Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
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.
A scandal over leaked Vatican documents and reports of political infighting, financial mismanagement and administrative chaos in its frescoed halls have cast a cloud over this weekend's ceremony to create 22 new cardinals. Reports abound in the Italian media of cardinals and their supporters jockeying for prominence ahead of a future papal election, and of a Vatican bureaucracy in disarray as [84-year-old Pope] Benedict focuses his waning strength on other matters. The Vatican spokesman has been doing serious damage control of late amid reports and leaked documents alleging corruption in the running of the Vatican city state and money laundering at the Vatican bank. The scandal began last month with the publication of letters from the former No. 2 Vatican administrator, who begged the pope not to be transferred after he exposed millions of euros in cost overruns in the Vatican administration. He was then removed and named the Vatican's U.S. ambassador in Washington. Subsequent news reports focused on four priests under investigation for allegedly using Vatican bank accounts to launder cash. The pope's top banker, meanwhile, remains under investigation for allegedly breaking Italy's anti-money laundering law by trying to transfer cash from two Vatican bank accounts without identifying the sender or the recipient.
Note: For other revealing news articles on major child abuse scandals in the Catholic church, click here.
Italian authorities on [February 17] arrested eight people in possession of an estimated $6 trillion in counterfeit U.S. Treasury bonds, according to Italian paramilitary police and an Italian news agency. The discovery of the fake bonds -- made to look as if they were printed by the U.S. Federal Reserve in 1934 -- came about as part of an investigation into a local mafia association. The arrest order for the alleged criminals was issued by a preliminary investigative judge in the southern Italian city of Potenza, police noted. Italian authorities, working with their Swiss counterparts, learned about the counterfeit bonds by way of eavesdropping on wiretapped phones, police said. The total of $6 trillion is more than twice the Italy's national debt. The Italian news agency, ANSA, reported that the bonds were also discovered "alongside copies of the Treaty of Versailles rolled inside lead cylinders."
Note: Who would be stupid enough to fake bonds in denominations of hundreds of billions of dollars? This is highly unlikely, as no one would ever cash them, unless there is much more to this than meets the eye. Could this be part of the arrests David Wilcock has been predicting in his powerful essay at this link? Wilcock has lots of corroborated information on these very strange bonds worth astronomical figures.
[A] report from San Francisco auditors [shows] that 84 percent of foreclosures examined contained at least one violation of the law by the foreclosing party. The report is only the latest in a series of incidents involving bad actors in the foreclosure crisis. In fact, problems have been so rampant that banks now require many buyers of foreclosed homes to sign contracts absolving the bank of liability should irregularities appear with the original foreclosure. In light of these negligent practices, the $26 billion settlement last week between the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general and the major banks raises as many questions as answers. For instance: If a house is illegally foreclosed upon and subsequently sold by the bank, who owns the home? The new buyer or the original owner? Untangling this mess might require new consumer protections, not just a payout from the banks accused of wrongdoing. The best way to prevent foreclosure problems, however, has always been to prevent foreclosures in the first place. Offering families facing foreclosure the same bankruptcy protections enjoyed by business speculators is one place to start. As it stands today, a single family that buys a home in a housing development is treated differently in bankruptcy court than a businessman who bought 10 units in the same project. If and when the housing bubble bursts, the underwater speculator is able to seek bankruptcy relief on all 10 units, while the owner of the single home is left out in the cold.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the impacts of the financial crisis on homeowners, click here.
