As of June 4, we're $9,300 in the red for the year. Please donate here to support this vital work.
Subscribe here to our free email list

Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing media articles from the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These media articles are listed in reverse date order. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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.


Leaked emails shine rare light on Stratfor
2012-02-28, MSNBC/Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46555168/ns/us_news-security

Private intelligence firm Stratfor ... sells what clients and subscribers consider some of the best geopolitical analysis that money can buy. Now the Texas-based think tank is the latest target of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who says his anti-secrecy group has more than 5 million of Stratfor's emails and is promising to release damaging material in the coming weeks. The first, small batch published [on February 27] revealed clients that Stratfor has long safeguarded and refused to disclose. They range from local universities to megacorporations like Coca-Cola. An initial examination of the emails turned up a mix of the innocuous and the embarrassing. But Assange has accused Stratfor of serious deeds, such as funneling money to informants through offshore tax havens, monitoring activist groups on behalf of big corporations and making investments based on its secret intelligence. "What we have discovered is a company that is a private intelligence Enron," Assange told London's Frontline Club, referring to the Texas energy giant whose spectacular bankruptcy turned it into a byword for corporate malfeasance. In December, Stratfor founder George Friedman gave advice on handling sources to one of his analysts gathering information on the health of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. "If this is a source you suspect may have value, you have to take control (of) him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control to the point where he would reveal his sourcing and be tasked," the email read.

Note: For more powerful information on this most recent release of revealing documents by Wikileaks, click here. For verifiable information on astounding secret methods used to gain control of people as reported in declassified U.S. government documents, click here.


Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Forgiveness in Best Recovery Story
2012-02-28, Bloomberg/Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-28/icelandic-anger-brings-debt-forgi...

Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger. Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association. “You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” said Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.” Most polls now show Icelanders don’t want to join the European Union, where the debt crisis is in its third year. The island’s households were helped by an agreement between the government and the banks, which are still partly controlled by the state, to forgive debt exceeding 110 percent of home values. On top of that, a Supreme Court ruling in June 2010 found loans indexed to foreign currencies were illegal, meaning households no longer need to cover krona losses.

Note: The amazing story of the Icelandic people demanding bank reform is one of the most underreported stories in recent years. Why isn't this all over the news? To see what top journalists say about news censorship, click here. For blatant manipulations of the big banks reported in the major media, click here.


Almost year after tsunami, Fukushima nuclear plant in shambles, running on makeshift equipment
2012-02-28, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/investigation-finds-japan-wi...

Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima power plant remains fragile nearly a year after it suffered multiple meltdowns, its chief said [on February 28], with makeshift equipment — some mended with tape — keeping crucial systems running. An independent report, meanwhile, revealed that the government downplayed the full danger in the days after the March 11 disaster and secretly considered evacuating Tokyo. Journalists given a tour of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Tuesday ... saw crumpled trucks and equipment still lying on the ground. A power pylon that collapsed in the tsunami, cutting electricity to the plant’s vital cooling system and setting off the crisis, remained a mangled mess. The equipment that serves as the lifeline of the cooling system is shockingly feeble-looking. Plastic hoses cracked by freezing temperatures have been mended with tape. A set of three pumps sits on the back of a pickup truck. Along with the pumps, the plant now has 1,000 tanks to store more than 160,000 tons of contaminated water. The Unit 3 reactor, whose roof was blown off by a hydrogen explosion, resembles an ashtray filled with a heap of cigarette butts. Officials say radiation hot spots remain inside the plant and minimizing exposure to them is a challenge.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.


Portions of 9/11 victims’ remains taken to landfill, report says
2012-02-28, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/portions-of-911-victims...

