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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.


First-ever US release of genetically modified mosquitoes begins in Florida Keys
2021-04-30, CNN News
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:44:26
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/30/health/genetically-modified-mosquitoes-us-scn-...

The first release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the United States began this week in the Florida Keys - the culmination of a decade-long effort by local mosquito control authorities to see if a genetically modified organism is a viable alternative to spraying insecticides in the region. For the first 12-week phase, blue-and-white boxes containing about 12,000 GMO eggs developed by a US-owned, British-based company called Oxitec have been placed in six small areas of Ramrod Key, Cudjoe Key and Vaca Key. When water is added, the mosquitoes hatch, mature and enter the environment over the next week or so. A small, vocal group of Florida Key residents have fought the release of what they call "mutant mosquitoes" since the project was announced - and they are incensed. "Our opposition has been long and strong," said Barry Wray, the executive director of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition. "We live here, this our home, and they're forcing this down people's throats." The Florida Keys project, greenlit by the US Environment Protection Agency in May 2020, was approved to release up to 750 million genetically altered mosquitoes in 2021 and 2022. The program's target: Aedes aegypti, an invasive species of mosquito. Oxitec's solution to the problem is OX5034 - a 2.0 version of its original Aedes aegypti modification. Unlike version 1.0, designed to kill all offspring, the newer model has been genetically altered to pass along a lethal gene that only kills females.

Note: Learn more about the dark side of this in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs from reliable major media sources.


New York mayor calls off ‘creepy, alienating' police robo-dog
2021-04-30, MSN News
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:42:54
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/new-york-mayor-calls-off-creepy-alienati...

New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a controversial robotic dog undergoing trials with the city's police off the street, and a $94,200 contract with creator Boston Dynamics cancelled. The robot canine, named "Digidog", is to be returned to its manufacturer following outrage tied to calls to cut police funding and law enforcement access to military-developed or surplus hardware. De Blasio voiced that he is "glad the Digidog was put down." A city government spokesperson added: "It's creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers." The 70lb robot could run at three and a half miles per hour and climb stairs. It was primarily intended to go into situations deemed dangerous for officers, and had been undergoing trials in the Bronx since it was unveiled last December. But the dog sparked an immediate backlash, with critics noting police dogs have been traditionally used to suppress and intimidate communities of color. Some critics also pointed out it was reminiscent of robot dogs in the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror.

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


German Authorities Break Up International Child Sex Abuse Site
2021-05-03, New York Times
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:41:05
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/world/europe/germany-child-pornography-sit...

German prosecutors have broken up an online platform for sharing images and videos showing the sexual abuse of children, mostly boys, that had an international following of more than 400,000 members, they said. The site, named "Boystown," had been around since at least June 2019 and included forums where members from around the globe exchanged images and videos showing children, including toddlers, being sexually abused. In addition to the forums, the site had chat rooms where members could connect with one another in various languages. German federal prosecutors described it as "one of the largest child pornography sites operating on the dark net" in a statement they released on Monday announcing the arrest in mid-April of three German men who managed the site and a fourth who had posted thousands of images to it. The accused administrators of the "Boystown" site, aged 40 and 49, were arrested after raids in their homes. A third man accused of being an administrator ... has been detained. A fourth man, 64, was arrested in Hamburg on suspicion of uploading more than 3,500 images and videos of abuse to the site, as one of its most active members. He faces charges of belonging to the site and sharing material depicting child sexual abuse. Last month, the German Parliament passed a law to expand the authorities' abilities to pursue those suspected of harming children and increase the prison terms for anyone convicted of sexually abusing minors.

Note: To learn the dark meaning of "Boystown," explore on this webpage the Franklin cover-up and its involvement in child sex trafficking rings leading to the highest levels of government based out of Boystown in Nebraska. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street's Cooked Books Fueled the Financial Crisis in 2008. It's Happening Again.
2021-04-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:39:36
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/20/wall-street-cmbs-dollar-general-ladder-ca...

