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.
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.
She knows more than 2,000 words, has friends in high places and loves cats and old films. But in her 40th year, Koko the ‘talking’ gorilla seeks a new challenge – a baby. Koko ... was taught American sign language when she was about a year old. Now 40, she apparently has a working vocabulary of more than 1,000 signs and understands around 2,000 words of spoken English. Forty years on, the Gorilla Foundation’s Koko project has become the longest continuous inter-species communications programme of its kind anywhere in the world. Over the years Koko has inadvertently become a poster child for the gorilla conservation movement. There are several subspecies of gorilla, and today, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, all are either endangered or critically endangered. There are thought to be more than 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild; just under 17,000 eastern lowland gorillas, 10,000 western lowland gorillas, and only 200-or-so Cross River gorillas. All are in sub-Saharan Africa and are threatened by either the illegal trade in bushmeat, loss of habitat due to logging and agricultural expansion, or disease. Some conservationists believe stories like Koko’s ... could be the answer.
Note: For an amazing video of an elephant who has been trained to be an artist, click here.
Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found. Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade, now claiming a life every 14 minutes. By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades because of huge investments in auto safety. This is the first time that drugs have accounted for more fatalities than traffic accidents since the government started tracking drug-induced deaths in 1979. Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. One relative newcomer to the scene is Fentanyl, a painkiller that comes in the form of patches and lollipops and is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Such drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Overdose victims range in age and circumstance from teenagers who pop pills to get a heroin-like high to middle-aged working men and women who take medications prescribed for strained backs and bum knees and become addicted. The seeds of the problem were planted more than a decade ago by well-meaning efforts by doctors to mitigate suffering, as well as aggressive sales campaigns by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Note: For more on pharmaceutical industry corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
[A recent] successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. The demonstration laid the groundwork for scientific advances that would allow drones to search for a human target and then make an identification based on facial-recognition or other software. Once a match was made, a drone could launch a missile to kill the target. The prospect of machines able to perceive, reason and act in unscripted environments presents a challenge to the current understanding of international humanitarian law. “The deployment of such systems would reflect a paradigm shift and a major qualitative change in the conduct of hostilities,” Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said at a conference in Italy this month. Drones flying over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen can already move automatically from point to point, and it is unclear what surveillance or other tasks, if any, they perform while in autonomous mode.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on Pentagon robotic weapons development projects, click here.
The political tempest created by Rick Perry's response to questions about his 2007 executive order requiring immunization of young girls is the wrong debate at the wrong time for the Texas governor's front-running presidential campaign. The heated political exchange over Perry's program to vaccinate all Texas school girls to protect them from cervical cancer caused by a sexually transmitted disease opens the door for critics to declare it an example of intrusive, big government to require such immunization, particularly for a sexually transmitted virus, even if, as Perry says, there was an opt-out provision for parents. The fact that Perry tried to implement the policy with an executive order, rather than proposing legislation mandating the vaccinations, spooks libertarians who don't want to see another president implementing policy through executive orders, as George W. Bush and Barack Obama have done on a wide range of social and security issues. The issue also highlights what [has been] dubbed "crony capitalism" - how big contributors and longtime friends of the Texas governor have been named to key state positions and won important policy victories in Rick Perry's Texas. Perry's former chief of staff, Mike Toomey, was a lobbyist for Merck, the manufacturer of the drug Gardasil, the vaccine that Perry sought to require for girls.
Note: Another media article points out that Perry grossly underestimated the amount of political contributions he received from Merck, the manufacturer of the drug Gardasil, the vaccine that Perry required for young girls.
[Abiotic oil theorists] hold that oil can be derived from hydrocarbons that existed eons ago in massive pools deep within the earth's core. That source of hydrocarbons seeps up through the earth's layers and slowly replenishes oil sources. In other words, it turns the fossil-fuel paradigm upside down. Thomas Gold, a respected astronomer and professor emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, has held for years that oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attacked by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs, he says. That ... raises the tantalizing possibility that oil may not be the limited resource it is assumed to be. In 2008 ... a group of Russian and Ukrainian scientists [said] that oil and gas don't come from fossils; they're synthesized deep within the earth's mantle by heat, pressure, and other purely chemical means, before gradually rising to the surface. The idea that oil comes from fossils "is a myth" that needs changing according to petroleum engineer Vladimir Kutcherov, speaking at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. "All kinds of rocks could have oil and gas deposits." Alexander Kitchka of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences estimates that 60 percent of the content of all oil is abiotic in origin and not from fossil fuels.
Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year, the Census Bureau reported [on Sep. 13], and the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it. And in new signs of distress among the middle class, median household incomes fell last year to levels last seen in 1996. Economists pointed to a telling statistic: It was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period, said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard. “This is truly a lost decade,” Mr. Katz said. The bureau’s findings were worse than many economists expected, and brought into sharp relief the toll the past decade — including the painful declines of the financial crisis and recession — had taken on Americans at the middle and lower parts of the income ladder. It is also fresh evidence that the disappointing economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens. The report said the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993. (The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314.)