Some human remains recovered from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa., were incinerated and dumped in a landfill, the Defense Department said ... in the latest revelation about mishandled body parts at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary. A new Pentagon review of the troubled mortuary disclosed several other problems — including fresh allegations of fraud and misplaced remains — over the past decade. The report said that the Sept. 11 remains in question “could not be tested or identified,” apparently because they were too small or charred to allow for DNA analysis. The remains were cremated and then mixed with biomedical waste at the Dover mortuary, where they were given to a contractor who incinerated them and dumped the residue in a landfill. The report cites Army and Air Force memos from July and August 2002 directing that an unspecified number of “remains from the Attack on the Pentagon” be incinerated. The report indicates that unidentified remains from the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, were disposed of in a similar manner. But the Pennsylvania coroner who oversaw the handling of remains from that attack said no body parts from Shanksville were ever sent to Dover or taken to a landfill. Wallace Miller, the Somerset, Pa., county coroner, said in news reports on Tuesday that all unidentified remains from Shanksville were buried in three caskets on Sept. 12 at a memorial site for Flight 93 as part of the 10th anniversary of the hijacking.

Note: Why would the Pentagon order the remains incinerated? Could it be they don't want an forensic investigation of the remains as they are not what is claimed? For more on the 9/11 cover-up, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


10 companies profiting most from war
2012-02-28, Market Watch/24-7 Wall St
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ten-companies-profiting-most-from-war-2012-0...

Global sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest defense contractors increased in 2010 to $411.1 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The increase reflects a decade-long trend of growing military spending. Since 2002, total arms sales among the 100 largest arms manufacturers have increased 60%. More and more, battles are fought remotely through air surveillance and strikes rather than on-the-ground combat. As a consequence, seven of the 10 largest companies are among the leading aerospace companies. Surveillance and battlefield communications also are increasingly important in modern warfare. All of the companies in the top 10 have significant electronics divisions. Of the 100 companies on the list, 44 are based in the U.S. The American companies account for more than 60% of arms sales revenue of the 100 manufacturers. Seven of SIPRI’s top 10 are American, one is British, one is Italian and one is a multinational EU conglomerate. These are the 10 companies profiting most from war. 10. United Technologies. Arms sales 2010: $11.41 billion 9. L-3 Communications. Arms sales 2010: $13.07 billion 8. Finmeccanica. Arms sales 2010: $14.41 billion 7. EADS. Arms sales 2010: $16.36 billion 6. Raytheon. Arms sales 2010: $22.98 billion 5. General Dynamics. Arms sales in 2010: $23.9 billion 4. Northrop Grumman. Arms sales 2010: $28.15 billion 3. Boeing. Arms sales 2010: $31.36 billion 2. BAE Systems. Arms sales 2010: $32.88 billion 1. Lockheed Martin. Arms sales 2010: $35.73 billion.

Note: For the top 10 most expensive weapons, including the $326 billion F35 fighter, click here.


Bill Gates' support of GM crops is wrong approach for Africa
2012-02-27, Seattle Times
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2017612869_guest28ashton.html

Bill Gates' support of genetically modified crops as a solution for world hunger is of concern to those ... involved in promoting sustainable, equitable and effective agricultural policies in Africa. His technocratic ideology runs counter to the best informed science. The World Bank and United Nations funded 900 scientists over three years in order to create an International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). Its conclusions were diametrically opposed, at both philosophical and practical levels, to those espoused by Gates and clearly state that the use of GM crops is not a meaningful solution to the complex situation of world hunger. The IAASTD suggests that rather than pursuing industrial farming models, "agro-ecological" methods provide the most viable means to enhance global food security. These include implementing practical scientific research based on traditional seed varieties and local farming practices adapted to the local ecology over millennia. Agro-ecology has consistently proven capable of sustainably increasing productivity. Conversely, the present GM crops generally have not increased yields over the long run, despite their increased costs and dependence on agricultural chemicals, as highlighted in the 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists report, "Failure to Yield."

Note: For an excellent summary of the risks posed by genetically-modified foods, click here.


Can three minutes of exercise a week help make you fit?
2012-02-27, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251

A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise, according to new research. This apparently outrageous claim is supported by many years of research done in a number of different countries. [Welcome to] the world of High Intensity Training (HIT). By doing just three minutes of HIT a week for four weeks, [you can] expect to see significant changes in a number of important health indices. But how much benefit you get ... may well depend on your genes. The fact is that people respond to exercise in very different ways. In one international study 1,000 people were asked to exercise four hours a week for 20 weeks. The results were striking. Although 15% of people made huge strides ... 20% showed no real improvement at all. The exercise they were doing was not making them any aerobically fitter. [HIT is] actually very simple. You get on an exercise bike, warm up by doing gentle cycling for a couple of minutes, then go flat out for 20 seconds. A couple of minutes to catch your breath, then another 20 seconds at full throttle. Another couple of minutes gentle cycling, then a final 20 seconds going hell for leather. And that's it. Active exercise ... seems to be needed to break down the body's stores of glucose, deposited in your muscles as a substance called glycogen. Smash up these glycogen stores and you create room for more glucose to be sucked out of the blood and stored. Like any new exercise regime if you have a pre-existing medical condition you should consult your doctor before trying it.

