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News Stories
Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups and corruption. Links are provided to the full stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These news stories are listed by date posted. You can explore the same list by order of importance or by date of news story. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


What is Project Maven? Google Urged to Abandon U.S. Military Drone Program
2018-05-15, Newsweek
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:52:33
http://www.newsweek.com/project-maven-google-urged-abandon-work-military-dron...

Hundreds of academics have urged Google to abandon its work on a U.S. Department of Defense-led drone program codenamed “Project Maven”. An open letter calling for change was published Monday by the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC). The project is formally known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team. Its objective is “to turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence”. More than 3,000 Google staffers signed a petition in April in protest at the company's focus on warfare. “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” it read. “Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled.” The ICRAC warned this week the project could potentially be mixed with general user data and exploited to aid “targeted killing.” Currently, its letter has nearly 500 signatures. It stated: “We are ... deeply concerned about the possible integration of Google’s data on people’s everyday lives with military surveillance data, and its combined application to targeted killing ... Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.” Lieutenant Colonel Garry Floyd, deputy chief of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross Functional Team, said ... earlier this month that Maven was already active in “five or six” combat locations.

Note: You can read the full employee petition on this webpage. The New York Times also published a good article on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and war.


Google employees quit over controversial Pentagon work
2018-05-14, New York Post
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:50:26
https://nypost.com/2018/05/14/google-employees-quit-over-controversial-pentag...

There’s something eating at Google employees. Roughly one dozen employees of the search giant have resigned in the wake of reports that the ... company is providing artificial intelligence to the Pentagon. The employees resigned because of ethical concerns over the company’s work with the Defense Department that includes helping the military speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people, Gizmodo reported. Many of the employees who quit have written accounts of their decisions to leave the company. Their stories have been gathered and shared in an internal document. Google is helping the DoD’s Project Maven “implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones,” according to the report. “Some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work - and that Google shouldn’t be involved in military work at all.” The 12 resignations are the first known mass resignations at Google in protest against one of the company’s business decisions - and they speak to the strongly felt ethical concerns of the employees who are departing. In addition to the resignations, nearly 4,000 Google employees have voiced their opposition to Project Maven in an internal petition that asks Google to immediately cancel the contract and institute a policy against taking on future military work.

Note: You can read the full employee petition on this webpage. An open letter in support of google employees and tech workers was signed by more than 90 academics in artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science. The New York Times also published a good article on this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and war


Employers are monitoring computers, toilet breaks – even emotions. Is your boss watching you?
2018-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:48:30
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/14/is-your-boss-secretly-or-not-so...

Last year an American company microchipped dozens of its workers. Of the 90 people who work at [Three Square Market] headquarters, 72 are now chipped. Two months ago, the company ... started chipping people with dementia. If someone wanders off and gets lost, police can scan the chip “and they will know all their medical information, what drugs they can and can’t have, they’ll know their identity.” So far, Three Square Market has chipped 100 people, but plans to do 10,000. The company has just launched a mobile phone app that pairs the chip with the phone’s GPS, enabling the implantee’s location to be tracked. Last week, it started using it with people released from prison on probation. Some Chinese companies are using sensors in helmets and hats to scan workers’ brainwaves. There are tech companies selling products that can ... monitor keystrokes and web usage, and even photograph [employees] using their computers’ webcams. All this can be done remotely. Monitoring is built into many of the jobs that form the so-called “gig economy”. It’s not easy to object to the constant surveillance when you’re desperate for work. What has surprised [Cass Business School professor André Spicer] is how willingly people in better-paid jobs have taken to it. Spicer has watched the shift away from “monitoring something like emails to monitoring people’s bodies – the rise of bio-tracking basically. The monitoring of your vital signs, emotions, moods.”

Note: Author James Bloodworth describes the high tech monitoring of workers at Amazon warehouses in his new book, "Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on microchip implants and the disappearance of privacy.


This old drug was free. Now it’s $109,500 a year.
2017-12-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:46:36
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/18/this-old-drug-was-free...

