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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


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

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


For the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year
2019-10-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/08/first-time-history-us-bill...

A new book-length study on the tax burden of the ultrarich begins with a startling finding: In 2018, for the first time in history, America’s richest billionaires paid a lower effective tax rate than the working class. “The Triumph of Injustice,” by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of the University of California at Berkeley, presents a first-of-its kind analysis of Americans’ effective tax rates since the 1960s. It finds that in 2018, the average effective tax rate paid by the richest 400 families in the country was 23 percent, a full percentage point lower than the 24.2 percent rate paid by the bottom half of American households. In 1980, by contrast, the 400 richest had an effective tax rate of 47 percent. In 1960, that rate was as high as 56 percent. The effective tax rate paid by the bottom 50 percent, by contrast, has changed little over time. The tipping point came in 2017, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation, championed by President Trump and then-House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), was a windfall for the wealthy: It lowered the top income tax bracket and slashed the corporate tax rate. By 2018, according to Saez and Zucman, the rich were already enjoying the fruits of that legislation: The average effective tax rate paid by the top 0.1 percent of households dropped by 2.5 percentage points. The benefits promised by the bill’s supporters — higher rates of growth and business investment and a shrinking deficit — have largely failed to materialize.

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


Record debt and inequality gap? It's almost like 40 years of Republican tax cuts failed.
2019-10-03, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/03/republican-tax-cuts-fail-re...

Since the Reagan administration, Republicans have fervently claimed lower taxes will unleash the "makers" — incentivizing them to work harder and invest more, thereby trickling down to benefit ordinary Americans. Moreover, they have consistently claimed that their tax cuts would create such dramatic economic growth that they’d literally pay for themselves. Instead, the national debt is at a record high, and the gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it has been in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been tracking it. And that inequality gap started to expand dramatically about the same time the Republican Party started cutting taxes. The American economy since 1950 offers a chance to consider the impact of these tax cuts. From 1950 to 1980, the top federal marginal tax rates ... were as high as 92% and never below 70%. Republicans have been slashing the top tax bracket for annual earned income since the early 1980s, and it is now 37%. Further, in 2003 the GOP shrank the tax rate on unearned income (such as dividends) to 15%, resulting (for example) in the billionaire Warren Buffett having a lower tax rate than his secretary. With such dramatic tax cuts, GOP dogma predicted a booming U.S. economy. But it turns out U.S. economic growth was substantially higher during the period of high taxes. From 1950 to 1980, average annual growth in real (inflation-adjusted gross domestic product) was 3.9%, while from 1981 to 2018 the comparable number was 2.7%.

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


Vanishing Violence: Youth crime continues historic drop across US
2019-10-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Vanishing-Violence-Youth-crime-cont...

Youth crime continues to plummet across the country, with arrests of people under age 18 falling for the 13th straight year and reaching lows not seen in at least six decades, new FBI figures show. The number of juveniles arrested nationwide declined 11% from 2017 to 2018 alone, compared to a 2% drop for adults. Arrests of young people for violent crimes — rape, robbery, assault and murder — fell 5%, while they actually increased slightly for those 18 and older. The 2018 arrest rate among juveniles — 21.3 per 1,000 youths — is half of what it was in the 1960s and less than one-quarter of what it was in the mid-1990s, at the peak of a youth crime spike, according to an analysis of the FBI data provided to The Chronicle by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. “It’s not just historic lows, it’s a historic chasm,” said Mike Males, a senior research fellow with the center. “It’s not even leveling out.” The data show that the trend of juveniles committing less crime has crept up into young adults, with arrests among those 18 to 24 also declining significantly in recent years. The changes could have profound implications on communities and the criminal justice system in years ahead. “That may be the result of the low-crime juvenile generation aging into their 20s,” Males said. “Hopefully this generation is beginning to impact older generations.” The plunge in teen crime extended to urban, suburban and rural counties, according to the FBI statistics.

Note: Sadly, this inspiring news has gotten very little media coverage other than in San Francisco. Why won't the media report this incredibly encouraging trend? Read more on this very hopeful trend on this webpage filled with hopeful and inspiring news.


California Just Legalized Public Banks. Will the Rest of the Nation Follow Suit?
2019-10-03, Yes! Magazine
https://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/california-public-banking-law-20191003

The Standing Rock movement in 2016 brought together Indigenous activists from across the nation to fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. One of the demands of this movement included divestment from Wells Fargo, a bank that was funding development of the pipeline. This brought into the spotlight ... big for-profit banks that the government uses to invest public money into Wall Street, rather than local communities. Some of those investments include the fossil fuel industry, private prisons, immigrant detention centers, and more. The divestment movement is mostly about getting those government investments ... out of the big banks. The question then becomes where to put them. Some ... say the answer is public banking. In September, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 857, a law that would allow a regulatory framework for public banking in the state. This would allow the establishment of banks that hold the government’s money and include socially responsible charters. Debbie Notkin, who works with the California Public Banking Alliance, says that by law, all corporations, which includes private banks, are legally obligated to maximize profit. Public banks are not held to this expectation, however, and are instead mandated to serve their communities. Community investments have unlimited possibilities, including affordable housing, saving people from foreclosure, making student loans more affordable, and creating more infrastructure to defend against the effects of climate change.

Note: Ellen Brown is a dedicated researcher who has promoted public banks for years. Check out her excellent work on her website at https://ellenbrown.com. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Saudi Arabia being sued for 9/11 attacks by victims' families
2019-10-01, Fox News
https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/saudi-arabia-being-sued-for-9-11-attacks-b...

In Washington, the Saudis are overwhelmingly considered by both parties to be one of our closest allies. The strange thing is that Saudi Arabia has far closer links to the 9/11 attacks than Saddam Hussein ever did. Saudi Arabia ... was so connected to 9/11 that the families of many 9/11 victims are seeking justice - payment - as recompense for the Saudi's role. Chris Ganci, a New York City fireman, lost his father on 9/11. Ganci is one of thousands of family members of 9/11 victims suing Saudi Arabia. Their lawsuit states that Saudi Arabia quote "knowingly provided al Qaeda with support, financing and resources that were material, substantial and critical to the success of the September 11th attacks." JIM KREINDLER, ATTORNEY FOR 9/11 FAMILIES: "For years, Saudi Arabia through its charities had been funneling money to al Qaeda." A heavily redacted 2012 report describes the support Saudi government officials gave to two hijackers after they arrived in Los Angeles. The officials gave the two al Qaeda members quote, "assistance in daily activities," including providing money and helping the hijackers get flying lessons. The U.S. government has not been keen to hold the Saudis to account in the wake of 9/11. Shortly after the attacks, the Bush administration allowed more than a hundred Saudis, including members of the bin Laden family to leave the country on chartered airplanes. And two years ago, the Trump administration cautioned a retired F.B.I. agent from working for the 9/11 families.

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


GEO Group Runs Out of Banks as 100% of Banking Partners Say ‘No’ to the Private Prison Sector
2019-09-30, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/morgansimon/2019/09/30/geo-group-runs-out-of-ban...

All of the existing banking partners to private prison leader GEO Group have now officially committed to ending ties with the private prison and immigrant detention industry. These banks are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, SunTrust, BNP Paribas, Fifth Third Bancorp, Barclays, and PNC. This exodus comes in the wake of demands by grassroots activists — many under the banner of the #FamiliesBelongTogether coalition — shareholders, policymakers, and investors. Major banks supporting the private prisons behind mass incarceration and immigrant detention have now committed to not renew $2.4B in credit lines and term loans to industry giants GEO Group and CoreCivic. This shift represents an estimated shortfall of 87.4% of all future funding to the industry. As a brief historical recap: the American private prison industry is a relatively new phenomenon, with the first private prison opening in 1984. Given their business model depends on keeping a consistent and increasing number of people incarcerated, it's been speculated and critiqued that this is why GEO Group and CoreCivic have spent $25M on lobbying over the past three decades to push for harsher criminal justice and immigration laws. A cycle emerges when one follows the money: everyday people put their money in banks, banks lend that money out to the private prison industry, the private prison industry uses that financing for ... lobbying, which successfully funnels more detainees into their facilities, and banks reap a payoff.

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


Hackers find voting machines used throughout the US are vulnerable to attack
2019-09-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/politics/hackers-voting-machines/index.html

For the third straight year, elite hackers from around the world who spent a long weekend hacking into voting equipment have released a report detailing vulnerabilities in machines still in use across the country. Each of the more than 100 machines the researchers looked at were vulnerable to at least some kind of attack, said Georgetown professor Matt Blaze, one of the Def Con Voting Village's organizers. As in previous years, the Voting Village collected versions of voting equipment used around the country, much of it ordered from eBay, and invited all of the more than 35,000 attendees of the Def Con hacker conference, which took place in Las Vegas in August, to see what kind of holes they could find. Some of machines were found to be vulnerable to remote attack and one electronic pollbook had a hidden ethernet cable to connect it to the internet. The issue is less that skilled hackers can break into election equipment, Blaze told CNN, and more that elections systems as a whole need to both minimize risk and double-check election results with paper ballots ... and risk-limiting audits. Following accusations that he'd been blocking election security legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week backed an amendment to give states an additional $250 million to distribute for election security. But experts have questioned whether that's enough money to get the US to an acceptable level of election security.

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


At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds
2019-09-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/technology/government-disinformation-cyber...

In Vietnam, citizens were enlisted to post pro-government messages on their personal Facebook pages. The Guatemalan government used hacked and stolen social media accounts to silence dissenting opinions. Ethiopia’s ruling party hired people to influence social media conversations in its favor. Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs. The researchers compiled ... one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation. Facebook remains the No. 1 social network for disinformation, the report said. Organized propaganda campaigns were found on the platform in 56 countries. Governments have used “cyber troops” to shape public opinion, including networks of bots to amplify a message, groups of “trolls” to harass political dissidents or journalists, and scores of fake social media accounts to misrepresent how many people engaged with an issue.

Note: This article completely fails to mention the U.S., which has one of the most sophisticated disinformation programs in the world, yet because the "black budget" for this is so well hidden, few know the extent to which citizens are manipulated both in the U.S. and worldwide. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.


U.S. income inequality at highest level in 50 years
2019-09-26, NBC News/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-income-inequality-highest-level-50-y...

The gap between the haves and have-nots in the United States grew last year to its highest level in more than 50 years. Income inequality in the United States expanded from 2017 to 2018, with several heartland states among the leaders of the increase, even though several wealthy coastal states still had the most inequality overall, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The nation's Gini Index, which measures income inequality, has been rising steadily over the past five decades. The Gini Index grew from 0.482 in 2017 to 0.485 last year, according to the bureau's 1-year American Community Survey data. The Gini Index is on a scale of 0 to 1; a score of "0" indicates perfect equality, while a score of "1" indicates perfect inequality, where one household has all the income. The inequality expansion last year took place at the same time median household income nationwide increased to almost $62,000 last year, the highest ever measured by the American Community Survey. But the 0.8% income increase from 2017 to 2018 was much smaller compared to increases in the previous three years, according to the bureau. Even though household income increased, it was distributed unevenly, with the wealthiest helped out possibly by a tax cut passed by Congress in 2017, said Hector Sandoval, an economist at the University of Florida.

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


First gas station in America to ditch oil for 100% electric vehicle charging opens in Maryland
2019-09-26, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/26/first-gas-station-to-ditch-oil-for-electric-v...

The first gas station in the U.S. that has been completely transitioned from a petroleum station to exclusively charging EVs opened Thursday in Takoma Park, Maryland. RS Automotives, the local gas station, has been around since 1958. Depeswar Doley, owner of the station since 1997, said he was already unhappy with the way oil and gasoline companies structure contracts — such as limiting the use of multiple suppliers, including clauses that extend contracts when a certain volume of sales is not met and limiting maintenance support. These business factors already were pushing him to consider other options. A nudge from his daughter was the final step in convincing Doley to make the switch to EV charging. “My daughter, who is 17, she is the one who convinced me after I told her that I was going to talk to the [Electric Vehicle Institute] guys,” Doley said. There are more than 20,700 registered EVs in Maryland, and the area also has an electric taxi service in need of more chargers for their business. The gas station conversion was jointly funded by the Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration, which provided a grant of $786,000. The station will feature four dispensers that connect to a high-powered, 200kW system. The system will allow four vehicles to charge simultaneously and reach 80% battery charge in 20 to 30 minutes. Drivers can go inside and sit in an automated convenience store with screens that allow drivers to track their vehicle’s charging progress.

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


This charity is feeding the hungry and helping the planet by rescuing millions of pounds of leftover food
2019-09-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/25/health/iyw-forgotten-harvest-food-waste-trnd/i...

According to FDA estimates, the United States wastes 30 to 40% of its food. That's hard to swallow when you consider that one in 10 US households faced food insecurity in 2018. That means roughly 14 million families are struggling to put meals on the table while approximately 30 million tons of food are trashed. For 29 years Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit in Detroit, has been rescuing food destined for landfills and redirecting it to the hungry. Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes says it's taken that long to develop the logistics for his program, which now rescues and delivers 130,000 pounds of food a day. "This operation is set up so that our fleet of about 27 trucks and our drivers can leave our warehouse in the morning and go to about 12 to 14 different stops ... for our donations." Mayes says. Drivers collect food from local bakers and butchers and national chains, he says. "And then these drivers redistribute the food to three to four community partners on a daily basis." A rotating army of 16,000 volunteers makes this daily event happen. "At our warehouse, our volunteers are working with commodities that are coming off of our farm and from other commodity partners like the food manufacturers and other farms and donations," Mayes says. "All this (food) is inspected, sorted and set to go out." The result? Last year Forgotten Harvest redistributed 41 million pounds of food, Mayes says. That's 41 million pounds that filled stomachs instead of landfills.

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


New UCLA institute will study — and spread — kindness
2019-09-24, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-24/ucla-bedari-kindness-inst...

A friendly smile. A food pantry donation. Such acts of kindness have a self-serving upside ... as science has conclusively shown they also make you healthier. UCLA is poised to advance that science with the ... launch of the world’s first interdisciplinary research institute on kindness, which will explore, for instance, how and why being nice to others reduces depression and the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Research by UCLA scientists already has shown that mindfulness and kindness actually alter the behavior of genes, turning down those that promote inflammation, which can lead to heart disease or certain cancers, and turning up the activity of genes that protect against infections. But the ultimate goal of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute is to spread kindness and promote a more humane world. It will develop training tools to help practice kindness and spread them through online programs, public lectures, media outreach and a free app called UCLA Mindful. When it comes to kindness, the intention, rather than the outcome, is key. In other words, it’s the thought that counts, as the adage goes. “Cultivating kind thoughts increases the frequency of kind actions, and both the thoughts and the experience of engaging in the actions have positive effects on the well-being of the individual,” said Daniel Fessler ... the institute’s inaugural director. The institute’s work ... will focus on three themes: the roots of kindness, how to promote it, and how to use it as a therapeutic intervention to improve mental and physical health.

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


'Medication or housing': why soaring insulin prices are killing Americans
2019-09-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/23/diabetes-americans-soaring-in...

Jada Renee Louis of Newport News, Virginia, died on 22 June 2019 about a week after requiring emergency hospital care for diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication caused by a lack of insulin, and a foot ulcer. She was 24. A type 1 diabetic, Louis, who did not have health insurance coverage, couldn’t afford the cost of her insulin doses and pay her rent. She chose to skip doses in order to pay her rent. Today a vial of insulin – which will last 28 days once opened – costs about $300 in the US. “People are literally dying over $300 like my sister did. People shouldn’t have to choose between medications or shelter. That’s the most outrageous decision for somebody to have to make, yet people are doing it daily,” Jazmine Baldwin, Louis’s sister, [said]. Price gouging of insulin and other barriers to accessing it are symptomatic of America’s broken healthcare system, diabetes advocates argue, and the resulting deaths and struggles of those with diabetes demonstrate the need for systemic reforms. Between 2012 to 2016, the average cost of insulin in the United States nearly doubled to $5,705 per year for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Production costs for a vial of insulin are estimated to cost around $5 while pharmaceutical companies charge as high as $540 per vial and Americans are dying as a result of being unable to afford it in addition to the expensive costs of medical care, and supplies such as syringes and glucose monitors. Some 1.25 million Americans are currently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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


New details reveal acrimonious split between Epstein and Duke of York
2019-09-22, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/21/politics/epstein-prince-andrew-lawsuit-defamat...

On August 19, Buckingham Palace put out a statement signed by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, that was emphatic in distancing the British Royal from the late disgraced financier, Jeffrey Epstein. The statement came days after The Mail On Sunday published grainy video footage that the British paper said showed the prince at the door of Epstein's Manhattan townhouse in 2010. By then Epstein was a registered sex offender who had avoided a federal trial at the time and served only 13 months in jail for state prostitution charges over his involvement with underage girls. In 2015, one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said in a federal court filing that she was forced to have sex with the prince while underage. The more than decade-long friendship between Prince Andrew and Epstein, who died by suicide in his jail cell on August 10, ended in the Spring of 2011, when Epstein threatened legal action against Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. On March 7, 2011, Sarah Ferguson admitted publicly that she had accepted GBP 15,000 ($24,000) from Epstein to help pay an employee to whom she owed money. The Duchess gave an interview ... in which she expressed extreme contrition for her lack of judgment by accepting the funds from Epstein. With the interview, she put a clear divide between herself and Epstein. "I abhor pedophilia," she said, adding that she'd had no knowledge of Epstein's alleged relationships with under-age girls when she took the money.

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


Billionaire Robert Smith is erasing student loan debt from Morehouse grads – and their parents
2019-09-20, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-smith-morehouse-college-billionaire-vista...

Billionaire Robert Smith is extending his goodwill months after he pledged to erase college loan debt for Morehouse College's 2019 graduating class. The technology investor and philanthropist is also paying off loan debt amassed by parents to send their children to the college, the school said on Friday. Morehouse College announced ... that Smith and his family donated $34 million to a fund that wipes away student debt for parents whose children attend the university. "This liberation gift from Robert Smith — the first of its kind to be announced at a graduation in higher education — will be life-changing for our new Morehouse Men and their families," said Morehouse College president David A. Thomas. Known as the Morehouse Student Success Program, the initiative was established as a national investment strategy to curb student loan debt and help graduates prosper faster, according to the release. Under the new plan, Morehouse will solicit and accept donations made specifically to reduce or eliminate the loan debt of students and their parents or guardians. More than 400 students, parents and guardians of the Class of 2019 will receive the inaugural gift under the initiative. The fund will cover education loan balances as of August 28. According to the release, six types of loans will be repaid: federal subsidized loans, federal unsubsidized loans, Georgia Student Access Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Plus Loans and certain private student loans processed through Morehouse College.

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


Revealed: how US senators invest in firms they are supposed to regulate
2019-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/19/us-senators-investments-confl...

As they set national policy on important issues such as climate change, tech monopolies, medical debt and income inequality, US senators have glaring conflicts of interest, an investigation by news website Sludge and the Guardian can reveal. An analysis of personal financial disclosure data as of 16 August has found that 51 senators and their spouses have as much as $96m personally invested in corporate stocks in five key sectors: communications/electronics; defense; energy and natural resources; finance, insurance and real estate; and health. Overall, the senators are invested in 338 companies. The median stock investment range in the five sectors for the 51 senators is between $100,000 and $365,000, while the average range of the investments is between $551,000 and nearly $1,874,000. Not only are the senators far wealthier than most of their constituents, but they’re in a prime position to increase their wealth via policymaking. It’s not illegal for members of Congress to have personal financial stakes in the industries on which they legislate. But such investments raise questions about lawmakers’ motivations. Some senators want to do away with these perceived conflicts of interest. Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced anti-corruption legislation in August 2018 that included a ban on members of Congress, senior congressional staff, cabinet secretaries, White House staff, federal judges and other officials from owning ... securities while in office.

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


Trump axes California's right to set own auto emissions standards
2019-09-18, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/trump-about-strip-california-its-right...

President Donald Trump on Wednesday barred California from setting its own vehicle emissions standards. "The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER," Trump tweeted. The widely anticipated move comes as the White House also prepares to roll back the strict Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards set under President Barack Obama. Using its authority to set emissions targets, California had set even tougher standards that effectively required the auto industry to begin rolling out fleets of zero-emissions vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, pure battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars. California has already filed legal efforts to forestall such a move and has been joined by other states that have adopted the stricter California mandates. California originally was granted authority to set tougher standards as an acknowledgment of the poor air quality in cities such as Los Angeles. Responding to reports that the White House was preparing to follow through on plans to eliminate that waiver, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement warning the move “could have devastating consequences for our kids’ health and the air we breathe.”

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


The University of California Is Dumping Fossil Fuel Investments
2019-09-17, Time/Associated Press
https://time.com/5679965/university-of-california-fossil-fuel-investments/

The University of California is dumping fossil fuel investments from its nearly $84 billion pension and endowment funds because they are a financial risk, its top financial officers announced. “Our job is to make money for the University of California, and we’re betting we can do that without fossil fuels investments,” said an opinion article in the Los Angeles Times written by Jagdeep Singh Bachher, UC’s chief investment officer and treasurer, and Richard Sherman, chair of the Board of Regents Investments Committee. UC’s $13.4 billion endowment fund will be “fossil free” by the end of the month and its $70 billion pension fund “will soon be that way,” the article said. The article appeared the same day that UC announced its president and chancellors had signed a letter declaring a “climate emergency,” joining more than 7,000 colleges and universities around the world. The UC leaders agreed to increase climate research and environmental education and to achieve climate neutrality by 2025. “We have a moral responsibility to take swift action on climate change,” UC President Janet Napolitano said. The 10-campus system has been shedding fossil fuel investments for several years. It previously dumped several hundred million dollars’ worth of investments in coal, tar sands and companies building a Dakota-to-Illinois oil pipeline.

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


Intelligence chief won't turn over whistleblower complaint to House committee
2019-09-17, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/intelligence-chief-won-t-turn-over-whistlebl...

The acting director of national intelligence is withholding a secret whistleblower complaint from the House intelligence committee because it involves conduct by someone outside the spy agencies and doesn’t meet the legal requirement for disclosure to Congress, according to letters obtained by NBC News. But in doing so, acting DNI Joseph Maguire acknowledges he is overruling the intelligence community’s independent watchdog, which thinks the complaint should be turned over. The letters, written by Jason Klitenic, the DNI’s general counsel, provide Maguire’s side of the story in what has quickly become an acrimonious dispute with Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee. On Friday night, Schiff went public about the matter in dramatic fashion, announcing that he had issued a subpoena for a classified whistleblower complaint that he charged was being illegally withheld to shield President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Schiff said Maguire has refused to comply with the subpoena. Current and former intelligence officials told NBC News they were taken aback by Schiff’s public escalation and his suggestion that they acting in bad faith at Trump’s behest. Schiff has declined to say whether he is aware of the nature of the complaint. A committee staffer who declined to be named said that Schiff went public because he wanted to send a message that “under no circumstances can there be any reprisals against this whistleblower.”

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


MIT Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns After Claiming Epstein Victim Was ‘Entirely Willing’
2019-09-17, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/isabeltogoh/2019/09/17/mit-computer-scientist-ri...

Computer scientist Richard Stallman has severed his connections with MIT after he claimed that Virginia Giuffre, one of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking victims, presented as "entirely willing." A leading voice in the free software movement, Stallman on Monday resigned as a visiting scientist at the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and as president of Free Software Foundation. In a message circulated to an MIT CSAIL mailing list and revealed last week by MIT grad Selam Jie Gano, Stallman wrote that Giuffre, who has testified that she was forced to have sex with MIT professor Marvin Minsky on Epstein's private island aged 17, most likely “presented herself to him as entirely willing.” The email was in a response to a Facebook event calling for MIT students to protest over Epstein’s secret donations to the institution, which were revealed by the New Yorker this month. In the emails Stallman claimed that the term “sexual assault” in relation to Minsky, as used in the Facebook post for the event, was “absolutely wrong.” He added that the term “presumes that [Minsky] applied force or violence.” Stallman also implied that being 17 and therefore underage, was a “minor detail.” The MIT Media Lab has been racked by the revelations that it solicited cash from the disgraced financier and had sought to present his donations as coming from anonymous donors to duck the university’s ban on receiving money from Epstein.

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


Epstein accusers denied compensation in victims' rights case
2019-09-17, MSN News/Associated Press
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/epstein-accusers-denied-damages-in-fla-v...

A group of women who say they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein suffered a setback Monday in their decade-long legal fight over a plea deal that allowed the financier to avoid a lengthy prison term. A federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that the women were not entitled to compensation from the U.S. Justice Department, even though prosecutors violated their rights by failing to consult them about the 2008 deal to end a federal probe that could have landed Epstein in prison for life. "In the end they are not receiving much, if any, of the relief they sought," U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra wrote. Several of Epstein's victims sued the Justice Department in 2008 over their handling of his plea negotiations, in which his victims were purposely kept in the dark by state and federal prosecutors in South Florida. They kept the legal case alive for years ... arguing that prosecutors had violated the federal Crime Victims' Rights Act. The drawn-out litigation ultimately fueled a Miami Herald investigation into the plea negotiations, which in turn led to a new wave of public outrage over perceived favorable treatment for Epstein. Federal prosecutors in New York revived the case, arguing they weren't bound by the original deal, and charged Epstein with sex trafficking. Former Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who oversaw the plea deal, stepped down as U.S. labor secretary amid the renewed scrutiny. And Marra ruled in February that prosecutors had violated the rights of dozens of Epstein accusers.

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


The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner
2019-09-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/us/politics/guantanamo-bay-cost-prison.html

Holding the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess as the lone prisoner in Germany’s Spandau Prison in 1985 cost an estimated $1.5 million in today’s dollars. Then there is Guantánamo Bay, where the expense now works out to about $13 million for each of the 40 prisoners being held there. According to a tally by The New York Times, the total cost last year of holding the prisoners ... paying for the troops who guard them, running the war court and doing related construction, exceeded $540 million. The $13 million per prisoner cost almost certainly makes Guantánamo the world’s most expensive detention program. The military assigns around 1,800 troops to the detention center, or 45 for each prisoner. Judges, lawyers, journalists and support workers are flown in and out on weekly shuttles. The estimated annual cost of $540 million ... does not include expenses that have remained classified, presumably including a continued C.I.A. presence. But the figures show that running the range of facilities built up over the years has grown increasingly expensive even as the number of prisoners has declined. A Defense Department report in 2013 calculated the annual cost of operating Guantánamo Bay’s prison and court system at $454.1 million, or nearly $90 million less than last year. At the time, there were 166 prisoners at Guantánamo, making the per-prisoner cost $2.7 million. The 2013 report put the total cost of building and operating the prison since 2002 at $5.2 billion through 2014, a figure that now appears to have risen to past $7 billion.