Note: For lots more on this, see the excellent article on mercola.com at this link. And for two amazing one-minute videos of a highly inspiring gymnast who is 86-years-old doing her routines, click here.


Cheat, lie, break the law? Chances are, you’re rich
2012-02-27, Globe and Mail (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/cheat-lie-break-the-law-cha...

The wealthy really are different from everyone else: They’re more likely to cheat, lie, and break the law. At least that’s the unflattering conclusion of a team of professors from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the University of California, Berkeley, who ran a battery of tests involving more than 1,000 people, seeking to answer the question of whether being rich or poor influenced ethical behaviour. In results from seven separate studies, they found a consistent tendency among those they termed “upper-class” to be more likely to break the law while driving, take valued goods from others, lie in negotiations, cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize and endorse unethical behaviour at work. The reason for the ethical difference was simple. Wealthier people are more likely to have an attitude that greed is good. At first glance, it might seem more likely that poorer people would be more tempted to cheat or break the law, in order to improve their lot in life. But a growing body of research is coming to the opposite conclusion – that it’s people at the top of the income scale for whom honesty, integrity, and generosity seem to be a challenge. In the United States, for instance, despite the perception that the rich are great philanthropists, data show that upper-class households donate a smaller proportion of their incomes to charity than do lower-class families. Other research has found that those who are well off have a reduced concern for others.


Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded
2012-02-24, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia's leading newspaper)
http://articles.philly.com/2012-02-24/news/31095897_1_church-lawyers-priests-...

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing. The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese's Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month. They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him. The cardinal died Jan. 31. The revelation is likely to further cloud Bevilacqua's complicated legacy in the handling of clergy sex abuse and could shape what happens at the historic trial, the first for a cleric accused of covering up sex abuse. Prosecutors say that Lynn, as the secretary for clergy, recommended priests for assignments despite knowing or suspecting that they would sexually abuse children. Facing trial with him are two former parish priests accused of molesting a boy in the 1990s, the Rev. James J. Brennan and Edward Avery. Lynn's lawyers argue that the new documents show he was one of the few church officials trying to confront the issue of abuse. After becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, they say, Lynn began combing the secret personnel files of hundreds of priests to gauge the scope of misconduct involving children. The result was his February 1994 memo that identified 35 priests suspected of abuse or pedophilia.

Note: For lots more on sexual abuse scandals from reliable sources, click here.


At the Monroe Institute, a spiritual experience could just be a beat away
2012-02-24, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/an-out-of-body-experience-c...

The Monroe Institute [is] a cluster of buildings perched on more than 300 acres in the Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The institute uses audio technology to help induce different states of consciousness. The technology is touted as creating optimal conditions for the brain, leading to “peak human performance.” A successful radio-broadcasting executive whose company produced 28 shows a month, [founder Robert] Monroe dedicated an arm of his firm to research and development. Monroe and his team ultimately developed Hemi-Sync, an audio technology based on the premise that certain tones can encourage the two hemispheres of the brain to synchronize and move into different states of consciousness. Monroe made numerous recordings that, when used with headphones, send slightly different tones through each ear, helping the brain to create a third “binaural” beat. The result: a collection of compact discs that purportedly can be used for everything from inducing sleep to increasing memory retention to, as the institute entices on its Web site, reaching “extraordinary” states. Over the years, Hemi-Sync has garnered three patents and been the subject of research both at the institute and by independent medical professionals, scientists and academics. University studies have discovered that the audio technology can improve the focus of children with developmental disabilities. By the institute’s estimates, 30,000 people from around the world have attended its programs, and millions have purchased Hemi-Sync compact discs. For many, the experience is “life changing."

