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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.


9/11 saw much of our privacy swept aside. Coronavirus could end it altogether
2020-05-16, CNN News
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:41:22
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/16/tech/surveillance-privacy-coronavirus-npw-intl...

Spit into a cup when you land in an airport, and your DNA is stored. Every phone in every city talks to every other nearby device. Cross-border travel is enabled only by governments sharing data about millions of private movements. These are all possible visions of a future that the coronavirus pandemic has rushed on us. But a lurch into an even more intense era of mass data-collection - the vast hoovering up of who went near whom and when, who is healthy to travel, and even scraps of personal DNA languishing in databases - appears to be on the verge of becoming the new reality. It took the attacks of September 11, 2001 to shove aside the previous decade's phobia of mass surveillance ... in exchange for keeping us safe from terror. Over the next 15 years, billions of people agreed to a tacit deal where Facebook or Google were permitted to learn a staggering amount about them. But the challenge presented by Covid-19 - and the urgent need to trace contacts and movements - is of another scale of intimacy. South Korea located over 10,000 cellphones near the latest outbreak and texted them. The UK government has toyed with a centralized database of movements and health records, secured by government cyber-spies, able potentially to see who has been sick and who they have been near. Russia and many others have issued QR codes. China is putting surveillance cameras right outside people's doors. Will we look back at 2020 as the moment privacy finally evaporated?

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal
2020-05-29, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:39:35
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/28/lack-evidence-lockdowns-actua...

We have detonated the global economy to pursue a lockdown experiment that may not have worked, according to the latest evidence. World-class studies that suggest lockdown did not alter the pandemic’s course are mysteriously vanishing into internet obscurity on first contact with the official narrative. This is a scandal so overwhelming that there is only one good place to start: the evidence as it stands. In accordance with pro-lockdown theory, if stay at home orders worked, you might have expected to see daily deaths spike 3-4 weeks after such measures were implemented. But, in Britain, infections may have peaked a week before lockdown, according to Prof Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, with daily deaths in hospitals plateauing a fortnight after it was introduced. We are not an anomaly: peak dates across Europe also seem to confound the official theory. Don’t just take my word for it. A University of the East Anglia study posits that Europe's “stay-at-home policies” were not effective. A JP Morgan investigation suggests the virus “likely has its own dynamics” which are “unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures”. Nobel prize-winning bio-physicist Michael Levitt ... has claimed, sensationally, that the modelling that justified lockdown made the fatally incorrect assumption that Covid-19’s spread is continuously exponential. In fact, his research has found an uncanny pattern across numerous countries whereby the virus grows exponentially for two weeks, before slowing seemingly irrespective of ... social distancing measures.

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


Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin
2020-04-16, CNN News
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:36:55
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/12/asia/china-coronavirus-research-restrictions-i...

China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web. Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials. Since late January, Chinese researchers have published a series of Covid-19 studies in influential international medical journals. Some findings about early coronavirus cases - such as when human-to-human transition first appeared - have raised questions over the official government account of the outbreak and sparked controversy on Chinese social media. And now, Chinese authorities appear to be tightening their grip on the publication of Covid-19 research. A Chinese researcher who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation said the move was a worrying development that would likely obstruct important scientific research. "I think it is a coordinated effort from (the) Chinese government to control (the) narrative, and paint it as if the outbreak did not originate in China," the researcher told CNN. Last month, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, promoted a conspiracy on Twitter that the virus had originated in the US and was brought to China by the US military.

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


Cuomo is letting billionaires plan New York's future. It doesn't have to be this way
2020-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:34:59
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/14/andrew-cuomo-bill-gates...

Last week, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that Bill Gates would be responsible for “reimagining” New York’s education system. Cuomo also asked former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt to lead a panel planning New York’s post-Covid tech infrastructure. As Naomi Klein writes, the appointments of Schmidt and Gates represent a “Pandemic Shock Doctrine ... that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up [and] treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent – and highly profitable – no-touch future”. Schmidt’s vision of the future is ... mass surveillance plus public investment in companies in which he has a stake. Even if Schmidt and Gates had good policies, Cuomo’s knighting of them is offensive to American self-government. Nobody voted for them and they are accountable to no one. Cuomo ... is simply allowing billionaires to plan our future directly, taking out the middlemen. Cuomo anointed these tsars at the exact same time that he took vast new powers away from the state legislature, which has not been holding regular legislative hearings since 1 April. Coronavirus has created a constitutional crisis of sorts, one where the rules of representation, power and decision-making are up for grabs. Monopolists are seizing power and market share for themselves, setting themselves up as the arbiters of our collective futures.

Note: For more, see this revealing article by Naomi Klein in the Intercept. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


1 In 5 Adults In England Think The Coronavirus Is A Hoax
2020-05-22, NPR
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:32:55
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/22/860947708/1-...

About 1 in 5 adults in England believe the coronavirus is to some extent a hoax, according to research on conspiracy theories by the University of Oxford. In addition, researchers found nearly 3 out of 5 adults in England believe the government is misleading them to some extent about the cause of the virus, and nearly 1 in 10 strongly agree that China developed the coronavirus to destroy the West. The research was based on surveys of 2,500 adults earlier this month and published in the journal, Psychological Medicine. Lead researcher and psychology professor Daniel Freeman said the pandemic has the necessary ingredients to fuel conspiracy theories, including sustained threat and enforced change. He added that those who believe conspiracy theories are less likely to follow government guidance. "Those who believe in conspiracy theories also say that they are less likely to accept a vaccination, take a diagnostic test or wear a face mask," Freeman said. "In the wake of the epidemic, mistrust looks to have become mainstream." In the United Kingdom ... more than 100 cellphone towers have been burned amid unfounded conspiracy theories that the new mobile technology known as fifth generation either spreads the virus or the lockdown is a cover for rolling out 5G.

Note: Just because someone claims a conspiracy doesn't mean there is not truth to it. Though informative, this article is quite dismissive of those who question the official story of the coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Trump’s Vaccine Chief Has Vast Ties to Drug Industry, Posing Possible Conflicts
2020-05-21, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:31:21
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-s-vaccine-chief-has-vast-ties-t...

The chief scientist brought on to lead the Trump administration’s vaccine efforts has spent the last several days trying to disentangle pieces of his stock portfolio and his intricate ties to big pharmaceutical interests. The scientist, Moncef Slaoui, is a venture capitalist and a former longtime executive at GlaxoSmithKline. Most recently, he sat on the board of Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology firm with a $30 billion valuation that is pursuing a coronavirus vaccine. He resigned when President Trump named him last Thursday to the new post as chief adviser for Operation Warp Speed, the federal drive for coronavirus vaccines and treatments. Just days into his job, the extent of Dr. Slaoui’s financial interests in drug companies has begun to emerge: The value of his stock holdings in Moderna jumped nearly $2.4 million, to $12.4 million when the company released preliminary, partial data from an early phase of its candidate vaccine trial. Dr. Slaoui did not come on board as a government employee. Instead, he is on a contract ... that leaves him exempt from federal disclosure rules that would require him to list his outside positions, stock holdings and other potential conflicts. And the contract position is not subject to the same conflict-of-interest laws and regulations that executive branch employees must follow. Dr. Slaoui ... is not the first Trump administration official with close relationships to drug and health care companies. Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, is a former Eli Lilly executive.

Note: If the above link fails, this article is also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in Big Pharma from reliable major media sources.


Why Bombs Made in America Have Been Killing Civilians in Yemen
2020-05-16, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:28:56
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/arms-deals-raytheon-yemen.html

Year after year, the bombs fell — on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats and a school bus, killing thousands of civilians and helping turn Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Weapons supplied by American companies, approved by American officials, allowed Saudi Arabia to pursue the reckless campaign. But in June 2017, an influential Republican senator decided to cut them off, by withholding approval for new sales. It was a moment that might have stopped the slaughter. Not under President Trump. Trade adviser Peter Navarro ... wrote a memo to Jared Kushner and other top White House officials calling for an intervention. He titled it “Trump Mideast arms sales deal in extreme jeopardy, job losses imminent.” Within weeks, the Saudis were once again free to buy American weapons. The intervention, which has not been previously reported, underscores a fundamental change in American foreign policy under Mr. Trump. Where foreign arms sales in the past were mostly offered and withheld to achieve diplomatic goals, the Trump administration pursues them mainly for the profits they generate and the jobs they create, with little regard for how the weapons are used. Mr. Trump has tapped Mr. Navarro ... to be a conduit between the Oval Office and defense firms. His administration has also rewritten the rules for arms exports, speeding weapon sales to foreign militaries. The State Department, responsible for licensing arms deals, now is charged with more aggressively promoting them.

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


A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic
2020-05-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:26:52
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/26/americans-with-depression-an...

A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic. When asked questions normally used to screen patients for mental health problems, 24 percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30 percent showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. The findings suggest a huge jump from before the pandemic. For example, on one question about depressed mood, the percentage reporting such symptoms was double that found in a 2014 national survey. The troubling statistics were released last week in a tranche of data from the Census Bureau. The agency launched an emergency weekly survey of U.S. households at the end of April to measure the pandemic’s effects on employment, housing, finances, education and health. In the most recent data release, 1 million households were contacted between May 7 and 12, and more than 42,000 responded. Buried within that 20-minute survey, U.S. officials included four questions taken nearly word-for-word from a form used by doctors to screen patients for depression and anxiety. Those answers provide a real-time window into the country’s collective mental health after three months of fear, isolation, soaring unemployment and continuing uncertainty. Those results reflect a deepening of existing trends: rising depression, stress and suicide among young adults.

Note: Read also a Washington Post article titled "A massive wave of evictions is coming." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.


Rice ATMs cater to Indonesia's poor as millions face unemployment due to coronavirus
2020-05-13, ABC News
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:25:11
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-13/coronavirus-indonesia-rice-atms-unempl...

Indonesia's Government has rolled out what it calls rice ATMs across Jakarta to assist the needy, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy toll on South-East Asia's largest economy. Authorities have so far rolled out 10 machines across greater Jakarta — home to more than 30 million people — to dispense 1.5 kilograms of rice to the poor, as millions have found themselves out of work due to coronavirus social distancing measures. Jakarta resident Agus, who goes by one name, lost his job as a labourer in early March. It is estimated up to 70 per cent of Indonesia's labour force works informally, meaning the impact of enforced business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have been particularly severe. Agus and his family are one of hundreds who have already registered for rice assistance in his district — a requirement to be eligible to access the rice ATM. Officials say the machines can distribute up to 1.5 tonnes of rice per day to 1,000 people. Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture said that the rice ATMs will operate for at least the next two months and Agus hopes that the government will consider extending the program. "There's no guarantee that me and other people will get a job next month, of course, it'd be better if we can keep the assistance until we earn money again," he said. "The free rice has greatly helped my family to reduce our monthly spending." A rice ATM has also reportedly been installed at Diponegoro University in the city of Semarang, allowing hungry students to access 2kg of rice per week.

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


Some Countries Have Brought New Cases Down To Nearly Zero. How Did They Do It?
2020-05-27, NPR
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:23:24
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/05/23/861577367/messaging-from...

Although the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow globally, there are places that have managed to successfully control COVID-19. Perhaps the greatest success story is New Zealand, which has stopped local transmission and has a plan to completely eliminate the virus from its territory. "The lesson is that it can be done," says Siouxsie Wiles. Wiles heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland. Much of her work focuses on antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases. When the coronavirus hit, she got involved in communication efforts in New Zealand to help explain the virus, including by using a popular cartoon. But it wasn't just scientists who led the charge. Wiles — and many other New Zealanders — give much of the credit for their country's success to the swift and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Wiles ... says that the prime minister did something quite interesting, "which was that unlike many other countries, she never put us on a war footing." So Ardern's speeches weren't about attacking an invisible enemy — as many world leaders would say. Instead she called on New Zealanders to confront this crisis by protecting their fellow citizens. "She talked over and over about us being a team of 5 million and that we all do our part to break these chains of transmission and to eliminate the virus," Wiles says. "I think that has been one of the really crucial things — everybody ... behaving for the good of everybody."

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


COVID-19 Sparks a Rebirth of the Local Farm Movement
2020-05-21, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2020-05-31 18:21:48
https://www.yesmagazine.org/environment/2020/05/21/coronavirus-food-local-far...

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the future of the Cannard Family Farm—whose organic vegetables supplied a single Berkeley restaurant—was looking stark. Bob Cannard built his 30-year career by rejecting organic certification in favor of his own “better than organic” breed of “natural process agriculture,” enriching the soil on his Green String Farm with crushed rock and compost. He and his son have long sold the fruits of their labor to the famous restaurant Chez Panisse. But in March, the stay-at-home order hit, and the restaurant closed. [Chef Alice] Waters was worried about the vulnerable situation her workers and producers were finding themselves in. She rushed to establish a subscription CSA, which stands for community supported agriculture, offering weekly food boxes that could be picked up at the shuttered restaurant, filled with goodies from her regular producers like Cannard. “I’m trying to connect our network with the people who would like to have that food in their home,” she said. “Farmers are always in an uphill battle, especially ecological farmers,” says Wiig of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. “We’ve been able to keep farm markets open as essential businesses, but crowds have decreased with people afraid to go out, and sales are down.” Community Alliance was quick to jump in, becoming a “matchmaker” for producers and buyers on its website. They’re also providing all kinds of information for farmers about how to start and run a CSA.

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


There's one epidemic we may never find a vaccine for: fear of black men in public spaces
2020-05-27, CNN News
Posted: 2020-05-31 17:33:50
https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/26/us/fear-black-men-blake/index.html

There is [a] type of contagion that still keeps some of White America paralyzed: Fear of black men in public spaces. This Memorial Day weekend saw the release of two disturbing videos involving black men. One showed a white Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man who was gasping, "I can't breathe." The man later died. In the second incident, a white woman was walking her dog in New York's Central Park when she got into a dispute with a black man who asked her to leash her pet. A video [shows her calling] the police and saying, "I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life." Both episodes came not long after the release of another video that showed Ahmaud Arbery ... shot to death after encountering two white armed men while jogging in Georgia. All those incidents have a depressing familiarity to many black men. It's part of the ambient racism of our everyday lives. Black men have long been a bogeyman in White America's collective psyche. Why are black men still so feared in 2020? White America has long associated black men with criminality and hypersexuality. It permeates our history and our art. It's why some social science experiments show that even trained police officers are biased to see black man as threats. The stereotype of the dangerous black man is burrowed so deep in our collective imagination that even many black Americans see black men as automatic threats. Until more white people actually live among and befriend black people, that fear will persist. Until something changes, we black men ... keep our voices down, tiptoe through public spaces and stifle our fear. We try everything we can to avoid being the next black man in a viral video.


Questions raised over masked white man with umbrella seen calmly smashing windows before Minneapolis riots
2020-05-29, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-31 17:28:21
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/minneapolis-protest-riot-um...

As protests and unrest continued in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd, people are questioning the identity of a man filmed smashing windows. Footage emerged of the white man, dressed all in black, and in gloves and boots, calmly smashing the windows of an auto parts store with a large hammer. His face is obscured by an expensive-looking gas mask and he is also holding an open black umbrella — although it was not raining. Twitter quickly christened him 'Umbrella Man'. As he methodically smashes the windows of the Minneapolis branch of AutoZone, video shows that he is confronted by two people, apparently trying to stop him, before he turns and walks quickly away. A small group follows him and he tries to snatch the phone of the person filming. Someone yells: "Are you a f***ing cop?" Twitter users have accused him of being everything from an undercover police officer, to part of Antifa, to a white supremacist, or an agent provocateur there to incite violence that would ultimately trigger a widespread riot. The incident was recorded before fires were started. Minnesota’s attorney general Keith Ellison even chimed in, tweeting: “This man doesn’t look like any civil rights protester I have ever seen. Looks like a provocateur. Can anyone ID him?” A popular theory that went viral identified a specific police officer from neighbouring St Paul by name, based on screenshots of a series of text messages purportedly from a former partner. The identity of 'umbrella man' continues to be a subject of speculation and rumour.

Note: Watch the umbrella man video here. A tweet you can see in this article suggests it was a policeman in the video. Read an excellent but disturbing article on how recent protests are being infiltrated by militias and other groups intent on causing trouble. Here's another example of an undercover police officer discovered among protestors in Oakland, CA several years ago. A member of the WTK team who lives in Minneapolis has a friend who was putting out fires during the riots only to then have uniformed police chase them away and restart the fires.


Singapore enforces social distancing — with a robot dog
2020-05-13, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:44:10
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-13/coronavirus-singapores-...

Spot is focused on the asphalt path ahead, where a few joggers and bicyclists are out for some socially distanced sunshine. A cyclist in a brimmed hat rides past. Spot pipes up, not with a bark, but with a recorded message. “Let’s keep Singapore healthy,” comes a woman’s voice, polite but firm. “For your own safety, and for those around you, please stand at least one meter apart. Thank you.” Spot [is] an agile, four-legged, arrestingly doglike robot that Singapore has deployed to help enforce distancing measures during the second month of a partial coronavirus lockdown. Developed by Boston Dynamics of Waltham, Mass., Spot is one of the world’s most advanced commercial robots, last seen opening doors, hauling a truck or dancing to Bruno Mars in a slate of mesmerizing promotional videos. Its two-week pilot in a park here is seen as a test of how machines and artificial intelligence could help reduce human contact in public spaces. Singapore officials said the goal of using Spot was “reducing the manpower required for park patrols and minimizing physical contact among staff, volunteer safe distancing ambassadors and park visitors.” Cameras installed on its body will help estimate the number of visitors in the park, but officials said they cannot recognize individuals. If the trial is successful, officials said they would consider deploying Spot ... at other parks. A second Spot robot has also been in use since last month to deliver medicines at an isolation facility housing thousands of COVID-19 patients.

Note: Click on the link above to see this robotic canine. Robot policing raises some serious concerns. CNBC has an article claiming as a result of the virus, we need social robots, robot avatars, and more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data
2020-05-19, MSN News/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:41:58
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/virus-cases-rising-in-russia-as-crisis-e...

Public health officials in some states are accused of bungling coronavirus infection statistics or even using a little sleight of hand to deliberately make things look better than they are. In Virginia, Texas and Vermont, for example, officials said they have been combining the results of viral tests, which show an active infection, with antibody tests, which show a past infection. Public health experts say that can make for impressive-looking testing totals but does not give a true picture of how the virus is spreading. In Florida, the data scientist who developed the state’s coronavirus dashboard, Rebekah Jones, said this week that she was fired for refusing to manipulate data “to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” In Georgia, one of the earliest states to ease up on lockdowns and assure the public it was safe to go out again, the Department of Public Health published a graph around May 11 that showed new COVID-19 cases declining over time in the most severely affected counties. The daily entries, however, were not arranged in chronological order but in descending order. Georgia's Department of Public Health also regularly publishes a graph that shows cases over time, except new infections are not listed on the day they came back positive, which is the practice in many other states. Instead, Georgia lists new cases on the day the patient first reported symptoms. That practice can shift the timeline of the outbreak and make it appear as if the state is moving past the peak.

Note: It's quite interesting to note that they made no mention of fudging the figures to make things look worse than they are, like doctors being instructed to list cause of death as COVID-19 even when they aren't certain. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Black Miami doctor handcuffed while helping homeless during pandemic
2020-04-17, NBC News
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:40:21
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-miami-doctor-handcuffed-while-helpi...

A black Miami doctor was handcuffed outside his home last week while on his way to hand out tents to the city’s homeless during the coronavirus outbreak. Security footage appeared to show a police sergeant handcuffing Dr. Armen Henderson, an internal medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System, as he was placing camping tents in his van. According to Henderson, the officer asked him what he was doing and if he was littering – Henderson told him he lived there. “At some point, he got upset with what I was saying and he handcuffed me,” Henderson [said]. The officer then walked him over to the police car and pointed his fingers at him, all while not wearing a mask. Henderson’s wife, Leyla Hussein, came out of the house with identification to prove they both lived there. Incidents like these underscore why black communities often distrust law enforcement. Only about a third of blacks say local police, “do an excellent or good job in using the appropriate force on suspects,” according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study. After fatal police shootings of black men such as Walter Scott and Alton Sterling, [a] study found that black people were, in fact, more likely to be stopped by police. “If you’re black or a minority, you’re significantly more likely to be arrested if they stop you,” Ted Miller ... who led the study, [said]. In 2019, another study ... revealed black men were 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by the police.

Note: Read about a 26-year-old black woman who was an EMT needlessly shot to death in her home and the purely racist murder of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery. When will it stop? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.


Federal Government Buys Riot Gear, Increases Security Funding, Citing Coronavirus Pandemic
2020-05-17, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:37:01
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/17/veterans-affairs-coronavirus-security-pol...

The federal government has ramped up security and police-related spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including issuing contracts for riot gear, disclosures show. The purchase orders include requests for disposable cuffs, gas masks, ballistic helmets, and riot gloves, along with law enforcement protective equipment for federal police assigned to protect Veterans Affairs facilities. The orders were expedited under a special authorization “in response to Covid-19 outbreak.” “Between 2005 and 2014, VA police departments acquired millions of dollars’ worth of body armor, chemical agents, night vision equipment, and other weapons and tactical gear,” The Intercept reported last year. But an Inspector General report in December 2018 found there was little oversight. The CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus legislation passed in late March, also authorized $850 million for the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, a federal grant program to prepare law enforcement, correctional officers, and police for the crisis. The funds have been dispensed to local governments to pay for overtime costs, purchase protective supplies, and defray expenses related to emergency policing. The grants may also be used for the purchase of unmanned aerial aircraft and video security cameras for law enforcement. Motorola Solutions, a major supplier of police technology, has encouraged local governments to use the new money to buy a range of command center software and video analytics systems.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Untold Story of the Birth of Social Distancing
2020-04-22, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:34:45
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/social-distancing-coronavirus....