Note: Read an article by a Yemeni citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, titled, "Will I Die At Guantanamo Bay? After 15 Years, I Deserve Justice." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Monsanto’s Spies
2019-09-16, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/monsantos-spies_n_5d7ba20de4b03b5fc88233c4?

About a half a dozen journalists were in a northern California courtroom to cover a third lawsuit alleging that Monsanto’s pesticide glyphosate causes cancer. [Sylvie] Barak told others that she was a freelancer for the BBC. When journalists searched the internet for Barak, they noticed that her LinkedIn account said she worked for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that Monsanto and Bayer, Monsanto’s parent company, had engaged for consulting. Monsanto has also previously employed shadowy networks of consultants, PR firms, and front groups to spy on and influence reporters. And all of it appears to be part of a pattern at the company of using a variety of tactics to intimidate, mislead and discredit journalists and critics. In the latest example of Monsanto’s efforts to track journalists, The Guardian reported in August on internal documents from the company’s “fusion center,” which worked to discredit reporters and nonprofits via third-party actors. In the California trial, the reporter who first identified Barak as an FTI plant said she ... saw an uptick in Monsanto’s industry partners contacting her as she covered the trial. A guy named Jay Byrne ... contacted her on social media to discuss how GMO criticism was part of a Russian influence campaign; when she Googled Byrne, she learned he is Monsanto’s former director of communications. In a January deposition, a Monsanto representative said that in 2016 the company spent “around $16 or 17 million” on activities to defend glyphosate.

Note: Major lawsuits are now unfolding over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. 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 corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


A Shadowy Industry Group Shapes Food Policy Around the World
2019-09-16, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/16/health/ilsi-food-policy-india-brazil-china...

When the Indian government bowed to powerful food companies last year and postponed its decision to put red warning labels on unhealthy packaged food, officials also sought to placate critics of the delay by creating an expert panel to review the proposed labeling system, which would have gone far beyond what other countries have done in the battle to combat soaring obesity rates. But the man chosen to head the three-person committee, Dr. Boindala Sesikeran, a veteran nutritionist and former adviser to Nestle, only further enraged health advocates. That’s because Dr. Sesikeran is a trustee of the International Life Sciences Institute, an American nonprofit with an innocuous sounding name that has been quietly infiltrating government health and nutrition bodies around the world. Created four decades ago by a top Coca-Cola executive, the institute now has branches in 17 countries. It is almost entirely funded by Goliaths of the agribusiness, food and pharmaceutical industries. The organization, which championed tobacco interests during the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, has more recently expanded its activities in Asia and Latin America, regions that provide a growing share of food company profits. It has been especially active in China, India and Brazil, the world’s first, second and sixth most populous nations. In addition to its far-flung offices, ILSI runs a research foundation and an institute focused on health and environmental issues that is largely funded by the chemical industry.

Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


She started helping Detroit's impoverished community in her house. Now, her nonprofit has reached 250,000 people
2019-09-12, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/12/us/cnnheroes-najah-bazzy-zaman-international/i...

Najah Bazzy can pinpoint the moment her life changed. In 1996, she was working as a nurse when she visited an Iraqi refugee family to help care for their dying infant. She knew the situation would be difficult, but she wasn't prepared for what she encountered. "There, at the house, I got my first glimpse of poverty," she said. That day, Bazzy and her family gathered all the furniture and household items that they could - including a crib - and delivered everything to the family. She hasn't stopped since. For years, Bazzy ran her goodwill effort from her home, transporting donated goods in her family's minivan. Eventually, her efforts grew into Zaman International, a nonprofit that now supports impoverished women and children of all backgrounds in the Detroit area. The group has helped more than 250,000 people. Today, Zaman operates from a 40,000-square-foot facility in the suburb of Inkster. The group's warehouse offers aisles of food, rows of clothes and vast arrays of furniture free to those in need. The group's case managers help clients access housing and other services. "We work to stabilize them as quickly as we can," Bazzy said. "Women walk in and they are in desperate need, and they walk out with their basic needs met." The group's donated clothing and furniture are also available to the public through its Good Deeds Resale Shop. "Our mothers are able to come. They get a voucher and have the same dignified shopping experience as somebody else, but (do) not have to pay for it," she said.

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


California bans private prisons – including Ice detention centers
2019-09-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/12/california-private-prison-ban...

The private prison industry is set to be upended after California lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday banning the facilities from operating in the state. The move will probably also close down four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to 4,500 people at a time. The legislation is being hailed as a major victory for criminal justice reform because it removes the profit motive from incarceration. It also marks a dramatic departure from California’s past, when private prisons were relied on to reduce crowding in state-run facilities. Private prison companies used to view California as one of their fastest-growing markets. As recently as 2016, private prisons locked up approximately 7,000 Californians, about 5% of the state’s total prison population, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. But in recent years, thousands of inmates have been transferred from private prisons back into state-run facilities. As of June, private prisons held 2,222 of California’s total inmate population. The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, must still sign AB32, but last year he signaled support for the ban and said during his inaugural speech in January that the state should “end the outrage of private prisons once and for all”. The bill’s author, the assemblymember Rob Bonta, originally wrote it only to apply to contracts between the state’s prison authority and private, for-profit prison companies. But in June, Bonta amended the bill to apply to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s four major California detention centers.

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


More than 1,000 US polling sites closed since supreme court ruling
2019-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/11/us-polling-sites-closed-repor...

Jurisdictions once monitored by the justice department for racially discriminatory voting practices have collectively closed more than 1,000 polling places since a watershed 2013 US supreme court ruling released the jurisdictions from oversight, according to a new watchdog report. In 757 counties and county equivalents that formerly had to pre-clear voting practice changes with Washington, 1,173 polling places disappeared between 2014 and 2018, a study by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, part of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights coalition, found. The closures could disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color, especially when combined with restrictive voter ID laws, gerrymandering and aggressive voter roll purges, the report warned. Last month, a separate study found that US election jurisdictions with histories of egregious voter discrimination have been purging voter rolls at a rate 40% beyond the national average. “Closing polling places has a cascading effect, leading to long lines at other polling places, transportation hurdles, denial of language assistance and other forms of in-person help, and mass confusion about where eligible voters may cast their ballot,” the report said. “For many people, and particularly for voters of color, older voters, rural voters and voters with disabilities, these burdens make it harder – and sometimes impossible – to vote.”

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


This 15-year-old biker took on a men's world of Motocross and left them in the dust
2019-09-09, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/09/africa/zimbabwes-15-year-old-motocross-star-in...

Tanyaradzwa 'Tanya' Muzinda is not your average teenager. At 15, she is already one of Zimbabwe's Motocross champions. Held on off-road circuits, Motocross is a form of motorbike racing that is dangerous, expensive and requires a lot of training. But these challenges have not stopped Tanya from competing. She came in third place at the 2017 HL Racing British Master Kids Championships at the Motoland track in England, which she says is still her most memorable race. In 2018, Muzinda was named Junior Sportswoman of the year in South Africa by the Africa Union Sports Council Region Five Annual Sports Awards. Her father, Tawanda Muzinda, says his daughter faces substantial challenges in her chosen field because it is an expensive sport. Muzinda often misses championships because of a lack of funds. The financial difficulties she faces [have] not stopped Muzinda from giving back to people in her community. In August, she paid tuition for 45 students to attend school in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, and hopes to pay for at least 500 more students by the end of 2020. "There have been many times I didn't race for months because of financial difficulties. I thought of the children who also don't have a chance to go to school because of money and decided to do something about it," she said. Muzinda uses donations and her Motocross prize money to support children from poorer families, especially girls who are often kept home from school. Muzinda also helps fundraise for an orphanage.

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


Top MIT official resigns in wake of explosive report on donations facilitated by Jeffrey Epstein
2019-09-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/08/us/jeffrey-epstein-mit-official-resigns/?iid=o...

Joi Ito, the director of the Media Lab at MIT, resigned Saturday and the university is calling for an independent investigation following explosive allegations that he and at least one other person at the lab made efforts to make sure Jeffrey Epstein's name was not associated with donations he made or helped solicit. Internal communications and documents obtained by CNN - first reported by the New Yorker - show Epstein was integral to incoming donations from major donors, including $2 million from Bill Gates and at least $5 million from Leon Black, the founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Internal email exchanges show Ito was in direct contact with Epstein about the late financier's donations, which documents show at one point were earmarked for a research scientist. As discussions continued about the funding for the researcher, the Director of Development and Strategy, Peter Cohen, sent an email to an undisclosed recipient, saying "Jeffrey money, needs to be anonymous." Internal communications dating back to 2014 include several references to Epstein being allowed to make small donations anonymously. The communications show that Epstein helped as an intermediary on high-dollar proposals. In October of 2014 Ito sent an email stating, "This is a $2M gift from Bill Gates directed by Jeffrey Epstein." His director of Development and Strategy - Cohen - responds "Great! For gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffreys name as the impetus for this gift."

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


Why industry is going green on the quiet
2019-09-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/sep/08/producers-keep-sustainable-pr...

There’s a factory in Asia that uses only a single litre of water to make a pair of jeans. That’s 346 litres less than Levi-Strauss estimated it took to make a pair of its jeans in 2015. The manufacturer in question does not want to tell anyone about its groundbreaking water-conserving techniques – not even the companies it supplies. It is one of many practicing “secret sustainability”, whereby innovations are silently enacted and kept from the rest of the industry. This phenomenon is not limited to the clothing industry. Why would firms spearheading sustainable practices not publicise their good work? It’s a question that puzzles Professor Steve Evans ... at Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing, who suggests that such examples are widespread. He believes this stems from a common perception that there must be some kind of downside to the introduction of sustainable practices: either a reduction in product quality, or an increase in the price of manufacturing, or both. Companies and consumers seem unable to accept that sustainability does not have to cost more to create an equally good product. This is despite an increase in evidence that actively investing in sustainable practices helps business thrive. An example is provided by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, a series of benchmarks assessing the sustainability of companies around the world. Research has repeatedly shown that those at the top end of the benchmark outperform those at the bottom.

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


The World Wastes Tons of Food. A Grocery ‘Happy Hour’ Is One Answer.
2019-09-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/08/business/food-waste-climate-change.html

“Happy hour” at the S-market store in the working-class neighborhood of Vallila happens far from the liquor aisles and isn’t exactly convivial. Nobody is here for drinks or a good time. They’re looking for a steep discount on a slab of pork. Or a chicken, or a salmon fillet, or any of a few hundred items that are hours from their midnight expiration date. Food that is nearly unsellable goes on sale at every one of S-market’s 900 stores in Finland, with prices that are already reduced by 30 percent slashed to 60 percent off at exactly 9 p.m. It’s part of a two-year campaign to reduce food waste that company executives in this famously bibulous country decided to call “happy hour” in the hopes of drawing in regulars, like any decent bar. About one-third of the food produced and packaged for human consumption is lost or wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. That equals 1.3 billion tons a year, worth nearly $680 billion. The figures represent more than just a disastrous misallocation of need and want, given that 10 percent of people in the world are chronically undernourished. All that excess food, scientists say, contributes to climate change. Mika Lyytikainen, an S-market vice president, explained that the program simply reduces its losses. “When we sell at 60 percent off, we don’t earn any money, but we earn more than if the food was given to charity,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s now possible for every Finn to buy very cheap food in our stores.”

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


Fire did not cause World Trade Center Building 7 collapse, UAF study suggests
2019-09-06, KTVA (CBS Affiliate, Anchorage, Alaska)
https://www.ktva.com/story/41015153/fire-did-not-cause-world-trade-center-bui...

World Trade Center Building 7 was not struck by a plane, but collapsed hours after the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. A draft report released this week by researchers at UAF [University of Alaska Fairbanks] suggests that the fall was not a result of fires, despite the findings of the National Institute for Standards and Technology ... in 2008. The study was paid for by a group called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth [representing] over 3,000 architects and engineers who have signed a petition calling on Congress to launch a new investigation into the destruction of the towers. Dr. Leroy Hulsey, a civil engineering professor at UAF, led the four-year study. According to the Institute of Northern Engineering's website, the objective was to examine the structural response of WTC 7 to fire loads that may have occurred that day, rule out scenarios that couldn't have caused its collapse and identify types of failures that may have caused the fall. The UAF team's findings contradict those of the 2008 NIST report, which concluded that WTC 7 was the first tall building ever to collapse primarily due to fire. According to the NIST report, debris from the north WTC tower (WTC 1) ignited fires on at least 10 floors in WTC 7. NIST said the automatic sprinkler system on those floors failed, causing the fires to spread. Despite NIST's findings, critics of the government's account have long argued the building fell in a controlled demolition. "We virtually simulated the building and we looked at that analysis and we also virtually simulated what they did, we couldn't get it to do what they did," Hulsey said.

Note: A New York Times article states that some of the I-beams at WTC 7, "once five-eighths of an inch thick, had vaporized." Powerful evidence presented by experts suggests that World Trade Center 7 was brought down by explosives. And don't miss the PBS special, "9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out", in which 40 whistle-blowing architects and engineers present astounding evidence of controlled demolition at World Trade Center 7. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.


From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA’s darkest secrets
2019-09-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-h...

On 12 June 1975, the Washington Post ran a story about an army scientist who had been drugged with LSD by the CIA, reacted badly and jumped out of the window of a New York hotel. This story, with its lurid mix of drugs, death and the CIA, proved irresistible. For the next several days, reporters barraged the CIA with demands to know more. The Olson family called a press conference in the family’s back yard. Alice read a statement saying that the family had decided to “file a lawsuit against the CIA, perhaps within two weeks, asking several million dollars in damages”. “Since 1953, we have struggled to understand Frank Olson’s death as an inexplicable ‘suicide,’” she said. “The true nature of his death was concealed for 22 years.” White House lawyers offered the Olson family $750,000 in exchange for dropping its legal claims. After some hesitation, the family accepted. On 8 August 2002, [Eric Olson] announced that he had reached a new conclusion about what had happened to his father. “The death of Frank Olson on 28 November 1953 was a murder, not a suicide,” he declared. “This is not an LSD drug-experiment story, as it was represented in 1975. This is a biological warfare story. Frank Olson did not die because he was an experimental guinea pig who experienced a ‘bad trip’. He died because of concern that he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program in the early 1950s, and concerning the use of biological weapons by the United States in the Korean War.”

Note: Read more about the CIA's MK-ULTRA program which Frank Olson was a part of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.


Examples Of Self-Interested Pursuits That Benefited All Of Humanity
2019-09-06, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/semyondukach/2019/09/06/3-examples-of-self-inter...

The following achievements stand as examples for what humanity is capable of when the end result benefits both the self and the other. In other words, they are examples of when nations decided to cooperate with each other for self-interested reasons, yet still produced results that benefited the rest of humanity. In 1985, a group of British scientists warned the world that the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was wreaking havoc on the ozone layer. A treaty known as the Montreal Protocol was drawn up, and for the first time in history, it was universally ratified (197 countries have signed on to date). As a result, the world successfully phased out 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals. If this hadn’t been created, the Earth’s ozone layer would have collapsed by 2050. The Human Genome Project was an international effort to map out the DNA sequence of the entire human genome. The knowledge gained from the project has led to better treatment, detection and prevention of human disease. It has opened doors to a greater understanding of the code that determines so much of our lives, and has provided key clues for further unraveling the human mystery. The International Space Station is, of course, a classic example of global collaboration in pursuit of knowledge and discovery. Research at the ISS has resulted in everything from the creation of advanced water filtration systems, to developing drugs for muscular dystrophy, to robotics used in surgery, to the development of better vaccines.

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


The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?
2019-09-05, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/darpa-fake-news-in...

From Bloomberg: Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.” One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.” It’s the latest in a string of stories about new methods of control over information flow that should, but for some reason do not, horrify every working journalist. “Fake news” is a poorly-defined, amorphous concept that the public has been trained to fear without really understanding. Fake news has a long history in America. The worst “fake news” almost always involves broad-scale deceptions foisted on the public by official (and often unnamed) sources, in conjunction with oligopolistic media companies, usually in service of rallying the public behind a dubious policy objective like a war or authoritarian crackdown. From the ... Gulf of Tonkin lie that launched the Vietnam War, to the more recent WMD fiasco, true “fake news” is a concerted, organized, institutional phenomenon that involves deceptions cooked up at the highest levels. If there’s a fake news story out there, it’s the fake news panic itself. Of course, the final, omnipresent ingredient in most major propaganda campaigns is the authoritarian solution. Here, it’s unelected, unsupervised algorithmic control over media.

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


‘Official Secrets’ sheds light on the story of U.K. whistleblower Katharine Gun
2019-09-05, Washington Post
https://beta.washingtonpost.com/express/2019/09/05/official-secrets-sheds-lig...

Katharine Gun and Martin Bright could be forgiven for fielding Hollywood’s overtures with a degree of skepticism. Ever since their story was documented in Marcia and Thomas Mitchell’s 2008 book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War,” Gun, the British whistleblower who attempted to prevent the Iraq War, and Bright, an investigative journalist who broke the leak, had sat down with many a filmmaker interested in translating their tale. So when veteran South African director Gavin Hood expressed interest, Gun and Bright took the development with a grain of salt. When Gun met with Hood, however, she was struck by his engagement. The end result, “Official Secrets,” opens locally Friday with Keira Knightley playing Gun and Matt Smith as Bright. The movie depicts the decision Gun made in 2003, while working for British intelligence agency GCHQ, to leak a secret memo exposing plans by the American government to potentially blackmail members of the U.N. Security Council into supporting the Iraq War. “Official Secrets” probes myriad issues that remain resonant a decade and a half later, including government overreach and accountability, the toxicity of anti-Muslim sentiment, and the merits of an intrepid free press. By positioning Gun as an everywoman, “Official Secrets” asks its audience to ponder the moral dilemma at its core. “I didn’t set out to be a whistleblower,” Gun says. “Hopefully people will see it and come away with the thought, ‘What would I do if I was in a similar situation?’”

Note: Explore more on this courageous whistleblower in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Sealed Jeffrey Epstein Court Documents Name at Least 1,000 People
2019-09-05, Time
https://time.com/5668489/jeffrey-epstein-sealed-names/

The names of at least 1,000 people appear in sealed court documents associated with Jeffrey Epstein, a court heard on Wednesday. The revelation came after attorneys for a “John Doe” asked a federal judge in New York not to release the names of people who were not directly involved with the 2015 defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Epstein’s longtime confidante Ghislaine Maxwell. The case was settled in 2017, but the details are only just now emerging. A day before Epstein’s death in August, a massive cache of documents from the suit was unsealed - revealing accusations against prominent figures, including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Sen. George Mitchell. Within the files, Giuffre alleged Maxwell acted as Epstein’s “madame” and was “one of the main women” whom Epstein used “to procure under-aged girls for sexual activities.” Maxwell’s attorney, Jeffrey S. Pagliuca, said that ... there are “literally hundreds of pages of investigative reports that mention hundreds of people.” Pagliuca also pointed to a piece of evidence he called “an address book,” and said it probably includes 1,000 names. What could be the legal implications for anyone who is named? It depends, says Mimi Rocah, a MSNBC legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. Individuals could be implicated in the sex trafficking conspiracy “if they were even minimally aware of the age of the girls being exploited and participated or furthered that exploitation in some way,” she explains.

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


Conversion therapy center founder who sought to turn LGBTQ Christians straight says he’s gay, rejects ‘cycle of self shame’
2019-09-05, Washington Post
https://beta.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/09/03/conversion-therapy-center...

McKrae Game wants people to know that he was wrong about all of it. He was wrong to found Hope for Wholeness Network, a faith-based conversion therapy program that seeks to rid people of their LGBTQ identities. He was wrong to create a slogan promoting the idea of “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” He was wrong to tell people they were doomed for all eternity if they didn’t change their ways. After 20 years working in that field, Game said he realizes the harm he has caused and that he, himself, is gay. Conversion therapy encompasses a widely discredited range of methods that purport to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The practice is illegal in 18 states and the District. “It’s all in my past, but many, way TOO MANY continue believing that there is something wrong with themselves and wrong with people that choose to live their lives honestly and open as gay, lesbian, trans, etc.,” Game, 51, wrote on Facebook last week. “The very harmful cycle of self shame and condemnation has to stop.” Game is among many founders and leaders of conversion therapy programs to disavow the practice later. In 2014, nine former “ex-gay” leaders signed an open letter denouncing conversion therapy as “ineffective and harmful” and calling for an end to it. Leaders of conversion therapy programs rarely renounce the practice publicly because doing so involves turning their backs not just on the ex-gay community, but also on conservative faith as a whole.

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


Epstein’s donations to universities reveal a painful truth about philanthropy
2019-09-05, Washington Post
https://beta.washingtonpost.com/local/education/epsteins-donations-to-univers...

Jeffrey Epstein forged deep ties with some of the nation’s elite universities and their scholars, showering them with millions of dollars in donations. The financier’s donations supported important research and helped scientists work toward discoveries, but they also provided a veneer of credibility to a convicted sex offender. The ensuing fallout ... illuminates enduring questions for academia about the money that fuels research, and how institutions nurture relationships with donors in the race to excel. Epstein gave repeatedly to MIT and Harvard University. At MIT, the president, L. Rafael Reif, apologized to Epstein’s victims in a message to campus. The school accepted about $800,000 of Epstein’s money over 20 years, Reif wrote, with gifts to the MIT Media Lab and to a mechanical engineering professor. “With hindsight,” Reif wrote, “we recognize with shame and distress that we allowed MIT to contribute to the elevation of his reputation, which in turn served to distract from his horrifying acts. No apology can undo that.” The largest gift to Harvard University from Epstein was $6.5 million in 2003, for the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. Martin Nowak, director of that program, said there was only one gift from Epstein in support of his research, and that money was spent by 2007. In 2006, when Epstein was facing sex-crime charges, the Harvard Crimson reported that the school would not return the gift, although some prominent recipients of Epstein’s donations had done so.

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


A decade of renewable energy investment, led by solar, tops USD 2.5 trillion
2019-09-05, United Nations Environment Programme
https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/decade-renewable...

Global investment in new renewable energy capacity over this decade — 2010 to 2019 inclusive — is on course to hit USD 2.6 trillion, with more gigawatts of solar power capacity installed than any other generation technology. This investment is set to have roughly quadrupled renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro) from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to just over 1,650 GW when the decade closes at the end of this year. Solar power will have drawn half — USD 1.3 trillion — of the USD 2.6 trillion in renewable energy capacity investments made over the decade. Solar alone will have grown from 25 GW at the beginning of 2010 to an expected 663 GW by the close of 2019 — enough to produce all the electricity needed each year by about 100 million average homes in the USA. The global share of electricity generation accounted for by renewables reached 12.9 per cent, in 2018, up from 11.6 per cent in 2017. This avoided an estimated 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions last year alone — a substantial saving given global power sector emissions of 13.7 billion tonnes in 2018. Including all major generating technologies (fossil and zero-carbon), the decade is set to see a net 2,366 GW of power capacity installed, with solar accounting for the largest single share (638 GW), coal second (529 GW), and wind and gas in third and fourth places (487 GW and 438 GW respectively).

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Johns Hopkins Opens New Center for Psychedelic Research
2019-09-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/science/psychedelic-drugs-hopkins-depressi...

Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the launch of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, to study compounds like LSD and psilocybin for a range of mental health problems, including anorexia, addiction and depression. The center is the first of its kind in the country, established with $17 million in commitments from wealthy private donors and a foundation. The centers at Johns Hopkins and Imperial College give “psychedelic medicine,” as some call it, a long-sought foothold in the scientific establishment. Since the early 2000s, several scientists have been exploring the potential of psychedelics and other recreational drugs for psychiatric problems, and their early reports have been tantalizing. The emergence of depression treatment with the anesthetic and club drug ketamine and related compounds, which cause out-of-body sensations, also has piqued interest in mind-altering agents as aids to therapy. The ... funding will help clarify which drugs help which patients. Roland Griffiths, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins who will direct the new center ... said the new funds will cover six full-time faculty, five postdoctoral scientists and the costs of running trials. Among the first of those trials are a test of psilocybin for anorexia nervosa and of psilocybin for psychological distress and cognitive impairment in early Alzheimer’s disease. “The one that’s crying out to be done is for opiate-use disorder, and we also plan to look at that,” Dr. Griffiths said.

Note: Learn about the fascinating man who is bankrolling a significant portion of this new center in this New York Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


US judge: Terror watchlist violates constitutional rights
2019-09-04, ABC/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-judge-terror-watchlist-violates-consti...

The government's watchlist of more than 1 million people identified as "known or suspected terrorists" violates the constitutional rights of those placed on it, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga grants summary judgment to nearly two dozen Muslim U.S. citizens who had challenged the watchlist with the help of a Muslim civil-rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But the judge is seeking additional legal briefs before deciding what remedy to impose. The watchlist is disseminated to a variety of governmental departments, foreign governments and police agencies. "There is no evidence, or contention, that any of these plaintiffs satisfy the definition of a 'known terrorist'," Trenga wrote. And the alternate standard for placement — that of a "suspected terrorist" — can easily be triggered by innocent conduct that is misconstrued, he said. The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies. Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the no-fly list, which is a much smaller subset of the broader watchlist. The watchlist has grown significantly over the years. As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit. In 2013, the number was only 680,000.

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


U.N. report says U.S., Britain, France may be complicit in potential war crimes in Yemen
2019-09-03, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/un-report-says-us-britain-france-complic...

By arming and backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, the United States, Britain and France may be complicit in potential war crimes, the United Nations said in a scathing report. The wide-ranging report from a team of investigators commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council found that all parties to the conflict had perpetrated possible war crimes through airstrikes, shelling, snipers and land mines, as well as arbitrary killings, torture and other abuses. The Saudi-led coalition, which is aligned with Yemen’s internationally recognized government, is accused of intentionally starving Yemenis as a tactic of war and killing thousands of civilians in airstrikes. The coalition’s foes, northern rebels known as Houthis, are accused of planting land mines, shelling cities and deploying child soldiers. The investigators highlighted what many of the war’s critics describe as the destructive role played by the United States, Britain and France - all permanent U.N. Security Council members. The United States, in particular, provides logistical support and intelligence to the coalition, in addition to selling billions of dollars in weaponry to the group. By some estimates, the conflict has killed as many as 95,000 people, including tens of thousands of civilians, violating international humanitarian laws. Time and again, the Saudi-led coalition has promised to investigate such alleged violations. But coalition airstrikes on civilian targets - hospitals, clinics, markets, even school buses carrying children - have been unrelenting.

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


Brain trauma suffered by U.S. diplomats abroad could be work of hostile foreign government
2019-09-01, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-trauma-suffered-by-u-s-diplomats-abroad-co...

