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EWG finds little-known toxic chemical in four out of five people tested
2024-02-15, Environmental Working Group
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2024/02/ewg-finds-little-known-toxic-c...

A new EWG peer-reviewed study has found chlormequat, a little-known pesticide, in four out of five, or 80 percent, of people tested. The groundbreaking analysis of chlormequat in the bodies of people in the U.S. rings alarm bells, because the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies, suggesting the potential for similar harm to humans. EWG’s research, published February 15 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, tested for the presence of chlormequat in urine collected from 96 people between 2017 and 2023. The chemical was found in the urine of 77 of them. We detected the chemical in 92 percent of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios. The fact that so many people are exposed raises concerns about its potential impact on public health, since animal studies link chlormequat to reduced fertility, harm to the reproductive system and altered fetal growth. Environmental Protection Agency regulations allow the chemical to be used on ornamental plants only – not food crops – grown in the U.S. But its use is permitted on imported oats and other foods sold here. Many oats and oat products consumed in the U.S. come from Canada. Chlormequat was not allowed on oats sold in the U.S. before 2018, when the Trump EPA gave first-time approval for some amount of the chemical on imported oats. The same administration in 2020 increased the allowable level.

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.


‘I slept with my half-sibling’: Woman’s horror story reflects loosely regulated nature of US fertility industry
2024-02-14, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/14/us/fertility-fraud-accidental-incest-invs/inde...

Victoria Hill never quite understood how she could be so different from her father – in looks and in temperament. Worried about a health issue, and puzzled because neither of her parents had suffered any of the symptoms, Hill purchased a DNA testing kit from 23andMe a few years ago and sent her DNA to the genomics company. What should have been a routine quest to learn more about herself turned into a shocking revelation that she had many more siblings than just the brother she grew up with – the count now stands at 22. Some of them reached out to her and dropped more bombshells: Hill’s biological father was not the man she grew up with but a fertility doctor who had been helping her mother conceive using donated sperm. That doctor, Burton Caldwell, a sibling told her, had used his own sperm to inseminate her mother, allegedly without her consent. Hill’s story appears to represent one of the most extreme cases to date of fertility fraud in which fertility doctors have misled their female patients and their families by secretly using their own sperm instead of that of a donor. A CNN investigation into fertility fraud nationwide found that most states, including Connecticut, have no laws against it. More than 30 doctors around the country have been caught or accused of covertly using their own sperm to impregnate their patients, CNN has confirmed; advocates say they know of at least 80. No doctors have yet been criminally charged for the behavior.

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


Artist says he'll destroy $45M worth of Rembrandt, Picasso and Warhol masterpieces if Julian Assange dies in prison
2024-02-14, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/andrei-molodkin-destroy-rembrandt-picasso-wa...

An artist in the south of France says he's planning to destroy up to $45 million worth of art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Andy Warhol, if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dies in prison. Andrei Molodkin [said] that he put a collection of masterpieces that had been donated to him into a 29-ton safe hooked up to two barrels — one containing an acid powder and the other containing an accelerator — which, when pumped into the safe, will create a reaction strong enough to destroy all its contents. The project is called "Dead Man's Switch," and it is backed by Assange's wife, Stella. Assange is currently in jail in the U.K. awaiting his final appeal over extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act, which will take place later this month. WikiLeaks published thousands of leaked documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Assange is alleged to have conspired to obtain and disclose U.S. national defense information. Molodkin says that the safe will be hooked up to a 24-hour timer which must be reset every day or else it will trigger the release of the two barrel's corrosive substances inside. He says, each day, the timer will only be reset when someone "close to Assange" confirms he is alive. Assange's wife, Stella, says the project asks the question of "which is the greater taboo: destroying art or destroying human life? If democracy wins, the art will be preserved - as will Julian's life."

Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Multiple US military whistleblowers reveal how a disc-shaped UFO intercepted nuclear missile and disabled it with 'laser-beams' in mid-air over California
2024-02-12, Daily Mail (One of the UK's Popular Newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13074513/Military-whistleblow...

The US military is in possession of a video of a UFO apparently disabling a nuclear warhead during a routine test, according to multiple former officials. They claim the video in question captured a saucer-shaped craft circling the unarmed, dummy warhead shortly after it detached from the Atlas missile booster, then shooting four beams of light at the warhead, disabling it. Retired US Air Force officers Lieutenant Bob Jacobs and Major Florenze Mansmann claim to have viewed the recording of the 1964 encounter before the tape went missing. The former officials were part of a team responsible for capturing video of missile test launches in California with telescopic photography and videography equipment. Two days later, after they screened the video, they claim that two plain-clothed CIA agents confiscated the footage and swore them to secrecy. The incredible account is part of a pattern that some UFO experts have identified, where UFOs seem to interfere with nuclear weapons. The craft inadvertently caught on film was domed and disc-shaped, according to Jacobs and Mansmann. It was a 'classic disc, the center seemed to be a raised bubble ... the entire lower saucer shape was glowing and seemed to be rotating slowly,' according to a letter Mansmann wrote about the incident in 1983. Radar data of the September 15, 1964 event apparently confirmed that an unidentified aerial object was observed near the dummy warhead during the missile test.

Note: Watch Lt. Bob Jacob's intriguing full testimony here, where he discusses how he was sworn to secrecy about what he saw for 18 years. An anonymous US Senate investigator allegedly confirmed that the existence of the footage was verified by Luis Elizondo, the former head of the Pentagon’s advanced aerospace threat identification program (AATIP). For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources.


Blind Jazz Sax Teacher Inspires Students to ‘Feel’ Their Instruments, Uses His Disability as Teaching Tool
2024-02-09, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/blind-jazz-sax-teacher-inspires-students-to-f...

From a Tampa performing arts conservatory comes the story of a blind jazz saxophonist who uses his disability as a teaching tool. He encourages his students to act on instinct; to feel the music through their instruments, and not let the waking world deceive them. “Welcome to every day of my life,” says Matthew Weihmuller in his jazz improvisation class after turning the lights off. “Then we have a big laugh,” he adds. When Weihmuller started playing, he needed braille sheet music, and pieces would take months; even years to learn. As if that weren’t difficult enough, few people in the country were capable of providing braille music, so he started “brailling” his own, with the help of his mom. “They can’t look at their instrument. Now, they have to feel their instrument with their fingers and hands, right?” Weihmuller told Fox 13. “Now, we’ve got to listen to the music. We can’t read it. It forces the students to use their other senses.” During improvisational sessions, a musician has to be ready for sudden changes in time signature or key. This is nearly impossible to express through sheet music. At least in this regard, the children are learning in the best way for this unorthodox, yet traditional form of jazz music. As an educator with blindness, Weihmuller stresses turning any disadvantage into an advantage, a teaching philosophy that has led some students to tell the man that he has changed the way they look at life.

Note: Read more inspiring news articles on the power of art. For more, explore our uplifting Inspiration Center, which focuses on solutions and the best of humanity and life.


Sexual violence is an ancient and often unseen war crime. Is it inevitable?
2024-02-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2024/02/08/1229815241/sexual-violen...

Despite its long history as part of conflicts, sexual violence is often not reported because of the trauma and shame it brings to survivors, their families and their wider communities. There has also been reticence among various authorities to speak out. Only in modern times, in the 1990s when wars broke out in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, did the United Nations begin to recognize sexual violence as ... a category of war crime. The specific term "conflict-related sexual violence," or CRSV, was first introduced in 2000 when the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution that launched the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The U.N. defined the term as "rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict." [CRSV] is widespread and is used as a tactic of war to assert dominance and power. "It can be just as traumatizing to see your daughter, your sister or your parents being raped in front of you," says [Dr. Ranit] Mishori. "Or you're forced to strip naked in front of soldiers or in the city square. People often carry this trauma without knowing it's an international crime and minimize what happened to them." For conflict resolution and peace building to be successful, survivors need to be included in the process. For some countries this method has already started to work. [In Colombia], they have built women into the peace process. It's not perfect — no peace is perfect — but it is progressive and it is intentional, and that is important. Intentional peace building must be inclusive of survivors of this form of violence.

Note: The public receives censored and sanitized versions of war from the government and the media. Yet in reality, unethical violations of domestic and international human rights law are common and often kept hidden during wartime. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


US court bans three weedkillers and finds EPA broke law in approval process
2024-02-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/feb/07/us-weedkiller-ban-dicamba...

A US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market. The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage. This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products. But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote ... that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision. Bury wrote that the EPA did not allow many people who are deeply affected by the weedkiller – including specialty farmers, conservation groups and more – to comment. “The evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell [with] the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.

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


‘A privacy nightmare’: the $400m surveillance package inside the US immigration bill
2024-02-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/06/us-immigration-bill-mexico-bo...

The $118bn bipartisan immigration bill that the US Senate introduced on Sunday is already facing steep opposition. The 370-page measure, which also would provide additional aid to Israel and Ukraine, has drawn the ire of both Democrats and Republicans over its proposed asylum and border laws. But privacy, immigration and digital liberties experts are also concerned over another aspect of the bill: more than $400m in funding for additional border surveillance and data-gathering tools. The lion’s share of that funding will go to two main tools: $170m for additional autonomous surveillance towers and $204m for “expenses related to the analysis of DNA samples”, which includes those collected from migrants detained by border patrol. The bill describes autonomous surveillance towers as ones that “utilize sensors, onboard computing, and artificial intelligence to identify items of interest that would otherwise be manually identified by personnel”. The rest of the funding for border surveillance ... includes $47.5m for mobile video surveillance systems and drones and $25m for “familial DNA testing”. The bill also includes $25m in funding for “subterranean detection capabilities” and $10m to acquire data from unmanned surface vehicles or autonomous boats. As of early January, CBP had deployed 396 surveillance towers along the US-Mexico border, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Note: Read more about the secret history of facial recognition technology and undeniable evidence indicating these tools do much more harm than good. 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.


Internal Prison Files Suggest Epstein ‘Suicide’ Coverup
2024-02-04, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/02/04/internal-prison-files-suggest-epstein-suici...

Internal US Bureau of Prison (BOP) documents obtained by The Grayzone under Freedom of Information laws raise extremely serious questions about whether Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged first suicide attempt on July 23, 2019 in fact happened, and suggest the Bureau distorted evidence to attribute his death to suicide before his autopsy had even been completed. Officially, Epstein was found to have died in his cell at New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, with a medical examiner ruling at the time that he had taken his own life by hanging. The ruling was aggressively contested by Epstein’s associates and widely disbelieved. Epstein’s legal team publicly declared available evidence on his death was “far more consistent” with murder. On August 9 ... regular checks on [Epstein] ceased. Three CCTV cameras nearby apparently malfunctioned. Two on-duty guards fabricated records to hide how they allegedly flouted their legal duties to surf the internet. And the next day, the prison’s most infamous inmate was dead. In the immediate wake of Epstein’s death ... BOP suicide prevention coordinator Robert Nagle visited the Metropolitan Correctional Center to initiate a “psychological reconstruction” of Epstein’s last moments. His resultant report recorded that a video of the “significant incident” was confiscated by the FBI before his review began. He was also prohibited from conducting formal interviews with prison staff.

Note: Read about the new evidence suggesting Epstein ran a sex blackmail operation for intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


A big idea for small farms: How to link agriculture, nutrition and public health
2024-02-03, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/02/03/1228749130/nutrition-far...

Jimena Cordero is chopping up vegetables and fanning them out onto trays. Cordero is the farm manager at Ollin Farms, not far from Boulder, Colo. — she's put together bright pink and purple radishes, apple, fresh turnips. At the meeting with about a dozen local farmers, two state representatives, and the Colorado commissioner of agriculture, [Cordero's father Mark] Guttridge will explain how Boulder county has made creative investments in his farm that could be scaled up to the state or even national level. Before the meeting, Guttridge shows me one of those investments. A dozen sheep mill about in a field bordered by a simple white fence. Around the field is a special moveable type of fencing that Ollin Farms bought using grants from the Boulder County Sustainability Office. It allows them to move the sheep from one field to another, fertilizing as they go. The goal of these investments is "really building up our soil health," he explains. "That relates directly to the nutrient quality and nutrient density of the food — healthy soil grows healthy food." The county also makes an effort to get that healthy food out to different communities to be able to boost public health. That's where the Boulder County Public Health department comes in. It created a coupon program that low-income families — many of mixed immigration status — can use to get free fruits and vegetables from Ollin Farms' farm stand.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Down With the Corporate Price-Gougers Ripping Us Off!
2024-02-02, Common Dreams
https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/corporate-greed-inflation-price-gouging

Our new report for the Groundwork Collaborative finds that corporate profits accounted for more than half — 53 percent — of inflation from April to September 2023. That’s an astronomical percentage. Corporate profits drove just 11 percent of price growth in the four decades prior to the pandemic. Businesses have been quick to blame rising costs on supply chain shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But two years later, our economy has mostly returned to normal. In some cases, companies’ costs to make things and stock shelves have actually decreased. A recent survey from the Richmond Fed and Duke University revealed that 60 percent of companies plan to hike prices this year by more than they did before the pandemic, even though their costs have moderated. Corporations across industries, from housing to groceries and used cars, are juicing their profit margins even as the cost of doing business goes down. Since the summer of 2021, Groundwork began listening in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls where we heard CEO after CEO boasting about their ability to raise prices on consumers. Now we hear something slightly different: CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down. PepsiCo raised its prices on snacks and beverages by roughly 15 percent twice in the last year while bragging to shareholders that their profit margins will grow as input costs come down.

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


Source Who Revealed How Taxes Steal for the Rich Rewarded With Five Years in Prison
2024-02-02, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
https://fair.org/home/source-who-revealed-how-taxes-steal-for-the-rich-reward...

Because of Charles Littlejohn, we know that former President Donald Trump and a whole bunch of other rich people pay next to nothing in taxes. Littlejohn, a former consultant at the Internal Revenue Service, leaked these tax returns. For leaking this sensitive information, Littlejohn has been sentenced to five years in federal prison, the maximum jail term. Littlejohn’s lawyers (Bloomberg, 1/18/24) had argued that he had acted “out of a deep, moral belief that the American people had a right to know the information and sharing it was the only way to effect change.” Littlejohn now joins people like Reality Winner (New York Times, 8/23/18) and Chelsea Manning (NPR, 1/17/17), security and military-sector leakers who put their freedom on the line to disclose government secrets they felt should be a matter of the public record. The fact of the matter is that investigative journalism can only happen because of leakers who take great risks. Adrian Schoolcraft, an NYPD officer who provided the Village Voice (5/4/10) with evidence of statistics manipulation, felt the wrath of government power when he was eventually forced into a psychiatric ward (Chief, 10/5/15). Edward Snowden, who provided the Guardian (6/11/13) with details about widespread NSA surveillance, is still in exile in Russia as a result of his decision to be a whistleblower. By revealing what the rich can legally get away with, [Littlejohn] was demonstrating that we live in an increasingly divided society.

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.


Bodycam Maker Axon Is on a Mission to Surveil America with AI
2024-02-01, Vice
https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7bwp4/axon-acquires-fusus-ai-surveillance-re...

Axon, maker of Tasers and police body cameras, has acquired a surveillance company that allows police to tap into camera networks in schools, retail stores, and other locations in cities and towns across America and apply AI technology to the footage. Axon acquired Fusus for an undisclosed sum. Fusus operates what it calls “real time crime centers (RTCC)” which allow police and other public agencies to analyze a wide array of video sources at a single point and apply AI that detects objects and people. These centers are reminiscent of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Centers—where intelligence from a diverse number of sources is collected and shared among agencies—and have already expanded to over 250 cities and counties. Last week, Axon announced a new line of cameras called Axon Body Workforce designed to be worn by workers in retail and in healthcare. Despite pushing the cameras as deterrents, data shows no evidence that they’ve been effective in reducing police violence or increasing transparency. The rise of Fusus is concerning to rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has raised alarm over the expansion of law enforcement’s ability to easily surveil Americans. Notably, the concept behind Fusus’ solution is similar to technology that has been deployed in South Africa for years, and which experts have said exacerbates inequality in the country.

Note: Axon has ties to paid experts who are used to exonerate police after deaths in custody. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Ad agency tied to Purdue Pharma settles opioid claims for $350 million
2024-02-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/02/01/opioids-oxycontin-purdue-pub...

An advertising agency that helped market the blockbuster painkiller OxyContin will pay $350 million to states ravaged by the nation’s opioid crisis. Attorneys general from multiple states alleged that Publicis Health developed “unfair and deceptive” marketing campaigns aimed at persuading doctors to prescribe the addictive drug for longer periods of time and at higher doses. The company’s client was Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut drugmaker accused in lawsuits of helping ignite the epidemic through aggressive marketing and sales of OxyContin. Publicis, a subsidiary of French ad giant Publicis Groupe, settled with 50 states and D.C. Under the agreements, Publicis Health will stop accepting work related to prescription opioids and must release thousands of internal documents chronicling its dealings with companies such as Purdue. It is the first settlement with an advertising agency connected to the opioid crisis, according to the New York attorney general’s office. “Publicis was responsible for creating advertisements and materials, such as pamphlets and brochures that promoted OxyContin as safe and unable to be abused, even though this claim was not true,” according to a news release from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. Drug overdoses killed nearly 110,000 people in the United States in 2022, a record high, according to federal death statistics.

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


TSA sparks privacy concerns amid plans to install facial recognition systems at 400 US airports
2024-02-01, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/02/01/lifestyle/tsa-sparks-privacy-concerns-amid-plan...

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sparked privacy concerns after unveiling plans to roll out controversial facial recognition tech in over 400 US airports soon. “TSA is in the early stages of deploying its facial recognition capability to airport security checkpoints,” a spokesperson [said] regarding the ambitious program. They explained that the cutting-edge tech serves to both enhance and expedite the screening process for passengers. Dubbed CAT-2 machines, these automated identification systems accomplish this by incorporating facial recognition tech to snap real-time pictures of travelers. They then compare this biometric data against the flyer’s photo ID to verify that it’s the real person. These CAT-scans enable “traveler use of mobile driver’s licenses,” thereby improving the security experience, per the spokesperson. The TSA currently has 600 CAT-2 units deployed at about 50 airports nationwide and plans to expand them to 400 federalized airports in the future. Following the implementation of these synthetic security accelerators at US airports last winter, lawmakers expressed concerns that the machines present a major privacy issue. “The TSA program is a precursor to a full-blown national surveillance state,” said Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. “Nothing could be more damaging to our national values of privacy and freedom. No government should be trusted with this power.”

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.


A Holocaust survivor identifies with the pain of both sides in the Israel-Hamas war
2024-01-30, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2024/01/30/1227849885/a-holocaust-s...

Last week, the International Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling that the charge brought by South Africa that Israel is guilty of genocide in Gaza is "plausible." The court called on Israel to take all measures to prevent the killing of civilians in the Palestinian enclave. The war began after Hamas struck southern Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. The day of the attack has been described as the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust. When [Holocaust survivor Estelle] Laughlin was a schoolgirl in Warsaw, children regularly pelted her and the other Jewish kids with pebbles. "We were so frightened," she recalls. "The antisemitism was right in front of me — it was so visceral." For Laughlin, besides luck, it was her mother and sister who helped her make it out of the camps alive. "Love maintained us," she says. She says she survived with an enduring sense of compassion and love for humanity, including for the Germans. "Without those values, survival would be hardly meaningful," she says. Laughlin says she's holding the Jewish pain of this war alongside the Palestinian pain. "When the dignity of any human being is diminished, the dignity of all humanity is diminished," she says. "Not only in relationship to my community but to any community of innocent people being attacked." When Laughlin considers the Palestinians living in Gaza, she says, "I identify with their plight ... with their isolation that the rest of the world keeps on going on as though nothing happened, and their world is crumbling." "I feel their pain," she adds. She longs for a better way forward.

Note: Check out the 12 organizations working for Israel-Palestine peace. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Prisoners in the US are part of a hidden workforce linked to hundreds of popular food brands
2024-01-29, Yahoo News/Associated Press
https://news.yahoo.com/prisoners-us-part-hidden-workforce-125458768.html

Unmarked trucks packed with prison-raised cattle roll out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, where men are sentenced to hard labor and forced to work, for pennies an hour or sometimes nothing at all. They are among America’s most vulnerable laborers. If they refuse to work, some can jeopardize their chances of parole or face punishment like being sent to solitary confinement. The goods ... prisoners produce wind up in the supply chains of a dizzying array of products found in most American kitchens, from Frosted Flakes cereal and Ball Park hot dogs to Gold Medal flour, Coca-Cola and Riceland rice. They are on the shelves of virtually every supermarket in the country, including Kroger, Target, Aldi and Whole Foods. It’s completely legal. Enshrined in the Constitution by the 13th Amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are banned – except as punishment for a crime. With about 2 million people locked up, U.S. prison labor from all sectors has morphed into a multibillion-dollar empire. Almost all of the country’s state and federal adult prisons have some sort of work program, employing around 800,000 people. Altogether, labor tied specifically to goods and services produced through state prison industries brought in more than $2 billion in 2021. “Slavery has not been abolished,” said Curtis Davis, who spent more than 25 years at [Louisiana's Angola] penitentiary. “It is still operating in present tense,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”

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


The 3D-Printed Affordable Housing of the Future Will Be Recyclable
2024-01-26, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/future-affordable-housing-3d-printed-recycl...

When you imagine a 3D-printed home, you probably picture a boxy concrete structure. As 3D printing’s popularity has grown in the construction industry — thanks to its efficiency when it comes to time, energy and cost — carbon-intensive concrete has become the go-to building material. But a project in Maine has set its sights on something different: a neighborhood of 600-square-foot, 3D-printed, bio-based houses crafted from materials like wood fibers and bioresins. The aim: a complex of 100-percent recyclable buildings that will provide homes to those experiencing houselessness. In late 2022, an initiative between the University of Maine and local nonprofit Penquis unveiled its prototype — BioHome3D, the first 100-percent recyclable house. Now, the pioneering project is working toward completing its first livable housing complex. It will be fully bio-based, meaning all materials will be derived from living organisms such as plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials. As the materials are all 100-percent recyclable, so become the buildings. The materials are also all renewable. And thanks to its natural composition, the home acts as a carbon sink, sequestering 46 tons of carbon dioxide per 600-square-foot unit. The materials for this project will mainly come from wood left over by local mills. “The wood fiber material that’s used in the mix is essentially waste wood here in Maine,” says Jason Bird, director of housing development for Penquis.

Note: Don't miss pictures of beautiful homes built by this process at the link above. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The Pentagon Tried to Hide That It Bought Americans’ Data Without a Warrant
2024-01-26, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/pentagon-data-purchases-wyden-letter/

United States officials fought to conceal details of arrangements between US spy agencies and private companies tracking the whereabouts of Americans. Obtaining location data from US phones normally requires a warrant, but police and intelligence agencies routinely pay companies instead for the data, effectively circumventing the courts. Ron Wyden, the US senator from Oregon, informed the nation’s intelligence chief, Avril Haines, on Thursday that the Pentagon only agreed to release details about the data purchases, which had always been unclassified, after Wyden hindered the Senate's efforts to appoint a new director of the National Security Agency. “The secrecy around data purchases was amplified,” Wyden wrote, “because intelligence agencies have sought to keep the American people in the dark." Pentagon offices known to have purchased location data from these companies include the Defense Intelligence Agency and the NSA, among others. Wyden's letter ... indicates that the NSA is also “buying Americans' domestic internet metadata.” Wyden's disclosure comes amid a fight in the US House of Representatives over efforts to outlaw the purchases. Members of the House Judiciary Committee attached legislation doing so ... to a bill reauthorizing a contentious surveillance program known as Section 702. Biden administration officials and members of the intelligence committee staged a campaign against the privacy-enhancing measures.

Note: Learn more about mission creep in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon Suggests There’re No U.S. Troops In Yemen — But Last Month The White House Said There Are
2024-01-26, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/01/26/us-troops-yemen-pentagon-white-house/

Amid a raft of U.S. strikes targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Pentagon has boots on the ground in the country — a fact the Defense Department has recently refused to acknowledge. “A small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS,” the White House told Congress ... on December 7. This month, the U.S. began its military campaign against the Houthis for attacking shipping vessels in the Red Sea. As the U.S. began to attack, defense officials suddenly became more reticent about the American military presence in Yemen. In a press briefing on January 17, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder was asked if he could give assurances that the U.S. had no troops on the ground in Yemen. “It’s possible that U.S. forces are spread so widely around the globe that not even the professional tasked with knowing that can keep track of it all,” said Erik Sperling, the executive director of Just Foreign Policy, who worked on Yemen as a Capitol Hill staffer. “But it’s also possible that, given the dramatic expansion in US presence in the region in recent months, he is trying to skirt the question to avoid greater scrutiny.” The U.S. has conducted eight rounds of strikes on Houthi targets in the past month alone. On December 18, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the creation of a U.S.-led coalition to defend ships against Houthi attacks.

Note: Learn more about war failures and lies in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pentagon Report Predicts New Age of COVID Bioweapons and Brain Chip Warfare
2024-01-25, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/pentagon-report-predicts-new-age

Military strategists believe that a "coronavirus bioweapon" may lurk on the horizon. This possibility is one of several outlined in a new report sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The report “Plagues, Cyborgs, and Supersoldiers: The Human Domain of War Research” delves into how CRISPR gene-editing technology, mRNA vaccines, brain networking, and other technological advancements could unleash new forms of military conflict. “We see a complex, high-threat landscape emerging where future wars are fought with humans controlling hyper-sophisticated machines with their thoughts” and “synthetically generated, genomically targeted plagues” that cripple the American military-industrial base,” the report warns. At the same time, authoritarian states might ... brutally suppress "anti-vaccine populists" and enforce compliance. The report claims this could hinder the U.S. due to its more relaxed regulatory environment that values individual liberties, where such crackdowns and forced vaccinations are more difficult to deploy. The report takes aim at Congress, criticizing the recent repeal of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for service members. It urges lawmakers to resist "anti-vaccine populism" to ensure military readiness. Simultaneously, the report urges the Pentagon to consider using genetic screening to find qualified military recruits and develop clear plans for integrating bioweapon warfare capabilities.

Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and microchip implants from reliable major media sources .


How Wealthy Corporations Use Investment Agreements to Extract Millions From Developing Countries
2024-01-25, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/25/how-wealthy-corporations-use-investment-agr...

When Rafael Correa entered Ecuador’s presidency in 2007, the nation faced an opportunity and a challenge. Ecuador’s economy depended on oil, and global crude prices were near a record high. Much of the oil was extracted by foreign companies ... as prices surged more wealth began flowing overseas. Soon after taking office, Correa increased a recently enacted windfall tax on oil companies. The idea was to use the tax as leverage to extract better terms from the companies. Within months, two oil companies working as partners—the independent Anglo-French firm Perenco and Burlington Resources, a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips—ceased paying the tax and sued the government through a system of international tribunals known as investor state dispute settlements, or ISDS. The system allows foreign investors to sue governments before tribunals outside the jurisdiction of national courts. Perenco and Burlington [convinced] arbitrators in two separate tribunals to award the companies more than $800 million. Critics say the ISDS system gives corporations an exclusive, parallel justice system that elevates foreign interests above human rights and environmental concerns. The vast majority of cases have been brought by companies based in North America or Europe against governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia, prompting many critics to liken the ISDS system to a form of market-based colonialism that continues to extract wealth from the Global South.

Note: According to the analysis in the article, fossil fuel companies and investors filed one in five of 1,720 claims since the 1970s, and "have been awarded at least $82.8 billion in compensation from governments." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Getting On the Dance Floor Will Shred Pounds in Overweight People, Improve Blood Pressure and Mental Health
2024-01-23, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/getting-on-dance-floor-will-shred-pounds-in-o...

Boogying the night away produces meaningful improvements in one's body mass and waist circumference in people who are overweight or obese, a new study found. Dancing was also seen to improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, physical fitness, cognitive disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, and mental health—in other words, all the root causes of the non-communicable diseases that kill most people in the West. The researchers believed that dance would be a more ideal form of exercise because it is sustainable—it's a sociable, entertaining way of exercising that participants will enjoy, rather than a drudgery they have to push themselves through. “Dance is effective on fat loss in people overweight and obese and has a significant improvement on body composition and morphology,” said Zhang Yaya, a Ph.D. student at Hunan University, China. To get their results, published in the journal PLoS ONE, the team studied data from 646 participants who were overweight and obese across ten different studies. They found that dance is very effective for improving body composition and showed that more creative dance types had the most pronounced body composition improvement when compared with traditional dance. Improvements were also found in overweight children and patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A school in Jerusalem brings Arab and Jewish kids together to boost understanding
2024-01-23, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/23/1221957556/israel-schools-arabs-jews-gaza-war

When the bell rings at Jerusalem's Hand in Hand school, you hear something that's not common in Israel: the sound of young people's voices rising together in laughter and conversation in both Hebrew and Arabic. Israeli society is largely segregated. The separation begins at kindergarten, when Jewish and Arab children are sent to different schools and experience completely separate education "tracks" or systems. "Arabs go to Arab schools in their neighborhoods and Jews go to Jewish schools in the areas where they live," says Nour Younis, events manager for Hand in Hand. Hand in Hand [was] founded in 1998 by a group of parents who wanted their children to grow up differently. What began as two kindergarten classes in Jerusalem and Galilee has now become six campuses nationwide, with some 2,000 students. The school's eventual goal is to create a fifth track of education within the Israeli school system. Today there are four options: Arab schools and three Jewish tracks — secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox. The students at Hand in Hand campuses are around 60% Arab and 40% Jewish. There is a waiting list of Arab children who would like to attend. Since Oct. 7 ... this school has become a rare oasis of freedom for Palestinians who say they can be harassed or worse for expressing their anguish over the war. "For our students, this is a safe place, a safe environment," says [school vice principal Engie] Wattad.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Face Recognition Technology Follows a Long Analog History of Surveillance and Control Based on Identifying Physical Features
2024-01-22, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/22/face-recognition-technology-follows-a-long-...

American Amara Majeed was accused of terrorism by the Sri Lankan police in 2019. Robert Williams was arrested outside his house in Detroit and detained in jail for 18 hours for allegedly stealing watches in 2020. Randal Reid spent six days in jail in 2022 for supposedly using stolen credit cards in a state he’d never even visited. In all three cases, the authorities had the wrong people. In all three, it was face recognition technology that told them they were right. Law enforcement officers in many U.S. states are not required to reveal that they used face recognition technology to identify suspects. Surveillance is predicated on the idea that people need to be tracked and their movements limited and controlled in a trade-off between privacy and security. The assumption that less privacy leads to more security is built in. That may be the case for some, but not for the people disproportionately targeted by face recognition technology. As of 2019, face recognition technology misidentified Black and Asian people at up to 100 times the rate of white people. In 2018 ... 28 members of the U.S. Congress ... were falsely matched with mug shots on file using Amazon’s Rekognition tool. Much early research into face recognition software was funded by the CIA for the purposes of border surveillance. More recently, private companies have adopted data harvesting techniques, including face recognition, as part of a long practice of leveraging personal data for profit.

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


Mental Health App Data Privacy Problem is Getting Worse
2024-01-22, Yahoo News
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-mental-health-app-data-privacy-problem-is-...

Mental health apps have become increasingly common over the past few years, particularly due to the rise in telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic. However, there's a problem: Data privacy is being compromised in the process. In 2023 the Federal Trade Commission ordered the mental health platform BetterHelp, which is owned by Teladoc (TDOC), to pay a $7.8 million fine to consumers for sharing their mental health data for advertising purposes with Facebook (META) and Snapchat (SNAP) after previously promising to keep the information private. Cerebral, a telehealth startup, admitted last year to exposing sensitive patient information to companies like Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Meta, TikTok, and other third-party advertisers. This info included patient names, birth dates, insurance information, and the patient's responses to mental health self-evaluations through the app. Overall, according to the Mozilla Foundation’s Privacy Not Included online buyer’s guide, only two out of the 27 mental health apps available to users met Mozilla's privacy and security standards in 2023. A December 2022 study of 578 mental health apps published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 44% shared data they collected with third parties. A February 2023 report from Duke University found that out of 37 different data brokers that researchers contacted ... firms “were ultimately willing and able to sell the requested mental health data.”

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


Behind the Curtain: Finding Counternarratives About Death Row
2024-01-21, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/21/behind-the-curtain-finding-counternarrative...

After poking and prodding [Doyle] Hamm with needles for almost 3 hours, prison officials gave up as Mr. Hamm lay strapped to a gurney in a pool of blood. They called off the execution because they were unsuccessful in gaining IV access to administer the lethal injection. This was a risk Mr. Hamm’s attorney had predicted given Hamm’s advanced cancer and long history of IV drug use. At the time, ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn did not provide details to reporters about what happened. “I wouldn’t characterize what we had tonight as a problem,” Dunn said. Hamm’s attorney later released photos and examination notes showing that prison employees had punctured Hamm’s bladder and an artery causing him to urinate blood. The state ... privately agreed to never try to execute Doyle Hamm again. Counternarratives about death row can be found in the 2023 book titled Ghosts Over the Boiler: Voices from Alabama’s Death Row. The book is a collection of writings previously published by Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, or PHADP, the nation’s only nonprofit formed on and operated from death row. The organization ... has a goal to educate the public about capital punishment and the features of inequality that define it, while advocating for an end to the death penalty. All of the featured writers have been convicted of murder, although based on the rate of death row exonerations, some are likely wrongly convicted.

Note: The current system often puts innocent people to death. Over half of all wrongful convictions are the result of government misconduct. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


DOCUMENTS: Chinese Researcher Who Mapped COVID Virus Two Weeks Before China Released Sequence Was on Anthony Fauci’s Payroll
2024-01-19, The DisInformation Chronicle on Substack
https://disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/documents-chinese-researcher-who

A Chinese researcher who first submitted the genetic sequence for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in late December 2019, around two weeks before China disclosed the deadly virus to outside scientists, was on the payroll of Anthony Fauci’s institute at the time, according to a grant awarded to EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit operated by Peter Daszak. The disclosures call into further question what officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) knew about research they were funding in China where the pandemic began. “The grant doesn't work on SARS-CoV-2,” Daszak [said], when the NIH was forced to review the grant in the summer of 2020. “Our organization has not actually published any data on SARS-CoV-2. We work on bat coronaviruses that are out there in the wild and trying to predict what the next one is.” NIH officials refused to respond to multiple requests to explain how much salary they provided to Dr. Lili Ren, a scientist at the Beijing-based Institute of Pathogen Biology, who wrote a letter in support of Daszak’s grant application to Fauci’s NIH institute. Ren first uploaded the COVID virus sequence to the NIH’s GenBank on December 28, 2019—two weeks before scientists celebrated China’s release of the genetic sequence on January 11, 2020. Fauci’s NIH grant also paid for Ren’s expenses, including travel to the United States to meet with Daszak as well as her collaborator Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina.

Note: The author of Disinformation Chronicle on Substack is Paul Thacker, an American investigative journalist who served as an investigator in the US Senate, focusing on financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID-19 from reliable major media sources.


‘Different rules’: special policies keep US supplying weapons to Israel despite alleged abuses
2024-01-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/18/us-supply-weapons-israel-allege...

Top US officials quietly reviewed more than a dozen incidents of alleged gross violations of human rights by Israeli security forces since 2020, but have gone to great lengths to preserve continued access to US weapons for the units responsible for the alleged violations, contributing ... to the sense of impunity with which Israel has approached its war in Gaza. An estimated 24,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed by Israeli forces since Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel. Special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws, even as other allies’ military units who receive US support – including, sources say, Ukraine – have privately been sanctioned and faced consequences for committing human rights violations. Under the Leahy law ... a foreign military unit is granted US military assistance or training after it is vetted by the state department for any reported human rights violations. The law prohibits the Department of State and the Department of Defense from providing funds, assistance or training to foreign security force units where there is “credible information” that the forces have committed a gross violation of human rights. In the case of at least three countries – Israel, Ukraine and Egypt – the scale of foreign assistance is so great that US military assistance can be difficult to track, and the US often has no knowledge of where specific weapons end up or how they are used.

Note: Learn more about the dysfunctional nature of the US war machine in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Military-Industrial Complex Is the Winner (Not You)
2024-01-17, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/17/the-military-industrial-complex-is-the-winn...

2023 was a year marked by devastating conflicts from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine to Hamas’s horrific terror attacks on Israel, from that country’s indiscriminate mass slaughter in Gaza to a devastating civil war in Sudan. And there’s a distinct risk of even worse to come this year. Still, there was one clear winner in this avalanche of violence, suffering, and war: the U.S. military-industrial complex. In December, President Biden signed a record authorization of $886 billion in “national defense” spending for 2024, including funds for the Pentagon proper and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy. Add to that tens of billions of dollars more in likely emergency military aid for Ukraine and Israel, and such spending could well top $900 billion for the first time. Annual spending on the costly, dysfunctional F-35 combat aircraft alone is greater than the entire budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2020, Lockheed Martin’s contracts with the Pentagon were worth more than the budgets of the State Department and the Agency for International Development combined, and its arms-related revenues continue to rival the government’s entire investment in diplomacy. One $13 billion aircraft carrier costs more than the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. Before investing ever more tax dollars ... the military strategy of the United States in the current global environment should be seriously debated.

Note: Learn more about unaccountable military spending in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Scientific Misconduct and Fraud: The Final Nail in Psychiatry’s Antidepressant Coffin
2024-01-17, Counterpunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/01/17/scientific-misconduct-and-fraud-the-f...

Researchers have long known that any single antidepressant drug is little more effective than a placebo in the majority of trials, shown to be less effective than a placebo in some studies, and generally found to be “clinically negligible” with respect to depression remission, while often resulting in severe adverse effects; for example, resulting in a higher percentage of sexual dysfunction than depression remission. However, for nearly twenty years, psychiatry and Big Pharma have told us that while one antidepressant may not work for the majority of patients, in the “real world,” doctors provide patients who have been failed by their initial antidepressant with another antidepressant, and if that fails, still another; and that this real-world treatment is successful for nearly 70% of patients. The problem with this “nearly 70%” story is that the research that has been used to justify it, a 2006 report on the results of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D), has long been disputed by researchers. Moreover, a recent reanalysis of previously undisclosed data reveals that STAR*D, owing to scientific misconduct that dramatically inflated remission rates, may go down in US medical history as one of its most harmful scandals. Even [STAR*D's] fabricated 67% depression remission rate should never have been celebrated. 85% of depressed individuals who go without somatic treatments spontaneously recover within 1 year.

Note: Read more important news articles we've summarized on medical and scientific corruption regarding antidepressants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


New York has paid record $322m to people wrongly incarcerated since 1989
2024-01-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/17/new-york-payouts-wrongul-inca...

New York has paid out the most of any state in the US to people wrongly incarcerated, according to a new study. High Rise Financial ... analyzed data from the National Registry of Exonerations, a database on exonerated people in each state. New York state has paid out a total of $322m to those wrongfully incarcerated. The state has awarded 237 claims for wrongful imprisonment out of 326 exonerated people. Such payouts cost New York taxpayers $15.97 per person, also the largest per-capita payment out of any state, the study found. Texas, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan were the other states in the top five that paid out the most to exonerated people. Texas paid out the second highest amount, awarding a total of $155m to 128 people out of 450 people exonerated. The most recent study comes as the amount of exoneration has steadily increased in recent years, according to Maurice Chammah, a journalist with the Marshall Project. Chammah added that getting compensation for a wrong conviction can be tough in some states. In Texas, where lawmakers have paid out large sums to exonerees, legislators have also placed “really harsh limits on accessing that money”. “You sometimes need to be declared actually innocent by a court in a way that is like a very high and difficult barrier to meet,” Chammah said. Overall, Chammah noted that such figures could prompt legislators to pass bills that could limit wrongful incarceration in the first place.

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


Moderna Surveillance Operation Targeted Independent Media Voices
2024-01-16, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/moderna-surveillance-operation-targeted

Finances at the vaccine manufacturer Moderna began to fall almost as quickly as they had risen, as most Americans resisted getting yet another COVID booster shot. In a September call aimed at shoring up investors, Moderna’s then-chief commercial officer, Arpa Garay, attributed some of the hesitancy pummeling Moderna's numbers to uninformed vaccine skeptics. What Garay hinted at during the call, but didn’t disclose, was that Moderna already had a sprawling media operation in place aimed at identifying and responding to critics of vaccine policy and the drug industry. Internal company reports and communications ... show that Moderna has worked with former law enforcement and public health officials and a drug industry-funded non-governmental organization called The Public Good Projects (PGP) to confront the “root cause of vaccine hesitancy” by rapidly identifying and “shutting down misinformation.” Part of this effort includes providing talking points to some 45,000 healthcare professionals “on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream.” PGP routinely sent Excel lists of accounts to amplify on Twitter and others to de-platform, including populist voices such as ZeroHedge. The messages also suggested emerging narratives to remove from the platform. The growing network these efforts rely on shows the growth of what has been called the censorship industrial complex.

Note: Learn more about Moderna's misinformation department. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Scientists invent dirt-fuelled power source that ‘lasts forever’
2024-01-16, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/tech/battery-fuel-cell-forever-power-b2479535.html

Scientists have developed a new type of fuel cell that can provide endless power through electricity harvested from dirt. A team from Northwestern University in the US say the book-sized unit could be used to power sensors used in farming, as well as remote devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). The technology works by generating electricity from naturally-occurring bacteria within the soil, offering a sustainable and renewable alternative to toxic and flammable batteries. “These microbes are ubiquitous; they already live in soil everywhere,” said George Wells ... at Northwestern University. “We can use very simple engineered systems to capture their electricity. We’re not going to power entire cities with this energy. But we can capture minute amounts of energy to fuel practical, low-power applications.” The soil-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) is based on a 113-year-old technology first developed by British botanist Michael Cressé Potter, who was the first person to successfully generate electricity from microorganisms. It took until the 21st century for the first commercial applications to be proposed, with Foster’s Brewing using a prototype to convert the yeast in brewery wastewater into electricity. The latest fuel cell was tested in wet and dry conditions to power sensors measuring soil moisture and detecting touch, outlasting the power of similar technologies by 120 per cent.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


While Inflation Beat The Post-Pandemic Economy, Billionaires Beat Inflation 3 Times Over
2024-01-15, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/inflation-economy-2023-billionaires-in...

All billionaires’ wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation since before the Covid pandemic, according to a new report. That means they’re 34% richer than they were in 2020, the anti-poverty charity Oxfam International has claimed. Meanwhile, the cost of living crisis for the majority of the global population has risen due to inflation, food prices around the world increasing by 21% to 50% between 2022 and 2023. The five richest men in the world have seen their personal wealth double in three years – all while five billion people around the world found themselves getting poorer. The richest 1% own 43% of all global financial assets, according to Oxfam’s findings. In the UK, the richest 1% own 33% of all financial assets. Seven out of 10 of the world’s biggest corporations also have a billionaire as CEO or principle shareholder. The worth of these companies exceeds the combined GDPs of all countries in Africa and Latin America. In the last three years, the poorest 60% (close to five billion people) around the world have lost money – a figure calculated from the UBS Global Wealth Report and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data book 2019. Average real wages for nearly 800 million workers have fallen across 52 countries in the same time frame the billionaires have been building on their personal wealth. Governments worldwide are making deliberate political choices that enable and encourage this distorted concentration of wealth.

Note: The COVID pandemic was extremely profitable for billionaires. At least 75 federal lawmakers were financially invested in COVID vaccines, treatments, and tests. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


'Dead' Man Jolted Back to Life by the Intolerable Bumps of India’s Potholes
2024-01-15, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dead-man-jolted-back-to-life-by-the-intolerab...

India’s famous potholes actually saved a life on Friday. The ‘late’ Darshan Singh Brar was being transported to the Indian version of a wake after his untimely death from a chest infection at the age of 80. Family, relatives, and friends had already gathered for a banquet and cremation, when the ambulance he was being caried in received a nasty jolt from a pothole on the roads in Nising, in far-Northern India’ Haryana state. It was then that Mr. Brar’s grandson who was onboard the ambulance at the time noticed his hand moving. Checking his pulse and finding—to his great shock—there was one, he notified the driver to immediately turn toward the nearest hospital. He was declared alive and savable, and was referred to the Rawal Hospital in the city of Karnal. “It is a miracle. Now we are hoping that my grandfather recovers soon,” said Balwan Singh, another of Mr. Brar’s grandsons. “Everyone who had gathered to mourn his death congratulated us, and we requested them to have the food we had arranged. It is God’s grace that he is now breathing and we are hoping he will get better.” Doctors at Rawal Hospital said that the grandfather is breathing without the aid of a ventilator and his heartbeat has normalized. They can’t say for certain why the other hospital declared him dead, but speculated it may have been a technical error. The next time you are planning to go to town hall or the council about the potholes on your street, consider the story of Darshan Singh Brar.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


‘It only takes one to be real and it changes humanity for ever’: what if we’ve been lied to about UFOs?
2024-01-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2024/jan/14/what-happens-if-we-have-been-...

At the end of last year, a US government bill that would have mandated the controlled release of all classified documents and artifacts relating to UFOs was significantly watered down at the last minute so that it would get through Congress. Interest in unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), the new term for UFOs, reignited in June 2023 when ex-US intelligence agency whistleblower David Grusch told the Debrief website that during his official duties he had discovered the US had indeed been retrieving spacecraft of non-human origin for decades. The prospect of alien spacecraft raises serious issues that go beyond whether we’re alone in the universe. Lots of scientific work is under way not only to look for signs of extraterrestrial life, but more recently to ask what it would mean psychologically for us if aliens really do exist, and – potentially worse – if the authorities have been lying to us about what they know. What happens if [someone] uncovers irrefutable proof that non-human intelligences have visited or are visiting Earth? Physicist John Priestland ... found himself wondering what this would mean to us as individuals. “There are a lot of people who will be affected. There isn’t an entity out there, as far as I can see, that is putting people first,” he says. So he set up Unhidden, a charity dedicated to decreasing the stigma associated with discussing UAPs, non-human intelligences, and the possibility that evidence is being covered up by governments.

Note: Read the riveting testimonies of 60 government and military witnesses of UFO phenomenon, which include astronauts, generals, admirals, and other top government and military officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on UFO disclosure from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Jeffrey Epstein list: New documents reveal paedophile’s responses to sex trafficking claims
2024-01-14, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/jeffrey-epstein-list-...

Over the past week thousands of pages of court documents relating to late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, have been made public after US judge Loretta Preska ordered the release of filings in a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell. The documents named scores of prominent figures including, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Victoria’s Secret boss Les Wexner. Being identified through the court documents does not mean that the individual was involved in or aware of any wrongdoing by Epstein. The final batch of documents, released on Tuesday, included depositions from Ms Giuffre, Maxwell and Epstein. In Epstein’s deposition, he was questioned about his campaign of abuse of young and underage girls. He pleaded the Fifth over 1,000 times. In Maxwell’s deposition, she was confronted with disturbing messages left for Epstein – one of which referenced what appeared to be code for procuring an underage Russian girl for Epstein. “She is two times eight years old. Not blond. Lessons are free and you can have your first today if you call,” it read.

Note: Read about the new evidence suggesting Epstein ran a sex blackmail operation for intelligence agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


GOP Congressman Stands By Accusation Some Fellow Members Have Been Compromised
2024-01-13, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-burchett-stands-by-allegation-members-blac...

One of the more colorful conservative members of the U.S. House ... stands by recent remarks in which he said some of his fellow members were likely victims of blackmail. But Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who made the comments on a Dec. 21 podcast ... declined to elaborate on who he was talking about or give any other details. “You as a member of the media understand confidentiality, and I appreciate that, and I am going to keep that confidential unless those people tell me otherwise,” Burchett [said]. Asked if he was standing by his comments, Burchett said, “Sure. I’m not going to back up.” And when asked if he believed there were House members who had decided how to vote based on compromising material about them held by foreign powers, Burchett said, “Absolutely. And other powers. It doesn’t have to be foreign powers.” He said members may be on a trip or at a bar, meet someone and buy them a drink. “Next thing you know, you’re in a hotel room with them, naked. Next thing you know, you’re about to make a key vote, and what happens? Some well-dressed person comes up and whispers into your ear, ‘Hey, man, there’s tapes out on you. Were you in a motel room on whatever with whoever?’ And then you’re, like, ‘Uh-oh.’ And they say, ‘You really ought not be voting for this thing.’” Burchett’s remarks were the most lurid accusations since former Rep. Madison Cawthorn [alleged that he] had been invited by colleagues to orgies in Washington.

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


Banking the Most Valuable Currency: Time
2024-01-12, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/time-banks-valuable-currency-aging-communit...

A time bank does with time what other banks do with money: It stores and trades it. “Time banking means that for every hour you give to your community, you receive an hour credit,” explains Krista Wyatt, executive director of the DC-based nonprofit TimeBanks.Org, which helps volunteers establish local time banks all over the world. Thousands of time banks with several hundred thousand members have been established in at least 37 countries, including China, Malaysia, Japan, Senegal, Argentina, Brazil and in Europe, with over 3.2 million exchanges. There are probably more than 40,000 members in over 500 time banks in the US. Many time banks are volunteer community projects, but the one in Sebastopol, [CA] is funded by the city. “Every volunteer hour is valued around $29,” Wyatt calculates. “Now think about the thousands of dollars a city saves when hundreds of citizens serve their community for free.” The Sebastopol time bank has banked more than 8,000 hours since its launch in 2016. Five core principles ... guide time banks to this day: First, everyone has something to contribute. Second, valuing volunteering as “work.” Third, reciprocity or a “pay-it-forward” ethos. Fourth, community building, and fifth, mutual accountability and respect. “What captured me is that people are doing things out of their own good heart,” Wyatt says. “Many years ago, a woman ... said to [civil rights lawyer] Edgar Cahn, ‘I have nothing to give.’ Edgar Cahn listened and finally responded, ‘You have love to give.’ And the whole room just went silent.” Every hour of service is valued the same, no matter how much skill and expertise a task takes, whether it’s an hour keeping someone company, helping them file their taxes or repair a roof. Through a simple online platform, every member can offer and request services and then register the hours they served or received. Especially during and since the Covid pandemic, the bank has also been an antidote to the epidemic of loneliness.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


OpenAI Quietly Deletes Ban On Using ChatGPT For “Military And Warfare”
2024-01-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/01/12/open-ai-military-ban-chatgpt/

OpenAI this week quietly deleted language expressly prohibiting the use of its technology for military purposes. Up until January 10, OpenAI’s “usage policies” page included a ban on “activity that has high risk of physical harm, including,” specifically, “weapons development” and “military and warfare.” That plainly worded prohibition against military applications would seemingly rule out any official, and extremely lucrative, use by the Department of Defense or any other state military. The new policy retains an injunction not to “use our service to harm yourself or others” and gives “develop or use weapons” as an example, but the blanket ban on “military and warfare” use has vanished. OpenAI spokesperson Niko ... Felix [said] that OpenAI wanted to pursue certain “national security use cases that align with our mission,” citing a plan to create “cybersecurity tools” with DARPA, and that “the goal with our policy update is to provide clarity and the ability to have these discussions.” The real-world consequences of the policy are unclear. Last year, The Intercept reported that OpenAI was unwilling to say whether it would enforce its own clear “military and warfare” ban in the face of increasing interest from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community. “Given the use of AI systems in the targeting of civilians in Gaza, it’s a notable moment to make the decision to remove the words ‘military and warfare’ from OpenAI’s permissible use policy,” said [former AI policy analyst] Sarah Myers West.

Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in 2018 alone, study finds
2024-01-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/11/health/health-care-costs-plastic-study-wellnes...

By contributing to the development of chronic disease and death, a group of hormone-disruptive plastic chemicals is costing the US health care system billions — over $249 billion in 2018 alone, a new study found. The new research analyzed the impact of four groups of chemicals used in the production of plastic products: Flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE; phthalates, which are used to make plastic more durable; bisphenols such as BPA and BPS used to create hard plastics and resins; and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. However, these are just a fraction of the chemicals used to make plastics. A United Nations report published in May found more than 13,000 chemicals are used in plastics production. The four chemicals measured in the new study ... are thought to interfere with the body’s mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and cause damage to developmental, reproductive, immune and cognitive systems. “The biggest impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is on children’s brain development because they disrupt thyroid hormones in pregnancy,” [lead author Dr. Leonardo] Trasande said. The report recommended blood tests for people at high risk such as firefighters, workers in fluorochemical manufacturing plants, and those who live near commercial airports, military bases, landfills, incinerators, wastewater treatment plants and farms.

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


US did not properly track more than $1 billion worth of weapons sent to Ukraine, watchdog report finds
2024-01-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/11/politics/pentagon-tracking-weapons-ukraine-rep...

The Pentagon did not properly track $1 billion worth of military equipment sent to Ukraine, according to a watchdog report. The report from the Pentagon Inspector General says that while the Defense Department has improved its ability to track military aid sent to Ukraine, it “did not fully comply” with requirements and much of the equipment sent is “delinquent,” meaning it’s not possible to complete an inventory of everything sent. Among the items that are designated for enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM) are weapons like Javelin and Stinger missiles, night-vision devices, AIM-9X missiles, and Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles. According to the IG report, roughly $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion of equipment subject to end-use monitoring was not inventoried as of June 2023. The new report comes at a critical moment for Ukraine aid, as Congress debates whether to authorize a supplemental package of more than $60 billion in aid. While delinquency could suggest weapons had been stolen or diverted away from Ukrainian forces, the inspector general said it was outside the scope of its probe to determine what had happened to the weapons that were not properly tracked. “The DoD OIG now has personnel stationed in Ukraine,” the report says, “and the DoD OIG’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate allegations of criminal conduct with regard to U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.”

Note: Learn more about unaccountable military spending in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


COVID ‘6-feet’ social distancing ‘sort of just appeared,’ likely lacked scientific basis, Fauci admits
2024-01-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/01/10/news/fauci-admits-to-congress-that-certain-covi...

Dr. Anthony Fauci confessed to lawmakers Tuesday that guidelines to keep six feet of separation — ostensibly to limit the spread of COVID-19 — “sort of just appeared” without scientific input. Fauci, 83, revealed to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that the “six feet apart” recommendation championed by him and other US public health officials was “likely not based on scientific data.” Schools nationwide remained closed well into the second year of the pandemic as a result of the social distancing guidelines, which were disputed by both research studies and other health officials. Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), who sits on the panel, said Tuesday night that Fauci had shown an “amazing ability to either forget what happened or then to find ways to shirk any sort of responsibility for the influence that was had,” during the two-day affair. “They wash their hands of any sort of responsibility, saying, ‘Oh, those decisions were made by school districts.’ But the school districts know, if you don’t follow the guidance that’s coming out of the federal government, you open yourselves up to lawsuits,” Cloud said of Fauci and other US pandemic response officials. “He says he’s still not convinced that there was learning loss — that in his view, that’s still really open for discussion,” Cloud [said]. “I think [if] you ask any parent, they’ll tell you it was a major hit on their child’s development.”

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


Toxicologists Find 829 Chemicals in Everyday Items May Cause Breast Cancer
2024-01-10, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/toxicologists-chemicals-hormones-breast-cancer-1859190

Common consumer products may contain hundreds of chemicals that could increase our risk of developing breast cancer, scientists have warned. While some chemicals are known to directly cause cancer, many others indirectly promote the cancer by increasing our susceptibility to the establishment and growth of certain tumors. Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue grow out of control. Among the many risk factors associated with this disease is over-exposure to estrogen, progesterone and hormonal disruption. And it's not just hormonal contraception that can influence our body's hormone levels; numerous synthetic chemicals have been shown to disrupt our hormones, with potential impacts on our risk of developing various diseases. "Breast cancer is a hormonal disease, so the fact that so many chemicals can alter estrogen and progesterone is concerning," Jennifer Kay, a research scientist at Silent Spring Institute, said. In a new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Kay and colleagues searched through multiple international and U.S. government databases to identify chemicals that had been found to cause mammary tumors in animals. In total, the team identified 921 chemicals that could potentially promote the development of breast cancer, 90 percent—or 829—of which are commonly included in consumer products, food, drinks, pesticides, medications and workplaces.