It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked," the billionaire investor Warren Buffett has famously said. During the crash of 2008, the whole world learned just how dangerously nude Wall Street was. Now it may be happening again – this time not with residential mortgage-backed securities, based on loans for homes, but commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, based on loans for businesses. John M. Griffin and Alex Priest are, respectively, a prominent professor of finance and a Ph.D. candidate at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. In a study released last November, they sampled almost 40,000 CMBS loans with a market capitalization of $650 billion underwritten from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2019. "Overall," they write, "actual net operating income falls short of underwritten income by 5% or more in 28% of loans." This was just the average, however: Some originators – including an unusual company called Ladder Capital as well as the Swiss bank UBS, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley – were significantly worse, "having more than 35% of their loans exhibiting 5% or greater income overstatement." With almost every lender, including Ladder, the overstatement increased as time went on. These income overstatements might cause defaults under any circumstances. But it has been particularly dangerous in a severe economic downturn like the one caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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


The Victims of Agent Orange the U.S. Has Never Acknowledged
2021-03-16, New York Times
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:37:50
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/magazine/laos-agent-orange-vietnam-war.html

The main focus of the War Legacies Project is to document the long-term effects of the defoliant known as Agent Orange and provide humanitarian aid to its victims. Agent Orange – best known for its widespread use by the U.S. military to clear vegetation during the Vietnam War – is notorious for being laced with a chemical contaminant called 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin, or TCDD, regarded as one of the most toxic substances ever created. The use of the herbicide in the neutral nation of Laos by the United States – secretly, illegally and in large amounts – remains one of the last untold stories of the American war in Southeast Asia. Only in the last two decades has the United States finally acknowledged and taken responsibility for the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam. While records of spraying operations inside Laos exist, the extent to which the U.S. military broke international agreements has never been fully documented, until now. An in-depth, monthslong review of old Air Force records, including details of hundreds of spraying flights, as well as interviews with many residents of villages along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, reveals that, at a conservative estimate, at least 600,000 gallons of herbicides rained down on the ostensibly neutral nation during the war. Of the 517 cases of disabilities and birth defects so far documented by the War Legacies Project in Laos, about three-fourths, like malformed limbs, are identifiable to the untrained eye as ... linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

Note: In 2012, Monsanto settled a lawsuit related to its manufacture of Agent Orange for $93 million. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?
2021-03-18, New York Times
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:36:06
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/opinion/oregon-psychedelic-therapy.html

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. The ... pressing case for psilocybin comes from research out of Johns Hopkins, U.C.L.A., N.Y.U. and elsewhere that has shown it to be a potentially effective treatment for major depression, end-of-life anxiety and drug addiction. "One of the things I've come to is that addiction medicine in 2021 is in desperate need of transformative technologies," Todd Korthuis, a ... member of Oregon's Psilocybin Advisory Board, told me. Studies ... are "showing dramatic change in people's lives – that's what we need for cocaine use disorder, methamphetamine use disorder, even alcohol and tobacco." A recent study on major depressive disorder, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found more than half of the subjects in remission four weeks later, after just two treatments alongside psychotherapy. A study on tobacco addiction, out of Johns Hopkins, found two-thirds of the subjects who received psilocybin in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy abstinent a year later.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


The conspiracy theory that still won't rest in peace
2021-04-01, Daily Mail (One of the UK's popular newspapers)
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:34:39
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9428743/The-conspiracy-theory-wont-r...

We are now in the 20th anniversary year of 9/11, the worst terror atrocity the world has witnessed, the day when more than 2,600 people were killed in the Twin Towers and the surrounding area. At first, the Campbell family and [fiancee Caroline Burbank] were sure [Geoff Campbell] was alive. But one year later, fragments of a shoulder blade containing Geoff's DNA were found amid World Trade Centre rubble. It was then that they started to question the official account of the disaster. After examining the testimony of hundreds of eyewitnesses and forensically dissecting the scientific trail of the towers' collapse, down to analysing dust on the ground at the New York site, they have compiled a lengthy dossier. It is a document which, they claim, proves that controlled demolition explosives – not aircraft – brought the buildings down. Later this month they will formally ask the acting Attorney General for England and Wales, Michael Ellis ... to allow them to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into Geoff's death. Six other families who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers plane attacks on 9/11 plan to send their own statements in support of the Campbells. If Mr Ellis gives the go-ahead – as the Campbells think likely – they plan an attempt to dismantle the notion that the Twin Towers were brought down by raging fires caused by leaking jet fuel which melted their supporting metal girders. At any new inquest, they would call in ... scientists who insist the plane attacks could not have toppled the two buildings.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 9/11 from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.