German President Christian Wulff has announced his resignation, after prosecutors called for his immunity to be lifted. An ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Wulff, 52, stepped down over corruption claims involving a dubious home loan. German media say the crisis is unprecedented in post-war Germany. The president's role is largely ceremonial, to serve as a moral authority for the nation. "The developments of the past few days and weeks have shown that [the German people's] trust and thus my effectiveness have been seriously damaged," Mr Wulff said in a brief statement. "For this reason it is no longer possible for me to exercise the office of president at home and abroad as required." At the centre of the row is the story - first published by the Bild newspaper - that Mr Wulff received a low interest 500,000 euro loan (Ł417,000; $649,000) from the wife of a wealthy businessman in October 2008. Mr Wulff, who previously was premier of Lower Saxony, was later asked in the state's parliament if he had had business relations with the businessman, Egon Geerkens, and said he had not, making no mention of his dealings with Mr Geerkens's wife. The president was also heavily criticised for trying to force Bild not to break the story in the first place. It has emerged that he left an angry message on Bild chief editor Kai Diekmann's phone, saying the story must not be published. There were also corruption allegations against Mr Wulff, involving receiving political favours and free holidays from business executives.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Six workers at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina face criminal charges after an undercover video revealed alleged animal abuse, and a state employee who tipped off Butterball before a police raid on the farm has pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Butterball ... accounts for 20 percent of total turkey production in the U.S.. Mercy for Animals [is] the animal rights group that shot the undercover video. "Unfortunately, every time we send an investigator they emerge with shocking evidence of animal abuse," said MFA executive director Nathan Runkle. "Before ending up in restaurants and grocery stores, turkeys killed for Butterball are routinely crowded into filthy warehouses, neglected to die from infected, bloody wounds, and thrown, kicked, and beaten by factory farm workers." In addition, Dr. Sarah Mason, a veterinarian at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, was suspended from her job ... and was sentenced to 45 days in the Hoke County jail after pleading guilty to obstructing justice and obstructing a public officer. Mason admitted calling a friend who worked at Butterball prior to the raid. Though she initially denied talking to the Butterball employee, Dr. Mason later admitted telling him about the existence of the Mercy for Animals video showing alleged abuse. In the video, workers can be seen kicking and stomping on turkeys, as well as dragging them by their wings and necks. The video also shows injured birds with open wounds and exposed flesh. Butterball ... has said it was "shocked" by the undercover video, is taking the animal cruelty investigation seriously.
Note: For two excellent and fun short videos showing both the problem and solutions for cruel factory farming, click here and here. For lots more little-known, excellent information to promote your health, click here.
Seven sloping acres at the southwest edge of Jefferson Park [are] being transformed into an edible landscape and community park that will be known [as] the Beacon Food Forest, the largest of its kind in the nation. One full acre will be devoted to large chestnuts and walnuts in the overstory. There'll be full-sized fruit trees in the understory, and berry shrubs, climbing vines, herbaceous plants, and vegetables closer to the ground. The entire project will be built around the concept of permaculture -- an ecological design system, philosophy, and set of ethics and principles used to create perennial, self-sustaining landscapes. Friends of the Food Forest undertook heroic outreach efforts to secure neighborhood support. The team mailed over 6,000 postcards in five different languages, tabled at events and fairs, and posted fliers. And Seattle residents responded. The first meeting, especially, drew permaculturalists and other intrigued parties from all around the city. More than 70 people, mostly from Beacon Hill, attended the second meeting in mid-July, where proposed designs were laid out on giant sheets paper with markers strewn about so the community could scribble their ideas and feedback directly onto the plans.
Occupying the middle of nowhere must have appealed to the students, architects and seekers of the 1970s who founded Arcosanti, an “urban laboratory” in the desert 70 miles north of Phoenix. Above all, they were able to join an ongoing colloquy with the city’s visionary designer, Paolo Soleri. In a cosmic language of his own invention..., Mr. Soleri proselytized for a carless society in harmony with the natural world. Over the course of 40 years, some 7,000 souls would come and go. For the most part, though, they left. And last fall, Mr. Soleri joined this group himself, retiring at age 92 as the president of the parent Cosanti Foundation. The foundation’s new president, Jeff Stein, 60, [was] formerly dean of the Boston Architectural College. But if Mr. Stein can’t miraculously transform Arcosanti into a dense eco-city for 5,000 residents — and that was always Mr. Soleri’s plan — what should it become instead? Whatever Mr. Stein may wish to do, for now it will have to be accomplished with an operating budget of less than $1 million. His first job, perhaps, is to become an ambassador: to remind the world that Arcosanti exists as a going concern. Some 25,000 [visitors] stop here each year. 56 inspired souls ... continue to live and work and dream in the Arcosanti that exists today.
Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he [has] become one. For the past three years, Taylor has dominated the international science fair, walking away with nine awards ... and more than $100,000 in prizes. At 14, [he was] the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion. [He attends] Davidson Academy ... a subsidized public school for the nation’s smartest and most motivated students. When he began at Davidson, he found the two advocates he needed ... to build a fusion reactor. Atomic physicist Ronald Phaneuf ... introduced him to technician Bill Brinsmead. With Brinsmead and Phaneuf’s help, Taylor stretched himself, applying knowledge from more than 20 technical fields. Shortly after his 14th birthday, Taylor and Brinsmead loaded deuterium fuel into the machine [Taylor had created], brought up the power, and confirmed the presence of neutrons. With that, Taylor became the 32nd individual on the planet to achieve a nuclear-fusion reaction. When I meet Taylor Wilson, he is 16 and busy. Taylor’s reactor ... dominates the far corner of Phaneuf’s lab. Peering through the small window into the reaction chamber, I can see the golf-ball-size grid of tungsten fingers that will cradle the plasma. Taylor nudges the power up to 50,000 volts, bringing the temperature of the plasma inside the core to an incomprehensible 580 million degrees. “There it is,” Taylor says, his eyes locked on the machine. “The birth of a star.”
