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Strange, alarming, morbidly intriguing — any or all of those would serve to describe the newly announced “Zombie Gun” that Russian president Vladimir Putin plans to use “for achieving political and strategic goals” (his words, as quoted from the UK Mail Online). The concept is not new. For some time now military technologists have been working on weapons to incapacitate the enemy by attacking the central nervous system or damaging internal organs. Extremely high doses of microwaves could stop someone’s heart from beating or disintegrate his eyeballs, for example. Actually introducing such weapons to the combat zone – or perhaps against dissidents – might be new. Lower dose microwave weapons have already been used in Russia for crowd control, and some claim they’ve also tried them out in other venues. Quoting from the Mail Online: "Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced quietly last week by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Mr Serdyukov said: ‘The development of weaponry based on new physics principles – direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotronic weapons, and so on – is part of the state arms procurement programme for 2011-2020.’" [One weapon] could theoretically render someone pliable or even drive them insane by directly attacking the brain. This is the weapon most appropriately described as a “zombie gun.” Similar weapons have already been used on a trial basis.
Note: For an intriguing document on a U.S. military website about these exotic weapons, click here. From our extensive research, this technology is far more advanced than is being admitted, and it is being used by all of the major militaries of the world. For key major media articles revealing the disturbing power of these exotic weapons, click here. For an excellent essay giving historical background and more, click here. For powerful evidence the secretive HAARP program is being used for similar purposes, click here.
Emmanuel Saez is ... director of Berkeley’s Center for Equitable Growth. In 2008, on the cusp of the Great Recession, Saez co-authored a landmark study that revealed a stark gap between the earnings of America’s wealthiest households and the remaining 99 percent. Saez’s recent work shows that, while the recession initially reduced the income gap, postrecession gains have mostly gone to the top 1 percent. The extraordinary increase in income concentration in the United States from 2002 to 2007 was driven in large part by deregulation of the financial and real estate industries. The resulting real estate bubble triggered the 2008 recession. Evidence shows that progressive taxation is the most powerful tool for curbing income concentration. For example, from the Great Depression into the 1970s, when the U.S. had very high tax rates on top earners, the income gap was very small, and economic growth was incredibly strong. During the 1990s, incomes for the top 1% nearly doubled, while paychecks for the bottom 99% went up only 20%. Between 2002 and 2007 2/3 of all income gains went to the top 1%. In 2010, the first year of economic recovery, the top 1% captured 93% of income gains.
Note: For Prof. Saez's excellent study, "The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States" click here.
About 10 to 15 percent of the more than 1.4 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are [dealing] with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD results when a person experiences a traumatic event that involves exposure to personal threat or the death or extreme suffering of others; an event that creates strong feelings of fear, helplessness or horror. It's common for one to be greatly troubled by uncontrollable painful memories that cause emotional distress, ... sleep loss, irritability and inability to have positive emotions. The good news is that effective treatments for the disorder are available. To date, the [VA] has seen more than 223,600 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with PTSD. What stops vets from going for help? Going for treatment can feel like an admission of failure or personal weakness. And most people don't know much about what to expect of mental health treatment. In fact, treatment for stress disorder is a straightforward process. You learn about the effects of trauma ... and how recovery takes place. You form friendships with other vets. And you master some practical skills for dealing with painful memories, anger or physical tension. The earlier we treat combat veterans with readjustment problems, the better chance we have of stopping PTSD. Going for help is an act of courage that can cut short distress and restore a sense of personal power, hope and connection with others. If you are a veteran reading this ... seize the day and go for help. If you're a family member of a veteran with a problem, talk to him or her about treatment and offer to help with the process, or to go for counseling yourself to ... learn how you can help your loved one.
Note: For practical information on how to get help with PTSD, click here.
The ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has been a strong supporter of Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney. Mr. Hynes has won election six times as district attorney thanks in part to support from ultra-Orthodox rabbis. But in recent years, as allegations of child sexual abuse have shaken the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, victims’ rights groups have expressed concern that he is not vigorously pursuing these cases because of his deep ties to the rabbis. Many of the rabbis consider sexual abuse accusations to be community matters best handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their conclusions to the police. In 2009, as criticism of his record mounted, Mr. Hynes set up a program to reach out to ultra-Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. The program is intended to “ensure safety in the community and to fully support those affected by abuse,” his office said. In recent months, Mr. Hynes and his aides have said the program has contributed to an effective crackdown on child sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews, saying it had led to 95 arrests involving more than 120 victims. But Mr. Hynes has taken the highly unusual step of declining to publicize the names of defendants prosecuted under the program — even those convicted. At the same time, he continues to publicize allegations of child sexual abuse against defendants who are not ultra-Orthodox Jews. This policy of shielding defendants’ names because of their religious status is not followed by the other four district attorneys in New York City, and has rarely, if ever, been adopted by prosecutors around the country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on sexual abuse scandals involving religious and government institutions, click here.
For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome. “I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.” This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers. No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes. Last week, Dr. Segre and about 200 other scientists published the most ambitious survey of the human microbiome yet. Known as the Human Microbiome Project, it is based on examinations of 242 healthy people tracked over two years. The scientists sequenced the genetic material of bacteria recovered from 15 or more sites on their subjects’ bodies, recovering more than five million genes. The project and other studies like it are revealing some of the ways in which our invisible residents shape our lives, from birth to death.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.
Gregg Williams' profanity-filled speech to the New Orleans Saints' defensive players the night before their mid-January playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers included a target list: Alex Smith's chin. Vernon Davis' ankles. Kyle Williams' head. Frank Gore's head. And, according to audio captured ... Williams chillingly suggested that 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree "becomes human when we (expletive) take out that outside ACL." [This] provided more evidence against the Saints on a day when coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to appeal penalties for their roles in a bounty scandal that has rocked the league. The audio also raised anew some questions for the NFL. Has the league lost control of what is supposed to be the controlled violence of America's most popular game? And how might the sport be affected by its professional level's apparent disregard for player safety. While Williams' speech ... could easily be criticized for ill intent, it also illustrated the type of macho mentality that has existed in pro football since its inception. A former linebacker [Coy Wire] played under Williams with the Buffalo Bills when players were also paid cash in a similar bounty scheme. "Gregg Williams was part of a culture of relentlessness," says Wire. "It wasn't just him. It was a group of people who wanted to find a competitive edge." In its findings announced in early March, the league maintained that between 22 and 27 players from the Saints defenses from 2009 to 2011 were involved in the bounty program.
In a five-four ruling this week, the supreme court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor, at any time. [This joins] the NDAA, which lets anyone be arrested forever at any time, and HR 347, the "trespass bill", which gives you a 10-year sentence for protesting anywhere near someone with secret service protection. Is American strip-searching benign? The man who had brought the initial suit ... described having been told to "turn around. Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks." There's the sexual abuse of prisoners at Bagram, [where] in some cases, an interrogator would place his penis along the face of the detainee while he was being questioned. Other inmates were raped with sticks or threatened with anal sex. And there's the policy ... to grope US travelers genitally or else force them to go through a machine – made by a company, Rapiscan, owned by terror profiteer and former DHA czar Michael Chertoff – with images so vivid that it has been called the "pornoscanner". Believe me: you don't want the state having the power to strip your clothes off. History shows that the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations. Where are we headed? These recent laws ... are being set up to work in concert with a see-all-all-the-time surveillance state. Remember, you don't need to have done anything wrong to be arrested in America any longer. The man who was forced to spread his buttocks was stopped for a driving infraction. As one internet advocate said: "There is a race against time: they realise the internet is a tool of empowerment that will work against their interests, and they need to race to turn it into a tool of control."
Note: How sad that it takes a British newspaper to spell out the highly repressive and invasive new laws being passed in the US. For many revealing major media articles showing the dangers of big brother in our world, click here. For excellent articles revealing the severe erosion of civil liberties, click here.
