Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The risk of children suffering from flu can be halved if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found. The finding has implications for flu epidemics since vitamin D, which is naturally produced by the human body when exposed to direct sunlight, has no significant side effects, costs little and can be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or vaccine. Only one in ten children, aged six to 15 years, taking the sunshine vitamin in a clinical trial came down with flu compared with one in five given a dummy tablet. Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told The Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu. Vitamin D was found to be even more effective when the comparison left out children who were already given extra vitamin D by their parents, outside the trial. Taking the sunshine vitamin was then shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be. The trial, which was double blind, randomised, and fully controlled scientifically, was conducted by doctors and scientists from Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan.
Note: For important articles from reliable sources on health issues, click here.
After 15 months and 2,200 pages of writing, the Lehman Brothers report has been released. As expected, the details are pretty gruesome. It explains how Repo 105 transactions allowed Lehman to exchange illiquid assets for short-term cash loans in order to disguise the crumbling financial state of the firm in its last days. How bad were the lies? Well, the report shows the transactions were not shown as loans. Instead, they were listed as sales … making Lehman’s accounting essentially fraudulent. According to emails described in the report, CEO Richard Fuld and about three different CFOs were all likely aware of the cover-up. Yet they still approved and signed off on the quarterly and annual reports. Further, it appears that even Lehman’s auditor Ernst & Young … in the not-so-fine tradition of Arthur Andersen — that was brought down in the Enron scandal – knew about the Repo transactions and did nothing to sound an alarm. So much deception … and so many accomplices.
Note: To watch a powerfully revealing, 10-minute MSNBC video on this topic, click here. Transcript available here. Host Dyland Ratigan in the clip describes what happened as "an accounting fraud perpetrated by bank CEOs against the American taxpayer."
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. It is generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies. Officials said Mr. Furlong’s secret network might have been improperly financed by diverting money from a program designed to merely gather information about the region. Moreover, in Pakistan, where Qaeda and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding, the secret use of private contractors may be seen as an attempt to get around the Pakistani government’s prohibition of American military personnel’s operating in the country.
Note: More details of the secret war in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to leak out steadily. As this article indicates, secret privatized death squad operations go on in the dark while the Pentagon and the press announce a scaling back of "Special Operations" out of concern for "civilian casualties."
On top of everything Lehman Brothers did before it collapsed in 2008, nearly toppling the financial system, it now seems that it was aggressively massaging its books. A new report on the Lehman collapse, released last week ... would leave anyone dumbstruck by the firm’s audacity — and reminded of the crying need for adult supervision of Wall Street. The 2,200-page report [finds that] Lehman engaged in transactions that let it temporarily shift troubled assets off its books and in so doing, hide its reliance on borrowed money. The maneuvers ... made the firm appear healthier than it was. [The author, Anton R. Valukas, a former federal prosecutor,] wrote that Richard S. Fuld Jr., Lehman’s former chief executive, was “at least grossly negligent,” and that Lehman executives engaged in “actionable balance sheet manipulation.” According to the report, rating agencies, government regulators and Lehman’s board of directors had no clue about the gimmicks. The result is that we were all blindsided. And we could be blindsided again. Congress is not even close to passing meaningful regulatory reform. The surviving banks have only gotten bigger and more politically powerful. If the Valukas report is not a wake-up call, what would be?
Note: The Lehman report is described in detail here. For revealing information showing how the US Treasury Department continues to fight against a much-needed audit of the Federal Reserve, click here. For a great collection of revealing reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities behind the financial crisis and government bailouts of the biggest financial corporations, click here.
On Nov. 28, 1953, Frank Olson, a ... 42-year-old government scientist, plunged to his death from room 1018A in New York's Statler Hotel. [Twenty-two] years later, the Rockefeller Commission report was released, detailing a litany of domestic abuses committed by the CIA. The ugly truth emerged: Olson's death was the result of his having been surreptitiously dosed with LSD days earlier by his colleagues. The belated 1975 [admission] ... generated more interest into a series of wildly implausible "mind control" experiments on an unsuspecting populace over three decades. Much of this plot unfolded here, in New York, according to H.P. Albarelli Jr., author of A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments. Albarelli spent more than a decade sifting through more than 100,000 pages of government documents and his most startling chestnut might be his claim that the intelligence community conducted aerosol tests of LSD inside the New York City subway system. "The experiment was pretty shocking — shocking that the CIA and the Army would release LSD like that, among innocent unwitting folks," Albarelli told The Post. An Olson colleague, Dr. Henry Eigelsbach, confirmed to Albarelli that the LSD subway test did, in fact, occur in November 1950, albeit on a smaller scale than first planned. Little, however, is known about the test — what line, how many people and what happened.