Fourteen years ago, two federal government doctors, Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, met with a colleague at a burger joint in suburban Washington for a final review of a proposal they knew would be treated like a pińata: telling Americans to stay home from work and school the next time the country was hit by a deadly pandemic. How that idea — born out of a request by President George W. Bush to ensure the nation was better prepared for the next contagious disease outbreak — became the heart of the national playbook for responding to a pandemic is one of the untold stories of the coronavirus crisis. “A pandemic is a lot like a forest fire,” Mr. Bush said in a speech at the National Institutes of Health. “If caught early it might be extinguished with limited damage.” To develop ideas, the Bush administration enlisted Dr. Hatchett, who had served as a White House biodefense policy adviser, and Dr. Mecher, who was a Veterans Affairs medical officer. Dr. Mecher heard from Robert J. Glass, a senior scientist at Sandia. “Targeted social distancing strategies can be designed to effectively mitigate the local progression of pandemic influenza without the use of vaccine or antiviral drugs,” concluded a study that Dr. Glass published. The administration ultimately sided with the proponents of social distancing. Then the coronavirus came, and the plan was put to work across the country for the first time. Dr. Markel called it “very gratifying to see our work used to help save lives.” But, he added, “it is also horrifying.”

Note: Read an excellent essay revealing serious questions about the formation of this policy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


YouTube censors epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski for opposing lockdown
2020-05-16, New York Post
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:32:41
https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/youtube-censors-epidemiologist-knut-wittkowski-...

Big Tech companies are aggressively tamping down on COVID-19 “misinformation” — opinions and ideas contrary to official pronouncements. Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says YouTube removed a video of him talking about the virus that had racked up more than 1.3 million views. Wittkowski, 65, is a ferocious critic of the nation’s current steps to fight the coronavirus. He has derided social distancing, saying it only prolongs the virus’ existence, and has attacked the current lockdown as mostly unnecessary. Wittkowski, who holds two doctorates in computer science and medical biometry, believes the coronavirus should be allowed to create “herd immunity,” and that short of a vaccine, the pandemic will only end after it has sufficiently spread through the population. “I was just explaining what we had,” Wittkowski told The Post of the video, saying he had no idea why it was removed. “They don’t tell you. They just say it violates our community standards. There’s no explanation for what those standards are or what standards it violated.” In articles and interviews across the web, he has likened COVID-19 to a “bad flu.” That likely made him a target for YouTube. “Anything that goes against [World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our policy,” CEO Susan Wojcicki told CNN.

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


Amid Hydroxychloroquine Uproar, Real Studies of Drug Are Suffering
2020-05-20, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:30:45
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/amid-hydroxychloroquine-uproar-real-stud...

President Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of a malaria drug that he now says he takes daily — and the resulting uproar in the news media — appears to be interfering with legitimate scientific research into whether the medicine might work to prevent coronavirus infection or treat the disease. The drug, hydroxychloroquine ... is also widely used to treat lupus and other autoimmune diseases. But specialists — including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert — say the jury is still out. Mr. Trump’s frequent pronouncements and misstatements — he has praised the drug as a “game changer” and a “miracle” — are only complicating matters. Last week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Dr. Fauci leads, announced a 2,000-patient study to determine whether hydroxychloroquine, when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, “can prevent hospitalization and death from Covid-19,” joining more than 50 other clinical trials that are continuing in the United States. Researchers around the country said the controversy was depressing enrollment in their clinical trials. The president’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro ... said “hydroxy hysteria” in the news media — not Mr. Trump — was to blame. “Has the media’s war of hysteria on hydroxychloroquine killed people?” Mr. Navarro asked in an interview. “If the scientific evidence does indeed prove that the medicine has both prophylactic and therapeutic value, the answer is yes.”

Note: In a survey reported in this New York Post article, over 2,000 physicians were asked which drug was most effective in treating the coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine was chosen by the greatest number of those surveyed (37%). Remember that chlorequine has already been proven safe for other illnesses and is very cheap as the patent expired. So big Pharma, who are huge sponsors of the media, don't like this drug. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ on contaminated surfaces: CDC
2020-05-20, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:28:57
https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ny-cdc-coronavirus-does-not-spread...

The uncertainty surrounding coronavirus has been a huge source of anxiety throughout this pandemic, as scientists have struggled to uncover not just a treatment for the disease, but also basic facts about its existence. Though many have been concerned about infection through items like groceries or mail deliveries, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently issued updated guidance saying that coronavirus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects. “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” the CDC says. “This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.” The CDC still notes, however, that the virus spreads 'very easily and sustainably’ from person to person. As precautions against infection, the organization continues to recommend that people wash their hands often with soap and water and maintain six feet of social distance from others. Despite the update regarding transmission through objects, it still says that Americans should routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

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


Princeton University is hanging a series of portraits that honor its blue-collar campus workers
2020-01-06, CNN News
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:26:48
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/us/princeton-university-portraits-workers-trnd...

At Princeton University, portraits of blue-collar campus workers are now taking center stage. A new set of paintings are offering a fresh perspective on the working class, racial struggle and empowerment at the Ivy league school. Mario Moore, the artist behind the paintings, views his artwork as more than just decoration. By showcasing the university's workers, he wants to pay tribute to them and "put them in positions of power," he told CNN. Moore painted 10 workers at Princeton, including people in facilities, dining, grounds maintenance and security. He focused on African-Americans as his subjects and says he was inspired by the plight of migrant black families who have struggled for job opportunities and equal pay. Growing up in Detroit, he remembers his own father working blue-collar jobs to provide for him. "Mario's portraits capture beautifully the character and contributions of valued members of our campus community and bolster our broader efforts to ensure Princeton's portraiture and iconography reflect the University's values and diversity," said university spokesman Ben Chang. "We are excited to acquire some of Mario's works so they become a permanent part of the University's collection and can be appreciated by future generations." Moore, 32, was one of five Hodder Fellows at Princeton. After he completed the program in June, his paintings were displayed at the school's exhibition. The Princeton University Art Museum ... subsequently purchased a lot of his work.

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


Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet
2020-05-16, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:25:18
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/humpback-whales-have-made-a-remarkable-r...

In the depths of the ocean, and out of sight for most of us, there’s a quiet miracle happening. Many humpback whale populations, previously devastated by commercial whaling, are making a comeback. A recent study on humpbacks that breed off the coast of Brazil and call Antarctic waters home during the summer has shown that these whales can now be found in the sort of numbers seen before the days of whaling. In the 1830s there were around 27,000 whales but, after heavy hunting, by the mid-1950s only 450 remained. It is reassuring to see what happens when we leave nature to follow its course. The ban of commercial whaling in 1986 led to a strong recovery and now this population is thought to be around 93% of its original size. By taking away the threat of hunting, and having safe spaces to survive and thrive, humpback numbers in many areas have recovered. This is great news for the whales, of course, but also for the climate. Keeping carbon out of the atmosphere is key to tackling the climate crisis and the contribution that a single whale can make is something we need to take seriously. A single whale stores around 33 tonnes of CO2. If we consider only the Antarctic humpback whales that breed in Brazil, protecting this population alone has resulted in 813,780 tonnes of CO2 being stored in the deep sea. That’s around twice the yearly CO2 emissions of a small country. When a whale dies naturally, it exports carbon stored in its gigantic body to the deep sea, keeping it locked up for centuries.

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


These Carbon-Neutral Bioceramic Geodesic Dome Homes Last 500 Years And Don’t Rot, Burn, Or Rust
2020-04-29, Forbes
Posted: 2020-05-25 01:23:40
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/04/29/these-carbon-neutral-bio...

California-based Geoship has raised almost $400,000 from 583 investors in a crowdfunding campaign to create a new kind of housing: affordable, resilient, modular, green, and long-lasting. The inspiration is from Buckminster Fuller, architect and futurist who popularized the geodesic dome. The invention enabling it? Bioceramic, the same material used to coat hip and knee joint replacements. “When Buckminster Fuller was building domes in the sixties and seventies,” CEO Morgan Bierschenk [said], “he kind of guessed that it would be fifty to a hundred years until the right material sciences arrived to really produce geodesic domes.” Bierschenk thinks bioceramic is the right material. It’s a new type of chemically-bonded ceramic that forms strong molecular bonds like a polymer. Crucially, bioceramic has the same property that makes cement so useful: the ability to mix it into a slurry and pour it into a mold without using high heat. That makes it cheap (and green) to manufacture, while enabling it to be much stronger than concrete. The company’s first project is a permanent geodesic village for the homeless in Las Vegas. “The embodied energy calculations of conventional construction is ... somewhere between 80 and 300 tons of embodied CO2 in a typical wood house,” Bierschenk [said]. “ The embodied CO2 in a bioceramic dome is somewhere in the three to 10 ton range.” That’s around 30 times less carbon. The expected lifespan of the building [is] 500 years.

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


Enforcing the shutdown: Law enforcement grapples with policing stay-at-home orders, social distancing, quarantines
2020-04-02, USA Today
Posted: 2020-05-25 00:17:05
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/02/coronavirus-police-fi...

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is ... directing residents to stay home to avoid a larger outbreak of the coronavirus. Authorities have charged at least two people in recent days with violating bans on public gatherings of more than 10 people – an offense that could result in a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both. Hogan says arrest for coronavirus offense sends 'great message.' The governor’s declaration mirrors a struggle across the country to enforce a patchwork of new stay-at-home orders, social-distancing directives and quarantines. Some people have found themselves under arrest for violating coronavirus regulations. In Hawaii, violators of the stay-at-home order face some of the stiffest penalties on the books to date: fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail. Police in Honolulu have issued dozens of citations and made at least two arrests. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has [called] for visitors from heavily-infected states and cities to self-isolate for 14 days or risk 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. [In Florida] checkpoints have been set up on interstate highways. Violators could be fined up to $500, jailed up to 60 days, or both. Washington State ... residents are invited to complete online forms detailing suspected violations by local businesses operating when they should be closed. The state threatens violators with citations, suspension notices, revoked business licenses – even criminal charges. Some states that order out-of-staters to quarantine themselves for 14 days have drawn complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union for violating travelers' rights.

Note: Meanwhile in Sweden with no lockdown policies, no one is being arrested and the country has not spiraled out of control as predicted. Is it worth saving thousand of lives with these severe policies at the cost of hundreds of millions being plunged into poverty worldwide? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


What Life Is Like for Millions of Americans Facing Financial Ruin Because of the Pandemic
2020-05-07, Time Magazine
Posted: 2020-05-25 00:10:40
https://time.com/5833008/us-unemployment-coronavirus/

The growing gap between America’s rich and everyone else is hardly new. But the extra-ordinarily rapid economic collapse catalyzed by COVID-19 has made the chasm deeper and wider. Since mid-March, more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment. Meanwhile, after a steep but brief dip in March, the stock market rallied. The richest and most well–connected are seeing their wealth reaccumulate, as if by magic, while middle- and working–class families drown in debt that deepens with every passing week. The contrast isn’t just between low-wage workers and billionaire bosses. Bills are mounting for small restaurants and retailers as their applications for the federal Paycheck Protection Program go unanswered. Small retailers closed to comply with social–distancing orders while e-commerce sales, especially from the biggest online platforms, have spiked. Assistance is most readily available to those with lawyers and lobbyists on the payroll. It’s not an exaggeration to say that inequality has the potential to undermine democratic society and threaten global stability. Only about 1 in 4 adults in lower-income households say they have enough money to cover expenses for three months in the case of an emergency. The majority of people laid off are working–class and disproportionately women and people of color. One lost job or missed rent payment threatens to tip them into an economic abyss. More businesses will fail, creating more unemployment and further diminishing consumer demand. About 12.7 million Americans have likely lost employer–provided health insurance since the pandemic began. The richest are steadily climbing ever higher while workers without stable jobs, incomes or savings are sent plummeting downward.

Note: Note that the financial ruin is not caused by the virus, but by the severe lockdown policies being implemented. These policies have no scientific basis. Meanwhile in Sweden with no lockdown policies, no one is being arrested, the country has not spiraled out of control as predicted, and the economy is fairing well. Is it worth saving thousand of lives with these severe policies at the cost of hundreds of millions being plunged into poverty worldwide? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic
2020-05-21, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-05-25 00:05:23
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/21/american-billionaires-got-434-billion-richer-...

America’s billionaires saw their fortunes soar by $434 billion during the U.S. lockdown between mid-March and mid-May, according to a new report. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had the biggest gains, with Bezos adding $34.6 billion to his wealth and Zuckerberg adding $25 billion. The billionaire gains highlight how the coronavirus pandemic has rewarded the largest and most tech-focused companies, even as the economy and labor force grapples with the worst economic crisis in recent history. According to the report, the net worth of America’s billionaires grew 15% during the two-month period, to $3.382 trillion from $2.948 trillion. The biggest gains were at the top of the billionaire pyramid, with the richest five billionaires -- Bezos, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison -- seeing combined wealth gains of $76 billion. Elon Musk had among the largest percentage gain of billionaires during the two months, seeing his net worth jump by 48% in the two months to $36 billion. Zuckerberg was close behind, seeing his wealth surge by 46% in the two months, to $80 billion. Bezos’ wealth increased by 31% to $147 billion. Because the study timeline captures the stock market bottom and quick rebound, it creates a slightly sunnier picture for billionaires than the full year. For the year, Buffett’s wealth has declined by $20 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, while Gates is down by $4.3 billion. For the year, Jeff Bezos has gained $35.5 billion while Zuckerberg is up by $9 billion.

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


Swedish virus outcomes will be hard to copy
2020-05-12, Reuters
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:33:13
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-economy-breakingviews/breakingviews...

Sweden’s coronavirus choices are unique. The Scandinavian country is the only Western one not to impose a lockdown and will suffer less economic damage as a result. Sweden’s minority government relies on centre-left, centre-right and green parties to pass laws so there’s more political consensus around its pandemic policy than might be the case elsewhere. Public trust in the authorities meant guidelines on social distancing were largely followed without a lockdown. Sweden’s Covid-19 death rate, of around 322 deaths for every million people, is substantially below the UK, Italy and Spain, which imposed full lockdowns. Still, Sweden’s death toll is higher than its Nordic peers or Germany as a result of the trade-off to limit the economic damage. At least the bet paid off. Swedish GDP shrank 0.3% in the first quarter from the previous three months, less than a tenth of the pace at which the euro zone economy contracted. The generous welfare system makes it easy for Swedish workers to self-isolate without suffering financial hardship. Their country spends roughly a quarter of its GDP on social spending ... and compensates workers for the majority of wages if they are furloughed. This applies even to the self-employed. And given public debt amounted to only 35% of GDP in 2019, fiscal policy had plenty of room to help the economy. The government last month announced a 39 billion Swedish crown ($4 billion) scheme to reimburse up to three-quarters of businesses’ fixed costs, based on lost turnover.

Note: Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


H.R. 6666 a devil of a COVID-19 government surveillance plot
2020-05-12, Washington Times
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:30:50
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/may/12/hr-6666-a-devil-of-a-covid-1...

What’s more devilishly un-American than launching one of the most massive government surveillance programs of private citizens in U.S. history, all under the guise of protecting people from the coronavirus? That’s the “COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act” in all its $100 billion grant giveaway glory. According to H.R. 6666’s text: The taxpayer funds will be used to “trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts, through mobile health units and, as necessary ... at [citizens’] residences.” That means government comes to your home, taps on your door and demands you take a COVID-19 test. And if you test positive, that means the government makes sure you stay at home. The top dogs at the Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in control of disbursing the $100 billion to local governments to carry out the COVID-19 testing — more specifically, to “hire, train, compensate and pay the expenses of individuals” to staff mobile health units and to knock on citizens’ doors and to enforce compliance with quarantining. This is nothing but a massive government surveillance program cloaked in a cure-the-coronavirus label. A petition at Change.org to stop the nonsense has generated about 28,000 signatures. “HR 6666 violates inalienable rights to one’s person, home and property, to one’s life, freedoms, privacy and security,” the petition states.

Note: Why the huge price tag of $100 billion, which is more than the entire 2019 budget for the US Dept. of Health and Human Services? Explore this bill which greatly threatens privacy and civil rights on the website of the US Congress at this link. This excellent and well researched video leaves little doubt that some people will be taken from their homes and children taken from their mothers. For those concerned about being traced and quarantined, this article has good information on who is behind it all. Sign a petition opposing this bill on this webpage.


Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia
2020-05-08, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:28:48
https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tec...

During New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. The inspiration ... was a video visit from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who joined the governor’s briefing to announce that he will be heading up a blue-ribbon commission to reimagine New York state’s post-Covid reality, with an emphasis on permanently integrating technology into every aspect of civic life. Just one day earlier, Cuomo had announced a similar partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop “a smarter education system.” It has taken some time to gel, but something resembling a coherent Pandemic Shock Doctrine is beginning to emerge. Call it the “Screen New Deal.” Far more high-tech than anything we have seen during previous disasters, the future that is being rushed into being as the bodies still pile up treats our past weeks of physical isolation not as a painful necessity to save lives, but as a living laboratory for a permanent — and highly profitable — no-touch future. This is a future in which, for the privileged, almost everything is home delivered, either virtually via streaming and cloud technology, or physically via driverless vehicle or drone, then screen “shared” on a mediated platform. It’s a future in which our every move, our every word, our every relationship is trackable, traceable, and data-mineable by unprecedented collaborations between government and tech giants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


FBI raises eyebrows after saying it would not accept electronic FOIA requests due to coronavirus outbreak
2020-03-18, Fox News
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:26:57
https://www.foxnews.com/media/fbi-foia-requests-coronavirus

The FBI raised eyebrows on Tuesday when the agency announced that it would not be accepting electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. As the spread of the virus continues to disrupt normal functions of society like schools, restaurants and sporting events, not many could have predicted that the electronic requests for FBI documents would be affected. "Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding," a red-bolded disclaimer stated on the FBI website. The sudden halt of electronic FOIA requests sparked puzzled reactions on social media. "This is crazy but, then again, FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo," BuzzFeed senior investigative Jason Leopold tweeted. "The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency." They would prefer to receive only those requests laden with all of our germs and whatnot?" Reuters reporter Brad Heath asked.

Note: You can verify this information on the FBI website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Covid-19 pandemic shines a light on a new kind of class divide and its inequalities
2020-04-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:25:02
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/25/covid-19-pandemic-shine...

The Covid-19 pandemic is putting the deepening class divide in America into stark relief. Four new classes are emerging. The Remotes: These are professional, managerial, and technical workers – an estimated 35% of the workforce – who are putting in long hours at their laptops ... and collecting about the same pay as before the crisis. The Essentials: They’re about 30% of workers, including nurses, homecare and childcare workers, farm workers, food processors, truck drivers, warehouse and transit workers, drugstore employees, sanitation workers, police officers, firefighters, and the military. Too many Essentials lack adequate protective gear, paid sick leave, health insurance, and childcare. They also deserve hazard pay. The Unpaid: They’re an even larger group than the unemployed – whose ranks could soon reach 25%, the same as in the Great Depression. 43% of adults report they or someone in their household has lost jobs or pay. The unpaid most need cash to feed their families and pay the rent. Fewer than half say they have enough emergency funds to cover three months of expenses. The Forgotten: This group includes everyone ... packed tightly into places most Americans don’t see: prisons, jails for undocumented immigrants, camps for migrant farmworkers, Native American reservations, homeless shelters, and nursing homes. The Essentials, the Unpaid, and the Forgotten are disproportionately poor, black, and Latino and they are disproportionately becoming infected.

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


Trump is using a pandemic to weaken environmental law. First victim: The Grand Canyon
2020-05-07, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:22:47
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/trump-is-using-a-pandemic-to-weaken-environ...

An administration advisory group just released a report recommending opening more public lands to uranium extraction. The steps recommended in a new report by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group, an industry-stacked panel the president created through an executive order in July 2019, look a lot like pre-determined conclusions. One of the most alarming should worry every Arizonan, and frankly every American: excluding uranium mines from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which gives Americans the chance to review and comment on major proposals that impact them. The report, if it’s implemented, paves the way for dangerous mining of the sort that even industry cheerleaders don’t suggest in public. The report spells it out in black and white when it recommends that federal regulators “consider categorical exclusions for uranium mineral exploration and development activities.” A categorical exclusion is offered only to individual projects determined to have no impact on the environment. The Trump administration wants to take advantage of widespread stay-at-home policies to weaken laws that protect us from unchecked pollution. These recommendations are another in a long line of industry giveaways being pushed under cover of pandemic without public scrutiny. The American people should reject this report. And as a credible new analysis from the Grand Canyon Trust shows us, even if we wanted to take the report seriously, there’s no such thing as a truly “safe” uranium mine.

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


'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
2017-10-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:20:26
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silic...

Justin Rosenstein had tweaked his laptop’s operating system to block Reddit, banned himself from Snapchat, which he compares to heroin, and imposed limits on his use of Facebook. He was particularly aware of the allure of Facebook “likes”, which he describes as “bright dings of pseudo-pleasure” that can be as hollow as they are seductive. And Rosenstein should know: he was the Facebook engineer who created the “like” button. There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. But those concerns are trivial compared with the devastating impact upon the political system that some of Rosenstein’s peers believe can be attributed to the rise of social media and the attention-based market that drives it. Drawing a straight line between addiction to social media and political earthquakes like Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, they contend that digital forces have completely upended the political system and, left unchecked, could even render democracy as we know it obsolete. It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned.