Facebook survey asks users if they condone pedophilia
2018-03-05, New York Post
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:32:45
https://nypost.com/2018/03/05/facebook-survey-asks-users-if-they-condone-pedo...

Facebook is under fire for publishing a stomach-churning survey that asked users whether pedophiles should be allowed to solicit "sexual pictures" from underage girls. The cringeworthy poll surfaced at the top of Facebook's home page for an unspecified number of users this past weekend, according to a report. "In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook's policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures," one question in the survey reads. The disgusting multiple-choice poll gave users the option to condone the sick behavior, allowing them to vote that the "content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it." Another possible, nausea-inducing response was that "the content should be allowed on Facebook, but I don't want to see it." The twisted survey was spotted by an editor at the Guardian, who published screenshots. Yet another ... question asked users who should decide whether pedophilic content was allowed on Facebook – users, Facebook and users, just Facebook or an outside entity. On Monday, the social networking giant headed by Mark Zuckerberg admitted that it was a "mistake" to publish the survey, which appeared to suggest that Facebook execs were openly debating whether to allow pedophiles on the site. "We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies," Facebook vice president Guy Rosen said.

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


How Optimism Helps You Achieve Goals With Less Stress
2021-04-28, Greater Good
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:30:54
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_optimism_helps_you_achieve_...

Optimism is essentially hopefulness about the future, a general belief that things will work out in your favor. A new study provides evidence that cultivating optimism might be worthwhile. According to the paper, which was published last month in the journal Emotion, optimism appears to be particularly useful when tackling challenges or approaching situations that could elicit high levels of stress. Researchers Heather Lench and Zari Carpenter explored the benefits of optimism. Over a thousand undergraduates completed a survey two weeks before taking their first psychology exam, which assessed their anticipated grade and their emotions about the exam. One day before the exam, participants were surveyed again about their expected grade and their study habits leading up to the exam. Two days after taking the exam, participants reported on the actual grade they received, as well as their emotional response. Indeed, they found that there is a likely connection between optimism and effort. Greater optimism two weeks prior to the exam predicted more study hours, greater overall satisfaction with the quality of their studying, and a better grade on the exam. If students lowered their expectations the day before the exam, they'd study less and get a worse grade. It's not just optimism that drives effort and results, but unflappable optimism that holds steady over a period of time. Optimism appears to fuel our efforts in achieving personal goals, and also improves the overall quality of our experiences while doing so.

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


Restaurant Owner Offers Would-Be Robber a Job Instead of Calling Cops
2021-04-07, Newsweek
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:29:23
https://www.newsweek.com/restaurant-owner-offers-would-robber-job-instead-cal...

A Georgia restaurant owner is making waves for choosing kindness after his popular establishment was the target of vandalism. After discovering Diablo's Southwest Grill had been broken into on Saturday, owner Carl Wallace took to Facebook with an unusual proposal; rather than calling the police, he extended an offer of employment to the unknown vandal. "To the would-be robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues... please swing by for a job application," Wallace wrote. "There are better opportunities out there than this path you've chosen." In a report from WFLA, a man was caught on security footage throwing a brick through the glass door and entering the establishment. Once inside, he shook the cash register, but according to Wallace, he ran off when he realized the register was empty. The viral Facebook post has touched the hearts of viewers. "As a 30-year government/law enforcement retiree I want to say, Thank you!," wrote another. "I've always said...' you're only one bad decision away from a totally different life.' This morning you made me think that sometimes....'you're only one GOOD decision away from a totally different life.'" Wallace said he did not expect his post to go viral the way it did. "It was just a little bit different approach to, you know, a bad situation," he [said]. "Putting this person through incarceration to then get out to make it harder to find a good-paying job. It only makes it worse."

