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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.
FBI agents took box after box of address books, family calendars, artwork and personal letters in their 10-hour raid in September of the ... house shared by Stephanie Weiner and her husband. The agents seemed keenly interested in Weiner’s home-based business, the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand, which sells silkscreened baby outfits and other clothes with socialist slogans, phrases like “Help Wanted: Revolutionaries.” The search was part of a mysterious, ongoing nationwide terrorism investigation with an unusual target: prominent peace activists and politically active labor organizers. Investigators, according to search warrants, documents and interviews, are examining possible “material support” for Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists. The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views. The activists have formed the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, organized phone banks to flood Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s office and the White House with protest calls, solicited letters from labor unions and faith-based groups and sent delegations to Capitol Hill to gin up support from lawmakers.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
How do you write a new constitution in the 21st century? You go where the people are — online. That was the decision of tiny but tech-savvy Iceland, which is overhauling its constitution in the wake of an economic catastrophe, and has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. The 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to Icelanders online, especially through social media sites Facebook and Twitter, video-sharing site YouTube and photo site Flickr. Iceland's population of 320,000 is among the world's most computer-literate. Two-thirds of Icelanders are on Facebook, so the constitutional council's weekly meetings are broadcast live on the social networking site as well as on the council's website. "To me, it has long been clear that a comprehensive review of the constitution would only be carried out with the direct participation of the Icelandic people," said Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, one of the champions of the constitutional review since taking office in 2009. The 25 members of the constitutional council were elected by popular vote from a field of 522 candidates aged 18 and over. The council is basing its work on a 700-page report prepared by a committee that took into account the findings of 950 randomly selected Icelanders — the National Forum — who met for a day to discuss the division of powers, conservation and protection, foreign relations and more.
Note: The media has given little coverage to how Iceland's public has repeatedly rejected strong pressure from international banks to buckle to their demands. For a great article going into this, click here.
An elite and secretive gathering of senior government officials and captains of industry is wrapping up a weekend confab at the chic Swiss resort of St. Moritz. The annual Bilderberg meeting's Web site said its annual conference ending Sunday dealt mainly with challenges for growth, security and democracy in Europe, the Middle East and China. The 130 attendees from Europe, North America and other countries -- among the invitees were EU President Herman Van Rompuy, members of European royalty, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt -- keep up an informal, off-the-record tradition that conspiracy theorists consider almost a shadow world government. This year's conference was held at an Alpine luxury hotel patrolled by private security guards that drew a left-wing demonstration Saturday.
Note: This secretive meeting of some of the most powerful people in the world has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Possibly as a result of this, they finally established a simple website in 2010 at http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org. The website claims that "the names of the participants as well as the agenda are made Public and available to the press." This was most definitely not true until just recently. For other highly revealing articles on secret societies of the global elite, click here.
Friday marks the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest, most expensive, most destructive social policy experiments in American history: The war on drugs. On the morning of June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon ... declared: “America’s public enemy No. 1 ... is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” So began a war that ... became an unmitigated disaster, an abomination of justice and a self-perpetuating, trillion-dollar economy of wasted human capital, ruined lives and decimated communities. Since 1971, more than 40 million arrests have been conducted for drug-related offenses. And no group has been more targeted and suffered more damage than the black community. Last week, the Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy ... declared that: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. [Forty] years after President Nixon launched the U.S. government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.” The White House immediately shot back: no dice.
The United States and Switzerland are in advanced talks on a multibillion-dollar deal that would let several Swiss and European banks join a common settlement and avoid potential U.S. prosecution for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes. As part of the agreement under discussion, known as a global resolution, U.S. government agencies would invite the banks to pay a fine, exit their undeclared offshore banking businesses for Americans, and turn over client names to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Justice Department. In exchange, the agencies would drop an ongoing investigation into the banks. It could not immediately be determined which banks could be invited to participate in the global resolution. The fines involved could collectively total several billion dollars, they said. Banks that "opt out" of the deal could face heightened scrutiny from U.S. authorities, including a possible legal summons for client names from the IRS and tougher scrutiny by the Justice Department. A resolution would signal another strong blow to the Swiss tradition of client confidentiality, whose laws date to 1934 but whose tradition goes back centuries.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
[Attorney-General Dominic Grieve's] refusal yesterday to request an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly was furiously condemned by campaigners, who are now planning [to] seek a judicial review of Mr Grieve's decision. Dr Stephen Frost, who has led a group of campaigning doctors, said the decision was "deeply flawed" with "no basis in law". Calling the continuing "cover-up of the truth" a "national disgrace", he said they were "perplexed and outraged" and called for Mr Grieve to resign. Dr Kelly's body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after he had been revealed as the source of a BBC report claiming a government dossier [on evidence for Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"] had been sexed up. The respected weapons inspector died aged 59, two days after he had faced MPs' questioning. The campaigning doctors ... pointed out the [Hutton] inquiry spent only half a day of its 24 days considering the cause of Dr Kelly's death and insisted no "coroner in the land would have reached a suicide verdict on the evidence". Yesterday Dr Frost added: "This Government has now revealed itself to be complicit in a determined and concerted cover-up."