Note: The full article about this amazing genius will boggle your mind. Could Taylor be one of the many indigo children talked about in the New York Times article available at this link?
Corrections Corporation of America ... president and CEO, Damon Hininger, [spoke] in a conference call with analysts ... about the recent purchase (January 2012) of a state prison in Ohio. CCA purchased the Lake Erie Correctional Institution for $72.7 million as part of Governor John Kashich’s ... prison privatization program. According to a press release from the state, tax payers will realize an estimated $3 million in annual savings. CCA is not stopping at Ohio though. CCA’s Chief Corrections Officer Harvey Lappin, former Director of the Bureau of Prisons who joined CCA less than a year ago, is making similar offers to buy prisons in other states. CCA offers to buy the state’s prison with cash up front in exchange for a 20-year management contract plus an assurance that the prison will remain 90% full over that period. In Ohio’s case, that meant that for the big chunk of cash up front, it would guarantee payments to CCA for 20 years for inmate per diem, occupancy fee ($3 million/year) and a guarantee that the minimum inmate population would be no less than 90% of capacity. Selling the facility has its downfalls. Once a state has sold its facility, it leaves little opportunity to contract with another prison management company in the event of a dispute or to save money. CCA, in the case of buying a prison, could be in the driver’s seat to dictate prison policy to the state.
Note: For revealing reports from major media sources on corruption in the prison-industrial complex, click here.
It took until 2000 for Alabama to repeal the last remaining law in the country banning "mixed marriages" despite a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1967 declaring all such legislation unconstitutional. At the time of that ruling, 16 states banned interracial marriage. The landmark decision, Loving vs. Virginia, came about because a young couple in Virginia's rural Caroline County decided to get married. In Nancy Buirski's stunning documentary "The Loving Couple," ... the love of two people and their steadfast refusal to bow to a 1924 law they ... believed was unfair brought an end to one of the most heinous holdovers of the Jim Crow era in American history. Richard Loving was a taciturn guy with a crew cut whom one of his lawyers would uncritically describe as a "redneck." In June 1958, he and Mildred Jeter, a sweet-faced young woman of African American and American Indian ancestry, traveled to Washington, D.C., to get married. After they got married, the local Virginia sheriff arrested them for breaking the commonwealth's 1924 Racial Integrity Act. The couple's yearlong sentence was suspended on the condition that they leave the state and never return. In 1963 - the same year as the historic civil rights march on Washington - two young American Civil Liberties Union attorneys appealed the Lovings' conviction in Virginia state court. Eventually, the case wound up at the Supreme Court and, in a unanimous 1967 decision authored by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the court ruled in the Lovings' favor.
Note: Remember that 200 years ago most people still supported slavery. 100 years ago most men believed women did not deserve the right to vote. 50 years ago interracial marriage was considered by many a sin. Over the long term, humanity is growing ever more tolerant and compassionate.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is back on track after winning the Maine caucuses. What the headlines haven't told you is that what happened in Maine is the messiest caucus Republicans have had so far, and it may not be over yet. Maine is not a major state during national primaries. Only 24 delegates come out of Maine to the national convention. But what happened there over the weekend does more than raise eyebrows. It is enough to make you question, was the caucus fixed? Saturday night, February 11, the head of the Maine GOP, Charlie Webster, announced that Governor Mitt Romney won the Maine caucus by a slim margin. Official totals read Romney barely winning the caucus by less than 200 votes. The only problem, the governor was declared the winner with only 84 percent of precincts counted. Two counties, Washington County and Hancock County had not yet held their caucuses. In Hancock, County Republicans had decided to hold their caucus this Saturday on February 18. In Washington County, the state GOP canceled the caucus because of snow concerns. Turns out, the area only got a light dusting. The big problem here, Mr. Webster says even when those caucuses are held this Saturday, the votes won't count. And that is just the beginning of the problems in Maine.
Note: For a great series of diagrams showing the strong links and revolving door between US Government and big business, click here.