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


Why the News Is Not the Truth
1995-05-01, Harvard Business Review
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:18:06
https://hbr.org/1995/05/why-the-news-is-not-the-truth

The U.S. press, like the U.S. government, is a corrupt and troubled institution. Corrupt not so much in the sense that it accepts bribes but in a systemic sense. It fails to do what it claims to do, what it should do, and what society expects it to do. The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. That is the thesis advanced by Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist (at Harvard University), journalist (at Fortune magazine), and corporate communications executive (at Ford Motor Company), in his provocative analysis entitled News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works. What has emerged, Weaver argues, is a culture of lying. “The culture of lying,” he writes, “is the discourse and behavior of officials seeking to enlist the powers of journalism in support of their goals, and of journalists seeking to co-opt public and private officials into their efforts to find and cover stories of crisis and emergency response. In such an environment, the actors who most skillfully create and manipulate crises determine the direction of change.

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


The Rescue Operation Bridging a Food Access Gap in California
2020-04-29, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:15:38
https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2020/04/29/coronavirus-food-access...

By 11 a.m. on a Wednesday in Antioch, California, hundreds of cars are lined up at the Palabra de Dios Community Church. The cars fill the church’s ample parking lot and snake up the neighboring service street ... waiting for food. Most weekdays since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a box truck delivers groceries here: bags of fresh kale, lettuce, and radishes; boxes of apples, limes, and tomatoes; canned beans, pastas, and gallons and gallons of milk and juice. As volunteers from the church unload the truck, others quickly sort the food into single-family grocery boxes to put into each car. “Our intention here is to provide food to those who truly need it,” says Ruben Herrera, pastor of Palabra de Dios. Herrera and his congregation don’t regularly operate a food drive out of the parking lot of their church, but for many churches, nonprofits, and social service providers, the COVID-19 crisis has prompted a rapid reconfiguration of resources and efforts to address the needs of their communities. The truckload of food comes from White Pony Express, a nonprofit aimed at alleviating hunger in Contra Costa County. Over the past six years, the staff members at White Pony Express have built and coordinated a growing food redistribution network, in which they “rescue” food with approaching sell-by dates from grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers markets, and redistribute that food to the county’s low-income residents via food pantries, schools, and community centers.

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


California To Pay Restaurants To Feed Needy Seniors
2020-04-24, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:13:58
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/california-to-pay-restaurants-to-feed-needy...

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a novel aid program Friday that aims to get restaurants rehiring workers right away while also feeding needy seniors and generating sales tax revenue for city governments. California will team up with the federal government to pay restaurants to provide three meals a day to needy seniors. The partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local governments will provide eligible seniors with 21 meals a week, Newsom said. FEMA will cover 75% of the costs of the meals. The state will cover most of the remaining costs. According to Newsom, the program is a first of its kind in the nation. "This partnership will allow for the ability for restaurants to start rehiring people or keep people currently employed and start preparing meals, three meals a day, seven days a week, and have those meals delivered to our seniors all throughout the state of California," Newsom said. "We will provide an unlimited number of meals, no cap in terms of that support." The governor said the program will also have nutrition guidelines for the meals. "We want to make sure we are focused on locally produced produce," he said. "We want to connect our farms to this effort. We want to focus our values throughout the state of California to get a lot of independent restaurants up and running again as well. And make sure what we are sending to our seniors is low sodium, not high fructose drinks or sugary drinks and the like, so there's guidelines that we're putting out."

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


Dr Abhay Bang: the revolutionary paediatrician
2011-03-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-18 13:12:16
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/mar/20/dr-abhay-bang-revo...

Dr Abhay Bang does not look like a pioneer. And yet ... this is the man who has revolutionised healthcare for the poorest people in India and who has overseen a programme that has sent infant mortality rates plummeting in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world. Medical experts now believe that Dr Bang's radical beliefs hold the key to tackling the myriad endemic health problems that blight the developing word. Instead of accepting the traditional hospital-based treatment model, Dr Bang has spent the last 26 years training up local volunteers in Gadchiroli, one of the most deprived districts in the Indian state of Maharashtra, to treat simple maladies at home. The World Health Organisation and Unicef have recently endorsed his approach to treating newborn babies and the programme is currently being rolled out to parts of Africa. In 1988, 121 newborn babies were dying out of every 1,000 births in the area. The newborn death rate in Gadchiroli has now fallen to 30 per 1,000 live births. Dr Bang's solution was simple: he trained a group of local women in the basics of neonatal care. They were taught how to diagnose pneumonia (using an abacus to count breaths), how to resuscitate children and how to administer some basic antibiotics. Instead of villagers having to walk for miles to get to the nearest hospital, these health visitors (called arogyadoots, which means "health messengers") went to where they were most needed.

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


Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s
2020-05-12, Foreign Affairs
Posted: 2020-05-18 00:28:18
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sweden/2020-05-12/swedens-coronavirus...

China placed 50 million people under quarantine in Hubei Province in January. Since then, many liberal democracies have taken aggressive authoritarian measures. One country, however, stands out as an exception. Rather than declare a lockdown ... Sweden asked its citizens to practice social distancing on a mostly voluntary basis. They eschewed harsh controls, fines, and policing. Swedish authorities imposed some restrictions designed to flatten the curve: no public gatherings of more than 50 people, no bar service, distance learning in high schools and universities. Many restaurants remain open [and] young children are still in school. Sweden has not introduced location-tracing technologies or apps, thus avoiding threats to privacy and personal autonomy. Sweden has won praise in some quarters for ... keeping its per capita death rate lower than those of Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. But it has come in for criticism in other quarters for exceeding the per capita death rates of other Nordic countries. Swedish authorities have argued that the country’s higher death rate will appear comparatively lower in hindsight. The country’s intensive care units have not been overrun. Estimates from the OECD suggest that every month of pandemic-related restrictions will shrink the economies of advanced countries by two percent. France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States ... will see their economies shrink by more than 25 percent within a year. Unemployment is rising to levels unheard of since the 1930s—fueling political backlash and deepening social divisions. There are good reasons for countries to begin easing their restrictions.

Note: Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


As Europe emerges from lockdown, the question hangs: was Sweden right?
2020-05-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-18 00:25:27
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/15/europe-emerges-lockdown...

As Europe and the world emerge blearily to survey the wreckage of lockdown, the question is still left hanging. Was Sweden right? Stockholm gambled in its response to coronavirus, but neither its economy nor its healthcare system have collapsed. Just two months ago, it held hands with Britain in rejecting total lockdown. Then on 23 March, Boris Johnson did a U-turn, leaving Sweden ... on its own. Since then the divergence has become radical and political. The one table that glares at us daily is ... deaths per million. The most stringent lockdowns – as in China, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Britain – have yielded both high and low deaths per million. Hi-tech has apparently “worked” in South Korea, but so has no-tech in Sweden. Sweden’s 319 deaths per million is far ahead of locked-down Norway’s 40 and Denmark’s 91, but it’s well behind locked-down UK’s 465 and Spain’s 569. Sweden’s light-touch policy is led by two scientists, Johan Giesecke and his protégé Anders Tegnell. The latter currently leads Stockholm’s strategy with ... 73% popular support. Tegnell has been emphatic throughout. A degree of social distancing and avoiding crowds is enough. As for lockdown, “Nothing to do with [it] has a scientific basis.” [Sweden] has kept itself open and at work, and has not seen the surge in “all-causes excess deaths” of the UK and other high-lockdown states. According to Tegnell ... “there is no other escape” but to find ways of living with this virus. Sweden gambled in its response, but so did the rest of the world. The UN warns that the world could lose four years of growth at a cost of $8.5 trillion. Famine and further disease will be rife. That was surely the greater gamble.

Note: Read a balanced, informative New York Times article written by a Swede about her experience there. This graph shows that Sweden is doing well compared to other countries considering that they have not instituted a lockdown. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from major media sources.


Public companies received $1 billion in stimulus funds meant for small businesses
2020-05-01, MSN News/Washington Post
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:49:55
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/public-companies-received-dollar1-billi...

Publicly traded companies have received more than $1 billion in funds meant for small businesses from the federal government’s economic stimulus package, according to data from securities filings compiled by The Washington Post. Nearly 300 public companies have reported receiving money from the fund, called the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the data compiled by The Post. Recipients include 43 companies with more than 500 workers, the maximum typically allowed by the program. Several other recipients were prosperous enough to pay executives $2 million or more. After the first pool of $349 billion ran dry, leaving more than 80 percent of applicants without funding, outrage over the millions of dollars that went to larger firms prompted some companies to return the money. As of Thursday, public companies had reported returning more than $125 million. Other companies have said they plan to keep the funds. While much of the program’s criticism has focused on the relatively large companies that received the money intended for small businesses, there is some evidence that the program missed its target in other ways, too. The areas where small businesses have been most affected – New York and New Jersey, for example – were less likely to see loans from the program. Only about 15 percent of businesses in the congressional districts most affected by business losses were able to obtain PPP help; by contrast, in the least affected congressional districts, 30 percent were able to obtain them.

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


I.M.F. Predicts Worst Downturn Since the Great Depression
2020-04-14, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:47:48
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/politics/coronavirus-economy-recession-...

The International Monetary Fund issued a stark warning on Tuesday about the coronavirus’s economic toll, saying that the world is facing its worst downturn since the Great Depression as shuttered factories, quarantines and national lockdowns cause economic output to collapse. With countries already hoarding medical supplies and international travel curtailed, the I.M.F. warned that the crisis threatened to reverse decades of gains from globalization. In its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. projected that the global economy would contract by 3 percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from early this year, when the fund forecast that the world economy would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent. This year’s fall in output would be far more severe than the last recession, when the world economy contracted by less than 1 percent between 2008 and 2009. The United States is expected ... contract by about 6 percent in 2020. The global economic contraction from 1929 to 1932 was approximately 10 percent. Advanced economies shrank by 16 percent during that period. Barry Eichengreen, the University of California, Berkeley, economist who is a scholar of the Great Depression, said there were several parallels between now and then. He pointed to the jobless rate in the United States, which he expects could top the 25 percent that was reached in 1933, and the global nature of the downturn, which could prolong the crisis as poor countries struggle to combat the virus.

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


Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November
2020-04-08, ABC News
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:45:52
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/intelligence-report-warned-coronavirus-crisis...

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents. The report ... raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia - forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier. "Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January. The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.

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


Nearly 90% of People Hospitalized for COVID-19 Have Underlying Conditions, Says CDC
2020-04-09, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:43:42
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/nearly-90percent-of-people-hospi...

For weeks, the world has been inundated with information about the COVID-19 pandemic. While cases continue to rise and researchers learn more about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), most data has lacked a certain specificity. But on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was able to give a closer look at exactly who is most affected by COVID-19. In a new study published for the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers found that the majority of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 have preexisting conditions—about 90% of patients, or nearly all, had one or more underlying conditions. The most common ... include hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes mellitus (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). The data collected for the study came from the COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET), created for population-based surveillance for all confirmed COVID-19–related hospitalizations in the US. The CDC's new study used the demographics of 1,482 COVID-19 patients ... from across 14 different states. The study found that 74.5% of those hospitalized due to coronavirus were age 50 or older, with the highest rates among those over 65. Men were also disproportionately affected (54.4% of those hospitalized from COVID-19 were male), as were African Americans, who represented 33% of hospitalizations, despite only making up 18% of the total population studied.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


South Korea’s Health Minister on How His Country Is Beating Coronavirus Without a Lockdown
2020-04-30, Time
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:41:34
https://time.com/5830594/south-korea-covid19-coronavirus/

It wasn’t looking good for South Korea in mid-February. The nation had the world’s second highest number of coronavirus cases after China. But thanks to early preparations, and a robust public health response based around extensive testing and tech-powered contact tracing, the nation’s tally of infections has been kept to just 10,765. More impressive still, no major lockdown or restrictions on movement have been imposed, save a few scattered curfews. On Apr. 15, some 29 million people turned up to vote in parliamentary elections - yet no known infections arose, thanks to strict social distancing at the polls. On Wednesday, South Korea had zero local infections for the first time since the outbreak was first recorded 72 days previously. South Korea’s health and welfare minister Park Neung-hoo explained to TIME exactly how his nation engineered such a remarkable turnaround. "Instead of physical lockdown, we fought the virus through an epidemiological approach such as wide diagnostic testing and isolation of contacts, while encouraging people’s voluntary cooperation for social distancing," [he said]. "We believed this was more effective than forcible measures and indeed it paid off. The key is whether we are able to keep COVID-19 cases within our medical system’s capacity to treat patients. In Korea, we set strict standards and regularly evaluate how patient numbers match our medical capacity, allowing us balance the two pressing needs [of public health and economy]."

Note: Read more on South Korea's success in this NBC article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


What America can learn from other nations in the war on COVID-19
2020-04-26, USA Today
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:39:52
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/todaysdebate/2020/04/26/coronavirus-le...

With nearly 55,000 confirmed lives lost in the United States so far and widespread economic disruption from the coronavirus, it is increasing apparent that America could learn a thing or two from how other democracies are managing the pandemic. Taiwan, for example, never ordered a lockdown. Its baseball season is in full swing. The country is so flush with pandemic supplies that it is exporting 10 million masks to America and elsewhere. Under Iceland's "lockdown lite," kindergartens and elementary schools are on limited operations, allowing parents to work. South Korea's malls and restaurants are bustling. Constraints are being eased in New Zealand and in Germany. The rate of coronavirus deaths in these five countries — three of which are led by women — is significantly less than that in the United States, which has lost more people to the virus than any nation and has the world's seventh highest COVID-19 mortality rate. Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland and Germany began stockpiling test kits even before their first coronavirus deaths. The United States, meanwhile, fumbled the creation of a COVID-19 test in February and has been behind ever since. Other nations were innovative and aggressive on testing. Taiwan checked passengers disembarking from cruise ships and retested patients diagnosed with influenza or pneumonia to ensure no mistakes were made. South Korea launched drive-thru diagnostics on Feb. 26. Iceland leads the world in per capita testing, while America ranks 41st.

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


Food Shortages? Nope, Too Much Food In The Wrong Places
2020-04-03, NPR
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:38:09
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2020/04/03/826006362/food-shortages-nope...

In recent days, top U.S. government officials have moved to assure Americans that they won't lack for food, despite the coronavirus. In fact, the pandemic has caused entirely different problems: a spike in the number of people who can't afford groceries and a glut of food where it's not needed. Dairy farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Georgia have been forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk that no one will buy. In Florida, vegetable growers are abandoning harvest-ready fields of tomatoes, yellow squash and cucumbers for the same reason. "We cannot pick the produce if we cannot sell it, because we cannot afford the payroll every week," says Kim Jamerson, a vegetable grower. Those crops will be plowed back into the ground. The situation is especially dire for Florida's tomato growers, who sell 80% of their production to restaurants and other food service companies, rather than to supermarkets. Meanwhile, food banks and pantries are having trouble supplying enough food to people who need it, including millions of children who no longer are getting free meals at school and people who've lost jobs in recent weeks. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a network of food banks and charitable meals programs, says that these programs normally receive large donations of unsold food from retail stores. In recent weeks, though, as retailers struggled to keep their shelves stocked, "we're seeing as much as a 35% reduction in that donation stream from retail," Babineaux-Fontenot says.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


The pandemic has made the US healthcare crisis far more dire. We must fix the system
2020-05-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:36:29
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/02/us-healthcare-system-co...

Before the pandemic, 87 million people were uninsured or underinsured in our country, and more than 30,000 people died every year because they couldn’t get to a doctor when they needed to see one. More than half a million families declared bankruptcy each year because of medically related debt. One out of five Americans could not afford the outrageously priced prescription drugs their doctors prescribed to them. And our healthcare outcomes, from maternal deaths to life expectancy to infant mortality, lagged behind most other industrialized nations. And for all of that, the United States still spends nearly $11,000 on healthcare for every adult and child – more than twice the average of other major countries. That was before the pandemic. The situation is far more dire now. Over just the last five weeks, more than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs and now face a crisis unique among advanced countries: for most of them, their healthcare was tied to their jobs. In America, unlike any other major country, when you lose your job, you lose your healthcare. As a result, up to 35 million Americans are estimated to see their health coverage disappear in the middle of this Covid-19 nightmare. Do we really want to continue the current expensive and cruel system that ties healthcare to our jobs? Or do we need a simple, comprehensive and cost-effective system that understands that healthcare is a human right for all of our people – employed or unemployed, young or old, rich or poor?

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


"Literally a miracle": Violent rival gangs in South Africa call truce to help people during pandemic
2020-04-18, CBS News
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:34:55
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-cape-town-violent-rival-gangs-south-...

Warring gangs in South Africa are working together in an unprecedented truce to deliver much-needed food to people under lockdown. The country has seen a 75% decrease in violent crime since it imposed strict restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic, and normally dangerous streets in Cape Town now see sworn enemies meeting up to collect essential goods to distribute throughout hungry communities. "What we're seeing happen here is literally a miracle," Pastor Andie Steele-Smith said. Steel-Smith works with gang members in his community, many of whom are convicted killers. "They are the best distributors in the country," he said. "They are used to distributing other white powders, but still they are distributing things and then, they know everybody." Preston Jacobs, a member of the "Americans" gang, told CBS News' Debora Patta it "feels nice" to take on a new role and communicate with those in need. "Now I see there are nice people also, and people want to love what we're doing now," Jacobs said. Sansi Hassan of the "Clever Kids" gang expressed hope that this current ceasefire in gang violence could be permanent in the post-lockdown future. "If it can stay like this, then there will be no gang fight," he said. "And every gang will agree with us." Pastor Steel-Smith remains optimistic for his community. "I am proud of you guys," he said to two gang members working to distribute essential goods. "If I died today and went to heaven, I would die a happy man."

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


In Italy, 'Suspended Shopping' Helps Those Facing Economic Hardship During Pandemic
2020-04-24, NPR
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:32:50
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/24/842891052/in...

In Italy, where the coronavirus has shuttered more than 2 million businesses and left 1 in every 2 workers without income, some Italians are putting a new twist on an old custom to help the needy and restart the economy. In Rome, the Piazza San Giovanni della Malva used to echo with the noise of crowded cafes and restaurants. Now, the only business open is a grocery shop, Er Cimotto. It's so small that social distancing forces customers to order through the window. On a recent morning, a shopper asks that 10 euros ($10.83) be added to her bill for what's called la spesa sospesa, "suspended shopping." The concept derives from the century-old Neapolitan tradition of "suspended coffee" — when a customer in a cafe pays in advance for someone who can't afford it. Shop owner Michela Buccilli says suspended coffee has been replaced with suspended grocery shopping. "The customer who has something leaves something for those who don't," she says. The store usually doubles the amount donated and provides food that does not spoil fast — such as pasta and canned goods — to a local aid group, the Sant'Egidio Community, that distributes it to the needy. Buccilli says one customer wanted specifically to donate a kilo of oranges to a needy family, so Buccilli sent the aid group a crate of oranges. Suspended shopping is an act of charity in which the donor doesn't show off and the recipient doesn't have to show gratitude. With Italy's economy in suspension, the custom is being broadened.

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


Good news still thrives amid coronavirus pandemic: An inspiring traveling musician, sea turtles flourish and more
2020-04-24, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-05-11 02:31:06
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/good-news-still-thrives-amid-coronavirus-pand...

Gatherings around the world have been postponed amidst the coronavirus outbreak and social distancing protocols meant to combat the illness. But people everywhere are making efforts to remind others that kindness isn’t canceled during this critical time. In fact, joy and compassion have been encouraged to help everybody get through. A grocery store worker in Vancouver, Wash. is doing much more than stocking shelves while working through the coronavirus quarantine — he’s inspiring people to consider the communication obstacles that the deaf community is facing as people wear masks. Matthew Simmons is deaf and relies on his lip reading skills to communicate with verbal coworkers and customers who don’t use American Sign Language (ASL). But when people began wearing masks, as enforced by the FDA, Simmons was anxious about how he would communicate, so he customized his work shirt to inform people that he reads lips and was provided white boards in order to communicate nonverbally with customers. A family in California is sharing the story of their grandmother’s “hero” nurse, after the healthcare worker went above and beyond her duties to get the elderly woman at risk of dying from the coronavirus on a video call with her son, daughter-in-law and grandkids. “I believe that our communication ... inspired her to persevere in her fight with COVID-19 to stay alive,” Will Wagner [said].

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


How 39 million Europeans kept their jobs after the work dried up
2020-05-06, MSN News
Posted: 2020-05-11 00:19:03
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/how-39-million-europeans-kept-their-j...

In Europe, nearly 39 million people are being paid by governments to work part time or not at all, a record level of support that will shape the region's ability to claw its way out of the deep recession triggered by the coronavirus. Like never before, European countries are relying on programs that encourage struggling companies to retain employees but reduce their working hours. The state then subsidizes a portion of their pay, in some countries paying as much as 80% of average wages. Unlike the system widely used in the United States, where employers lay off workers who then need to apply for government benefits, programs such as Germany's "Kurzarbeit," which translates to "short-time work," maintain the relationship between employers and their employees, helping work resume quickly once business picks back up. Kurzarbeit is credited with helping prevent mass layoffs in Germany following the 2008 global financial crisis. But present uptake is unprecedented. In Germany, as many as one in four employees may be on short-time work programs. In France and Italy, the number rises to as many as one in three workers or more. This could give Europe a leg up in its recovery, allowing economies in the region to restart quickly and efficiently as demand rebounds. A survey by the Ifo Institute in Germany this week found that 99% of restaurants and 97% of hotels in the country are making use of the Kurzarbeit program, as well as 94% of companies in the auto sector. The average across industries is 50%. [In contrast,] just 62,300 Americans received work-sharing benefits for the week ending April 11, according to the most recent data from the US Department of Labor.

