, the benchmark LCOE for offshore wind has tumbled by 24%. Onshore wind and photovoltaic solar have also gotten cheaper, their respective benchmark LCOE reaching $50 and $57 per megawatt-hour for projects starting construction in early 2019, down 10% and 18% on the equivalent figures of a year ago. Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF, commented: “Looking back over this decade, there have been staggering improvements in the cost-competitiveness of these low-carbon options, thanks to technology innovation, economies of scale, stiff price competition and manufacturing experience. The most striking finding in this LCOE Update, for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix. Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it.

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


Pentagon Says Google’s Work on Drones is Exempt from the Freedom of Information Act
2019-03-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/03/25/google-project-maven-pentagon-foia/

In September 2017, Aileen Black wrote an email to her colleagues at Google. Black, who led sales to the U.S. government, worried that details of the company’s work to help the military guide lethal drones would become public through the Freedom of Information Act. “We will call tomorrow to reinforce the need to keep Google under the radar," Black wrote. According to a Pentagon memo signed last year, however, no one at Google needed worry: All 5,000 pages of documents about Google’s work on the drone effort, known as Project Maven, are barred from public disclosure, because they constitute “critical infrastructure security information." The memo is part of a recent wave of federal decisions that keep sensitive documents secret on that same basis - thus allowing agencies to quickly deny document requests. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed more than a year ago, seeking documents related to Project Maven’s use of Google technology, the Defense Department said that it had discovered 5,000 pages of relevant material - and that every single page was exempt from disclosure. Some of the pages included trade secrets, sensitive internal deliberations, and private personal information about some individuals, the department said. Such information can be withheld under the act. But it said all of the material could be kept private under “Exemption 3" of the act, which allows the government to withhold records under a grab bag of other federal statutes.

Note: Read more about Project Maven. Google employees strongly opposed working on war technology, and circulated a petition to stop the project. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Kenyan science teacher Peter Tabichi wins $1m global award
2019-03-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/mar/24/kenyan-science-teacher-pete...

A science teacher from rural Kenya who donates most of his salary to help poorer students has been crowned the world’s best teacher and awarded a $1m prize, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries. Peter Tabichi, 36, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, has won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019. Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, received his prize at a ceremony in Dubai. Tabichi gives away 80% of his income to help the poorest students at the poorly-equipped and overcrowded school who could not otherwise not afford uniforms and books. More than 90% of his pupils are from poor families and almost a third are orphans or have only one parent. Despite only having one computer, a poor internet connection and a student-teacher ratio of 58:1, Tabichi started a “talent nurturing club” and expanded the school’s science club, helping pupils design research projects of such quality that many now qualify for national competitions. His students have taken part in international science competitions and won an award from the Royal Society of Chemistry after harnessing local plant life to generate electricity. Tabichi and four colleagues also give struggling pupils one-to-one tuition in maths and science, visiting students’ homes and meeting their families to identify the challenges they face. Enrollment at the school has doubled to 400 over three years. Girls’ achievement in particular has been boosted.

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


Investors are starting to bet big on psychedelic medicine
2019-03-23, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/27/psychedelic-medicine-start-ups-vet-ketamine-p...

Psychedelic medicine is having a moment. Just weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, a group of European technology investors ... got together for the largest-ever private financing round for a psychedelic medicine biotech company, ATAI. Psychedelic medicine involves research and investigations into mind-altering substances to treat mental illnesses including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. After recreational use of psychedelics became popular in the 1960s, the U.S. government classified most of them “drugs of abuse” with no real medical value. However, recent clinical studies show mounting evidence that some psychedelics can help patients with certain mental illnesses, either in combination with traditional therapies or in cases where nothing else has worked. Now health and technology investors are paying attention. German company ATAI Life Sciences announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $40 million in new financing. The round valued the company at $240 million, according to a person familiar, making it both the biggest round and the most valuable company in the young space. ATAI is currently funding clinical trials for what it refers to as “formerly stigmatized compounds,” including psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms, and arketamine, a different variant of ketamine from the one Johnson & Johnson researched, as potential treatments for depression.

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


The Strange Tale of the FBI’s Fictional “Black Identity Extremism” Movement
2019-03-23, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/black-identity-extremist-fbi-domestic-ter...

Hours after police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on a quiet suburban street in Ferguson, Missouri, Olajuwon Ali Davis stood with a few dozen people on that same street. Davis, who was 22 at the time, kept showing up as the protests grew larger. Three months later, Davis and another young man named Brandon Orlando Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and accused of planning to ... blow up St. Louis’s iconic Gateway Arch. Three years later, the FBI listed Davis’s case in a secret memo warning of the rise of a “black identity extremist” movement whose members’ “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans” spurred what the FBI claimed was “an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.” The “black identity extremism” report was prepared by the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit ... and was distributed to scores of local and federal law enforcement partners. Davis and Baldwin ... appear to be the first individuals retroactively labeled by the FBI as “black identity extremists.” According to The Intercept’s analysis, Davis and Olajuwon’s case was the only federal prosecution of individuals the FBI considers to be “black identity extremists” that resulted in a conviction. By comparison, the analysis found that 268 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in federal courts since 9/11 for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism.

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


16 Years Later, How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It
2019-03-22, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/iraq-war-media-fail-m...

Sixteen years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. We went in on an unconvincing excuse, articulated by George W. Bush: “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.” To the lie about the possession of WMDs, Bush added a few more: that Hussein “trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al-Qaeda.” WMD became the archetype of a modern propaganda campaign. In the popular imagination, the case for war was driven by a bunch of Republicans and one ... New York Times reporter named Judith Miller. It’s been forgotten this was actually a business-wide consensus, which included the enthusiastic participation of a blue-state intelligentsia. The Washington Post and New York Times were key editorial-page drivers of the conflict; MSNBC unhired Phil Donahue and Jesse Ventura over their war skepticism; CNN flooded the airwaves with generals and ex-Pentagon stoolies, and broadcast outlets ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS stacked the deck even worse: In a two-week period before the invasion, the networks had just one American guest out of 267 who questioned the war. The WMD episode is remembered as a grotesque journalistic failure, one that led to disastrous war that spawned ISIS.

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


Victims can't make a federal case out of police who stole their money
2019-03-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Court-Victims-can-t-make-a-federal-c...

Police are violating no “clearly established rights” when they steal someone’s property after seizing it with a legal search warrant and, therefore, can’t be sued in federal court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate a suit against Fresno police by two people whose homes and business were searched in 2013 during a gambling investigation. After the search, three officers signed an inventory sheet saying they had seized about $50,000. But the two owners, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who operated automatic teller machines ... said the officers had actually taken $276,000 - $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins - and pocketed the difference. Darrell York, Jessop’s and Ashjian’s attorney, said police and a city attorney denied that a theft occurred. Even if Kumagai and his fellow officers stole money and coins from Jessop and Ashjian, the appeals court said, the owners could not sue in federal court to get their money back. Such a suit would require proof that their constitutional rights were violated, the court said, and suits against police must clear the additional hurdle of showing that those rights were “clearly established.” “The allegation of any theft by police officers - most certainly the theft of over $225,000 - is undoubtedly deeply disturbing,” Judge Milan Smith said in the 3-0 ruling. “Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious.”

Note: Read about "civil asset forfeiture" used by police to steal money and other private property for their departments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


How to Blow $700 Billion
2019-03-20, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/how-to-blow-700-billion-8...

According to a study led by Michigan State University professor Mark Skidmore, some $21 trillion in Pentagon accounting transactions, made over a 17-year period, lack supporting data. This doesn’t mean the money is gone - the Pentagon only received roughly $9.2 trillion in budget money during that time - but it does mean the system is so choked with bad numbers, we have little idea of what mischief might be taking place at the Department of Defense. Double-billing [is] an alarmingly simple scheme. As Andy the Air Force accountant puts it: “A contractor accidentally invoices the military twice. It gets paid twice.” For example, one company got paid in full for delivering just 28 percent of a lug-nut contract; or the Swiss contractor that supposedly over-billed by $757 million to supply the troops in Afghanistan. In one of the worst military scandals in recent history, a contractor called “Fat Leonard” reportedly bribed Navy officials with prostitutes and more than $500,000 in order to steer Navy boats to his portside service centers, where he systematically overbilled taxpayers. The ... grifter got more than $200 million in Navy contracts. On paper, the military can lose track of even big things — like 39 Black Hawk helicopters. But Andy thinks if independent analysts get to actually count the stuff that’s supposed to be sitting in depots, this will [reveal] the true extent of the corruption and/or disorganization in the military.

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


Jurors say Roundup contributed to a 2nd man's cancer. Now thousands more cases against Monsanto await
2019-03-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/20/health/monsanto-verdict-federal/index.html

A federal jury dealt a huge blow to Monsanto, saying its popular weedkiller Roundup was a substantial factor in causing a California man's cancer. It's the second time in eight months that a jury has reached such a decision. But Edwin Hardeman's case against Monsanto is the first to be tried in federal court. And thousands of similar cases are still pending at the federal or state level. But this trial isn't over yet. While the first phase focused on whether Roundup caused Hardeman's cancer, the second phase ... focuses on whether Monsanto is liable. It's unclear how much the jury might award Hardeman in damages, if anything at all. But last August, in the first state trial over whether Roundup can cause cancer, California jurors awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson $289 million in punitive and compensatory damages. A judge later reduced the total award to $78 million. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who used Roundup started suing Monsanto by the hundreds after a World Health Organization report ... said glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans." While debate continues over whether glyphosate is safe, parts of the country are limiting or banning it, said the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. "Following the state court decision last year, we saw a huge uptick in local ordinances that would regulate the use of Roundup on playgrounds, schoolyards and public parks," said PIRG's Kara Cook-Schultz, who leads a campaign to ban Roundup.

Note: Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


U.S.’s Biggest Christian Charity Reportedly Channeled $56.1 Million to Purported Hate Groups
2019-03-20, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/biggest-christian-charity-funding-hate-groups-1370055

The nation's eighth-largest nonprofit donated $56.1 million to a series of organizations identified as hate groups from 2015 to 2017, according to a report from Sludge. National Christian Foundation, which identifies itself as the largest Christian grant maker and one of the largest donor-advised funds in the nation, has served as a vehicle for individuals trying to anonymously send money. Donor-advised funds allow individuals sending the tax deductible contributions to remain anonymous from the IRS and instruct where they want the payments to be sent. For those donating via NCF, this meant sending money to 23 organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled hate groups. Most of the hate organizations that received money from the NCF opposed LGBT rights. The report also found that the NCF donated to anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant organizations. Organizations receiving the most funds from NCF included the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has advocated for sterilizing transgender individuals, and the Family Research Council, which has advocated conversion therapy. Members of the Family Research Council including Tony Perkins, the organization's president, have sought to link pedophilia and homosexuality. The NCF's website says it has "accepted over $12 billion in contributions and made over $10 billion in giver-recommended grants to more than 55,000 charities."