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on income inequality, click here.
Militias in Afghanistan funded by the United States are terrorising the communities they were supposed to protect, murdering, raping and torturing civilians, including children, extorting illegal taxes and smuggling contraband, according to a damning new report from Human Rights Watch. In a 102-page report entitled 'Just Don't Call It a Militia' the group documents how the Afghan government and the US military have provided guns and money to paramilitary groups without adequate oversight or accountability. Because of their links to senior Afghan officials, many of these groups operate with impunity. Under US General David Petraeus, who recently left Afghanistan to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, Nato aggressively pursued a strategy of raising militias as a security quick-fix ahead of its departure in 2014. Because US law makes it illegal to finance groups facing credible allegations of human rights abuses, the report's findings could, potentially, put at risk a central plank of Nato's exit strategy if US lawmakers would have it so. The report follows an investigation earlier this year by The Independent that found US special forces were bankrolling an Afghan mercenary called Commander Azizullah in Afghanistan's south-eastern Paktika province. Under their patronage Azizullah had embarked on a spate of rights abuses including murders, rape, theft, torture, the mutilation of corpses and the desecration of a mosque.
Note: To read the HRW report on US-funded atrocities in Afghanistan, click here.
[Diane] Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment. Symptoms range from acute headaches, skin burning, muscle twitching and chronic pain. Diane believes her illness was triggered by emissions from a mobile phone mast. New research by scientists at Louisiana State University and published by the International Journal of Neuroscience, claims to show that EHS can be caused by low frequency electromagnetic fields found in the environment. "The study provides direct evidence that linking human symptoms with environmental factors, in this case EMF," says Dr Andrew Marino, a neurology professor who led the study. "It's a watershed in that regard. There have been no previous studies that scientifically assess whether electromagnetic fields in the environment could produce human symptoms. And the symptoms matter because they are the first steps that show how EMFs produce human disease."
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
I found myself at a conference on Walker Street called 'How The World Changed After 9/11'. It was packed, but I managed to slide in at the back, to hear a guy called Webster Tarpley chant his own list of names. The names of the 46 military exercises and hijack drills ... that were actually taking place on the morning of September 11. "The greatest density of drills in US military history," Tarpley said. The drills, said Tarpley, were important, because not only did they weaken and confuse US air defence, but there was also a military drill for each major component of the 9/11 attacks. The drills were cover, and the dummy threats were made real. September 11, he argues, was a coup carried out by a rogue network within the US military and government. A cabal of fascists, working with (and for) a banking oligarchy, "the old boys of Wall Street". "You want to blame Saudi Arabia, or Israel, or Pakistan? You can't. There isn't the evidence." The evidence, Tarpley says, points towards 9/11 as a false flag attack, carried out by a high level clique, that forced a shocked and awestruck US public into a vast and still ongoing war. It was America's very own Reichstag fire. What I heard, from speaker after speaker, was a heartfelt desire to turn away from the path of destruction, militarism and lies that America has been set upon after 9/11.
Note: For questions raised about the official story of 9/11 by hundreds of highly-respected citizens from all walks of life, click here and here. For a four-minute invited commentary at PressTV (Iran) by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow on the falsity of the official account of 9/11, click here.
Frederic Whitehurst had no idea what being a whistleblower entailed. He simply became outraged when he witnessed a colleague in the FBI laboratory giving misleading testimony in a criminal case two decades ago. So the supervisory agent decided to speak up, telling the defense experts about the inaccuracies. It cost him nearly a decade of his career, almost all his life savings, several emotionally draining internal investigations, the humiliation of a psychiatric exam, and an epic legal fight with the bureau. But the proudly stubborn Vietnam veteran persevered and ultimately prevailed in forcing sweeping ethical and scientific reforms at the vaunted FBI crime lab that began in the 1990s and still reverberate today. And while he’d do it all again, Whitehurst doesn’t want future whistleblowers to make the same mistakes he did. That’s why he and 19 other of America’s most famous corporate and government muckrakers of the last quarter century have banded together this month to donate thousands of copies of a book by their lawyer, Stephen Kohn, to libraries across America. Their goal is to give the next generation of American whistleblowers a roadmap, a virtual how-to guide to ensure they can call out wrongdoing successfully, be protected from the customary retributions, and maybe even cash in on False Claim Act awards that can reach into the millions of dollars. [They] are using their own money to buy copies of Kohn’s book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself, and donating them to libraries around the country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Bike sharing is on the verge of becoming an integral part of public transportation in cities across the globe. This system of impromptu bike renting is helping urban areas reduce automotive traffic and pollution while providing locals and tourists with a convenient, cheap and healthy means of transport. Currently, there are nearly 300 organized bike sharing programs worldwide. That number is growing – and not just in the West. In India, for example, the Ministry of Urban Development is preparing to launch a 10-city public bike scheme as part of its “Mission for Sustainable Habitat”. So how does bike sharing work? In most cities, visitors can purchase short-term subscriptions at bike stations themselves. Just walk up to a station’s electronic kiosk, choose the duration for which you need access to the service, and swipe your credit card. With more than 50,000 bikes and 2,050 bike stations, the Chinese city of Hangzhou is home to the world’s largest bike sharing program. Bike sharing is well integrated with other forms of public transport, with bike stations available near bus and water taxi stops.
