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The city of Bonn has begun collecting taxes from prostitutes with an automated pay station similar to a parking meter, proving again that German efficiency knows few if any bounds. Bonn is not the only city in Germany to charge such a tax, but it is the first to hit upon the idea of a ticket machine that prints out receipts for the nightly flat fee of 6 euros (currently about $8.65) for the privilege of streetwalking. The meter went into service over the weekend, and by Monday morning had collected $382 for the city’s coffers. Prostitution is legal in Germany; the Reeperbahn in Hamburg is one of the largest red-light districts in Europe. Attempts are often made to regulate the industry, unionize the workers and tax the proceeds, but they are not always effective, given both the discretion and the unpredictability that are inherent in the business. Street prostitution as practiced in Bonn, once the capital of West Germany and a town better known for sleepiness than sexiness, would be unfamiliar to many people outside Germany for its unusual degree of organization and institutionalization. The Siemens-built meter machine ... cost $11,575 including installation.
Note: Prostitution is legal and regulated in Germany and seven other European countries.
An engineered virus, injected into the blood, can selectively target cancer cells throughout the body in what researchers have labelled a medical first. The virus attacked only tumours, leaving the healthy tissue alone, in a small trial on 23 patients, according to the journal Nature. Researchers said the findings could one day "truly transform" therapies. Cancer specialists said using viruses showed "real promise". Using viruses to attack cancers is not a new concept, but they have needed to be injected directly into tumours in order to evade the immune system. The virus, named JX-594 ... was injected at different doses into the blood of 23 patients with cancers which had spread to multiple organs in the body. Prof John Bell, lead researcher and from the University of Ottawa, said: "We are very excited because this is the first time in medical history that a viral therapy has been shown to consistently and selectively replicate in cancer tissue after intravenous infusion in humans. Intravenous delivery is crucial for cancer treatment because it allows us to target tumours throughout the body as opposed to just those that we can directly inject."
Note: With millions of people dying of cancer every year, why isn't this being fast tracked like the AIDS drugs were? For exciting information from reliable sources on promising new cancer cure possibilities, click here.
A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi. The unclassified cable, which was posted on WikiLeaks' website last week, contained questions from a United Nations investigator about the incident. U.S. officials denied at the time that anything inappropriate had occurred. But Philip Alston, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said in a communication to American officials dated 12 days after the March 15, 2006, incident that autopsies performed in the Iraqi city of Tikrit showed that all the dead had been handcuffed and shot in the head. Among the dead were four women and five children. The children were all 5 years old or younger. Alston said that as of 2010 - the most recent data he had - U.S. officials hadn't responded to his request for information and that Iraq's government also hadn't been forthcoming. He said the lack of response from the United States "was the case with most of the letters to the U.S. in the 2006-2007 period," when fighting in Iraq peaked. Alston said he could provide no further information on the incident. "The tragedy," he said, "is that this elaborate system of communications is in place but the (U.N.) Human Rights Council does nothing to follow up when states ignore issues raised with them."
Note: For lots more on the atrocities and secret realities of the "Endless War" launched by the 9/11 false-flag operation, click here.
Details of shadowy CIA [rendition flights] have emerged in a ... New York courthouse in a billing dispute between contractors. The court documents offer a rare glimpse of the costs and operations of the controversial rendition program. For all the secrecy that once surrounded the CIA program, a significant part of its operation was entrusted to very small aviation companies whose previous experience involved flying sports teams across the country. In the process, the costs and itineraries of numerous CIA flights became part of the court record. The more than 1,500 pages from the trial and appeals court files appear to include sensitive material, such as logs of air-to-ground phone calls made from the plane. These logs show multiple calls to CIA headquarters; to the cell- and home phones of a senior CIA official involved in the rendition program; and to a government contractor, Falls Church-based DynCorp, that worked for the CIA. Attorneys for a London-based legal charity, Reprieve, which has been investigating the CIA program, discovered the Columbia County case and brought the court records to the attention of The Washington Post. “This new evidence tells a chilling story, from the CIA’s efforts to disguise its illegal activities to the price it paid to ferry prisoners to torture chambers across the world,” said Cori Crider, Reprieve’s legal director.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the hidden realities behind the "Global War on Terror", click here.