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


The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit
2019-03-17, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/pentagon-budget-myste...

Despite being the taxpayers’ greatest investment - more than $700 billion a year - the Department of Defense has remained an organizational black box throughout its history. It’s repelled generations of official inquiries, the latest being an audit three decades in the making, mainly by scrambling its accounting into such a mess that it may never be untangled. Ahead of misappropriation, fraud, theft, overruns, contracting corruption and other abuses that are almost certainly still going on, the Pentagon’s first problem is its books. It’s the world’s largest producer of wrong numbers. At the tail end of last year, the Department of Defense finally completed an audit. At a cost of $400 million, some 1,200 auditors charged into the jungle of military finance, but returned in defeat. They were unable to pass the Pentagon or flunk it. They could only offer no opinion, explaining the military’s empire of hundreds of acronymic accounting silos was too illogical to penetrate. Twenty-nine years ago, in 1990, Congress ordered all government agencies to begin producing audited financial statements. In 2011, [the Pentagon] finally agreed to be ready by 2017, which turned into 2018. If and when the defense review is ever completed, we’re likely to find ... the military’s losses and liabilities hidden in Enron-like special-purpose vehicles, assets systematically overvalued, monies Congress approved for X feloniously diverted to Program Y, contractors paid twice, parts bought twice, repairs done unnecessarily and at great expense, and so on.

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


Leaked Documents Show the Government Tracking Journalists
2019-03-16, NBC (Los Angeles affiliate)
https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international/Source-Leaked-Docum...

The U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports. At the end of 2018, roughly 5,000 immigrants from Central America made their way north through Mexico to the United States southern border. As the migrant caravan reached the San Ysidro Port of Entry in south San Diego County, so did journalists, attorneys, and advocates who were there to work and witness the events unfolding. But in the months that followed, journalists who covered the caravan, as well as those who offered assistance to caravan members, said they felt they had become targets of intense inspections and scrutiny by border officials. Documents leaked to NBC 7 Investigates show [that the] government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least two photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work. The documents were provided to NBC 7 by a Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity. The individuals listed include ten journalists, seven of whom are U.S. citizens, a U.S. attorney, and 48 people from the U.S. and other countries, labeled as organizers, instigators or their roles “unknown.” In addition to flagging the individuals for secondary screenings, the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 that the agents also created dossiers on each person listed.

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


Since 1990s, heart attacks have become less deadly, frequent for Americans
2019-03-15, Yale News
https://news.yale.edu/2019/03/15/1990s-heart-attacks-have-become-less-deadly-...

Heart attack prevention and outcomes have dramatically improved for American adults in the past two decades, according to a Yale study in JAMA Network Open. Compared to the mid-1990s, Americans today are less likely to have heart attacks and also less likely to die from them, said the researchers. Tracking more than four million Medicare patients between 1995 and 2014, this is the largest and most comprehensive study of heart attacks in the United States to date. Its two key findings are that hospitalizations for heart attacks have declined by 38%, and the 30-day mortality rate for heart attacks is at an all-time low of 12%, down by more than a third since 1995. In the words of Dr. Harlan Krumholz, lead author and Yale cardiologist, these gains are “remarkable.” The Yale cardiologist also believes these gains are no accident. Krumholz explained that the last 20 years have been marked by national efforts to prevent heart attacks and improve care for those who suffer them. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association — along with other organizations and “legions of researchers and clinicians and public health experts” — have focused on reducing risk by promoting healthy lifestyles, addressing risk factors, and improving the quality of care, the researchers noted.

Note: It's interesting how little reporting this wonderful news has received in the press. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages
2019-03-14, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wikipedia-paid-editing-pr-facebook-nbc-axios_n...

The vast majority of the people who propose and make changes to Wikipedia are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit. That’s [paid Wikipedia editor Ed] Sussman’s business. And in just the past few years, companies including Axios, NBC, Nextdoor and Facebook’s PR firm have all paid him to manipulate public perception using a tool most people would never think to check. One of Wikipedia’s more well-known rules is its prohibition on editing pages that you have any sort of direct connection to. But ... anyone, even someone financially tied to the subject in question, is allowed to merely suggest edits in the hopes that a less conflicted editor might come by, agree, and implement the changes for them. This is where a paid editor like Sussman comes in. On his website, Sussman identifies himself as “a journalist, lawyer, academic and technology entrepreneur” who “is often called upon in ‘crisis management’ situations where inaccurate or misleading information has been placed in a Wikipedia article.” Sussman’s main strategy for convincing editors to make the changes his clients want is to cite as many tangentially related rules as possible (he is, after all, a lawyer). He often replies to nearly every single bit of pushback with walls of text arguing his case. Trying to get through even a fraction of it is exhausting, and because Wikipedia editors are unpaid, there’s little motivation to continue dealing with Sussman’s arguments. So he usually gets his way.

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


How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger
2019-03-13, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/03/13/685533353/a-playful-way-...

Traditional Inuit parenting is incredibly nurturing and tender. The culture views scolding - or even speaking to children in an angry voice - as inappropriate, says Lisa Ipeelie, a radio producer and mom who grew up with 12 siblings. "When they're little, it doesn't help to raise your voice," she says. Even if the child hits you or bites you, there's no raising your voice? "No," Ipeelie says with a giggle that seems to emphasize how silly my question is. "With little kids, you often think they're pushing your buttons, but that's not what's going on. They're upset about something, and you have to figure out what it is." Traditionally, the Inuit saw yelling at a small child as demeaning. It's as if the adult is having a tantrum; it's basically stooping to the level of the child. But if you don't scold or talk in an angry tone, how do you discipline? For thousands of years, the Inuit have relied on an ancient tool with an ingenious twist: "We use storytelling to discipline," [parenting teacher Goota] Jaw says. For example, how do you teach kids to stay away from the ocean, where they could easily drown? Instead of yelling, "Don't go near the water!" Jaw says Inuit parents take a pre-emptive approach and tell kids a special story about what's inside the water. "It's the sea monster," Jaw says, with a giant pouch on its back just for little kids. "If a child walks too close to the water, the monster will ... drag you down to the ocean and adopt you out to another family," Jaw says. "Then we don't need to yell at a child," Jaw says, "because she is already getting the message."

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


Federal court moves to unseal documents in Jeffrey Epstein scandal
2019-03-11, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article227411649.html

A federal court of appeals in New York on Monday took the first step in unsealing documents that could reveal evidence of an international sex trafficking operation allegedly run by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his former partner, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. The three-judge panel ... gave the parties until March 19 to establish good cause as to why they should remain sealed and, failing to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public. The court reserved a ruling on the balance of the documents in the civil case. “We’re grateful that the court ruled the summary judgment papers are open,” said Sanford Bohrer, the attorney representing the Miami Herald, which filed the motion last year to have the entire case file opened. The Herald’s appeal is supported by 32 other media companies, including the New York Times and Washington Post. Epstein, 66, was not a party to the lawsuit, which was filed against Maxwell in 2015 by Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre claimed in the lawsuit that she was recruited by Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, when she was 16 years old. Giuffre had been working at the resort’s spa when Maxwell approached her and asked her whether she wanted to become a masseuse for Epstein. Giuffre claimed that the massages were a ruse for Epstein and Maxwell to sexually abuse her and other underage girls, some of whom were trafficked to other influential people.

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


Norway's $1tn wealth fund to divest from oil and gas exploration
2019-03-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/08/norways-1tn-wealth-fund-to-dive...

The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages $1tn (Ł770bn) of Norway’s assets, is to dump investments in firms that explore for oil and gas, but will still hold stakes in firms such as BP and Shell that have renewable energy divisions. The Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), whose assets exceed those of rival sovereign wealth funds ... said it would phase out oil exploration from its “investment universe”. “The objective is to reduce the vulnerability of our common wealth to a permanent oil price decline,” said Norway’s finance minister, Siv Jensen. “Hence, it is more accurate to sell companies which explore and produce oil and gas, rather than selling a broadly diversified energy sector.” Greenpeace UK’s oil campaigner, Charlie Kronick, said: “This partial divestment from oil and gas [sends] a clear signal that companies betting on the expansion of their oil and gas businesses present an unacceptable risk, not only to the climate but also to investors. “While BP and Shell are excluded from the current divestment proposal, they must now recognise that if they continue to spend billions chasing new fossil fuels, they are doomed.” Tom Sanzillo, director of finance for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said: “These are very important statements from a big fund. They’re doing it because fossil fuel stocks are not producing the value that they have historically. He said GPFG’s investment strategy also “underscores that the fracking business model is unsustainable”.

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


Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths
2019-03-07, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47480207

President Donald Trump has revoked a policy set by his predecessor requiring US intelligence officials to publish the number of civilians killed in drone strikes outside of war zones. The 2016 executive order was brought in by then-President Barack Obama, who was under pressure to be more transparent. Since the 9/11 terror attack, drone strikes have been increasingly used against terror and military targets. The rule ... required the head of the CIA to release annual summaries of US drone strikes and assess how many died as a result. Mr Trump's executive order does not overturn reporting requirements on civilian deaths set for the military by Congress. During Mr Obama's eight years in office, 1,878 drone strikes were carried out. Since Mr Trump was elected in 2016, there have been 2,243 drone strikes. The Republican president has also made some of the operations, the ones outside of war zones, more secretive. As a result, things have different today: under Mr Trump, there are more drone strikes - and less transparency. Lawmakers and rights groups have criticised Mr Trump's decision, saying it could allow the CIA to conduct drone strikes without accountability. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat who chairs Congress's intelligence committee, called the requirement issued by Obama "an important measure of transparency," and said "there is simply no justification" for cancelling it.

Note: This 2014 article describes how attempts to kill 41 men with drone strikes resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Jared Kushner goes rogue in Saudi Arabia, prompting national security concerns
2019-03-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/jared-kushner-s...

Jared Kushner has gone rogue. Donald Trump’s senior White House adviser once again abandoned government normalities during an official state trip to Saudi Arabia, reportedly discussing US-Saudi cooperation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a meeting that lacked representation from the US Embassy in Riyadh. The 38-year-old adviser also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US’ economic investment in the Middle East with Saudi royalty, including King Salman, according to a White House readout from the trip. Naveed Jamali - a former US Defence Department intelligence officer and double agent - [said] the Trump administration has frequently “blurred the lines of communication” between government agencies by sending Mr Kushner to meet with top international officials. “We know there is a flawed system by the fact that Jared Kushner has a security clearance,” Mr Jamali ... said on Thursday, noting the 38-year-old adviser’s omission of Russian contacts from his initial clearance application and foreign business assets that would typically bar an official from receiving a clearance. Multiple sources from the US embassy in Riyadh have reportedly said they were not read into the details of Mr Kushner’s Saudi Arabia visit, and have yet to receive any sort of briefing on the White House official’s meetings with Saudi leadership. During his meetings with the Saudi crown prince, Mr Kushner seemingly failed to mention the high-profile killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist.

