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OpenAI Quietly Deletes Ban On Using ChatGPT For “Military And Warfare”
2024-01-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/01/12/open-ai-military-ban-chatgpt/

OpenAI this week quietly deleted language expressly prohibiting the use of its technology for military purposes. Up until January 10, OpenAI’s “usage policies” page included a ban on “activity that has high risk of physical harm, including,” specifically, “weapons development” and “military and warfare.” That plainly worded prohibition against military applications would seemingly rule out any official, and extremely lucrative, use by the Department of Defense or any other state military. The new policy retains an injunction not to “use our service to harm yourself or others” and gives “develop or use weapons” as an example, but the blanket ban on “military and warfare” use has vanished. OpenAI spokesperson Niko ... Felix [said] that OpenAI wanted to pursue certain “national security use cases that align with our mission,” citing a plan to create “cybersecurity tools” with DARPA, and that “the goal with our policy update is to provide clarity and the ability to have these discussions.” The real-world consequences of the policy are unclear. Last year, The Intercept reported that OpenAI was unwilling to say whether it would enforce its own clear “military and warfare” ban in the face of increasing interest from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community. “Given the use of AI systems in the targeting of civilians in Gaza, it’s a notable moment to make the decision to remove the words ‘military and warfare’ from OpenAI’s permissible use policy,” said [former AI policy analyst] Sarah Myers West.

Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in 2018 alone, study finds
2024-01-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/11/health/health-care-costs-plastic-study-wellnes...

By contributing to the development of chronic disease and death, a group of hormone-disruptive plastic chemicals is costing the US health care system billions — over $249 billion in 2018 alone, a new study found. The new research analyzed the impact of four groups of chemicals used in the production of plastic products: Flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE; phthalates, which are used to make plastic more durable; bisphenols such as BPA and BPS used to create hard plastics and resins; and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. However, these are just a fraction of the chemicals used to make plastics. A United Nations report published in May found more than 13,000 chemicals are used in plastics production. The four chemicals measured in the new study ... are thought to interfere with the body’s mechanism for hormone production, known as the endocrine system, and cause damage to developmental, reproductive, immune and cognitive systems. “The biggest impact of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is on children’s brain development because they disrupt thyroid hormones in pregnancy,” [lead author Dr. Leonardo] Trasande said. The report recommended blood tests for people at high risk such as firefighters, workers in fluorochemical manufacturing plants, and those who live near commercial airports, military bases, landfills, incinerators, wastewater treatment plants and farms.

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


US did not properly track more than $1 billion worth of weapons sent to Ukraine, watchdog report finds
2024-01-11, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/11/politics/pentagon-tracking-weapons-ukraine-rep...

The Pentagon did not properly track $1 billion worth of military equipment sent to Ukraine, according to a watchdog report. The report from the Pentagon Inspector General says that while the Defense Department has improved its ability to track military aid sent to Ukraine, it “did not fully comply” with requirements and much of the equipment sent is “delinquent,” meaning it’s not possible to complete an inventory of everything sent. Among the items that are designated for enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM) are weapons like Javelin and Stinger missiles, night-vision devices, AIM-9X missiles, and Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles. According to the IG report, roughly $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion of equipment subject to end-use monitoring was not inventoried as of June 2023. The new report comes at a critical moment for Ukraine aid, as Congress debates whether to authorize a supplemental package of more than $60 billion in aid. While delinquency could suggest weapons had been stolen or diverted away from Ukrainian forces, the inspector general said it was outside the scope of its probe to determine what had happened to the weapons that were not properly tracked. “The DoD OIG now has personnel stationed in Ukraine,” the report says, “and the DoD OIG’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate allegations of criminal conduct with regard to U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.”

Note: Learn more about unaccountable military spending in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


COVID ‘6-feet’ social distancing ‘sort of just appeared,’ likely lacked scientific basis, Fauci admits
2024-01-10, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/01/10/news/fauci-admits-to-congress-that-certain-covi...

