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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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 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.
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 issues, reduced 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.
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.”
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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