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


Sanders, Harris and Warren defend Ilhan Omar amid controversy over Israel comments
2019-03-06, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/politics/bernie-sanders-defends-ilhan-omar/ind...

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday defended Rep. Ilhan Omar against the backlash to her comments slamming pro-Israel groups and politicians, which have been called anti-Semitic. Sanders, who is Jewish, said criticism of Omar and efforts to get her taken off the House Foreign Affairs Committee ... are aimed at stopping a discussion about American's foreign policy toward Israel. [He] differentiated between promoting anti-Semitism and criticizing Israel as a state. Harris called out all instances of bigotry and expressed concern that the focus on Omar "may put her at risk." Warren [stated], "Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Threats of violence -- like those made against Rep. Omar -- are never acceptable." Last month, Omar faced criticism for tweets insinuating that the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee was effectively buying off US politicians. The Minnesota Democrat subsequently apologized after demands from Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. Omar [also] implied that pro-Israel lawmakers are under a "political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country." House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel said Tuesday that he does not want Omar removed from her seat on the committee because of her recent comments, despite previously calling for her to apologize in a fiery statement.


Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Other Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars”
2019-03-04, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/03/04/common-defense-congress-forever-wars-pledge/

Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill. The pledge was written and organized by a group called Common Defense ... which advocates for scaling back U.S. military commitments overseas. The effort ... is unique in that it is driven almost exclusively by veterans and focuses on global conflicts broadly, rather than one specific war. In 2001, Congress authorized military operations against the groups responsible for those attacks. In the years since, that congressional authorization has been interpreted broadly and has led to combat against groups, like the Islamic State, that did not exist on 9/11. “The United States has been in a state of continuous, global, open-ended military conflict since 2001. Over 2.5 million troops have fought in this ‘Forever War’ in over a dozen countries – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia, and Thailand,” the pledge reads. It continues: “I pledge to the people of the United States of America, and to our military community in particular, that I will (1) fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force, and (2) act to bring the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion.”

Note: To understand how the military-industrial complex continually undermines democracy and creates pretexts for war to pad the pockets of those who support the war machine, see this most excellent collection of major media news articles. Read a great article on how polarization is negatively impacting our world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


3 of U.S.’s biggest religious denominations in turmoil over sex abuse, LGBT policy
2019-03-03, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/3-big-us-churches-in-turmoil-over-sex-abu...

It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations, as sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion fuel anguish and anger within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches. There’s rising concern that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion. For the U.S. Catholic church, the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has unfolded over two decades expanded dramatically in recent months. Many dioceses have become targets of investigations since a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse. In mid-February, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was expelled from the priesthood for sexually abusing minors and seminarians. The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, confronted its own sex-abuse crisis three weeks ago in the form of an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. The newspapers reported that hundreds of Southern Baptist clergy and staff had been accused of sexual misconduct ... including dozens who returned to church duties, while leaving more than 700 victims with little in the way of justice. The United Methodist Church, the largest mainline Protestant denomination, ended a pivotal conference Tuesday in a seemingly irreconcilable split over same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBT clergy. About 53 percent of the delegates voted to maintain bans on those practices.

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


What decades of traffic stop data reveals about police bias
2019-03-02, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-decades-of-traffic-stop-data-reveals-about-...

Philando Castile, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland were all pulled over by police in routine traffic stops. All are dead. In an effort to curb racial profiling, North Carolina became the first state to demand the collection and release of traffic stop data. University of North Carolina professor Frank Baumgartner took a look at that data and wrote a book on the subject titled, "Suspect Citizens." Baumgartner analyzed 22 million traffic stops over 20 years ... and found that a driver's race, gender, location and age all factor in to a police officer's decision to pull over a vehicle. The data showed that African Americans had been stopped twice as often as white drivers, and while they were four times more likely to be searched, they were actually less likely to be issued a ticket. The study also highlighted that whites were more likely to be found with contraband than blacks or Hispanics. "There's a way that police interact with middle-class white Americans and there's a way that people in the police forces interact with members of minority communities, especially in poorer neighborhoods," Baumgartner said. Police discretion is a power that's been backed by the U.S. Supreme Court for decades. Baumgartner believes that's largely because the court looks like him, a white man. Philando Castile was stopped 46 times according to police records, racking up a total of $6,000 in fines. "When we look at some of these infractions, they're trivial. It's not keeping us any safer," Baumgartner said.

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


Only six countries have equal rights for men and women, World Bank finds
2019-03-02, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/02/europe/world-bank-gender-equality-report-intl/...

The world is moving towards legal gender equality - but it's moving very, very slowly. Only six countries currently give women and men equal rights, a major report from the World Bank has found. That's an increase - from zero - compared to a decade ago, when the organization started measuring countries by how effectively they guarantee legal and economic equality between the genders. But the rate of progress means that, by CNN calculations, women won't achieve full equality in the areas studied by the World Bank until 2073. Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden scored full marks of 100 in the bank's "Women, Business and the Law 2019" report. Of those nations, France saw the biggest improvement over the past decade for implementing a domestic violence law, providing criminal penalties for workplace sexual harassment and introducing paid parental leave. But countries in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa averaged a score of 47.37, meaning the typical nation in those regions gives women under half the legal rights of men in the areas measured by the group. The study ... did not measure social and cultural factors, or how effectively laws were enforced. The criteria analyzed were: going places, starting a job, getting paid, getting married, having children, running a business, managing assets and getting a pension. Overall, the global average came in at 74.71. The score indicates that in the average nation, women receive just three-quarters of the legal rights that men do.

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


Anti-vaccine movies disappear from Amazon after CNN Business report
2019-03-01, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/01/tech/amazon-anti-vaccine-movies-schiff/index.html

Amazon has apparently started removing anti-vaccine documentaries from its Amazon Prime Video streaming service. The move came days after a CNN Business report highlighted the anti-vaccine comment available on the site, and hours after Rep. Adam Schiff wrote an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, saying he is concerned "that Amazon is surfacing and recommending" anti-vaccination books and movies. Anti-vaccine movies that were previously available free for Prime subscribers, like "We Don't Vaccinate!," "Shoot 'Em Up: The Truth About Vaccines," and "Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," are now "currently unavailable." While some anti-vaccine videos are gone from the Prime streaming service, a number of anti-vaccine books were still available for purchase on Amazon.com ... and some were still being offered for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. A sponsored post for the book "Vaccines On Trial: Truth and Consequences of Mandatory Shots" also remained live. Amongst the titles taken down are "VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe," the notorious anti-vaccine documentary that was banned from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, and whose director, Andrew Wakefield, is one of the central figures in the anti-vaccine movements. Schiff had previously written letters to the heads of Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, about anti-vaccine content on their platforms. Both companies publicly vowed to make changes to how anti-vaccine content is made available.

Note: This New York Times article reports that facebook is also removing key vaccine content. Our freedom to access information on all sides of various debates is gradually being eroded by giants like amazon and facebook. The documentary "Vaxxed" presents solid, verifiable evidence of a major cover-up around vaccine safety. You can find it on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccine risks from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


U.S. in UFO Race with China, Russia, Former Senate Majority Leader Suggests
2019-03-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/ufo-2019-harry-reid-china-russia-senate-unexplained-...

Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Senator Harry Reid argued for continued study into UFO phenomena in an interview with CBS affiliate KLAS 8 in Las Vegas, citing competition from Russia and China. “I’ll bet you anything that China is spending some money checking this out. I’ll bet you anything KGB Putin is spending some money checking this out,” Reid told George Knapp. “Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dropped major hints that he knows potential adversaries, Russia and China, have carried out their own military studies to figure out how UFOs work and how to build their own,” Knapp said during the broadcast, citing anonymous Pentagon sources to claim dozens of UFOs have been encountered off the coast of Florida and Virginia in the last three years. Reid said he understands why officials ... might be skeptical about dedicating resources to studying Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP), but he also [alluded] to a rash of recent UFO sightings prompted by scheduled SpaceX launches. “This has been going on for a long time. These sightings are said to have been set off by a rocket in California. People in responsibility, whether it’s the Pentagon or whatever it might be - they don’t want to have to try to explain something that’s, many times, not explainable,” Reid said. The interview with Reid also delved into classified UFO studies conducted by the Pentagon and revealed by The New York Times.

Note: See a revealing letter written from Senator Harry Reid to the deputy secretary of defense support further explorations into a UFO program. An intriguing online video interview with Reid and further discussion is available in this informative media article. 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.


Trader Joe's is removing more than 1 million pounds in plastic packaging annually
2019-03-01, NBC (Vermont affiliate)
https://www.mynbc5.com/article/trader-joes-is-removing-more-than-1-million-po...

As people become more conscious about reducing their plastic consumption, Trader Joe's was facing mounting criticism for an "overuse of packaging." The retailer said it's been listening to customers' feedback on the issue, and in response, has stopped offering single-use plastic carryout bags in stores nationwide (already banned in all large stores in California). In addition to that, Trader Joe's officials said it has replaced plastic produce bags with biodegradable and compostable options, which we've noticed recently at San Francisco and Oakland stores. Officials added the retailer has also replaced Styrofoam trays that used to be used in produce packaging with compostable trays. Other changes Trader Joe's is phasing in include: Selling more produce as loose items, instead of bagged in plastic; Eliminating plastic sleeves on greeting cards and replacing them with a compostable material; Eliminating plastic wrappers for flower bouquets and replacing them with a renewable material. Since China drastically cut the amount of American recycling waste it was purchasing, there has been an added emphasis on the "reduce" part of "reduce, reuse, recycle" when it comes to plastic. Much of the world's plastic waste never ends up getting recycled, instead finding its way to landfills or the ocean. San Francisco's "Zero Waste" initiative leads the country in this regard — the city diverts more than 80 percent of its waste away from landfills.

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


Saudis Join With US to Kill EU Effort to Create Dirty Money Blacklist
2019-03-01, CommonDreams.org
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/01/saudis-join-us-kill-eu-effort-cr...

The United States and key ally Saudi Arabia saw their lobbying efforts pay off on Friday after the European Commission's proposed dirty money blacklist - which included the oil-rich kingdom and several American territories - fizzled. "The Americans fell on us like a tonne of bricks," an anonymous Brussels official [said]. The effort "to protect the integrity of the E.U. financial system," the commission said last month, included blacklisting 23 territories that had "strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks." They included American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico as well as Saudi Arabia. However, as the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, "European governments, under pressure from Washington and Riyadh, have refused to endorse" the list. "The rejection of the governments is a farce at the expense of security," declared Sven Giegold, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. "Governments must ask themselves whether they are on the side of autocrats or their citizens!" As Politico reported, the list, which would need the backing of the European Parliament and Council of the E.U. to go into effect, "is politically sensitive because it has teeth. E.U. banks that handle payments connected to the blacklisted countries and territories would have to conduct 'enhanced due diligence' on any cash that moves to and from the E.U. and the blacklisted jurisdictions."