Dr. Anthony Fauci confessed to lawmakers Tuesday that guidelines to keep six feet of separation — ostensibly to limit the spread of COVID-19 — “sort of just appeared” without scientific input. Fauci, 83, revealed to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that the “six feet apart” recommendation championed by him and other US public health officials was “likely not based on scientific data.” Schools nationwide remained closed well into the second year of the pandemic as a result of the social distancing guidelines, which were disputed by both research studies and other health officials. Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), who sits on the panel, said Tuesday night that Fauci had shown an “amazing ability to either forget what happened or then to find ways to shirk any sort of responsibility for the influence that was had,” during the two-day affair. “They wash their hands of any sort of responsibility, saying, ‘Oh, those decisions were made by school districts.’ But the school districts know, if you don’t follow the guidance that’s coming out of the federal government, you open yourselves up to lawsuits,” Cloud said of Fauci and other US pandemic response officials. “He says he’s still not convinced that there was learning loss — that in his view, that’s still really open for discussion,” Cloud [said]. “I think [if] you ask any parent, they’ll tell you it was a major hit on their child’s development.”

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


Toxicologists Find 829 Chemicals in Everyday Items May Cause Breast Cancer
2024-01-10, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/toxicologists-chemicals-hormones-breast-cancer-1859190

Common consumer products may contain hundreds of chemicals that could increase our risk of developing breast cancer, scientists have warned. While some chemicals are known to directly cause cancer, many others indirectly promote the cancer by increasing our susceptibility to the establishment and growth of certain tumors. Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissue grow out of control. Among the many risk factors associated with this disease is over-exposure to estrogen, progesterone and hormonal disruption. And it's not just hormonal contraception that can influence our body's hormone levels; numerous synthetic chemicals have been shown to disrupt our hormones, with potential impacts on our risk of developing various diseases. "Breast cancer is a hormonal disease, so the fact that so many chemicals can alter estrogen and progesterone is concerning," Jennifer Kay, a research scientist at Silent Spring Institute, said. In a new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, Kay and colleagues searched through multiple international and U.S. government databases to identify chemicals that had been found to cause mammary tumors in animals. In total, the team identified 921 chemicals that could potentially promote the development of breast cancer, 90 percent—or 829—of which are commonly included in consumer products, food, drinks, pesticides, medications and workplaces.

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


Panel members for new psychiatric ‘bible’ received over $14m from industry
2024-01-10, The BMJ (Formerly British Medical Journal)
https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/panel-members-for-new-psychiatric-bible-...

Sixty percent of US physicians serving as panel and task force members for the American Psychiatric Association’s official manual of psychiatric disorders received payments from industry totalling $14.24m, finds a study published by The BMJ. Because of the enormous influence of diagnostic and treatment guidelines, the researchers say their findings “raise questions about the editorial independence of this diagnostic manual.” Often referred to as the ‘bible’ of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) is the latest edition of the guide that doctors use to diagnose and treat patients. It is thus critical that authors of this psychiatric taxonomy should be free of industry ties. But until the development of Open Payments ... it wasn't possible to determine the amount of monies received by authors of diagnostic and clinical practice guidelines. Their analysis included 92 physicians based in the US who served as members of either a panel (86) or task force (6) on the DSM-5-TR from 2016-19. Of these 92 individuals, 55 (60%) received payments from industry. Collectively, these panel members received a total of $14.24m (£11.21m; €12.96m). The most common types of payment were for food and beverages (91%), followed by travel (69%) and consulting (69%). The greatest proportion of compensation by category of payment was for research funding (70%). To ensure unbiased, evidence based mental health practice, there should be a rebuttable presumption of prohibiting financial conflicts of interest among the panel and task force members.

