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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


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

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


Smallville Actress Arrested for Role in Alleged Sex Cult that Branded and Enslaved Women
2018-04-20, Time/Associated Press
http://time.com/5248810/allison-mack-keith-raniere-nxivm-sex-cult/

A television actress best known for playing a young Superman’s close friend was charged with sex trafficking. Allison Mack was accused in an indictment unsealed Friday in federal court in Brooklyn. Mack, 35, starred in The CW network’s “Smallville,” ending in 2015. Prosecutors said she helped recruit women for leader Keith Raniere and his cult-like organization called NXIVM. She told the women they were joining what was purported to be a female mentorship group. But “the victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor,” according to federal prosecutors. Prosecutors said she required women she recruited to engage in sexual activity with Raniere, who paid Mack in return. Raniere, 57, was arrested last month. The FBI has filed sex trafficking charges against him, saying that with the help of mostly female assistants, he blackmailed and coerced women into unwanted sex. Raniere sold himself as a self-improvement guru. NXIVM promoted Raniere’s teachings as a kind of mystical, executive coaching. Women who were part of a NXIVM subgroup [came] forward to say that they had been physically branded with a surgical tool against their will. Prosecutors said in court papers that Raniere created a society within NXIVM called “DOS” - an acronym based on a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Lord/Master of obedient female companions.” Women were required to provide damaging material about their friends and family, naked photos and even sign over their assets as a condition for joining, they said.

Note: Watch the revealing video at the above link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and mind control.


Big banks saved $3.6B in taxes last quarter under new law
2018-04-20, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/big-banks-saved-36b-taxes-quarter-la...

The nation's six big Wall Street banks posted record, or near record, profits in the first quarter. While higher interest rates allowed banks to earn more from lending in the first quarter, the main boost ... came from the billions of dollars they saved in taxes under the tax law Trump signed in December. Combined, the six banks saved at least $3.59 billion last quarter, according to an Associated Press estimate, using the bank's tax rates going back to 2015. Before the change in tax law, the maximum U.S. corporate income tax rate was 35 percent, not including what companies paid in state income taxes. Banks historically paid some of the highest taxes among the major industries, due to their U.S.-centric business models. Before the Trump tax cuts, these banks paid between 28 to 31 percent of their income each year in corporate taxes. The results released over the past week show how sharply those rates have dropped. JPMorgan Chase said it had a first-quarter tax rate of 18.3 percent, Goldman Sachs paid just 17.2 percent in taxes, and ... Citigroup, had a tax rate of 23.7 percent. This is just one quarter's results. Bank executives at the big six firms have estimated that their full-year tax rates will be something closer to 20 percent to 22 percent. The AP's calculations are roughly in line with what Wall Street analysts predicted. Bank industry analyst Mike Mayo ... estimated that that the big U.S. banks combined would save roughly $19 billion in taxes for the full year.

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


Government Accidentally Releases Documents on "Psycho-Electric" Weapons
2018-04-19, Popular Mechanics
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a19855256/muckrock-foia-psy...

MuckRock, a news organization that specializes in filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with state and federal government bodies, received mysterious documents about mind control, seemingly by accident. Journalist Curtis Waltman was writing to the Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC), a joint operation between Washington State law enforcement and the federal government to request information about Antifa and white supremacist groups. He got responses to the questions he asked, but also a file titled “EM effects on human body.zip.” At least some of the images [in the file] appear to be part of an article in Nexus magazine describing a 1992 lawsuit brought by one John St. Clair Akewi against the NSA. Akewi claimed that the NSA had the "ability to assassinate US citizens covertly or run covert psychological control operations to cause subjects to be diagnosed with ill mental health" and was documenting their alleged methods. The federal government has absolutely experimented with mind control in a variety of methods, but the documents here do not appear to be official. Waltman had no idea why these documents were included in his request and isn't sure why the government is holding them. The WSFC did not respond to requests for more information.

Note: Text and images from the Nexus magazine article referenced above are available on this page. For more along these lines, see our resource-filled mind control information center and concise summaries of deeply revealing mind control news articles from reliable major media sources.


Palantir Knows Everything About You
2018-04-19, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

A former U.S. Secret Service agent named Peter Cavicchia III ran special ops for JPMorgan Chase & Co. His insider threat group ... used computer algorithms to monitor the bank’s employees. Aided by as many as 120 “forward-deployed engineers” from the data mining company Palantir Technologies Inc., which JPMorgan engaged in 2009, Cavicchia’s group vacuumed up emails and browser histories, GPS locations ... and transcripts of digitally recorded phone conversations. It all ended when the bank’s senior executives learned that they, too, were being watched. [The] spying scandal ... which has never been reported, also marked an ominous turn for Palantir. An intelligence platform designed for the global War on Terror was weaponized against ordinary Americans at home. Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel and some fellow PayPal alumni, Palantir cut its teeth working for the Pentagon and the CIA. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses Palantir. The FBI uses it. The Department of Homeland Security deploys it. Police and sheriff’s departments in New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles have also used it, frequently ensnaring in the digital dragnet people who aren’t suspected of committing any crime. JPMorgan’s experience remains instructive. “The world changed when it became clear everyone could be targeted using Palantir,” says a former JPMorgan cyber expert who worked with Cavicchia at one point on the insider threat team. “Everyone’s a suspect, so we monitored everything.”

Note: Palantir was one of the private intelligence firms that reportedly conspired to discredit activists and journalist Glenn Greenwald, in part by submitting fake documents to WikiLeaks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
2018-04-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-f...

This is the story of a town called Douma ... and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. When I track [a doctor] down in the very same clinic, [he] tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine. The same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived. Dr Rahaibani ... showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye. “All the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.” Oddly, after chatting to more than 20 people, I couldn’t find one who showed the slightest interest in Douma’s role in bringing about the Western air attacks. Two actually told me they didn’t know about the connection.

Note: Learn an alternative view of who the "white helmets" are in this Corbett Report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
2018-04-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-c...

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic – far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans. But the researchers are optimistic this can be speeded up even further and become a viable large-scale process. Industrial enzymes are widely used in, for example, washing powders and biofuel production. They have been made to work up to 1,000 times faster in a few years, the same timescale [Prof John McGeehan, who led the research] envisages for the plastic-eating enzyme. Earlier work had shown that some fungi can break down PET plastic, which makes up about 20% of global plastic production. But bacteria are far easier to harness for industrial uses.

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


Atlantic Ocean Current Slows Down To 1,000-Year Low, Studies Show
2018-04-13, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/04/13/602240020/atlantic-ocean-current-slows-down-to...

An Atlantic Ocean current that helps regulate the global climate has reached an 1,000-year low, according to two new studies in the journal Nature. The shift could mean bad news for the climate. The Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation [AMOC] – often called the conveyor belt of the ocean – exchanges warm water from the equator with cold water in the Arctic. The AMOC "plays a key role in the distribution of heat" across the Earth, but that is being disrupted by melting ice, particularly from Greenland, causing larger volumes of freshwater to flow through the oceans, says David Thornalley ... the lead author of one of the new studies. Some scientists are concerned the influx of freshwater could cause the current to shut down altogether. Scientists are worried about the AMOC shutting down "because evidence from the past suggests that it actually did happen during the last ice age, and it is possible that it could happen in the future," [Thornalley] says. While there is an ongoing dispute about what is causing the slowdown, scientists agree that it could have a dramatic impact on ocean ecosystems, such as coral reefs and deep-sea sponge grounds. "These delicate ecosystems rely on ocean currents to supply their food and disperse their offspring," Prof Murray Roberts, who co-ordinates the Atlas project at the University of Edinburgh, told BBC News. "Ocean currents are like highways spreading larvae throughout the ocean, and we know these ecosystems have been really sensitive to past changes in the Earth's climate."

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


National Enquirer paid doorman $30,000 to squash Trump baby rumor
2018-04-12, ABC/Associated Press
http://abc7news.com/politics/tabloid-paid-doorman-$30000-to-squash-trump-baby...

Eight months before the company that owns the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to a former Playboy Playmate who claimed she'd had an affair with Donald Trump, the tabloid's parent made a $30,000 payment to a less famous individual: a former doorman at one of the real estate mogul's New York City buildings. As it did with the ex-Playmate, the Enquirer signed the ex-doorman to a contract that ... prevented him from going public. The Associated Press confirmed the details [through] interviews with dozens of current and former employees of the Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc. Sajudin got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights, "in perpetuity," to a rumor ... that the president had fathered a child with an employee at Trump World Tower. The contract subjected Sajudin to a $1 million penalty if he disclosed either the rumor or the terms of the deal to anyone. The parallel between the ex-Playmate's and the ex-doorman's dealings with the Enquirer raises new questions about the roles that the Enquirer and [Trump's personal lawyer, Michael] Cohen may have played in ... a hard-fought presidential election. Enquirer staffers ... said the abrupt end to reporting combined with a binding, seven-figure penalty to stop the tipster from talking to anyone led them to conclude that this was a so-called "catch and kill" - a tabloid practice in which a publication pays for a story to never run, either as a favor to the celebrity subject of the tip or as leverage over that person.

Note: The National Enquirer for decades has been notorious for reporting crazy, unbelievable news. Why would they then quash this juicy tidbit which was real? In his interpreting career with the US State Department, WantToKnow.info founder Fred Burks learned that the Enquirer was actually a CIA managed media front. If any big news on UFOs, mind control, or other sensitive topics that the CIA didn't want published was about to come out, the Enquirer would quickly publish the news so that it could be easily debunked if any media later dared report on the story.


Danone's North America business hits key social, environmental milestone
2018-04-12, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/12/danones-north-america-business-receives-b-cor...

DanoneWave has renamed itself and says it has been certified as a B Corporation. It is now called Danone North America. To be designated a B Corp, a for-profit company must pass a set of standards regarding its social and environmental performance and change its legal structure to become a public benefit company. Danone sought to achieve this certification by 2020, but it came out two years ahead of schedule. While some stakeholders may worry that big changes to become more environmentally friendly will increase costs, Danone North America's larger suppliers have seen the opposite happen. Dairy is one the company's main ingredients and its production can be harmful to the environment due to water usage and waste. The company's largest manufacturing facility has cut its usage. While the initial research involved in reducing water usage was costly, one of the owners of the facility has already seen a huge reduction in costs. Faber said that up to 250,000 gallons of water can be saved per day due to ... new technology. Danone North America sustainable development manager Catherine Queen [said] that there has been a movement to bring the sustainability effort to global suppliers. Global suppliers have been encouraged to move toward more plant-based packaging and pay their workers living wages. Sustainable manufacturing can lower costs significantly and create more room in budgets to increase wages. Costs on the higher executive level have also been cut.

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


Face-Off: Elizabeth Warren Vs. Trump's Consumer Watchdog, Mick Mulvaney
2018-04-12, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/12/601795946/face-off-warren-...

An epic throw-down happened Thursday on Capitol Hill. The topic: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created in the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis. The Trump administration's acting director, Mick Mulvaney ... believes the bureau's powers are excessive. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ... led the creation of the bureau to protect consumers from abuses by everything from big banks to student loan providers to fly-by-night loan sharks. Mulvaney ... calls the bureau Warren's "baby." But Democrats say that over the past five months, he has done a terrible job of taking care of it. Back when he was a Republican congressman, Mulvaney sponsored legislation that would have abolished the bureau. Since its creation, the bureau has returned a total of $12 billion to consumers by clawing back money from companies that cheated them. Thursday's hearing was part of Mulvaney's mandated semiannual report to Congress on the activities of the CFPB. In a hearing ... New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney said the bureau used to bring several enforcement actions a month against financial companies. She pressed Mulvaney: "So let me ask you how many enforcement actions has the bureau initiated since you took over?" Mulvaney: "We have initiated none since I've been there." Mulvaney ... is asking lawmakers to put the bureau's budget under the control of Congress. The bureau ... is funded by the Federal Reserve instead of by Congress, a move designed to shield it from political influence.

Note: In 2016, Wells Fargo paid a $100 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after getting caught ripping off millions of customers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes.
2018-04-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/technology/personaltech/i-downloaded-the-i...

I downloaded a copy of my Facebook data last week. I didn’t expect to see much. But when I opened my file, it was like opening Pandora’s box. I learned that about 500 advertisers - many that I had never heard of, like Bad Dad, a motorcycle parts store, and Space Jesus, an electronica band - had my contact information, which could include my email address, phone number and full name. Facebook also had my entire phone book, including the number to ring my apartment buzzer. The social network had even kept a permanent record of the roughly 100 people I had deleted from my friends list over the last 14 years. Facebook said unfamiliar advertisers might appear [in the file] because they might have obtained my contact information from elsewhere, compiled it into a list of people they wanted to target and uploaded that list into Facebook. Brands can obtain your information [by] buying ... from a data provider like Acxiom, which has amassed one of the world’s largest commercial databases on consumers. Let’s be clear: Facebook is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what information tech companies have collected on me. Knowing this, I also downloaded copies of my Google data with a tool called Google Takeout. The data sets were exponentially larger than my Facebook data. Here was the biggest surprise: In a folder labeled Ads, Google kept a history of many news articles I had read. Be warned: Once you see the vast amount of data that has been collected about you, you won’t be able to unsee it.

Note: Those who want to download their own Facebook data can use this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


More Organic Than Thou? Rebel Farmers Create New Food Label
2018-04-10, New York Times/Associated Press
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/04/10/us/ap-us-food-and-farm-organic-la...

Organic shoppers might notice additional labels this summer. Farmers and scientists from around the country met in Vermont late last month to create the standards for an additional organic certification program, which they plan to roll out nationally to between 20 to 60 farms as a pilot. Under the current U.S. Department of Agriculture program, the organic label means that your tomato has been produced without synthetic substances - with some exceptions - and without certain methods, like genetic engineering. The additional label ... would indicate that a tomato, for example, has been grown in soil, and that meat and dairy products came from farms that pasture their animals. An inspector would certify that the farm has complied with the new standards, and the farms - not distributors - would add the label. The move comes five months after the National Organic Standard Board ... voted against a proposal to exclude from the USDA's organic certification program hydroponics - raising plants with water but no soil - and aquaponics, in which plants and aquatic animals, such as fish, are grown within one system. The group creating the new label, which calls itself the Real Organic Project, said it has not abandoned the National Organic Program. "Some of the cornerstones of what organic means are being taken away, and we're concerned," said Dave Chapman, a member of the executive and standards board of the Real Organic Project.

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


Court: Employers can’t pay women less because of their salary history
2018-04-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/09/court-employers-cant-p...

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that employers cannot justify paying a woman less than a man doing similar work because of her salary history - a move advocates say will help close the wage gap between the sexes. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the California math consultant at the center of Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education, which argued that considering prior compensation when setting a worker’s pay perpetuates gender disparities and defies the spirit of the Equal Pay Act. In the United States, women earn an average of 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. This is a leap from the 1980 figure (60.2 cents for every dollar), but the chasm hasn’t narrowed much over the last 15 years, and it tends to be worse for women of color. Black women earn about 63 percent of what white men make, and the share is 67 percent for Hispanic women. Ariane Hegewisch, a labor economist ... said women, on average, are still paid less than their male counterparts in most industries. Companies that determine a worker’s value based on prior pay, she said, exacerbate the problem.

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


Department Of Homeland Security Compiling Database Of Journalists And 'Media Influencers'
2018-04-06, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellefabio/2018/04/06/department-of-homeland-...

Bloomberg Government reports on a FedBizOpps.gov posting by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the relatively benign-sounding subject “Media Monitoring Services.” The details of the attached Statement of Work, however, outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers and are enough to cause nightmares of constitutional proportions, particularly as the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide. As part of its "media monitoring," the DHS seeks to track more than 290,000 global news sources as well as social media. The successful contracting company will have "24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database" ... in order to "identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event." The database will be browsable by "location, beat and type of influencer," and for each influencer, the chosen contractor should "present contact details and ... an overview of the previous coverage published by the media influencer." Increasing government encroachment on the freedom of the press is the sinister backdrop to all of this. Freedom House ... recently concluded that global media freedom has reached its lowest level in the past 13 years. The independent watchdog organization blames "new threats to journalists and media outlets in major democracies" as well as "further crackdowns on independent media in authoritarian countries like Russia and China."

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


In March, Portugal Made More Than Enough Renewable Energy To Power The Whole Country
2018-04-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/05/599886059/in-march-portuga...

Last month, Portugal produced more than enough renewable energy to meet the country's entire electrical demand - a feat "unmatched in the last 40 years," according to the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, or APREN. Renewable power produced in March was equal to 103.6 percent of electrical demand on mainland Portugal. Fifty-five percent of that energy was produced through hydro power, while 42 percent came from wind. The country still used fossil fuels to balance out supply and demand. "These periods were nevertheless fully compensated by others of greater renewable production," [APREN writes]. "It is expected that by 2040 the production of renewable electricity will be able to guarantee, in a cost-effective way, the total annual electricity consumption of Mainland Portugal." For most countries in the world, a fully renewable energy supply still seems like a challenging target. Portugal has made substantial investments in renewable energy sources, as has its neighbor Spain. Some of that spending was cut in 2012, amid austerity measures, and more were scaled back in 2016. But by that point, many renewable energy projects had already been paid off and were operating cost-efficiently. And this week, coincidentally, the Portuguese government put a stop to another energy subsidy - one "worth about 20 million euros a year, most of which goes to fossil fuel plants," Reuters writes.

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


Before the Media Lionized Martin Luther King Jr., They Denounced Him
2018-04-04, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-how-mlk-media-narrative...

Fifty years ago ... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis. The Washington Post is running a series of commentaries. The New York Times ran an emotional editorial. Neither paper will mention that they each denounced Dr. King in his later years. Nor will any outlet today likely mention that King had fallen sharply out of favor with much of the national media ... on April 4, 1967. The offense was a speech in New York. King spoke of the “hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence” abroad, and added that a country as financially and politically committed to war as ours could never fight a “War on Poverty” in earnest. One hundred and sixty-eight newspapers denounced him in the days that followed. These editorials had a peculiarly vicious flavor. In late 1967, King pooh-poohed the “violence” and “extremism” criticisms of the civil rights movement, explicitly saying the excesses of urban rioters were “infinitely less dangerous and immoral” than the cold, corporatized murder of the “American mainstream.” “If destruction of property is deplorable,” he asked, “what is the use of napalm on people?” Yet the “mainstream” King is the one most Americans have been conditioned to believe in. King ... died wanting us to radically change our way of life. But history has sanitized him, turning him into a mainstream leader who accomplished what he could within an acceptable role. That sanitizing continues on each of these anniversaries, and is a sad commentary on our inability to listen to even the best of us.

Note: A recent Corbett Report on the assassination of MKL has some powerful evidence of conspiracy at the highest levels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


'The Business of War': Google Employees Protest Work for the Pentagon
2018-04-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/technology/google-letter-ceo-pentagon-proj...

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google and has garnered more than 3,100 signatures, reflects a culture clash ... that is likely to intensify as cutting-edge artificial intelligence is increasingly employed for military purposes. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” says the letter, addressed to Sundar Pichai, the company’s chief executive. It asks that Google pull out of Project Maven, a Pentagon pilot program, and announce a policy that it will not “ever build warfare technology.” That kind of idealistic stance ... is distinctly foreign to Washington’s massive defense industry and certainly to the Pentagon, where the defense secretary, Jim Mattis, has often said a central goal is to increase the “lethality” of the United States military. Some of Google’s top executives have significant Pentagon connections. Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google and still a member of the executive board of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, serves on a Pentagon advisory body, the Defense Innovation Board, as does a Google vice president, Milo Medin. Project Maven ... began last year as a pilot program to find ways to speed up the military application of the latest A.I. technology.

Note: The use of artificial intelligence technology for drone strike targeting is one of many ways warfare is being automated. Strong warnings against combining artificial intelligence with war have recently been issued by America's second-highest ranking military officer, tech mogul Elon Musk, and many of the world's most recognizable scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Supreme Court shields a police officer from being sued for shooting a woman in her front yard
2018-04-02, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-supreme-court-police-shooting-20180...

The Supreme Court on Monday shielded a police officer from being sued for shooting an Arizona woman in her front yard, once again making it harder to bring legal action against officers who use excessive force, even against an innocent person. With two dissents, the high court tossed out a lawsuit by a Tucson woman who was shot four times outside her home because she was seen carrying a large knife. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in dissent the victim did not threaten the police or a friend who was standing nearby. This "decision is not just wrong on the law; it also sends an alarming signal to law enforcement officers and the public," Sotomayor wrote. Since the Civil War, federal law has allowed people to sue government officials, including the police, for violating their constitutional rights. But in recent years, the Supreme Court has erected a shield of immunity for police and said officers may not be sued unless victims can point to a nearly identical shooting that had been deemed unconstitutionally excessive in a previous decision. The justices did not rule on whether officer Andrew Kisela acted reasonably when he used potentially deadly force against Amy Hughes. The court instead ruled [that Kisela] could not be sued because the victim could not cite a similar case. Sotomayor said the majority had revised the facts to favor the officer. "Hughes was nowhere near the officers, had committed no illegal act, was suspected of no crime, and did not raise the knife," she wrote.

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


'Dark Money' in the States: Arizona GOP Blocks Cities From Implementing Transparent Elections
2018-04-02, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/arizona-legislature-ensures-dark-money-stays-secret-w...

The Arizona legislature passed a bill that protects anonymous political spending Thursday, less than a month after Tempe, Arizona, residents voted overwhelmingly to increase transparency on that type of spending in local elections. The battle between city and state opens a new front in the national debate over so-called “dark money” in politics; it's also the first time a state has moved to ban local governments from shining light on secret spending. This type of spending is most consequential at the local level, experts say, because since local elections are relatively cheap and receive little media coverage, ads or mailers backed by just a few thousand dollars of dark money can easily dominate a campaign. More than 90 percent of Tempe voters cast ballots for an amendment to the city’s charter requiring all groups spending more than $1,000 on local races to disclose their donors in March. In response, the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week that bans local governments from requiring non-profit groups, the most common dark money vehicles, to disclose the source of their funding. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, these groups can spend an unlimited amount of money on elections, so long as they don’t coordinate with candidates and their parties. Anonymous spending has surged. As a result, cities and states have passed their own political disclosure laws. Denver and Philadelphia, for example, have passed laws requiring disclosure of dark money.

Note: South Dakota citizens also voted for tougher ethics laws, only to have this reversed by the state's Republicans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Woman Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Voting in 2016 Presidential Election While on Probation
2018-03-31, Time/Associated Press
http://time.com/5223721/woman-gets-prison-for-voting-on-probation/

A Texas woman was sentenced to five years in prison for voting in the 2016 presidential election when she was ineligible because she was on probation. Crystal Mason ... is a former tax preparer who was previously convicted in 2012 on charges related to inflating refunds for clients. She testified that she didn’t know people convicted of felonies can’t vote until they complete their sentence, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. She told the newspaper last year following her indictment that she had gone to vote at her mother’s encouragement and wasn’t told when released from federal prison that she could not cast a ballot. Mason’s ... case was prosecuted in Tarrant County, the same place where a Mexican national last year was sentenced to eight years in prison over illegal voting. Voting illegally in Texas is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Mason used a provisional ballot to vote, and it was not counted. She believes she was being targeted for prosecution because she voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump for president. Voter fraud convictions are rare, but Texas Republicans leaders have zealously pursued a crackdown on illegal voting in recent years. A federal judge has twice blocked Texas’ voter ID law. Mason testified that when she voted ... she signed a provisional ballot affidavit stating that she had not been convicted of a felony. Prosecutors said she signed the form with the intent to vote illegally, but Mason’s attorney called it a mistake.

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


Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? His family believes James Earl Ray was framed.
2018-03-30, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/03/30/who-killed-marti...

