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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.


College Was Once Free and For the Public Good—What Happened?
2017-07-20, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/college-was-once-free-and-for-the-publ...

Among politicians, college administrators, educators, parents and students, college affordability seems to be seen as a purely financial issue. The roots of the current student debt crisis are neither economic nor financial in origin, but predominantly social. In 2012, more than 44 million Americans were still paying off student loans. And the average graduate in 2016 left college with more than $37,000 in student loan debt. Student loan debt has become the second-largest type of personal debt among Americans. From 1995 to 2015, tuition and fees at 310 national universities ... rose considerably, increasing by nearly 180 percent at private schools and more than 225 percent at public schools. During the 19th century, college education in the United States was offered largely for free. College education was considered a public good. Students who received such an education would put it to use in the betterment of society. The perception of higher education changed dramatically [as] private colleges began to attract more students from upper-class families. In 1927, John D. Rockefeller began campaigning for charging students the full cost it took to educate them. Further, he suggested that students could shoulder such costs through student loans. Tuition - and student loans - thus became commonly accepted aspects of the economics of higher education. If the United States is looking for alternatives to what some would call a failing funding model for college affordability, the solution may lie in looking further back than the current system.

Note: According to former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the sharply increasing cost of a college education serves to redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Body Camera Video Allegedly Shows Baltimore Police ‘Plant’ Drugs
2017-07-19, NBC News
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/body-camera-video-allegedly-shows-baltimo...

Body camera video produced Wednesday appears to show a Baltimore police officer plant drugs in late January, an act that later resulted in a criminal arrest. The 90-second Baltimore police body camera video, which was made public by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, belongs to Officer Richard Pinheiro, who appears to hide and later "find" drugs among trash strewn on a plot next to a Baltimore residence. Two other officers appear to be with the Pinheiro as he hides the drugs. "This is a serious allegation of police misconduct," Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said. "There is nothing that deteriorates the trust of any community more than thinking for one second that police officers ... would plant evidence of crimes on citizens." One of the officers has been suspended, and two others have been placed on "nonpublic contact" administrative duty, Davis told reporters. Pinheiro is a witness in about 53 active cases, and he was even called to testify in a case earlier this week, the Public Defender's Office said. The new video has led to that case's dismissal after an assistant public defender forwarded it to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. Debbie Katz Levi, head of the Baltimore Public Defender's Special Litigation Section, said that Baltimore police have long had a problem with officer misconduct but that the city does not hold individuals accountable. "We have long supported the use of police body cameras to help identify police misconduct, but such footage is meaningless if prosecutors continue to rely on these officers, especially if they do so without disclosing their bad acts," Levi said.

Note: And how many thousands of times over the years has this been done and not recorded on video? Watch this video at the NBC link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Keith Kloor’s Endearing Love Affair With GMOs
2017-07-19, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-g...

Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”

Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.


Rep. Barbara Lee won't get her war vote after all
2017-07-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-update...

House Republicans have stripped from a Defense Department spending bill Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to reconsider the authority the president has to wage war. The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly opened the door last month to ending the authorization approved by Congress in 2001 when Lee's amendment was added to a Defense Department measure after 16 years of attempts. Congress would have had 240 days to debate a new authorization. At the end of that time, the 2001 authorization would have been repealed. The version of the Defense Department bill approved by the House Rules Committee overnight removes Lee's amendment and replaces it with an amendment ... that gives the White House 30 days to tell Congress its strategy for defeating Al Qaeda and Islamic State. The Rules Committee decides what debate on a bill will look like on the House floor. “Stripping my bipartisan amendment to repeal the 2001 AUMF – in the dead of night, without a vote – may be a new low," Lee said in a statement. Lee ... was the only member of Congress to object in September 2001 to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a resolution in response to the terrorist attacks that paved the way for the war in Afghanistan. The resolution has since been used by President George W. Bush, President Obama and now President Trump to justify more than 35 military actions in nearly 20 countries around the world without going back to Congress for new permission to send troops into harm's way.

