Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Japanese government [has] declared that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had reached a stable state known as “cold shutdown.” But the formal status change at the plant, experts cautioned, means only that its problems have become less dire; they have not disappeared. The plant still leaks radiation into the sea. Its makeshift cooling system is vulnerable to earthquakes. And the cleanup work remains dangerous, with many flooded and debris-strewn areas of the reactor buildings difficult even for robots to access. In normal circumstances, a reactor in cold shutdown mode is entirely stable, its fuel intact, with no chance of a chain reaction. To achieve its version of a cold shutdown at Fukushima Daiichi, ... Japan had to loosen the definition. Fukushima now meets the government’s requirements because temperatures at the bottom of the three damaged reactor pressure vessels have dropped below 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). Airborne leaks into the environment have also been almost halted. The declaration poses new questions for many of the 80,000 people who fled towns around the plant ... since the government had made the cold shutdown a precondition for even considering reopening parts of the no-go zone to residents. Many areas within the no-entry zone — a 12-mile radius around the plant — will be uninhabitable for decades, maybe longer.
As many as 20,000 children endured sexual abuse at Dutch Catholic institutions over the past 65 years, and church officials failed to adequately address it or help the victims, according to a long-awaited investigative report. Based on a survey of 34,000 people, the report estimated that 1 in 10 Dutch children suffered some form of sexual abuse — a figure that rose to 1 in 5 among children who spent part of their youth in an institution such as a boarding school or children's home, whether Catholic or not. "Sexual abuse of minors," it said bluntly, "occurs widely in Dutch society." The abuse ranged from "unwanted sexual advances" to rape, and abusers numbered in the hundreds and included priests, brothers and lay people who worked in religious orders and congregations. The number of victims who suffered abuse in church institutions likely lies somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000, according to the probe, which went back as far as 1945. The commission behind the investigation was set up last year by the Catholic Church under the leadership of a former government minister, Wim Deetman, a Protestant, who said there could be no doubt church leaders knew of the problem. "The idea that people did not know there was a risk ... is untenable," he told a news conference.
Note: For lots more on institutional secrecy from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay. Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of "a war that appears to have no end". The law ... effectively extends the battlefield in the "war on terror" to the US and applies the established principle that combatants in any war are subject to military detention. The law's critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country. "It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent."
Note: The implications of the passage of this bill to authorize the US military to carry out domestic arrest and imprisonment of US citizens have hardly been reported on by the major media. The defense authorization bill undermines protections established by the Bill of Rights and the Posse Comitatus Act against use of US military forces in domestic control and arrest. For further analysis of the implications of this legislation, click here and here.
Silicon Valley technology firms that are lobbying Congress to slash taxes on money they bring home from abroad, arguing that doing so would help them create millions of jobs, already send more than half that money back to the United States without paying taxes, according to a Senate investigation. The corporate tax code permits Google, Cisco, Apple, Adobe Systems, Oracle and other U.S. multinational corporations surveyed to invest nearly $250 billion in the United States without paying the 35 percent corporate tax rate that applies to repatriated foreign earnings, according to the report by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The corporations, which are not allowed to invest the money in their own companies, can escape the 35 percent tax if they invest in other domestic assets, such as stocks, bonds and bank deposits. Silicon Valley's technology giants have banded together with pharmaceutical companies and other multinationals in the Win America Coalition in an attempt to get Congress to cut their tax rate from 35 percent to just over 5 percent on overseas earnings they bring home. The survey data showed that Adobe, Apple, Broadcom, Cisco and Google have invested 76 to 100 percent of their foreign earnings in U.S. stocks, bonds, bank deposits and other domestic assets, a greater share than the other companies surveyed.
The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children. He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter. “She told him, ‘No, I’m paying for it,’” recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. “He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn’t, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears.” At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Before she left the store Tuesday evening, the Indianapolis woman in her mid-40s had paid the layaway orders for as many as 50 people. On the way out, she handed out $50 bills and paid for two carts of toys for a woman in line at the cash register. “She was doing it in the memory of her husband who had just died, and she ... wanted to make people happy with it,” Deppe said. The woman did not identify herself and only asked people to “remember Ben,” an apparent reference to her husband.