For decades, Don Anderson of Seattle has been taking the same drug to help control the temporary bouts of immobility and muscle weakness caused by a rare and frightening genetic illness called periodic paralysis. The drug Anderson has been taking all these years was originally approved in 1958 and used primarily to treat the eye disease glaucoma under the brand name Daranide. The price has been on a roller coaster in recent years — zooming from a list price of $50 for a bottle of 100 pills in the early 2000s up to $13,650 in 2015, then plummeting back down to free, before skyrocketing back up to $15,001 after a new company, Strongbridge Biopharma, acquired the drug and relaunched it this spring. The zigzagging trajectory of the price of Daranide, now known as Keveyis, shows just how much freedom drug companies have in pricing therapies — and what a big business opportunity selling extremely-rare-disease drugs has become. In 2016, after The Washington Post asked questions about the high price of the drug, Sun Pharmaceutical said it would give the drug away free. Late last year, Sun agreed to sell Keveyis to a biotech company, Strongbridge Biopharma. In April, Strongbridge relaunched the drug. In August, it jacked the list price ... to $15,001 for a bottle of 100 pills. In a PowerPoint presentation for investors, Strongbridge Biopharma estimated that the annual price of treatment for the drug, Keveyis, would range from $109,500 to $219,000.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The problem with prescription drug prices
2018-05-06, CBS News
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:43:59
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-problem-with-prescription-drug-prices/

One very expensive prescription drug threatened to financially cripple an entire city. Rather than using a health insurance company, Rockford, [Illinois] has, for years, paid its own health care costs for its 1,000 employees and their dependents. When Rockford got hit with the drug bill it was so enormous the mayor at the time set out to understand why. In 2015, two small children of Rockford employees were treated with Acthar, a drug that's been on the market since 1952. In 2001, Acthar sold for about $40 a vial. Today: more than $40,000. [Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey] wanted to know how that could've happened. His investigation got nowhere until last year, when the Federal Trade Commission charged the drug manufacturer, Mallinckrodt, with violating antitrust laws. [The company] bought another drug that was Acthar's main competitor ... and put it on the shelf. Many of the doctors who prescribed a lot of Acthar also were getting money from the company that makes Acthar ... adding up to huge sums. Cities like Rockford [hire pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs] to negotiate down the price of drugs. The company negotiating prices for Rockford is Express Scripts. Express Scripts is many companies, not just the PBM. It also owns a pharmacy that sells expensive drugs, [as well as] a company that ships and packs expensive drugs. The city of Rockford was able to find out one more piece of the puzzle: that Express Scripts ... had a contract to be the exclusive distributor of Acthar.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


F.D.A. Names and Shames Drug Makers to Encourage Generic Competition
2018-05-17, New York Times
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:42:04
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/health/drug-prices-generics-fda.html

Pharmaceutical companies that spend billions of dollars to develop new drugs do not want competitors to profit from inexpensive generic copies of blockbuster medicines. To avoid rivals, they ... sometimes prevent generic drug companies from obtaining samples. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, calls this “gaming the system,” and has vowed to stop it. On Thursday, the F.D.A. took a new tack and began posting a list of makers of brand-name drugs that have been the target of complaints, to persuade them to “end the shenanigans,” in the commissioner’s words. Congressional efforts to force the companies to hand over samples of their drugs to generic competitors have not been successful. Generic drug developers usually need between 1,500 to 5,000 units of the brand drug to develop their product and test it. Both the F.D.A. and the Federal Trade Commission say securing the samples can be difficult. The F.D.A.’s new list includes drug companies the agency said may be pursuing gaming tactics to delay generic competition. Along with the name of each business, the agency noted how many inquiries it received from generic drug companies seeking supplies. Celgene, [which makes drugs to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory diseases], tops the list. Other companies ... included GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Gilead Sciences and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Big Pharma corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


He Was Dying. Antibiotics Weren’t Working. Then Doctors Tried a Forgotten Treatment.
2018-05-18, Mother Jones
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:40:01
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/05/the-best-viral-news-youll-eve...

Tom Patterson lay in a coma. Three months earlier ... Patterson had suddenly fallen ill, so severely that he had to be medevaced to [University of California-San Diego’s medical center]. The core of the problem was an infection with a superbug, a bacterium named Acinetobacter baumannii that was resistant to every antibiotic his medical team tried to treat it with. He was dying. “We are running out of options to save Tom,” [Tom's wife Steffanie Strathdee wrote to the hospital’s head of infectious diseases, Dr. Robert Schooley]. “What do you think about phage therapy?” Phages are viruses [that] kill only specific strains of bacteria. They can quell infections without inducing a terrible diarrheal disease ... that occurs when the balance of bacteria in the gut is disrupted by antibiotics wiping out good bugs along with the bad. But for phage therapy to be deployed routinely in the United States, phages would have to be approved as drugs by the FDA. To treat an American patient with them now requires emergency compassionate-use authorization - effectively an acknowledgment that nothing with an FDA license can save the patient’s life. The FDA agreed to let the pair attempt phages. The whole treatment process was a scramble. Patterson, however, made it. He left the hospital ... having beaten the superbug using phages. He was the first person in the United States to have been successfully treated intravenously. Strathdee ... says she hopes to see phages become a routine option for serious infections, available to substitute for antibiotics.