Note: A recent study found that 80% of the global population will be treated for mental illness at some point in their lives, and that their lives are worse in many ways after receiving diagnosis and treatment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Epstein documents allege sex tapes of Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson
2024-01-09, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/epstein-sex-tapes-richard-b...

Newly unsealed Jeffrey Epstein documents have described bombshell allegations about sex tapes involving Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson. In emails sent by Epstein victim Sarah Ransome – sections of which were included as exhibits in one of the filings unsealed on Monday – she said that an unnamed friend “had sexual intercourse with Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson” and that these encounters had been filmed by Epstein and that she herself had later seen the sex tapes. In the messages, Ms Ransome said that her friend later came forward to report what happened “with Epstein, Clinton, Branson and Prince Andrew” to the police in 2008 but said that “nothing was done” and “she was made to feel like a dirty whore and a liar”. A couple of months later, her friend was allegedly “approached by Special Agents Forces Men sent directly by Hilary [sic] Clinton herself, in order to protect her presidential campaign in 2008”, Ms Ransome claimed. Ms Ransome went on to allege that the friend was given a “substantial” payout directly from the Clinton Foundation “to keep her quiet”. She alleged that if her friend was to break the agreement to stay quiet, “she is dead”. The woman also allegedly tried to sue Epstein for damages but was “severely bullied and threatened” by his attorney, Mr Dershowitz – a man who she claimed “she also had sexual relations with and who was also heavily involved in Epstein’s paedophile ring”.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


The New Space Race Is Causing New Pollution Problems
2024-01-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/09/science/rocket-pollution-spacex-satellites...

In the past few years, the number of rocket launches has spiked as commercial companies — especially SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk — and government agencies have lofted thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit. And it is only the beginning. Satellites could eventually total one million, requiring an even greater number of space launches that could yield escalating levels of emissions. Scientists worry that more launches will scatter more pollutants in pristine layers of Earth’s atmosphere. And regulators across the globe, who assess some risks of space launches, do not set rules related to pollution. Experts say they do not want to limit the booming space economy. But they fear that ... we may understand the consequences of pollution from rockets and spacecraft only when it is too late. Already, studies show that the higher reaches of the atmosphere are laced with metals from spacecraft that disintegrate as they fall back to Earth. In a paper published in 2022, soot from rockets was shown to be nearly 500 times as efficient at heating the atmosphere as soot released from sources like airplanes closer to the surface. A separate study also published in 2022 found that if the rate of rocket launches increased by a factor of 10, their emissions could cause temperatures in parts of the stratosphere to rise as much as 2 degrees Celsius. This could begin to degrade the ozone over most of North America, all of Europe and a chunk of Asia.

Note: The risks posed by satellites expand beyond emissions. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on climate change from reliable major media sources.


Can a Big Village Full of Tiny Homes Ease Homelessness in Austin?
2024-01-08, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/08/headway/homelessness-tiny-home-austin.html

On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, what began as a fringe experiment has quickly become central to the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness. To Justin Tyler Jr., it is home. Mr. Tyler, 41, lives in Community First! Village, which aims to be a model of permanent affordable housing for people who are chronically homeless. In the fall of 2022, he joined nearly 400 residents of the village, moving into one of its typical digs: a 200-square-foot, one-room tiny house furnished with a kitchenette, a bed and a recliner. Eclectic tiny homes are clustered around shared outdoor kitchens, and neat rows of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes line looping cul-de-sacs. There are chicken coops, two vegetable gardens, a convenience store ... art and jewelry studios, a medical clinic and a chapel. In the next few years, Community First is poised to grow to nearly 2,000 homes across three locations, which would make it by far the nation’s largest project of this kind, big enough to permanently house about half of Austin’s chronically homeless population. Many residents have jobs in the village, created to offer residents flexible opportunities to earn some income. Last year, they earned a combined $1.5 million working as gardeners, landscapers, custodians, artists, jewelry makers and more. Ute Dittemer, 66, faced a daily struggle for survival during a decade on the streets before moving into Community First five years ago with her husband. Now she supports herself by painting and molding figures out of clay at the village art house. A few years ago, a clay chess set she made sold for $10,000 at an auction. She used the money to buy her first car.