Regulators and the world's $700 trillion derivatives industry are closely watching a legal battle that began in Britain ... and which will fuel a sea change in swaps payouts. Four cases, including one involving a unit of collapsed U.S. bank Lehman Brothers, are being presented in a five-day hearing at the UK Court of Appeal. All revolve around payouts under the derivatives industry's "master agreement", a framework contract. A bank that trades swaps with another bank typically has one master agreement which sets the terms for millions of transactions between them. The master agreement ... covers around 90 percent of off-exchange derivatives transactions. Under the agreement, Lehman's bankruptcy is considered a default. However, in the four cases before the court this week, the other party in the contracts elected not to terminate them because they would have had to pay out to the defunct bank.
Note: Like most reporting in the major media, this article trivializes the massive size of the derivatives market. $700 trillion is equivalent to $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in the world! Do you think the financial industry is out of control? For lots more powerful, reliable information on major banking manipulations, click here. For a powerful analysis of just how crazy things have gotten and with some rays of hope by researcher David Wilcock, click here.
Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America's top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation. America's highest paid executive took home more than $145.2m, and as stock prices recovered across the board, the median value of bosses' profits on stock options rose 70% in 2010, from $950,400 to $1.3m. The news comes against the backdrop of an Occupy Wall Street movement that has focused Washington's attention on the pay packages of America's highest paid. The survey, the most extensive in the US, covered 2,647 companies, and offers a comprehensive assessment of all the data now available relating to 2010 pay. This year's survey shows CEO pay packages have boomed: the top 10 earners took home more than $770m between them in 2010. As stock prices began to recover last year, the increase in CEO pay outstripped the rise in share value. The Russell 3000 measure of US stock prices was up by 16.93% in 2010, but CEO pay went up by 27.19% overall. For S&P 500 CEOs, the largest companies in the sample, total realised compensation – including perks and pensions and stock awards – increased by a median of 36.47%. Total pay at midcap companies, which are slightly smaller than the top firms, rose 40.2%.
Note: For key reports on income inequality from reliable sources, click here.
No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square in a town barely on a map, he would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy. Protests have now occurred in countries whose populations total at least 3 billion people, and the word protest has appeared in newspapers and online exponentially more this past year than at any other time in history. Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough. They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. The root of the word democracy is demos, "the people," and the meaning of democracy is "the people rule." And they did, if not at the ballot box, then in the streets. Protest is in some ways the source code for democracy — and evidence of the lack of it. For steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is TIME's 2011 Person of the Year.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from major media sources that explain why protestors worldwide have been occupying their cities, click here.
Just after 6 a.m. on Dec. 5, under cover of darkness, nine Greenpeace activists cut through a fence at the Nogent-sur-Seine atomic plant 95 kilometers (59 miles) southeast of Paris and headed for a domed reactor building. They scaled the roof and unfurled a “Safe Nuclear Doesn’t Exist” banner before attracting the attention of security guards. Two remained at large for four hours. On the same day, two more campaigners breached the perimeter of the Cruas-Meysse plant on the Rhone, escaping detection for more than 14 hours while posting videos of their sit-in on the Internet. The security lapses ... come at a time when debate has intensified on France’s reliance on atomic power for three-quarters of its energy needs in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections. They also preempt next month’s release of the results of safety checks at France’s 58 reactors, commissioned in the aftermath of the Fukushima tragedy. Greenpeace said its activists exposed the biggest security lapse to date at the reactors that are operated by Electricite de France SA.