Note: The unwarranted use of prescription antibiotics by doctors and the routine practice of adding antibiotics to animal feed in factory farms have led to what the Los Angeles Times recently called "a slow catastrophe" of antibiotic-resistant infections. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Navy Reserve Doctor on Gina Haspel Torture Victim: “One of the Most Severely Traumatized Individuals I have Ever Seen”
2018-05-17, The Intercept
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:38:02
https://theintercept.com/2018/05/17/gina-haspel-cia-director-torture/

An American doctor and Naval reserve officer who has done extensive medical evaluation of a high-profile prisoner who was tortured under the supervision of Gina Haspel privately urged Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to oppose Haspel’s confirmation as CIA director. “I have evaluated Mr. Abdal Rahim al-Nashiri, as well as close to 20 other men who were tortured” in U.S. custody, including several who were tortured “as part of the CIA’s RDI [Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation] program. I am one of the only health professionals he has ever talked to about his torture,” Dr. Sondra Crosby, a professor ... at Boston University, wrote to Warner’s legislative director. “He is irreversibly damaged by torture that was unusually cruel. In my over 20 years of experience treating torture victims from around the world, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. al-Nashiri presents as one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.” Nashiri was ... “rendered” to Afghanistan by the CIA and eventually taken to the Cat’s Eye prison in Thailand that was run by Haspel from October to December 2002. On Monday, The Intercept reported that a ... classified memo compiled by the [Senate Intelligence Committee] and aimed at examining Haspel’s full involvement with torture and destruction of evidence was removed from the Senate. It was supposed to be housed in a secure facility inside Congress, so senators and their staff could read it.

Note: The above article contains graphic descriptions of torture overseen and then covered up by Gina Haspel. Another article, by a former CIA counterterrorism officer who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA torture, referred to Haspel's actions as "war crimes, crimes against humanity". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wells Fargo Still Hasn’t Gotten Ahead of Its Problems
2018-05-17,
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:36:02

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wells Fargo recently discovered that employees were improperly altering the documents of business borrowers, adding information to the accounts without the consent or notifying the clients. The latest issue comes only a week after news came out that Wells Fargo admitted it had improperly collected fees on a Tennessee public pension fund. Improper fees could be a widespread problem in its pension fund business. The bank’s wealth management unit is also under investigation for pressuring clients into rolling over their low-cost 401(k) accounts into more expensive alternatives. Wells Fargo has regularly said its problems are in the past, without spending the money it should to actually put those problems in the past. Wells Fargo, like other banks, doesn’t break out what it spends on compliance, and says it’s generally spending more, but in its most recent quarter it’s hard to see where. In February, the Federal Reserve sanctioned Wells Fargo for not having proper risk controls in place. The bank has since told shareholders it plans to cut costs, not raise them in order to improve compliance. The most recent problem ... appears to have come as Wells Fargo raced to comply with an order from regulators that it collect information on more than 100,000 accounts that it was supposed to have. It appears employees improperly altered the files, potentially adding false information, as part this regulatory review, once again showing a lack of oversight.

Note: Last year, it was reported that a Wells Fargo insurance scam defrauded 570,000 customers. The year before, this bank was caught opening millions of fake accounts using stolen customer identities. Wells Fargo fires employees and pays fines whenever these crimes are uncovered. But no bank executives are criminally prosecuted. And new problems continue coming to light. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


'CEOs don't want this released': US study lays bare extreme pay-ratio problem
2018-05-18, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:34:56
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/16/ceo-worker-pay-ratio-america-...