In 2016 and 2017, 25 Americans, including CIA agents, who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered serious brain injuries causing impaired vision and memory loss among other persistent problems. At least 15 American officials in China suffered unexplained brain trauma soon after. As we first reported in March, the FBI is now investigating whether these Americans were attacked by a mysterious weapon that leaves no trace. Mark Lenzi is a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. He says that he and his wife began to suffer after hearing strange sounds in their apartment. Mark Lenzi believes he was targeted because of his work. He uses top secret equipment to analyze electronic threats to diplomatic missions. "It was a weapon," [said Lenzi]. "I believe it's RF, radio frequency energy, in the microwave range." A clue that supports that theory was revealed by the National Security Agency in 2014. This NSA statement describes such a weapon as a "high-powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy over time without leaving evidence." The statement goes on to say "... this weapon is designed to bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves." The NSA disclosed this in a worker's compensation case filed by former NSA employee Mike Beck. In the 1990's Beck and an NSA co-worker were on assignment overseas. Years later, he says they developed Parkinson's Disease at the same time.

Note: Read more on the mysterious "sonic attacks" in Cuba. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.


Is an invisible weapon targeting U.S. diplomats?
2019-09-01, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-an-invisible-weapon-targeting-u-s-diplomats-6...

Commerce Department trade officer Catherine Werner used to promote American business from the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China. Today she says she suffers from bouts of nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Robyn Garfield, also a trade officer with the Commerce Department, was posted in Shanghai. Along with nausea, dizziness, and headaches, he says he has trouble remembering words. State Department security officer Mark Lenzi used to work in the consulate in Guangzhou. When he did, he said the splitting pain in his head was debilitating. The three are among at least 15 American officials in China who say they suffered unexplained brain trauma after being attacked by a mysterious weapon. Previously, 25 Americans who worked in the U.S. embassy in Cuba said they also experienced an attack and have similar symptoms. The government employees weren't the only ones targeted. Their spouses, children, and family pets also exhibited neurological symptoms after hearing strange sounds in their homes. In July, a University of Pennsylvania medical team published a study on the brains of U.S. government personnel who developed neurological symptoms in Cuba. The study used advanced brain imaging and found "significant differences in brain tissue and connectivity" in the diplomats' brains. It is the first scientific evidence showing the diplomats had physical damage to the structure of their brains.

Note: Read more on the mysterious "sonic attacks" in Cuba. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.


How a Ring of Women Allegedly Recruited Girls for Jeffrey Epstein
2019-08-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/nyregion/jeffrey-epstein-ghislaine-maxwell...

Haley Robson was a 16-year-old South Florida high school student. When Jeffrey Epstein tried to grope her ... she brushed his hand away, Ms. Robson said in a 2009 deposition for a civil case. But she continued to visit Mr. Epstein’s mansion dozens more times, in a lucrative new role: a recruiter of other teenage girls from her school. After Mr. Epstein’s suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in early August, federal authorities have refocused their investigation on the more than half-dozen employees, girlfriends and associates whom prosecutors say he relied on to feed his insatiable appetite for girls. Ms. Robson, now 33, is among them. This small cadre of women helped Mr. Epstein lure girls into his orbit and managed the logistics of his encounters with them. None of Mr. Epstein’s associates have been charged or named as co-conspirators in Manhattan. But federal authorities are eyeing possible charges that include sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. Four women were apparently so instrumental to Mr. Epstein’s operation that they were named as possible “co-conspirators” and were granted immunity from prosecution in a widely criticized plea bargain Mr. Epstein struck with federal prosecutors in Florida more than a decade ago. The four women — Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross and Nadia Marcinkova — could still be subject to criminal charges in Manhattan. The United States attorney’s office has said it is not bound by the Florida agreement.

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


DHS Bars Congressional Staffers from Migrant Detention Centers After Reports of Rotten Food, Kid Told To Eat Off Floor
2019-08-29, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/dhs-block-congressional-staffers-troubling-discoveri...

The Department of Homeland Security has prevented congressional staffers from the House Oversight Committee from visiting additional migrant detention facilities along the southern border after allegedly making troubling discoveries in recent weeks at other detention centers. The chairman of the panel, Democrat Elijah Cummings, wrote that in the past two weeks, a bipartisan group of committee staffers made visits to several facilities ... and heard concerning allegations. After those visits, they were barred from conducting a second trip to see 11 additional facilities. Migrant detainees told the committee staffers that toddlers, including an infant, held at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities were being fed burritos - as opposed to age-appropriate food - and a child was told by a CBP agent to drink spilled soup off the floor before receiving more food. Detainees said children were held in cold rooms without the appropriate clothing, parents weren't given enough diapers for young children and they were pressured into signing documents in English without translation. Detainees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities ... told staffers there was rotten food and inadequate access to medical care. Reports by the DHS inspector general's office ... painted similar troubling pictures of "dangerous overcrowding" and prolonged stays at migrant detention centers, including a lack of access to proper bedding, clothing, showers, food and hygiene products.

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


Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers highly ‘skeptical’ of suicide ruling, say he wasn’t ‘despairing, despondent’ before death
2019-08-27, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/27/jeffrey-epsteins-lawyers-skeptical-of-suicide...

A defense lawyer for Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday expressed deep skepticism that the wealthy financier died by hanging himself in a Manhattan federal jail while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, as a medical examiner has ruled. The injuries suffered by Epstein are “far more consistent with assault” than suicide, the lawyer, Reid Weingarten, told Judge Richard Berman in U.S. District Court in Manhattan during a hearing. Weingarten cited the defense’s own medical sources. Broken bones were found in Epstein’s neck during an autopsy after he died Aug. 10. Such fractures are somewhat more common in cases of strangulation than in hanging. Weingarten told the judge that when he and other defense attorneys spoke to Epstein shortly before his death “we did not see a despairing, despondent, suicidal person.” Weingarten’s comments came during a proceeding where prosecutors were seeking the dismissal of child sex trafficking charges against the Epstein as a result of his death. More than 20 alleged victims of Epstein spoke or had statements read during the hearing. Weeks before his death, Epstein was found semiconscious in his cell in the Manhattan Correctional Center with marks on his neck. That incident led to him being placed on suicide watch, but he was taken off of that status about a week later. Weingarten also pointed out that “we’ve heard that” the surveillance video at the jail around Epstein’s cell “were either corrupted or not functioning.”

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


People with higher optimism more likely to live 'exceptionally long lives'
2019-08-27, Medical News Today
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326163.php

New research finds that individuals with higher optimism tend to live longer and also have greater odds of living 85 years and more. A recent PNAS paper describes how the researchers assessed the link between higher optimism and longer lifespan, with a particular focus on the chances of reaching "exceptional longevity." The team carried out the study because most research on exceptional longevity has tended to focus on the effect of "biomedical factors." More recently, however, scientists have become interested in the role of nonbiological factors. "While research has identified many risk factors for diseases and premature death," says first and corresponding author Lewina O. Lee, Ph.D., "we know relatively less about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy aging." She and her colleagues defined optimism as the "general expectation that good things will happen or the belief that the future will be favorable because one can control important outcomes." For the analysis, the team brought together data on 69,744 females ... and 1,429 males. The questionnaires that they completed ... included items on optimism. When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that the females and males with the highest levels of optimism ... lived on average 11–15% longer than those with the lowest levels of optimism. In addition, [those] with the highest levels of optimism had a 50–70% greater likelihood of living until their 85th birthday and beyond.

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


Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 million for its role in Oklahoma’s opioid crisis
2019-08-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/johnson-and-johnson-is-responsible-for-...

A judge Monday found Johnson & Johnson responsible for fueling Oklahoma’s opioid crisis, ordering the health-care company to pay $572 million to remedy the devastation wrought by the epidemic on the state and its residents. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s landmark decision is the first to hold a drugmaker culpable for the fallout of years of liberal opioid dispensing that began in the late 1990s. More than 400,000 people have died of overdoses from painkillers, heroin and illegal fentanyl since 1999. With more than 40 states lined up to pursue similar claims against the pharmaceutical industry, the ruling ... could influence both sides’ strategies in the months and years to come. Plaintiffs’ attorneys around the country cheered the decision, saying they hoped it would be a model for an enormous federal lawsuit brought by nearly 2,000 cities, counties, Native American tribes and others scheduled to begin in Cleveland, Ohio, in October. Johnson & Johnson’s products ... were a small part of the painkillers consumed in Oklahoma. But Hunter painted the company as an industry “kingpin” because two other companies it owned had grown, processed and supplied 60 percent of the ingredients in painkillers sold by most drug companies. “At the root of this crisis was Johnson & Johnson, a company that literally created the poppy that became the source of the opioid crisis,” the state charged. The state also said the health-care giant actively took part in ... an aggressive misinformation campaign.

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


Do Plants Have Something to Say?
2019-08-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/style/can-plants-talk.html

Monica Gagliano says that she has received Yoda-like advice from trees and shrubbery. She recalls being rocked like a baby by the spirit of a fern. She has ridden on the back of an invisible bear conjured by an osha root. These interactions have taken place in dreams, visions, songs and telekinetic interactions, sometimes with the help of shamans or ayahuasca. Dr. Gagliano’s scientific research ... has broken boundaries in the field of plant behavior and signaling. Currently at the University of Sydney in Australia, she has published a number of studies that support the view that plants are, to some extent, intelligent. Her experiments suggest that they can learn behaviors and remember them. Her work also suggests that plants can “hear” running water and even produce clicking noises, perhaps to communicate. She believes, like many scientists and environmentalists do, that in order to save the planet we have to understand ourselves as part of the natural world. It’s just that she also believes the plants themselves can speak to this point. “I want people to realize that the world is full of magic, but not as something only some people can do, or something that is outside of this world,” she said. “No, it’s all here.” At the [world science] festival, a young woman asked Dr. Gagliano how her scientific work had changed her understanding of the world. “The main difference is that I used to live in a world of objects, and now I live in a world of subjects,” she said. There were murmurs of approval. “And so, I am never alone.”

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Landmark US case to expose rampant racial bias behind the death penalty
2019-08-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/24/landmark-us-case-to-expose-ramp...

The dark secret of America’s death penalty – the blatant and intentional racial bias that infects the system, distorting juries and throwing inordinate numbers of African Americans on to death row – will be laid bare next week in North Carolina. Some of the country’s top capital lawyers will gather on Monday at the state supreme court in Raleigh. The court’s seven judges will be asked to address a simple question. Will they allow men and women to be condemned to die despite powerful evidence that prosecutors deployed racially discriminatory tactics to put them on death row? At the heart of the case are four inmates facing execution: three African American men and a Native American woman. Over the past seven years Marcus Robinson, Quintel Augustine, Tilmon Golphin and Christina Walters have been on an extraordinary judicial roller coaster that has seen them taken off death row on grounds that their sentences were racially compromised, only to be slapped back on to it following a partisan backlash by the Republican-controlled state legislature. In all four cases, a review of their trials found racial bias had been an “overwhelming” feature of how death sentences were secured. In particular, the juries had been “bleached”. Black potential jurors were systematically struck off – consciously and intentionally – at a rate far higher than their white equivalents. As a result, juries were produced that were almost exclusively, or in Augustine’s case entirely, white.

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


Cities Are Saying No to 5G, Citing Health, Aesthetics—and FCC Bullying
2019-08-24, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/cities-are-saying-no-to-5g-citing-health-aesthet...

Jack Tibbetts, a member of the Santa Rosa, Calif., city council, knew he had a problem. It was early 2018, and he’d started getting calls from constituents at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The common thread: cellular antennas going up next to their homes, causing concerns over property values and health. Cities and towns throughout Northern California are issuing ordinances that would exclude new 5G cell sites from residential areas, citing ... health concerns. Residents of Portland, Ore., and Whitefish, Mont., have also cited these beliefs while lobbying for restrictions. Legislators in four states including New Hampshire have proposed bills that would mandate further study of health effects or else urge Congress to do so, and Congressman Thomas Suozzi (D., N.Y.) wrote to the FCC echoing these concerns. For Mr. Tibbetts, it didn’t matter whether or not these new “small cell” antennas ... going up in Santa Rosa were actually dangerous. What mattered was that his constituents didn’t want these ungainly chunks of public infrastructure anywhere near them. Whatever the basis for residents’ objections to new cell towers, Mr. Tibbetts - as well as countless mayors, governors and council members across the country - have little or no power under current rules to act on their constituents’ wishes. Those who do take action are creating ordinances that put their cities at risk of being sued by the telecoms, as happened this month in Rochester, N.Y..

Note: You can find the full article on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein's body reportedly sealed in unmarked crypt alongside his family
2019-08-23, New Zealand Herald
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12261112

Jeffrey Epstein's body has reportedly been laid to rest in an exclusive, leafy memorial chapel in Florida, after his remains were snuck in via mini-van on the Sabbath. According to reports from The Daily Mail, Epstein, the high-risk, registered sex offender, who took his own life after being jailed on international child sex trafficking charges, has had his remains placed in a crypt next to his deceased parents. Next to Epstein's unmarked remains are the names of numerous other deceased Jewish people, who have now been laid to rest next to one of contemporary history's most notorious and hated figures. Epstein, a mysterious financier, whose wealth was believed to be in the billions, cavorted with royalty and powerful politicians, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. According to ... The Daily Mail, a memorial plate, formerly in place at the IJ Morris Star of David Cemetery of the Palm Beaches, in Palm Beach, Florida, was removed and replaced with a blank slab. When Epstein's brother, Mark Epstein, was contacted to confirm whether his paedophile brother had been entombed at the Jewish crypt, he said ... "It's a private family matter, you got that? I'm not going to answer your question." The IJ Morris at Star of David Cemetery is a large site for burials, cremations and tributes, housing dozens of crypts and community vaults, according to their website. The Palm Beach Cemetery is a half-hour drive from one of Epstein's many properties, where he is believed to have abused numerous underage victims, according to unsealed court documents.

Note: This news supports the belief of many that Epstein may have been killed or even that he was taken and the body of a double put in. With his body being hidden, an independent autopsy may never be possible to determine if the body was indeed Epstein and if the injuries to the body suggest suicide or murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein signed new will to shield $577m fortune days before death
2019-08-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/22/jeffrey-epstein-trust-fund-wi...

The will that disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577m in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages. “This is the last act of Epstein’s manipulation of the system, even in death,” said attorney Jennifer Freeman, who represents child sex abuse victims. By putting his fortune in a trust, he shrouded from public view the identities of the beneficiaries, whether they be individuals, organizations or other entities. For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details. From there, the women will have to follow the course they would have had to pursue even if Epstein had not created a trust: convince the judge that they are entitled to compensation as victims of sex crimes. The judge would have to decide how much they should get and whether to reduce the amounts given to Epstein’s named beneficiaries, who would also be given their say in court. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents several Epstein accusers ... said attorneys for the women will go after Epstein’s estate in the US Virgin Islands, where the will was filed and where he owned two islands. Bloom said it was “gross negligence” on the part of Epstein’s lawyers and jail personnel to allow him to sign a new will, given that he had apparently attempted suicide a short time before.

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


We tested popular cellphones for radiofrequency radiation. Now the FCC is investigating.
2019-08-21, Chicago Tribune
https://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/ct-cell-phone-radiation-testing...

The Apple iPhone 7 was set to operate at full power and secured below a tub of clear liquid, specially formulated to simulate human tissue. For 18 minutes, [a probe] repeatedly measured the amount of radiofrequency radiation the liquid was absorbing from the cellphone. This test, which was paid for by the Tribune and conducted according to federal guidelines at an accredited lab, produced a surprising result: Radiofrequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 — one of the most popular smartphones ever sold — measured over the legal safety limit and more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing. The Federal Communications Commission, which is responsible for regulating phones, states on its website that if a cellphone has been approved for sale, the device “will never exceed” the maximum allowable exposure limit. But this phone, in an independent lab inspection, had done exactly that. In all, 11 models from four companies were tested, with varying results. The Tribune asked its lab to conduct a second phase of testing, placing the phones 2 millimeters away from the simulated body. The 2-millimeter distance was chosen to estimate the potential exposure for an owner carrying the phone in a pants or shirt pocket. Under those conditions, most of the models tested yielded results that were over the exposure limit, sometimes far exceeding it. At 2 millimeters, the results from a Samsung Galaxy S8 were more than five times the standard.

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


The World's Largest Electric Vehicle Is a Dump Truck
2019-08-21, Popular Mechanics
https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/infrastructure/a28748306/worlds-l...

While electric vehicles are quickly proliferating throughout the world, most electric engines are still relegated to smaller vehicles. But then there's the Elekto Dumper - the world's largest EV - which flouts the rule that EVs can't handle serious work. The truck is used to haul lime and marlstone, which contains clay and silt, from the sides of mountains in Switzerland. Then, the material is transported directly to a cement factory. But here's the really impressive piece of engineering—this heavy dump truck never needs to be charged. Here's how it works: The dump truck, itself, weighs 45 tons and ascends a hill at a 13 percent grade, in one scenario. On the way back down, it's more than twice as heavy, carrying 65 tons of ore. To rectify that scenario, the truck's "regenerative braking system" actually recaptures the energy created by going downhill, refilling the battery's charge for the next time the truck travels uphill. The dump truck is officially called the Elektro Dumper, but the German manufacturer, Kuhn Schweitz, made life a lot easier by naming it eDumper for short. The eDumper was modeled on a Komatsu HB 605-7, a massive dump truck: It's 30 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 14 feet tall. Kuhn Schweitz said that making the trip from quarry to cement factory 20 times in one day produces a surplus of 200 kilowatt-hours of energy (or 77 megawatt-hours per year). Your average dump truck, by contrast, uses between 11,000 and 22,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.

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


President Trump: Any Jewish Person Voting Democratic Shows 'Lack of Knowledge or Great Disloyalty'
2019-08-20, Time
https://time.com/5657042/trump-jewish-democrat-uninformed-disloyal/

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Trump’s claim triggered a quick uproar from critics who said the president was trading in anti-Semitic stereotypes. It came amid his ongoing feud with Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslim. Trump has closely aligned himself with Israel, including its conservative prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while the Muslim lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib is a U.S.-born Palestinian American, while Omar was born in Somalia. At Trump’s urging, Israel last week blocked Omar and Tlaib from entering the country. Trump called Omar a “disaster” for Jews and said he didn’t “buy” the tears that Tlaib shed Monday as she discussed the situation. Both congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global protest of Israel. Trump’s comments were denounced swiftly by Jewish American organizations. “This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism,” said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. “At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased ... Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope.” According to AP VoteCast, a survey of the 2018 electorate, 72% of Jewish voters supported Democratic House candidates in 2018.

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


I lost my job for keeping Charlottesville police accountable. I'd do it again
2019-08-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/19/charlottesville-police-...

When the editor of a weekly paper approached me about writing a regular column about local politics, the first thing I asked her was: “Are you sure you know what you’d be getting yourself into?” I wrote just six pieces before the column was canceled. Two centered on the need for police accountability in a city traumatized by the memory of officers standing by as neo-Nazis beat residents in the streets. In a column published in May, I mentioned a photograph taken in August 2017 of an officer with his arms around James Napier, of the neo-Confederate group the Highwaymen, and Tammy Lee of the American Freedom Keepers militia. Lee’s caption read: “You should know the police escorted us and worked days with us 2b there.” The image of a Charlottesville officer with his arm around a member of a white supremacist militia was to me a perfect illustration of a department choosing to ignore the community it serves. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when I received a letter from the attorney for the local Southern States Police Benevolent Association, sent on behalf of the officer in the picture. One of the remarks the letter quoted and claimed to be “odious” and defamatory was taken directly from the after action report, commissioned by the city. Despite the editor’s best efforts on my behalf and the absence of any follow through on the threat of a defamation suit, the paper’s owners did not want to continue to run my column.

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


Dena Churchill lost her licence for sharing anti-vaccination posts on social media
2019-08-15, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/vaccines-chiropractic-1.5247335

Dena Churchill says that if the price for sharing her health "truths" is a $100,000 fine and losing her career, it's a price she's willing to accept. The former Halifax-based chiropractor surrendered her licence and admitted to charges of professional incompetence following a lengthy investigation by the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors, all prompted by Churchill's persistent sharing of views on vaccines. CBC News began reporting on the complaints against Churchill in 2018, but she has declined to speak publicly until now. In a recent interview, Churchill said she believes there is a distinction between what she was posting on personal social media pages and what she was doing in her professional capacity. She said she felt "assaulted" that her professional governing body could mandate and govern her personal views. "I didn't want to take [the posts] down," she said. "This whole issue is not about what I was doing in my practice or what I was promoting in my practice ... I was reprimanded on my own personal views and wanting to share it with the people I love." Churchill said the information she was sharing was intended for just a few family members, although she also compared what she was doing to living in a building she discovered had arsenic in the water system. "I'd go knock on every door in that building to let them know because I would feel a human desire to help and to share information," she said.

Note: NBC also reports email service provider Mailchimp has removed several anti-vaccination activists from its platform and will no longer provide services to newsletters that push anti-vaccination content. Is this an assault on free speech? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Danish bank launches world’s first negative interest rate mortgage
2019-08-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/aug/13/danish-bank-launches-worlds-fir...

A Danish bank has launched the world’s first negative interest rate mortgage – handing out loans to homeowners where the charge is minus 0.5% a year. Negative interest rates effectively mean that a bank pays a borrower to take money off their hands, so they pay back less than they have been loaned. Jyske Bank, Denmark’s third largest, has begun offering borrowers a 10-year deal at -0.5%, while another Danish bank, Nordea, says it will begin offering 20-year fixed-rate deals at 0% and a 30-year mortgage at 0.5%. Under its negative mortgage, Jyske said borrowers will make a monthly repayment as usual – but the amount still outstanding will be reduced each month by more than the borrower has paid. The mortgage is possible because Denmark, as well as Sweden and Switzerland, has seen rates in money markets drop to levels that turn banking upside-down. Hřegh said Jyske Bank is able to go into money markets and borrow from institutional investors at a negative rate, and is simply passing this on to its customers. In Denmark, interest rates on savings deposited in Jyske ... have already fallen to zero. In reality, the Jyske mortgage borrower in Denmark is likely to end up paying back a little more than they borrowed, as there are still fees and charges to pay to compensate the bank for arranging the deal, even when the nominal rate is negative.

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


Hackers were told to break into U.S. voting machines. They didn’t have much trouble.
2019-08-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/12/def-con-hackers-lawmakers-...

As Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) toured the Voting Village on Friday at Def Con, the world’s hacker conference extraordinaire, a roomful of hackers applied their skills to voting equipment. By laying siege to electronic poll books and ballot printers, the friendly hackers aimed to expose weaknesses that could be exploited by less friendly hands looking to interfere in elections. Almost all of the machines in the room were still used in elections across the United States, despite having well-known vulnerabilities that have been more or less ignored by the companies that sell them. In the three years since its inception, Def Con’s Voting Village ... has become a destination not only for hackers but also for lawmakers and members of the intelligence community trying to understand the flaws in the election system that allowed Russian hackers to intervene in the 2016 election and that could be exploited again in 2020. Congregants spoke often of the need for thorough auditing of election results, increased funding and improved transparency from vendors. The call for paper ballots was a common refrain. At the time of the 2018 midterm elections, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina had no auditable paper trails. “Election officials across the country as we speak are buying election systems that will be out of date the moment they open the box,” Wyden said. “It’s the election security equivalent of putting our military out there to go up against superpowers with a peashooter.”

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


Huge cache of newly unsealed records detail how Jeffrey Epstein and his madam allegedly lured girls into sexual servitude
2019-08-10, Chicago Tribune
https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-epstein-court-documents-uns...

A chilling picture of how hundreds of girls and young women from around the world were trafficked for sex by Jeffrey Epstein, his madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, and — allegedly — a number of powerful business and world leaders emerged Friday in court documents unsealed in New York. [They] offer brutal details about Epstein’s trafficking of teenage girls ... as well as Maxwell’s obsessive and often abusive quest to provide him with new girls. Virginia Roberts Giuffre ... provided testimony and evidence ... through photographs, plane logs and even a medical record from Presbyterian Hospital in New York where Giuffre was taken by Epstein after a particularly abusive sex episode. Johanna Sjoberg ... who was a college student at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she was recruited by Maxwell, said that Maxwell’s primary role in Epstein’s life was to provide him with young girls at least three times a day. “He explained to me that ... he needed to have three orgasms a day,” Sjoberg said in a sworn deposition. The names of some prominent, wealthy men Giuffre says she was directed to have sex with ... include: former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, 71, former Sen. George Mitchell, 85, Hyatt hotels magnate Tom Pritzker, 69, and prominent hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin, 62. Epstein's ... butler, in a sworn statement, said [one] girl, visibly traumatized, told him that Epstein and Maxwell had physically threatened to harm her and seized her passport. Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, said ... “What the lawsuit was about is this massive sex trafficking operation which went on for years. Every institution in our society failed these girls. Many people knew about this and did nothing. ”

Note: Watch an intriguing video linking Jeffrey Epstein to a global sex trafficking ring reaching to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.


Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is unfathomable
2019-08-10, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/10/jeffrey-epsteins-apparent-...

For anyone familiar with Bureau of Prisons [BOP] standard operating procedures, Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide is more than mysterious; it is unfathomable. The 66-year-old accused sex trafficker was found dead in his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) Saturday morning, apparently after having hanged himself. The Bureau of Prisons, the federal agency that runs the MCC, has said the FBI will investigate. It had better. Epstein’s death almost certainly means that astounding blunders occurred, perhaps by multiple personnel. If any prisoner in the federal system should have been a candidate for suspicion of suicide, it was the high-profile and disgraced Epstein. All administrative and structural measures should have been in place to ensure it could not happen. And yet it apparently did. Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck. If he was not on suicide watch, it would be astonishing. Yet if he were on suicide watch, his death would be virtually inconceivable. BOP personnel, especially at MCC, are the best professionals in the corrections industry, and they receive special training in administrating suicide prevention. How exactly did Epstein manage to kill himself, and why exactly was it that he had access to the tools? Is there a video of Epstein’s cell at the crucial time? There should be, and it will reveal exactly how and when Epstein killed himself. And none of this begins to address the royal mess it leaves in the efforts to take stock of Epstein’s crimes and their prior slap-on-the-wrist treatment, nor the shambles in which it leaves Epstein’s victims.

Note: See also this New York Times article on this highly suspicious death. There are many reasons why those in power who have close ties to Epstein would want him dead. It looks like he was "suicided" as so many others have been who threatened the power structure of our world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.


Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth and power gave him protection that his victims never got
2019-08-10, Miami Herald
https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/carl-hiaasen/article233...