In the five decades since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead by an assassin at age 39, his children have worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy. They are unanimous on one key point: James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. For the King family and others in the civil rights movement, the FBI’s obsession with King in the years leading up to his slaying in Memphis on April 4, 1968 - pervasive surveillance, a malicious disinformation campaign and open denunciations by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover - laid the groundwork for their belief that he was the target of a plot. Until her own death in 2006, Coretta Scott King, who endured the FBI’s campaign to discredit her husband, was open in her belief that a conspiracy led to the assassination. Her family filed a civil suit in 1999 ... and a Memphis jury ruled that the local, state and federal governments were liable for King’s death. “There is abundant evidence,” Coretta King said after the verdict, “of a major, high-level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband.” The jury found the mafia and various government agencies “were deeply involved in the assassination. Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame.” But nothing changed afterward. William Pepper, a New York lawyer and civil rights activist who knew and worked with King ... became convinced of Ray’s innocence and continued to investigate the case even after Ray died. Pepper wrote three books outlining the conspiracy, most recently “The Plot to Kill King” in 2016, which were largely ignored by the media.

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


Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you
2018-03-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-g...

[Here's] how much of your information ... Facebook and Google store about you. Google stores your location ... every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where you’ve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone. Google stores search history across all your devices. Even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices. Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight ... and income. Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents. Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents. Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about. The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

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


New Studies Link Cell Phone Radiation with Cancer
2018-03-29, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-studies-link-cell-phone-radiat...

Does cell phone radiation cause cancer? New studies show a correlation in lab rats, but the evidence may not resolve ongoing debates over causality. The ionizing radiation given off by sources such as x-ray machines and the sun boosts cancer risk by shredding molecules in the body. But the non-ionizing radio-frequency (RF) radiation that cell phones and other wireless devices emit has just one known biological effect: an ability to heat tissue by exciting its molecules. Still, evidence advanced by the studies shows prolonged exposure to even very low levels of RF radiation, perhaps by mechanisms other than heating that remain unknown, makes rats uniquely prone to a rare tumor called a schwannoma, which affects a type of neuron (or nerve cell) called a Schwann cell. The studies are notable for their sizes. Researchers at the National Toxicology Program, a federal interagency group under the National Institutes of Health, tested 3,000 rats and mice of both sexes for two years. Investigators at the Ramazzini Institute in Italy were similarly ambitious; in their recent study they investigated RF effects in nearly 2,500 rats. The studies evaluated radiation exposures in different ways. Yet they generated comparable results. The strongest finding connected RF with heart schwannomas in male rats, but the researchers also reported elevated rates of lymphoma as well as cancers affecting the prostate, skin, lung, liver and brain in the exposed animals. Rates for those cancers increased as the doses got higher.

Note: The National Toxicology Program study came to light in 2016 after scientists posted some of its preliminary findings to a public website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks of cell phones and wireless devices.


Democratic Party is guilty of dereliction of duty on defense spending
2018-03-29, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Democratic-Party-is-gui...

By completing the $1.3 trillion spending bill for the remainder of 2018, the Republican Congress and the president took the first big step in implementing their highest priority: a huge increase in the Pentagon budget. The United States has embarked - with hardly a pause after 16 years of costly and counterproductive wars - on another binge of military spending. Which is worse? The Republican Party’s crude equation of greater spending with more security, or the Democrats’ utter lack of opposition to this unjustified boondoggle for the Pentagon? Each is a powerful indictment of the state of our politics. Together they could signal the end of any rational debate on national security in a country that spends about as much on defense as the next eight nations (ranked by military expenditures) combined. The defense budget at the end of President Barack Obama’s administration, adjusted for inflation, was still at the levels of the Reagan buildup in the 1980s. The jaw-dropping increases in the congressional agreement and Trump’s proposed budget for future years will return us to near the record levels of 2010 when the country still had about 150,000 troops deployed between Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, the United States has about 19,000 troops deployed to those two nations. And the response by the Democratic Party? With few exceptions, complicity and silence. Since Trump assumed the presidency, congressional Democrats have had one concern about increased military spending: how to use it as leverage for comparable increases in domestic spending. And that is exactly what happened with the recent spending bill.

Note: Read a powerful essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. general's ever exposing war-making as a racket supported by the military industrial complex. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war.


Lockheed Martin Receives Patent For ‘World Changing’ Fusion Reactor
2018-03-28, CBS News (Washington D.C. affiliate)
http://washington.cbslocal.com/2018/03/28/fusion-reactor-power-lockheed-martin/

Lockheed Martin has reportedly been working on a revolutionary new type of reactor that can power anything from cities to aircraft carriers. The Maryland-based defense contractor recently received a patent for the compact fusion reactor (CFR) after filing plans for the device in 2014. According to reports, one generator would be as small as a shipping container but produce the energy to power 80,000 homes or one of the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers. Lockheed’s advanced projects division, Skunk Works, has reportedly been working on the futuristic power source since 2014 and claimed at the time that a CFR could be ready for production by 2019. “I started looking at all the ideas that had been published. I basically took those ideas and melded them into something new by taking the problems in one and trying to replace them with the benefits of others,” Dr. Thomas McGuire of Skunk Works said during a 2014 interview. “The nice thing about a fusion reaction is that if somehow it would go out of control, it would just stop itself automatically,” William & Mary’s Saskia Mordijck told Phys.org in 2012. “If a fission reaction goes out of control, it can really go out of control. You can’t stop it and it actually might go into a nuclear meltdown.” Lockheed advertises its quest to develop fusion power on its website, calling the technology “a cleaner, safer source of energy” that could be used to power communities or even travel to Mars.

Note: A 2004 New York Times article stated that Lockheed Martin runs a "breathtakingly big part" of the US. This company's "Skunk Works" was kept very secret until 2014, when reporters were given a glossy brochure featuring a "10-point "Skunk Works 2015" agenda". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing energy invention news articles from reliable major media sources.


Saudi Arabia Must Face U.S. Lawsuits Over Sept. 11 Attacks
2018-03-28, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-must-face-...

A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected Saudi Arabia's bid to dismiss lawsuits claiming that it helped plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and should pay billions of dollars in damages to victims. U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said the plaintiffs' allegations "narrowly articulate a reasonable basis" for him to assert jurisdiction over Saudi Arabia under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a 2016 federal law. Daniels' decision covers claims by the families of those killed, roughly 25,000 people who suffered injuries, and many businesses and insurers. The judge also dismissed claims that two Saudi banks, National Commercial Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, and Saudi Binladin Group, a construction company controlled by the bin Laden family, provided funds and financial services for the attacks, saying he lacked jurisdiction. Saudi Arabia had long had broad immunity from Sept. 11 lawsuits in the United States. That changed in September 2016, when the U.S. Congress overrode President Barack Obama's veto of JASTA, allowing such cases to proceed. Obama had warned that the law could expose U.S. companies, troops and officials to lawsuits in other countries. Daniels said the plaintiffs could try to prove that Saudi Arabia was liable for the alleged activities of Fahad al Thumairy, an imam ... and Omar al Bayoumi, said to be an intelligence officer. They were accused of helping two hijackers acclimate themselves to the United States, and begin preparing for the attacks.

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.


We asked for Gitmo prison’s book policy in 2013. It arrived this week, censored.
2018-03-28, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/articl...

The U.S. military took more than four years to process a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the Guantánamo guidelines for censoring prison library material - and censored the guidelines when it processed the request. The paperwork the military released appeared to leave out three pages of the prison’s procedure for handling the Quran. The Miami Herald sought the Nov. 27, 2013, document in a Dec. 10, 2013, FOIA request. The U.S. Southern Command apparently released the document, with redactions, on March 21 but didn’t put it in the mail for five more days. It arrived at the Herald newsroom, which is next door to Southcom, on Tuesday. The Guantánamo prison is a Law of War detention site run by the Pentagon; left unclear was the U.S. military’s law enforcement or prosecution function related to the Detainee Library, which circulates books among 26 of the prison’s 41 detainees. Of those 26, only two have been convicted of war crimes. Former CIA captives at the clandestine Camp 7 prison, including those accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks, don’t have privileges at the main library but can draw from a different, secret collection. In May 2016, a U.S. Army officer in charge of detainee diversionary programs told reporters that “negative screening criteria” included military topics, extreme graphic violence, nudity, sexuality and extremism. Many of the prison’s current detainees were held by the CIA for weeks or years before their transfer to U.S. military custody.

Note: A letter titled, "Will I Die At Guantanamo Bay? After 15 Years, I Deserve Justice" was recently published by Newsweek. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy
2018-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/mar/28/julian-assange-internet-connect...

Ecuador has cut Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world from its London embassy, where the founder of the whistleblowing WikiLeaks website has been living for nearly six years. The Ecuadorian government said in statement that it had acted because Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”. The move came after Assange tweeted on Monday challenging Britain’s accusation that Russia was responsible for the nerve agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury earlier this month. Ecuador previously cut Assange’s internet access in the embassy in October 2016 over fears he was using it to interfere in the US presidential election following Wikileaks’ publication of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign adviser, John Podesta. In May 2017 the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, again asked Assange to refrain from commenting on Spain’s dispute with the separatist region of Catalonia. Assange had tweeted that Madrid was guilty of “repression”. As part of a subsequent agreement between Assange and the Ecuadorian government, he is not permitted to send any messages that could interfere with Ecuador’s relations with other countries.

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


Khan Academy founder wins 2018 Visionary of the Year award
2018-03-27, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/visionsf/article/Khan-Academy-founder-wins-2018-V...

When Salman Khan began posting videos on YouTube more than a decade ago, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur had no idea of the celebrity he would gain, nor the impact he would have. His online tutorials in math ... were made for friends and family struggling in school. But his audience quickly grew. Before long, Khan had quit his day job in finance to carry out a goal of delivering free Internet instruction to the world. His educational website was called Khan Academy. On Tuesday night, Khan ... was presented the fourth annual Visionary of the Year Award, an honor announced by The San Francisco Chronicle. Khan Academy today has more than 62 million registered users in nearly 200 countries. His voice, which still narrates many of the tutorials, is widely recognized, and students and parents often stop him on the street to thank him for providing an assist at school or work. Since its launch in 2008, Khan Academy has broadened its online course load to include nearly every school subject from science to art and from the kindergarten to college levels. Khan’s Mountain View nonprofit has grown from just him to more than 150 employees. Perhaps most impressive is that the schooling has remained entirely free. With the admirable mission of providing a “world-class” education to anyone anywhere, Khan has attracted financial support from well-heeled donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and Bank of America.

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


Orlando nightclub shooter’s father was FBI informant, court documents say
2018-03-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/orlando-nightclub-shoo...

The father of the 29-year-old who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in the summer of 2016 was an FBI informant who came under scrutiny himself after investigators found receipts for money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan in the wake of the mass shooting. The revelation came in documents filed by attorneys for the shooter’s wife, Noor Salman, who is on trial in Orlando on allegations that she aided and abetted her husband’s attack and obstructed law enforcement’s investigation into it. Salman’s trial has been underway for weeks, but defense attorneys argued that they were not informed until Saturday of the father’s work for the FBI. That, they argued, is grounds to dismiss the charges. Seddique Mateen - the father of Omar Mateen - was an FBI informant at various points between January 2005 and June 2016, court documents say. Salman’s attorneys argued in court filings that if they had known of Seddique Mateen’s work for the bureau, they might have explored ... whether the FBI’s interviews with Salman were an attempt at “evading the negligence they exercised with their own informant,” and whether their “unwavering focus on Noor Salman, rather than Seddique Mateen, could have been designed to find a culprit other than the father.” The FBI has previously come under criticism for investigating Omar Mateen for 10 months starting in 2013 and ultimately concluding he was not a threat.

Note: Noor Salman was acquitted shortly after this information came out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Facebook Closes Page of Hamas-affiliated Palestinian News Agency With 1.3 Million Followers
2018-03-25, Haaretz (One of Israel's leading newspapers)
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-facebook-closes-page-of-hamas-af...

Facebook closed down the official handle of Palestinian news agency Safa over the weekend. The move came as part of a new company policy to block Facebook pages that promote and publish contents that are defined as inciteful. A Palestinian activist who has been following the affair closely said that the move to close Palestinian Facebook pages started several weeks ago after Hamas operative Ahmed Jarrar was killed near Jenin. Jarrar, who was one of the main strategists behind the drive-by West Bank shooting attack that claimed the life of an Israeli father-of-three, was hailed as a Palestinian hero on social media, and images of him that circulated online had become emblematic of the Palestinian resistance movement against Israel. According to the activist, since the beginning of 2018 alone some 500 Facebook pages of Palestinian activists, journalists and bloggers were closed by the company. The activist also said that pages of news companies had also been blocked, including one of a news company affiliated with Islamic Jihad and another linked to the Palestinian National Front, with Safa being the latest. Other activists have noted that Facebook pages affiliated with Fatah, which recently posted images of Yasser Arafat holding a Kalashnikov, were taken offline by the company. Safa has been operating for a decade out of its offices in Gaza, and is associated with Hamas.

Note: How interesting that no Western media reported this major move by facebook. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.


When the media tries too hard to 'appeal to both sides', integrity is lost
2018-03-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/when-the-media-tries-too-hard-t...

Trump-era media really is something else. Otherwise smart and interesting publications are working so hard to “appeal to both sides” that they’ve completely abandoned their integrity in the process. Take the Atlantic, who announced a new roster of high-profile columnists this week, including Kevin D Williamson – a writer who compared a nine-year-old black child to a primate, and who argued that women that have abortions – along with their doctors and nurses – should be executed by hanging. When I asked the Atlantic for comment, a spokesperson responded that the magazine has “a large number of contributors who represent a broad spectrum of views”. She wrote that while “diverse viewpoints” are core to the magazine’s mission, they have “strict standards for how these viewpoints are expressed in our pages”. In other words, the Atlantic doesn’t mind employing a marquee columnist who thinks women should be hanged for having abortions so long as he doesn’t say as much in the magazine. But believing America should execute women in genocidal numbers (one in four women in this country will have an abortion) is not a “diverse viewpoint” – and the fact that one of the nation’s leading political magazines could defend it as such indicates a serious moral crisis in mainstream media.

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


Saudi prince denies Kushner is ‘in his pocket’
2018-03-22, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/saudi-prince-denies-ku...

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Thursday it would be “really insane” for him to trade classified information with presidential son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner. Speaking in a meeting with Washington Post editors and reporters, Mohammed denied U.S. media reports that he had claimed Kushner was “in his pocket,” or that ... he had sought or received a green light from Kushner for massive arrests of allegedly corrupt members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen that took place in the kingdom. The detentions were solely a domestic issue and had been in the works for years, the prince said. The son of King Salman and heir to the Saudi throne, Mohammed, 32, met with President Trump on Tuesday in the Oval Office and over lunch. He also spoke with a number of congressional leaders. Even as Trump has said he is seeking increased investment and purchases of U.S. military equipment and other products from Saudi Arabia, Mohammed has made clear that his primary mission here is to win U.S. investor confidence in his country. Asked about the Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism, the austere faith ... that some have accused of being a source of global terrorism, Mohammed said that investments in mosques and madrassas overseas were rooted in the Cold War, when allies asked Saudi Arabia to use its resources to prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union. Successive Saudi governments lost track of the effort, he said.

Note: 531,525 diplomatic cables from 1979 published by Wikileaks shed light on how Saudi Arabia and the CIA fueled the rise of modern Islamic terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism.


Finland's homeless crisis nearly solved. How? By giving homes to all who need.
2018-03-21, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2018/0321/Finland-s-homeless-crisis-ne...

As anyone who has visited Europe recently can attest, the scourge of homelessness has reached epidemic proportions. The only exception to the trend is Finland. The number of homeless people in Finland has declined from a high of 18,000 30 years ago, to approximately 7,000: the latter figure includes some 5,000 persons who are temporarily lodging with friends or relatives. At the core of this was a move away from the so-called “staircase model,” whereby a homeless person moved from one social rehabilitation level to another, with an apartment waiting for him or her at the highest step. Instead, Finland opted to give housing to the homeless from the start. The concept behind the new approach was not original. What was different, and historic, about the Finnish Housing First model was a willingness to enact the model on a nationwide basis. In 2008 the Finnish National Program to reduce long-term homelessness was drafted and put into place. One [goal] was to cut the number of long-term homeless in half by producing ... supported housing units for tenants with their own leases. The extant network of homeless shelters was phased out. This also involved phasing out the “old way” of thinking about homelessness. The program pays for itself. A case study undertaken by the Tampere University of Technology in 2011 ... showed society saved $18,500 per homeless person per year who had received a rental apartment with support, due to the medical and emergency services no longer needed to assist and respond to them.

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


'Dirty meat': Shocking hygiene failings discovered in US pig and chicken plants
2018-03-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/animals-farmed/2018/feb/21/dirty-meat-shocking-hy...

Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the US’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15% (one in seven) of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually. A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying”. US campaigners are calling once again for the closure of a legal loophole that allows meat with salmonella to be sold in the human supply chain, and also warn about the industry’s push to speed up production in the country’s meat plants. Unpublished US- government records highlight numerous specific incidents including: Diseased poultry meat that had been condemned found in containers used to hold edible food products; Pig carcasses piling up on the factory floor after an equipment breakdown, leading to contamination with grease, blood and other filth; Meat destined for the human food chain found riddled with faecal matter and abscesses filled with pus; High-power hoses being used to clean dirty floors next to working production lines containing food products; Factory floors flooded with dirty water after drains became blocked by meat parts and other debris; Dirty chicken, soiled with faeces or having been dropped on the floor, being put back on to the production line after being rinsed with dilute chlorine.

Note: Read more on the unsafe and unethical high speed slaughterhouses on track for USDA approval. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'Catastrophe' as France's bird population collapses due to pesticides
2018-03-20, The Guardian/AFP
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/21/catastrophe-as-frances-bird-pop...

Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said. Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, the scientists said in a pair of studies – one national in scope and the other covering a large agricultural region in central France. “The situation is catastrophic,” said Benoit Fontaine, a conservation biologist at France’s National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the studies. A migratory song bird, the meadow pipit, has declined by nearly 70%. The museum described the pace and extent of the wipe-out as “a level approaching an ecological catastrophe”. The primary culprit, researchers speculate, is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn. The problem is not that birds are being poisoned, but that the insects on which they depend for food have disappeared. Recent research ... has uncovered similar trends across Europe. Flying insects have declined by 80%, and bird populations has dropped by more than 400m in 30 years. Despite a government plan to cut pesticide use in half by 2020, sales in France have climbed steadily, reaching more than 75,000 tonnes of active ingredient in 2014, according to European Union figures. “What is really alarming, is that all the birds in an agricultural setting are declining at the same speed, even ’generalist’ birds,” which also thrive in other settings such as wooded areas, said [ecologist Vincent] Bretagnolle.

Note: A United Nations report recently noted that pesticides have produced “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, and condemned the pesticide industry for aggressively promoting lies about the usefulness of their products. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The decades-long quest to end drought (and feed millions) by taking the salt out of seawater
2018-03-20, Wired
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/charlie-paton-seawater-greenhouse-desalination...

“The world isn’t short of water, it’s just in the wrong place, and too salty," says Charlie Paton – so he's spent the past 24 years building the technology to prove it. Paton is the founder of Seawater Greenhouse, a company that transforms two abundant resources – sunshine and seawater – into freshwater for growing crops in arid, coastal regions such as Africa’s horn. His latest project [is] in Somaliland (an autonomous but internationally unrecognised republic in Somalia). On a 25-hectare plot of desert land close to the coastline, he’s building the region’s first sustainable, drought-resistant greenhouse. Using solar power to pump in seawater from the coastline and desalinate it on site, Paton is generating freshwater to irrigate plants, and water vapour to cool and humidify the greenhouse interior. Less than a year after its launch, this improbable desert oasis produced its first harvest of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. This year he plans to build an on-site training centre to teach local farmers how to grow greenhouse vegetables. The structure’s modular design will enable farmers to adopt their own one- to five-hectare plots – the dream being a network of connected, drought-resistant farms running across the country. “One of the exciting things is that it can work all the way along our long Red Sea coastline, bringing new sources of income in arid, pastoral areas,” Shibeshi says. “If you have a greenhouse, you aren’t worried about whether there’s rain or no rain.”

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


Cambridge Analytica, Trump-Tied Political Firm, Offered to Entrap Politicians
2018-03-19, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/us/cambridge-analytica-alexander-nix.html

Sitting in a hotel bar, Alexander Nix, who runs the political data firm Cambridge Analytica, had a few ideas for a prospective client looking for help in a foreign election. The firm could send an attractive woman to seduce a rival candidate and secretly videotape the encounter, Mr. Nix said, or send someone posing as a wealthy land developer to pass a bribe. “We have a long history of working behind the scenes,” Mr. Nix said. The prospective client, though, was actually a reporter. The encounter was secretly filmed as part of a monthslong investigation into Cambridge Analytica, the data firm with ties to President Trump’s 2016 campaign. The results of Channel 4’s work were broadcast ... days after reports ... that the firm had harvested the data from more than 50 million Facebook profiles in its bid to develop techniques for predicting the behavior of individual American voters. Less noticed has been the work that Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, the SCL Group, have done outside the United States. “Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company,” he told the Channel 4 reporter. “We can set up fake IDs and websites.” Mr. Nix ... boasted that Cambridge Analytica employs front companies and former spies on behalf of political clients. The information that is uncovered ... is then put “into the bloodstream to the internet,” said Mark Turnbull, another Cambridge executive. “Then watch it grow,” he added. “It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘That’s propaganda.’”

Note: Watch an astounding video revealing how Cambridge Analytica has successfully manipulated national elections around the world using sleazy tactics like pretty women to entrap candidates and offering major bribes while recording the exchange. And here is a video featuring the whistleblower who exposed this.


China’s latest energy megaproject shows that coal really is on the way out
2018-03-19, San Francisco Chronicle/Business Insider
https://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/China-s-latest-ener...

According to a 2016 study, the top contributor of air pollution-related deaths in China is the burning of coal. To improve the country's air quality, the Chinese government vows to spend at least $360 billion on clean energy projects and create 13 million new renewable energy jobs by 2020. This year marks China's fourth anniversary since it started a "war on pollution," and there's reason to believe the country is making headway. Chinese cities have cut concentrations of fine particulates - often considered the deadliest type of pollution - by 32% on average since 2013. The city of Xingtai saw the largest pollution decline at 52.2%. China's latest energy megaproject - a giant floating solar farm on top of a former coal mine in Anhui - may get the country closer to that goal. The 166,000-panel array ... can generate 40 megawatts of power - enough to accommodate 15,000 homes. It's currently the world's largest floating solar project and will operate for up to 25 years. Local energy company Sungrow Power Supply developed the farm on a lake that was once the site of extensive coal mining. After an explosion caused the mine to collapse, a lake formed and flooded it. Building solar plants on top of lakes and reservoirs can protect agricultural land and wildlife on the ground. The water also cools the solar panels, helping them work more efficiently. Choosing to develop the Sungrow farm on an abandoned coal mine signals the slow decline of fossil fuels like coal in China and other countries around the world.

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


The Power of Your Suffering is in How You Tell Your Story
2018-03-19, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/the-power-of-your-suffering-is-in-how-you-t...

Trauma is a word we hear used to describe a range of experiences. Author and journalist Aminatta Forna thinks the word is overused, and, in her Humble Opinion, it is time to find a new way of talking about terrible events. "My family has seen what feels like more than our share of painful, you might say traumatic, events," [said Forna]. "The murder of my father who was a political activist when I was 11, followed by 25 years of political oppression, 10 years of civil war and even an Ebola outbreak. "I’m often asked whether I was traumatized by events, and I have to answer, truthfully, no. Over the years, I have written a great deal about people who have managed to endure events with the power to ruin lives, and this is what I have learned. The more a society tells you that you are irrevocably damaged by what has taken place, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ability to shape your own narrative, rather than having others shape it for you, is ultimately what matters most. Almost any experience can be reshaped, any destiny re-imagined, if those who have lived it tell their own stories. People who frame their experience within a wider context are often most capable of withstanding painful events. They rarely ask, why me. But rather see the world for the capricious and unfair place it can be, and they have a vision of their role in it. Individual temperament matters, but societal attitudes play a considerable role in shaping our responses. The suffering is real, but it may yet be withstood."