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


A Surprising Way to Stop Bullying
2024-01-08, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/a-surprising-way-to-stop-bullying/

When Ben was 11 years old, his parents noticed that his grades dropped. He stopped talking about school. “These are all typical signs there might be a bullying problem,” says Bettina Dénervaud, co-founder of the Swiss initiative Hilfe bei Mobbing, which translates as “Help with Bullying.” She and her two colleagues use a 30-point checklist to evaluate if there is an underlying issue of mental, emotional and physical bullying or something else — maybe a conflict, which might require conflict resolution. Instead of being punished, the bullies are invited to help the bullied student. In a 2008 study that looked at 220 bullying cases, the No-Blame Approach was successful in 192, or 87 percent, of the cases. In most schools that were evaluated, it only took two or three weeks for the bullying to stop. The second step is the core of the No-Blame Approach. It includes calling six to eight children that the teacher chooses into a meeting that is set up as a social get together: in Ben’s case, three of the bullies, three students Ben felt he could count on and two “neutral” tag-alongs. The children are not told the meeting is about Ben. “I have a problem,” the teacher might start the discussion. “I noticed some students don’t feel supported in class. What can we do to help them, for instance, Ben?” The third step includes follow-ups with all students, including Ben, within the next few weeks. If necessary, the intervention might be repeated or tweaked. "The goal is to change the social dynamic," Dénervaud says. Younger children often start crying in these meetings, Dénervaud has observed, “because they realize for the first time what has been happening and how unhappy the bullying victim has been."

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


Bottled water contains thousands of nanoplastics so small they can invade the body’s cells, study says
2024-01-08, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/08/health/bottled-water-nanoplastics-study-wellne...

Researchers have discovered bottled water sold in stores can contain 10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previously estimated — nanoparticles so infinitesimally tiny they cannot be seen under a microscope. At 1,000th the average width of a human hair, nanoplastics are so teeny they can migrate through the tissues of the digestive tract or lungs into the bloodstream, distributing potentially harmful synthetic chemicals throughout the body and into cells. One liter of water — the equivalent of two standard-size bottled waters — contained an average of 240,000 plastic particles from seven types of plastics, of which 90% were identified as nanoplastics and the rest were microplastics. Microplastics are polymer fragments that can range from less than 0.2 inch (5 millimeters) down to 1/25,000th of an inch (1 micrometer). Anything smaller is a nanoplastic that must be measured in billionths of a meter. The new finding reinforces long-held expert advice to drink tap water from glass or stainless steel containers to reduce exposure. In the new study, published ... in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Columbia University presented a new technology that can see, count and analyze the chemical structure of nanoparticles in bottled water. Nanoplastics ... can invade individual cells and tissues in major organs, potentially interrupting cellular processes and depositing endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

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


Colorado Becomes One of the First to Employ an Incarcerated Professor
2024-01-07, ScheerPost
https://scheerpost.com/2024/01/07/colorado-becomes-one-of-the-first-to-employ...

On a late-November afternoon, at the head of a cramped classroom, David Carrillo stood at a small podium and quizzed 17 students on macroeconomic terminology. For the two-hour class, Carrillo, the adjunct professor teaching for Adams State University, mostly kept his hands in his pockets as he lectured students in green uniforms. Like his students at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, Carrillo, 49, also wears green. He holds a position that is extremely rare in prison: He’s an incarcerated professor teaching in a prison bachelor’s degree program. A new initiative at Adams State — one of the first of its kind in the country — focuses on employing incarcerated people with graduate degrees as college professors, rather than bringing in instructors from the outside. Most people in Colorado prisons only make 80 cents a day, so it would take them around 17 years to earn the $3,600 that Carrillo gets for a single class. Higher wages help incarcerated individuals build savings to help cover their basic needs when they are released. Poverty can often be a driver of decisions that land people back in prison. Adams State hopes to eventually employ more graduates of their own programs in the future. Currently ... around 100 people in prisons across the country are working towards their MBA through Adams State like Carrillo did. The 36-credit print-based MBA correspondence program costs $350 per credit for a total of $12,600, plus textbooks.