The first comprehensive study of the massive pay gap between the US executive suite and average workers has found that the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has now reached 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. The study, titled "Rewarding Or Hoarding?," was published [by] US congressman Keith Ellison. Just the summary makes for sober reading. In 188 of the 225 companies in the report’s database, a single chief executive’s pay could be used to pay more than 100 workers; the average worker at 219 of the 225 companies studied would need to work at least 45 years to earn what their CEO makes in one. “Now we know why CEOs didn’t want this data released,” says Ellison, who championed the implementation of the pay ratio disclosure rule as it was written into the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010. “I knew inequality was a great problem in our society but I didn’t understand quite how extreme it was.” The requirements, long resisted by some of the largest US companies, simply tells companies to identify a median worker and then calculate how much the CEO makes in comparison to that person. According to a recent Bloomberg analysis of 22 major world economies, the average CEO-worker pay gap in the US far outpaces that of other industrialized nations. The average US CEO makes more than four times his or her counterpart in the other countries analyzed. Ellison said the data remains imperfect, as companies are still able to exclude contracted workers from their reporting.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump’s personal attorney solicited $1 million from government of Qatar
2018-05-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:33:12
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-personal-attorn...

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, solicited a payment of at least $1 million from the government of Qatar in late 2016, in exchange for access to and advice about the then-incoming administration. The offer, which Qatar declined, came on the margins of a Dec. 12 meeting that year at Trump Tower between the Persian Gulf state’s foreign minister and Michael Flynn, who became Trump’s first national security adviser. Cohen did not participate in the official meetings but spoke separately to a member of the Qatari delegation, Ahmed al-­Rumaihi, who at the time was head of the investments division of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. The solicitation came during a period when Cohen was bragging to others that he could make millions from consulting on Trump and that foreign governments would be interested in having his expertise. As Cohen collected clients, he texted associates articles that described him as Trump’s “fixer” and asked them to spread the articles around. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, which conducted raids last month on Cohen’s New York residence and office, are investigating his activities.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


A Strait-Laced Writer Explores Psychedelics, and Leaves the Door of Perception Ajar
2018-05-14, New York Times
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:31:19
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/books/review-how-to-change-your-mind-ps...

To microdose is to take small amounts of LSD, which generate “subperceptual” effects that can improve mood, productivity and creativity. Michael Pollan’s new book, “How to Change Your Mind,” is not about that. It’s about taking enough LSD or psilocybin (mushrooms) to feel the colors and smell the sounds. If Pollan’s wide-ranging account has a central thesis, it’s that we’re still doing the hard work of rescuing the science of psychedelics from the “countercultural baggage” of the 1960s. In the mid-60s “the exuberance surrounding these new drugs gave way to moral panic,” and ... “the whole project of psychedelic science had collapsed.” Before collapsing, though, that project discovered in psychedelics the same potential that scientists are exploring as they reclaim it today: possible help in treating addiction, anxiety and depression, and “existential distress” — common in people “confronting a terminal diagnosis,” which of course, broadly speaking, is all of us. Pollan doesn’t give a lot of prime real estate to psychedelics’ naysayers. But given that those on LSD can appear to be losing their minds, and that the drug leaves one feeling emotionally undefended (a potential benefit as well as a profound risk), he does strongly recommend having an experienced guide in a proper setting when you trip. With those safeguards in place, he believes usage could be on the verge of more widespread acceptance.

Note: A recent clinical trial found psilocybin to be an extremely effective treatment for anxiety and depression. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream credibility.


Costa Rica to ban fossil fuels and become world's first decarbonised society
2018-05-10, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:29:41
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/costa-rica-fossil-fuels-ban-preside...

Costa Rica’s new president has announced a plan to ban fossil fuels and become the first fully decarbonised country in the world. Carlos Alvarado, a 38-year-old former journalist, made the announcement ... during his inauguration. "Decarbonisation is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first," Mr Alvarado said. Symbolically, the president arrived at the ceremony in San Jose aboard a hydrogen-fuelled bus. Last month, Mr Alvarado said the Central American country would begin to implement a plan to end fossil fuel use in transport by 2021 – the 200th year of Costa Rican independence. "When we reach 200 years of independent life we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate ... that we've removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation,” he promised during a victory speech. Costa Rica already generates more than 99 per cent of its electricity using renewable energy sources. Costa Rica’s push towards clean energy faces no large-scale backlash, in part because the country has no significant oil or gas industry. But demand for cars is rising, as is use of other transport systems, and that may prove one of the biggest challenges in meeting the new goal. Transport is today the country’s main source of climate changing emissions.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


California becomes first state to require solar panels on new homes
2018-05-09, NBC News
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:27:56
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/california-becomes-first-state-require-s...