The more we learn about the late Jeffrey Epstein’s 13 months in so-called custody at the Palm Beach County Stockade, the clearer is the lesson: It definitely helped to be rich. Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Epstein’s coddled life while serving 13 months of an 18-month sentence after pleading guilty in 2008 to two felony counts of prostitution. One of those crimes involved soliciting sex from a minor, serial behavior of Epstein’s that had caught the attention of the FBI. A 53-page federal indictment resulting from that probe was spiked by then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, paving the way for the multimillionaire’s mysteriously lenient plea deal. For Epstein, jail wasn’t an incarceration so much as an inconvenience. Deputies were given permission to leave his cell unlocked. During his daily road trips, he was followed by off-duty deputies who were paid $126,000 for their respectful supervision. Attorney Bradley Edwards, who represents some of Epstein’s female accusers, said he knows of women who were brought to Epstein for sex while he was away from the stockade during the day. Toward the end of his term, Epstein was even allowed to hang out at his mansion. Another aspect of the 2008 case begging to be examined is ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer’s decision not to prosecute the well-connected businessman on more serious child-sex charges, despite the urging of Palm Beach detectives.

Note: Read a revealing article written by a close relative of media mogul Conrad Black on how Jeffrey Epstein easily manipulated top publishers and politicians because of his relationship to intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women
2019-08-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/us/mass-shootings-misogyny-dayton.html

The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often muddled, complex or unknown. But one common thread that connects many of them - other than access to powerful firearms - is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say. Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, cited a statistic that belies the sense that mass shootings are usually random: In more than half of all mass shootings in the United States from 2009 to 2017, an intimate partner or family member of the perpetrator was among the victims. “Most mass shootings are rooted in domestic violence,” Ms. Watts said. “Most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background. It’s an important red flag.” The plagues of domestic violence and mass shootings in the United States are closely intertwined. Psychiatrists [say that] the common argument that mental illness is the explanation for these massacres cannot explain the link between misogyny and mass shootings. Misogyny - or other types of hatred - is not necessarily a diagnosable mental illness. Instead, said Amy Barnhorst ... at the University of California, Davis, who has studied mass shootings, what ties together many of the perpetrators is “this entitlement, this envy of others, this feeling that they deserve something that the world is not giving them. And they are angry at others that they see are getting it.”

Note: Domestic violence dropped sharply following the 1994 passage of the Violence Against Women Act. This drop coincided with a drop in other forms of violent crime.


EPA defies California rules, says glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup is OK
2019-08-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Trump-s-EPA-defies-California-rul...

In a direct challenge to California regulators and Bay Area environmentalists, the Trump administration Thursday ordered companies to ignore state requirements that businesses warn customers if their products contain glyphosate, a weed killer that has been linked to cancer. The decision flies in the face of three California court rulings against Monsanto, which markets the chemical as Roundup. The agricultural giant faces more than 13,000 suits nationwide by users of Roundup, the world’s best-selling herbicide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would no longer approve labels saying glyphosate is known to cause cancer. The state requires companies to warn customers about chemicals known to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Glyphosate was classified as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization. Lawyers for sick clients who were awarded tens of millions of dollars after suing Monsanto introduced evidence that glyphosate can cause genetic damage that leads to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They claimed Monsanto ignored that information and published information “ghost written” by staffers denying the toxicity of the chemical. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith said there was clear evidence that Monsanto, after learning of the dangers, “made efforts to impede, discourage or distort scientific inquiry” by regulators.

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


How Monsanto's 'intelligence center' targeted journalists and activists
2019-08-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/07/monsanto-fusion-center-journ...

Monsanto operated a “fusion center” to monitor and discredit journalists and activists, and targeted a reporter who wrote a critical book on the company, documents reveal. The records reviewed by the Guardian show Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged strategy to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who investigated the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer. Monsanto, now owned by the German pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit food research organization through its “intelligence fusion center”, a term that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism. The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller. Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including ... directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews. Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy. The internal records don’t offer significant detail on the activities or scope of the fusion center, but ... government fusion centers have increasingly raised privacy concerns surrounding the way law enforcement agencies collect data, surveil citizens and share information.

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


FBI and police monitoring Oregon anti-pipeline activists
2019-08-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/08/fbi-oregon-anti-pipeline-jord...

Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative, emails obtained by the Guardian show. The South Western Oregon Joint Task Force (SWOJTF) and its members were monitoring opponents of the Jordan Cove energy project, a proposal ... to build the first-ever liquefied natural gas export terminal on the US west coast, as well as a new 232-mile pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas to the port of Coos Bay. Jordan Cove opponents have raised concerns about the project’s significant environmental impacts. An email distribution list associated with the taskforce included addressees in the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Justice (DoJ), the National Forest Service (NFS), Oregon state police (OSP), and various Oregon municipal police and sheriffs departments. But some of its recipients are outside any government agency, most notably Mark Pfeifle, the CEO of the political consultancy Off The Record Strategies. Pfeifle was previously a Bush administration PR adviser. Pfeifle previously described his work with law enforcement at Standing Rock during a 2017 presentation to oil, gas and banking executives. “A lot of things that we were doing were being done to put a marker down for the protesters. And, ‘OK, if you’re going to go protest somewhere? There’s going to be consequences from it.’”

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


Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides
2019-08-06, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/insect-apocalypse-unde...

America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One. This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein. “This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says. Using a new tool that measures toxicity to honey bees, the length of time a pesticide remains toxic, and the amount used in a year, Klein and researchers from three other institutions determined that the new generation of pesticides has made agriculture far more toxic to insects. Honey bees are used as a proxy for all insects. The study found that neonics accounted for 92 percent of this increased toxicity. Neonics are not only incredibly toxic to honeybees, they can remain toxic for more than 1,000 days in the environment, said Klein. Some scientists have been warning that there is an “insect apocalypse” underway. A global analysis of 452 species in 2014 estimated that insect abundance had declined 45 percent over 40 years. Not only do bees, butterflies, and other insects pollinate one-third of all food crops, declining insect numbers can also have catastrophic ecological repercussions.

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


The Trump Administration Is Using the Full Power of the U.S. Surveillance State Against Whistleblowers
2019-08-04, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/08/04/whistleblowers-surveillance-fbi-trump/

While we all live under extensive surveillance, for government employees and contractors - especially those with a security clearance - privacy is virtually nonexistent. Everything they do on their work computers is monitored. Even when they try to outsmart their work computer by taking photos directly of their screen, video cameras in their workplace might be recording their every move. Government workers with security clearance promise “never [to] divulge classified information to anyone” who is not authorized to receive it. But for many whistleblowers, the decision to go public results from troubling insights into government activity, coupled with the belief that as long as that activity remains secret, the system will not change. The growing use of the Espionage Act, a 1917 law that criminalizes the release of “national defense” information by anyone “with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation,” shows how the system is rigged against whistleblowers. Government insiders charged under the law are not allowed to defend themselves by arguing that their decision to share what they know was prompted by an impulse to help Americans confront and end government abuses. “The act is blind to the possibility that the public’s interest ... might outweigh the government’s interest,” Jameel Jaffer, head of the Knight First Amendment Institute, wrote recently. “It is blind to the difference between whistle-blowers and spies.”

Note: The above article includes the stories of four whistleblowers charged under the Espionage act. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


San Diego Police Department ramps up use of streetlamp video cameras, ACLU raises surveillance concerns
2019-08-04, San Diego Tribune
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/story/2019-08-04/san-...

San Diego has installed thousands of microphones and cameras in so-called smart streetlamps in recent years as part of a program to assess traffic and parking patterns throughout the city. However, the technology over the last year caught the attention of law enforcement. Today, such video has been viewed in connection with more than 140 police investigations. Officers have increasingly turned to the footage to help crack cases, as frequently as 20 times a month. Police department officials have said that the video footage has been crucial in roughly 40 percent of these cases. Privacy groups have voiced concerns about a lack of oversight, as law enforcement has embraced the new technology. Groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have pushed city councils across the country to adopt surveillance oversight ordinances that create strict rules around using everything from license plate readers to gunshot-detection systems to streetlamp cameras. San Diego’s smart streetlamp program started around 2016. Three years later, it’s still unclear what the data will ultimately be used for. Right now, only the police department has the authority to view the actual video footage. This arrangement has disturbed Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU. “This sounds like the quote, ‘just trust us’ approach to surveillance technology, which is a recipe for invasive uses and abuse of these systems,” he said.

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


The FBI Declared QAnon a Domestic Terrorism Threat — and Conspiracy Theorists Are Psyched
2019-08-02, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/qanon-domestic-terroris...

Yahoo News has published a 15-page internal memo from the FBI declaring conspiracy theories a domestic terrorism threat. Distributed on May 30th, the memo from the bureau’s Phoenix office notes that it is the first report of its kind to take aim at “conspiracy-driven domestic terrorism,” citing a number of violent incidents the bureau believes were linked to conspiracy theories. Although the memo lists a number of such theories, including Pizzagate and the conspiracy surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, it pays particular notice to QAnon, the wide-ranging ... theory suggesting that Hillary Clinton and other high-ranking Democratic officials are engaged in a child sex trafficking ring, and that President Trump will one day arrest them and send them to Guantanamo Bay. QAnon followers also believe that the Mueller report was a smokescreen for Mueller and Trump’s secret investigation into the Democratic officials and other “global elites.” While some appeared to have been genuinely wounded by the FBI memo, expressing deep feelings of outrage and betrayal toward Q ... others appeared to double down. One theory that gained some traction was that deep state agents had infiltrated the FBI to write the memo; others, that the document wasn’t real. Many felt validated by the memo, taking it as yet another sign that everything was going according to plan. Some interpreted it as a way to force the mainstream media’s hand and get them to ask Trump directly about QAnon.

Note: The 2011 National Defense Authorization Bill broadened the definition of "supporter of terrorism" to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and even journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


A Controversial Human-Monkey Chimera has Been Created in China, According to a New Report
2019-08-02, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/human-monkey-chimera-created-china-1452252

Scientists in China have reportedly created part human, part monkey chimera embryos for the first time. The team hope the technique will bring animals used to grow human organs for transplantation a step closer. An international team of scientists working in China genetically modified the embryos of monkeys by turning off the genes which create organs, and then inserted human stem cells. The approach involves the embryo of a species which is a few days old, and human embryonic stem cells, brought together in a way which would enable them to grow harmoniously, according to MIT Technology Review. If successful, scientists could create chimeras which contain organs made of human cells. A chimera is an organism which contains two different sets of DNA. However, the would-be chimera is not alive as researchers stopped the process. The work, led by scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa of the Salk Institute, California and researchers at Murcia Catholic University (UCAM), was carried out in China to side-step the potential legal issues. Biologist Estrella Núńez of Spain's Murcia Catholic University who worked on the project told El Pais: "The results are very promising." Núńez said the researchers plan to experiment with human cells and rodent and pig cells, as well as with non-human primates. Such experiments are not condoned in the U.S., where the National Institutes of Health has stopped short of a ban by blocking funding for chimera experiments.

Note: Read a Washington Post article on the creation of human-animal hybrids without clear ethical guidelines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science from reliable major media sources.


Who’s the boss? In worker-owned cooperatives, everyone is.
2019-08-02, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2019/0802/Who-s-the-boss-In-worker-owned-c...

The chain of command at PV Squared, a solar panel installation company in Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley, is admittedly convoluted. “Technically, I’m Kim’s boss,” says general manager Jonathan Gregory of bookkeeper Kim Pinkham. But “Kim’s on the board, and the board oversees my position, so technically she’s my boss.” As members of a worker-owned cooperative, the 40-plus employees elect their own board of directors and make decisions based not on majority rule, but by consensus. When they’re not holding the microphone, members at meetings express themselves with hand signals: a flat palm for a question or statement, a raised index finger for direct response, and a hand cupped in a “C” for a clarification. Currently, worker-owned entities employ about 17 million people, or 12% of the U.S. workforce. Such business can take a variety of forms, from equity-sharing plans like those found at Publix super markets, Land O’Lakes, and King Arthur Flour, to more radical models, like at PV Squared. By far the most common are employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs. On the other end of the spectrum are workers collectives ... where there is no hierarchy. Collective Copies, a copy shop with 11 workers and locations in Amherst and Florence, Massachusetts, operates according to this model. After a trial period of six months, new hires are invited to become owners. “Everyone’s on the board of directors,” says Matt Grillo, a worker-owner who has been with Collective Copies for 20 years.

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


Just how big a problem is voter suppression?
2019-08-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/01/just-how-big-problem-is-vo...

The progressive Brennan Center for Justice is out with an alarming new report documenting the widespread use of voting roll purges. The center found: “Using data released by the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in June, a new Brennan Center analysis has found that between 2016 and 2018, counties with a history of voter discrimination have continued purging people from the rolls at much higher rates than other counties.” The numbers are startling. “At least 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018, similar to the number we saw between 2014 and 2016, but considerably higher than we saw between 2006 and 2008.” Moreover, the purged voters come disproportionately from jurisdictions that, because of their history of voter discrimination, were previously required to preclear electoral law changes with the Justice Department. That requirement has been on hold since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. This isn’t merely about partisan advantage. The artificial reduction in the electorate with an eye toward boosting the percentage of white, Republican voters strikes at the heart of our democracy. The Voting Rights Act, before it was hobbled by the court, allowed millions of African Americans to vote for the first time, changing the composition of federal and state offices and changing legislative outcomes. Unless and until we expand the electorate (e.g., with voting by mail, automatic or same-day registration), we are undercutting our democracy.

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


Amazon to Sellers: Use Eco-Friendly Packaging or Pay a Fine
2019-08-01, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2019/08/01/amazon-eco-friendly-packaging-fine/

Amazon is threatening third-party sellers with fines for using excessive packaging for large items, in an effort to reduce waste, minimize shipping costs and ensure that customers can open boxes more easily. Third-party sellers who violate the rules can be fined $1.99 per order. The new fines, announced in a letter to sellers in September, were supposed to take effect on Aug. 1, giving sellers nearly one year to become compliant. However, Amazon is delaying implementing the rules until Sept. 3 because some sellers want Amazon to first certify their packaging as being acceptable. In the ramp up to the new rules, Amazon has been giving sellers a $1 per order credit to get them on board with the new shipping guidelines. The new rules in September only apply to items that are larger than 18 x 14 x 8 inches, or over 20 pounds. It's all part of Amazon's broader environmental push. Amazon revamped its own packaging in 2010 with its so-called Frustration-Free Packaging initiative, which aims to cut down on waste and ensure that customers can open packages without box cutters and scissors. It has also cleared some products to be shipped without extra packaging. Also as part of its environmental efforts, Amazon says it has avoided using 244,000 tons of packing materials over the past decade, or as many as 500 million boxes.

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


Violence has Spiked in Africa Since the Military Founded AFRICOM, Pentagon Study Finds
2019-07-29, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/07/29/pentagon-study-africom-africa-violence/

Since U.S. Africa Command began operations in 2008, the number of U.S. military personnel on the African continent has jumped 170 percent, from 2,600 to 7,000. The number of military missions, activities, programs, and exercises there has risen 1,900 percent, from 172 to 3,500. Drone strikes have soared and the number of commandos deployed has increased exponentially along with the size and scope of AFRICOM’s constellation of bases. AFRICOM “disrupts and neutralizes transnational threats” in order to “promote regional security, stability and prosperity,” according to its mission statement. But since AFRICOM began, key indicators of security and stability in Africa have plummeted according to the Defense Department’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a Pentagon research institution. “Overall, militant Islamist group activity in Africa has doubled since 2012,” according to a recent analysis by the Africa Center. The number of “violent events” across the continent has jumped 960 percent, from 288 in 2009 to 3,050 in 2018, according to the Africa Center’s analysis. While a variety of factors have likely contributed to the rise in violence, some experts say that the overlap between the command’s existence and growing unrest is not a coincidence. “The sharp increase in terrorist incidents in Africa underscores the fact that the Pentagon’s overly militarized approach to the problem has been a dismal failure,” said William Hartung ... at the Center for International Policy.

Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets. And according to retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn, drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


3 companies pay California $70 million for delaying drugs
2019-07-29, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
https://www.sfgate.com/news/medical/article/4-companies-pay-California-70-mil...

Three pharmaceutical companies collectively are agreeing to pay California nearly $70 million to settle allegations that they delayed drugs to keep prices high, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years. Teva is paying $69 million, which Becerra says is the largest pay-for-delay settlement received by any state. Such agreements let the developer of brand name drugs keep their monopolies over the drugs after their patents expire, thereby letting them continue to charge consumers higher prices. The drug developer pays the generic manufacturer to keep the cheaper version of the drug from entering the marketplace for an agreed period of time. Such agreements can force consumers and the health care market to pay as much as 90% more than if there were generic alternatives. More than $25 million of the settlement will go to a consumer fund for California residents who purchased Provigil, Nuvigil or Modafinil between 2006 and 2012. The second, $760,000 settlement is with Teva, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Pharma USA over keeping a genetic alternative to the pain patch Lidoderm from entering the market for nearly two years. Both settlements bar the companies from pay-for-delay agreements for several years.

Note: They are only barred from pay-for-delay agreements for several years? Shouldn't this practice be illegal? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


No One is Safe: How Saudi Arabia Makes Dissidents Disappear
2019-07-29, Vanity Fair
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/how-saudi-arabia-makes-dissidents-dis...

Prince Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud sat in one of the few safe locations he frequents in Düsseldorf. He looked surprisingly relaxed for a hunted man. He described his constant fear of being abducted, the precautions he takes when venturing outside, and how German law enforcement officials routinely check on him to make sure he is all right. Recently, bin Farhan ... had incensed the kingdom’s leaders with his calls for human rights reforms. In June 2018 ... the Saudi Embassy in Cairo had contacted [his mother], and had a proposal: The kingdom wanted to mend relations with the prince and was willing to offer him $5.5 million as a goodwill gesture. When he followed up with Saudi officials, he realized the deal had a dangerous catch. They had told him he could collect his payment only if he personally came to a Saudi embassy or consulate. That immediately set off alarm bells. He declined the offer. Two weeks later ... bin Farhan saw a startling news report. Jamal Khashoggi - the Saudi Arabian journalist and Washington Post columnist who had been writing articles critical of his homeland and working clandestinely to undermine some of the government’s social media initiatives - had gone to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork. Minutes after his arrival ... Khashoggi was tortured and strangled by a Saudi hit squad. Bin Farhan ... realized all too clearly: By refusing to go to a Saudi consulate to pick up his payment, he might have narrowly avoided a similar fate.

Note: Read a highly revealing MSNBC report on this disturbing news. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Ohio Republicans Balked at a Nuclear Bailout, so the Industry Elected New Republicans — and Walked Away With $1.1 Billion
2019-07-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/07/26/ohio-billion-dollar-nuclear-bailout-first...

On Tuesday, a dark-money effort linked primarily to the Ohio nuclear industry delivered an audacious payoff, as a newly elected state legislature overcame years of opposition to shower a $1.1 billion bailout on two state nuclear plants. Several dark-money groups spent millions to replace key Republican state legislators in the spring of 2018, followed by a furious lobbying campaign to make sure those new lawmakers elected a new House speaker. In April 2018, two nuclear plants, both owned by the electric utility FirstEnergy, filed for bankruptcy and have been threatening to cease operations if not bailed out. The bankruptcy filings give a glimpse into the company’s political spending: more than $30 million from 2018-2019 on lobbying and campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The payoff is extraordinary in degree — something like $30 million for campaigns in Ohio and Pennsylvania to win $1.1 billion in government subsidy. But it is similar in kind to other nuclear projects across the country. On July 23 ... the bailout [was] signed by the state’s new governor, Republican Mike DeWine. (FirstEnergy also contributed to the campaign of DeWine, who then tapped a FirstEnergy lobbyist to be his liaison to the legislature.) The Ohio legislation reads as if it was designed specifically to undermine the planet’s continued capacity to support a steady human population. Along with propping up the state’s two nuclear plants, it also provides subsidies for failing coal plants.

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


Apple contractors 'regularly hear confidential details' on Siri recordings
2019-07-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/26/apple-contractors-regularl...

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant. Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world. Apple says the data “is used to help Siri and dictation ... understand you better and recognise what you say”. But the company does not explicitly state that that work is undertaken by humans who listen to the pseudonymised recordings. A whistleblower working for the firm, who asked to remain anonymous due to fears over their job, expressed concerns about this lack of disclosure, particularly given the frequency with which accidental activations pick up extremely sensitive personal information. The whistleblower said: “There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details, and app data.” Although Siri is included on most Apple devices, the contractor highlighted the Apple Watch and the company’s HomePod smart speaker as the most frequent sources of mistaken recordings. As well as the discomfort they felt listening to such private information, the contractor said they were motivated to go public about their job because of their fears that such information could be misused.

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


Banks Sued for LIBOR Collusion — Again!
2019-07-26, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/banks-libor-lawsuit-8...

Two summers ago, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, made news when he announced that LIBOR – the leading benchmark for setting global interest rates – had a “sustainability” issue. The rate is supposed to measure the rate at which banks borrow from each other, but Bailey said it wasn’t based on real borrowing. LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, helps set rates for hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial instruments. If Bailey was right, it meant a sizable portion of global economic activity rested on magical thinking. A secondary concern involved manipulation. If banks were inventing numbers to submit to the LIBOR committee, could they not also be manipulating rates to line pockets? The possibility ... seemed to exist that the world’s major investors – including localities and pension funds – were being systematically ripped off. A class of investors and retirement funds including Putnam Bank and the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund did recently bring an antitrust suit alleging just such a scheme. The July 1 complaint is an amended version of a class action suit originally filed earlier this year. The action against JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Barclays, and numerous other banks uses both documentary evidence and data to argue that banks have been purposefully depressing interest rates. The idea would be to lower payouts to investors who are contractually due to receive LIBOR, while lessening costs for LIBOR borrowers.

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


Senate report: all 50 states were targeted by Russian interference ahead of 2016 elections
2019-07-25, PBS/Associated Press
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-report-all-50-states-were-target...

Robert Mueller warned that Russian interference is still happening “as we sit here.” A report from the Senate Intelligence committee concluded all 50 states were targeted in 2016 and ahead of the 2018 election “top election vulnerabilities remained.” But there’s no help coming from Congress. It’s a risky calculation heading into 2020. Primary voting is six months away. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blocked a House-passed bill that would authorize $775 million to beef up state election systems. The challenge was underscored Thursday as the Senate Intelligence Committee released the full results of an investigation that found the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against U.S. election systems ahead of the 2016 election. Two years later ... little had changed, as an intelligence assessment reported, “We are aware of a growing volume of malicious activity targeting election infrastructure in 2018.” The report encourages states to “take urgent steps to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” The most pressing issue is replacing electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper record of each ballot cast that is verified by the voter and can later be audited. In 2018, 10 states had more than half of their jurisdictions using machines without a paper trail. An AP analysis in July found that many of the 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use old and soon-to-be outdated operating systems to create their ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

Note: US elections have been vulnerable to hacking for a long time, and not just by the Russians. See concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Jeffrey Epstein Used the Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret for Wealth and Women
2019-07-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/business/jeffrey-epstein-wexner-victorias-...

In May 1997, Alicia Arden, a model in California, was introduced to a man who identified himself as a talent scout for Victoria’s Secret. He invited her to his Santa Monica hotel room to audition for the brand’s catalog. When she arrived, Ms. Arden said, the man grabbed her, tried to undress her and said he wanted to “manhandle” her. Ms. Arden, then 27, fled in tears. In the mid-1990s, two senior executives had discovered that the same man, a close adviser to the company’s chief executive, Leslie H. Wexner, was trying to pitch himself as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret models. Mr. Wexner was alerted. It is unclear what if any action Mr. Wexner took in response. But the man - Jeffrey E. Epstein, a New York financier - had developed an unusually strong hold on Mr. Wexner, one of the country’s most influential corporate titans. Within years of meeting Mr. Epstein, Mr. Wexner handed him sweeping powers over his finances, philanthropy and private life, according to interviews with people who knew the men as well as court documents and financial records. [Ms. Arden] said she went to the police the day after Mr. Epstein attacked her, worried that he could be using his connection to Victoria’s Secret to hurt other women. A week later, when she could not stop thinking about what had happened, she returned to the police station to put her report on the record. That police report ... is one of the earliest known police records of an allegation of sexual misconduct against Mr. Epstein.

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


Cuba 'sonic attacks' changed people's brains, study suggests
2019-07-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/23/health/cuba-sonic-attacks-brain-mri-study/inde...

Whatever was behind the "sonic attacks" experienced by US government personnel in Havana, Cuba, starting in late 2016 remains a mystery - but a new study published Tuesday looks inside the workers' brains for clues. MRI brain scans from 40 patients - 23 men and 17 women - showed variations in brain structure and functional connectivity ... when compared with 48 other adults. "There were group differences all over the brain," said study author Ragini Verma. "Especially in an area called the cerebellum, which is also implicated in the kind of clinical symptoms that most of these patients were demonstrating, which is balance, eye movement, dizziness, etcetera." Differences in connectivity were also observed in the brain's auditory and visuospatial areas. These patterns don't fit a clear picture of a specific disorder. "It certainly does not resemble the imaging presentation of traumatic brain injury or concussion, although they present with clinical symptoms which are concussion-like," Verma said. "The sounds were often associated with pressurelike or vibratory sensory stimuli," according to the study. One patient reported hearing two 10-second pulses, while others said they could hear the sound for more than 30 minutes. State Department and federal investigators have testified that they were unable to determine the source or cause of the ailments in Havana, stating only that they "were most likely related to trauma from a non-natural source."

Note: Read more on these mysterious "sonic attacks." 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 news articles on non lethal-weapons from reliable major media sources.


Trump vetoes 3 bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia
2019-07-24, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/24/politics/saudi-arms-sale-resolutions-trump-vet...

President Donald Trump has vetoed three joint resolutions prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the White House announced Wednesday, rejecting an attempt by congressional lawmakers to halt the controversial weapons transfers. The package of resolutions of disapproval stood as a symbolic showing of congressional opposition ... to the administration's relationship to Saudi Arabia, following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. The Trump administration declared in May an emergency to bypass Congress and expedite billions of dollars in arms sales to various countries - including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - citing the need to deter what it called "the malign influence" of Iran throughout the Middle East. Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York who is the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said there is no emergency that calls for Trump to go around Congress with these arms deals. "The President's veto sends a grim message that America's foreign policy is no longer rooted in our core values - namely a respect for human rights - and that he views Congress not as a coequal branch of government, but an irritant to be avoided or ignored," Engel said in a news release. "Worse still, this veto is going to cost innocent lives. These weapons are going to continue fueling a reckless and brutal campaign of violence and exacerbating the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe."

Note: Like almost every president before him, Trump continually supports the military-industrial complex which pads the pockets of the 1%, even with a thoroughly corrupt country like Saudi Arabia which terribly oppresses women, tortures and assassinates dissidents and so much more. For more on this corruption, read an essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. generals titled "War is a Racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Red Summer' of 1919: Hundreds of Black Americans Were Killed by White Mobs
2019-07-23, NBC News
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Red-Summer-Black-Death...