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


The U.S. is funding dangerous experiments it doesn’t want you to know about
2019-02-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-is-funding-dangerous-experimen...

In 2014, U.S. officials imposed a moratorium on experiments to enhance some of the world’s most lethal viruses by making them transmissible by air, responding to widespread concerns that a lab accident could spark a global pandemic. Apparently, the government has decided the research should now move ahead. In the past year, the U.S. government quietly greenlighted funding for two groups of researchers, one in the United States and the other in the Netherlands, to conduct transmission-enhancing experiments on the bird flu virus. Neither the approval nor the deliberations or judgments that supported it were announced publicly. This lack of transparency is unacceptable. Making decisions to approve potentially dangerous research in secret betrays the government’s responsibility to inform and involve the public when approving endeavors ... that could put health and lives at risk. Hundreds of researchers ... publicly opposed these experiments when they were first announced. In response to these concerns, the government issued a framework in 2017 for special review of “enhanced” pathogens that could become capable of causing a pandemic. The framework ... requires that experts in public-health preparedness and response, biosafety, ethics and law, among others, evaluate the work, but it is unclear from the public record if that happened. This secrecy means we don’t know how these requirements were applied, if at all, to the experiments now funded by the government.

Note: Read more on strangeness from governments surrounding the avian flu here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Study: Patients Find More Relief In Marijuana's Psychoactive Compound THC Than In CBD
2019-02-27, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2019/02/27/study-patients-find-more-...

CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, hemp and hops, has been getting a lot of attention from the media recently. On the other hand, THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes people feel “high” or “stoned,” is often overlooked (and sometimes even looked down on) when discussing marijuana’s medical potential. However, a new study ... published on the Scientific Reports journal on Tuesday, revealed that THC exhibited the “strongest correlation with therapeutic relief, compared to the more socially acceptable chemical found in cannabis, CBD (cannabinol).” Cannabinoid content, and especially THC content, came out as the main factor for optimizing symptom relief, when tested for a wide variety of health conditions. [Study co-author Jacob Miguel] Vigil explained the results derived from the observation of real-time data from Releaf App, which he qualified as “the largest database of its kind in our country.” Using the app, patients reported the results and effects of their actual cannabis use. The researchers discovered cannabis is more effective for the treatment of mental symptoms like agitation, irritability, anxiety, depression, excessive appetite, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, gastrointestinal pain, stress and tremors, than it is in the treatment of physical ailments. Despite the conventional wisdom ... that only CBD has medical benefits while THC merely makes one high, our results suggest that THC may be more important than CBD in generating therapeutic benefits.

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


California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it
2019-02-26, Mercury News (Silicon Valley's leading newspaper)
https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/26/california-keeps-a-secret-list-of-crim...

Thousands of California law enforcement officers have been convicted of a crime in the past decade, according to records released by a public agency that sets standards for officers in the Golden State. The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them. In fact, Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned two Berkeley-based reporters that simply possessing this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops is a violation of the law. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training — known as POST — provided the information last month in response to routine Public Records Act requests from reporters. When [California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra’s office learned about the disclosure, it threatened the reporters with legal action unless they destroyed the records. The documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest over police accountability. The list includes cops who trafficked drugs, cops who stole money from their departments and even one who robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. Some sexually assaulted suspects. Others took bribes, filed false reports and committed perjury. A large number drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol — sometimes killing people on the road. The Berkeley journalists chose not to publish the entire list until they could spend more time reporting to avoid misidentifying people among the nearly 12,000 names in the documents.

Note: An astounding August 2018 article in the Los Angeles Times reveals how California became the most secretive state on police misconduct. More here and on this webpage.


A high school government class wanted to help solve civil rights crimes. So they drafted a bill that is now law
2019-02-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/26/us/new-jersey-students-civil-rights-bill-trnd/...

A high school class in Hightstown, New Jersey, has found an impressive way to shed light on unsolved civil rights crimes from the 1950s and '60s. The AP class, studying US government, drafted a bill that would create a board to review, declassify, and release documents related to such cases. The students ... went to Washington, walked the halls of Senate office buildings and passed out folders with policy research and information about their bill, said former student Joshua Fayer. Their efforts caught the attention of Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, who introduced the bill - modeled after the JFK Assassination Records Act - in March 2017. Later Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Ted Cruz of Texas signed on. The House and Senate versions ... passed late last year, and President Trump signed the bill into law on January 8. Former student Jay Vainganker said the class was initially trying to solve unresolved hate crimes from the [civil rights] era. They filed public records requests for information from the FBI and Department of Justice, and they got back redacted responses from the government. In some cases, entire pages were redacted. That's when their focus changed, Vaingankar said. They decided to draft a bill that would make the government "a little bit more transparent." The Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act creates "a board that would be authorized to look at these documents and see what should be redacted, what isn't relevant, what should be released," he said.

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


Forget overpopulation. The world could soon face a population bust
2019-02-24, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bricker-ibbitson-women-lower-birt...

An Indian woman coming of age in 1960 would have had, typically, six children, according to United Nations data. Today, Indian women have just over two children on average. It’s a shift with profound implications, and one that doesn’t fit most people’s expectations. The U.N. Population Division predicts that 11.2 billion people will burden the Earth at the end of the century. If it happens, it would trigger an overpopulation crisis. But a growing number of demographers and other authorities are beginning to doubt those predictions. They believe the future will be defined not by a population bomb, but by a population bust. To research the planet’s population future, we talked about family size with people on six continents — academics and statisticians and government officials, but also young women and men who agreed to sit down for a chat about their futures. In addition, Ipsos Public Affairs polled people in 26 countries — developed and developing — asking how many children they wanted. What we discovered is that almost everywhere women and men want about two children on average, a birth rate that will stabilize global population and may mean it will drop, rather than explode. Rapid urbanization appears to be what’s driving the trend. Fifty-five percent of the people on the globe now live in cities. As people in developing companies leave the countryside, women gain access to media, to education, to information from other urbanized women, and they choose to have small families.

Note: Explore an abundance of solid evidence suggesting world population will be declining by the end of the decade. Read a BBC News article titled "'Remarkable' decline in fertility rates" for more on this emerging trend. For more, see this summary.


These Are the World's Healthiest Nations
2019-02-24, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-24/spain-tops-italy-as-world-...

Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country. That’s according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health. Spain placed sixth in the previous gauge, published in 2017. Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan was the healthiest Asian nation, jumping three places from the 2017 survey into fourth and replacing Singapore, which dropped to eighth. Australia and Israel rounded out the top 10 at seventh and 10th place. The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation. Researchers say eating habits may provide clues to health levels enjoyed by Spain and Italy [#2 on the list], as a “Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a lower rate of major cardiovascular events than those assigned to a reduced-fat diet,” according to a study led by the University of Navarra Medical School. Meanwhile in North America, Canada’s 16th-place ranking far surpassed the U.S. and Mexico, both of which dropped slightly to 35th and 53rd. Life expectancy in the U.S. has been trending lower due to deaths from drug overdoses and suicides.

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


Why Food Could Be the Best Medicine of All
2019-02-23, Time Magazine
http://time.com/5534352/food-best-medicine/

Launched in 2017 by the Geisinger Health System at one of its community hospitals, the Fresh Food Farmacy provides healthy foods - heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-sodium options - to patients in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and teaches them how to incorporate those foods into their daily diet. Geisinger’s program is one of a number of groundbreaking efforts that finally consider food a critical part of a patient’s medical care - and treat food as medicine that can have as much power to heal as drugs. People’s health is the sum of much more than the medications they take and the tests they get - health is affected by how much people sleep and exercise, how much stress they’re shouldering and, yes, what they are eating at every meal. Food is becoming a particular focus of doctors, hospitals, insurers and even employers who are frustrated by the slow progress of drug treatments in reducing food-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and even cancer. They’re also encouraged by the growing body of research that supports the idea that when people eat well, they stay healthier and are more likely to control chronic diseases and perhaps even avoid them altogether. “When you prioritize food and teach people how to prepare healthy meals, lo and behold, it can end up being more impactful than medications themselves,” says Dr. Jaewon Ryu, interim president and CEO of Geisinger. “That’s a big win.”

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


Can Happiness Trickle Down from the Global Elite?
2019-02-22, Greater Good
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/can_happiness_trickle_down_from...

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, is not what you’d call a “woo woo” gathering. It convenes chief executives from over 1,000 member-companies ... to discuss the big social, economic, and political issues of the day. We had accepted the invitation to present at WEF with some reservations - would all these businesspeople welcome the [Greater Good Science Center]’s science-backed insights for a more meaningful life? WEF has begun to incorporate well-being into their programs and outcomes over the last few years, and we were part of that objective. Providing accessible tools that people can use to cultivate skills of inner happiness is core to the GGSC’s mission. Many of these - like letting go of that searing inner critic or learning to watch what is happening in your own body - are ... adapted from the canon of traditional contemplative practices, and now validated by science. It turns out, plenty of people were looking for strategies for inner happiness at Davos. Participants were curious about how emotions fuel or fizzle stress and how to adopt a “challenge” mentality - the attitude of I can face this! - rather than a “threat” mentality that just makes you want to fight or run away. We suggested simple practices like supportively rooting for ourselves as we might encourage a friend, or adopting a different perspective during difficult times. Will global leaders’ ... moments of mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude trickle down for the benefit of entire workforces? We certainly hope so.

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


Kailash Satyarthi plans to end child labor in his lifetime
2019-02-21, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/19/world/kailash-satyarthi-child-labor/index.html

Since 1980, [former engineer Kailash Satyarthi] has spent his life campaigning against child labor, ultimately winning the Nobel Peace Prize ... in 2014. Satyarthi launched the 100 Million campaign in late 2016. The initiative ... seeks to engage 100 million young people around the world to speak out for the world's more than 100 million child workers. The International Labor Organization charts the total of child laborers globally at 152 million, with 73 million of those in hazardous labor conditions. 10 million children are victims of abject slavery. The number of children working has fallen sharply in the last two decades, from as many as 246 million in the year 2000. With more global awareness and effort, it could fall further. Satyarthi's organization and Participant Media collaborated on a letter-writing campaign, in which ... people wrote letters to the top 100 US retailers asking them to take steps to ensure the products they sell are not connected with child labor. So far more than a million letters have been sent. "The world is capable to end child labor," Satyarthi said. "We have the technology. We have the resources. We have laws and international treaties. We have everything. The only thing is that we have to feel compassion for others. "My struggle is for the globalization of compassion." Satyarthi's ambitions have long been focused on global policy, but the root of it all still remains back home in India. The original organization he founded [has] directly rescued more than 88,000 children.