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


Seen 'Plandemic'? We Take A Close Look At The Viral Conspiracy Video's Claims
2020-05-08, NPR
Posted: 2020-05-11 00:14:10
https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852451652/seen-plandemic-we-take-a-close-look-...

[A] 26-minute video called Plandemic has exploded on social media in recent days, claiming to present a view of COVID-19 that differs from the "official" narrative. The video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube via links that are replaced as quickly as the video-sharing service can remove them for violating its policy against "COVID-19 misinformation." In it, filmmaker Mikki Willis conducts an uncritical interview with Judy Mikovits. Many of Mikovits' claims concern ... conflicts that she attributes to various high-profile individuals. Among them are Dr. Anthony Fauci [and] Dr. Robert Redfield. Mikovits ... says Fauci has profited from patents bearing his name that were derived from research done at NIAID. The Associated Press did report in 2005 that scientists at the National Institutes of Health "have collected millions of dollars in royalties for experimental treatments without having to tell patients [they] had a financial connection." Fauci [was] among those who received royalty payments. Mikovits also [casts] doubt on the official statistics regarding COVID-19 deaths, saying that doctors and hospitals have been "incentivized" to count deaths unrelated to the disease. In fact, a 20% premium was tacked on to Medicare payments for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The video correctly points to U.S. cooperation with and funding for the Wuhan laboratory. In [a] 2009 paper, Mikovits is among 13 researchers who claimed to have found that a mouse retrovirus may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. [The paper] "sent shock waves through the scientific community, as it revealed the common use of animal and human fetal tissues were unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases."

Note: We've selected the parts of this article supporting Mikovits, though overall it is clearly biased against her. The article strangely fails to mention her claims Fauci stole her research and used it for profit. Why was this video banned from social media? You can still view it here or on this great website which posts many banned videos. Definitely high strangeness here, as you can read in this article about Mikovits in Science magazine. Explore independent research confirming a number of the claims of Mikovits.


Government scientist Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover
2020-05-05, MSN/The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapaers)
Posted: 2020-05-11 00:08:23
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/exclusive-government-scientist-nei...

The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lock down Britain resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday. He broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover. Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house. The epidemiologist leads the team at Imperial College London that produced the computer-modelled research that led to the national lockdown, which claimed that more than 500,000 Britons would die without the measures. Prof Ferguson has frequently appeared in the media to support the lockdown and praised the "very intensive social distancing" measures. The revelation of the "illegal" trysts will infuriate millions of couples living apart and banned by the Government from meeting up during the lockdown, which is now in its seventh week. On at least two occasions, Antonia Staats, 38, travelled across London from her home in the south of the capital to spend time with the Government scientist, nicknamed Professor Lockdown. The 51-year-old had only just finished a two-week spell self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Police in England and Wales have handed out more than 9,000 fines during the lockdown – equivalent to one every five minutes, while Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, was forced to resign last month after making two trips to her second home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Note: This article in the UK's Telegraph reveals that Ferguson's models in years past were "severely flawed," resulting in millions of unnecessary livestock deaths and billions in financial loses. This Time magazine article further states, "Ferguson and colleagues published a paper suggesting that even with some social distancing measures, the U.K. could see 250,000 coronavirus deaths and that the U.S. might have about 1 million deaths." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Why the coronavirus models aren’t totally accurate
2020-04-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-05-11 00:02:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-mass-testing-were-flying-blin...

Estimates of [coronavirus] lethality keep going down. On March 31, the White House estimated that, even with social distancing policies in place, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans would die of covid-19. Anthony S. Fauci recently indicated the government’s estimates will soon be revised downward. Predictions for hospitalization rates have also proved to be substantial overestimations. On March 30, University of Washington researchers projected that California would need 4,800 beds on April 3. In fact, the state needed 2,200. The same model projected that Louisiana would need 6,400; in fact, it used only 1,700. Even New York, the most stressed system in the country, used only 15,000 beds against a projection of 58,000. In March, the World Health Organization announced that 3.4 percent of people with the virus had died from it. That would be an astonishingly high fatality rate. Fauci suggested a week later that the actual rate was probably 1 percent. [Yet] some studies find that 75 to 80 percent of people infected could be asymptomatic. That means most people infected with the virus ... never get counted. Standford's John Ioannidis, ... one of the most cited scientists in the field, believes we have massively overestimated the fatality of covid-19. “Iif you make a small mistake in the base numbers, you end up with a final number that could be off 10-fold, 30-fold, even 50-fold,” he [said]. South Korea has been able to tackle the virus without lockdowns precisely because it has handled testing superbly. We have shut down the economy based on models. But models are only as good as the data that shapes them.

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


Neil Ferguson, the scientist who convinced Boris Johnson of UK coronavirus lockdown, criticised in past for flawed research
2020-03-28, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-10 23:59:29
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/03/28/neil-ferguson-scientist-convinced...

Professor Neil Ferguson ... produced a paper predicting that Britain was on course to lose 250,000 people during the coronavirus epidemic. His research is said to have convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors to introduce the lockdown. Ferguson has been criticised in the past for making predictions based on allegedly faulty assumptions which nevertheless shaped government strategies. He was behind disputed research that sparked the mass culling of farm animals during the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease ... which ultimately led to the deaths of more than six million cattle, sheep and pigs. The cost to the economy was later estimated at Ł10 billion. A 2011 paper ... found that the government ordered the destruction of millions of animals because of "severely flawed" modelling. And separately he also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or 'mad cow disease'). [One] report stated: "The mathematical models were, at best, crude estimations." It also described a febrile atmosphere – reminiscent of recent weeks – and claimed that this allowed mathematical modellers to shape government policy. To date there have been fewer than 200 deaths from the human form of BSE. Scientists warned ... about the dangers in making sweeping political judgments based on mathematical modelling which may be flawed. Michael Thrusfield, professor of veterinary epidemiology ... described his sense of "déjŕ vu" when he read Mr Ferguson's Imperial College paper on coronavirus. Others have directly criticised the methodology employed by Ferguson and his team in their coronavirus study.

Note: This informative article shows predictions of 40,000 dead in Sweden by early May using Ferguson's model were way off. As of May 10th, Sweden had registered 3,225 deaths. A review of his deeply flawed code is available here. This MSN article further reveals that Ferguson blatantly violated his own restrictions by seeing a married lover shortly after the UK lockdown was instituted. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research
2020-04-28, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:27:47
https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-...

Last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses. Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release. The work entailed risks that worried even seasoned researchers. More than 200 scientists called for the work to be halted. Dr. Fauci played an important role in promoting the work. In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses ... bringing the total to $7.4 million. [One] phase of the project [included] gain-of-function research for the purpose of understanding how bat coronaviruses could mutate to attack humans. According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project ... would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. SARS-CoV-2, the virus now causing a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in bats. U.S. intelligence, after originally asserting that the coronavirus had occurred naturally, conceded last month that the pandemic may have originated in a leak from the Wuhan lab.

Note: Newsweek reported that in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a "surprise outbreak" during Trump's presidency. How could he have known this? This Washington Post article has the title "State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses
2020-04-14, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:25:23
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-wa...

In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had in 2015 become China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety. WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits. Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet. What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables ... back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable ... warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic. “Most importantly,” the cable states, “this finding strongly suggests that SARS-like coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause SARS-like diseases." The Chinese government, meanwhile, has put a total lockdown on information related to the virus origins ... while suppressing any attempts to examine whether [their] lab was involved. The Shanghai lab that published the novel coronavirus genome on Jan. 11 was quickly shut down by authorities for “rectification.” Several of the doctors and journalists who reported on the spread early on have disappeared. The Chinese researchers at WIV were receiving assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations.

Note: The entire article at the link above raises vitally important questions, as does this Newsweek article titled, "Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab With Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted
2017-12-19, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:23:38
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/health/lethal-viruses-nih.html

Federal officials on Tuesday ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that alters germs to make them more lethal. Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks. Some scientists are eager to pursue these studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine. Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic. In October 2014, all federal funding was halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. There has been a long, fierce debate about projects — known as “gain of function” research — intended to make pathogens more deadly or more transmissible. Tensions rose in 2014 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accidentally exposed lab workers to anthrax and shipped a deadly flu virus to a laboratory that had asked for a benign strain. That year, the N.I.H. also found vials of smallpox in a freezer that had been forgotten for 50 years. When the moratorium was imposed, it effectively halted 21 projects. In the three years since, the N.I.H. created exceptions that funded ten of those projects.

Note: This article was written three years before the coronavirus hit. Could the lifting of this ban and later U.S. funding of the highest level virology lab in Wuhan have played a role in the pandemic? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Dumped milk, smashed eggs and plowed vegetables: Coronavirus pandemic leaves staggering amount of food waste
2020-04-13, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:21:45
https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-coronavirus-food-waste-2...

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern half of the United States with produce, tractors are crisscrossing bean and cabbage fields, plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the soil. Many of the nation’s largest farms ... are being forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell. The closing of restaurants, hotels and schools has left some farmers with no buyers for more than half their crops. And even as retailers see spikes in food sales to Americans who are now eating nearly every meal at home, the increases are not enough to absorb all of the perishable food that was planted weeks ago and intended for schools and businesses. The amount of waste is staggering. The nation’s largest dairy cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, estimates that farmers are dumping as many as 3.7 million gallons of milk each day. A single chicken processor is smashing 750,000 unhatched eggs every week. Many farmers say they have donated part of the surplus to food banks. But there is only so much perishable food that charities ... can absorb. And the costs of harvesting, processing and then transporting produce and milk to food banks or other areas of need would put further financial strain on farms that have seen half their paying customers disappear.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


‘Instead of Coronavirus, the Hunger Will Kill Us.’ A Global Food Crisis Looms.
2020-04-22, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:20:10
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/africa/coronavirus-hunger-crisis.html

The coronavirus pandemic has brought hunger to millions of people around the world. National lockdowns and social distancing measures are drying up work and incomes, and are likely to disrupt agricultural production and supply routes — leaving millions to worry how they will get enough to eat. Already, 135 million people had been facing acute food shortages, but now with the pandemic, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, a United Nations agency. Altogether, an estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year’s end. “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” Mr. Husain said. “It wasn’t a pretty picture to begin with, but this makes it truly unprecedented and uncharted territory.” This hunger crisis, experts say, is global and caused by a multitude of factors linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing interruption of the economic order: the sudden loss in income for countless millions who were already living hand-to-mouth; the collapse in oil prices; widespread shortages of hard currency from tourism drying up; overseas workers not having earnings to send home; and ongoing problems like climate change, violence ... and humanitarian disasters. The curfews and restrictions on movement are already devastating the meager incomes of displaced people. The effects of the restrictions “may cause more suffering than the disease itself,” said Kurt Tjossem ... at the International Rescue Committee.

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


Air pollution may be ‘key contributor’ to Covid-19 deaths
2020-04-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:18:35
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/20/air-pollution-may-be-key-...

High levels of air pollution may be “one of the most important contributors” to deaths from Covid-19, according to research. The analysis shows that of the coronavirus deaths across 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, 78% of them occurred in just five regions, and these were the most polluted. The research examined levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant produced mostly by diesel vehicles, and weather conditions that can prevent dirty air from dispersing away from a city. Many studies have linked NO2 exposure to health damage, and particularly lung disease, which could make people more likely to die if they contract Covid-19. “The results indicate that long-term exposure to this pollutant may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the Covid-19 virus in these regions and maybe across the whole world,” said Yaron Ogen ... who conducted the research. A separate study published on 7 April looked at fine particle pollution in the US and found that even small increases in levels in the years before the pandemic were associated with far higher Covid-19 death rates. Another recent paper noted that the high death rates seen in the north of Italy correlated with the highest levels of air pollution. Jenny Bates, an air pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “This new study is worrying. This is all the more reason to keep traffic and pollution levels down as much as possible now and get out of this terrible situation with a view to fewer but cleaner vehicles on the road.”

Note: And is it just a coincidence that according to this CNBC article China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Some doctors question wisdom of using ventilators on coronavirus patients
2020-04-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:17:07
https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Some-doctors-question-the-wisdom-...

As California and other states stockpile ventilators to prepare for a surge of coronavirus patients, a debate is emerging among doctors across the country about whether the breathing machines actually hinder recovery from COVID-19. A few small studies from around the world have led some doctors to consider the possibility that placing COVID-19 patients on a ventilator hurts more than it helps, and may even increase their chance of dying. In general, putting someone on a ventilator is an extreme measure because it involves sedating patients and inserting a tube in their mouth and threading it through the airway into the lungs. Too much oxygen or pressure from the ventilator can damage the lungs. A study in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, found that out of 37 critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 30 died within a month. One report in Italy looked at 1,300 critically ill patients and found that 90% were intubated and put on a ventilator. Of those, a quarter died in the ICU. In New York City, 80% of coronavirus patients placed on ventilators have died, the Associated Press reported. “The traditional approach is to say, let’s just intubate them now while we still have a little bit of time,” said Dr. Jahan Fahimi, medical director of UCSF’s emergency room in San Francisco. “Well, in COVID, we’re thinking that’s not the right approach. But if you don’t intubate them, it’s going to be much more labor intensive from the medical side, to watch these patients carefully on high-flow oxygen.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits
2001-09-05, New York Times
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:15:21
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/featured_articl...

Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons that, some officials say, tests the limits of the global treaty banning such weapons. The 1972 treaty forbids nations from developing or acquiring weapons that spread disease, but it allows work on vaccines and other protective measures. Government officials said the secret research, which mimicked the major steps a state or terrorist would take to create a biological arsenal, was aimed at better understanding the threat. The projects, which have not been previously disclosed, were begun under President Clinton and have been embraced by the Bush administration. During the cold war, both the United States and the Soviet Union produced vast quantities of germ weapons, enough to kill everyone on earth. Eager to halt the spread of what many called the poor man's atom bomb, the United States unilaterally gave up germ arms and helped lead the global campaign to abolish them. By 1975, most of the world's nations had signed the convention. In doing so, they agreed not to develop, produce, acquire or stockpile quantities or types of germs that had no "prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes." They also pledged not to develop or obtain weapons or other equipment "designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict." The pact did not define "defensive" research or say what studies might be prohibited, if any. And it provided no means of catching cheaters.

Note: This entire article is quite revealing on the topic of germ warfare, especially in this time of the coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community from reliable major media sources.


Publix is buying excess milk and produce from farmers — and donating it to food banks
2020-04-22, CBS News
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:13:43
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/publix-buying-excess-milk-produce-from-farmers-d...

Farmers around the country have been forced to dump milk and waste fresh produce as schools, restaurants and other institutions remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response, supermarket chain Publix launched a new initiative Wednesday to help struggling farmers — and get the food to Americans who need it most. The company's press release said it will purchase fresh produce and milk from farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and donate the goods directly to Feeding America food banks that are in its "operating area." During the first week of the initiative alone, some 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk is expected to be donated, the company said. "As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic," said Todd Jones, Publix CEO. "In addition to providing much needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time." In addition to the new initiative, Publix Super Markets Charities recently made donations which totaled $2 million to help Feeding America's member food banks amid the crisis. Feeding America, which is the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., said that before the coronavirus crisis there were 37 million people in the nation who did not have enough food. The number is now expected to increase by an additional 17 million.

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


Coronavirus news has us anxious and sad. Here are 11 things we’ve seen that lifted our spirits.
2020-03-18, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:11:55
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/18/coronavirus-acts-of-kindn...

In this time of social distancing and high anxiety, it can help to step back and remind ourselves of the myriad ways people are still being positive. We asked several of our reporters to share something they saw this week that is helping them remain upbeat. Inside Chicago’s once-bustling Shedd Aquarium, there wasn’t a soul in sight — except for a penguin waddling past the glass tanks. With the facility closed to the public, staff at the aquarium saw an opportunity for a field trip. They started Sunday with a penguin named Wellington, who peered into one of the giant fish tanks. The next day was mated pair Edward and Annie’s turn. Video of the sightseeing trips was shared online thousands of times. Like many nursing homes across the country, Sterling Village in Massachusetts has severely restricted its visitation policy. But resident Millie Erickson’s family still wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday with her, so they and the facility found a creative solution. About a dozen of her family members and nursing-home staff gathered outside her window to sing “Happy Birthday” as she waved along with the music and teared up — and it was all caught on video. I was heartened that this family found an outside-the-box way to make their loved one feel embraced and valued during this isolating time. We may currently need to keep our physical distance from older family members, but that doesn’t mean we can’t facilitate togetherness. Those human connections are what will get us through this crisis.

Note: Don't miss many other uplifting stories available at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Nearly all pregnant women in study who had coronavirus were asymptomatic
2020-04-16, CBS News
Posted: 2020-05-03 21:10:25
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-pregnant-women-study-asymptomatic/

Yanira Soriano met her newborn son for the first time Wednesday after spending nearly two weeks in a medically induced coma. She was eight months pregnant when she showed coronavirus symptoms, tested positive and was quickly intubated, her husband, Walter Sanchez, told CBS News. At that point, Walter said, the doctors conducted an emergency cesarean section while Yanira was on the ventilator. Hospitals across New York are preparing for similar situations. "We really advocate for assessment on a case-by-case basis," said Dr. Dena Goffman, with the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Goffman co-authored a new study that tested more than 200 pregnant women admitted for delivery in two New York City hospitals for coronavirus whether they showed symptoms or not. Thirty-three women tested positive, but 29 of them showed no symptoms, according to the results published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste, who is 37 weeks pregnant, said she was told she'll have to wear a mask when she goes in to deliver, and she'll be tested as soon as she arrives at the hospital. If she tests positive, she'll be isolated as staff take special precautions. Battiste asked Goffman if she would recommend separating her newborn from her if she tests positive for the virus. "For a mom who's asymptomatic and feeling well, we think there are ways to ... potentially keep them together to allow for some of the bonding," Goffman said.

Note: Numerous studies are coming out showing that half or more of those who test positive show no symptoms at all, even in a homeless shelter. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Senators push for paycheck guarantee in next coronavirus response bill
2020-05-01, Yahoo! Finance
Posted: 2020-05-03 20:34:13
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/senators-push-for-paycheck-guarantee-in-next-c...

A group of senators is pushing to include a paycheck guarantee for laid off or furloughed workers in the next coronavirus relief package. Under the senators’ proposal, businesses that see at least a 20% month-over-month drop in revenues could receive grants to help cover workers’ payroll and benefits for at least six months. The grants would cover benefits and up to $90,000 in wages for each furloughed or laid off employee. The grants also include up to 20% of revenue to pay rent, utilities insurance policies and maintenance. The Paycheck Security proposal would allow businesses of all sizes to receive the grants if they prove revenue losses, unless they hold more than 18 months of average payroll in cash or cash equivalents. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks, as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy. The senators argue their program would be more effective than the current coronavirus response efforts. Congress has already approved more than $2.5 trillion in coronavirus relief. As state unemployment systems strain to keep up with jobless claims and the Paycheck Protection Program has struggled with technical problems and backlash over big businesses accepting the loans. According to reports, the Justice Department has found possible fraud among businesses seeking relief in a preliminary investigation of money disbursed through PPP.) Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has introduced a similar measure in the house, which would cover up to $100,000 in workers’ wages. Some Republicans have also warmed to the idea of covering company payrolls.

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


Sweden refused to impose a coronavirus lockdown. The country’s ambassador explains why.
2020-05-02, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:57:32
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-02/sweden-coronavirus-voluntary...

Lately, my country has caught the attention of the media. Sweden’s response to the pandemic has been singled out as “radical,” “lax” and “controversial” because Sweden has not imposed a broad general lockdown. Sweden is known as a country with a strong welfare model, including public healthcare for all, and has among the world’s highest life expectancies. Some might find it difficult to reconcile this image with our approach to containing COVID-19. Sweden shares the same goals as all other countries — to save lives and protect public health. Sweden’s measures differ from other countries in a few significant ways. We are not shutting down schools for younger children or daycare facilities. We have no regulation that forces citizens to remain in their homes. And we have not ordered the closure of any businesses. Swedish laws on communicable diseases are mostly based on voluntary measures and on individual responsibility. The use of recommendations in public health efforts — rather than mandates — is a common strategy in Sweden. One example of this is child immunizations. In contrast to the United States, where all 50 states mandate immunizations for children in order to enroll in school ... Sweden’s child vaccination program is based on recommendations from the authorities and is not a legal requirement. Yet more than 97% of Swedish children are vaccinated. Sweden’s strategy may not provide all the answers, but we believe the combination of voluntary and mandated measures is not only more sustainable for Sweden than a lockdown strategy but will strengthen the resilience of Swedish society to fight this virus in the long run.

Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.


WHO lauds lockdown-ignoring Sweden as a ‘model’ for countries going forward
2020-04-29, New York Post
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:52:31
https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronav...

The World Health Organization lauded Sweden as a “model” for battling the coronavirus as countries lift lockdowns — after the nation controversially refused restrictions. Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said Wednesday there are “lessons to be learned” from the Scandinavian nation, which has largely relied on citizens to self-regulate. Ryan noted that instead of lockdowns, the country has “put in place a very strong public policy around social distancing, around caring and protecting people in long-term care facilities. What it has done differently is it has very much relied on its relationship with its citizenry and the ability and willingness of its citizens to implement self-distancing and self-regulate,” Ryan said. “In that sense, they have implemented public policy through that partnership with the population.” He said the country also ramped up testing and had adequate capacity in hospitals to handle any outbreaks. “I think if we are to reach a new normal, Sweden represents a model if we wish to get back to a society in which we don’t have lockdowns,” Ryan said. The country, which has a population of 10.3 million, has seen more than 20,300 cases and 2,462 deaths as of Thursday afternoon — far higher than its Nordic neighbors, which implemented stricter containment measures, the latest data shows.

