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Youth detention facilities face increased scrutiny amid a wave of abuse lawsuits
2024-05-17, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/05/17/1251963778/youth-detention-juvenile-crime-sexu...

As a teenager almost 20 years ago, Jeffery Christian was sent to a juvenile detention center in southern Illinois. He was abused by multiple staff over the course of several years, starting just a few days into his detention. According to a lawsuit filed last week in the Illinois Court of Claims, his mother reported at least some of the alleged abuse to leadership but no one followed up. He is one of more than 90 people who sued the state last week, saying they were abused by employees when they were in juvenile detention, some as young as 12 years old. It is the latest in a flurry of legal cases around the country claiming similar sexual misconduct by employees of facilities housing children charged with a crime. The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday announced an investigation into Kentucky's youth detention facilities. Since the start of the year, there have been lawsuits filed in at least four states, including the one in Illinois. The men and women in the lawsuits allege very similar abuse. Some say they were raped. Others say they were forced to perform oral sex or were inappropriately touched by employees. Some say they were given rewards, like special snacks or extra recreational time, if they complied; others say they were punished for refusing. According to the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group, recurring abuse has been documented in state-funded juvenile detention facilities in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

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


How Women Are Helping Their Neighbors Heal From Depression
2024-05-16, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/women-peer-led-therapy-depression/

Rhoda Phiri was having a hard time sleeping. She found it difficult to mingle with people in her community and at church. Even basic chores were hard. She was, she says, in a “dark corner.” Then one day in 2020, a couple of women knocked on the door of her home in Zambia. The women were with StrongMinds, an international nonprofit that provides support for depression, particularly among women and adolescents. She accepted the women’s invitation to join a group therapy program, held under a tree in an area near her home, and as she learned about depression, she recognized the signs in herself. “All the symptoms they were talking about, it’s like they were talking about me,” Phiri says. “It’s like they knew what I was going through.” Instead of relying on mental health professionals, StrongMinds offers group therapy facilitated by trained community members — often clients who have completed the treatment themselves, like Phiri. This group therapy model has proven to be an effective way to treat depression. Since the organization launched in 2013, half a million people have gone through the treatment program. Three-quarters of participants screened as being free of depression symptoms two weeks after completing it. “What we’ve learned in 11 years is that depression treatment can be, what we call, democratized,” says StrongMinds founder ... Sean Mayberry. “You can take it out of the hands of doctors and nurses and give it to the community itself.”

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


Police departments sell their used guns. Thousands end up at crime scenes.
2024-05-16, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/police-selling-guns/

Candace Leslie was leaving church when she got the call she will never forget. Someone shot Leslie's son four times. Police recovered at least one gun. It was a Glock pistol. Unbeknownst to investigators at the time, the gun once served as a law enforcement duty weapon, carried by a sheriff's deputy more than 2,000 miles away in California. According to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Glock was one of at least 52,529 police guns that have turned up at crime scenes since 2006, the earliest year provided. While that tally includes guns lost by or stolen from police, many of the firearms were released back into the market by the very law enforcement agencies sworn to protect the public. Law enforcement resold guns to firearms dealers for discounts on new equipment and, in some cases, directly to their own officers, records show. Some of the guns were later involved in shootings, domestic violence incidents, and other violent crimes. Reporters surveyed state and local law enforcement agencies and found that at least 145 of them had resold guns on at least one occasion between 2006 and 2024. That's about 90 percent of the more than 160 agencies that responded. Records from 67 agencies showed they had collectively resold more than 87,000 firearms over the past two decades. That figure is likely a significant undercount, however, because many agencies' records were incomplete or heavily redacted.

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


Biden Administration Strips Federal Funding From Nonprofit at Center of COVID Lab Leak Controversy
2024-05-15, Aol News/Reason
https://www.aol.com/news/biden-administration-strips-federal-funding-21253768...

The Biden administration suspended federal funding to the scientific nonprofit whose research is at the center of credible theories that the COVID-19 pandemic was started via a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was immediately suspending three grants provided to the New York-based nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) as it starts the process of debarring the organization from receiving any federal funds. For years now, EcoHealth has generated immense controversy for its use of federal grant money to support gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab. HHS said that EcoHealth had failed to properly monitor the work it was supporting at Wuhan. It also failed to properly report on the results of experiments showing that the hybrid viruses it was creating there had an improved ability to infect human cells. In testimony to the House's coronavirus subcommittee, [EcoHealth President Peter ] Daszak claimed that EcoHealth attempted to report the results of its gain-of-function experiments on time in 2019, but was frozen out of NIH's reporting system. [An] HHS memo released today says a forensic investigation found no evidence that EcoHealth was locked out of NIH's reporting system. The department also said that EcoHealth had failed to produce requested lab notes and other materials from the Wuhan lab detailing the work being done there.