Note: Why have so few ever heard of this most amazing, courageous man who has risked his life countless times to rescue tens of thousands of children from slave labor? After surviving numerous beatings and the murder of two of his colleagues, Satyathi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for creating a global network focused on fighting for the rights of over 100 million child workers worldwide and rescuing the many millions still held as slave labor in almost every country in the world. Don't miss the moving documentary on Saryahi and his work titled "The Price of Free."


Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, other federal prosecutors violated the rights of Jeffrey Epstein's sex-crime victims, judge rules
2019-02-21, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/21/labor-secretary-alex-acosta-violated-the-righ...

Federal prosecutors, including current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, violated the rights of sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein's victims during their investigation of the once-influential financier a decade ago, a judge ruled on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra slammed the government for failing to notify Epstein's victims that it had reached a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein while leading those victims to believe that federal charges were still a possibility. More than two dozen lawmakers ... called on the Department of Justice to open a probe last year into Acosta's dealings with Epstein while Acosta served as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. The calls for an inquiry followed an investigation into the deal between prosecutors and Epstein published by the Miami Herald. Epstein, who has had powerful friends such as Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls. But Marra said that prosecutors violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act in their dealings with two unnamed underage victims. "When the Government gives information to victims, it cannot be misleading," Marra wrote. "While the Government spent untold hours negotiating the terms and implications of the [non-prosecution agreement] with Epstein's attorneys, scant information was shared with victims. Instead, the victims were told to be 'patient' while the investigation proceeded."

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


Sustainable Investing Goes Mainstream
2019-02-21, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/company/announcements/sustainable-investing-goes-ma...

A majority of U.S. asset managers are now practicing sustainable investing. In a new survey entitled Sustainable Signals: Growth and Opportunity in Asset Management, from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Bloomberg, 75% of respondents reported that their firms have adopted sustainable investing, up from 65% in 2016. “The survey results demonstrate that sustainable investment strategies are now a strategic imperative,” said Matthew Slovik, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. “It is clear that asset managers will continue to invest new resources and expand their product portfolios in the coming years.” Respondents cited several key drivers of success in sustainable investing, including increased investment stability, high client satisfaction, product popularity and possible high financial returns. Despite the recognition of the strategy as a business imperative, almost all asset managers highlighted the need for increased expertise, better data and impact reporting to drive future success in the space. The survey polled 300 respondents at U.S. asset management firms with at least $50 million in client assets. Nearly all (89%) respondents report their firms will devote more resources to sustainable investing in the next two years.

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


Over 1,000 Hate Groups Are Now Active in United States, Civil Rights Group Says
2019-02-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/us/hate-groups-rise.html

The number of hate groups in the United States rose for the fourth year in a row in 2018, pushed to a record high by a toxic combination of political polarization, anti-immigrant sentiment and technologies that help spread propaganda online, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday. The number of hate groups rose by 7 percent last year to 1,020, a 30 percent jump from 2014. That broadly echoes other worrying developments, including a 30 percent increase in the number of hate crimes reported to the F.B.I. from 2015 through 2017 and a surge of right-wing violence that the Anti-Defamation League said had killed at least 50 people in 2018. The center’s findings run parallel to a report on extremist-related killings in the United States that was issued last month by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. That report said that right-wing extremism was linked to every extremist-related killing the group tracked in 2018, at least 50, and that jihadist groups were linked to none. It said that made 2018 the deadliest year for right-wing extremism since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The law center and the Anti-Defamation League both pointed to the killing of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October as a symptom of the increasingly combustible mix of anti-immigrant sentiment, violence and online conspiracy-mongering.

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


Top French Officer Raps West's Tactics Against IS in Syria, Faces Punishment
2019-02-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/02/16/world/europe/16reuters-germany-sec...

A senior French officer involved in the fight against Islamic State in Syria faces punishment after launching a scathing attack on the U.S.-led coalition's methods to defeat the group in its remaining stronghold of Hajin, the army said on Saturday. Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier, who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October, said the coalition's focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians and the levels of destruction. "We have massively destroyed the infrastructure and given the population a disgusting image of what may be a Western-style liberation leaving behind the seeds of an imminent resurgence of a new adversary," he said, in rare public criticism by a serving officer. The coalition could have got rid of just 2,000 militant fighters - who lacked air support or modern technological equipment - much more quickly and effectively by sending in just 1,000 troops, he argued. "This refusal raises a question: why have an army that we don't dare use?" he said. Legrier's article has embarrassed French authorities just hours before the coalition is expected to announce the defeat of the hardline Islamist group. "We have in no way won the war because we lack a realistic and lasting policy and an adequate strategy," Legrier said. "How many Hajins will it take to understand that we are on the wrong track?"

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


Despite record profits, Amazon didn't pay any federal income tax in 2017 or 2018.
2019-02-15, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/tech/amazon-federal-income-tax/index.html

Amazon hasn't paid any taxes to the US government in the past two years. Actually, Amazon received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits in 2017 and 2018. That might seem nuts, considering Amazon is the third-most valuable company in the world and earned a record $10 billion last year. But critics of Amazon's tax bill aren't accusing Amazon of doing anything improper. "This is tax avoidance, not tax evasion. There's no indication of any wrongdoing, except on the part of Congress," said Matthew Gardner, senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. US tax code allows money-losing companies to reduce their future taxable income. Amazon's total earnings have easily topped its losses — many times over. But some of Amazon's earnings came from sales outside the United States, on which Amazon paid either lower or no US taxes. Many companies that lose money pay little or no federal income taxes. For example, General Motors (GM) has paid little federal tax money since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, despite posting record profits for several years. Amazon declined to comment on its federal tax payments.

Note: Read how former tax lobbyists now run the tax-writing committees. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Texts show collusion between police and far-right extremists
2019-02-15, NBC/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oregon-official-texts-show-collusion-bet...

A newspaper's report that the commander for the police rapid response team exchanged friendly text messages with a leader of far-right protests that have rocked the city [of Portland, OR] confirms collusion exists between some police and right-wing extremists. "I am not shocked, and I am not surprised at today's reporting of Lt. Jeff Niiya's collaboration with Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson over text to provide aid and support for their hate marches," [Portland] Councilwoman Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement. Willamette Week obtained text messages through a public records request between Niiya and Gibson. The texts purportedly show Niiya had a friendly rapport with Gibson, frequently discussing Gibson's plans to demonstrate. In one text reported by the newspaper, Niiya tells Gibson that he doesn't see a need to arrest his assistant, Tusitala Toese, who often brawls with antifascist protesters, even if he has a warrant, unless Toese commits a new crime. Portland police were accused at a protest last August of being heavy-handed against people, injuring some, who were protesting a rally of extreme-right demonstrators organized by Gibson. Hardesty said the "broken policing system in Portland" must be addressed. "This story, like many that have come before it, simply confirms what many in the community have already known — there are members of the Portland police force who work in collusion with right-wing extremists," she said.

Note: Portland is know as being a fairly progressive city. In how many less progressive cities might some police have similar connections to hate groups? Police in Memphis, Tennessee were recently reported to have systematically spied on community activists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Weedkiller 'raises risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 41%'
2019-02-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/14/weed-killing-products-increa...

A broad new scientific analysis of the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate herbicides, the most widely used weedkilling products in the world, has found that people with high exposures to the popular pesticides have a 41% increased risk of developing a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The findings by five US scientists contradict the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assurances of safety over the weed killer and come as regulators in several countries consider limiting the use of glyphosate-based products in farming. Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG face more than 9,000 lawsuits in the US brought by people suffering from NHL who blame Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides for their diseases. The first plaintiff to go to trial won a unanimous jury verdict against Monsanto in August. The next trial, involving a separate plaintiff, is set to begin on 25 February, and several more trials are set for this year and into 2020. The new analysis could potentially complicate Monsanto’s defense of its top-selling herbicide. Three of the study authors were tapped by the EPA as board members for a 2016 scientific advisory panel on glyphosate. The new paper was published by the journal Mutation Research /Reviews in Mutation Research, whose editor in chief is EPA scientist David DeMarini. “This paper makes a stronger case than previous meta-analyses that there is evidence of an increased risk of NHL due to glyphosate exposure,” said [study] co-author Lianne Sheppard.

Note: Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


The great Equifax mystery: 17 months later, the stolen data has never been found, and experts are starting to suspect a spy scheme
2019-02-13, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/13/equifax-mystery-where-is-the-data.html

On Sept. 7, 2017, the world heard an alarming announcement from credit ratings giant Equifax: In a brazen cyberattack, somebody had stolen sensitive personal information from more than 140 million people, nearly half the population of the U.S. The information included Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, information from credit disputes and other personal details. Then, something unusual happened. The data disappeared. Completely. CNBC talked to eight experts. All of them agreed that a breach happened, and personal information from 143 million people was stolen. But none of them knows where the data is now. Security experts haven't seen the data used in any of the ways they'd expect in a theft like this — not for impersonating victims, not for accessing other websites, nothing. Most experts familiar with the case now believe that the thieves were working for a foreign government and are using the information not for financial gain, but to try to identify and recruit spies. One former senior intelligence official ... summarized the prevailing expert opinion on how the foreign intelligence agency is using the data. First, he said, the foreign government is probably combining this information with other stolen data, then analyzing it using artificial intelligence or machine learning to figure out who's likely to be — or to become — a spy for the U.S. government. Second, credit reporting data provides compromising information that can be used to turn valuable people into agents of a foreign government.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Four years in a row, police nationwide fatally shoot nearly 1,000 people
2019-02-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/four-years-in-a-row-police-nati...

In each of the past four years police nationwide have shot and killed almost the same number of people — nearly 1,000. Last year police shot and killed 998 people, 11 more than the 987 they fatally shot in 2017. In 2016, police killed 963 people, and 995 in 2015. Years of controversial police shootings, protests, heightened public awareness, local police reforms and increased officer training have had little effect on the annual total. The attention has not been enough to move the number. The Washington Post began tracking the shootings after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was killed in 2014 by police in Ferguson, Mo. A Post investigation found that the FBI’s tracking system undercounted fatal police shootings by about half, because of the fact that reporting by police departments is voluntary and many departments fail to do so. In almost every case, a police shooting is an individual, unrelated event that can’t be predicted. But because the data covers the entire United States and millions of police-civilian interactions ... statisticians can make predictions about the pattern of shootings, based only on knowing the overall number over four years. Then they can see if the prediction fits the observed pattern. With about 1,000 shootings each year, [statistician Sir David] Spiegelhalter said he would expect the number to range between around 940 and 1,060 annually, as long as no major systematic change occurs, like a dramatic reduction in crime rates.

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


Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet
2019-02-12, Common Dreams
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/12/study-shows-toxic-pesticide-leve...

