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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.
"Weaving Spiders Come Not Here" is the motto of San Francisco's Bohemian Club. The motto is supposed to represent the club's edict against doing business during its annual Bohemian Grove retreat, which commences Thursday on 2,700 acres 75 miles north of the city. The "weaving spiders" motto also provides cover for a club that discriminates against women. Business titans have long bankrolled the retreats. A roster of 2010 members released by norcaltruth.org - the club does not release its membership list - includes a couple of Rockefellers and the ubiquitous Koch brothers. Hence conspiracy theories about sinister deals cut amid the redwoods. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is a member. William R. Hearst III, trustee of the Hearst Corp. ... is a member. Sonoma State sociology Professor Peter Phillips attended the retreat in 1994. The club was the subject of his doctoral dissertation. "They're very clearly talking politics and business constantly." No weaving spiders? "I proved the opposite, quite clearly. I heard conversations about business. 'If GE comes in on the deal, we can get the Japanese to join' - three men walking down a trail together." Phillips' summation [is] that the retreat presents powerful "men celebrating their male eliteness, which is kind of how the world works."
Note: For more major media articles on powerful secret societies that work secretly to gain control, click here.
A few days ago, the United Nations chose North Korea ... as the new president of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, which describes itself as "the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community." Most of the conference's 65-nation membership publicly welcomed the new president, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon endorsed his ascension. Well, not to worry. The new Disarmament Conference president, North Korean So Se Pyong, promised to become "very engaged in moving the conference forward" so that it can "achieve concrete results." How reassuring. Perhaps his country would like to set an example for the world? Actually, North Korea is ... the only state that stubbornly holds on to a nuclear-weapons arsenal even though its leaders know full well that millions of their people are starving to death as a result. Right now, North Korea is facing a famine, and not for the first time. A calamitous food shortage in the late 1990s killed an estimated 2 million people. That time, once the world learned of the problem, months too late, it provided copious aid. This time, almost no one seems willing to help.
Supermarket tomatoes may look delicious — smooth, red and unblemished — but for the most part, they taste like nothing at all. [Barry] Estabrook is the author of a new book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. It lays out why supermarket tomatoes tend to taste so bad - and how they got that way. The tomatoes you see in those supermarkets have been bred for high yields and durability, not flavor. There's an even darker side to the modern commercial tomato, too. Up until recently, workers on many of Florida's vast industrial tomato farms were basically slaves. "People being bought and sold like animals," Estabrook says. "People being shackled in chains. People being beaten for either not working hard enough, fast enough, or being too weak or sick to work. People actually being shot and killed for trying to escape. That sounds like 1850's slavery to me." The situation is beginning to improve, he adds. It began with a group of tomato pickers called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The group had been lobbying since the early 1990s for a plan that included a pay raise and some basic workers' rights. "What they started concentrating on was the end-customers," Estabrook says. "They started, actually, with the Taco Bell restaurant chain." After four years of protests and boycotts, Taco Bell agreed to sign on and support the group's plan. Other chains soon followed, and even the powerful Florida tomato growers' committee came on board.
Note: In 2015, Wal-Mart became the most influential corporation to join the initiative promoted by Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The food and advertising industries have launched a multi-pronged campaign to squash government efforts to create voluntary nutritional guidelines for foods marketed to children. Calling themselves the Sensible Food Policy Coalition, the nation’s biggest foodmakers, fast-food chains and media companies, including Viacom and Time Warner, are trying to derail standards proposed by four federal agencies. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also lent its lobbying muscle to the effort. The guidelines are designed to encourage foodmakers to reduce salt, added sugars and fats in foods and drinks targeted to children. Public-health experts say children, many of whom may lack the critical-thinking skills to understand advertising, are bombarded daily by television ads, Web sites, toy giveaways and cartoon characters promoting junk food. The food and beverage industry spends about $2 billion a year marketing directly to children. The business community has portrayed the government’s guidelines as job-killing government overreach. “We allow companies into our homes to manipulate children to want food that will make them sick,” said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Note: The "Sensible Food Policy Coalition" is arguing against voluntary guidelines designed to help our children eat more nutritious food. Is that Orwellian doublespeak or what?
