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.
A huge, 30-year study called COSMOS has been launched in Europe to determine whether cell phones cause cancer and other health problems. Meanwhile, policymakers in Sacramento are considering legislation to ensure people know how much radiation their cell phones emit. The wireless industry vigorously opposes such legislation. It argues that its phones comply with regulations, and there is no consensus about risks so people don't need to know this. Our research review published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found alarming results to the contrary. We reviewed 23 case-control studies that examined tumor risk due to cell phone use. Although as a whole the data varied, among the 10 higher quality studies, we found a harmful association between phone use and tumor risk. The lower quality studies, which failed to meet scientific best practices, were primarily industry funded. The 13 studies that investigated cell phone use for 10 or more years found a significant harmful association with tumor risk, especially for brain tumors, giving us ample reason for concern about long-term use. Nine nations have issued precautionary warnings. It is time for our government to require health warnings and publicize simple steps to reduce the health risks of cell phone use.
Note: For key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
AstraZeneca has completed a deal to pay $520 million to settle federal investigations into marketing practices for its blockbuster schizophrenia drug, Seroquel. AstraZeneca becomes the fourth pharmaceutical giant in the last three years to admit to federal charges of illegal marketing of antipsychotic drugs, a lucrative category of medications that have quickly risen to the top of United States sales charts. Aggressive sales and promotional practices have helped expand the use of powerful new antipsychotic drugs for children and the elderly. The company, based in London, has been accused of misleading doctors and patients by playing up favorable research and not adequately disclosing studies that show Seroquel increases the risk of diabetes. AstraZeneca still faces more than 25,000 civil lawsuits filed on behalf of patients contending that the company did not disclose the drugďż˝s risks. As a result of aggressive marketing, Seroquel has been increasingly used for children and elderly people for indications not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drugs have caused rapid weight gain in children, and side effects including deaths have prompted warnings against giving the drugs to elderly patients for dementia.
Note: For more on corporate corruption, click here.
Small farmers in California who have led a national movement away from industrial agriculture face a looming crackdown on food safety that they say is geared to big corporate farms and will make it harder for them to survive. The small growers, many of whom grow dozens of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, say the inherent benefits of their size, and their sensitivity to extra costs, are being ignored. They are fighting to carve out a sanctuary in legislation that would bring farmers under the strict purview of the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA would gain greater authority to regulate how products are grown, stored, transported, inspected, traced from farm to table and recalled when needed. But ... organic growers argue that the problems that have plagued the food industry lie elsewhere. They point to the sale of bagged vegetables, cut fruit and other processed food in which vast quantities of produce from different farms are mixed, sealed in containers and shipped long distances, creating a host for harmful bacteria. The legislation does not address what some experts suspect is the source of E. coli contamination: the large, confined animal feeding operations. "It does not take on the industrial animal industry and the abuses going on," said Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms in Madera.
Note: For an amazing trove of articles from reliable sources detailing the FDA's corruption in the interest of major corporations, click here.
You'd think that General Motors Co., having been rescued by U.S. taxpayers, would be more up-front with them. In an ad that has been blanketing the airwaves since last week, General Motors Chairman and chief executive Ed Whitacre boasts that "we have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule." In a press release, Whitacre said GM was able to repay the loans "because more customers are buying vehicles like the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse." Neither the ad nor the press release mentioned that GM repaid its government loan with other government money, or that U.S. taxpayers could lose money on the roughly $50 billion they still have invested in General Motors. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the repayment "appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle."
Note: For lots more on the bailout shell game from reliable sources, click here.
If you eat meat, the odds are high that you've enjoyed a meal made from an animal raised on a factory farm. The government designation is CAFO, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Basically, it's any farm that has 1,000 animal units or more. A beef cow is an animal unit. These animals are kept in pens their entire lives. They're never outside. They never breathe fresh air. They never see the sun. According to the USDA, 2% of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40% of all farm animals. This means that pigs, chickens and cows are concentrated in a small number of very large farms. There are simply too many animals in too small of a place. CAFO cows eat a diet of milled grains, corn and soybeans, when they are supposed to eat grass. The food isn't natural because they very often put growth hormones and antibiotics in it. When you have 2,000 cows per acre instead of two, you have a problem. You can't fit them in a pasture — you fit them in a building. You don't have enough land to absorb their waste. The manure is liquefied. It gets flushed out into an open lagoon [and] sprayed into waterways and creeks. This stuff is untreated, by the way.
Note: For two excellent and fun short videos showing both the problem and solutions for cruel factory farming, click here and here. For lots more little-known, excellent information to promote your health, click here.