Note: For much more on government secrecy from reliable sources, click here.
A NATO security report about "Anonymous" —- the mysterious "hacktivist" group responsible for attacks on MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Amazon and, most recently, Sony -— has led the underground group to respond by cautioning NATO, "This is no longer your world. It is our world - the people's world." NATO's report, issued last month, warned about the rising tide of politically-motivated cyberattacks, singling out Anonymous as the most sophisticated and high-profile of the known hacktivist groups. In response, Anonymous issued a lengthy statement ... that says, in part: "We merely wish to remove power from vested interests and return it to the people - who, in a democracy, it should never have been taken from in the first place. Our message is simple: Do not lie to the people and you won't have to worry about your lies being exposed. Do not make corrupt deals and you won't have to worry about your corruption being laid bare. Do not break the rules and you won't have to worry about getting in trouble for it." It goes on to warn, "do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous. Do not make the mistake of believing you can behead a headless snake. If you slice off one head of Hydra, ten more heads will grow in its place. If you cut down one Anon, ten more will join us purely out of anger at your trampling of dissent."
The military is dramatically upping its investment in drones over the next nine years, according to Pentagon plans. Medium and high altitude unmanned aircraft like the Global Hawk, Predator, and Reaper will balloon in number to 650 in fiscal year 2021, up from approximately 340 in fiscal year 2012. The emphasis on unmanned aircraft "is a direct reflection of recent operational experience and combatant commander (COCOM) demand," the aviation plan states. And what does that refer to? Just a few examples: There were 118 drone strikes in the ... Pakistan-Afghanistan border region of North and South Waziristan in 2010, up drastically from about 50 in 2009. Every day these systems are being flown by the U.S. worldwide. An advantage to using drones is the persistent surveillance they provide, having the ability to hover over a target for hours on end. National security expert John Pike likens it to an FBI stakeout of a gangster's social club. And another obvious benefit-- using unmanned drones allows the military and the CIA to avoid US casualties. "You avoid body bags, hostages, and public attention," says Pike. The procurement plan numbers released only focus on the larger, higher speed unmanned aircraft, and leave out the smaller systems the US has and plans to purchase. In total, the US currently has 8,000 drones of all sizes and capabilities.
Note: And what about the many innocent civilians killed by these drones? Drones are murdering people without any usage of a formal justice system, often with opposition from the leaders of the countries in which the strikes are made. Is this justice? For key reports on developing new war technologies, click here.
The nuclear fuel in three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant has melted through the base of the pressure vessels and is pooling in the outer containment vessels, according to a report by the Japanese government. The findings of the report, which has been given to the International Atomic Energy Agency, were revealed by the Yomiuri newspaper, which described a "melt-through" as being "far worse than a core meltdown" and "the worst possibility in a nuclear accident." Water that was pumped into the pressure vessels to cool the fuel rods, becoming highly radioactive in the process, has been confirmed to have leaked out of the containment vessels and outside the buildings that house the reactors. Elevated levels of radiation have been confirmed in the ocean off the plant. The radiation will also have contaminated the soil and plant and animal life around the facility, making the task of cleaning up more difficult and expensive, as well as taking longer. The pressure vessel of the No. 1 reactor is now believed to have suffered damage just five hours after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Melt-downs of the fuel in the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors followed over the following days with the molten fuel collecting at the bottom of the pressure vessels before burning through and into the external steel containment vessels.