Note: Founder Robert Monroe wrote two fascinating, popular books, “Far Journeys” and “Ultimate Journey,” which describe his amazing journeys out of body. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Monsanto Agrees To Pay Up $93 Million In Agent Orange Settlement
2012-02-24, NPR blog
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/24/147370124/monsanto-agrees-to-p...

More details about [a] preliminary agreement to settle an "Agent Orange" related class-action lawsuit filed against the Monsanto Company [have been released]. Monsanto agreed to settle a case over pollution claims made on behalf of current and former residents of the small town of Nitro, West Virginia. In a written statement today Monsanto says it's agreeing to pay up to $93 million dollars. $84 million of that would go toward medical monitoring for residents ($21 million up front and up to $63 million over 30 years). The company also is agreeing to spend up to $9 million to professionally clean homes in the affected area, which includes an estimated 4500 houses. Putnam Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope will now give the agreement a thorough review before giving the deal his final approval.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on corporate corruption, click here. For information on a major lawsuit and settlement for U.S. veterans injured by the government's use of agent orange, click here.


Ways to help: Making a difference
2012-02-23, CNN blog
http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/23/ways-to-help-making-a-di...

The most valuable weapon in the fight against human trafficking may be you. People from West Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, have all joined the fight. Watch the "Taking a Stand, Making a Difference" show [at the link above] in three parts. In the first segment, viewers horrified by our expose of working conditions for people [farming cocoa] in West Africa campaign for more Fair Trade products. Natalie, in Romania, was moved to stop eating chocolate until Fair Trade cocoa is on sale in local shops. Gerry, in New Zealand, tried to make a regionally-inspired dish using only Fair Trade products. Meanwhile, young Christians at a U.S. convention built a statue symbolizing the extent of slavery [and] raised $3 million for related charities. Their stories also offer practical ideas and information to others who want to get involved in helping the victims of modern-day slavery. In part two, the idea that people are not for sale is spreading across Ukraine, and one South Korean school is now campaigning to abolish the modern-day scourge. In part three, one woman beat her fashion bug to help women rescued from human trafficking. Amy Seiffert wore the same dress for six months and donated the money she would have spent on clothes to a local organization building a shelter for rescued women in Ohio. She says it was a small thing that reinforced the message that her ability to choose is [a] privilege denied to many. Along the way she inspired others, and the Daughter Project’s shelter is now a reality.

Note: The CNN videos included in this message are quite inspiring. Things are changing. Yea!!! For lots more inspiring news, click here.


Bras liberate women from sex slavery
2012-02-22, CNN blog
http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/22/bras-liberate-women-from...

Staring down a mountain of bras in her basement, Kimba Langas knew things had gotten out of hand. The stay-at-home-mom started collecting unwanted bras as a way to help women on the other side of the world. It started small through word of mouth, and then a Facebook page. But the bras quickly overran her home in suburban Denver, Colorado. They were in her basement, in her garage, in her car. They were in bags, in boxes, in envelopes. Her husband, Jeff, tried to navigate his way around them, but it wasn't easy. Langas collects unwanted bras for a charity called "Free the Girls" which gives them to young women coming out of sex trafficking in Mozambique - not to wear, but to sell in used clothing markets where bras are a luxury item and command top dollar. The girls can make three times the average wage, more than enough to support themselves and not be trafficked again. It was the pastor of her church who came up with the idea for Free the Girls. He was planning on moving to Mozambique for missionary work, and called Langas to see if she would run the project with him. She thought it sounded like fun. Shortly after launching the Facebook page, the bras started coming. The response was much bigger than she expected. "There was a drive in Arizona and the women collected 8,000 bras. There's a church in Tennessee that collected 3,000 bras. There's a group ... in Denver that collected 1,250 bras. It's just one of those things that caught on and spread."

Note: For lots more inspiring news, click here.