A new peer-reviewed study shows that eating a completely organic diet - even for just one week - can dramatically reduce the presence of pesticide levels in people, a finding that was characterized as "groundbreaking" by critics of an industrial food system that relies heavily on synthetic toxins and chemicals to grow crops and raise livestock. The study ... found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants. "This study shows that organic works," said study co-author Kendra Klein, PhD. The study tested the urine of four diverse American families ... after eating their typical diet of conventional food for six days and then after a controlled diet of all organic food for six days. The pesticide and pesticide metabolite levels detected in participants dropped by an average 60.5 percent after just six days of eating the all-organic diet. Specifically, the testing showed significant reductions in pesticides associated in the past with increased risk of autism, cancers, autoimmune disorders, infertility, hormone disruption, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. "This important study shows how quickly we can rid our bodies of toxic pesticides by choosing organic," said [study co-author] Sharyle Patton. "Congratulations to the families who participated in the study and their willingness to tell their stories in support of creating a food system where organic is available to all."

Note: Watch an engaging video on this study at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


World is getting greener, India and China leading efforts: NASA study
2019-02-12, Business Standard/Press Trust of India
https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/india-china-leading-glo...

India and China are leading the global greening effort, which is quite contrary to the general perception worldwide, a latest NASA study said Monday, observing that the world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago. "China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9 per cent of the planet's land area covered in vegetation," said lead author Chi Chen of Boston University. "That is a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from over exploitation," he said. The study published ... in the journal Nature Sustainability said that recent satellite data reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India and overlaps with croplands world-wide. China alone accounts for 25 per cent of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6 percent of global vegetated area. The greening in China is from forests (42 percent) and croplands (32 percent), but in India it is mostly from croplands (82 percent) with minor contribution from forests (4.4 per cent), the NASA study said. When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, said Rama Nemani, a research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and a co-author of the study. Now with the (new satellite) data, we see that humans are also contributing, she said.

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


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

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

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


USDA Reclassifies ‘Pink Slime’ as ‘Ground Beef’
2019-02-12, MSN
https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/usda-reclassifies-pink-slime-...

The inner-workings of a beef processing plant in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, might not sound like compelling national news, but in 2012, ABC changed that with two little words: “pink slime.” As you probably recall, the news outlet questioned Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) about its ground beef filler known as “lean finely textured beef” (LFTI), utilizing the pejorative term “pink slime” in the process. The backlash from the report hit BPI’s bottom line hard, despite the fact that they maintained that LFTI is safe and made from 100 percent beef, and so the South Dakotan company sued ABC News. The news organization eventually settled out of court ... paying nine figures to BPI to end the whole mess. BPI survived the ordeal and are back in the news again for – guess what – lean finely textured beef. But don’t call it “LFTI.” And definitely don’t call it “pink slime.” According to Beef Magazine, the USDA has given its approval for BPI to call “lean finely textured beef” simply “ground beef.” “We approached USDA about the possibility of reclassifying our product,” Nick Ross, BPI vice president of engineering, [said] “After reviewing BPI’s submission of a new product and new production process, [the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)] determined that the product meets the regulatory definition of ground beef ... and may be labeled accordingly,” a FSIS spokesperson [confirmed]. But for consumers, the change won’t really mean that much.

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


MDMA to be Used in Trauma Treatment in Israel and U.S. May Not be Far Behind
2019-02-11, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/mdma-be-used-trauma-treatment-israel-and-us-may-not-...

MDMA, the principal ingredient in the party drug ecstasy, is about to give a lifeline to some of the worst sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Israel. The U.S. could be just years behind in launching similar clinical treatments using the substance. Israel’s Ministry of Health has approved the use of MDMA, a psychoactive drug, for use on dozens of patients. While the drug is still on the country’s law books as dangerous for recreational use, it is now being administered as treatment for compassionate use. In compassionate cases the drug will be made available to patients outside of clinical trials if they have not responded sufficiently to other medications or treatments. MDMA makes people feel euphoric, a sensation that made its use synonymous with rave culture and EDM (Electronic Dance Music), because it floods the body with serotonin. Serotonin is produced by nerve cells. When levels are low it can lead to depression and disrupt other physiological processes. The launching of the new Israeli initiative is a direct result of groundbreaking research in the U.S. The Middle Eastern nation approved the program after sending a representative to the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for training. MDMA has been illegal in the U.S. since 1985 but the findings of clinical trials, ongoing with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval since 2001, have shown that the drug enhances the treatment of PTSD in a clinical setting.

Note: Read also a CBC article titled "How psychedelic drugs are changing lives and transforming psychiatry." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind altering drugs news articles from reliable major media sources.


Southern Baptists’ sexual abuse scandal prompts calls for criminal investigations, comparisons to Catholics
2019-02-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/02/12/southern-baptists-sexual-a...

A report published in two Texas newspapers this past weekend detailing 20 years of sexual abuse allegations within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination has sparked calls for authorities to investigate whether leaders covered up abuse and allowed the accused to continue working in churches. The investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News found more than 380 clergy and volunteers had been charged with sexual misconduct over two decades, leaving behind more than 700 victims to deal with the aftermath. The stories set off the sort of shock waves in the 15-million-member Southern Baptist Convention that similar blockbuster investigations have been causing ever since the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team exposed abuse in the Catholic Church in 2002. Most of the instances of abuse identified by the Texas newspapers involve pastors and volunteers who have already been charged with sex crimes. None of the leaders of the denomination have been charged with covering up such crimes. Within the Southern Baptist Convention, however, some had already began the call for a wider investigation. “When we learn of any information that provides evidence that anyone has committed this type of crime or has attempted to cover it up, it should be investigated by the criminal authorities,” said Boz Tchividjian, the grandson of evangelical leader Billy Graham and founder of GRACE, an organization that fights child abuse.

Note: Read a thorough three-part story on this scandal on the website of the Houston Chronicle. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him.
2019-02-08, Wall Street Journal/PBS
https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-pedophile-doctor-drew-suspicions-for-21-years-...

At first, officials at the U.S. Indian Health Service overlooked the peculiarities of their unmarried new doctor. They desperately needed a pediatrician at their hospital in Browning, Mont. By 1995, after three years, they became convinced Stanley Patrick Weber was a pedophile and pushed for his removal from the government-run hospital. But the Indian Health Service didn’t fire Mr. Weber. Instead, it transferred him to another hospital in Pine Ridge, S.D. He continued treating Native American children there for another 21 years, leaving behind a trail of sexual-assault allegations. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal and the PBS series Frontline found the IHS repeatedly missed or ignored warning signs, tried to silence whistleblowers and allowed Mr. Weber to continue treating children despite the suspicions of colleagues up and down the chain of command. The agency tolerated a number of problem doctors because it was desperate for medical staff, and ... managers there believed they might face retaliation if they followed up on suspicions of abuse. Mr. Weber ... was convicted in September of sexually assaulting two Montana boys ... and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He faces another federal trial later this year in Rapid City, S.D. He lost his medical license. He and his lawyers declined to comment for this article. The IHS provides medical care for 2.3 million Native Americans, many of whom have no other access to health care.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse by doctors.


Private Eyes Detail Inner Workings of National Enquirer ‘Blackmail’ Machine
2019-02-08, Daily Beast
https://www.thedailybeast.com/private-eyes-detail-inner-workings-of-national-...

It may have shocked the world when the publisher of the National Enquirer allegedly tried to use nude pictures to coerce Jeff Bezos. But it came as no surprise to ... veterans of the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. “The threats, the blackmail, that’s their business model,” one former National Enquirer staffer told The Daily Beast. That model burst out into public view on Thursday night when Bezos - the world’s richest man, the founder of Amazon, and the owner of The Washington Post - published emails from AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard that threatened the release of a “d*ck pick” if the Post didn’t relent in its investigation of AMI. It was a familiar moment to Paul Barresi, a private investigator who spent years working on cases that informed stories in AMI. “The National Enquirer had some people who would go to a celebrity and say, ‘unless you give in to a one-on-one interview ... we’re going to report XYZ,” he said. “The nice way of calling it was quid pro quo, but really it was blackmail.” The supermarket tabloid company’s bag of dirty tricks is well-chronicled and includes catch-and-kill operations: paying for an exclusive interview only to bury it, as a favor to an ally or after using the dirt to convince a celebrity to play ball with them. Most infamously, AMI has admitted it paid ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 in hush money for her story of an affair with Donald Trump, which never saw the light of day.

Note: WTK founder Fred Burks saw personally how the Enquirer is much more highly guarded than any other major media. He is almost certain it is a CIA front used to manage disinformation and discredit real stories that seem unbelievable. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in mass media.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Schools in England Introduce a New Subject: Mindfulness
2019-02-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/04/world/europe/uk-mindfulness-children-schoo...

Students in England already learn about mathematics, science and history, but hundreds of schools are preparing to expand the traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness. In up to 370 English schools, students will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health. They will work with mental health experts to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other methods to “help them regulate their emotions,” the government said. The study, which will run until 2021, is one of the largest of its kind in the world. “As a society, we are much more open about our mental health than ever before, but the modern world has brought new pressures for children,” Damian Hinds, the British education secretary, said. “Children will start to be introduced gradually to issues around mental health, well-being and happiness right from the start of primary school,” he added. The initiative comes months after a survey commissioned by the National Health Service found that one in eight children in England between the ages of 5 and 19 suffered from at least one mental disorder at the time of their assessment in 2017. Dr. Jessica Deighton ... who is leading the government trials, said that the new initiative was intended to offer more than quick fixes. “There is a tendency to think that the solution is mental health intervention,” she said. “We will try to reduce the stigma against mental health problems, by making the school environment literate in mental health.”

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


A prison where the inmates have to go and find jobs
2019-02-04, BBC
https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-47093046

At Sanganer prison, in the Indian city of Jaipur, inmates get a roof over their head, but no money and no food. This prison has no bars or walls, no security guards at the gate, and prisoners are allowed - even encouraged - to go out into the city and work every day. This prison, which has been open since the 1950s, is home to 450 prisoners and is one of about 30 such institutions in the state of Rajasthan. I go to Sanganer with Smita Chakraburtty, the woman behind a campaign to make open prisons the norm across India. "The criminal justice system addresses an incident ... and doesn't know what to do with an individual," Chakraburtty argues. Her cause is gaining momentum: four other states in India established new open prisons last year. I sit on the floor in a children's nursery at the front of the prison grounds and talk with a group of men and women who are inmates. When I ask them why they're in prison, many simply say, "302," referring to Section 302 in India's Penal Code which dictates the punishment for murder. To get to Sanganer, they all have to have served at least two-thirds of their sentences in closed prisons. Every day, most of them leave the prison grounds to earn a living: men convicted of murder work as security guards, factory workers and daily labourers. I even meet one inmate who's a yoga instructor and another who's a supervisor in a nearby school. The only real rule, I'm told, is that prisoners must make roll call every evening.

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


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

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

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


'This is about saving capitalism': the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite
2019-02-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/01/rutger-bregman-world-economi...