A French court has declared the US biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides. In the first such case heard in court in France, the grain grower Paul Francois, 47, said he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller in 2004. He blames Monsanto for not providing adequate warnings on the product label. "It is a historic decision in so far as it is the first time that a [pesticide] maker is found guilty of such a poisoning," Francois Lafforgue, Francois's lawyer, told Reuters. Francois and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products. The agricultural branch of the French social security system says that since 1996, it has gathered farmers' reports of sickness potentially related to pesticides, with about 200 alerts a year. The Francois case goes back to a period of intensive use of crop-protection chemicals in the European Union. The EU and its member countries have since banned a large number of substances considered dangerous.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Police swooped on eight individuals between 6am and 8am yesterday, arresting the five Sun journalists, two Ministry of Defence staff and a police officer. The arrests came hard on the heels of five related arrests two weeks ago when four senior Sun journalists and a police officer were questioned in connection with bribery allegations. The latest astonishing development ... prompted fury among the newspaper's staff, amid allegations that those arrested had been "thrown to the wolves" in an effort to bolster the embattled News Corp empire, and, particularly, to rekindle its hopes of taking over BSkyB. The police were acting on information provided by News International, owner of The Sun and Times newspapers. The investigation broke new ground yesterday: for the first time, the arrests broadened beyond payments to police, with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces also held while their homes were searched. The journalists arrested were Geoff Webster, The Sun's deputy editor; John Kay, a former chief reporter who joined the title in 1974; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; John Edwards, picture editor; and John Sturgis, a reporter.
Note: The fact that the The Sun's deputy editor and chief foreign correspondent were arrested along with a female member of the MoD and a member of the armed forces is astounding. Could the predictions of David Wilcock of mass arrests of key people involved in major corruption be coming true? Wilcock has written a thoroughly researched and amazingly deep and penetrating paper on all that is going on at this link.
Some 200 Catholic priests suspected of sexual abuse are living undetected in communities across California, according to an attorney who represents hundreds of plaintiffs who sued the LA Archdiocese. Ray Boucher has mapped 60 locations where suspect priests live, in cities and towns from northern to southern California. “Many if not all these priests have admitted to sexual abuse,” Boucher said. “They live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools and daycare centers.” Since none of the priests has actually been convicted of sex abuse, none can be identified under Megan’s Law, or their whereabouts revealed in related public databases. “What the issue is here, is how you weigh the right of the people,” said Boucher, who is also one of the attorneys representing students in the Miramonte Elementary School sex abuse scandal. In 2007 the LA Archdiocese reached an unprecedented $660 million settlement with many of the plaintiffs without admitting any wrong-doing. It also agreed to let the courts decide which of the case-related church files should be made public, including those identifying alleged and admitted predators. But according to Boucher and court documents, the Catholic Church has since engaged in a cover-up. By Boucher’s account, church officials allowed priests suspected of sexually abusing children to retire, flee the country or hide in rehab clinics until the statute of limitations on prosecution ran out.
Note: For lots more on sexual abuse scandals from reliable sources, click here.
Chemotherapy can be a tough road for people with cancer, often debilitating and even dangerous. Which is why five years ago, when Duke University announced that it had an advanced, experimental treatment that would match chemotherapy to a patient's own genetic makeup, it was hailed as the holy grail of cancer care. The scientist behind the discovery was Dr. Anil Potti, and soon Dr. Potti became the face of the future of cancer treatment at Duke, offering patients a better chance even with advanced disease. However, when other scientists set out to verify the results, they found many problems and errors. Duke's so-called breakthrough treatment wasn't just a failure -- it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever. Dr. Potti resigned from Duke. He faces an investigation into research misconduct. These days, he's working as a cancer doctor in South Carolina. And if you look online, you will see that he is celebrated for "his significant contribution to the arena of lung cancer research." The websites were created with the help of an online reputation consultant, perhaps to put the best face on the available data.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on corruption in scientific research and publication, click here.
Police officers sworn to uphold our traffic laws are among the worst speeders on South Florida roads. A three-month Sun Sentinel investigation found almost 800 cops from a dozen agencies driving 90 to 130 mph on our highways. Many weren't even on duty. The extent of the problem uncovered by the newspaper shocked South Florida's police brass. All the agencies started internal investigations. "Excessive speed," Margate Police Chief Jerry Blough warned his officers, is a "blatant violation of public trust." The evidence came from police SunPass toll records. The Sun Sentinel obtained a year's worth, hit the highways with a GPS device and figured out how fast the cops were driving based on the distance and time it took to go from one toll plaza to the next. Speeding cops can kill. Since 2004, Florida officers exceeding the speed limit have caused at least 320 crashes and 19 deaths. Only one officer went to jail - for 60 days. A cop with a history of on-the-job wrecks smashed into South Florida college student Erskin Bell Jr. as he waited at a red light in Central Florida three years ago, hitting him at 104 mph. Bell is now severely brain-damaged. "Every day, you pray for a miracle,'' said his father, Erskin Bell Sr. "Had this officer's behavior been dealt with, maybe he would not have run into our son." Law enforcement officers have been notoriously reluctant to stop their own for speeding, and the criminal justice system has proven no tougher at punishing lead-foot cops, records show.