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


We’re being censored, claim victims of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
2024-01-06, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/06/were-being-censored-victims-of-as...

Victims who suffered life-changing injuries from the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine say they have faced censorship on social media when trying to discuss their symptoms. The UK-based pharmaceutical giant is being sued in the High Court in a test case by a father-of-two who suffered a significant permanent brain injury as a result of a blood clot after receiving the jab in spring 2021. A second claim is also being brought by the widower and two young children of a woman who died after having the jab. Some who have experienced serious adverse reactions from the AstraZeneca vaccine ... have been given “warnings” on social media websites such as Facebook when trying to talk to one another about their experiences. They say they are being forced to “self censor” and speak in code to avoid having their support groups shut down. In one instance, YouTube attempted to censor a video of testimony given by lawyers to the Covid Inquiry about vaccines, flagging the clip as a violation of its “medical misinformation policy”. UK CV Family, a private Facebook group with 1.2k members for people left injured or bereaved from Covid vaccines, was started in November 2021 by Charlet Crichton after she suffered an adverse reaction from the AstraZeneca jab. Facebook blocked Ms Crichton from commenting at one stage “to prevent misuse” and there were occasions where her account was temporarily banned because her “activity didn’t follow our community standards”.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government COVID vaccines and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Scientists at the center of the ‘lab leak’ controversy met with NIH, Fauci
2024-01-06, U.S. Right to Know
https://usrtk.org/covid-19-origins/daszak-shi-visits-nih-fauci/

Scientists at the center of the “lab leak” controversy visited Anthony Fauci’s institute at the National Institutes of Health in 2017 to discuss their research — just months before NIH lifted a pause on high-risk virology. Wuhan Institute of Virology Senior Scientist Shi Zhengli [visited] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases staffers in June 2017, where she gave a presentation about novel coronaviruses. Shi is known internationally as the “Bat Lady” for her work with bats and their coronaviruses. Though ostensibly a civilian lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has conducted research projects “for defensive and biosecurity needs of the military” since at least 2017, according to U.S. intelligence. EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. research organization, partnered closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, subcontracting NIAID funding to Shi’s lab, and arranged the meeting. Fauci himself met with [EcoHealth Alliance President Peter] Daszak four months later, in October 2017. By December 2017, NIH had resumed funding for gain-of-function research that generates new viruses in the lab following a three year pause and debate about the possibility that such research could cause a pandemic. A 2021 State Department fact sheet stated that “despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution,” it has conducted classified research on behalf of the Chinese military “since at least 2017.”

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


4 Biggest Revelations in the Jeffrey Epstein Docs
2024-01-05, Rolling Stone
https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/jeffrey-epstein-documen...

Hundreds of pages of sealed records related to Jeffrey Epstein were made public on Wednesday, revealing previously unknown details about the late accused sex trafficker. Previously, the documents had been part of Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s 2015 civil case against Ghislaine Maxwell. (Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking in 2022 and is currently serving a 20-year sentence. Epstein was facing 45 years in prison for his alleged crimes, but he was found hanged in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019.) Bill Clinton was friends with Epstein for years, and he was widely speculated to be one of the high-profile figures who would appear in the documents. In a transcript of a deposition given by Epstein accuser Johanna Sjoberg, she said Epstein once told her that Clinton “likes them young, referring to girls.” In February 2022, Prince Andrew reached a settlement with Giuffre over accusations that he’d sexually abused her numerous times when she was still a minor. He denied the allegations, but was officially stripped of his royal and military titles. Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s former attorney who helped him clinch the 2008 “sweetheart deal” in which he avoided prosecution for sex crimes against minors, also plays a big role in the unsealed documents. According to testimony from Epstein’s former household staff, Dershowitz visited Epstein’s Florida home “very often,” allegedly going there by himself and spending time “in the presence of young girls.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein Ran Sex Blackmail Operation For Intelligence Agencies, New Evidence Suggests
2024-01-04, Public on Substack
https://public.substack.com/p/jeffrey-epstein-ran-sex-blackmail