Note: Watch our 15-min Mindful News Brief video on the strong evidence that bioweapons research created COVID-19. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Weight Loss Drugs Go Hand-in-Hand With Junk Food Industry
2024-05-14, CounterPunch
https://www.counterpunch.org/2024/05/14/weight-loss-drugs-go-hand-in-hand-wit...

What Americans eat, how they diet and exercise, what nutritional supplements they take, the sugar content of their sodas, the high fructose corn syrup in their processed foods, and the price of their diabetes medication have long been objects of endless gambling on Wall Street. Now, with drugs like Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Ozempic in the mix, new vistas of corporate exploitation have opened up. It’s not a conspiracy theory that food addiction is a tool of corporate profiteering. Consider that tobacco companies, upon being regulated out of the business of addictive smoking, turned their sights onto addictive eating. Health columnist Anahad O’Connor wrote, “In America, the steepest increase in the prevalence of hyper-palatable foods occurred between 1988 and 2001—the era when Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds owned the world’s leading food companies.” Many of these ultra-processed foods are specially marketed to children, which in turn can change their brain chemistry to desire those foods for life. Alongside the aggressive marketing of hyper-palatable foods is a massively profitable weight-loss industry that preys upon individual shame to the tune of more than $60 billion a year. In fact, some of the same companies pushing high-calorie foods are in the business of weight loss. The ultra-processed food industry is becoming symbiotic with the weight-loss drug industry. The former ensures we eat poorly and the latter is there to feed off our shame.

Note: This is strangely comparable to when pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma LP secretly pursued a plan to become "an end-to-end pain provider" by selling both opioids and drugs to treat opioid addiction. It is now estimated that 1 in 8 adults in the US have taken Ozempic or another weight-loss drug. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Hilary Cass Says U.S. Doctors Are ‘Out of Date’ on Youth Gender Medicine
2024-05-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/13/health/hilary-cass-transgender-youth-puber...

After 30 years as one of England’s top pediatricians, Dr. Hilary Cass ... took on a project that would throw her into an international fire: reviewing England’s treatment guidelines for the rapidly rising number of children with gender distress, known as dysphoria. Staff members who said they felt pressure to approve children for puberty-blocking drugs had filed whistle-blower complaints. Over the next four years, Dr. Cass commissioned systematic reviews of scientific studies on youth gender treatments and international guidelines of care. She also met with young patients and their families, transgender adults, people who had detransitioned, advocacy groups and clinicians. Her final report, published last month, concluded that the evidence supporting the use of puberty-blocking drugs and other hormonal medications in adolescents was “remarkably weak.” On her recommendation, the N.H.S. will no longer prescribe puberty blockers outside of clinical trials. Dr. Cass also recommended that testosterone and estrogen, which allow young people to develop the physical characteristics of the opposite sex, be prescribed with “extreme caution.” “We have to stop just seeing these young people through the lens of their gender and see them as whole people, and address the much broader range of challenges that they have ... I’ve spoken to young adults where it was the wrong decision, where they have regret, where they’ve detransitioned. The critical issue is trying to work out how we can best predict who’s going to thrive and who’s not going to do well," [said Dr. Cass]. "Medicine should never be politically driven. It should be driven by evidence and ethics and shared decision-making with patients and listening to patients’ voices. Once it becomes politicized, then that’s seriously concerning, as you know well from the abortion situation in the United States."

Note: We believe that everyone has a right to exist and express themselves the way they want. Yet when it comes to transgender medicine, research suggests significant health concerns. Why aren't we openly discussing this so that people (especially children) can make informed choices about their bodies? Explore our concise summaries of important news articles on transgender medicine.


Priced Out of Housing, Communities Take Development Into Their Own Hands
2024-05-13, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/13/business/gentrifying-neighborhoods-communi...