Note: Almost every other major media article criticizes Sweden for its approach, which is supported by more than 80% of Swedes. And almost every news article compares them to other Scandinavian countries, which are doing much better than Sweden, but fails to mention its neighbors France, Belgium, and the UK, which have locked down, and are doing much worse than Sweden. Yet even the New York Times has admitted their economy will fair better than most other countries. For more, see concise summaries of revealing news articles on the coronavirus from media sources.


Coronavirus: YouTube bans 'medically unsubstantiated' content
2020-04-22, BBC News
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:10:49
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52388586

YouTube has banned any coronavirus-related content that directly contradicts World Health Organization (WHO) advice. The Google-owned service says it will remove anything it deems "medically unsubstantiated". Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the media giant wanted to stamp out "misinformation on the platform". The move follows YouTube banning conspiracy theories falsely linking Covid-19 to 5G networks. Mrs Wojcicki made the remarks on Wednesday during her first interview since the global coronavirus lockdown began. "So people saying, ‘Take vitamin C, take turmeric, we’ll cure you,’ those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy,” she told CNN. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.” Last week, Facebook announced users who had read, watched or shared false Covid-19 information would receive a pop-up alert urging them to visit the WHO's website. Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp, meanwhile, stopped users forwarding messages already shared more than four times by the wider community to more than one chat at a time. It comes as some of the UK's largest news publishers, including Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, criticised Google for failing to be transparent about its approach to filtering adverts alongside coronavirus-related content, according to the Financial Times.

Note: So now anything posted by those not deemed to be "experts" will be banned. Whatever happened to free speech? Watch YouTube's CEO spell this out in this video. More excellent, little-known information here in an interview with a respected MD whose video was banned. And how can BBC state links between 5G and Covid-19 are false, when that has yet to be established? Is it just a coincidence this CNBC article states China's 5G networks went online just weeks before the coronavirus outbreak? See also concise summaries of revealing coronavirus news articles.


YouTube, Facebook split on removal of doctors' viral coronavirus videos
2020-04-30, NBC News
Posted: 2020-05-03 19:04:03
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/youtube-facebook-split-removal-doctors...

YouTube has removed two videos of California doctors ... Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Bakersfield, California [which] downplayed the risk of the coronavirus and asserted that stay-at-home measures were unnecessary. Facebook, however, has not removed the doctors' videos. The different reactions of YouTube and Facebook highlight the challenges of moderating high-stakes misinformation as it goes viral, especially when it is considered to be expert opinion. The video removed by YouTube showed a one-hour news conference livestreamed by local media, including NBC and ABC affiliates in Bakersfield. By Wednesday, the video had been seen at least 15 million times. Erickson and Massihi, owners of several urgent care centers in the area, presented data from 5,213 COVID-19 tests. The data, they claimed, showed that the coronavirus was widespread in the community already but had caused few deaths. Their data, they said, supported the need to rethink state stay-at-home measures. Furthermore, Erickson ... claimed that COVID-19 death numbers were inaccurate, citing other unnamed doctors in Wisconsin and California who he said had told him that they were urged to list the disease as a cause of death even if it was unrelated. "The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians on screen had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge," said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Massihi posted a video to his personal Facebook page Tuesday thanking supporters while insisting that their comments were meant only to share their own data, not to drive national or even state policy.

Note: Watch an excellent follow-up interview with Dr. Erickson exposing further deception. Even if these doctors are wrong about some of their conclusions, don't they have a right to express their opinions? Will anyone who disputes the claims of government officials be banned from expressing their opinions on social media? Sadly, this BBC article shows that is already true for the coronavirus on YouTube. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Over 43,000 US millionaires will get ‘stimulus’ averaging $1.6 million each
2020-04-16, New York Post
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:29:15
https://nypost.com/2020/04/16/43k-us-millionaires-will-get-stimulus-averaging...

At least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act trumpeted its assistance for working families and small businesses, but it apparently contains an even bigger benefit for wealthy business owners, the committee found. The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years. That gives the roughly 43,000 individual tax filers who make at least $1 million a year a savings of $70.3 billion — or about $1.6 million apiece, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Hedge-fund investors and real estate business owners are “far and away” the ones who will benefit the most, tax expert Steve Rosenthal [said]. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) claimed that “someone wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries.” “For those earning $1 million annually, a tax break buried in the recent coronavirus relief legislation is so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments,” he stressed in a statement.

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


Trump's Top Coronavirus Doctor Called for Health Emergency Fund Back in 2017, Warned U.S. Would Face a 'Surprise Outbreak'
2020-03-12, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:27:33
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-coronavirus-doctor-predicted-outbreak-called-e...

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading health expert and member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, predicted three years ago that the administration would have to deal with a surprise disease outbreak. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told a Georgetown University event on pandemic preparedness in January 2017 that there was "no doubt" President Trump's team would face "challenges that their predecessors were faced with" over infectious diseases. He also called for the creation of a "public health emergency fund" aimed at handling situations such as a surprise virus outbreak, adding that waits for funding had been "painful" in the past. Delivering a keynote speech at the Georgetown University Medical Center event, Dr. Fauci said: "If there's one message that I want to leave with you today... is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases. "Both chronic infectious diseases in the sense of already ongoing disease, and we have certainly a large burden of that, but also there will be a surprise outbreak." "And I hope by the end of my relatively short presentation you will understand why history ... will tell the next administration that there's no doubt in anyone's mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with." He went on to note that over his career he had advised several president's on a range of emerging infectious diseases.

Note: How could Fauci possibly have known with such certainty back in 2017 that there would be a surprise outbreak? Something is fishy here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Your Stimulus Check Could Be Seized By Your Own Bank
2020-04-14, Forbes
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:25:10
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2020/04/14/your-stimulus-check-co...

Stimulus checks are right now being sent to millions of Americans in a desperate bid to offset the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus checks are being wired to eligible people's bank accounts with some 50 million to 70 million of them expected to appear in accounts tomorrow. However, Congress did not exempt the CARES Act stimulus checks from private debt collection and Bank of America, Citibank, and U.S. Bank have not ruled out using payments to offset outstanding debts. The Treasury Department last week appeared to green light banks to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to collect prior debt, it has been reported by The American Prospect magazine, citing leaked audio from a meeting with bank officials. Bank of America, Citibank, and U.S. Bank failed to clarify their position on whether stimulus checks would be used to pay off outstanding debts, with JPMorgan Chase confirming it would return the money to the government so the recipient can get the full benefit of the stimulus and Wells Fargo promising it won't use the stimulus checks to pay down negative balances. The report has caused frustration among the progressive financial community. "Money should be harder to seize," Neeraj Agrawal of cryptocurrency policy think tank Coincentre said. An early draft stimulus bill put together by the U.S. Democratic Party did include a provision for a so-called digital dollar that would have allowed the stimulus checks to bypass bank accounts ... but it was cut from the final bill.

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


Shame on big banks for failing to step up at a critical moment: the Covid-19 pandemic
2020-04-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:23:29
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/08/big-banks-coronavirus-critic...

Our government, in order to save millions of small businesses that face financial ruin caused by forced closings and “shelter-in-place” orders, has approved $350bn to aid those flailing businesses. In order to get this money to as many businesses as fast as possible, the government decides to ... lean on the already established Small Business Administration (SBA) and its vast network of member banks. They do this with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was part of a $2.2tn stimulus bill. “Just loan these desperate small businesses money,” the government tells these banks. “We’ll guarantee it, and even forgive it.” Some banks – particularly smaller, independent banks ... were the first to process loan applications for their struggling small business customers last Friday when the SBA opened their loan window. And then there’s Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other large banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup who have all said “not so fast”. These banks last week, at such a critical moment, gathered together and decided to slow things down. They limited loans only to customers and credit card holders. They came up with “new” lending requirements and asked for more documentation over and above SBA guidelines. They capped the amount of loans they would make. Choosing to only favor customers over everyone else, requiring excessive documentation or capping loans was a bad and misguided decision. Not being more proactive in the weeks they had to prepare was poor planning.

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


Los Angeles County antibody study suggests over 220,000 residents have already had coronavirus
2020-04-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:21:39
https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Los-Angeles-County-antibody-study-coronav...

A few days after preliminary results from a large-scale antibody study in Santa Clara County suggested coronavirus infections in the county are underreported by a factor as large as 50 to 85, results from a newly-released antibody study conducted in Los Angeles County contained similar findings. The L.A. antibody study was conducted by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Unlike the Stanford study, where participants were recruited via Facebook ads, participants in the Los Angeles County were recruited by market services firm LRW Group, which used a large proprietary database to create a random sample of the county population. Of the 1,000 individuals tested in early April, 4.1 percent were found to have COVID-19 antibodies. When adjusting for statistical margin of error, the study finds that 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent of the county's adult population has already been infected, which translates to 221,000 to 442,000 people. If infections are this vastly underreported, then the mortality rate of COVID-19 is substantially lower than current estimates. The Stanford researchers ... projected deaths through April 22 and divided that figure by the number of infections to calculate a "true" mortality rate of .12 to .20 percent when using the weighted figures. Using the unweighted numbers ... one gets a "true" mortality rate of .35 percent, a number almost identical to the mortality rate calculated following antibody tests in a hard-hit German town.

Note: The WHO has claimed a mortality rate of 3.4%, 10 times higher than these studies are showing. The Washington Post on April 17th wrote a very misleading article with "U.S. coronavirus fatality rate rises to 5 percent" as part of the headline, despite knowing about the above study. Could it be that fear mongering serves the WHO, the media, and elites? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: Scientists question school closures impact
2020-04-07, BBC News
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:19:51
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52180783

Countries like the UK that have closed schools to help stop the spread of coronavirus should ask hard questions about whether this is now the right policy, says one team of scientists. The University College London team says keeping pupils off has little impact, even with other lockdown measures. The research, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, looked at 16 studies - some based on the spread of coronavirus, and others on seasonal flu and the 2003 Sars outbreak. While school closures help during influenza outbreaks, the same may not apply to coronavirus. Data from the Sars outbreak ... suggest that school closures did not contribute to the control of the epidemic. Recent modelling studies of Covid-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only 2%-4% of deaths, many fewer than other social distancing interventions. One of the research authors, Prof Russell Viner, said: "Data on the benefit of school closures in the coronavirus outbreak is limited, but what we know shows that their impact is likely to be only small. Additionally, the costs of national school closures are high - children's education is damaged and their mental health may suffer, family finances are affected. Policymakers need to be aware of the equivocal evidence." He says policymakers must weigh up the possible harms and reopen schools at the earliest opportunity - and not necessarily wait until September if it can be done safely sooner.

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


Bill Gates: This is how long it may take before Americans ‘can be completely safe’ from COVID-19
2020-04-08, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:18:15
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/08/bill-gates-how-long-it-may-take-before-americ...

It might not be until fall 2021 that Americans “can be completely safe” from COVID-19, Bill Gates said in a Tuesday interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour. That’s because it will take more than a year before a vaccine can be developed and deployed, according to researchers working to develop a treatment for COVID-19. “The vaccine is critical, because, until you have that, things aren’t really going to be normal,” the billionaire philanthropist told Woodruff. “They can open up to some degree, but the risk of a rebound will be there until we have very broad vaccination.” Social distancing is helping to lower the number of COVID-19 cases. The goal, Gates explained, is to get that number down to a point where “contact tracing” (a process in which those within close contact with an infected person are closely monitored) can be done, in order to maintain necessary quarantines. To understand what life in the U.S. will look like six to 12 months from now, Gates suggested China as a good model. “They are sending people back to work, but they’re wearing masks. They’re checking temperatures. They’re not doing large sporting events. And so they have been able to avoid a large rebound,” he said. Beyond that, “returning to some semblance of normal,” as Woodruff put it, can be predicted by watching the behaviors of other countries. Sweden, for example, isn’t “locking down quite as much,” so their experience will be informative, Gates explained.

Note: In this video interview, Gates says we need to vaccinate everyone in the world. And he wants indemnity in case the vaccine he sponsors ends up killing or injuring many. Learn more about how Gates uses his billions to gain political power. And don't miss this most important video focused on how he is using fear of the virus to promote his agenda to require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Billionaires' Donations to Fight Coronavirus are Largely Self-Serving
2020-04-13, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:15:15
https://www.newsweek.com/robert-reich-billionaires-donations-fight-coronaviru...

As millions of jobless Americans line up for food and others risk their lives delivering essential services, the nation's billionaires are making conspicuous donations - $100 million from Amazon's Jeff Bezos for food banks, billions from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for a coronavirus vaccine, thousands of ventilators and N95 masks from Elon Musk, $25 million from the Walton family and its Walmart foundation. The list goes on. Much of this is self-serving rubbish. First off, the amounts involved are tiny relative to the fortunes behind them. Bezos' $100 million amounts to about 11 days of his income. The well-publicized philanthropy also conveniently distracts attention from how several of these billionaires are endangering their workers and, by extension, the public. Bezos still doesn't provide sick leave for Amazon workers unless they test positive. On March 20, four senators sent him a letter expressing concern that the company wasn't doing enough to protect its warehouse workers. [Another] way conspicuous philanthropy is self-serving is by suggesting that government shouldn't demand more from the super-rich, even in a national emergency. As Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal editorial page put it, if we had a wealth tax like Elizabeth Warren proposed, "it's unlikely [Bill Gates] would have the capacity to act this boldly." That's absurd. Warren's tax would have cost Gates about $6 billion a year, roughly his annual income from his $100 billion. The worst fear of the billionaire class is that the government's response to the pandemic will lead to a permanently larger social safety net.

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


Sheltering in place had one positive $1 billion side-effect for California
2020-04-17, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:13:14
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sheltering-in-place-had-one-positive-1...

The statewide order to shelter in place that went into effect on March 20 had a beneficial side-effect: Accidents, injuries and fatalities on California roadways were cut in half, saving the state and residents of California $1 billion, according to a UC Davis study. In the 22 days after the shelter-in-place order (March 21-April 11), there was an average of 450 vehicle collisions per day throughout the state, according to the study conducted by the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis. During the same period in 2019, there were 1,128 collisions per day. In the 22 days prior to sheltering in place, there were 1,056 accidents per day. “The reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities is a bit of a silver lining for people who are staying at home and who are impacted by the pandemic,” said ... project lead author Fraser Shilling. "The reduction in numbers of all collisions, injury, and fatal collision was equivalent to a $40 million/day savings in costs and about $1 billion in savings since the Governor’s order went into effect," the study concluded. The figures were calculated using Federal Highway Administration data, which includes savings from "property damage, treatment of injuries, lost time at work, emergency responses, insurance claims, and the equivalent cost of a life." Not surprisingly, the study found that traffic volume decreased 20% to as much as 55%. "There is no equivalent in our recent transportation history to such large changes in vehicle movement on our state and local roads," the study said.

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


Asthma Hospitalizations Dropped after Louisville Power Plants Retired Coal or Installed Better Emission Controls
2020-04-13, Associated Press
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:11:29
https://apnews.com/Business%20Wire/981e73c6c70e48d69d658bae60f0dad1

After four Louisville, Kentucky, coal-fired power plants either retired coal as their energy source or installed stricter emission controls, local residents’ asthma symptoms and asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits dropped dramatically, according to research published today in Nature Energy. Coal-fired power plants are known to emit pollutants associated with adverse health effects, including increased asthma attacks, asthma-related ED visits and hospitalizations. In 2014, coal-fired power plants accounted for 63% of economy-wide emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO 2) in the U.S.. Historically, Kentucky has ranked among the top five states in the U.S. for emissions from power generation. Starting with a pilot in 2012, the city of Louisville embarked on a project called AIR Louisville, which aimed to use data from Propeller Health’s digital inhaler sensors to gain insights into the impact of local air quality on the burden of respiratory disease in the community. Between 2013 and 2016, one coal-fired power plant in the Louisville area retired coal as an energy source, and three others installed stricter emission controls. The researchers found that energy transitions in the spring of 2015 resulted in three fewer hospitalizations and ED visits per ZIP code per quarter in the following year. This translates into nearly 400 avoided hospitalizations and ED visits each year across Jefferson County.

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


'Spectacular' artefacts found as Norway ice-patch melts
2020-04-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-04-26 21:09:08
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/apr/16/spectacular-artefacts-found-a...

The retreat of a Norwegian mountain ice patch, which is melting because of climate change, has revealed a lost Viking-era mountain pass scattered with “spectacular” and perfectly preserved artefacts. The pass, at Lendbreen in Norway’s mountainous central region, first came to the attention of local archaeologists in 2011, after a woollen tunic was discovered that was later dated to the third or fourth century AD. The ice has retreated significantly in the years since, exposing a wealth of artefacts including knitted mittens, leather shoes and arrows still with their feathers attached. Carbon dating of the finds reveals the pass was in use by farmers and travellers for a thousand years, from the Nordic iron age, around AD200-300, until it fell out of use after the Black Death in the 14th century. The bulk of the finds date from the period around AD1000, during the Viking era, when trade and mobility in the region were at their zenith. Of the hundreds of discoveries exposed by the retreating ice, some are structural, such as ... the remains of a small shelter. Other finds are products that were being transported by ... traders potentially carrying them much further afield, including reindeer pelts and antlers. Among them are delicate wooden items such as a small, wood-turned bit for a lamb or goat and a carved distaff for spinning wool - even a Bronze Age ski. Last summer’s melt exposed an item that archaeologists have identified as a snowshoe for horses - “a quite remarkable object in its own right”.

Note: It's interesting to note that this area was warm enough back then that the glacier receded enough to make that pass usable. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Coronavirus: World risks 'biblical' famines due to pandemic - UN
2020-04-21, BBC News
Posted: 2020-04-25 22:50:28
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52373888

The world is at risk of widespread famines "of biblical proportions" caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN has warned. David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said urgent action was needed to avoid a catastrophe. A report estimates that the number suffering from hunger could go from 135 million to more than 250 million. Even before the pandemic hit, parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades. Addressing the UN Security Council ... Mr Beasley said... "We could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months". The WFP chief - who has just recovered from Covid-19 - began his Security Council briefing by saying "excuse me for speaking bluntly." There is no blunting what could happen in a world facing - even before this global health crisis - what David Beasley called the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the Second World War. In an interview, he also expressed fear that 30 million people, and possibly more, could die in a matter of months if the UN does not secure more funding and food. The WFP's senior economist, Arif Husain, said the economic impact of the pandemic was potentially catastrophic for millions "who are already hanging by a thread". "It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage," he said in a statement. "Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock - like Covid-19 - to push them over the edge."

Note: This Reuters article also claims that the coronavirus could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. Though some of this may be fear-mongering to get more money and is quite typical of the media, the article does raise serious questions about the numbers that could die as a direct result of the global lockdown. So who is this lockdown really serving? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
2020-04-22, MSN News
Posted: 2020-04-25 19:37:59
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/american-billionaires-have-gotten-280...

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from a great equalizer. In the same month that 22 million Americans lost their jobs, the American billionaire class’s total wealth increased about 10%—or $282 billion more than it was at the beginning of March. They now have a combined net worth of $3.229 trillion. The initial stock market crash may have dented some net worths at first—for instance, that of Jeff Bezos, which dropped down to a mere $105 billion on March 12. But his riches have rebounded: As of April 15, his net worth has increased by $25 billion. These “pandemic profiteers,” as a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, calls them, is just one piece of the wealth inequality puzzle in America. In the background is the fact that since 1980, the taxes paid by billionaires, measured as a percentage of their wealth, dropped 79%. “We’re reading about benevolent billionaires sharing .0001% of their wealth with their fellow humans in this crisis, but in fact they’ve been rigging the tax rules to reduce their taxes for decades—money that could have been spent building a better public health infrastructure,” says Chuck Collins [of] the Institute for Policy Studies and coauthor of the new report, titled “Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers.” Another key finding of the report is that after the 2008 financial crisis, it took less than 30 months for billionaire wealth to return to its pre-meltdown levels. That wealth then quickly exceeded pre-2008 levels. But as of 2019, the middle class in America has not even yet recovered to the level of its 2007 net worth.

Note: This New York Post article shows how 43,000 millionaires in the U.S. will receive a "stimulus" gift averaging $1.6 million each. At the same time, this Reuters article claims that the coronavirus lockdown could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. And this BBC article warns of potential massive famines. So who is this lockdown really serving? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: Has Sweden got its science right?
2020-04-25, BBC News
Posted: 2020-04-25 18:48:09
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52395866

Sweden's strategy to keep large parts of society open is widely backed by the public. It has been devised by scientists and backed by government. There is no lockdown here. On the face of it little has shut down. But data suggests the vast majority of the population have taken to voluntary social distancing, which is the crux of Sweden's strategy to slow the spread of the virus. Usage of public transport has dropped significantly [and] large numbers are working from home. The government has also banned gatherings of more than 50 people and visits to elderly care homes. Around 9 in 10 Swedes say they keep at least a metre away from people at least some of the time. In Stockholm, the epicentre of the virus so far, cases have largely plateaued, although there was a spike at the end of this week, put down partly to increased testing. There is still space in intensive care units and a new field hospital at a former conference venue is yet to be used. The Swedish Public Health Agency has maintained high approval ratings throughout the pandemic. Sweden's decision to leave larger parts of society open than most of Europe came after [chief epidemiologist] Dr Tegnell's team used simulations which anticipated a more limited impact of the virus in relation to population size than those made by other scientists. A core aim was to introduce less stringent social distancing measures that could be maintained over a long period of time. Schools for under-16s have remained open to enable parents to keep working. Unlike in some countries, Sweden's statistics do include elderly care home residents, who account for around 50% of all deaths. Dr Tegnell admits that is a major concern. History will judge which countries got it right.