While nobody has offered hard evidence that intelligence agencies, and in particular the CIA or Mossad, were directly involved in Epstein and [Ghislaine] Maxwell's blackmailing of public figures, many of the journalists who investigated the Epstein case have concluded that they were running what is known in the intelligence community as a “honeypot” or “honeytrap” aimed at using sex to blackmail people. The current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, had scheduled three meetings with Epstein in 2014. Epstein's private calendar showed that he had dozens of meetings with Kathryn Ruemmler, a former White House counsel under President Barack Obama. Meetings with many other wealthy, well-connected individuals occurred years after Epstein became a convicted sex offender. Reporter Vicky Ward ... wrote a story about the Justice Department's 2007 “non-prosecution agreement” with Epstein. Alexander Acosta was the U.S. Attorney for South Florida who arranged the lenient sentence. “I was told Epstein 'belonged to intelligence' and to leave it alone," Acosta said. In addition to his possible ties to American intelligence, Epstein may have also been connected to the Israeli Mossad. A former Israeli spy, Ari Ben-Menashe, said he was Robert Maxwell's “handler” and claimed to have introduced Epstein to Mossad. “They were agents of the Israeli Intelligence Services,” said Ben-Menashe. The CIA has a long record of using sexual blackmail. In 1975, the Washington Post reported that for years, the CIA had “operated love traps in New York City and San Francisco, where foreign diplomats were lured by prostitutes in the pay of the CIA ...Through hidden one-way mirrors, CIA agents filmed the sexual adventures and later tried to blackmail the victims into becoming informants."

Note: Read more about former Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe's claims that Epstein was running a sexual blackmail operation on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Court documents reveal names of powerful men allegedly linked to Jeffrey Epstein
2024-01-04, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/03/1222130537/jeffrey-epstein-court-records-revea...

Court documents made public on Wednesday disclosed the names of dozens of powerful men with alleged connections to convicted sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who died by suicide in 2019. Federal Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan unsealed the documents, revealing the names of numerous individuals described in a 2015 civil lawsuit as associates, affiliates or victims of Epstein. The documents include references to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, the magician David Copperfield, Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, actor Kevin Spacey, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, the late New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Vice President Al Gore, among others. The fact that people were named in these documents doesn't mean any of them face allegations or evidence of wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors say Epstein — who worked for decades as a private financier for a secretive list of wealthy clients — also operated an underage sex-trafficking ring based in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein allegedly developed a scheme to identify and exploit "dozens" of vulnerable girls and young women, some as young as 14 years old, beginning around 1994 and continuing at least until 2004. Some of his victims later claimed in civil lawsuits that Epstein instructed them to have sex with a who's-who of powerful men. Authorities in Florida first investigated Epstein for alleged sexual activity involving minors as early as 2005.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring from reliable major media sources.


There is little scrutiny of 'natural' deaths behind bars
2024-01-02, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/01/02/1219667393/there-is-little-scrutiny-of-natural...