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


Panel members for new psychiatric ‘bible’ received over $14m from industry
2024-01-10, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/panel-members-for-new-psychiatric-bible-...

Sixty percent of US physicians serving as panel and task force members for the American Psychiatric Association’s official manual of psychiatric disorders received payments from industry totalling $14.24m, finds a study published by The BMJ. Because of the enormous influence of diagnostic and treatment guidelines, the researchers say their findings “raise questions about the editorial independence of this diagnostic manual.” Often referred to as the ‘bible’ of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) is the latest edition of the guide that doctors use to diagnose and treat patients. It is thus critical that authors of this psychiatric taxonomy should be free of industry ties. But until the development of Open Payments ... it wasn't possible to determine the amount of monies received by authors of diagnostic and clinical practice guidelines. Their analysis included 92 physicians based in the US who served as members of either a panel (86) or task force (6) on the DSM-5-TR from 2016-19. Of these 92 individuals, 55 (60%) received payments from industry. Collectively, these panel members received a total of $14.24m (£11.21m; €12.96m). The most common types of payment were for food and beverages (91%), followed by travel (69%) and consulting (69%). The greatest proportion of compensation by category of payment was for research funding (70%). To ensure unbiased, evidence based mental health practice, there should be a rebuttable presumption of prohibiting financial conflicts of interest among the panel and task force members.

Note: A recent study found that 80% of the global population will be treated for mental illness at some point in their lives, and that their lives are worse in many ways after receiving diagnosis and treatment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Epstein documents allege sex tapes of Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson
2024-01-09, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/epstein-sex-tapes-richard-b...

Newly unsealed Jeffrey Epstein documents have described bombshell allegations about sex tapes involving Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson. In emails sent by Epstein victim Sarah Ransome – sections of which were included as exhibits in one of the filings unsealed on Monday – she said that an unnamed friend “had sexual intercourse with Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson” and that these encounters had been filmed by Epstein and that she herself had later seen the sex tapes. In the messages, Ms Ransome said that her friend later came forward to report what happened “with Epstein, Clinton, Branson and Prince Andrew” to the police in 2008 but said that “nothing was done” and “she was made to feel like a dirty whore and a liar”. A couple of months later, her friend was allegedly “approached by Special Agents Forces Men sent directly by Hilary [sic] Clinton herself, in order to protect her presidential campaign in 2008”, Ms Ransome claimed. Ms Ransome went on to allege that the friend was given a “substantial” payout directly from the Clinton Foundation “to keep her quiet”. She alleged that if her friend was to break the agreement to stay quiet, “she is dead”. The woman also allegedly tried to sue Epstein for damages but was “severely bullied and threatened” by his attorney, Mr Dershowitz – a man who she claimed “she also had sexual relations with and who was also heavily involved in Epstein’s paedophile ring”.

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


The New Space Race Is Causing New Pollution Problems
2024-01-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/09/science/rocket-pollution-spacex-satellites...

In the past few years, the number of rocket launches has spiked as commercial companies — especially SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk — and government agencies have lofted thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit. And it is only the beginning. Satellites could eventually total one million, requiring an even greater number of space launches that could yield escalating levels of emissions. Scientists worry that more launches will scatter more pollutants in pristine layers of Earth’s atmosphere. And regulators across the globe, who assess some risks of space launches, do not set rules related to pollution. Experts say they do not want to limit the booming space economy. But they fear that ... we may understand the consequences of pollution from rockets and spacecraft only when it is too late. Already, studies show that the higher reaches of the atmosphere are laced with metals from spacecraft that disintegrate as they fall back to Earth. In a paper published in 2022, soot from rockets was shown to be nearly 500 times as efficient at heating the atmosphere as soot released from sources like airplanes closer to the surface. A separate study also published in 2022 found that if the rate of rocket launches increased by a factor of 10, their emissions could cause temperatures in parts of the stratosphere to rise as much as 2 degrees Celsius. This could begin to degrade the ozone over most of North America, all of Europe and a chunk of Asia.

Note: The risks posed by satellites expand beyond emissions. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.


Can a Big Village Full of Tiny Homes Ease Homelessness in Austin?
2024-01-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/08/headway/homelessness-tiny-home-austin.html

On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, what began as a fringe experiment has quickly become central to the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness. To Justin Tyler Jr., it is home. Mr. Tyler, 41, lives in Community First! Village, which aims to be a model of permanent affordable housing for people who are chronically homeless. In the fall of 2022, he joined nearly 400 residents of the village, moving into one of its typical digs: a 200-square-foot, one-room tiny house furnished with a kitchenette, a bed and a recliner. Eclectic tiny homes are clustered around shared outdoor kitchens, and neat rows of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes line looping cul-de-sacs. There are chicken coops, two vegetable gardens, a convenience store ... art and jewelry studios, a medical clinic and a chapel. In the next few years, Community First is poised to grow to nearly 2,000 homes across three locations, which would make it by far the nation’s largest project of this kind, big enough to permanently house about half of Austin’s chronically homeless population. Many residents have jobs in the village, created to offer residents flexible opportunities to earn some income. Last year, they earned a combined $1.5 million working as gardeners, landscapers, custodians, artists, jewelry makers and more. Ute Dittemer, 66, faced a daily struggle for survival during a decade on the streets before moving into Community First five years ago with her husband. Now she supports herself by painting and molding figures out of clay at the village art house. A few years ago, a clay chess set she made sold for $10,000 at an auction. She used the money to buy her first car.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A Surprising Way to Stop Bullying
2024-01-08, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/a-surprising-way-to-stop-bullying/

When Ben was 11 years old, his parents noticed that his grades dropped. He stopped talking about school. “These are all typical signs there might be a bullying problem,” says Bettina Dénervaud, co-founder of the Swiss initiative Hilfe bei Mobbing, which translates as “Help with Bullying.” She and her two colleagues use a 30-point checklist to evaluate if there is an underlying issue of mental, emotional and physical bullying or something else — maybe a conflict, which might require conflict resolution. Instead of being punished, the bullies are invited to help the bullied student. In a 2008 study that looked at 220 bullying cases, the No-Blame Approach was successful in 192, or 87 percent, of the cases. In most schools that were evaluated, it only took two or three weeks for the bullying to stop. The second step is the core of the No-Blame Approach. It includes calling six to eight children that the teacher chooses into a meeting that is set up as a social get together: in Ben’s case, three of the bullies, three students Ben felt he could count on and two “neutral” tag-alongs. The children are not told the meeting is about Ben. “I have a problem,” the teacher might start the discussion. “I noticed some students don’t feel supported in class. What can we do to help them, for instance, Ben?” The third step includes follow-ups with all students, including Ben, within the next few weeks. If necessary, the intervention might be repeated or tweaked. "The goal is to change the social dynamic," Dénervaud says. Younger children often start crying in these meetings, Dénervaud has observed, “because they realize for the first time what has been happening and how unhappy the bullying victim has been."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Bottled water contains thousands of nanoplastics so small they can invade the body’s cells, study says
2024-01-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/08/health/bottled-water-nanoplastics-study-wellne...

Researchers have discovered bottled water sold in stores can contain 10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previously estimated — nanoparticles so infinitesimally tiny they cannot be seen under a microscope. At 1,000th the average width of a human hair, nanoplastics are so teeny they can migrate through the tissues of the digestive tract or lungs into the bloodstream, distributing potentially harmful synthetic chemicals throughout the body and into cells. One liter of water — the equivalent of two standard-size bottled waters — contained an average of 240,000 plastic particles from seven types of plastics, of which 90% were identified as nanoplastics and the rest were microplastics. Microplastics are polymer fragments that can range from less than 0.2 inch (5 millimeters) down to 1/25,000th of an inch (1 micrometer). Anything smaller is a nanoplastic that must be measured in billionths of a meter. The new finding reinforces long-held expert advice to drink tap water from glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure. In the new study, published ... in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Columbia University presented a new technology that can see, count and analyze the chemical structure of nanoparticles in bottled water. Nanoplastics ... can invade individual cells and tissues in major organs, potentially interrupting cellular processes and depositing endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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


Colorado Becomes One of the First to Employ an Incarcerated Professor
2024-01-07, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/07/colorado-becomes-one-of-the-first-to-employ...

On a late-November afternoon, at the head of a cramped classroom, David Carrillo stood at a small podium and quizzed 17 students on macroeconomic terminology. For the two-hour class, Carrillo, the adjunct professor teaching for Adams State University, mostly kept his hands in his pockets as he lectured students in green uniforms. Like his students at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, Carrillo, 49, also wears green. He holds a position that is extremely rare in prison: He’s an incarcerated professor teaching in a prison bachelor’s degree program. A new initiative at Adams State — one of the first of its kind in the country — focuses on employing incarcerated people with graduate degrees as college professors, rather than bringing in instructors from the outside. Most people in Colorado prisons only make 80 cents a day, so it would take them around 17 years to earn the $3,600 that Carrillo gets for a single class. Higher wages help incarcerated individuals build savings to help cover their basic needs when they are released. Poverty can often be a driver of decisions that land people back in prison. Adams State hopes to eventually employ more graduates of their own programs in the future. Currently ... around 100 people in prisons across the country are working towards their MBA through Adams State like Carrillo did. The 36-credit print-based MBA correspondence program costs $350 per credit for a total of $12,600, plus textbooks.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


We’re being censored, claim victims of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
2024-01-06, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/06/were-being-censored-victims-of-as...

Victims who suffered life-changing injuries from the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine say they have faced censorship on social media when trying to discuss their symptoms. The UK-based pharmaceutical giant is being sued in the High Court in a test case by a father-of-two who suffered a significant permanent brain injury as a result of a blood clot after receiving the jab in spring 2021. A second claim is also being brought by the widower and two young children of a woman who died after having the jab. Some who have experienced serious adverse reactions from the AstraZeneca vaccine ... have been given “warnings” on social media websites such as Facebook when trying to talk to one another about their experiences. They say they are being forced to “self censor” and speak in code to avoid having their support groups shut down. In one instance, YouTube attempted to censor a video of testimony given by lawyers to the Covid Inquiry about vaccines, flagging the clip as a violation of its “medical misinformation policy”. UK CV Family, a private Facebook group with 1.2k members for people left injured or bereaved from Covid vaccines, was started in November 2021 by Charlet Crichton after she suffered an adverse reaction from the AstraZeneca jab. Facebook blocked Ms Crichton from commenting at one stage “to prevent misuse” and there were occasions where her account was temporarily banned because her “activity didn’t follow our community standards”.

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


Scientists at the center of the ‘lab leak’ controversy met with NIH, Fauci
2024-01-06, U.S. Right to Know
https://usrtk.org/covid-19-origins/daszak-shi-visits-nih-fauci/

Scientists at the center of the “lab leak” controversy visited Anthony Fauci’s institute at the National Institutes of Health in 2017 to discuss their research — just months before NIH lifted a pause on high-risk virology. Wuhan Institute of Virology Senior Scientist Shi Zhengli [visited] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases staffers in June 2017, where she gave a presentation about novel coronaviruses. Shi is known internationally as the “Bat Lady” for her work with bats and their coronaviruses. Though ostensibly a civilian lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has conducted research projects “for defensive and biosecurity needs of the military” since at least 2017, according to U.S. intelligence. EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. research organization, partnered closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, subcontracting NIAID funding to Shi’s lab, and arranged the meeting. Fauci himself met with [EcoHealth Alliance President Peter] Daszak four months later, in October 2017. By December 2017, NIH had resumed funding for gain-of-function research that generates new viruses in the lab following a three year pause and debate about the possibility that such research could cause a pandemic. A 2021 State Department fact sheet stated that “despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution,” it has conducted classified research on behalf of the Chinese military “since at least 2017.”

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


4 Biggest Revelations in the Jeffrey Epstein Docs
2024-01-05, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/jeffrey-epstein-documen...

Hundreds of pages of sealed records related to Jeffrey Epstein were made public on Wednesday, revealing previously unknown details about the late accused sex trafficker. Previously, the documents had been part of Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s 2015 civil case against Ghislaine Maxwell. (Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking in 2022 and is currently serving a 20-year sentence. Epstein was facing 45 years in prison for his alleged crimes, but he was found hanged in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019.) Bill Clinton was friends with Epstein for years, and he was widely speculated to be one of the high-profile figures who would appear in the documents. In a transcript of a deposition given by Epstein accuser Johanna Sjoberg, she said Epstein once told her that Clinton “likes them young, referring to girls.” In February 2022, Prince Andrew reached a settlement with Giuffre over accusations that he’d sexually abused her numerous times when she was still a minor. He denied the allegations, but was officially stripped of his royal and military titles. Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s former attorney who helped him clinch the 2008 “sweetheart deal” in which he avoided prosecution for sex crimes against minors, also plays a big role in the unsealed documents. According to testimony from Epstein’s former household staff, Dershowitz visited Epstein’s Florida home “very often,” allegedly going there by himself and spending time “in the presence of young girls.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein Ran Sex Blackmail Operation For Intelligence Agencies, New Evidence Suggests
2024-01-04, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/jeffrey-epstein-ran-sex-blackmail

While nobody has offered hard evidence that intelligence agencies, and in particular the CIA or Mossad, were directly involved in Epstein and [Ghislaine] Maxwell's blackmailing of public figures, many of the journalists who investigated the Epstein case have concluded that they were running what is known in the intelligence community as a “honeypot” or “honeytrap” aimed at using sex to blackmail people. The current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, had scheduled three meetings with Epstein in 2014. Epstein's private calendar showed that he had dozens of meetings with Kathryn Ruemmler, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama. Meetings with many other wealthy, well-connected individuals occurred years after Epstein became a convicted sex offender. Reporter Vicky Ward ... wrote a story about the Justice Department's 2007 “non-prosecution agreement” with Epstein. Alexander Acosta was the U.S. Attorney for South Florida who arranged the lenient sentence. “I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," Acosta said. In addition to his possible ties to American intelligence, Epstein may have also been connected to the Israeli Mossad. A former Israeli spy, Ari Ben-Menashe, said he was Robert Maxwell's “handler” and claimed to have introduced Epstein to Mossad. “They were agents of the Israeli Intelligence Services,” said Ben-Menashe. The CIA has a long record of using sexual blackmail. In 1975, the Washington Post reported that for years, the CIA had “operated love traps in New York City and San Francisco, where foreign diplomats were lured by prostitutes in the pay of the CIA ...Through hidden one-way mirrors, CIA agents filmed the sexual adventures and later tried to blackmail the victims into becoming informants."

Note: Read more about former Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe's claims that Epstein was running a sexual blackmail operation on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Court documents reveal names of powerful men allegedly linked to Jeffrey Epstein
2024-01-04, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/03/1222130537/jeffrey-epstein-court-records-revea...

Court documents made public on Wednesday disclosed the names of dozens of powerful men with alleged connections to convicted sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who died by suicide in 2019. Federal Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan unsealed the documents, revealing the names of numerous individuals described in a 2015 civil lawsuit as associates, affiliates or victims of Epstein. The documents include references to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, the magician David Copperfield, Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, actor Kevin Spacey, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, the late New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Vice President Al Gore, among others. The fact that people were named in these documents doesn't mean any of them face allegations or evidence of wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors say Epstein — who worked for decades as a private financier for a secretive list of wealthy clients — also operated an underage sex-trafficking ring based in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein allegedly developed a scheme to identify and exploit "dozens" of vulnerable girls and young women, some as young as 14 years old, beginning around 1994 and continuing at least until 2004. Some of his victims later claimed in civil lawsuits that Epstein instructed them to have sex with a who's-who of powerful men. Authorities in Florida first investigated Epstein for alleged sexual activity involving minors as early as 2005.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


There is little scrutiny of 'natural' deaths behind bars
2024-01-02, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/02/1219667393/there-is-little-scrutiny-of-natural...

Kesha Jackson was preparing for her husband, John, to be home in a few weeks. But then Jackson got a concerning call from other inmates. Her husband, in the special housing unit, was going in and out of consciousness. He died soon after. And as she waited for some explanation, Jackson was surprised to learn what prison officials pronounced as the manner of death: "natural." By deeming the death natural, prison authorities were not required to conduct an autopsy for Jackson's death. It's how they characterize at least three-quarters of all federal prison deaths since 2009. "When his medical records came home after he passed away, I saw that it was MRSA," Jackson said. "Saying that it's a natural death can sometimes be misleading because I believe that having the proper medical treatment could have possibly saved his life," Jackson said. The CDC says natural deaths happen either solely or almost entirely because of disease or old age. Yet 70% of the inmates who died in federal prison the last 13 years were under the age of 65. NPR found that potential issues such as medical neglect, poor prison conditions and a lack of health care resources were left unexplained once a "natural" death designation ended hopes of an investigation. Meanwhile, family members were left with little information about their loved one's death. Homer Venters, a federal court monitor of jail and prison health care, calls deaths like Jackson's "jail attributable."

Note: Private companies like Corizon are often responsible for inmate medical care. In 2015, investigations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and New York uncovered escalating inmate deaths related to Corizon's for-profit medical services. A New York Times article about this was published but it quickly disappeared. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Sidney Wolfe, fierce critic of Big Pharma and FDA, dead at 86
2024-01-02, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/01/02/business/sidney-wolfe-fierce-critic-of-drug-com...

Sidney M. Wolfe, an American physician turned activist who relentlessly lobbied against drug companies and the US Food and Drug Administration, died on Monday in his Washington home. He was 86. Wolfe ... co-founded the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, which “promotes research-based, system-wide changes in health-care policy and drug safety,” according to the group’s website. He also served as the director and senior adviser of the non-profit, where he crusaded against FDA rulings on more than two dozen dangerous or ineffective drugs until they were yanked off the market. In an op-ed published in HuffPost in 2011, Wolfe ridiculed the FDA for being “cautious on food safety — reckless on prescription drug safety.” The banned medicines include the diabetes drug phenformin, which was linked to hundreds of deaths and sold under the trade names DBI and Meltrol in the US for 20 years. Wolfe was also responsible for the banning of the anti-inflammatory Vioxx ... which he warned caused serious heart damage years before it was taken off the market — as well as the anti-diarrheal alosetron. His group also successfully petitioned federal regulators to include a warning on aspirin bottles about Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain. In addition, Wolfe was a fierce foe of silicone gel-filled breast implants for breast augmentation and reconstruction surgeries, claiming in the 1980s that they cause cancer.

Note: Read the full remembrance of Dr. Sidney Wolfe’s legacy. His leadership helped remove 28 dangerous medications off the market, and paved the way for “vital and path-breaking research and advocacy on doctor discipline, mental health, tobacco, pharmaceutical marketing, drug company payments to doctors, medical devices, health insurance and the imperative of Medicare for All, unnecessary Cesarean sections, unregulated supplements, medical resident work hours, and more.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


What We Learned From Creating the Largest Guaranteed Income Program in America
2024-01-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/what-we-learned-creating-largest-guaranteed-income-p...

Direct cash programs are growing across America, offering a path out of poverty through economic mobility. During a two-week period in 2022, nearly a quarter of a million people in the Chicago area applied for the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot, the nation's largest direct cash pilot, and ultimately 3,250 families were randomly selected to get $500 a month for two years. Similar direct cash initiatives have changed the physical, emotional, and economic lives of families that participate. Children are better cared for, and they excel in school. Adults experience improved health and stronger familial relationships. And crucially, when recipients have economic stability, they can plan and invest in their futures—many, for the first time in their lives. The Stockton SEED project, which gave $500 a month for two years to 130 people, saw results that mirrored prior direct cash research. The study ... found that the expansion of finances and the predictable, stable source of income brought by the program created "self-determination and capacity for risk-taking not present prior," meaning that when participants could predictably afford child care, transportation, and training programs they had the financial freedom to invest in their own futures. People have big ambitions, no matter the size of their bank account. For most Americans facing economic struggles, their chief problem is a lack of cash, and not a lack of character.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Journalism profession has ‘lost its way’ — and it’s not just the New York Times
2024-01-01, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/4380053-journalism-profession-has-lost-i...

The former opinion editor of the New York Times, James Bennet, took his former employer to task recently in a lengthy essay. The headline of the piece boldly asserted that the New York Times has “lost its way.” Inasmuch as the newspaper represents professional expectations and standards for the entire journalism world, Bennet could be translated as saying the broader news industry has also lost its way. The Times is just the largest float at the front of a parade heading in the wrong direction. Public sentiment about the news industry as a whole is at dismal levels. Gallup polling shows Americans’ confidence in the news media to report in a “full, fair and accurate way” is at historically low levels. Given this lack of trust, it only stands to reason that Americans are less likely to follow the news at all. There is no need to consume news from sources one can’t trust. Journalists rank near the bottom of public ratings of professions in terms of ethics and honesty. Activism has replaced journalism’s former mission to provide fact-based information on which citizens can manage their lives and hold the powerful accountable. Of course, opinion and analysis have always been a part of journalism. But there has long been a sense in the journalism profession that such activist content was to be confined to designated sections, and that the news was to be fact-driven and balanced. Fairness is a skill that journalists once prided themselves on achieving.

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


The Military Industrial Complex Scam
2023-12-30, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/foreign-policy/military-industrial-complex-scam

In the past 20 years, every major US foreign policy objective has failed. The Taliban returned to power after 20 years of US occupation of Afghanistan. Post-Saddam Iraq became dependent on Iran. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad stayed in power despite a CIA effort to overthrow him. Libya fell into a protracted civil war after a US-led NATO mission overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. Ukraine was bludgeoned on the battlefield by Russia in 2023 after the US secretly scuttled a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine in 2022. Despite these remarkable and costly debacles ... the same cast of characters has remained at the helm of US foreign policy for decades. American foreign policy is not at all about the interests of the American people. It is about the interests of the Washington insiders, as they chase campaign contributions and lucrative jobs. In short, US foreign policy has been hacked by big money. To understand the foreign-policy scam, think of today’s federal government as a multi-division racket controlled by the highest bidders. The Wall Street division is run out of the Treasury. The Health Industry division is run out of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Big Oil and Coal division is run out of the Departments of Energy and Interior. And the Foreign Policy division is run out of the White House, Pentagon and CIA. Each division uses public power for private gain through insider dealing, greased by corporate campaign contributions and lobbying outlays.

Note: War profiteering is an old game. General Smedley Butler wrote War is a Racket in 1935. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and government corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


New Spin on a Revolving Door: Pentagon Officials Turned Venture Capitalists
2023-12-30, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/30/us/politics/pentagon-venture-capitalists.html

The high-stakes world of Pentagon lobbying is being altered by the rise of defense technology startups. Retiring generals and departing top Pentagon officials once migrated regularly to the big established weapons makers like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Now they are increasingly flocking to venture capital firms that have collectively pumped billions of dollars into Silicon Valley-style startups offering the Pentagon new war-fighting tools like autonomous killer drones, hypersonic jets and space surveillance equipment. The New York Times has identified at least 50 former Pentagon and national security officials, most of whom left the federal government in the last five years, who are now working in defense-related venture capital or private equity as executives or advisers. In many cases, The Times confirmed that they continued to interact regularly with Pentagon officials or members of Congress to push for policy changes or increases in military spending that could benefit firms they have invested in. Pentagon procurement officials confirmed that they had repeatedly met with former Defense Department officials who are now venture capitalists. They said recommendations pushed by the venture capitalists had played a role in changes they are making in the way they acquire technology. In the last four years, at least $125 billion of venture capital has flooded into startups that build defense technology ... compared with $43 billion in the prior four years.

Note: If you can't access the above article, here's an alternate link. Learn more about arms industry corruption in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Ukraine Needs a Ceasefire, Not Biden’s $50 Billion Escalation of Failing War
2023-12-30, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/war-and-peace/ukraine-needs-a-ceasefire

The latest White House spending package includes $50 billion in additional military funding, which is more than Ukraine has received from the United States since the war began in early 2022. There’s a better way. The United States can take an active role in organizing a ceasefire, to be followed by negotiations toward a permanent settlement. Unfortunately, so far Biden has made little effort to end the slaughter. In fact, there is serious evidence that Great Britain and the US played a decisive role in blocking a 2022 peace deal between Ukraine and Russia. The State Department reports that the United States has given Ukraine $44.2 billion in military aid since Russia invaded at the end of February, 2022. At the current pace of spending, the additional military aid requested by the White House would keep the Ukraine war going until sometime in mid-2026 – that is, unless there is a plan to intensify the attacks, which would increase the risk of a nuclear conflict. The US has reportedly spent a total of $111 billion on Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. If the supplemental spending package is approved ... military-only spending for Ukraine will be greater than the annual budget of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration – combined. The US has already spent ten times as much on Ukraine as we spend on the Centers for Disease Control. That does not mean Ukraine doesn’t deserve to be defended, but it does raise serious questions about the direction of the war and our government’s priorities.

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


Federal Bureau Of Prisons Faces Many Challenges In 2024
2023-12-29, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2023/12/29/federal-bureau-of-prisons...

With 2023 drawing to a close, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) completed its first full year under the leadership of Director Colette Peters. The BOP has huge responsibilities in the care and feeding of over 150,000 prisoners in its care and over 36,000 staff. It has an $8.7 billion annual budget and houses some of the most infamous criminals in the United States. It also houses nearly 50,000 inmates who are low and minimum security prisoners, many of whom are eligible for earlier release due to the First Step Act, a 2018 law that can decrease a sentence term by up to a year. The BOP’s facilities are, for lack of a better term, falling apart. As of May 2022, the BOP’s estimated cost for needed, major repairs was approaching $2 billion. However, an Office of Inspector General audit found that the BOP’s budget requests have been far below its own estimates of resource needs: for example, BOP sought less than $200 million for its infrastructure needs from Congress in FY 2022, and Congress appropriated $59 million. One of the reasons cited for the BOP not receiving more funding was its lack of a strategic plan on how to effectively spend funds it may be given. The BOP will see more push for congressional oversight. Senator Chuck Grassley recently pushed to make the director of the Bureau of Prisons a Senate-confirmed position, adding that he has "... inquired about reports of rife abuse in the past and continue to push for transparency in the federal prison system."

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


CIA accused of hiding records that analysts took ‘monetary incentives’ to bury COVID lab leak finding
2023-12-26, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/26/news/cia-accused-of-hiding-payments-to-bury-cov...

An offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation is suing the Central Intelligence Agency, accusing it of withholding records detailing payoffs to analysts to bury findings that a lab leak was the most likely explanation for the COVID-19 pandemic. The think tank’s Oversight Project filed a federal lawsuit against the CIA Dec. 22, alleging the agency did not comply with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about analysts who allegedly “received monetary incentives to change their position on the origins of the virus,” according to a copy of the complaint. A senior-level CIA agent told House Republican committee chairmen in September that the agency offered payments to six analysts tasked with determining the origins of SARS-CoV-2 if they said that the virus jumped from animals to humans. The Sept. 12 letter from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to CIA Director William Burns also demanded documentation ... about the payments. “According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the House panel chairmen wrote. In February, the FBI became the first US intelligence agency to conclude the coronavirus pandemic most likely began with a lab leak.

Note: Former chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci will testify before Congress on COVID origins in early 2024. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID and intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our COVID Information Center.


New Orleans landlord gifts tenants 1 month of free rent for holidays:
2023-12-26, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/britni-ricard-free-rent-new-orleans/

Britni Ricard is the CEO of her own cosmetics company, COTA Skin Care, which she started in 2019. Last year, she also became a landlord when she bought her first investment property. The apartment building in New Orleans has 10 units and, according to Ricard, many of the tenants are single women with children. That made her think of her own childhood growing up in public housing, and how difficult Christmastime could be for her mom. "It was tough," Ricard told CBS News. "My mom was a single woman raising three children alone, and watching her continuously struggle as a child and wanting to figure out, 'How can I help?'" In November, Ricard gathered her tenants for a pre-holiday meeting and, while decked out in a chartreuse suit, she delivered a gift to her tenants that would make Santa Claus green with envy: one month of free rent. A video of her surprise announcement went viral on TikTok. In the video, Ricard also offered to organize a seminar to help her tenants become homeowners. Kedesha Dunn lives in one of the building's units with her two boys. The single mom said Ricard's gift would allow her family to celebrate more and worry less. "Now I, you know, I don't have to go try to take a loan out or something like ask my family for money," Dunn said. "Like, I can do it now. Like, I can do it." "I'm an emotional person," Dunn added. "I start to cry. 'Cause I'm just like, that is so sweet. She's uh, better than Santa Claus at this point. ... Like a guardian angel."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Iceland’s ‘bike whisperer’: the vigilante who finds stolen bicycles – and helps thieves change
2023-12-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/dec/25/bicycle-jesus-vigilante-who-find...

It all started in 2019, when Bjartmar Leósson started to see a rise in bike theft in Reykjavík. The bus driver and self-confessed “bike nerd” decided to start tracking them down and returning them to their rightful owners. Four years and, he estimates, hundreds of salvaged bikes later, the 44-year-old has developed a reputation in the Icelandic capital among cyclists and potential bike thieves. Known as the Reykjavík “bike whisperer”, people across his home city turn to him for help to find their missing bicycles, tools and even cars. Often, he says, bike thieves hand over bikes without being asked and some former bike thieves have started to help him. Now when somebody loses their bike it can take as little as 48 hours to track it down on his Facebook page, Hjóladót ofl. tapað fundið eða stolið (Bicycle stuff etc lost, found or stolen), updated every few hours with missing and found items and which has more than 14,500 members. “It’s not only me,” he says. “Many times someone sees a bike hidden in a bush, takes a picture and then someone else comments ‘hey that’s my bike’. So everyone’s looking out.” Now when people’s bikes get stolen, he says, the police direct them to his Facebook page. When there is a finder’s fee he gives it to people living in [a homeless] shelter. He he says he now sees the bike theft problem is often driven by addiction, aided by long rehab waiting lists and closures during the summer.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Meet the Companies Profiting From Israel’s War on Gaza
2023-12-21, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/12/21/meet-the-companies-profiting-from-israels-w...

As of Wednesday, a U.S.-based Quaker group’s online database listed over two dozen companies profiting from the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces have spent the last 10 weeks waging what experts call a “genocidal” war that sent defense stocks soaring. Backed by $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, Israel declared war on October 7 in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack that killed over 1,100 people. Since then, Israeli forces have killed over 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza. “The scale of destruction and war crimes in Gaza would not be possible without massive weapon transfers from the U.S.,” said Noam Perry of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Boeing, the world’s fifth-largest weapon manufacturer, makes F-15 fighter jets and Apache AH-64 attack helicopters used by the Israeli forces, as well as “multiple types of unguided small diameter bombs (SDBs) and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits” that have been used “extensively” during the war. Caterpillar’s armored D9 bulldozers ... have been crucial in the Israeli military’s ground invasion. Other companies on the list include weapons giants such as General Dynamics, General Electric, L3Harris Technologies, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and RTX—formerly Raytheon—as well as vehicle companies AM General, Ford, Oshkosh, Toyota, and drone manufacturers AeroVironment, Skydio, and XTEND.

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


Who is 'Fat Leonard' and how did he end up as part of the Venezuelan prisoner swap?
2023-12-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2023/12/20/1220816420/who-is-fat-leonard-and-how-did-he-e...

The notorious and once portly defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard," who scammed the U.S. Navy out of millions of dollars for more than a decade, is being extradited to the U.S. as part of a prisoner swap deal with Venezuela, the White House announced. Leonard Glenn Francis, now 59, escaped from house arrest in San Diego in September 2022 after cutting off an ankle tracking bracelet shortly before a sentencing trial for his role behind one of the largest corruption scandals in the country's military history that ensnared more than two dozen U.S. Navy officials. But his life on the run was short lived. Francis was captured weeks later by authorities in Venezuela where he has remained in custody until now. In 2015 Francis pleaded guilty to plying more than 30 officials, including more than two dozen naval officers, with a slew of bribes to gain lucrative contracts for his Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. According to the Department of Justice, officers were lavished with a criminal potpourri of cash, prostitutes, parties and luxury travel and items such as "Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pig." Francis also admitted to overcharging the Pentagon for made up services. In all, the Department of Justice said he bilked the Navy out of $35 million, leading officials to call it "one of the most brazen bribery conspiracies in the U.S. Navy's history." In exchange, officers handed over classified and other sensitive material to Francis' company.

Note: This massive conspiracy at one point redirected an aircraft carrier. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Boom, bang! Tales from a cell below the ‘crazy unit’ of a US prison
2023-12-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/20/inside-new-jersey-state-priso...

I was moved on to unit 1EE on the south compound inside New Jersey State Prison a year ago. On the floor just above me is 2EE, which is known as “the crazy unit”. This unit is where incarcerated men throughout the state are sent when they experience mental health difficulties. Men are stripped down and given “turtle suits”, thin vests that barely keep them covered. There are no pillows, blankets or sheets. In the United States, roughly 40% of people in state prisons and local jails have a history of mental illness, but less than half of those folks receive treatment. Individuals with signs of mental health issues can face additional risks and discipline while inside, including prison misconduct charges, longer solitary confinement periods and barriers to accessing medication. As a juvenile, a kid might try to get out of being locked up by saying they were going to kill themselves, so they could get sent to a psych unit where they might be treated better. They don’t realize that it will put them on the special needs list forever. As an adult, at least in New Jersey State Prison, a person can get labeled special needs for complaining that they can’t sleep. A special needs designation means that you’ll be at the mercy of the mental health department. It can land you in a bad spot. The side-effects of medication they might give you could be crippling. Some guys get hooked on the drugs and never wake up again.

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


Big tech and geopolitics are reshaping the internet’s plumbing
2023-12-20, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/business/2023/12/20/big-tech-and-geopolitics-are-re...

Submarine cables used to be seen as the internet’s dull plumbing. Now giants of the data economy, such as Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft, are asserting more control over the flow of data, even as tensions between China and America risk splintering the world’s digital infrastructure. The result is to turn undersea cables into prized economic and strategic assets. Subsea data pipes carry almost 99% of intercontinental internet traffic. By 2010 the rise in data traffic led internet and cloud-computing giants—Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft—to start leasing capacity on these lines. The data-cable business is ... being entangled in the tech contest between America and China. Take the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN). The 13,000km data pipeline was announced in 2016, with the backing of Google and Meta. It aimed to link the west coast of America with Hong Kong. By 2020 it had reached the Philippines and Taiwan. But last year America’s government denied approval for the final leg to Hong Kong, worried that this would give Chinese authorities easy access to Americans’ data. Hundreds of kilometres of cable that would link Hong Kong to the network are languishing unused on the ocean floor. China is responding by charting its own course. PEACE, a 21,500km undersea cable linking Kenya to France via Pakistan, was built entirely by Chinese firms as part of China’s “digital silk road”, a scheme to increase its global influence.

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


American scientists misled Pentagon on research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
2023-12-18, US Right to Know
https://usrtk.org/covid-19-origins/american-scientists-misled-pentagon-on-wuh...

American researchers concealed their intention to conduct high-risk coronavirus research in Wuhan under lax safety standards from the Pentagon the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know. A 2018 grant proposal called Project DEFUSE, coauthored by the Wuhan Institute of Virology and American scientists, has stoked concern that the pandemic resulted from a lab accident. It proposed engineering high-risk coronaviruses of the same species as SARS and SARS-CoV-2. The proposal involved synthesizing spike proteins with furin cleavage sites — the same feature that supercharged SARS-CoV-2 into the most infectious pandemic pathogen in a century. These experiments were proposed to occur in part in Wuhan with fewer safety precautions than required in the U.S. — apparently to save on costs. American scientists at the center of the “lab leak theory” controversy appear to have concealed this from their desired funder — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — in order to evade any national security concerns about doing high-level biosecurity work in China. The documents call into question the credibility of these scientists’ assurances that the pandemic could not have sprung out of their collaboration ... with the lab in Wuhan. Conducting coronavirus engineering and testing work in Wuhan entailed greater biosafety risks, the American researchers privately acknowledged.

Note: Anthony Fauci lied to Congress about funding this risky research. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our COVID Information Center.


Fauci’s ‘Perjury of Striking Audacity’: Excerpt From RFK Jr.’s New Book, ‘The Wuhan Cover-Up’
2023-12-18, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/anthony-fauci-perjury-excerpt-rfk...

During the entirety of the ongoing two-and-a-half-year public health emergency, while he was acting as the president’s top COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Fauci made no effort to genuinely investigate COVID-19’s origins. On May 11, 2021, Senator Rand Paul finally asked: “Dr. Fauci, do you still support NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Dr. Fauci angrily denounced the question: “Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely, and completely incorrect. That the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Dr. Fauci was then under oath, so his blanket denial was a perjury of striking audacity: [The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases'] decade-long funding of gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab had left a public record abundantly and unambiguously documented on PubMed, the official NIH archives of the world’s peer-reviewed published research. The authors of myriad gain-of-function studies openly thank NIAID and NIH for funding their research at the Wuhan lab. The ease of finding these incontrovertible proofs of his deception makes Dr. Fauci’s lie seem reckless. But the savvy NIAID chief evidently calculated that the issue was now so politicized and the media so committed to fortifying official government orthodoxies that truth was irrelevant. The nation’s leading journalistic outlets abetted Dr. Fauci’s public deception by shielding him from difficult questions.

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


Poison centers see nearly 1,500% increase in calls related to injected weight-loss drugs as people accidentally overdose
2023-12-18, CNN News
https://edition.cnn.com/2023/12/13/health/semaglutide-overdoses-wellness/inde...

Poison control centers across the US say they are seeing a steep increase in calls related to semaglutide, an injected medication used for diabetes and weight loss, with some people reporting symptoms related to accidental overdoses. Some have even needed to be hospitalized for severe nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, but their cases seem to have resolved after they were given intravenous fluids and medications to control nausea. From January through November, the America’s Poison Centers reports nearly 3,000 calls involving semaglutide, an increase of more than 15-fold since 2019. In 94% of calls, this medication was the only substance reported. In most of the calls, people reported dosing errors, said Dr. Kait Brown, clinical managing director of the association. “Oftentimes, it’s a person who maybe accidentally took a double dose or took the wrong dose,” Brown said. Semaglutide was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017. It is sold as Ozempic when used for diabetes and Wegovy when used for weight loss. Even when used as directed by a doctor, people can have stomach and bowel side effects, including nausea, vomiting and constipation, especially when they start the drugs. After celebrities began openly embracing Ozempic on social media in 2022 as a way to lose weight, demand overwhelmed supply. There’s no specific antidote for a semaglutide overdose.

Note: The money behind the makers of weight-loss drugs is staggering, with the economic value of Wegovy's Novo Nordisk soaring to over $420 billionexceeding the entire GDP of Denmark, its home country. Read more on the significant adverse effects associated with these drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Advocates Demand Compensation For U.S. Drone Strike Victims In Somalia
2023-12-18, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/12/18/somalia-drone-strike-civilians-letter/

Two Dozen human rights organizations called on the Pentagon Monday to make amends to a Somali family following an investigation by The Intercept of a 2018 U.S. drone strike that killed a woman and her 4-year-old daughter. The 14 Somali groups and 10 international organizations devoted to the protection of civilians urged Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to take immediate action. The family is seeking an explanation, an apology, and compensation. Congress appropriates millions of dollars annually for the Defense Department to compensate families of civilians killed or injured in U.S. attacks, but the Pentagon has shown an aversion to confronting its mistakes and rarely makes compensation payments, even in cases as clear cut as this one. A drone pilot and analyst, who served in Somalia the year Luul [Dahir Mohamed] and [her daughter] Mariam were killed and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the attack was no anomaly. “When I went to Africa, it seemed like no one was paying attention. It was like, ‘We can do whatever we want,’” he told The Intercept. When he counted the civilians he knew the U.S. had killed and compared that tally with publicly announced figures, he said, “the numbers just didn’t add up.” Luul’s family was traumatized by the airstrike and has suffered for more than half a decade. Her brothers say their elderly father — who died earlier this month — never recovered from his daughter’s sudden death.

Note: Since 2008, the US has supported at least nine coups in African countries, with a vast network of military bases scattered across the continent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


Former EPA official says agency fails to protect public from toxic pesticides
2023-12-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/15/epa-failing-public-health-pes...

Karen McCormack, a retired Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientist who spent 40 years with the agency, told Al Jazeera’s investigative show Fault Lines that she believed the EPA was not fulfilling its mission to protect the public from harmful chemicals. “In the last three decades that I have worked at EPA it has been very rare for a toxic pesticide to be taken off the market,” she told Fault Lines. “Just about every, every new pesticide application that is submitted to the agency is approved, no matter how high the risk.” As the Al Jazeera report notes, paraquat is banned in 58 countries but its use is on the rise in the United States. The Guardian’s Paraquat Papers, published in 2022 in collaboration with the New Lede, exposed years of corporate efforts to cover up paraquat’s links to Parkinson’s disease, mislead the public, challenge published scientific literature and influence the EPA. Dr Deborah Cory-Slechta, a prominent researcher, told Al Jazeera: “There is a very strong and compelling body of evidence based on the epidemiology studies and what we know from animal models of Parkinson’s disease” that paraquat causes changes in the brain that lead to Parkinson’s. As revealed by the Guardian, in 2005 Syngenta worked behind the scenes to keep Cory-Slechta from sitting on an EPA advisory panel, deeming her a threat to paraquat. Company officials wanted to make sure the efforts could not be traced back to Syngenta, the documents showed.

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


One unexpected way to reduce violent crime? Create green spaces.
2023-12-14, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/urban-greening-violent...

In 2012, according to FBI data, 2,774 violent crimes were reported to the Flint Police Department. In 2022, 985 were reported. Like other “legacy cities” that have experienced significant economic decline and population loss, Flint, [Michigan] is still struggling. But now, through the Genesee County Land Bank’s Clean & Green program, Ishmel and hundreds of other residents have been mowing vacant lots. Greening projects like these maintain abandoned spaces, either by mowing them or converting them into gardens and parks. But these projects don’t just make the neighborhood feel safer. Researchers who have been studying the effects of greening in Flint; Philadelphia; Youngstown, Ohio; and other legacy cities have shown repeatedly that it actually reduces violent crime. “It is one of the most consistent findings I’ve ever had in my 34-year career of doing research,” says Marc A. Zimmerman, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. A review of 45 papers found that the presence of green spaces, including parks and trees, reduces crime in urban areas. In Flint, Zimmerman and his colleagues compared streets where community members maintained vacant lots through Clean & Green with streets where vacant lots were left alone, over five years. The maintained ones had almost 40 percent fewer assaults and violent crimes. One study found that while simply maintaining vacant lots reduced burglaries, turning them into gardens reduced assaults.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


How Police Have Undermined the Promise of Body Cameras
2023-12-14, ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/how-police-undermined-promise-body-cameras

When body-worn cameras were introduced a decade ago, they seemed to hold the promise of a revolution. Once police officers knew they were being filmed, surely they would think twice about engaging in misconduct. And if they crossed the line, they would be held accountable: The public, no longer having to rely on official accounts, would know about wrongdoing. Police and civilian oversight agencies would be able to use footage to punish officers and improve training. In an outlay that would ultimately cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the technology represented the largest new investment in policing in a generation. It was a fix bound to fall far short. As policymakers rushed to equip the police with cameras, they often failed to grapple with a fundamental question: Who would control the footage? They defaulted to leaving police departments ... with the power to decide what is recorded, who can see it and when. Departments across the country have routinely delayed releasing footage, released only partial or redacted video or refused to release it at all. They have frequently failed to discipline or fire officers when body cameras document abuse. We conducted a review of civilians killed by police officers in June 2022, roughly a decade after the first body cameras were rolled out. We counted 79 killings in which there was body-worn-camera footage. A year and a half later, the police have released footage in just 33 cases — or about 42%.

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


Appeals panel invalidates EPA approval of streptomycin pesticide on citrus groves, citing risks to bees
2023-12-13, Courthouse News
https://www.courthousenews.com/appeals-panel-invalidates-epa-approval-of-stre...

A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday rolled back the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of the use of the pesticide streptomycin sulfate on citrus groves to fight citrus disease. The underlying lawsuit was brought by farmworkers and other interest groups, which argued the EPA had greenlit streptomycin sulfate for use on citrus plants without adequately considering potential harms from the chemical. The panel, consisting of U.S. Circuit Judges Ronald Gould and Johnnie Rawlinson ... and Daniel Bress ... partially ruled in favor of the EPA — determining there was substantial evidence for the EPA’s assessment concerning risks which could lead to antibiotic resistance. However, they said, the EPA’s assessment concerning risks to bees and other pollinators was incomplete. In a statement after the ruling, the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups involved in the suit, applauded the Ninth Circuit's decision. The rollback of streptomycin approval "is a significant win for public health, farmworker safety and endangered species," [said attorney] Hannah Connor. Streptomycin sulfate is used as an antibiotic to treat serious illnesses but has also found use as a pesticide. The Center for Biological Diversity claims spraying streptomycin on citrus trees to combat citrus greening disease is “highly ineffective” and argues that its use as a pesticide violates the Endangered Species Act because it causes long-term health effects to endangered animals and plants.

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


How Meta’s New Face Camera Heralds a New Age of Surveillance
2023-12-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/13/technology/personaltech/meta-ray-ban-glass...

For the past two weeks, I’ve been using a new camera to secretly snap photos and record videos of strangers in parks, on trains, inside stores and at restaurants. I was testing the recently released $300 Ray-Ban Meta glasses that Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking empire made in collaboration with the iconic eyewear maker. The high-tech glasses include a camera for shooting photos and videos, and an array of speakers and microphones for listening to music and talking on the phone. The glasses, Meta says, can help you “live in the moment” while sharing what you see with the world. Meta, Apple and Magic Leap have all been hyping mixed-reality headsets that use cameras to allow their software to interact with objects in the real world. To inform people that they are being photographed, the Meta Ray-Bans include a tiny LED light embedded in the right frame to indicate when the device is recording. When a photo is snapped, it flashes momentarily. When a video is recording, it is continuously illuminated. As I shot 200 photos and videos with the glasses in public, including on BART trains, on hiking trails and in parks, no one looked at the LED light or confronted me about it. And why would anyone? It would be rude to comment on a stranger’s glasses, let alone stare at them. The ubiquity of smartphones, doorbell cameras and dashcams makes it likely that you are being recorded anywhere you go. But Chris Gilliard, an independent privacy scholar who has studied the effects of surveillance technologies, said cameras hidden inside smart glasses would most likely enable bad actors — like the people shooting sneaky photos of others at the gym — to do more harm.

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


Farmer sells her food for pennies in a trendy Tokyo district to help
2023-12-13, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/japan-farmer-sells-food-for-pennies-in-trendy-to...

There's a quiet alley in Japan's capital where passersby often do a double-take. Sharing space with chic cafes and world-class bars, the tiny fruit and vegetable stand seems to have been teleported from a country road far away. Weather-beaten wood tables groan under stacks of carrots, potatoes, mandarin oranges and other fresh farm produce. But what makes the stall even more remarkable in the heart of Tokyo is that payment is on the honor system — customers just toss coins into an old mailbox — and most of the items on offer are priced at 100 yen, or about 70 cents, in a neighborhood where fresh food usually goes for much, much more. A handwritten mission statement on the stall is addressed: "Dear young people." "I came here from Hiroshima with nothing. Lived on watermelon for a month, but couldn't ask mom for help. Thirty years on, I grow plenty of vegetables," the note continues. "Tomo-chan is on your side, so don't worry about the future." Opened five years ago, the produce stand has struck a chord with some of the city's hard-pressed younger residents, revealing a well of hidden despair beneath the glitter and gloss of a world-famous metropolis. The greengrocer with a heart of gold is rarely glimpsed by her grateful customers. "I want young people to feel that they're not forgotten, that they are treasured," she said. "That not everyone is out for himself. I can make money anytime. Right now, I want to give young people a helping hand."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The secret science of how drugs like Ozempic and Jardiance get their weird names
2023-12-12, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/07/lifestyle/the-secret-science-of-how-ozempic-and...

If you’ve ever found yourself absentmindedly humming the “oh-oh-oh-Ozempic” jingle, you have David Paton to blame. The singer-songwriter ... co-wrote “Magic” — the 1975 hit for his band Pilot that he reworked and sang for the trendy weight-loss drug’s TV commercials, which play incessantly. “I have heard from doctors about patients not remembering the names of drugs but singing the songs,” a former product manager for drug companies that include Merck and Pfizer, [said]. It can cost billions of dollars to develop a pharmaceutical, so promoting it is essential. And that all starts with the name. “We try to craft a name that [has] five to nine letters and two to four syllables.” But it even comes down to the exact letters. “Let’s say there is an oral drug instead of an injectable, we’ll explore something that sounds liquidy or has an O in it,” Fernando Fernandez, managing director of BX: Brand Experience Design Group, [said]. “If we expect a product to have an extra level of efficacy, we might put an X in the name.” Consumers like taking drugs with the letter Z, which may have played a role in the naming of Ozempic and Zepbound. According to the Canadian Medical Journal, the letters X, Y and Z all impart a “high tech, sciency” [sic] feeling to drugs such as the sleeping medication Xanax. “People have hesitancy about taking drugs,” a medical advertising veteran told The Post. “If they don’t have diabetes, they wonder why they are taking a diabetes drug to lose weight. The weight-loss drug has to be called something different, even though it is very close to being the same thing. The name Wegovy is playful and memorable and obviously works.”

Note: The money behind the makers of weight-loss drugs is staggering, while concerns grow about the significant adverse effects of these drugs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Pharmacies share medical data with police without a warrant, inquiry finds
2023-12-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/12/12/pharmacy-records-police-...

The nation’s largest pharmacy chains have handed over Americans’ prescription records to police and government investigators without a warrant, a congressional investigation found, raising concerns about threats to medical privacy. Though some of the chains require their lawyers to review law enforcement requests, three of the largest — CVS Health, Kroger and Rite Aid, with a combined 60,000 locations nationwide — said they allow pharmacy staff members to hand over customers’ medical records in the store. Pharmacies’ records hold some of the most intimate details of their customers’ personal lives, including years-old medical conditions and the prescriptions they take for mental health and birth control. Because the chains often share records across all locations, a pharmacy in one state can access a person’s medical history from states with more-restrictive laws. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, regulates how health information is used and exchanged among “covered entities” such as hospitals and doctor’s offices. But the law gives pharmacies leeway as to what legal standard they require before disclosing medical records to law enforcement. In briefings, officials with eight American pharmacy giants — Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger, Cigna, Optum Rx and Amazon Pharmacy — told congressional investigators that they required only a subpoena, not a warrant, to share the records.

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


Apple now requires court-order to release customers’ information to law enforcement
2023-12-12, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/12/tech/apple-now-requires-court-order-to-release-...

Apple has said it now requires a judge’s order to hand over information about its customers’ push notification to law enforcement, putting the iPhone maker’s policy in line with rival Google and raising the hurdle officials must clear to get app data about users. It follows the revelation from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden that officials were requesting such data from Apple as well as from Google. Apps of all kinds rely on push notifications to alert smartphone users to incoming messages, breaking news, and other updates. These are the audible “dings” or visual indicators users get when they receive an email or their sports team wins a game. What users often do not realize is that almost all such notifications travel over Google and Apple’s servers. In a letter first disclosed by Reuters last week, Wyden said the practice gave the two companies unique insight into traffic flowing from those apps to users, putting them “in a unique position to facilitate government surveillance of how users are using particular apps.” Apple and Google both acknowledged receiving such requests. Apple added a passage to its guidelines saying such data was available “with a subpoena or greater legal process.” The passage has now been updated to refer to more stringent warrant requirements. Wyden said in a statement that Apple was “doing the right thing by matching Google and requiring a court order to hand over push notification related data.”

Note: Read more about the controversial geofence warrants that use Big Tech data. As an older article about the Apple court order articulates, law enforcement can "intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Palestine: “Peace to Prosperity” Through Technocracy
2023-12-12, Unlimited Hangout
https://unlimitedhangout.com/2023/12/investigative-reports/palestine-peace-to...

The Palestinian population is intimately familiar with how new technological innovations are first weaponized against them–ranging from electric fences and unmanned drones to trap people in Gaza—to the facial recognition software monitoring Palestinians in the West Bank. Groups like Amnesty International have called Israel an Automated Apartheid and repeatedly highlight stories, testimonies, and reports about cyber-intelligence firms, including the infamous NSO Group (the Israeli surveillance company behind the Pegasus software) conducting field tests and experiments on Palestinians. Reports have highlighted: “Testing and deployment of AI surveillance and predictive policing systems in Palestinian territories. In the occupied West Bank, Israel increasingly utilizes facial recognition technology to monitor and regulate the movement of Palestinians. Israeli military leaders described AI as a significant force multiplier, allowing the IDF to use autonomous robotic drone swarms to gather surveillance data, identify targets, and streamline wartime logistics.” The Palestinian towns and villages near Israeli settlements have been described as laboratories for security solutions companies to experiment their technologies on Palestinians before marketing them to places like Colombia. The Israeli government hopes to crystalize its “automated apartheid” through the tokenization and privatization of various industries and establishing a technocratic government in Gaza.

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.


Congress Clashes Over the Future of America’s Global Spy Program
2023-12-11, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/section-702-house-bills-plewsa-frra/

Under ... Section 702 [of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act], the US government collects hundreds of millions of phone calls, emails, and text messages each year. An inestimable chunk belongs to American citizens, permanent residents, and others in the United States neither suspected nor accused of any crime. Police and intelligence agencies buy their way around the Fourth Amendment by paying US companies for information that they’d otherwise demand a warrant to disclose. The House Intelligence Committee’s bill—the FISA Reform and Reauthorization Act, or FRRA—does nothing to address this privacy threat. What the FRRA does appear to do, despite its name, is explode the number of companies the US government may compel to cooperate with wiretaps under Section 702. That was the assessment on Friday of Marc Zwillinger, amicus curiae to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR). Section 702 currently allows the government to compel a class of companies called “electronic communications providers” to collect communications. If the FRRA becomes law, according to Zwillinger, that category would be greatly expanded to include a slew of new businesses, including “data centers, colocation providers, business landlords, and shared workspaces,” as well as, he says, “hotels where guests connect to the internet.” Communications may be seized under 702 and only years later dug up for an entirely different reason.

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.


In the name of ‘fake news,’ NewsGuard extorts sites to follow the government narrative
2023-12-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/10/opinion/newsguard-extorts-sites-to-follow-the-g...

An opaque network of government agencies and self-proclaimed anti-misinformation groups ... have repressed online speech. News publishers have been demonetized and shadow-banned for reporting dissenting views. NewsGuard, a for-profit company that scores news websites on trust and works closely with government agencies and major corporate advertisers, exemplifies the problem. NewsGuard’s core business is a misinformation meter, in which websites are rated on a scale of 0 to 100 on a variety of factors, including headline choice and whether a site publishes “false or egregiously misleading content.” Editors who have engaged with NewsGuard have found that the company has made bizarre demands that unfairly tarnish an entire site as untrustworthy for straying from the official narrative. In an email to one of its government clients, NewsGuard touted that its ratings system of websites is used by advertisers, “which will cut off revenues to fake news sites.” Internal documents ... show that the founders of NewsGuard privately pitched the firm to clients as a tool to engage in content moderation on an industrial scale, applying artificial intelligence to take down certain forms of speech. Earlier this year, Consortium News, a left-leaning site, charged in a lawsuit that NewsGuard’s serves as a proxy for the military to engage in censorship. The lawsuit brings attention to the Pentagon’s $749,387 contract with NewsGuard to identify “false narratives” regarding the war [in] Ukraine.