Solar panels will be a required feature on virtually every new home built in California, under a policy advanced Wednesday by California regulators. The California Energy Commission voted unanimously, 5-0, to recommend energy efficiency standards that are set to be added to state building regulations later this year, effecting all construction after Jan. 1, 2020. The rules will make California the first state in the nation to require solar panels on new homes. "This will be nothing short of historic for our state and for our country," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, an industry group. The requirement will apply to single-family homes and to apartment and condominium complexes of three stories or less. Solar installations have become so cost effective that they are included in more than 15,000 homes built each year in California, even without the directive from the state. In 2020 and beyond that number promises to increase to 80,000, the number of homes built each year in the Golden State. The average estimated cost of a solar system is $9,500, or $40 a month when amortized over a 30-year mortgage. But the systems are projected to save customers an average of $80 a month on their utility bills. Another part of the new regulation ... gives energy credit to homes that employ battery storage technology.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Florida Set To Launch Country's First Private High-Speed Train Service
2017-12-07, NPR
Posted: 2018-05-21 19:25:21
https://www.npr.org/2017/12/07/569183423/florida-set-to-launch-countrys-first...

The country's first private high-speed rail service is opening this month in Florida, promising to transform congested South Florida highways by taking as many as 3 million cars off the road. The ambitious $3 billion Brightline express project will run along the state's densest population corridor with more than 6 million residents and a regular influx of tourists. The project, funded by All Aboard Florida, represents the first test into the long-awaited U.S. move into high-speed rail, says John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University. All Aboard Florida secured state approval in October to sell bonds to fund the project. The company has said no public money will be used. Renne says the trip from West Palm to Miami, which can take up to five hours round trip in a car, will take about 60 minutes each way on the train. Brightline trains will have their own dedicated set of tracks, built alongside 19th century lines that still carry cargo trains. The return to passenger trains will revive a line that stopped running on those old tracks in the 1960s, with the arrival of the federal highway program. "The federal highway system expanded ... and everyone got off trains and into cars," John Guitar of All Aboard Florida [said]. "And we've done a full circle now that the traffic and congestion and gas prices are so bad, people are looking for alternatives to get out of their cars and find other ways to get around the state."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t.
2018-05-10, New York Times
Posted: 2018-05-15 07:08:25
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/technology/alexa-siri-hidden-command-audio...

Over the last two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online - simply with music playing over the radio. A group of students from University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University showed in 2016 that they could hide commands in white noise played over loudspeakers and through YouTube videos to get smart devices to turn on airplane mode or open a website. This month, some of those Berkeley researchers published a research paper that went further, saying they could embed commands directly into recordings of music or spoken text. So while a human listener hears someone talking or an orchestra playing, Amazon’s Echo speaker might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list. There is no American law against broadcasting subliminal messages to humans, let alone machines. The Federal Communications Commission discourages the practice as “counter to the public interest,” and the Television Code of the National Association of Broadcasters bans “transmitting messages below the threshold of normal awareness.”

Note: Read how a hacked vehicle may have resulted in journalist Michael Hastings' death in 2013. A 2015 New York Times article titled "Why ‘Smart’ Objects May Be a Dumb Idea" describes other major risks in creating an "Internet of Things". Vulnerabilities like those described in the article above make it possible for anyone to spy on you with these objects, accelerating the disappearance of privacy.


Amazon paid no US income taxes for 2017
2018-02-27, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2018-05-15 07:04:48
https://www.sfgate.com/business/tech/article/Amazon-paid-no-US-income-taxes-f...

Amazon won't pay any federal income taxes after topping $5.6 billion in income in 2017. The Seattle-based online retailer will end up paying out roughly $769 million in taxes for the year, but $724 million of that will be in foreign taxes. That's according to an analysis of the online behemoth's 2017 10-K form, which "provides a comprehensive overview of the company's business and financial condition," according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Public companies are required to submit the form every year to the SEC. Without being privy to the company's tax return, no one can say exactly how CEO Jeff Bezos and Co. avoided what could have been more than $1.3 billion in federal taxes based solely on the annual financial report, but there is information to be gleaned. For example, Amazon took out a $917 million tax deduction on stock options exercised by current or former employees. Unlike wages ... the stock options don't require any cash expenditures by the company. Another ingredient in the low tax bill is likely capital expenditure depreciation ... where companies are allowed to write off the cost of some expenses - say those incurred while building a distribution center, for example - up front. [Amazon] earned a windfall from the Trump administration's U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, passed in December. Amazon readjusted estimates for taxes deferred under the old 35 percent corporate tax rate to meet the new tax law's 21 percent figure, which resulted in an estimated $789 million reduction.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