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


CNN witnesses US Navy's drone-killing laser
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/politics/us-navy-drone-laser-weapon/index.html

In the sometimes hostile waters of the Persian Gulf looms the US Navy's first - in fact, the world's first - active laser weapon. The LaWS, an acronym for Laser Weapons System, is not science fiction. It is not experimental. It is deployed on board the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship, ready to be fired at targets today and every day by Capt. Christopher Wells and his crew. CNN was granted exclusive access to a live-fire test of the laser. "It is more precise than a bullet," Wells told CNN. "This is a very versatile weapon, it can be used against a variety of targets." For the test, the USS Ponce crew launched the target - a drone aircraft, a weapon in increasing use. Immediately, the weapons team zeroed in. "We don't have to lead a target," Hughes explained. "We see it, we focus on it, and we can negate that target." In an instant, the drone's wing lit up, heated to a temperature of thousands of degrees, lethally damaging the aircraft and sending it hurtling down to the sea. The strike comes silently and invisibly. "It operates in an invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum so you don't see the beam, it doesn't make any sound, it's completely silent and it's incredibly effective at what it does," said Hughes. All the $40 million system needs to operate is a supply of electricity, which is derived from its own small generator, and has a crew of three. No multi-million-dollar missile, no ammunition at all. The cost per use? "It's about a dollar a shot," said Hughes.

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


US general warns of out-of-control killer robots
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/paul-selva-gary-peters-autonomous-weap...

America's second-highest ranking military officer, Gen. Paul Selva, advocated Tuesday for "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control." Selva was responding to a question from Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, about his views on a Department of Defense directive that requires a human operator to be kept in the decision-making process when it comes to the taking of human life by autonomous weapons systems. Peters said the restriction was "due to expire later this year." "I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for his reappointment as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He predicted that "there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," but added that he was "an advocate for keeping that restriction." Selva said humans needed to remain in the decision making process "because we take our values to war." His comments come as the US military has sought increasingly autonomous weapons systems.

Note: In another article Tesla founder Elon Musk's warns against the dangers of AI without regulation. A 2013 report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission called for a worldwide moratorium on the “testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use” of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump Administration Closing War Crimes Office
2017-07-18, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/trump-war-crimes-torture-tillerson-638404

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is closing a decades-old office in the State Department that has helped seek justice for victims of war crimes. The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the secretary of state on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide, and helps form policy to address such atrocities. It was established ... in 1997. The office has supported the work of criminal courts in countries including Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the Central African Republic, and has pushed for greater U.S. support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The office has also offered rewards that have resulted in information disclosures about and apprehension of war criminals, and has inveighed against brutal dictators. (It has not, however, criticized Saudi Arabia or other American allies with dismal human rights records.) “It just makes official what has been U.S. policy since 9/11, which is that there will be no notice taken of war crimes because so many of them were being committed by our own allies, our military and intelligence officers and our elected officials,” Maj. Todd E. Pierce, a former judge advocate general defense attorney at Guantanamo, told Newsweek. The office was formed following the 1996 passage of the War Crimes Act, which defined a war crime as a “grave breach” of the Geneva Conventions. When the CIA began using torture early in the Iraq War and, later, jailing people indefinitely and without trial in Guantanamo, the U.S. was in open breach of the conventions.

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


China is crushing the U.S. in renewable energy
2017-07-18, CNN News
http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/18/technology/china-us-clean-energy-solar-farm/

As the Trump administration yanks the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement, claiming it will hurt the American economy, Beijing is investing hundreds of billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs in clean power. "Even in China where coal is - or was - king, the government still recognizes that the economic opportunities of the future are going to be in clean energy," said Alvin Lin, Beijing-based climate and energy policy director with the Natural Resources Defense Council. More than 2.5 million people work in the solar power sector alone in China, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S.. While President Trump promises to put American coal miners back to work, China is moving in the opposite direction. Coal still makes up the largest part of China's energy consumption, but Beijing has been shutting coal mines and set out plans last year to cut roughly 1.3 million jobs in the industry, [as well as] pledged in January to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in renewable power generation - solar, wind, hydro and nuclear - by 2020. China's growing dominance in the [renewable power] sector has had a huge effect on the global market. Manufacturers dramatically ramped up production of solar panels, driven by an estimated $42 billion in government subsidized loans between 2010 and 2012. The U.S. accused China of flooding the market and the Commerce Department started imposing steep tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels in 2012 in a bid to protect American producers.

Note: The world's biggest floating solar power plant was recently built in China. And in the US, the solar power industry now employs more workers than the coal, oil and natural gas industries combined.


Donald Trump's campaign against Isis results in nearly as many civilian deaths as during Obama's entire administration
2017-07-17, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-syria-death-...