The Vatican ... denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland. The Vatican's campaign to defend the pope's reputation and resolve in combating clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected pedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there. Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential. Germany's justice minister has blamed the directive for what she called a "wall of silence" preventing prosecution. Skeptical about the Vatican's handling of abuse, a U.S.-based advocacy group for abuse victims, Survivors Network of those Abused for Priests, urged faithful to bring candles and childhood photos to vigils outside churches, cathedrals and German consulates across the U.S. this weekend to remind people to "call police, not bishops" in cases of suspected abuse. Meanwhile, the scandal swirling around Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, escalated with the first public allegations of abuse of choirboys during some of the 30 years he ran the boys' choir in Regensburg.
Note: If you want to know just how deep this goes, watch the powerfully revealing documentary "Conspiracy of Silence," available at this link.
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria. The priest was sent from Essen to Munich for therapy in 1980 when he was accused of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The archdiocese confirmed that the Pope, who was then a cardinal, had approved a decision to accommodate the priest in a rectory while the therapy took place. The church has been accused of a cover-up after at least 170 allegations of child abuse by German Catholic priests. Critics say that priests were redeployed to other parishes rather than dismissed when they were found to be abusing children. An American group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said it “boggles the mind to hear a German Catholic official claim that a credibly accused paedophile priest was reassigned to parish work without the knowledge of his boss, then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger”. The Pope was Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982.
From Ireland to Germany, Europe's many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons. Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church's worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests. Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI. The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs ... and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy [like] their American cousins. "You have to presume that the cover-up of abuse exists everywhere, to one extent or another. A new case could appear in a new country tomorrow," said David Quinn, director of a Christian think tank.Stories of systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse circulated privately in Irish society for decades, but only moved aboveground in the mid-1990s when former altar boy Andrew Madden and orphanage survivor Christine Buckley went public with lawsuits and exposes of how priests and nuns tormented them with impunity.
Economists warn that Britain is wobbling on a tightrope over a second recession where spending cuts would precipitate more unemployment and risk sinking the economy into a downward spiral. So far Labour has failed to find the words to express public outrage at the financiers' billowing wealth while the Treasury is drained. Only weeks since launching, the campaign for a Robin Hood tax on all financial transactions has gathered extraordinary support. It hasn't been hard, so profound is the untapped public anger at the bankers. This week the European parliament voted for it overwhelmingly – 536 to 80 – supported by the social democrats and the majority conservative EPP grouping: opponents were the ECP rump rightwingers the Tories belong to. Backed here by some 100 organisations from Oxfam to the Salvation Army, rarely has a campaign gathered such momentum in so short a time: 140,000 have joined and more gather by the day. Campaigners want a sterling transaction tax to come in at once. Imposing just 0.005% on every sterling deal is within Britain's sole control, raising Ł4bn. If the EU agrees a wider financial transactions tax, it would bring Britain another Ł4bn – one estimate is Ł100bn across Europe, to be used at home, in foreign aid and on climate change.
Note: See http://robinhoodtax.org.uk to support this rapidly growing movement which may make a big difference.
The FDA has "certified" a 2009 letter sent anonymously by FDA staff to President Obama describing "systemic corruption and wrongdoing that permeates all levels of FDA." The FDA's official recognition of the letter means that lawyers who want to use it to demonstrate that the FDA isn't perfect won't have to go through weeks of tedious discovery demands to find someone at the FDA who can officially say, "Yup, we sent that." That's going to be a headache for drug companies who often defend their drugs in court by saying, "Hey, the FDA said this product was fine and we did everything they asked -- so it's not fair to hold us responsible." Plaintiffs' lawyers can now hold up the letter in court and argue that drug companies have been on notice that the FDA is riddled with politics, conflicts of interest and outright corruption, and is, as the letter says, "fundamentally broken." Written by a group of scientists on FDA letter head -- but with their names blacked out for fear of retaliation -- the letter describes a nightmare of bungling and self-dealing among higher-ups at the drug safety agency. It begs Obama to step in and reform the shop: "... many other FDA managers who have failed to protect the American public, who have violated laws, rules, and regulations, who have suppressed or altered scientific or technological findings and conclusions, who have abused their power and authority, and who have engaged in illegal retaliation against those who speak out, have not been held accountable and remain in place."