The FBI Is in Crisis. It's Worse Than You Think
2018-05-03, Time
Posted: 2018-05-15 07:01:44
http://time.com/5264153/the-fbi-is-in-crisis-and-america-is-paying-the-price/

The Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, will soon release a much-anticipated assessment of Democratic and Republican charges that officials at the FBI interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign. That year-long probe ... is expected to come down particularly hard on former FBI director James Comey. An earlier [report] in April by Horowitz ... showed that the ousted deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, had lied to the bureau’s internal investigations branch to cover up a leak he orchestrated about Clinton’s family foundation less than two weeks before the election. Another IG report in March found that FBI retaliation against internal whistle-blowers was continuing despite years of bureau pledges to fix the problem. There have been other painful, more public failures as well: missed opportunities to prevent mass shootings that go beyond the much-publicized overlooked warnings in the Parkland, Fla., school killings; an anguishing delay in the sexual-molestation probe into Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar; and evidence of misconduct by agents in the aftermath of standoffs with armed militias in Nevada and Oregon. FBI agents are facing criminal charges ranging from obstruction to leaking classified material. And then there’s ... the FBI’s miss of the Russian influence operation against the 2016 election. Jeffrey Danik, a retired FBI agent ... blames the state of affairs on “a severe lack of leadership” and transparency at headquarters.

Note: A New York Times article titled "Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the FBI" sheds further light on questionable practices within The Bureau. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Mandatory GMO labels are coming to your food
2018-05-04, Washington Post
Posted: 2018-05-15 06:59:07
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/05/04/mandatory-gmo-labels-a...

Foodmakers will soon be required to disclose when their products contain genetically modified ingredients - but those labels may not be as obvious, or as comprehensive, as consumers expected. A proposed rule released by the Agriculture Department ... instructs foodmakers to use the term “bioengineered” to label such foods instead of “genetically modified.” The proposed rule ... will now undergo a public comment period and could be finalized as early as this summer. Congress passed a mandatory-labeling law in 2016. Food companies will have three options for disclosing the ingredients, the USDA said: a one-sentence label declaration, such as “contains a bioengineered food ingredient”; a standardized icon, such as the one used in the National Organic Program; or a QR code or other digital marker that directs shoppers to a website for more information. Under one plan, the USDA said it would exempt highly refined sugars and oils, such as those made from genetically modified corn, soybeans and sugar beets, from labeling. This would effectively exempt as much as 70 percent of covered food products from GMO labeling. Under another plan, the USDA would exempt products containing ingredients from mixed sources that were less than 5 percent genetically modified by weight. That ... is significantly higher than the 0.9 percent threshold observed by China, Russia and the European Union.

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NXIVM Doctor Accused of Conducting Illegal Human Experiments in 'Fright Study'
2018-05-05, Newsweek
Posted: 2018-05-15 06:56:57
http://www.newsweek.com/nxivm-dr-brandon-porter-cults-912098

The resident physician of the NXIVM sex cult has been charged by a state oversight board of conducting illegal human experiments. The New York Post reported ... that Dr. Brandon Porter, 44, forced actress Jennifer Kobelt to watch dismemberment and rape videos for a “fright study” he was conducting. “He continued to film my reaction for at least 10 minutes as I just sat there, dry heaving like I was going to puke and crying very hard,” Kobelt, said in the complaint to the health department. “He failed me, not only as a friend but as the medical practitioner I had trusted on numerous occasions with my health while I was in New York.” The New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct said in a letter to Kobelt in September 2017 that they were not going to investigate Porter because “the issues you have described are not medical misconduct.” The board is now accusing Porter of moral unfitness, gross negligence and gross incompetence. A New York Supreme Court justice signed an executive order asking Porter and Clare Bronfman of the nonprofit Ethical Science Foundation to hand over documents on the human studies that were conducted for research, the Albany Times Union reported in April. Actress Samia Shoaib spoke out against actress Allison Mack after she was arrested on sex trafficking charges in April. Shoaib said Mack attempted to recruit her into the cult that is known to be abusive by blackmailing and branding women.

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