Kesha Jackson was preparing for her husband, John, to be home in a few weeks. But then Jackson got a concerning call from other inmates. Her husband, in the special housing unit, was going in and out of consciousness. He died soon after. And as she waited for some explanation, Jackson was surprised to learn what prison officials pronounced as the manner of death: "natural." By deeming the death natural, prison authorities were not required to conduct an autopsy for Jackson's death. It's how they characterize at least three-quarters of all federal prison deaths since 2009. "When his medical records came home after he passed away, I saw that it was MRSA," Jackson said. "Saying that it's a natural death can sometimes be misleading because I believe that having the proper medical treatment could have possibly saved his life," Jackson said. The CDC says natural deaths happen either solely or almost entirely because of disease or old age. Yet 70% of the inmates who died in federal prison the last 13 years were under the age of 65. NPR found that potential issues such as medical neglect, poor prison conditions and a lack of health care resources were left unexplained once a "natural" death designation ended hopes of an investigation. Meanwhile, family members were left with little information about their loved one's death. Homer Venters, a federal court monitor of jail and prison health care, calls deaths like Jackson's "jail attributable."

Note: Private companies like Corizon are often responsible for inmate medical care. In 2015, investigations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, and New York uncovered escalating inmate deaths related to Corizon's for-profit medical services. A New York Times article about this was published but it quickly disappeared. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Sidney Wolfe, fierce critic of Big Pharma and FDA, dead at 86
2024-01-02, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/01/02/business/sidney-wolfe-fierce-critic-of-drug-com...

Sidney M. Wolfe, an American physician turned activist who relentlessly lobbied against drug companies and the US Food and Drug Administration, died on Monday in his Washington home. He was 86. Wolfe ... co-founded the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, which “promotes research-based, system-wide changes in health-care policy and drug safety,” according to the group’s website. He also served as the director and senior adviser of the non-profit, where he crusaded against FDA rulings on more than two dozen dangerous or ineffective drugs until they were yanked off the market. In an op-ed published in HuffPost in 2011, Wolfe ridiculed the FDA for being “cautious on food safety — reckless on prescription drug safety.” The banned medicines include the diabetes drug phenformin, which was linked to hundreds of deaths and sold under the trade names DBI and Meltrol in the US for 20 years. Wolfe was also responsible for the banning of the anti-inflammatory Vioxx ... which he warned caused serious heart damage years before it was taken off the market — as well as the anti-diarrheal alosetron. His group also successfully petitioned federal regulators to include a warning on aspirin bottles about Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain. In addition, Wolfe was a fierce foe of silicone gel-filled breast implants for breast augmentation and reconstruction surgeries, claiming in the 1980s that they cause cancer.

Note: Read the full remembrance of Dr. Sidney Wolfe’s legacy. His leadership helped remove 28 dangerous medications off the market, and paved the way for “vital and path-breaking research and advocacy on doctor discipline, mental health, tobacco, pharmaceutical marketing, drug company payments to doctors, medical devices, health insurance and the imperative of Medicare for All, unnecessary Cesarean sections, unregulated supplements, medical resident work hours, and more.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.


What We Learned From Creating the Largest Guaranteed Income Program in America
2024-01-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/what-we-learned-creating-largest-guaranteed-income-p...

Direct cash programs are growing across America, offering a path out of poverty through economic mobility. During a two-week period in 2022, nearly a quarter of a million people in the Chicago area applied for the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot, the nation's largest direct cash pilot, and ultimately 3,250 families were randomly selected to get $500 a month for two years. Similar direct cash initiatives have changed the physical, emotional, and economic lives of families that participate. Children are better cared for, and they excel in school. Adults experience improved health and stronger familial relationships. And crucially, when recipients have economic stability, they can plan and invest in their futures—many, for the first time in their lives. The Stockton SEED project, which gave $500 a month for two years to 130 people, saw results that mirrored prior direct cash research. The study ... found that the expansion of finances and the predictable, stable source of income brought by the program created "self-determination and capacity for risk-taking not present prior," meaning that when participants could predictably afford child care, transportation, and training programs they had the financial freedom to invest in their own futures. People have big ambitions, no matter the size of their bank account. For most Americans facing economic struggles, their chief problem is a lack of cash, and not a lack of character.

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