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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Investigation Shows Hundreds Of Patients Dying At California Rehab Centers
2019-06-25, CBS (Bay Area affiliate)
https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/06/25/hundreds-of-patients-dying-in-ca...

The average 30-day stay at a California rehab costs families $40,000. It’s expensive and often highly risky. The Russells [checked] their 19-year-old son, Teddy Russell, into Mountain Vista last summer. “During intake, they had trouble with the blood pressure cuff and she said, ‘No, I have no medical training at all,’” said Anne Russell, talking about the counselor at the rehab. Mountain Vista Farm is a state licensed residential detox facility, which in California is not required to have a doctor on site. Anne Russell believes the lack of medical support drastically changed the course of her family’s life. “We trusted them to help him and our son trusted us and it was just a nightmare,” she said. Detox centers must check on patients every 30 minutes for the critical first 72 hours but that didn’t happen. Seven hours after being dropped off at Mountain Vista Farm, Teddy Russell was dead. The state has the power to suspend a rehab facility’s license after a Class A deficiency. Teddy’s death resulted in two of those. But the state didn’t shut this place down. In fact, we’ve learned it rarely shuts any rehab down. Instead the penalty in Teddy’s case was a $700 fine. Public records show Teddy’s story is not unique. 190 people have died at other rehab facilities in California since 2010. We found dozens of deficiencies, from falsifying records, failing to report deaths, and employing unqualified staff to not monitoring patient vitals, like what happened to Teddy.

Note: John Oliver has a hard-hitting video on the serious problems found at many rehab centers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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