America in the summer of 1919 ran red with blood from racial violence, and yet today, 100 years later, not many people know it even happened. Hundreds of African American men, women and children were burned alive, shot, hanged or beaten to death by white mobs. Thousands saw their homes and businesses burned to the ground and were driven out, many never to return. It was branded "Red Summer" because of the bloodshed and amounted to some of the worst white-on-black violence in U.S. history." There are no national observances marking Red Summer. History textbooks ignore it, and most museums don't acknowledge it. The reason: Red Summer contradicts the post-World War I-era notion that America was making the world safe for democracy, historians say. "Ethnic cleansing was the goal of the white rioters," said William Tuttle, a retired professor of American studies at the University of Kansas. "They wanted to kill as many black people as possible and to terrorize the rest until they were willing to leave and live someplace else." The violence didn't start or end in 1919. Some count the era of Red Summer as beginning with the deaths of more than two dozen African Americans in East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1917 and extending through the Rosewood Massacre of 1923, when a black town in Florida was destroyed. All told, at least 1,122 Americans were killed in racial violence over those six years.

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


We Found Red Flags All Over Jeffrey Epstein’s Jail Records
2019-07-23, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/we-found-red-flags-all-over-jeffrey-epst...

Jeffrey Epstein’s lenient 2008 conviction for his sexual assaults on adolescent girls may be described as one of the greatest travesties of justice in recent history. Brad Edwards, an attorney for many of Epstein’s victims, announced last week that Epstein continued to prey on young women while serving his sentence in Palm Beach. Unlike other sex offenders in Florida, Epstein had his own wing of the Palm Beach County jail and liberal work release policies. Due to this new information, the Miami Herald reported, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) has suddenly opened an internal affairs investigation of Epstein’s incarceration. The sheriff’s office personnel who provided security for him had to create logs for when they watched him at the Florida Science Foundation (a foundation he apparently set up for his work-release). This appears to have involved two shifts (from 7am to 3pm and 3pm to 11pm). On July 11, 2009 the officer noted that Epstein had one female visitor who signed in. The officer reported that he followed Epstein to his Palm Beach estate at 12pm where Epstein stayed for two and a half hours. The officer did not enter Epstein’s residence and sat outside in his car. At 2:31pm he brought Epstein back to his office. The starting and ending mileage implies that the officer drove 75 miles that day. The distance from the county jail to the Florida Science Foundation, to Epstein’s house is 4 to 5 miles. It is unclear how 75 miles were logged that day.

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


E.P.A. Plans to Curtail the Ability of Communities to Oppose Pollution Permits
2019-07-21, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/climate/epa-community-pollution-appeal.html

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given communities a voice in deciding how much pollution may legally be released by nearby power plants and factories. The changes would eliminate the ability of individuals or community advocates to appeal against E.P.A.-issued pollution permits before a panel of agency judges. However, the industrial permit-holders could still appeal to the panel, known as the Environmental Appeals Board, to allow them to increase their pollution. The proposed change is the latest in the Trump administration’s long-running effort to roll back environmental regulations and reduce regulatory burdens on industry, including the June announcement of a new E.P.A. rule that would weaken regulations on planet-warming greenhouse pollution from power plant smokestacks, the expected late-summer announcement of a similar plan to weaken rules on vehicle tailpipe pollution, and a 2018 proposal to open much of the United States coastline to oil drilling. Environmental law experts said the proposed rule change would not only grant industry a broader role in influencing the E.P.A. to issue more lenient pollution permits, but could disproportionately harm poor and minority communities, which are statistically more likely to be located near polluting sites. The proposed change to the Environmental Appeals Board process could be made public as soon as the coming week.

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


An onslaught of pills, hundreds of thousands of deaths: Who is accountable?
2019-07-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/an-onslaught-of-pills-hundreds-...

The origin, evolution and astonishing scale of America’s catastrophic opioid epidemic just got a lot clearer. The drug industry - the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers - found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets. This has been broadly known for years, but this past week, the more precise details became public for the first time. The revelatory data comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS). “This really shows a relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors: They were all in it together,” said Jim Geldhof, a retired DEA employee. “We’re seeing a lot of internal stuff that basically confirms ... that it was all about greed, and all about money.” The data shows a trend in pill distribution that, according to the lawsuit plaintiffs, can’t be passed off as reasonable therapeutic medical treatment. The industry shipped 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills across the country from 2006 through 2012, the period covered by the ARCOS data released this past week. These pills didn’t flow in a steady stream but were more like a flash flood, spiking from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012.

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


Private investigator has spent a decade on Jeffrey Epstein's trail
2019-07-20, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/19/us/private-investigator-fisten-epstein-sex-cas...

Detective Michael Fisten hung up his badge after 30 years in law enforcement and started a new career as a private investigator. The subject of his [first] investigation was Jeffrey Epstein, the jet-setting multimillionaire with a criminal sexual interest in young girls. At the time Fisten started investigating the case in 2009, Epstein and prosecutors had already signed a controversial "non-prosecution agreement" that allowed the financier to plead guilty to less serious sex offenses and escape punishment for alleged trafficking crimes that could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life. Epstein spent 13 months in jail for two counts of prostitution. Even then, Epstein was given work-release privileges. Fisten was hired to investigate the case by attorney Brad Edwards, who was suing Epstein in civil court on behalf of many of his accusers. Edwards wanted Fisten to dig deeper. "I started going out and interviewing witnesses that became victims," Fisten said. "One after another, three girls turned into four girls, turned into five, six, seven and so on...I couldn't help but think that this could've been my daughter." He said he found it inconceivable that people who traveled in Epstein's social circles weren't aware of his misconduct, particularly with so many underage girls in his company. "Once these girls lost their braces and their pubescent look and started becoming 16-years old or 17-years old, they were too old for him, so then he started using them as recruiters to bring the younger girls," Fisten said.

Note: Watch a video compilation of excellent information on the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Internal drug company emails show indifference to opioid epidemic
2019-07-19, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/internal-drug-company-emails-sh...

In May 2008, as the opioid epidemic was raging in America, a representative of the nation’s largest manufacturer of opioid pain pills sent an email to a client at a wholesale drug distributor in Ohio. Victor Borelli, a national account manager for Mallinckrodt, told Steve Cochrane, the vice president of sales for KeySource Medical, to check his inventories and “[i]f you are low, order more. If you are okay, order a little more, Capesce?” Then Borelli joked, “destroy this email ... Is that really possible? Oh Well...” Those email excerpts are quoted in a 144-page plaintiffs’ filing along with thousands of pages of documents unsealed by a judge’s order Friday in a landmark case in Cleveland against many of the largest companies in the drug industry. A Drug Enforcement Administration database released earlier in the week revealed that the companies had inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012. Nearly 2,000 cities, counties and towns are alleging that the companies knowingly flooded their communities with opioids, fueling an epidemic that has killed more than 200,000. The filing by plaintiffs depict some drug company employees as driven by profits and undeterred by the knowledge that their products were wreaking havoc across the country. Plaintiffs in the case argue that the actions of some of America’s biggest and best-known companies - including Mallinckrodt, Cardinal Health, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Purdue Pharma - amounted to a civil racketeering enterprise.

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


Former IT contractor for Jeffrey Epstein says he quit over concerns about revealing pictures and topless young women
2019-07-18, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/US/contractor-jeffrey-epstein-quit-concerns-revealing-...

A former IT contractor for Jeffrey Epstein who said that he ended their business relationship over personal concerns about gaggles of apparently unsupervised young women on the embattled financier's private island told ABC News that his reluctance to continue working there was underscored by what he said was an extensive collection of photos of topless women displayed throughout the island's compounds. “There were photos of topless women everywhere," said contractor Steve Scully, who said he worked for Epstein for six years beginning in 1999. "On his desk, in his office, in his bedroom,” Scully ... said of the private island dubbed "Little St. James." Scully ... was contracted by Epstein to set up a communications network on Little St. James. But it’s what Scully said he saw on the island itself more than six years ago that led him to agree to an interview with ABC News: revolving groups of young girls that appeared to him to be minors who were guests on the island. “They couldn’t have been more than 15 or 16 years old," he said. Scully said that he would see them on the island whenever he visited for work, riding ATVs, or at times bathing topless on the island's pools and beaches. Scully said he became increasingly alarmed by the presence of these groups of young girls that appeared to him to be without any visible parental supervision.

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


Jeffrey Epstein’s lust for young girls appears ‘uncontrollable,’ judge says in denying bail to accused sex trafficker
2019-07-18, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/18/jeffrey-epstein-bail-hearing-in-child-sex-tra...

A federal judge on Thursday denied bail to wealthy investor Jeffrey Epstein, citing the potential danger to “new victims” from his apparently “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls, and the risk that Epstein would flee to avoid prosecution for child sex trafficking charges. The decision by Judge Richard Berman means that the 66-year-old Epstein will remain in jail pending trial in the case, where he faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Berman, in a damning written order ... said that lewd photos of young women found in Epstein’s mansion are troubling, as is evidence that he tried to influence the potential testimony of accusers and people who allegedly abetted his conduct. “This newly discovered evidence also suggests that Mr. Epstein poses ‘ongoing and forward-looking danger,’” the judge wrote. “Mr. Epstein’s dangerousness is considerable and includes sex crimes with minor girls and tampering with potential witnesses.” In the order, Berman said, “Mr. Epstein’s alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls - which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day - appears likely to be uncontrollable.” “I doubt any bail package could overcome dangerousness ... to community,” Berman said during the hearing, agreeing with the recommendation by prosecutors to keep Epstein locked up.

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


Pentagon May Have Released Weaponized Ticks That Helped Spread of Lyme Disease: Investigation Ordered
2019-07-17, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/pentagon-weaponized-ticks-lyme-disease-investigation...

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a bill requiring the Inspector General of the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct a review into whether the Pentagon experimented with ticks and other blood-sucking insects for use as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975. If the Inspector General finds that such experiments occurred, then, according to the bill, they must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the scope of the research and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design," potentially leading to the spread of diseases such as Lyme. The amendment was put forward by Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, who was "inspired" by several books and articles claiming that the U.S. government had conducted research at facilities such as Fort Detrick, Maryland, and Plum Island, New York, for this purpose. One of the books that Smith refers to - called Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons ... features interviews with late Swiss-born scientist Willy Burgdorfer - the man credited with discovering the bacterial pathogen that causes Lyme disease - who once worked for the DoD as a bioweapons specialist. "Those interviews ... suggest that he and other bioweapons specialists stuffed ticks with pathogens to cause severe disability, disease - even death - to potential enemies," Smith said.

Note: See a good video on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


“It's Going to be Staggering, the Amount of Names”: As the Jeffrey Epstein Case Grows More Grotesque, Manhattan and DC Brace for Impact
2019-07-17, Vanity Fair
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-case-grows-more-grote...

The Jeffrey Epstein case is an asteroid poised to strike the elite world in which he moved. No one can yet say precisely how large it is. But as the number of women who’ve accused the financier (at least, that’s what he claimed to be) of sexual assault grows to grotesque levels - there are said to be more than 50 women who are potential victims - a wave of panic is rippling through Manhattan, DC, and Palm Beach, as Epstein’s former friends and associates rush to distance themselves. Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, architect of the original 2007 non-prosecution agreement that let Epstein off with a wrist slap, has already been forced to resign. Why did Acosta grant Epstein an outrageously lenient non-prosecution agreement? (And what does it mean that Acosta was reportedly told Epstein “belonged to intelligence”?) “There were other business associates of Mr. Epstein’s who engaged in improper sexual misconduct at one or more of his homes. We do know that,” said Brad Edwards, a lawyer for Courtney Wild, one of the Epstein accusers. “In due time the names are going to start coming out.” Of course, the two Epstein friends that people are most curious about are Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, both of whom have denied anything untoward. During the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s campaign consulted Bill’s post–White House Secret Service logs because they were worried Trump would bring up Bill’s close association with Epstein and wanted to get ahead of the story.

Note: New York Magazine has a detailed article listing the many high-level contacts found in Epstein's little black book. And in this article on salon.com, a former friend of Epstein gives some salacious details of his life. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


This $20 ice cream is made with dairy grown in lab—and it sold out immediately
2019-07-16, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/16/perfect-day-foods-made-ice-cream-from-real-da...

Agri-tech start-up, Perfect Day, released a line of real ice cream made with lab-grown dairy that costs $20 a pint on Thursday — and it sold out in hours. Perfect Day’s cultured dairy is created by taking cow’s milk DNA and adding it to a micro-organism like yeast to create dairy proteins, whey and casein, via fermentation. Those dairy proteins are then combined with water and plant-based ingredients to create a dairy substitute that can be used to make ice cream, cheese, yogurt and a slew of other dairy products. [Co-founder Perumal] Gandhi ... says the dairy substitute is nutritionally identical to cow’s milk and tastes just like it. In fact, while Perfect Day Foods at least considers its product “vegan” and lactose-free (since lactose is a sugar found only in mammals’ milk), federal law actually requires them to put “contains milk” on any labeling because its protein is identical to cow’s milk on a molecular level and could cause allergies. Co-founder Rayan Pandya, 27, says the process to make the dairy is similar to what plant-based “meat” start-up Impossible Foods is doing using heme, a molecule in soy plants that’s identical to the heme molecule found in meat. Using heme, Impossible Foods is able to make its vegetarian meat substitute taste and feel like beef without using animals. The limited edition run of 1,000 three-packs of Perfect Day ice cream ... was the first and only product released by Perfect Day Foods (which has been working with the Food and Drug Administration since 2014) to drum up buzz.

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


Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power all its homes twice over
2019-07-15, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/15/scotland-has-produced-enough-wind-energy-to-p...

Wind turbines in Scotland generated 9,831,320 megawatt hours between January and June 2019, WWF Scotland said Monday. The numbers, which were supplied by WeatherEnergy, mean that Scottish wind generated enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4.47 million homes for six months. That is almost double the number of homes in Scotland. “Up and down the country, we are all benefiting from cleaner energy and so is the climate,” Robin Parker, climate and energy policy manager at WWF Scotland, said in a statement Monday. “These figures show harnessing Scotland’s plentiful onshore wind potential can provide clean, green electricity for millions of homes across not only Scotland, but England as well,” Parker added. By 2030, the Scottish government says it wants to produce half of the country’s energy consumption from renewables. It is also targeting an “almost completely” decarbonized energy system by 2050. As a whole, Europe is home to some of the world’s most ambitious wind energy projects. September 2018 saw the official opening of the Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea. With a total capacity of 659 MW, it’s currently the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm and capable of powering nearly 600,000 homes in the U.K..

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


Half a million people signed up to storm Area 51. What happens if they actually show?
2019-07-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/07/13/half-million-peop...

More than a half-million strangers will gather in a remote Nevada town in mid-September, united by a common goal: to raid Area 51 in the wee hours of the morning — using a strength-in-numbers approach to reveal any extraterrestrial treasures stashed within the notoriously clandestine government base. By Friday evening, more than 540,000 people from around the world had signed up to attend the joke Facebook event: “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” — and just as many had indicated they were “interested.” The facility has long been a source of public intrigue, yet for decades, Americans were told Area 51 didn’t exist at all. That notion was officially debunked in 2013 when the CIA confirmed its existence through documents obtained in a public records request by George Washington University. In 2017, the Pentagon confirmed the existence of a $22 million government program to analyze “anomalous aerospace threats” — also known as UFOs. Though the facility is not publicly accessible, the area around Area 51 is a popular tourist destination, sprinkled with alien-themed motels, museums and restaurants. But those who venture too far into the land surrounding the base are greeted with warning signs indicating they could be fined or jailed for trespassing and taking photos. Some signs suggest those who enter could be subject to “deadly force.”

Note: The number signed up has now reached two million. How many will actually go? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.


Who is Jeffrey Epstein, and why has he been arrested again?
2019-07-11, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/who-jeffrey-epstein-why-has-he-been...

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier, registered sex offender and acquaintance of presidents of both parties, was expected to appear in federal court in New York on Monday in connection with federal sex trafficking allegations, multiple law enforcement officials said. Epstein, 66, of Palm Beach, Florida, was being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan after he was arrested Saturday in Teterboro, New Jersey, in a joint investigation by the FBI and New York police. The arrest stems from incidents spanning from 2002 to 2005. Epstein has been in the news for more than a decade since he pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution, according to his plea agreement on charges brought in Florida. Epstein is registered as a sex offender in Florida under a non-prosecution agreement he signed with the office of the U.S. attorney for Miami. Epstein's non-prosecution agreement ... limits the scope of the agreement to only the Miami area. If Epstein is alleged to have committed illegal acts in other parts of the country, the agreement would no longer protect him. Federal prosecutors in New York allege that from at least 2002 through 2005, Epstein paid girls as young as 14 hundreds of dollars in cash for sex at either his Manhattan townhouse or his estate in Palm Beach. Epstein is being charged with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking, and faces up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.

Note: For lots more, see this Miami Herald article and this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims
2019-07-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/09/labor-secretary-alexander-aco...

Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking. Acosta’s plan to slash funding of a critical federal agency in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children is contained in his financial plans for the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2020. In it, he proposes decimating the resources of a section of his own department known as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). The bureau’s budget would fall from $68m last year to just $18.5m. The proposed reduction is so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk. ILAB has the task of countering human trafficking, child labor and forced labor across the US and around the world. It is seen as a crucial leader in efforts to crack down on the sex trafficking of minors. Acosta is facing mounting pressure from Democrats to resign, over the lenient deal he gave Epstein and in the wake of the billionaire’s new prosecution. Epstein was arrested on Saturday and indicted on two sex trafficking counts by federal prosecutors in the southern district of New York. Under the 2008 deal negotiated by Acosta, an FBI investigation that had produced a 53-page draft indictment involving more than 30 potential underage victims was shut down.

Note: Alexander Acosta announced his resignation shortly after this article was published. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Undocumented, vulnerable, scared: the women who pick your food for $3 an hour
2019-07-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/10/undocumented-women-farm-worke...

In the fields of south Texas Mexican women work long hours in dangerous conditions under the ever-present threat of deportation. Many of them are paid on a contract basis, by the box. A box of cilantro will earn a worker $3; experienced farmworkers say they can fill one within an hour, which means a typical 5am to 6pm work day would earn them $39 total. The work can vary from physically uncomfortable and mundane (cilantro, lettuce, beets) to outright painful and dangerous (watermelon, parsley, grapefruit). The few women who work in the fields face even more hardships. Instances of workplace sexual harassment and rape are rampant and are both underreported and under-prosecuted. It is common for women to relent to a supervisor’s advances because she can’t risk losing her job or deportation. Most of these women are supporting children as well. [They] represent a diverse cross-section of lives upturned by drug-related and domestic violence in Mexico. Under new US immigration protocols, these are extraordinarily tense times for immigrants. A report by Human Rights Watch notes that although US law entitles undocumented workers to workplace protections, “the US government’s interest in protecting unauthorized workers from abuse conflicts with its interest in deporting them.” That report was written in 2015, but President Trump’s heightened drive for deportation and border closure has only made things more impossible for undocumented farmworkers attempting to protect their labor rights.

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


Wave-Powered Desalination Promises To Deliver Clean Water To Developing Countries And Island Nations
2019-07-10, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalieparletta/2019/07/10/wave-powered-desalina...

Using the power of ocean waves, innovators from Boston, U.S., have developed a technology that can produce fresh water off-grid and without the costly infrastructure of desalination plants. This invention could help many of the 2.1 billion people around the world who struggle to access safe drinking water, most of those in low-income countries. The technology, Wave2O, was developed by start-up company Resolute Marine Energy. Chief Operating Officer Olivier Ceberio says it “targets ‘off-grid’ coastal communities in developing nations where a solution to persistent water shortages is urgently needed”. Importantly, it fills a gaping hole between industrial-scale utilities that are costly and time-consuming to build, and micro-scale solutions for individual households. The only technology currently offered in between involves diesel-powered desalination systems. And Wave2O can be delivered competitively because it uses “free energy from a consistent and inexhaustible renewable energy resource: ocean waves,” says Ceberio. By eliminating the need for diesel generators, the invention not only saves money but reduces carbon dioxide emissions. “Each 4,000 [cubic meter per] day plant that displaces an equivalently sized diesel-powered plant will cut CO2 emissions by 4,300 tons per year,” explains Ceberio, “the equivalent of taking 936 cars off the road or of the carbon sequestered by 2,070 hectares of forest.”

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


Who Protected Jeffrey Epstein?
2019-07-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/08/opinion/epstein-indictment.html

On Monday, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York unsealed a 14-page indictment against Jeffrey Epstein, charging the wealthy financier with operating and conspiring to operate a sex trafficking ring of girls out of his luxe homes on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Fla., “among other locations.” Even in the relatively sterile language of the legal system, the accusations against Mr. Epstein are nauseating. From “at least in or about” 2002 through 2005, the defendant “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls,” some as young as 14 and many “particularly vulnerable to exploitation.” The girls were “enticed and recruited” to visit Mr. Epstein’s various homes “to engage in sex acts with him.” To “maintain and increase his supply of victims,” he paid some of the girls “to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused,” thus creating “a vast network of underage victims.” But Mr. Epstein is not the only one for whom a reckoning is long overdue. The allegations in the New York indictment are a depressing echo of those that Mr. Epstein faced in Florida more than a decade ago. In 2008, federal prosecutors for the Southern District of Florida, at the time led by Alexander Acosta, who is now the nation’s secretary of labor, helped arrange a plea deal for Mr. Epstein that bent justice beyond its breaking point. In addition to short-circuiting federal charges, the plea agreement killed an F.B.I. investigation and granted immunity to any “co-conspirators.”

Note: Explore an in-depth article from New York Magazine giving a thorough and balanced view of the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ girls before denying relationship with him
2019-07-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-called-epstein-a-terrific-guy-b...

Back in 2002, when Jeffrey Epstein was known only as a mysterious financial whiz with a private island and a roster of A-list friends, being friendly with him was something to boast about. And Donald Trump did. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine that year for a story headlined “Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery.” “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” Now, Epstein is in jail, charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors who allege he abused dozens of female minors in New York and Palm Beach, Fla. He is no longer a friend anyone would want to claim. And now, Trump doesn’t. Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization, has said Trump had “no relationship” with Epstein. Outside of Trump’s own words, there is clear evidence that the two men — both members of the same highflying societies in Manhattan and Palm Beach — socialized together in the past. One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, was a towel girl in the Mar-a-Lago locker room when she was “recruited” at the club by Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, according to Giuffre’s attorney. Maxwell asked Giuffre whether she would like to earn money and learn how to give massages, which led to Epstein sexually abusing her at his homes in Palm Beach and New York, according to Giuffre’s lawsuit against Maxwell.

Note: For clear evidence that Trump distanced himself from Epstein years ago, see this video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Magic mushrooms could replace antidepressants within five years, says new psychedelic research centre
2019-07-08, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/magic-mushroom-depression-psychedel...

Hallucination-inducing drugs like magic mushrooms could be about to break big pharma’s stranglehold on the hugely lucrative market for antidepressants, according to the head of the world’s first centre for psychedelic research. Antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in England in a decade with around seven million adults taking the drugs, and the global market is predicted to be worth $15.9bn (Ł12.5bn) by 2023. At Imperial College London, Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is leading one of the first trials to test how therapy using psilocybin mushrooms, which are currently banned in the UK, compares to leading antidepressants. While he won’t prejudge the results of the study, he says participants describe a cathartic emotional “release” with psilocybin therapy – the polar opposite of antidepressants, which patients complain leave their emotions, whether positive or negative, “blunted”. It is the first of many studies planned under the banner of the new Centre for Psychedelic Research at London’s Imperial College. Dr James Rucker is another of those researching the potential benefits of psychedelics ... at King’s College London. The King’s team are launching two trials, one looking at whether psilocybin therapy can help people whose depression is resistant to treatment with conventional antidepressants. He says it was “possible” the drug could be licensed in five years.

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


Jeffrey Epstein's arrest shows the power of one newspaper's investigation
2019-07-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/08/media/jeffrey-epstein-julie-brown-miami-herald...

In the past year the Jeffrey Epstein case was catapulted onto the national news radar by one newspaper, the Miami Herald, and by one reporter in particular, Julie K. Brown. The paper's "Perversion of Justice" series came out last November, and Brown has stayed on the story ever since. As soon as The Daily Beast broke the news that Epstein had been arrested on Saturday evening, fellow journalists and other observers credited Brown and thanked her for the tenacious investigation. Law enforcement officials are also giving credit to the reporting. "We were assisted" by "some excellent investigative journalism," Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a Monday morning press conference. William Sweeney, the assistant director-in-charge of the FBI's New York office, added, "We work with facts. When the facts presented themselves, as Mr. Berman hinted at, through investigative journalists' work, we moved on it." While they didn't cite Brown or the newspaper by name, Berman said in response to a question about the Herald, "we are certainly aware of that reporting." Brown was ... actually scheduled to interview another one of Epstein's accusers on Monday. But after he was arrested, she cancelled that flight and booked a ticket to New York. True to form, she sought to shift the spotlight, away from her own work and toward her subjects. "The REAL HEROES HERE were the courageous victims that faced their fears and told their stories," she tweeted Sunday.

Note: Explore an in-depth article from New York Magazine giving a thorough and balanced view of the Epstein case. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Instead of arresting a woman accused of shoplifting, these NYPD cops paid for her groceries
2019-07-05, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nypd-officers-shoplifting-instead-of-arresting-a...

Three New York City police officers were working on the Fourth of July when they decided to stop by a Manhattan Whole Foods supermarket. The cops — now identified as Lt. Louis Sojo and Officers Esnaidy Cuevas and Michael Rivera — were on the way to grab a snack and cold drink in the store when security guards told them a woman was stealing food. The cops approached her to assess the situation. "I asked her, 'What's going on?' She told me she was hungry," said Sojo."So, I looked in her bag. I decided — we decided — to say 'We'll pay for her food.'" Sojo said the security guard was shocked by the kind response, but brought the officers over to the cashier to pay for the woman's food. "At that moment, she was extremely emotional," said Sojo. "She did thank us, but she was pretty much speechless at what happened." Sojo said the officers did not expect the good deed to receive so much positive attention and that they were "extremely humbled" by the response. He added that it isn't uncommon for officers to pay for someone's food. "You know, I've been doing this for 22 years. This is not the first time I've paid for food. This is not the first time they've paid for someone's food," he said referring to the two other cops."We don't go out and do it all the time, but, you know, when you look at someone's face and you notice that they need you, and they're actually hungry. It's pretty difficult as a human being to walk away from something like that. We weren't raised like that. So, it's the right thing to do."

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


Afghan and U.S. Forces Blamed for Killing More Civilians This Year Than Taliban Have
2019-07-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/world/asia/afghanistan-civilian-casualties...

