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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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