“Community-owned cooperative real estate” ... was developed a decade ago by a nonprofit legal group and a nonprofit neighborhood group in Oakland, Calif., and has been refined by legal and development groups in Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and other cities. The cooperative strategy enables neighborhood groups to finance unconventional construction or renovation projects that banks and institutional lenders, which prefer strong cash-flow operations, won’t touch. Much of the approach stems from efforts by the federal and local governments to make it easier for small investors to put money into real estate developments. Federal rules once barred small investors — those whose net worth is less than $1 million or who make less than $200,000 a year in income — from participating in development projects; that changed in 2015. At the same time, a few states enacted laws allowing small investors to put their money into local developments. “Until that change, 90 percent of the residents in a community couldn’t make direct investments in a real estate project,” said Chris Miller [with] the National Coalition for Community Capital, a nonprofit group. “Michigan allows nonaccredited investors to invest up to $10,000 in a project now.” In Oakland, the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is widely credited with being one of the first community groups to apply the community-owned cooperative concept to a neighborhood project.

Note: Explore more positive stories about reimagining the economy.


Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs
2024-05-09, The Hill
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/4646417-top-senators-believe-the-us-se...

Has the U.S. government secretly retrieved exotic craft of “non-human” origin? Newly declassified documents, along with extraordinary legislation, illustrate how two successive Democratic Senate majority leaders appear to have believed so. Notably, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were not alone in their focus on UFOs. [They] received critical support and encouragement from a bipartisan group of high-profile senators over the years, including former fighter pilot and famed astronaut John Glenn (D-Ohio); Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who observed a UFO as a World War II pilot; Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), then-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense; 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). Recently, Schumer and a bipartisan group of five other senators introduced extraordinary legislation alleging the existence of surreptitious “legacy programs” that retrieve and seek to reverse-engineer UFOs of “non-human” origin. On the Senate floor, Schumer said the government “has gathered a great deal of information about [UFOs] over many decades but has refused to share it with the American people.” Critically, according to Schumer, “multiple credible sources” have alleged that elements of the U.S. government have withheld UFO-related information from Congress illegally.

Note: For more along these lines, read more about these alleged top secret UFO programs in our UFO Information Center.


The Well-Heeled and Our Personal Well-Being
2024-05-09, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/09/the-well-heeled-and-our-personal-well-being/

People who live in societies with wide gaps between the wealthy and everyone else turn out to live briefer lives than people who call more equal societies home. People who live in more equal societies, meanwhile, tend to live happier lives than their unequal-society counterparts. They face less crime. Their economies crash less often. Recent studies from Northwestern’s Maryam Kouchaki and her colleagues ... have been illuminating how unequal distributions of income and wealth are serving to increase “the acceptability of self-interested unethical behaviors.” The bottom line: People who live in highly unequal societies feel “a lower sense of control” and look less askance at unethical behaviors, either from others or from themselves, than do people who live in distinctly more equal societies. “Overall,” Kouchaki and her colleagues conclude, “our results suggest inequality changes ethical standards.” Other recent psychological research has come to the same core conclusion. “When are people more open to cheating?” asked the Canadian researchers Anita Schmalor, Adrian Schroeder, and Steven Heine in a paper published earlier this year. “Economic inequality makes people expect more everyday unethical behavior.” The longer we let inequality define our contemporary daily lives, this new research helps us understand, the more the unethical behavior all around us will seem to reflect just the way our world naturally works. Economic inequality, in effect, normalizes unethical behavior.

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


From luxury bunkers to tactical vehicles, the ultra-rich are preparing for the Big One
2024-05-09, CBC News (Canada's Public Broadcasting System)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/billionaire-bunkers-doomsday-1.7130152

In December, Wired magazine revealed that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta and one of the richest individuals on the planet, was building a $100-million US compound in Hawaii. The compound includes a bunker — 5,000 square feet, to be specific, with concrete walls and an escape hatch. What does this tell us? It's a sign that at least some of the ultra-rich are anxious about global events and are making contingency plans for the Big One — whatever form that may take. The feeling is very much in the air. Architectural Digest named "luxury bunkers" one of the real estate trends of 2023. Brian Cramden, president of Hardened Structures, a Virginia-based firm that builds multimillion-dollar fortified homes and bomb shelters, said work has been "steady" for years but that he has seen a "major uptick in the last two, three months." "With Putin and North Korea and what's going on in Gaza, I'm getting lots of inquiries," he said. "It's [wars], it's Trump, it's the divisiveness of the nation." Cramden said the most commonly cited threats include a breakdown of law and order; the detonation of a nuclear weapon; a hostile power activating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to disrupt the communications network; and the diffuse effects of climate change. Vivos, a California-based company that provides "shelter solutions," told CBC "inquiries and applications are up over 2,000 per cent year over year."