Nearly as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led air strikes under Donald Trump as were killed during the whole administration of Barack Obama, independent analysts say. As of 13 July, more than 2,200 civilians had been killed by the US-led international coalition against Isis since Donald Trump entered the White house in January - compared with the estimated 2,300 civilians who died during similar strikes between 2014 and 2016. Roughly 80 civilians per month died in strikes under Mr Obama but this has now risen to approximately 360 per month ... according to research by the military tracking organisation Airwars. Part of the rise in these figures is due to the changing nature of the war against Isis, as the jihadist group became entrenched in the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa. The coalition's own civilian casualty figures are much lower than Airwars', but they too show an increase. Following a new war plan unveiled by US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis in February, the US has focused its efforts on “annihilation tactics”. In one incident in Mosul in March, the US admitted it was responsible for the deaths of 101 men, women and children. Britain, France, Australia and Belgium have also taken part in the bombing campaign but the US is the only one to admit responsibility for any civilian deaths.

Note: Coalition airstrikes have reportedly targeted schools and other non-military locations. Killing increasing numbers of civilians is a sure way to create more anti-US terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Good News For Russia: 15 States Use Easily Hackable Voting Machines
2017-07-17, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/electronic-voting-machines-hack-russia_us...

In 2006, Princeton computer science professor Edward Felten received an anonymous message offering him a Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used touch-screen voting machines at the time. Felten’s team then spent the summer working ... to reverse-engineer the machine. In September 2006, they published a research paper and an accompanying video detailing how they could spread malicious code to the AccuVote TS to change the record of the votes to produce whatever outcome the code writers desired. And the code could spread from one machine to another like a virus. That was more than a decade ago, but Georgia still uses the AccuVote TS. The state is one of five ― the others are Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina ― that rely entirely on [direct-recording electronic machines, or] DREs for voting. Ten other states use a combination of paper ballots and DRE machines that leave no paper trail. Many use a newer version of the AccuVote known as the TSX ― even though computer scientists have demonstrated that machine, too, is vulnerable to hacking. Others use the Sequoia AVC Advantage, which Princeton professor Andrew Appel demonstrated could be similarly manipulated in a 2007 legal filing. On Nov. 7, the day before last year’s elections, former CIA Director James Woolsey flagged DRE voting machines as a key vulnerability. “If I were a bad guy from another country who wanted to disrupt the American system ... I’d concentrate on messing up the touch-screen systems,” he told Fox News.

Note: Many who follow elections closely have known and spread the word for years about serious vulnerabilities in US electronic voting. Read an enlightening analysis of elections hacking in the US which raises many serious questions. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


Can Psychedelics Be Therapy? Allow Research to Find Out
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/upshot/can-psychedelics-be-therapy-allow-r...

In the last few years, calls for marijuana to be researched as a medical therapy have increased. It may be time for us to consider the same for psychedelic drugs. Two general classes of such drugs exist, and they include LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and ecstasy (MDMA). All are illegal in the United States, [and can] cause harm. The best-known adverse event is persistent flashbacks, though these are believed to be rare. More common are symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and panic. Some people have pointed to ... positive effects. People with life-threatening illnesses can also suffer from anxiety, which is hard to treat. In 2014, a small randomized controlled trial was published that examined if LSD could be used to improve this anxiety. Anxiety was significantly reduced in the intervention group for up to a year. More common are studies of the use of psychedelics to treat abuse or addiction to other substances. [One study] exploring LSD’s potential to treat alcoholism [found that] alcohol use and misuse were significantly reduced in the LSD group for six months. Similar studies using psilocybin have also shown promising results. Researchers [have also] examined the potential for MDMA in the treatment of chronic and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. At two months after therapy, more than 80 percent of those in the treatment group saw a clinical improvement versus only 25 percent of those in the placebo group. The beneficial effects lasted for at least four years, even with no further treatment.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.


GOP Seeks to Close Federal Election Agency
2017-07-17, Yahoo! News/Wall Street Journal
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gop-seeks-close-federal-election-210000506.html

House Republicans are seeking to defund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure. The defunding move comes as the EAC is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine an attack late last year on the agency’s computer systems by a Russian-speaking hacker. The Election Assistance Commission said in December it was “working with federal law enforcement agencies to investigate the potential breach and its effects.” The commission provides election-management guidelines and develops specifications for certifying voting systems, though responsibility for administering elections ultimately falls to state and local governments. The hacking probe is being conducted at the same time the FBI is undertaking a broader investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including attempts to get into state election databases, and whether anyone working with President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded in the effort. Mr. Trump and his campaign have denied any collusion with Russian hacking. The hack appeared to include a breach of the EAC’s administrative-access credentials as well as access to nonpublic reports on flaws in voting machines, according to ... an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. And don't miss the critically important information provided in our Elections Information Center.