Note: The UK Telegraph has been consistently reporting the bad news about the Fukushima catastrophe, but many other major media outlets have not kept the spotlight on this vital issue. Could that be because they are protecting the nuclear industry and its plans for expansion from the fallout of public opinion?
[Little] is known about this secretly organized, unofficial meeting of some 100 powerful figures, slated to take place June 9 to 12 in a luxury hotel in the Grison station [in St. Moritz, Switzerland]. Indeed, not even the dates of the gathering are confirmed. The Bilderberg group is one of the world's most famous clubs. It gathers bankers, politicians, industrialists, media movers and shakers, scholars and billionaires in a different location each year, usually in Europe. All the attendees share one condition of membership: discretion. Decade after decade, the Bilderberg group has fueled all kinds of speculation. Multiplied on online forums, these hypotheses, sometimes denounced as conspiracy theories, spread the idea that a powerful minority is carrying out its plan for a new world order. The idea is that important political and economic decisions are being made behind closed doors, with no democratic control. In March, the national counselor Dominique Baettig [denounced] "supra-national and non-transparent governance." The politician justifies his action: "This kind of gathering of powerful people of the globalized world goes against our principles of sovereignty." Criticisms about circumventing democracy are especially sharp this year in the context of the Arab revolutions.
Note: For many highly revealing articles on secret societies of the global elite, click here.
Inside Whitney Elementary School in East Las Vegas, nearly 85 percent of the children are homeless. That's 518 kids out of 610. Principal Sherrie Gahn says, "I thought that I saw the ultimate poverty when I got here eight years ago and every year it has gotten worse and the recession made it ten times worse." Gahn knew she had a problem that a traditional public school could not fix. "When I saw the children eating ketchup for lunch, and wanting to take it home," she says, "it just crushed me." So Gahn came up with a plan involving the kids, their parents and the community. "I told the parents that I would give them whatever they need," Gahn says. "All I need them to do is give me their children and let me teach them. In turn I will give you food and clothes and we will take them to the eye doctor. I will pay your rent, pay your utilities, but keep your child here." The children get free clothes, free bread to bring home and even free haircuts. Almost all of it given by 500 donors and local businesses who drop off donations daily. Principal Gahn has a bold dream. "I tell every 5th grade class if you make it through junior high you make it through high school and you can't afford to go to college come see me and I will make sure that you go to college," Gahn says. "We have a small trust fund that we started."
In February 1993, Mary's son, Laramiun Byrd, was shot to death. He was 20, and Mary's only child. The killer was a 16-year-old kid named Oshea Israel. Mary wanted justice. "He was an animal. He deserved to be caged." And he was. Tried as an adult and sentenced to 25 and a half years -- Oshea served 17 before being recently released. He now lives back in the old neighborhood - next door to Mary. How a convicted murder ended-up living a door jamb away from his victim's mother is a story, not of horrible misfortune, as you might expect - but of remarkable mercy. A few years ago Mary asked if she could meet Oshea at Minnesota's Stillwater state prison. As a devout Christian, she felt compelled to see if there was some way, if somehow, she could forgive her son's killer. Oshea says they met regularly after that. When he got out, she introduced him to her landlord - who with Mary's blessing, invited Oshea to move into the building. Today they don't just live close - they are close. Mary was able to forgive. "Unforgiveness is like cancer," Mary says. "It will eat you from the inside out. It's not about that other person, me forgiving him does not diminish what he's done. Yes, he murdered my son - but the forgiveness is for me. It's for me." For Oshea, it hasn't been that easy. "I haven't totally forgiven myself yet, I'm learning to forgive myself." To that end, Oshea is now ... singing the praises of God and forgiveness at prisons, churches - to large audiences everywhere.
Note: Watch a beautiful, moving video by the founder of StoryCorps, which led to this story.
