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.
An independent trader, appearing on BBC News, reveal[ed] that he thinks banks and hedge funds believe the stock market 'is toast'. Alessio Rastani said that Goldman Sachs rules the world, not governments, and that Goldman Sachs “don't care about this rescue package” because they know “the stock market is finished” and they “don't really care” about the Euro. US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said over the weekend: "Sovereign and banking stresses in Europe are the most serious risk now confronting the world economy. Decisions cannot wait until the crisis gets more severe." He has proposed the so-called Geithner plan which will leverage the EU's €440bn bail-out fund (EFSF) from €440bn to €2 trillion to cope with Italy and Spain. But according to Mr Rastani it may already be too late as: “In less than twelve months, my prediction is, the savings of millions of people are going to vanish.”
Disturbing footage of Apache attack helicopters killing people in Afghanistan is being shown to frontline British soldiers in "Kill TV nights" designed to boost morale. The discovery of the practice ... casts fresh questions over the conduct of soldiers deployed abroad and has provoked a furious response from peace campaigners. Andrew Burgin from Stop the War ... described it as the "ultimate degradation of British troops", comparing it to the desensitisation to death of US soldiers in the final stages of the Vietnam War. The footage ... shows ground troops at the British headquarters in Helmand province, Camp Bastion, gathered for a get-together said to be called "Kill TV night". It shows an Apache helicopter commander admitting possible errors of judgement and warning colleagues not to disclose what they have seen. "This is not for discussion with anybody else; keep it quiet about what you see up here," he says. "It's not because we've done anything wrong. But we might have done." Much of the footage is along the lines of the now infamous video of a US Apache helicopter strike on civilians in Baghdad in 2007, first released on WikiLeaks last year. In one clip an Afghan woman is targeted after a radio dialogue between pilots refers to her as a "snake with tits".
Note: For reliable reports on war atrocities by US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
Why are people occupying Wall Street? Why has the occupation – despite the latest police crackdown – sent out sparks across America, within days, inspiring hundreds of people to send pizzas, money, equipment and, now, to start their own movements called OccupyChicago, OccupyFlorida, in OccupyDenver or OccupyLA? We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Is it really surprising they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future? Just as in Europe, we are seeing the results of colossal social failure. The occupiers are the very sort of people, brimming with ideas, whose energies a healthy society would be marshaling to improve life for everyone. Instead, they are using it to envision ways to bring the whole system down. But the ultimate failure here is of imagination. If the occupiers finally manage to break the 30-year stranglehold that has been placed on the human imagination ... everything will once again be on the table – and the occupiers of Wall Street and other cities around the US will have done us the greatest favour anyone possibly can.
Note: A post on the JP Morgan Chase website confirms an unprecedented $4.6 million gift to the New York City Police Foundation. The money was donated ostensibly as a "gift ... to strengthen security in the Big Apple." Now why would this huge bank be donating millions for security in New York City? For key insights from major media sources into the reasons why so many are protesting worldwide, click here.
The decades-old duel between Coca-Cola and Pepsi has entered new territory. As the soda behemoths spar for world's top soft drink, the battle isn't just about what's in their bottles. It's about what's in their plastic. In 2009, the Coca-Cola Co. said the bottles in which it sells its Dasani water products would contain up to 30 percent sugar cane-based components. The bottles are made of a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. Coca-Cola touted the "PlantBottle" as the latest in eco-friendly food packaging. Then PepsiCo dropped a bio-bottle bombshell in March, announcing PET containers that were 100 percent petroleum-free. So far, bioplastics have hardly encroached on that petroleum dependency. Less than 1 percent of plastics used nationally come from biological sources like sugar cane and corn. But researchers predict the market will skyrocket in the next several years because of technological advancements, new manufacturing plants and increased interest in bioplastic packaging. Global demand for plant-based plastics could be 600,000 metric tons by 2013, a 26-fold jump in five years, according to a 2008 report by market research firm Freedonia Group.