Police are investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard's inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal. The archive is believed to have reached back to January 2005, revealing daily contact between News of the World editors, reporters and outsiders, including private investigators. A senior executive is believed to have deleted "massive quantities" of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a fraction to be disclosed. The allegation directly contradicts NI claims that it is co-operating fully with police in order to expose its history of illegal newsgathering. Rupert Murdoch is planning to fly into London on [July 9] to confront the crisis. The scandal brought a number of arrests on [July 8], with the prime minister's former PR chief Andy Coulson held under suspicion of involvement in phone hacking. As he was released on bail, he told reporters: "There is an awful lot I would like to say, but I can't at this time." Clive Goodman, the NoW's former royal reporter, was also arrested in relation to the alleged payment of bribes to police, and subsequently bailed.
Note: For lots more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
The House on [July 8] overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department is the only one that will see a double-digit increase in its budget. Amid negotiations to cut spending and raise the nation's borrowing limit, the House rejected several amendments to cut the Pentagon budget, including a measure by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to halve the bill's increase in defense spending. "We are at a time of austerity. We are at a time when the important programs, valid programs, are being cut back," Frank said. Scoffing at the suggestion that "everything is on the table" in budget negotiations between the Obama administration and congressional leaders, Frank said, "The military budget is not on the table. The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else's lunch." Still, the overall bill is $9 billion less than President Barack Obama sought. The White House has threatened a veto, citing limits on the president's authority to transfer detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and money for defense programs it didn't want. The measure includes $119 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Note: For a powerful summary of the real reasons behind the endless series of US wars in the last century, click here.
The Agriculture Department has exempted a genetically engineered grass from federal regulation, a decision that some critics say could portend a loosening in oversight of biotech crops. The department said that an herbicide-tolerant Kentucky bluegrass being developed by Scotts Miracle-Gro was not subject to federal regulation because its creation did not entail use of any plant pests. The genetically engineered bluegrass contains a gene that allows it to tolerate the widely used herbicide Roundup, also known as glyphosate. That allows the chemical to be sprayed to kill weeds without harming the grass. The decision shocked some critics of biotechnology crops. “It’s a blatant end-run around regulatory oversight,” said George Kimbrell, senior lawyer at the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group. Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said other companies might follow the same strategy, putting the Agriculture Department “out of the game of regulation.” The critics say there have been other signs that the Agriculture Department has been looking to weaken regulation, like a proposed pilot project that would let companies provide more input into the environmental assessments of their crops.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the risks posed by genetically modified organisms, click here.
An international study which debunks research linking cellphones to cancer risks received major funding from wireless manufacturers. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified [the] radio frequency emitted by wireless devices as possibly carcinogenic, but a panel of international scientists recently published a study challenging these findings. But in the study's conflict of interest disclaimer, the panel acknowledged it received support from the wireless industry to conduct the research. A number of organizations, including the Mobile Manufacturers' Forum, were cited as sources of funding. Dr. Devra Davis, an American scientist who runs the non-profit education group [Environmental Health Trust] says the new study is "misleading" and "wrong." "It is propaganda," said Davis, who also founded the world's first Center for Environmental Oncology. Davis says cellphone safety is a major public health issue and governments need to move away from the idea of taking action after there are "enough sick people or dead bodies." "The fact that we don't have an epidemic right now is of course what we expect," she said. "It is actually preposterous to imply or they really say that because don't have any increase now, there's no problem. It's really very sad."
Note: For more on the health threats posed by cell phones, click here.