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


Secrets of a tree whisperer: ‘They get along, they listen – they're attuned'
2021-04-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:28:07
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/24/suzanne-simard-finding-th...

When Suzanne Simard made her extraordinary discovery – that trees could communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi – the scientific establishment underreacted. Even though her doctoral research was published in the Nature journal in 1997 ... the finding that trees are more altruistic than competitive was dismissed by many. Today, at 60, she is professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia and her research of more than three decades as a "forest detective" is recognised worldwide. In her new book, Finding the Mother Tree – a scientific memoir as gripping as any HBO drama series – she wants it understood that her work has been no brief encounter: "I want people to know that what I've discovered has been about my whole life." Would she go as far as to suggest a tree can feel pain or grief? "I don't know. Trees don't have a brain, but the network in the soil is a neural network and the chemicals that move through it are the same as our neural transmitters." She is currently collaborating on research to see whether trees can distinguish us as humans. She laments our lack of vocabulary for communication between trees and adds: "Western Canada's aboriginal people have known about the connection between trees for a long time." But she believes we can learn from the way trees interact: "Some trees have lived for thousands of years. They get along, develop sophisticated relationships and listen – they're attuned. Attunement is something we all need too."

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


Pharmaceutical Industry Dispatches Army of Lobbyists to Block Generic COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-04-23, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:55:43
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/23/covid-vaccine-ip-waiver-lobbying/

The pharmaceutical industry is pouring resources into the growing political fight over generic coronavirus vaccines. Over 100 lobbyists have been mobilized to contact lawmakers and members of the Biden administration, urging them to oppose a proposed temporary waiver on intellectual property rights by the World Trade Organization that would allow generic vaccines to be produced globally. Pharmaceutical lobbyists working against the proposal include Mike McKay, a key fundraiser for House Democrats, now working on retainer for Pfizer, as well as several former staff members to the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, which oversees negotiations with the WTO. Several trade groups funded by pharmaceutical firms have also focused closely on defeating the generic proposal, new disclosures show. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which all receive drug company money, have dispatched dozens of lobbyists to oppose the initiative. The push has been followed by a number of influential voices taking the side of the drug lobby. Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., released a letter demanding that the administration "oppose any and all efforts aimed at waiving intellectual property rights." Currently, only 1 percent of coronavirus vaccines are going to low-income countries, and projections show much of the world's population may not be vaccinated until 2023 or 2024.

Note: Has it ever been more clear that big Pharma places profits above health, even when it might cause huge numbers of people to die? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.


After crime plummeted in 2020, Baltimore will stop drug, sex prosecutions
2021-03-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:52:53
https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/03/26/baltimore-reducing-prosecu...

Something happened in Baltimore last year. The coronavirus pandemic hit, and State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that the city would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus. And then crime went down in Baltimore. A lot. While violent crime and homicides skyrocketed in most other big American cities last year, violent crime in Baltimore dropped 20 percent from last March to this month, property crime decreased 36 percent, and there were 13 fewer homicides compared with the previous year. This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city's criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby's office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants for nonviolent crimes. So on Friday, Mosby made her temporary steps permanent. She announced Baltimore City will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car. A number of big-city prosecutors have moved to decriminalize drugs, and Oregon voters decriminalized small amounts of drugs statewide.

Note: The fact that the rest of the US last year experienced a "Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates" makes this all the more impressive. A 2016 report by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy found that the the war on drugs harmed public health. When Portugal decriminalized drugs, its addiction rates were cut in half.


American Police Are Inadequately Trained
2021-04-22, The Atlantic
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:50:53
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/04/daunte-wright-and-crisis...

In response to the high rate at which American police kill civilians, many on the left have taken up the call for defunding the police, or abolishing the police entirely. But some policing experts are instead emphasizing a different approach that they say could reduce police killings: training officers better, longer, and on different subjects. Police in the United States receive less initial training than their counterparts in other rich countries - about five months in a classroom and another three or so months in the field, on average. Many European nations, meanwhile, have something more akin to police universities, which can take three or four years to complete. European countries also have national standards for various elements of a police officer's job - such as how to search a car and when to use a baton. The U.S. does not. The 18,000 police departments in the U.S. each have their own rules and requirements. "Police officers, police chiefs, and everyone agree that we do not get enough training in a myriad of fields," Dennis Slocumb, the legislative director of the International Union of Police Associations [said]. Many policing experts recommend that officers be trained to slow down when they are able to do so, giving themselves time to decide the best course of action. "Police are taught in the academy [that] police always have to win," says Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. But sometimes it's okay not to win, particularly if it means saving a life.