Arno Hesse receives a check each month paying down the principal of a $5,000 loan he made to Soul Food Farm, an organic chicken farm in Vacaville. For the interest? He gets two dozen eggs. Hesse ... is part of a new national organization called Slow Money - an attempt to bring the values of the slow food, sustainable farming movement to the dollar-driven world of investment. Slow Money will hold its third annual conference next month at Fort Mason in San Francisco, where potential investors will hear from a host of environmental speakers and 27 entrepreneurs seeking funding. They'll be looking for equity or loans for [humble] projects, like a slaughterhouse for grass-fed beef or a compost business that describes itself as "purveyors of premium poop." The audience will include ... rank-and-file slow food advocates with as little as $100 or $1,000 to invest. And projects will be funded ... for their commitment to a new, local, community-based model of agriculture and food delivery. "We want to bring money down to earth," said Hesse, who is one of the coordinators of Slow Money's Northern California chapter. "In assessing our investments, we look not just at financial returns but at improving our community and producing better food."
The former chief of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police has been jailed by an American court for cocaine trafficking. A Miami federal judge imposed the 14-year sentence on Rene Sanabria, 54. Gen Sanabria was head of Bolivia's anti-drug agency until 2009, and was an intelligence adviser to the government at the time of his arrest. He pleaded guilty in June to taking part in a conspiracy to ship hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Bolivia to Chile and then on to Miami. The court heard the plot was set up by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as an undercover sting operation. Sanabria was detained in Panama and taken to the United States by DEA agents for trial. He had served for 32 years in Bolivia's police force. The charge carries a required minimum 10-year sentence. But US District Judge Ursula Ungaro said he was giving Sanabria a higher sentence because of his leadership role, and to send an anti-corruption message to other government officials.
Note: So the former chief of anti-narcotics was dealing drugs. What does this say about the war on drugs? For powerful evidence from award-winning reporters that elements within the CIA and DEA are involved in the drug trade, click here.
In August, as rebels fought forces loyal to President Muammar Gaddafi, two representatives of a British business consortium took a "rather long and arduous ferry journey from Malta" to the North African country. The men traveled to Libya at the invitation of the rebel administration. Britain, along with France and the United States, had given political and military support for the uprising against Gaddafi and sponsored the rebel leadership, the National Transitional Council (NTC). This was a chance to close some deals. The visitors keep coming. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron received a heroes' welcome last week when they became the first western leaders to visit since Gaddafi's ouster. Interim leader Abdel Jalil said the rebels' allies could expect preferential treatment in return for their help. It was a clear signal that countries which had not backed the NATO bombing campaign, including Russia, China and Germany, or which were slow to denounce Gaddafi, like Italy, stand to lose out. But if French and British politicians are tallying up the contracts, business executives are leaving little to chance. Dozens of executives from France, Britain, Italy and other countries have spent months building ties with potential Libyan partners. The potential profits are huge.
Note: For a two-page summary of US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler's explanation of the profiteering behind modern wars, click here. For key reports on corporate and government corruption from major media sources, click here and here.
Nina De Santo was about to close her New Jersey hair salon one winter's night when she saw him standing outside the shop's glass front door. It was Michael. He was a soft-spoken customer who'd been going through a brutal patch in his life. She'd listened to his problems, given him pep talks, taken him out for drinks. When De Santo opened the door that Saturday night, Michael was smiling. "Nina, I can't stay long," he said, pausing in the doorway. "I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for everything." They chatted a bit more before Michael left and De Santo went home. On Sunday she received a strange call from a salon employee. Michael's body had been found the previous morning -- at least nine hours before she talked to him at her shop. He had committed suicide. If Michael was dead, who, or what, did she talk to that night? Today, De Santo has a name for what happened that night: "crisis apparition." A crisis apparition is the spirit of a recently deceased person who visits someone they had a close emotional connection with. As they chatted face to face in the doorway of her shop, De Santo said they never touched, never even shook hands. "I'm in a really good place now," she recalled him saying. And when she held the door open for him, he refused to come in. He just chatted before finally saying, "Thanks again, Nina." Michael then smiled at her, turned and walked away into the winter's night.
The chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said [on Sep. 2] that Republican-sponsored proposals moving in the House would threaten the agency's ability to regulate toxic air emissions. Administrator Lisa Jackson told a panel of lawmakers that the legislation, coupled with two GOP-offered amendments, "would weaken or destroy our ability to address those toxic pollutants," putting thousands of lives at risk every year. The legislation would delay an EPA rule for reducing mercury pollution and the upcoming agency rule limiting cross-state air pollution from power plants. The bill would also require a new interagency committee to analyze the financial impact of several EPA rules next year. The House also will consider two floor amendments to the bill. One, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., would delay the mercury and cross-state rules by several additional years at least and loosen the minimum standards for new emissions rules. The other, sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, would require the EPA to draw up air-quality rules with regard to "cost and feasibility." Currently, the rules must be based solely on evidence regarding public health and environmental impacts. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said the amendments would roll back 40 years of EPA regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act.
Note: Agreeing with Rep. Waxman, the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, calls the bill "one of the most significant votes on air pollution in two decades."
For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply "the Hacker." Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device — a stingray — were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest. Stingrays are designed to locate a mobile phone even when it's not being used to make a call. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the devices to be so critical that it has a policy of deleting the data gathered in their use, an FBI official told The Wall Street Journal. A stingray's role in nabbing the alleged "Hacker" — Daniel David Rigmaiden — is shaping up as a possible test of the legal standards for using these devices in investigations. Stingrays are one of several new technologies used by law enforcement to track people's locations, often without a search warrant. These techniques are driving a constitutional debate about whether the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but which was written before the digital age, is keeping pace with the times. Mr. Rigmaiden maintains his innocence and says that using stingrays to locate devices in homes without a valid warrant "disregards the United States Constitution" and is illegal.
Note: For lots more on threats to civil liberties from reliable sources, click here.
The scale of the rush by speculators, pension funds and global agri-businesses to acquire large areas of developing countries is far greater than previously thought, and is already leading to conflict, hunger and human rights abuses, says Oxfam. The NGO has identified 227m ha (561m acre ha) of land – an area the size of north-west Europe – as having being reportedly sold, leased or licensed, largely in Africa and mostly to international investors in thousands of secretive deals since 2001. The new land rush, which was triggered by food riots, a series of harvest failures following major droughts and the western investors moving out of the US property market in 2008, is being justified by governments and speculators in the name of growing food for hungry people and biofuels for environmental benefit. "Many of the deals are in fact 'land grabs' where the rights and needs of the people previously living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living," said Oxfam chief executive Dame Barbara Stocking. While some investors might claim to have experience in agricultural production, many may only be purchasing land speculatively, anticipating price increases in the coming years. In addition, developing countries are under pressure from the IMF, the World Bank and other regional banks to put farmland on the international market to increase economic development and improve the balance of payments.
Note: To read Oxfam's summary and report on land grabs worldwide, click here.
The federal government pays out millions of dollars to dead people each year — including deceased retired federal workers, according to a new report. In the past five years, the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in benefits payments to deceased federal annuitants, according to the agency’s inspector general. Total annual payouts range between $100 million and $150 million. Improper payments to dead retirees increased 70 percent in the past five years, far higher than the 19 percent climb in overall annuity payments, the report said. In one case, a deceased annuitant’s son continued receiving federal benefits until 2008 — 37 years after his father’s death. OPM learned about the improper payments — which exceeded $515,000 — only after the son died. The agency never recovered the money. Overall, the government’s improper payments totaled about $125 billion in fiscal 2010 — a $15 billion year-to-year increase. Last October, an investigation by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) concluded that the government had paid nearly $1 billion to at least 250,000 dead people since 2000.
Note: For key reports on government corruption from major media sources, click here.
One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — was [challenged] by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked [a] subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the [speed of light]. The researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. "The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy. CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.