Note: Read more about elite doomsday bunkers.


Pfizer agrees to settle over 10K lawsuits linking Zantac to cancer
2024-05-08, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/05/08/business/pfizer-to-settle-over-10k-lawsuits-lin...

Pfizer has agreed to settle more than 10,000 lawsuits which alleged that the company failed to warn patients about possible cancer risks caused by the anti-heartburn medication Zantac. The lawsuits were filed in state courts across the country, but the agreements don’t completely resolve Pfizer’s exposure to the claims linking Zantac and cancer. Zantac was brought to market in 1983 by Glaxo Holdings, a company that is now part of the GlaxoSmithKline company. By 1988, it was the world’s best selling drug as patients reported benefits for conditions such as heartburn, ulcers and acid reflux. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration asked drugmakers to pull Zantac and its generic versions off the market after a cancer-causing substance called NDMA was found in samples of the drug. Thousands of lawsuits began piling up in federal and state courts against Pfizer, GSK, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim. Last month, Sanofi reached an agreement in principle to settle 4,000 lawsuits linking Zantac to cancer. Sanofi did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Bloomberg News reported that the company will pay $100 million — or $25,000 to each plaintiff. Sanofi still faces about 20,000 lawsuits over Zantac in Delaware state court. A judge in Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington is weighing the fate of about 70,000 cases filed against Sanofi and other defendants, including GSK, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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


A college professor wants to use Section 230 against Big Tech
2024-05-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/college-professor-wants-us...

Ethan Zuckerman, a longtime technologist and social media scholar, thought he fully understood Section 230, the 1996 statute that contains the famous “26 words that created the internet.” But three years ago, he was reading its full text aloud to his class at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst when suddenly, in his words, “a lightbulb went off in my head.” It struck him that the law, widely understood to shield tech companies from being sued for their users’ posts, also protects users. In particular, it protects people who build tools to filter or moderate online content. People like Zuckerman’s friend Louis Barclay, a developer who in 2021 was permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for developing a tool called “Unfollow Everything” that lets users, well, unfollow everything and restart their feeds fresh. Three years later, that eureka moment has turned into a lawsuit — one that, if successful, could loosen Big Tech’s grip on how people use social media. The suit ... asks a California court to declare that Meta can’t ban or sue him for building an unfollowing tool inspired by Barclay’s. If the suit succeeds, Zuckerman plans to release the tool, called “Unfollow Everything 2.0,” and hopes a wave of other tools to give users more control over their online lives will follow. Such tools are sometimes called “middleware” and have been touted by the Stanford political scientist Francis Fukuyama as a way to break Silicon Valley’s chokehold on online speech.

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


How Fat Leonard compromised admirals in charge of Navy intelligence
2024-05-07, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2024/05/07/how-fat-leonard-comp...

Leonard Glenn Francis, and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, held $200 million in contracts to resupply U.S. Navy ships and provide port security in Asia. But Francis had recently been arrested. Federal agents were shocked to discover ... that he had obtained reams of classified information from corrupt Navy officers about the itineraries of U.S. warships and submarines. Francis, a high school dropout with a prior felony record, penetrated the Navy’s elaborate counterintelligence defenses with astonishing ease — and far more extensively than the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged — by bribing ... officers for classified material. Navy counterintelligence officials failed to detect hemorrhaging leaks of military secrets to Francis while he exploited the information for his company’s bottom line. Since 2015, 10 Navy officers have admitted to leaking classified material to Francis and his firm in exchange for prostitutes, cash and other favors, the records show, making the Malaysian defense contractor among the most prolific espionage agents in modern history. After a lengthy investigation and the suspension of [Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless'] access to classified information, the Navy determined that Branch violated federal ethics rules and committed official misconduct by accepting meals and other gifts from Francis. Loveless was indicted and tried on bribery charges, though prosecutors dropped the case against him.

Note: Read more about the massive bribery scheme that Leonard Francis used to compromise the US Navy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


The all-female patrol guarding Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest
2024-05-07, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20240503-the-indigenous-women-fighting-min...