The Rothschild dynasty is to merge its British and French banking operations to secure long-term control of the business and to boost the firm's financial strength ahead of the introduction of tougher capital requirements for banks. The 200-year-old banks will be reunited under a single shareholding that will bring together the fortunes of the French and English sides of the renowned family as they attempt to safeguard the business against the effects of new regulation and the fallout from the global financial crisis. Paris Orleans, the Rothschild Group's Paris-based holding company, will convert into a French limited partnership, securing the families' control of the bank against potential takeovers. The new partnership will then buy out minority investors in NM Rothschild & Sons, the UK business, as well as outstanding minority interests in the French operations. Paris Orleans has a market value of more than €500m (Ł415m) and is about 30pc owned by outside investors. The Rothschild Group employs 3,000 people in 42 countries and is one of the world's leading independent investment banks, advising some of the largest international companies on capital raisings and mergers and acquisitions. The bank also remains a player in the private equity industry and operates several merchant banking operations that invest directly in business across Europe and the rest of the world.
Note: Why is that these two hugely wealthy families get so little press coverage? Could it be that their wealth and influence exerts control over the major media? For more on secret societies which command huge hidden power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear plant says tons of highly radioactive water appears to have leaked into the ocean from a purification unit. The leak comes as Tokyo Electric Power Co. struggles to keep the melted reactors cool and contain radiation and raises concerns about its ability to keep the plant stable. Similar leaks have occurred several times since last year, and officials say they do not pose an immediate health threat.
Note: For an abundance of major media articles showing major problems with nuclear power, click here.
Conservationists counted 615 dead dolphins along a 90-mile stretch of beaches in Peru ... and the leading suspect is acoustic testing offshore by oil companies. "If you can count 615 dead dolphins, you can be sure there are a great many more out at sea and the total will reach into the thousands,” Hardy Jones, head of the conservation group BlueVoice.org, said in a statement after he and an expert with ORCA Peru walked the beaches. BlueVoice.org stated that "initial tests ... show evidence of acoustical impact from sonic blasts used in exploration for oil." The ORCA Peru expert, veterinarian Carlos Yaipen Llanos, said that while "we have no definitive evidence," he suspects acoustic testing created ... a sonic blast that led to internal bleeding, loss of equilibrium and disorientation. Another possibility is that the dolphins suffered from a disease outbreak, Yaipen Llanos said. "It is a horrifying thought that these dolphins would die in agony over a prolonged period if they were impacted by sonic blast," said Jones. Numerous dolphins first started washing ashore in January, with the largest amount coming in early February. Thousands of dead anchovies were also seen. BlueVoice.org noted that the U.S. has suspended similar testing in the Gulf of Mexico due to recent sightings of dead and sick dolphins. The ban was set to last through the dolphins' calving season, which ends in May.
Note: A San Francisco Chronicle article on this a few days later states, "All of the 20 or so animals ... examined showed middle-ear hemorrhage and fracture of the ear's periotic bone. ... Most of the dolphins apparently were alive when they beached." Clearly sonic blasts of some sort are driving these intelligent animals to beach themselves and commit suicide. For clear evidence this is the result of oil exploration, click here. For many other excellent media articles on whales on dolphins, click here.
During a whooping cough outbreak in California in 2010, immunized children between eight and 12 years old were more likely to catch the bacterial disease than kids of other ages, suggesting that the childhood vaccine wears off as kids get older, according to new research. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. The pertussis vaccine, a five-shot series referred to as DTaP, is recommended for children at ages two-, four-, six- and 18-months, and at four to six years old. The CDC recommends that at age 11 or 12 kids get the booster shot called Tdap. In early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an outbreak of whooping cough -- the largest seen in California in more than 50 years. [Dr. David Witt, senior author of the study,] had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease. "We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention," said Witt. Comparing the kids who got pertussis to the more than 22,000 kids in the medical center's database who didn't, Witt's group wrote in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that the vaccine is effective about half of the time for all kids, and just 24 percent of the time in the eight to 12 year old age group.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the dangers and questionable science surrounding vaccines, click here.
More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me." Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to [many] varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager -- spending his days tending the burgeoning plants. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.