Note: This article fails to mention that the speed of light barrier was broken and seriously questioned several decades ago. To read more on this fascinating development, click here.
Greg Peterson's 1950s tract home looks like any other house on his block in Phoenix, with one notable difference: Practically everything in his yard is edible. Mr. Peterson calls his oasis of bounty on one-third of an acre "The Urban Farm." Once an anomaly among the manicured lawns in his neighborhood, Peterson's place has been so convincing an example over the past decade that scores of other suburban dwellers have traded decorative bushes for raised vegetable beds and straw-filled chicken coops. Slowly, across the past decade, more Americans like Peterson have been proving that growing and preserving food is possible in all kinds of populated settings. Whether it is a tilapia farm in garden tubs in Kansas City, Mo., beekeeping in Chicago, or jars of homemade pickles in an apartment pantry in Austin, Texas, urban homesteaders are rebelling against the industrial food system by shouldering more of the responsibility for producing their own food. "There is a population and culture that is finally saying that all this processed stuff is not good and the only way we can guarantee that food we use is safe is to grow it ourselves," says Joyce Miles, a family and consumer science expert. These advances come in the midst of a struggling economy, a changing climate, a global food system in peril, rising food prices, concern over lax food safety, and dwindling resources. For homesteaders, cultivating a corner of the yard ... into a tangle of edible things has become one small way to regain purpose and control in an unpredictable time.
Note: Watch this inspiring video of an urban farm helping to break the cycle of violence and poverty in Kansas city.
The first vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer, came out five years ago. It has become a hot political topic. Behind the political fireworks is a quieter backlash against a public health strategy that has won powerful advocates in the medical and public health community. Many find the public health case for HPV vaccination compelling. But Dr. Diane Harper, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, says the vaccine is being way oversold. That's pretty striking, because Harper worked on studies that got the vaccines approved. And she has accepted grants from the manufacturers, although she says she doesn't any longer. Harper changed her mind when the vaccine makers started lobbying state legislatures to require schoolkids to get vaccinated. "Ninety-five percent of women who are infected with HPV never, ever get cervical cancer," she says. "It seemed very odd to be mandating something for which 95 percent of infections never amount to anything. Pap smear screening is far and away the biggest thing a woman can do to protect herself, to prevent cervical cancer," she says. Apart from the comparative advantages of vaccine versus Pap smears, Harper has another objection to mandating early vaccination at this point. She points out that studies so far show the vaccines protect for four or five years. Young women may need a booster shot later. As it stands now, Harper says, vaccinating an 11-year-old girl might not protect her when she needs it most - in her most sexually active years.
Note: Read a more recent article on why the Gardasil vaccine may not be a wise choice. Merck, the company behind Gardasil, had to suspend a questionable lobbying campaign to make vaccination by this costly drug mandatory back in 2007. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
A Lloyd's insurance syndicate has begun a landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of indirectly funding al-Qa'ida and demanding the repayment of Ł136m it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks. Outlined in a 156-page document filed in western Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on 9/11, the claim suggests that the nine defendants "knowingly" provided resources, including funding, to al-Qa'ida in the years before the attack and encouraged anti-Western sentiment which increased support for the terror group. The case singles out the activities of a charity, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC), which was alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several al-Qa'ida operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. It is alleged that at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: "Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to al-Qa'ida members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz."
Note: This article singles out the important connection between Al Qaeda and the wars in Kosovo and Chechnya, where, as in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden's organization provided Muslim jihadis to promote US imperial interests. This activity continued into the summer of 2001 in Macedonia, just a few months before 9/11. Amazingly, the lawsuit described in the article has been dropped. What pressures could have been brought to bear on Lloyd's to cause it to drop its suit two weeks after bringing it?