Greek debt nightmare laid bare
2012-02-21, CNN/Financial Times
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/20/business/greece-debt-report/index.html

A "strictly confidential" report on Greece's debt projections prepared for eurozone finance ministers reveals Athens' rescue programme is way off track. The ... debt sustainability analysis ... found that even under the most optimistic scenario, the austerity measures being imposed on Athens risk a recession so deep that Greece will not be able to climb out of the debt hole over the course of a new three-year, €170bn bail-out. It warned that two of the new bail-out's main principles might be self-defeating. Forcing austerity on Greece could cause debt levels to rise by severely weakening the economy. The report made clear why the fight over the new Greek bail-out has been so intense. A German-led group of creditor countries -- including the Netherlands and Finland -- has expressed extreme reluctance to go through with the deal since they received the report. A "tailored downside scenario" in the report suggests Greek debt could fall far more slowly than hoped, to only 160 per cent of economic output by 2020 -- well below the target of 120 per cent set by the International Monetary Fund. Under such a scenario, Greece would need about €245bn in bail-out aid, far more than the €170bn under the "baseline" projections eurozone ministers were using in all-night negotiations in Brussels on Monday.

Note: For key reports from major media sources exposing the interests served by the imposition of austerity on Greece and other countries, click here.


Treating Depression: Is there a placebo effect?
2012-02-19, CBS News 60 Minutes
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57380893/treating-depression-is-there-a...

Do antidepressants work? "The difference between the effect of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people," says Harvard scientist Irving Kirsch. Kirsch's views are of vital interest to the 17 million Americans who take the drugs, including children as young as six and to the pharmaceutical industry that brings in $11.3 billion a year selling them. Irving Kirsch is the associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School. He says that his research challenges the very effectiveness of antidepressants. Kirsch's specialty has been the study of the placebo effect: the taking of a dummy pill without any medication in it that creates an expectation of healing that is so powerful, symptoms are actually alleviated. Kirsch, who's been studying placebos for 36 years, says "sugar pills" can work miracles. Kirsch: Placebos are great for treating a number of disorders: irritable bowel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries, ulcers, Parkinson's disease. Even traumatic knee pain. In this clinical trial some patients with osteoarthritis underwent knee surgery, while others had their knees merely opened and then sewn right back up. In terms of walking and climbing, the people who got the placebo actually did better than the people who got the real surgery. And that lasted for a year. At two years after surgery, there was no difference at all between the real surgery and the sham surgery. It's not all in your head because the placebos can also affect your body.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on health issues, click here.


Brother, Can You Spare $6 Trillion?
2012-02-18, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/world/europe/italy-arrests-8-in-fake-us-tre...

The Italian police ... arrested eight people on charges related to the seizure of $6 trillion in fake United States Treasury bonds, in a mysterious scheme that stretched from Hong Kong to Switzerland to the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The value of the seized bonds is in the neighborhood of half of the United States’ entire public debt of $15.36 trillion, but only the uninitiated would have accepted them as real securities. Rather than counterfeit, they were what officials call fictitious, printed in 6,000 units of $1 billion each, a denomination that does not exist and the equivalent of $3 bills. The United States Embassy in Rome said its experts had examined the bonds, which bore the date 1934, and determined that they were fictitious and apparently part of a scheme intended to defraud Swiss banks. According to the Federal Reserve, such “fictitious instrument fraud” is increasingly common, and unwitting investors have been cheated of nearly $10 billion in recent years. In a common ploy, “criminals present fictitious financial instruments such as Federal Reserve notes, standby letters of credit, prime bank guarantees or prime bank notes in order to fraudulently collateralize loans,” the Federal Reserve says on its Web site. In 2009, Italian police seized phony United States Treasury bonds with a face value of $250 billion.

Note: There is a major problem with the claim that these are fake. If you were a counterfeiter and wanted to fake bonds, you would have to be out of your mind to fake them in denominations of $1 billion. As reported here, no one would ever dream of cashing them. For excellent research by David Wilcock suggesting that the bonds are real, and that this may be part of a huge, hidden manipulation, click here.


London-based oil executive linked to 9/11 hijackers
2012-02-18, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/september-11-attacks/9089896/London...