Note: A recent trove of whistleblower documents revealed how far the Pentagon and intelligence spy agencies are willing to go to censor alternative views, even if those views contain factual information and reasonable arguments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Biden Is Overseeing the Silent Death of the First Amendment
2023-12-08, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/julian-assange-belmarsh-tribunal/

In early 2024, a new, grim chapter may be written in the annals of journalistic history. Julian Assange, the publisher of Wikileaks, could board a plane for extradition to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on espionage charges for the crime of publishing newsworthy information. The persecution of Assange is clear evidence that the Biden administration is overseeing the silent death of the First Amendment—with global consequences. Wikileaks exposed not only civilian casualties, torture, and other human rights abuses through projects such as the Iraq War Logs, but also published documents that offer invaluable insight into conflicts still raging today. For example, cables released by Wikileaks in the 2010 Cablegate leaks show Israel’s policy towards Gaza in the years following Hamas’s election victory in 2006. According to the cable, Israel determined that Hamas’s rise in Gaza would benefit them as it would allow the Israeli military to “deal with Gaza as a hostile state” and so turned down a Palestinian Authority request for assistance in defeating Hamas. Israeli policy to blockaded Gaza was to “keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest possible level consistent with avoiding humanitarian crisis.” The application of the Espionage Act in the US sets a chilling precedent that reverberates far beyond Assange’s individual fate. The struggle for press freedom is ongoing.

Note: The US prosecution of Assange undermines press freedom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Pentagon Was Involved In Domestic Censorship Scheme, New CTIL Whistleblower Files Show
2023-12-07, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/pentagon-was-involved-in-domestic

A second whistleblower has come forward with Slack messages showing far greater government and military involvement in the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL) than we had previously discovered. The CTIL Slack “disinformation” channel and the “law enforcement escalation” channel included current and former FBI employees, as well as personnel from the Michigan Cyber Command Center, the US Defense Digital Service (DDS), and at least one European government. Some of the military’s involvement in censoring information and shaping opinion has been out in the open. In 2017, the DOD added “information” as the seventh joint function of the military. With the addition of “information” as a function of defense, DOD effectively declared that citizens’ perceptions, attitudes, decisions, and behaviors were subject to military scrutiny and manipulation. The Censorship Industrial Complex ... aims to undermine and denigrate populist actors and movements through allegations that anti-government sentiment is linked to hate, conspiracy theories, or Russia. Supposed attempts to stop “disinformation” are really attempts to prevent opposition and challenges to the international political and military order. The new files suggest that the US and UK military and intelligence officials and contractors created the Censorship Industrial Complex’s to defeat populist sentiment, not just individuals.

Note: The extensive collusion between Big Tech and government officials to censor COVID information is barely beginning to come to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


‘Chilling’: Some Smart Toys Can Collect Kids’ Iris Scans, Fingerprints, Vital Signs and More
2023-12-07, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/smart-toys-biometric-data-collect...

The annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, produced by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and released before the holiday season, historically has focused on safety hazards found in traditional children’s toys. According to the 38th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, released in mid-November, “Toys that spy on children are a growing threat.” The threats “stem from toys with microphones, cameras and trackers, as well as recalled toys, water beads, counterfeits and Meta Quest VR headsets.” “The riskiest features of smart toys are those that can collect information, especially without our knowledge or used in a way that parents didn’t agree to,” said Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and author of the report. “It’s chilling to learn what some of these toys can do,” Murray said. Smart toys include “stuffed animals that listen and talk, devices that learn their habits, games with online accounts, and smart speakers, watches, play kitchens and remote cars that connect to apps or other technology,” according to PIRG. Smart toys can pose the risk of data breaches, hacking, potential violations of children’s privacy laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), and exposure to “inappropriate or harmful material without proper filtering and parental controls.” According to PIRG, “We don’t know with certainty when our child plays with a connected toy that the company isn’t recording us or collecting our data.”

Note: A 2015 New York Times article called smart objects a "trainwreck in privacy and security." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


It's one of the biggest experiments in fighting global poverty. Now the results are in
2023-12-07, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/12/07/1217478771/its-one-of-th...

Since 2017 the U.S.-based charity GiveDirectly has been providing thousands of villagers in Kenya what's called a "universal basic income" – a cash grant of about $50, delivered every month, with the commitment to keep the payments coming for 12 years. This week a team of independent researchers who have been studying the impact released their first results. Their findings ... compare the outcomes for about 5,000 people who got the monthly payments to nearly 12,000 others in a control group who got no money. The researchers also compared the recipients to people in two other categories: nearly 9,000 who received the monthly income for just two years; and another roughly 9,000 people who got that same two years' worth of income but in a lump-sum payment. When it came to measures of well-being such as consumption of protein or spending money on schooling, all of the groups who were given cash were better off than people in the control group that got no money. Those who got the money in a lump sum vastly outperformed people who were promised the same amount for just two years but received it in monthly installments. Lump-sum recipients had 19% more enterprises – businesses such as small shops in local markets, motorbike taxis and small-scale construction concerns. And the lump sum recipients' net revenues from their businesses were a whopping 80% higher. The grants did not seem to fuel inflation.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


‘It’s kind of gross but we can do it’: How a community learned to go zero waste
2023-12-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/dec/07/its-kind-of-gross-but-we-...

When [city councillor] Alexandre Garcin dreamed up Zero-Waste Roubaix, it wasn’t sustainability he wanted to tackle, but the litter problem that plagued his city. Garcin sent out leaflets looking for 100 volunteers to participate in a free, year-long pilot programme that would teach them how to live waste-free. These familles zéro déchet, or zero-waste families, would receive training and attend workshops on topics such as making your own yoghurt and cleaning with homemade products, with the goal of halving their waste by the year’s end. Volunteers weren’t offered any direct financial incentives to participate – only the promise of helping solve the litter problem and protecting the environment. The project focused on creating an identity around zero-waste and assigning families quantitative waste-reduction targets – strategies that are proven to be effective in other contexts, and everyone got pretty straightforward guidelines – for example, “don’t buy more food than you can eat”. According to Garcin, it’s actually “not that difficult” to halve a household’s waste production. Composting gets you most of the way there, since organic waste makes up about a third of the average French family’s municipal waste by weight. Another third is glass and metal, a significant chunk of which can probably be kept out of the landfill through recycling, and 10% is plastic, much of which can be avoided by finding reusable alternatives to plastic grocery bags, cutlery, packaging and other single-use items.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


As U.S.-funded Wars Rage In Israel And Ukraine, Pentagon Watchdog Warns Of Military Failures
2023-12-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/12/06/pentagon-military-failures-waste/

The Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General issued a report that details widespread failures in the Pentagon’s operations. In a semiannual report to Congress, the watchdog found a breakdown in the process to provide care for sexual assault survivors, damaged artillery earmarked for Ukraine, and continued failures to monitor the Defense Department’s single most expensive program, the scandal-ridden F-35 fighter jet. Taken together, the inspector general’s findings paint a picture of a sprawling military-industrial complex that, while providing billions in aid to foreign militaries, has failed to solve long-standing issues that result in extreme levels of taxpayer waste. In October, President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve $75 billion in combined security assistance for Israel and Ukraine. The request would add to the $44 billion in security assistance already pledged to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, and the tens of billions of dollars in security assistance delivered to Israel over the past five years. Just last month, the Department of Defense failed its sixth straight audit, underscoring the lack of oversight of the funds that Congress forks over to the armed forces every year. The inspector general also reported that the Defense Department’s protocols for protecting its employees are not routinely followed. The Pentagon’s medical treatment facilities failed to consistently triage and record care administered to survivors of sexual assault. 

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


Justice Department Making Historic Investment in Prison and Jail Reform
2023-12-06, Brennan Center for Justice
https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/justice-department-ma...

Inhumane conditions in prisons and jails across the country are being driven by overcrowded facilities, failing infrastructure, and inadequate staffing. To help ameliorate the sometimes harsh and inhumane conditions in the country’s more than 5,000 prisons and jails, the Justice Department is awarding $10 million for projects that aim to transform prison cultures, climates, and spaces; research and evaluate correctional culture and climate; and research and evaluate jails. Another $8 million will support a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to invest in research that will inform how federal prisons can better reduce the use of restrictive housing. The Bureau of Justice Assistance, an arm of the DOJ that provides grant funding and guidance to support state, local, and tribal justice strategies, and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) also launched a Jails and Justice Support Center in November, which assists jails in creating safe, humane, and effective environments for incarcerated individuals, staff, and visitors. These multiple funding streams are significant and unprecedented. While the DOJ has sought to drive change behind bars ... none of its past efforts have taken a root and branch approach to transforming the culture of correctional practice nationwide and at the local, state, and federal levels. The DOJ’s actions coincide with a broader trend of rethinking the U.S. approach to incarceration.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


COVID Vaccine Death Data Leak Sparks Arrest: It 'Blew My Mind'
2023-12-06, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/covid-vaccine-death-data-leak-sparks-arrest-it-blew-...

A New Zealand man was recently arrested after allegedly illegally accessing COVID-19 vaccine data from the country's health agency. Barry Young, 56, a former IT employee at Te Whatu Ora, the country's health agency, was arrested and accused of illegally obtaining COVID-19 vaccine data and sharing it on the internet. Young appeared on Infowars, where he was interviewed by ... Alex Jones. "I just looked at the data and what I was seeing, since the rollout, it just blew my mind. I was just seeing more and more people dying that shouldn't have been dying. It was just obvious," Young told Jones. The incident comes as COVID-19 vaccine skeptics have continued to question the efficacy of the inoculation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced that he was suing vaccine manufacturer Pfizer "for unlawfully misrepresenting the effectiveness of the company's COVID-19 vaccine and attempting to censor public discussion of the product." During the interview with Infowars, Young explained that he had suspicions about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand since its rollout. "I want people to analyze this, I want people to look at it...we need to open it up and the government needs to have an inquiry about it. Just bring it to the public's attention," Young said.

Note: U.S.-based genomics scientist Kevin McKernan had uploaded Barry Young's data onto a file hosting service, MEGA, only to have his whole account deleted by MEGA overnight. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID vaccine problems from reliable major media sources.


Defying presidents and Congress, the ATF, DEA, FBI and U.S. Marshals shroud their shootings in secrecy
2023-12-05, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/defying-presidents-congress-atf-d...

In 2021, bullets flew outside a 7-Eleven during a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The same year, U.S. Marshals fired shots inside a barbecue restaurant in the Chicago area, and a firefight erupted during a Drug Enforcement Administration search aboard an Amtrak passenger train in Tucson, Arizona. Three suspects and a federal officer were killed. Miraculously, no bystanders were struck. Had they been local police shootings, they might have generated public demands to release body camera video and use-of-force investigation reports. But they were federal operations, conducted by agents and task forces with four federal law enforcement agencies — the FBI, the ATF, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Service — in which the use of force remains largely a black box, free from public scrutiny. Those four agencies overseen by the Justice Department, among the most prestigious in the country, have been slow to adopt reforms long embraced by big-city police departments, such as the use of body cameras and the release of comprehensive use-of-force data. From 2018 to 2022, 223 people were shot by an on-duty federal officer, a member of a federal task force or a local officer participating in an operation with federal agents, according to an NBC News analysis. A total of 151 were killed. More than 100 of the shootings were investigated by local prosecutors, with only two resulting in criminal charges for officers.

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


Rand Paul Wants To End Undeclared War In Syria
2023-12-05, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/12/05/rand-paul-syria-war-troops/

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul plans to force a vote this week on a joint resolution to remove all U.S. troops from Syria within 30 days, according to sources on Capitol Hill familiar with his plans. “The American people have had enough of endless wars in the Middle East,” Paul told The Intercept by email. “Yet, 900 U.S. troops remain in Syria with no vital U.S. interest at stake, no definition of victory, no exit strategy, and no congressional authorization to be there.” The U.S. conflict in Syria is just one of several forever wars — including conflicts in Niger and Somalia — that continue to smolder more than two decades after 9/11 and more than two years after President Joe Biden declared that, for the first time in 20 years, the United States was “not at war.” For almost 10 years, the U.S. has battled a rotating cast of enemies in Syria, including the Syrian Armed Forces and pro-Syrian government forces; terrorist organizations such as ISIS; Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; Iranian-backed militias; the Russian-backed Wagner Group; and the armed forces of Turkey, according to Paul’s bill, which notes that Congress has not declared war against Syria or any group in that country. “The United States cannot fix Syria. Yet we still have 900 troops in eastern Syria for eight years, going on nine,” said Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria. “I’m puzzled that we haven’t had a national debate on what U.S. troops are doing in Syria.”

Note: Read how the Pentagon-trained Kurdish militia group once brutally fought with CIA-trained militia group Fursan al Haq (who fights alongside Al-Qaeda) in war-torn Syria. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


Powerful members of Congress are dead-set on killing UFO transparency
2023-12-05, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/4341947-powerful-members-of-con...

Since 2020, no fewer than 10 former government officials, military officers and scientists, along with a former senate majority leader, have alleged (or suggested) publicly that the U.S. government has recovered advanced craft of unknown origin — that is, UFOs. Nearly all of these individuals also claim that the government transferred multiple craft to defense contractors for scientific and technical analysis. Key members of Congress, drawing on testimony from dozens of whistleblowers, appear to find these extraordinary allegations credible. Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aimed to establish a process with the ostensible goal of revealing the existence of “non-human intelligence” to the public. But the legislation ... is now in jeopardy. In comments yesterday on the Senate floor, Schumer stated that “House Republicans are also attempting to kill another commonsense, bipartisan measure passed by the Senate, which I was proud to cosponsor ... to increase transparency around what the government does and does not know about unidentified aerial phenomena.” Notably, the legislation calls for the U.S. government to reassert control over “recovered technologies of unknown origin” currently held by defense contractors. Some analysts suspect that corporations potentially holding such exotic technology are exerting undue pressure and influence to oppose the provision in Schumer’s legislation.

Note: Read the riveting testimonies of 60 government and military witnesses of UFO phenomenon, which include astronauts, generals, admirals, and other top government and military officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Experts call for fewer antidepressants to be prescribed in UK
2023-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/dec/05/experts-call-for-fewer-antide...

Medical experts and politicians have called for the amount of antidepressants being prescribed to people across the UK to be reduced in an open letter to the government. The letter coincides with the launch of the all-party parliamentary group Beyond Pills, which aims to reduce what it calls the UK healthcare system’s over-reliance on prescription medication. A total of 8.6 million patients in England were prescribed antidepressants in 2022-23, with the amount having almost doubled since 2011. Published in the British Medical Journal ... the letter says: “Rising antidepressant prescribing is not associated with an improvement in mental health outcomes at the population level, which, according to some measures, have worsened as antidepressant prescribing has risen.” The letter goes on to say that reducing the rate of antidepressant prescriptions could be achieved through measures that includes stopping the prescribing of antidepressants for mild conditions, and funding and delivering a national 24-hour prescribed drug withdrawal helpline ... to help those experiencing withdrawal symptoms from prescription medication. [Former chief executive of NHS England, Nigel] Crisp said: “The high rate of prescribing of antidepressants over recent years is a clear example of over-medicalisation, where patients are often prescribed unnecessary and potentially harmful drugs instead of tackling the root causes of their suffering, such as loneliness, poverty or poor housing.

Note: Antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, yet their significant risks are often withheld from public debate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Rich Folks Import This Building Material. A Minnesota Tribe Makes Its Own.
2023-12-04, Mother Jones
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2023/12/minnesota-tribe-mdewakanton-b...

For now, it’s only a gaping hole in the ground. But when construction is complete next April, the Lower Sioux—also known as part of the Mdewakanton Band of Dakota—will have a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing campus that will allow them to pioneer a green experiment, the first of its kind in the United States. They will have an integrated vertical operation to grow hemp, process it into insulation called hempcrete, and then build healthy homes with it. Right now, no one in the US does all three. Once the tribe makes this low-carbon material, they can begin to address a severe shortage of housing and jobs. Recapturing a slice of sovereignty would be a win for the Lower Sioux. They lost most of their lands in the 19th century, and the territory finally allotted to them two hours south of Minneapolis consists of just 1,743 acres of poor soil. That stands in contrast to the fertile black earth of the surrounding white-owned farmlands. Nearly half of the 1,124 enrolled members of the tribe need homes. “The idea of making homes that would last and be healthy was a no-brainer,” said Robert “Deuce” Larsen, the tribal council president. Leading the national charge on an integrated hempcrete operation is no mean feat, seeing that virtually no one in the community had experience with either farming or construction before the five-person team was assembled. Hemp can grow in a variety of climates. What’s more, hemp regenerates soil, sequesters carbon, and doesn’t require fertilizers.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


OxyContin's Reformulation Linked to Rising Suicides by Children
2023-12-04, Reason
https://reason.com/2023/12/04/oxycontins-reformulation-linked-to-rising-suici...

In 2010, Purdue Pharma replaced the original version of OxyContin, an extended-release oxycodone pill, with a reformulated product that was much harder to crush for snorting or injection. The reformulation of OxyContin was instead associated with an increase in deaths involving illicit opioids and, ultimately, an overall increase in fatal drug overdoses. Researchers ... found that death rates rose fastest in states where reformulation would have had the biggest impact. A new study by RAND Corporation senior economist David Powell extends those findings by showing that the reformulation of OxyContin also was associated with rising suicides among children and teenagers. The root cause of such perverse effects was the substitution that occurred after the old version of OxyContin was retired. Nonmedical users turned to black-market alternatives that were more dangerous because their potency was highly variable and unpredictable—a hazard that was compounded by the emergence of illicit fentanyl as a heroin booster and substitute. The fallout from the reformulation of OxyContin is one example of a broader tendency: Interventions aimed at reducing the harm caused by substance abuse frequently have the opposite effect. Based on interstate differences in nonmedical use of OxyContin prior to 2010, Powell estimates that "the reformulation of OxyContin can explain 49% of the rise in child suicides."

Note: More than 107,000 people in the United States died due to opioid overdoses in 2021. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


A scientist who helped Fauci discredit the lab leak theory is now speaking out
2023-12-04, Washington Examiner
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/beltway-confidential/2780389/a-sci...

In March 2020, Dr. Robert Kadlec addressed a House committee to confirm his role and responsibilities as the federal government’s top preparedness official coordinating the government’s COVID-19 response. As assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, Kadlec offered a lengthy statement to lawmakers on the “four principal functions” of his role. None of those functions involved downplaying without scientific evidence a theory that the virus emerged from a laboratory in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. But that’s what Kadlec now says he did by assisting Dr. Anthony Fauci ... in his effort to suppress the lab leak theory. Kadlec says it’s a decision that keeps him up at night. “I wake up at usually about 2 or 3 a.m. and think about it honestly, because it’s something that we all played a role in,” Kadlec [said]. For much of 2020 and 2021, anyone who brought up the possibility that COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan risked being labeled a conspiracy theorist by legacy media and “fact-checkers.” In September, the chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic revealed that Fauci was secretly admitted to CIA headquarters while the agency conducted its analysis of the virus’s origins, allegedly to “‘influence’ the Agency’s review.” A ... CIA whistleblower claims the agency attempted to bribe six analysts tasked with assessing the origin of the virus.

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


New Systematic Review Finds No Data To Support Masking Children Against COVID
2023-12-04, The Pulse
https://www.thepulse.one/p/new-mask-meta-analysis-finds-no-data

A paper published in Archives of Disease in Childhood found that real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates to prevent COVID-19 transmission and infection has “not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence” and that “the current body of scientific data does not support masking children for protection against COVID-19.” “There were no radomised controlled trials in children assessing the benefits of mask wearing to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection or transmission,” [said the study]. “The six observational studies reporting an association between child masking and lower infection rate or antibody seropositivity had critical (n=5) or serious (n=1) risk of bias; all six were potentially confounded by important differences between masked and unmasked groups and two were shown to have non-significant results when reanalysed. Sixteen other observational studies found no association between mask wearing and infection or transmission. Real-world effectiveness of child mask mandates against SARS-CoV-2 transmission or infection has not been demonstrated with high-quality evidence.” The importance of this study is that it examined the risks of bias among studies across the board. The higher the risk of bias in a study, the less trustworthy its results can be. The authors of the study pointed out that the risk of bias in studies across the board was present ... but that in the best studies out there (least bias) no benefit was found for masking children.

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


Cells of people living in greener areas age more slowly, research finds
2023-12-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/02/green-space-ageing-neighborhood

Many studies have shown that people living in greener neighborhoods have several health benefits, including lower levels of stress and cardiovascular disease. But new research indicates that exposure to parks, trees and other green spaces can slow the rates at which our cells age. The study, published in Science of the Total Environment, found that people who lived in neighborhoods with more green space had longer telomeres, which are associated with longer lives and slower ageing. Telomeres are structures that sit on the ends of each cell’s 46 chromosomes, like the plastic caps on shoelaces, and keep DNA from unraveling. The longer a cell’s telomeres, the more times it can replicate. When telomeres become so short that cells can’t divide, the cells die. [Study co-author Aaron] Hipp and his colleagues looked at the medical records (that included measures of telomere lengths from biological samples) and survey responses from more than 7,800 people who participated in a national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey conducted between 1999 and 2002. The researchers connected that information with census data to estimate the amount of green space in each person’s neighborhood. They found that a 5% increase in a neighborhood’s green space was associated with a 1% reduction in the ageing of cells. “The more green the area, the slower the cell ageing,” said Hipp.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Maker of Wegovy, Ozempic showers money on U.S. obesity doctors
2023-12-01, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/health-obesity-novonordis...

Drugmaker Novo Nordisk paid U.S. medical professionals at least $25.8 million over a decade in fees and expenses related to its weight-loss drugs [Wegovy and Saxenda], a Reuters analysis found. It concentrated that money on an elite group of obesity specialists who advocate giving its powerful and expensive drugs to tens of millions of Americans. Those payments are part of a campaign to convince U.S. doctors to make Wegovy one of the most widely prescribed drugs in history – and to persuade skeptical insurers to pay for it. Overall, at least 57 U.S. physicians each accepted at least $100,000 from Novo in payments associated with Wegovy or Saxenda. They were an influential group: Forty-one were obesity specialists who run weight-management clinics, work at academic hospitals, write obesity-treatment guidelines or hold top positions at medical societies, according to a Reuters review. "As sales grow, Medicare and the insurance industry come under intense pressure to pay for these hugely expensive drugs,” [Former dean of the US military's medical school Dr. Arthur] Kellermann said. “The end result is that everybody's healthcare costs go up.” U.S. and European regulators are studying whether GLP-1 drugs can cause suicidal thoughts. Reuters reported in September that at least 265 reports have been filed with the FDA since 2010 describing suicidal ideation or behavior in patients taking these drugs. Thirty-six reports described a death by suicide or suspected suicide.

Note: The money behind these obesity drug makers is staggering. The economic value of Novo Nordisk soared to over $420 billion, which exceeds the entire GDP of Denmark, its home country. As Lee Fang reports in this investigative piece on the issue, “The company is growing so fast, bringing in so many American dollars, that the Danish central bank recently devalued its currency to keep it in line with the euro.” For more along these lines, read the growing reports of concerning adverse side effects from these weight-loss drugs.


‘The Gospel’: how Israel uses AI to select bombing targets in Gaza
2023-12-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/01/the-gospel-how-israel-uses-ai-t...

Israel’s military has made no secret of the intensity of its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. There has, however, been relatively little attention paid to the methods used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to select targets in Gaza, and to the role artificial intelligence has played in their bombing campaign. After the 11-day war in Gaza in May 2021, officials said Israel had fought its “first AI war” using machine learning and advanced computing. The latest Israel-Hamas war has provided an unprecedented opportunity for the IDF to use such tools in a much wider theatre of operations and, in particular, to deploy an AI target-creation platform called “the Gospel”, which has significantly accelerated a lethal production line of targets. In early November, the IDF said “more than 12,000” targets in Gaza had been identified by its target administration division. Aviv Kochavi, who served as the head of the IDF until January, has said the target division is “powered by AI capabilities” and includes hundreds of officers and soldiers. According to Kochavi, “once this machine was activated” in Israel’s 11-day war with Hamas in May 2021 it generated 100 targets a day. “To put that into perspective, in the past we would produce 50 targets in Gaza per year. Now, this machine produces 100 targets a single day, with 50% of them being attacked.” A separate source [said] the Gospel had allowed the IDF to run a “mass assassination factory” in which the “emphasis is on quantity and not on quality”.

Note: Read about Israel's use of AI warfare since at least 2021. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


New York Times report says Israel knew about Hamas attack over a year in advance
2023-12-01, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/new-york-times-report-israel-k...

Israel's military was aware of Hamas ' plan to launch an attack on Israeli soil over a year before the devastating Oct. 7 operation that killed hundreds of people, The New York Times reported Friday. It was the latest in a series of signs that top Israeli commanders either ignored or played down warnings that Hamas was plotting the attack, which triggered a war against the Islamic militant group that has devastated the Gaza Strip. The Times said Israeli officials were in possession of a 40-page battle plan, code-named “Jericho Wall,” that detailed a hypothetical Hamas attack on southern Israeli communities. The document was seen by many Israeli military and intelligence officials, the report said, though it was unclear if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or other top leaders had seen it. The document predicted that Hamas would bombard Israel with rockets, use drones to disable Israel's security and surveillance abilities at the border wall, and take over southern communities and military bases. Another 2016 Israeli defense memo obtained by the Times said Hamas intended to take hostages back to Gaza. The Oct. 7 attack — in which 1,200 people were killed and 240 people were abducted and taken to Gaza — would uncannily mirror the one outlined in the battle plan. But Israeli officials had brushed off the plan, the report said, dismissing it as “aspirational” rather than something that could practically take place, the report said.

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


Why Are Nonprofit Hospitals Focused More on Dollars Than Patients?
2023-11-30, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/30/opinion/hospitals-nonprofit-community.html

Nonprofit hospitals have been caught doing some surprising things, given how they are supposed to serve the public good in exchange for being exempt from federal, state and local taxes — exemptions that added up to $28 billion in 2020. Detailed media reports show them hounding poor patients for money, cutting nurse staffing too aggressively and giving preferential treatment to the rich over the poor. Nurses and other workers recently resorted to strikes to improve workplace safety at Kaiser Permanente and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. That’s not the end of it. Nonprofit executives have embarked on an acquisition spree, assembling huge systems of hospitals and physician practices to raise prices and increase profits. Ample evidence indicates that the growth of these giant systems makes health care less affordable for patients, families and businesses. Calling these hospitals nonprofits can be confusing. It doesn’t mean they can’t make money. What it means is that they are considered charities by the Internal Revenue Service (as opposed to being owned by investors, like for-profit hospitals). And in return for their tax exemptions, these institutions are supposed to invest the money that would have gone to taxes into their communities by lowering health care costs, providing community health services and free care to those unable to afford it and conducting research.

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


CTIL Files #1: US And UK Military Contractors Created Sweeping Plan For Global Censorship In 2018, New Documents Show
2023-11-28, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/ctil-files-1-us-and-uk-military-contractors

A whistleblower has come forward with an explosive new trove of documents. They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, that officially began as the volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into ... those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In 2019, US and UK military and intelligence contractors ... developed the sweeping censorship framework. CTIL ... partnered with [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] (CISA) in the spring of 2020. CTIL’s approach to “disinformation” went far beyond censorship. The group engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote “counter-messaging,” co-opt hashtags, dilute disfavored messaging, create sock puppet accounts, and infiltrate private invite-only groups. The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the Censorship Industrial Complex went far beyond simply urging Twitter to slap a warning label on Tweets, or to put individuals on blacklists. The [Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques] framework calls for discrediting individuals as a necessary prerequisite of demanding censorship against them. It calls for training influencers to spread messages. And it calls for trying to get banks to cut off financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events. [CTIL] laments that governments and corporate media no longer have full  control of information. “For a long time, the ability to reach mass audiences belonged to the nation-state (e.g. in the USA via broadcast licensing through ABC, CBS and NBC). Now, however, control of informational instruments has been allowed to devolve to large technology companies who have been blissfully complacent and complicit in facilitating access to the public for information operators at a fraction of what it would have cost them by other means.”

Note: The extensive collusion between Big Tech and government officials to censor COVID information is barely beginning to come to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


CIA's secret office has conducted UFO retrieval missions on at least NINE crash sites around the world, whistleblowers reveal
2023-11-28, Daily Mail (One of the UK's Popular Newspapers)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12796167/CIA-secret-office-UFO-retri...

A secretive CIA office has been coordinating the retrieval of crashed UFOs around the world for decades, multiple sources told DailyMail.com. One source said that at least nine apparent 'non-human craft' have been recovered by the US government – some wrecked from a crash, and two completely intact. Three sources briefed on those alleged top secret operations [said] that the Office of Global Access (OGA), a wing of the Central Intelligence Agency's Science and Technology Directorate, has played a central role since 2003 in orchestrating the collection of what could be alien spacecraft. 'There's at least nine vehicles. There were different circumstances for different ones,' one source briefed by UFO program insiders [said]. 'It has to do with the physical condition they're in. If it crashes, there's a lot of damage done. Others, two of them, are completely intact.' The source said the CIA has a 'system in place that can discern UFOs while they're still cloaked,' and that if the 'non-human' craft land, crash or are brought down to earth, special military units are sent to try to salvage the wreckage. Sources said the CIA office then often hands the wreckage or material over to private aerospace contractors for analysis, where it is not subject to rigorous government audits and can be shielded with protections for trade secrets. Multiple sources said that many of the people involved in these programs may not even realize they are dealing with non-human craft.

Note: Read the riveting testimonies of 60 government and military witnesses of UFO phenomenon, which include astronauts, generals, admirals, and other top government and military officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


FDA Shuts Down Enquiries about DNA Contamination in Covid Vaccines
2023-11-28, Brownstone Institute
https://brownstone.org/articles/fda-shuts-down-enquiries-about-dna-contaminat...

The recent findings of DNA fragments in the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines has led many to question why the FDA, which is responsible for monitoring the quality and safety of the vaccines, has failed to sound the alarm. For years, the FDA has known about the risk posed by residual DNA in vaccines. Its own guidance to industry states: “Residual DNA might be a risk to your final product because of oncogenic and/or infectivity potential. There are several potential mechanisms by which residual DNA could be oncogenic, including the integration and expression of encoded oncogenes or insertional mutagenesis following DNA integration.” Put simply ... fragments of DNA left over by the manufacturing process can be incorporated into a patient’s own DNA, to potentially cause cancer. A recent preprint paper ... analysed batches of the monovalent and bivalent mRNA vaccines. The authors found “the presence of billions to hundreds of billions of DNA molecules per dose in these vaccines. Using fluorometry all vaccines exceed the guidelines for residual DNA set by FDA and WHO.” For the Pfizer product, the higher the level of DNA fragments found in the vaccine, the higher the rate of serious adverse events. Pfizer’s vaccine used in the clinical trials (PROCESS 1) was manufactured differently to the vaccine that was injected into the wider population (PROCESS 2). This switch from PROCESS 1 to PROCESS 2 is what introduced the plasmid DNA impurities.

Note: Watch a fascinating interview with Dr. Ryan Cole, who discusses DNA contamination in the COVID vaccines and its concerning links to the rise in cancers and autoimmune diseases. Although you need a subscription to watch the full video, the full transcript is accessible. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and COVID vaccines from reliable major media sources.


'Burns me to a crisp': Farmers allege link between popular herbicide paraquat and Parkinson's disease
2023-11-28, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/US/burns-crisp-farmers-allege-link-popular-herbicide-p...

It is against the law to use paraquat in China, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and dozens of other countries. Many countries have banned the herbicide due to its extreme toxicity, while others have expressed concerns over the possible risk for Parkinson's disease. Yet the herbicide, manufactured by a Swiss company that is owned by the Chinese state, is still widely used throughout the United States in part because it is a highly effective way to kill weeds. The company, Syngenta, says that paraquat, which it produces under the name Gramoxone, "is safe for its intended and labelled use." Clayton Tucholke, who used Gramoxone for years on his farm in LaBolt, South Dakota, and has since been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, says otherwise. "It should have been pulled, I think, you know, so it didn't happen to somebody else," Tucholke told ABC News. The Tucholkes are among the more than 4,000 Americans who have filed lawsuits as part of a multi-district litigation against Syngenta, which currently manufactures Gramoxone, and Chevron, which distributed it in the U.S. from 1966 until 1986. Although Syngenta and Chevron told ABC News that there is no scientific evidence that supports a causal link between paraquat and Parkinson's disease, the Tucholkes and other plaintiffs allege that such a link exists, arguing that Syngenta and Chevron knew or should have known that the herbicide could "cause severe neurological injuries."

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Moderna is spying on you
2023-11-27, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/moderna-is-spying-on-you

The Moderna misinformation reports, reported here for the first time, reveal what the pharmaceutical company is willing to do to shape public discourse around its marquee product. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine catapulted the company to a $100 billion valuation. Behind the scenes, the marketing arm of the company has been working with former law enforcement officials and public health officials to monitor and influence vaccine policy. Key to this is a drug industry-funded NGO called Public Good Projects. PGP works closely with social media platforms, government agencies and news websites to confront the “root cause of vaccine hesitancy” by rapidly identifying and “shutting down misinformation.” A network of 45,000 healthcare professionals are given talking points “and advice on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream”, according to an email from Moderna. An official training programme, developed by Moderna and PGP, alongside the American Board of Internal Medicine, [helps] healthcare workers identify medical misinformation. The online course, called the “Infodemic Training Program”, represents an official partnership between biopharma and the NGO world. Meanwhile, Moderna also retains Talkwalker which uses its “Blue Silk” artificial intelligence to monitor vaccine-related conversations across 150 million websites in nearly 200 countries. Claims are automatically deemed “misinformation” if they encourage vaccine hesitancy. As the pandemic abates, Moderna is, if anything, ratcheting up its surveillance operation.

Note: Strategies to silence and censor those who challenge mainstream narratives enable COVID vaccine pharmaceutical giants to downplay the significant, emerging health risks associated with the COVID shots. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


AI doesn’t cause harm by itself. We should worry about the people who control it
2023-11-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/nov/26/artificial-intelligence...

OpenAI was created as a non-profit-making charitable trust, the purpose of which was to develop artificial general intelligence, or AGI, which, roughly speaking, is a machine that can accomplish, or surpass, any intellectual task humans can perform. It would do so, however, in an ethical fashion to benefit “humanity as a whole”. Two years ago, a group of OpenAI researchers left to start a new organisation, Anthropic, fearful of the pace of AI development at their old company. One later told a reporter that “there was a 20% chance that a rogue AI would destroy humanity within the next decade”. One may wonder about the psychology of continuing to create machines that one believes may extinguish human life. The problem we face is not that machines may one day exercise power over humans. That is speculation unwarranted by current developments. It is rather that we already live in societies in which power is exercised by a few to the detriment of the majority, and that technology provides a means of consolidating that power. For those who hold social, political and economic power, it makes sense to project problems as technological rather than social and as lying in the future rather than in the present. There are few tools useful to humans that cannot also cause harm. But they rarely cause harm by themselves; they do so, rather, through the ways in which they are exploited by humans, especially those with power.

Note: Read how AI is already being used for war, mass surveillance, and questionable facial recognition technology.


Unearthing the Hidden Impact of Wars: Tunnels and Tragedies
2023-11-26, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/unearthing-the-hidden-impact-of-wars-tunnels-an...

When we think of how to rescue suffering children from the unbridled carnage of numerous wars that have forced people to go underground, the vast network of tunnels built by the Vietnamese comes to mind. Following the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, weapons makers in the United States focused on developing ordnance that could destroy underground tunnels and bases. In Afghanistan, on April 13, 2017, the United States used a Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb nicknamed MOAB, the Mother of All Bombs, to destroy a network of tunnels in the Hindu Kush mountains. The United States had helped the Mujahideen construct these tunnels during their war against the Soviet Union in the late 1970s. Locals say this harsh terrain has been haunted by a deadly, hidden hazard: chemical contamination. Living as we do in a world where countries like the United States maintain a permanent warfare state, we must reckon with the horrific cost of war — and the obscene profits. The Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal notes that weapons makers’ stocks on Wall Street have risen 7 percent since the Israel-Hamas war started. As much as we might long to grasp the hand of the child trying to free herself from underneath a collapsed building’s rubble, we need to imagine and long for the chance to grasp the hand of someone outside our own community, someone we’ve been taught to regard as an enemy or an invisible “other.”

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


Joe Biden Moves To Lift Nearly Every Restriction On Israel’s Access To U.S. Weapons Stockpile
2023-11-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/11/25/biden-israel-weapons-stockpile-arms-gaza/

The White House has requested the removal of restrictions on all categories of weapons and ammunition Israel is allowed to access from U.S. weapons stockpiles stored in Israel itself. The move to lift restrictions was included in the White House’s supplemental budget request, sent to the Senate on October 20. “This request would,” the proposed budget says, “allow for the transfer of all categories of defense articles.” The request pertains to little-known weapons stockpiles in Israel that the Pentagon established for use in regional conflicts, but which Israel has been permitted to access in limited circumstances — the very limits President Joe Biden is seeking to remove. Created in the 1980s ... the War Reserve Stockpile Allies-Israel, or WRSA-I, is the largest node in a network of what are effectively foreign U.S. weapons caches. Highly regulated for security, the stockpiles are governed by a set of strict requirements. Under circumstances laid out in these requirements, Israel has been able to draw on the stockpile, purchasing the weapons at little cost. With the WRSA-I, Biden is looking to lift virtually all the meaningful restrictions on the stockpile and the transfer of its arms to Israel, with plans to remove limitations to obsolete or surplus weapons, waive an annual spending cap on replenishing the stockpile, remove weapon-specific restrictions, and curtail congressional oversight. All of the changes ... would be permanent, except for lifting the spending cap, which is limited to the 2024 fiscal year.

Note: Israel has received at least $158 billion in military aid from the US since 1948. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace
2023-11-25, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/25/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-death-toll.html

Israel has cast the deaths of civilians in the Gaza Strip as a regrettable but unavoidable part of modern conflict, pointing to the heavy human toll from military campaigns the United States itself once waged in Iraq and Syria. But ... experts say that even a conservative reading of the casualty figures reported from Gaza shows that the pace of death during Israel’s campaign has few precedents in this century. People are being killed in Gaza more quickly, they say, than in even the deadliest moments of U.S.-led attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, which were themselves widely criticized by human rights groups. Civilian casualties are notoriously hard to calculate, and officials in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip do not separate the deaths of civilians and combatants. Researchers point instead to the roughly 10,000 women and children reported killed in Gaza as an approximate — though conservative — measure of civilian deaths in the territory. More women and children have been reported killed in Gaza in less than two months than the roughly 7,700 civilians documented as killed by U.S. forces and their international allies in the entire first year of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And the number of women and children reported killed in Gaza since the Israeli campaign began last month has already started to approach the roughly 12,400 civilians documented to have been killed by the United States and its allies in Afghanistan during nearly 20 years of war.

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


FDNY veteran says heart damage from required COVID vax forced early retirement
2023-11-25, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/11/25/metro/fdny-vet-sues-for-disability-pension-afte...

An FDNY firefighter says he was forced to retire on half his salary after the city-mandated COVID-19 vaccine left him with permanent heart damage. O’Brian Pastrana now wants a judge to award him a more lucrative disability pension, which would pay three-quarters of his final salary tax-free, according to court papers. Pastrana, 37, got the jab in October 2021 because the city required it, and had an immediate allergic reaction, including swollen lips, chills and body aches. Despite three trips to the emergency room, he claims he was forced to get the second Pfizer shot a month later. “I thought I was going to die after that second dose,” Pastrana [said], adding he was again rushed to the ER after the second shot. By February 2022, the married father of two was diagnosed with myocarditis, which results in potentially fatal inflammation of the cardiac muscle, and was nearly in heart failure, court records show. The heart condition is a rare side effect of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pastrana was then told he could never be a firefighter again, and forced to retire in March after over a decade on the job. “I was completely blindsided,” he wrote in a statement to the court. The FDNY Uniformed Firefighter Association called his injury “totally avoidable.” The city “held his job over his head and forced him to choose between a vaccine that he did not want, and feeding his family,” Andrew Ansbro, the union’s president, said

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


Come for the Free Meals, Stay for the Company
2023-11-24, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/foodcycle-pop-up-cafes-hunger-food-waste-lo...

Brandon, Jackie and Julie meet for dinner every Thursday, sitting at their regular table. As they leave, there’s no check to pay for this generous meal. The pop-up cafe at a church hall in Chelmsford, England is one of 80 held across the country throughout the week. They’re an initiative of FoodCycle, the UK’s largest community dining organization, which turns produce that supermarkets would otherwise throw out into a free meal for anyone who wants to attend. In 2022, FoodCycle’s pop-up cafes served nearly 500,000 meals to 62 communities across the UK, saving 209 tonnes of food from going to waste. Forty-three percent of people who attend FoodCycle meals, like Jackie and Julie, live on their own, with 68 percent of them feeling lonely, according to a survey of 910 FoodCycle guests in 2022. Loneliness is considered to be a significant mental and public health issue in the country, affecting over half the population, with the Mental Health Foundation linking it to depression and declining physical health. Sixty-eight percent of FoodCycle guests worry about affording food, and 92 percent are concerned about the increasing price of food, to the extent that 75 percent regularly skip meals. “These issues are intertwined and interlinked. We know there’s a correlation between people who are facing food poverty, and feeling isolated and disconnected from their communities,” says Sophie Tebbetts, FoodCycle’s head of programs and incoming CEO.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


‘You can walk around in a T-shirt’: how Norway brought heat pumps in from the cold
2023-11-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/23/norway-heat-pumps-cold-he...

In most of Europe, fitting a heat pump is one of the most powerful actions a person can take to reduce their carbon footprint. But in Norway, where clean-yet-inefficient electrical resistance heaters have long been common, upgrading to a heat pump is often a purely financial decision. Two-thirds of households in this Nordic country of 5 million people have a heat pump, more than anywhere else in the world. For many years, Norwegians and their neighbours heated their homes with fossil fuels. But during the 1973 oil crisis, when prices shot up, the country’s political leaders made a conscious choice to promote alternatives. “Norway ensured early on that fossil-fuel heating was the most expensive option, making heat pumps cost competitive,” said Dr Jan Rosenow from the Regulatory Assistance Project, a thinktank that works to decarbonise buildings. “They did this by taxing carbon emissions from fossil heating fuels. That’s been the key to incentivise heat pump adoption.” Norway also trained up a workforce to install them. Heat pumps’ efficiency has been increased over decades, partly because of the early adopters in Nordic countries who tinkered away to the point where a modern version can deliver three to five units of heat for every unit of electricity used to power it. An efficient gas boiler, on the other hand, can only produce as much heat as the energy contained in the fuel being burned. A heat pump will have a smaller carbon footprint than a gas boiler even when plugged into an electricity grid.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Nearly 40% of conventional baby food contains toxic pesticides, US study finds
2023-11-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/23/baby-food-pesticides-study

Nearly 40% of conventional baby food products analyzed in a new US study were found to contain toxic pesticides, while none of the organic products sampled in the survey contained the chemicals. The research, conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) non-profit, looked at 73 products and found at least one pesticide in 22 of them. Many products showed more than one pesticide, and the substances present a dangerous health threat. “Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by pesticides in food,” said Sydney Evans, a senior science analyst at EWG. The study looked at products from Beech-Nut, Gerber and Parent’s Choice, though it did not specifically identify which of the companies’ products contained pesticide residue. Among pesticides it detected were acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide that harms bees and humans, and captan, which is linked to cancer. Fludioxonil, a product commonly used on fruits, vegetables and cereals, was found in five products and is thought to harm fetal development, cause changes in immune system cells and disrupt hormones. Apple-based products were the most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residue, and blueberries, pears and strawberries are also among produce that commonly hold high levels of the chemicals. The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy organic baby food products, which are subjected to much stricter regulations.

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.


Lawsuit: COVID Vaccine Injury Claims Diverted to Unconstitutional 'Kangaroo Court'
2023-11-21, Reason
https://reason.com/2023/11/21/lawsuit-covid-vaccine-injury-claims-diverted-to...

People injured by the COVID-19 vaccines are suing the federal government, claiming the federal program they're forced to pursue compensation through is an opaque and unconstitutional "kangaroo court" that unjustly rejects almost all claims it receives. React19, a patient group of the vaccine injured ... is one of several plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). The other plaintiffs are all individuals whose compensation claims were rejected by the CICP, despite many having diagnoses from their doctors that the severe injuries they experienced within a few hours or days of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were a result of the vaccine. Their lawsuit was filed in October. The CICP is currently the only avenue through which those with a COVID-19 vaccine injury can seek compensation. A mix of federal law and pandemic-era emergency declarations bar the vaccine injured from suing vaccine manufacturers in civil court. Those with a COVID-19 vaccine injury are also prohibited from pursuing compensation through the standard Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). People must file a CICP claim within one year of vaccination. "Most of us don't know what's wrong with us for over a year if we can ever get a diagnosis," says [legal affairs director for React19 Christopher] Dreisbach, who himself suffered a COVID-19 vaccine injury. "So many ... don't even know the program even exists." The CICP was first authorized in 2005 by a piece of war-on-terror legislation intended to encourage companies to produce emergency countermeasures to a bioweapons attack or a similar disaster by shielding them from lawsuits.

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


‘You live in your own bubble’: Swedish city takes on loneliness with a simple hi
2023-11-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/21/swedish-city-lulea-loneliness-c...

On the snowy shore of the northern Swedish city of Luleå, bathers are lowering themselves into a rectangular hole in the frozen seawater. “It’s like a happiness rush afterwards,” says Katariina Yliperttula, 44, who is taking a dip before work. While many have their own hobbies that keep them going through the cold dark winter months here – ice swimming, cross-country skiing, walking on the “ice road” out into the archipelago – one thing remains a problem: loneliness. In an attempt to counter that, authorities in Luleå have launched a campaign to ease that social isolation, ever so slightly, by encouraging people to say hello to one another. The Säg hej! (say hello!) campaign says it aims to create a friendlier city by nudging people towards small but significant social interactions. Adverts are running on buses, and workshops are being held in schools. Recent research found that among 16- to 29-year-olds, 45% of people in Luleå were experiencing problems as a result of loneliness. Åsa Koski, who works for Luleå municipality, came up with the idea for the campaign. She wants the city, which is undergoing a period of rapid growth as it tries to attract tens of thousands of new people to work in “green” industry ... to not grow more atomised as a result. “We don’t just want that Luleå is going to grow as a city; we want Luleå to be a pleasant and safe and friendly city,” says Koski. Being greeted by strangers makes people feel “more seen and a bit more like you belong”, she adds.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records
2023-11-20, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/hemisphere-das-white-house-surveillance-trillions...

A surveillance program now known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) has for more than a decade allowed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims. Using a technique known as chain analysis, the program targets not only those in direct phone contact with a criminal suspect but anyone with whom those individuals have been in contact as well. The DAS program, formerly known as Hemisphere, is run in coordination with the telecom giant AT&T, which captures and conducts analysis of US call records for law enforcement agencies, from local police and sheriffs’ departments to US customs offices and postal inspectors across the country, according to a White House memo reviewed by WIRED. Records show that the White House has provided more than $6 million to the program, which allows the targeting of the records of any calls that use AT&T’s infrastructure—a maze of routers and switches that crisscross the United States. Documents released under public records laws show the DAS program has been used to produce location information on criminal suspects and their known associates, a practice deemed unconstitutional without a warrant in 2018. Orders targeting a nexus of individuals are sometimes called “community of interest” subpoenas, a phrase that among privacy advocates is synonymous with dragnet surveillance.

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.


Connecticut City Rejects 5G Citing Evidence of Health Risks
2023-11-20, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/stamford-connecticut-rejects-5g-h...

The Board of Representatives in Stamford, Connecticut, earlier this month voted to reject a model agreement that would have allowed AT&T and Verizon to install 5G equipment on city-owned utility poles. In a bid to get 5G swiftly installed in his state, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office created a template contract between the nation’s top two telecommunication carriers and the state’s five major cities. Stamford, the state’s second-largest city, is the only city so far to have voted against using the contract. [City] representatives were largely persuaded by presentations by six independent experts on the scientific evidence of harm from radiofrequency (RF) radiation, including 5G. The experts, including toxicologist and epidemiologist Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH, said there were many documented health and environmental impacts of wireless radiation, including brain damage, memory loss, decline in reproductive function, DNA damage and harm to insects. “Confronted with overwhelming, independent scientific information about the real and present dangers of bringing electromagnetic fields closer to humans than ever before, Stamford voted to protect people,” [said Davis]. Some representatives, like City Rep. Don Mays, worried that rejecting the pact would mean AT&T and Verizon would sue the city. A 2018 ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) blocks states and municipalities from taking actions that would impede or delay the rollout of 5G technology.

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 Covid Vaccine Windfall Turns for Pfizer and Moderna
2023-11-20, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-covid-vaccine-windfall-turns-on-pfizer-and-m...

The U.S. was in a fit of Covid panic during Thanksgiving week two years ago. By month’s end, Pfizer’s stock-market value had surpassed $300 billion, up 50% from the start of the pandemic. Moderna’s shares had soared by more than 1,000% over the same period. In 2022 Pfizer became the first pharmaceutical company to book more than $100 billion in annual sales owing to government purchases of its vaccines and antiviral pill. Fast-forward to today. The pandemic is over. Demand for Covid vaccines and treatments has plunged. Pfizer’s total revenue has fallen more than 40% since last year. Earlier this month the company took a $5.5 billion write-off on its Covid products owing to “lower-than-expected demand.” Only 14% of American adults have received the latest updated booster shots. The jabs’ greatest benefit was in providing political leaders with the courage to lift destructive lockdowns and mask mandates. The vaccines were supposed to be a two-shot-and-done regimen, not blockbuster medicines that rung up tens of billions of dollars in sales every year with government support. Statins and diabetes medicines prevent heart attacks, but the government doesn’t run ads urging Americans to use Lipitor or Ozempic. The government’s vaccine boosterism ... has increased public cynicism toward pharmaceutical companies. Drug makers can dine out on any given medicine only for so long before needing to cook up another pharmaceutical bonanza.

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


US military says national security depends on ‘forever chemicals’
2023-11-17, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/11/17/us-military-national-se...

The Department of Defense relies on hundreds, if not thousands, of weapons and products such as uniforms, batteries, and microelectronics that contain PFAS, a family of chemicals linked to serious health conditions. Now, as regulators propose restrictions on their use or manufacturing, Pentagon officials have told Congress that eliminating the chemicals would undermine military readiness. PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment and can build up in the human body, have been associated with such health problems as cancer. In July, a new federal study showed a direct link between testicular cancer and PFOS, a PFAS chemical that has been found in the blood of thousands of military personnel. In a report delivered to Congress in August, Defense Department officials pushed back against health concerns raised by environmental groups and regulators. According to the report, most major weapons systems, their components, microelectronic chips, lithium-ion batteries, and other products contain PFAS chemicals. These include helicopters, airplanes, submarines, missiles, torpedoes, tanks, and assault vehicles; munitions; semiconductors and microelectronics; and metalworking, cooling, and fire suppression systems. Beyond cancer, some types of PFAS have been linked to low birth weight, developmental delays in children, thyroid dysfunction, and reduced response to immunizations.

Note: If the above link fails, you can read the article here.  PFAS are linked to serious health conditions: cancer, liver damage, hormonal disruption, reproductive issuesreduced sperm count, reduced immune response, and more. PFAS have also been found in 45% of US tap water. Read more on how war is hazardous to our health and environment in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


EU Commission to extend use of glyphosate for 10 more years after member countries fail to agree
2023-11-17, Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-03589-z

The European Commission says it has decided to renew the license for the weedkiller compound glyphosate, approving its use in European Union countries for ten more years. Following the decision yesterday, the Commission released a statement saying that, on the basis of comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it would renew the licence, “subject to certain new conditions and restrictions”. These include a ban on the use of the chemical to dry crops before harvest, and “the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms”. Governments can still restrict the use of glyphosate in their own countries if they consider the risks too high. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide. Some studies point to a link between glyphosate and certain cancers. Robin Mesnage, a toxicologist at King’s College London, welcomes the Commission’s decision to continue to allow the use of glyphosate. Others have expressed disappointment. “It is unacceptable that the Commission still plans to go ahead with its proposal, considering the amount of scientific evidence of the substance’s health impacts,” says Natacha Cingotti, a campaigner at the Health and Environment Alliance. “While we can’t undo the decades of exposure, the Commission can still seize the opportunity to turn the tide towards more sustainable agricultural practices.”

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


US cancer patient's dying wish erases $16m in people's medical debt
2023-11-17, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67459257

A New York City woman who died of ovarian cancer has raised enough money to pay off millions of dollars in other people's medical debts. In a social media post she arranged to be posted after her death, Casey McIntyre, 38, asked followers to consider donating to her cause. She said she planned to pay off other people's medical debt as a way of celebrating her life. She wrote on social media: "if you're reading this I have passed away." "I loved each and every one of you with my whole heart and I promise you, I knew how deeply I was loved... to celebrate my life, I've arranged to buy up others' medical debt and then destroy the debt." She added that she was lucky to have access to high-quality medical care while battling stage four ovarian cancer and wanted others to have the same. McIntyre and her family ... raised over $170,000 (£136,000) for her campaign with non-profit RIP Medical Debt. The organisation pays off a dollar of medical debt for every penny that is donated, meaning McIntyre's campaign has helped erase up to $17m in unpaid medical bills. The organisation says it buys medical debt "in bundled portfolios, millions of dollars at a time at a fraction of the original cost". "On average, whatever you donate has 100x the impact," it says on its website. In the social media post announcing her own death, McIntyre's family included a note that they would have a memorial service ... where they would celebrate her life by anonymously purchasing and forgiving other's medical debt.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


For the first time, US prisoners graduate from top university
2023-11-16, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/first-time-us-prisoners-graduate-top-univers...

Northwestern University's Prison Education Program welcomed its inaugural graduating class of incarcerated students on Wednesday, marking the first time a top-ranked U.S. university has awarded degrees to students in prison. Evanston, Illinois-based Northwestern ... runs the program in partnership with Oakton College and the Illinois Department of Corrections. It was a moving commencement ceremony for the 16 graduating men and their loved ones at the Stateville correctional facility in Crest Hill. "I have no words for this, (it's) otherworldly. Coming from where I came from, the things that I've been through and to be here is indescribable," said graduate Michael Broadway after the ceremony. Broadway attained his degree despite several setbacks, including battling stage 4 prostate cancer. "I'm just so proud of him," said his mother Elizabeth. "I really am. He looks so good in that gown." Due to ill health, she had not seen Broadway since ... 2005. Professor Jennifer Lackey is the program's founding director. "Twenty years ago, some of these guys were in rival gangs, and here they are swapping poetry with each other and giving critical engagements on sociology assignments," said Lackey. "The love and growth that we see in the community is really unlike anything I've experienced at the on-campus commencements." Around 100 students are enrolled in the Northwestern program across Stateville and the Logan Correctional Center, a women's prison.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The EU Just Banned Microplastics. How Are Companies Replacing Them?
2023-11-16, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/microplastics-europe-ban-natural-alternatives/

Microplastics — solid plastic particles up to five millimeters in size that are not biodegradable — are pretty much everywhere. They have been detected in over 1,500 different marine animal species. They also find their way into our bodies via the water cycle and the food chain. In fact, the average person consumes up to five grams of microplastics per week. The European Union has now banned intentionally added microplastics. This applies to plastic glitter or polyethylene particles used as abrasives in scrubs, shower gel and toothpaste (these have been banned in the US since the 2015 Microbead-Free Waters Act). Under the terms of the ban, some products, such as plastic glitter found in creams or eye shadow, have been granted a transitional period to give manufacturers a chance to develop new designs. LUSH and The Body Shop are among the companies that have long been offering natural alternatives, using ground nuts, bamboo, sea salt and sugar. Beiersdorf AG ... has not used microbeads for exfoliation purposes since 2015. Instead, it has used, for example, cellulose particles or shredded apricot kernels. Since the end of 2019, all Beiersdorf wash-off products have been free of microplastics. Before the EU ban, Germany stopped providing public funding for artificial turf pitches with granules containing a high proportion of microplastic. As a result, the country already has hundreds of pitches that are filled with cork and sand instead of microplastics.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Nearly half of American adults faced medical bill issues in last year – survey
2023-11-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/nov/16/hospital-bill-healthcare-cost...