Afghan security forces and their American-led international allies have killed more civilians so far this year than the Taliban have, the United Nations said in a report on Tuesday, once again raising alarm that ordinary Afghans are bearing the brunt of an increasingly deadly 18-year war. In the first six months of the year, the conflict killed nearly 1,400 civilians and wounded about 2,400 more. Afghan forces and their allies caused 52 percent of the civilian deaths compared with 39 percent attributable to militants — mostly the Taliban, but also the Islamic State. The figures do not total 100 percent because responsibility for some deaths could not be definitively established. The higher civilian death toll caused by Afghan and American forces comes from their greater reliance on airstrikes, which are particularly deadly for civilians. The United Nations said airstrikes resulted in 363 civilian deaths and 156 civilian injuries. The United Nations report comes as both sides try to increase their battlefield leverage amid continuing peace negotiations in Doha, Qatar, between the United States and the Taliban. The United Nations report said 83 percent of casualties from airstrikes were attributed to “international military forces,” essentially pointing the finger at the United States military, which is the only member of the international coalition in Afghanistan that carries out airstrikes. The Afghan Air Force was responsible for about 10 percent. Fourteen American soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far this year.

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


Why are Norwegians so happy? In a word: 'koselig'
2019-07-01, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/health/norway-koselig-hygge-cozy-nature-chasin...

Go to your happy place. Take a deep breath and hold it in your mind's eye for a long, joyful moment. My happy place looks and feels ... like a cabin in the woods. Family and friends are there. I have everything I need to be fully connected. The kind of experience I'm describing is something of a national pastime in Norway. They even have a word that snugly wraps all these ideas up: "koselig." You could roughly translate koselig (pronounced "koosh-lee"), as "coziness," but that leaves out crucial components of it, like enjoying the company of others and a connection with nature. There's no direct English translation, but there are regional equivalents such as the Swedish "mys," the Dutch "gezelligheid" and the most well-known of these, the Danish "hygge." Hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") [is] defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." It's that well-being part that gives us reason to replicate koselig ... even as the research slowly confirms what those cold, northern happiest countries have known for a long time: Darkness and isolation can be celebrated because they provide the need for their relief. The act of creating our own light and warmth produces peace and contentment. The case for koselig as a health practice seems obvious. You already know how it feels to be cozy, or in nature, or with friends. Social connections give our life purpose, and ... anything that decrease stress ... has numerous mental and physical health benefits.

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


In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy
2019-06-30, Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/06/30/soros-and-koch-brothers-team-e...

The leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common. Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its “forever war” and adopt an entirely new foreign policy. In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch ... are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington. It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. This think tank ... will be called the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.” The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle. The Quincy Institute will likely advocate a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the nuclear deal with Iran; less confrontational approaches to Russia and China; an end to regime-change campaigns against Venezuela and Cuba; and sharp reductions in the defense budget. It aims to issue four reports before the end of 2019: two offering alternative approaches to the Middle East and East Asia, one on “ending endless war,” and one called “democratizing foreign policy.”

Note: This seems too good to be true. We'll see how it unfolds. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Vaccine no match against flu bug that popped up near end
2019-06-27, ABC News/Associated Press
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/vaccine-match-flu-bug-popped-end-6398...

The flu vaccine turned out to be a big disappointment again. The vaccine didn’t work against a flu bug that popped up halfway through the past flu season, dragging down overall effectiveness to 29%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The flu shot was working well early in the season with effectiveness put at 47% in February. But it was virtually worthless during a second wave driven by a tougher strain, at just 9%. There was “no significant protection” against that strain, said the CDC’s Brendan Flannery. Flu vaccines are made each year to protect against three or four different kinds of flu virus. The ingredients are based on predictions of what strains will make people sick the following winter. This season’s shot turned out to be a mismatch against the bug that showed up late. That pushed down the overall effectiveness to one of the lowest in recent years. Since 2011, the only season with a lower estimate was the winter of 2014-2015, when effectiveness was 19%. A mismatch was also blamed then. Vaccines against some other infectious diseases are not considered successful unless they are at least 90% effective. But flu is particularly challenging, partly because the virus can so quickly change. Overall, flu vaccine has averaged around 40%. Flu shots are recommended for virtually all Americans age 6 months or older.

Note: This article was strangely removed from the website of ABC News. It is still available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Commonly prescribed drugs are tied to nearly 50% higher dementia risk in older adults, study says
2019-06-25, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/24/health/dementia-risk-drug-study

Scientists have long found a possible link between anticholinergic drugs and an increased risk of dementia. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday suggests that the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs - particularly antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline, bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine, antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine and antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine. Researchers wrote in the study that "there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia" associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years, compared with no exposure. The researchers found only an association between anticholinergic drugs and dementia risk, not a causal relationship. "However, if this association is causal, the population-attributable fractions indicate that around 10% of dementia diagnoses are attributable to anticholinergic drug exposure, which would equate, for example, to around 20,000 of the 209,600 new cases of dementia per year in the United Kingdom," the researchers wrote in the study. It has been well known that anticholinergic agents and confusion or memory issues are linked, but the new study investigated this association over a long period of time, said Dr. Douglas Scharre ... at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

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


The unlikely, eccentric inventor turning inedible plant life into fuel
2019-06-23, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marshall-medoff-the-unlikely-eccentric-inventor-...

A breakthrough can come from the least expected - perhaps like an 81-year-old eccentric from Massachusetts who toiled in isolation with no financial support for more than a decade. His focus? A challenge that has stumped scientists for many years: how to transform inedible plant life into environmentally friendly transportation fuels in a clean and cost-effective way. 25 years ago, [Marshall Medoff] became obsessed with the environment and decided to abandon his business career and become an amateur scientist. "What I thought was, the reason people were failing is they were trying to overcome nature instead of working with it," [said Medoff]. He knew that there's a lot of energy in plant life. It's in the form of sugar molecules that once accessed can be converted into transportation fuel. The key word is "access." This sugar is nearly impossible to extract cheaply and cleanly since it is locked tightly inside the plant's cellulose. What's so tantalizing is that sugar-rich cellulose is the most abundant biological material on earth. Medoff's novel idea [was to use] machines called electron accelerators to break apart nature's chokehold on the valuable sugars inside plant life - or biomass. Machines like these are typically used to strengthen materials. Medoff's invention was to use the accelerator the opposite way - to break biomass apart. This process, Medoff's remarkable invention, releases plant sugars that he's now using to make products he claims will solve some of the world's most intractable problems.

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


How a trip on magic mushrooms helped decriminalize psychedelic plants in a California city
2019-06-22, Los Angeles Times
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oakland-decriminalize-mushrooms-...

Carlos Plazola locked himself in a bedroom while his cousin stood guard. For five hours, he tripped on magic mushrooms. He ingested 5 grams - a heady amount that connoisseurs call the “heroic dose.” It was Plazola’s first time using the mushrooms, which contain the naturally occurring hallucinogen psilocybin. He started having epiphanies, one right after the other, like lightning bolts. “I was making connections that I had never made in terms of my understanding of what we are, what the cosmos are, why we’re here, where we’re going,” Plazola said. That mushroom trip last October by Plazola, the well-connected onetime chief of staff of a former Oakland City Council president, helped make Oakland the first city in California and the second in the nation to effectively decriminalize magic mushrooms. In May, Denver became the first city in the nation to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms. In Oakland ... the City Council on June 4 approved its ordinance unanimously, with little pushback. Oakland even went a step further by decriminalizing not just mushrooms but also a range of other psychoactive plants and compounds including peyote, iboga and ayahuasca. The measure ... does not actually legalize natural psychedelics, which remain illegal under state and federal law. Instead, it declares the arrest and investigation of adults for using, possessing, growing or distributing plant-based hallucinogens to be among the lowest priorities for local police and restricts the use of city funds to go after users.

Note: Forbes recently published an excellent article clearing up the hype about some aspects of this sensitive subject. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Do Prisons Make Us Safer?
2019-06-21, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-prisons-make-us-safer/

One person is sentenced to state or federal prison every 90 seconds in the United States, amounting to almost 420,000 per year. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. But how much safety does all this imprisonment actually buy us? A study I recently published with colleagues shows the answer is very little, especially in the long-term. The study found that sentencing someone to prison had no effect on their chances of being convicted of a violent crime within five years of being released from prison. This means that prison has no preventative effect on violence in the long term among people who might have been sentenced to probation. It also found a preventative ... effect in the short term, during the time when prisoners were still in prison, but this effect is smaller than we typically assume. Preventing one person who was previously convicted of a violent crime from committing a new violent crime within five years of their sentence requires imprisoning 16 such individuals. The short-term and small preventative effect of prison means those dollars could be better spent on other violence prevention or public safety strategies. The high costs of prison combined with concerns about the negative collateral consequences for prisoners, their families, and communities have prompted renewed efforts ... to reduce imprisonment. Yet despite the fact that over half of prison inmates were convicted of a violent crime, most criminal justice reforms exclude those with violent pasts.

Note: The above was written by David J. Harding, author of On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison corruption from reliable major media sources.


Judges differ with Trump administration on conditions for immigrant minors
2019-06-18, San Francisco Chronicle/ (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Judges-differ-with-Trump-administr...

The Trump administration ... argues it is not legally required to provide [immigrant minors] with such items as soap, toothbrushes and sleeping accommodations. [This] drew an incredulous response from federal appeals court judges Tuesday at a hearing in San Francisco. The administration is appealing a federal judge’s June 2017 ruling that immigration officials were violating a 1997 court settlement requiring unaccompanied minors in federal custody to be kept in safe and sanitary conditions before being released. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of Los Angeles found that youths held in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas were being denied basic necessities and appointed a monitor to oversee compliance. Gee found evidence that minors were kept overnight in crowded, chilly rooms, sleeping on concrete floors with aluminum-foil blankets with the lights kept on all night. The administration denied violating the settlement and argued in court papers that nothing in the 1997 agreement required officials “to provide minors, in all situations, with sleeping accommodations, toothbrushes, toothpaste, showers, soap, towels and dry clothes,” as long as the facilities were safe and sanitary. A panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was clearly unconvinced. “It’s within everybody’s common understanding that if you don’t have a toothbrush, you don’t have soap, you don’t have a blanket, those are not safe and sanitary,” Judge A. Wallace Tashima told Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian.

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


New York Could Become First State To Be Completely Done With Private Prisons
2019-06-18, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/morgansimon/2019/06/18/new-york-to-become-first-...

With many corporations having capitalizations that make them larger than countries, it can sometimes feel hard to imagine governments effectively being able to set limits on companies — let alone entire industries. One interesting exception to this rule is the private prison industry; where the government (given they are the largest client) is uniquely positioned to effectively regulate the sector — or, as many would argue, to eliminate private prisons entirely, given their problematic incentive to encourage the criminalization of vulnerable communities. New York State has been leading the way in flexing its muscles with respect to the private prison industry, having taken three concrete actions against private prisons: 1. prohibiting private prisons from operating within the state, 2. divesting state pension funds from the largest private prison companies, GEO Group and CoreCivic, and then just last week, 3. passing Bill S5433 in the State Senate, which would prohibit NY State-chartered banks from “investing in and providing financing to private prisons.” As Senator Benjamin noted in introducing the bill, in front of a Bank of America branch, “The goal is to starve private prisons of capital. My constituents do not put their hard-earned savings in a bank like the one we are standing in front of today expecting that those funds will be used to finance mass incarceration. Whether through organizing and community pressure, or tools like the bill I am announcing here today, we can and we must bring an end to private prisons.”

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


In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death
2019-06-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/18/los-angeles-death-penalty-sen...

Los Angeles has sentenced more people to death than any other county in the US, and only people of color have received the death penalty under the region’s current prosecutor, a new report shows. LA county’s district attorney, Jackie Lacey, has won death sentences for a total of 22 defendants, all people of color, and eight of them were represented by lawyers with serious misconduct charges prior or after their cases, according to a new analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lacey has also faced intense scrutiny for her refusal to prosecute police officers who kill civilians, even in the most egregious circumstances. Some key findings: In California, 222 people currently sentenced to death are from LA county. LA is one of only three counties in the country to have more than 10 death sentences from 2014 to 2018. Under Lacey’s tenure, which began in 2012, zero white defendants have been sentenced to death, and her capital punishment sentences disproportionately targeted cases involving white victims. Although 12% of homicide victims in LA county are white, 36% of Lacey’s death penalty wins involved white victims. 737 inmates [are] currently awaiting execution in California. Defense lawyers in five of the 22 cases under Lacey were suspended or disbarred, which is the most serious discipline for ethics violations, the ACLU said. The ACLU, which reviewed lawyer misconduct records, cited one particularly egregious case in which an attorney declined to make an opening statement – offering no defense at all – and then repeatedly fell asleep during the trial.

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


The One Percent Have Gotten $21 Trillion Richer Since 1989. The Bottom 50% Have Gotten Poorer.
2019-06-16, New York Magazine
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/06/the-fed-just-released-a-damning-indict...

Some Democratic presidential candidates say that America’s economic system is badly broken and in need of sweeping, structural change. In its new Distributive Financial Accounts data series, the central bank offers a granular picture of how American capitalism has been distributing the gains of economic growth over the past three decades. Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project took the Fed’s data and calculated how much the respective net worth of America’s top one percent and its bottom 50 percent has changed since 1989. He found that America’s superrich have grown about $21 trillion richer ... while those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution have grown $900 billion poorer. Notably, this measure of wealth includes liabilities. And it does not include consumer goods. But if one did include the Fed’s data on the distribution of consumer goods, the wealth gap between the top one percent and bottom 50 would actually be even larger. In 2011, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University published a study on Americans’ views of how wealth was distributed in their society, and how they felt it should be distributed. They found that, in the average American’s ideal world, the richest 20 percent would own 32 percent of national wealth. In reality, the top quintile owned 84 percent as of 2011. And that share has grown in the intervening years. Today, the one percent alone commands roughly 40 percent of all America’s wealth.

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


U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid
2019-06-15, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html

The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. In August of 2018, President Trump signed [an] executive order ... called National Security Presidential Memorandum 13. Its contents are still classified, but essentially it allows the Cyber Command to go ahead and conduct all kinds of operations inside foreign networks without going back to the president for prior approval. The first thing it did was go after those units in Russia that were responsible for a lot of the election-hacking. They went after the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence unit that had been responsible for breaking into the D.N.C.. A lot of that ... was made public. What wasn’t made public was a parallel effort to go inside the Russian power grid, to put some code in places where the Russians ... wouldn’t see it, in case the U.S. ever needed to act against Russia’s utilities as the Russians were putting malware in our systems.

Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. A more recent Guardian article says, "we might already be living through the first world cyberwar." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Renewable Energy Is Now The Cheapest Option - Even Without Subsidies
2019-06-15, Forbes Magazine
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/renewable-energy-is-now...

According to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), unsubsidized renewable energy is now most frequently the cheapest source of energy generation. The report finds that the cost of installation and maintenance of renewables, which was an important stumbling block to mass adoption, continues on a downward trajectory. These new statistics demonstrate that using renewable energy is increasingly cost-effective compared to other sources, even when renewables must compete with the heavily-subsidized fossil fuel industry. These lower costs are expected to propel the mass adoption of renewables even further. Among other findings the IRENA report highlights that: Onshore wind and solar PV [photovoltaic] power are now, frequently, less expensive than any fossil-fuel option, without financial assistance. New solar and wind installations will increasingly undercut even the operating-only costs of existing coal-fired plants. Cost forecasts for solar PV and onshore wind continue to be revised as new data emerges, with renewables consistently beating earlier expectations. Further data from REN21's Renewable Global Status Report show that over one fifth of global electrical power production is now generated from renewables. Promising signs in the IRENA report show that ... an increasing number of corporates are entering the renewable energy industry ... meanwhile more than 10 million people are now employed in the global renewable energy industry.

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


Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister.
2019-06-10, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

Christi Bragg listened in disbelief. It was a Sunday in February, and her popular evangelical pastor, Matt Chandler, was preaching on the evil of leaders who sexually abuse those they are called to protect. But at the Village Church, he assured his listeners, victims of assault would be heard, and healed. Ms. Bragg nearly vomited. She stood up and walked out. Exactly one year before that day, on Feb. 17, 2018, Ms. Bragg and her husband, Matt, reported to the Village that their daughter, at about age 11, had been sexually abused at the church’s summer camp for children. Since then, Matthew Tonne, who was the church’s associate children’s minister, had been investigated by the police, indicted and arrested on charges of sexually molesting Ms. Bragg’s daughter. Ms. Bragg waited for church leaders to explain what had happened and to thoroughly inform other families in the congregation. But none of that ever came. Nearly 400 Southern Baptist leaders, from youth pastors to top ministers, have pleaded guilty or been convicted of sex crimes against more than 700 victims since 1998, according to a recent investigation by The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News. At the Village, one of the most prominent Southern Baptist churches in the country ... Ms. Bragg said leaders had offered prayer. But as months passed, she came to believe their instinct to protect the institution outweighed their care for her daughter or their interest in investigating the truth.

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


U.S. Renewable Power Capacity Surpasses Coal For The First Time
2019-06-10, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2019/06/10/u-s-renewable-power-capacity-...

The revolution in renewable power hit a new milestone in April. Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released it's latest Energy Infrastructure Update (EIU), with data through April 2019. According to ... the non-profit SUN DAY Campaign, which analyzed the data, "that was enough to push renewable energy's share of total available installed U.S. generating capacity up to 21.56%. By comparison, coal's share dropped to 21.55% (down from 23.04% a year ago)." Of course it's important to note that capacity doesn't equal generation. Coal still generates more electricity than renewables. But, the trends indicate it's just a matter of time before that picture changes as well. But it is natural gas that is still the king of generation. Although renewable capacity additions are forecast to be well ahead of natural gas additions through 2022, it is likely that natural gas will continue to be the top source of U.S. power for quite some time. The EIU indicates that natural gas now represents 44.44% of total installed capacity. Because of the higher capacity factors for natural gas-fired generation, Energy Information Administration data show that natural gas provided 36% of U.S. power over the past 12 months, well ahead of coal's 27%. Further, the share for natural gas has grown in recent years, while that of coal continues to decline. But given the current trends, it won't be long before renewables supply the largest share of U.S. power.

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


Ali Stroker Makes History as First Wheelchair User to Win a Tony
2019-06-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/09/theater/ali-stroker-oklahoma-tony-awards.html

On Sunday night, Ali Stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony Award. “This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena — you are,” Ms. Stroker said while accepting her statuette for her role as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of the musical “Oklahoma!.” Ms. Stroker, a 31-year-old New Jersey native who lost the use of her legs in a car accident when she was 2 years old, also thanked her parents “for teaching me to use my gifts to help people.” Ms. Stroker accepted the award, for best featured actress, shortly after dazzling the audience with her saucy performance of the “Oklahoma!” song “I Cain’t Say No.” “I find it to be fascinating that often people don’t think I can dance,” she said. “Who says that dance isn’t turning on wheels? Who says dancing isn’t throwing your arms up in the air and grabbing someone else’s arms to be propelled across the stage?” She also spoke about what it is like to aspire to succeed in an industry where people with disabilities are not represented. “I’m very aware that when I was a little girl I wasn’t seeing anybody like me, and on days when I’m exhausted or discouraged about something, that lights a fire,” she said. “I hope that for young people in chairs who feel that this is too hard, that they see that being in a chair is like getting a secret key to an unknown door — that they ... are reassured that anything is possible.”

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


Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show
2019-06-08, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-au/kids/other/secretive-government-agency-linked-to-af...

Newly released documents show that another government agency, as well as the Australian Federal Police, was involved in the investigation that led to the raid on the ABC in June. The documents, obtained under Freedom of Information, reveal that the AFP refused to release certain documents relating to the June 6 raid because it said they related to an agency of the Federal Government which is exempt from FOI. Under the section cited by the AFP to justify not releasing the material - subsection 7(1) of the FOI Act - agencies which have complete exemption include the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). The raid on the ABC's Ultimo headquarters was related to the Afghan Files, a series of stories, published in 2017, which detailed incidents where Australian soldiers in Afghanistan killed unarmed men and children. [South Australian senator Rex] Patrick said ... he believed that the other agency was either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. The primary role of the Australian Signals Directorate is to eavesdrop on conversations and monitor the communications of people of interest outside Australia. The story which prompted one of the raids - on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst - was about the push by some within the Federal Government to give ASD power to monitor the communications of Australians in Australia, which is currently prohibited by law.

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


Disturbing Undercover Video Shows Animal Abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana
2019-06-05, NBC News (Chicago Affiliate)
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/fair-oaks-farms-indian...

A northwest Indiana dairy farm has fired four employees seen in a graphic undercover video released Tuesday by an animal welfare organization showing animals being abused. Following an investigation into the abuse, at least three retailers announced Wednesday that they would remove all Fairlife products from their shelves. The Coca Cola Corporation, which distributes the brand, said it was in talks to have sourcing from the farm in question discontinued. The Animal Recovery Mission called it the “largest undercover dairy investigation in history” and said the video documents “systemic and illegal abuse” at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. ARM said an investigator spent three months undercover at the Prairies Edge North Barn after being hired as a calf care employee. The group noted that Fair Oaks Farms North Barn was not targeted, but rather the barn was the first farm to hire the investigator, who had applied to multiple dairy farms in Jasper and Newton Counties in Indiana. “Employees were observed slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing and slamming calves,” ARM said in a statement. “Calves were stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hard plastic milking bottles, kneed in the spine, burned in the face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures, provided with improper nutrition, and denied medical attention.” The footage was released on social media (warning: footage is graphic) Tuesday, where it has since garnered more than 100,000 views on Facebook and more than 1 million views on Vimeo.

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


'No way to stop it': millions of pigs culled across Asia as swine fever spreads
2019-06-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)

South-east Asia is battling to contain the spread of highly contagious African swine fever, known as “pig Ebola”, which has already led to the culling of millions of pigs in China and Vietnam. African swine fever, which is harmless to humans but fatal to pigs, was discovered in China in August, where it has caused havoc, leading to more than 1.2m pigs being culled. China is home to almost half of the world’s pigs. There is no vaccination for African swine fever, which causes pigs to internally haemorrhage until they die, so the only option to contain the disease is to kill any contaminated animals. Some estimates say that in China up to 200m animals may eventually be slaughtered. The virus can last for several weeks on anything from clothes to vehicles, allowing for it to easily travel long distances. “This is the biggest animal disease outbreak we’ve ever had on the planet,” said Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist. Currently the battle to contain the disease is being lost. “There are concerns that the disease will continue to spread across the countries in south-east Asia,” said Dr Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager for UNFAO, who said they believed the swine fever cases being reported by governments in the region were “underestimates”. Wantanee said problems included the lack of compensation for pig farmers in south-east Asia whose herds were culled, giving them little reason to report a disease outbreak, and fears that banning movement of pigs and pork across borders would only create a “black market”.

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


Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?
2019-06-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pfizer-had-clues-its-blockbus...

A team of researchers inside Pfizer made a startling find in 2015: The company’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis therapy Enbrel, a powerful anti-inflammatory drug, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent. The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial - and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed. Researchers in the company’s division of inflammation and immunology urged Pfizer to conduct a clinical trial on thousands of patients, which they estimated would cost $80 million ... according to an internal company document obtained by The Washington Post. Pfizer’s deliberations, which previously have not been disclosed, offer a rare window into the frustrating search for Alzheimer’s treatments inside one of the world’s largest drug companies. Pfizer did share the data privately with at least one prominent scientist, but outside researchers contacted by The Post believe Pfizer also should at least have published its data, making the findings broadly available to researchers. “Of course they should. Why not?” said Rudolph E. Tanzi, a leading Alzheimer’s researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School. “It would benefit the scientific community to have that data out there,” said Keenan Walker, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins.

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


19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was passed 100 years ago today
2019-06-04, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-19th-amendment-passed-100-years-ago-today-gr...

The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, celebrates a big birthday on Tuesday, as it was passed by both chambers of Congress 100 years ago on June 4, 1919. According to the National Archives, the House of Representatives first passed the amendment on May 21, 1919, and two weeks later, on June 4, the Senate followed with a vote of 56 to 25. The next year, following approval by three-fourths of state legislatures, the amendment was ratified into the Constitution. The opening of the Amendment's text reads, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Since the 19th Amendment's passage, women have helped inaugurate a new era of American politics. In fact, many historians can point a clear line from the passage of the 19th amendment to the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and the current movements seeking to offer greater federal protections for gay and transgender Americans. The 19th Amendment emerged out of the Progressive Era in American politics, a period of increased social activism and economic reform during the first two decades of the 20th century. Suffragists like Jeannette Rankin, the first female member of the House of Representatives, brought greater attention to the rights of women. Certain states like California, Washington and Arizona passed their own legislation granting women either full or partial suffrage in the early 1910s. Wyoming was the first to do so in 1869, when it was still a territory.

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


The Women Who Brought Us the Moon
2019-06-03, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/chasing-moon-women-who-b...

In 1965, Poppy Northcutt was the only female engineer at NASA’s Houston Mission Control. As she gazed at the men around her she thought to herself, I’m as smart as they are. Although she belonged among them, it was undeniably difficult to be the only woman in what sometimes felt like the domain of men. As isolated as Northcutt felt in the historic control center, she was one of thousands of women who began their careers at NASA as computers. It was a job created before the advent of electronic machines, when human aptitude was required to perform all the mathematical calculations needed for experiments. Women have historically filled these positions, as exemplified by the groups of female computers who worked at the Harvard Observatory and the Royal Observatory Greenwich in the late 1800s. At NASA, these women came from all over the world, working at centers across the United States, and comprising a diverse and potent force in space exploration. Their calculations would ultimately be responsible for sending astronauts to the moon. Unlike Northcutt, Sue Finley noticed the ubiquitous presence of female employees when she started work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Not only was her supervisor a woman, but all of her coworkers in the computing section were as well. Finley, who started in 1958, before NASA’s formation, is still working for the space agency today. At age 83 and with a career spanning six decades, she is NASA’s longest serving female employee.

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


Science institute that advised EU and UN 'actually industry lobby group'
2019-06-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/03/science-institute-that-advise...

An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity, according to a peer-reviewed study. The Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) describes its mission as “pursuing objectivity, clarity and reproducibility” to “benefit the public good”. But researchers from the University of Cambridge, Bocconi University in Milan, and the US Right to Know campaign assessed over 17,000 pages of documents under US freedom of information laws to present evidence of influence-peddling. The paper’s lead author, Dr Sarah Steele, a Cambridge university senior research associate, said: “Our findings add to the evidence that this nonprofit organisation has been used by its corporate backers for years to counter public health policies. ILSI should be regarded as an industry group – a private body – and regulated as such, not as a body acting for the greater good.” Around this time, ILSI was caught up in a separate controversy, when the Guardian revealed that ILSI Europe’s vice-president Prof Alan Boobis chaired a UN panel that found glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic to humans. The final panel report included no conflict of interest statements, even though ILSI Europe had received donations of $500,000 (Ł344,234) from Monsanto, which uses glyphosate in its RoundUp weedkiller, and $528,500 from its industry representative, Croplife International.

Note: Check out a great article on how lobby groups like this cause the media to become industry lapdogs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Sees Largest Reduction of Protected Lands in History Under Trump
2019-06-02, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/largest-reduction-of-prot...