A Saudi Arabian accused of associating with several of the September 11 hijackers and who disappeared from his home in the United States a few weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, is in London working for his country’s state oil company. Abdulaziz al-Hijji ... flew to Saudi Arabia in August 2001. Security records of cars passing through a checkpoint at the Prestancia gated community indicated that Mr al-Hijji’s home, 4224 Escondito Circle, had been visited a number of times by Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 19-strong hijack team, who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 2001. The logs also indicated that Marwan Al-Shehhi, who crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower, and Ziad Jarrah, who was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, had visited the house. All three men had trained to fly at Venice Airport, which is 19 miles from Sarasota. Mr al-Hijji is resident in London, working for the European subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company. Described as a career counsellor, he is based in the offices of Aramco Overseas Company UK Limited and lives in an expensive flat in central London.

Note: The US media has failed to report on this major news, with the exception of a small newspaper in Sarasota, FL, where the hijackers had been training. For two revealing articles in that paper, click here and here.


Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
2012-02-18, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/technology/drones-with-an-eye-on-the-public...

A new federal law, signed by the president on [February 14], compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones. But while businesses, and drone manufacturers especially, are celebrating the opening of the skies to these unmanned aerial vehicles, the law raises new worries about how much detail the drones will capture about lives down below — and what will be done with that information. Some questions likely to come up: Can a drone flying over a house pick up heat from a lamp used to grow marijuana inside, or take pictures from outside someone’s third-floor fire escape? Can images taken from a drone be sold to a third party, and how long can they be kept? The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups are calling for new protections against what the A.C.L.U. has said could be “routine aerial surveillance of American life.” The new law, part of a broader financing bill for the F.A.A., came after intense lobbying by drone makers and potential customers. These manufacturers have been awaiting lucrative new opportunities at home. The market for drones is valued at $5.9 billion and is expected to double in the next decade, according to industry figures. Drones can cost millions of dollars for the most sophisticated varieties to as little as $300 for one that can be piloted from an iPhone.

Note: For more information on the use of drones by police in the US, click here. For more on the threats to civil liberties created by this new law, click here. For lots more from reliable sources on surveillance in the US, click here.


Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say
2012-02-17, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46424973/ns/business/t/foreclosure-abuse-rampant-...

A report this week showing rampant foreclosure abuse in San Francisco reflects similar levels of lender fraud and faulty documentation across the United States, say experts and officials who have done studies in other parts of the country. The audit of almost 400 foreclosures in San Francisco found that 84 percent of them appeared to be illegal, according to the study released by the California city. "The audit in San Francisco is the most detailed and comprehensive that has been done - but it's likely those numbers are comparable nationally," Diane Thompson, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told Reuters. Across the country from California, Jeff Thingpen, register of deeds in Guildford County, North Carolina, examined 6,100 mortgage documents last year, from loan notes to foreclosure paperwork. Of those documents, created between January 2008 and December 2010, 4,500 showed signature irregularities, a telltale sign of the illegal practice of "robosigning" documents. Robosigning involves the use of bogus documents to force foreclosures without lenders having to scrutinize all the paperwork involved with mortgages. The practice was at the heart of the foreclosure scandal that led to a $25 billion settlement between the U.S. government and five major banks last week.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on the illegal foreclosures made by the biggest banks and financial firms, the collusion of government agencies, and more, see our "Banking Bailout" news articles.


Canadian government is 'muzzling its scientists'
2012-02-17, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16861468

Speakers at a major science meeting being held in Canada said communication of vital research on health and environment issues is being suppressed. Prof Thomas Pedersen, a senior scientist at the University of Victoria, said he believed there was a political motive in some cases. The Canadian government recently withdrew from the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The allegation of "muzzling" came up at a session of the AAAS meeting to discuss the impact of a media protocol introduced by the Conservative government shortly after it was elected in 2008. The protocol requires that all interview requests for scientists employed by the government must first be cleared by officials. A decision as to whether to allow the interview can take several days, which can prevent government scientists commenting on breaking news stories. Sources say that requests are often refused and when interviews are granted, government media relations officials can and do ask for written questions to be submitted in advance and elect to sit in on the interview. Andrew Weaver, an environmental scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, described the protocol as "Orwellian". Professor Weaver said that information is so tightly controlled that the public is "left in the dark"."The only information they are given is that which the government wants, which will then allow a supporting of a particular agenda," he said.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on government corruption, 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.