It is the break of dawn in the Serena community, in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Elsa Cerda, a 43-year-old indigenous Kichwa woman, brews guayusa leaves – a native plant from the rainforest – in a pot. It marks the start of the Guayusa Upina, a ritual performed by Amazonian indigenous peoples before beginning their daily activities. This tradition is more than a routine; it's a spiritual connection to their ancestral roots. As the first rays of light begin to filter through the tree canopy, a diverse assembly of 35 women, ranging from 23 to 85 years old, arrives one by one at the ceremony. The group goes by the name of "Yuturi Warmi". Their role as Amazonian guardians involves safeguarding the territory from pollution and preserving the land and rivers from activities that jeopardise biodiversity – such as deforestation and mining operations. The women undergo regular training sessions, with younger women teaching older members how to operate these phone cameras and drones. Each patrol involves a rotation of members, particularly the younger ones, who primarily patrol the land, ensuring continued presence and surveillance. The women do not carry any weapons, relying instead on their collective presence to act as a deterrent. In the event of witnessing illegal mining activities, the women prioritise non-violent measures such as contacting the authorities and gathering evidence.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this about healing the Earth.


The internet is in decline – it needs rewilding
2024-05-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/may/04/the-internet-is...

[Tim] Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, [came] up with the idea for a “world wide web” as a way of locating and accessing documents that were scattered all over the internet. He was able to do this because the internet, which had been publicly available since January 1983, enabled it. The network had no central ownership or controller. The result was an extraordinary explosion of creativity, and the emergence of ... a kind of global commons. However, the next generation of innovators to benefit from this freedom – Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple et al – saw no reason to extend it to anyone else. The creative commons of the internet has been gradually and inexorably enclosed. Google and Apple’s browsers have nearly 85% of the world market share. Microsoft and Apple’s two desktop operating systems have almost 90%. Google runs about 90% of global search. More than half of all phones come from Apple and Samsung, while 99% of mobile operating systems are from Google or Apple. Apple and Google’s email clients manage nearly 90% of global email. GoDaddy and Cloudflare serve about 50% of global domain name system requests. And so on. One of the consequences of this concentration, say Farrell and Berjon, is that the creative possibilities of permissionless innovation have become increasingly constrained. The internet has become an extractive and fragile monoculture. We can revitalise it, but only by “rewilding” it.

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


Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening?
2024-05-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/03/health/covid-vaccines-side-effects.html

Thousands of Americans believe they suffered serious side effects following Covid vaccination. As of April, just over 13,000 vaccine-injury compensation claims have been filed with the federal government. Only 19 percent have been reviewed. Only 47 of those were deemed eligible for compensation, and only 12 have been paid out, at an average of about $3,600. In a recent interview, Dr. Janet Woodcock, a longtime leader of the Food and Drug Administration ... said she believed that some recipients had experienced uncommon but “serious” and “life-changing” reactions beyond those described by federal agencies. “I feel bad for those people,” said Dr. Woodcock, who became the F.D.A.’s acting commissioner in January 2021. “I believe their suffering should be acknowledged, that they have real problems, and they should be taken seriously.” The government’s understaffed compensation fund has paid so little because it officially recognizes few side effects for Covid vaccines. People who said they had been harmed by Covid shots ... described a variety of symptoms following vaccination, some neurological, some autoimmune, some cardiovascular. All said they had been turned away by physicians, told their symptoms were psychosomatic, or labeled anti-vaccine by family and friends — despite the fact that they supported vaccines. The National Institutes of Health is conducting virtually no studies on Covid vaccine safety, several experts noted.

Note: While mainstream narratives emphasize how rare these injuries are, the numbers speak for themselves. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a voluntary government reporting system that only captures a portion of the actual injuries. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publicly available, and currently show 1,637,441 COVID vaccine injury reports, 37,544 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths, and 216,213 COVID Vaccine Reported Hospitalizations. Explore our nuanced, uncensored investigation about this important issue.


Columbia Crackdown Led by University Prof Doubling as NYPD Spook
2024-05-03, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/05/03/columbia-crackdown-led-by-university-prof-d...