Rutger Bregman had not really intended to stick it to the global elite. But when the Dutch historian decided to go off-piste at the World Economic Forum and tell the assembled billionaires they should stop avoiding paying tax, he became an overnight social media sensation. “It’s been a crazy week and just for stating the obvious,” said Bregman, when asked about a panel discussion at the WEF last month in which he said the issue was “taxes, taxes, taxes, and all the rest is bullshit in my opinion”. Bregman had not been to Davos before. He was invited on the basis of the book Utopia for Realists, which argued for a basic income and a shorter working week. But he grew more irritated as the week wore on. He was surprised and maddened by the pushback when he mentioned tax. As a result, Bregman decided to change his plan for a panel on inequality. What Bregman said, put simply, was the Davos emperors have no clothes. They talk a lot about how something must be done about inequality and the need to address social unrest, but cavil at the idea they might be a big part of the problem. He told his audience that people in Davos talked about participation, justice, equality and transparency, but “nobody raises the issue of tax avoidance and the rich not paying their share. It is like going to a firefighters’ conference and not talking about water.” As a historian, Bregman noted the most successful period for capitalism occurred in the years after the second world war, when the top rate of tax in the US was above 90%.

Note: This historian later confronted Tucker Carlson of Fox News, who had a few choice dirty words for him. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and corporate corruption.


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

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

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


How can social services lose 18,000 children - and not look for them?
2019-01-31, Arizona Central (Arizona's largest newspaper)
https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2019/01/31/sex-trafficking-vict...

This year, an estimated 18,000 American children will disappear, but their families will not be looking for them. Neighbors will not canvas the streets. Our Facebook feeds will not show their pictures. And after six months, the records of their existence may close entirely. This is the fate awaiting children who vanish while in the care and custody of America’s child-protection system. No matter the reason for falling off the grid, many of these boys and girls will resurface on the black market as child sex slaves. According to the FBI, more than half of trafficked children in America were in the care of social services when they disappeared. That is a damning statistic for a system whose sole purpose is to keep children safe. Withelma “T” Pettigrew, one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, was one of those children in foster care who became a trafficking victim. T testified to Congress: “I spent, for the most part, the first 18 years of my life in the foster-care system. Seven of those years, I was a child being sexually trafficked on the streets, Internet, strip clubs, massage parlors ... Traffickers, pimps, exploiters have no fear of punishment because they rely on the lack of attention that occurs when these young people go missing.” The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that “historically, many of these children were not being reported missing.” To correct that, federal law enacted in 2014 required that state agencies must report a missing child to law enforcement within 24 hours.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Israeli Scientists Claim They're On The Path To A Cure For Cancer
2019-01-29, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinseatonjefferson/2019/01/29/israeli-scientis...

A small team of Israeli scientists is telling the world they will have the first “complete cure” for cancer within a year, The Jerusalem Post reported. And not only that, but they claim it will be brief, cheap and effective and will have no or minimal side-effects. “We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, chairman of the board of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), a company founded in 2000 in ... Ness Ziona, Israel. A development-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovery and development of therapeutic peptides, AEBi developed the SoAP platform, a combinatorial biology screening platform technology, which provides functional leads—agonist, antagonist, inhibitor, etc. - to very difficult targets. Called MuTaTo (multi-target toxin), researchers said the drug is essentially "on the scale of a cancer antibiotic a disruption technology of the highest order." Aridor told The Jerusalem Post: “Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.” Currently in development ... the potential game-changer in the world-wide fight against cancer will use a combination of cancer-targeting peptides and a toxin that will specifically kill cancer cells. Every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death, second only to cardiovascular disease.

Note: Yet even in this article the attacks on these scientists have already begun. The cancer industry does not want to lose literally billions of dollars in profits. For more on this, see the Royal Rife story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media news articles on other cancer treatments with high promise which were suppressed.


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

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

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


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

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

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


Kennedy, King, Malcolm X relatives and scholars seek new assassination probes
2019-01-25, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/01/25/kennedy-king-malcolm-x-rela...

Joined by relatives of Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, a group of more than 60 authors and investigators have called for a new congressional investigation into the assassinations of the three men and President John F. Kennedy, saying that the four slayings were not resolved. In a public statement, they demanded a public tribunal modeled on South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” process to persuade either Congress or the Justice Department to revisit all four assassinations. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), two of Robert Kennedy’s children, signed the statement, as did Isaac N. Farris, a nephew of King and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., a Memphis pastor and mentor to King. The statement was written in part by Adam Walinsky, a former top aide to Robert Kennedy, with input from other assassination scholars. He cited the “wreckage” from the slayings as the reasons to revisit them. “What a profound effect these assassinations had on this country,” Walinsky said. “These people, and the forces who were responsible for these murders, are still among us. The institutions are still there. And they’re still doing all the same things. So that’s the problem.” A news release and the full statement with a list of signers is here.

Note: In 1999, a civil trial implicated the US government in King's killing. In 2006, BBC described new evidence that placed "three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination" and reported that Sirhan may have been a Manchurian Candidate programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin. In 2011 the Boston Globe reported that RFK harbored suspicions that the CIA was behind his brother's murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing assassinations news articles from reliable major media sources.


Civil penalties for polluters dropped dramatically in Trump’s first two years, analysis shows
2019-01-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/civil-penalties-for-po...

Civil penalties for polluters under the Trump administration plummeted during the past fiscal year to the lowest average level since 1994, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data. In the two decades before President Trump took office, EPA civil fines averaged more than $500 million a year, when adjusted for inflation. Last year’s total was 85 percent below that amount — $72 million, according to the agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online database. Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA’s enforcement office in the Obama administration and conducted the analysis, said the inflation-adjusted figures were the lowest since the agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance was established. The decline in civil penalties could undermine the EPA’s ability to deter wrongdoing, some former agency officials said, because they help ensure it is more expensive to violate the law than to comply with it. The analysis ... shows that in addition to the drop in civil penalties for polluting, the amount of money companies must pay to come into compliance with federal environmental laws also declined last fiscal year, to nearly $5.6 billion. That represents the lowest amount of injunctive relief since 2003 ... and is below the roughly $7.8 billion average for the two decades before Trump took office. A decline in the number of criminal investigators, which began during the Obama administration, has taken a toll. The EPA’s enforcement division ... has lost at least 80 people since Trump entered office.

Note: A 2017 Washington Post article reported over 700 people leaving the EPA since Trump took office. The EPA is one of three federal agencies reported to have been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


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

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

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


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

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

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


Secret Pentagon projects reveal gov't looked into UFOs, wormholes and other bizarre anomalies
2019-01-23, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/science/secret-pentagon-projects-reveal-govt-looked-i...

Newly declassified documents from the Pentagon reveal the Department of Defense funded projects that investigated UFOs, wormholes, alternate dimensions and a host of other subjects that are often the topics of conspiracy theorists. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released 38 research titles on Jan. 18, following a Freedom of Information Act request. The research was funded by the Department of Defense under its Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). Some of the more interesting projects include Invisibility Cloaking; Traversable Wormholes, Stargates, and Negative Energy; Warp Drive, Dark Energy, and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions; and An Introduction to the Statistical Drake Equation. "The DOD and the DIA have previously sought to spin AATIP as being a program looking at 'foreign advanced aerospace weapon threats', but the attachment to the DIA's letter to Congress is difficult to reconcile with this, given that the 'products produced' under the AATIP contract are listed as including reference papers on topics which seem more concerned with space travel," Nick Pope, a former employee at the British Government's Ministry of Defence, said. Pope continued: "The smoking gun is the paper about the Drake Equation, which is used to estimate the number of civilizations in the universe. This supports the suggestion that AATIP was indeed a UFO program, as has been claimed, and not an aviation program looking at aircraft, drones and missiles."

Note: Learn more about these bizarre declassified documents and explore links to the documents themselves 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.


Can a Nice Doctor Make Treatments More Effective?
2019-01-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/well/live/can-a-nice-doctor-make-treatment...

Having a doctor who is warm and reassuring actually improves your health. The simple things a doctor says and does to connect with patients can make a difference for health outcomes. Even a brief reassurance to a patient from a doctor might relieve the patient’s symptoms faster. In a recent study ... our research group recruited 76 participants to receive a skin prick test, a common procedure used in assessing allergies. The provider in this study pricked participants’ forearms with histamine, which makes skin itchy and red. Then, the doctor examined the allergic reactions. For some patients, the doctor examined them without saying much. But for other patients, the doctor had some words of encouragement. He told them: “From this point forward, your allergic reaction will start to diminish, and your rash and irritation will go away.” It turns out that this one sentence of assurance from a provider led patients to report that their reactions were less itchy — even though the doctor didn’t give any medication or treatment along with his words. We often think the only parts of medical care that really matter are the “active” ingredients of medicine: the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. But focusing only on these ingredients leaves important components of care underappreciated and underutilized. To really help people flourish, health care works better when it includes caring.

Note: The above was written by Stanford University psychologists Lauren Howe and Kari Leibowitz. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Waste reduction law could force manufacturers to repair broken goods
2019-01-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/right-to-repair-laws-eu-directive-u...

Manufacturers could be legally required to repair certain goods when they break down under new laws under consideration in Europe and in some US states. The measures are intended to reduce volumes of waste and push manufacturers to make dependable products that are easier to maintain. They would also have to offer replacement parts, and in some cases repair the goods when they go wrong. Proposals under consideration by the European Union will examine electronics including televisions. In America, California has become the 18th state to propose what has become known as the “right to repair” law, which would require electronics companies like Apple to make their devices easier for users to repair ... when they break or go wrong. The move comes amid a growing backlash against impervious products, some of which are glued together and which cannot be accessed. As a result, innumerable products end up on the scrapheap for want of a simple repair. The plans for European law, under the ecodesign and energy labelling directive, note the “world-wide demand for more efficient products to reduce energy and resource consumption”. The British government is supporting the plans. Environment Minister Therese Coffey told The Independent: “We want manufacturers and producers to make products easier to reuse and repair, to make them last longer. We will consider mandatory extended warranties and clearer product labelling if necessary to achieve this.”

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Shenzhen's silent revolution: world's first fully electric bus fleet quietens Chinese megacity
2018-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/dec/12/silence-shenzhen-world-first-e...

You have to keep your eyes peeled for the bus at the station in Shenzhen’s Futian central business district these days. The diesel behemoths that once signalled their arrival with a piercing hiss, a rattle of engine and a plume of fumes are no more, replaced with the world’s first and largest 100% electric bus fleet. Shenzhen now has 16,000 electric buses in total and is noticeably quieter for it. “We find that the buses are so quiet that people might not hear them coming,” says Joseph Ma, deputy general manager at Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest of the three main bus companies in the city. The benefits from the switch from diesel buses to electric are not confined to less noise pollution: this fast-growing megacity of 12 million... is also expected to achieve an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions of 48% and cuts in pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Shenzhen Bus Group estimates it has been able to conserve 160,000 tonnes of coal per year and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 440,000 tonnes. Its fuel bill has halved. China’s drive to reduce the choking smog that envelops many of its major cities has propelled a huge investment in electric transport. Although it remains expensive for cities to introduce electric buses – one bus costs around 1.8 million yuan (Ł208,000) – Shenzhen was able to go all-electric thanks to generous subsidies from both central and local government. Typically, more than half of the cost of the bus is subsidised by government,” says Ma.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Man who exposed ‘Area 51 UFO tests’ claims US government still monitors him 30 years later
2018-12-05, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/science/man-who-exposed-area-51-ufo-tests-claims-us-g...