Tony Blair used visits to Libya after he left office to lobby for business for the American investment bank JP Morgan. New questions over Tony Blair's ties to Col Muammar Gaddafi and his role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber have emerged from documents discovered in Tripoli. A senior executive with the Libyan Investment Authority, the $70 billion fund used to invest the country's oil money abroad, said Mr Blair was one of three prominent western businessmen who regularly dealt with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the former leader. Saif al-Islam and his close aides oversaw the activities of the fund, and often directed its officials on where they should make its investments, he said. The executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said officials were told the "ideas" they were ordered to pursue came from Mr Blair as well as one other British businessman and a former American diplomat. "Tony Blair's visits were purely lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan," he said. Documents found by The Sunday Telegraph published this weekend showed Mr Blair had made at least three visits to Tripoli, twice in the lead-up to the release of the alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Megrahi in 2008 and 2009 and once last year. On the first two occasions he was flown to the country on planes arranged by Col Gaddafi.
Note: For a two-page summary of US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler's explanation of the profiteering behind modern wars, click here. For key reports on corporate and government corruption from major media sources, click here and here.
At Just Vision, our mission is to create and distribute media, including documentary films, that tell the stories of Israelis and Palestinians working nonviolently to resolve the conflict and end the occupation. We also provide in-depth introductions to these visionaries by publishing new interviews with them on our website every few days. By providing these resources to millions worldwide, we ensure that those who promote nonviolence have an effective platform through which they can share their accomplishments and ideas with their own societies and others around the globe. Our ... documentary film, "Budrus," tells the story of a Palestinian community organizer who successfully unites Palestinians of all political factions together with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. The film shows how, for 10 months, the residents of Budrus and their supporters engaged in unarmed protest, and how they ultimately triumphed by convincing the Israeli army to shift the course of the barrier and [save] their village. Since its release, "Budrus" has been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world. Where we choose to direct our attention matters. And in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this decision can save numerous Israeli and Palestinian lives and help finally bring an end to the bloodshed. Rather than endlessly waiting for new leaders to emerge or conditions to change, it's time we realized that the solutions to the conflict are being played out every day right in front of us. It's up to us to notice.
Note: Why does the media give so little attention to successful nonviolent movements? Watch the video at the link above for ideas. Read another inspiring article on this movement and another here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East [but] those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters. That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier. One weekend each month, a small group of computer programmers gathers [in Washington DC] to build a homemade Internet—named Project Byzantium -— that could go online if part of the current global Internet becomes blocked by a repressive government. The leader of the effort ... says he fears that some day repressive measures could be put into place in the United States. He is not the only one with such apprehensions. Hundreds of like-minded high-tech activists and entrepreneurs in New York at an unusual conference called the Contact Summit. The summit's goal is not just to talk about the projects, but also to connect with potential financial backers, recruit programmers, and brainstorm approaches to building parallel Internets and social networks. The meeting is a sign of the growing momentum of what is called the "free-network movement," whose leaders are pushing to rewire online networks to make it harder for a government or corporation to exert what some worry is undue control or surveillance.
Note: For a revealing BBC News article showing the Pentagon's desire for "maximum control of the Internet," click here. Released government documents show the US military's intent to be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems." For lots more on threats to civil liberties from reliable sources, click here.
The number of violent crimes fell by a surprising 12 percent in the United States last year, a far bigger drop than the nation has been averaging since 2001, the Justice Department said. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009. Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010. The big drop dwarfs the 3 percent yearly decline in violent crimes the nation averaged from 2001 through 2009. More than 80 percent of the decline in violent crime was attributed to a plunge in simple assaults, by 15 percent. Those assaults accounted for nearly two-thirds of all violent crimes in 2010. The combined total of property crimes and violent crimes was down 6.6 percent last year, from 20 million to 18.7 million. From 1993 through 2010, the rate of violent crime has declined by a whopping 70 percent: from 49.9 violent crimes per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to only 14.9 per 1,000 in 2010.
Note: A 70 percent drop in violent crime in the last 20 years - that's amazing! Why isn't this inspiring news making top headlines? For excellent FBI graphs and more showing this dramatic decrease in crime, click here.
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.