Note: This excellent graph of deaths per million for coronavirus among 12 major countries shows that Sweden is in the middle of the pack, where if lockdown made a big difference, we would expect it to be at or near the top of the group. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Testing blunders crippled U.S. response as coronavirus spread
2020-03-24, Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:28:24
https://www.ajc.com/news/testing-blunders-crippled-response-coronavirus-sprea...

A series of missteps at the nation's top public health agency caused a critical shortage of reliable laboratory tests for the coronavirus. President Donald Trump assured Americans early this month that the COVID-19 test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is "perfect" and that "anyone who wants a test can get a test." But more than two months after the first U.S. case of the new disease was confirmed, many people still cannot get tested. Four primary issues ... hampered the national response — the early decision not to use the test adopted by the World Health Organization, flaws with the more complex test developed by the CDC, government guidelines restricting who could be tested and delays in engaging the private sector to ramp up testing capacity. By mid-February, only about a half-dozen state and local public health labs had reliable tests. But still, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield continued to insist his agency had developed "a very accurate test." "We found that, in some of the states, it didn't work," Redfield said earlier this month. As more sick people sought to be tested, many states were forced to limit access because of the flawed CDC test. Accounts began to emerge ... of people with all the symptoms of COVID-19 who either couldn't get tested or had test results delayed. On Feb. 29, only 472 patients had been tested nationwide, with just 22 cases confirmed, according to CDC data. By comparison, South Korea ... mobilized to test more than 20,000 people a day.

Note: Explore a ZeroHedge article titled "Whistleblower: How CDC Is Manipulating The COVID-19 Death-Toll." A BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate" quotes one epidemiologist as asking "What the hell are we locking down for?" For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


CDC report reveals how coronavirus spread from patient to health care workers in Solano County
2020-04-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:25:41
https://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/CDC-report-reveals-how-coronavirus...

A woman with COVID-19 at a Solano County hospital — the nation’s first case from an unknown source — exposed 121 health workers to the coronavirus, yet only three got the disease, a new study of the February case reveals. All three had been in close contact for about two hours with the patient, and two had no protective gear, according to the report published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those workers also examined the patient and performed treatments that involved close contact, such as placing her on a breathing machine. The researchers tested just 43 of the 121 workers for the coronavirus because only they had developed a cough or other symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 patients within two weeks after exposure. Across the country, more than 9,200 health workers out of an estimated 18 million have the disease, the CDC reported Tuesday in a separate paper, which notes that the number probably understates the true number of coronavirus infections. Dr. Robert Siegel, an infectious disease expert at Stanford, called the relatively low infection rate from the Solano County patient a hopeful sign. But he added that public health officials should remain vigilant in protecting workers. “The results are promising for health care workers. It means that the risk may be less than we thought,” Siegel said.

Note: If only three out of 121 got the virus, and those three all had prolonged exposure, how contagious really is it? Explore a ZeroHedge article titled "Whistleblower: How CDC Is Manipulating The COVID-19 Death-Toll." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


With working Americans' survival at stake, the US is bailing out the richest
2020-04-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:23:42
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/with-working-americans-...

Amid a humanitarian crisis compounded by mass layoffs and collapsing economic activity, the last course our legislators should be following is the one they appear to be on right now: bailing out shareholders and executives who, while enriching themselves, spent the past decade pushing business corporations to the edge of insolvency. The $500bn dollars of public money that Congress’s relief bill provides will be used for a corporate bailout, with the only oversight in the hands of an independent council similar to the one used in the 2008 financial crisis. While that body was able to report misuses of taxpayer money, it could do nothing to stop them. As currently structured, there is nothing to keep this bailout from, like its predecessor, putting cash directly into the hands of those at the top rather than into the hands of workers. Without strong regulation and accountability, asking corporations to preserve jobs with these funds will be nothing more than a simple suggestion, leaving millions of everyday Americans in financial peril. If not properly managed, this economic disaster has the potential to be the worst in American history. Our country cannot allow a small number of executives and shareholders to profit from taxpayer funds that we have injected into these corporations for reasons of pure emergency. We need to stop this rot at the core of our economic system and realign the priorities of government with those of workers and consumers.

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


Just Use ‘the Computer’ at the Fed to Give People More Money
2020-03-21, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:21:38
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/21/opinion/-coronavirus-stimulus-trillion.html

When this public health crisis first morphed into a financial one as well, the Federal Reserve sprang into action, pouring trillions of dollars into the financial system in less than a week; providing short-term loans to banks; slashing a key interest rate virtually to zero; announcing that the Fed would begin buying $700 billion worth of U.S. government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed gave itself the authority to purchase up to $1 trillion in commercial paper to support the flow of credit. An eight-second video from 2009 [shows] Ben Bernanke, the Fed chair at the time, explaining how the central bank comes up with the money to pull off these trillion-dollar maneuvers. “It’s not tax money,” Mr. Bernanke explained on “60 Minutes.” “We simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account.” Heads exploded. Many people replying to the tweet complained that we’re ... coming to the rescue of Wall Street instead of Main Street. “If the Fed can do this for the banks,” they wondered, “why can’t we find the money to pay for programs that would improve life for everyday Americans?” When called upon, the same computer that works for large banks is there for Main Street as well. But the Federal Reserve needs specific instructions before typing up dollars for the rest of us. Those instructions come in the form of legislation: When a bill becomes a law, the government is, in essence, telling the Fed how many dollars it is ordering up.

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


The Dutch Answer To COVID-19: The ‘1.5 Meter Economy’
2020-04-14, Forbes
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:19:14
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeroenkraaijenbrink/2020/04/14/the-dutch-answer-...

As many other countries, the Netherlands is taking measures against the spread of the coronavirus. Compared to other countries, though, these measures seem relatively mild and relaxed. Unlike all its direct neighboring countries ... there is no hard lockdown, hardly any visible surveillance, very limited testing and borders remain open. And yet, as the recent decreasing daily numbers of new cases, hospital intakes and deceased patients show, the measures are not necessarily less effective. Over the past few weeks, a vocabulary has emerged that describes the Dutch approach to COVID-19. In addition to the widely used “flattening the curve,” it consists of “intelligent lockdown,” “self-regulation,” “decentralization” and “group immunity.” Instead of stopping the virus, the approach is based on the idea of creating group immunity, or herd immunity. The best way to “control” the virus, it is assumed, is to control the number of infections step by step, so that people gradually build up immunity. Altogether the Dutch approach is characterized as a “1.5 meter economy.” It focuses on people taking individual responsibility to keep a distance of 1.5 meter. Wherever it cannot be reasonably assumed that people can maintain this distance themselves - for example at a festival or soccer game - government takes measures. But for the rest, it is left to individual citizens to keep this distance. This approach should slow down the speed of spreading the virus, while at the same time maintaining individual freedom.

Note: Check out an informative graph showing deaths per million population from the coronavirus in 10 major countries. Note that the Netherlands is in the middle of the pack, even though they are not in full lockdown. Could it be the the lockdown policies don't have much effect on death rates? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus Crisis Could Plunge Half a Billion People Into Poverty: Oxfam
2020-04-09, New York Times/Reuters
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:17:17
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/09/us/09reuters-health-coronavirus-po...

The fallout from the coronavirus spread that has killed more than 83,000 people and wreaked havoc on economies around the world could push around half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam said on Thursday. The report released by the Nairobi-based charity ahead of next week's International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank annual meeting calculated the impact of the crisis on global poverty due to shrinking household incomes or consumption. "The economic crisis that is rapidly unfolding is deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis," the report found. "The estimates show that, regardless of the scenario, global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990," it said, adding that this could throw some countries back to poverty levels last seen some three decades ago. Under the most serious scenario - a 20% contraction in income - the number of people living in extreme poverty would rise by 434 million people to nearly 1.2 billion worldwide. Women are at more risk than men, as they are more likely to work in the informal economy with little or no employment rights. "Living day to day, the poorest people do not have the ability to take time off work, or to stockpile provisions," the report warned, adding that more than 2 billion informal sector workers worldwide had no access to sick pay. To help mitigate the impact, Oxfam proposed a six point action plan that would deliver cash grants and bailouts to people and businesses in need, and also called for debt cancellation, more IMF support, and increased aid.

Note: The New York Times strangely removed this article. Yet it is also available on the Reuters website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Trump Threatens to Adjourn 'Both Chambers of Congress' so He Can Make Recess Appointments Without Senate Consent
2020-03-15, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:13:56
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-threatens-adjourn-both-chambers-congress-so-he...

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to use a never-before-used power that allows the president to adjourn Congress if the House and Senate won't voluntarily adjourn, so he can appoint judges and other executive branch officials without the Senate's approval. At Wednesday's White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing, Trump claimed that 129 unconfirmed nominees were stuck in limbo because of "partisan obstruction" by Democrats despite the fact that Republicans ... control the pace at which nominees are confirmed. Under the U.S. Constitution, "Officers of the United States" are appointed with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. This category includes all federal judges, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries and the heads of many federal agencies. While the Constitution provides for the president to make recess appointments to fill positions when Congress has adjourned, presidents have largely been unable to exercise that authority since 2006, when Democrats took control of Congress and began holding pro forma sessions every few days without formally adjourning, to circumvent the requirement that neither chamber adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other. Because the Democratic-controlled House has not consented to the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning, both chambers have been holding the brief sessions, which has denied Trump the ability to fill vacancies with nominees who might not be able to gain the Senate's approval.

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


Oversight erased, Supreme Court hijacked: Trump turns the presidency into a dictatorship
2020-04-09, USA Today
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:11:38
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/09/trump-removes-inspectors-ge...

It began Friday night, when Trump informed Congress that he was firing Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community’s inspector general. This was nothing more than a vile act of political retribution. Atkinson fulfilled his legal responsibilities by informing Congress about a whistleblower complaint that exposed Trump’s impeachable crimes. What everyone else recognizes as following the letter of the law, the president views as cause for termination. On Monday, Trump turned his attention to the inspector general who oversees the Department of Health and Human Services, who had just released a report revealing the extent to which hospitals were struggling to meet the health care demands associated with treating COVID-19 patients. Trump labeled the report a “Fake Dossier” and suggested “politics” influenced it. On Tuesday, the president removed Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine. He had just been designated to oversee the newly created Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, a watchdog panel authorized by Congress to conduct oversight of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The same day, Trump said he had seven IGs in his sights. In the course of three days, Trump fired an IG for telling the truth, attacked another for exposing the totality of a health care pandemic, and removed another in a brazen effort to avoid being held accountable for how trillions of taxpayer dollars will be allocated. The sum of these actions is nothing short of blatant corruption.

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


Jacinda Ardern and ministers take pay cut in solidarity with those hit by Covid-19
2020-04-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:09:04
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/15/jacinda-ardern-and-ministers-ta...

New Zealand’s prime minister has said she and other ministers will take a 20% pay cut lasting six months to show solidarity with those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll continues to rise. Jacinda Ardern said it was important the government’s most highly paid politicians show “leadership and solidarity” with workers on the frontline and those who had lost their livelihoods. Ardern, government ministers and public service chief executives will take the cut for six months, effective immediately. The pay cut will reduce Ardern’s salary by $47,104. Cabinet ministers would take a cut of NZ$26,900 each, while deputy prime minister Winston Peters’ salary would be cut by $33,473. Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health who has led the elimination response to the crisis, confirmed he would “definitely” take a pay cut too, as would opposition leader Simon Bridges. Ardern said: “If there was ever a time to close the gap between groups of people across New Zealand in different positions, it is now. I am responsible for the executive branch and this is where we can take action … it is about showing solidarity in New Zealand’s time of need.” The International Monetary Fund is forecasting that the New Zealand economy will shrink by 7.2% this year. In its World Economic Outlook, it says New Zealand will see the biggest economic contraction outside Europe, except for Venezuela.

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


He's doing the 'dirty work' to keep plastic out of the ocean
2019-04-17, CNN News
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:07:10
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/17/world/cnnheroes-afroz-shah-afroz-shah-foundati...

Afroz Shah, a lawyer in Mumbai, hasn't had a weekend off in four years. But he hasn't spent this time writing briefs or preparing for court. His mission? Saving the world's oceans from plastic pollution. It's a calling he found in 2015 after moving to a community in Mumbai called Versova Beach. "The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic," he said. "It repulsed me." The unsightly mess Shah had stumbled upon is part of a global environmental crisis. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world's oceans each year - the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. It's predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. The results are devastating. More than 1 million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals and countless fish die from plastic pollution each year. In October 2015, Shah began picking up trash from the beach every Sunday morning. At first, it was just him and a neighbor, and then he began recruiting others to join in. Word spread and ... more volunteers got involved. Shah hasn't stopped since. He's now spent 209 weekends dedicated to this mission, inspiring more than 200,000 volunteers to join him in what's been called the world's biggest beach cleanup. By October 2018, Versova Beach was finally clean and Shah's cleanups expanded to another beach as well as a stretch of the Mithi River and other regions of India. All told, the movement has cleared more than 60 million pounds of garbage - mostly plastic waste - from Mumbai's beaches and waterways.

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


Landlord waives April rent for 200 tenants amid pandemic, wants everybody 'healthy'
2020-04-04, NBC News
Posted: 2020-04-20 02:05:30
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/landlord-waives-april-rent-200-tenants-a...

A New York City landlord is giving his 200 tenants one less thing to worry about amid the coronavirus pandemic as he waived rent for the month of April. "I want everybody to be healthy. That's the whole thing," Mario Salerno told NBC New York. Salerno, 59, owns roughly 80 apartments across Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He said after some of his tenants told him that they were worried about paying rent because they lost their jobs due to the pandemic, he decided to take action. On March 30, he posted a notice on the front doors of all of his buildings announcing, "Due to the recent pandemic of Coronavirus COVID-19 affecting all of us, please note I am waiving rent for the month for April." One of his tenants said she's been out of work since she was ordered to shut down her hair salon. "He's Superman. He's a wonderful man," Kaitlyn Guteski told NBC New York. "It's a game-changer." Salerno said he knows he will take a big hit this month, but isn't worried. "For me, it was more important for people's health and worrying about who could put food on whose table," he told the outlet. "I say don't worry about paying me, worry about your neighbor and worry about your family." He said he hopes other landlords will do the same, and some have. Nathan Nichols, who owns two units in Portland, Maine, told his tenants ... that they don't have to worry about paying the rent for April. In San Diego, California, Jeff Larabee's 18 tenants were told that they would not have to pay rent for the next three months.

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


Is Sweden’s lax approach to the coronavirus backfiring?
2020-04-08, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-04-20 01:32:47
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/08/is-swedens-lax-approach-co...

With large parts of Europe in lockdown in response to the covid-19 pandemic, one country stands out: Sweden has no mandatory quarantines and few limitations on free movement. Elementary schools remain open; malls, gyms and shopping streets are far from empty. Some sidewalk cafes are still bustling with life. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has urged Swedes to apply “common sense.” While this soft approach stunned the rest of Europe, Sweden maintained that it will turn out to be more effective. In the past few weeks, the country has experienced a bizarre nationalistic wave dubbed “public health nationalism” ... which celebrates Sweden as an island of common sense in a sea of panic and resistance to science. According to this narrative promulgated by authorities and media alike, cultural exceptionalism — such as high public trust –– makes Sweden particularly well-equipped to manage the pandemic. Sweden’s influential former state epidemiologist Johan Giesecke [stated] ”I think we will manage the epidemic without destroying the economy more than necessary. The absolutely most important thing is to protect the elderly from getting infected. I think we succeed quite well in that. The public has been assured that Sweden will outperform other countries. Indeed, Sweden ranks among the lowest of 26 surveyed countries when it comes to fear of the coronavirus in a recent YouGov poll –– even though the country ranks fifth-highest in per capita deaths of the countries surveyed. Time will tell.

Note: Check out an informative graph showing deaths per million population from the coronavirus in 10 major countries. Note that Sweden is in the middle of the pack, even though they are not in lockdown. Could it be the the lockdown policies don't have much effect on death rates? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


South Korea is holding an election during the coronavirus crisis
2020-04-14, CNN News
Posted: 2020-04-20 01:17:16
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/13/asia/elections-coronavirus-pandemic-intl-hnk/i...

It's just after lunchtime at a central Seoul market and a crowd in hot pink jackets is gathering. Pink is the color of the country's main opposition party, the conservative United Future Party, and this crowd of supporters is staging a legal campaign rally ahead of Wednesday's election of 300 members of the National Assembly. Large public gatherings are a jarring sight during a pandemic. But South Korea has never postponed an election before -- and the coronavirus is not stopping this one. South Korea peaked early, prompting praise for the government's handling of the pandemic. The country isn't in lockdown, and of the more than 10,500 confirmed cases, more than 7,400 have recovered. Nevertheless, South Korea has made a number of election concessions for the virus. More than 11 million people -- or 26.7% of registered voters -- cast their vote in advance to avoid crowds, according to the National Election Commission. Voters CNN talked to were supportive of the decision to go ahead. Some said the pandemic made voting even more important.

Note: How is it that South Korea is not in lockdown, yet as this revealing graph shows, it has a lower death rate per million than any of the other 12 major countries listed except Japan, which also did not have a lockdown until April 14th. Read this excellent article on how they beat the virus without a major lockdown. For our best articles filled with reliable, verifiable information on the coronavirus, see this article and this one. Several more excellent essays can be found here. Key major media news articles on the pandemic are available here.


Large-scale Santa Clara antibody test suggests COVID-19 cases are underreported by factor of 50-85
2020-04-17, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper
Posted: 2020-04-20 00:57:35
https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/Santa-Clara-antibody-test-co...

It has long been assumed by medical experts that the United States is drastically underreporting the actual number of COVID-19 infections across the country due to limited testing and a high number of asymptomatic cases. Large-scale antibody tests are expected to give researchers an idea of just how widespread the outbreak is, and preliminary results from the first such test in Santa Clara County suggest we are underreporting cases by at least a factor of 50. In early April, Stanford University researchers conducted an antibody test of 3,300 residents in the county. Researchers hoped to put together a sample that was representative of the county's population by selecting individuals based on their age, race, gender and zip code to extrapolate study results to the larger community. The results of the study are preliminary and not peer-reviewed, but the general takeaways would seem to strongly contribute to the notion that there have been a large number of COVID-19 cases that went undetected. Researchers estimate that... the true number of total cases in early April — both active and recovered — ranges between 48,000 and 81,000. The county had reported just under 1,000 cases at the time the study was conducted, which would mean cases are being underreported by a factor of 50 to 85. If the study's numbers are accurate, the true mortality and hospitalization rates of COVID-19 are both substantially lower than current estimates, and due to lag between infection and death, researchers project a true mortality rate between .12 and .20.

Note: See a BMJ article titled "Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic." The World Health Organizations in March was claiming a mortality rate of 2 to 4%, which is about 20 times the amount found in this study. Could this be an example of fear mongering? For our best articles filled with reliable, verifiable information on the coronavirus, see this article and this one. And for the critical future implications of all this, explore this penetrating essay. Several more excellent essays can be found here. Key major media news articles on the pandemic are available here.


US gave $3.7 million to Wuhan laboratory for conducting experiments using virus from bats
2020-04-12, International Business Times
Posted: 2020-04-20 00:49:11
https://www.ibtimes.sg/us-gave-3-7-million-wuhan-laboratory-conducting-experi...

The US [provided a] $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan-based laboratory carrying out research on virus derived from bat caves. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) was conducting the coronavirus experiments on mammals, with funds received from the United States National Institute of Health. The NIH has been listed as a partner by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Other American institutes that have partnered with the research lab, include: University of Alabama, University of North Texas Eco Health Alliance [and] Harvard University. WIV ... has more than 1,500 strains of deadly viruses stored and specialises in research of 'the most dangerous pathogens', in particular the viruses carried by bats. The project released its first research in November 2017 ... titled 'Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus.' Hitting out at the US government, US Congressman Matt Gaetz said: "I'm disgusted to learn that for years the US government has been funding dangerous and cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute, which may have contributed to the global spread of coronavirus." Conspiracy theories have been hinting at the possibility of the virus being developed in the WIV. Last week, Cao Bin, a doctor at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital ... revealed that out of the first 41 cases found positive for coronavirus, 13 had no contact with the wildlife market, raising the doubts that the virus was in fact lab originated. 'It seems clear that the seafood market is not the only origin of the virus,' he said.

Note: Newsweek reported that in 2017, Anthony Fauci predicted a "surprise outbreak" during Trump's presidency. Respected author Peter Breggin, M.D., has uncovered more on how the U.S. and China collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Don't miss his excellent essay with a link direct to the study, which was published in the prestigious British journal Nature. Why was an FDA official involved and why was NIH funding a project that enabled the Chinese to develop a military weapon or to accidentally or purposely cause an epidemic?


Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates
2017-05-04, Politico
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:18:06
https://www.politico.eu/article/bill-gates-who-most-powerful-doctor/

Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency in Geneva. The world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second biggest donor, second only to the United States. This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. The result, say his critics, is that Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s. When Gates started throwing money into malaria eradication, top officials — including the chief of the WHO’s malaria program — raised concerns that the foundation was distorting research priorities. “The term often used was ‘monopolistic philanthropy’, the idea that Gates was taking his approach to computers and applying it to the Gates Foundation,” said a source close to the WHO board. “He is treated liked a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20,” a Geneva-based NGO representative said. Some health advocates fear that because the Gates Foundation’s money comes from investments in big business, it could serve as a Trojan horse for corporate interests to undermine WHO’s role in setting standards and shaping health policies. The Gates Foundation has pumped more than $2.4 billion into the WHO since 2000. Dues paid by member states now account for less than a quarter of WHO’s $4.5 billion biennial budget. The rest comes from ... governments, Gates, other foundations and companies. Since these funds are usually earmarked for specific projects or diseases, WHO can’t freely decide how to use them.