Note: The FDA actively persecutes whistle-blowers, placed a former Monsanto lobbyist in a high ranking position, and gives industrial food companies preferential treatment over small farmers. In recent years, FDA executives have been caught participating in medical industry corruption, including keeping important prescription drug safety information hidden from consumers.
Brussels bureaucrats [are determined] to spread GM crops throughout Europe, against the will of most of its people. In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a [genetically] modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow. The decision has its origins in a couple of secret, top-level meetings called by Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission's strongly pro-GM president. He invited the prime ministers of each of the 27 EU member states to send a personal representative along to discuss how to "speed up" the spread of the technology and "deal with" public opposition. About three times as many Europeans oppose genetic modification as support it. As a result, GM crops cover only about 0.12 per cent of Europe's agricultural land – and the continent accounts for just 0.08 per cent of the area growing them worldwide. And they have been losing ground. In the past two years, both France and Germany banned the Monsanto maize, joining Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.
Note: Though Europeans are very aware of the threat of genetically modified foods and have worked hard to prohibit them, the media in the US have managed to stifle almost any reporting on the topic. Most Americans have no idea that they are regularly eating GM foods known to have serious health risks.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Pfizer, Incorporated, with 116,000 employees and revenues of $50 billion a year, is the world's largest pharmaceutical company. The government was building a case against Pfizer for fraudulently marketing a drug that had raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, a painkiller called Bextra. Pfizer aggressively marketed it for uses and in doses not approved by the FDA. But our investigation found another story, ... about the power major pharmaceutical companies have, even when they break the laws intended to protect patients. In 2001, ... the FDA approved Bextra, but only for limited use and only for menstrual cramps and arthritis. Even so, Pfizer sales reps promoted it, illegally, for surgical pain in higher doses, uses the FDA had rejected due to safety concerns. Doctors responded. Instead of prescribing, say, ibuprofen at pennies a pill, they prescribed Bextra at nearly $3 a pill for all kinds of unapproved uses. Sales were very good. GLENN DEMOTT, FORMER PFIZER SALES REP: They said that the district manager approved it. They think it might not be legal, but if they don't make their numbers, they're not going to keep their job anyway. GRIFFIN : It brought Pfizer nearly $1 billion in profits. And it cost us all, because Medicare, Medicaid, and our private insurance picked up much of the tab. MICHAEL LOUCKS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: If the company is able to push the product for the unapproved indication, then it makes a mockery, if you will, of the FDA approval process.
Note: For an even deeper analysis on Mercola.com titled "Pulling Back the Curtain on the Organized Crime Ring That Is the Pharmaceutical Drug Cartel," click here. You can also watch a video of the above CNN segment at that link. For more on pharmaceutical industry corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The Devil is lurking in the very heart of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican's chief exorcist claimed on Wednesday. Father Gabriele Amorth said people who are possessed by Satan vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron. He added that the assault on Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Eve by a mentally unstable woman and the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries, were proof that the Anti-Christ was waging a war against the Holy See. "The Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences," said Father Amorth, 85, who has been the Holy See's chief exorcist for 25 years. While there was "resistance and mistrust" towards the concept of exorcism among some Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI has no such doubts, Father Amorth said. "His Holiness believes wholeheartedly in the practice of exorcism. He has encouraged and praised our work," he added. In a rare insight into the world of exorcism, the Italian priest told La Repubblica newspaper that the 1973 film The Exorcist gave a "substantially exact" impression of what it was like to be possessed by the Devil.
In a remote mountainside on the Norwegian tundra sits the "doomsday vault," a backup against disaster -- manmade or otherwise. Inside lives the last hope should the unthinkable occur: a global seedbank that could be used to replant the world. It's a modern day Noah's Ark, in other words, full not of animals but of plantlife. The Svalbard "doomsday" Global Seed Vault [stores] a half-million seed varieties. The arctic permafrost offers natural freezing for the seeds, while additional cooling brings the temperatures down to minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Should disaster wipe out a species -- or in the case of a large-scale global crisis -- its stockers hope the seeds stored there could be used to restore life. The preciousness of the seeds there is also reflected in the inaccessible nature of the vault. Anyone seeking access to the seeds themselves will have to pass through four locked doors: the heavy steel entrance doors, a second door approximately 115 meters down the tunnel and finally the two keyed air-locked doors. Keys are coded to allow access to different levels of the facility. Not all keys unlock all doors.
Note: Should a major disaster or armageddon happen, the designers of this vault assume that the keyholders will survive. Why such a high level of security when this is by no means certain?