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


Study reveals Americans pay four times more for medicine compared to wealthy countries
2021-04-28, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:49:25
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bernie-sanders-...

A government study commissioned by Senator Bernie Sanders has revealed that Americans pay two to four times more on prescription medicine compared to other wealthy countries. Analysis released by the Government Acountability Office (GAO) found that US consumers and insurers paid 2.82 times more than in Canada, 4.25 times more than in Australia, and 4.36 times more than in France for 20 brand-named prescription drugs in 2020. France and Australia both operate on a universal, publicly funded healthcare system, which can explain some of the discrepancy in prescription drug prices. Canada, similar to the United States, does not provide prescription drug coverage to all of its residents. But the analysis found that US residents typically paid two to eight times more than Canadians when paying for the same prescription drug. For example, 30 tablets of Xarelto, which treats blood clots, costs $558.33 in the US but just $85.44 in Canada. When purchasing 28 tablets of Epclusa to treat Hepatitis C, an infection that attacks the liver, it costs $36,743 in the US compared to $17,023.63 in Canada, according to the analysis. But Mr Biden's $1.8tn infrastructure plan ultimately left out popular progressive initiatives that would alter the healthcare system in America, including lowering the Medicare eligibility age and allowing the federal government to directly negotiate prescription drug prices. These policy ideas were both left out despite receiving overwhelming approval from the US public.

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


EMPIRE POLITICIAN: A Half-Century of Joe Biden's Stances on War, Militarism, and the CIA
2021-04-27, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:47:17
https://theintercept.com/empire-politician/

"I'm not going to change," Joe Biden said in his 2008 vice presidential debate. "I have 35 years in public office. I haven't changed in that time." The Intercept conducted an exhaustive analysis of Biden's political career, with a focus on his positions on dozens of U.S. wars and military campaigns, CIA covert actions, and abuses of power; his views on whistleblowers and leakers; and his shifting stance on the often contentious relationship between the executive and legislative branches over war powers. The picture that emerges is of a man who is dedicated to the U.S. as an empire, who believes that preserving U.S. national interests and "prestige" on the global stage outweighs considerations of morality or even at times the deaths of innocent people. Even in cases in which he passionately opposed U.S. military or CIA action, such as in President Ronald Reagan's 1980s campaigns to aid the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and the right-wing military junta in El Salvador, Biden sought ways to tweak U.S. policy in return for his political or legislative support. Throughout the 1990s, he pushed through harsh and punitive policies on crime, while spearheading sweeping surveillance legislation that would form the basis for the Patriot Act after 9/11. Biden would emerge, in the early stages of the "war on terror," as a leading legislative force supporting the most far-reaching aspirations of the Bush-Cheney White House. He was instrumental in the rushed passage of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

Note: Have you noticed that on the campaign trail, every US president from both parties has advocated for peace, while when they assume office they strongly support the military-industrial complex? So whose will are they serving, the people or the military machine? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.


Will the Biden Administration Shine Light on Shadowy Special Ops Programs?
2021-03-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:45:43
https://theintercept.com/2021/03/20/joe-biden-special-operations-forces/

Members of the U.S. special operations forces deployed to 154 countries, or roughly 80 percent of the world's nations, last year, but information about exactly where elite forces conduct missions, under what authorities they operate, who they've killed, and whether they're adhering to the laws of armed conflict is closely guarded, buried in obscure legal provisions, shrouded in secrecy, or allegedly unknown even to Special Operations Command. The command, known as SOCOM, will only name half the countries where its forces were active in 2020. It claims that its personnel – Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and Marine Corps Raiders among them – have captured or killed "thousands of terrorists" under one obscure program but also that it doesn't track such data. SOCOM refuses to provide even basic information about publicly acknowledged operations. Some of the least-known special operations missions are authorized under a provision known as "Section 1202 Authority," which first appeared in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and is "used to provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals" taking part in irregular warfare. Neither the Defense Department, SOCOM, nor any media outlet has ever revealed detailed information about 1202 missions, but based on what little is known about them, they are explicitly focused on so-called near-peer competitors such as China and Russia.