This Self-Fuelling Boat Just Set Off on an Epic 6-Year Global Voyage
2017-07-17, Science Alert
http://www.sciencealert.com/this-self-fuelling-boat-just-embarked-on-an-epic-...

An amazing hydrogen-powered round-the-world ocean voyage has just gotten underway, with the US$5.25-million Energy Observer setting sail from Paris. The French vessel, which is set to make 101 stopovers in 50 countries across the globe during its epic 6-year undertaking, runs on wind and solar power, plus hydrogen generated from seawater. The trip, which will self-sufficiently circumnavigate the globe with zero greenhouse gas emissions, has been described as the 'Solar Impulse of the Seas', in reference to the pioneering solar-powered aircraft that flew around the world in 2016. The Energy Observer runs on solar power harnessed from extensive panelling ... in addition to two large wind turbines at the rear of the 30.5-metre (100-foot) long catamaran. When it's night time or when there's no wind to spin the turbines, the vessel relies on its chief innovation: an electrolysis system that extracts hydrogen from sea water and stores it in an onboard tank. While it all sounds very high tech, the Energy Observer ... is actually a 34-year-old former racing vessel [modified] to now serve as a model for emissions-free transport. That new mission is also why the vessel is expected to take some six years to complete its worldwide tour. Unlike previous renewable-powered sea voyages around the world, the Energy Observer's crew is taking their time ... hoping that each stopover in ports throughout 50 countries along the way will help demonstrate that there's a viable alternative to using environment-destroying fossil fuels.

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


Departing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/politics/walter-shaub-ethics.html

Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards. “It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility,” Mr. Shaub said. “I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point.” Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Mr. Shaub recommended giving the ethics office limited power to subpoena records, as well as authority to negotiate prohibitions on presidential conflicts of interest; mandating that presidential candidates release tax returns; and revising financial disclosure rules. Hui Chen, who served until recently as an ethics expert in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, said Mr. Shaub’s proposals would give the office greater independence and power to police actions by top federal officials. Mr. Shaub, who is taking a job at a nonprofit group called the Campaign Legal Center, said he had never wanted the role of challenging the president. “I would not have picked this fight,” said Mr. Shaub. “But I have never been one to shy away from bullies.”

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


Don't believe the dangerous myths of 'Drone Warrior'
2017-07-16, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-browne-ling-drones-memoir-brett-ve...

Drone pilots have been quitting the U.S. Air Force in record numbers. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. But a widely publicized new memoir about America’s covert drone war fails to mention the “outflow increases,” as one internal Air Force memo calls it. “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies” chronicles the nearly 10 years that Brett Velicovich, a former special operations member, spent using drones to help special forces find and track terrorists. Conveniently, it also puts a hard sell on a program whose ranks the military is struggling to keep full. The book is, at best, a tale of hyper-masculine bravado and, at worst, a piece of military propaganda designed to ease doubts about the drone program and increase recruitment. Velicovich exaggerates the accuracy of the technology, neglecting to mention how often it fails or that such failures have killed an untold number of civilians. For instance, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults in its attempts to take out Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, who reportedly is still alive. The film rights to “Drone Warrior” were bought over a year ago, with much fanfare, by Paramount Pictures. This development is predictable. The U.S. military and Hollywood have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. But there is something particularly unseemly about Hollywood’s enthusiasm for bringing Velicovich’s version of drone warfare to the big screen.

Note: Documents obtained by a crowdfunded investigative journalism project show that US military and intelligence agencies have influenced over 1,800 movies and television shows. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of mass media.


Half of all new cars in Norway are now electric or hybrid
2017-07-15, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/norway-half-new-cars-electric...

Norway said that electric or hybrid cars represented half of new registrations in the country so far in 2017, as Norway continues its trend towards becoming one of the most ecologically progressive countries in the world. According to figures from the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) ... sales of electric cars accounted for 17.6 per cent of new vehicle registrations in January and hybrid cars accounted for 33.8 per cent, for a combined 51.4 per cent. Norway already has the highest per capita number of all-electric cars in the world. The milestone is also particularly significant as a large proportion of Norway’s funds rely on the country’s petroleum industry "This is a milestone on Norway's road to an electric car fleet," Climate and Environment minister Vidar Helgesen [said]. Last year, the government agreed on a proposal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered car starting in 2025. It also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of new cars to 85 grams per kilometre by 2020 - a goal it has almost achieved: the figure stood at 88 grams in February compared to 133 grams when the decision was taken five years ago. In December, Norway registered its 100,000th electric car. Norway has also become the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation.