Someone has to turn on the lights in life. Someone has to do the jobs we take for granted. But you’d think Tyrone Curry would kiss his trash sack goodbye. Five years ago, the Evergreen High School custodian won the Washington State Lottery’s Quinto game. “I was dumping garbage,” he says. “Just like today. This is where I was when I found out I won the jackpot and took off running." His wife, Michelle had his winning ticket — worth ... $3,410,000. To celebrate, Tyrone went bowling, like he’s done every Wednesday night for 25 years. At 4 in the morning, he could be sleeping instead of raising the American flag outside Evergreen High. But he ducks his head and smiles. “Nah. You need to be doing stuff: That’s my philosophy.” Five generations have grown up around him since he came home from war and started taking care of kids. Budget cuts eliminated Tyrone's teaching assistant's job 35 years ago, so he stayed on as a janitor. He never went looking for another classroom because he found a better one — and a second job — out back. Tyrone isn’t just the Evergreen High School custodian; he also coaches the track team. And that’s where he decided to splurge with his lottery winnings. “I’m getting excited!” he says, watching runners circling toward him on the school’s old cinder track. This summer he’s building them a new one. State-of-the-art. Cost him 40,000 bucks. “I’m not done,” he chuckles.
Note: For a great two-minute video on this inspiring man, click here.
The Obama administration approved the secret detention of a Somali terror suspect on board a US navy ship, where for two months he was subjected to military interrogation in the absence of a lawyer and without charge. The capture and treatment of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame has rekindled the debate within the US about the appropriate handling of terror suspects. Civil rights groups have objected to the secret questioning of Warsame on board a navy vessel, an innovation that they fear could see a new form of the CIA's widely discredited "black site" detention centres around the world. The US government is turning to detention at sea as a way of avoiding legal and political impediments in the treatment of terror suspects, both domestically and on the international stage. Last week Admiral William McRaven, soon to become head of US Special Operations Command, told his confirmation hearing that militants captured outside Afghanistan were often "put on a naval vessel" to be held until they could be sent to a third country or a case was compiled against them for prosecution in the US courts. Officials told the Washington Post that Warsame was interrogated on "all but a daily basis" on board the ship. The right to a lawyer was withheld along with other habeas corpus rights known in the US as Miranda rights. Civil rights groups have said the secret interrogation was a blatant violation of the Geneva conventions that prohibit prolonged detention of suspects at sea.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on the illegal actions taken by the US government in its "global war on terror", click here.
What causes autism? Scientists still don't have an answer, but two new studies suggest that conditions in a mom's womb may trigger the developmental disorder. Heredity is considered a major factor that triggers autism spectrum disorders, but scientists have long wondered what roles - if any - environmental factors play. Scientists used California health records to identify 192 pairs of twins - fraternal or identical - where at least one was affected by autism. Using diagnostic techniques that included directly observing the children, the scientists found 77 percent of male identical twins and 50 percent of female identical pairs both had autism. Those findings weren't too surprising, considering identical twins share the same genes. But what surprised researchers were the high rates of autism spectrum disorders they found in pairs of fraternal twins: 31 percent rate for males and 36 percent for females. Fraternal twins, from two fertilized eggs, share no more genetic material than any other siblings. But since they share the same womb, that could play a role, said Dr. John Constantino, professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who wasn't involved in the new research. Constantino calls the research a "key finding that puts a spotlight on pregnancy as a time when environmental factors might exert their effects."
Note: For major media articles presenting evidence of a link between autism and vaccines, click here.