The secretive Bilderberg Group ... is bringing together the world's financial and political elite this week. Conspiracy theories abound. It's only recently that the media has picked up on the Bilderbergers. Meetings are closed to the public and the media, and no press releases are issued. In the manner of a James Bond plot, up to 150 leading politicians and business people are to gather in a ski resort in Switzerland for four days of discussion about the future of the world. Meetings often feature future political leaders shortly before they become household names. Under the group's leadership of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and one-time EU vice president, Viscount Davignon, the aim is purportedly to allow Western elites to share ideas. But conspiracy theorists have accused it of everything from deliberately engineering the credit crunch to planning to kill 80% of the world population. Denis Healey, co-founder of the group, told the journalist Jon Ronson in his book Them that ... "The confidentiality enabled people to speak honestly without fear of repercussions." Secret cabals extend beyond the Bilderberg Group. The Illuminati ... is alleged to be an all powerful secret society. The Freemasons [is another] secret fraternity society. The conspiracy theorists may get overexcited, but they have a point, says Prof Andrew Kakabadse. The group has genuine power that far outranks the World Economic Forum, which meets in Davos, he argues. And with no transparency, it is easy to see why people are worried about its influence. The theme at Bilderberg is to bolster a consensus around free market Western capitalism and its interests around the globe, he says. "There's a very strong move to have a One World government in the mould of free market Western capitalism."
Note: Why is there so little reporting on this influential group in the major media? Thankfully, the alternative media has had some good articles. And a Google search can be highly informative. For many other revealing news articles from major media sources on powerful secret societies, click here. And for reliable information covering the big picture of how and why these secret societies are using government-sponsored mind control programs to achieve their agenda, click here.
Months after Bank of America wrongly foreclosed on a house Warren and Maureen Nyerges had already paid for, they were still fighting to get reimbursed for the court battle. So on Friday, their attorney showed up at a branch office in Naples with a moving truck and sheriff's deputies who had a judge's permission to seize the furniture if necessary. An hour later, the bank had written a check for $5,772.88. "The branch manager was visibly shaken," attorney Todd Allen said Monday, recalling the visit to the bank last week. "At that point I was willing to take the desk and the chair he was sitting in." After the moving company and sheriff's deputies get their share, the Nyerges should receive the rest of the money this week, ending a bizarre saga that started when they paid Bank of America $165,000 cash for a 2,700-square-foot (250 meter) foreclosed home in Naples in 2009. About four months later, a process server knocked on their door and handed Warren Nyerges a notice of foreclosure. That started 18 months of frustrating phone calls, paperwork and court hearings. Whenever Nyerges called the bank, representatives told him to "come up to date" with his payments. When he called 25 different law firms, no attorney would take the case. When he went to court, the lawyers for the bank filed incorrect motions and were woefully unprepared for the hearings.
Note: For a great two-minute video on this most unusual happening, click here.
[When Diarmuid Martin], the archbishop of Dublin, ... was sent home to Dublin in 2003 after 27 years in the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomatic corps, [he] found the Irish church in crisis, reeling from a cover-up [sexual abuse of minors] that spanned the tenures of four past Dublin archbishops. In February, Martin held an unprecedented “Liturgy of Lament and Repentance” at a Dublin cathedral, where he asked forgiveness from God and victims of abuse and praised the courage of those who had come forward. In return for doing the right thing, he has been ostracized by fellow bishops in Ireland and snubbed by the Holy See. “Martin is standing alone against the tide right now, but he’s on the right side of history,” said Jason Berry, who has written two books on the church scandal. “I think he is probably the single best hope for the church within the hierarchy.” Yet Martin, famous protector of victims, is an outlier of the club, while Cardinal Bernard Law, notorious protector of pedophiles, has a cushy Vatican sanctuary. And Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who was in league with the notorious abuser of seminarians and inseminator of women, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, is the dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome.
Lockheed Martin, the nation's largest contractor ... has received more than $19 billion in federal contracts so far this year. Lockheed has already spent more than $3 million lobbying Congress this year. Lockheed supports a platoon of Washington lawyers and lobbyists dedicated to getting more federal contracts. Sixty-four of Lockheed's lobbyists are former congressional staffers, Pentagon officials and White House aides. Two are former members of Congress. As such, they used to be on the public payroll, representing us. Lockheed also has been spending more than $3 million a year on political contributions to friendly members of Congress. Lockheed is hardly alone in using taxpayer money to get fatter contracts from taxpayers. All of the 10 biggest government contractors are defense contractors. Every one of them gets most of its revenue from the federal government. And every one uses a portion of that money to lobby for even more defense contracts. Next year's expected drawdown of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq is supposed to save money. But Lockheed and other giant defense contractors have made sure all anticipated savings will go to new weapons systems. Lockheed recently delivered a budget bombshell with a proposed tab of more than $1 trillion for a fleet of F-35 joint-strike fighter jets.