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17-year-old Marian Bechtel might live in Pennsylvania, where land mines are not a common occurrence, but she has still managed to invent the prototype for a brand-new minesweeper. The device, [with a] cost far lower than current technology, uses sound waves to figure out where the deadly devices are. The combination of sensitive microphones and a seismic vibrator connected to a standard metal detector was tested, successfully, on mock plastic and metal land mines. It was a finalist in the recently concluded 2012 Intel Science Talent Search. The project was inspired by family connections and a lucky flash of inspiration. "My parents are both geologists," she says. "Years ago they got connected with an international group of scientists working on a project called RASCAN, developing a holographic radar device for detecting land mines. During the summer before eighth grade, I met all of these scientists and talked with them about their work and the land mine issue. I was really touched and inspired by what they had to say, and wanted to get involved in science and possibly land mine detection. I noticed that when I played certain chords or notes on the piano, the strings on a nearby banjo would resonate," says Bechtel. "I heard this, and it was almost like the story of the apple falling on Newton’s head -- I thought that maybe I could use the same principle to find landmines. So, I began doing research and talking with scientists in humanitarian de-mining and acoustics; three years later I had built a prototype."
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials. The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said the strip searches the majority allowed were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so. Justice Breyer said that the Fourth Amendment should be understood to bar strip searches of people arrested for minor offenses not involving drugs or violence, unless officials had a reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband. People have been subjected to “the humiliation of a visual strip search” after being arrested for driving with a noisy muffler, failing to use a turn signal and riding a bicycle without an audible bell. A nun was strip-searched ... after an arrest for trespassing during an antiwar demonstration. In a study of 23,000 people admitted to a correctional facility in Orange County, N.Y., using that standard, there was at most one instance of contraband detected that would not otherwise have been found.
Note: For an abundance of major media articles showing severe erosion of civil liberties, click here.
On 3 April  Maria de los Angeles Veron, known as "Marita", went missing. In February , 13 people accused of kidnapping Ms Veron and selling her to traffickers who forced her into prostitution went on trial in a court in Tucuman province, in the north west of Argentina. This case has become over the years a symbol of the fight against human trafficking in Argentina and most of South America. Especially because of what Mrs Trimarco has done over the last decade. In the search for her daughter she infiltrated herself into human trafficking gangs pretending to be interested in "buying" women. The information gathered by these actions led to police raids which rescued dozens of women who were being sexually exploited. Mrs Trimarco later launched the Fundacion Maria de los Angeles, named after her missing daughter. Since 2007 it has helped rescue hundreds of victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She and her husband Daniel, who died in 2010, asked at hospitals, and spoke to police and neighbours about Marita. No-one knew her whereabouts. After several days there was a breakthrough. Someone had seen her being pushed inside a vehicle by three men. And weeks later a prostitute confirmed their worst fears. They were told that their daughter had been "sold" to traffickers. Mrs Trimarco says the authorities in the province at the time, as well as former members of the police and the judiciary, were in collusion with the traffickers, which is why it was so difficult to find her daughter.
Note: Months after the above article was published, there were riots after the accused were set free. Ms. Trimarco said that "while she cannot prove it, she is sure that judicial corruption influenced the verdicts." For powerful information from a Discovery Channel documentary showing that this kind of corruption is also occurring at the highest levels in the US, click here.
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow [click here for interview]. "Curveball", the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi's lies used to justify the Iraq war. The chemical engineer claimed to have overseen the building of a mobile biological laboratory when he sought political asylum in Germany in 1999. His lies were presented as "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003. But Mr Janabi ... says none of it was true. US officials "sexed up" Mr Janabi's drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell's former chief of staff. "I brought the White House team in to do the graphics," he says, adding how "intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy". Another revelation ... is the real reason why the FBI swooped on Russian spy Anna Chapman in 2010. Top officials feared the glamorous Russian agent wanted to seduce one of US President Barack Obama's inner circle. The fear that Chapman would compromise a senior US official in a "honey trap" was a key reason for the arrest and deportation of the Russian spy ring of 10 people.
Note: For a Washington Post blog on this important development, click here. For a revealing essay by a top U.S. general on major war manipulations, click here. For many major media articles on this topic, click here.