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


No CEO should earn 1,000 times more than a regular employee
2018-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/mar/18/america-ceo-worker-pay-gap-n...

The CEO of Marathon Petroleum, Gary Heminger, took home an astonishing 935 times more pay than his typical employee in 2017. One of Marathon’s gas station workers would have to toil more than nine centuries to make as much as Heminger grabbed in just one year. Employees of at least five other US firms would have to work even longer – more than a millennium – to catch up with their top bosses. These companies include the auto parts maker Aptiv (CEO-worker pay ratio: 2,526 to 1), the temp agency Manpower (2,483 to 1), amusement park owner Six Flags (1,920 to 1), Del Monte Produce (1,465 to 1), and apparel maker VF (1,353 to 1). These revelations come thanks to a new federal regulation that requires publicly traded US corporations to disclose, for the first time ever, how much their chief executives are making compared with their median workers. The disclosures are just now starting to flow in. Ever since 2010, the year Congress plugged a ratio disclosure mandate into the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, corporate lobbyists have been scheming to delay and repeal that mandate’s implementation. But responsible investors and other activists rallied and kept the mandate in place. The new ratios offer a benchmark for corporate greed that exposes exactly which firms are sharing the wealth their employees create and which aren’t, knowledge we can use to impose consequences on the corporations doing the most to make the United States more unequal.

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


ESP: Inside the government's secret program of psychic spies
2018-03-18, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/esp-inside-the-governments-secret-program-of-psy...

In the 1970s, a handsome ex-Israeli army paratrooper popularized extrasensory perception, or ESP. Uri Geller claimed he could ... see inside sealed containers, and even read other people's minds. Geller ... caught the eye of the intelligence community. "Scientists would consider, 'Wait a minute, maybe we can read the minds of other government officials, [or] see inside a nuclear facility in Russia,'" said national security reporter Annie Jacobsen. Jacobsen has written about the U.S. government's ... attempts to use Uri Geller, and others like him, for psychic espionage. "It's sort of like a highly-classified black program inside of a black program," Jacobsen said. "One, because you don't want the Russians or the Chinese to know what we are doing; and two, because a lot of scientists didn't want their colleagues to know what they were doing." In the 1980s, the Defense Intelligence Agency began "Project Star Gate," which was, according to Dean Radin, a scientist who worked on the program, top secret. The program employed about a dozen psychics and mediums. Its aim: espionage. Angela Ford was with Project Star Gate for nine years. She calls herself a medium; the Defense Department preferred "remote viewer." Her assignment? To look for missing hostages and fugitives without ever leaving a building at Fort Meade in Maryland. She recalled one assignment, in 1989, when she says she was able to psychically track down a former customs agent who had allegedly gone rogue.

Note: Explore lots more solid information on remote viewing – the government's psychic spying program. Could it be that key elements in government don't want us to know of the unlimited powers contained within each of us? See undeniable evidence that remote viewing was quite successful.


‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower
2018-03-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christoph...

At 24, [Christopher Wylie] came up with an idea that led to the foundation of a company called Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that went on to claim a major role in the Leave campaign for Britain’s EU membership referendum, and later became a key figure in digital operations during Donald Trump’s election campaign. In 2014, Steve Bannon ... was Wylie’s boss. And Robert Mercer, the secretive US hedge-fund billionaire and Republican donor, was Cambridge Analytica’s investor. The idea they bought into was to bring big data and social media to an established military methodology – “information operations” – then turn it on the US electorate. By [2017], Steve Bannon had become Trump’s chief strategist. Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL, had won contracts with the US State Department and was pitching to the Pentagon, and Wylie was genuinely freaked out. “It’s insane,” he told me one night. “The company has created psychological profiles of 230 million Americans. And now they want to work with the Pentagon? It’s like Nixon on steroids.” He ended up showing me a tranche of documents that laid out the secret workings behind Cambridge Analytica. Wylie ... came up with a plan to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles. And then target them with political ads designed to work on their particular psychological makeup.

Note: Billionaire Robert Mercer used this new new technology to build a corporate empire capable of swinging elections by using military propaganda strategies on civilian populations. The above article further details how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control. Watch an astounding video revealing how Cambridge Analytica has successfully manipulated national elections around the world.


Energy healing: ‘I like things that I know — and what I know is, this works’
2018-03-18, News.com.au (a leading media outlet in Australia)
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/energy-healing-i-like...

He can make a two-year-old who hasn’t spent a day of his life without pain sleep like a baby. He can banish 30 years of neck pain in 30 seconds. Mobilise paralysed limbs. Zap an allergy. All without laying a hand on anyone. Melbourne energy healer Charlie Goldsmith has a gift sceptics love to dismiss, but the people he’s helped begged to differ. He’s never charged any of them a cent. If it sounds like a Hollywood script, that’s because it sort of is. US TV producers gave him his own show. The Healer premiered ... late last year. He has a gift nobody can quite explain, so many distrust it. He believes what he sees, and knows: Like the studies he’s been involved in which show he “heals” 80 per cent of those he treats. The Healer is his chance to lend a credibility ... to energy healing. He believes there are plenty of others with his “gift”, they just need that talent spotted, and developed. “I work on old 80-year-olds and I’m their first experience of this stuff. And I think ‘wow you could spend your whole life on this planet and not know that humans have this ability that’s been misunderstood and probably misrepresented a lot’.” Goldsmith partnered with New York University’s Lutheran Hospital for the first study scrutinising his talent. He treated 50 people with a 76 per cent success rate of pain-related conditions with immediate “marked improvement” and 79 per cent of conditions other than pain.

Note: See this miracle worker's website at https://www.charliegoldsmith.com.


UK sets new wind power record as turbines deliver 14 gigawatts for first time – 37 per cent of nation's electricity
2018-03-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wind-power-record-electricity...

Wind power in the UK set a new record today by generating 14 gigawatts for the first time – nearly 37 per cent of the the country’s electricity. The National Grid control room confirmed that 13.9 gigawatts was the highest ever metered wind output. At 10am on Saturday Wind generated 13.9GW, or 36.9 per cent of the UK’s electricity, increasing to 14GW by 11am. The previous record was 13.6GW in January this year. By contrast gas generated only 8.5GW (23 per cent), nuclear 6.5GW (17.3 per cent), coal just 4.7GW (12.5 per cent) and both solar and biomass 1.5GW (4.1 per cent). Hydro came last with 0.3GW or 0.9 per cent. Wind farms produced a record 15 per cent of Britain’s electricity in 2017, up from 10 per cent in 2016. Dr Iain Staffell of Imperial College said: “The dramatic increase comes from both higher wind speeds and a jump in installed capacity. Several large offshore farms came online and onshore wind had a record year for deployment.”

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


I went to prison for disclosing the CIA’s torture. Gina Haspel helped cover it up.
2018-03-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-went-to-prison-for-disclosing-the-ci...

I was inside the CIA’s Langley, Va., headquarters on Sept. 11, 2001. I headed counterterrorism operations in Pakistan from January to May 2002. My team captured dozens of al-Qaeda fighters, including senior training-camp commanders. One of the fighters whom I played an integral role in capturing was Abu Zubaida, mistakenly thought at the time to be the third-ranking person in the militant group. By that May, the CIA had decided to torture him. When I returned to CIA headquarters that month, a senior officer in the Counterterrorism Center asked me if I wanted to be “trained in the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.” I declined. I said that I had a moral and ethical problem with torture and that - the judgment of the Justice Department notwithstanding - I thought it was illegal. Unfortunately, there were plenty of people in the U.S. government who were all too willing to allow the practice to go on. One of them was Gina Haspel, whom President Trump nominated Tuesday as the CIA’s next director. Putting Haspel in charge of the CIA would undo attempts by the agency - and the nation - to repudiate torture. The message this sends to the CIA workforce is simple: Engage in war crimes, in crimes against humanity, and you’ll get promoted. Don’t worry about the law. Don’t worry about ethics. Don’t worry about morality or the fact that torture doesn’t even work. Go ahead and do it anyway. We’ll cover for you. And you can destroy the evidence, too.

Note: The above was written by former CIA counterterrorism officer John Kiriakou, who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


A forgotten hero stopped the My Lai massacre 50 years ago today
2018-03-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wiener-my-lai-hugh-thompson-201803...

Everybody's heard of the My Lai massacre - March 16, 1968, 50 years ago today - but not many know about the man who stopped it: Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot. When he arrived, American soldiers had already killed 504 Vietnamese civilians. They were going to kill more, but they didn't - because of what Thompson did. "We started noticing these large numbers of bodies everywhere," [Thompson said]. "They were old women, old men, children, kids, babies." Then Thompson ... "saw some civilians hiding in a bunker, cowering. Saw some advancing Americans coming that way. I just figured it was time to do something, to not let these people get killed. Landed the aircraft in between the Americans and the Vietnamese, told my crew chief and gunner to cover me, got out of the aircraft, went over to the American side." What happened next was one of the most remarkable events of the entire war, and perhaps unique: Thompson told the American troops that, if they opened fire on the Vietnamese civilians in the bunker, he and his crew would open fire on them. "I thank God to this day that everybody did stay cool and nobody opened up. It was time to stop it. That was the only way the madness ... could be stopped." Back at their base he filed a complaint about the killing of civilians that he had witnessed. The Army covered it up. But eventually the journalist Seymour Hersh found out about the massacre, and his report made it worldwide news and a turning point in the war.

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


Ex-CIA Director Says U.S. Meddles for a 'Good Cause'
2018-03-15, Truth in Media
http://truthinmedia.com/reality-check-ex-cia-director-says-u-s-meddles-good-c...

Ex-CIA Director James Woolsey said it himself. Yes, the U.S. meddles in other countries elections. But when we do it, it’s for the right reasons. “Only for a very good cause,” he says, because our government is ensuring foreign elections result in “democracy.” But doesn’t democracy demand that people decide for themselves? And how well has U.S. meddling actually worked out? According to Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin, the United States has attempted to sway elections in other countries more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. But those 80+ instances of the U.S. interfering with other nations elections does not include regime change efforts. In the 1970s in Chile, the CIA conducted a botched kidnapping of General René Schneider, the Chilean Army’s commander-in-chief, that resulted in Schneider’s death. The plot was an effort to undermine the presidency of Salvador Allende, which may have fueled the violent coup that led to Allende’s overthrow. In 1974, Henry Kissinger was quoted in Newsweek, saying about Chile: “I don’t see why we have to let a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.” Levin’s tally also does not include covert coup d’etats where our government overthrows a foreign leader like the the U.S. did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954. In fact, Salon magazine documents 35 nations in which the United States has overthrown legitimate governments and or supported fascists, drug lords or terrorists. U.S. intervention is rarely about democracy.

Note: Truth in Media is one of the few media outlets speaking truth from a balanced place with reliable facts can be verified. Don't miss the excellent video at the webpage above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


3D-printed homes turn sludge into shelter
2018-03-15, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43411581

More than a billion people in the world go to sleep each night without reliable shelter. But a pair of companies working on solving that believes their model of quickly 3D-printing a one-story house could not only provide merely a roof over the head, but a genuinely great place to live. I took a walk around a demonstration house ... built by Icon, a construction firm, and New Story, a non-profit that sets up housing in the developing world. Later this year, the project will head to El Salvador to build some test homes, with the view to begin work on a community of 100 houses in 2019. "If it does work it could literally change how shelter is created," said Brett Hagler, chief executive and co-founder of New Story. Like small-scale 3D-printing, the system works by slowly adding material, layer-by-layer. In this case, that material is mortar, similar to concrete. The El Salvador project will ... aim to build 100 homes, financed by mostly Silicon Valley-based donors. The houses will not be a hand-out, however. "The families agreed to a no-interest, no-profit mortgage that they will pay over about 10 years," explained Mr Hagler. That works out at about $30 a month. According to the country's economics ministry, the average monthly wage in rural El Salvador is around $360. "That money does not come back to us," he added. "It's kept in a community fund." The fund will go on to pay for more homes in future, or maintenance on existing structures. Mr Hagler said the mortgage model will foster "respect and dignity" within the community.

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


Al Jazeera did a hard-hitting investigation into US and Israeli lobbying – so why won't they air it?
2018-03-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/al-jazeera-investigation-us-israel-lobby...

I’m talking about a documentary called The Lobby, directed by one of Al Jazeera’s top journalists, Clayton Swisher. After months of postponement, The Lobby ... is still no nearer to being shown – and Swisher himself has taken a paid leave of absence. In his published explanation, Swisher described how his award-winning investigative unit ... sent an undercover reporter to look into “how Israel wields influence in America through the pro-Israeli American community. But when some right-wing American supporters of Israel found out about the documentary, there was a massive backlash. It was ... labelled as antisemitic.” Although Swisher’s reporters had exposed genocide in Myanmar, presidential corruption in the Maldives and paedophilia in British youth football, another documentary under Swisher’s direction concentrated on Israel’s influence over Britain and included a secretly filmed sequence in which Israeli official Shai Masot discussed how to “take down” British MPs regarded as pro-Palestinian. In response to antisemitism claims after the London documentary, the broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruled that the programme was “a serious investigative documentary”. It was the same question, Swisher says, that he and his team sought to answer in the American edition of The Lobby: “whether the Israeli government was funding or involved in lobbying efforts in the US under the guise of a domestic lobbying group”.

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


Schwarzenegger says he wants to sue global oil companies for first-degree murder
2018-03-13, CNBC/USA Today
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/13/schwarzenegger-says-he-wants-to-sue-global-oi...

Arnold Schwarzenegger says he is going after Big Oil and climate change. The actor and former governor of California said in a Politico-sponsored podcast ... that he is in talks with law firms about possibly suing global oil companies "for knowingly killing people all over the world." "The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people's lives, that it would kill," Schwarzenegger said. "I don't think there's any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you're going to kill someone, it's first degree murder; I think it's the same thing with the oil companies," he said. In the podcast, Schwarzenegger compares the issue to the tobacco industry. "The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people ... and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it," Schwarzenegger said. "Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that." He argues that every gas station, car and product with fossil fuels should have a warning label on it. He hopes that this will raise awareness about cleaner cars and alternative fuels. "We're going to go after them. Because to me it's absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco," he said.

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


Having a Torturer Lead the C.I.A.
2018-03-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/opinion/cia-torture-gina-haspel.html

When it comes to torture, no American officials have been more practiced in those heinous dark arts than the officers and employees of the Central Intelligence Agency who applied it to terrorism suspects after 9/11. Few American officials were so directly involved in that frenzy of abuse ... as Gina Haspel. On Tuesday, in announcing that he had dismissed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and was replacing him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Pompeo’s successor would be his deputy, Ms. Haspel. As an undercover C.I.A. officer, Ms. Haspel played a direct role in the agency’s “extraordinary rendition program,” under which suspected militants were ... were tortured by agency personnel. Ms. Haspel ran the first detention site in Thailand and oversaw the brutal interrogation of the Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The sessions were videotaped and the recordings stored in a safe at the C.I.A. station in Thailand until they were ordered destroyed in 2005. Ms. Haspel’s name was on the cable with the destruction orders. In 2013, these activities were of such concern that Senator Dianne Feinstein of California ... blocked Ms. Haspel’s promotion to be head of the agency’s clandestine service. Senator John McCain ... a former prisoner of war, insisted that during the confirmation process, Ms. Haspel must “explain the nature and extent of her involvement” in the interrogation program.

Note: Read the thoughts of a former CIA counterterrorism officer on the dangers of this appointment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make
2018-03-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/11/health/prescription-opioid-payments-eprise/ind...

As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money - and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. The CNN/Harvard analysis looked at 2014 and 2015, during which time more than 811,000 doctors wrote prescriptions to Medicare patients. Of those, nearly half wrote at least one prescription for opioids. Fifty-four percent of those doctors - more than 200,000 physicians - received a payment from pharmaceutical companies that make opioids. Among doctors in the top 25th percentile of opioid prescribers by volume, 72% received payments. Among those in the top fifth percentile, 84% received payments. Among the very biggest prescribers ... 95% received payments. On average, doctors whose opioid prescription volume ranked among the top 5% nationally received twice as much money from the opioid manufacturers, compared with doctors whose prescription volume was in the median. Pharmaceutical company payments to doctors are not unique to opioids. Drug companies pay doctors billions of dollars for various services. In 2015, 48% of physicians received some pharmaceutical payment. The CNN and Harvard findings are in line with other studies suggesting that money from drug companies does influence a doctor's prescribing habits.

Note: From 1999 to 2015, over 183,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in the US. A CBS article titled, "Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress" describes major regulatory failures that contributed to this crisis. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


1,000 children may have been victims in Britain's biggest ever child abuse scandal
2018-03-11, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/1000-children-may-have-victims-br...

Up to 1,000 children could have been abused in Britain's biggest ever child abuse scandal, an investigation has revealed. Hundreds of children, some as young as 11, are estimated to have been drugged, beaten and raped over a 40-year period in the town of Telford. Lucy Allan, the Conservative MP for Telford, has called for an inquiry into child sexual exploitation. The investigation claims that allegations dating back to the 1980s were mishandled by authorities in Telford, who repeatedly failed to punish a network of abusers. Victims claimed that similar abuse, which has been linked to three murders and two other deaths, has continued in the area. The newspaper's probe alleges that social workers were aware of the abuse in the 1990s, but that it took police a decade to launch Operation Chalice, an inquiry into child prostitution in the Telford area in which seven men were jailed. It is also claimed that abused and trafficked children were considered "prostitutes" by council staff, that authorities did not keep details of abusers from Asian communities for fear of being accused of "racism" and that police failed to investigate one recent case five times until an MP intervened. The estimate of 1,000 potential victims was made with the help of Professor Liz Kelly, from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Metropolitan University. Twelve victims spoke to the newspaper and accused more than 70 abusers. Two other investigations were launched alongside Operation Chalice after two victims named dozens more abusers, yet victims have claimed that they were put off helping inquiries.

Note: Similar reports of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham were suppressed by officials for years. Over 1400 children as young as 12 were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013 in Rotherham. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Saudis Said to Use Coercion and Abuse to Seize Billions
2018-03-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/11/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-corruption-m...

In November, the Saudi government locked up hundreds of influential businessmen - many of them members of the royal family - in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton in what it called an anti-corruption campaign. Most have since been released but they are hardly free. During months of captivity, many were subject to coercion and physical abuse. In the early days of the crackdown, at least 17 detainees were hospitalized for physical abuse and one later died in custody with a neck that appeared twisted, a badly swollen body and other signs of abuse, according to a person who saw the body. To leave the Ritz, many of the detainees not only surrendered huge sums of money, but also signed over to the government control of precious real estate and shares of their companies - all outside any clear legal process. As the architect of the crackdown, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to travel to the United States this month to court American investment. Saudi officials are spotlighting his reforms. But extensive interviews with Saudi officials, members of the royal family, and relatives, advisers and associates of the detainees revealed a murkier, coercive operation, marked by cases of physical abuse, which transferred billions of dollars in private wealth to the crown prince’s control. The government ... has refused to specify the charges against individuals and, even after they were released, to clarify who was found guilty or innocent, making it impossible to know how much the process was driven by personal score settling.

Note: Yet the U.S. continues to court Saudi Arabia as one of its closest allies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The military keeps encountering UFOs. Why doesn’t the Pentagon care?
2018-03-09, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/the-military-keeps-encountering-ufos-w...

In December, the Defense Department declassified two videos documenting encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft. The first video captures multiple pilots observing and discussing a strange, hovering, egg-shaped craft, apparently one of a “fleet” of such objects, according to cockpit audio. The second shows a similar incident involving an F-18 attached to the USS Nimitz carrier battle group in 2004. The videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies. Defense Department officials who analyze the relevant intelligence confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015. Military departments and agencies treat such incidents as isolated events rather than as part of a pattern requiring serious attention and investigation. Reports from different services and agencies remain largely ignored and unevaluated inside their respective bureaucratic stovepipes. There is no Pentagon process for synthesizing all the observations the military is making. The current approach is equivalent to having the Army conduct a submarine search without the Navy. It is also reminiscent of the counterterrorism efforts of the CIA and the FBI before Sept. 11, 2001, when each had information on the hijackers that they kept to themselves. In this instance, the truth may ultimately prove benign, but why leave it to chance?

Note: The above was written by Christopher Mellon, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. 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.


One thing Democrats and Republicans apparently agree on: Destabilizing the banking sector again
2018-03-09, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-dayen-deregulation-bank-bill-20180...

Next week marks the 10th anniversary of the run on Bear Stearns, the investment bank that collapsed under the weight of toxic subprime mortgages ... leading to the biggest economic crisis in nearly a century. That seems like a terrible political backdrop for the Senate to pass a bill that deregulates the banking sector. But that's exactly what's about to happen. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which pro-regulation groups have called the "Bank Lobbyist Act," advanced in the Senate this week. The ... Congressional Budget Office stated [that the] legislation would increase the risk of another [financial crisis] happening. The bill ... rolls back key pieces of the Dodd-Frank Act and includes giveaways to large institutions of the same size and scope as the ones that crashed the economy in 2008. The most important measure in the legislation raises the threshold for enhanced regulatory supervision by the Federal Reserve from $50 billion to $250 billion. The beneficiaries, 25 of the top 38 banks in America, could be called "stadium banks:" not big enough to count as Wall Street mega-banks, but big enough to have a sports stadium named after them. Nearly all giant foreign banks with operations in the U.S. could enjoy the same weaker rules. Why would more than one-third of the Senate Democratic caucus provide the margin of victory on [this] bill. The answer is simple: money. The top three recipients of campaign donations from commercial banks since 2017 are Democrats. This whole process reveals that bipartisanship usually arrives in Washington at the barrel of a money cannon.

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


Clearing the Radioactive Rubble Heap That Was Fukushima Daiichi, 7 Years On
2018-03-09, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/clearing-the-radioactive-rubble-he...

Seven years after one of the largest earthquakes on record unleashed a massive tsunami and triggered a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, officials say they are at last getting a handle on the mammoth task of cleaning the site. In 2016 the government increased its cost estimate to about $75.7 billion, part of the overall Fukushima disaster price tag of $202.5 billion. The Japan Center for Economic Research, a private think tank, said the cleanup costs could mount to some $470 billion to $660 billion. Under a government roadmap, TEPCO hopes to finish the job in 30 to 40 years. But some experts say even that could be an underestimate. Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany, doubts the ambitious cleanup effort can be completed in the time cited. Until TEPCO can verify the conditions of the molten fuel, he says, “there can be no confirmation of what impact and damage the material has had” on the various components of the reactors - and therefore how radiation might leak into the environment in the future.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster.


Heated floors and pillow-top mattresses... in prison
2018-03-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/08/us/prison-reform-north-dakota-norway/index.html

Norway's prison system is designed with three core values in mind: normality, humanity and rehabilitation. The point of incarceration in Norway, they say, is to make inmates "better neighbors" once they are released - and they take that mission very seriously. In the US, prison is generally seen as punishment for crimes committed. But Norway might change that. In 2015, prison directors and lawmakers from North Dakota traveled to see Norway's prisons for themselves. The trip was part of a program that takes state officials to visit the country, which has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world. When the leaders returned, North Dakota slowly began making changes to its prison system. The move has been controversial with some prison staff. The changes called for different dynamics between inmates and corrections officers, causing one of them to leave over what he believed was a fundamental shift in their training. North Dakota's prison directors say the benefit in the long run - reducing the state's recidivism rate - is worth giving this new approach a chance. If the goal is to make them better neighbors, North Dakota inmate Jonathan McKinney says it's working. He spent more than two years in and out of solitary confinement during part of his 17-year sentence for murder and other serious charges. Because of Norway's influence, prison officials allowed him to transfer to medium security when he showed good behavior - a move that he would not have been able to make as easily before.

Note: Watch an incredible nine-minute video on the mind-boggling success of Norway's prison system.