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


Faulty Testimony, Practices Found in FBI Lab Probe
1997-04-16, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:43:41
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-04-16-mn-49173-story.html

FBI crime laboratory experts gave inaccurate testimony at the trials of defendants in the World Trade Center blast and the 1989 bombing of Avianca Flight 203 in Colombia, and lab scientists and technicians used shoddy analysis and did not follow procedures in scores of other cases, the Justice Department's inspector general concluded. Those findings, coupled with serious problems in the way lab officials conducted themselves in the Oklahoma City bombing and the O.J. Simpson case, are part of a sweeping, 18-month investigation into significant failures at the lab at FBI headquarters in Washington. In addition to conclusions about how lab officials have performed in court, the inspector general also found that the bureau's scientists and technicians did not properly document their test results and poorly prepared lab reports. Overall, in investigating work at the lab's three key sections - the chemistry-toxicology, explosives and materials analysis units - [Inspector General Michael] Bromwich said: "We found significant instances of testimonial errors, substandard analytical work and deficient practices." Investigators also discovered instances where dictation on lab reports was altered and lab supervisors did not properly manage their agents. Bromwich's report does not say when or why the problems began at the lab, but some of the cases studied date back to the 1980s. As early as 1991, top FBI management was alerted to failures at the lab.

Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


FBI Issued Flawed Bombing Analysis, U.S. Probe Finds
1997-03-22,
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:39:43

The Justice Department inspector general's office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory made "scientifically unsound" conclusions in the Oklahoma City bombing case, finding that supervisors approved lab reports they "cannot support" and many analyses were "biased in favor of the prosecution." The still-secret draft report, obtained by The Times, also concludes that FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast and the amount of explosives involved and may not know for certain that ammonium nitrate was used for the main charge that killed 168 people and injured more than 850 others. The draft report shows that FBI examiners could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was detonated on April 19, 1995, and it warns that a poorly maintained lab environment could have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence, such as debris found on the clothing of defendant Timothy J. McVeigh. If entered into evidence at McVeigh's trial ... the draft report could provide a measure of doubt about whether bomb residue evidence was properly handled and professionally examined by experts at the Washington lab. The Justice investigation began after complaints were made by Frederic Whitehurst, an FBI chemist and the principal whistle blower on problems at the lab. While confirming many accusations made by Whitehurst and others, the report also knocks down a number of Whitehurst's charges.

Note: Read more about major issues with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. More recently, the FBI has admitted to problems in its forensics unit leading to decades of flawed testimony in criminal trials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Finland ranked happiest country in the world - again
2021-03-19, BBC News
Posted: 2021-05-02 15:37:31
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56457295

Finland has been named the happiest place in the world for a fourth year running, in an annual UN-sponsored report. The World Happiness Report saw Denmark in second place, then Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. New Zealand was again the only non-European nation in the top 10. Data from analytics researcher Gallup asked people in 149 countries to rate their own happiness. Measures including social support, personal freedom, gross domestic product (GDP) and levels of corruption were also factored in. The country deemed the most unhappy in the world was Afghanistan, followed by Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. There was a "significantly higher frequency of negative emotions" in just over a third of the countries, the report authors said, likely pointing to the effects of the pandemic. However, things got better for 22 countries. Several Asian countries fared better than they had in last year's rankings, while China moved to 84th place from 94th "Surprisingly there was not, on average, a decline in well-being when measured by people's own evaluation of their lives," John Helliwell, one of the report's authors, said in a statement. "One possible explanation is that people see Covid-19 as a common, outside threat affecting everybody and that this has generated a greater sense of solidarity and fellow-feeling." Finland "ranked very high on the measures of mutual trust that have helped to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic", the authors said.

Note: Read an article on how Finland solved homelessness and another article on why their schools have been deemed the best in the world.


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