High-income Americans are almost as likely to defer healthcare because of cost as people with low or average incomes in eight other developed countries, a new survey brief by the Commonwealth Fund finds. The survey findings also show that nearly half of American adults (46%) faced a problem with a medical bill in the last year, and almost half with low or average incomes (46%) skipped or delayed needed care because of price – the highest rate in any of nine countries analyzed. “In some cases, lower-income people in other countries are better off than higher-income Americans,” said Munira Gunja, lead author of the study. Decades of research shows the US health system is both wildly expensive and inefficient. Internationally, it has been seen as a kind of "bogeyman" and as a way not to structure a health system, according to the late Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt. A staggering 18% of US GDP goes to healthcare spending, the highest in the world, and the logical result of the highest healthcare prices of any nation. Despite runaway spending, Americans also have among the worst outcomes. Recent work by population researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, found US life expectancy has slipped for decades and now ranks 46th among 200 nations. The US is also the only nation surveyed without guaranteed universal health coverage for every citizen.

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


Common pesticides in food reducing sperm count worldwide, study says
2023-11-15, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/15/health/sperm-damage-pesticides-wellness/index....

Pesticides used in our homes, gardens and lawns and sprayed on foods we eat are contributing to a dramatic decline in sperm count among men worldwide, according to a new analysis of studies over the last 50 years. “Over the course of 50 years, sperm concentration has fallen about 50% around the world,” said senior study author Melissa Perry. “While there are likely many more contributing causes, our study demonstrates a strong association between two common insecticides —organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates — and the decline of sperm concentration.” Organophosphates are the main components of nerve gas, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides and are also used to create plastics and solvents. They are widely used in agriculture on the crops we eat. We use them in structural applications within homes and buildings. N-methyl carbamates are structurally and operationally similar to organophosphates, killing insects by damaging their brains and nervous systems. The study, published ... in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined 25 studies around the world on the two chemicals. Those studies looked at 42 different levels of impact among 1,774 men in 21 different study populations. Men who were more highly exposed to the pesticides, such as those who work in agriculture, had significantly less sperm concentration than men who had the least exposure to organophosphates and N-methyl carbamates, the study found.

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.


US regulator cracks down on food industry for paid dietitian ‘influencer’ posts
2023-11-15, The Examination
https://www.theexamination.org/articles/ftc-crackdown

Federal regulators announced warnings against two major food and beverage industry groups and a dozen nutrition influencers on Wednesday, as part of a broad action to enforce stricter standards for how companies and social media creators disclose paid advertising. The Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters on Monday to American Beverage, a lobbying group whose members include Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as well as the Canadian Sugar Institute and a dozen health influencers who collectively have over 6 million followers on TikTok and Instagram. The agency flagged nearly three dozen social media posts that it said failed to clearly disclose who was paying the influencers to promote artificial sweeteners or sugary foods. The action follows a months-long investigation by The Examination and The Washington Post that revealed how the food and beverage industry had enlisted popular dietitians to promote industry-friendly messages on social media posts that often failed to disclose the names of sponsors. Social media marketing ... has been described as the Wild West of advertising. Over $6 billion is expected to be spent on influencer marketing in the United States in 2023. The enforcement action is the first the FTC has taken against major food and beverage industry groups for social media marketing. The agency urged the trade groups and nutrition influencers to remove posts or add proper disclosures and noted that future failures could trigger fines of more than $50,000 for each violation.

Note: Read how cereal giant Kellogg used fake experts to sell its sugary cereals. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


JFK’s Parkland Doctors Come Forward: Oswald Didn’t Act Alone
2023-11-13, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/jfk-assassination-parkla...

This year marks the 60th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. JFK: What the Doctors Saw [is] a documentary featuring previously unreleased footage — and the testimony of seven doctors who were there in the emergency room of Parkland Hospital trying to save the then-president’s life after he was shot as his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963. The film raises serious doubts about whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing JFK (Oswald was shot to death two days later by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby as he was escorted through the Dallas Police building). “I became involved with the story because one of my personal physicians told me he was in the emergency room at Parkland Hospital when JFK was brought in,” Jacque Lueth, the film’s executive producer who interviewed the seven Parkland doctors, [said]. “He introduced me to six of the other doctors who were there that day and when I interviewed them, I began to realize their observations from Trauma Room 1 didn’t match the government story.” She adds, “Based upon my interviews with the doctors, Jim Jenkins and Robert Tanenbaum, and my own research, there’s no question in my mind there was a government cover-up.” The doctors in the film contend one of the bullets that hit JFK entered through his throat, meaning it was an entrance wound from the front — and that there were potentially two gunmen, with Oswald firing from the rear.

Note: Explore concise summaries of revealing news articles on the JFK assassination from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, check out our JFK Assassination Information Center.


For A Century, The American Way Of War Has Meant Killing Civilians
2023-11-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/11/12/america-wars-bombing-killing-civilians/

Over the last century, the U.S. military has shown a consistent disregard for civilian lives. It has repeatedly cast or misidentified ordinary people as enemies; failed to investigate civilian harm allegations; excused casualties as regrettable but unavoidable; and failed to prevent their recurrence or to hold troops accountable. These long-standing practices stand in stark contrast to the U.S. government’s public campaigns to sell its wars as benign, its air campaigns as precise, its concern for civilians as overriding, and the deaths of innocent people as “tragic” anomalies. Such campaigns have mainly served to obscure the true toll of the American way of war, from the “banana wars” of the 1920s to the “forever wars” a century later. During the first 20 years of the war on terror, the U.S. conducted more than 91,000 airstrikes across seven major conflict zones — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and killed up to 48,308 civilians, according to a 2021 analysis by Airwars, a U.K.-based airstrike monitoring group. A 2020 study of post-9/11 civilian casualty incidents found most have gone uninvestigated. When they do come under official scrutiny, American military witnesses are interviewed while civilians — victims, survivors, family members — are almost totally ignored, “severely compromising the effectiveness of investigations,” according to the Center for Civilians in Conflict and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.

Note: The profit motive behind these wars was clearly described in 1935 by General Smedley Butler in War is a Racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


A COVID-19 vaccine reckoning is coming for the DOJ over federal mandates
2023-11-12, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/11/12/opinion/a-covid-19-vaccine-reckoning-is-coming-...

The Justice Department has just posted a new jobs ad — it’s looking for eight new attorneys to defend the federal government in vaccine injury cases. Presumably, the hiring spree is in anticipation of a surge of COVID vaccine lawsuits, as people who were forced by government mandates to take the jab, and suffered serious side effects as a result, try to extract compensation from a system that is stacked against them. “The office is currently expanding to address workload created by an increase in cases filed under the Vaccine Act,” reads the ad posted by the Torts Branch of the DOJ on the USAJobs website. The recruitment drive comes on the heels of a little-noticed lawsuit filed in Louisiana last month by six vaccine-injured plaintiffs against the federal government. The suit aims to overturn the legal immunity that pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer and Moderna enjoy on their COVID shots. Meanwhile, almost 13,000 Americans who claim the COVID vaccine caused them or their dead loved ones adverse reactions ... remain in limbo after doing what they were told was “the right thing”: heeding government mandates to submit to the jab. The unaccountable, understaffed government tribunal that presides over the so-called Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), for vaccines administered under emergency measures, is a “kangaroo court,” says the lawsuit filed by attorney Aaron Siri, partner at New York firm Siri & Glimstad. 

Note: Learn about the legal landmark case in the UK alleging significant injuries and damages from the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Is the US’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System broken?
2023-11-10, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/content/383/bmj.p2582

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) ... collects reports of symptoms, diagnoses, hospital admissions, and deaths after vaccination. VAERS is supposed to be user friendly, responsive, and transparent. However, investigations by The BMJ have uncovered that it’s not meeting its own standards. Not only have staffing levels failed to keep pace with the unprecedented number of reports since the rollout of covid vaccines but there are signs that the system is overwhelmed. In the face of an unprecedented 1.7 million reports since the rollout of covid vaccines, VAERS’s staffing was likely not commensurate with the demands of reviewing the serious reports submitted, including reports of death. While other countries have acknowledged deaths that were “likely” or “probably” related to mRNA vaccination, the CDC—which says that it has reviewed nearly 20,000 preliminary reports of death using VAERS (far more than other countries)—has not acknowledged a single death linked to mRNA vaccines. In November 2022, React19, an advocacy group of some 30,000 people who have experienced prolonged illness after covid vaccination, reviewed 126 VAERS reports among its ranks. 22% had never been given a permanent VAERS ID number and 12% had disappeared from the system entirely. The BMJ has found that the FDA and CDC essentially maintain two separate VAERS databases: a public facing database, containing only initial reports; and a private, back end system containing all updates and corrections—such as a formal diagnosis, recovery, or death.

Note: Vaccine adverse event numbers on VAERS are made publically available here, and only capture a portion of the actual vaccine injuries. Albert Benavides is a VAERS researcher who recently wrote a comprehensive Substack piece investigating the corruption and dysfunction of the VAERS system, including how the VAERS system even deleted dead Pfizer Trial patients. Another excellent article explores these concerning implications from the perspective of cardiologists, physicians, and science researchers.


‘Buying influence’: top US nuclear board advisers are tied to arms business
2023-11-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/10/us-congress-nuclear-weapon-comm...

Nine of the 12 members of a high-level congressional commission charged with advising on the US’s nuclear weapons strategy have direct financial ties to contractors that would benefit from the report’s recommendations or are employed at thinktanks that receive considerable funding from weapons manufacturers. While the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (CCSPUS) purports to recommend steps to avoid nuclear conflict, it does nothing to disclose its own potential conflicts of interest with the weapons industry in its final report or at rollout events. “What we’ve consistently seen is the nuclear weapons industry buying influence and that means we cannot make serious decisions about our security when the industry is buying influence through thinktanks and commissioners that are skewing the debate,” said Susi Snyder, program coordinator at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. “Instead of having a debate about the tools and materials we need to make ourselves safe,” she added, “we’re having a debate about which company should get the contracts.” The most recognizable member of the CCSPUS is its vice-chair, Jon Kyl, who served as a senator. In 2017 Kyl, personally, was registered to lobby for Northrop Grumman, which manufactures the B-21 nuclear bomber that the commission recommends the US should purchase in greater numbers, at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $700m each.

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


Biden’s Border: Record Contracts for Private Industry on the World’s Deadliest Land Border
2023-11-09, TomDispatch
https://tomdispatch.com/bidens-border/

If you count all the contracts for private industry from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since Joe Biden took office — for, that is, 2021, 2022, and 2023 — the number comes to $23.5 billion. And though you’d never guess it, given what we normally hear, that already beats Donald Trump’s total for his full four years in office, $20.9 billion. Or, to put the matter in a more historical perspective, private contracts for the Biden years already top the cumulative $22.5 billion spent in border and immigration enforcement budgets from 1975 to 1997. Budgets and private-sector contracts tell an all-too-familiar story in which the border-enforcement apparatus only continues to grow ever larger, regardless of who’s president. As 2023 nears its end, there have simply never been as many opportunities to make a killing (figuratively as well as literally) by surveilling, arresting, caging, and expelling people from this country. In 2023, there were 8,033 such opportunities — and I’m speaking here about contracts in play — or about 22 contracts a day. 1,421 remains of dead people were recovered along the border during Biden’s first two years in office, higher in other words than the 1,133 during Trump’s full four years. Imagine the national news stories, if the remains of nearly 1,500 hikers had been found in the Southwest during a two-year period. But for migrants in those ever more profitable, ever deadlier borderlands, mum’s the word.

Note: Carlos Arellano is a whistleblower and former immigration contractor, who alleges that the US government is the largest trafficker of children in the world. Watch an interview of Arellano share his shocking experiences at some of the immigration facilities. For further exploration of this troubling topic, read about MVM Inc, the ex-CIA defense contractor making millions of dollars hauling children away from the Mexico border on commercial airline flights. Where is the transparency about what is happening to these children?


UN hunger expert: US must recognize ‘right to food’ to fix broken system
2023-11-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/09/united-nations-right-to-f...

The US must acknowledge the right to food in order to transform its broken food system in the post-pandemic era and make it more resilient in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, according to a United Nations hunger expert. “Whether we’re talking about right to food, food justice or food sovereignty, there has been growing momentum over the last 10 years to understand that food is not just something we just leave to be determined by what is available or by corporations or the status quo,” said Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Last month, Fakhri presented a report on the right to food – which would entail that adequate food be available and accessible to all people – as a means of food system recovery and transformation to the UN general assembly. The right to food, which can also be characterized as a right to culturally appropriate nutrition that a person needs to live a healthy and active life, is recognized in the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2021, the US and Israel were the only countries to vote against a United Nations committee’s draft that asserted food as a human right. The draft also expressed alarm that the number of people lacking access to adequate food rose by 320 million to 2.4 billion in 2020 – nearly one-third of the world’s population. In 2022, 44.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households.

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


Oxford AstraZeneca Covid jab was ‘defective’, claims landmark legal case
2023-11-08, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/11/08/oxford-astrazeneca-covid-jab-defe...

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been branded “defective” in a multi-million pound landmark legal action that will suggest claims over its efficacy were “vastly overstated”. The pharmaceutical giant is being sued in the High Court in a test case by Jamie Scott, a father-of-two who suffered a significant permanent brain injury that has left him unable to work as a result of a blood clot after receiving the jab in April 2021. A second claim is being brought by the widower and two young children of 35-year-old Alpa Tailor, who died after having the jab made by AstraZeneca. The test cases could pave the way for as many as 80 damages claims worth an estimated £80 million over a new condition known as Vaccine-induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT) that was identified by specialists in the wake of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine rollout. In the months following the rollout, the potential serious side effect of the AstraZeneca jab was identified by scientists. Following this, it was recommended it no longer be given to the under-40s in the UK because the risk of receiving the jab outweighed the harm posed by Covid. Official figures ... show at least 81 deaths in the UK are suspected to have been linked to the adverse reaction that caused clotting in people who also had low blood platelets. Victims and their lawyers question the Government’s monitoring of the rollout and point out that ... Germany suspended the vaccine’s use for the under 60s at the end of March 2021.

Note: In the US, when current and former FDA advisers and academics asked the FDA to improve COVID vaccine labeling given the risk of severe vaccine injuries, the agency denied almost every single request. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


‘High-end brothel’ serving politicians and executives busted, feds say
2023-11-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/11/08/three-arrested-brothels-bost...

Three people have been arrested in connection with operating high-end brothels in Virginia and the Boston area that served an exclusive clientele of elected officials, military officers, government contractors with security clearances and myriad other professionals, according to federal investigators. Since at least July 2020, prosecutors allege that Han Lee, 41, James Lee, 68, and Junmyung Lee, 30, ran brothels that advertised primarily Asian women under the guise that they were nude models selling their services to professional photographers. The brothels’ clients, which prosecutors allege could number in the hundreds, also included tech and pharmaceutical executives, doctors, professors, lawyers, scientists and accountants. The allegations mirror a sex service that for 13 years catered to Washington’s political elite, including a sitting senator. Known as the D.C. Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey was convicted of running that operation in 2008. Records of her ring included the names of 815 clients, and in 2016, Palfrey’s former lawyer said her phone records “could be relevant” to the presidential election. A judge later blocked the release of those records. To make an appointment with a brothel, a prospective client had to go through a verification process that included filling out a form with their name, emails, phone numbers, employers and a reference, court filings alleged. They also had to submit a photo of themselves and credit card information.

Note: The D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey mentioned above reportedly hung herself in 2008. More recently, Jeffrey Epstein reportedly hung himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial for running a child sex ring involving powerful people. In both cases, the identities of elite sex buyers were shielded from public scrutiny by authorities. Learn about other major sexual abuse scandal cover-ups that took place in the highest levels of government.


Feds make arrests in connection with 'prostitution network' whose clients allegedly included politicians
2023-11-08, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/3-arrested-connection-pro...

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection with running “high-end brothels” in the Boston area and Northern Virginia. Prosecutors said the Massachusetts brothels were in Cambridge and Watertown, and the Virginia locations were in Fairfax and Tysons, primarily with Asian women in both states. The defendants are Han Lee, 41, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Junmyung Lee, 30, of Dedham, Massachusetts; and James Lee, 68, of Torrance, California. All three were charged with conspiracy to coerce and entice to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity. "These customers spanned a wide array of different professional disciplines," the case agent said in court documents. “Some of these professional disciplines included, but are not limited to, politicians, pharmaceutical executives, doctors, military officers, government contractors that possess security clearances, professors, lawyers, business executives, technology company executives, scientists, accountants, retail employees, and students.” Investigators also said that James Lee made deposits in his personal and business bank accounts since January 2020 that totaled $4.5 million. More than $550,000 of Covid relief funds, the agent wrote, were among those deposits. Investigators acquired records from the Small Business Administration that ... show James Lee applied for these loans for various businesses, including one listed as E.P.A. Green Services, and potentially under different identities.

Note: This case echoes the case of D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who ran a prostitution ring catering to elite clients. Jeane reportedly hung herself before all of the details of her operation could come out. Learn about other major sexual abuse scandal cover-ups that took place in the highest levels of government.


‘A treasure beneath our feet’: How the Dutch went down the toilet looking for heat
2023-11-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/08/how-the-dutch-went-down-t...

Dutch sewage waste is being seen as a reliable heat source for millions of homes that the government wants to be unhooked from the country’s gas system by 2050. Lieven de Key, a housing corporation in Amsterdam, is planning what is believed to be the first sewer warmth project that will tap into a main district sewage pipe to warm 1,600 existing social and student homes. “We have a photo of the street covered with snow, and the manhole covers all without snow,” says Jeroen Rademaker, the project leader. “Even when there’s snow in the winter, the sewer is warm. Warm sewage water flows 24 hours a day and we should capture it. This can happen wherever there is a big sewage pipe.” “The warmth comes from showers, the toilet, wastewater from washing, from the dishwasher, from the washing machine,” says Postuma. “Together it all gives, throughout the year, a temperature between 15 and 18 degrees. And we are going to make a bypass around the main sewer, put a heat exchanger around it and bring it to the houses in insulated pipes. We place it in an electric heat pump, and the water is heated up to 60 or 70C – medium temperature.” The heat exchanger transfers that source heat from the drain to a working fluid that can be transported to the buildings without needing to circulate the actual sewage waste. Then the blocks’ heat pumps, fired by solar energy, can amplify that heat in the opposite way to the workings of a refrigerator.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


What Does the U.S. Space Force Actually Do?
2023-11-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/08/magazine/space-force.html

Chief Master Sgt. Ron Lerch of the U.S. Space Force sat down in his office in Los Angeles one morning in September to deliver a briefing known as a threat assessment. The current “threats” in space are less sci-fi than you might expect, but there are a surprising number of them: At least 44,500 space objects now circle Earth, including 9,000 active satellites and 19,000 significant pieces of debris. What’s most concerning isn’t the swarm of satellites but the types. “We know that there are kinetic kill vehicles,” Lerch said — for example, a Russian “nesting doll” satellite, in which a big satellite releases a tiny one and the tiny one releases a mechanism that can strike and damage another satellite. China, whose presence in space now far outpaces Russia’s, is launching unmanned “space planes” into orbit, testing potentially unbreakable quantum communication links and adding A.I. capabilities to satellites. An intelligence report, Lerch said, predicted the advent, within the next decade, of satellites with radio-frequency jammers, chemical sprayers and lasers that blind and disable the competition. All this would be in addition to the cyberwarfare tools, electromagnetic instruments and “ASAT” antisatellite missiles that already exist. Space Force leaders readily describe their guardians as working toward a state of combat readiness, even as they hope an era of actual conflict never arrives. As space becomes commercialized, it increasingly becomes a geopolitical arena for competition too.

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


Batteries of the future: How cotton and seawater might power our devices
2023-11-08, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20231108-batteries-of-the-future-how-cotto...

The power's out. But on a street in India, there's a cash machine still happily dispensing banknotes. Thanks, in part, to burnt cotton. For this cash machine has a backup battery inside it – a battery that contains carbon from carefully combusted cotton. "The exact process is secret," says Inketsu Okina, chief intelligence officer at PJP Eye, the Japanese firm that made the battery. "The temperature is secret and atmosphere is secret. Pressure is secret," he continues. Okina does say that a high temperature is required, above 3,000C (5,432F). And that 1kg (2.2lbs) of cotton yields 200g (7oz) of carbon – with just 2g (0.07oz) needed for each battery cell. PJP Eye also touts the possibility of improving battery performance as well as making batteries greener. "Our carbon has a bigger surface area than graphite," says Okina, describing how the chemistry of the anode in their Cambrian single carbon battery allows for a battery that charges very quickly, up to 10 times faster than existing lithium ion batteries, he claims. The battery's cathode is made from a "base metal" oxide. Although Okina won't disclose exactly which one, these metals include copper, lead, nickel and zinc. The company claims to be working on a dual carbon electrode battery, where both electrodes are made from plant-based carbon. Other researchers are looking at using materials as diverse as corn waste and melon seed shells to generate new types of electrodes for use in batteries.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Reform Bill Would Protect Americans from Warrantless Surveillance
2023-11-07, Brennan Center for Justice
https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/reform-bill-would-pro...

In the 1970s, congressional investigators revealed that the FBI, NSA, and CIA had spent decades illegally surveilling and harassing the civil rights and anti-war movements. These abuses shocked the American public and led Congress to implement a series of intelligence reforms, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which set strict limitations on when and how intelligence agencies could perform domestic spying. In the decades since the 9/11 attacks, changing laws and aggressive executive branch lawyering have significantly relaxed the rules that govern surveillance of Americans. We are once again seeing abuses of these powers, including instances of intelligence agents seeking access to the communications of politiciansprotesters, and journalists. Today, a bipartisan group of lawmakers ... introduced the Government Surveillance Reform Act of 2023 (GSRA) to reverse this erosion of privacy rights. The GSRA begins by tackling Section 702, a controversial surveillance law that expires at the end of this year. Section 702 allows the government to collect the communications of non-Americans located abroad without a warrant. But Americans’ private phone calls, emails, and text messages are inevitably captured, too — and intelligence officials frequently perform warrantless searches for them. Intelligence officials conducted more than 200,000 of these “backdoor searches” for Americans’ communications last year alone.

Note: 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.


U.S. Weapons Transfers To Israel Shrouded In Secrecy — But Not Ukraine
2023-11-07, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/11/07/israel-us-weapons-secret/

One month since Hamas’s surprise attack, little is known about the weapons the U.S. has provided to Israel. Whereas the Biden administration released a three-page itemized list of weapons provided to Ukraine, down to the exact number of rounds, the information released about weapons sent to Israel could fit in a single sentence. A retired Marine general who worked in the region, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized by his former employer to speak publicly, attributed the secrecy to the political sensitivity of the conflict. In particular, the retired officer said, weapons used in door-to-door urban warfare, which are likely to result in civilian casualties, are not going to be something the administration wants to publicize. The goal of removing Hamas completely from power is widely expected to take a significant commitment to a long-term ground presence and heavy urban fighting. According to the New Yorker, Israeli officials told their American counterparts that the war could last 10 years. Hamas’s attack on Israel ... resulted in a cascade of arms assistance from the U.S. Though the Biden administration at first declined to identify any specific weapons systems, as details trickled out in the press, it has gradually acknowledged some. These include “precision guided munitions, small diameter bombs, artillery, ammunition, Iron Dome interceptors and other critical equipment,” [said] Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. What “other critical equipment” entails remains a mystery.

Note: From 2018-2022, the US was responsible for 40 percent of global weapons exports. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Execs ignored the damage Instagram does to teens, Meta whistleblower tells Congress
2023-11-07, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/07/tech/meta-ignored-warnings-instagrams-harm/ind...

Meta’s top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ignored warnings for years about harms to teens on its platforms such as Instagram, a company whistleblower told a Senate subcommittee. Meta instead fosters a culture of “see no evil, hear no evil” that overlooks evidence of harm internally while publicly presenting carefully crafted metrics to downplay the issue, said Arturo Bejar, an ex-Facebook engineering director and consultant. Bejar is the latest former insider to level public allegations that the tech giant knowingly turns a blind eye to problems that its policies and technology cannot cheaply or easily address. [Bejar] first became motivated to study the issue because of unwanted sexual advances his own 14-year-old daughter received from strangers on Instagram. “It is unacceptable that a 13-year-old girl gets propositioned on social media,” Bejar testified, citing a statistic from his research finding that more than 25% of 13-to-15-year-olds have reported receiving unwanted sexual advances on Instagram. Lawmakers on Tuesday ripped into the social media giant. “They hid from this committee and all of Congress evidence of the harms that they knew was credible,” said ... Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Missouri Republican Josh Hawley blasted Big Tech companies for spending “gobs” of money ... to thwart bills that would restrict the industry’s power. He also accused Meta of “cooking the books” on data related to mental health harms.

Note: Read how Instagram connects a vast pedophile network. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Insurance Industry Execs ‘Alarmed’ by Surge in Deaths Among Young People — But Stop Short of Blaming COVID Shots
2023-11-06, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/surge-young-people-deaths-insuran...

Executives at the largest insurance companies in the United States are alarmed that teenagers, young and white-collar Americans in the prime of life are inexplicably dying at a record pace, causing a “monumental outflow” of death claims. According to an Oct. 26 report in InsuranceNewsNet, U.S. insurance companies expected higher-than-normal payouts from excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Insurers saw death benefits rise 15.4% in 2020, the biggest one-year increase since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, followed by a record $100.28 billion — nearly double the historic norm — in total death benefits paid out by the industry in 2021. CDC numbers ... show the death rate for Americans ages 15-45 rose 20-24% above normal in 2020, and soared in 2021, to a nearly 30% death increase for 15-year-olds and a more than 45% increase for 45-year-olds. CDC data reported in August showed that Americans in the period January-May 2023 were still dying at abnormally high rates with the pandemic long over. Dr. Pierre Kory ... who treats long COVID and vaccine-injured patients in his practice, called on insurance companies to work with media and governments and investigate the powerful evidence that countless deaths and disabilities are temporally linked to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Kory cited the more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine-linked injuries, disabilities and more than 30,000 deaths reported ... to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Note: Mentioned in this article is critical care physician Dr. Pierre Kory, who recently published an in-depth explanation on the link between COVID-19 mRNA vaccines and excess death among American youth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Counterterror Director Used Hamas Attack To Justify Mass Surveillance Program Renewal
2023-11-06, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/11/06/hamas-counterterrorism-mass-surveillance-...

During a Senate briefing last week, a federal counterterrorism official cited the October 7 Hamas attack while urging Congress to reauthorize a sprawling and controversial surveillance program repeatedly used to spy on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. “As evidenced by the events of the past month, the terrorist threat landscape is highly dynamic and our country must preserve [counterterrorism] fundamentals to ensure constant vigilance,” said Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christine Abizaid. She pointed to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables the U.S. government to gather vast amounts of intelligence — including about U.S. citizens ... without first seeking a warrant. Section 702 “provides key indications and warning on terrorist plans and ... gives us strategic insight into foreign terrorists and their networks overseas,” Abizaid said. “I respectfully urge Congress to reauthorize this vital authority.” The controversial program is set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers sympathetic to the intelligence community are scrambling to protect it. Sean Vitka ... at the civil liberties group Demand Progress [said] that now is the time to enact lasting and dramatic oversight of the 702 authority. “The government has completely failed to demonstrate that any of the privacy protections reformers have called for would impair national security ... so now we’re seeing people grasping at straws trying to turn everything into an excuse for reauthorization,” Vitka 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.


Silicon Valley is piling into the business of snooping
2023-11-05, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/business/2023/11/05/silicon-valley-is-piling-into-t...

New Yorkers may have noticed an unwelcome guest hovering round their parties. In the lead-up to Labour Day weekend the New York Police Department (NYPD) said that it would use drones to look into complaints about festivities, including back-yard gatherings. Snooping police drones are an increasingly common sight in America. According to a recent survey by researchers at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, about a quarter of police forces now use them. Among the NYPD’s suppliers is Skydio, a Silicon Valley firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make drones easy to fly. The NYPD is also buying from BRINC, another startup, which makes flying machines equipped with night-vision cameras that can smash through windows. Facial-recognition software is now used more widely across America, too, with around a tenth of police forces having access to the technology. A report released in September by America’s Government Accountability Office found that six federal law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Secret Service, were together executing an average of 69 facial-recognition searches every day. Among the top vendors listed was Clearview AI. Surveillance capabilities may soon be further fortified by generative AI, of the type that powers ChatGPT, thanks to its ability to work with “unstructured” data such as images and video footage. The technology will let users “search the Earth for objects”, much as Google lets users search the internet.

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


The Israel-Hamas war has not quashed their compassion, their empathy, their hope
2023-11-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/11/05/1209976575/israel-hamas-...

The morning of the Hamas attack, [Maoz] Inon's parents were at home in their community of Netiv HaAsara, a mere quarter-mile from Gaza. A Hamas fighter launched a rocket-propelled grenade that directly hit his parents' wooden house. Amid this sea of grief that he's cratered into, Inon says he feels no urge for revenge. "I was crying, and I'm still crying, for all the innocent victims from both sides that will die," he says. "And I'm crying for this 100 years of bloodshed, of cycle of death." Inon says that this cycle can seem endless, but he has hope. "It seems like there is no solution," he says, "but there is." Inon says he had something of a vision after this war began. "I saw an image of everyone crying," he recalls. He says we shouldn't have more weapons, build higher walls and create better security systems. "That's the old world, OK? You want to start a new world? We need to cry ... And then," he says, "we'll see the path for peace." In one of [political psychologist Oded Adomi] Leshem's research studies, he shows that Jewish Israelis and Palestinians consistently underestimate the other group's hope for peace. "This underestimation actually reduces one's own hope." Unlike conflict, which Leshem says is bloody but familiar to Israelis and Palestinians, hope is different. It's unfamiliar and unpredictable. "If we kind of accept this unpredictability," he says, "take the chance [on] this uncertain thing — which is called peace between the [Jordan] River and the [Mediterranean] Sea — then this is closely related to hope."

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


Lessons from brain science — and history's peacemakers — for resolving conflicts
2023-11-04, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/11/04/1209395551/argument-us-i...

Tim Phillips, a veteran conflict-resolution expert, helped negotiate some of the most fraught conflicts in modern history — ceasefires of religious clashes in Northern Ireland and the establishment of what became South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid. Defusing an escalating situation ... first requires releasing a brain hijacked by defensive emotion. Phillips says it means saying to your opponent, for example: "I understand how important this is to you; I understand this is core to your identity and your community, and I respect your sacred values." It means reflecting your opponent's humanity back to them. A similar approach, he says, can help reduce toxic polarization. It's effective because in the heat of argument, people tend to demonize one another; counteracting that can neutralize assumptions of negative intent. Phillips says he's seen people emotionally disarm the opposition in a disagreement simply by recognizing their humanity. It can bring together fierce adversaries, and change history. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black congresswoman in the U.S., was battling for the Democratic presidential nomination with political rival ... George Wallace, a fierce segregationist. After he was shot in an attempted assassination, Chisholm visited him in the hospital and prayed at his bedside. "Wallace's daughter later said that that gesture of compassion completely changed her father," Phillips says. Wallace reportedly wept openly, and shifted his stance on racial segregation.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Court tosses EPA ban on pesticide linked to brain damage in kids
2023-11-02, The Hill
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4291117-court-tosses-epa-ban-pe...

A federal appeals court on Thursday is tossing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on a pesticide that has been linked to brain damage in children. The decision from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to send the rule back to the agency does not preclude the agency from reinstating the ban in the future. But it said the EPA needs to give greater consideration to whether there are cases where the pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, could be used safely. Chlorpyrifos has been used as an insecticide, protecting crops like soybeans, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit trees. The EPA banned chlorpyrifos for use in growing food in 2021. That came after a prior court ruling gave the agency just 60 days to either find a safe use for chlorpyrifos or ban it outright. The appeals court determined that this deadline contributed to a rushed decision from EPA that was ultimately “arbitrary and capricious.” The ruling comes from Judges Lavenski Smith, Raymond Gruender and David Stras, two of whom were appointed by former President George W. Bush and one of whom was appointed by former President Trump. The chlorpyrifos issue has ping-ponged between administrations. The Obama administration had proposed to ban its use on food, but the Trump administration reversed course and had proposed to allow some uses of the chemical. 

Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. See other concise news articles we've summarized about the harms of chlorpyrifos.


Killer Jab? 24% Say Someone They Know Died From COVID-19 Vaccine
2023-11-02, Rasmussen Reports
https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/public_surveys/kille...

Nearly a quarter of Americans believe someone they know died from COVID-19 vaccine side effects, and even more say they might be willing to become plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against vaccine makers. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 24% of American Adults say they know someone personally who died from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Sixty-nine percent (69%) don’t know anyone who died from being vaccinated against the virus. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Forty-two percent (42%) say that, if there was a major class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for vaccine side effects, they would be likely to join the lawsuit, including 24% who say it’s Very Likely they’d join such a lawsuit. Forty-seven percent (47%) aren’t likely to join a class-action lawsuit against vaccine makers, including 25% who say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 11% are not sure. The survey of 1,110 American Adults was conducted on October 26 and 29-30, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Nearly half (47%) say they know someone personally who died from the COVID-19 virus, while 49% don’t know anyone who died from the virus, which became a pandemic in the United States in 2020. Among those who say someone they know died from the COVID-19 virus, 41% also say they know someone who died from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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


The Theory That Men Evolved to Hunt and Women Evolved to Gather Is Wrong
2023-11-01, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-theory-that-men-evolved-to-hun...

The influential idea that in the past men were hunters and women were not isn’t supported by the available evidence. Women are physiologically better suited than men to endurance efforts such as running marathons. This advantage bears on questions about hunting because a prominent hypothesis contends that early humans are thought to have pursued prey on foot over long distances until the animals were exhausted. Furthermore, the fossil and archaeological records, as well as ethnographic studies of modern-day hunter-gatherers, indicate that women have a long history of hunting game. Females are ... dominating ultraendurance events such as the more than 260-mile Montane Spine foot race through England and Scotland, the 21-mile swim across the English Channel and the 4,300-mile Trans Am cycling race. In 2018 English runner Sophie Power ran the 105-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc race in the Alps while still breastfeeding her three-month-old at rest stations. Observations of recent and contemporary foraging societies provide direct evidence of women participating in hunting. The most cited examples come from the Agta people of the Philippines. Agta women hunt while menstruating, pregnant and breastfeeding, and they have the same hunting success as Agta men. They are hardly alone. A recent study of ethnographic data spanning the past 100 years ... found that women from a wide range of cultures hunt animals for food.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


High mobile phone use may impact sperm count, study says
2023-11-01, CNN News
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/11/01/health/mobile-phone-sperm-count-wellness/i...

Male sperm count has fallen by more than 50% globally in the last 50 years, leaving researchers scrambling to understand why. Could it be pollution, PFAS and other potential toxins in our food and water, an increase in obesity and chronic disease, or even the ever-present mobile phone? A new study explored the role of cell phones and found men between the ages of 18 and 22 who said they used their phones more than 20 times a day had a 21% higher risk for a low overall sperm count. The men also had a 30% higher risk for a low sperm concentration. The study did not specify whether the men called or texted or used their phones to do both. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are greatly reduced when texting and highest when downloading large files, streaming audio or video, when only one or two bars are displayed, and when in a fast-moving bus, car or train, according to the California Department of Public Health. The agency recommends keeping the phone away from the body and head — use the speakerphone or headphones instead — and carry the phone in a backpack in a backpack, briefcase or purse. Studies in mice have found RF-EMF fields at levels similar to cell phones do lower male fertility and contribute to sperm death and changes in the tissue of the testes. Observational studies in humans have also found that frequent use of mobile phones was connected to a decline in sperm viability as well as an impact on how the sperm swam.

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


FDA Defends COVID Vaccine Against Smoking Gun Claims
2023-11-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/fda-defends-covid-vaccine-against-smoking-gun-claims...

Anti-vaccine advocates have recently made allegations against the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in hopes that the charges may hurt the drug manufacturer. In a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter), Steve Kirsch expressed concern over reports that Pfizer's vaccine was contaminated, saying that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "is now at a crossroads." "Either they admit that they knew about the plasma contamination, and failed to disclose that to the public and to the outside committees, or they can claim that they didn't know about it in which case Pfizer is liable. But we have the Pfizer documents that were given to the FDA so we know what the FDA got," Kirsch wrote. "I seriously doubt there's any disclosure of SV40 contamination. That means we have an adulterated vaccine and the FDA has to remove it from the market until the adulteration is fixed. If the FDA doesn't do that, they should face criminal prosecution for endangering the public, and not following the law." (SV40 refers to simian virus 40.) In his posts, Kirsch also references an incident in Michigan where a judge ruled that the manufacturer of the COVID-19 medication Remdesivir was no longer protected by the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act after a man filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. The man filed the suit after suffering strokes and an amputation following treatment with the drug, Remdesivir, which was contaminated with glass particles.

Note: While the data is still being uncovered, read an in-depth, scientific investigation into vaccine contamination, including concerns that Pfizer hid this contamination from regulators. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


As Gaza crumbles, those speaking up for innocent Palestinians are being silenced and sacked
2023-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/31/gaza-innocent-palestini...

Ever since Israel responded to Hamas’s atrocities with a vicious onslaught that has killed more than 8,000 Palestinians there has been an attempt to silence, intimidate and harass Palestinian sympathisers. Inevitably, it is Palestinians who suffer the brunt of a campaign to stigmatise even the most basic opposition to the mass slaughter of their people. Viet Thanh Nguyen, the son of refugees and a sympathiser with other displaced people, had a talk at the 92nd Street Y centre in New York postponed after he signed an open letter demanding an “end to the violence and destruction in Palestine”. What of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, whose longstanding conference in Houston was cancelled following the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce describing the event as “a conference for Hamas supporters”? The Hilton cited security concerns as the reason for the cancellation. The keynote speaker, Rashida Tlaib, the first ever elected Palestinian-American congresswoman, has been targeted by a Republican smear campaign, with an attempt to censure her for “antisemitic activity” and “sympathising with terrorist organisations” – all baseless attacks. Meanwhile, MSNBC reportedly stopped three of its Muslim broadcasters from presenting their shows, with no explanation. The broadcaster claimed any change in programming as “coincidental”. This intimidation has deadly consequences: it undermines public pressure on Israel’s western allies to stop the slaughter and end the occupation.

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


‘Hamas has created additional demand’: Wall Street eyes big profits from war
2023-10-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/30/wall-street-morgan-stanley-td-b...

The United Nations has warned that there was “clear evidence” that war crimes may have been committed in “the explosion of violence in Israel and Gaza”. Meanwhile, Wall Street is hoping for an explosion in profits. During third-quarter earnings calls this month, analysts from Morgan Stanley and TD Bank took note of this potential profit-making escalation in conflict and asked unusually blunt questions about the financial benefit of the war between Israel and Hamas. TD Cowen’s Cai von Rumohr, managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the aerospace industry, [asked] about the upside for General Dynamics, an aerospace and weapons company in which TD Asset Management holds over $16m in stock. The aerospace and weapons sector ... enjoyed a 7-percentage point jump in value in the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel and the beginning of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. “Hamas has created additional demand, we have this $106bn request from the president,” said Von Rumohr, during General Dynamics’ earnings call on 25 October. “Can you give us some general color in terms of areas where you think you could see incremental acceleration in demand?” Aside from the callousness of casually discussing the financial benefits of far-off armed conflict, the comments raise questions about whether these major institutional shareholders of weapons stocks are abiding by their own human rights policies.

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


Under Biden, Prosecutions Of Corporate Wrongdoers Near A Historic Low
2023-10-30, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-corporate-accountability_n_653fe004e4b0a...

The number of corporate prosecutions under President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice in 2022 hovered near the lowest level in decades, according to a new analysis published by the good government group Public Citizen. Federal prosecutors concluded just 99 criminal cases against corporations in 2022, the same number as Donald Trump’s DOJ during his second year, and only a modest increase from the 90 cases the agency brought in 2021. As a consequence, the pace of new prosecutions is at its lowest point since the start of the Clinton administration. “The light-touch approach to enforcement creates opportunities for corporate scofflaws to push the limits of what is legally allowed — risking our health and safety, our environment, our finances, and our communities — in their efforts to maximize profits,” the report warned. The slow pace of enforcement continues a two-decade decline that started after 2000, when there were three times as many corporate prosecutions as today. The Biden administration has also presided over a decline in deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements, which the DOJ can use as an alternative to filing charges for corporate malfeasance. These more lenient agreements typically involve large multinational companies. In 2022, there were just 11. Biden’s DOJ has also expanded a policy that allows corporations to self-report misconduct in exchange for the government’s guarantee not to prosecute.

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


Billion-dollar prisons: why the US is pouring money into new construction
2023-10-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/28/states-spending-money-build-p...

At a time when the US has narrowly skirted a recession, and people around the country are still struggling with the cost of living, a curious number of states have found billions of dollars for one thing: building prisons and jails. In September, Alabama announced that a new prison, currently under construction, would have a final cost of $1.082bn. The same month Indiana broke ground on a $1.2bn prison. Nebraska is spending $350m on a new prison, while some in Georgia are lobbying for $1.69bn for construction of a jail in Fulton county. The willingness to spend vast amounts of money on locking people up, particularly in states like Alabama, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, is staggering. It’s also wrong-headed, experts say. “Any money spent on caging human beings is not money well spent, period,” said Carmen Gutierrez ... at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We have decades of research showing that incarceration does not improve public safety, and that it in fact harms individuals who themselves are incarcerated. It also harms their families and it harms the communities that they come from. So the damage outweighs any potential benefit.” The US has an incarceration rate of 664 people in every 100,000 ... far higher than other founding Nato countries. In Alabama, Georgia and other southern states about one in every 100 people is incarcerated in prisons, jails, immigration detention and juvenile justice facilities.

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


How Pfizer Hid Nearly 80% of COVID Vaccine Trial Deaths From Regulators
2023-10-27, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/pfizer-hid-data-covid-vaccine-tri...

Pfizer-BioNTech delayed reporting vaccine-associated deaths among BNT162b2 clinical trial participants until after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the product. The vaccine makers also failed to account for a large number of subjects who dropped out of the trial. Together, these strategies kept regulators and the public ignorant of a 3.7-fold increase in cardiac deaths among subjects who received the vaccine, according to analysis in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research. Investigators looked at each of the 38 deaths occurring between July 27, 2020, the start of phase 2/3 of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trial, and March 13, 2021, the end date culminating in Pfizer-BioNTech’s 6-month interim report. This trial phase involved 44,060 subjects. Half received a dose of BNT162b2, half got a placebo. The trial was unusual because at week 20 after the FDA issued the EUA for the vaccine, trial subjects in the placebo group were allowed to switch to the vaccinated group and receive their first BNT162b2 shot. Of 20,794 unblinded placebo subjects in the Pfizer trial, 19,685 received at least one dose of BNT162b2. After 33 weeks the data revealed no significant difference between deaths in the vaccinated and placebo groups for the initial 20-week placebo-controlled portion of the trial. 79% of relevant deaths were not recorded in time to be included in Pfizer’s regulatory paperwork.

Note: Read our recent essay on Big Pharma corruption to further explore the significant harms associated with the COVID vaccine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


The Prison-to-Hollywood Pipeline Is the Stuff of Cinematic Dreams
2023-10-26, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/hollywood-jobs-film-tv-manifestworks/

ManifestWorks [is] a unique program that guides people from homelessness, incarceration and foster care directly into entry-level jobs in film and TV. “When I started the ManifestWorks program, it was more than just learning the steps. It was really therapeutic for me,” says Leslie. “It was uplifting during a time when I was really not in a good place.” By the third week of classes, Leslie had secured her first gig as a production assistant. The same person who hired her brought her back for the next two years and seeded additional relationships that led to more work. Today, Leslie works in a sound department as a union member, has consistent work at a living wage and has been able to upgrade both her housing and her car. The nonprofit ManifestWorks has more than 270 alumni currently working in the film industry, and purposely recruits its students from populations that face barriers to success. According to ManifestWorks, 25 percent of foster care youth end up incarcerated within two years of turning 18, and unemployment impacts the formerly incarcerated at a rate 12 times higher than the national average. Some 71 percent of ManifestWorks’ trainees are on welfare when they start the program — after a year, that number drops to seven percent on average. And 92 percent of ManifestWorks alumni are employed full time with an average annual income of $62,000, up from the average of $12,500 when trainees first start.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Building bridges in the midst of conflict: 12 organizations working for Israel-Palestine peace
2023-10-25, Optimist Daily
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2023/10/building-bridges-in-the-midst-of-confli...

While the sad reality of violence and division dominates the media, countless grassroots organizations are working tirelessly to bring peace and reconciliation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. As the region continues to be ravaged by violence, Standing Together, Israel’s largest Arab-Jewish grassroots organization, brings together Jewish and Palestinian volunteers. They labor relentlessly to assist victims of continuous violence while also campaigning for peace, equality, social justice, and climate justice. Their message is clear: the future they envision is one of peace, Israeli and Palestinian independence, full equality, and environmental justice. The Parents Circle – Families Forum, which includes over 600 families who have lost loved ones in the conflict, is a symbol of reconciliation. This joint Israeli-Palestinian organization encourages conversation and reconciliation through education, public gatherings, and media participation, presenting a ray of hope for a future of coexistence. Integrated schools in Israel, where Jewish and Palestinian children attend classes together, serve as an example of a more inclusive future. Hand in Hand promotes understanding by bringing parents together for debate and shared study of Hebrew and Arabic. They are sowing seeds of oneness. Jerusalem Peacebuilders brings together Israelis, Palestinians, and Americans with the goal of developing tomorrow’s leaders. Their work highlights the futility of violent war and the critical need for nonviolence.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Americans Are Fools for Pharma
2023-10-24, The DisInformation Chronicle on Substack
https://disinformationchronicle.substack.com/p/americans-are-fools-for-pharma

While I was out of town on business, I got a call from my dad who told me my husband Woody had been found hanging—dead at age 37. Woody wasn’t depressed and he hadn’t had a history of depression nor any other mental illness. His doctor had prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft to take the edge off. In the following weeks, I started to investigate, to try and understand why my perfectly normal husband had decided to end his life. The only thing that made sense ... Zoloft. Figuring out Zoloft’s dangers completely altered my life’s trajectory, absorbing years of my time. Today, I sit on one of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees that reviews new drugs coming to market. I initially thought that what I was learning about Zoloft was just an isolated issue with antidepressants. But I soon realized it was part of a much bigger, systemic problem with our nation’s drug safety system. The pharmaceutical industry is driven by commercial interests, not public health, and this problem is compounded by a lack of transparency, conflicts of interests, manipulation of clinical trials, and undue corporate influence across the government. Marketing companies ghostwrite pharmaceutical studies for academics who sometimes barely read the papers that get submitted to medical journals, and drug makers then cite these ghostwritten studies as peer-reviewed proof of their products’ safety and efficacy. The revolving door between Big Pharma and the FDA spins faster than the one between the Pentagon and the defense industry.

Note: This guest essay is written by Kim Witczak, a globally renowned advocate for pharmaceutical drug safety and FDA reform. Antidepressants have been found to increase the risk of suicide in some patients. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Open the Congo files and face up to what the CIA did
2023-10-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/10/24/congo-lumumba-cia-amends/

Never in its 63 years of independence has Congo experienced a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. On June 30, 1960, after 75 years of Belgian rule, Congo became an independent country. At the helm as prime minister was Patrice Lumumba. On Aug. 18, 1960, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first U.S. president known to order the assassination of a sitting foreign leader. During a National Security Council meeting, an official note taker ... recalled, President Eisenhower said “something — I can no longer remember his words— that came across to me as an order for the assassination of Lumumba.” The CIA’s top chemist procured a poison to kill Lumumba, flew it to Congo, and instructed the CIA station chief there, Larry Devlin, to put it in the prime minister’s food or toothpaste. But by that time, Lumumba had been removed from office and put under house arrest, so the plot fizzled. Lumumba was flown to the breakaway province of Katanga and shot dead ... by Congolese soldiers commanded by Belgian officers and answering to the separatist government. The CIA ... had blood on its hands for the death of Lumumba. It played a role in every event leading to his downfall. As part of what came to be known as “Project Wizard,” the CIA subsidized at least two opposition senators, and the agency received White House authorization to pay the president as well. CIA cash also paid for anti-Lumumba radio propaganda and street protests.

Note: Learn more about the rise of the CIA in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Police love Google’s surveillance data. Here’s how to protect yourself.
2023-10-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/10/24/google-privacy-police-ge...

A recent court ruling in Colorado highlighted how Google’s tracking of our locations and web searches helps police find suspects when they have few leads — but it’s also sweeping innocent people into investigations. Google says it has procedures to “protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement.” But defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates say that Google is a gold mine for novel police methods that they call unconstitutional fishing expeditions. Even if you believe you have nothing to hide from law enforcement, relentless digital tracking of Americans risks our information falling into criminals’ hands, too. Law enforcement officials say that Google’s data on people’s locations and search histories helps solve crimes, including in the 2021 Capitol riot. In initial court-ordered warrants to Google, the company typically gives police information that isn’t connected to people’s identity. Only after they single out potentially suspicious data do the police go back for individually identifiable information. But defense lawyers and privacy advocates say the two types of broad warrants to Google turn normal police work upside down and threaten Americans’ rights. In a typical search warrant, police have a suspect in mind and ask for a judge’s approval to search their home, phone data and other potential evidence. In the large-scale search term and location warrants, police know a crime occurred but don’t know who might have committed it.

Note: Explore news articles we've summarized on the troubling nature of the use of location tracking by governments and corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


DHS Must Overhaul Its Flawed Automated Systems
2023-10-24, Brennan Center for Justice
https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/dhs-must-overhaul-its...

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is likely the single largest collector and consumer in the U.S. government of detailed, often intimate, information about Americans and foreigners alike. The department stores and analyzes this information using vast data systems to determine who can enter the country and who is subjected to intrusive inspections, including by parsing through travel records, social media data, non-immigrant visa applications, and other information to detect patterns of behavior that the department has determined are worthy of scrutiny. As we explain in a new Brennan Center report, these systems ... are too often deployed in discriminatory ways that violate Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties. It is past time for DHS to stop improvising how it designs and implements its automated systems, with inadequate mechanisms for evaluation and oversight, weak standards, and disproportionate impacts on marginalized communities and individuals. DHS must disclose additional information about its systems, including the policies that govern their operations and reports explaining how they are used. An independent body should undertake a rigorous investigation of DHS’s automated systems, evaluating whether they are useful and accurate, assessing how they function, and determining whether they contain sufficient safeguards to protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

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.


Eighty Percent of the Population Will Get Treated for Mental Illness in their Lifetime—and They’re Worse Off Afterward
2023-10-23, Mad in America
https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/10/eighty-percent-of-the-population-will-ge...

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry finds that almost everyone will be treated for mental illness at some point in their lives and that their lives are worse in many ways after receiving diagnosis and treatment. About 80% of the population will be hospitalized or receive psychiatric drugs. After treatment, they are more likely to end up poor, unemployed, and receiving disability benefits, and they have worsening social connections. According to the researchers, the likelihood of getting prescribed psychiatric drugs during your lifetime was 82.6% (87.5% for women and 76.7% for men). The likelihood of being hospitalized for mental illness was 29.0% (31.8% for women and 26.1% for men). On average, the 80% who were treated for mental illness were already struggling before treatment. But after treatment, things only got worse. After treatment, “individuals with any mental health disorder were more likely to experience new socioeconomic difficulties, compared with control individuals from the general population,” the researchers write. “During follow-up, they were more likely to become unemployed or receive a disability benefit, to earn lower income, to be living alone, and to be unmarried.” There is copious evidence that antidepressant use leads to worse outcomes in the long term, even after controlling for the severity of depression and other factors. The adverse effects of the drugs lead to worse health outcomes for those taking them, and withdrawal symptoms prevent people from being able to discontinue.

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


Media Decides Censorship Is Bad Now That It Hits The Left
2023-10-23, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/media-decides-censorship-is-bad-now

The Washington Post has published at least four long articles dismissing the censorship revealed by the Twitter Files and Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, which is headed to the Supreme Court. By contrast, in its story on the censorship of pro-Palestinian voices, the Washington Post expresses great skepticism of Big Tech and sympathy for the people censored — the exact opposite of how it treated the issue when it was non-Leftists who were being censored. To be sure, there has been a concerning increase in demands for censorship and blacklisting since the October 7 Hamas attacks. New York University appears to be investigating a student who said, “Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life.” But the alarm that the news media are raising is in striking contrast to the indifference ... to the evidence of governmental and nongovernmental censorship of a variety of disfavored views and voices relating to climate change, Covid, Ukraine, and the Biden family’s influence-peddling. Media outrage about censorship of pro-Palestinian voices sent social media platforms scrambling in order to end the censorship. The Washington Post’s queries forced at least one social media company to stop censoring. “After The Washington Post sent questions to TikTok about the video, the sound was restored.” A Meta spokesperson said a “bug” had caused some of the trouble. “We fixed a problem that briefly caused inappropriate Arabic translations in some of our products,” the statement said.

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


What will the children who survive the onslaught of Gaza think of those who let it happen?
2023-10-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/23/israel-palestine-childr...

The screams of children are difficult to hear over the noise and fury of the Gaza maelstrom. In a joint statement on Sunday, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada called for “adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians”. But they know full well that, in Gaza, the exact opposite is happening. And it’s not only them. The likes of China and Russia are doing nothing to stop it, either. Last week, the Save the Children charity reported that one child in Gaza was being killed every 15 minutes. On Saturday, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor was estimating a daily death toll of 200 children and infants. Of the more than 4,600 Palestinians killed since Israeli forces began their bombardment, about 40% are children, the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry says. Behind these stark figures lies a world of pain. At least 3,250 children have been injured, with 1,240 needing specialised medical care, as of last week. Many have extensive burns and shrapnel wounds or have lost limbs. Yet hospitals and clinics that have been damaged or destroyed or are short of medical supplies – due to Israel’s siege – are unable to treat them adequately. “Israel’s bombardment and unlawful total blockade of Gaza mean that countless wounded and sick children, among many other civilians, will die for want of medical care,” said Human Rights Watch. Killing and targeting civilians, especially children, is illegal under international humanitarian law.

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


Is Biden Willing to Damage Relations With a Staunch Ally Like Australia in His Headlong Prosecution of Julian Assange?
2023-10-22, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/law-and-the-justice-system/headlong-prosecution...