Early one morning, 50 years ago today, while his wife, Mary, slept upstairs, Ernest Hemingway went into the vestibule of his Ketchum, Idaho, house, selected his favorite shotgun from the rack, inserted shells into its chambers and ended his life. There were many differing explanations at the time: that he had terminal cancer or money problems, that it was an accident, that he’d quarreled with Mary. None were true. As his friends knew, he’d been suffering from depression and paranoia for the last year of his life. This man, who had stood his ground against charging water buffaloes, who had flown missions over Germany, who had refused to accept the prevailing style of writing but, enduring rejection and poverty, had insisted on writing in his own unique way, this man, my deepest friend, was afraid — afraid that the F.B.I. was after him. Decades later, in response to a Freedom of Information petition, the F.B.I. released its Hemingway file. It revealed that beginning in the 1940s J. Edgar Hoover had placed Ernest under surveillance because he was suspicious of Ernest’s activities in Cuba. Over the following years, agents filed reports on him and tapped his phones. In the years since, I have tried to reconcile Ernest’s fear of the F.B.I., which I regretfully misjudged, with the reality of the F.B.I. file. I now believe he truly sensed the surveillance, and that it substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide.
Note: The view that FBI harassment contributed to Hemingway's suicide is similar to the conclusion of many observers that the FBI hounded microbiologist Bruce Ivins to death by investigating him for involvement in the anthrax attacks that occurred just after 9/11. For an important analysis of the reality of the anthrax attacks by Prof. Graeme MacQueen of McMaster University, which makes it clear they could not have been carried out by a "lone nut" as claimed by the FBI, click here.
The CIA is reported to have used unmanned drones to target ... Somalia for the first time, attacks coinciding with the unveiling of a new US counterterrorism strategy shifting the war on terror away from costly battlefields and toward expanded covert operations. The strikes in Somalia ... bring to six the number of countries where the missile-armed drones have been deployed: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, and now [Somalia]. US officials quoted by The Washington Post yesterday claimed the two individuals targeted had "direct ties" to Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born cleric now based in Yemen. In May, al-Alwaki himself was targeted by a drone attack, but managed to escape. If confirmed, the strikes in Somalia would fit the new approach set out in the 19-page "National Strategy for Counterterrorism" released this week by the White House, and presented by John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top anti-terrorism adviser. There is no mention of the Bush era "global war on terror". In this campaign, America's main tools would be intelligence and Special Operations forces, backed up by the rapid deployment of what he called "unique assets", a reference to the drones that are becoming smaller and deadlier.
Note: Could it be that high-level members of the Obama administration believe that if they do not use the "global war on terror" slogan, the public will not perceive the continuation of the Bush administration's policies and methods by Pres. Obama? For critical reports from major media sources on the illegal and unjustified "global war on terror", click here.
People who started using mobile as teenagers and have been doing so for more than a decade are at a five-fold risk of developing a common type of brain cancer, new evidence indicates. The Swedish study found large increased incidence of astrocytoma, the most common form of a malignant brain tumour type called glioma, in those who had been using mobiles for over 10 years. The research, published in the International Journal of Oncology, was further evidence of the need to educate children of the potential dangers of talking on mobile phones. Researchers ... examined the mobile and cordless phone use of more than 1,200 Swedes, who were diagnosed with malignant brain cancer between 1997 and 2003. They then compared [their phone habits] to phone use information on almost 2,500 'controls'. The team concluded that using both mobiles and cordless phones led to "an increased risk for malignant brain tumours". People who started using mobiles as teenagers, and have done so for at least 10 years, were 4.9 times more likely to develop astrocytoma, compared to controls. Worringly, the comparable figure for cordless home phones - which are very similar to mobiles in terms of radiation emission - was almost as high, at 3.9. The study comes weeks after the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, stated that radiation from handsets was "possibly carcinogenic", although it stopped short of declaring there was a clear link. Air-tubes, such as the Air2Hear, cut radiation exposure to the brain to almost zero by replacing the last six inches of wire with a hollow tube down.
British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known. Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK. "This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally," wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. "We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear." Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power. Louise Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, said the emails looked like "scandalous collusion". "This highlights the government's blind obsession with nuclear power and shows neither they, nor the industry, can be trusted when it comes to nuclear," she said.