Mystery surrounds the U.S. military's Orbital Test Vehicle, the X-37B OTV, which launched into space ... from the Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. Is it an aircraft? Is it the next generation space shuttle? How much does it cost? And why is it such a secret? The X-37B OTV is a classified Air Force project that has never been fully explained by the Pentagon. Some worry it may be the start of military operations in space -- that the plane might some day carry weapons to shoot down enemy satellites. Some are concerned it may be used as a quick-response vehicle that could be sent very quickly with weapons to a danger spot, said Victoria Samson of the Secure World Foundation. Unlike the re-usable space shuttle, the X-37B is unmanned and much smaller. It is controlled from ground stations. It can stay in space for 270 days, but the Air Force won't say how long it's staying up this time or what exactly it will be doing other than testing out its high tech guidance and navigation. The Air Force won't even say how many billions of dollars it's spending on the program. The OTV is the first vehicle since NASA's shuttle orbiter that has the ability to return experiments to Earth for further inspection and analysis, the Air force said.
A former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the F.B.I. has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001, told a National Academy of Sciences panel on [April 22] that he believed it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivinsďż˝s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts. Asked by reporters after his testimony whether he believed that there was any chance that Dr. Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, had carried out the attacks, the microbiologist, Henry S. Heine, replied, ďż˝Absolutely not.ďż˝ At the Armyďż˝s biodefense laboratory in Maryland, where Dr. Ivins and Dr. Heine worked, he said, ďż˝among the senior scientists, no one believes it.ďż˝ Dr. Heine told the 16-member panel, which is reviewing the F.B.I.ďż˝s scientific work on the investigation, that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleaguesďż˝ notice, he added later, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work. ďż˝Whoever did this is still running around out there,ďż˝ Dr. Heine said. ďż˝I truly believe that.ďż˝
Note: For more on the still-unsolved anthrax attacks, click here.
Cancer patients reeling from metastasis may be on the verge of a major victory. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College say new anti-cancer agents may stop metastasis -- or the migration of cancer cells from a tumor to other parts of the body -- dead in its tracks. “More than 90 percent of cancer patients die from tumors spreading,” Dr. Xin-Yun Huang, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medical College, [said]. “In turn,” he continued “[this] may increase the survival rate." Researchers found mice implanted with cancer cells and treated with the small molecule macroketone lived a full life without any cancer spread, compared to control animals -- which all died from metastasis. Dr. Huang and his team have been focusing on macroketone since 2003, and he admits to being extremely excited about the future possibilities for his research. While information-gathering is still in its early stages, Dr. Huang says it’s possible his team could get the green light for clinical trials in the near future.
Note: For more on this exciting development, click here. And why isn't this getting fast-track approval for studies? To learn how cancer cures which threaten billions in pharmaceutical losses are supressed, click here.
This is a story about a fickle little hormone that plays a large role in our lives. The name of the hormone is oxytocin, and until recently it was mostly dismissed by scientists. They knew it played a role in inducing labor and facilitating breast-feeding, but otherwise didn't give it much attention. But over the past 10 years, oxytocin has come up in the world, and several researchers have begun making big claims about it. Now dubbed "the trust hormone," oxytocin, researchers say, affects everything [in] our day-to-day life. To understand the role that oxytocin plays in your own life, consider the experience of a small 9-year-old girl named Isabelle. Isabelle has Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder with a number of symptoms. The children are often physically small and often have developmental delays. But also, kids and adults with Williams love people and are pathologically trusting: They literally have no social fear. Researchers theorize that this is probably because of a problem with the area in their brain that regulates the manufacture and release of oxytocin. Paul Zak, a researcher at Claremont Graduate University, ... says that in a normal brain, oxytocin is generated only after some concrete event or action: "When someone does something nice for you — holds a door — your brain releases this chemical, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear we have of interacting with strangers." Suddenly, you are filled with a sense that the person before you is not a threat. And then just as quickly, according to Zak, it disappears. "This is a quick on/off system." Unless, of course, the system gets disregulated, which is what Zak and other scientists say happens with Williams syndrome.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
While Goldman Sachs' lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman's chief executive visited the White House at least four times. White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman's employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers. Meanwhile, however, Goldman is retaining former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig as a member of its legal team. In addition, when he worked as an investment banker in Chicago a decade ago, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel advised one client who also retained Goldman as an adviser on the same $8.2 billion deal. Goldman's connections to the White House and the Obama administration are raising eyebrows at a time when Washington and Wall Street are dueling over how to overhaul regulation of the financial world. Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political scientist, said that "almost everything that the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and the money of Goldman ... as well as the suspicion that the White House, particularly early on, was pulling its punches out of deference to Goldman and its war chest."
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the corrupt relationship between the biggest financial firms and government, click here.