Thousands of migrating birds, apparently mistaking parking lots for ponds, crashed into the ground throughout southern Utah this week. Thousands of the birds were killed [and] officials said they had rescued more than 2,000 as of Tuesday evening. Wildlife officials said the grebes ... were likely migrating toward Mexico and probably mistook the parking lot of a Cedar City Walmart and other areas as far south as Anderson's Junction for bodies of water. Thinking they were landing to rest atop a pond or lake, the grebes plummeted to the ground Monday night. "The storm clouds over the top of the city lights made it look like a nice, flat body of water. All the conditions were right," Griffin said. "So the birds landed to rest, but ended up slamming into the pavement." Griffin said the event was unlike anything she had seen before in her professional career. "I've been here 15 years and this was the worst downing I've seen," she said. "Most of the downings I've seen have been pretty localized, but this was very widespread." Cedar City resident Stephen Gwin was among the volunteers who helped DWR officials gather the surviving birds. "I have never in my life encountered such a thing," he said. "I've heard of fish die-offs and other strange natural phenomenon, but I've never experienced one before. It was very strange."
Note: Do birds really mistake parking lots for ponds? Could a more likely explanation be that someone is messing with HAARP technologies? Perhaps some kind of experiment was conducted to see if they could successfully disorient and kill large numbers of birds, as may have happened in other very strange incidents about a year ago. Other mass wildlife deaths are reported here.
Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and author, [said that in] his country, ... teachers typically spend about four hours a day in the classroom, and are paid to spend two hours a week on professional development. At the University of Helsinki, where he teaches, 2,400 people competed last year for 120 slots in the (fully subsidized) master’s program for schoolteachers. “It’s more difficult getting into teacher education than law or medicine,” he said. Dr. Sahlberg puts high-quality teachers at the heart of Finland’s education success story. Ever since Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million that does not start formal education until age 7 and scorns homework and testing until well into the teenage years, scored at the top of a well-respected international test in 2001 in math, science and reading, it has been an object of fascination among American educators and policy makers. Finlandophilia only picked up when the nation placed close to the top again in 2009, while the United States ranked 15th in reading, 19th in math and 27th in science. In Helsinki, the Education Ministry has had 100 official delegations from 40 to 45 countries visit each year since 2005. Dr. Sahlberg said a turning point was a government decision in the 1970s to require all teachers to have master’s degrees — and to pay for their acquisition. Finland scorns almost all standardized testing before age 16 and discourages homework, and it is seen as a violation of children’s right to be children for them to start school any sooner than 7, Dr. Sahlberg said.
Note: The US continues to push for more testing, while Finland shows that less testing and homework gives better results. For an excellent article on this in the Washington Post, click here. For more astounding facts on Finland's education success, click here.
Imam Salahuddin Muhammad could hardly miss Shahed Hussain when he first appeared three years ago at his mosque in the dilapidated town of Newburgh, just 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York. Hussain was flash, drove expensive cars and treated people to gifts of cash and food. Hussain would make Newburgh's Muslim community famous when earlier this year four other black Newburgh Muslims were jailed for 25 years for a 2009 plot to fire a Stinger missile at US military planes. All four followed the instructions of Hussain, who meticulously organised the scheme: from getting the missile and bombs, to reconnaissance missions, to teaching the tenets of radical Islam. Hussain was a fake. In fact, Hussain worked for the FBI as an informant trawling mosques in hope of picking up radicals. Yet far from being active militants, the four men he attracted were impoverished individuals struggling with Newburgh's grim epidemic of crack, drug crime and poverty. Hussain offered the men huge financial inducements to carry out the plot – including $250,000 to one man – and free holidays and expensive cars. The Newburgh Four ... represent the most extreme form of a controversial FBI policy to use invented terrorist plots to lure targets. "There has been no case as egregious as this. It is unique in the incentive the government provided. A quarter million dollars?" said Professor Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham University.
Note: For a powerful BBC documentary showing clearly that much of the war on terror is a fabrication to forward a political agenda, watch Power of Nightmares at this link. For many reports from major media sources on the fake terror behind the "global war on terror", click here.