Coal’s rapid decline drives carbon emissions down to 1890 levels
2018-03-07, Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/47563b2a-21f6-11e8-9a70-08f715791301

Declining coal use has pushed UK carbon emissions to levels last consistently seen in 1890, highlighting the country’s progress in cutting greenhouse gases faster than most other developed economies. Emissions fell by 2.6 per cent in 2017, driven by a nearly one-fifth reduction in the use of coal as the energy industry shifts towards cleaner sources of electricity generation, especially wind and solar power. The data marked the fifth successive year in which the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into UK skies has fallen, and emissions are now 38 per cent below the level of 1990. “With coal quickly disappearing in the UK and other fossil fuel use mostly flat, emissions have continued their steady decline,” said Zeke Hausfather, author of the report by Carbon Brief, a climate research and news organisation, which based its findings on the latest UK government data. Britain’s success in driving down emissions contrasts with Germany, where the country’s continued dependence on coal for about 40 per cent of electricity generation has dented Chancellor Angela Merkel’s green credentials and put the country’s climate targets at risk. More than two-thirds of today’s emissions still need to be eliminated if Britain is to meet its legally binding goal to reduce CO2 output by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Note: In 2017, for the first time since the 1800's, Britain went a day without burning coal to generate electricity. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto concealed effects of toxic chemical for decades, Ohio AG alleges
2018-03-06, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/monsanto-concealed-effects-toxic-chemica...

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century. In the suit ... prosecutors argued that the company should pay for the clean-up of what it says are dozens of rivers, lakes and other water bodies contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The company stopped manufacturing the chemical in 1977 and it was banned in 1979 by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the suit, Monsanto produced nearly all of the PCBs - which were used in everything from lubricants to electrical equipment - in the United States between 1929 and 1977. The chemical has been linked to cancer, liver damage and other negative health effects. The suit alleges that Monsanto learned of PCBs’ toxic effects in the 1930s, yet it kept producing the compound while concealing its effects. The suit claims the company acknowledged that prolonged exposure could produce "systemic toxic effects" in an internal memo in 1937, so it undertook a "decades-long campaign of misinformation and deception."

Note: Other major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


America's horrifying new plan for animals: highspeed slaughterhouses
2018-03-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/06/ive-seen-the-hidden-hor...

If you care about animal welfare or food safety, this news will concern you: the nationwide expansion of a risky US Department of Agriculture (USDA) high-speed slaughter program is imminent. There is still time to stop it. The USDA is now accepting public comments on its proposed rule that it euphemistically dubbed the “Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection”. As a former undercover investigator who worked inside a pig slaughterhouse operating under the pilot project that was, at the time, called HIMP, I’ve seen firsthand the hazardous and cruel nature of this controversial program. This expanded program ... would allow facilities to increase slaughter speeds, while reducing the number of trained government inspectors on the lines. The result is problems that can – and do – go unnoticed. For nearly six months, I worked undercover inside Quality Pork Processors (QPP). An exclusive Hormel Foods supplier, QPP kills about 1,300 pigs every hour operating under the high-speed pilot program. I documented pig carcasses covered in feces and abscesses being processed for human consumption, and workers ... beating, dragging, and electrically prodding pigs to make them move faster. NSIS may also allow higher numbers of sick and injured pigs too weak even to stand (known as “downers”) to be slaughtered for food. In 2016, a letter from 60 members of Congress to the USDA stated “the available evidence suggests the hog HIMP will undermine food safety.”

Note: The above was written by Scott David, a former undercover investigator at Compassion Over Killing, a national animal protection organization. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system.


Behind the Scenes in Venezuela
2018-03-03, US News & World Report
https://www.usnews.com/opinion/world-report/articles/2018-03-03/new-evidence-...

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has stepped up its efforts at "regime change" in Venezuela. High-level sources from inside the administration have stated that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is determining U.S. policy toward Venezuela. Rubio ... does not seem interested in an electoral or negotiated solution to Venezuela's political crisis. On Feb. 9, he appeared to support a military coup. Such open support from Washington for a military coup against an elected government ... is unusual. But the Trump team is not just sitting around waiting for it to happen. The Rubio/Trump strategy seems to be to try to worsen the economic situation and increase suffering to the point where either the military, or the insurrectionary elements of the opposition, rise up and overthrow the government. That appears to be the purpose of the financial sanctions that Trump ordered on Aug. 24, 2017. These sanctions cut off Venezuela from billions of dollars of potential loans, as well as from revenue even from its own oil company in the U.S., Citgo. They have worsened shortages of medicine and food, in an economy that is already suffering from inflation of about 3,000 percent annually and a depression that has cost about 38 percent of GDP. These sanctions are illegal under ... international conventions to which the U.S. is a signatory. Now U.S. officials are talking about ... cutting off Venezuela's oil sales. All this to overthrow a government that nobody can claim poses any threat to the United States.

Note: Important parts of this situation's history are described in a 2012 article titled, "Why the US demonises Venezuela's democracy". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why Psychedelic Psychotherapy Works
2018-03-01, Optimist Daily
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2018/03/why-psychedelic-psychotherapy-works/

In recent years, rigorous research has been conducted on entheogens, such as ayahuasca, LSD, mescaline and psilocybin, and on the empathogen Ecstasy. The goal is to evaluate their effects on addiction, cluster headaches, depression, trauma, cancer, epilepsy, death and dying, as well as to explore their value in the study of consciousness. Psilocybin - or magic mushrooms - have been used in traditional healing rituals for thousands of years. However, for more than 40 years it has been illegal in the U.S. But recent findings are tearing down the barriers surrounding psychedelic research, as it has been clinically shown that they have the ability to ease depression and soothe anxiety in patients dealing with serious illness and impending death. Two separate studies discovered that a single, moderate-to-large dose of psilocybin was able to help alleviate profound distress among cancer patients. Researchers know “how,” but they do not know “why,” psilocybin has worked in these settings. One theory is that psilocybin interrupts the circuitry of self-absorbed thinking that is so pronounced in depressed people, making way for a mystical experience. Neuro-imaging studies ... suggest that the positive effects of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are explained by changes in something in the brain called “the default mode network.” It turns out that this network is hyperactive in depression. Interestingly, in both meditation and also with psilocybin this network becomes quiescent.

Note: See an article in the UK's Independent showing remarkable results from these studies. Learn more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


Holding hands can sync brainwaves, ease pain, study shows
2018-03-01, Science Daily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180301094822.htm

Reach for the hand of a loved one in pain and not only will your breathing and heart rate synchronize with theirs, your brain wave patterns will couple up too, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study ... also found that the more empathy a comforting partner feels for a partner in pain, the more their brainwaves fall into sync. And the more those brain waves sync, the more the pain goes away. "We have developed a lot of ways to communicate in the modern world and we have fewer physical interactions," said lead author Pavel Goldstein. "This paper illustrates the power and importance of human touch." The study is the latest in a growing body of research exploring a phenomenon known as "interpersonal synchronization," in which people physiologically mirror the people they are with. It is the first to look at brain wave synchronization in the context of pain, and offers new insight into the role brain-to-brain coupling may play in touch-induced analgesia, or healing touch. Goldstein came up with the experiment after, during the delivery of his daughter, he discovered that when he held his wife's hand, it eased her pain. How exactly could coupling of brain activity with an empathetic partner kill pain? More studies are needed to find out, stressed Goldstein. But he and his co-authors offer a few possible explanations. Empathetic touch can make a person feel understood, which in turn -- according to previous studies -- could activate pain-killing reward mechanisms in the brain.

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


How one US state saved $240 million in health care spending
2018-03-01, Quartz
https://qz.com/1218748/how-one-us-state-saved-240-million-in-health-care-spen...

Investment in primary care results in savings in overall health care spending. This has been empirically proven in the state of Oregon. Health care spending in the United States in 2016 was $3.4 trillion, or 17.8% of GDP. By the year 2025, spending in the US is expected to reach 19.9% of GDP. What are we getting in return for spending more money on health care than any other developed nation in the world? Not much. Our health outcomes leave much to be desired. Why? Health care spending in the US generally promotes utilization of services - apart from outcomes - as opposed to effective, proactive, whole-person care. There is a better way. In 2009, the Oregon legislature established the Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH) program. As of the writing of this article, there are over 600 clinics in Oregon with PCPCH recognition. The foundation of the PCPCH model consists of 6 Core Attributes that promote care which is: accessible, accountable, comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, and patient- and family-centered. What has been achieved since implementation of the PCPCH program in Oregon? A multi-year study from Portland State University [found] $240 million in savings in the first three years of the program. Every $1 increase in spending in primary care resulted in $13 in savings in overall spending.

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


Why Congress must vote on the United States’ role in Yemen
2018-02-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-congress-must-vote-on-the-united-...

In Yemen, a child under the age of five dies of preventable causes every 10 minutes. That is just one startling fact from a country that has been torn by war for nearly three years. More than 10,000 civilians have died and over 40,000 have been wounded in this war. An estimated 17 million people – 60 percent of the total population – do not have reliable access to food. Americans have so far provided more than $768 million in humanitarian aid to that country. What few Americans know, however, is that the U.S. military is making the crisis worse by helping one side in the conflict bomb innocent civilians. The millions we have spent in humanitarian aid were necessitated, in part, by a U.S. government failure. In March 2015, a coalition of Arab forces led by Saudi Arabia launched a military intervention into Yemen. The Obama administration, without consulting Congress, quickly authorized U.S. military forces to provide “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudi coalition. U.S. military support for this intervention continues to this day. U.S. forces are coordinating, refueling and targeting with the Saudi-led coalition. We believe that since Congress has not authorized military force for this conflict, the United States should play no role in it beyond providing desperately needed humanitarian aid. That is why we are introducing a joint resolution that would force Congress to vote on the U.S. war in Yemen. If Congress does not authorize the war, our resolution would require U.S. involvement in Yemen to end.

Note: The above was written by US senators Mike Lee, Bernie Sanders, and Chris Murphy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Patrol officers are trained to spot drunken driving and drug trafficking. Why not child trafficking, too?
2018-02-27, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/police-are-trained-to-spot-...

When Deputy Patrick Paquette pulled to a stop on Interstate 20 in Georgia in January 2013, he didn’t anticipate a career-altering experience. A young man and a far younger girl ... had been detained by an officer who had pulled them over for speeding, smelled pot and discovered a bag of marijuana. Inside [the girl’s suitcase, Paquette] discovered ... dozens of condoms, lubricant, sex toys and a small pile of lingerie. The girl and the man, Johnathon Nathaniel Kelly, were still separated. Kelly could not see or hear the girl. But Paquette ... kept his voice low. “Do you need help?” he asked. “Sir,” she said, “please get me some help,” and began to cry. Paquette uncuffed her, loaded her into the car and drove her to the station for an interview with a specialist in sex crimes. The girl, Rebecca ... sobbed. “I’ve been praying,” she told him, “every second I could, to be rescued.” Kelly was arrested and later sentenced to 11 years for interstate transportation of a minor for prostitution. If Rebecca had encountered Paquette just months earlier, she would have been arrested. But Paquette had recently taken a Texas-based training program, called Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC), which taught him how to spot indicators of child-sex trafficking. Before the creation of IPC training, Texas DPS kept no record of “child rescues.” But Texas state troopers have made 341 such rescues since the program’s inception; and in formalized follow-up interviews, virtually all of the troopers said the training was key to spurring them to action.

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


Congress’ net worth keeps on growing
2018-02-27, Press Herald (Portland, Maine's leading newspaper)
https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/27/in-the-moneycongress-net-worth-keeps-o...

The cumulative net worth of senators and House members jumped by one-fifth in the two years before the start of this Congress, outperforming the typical American’s improved fortunes as well as the solid performance of investment markets during that time. The total wealth of all current members was at least $2.43 billion when the 115th Congress began, 20 percent more than the collective riches of the previous Congress, a significant gain during a period when both the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose slightly less than 10 percent. Beyond that grand total, the median minimum net worth (meaning half are worth more, half less) of today’s senators and House members was $511,000 at the start of this Congress, an upward push of 16 percent over just two years – and quintuple the median net worth of an American household, which the Federal Reserve pegged at $97,300 in 2016. The financial disparity between those who try to govern and those who are governed is almost certainly even greater than that. Members of Congress are not required to make public the value of their residences and their contents, which are the principal assets of most Americans. Nor are they required to reveal their other assets and debts to the penny, or even close – instead using 11 broad categories of value ... that do a comprehensive job of obscuring what each member is precisely worth.

Note: The above article fails to mention that laws against insider trading do not apply to members of Congress. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality.


Incredible device that generates electricity out of thin air by harvesting energy from changes in temperature
2018-02-27, Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5440613/Incredible-device-gene...

A miraculous device that can generate electricity seemingly out of thin air has been developed by engineers. Called a thermal resonator, it relies on fluctuations in temperature between day and night to produce electricity. It can be used without the need for sunlight, batteries or wind, making it ideal for situations where these resources can't be relied upon. The technology has the potential to power sensors and communications devices for years without the need for batteries. Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) department of chemical engineering are behind the find. Their gadget is a twist on a thermoelectric generator, which creates power when one side of the device is a different temperature from the other. Researchers say that the power levels generated by the new system so far are modest. However, it outperformed a commercially available pyroelectric material - an existing method for converting temperature fluctuations to electricity - by 300 per cent. Professor Michael Strano, who led the study, said: 'We basically invented this concept out of whole cloth. 'It's something that can sit on a desk and generate energy out of what seems like nothing. 'We are surrounded by temperature fluctuations of all different frequencies all of the time. These are an untapped source of energy.' Such systems could provide low-power but long-lasting energy sources for landers or rovers exploring remote locations, including other moons and planets, says Volodymyr Koman, an MIT postdoc and co-author of the new study.

Note: For more, see this article on the MIT website.


El Salvador's military not opening archives for missing kids
2018-02-27, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/el-salvadors-military-opening-a...

More than 25 years after the end of its civil war, families in El Salvador are still searching for an estimated 3,000 children who disappeared in the fighting. The country's military has so far refused to open its archives from that period to allow an investigation into the whereabouts of children separated from their families. In a decision released in January, El Salvador's Supreme Court backed the demand of Nicolasa Rivas for a probe into the disappearances of her daughters, Gladys Suleyma and Norma Climaco Rivas. Rivas blames the military for taking her daughters. The U.N. Truth Commission created with the signing of the peace agreement in January 1992 estimated there were 5,000 forced disappearances during the war. Human rights advocates have documented about 3,000 more cases and estimate that about 3,000 of all the disappeared were minors. The Supreme Court's decision ordered the armed forces to release information related to a military operation called "Mario Azenon Palma." It was during that operation that Gladys and Norma disappeared. The Defense Ministry has said that ... "no documents or registries of any kind related to the alleged operation have been found." The operation's existence has been confirmed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In its ruling supporting Rivas' call for an investigation into the fate of her daughters, the Supreme Court said there was sufficient information to conclude "they were involuntarily disappeared at the hands of soldiers."

Note: Consider the possibility that many of these kids were used in sex trafficking to bring in money to the military. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


These Are The World’s Greenest Cities
2018-02-27, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-renewable-cities/

Cities around the globe are going green. Over 100 cities from Addis Ababa to Auckland use more than 70 percent renewables in their energy mix, according to CDP research. The places where populations are at their most dense and pollution is at its highest are doing their bit to battle rising global temperatures by turning to hydro, geothermal, solar and wind to keep the lights on. Since the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees, city leaders have improved their environmental reporting and set firm emissions reductions targets, CDP said. In the U.S. 58 cities and towns, including Atlanta and San Diego, have committed to move to 100 percent clean energy. Meanwhile Burlington, Vermont, claims to be the first city in the country to get its energy from entirely renewable sources. Only a handful of the more than 100 North American cities that reported their energy mix to CDP use at least 70 percent renewable energy, while a majority of Latin American cities that reported passed that threshold. “Many cities in the developing world have capitalized on their local natural resources. This pioneering activity has largely been driven by local economic needs and political will,” said Kyra Appleby, director of cities at CDP.

Note: An interactive map of the world's greenest cities 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.


San Diego pays homeless people to pick up trash in new program
2018-02-27, Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/27/san-diego-pays-homeless-people-to-pick-u...

San Diego officials are putting homeless people back on the street - but this time to pay them to pick up trash as part of a new program that launched Monday. The homeless people, who are staying at the city’s tented shelters, will be cleaning up trash and clearing brush in downtown San Diego for five hours a day. The program, called Alpha’s Project’s “Wheels of Change,” will pay participants $11.50 an hour. [They are] expected to hold cleaning shifts three days a week. “This is all about creating more opportunities for homeless individuals to lift themselves out of extreme poverty,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “‘Wheels for Change’ will help restore dignity by allowing people to earn a paycheck and begin to get back on their feet. For many, this may be just the chance they need to begin turning their lives around.” Program participants will also receive access to housing resources. Homeless people [said] they liked the work. “It’s better than sitting in a tent all day,” Edwin Fisk ... said. “It gives us something to do, you know? And you make money. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” Nichole Hill, who has been homeless for 18 months, also said: “I get to give back to the community and have some extra money to get around.” The new program follows similar ones that were launched in Chicago, Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it was first implemented.

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


Norway Is Investing $13 Million To Upgrade Doomsday Seed Vault
2018-02-27, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/norway-doomsday-seed-vault-upgrade_us_5a...

Norway’s doomsday agricultural seed vault will get a $13 million upgrade to better protect world food supplies. The work on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located nearly 400 feet beneath the earth’s surface inside a coal mine, was announced ... as the international facility celebrated its 10th anniversary and its holding of more than 1 million seed samples. The facility, which is fully funded by the Norwegian government, offers any government access to seeds in case of natural or man-made disaster. The concept was successfully tested in 2015, with a seed withdrawl to help Syria re-establish crops wiped out by the country’s civil war. The upgrades will include a concrete access tunnel, a service building for emergency power and refrigerating units, as well as other electrical equipment that will emit heat through the tunnel. The decision to upgrade to the access tunnel comes nearly one year after the vault’s entryway flooded due to unprecedented melting of the area’s permafrost. Though the flooding did not damage any seeds, it served as a jarring reminder of the growing effects of climate change. The vault was designed to take advantage of the location’s permafrost as a permanent feature offering natural cooling protection for the seeds.

Note: Read more about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.


America's Biggest Solar Buyer Is a Firm You've Never Heard Of
2018-02-27, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-27/america-s-biggest-solar-bu...

The biggest buyer of solar farms in America is a company you’ve probably never heard of. Meet Capital Dynamics, an asset manager that handles $15 billion. The firm’s been snapping up clean-power plants for years, but it wasn’t until this month - when the company agreed to spend almost $1 billion on a solar business - that it really landed on mainstream investors’ radar. Now the firm is being called the harbinger of things to come, heralding the next generation of solar and wind farm owners: funds backed by institutional investors like pensions. Its agreement this month to buy 8Point3 Energy Partners LP is among the biggest in a recent string of clean-energy deals done by infrastructure funds. They’re appeasing their investors, who are hungry for the dependable, long-term returns of renewable-energy. After clinching $3 billion of clean-power deals last year ... Capital Dynamics is positioned to buy even more. A key part of the firm’s strategy hinges on capital from its institutional investors. Such investors like that they can match their long-dated liabilities with the returns of solar and wind farms that can stretch over decades. Another edge that Capital Dynamics has over other asset managers: It has spent years building an in-house team with an expertise in solar and wind farm operations, one that leverages its relationships with tax-equity investors and banks.

Note: Despite new solar tariffs and the "determined campaign" against rooftop solar being led by utility companies, elites like the Rockefellers have stopped investing in fossil fuels.


Switzerland has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership — here's why it doesn't have mass shootings
2018-02-27, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/switzerland-high-rates-gun-o...

Switzerland hasn't had a mass shooting since 2001. The country has about 2 million privately owned guns in a nation of 8.3 million people. In 2016, the country had 47 homicides with firearms. The country's overall murder rate is near zero. But the Swiss have some specific rules and regulations for gun use. Unlike the US, Switzerland has mandatory military service for men. All men between the ages of 18 and 34 deemed "fit for service" are given a pistol or a rifle and trained. After they've finished their service, the men can typically buy and keep their service weapons, but they have to get a permit for them. In 2000, more than 25% of Swiss gun owners said they kept their weapon for military or police duty, while less than 5% of Americans said the same. In addition to the militia's arms, the country has about 2 million privately owned guns. Swiss authorities decide on a local level whether to give people gun permits. They also keep a log of everyone who owns a gun in their region. But cantonal police don't take their duty dolling out gun licenses lightly. They might consult a psychiatrist or talk with authorities in other cantons where a prospective gun buyer has lived before to vet the person. Some lawmakers in US states ... are considering a similar model. People who've been convicted of a crime or have an alcohol or drug addiction aren't allowed to buy guns in Switzerland. The law also states that anyone who "expresses a violent or dangerous attitude" won't be permitted to own a gun.

Note: It was reported in 2016 that 2,000 guns were sold to US buyers who failed FBI background checks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Florida sheriff says only 1 deputy was on scene during shooting
2018-02-25, CNBC/AP
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/25/florida-sheriff-says-only-1-deputy-was-on-sce...

The Florida sheriff whose department responded to this month's high school massacre defended his leadership Sunday while insisting that only one of his deputies was on the scene as the gunman killed 14 students and three staff members. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told CNN that investigators are looking into claims that three other deputies were on the scene but failed to enter the school when the chance to save lives still existed. Israel and the sheriff's office have come under withering scrutiny after last week's revelation that deputy Scot Peterson did not go in to confront the suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, during the Valentine's Day attack. It is also facing backlash for apparently mishandling some of the 18 tipster calls related to the suspected shooter. The tips were among a series of what authorities now describe as the clearest missed warning signs that Cruz ... posed a serious threat. The FBI has acknowledged that it failed to investigate the tip about Cruz that the agency received on Jan. 5. A transcript of the phone call [to the FBI] spanned more than 13 minutes. During the call, the woman described a teenager prone to anger with the "mental capacity of a 12 to 14 year old" that deteriorated after his mother died last year. She pointed the FBI to several Instagram accounts where Cruz had posted photos of sliced-up animals and rifles and ammunition he apparently purchased with money from his mother's life insurance policy. "He's thrown out of all these schools because he would pick up a chair and just throw it at somebody, a teacher or a student, because he didn't like the way they were talking to him."

Note: The above article describes problems in government organizations that allowed a threat to become a tragedy, but does not mention the well-documented connection between prescription drugs and mass shootings.


Monsanto demands Avaaz hands over all of its campaign data
2018-02-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/23/monsanto-demands-avaaz-ha...

A US court will today hear a request from Monsanto for access to a huge batch of internal communications by Avaaz, in a move that the campaign group says could have grave repercussions for online activism and data privacy. Monsanto is seeking the release of all lobby documents ... where the firm or its herbicide ingredient glyphosate have been mentioned. Avaaz says this would include personal information about its employees, as well as the email addresses of more than four million signatories to petitions against Monsanto’s GM and glyphosate policies. A victory for Monsanto in today’s hearing would cost the online advocacy group thousands of person-hours of work time, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Avaaz’s lawyers. It could even raise the prospect of a migration out of online activism by campaigners concerned about corporate surveillance. Monsanto’s [request] demands all documents Avaaz employees have created, maintained, received, sent or copied, where these involve discussion about glyphosate, Monsanto, or the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which found glyphosate to probably be carcinogenic. Monsanto filed its request shortly after a bitter EU regulatory battle ended with its license for glyphosate – the core ingredient in Roundup – being extended by just five years, rather than the 15 years originally sought.

Note: Read more on Avaaz and the power of online activism. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.


Florida school shooting: Sheriff got 18 calls about Nikolas Cruz's violence, threats, guns
2018-02-23, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/02/23/florida-school-shoo...