The violent crackdown carried out on Columbia University students protesting Israel’s genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip was led by a member of the school’s own faculty, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has declared. During a May 1 press conference, just hours after the New York Police Department arrested nearly 300 people on university grounds, Adams praised adjunct Columbia professor Rebecca Weiner, who moonlights as the head of the NYPD counter-terrorism bureau, for giving police the green light to clear out anti-genocide students by force. Weiner maintained an office at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Her SIPA bio describes her as an “Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs” who simultaneously serves as the “civilian executive in charge of the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau.” In that role ... Weiner “develops policy and strategic priorities for the Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau and publicly represents the NYPD in matters involving counterterrorism and intelligence.” A 2011 AP investigation revealed that a so-called “Demographics Unit” operated secretly within the NYPD’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau. This shadowy outfit spied on Muslims around the New York City area. The unit was developed in tandem with the CIA. As a former police official told the AP, the unit attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

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


The children who remember their past lives
2024-05-02, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2024/05/02/children-past-lives/

Since the 1960s, more than 2,200 children from across the world have described apparent recollections from a previous life, all documented in a database maintained by the Division of Perceptual Studies within the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Sometimes a child presents enough identifying information for relatives or researchers to pinpoint a deceased person, but that level of specificity is elusive; about a third of the cases in the database do not include such a match. The phenomenon, with its aura of the paranormal, has long been fodder for books, academic studies, newspaper stories and dramatized documentaries. All of these explorations tend to orbit the same existential questions: Is reincarnation real? What happens after we die? How can this be explained? Certain consistent patterns have emerged: The most pronounced and convincing cases ... tend to occur in children between the ages of 2 and 6. They might suddenly describe places they have never been, people they have never met, sometimes using words or phrases that seem beyond their vocabulary. Nightmares or sleep disturbances are occasionally reported. Many of these children are highly verbal and start speaking earlier than their peers. Their descriptions of past-life recollections often fade away entirely by the time the child turns 7 or 8.

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


Israeli Weapons Firms Required To Buy Cloud Services From Google And Amazon
2024-05-01, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/05/01/google-amazon-nimbus-israel-weapons-arms-...

Google and Amazon are both loath to discuss security aspects of the cloud services they provide through their joint contract with the Israeli government, known as Project Nimbus. Both the Ministry of Defense and Israel Defense Forces are Nimbus customers. According to a 63-page Israeli government procurement document ... two of Israel’s leading state-owned weapons manufacturers are required to use Amazon and Google for cloud computing needs. Though details of Google and Amazon’s contractual work with the Israeli arms industry aren’t laid out in the tender document, which outlines how Israeli agencies will obtain software services through Nimbus, the firms are responsible for manufacturing drones, missiles, and other weapons Israel has used to bombard Gaza. Project Nimbus ... has already created a public uproar. Google and Amazon have faced backlash ranging from street protests to employee revolts. Following anti-Nimbus sit-ins organized at the company’s New York and Sunnyvale, California, offices, Google fired 50 employees. Emaan Haseem, [was] a cloud computing engineer at Google until she was fired after participating in the Sunnyvale protest. “A lot of us signed up or applied to work at Google because we were trying to avoid working at terrible unethical companies,” she said. “Why are we pretending that because my logo is colorful and has round letters that I’m any better than Raytheon?”

Note: When Google employees protested Project Maven, a DoD drone program that used Google technology, the Big Tech giant dropped the contract with the Pentagon in 2018. Read about how Silicon Valley has been infiltrated by intelligence agencies.


In This Police Youth Program, a Trail of Sexual Abuse Across the U.S.
2024-05-01, The Marshall Project
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2024/05/01/police-explorer-sexual-abuse-bo...

Created by the Boy Scouts of America decades ago, law enforcement Explorer posts are designed to help teens and young adults learn about policing. [There are] at least 194 allegations that law enforcement personnel, mostly policemen, have groomed, sexually abused or engaged in inappropriate behavior with Explorers since 1974, an ongoing investigation by The Marshall Project has found. The vast majority of those affected were teenage girls — some as young as 13. In many programs, armed officers were allowed to be alone with teenage Explorers. In a few instances, departments minimized or dismissed the concerns of those who reported troubling behavior, records show. The officers accused of abusing teenagers spanned the ranks, from patrolmen to police chiefs. Some were department veterans cited in news articles for their community work. Many cases led to criminal charges. Some officers went to prison, while others received probation or weren’t required to register as sex offenders. A few departments allowed officers to keep their jobs after a reprimand or short suspension. The Marshall Project’s analysis found at least 14 departments, among 111 agencies, that had a history of repeated allegations. Slightly more than half of the cases reporters found occurred since 2000. In 2022, the Boy Scouts agreed to settle with more than 82,000 people, most of them men, who said they were abused as minors in Scouting programs.

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