In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society — whether it's General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church or the mainstream media — has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both. And at the root of these failures are the people who run these institutions, the bright and industrious minds who occupy the commanding heights of our meritocratic order. In exchange for their power, status and remuneration, they are supposed to make sure everything operates smoothly. But after a cascade of scandals and catastrophes, that implicit social contract lies in ruins, replaced by mass skepticism, contempt and disillusionment. In the wake of the implosion of nearly all sources of American authority, this new decade will have to be about reforming our institutions to reconstitute a more reliable and democratic form of authority. If our current crisis continues, we risk a long, ugly process of de-development: higher levels of corruption and tax evasion and an increasingly fractured public sphere, in which both public consensus and reform become all but impossible.
A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment. In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted. For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War. One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.
A Danish scientist who was a lead researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark. Dr. Poul Thorsen was also a research professor at Emory University from 2003 until June of 2009. Emory University officials gave no reason for Thorsen's departure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded research conducted by Thorsen and his colleagues at Aarhus University. The CDC asked the researchers to conduct studies to determine whether thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, played any role in causing autism. The results of the studies, that there was no link between vaccines containing mercury and autism, formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports. In a statement Aarhus University officials said Thorsen forged documents supposedly from the CDC to obtain the release of $2 million from the university. Autism advocacy groups are demanding his studies be given a closer look. Those same groups have long claimed that the results of the studies were suspect.
Note: Very few mainstream media covered this intriguing story of a key researcher whose work is held up to deny any link between vaccines and autism. Yet Robert F. Kennedy Jr. published a very revealing article on this key topic, which you can read here.
In his new book, American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura begins an investigative journey to prove that there is more to our national history than the government wants us to know. In this excerpt, he writes about an alleged 9/11 cover-up. Chapter 12: What really happened on September 11? Our government engaged in a massive cover-up of what really happened, including its own ties to the hijackers. Unanswered questions remain about how the towers were brought down, and whether a plane really struck the Pentagon. The Bush Administration either knew about the plan and allowed it to proceed, or they had a hand in it themselves. I certainly never expected to think that elements of the Bush Administration were complicit. Today, though, I am convinced that some people inside our government knew the attack was going to happen and allowed it to come to pass — because it furthered their political agenda. I say this after expending many hours researching things about the official story that don’t add up, and interviewing a number of witnesses with firsthand knowledge that contradicts what we were told. As a patriotic American, I say this with a heavy heart — and with an outrage that really knows no words. But it’s something we, as a nation, must come to terms with. Otherwise, it could happen again.
Note: For the questions raised by many other highly respected former government officials about what really happened on 9/11, click here.
All dogs are to be compulsorily microchipped so that their owners can be more easily traced under a crackdown on dangerous dogs. Under the scheme a microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin of the dog between its shoulder blades. The chip contains a unique code number, the dog's name, age, breed and health as well as the owner's name, address and phone number. When the chip is "read" by a handheld scanner the code number is revealed and the details can be checked on a national database. The measures will be set out by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, who will point to rising public concern that "status dogs" are being used by some irresponsible owners to intimidate communities or as a weapon by gangs. If the scheme were made compulsory owners would face a fine for failing to microchip their dogs.
Note: Once all dogs are required to be microchipped, what will come next? To be informed of some disturbing plans to microchip all of us, click here. For lots more on microchipping from reliable sources, click here.
Yukihisa Fujita is an influential member of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. As chief of the DPJ's international department and head of the Research Committee on Foreign Affairs in the upper house of Japan's parliament, to which he was elected in 2007, he is a Brahmin in the foreign policy establishment of Washington's most important East Asian ally. He also seems to think that America's rendering of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is a gigantic hoax. He questions whether it was really the work of terrorists; suggests that shadowy forces with advance knowledge of the plot played the stock market to profit from it; peddles the ... idea that eight of the 19 hijackers are alive and well; and hints that controlled demolition rather than fire or debris may be a more likely explanation for at least the collapse of the building at 7 World Trade Center, which was adjacent to the twin towers. As with almost any calamity whose scale and scope assume historic proportions, the events of Sept. 11 have spawned a thriving subculture of conspiracy theorists at home and abroad. We have no reason to believe that Mr. Fujita's views are widely shared in Japan. His proposal two years ago that Tokyo undertake an independent investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks, in which 24 Japanese citizens died, went nowhere.
Note: How interesting that the Washington Post is just now reporting this, when this brave Japanese politician presented his case on 9/11 to the Japanese parliament over two years ago. See the video of his presentation at this link. To read Fujita's revealing response to this editorial, click here. For lots more on 9/11, click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.