Last month, a multi-party delegation of Australian Members of Parliament visited the United States to actively lobby U.S. officials to cease their efforts to extradite Julian Assange. The founder of Wikileaks is an Australian citizen facing charges filed by the Trump administration under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917 for revealing US war crimes and violations of international law. The revelations were called “Cable gate,” a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department that disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale. On January 4, 2021, British criminal court judge Vanessa Baraister denied the US government’s request to extradite Assange. Given the fact that he had been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years and then held in the Balmarsh high-security prison since April 12, 2019, the judge found that Assange’s mental condition “is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.” The Biden DOJ appealed that ruling and convinced the British higher courts to reverse Judge Baraister. As a result, Assange is now subject to extradition unless his further legal appeals can prevail. For Australians, securing the release of Assange is broadly supported by a coalition that transcends partisan politics. The Australian delegation last month included members of Parliament from the majority Labor Party, the conservative opposition, the Greens, the National party, and an independent party.

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


Ozempic, Mounjaro manufacturers testing weight loss drugs for kids
2023-10-22, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/other/ozempic-mounjaro-manufacturers-testing...

Companies that make popular weight loss shots like Ozempic and Mounjaro are starting to test a version for kids as young as six years old who suffer from obesity. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly signaled its plans to start clinical trials with Mounjaro for kids ages 6-11, over the weekend. Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Ozempic, reported it is in phase three of testing Saxenda, a version of its drug for children ages 6-12. The rates of obesity for children in the U.S. have tripled since the 1980s, affecting close to 15 million children nationwide, according to the CDC. This is nearly one in five kids. “It’s unlikely it’s going to do much if you just give them the medication. You need to instill all these behavior changes, lifestyle changes, talk about the diet, nutrition consults, the exercise,” said pediatrician Dr. Alison Mitzner. The concern for possible long-term impacts and side effects is one nutritionist Carrie Lupoli echoes. Both drug companies were sued earlier this year after a plaintiff said she suffered stomach paralysis. “It’s scary to me that we are going down that path instead of actually working on the root cause because we know weight gain is a symptom of health and hormones,” Lupoli said. CDC data shows kids may have gained weight twice as fast during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new guidance that includes medication and surgery as suggestions for patients 12 and up suffering from obesity.

Note: The pharmaceutical companies behind these weight loss drugs are raking it in despite significant efficacy and safety concerns. Sales of Ozempic generated revenue of $3.2 billion in the second quarter (up from $2.1 billion during the same period in 2022) and Mounjaro generated $980 million in sales for the company during the second quarter (a 72% increase compared to the first quarter). For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


The U.N. Is Powerless to Help Gaza. That’s How the U.S. Wants It.
2023-10-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/10/21/security-council-veto-united-nations/

On Wednesday, the United States was the only country to vote “no” on a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution authored by Brazil that called for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s bombing of Gaza. Twelve countries voted for the resolution, including several surprising ones, such as France and the United Arab Emirates. Two more, Russia and the U.K., abstained. But according to the Security Council’s rules, America’s sole “no” vote meant that the resolution failed. The Security Council has 15 countries. Ten are rotating members, elected by the U.N. General Assembly and serving on the council for a period of two years. Five are permanent members: the U.S., Russia, China, France, and the U.K. If any of the permanent members vetoes a resolution, it will not pass, no matter how many votes are in favor. The first U.S. veto to protect Israel occurred in 1972. Since then, the U.S. has vetoed about four dozen more resolutions criticizing Israel. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has similarly vetoed numerous resolutions to protect its own client state, Syria, as well as itself concerning Ukraine. Since the U.N.’s founding, it has largely always been a debating society because the world’s most powerful countries, led by the U.S., want it that way. There has recently been renewed energy at the U.N. to change things. However, given the fact that the five permanent members can block any changes, the best idea that anyone could come up with was to ask them nicely to change.

Note: Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance, receiving $158 billion since the country’s establishment in 1948. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Why Do UFO Sightings Keep Happening Near Nuclear Sites?
2023-10-20, Vice
https://www.vice.com/en/article/v7bxdx/why-do-ufo-sightings-keep-happening-ne...

The Enmyoin Temple in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan is now known colloquially by a different name, said its Chief Monk, Tomonori Izumi: “The Miracle Temple.” On March 11 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters ever after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused its electrical grid to fail. Miraculously, the temple was untouched. “ The UFO's came after the explosion. There were so many of them. I was shocked,” said the monk. “Radioactive energy was leaking everywhere. I believe the UFOs came to readjust the flood of radioactive energy in order to save us. That's my theory, anyway,” said Izumi. UFO’s have been documented repeatedly around places where humans have spawned nuclear activity. Andresen cited declassified U.S. government reports from agencies like the FBI and CIA about UFO sightings near nuclear sites, saying she had looked at 39 different accounts between the 1940s and 1990s. “It goes back to the 1930s when the science and research was being done to understand fission. But then it really heats up in the 1940s, in particular, right after the detonation of the two atomic bombs in Japan in 1945. Then ... you see one after another event occurring in proximity specifically to sites associated with nuclear weapons,” said Andresen. “There was a lot of UFO activity reported [around Chernobyl] also. At the height of the fire in Chernobyl, the reading was 3000 milliroentgens, which is a unit of ionizing radiation. And right at the height of the fire, many people observed a UFO come, stayed for 3 minutes, shown a light right at Unit 4 and departed,” she said. “They took another reading and it had apparently dropped to 800. That seems like a very conscious attempt to remediate the danger caused by the malfunction there.”

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


Rojava’s Women-Led Restorative Justice System Centers Mediation, Not Retribution
2023-10-20, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/rojavas-women-led-restorative-justice-system-ce...

A growing women-led restorative justice system ... operates within the territory of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava, a revolutionary social experiment involving more than 4.5 million people. The system features a network, autonomous from the AANES, of more than 60 Mala Jin, or “women’s houses,” which allow people to solve disputes at the community level, instead of through courts or police, by offering reconciliation and mediation processes for domestic and family situations. Activist and independent researcher Clara Moore ... recently returned from spending two years in the region, working at both the Rojava Information Center and at Mala Jin. "Essentially, they’re trying to build a system around the political philosophy of Democratic Confederalism, which was initially inspired by the ideas of [the American intellectual] Murray Bookchin and theorized by [Kurdish leader] Abdullah Öcalan from prison in Turkey," [said Moore]. "It’s based on ideas of pluralism, direct democracy, decentralization, gender equality and self-defense. In practice, this means that all communities have the ability and right to defend themselves and provide for their own needs. The idea of the justice system in Rojava, in North and East Syria in general, is that it’s possible to solve a dispute without going to court. There are laws in Rojava and courts. Ideally, those only become relevant when people can’t come to a resolution together outside of court."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Law enforcement eyes opioid settlement cash for squad cars and body scanners
2023-10-20, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/10/20/1206326239/law-enforceme...

Policing expenses mount quickly: $18,000 for technology to unlock cellphones in Southington, Conn.; $2,900 for surveillance cameras and to train officers and canines in New Lexington, Ohio. And in other communities around the country, hundreds of thousands for vehicles, body scanners, and other equipment. State and local governments are turning to a new means to pay those bills: opioid settlement cash. This money — totaling more than $50 billion across 18 years — comes from national settlements with more than a dozen companies that made, sold, or distributed opioid painkillers, including Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and Walmart, which were accused of fueling the epidemic that addicted and killed millions. In August, more than 200 researchers and clinicians delivered a call to action to government officials in charge of opioid settlement funds. "More policing is not the answer to the overdose crisis," they wrote. Years of research suggests law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives have exacerbated the problem. "Police activity is actually causing the very harms that police activity is supposed to be stemming," says Jennifer Carroll, an author of that study and an addiction policy researcher. In Louisiana ... 80% of settlement dollars are flowing to parish governments and 20% to sheriffs' departments. Over the lifetime of the settlements, sheriffs' offices in the state will receive more than $65 million — the largest direct allocation to law enforcement nationwide. And they do not have to account for how they spend it.

Note: Explore past news articles we've summarized on opioids, a crisis fueled by US drug companies and captured government agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘On Thin Ice’: Some Biden Administration Staffers Feel Stifled Discussing Horrors In Gaza
2023-10-18, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-administration-gaza-dissent_n_652f42b0e4...

President Joe Biden departed for Israel on Tuesday evening on a high-stakes diplomatic visit amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. As Biden grapples with the crisis, several U.S. officials told HuffPost it has become difficult to have a full debate within his administration about what’s happening in Israel-Palestine and in particular that people who want to talk about Israeli restraint or humanitarian protections for Palestinians feel stifled. Several staffers across multiple agencies, most of whom work on national security issues, told HuffPost they and their colleagues worry about retaliation at work for questioning Israel’s conduct amid the U.S.-backed Israeli campaign to avenge an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. The fear is especially intense among staffers with Muslim backgrounds. On Sunday, presidential personnel office chief Gautam Raghavan organized a call with close to a dozen current and former high-level Muslim appointees to discuss their concerns. Some staffers said they felt unsafe voicing their opinions around colleagues because it could endanger their careers, according to a person on the call. The period since the Hamas attack represents “the first time in the administration that there was a real culture of silence,” one official said. “It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an anti-Semite.”

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


A surprisingly radical proposal: Make people happier — not just wealthier and healthier
2023-10-18, Vox
https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/23862090/subjective-wellbeing-wealth-philan...

Economists love things they can measure objectively, like the number of deaths in a village or the number of dollars in an account. So over the past century, they’ve focused on measuring health and wealth. The best policy programs for society are deemed to be the ones that save the most lives, say, or increase gross domestic product (GDP) by the widest margin. And there’s a good rationale for using a metric like GDP as a shorthand for well-being: There is a very high correlation between a nation’s GDP per capita and its self-reported life satisfaction. But a strong predictor is not a perfect predictor. As we’ve gathered more data on the happiness of different populations, it’s become clear that increasing wealth and health do not always go hand in hand with increasing happiness. By the economists’ objective measures, people in rich countries like the US should be doing great — and yet Americans are only becoming more miserable. A growing chorus of experts argues that helping people is ultimately about making them happier — not just wealthier or healthier — and the best way to find out how happy people are is to just ask them directly. It’s a revolution in thinking that’s gathering force in policy and charity circles alike, and it’s starting to upend conventional wisdom about the best ways to do good. Part of the virtue of the subjective approach is that people can bring whatever matters to them into their assessments. So, how much meaning you have in your life could be an input into that.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


We owe it to humanity to see the rules of war are observed – no matter how tough a test the Israel-Hamas conflict proves
2023-10-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/18/rules-of-war-israel-ham...

For almost 4,000 years, some governments have insisted that if wars must be fought, there should be rules. During its assault, on Black Saturday, Hamas broke numerous laws of war, starting with its rocket fire into Israel, which made no attempt to discriminate between military and civilian targets, breaking article 13 of protocol II of the Geneva conventions. Its fighters murdered, tortured and raped, breaking common article 3 of the Geneva conventions and articles 27 and 32 of the fourth convention. They also engaged in pillage and terrorism (33, fourth convention) and the taking of hostages (34, fourth, and article 8 of the Rome statute). In responding to this attack, Israel has also broken several laws of war. These crimes begin with the use of collective penalties against the people of Gaza (article 33 of the fourth convention and article 4 of protocol II). One aspect of this punishment appears to be the pattern of Israel’s bombing and shelling of Gaza. The war crime in this case is the damage to property: article 50 of the first Geneva convention, article 51 of the second Geneva convention and article 147 of the fourth Geneva convention. Many of the buildings hit, including numerous schools and health facilities, do not appear to qualify as military targets, despite Israeli claims that Hamas uses people as human shields. Such indiscriminate attacks contravene article 13, protocol II and article 53, fourth convention. The bombing of mosques breaks article 16 of protocol II.

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


Middle East War Adds to Surge in International Arms Sales
2023-10-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/17/us/politics/israel-gaza-global-arms-sales....

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is just the latest impetus behind a boom in international arms sales that is bolstering profits and weapons-making capacity among American suppliers. The surge in sales is providing the Biden administration with new opportunities to tie the militaries of other countries more closely to the United States, the world’s biggest arms exporter, while also raising concerns that a more heavily armed world will be prone to careen into further wars. Even before Israel responded to the deadly Hamas attack, the combination of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the perception of a rising threat from China was spurring a global rush to purchase fighter planes, missiles, tanks, artillery, munitions and other lethal equipment. Worldwide military spending last year — on weapons, personnel and other costs — hit $2.2 trillion, the highest level in inflation-adjusted dollars since at least the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which prepares an annual tally. Excluding sales within the United States, China and Russia, worldwide spending on military procurement is expected to hit $241 billion next year, a 23 percent increase since last year. That is by far the largest two-year increase in the database maintained by Janes, a company that has been tracking military spending for nearly two decades. As of last year, the United States controlled an estimated 45 percent of the world’s weapons exports, nearly five times more than any other nation.

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


Why Big Tech, Cops, and Spies Were Made for One Another
2023-10-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/10/16/surveillance-state-big-tech/

Silicon Valley techies are pretty sanguine about commercial surveillance. But they are much less cool about government spying. Government employees and contractors are pretty cool with state surveillance. But they are far less cool with commercial surveillance. What are they both missing? That American surveillance is a public-private partnership: a symbiosis between a concentrated tech sector that has the means, motive, and opportunity to spy on every person in the world and a state that loves surveillance as much as it hates checks and balances. The tech sector has powerful allies in government: cops and spies. No government agency could ever hope to match the efficiency and scale of commercial surveillance. Meanwhile, the private sector relies on cops and spies to go to bat for them, lobbying against new privacy laws and for lax enforcement of existing ones. Think of Amazon’s Ring cameras, which have blanketed entire neighborhoods in CCTV surveillance, which Ring shares with law enforcement agencies, sometimes without the consent or knowledge of the cameras’ owners. Ring marketing recruits cops as street teams, showering them with freebies to distribute to local homeowners. Google ... has managed to play both sides of the culture war with its location surveillance, thanks to the “reverse warrants” that cops have used to identify all the participants at both Black Lives Matter protests and the January 6 coup. Distinguishing between state and private surveillance is a fool’s errand.

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


How Peter Thiel-Linked Tech is Fueling the Ukraine War
2023-10-15, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/15/how-peter-thiel-linked-tech-is-fueling-the-...

As war in Ukraine continues, controversial defense contractors and adjacent companies like Palantir, Anduril, and Clearview AI are taking advantage to develop and level-up controversial AI-driven weapons systems and surveillance technologies. These organizations’ common link? The support of the controversial, yet ever-more powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel-backed groups’ involvement in war serves to develop not only problematic and unpredictable weapons technologies and systems, but also apparently to advance and further interconnect a larger surveillance apparatus formed by Thiel and his elite allies’ collective efforts across the public and private sectors, which arguably amount to the entrenchment of a growing technocratic panopticon aimed at capturing public and private life. What’s more, Thiel’s funding efforts signal interest in developing expansive surveillance technologies, especially in the name of combatting “pre-crime” through “predictive policing” style surveillance. As an example, Thiel’s provided significant funds to Israeli intelligence-linked startup Carbyne911 (as did Jeffrey Epstein), which develops call-handling and call-identification capacities for emergency services, and has ... a predictive-policing component. Thiel also assisted in the development and subsequent privatized spinoffs of the US Government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Total Information Awareness project.

Note: Peter Thiel was also recently reported to be an FBI informant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Stunning State Department Memo Warns Diplomats: No Gaza 'De-Escalation' Talk
2023-10-13, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/state-department-internal-emails-gaza-israel_n...

As Israel escalates its attacks on Gaza, the State Department is discouraging diplomats working on Middle East issues from making public statements suggesting the U.S. wants to see less violence. In messages circulated on Friday, State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: “de-escalation/ceasefire,” “end to violence/bloodshed” and “restoring calm.” The revelation provides a stunning signal about the Biden administration’s reluctance to push for Israeli restraint as the close U.S. partner expands the offensive it launched after Hamas ... attacked Israeli communities. U.S. officials have said they expect Israel to abide by the laws of war in its operation against Hamas. But they have avoided discussion of a ceasefire, even as aid groups and some analysts have suggested that may be essential to allow civilians to flee Gaza and allow vital supplies to enter the area after Israel cut off electricity and water. U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly pledged to support Israel as it seeks to avenge the unprecedented Hamas assault. Yet as Israel’s biggest source of diplomatic and military support, the U.S. has significant leverage in the matter of how the country chooses to seek retribution and whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to limit the civilian toll of his response. Biden allies may nudge the president and his team to issue stronger calls for Netanyahu to prioritize humanitarian concerns.

Note: Why wasn’t this headline in other major media? Both Washington Post and NBC News included this in only one paragraph in longer articles as if it were unimportant. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


CIA admits 1953 Iranian coup it backed was undemocratic
2023-10-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/13/cia-1953-iran-coup-undemocrat...

The CIA has for the first time acknowledged that the 1953 coup it backed in Iran that overthrew its prime minister and cemented the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was undemocratic. The CIA in 2013 admitted its role in the coup that brought down Iran’s then prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, but until now has not publicly acknowledged that the move was undemocratic. Much of the agency’s official history of the coup remains classified, complicating the public’s understanding of an event that still resonates, as tensions remain high between Tehran and Washington. Iran’s mission to the United Nations described the 1953 coup as marking “the inception of relentless American meddling in Iran’s internal affairs” and dismissed the US acknowledgments. “The US admission never translated into compensatory action or a genuine commitment to refrain from future interference, nor did it change its subversive policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the mission said in a statement. Seven decades later, the 1953 coup remains as hotly debated as ever in Iran, where many see a straight line leading from the coup to the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ultimately toppled the shah. The coup also prompted the CIA into a series of further actions in other countries, including Guatemala, where US clandestine operations in 1954 installed a military dictator and sparked a 40-year civil war that likely killed approximately 245,000 people.

Note: This admission came in the CIA's official podcast. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Across Israel, Jews and Arabs Join Forces to Help War Victims and Prevent Riots
2023-10-12, Haaretz (One of Israel's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-10-12/ty-article-magazine/.premium/a...

In the shadow of war, Arab-Jewish solidarity initiatives emerge. “On Sunday, the second day of the war, we saw that there was enormous chaos and realized we must do something,” said Sleman Shlebe, a Bedouin resident of the northern Negev, who in a short time recruited some 600 volunteers, mostly from the Azazmeh tribe, who arrived with their ATVs and created emergency teams to search for missing Israelis. On Saturday evening, a message was sent to members of a host of activist WhatsApp groups about the establishment of a joint Arab-Jewish civil guard in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Its goal: to protect local residents, regardless of religion or ethnic background, should clashes erupt among them. Within hours, some 1,000 people joined the guard’s new WhatsApp group. Nearly 500 listened in during a video conference that evening – Jews and Arabs, all ready to make sure the events of May 2021, when inter-communal riots broke out in Jaffa and other “mixed” cities during a round of fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, wouldn’t be repeated. Members of the new patrol group, which is unarmed, are tasked with trying to keep the streets calm as the war evolves. One way they are helping ease tensions under such circumstances is by documenting incidents by video; they also express their solidarity with local residents. The new guards are planning to deploy if there is a potentially explosive situation, such as during prayers at a mosque, church or synagogue.

Note: The full text of the article is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


‘People are happier in a walkable neighborhood’: the US community that banned cars
2023-10-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2023/oct/11/culdesac-car-free-neighborhood...

If you were to imagine the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the modern US, it would be difficult to conceive such a thing sprouting from the environs of Phoenix, Arizona. But it is here that such a neighborhood, called Culdesac, has taken root. On a 17-acre site ... an unusual experiment has emerged that invites Americans to live in a way that is rare outside of fleeting experiences of college, Disneyland or trips to Europe: a walkable, human-scale community devoid of cars. Culdesac ushered in its first 36 residents earlier this year and will eventually house around 1,000 people. Residents are provided no parking for cars and are encouraged to get rid of them. The apartments are also mixed in with amenities, such as a grocery store, restaurant, yoga studio and bicycle shop, that are usually separated from housing by strict city zoning laws. The $170m Culdesac project shows “we can build walkable neighborhoods successfully in the US,” according to Ryan Johnson, the 40-year-old who co-founded the company. “We look back nostalgically at college, because it’s the only time most people have lived in a walkable neighborhood. People are happier and healthier, and even wealthier when they’re living in a walkable neighborhood.” Vanessa Fox, a 32-year-old who moved into Culdesac with her husky dog in May, had always wanted to live in a walkable place only to find such options unaffordable. For her, Culdesac provided a sense of community without having to rely on a car.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


California becomes the first state to ban 4 food additives linked to disease
2023-10-10, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2023/10/10/1204839281/california-ban-food-additives-red-d...

California has become the first U.S. state to outlaw the use of four potentially harmful food and drink additives that have been linked to an array of diseases, including cancer, and are already banned in dozens of countries. The California Food Safety Act prohibits the manufacturing, distribution and sale of food and beverages that contain brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye 3 — which can be found in candy, fruit juices, cookies and more. The Food and Drug Administration banned the use of red dye 3 in cosmetics in 1990 after evidence showed it caused cancer in lab animals. But the government hasn't prohibited its use in food, and it's an ingredient in candies. Brominated vegetable oil and potassium bromate have also been associated with harmful effects on the respiratory and nervous systems, while propylparaben may negatively impact reproductive health. The proposal has been the target of a false claim that California is attempting to ban Skittles. In fact, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, has said that Skittles are sold with alternative ingredients in the European Union, where the four additives are already banned. "It's unacceptable that the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to food safety," Gabriel said in a statement. In addition to the EU, countries that have banned the four additives in food include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Innocent Lives in the Balance: The Real Risk of Executing the Innocent
2023-10-10, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/10/10/innocent-lives-in-the-balance-the-real-risk...

Since 1973, at least 194 people have been freed from death row after evidence of innocence revealed that they had been wrongfully convicted. That’s almost one person exonerated for every ten who’ve been executed. Wrongful convictions rob innocent people of decades of their lives, waste tax dollars, and re-traumatize the victim’s family, while the people responsible remain unaccountable. Contrary to popular belief, the appeals process is not designed to catch cases of innocence. It is simply to determine whether the original trial was conducted properly. Most exonerations came only because of the extraordinary efforts of people working outside the system – pro bono lawyers, family members, even students. Wrongfully convicted people have spent up to 33 years on death row ... before the truth came to light. Any effort to streamline the death penalty process or cut appeals will only increase the risk that an innocent person is executed. Frank Lee Smith was sentenced to death in Florida on the testimony of a single witness. Four years later, the same witness saw a photo of a different man and realized she had made a mistake. DNA tests later confirmed that Smith was innocent, but it was too late. He had died in prison. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for setting fire to his home, killing his three children. Experts now say that the arson theories used in the investigation are scientifically invalid. Willingham may very well have been executed for an accidental fire.

Note: Read more about the innocent people sentenced to death in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on judicial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revolutionary Civic Social Media Is On the Horizon
2023-10-10, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/techie-tips/revolutionary-civic-social-media

Social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives, but they also pose significant challenges for our society. From spreading misinformation and hate speech to undermining democracy and privacy, social media can have negative impacts on the public good. How can we harness the power of social media for positive purposes, such as civic engagement, social justice, and education? One possible solution is to create a new kind of social media platform that is designed to serve the public interest, not the profit motive. This platform would be owned and governed by its users, who would have a say in how it operates and what content it promotes. Such a platform may sound utopian, but it is not impossible. In fact, there are already some examples of social media platforms that are trying to achieve these goals, such as Mastodon, Diaspora, and Aether. These platforms are based on the principles of decentralization, federation, and peer-to-peer communication, which allow users to have more control and autonomy over their online interactions. Civic Works ... is an emerging social networking platform that provides a more democratic, inclusive, and responsible online space for everyone. It is built on the idea that social media can be a force for good when the objective is not subverted by advertisers, marketers, or shadowy political operatives. It is a platform that inspires people to become active citizens, through civic, political, economic, and/or educational actions.

Note: The social media platform PeakD is censorship-proof and is governed by network operators who are elected by the community. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


COVID vaccine 'black hole' for injury claims is unconstitutional, lawsuit says
2023-10-10, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/column-covid-vaccine-black-hole-inju...

Kangaroo court. That’s how plaintiffs lawyers in a federal lawsuit ... describe the obscure U.S. government tribunal charged with adjudicating claims for compensation by thousands of people who say they suffered serious injuries from COVID-19 vaccines. The lawsuit ... alleges that the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) violates the 5th and 7th amendments of the U.S. Constitution by failing to provide “basic due process protections, transparency, and judicial oversight.” The plaintiffs — eight people who say they experienced debilitating side-effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as React 19, a nonprofit organization for people who claim vaccine-related injuries, want to stop the government from forcing their claims into the CICP until due process safeguards are added. Those include the right to review evidence, obtain discovery, present expert witnesses and appeal adverse decisions. Vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which have been indemnified by the government and are not named in the suit, also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The plaintiffs blame the COVID vaccine for causing a wide range of ailments including Bell’s palsy, blood clots in the brain, vertigo, vascular inflammation, chronic fatigue syndrome, small fiber neuropathy, heart palpitations and more. Four plaintiffs have filed claims for compensation with the CICP but have been told there is “no timeline” for adjudicating their cases.

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


Orgy of sugar: how school donations turned my free pantry into a junk-food fever dream
2023-10-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/09/free-food-pantry-junk-foo...

In December 2010 under the Obama administration, Congress enacted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. This legislation provided for more fruits and vegetables in school meal programs, a focus on whole grains and a lot fewer starchy vegetables and trans-fat laden foods. In response, some food companies rejiggered ingredients just enough to add “whole grain” to their packaging. Things went downhill from there. Congress caved to lobbying in 2014, allowing schools to serve high-salt french fries and pizza sold by these companies. Again, big food lobbied hard and legislators pulled back on restrictions for sodium levels, flavored milks and amounts of refined grains. We in the United States seem to believe that ... education is unconnected to food and how we eat. Instead, our kids are at the mercy of the companies and brands inundating them: Tyson, General Mills, Kraft, Heinz and many others. Before the pandemic began, the overwhelming majority of US schools offered branded foods during or around mealtimes, and that this is worth $20bn in ... profits for the food industry. Pantries and food banks get in bed with corporate food companies because they don’t want to lose access to large quantities of foods and beverages that fill people up. That these products are unhealthy is a secondary or tertiary concern. Food banks and pantries are not always meeting the nutritional profiles of the people they serve, particularly people who are struggling with diabetes, obesity and decades of poor eating.

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


Can cooking and gardening at school inspire better nutrition? Ask these kids
2023-10-09, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/10/09/1204077086/can-cooking-a...

After a decline in nutrition education in U.S. schools in recent decades, there's new momentum to weave food and cooking into the curriculum again. Remember the hands-on cooking in home economics class, which was a staple in U.S. schools for decades? "I'd love to see it brought back and have the science around healthy eating integrated," says Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dean told me she was inspired by a visit to Watkins Elementary, in Washington, D.C., where this idea is germinating. Students grow vegetables in their school garden. They also roll up their sleeves in the school's kitchen to participate in a FRESHFARM FoodPrints class, which integrates cooking and nutrition education. Evaluations show participation in FRESHFARM programs is associated with increased preference for fruits and vegetables. And, the CDC points to evidence that nutrition education may help students maintain a healthy weight and can also help students recognize the connection between food and emotional wellbeing. Given the key role diet plays in preventing chronic disease, the agency says it would be ideal to offer more nutrition education. Programs like FRESHFARM can help kids expand their palettes by introducing them to new tastes. At first, many kids are turned off by the bitter taste of greens. But through the alchemy of cooking, caramelizing the onions, and blending in fresh ginger, kids can be inspired.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


What went wrong? Questions emerge over Israel’s intelligence prowess after Hamas attack
2023-10-09, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/israel-hamas-gaza-attack-intel-a5287a18773232f26ca...

For Palestinians in Gaza, Israel’s eyes are never very far away. Surveillance drones buzz constantly from the skies. The highly-secured border is awash with security cameras and soldiers on guard. But Israel’s eyes appeared to have been closed in the lead-up to an unprecedented onslaught by the militant Hamas group, which broke down Israeli border barriers and sent hundreds of militants into Israel to carry out a brazen attack that has killed hundreds. Israel withdrew troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005. But even after Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, Israel appeared to maintain its edge, using technological and human intelligence. It claimed to know the precise locations of Hamas leadership and appeared to prove it through the assassinations of militant leaders in surgical strikes, sometimes while they slept in their bedrooms. Israel has known where to strike underground tunnels used by Hamas to ferry around fighters and arms. Despite those abilities, Hamas was able to keep its plan under wraps. The ferocious attack, which likely took months of planning and meticulous training and involved coordination among multiple militant groups, appeared to have gone under Israel’s intelligence radar. An Egyptian intelligence official said Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, had spoken repeatedly with the Israelis about “something big,” without elaborating. He said Israeli officials were focused on the West Bank and played down the threat from Gaza.

Note: According to Efrat Fenigson, a former Israeli soldier who served on the Gaza border, "A cat moving alongside the fence is triggering all forces." How could Israeli intelligence not have known that this attack was coming? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


What survivors of trauma have taught this eminent psychiatrist about hope
2023-10-08, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/10/08/1203975027/what-survivor...

In 1968, at the age of 42, psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton sat down to write Death in Life, a book about his experiences interviewing survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Over the course of his career, Lifton studied not only survivors of the atomic bombings but Auschwitz survivors, Vietnam war veterans and people who'd been subjected to repression by the Chinese government. The COVID pandemic prompted him to reflect on what he'd learned about mass trauma and resilience – that telling stories about trauma, and even trying to influence policy, can often help people recover. Now 97, Lifton has just published his 13th book, Surviving Our Catastrophes: Resilience and Renewal from Hiroshima to the Covid-19 Pandemic. "I interviewed people who had undergone the most extreme kind of trauma and victimization," [said Lifton]. "And yet some of the very same people who had so suffered from trauma have shown what I call "survivor wisdom" — they transformed themselves from helpless victims to agents of survival. If ... storytelling can include the transformation from the helpless victim to the life-enhancing survivor, then the storytelling is crucial. The storytelling we most encourage is that kind that enables the formerly helpless victim to be transformed in the story, to transform himself or herself, collectively transform themselves into life-affirming survivors. That's the key transformation, and that's the story we [listeners] seek to help them achieve."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Students building bridges across the American divide
2023-10-08, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/american-exchange-project-building-bridges-acros...

This past summer more than 300 high school graduates signed up for a unique student exchange program. Unlike the well-known foreign exchange model ... this program gives students the opportunity to soak in a brand-new culture without ever leaving the country. It's called the American Exchange Project, or AEP for short, co-founded by 29-year-old David McCullough III. "We fund kids to spend a week in the summer after senior year in an American town that is politically and socio-economically and culturally very different from the one that they're growing up in," McCullough said. One student, Alex, said, "My groups of friends are not really close to each other, so I feel like I've actually bonded with you guys more than I have with my own friends." One girl from South Dakota said, "I've never been a part of a community where ... I'm not the minority, I'm not the odd one out. So, this is very much an experience that I really appreciate so much." McCullough hopes to offer the program to a million students a year by decade's end, and all free of charge, thanks to big name donors, including the likes of Steven Spielberg. "I think this all ought to be as typical to the American high school experience as the prom," McCullough said. There's that old adage about walking a mile in someone else's shoes; the problem is, you can't see the person face-to-face if you're walking away. What David McCullough is hoping is the next generation will turn around, look those they differ with in the eye, and just talk.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Schools Are Normalizing Intrusive Surveillance
2023-10-06, Reason
https://reason.com/2023/10/06/schools-are-normalizing-intrusive-surveillance/

Public schools ... are the focus of a new report on surveillance and kids by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). "Over the last two decades, a segment of the educational technology (EdTech) sector that markets student surveillance products to schools — the EdTech Surveillance industry — has grown into a $3.1 billion a year economic juggernaut," begins Digital Dystopia The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling. "The EdTech Surveillance industry accomplished that feat by playing on school districts' fears of school shootings, student self-harm and suicides, and bullying — marketing them as common, ever-present threats." As the authors detail, among the technologies are surveillance cameras. These are often linked to software for facial recognition, access control, behavior analysis, and weapon detection. That is, cameras scan student faces and then algorithms identify them, allow or deny them entry based on that ID, decide if their activities are threatening, and determine if objects they carry may be dangerous or forbidden. "False hits, such as mistaking a broomstick, three-ring binder, or a Google Chromebook laptop for a gun or other type of weapon, could result in an armed police response to a school," cautions the report. Students are aware that they're being observed. Of students aged 14–18 surveyed by the ACLU ... thirty-two percent say, "I always feel like I'm being watched."

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.


Scientists Have Created Synthetic Sponges That Soak Up Microplastics
2023-10-05, Smithsonian Magazine
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/scientists-have-created-synthetic-s...

For millennia, humans have used dried natural sponges to clean up, to paint and as vessels to consume fluids like water or honey. Whether synthetic or natural, sponges are great at ensnaring tiny particles in their many pores. And, as scientists around the world are beginning to show, sponges’ cavity-filled forms mean they could provide a solution to one of our era’s biggest scourges: microplastic pollution. In August, researchers in China published a study describing their development of a synthetic sponge that makes short work of microscopic plastic debris. In tests, the researchers show that when a specially prepared plastic-filled solution is pushed through one of their sponges, the sponge can remove both microplastics and even smaller nanoplastics from the liquid. Optimal conditions allowed the researchers to remove as much as 90 percent of the microplastics. The plastic-gobbling sponges are made mostly from starch and gelatin. Looking a bit like large white marshmallows, the biodegradable sponges are so light that balancing one atop a flower leaves the plant’s petals upright and unyielding, which the researchers suggest ought to make them cheap and easy to transport. The sponges, if ever produced at an industrial scale ... could be used in wastewater treatment plants to filter microplastics out of the water or in food production facilities to decontaminate water. It would also be possible to use microplastic-trapping sponges like this in washing machines.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Food Industry Influence Could Cloud the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, a New Report Says
2023-10-04, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/04/well/eat/dietary-guidelines-food-industry....

Some of the experts responsible for helping to craft the U.S. dietary guidelines also take money from big food and drug companies. A report ... by the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know makes those concerns plain. Nine of the 20 experts on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have had conflicts of interest in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical or weight loss industries in the last five years, the report found. Gary Ruskin, the executive director of the nonprofit, said the finding “erodes confidence in the dietary guidelines,” which provide recommendations on how people can eat a healthier diet. The guidelines are widely used by policymakers to set priorities in federal food programs, health care and education. Questions about industry influence could damage the public’s trust that the recommendations are based in science. When committee members receive funding from certain industry groups or organizations, it raises the concern that they may be biased, Dr. [Marion] Nestle said. “Part of the problem is the influence is unconscious,” she said. “People don’t recognize it,” she added, and will often deny it. Even if such relationships do not influence the experts, Mr. Ruskin said, they can create the appearance that they do — which can seed doubt about how independent the committee’s recommendations actually are. Industry influence can [also] creep in later in the process ... when the U.S.D.A. and the H.H.S. produce the final guidelines based on the committee’s advice.

Note: U.S. Right to Know is an excellent resource for investigating how the food industry shapes science, policy and public opinion. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Over 80 percent of four-star retirees are employed in defense industry
2023-10-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/10/04/retired-generals-...

More than 80 percent of four-star officers retiring from the U.S. armed forces go on to work in the defense industry, a new study has found, underscoring the close relationship between top U.S. brass and government-contracted companies. Twenty-six of 32 four-star admirals and generals who retired from June 2018 to July 2023 were later employed in roles including executive, adviser, board member or lobbyist for companies with significant defense business, according to the analysis from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates restraining the military’s role in U.S. foreign policy. “The revolving door between the U.S. government and the arms industry, which involves hundreds of senior Pentagon officials and military officers every year, generates the appearance — and in some cases the reality — of conflicts of interest in the making of defense policy and in the shaping of the size and composition of the Pentagon budget,” authors William Hartung and Dillon Fisher wrote. The findings shed new light on a phenomenon examined in a 2021 report from the Government Accountability Office, which found that 14 major defense contractors ... employed 1,700 former senior officials or acquisition officials in 2019. The GAO concluded that while defense contractors benefit from the practice, it could “affect public confidence in the government” by creating a perception that military officials may favor a company they see as a future employer.

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


CDC Covered Up COVID Vaccine Myocarditis
2023-10-03, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/cdc-covered-up-covid-vaccine-myocarditis

On April 27, 2021, then-director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky stated, “we have not seen any reports” of post-vaccination myocarditis, but this was a false statement. When Walensky claimed to have “not seen any reports,” there were dozens of reports in the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). “The CDC,” notes [journalist Zachary] Stieber, “was warned by Israel on Feb. 28, 2021, about a ‘large number’ of myocarditis cases after Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Internally, the warning was designated as ‘high’ importance and set off a review of US data.” The Israeli Ministry of Health requested a joint meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC to respond to this trend. “The Israeli National Focal Point is noticing a large number of reports of myocarditis, particularly in young people, following the administration of the Pfizer vaccines,” the email stated. Even when more information about myocarditis became public, [Walensky's] agency continued to downplay the risks. Stieber also found that the CDC’s V-Safe self-reporting system did not include a category for myocarditis reports. To this day, the CDC has not released complete, updated data on myocarditis. The agency’s cover-up of adverse cardiac events has had profound consequences and represents a major breach of trust and abuse of authority. Due to the higher risks of myocarditis after Moderna, Sweden, Norway, FinlandGermany, and France suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for people under 30 two years ago.

Note: When current and former FDA advisers and academics asked the FDA to improve COVID vaccine labeling given the significant risk of severe vaccine injuries, the agency denied almost every single request. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


TechScape: How police use location and search data to find suspects – and not always the right ones
2023-10-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/oct/03/techscape-geofence-warrants

From Virginia to Florida, law enforcement all over the US are increasingly using tools called reverse search warrants – including geofence location warrants and keyword search warrants – to come up with a list of suspects who may have committed particular crimes. While the former is used by law enforcement to get tech companies to identify all the devices that were near a certain place at a certain time, the latter is used to get information on everyone who’s searched for a particular keyword or phrase. It’s a practice public defenders, privacy advocates and many lawmakers have criticised, arguing it violates fourth amendment protections against unreasonable searches. Unlike reverse search warrants, other warrants and subpoenas target a specific person that law enforcement has established there is probable cause to believe has committed a specific crime. But geofence warrants are sweeping in nature and are often used to compile a suspect list to further investigate. Google broke out how many geofence warrants it received for the first time in 2021. The company revealed it received nearly 21,000 geofence warrants between 2018 and 2020. The tech giant did not specify how many of those requests it complied with but did share that in the second half of 2020, it responded to 82% of all government requests for data in the US with some level of information. Apple has taken steps to publish its own numbers. In the first half of 2022 the company fielded a total of 13 geofence warrants and complied with none.

Note: The legal world is struggling to keep up with the rise of tech firms building ever more sophisticated means of surveilling people and their devices. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The butterflies of Liberia: transforming the lives of former child soldiers
2023-10-03, Positive News
https://www.positive.news/society/the-butterflies-of-liberia-transforming-the...

In Liberia, two brutal civil wars have produced a generation of traumatised young men. Anthony Kamara likes to use the analogy of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. It’s an old story, he admits, but useful in reaching through the years of compounded shame that form the exterior skin of Liberia’s lost and marginalised young men. “I tell the men that their true colours are there, hidden within them,” says Kamara, 32, a former street drug user and a facilitator for a radical Liberian mental health nonprofit Network for Empowerment and Programme Initiatives (Nepi). Nepi targets Liberia’s most marginalised men – street dwellers, petty criminals, chronic drug users: traumatised ex-combatants and their sons with anger issues and little to live for – in an effort to ripple benefits across Liberia’s population, 68% of whom are living on less than $1.90 (£1.60) a day. Nepi offers a tailored combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and cash transfers to young people who are at the highest risk for violent behaviour, in a programme called Sustainable Transformation of Youth in Liberia (Styl). Styl has since helped tens of thousands of young men in Liberia, with studies on the project finding that men receiving therapy with cash were half as likely as a control group to engage in antisocial behaviours, with beneficial impacts concentrated in the highest-risk men.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The growing case for doing less: How harmless cancers are being overdiagnosed in America
2023-10-02, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2023/10/02/growing-case-for-doing-less-harmless-cancers-o...

In 2009, Laura Esserman, a breast cancer surgeon and oncology specialist in San Francisco, co-published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggesting that it was time to rethink routine screening for breast and prostate cancer. The current approach, she wrote, wasn’t reducing aggressive or late-stage disease as much as had been hoped. Instead, it was leading to overdiagnosis. Ductal carcinoma in situ, a condition sometimes called non-invasive or stage-zero breast cancer, is a very early finding of disease in the cells that line the milk ducts of the breast. For decades, the diagnosis of DCIS has routinely led to surgery–a mastectomy or a lumpectomy (a partial breast resection) that’s often combined with radiation treatment. The issue? In a study of 100,000 women who were followed for two decades, patients who’d been diagnosed with and treated for DCIS ultimately had about the same chance of dying from breast cancer as those in the general population. In August, a meta-analysis of 18 randomized clinical trials involving 2.1 million people, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, concluded that “current evidence does not substantiate the claim” that common cancer screens (mammography, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, etc) save lives. “In our exuberance to find these cancers, we have basically turned a lot of healthy people who are not destined to die from the cancers into patients,” says Ade Adamson, a cancer screening expert.

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


‘IDK what to do’: Thousands of teen boys are being extorted in sexting scams
2023-10-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/parenting/2023/10/02/teen-boys-sextortion/

Lynn and Paul were sitting in their Seattle home one night earlier this year when their son, Michael, a 17-year-old high school football player, burst into the room and made a beeline for his mom’s purse. “I’m being blackmailed,” he said. Michael had fallen prey to what online safety and law enforcement experts call financial sextortion, in which predators befriend victims online under false pretenses, entice them to send incriminating photos and then demand payment under threat that they’ll expose the photos to family and friends. The number of sextortion cases targeting young people “has exploded in the past couple of years,” with teen boys being specific targets, said Lauren Coffren, executive director of the Exploited Children Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, which serves as a clearinghouse for records of abuse, received more than 10,000 tips of financial sextortion of minors, primarily boys, in 2022 from the public as well as from electronic service providers, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, which are required by law to report cases. By the end of July 2023, NCMEC had already received more than 12,500 reports. The repercussions of the abuse are devastating: At least a dozen boys died by suicide in 2022, after they were blackmailed, according to the FBI. Meanwhile, social media companies are playing catch up to stem the tidal wave of sextortion scams targeting children.

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


The New Push for Censorship Under the Guise of Combating Hate
2023-10-01, Tablet
https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/censorship-center-guise-comb...

In March of 2021 a nonprofit group called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) released a report about online misinformation. Founded [by] Imran Ahmed, the CCDH ... provides the White House with a powerful weapon to use against critics including RFK Jr. and [Elon] Musk, while also pressuring platforms like Facebook and Twitter to enforce the administration’s policies. One rumor that came up ... is that [Ahmed] works for British intelligence. “There’s nothing surprising about this,” said Mike Benz, a former State Department official who now runs the Foundation for Freedom Online, a free-speech watchdog. “This is not the first rodeo of British and U.S. intelligence services creating a cutout for the purpose of influencing the online news economy, to rig public debate in favor of political speech that supports agency agendas.” CCDH’s ... chairman is Simon Clark, a former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a D.C. think tank aligned with the corporate arm of the Democratic Party. One might conclude that CCDH functions as an arm of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, to be deployed against the perceived enemies of corporate Democrats, whether they come from the left or the right. Clark was also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Lab. “The Atlantic Council, in the past several years, has had seven CIA directors on its board of directors or board of advisers,” said Benz. “And it’s one of the premier architects of online censorship.”

Note: Read an excellent piece on what gave rise to the modern censorship regime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Can a map of the ocean floor be crowdsourced?
2023-10-01, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20230929-can-a-map-of-the-ocean-floor-be-c...

In 2023, Seabed 2030 announced that its latest map of the entire seafloor is nearly 25% complete. The data to make the world's first publicly available map is stored at the International Hydrography Organization (IHO)'s Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry. 17 research vessels owned by American universities ... constantly circle the globe studying the deep ocean. The ocean mappers came up with a new plan: crowdsourcing. By attaching a data logger to a boat's echosounder, any vessel can build a simple map of the seafloor. Tion Uriam, the head of the Hydrographic Unit at the Republic of Kiribati's Ministry of Communications, Transport and Tourism Development, recently received two data loggers that he's planning to install on local ferries. "It's a win to be part of that initiative," he says. "Just to put us on the map and raise our hands [to say] we want to be part of a global effort." The military or commercial value of nautical charts will always be a barrier. "Sea charts were destined to be removed from the academic realm and from general circulation," wrote the map historian Lloyd Brown. "They were much more than an aid to navigation; they were the key to empire, the way to wealth." [Marine geologist Kevin] Mackay experienced this on a scientific-mapping expedition. He received a call from a military he chooses not to name and "they said 'you need to destroy that data because there was military value ... it's a place where submarines like to hide'," he recalls. "Obviously, we ignore them because we're [mapping] for science, we don't care."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Garbage In, Toxics Out: They Promised “Advanced Recycling” for Plastics and Delivered Toxic Waste
2023-09-28, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/28/braven-plastic-recycling-toxic-waste/

Braven Environmental [is] a company that says it can recycle nearly 90 percent of plastic waste through a form of chemical recycling called pyrolysis. Traditional recycling is able to process only about 8.7 percent of America’s plastic waste; pyrolysis uses high temperatures and low-oxygen conditions to break down the remaining plastics, like films and Styrofoam, ideally turning them into feedstock oil for new plastic production. The American Chemistry Council, the country’s leading petrochemical industry trade group, claims that chemical recycling will create a “circular economy” for the bulk of the world’s plastic, diverting it from oceans and landfills. Plastic giants have gone so far as to dub the process “advanced recycling,” but environmentalists say this is a misnomer because the majority of the plastic processed at such facilities is not recycled at all. In fact, researchers have found that the process uses more energy and has a worse overall environmental impact than virgin plastic production. Despite these challenges, lawmakers nationwide are now embracing the technology, thanks to a massive lobbying push from ... petrochemical groups. One list of warnings in a Braven air permit application reads like a toxicologist’s worst nightmare: The pyrolysis oil may cause cancer and genetic defects, as well as damage to organs, fertility, and unborn children. Other hazards included being “extremely flammable” and “very toxic to aquatic life” with “long lasting effects.”

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


The Norwegian secret: how friluftsliv boosts health and happiness
2023-09-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/sep/27/the-norwegian-secret-how...

Friluftsliv [is] a way of being that is part of the Norwegian national identity. The term was coined by the playwright Henrik Ibsen in his 1859 poem On the Heights, although the concept is much older. Its literal translation is “free-air life”, but Ibsen used it to convey a spiritual connection with nature. To modern Norwegians, it means participating in outdoor activities, but also has a deeper sense of de-stressing in nature and sharing in a common culture. An astonishingly high percentage of Norwegians report spending time outdoors. A survey in June by the market research company Kantar TNS found that 83% are interested in friluftsliv, 77% spend time in nature on a weekly basis and 25% do so most days. At many nurseries, toddlers spend 80% of their time outside; at school, there are special days throughout the year when children go out in nature and build campfires. Studies show that being in green spaces helps reduce anxiety and improve cognition. In a 2020 survey, 90% of Norwegians said they felt less stressed and in a better mood when they spent time in nature. Helga Synnevåg Løvoll, a professor of friluftsliv at Volda University College, says the five documented ways to wellbeing can be achieved through friluftsliv (they are “connect”, “be active”, “take notice”, “keep learning” and “give”). This nature-induced wellbeing could be one reason why Norway ranks among the happiest countries in the world. It came seventh in the UN’s World Happiness report in 2023.

Note: Read about the rise of "green prescription" programs in different healthcare systems around the world. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Google User Data Has Become a Favorite Police Shortcut
2023-09-27, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-09-28/google-user-data-is-police...

Google maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive repositories of location information. Drawing from phones’ GPS coordinates, plus connections to Wi-Fi networks and cellular towers, it can often estimate a person’s whereabouts to within several feet. It gathers this information in part to sell advertising, but police routinely dip into the data to further their investigations. The use of search data is less common, but that, too, has made its way into police stations throughout the country. Traditionally, American law enforcement obtains a warrant to search the home or belongings of a specific person, in keeping with a constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. Warrants for Google’s location and search data are, in some ways, the inverse of that process, says Michael Price, the litigation director for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Fourth Amendment Center. Rather than naming a suspect, law enforcement identifies basic parameters—a set of geographic coordinates or search terms—and asks Google to provide hits, essentially generating a list of leads. By their very nature, these Google warrants often return information on people who haven’t been suspected of a crime. In 2018 a man in Arizona was wrongly arrested for murder based on Google location data. Google says it received a record 60,472 search warrants in the US last year, more than double the number from 2019. The company provides at least some information in about 80% of cases.

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


Decades Later, Closed Military Bases Remain a Toxic Menace
2023-09-27, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/27/us/military-base-closure-cleanup.html

Fort Ord was one of 800 U.S. military bases, large and small, that were shuttered between 1988 and 2005. The cities of Seaside and Marina, Calif., where Fort Ord had been critical to the local economy, were left with a ghost town of clapboard barracks and decrepit, World War II-era concrete structures that neither of the cities could afford to tear down. Also left behind were poisonous stockpiles of unexploded ordnance, lead fragments, industrial solvents and explosives residue, a toxic legacy that in some areas of the base remains largely where the Army left it. Across the country, communities were promised that closed bases would be restored, cleaned up and turned over for civilian use. But the cleanup has proceeded at a snail’s pace at many of the facilities, where future remediation work could extend until 2084 and local governments are struggling with the cost of making the land suitable for development. At more than 1,000 sites within the closed bases, the land is so badly contaminated that no one will ever be allowed to live on it. Sites that were supposed to be clean were later found full of asbestos, radioactivity and other health threats. Military base cleanups are often full of surprises, but Hunters Point is in a league of its own. Two former supervisors at an environmental firm, Tetra Tech EC, which the Navy hired to help clean up the base, were convicted in 2018 of fraudulently submitting clean dirt to a laboratory in place of the contaminated dirt at the shipyard.

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


I Was the Only U.S. Official Imprisoned Over the Torture Program — Because I Opposed It
2023-09-25, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/09/25/john-kiriakou-torture-at-guantanamo/

When I joined the CIA in January 1990, I did it to serve my country. My whole world, like the worlds of all Americans, changed dramatically and permanently on September 11, 2001. Within months of the attacks, I found myself heading to Pakistan as the chief of CIA counterterrorism operations in Pakistan. Almost immediately, my team began capturing al-Qaeda fighters at safehouses all around Pakistan. Just a month after the September 11 attacks, the CIA leadership gathered its army of lawyers and black ops people and came up with a plan to legalize torture. This was despite the fact that torture has long been patently illegal in the United States. But it didn’t matter. In the end, I was the only person associated with the CIA’s torture program who was prosecuted and imprisoned. I never tortured anybody. But I was charged with five felonies, including three counts of espionage, for telling ABC News and the New York Times that the CIA was torturing its prisoners, that torture was official U.S. government policy, and that the policy had been approved by the president himself. I served 23 months in a federal prison. Former CIA Director George Tenet, former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin, former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez, former CIA Executive Director John Brennan, and CIA [contractors] James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen ... weakened our democracy by pretending that the Constitution and the rule of law didn’t exist.

Note: This article was written by CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou. For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


What Would Real “National Defense” Look Like?
2023-09-24, TomDispatch
https://tomdispatch.com/what-would-real-national-defense-look-like/#more

What would a progressive Pentagon look like? I’m not talking about a “woke” Pentagon that touts and celebrates its “diversity,” including its belated acceptance of LGBTQ+ members. Painting “Black Lives Matter” and rainbow flags on B-52 bombers doesn’t make the bombs dropped any less destructive. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Vietnam War until the Pentagon Papers emerged near the end of that disastrous conflict. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Afghan War until the Afghan War Papers emerged near the end of that disastrous conflict. All too many Americans didn't know how badly they'd been lied to about the Iraq War until the myth of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (which had been part of the bogus rationale for invading that country) crumbled. A progressive Pentagon would ... celebrate the insights of Generals Smedley Butler and Dwight D. Eisenhower that war is fundamentally a racket (Butler) and that the military-industrial-congressional complex poses the severest of threats to freedom and democracy in America (President Eisenhower). A progressive Pentagon would ... recognize that one cannot serve both a republic and an empire, that a choice must be made, and that a Pentagon of the present kind in a genuine republic would voluntarily downsize itself, while largely dismantling its imperial infrastructure of perhaps 800 overseas bases.

Note: Read decorated general Smedley Butler's 1935 book 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.


As Ozempic use grows, so do reports of possible mental health side effects
2023-09-21, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/09/21/1200201186/as-ozempic-us...

Nearly three months into taking Ozempic for diabetes, Jenny Kent had already lost 12 pounds, and her blood sugar numbers were looking better than they had in a while. Ozempic, the injectable drug approved for Type 2 diabetes, has taken the world by storm. Despite not being approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss, Ozempic has prompted people on TikTok and Instagram to speculate about which stars have used it to shed pounds seemingly overnight. But for Kent something else changed after she started taking Ozempic. "I was just constantly in a state of being overwhelmed," says Kent. "So my response to that was just I was just crying all the time. Sobbing, crying ... I still didn't put it together, so I kept ... taking my injections." She's one of many people taking Ozempic and related drugs who describe mental health problems. But that side effect isn't mentioned in Ozempic's instructions for use, or drug label. In July, the European Medicines Agency said that it was looking into the risk of thoughts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts with the use of Ozempic and similar drugs. The FDA hasn't taken that step. NPR analyzed the FDA's adverse event reporting system, or FAERS, and learned that the agency has received 489 reports of patients experiencing anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts while taking semaglutide drugs, including Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus. In 96 of those reports, the patient had suicidal thoughts. Five of them died.

Note: A deeper investigation explores the concerning scope of health issues related to weight-loss drug side effects. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revolving door redux: The DEA’s recently departed No. 2 returns to a Big Pharma consulting firm
2023-09-20, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/dea-opioids-fentanyl-cocaine-drugs-pharmaceutical-...

Louis Milione retired from the DEA a second time this summer amid reporting by The Associated Press on potential conflicts caused by his prior consulting for the pharmaceutical industry. Less than three months later, Milione again landed a plum job at Guidepost Solutions, a New York-based firm hired by some of the same companies he had been tasked with regulating when he returned to the DEA in 2021. Milione had spent four years at Guidepost prior to his return, leveraging his extensive experience and contacts from a 21-year DEA career. Milione is the most senior of a slew of DEA officials to have traded their badge and gun for a globe-trotting consulting job. His career stands out for two cycles through the revolving door between government and industry, raising questions about the potential impact on the DEA’s mission to police drug companies blamed for tens of thousands of American overdose deaths. Milione’s private-sector clientele also included Morris & Dickson Co., the nation’s fourth-largest wholesale drug distributor, as it tried to stave off DEA sanctions for disregarding thousands of suspicious, high-volume orders. The DEA allowed the company to continue shipping drugs for nearly four years after a judge recommended its license be revoked for “cavalier disregard” of rules aimed at preventing opioid abuse. It was not until AP began asking questions this spring that the DEA moved to finally strip the Shreveport, Louisiana-based company of its license to distribute highly addictive painkillers.

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


The Biden administration tried to censor this Stanford doctor, but he won in court
2023-09-20, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/20/how-dr-jay-bhattacharya-beat-biden-administrati...