More than 100 days after the United States and NATO allies launched what was supposed to be a quick air campaign in Libya, Pentagon officials concede that the effort has little strategic value for the U.S., and the alliance’s desired outcome there remains unclear. What’s become an open-ended conflict, military officers and experts say, illustrates ill-defined U.S. objectives, the limits of relying solely on air power and the lack of diplomatic tools to broker an end to Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. The NATO effort is almost exclusively an air campaign, which is designed to ground Gadhafi’s warplanes and strike at his weapons sites. But at times it appears that NATO has tried to topple Gadhafi, which experts said demands ground forces, a larger air campaign and a clear plan for who will lead Libya in the aftermath of the regime. The hope was that by only using air power, NATO would reduce the costs and risk to troops. But experts say that air power only rarely leads to regime change and isn’t always cheaper. NATO believed that without Gadhafi’s air power, the rebels could claim control of the country within weeks — as quickly as the regimes fell in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. But instead, the rebels now control less ground than they did when the NATO intervention began.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the US/NATO wars of aggression, click here.
When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America's wars. Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on [June 29]. The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan ... spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion. Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due. In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people -- equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky -- have been displaced. In one sense, the report measures the cost of 9/11. What followed were three wars in which $50 billion amounts to a rounding error. For every person killed on September 11, another 73 have been killed since.
Note: To watch a video of WantToKnow team member Dr. David Ray Griffin's explanation that the war in Afghanistan was not justified by the 9/11 attacks, click here. For lots more from reliable sources on the US/NATO wars of aggression, click here.
Two companies incorporated at a little house in Cheyenne, Wyoming, won Pentagon contracts after their owner took advantage of the state's liberal incorporation laws to create the firms using an alias, and then represented them as minority-owned to win favorable treatment as a military supplier. The firms and their owner were later banned from doing business with the Pentagon for providing knock-off parts. A Reuters investigation has found that more than 2,000 companies are registered at 2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne, the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business incorporation company that specializes in corporate anonymity. A Reuters review of federal contracting databases found nine firms registered at 2710 Thomes Avenue have been awarded 93 contracts worth more than $1.6 million by a half dozen government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Treasury's Internal Revenue Service, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 90 percent of the contracts were awarded by the Department of Defense. The companies were created by Atilla C. Kan, an employee of another Pentagon supplier called New York Machinery. Kan formed the companies in Wyoming under the name John Ryan. He later used the alias, and a description of the companies as "minority-owned," "woman-owned" and "Hispanic-owned," when applying to supply military parts, the documents show.
Note: For more on this showing a vast level of corruption, click here and watch the Reuters video available here. For a powerful and deep analysis by David Wilcock on this important topic, which he calls the ultimate ponzi scheme, click here.
The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming. At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol. A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as "shell" companies, paper entities able to hide assets. Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a "shelf" company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity. All the activity at 2710 Thomes is part of a little-noticed industry in the U.S.: the mass production of paper businesses. Scores of mass incorporators like Wyoming Corporate Services have set up shop.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Look at the Department of Energy's 2012 budget request for the Livermore Lab and it becomes apparent that PR has an inverse relationship to budget. Some 89 percent of the funds are for nuclear weapons activities. Yet, more than 89 percent of the press releases showcase programs like renewable energy and science that receive less than 3 percent of the spending. This has caused many to believe that Livermore Lab is converting from nuclear weapons to civilian science. A major consequence of the chasm between public perception and where the money actually goes is that science at Livermore continues to exist on the margins - underfunded, understaffed and at the mercy of the 800-pound gorilla of the nuclear weapons budget. Consider the many benefits of transitioning Livermore from nuclear-weapons design to a "green lab," focused on nonpolluting energy development, climate research, basic sciences, nonproliferation and environmental cleanup. Livermore Lab is uniquely qualified to contribute in these areas. The lab already employs the right mix of physicists, other scientists, engineers, materials specialists, and support personnel for these undertakings.
Note: To learn more about how the public is being massively deceived around war and weapons spending, read what a top U.S. general had to say about this at this link.
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.