Note: Just to be clear, Bill Gates is neither an MD nor a PhD. This entire article has astounding information on the unethical relationship between Gates and the WHO and his desire to have a global ID to ensure everyone in the world is vaccinated. This Forbes article is titled "Bill Gates Calls For National Tracking System For Coronavirus During Reddit AMA." For lots more, see this highly revealing video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


For Autocrats, and Others, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power
2020-03-30, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:15:15
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/world/europe/coronavirus-governments-power...

In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia has postponed elections. As the coronavirus pandemic brings the world to a juddering halt and anxious citizens demand action, leaders across the globe are invoking executive powers and seizing virtually dictatorial authority with scant resistance. Critics say some governments are using the public health crisis as cover to seize new powers that have little to do with the outbreak, with few safeguards to ensure that their new authority will not be abused. The laws are taking swift hold across a broad range of political systems — in authoritarian states like Jordan, faltering democracies like Hungary, and traditional democracies like Britain. And there are few sunset provisions to ensure that the powers will be rescinded once the threat passes. “We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian and repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic,” said Fionnuala Ni Aolain, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights. As the new laws broaden state surveillance, allow governments to detain people indefinitely and infringe on freedoms of assembly and expression, they could also shape civic life, politics and economies for decades to come.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


How Russia is using authoritarian tech to curb coronavirus
2020-03-29, CNN News
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:12:56
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/29/europe/russia-coronavirus-authoritarian-tech-i...

The Covid-19 pandemic is now giving Russian authorities an opportunity to test new powers and technology, and the country's privacy and free-speech advocates worry the government is building sweeping new surveillance capabilities. Perhaps the most well-publicized tech tool in Russia's arsenal for fighting coronavirus is Moscow's massive facial-recognition system. Rolled out earlier this year, the surveillance system had originally prompted an unusual public backlash, with privacy advocates filing lawsuits over unlawful surveillance. Coronavirus, however, has given an unexpected public-relations boost to the system. Last week, Moscow police claimed to have caught and fined 200 people who violated quarantine and self-isolation using facial recognition and a 170,000-camera system. Some of the alleged violators who were fined had been outside for less than half a minute before they were picked up by a camera. And then there's the use of geolocation to track coronavirus carriers. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin earlier this week ordered Russia's Ministry of Communications to roll out a tracking system based on "the geolocation data from the mobile providers for a specific person" by the end of this week. According to a description in the government decree, information gathered under the tracking system will be used to send texts to those who have come into contact with a coronavirus carrier, and to notify regional authorities so they can put individuals into quarantine.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


E.P.A., Citing Coronavirus, Drastically Relaxes Rules for Polluters
2020-03-26, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:11:13
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/climate/epa-coronavirus-pollution-rules.html

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak. Issued by the E.P.A.’s top compliance official, Susan P. Bodine, the policy sets new guidelines for companies to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the outbreak and says that the agency will not issue fines for violations of certain air, water and hazardous-waste-reporting requirements. Companies are normally required to report when their factories discharge certain levels of pollution. The order asks companies to “act responsibly” if they cannot ... monitor or report the release of hazardous air pollution. Businesses, it said, should “minimize the effects and duration of any noncompliance” and keep records to report to the agency how Covid-19 restrictions prevented them from meeting pollution rules. Gina McCarthy, who led the E.P.A. under the Obama administration ... called it “an open license to pollute.” She said that while individual companies might need flexibility, “this brazen directive is nothing short of an abject abdication of the E.P.A. mission to protect our well being.”

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


New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates
2020-04-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:09:25
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/climate/air-pollution-coronavirus-covid.html

Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates. In an analysis of 3,080 counties in the United States, researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher death rates from the disease. For weeks, public health officials have surmised a link between dirty air and death or serious illness from Covid-19. The Harvard analysis is the first nationwide study to show a statistical link, revealing a “large overlap” between Covid-19 deaths and other diseases associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate matter. The paper found that if Manhattan had lowered its average particulate matter level by just a single unit, or one microgram per cubic meter, over the past 20 years, the borough would most likely have seen 248 fewer Covid-19 deaths by this point in the outbreak. The paper ... found that just a slight increase in long-term pollution exposure could have serious coronavirus-related consequences, even accounting for other factors like smoking rates and population density. The study also could have far-reaching implications for clean-air regulations, which the Trump administration has worked to roll back over the past three years.

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


Need a Coronavirus Test? Being Rich and Famous May Help
2020-03-18, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:07:06
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/us/coronavirus-testing-elite.html

Politicians, celebrities, social media influencers and even N.B.A. teams have been tested for the new coronavirus. But as that list of rich, famous and powerful people grows by the day, so do questions about whether they are getting access to testing that is denied to other Americans. With testing still in short supply in areas of the country, leaving health care workers and many sick people unable to get diagnoses, some prominent personalities have obtained tests without exhibiting symptoms or having known contact with someone who has the virus. In areas of the country where the virus has been slow to appear, people have been able to obtain tests easily. But in New York, California, Washington State and Massachusetts, where the virus has spread rapidly and demand for tests is most high, it is very difficult. The New York City Health Department has directed doctors only to order tests for patients in need of hospitalization. People with mild symptoms are being told to quarantine themselves at home. Even health care workers, at high risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it, have struggled to get tested. Police chiefs across the country are growing concerned that they cannot get their hands on tests. “What’s frustrating is to continue to hear that there aren’t testing kits available, and my rank and file have to continue to answer calls for service while professional athletes and movie stars are getting tested without even showing any symptoms,” said Eddie Garcia, the police chief of San Jose, Calif..

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


Trump Ousts Pandemic Spending Watchdog Known for Independence
2020-04-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:05:15
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-watchdog-gle...

President Trump moved on Tuesday to oust the leader of a new watchdog panel charged with overseeing how his administration spends trillions of taxpayer dollars in coronavirus pandemic relief, the latest step in an abruptly unfolding White House power play against semi-independent inspectors general across the government. The official, Glenn A. Fine, has been the acting inspector general for the Defense Department since before Mr. Trump took office and was set to become the chairman of a new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to police how the government carries out the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. But Mr. Trump replaced Mr. Fine in his Pentagon job. In recent days, [Mr. Trump] fired an inspector general who reviewed the whistle-blower complaint that led to his impeachment, nominated a White House aide to another key inspector general post, declared that he would ignore certain oversight provisions in the new relief law and attacked another inspector general who criticized virus testing shortages. In removing Mr. Fine from his role overseeing pandemic spending, Mr. Trump targeted a former Justice Department inspector general who earned a reputation for aggressive independence in scrutinizing the F.B.I.’s use of surveillance and other law enforcement powers in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Replacing Mr. Fine ... will be Sean O’Donnell, who serves as the inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency and will do double duty.

Note: This 2015 article suggests that inspectors general have been under fire since the Obama administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Cardinal Pell’s Acquittal Was as Opaque as His Sexual Abuse Trial
2020-04-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:03:24
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/world/australia/cardinal-george-pell-acqui...

Cardinal George Pell walked out of prison on Tuesday after Australia’s highest court reversed his 2018 conviction for molesting two choirboys decades earlier — liberating the most senior Roman Catholic cleric to ever face trial over child sexual abuse. The world may never be able to assess whether the court’s reasoning was sound. The central evidence — the testimony of the main accuser, on which the case “was wholly dependent,” the judges wrote — has never been released, not in video, audio nor even redacted transcripts. It is just one glaring example of the secrecy and lack of accountability that have shaped the Pell prosecution from the beginning. The case has been a model of opaque operations, starting with judges who dismissed related allegations early on, followed by gag orders preventing media coverage and a refusal to release evidence — even when a jury verdict is dismissed as unreasonable. Legal experts said that the case made clear just how much power judges in Australia have to suppress public oversight and overrule jury verdicts. At every stage, critics argue, Australia’s courts exhibited a penchant for secrecy and insular decision-making that resembled the Catholic Church’s flawed and damaging response to sexual abuse within its ranks. For many of those who have been living with the legacy of abuse in the church, the High Court’s decision is a blow to their faith in a justice system they had just started to trust.

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


The ozone layer is healing, new study finds
2020-03-26, MSN News/The Independent
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:01:36
https://www.msn.com/en-ie/news/world/the-ozone-layer-is-healing-new-study-fin...

The ozone layer is continuing to heal and has the potential to fully recover, according to a new study. A scientific paper, published in Nature, heralds a rare success in the reversal of environmental damage and shows that orchestrated global action can make a difference. The ozone layer is a protective shield in the Earth’s stratosphere which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching us from the sun. Antara Banerjee ... is lead author of the study. She told The Independent: “We found signs of climate changes in the southern hemisphere, specifically in the air circulation patterns. The challenge was showing that these changing air circulation patterns were due to the shrinking ozone hole following the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The jet stream in the southern hemisphere was gradually shifting towards the south pole in the last decades of the 20th century due to ozone depletion. Our study found that movement has stopped since 2000 and might even be reversing. The pause in movement began around the same time that the ozone hole started to recover. The emissions of ozone-depleting substances that were responsible for the ozone hole - the CFCs from spray cans and refrigerants – started to decline around 2000, thanks to the Montreal Protocol.” Overall, it is good news for the fight against climate change. She added: “It shows that this international treaty has worked and we can reverse the damage that we’ve already done to our planet. That’s a lesson to us all.”

Note: The Nature study referenced above is available here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A letter to the UK from Italy: this is what we know about your future
2020-03-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-04-13 02:00:00
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/a-letter-to-the-uk-from-italy-t...

I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that. First of all, you’ll eat. Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do. Old resentments and falling-outs will seem irrelevant. You will call people you had sworn never to talk to ever again, so as to ask them: “How are you doing?” You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh a lot. You’ll flaunt a gallows humour you never had before. Even people who’ve always taken everything dead seriously will contemplate the absurdity of life, of the universe and of it all. You will count all the things you do not need. The true nature of the people around you will be revealed with total clarity. You will have confirmations and surprises. Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective. You will also find them terribly annoying: nice, the planet is breathing better because of the halved CO2 emissions, but how will you pay your bills next month? You will not understand if witnessing the birth of a new world is more a grandiose or a miserable affair. You will play music from your windows and lawns. When you saw us singing opera from our balconies, you thought “ah, those Italians”. But we know you will sing uplifting songs to each other too.

Note: The above was written by acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri. Note that the number of people dying from the coronavirus in Italy has been gradually decreasing since it peaked on March 26th. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds
2020-04-02, New York Post
Posted: 2020-04-13 01:57:49
https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/hydroxychloroquine-most-effective-coronavirus-t...

An international poll of thousands of doctors rated the Trump-touted anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine the best treatment for the novel coronavirus. Of the 2,171 physicians surveyed, 37 percent rated hydroxychloroquine the “most effective therapy” for combating the potentially deadly illness. The survey, conducted by the global health care polling company Sermo, also found that 23 percent of medical professionals had prescribed the drug in the US — far less than other countries. “Outside the US, hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the US it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found. The medicine was most widely used in Spain, where 72 percent of physicians said they had prescribed it. Of the 2,171 doctors asked which drug is most effective, 37 said hydroxychloroquine. By contrast, 32 percent answered “nothing.” To date, “there is no evidence” that any medicine “can prevent or cure the disease,” according to the World Health Organization. But Sermo CEO Peter Kirk called the polling results a “treasure trove of global insights for policymakers.” “Physicians should have more of a voice in how we deal with this pandemic and be able to quickly share information with one another and the world,” he said in a press release. The 30 countries where doctors were surveyed included Europe, South America and Australia — and no incentives were provided to participate, the company said.

Note: How interesting that very few major media reported on this. Could it be because this drug is inexpensive and big Pharma, which hugely sponsors the major media, won't make big profits? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Bill Gates and his coronavirus conflicts of interest
2020-04-02, Washington Times
Posted: 2020-04-12 22:57:21
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/2/bill-gates-and-his-coronaviru...

Bill Gates ... just called for a complete and utter shutdown and quarantining of the entire American nation. “Despite urging from public health experts,” Gates wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, “some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. This is a recipe for disaster. Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus. The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. Until the case numbers start to go down ... no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.” He then added that the impacts of the new coronavirus could linger another 18 months or so, until a vaccine was developed. For the peons of America, work isn’t an option. It’s food. It’s survival. The fate of a hard-earned dream shouldn’t rest with a globalist billionaire who’s warning of dire coronavirus consequences to come — all the while making hands-over-fist coronavirus money. It’s a conflict of interest. WHO didn’t announce the coronavirus as a pandemic until the very day after Gates ... made a very large donation to a cause that benefits WHO. In a 2017 piece titled, “Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates,” Politico wrote: “Some billionaires are satisfied with buying themselves an island. Bill Gates got a United Nations health agency. Over the past decade, the world’s richest man has become the World Health Organization’s second-biggest donor, second only to the United States. … This largesse gives him outsized influence over its agenda. … The result, say his critics, is that Gates‘ priorities have become the WHO‘s.”

Very Important Note: To understand how the coronavirus is being used to exert more control over humanity, don't miss this incredibly important video focused on how Bill Gates is using fear around the coronavirus to push through his agenda to vaccinate everyone on the planet and then require a "digital certificate" to ensure they've been vaccinated. For other reliable, verifiable informing demonstrating how Gates' vaccine agenda has already harmed hundreds of thousands of children read this excellent article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


Japan’s coronavirus response is too little, too late
2020-04-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-04-12 22:53:44
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/10/japans-coronavirus-respons...

Tokyo’s coronavirus “state of emergency” is as surreal as they come. Though the streets are noticeably quieter than normal, subways and buses are still jammed with commuters. Stock trading goes on as normal. Many bars, restaurants and cafes are abuzz. So are barbershops, beauty salons and home improvement centers. In Shibuya and other meccas of youth culture, teenagers who should be hunkering down at home are out and about. Leave it to Japan’s largest metropolis to morph shelter-in-place into a giant kabuki performance starring 8.3 million people. [Prime Minister] Abe should dispense with the pandemic kabuki and call for a strict shelter-in-place policy. Though there are legal questions about enforceability, Abe could use the bully pulpit to urge Japanese — and companies — to comply.

Important Editor's Note: This article is a prime example of how the media is bulldozing it's social isolation agenda and convincing people to willingly give up their freedoms. Japan was one of the first countries hit by the virus, with it's first death due to the coronavirus on Feb. 13th. Yet while the U.S., Italy, France, Spain, and the UK all had their first coronavirus deaths after Japan, all of these countries as of April 12th had tens of thousands of deaths, while Japan had only 124 deaths. That's 100 times less. Instead of calling for stricter policies in Japan, why isn't everyone asking what they are doing to have such an incredibly low death rate without instituting lockdown procedures? For more serious questions on how we are being manipulated, see this excellent essay.


Coronavirus: Why Dutch lockdown may be a high-risk strategy
2020-04-05, BBC News
Posted: 2020-04-12 22:51:51
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52135814

The Netherlands has tried to adopt an "intelligent lockdown", but the infection is spreading rapidly and it has one of the world's highest mortality rates from the pandemic. Having shunned the stricter measures of neighbouring states the government has pursued an "intelligent" or "targeted" lockdown. It wants to cushion the social, economic and psychological costs of social isolation and make the eventual return to normality more manageable. [The] local florist, ironmonger, delicatessen, bakery and toy store are still serving customers. Posters on the door and sticky tape on the floor encourage people to give each other space. Only those businesses that require touching, like hairdressers, beauticians and red light brothels, have been forced to cease trading. Schools, nurseries and universities are closed. Bars, restaurants and cannabis cafes are shut, although they seem to be doing a roaring trade in takeaways. "We think we're cool-headed," explained Dr Louise van Schaik of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations. "We don't want to overreact, to lock up everybody in their houses." People have been advised to stay at home, but you can go out if you are unable to work from home ... as long as you maintain 1.5m (5ft) social distance. It helps that the Dutch appear to be broadly compliant. One survey suggested 99% of people kept their distance. Dutch public health agency RIVM has launched a study to see how far antibodies created when people are exposed remain effective in preventing re-infection. "It's kind of like creating your own internal vaccine, by being exposed to it and then letting your body generate those antibodies naturally," Prof Aura Timen from the RIVM told the BBC.

Note: On 3/28, the Netherlands had over six times as many deaths as California with 639 compared to California's 104. Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while the Netherlands has gone up only 428% to 2,737. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19.  You can verify this by going to this link  of archived statistics on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Sweden challenges Trump -- and scientific mainstream -- by refusing to lock down
2020-04-10, CNN News
Posted: 2020-04-12 22:50:06
https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

Much of Europe is still on coronavirus lockdown, with severe restrictions on movement and penalties for those who transgress. But not Sweden. Restaurants and bars are open in the Nordic country, playgrounds and schools too, and the government is relying on voluntary action to stem the spread of Covid-19. The Swedish government is confident its policy can work. Sweden's actions are about encouraging and recommending, not compulsion. Elisabeth Liden, a journalist in Stockholm, [noted that] "the subway went from being completely packed to having only a few passengers per car. I get the sense that a vast majority are taking the recommendations of social distancing seriously." On March 24, new rules were introduced to avoid crowding at restaurants. But they very much stayed open. So did many primary and secondary schools. Gatherings of up to 50 people are still permitted. The country's state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell ... defended the decision to keep schools open [saying] "a lot of children are suffering when they can't go to school." Much of Sweden's focus has been to protect the elderly. Anyone aged 70 or older has been told to stay at home and limit their social contact as much as possible. Another factor in Sweden's favor is a generous social welfare net that means people don't feel obligated to turn up for work if their young child is sick. State support kicks in on day one of absence from work due to a child being sick. The next month will determine whether the Swedish system got it right.

Note: On 3/28, Sweden had twice as many deaths (203) as California (104). Yet 15 days later (4/12), California had risen 608% to 633, while Sweden had risen only 443% to 899. This is quite interesting considering that California has been in lockdown since 3/19, yet Sweden is not.  You can verify these figures by going to this link  of archived statistics from Johns Hopkins on the virus and clicking on the dates in question. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


The Attorney General's Power Grab in the Shadow of the Pandemic is Unprecedented, Unconstitutional—and Unnecessary
2020-03-25, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:22:35
https://www.newsweek.com/barr-power-grab-habeas-corpus-1494304

Our Attorney General submitted a proposal last week that would dramatically erode our civil liberties. Among other things, the proposal suspends habeas corpus ... or the right to appear before a judge before being detained. That right is enshrined in our Constitution and without it, Barr could hold Americans indefinitely without a trial. Our justice system is grounded in an unwavering guarantee that each one of us is entitled to certain inalienable rights, including the right to due process before one's freedom is taken away. On March 13, the President declared a national emergency, which unlocked special powers to keep our country safe. Congress has enacted roughly 120 laws that allow presidents such powers to meet precisely these types of threats while maintaining our democracy. These laws are not without limits. Nor were they meant to be used to capitalize on fear to unnecessarily erode our freedoms. Yet while the world is consumed by this pandemic and when he thought no one was watching, Attorney General William Barr proposed granting himself immense, permanent powers extending far past the needs posed by this threat. For example, the proposal grants Barr personally the power to ask any chief judge to hold a citizen, "whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation." If this were about COVID-19, the proposal would suspend only certain rights narrowly tailored to fighting this disease.

Note: This New York Times article details how autocrats around the world are using the fear generated to grab power. Read another highly informative article on how this crisis is being exploited to grab power. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy
2020-03-30, BBC News
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:20:42
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52086274

India declared a 21-day lockdown with four hours notice on the midnight of 24 March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All over India, millions of migrant workers are fleeing its shuttered cities and trekking home to their villages. These informal workers are the backbone of the big city economy. Escaping poverty in their villages, most of the estimated 100 million of them live in squalid housing in congested urban ghettos. Last week's lockdown turned them into refugees overnight. Their workplaces were shut, and most employees and contractors who paid them vanished. Sprawled together, men, women and children began their journeys at all hours of the day last week. When the children were too tired to walk, their parents carried them on their shoulders. Clearly, a lockdown to stave off a pandemic is turning into a humanitarian crisis. In the end, India is facing daunting and predictable challenges in enforcing the lockdown and also making sure the poor and homeless are not fatally hurt. India has already announced a $22bn relief package for those affected by the lockdown. The next few days will determine whether the states are able to transport the workers home or keep them in the cities and provide them with food and money. "People are forgetting the big stakes amid the drama of the consequences of the lockdown: the risk of millions of people dying," says Nitin Pai of Takshashila Institution, a prominent think tank. "There too, likely the worst affected will be the poor."

Note: In how many countries besides India is this scenario playing out? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


The U.S. wants smartphone location data to fight coronavirus. Privacy advocates are worried.
2020-03-18, NBC News
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:18:26
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/u-s-wants-smartphone-location-data-fig...

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking Facebook, Google and other tech giants to give them greater access to Americans' smartphone location data in order to help them combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to four people at companies involved in the discussions who are not authorized to speak about them publicly. Federal health officials say they could use anonymous, aggregated user data collected by the tech companies to map the spread of the virus — a practice known as "syndromic surveillance" — and prevent further infections. They could also use the data to see whether people were practicing "social distancing." The federal effort [was] first reported by The Washington Post. The government officials have held at least two calls in recent days with representatives from the companies, the sources said. Those officials are "very serious" about making this happen, a person at one of the tech companies said. Similar and more aggressive surveillance practices have already been put to use in China, South Korea and Israel. The moves have set off alarm bells among privacy advocates who fear what the government may do with users' data. Facebook already provides health researchers and nongovernmental organizations in some countries with anonymized data to help disease prevention efforts. Representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco all took part in the call with White House and federal health officials.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Fed’s Cure Risks Being Worse Than the Disease
2020-03-29, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:16:21
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/the-feds-cure-risks...