Bob Lazar claims to have seen test flights of nine captured UFOs, and says he even worked as an engineer on the alien spacecrafts, in a TV interview in 1989. Now a new documentary, Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers, takes a deep dive into his theories. Thirty years ago he claimed to have worked near Area 51 at hangar S-4 where he claims UFOs with tiny alien seats were made out of a material called Element 115. Going by the fake name Dennis, he told reporters: "The propulsion system is a gravity propulsion system. The power source is an antimatter reactor." The U.S. Government always denied the existence of Area 51 until five years ago when CIA documents listed it as an aviation test site. [Lazar] later claimed the Government had threatened his life, his wife and family in an effort to silence him. In the documentary he says he regrets blowing the whistle on the alien test site, adding: "At this point in my life, I’d probably lean towards not saying anything." The journalist who introduced Lazar to the public, George Knapp backs-up his story adding: "His vehicle also had break-ins. Mind games being played. Threats were issued. Lazar and others were bugged and followed, and it certainly seemed like someone wanted to frighten him into remaining silent, or maybe they wanted to drive him a little crazy. I was present for many of these events. I saw them with my own eyes, and I witnessed the aftermath as well."

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.


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

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

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. And watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


"The Price of Free" star Kailash Satyarthi says consumers have the power to end child slavery
2018-11-29, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-price-of-free-star-kailash-satyarthi-says-co...

Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi wants consumers to ask more questions. Satyarthi stars in the new documentary, "The Price of Free," in which he rescues child slaves in India who work in factories, some of which supply U.S. stores. He told CBS News, "For every product, consumers can ask this question to the brand or shopkeepers, 'How can you guarantee that they are truly made without child labor?' That can be the starting point ... When consumers star asking questions, then [stores] have to find answers." Satyarthi said consumers have the power to hold businesses accountable for their practices. "It would not be too difficult to write to president of a company and ask, 'How will you ensure that your products are made without child labor?'" he said. "This is their moral and legal responsibility to ensure that no child exploit or labor is engaged. Brands cannot just escape." Satyarthi began his work freeing child slaves in India in 1981 and says he has saved more than 85,000 children since then. He has expanded his work to reach children around the world who are touched by not just slavery, but also trafficking, sexual abuse and other types of violence. The children come from poor families who are told they will be paid and taken care of; instead, they become enslaved under poor working conditions. He said that beyond the rescues, his organizations make sure the children have the social and educational support they need through government services before they are released.

Note: Why have so few ever heard of this most amazing, courageous man who has risked his life countless times to rescue tens of thousands of children from slave labor? After surviving numerous beatings and the murder of two of his colleagues, Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for creating a global network focused on fighting for the rights of over 100 million child workers worldwide and rescuing the many millions still held as slave labor in almost every country in the world. Don't miss the moving documentary on Sartyarthi and his work titled "The Price of Free."


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

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

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


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

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

Note: See the timeline on this critical story. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Don't miss the revealing video of all this at the link above. Then read a great interview with Julie Brown, the intrepid reporter who broke this case. Learn about other major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Mother of U.S. diplomat hurt in 'health attack' speaks out
2018-11-20, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/mother-u-s-diplomat-hurt-h...

Laura Hughes, an Air Force veteran, says her daughter Catherine Werner is struggling with the effects of traumatic brain injury after experiencing strange sounds and sensations at her apartment in Guangzhou [China], where Werner was a foreign trade officer until being medevaced out earlier this year. She's calling on the State Department to do more to solve the mystery that has eluded investigators since U.S. diplomats and spies starting getting sick in Cuba in late 2016. Hughes is coming forward publicly because she says her daughter and the other government workers cannot. Werner is the only U.S. worker in either Cuba or China whose identity is publicly known. For Hughes, the saga started nearly a year ago when she said her daughter's health started declining: nausea, unbearable headaches, and problems with balance, vision and memory. [Then Hughes] started experiencing the sounds and sensations, too. She is concerned that the U.S. is downplaying what happened. She says rather than conducting a transparent investigation, some State Department officials have been "misinforming and they've been suppressing information. Our whole lives are uprooted. And instead of being helped by the State Department, it's an atrocity how they're taking care of this." U.S. officials [say] they're considering the possibility of an electromagnetic weapon, possibly involving microwave technology. Doctors have said many of the Havana diplomats have brain injuries that look like concussions, except with no known blow to the head. Both Hughes and her daughter remain in intensive rehabilitation.

Note: For decades, many countries have been secretly developing highly advanced weapons which, using electromagnetic waves from large distances, can destroy a person's health and even kill them. Sometimes they use them clandestinely against their own citizens who are considered dissidents. Why are the victims being kept from speaking? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on nonlethal weapons from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Dogs Can Detect Malaria. How Useful Is That?
2018-11-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/health/dogs-malaria-mosquitos.html

Dogs have such exquisitely sensitive noses that they can detect bombs, drugs, citrus and other contraband in luggage or pockets. Is it possible that they can sniff out even malaria? And when might that be useful? A small pilot study has shown that dogs can accurately identify socks worn overnight by children infected with malaria parasites — even when the children had cases so mild that they were not feverish. In itself, such canine prowess is not surprising. Since 2004, dogs have shown that they can detect bladder cancer in urine samples, lung cancer in breath samples and ovarian cancer in blood samples. Trained dogs now warn owners with diabetes when their blood sugar has dropped dangerously low and owners with epilepsy when they are on the verge of a seizure. Other dogs are being taught to detect Parkinson’s disease years before symptoms appear. The new study ... does not mean that dogs will replace laboratories. But for sorting through crowds, malaria-sniffing dogs could potentially be very useful. Some countries and regions that have eliminated the disease share heavily trafficked borders with others that have not. For example, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the island of Zanzibar have no cases but get streams of visitors from Mozambique, India and mainland Tanzania. And when a region is close to eliminating malaria, dogs could sweep through villages, nosing out silent carriers — people who are not ill but have parasites in their blood that mosquitoes could pass on to others.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Cancer-linked Chemicals Manufactured by 3M Are Turning Up in Drinking Water
2018-11-02, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-3M-groundwater-pollution-problem/

When Cottage Grove, Minnesota’s drinking-water panic began, Mayor Myron Bailey was at a conference. It was May 22, 2017, and the state health department wanted to give Bailey a heads-up. It was about to set a new, lower level for a type of unregulated chemical found in Minnesota’s drinking water. And Cottage Grove’s would exceed the new threshold. He had known for years that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS) ... lingered in the water around Cottage Grove. 3M’s factory had been churning out some varieties since the 1950s for the water- and stain-repellant Scotchgard. 3M also sold its PFAS to other companies to make Teflon, outdoor gear, greaseproof food papers and firefighting foams. Recent studies have linked widely used PFAS, including the varieties called PFOA and PFOS, to reduced immune response and cancer. That new evidence had stirred Minnesota’s health department to act. “There was always a perception in our community that cancer was caused by the drinking water,” Bailey said, but after the state’s announcement, “people freaked out.” Water tests show that 110 million Americans have levels of PFAS in their water that the most cautious scientists call unsafe. At the same time, new studies show how the chemicals can cause harm even at tiny doses. As awareness spreads, 3M has been named in dozens of lawsuits, several this year alone. Some target industrial sources. But most focus on airports where the chemicals were sprayed onto the ground in firefighting foams.

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


They Were Addicted to Opioids. Now They’re Running the New York Marathon.
2018-11-01, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/nyregion/marathon-opioid-recovery-odyssey-...

Ryan Stevens sat on the edge of a concrete balustrade in Central Park after finishing three laps around the reservoir. She and her fellow runners [are] from Odyssey House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Ms. Stevens, who is 36 and lives in the Morris Park neighborhood of the Bronx, was prepping for Sunday’s New York City Marathon — her fourth, she said — as a member of a unique group of competitors: former drug users who turned to running as part of their recovery from opioid addiction. Ms. Stevens said she grew up in Rhode Island and became addicted to her mother’s prescription opioids at 22. That opened the door to ecstasy, cocaine and crystal meth. She completed an inpatient residential program at Odyssey House in June. Running, she said, has been central to her recovery. The 45 runners on the Odyssey House team who are planning to run New York’s 26.2-mile trek include 19 current clients. The rest are supporters and alumni. John Tavolacci, Odyssey House’s chief operating officer, said he has run 22 marathons. He started the running group in 2001 as a supplement to treatment, based on a strong belief that running can be effective in helping overcome addiction. He has watched the Odyssey House team build self-esteem among participants, create a cooperative environment, and fill time for runners that otherwise might have been spent on negative pursuits.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: The importance of the prime minister's mention of ritual sexual abuse should not be downplayed. Organized groups of powerful people, mostly men, are behind huge amounts of child abuse and trafficking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sex abuse from reliable major media sources. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. It includes a segment on the Pedophile Information Network. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: The major media has failed to report on the strong grass roots campaign against the new 5G technology being rolled out across the world. Something smells fishy with all this. Watch five minutes of US Senate testimony showing that the 5G industry has done zero studies on the health effects of this new technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


City of Joy: the powerful Netflix documentary where 'everything is about love'
2018-09-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/sep/04/city-of-joy-netflix-documentary-...

Madeleine Gavin’s documentary City of Joy, about a community built around women who have survived horrific violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), gives us a glimpse at both an incredible injustice still occurring today, and how Congolese women are combating it with their own grassroots movement. The documentary follows the beginnings of City of Joy, a center established in 2011 in the eastern region of the DRC to help women who have been victimized by the ongoing mining conflicts in the area. “Everything is about love at City of Joy,” [said center co-founder] Schuler Deschryver. She described how many of the women who first arrive at City of Joy associate being touched only with violence. “So when you hug her and tell her she’s beautiful, that you love her, that you will fight for her, suddenly she’s like: ‘Oh my God, I exist. I’m a human being.’ You see the joy that [the women] have and know what they’ve passed through. I think that’s one of the reasons I wake up every morning.” A large, gated community ... City of Joy serves as a type of boarding school: the women stay there for six months, and during that time they focus entirely on healing. Since its inception in 2011, City of Joy has graduated 1,117 women. “When women arrive ... many of them have been exiled because they’ve been raped,” said [co-founder Eve] Ensler. “And when you see them six months later you can’t even believe it’s the same people. They’re just these radiant, gorgeous flowers that have blossomed and who are secure and competent.”

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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