In the late 1980s, Marcia Herman-Giddens, then a physician’s associate in the pediatric department of the Duke University Medical Center, started noticing that an awful lot of 8- and 9-year-olds in her clinic had sprouted pubic hair and breasts. The medical wisdom, at that time, based on a landmark 1960 study of institutionalized British children, was that puberty began, on average, for girls at age 11. But that was not what Herman-Giddens was seeing. So she started collecting data, eventually leading a study with the American Academy of Pediatrics that sampled 17,000 girls, finding that among white girls, the average age of breast budding was 9.96. Among black girls, it was 8.87. When Herman-Giddens published these numbers, in 1997 in Pediatrics, she set off a social and endocrinological firestorm. “I had no idea it would be so huge,” Herman-Giddens told me recently. “The Lolita syndrome” — the prurient fascination with the sexuality of young girls — “created a lot of emotional interest. As a feminist, I wish it didn’t.” Along with medical professionals, mothers, worried about their daughters, flocked to Herman-Giddens’s slide shows, gasping as she flashed images of possible culprits: obesity, processed foods, plastics. One concern, among parents and researchers, is the effect of simultaneous exposures to many estrogen-mimics, including the compound BPA, which is ubiquitous. Ninety-three percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies.
Note: For lots more on from reliable sources on important health issues, click here.
The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon. Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time. The Home Office says the move is key to tackling crime and terrorism, but civil liberties groups have criticised it. Tory MP David Davis called it "an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary people". A new law ... would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant. But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long. They would also be able to see which websites someone had visited. Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary David Davis said it would make it easier for the government "to eavesdrop on vast numbers of people". "What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access..." He said that until now anyone wishing to monitor communications had been required to gain permission from a magistrate. Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, called the move "an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran". The previous Labour government attempted to introduce a central, government-run database of everyone's phone calls and emails, but eventually dropped the bid after widespread anger.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here. Though this is interesting news, many know that the government has had easy access to all people's emails, phone calls, and more for many years through systems like echelon and more. For an abundance of major media articles showing how many of the power elite want to create a big-brother society, click here.
A new study of dolphins living close to the site of North America's worst ever oil spill – the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe two years ago – has established serious health problems afflicting the marine mammals. The report, commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], found that many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anaemic and suffering from lung and liver disease. More than 200m gallons of crude oil flowed from the well after a series of explosions on 20 April 2010, which killed 11 workers. The spill contaminated the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline in what President Barack Obama called America's worst environmental disaster. The research follows the publication of several scientific studies into insect populations on the nearby Gulf coastline and into the health of deepwater coral populations, which all suggest that the environmental impact of the five-month long spill may have been far worse than previously appreciated. The study of the dolphins ... followed two years in which the number of dead dolphins found stranded on the coast close to the spill had dramatically increased. Although all but one of the 32 dolphins were still alive when the study ended, lead researcher Lori Schwacke said survival prospects for many were grim. A study of deep ocean corals seven miles from the spill source jointly funded by the NOAA and BP has found dead and dying corals coated "in brown gunk". Chemical analysis of oil found on the dying coral showed that it came from the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Note: For other informative major media articles dealing with dolphins and whales, click here.
The biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com. This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake. Goldman Sachs was mortified when I began inquiring last week about its stake. It began working frantically to unload its shares. Backpage has 70 percent of the market for prostitution ads. Village Voice Media makes some effort to screen out ads placed by traffickers and to alert authorities to abuses, but neither law enforcement officials nor antitrafficking organizations are much impressed. A Goldman managing director, Scott L. Lebovitz, sat on the Village Voice Media board for many years. Goldman says he stepped down in early 2010. The two biggest owners are Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the managers of the company, and they seem to own about half of the shares. The best known of the other owners is Goldman Sachs, which invested in the company in 2000 (before Backpage became a part of Village Voice Media in a 2006 merger). That said, for more than six years Goldman has held a significant stake in a company notorious for ties to sex trafficking, and it sat on the company’s board for four of those years. There’s no indication that Goldman or anyone else ever used its ownership to urge Village Voice Media to drop escort ads or verify ages.
Note: For an abundance or major media articles revealing massive sex scandals implication top authorities, 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.