A federal court of appeals ruled earlier this month that the White House, surgeon general, CDC and FBI “likely violated the First Amendment” by exerting a pressure campaign on social media companies to censor COVID-19 skeptics — including Stanford epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine, economics and health research policy at Stanford University, co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration in the fall of 2020 with professors from Harvard and Oxford. The epidemiologists advocated for “focused protection” — safeguarding the most vulnerable Americans while cautiously allowing others to function as normally as possible — rather than broad pandemic lockdowns. “We were just acting as scientists, but almost immediately we were censored,” said Bhattacharya. “Google de-boosted us. Our Facebook page was removed. It was just a crazy time. “The kinds of things that the federal government was telling social media companies to censor included us — along with millions of other posts from countless other people who were criticizing government COVID policy,” he added. A New Orleans-based three-judge panel found that the federal government “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content” by vaguely threatening adverse regulatory consequences if social media companies did not suppress certain viewpoints on the pandemic.

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


‘War is back. People want to stock up’: inside Europe’s biggest arms fair
2023-09-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/sep/20/war-military-inside-euro...

Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) [is] Europe’s biggest arms fair, which takes place every two years in the Excel convention centre in east London. It is a sprawling supermarket of modern warfare, where the world’s armies come to buy the latest AI-guided missiles and tanks, inspect giant warships moored in the Royal Docks, and queue to take a turn sitting in the cockpits of fighter jets. Joystick manufacturers jostle with makers of invisibility cloaks, while purveyors of VR simulators compete with those of radar jammers, next to endless ranks of machine guns. Sleek submarines sparkle on spotlit plinths while flocks of missile-carrying drones dangle from the ceiling like menacing mobiles. “This year feels much busier than usual,” one bomb salesman tells me, standing by a gleaming rack of cone-shaped warheads, polished like trophies in a glass cabinet. “It seems war is back in a big way. People are looking to stock up.” Whereas attendees of this great murderous bazaar may once have felt sheepish, they now proudly march through the entrance gates with their heads held high. Recent events in Ukraine have sharpened minds and opened wallets in relation to government spending on defence. Total global military expenditure reached an all-time high of $2.2tn (£1.8tn) in 2022. Outside the exhibition halls, reality hits. “Please be aware,” a polite protester tells visitors, “that many of the countries you are doing business with are on the UK government’s human rights priority list.”

Note: As one defense executive flat-out told Reuters during the event, "war is good for business." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war and military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Rumble Had Exclusive Rights To Stream Republican Debate — Yet Was Buried In Google Search
2023-09-20, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/20/republican-debate-google-search-rumble/

Leading up to the August Republican presidential primary debate ... An RNC official told Google via email that the debate would be streaming exclusively on the upstart video platform Rumble. The August 23 debate was broadcast on Fox News and streamed on Fox Nation, which requires a subscription, while Rumble was the only one to stream it for free. On the day of and during the debate, however, potential viewers who searched Google for “GOP debate stream” were returned links to YouTube, Fox News, and news articles about the debate, according to screen recordings. Rumble was nowhere on the first page. For Rumble, which is currently in discovery in an antitrust lawsuit against Google in California, this is a case of Google suppressing its competitors in favor of its own product, YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, and it has regularly been the subject of anticompetitive allegations from rivals, who charge that Google unfairly and illegally favors YouTube in its search algorithm. Google, in fact, is in the middle of a landmark antitrust trial, charged with anticompetitive practices by the Department of Justice. The company would not have been required by antitrust law to promote [Rumble's] link. It would, however, be barred from suppressing the competitor’s link from organic results. The fact that Rumble’s link did not appear on the first page even though it was the most relevant link the search could return means either the search engine failed at its task or the link was suppressed.

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


EFF to Michigan Court: Governments Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Use a Drone to Spy on You Without a Warrant
2023-09-19, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/09/19/eff-to-michigan-court-governments-shouldnt-...

Should the government have to get a warrant before using a drone to spy on your home and backyard? We think so, and in an amicus brief filed last Friday in Long Lake Township v. Maxon, we urged the Michigan Supreme Court to find that warrantless drone surveillance of a home violates the Fourth Amendment. In this case, Long Lake Township hired private operators to repeatedly fly drones over Todd and Heather Maxon’s home to take aerial photos and videos of their property in a zoning investigation. The Township did this without a warrant and then sought to use this documentation in a court case against them. In our brief, we argue that the township’s conduct was governed by and violated the Fourth Amendment and the equivalent section of the Michigan Constitution. Drone prevalence has soared in recent years, fueled by both private and governmental use. We have documented more than 1,471 law enforcement agencies across the United States that operate drones. In some cities, police have begun implementing “drone as first responder” programs, in which drones are constantly flying over communities in response to routine calls for service. Authorities have routinely used aerial surveillance technologies against individuals participating in racial justice movements. Under this backdrop, states like Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Virginia have enacted statutes requiring warrants for police use of drones.  

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.


Can a Tiny Restaurant Surcharge Move the Needle on Climate?
2023-09-19, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/zero-foodprint-changing-the-food-system/

When Anthony Myint and his wife Karen Leibowitz opened their San Francisco restaurant The Perennial in 2016, they had big ambitions: They wanted it to be the first carbon-neutral restaurant in the world, and they succeeded. From the recycled floor tiles and reclaimed lumber to the aquaponic herb garden and compostable paper menus, the culinary duo designed every part of the diner with the climate in mind. “We shifted the menus, reduced food waste, switched to renewable energy, started composting and bought carbon offsets,” Myint says. They were motivated by the knowledge that agriculture and food systems contribute nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The Perennial’s menu championed sourdough loaves baked with perennial Kernza grains, and the chefs bought their steaks from regenerative ranches associated with the Marin Carbon Project, the country’s foremost center for regenerative farming. The more Myint learned about regenerative agriculture, the more he became convinced that this was the global solution he needed to champion. “It became clear to me that this is the future of food, similar to the way renewable energy is the future of energy,” he says. “The whole food system needs to gradually transition.” Zero Foodprint is asking restaurant customers and other participating businesses to give one percent of their sales to a pool that funds regenerative agriculture. More than 80 businesses have signed up.

Note: We've summarized a handful of stories about the power of regenerative agriculture practices to reverse and heal global ecological destruction. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The Backyard Farmers Who Grow Food With Fog
2023-09-18, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/lima-fog-catchers-water-scarcity-irrigation/

At the highest point of Los Tres Miradores, a terrifyingly steep urban settlement with soaring views across Peru’s capital, Lima, there is a curious set of large structures that resemble a fleet of ships in the sky. They are so-called “fog catchers.” About 40 of these netted devices, made of high density Raschel polyethylene and spanning several meters wide, are lined up atop a misty mound and linked by a network of tubes that lead to storage containers. Home to a population of more than 10 million, Lima is one of the driest cities in the world. [The nonprofit] El Movimiento Peruanos sin Agua has helped install 600 fog catchers across Lima and a total of 2,000 across Peru, including in the regions of Arequipa, Iquitos and Cuzco. According to [founder Abel] Cruz, one man he supported is even able to raise 1,000 chickens thanks to fog catchers. In June, the project received a significant boost when it signed an agreement with the Mayor of Lima to install 10,000 more fog catchers in the hills surrounding the city in the next four years. The municipality ... said the project has the potential to “reforest, create ecological lungs, ecotourism and at the same time provide water for human consumption, for bio-orchards, botanical gardens, washing clothes, utensils and more.” In Los Tres Miradores, the 40 fog catchers — which were installed in 2021 — provide enough water for 180 families, whether to bathe, clean, drink (after being filtered at home) or to irrigate crops on small garden patches.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


That jet the Marines lost? Taxpayers will pay $1.7 trillion for the F-35 program
2023-09-18, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/18/politics/f-35-missing-jet-what-matters/index.html

“How in the hell do you lose an F-35?” wondered Rep. Nancy Mace, the South Carolina Republican, in a post on social media Sunday that speaks for everyone who read the headline about the state-of-the-art military plane that went missing earlier in the day. A more general ... question could be asked of the F-35 program: How in the heck can you spend so much money on a plane that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to? The exact amount of money for a single aircraft like the one that went missing is somewhere around $100 million. The entire F-35 program is on track to cost $1.7 trillion. The Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan watchdog group, has written extensively on the F-35 and its cost overruns. I asked Dan Grazier, an F-35 expert for POGO, what has gone wrong. It all boils down to “failure at the conceptual level,” he told me in an email. “The architects of the program attempted to build a single aircraft to meet multiple mission requirements for not just three separate services but also those of multiple countries,” Grazier said. The jet has never reached its full operational capability and already needs updates and tweaks, including a new engine. “Every F-35 built until now is nothing more than a very expensive prototype,” Grazier told me. The Government Accountability Office ... earlier this year described the F-35 program as “more than a decade behind schedule and $183 billion over original cost estimates.”

Note: Watch a brief, 2-min video about the F-35 fighter jet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


New York Times Doesn’t Want Its Stories Archived
2023-09-17, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/17/new-york-times-website-internet-archive/

The New York Times tried to block a web crawler that was affiliated with the famous Internet Archive. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has long been used to compare webpages as they are updated over time, clearly delineating the differences between two iterations of any given page. Several years ago, the archive added a feature called “Changes” that lets users compare two archived versions of a website from different dates or times on a single display. The tool can be used to uncover changes in news stories that have been made without any accompanying editorial notes, so-called stealth edits. The Times has, in the past, faced public criticisms over some of its stealth edits. In a notorious 2016 incident, the paper revised an article about then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. ... drastically after publication — changing the tone from one of praise to skepticism. More recently, the Times stealth-edited an article that originally listed “death” as one of six ways “you can still cancel your federal student loan debt.” Following the edit, the “death” section title was changed to a more opaque heading of “debt won’t carry on.” A service called NewsDiffs — which provides a similar comparative service but focuses on news outlets such as the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and others — has also chronicled a long list of significant examples of articles that have undergone stealth edits, though the service appears to not have been updated in several years.

Note: The manipulation of media coverage for Bernie Sanders' campaign was widespread, as discussed in an WantToKnow.info interview with media activist Tony Brasunas. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Getting the Soil Right: How Carbon Farming Combats Climate Change
2023-09-15, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/carbon-farming-climate-change-regenerative-...

The solution to stopping climate change might be buried on 10 acres in the Pauma Valley of California. “The idea is not just to produce food but to improve the soil,” says Alvarez, Solidarity Farm’s Climate Resilience Specialist. “We stopped using the plow to turn the soil, and we do a lot of composting and mulching to improve our soil health.” Solidarity Farm had used organic principles in the 10 years since its inception, but it pivoted to carbon farming after the extreme heat in the summer of 2017. Carbon farmers cultivate plants and trees in a way that maximizes carbon sequestration in the soil. Among the most important practices for carbon farmers are minimizing soil erosion by planting perennials and ground cover, which also lowers soil temperatures, and only working the land by hand or with low-tech solutions. “The soil has the capacity to store more carbon than all plants on the planet together,” Alvarez says. Solidarity Farms produces a diverse range of about 60 different fruits and vegetables, at least 70 percent of them perennial crops such as plums and pomegranates. Stacks of organic chicken manure in front of the vegetable beds wait to be distributed. The farmers enrich the soil with compost and mulch, while deterring pests with diverse crop rotation. According to soil tests, the Solidarity farmers have tripled the amount of carbon in the ground since 2018. “This equates to a drawdown of nearly 600 metric tons of CO2 per year, offsetting the emissions of 80 American households,” Alvarez says.

Note: Have you seen the groundbreaking and inspiring movie Kiss the Ground? In a time where we're told hopeless and divisive narratives about our current environmental challenges, people all over the world are reversing the damage from destroyed ecosystems, regenerating the world's soils, and creating abundant food supplies. Don't miss this powerful film on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to revive global community and our connection to the natural world.


J&J unit, P&G, Walgreens misled consumers about decongestants, lawsuits say
2023-09-15, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/legal/jj-pg-sued-after-fda-panel-ruling-cold-medicine...

Procter & Gamble (PG.N), Walgreens (WBA.O) and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) former consumer business are among several companies accused in lawsuits of deceiving consumers about cold medicines containing an ingredient that a unanimous U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel declared ineffective. Proposed class actions were filed on Wednesday and Thursday, after the panel reviewed several studies and concluded this week that the ingredient phenylephrine marketed as a decongestant was essentially no better than a placebo. According to an agency presentation, about 242 million products with phenylephrine were sold in the United States last year, generating $1.76 billion of sales and accounting for about four-fifths of the market for oral decongestants. The first lawsuit appeared to have been filed in Pensacola, Florida, federal court. It said Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Procter & Gamble should have known by 2018 that their marketing claims about products with phenylephrine were "false and deceptive." That year was when new FDA guidance for evaluating symptoms related to nasal congestion demonstrated that earlier data about phenylephrine's effectiveness could no longer be relied upon, the complaint said. The plaintiff Steve Audelo, a Florida resident, said he bought Johnson & Johnson's Sudafed PE and Benadryl Allergy Plus, and Procter & Gamble's Vicks NyQuil, based on the companies' claims that the products worked.

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


How NASA Got a 'UFO Czar'—And Why it Matters
2023-09-15, Time Magazine
https://time.com/6314791/nasa-ufo-director-mark-mcinernay/

At a press conference at NASA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, the space agency [appointed] the country’s, and indeed the world’s, first-ever UFO Czar. Only NASA didn’t use either one of those terms. Fewer and fewer people ... talk about UFOs. The preferred term now is UAP, for unidentified anomalous (or, variously, aerial) phenomenon. And NASA didn’t use the label czar either. Instead, the full name for the new job is director of UAP research, and the man tapped to do the work is Mark McInernay, a former Pentagon liaison for NASA. It will be McInernay’s job to study the sightings, advancing science if the vehicles are confirmed to be extraterrestrial, and protecting national security if they’re of international military origin. He’ll have a lot to work with. Over the past 20 years, there have been more than 120 sightings of objects that often appear to be flying with no identified means of propulsion, and maneuvering in quick, head-snapping, often stop-and-start ways that no conventional machines can manage. It helps that the sightings have been called in by witnesses most people think of as unimpeachably reliable: U.S. military pilots. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson yesterday stepped up to offer his view of the possibility of life in space. “There’s a global fascination with UAP,” he said. “Now, NASA has a statutory authority to look for life in the universe. Do I believe there's life in a universe that is so vast that it's hard for me to comprehend how big it is? My personal answer is yes.”

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


Why has France banned sales of Apple's iPhone 12?
2023-09-15, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/technology/why-has-france-banned-sales-apples-iphone-...

France's radiation watchdog has banned sales of Apple's iPhone 12 after tests that it said showed the smartphone breached European radiation exposure limits. The Agence Nationale des Frequences (ANFR) said on Tuesday the model's Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) - a measure of the rate of radiofrequency energy absorbed by the body from a piece of equipment - was higher than legally allowed. Jean-Noel Barrot, France's junior minister for the digital economy, told newspaper Le Parisien a software update could fix the problem. If Apple does not resolve the issue, the ANFR said it would order a recall of the device across France. "Specific Absorption Rate" refers to the dose of energy that the body absorbs from any source of radiation. It is expressed as watts per kilogram of body weight. The radiation from mobile phones is a result of the way they work, by transmitting radiofrequency waves, creating electromagnetic fields. The ANFR said it recently carried out random tests on 141 phones, including iPhone 12, bought from shops. In independent laboratory tests, two iPhone 12s did not comply with EU standards, the office of the Digital Minister told Reuters. Smartphone radiation tests have so far led to 42 imposed sale stops in the country, it said. The ANFR said accredited labs had found an SAR of 5.74 watts per kilogram during tests of the iPhone 12 being held in the hand or kept in a trouser pocket. The EU standard is 4.0 watts per kilogram.

Note: Explore an excellent investigation into how the FCC shields cell phone companies from valid safety concerns. This Wired article quotes the result of a mega-study that reveals there is “significant evidence linking cellular phone use to increased tumor risk.” Unlike the U.S., many countries have regulations in place to protect people from cell phone radiation exposure. Check out this comprehensive list of countries with official recommendations and policies on cell phone radiation exposure. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on wireless technology risks from reliable major media sources.


The real data behind the new COVID vaccines the White House is pushing
2023-09-14, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/14/the-real-data-behind-the-new-covid-vaccines-the...

What if I told you one in 50 people who took a new medication had a “medically attended adverse event” and the manufacturer refused to disclose what exactly the complication was — would you take it? And what if the theoretical benefit was only transient, lasting about three months, after which your susceptibility goes back to baseline? And what if we told you the Food and Drug Administration cleared it without any human-outcomes data. That’s what we know about the new COVID vaccine the Biden administration is firmly recommending. COVID vaccines are very different from flu vaccines. COVID vaccines have higher complication rates, including severe and life-threatening cardiac reactions. Flu shots have a 50-plus-year safety record whereas COVID vaccines have been associated with a serious adverse event rate of one in 5,000 doses, according to a German study by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. Another study, published last year in the medical journal Vaccine, estimated the rate of serious adverse events to be as high as one in 556 COVID vaccine recipients. And for young people, the incidence of myocarditis is six to 28 times higher after the vaccine than after infection, even for females, according to a 2022 JAMA Cardiology study. That’s one of the reasons a study that we and several national colleagues published last year found that college booster mandates appear to have resulted in a net public health harm.

Note: The above was written by Marty Makary, MD, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Anecdotals is a powerful documentary that follows the lives of many people who stepped up to get vaccinated for themselves or the greater good, yet whose lives changed drastically as a result. Instead of having their stories of vaccine injuries heard and seen, they were discredited and abandoned by the medical system and our media systems.


Psychedelic drug MDMA moves closer to US approval following success in PTSD trial
2023-09-14, Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02886-x

The psychedelic drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, has passed another key hurdle on its way to regulatory approval as a treatment for mental illness. A second large clinical trial has found that the drug — in combination with psychotherapy — is effective at treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In June, Australia became the first country to allow physicians to prescribe MDMA for treating psychiatric conditions. MDMA is illegal in the United States and other countries because of the potential for its misuse. But the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) ... has long been developing a proprietary protocol for using MDMA as a treatment for PTSD and other disorders. MAPS has been campaigning for its legalization. In 2021, researchers sponsored by MAPS reported the results of a study in which 90 people received a form of psychotherapy developed by the organization alongside either MDMA or a placebo. After three treatment sessions, 67% of those who received MDMA with therapy no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis, compared with 32% of those who received therapy and a placebo. The results of a second trial ... were similar: 71% of people who received MDMA alongside therapy lost their PTSD diagnosis. A MAPS spokesperson says that the organization plans to seek formal FDA approval before the end of this year, and that because the agency has already designated MDMA as a ‘breakthrough therapy’ ... it will be evaluated quickly.

Note: Read more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Google wanted to ‘manipulate choices’ to become default search engine, behavioral expert testifies at antitrust trial
2023-09-14, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/14/google-wanted-to-manipulate-choices-to-become-d...

Google fought hard to be the default search engine on smartphones and browsers so it “can manipulate your choices,” an expert on human behavior testified for the government at the closely watched antitrust trial. Antonio Rangel, a behavioral economist ... took the stand for the second day and said Google has leaned heavily on default settings to keep users hooked on its search engine and other lucrative services. The Justice Department is arguing ... that the Alphabet unit sought agreements with mobile carriers to win powerful default positions on smartphones to dominate search. The antitrust case – the largest of its kind in more than two decades – will ultimately hinge on whether Google is determined to have taken anticompetitive steps to cut off rivals while building its search behemoth. In testimony on Wednesday, Rangel questioned Google’s argument that users could easily switch their default search engine, telling the court that he acquired an Android smartphone and found that it took 10 steps for the owner to switch Google for Microsoft’s Bing. “That is considerable choice friction,” Rangel said. Justice Department attorneys said Google paid “more than $10 billion per year” to major companies, including smartphone makers Apple and Samsung, browser operators like Mozilla and wireless providers such as AT&T, to secure a 91% share of the search market. The case’s outcome won’t be determined by a jury. Instead, US District Judge Amit Mehta will reach a determination on the outcome.

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


In our blood: how the US allowed toxic chemicals to seep into our lives
2023-09-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/13/us-environmental-protecti...

For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was ... seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical. PFOA is just one of dozens of modern-day chemicals that are found in the bodies of the majority of Americans. Research has also shown that more Americans are facing a growing number of ailments and disorders, from autoimmune disease to developmental disorders such as autism and some cancers. Scientists are increasingly concerned these two truths are linked. Scientists have accumulated enough data to conclude with confidence that humans face significant health risks from exposure to common commercial chemicals, and that regulations designed to protect them are failing. Due to flaws in federal regulation, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is perennially playing catch up. The majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing. Kyla Bennett, a former EPA employee [said] that at recent rates of review, it would take thousands of years to assess all 86,000 chemicals currently approved for use. EPA staff ... say the agency’s chemical programs remain understaffed, overwhelmed and burdened by still-ineffective regulations and a persistent culture that enables the chemical industry instead of counterbalancing it.

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


The power of contact in the rehumanization process
2023-09-12, Waging Nonviolence
https://wagingnonviolence.org/metta/podcast/the-power-of-contact-theory-rehum...

‘Contact theory’ has been shown to lead to harmony and an enlarged sense of a common good, even when there are limited resources and competing interests. It's a theory that suggests that the more contact that people have, the more willing they are to rehumanize and understand each other, even across their personal differences. It originated in the 50s with the work of Gordon Allport. After World War II, he asked himself, how can we reduce conflict in society? He put forward that, under the right conditions, having positive experiences with people of another social, ethnic, cultural, religious backgrounds could improve our tolerance and reduce our prejudice against them. 50 years later, the vast majority of studies show that it does work. If you talk about moving beyond past violence and having a harmonious society, one of the biggest things that could hamper having these contact experiences [is] the homophilia principle, where you go with your own group. It's easy to avoid having experiences with other groups. But once we do, they're very beneficial. We spoke with someone named Ali Abu Awad [who] is a Palestinian activist. He said he never had contact with an Israeli ... until he was in his 30s. And they were brought together into a group. This Israeli woman was crying, and he was crying. They were both grieving the loss of family members of the conflict. That moment of contact actually changed the whole direction of his life because he realized that this Israeli woman was human like he was. He ended up becoming an activist working toward a solution that humanizes Israelis and humanizes Palestinians at the same time.

Note: This summary is a transcript of an interview with Jasper Van Assche, professor at the University of Ghent in Belgium. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


CIA tried to pay off analysts to bury findings that COVID lab leak was likely: whistleblower
2023-09-12, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/12/cia-tried-to-pay-off-analysts-to-bury-covid-lab...

The Central Intelligence Agency offered to pay off analysts in order to bury their findings that COVID-19 most likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, new whistleblower testimony to Congress alleges. A senior-level CIA officer told House committee leaders that his agency tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans, according to a letter sent Tuesday to CIA Director William Burns. Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) requested all documents, communications and pay info from the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team by Sept. 26. “According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the House panel chairmen wrote. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis.” “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” they said, noting that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

Note: Explore more revealing articles we've summarized about the COVID origin story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


America's poverty rate soared last year. Children were among the worst hit.
2023-09-12, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/poverty-rate-census-income/

Millions of American families fell into poverty last year as the well of government-funded pandemic aid dried up and incomes shrank, according to new data from the U.S. Census. Children were particularly hard-hit, with the poverty rate for kids doubling compared with 2021. The rise in poverty amounts to an increase of 15.3 million people around the U.S. living in poverty. Rising inflation [has] hobbled many households. Last year also marked the end of all pandemic-era benefits that helped families stay afloat during the health crisis, such as stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit, which distributed as much as $300 per child in cash payments. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which measures whether people have enough resources to cover their needs, was 12.4% for U.S. households in 2022, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from a year earlier, the Census said on Tuesday. The child poverty rate, as measured by the SPM, jumped from a historic low of 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022, the Census said. That's the largest change in child poverty since the Census began tracking the SPM in 2009, Census officials said. If the expanded Child Tax Credit had been renewed, about 3 million additional children would have been kept out of poverty last year. U.S. households also earned less last year, the Census said. The median household income in 2022 was $74,580, a decline of 2.3% from 2021 and the third year in a row that incomes have dipped. 

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


J.F.K. Assassination Witness Breaks His Silence and Raises New Questions
2023-09-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/09/us/politics/jfk-assassination-witness-paul...

He still remembers the first gunshot. Now, 60 years later, Paul Landis, one of the Secret Service agents just feet away from President John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas, is telling his story in full for the first time. His account differs from the official version. At age 88, he said, all he wants is to tell what he saw and what he did. He will leave it to everyone else to draw conclusions. What it comes down to is a copper-jacketed 6.5-millimeter projectile. The Warren Commission decided that one of the bullets fired that day struck the president from behind, exited from the front of his throat and continued on to hit Mr. Connally, somehow managing to injure his back, chest, wrist and thigh. It seemed incredible that a single bullet could do all that, so skeptics called it the magic bullet theory. Investigators came to that conclusion partly because the bullet was found on a stretcher believed to have held Mr. Connally at Parkland Memorial Hospital. In fact, [Mr. Landis] said, he was the one who found the bullet — and he found it not in the hospital near Mr. Connally but in the presidential limousine lodged in the back of the seat behind where Kennedy was sitting. “If what he says is true, which I tend to believe, it is likely to reopen the question of a second shooter, if not even more,” [Historian James] Robenalt said. “If the bullet we know as the magic or pristine bullet stopped in President Kennedy’s back, it means that the central thesis of the Warren Report, the single-bullet theory, is wrong.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources. For deeper exploration, check out our comprehensive Information Center on John F. Kennedy's assassination, which challenge mainstream narratives about his assassination and the events leading up to it.


‘Very little yield’: has genetically targeted medicine really made us healthier?
2023-09-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/sep/09/precision-medicine-targeted-p...

After spending 13 years and $2.7bn, the Human Genome Project announced in 2003 that it had successfully mapped our DNA, paving the way for a new era of medicine that would deliver “the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time”. Twenty years later, some say the “era of precision medicine” has arrived. But others disagree. They argue that the gains have been small, and pursuing them may have diverted attention from the preventable causes of common diseases. Some doctors and academics say that too much emphasis is placed on our genes, and not enough on environment and lifestyle. “There’s this paradox where the more we learn about the human genome, the less we should expect it to actually have significant impacts for most patients,” [Prof. James] Tabery says. “There’s plenty of information to suggest that if we really wanted to combat common diseases, we should be focusing on environmental causes.” In countries with insurance-based healthcare systems such as the US, expensive drugs can take an enormous toll on individuals, leading some clinicians to identify a new side-effect: “financial toxicity”. “A new drug offers some health benefits to those patients that receive it,” explains Mark Sculpher ... at the University of York. “But depending on the cost of that drug, you may end up with other patients losing more health, because that’s resources taken from them. So you can have this negative overall population health effect if you pay too much for a drug.”

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


A New JFK Assassination Revelation Could Upend the Long-Held “Lone Gunman” Theory
2023-09-09, Vanity Fair
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/09/new-jfk-assassination-revelation-upen...

Paul Landis was one of two Secret Service agents tasked with guarding first lady Jacqueline Kennedy on November 22, 1963—the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In a new book, The Final Witness, to be published in October, Landis claims to have seen something that afternoon that he had never publicly admitted before. Landis was approximately 15 feet away when Kennedy was mortally wounded. Landis saw and did something that he has kept secret for six decades, he says now. He claims he spotted a bullet resting on the top of the back of the seat. He says he picked it up, put it in his pocket, and brought it into the hospital. Then, upon entering Trauma Room No. 1 (at that stage, he was the only nonmedical person in the room besides Mrs. Kennedy, and both stayed for only a short period), he insists, he placed the bullet on a white cotton blanket on the president’s stretcher. This secret, as it turns out, may upend key conclusions of the Warren Commission, the body created by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination. Landis ... never sat for an interview before the FBI and never testified before the commission. There have been endless theories surrounding the assassination, but not one of them considered that a Secret Service agent might have brought a fully intact bullet, found on top of the rear seat of the limousine, into Parkland Memorial Hospital and placed it on the president’s stretcher. Not one.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the Kennedy assassination from reliable major media sources. For deeper exploration, check out our comprehensive Information Center on John F. Kennedy's assassination, which challenge mainstream narratives about his assassination and the events leading up to it.


In Ukraine, a U.S. Arms Dealer Is Making a Fortune and Testing Limits
2023-09-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/09/world/europe/ukraine-military-arms-dealer-...

A half-dozen or so men gathered last month [at] one of Kyiv’s swankiest hotels to discuss the lucrative business of arming Ukrainian troops. The group included Ukrainian military and government officials, who are always in the market for explosive shells. The center of attention was their gregarious host, a Florida-based arms contractor named Marc Morales. And joining the group was a stout, bearded man who served both the buyers and sellers: Vladimir Koyfman, a chief sergeant in the Ukrainian military whom Mr. Morales pays to arrange meetings with his government contacts. The [Biden] administration has sent Ukraine more than $40 billion in security aid, including advanced weapons like HIMARS rockets and Patriot missiles. But the Pentagon also relies heavily on little-known arms dealers like Mr. Morales. The Pentagon has awarded his company about $1 billion in contracts, mostly for ammunition. And records show he has built a roughly $200 million side business selling to the Ukrainians directly. Mr. Morales’s competitors say that he has an unfair advantage. His ties to the Pentagon. Arms brokers from around the world are competing for a limited supply of Soviet-style arms, mostly from Eastern Europe, to then sell to Ukraine. With cash pouring in from Washington, Mr. Morales can afford to pay more than his competitors do, several Eastern European arms dealers complained. He then makes good on his American contracts and buys more ammunition on his own to sell to Ukraine directly.

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


Biden extends 9/11 state of emergency by a year
2023-09-08, Courthouse News
https://www.courthousenews.com/biden-extends-9-11-state-of-emergency-by-a-year/

The United States will continue in a decades long, post-9/11 state of emergency for at least another year. In a Thursday night declaration, President Joe Biden ensured the emergency will extend at least 23 years after coordinated attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Biden penned his signature to a one-year extension of President George W. Bush’s Proclamation 7463, retaining broad powers over the organization of the military. The proclamation is officially titled “The National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks.” Most emergencies are used to impose economic sanctions. But Proclamation 7463, along with the broad 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, gives the president the power to call up the National Guard, alter the size and shape of the military's top officers and hire or fire commissioned officers — even ordering them out of retirement if necessary. Biden has most recently cited the 2001 authorization to justify drone strikes against al-Shabab militants in Somalia in 2021. The National Emergencies Act, adopted in 1976, requires presidents to renew emergencies each year. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also extended the 9/11 state of emergency each year of their respective tenures. Trump used it in 2017 to fill a chronic shortage in Air Force pilots. So far, Biden has declared eight new emergencies, continued 34 from his predecessors and ended three.

Note: An article by The Atlantic explores the alarming scope of president’s emergency powers, stating that “the moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Biden officials ‘likely violated First Amendment’ in Big Tech COVID censorship efforts, appeals court affirms
2023-09-08, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/08/biden-officials-likely-violated-first-amendment...

The Biden administration likely infringed upon the First Amendment when it leaned on social media companies to remove false or misleading COVID-19 content, a federal court of appeals ruled Friday — narrowing a bombshell district court order that barred several officials and agencies from communicating with the platforms. The White House, surgeon general, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content” and in doing so, “likely violated the First Amendment,” the New Orleans-based Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals determined. The three-judge panel, however, adjusted the scope of US District Judge Terry Doughty’s July 4 order ... removing officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the State Department from the injunction. The Fifth Circuit vacated nine of the 10 provisions in Doughty’s order that prevented Biden administration officials from “urging, encouraging, pressuring” or “inducing” social media companies from removing content. Similarly, the appeals court determined that “following up with social-media companies” about content moderation, “requesting content reports from social-media companies” or asking platforms to “Be on The Lookout” for certain types of material does not violate individuals’ First Amendment rights. 

Note: Many posts that were censored contained factual information on COVID-related issues. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


How American Institutions Went From Trust to Bust
2023-09-08, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/american-institutions-went-from-trust-to-bust-me...

At the heart of America’s political and cultural turmoil is a crisis of trust. In the space of a generation, the people’s confidence in their leaders and their most important institutions to do the right thing has collapsed. The federal government, big business, the media, education, science and medicine, technology, religious institutions, law enforcement and others have seen a precipitous decline. Since 1979 Gallup has measured trust among the public in the most important American institutions. Its latest survey ... found that across the nine key institutions Gallup has tracked consistently, the proportion of Americans who said they had “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence” averaged out at 26%. That is the lowest figure ever recorded. Some institutions have forfeited more trust than others. In 1979 Gallup found that 51% of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers. This year the number was 18%. The biggest factor driving mistrust ... is surely the widening cultural gap between the people who have led and thrived in our major institutions and the rest of the population. The past 20 years have seen the rapid emergence of a new elite—expensively educated, versed in progressive nostrums, increasingly distant from and disdainful of the rest of America and its values. This crowd comprises much of the nation’s permanent government classes, almost its entire academic establishment, most of the people who control its news and cultural output, and a good deal of its corporate elite.

Note: About half of Americans lost faith in the scientific community after this "new elite" repeatedly misled the public on issues related to the pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and media manipulation from reliable sources.


22 Years of Drone Warfare and No End in Sight
2023-09-07, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/09/07/22-years-of-drone-warfare-and-no-end-in-sight/

In 2023, this country’s drone warfare program has entered its third decade with no end in sight. Despite the fact that the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 is approaching, policymakers have demonstrated no evidence of reflecting on the failures of drone warfare and how to stop it. Instead, the focus continues to be on simply shifting drone policy in minor ways within an ongoing violent system. Washington’s war on terror has inflicted disproportionate violence on communities across the globe, while using this form of asymmetrical warfare to further expand the space between the value placed on American lives and those of Muslims. Since the war on terror was launched, the London-based watchdog group Airwars has estimated that American air strikes have killed at least 22,679 civilians and possibly up to 48,308 of them. Such killings have been carried out for the most part by desensitized killers, who have been primed towards the dehumanization of the targets of those murderous machines. In the words of critic Saleh Sharief, “The detached nature of drone warfare has anonymized and dehumanized the enemy, greatly diminishing the necessary psychological barriers of killing.” While the use of drones in the war on terror began under President George W. Bush, it escalated dramatically under Obama. Then, in the Trump years, it rose yet again. Though the use of drones in Joe Biden’s first year in office was lower than Trump’s, what has remained consistent is the lack of ... accountability for the slaughter of civilians.

Note: A 2014 analysis found that attempts to kill 41 people with drones resulted in 1,147 deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


How 9/11 Bred a “War on Terror” from Hell
2023-09-07, TomDispatch
https://tomdispatch.com/how-9-11-bred-a-war-on-terror-from-hell/

The day after the U.S. government began routinely bombing faraway places, the lead editorial in the New York Times expressed some gratification. Nearly four weeks had passed since 9/11 ... and America had finally stepped up its “counterattack against terrorism” by launching airstrikes on al-Qaeda training camps and Taliban military targets in Afghanistan. The Project on Defense Alternatives concluded that American air strikes had killed more than 1,000 [Afghan] civilians during the last three months of 2001. By mid-spring 2002, the Guardian reported, “as many as 20,000 Afghans may have lost their lives as an indirect consequence of the U.S. intervention.” Under the “war on terror” rubric, open-ended warfare was well underway — “as if terror were a state and not a technique,” as Joan Didion wrote in 2003. “We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of September 11 to justify the reconception of America’s correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war.” Unlike those killed on 9/11, the Iraqi dead were routinely off the American media radar screen, as were the psychological traumas suffered by Iraqis and the decimation of their country’s infrastructure. For the White House, the Pentagon, and Congress, the war on terror offered a political license to kill and displace people on a large scale in at least eight countries. The resulting carnage often included civilians. The dead and maimed had no names or faces that reached those who signed the orders and appropriated the funds.

Note: A 2021 report estimated that the War on Terror had "killed up to 929,000 people and cost over $8 trillion." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Nissan, Kia can collect data on drivers’ ‘sexual activity’ and ‘sex lives’: privacy watchdog
2023-09-06, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/06/nissan-kia-collect-data-about-drivers-sexual-ac...

Car makers Nissan and Kia can collect data on their drivers’ “sexual activity” and “sex lives” — and may sell the info to third-party advertisers, according to a shocking study by an internet privacy watchdog. The creepy collection of personal information by the two auto companies earned them failing grades from The Mozilla Foundation, maker of the Firefox web browser, which ran privacy checks on 25 car brands. The foundation said most car companies can comb through a variety of sources to glean personal information about drivers after they pair their smartphones with a vehicle’s connected services. “This invasive harvesting of information is collected via a web of sensors, microphones, cameras and the phones, apps, and connected services you use in your vehicle,” according to Mozilla Foundation. The car firms can then take that data and sell it to or share it with vendors, insurance companies and others. Of the 25 car brands that were reviewed, Nissan’s privacy policy “is probably the most ... messed up privacy policy we have ever read,” according to Mozilla Foundation. “They come right out and say they can collect and share your sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information and other sensitive personal information for targeted marketing purposes,” the foundation wrote. Mozilla Foundation also flagged other car companies such as Chrysler, Chevrolet, Toyota, Audi, Jeep, and Honda for “brazenly collecting deeply personal information from the moment they get into a car.”

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


How gardens enable refugees and immigrants to put down roots in new communities
2023-09-06, PBS News
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/how-gardens-enable-refugees-and-immigrants-...

Gardening and community gardens can be ways for immigrant and refugee communities to supplement their pantries by growing their own food, especially culturally appropriate food that is not readily found in grocery stores. It also helps people send literal roots down into a new place while maintaining a connection with their homeland. The Arab American National Museum (AANM) has created a new heritage garden on its roof with donated seeds, cuttings, and plants from local Arab American community members around Dearborn, Michigan. These include plants with a connection to the Arab world, but also plants from Michigan that have become meaningful to the Arab American community here. Accompanying the plants in the garden are oral histories of those community members about what gardening means to them, collected by the museum’s community historian. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Phimmasone Kym Owens ... said, ‘Why don’t I create a garden for refugees?’” In 2021, Owens reached out to Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County. They formed a partnership to create an innovative refugee-to-refugee community garden program ... and to work with refugees and grow culturally appropriate vegetables. “What sold this as being different is giving autonomy to the clients,” Owens said. “So we had a vote. They voted [for] Freedom Garden. And that’s a name that says it all. The fact that they chose Freedom Garden says exactly what you know, being a refugee, what you want.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Deadly pharmacy errors mount as companies push quotas, limit staff: ‘I am a danger to the public’
2023-09-05, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/09/05/deadly-pharmacy-errors-are-mounting-a-danger-to...

Every year, up to 9,000 people die in the US as a result of a prescription medication error. That figure doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of patients who suffer adverse effects from taking the wrong medication or taking meds in the wrong way. Now, an investigative report from the Los Angeles Times reveals that pharmacies make an estimated 5 million errors every year in California alone, according to the state’s Board of Pharmacy. But even as pharmacy errors mount across the US, pharmaceutical lobbyists are pushing to keep reports of errors hidden from officials and the public. The problem, according to pharmacists and others, is most acute at big retail pharmacy chains such as CVS and Walgreens, where overworked staff are pushed to the limit to meet sales quotas, despite desperate staffing shortages. To combat the rising tide of pharmacy errors, the California State Board of Pharmacy is sponsoring a bill that would require pharmacies to report every error to a third party outside the government. The bill would also allow the pharmacist responsible for the store to increase staffing if the workload has become too overwhelming to keep patients safe. But the bill is opposed by the California Community Pharmacy Coalition, a lobbying group representing retail pharmacies, including the big chains. The coalition believes pharmacy staffing requirements are too strict and it does not want the pharmacy board to have access to the error reports.

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


Cancer cases in under-50s worldwide up nearly 80% in three decades, study finds
2023-09-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/sep/05/cancer-cases-in-under-50s-wor...

The number of under-50s worldwide being diagnosed with cancer has risen by nearly 80% in three decades, according to the largest study of its kind. Global cases of early onset cancer increased from 1.82 million in 1990 to 3.26 million in 2019, while cancer deaths of adults in their 40s, 30s or younger grew by 27%. More than a million under-50s a year are now dying of cancer, the research reveals. The authors of the study, published in BMJ Oncology, say poor diets, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity are likely to be among the factors. “Since 1990, the incidence and deaths of early onset cancers have substantially increased globally,” the report says. “Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, the restriction of tobacco and alcohol consumption and appropriate outdoor activity, could reduce the burden of early onset cancer.” Previous studies have suggested that the incidence of cancer in adults under the age of 50 has been rising in various parts of the world over the last few decades. The latest study, led by the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China, was the first of its kind to examine the issue on a global scale and the risk factors for younger adults. Based on the observed trends for the past three decades, the researchers estimate that the global number of new early onset cancer cases and associated deaths will rise by a further 31% and 21% respectively by 2030.

Note: This article strangely fails to mention the contamination of the food system and environment with cancer-causing chemicals as possible contributors to this trend. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


A Canadian study gave $7,500 to homeless people. Here’s how they spent it.
2023-09-02, Vox
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/21528569/homeless-poverty-cash-transfer-ca...

Ray, a man in his 50s, used to live in an emergency homeless shelter in Vancouver, Canada. Then he participated in a study that changed his life. The newly published, peer reviewed PNAS study, conducted by the charity Foundations for Social Change in partnership with the University of British Columbia, was fairly simple. It identified 50 people in the Vancouver area who had become homeless in the past two years. In spring 2018, it gave them each one lump sum of $7,500 (in Canadian dollars). And it told them to do whatever they wanted with the cash. Over the next year, the study followed up with the recipients periodically, asking how they were spending the money and what was happening in their lives. The recipients of the cash transfers did not increase spending on drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, but did increase spending on food, clothes, and rent. What’s more, they moved into stable housing faster and saved enough money to maintain financial security over the year of follow-up. “Counter to really harmful stereotypes, we saw that people made wise financial choices,” Claire Williams, the CEO of Foundations for Social Change, [said]. What’s more ... giving out the cash transfers in the Vancouver area actually saved the broader society money. Enabling 50 people to move into housing faster saved the shelter system $8,277 per person over the year, for a total savings of $413,850. That’s more than the value of the cash transfers, which means the transfers pay for themselves.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


U.S. Spy Agency Dreams Of Surveillance Underwear It’s Calling “SMART ePANTS”
2023-09-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/09/02/smart-epants-wearable-technology/

The future of wearable technology, beyond now-standard accessories like smartwatches and fitness tracking rings, is ePANTS, according to the intelligence community. The federal government has shelled out at least $22 million in an effort to develop “smart” clothing that spies on the wearer and its surroundings. Similar to previous moonshot projects funded by military and intelligence agencies, the inspiration may have come from science fiction and superpowers, but the basic applications are on brand for the government: surveillance and data collection. Billed as the “largest single investment to develop Active Smart Textiles,” the SMART ePANTS — Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems — program aims to develop clothing capable of recording audio, video, and geolocation data, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced in an August 22 press release. Garments slated for production include shirts, pants, socks, and underwear, all of which are intended to be washable. There is already evidence that private industry outside of the national security community are interested in smart clothing. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is looking to hire a researcher “with broad knowledge in smart textiles and garment construction, integration of electronics into soft and flexible systems, and who can work with a team of researchers working in haptics, sensing, tracking, and materials science.”

Note: Smart objects have been called a "train wreck in privacy and security." 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.


Court revives doctors’ lawsuit saying FDA overstepped its authority with anti-ivermectin campaign
2023-09-01, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-ivermectin-fda-doctors-lawsuit-bbc8d4f...

A federal appeals court Friday revived a lawsuit by three doctors who say the Food and Drug Administration overstepped its authority in a campaign against treating COVID-19 with the anti-parasite drug ivermectin. Ivermectin ... has been championed by some conservatives as a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA has not approved ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. Friday’s ruling from a panel of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal ... focused on various aspects of an FDA campaign against ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. The ruling acknowledged FDA’s receiving reports of some people requiring hospitalization after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock. But the ruling said the campaign — which at times featured the slogan “You are not a horse!” — too often left out that the drug is sometimes prescribed for humans. The doctors can proceed with their lawsuit contending that the FDA’s campaign exceeded the agency’s authority under federal law, the ruling said. “FDA is not a physician. It has authority to inform, announce, and apprise—but not to endorse, denounce, or advise,” Judge Don Willett wrote. “The Doctors have plausibly alleged that FDA’s Posts fell on the wrong side of the line between telling about and telling to.” Drs. Robert L. Apter, Mary Talley Bowden and Paul E. Marik filed the lawsuit last year. All three said their reputations were harmed by the FDA campaign.

Note: Explore a comprehensive look into the benefits and uses of ivermectin, despite establishment media's concerted effort to discredit its efficacy and safety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


The US Is Fanning the Flames of War With China
2023-08-31, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/the-us-is-fanning-the-flames-of-war-with-china/

The United States is gunning for war with China. By cozying up to Taiwan and arming it to the teeth, President Joe Biden is undermining the “One China” policy which has been the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations since 1979. In March, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines called China the “leading and most consequential threat to U.S. national security.” More than 90 percent of the most advanced microchips in the world are manufactured in Taiwan. The chips are used to power our smartphones, train artificial intelligence systems and guide missiles. The Trump administration imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports to cut off China’s access to the software technology and equipment required to build the advanced chips. Biden has maintained and dramatically expanded Trump’s coercive economic measures and imposed a blockade on advanced semiconductors. Biden has repeatedly stated that the United States would use military force to defend Taiwan if it is attacked by China. The Biden administration has provided Taiwan with $619 million worth of high-tech arms. China has not been at war with any country since 1979. By contrast, the United States has had only 16 years of peace in its 247 years. K.J. Noh, an activist scholar who writes about the geopolitics of the Asian continent ... described South Korea as key to the U.S.’s escalating war on China. “The United States has operational control over South Korean troops,” Noh said. The U.S. is also “weaponizing Taiwan into an imperial outpost for war.”

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


JPMorgan allegedly processed more than $1bn for Epstein over 16 years
2023-08-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/31/jeffrey-epstein-jpmorgan-1-bi...

JPMorgan Chase told US authorities it processed more than $1bn for Jeffrey Epstein over 16 years. JPMorgan reported the transactions as suspicious to the US treasury department following Epstein’s suicide in 2019, Mimi Liu, a lawyer for the territory, said at a hearing concerning its lawsuit against the largest US bank. Epstein had been a JPMorgan client from 1998 to 2013, when the bank dropped him. The disgraced financier had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges at the time of his death. The US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two private islands, is suing JPMorgan for at least $190m and likely much more, saying it ignored red flags that Epstein was running a sex-trafficking operation because he was a lucrative client. Liu mentioned the $1bn amount, which had not been previously disclosed, in arguing that the US district judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan should find before the case goes to trial that the bank participated in Epstein’s sex trafficking. She said no reasonable juror could find that JPMorgan was in the dark about its jet-setting client. “JPMorgan was a full service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” Liu said. Felicia Ellsworth, a lawyer for JPMorgan, said it was not appropriate for the judge to determine the question of the bank’s knowledge before trial because current and former employees have testified that they were unaware of Epstein’s sex trafficking. In June, Rakoff preliminarily approved JPMorgan’s $290m settlement with women who say Epstein abused them.

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


Time to reassess the war on terror
2023-08-30, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/4178099-time-to-reassess-the-wa...

Candid public discourse about the “war on terror” is long overdue. Hindsight offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at the official pronouncements and unheeded dissent that came soon after September 11, 2001. When the first U.S. missiles struck Afghanistan, a Gallup poll found that “90 percent of Americans approve of the United States taking such military action, while just 5 percent are opposed, and another 5 percent are unsure.” A frenzy for war had taken hold, despite the fact that none of the 9/11 hijackers were Afghans. In effect, the United States proceeded, with displaced rage, to inflict collective punishment on vast numbers of Afghan people. More than 20 years later, are we ready to face up to the human toll of the war on terror? Counting only the people killed directly in U.S. wars since 2001, researchers at the Costs of War project at Brown University have estimated those deaths at between 906,000 and 937,000. The study found that at least 364,000 of them were civilians who lost their lives “in the violence of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.” Meanwhile, “several times as many more have been killed as a reverberating effect of the wars.” The estimated number of people directly and indirectly killed is 4.5 million. Labeled as a war on terror, open-ended U.S. warfare remains so routine that no one asks anymore when it might end.

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


Matt Gaetz Wants To Make The Pentagon Answer For Training Coup Leaders
2023-08-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/08/30/coup-leaders-us-military-training-matt-ga...

In response to a spate of coups by U.S.-trained military personnel in West Africa and the greater Sahel, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has authored an amendment to the 2024 defense spending bill to collect information on trainees who overthrow their governments. It would require the Pentagon for the first time to inform Congress about U.S.-mentored mutineers. “The Department of Defense, up until this point, has not kept data regarding the people they train who participate in coups to overthrow democratically elected — or any — governments,” said Gaetz. The Intercept has found that at least 15 officers who benefited from U.S. security assistance have been involved in 12 coups in West Africa and the greater Sahel during the war on terror. At least five leaders of the Niger coup in late July received American training. They, in turn, appointed five U.S.-trained members of the Nigerien security forces to serve as governors. The Intercept identified more than 70 other African military personnel involved in coups since 2001 who might have received U.S. training or assistance, but when provided with names, State Department spokespeople either failed to respond or replied, “We do not have the ability to provide records for these historical cases.” Gaetz’s proposed legislation ... would require the defense secretary to submit a report listing “the number of partner countries whose military forces have participated in security cooperation training or equipping programs or received security assistance training.”

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


Glyphosate Linked to Severe Depression and Cognitive Decline in U.S. Adults
2023-08-29, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/glyphosate-depression-cognitive-d...

A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.

Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Why Is the Moneyless Economy Thriving in America?
2023-08-29, LA Progressive
https://www.laprogressive.com/economic-equality/moneyless-economy

The free, moneyless economy is flourishing in America. Roughly 250 million people were still visiting Craigslist worldwide each month in 2022, 27 years after the site was launched in 1995—and many of those Craigslist users are posting and sharing goods under the site’s popular “free stuff” section. About eight years after Craigslist was launched, Freecycle Network came online in 2003. More than 9 million Americans were still using Freecycle as of 2020, which I detailed in an article that year. And then there’s the relatively young Buy Nothing Project, which turned 10 years old in July of 2023. In addition to providing a digital space where people can request things they need, post things they’re giving away, and share gratitude, one of the B corp’s social benefit model goals is to encourage people to organize community and local events around buying nothing. Over the years, Buy Nothing has been gaining popularity—not through any marketing on the part of the organization but through word-of-mouth and organic growth. The Buy Nothing app, which has only been around for about two years, is ... zeroing in on 1 million users. Buy Nothing’s model varies from that of Craigslist’s “free stuff” and Freecycle in that it is focused on community groups, gatherings, and events organized by and for local communities. The idea is that a global reuse economy will emerge community by community. Buy Nothing exists ... “to build resilient communities where our true wealth is the connections forged between neighbors.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


FBI Hoovering Up DNA At A Pace That Rivals China, Holds 21 Million Samples And Counting
2023-08-29, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/08/29/fbi-dna-collection-surveillance/

The FBI has amassed 21.7 million DNA profiles — equivalent to about 7 percent of the U.S. population — according to Bureau data reviewed by The Intercept. The FBI aims to nearly double its current $56.7 million budget for dealing with its DNA catalog with an additional $53.1 million, according to its budget request for fiscal year 2024. “The requested resources will allow the FBI to process the rapidly increasing number of DNA samples collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” the appeal for an increase says. “When we’re talking about rapid expansion like this, it’s getting us ever closer to a universal DNA database,” Vera Eidelman, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, [said]. “I think the civil liberties implications here are significant.” The rapid growth of the FBI’s sample load is in large part thanks to a Trump-era rule change that mandated the collection of DNA from migrants who were arrested or detained by immigration authorities. Until recently, the U.S. DNA database surpassed even that of authoritarian China, which launched an ambitious DNA collection program in 2017. That year, the BBC reported, the U.S. had about 4 percent of its population’s DNA, while China had about 3 percent. While DNA has played an important role in prosecuting crimes, less than 3 percent of the profiles have assisted in cases, the Bureau’s data reveals. By comparison, fingerprints collected by the FBI from current and former federal employees linked them to crimes at a rate of 12 percent each year.

Note: 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.


COVID-19 to blame for just 1% of new deaths: data
2023-08-28, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/08/28/99-of-new-covid-19-deaths-reported-by-cdc-not-j...

Less than 2% of the deaths reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week were caused by the coronavirus, new data shows. According to the CDC’s COVID-19 dashboard, just 324 deaths logged in the week ending Aug. 19 — 1.7% of all fatalities nationwide — were attributed to the virus. This is a staggering difference from the peak of the pandemic in 2021, when one in three deaths had COVID-19 cited as the main cause. In New York, 2.1% of the deaths last week were tied to the virus. Florida and Maryland have the highest COVID-19 death rates at 3.4%, followed by Washington with 2.4%, while Tennessee and North Carolina each reported 2% — behind New York, but above the national average. The primary cause of death is defined as the condition, injury, disease, situation or event that initiated the chain of events resulting in a person’s death. Weekly COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest numbers since March 2020, according to CDC data. But coronavirus cases recently jumped nationwide — with New York reporting a 55% increase at the beginning of August. The spike came as a new variant — dubbed EG.5, or Eris — emerged as the dominant strain, causing about 17% of COVID cases nationwide.

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


Honduras Defense Official And U.S. Drug War Ally Tied To Narco-trafficker, Notorious Mercenary Firm
2023-08-25, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/08/25/honduras-military-elias-melgar/

Col. Elias Melgar Urbina, a top-ranking Honduran military official and U.S. partner in joint drug war operations, has been tied to a Honduran drug trafficker, according to a U.S. Justice Department filing, and a private security company accused of assassinating land rights activists, according to eyewitness testimony and documents obtained by The Intercept. During the trial of Geovanny Fuentes Ramírez in federal district court in Manhattan, U.S. prosecutors suggested the possibility that Melgar himself had links to the drug trade. Fuentes was convicted in March 2021 of conspiring with high-ranking Honduran politicians and military officials to traffic tons of cocaine into the United States. One of Fuentes’s “military contacts,” according to prosecutors, was Melgar. For decades, the U.S. has supported Honduran governments whose security forces have violently repressed protest, protected select figures in the drug trade, and executed perceived criminals with so-called extermination squads. Since 2009, when a military coup greenlit by the State Department ousted former President Manuel Zelaya, the husband of current president Castro, the U.S. has supported sweeping security initiatives to militarize Honduran forces in the name of the war on drugs — even as they engaged in widespread human rights abuses. “The armed forces have been the key for turning Honduras into a narco-state,” [Pro-Honduras Network head Cristián] Sánchez told The Intercept.

Note: The US government has a long history of involvement in drug trafficking. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


The FDA is now fast-tracking new drug approvals — why that’s so worrying
2023-08-24, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/08/24/fda-fast-tracking-approval-of-new-drugs-fewer-t...

The Food and Drug Administration is now regularly approving new drugs after just one or two clinical trials — a significant departure from the more rigorous vetting process the agency was previously known for, newly published research reveals. Furthermore, the authors say, there’s now less information available to the public about the results of all trials. Of the 37 drugs approved by the FDA last year, 24 (about 65%) were approved based on just one study, according to a paper published in JAMA Network Open. Only four of those 37 drugs, or about 11%, reported three or more studies before approval. Another piece of new research, published in Health Affairs Scholar, found that of the 46 new drugs approved in 2017, 19 of them (41%) were approved based on a single study — though the drugmakers conducted an average of 2.2 studies per drug, including 165 studies for the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic. The ease with which novel drugs are approved is in part the result of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016 to speed the approval of new medicines so patients could gain access to life-saving treatments. As part of that law, the FDA relaxed some standards to allow treatments for priority health conditions such as cancer to be approved with fewer supporting studies, and with less emphasis on randomized clinical trials. But in the years following the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, the FDA has faced a firestorm of criticism over the approval process for some new drugs.