Gerard Mannix Flynn's blazing indictment of the nationwide, decades-long abuse of institutionalized schoolchildren in Ireland, titled "James X," is remarkable and should not be missed. He lays bare the soul of a middle-aged adult, James O'Neill, who spent the bulk of his childhood being abused by every state-sponsored, often Roman Catholic-run institution to which he was sent, initially at age 6 for not attending school. From there, uncaring judges repeatedly sent him to increasingly harsh, punitive institutions without caring what happened to him. The shocking true story ... has the tragically familiar ring of current U.S. headlines about trusted school authorities charged with sexually abusing boys in their care for decades. The willful blindness of Irish officials and society at large, unwilling to confront the church that rules their lives, is even more appalling. With great physical and emotional artistry, Flynn enacts James' attempts to reclaim his own story by telling it for the first time, hoping to release his own soul with the truth at last. Many of the nuns, Christian brothers and priests, psychiatrists and jailers who dealt with him over the years either neglected or abused him harshly, as they did with the other children. He was tortured physically, sexually and emotionally, even deemed "criminally insane" at one point, and beaten so badly by one Christian brother that he required surgery.
Note: Hopefully this important play will be made into a movie. For important revelations from reliable major media news articles on institutional child abuse, click here. For a riveting Discover Channel documentary exposing a sophisticated child sex abuse ring which leads to he highest levels of government, click here.
Rather than batons or rubber bullets, some police departments have started using an intense beam of sound to manage protesters, but the annoying tone has drawn criticism from some who say it can cause permanent damage. More U.S. police and emergency-response agencies are using the so-called Long-Range Acoustic Devices ... for crowd control. The leading manufacturer, LRAD Corp. of San Diego, said the product was developed as a nonlethal option for military use. Some people who have been on the receiving end call the devices "sound cannons." A woman is suing the city of Pittsburgh claiming the piercing tone from a police blaster during the 2009 G-20 summit permanently damaged her hearing. There were reports that New York City police used the punishing tone on protesters. The devices were developed for the U.S. Navy. They have also been used to deter pirates from attacking cruise ships. The products range from a 15-pound, battery-operated, hand-held unit to a 320-pound device with a range of nearly 2 miles. Even the smallest unit, the LRAD 100X, emits as much as 137 decibels at 1 meter, which is louder than a jet takeoff at 100 meters.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on so-called "non-lethal" weapons, click here.
Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in [eastern North Dakota]. He called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. He also called in a Predator B drone. Sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare. But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said. The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.
Note: "Looking for six cows," the Sheriff called in "a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties. He also called in a Predator B drone." Does that sound like a reasonable response to the problem of missing cows? Or could there be an agenda to establish aerial surveillance by drones as the norm in the US?
Women's rights took center stage Saturday at the Nobel ceremonies as three women recognized for their struggles against the backdrops of the Arab Spring and democratic progress in Africa accepted this year's peace prize. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee, a social worker and peace campaigner from the same country, shared the prize with Tawakkul Karman, an activist and journalist who this year played a key opposition role in Yemen. The three were chosen for their non-violent struggle against injustice, sexual violence and repression. All three women dedicated their remarks to women struggling for equal rights around the world. Crediting women with ending the conflict and challenging the dictatorship of former President Charles Taylor, [Sirleaf] declared a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and made education compulsory and free for all primary-age children. Gbowee, 39, led a women's movement that protested the use of rape and child soldiers in Liberia's civil war. She mobilized hundreds of women to force delegates at 2003 peace talks to sign a treaty -- at one point calling for a "sex strike" until demands were met. Karman, 32, ... founded the rights group Women Journalists without Chains, and emerged as a key figure in protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime.