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


Tobacco companies tighten hold on Washington under Trump
2017-07-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/13/tobacco-industry-trump-administ...

Tobacco companies have moved swiftly to strengthen their grip on Washington politics. Day one of Donald Trump’s presidency started with tobacco donations, senior figures have been put in place within the Trump administration who have deep ties to tobacco, and lobbying activity has increased significantly. America’s largest cigarette manufacturers, Reynolds American and Altria Group, donated $1.5m to help the new president celebrate his inauguration. The donations allowed executives to dine and mingle with top administration officials and their families. In the first quarter of 2017, tobacco companies and trade associations spent $4.7m lobbying federal officials. Altria, the company behind Marlboro, hired 17 lobbying firms. Reynolds, makers of the Camel brand, hired 13. Politicians and officials with deep ties to the tobacco industry now head the US health department, the top attorney’s office and the Senate. Agencies in charge of reviewing large mergers let a window slip by in which they might have requested information about a $49bn merger between Reynolds and British American Tobacco (BAT). That merger ... will make BAT the biggest listed tobacco company in the world, and puts proceeds from eight out of 10 cigarettes sold in the US into the pockets of two companies: Altria and BAT. Trump himself ... has revealed that he had investments in tobacco companies, including Philip Morris International, its American spinoff Altria Group, and Reynolds American Inc..

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


Environmental defenders being killed in record numbers globally, new research reveals
2017-07-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/13/environmental-defenders-b...

Last year was the most perilous ever for people defending their community’s land, natural resources or wildlife, with new research showing that environmental defenders are being killed at the rate of almost four a week across the world. Two hundred environmental activists, wildlife rangers and indigenous leaders trying to protect their land were killed in 2016, according to the watchdog group Global Witness – more than double the number killed five years ago. And the frequency of killings is only increasing as 2017 ticks by, according to data provided exclusively to the Guardian, with 98 killings identified in the first five months of this year. John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said: “There is now an overwhelming incentive to wreck the environment for economic reasons. The people most at risk are people who are already marginalised and excluded from politics and judicial redress, and are dependent on the environment." Most environmental defenders die in remote forests or villages affected by mining, dams, illegal logging, and agribusiness. Many of the killers are reportedly hired by corporations or state forces. Very few are ever arrested or identified. This is why the Guardian is today launching a project, in collaboration with Global Witness, to attempt to record the deaths of everyone who dies over the next year in defence of the environment. We will be reporting from the world’s last wildernesses, as well as from the most industrialised countries on the planet.

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


Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
2017-07-12, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

It was one of the very first motion pictures ever made: a galloping mare filmed in 1878 by the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge. More than a century later, that clip ... is now the first movie ever to be encoded in the DNA of a living cell, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows. The advance, reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature ... is the latest and perhaps most astonishing example of the genome’s potential as a vast storage device. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard and one of the authors of the new study, recently encoded his own book, “Regenesis,” into bacterial DNA and made 90 billion copies of it. With the new research, he and other scientists have begun to wonder if it may be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life. When something goes wrong, when a person gets ill, doctors might extract the bacteria and play back the record. It would be, said Dr. Church, analogous to the black boxes carried by airplanes whose data is used in the event of a crash. In 1994, [mathematician Leonard Adleman] Adleman reported that he had stored data in DNA and used it as a computer to solve a math problem. He determined that DNA can store a million million times more data than a compact disc in the same space.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the mysterious nature of reality.


Ajit Pai: the man who could destroy the open internet
2017-07-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/12/ajit-pai-fcc-net-neutralit...

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has a reputation as a nice guy. This is the man who could destroy the open internet. Pai ... is spearheading the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback of net neutrality protections. Net neutrality, which some have described as the “first amendment of the internet”, is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally – whether that’s an email from your mother, an episode of House of Cards on Netflix or a bank transfer. It means that cable ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T or Verizon don’t get to choose which data is sent more quickly and which sites get blocked or throttled based on which content providers pay a premium. In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to more strictly regulate ISPs and to enshrine in law the principles of net neutrality. The vote reclassified wireless and fixed-line broadband service providers as title II “common carriers”, a public utility-type designation. But Trump’s FCC, with Pai at the helm, wants to repeal the rules. Pai’s views echo those of the big broadband companies. That might have something to do with the huge sums AT&T, Comcast and Verizon throw toward lobbying, collectively spending $11m in the first quarter of 2017. Pretty much everyone outside the large cable companies supports the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Note: Members of the public can support net neutrality by sending comments to the FCC until July 18. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.


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