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


CDC Now Refusing New COVID Vaccine Adverse Event Reports in Its V-Safe Program
2023-08-24, Brownstone Institute
https://brownstone.org/articles/cdc-refusing-new-covid-vaccine-adverse-event-...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) V-safe website quietly stopped collecting adverse event reports with no reason or explanation. The V-safe website simply states: “Thank you for your participation. Data collection for COVID-19 vaccines concluded on June 30, 2023.” If you go there today, V-safe directs users to the FDA’s VAERS website for adverse event reporting, even though officials continually derided VAERS as “passive” and “unverified.” VAERS and V-safe are mutually exclusive safety collection databases operated by the FDA and CDC, respectively. According to the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, mRNA “vaccines” have been named the primary suspect in over 1.5 million adverse event reports, of which there are >20,000 heart attacks and >27,000 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis just in the USA alone. VAERS reports represent fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse events. Based on VAERS and previous V-safe findings, adverse events from mRNA shots in the USA alone could be considered a humanitarian crisis. Despite those alarming clinical findings, the CDC has concluded that collecting new safety reports is somehow no longer in the interest of America’s public health. Existing data from the V-safe site showed around 6.5 million adverse events/health impacts out of 10.1 million users, with around 2 million of those people unable to conduct normal activities of daily living.

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


Study finds yet another potential use for aloe plants—Natural insecticide
2023-08-24, Optimist Daily
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2023/08/study-finds-yet-another-potential-use-f...

Aloe vera unveiled a new weapon in its arsenal: its discarded peels. Previously discarded as agricultural trash, these peels are now set to become nature’s response to crop-munching pests. Scientists at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley developed a mechanism for converting this underutilized resource into a powerful natural insecticide, presenting a novel approach to pest management. Humans have already used aloe vera for a plethora of reasons. However, none of these applications takes advantage of the peel. “Millions of tons of aloe peels are likely discarded globally each year,” the driving force behind this botanical discovery, Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay, stated. The idea came to Bandyopadhyay after he noticed bugs biting plants at an aloe manufacturing center but leaving the aloe vera leaves alone. Based on this discovery, the team embarked on an adventure to unearth the hidden potential of aloe peels. Bandyopadhyay emphasizes the dual benefit of inventing a pesticide that avoids dangerous synthetic chemicals, which not only maintains agricultural output but also saves public health. The researchers ... extracted a number of compounds, each with its own set of properties. Octacosane stood out among these for its ability to repel mosquitos. In terms of insecticidal activity, DCM, a separate molecule, outperformed hexane extract. During this procedure, more than 20 compounds were isolated from aloe vera peels, six showing considerable insecticidal activity.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as offsets deemed ‘worthless’
2023-08-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/24/carbon-credit-speculators...

Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as scientific evidence shows many offsets they have bought have no environmental worth and have become stranded assets. Amid growing evidence that huge numbers of carbon credits do nothing to mitigate global heating and can sometimes be linked to alleged human rights concerns, there is a growing pile of carbon credits ... that are unused in the unregulated voluntary market, according to market analysis. Many of the largest companies in the world have used carbon credits for their sustainability efforts from the unregulated voluntary market, which grew to $2bn (£1.6bn) in size in 2021 and saw prices for many carbon credits rise above $20 per offset. The credits are often generated on the basis they are contributing to climate change mitigation such as stopping tropical deforestation, tree planting and creating renewable energy projects. A new study in the journal Science has found that millions of forest carbon credits approved by Verra, the world’s leading certifier, are largely worthless and could make global heating worse if used for offsetting. The analysis ... found that 18 big forest offsetting projects had produced millions of carbon credits based on calculations that greatly inflated their conservation impact. The schemes, which generate credits by avoiding hypothetical deforestation, were found not to reduce forest loss or to reduce it by only small amounts, far less than the huge areas they were claiming to protect, rendering the credits largely hot air.

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


In deadly Maui fires, many had no warning and no way out. Those who dodged a barricade survived
2023-08-24, Associated Press
https://apnews.com/article/hawaii-fires-timeline-maui-lahaina-road-block-c852...

As flames tore through a West Maui neighborhood, car after car of fleeing residents headed for the only paved road out of town in a desperate race for safety. And car after car was turned back toward the rapidly spreading wildfire by a barricade blocking access to Highway 30. One family swerved around the barricade and was safe in a nearby town 48 minutes later, another drove their four-wheel-drive car down a dirt road to escape. One man took a dirt road uphill, climbing above the fire and watching as Lahaina burned. He later picked his way through the flames, smoke and rubble to pull survivors to safety. But dozens of others found themselves caught in a hellscape, their cars jammed together on a narrow road, surrounded by flames on three sides and the rocky ocean waves on the fourth. Some died in their cars, while others tried to run for safety. The road closures — some because of the fire, some because of downed power lines — contributed to making historic Lahaina the site of the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Many of the survivors are angry, and haunted by the thought that a just few minutes of notice could have saved many lives. [Nate] Baird’s neighborhood near Lahainaluna Road was filled with kids who were home alone when the flames hit, he said. “We needed like 10 more minutes, and we could have saved a lot of kids,” he said, choking back tears. “If we’d just had like a 10- or 15-minute warning.”

Note: Despite years of Maui wildfire warnings, Hawaii government officials and Hawaiian Electric did little to address the wildfire threat, spending more on lobbying and peddling influence with regulators and politicians than preventing the fires from happening. For further exploration, watch Robert Kennedy Jr. and former leading BlackRock portfolio manager Edward Dowd discuss this tragic issue.


Maui residents who disobeyed barricade survived fires
2023-08-23, The Hill
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/4166222-maui-residents-who-disobeyed...

Those who disobeyed the barricaded road closures during the Maui fires survived the disaster, while many of those who heeded orders to turn around perished in their cars and homes with no way out. At least 114 people were killed in the fires earlier this month, and the FBI is estimating that up to 1,100 more are unaccounted for. Officials are facing increased scrutiny for the emergency response, including why the emergency sirens were not set off and whether closing the roads prevented people from getting to safety. In the early hours of the Maui fires, there were more than 30 power poles downed alongside the Honoapiilani Highway at the south end of Lahaina — a historic town that was decimated in the fires earlier this month. Officials closed Lahaina Bypass Road due to the fires, blocking the only way out of Lahaina to the southern part of the island. Maui Police Chief John Pelletier said during a news conference that officers never stopped people from leaving the area, but the AP report suggests that residents were discouraged from disobeying the barricade. Kim Cuevas-Reyes said that she survived with her two sons by ignoring orders to turn right onto Front Street, which has now been devastated by the fires. Instead, she turned left and drove in the wrong lane to escape the town. “The gridlock would have left us there when the firestorm came,” Cuevas-Reyes [said].

Note: Despite years of Maui wildfire warnings, Hawaii government officials and Hawaiian Electric did little to address the wildfire threat, spending more on lobbying and peddling influence with regulators and politicians than preventing the fires from happening. For further exploration, watch Robert Kennedy Jr. and former leading BlackRock portfolio manager Edward Dowd discuss this tragic issue.


10 Years After HHS Asked CDC to Study Safety of Childhood Vaccine Schedule, CDC Hasn’t Produced It
2023-08-21, Children's Health Defense
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vax-unvax-hhs-cdc-safety-childhoo...

In 2013, the National Vaccine Program Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commissioned an update of earlier findings on the lack of evidence to support claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infant/child vaccination schedule was safe. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee [was] charged with producing the update. The lack of information on the overall safety of the vaccination schedule was so compelling that the committee then recommended HHS incorporate the study of the safety of the overall childhood immunization schedule into its processes for setting priorities for research, “recognizing stakeholder concerns, and establishing the priorities on the basis of epidemiological evidence, biological plausibility, and feasibility.” The IOM also recommended the CDC use its private database, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), to study the overall health effects of the vaccination schedule using retrospective analyses. Ten years later, the CDC has yet to do such a comparison study, even though it is sitting on a vast repository of data in the VSD, which include comprehensive medical records for more than 10 million individuals and 2 million children. The VSD also contains records for a significant number of unvaccinated children, yet the CDC refuses to compare the health outcomes of vaccinated children to completely unvaccinated children. The CDC also prohibits VSD outside researchers from accessing the VSD data.

Note: Read more about how HHS was in violation of the “Mandate for Safer Childhood Vaccines” as stipulated in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


From fatal eyedrops to mislabeled melatonin, why the FDA is failing the public
2023-08-21, Salon
https://www.salon.com/2023/08/21/from-fatal-eyedrops-to-mislabeled-melatonin-...

A 2022 investigation by the journal The BMJ declared that FDA oversight of clinical trials, including those for Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, was "grossly inadequate," from not conducting enough inspections to failing to alert scientific journals or the public when violations were flagged. But the issues here are not confined to behind the pharmacy counter. Dr. John Abramson, author of the recent book "Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It," traces the roots of issue back decades. "In 1992, when what turned out to be effective HIV drugs were stuck in the bottleneck of the FDA, they didn't have enough staff to get them through quickly enough. Many people were dying, and it was a real crisis," he explains. "The solution was that the Prescription Drug User Fee Agreement was passed. The drug companies started to pay a user fee with that was due upon application for new drug approval. And now roughly 65% of the FDA budget for overseeing human products comes from the drug and device companies. This comes with rigid timelines, and as I see from the outside, some degree of influence and obligation to the drug companies that derives from this agreement." The numbers here vary — Forbes puts that budget figure as high as 75%. Another similar conflict of interest that concerns Abramson is what he calls "the revolving door that goes between FDA and the drug industry."

Note: Read about Brook Jackson, a researcher for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trials, who discovered patient safety concerns, data integrity issues, and other significant issues at her site. When she reported it to the FDA, she was fired the same day. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Rich countries ‘trap’ poor nations into relying on fossil fuels
2023-08-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/aug/21/rich-countries-tra...

The pressure to repay debts is forcing poor nations to continue investing in fossil fuel projects to make their repayments on what are usually loans from richer nations and financial institutions, according to new analysis from the anti-debt campaigners Debt Justice and partners in affected countries. The group is calling for creditors to cancel all debts for countries facing crisis – and especially those linked to fossil fuel projects. “High debt levels are a major barrier to phasing out fossil fuels for many global south countries,” said Tess Woolfenden, a senior policy officer at Debt Justice. “Many countries are trapped exploiting fossil fuels to generate revenue to repay debt while, at the same time, fossil fuel projects often do not generate the revenues expected and can leave countries further indebted than when they started. This toxic trap must end.” According to the report, the debt owed by global south countries has increased by 150% since 2011 and 54 countries are in a debt crisis, having to spend five times more on repayments than on addressing the climate crisis. Sharda Ganga, the director of the Surinamese civil society group Projekta, said ... “The reality is that this is the new form of colonialism – we have exchanged one ruler for the rule of our creditors who basically already own what is ours. The difference is this time we signed the deal ourselves.”

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.


Navigating the Waves
2023-08-21, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/navigating-the-waves/

Natalie Small looks at the ocean. “How high are the waves today – the ones out there on the water and the emotional ones within me? These are questions she likes to ask at the start of every group therapy session on Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. Small ... is part of a burgeoning niche of psychotherapy that blends traditional therapy with a sport proven to build resilience, confidence and well-being. More than a hippie wellness novelty or New Age fad, surf therapy is being embraced by psychologists and government agencies alike as a way to increase access to mental health care while delivering evidence-based, lasting results. Kristen Walter ... received a $1 million grant from the Navy to research surf therapy for military personnel. “We see immediate benefits,” Walter confirms. “Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety decrease significantly.” Walter’s research has shown that the effects of surf therapy are lasting: When she randomly assigned 96 military participants with mental health diagnoses to either hiking or surf therapy, both groups spent three to four hours per week in nature. After six weeks, both groups showed improvements — 55 percent of the surfers and 46 percent of the hikers were no longer considered clinically ill. “But when we checked again three months later, the improvements in the surfer group lasted significantly longer,” Walter says. “74 percent of the surfers were considered healed versus only 47 percent of the hikers.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


No app, no entry: How the digital world is failing the non tech-savvy
2023-08-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/aug/20/no-app-no-entry-how-the-di...

The cashless society is effectively already a reality for most of us, but there remains a minority for whom it represents a continuing headache. The government last week told high street banks that they must offer access to cash machines within three miles of customers after the closure of thousands of branches had reduced the number of ATMs. There are also an estimated to be 1.3 million adults in this country who are “unbanked” – ie do not have a bank account. For them, something as mundane as parking a car is increasingly fraught – a quarter of London councils have removed pay and display parking machines in favour of smartphone-centred apps. The shiny, bright future of full computerisation looks very much like a dystopia to someone who either doesn’t understand it or have the means to access it. And almost by definition, the people who can’t access the digitalised world are seldom visible, because absence is not easy to see. What is apparent is that improved efficiency doesn’t necessarily lead to greater wellbeing. Technology doesn’t have to be dehumanising, but if it’s to avoid that outcome it has to be human-focused, not just consumer-focused, and in particular not just digital-consumer-focused. Cash, like printed air tickets or indeed train tickets, will no doubt one day soon seem as anachronistic as the barter system. In the meantime the transition should focus on ensuring that no one is discounted because they are too old, too poor or too disabled to matter to the gods of efficiency.

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


Cluster Bombs Are as Outdated as War
2023-08-18, Yes! Magazine
https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2023/08/18/cluster-bombs-ukraine-war-biden

President Joe Biden’s administration has taken a cruel weapon—the cluster bomb—off the shelf and sent it to Ukraine to be used in the war against Russia. Prior to being transferred to Ukraine, cluster bombs made in the United States were used by Saudi Arabia as recently as last year to devastating effect in its war in Yemen. Cluster bombs are large bombs that contain dozens or even hundreds of smaller bombs, or “bomblets.” Cluster bombs are designed to scatter the bomblets over a wide area upon detonation. Inevitably, not all of the smaller, scattered bombs explode on impact. The bomblets lie on or below the surface of the ground, potentially for years or even decades, waiting to be detonated when touched. They are, in effect, land mines. The U.S. has used cluster bombs in large-scale military operations since World War II, including its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The bomblets that the U.S. used in those invasions were the same size and color as the packaged meals—humanitarian daily rations, or HDRs—that the U.S. also air-dropped for civilians. Human rights groups warned at the time against using cluster bombs, pointing to a similar problem that occurred when the U.S. used them in the Balkan Wars in the 1990s and children mistook the bomblets for toys—but the Pentagon used them anyway. More than 120 countries have signed the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. The U.S. remains in the minority of countries that refuses to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, along with Ukraine and Russia.

Note: The cluster bomb trade is funded by the world's biggest banks. It's been estimated that 98% of cluster bomb victims are civilians. Learn more about arms industry corruption in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


EPA’s new definition of PFAS could omit thousands of ‘forever chemicals’
2023-08-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/18/epa-new-definition-pfas-f...

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office responsible for protecting the public from toxic substances has changed how it defines PFAS for a second time since 2021, a move critics say they fear will exclude thousands of “forever chemicals” from regulation and largely benefit industry. Instead of using a clear definition of what constitutes a PFAS, the agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics plans to take a “case-by-case” approach that allows it to be more flexible in determining which chemicals should be subjected to regulations. Among other uses for the compounds, the EPA appears to be excluding some chemicals in pharmaceuticals and pesticides that are generally defined as PFAS, current and former EPA officials say, and the shift comes amid fierce industry opposition to proposed limits on the chemicals. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 15,000 compounds most frequently used to make products water-, stain- and grease-resistant. They have been linked to cancer, birth defects, decreased immunity, high cholesterol, kidney disease and a range of other serious health problems. They are dubbed “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down in the environment. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, a current EPA employee in the toxics office said the chemical’s definition has been evolving for several years. “EPA can’t get its act together on what PFAS are,” they added.

Note: These chemicals have contaminated 41 percent of US tap water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: WHO aspartame safety panel linked to alleged Coca-Cola front group
2023-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/aug/17/who-panel-aspartame-diet-cok...

In May, the World Health Organization issued an alarming report that declared widely used non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame are likely ineffective for weight loss, and long term consumption may increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality in adults. A few months later, WHO declared aspartame, a key ingredient in Diet Coke, to be a “possible carcinogen”, then quickly issued a third report that seemed to contradict its previous findings – people could continue consuming the product at levels determined to be safe decades ago. That contradiction stems from beverage industry corruption of the review process by consultants tied to an alleged Coca-Cola front group, the public health advocacy group US Right to Know said in a recent report. It uncovered eight WHO panelists involved with assessing safe levels of aspartame consumption who are beverage industry consultants who currently or previously worked with the alleged Coke front group, International Life Sciences Institute (Ilsi). Aspartame was first approved for use in the US in the early 1980s over the objection of some researchers who warned of potential health risks. In recent years, as evidence of health threats has mounted, industry has ramped up a PR campaign to downplay the issues. Ilsi representatives have sought to shape food policy worldwide. [Gary Ruskin, US Right to Know’s executive director], characterized the aspartame controversy as a “masterpiece in how Ilsi worms its way into these regulatory processes”.

Note: Explore a comprehensive overview of key scientific studies on aspartame harms, and how they were covered up by the sugar industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


Microplastic pollution: Plants could be the answer
2023-08-16, University of British Columbia
https://news.ubc.ca/2023/08/16/microplastic-pollution-plants-could-be-the-ans...

Could plants be the answer to the looming threat of microplastic pollution? Scientists at UBC’s BioProducts Institute found that if you add tannins—natural plant compounds that make your mouth pucker if you bite into an unripe fruit—to a layer of wood dust, you can create a filter that traps virtually all microplastic particles present in water. While the experiment remains a lab set-up at this stage, the team is convinced that the solution can be scaled up easily and inexpensively. For their study, the team analyzed microparticles released from popular tea bags made of polypropylene. They found that their method (they’re calling it “bioCap”) trapped from 95.2 per cent to as much as 99.9 per cent of plastic particles in a column of water, depending on plastic type. When tested in mouse models, the process was proved to prevent the accumulation of microplastics in the organs. Dr. Rojas, a professor in the departments of wood science, chemical and biological engineering, and chemistry at UBC, adds that it’s difficult to capture all the different kinds of microplastics in a solution, as they come in different sizes, shapes and electrical charges. “There are microfibres from clothing, microbeads from cleansers and soaps, and foams and pellets from utensils, containers and packaging. By taking advantage of the different molecular interactions around tannic acids, our bioCap solution was able to remove virtually all of these different microplastic types.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The sports movement spreading positivity in war-torn Yemen
2023-08-16, Positive News
https://www.positive.news/society/yemen-best-team-sports-club/

By the time the sun casts its first beams on war-ravaged Yemen, hundreds of men will have taken their positions across the park, and the workout begins. Enthusiastic chants of “Ahsan Fareek”, or “Best Team”, boom across the park as members of this daily, free, open-to-all sports club begin a set of 33 exercises designed to work the whole body. For the next hour, they temporarily put aside the stressors they’ve accumulated from the devastating eight-year civil war that has claimed 377,000 lives, touching their toes, standing on one leg and reaching for the sky. By 6.30am the crowd disperses, and everyone goes about their day, rejuvenated and energized, ready to meet again the following morning. “It is a sports club for everyone, but it’s particularly vital for the elderly, who suffer from illnesses and anxiety and for whom treatment is unaffordable,” says Najy Abu Hatem, co-founder of the initiative. “Being part of Best Team lifts their morale and gives them free exercise classes in a healthy and social setting.” In a country of 33 million people, there are only 59 psychiatrists – one psychiatrist per 500,000 people – and the total number of mental health workers is just 304. Although Best Team can hardly tackle this huge, ongoing mental health crisis, the twin benefits it provides of camaraderie and physical exercise – under the guise of a more socially acceptable men’s sports club – is nonetheless quietly improving people’s mental wellbeing across the capital and beyond.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Researchers find increase in younger people diagnosed with cancer
2023-08-16, The Hill
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4155325-researchers-find-increase-in-yo...

New research has found an increase in early-onset cancer rates among younger people between 2010 and 2019. In a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers found that “the incidence rates of early-onset cancers increased substantially” between 2010 and 2019. The researchers said that gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing rates among all the ones they looked at. The study, using data from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, found that there was a .74 percent increase among all age groups in the incidence of early-onset cancers. The study found that the rates increased in those aged 30 to 39 years and remained stable in all other age groups below the age of 50. “There is a need to inform health care professionals about the increasing incidence of early-onset cancer, and investigations for possible tumors need to be considered when clinically appropriate, even in patients younger than 50 years,” the study’s discussion states. “These data ... serve as a call to action for further research into the various environmental factors that may be associated with this concerning pattern,” the discussion said. Rates also “disproportionately” increased among women, American Indian or Alaska Native individuals and Asian or Pacific Islander individuals. The study found that while gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest growing rates, breast cancer had the highest number of incident cases. 

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


Japan can teach the world a better way to age
2023-08-15, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/08/15/japan-elderly-care-dignity...

If you want a glimpse of the future, go to Japan. What lies ahead for many other countries, including the United States, is in rural areas and regional cities outside greater Tokyo: lots of people aging and dying, and relatively few giving birth and raising kids. In today’s Japan, the young and middle-aged are consumed by caring for the old, and small-town resources are overstretched. Japanese innovators are already demonstrating what’s possible — and, in many cases, not with high-tech fixes but by showcasing design thinking, dignity and respect. Instead, they would be invited to share their wisdom and skills to help them stay active, sharp and socially engaged. Old people at the center cook for one another and teach young people how to grow vegetables and make art. The city [of Toyama] repurposed old train and tram lines into a sleek light-rail system, with platforms placed at the level of the train cars so that people would not need to climb or descend stairs. Public transit ridership among people in their 60s and 70s has since more than tripled, and this has helped seniors maintain active and social lifestyles. Other social entrepreneurs in Japan have focused on food — for instance, bringing children and the elderly together in cafeterias that serve traditional dishes. One Tokyo pop-up eatery, dubbed the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders, has employed people with dementia as its waitstaff. [Japanese innovators have] yielded ideas that prioritize helping old people flourish, not just managing their illnesses, disabilities and deaths.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


‘This way of farming is really sexy’: the rise of regenerative agriculture
2023-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/14/this-way-of-farming-is-re...

Hollie Fallick looks over Brading on the Isle of Wight, at a patchwork of fields bordered by ancient oaks. She farms with her best friend, Francesca Cooper. The friends ... are part of a growing global movement practising regenerative agriculture – or regen ag for short. “Regenerative agriculture is nature-friendly farming,” says Fallick. “It’s thinking about the health of soil, animals, humans and how they all link together.” On Nunwell home farm, which sits alongside land the pair manage for the Wildlife Trust and produces meat and eggs for their direct-to-consumer business, chickens peck away alongside belted Galloway cows, nomadic pigs graze on grass as well as kale and bean “cover crops” sown to boost nutrients in the soil. The idea is that by following the basic principles of regen ag – not disturbing the soil, keeping it covered, maintaining living roots, growing a diverse range of crops and the use of grazing animals – they can regenerate tired and depleted soil and produce nutritious food.  The work, they argue, is urgent. Up to 40% of the world's land is now degraded by industrial and harmful farming methods, according to the UN. Barnes Edwards, co-director of the Garlic Farm ... argues that regen ag farmers recognise the “hideously negative impact” of badly managed livestock farming. But they also argue “it’s the how, not the cow”, and say that cows pooing and trampling in diversely planted fields boosts soil health, micronutrients and attracts insects, birds and butterflies.

Note: Don't miss Kiss the Ground, a powerful documentary on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to build global community, reverse the many environmental crises we face, and revive our connection to the natural world. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Dead flies could be used to make biodegradable plastic, scientists say
2023-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/14/dead-flies-biodegradable-...

Dead flies could be turned into biodegradable plastic, researchers have said. The finding, presented at the autumn meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), could be useful as it is difficult to find sources for biodegradable polymers that do not have other competing uses. “For 20 years, my group has been developing methods to transform natural products – such as glucose obtained from sugar cane or trees – into degradable, digestible polymers that don’t persist in the environment,” said the principal investigator, Karen Wooley. A colleague suggested she could use waste products left over from farming black soldier flies. The larvae of the flies contain proteins and other nutritious compounds so are being raised for animal feed. However, adult flies are less useful and are discarded. Wooley’s team has been trying to use these carcasses to make useful materials from a waste product. The researchers found that chitin, a sugar-based polymer, is a major component of the flies and it strengthens the shell, or exoskeleton, of insects and crustaceans. From the fly products, the team created a hydrogel that can absorb 47 times its weight in water in just one minute. This product could be used in cropland soil to capture flood water and then slowly release moisture during droughts. The scientists hope they will soon be able to create bioplastics such as polycarbonates or polyurethanes, which are traditionally made from petrochemicals, from the flies. These plastics will not contribute to the plastic pollution problem.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


What progressives get wrong when it comes to crypto
2023-08-12, Fortune
https://fortune.com/crypto/2023/08/12/what-progressives-get-wrong-when-it-com...

Progressives are confused and distressed over the choice by many of our allies to devalue decentralization in the technology space, and even to portray it as worse than Big Tech alternatives. In recent months, a number of progressive commentators have attacked the very idea of decentralization, arguing that it’s a distraction from other political goals. This has also led to progressives making crypto a favorite target and, bizarrely, taking the positions of big banks, which are notoriously monopolistic. To us, the more pressing concern is legacy tech platforms—and their ongoing capture of user data. Decentralizing technology will prove crucial in ensuring that the world isn’t run by a handful of unelected technologists. Crypto is an exception to so much technology because it runs on blockchain and no single person or corporation can control it. We value a world where power is dispersed to the people, where no one is so powerful that they can dictate terms to the rest of us. A blockchain allows everyone to own their own data, to control their own information, and to port that information and data to another system at their discretion. It also allows for people to exchange both data and money in a peer-to-peer manner, without permission from expensive, bureaucratic, and—in many cases—unnecessary intermediaries. Migrants also use crypto to send money to their home countries, and this activity alone will become increasingly important as political and climate migration continues to accelerate.

Note: The US government financially attacked Wikileaks in 2010 after the organization published documentation of US military war crimes. This attack would have ended Wikileaks, but the organization instead embraced bitcoin and survived for several more years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.


More young Americans are dying – and it's not COVID. Why aren't we searching for answers?
2023-08-11, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2023/08/11/more-americans-dying-than-b...

Life insurance actuaries are reporting that many more people are dying – still – than in the years before the pandemic. Among working people 35 to 44 years old, a stunning 34% more died than expected in the last quarter of 2022, with above-average rates in other working-age groups, too. “COVID-19 claims do not fully explain the increase,” a Society of Actuaries report says. There was an extreme and sudden increase in worker mortality in the fall of 2021 even as the nation saw a precipitous drop in COVID-19 deaths. In the third quarter of 2021, deaths among workers ages 35-44 reached a pandemic peak of 101% above ... the three-year pre-COVID baseline. In two other prime working-age groups, mortality was 79% above expected. In the year ending April 30, 2023 ... at least 104,000 more Americans died than expected. In the U.K., 52,427 excess deaths were reported in that period; in Germany, 81,028; France, 17,731; Netherlands, 10,418; and Ireland, 2,640. The actuarial reports can only speculate on the factors causing these deaths, including oft-cited delayed health care, drug overdoses and even weather patterns. But the question remains: What explains this ongoing wave of excess deaths? Life insurance data suggests something happened in the fall of 2021 in workplaces, especially among white-collar workers. These are people whose education, income level and access to health care would predict better outcomes.

Note: Critical care physician Dr. Pierre Kory, one of the co-authors of this article, recently published an in-depth explanation on what he believes is behind the excess death among American youth, and why it wasn’t mentioned in the USA Today article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Beyond Banking Scandals: The Blockchain Promise of Transparency and Trust
2023-08-10, The Street
https://www.thestreet.com/cryptocurrency/beyond-banking-scandals-the-blockcha...

In a recent discussion on the implications of blockchain technology and its democratization of finance, Roundtable anchor, Rob Nelson and Jordan Fried, CEO of Immutable Holdings explored the depth and magnitude of the possible changes ahead. Jordan Fried ... discussed the roots of Bitcoin, stating it was a direct protest against institutions like BlackRock and the financial systems that seemed to work only for the wealthy. Recalling the 2008 financial crisis, Fried expressed the sentiments of many who wondered why banks were bailed out while average individuals suffered. Bitcoin arose from this frustration, offering a transparent financial system unlike anything before. Expanding on this, Fried emphasized the transparency of Bitcoin in comparison to traditional currencies. In Bitcoin's blockchain, every transaction is traceable, unlike the ambiguous dealings within the current banking system. Contrary to common misconceptions ... only a fraction of crime occurs in crypto, as compared to the US dollar. Most financial crimes, including money laundering, are committed in US dollars. Rob Nelson humorously highlighted the recurring financial scandals of banks like Wells Fargo, suggesting that these financial giants often factor in their fines as just another "cost of doing business." In this evolving era of blockchain and cryptocurrency, one thing is clear: the potential impact on the financial world is vast. The very essence of how we view and interact with money is on the cusp of profound change.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


There’s far more scientific fraud than anyone wants to admit
2023-08-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/aug/09/scientific-misconduct-r...

Scientific misconduct does not happen only at Stanford and Harvard. Of the nearly 5,500 retractions we catalogue in 2022, and the thousands of cases we have reported on since launching our watchdog website Retraction Watch in 2010, the vast majority involve researchers at institutions without anywhere near Stanford and Harvard’s pedigrees. The number of retractions each year reflects about a tenth of a percent of the papers published in a given year – in other words, one in 1,000. Yet the figure has grown significantly from about 40 retractions in 2000, far outpacing growth in the annual volume of papers published. Retractions have risen sharply in recent years for two main reasons: first, sleuthing, largely by volunteers who comb academic literature for anomalies, and, second, major publishers’ (belated) recognition that their business models have made them susceptible to paper mills – scientific chop shops that sell everything from authorships to entire manuscripts to researchers who need to publish lest they perish. These are not merely academic matters. Particularly when it comes to medical research, faker hurts real people. The truth, however, is that the number of retractions in 2022 – 5,500 – is almost definitely a vast undercount of how much misconduct and fraud exists. We estimate that at least 100,000 retractions should occur every year. Journals and publishers ... fail to do their part, finding ways to ignore criticism of what they have published, leaving fatally flawed work flagged.

Note: Back in 2015, the editor-in-chef of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, wrote that much of scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. According to a revealing article by Nature, a leading science journal, medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. Who can we trust? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.


Gov’t scientists got $325M in royalties from China, Russia, pharma firms: report
2023-08-09, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/08/09/325m-in-royalty-payments-to-nih-scientists-incl...

National Institutes of Health scientists raked in more than $325 million in royalties from Chinese and Russian entities — as well as pharmaceutical companies — over more than a decade, according to a new report. Former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci were among the thousands of government whitecoats who took the cash between September 2009 and October 2020, the taxpayer watchdog OpenTheBooks.com revealed. Several of those royalties came from companies that in turn received federal contracts and grants, prompting concerns about conflicts of interest. Unredacted documents obtained by the group through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show at least 34 Chinese companies are licensing NIH technologies initially funded by US taxpayers. Some of those licensing fees came from the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese government-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, which produced a COVID-19 vaccine. In 2016, the biological products company moved its headquarters next to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where risky “gain-of-function” research funded by the US government may have led to the outbreak of the pandemic. The late Dr. Robert Chanock, the former head of the NIAID’s laboratory of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, his successor, were just a few of the virologists on the take from the Wuhan-based company.

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


Why did the National Honey Board hire a PR firm that works for the pesticide industry?
2023-08-08, U.S. Right to Know
https://usrtk.org/pesticides/national-honey-board-porter-novelli/

In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].

Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.


A New, Chilling Secret About the Manhattan Project Has Just Been Made Public
2023-08-08, Slate
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/08/oppenheimer-manhattan-project-rad...

Newly declassified documents reveal that Gen. Leslie Groves—director of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret operation that built the atomic bomb during World War II—misled Congress and the public about the effects of radiation. He did so initially out of ignorance, then denial, and finally, willful deception. The documents also show that some scientists in the project, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos lab where the bomb was first tested, kept mum about Groves’ lie rather than dispute him or confront the general directly. The cache of documents ... was released on Monday, within days of the 78th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the wake of the release of Oppenheimer, the wildly (and deservedly) successful film. One of the new documents the archive obtained is a memo by four scientists, titled “Calculated Biological Effects of Atomic Explosion in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” dated Sept. 1, 1945. Until this memo was written, it had been assumed the A-bomb’s victims would be killed by its blast and its heat. But this memo concluded that at least some of the deaths had been caused by radioactive fallout, days or weeks after the explosions. And yet, the day before the memo’s date, at a press conference in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Groves said radiation had caused no deaths and that claims to the contrary—some published in Asian newspapers—were “propaganda.”

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


At least half of all people likely to develop mental health disorders before 75: study
2023-08-05, The Hill
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/mental-health/4139267-at-least-half-dev...

A recent study in The Lancet found that by the age of 75 about half of all people will develop a mental disorder. “These disorders typically first emerge in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood,” reads the study, co-led by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Queensland. “Services should have the capacity to detect and treat common mental disorders promptly and to optimize care that suits people at these crucial parts of the life course.” The study included over 150,000 respondents aged 18 and older from 29 countries between 2001 and 2022. The study also noted a finding of different disorders more commonly affecting different genders than others. “The two most prevalent disorders were alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder for male respondents and major depressive disorder and specific phobia for female respondents,” the study said. The study noted the importance of studying the frequency and timing of mental disorder development, calling it “fundamental importance for public health planning.

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


Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?
2023-08-05, The Hill
https://thehill.com/homenews/nexstar_media_wire/4133806-map-does-your-drinkin...

So-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected? If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT). EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts. PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals that are used to make nonstick pans, food packaging, fire-fighting foams, to-go boxes, furniture, rugs, clothing and more. The chemicals are so ubiquitous it would be nearly impossible for most Americans to rid their home of them. The chemicals are both extremely common and potentially dangerous. Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage. Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.

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


EPA approved fuel ingredient with sky-high lifetime cancer risk, document reveals
2023-08-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/04/epa-boat-fuel-cancer-risk...

The Environmental Protection Agency approved a component of boat fuel made from discarded plastic that the agency’s own risk formula determined was so hazardous, everyone exposed to the substance continually over a lifetime would be expected to develop cancer. Current and former EPA scientists said that threat level is unheard of. It is a million times higher than what the agency usually considers acceptable for new chemicals and six times worse than the risk of lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking. Federal law requires the EPA to conduct safety reviews before allowing new chemical products on to the market. If the agency finds that a substance causes unreasonable risk to health or the environment, the EPA is not allowed to approve it without first finding ways to reduce that risk. But the agency did not do that in this case. Instead, the EPA decided its scientists were overstating the risks and gave Chevron the go-ahead to make the new boat fuel ingredient at its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Though the substance can poison air and contaminate water, EPA officials mandated no remedies other than requiring workers to wear gloves, records show. The EPA division that approves new chemicals usually limits lifetime cancer risk from an air pollutant to one additional case of cancer in a million people. That means that if a million people are continuously exposed over a presumed lifetime of 70 years, there would likely be at least one case of cancer on top of those from other risks people already face.

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


Taliban’s Massively Successful Opium Eradication Raises Questions About What US Was Doing All Along
2023-08-04, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/taliban-successful-opium-eradication-afgahnista...

The Taliban government in Afghanistan – the nation that until recently produced 90% of the world’s heroin – has drastically reduced opium cultivation across the country. Western sources estimate an up to 99% reduction in some provinces. This raises serious questions about the seriousness of U.S. drug eradication efforts in the country over the past 20 years. And, as global heroin supplies dry up, experts tell MintPress News that they fear this could spark the growing use of fentanyl – a drug dozens of times stronger than heroin that already kills more than 100,000 Americans yearly. A similar attempt by the Taliban to eliminate the drug occurred in 2000, the last full year that they were in power. It was extraordinarily successful, with opium reduction dropping from 4,600 tons to just 185 tons. However, as soon as the United States invaded in 2001, poppy cultivation shot back up to previous levels and the supply chain recommenced. Afghanistan’s transformation into a preeminent narco-state owes a significant debt to Washington’s actions. Poppy cultivation in the 1970s was relatively limited. However, the tide changed in 1979 with the inception of Operation Cyclone, a massive infusion of funds to Afghan Mujahideen factions aimed at exhausting the Soviet military. The U.S. directed billions toward the insurgents, yet their financial needs persisted. Consequently, the Mujahideen delved into the illicit drug trade. By the culmination of Operation Cyclone, Afghanistan’s opium production had soared twentyfold.

Note: Read powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Chemical companies’ PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger
2023-08-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/aug/03/chemical-companies-pfas-p...

When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as “the largest drinking water settlement in American history”, and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic “forever chemicals”. A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great ... the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by big tobacco in the 1990s. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver conditions, immune disorders, birth defects and other health problems. The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated private wells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from dental floss to cookware to clothing, and have been found to contaminate food, soil and air.

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


What if We’re the Bad Guys Here?
2023-08-02, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/02/opinion/trump-meritocracy-educated.html

When I began my journalism career in Chicago in the 1980s, there were still some old crusty working-class guys around the newsroom. Now we’re not only a college-dominated profession; we’re an elite-college-dominated profession. Only 0.8 percent of college students graduate from the super-elite 12 schools (the Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford, M.I.T., Duke and the University of Chicago). A 2018 study found that more than 50 percent of the staff writers at the beloved New York Times and The Wall Street Journal attended one of the 29 most elite universities in the nation. Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired. Does this mean that I think the people in my class are vicious and evil? No. Most of us are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But we take for granted and benefit from systems that have become oppressive.

Note: Watch an excellent interview of journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon discussing how journalism has shifted from being a working class trade that held the powerful accountable to an elite industry that serves the upper class. She articulates that mainstream news has abandoned and divided the working class by creating a culture war around identity and race. Elites shaping the news industry benefit from this political polarization, which hides the tragic reality of income inequality that affect all races across political lines.


Senate Democrats Blocked Watchdog For Ukraine Aid — Ignoring Lessons From Afghanistan
2023-08-02, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/08/02/ukraine-aid-special-inspector-afghanistan/

Hours after Senate Democrats blocked an effort to install greater oversight over the billions of dollars the United States is sending to Ukraine, the watchdog who oversaw U.S. spending in Afghanistan issued a warning. Spending too much too fast, with little oversight, would lead to “unanticipated consequences,” John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, said at an event. Sopko especially warned about the risk of fueling corruption, perhaps the most damaging legacy of the billions the U.S. spent in Afghanistan and a major factor in the collapse of its effort in the country. “If that much money is coming in, you know some of it is going to be stolen,” he said. “In Afghanistan, corruption was the existential threat. It wasn’t the Taliban. It was corruption that did us in.” Debate over installing a special inspector for Ukraine modeled after SIGAR began swirling on Capitol Hill as it became clear that U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion would reach unprecedented levels. Congress approved some $113 billion in aid to Ukraine last year, and some analysts put the full figure to date at closer to $137 billion. By comparison, the U.S. spent some $146 billion in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2022 (although it spent far more going to war there in the first place). “By the end of this year, we will have spent more money in Ukraine than we did to do the entire Marshall Plan after World War II,” Sopko said.

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


US academics 'may be prosecuted' over Covid-19 lab leak: top scientist
2023-08-01, The Australian (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/us-academics-may-be-prosecuted-over-co...

A leading US scientist expects academics who played down the idea Covid-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory, despite their private doubts, will face criminal prosecution for fraud. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist [said] the "preponderance of evidence" available supported the notion the new virus emerged from research-related activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, before rapidly spreading throughout the world in early 2020. Professor Ebright, a long term advocate for reducing the risk of biological weapons programs, said the arguments over the origin of Covid-19 was "moving out of the scientific community arena, into the congressional arena, and ultimately it will move into the judicial arena". "There will be referrals for prosecution of violations of law, including, based on what we know already, very clear evidence for criminal fraud, for criminal conspiracy to defraud or criminal misuse of federal funds," he said. Professor Ebright's comments came days after Republican Senator Rand Paul ... referred Dr Anthony Fauci, a former top US health bureaucrat, to the Department of Justice for prosecution over allegations he lied to Congress over the extent of US funding that had been directed to the Wuhan lab. "There's no question in my mind that [Tony] Fauci committed a felony on each of those three occasions, and ... he has not been held accountable," Professor Ebright said. "Lying to Congress is a felony and the penalty is five years in prison; there have been at least three instances".

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


The US cannot be complicit in allowing child soldiers
2023-07-31, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/international/4125729-the-us-cannot-be-complicit-...

In its newly released 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Biden administration provided a glaring, but largely unnoticed, admission that it has failed to implement a key provision of U.S. law aimed at preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The report acknowledged that the administration has yet to finalize a congressionally mandated list of governments complicit in child soldier recruitment or use. With this list responsible for spurring urgently needed U.S. child soldier prevention efforts, its delay could have potentially severe consequences. Despite decades of concerted action to end the use of children as tools of war, the recruitment and use of child soldiers remains one of the most widespread abuses inflicted upon children in conflict, with the UN having verified the recruitment and use of 7,622 child soldiers last year — a 21 percent increase compared to 2021. Among those implicated in the use of child soldiers are security forces and armed groups led or supported by governments that rely heavily on U.S. defense cooperation to sustain their security operations. Somalia, for example, which recruited and used dozens of child soldiers in 2022, is among the most significant recipients of U.S. military aid in sub-Saharan Africa, with U.S. security assistance to and peacekeeping operations in the country amounting to roughly $3 billion over the past decade. The Biden administration can incentive governments implicated in the recruitment or use of child soldiers to put an end to these horrendous practices.

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


Intelligence Board Recommends Curbing F.B.I.'s Power to Use Surveillance Program
2023-07-31, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/31/us/politics/fbi-warantless-surveillance-se...

An advisory board to President Biden has recommended limiting the F.B.I.'s ability to use a controversial warrantless surveillance program to hunt for information about Americans, even as it urged lawmakers to renew the law that authorizes it. The panel, known as the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, suggested barring the bureau from searching a database of intercepted information when looking for evidence about Americans in criminal investigations that do not involve foreign intelligence. The board ... delivered the recommendation in a declassified 39-page report. It came as Congress was debating whether to extend the law authorizing the program, known as Section 702. Under Section 702, the government can collect – from American companies like Google and AT&T and without a warrant – the communications of targeted foreigners abroad, even when they are talking to or about Americans. The notion that Section 702 creates a backdoor to the Fourth Amendment by allowing the F.B.I. to read private communications to or from an American without a warrant in ordinary criminal contexts has raised particular alarm. But the board rejected as unjustified the more sweeping reform proposal: to require the government to obtain a court warrant before using Americans' identifiers to search the repository. Requiring a court order before doing so, the board said, would prevent intelligence agencies from discovering threats to the country in a timely manner.

Note: 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.


The Biden Appointee Spearheading AI Accountability Has Close Ties To Google
2023-07-31, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alan-davidson-google-ai-accountability_n_64c7f...

Alan Davidson currently leads the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, the agency now crafting recommendations on how federal regulators can hold AI companies accountable. But for years, he worked as Google's chief lobbyist in Washington. NTIA's recommendations will help form the basis of the Biden administration's response to AI and machine learning. "People are warning that there are really serious downsides possible to AI, and I would want a hard-headed regulator to run down those concerns," said Jeff Hauser, the executive director of the Revolving Door Project, a watchdog focused on conflicts of interest in government. "Davidson is not likely, based on his CV, to be detached." Rapid advances in AI present a potential turning point for Silicon Valley's dominant tech firms. Notably, the first company to capture national attention with the launch of a new AI product was not a household name, like Google or Microsoft, but the independent research lab OpenAI, with its splashy launch of ChatGPT. Google reportedly sees the AI products it has in the pipeline as so pivotal to the company's future that Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder lately absorbed with outside projects, has returned to company headquarters to work directly with the team building its flagship AI system. "Google is the biggest player who cares about this issue," [said former Hill aide involved in antitrust policy]. "I cannot imagine Google doesn't view Alan Davidson as an asset to them."

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


'Fairly shocking': Secret medical lab in California stored bioengineered mice laden with COVID
2023-07-31, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/07/31/illegal-lab-california-...

A months long investigation into a rural California warehouse uncovered an illegal laboratory filled with infectious agents, medical waste and hundreds of mice bioengineered "to catch and carry the COVID-19 virus," according to Fresno County authorities. Health and licensing said Monday that Prestige Biotech, a Chinese medical company registered in Nevada, was operating the unlicensed facility in Reedley, California, a small city about 24 miles southeast of Fresno. The company, according to Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba, had a goal of being a diagnostics lab. "They never had a business license," Zieba [said]. "The city was completely unaware that they were in this building." The Fresno County Public Health Department launched its investigation into the facility in December 2022 after a code enforcement officer saw a garden hose attached to a building that was presumed to be vacant and had no active business license, Zieba said. Hundreds of mice also were found at the warehouse, where they were "kept in inadequate conditions in overcrowded cages" with no food or water, according to court documents. An associate with Prestige Biotech told investigators the mice were "genetically engineered to catch and carry the COVID virus." The city seized the mice in April and euthanized 773 of them. Zieba said officials called in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after about 30 freezers and refrigerators were found, with some set to minus 80 degrees. The CDC detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents.

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


It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s the Police Responding to a 911 Call.
2023-07-29, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2023/07/29/police-drone-california-911

If you call 911 to report an emergency, the odds are increasing that a drone will be the first unit sent to respond. More than 1,500 departments across the country now use them, “mostly for search and rescue as well as to document crime scenes and chase suspects,” according to ... MIT Technology Review. Generally, police drones don’t carry weapons and are used primarily for video surveillance. It is possible for small drones to deliver chemical irritants like tear gas, however, a technology that police in Israel have used against Palestinians. In a report published on Thursday, American Civil Liberties Union Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley worries that these kinds of drone programs may normalize usage and “usher in an era of pervasive, suspicionless, mass aerial surveillance.” He notes far more invasive turns that police drone usage could take, including warrantless surveillance of specific people, crime “hotspots” or even whole neighborhoods or cities. Stanley wonders if drone usage won’t just ... “amplify the problems with the deeply broken U.S. criminal legal system.” Many of the cities using drones in policing are doing so from so-called “real-time crime centers.” These units function as centralized hubs to connect the various bits of surveillance and data that police collect from things like stationary cameras, drones, license plate readers and technology that listens for possible gunshots. Some centers can even integrate police body cameras and video from Ring doorbells.

Note: Police have been using military predator drones for domestic law enforcement since 2011. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Covid cover-up: how the science was silenced
2023-07-28, The Australian (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/weekend-australian-magazine/covid-coverup-wu...

America's top infectious diseases adviser, Anthony Fauci, deliberately decided to downplay suspicions from scientists that Covid-19 came from a laboratory to protect his reputation and deflect from the risky coronavirus research his agency had funded, according to his boss, one of the most senior US health officials during the pandemic. In an exclusive interview, Robert Kadlec – former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the US Department of Health – [said] that he, Dr Fauci and National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins privately discussed how to "turn down the temperature" on accusations against China in the early days of the pandemic. The National Institutes of Health and other US agencies funded 65 scientific projects at the Wuhan Institute of Virology over the past decade, many involving risky research on bat coronaviruses. "I think Tony Fauci was trying to protect his institution and his own reputation from the possibility that his agency was funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers who, beyond the scope of the grants received from the National Institutes of Health, may have been working with People's Liberation Army researchers on defensive coronavirus vaccines," Dr Kadlec said. "We think vaccine research resulted in the pandemic – that vaccine research was the proximate cause." Dr Fauci has denied his agency funded gain-of-function research, but Dr Kadlec said this wasn't true.

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


How “windfall profits” from AI companies could fund a universal basic income
2023-07-28, Vox
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23810027/openai-artificial-intelligence-go...

There’s a lot of money in AI. Economists are predicting a massive boom in productivity as AI use takes off, buoyed by empirical research showing tools like ChatGPT boost worker output. Demis Hassabis, the founder of DeepMind, sold his company to Google in 2014 only after the latter agreed to an independent ethics board that would govern how Google uses DeepMind’s research. ChatGPT maker OpenAI is structured as a nonprofit that owns a for-profit arm. Anthropic, which makes the chatbot Claude, is divesting control over a majority of its board to a trust composed not of shareholders, but independent trustees meant to enforce a focus on safety ahead of profits. Those three companies, plus Microsoft, got together ... to start a new organization meant to self-regulate the AI industry. There are three broad ways the profits reaped by AI companies could make their way to a more general public. The first ... is taxes. The second, considerably less important, is charity. The third is if the companies themselves decide to donate a large share of their profits. This was the key proposal of a landmark 2020 paper called “The Windfall Clause.” The idea is simple: The clause is a voluntary but binding commitment that AI firms could make to donate a set percentage of their profits in excess of a certain threshold to a charitable entity. They suggest the thresholds be based on profits as a share of the gross world product (the entire world’s economic output).

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


US Spies Are Lobbying Congress to Save a Phone Surveillance 'Loophole'
2023-07-27, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/nsa-ndaa-lobbying-privacy-loophole/

An effort by United States lawmakers to prevent government agencies from domestically tracking citizens without a search warrant is facing opposition internally from one of its largest intelligence services. Officials at the National Security Agency (NSA) have approached lawmakers charged with its oversight about opposing an amendment that would prevent it from paying companies for location data instead of obtaining a warrant in court. Introduced by US representatives Warren Davidson and Sara Jacobs, the amendment ... would prohibit US military agencies from "purchasing data that would otherwise require a warrant, court order, or subpoena" to obtain. The ban would cover more than half of the US intelligence community, including the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the newly formed National Space Intelligence Center, among others. A government report declassified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last month revealed that US intelligence agencies were avoiding judicial review by purchasing a "large amount" of "sensitive and intimate information" about Americans, including data that can be used to trace people's whereabouts over extended periods of time. The sensitivity of the data is such that "in the wrong hands," the report says, it could be used to "facilitate blackmail," among other undesirable outcomes. The report also acknowledges that some of the data being procured is protected under the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

Note: 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.


Mangrove forest thrives around what was once Latin America's largest landfill
2023-07-26, CBS/Associated Press
https://www.cbs42.com/news/international/ap-mangrove-forest-thrives-around-wh...

It was once Latin America's largest landfill. Now, a decade after Rio de Janeiro shut it down and redoubled efforts to recover the surrounding expanse of highly polluted swamp, crabs, snails, fish and birds are once again populating the mangrove forest. "If we didn't say this used to be a landfill, people would think it's a farm. The only thing missing is cattle," jokes Elias Gouveia, an engineer with Comlurb, the city's garbage collection agency that is shepherding the plantation project. "This is an environmental lesson that we must learn from: nature is remarkable. If we don't pollute nature, it heals itself." The former landfill is located right by the 148 square miles (383 square kilometers) Guanabara Bay. Between the landfill's inauguration in 1968 and 1996, some 80 million tons of garbage were dumped in the area, polluting the bay and surrounding rivers with trash and runoff. In 1996, the city began implementing measures to limit the levels of pollution in the landfill, starting with treating some of the leachate, the toxic byproduct of mountains of rotting trash. But garbage continued to pile up until 2012, when the city finally shut it down. Mangroves are of particular interest for environmental restoration for their capacity to capture and store large amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide, Gouveia explained. Experts say mangroves can bury even more carbon in the sediment than a tropical rainforest, making it a great tool to fight climate change. Comlurb and its private partner, Statled Brasil, have successfully recovered some 60 hectares.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Zimbabwe’s therapeutic ‘friendship benches’, coming to a city near you
2023-07-26, Positive News
https://www.positive.news/lifestyle/zimbabwe-friendship-benches-are-coming-to...

A legacy of poverty, genocide and dictatorship left Zimbabwe struggling with an epidemic of depression, colloquially known as kufungisisa, or ‘thinking too much’. Known as ‘gogos’ (elder women) or ‘ambuya utano’ (community grannies), these Zimbabwean community health workers (CHWs) have a record in treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression that beats many traditional talking therapies and pharmacological interventions. Meet the Friendship Bench grandmothers of Zimbabwe. Founded in 2007, the Friendship Bench project has treated 280,000 people in its 16 years of existence, in 70 communities across Zimbabwe and at spin-off projects in Malawi, Kenya and most recently Zanzibar and Vietnam. In 2024 it will arrive in London, with a series of Friendship Benches set to be installed in the city’s most marginalised communities. “Whether it’s London, New York or Zimbabwe, everywhere the issues are similar,” Friendship Bench founder, Harare-based psychiatrist Dr Dixon Chibanda tells Positive News. “There are issues related to loneliness, access to care, and to just being able to know that what you’re experiencing – whether you call it stress or depression or anxiety – is treatable.” Most of the therapists are older women, who are traditionally turned to for counsel in Zimbabwean culture. The women are trained in the basics of cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT] and allocated a park bench in their communities.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A Democrat’s obsessive quest to change the way America is farmed and fed
2023-07-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/26/earl-blumenauer-agricultu...

Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.

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


New Files Reveal MKUltra's Terrifying Reach: Ethnic Bioweapons, Mind Control and Disturbing Experiments
2023-07-26, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2023/07/26/new-files-reveal-mkultras-terrifying-reach-...

Anthropologist Orisanmi Burton has blown the lid off a dark chapter in CIA history. Classified Agency files, recently obtained through Freedom of Information laws, expose shocking ties between the infamous MKULTRA program and nightmarish experiments on prisoners of color within the United States. Burton's findings expose MKULTRA's sinister mission to develop psychological warfare and behavioral manipulation tactics specifically aimed at people of color under the guise of "counterinsurgency." [In] 1968, the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders underwent an alarming update, adding "hostility" and "aggression" as prominent symptoms of schizophrenia. The implications were profound: civil rights activists daring to resist were at risk of being diagnosed and institutionalized. Prisoners refusing to bend to oppressive jail regimes could be conveniently labeled as "criminally insane." In August 2022, MintPress News revealed how Black Americans were disproportionately targeted by the CIA's monstrous mind control machinations. Many MKULTRA trials appeared to have been expressly conducted to gauge potentially varying reactions to psychedelic drugs in Black and White participants. The CIA had a specific – or greater – interest in the effect of certain substances on people of color, rather than the general civilian population. The CIA did indeed seek to determine optimal drugs for targeting Black Americans, if not other ethnic groups.

Note: The MKULTRA program was also used to create mind-controlled assassins. Government and business interests have a long history of experimenting on human beings. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and mind control from reliable major media sources.


'Verified human': Worldcoin users queue up for iris scans
2023-07-25, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/technology/verified-human-worldcoin-users-queue-up-ir...

People around the world are getting their eyeballs scanned in exchange for a digital ID and the promise of free cryptocurrency. The Worldcoin project says it aims to create a new "identity and financial network" and that its digital ID will allow users to, among other things, prove online that they are human, not a bot. The project launched on Monday, with eyeball scans taking place in countries including Britain, Japan and India. At a crypto conference in Tokyo, people on Tuesday queued in front of a gleaming silver globe flanked by placards stating: "Orbs are here." Applicants lined up to have their irises scanned by the device, before waiting for the 25 free Worldcoin tokens the company says verified users can claim. Worldcoin's data-collection is a "potential privacy nightmare," said the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Worldcoin's privacy policy ... says that data may be passed to subcontractors and could be accessed by governments and authorities. UK privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch said there was a risk biometric data could be hacked or exploited. "Digital ID systems increase state and corporate control over individuals' lives and rarely live up to the extraordinary benefits technocrats tend to attribute to them," senior advocacy officer Madeleine Stone said. In a mall in Bengaluru, India, orb-operators approached passers-by on Tuesday and showed them how to sign up. Most interviewed by Reuters said they were not worried about privacy.

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


A mysterious source has been sending radio signals to Earth from space for decades
2023-07-24, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/space/mystery-radio-signals-earth-space-b238063...