A new child-abuse scandal in Hollywood is raising questions over the safety of minors in the entertainment business and sparking calls for new child-labor regulations. Last week Martin Weiss, a longtime manager of young talent, was arrested on suspicion of child molestation after an 18-year-old former client told police he had been abused by Weiss 30 to 40 times from 2005 to 2008. "This problem is more pervasive than people want to believe," said Paula Dorn, co-founder of the BizParentz Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the families of children working in the entertainment industry. "We have children trying to interact in an adult world." Paul Petersen, a former child actor on "The Donna Reed Show" and founder of A Minor Consideration, a nonprofit that supports former child stars, said the situation is "worse today than it was in the '30s, and there was a lot of dirty stuff going on then." Petersen [said] that his group is pushing for new regulations, including background checks and fingerprinting for talent agents, and a stronger enforcement of the California Talent Agencies Act, which is intended to protect artists from contract exploitation.
Note: For powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, click here.
At a packed City Council meeting ... Los Angeles lawmakers Tuesday called for more regulations on how much corporations can spend on political campaigns. The vote in support of state and federal legislation that would end so-called "corporate personhood” is largely symbolic. The council resolution includes support for a constitutional amendment that would assert that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, and that spending money is not a form of free speech. City Council President Eric Garcetti, the resolution's sponsor, said such actions are necessary because “big special interest money” is behind much of the gridlock in Washington. He blamed a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, which rolled back legal restrictions on corporate spending on the grounds that political speech by a business entity should receive the same 1st Amendment protections that people do. It allows corporations and other groups to spend unlimited money on behalf of candidates. Councilman Richard Alarcon, who also supported the resolution, said corporations are “trying to take over every aspect of our lives.” “Corporations are at the wheel of America,” Alarcon said. “And they are driving us to destruction.”
Note: Why was this key decision only reported in a blog and hardly covered by the media elsewhere? To understand how the media controls public debate, as reported by top journalists, click here.
If a spate of recent allegations proves true, Hollywood may have a hideous epidemic on its hands. The past two weeks have brought three separate reports of alleged child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. Martin Weiss, a 47-year-old Hollywood manager who represented child actors, was charged in Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with sexually abusing a former client. His accuser, who was under 12 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, reported to authorities that Weiss told him "what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry." Weiss has pleaded not guilty. On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for “Sesame Street,” was arraigned on charges of coercing a child “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in South Carolina. The Juilliard-trained composer was also charged with production and distribution of child pornography. Registered sex offender Jason James Murphy, 35, worked as a casting agent in Hollywood for years before his past kidnapping and sexual abuse of a boy was revealed by the Los Angeles Times. Revelations of this sort come as no surprise to former child star Corey Feldman. Feldman, 40, himself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, unflinchingly warned of the world of pedophiles who are drawn to the entertainment industry last August. "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia,” Feldman told ABC’s Nightline. “That's the biggest problem for children in this industry... It's the big secret.”
Note: These allegations surfaced long before Harvey Weinstein's crimes came to light. For powerful evidence from a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government, click here. And for an abundance of major media news articles showing rampant child sexual abuse at high levels in many prominent organizations, click here.
Sometimes, not trying to fix something is precisely what's needed to fix it. It's a hard strategy to follow because we have penchant for being proactive. If there's a problem, we feel better when we attack it aggressively. But consider the idea that we might spend a lot of time, effort, and money solving problems that can't, in fact, be solved with time, effort, and money. In 2009, Americans spent about $3.6 billion on over-the-counter cold, cough, and throat remedies, according to the New York Times. And yet, the article concluded, there's very little evidence that any of those medicines do anything to cure, or even shorten the duration of, a cold. And some remedies, like taking antibiotics, bring along side effects that risk making some people worse. In other words, the best strategy for coping with the common cold is to do nothing. So how do we know whether to do something or nothing? "When many cures are offered for a disease," wrote Chekhov, "it means the disease is not curable." If past experience or data suggests that multiple solutions are possible but none are reliably successful, nothing may be the best strategy. Also, if you've tried two or three solutions and none of them have worked, perhaps it's time to try nothing.
Note: The article at the New York Times link in the summary above is well worth reading to understand the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of many treatments for the common cold.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.