Note: $1 trillion for a fighter jet fleet means that each American will pay over $3,000 for this fleet. The author of this op-ed, Robert Reich, is former U.S. secretary of labor, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.
The former head of Israel's spy service has launched an unprecedented attack on the country's current government, describing it as "irresponsible and reckless", and has praised Arab attempts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Meir Dagan stepped down as the head of Mossad six months ago but has gone on the offensive in a series of briefings with journalists and public appearances because he feels that Israel's security is being mismanaged by Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister. Upon leaving his post, Dagan publicly warned against Israel attacking Iran to stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons. In his latest comments, he said that if Israel attacks Iran, it will find itself at the centre of a regional war that would endanger the state's existence. Dagan's intervention is dangerous for Netanyahu because it comes from the right wing of Israeli opinion rather than the left, where the prime minister would expect criticism. [Dagan] also criticised Israel's failure to offer any initiative to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. Dagan also endorsed Saudi Arabia's peace plan which offered Israel normal relations with all Arab countries if it reaches a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
When two senators warned that the Patriot Act is being interpreted in a secret way that would alarm Americans if they knew the details, civil liberties activists could only speculate about what they meant. The activists' fear: that the government is using the anti-terrorism law to collect vast troves of personal information, including cellphone records, on Americans who have no link to terrorism. Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, proclaimed that the Patriot Act's surveillance powers are being used far more expansively than most Americans realize. "Today the American people do not know how their government interprets the language of the Patriot Act," Wyden said. "Someday they are going to find out, and a lot of them are going to be stunned. Some of them will undoubtedly ask their senators: 'Did you know what this law actually did? Why didn't you know? Wasn't it your job to know, before you voted on it?'" The warnings by two lawmakers with access to secret information underscore the extent to which government surveillance is shielded from view, in an age when nearly every American leaves a digital trail through the Internet and mobile devices. A clue about Wyden's concerns may be found in a separate bill he is proposing, to forbid the government from tracking, without a court order, the location of Americans through the GPS signals given out by their cellphones.
Every now and then the dawn of civilization is reenacted on a remote hilltop in southern Turkey. Dozens of massive stone pillars [at this site are] arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe ... the site is [made] from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture. Archaeologists are still excavating Göbekli Tepe and debating its meaning. What they do know is that the site is the most significant in a volley of unexpected findings that have overturned earlier ideas about our species' deep past. Just 20 years ago most researchers believed they knew the time, place, and rough sequence of the Neolithic Revolution—the critical transition that resulted in the birth of agriculture, taking Homo sapiens from scattered groups of hunter-gatherers to farming villages and from there to technologically sophisticated societies with great temples and towers and kings and priests who directed the labor of their subjects and recorded their feats in written form. But in recent years multiple new discoveries, Göbekli Tepe preeminent among them, have begun forcing archaeologists to reconsider.
Note: Other discoveries reported in BBC and elsewhere suggest civilizations on Earth much earlier than most archeologists believe. For more on this, click here. As this fascinating article indicates, the early site uncovered at Göbekli Tepe may be related to a number of newly-excavated sites in the Levant from the "Natufian" period, yet archeologists are still puzzling over this one.
Chile's Communist Party wants a formal investigation into the death of the country's revered poet Pablo Neruda, who officially died of cancer only days after the 1973 coup toppled his close friend, President Salvador Allende. Several witnesses have raised doubts about his death recently, including Neruda's driver, who says he was poisoned by government agents. Neruda died at the age of 69 on Sept. 23, 1973, 12 days after the coup. He had just published a withering criticism of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship that eulogized Allende and accused Chile's soldiers of having betrayed their country. He'd won the Nobel Prize for Literature two years earlier, giving him great international prestige. Neruda died, officially of prostate cancer, in the same clinic where former President Eduardo Frei was allegedly poisoned in 1981 by six people, including several Pinochet agents, who were charged last year in connection with his death. Now Neruda's driver, Manuel Araya, has alleged that Pinochet agents injected deadly poison into Neruda's stomach. [There are] similar doubts about the deaths of Allende, Frei and Allende's defense minister Jose Toha, who was found hanged in a closet while in military custody.
Note: For important revelations from major media sources about assassinations of prominent political figures, 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.