Guatemala has tracked down five survivors from a shocking US government research project on sexually transmitted diseases that killed scores of its people. On [August 29], a presidential panel disclosed new details of the medical experiments done in Guatemala in the 1940s, including a decision to re-infect a dying woman in a syphilis study. The Guatemala experiments are already considered one of the darker episodes of medical research in U.S. history, but panel members say the new information indicates that the researchers were unusually unethical, even when placed into the historical context of a different era. "The researchers put their own medical advancement first and human decency a far second," said Anita Allen, a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. From 1946-48, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau worked with several Guatemalan government agencies to do medical research - paid for by the U.S. government - that involved deliberately exposing people to sexually transmitted diseases. The researchers apparently were trying to see if penicillin, then relatively new, could prevent infections in the 1,300 people exposed to syphilis, gonorrhea or chancroid. Those infected included soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients with syphilis. The commission revealed ... that only about 700 of those infected received some sort of treatment. Also, 83 people died.
Note: For a long list of verifiable information on experiments where human were used a guinea pigs, click here.
The triple meltdown and its aftermath at the Fukushima nuclear power plant [have] elevated Japan into unknown, and unknowable, terrain. Across the northeast, millions of people are living with its consequences and searching for a consensus on a safe radiation level that does not exist. Experts give bewilderingly different assessments of its dangers. Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster ... said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse." Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. [But] Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima.
U.S. government researchers who purposely infected unwitting subjects with sexually transmitted diseases in Guatemala in the 1940s had obtained consent a few years earlier before conducting similar experiments in Indiana, investigators reported [August 29]. The stark contrast between how the U.S. Public Health Service scientists experimented with Americans and Guatemalans clearly shows that researchers knew their conduct was unethical, according to members of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. “These researchers knew these were unethical experiments, and they conducted them anyway,” said Raju Kucherlapati of Harvard Medical School, a commission member. At least 5,500 prisoners, mental patients, soldiers and children were drafted into the experiments, including at least 1,300 who were exposed to the sexually transmitted diseases syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid, the commission reported. “This is a dark chapter in our history. It is important to shine the light of day on it. We owe it to the people of Guatemala who were experimented on, and we owe it to ourselves to recognize what a dark chapter it was,” said Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania, the commission’s chairwoman.
Note: For a long list of verifiable information on experiments where human were used a guinea pigs, click here.
Some people give a bit back to their community. Then there’s Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell, who is giving back $800,000, his compensation for the next three years. Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than a starting California teacher earns. “How much do we need to keep accumulating?’’ asks Powell, 63. “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.’’ Powell’s generosity is more than just a gesture in a region with some of the nation’s highest rates of unemployment. As he prepares for retirement, he wants to ensure that his pet projects survive California budget cuts. And the man who started his career as a high school civics teacher, who has made antibullying his mission, hopes his act of generosity will help restore faith in the government he once taught students to respect. Powell’s answer? Ask his board to allow him to return $288,241 in salary and benefits for the next three and a half years of his term. He technically retired, then agreed to be hired back to work for $31,000 a year - $10,000 less than a first-year teacher - with no benefits.
What if we stood up for Main Street? Corporations and elected officials are making decisions that are impacting our lives, and we are at their mercy. Americans, many [of] whose lives have been destroyed by the 2008 subprime mortgage market disaster, resent the lack of accountability on the part of Wall Street for its role in this scandal. Few have been indicted for the market collapse and resulting meltdown of the global economy. After the federal government bailed out the financial institutions, it is back to business as usual. Corporate profits are accumulating and bonuses are raining down on the very players who created the bubble and crash in the first place. On the other hand, the taxpayers who bailed out Wall Street aren't doing so well. Instead of bonuses, we are suffering from unemployment and underemployment of epic proportions. Homeowners continue to lose their homes to foreclosure, and homelessness is on the rise. Public services, public safety and public welfare funding is being cut back or cut out. Public education has been decimated. American corporations have lost all sense of responsibility for U.S. citizens. While the U.S. economy fights to survive, corporations have turned their backs on those whose tax dollars kept our ship of state from sinking. Sending jobs overseas might improve corporate profit margins, but at what expense to the workforce and U.S. economy? These decisions have devastated American workers' lives. So, what needs to be done? What if we begin to stand up for Main Street?
Note: For a treasure trove of reports detailing the criminal collusion between the federal government and Wall Street financial corporations, click here.
Conspiracy theories have proliferated following the attacks in the US on 11 September 2001. An opinion poll ... for BBC's The Conspiracy Files in 2011, found that 14% of people questioned in the UK and 15% in the US did not believe the official explanation that al-Qaeda was responsible, and instead believed the US government was involved in a wider conspiracy. Among 16 to 24-year-olds that belief rises to around one in four. Ten years on from the attacks [conspiracy theories] now question every aspect of the official account. The starting point for 9/11 conspiracies is that many people find it hard to believe 19 young men, armed with just knives and box-cutters, could casually walk through airport security, hijack four commercial planes and then within the space of 77 minutes destroy three of the iconic symbols of America's power, in the face of the world's most powerful and technologically-advanced military superpower. It is a similar argument that questions whether a lone gunman could have killed President John F Kennedy, then the most powerful and best-protected man on the earth, or how someone so special as Princess Diana could die in a car crash. "We don't know the full story of exactly what happened," says American radio talk show host Alex Jones. "It needs to be investigated."
A decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security, setting up sophisticated radio networks, upgrading emergency medical response equipment, installing surveillance cameras and bombproof walls, and outfitting airport screeners to detect an ever-evolving list of mobile explosives. But how effective has that 10-year spending spree been? "The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year," said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism. "So if your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?" he said. The vast network of Homeland Security spyware, concrete barricades and high-tech identity screening is here to stay. The Department of Homeland Security, a collection of agencies ranging from border control to airport security sewn quickly together after Sept. 11, is the third-largest Cabinet department and — with almost no lawmaker willing to render the U.S. less prepared for a terrorist attack — one of those least to fall victim to budget cuts.
Note: For a powerful article that goes much deeper into huge sums of money wasted in the war on terror by journalist Glenn Greenwald, click here.
A once-secret CIA history of the Bay of Pigs invasion lays out in unvarnished detail how the American spy agency came to the rescue of and cut deals with authoritarian governments in Central America, largely to hide the U.S. role in organizing and controlling the hapless Cuban exile invasion force. The most powerful people in Central American embassies were the CIA station chiefs. Ambassadors step aside and allow the CIA to negotiate deals for covert paramilitary bases in a newly released portion of the CIA’s “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation.” “What you’re reading in this report shows again that in the hypocritical name of democracy the United States and CIA were willing to prop up some of the most cut-throat dictatorships,” says researcher Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He sued the CIA for release of the Top Secret document that dissects one of the agency’s greatest failures. Using secret interviews, cables and memos, CIA historian Jack B. Pfeiffer wrote the classified account of the disastrous operation to topple Fidel Castro. It’s unusually candid because nobody except spies were expected read it. Both the Eisenhower and Kennedy governments wanted to be able to deny responsibility for the invasion.
Note: To read the formerly-secret CIA history of the Bay of Pigs operation, just released by the National Security Archive, click here.
Thursday night’s “Secret Access” report by The History Channel — “UFOs On The Record” — is the sort of crisp advocacy journalism one might easily envision in PBS’ “Frontline” rotation. Devoid of the tripe that too often characterizes network programming on this issue, “UFOs On The Record” is a foundational model for jump-starting a national conversation so desperately overdue. The 96-minute documentary, built upon Leslie Kean’s UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, was produced by filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sudberg. Like Kean, they made no unsubstantiated claims and dispensed with the uninformed ruminations of so-called UFO skeptics that pass for “balance” in mainstream formulas. Instead, they mined official documents and eyewitnesses to build a compelling case for the serious disconnect between reality and American public policy. For Kean’s readers, the “Secret Access” treatment covered familiar turf: the Phoenix Lights, the Rendlesham Forest incident, the 1989-90 Belgian wave, etc. But watching many of the players in the book — like former Federal Aviation Administration accidents division chief John Callahan, and retired Belgian Gen. Wilfried De Brouwer — as they physically reconstructed complex interactions between UFOs and jet planes brought the enormity of the transactions to life.
Note: We don't usually use newspapers of smaller cities as a reliable source, but as no other major media reported on this most powerful documentary on UFOs, we're including this one here. To watch this astounding documentary free online, click here. For another detailed article on the program, click here.
Budd Hopkins, a distinguished Abstract Expressionist artist who — after what he described as a chance sighting of something flat, silver, airborne and unfathomable — became the father of the alien-abduction movement, died on Aug. 21 at his home in Manhattan. He was 80. After what he described as his own U.F.O. sighting, on Cape Cod in 1964, he began gathering the stories of people who said they had not only seen spaceships but had also been spirited away in them on involuntary and unpleasant journeys. As the first person to collect and publish such stories in quantity, Mr. Hopkins is widely credited with having begun the alien-abduction movement, a subgenre of U.F.O. studies. Later high-profile writers on the subject, including Whitley Strieber and the Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, credited him with having ignited their interest in the field. In eliciting the narratives — many obtained under hypnosis — of people who said they had been abducted, Mr. Hopkins was struck by the recurrence of certain motifs: the lonely road, the dark of night, the burst of light, the sudden passage through the air and into a waiting craft, and above all the sense of time that could not be accounted for. He went in search of that lost time.