Broward County deputies received at least 18 calls warning them about Nikolas Cruz from 2008 to 2017, including concerns that he "planned to shoot up the school" and other threats and acts of violence before he was accused of killing 17 people at a high school. The warnings, made by concerned people close to Cruz, came in phone calls to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, records show. At least five callers mentioned concern over his access to weapons, according to the documents. None of those warnings led to direct intervention. In February 2016, neighbors told police that they were worried he “planned to shoot up the school”. The new details add to the growing list of red flags missed by law enforcement officials, including the FBI, in the months leading up to last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The FBI is reviewing why a tip last month called into the agency about Cruz's desire to kill people was not forwarded to Miami agents for investigation. The Sheriff’s Office has since opened two internal affairs investigations looking into whether its deputies followed the department’s standards after receiving two phone calls. After the February 2016 call, a deputy forwarded the information to the Stoneman Douglas School Resource Officer, Deputy Scot Peterson. Peterson, 54, retired after an internal investigation was launched into why he sat outside the school for about four minutes and never entered as the shooter killed students and staff.

Note: The above article describes problems in government organizations that allowed a threat to become a tragedy, but does not mention the well-documented connection between prescription drugs and mass shootings.


From fake news to fabricated video, can we preserve our shared reality?
2018-02-22, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2018/0222/From-fake-news-to-fabricated-v...

People tend to trust video evidence as an arbiter of truth. But that faith could soon become quaint, as machine learning is enabling ordinary users to create fabricated videos of just about anyone doing just about anything. Earlier this month, the popular online forum Reddit shut down r/deepfakes, a subreddit discussion board devoted to using open-source machine-learning tools to insert famous faces into pornographic videos. This episode represents just one of the many ways that the this technology could fuel social problems, particularly in an age of political polarization. Combating the negative effects of fabricated video will require a shift among both news outlets and news consumers. “When you see something, or when you believe that you’re seeing something and hearing something, it has a much more visceral impact ... than when it’s something that you’re just reading about,” says Henry Farrell, a professor of political science. Professor Farrell warned that this technology’s “implications for democracy are eye-opening,” in a Feb. 4 New York Times op-ed. “Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality,” the op-ed concluded. “We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.” When mixed with confirmation bias – the tendency to process information in a way that conforms to one’s preexisting beliefs – [the technology] could become an increasingly destructive social influence, one that corrodes even good-faith efforts to tell the truth.

Note: Read more about producing fake video with machine learning programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.


Can altruism exist without empathy? Lessons from the ant world
2018-02-20, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2018/0220/Can-altruism-exist-without-empath...

Named for a famed group of Bantu warriors, the Matabele ant is renowned as a fierce fighter. But the sub-Saharan termite-hunter also shows a caring side. Researchers have found that Megaponera analis, as scientists call it, will tend to the wounds of nest-mates. The only other animals that have been observed systematically treating others’ injuries are humans and some of our primate relatives. In other words, ants and humans share what biologists call a convergent trait: caring for another in need. The finding also informs a growing body of research aimed at fitting what we experience as moral sentiments into a larger pattern in nature. That such precisely directed helping behavior, as it is known, pops up in as distant a relative as the ant belies some popular notions of Darwinian evolution, which characterize natural selection as promoting only selfish behavior. While it’s true that competition both among and within species plays a major role in shaping the evolution of biological traits, it’s not nature’s only driving force. “If you bring people together, the first thing they want to do is cooperate,” says Dr. de Waal, the author of several books on morality and empathy in nonhuman animals. “Now we know from all sorts of studies ... that actually all of the mammals are a bit like that. The first tendency is to help.” People, being the intelligent, social mammals that we are, like to frame helping in terms of morality. But ants appear to demonstrate “helping behavior without morality,” says [biologist] Erik Frank.

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


'Sloppy and careless': courts call out Trump blitzkrieg on environmental rules
2018-02-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/20/donald-trump-epa-environm...

In its first year in office, the Trump administration introduced a solitary new environmental rule aimed at protecting the public from pollution. It was aimed [at] dentists. About 5 tons of mercury, a dangerous toxin ... are washed away from dental offices down drains each year. In Trump’s first day in the White House, the administration told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw an Obama-era plan that would require dentists to prevent this mercury from getting into waterways. But in June, the rule was unexpectedly enacted. This apparent change of heart followed legal action filed by green groups, part of a cascade of courtroom standoffs. In July, a federal court ruled that the EPA couldn’t suspend rules designed to curb methane emissions from new oil and gas wells. This was followed by a hasty retreat in August when the EPA agreed to not delay new standards to reduce smog-causing air pollutants, the day after 15 states and environment groups sued. Then, in December, a federal court told the EPA it couldn’t delay a new standard for dangerous levels of lead in paint and dust. Many of these legal problems have stemmed from the sheer pace of the rollbacks – required public comment periods have been set aside in some cases, any rationale for repeal or delay has been missing in others. Opponents of the administration also believe there is a determination to expunge every vestige of Obama’s environmental legacy, regardless of merit.

Note: Hundreds of people have left or been forced out of the Environmental Protection Agency since the current administration took office. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


This Computer Uses Light—Not Electricity—To Train AI Algorithms
2018-02-20, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/this-computer-uses-lightnot-electricityto-train-a...

William Andregg ushers me into the cluttered workshop of his startup Fathom Computing. Inside [a bulky black box is] a prototype computer that processes data using light, not electricity, and it’s learning to recognize handwritten digits. In other experiments the device learned to generate sentences in text. Andregg claims this is the first time such complex machine-learning software has been trained using circuits that pulse with laser light, not electricity. The company is working to shrink its [prototype], which covers a few square feet of workbench, to fit into a standard cloud server. Fathom hopes the technology will become one of the shovels of the artificial-intelligence gold rush. Tech companies, particularly large cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft, spend heavily on computer chips to power machine-learning algorithms. Fathom’s founders are betting this hunger for more powerful machine learning will outstrip the capabilities of purely electronic computers. “Optics has fundamental advantages over electronics,” says William Andregg. You’re already reaping the benefits of using light instead of electricity to work with data. Telecommunications companies move our web pages and selfies over long distances by shooting lasers down optical fiber. Optical computers aren’t likely to power your laptop or smartphone any time soon. Fathom’s prototype is still too bulky, for one thing. But the technology does look to be a decent match for the main work that chips perform in AI projects based on artificial neural networks.

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


Ikea joins Big Clean Switch to offer 100% renewable energy tariff
2018-02-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/20/ikea-joins-big-clean-switch-...

Ikea is calling for households to join its latest joint venture – a collective energy switch that promises an exclusive 100% renewable electricity tariff. The furniture retailer has joined forces with the “Big Clean Switch” campaign to use a collective switch to secure cheaper green power for the households that sign up. The two companies claim it will save a typical UK household Ł300 a year in lower gas and electricity bills. Big Clean Switch describes itself as a “profit with purpose” company that helps people move to renewable electricity providers. Its website only list tariffs where the supplier can guarantee that 100% of the electricity sold is matched from renewables such as sun, wind and water. Big Clean Switch will then negotiate the best deal it can with green suppliers, at which point customers can choose to sign up. The prices will be announced on 6 March. For every switch, Ikea will receive a commission payment. It remains to be seen whether this big switch will undercut the cheapest 100% green electricity suppliers already available. Anyone can switch to a green supplier via a comparison site. Tonik is one of the cheapest green suppliers at the moment. People’s Energy is another. Consumers have nothing to lose by registering with the Ikea initiative, but will have to decide when the prices are announced whether this is better than the deals on offer. In the past, some collective switches have been “best in market” offering big savings, but others have not.

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


Kept out: How banks block people of color from homeownership
2018-02-16, Chicago Tribune/Associated Press
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-us--reveal-modern-day-redlining-201...

Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts. This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants' income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to millions of ... records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Lenders and their trade organizations do not dispute the fact that they turn away people of color at rates far greater than whites, [and] singled out the three-digit credit score ... as especially important in lending decisions. Reveal's analysis included all records publicly available under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Credit score was not included because that information is not publicly available. That's because lenders have deflected attempts to force them to report that data to the government. America's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., has argued that the data should remain closed off even to academics. At the same time, studies have found proprietary credit score algorithms to have a discriminatory impact on borrowers of color. The "decades-old credit scoring model" currently used "does not take into account consumer data on ... bill payments," Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina wrote in August. "This exclusion disproportionately hurts African-Americans, Latinos, and young people who are otherwise creditworthy."

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


Lockheed Martin got $35.2 billion from taxpayers last year. That’s more than many federal agencies.
2018-02-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/in-trumps-budget-lockheed-loo...

Of Lockheed Martin’s $51 billion in sales last year, nearly 70 percent, or $35.2 billion, came from sales to the U.S. government. It’s a colossal figure, hard to comprehend. So think of it this way: Lockheed’s government sales are nearly what the Trump administration proposed for the State Department next year in its recently released spending plan. Or $15 billion more than all of NASA. Or about the gross domestic product of Bolivia. Year after year, Lockheed has received more federal money than any other corporation. Now, President Trump has opened the floodgates for defense spending, proposing $716 billion for the Pentagon, a 13 percent increase. And the defense industry is poised to profit, with Lockheed in the lead. “Diplomacy is out; airstrikes are in,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace consultant with the Teal Group. In 2013, Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, now the secretary of defense, told Congress, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.” As journalist Fred Kaplan noted in Slate, the Trump administration’s budget calls for a more than 25 percent increase in spending on missiles and munitions and a 26 percent cut to the State Department’s funding. The Pentagon wants to buy more Super Hornet fighter jets, a boon for Boeing. But ... there has been nothing like the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Over its projected 60-year life span, it’s expected to cost more than $1 trillion, making it the most expensive weapons program in the history of the Defense Department.

Note: Lockheed Martin runs a breathtakingly big part of the United States, and was reported in 2015 to be “engaged in deep and systemic corruption" including paying off a Congresswoman. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Diplomats in Cuba Suffered Brain Injuries. Experts Still Don’t Know Why.
2018-02-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/health/cuba-diplomats-attack-concussions.html

A group of American diplomats stationed in Havana appear to have symptoms of concussion without ever having received blows to their heads, medical experts have found. The diplomats originally were said to have been victims of a “sonic attack,” a possibility that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly ruled out. The experts’ report, published late Wednesday in the journal JAMA, does not solve the mystery, instead raising even more questions about what could have caused the brain injuries. The incidents occurred in 2016, when 18 of the 21 affected diplomats reported they heard strange sounds in their homes or hotel rooms. All but one reported immediate symptoms: headache, pain in one ear, loss of hearing. Days or weeks later, other symptoms emerged. The State Department asked researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to investigate. Their report confirmed neurological problems in the diplomats, including signs of what appear to be concussions. The study’s lead author, Dr. Douglas H. Smith [said], “This is ... concussion without blunt head trauma.” Like concussion patients, some of the diplomats improved on their own, while others recovered only after therapy. Dr. Smith and his colleagues do not think audible sound caused the injuries. Perhaps, they speculated, a device that produced another sort of harmful energy also produced an audible sound. Low-frequency infrasound, high-frequency ultrasound and microwaves have all been shown to damage the brain, the researchers noted.

Note: Was this a false flag attack using non-lethal weapons to get the US out of Cuba? More here.


Government spying on immigrants in America is now fair game.
2018-02-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/12/government-spying-immig...

Last week, the existence of a draft Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report came to light, which calls for long-term surveillance of Sunni Muslim immigrants. Internal documents obtained from the FBI and DHS last year also showed how the agencies are surveilling the Movement for Black Lives, bringing into mind tactics of Cointelpro, an FBI program which secretly and illegally conducted surveillance on the civil rights movement in order to disrupt Americans’ ability to organize politically. But these are not the only types of surveillance this administration is engaged in. On 18 October, DHS implemented a new rule to track the internet activity of all visa applicants, visa holders and legal permanent residents. The rule would also apply to naturalized US citizens. The new rule would track and store social media account information and other highly sensitive data as part of individuals’ immigration files. The policy would allow DHS to collect and track immigrants’ social media accounts handles as well as aliases, and search results from both public search engines as well as commercial databases. The rule ... seems like it was designed with the specific purpose of hampering our freedom of speech, in line with the Trump administration’s other chilling tactics of attacks on the press and crackdowns on protesters who do not fall in line with the policies of this administration. This covert surveillance, now culminating in overt spying on immigrants, is designed as a tactic to control and fracture dissent.

Note: Read more about the FBI's infamous Cointelpro program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Safe, happy and free: does Finland have all the answers?
2018-02-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/safe-happy-and-free-does-finlan...

Western Europe’s last naturally caused famine ended 150 years ago. In ... Finland, more than a quarter of a million people – nearly 10% of the population – starved to death. Last year ... Finland was ranked, by assorted international indices, the most stable, the safest and the best-governed country in the world. It was also the third wealthiest, the third least corrupt, the second most socially progressive and the third most socially just. Finland’s judicial system is the most independent in the world, its police the most trusted, its banks the soundest, its companies the second most ethical, its elections the second freest, and its citizens enjoy the highest levels of personal freedom, choice and wellbeing. The Nordic country’s 5.5 million inhabitants are also the third most gender-equal in the world and have the fifth lowest income inequality. Their babies are the least underweight, their kids feel the most secure, and their teens perform the second best at reading (only third at science, though). In a century and a half, they seem to have done rather well. The magic sauce ... seems based mainly on basic virtues: self-confidence, cooperation, equality, respect for education, trust. At bottom and in practice, says [Finnish journalist] Anu Partanen ... it boils down to a different quality of relationship. She calls it ... the Nordic theory of love. “In a society, it means policy choices aimed at ensuring the greatest possible degree of independence, freedom and opportunity for everyone.”

Note: Watch this 10-minute video about how Finland completely turned around it's education system to become #1 in the world, largely by cutting out homework. The above article is part of an inspiring new Guardian series investigating the things that are going right in the world.


Former Pentagon director says UFOs warp space-time for uncanny movement: Did aliens figure out time travel?
2018-02-10, International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.co.in/former-pentagon-director-says-ufos-warp-space-time-u...

Alien and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) have been mind-boggling stuff since 1947 – the first time a well-known UFO sighting occurred. Cut to 2004, Navy pilots encountered a UFO off the San Diego coast. According to an eyewitness, pilot David Fravor, the 40-foot Tic-Tac shaped white vehicle moved, unlike any other thing he had ever seen in the air with lightning speed. UFOs are often reported to display bizarre aerodynamics, defying the laws of physics, which human minds are still incapable of apprehending. Former director of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program - Pentagon's program to identify and investigate UFOs, Luis Elizondo has put forward an explanation about "the physics of how it works". "We do believe all these observables we've been seeing, sudden and extreme acceleration, hypersonic velocities, low observability, trans medium travel, and last but not least, positive lift, anti-gravity – is really the manifestation of a single technology," Elizondo said. It is the ability to warp space-time, Elizondo explained, and not by a lot, but by a little. Space and Time Warps theory says that the fourth dimension called the space-time continuum, which fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time, can be bent like a cloth when exposed to high gravity of objects. Thus from here, another question arises: Are aliens time-travellers?

Note: Luis Elizondo is one of several former government officials reportedly working with a new company called To the Stars Academy for Arts and Sciences. Watch an excellent 8-minute video showing that something is fishy about this company. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Where Do You Go When You Die? The Increasing Signs that Human Consciousness Remains After Death
2018-02-10, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/where-do-you-go-when-you-die-increasing-signs-human-c...

Clinically, we understand death to mean the state that takes hold after our hearts stop beating. Philosophically, though, our definition of death hinges on something else: the point past which we’re no longer able to return. Those two were more or less the same until about 50 years ago, when we saw the advent of CPR. Modern resuscitation ... blew apart our understanding of what it means to be dead. Without many people returning from the dead to show us otherwise, it was natural to assume, from a scientific perspective, that our consciousness dies at the same time as our bodies. Over the last few years, though, scientists have seen repeated evidence that once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer, to reach the point past which they’ve degraded too far to ever be viable again. People who survive medical death frequently report experiences that share similar themes: bright lights; benevolent guiding figures; relief from physical pain and a deeply felt sensation of peace. Because those experiences are subjective, it's possible to chalk them up to hallucinations. Where that explanation fails, though, is among the patients who have died on an operating table or crash cart and reported watching ... as doctors tried to save them, accounts subsequently verified by the (very perplexed) doctors themselves. How these patients were able to describe objective events that took place while they were dead, we're not exactly sure. But it does seem to suggest that when our brains and bodies die, our consciousness may not.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on near-death experiences. Then explore our near-death experience resource center for lots more fascinating, reliable information on this vital topic.


'Calls From Home': How one Kentucky radio station connects inmates and families
2018-02-09, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2018/0209/Calls-From-Home-How-one-Kentu...

Tom Sexton leans forward into a microphone. “Coming up by request,” he says in a softened-for-radio Appalachian drawl, “going out to Sporty Black from his wife, this is Kendrick Lamar with ‘LOVE.’ ” The melodic R&B track then begins to emanate from the heart of this small eastern Kentucky town. Tonight’s shows are targeted for a very specific audience. People like “Sporty Black.” More than 5,000 men are incarcerated in the six federal and state prisons in the broadcasting range of WMMT. Every week, for almost 20 years, the station has produced a show called “Calls From Home” that broadcasts recorded messages from the inmates’ friends and family members. WMMT bills itself as “a 24 hour voice of mountain people,” and as far as the station is concerned, if the inmates can tune in, then they are mountain people too. “They’re here and part of our communities,” says Elizabeth Sanders, WMMT’s co-general manager. “Anything we can do to help make the barriers between them and their families a little bit less, then we’re fulfilling part of our mission as the radio station here,” she adds. The show has become something of a national phenomenon. Every Monday night calls flood in to the station. Some of the calls come with children discussing a report card, a “happy birthday” rendition, or more somber family news. The costs of calling prisons directly ... have been rising for years, reaching in excess of $10 a minute. “Having a toll-free number can help families keep in touch a little bit more,” says Sanders.

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


Climate Change Just Got a Little Less Terrible
2018-02-09, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-09/climate-change-just-got-a-...

There are some 20,000 research papers listed on Google Scholar, a search engine for academics, that mention the worst-case scenario for climate change. Basically, it’s the most cataclysmic estimate of global warming. This scenario is important to scientists. According to a provocative new analysis from the University of British Columbia, it’s also wrong. This is good news. The researchers contend that current goals of reducing coal, oil and gas consumption may be closer than we think. The basic issue has to do with coal. Quite simply, the more we burn, the faster we destroy the atmosphere. The darkest scenario assumes much more coal burning will take place in this century than is likely to happen, according to the study’s authors. For example, the most extreme worst-case storyline assumes that by 2100 coal would grow to 94 percent of the world energy supply. In 2015, that figure was about 28 percent. The new work, published this week in Environmental Research Letters, shows just how much all that phantom coal may be distorting our picture of what the future may look like. It casts “doubt on whether this outlook is still valid,” the researchers write. The amount of greenhouse gases emitted as a result of using energy - called the carbon intensity of energy - has been slipping for decades. The drop in carbon intensity is likely to continue. [The new study] suggest that climate scenarios should be adjusted to capture this “passive decarbonization.”

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


Australia child sex abuse: Victims to receive national apology
2018-02-08, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42984260

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will deliver a national apology to victims of child sexual abuse. Mr Turnbull's pledge follows the conclusion of a four-year inquiry that found tens of thousands of children had been abused in Australian institutions. The crimes, over decades, took place in institutions including churches, schools and sports clubs. The royal commission inquiry, which concluded in December, made more than 400 recommendations, including calling on the Catholic Church to overhaul its celibacy rules. "It is not a case of a few 'rotten apples'. Society's major institutions have seriously failed," it said. Mr Turnbull said his government would consult abuse survivors about what should be included in the national apology. He also called on state governments and institutions to join a national redress scheme for victims. "We owe it to survivors not to squander this moment," he said. The Australian government has already pledged A$30m (Ł17m; $23m) to the scheme, which would pay victims up to A$150,000 each. It would also provide counselling and other services. The inquiry heard testimonies from more than 8,000 victims, but it said the true number may never be known.

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


Patagonia Steps Up Environmental Activism With 'Dating Site' For Grassroots Projects
2018-02-07, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/melissaanders/2018/02/07/patagonia-steps-up-envi...

Things are so bad for the planet right now that it’s easy to get depressed about it, says Patagonia Inc. founder Yvon Chouinard. The cure for that depression, he says, is action. So he launched Patagonia Action Works, which ... connects individuals with opportunities to support and get involved with grassroots environmental groups. It matches people with events and volunteering opportunities in their area as well as petitions they can sign and ways to donate money. Participating organizations cover issues of land, water, climate, communities and biodiversity. The Ventura, Calif.-based outdoor clothing retailer is no stranger to activism. It has given $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to environmental groups since 1985 as part of a pledge to donate at least 1% of sales to preserve and restore nature. “Patagonia’s reason for existence is to force government and corporations to take action in solving our environmental problems,” Chouinard said in a video promoting the new program. The company made headlines recently for taking a stand against President Donald Trump’s action to reduce the size of two national monuments. Patagonia’s latest move comes as a number of other companies delve into the politically charged realm of activism, including Tiffany and Co., which urged Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement, and REI, which also spoke out against the shrinking of public lands.

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


German workers win right to 28-hour week
2018-02-07, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/07/news/economy/germany-28-hour-work-week/index....

Millions of German workers are winning the fight for a 28-hour work week. Labor union IG Metall secured an unprecedented deal this week to give a large portion of its 2.3 million members more flexible working hours and a big pay rise. From next year, workers at many of Germany's top engineering firms - such as Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler - can opt to work 28 hours a week for up to two years, before returning to the standard 35-hour week. The deal was negotiated with representatives of more than 700 companies in southwest Germany. It is expected to have ripple effects across German industry. "This sets the standard for everyone else," said Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife Asset Management. IG Metall said the flexibility would help employees who want to care for children or relatives. Pay will be reduced to reflect the shorter working week. The deal also gives workers the option to work 40 hours to earn more. And non-unionized workers could also benefit from the agreement as firms that employ IG Metall workers offer the same terms to their wider workforce. Daimler said it would offer the new flexible hours to all its employees starting in 2019. Bosch, which employs 138,000 people in Germany, said it would offer the same pay rises and perks to the majority of its German workers. It said the flexible hours wouldn't be disruptive. But other companies may find it harder to swallow.

Note: Several major studies have found that long working hours negatively impact health.


Our Hackable Political Future
2018-02-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/opinion/hacking-politics-future.html

Imagine it is the spring of 2019. A bottom-feeding website, perhaps tied to Russia, “surfaces” video of a sex scene starring an 18-year-old Kirsten Gillibrand. It is soon debunked as a fake, the product of a user-friendly video application that employs generative adversarial network technology to convincingly swap out one face for another. Then it is fall. The junior senator from New York State announces her campaign for the presidency. At a diner in New Hampshire, one “low information” voter asks another: “Kirsten What’s-her-name? She’s running for president? Didn’t she have something to do with pornography?” Welcome to the shape of things to come. The technology [is] closer than you might think. And even when fake video isn’t perfect, it can convince people who want to be convinced, especially when it reinforces ... stereotypes. It might be impossible to stop the advance of this kind of technology. But the relevant algorithms here aren’t only the ones that run on computer hardware. They are also the ones that undergird our too easily hacked media system, where garbage acquires the perfumed scent of legitimacy with all too much ease. It already feels as though we are living in an alternative science-fiction universe where no one agrees on what it true. Just think how much worse it will be when fake news becomes fake video. Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality. We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.

Note: Read more about producing fake video with computer programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.


Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?
2018-02-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/science/plants-consciousness-anesthesia.html

Your houseplant salutes the sun each morning. At night, it returns to center. You probably don’t think much of it. But what about all the signs of plant intelligence that have been observed? Under poor soil conditions, the pea seems to be able to assess risk. The sensitive plant can make memories and learn. And plants can communicate with one another and with caterpillars. Now, a study published recently in Annals of Botany has shown that plants can be frozen in place with a range of anesthetics, including the types that are used when you undergo surgery. Insights gleaned from the study may help doctors better understand the variety of anesthetics used in surgeries. But the research also highlights that plants are ... perhaps less different from animals than is often assumed. “Plants are not just robotic, stimulus-response devices,” said [study co-author] Frantisek Baluska, a plant cell biologist. Plants ... take in information from their environment and produce their own anesthetics like menthol, ethanol and cocaine, similar to how humans release chemicals that dull pain during trauma. Our anesthetics work on plants too, the study confirmed, although what exactly they’re working on is unclear. The electrical activity that moves across neurons is thought by some scientists to contribute to human consciousness. If electrical activity is being disrupted by anesthetic in plants, too, causing them to “lose consciousness,” does that mean, in some way, that they are conscious?

Note: Don't miss a time-lapse video of a pea plant responding to an anesthetic at the link above. And check out a fascinating video of plants making music. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Sprawling Maya network discovered under Guatemala jungle
2018-02-02, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42916261

Researchers have found more than 60,000 hidden Maya ruins in Guatemala in a major archaeological breakthrough. Laser technology was used to survey digitally beneath the forest canopy, revealing houses, palaces, elevated highways, and defensive fortifications. The landscape, near already-known Maya cities, is thought to have been home to millions more people than other research had previously suggested. "I think this is one of the greatest advances in over 150 years of Maya archaeology," said Stephen Houston, [a] Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology. Results from the research using Lidar technology, which is short for "light detection and ranging", suggest that Central America supported an advanced civilisation more akin to sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece or China. Maya civilisation, at its peak some 1,500 years ago, covered an area about twice the size of medieval England, with an estimated population of around five million. With this new data it's no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there. One of the hidden finds is a ... complex network of causeways linking all the Maya cities in the area. The raised highways, allowing easy passage even during rainy seasons, were wide enough to suggest they were heavily trafficked and used for trade. "Understanding everything is connected across many square miles is amazing," said Mr Houston.

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


New Cancer Treatment? Vaccine Kills Tumors in Mice—and Human Tests are Starting Soon
2018-02-01, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/new-cancer-treatment-vaccine-kills-tumors-mice-human-...

A vaccine injected into a tumor triggers the immune system to kill cancer, a new study in mice confirms. Stanford researchers have now begun seeking human patients who want to help test this approach. The research behind this potential new cancer treatment was published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. Cancer vaccines work a bit differently than a vaccine against the measles or the flu. Those shots are meant to train an immune system to target an infection before the virus or bacteria arrives. Cancer vaccines, however, are given after a person is diagnosed. This shot ... combines two components: a short piece of DNA molecules that can stimulate the immune system to create greater quantities of a receptor called OX40 and a protein that sticks to those receptors, prompting the immune cells to attack the tumor. [Study co-author Dr. Ronald Levy] and his colleagues tested their vaccine in more than 90 mice, some with a tumor transplanted into them and others that were genetically primed to develop cancer. However, the next step in this research will go well beyond mice. Levy and his colleagues have begun looking for about 15 people with lymphoma to test the vaccine in a clinical trial. If the trials are successful, he believes it could help people with a wide variety of cancers. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the type of tumor we could potentially treat, as long as it has been infiltrated by the immune system,” he stated.

Note: For more on this exciting development, see this article. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on promising cancer treatments and health.


A carbon tax killed coal in the UK. Natural gas is next.
2018-02-01, Quartz
https://qz.com/1192753/a-carbon-tax-killed-coal-in-the-uk-natural-gas-is-next/

In 2012, the UK ranked 20th out of a list of 33 rich countries in terms of low-carbon electricity use. In 2017, it jumped to 7th. No other country has ever climbed up the rankings so quickly. How did the UK manage it? It imposed a carbon tax. The carbon tax, or the carbon floor price as policymakers refer to it, was introduced in 2013. It stands at Ł18 ($25) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted in producing electricity. As a member of the EU’s emissions trading scheme (for now), UK electricity providers also pay a market-based price for carbon credits, which is about Ł5 per ton of CO2. After the tax was introduced, it became much more expensive to burn coal, which produces about twice the emissions per unit of energy as natural gas. The carbon floor price only applies at the point of generation. That means, only UK producers are required to pay it. In normal conditions, this would mean that the interconnectors would have been able to include bids from cheaper dirty fossil fuel generation outside the UK. As it happens, however, France, Norway, and Belgium generate a very high proportion of electricity from low-carbon sources. Even the Netherlands, which only gets 15% of its electricity from renewable sources, can provide a lot of low-carbon electricity on windier days. With the carbon floor price probably set to increase after 2020, the clear direction the UK’s electricity market is headed is away from fossil fuels.

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


What Happens When Amazon Takes on Health Care
2018-02-01, Time
http://time.com/5128377/amazon-and-friends-takes-on-a-new-industry-health-care/

Amazon has announced that it - along with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and the banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase - will be entering the dominion of health care. Word that Amazon was entering health care immediately depressed the value of old-school health-insurance companies. Anyone who has been a customer of either knows why. The U.S. health care system is the antithesis of Silicon Valley. Grossly inefficient and user-unfriendly, it may be the least transparent enterprise outside the Kremlin - and just as awash in money. The $3.3 trillion that Americans spent on health care in 2016 was close to Germany’s entire GDP that year. It accounted for an astounding 18% of the U.S. gross domestic product - twice the share other developed countries typically spend on health - and produced a return on investment that would get any CEO fired. Life expectancy in the U.S. is actually going down. David Cutler, a health economist at Harvard, made the striking calculation that administration accounts for about a quarter of the cost of health care. He once pointed out that Duke University Hospital had 900 beds and 1,300 billing clerks. If the triad of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase can find a way to bring sense to health care, the savings will accrue first for those three companies, which are not acting out of altruism. But ... when the worker reaches a doctor without having to run a gauntlet, the vaunted, disruptive efficiency of tech will have produced a common good.

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


A town of 3,200 was flooded with nearly 21 million pain pills as addiction crisis worsened, lawmakers say
2018-01-31, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/31/a-town-of-32...

Over the past decade, nearly 21 million prescription painkillers have been shipped to a tiny town in West Virginia, a state where more people have overdosed on opioids and died than in any other in the nation. 20.8 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills have been delivered to Williamson, W.Va., a town with ... fewer than 3,200 residents. [House Energy and Commerce] Committee leaders sent letters to two regional drug distributors, asking why the companies oversupplied this town, among others, with painkillers. “These numbers are outrageous,” Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a statement. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced a nationwide crackdown on pharmacies and prescribers that are oversupplying opioids amid a deadly epidemic sweeping the United States. In the letters, dated Jan. 26, the congressional committee noted that between 2006 and 2016, drug distributors shipped large quantities of hydrocodone and oxycodone to two pharmacies in Williamson. During that time, Tug Valley Pharmacy received more than 10.2 million pills and Hurley Drug Company received more than 10.5 million pills. The pharmacies are 0.2 miles apart. The committee said in a letter to distributor Miami-Luken that from 2008 to 2015, the company had supplied more than half of all the prescription pain pills shipped to Tug Valley Pharmacy. And distributor H.D. Smith, the committee said, provided the pharmacies with nearly 5 million pills between 2007 and 2008.

Note: A CBS article titled, "Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress" describes major regulatory failures that contributed to this addiction crisis. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why Do You Need a College Degree to Give Diet Advice?
2018-01-31, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-do-you-need-a-college-degree-to-give-diet-ad...

Heather Kokesch Del Castillo launched a dietary advice business in Monterey, Calif., in 2014. Ms. Del Castillo eventually established a nationwide client base as a “health coach.” But when her husband, who is in the Air Force, was transferred to a base in Florida, her business hit a roadblock. A Florida Department of Health investigator showed up ... with a cease-and-desist letter and a $750 fine. After nearly two years of operating her business in Florida, Ms. Del Castillo learned that she had run afoul of a law requiring any person offering dietary advice to possess a state-issued license. Qualifying for that permit requires a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, a 900-hour internship, a passing grade on an exam administered by the state Commission on Dietetic Registration, and a $355 fee. A licensed dietitian had tipped off the Health Department that Ms. Del Castillo was giving unauthorized advice. She retained the Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm, to fight the law that stripped her of her livelihood. About 1 in 4 Americans need licenses to perform their occupations. In some states, florists, taxidermists and even fortune-tellers need licenses to operate. Far too often, these licenses serve less as safeguards of public health and safety than as barriers to entry. In many cases, the state-appointed boards that issue licenses are stocked with industry insiders seeking to restrict competition. Aggressive licensing regimes limit the ability of Americans to move from state to state. All Americans ought to have access to license portability.

Note: The full text of this document is available on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Orcas can imitate human speech, research reveals
2018-01-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jan/31/orcas-killer-whales-can-imita...

New research reveals that orcas are able to imitate human speech, in some cases at the first attempt, saying words such as “hello”, “one, two” and “bye bye”. The creatures are already known for their ability to copy the movements of other orcas, with some reports suggesting they can also mimic the sounds of bottlenose dolphins and sea lions. “We wanted to see how flexible a killer whale can be in copying sounds,” said [study co-author] Josep Call. “We thought what would be really convincing is to present them with something that is not in their repertoire – and in this case ‘hello’ [is] not what a killer whale would say.” Only a fraction of the animal kingdom can mimic human speech, with brain pathways and vocal apparatus both thought to determine whether it is possible. “That is what makes it even more impressive – even though the morphology [of orcas] is so different, they can still produce a sound that comes close to what another species, in this case us, can produce,” said Call. Wikie, a 14-year-old female orca ... had previously been trained to copy actions performed by another orca when given a human gesture. After first brushing up Wikie’s grasp of the “copy” command, she was ... exposed to five orca sounds she had never heard before. Finally, Wikie was exposed to a human making three of the orca sounds, as well as six human sounds. Wikie was often quickly able to copy the sounds, whether from an orca or a human, with all of the novel noises mimicked within 17 trials.

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


Who buys a trafficked child for sex? Otherwise ordinary men.
2018-01-30, USA Today/Indianapolis Star
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2018/01/30/sex-trafficking-...

She was only 15, pregnant and alone on the streets. In this wounded child, [Marcus] Thompson saw a means to make money. Thompson and his wife, Robin, forced the girl on a nightmarish six-week trek across the southern United States. Photographed in suggestive poses and marketed online, she was sold out of hotel rooms and truck stops to any man with the money and the desire to buy sex. The victim was [eventually] rescued and provided with treatment. The traffickers who exploited her were caught, pleaded guilty and were sent to prison. But what of the men who paid to rape this child? Not a single one was ever charged. That same breach of justice is the norm in thousands of trafficking cases. About 10,000 children a year suffer the horrors of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. Each victim on average is forced to have sex more than five times a day. The buyers who fuel the child sex trade are seldom held accountable. Most just blend back into their families, jobs and neighborhoods. Until the next time. Who buys a 15-year-old child for sex? “They’re in all walks of life,” a 17-year-old survivor from the Midwest, trafficked when she was 15, said about the more than 150 men who purchased her in a month. “Some could be upstanding people in the community. It was mostly people in their 40s, living in the suburbs.” The scale of the trade indicates that it’s not a small number of men who pay to have sex with kids. Adults purchase children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.

Note: The above is the first of 10 columns in a series titled, "Exploited," which explores the cultural and economic forces that contribute to commercial sexual exploitation. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Chile creates national parks from donated land
2018-01-30, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42868690

Chile has officially designated a national park network including land privately donated by a US couple. The government signed a deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who worked with late husband Doug for decades to protect areas of Patagonia. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet called the signing an "unprecedented preservation effort". Tompkins Conservation, the not-for-profit organisation set up by the couple, said the area being protected was roughly the size of Switzerland. Their donation is thought to be the largest of land by private owners to a country. The move will create five new national parks, and expand three others. In total it adds about 10 million acres of land, about one tenth of which was donated by the Tompkins. The Chilean government wants the string of national parks to span a tourist route of more than 1,500 miles (2,400km) across the country. Mrs Tompkins was formerly the CEO of outdoor brand Patagonia, and her husband was one of the founders of outdoor brands The North Face and Espirit. They relocated to Chile in 1994 to work on conservation, buying up land to ecologically preserve as wilderness. Kristine Tompkins signed an agreement with the national government in March 2017, following her husband's accidental death. Monday's designation was the latest act of natural protection by the outgoing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. In 2017 an area off the coast of Easter Island was designated as one of the world's largest marine protection zones.

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


The Follower Factory
2018-01-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html

An obscure American company named Devumi ... has collected millions of dollars in a shadowy global marketplace for social media fraud. Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers. The accounts that most resemble real people ... reveal a kind of large-scale social identity theft. At least 55,000 of the accounts use the names, profile pictures, hometowns and other personal details of real Twitter users, including minors. Fake accounts, deployed by governments, criminals and entrepreneurs, now infest social media networks. As many as 48 million of Twitter’s reported active users ... are automated accounts designed to simulate real people. In November, Facebook disclosed ... that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated. Up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform. Devumi has more than 200,000 customers, including reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models. Devumi’s fake followers also serve as phantom foot soldiers in political battles online. Devumi’s customers include both avid supporters and fervent critics of President Trump, and both liberal cable pundits and a reporter at the alt-right bastion Breitbart.

Note: The use of social media to manipulate public perception has reportedly influenced recent elections in Latin America, the UK, and the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


New York Attorney General to Investigate Firm That Sells Fake Followers
2018-01-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/technology/schneiderman-social-media-bots....

The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, on Saturday opened an investigation into a company that sold millions of fake followers on social media platforms, some of them copying real users’ personal information. The company, Devumi, and its sale of automated followers to a swath of celebrities, sports stars, journalists and politicians, was detailed in a New York Times article published earlier on Saturday. At least 55,000 of its “bot” accounts used names, pictures, hometowns and other details taken from people on Twitter. The real users hailed from every U.S. state, including New York, and dozens of countries. “Impersonation and deception are illegal under New York law,” Mr. Schneiderman wrote. “We’re opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities.” Tens of millions of fake accounts have been deployed to defraud businesses, influence political debates online and attract customers. Social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have drawn intense scrutiny for not taking greater steps to weed them out. Mr. Schneiderman ... has brought a series of cases focused on the emerging world of online fraud, impersonation and abuse. In December, he began an investigation into how the Federal Communications Commission was flooded with millions of fake comments on a proposal to scrap so-called net neutrality rules. Many of the comments used names and addresses borrowed from real people, almost always without their knowledge.

Note: The use of social media to manipulate public perception has reportedly influenced recent elections in Latin America, the UK, and the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness
2018-01-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/nyregion/at-yale-class-on-happiness-draws-...

A few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, Psychology and the Good Life, roughly 300 people had signed up. Within [six] more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled. The course, taught by Laurie Santos ... tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures. “Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos said in an interview. “If we see good habits, things like students showing more gratitude, procrastinating less, increasing social connections, we’re actually seeding change in the school’s culture.” A 2013 report by the Yale College Council found that more than half of undergraduates sought mental health care from the university during their time there. “A lot of us are anxious, stressed, unhappy, numb,” said Alannah Maynez, 19, a freshman taking the course. “The fact that a class like this has such large interest speaks to how tired students are of numbing their emotions - both positive and negative - so they can focus on their work.” Psychology and the Good Life ... stands as the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year history. Dr. Santos has encouraged all students to enroll in the course on a pass-fail basis, tying into her argument that the things Yale undergraduates often connect with life satisfaction - a high grade, a prestigious internship, a good-paying job - do not increase happiness at all.

Note: Harvard, Stanford and other colleges are getting in on the action, too, as reported in this article.


Air Force One's new refrigerators cost $24 million
2018-01-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/26/politics/air-force-one-refrigerator-contract-b...

Air Force One is primed to receive an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost American taxpayers nearly $24 million. The US Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.6 million contract in December to replace two of the five "cold chiller units" aboard the aircraft. The $24 million contract will cover the costs of engineering support services for the new chillers - including prototype design, manufacturing and installation, according to the DOD contract. Former senior adviser to President Barack Obama Eric Schultz mocked the high price tag in a tweet on Friday, saying, "we would have been impeached." The Boeing fridge contract isn't the first time an administration has come under fire for the high cost of military aircraft upgrades - the Obama administration was pressured to scuttle plans to build a new fleet of presidential helicopters in 2009 after reports emerged that they cost at least $11 billion. When he was running for president, Trump boasted he would swap out Air Force One with his private jet and has been fiercely critical of the cost of the new Air Force One program in the past. But since taking office, Trump - like his predecessors - has traveled aboard the Boeing-made VC-25 aircraft. The Air Force announced last year that it had finalized a deal to purchase two already-built aircraft from Boeing to serve as the next generation of Air Force One. That contract is separate from the arrangement ... for upkeep of the current Air Force One fleet.

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


5G Cellphone Towers Signal Renewed Concerns Over Impacts On Health
2018-01-25, CBS News (San Francisco affiliate)
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/01/25/consumerwatch-5g-cellphone-towers...

Is a cell tower going up in your neighborhood? Wireless carriers are installing millions of them across the country. Many are ... asking: Are there legitimate health concerns? That question is keeping John Hiestand up at night. Outside his bedroom window he can see a new pole where Verizon will soon install a next-generation cell tower. It’s called a “small cell” or “distributed antenna system.” The industry says they’re safe. Many in Piedmont aren’t convinced – including the Hiestands. However, according to federal law the city simply can’t consider health concerns. It’s outlined in a small section of the Telecommunications Act. If cities do consider health, cell companies can sue them. So, with few legal arguments to deny a tower, they’re popping up outside bedroom windows and school campuses, despite objections from across the country. The International Association of Firefighters ... began opposing cell towers on fire stations, after firefighters complained of health problems. “These firefighters developed symptoms,” says Dr. Gunnar Heuser. “The symptoms included problems with memory, problems with intermittent confusion, problems with weakness,” Heuser said. Heuser says their brain scans suggest even low-level RF can cause cell damage. “We found abnormal brain function in all of the firefighters we examined,” Heuser said. So, following lobbying by firefighters, [Piedmont officials] exempted fire stations from their bill, making them one place cell companies couldn’t put a tower.

Note: France has recently banned WiFi in nursery schools. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


NSA Deletes “Honesty” and “Openness” From Core Values
2018-01-24, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2018/01/24/nsa-core-values-honesty-deleted/

The National Security Agency maintains a page on its website that outlines its mission statement. Since at least May 2016, the surveillance agency had featured honesty as the first of four “core values” listed on NSA.gov, alongside “respect for the law,” “integrity,” and “transparency.” On January 12, however, the NSA removed the mission statement page – which can still be viewed through the Internet Archive – and replaced it with a new version. Now, the parts about honesty and the pledge to be truthful have been deleted. The agency’s new top value is “commitment to service,” which it says means “excellence in the pursuit of our critical mission.” Those are not the only striking alterations. All references to “trust,” “honor,” and “openness” have disappeared. The agency previously stated on its website that it embraced transparency and claimed that all of its activities were aimed at “ensuring the safety, security, and liberty of our fellow citizens.” That has also been discarded. The new list of values includes the additions “respect for people” and “accountability.” But the section on respecting people is a reference to diversity within the NSA workforce, not a general commitment to members of the public. Accountability is defined as taking “responsibility for our decisions.” The one core value that remains essentially unchanged is “respect for the law,” which the agency says means it is “grounded in our adherence to the U.S. Constitution and compliance with the U.S. laws, regulations and policies that govern our activities.”

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


In Larry Nassar’s Case, a Single Voice Eventually Raised an Army
2018-01-24, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/24/sports/rachael-denhollander-nassar-gymnast...

Rachael Denhollander had the first word and the last one. A former gymnast who became a lawyer and a coach, Ms. Denhollander told The Indianapolis Star in 2016 that Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar had molested her as a child. She had just read a report in The Star about U.S.A. Gymnastics’ mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against coaches. But no one had yet spoken up about Dr. Nassar, who molested young athletes for about two decades while pretending the abuse was therapy. The Star soon published an article about the doctor, based on reports from two former gymnasts. One remained anonymous. The other was Rachael Denhollander. In a Michigan courtroom Wednesday, before Dr. Nassar received a prison sentence of 40 to 175 years for multiple counts of criminal sexual misconduct, Ms. Denhollander, 33, spoke again. This time, she was not alone. Over a seven-day sentencing hearing, 155 people had delivered victim impact statements to the court. Ms. Denhollander became the 156th, the final voice in a gathering of survivors who grew stronger by the day. Michigan State and U.S.A. Gymnastics, which made Dr. Nassar its longtime doctor for the national women’s team, were culpable in this case, too, Ms. Denhollander said. She mentioned that Dr. Nassar had used his phony medical treatments on her after four other women had complained about Dr. Nassar to employees in the M.S.U. athletic department.

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


Flynn kept FBI interview concealed from White House, Trump
2018-01-24, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/flynn-kept-fbi-interview-concea...

A year ago today, President Donald Trump’s newly sworn–in national security adviser, Michael Flynn, met privately in his West Wing office with FBI investigators interested in his communications with Russia's ambassador, without a lawyer or the knowledge of the president and other top White House officials. Flynn's FBI interview on Jan. 24, 2017, set in motion an extraordinary sequence of events. Flynn was fired as national security adviser after 24 days on the job, the acting attorney general was fired 10 days after the president took office, the FBI director was allegedly pressured by the president to let go of an investigation into Flynn, and then eventually fired himself. The attorney general recused himself from a federal investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the sitting president's campaign, and a special counsel was appointed. The developments ensnared the president in an obstruction of justice inquiry. By the end of 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team had spoken with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; former FBI Director James Comey; and numerous members of Trump’s campaign and White House inner circle. Flynn pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI. For Trump opponents, his war with the FBI is an effort to undermine the Russia investigation. For Trump and his allies, he’s battling a conspiracy within the top ranks of the Justice Department to undermine his presidency.

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


Spending bill limited Congress' oversight of secret intelligence activities
2018-01-23, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/23/senate-intel-leaders-...

The White House can now direct US intelligence agencies to spend money and take covert action without approval of congressional oversight committees under a provision slipped into the bill that ended the government shutdown, leaders of the Senate intelligence committee say. A provision in the bill - requested by the White House and Pentagon - gives intelligence agencies an exemption from the law that requires them to get authorization from the intelligence committees before they spend taxpayer money, said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and chairman of the Senate panel. Section 504 of the National Security Act gives the committees the power to withhold money from the intelligence agencies if they object to surveillance programs or other intelligence activities. Burr and [Sen. Mark] Warner said the provision to weaken their oversight power comes just after they promised civil liberties advocates in the Senate that they would ensure that the FBI and other intelligence agencies don't overstep their bounds in carrying out a controversial surveillance program recently renewed by Congress. That surveillance program, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ... sweeps up emails, text messages, photos and other communication from an unknown number of Americans, and allows federal agents to search that data without a warrant. Burr and Warner both supported a six-year renewal of the program earlier this month.

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


The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017
2018-01-22, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/21/news/economy/davos-oxfam-inequality-wealth/in...

More than $8 of every $10 of wealth created last year went to the richest 1%. That's according to a new report from Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world's population saw no increase in wealth. Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work. "The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. The head of the advocacy group argued that the people who "make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food" are being exploited in order to enrich corporations and the super wealthy. The study, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, was produced using data from Credit Suisse's (CS) Global Wealth Databook. Oxfam said Monday that it is time for the global elite to stop talking about inequality and start changing their ways. "It's hard to find a political or business leader who doesn't say they are worried about inequality. It's even harder to find one who is doing something about it," said Byanyima. Oxfam said that governments should focus on policies that would lead to fairer distribution of wealth and stronger workers' rights.

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


Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times
2018-01-22, Time
http://time.com/money/5112462/billionaires-made-so-much-money-last-year-they-...

The global economy created a record number of billionaires last year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns, charity organization Oxfam International said in a new report. The world now has 2,043 billionaires. The group of mostly men saw its wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over, according to Oxfam. According to separate data compiled by Bloomberg, the top 500 billionaires’ net worth grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International. “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited.” Oxfam published the report as global leaders, chief executives and bankers arrive in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Noting that many of the world’s elite say they’re concerned about income inequality, the charity said most governments are “shamefully failing” to improve the matter. Oxfam called on governments to limit shareholder and executive returns, while ensuring workers receive a living wage. It also recommended eliminating the gender pay gap and raising taxes on the wealthy, among other suggestions.

