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.
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.
Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn, according to scientists. It's bad news for corn farmers, who paid extra money for this line of corn, counting on the power of its inserted genes to kill those pests. It's also bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place. In fact, the gene's apparent failure ... may be the most serious threat to a genetically modified crop in the U.S. since farmers first started growing them 15 years ago. The economic impact could be "huge," says the University of Arizona's Bruce Tabashnik, one of the country's top experts on the adaptation of insects to genetically engineered crops. Billions of dollars are at stake. The scientists who called for caution now are saying "I told you so," because there are signs that a new strain of resistant rootworms is emerging. In eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and parts of Minnesota and Nebraska, rows of Bt corn have toppled over, their roots eaten by rootworms. Entomologist Aaron Gassmann at Iowa State University, who authored the [new] paper, collected insects from some of these fields and found many with a greater-than-expected ability to tolerate Bt. The EPA is now recommending that ... farmers in areas where such damage has been observed to stop planting this kind of Bt corn altogether. Instead, those farmers will have to use other methods, such as spraying chemical insecticides, to control the rootworm.
Note: For more on the destructive impacts of GMO crop technology, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
More than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — ... were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases. Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants. The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to a department whose sheriff is the self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff" and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue. Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff's contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio's office — and not by individual investigators. "I know the investigators. I just cannot believe they would wholesale discount these cases. No way," Louis said. "The direction had to come (from) up the food chain." Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants — who are often transient and fear the police — were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations.
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.
The OCC’s quarterly report on trading revenues and bank derivatives activities is based on Call Report information provided by all insured U.S. commercial banks and trust companies, reports filed by U.S. financial holding companies, and other published data. The notional amount of derivatives held by insured U.S. commercial banks decreased $1.4 trillion, or 0.6%, from the second quarter of 2011 to $248 trillion. Notional derivatives are 5.7% higher than at the same time last year. Derivatives activity in the U.S. banking system continues to be dominated by a small group of large financial institutions. The five banks with the most derivatives activity hold 96% of all derivatives. Insured commercial banks have more limited legal authorities than do their holding companies.
Note: Graphs in this OCC report (pg. 25 & 26) show that five U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, BofA, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, hold $235 of the $248 trillion above, while their holding companies control an additional $311 of the $326 trillion in derivatives held by holding companies. So these five banks and their holding companies combined hold $546 trillion in derivatives, 95% of the U.S. derivatives market, nearly 80% of the global market, and equivalent to over $75,000 for every person on the planet. If the above link fails, click here. For quarterly derivative reports by the OCC going back to 1995, click here.
Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear-power complex came closer to a catastrophic meltdown than previously indicated by its operator [which on November 30] described how one reactor's molten nuclear core likely burned through its primary containment chamber and then ate as far as three-quarters of the way through the concrete in a secondary vessel. The [new] assessment—offered by Japan's government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., ... marked Japan's most sobering reckoning to date of the nuclear disaster sparked by the country's March 11 earthquake and tsunami. But it came nearly six months after U.S. and international nuclear experts and regulators had reached similar conclusions. For the first time, Tokyo Electric ... said that nuclear-fuel rods in the complex's No. 1 reactor had likely melted completely, burning through their so-called pressure vessel and then boring through concrete at the bottom of a second containment vessel. That brought the fuel closer than previously believed to breaching the containment vessel and foundation and continuing to burn through the ground below — a scenario sometimes described as the "China Syndrome." The findings are the latest reminder of how much remains unknown about the extent of the mid-March Fukushima Daiichi accident.
Note: For further information on the developing understanding of the severity of the meltdowns at Fukushima, see these reports at The Guardian and The New York Times. For key reports from major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
Can the president use the military to arrest anyone he wants, keep that person away from a judge and jury, and lock him up for as long as he wants? In the Senate’s dark and terrifying vision of the Constitution, he can. Last week ... the Senate Armed Services Committee decided to meet in secret. Behind closed doors, it drafted an amendment to a bill appropriating money for the Pentagon. The amendment would permit the president to use the military for law enforcement purposes in the United States. Essentially, this legislation would enable the president to divert from the criminal justice system, and thus to divert from the protections of the Constitution, any person he pleases. And that person, under this terrifying bill, would have no recourse to a judge to require the president either to file charges against him or to set him free. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says, “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Note, the Founders used the word “person.” Thus, the requirement of due process must be accorded to all human beings held by the government -- not just Americans, not just nice people, but all persons. If this legislation becomes law, it will be dangerous for anyone to be right when the government is wrong. It will be dangerous for all of us. Just consider what any president could get away with. Who would he make disappear first? Might it be his political opponents? Might it be you?
Note: The author of this op-ed, Andrew P. Napolitano, is a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. His most recent book is It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom.
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.