Note: Prof. John Mack, mentioned in this article as inspired by the work of Budd Hopkins, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor at Harvard Medical School who initially rejected the possibility of alien abductions. Only after thorough investigation did he reluctantly come to the conclusion that this was a real phenomenon. For a powerful documentary featuring Mack's work on alien abductions, click here. For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by top government and military professionals on the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department has become one of the nation's most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government. The operations have benefited from unprecedented help from the CIA, a partnership that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying. The department has dispatched undercover officers, known as "rakers," into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They've monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as "mosque crawlers," to monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing. Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD's intelligence unit. A veteran CIA officer, while still on the agency's payroll, was the architect of the NYPD's intelligence programs. The CIA trained a police detective at the Farm, the agency's spy school in Virginia, then returned him to New York, where he put his new espionage skills to work inside the United States. And just last month, the CIA sent a senior officer to work as a clandestine operative inside police headquarters.
British businesses are scrambling to return to Libya in anticipation of the end to the country's civil war, but they are concerned that European and North American rivals are already stealing a march as a new race to turn a profit out of the war-torn nation begins. Business leaders with previous experience of making deals in Libya have told The Independent that plans are in hand to send a trade mission to Benghazi to meet leaders of the Transitional National Council (TNC). After five months of fighting in the world's 12th-largest oil producer, industry figures are acutely aware that billions could be made in the coming years from rebuilding Libya. Immediate focus will fall on the country's oil fields. There is also intense lobbying for the multibillion-pound reconstruction contracts that are likely to be offered once fighting ends. French and German officials have already begun trade negotiations with the TNC. In the years preceding February's revolution, British businesses played a key part in wooing Muammar Gaddafi – part of a wider campaign by Western intelligence agencies to roll back Libya's pariah status in exchange for investment opportunities. Sir Mark Allen, a veteran Arabist and deputy head of MI6 who led negotiations with Colonel Gaddafi, was even hired by BP after his retirement to help to secure drilling rights.
Note: For a powerful summary of the real reason for modern war, profit, by famed US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, click here.
Ignored by the media and dismissed by the Republican Party in general, liberty-minded Congressman Ron Paul leaped into third place today in the Gallup Presidential Nomination preference poll. Paul jumped over Michele Bachmann, relegating her to fourth-place in the current poll. Apparently the American people are starting to take notice, too. According to the most recent Rasmussen survey of likely voters, Ron Paul is a mere one point behind President Obama in a head-to-head matchup - a better result than any of the other GOP contenders received. This is despite the media blackout around Ron Paul's campaign, and despite the media's insistence that Ron Paul can't beat Obama. This poll suggests he can.
Note: We have seen a consistent and systematic campaign to block news reportage of candidates who are exposing the deeper political agenda like Congress members Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. For how the media is controlled to make this happen, click here.
Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits. By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s [actions] included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress. It wasn’t just American finance. Almost half of the Fed’s top 30 borrowers, measured by peak balances, were European firms. Data gleaned [under the Freedom of Information Act] make clear for the first time how deeply the world’s largest banks depended on the U.S. central bank to stave off cash shortfalls. Even as the firms asserted in news releases or earnings calls that they had ample cash, they drew Fed funding in secret.
Note: For a treasure trove of information from reliable sources on the government transfer of public assets to private banks and financial corporations, click here.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to protest about the arrest of anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare. Though a string of major corruption scandals such as the telecoms licence scam that cost the country up to Ł26bn, and the alleged fraud surrounding the high-profile Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has fuelled some of the fury, it is the grinding daily routine of petty corruption that is at the root. "You pay for a birth certificate, a death certificate," said Varun Mishra, a 30-year-old software engineer and one of thousands who marched in Delhi to support Hazare. "All your life you pay. And for what? For things that should be free." Hazare, 74, has harnessed this grassroots frustration to launch a popular movement. Having been jailed as a threat to public order, he went on hunger strike and refused to leave prison when released. He has finally left jail, having been granted permission to hold a 15-day fast in a public park. Hazare is campaigning for a powerful new anti-corruption ombudsman with the right to investigate senior politicians, officials and judges.
Note: Hazare's campaign drew huge public support and was in the end successful, yet he says there is still much to be done. Click here for more. For key reports from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
IBM has developed a microprocessor which it claims comes closer than ever to replicating the human brain. The system is capable of "rewiring" its connections as it encounters new information, similar to the way biological synapses work. Researchers believe that by replicating that feature, the technology could start to learn. Dharmendra Modha, IBM's project leader, explained that they were trying to recreate aspects of the mind such as emotion, perception, sensation and cognition by "reverse engineering the brain." The SyNAPSE system uses two prototype "neurosynaptic computing chips". In humans and animals, synaptic connections between brain cells physically connect themselves depending on our experience of the world. The process of learning is essentially the forming and strengthening of connections. IBM has not released exact details of how its SyNAPSE processor works. IBM's work on the SyNAPSE project continues and the company, along with its academic partners, has just been awarded $21m (Ł12.7m) by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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.