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


'World's richest 1% get 82% of the wealth', says Oxfam
2018-01-22, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42745853

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed. Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said. It blamed tax evasion, firms' influence on policy, erosion of workers' rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap. Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained. Oxfam's report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a Swiss ski resort. The annual conference attracts many of the world's top political and business leaders. The charity is urging a rethink of business models, arguing their focus on maximising shareholder returns over broader social impact is wrong. It said there was "huge support" for action with two thirds (72%) of 70,000 people it surveyed in ten countries saying they wanted their governments to "urgently address the income gap between rich and poor". Oxfam's report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.

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


The NSA knows who you are just by the sound of your voice—and their tech predates Apple and Amazon
2018-01-20, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/20/the-nsa-can-recognize-you-by-just-your-voice-...

The National Security Agency has apparently been way ahead of Apple or Amazon. The agency has at its disposal voice recognition technology that it employs to identify terrorists, government spies, or anyone they choose — with just a phone call, according to a report by The Intercept. By using recorded audio, the NSA is able to create a "voiceprint," or a map of qualities that mark a voice as singular, and identify the person speaking. According to a classified memo ... the agency has employed this technology since at least 2006, with the document referencing technology "that identifies people by the sound of their voices." In fact, the NSA used such technology during Operation Iraqi Freedom, when analysts were able to verify audio thought to be of Saddam Hussein speaking. It suggests that national security operatives had access to high-level voice technology long before Amazon, Apple and Google's solutions became cultural touchstones. A "voiceprint" is "a dynamic computer model of the individual's vocal characteristics," the publication explained, created by an algorithm analyzing features like pitch and mouth shape. Then, using the NSA's formidable bank of recorded audio files, the agency is able to match the speaker to an identity. Identifying people through their voiceprints is a skill at which the "NSA reigns supreme," according to a leaked document from 2008. And, they're only getting better.

Note: As this BBC article from 1999 shows, mass surveillance systems with voice recognition capability have been in use for many years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


GOP lawmakers demand that 'alarming' memo on FISA abuses be made public
2018-01-19, MSN/Fox News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-lawmakers-demand-that-alarming-me...

A four-page memo circulating in Congress that reveals alleged United States government surveillance abuses is being described by lawmakers as “shocking.” The lawmakers said they could not yet discuss the contents of the memo they reviewed on Thursday after it was released to members by the House Intelligence Committee. But they say the memo should be immediately made public. “It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said. “It's troubling,” North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said. “Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.” The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday approved a motion by New York Rep. Pete King to release the memo on abuses of FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to all House members. The memo details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice, including the controversy over unmasking and FISA surveillance. The process for releasing it to the public involves a committee vote. If approved, it could be released as long as there are no objections from the White House within five days. On Thursday, the Senate voted 65-34 to reauthorize a FISA provision that allows U.S. spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets abroad for six years.

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


Hackers are flooding the internet with more fake domain names. Here’s how you can protect yourself
2018-01-18, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/hackers-are-flooding-the-internet-with-mo...

The use of fake internet domain names to trick consumers into giving up personal information is more widespread than experts originally thought. This is largely because of the heightened use of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), which use homographs carefully crafted to look exactly like their English counterparts. Hackers create domain names that replace an English-language character with a look-alike character from another language - replacing the Latin letter ‘a’ with the Cyrillic letter ‘a,’ for instance - as a way of luring users to fake websites where they’re prompted to enter their personal information. [A new] report from ... Farsight Security identified 125 different websites, from social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter to luxury brands like Gucci and financial websites like Wells Fargo, being imitated by fake domain addresses. Between Oct. 17 and Jan. 10, the group observed more than 116,000 imitator domains of these sites in real time. Take a popular financial site like BankofAmerica.com. Cybercriminals take this domain and ... create a website that looks strikingly similar to the original Bank of America page. A user types in their login information and password on this fake Bank of America site, automatically giving cybercriminals their credentials to log in to the real thing. Most phishing attempts reach internet users through email, so you should be suspicious of any emails that include ... login links to different accounts combined with demands to update information.

Note: Read the complete Farsight Security report for more information on these common cyberattacks and how to protect yourself from them.


Fed Up With Drug Companies, Hospitals Decide to Start Their Own
2018-01-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/health/drug-prices-hospitals.html

Hospital executives have expressed frustration when essential drugs like heart medicines have become scarce, or when prices have skyrocketed. Now, some of the country’s largest hospital systems are taking an aggressive step to combat the problem: They plan to go into the drug business themselves, in a move that appears to be the first on this scale. “This is a shot across the bow of the bad guys,” said Dr. Marc Harrison, the chief executive of Intermountain Healthcare, the ... hospital group that is spearheading the effort. Several major hospital systems, including ... the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital group, plan to form a new nonprofit company, that will provide a number of generic drugs to the hospitals. The Department of Veterans Affairs is also expressing interest in participating. The idea is to directly challenge the host of industry players who have capitalized on certain markets, buying up monopolies of old, off-patent drugs and then sharply raising prices, stoking public outrage and prompting a series of Congressional hearings and federal investigations. The most notorious example is of Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager who raised the price of a decades-old drug, Daraprim, to $750 a tablet in 2015, from $13.50. Hospitals have also struggled to deal with shortages of hundreds of vital drugs over the past decade, ranging from injectable morphine to sodium bicarbonate (the medical form of baking soda), shortfalls that are exacerbated when only one or two manufacturers make the product.

Note: Americans pay the highest prices for medications in the world, and many US government policies appear designed to keep drug prices high. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.


N Carolina: Sterilization Victims to Get Final Payment Soon
2018-01-18, US News & World Report/Associated Press
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2018-01-18/n-...

North Carolina officials say the third and final compensation payment to sterilization victims should be mailed soon, marking the end of a 15-year pursuit of financial help for them. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration tells the Winston-Salem Journal that officials are verifying the final number of qualified claimants and confirming addresses. Spokeswoman Gena Renfrow says payments will be prepared once that's done. About 7,600 people were sterilized under North Carolina's eugenics program before it ended in 1974. The N.C. Industrial Commission has certified more than 200 victims, who have received two previous payments of $20,000 and $15,000. The payments are being finalized nearly two months after a decision by the N.C. Court of Appeals rejecting arguments from the heirs of some victims about the law.

Note: North Carolina was one of 31 US states to run a eugenics program. An estimated 65,000 people were sterilized by these programs. Female prison inmates in California were sterilized without consent as recently as 2010. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Trump Administration Abandons Science Advice--but at What Cost?
2018-01-18, Scientific American
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-trump-administration-ab...

In its first year, the Trump administration has amassed a dismal record on science and science advice. Now a new report, Abandoning Science Advice: One Year In, the Trump Administration Is Sidelining Science Advisory Committees ... suggests the problem is even worse than previously recognized. Science advisory committees at the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have met less often in 2017 than at any time since 1997, when the government began collecting such data. At the DOE, the EPA, and the Department of Commerce, fewer experts serve on science advisory committees than at any time since 1997. As the report notes, the government’s system of some 1,000 federal advisory committees plays an important role in alerting federal officials to the policy implications of the latest scientific research, often with major consequences for Americans’ health and safety. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board has been hit by Administrator Scott Pruitt’s directive to purge EPA-funded scientists from its ranks, replacing many of them with industry representatives. Not only that, but since announcing the change to the roster in November, the SAB has held no meetings. The absence of SAB feedback means that there is no scientific peer review on Pruitt’s decisions to roll back protections like emissions standards and improvements to chemical facility accidental release plans.

Note: Hundreds of people have left or been forced out of the Environmental Protection Agency since the current administration took office. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


Civilian deaths tripled in U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in 2017, watchdog alleges
2018-01-18, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/civilian-deaths-triple...

U.S. and allied strikes against the Islamic State may have killed as many as 6,000 civilians in 2017. Airwars, which investigates allegations of civilian casualties by using social media and other information sources, said that between 3,923 and 6,102 noncombatants were “likely killed” in air and artillery strikes by the United States and its partners in 2017. The estimate for Iraq and Syria was more than triple that of the year before. While the Airwars data includes strikes by the United States and partner nations including Britain and France, most of the military activity has been conducted by American forces. The group’s estimate is vastly higher than the figure put forward by U.S. Central Command, which conducts its own investigations of selected U.S. strikes. According to its most recent public report, Centcom has determined that at least 817 civilians have been killed since the air campaign began in 2014.

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


EPA eases path for new chemicals, raising fears of health hazards
2018-01-17, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/epa-eases-path-new-chemicals-raising-fea...

The Environmental Protection Agency is shifting course. Some former EPA officials ... say the agency is skipping vital steps that protect the public from hazardous chemicals that consumers have never used before, undermining new laws and regulations that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. In recent months, the EPA has quietly overhauled its process for determining whether new chemicals - used in everything from household cleaners and industrial manufacturing to children’s toys - pose a serious risk to human health or the environment. The agency will no longer require that manufacturers who want to produce new, potentially hazardous chemicals sign legal agreements that restrict their use under certain conditions. Such agreements, known as consent orders, will still be required if the EPA believes that the manufacturer’s intended use for a new chemical poses a risk to the public health and the environment. But the agency won’t require consent orders when it believes there are risks associated with “reasonably foreseen” uses of the new chemical. Instead the EPA will rely on a broader measure, known as significant new-use rules, to regulate chemicals. Under EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s leadership, the agency has taken major industry-friendly steps to loosen its regulation of legacy chemicals. Last year, the EPA delayed bans on chemicals already in widespread use, including a lethal substance in paint strippers and a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.

Note: Hundreds of people have left or been forced out of the Environmental Protection Agency since the current administration took office. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.


The EU Targets Plastic Waste as it Aims to Make All Packaging Recyclable by 2030
2018-01-17, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2018/01/17/eu-pushes-plastic-recycling/

European Union regulators declared a new policy agenda Tuesday starting with the goal that all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable or reusable by 2030. The European Commission appears to be scrambling to curb plastic usage and increase recycling after China announced it would no longer accept imports of “foreign garbage” starting in 2018. The urgent goal is part of a plan to develop a new, sustainable “plastic economy,” which could potentially involve levying taxes and modernizing plastics production to kickstart a behavior change, the European Commission said. Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste annually, but less than 30% of it is currently recycled. “If we don’t do anything about this, 50 years down the road we will have more plastic than fish in the oceans” Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for sustainable development, said. Brussels is zeroing in on single-use plastics in particular, hoping to reduce if not eliminate items like straws, bottles that do not degrade, coffee cups, lids and stirrers, cutlery and takeaway containers. “Single-use plastics ... take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again,” Timmermans said. In addition to promoting consumer education, the commission said it will facilitate easy access to tap water throughout Europe in order to reduce the demand for bottled water.

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


New Jersey’s New Governor Outlines Plans, Signs Executive Order Promoting Equal Pay For Women
2018-01-16, CBS (Philadelphia affiliate)
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/01/16/phil-murphy-to-take-oath/

One-time Wall Street financier Phil Murphy became New Jersey’s 56th governor in a ceremony at the Trenton War Memorial, complete with a traditional 21-gun salute. The new governor wasted little time in getting to work. Murphy’s first act? Signing an executive order promoting equal pay for women. It’s just part of the change Murphy promised to the people of the state. “They voted to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every New Jersey family,” the governor said, “and they elected a governor and a lieutenant governor and a legislature with a duty to carry out this promise.” Murphy’s half-hour address hit on all the major themes of the campaign that led him to this moment, providing a better break for all of New Jersey’s 9 million people. That includes everything from requiring the wealthy to pay more in taxes to improving jobs and education, and, yes, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The governor also noted the diversity of his administration, from the first black woman to serve as lieutenant governor in Sheila Oliver to the first Sikh to be appointed attorney general anywhere in America.

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


How ex-congresswoman helped squelch reports of secret government surveillance
2018-01-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Ex-congresswoman-helped-squelch-sto...

Two New York Times reporters learned in 2004 that the George W. Bush administration was secretly wiretapping Americans, and collecting their phone and email records. The reporters’ attempt to publish their findings were thwarted by the administration’s intense and successful lobbying of their editors. That effort ... had an unlikely ally: Rep. Jane Harman of Los Angeles, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Details of the far-reaching, legally unauthorized surveillance program remained secret until the Times published the article in late 2005. The newspaper’s interactions with administration officials, and Harman’s role, were described by former Times reporter James Risen this month in the Intercept, the investigative publication where he now works. The story on the program known as Stellar Wind was ready for publication before the November 2004 election, when Bush was on the ballot, but NSA Director Michael Hayden and other administration officials told Times editors, in phone calls and face-to-face meetings, that publication would damage national security and endanger lives, Risen said. He said the officials were joined in that effort by Harman, one of a handful of congressional leaders who had been briefed on the program and were enlisted by the White House to contact the Times. Members of Congress learned later that the NSA had not been seeking warrants from a secret court, as required by law, before wiretapping calls.

Note: James Risen is a courageous hero who shared two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting around 9/11 and massive government surveillance. His recent article in The Intercept describes how a "marketplace of secrets in Washington" supports the US national security apparatus, and is used by corrupt government officials to manipulate the news.


Iceland becomes first supermarket to go 'plastic-free' for own brand products in landmark announcement
2018-01-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/iceland-plastic-free-packagin...

Iceland has become the first major retailer to commit to eliminating plastic packaging for all its own brand products. The retailer said it would be replacing plastic with packaging including paper and pulp trays and paper bags. Iceland said it ... aimed to complete the move by the end of 2023. It has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and new food ranges set to hit the shelves in early 2018 will use paper-based rather than plastic food trays. A survey for Iceland revealed overwhelming public support for a shift away from plastic by retailers, with 80% of 5,000 people polled saying they would endorse a supermarket's move to go plastic-free. Iceland managing director, Richard Walker, said: "The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics. "A truckload is entering our oceans every minute causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity - since we all depend on the oceans for our survival. The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change." As it was technologically and practically possible to create less environmentally harmful alternatives, "there really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment", he added. Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years as part of the government's environmental strategy, with calls for supermarkets to introduce "plastic-free" aisles.

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


Amish family ordered to connect outhouse to sewer, despite religious beliefs
2018-01-13, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/13/amish-family-ordere...

An Amish family in Pennsylvania must connect to its local municipal sewer system, even though it would require the use of an electric pump, which goes against the family's religious beliefs. A Jan. 5 opinion by a divided Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court finally ended the five-year legal battle. The court agreed with a lower court ruling that ordered the Yoder family to connect to the municipal sewer system. The Yoder family argued that use of electricity violates its religious convictions. The family has used an outhouse - an "old-fashioned privy" - that did not require running water or electricity. But Sugar Grove Township requires residents with properties that abut the sewer system to connect to it at the owners' cost. The ruling addressed whether the Yoders could connect to the system without use of an electric pump. The court ruled that that using an electric pump was ​the "least intrusive means" of connecting to the sewer system. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Patricia McCullough expressed concern with the ruling, saying there were other ways of disposing of sewage in a sanitary way that would not infringe upon the Yoder family's religious rights. That's a concern shared by Sara Rose, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. "They didn't consider the other ways that the government could have achieved its ends," she said. She also said the decision unduly put the burden on the Yoders.

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


How some cops use the badge to commit sex crimes
2018-01-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-some-cops-use-the-badge-to-commit-...

She was driving in a park with two male friends when a pair of plainclothes New York City police detectives drove up in an unmarked van. The officers, from the Brooklyn South precinct ... arrested her, put her in the back of the van in handcuffs and ordered her friends not to follow. According to prosecutors, the detectives proceeded to force the 18-year-old woman to perform oral sex on one of them, who then raped her. The 50-count indictment also alleges that the officers, who are facing charges of rape, kidnapping and official misconduct, threatened her with criminal charges if she didn’t cooperate. This young woman’s experience ... is representative of national patterns of sexual violence by officers during traffic stops and handling of minor offenses, drug arrests and police interactions with teenagers. Research on “police sexual misconduct” ... overwhelmingly concludes that it is a systemic problem. A 2015 investigation ... concluded that an officer is accused of an act of sexual misconduct at least every five days. The vast majority of incidents ... involve motorists, young people in job-shadowing programs, students, victims of violence and informants. In more than 60 percent of the cases reviewed, an officer was convicted of a crime or faced other consequences. [Another] study, funded by the National Institute of Justice ... found that half of arrests for sexual misconduct were for incidents involving minors. Sexual misconduct is the second-most-frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force.

Note: A yearlong Associated Press investigation found that the "broken system which lets problem officers jump from job to job" fosters and abets sexual abuse. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


Will I Die At Guantanamo Bay? After 15 Years, I Deserve Justice
2018-01-11, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/will-i-die-guantanamo-bay-15-years-without-charges-de...

I was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then. I am now 43. Thirteen years ago, your country brought me here because of accusations about who I was. Confessions were beaten out of me in those secret prisons. I tried, but I am no longer trying to fight against those accusations from the past. What I am asking today is, how long is my punishment going to continue? Your president says there will be no more transfers from here. Am I going to die here? If I have committed crimes against the law, charge me. In 15 years, I have never been charged, and the worst things the government has said about me were extracted by force. The judge in my habeas case decided years ago that I had been subjected to physical and psychological abuse during my interrogations, and statements the government has wanted to use against me are not reliable. Even if I were cleared, it would not matter. There are men here who have been cleared for years who are sitting in prison next to me. Detainees here, all Muslim, have never had rights equal to other human beings. Even when we first won the right to challenge our detention, in the end, it became meaningless. It is hard for me to ... believe that laws will not be bent again to allow the government to win. But this week, I am joining a group of detainees here, all of us who have been held without charges for years, to try again to ask the courts for protection.

Note: The above was written by Sharqawi Al Hajj, a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay. For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


What it's like to live in a well-governed country
2018-01-08, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180107-what-its-like-to-live-in-a-well-gove...

What makes a country well-run? Whether minimising corruption or spearheading educational and medical initiatives, governments around the world use different policies to facilitate a high-functioning society. To quantify the effectiveness of these policies, indexes like the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the World Bank’s Governance Index and the Social Progress Index survey residents, compile publicly available statistics and rank countries based on their performance across different categories. Certain patterns emerge across all three, with the same countries consistently at the top for their progressive social policies, trust in government and effective justice system. Denmark inches out its neighbours (and blows away the rest of the world) with near-perfect scores on the ‘Basic Human Needs’ ranking in the 2017 Social Progress Index, which includes meeting the nutritional and medical needs of its citizens and giving access to basic knowledge and communication. These benefits are offered to more than just native-born residents. “The general health and social system is well-developed and accessible to anyone living in Denmark, and as a student you can get financial assistance and free language classes,” explained German native Anne Steinbach. The social system also relies on a sense of trust, rather than paperwork. While life in Denmark can be expensive compared to other European countries, with the highest collective taxes in the EU to pay for these services, the benefits outweigh the costs.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Why Do Land Mines Still Kill So Many?
2018-01-06, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/opinion/sunday/ban-land-mines.html

The world is rolling backward, and at a disturbingly faster pace, in the struggle to limit carnage from land mines and other booby-trap explosives. The most recent numbers, covering 2016, are appalling. Known casualties that year came to 8,605, including 2,089 deaths, according to a new report by Landmine Monitor. The toll was nearly 25 percent higher than the 6,967 maimed and dead counted a year earlier, and more than double the 3,993 in 2014. Much of the 2016 mayhem stemmed from conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen, but people in 56 countries and other areas were killed or wounded. Nearly 80 percent of the victims were civilians; children accounted for 42 percent of civilian casualties. One subset of the menace, cluster munitions, is singularly vicious. Cluster munitions alone caused 971 known casualties in 2016, more than twice the toll of the previous year. Most victims were Syrians ... but Saudi Arabia has also used American-supplied cluster bombs in Yemen. Thanks to an international treaty that came into force in 1999 - now signed by 163 countries and banning the production, stockpiling and transfer of land mines - casualties ... reached a low of 3,450 in 2013, compared with 9,228 in 1999. Nearly all that hard-won progress has been erased. Land mine and cluster munitions treaties are undercut by the refusal of some of modern warfare’s most powerful players to sign them. Among those countries are China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia and Saudi Arabia. And the United States.

Note: The international cluster bomb trade is funded by world's biggest banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Cliven Bundy-FBI debacle: Another example of why the feds need to be leashed
2018-01-05, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/01/05/bundy-fbi-misconduct-anothe...

The Justice Department was caught in another high-profile travesty last month. On Dec. 20, federal judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and others after prosecutors were caught withholding massive amounts of evidence undermining federal charges. Bundy, a 71-year old Nevadan rancher, and his sons and supporters were involved in an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ... stemming from decades of unpaid cattle grazing fees and restrictions. The Bundys have long claimed the feds were on a vendetta against them, and 3,300 pages of documents the Justice Department wrongfully concealed from their lawyers provides smoking guns that buttress their case. A whistleblowing memo by BLM chief investigator Larry Wooten charges that BLM chose "the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale and militaristic trespass cattle (seizure) possible" against Bundy. The feds charged the Bundys with conspiracy in large part because the ranchers summoned militia to defend them after they claimed that FBI snipers had surrounded their ranch. Justice Department lawyers scoffed at this claim in prior trials ... but newly-released documents confirm that snipers were in place prior to the Bundy’s call for help. The feds also belatedly turned over multiple threat assessments which revealed that the Bundys were not violent or dangerous, including an FBI analysis that concluded that BLM was "trying to provoke a conflict" with the Bundys.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Freemasons are blocking reform, says Police Federation leader
2017-12-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/31/freemasons-blocking-reform-po...

Reform in policing is being blocked by members of the Freemasons, and their influence in the service is thwarting the progress of women and people from black and minority ethnic communities, the leader of rank-and-file officers has said. Steve White, who steps down on Monday after three years as chair of the Police Federation, told the Guardian he was concerned about the continued influence of Freemasons. White took charge with the government threatening to take over the federation if it did not reform after a string of scandals and controversies. One previous Metropolitan police commissioner, the late Sir Kenneth Newman, opposed the presence of Masons in the police. White would not name names, but did not deny that some key figures in local Police Federation branches were Masons. Masons in the police have been accused of covering up for fellow members and favouring them for promotion over more talented, non-Mason officers. White said: “Some female representatives were concerned about Freemason influence in the Fed. The culture is something that can either discourage or encourage people from the ethnic minorities or women from being part of an organisation.” The federation has passed new rules on how it runs itself, aimed at ending the fact that its key senior officials are all white, and predominantly male.

Note: In response to these accusations, the Freemasons placed a series of full page ads defending themselves in several of the UK's top newspapers, as reported in this BBC News article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and secret societies.


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

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

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


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

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

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


Some Things About Tech Were Good in 2017. No, Really.
2017-12-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/technology/tech-roundup-2017.html

For much of Silicon Valley, 2017 felt like a nonstop parade of scandal. As many of Silicon Valley’s largest companies were wreaking havoc, numerous people and organizations used technology to advance important causes and address large-scale problems. These projects do not always make headlines, but they show what’s possible when technologists use their powers for good. So I’m presenting the first-ever Actually Good Tech Awards, to highlight a handful of tech efforts that produced real societal benefits this year. ESight and Aira ... are taking advantage of recent advances in mobile and imaging technology to help visually impaired people navigate the world. These technologies do not yet allow blind people to drive vehicles or perform other complicated tasks, but they can make their everyday life much easier. Tiffani Ashley Bell ... learned that thousands of low-income residents of Detroit were having their running water shut off because of unpaid bills. So she [set up] an online platform that matched willing donors with Detroit households with unpaid water bills. In 2017, the [nonprofit organization, now known as the Human Utility] paid more than $120,000 toward water bills for nearly 300 families. Bail Bloc ... is an app that uses your computer’s spare processing power to produce a cryptocurrency called Monero, which is [then] donated to the Bronx Freedom Fund, an organization that helps pay bail fees for low-income New Yorkers who have been charged with misdemeanors, so that they can get out of jail while they await trial.