There isn't much attention paid to prescription drug abuse, except perhaps when a Hollywood star dies from an overdose. However, it is estimated that nearly one in five Americans has used prescription drugs for nonmedicinal reasons, and 15 percent may be abusing prescription drugs. This silent epidemic has become the leading cause of addiction. The dangers of prescription drug abuse are growing at an exponential rate. Between 1992 and 2002, the number of prescriptions written increased by 61 percent, but the number of prescriptions written for opiates increased by almost 400 percent. Opiates reflect three-quarters of all prescription drugs abused. According to a report this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations for poisoning by prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers jumped 65 percent from 1999 to 2006. One-third of new addicts report that their first drug experience was with prescription drugs. More and more teenagers are turning away from street drugs and using prescription drugs to get high.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
"Green" no longer just symbolizes money at business schools. So-called green MBAs - master of business administration programs that focus on sustainability - are a fast-growing part of the academic landscape, incorporating sustainability into all coursework. The [San Francisco] Bay Area is home to two pioneering programs that grant green MBAs - the Presidio Graduate School (www.presidioedu.org) with a campus in San Francisco's Presidio, and the Green MBA program (www.greenmba.com) at Dominican University in San Rafael. Other local MBA programs increasingly are going green, too. Stanford ranks No. 4, and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business No. 6 in "Beyond Grey Pinstripes," a biannual ranking that spotlights MBA programs that integrate social, environmental and ethical issues. Green MBA programs say they teach students to pay attention to the triple bottom line - people, profits and planet. Graduates of local green MBA programs [are] trying to use their degrees as a force for positive change.
Note: Click on the Chronicle link above to read the interviews with successful "Green MBAs".
Before Wikileaks, or even the Internet, there were just plain leaks. Two weeks ago, Wikileaks.org released a classified video showing a United States Apache helicopter killing 12 civilians in Baghdad. The reaction was so swift and powerful — an edited version has been viewed six million times on YouTube — that the episode provoked many questions about how such material is now released and digested. Put another way: if someone today had the Pentagon Papers, or the modern equivalent, would he still go to the press, as Daniel Ellsberg did nearly 40 years ago and wait for the documents to be analyzed and published? Or would that person simply post them online immediately? Mr. Ellsberg knows his answer. “I wouldn’t have waited that long,” he said in an interview last week. “I would have gotten a scanner and put them on the Internet.” Today, he says, there is something enticing about being independent — not at the whim of publishers or government attempts to control release. “The government wouldn’t have been tempted to enjoin it, if I had put it all out at once,” he said. “We got this duel going between newspapers and the government.”
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on government secrecy, click here.
The Securities and Exchange Commission suspected Texas financier R. Allen Stanford of running a Ponzi scheme as early as 1997 but took more than a decade to pursue him seriously. The report by the SEC's inspector general says SEC examiners concluded four times between 1997 and 2004 that Mr. Stanford's businesses were fraudulent, but each time decided not to go further. It singles out the former head of the SEC's enforcement office in Fort Worth, Texas, accusing him of repeatedly quashing Stanford probes and then trying to represent Mr. Stanford as a lawyer in private practice. The former SEC official, Spencer Barasch, is now a partner at law firm Andrews Kurth LLP. The inspector general referred Mr. Barasch for possible disbarment from practicing law. Mr. Stanford was indicted last June and accused of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that swindled investors out of $7 billion. SEC Inspector General David Kotz's report suggests the agency's mistakes in the Stanford case were in part the result of a culture that favored easily resolved cases over messier ones. Cases such as the alleged Stanford fraud weren't considered "quick-hit" and "slam-dunk," and examiners were discouraged from pursuing them, Mr. Kotz found.
Note: For many more examples from major media sources of the astonishing performance of the SEC in the runup to the Wall Street crisis, click here.
Why is it so hard to hold Wall Street accountable? Even as we speak the banking industry and corporate America are fighting against financial reform with all the money and influence at their disposal. Their effort is to preserve a system that would enable them to ransack the country once again. What can ordinary Americans do? That's the question I want to put to my guests, Simon Johnson and James Kwak. They have written this new book, 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown. It's a must read - already a best seller -- and it couldn't have come at a better time. This book could change the debate over financial reform by tipping it in favor of the public. Together James Kwak and Simon Johnson run the indispensable economic website BaselineScenario.com. [Moyers:] Let me get to the blunt conclusion you reach in your book. You say that two years after the devastating financial crisis of '08 our country is still at the mercy of an oligarchy that is bigger, more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever. Correct? SIMON JOHNSON: Absolutely correct, Bill. The big banks became stronger as a result of the bailout. That may seem extraordinary, but it's really true. They're turning that increased economic clout into more political power. And they're using that political power to go out and take the same sort of risks that got us into disaster in September 2008.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on the hidden methods used by financial corporations to manipulate the world economy and gain huge profits at the expense of taxpayers, click here.
Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released [on April 15]. Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.ďż˝s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he ďż˝agreedďż˝ with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to ďż˝take the heatďż˝ for destroying the tapes. ďż˝PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat,ďż˝ according to one document. A number of documents released Thursday provide the most detailed glimpse yet of the deliberations inside the C.I.A. surrounding the destroyed tapes, and of the concern among officials at the spy agency that the decision might put the C.I.A. in legal jeopardy. The documents detailing those deliberations, including two e-mail messages from a C.I.A. official whose name has been excised, were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. According to one of the e-mail messages released Thursday, Mr. Rodriguez told Mr. Goss that the tapes ... would make the C.I.A. ďż˝look terrible; it would be devastating to us.ďż˝
Note: For lots more on the realities of the "war on terror", click here.
Succumbing to the politics of fear during the 2008 campaign, Congress seriously diluted the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Americans by changing the 1978 law that governs electronic surveillance. In addition to supplying retroactive approval for President George W. Bushďż˝s warrantless wiretapping, the FISA Amendments Act vastly expanded the governmentďż˝s ability to eavesdrop without warrants in the future. It gave the National Security Agency authority to monitor the international phone calls and e-mail messages of Americans who are not engaged in criminal activity and pose no threat to national security. The measure weakened judicial supervision of how these powers are exercised, making abuse far more likely. An important case being argued [April 16] in New York City will help determine the extent of the damage. At issue is a constitutional challenge to the 2008 law filed on behalf of human rights, labor, legal, and news media organizations whose work requires sensitive telephone and e-mail communication with people abroad. Embracing the Bush administrationďż˝s approach, the Obama administration has sought to block the suit, contending that the plaintiffs lack the requisite ďż˝standingďż˝ to bring the challenge because they cannot show with certainty that they have been spied on. (Of course, any attempt to prove spying would likely be met by a flimsy claim of state secrecy.)
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
At a warehouse in New Jersey, 6,000 used copy machines sit ready to be sold. Almost every one of them holds a secret. Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive ... storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine. In the process, it's turned an office staple into a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal or sensitive data. If you're in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold. "The type of information we see on these machines with the social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms," John Juntunen said, "that information would be very valuable." Juntunen's Sacramento-based company Digital Copier Security developed software called "INFOSWEEP" that can scrub all the data on hard drives. He's been trying to warn people about the potential risk - with no luck. All the major [digital copier] manufacturers told us they offer security or encryption packages on their products. One product from Sharp automatically erases an image from the hard drive. It costs $500. But evidence keeps piling up in warehouses that many businesses are unwilling to pay for such protection, and that the average American is completely unaware of the dangers posed by digital copiers.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on threats to privacy, click here.
When it comes to fluoridating drinking water, Ontario and Quebec couldn't be further apart. Ontario has the country's highest rate of adding the tooth-enamel-strengthening chemical into municipal supplies, while Quebec has one of the lowest, with practically no one drinking fluoridated water. But surprisingly, the two provinces have very little difference in tooth-decay rates, a finding that is likely to intensify the ongoing controversy over the practice of adding fluoride to water as a public health measure. Quebeckers have more cavities than people in Ontario, but the difference is slight. Among children 6 to 19, considered the most decay-prone part of the population, the rate in Ontario was lower by less than half a cavity per child. In the 6-11 age group, Ontario kids have 3.5 per cent fewer cavities than those in Quebec: 1.7 cavities compared to 1.76.
Note: For key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
For years, the Catholic Church has quietly sent priests accused of sexual transgressions to psychiatric centers for treatment. Dr. Leslie Lothstein has treated more than 300 Catholic priests at one of those centers, the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. Lothstein, who is not Catholic himself, says many of his patients have sexual problems. And he says the church does not always follow psychologists' directives about patients who are treated. "My experience was that if it was said to one of the clergy who was in charge ... that this person needs to have much more supervision, they would say, 'Oh yes, yes, it'll be there, they'll have supervision.' But then what happened was they went back to their normal, everyday work. And in going back to it, we learned much later that they didn't have the supervision." Lothstein says there's a "universal feeling" that if a priest has had sexual activity with a child, he should not be around children. But, he says, it didn't always work out that way. "In my experience, there were some people who were sent right back to working in youth ministries, and they often offended," he says. "There was also a subgroup of people that I saw in my private practice where they were sent back by their religious order to a foreign country, and within that country continued to molest children. And it was just horrible."
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.