Note: Watch this ABC video clip and this one to see how crazy this is. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nathaniel Rothschild, scion of the banking dynasty and friend of seemingly everyone in the spheres of finance, business and politics, ... has lost his libel case against the Daily Mail, which he sued for "substantial damages" over its account of his and [Lord] Mandelson's extraordinary trip to Russia in January 2005. Mr Rothschild claimed he was subjected to "sustained and unjustified" attacks in the May 2010 article, which portrayed him as a "puppet master", dangling his friend Lord Mandelson in front of the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to ease the passage of colossal business deals. It began on Mr Rothschild's private jet from the World Economic Forum in Davos to Moscow, where they met Mr Deripaska, the aluminium plant manager who became the richest oligarch of them all, and continued on Mr Deripaska's private jet to his chalet in Siberia. The judge rejected the notion that Mr Rothschild and Mr Mandelson had flown out as friends, not business associates, and said Mr Rothschild's behaviour had in part been "inappropriate". "That conduct foreseeably brought Lord Mandelson's public office and personal integrity into disrepute," the judge said. That leading politicians, bankers and businessmen associate with each other in fashions that blur the boundaries between work and pleasure is a secret too great to be maintained with any success, but it doesn't make the details, on the rare occasions they actually emerge, any more palatable.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 ... to grant a license to build two reactors at a nuclear plant in Georgia. It was the first time the commission decided to grant a license for a new reactor since 1978, a year before the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania. The sole vote against approval was cast by the commission's chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko. He said the construction and operating license would not assure that all of the safety improvements mandated by the agency in response to Japan's Fukushima disaster would be accomplished before the reactors begin operating in 2016 and 2017. The plant, which already has two reactors dating from the 1980s, will be the largest nuclear complex in the United States. The reactors were supposed to be the first in a wave of new projects after the Bush administration set aside $17.5 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear projects. But the nuclear rebirth has been so puny that much of that money is still available. The Energy Department has promised an $8.3 billion loan guarantee for the two reactors.
Note: Why is this happening less than a year after the Fukushima disaster which left huge areas of land uninhabitable to this day?
Interpol has been accused of abusing its powers after Saudi Arabia allegedly used the organisation's red notice system to get a journalist arrested in Malaysia for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport "following a request made to us by Interpol" the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities. Kashgari, a newspaper columnist, fled Saudi Arabia after posting a tweet on the prophet's birthday that sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. The posting, which was later deleted, read: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you … I will not pray for you." Clerics in Saudi Arabia called for him to be charged with apostasy, a religious offence punishable by death. Reports suggest that the Malaysian authorities intend to return him to his native country. Kashgari's detention has triggered criticism by human rights groups of Malaysia's decision to arrest the journalist and of Interpol's cooperation in the process. Jago Russell, the chief executive of the British charity Fair Trials International, which has campaigned against the blanket enforcement of Interpol red notices, said: "If an Interpol red notice is the reason for [Kashgari's] arrest and detention it would be a serious abuse of this powerful international body that is supposed to respect basic human rights (including to peaceful free speech) and to be barred from any involvement in religious or political cases."
The founder of an apparel company has given the University of Missouri $5.5 million to study new sources of clean energy. Sidney Kimmel, founder and chairman of The Jones Group — which includes brands such as Anne Klein, Nine West and Gloria Vanderbilt — donated the money through his charitable foundation. The money will be used to create the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance, SKINR, which will involve researchers from the MU Research Reactor and physics, engineering and chemistry departments. Mostly, MU scientists will be trying to figure out why excess heat has been observed when hydrogen or deuterium interacts with materials such as palladium, nickel or platinum under extreme conditions. Researchers don’t know how the heat is created, nor can they duplicate the results on a consistent basis. “It’s a chance to turn cold confusion to real understanding and opportunity,” said Rob Duncan, MU’s vice chancellor for research. Since researchers Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons declared they had observed tabletop energy, scientists have been scrambling to re-create the phenomenon. Once dubbed “cold fusion,” some now refer to the process as a low-energy nuclear reaction. Some companies have even been trying to find marketplace applications for the excess heat, even though it’s not consistent. Duncan has called on the scientific community to stop trying to label the phenomenon before figuring out what causes it. The gift, he said, will let MU’s research team focus on the pure science without being distracted by trying to find uses for it.
Note: The comment about scientists scrambling to reproduce the cold fusion research of Pons and Fleischmann is not quite the reality. The two scientists were slammed and ridiculed in a coordinated effort to suppress their amazing discoveries, which threatened the huge profits of the oil industry. For lots more reliable information on this, click here and 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.