An unknown source has been sending radio blasts towards Earth since at least 1988, scientists say. For 35 years, the source has been sending out regular 20-minute blasts of energy that vary considerably in their brightness, researchers say. The emissions appear something like the blasts that come out of pulsars or fast radio bursts, which last for milliseconds to several seconds. But the newly discovered source sends radio signals that pulsate on a period of 21 minutes – something previously thought impossible by expected explanations. Pulsars are neutron stars that spin around quickly, throwing out radio blasts as they do. When one crosses Earth, the emissions can be picked up very briefly and brightly, like being in the path of the light from a rotating lighthouse. Scientists believe that process can only work if the magnetic field of the pulsar is strong, and it is rotating quickly enough – if not, there would not be enough energy to see the pulsar from Earth. That has led to the development of the “pulsar death line”, which suggests that sources must be spinning fast and strong enough to be detected. The newly discovered object named GPMJ1839-10, however, is way beyond that death line. If it is a pulsar, then it seems to be operating in ways that scientists thought impossible. It could also be a highly magnetised white dwarf or magnetar, an extra kind of neutron star with incredibly strong magnetic fields. But they do not tend to send out emissions of this kind, researchers believe.

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


New Book Exposes the Horror of the US’s Endless, Invisible Wars
2023-07-22, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/new-book-exposes-the-horror-of-the-uss-endless-...

Swiss journalist Maurine Mercier found several United States citizens fighting in Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian work. These rudderless warriors are a symbol of a society addicted to warfare. They reflect the tensions that author and antiwar activist Norman Solomon unwinds in his brilliant new book, War Made Invisible, which examines the profound causes and costs of U.S. interventionism. Solomon’s book unveils the disturbing proximity between the ruling class and corporate media since the Vietnam War, revealing how the fourth estate sustains the assumptions that make intervention possible in Ukraine and elsewhere. “The essence of propaganda is repetition,” he argues. “The frequencies of certain assumptions blend into a kind of white noise,” conditioning U.S. people to support military operations they never see or truly understand. This was never clearer than during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Indeed, across the media landscape, embedded intellectuals mobilized their pens to solidify public support for war. ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS all skewed their coverage. In many ways, militarism is a form of class warfare. “The fat profit margins from supplying the Pentagon and kindred agencies,” Solomon explains, exacerbate economic inequality while redirecting resources away from social programs. In effect, war is perpetual because it is profitable, enriching an elite firmly entrenched in the military-industrial complex.

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


Why is healthy food so expensive in America? Blame the Farm Bill that Congress always renews to make burgers cheaper than salad
2023-07-21, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2023/07/21/why-healthy-food-so-expensive-in-america-blame...

The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It's far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. Most Americans have never heard of this massive omnibus bill, which Congress reauthorizes every five or so years. It shapes our food system–from subsidizing factory farms to funding food and nutrition programs, and it is why burgers are artificially cheap and salads cost more than they should. How did this happen? After World War II, to meet the needs of a booming U.S. population and a growing export market, the Farm Bill invested heavily in monocrops, including millions of acres of corn and soy, used to feed animals on industrialized farms. We subsidize the overproduction of fat-laden animal products and highly processed foods, making unhealthy food cheap and accessible. This contributes to heart disease and other chronic diet-related illnesses that cost our nation billions of dollars annually in preventable health care costs. Nine out of 10 U.S. adults do not consume nutritionists' recommended fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bill should invest in enterprises that act with integrity, not unethical profiteers who lobby for unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws that prevent free speech, transparency, and accountability.

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


Many censored social media posts did not contain Covid-19 misinformation
2023-07-21, The Australian (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/many-censored-social-media-posts-did-...

Many of 4000 social media posts secretly censored by government during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic contained ­factual information and reasonable arguments rather than ­misinformation, new documents reveal. Digital posts released after Freedom of Information applications show the censored information shared facts such as the ineffectiveness of vaccines in preventing Covid-19 infection and transmission or argued against measures such as mask mandates and lockdowns. For instance, the then Coalition government sought the removal of an Instagram post in April 2021 that claimed "Covid-19 vaccine does not prevent Covid-19 infection or Covid-19 transmission". That statement clearly was accurate yet the official intervention via the Home Affairs Department claimed it breached Instagram's community guidelines because it was "potentially harmful information" that was "explicitly prohibited" by the platform. An April 2021 tweet was challenged because it claimed "Covid-19 was released or escaped from Wuhan laboratory in China and that it was funded by the US government". The Home Affairs Department claimed this was "explicitly prohibited" under Twitter's rules because it might "invoke a deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces", yet American intelligence agencies have found the most likely source of the virus was the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and it has been revealed that some work at the laboratory was funded by the US.

Note: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published a study that tracked the spread of COVID-19 'misinformation' during the course of the pandemic. Despite significant evidence pointing to the likelihood that COVID leaked from a lab and the unprecedented collusion between the Biden administration and tech giants to remove politically unfavorable views on social media, this JAMA study stated that these claims were inaccurate. How do we stay open to debate, instead of silencing voices with legitimate concerns and labeling it as misinformation? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Key Scientist In COVID Origin Controversy Misled Congress on Status of $8.9 Million NIH Grant
2023-07-21, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/07/21/covid-origin-nih-lab-leak/

Key researchers who testified before the House subcommittee investigating the origin of Covid-19 virus last week misled Congress about the nature of a multimillion-dollar grant that was pending at the time they joined a critical conference [call] with Drs. Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci in February 2020. On the call, the scientists suggested they leaned toward a lab escape as the most likely scenario, but they made a U-turn later that day when they began drafting it. The paper eventually ran in Nature Medicine under the headline "The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2." Fauci and Collins were kept in the loop on the preparation of the paper, and Fauci highlighted it to the public in order to dismiss the notion of a lab escape. House Republicans convened a hearing last week on the conference call and the resulting paper, and one of the major sources of contention was the extent to which Fauci and Collins held financial sway over the scientists, who also had a grant application pending before the NIH. Democrats repeatedly characterized the argument in terms of a "bribe" being paid in exchange for a paper that exonerated a lab in Wuhan, China, that the NIH had been funding to do the kind of risky research that could spark a pandemic. Rather than a bribe, though, the question is one of leverage. "I hate when politics is injected into science – but it's impossible not to, especially given the circumstance," [said scientist Kristian Anderson]. "We should be sensitive to that."

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


Fire Razes Rand Paul's Kentucky Office Amid Senator's Investigation Into Fauci's Taxpayer-Funded U.S. Marshals Service
2023-07-21, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fire-razes-rand-paul-s-kentucky-office-amid...

A fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning causing extensive damage to a building housing the Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's Bowling Green law office. According to Bowling Green Fire Department spokeswoman Katie McKee, fire crews were alerted to the blaze on State Street at approximately 1:45 a.m., and upon arrival, they found a vicious blaze that required additional units. “We have just been working on this structure fire ever since,” McKee said of their efforts. Six fire teams were deployed to fight the flames, with firefighters utilizing aerials to combat the fire from above. The intensity of the blaze caused the roof of the building to collapse, and come sunrise, a plume of dense gray smoke billowed from the top of the building and clouded the sky. Authorities are still investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

Note: This fire happened immediately after Sen. Rand Paul announced that he was referring Anthony Fauci to the Department of Justice for prosecution for lying to Congress.


'Outrageous': MEPs condemn pesticide companies for withholding toxicity data
2023-07-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/19/meps-condemn-pesticide-co...

The pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have been excoriated in a European parliament hearing after failing to disclose studies on the brain toxicity of their products. European regulators said the companies had breached legal obligations and behaved unethically. The withholding of nine brain toxicity studies from European regulators over the last 20 years was revealed by the Guardian in June, reporting findings from Swedish academics. They discovered that these toxicity studies had been submitted to the US pesticide regulator but not to the EU authorities. Dr Axel Mie, of Stockholm University, who led the research ... told a special hearing in the European parliament on Tuesday: "If a company decides by themselves which studies to disclose and which ones to withhold, it is obvious that the decisions by the [regulatory] authorities become unreliable." He said risk management decisions had been delayed by 18 years in one case. MEPs were scathing about the companies. The Swedish MEP Emma Wiesner, a member of the European parliament's committee on the environment, public health and food safety, said: "The behaviour found in this study is really unacceptable. More than a quarter of the studies [sent to US authorities] were not sent into the European agencies – that is outrageous." Martin H¤usling, a German MEP and member of the agriculture committee, said: "This is a right old scandal. These [are] clear breaches of existing law and previous law. And yet there are no consequences."

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


Investigative Reporter: “The CIA Is Playing an Outsize Role” in Ukraine
2023-07-19, Truthout
https://truthout.org/video/investigative-reporter-the-cia-is-playing-an-outsi...

A new investigation reveals the extent of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, where the agency operates clandestinely in what, under a formal declaration of war, would be the domain of the military. The author of the investigation [is] William Arkin, a national security reporter and senior editor at Newsweek, who says that the CIA has “got its hand in a little bit of everything” in Ukraine. "This might come as a surprise to some people, but, as my sources explained it to me, the reality is that Ukraine is not an ally of the United States," [said Arkin]. "We have no treaty obligations towards Ukraine. And the United States is not at war with Russia. So this is a particularly unique battlefield in which the CIA is playing an outsize role, but it is playing an outsize role because the Biden administration has been firm in saying that the U.S. military will not be involved in any direct way in the fighting or on the battlefield or, indeed, inside Ukraine." The CIA is no stranger to Ukraine. Clearly, in the post-World War II period, it was involved in developing right-wing groups within Ukraine that were opposing the Soviet Union, a lot of them former neo-Nazis. "I don’t see much movement or much interest even on the part of the U.S. government in Washington ... to find a peaceful resolution" [said Arkin]. "So, really, no one is playing that role. The United Nations is not playing that role. There is no neutral party that really is playing the role of trying to end the conflict between the two parties."

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


Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed?
2023-07-18, Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02299-w

How many clinical-trial studies in medical journals are fake or fatally flawed? In October 2020, John Carlisle reported a startling estimate. Carlisle, an anaesthetist who works for England's National Health Service, is renowned for his ability to spot dodgy data in medical trials. He is also an editor at the journal Anaesthesia, and in 2017, he decided to scour all the manuscripts he handled that reported a randomized controlled trial (RCT) – the gold standard of medical research. Over three years, he scrutinized more than 500 studies. For more than 150 trials, Carlisle got access to anonymized individual participant data (IPD). By studying the IPD spreadsheets, he judged that 44% of these trials contained at least some flawed data: impossible statistics, incorrect calculations or duplicated numbers or figures, for instance. And 26% of the papers had problems that were so widespread that the trial was impossible to trust, he judged – either because the authors were incompetent, or because they had faked the data. Carlisle called these 'zombie' trials. Even he was surprised by their prevalence. "I anticipated maybe one in ten," he says. The issue is, in part, a subset of the notorious paper-mill problem: over the past decade, journals in many fields have published tens of thousands of suspected fake papers, some of which are thought to have been produced by third-party firms, termed paper mills. "It ... has the potential to amplify a wrong result, suggesting that treatments work when they don't," he says.

Note: Back in 2015, the editor-in-chef of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, wrote that much of scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Who can we trust? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.


The Future of AI Is War
2023-07-17, The Nation
https://www.thenation.com/article/world/artificial-intelligence-us-military/

Though once confined to the realm of science fiction, the concept of supercomputers killing humans has now become a distinct possibility. In addition to developing a wide variety of "autonomous," or robotic combat devices, the major military powers are also rushing to create automated battlefield decision-making systems, or what might be called "robot generals." In wars in the not-too-distant future, such AI-powered systems could be deployed to deliver combat orders to American soldiers, dictating where, when, and how they kill enemy troops or take fire from their opponents. In its budget submission for 2023, for example, the Air Force requested $231 million to develop the Advanced Battlefield Management System (ABMS), a complex network of sensors and AI-enabled computers designed to ... provide pilots and ground forces with a menu of optimal attack options. As the technology advances, the system will be capable of sending "fire" instructions directly to "shooters," largely bypassing human control. The Air Force's ABMS is intended to ... connect all US combat forces, the Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control System (JADC2, pronounced "Jad-C-two"). "JADC2 intends to enable commanders to make better decisions by collecting data from numerous sensors, processing the data using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify targets, then recommending the optimal weapon ... to engage the target," the Congressional Research Service reported in 2022.

Note: Read about the emerging threat of killer robots on the battlefield. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Resisting the Shock Doctrine: A Conversation on Ukraine, Debt and Reconstruction
2023-07-16, Truthout
https://truthout.org/articles/resisting-the-shock-doctrine-a-conversation-on-...

The IMF and other neoliberal institutions in Ukraine are saying that there are quite a few jobs being created there. But the people I speak to can’t find jobs. On top of that, there are those 12 million people who are abroad. Where will there be jobs for them? There is a lot of talk about the Marshall Plan. But the main lessons from the Marshall Plan I did not see reflected in these recovery plans. First of all, there was the write-off of debts. Second of all, there were grants given to countries, and states were allowed to act as investors and were allowed to directly buy food for families or buy supplies for industries. This is not the case in Ukraine. In reality, a big part of the financial assistance given to Ukraine is in the form of debt. The help supposedly given by the IMF of $15 billion ... is actually $15 billion of debt. And because it’s debt, the interest rate on this debt will be something like 7 or 8 percent. What the European Union is doing with Ukraine is what they did with Greece after 2010. The European Union made an agreement in 2010 with the IMF to gather money to give to the Greek government with very strong and brutal conditionalities. And that’s exactly what [is happening] with the type of assistance given to Ukraine. The debt trap for Ukraine is very dangerous. With the new financial assistance given to Ukraine, in the next ten years, the debt will increase by something like $40 billion. Essentially, from $132 to $170 billion. And the creditors know perfectly that it will be impossible for Ukraine to pay back all this debt.

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


Nearly 1 in 10 US kids diagnosed with developmental disability: CDC
2023-07-13, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/07/13/nearly-1-in-10-us-kids-diagnosed-with-developme...

The number of American children that have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities has increased, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The agency unveiled new findings Thursday showing that nearly one in 10 children in the US were diagnosed with a developmental disability in 2021, an increase from previous years. Specifically, the prevalence in children aged 3 to 17 grew from 7.4% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2021, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey, which monitors the nation's health through household questionnaires. Survey findings were broken down into four categories: any developmental disability, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and other developmental delay. While the percentage of children diagnosed with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder remained relatively stagnant, the agency saw an uptick in "other developmental delays" from 5.1% in 2018 to 6.1% in 2021. Boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with any developmental disability – 10.8% compared to 5.3% – and specifically were an estimated three times more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder. The CDC report follows the news of soaring autism spectrum disorder rates in the NYC metro area, according to findings released earlier this year. Researchers from Rutgers claimed that rates tripled over the course of 16 years, from 1% in 2000 to 3% in 2016.

Note: More than half of American youth now deal with at least one chronic health issue. Why is this not being thoroughly investigated? Explore a collection of revealing news articles we've summarized that investigates the sharp rise of autism in children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Congressman Says People 'Deserve to Know' About Aliens
2023-07-13, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/congressman-says-people-deserve-know-aliens-1812881

Tennessee Republican Representative Tim Burchett said this week that Americans "deserve to know" about aliens and UFOs or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs). "That's what it is about: aliens ... I think people deserve to know," Burchett told Politico, while speaking about a potential House Oversight Committee hearing on UFOs and UAPs. The comments by Burchett come amid ongoing discussion about UFOs, UAPs and aliens throughout the U.S. after Air Force veteran David Grusch, told NewsNation that the U.S. Military has a secret program that previously recovered wreckage of a UFO. "These are retrieving non-human origin technical vehicles, call it spacecraft if you will, non-human exotic origin vehicles that have either landed or crashed," Grusch, who also previously served as the National Reconnaissance Office's representative to the UAP Task Force [said]. "Well, naturally, when you recover something that's either landed or crashed, sometimes you encounter dead pilots and, believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it's true." The remarks by Grusch prompted many Republicans, including Burchett, to call for a further investigation into the alleged discovery of crashed UFOs and UAPs. In June, House Oversight Committee chair James Comer said that the committee was planning to have a hearing on UFOs and UAPs in the coming weeks, and a spokesperson for Comer's office told Politico on Thursday that the hearing is "looking like it will happen towards the end of this month."

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


'It Affects All of Us': Free Financial Counseling Helps Tulsans Thrive
2023-07-13, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/tulsa-financial-empowerment-center-stability/

In 2021, Latoya Tart found herself deep in debt. She had taken out several loans, and struggled to pay them off while still paying for other necessities, including rent and groceries. Then Tart ... learned about a program offering financial counseling free of charge to any resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She started seeing a financial counselor at The Financial Empowerment Center in September 2021. The Center is a partnership between the City of Tulsa and Goodwill Industries. "We are really building capacity at the city level, to support and grow and build collaboration among the providers in town who are working to move the needle on financial stability, financial resiliency for Tulsans," says Janae Bradford, director of the City of Tulsa's Office for Financial Empowerment and Community Wealth. During the first session with each new client, a counselor conducts a financial health assessment. "That's where the counselor and the client just go through the financial situation," she says. "How much are you making from your job? What money is coming in? What money's going out? And it's a completely non-judgmental, just comfortable, conversation about what are the facts." Then the counselor and client decide on their main focus area and set a goal. Since the Center opened in December 2020, the FEC has worked with more than 1,300 clients, and counselors have completed more than 2,000 sessions. There are currently 639 active clients working with counselors on their financial goals.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our inspiring news articles archive, which aims to inspire each of us to make a difference.


House Republicans Accidentally Released a Trove of Damning Covid Documents
2023-07-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/07/12/covid-documents-house-republicans/

House Republicans on the subcommittee probing the origin of the Covid-19 virus appear to have inadvertently released a trove of new documents related to their investigation that shed light on deliberations among the scientists who drafted a key paper in February and March of 2020. The paper, published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020, was titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” and played a leading role in creating a public impression of a scientific consensus that the virus had emerged naturally in a Chinese “wet market.” The paper was the subject of a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, which coincided with the release of a report by the subcommittee devoted to the “Proximal Origin” paper. The scientists believed one thing in private — that lab escape was likely — while working to produce a paper saying the opposite in public. Much of Tuesday’s hearing focused on a critical few days in early February 2020, beginning with a conference call February 1 that included the eventual authors of the paper and Drs. Anthony Fauci, then head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Francis Collins, then head of its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health. Later minutes showed that the consensus among the experts leaned toward a lab escape. Yet within days, they were circulating a draft — including to Fauci and Collins — that came to the opposite conclusion, the first draft of which had been finished the same day of the conference call.

Note: Read more about the leaked documents that reveal high level covid science manipulation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


How Palantir Is Shaping the Future of Warfare
2023-07-10, Time Magazine
https://time.com/6293398/palantir-future-of-warfare-ukraine/

Palantir’s founding team, led by investor Peter Thiel and Alex Karp, wanted to create a company capable of using new data integration and data analytics technology — some of it developed to fight online payments fraud — to solve problems of law enforcement, national security, military tactics, and warfare. Palantir, founded in 2003, developed its tools fighting terrorism after September 11, and has done extensive work for government agencies and corporations though much of its work is secret. Palantir’s MetaConstellation platform allows the user to task ... satellites to answer a specific query. Imagine you want to know what is happening in a certain location and time in the Arctic. Click on a button and MetaConstelation will schedule the right combination of satellites to survey the designated area. The platform is able to integrate data from multiple and disparate sources — think satellites, drones, and open-source intelligence — while allowing a new level of decentralised decision-making. Just as a deep learning algorithm knows how to recognise a picture of a dog after some hours of supervised learning, the Palantir algorithms can become extraordinarily apt at identifying an enemy command and control centre. Alex Karp, Palantir’s CEO, has argued that “the power of advanced algorithmic warfare systems is now so great that it equates to having tactical nuclear weapons against an adversary with only conventional ones.”

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


World powers in rush to get killer robots on battlefield in AI arms race, as concerns grow they can turn on humans
2023-07-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/07/10/new-netflix-doc-unknown-killer-robots-warns-of-...

Weapons-grade robots and drones being utilized in combat isn't new. But AI software is, and it's enhancing – in some cases, to the extreme – the existing hardware, which has been modernizing warfare for the better part of a decade. Now, experts say, developments in AI have pushed us to a point where global forces now have no choice but to rethink military strategy – from the ground up. "It's realistic to expect that AI will be piloting an F-16 and will not be that far out," Nathan Michael, Chief Technology Officer of Shield AI, a company whose mission is "building the world's best AI pilot," says. We don't truly comprehend what we're creating. There are also fears that a comfortable reliance in the technology's precision and accuracy – referred to as automation bias – may come back to haunt, should the tech fail in a life or death situation. One major worry revolves around AI facial recognition software being used to enhance an autonomous robot or drone during a firefight. Right now, a human being behind the controls has to pull the proverbial trigger. Should that be taken away, militants could be misconstrued for civilians or allies at the hands of a machine. And remember when the fear of our most powerful weapons being turned against us was just something you saw in futuristic action movies? With AI, that's very possible. "There is a concern over cybersecurity in AI and the ability of either foreign governments or an independent actors to take over crucial elements of the military," [filmmaker Jesse Sweet] said.

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


FBI facilitated social media ‘takedown requests’ made by Ukrainian spy agency: report
2023-07-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/07/10/fbi-facilitated-social-media-takedown-requests-...

The FBI colluded with a Ukrainian intelligence agency to pressure social media companies into taking down accounts accused of spreading Russian disinformation — some of which belonged to Americans, a House committee said. The report issued by the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government ... is based on documents subpoenaed from Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – and Alphabet – the parent company of Google and YouTube. It alleges that the “FBI violated the First Amendment rights of Americans and potentially undermined our national security.” The committees found that following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) enlisted the FBI in support of an effort to combat the spread of “Russian disinformation” on social media. As part of the effort, the SBU transmitted lists of social media accounts to the FBI that it wanted to be banned and the bureau, in turn, “routinely relayed these lists to the relevant social media platforms.” The committee claims that “the authentic accounts of Americans, including a verified US State Department account and those belonging to American journalists” were ensnared in the censorship effort and flagged for social media companies to take down. The State Department’s Russian-language Instagram account ... was one of the authentic American accounts flagged for removal in a list composed by the SBU and transmitted to Big Tech companies by the FBI.

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


Why a game in which you look for a real, live pink elephant could help save the world
2023-07-09, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/07/09/1185014763/why-a-game-in...

Edgard Gouveia Jr., 58, says the key to solving the world's problems is games. "I use games and narrative to mobilize crowds," says the Brazilian game inventor and co-founder of Livelab. He's worked with schools, companies, government offices and slums. "Games that can make a whole town, a whole city or even a whole country play together." And now he's developing a global game called "Jornada X" whose goal is to get kids and teenagers to save nothing less than all life on the planet. Through games and playful activities, we create a field of trust. When you create abundance of connection, abundance of possibility, people sense it right away. It doesn't matter if for 30 or 40 years they were living in scarcity. By belonging to a group that we love and that's doing good in the world – these are ways of energizing our collective power, our collective meaning. When you do some good, you feel like you have an identity. [Jornada X] starts with young people. They receive a call that's like a Matrix video that says, "Humanity isn't doing well. Society is violent and nature is dying. But you are one of a group of special kids with superpowers – things like love, helping others, strength, and friendship. As soon as they sign up, the team starts to receive missions. We might say, "Look at your neighborhood. What's wrong?" By the end of seven weeks, they have to find a solution ... Kids play war games all the time. They collaborate to kill people. It's not that they like death, but they want to have this kind of adrenaline. What could be more exciting? My answer is saving the planet in a way that adults haven't been able to."

Note: The latest US Air Force recruitment tool is a video game that allows players to receive in-game medals and achievements for drone bombing Iraqis and Afghans. What world do we want our youth to live in? Explore more positive stories like this in our inspiring news articles archive, which aims to inspire each of us to make a difference.


Covid Censorship Proved to Be Deadly
2023-07-07, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-censorship-proved-to-be-deadly-social-medi...

On July 4, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty temporarily blocked numerous federal agencies and the White House from collaborating with social-media companies and third-party groups to censor speech. Discovery in Missouri v. Biden exposed relationships among government agencies and social-media firms and revealed an additional layer of university centers and self-styled disinformation watchdogs and fact-checking outfits. Elon Musk's release of some of Twitter's internal files revealed that up to 80 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were embedded with social-media companies. The agents mostly weren't fighting terrorism but flagging wrongthink by American citizens, including eminent scientists who suggested different paths on Covid policy. The U.S. government spent $6 trillion to buoy its shuttered economy, and most people got Covid anyway. Excess mortality in most high-income nations was worse in 2021 and 2022 than in 2020, the initial pandemic year. Sweden, which didn't have a lockdown, performed better than nearly every other advanced nation. Hiding these realities has become more difficult in the internet age. The information explosion has allowed more people to spot quickly the mistakes of officials. Those in charge feel threatened. Digital censorship is their response to this crisis of authority. True, misinformation is rampant online. But it was far worse before the internet, when myths could persist for centuries.

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


The environmental impacts of war
2023-07-07, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/4083962-the-environmental-impa...

Research by Brown University is shedding light on the impact of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, finding that the U.S. military, among others, contributes significantly to climate change, becoming one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters through the fighting of battles. Air pollution from military vehicles and weaponry has adversely affected public health among civilians in the war zone and U.S. service members. The report examines everything from the destruction of military base garbage in burn pits to the deforestation in Afghanistan to cancer, birth defects and other conditions associated with war-related toxins. "The water supply in the war zones has been contaminated by oil from military vehicles and depleted uranium from ammunition. Along with the degradation of the natural resources in these countries ... the animal and bird populations have also been adversely affected." Now think about Russia and Ukraine. Russia's targeting of Ukraine's energy grid has been particularly damaging, as oil depots and gas power plants explode, releasing carbon and methane into the air. Reports suggest that ordinary Ukrainians are feeling the impact, forced to rely on dirtier fuels to keep warm. A recent report by GHG, a Dutch firm examining the war's greenhouse gas impact, found that each explosion of a missile or projectile causes pollution of air, water and land with toxic substances, and that Russian bombing of industrial infrastructure in Ukraine has led to uncontrolled chemical releases.

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


The U.S. Banned Farmers From Using a Brain-Harming Pesticide on Food. Why Has It Slowed a Global Ban?
2023-07-06, ProPublica
https://www.propublica.org/article/chlorpyrifos-ban-epa-official-kovner-pesti...

President Joe Biden announced that his administration planned to scrutinize a Trump-era decision to allow the continued use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that can damage children's brains. The Environmental Protection Agency went on to ban the use of the chemical on food. Yet when officials from around the world gathered in Rome last fall to consider whether to move forward with a proposed global ban on the pesticide, chlorpyrifos had a surprising defender: a senior official from the EPA. Karissa Kovner, a senior EPA policy adviser, is a key leader of the U.S. delegation at a United Nations body known as the Stockholm Convention, which governs some of the worst chemicals on the planet. Kovner made it clear that the U.S. was not ready to support taking the next step through the convention to provide similar protections for the rest of the world. The U.S. is known for throwing a wrench into the international convention's efforts to restrict pollutants. "They're usually seen as a country that raises objections to the regulation of chemicals," said [attorney] David Azoulay. Chlorpyrifos is so harmful that the American government not only banned its use on food but also barred the import of fruits and vegetables grown with it. Persistent organic pollutants ... lodge in fat cells, allowing them to spread from contaminated animals to anything that eats them. Humans sit at the top of this polluted food pyramid, and we can pass the chemicals to our babies through the umbilical cord before birth and through breast milk afterward.

Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


The Biden-Big Tech Collusion Case
2023-07-05, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/missouri-v-biden-judge-terry-doughty-rob-flahert...

Missouri and Louisiana, joined by scientists and conservatives whose posts were censored, sued to protect their First Amendment rights. The issue in Missouri v. Biden [is] whether government officials can be held responsible for their censorship. Judge Terry Doughty ruled they can and his 155-page opinion describes disturbing coordination between the government and tech firms to suppress unpopular views, especially on Covid-19. White House officials and public-health agency leaders held biweekly meetings with tech companies over how to curb the spread of misinformation. Former White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty and Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt were in constant contact with social-media executives. Officials weren't merely flagging false statements. They were bullying companies to censor anything contradicting government guidance. On July 16, 2021, the President accused social-media companies of "killing people." Judge Doughty concludes from all this that "the public and private pressure from the White House apparently had its intended effect." All 12 people dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen" by the Center for Countering Digital Hate were censored, and pages, groups and accounts linked to them were removed. Some Covid claims flagged by the White House were ... scientifically debatable–for instance, that vaccines can cause Bell's palsy and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and that Covid had a 99.96% survival rate.

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


How A Notorious Georgia Army School Became America’s Training Ground For Global Torture
2023-07-05, MintPress News
https://www.mintpressnews.com/notorious-georgia-army-school-became-americas-t...

Fort Benning, the infamous Georgia U.S. military base, is once again in the news, changing its name to Fort Moore, thereby ditching its Confederate name. Across Latin America, the very name of Fort Benning is enough to strike terror into the hearts of millions, bringing back visions of massacres and genocides. This is because the fort is home to the School of the Americas (now known as Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC), a shadowy academy where around 84,000 Latin American soldiers and police officers have been taught on the U.S. dime on how to kill, torture and how to stamp out political activists. “The school is controversial partly because of its role in promoting US hegemony in Latin America,” James Jordan, national co-coordinator at Alliance for Global Justice, told MintPress, adding, “But even worse, it is how the school has promoted this: teaching methods of torture – even publishing torture manuals, counterintelligence, psyops, repression of political voices that don’t meet the approval of Washington DC. If one looks at cases of human rights abuses by the military throughout Latin America, the number of those responsible who were trained at the School of the Americas is simply staggering.” In 1996, the Pentagon was pressured into releasing the school’s official training manuals. Even a casual glance through the nearly 1200 pages of instructions makes for sobering reading and dispels the myth forever that the U.S. is a benevolent global force.

Note: The School of the Americas graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. The identities of many other US-trained troops operating in other countries remain hidden by US courts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


World's 722 biggest companies 'making $1tn in windfall profits'
2023-07-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jul/06/worlds-722-biggest-companies...

The world's 722 biggest companies collectively are making more than $1tn a year in windfall profits on the back of soaring energy prices and rising interest rates. The companies made $1.08tn this way in 2021 and $1.09tn last year, according to analysis of Forbes magazine data by the charities Oxfam and ActionAid. The collective profits were 89% higher than the previous four-year average covering 2017-2020. Windfall profits are defined as those exceeding average profits in the previous four years by more than 10%. Energy companies recorded the highest windfall profits. Of the 45 energy firms on Forbes list of the 2,000 biggest companies, they made on average $237bn a year in windfall profits in 2021 and 2022. Many food and beverage corporations, banks, pharmaceutical companies and retailers also reported a surge in profits during a cost-of-living crisis in which more than a quarter of a billion people in 58 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2022. Those profits have stoked accusations of "greedflation" – pushing through excessive price increases and driving up inflation. Katy Chakrabortty, Oxfam's head of advocacy, said "A corporate bonanza is supercharging inflation, leaving millions of people in the UK and around the world struggling to pay their bills and feed their families. The windfall profits of 18 food and beverage corporations are more than twice the amount needed to cover the shortfall in life-saving assistance to tens of millions of people."

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


With Ukraine's Cluster Bombs Killing Its Own Citizens, Biden Readies Order To Send More
2023-07-05, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/07/05/ukraine-cluster-bombs-biden/

As the Ukraine war drags on, the Biden administration is now reportedly in the final stages of deciding whether to send more [cluster munitions] to the Ukrainian military. The decision to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine would likely be seen as a setback to nonproliferation efforts aimed at stopping use of the weapon. The report by Human Rights Watch analyzing the impact of previous cluster munition attacks carried out last summer by the Ukrainian military found numerous dead and wounded civilians in Izium who were hit by exploding cluster bomblets. Cluster munitions are controversial due to the manner in which "bomblets" are scattered around a targeted area, creating secondary explosions that can cause death and injury even long after a conflict has ceased. The bombs are currently at the center of an international campaign to ban their use in armed conflict. More than 100 states have signed an international convention on cluster munitions vowing not to employ them in war, produce them domestically, or encourage their use in foreign conflicts. Despite public pressure to join, the U.S. has not become a signatory to the convention. The Ukrainian military was reported to have requested significant transfers of the munitions late last year. "Cluster munitions used by Russia and Ukraine are killing civilians now and will continue to do so for many years," said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, in the report.

Note: The global cluster bombs trade is funded by the world's biggest banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


How a group of Ohio voters are working to bridge the widening partisan divide
2023-07-05, PBS News
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-a-group-of-ohio-voters-are-working-to-b...

The group was brought together with the help of Braver Angels, one of hundreds of grassroots organizations that have sprung up in recent years to try to bridge the partisan divide. "I think the media has such a big part in dividing us, whether it is racially or politically or gender or sex," [said Nancy Miranda]. "The media tends to foster the extremes by fueling a lot of the rhetoric that is at the extremes of both red and blue," [said Dr. Bill Shaul]. "And the rhetoric and the disrespect and the lack of civility that we sometimes see portrayed in the media, I think, has made this a lot worse." "Now we have a 24-hour news cycle," [said Leah Nichols]. "And the news I see is probably different than the news Nancy sees, which is probably different than the news that you see, because we're all – have our own tailored algorithms when it comes down to social media. I think that the news is just so different than it used to be. It is hard for us to even be on the same page sometimes. I think it's really easy to look at the other side and be able to say, oh, maybe they just don't have the knowledge that I have or they don't know the things that I know. But, in reality, we all have our own lived experiences that have brought us to where we are. And if we could listen to each other, maybe we'd actually be able to understand a little better." "I really think the answer to our polarization politically in this country is in our communities, and it is in the relationships that we have with one another, especially across lines of difference," [said John Shi].

Note: Read more about the inspiring mission of Braver Angels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable sources.


The Taliban Are Now Arms Dealers
2023-07-05, Foreign Policy
https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/07/05/taliban-afghanistan-arms-dealers-weapons...

The U.S. military retreated from Afghanistan two years ago, leaving behind weapons that are now turning up in far-flung trouble spots. In markets that have sprung up across the southern and eastern badlands ... merchants with Taliban permits are offering U.S.-made automatic assault rifles and handguns for sale. Ad hoc weapons bazaars are offering rockets and bombs, shoulder-fired grenade launchers, night vision goggles, sniper rifles and scopes, and ammunition. The Taliban, allies of if not quite affiliates of al Qaeda ... appear to be funneling small arms to like-minded extremists. U.S. assault weapons have reportedly been used in recent attacks by non-state groups in Kashmir, bitterly divided between India and Pakistan, and in Israel’s Gaza Strip. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated that left-behind stockpiles of arms and vehicles were worth $7.12 billion of the $18.6 billion spent from 2002 on arming the Afghan security forces. “This included roughly 600,000 weapons of all calibers, nearly 300 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, over 80,000 vehicles of several models, communications equipment, and other advanced materiel such as night vision goggles and biometric systems,” according to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR quoted a Taliban official as saying, “The group took possession of more than 300,000 light arms, 26,000 heavy weapons, and about 61,000 military vehicles.”

Note: Why didn’t the US military prioritize removing this huge amount of equipment that they knew would be taken over by the Taliban? Read more about the shocking lack of oversight of money and equipment sent to Afghanistan. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


America Is Living on Borrowed Money
2023-07-05, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/05/opinion/debt-crisis.html

Government borrowing and spending are necessary to stimulate the economy during recessions. The United States, however, now borrows heavily during periods of economic growth to meet basic and ongoing obligations. It’s increasingly unsustainable. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projects that annual federal budget deficits will average around $2 trillion per year, adding to the $25.4 trillion in debt the government already owes to investors. Borrowing is expensive. A mounting share of federal revenue, money that could be used for the benefit of the American people, goes right back out the door in the form of interest payments to investors who purchase government bonds. Rather than collecting taxes from the wealthy, the government is paying the wealthy to borrow their money. By 2029, the government is on pace to spend more each year on interest than on national defense, according to the Congressional Budget Office. By 2033, interest payments will consume an amount equal to 3.6 percent of the nation’s economic output. The debt ceiling is part of the problem. It was never intended to limit the federal debt. It was actually created to facilitate borrowing. During World War I, Congress got tired of authorizing each new round of bonds, so it gave the Treasury permission to borrow up to a specific limit. Its current use ... is even less productive. Larger changes are going to happen only if both political parties are willing participants.

Note: Explore an excellent analysis of the substantial role that the defense budget has in federal government’s spending, which was not mentioned in this New York Times article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Judge blocks U.S. officials from contacting social media companies
2023-07-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/07/04/biden-social-lawsuit-mis...

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked key Biden administration agencies and officials from meeting and communicating with social media companies about "protected speech," in an extraordinary preliminary injunction in an ongoing case. The injunction came in response to a lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, who allege that government officials went too far in their efforts to encourage social media companies to address posts that they worried could contribute to vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic. Over the last five years, coordination and communication between government officials and [social media] companies increased. Public health officials also frequently communicated with the companies during the coronavirus pandemic. The injunction was a victory for the state attorneys general, who have accused the Biden administration of enabling a "sprawling federal 'Censorship Enterprise'" to encourage tech giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and speakers. The judge, Terry A. Doughty, has yet to make a final ruling in the case, but in issuing the injunction, he signaled he is likely to ... find that the Biden administration ran afoul of the First Amendment. The state attorneys general have argued that starting in 2017 ... officials within the government began laying the groundwork for a "systemic and systematic campaign" to control speech on social media. These efforts accelerated in 2020 ... amid the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

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


Brain Waves Synchronize when People Interact
2023-07-01, Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-waves-synchronize-when-peopl...

Collective neuroscience, as some practitioners call it, is a rapidly growing field of research. An early, consistent finding is that when people converse or share an experience, their brain waves synchronize. Neurons in corresponding locations of the different brains fire at the same time, creating matching patterns, like dancers moving together. Auditory and visual areas respond to shape, sound and movement in similar ways, whereas higher-order brain areas seem to behave similarly during more challenging tasks such as making meaning out of something seen or heard. The experience of "being on the same wavelength" as another person is real, and it is visible in the activity of the brain. Interbrain synchrony prepares people for interaction and beginning to understand it as a marker of relationships. Given that synchronized experiences are often enjoyable, researchers suspect this phenomenon is beneficial: it helps us interact and may have facilitated the evolution of sociality. This new kind of brain research might also illuminate why we don't always "click" with someone or why social isolation is so harmful to physical and mental health. Preliminary evidence ... shows synchrony between interacting brains and, more intriguingly, that correlations in some brain regions are greater between people while they are telling a joint story than during the independent stories, particularly in the parietal cortex. "That area is active for memory and narrative construction," [neuroscientist Thalia] Wheatley says. "It seems to fit."

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


Government Contracts With COVID Vaccine Makers Let Federal Agencies Bypass Normal Regulatory Process, FOIA Documents Show
2023-06-30, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/hhs-barda-covid-vaccine-makers-by...

A little-known federal agency called BARDA dedicated to countering "health security threats" was responsible for conducting the quality review of every COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in the U.S., Sasha Latypova reported on her Substack. But BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has a "militarized" purpose according to Latypova, is not subject to the same regulations as typical pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors or regulatory agencies. "The public was told these vaccines are made by Pfizer and Moderna and rigorously approved by the FDA," [said Latypova]. That ... would mean that the "consumer protections we expect from pharmaceutical products, medical devices and even food ... we expect them to be in place." But in fact, countermeasures contracts made available through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests ... and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and BARDA contracts with the pharmaceutical companies were structured such that these protections weren't required. The contracts also specified that manufacturers and federal agencies were protected by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which shields "covered persons" – such as pharmaceutical companies, or the DOD/BARDA – from liability for injuries sustained from "countermeasures," such as vaccines ... administered during a public health emergency.

Note: Sasha Latypova is a former pharmaceutical industry executive who now specializes in uncovering fraud in pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


Popular ‘Benzo’ drugs linked to suicide, brain damage — even if you stop taking them: study
2023-06-30, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/06/30/popular-benzo-drugs-linked-to-suicide-brain-dam...

Over 30 million Americans a year use benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” including Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin. Benzodiazepines are prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, muscle spasms, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, seizures and epilepsy. But this widely used class of drugs is linked to severe side effects and life impacts that can last for years — even after people have stopped taking the drugs — a new study finds. “Patients have been reporting long-term effects from benzodiazepines for over 60 years. I am one of those patients,” Dr. Christy Huff, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, said in a news release. The new research, published in PLOS One, includes a lengthy list of side effects that a majority of benzo users experienced more than a year after they stopped taking the drugs. Those long-lasting symptoms include low energy, difficulty focusing, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, sensitivity to light and sounds, digestive problems, symptoms triggered by food and drink, muscle weakness and body pain. Alarmingly, users also struggled with severe life impacts: 54.7% reported suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, for example. Health experts noted numerous other problems with benzos, including an increased risk of suicide and dependence on the drug, among other adverse side effects. Withdrawal from benzos can produce troubling symptoms as soon as within 24 hours, and these adverse effects can last for months.

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


Agency Under Homeland Security Masterminded the Attempt to Control Public's Thought and Speech During Pandemic
2023-06-30, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cisa-homeland-security-control-th...

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) "colluded with Big Tech and 'disinformation' partners to censor Americans." The 36-page report raises three familiar issues: first, government actors worked with third parties to overturn the First Amendment; second, censors prioritized political narratives over truthfulness; and third, an unaccountable bureaucracy hijacked American society. The House Report reveals that CISA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, worked with social media platforms to censor posts it considered dis-, mis- or malinformation. Brian Scully, the head of CISA's censorship team, conceded that this process, known as "switchboarding," would "trigger content moderation." Additionally, CISA funded the nonprofit EI-ISAC in 2020 to bolster its censorship operations. In launching the nonprofit, the government boasted that it "leverage[d] DHS CISA's relationship with social media organizations to ensure priority treatment of misinformation reports." The switchboard programs directly contradict sworn testimony from CISA Director Jen Easterly. The report outlines how CISA censored "malinformation – truthful information that, according to the government, may carry the potential to mislead." Dr. Kate Starbird, a member of CISA's "Misinformation & Disinformation" subcommittee, lamented that many Americans seem to "accept malinformation as 'speech' and within democratic norms."

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


An Area 51 blogger was raided at gunpoint by federal agents. He says the US Government is trying to silence him
2023-06-30, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/area-51-fbi-raid-joerg-arnu...

Joerg Arnu has been obsessed with Area 51 ever since his first visit to the perimeter of the secretive military base in 1998. The rumours of alien life forms, CIA spy plane testing programmes, and sense of forbidden mystery surrounding the massive military base in the southern Nevada desert instantly intrigued the 61-year-old retired software developer. In 1999, he launched the DreamlandResort blog as a comprehensive one-stop-shop for photos, videos and discussion about the base and the top secret military aircraft that are built and tested there. He eventually bought a second home near the gates of the military base. Last year, he was in bed when around 20 armed counter-terrorism agents in tactical gear raided his Rachel home, handcuffed him and led him out of his home in the freezing cold for questioning. The agents seized four of Mr Arnu's computers, containing his life's work on Area 51, along with treasured photos of his deceased parents, and medical and tax records. The agents handed Mr Arnu a search warrant signed by a federal magistrate judge. The first 39 pages were missing, and it only provided vague hints of what the agents had been looking for. A joint team from the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (USAF OSI) had conducted the raids. Eight months on, he still has no idea whether he will face charges, or if he'll ever get back the more than $30,000 he says he's out of pocket for as a result of seized equipment, property damage and legal fees.

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


Top NIH Official Advised Covid Scientists That He Uses Personal Email To Evade FOIA
2023-06-29, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/06/29/covid-nih-personal-email-foia/?emci=f6e59...

A top adviser to Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health admitted that he used a personal email account in an apparent effort to evade the strictures of the Freedom of Information Act. "As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA'd constantly," wrote David M. Morens, a high-ranking NIH official. The email that contains Morens's statements was part of a broader exchange in which Morens and his scientist correspondents denounced media coverage by The Intercept and other publications concerning the origins of Covid and harshly criticized those who take seriously the possibility that the virus emerged from a research accident in Wuhan, China. "I have not been approved to talk about 'origins' on the record. But today, to my total surprise, my boss [Anthony Fauci] actually ASKED me to speak to the National Geographic on the record about origins," Morens wrote at the time. "I interpret this to mean that our government is lightening up but that Tony doesn't want his fingerprints on origin stories." On Thursday, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, the chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent a letter to Morens. Documents ... "suggest that you may have used your personal e-mail to avoid transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), potentially intentionally deleted federal records, and acted in your official capacity to disparage your fellow scientists, including by encouraging litigation against them."

Note: Originally deemed a conspiracy theory, there is now significant evidence revealing how COVID-19 was engineered in the context of bioweapons research with US funding and Chinese military involvement at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


The History And Potential Of MDMA
2023-06-29, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2023/06/29/1185170371/the-history-and-potential-of-mdma

Stuck indoors during the peak of COVID lockdown, science journalist Rachel Nuwer found herself at a professional crossroads. She had already published a nonfiction book on the dark world of wildlife trafficking and was looking for her next subject. A moment of clarity came at a surprising time. She and her partner, at home with nothing much to do, ingested MDMA. MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, is illegal. It is listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. federal government (the same group as marijuana and psilocybin, or magic mushrooms). A growing body of academic research has suggested potential benefits of MDMA beyond the recreational ecstasy some partygoers are familiar with. One study found that MDMA-enhanced therapy dramatically reduced PTSD symptoms. Another showed that psychedelics like MDMA could reopen so-called critical periods of time when brains are especially impressionable and open to learning. A scientific case study profiled a former white supremacist who reformed his extremist views after taking MDMA. Nuwer experienced similar clarity while on the drug. Her new book, "I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World," is the result of her epiphany. She explores the history and potential of the so-called love drug.

Note: Read more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Top US officials have 'first-hand knowledge' of UFOs: Sen. Marco Rubio
2023-06-27, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/06/27/rubio-confirms-officials-have-first-hand-knowle...

High-ranking US government officials have "first-hand knowledge" of a secret Pentagon crash retrieval program for UFOs, Sen. Marco Rubio has claimed. Rubio (R-Fla.), who serves as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told NewsNation Monday that "serious" whistleblowers – who "have held very high clearances and high positions within our government" – have come forward to the panel about several incidents in recent years. "Some of these people still work in the government," the 52-year-old Rubio told the outlet. "And frankly, a lot of them are very fearful, fearful of their jobs, fearful [of] their clearances, fearful of their career, and some, frankly, are fearful of harm coming to them." Rubio's comments bolster the testimony of an Air Force veteran and former intelligence official who recently told Congress he had "proof" that the US government had been covertly storing extraterrestrial aircraft for decades. "These are retrieving non-human origin technical vehicles, call it spacecraft if you will, non-human exotic origin vehicles that have either landed or crashed," 36-year-old David Grusch [said]. "Well, naturally, when you recover something that's either landed or crashed, sometimes you encounter dead pilots and, believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it's true." Grusch said the US government even received a tip from the Vatican about a UFO – and later recovered the alien craft from Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Note: Watch the revealing interview of Grusch concisely alleging what was once deemed as a speculative theory: the U.S. government has recovered non-human craft for decades and kept this secret to the public.  For more along these lines, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on UFOs from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


All aboard the gravy train: an independent audit of US funding for Ukraine
2023-06-27, The Grayzone
https://thegrayzone.com/2023/06/27/gravy-train-independent-audit-ukraine/

In the roughly 16 months since Russia's February 2022 escalation of the Ukraine conflict, the US government has approved several multi-billion dollar spending packages to sustain the Kiev military's fight against Moscow. Though many Americans likely believe that US dollars allocated for Ukraine are spent directly on supplies for the war effort, the lead author of this report, Heather Kaiser, conducted a thorough review of Washington's budget for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year and discovered that is far from the case. US taxpayers may be shocked to learn that as their families grappled with fears of Social Security's looming insolvency, the Social Security Administration in Washington sent $4.48 million to the Kiev government in 2022 and 2023 alone. In another example of bizarre spending, USAID paid off $4.5 billion worth of Ukraine's sovereign debt through payments made to the World Bank – all while Congress went to loggerheads over America's ballooning national debt. (Western financial interests including BlackRock Inc. are among the largest holders of Ukrainian government bonds.) Calculating the total dollar amount that the US has given to Ukraine is incredibly challenging for multitude of reasons: there is a lag in reporting expenditures; covert money given by the CIA (Title 50 Covert Action) won't be publicly disclosed; and direct military assistance in the form of military equipment is not calculated in the same manner as raw cash.

Note: The above article doesn't provide a total figure. Congress approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2022. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pandemic Leaders Were Biodefense Puppets and Profiteers
2023-06-26, Brownstone Institute
https://brownstone.org/articles/pandemic-leaders-were-biodefense-puppets-and-...

Public health leaders like Rochelle Walensky and Anthony Fauci make false claims, or contradict themselves repeatedly, on subjects related to the pandemic response, while leading scientists, like Peter Hotez in the US and Christian Drosten in Germany, are equally susceptible to such flip-flops and lies. All of these figures publicly and aggressively promoted anti-public health policies, including universal masking, social distancing, mass testing and quarantining of healthy people, lockdowns and vaccine mandates. All the top pro-lockdown scientists and public health experts – in perfect lockstep – suddenly started (and continue to this day) to misread studies and advocate policies that they had claimed in the past were unnecessary. The public health experts were not responsible for pandemic response policy. The military-intelligence-biodefense leadership was in charge. The most startling switch was the replacement of the public health agencies by the National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security at the helm of pandemic policy and planning. As part of the secret switch, all communications – defined in every previous pandemic planning document as the responsibility of the CDC – were taken over by the National Security Council under the auspices of the White House Task Force. The CDC was not even allowed to hold its own press conferences!

Note: Read more about how the national security state was involved in COVID public health policies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Still nurturing love and vines: the centenarian who built Barcelona's first roof garden
2023-06-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/26/barcelona-centenarian-org...

When Joan Carulla Figueres turned the roof terrace of his Barcelona apartment into a garden, it was out of nostalgia for his rural origins. Sixty-five years later, the ecological concepts he has long followed have become commonplace, and he is acclaimed as a pioneer of organic farming. Carulla, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year, is credited with creating the city's first roof garden. However, his "allotment in the sky" boasts far more than the usual tomato plants and pots of geraniums. It is home to more than 40 fruit trees, vines that produce 100kg (220lbs) of grapes a year, olives, peaches, figs, garlic, aubergines and even potatoes. He is passionate about potatoes. His approach to agriculture is what today we call organic, but Carulla insists he is not doing anything new and that poor farmers have always practised organic farming out of necessity. "My grandparents had little land and no money for fertiliser," he says. "They used animal and vegetable waste and straw. We lived a frugal life. We didn't go hungry, we just lived." Like his forebears, Carulla makes compost from everything, including old magazines and thin wooden fruit boxes. "There's almost nothing we don't use, everything decomposes eventually." If the war made him a vegetarian, it also made him a pacifist. He was 15 when Juneda was bombed and strafed by fascist warplanes. Carulla speaks with sorrow of the 117 people killed in the village and how the reprisals carried out by both sides at the end of the war broke his father’s spirit and drove his mother to an early grave. “She was one of the war’s silent victims,” he says. “I think she died from pain and suffering.” He also talks about how at the age of 10 he had an epiphany when he vowed to become un generador de amor (someone who generates love). "I don't know where this phrase came from, but I decided that what I had to do was to create love in everyone, universal love."

Note: Don't miss a great video on Figueres and his garden. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Merck accused of downplaying early evidence of drug's brain impact
2023-06-26, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/merck-accused-dow...

An early magazine advertisement for Merck's breakthrough asthma and allergy medicine, Singulair, featured a happy child, hanging upside-down from a tree. Asthmatic kids could now breathe easier, the text assured, and side effects were "usually mild" and "similar to a sugar pill." When the drug launched in 1998, its label said the drug's distribution in the brain was "minimal," with no mention of psychiatric side effects. Merck's early safety claims later faced intense scrutiny amid reports over two decades that patients, including many children, had died by suicide or experienced neuropsychiatric problems after taking the drug. The FDA in 2020 ordered its most serious warning, known as a "black box," on Singulair's label. And Merck now faces a raft of lawsuits alleging it knew from its early research that the drug could impact the brain and that it minimized the potential for psychiatric problems in statements to regulators. The lawsuits cite the research of Julia Marschallinger, a cell biologist who has studied the drug along with colleagues at the Institute of Molecular Regenerative Medicine in Austria. That team found in 2015 that the drug's distribution into the brain was more significant than its label described. In its original patent for Singulair, Merck cited other applications for the drug, beyond asthma and allergies, including as a treatment for "cerebral spasm," a neurological condition. Lawsuits filed against Merck cite this 1996 patent as evidence of Merck's knowledge of the drug's potential brain impacts.

Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Faced with a violent killing, a family chooses forgiveness over prison
2023-06-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/26/restorative-justice-murder-ch...

Alex Fields had not spoken to his nephew in four years. Not since the killing. But when his nephew Donald Fields Jr finally appeared over Zoom from the county jail, Alex Fields was consumed by the moment. Don Jr was charged with the murder of his father, Donald Fields Sr, in 2016. Today was the first step in a long journey that would see a tragedy transformed into a pioneering case of compassion in America's punitive criminal justice system. It marked the first time that restorative justice – the act of resolving crimes through community reconciliation and accountability over traditional punishment – had been used in a homicide case in the state of North Carolina. And probably the first case of its kind in the US. The DA's office forged a new plea deal, which offered Don Jr the opportunity to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, which could see him sentenced to "time served". The family worked on a new repair agreement, which was 13 points long and had conditions facilitating Don Jr's release. There is increasing evidence that use of restorative justice lowers rates of recidivism. Those who are victims of violence are far more likely to become perpetrators of violent acts later on. "Just as we cannot incarcerate our way out of violence, we cannot reform our way out of mass incarceration without taking on the question of violence," [Danielle Sered] writes. "The context in which violence happens matters, as do the identities and experiences of those involved.”

Note: Danielle Sered is the founder of a Brooklyn-based restorative justice organization Common Justice, which is the first alternative-to-incarceration and victim-service program in the United States that focuses on violent felonies in the adult courts. For further reading, explore her book, Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair.


A son died, his parents tried to sue. How U.S. courts protect Big Pharma
2023-06-26, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-lawsuits-merck-singul...

Nicholas England, a healthy 22-year-old from Virginia, shot himself in the head in 2017, less than two weeks after he started taking an allergy medicine that had been linked for years to episodes of depression and suicidal thinking. His parents soon started exploring a lawsuit against Merck, the developer of the blockbuster asthma and allergy drug, Singulair. Nicholas had no history of mental-health problems, they said. The Englands were shocked to learn from legal advisers that they had no case. Like countless other potential plaintiffs, they had run into one of Corporate America's most effective liability shields: the legal doctrine of preemption, the principle that federal law supersedes state law. Armed with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on preemption starting in the 1990s, companies increasingly argue that federally regulated products or services should be immune from lawsuits alleging state-law violations. State laws historically have provided the legal basis for some of the most common lawsuits against U.S. companies alleging injuries, deaths or illnesses caused by negligence or defective products. Pending lawsuits against Merck allege that the company's own early research indicated the drug could impact the brain but that Merck downplayed any risks in statements to regulators. It wasn't until 2020 that the FDA slapped its most serious warning, called a "black box," on the drug's label. By that time, the FDA had received more than 80 reports of suicides in people taking the medicine.

Note: Read more about Singulair and its dangers to human health, along with the tremendous financial conflicts of interests resulting in the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical industry first, and the health of the people second. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Impactful and beautiful': how US homeless shelters are getting a radical redesign
2023-06-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/26/us-homeless-shelters-redesign