Note: Don't miss the complete list of "Actually Good Tech Awards" recipients at the link above.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Prosecutors ask FBI agents for info on Uranium One deal
2017-12-21, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/prosecutors-ask-fbi-agents-info-uranium-...

On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton. At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia's state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal. There were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed. On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement to sell a majority stake to the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency. As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, The New York Times reported, Uranium One's Canadian chairman, Ian Telfer, used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the foundation. Uranium One became a much bigger player in the uranium market after it absorbed a company run and co-owned by Frank Giustra, a Canadian businessman and Bill Clinton associate, in February 2007. Giustra has donated more than $100 million to the Clinton Foundation and currently sits on the foundation's board.

Note: For lots more eye-opening information on Uranium One and the Clintons, read this very informative New York Times article. The State Department also approved $165 Billion in commercial arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors under Clinton's leadership. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Homeboy Humility: Growing Stronger And Better By Listening
2017-12-21, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2017/12/21/homeboy-humility-growing-...

If you want to help, you first need to listen. That is a philosophy that Father Greg Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, employs. “If you're humble, you'll ask the poor, what would help you? But if you're led by hubris, then you tell the poor, here's what your problem is; here's how you fix yourself.” Homeboy Industries was founded more than 30 years ago as a means of providing employment to gang members in East LA. Few businesses would hire ex-gang members so Fr. Greg, Jesuit pastor of the Dolores Mission the poorest mission in the LA archdiocese, created a business to provide those jobs. Today Homeboy serves not just the neighborhood but all of Los Angeles County with its restaurants, coffee shops, bakery and even a tattoo removal clinic. “Homeboy has ... listened to the formerly gang-involved.” It asks the question: “what can we do that is concretely helpful?” Fr. Greg [said] on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” No one likes to be told how to get better; they want to participate in the process. That begins with conversation, a discovery of what the other is feeling and how he or she can help in his own improvement. Often the best answers come from the people you serve, as it does with Homeboy Industries. Its tattoo removal clinic came about because ex-gang members wanted to remove tattoos no longer relevant to their current lives, and which in some instances may prevent them from getting hired. Removing a tattoo is a long and painful process but it can serve as a kind of rebirth.

Note: Watch an inspiring video on this program which has transformed the lives of thousands of gang members. Readers interested in learning more about Father Greg Boyle and his work can check out his new memoir, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Pineapple Fund: why is an anonymous bitcoin millionaire giving away $86m?
2017-12-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/24/pineapple-fund-anonymous-b...

What would you do if you had $86m? It’s a welcome dilemma for some of bitcoin’s early adopters thanks to the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise. One generous bitcoiner has decided to follow the lead of Bill Gates and establish a philanthropic purse, the Pineapple Fund. The founder, known only as Pine, declared in mid December “I’m donating 5,057 BTC to charitable causes!” and since then has given away $7,550,000 in bitcoin to charities and causes around the world, with a view to dispersing the remaining bitcoin over the next several months. “I’m happy that I can help change the world for the better,” Pine says in a phone conversation on condition of anonymity. The nine recipients of the largest bitcoin charitable donations are a collection of nonprofits including medical researchers, those providing poverty-stricken communities with basic necessities, and technology-related causes. “The $1m donation will support the work we do standing up for user privacy and free expression, and defending civil rights in the digital world,” [says a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation]. The collection of charities also includes Watsi, a platform committed to taking the US towards universal healthcare, the SENS Research Foundation that works to develop cures for degenerative diseases, and the Water Project which helps to establish safe water sources in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another $1m gift will help fund advanced clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Note: For more on this awesome donor, see this CNBC article and this one from Newsweek.


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

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

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


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

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

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


‘You are done’: A secret letter to Martin Luther King Jr. sheds light on FBI’s malice
2017-12-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/12/13/an-old-letter-sh...

The secret letter was tucked inside the pages of an old book. It had been written by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to a top lieutenant, condemning civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. [in] 1964. Hoover the previous day had assailed King at a news conference as “the most notorious liar in the country.” Now he was writing a colleague privately to say he hoped King was getting his “just deserts.” Four years later, King would be assassinated. And the letter ... sheds yet more light on the historic malice the FBI director had toward King. Washington scholar James L. Swanson said he found the letter ... clipped to a page in [a book] he purchased. “This is a hitherto unknown and unpublished letter,” Swanson said. “What happened was this: It was announced [the previous month] that Dr. King had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and that provoked Hoover,” he said. Hoover believed that King and his movement were threats to the social order. The FBI had begun wiretapping King’s home and office, and bugging his hotel rooms. No serious links to communism were uncovered, but hints about King’s sexual dalliances allegedly were. Days after Hoover’s news conference, a salacious anonymous letter was delivered to King’s wife. This letter was ... in a package that also [contained] a tape recording that allegedly captured evidence of King’s sexual misconduct. King suspected that the FBI was behind the letter. Sullivan ... later admitted his involvement in the plan during testimony before a Senate committee.

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


Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert can't be alone with children, judge rules
2017-12-13, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/us/dennis-hastert-restrictions-children/

Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert is banned from having contact with anyone under 18 unless an adult is present who's aware that he pleaded guilty in a hush money case related to the sexual abuse of teen boys, according to new restrictions imposed by a federal judge. "You shall not have contact with any person under the age of 18, except in the presence of a responsible adult who is aware of the nature of his/her background and current offense, and who has been approved by the probation officer and treatment provider," the restrictions state. Hastert never faced sexual abuse charges because the statute of limitation had expired, but he pleaded guilty in October 2015 to structuring bank transactions in a way that evaded requirements that he report where the money was going. The money was part of a deal to keep a former student quiet about Hastert's prior sexual abuse of teenage boys when he was a teacher and coach. The former Republican congressman from Illinois was released from federal prison in July after serving 13 months of a 15-month sentence. Once one of the most powerful men in America, Hastert is now banned from having any pornographic material or using any "sex-related telephone numbers." The restrictions also ... forbid him from using the internet without prior approval from a probation officer. US District Judge Thomas Durkin placed those new conditions on Hastert late Tuesday, but it was not clear what spurred the action. The restrictions come a day after a sealed order in the case was filed.

Note: How is it that a child molester became the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position which is second only to the vice president in succession to the presidency. Watch and/or read a great report by journalist Ben Swann on the huge problem of child trafficking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


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

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

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


MSU Scholars Find $21 Trillion in Unauthorized Government Spending
2017-12-11, MSU Today (Michigan State University's newspaper)
http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/msu-scholars-find-21-trillion-in-unauthoriz...

Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015. The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history. The Defense Department did not say specifically what led to the audit. But the announcement came four days after Skidmore discussed his team’s findings on USAWatchdog, a news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter. Skidmore got involved last spring when he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report which indicated the Army had $6.5 trillion in unsupported adjustments, or spending, in fiscal 2015. Given the Army’s $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending. Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. “Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion,” he said. “So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion.”

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


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

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

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


Global arms sales increase for first time since 2010
2017-12-11, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/arms-sales-deals-increase-20...

Global sales of weapons and military services have risen for the first time in five years, helped in part by an increase in sales by British companies. Weapons – many of which are fueling deadly conflicts in the Middle East – are now being bought and sold at the highest level since 2010, with sales up more than a third (38 per cent) since 2002. Military kit worth $374.8bn (Ł280bn) was sold in 2016 by the industry’s top 100 companies, an annual review by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) found. The booming books of some of the world’s largest defence companies can be explained both by an increasingly militarised world and spiraling costs of complex battlefield equipment, Professor Taylor [of the Royal United Services Institute] said. “Equipment costs are going up and the trend is not abating," he told The Independent. UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been among the most controversial transfers of military hardware anywhere in the world, with critics of the Government warning that the equipment is being used by a country that refuses to end its blockade of Yemen. Thousands of people have been killed in that conflict, which pitches a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. UK sales of arms and military kit to the Saudis reached Ł1.1bn in the first half of 2017. Meanwhile, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which implements foreign arms sales, announced sales of $41.93bn for the year to the end of September, a 25 per cent rise on the previous 12 months.

Note: See an excellent and revealing graphic of the world's 100 largest arms sellers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why incoming asteroids shouldn't keep you up at night
2017-12-11, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2017/1211/Why-incoming-asteroids-shouldn-t-...

Every once in awhile, as we Earthlings strive to explore the cosmos, we’re reminded that bits of the cosmos occasionally visit Earth, too. One such reminder came in the form of a blazing green fireball streaking across the predawn New Jersey sky earlier this month. Police dashcam footage ... shows a meteor plunging into the Earth's atmosphere and exploding in a brilliant flash. On Nov. 9 ... an asteroid designated 2017 VL2 came within 75,000 miles of Earth. Despite news reports that the asteroid ... carried enough energy to obliterate New York City, the asteroid – the 48th known one to pass within the moon's orbit this year so far – would have actually burned up in the atmosphere, causing little, if any, damage. “The most important message to get across is that asteroid impacts are extremely unlikely,” Paul Chodas, manager for the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. In 1998, Congress mandated that NASA find 90 percent of asteroids more than 1 kilometer wide. NASA met this goal in 2011, but in the meantime, Congress expanded its mission to include include 90 percent of asteroids 450 feet or larger. Scientists say they have detected about a third of these so far. The bigger the asteroid, the lower the chance of impact: The odds of an asteroid 1 kilometer wide hitting Earth in any given year are 1 in about 500,000, and even an object 450 feet wide has just a 1-in-30,000 chance of impact.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Girl's father gave her electric shocks and forced her to drink alcohol 'to make her superhuman'
2017-12-10, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/girl-father-torture-electrocut...

A woman has spoken out about the torture she endured for years as a child at the hands of her abusive father. Maude Julien, who is now 60 and a renowned psychotherapist, was forced to hold onto an electric fence for 10 minutes at a time without showing feeling. The ritual, which she endured twice a week, was considered to be a test of her willpower by her father, who wanted to make Ms Julien “superhuman”. Decades later, Ms Julien, who now lives in Paris, has recorded her cruel childhood in her memoir The Only Girl in the World. She says she was subjected to 18 years of controlling and manipulative behaviour by her father. Louis Didier ... was an alcoholic and belonged to an esoteric lodge of Freemasonry which believed in the occult. Didier reportedly believed his daughter had been chosen as his protector, so sought to indoctrinate her and make her withstand torment by making her participate in cruel experiments. Once a month, Ms Julien writes, she was locked overnight in a rat-infested cellar to “meditate about death”. Didier, who died aged 79 in 1981, adopted a six-year-old girl called Jeannine in 1936, who he groomed to become his wife. In 1957, Jeannine gave birth to his child, Ms Julien. The three lived in a remote mansion in northern France, which Ms Julien was forbidden to leave. Ms Julien says she was sexually abused between the ages of three and 13 by a labourer working in the estate. She eventually managed to escape her father when he allowed her to take music lessons.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Monsanto Fingerprints Found All Over Attack On Organic Food
2017-12-06, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-malkan/monsanto-fingerprints-fou_b_10757...

A reputable-sounding nonprofit organization released a report attacking the organic food industry in April 2014. The 30-page report by Academics Review, described as “a non-profit led by independent academic experts in agriculture and food sciences,” found that consumers were being duped into spending more money for organic food. The [group's] press release ends on this note: “Academics Review has no conflicts-of-interest associated with this publication, and all associated costs for which were paid for using our general funds without any specific donor’ influence or direction.” What was not mentioned in the report, the news release or on the website: Executives for Monsanto Co., the world’s leading purveyor of agrichemicals and genetically engineered seeds, along with key Monsanto allies, engaged in fund raising for Academics Review, collaborated on strategy and even discussed plans to hide industry funding, according to emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know. Jay Byrne, former head of communications at Monsanto ... offered to act as a “commercial vehicle” to help find corporate funding for Academics Review. In March 2016, Monica Eng reported ... on documents showing that Monsanto paid Professor Bruce Chassy more than $57,000 over a 23-month period to travel, write and speak about GMOs - money that was not disclosed to the public. The money was part of at least $5.1 million in undisclosed money Monsanto sent through the University of Illinois Foundation.

Note: Monsanto has reportedly pushed fake science in other circumstances as well. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Big Money As Private Immigrant Jails Boom
2017-11-21, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2017/11/21/565318778/big-money-as-private-immigrant-jails...

In recent months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new detention facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country. ICE spends more than $2 billion a year on immigrant detention through private jails like [the Joe Corley Detention Facility], owned by GEO Group, the nation's largest private prison company. ICE and the U.S. Marshals Service pay GEO $32 million a year to house, feed and provide medical care for a thousand detainees. Between 2013 and 2014, Douglas Menjivar was one of those ICE detainees. Menjivar says he was raped by gang members in his cell, and when he reported it to the medical staff they mocked him. His lawyer has filed a federal civil rights complaint. Menjivar also says he was forced to work for a dollar a day. The forced labor allegations are part of two class-action lawsuits in federal court. But these are just the latest grievances against the business of immigrant incarceration. Human rights groups ... claim corporations skimp on detainee care in order to maximize profits. In its latest budget request, ICE has asked for more than 51,000 detainee beds - a 25 percent increase over the last year. The two largest private corrections corporations, GEO Group and CoreCivic, each gave $250,000 to Trump's inaugural festivities. The Obama administration [phased] out contracts with private prisons that house immigrants. Since Trump took office, the Bureau of Prisons has restored those contracts.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Meet Zero Mass Water, Whose Solar Panels Pull Drinking Water From The Air
2017-11-15, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/miguelhelft/2017/11/15/meet-zero-mass-water-whos...

It’s often said you can’t make something out of nothing. Cody Friesen may have. To show me his technological sleight of hand, Friesen invites me to a hillside house. We each sample a cup of water that flows from a drinking fountain. The water is cool and delicious – and it was made out of thin air. Literally. The drinking fountain is fed by a flexible pipe that leads to the house’s roof. There sit two Friesen’s devices, called Source Hydropanels. Each looks like solar panel mounted atop a metal box. The system extracts moisture out of the air at a rate of as much as five liters per day. Friesen believes installations like this one could soon be providing clean, quality drinking water to homes, schools and businesses. Friesen ... has already installed the Source in eight countries, including Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico and the Philippines. In the U.S., his panels are collecting water at a Duke Energy facility in North Carolina, an office building in Santa Monica, Calif., some Bay Area residences, and a handful of homes and schools in Arizona, where despite the low humidity, Source produces roughly the same amount of water as in wetter climates. Source ... draws ambient air through a fan into its devices. There, special nano-materials ... absorb the water. The solar panel then helps separate the water from the material. After it is condensed, it flows ... through a mineral block that adds magnesium and calcium common in drinking water.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Does Energy Healing Work? Watch 'Healer' Charlie Goldsmith And Decide For Yourself
2017-11-13, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/courtneyporkolab/2017/11/13/does-energy-healing-...

Does energy healing work? Charlie Goldsmith knows it does. The Australian energy healer, who reluctantly discovered his talent at the ripe age of 18, is now on a mission to take energy medicine mainstream. To date, Goldsmith has volunteered his time - and talents - to two scientific studies. In the first study, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2015, he treated 50 reports of pain at a 76% success rate and 29 reports of non-pain problems at a 79% success rate. The study, conducted at NYU's Lutheran Hospital ... landed him a TV deal. The second is still underway. Prior to the studies done in the public eye, Goldsmith spent years healing as many as he could, often those who had been failed by countless doctors and traditional medicine. He has never once charged for his work. Dr. Ramsey Joudeh, from NYU's Lutheran Medical Center, attests to Goldsmith's miraculous healing powers: "Most of our narcotics decrease a patient's pain by three to five points. If you go from a 10, meaning the worst pain you can imagine, to five, that's significant. In some cases Charlie reduced a patient's pain from 10 to zero. He also treated people with infections where antibiotics were not effective. You could see the shift in a patient's status from stagnant to a rapid healing resolution. I can't quantify it, but I would say Charlie cuts off patients' hospital stays. Watching him work has been humbling in the most extreme way."

Note: See this miracle worker's website at https://www.charliegoldsmith.com.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett richer than poorest 160 million Americans combined
2017-11-09, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bill-gates-jeff-bezos-warren-...

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, and veteran financier Warren Buffett now have a combined wealth of $248.5bn (Ł190bn) which is more than the net worth of the 160 million poorest US citizens, the Institute for Policy Studies think tank said. In its report, the Billionaire Bonanza, IPS found that America’s top 25 wealthiest people now hold [more than] $1 trillion in wealth. “Our wealthiest 400 now have more wealth combined than the bottom 64 per cent of the US population,” the report said. The study found that the median American family has a net worth of $80,000 ... while one in five US households have zero or negative net worth, meaning that their debts are equal to or greater than the worth of their cash and possessions. The figure is higher for people of colour - “underwater households” make up over 30 per cent of black households, and 27 per cent of Latino households. Last month, Forbes reported that it was another record year for the wealthiest people in the world’s richest nation. The minimum net worth required to make into the top 400 list is now a record $2bn, up almost a fifth from $1.7bn just twelve months ago.

Note: Explore also a CNN article titled "America's wealth gap is bigger than ever." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Who Ordered Killing of Honduran Activist? Evidence of Broad Plot Is Found
2017-10-28, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/28/world/americas/honduras-berta-caceres-desa...

Two men kicked in the door to Berta Cáceres’s house in the small Honduran mountain town of La Esperanza. One of them opened the door to her bedroom and fired six shots. She died moments later. The murder ... might simply have receded into a grim tally of regrettable losses. But Ms. Cáceres, 44, had won international acclaim for leading her indigenous Lenca community against a dam planned on their land. Now, 20 months after the killing, a team of five international lawyers has warned that the people who ordered it may never face justice. The evidence, the lawyers said, points to a plot against Ms. Cáceres that was months in the making and reached up to senior executives of Desarrollos Energéticos, known as Desa, the Honduran company holding the dam concession. “The existing proof is conclusive regarding the participation of numerous state agents, high-ranking executives and employees of Desa in the planning, execution and cover-up of the assassination,” the lawyers wrote. Eight suspects are in custody, including ... a retired Honduran Army lieutenant who was Desa’s director of security until mid-2015. “What the public ministry has yet to do is indict the people who hired Bustillo to plan the operation,” said Miguel Ángel Urbina Martínez, one of the lawyers reviewing the case. “There was this criminal structure comprised of company executives and employees, state agents and criminal gangs that used violence, threats and intimidation,” said Roxanna Altholz, [a] member of the lawyers’ group.

Note: The Guardian reported last year that Berta Cáceres’s murder appeared to be "an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to the country’s US-trained special forces". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Free cash for everyone? Stockton, Calif.'s mayor plans to see if it works
2017-10-27, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/27/news/economy/stockton-universal-basic-income/...

Growing up in Stockton, California, a little extra money would've meant the world to Michael Tubbs' family. Tubbs' mother worked long hours ... and still had to borrow from check cashing places to get by. "If we had $300 a month, life would be less stressful," Tubbs says. Today, Tubbs is Stockton's 27-year-old mayor. Last week, he announced the launch of an experimental program that will give people like his mom about $500 a month, with no strings attached. Stockton will likely become the first city in the nation to test out a version of universal basic income, an economic system that would regularly provide all residents enough money to cover basic expenses, with no conditions or restrictions. The concept of universal basic income - or UBI - has been around for decades. Martin Luther King advocated for it in 1967 to create a minimum standard of living. Up until recently, it has mostly been a subject of discussion among academics. But universal basic income has started to gain traction as poverty has grown and fears of automation killing jobs have mounted. Large-scale trials began this year in Finland and Canada to test whether the program improves outcomes like health and employment. A ... non-profit called the Economic Security Project has committed $1 million to the Stockton effort, with funding from donors that include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Backers hope larger cities and states will eventually adopt universal basic income programs.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


This is Why Saudi Arabia Suddenly Wants to Fight Extremism
2017-10-25, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/why-saudi-arabia-suddenly-wants-fight-extremism-692234

Saudi Arabia's crown prince declared that his country, long linked to terrorism and repression, will eradicate extremism. “We won’t waste 30 years of our lives dealing with any extremist ideas," said [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman], who is the de-facto leader of the oil-rich state, at a conference for wealthy and influential business people. For decades, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by an absolute monarchy and governed under Wahhabism, a fundamentalist strain of Sunni Islam that has inspired extremist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Saudi Arabia has been criticized for exporting Wahhabism abroad and promoting radicalization. Recently, Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow women to drive and would open parts of its state-owned oil company to private investors. Experts say these moves are meant to impress Western allies and attract expats and foreign investors. While serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton devised plans to stop Saudi Arabia from funding terrorism. “We need to ... bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to (the Islamic State) and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote in an email released by Wikileaks. Meanwhile, rights groups argue that Saudi Arabia continues to jail journalists and commit widespread human rights violations.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress
2017-10-15, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-dea-agent-opioid-crisis-fueled-by-drug-indust...

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Watch an inspiring video on this great project.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Radioactive Water May Have Been Leaking From Reactors for Months
2017-09-29, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-radioactive-water-leaking-mon...

The Japanese company in charge of cleaning up one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters said Friday its latest error may have caused contaminated water to leak into the ground for nearly half a year. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said it erroneously configured gauges used to measure groundwater levels in six wells near Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant reactors Nos. 1 through 4, all of which were destroyed when a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami ... caused a series of meltdowns at the plant. The false readings, which have been relied on since April 19 and were discovered this week, meant that groundwater levels were actually more than two feet below what Tepco was measuring. This mistake caused groundwater levels to fall below the limit set to prevent radioactive water from flowing out of the plant and into the nearby wells, known as subdrains, at least once, in May. Between May 17 and May 21, groundwater reportedly fell as much as 7 and a half inches below the safety levels at least eight times. Since the disaster, plant owner Tepco has struggled through the recovery process, the price tag of which was raised to $192 billion last year. The leading obstacle that the company faces is extracting the nuclear fuel that remains in the plant’s damaged nuclear reactors. Japan’s latest plan to clean up the site did not make any mention of what Tepco would do with about 777,000 tons of water contaminated with tritium, a nuclear byproduct.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Emails Show How the Food Industry Uses ‘Science’ to Push Soda
2017-09-13, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-13/emails-show-how-the-food-i...

There are few federal food policies as contentious as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, developed every five years after a report by the independent U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The guidelines [are] used to develop approaches to everything from food labeling regulations to school lunch menus and food stamp benefits. Following the 2015 committee report, which had recommended that Americans reduce their consumption of red and processed meat and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, the food and beverage industry scrambled to respond. But newly released emails suggest a broader strategy for shaping policy. The chain, which began with a mass email from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), an industry-funded group, included a conversation between two former executives of Coca-Cola Co. and of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), also an industry-funded group. These emails lay out “what appears to be the food industry’s roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges,” said Gary Ruskin ... an author of a report on the significance of the emails. The emails “reveal deliberate use of [the tobacco industry’s] ‘playbook’ tactics: cast doubt on the science, influence reporters, use front groups (e.g., ILSI and IFIC) to undermine concerns about the harmful effects of sugary drinks and head off dietary guidelines raising such concerns, and regulation,” said Marion Nestle, a professor ... at New York University and author of Food Politics and Soda Politics.

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


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

Wells Fargo’s admission that its employees created up to 3.5 million fraudulent accounts suggests a reckless, out-of-control culture. But the San Francisco banking giant seems to have a split personality of sorts. While branch employees aggressively pressured consumers ... commercial bankers adopted a relatively stingy approach to lending money to companies. That strategy allowed Wells Fargo to avoid the same kind of bad commercial loans that wiped out many banks during the financial crisis a decade ago. Had Wells Fargo applied the same due diligence to consumer banking as it did to commercial banking, the company might have avoided its current troubles. How do we reconcile these reckless/conservative sides of Wells Fargo? For one thing, federal regulators were not exactly keeping a close watch over Wells Fargo’s consumer business. Over the past t