Note: For more on this encouraging development, click here.
[A] chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the [9/11] hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released, [is about to be published]. Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the ... complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review. Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August. At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. The account published this week is missing two essential pieces that remain restricted or classified. One is about 30 minutes of the cockpit recording of United Airlines Flight 93. The other still-secret recording is of a high-level conference call that ... grew, over the course of the morning, to include ... Mr. Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard B. Myers. The recording was turned over to the National Security Council. The 9/11 Commission was not permitted to keep a copy of it or of the transcript ... and investigators were closely monitored when they listened to it.
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin has analyzed the use made by the 9/11 Commission of the audiotapes described in this article, in "9/11 Live or Fabricated: Do the NORAD Tapes Verify The 9/11 Commission Report?", concluding that they may well have been faked by the Pentagon to provide a basis for the Commission's otherwise unsupported claim that the FAA did not notify NORAD of the hijackings in time for an air-defense response. Prof. Griffin developed his argument further in Chapter One of his seminal book, Debunking 9/11 Debunking.
Dubbed the Toronto Hearings, [a] four-day event at Ryerson University — which wraps up [on September 11] — will hear from a variety of experts and academics on why the official narrative of 9/11 is flawed. Lance deHaven-Smith, a public policy professor at Florida State University, called 9/11 a "state crime against democracy," suggesting the destruction of the Twin Towers was staged to advance a war agenda. Speaker David Ray Griffin, who authored the book 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed, focused on alleged anomalies in the official report from the 9/11 Commission. The report, which he called a product of "the White House investigating itself," failed to include relevant information about the alleged hijackers, including the discovery that some were still alive after the attacks. Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, was similarly critical of a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology into how and why the Twin Towers collapsed in the fashion they did. "A steel structure does not collapse suddenly when attacked by fire," Ryan said, noting the institute's report "distorted many important facts." "We know that the official story does not fly," [conference organizer Graeme MacQueen said]. "The legitimate mourning is mixed together with myth and deception."
Note: For more on the historic Toronto Hearings, at which cutting edge research on the most important questions about 9/11 was presented, click here.
For ten years independent scholars and researchers have been investigating the troubling anomalies of the 9/11 official account. One such scholar, Dr. David Ray Griffin, has written ten encyclopedic books documenting fundamental problems with the government account. Although 9/11 has been the seminal event of this century, none of the research by Dr. Griffin and other critics has been reported by the North American media. Today, the formation of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, involving 22 investigators of the September 11th events, is being announced at consensus911.org. The 13 Consensus Points issued by the Panel were derived from a Delphi survey modeled on consensus statements developed by expert panels in medicine to guide diagnosis and treatment. The 9/11 Consensus Panel, co-founded by Dr. David Ray Griffin and medical librarian Elizabeth Woodworth ... include[s] two former NASA engineers, six professors, one physician, two lawyers, four journalists, and three pilots. The Consensus Panel offers the media and the public the scientifically validated information needed to address this seminal issue with the confidence that has been lacking.
Note: In addition to WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin, WantToKnow's Tod Fletcher is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel. They are both media contacts at the panel who can be reached by clicking here.
Following 9/11, reports of hate crimes against Arab-Americans, or those perceived to be, went up 1,700 percent. While distrust and ignorance toward American Muslims remains a reality today, we found the opposite in one Tennessee community. On one recent Sunday morning in Cordova, Pastor Steve Stone was rocking along with his congregation, clapping and singing along with the choir. Heartsong Church, just outside Memphis, sits on a rural road - directly across the street from a Muslim worship center. When Dr. Bashar Shala, co-founder of the Memphis Islamic Center, or MIC, began construction two years ago, at best, he hoped to be ignored. Instead, Stone welcomed the Muslims with a surprise - a sign welcoming MIC to the neighborhood. When they saw the sign, Shala said, "We knew that we have good neighbors." Acting on the biblical phrase "love thy neighbor," the two sides forged a friendship that's now expanded to plans for building a park with land from both sides of the road, connected by a bridge or a tunnel, and to interfaith events, such as a joint Labor Day party. One church member, Lee Raines, looking at tables with Muslims and Christians together, called it "awesome." Stone and Shala say they hope others will practice being good neighbors as they do. Not only have they fed the homeless and organized food drives together, this Sunday, on the 9/11 anniversary, they're hosting a joint blood drive.
Note: Watch a wonderfully inspiring, three-minute video on this unusual friendship.
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.