The Trump Administration is responsible for causing the largest reduction of protected public lands in U.S. history, according to a comprehensive study published this week in the journal Science. In 2017, the study noted, President Trump enacted two of the largest reductions of federally protected lands, shrinking Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah by 51 percent. Also in 2017, Congress voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas development. By removing federal protections, the study said, Trump is opening up these lands to oil and natural gas companies. And while the 2017 reductions are now being argued in federal court, the study said, the government already has plans to downgrade or downsize nine more land and marine national monuments. The study was conducted by 21 international scientists analyzing 200 years of data about protected areas. The scientists found that vast reduction of federal lands is a relatively recent phenomenon; 90 percent of reductions in U.S. federal lands have occurred since the year 2000. This is part of a disturbing global trend, where 78 percent of global land reductions have taken place since 2000. “As human pressures on the biosphere accelerate, it is critical to strengthen—not roll back—conservation efforts,” the study authors concluded.

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


Pope asks forgiveness for historical mistreatment of Roma people
2019-06-02, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-romania/pope-asks-forgiveness-for-his...

Pope Francis on Sunday asked forgiveness in the name of the Catholic Church for the mistreatment of the Roma people. Francis made the comment during a meeting with Roma people at the last event of his three day trip to Romania, saying his heart was made “heavy” by the meeting. “It is weighed down by the many experiences of discrimination, segregation and mistreatment experienced by your communities. History tells us that Christians too, including Catholics, are not strangers to such evil,” he said. With an estimated population of 10-12 million, approximately six million of whom live in the European Union, Roma people are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe and rights groups say they are often the victims of prejudice and social exclusion. A Roma youth, Razaila Vasile Dorin, told reporters: “It’s an honor that a person like the pope comes to our community. We are proud. It’s important that the pope is asking forgiveness. There is racism in every country. When we go out everyone looks at us and we don’t like that. I am proud to be a gypsy.” Earlier on Sunday, the pope said a Mass for some 100,000 people during which he beatified seven Communist-era bishops of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church who died in prison or as a result of their harsh treatment during Romania’s communist era. “(The bishops) endured suffering and gave their lives to oppose an illiberal ideological system that oppressed the fundamental rights of the human person,” Francis said.

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


These Men Say the Boy Scouts’ Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew
2019-06-01, Time
https://time.com/longform/boy-scouts-sex-abuse/

Fifty-eight years ago, Edward Pittson says, the Scoutmaster who had taught him skills like how to use a compass and light a campfire said he was going to teach Pittson about sex. The Scoutmaster invited Pittson, who was 12, to his house and asked him to lie on the bed. “This is the normal way to learn about sex,” Pittson recalls the Scoutmaster telling him. “He said, ‘But don’t tell your parents what I’m doing.’” Now, Pittson is one of hundreds of men and boys hoping for a last chance at restitution if the Boy Scouts of America, in the face of a new wave of abuse allegations, files for bankruptcy. On Thursday, a group of attorneys said they’d collected information from at least 428 men and boys whose accounts of rape, molestation and abuse indicate the Boy Scouts’ pedophile problem is far more widespread than the organization has previously acknowledged. If the Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy, the accusers will have a limited window to file claims against the organization. Hundreds of individual sex abuse cases have been brought against the Scouts ... and in 2010, a judge ordered the organization to make public an internal list of men accused of preying on boys. Within Scout headquarters, the list was known as the “P Files” or “Perversion Files.” In January, a child abuse expert hired by the Boy Scouts to analyze the files testified that she found 12,254 boys had reported experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of at least 7,800 suspected assailants between 1944 and 2016.

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


Deaths of indigenous women 'a Canadian genocide', leaked report says
2019-06-01, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48481958

A national public inquiry into possibly thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada has called the deaths a "Canadian genocide". The report was leaked to Canada's national broadcaster CBC which published details. The 1,200-page document reportedly blames the disproportionate violence faced by indigenous women on deep-rooted colonialism and state inaction. The findings of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are long-awaited in Canada, where there are about 1.6m indigenous people. "It took 40 years to get to this present moment and only because indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this," Robyn Bourgeois, a campaigner on the issue, told the BBC. The inquiry concluded that about 1,200 aboriginal women had been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1980, but some activists say the number is likely to have been far higher. The report acknowledged disagreements over what constituted genocide, but concluded: "The national inquiry's findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people, as genocide." The inquiry, which cost C$92m ($67m; Ł53m), focused on the systemic causes of violence against indigenous women as well as on prevention. It has heard from more than 2,000 witnesses since 2017.

Note: Kevin Annett is a great Canadian hero who has worked tirelessly and courageously in the face of death threats to expose the systematic abuse and murders of native children in Canada. He was recently kidnapped while crossing the border. Don't miss his amazing story of all the happened.


Psychedelics, long ignored by scientists, seeing resurgence in medical research
2019-06-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Psychedelics-long-ignored-by-scie...

UCSF psychiatrist Brian Anderson is studying an experimental therapy to help long-term AIDS survivors ... who are feeling sad and demoralized. In a clinic outfitted with a comfortable couch, soft lighting, throw pillows and blankets, the participants of his study are given psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. The results were compelling enough that he’s planning a second study. Anderson’s work is part of a resurgence in psychedelic study that has been ... fueling grassroots efforts around the country to decriminalize use of certain psychedelic drugs. Statewide measures are being discussed in California and Oregon. The decriminalization efforts are focused on natural psychedelics — mushrooms, along with herbs, cacti and other plants from which hallucinogenic compounds can be extracted. Though several studies in the first half of the 20th century had shown promise in using psychedelics for treatment of mental health and neurological disorders, the drugs were broadly maligned in the 1960s and ’70s. More recently, microdosing — the practice taking small, carefully controlled amounts of a psychedelic — has taken off among Silicon Valley techies and university students who believe it boosts productivity and creativity. Almost all studies at the moment rely on private donations for funding. Studies are still limited, but they’re happening at universities around the country. At Johns Hopkins, Johnson and his colleagues reported about an 80% success rate in using psilocybin to help people quit smoking in one small study. Research out of UCLA has found that psilocybin may help cancer patients with depression and anxiety.

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


Ultraprocessed foods are easy, cheap and could be killing you
2019-05-30, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/health/ultraprocessed-foods-heart-disease-earl...

"Ultraprocessed" describes many foods, including pre-prepared dishes found in grocery store freezers, packaged baked goods, dehydrated soups, ice cream, sugary cereals and fizzy beverages. Two separate studies published Wednesday in The BMJ link eating the popular factory-made fare with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of early death. Previous studies have associated highly processed food consumption with higher risks of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers. "Ultraprocessed foods already make up more than half of the total dietary energy consumed in high-income countries such as USA, Canada and the UK," [said] Maira Bes-Rastrollo, senior author of one study. "Products in this category are rich in poor quality fat, added sugar and salt, along with low vitamin density and fiber content, and they "are economically profitable (low cost ingredients), very palatable and convenient," said Bes-Rastrollo. Worst of all, she explained, they are replacing unprocessed or minimally processed foods and freshly prepared meals in our diets. Bes-Rastrollo and her colleagues also collected information on lifestyle, demographic factors, physical activity, weight and health. Analyzing the data, the team found that a higher consumption of heavily processed foods - more than four servings each day - was associated with a 62% increased risk for early death due to any cause relative to those who ate these foods less frequently.

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


Crispr gene-editing will change the way Americans eat – here's what's coming
2019-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/30/crispr-gene-edited-food-techn...

Soon, soybeans will be bred to yield stable oil without the addition of dangerous trans fats. Lettuce will be grown to handle warmer, drier fields. Wheat to contain less gluten. And pigs bred to resist deadly viruses. Ten years ago, such genetic changes would have been considered science fiction – or so far off into the future of breeding as to be almost unimaginable. But gene editing, particularly with a tool called Crispr-Cas9, has made it much easier and more efficient to tinker with the genomes of plants and animals. The first Crispr-edited products will begin reaching the market this year, and researchers believe it’s only a matter of time before US grocery shelves could be filled with gene-edited produce, grains and meat. The technology will be subject to stringent health and environment review, as well as labeling requirements in the EU, but not in the US. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a statement last March saying it would not regulate crops whose genetic changes could have been produced with conventional breeding. The European court of justice, by contrast, ruled last summer that gene-edited crops should be regulated as GMOs. The scientific challenges have been largely settled. But political and social ones remain. Jennifer Kuzma, co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University, said US consumers are willing to pay 20% more to avoid GMO foods, and nearly half of the public reports actively avoiding genetically modified ingredients and food.

Note: Read an excellent addendum to this important article by GMO expert Jeffrey Smith recommending caution in these little-tested new products. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


This Russia whistle-blower is serving 5 years in prison for leaking one document. Her mother says she's being silenced
2019-05-29, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/politics/reality-winner-media-blackout-prison/...

The mother of the first whistle-blower arrested in the Trump era says her daughter is being held under an unjust media blackout to stop the American public learning who she really is. Billie Winner-Davis' daughter Reality Winner, a US Air Force veteran, was sentenced to prison for more than five years in August 2018 as part of a deal in which she pleaded guilty to leaking a classified NSA document providing details of a 2016 Russian cyberattack on a supplier of US voting software. Winner, 27, who worked in the US Air Force's drone program, is serving the longest sentence ever given to a journalistic source by a federal court, according to the Department of Justice. CNN has repeatedly sought permission to interview Winner in federal prison, and recently accompanied Winner-Davis on the seven-hour road trip from her home to visit her daughter at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, where she is incarcerated, but our team was not permitted to go inside. FMC Carswell's warden has denied CNN's requests. Our attempts to speak with the warden over the phone ... were unsuccessful. CNN also sought to interview Winner by telephone but was told by her mother that the former drone operator has been told by prison staff not to add media outlets to her phone list. "She has been warned and she has been frightened as far as the restrictions on her communications," Winner-Davis said. "They're telling her she cannot even have any contact with any kind of journalists or media, in any way, shape, or form."

Note: Read more about Winner's unjust prosecution for blowing the whistle on election interference. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


UFOs exist and everyone needs to adjust to that fact
2019-05-28, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/05/28/ufos-exist-everyone-needs-a...

UFOs have historically been associated with crackpot ideas. The obvious reason for this is that the term “UFO” is usually assumed to be a synonym for “extraterrestrial life.” Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall ... argued that the real reason UFOs have been dismissed is because of the existential challenge that they pose for a worldview in which human beings are the most technologically advanced life-forms: "UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial. Yet in fact this is not known, which makes the UFO taboo puzzling." In recent years ... discussion of actual UFOs has been the topic of some serious mainstream media coverage. There was the December 2017 New York Times story by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean about the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which was tasked with cataloguing UFOs recorded by military pilots. DoD officials confirmed its existence. This story ... represented the first time the U.S. government acknowledged the existence of such a program. Then, there were the reports last November about Oumuamua, “a mysterious, cigar-shaped interstellar object [that] fell through our solar system at an extraordinary speed,” according to New York’s Eric Levits. What appears to be happening is that official organs of the state are now acknowledging that UFOs exist. They are doing so because enough pilots are reporting UFOs and near-air collisions so as to warrant better record-keeping.

Note: The fact that the media is no longer debunking UFOs suggests that a gradual acculturation process is being used. Those in the know have been aware of many intense UFO encounters reported by military officers and more for many decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.


From chicken to tomatoes, here's why American food is hurting you
2019-05-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/28/from-chicken-to-tomatoes-here...

Our food and our health are deeply connected. American healthcare spending has ballooned to $3.5tn a year, and yet we are sicker than most other developed countries. Meanwhile, our food system contains thousands of chemicals that have not been proven safe and many that are banned in other countries. Instead of potentially hazardous substances being banned from our food, as they are in, say, Europe, chemicals of concern are typically considered innocent until proven guilty. As a result, we are the guinea pigs in our own experiment. For decades we’ve operated on the principle that if we can selectively kill off the unwanted parts of the natural world, we can control our futures. Farmers operate that way, but also homeowners, highway crews and landscapers. We spread herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones and various other toxins which kill everything around. Even good things. We’re becoming aware of the loss of what we can see: bees, butterflies, the diverse plant life of our ecosystems. We also need to worry about the invisible microbiome and fungi in the soil that nurture life above, store carbon and absorb water. By trying to control crops with herbicides, antibiotics and pesticides, we’ve actually bred bugs, weeds and diseases that are resistant to our control. And our chemical onslaught will have long-term effects. Our fertilizers and pesticides leach into groundwater and streams, head out to sea and create dead zones. They also leach into our drinking water.

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


Banned bread: why does the US allow additives that Europe says are unsafe?
2019-05-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/28/bread-additives-chemicals-us-...

It may sound odd, but in America, your loaf of bread can contain ingredients with industrial applications – additives that also appear in things like yoga mats, pesticides, hair straighteners, explosives and petroleum products. Some of these chemicals, used as optional whiteners, dough conditioners and rising agents, may be harmful to human health. Potassium bromate, a potent oxidizer that helps bread rise, has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in rodents. Azodicarbonamide (ACA), a chemical that forms bubbles in foams and plastics like vinyl, is used to bleach and leaven dough – but when baked, it, too, has been linked to cancer in lab animals. Other countries, including China, Brazil and members of the European Union, have weighed the potential risks and decided to outlaw potassium bromate in food. India banned it in 2016, and the UK has forbidden it since 1990. Azodicarbonamide has been banned for consumption by the European Union for over a decade. But despite petitions from several advocacy groups – some dating back decades – the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still considers these to be Gras or “generally recognized as safe” to eat, though plenty of experts disagree. The FDA does not review every additive that makes its way into food. Instead, companies can rely on their own experts to determine what’s safe and what isn’t. And once something was determined as Gras, [medical toxicologist Ryan] Marino said, “there is not often any financial incentive for additional testing”.

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


Johnson & Johnson opioids helped create 'worst man-made public health crisis in history,' Oklahoma says in court
2019-05-28, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/johnson-johnson-opioids-helped-create-wo...

The first trial against a pharmaceutical opioid manufacturer started Tuesday in Oklahoma in what could be a precedent-setting case for hundreds of other claims around the country. The state's attorney general, Mike Hunter, began the day by accusing Johnson & Johnson of putting profits over responsibility and argued that the company was responsible for the "worst man-made public health crisis in the history of our state and country." In the multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the drugmaker, lawyers for the state argued that Johnson & Johnson knew about the addictive nature of opioids, but misled doctors by downplaying the risks of the drugs while touting its benefits. Brad Beckworth, a lawyer for Oklahoma, argued that Johnson & Johnson was motivated to increase sales on multiple fronts as both the manufacturer of the drugs Duragesic and Nucynta and as a supplier of the raw materials for other opioid manufacturers. He argued that a marketing push by Johnson & Johnson lead doctors to overprescribe opioids in Oklahoma. “If you oversupply, people will die,” Beckworth repeatedly said in his opening statement while showing email communications from Johnson & Johnson sales representatives. Oklahoma settled with two other drug manufacturers before Tuesday’s opening statements. In March, Purdue Pharma settled for $270 million, and on Sunday, Teva Pharmaceuticals settled for $85 million, leaving Johnson & Johnson as the sole defendants in what could a monthslong bench trial.

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


Arms Manufacturers Tell Investors that Iran Tension Fuels Business
2019-05-28, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2019/05/28/arms-manufacturers-investors-iran-business/

Defense executives from around the country crowded into Goldman Sachs’ glimmering tower in downtown Manhattan in mid-May, eager to present before a conference of bankers and financial analysts. While much of the world was on edge over simmering tension in the Middle East, as the U.S. and its allies have stoked tensions with Iran, the businessmen at the conference talked of opportunity. Eric DeMarco, the president of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, addressed the conference, arguing that his company is “very well-aligned” for the shift in the military budget away from asymmetrical fighting toward nation-state warfare. The rising threat of war with Iran, Russia, and China, DeMarco continued, could threaten U.S. naval power, which could require ballistic missile threat upgrades, the type of systems Kratos Defense specializes in. Large arms manufacturers from across the industry have similarly told investors that escalating conflict with Iran could be good for business. The statements to investors come as the U.S. has openly threatened to launch a new war. In recent weeks, the Trump administration discussed sending 120,000 soldiers to the Middle East in preparation for war with Iran, a move that comes after two years of increasing sanctions and militant rhetoric about the threat posed by the government in Tehran. The escalating tensions, while raising the potential for catastrophic conflict and loss of human life, could also be good for companies in the business of war.

Note: Read an essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. generals titled "War is a Racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Atomic Veterans Were Silenced for 50 Years. Now, They’re Talking.
2019-05-27, The Atlantic
https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/590299/atomic-soldiers/

Nearly everyone who’s seen it and lived to tell the tale describes it the same way: a horrifying, otherworldly thing of ghastly beauty that has haunted their life ever since. “The colors were beautiful,” remembers a man in Morgan Knibbe’s short documentary The Atomic Soldiers. “I hate to say that.” Many tales of the atomic bomb, however, weren’t told at all. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an estimated 400,000 American soldiers and sailors also observed nuclear explosions - many just a mile or two from ground zero. From 1946 to 1992, the U.S. government conducted more than 1,000 nuclear tests, during which unwitting troops were exposed to vast amounts of ionizing radiation. After the tests, the soldiers, many of whom were traumatized, were sworn to an oath of secrecy. Breaking it even to talk among themselves was considered treason, punishable by a $10,000 fine and 10 or more years in prison. In Knibbe’s film, some of these atomic veterans break the forced silence to tell their story for the very first time. They describe how the blast knocked them to the ground; how they could see the bones and blood vessels in their hands, like viewing an X-ray. What appalled Knibbe the most was how the U.S. government failed the veterans. “Until this day, a lot of what has happened - and the radiation-related diseases the veterans have contracted and passed on to the generations after them - is still being covered up,” Knibbe said.

Note: Don't miss the most profound, 22-minute video at the link above. And for lots more on the huge cover-up of the terrifying effects of the bomb, see this most informative webpage. Explore lots more astonishing, verifiable information on humans used as guinea pigs in the last 100 years.


‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects
2019-05-26, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/26/us/politics/ufo-sightings-navy-pilots.html

The strange objects, one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, appeared almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015, high in the skies over the East Coast. Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds. “These things would be out there all day,” said Lt. Ryan Graves, an F/A-18 Super Hornet pilot who has been with the Navy for 10 years, and who reported his sightings to the Pentagon and Congress. “With the speeds we observed, 12 hours in the air is 11 hours longer than we’d expect.” No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects were extraterrestrial. Lieutenant Graves and four other Navy pilots, who said ... that they saw the objects in 2014 and 2015 in training maneuvers from Virginia to Florida off the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, make no assertions of their provenance. But the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy, which earlier this year sent out new classified guidance for how to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects. The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s ... Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings “a striking series of incidents.”

Note: The fact that the media is no longer debunking UFOs suggests that a gradual acculturation process is being used. Those in the know have been aware of many intense UFO encounters reported by military officers and more for many decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.


Why are so many people dying in US prisons and jails?
2019-05-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/26/us-prisons-jails-inmate-deaths

On 10 July 2015, 28-year-old Sandra Bland was pulled over in Prairie View, Texas, for what she was told by Texas state trooper Brian Encinia was failing to use her turn signal. Three days after Bland’s arrest, she was found dead in her jail cell. The death was ruled a suicide but remains shrouded in mystery over how a wrongful arrest stemming from a minor traffic violation resulted in death. Surges in the number of Americans dying while incarcerated have occurred against a backdrop of an increase in the US prison population by 500% over the last 40 years. Based on the latest national figures available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4,980 prisoners in US correctional facilities died in 2014, a nearly 3% increase from 2013. In state prisons, the mortality rate was 275 for every 100,000 people, the highest since data collection began in 2001. Since 2014, a Guardian investigation has found several states, including Texas and Florida, with the first and third highest prison populations in the US, respectively, have reported either record mortality rates in prisons or jails or significant surges. A 2017 report published by the Rand Corporation on identifying the needs to reduce prison mortality rates suggested several high-priority needs. “A national medical examiner system should be implemented because of the additional rigor these professionals have and more consistency with how they do investigations and classify cause of death,” said Joe Russo, the lead author of the report.

Note: Read an excellent article titled "How The For-Profit Prison Industry Keeps 460,000 Innocent People in Jail Every Day." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


A sense of purpose could prolong your life
2019-05-25, Quartz
https://qz.com/1628452/a-sense-of-purpose-could-prolong-your-life/

Increasingly, scientists are finding that having a sense of purpose, whatever yours may be, is key to well-being. Now, a study published on May 24 in JAMA Current Open adds to the growing body of knowledge on the link between health and a driving force, finding that purposefulness is tied to longer lives. Researchers ... analyzed data from nearly 7,000 individuals over 50 years old and concluded that “stronger purpose in life was associated with decreased mortality.” They believe that “purposeful living may have health benefits.” The new analysis found that those whose psychological questionnaires reflected a lack of purpose were more likely to die than those who had “a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals.” In fact, people without a purpose were more than twice as likely to die than those with an aim and goals. Purpose proved to be more indicative of longevity than gender, race, or education levels, and more important for decreasing risk of death than drinking, smoking, or exercising regularly. Notably, the research indicates that any purpose is better than none, as the reason people felt purposeful didn’t figure into the analysis. So it doesn’t seem to matter what it is that drives an individual, whether it’s a passion for growing peonies, say, or wanting to see their children develop, or loving the work they do. The important thing is simply having something that makes them excited about life and drives them. But those who feel no sense of purpose now shouldn’t despair because that drive can be cultivated.

Note: Read an excellent, short essay on how to find and develop your life purpose. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Whistleblowers go undercover to expose criminal drug operation within the Chicago PD
2019-05-24, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblowers-go-undercover-to-expose-criminal-...

As a Chicago police officer, Shannon Spalding worked undercover in some of the toughest parts of the city -- only to discover some of the most dangerous criminals were fellow police officers. She risked her life to stop them. Soon after joining the Chicago Police Department in 1996, Spalding drew an assignment in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city. To survive, Spalding leaned on veteran cops like Ronald Watts. In 2006, a decade after Spalding was trained by Watts, she had a new assignment in the narcotics division. "I was the undercover. I would go out, I would make the controlled narcotics purchases," Spalding explained. Her partner, Danny Echeverria, would swoop in and make arrests. But during police interviews, something strange started happening. "People would say … 'I can't believe you're going to arrest me when one of your own is actually running the narcotics trade,'" said Spalding. [She] learned Watts and his crew would plant drugs on residents of the Ida B. Wells projects and extort cash. Spalding and her partner would eventually learn Watts' bad deeds had been going on for years. [They] would spend years undercover investigating Ronald Watts and his team. In February 2012, Sgt. Ronald Watts and one of his officers, Kallat Mohammed, were arrested after being caught robbing a drug courier of $5,200. That courier was Spalding's informant and was wearing an FBI wire. Both Watts and Mohammed were convicted. Watts was sentenced to 22 months and Mohammed received an 18-month sentence. Aided by that investigation, more than 60 people wrongfully arrested by Watts and his team have now been exonerated.

Note: The article fails to mention how the police went after Spalding. Watch a riveting CBS video showing this and more on the depths of corruption in the Chicago police department. And if you think it's only Chicago, think again. As Spalding stated when asked about the police code of silence, "You never, ever go after a fellow officer." Though 60 innocent victims were freed from jail, many of the officers who committed these crimes are still on the police force. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


This southern city is fighting food deserts with a forest of free produce
2019-05-24, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/24/us/atlanta-food-forest-fighting-food-desert/in...

Among the heavily trafficked streets of Atlanta, a massive urban food forest is growing to provide fresh produce for the public. But what exactly is a food forest? In the fight against food deserts - low income areas that lack access to fresh, whole foods - a food forest is a public space in the city where fresh produce will grow in trees, bushes, plants, and community garden beds for the community to enjoy. And at 7.1 acres, the site in Atlanta will become the city's first and the nation's largest. In the Lakewood-Browns Mill community, which will house the Urban Food Forest, more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the USDA, who has assisted in the project. "Residents still talk about the land's former owners, who left excess produce from their farm on fence posts for neighbors to claim and enjoy," the USDA said. "Now this land will celebrate that history and make new memories for the community." A city ordinance passed in the beginning of the month grants money for the city to purchase the plot from the Conservation Fund, which currently owns and has helped develop the land. In addition to community outreach and education, the forest is meant to make strides in the city's goal of putting 85% of residents within a half mile of fresh food by 2021.

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


Trump bypasses Congress to push through arms sales to Saudis, UAE
2019-05-24, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/trump-bypasses-congress-pu...

The Trump administration on Friday cited a national security "emergency" allegedly caused by Iran to bypass Congress and rush through arms sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East allies, in a move that drew condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Citing a rarely used provision of arms control law, the administration informed lawmakers it was declaring a national security emergency, allowing it to go ahead with the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval, according to administration letters sent to senators. The decision affected various arms packages worth roughly $8 billion. The move came despite growing bipartisan opposition to any arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid outrage over the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year, as well as over Riyadh's air war in Yemen that has caused high numbers of civilian casualties. A bipartisan majority in Congress has voted to halt U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen but President Donald Trump vetoed the legislation. Democrats in Congress said the Trump administration expedited the arms packages because it could not secure a majority of lawmakers to support any proposed sales to the Saudis.

Note: The military-industrial complex clearly has Donald Trump on their side. Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is a humanitarian disaster. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Thousands of cancer diagnoses tied to a poor diet, study finds
2019-05-23, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/22/health/diet-cancer-risk-study/index.html

Your diet may have more impact on your cancer risk than you might think, a new study has found. An estimated 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 and older in the United States in 2015 were attributable simply to eating a poor diet, according to the study, published in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum. "This is equivalent to about 5.2% of all invasive cancer cases newly diagnosed among US adults in 2015," said Dr. Fang Zhang ... who was first author of the study. "This proportion is comparable to the proportion of cancer burden attributable to alcohol," she said. The researchers evaluated seven dietary factors: a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and a high intake of processed meats, red meats and sugary beverages, such as soda. "Low whole-grain consumption was associated with the largest cancer burden in the US, followed by low dairy intake, high processed-meat intake, low vegetable and fruit intake, high red-meat intake and high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages," Zhang said. You may protect yourself from cancer by avoiding ultraprocessed foods and instead choosing organic foods, research has shown. People who frequently eat organic foods lowered their overall risk of developing cancer, according to a study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Specifically, those who primarily ate organic foods were more likely to ward off non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancer than those who rarely or never ate organic foods.

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


The Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich
2019-05-23, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-23/the-wealth-detective-who-f...

Gabriel Zucman started his first real job the Monday after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. A decade later, Zucman, 32, is an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the world’s foremost expert on where the wealthy hide their money. His doctoral thesis ... exposed trillions of dollars’ worth of tax evasion by the global rich. For his most influential work, he teamed up with his Berkeley colleague Emmanuel Saez. Their 2016 paper, “Wealth Inequality in the United States Since 1913,” distilled a century of data to answer one of modern capitalism’s murkiest mysteries: How rich are the rich in the world’s wealthiest nation? The answer - far richer than previously imagined - thrust the pair deep into the American debate over inequality. Zucman and Saez’s latest estimates show that the top 0.1% of taxpayers - about 170,000 families in a country of 330 million people - control 20% of American wealth, the highest share since 1929. The top 1% control 39% of U.S. wealth, and the bottom 90% have only 26%. The bottom half of Americans combined have a negative net worth. The shift in wealth concentration over time charts as a U, dropping rapidly through the Great Depression and World War II, staying low through the 1960s and ’70s, and surging after the ’80s as middle-class wealth rolled in the opposite direction. Zucman has also found that multinational corporations move 40% of their foreign profits, about $600 billion a year, out of the countries where their money was made and into lower-tax jurisdictions.

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


A trail of toxicity: the US military bases making people sick
2019-05-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/23/chemical-colorado-springs-mil...

Over the last 80 years, much of the land surrounding Venetucci Farm was sold to the US army to establish the base now known as Fort Carson. Farming activities have stopped. In 2016, irrigation water was found to be contaminated with elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). The foundation that runs the farm has joined forces with a local water district to sue the US Air Force, alleging that toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby base have tainted the water. Similar concerns have been raised about dozens of other bases across the country. But the problem is not limited to areas close to military installations. PFCs and related human-made chemicals, more generally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been virtually unregulated since at least the 1950s. As well as at industrial sites, airports and bases, PFAS have long been used in household products. They are everywhere. A 2007 study estimated that PFAS are in the blood of 98% of Americans, while last year an analysis by the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group found that more than 1,500 drinking water systems nationwide could be contaminated by PFAS. Studies suggest that certain PFAS may affect the growth, learning and behaviour of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of kidney and testicular cancer and thyroid problems.

Note: Read more about these chemicals contaminating the drinking water of 110 million Americans. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


New Zealand’s Next Liberal Milestone: A Budget Guided by ‘Well-Being’
2019-05-22, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/world/asia/new-zealand-wellbeing-budget.html

It’s being called the next big move by a New Zealand government seen by progressives around the world as a beacon in increasingly populist times: a national budget whose spending is dictated by what best encourages the “well-being” of citizens. That means that as the center-left government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sets its priorities in the budget that will be unveiled on May 30, it is moving away from more traditional bottom-line measures like productivity and economic growth and instead focusing on goals like community and cultural connection and equity in well-being across generations. “This budget is a game-changing event,” said Richard Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics. As a major example of what that new framework will produce, Ms. Ardern unveiled on Sunday the biggest spending proposal to date in her coming budget: more than $200 million to bolster services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. It is “the biggest single investment ever” by a New Zealand government on the issue, Ms. Ardern said at an event showcasing the initiative, and will tackle one of the nation’s “most disturbing, most shameful” problems. Under New Zealand’s revised policy, all new spending must advance one of five government priorities: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing the inequalities faced by indigenous Maori and Pacific islands people, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission, sustainable economy.

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


Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales
2019-05-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-he...

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that kickstarted the US opioid epidemic, corruptly influenced the World Health Organization in order to boost painkiller sales across the globe, according to a report by members of Congress. An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the US opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs. “The web of influence we uncovered paints a picture of a public health organization that has been corrupted by the opioid industry,” said Clark. “The WHO appears to be lending the opioid industry its voice and credibility, and as a result, a trusted public health organization is trafficking dangerous misinformation that could lead to a global opioid epidemic.” The report ... accuses Purdue of using pharma-funded organizations and specialists to influence the writing of WHO policy to encourage much wider prescribing of addictive high-strength opioids across the globe. It said that, as a result, “WHO guidelines are serving as marketing materials for Purdue”. [The] report alleges two WHO guidelines ... “contain dangerously misleading and, in some instances, outright false claims about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioids”. “Alarmingly, these guidelines mirror Purdue’s marketing strategies to increase prescriptions and expand sales,” the report found.

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


EPA blocks a dozen products containing pesticides thought harmful to bees
2019-05-22, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-energy-202/2019/05/2...

The Environmental Protection Agency is pulling from the market a dozen products containing pesticides known to be toxic to a linchpin of the U.S. food system — the honeybee. The agency announced Monday it has canceled the registrations of 12 pest-killing products with compounds belonging to a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, as part of a legal settlement. For years, beekeepers and wildlife conversationalists alike have voiced concern that the widespread use of neonics, as the chemicals are commonly called, is imperiling wild and domesticated bees crucial to pollinating commercial fruit, nut and vegetable crops. The decision follows five years of litigation in which the beekeepers and environmentalists pressed the agency to mount a response to the use of neonics as regulators in Europe and Canada have taken steps toward banning the chemicals. Finally, at the end of 2018, three agribusinesses - Bayer, Syngenta and Valent - agreed to let the EPA pull from shelves the 12 pesticide products used by growers ranging from large-scale agricultural businesses to home gardeners. The legal settlement also compels the EPA to analyze the impacts of the entire neonic class on endangered species. Rebecca Riley, legal director of the nature program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that the agency has failed often in the past to adequately consider the potential impact of its pesticide approvals on endangered animals — something every federal agency is supposed to do.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Cutting-edge experiments show an electrical zap improves memory in older adults
2019-05-10, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/may-11-2019-zapping-the-brain-to-improve-memo...

Two complementary studies recently found that noninvasive and extremely mild brain stimulation could be used to improve episodic and working memory in older adults. "We can make these 60 and 70-year-olds look strikingly like our 20-year-old participants," researcher Robert Reinhart [said]. The first study used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce mild neural firing in the brain. The research team stimulated the participants' brains for half an hour a day for five days. They then measured the adults' memory ability 24 hours after the final day of stimulation and found their recall ability on a memory test had improved 31 per cent. The second study, led by Robert Reinhart from ... Boston University, used a different technology, and stimulated different regions of the brain. Using electroencephalography, or EEG, which records the electrical activity of the brain, Reinhart found evidence that older adults' brain waves were out-of-sync in critical brain regions used by working memory or short-term memory. Reinhart then tried to ameliorate the problem by using a precise and customizable electrical stimulation technology called "high definition transcranial alternating current stimulation," or HD-tACS for short. The team applied current for 25 minutes to 42 older participants' brains, and saw improvements during this time on a memory test that they did before they received stimulation. As in Voss' study, the subjects' performance increased to the point that it was equal to that of 20-year-olds.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


U.S. Special Forces School Publishes New Guide for Overthrowing Foreign Governments
2019-05-08, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/us-guide-overthrow-government-special-forces-school-...

The official school of the United States' Special Operations Command has published a new paper detailing a decades-long history of Pentagon-backed interference around the world, hoping to provide insight on how best to approach such efforts in the present and future. The 250-page study, "Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness," was compiled by Army Special Forces veteran Will Irwin. Its findings present a comprehensive look at how the U.S. has supported efforts to pressure, undermine and overthrow foreign governments. The report includes some 47 case studies spanning from 1941 to 2003, detailing a legacy of mixed results that included assisting partisans against the Axis Power satellites during World War II, bolstering anti-communist forces throughout the Cold War and taking on post-9/11 adversaries in Afghanistan and Iraq. The numerous Washington-orchestrated coups of the past 70 years were "not included in this study as they did not involve legitimate resistance movements." Of the 47 cases analyzed, 23 were deemed "successful," 20 were designated "failures," two were classified as "partially successful" and two more - both during World War II - were called "inconclusive" as the broader conflict led to an Allied victory anyway. Coercion was the most successful method at a three-quarters rate of success or partial success, while disruption worked just over half the time and regime change only yielded the desired result in 29 percent of the cases reviewed.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


The transformational power of how you talk about your life
2019-05-07, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190523-the-way-you-tell-your-life-story-sha...

Imagine that, when you were 12 years old, your family moved to the other side of the country. In your new school, you were bullied for the first time. When you reflect upon this period of your life today, do you see this as just one of many episodes in which things were going great, and then turned sour? Or do you see it as another example of a tough experience that had a happy ending? It may not seem as if the way you tell this story, even just to yourself, would shape who you are. But it turns out that how you interpret your life, and tell its story, has profound effects on what kind of person you become. If you’re the kind of person who would remember the positives that came out of that (hypothetical) bullying episode at your new school, it’s also more likely that you enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing and satisfaction in life. Moreover, this raises the tantalising possibility that changing your self-authoring style and focus could be beneficial – indeed, helping people to re-interpret their personal stories in a more constructive light is the basis of what’s known as “narrative therapy”. Modify your story as you tell it, and perhaps you can change the kind of person you are. As philosophers have long argued, there is a sense in which we construct our own realities. Usually this liberating perspective is applied by psychotherapists to help people deal with specific fears and anxieties. Life story research suggests a similar principle may be applicable at a grander level, in the very way that we author our own lives, therefore shaping who we are.

Note: Check out a highly inspiring online lesson which beautifully shows that what happens to you is not nearly as important as how you interpret what happens.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


He teaches incarcerated kids to honor his mom who was denied education. Now, he's National Teacher of the Year.
2019-04-26, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/24/us/rodney-robinson-2019-teacher-of-the-year-tr...

[Rodney] Robinson, who teaches at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center in Virginia, was just named the National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. "He creates a positive school culture by empowering his students - many of whom have experienced trauma - to become civically minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities," the council said in a statement. After seeing his mom "transform" while pursuing her GED, Robinson decided to become a history and social studies teacher. He has been teaching for 19 years. In 2015, Robinson moved to teaching at the juvenile detention center because he wanted to understand the school-to-prison pipeline, which refers to strict school policies that can push students from disadvantaged backgrounds to leave school and become incarcerated. Many of the students at Virgie Binford come from impoverished backgrounds, live in high-crime areas and have had negative contact with schools and the judicial system, Principal Ta'Neisha Ford said. The educators' goal is to help these students fall back in love with school. "(Robinson) allows students to really shine and he gives them the tools to succeed," Ford said. Robinson said he's honored to have won the teacher of the year title. He is working on programs to lower high school dropout rates.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Judge's running club helps Skid Row's homeless rebuild their lives
2019-04-12, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/04/us/cnnheroes-judge-craig-mitchell-skid-row-run...

Twice a week, before the sun comes up, Judge Craig Mitchell runs the mile from his office at the county courthouse to The Midnight Mission, a social services organization centered in Downtown's Skid Row - the notorious area where the city's largest homeless population resides. At the mission, he meets a group of 30 to 40 people, and together they run through East L.A. The group includes runners from all walks of life and all levels of athleticism. Some members are homeless or in recovery, and others are lawyers, social workers, students or off-duty LAPD officers. Mitchell developed the program in 2012 after a man he'd once sentenced to prison returned to thank him. "He was paroled to The Midnight Mission and decided to come back and say, 'Thank you, Judge Mitchell, for treating me like a human being.' "The president of the mission at the time asked me if there was something that I could do to contribute to the mission's program, and I thought of starting a running club. That was the inception," Mitchell said. Between 300 and 500 people have since run with the group, now an official nonprofit. Every year, Mitchell takes his most dedicated Skid Row runners on a free trip to participate in an international marathon. In recent years, Mitchell and club members have participated in marathons in Ghana, Rome, Vietnam and Jerusalem. Mitchell says he's seen participants turn their lives around, attending college, securing full-time employment and maintaining sobriety.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Runaway teens don't qualify for foster care. So she created a solution.
2019-04-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/us/cnnheroes-vicki-sokolik-starting-right-now/...

Jahiem Morgan knew he was too young to be living on his own at 15 years old, but he didn't have much of a choice. Morgan found himself among the nearly 1.3 million young people across the United States who are classified as "unaccompanied youths" and can't get foster care because they chose to leave a situation rather than be removed by social services. Some of these young people are runaways; others leave abusive homes; and many identify as LGBTQ. They're out on their own, and many end up in dangerous situations -- living on the streets or in abandoned buildings. "Most people don't even know these kids exist," said Vicki Sokolik, who helps these teens in Tampa, Florida. Sokolik was first introduced to this population in 2006, when her then-teenage son told her about a classmate who was in danger of becoming homeless. Sokolik helped the girl, securing her a place to live and providing the resources she needed. The experience inspired Sokolik to do more. In 2007, she founded "Starting Right, Now," a nonprofit that helps unaccompanied youth ages 15 to 19 get permanent housing, graduate from high school and move on to their next goal. At-risk students in two Florida counties are referred to the program by their school guidance counselors. The program provides two homes where the students can live until they go to college or start their career. They also have access to tutoring, therapy and life skills classes. The organization has helped more than 200 young people, and 97% have graduated high school.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


FBI director says white supremacy is a 'persistent, pervasive threat' to the US
2019-04-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/04/politics/fbi-director-wray-white-supremacy/ind...

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that white supremacy presents a "persistent" and "pervasive" threat to the United States. Wray also spoke out against hate crimes and was asked by Democrats what the FBI was doing to crack down on hate crimes, which they say have ticked up during Trump's presidency. "We are determined not to tolerate hate-filled violence in our communities, so we're going to aggressively investigate those cases," Wray said, adding that there has been an increase in "the reporting of hate crimes," but that this doesn't automatically mean more hate crimes were happening. FBI efforts to encourage the public to report hate crimes could be yielding benefits, he said. These comments aren't exactly in line with what Trump has said about the topic of white nationalism. Trump, who appointed Wray in 2017, has downplayed the danger of white nationalism and even praised some of the Nazi sympathizers who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. After the New Zealand mosque massacre last month, where a right-wing extremist killed 50 Muslim worshippers, Trump said he didn't consider white nationalism to be a rising global threat. "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," Trump said. An FBI assessment released last year found that there was a 17% spike in reports of hate crime incidents in 2017, compared to 2016.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Here are the counties where taxpayers are most likely to be audited
2019-04-02, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/where-does-the-irs-audit-the-most-poor-rural-cou...

Taxpayers in rural, poor parts of the U.S. are more likely be audited by the Internal Revenue Service than those living in wealthier counties, according to a new analysis. The county where residents are most likely to face an audit: tiny Humphreys County, Mississippi, where the median household income is less than $24,000 a year, or less than half the income of a typical U.S. family. The higher audit rates in poor regions comes down to an IRS policy of scrutinizing taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, a refundable tax credit aimed at low- and moderate-income Americans. Counties with higher-than-average audit rates tend to be located in the South, the northern Plains, Mountain and Western states. The upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England states have lower audit rates. Many of the counties with the highest IRS audit rates have larger minority populations. That includes Humphreys, where 3 of every 4 residents is black. By comparison ... Denali, Alaska, with the lowest audit rate of all U.S. counties, is 84 percent white and has a median household income of more than $83,000. Audit rates for millionaires have declined by half since 2010. Corporate audits are also on the wane. But the audit rates for people who claim the EITC hasn't fallen as sharply as for the rich and corporations, ProPublica reported in December. That means a typical EITC claimant, who earns less than $20,000 per year, is more likely to face an audit than a millionaire.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Pressing for vaccine law changes in Arizona
2019-03-22, azcentral.com/USA Today (website of Arizona's largest newspaper)
https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2019/03/22/vaccine-law-changes-...

The number of recommended vaccines was only 23 doses of seven vaccines in 1983. By 2017, the CDC’s recommended number skyrocketed to 69 doses of 16 vaccines – 50 doses given before age 6. Vaccination is not appropriate for every individual due to one’s genetic disposition, autoimmune deficiency, allergy or other circumstance. Medical professionals would never claim that because a certain drug or therapy was approved for most people, everyone should be subject to it – but with vaccine injury, the clinical evidence does not seem to apply. Despite ... specific warnings on each vaccine insert, there is an unwillingness to acknowledge the risk for some individuals. While some claim vaccine injuries are rare, the CDC-funded Harvard Pilgrim Project’s [found] that less than 1 percent are ever reported to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. Taxpayers – not liability-free pharmaceutical companies – have paid patients $4 billion for their injuries or death through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program since 1988. Most families that have experiences with vaccine reactions were never notified beforehand of [this] program. Certain ingredients in vaccinations, including chemicals, human, animal, and insect DNA and RNA, are abhorrent to some for religious or ethical reasons. Mandated vaccination should not force someone to compromise their beliefs. The American Medical Association’s code of ethics affirms the right to both religious and philosophical exceptions for physicians themselves to not be vaccinated. The same standard should apply to their patients.

Note: See the highly revealing 6-page report on the US government's "Health Information Technology" website that states, "Adverse events from drugs and vaccines are common, but underreported. ... Fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported." A concise summary of this report can be found here. More valuable information is available here. For even more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources. Explore also the best website calling for responsibility in vaccination.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


8-year-old living in homeless shelter wins New York chess championship
2019-03-18, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/18/homeless-boy-nigerian-r...

An 8-year-old living in a homeless shelter has won the New York State chess championship for his age bracket. “I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a Nigerian refugee who goes by Tani, [said]. Tanitoluwa placed first in the New York State Scholastic Championships tournament for kindergarten through third grade — a remarkable win for anyone. “It’s unheard of for any kid, let alone one in a homeless shelter,” [said] Russell Makofsky, who oversees Manhattan's P.S. 116 chess program. Tanitoluwa hasn't had an easy life. His family left northern Nigeria in 2017 fearing attacks on Christians, The New York Times reports, and moved to New York City over a year ago where the boy learned how to play chess at school. He and his family live in a homeless shelter. School chess coach Shawn Martinez saw Tanitoluwa's potential after observing him excel in the game a few weeks after first learning it early last year. He reached out to Tanitoluwa's family about joining the school's chess program, and learned they were unable to pay costs associated with membership. Makofsky decided to waive Tanitoluwa's fees, which can easily exceed thousands with travel and chess camp admissions. Seven trophies later, the elementary school boy is one of the top players in the country for his age group. Makofsky, who set up a GoFundMe for Tanitoluwa, said the family has received offers for a car, legal services, jobs and even housing.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Tiny Costa Rica Has a Green New Deal, Too. It Matters for the Whole Planet.
2019-03-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/12/climate/costa-rica-climate-change.html

Costa Rica, population 5 million, wants to wean itself from fossil fuels by 2050, and the chief evangelist of the idea is a 38-year-old urban planner named Claudia Dobles who also happens to be the first lady. Every country will have to aspire to something similar, scientists say, if the world is to avert the most dire consequences of global warming. And while Costa Rica’s carbon footprint is tiny compared to other countries, Ms. Dobles has a higher goal in mind: Getting rid of fossil fuels would show the world that a small country can be a leader on an awesome problem and improve the health and well-being of its citizens in the bargain. Costa Rica’s green bid, though fraught with challenges, has a head start. Electricity comes largely from renewable sources already — chiefly hydropower, but also wind, solar and geothermal energy. The country has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years, after decades of deforestation. Now, if its decarbonization strategy succeeds, it could provide a road map to others, especially developing countries. For Ms. Dobles, the top priority is fixing transportation. It is the largest single source of Costa Rica’s greenhouse gas emissions. The National Decarbonization Plan, as it’s called, envisions electric passenger and freight trains in service by 2022. Under the plan, nearly a third of all buses would be electric by 2035, dozens of charging stations would be built, and nearly all cars and buses on the roads would be electric by 2050.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: See a revealing letter written from Senator Harry Reid to the deputy secretary of defense support further explorations into a UFO program. An intriguing online video interview with Reid and further discussion is available in this informative media article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Atomic Soldiers
2019-02-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/opinion/atomic-soldiers.html

I’ve always been fascinated by nuclear weapons and the self-destructive tendencies of mankind. So when I found declassified United States Civil Defense footage of soldiers maneuvering in the glare of a mushroom cloud, I wanted to learn more about their stories. I discovered that as many as 400,000 American soldiers and sailors observed nuclear explosions just a few miles from ground zero in more than 200 atmospheric tests conducted between 1946 and 1962. It was difficult to get a precise count of how many men were involved, because most information was classified — including reports on the illnesses the veterans suffered and the radioactive pollution that was released into the environment around the test sites. They served near dangerous nuclear tests — and it has haunted them ever since. With so little information available and the number of remaining veterans dwindling rapidly, I wanted to prevent these stories from disappearing. I decided to interview some of them as research for a fiction film on the topic and wound up making this documentary in the process. Because of secrecy agreements they had signed, some of them were hesitant to talk about their experiences. Getting to know these men was an experience I will never forget. I realized that my own generation seems to have become numb to what nuclear war could do to humanity. The accounts of the atomic soldiers can help us understand that horror.

Note: The author of this article, Morgan Knibbe, is a Dutch documentary filmmaker. The 15-minute documentary he made, available at the link above, is so important. These men were used as guinea pigs in nuclear bomb tests and have suffered in silence for decades because of those who promote war on our planet. Please watch and spread the word far and wide. For lots more on humans being used mercilessly as guinea pigs, see this webpage.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness Through Music
2019-01-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/well/mind/fighting-the-stigma-of-mental-il...

When Ronald Braunstein conducts an orchestra, there’s no sign of his bipolar disorder. He’s confident and happy. Music isn’t his only medicine, but its healing power is potent. Scientific research has shown that music helps fight depression, lower blood pressure and reduce pain. The National Institutes of Health has a partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts called Sound Health: Music and the Mind, to expand on the links between music and mental health. It explores how listening to, performing or creating music involves brain circuitry that can be harnessed to improve health and well-being. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said: “We’re bringing neuroscientists together with musicians to speak each other’s language. Mental health conditions are among those areas we’d like to see studied.” Mr. Braunstein, 63, has experienced the benefits of music for his own mental health and set out to bring them to others. Mr. Braunstein reached out to [Caroline Whiddon] about creating an orchestra that welcomed musicians with mental illnesses and family members and friends who support them. Mr. Braunstein called his new venture the Me2/Orchestra, because when he told other musicians about his mental health diagnosis, they’d often respond, “Me too.” In 2014, a second orchestra, Me2/Boston, was created. At each performance, a few musicians briefly talk about their mental illnesses and take questions from the audience.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Learn more about these bizarre declassified documents and explore links to the documents themselves on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Has the Government Legalized Secret Defense Spending?
2019-01-16, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/secret-government-spe...

October 4th, 2018, was a busy news day. The only thing that did not make the news was an announcement by a little-known government body called the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board - FASAB - that essentially legalized secret national security spending. The new guidance, “SFFAS 56 – CLASSIFIED ACTIVITIES” permits government agencies to “modify” public financial statements. It also expressly allows federal agencies to refrain from telling taxpayers if and when public financial statements have been altered. To Michigan State professor Mark Skidmore, who’s been studying discrepancies in defense expenditures for years, the new ruling - and the lack of public response to it - was a shock. “From this point forward,” he says, “the federal government will keep two sets of books, one modified book for the public and one true book that is hidden.” Catherine Austin Fitts was Assistant Secretary for Housing and Urban Development during the George H.W. Bush administration. She’s been working with Skidmore on defense accounting issues for two years. She was so alarmed about the new FASAB ruling she commissioned an in-depth study of “Standard 56” for her site, the Solari Report. The report writes bluntly that SFFAS 56 is: “... taking government accounting practices from laxly enforced reporting standards to a new benchmark entirely–expressly approved obfuscation of reporting and, in some cases, outright concealing financials.”

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


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

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

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


Flowers can hear buzzing bees—and it makes their nectar sweeter
2019-01-15, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/01/flowers-can-hear-bees-and-...

Sound is so elemental to life and survival that it prompted Tel Aviv University researcher Lilach Hadany to ask: What if it wasn’t just animals that could sense sound - what if plants could, too? The first experiments to test this hypothesis ... suggest that in at least one case, plants can hear, and it confers a real evolutionary advantage. Hadany’s team looked at evening primroses (Oenothera drummondii) and found that within minutes of sensing vibrations from pollinators’ wings, the plants temporarily increased the concentration of sugar in their flowers’ nectar. In effect, the flowers themselves served as ears, picking up the specific frequencies of bees’ wings while tuning out irrelevant sounds like wind. A sweeter treat for pollinators, their theory goes, may draw in more insects, potentially increasing the chances of successful cross-pollination. Indeed, in field observations, researchers found that pollinators were more than nine times more common around plants another pollinator had visited within the previous six minutes. As the team thought about how sound works, via the transmission and interpretation of vibrations, the role of the flowers became even more intriguing. Though blossoms vary widely in shape and size, a good many are concave or bowl-shaped. This makes them perfect for receiving and amplifying sound waves, much like a satellite dish. This single study has cracked open an entirely new field of scientific research, which Hadany calls phytoacoustics.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Life, Death and Insulin
2019-01-07, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/magazine/wp/2019/01/07/feature/insulin-is...

The global insulin market is dominated by three companies: Eli Lilly, the French company Sanofi and the Danish firm Novo Nordisk. All three have raised list prices to similar levels. According to IBM Watson Health data, Sanofi’s popular insulin brand Lantus was $35 a vial when it was introduced in 2001; it’s now $270. Novo Nordisk’s Novolog was priced at $40 in 2001, and as of July 2018, it’s $289. The companies appear to have increased [prices] in lockstep over a number of years, prompting allegations of price fixing. All three companies denied these charges. (In 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican companies for price collusion on insulin, an allegation Eli Lilly also denied.) In the United States, a federal prosecutor and at least five state attorneys general are currently investigating the companies’ pricing practices. There is also another, less known corporate entity in the mix: pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which include Express Scripts, OptumRx and CVS Health; all are now named in lawsuits on high insulin prices. These corporate entities are powerful special interests. In 2017, the pharmaceutical and health product industry ... spent nearly $280 million on lobbying, the biggest spender by far of 20 top industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The industry also has a revolving door to government. Alex Azar, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, was the president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. division until 2017.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


How 'Buddy Benches' are making playtime less lonely
2018-12-04, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-45958313

One day, during her usual chat with her eight-year-old son about school, Tracey Cooney got an answer she didn't expect. "There was nobody to play with. Everyone was playing in their own little groups," he confided. She was surprised because he was usually outgoing and confident. Cooney felt a little upset, but remembered something she had seen on social media and wondered if it could help children in his situation. It's called a Buddy Bench. The idea is simple - if a child feels lonely, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Another child will see them, go and talk to them and include them in their games. So Cooney asked other parents and the head teacher at Castlemartyr National School in Cork, Ireland, whether they would be interested in getting one - their answer was, "Yes." "We use the bench as a reminder for children of things like communication, mutual support and opening up about feelings," says Judith Ashton, a psychotherapist and co-founder of ... Buddy Bench Ireland. Apart from reducing social isolation and improving mental wellbeing, the hope is that the benches can tackle another problem: bullying. But do children actually use the bench? "They don't see it as stigmatised," says Sinead McGilloway ... who led a study of 117 pupils at three schools which have benches. Forty per cent of the children she questioned said they had used the bench, and 90% said if they saw someone else sitting on it they would talk to them.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Note: Read a