The economic debate of the day centers on whether the cure of an economic shutdown is worse than the disease of the virus. Similarly, we need to ask if the cure of the Federal Reserve getting so deeply into corporate bonds, asset-backed securities, commercial paper, and exchange-traded funds is worse than the disease seizing financial markets. It may be. In just these past few weeks, the Fed has cut rates by 150 basis points to near zero and run through its entire 2008 crisis handbook. That wasn’t enough to calm markets, though — so the central bank also announced $1 trillion a day in repurchase agreements and unlimited quantitative easing, which includes a hard-to-understand $625 billion of bond buying a week going forward. At this rate, the Fed will own two-thirds of the Treasury market in a year. But it’s the alphabet soup of new programs that deserve special consideration, as they could have profound long-term consequences. The federal government is nationalizing large swaths of the financial markets. The Fed is providing the money to do it. If these acronym programs were abused ... they might indeed force markets higher than valuation warrants. But it would come with a heavy price. Investors would be deprived of the necessary market signals that freely traded capital markets offer to aid in the efficient allocation of capital. Malinvestment would be rampant. It also could force private sector players to leave as the government’s heavy hand makes operating in “controlled” markets uneconomic.

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


New Oxford study suggests millions of people may have already built up coronavirus immunity
2020-03-24, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:14:14
https://news.yahoo.com/oxford-study-suggests-millions-people-221100162.html

A model predicting the progression of the novel coronavirus pandemic produced by researchers at Imperial College London set off alarms across the world and was a major factor in several governments' decisions to lock things down. But a new model from Oxford University is challenging its accuracy. The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms. The head of the study, professor Sunetra Gupta, an Oxford theoretical epidemiologist, said she still supports the U.K.'s decision to shut down the country to suppress the virus. But she also doesn't appear to be a big fan of the work done by the Imperial College team. If her work is accurate, that would likely mean a large swath of the population has built up resistance to the virus. Theoretically, then, social restrictions could ease sooner than anticipated. What needs to be done now, Gupta said, is a whole lot of antibody testing to figure out who may have contracted the virus. Her research team is working with groups from the University of Cambridge and the University of Kent to start those tests for the general population as quickly as possible.

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


Desperate for medical equipment, states encounter a beleaguered national stockpile
2020-03-28, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:12:13
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/desperate-for-medical-...

A shouting match broke out in the White House Situation Room between Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and an Office of Management and Budget official. Azar had asked OMB ... for $2 billion to buy respirator masks and other supplies for a depleted federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment. The relief package enacted Friday secured $16 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile. States desperate for materials from the stockpile are encountering a beleaguered system beset by years of underfunding, changing lines of authority, confusion over the allocation of supplies and a lack of transparency from the administration. The stockpile holds masks, drugs, ventilators and other items in secret sites around the country. It has become a source of growing frustration for many state and hospital officials who are having trouble buying — or even locating — crucial equipment on their own. Massachusetts ... has received 17 percent of the protective gear it requested. Maine requested a half-million N95 specialized protective masks and received 25,558 — about 5 percent of what it sought. Florida has been an exception in its dealings with the stockpile: The state submitted a request on March 11 for 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators, 82,000 face shields and 238,000 gloves, among other supplies — and received a shipment with everything three days later. President Trump repeatedly has warned states not to complain about how much they are receiving.

Note: This 2018 Washington Post article raises many questions about the secret U.S. stockpile. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Trump rejects congressional oversight of $500 billion in corporate relief
2020-03-30, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:10:19
https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/Trump-rejects-congressional-oversi...

The coronavirus financial aid package that landed on President Trump’s desk last week included a $500 billion corporate-loan fund that contained a major downside for his administration: Congressional Democrats had pushed for increased oversight of the loans, with a federal investigator designated to report to lawmakers on uses of the funding. So Trump, in endorsing the legislation Saturday, turned to a device he has used in record numbers during his tenure, the presidential “signing statement”. He signed the bill into law, but in the accompanying statement, he said he would not be bound by provisions that interfered with executive authority. Trump said he would not allow an inspector general to report to Congress because the Constitution, in his view, requires “presidential supervision” of such information. Using the signing statement to get his way with Congress is a familiar maneuver for Trump. It was at least the 769th signing statement Trump has issued since he took office. President George W. Bush, who produced more signing statements than all previous presidents combined, issued 750 in his first term. The disputes that arise between presidents and Congress because of executive signing statements could be resolved by the courts. But members of Congress have generally been unwilling to file suit, and it is difficult to find private citizens who can ... establish legal standing. Unless a court says otherwise, the president, not Congress, will have the last word on the $500 billion loan fund.

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


One Year of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Spending Would Provide 300,000 ICU Beds, 35,000 Ventilators and Salaries of 75,000 Doctors
2020-03-26, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:08:07
https://www.newsweek.com/one-year-us-nuclear-weapon-spending-would-provide-30...

The amount of money spent in one year by the U.S. on nuclear weapons could instead provide 300,000 ICU (intensive care unit) beds, 35,000 ventilators and 75,000 doctors' salaries, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) - a "coalition of non-government organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the UN [United Nations} nuclear weapon ban treaty." In its recent report, the group stated that, according to armscontrol.org, the U.S. spent $35.1 billion on nuclear weapons in 2019. As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases, more resources are required. The shortage of ventilators in U.S. hospitals has ... been a major issue during the coronavirus pandemic. During a recent interview with Vox, Dr. Tom Freiden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stated that "in the worst-case scenario, in which there is an exponential surge in COVID-19 cases, the need for ventilators could greatly outstrip the number available." In addition to the shortage, the cost of the ventilators has also become a problem for hospitals. They can cost between $25,000 to $50,000 and require very skilled people to run them. The report published by ICAN also touches on the nuclear spending costs of the United Kingdom and France. For instance, France spent around $4.9 million on nuclear weapons in 2019. This amount ... would translate to 100,000 ICU beds, 10,000 ventilators and the salaries of 20,000 French nurses and 10,000 French doctors.

Note: Read this Washington Post article about a secret stockpile which could be used now. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Here are some educational resources for parents during coronavirus quarantine
2020-03-30, Baltimore Sun
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:06:02
https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-resources-kids-parents-coronav...

With Maryland schools and some places of work closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, parents are looking for creative new ways to educate their children at home. One expert in homeschooling says a coronavirus-related quarantine situation should not be mistaken for a traditional educational setting. And parents should not lose sleep over whether their children are getting enough learning materials during such uncertain times. “We’re dealing with a global pandemic ... we need to worry about how we’re helping our children to cope with the stress," said Alessa Giampaolo Keener, an educational consultant. One of the best ways to help students stay mentally engaged in the coming weeks is by finding a routine that works for them without caving to the pressure [to] interrupt play or set elaborate schedules for children. Older children may respond well to being given a list of chores or assignments to complete by a set deadline, which allows them the autonomy to budget their own time throughout the day. The Khan Academy is a nonprofit that offers online educational resources for students, teachers and parents. Families can find day-by-day projects on Scholastic’s Learn at Home webpage to keep kids thinking during a quarantine. Projects are available for levels Pre-K through 9th grade. Some kids may miss recess and gym class just as much as academics. Families can find yoga, mindfulness and relaxation exercises on the Cosmic Kids Yoga Channel on YouTube.

Note: You can find more useful homeschooling resources on this webpage and this one and this one. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Why CEOs are giving up their salaries during the coronavirus crisis
2020-03-26, CNN News
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:04:21
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/investing/ceo-giving-up-pay-coronavirus/index....

Coronavirus has hit companies hard and fast over the past several weeks — prompting calls for industry bailouts and dramatic measures to cut costs. Among the steps some major corporations are taking to mitigate the consequences of the outbreak are pay cuts to CEOs and other top executives. Executive pay cuts alone aren't likely to have a significant impact on companies' bottom lines or provide a boost to lower-paid employees further down the org chart. But they send an important message. Airlines and travel companies, one of the industries hit hardest by the outbreak early on, were among the first to take such a step, including Delta (DAL), Alaska (ALK), United Airlines (UAL) and others, which all announced CEO pay cuts, and other executive compensation reductions. Marriott (MAR), the world's largest hotel chain, said last week that CEO Arne Sorenson will not take home any salary for the rest of the year, and the rest of the executive team will take a 50% pay cut. The announcement came at the same time that the company said it would begin furloughing what could be tens of thousands of hotel workers, from housekeepers to general managers. On Wednesday, Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) also announced its CEO Ed Stack and President Lauren Hobart will forgo their salaries, except for an amount covering company-provided benefits. The company's other named executive officers will take a 50% reduction in base salary. Other companies, including Ford (F), GE (GESLX) and Lyft (LYFT) have taken similar steps.

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


What Taiwan can teach the world on fighting the coronavirus
2020-03-10, NBC News
Posted: 2020-04-07 01:02:41
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/what-taiwan-can-teach-world-fighti...

As countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus, Taiwan may offer valuable lessons on how to curb its spread. The island is just 81 miles and a short flight away from mainland China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan. And yet, Taiwan has had only 50 cases of COVID-19 and one death. Of the 100-plus countries and territories affected, Taiwan has the lowest incidence rate per capita — around 1 in every 500,000 people. What lessons can Taiwan teach the world so other countries can stem the spread of the virus? On Dec. 31, the same day China notified the World Health Organization that it had several cases of an unknown pneumonia, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control immediately ordered inspections of passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan. Taiwan began requiring hospitals to test for and report cases. That helped the government identify those infected, trace their contacts and isolate everyone involved. Equally important, Taiwan's CDC activated the Central Epidemic Command Center relatively early on Jan. 20 and that allowed it to quickly roll out a series of epidemic control measures. The country’s health insurance system, which covers 99 percent of the population, has been crucial. “You can get a free test, and if you’re forced to be isolated, during the 14 days, we pay for your food, lodging and medical care,” [government spokesperson Kolas Yotaka] said. “So no one would avoid seeing the doctor because they can’t pay for health care.”

Note: This wired.com article further shows how Singapore is doing well with the pandemic. Another article shows why several countries have had success in this. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


As Congress Pushes a $2 Trillion Stimulus Package, the “How Will You Pay For It?” Question Is Tossed in the Trash
2020-03-27, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-04-06 20:42:32
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-stimulus-package-spending/

How was Congress able to come up with $2 trillion so quickly? Where is the money coming from? On Friday, the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi ... waved away that question, preparing to rubber-stamp a $2 trillion Senate package aimed at staving off economic collapse. The details of the legislation — particularly the $500 billion, strings-optional corporate slush fund — may be shameful ... but the moment is instructive ... as it became clear that concerns about deficits and revenue had evaporated. Congress has ignored millions of people who have existed in a state of crisis for decades. The people of Flint, Michigan, (and elsewhere) still do not have safe drinking water. Millions of kids go hungry each day. There has been no multitrillion-dollar spending bill to combat these and other domestic emergencies. Instead, lawmakers have deprived communities of critical investments that could have attenuated their emergencies, often hiding behind the excuse that there isn’t enough money in the budget to deal with problems like these. Congress is doing now what it could always have done. Uncle Sam can’t run out of dollars. The U.S. government is the issuer of our currency — the U.S. dollar — which means that ... it can never find itself in a situation in which it has bills coming due that it can’t afford to pay. If the votes are there, the money can always be made available. When all of this is behind us, to the extent that it ever can be, let’s not forget what we’ve learned.

Note: The entire article at the link above raises important questions about why Congress hasn't made more money available in the past for much needed support of a variety of important programs. The author, Stephanie Kelton, served as the chief economist for Democrats on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking and financial corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.


Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: ‘We’re going to be fine’
2020-03-22, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:23:35
https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-22/coronavirus-outbreak-nobel-l...

Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist, began analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide in January and correctly calculated that China would get through the worst of its coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. Now he foresees a similar outcome in the United States and the rest of the world. While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place. “What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.” Here’s what Levitt noticed in China: On Jan. 31, the country had 46 new deaths due to the novel coronavirus, compared with 42 new deaths the day before. Although the number of daily deaths had increased, the rate of that increase had begun to ease off. It was an early sign that the trajectory of the outbreak had shifted. “This suggests that the rate of increase in the number of deaths will slow down even more over the next week,” Levitt wrote. He predicted that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate. Now Levitt ... is seeing similar turning points in other nations. He analyzed data from 78 countries that reported more than 50 new cases of COVID-19 every day and sees “signs of recovery” in many of them.

Note: Consider the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency
2020-03-21, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:20:29
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/doj-suspend-constitutiona...

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies, according to a report by Politico. The DOJ has requested Congress allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” according to draft language obtained by Politico. This would be applicable to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil processes and proceedings.” But the Constitution grants citizens habeas corpus which gives arrestees the right to appear in front of a judge and ask to be released before trial. Enacting legislation like the DOJ wants would essentially suspend habeas corpus indefinitely until the emergency ended. Further, DOJ asked Congress to suspend the statute of limitations on criminal investigations and civil proceedings during the emergency until a year after it ended. That means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. The DOJ ... also asked Congress to pass a law saying that immigrants who test positive for COVID-19 cannot qualify as asylum seekers.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Coronavirus: California prepared to enact martial law if its a 'necessity', governor says
2020-03-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:18:38
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-california-mart...

California has prepared for worst case scenarios as the coronavirus pandemic heightens, including the possibility of enacting martial law. Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Tuesday he would consider implementing martial law if it was necessary to curb the novel virus. “We have the ability to do martial law ... if we feel the necessity,” he said. Issuing martial law would be an unprecedented move rarely used by officials in US history. If enacted, it would temporarily replace civil rule with military authority. The precedent for martial law in the US states “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement,” according to a legal journal. The president and Congress have the power to enact martial law for the entire country. State governors also have the power to enact martial law if its in their state’s constitution. Previous examples of martial law used include after World War II, specifically following the bombing of Pearl Harbour, when the state of Hawaii was held under martial law from 1941 to 1944. President Abraham Lincoln also used martial law during the Civil War to temporarily suspend habeas corpus, which is the right to a trial before imprisonment. California considering the possibility of using martial law on Tuesday comes just two days after the governor said he had no current plans for the measure.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


We can't let the coronavirus lead to a 9/11-style erosion of civil liberties
2020-03-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:16:32
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/23/coronavirus-civil-liber...

My adulthood has been punctuated by severe national emergencies. The first my generation experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. The government quickly responded by attempting to achieve two things: one, expanding executive power, and two, transferring public wealth into private corporations. The second national emergency my generation experienced was the 2008 housing bubble collapse and subsequent recession. Again the federal government ... sought to exploit the crisis to move vast wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. A staggering $14tn was transferred from taxpayers to private hands. [The] latest iteration is the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, the federal government appears poised to exploit this emergency to expand executive power and move wealth from the public treasury into private bank accounts. As we witnessed with the authoritarian reactions to 9/11, emergency violations of civil liberties are not easily rolled back, and often aggregate over time. In the wake of 9/11, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which gave sweeping powers to the executive branch. In 2012, Obama signed an expanded version into law, which gave the president the power to “hold individuals, including US citizens, in military detention indefinitely”, which means for life. We must reject such authoritarian measures wholly.

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


Deadly Germ Research Is Shut Down at Army Lab Over Safety Concerns
2019-08-05, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:14:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/health/germs-fort-detrick-biohazard.html

Safety concerns at a prominent military germ lab have led the government to shut down research involving dangerous microbes. “Research is currently on hold,” the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, in Fort Detrick, Md., said in a statement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to issue a “cease and desist order” last month to halt the research at Fort Detrick because the center did not have “sufficient systems in place to decontaminate wastewater” from its highest-security labs. The C.D.C. cited “national security reasons” as the rationale for not releasing information about its decision. The institute is a biodefense center that studies germs and toxins that could be used to threaten the military or public health, and also investigates disease outbreaks. The problems date back to May 2018, when storms flooded and ruined a decades-old steam sterilization plant that the institute had been using to treat wastewater from its labs. The damage halted research for months, until the institute developed a new decontamination system using chemicals. The new system required changes in certain procedures. During an inspection in June, the C.D.C. found that the new procedures were not being followed. Inspectors also found mechanical problems with the chemical-based decontamination system, as well as leaks. In 2009, research at the institute in Fort Detrick was suspended because it was storing pathogens not listed in its database.

Note: Check out credible evidence that links the Fort Detrick lab shutdown with the start of the Coronavirus outbreak on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Banks Pressure Health Care Firms to Raise Prices on Critical Drugs, Medical Supplies for Coronavirus
2020-03-19, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:11:47
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-pric...

Investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors who invest in health care companies. Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. Executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previously served as president of the U.S. division of drug giant Eli Lilly and on the board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug lobby group. During a congressional hearing ... Azar rejected the notion that any vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 should be set at an affordable price. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” said Azar. “The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won’t get us there.” The initial $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill passed in early March ... contained a provision that prevents the government from delaying the introduction of any new pharmaceutical to address the crisis over affordability concerns. The legislative text was shaped, according to reports, by industry lobbyists.

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


It's morally repulsive how corporations are exploiting this crisis. Workers will suffer
2020-03-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:09:49
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/large-corporations-expl...

Before the coronavirus virus crushed the US stock market, the Republican senator Richard Burr apparently used information he gleaned from his role as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee about the ferocity of the coming pandemic to unload 33 stocks held by him and his spouse. They were estimated at being worth between $628,033 and $1.72m. While publicly parroting Trump’s happy talk at the time, Burr confided to several of his political funders that the disease would be comparable to the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. When society faces a common threat, exploiting a special advantage is morally repugnant. Call it “Burring”. The coronavirus should have altered business as usual. But last week’s Senate Republican relief package, giving airlines $58bn and billions more to other industries, is pure Burring. Walmart, the largest employer in America, doesn’t give its employees paid sick leave. 88% of Walmart employees report sometimes coming to work when sick. None of the giants of the fast-food industry – McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Duncan Donuts, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway – gives their workers paid sick leave, either. Amazon, one of the richest corporations in the world, which paid almost no taxes last year, is offering unpaid time off for workers who are sick. These corporations have made sure they and other companies with more than 500 employees are exempt from the requirement in the House coronavirus bill that employers provide paid sick leave.

Note: Read a New York Times article for further information on how Senator Burr, the head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, after being briefed of impending disaster, unloaded $1 million in investments while telling the public everything was fine. Read an article in The Atlantic showing how the Coronavirus is giving the world's leaders a rich opportunity for a power grab. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


The man behind the sequencing of the coronavirus could have keys to the disease
2020-03-22, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:07:19
https://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/The-man-behind-the-sequencing-of-c...

The new NextSeq 550 sequencing machine at UCSF’s clinical lab on Berry Street looks like a microwave with a computer keyboard, but to microbiologist Charles Chiu, it is the key to California’s fight against the deadliest, most invasive virus to strike humanity in decades. The professor of medicine at UCSF will be using the black contraption ... to sequence the genomes of the viruses infecting hundreds of COVID-19 patients in the Bay Area during the next few weeks. Chiu ... is one of the top infectious disease specialists in the world. He has assembled an expert team of scientists ... to find critical clues about where the viral outbreaks in the Bay Area came from and how quickly the disease is spreading. He has already analyzed nine samples from the more than two dozen passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus on the Grand Princess cruise ship and is close to pinpointing the origin of those cases. “Those sequences belong in the same cluster as the infection in Washington state,” Chiu said. “They really suggest a link between Washington state and California.” Chiu said tracking the spread of the virus through genetics is possible because coronaviruses are known to have one to two mutations per month, allowing genomic sequencing to track a particular strain back to its origin. The rate of mutation in coronaviruses is much slower than it is with the influenza virus, which averages about eight to 10 mutations per month.

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


Coronavirus Advice: The Happiest People In The World Share 5 Ways To Be Happy
2020-03-20, Forbes
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:05:15
https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2020/03/20/stay-happy-tips-happ...

Today, the UN issued its annual World Happiness Report, which ranks 156 countries around the world. For the third year in a row, Finland was named the happiest country in the world. So what makes the Finns so happy—and what can we learn from them during this time of global turmoil caused by an outbreak of coronavirus? The first thing to know is that 70% of Finland is covered by forest and the air is clean and serene. “Nature is our secret,” says [Heli] Jimenez. “We Finns like to put on a pair of rubber boots, head to the woods to slow down and calm our mind.” But even if you can’t get out of the house, you can replicate the experience at home and listen to the relaxing sounds of Finnish Lapland. Finns love swimming in the winter in a lake or the sea. The easiest way to do this at home is with a quick, ice-cold shower. Another hallmark of Finland is its rich art scene, which ranges from experimental artist-run initiatives to commercial galleries to flagship art institutions. The country is home to more than 55 art museums, and much of the art in the country is inspired by the Finns’ close relationship with nature. The Finns also use art to “calm the mind and transport their thoughts to stress-free, comforting places.” says Jimenez. Her advice: “Why not take a virtual trip from your own sofa to the Finnish museums to understand how art is a tool for happiness.” Take a virtual tour of the Ateneum, and you’ll be feeling the calm Finnish vibes in no time flat.

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


Looking for something to do while quarantined? You can take Yale's most popular class ever for free online
2020-03-20, CBS News
Posted: 2020-03-30 02:02:13
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-quarantine-yale-university-classes-f...

People around the world are learning to cope with quarantines in an attempt to stop the further spread of the new coronavirus. As city lockdowns force people to self-quarantine, everyone is searching for ways to keep busy — and Yale University has a solution. "Psychology and the Good Life," a course first introduced by Professor Laurie Santos in spring 2018, teaches stressed-out students how to be happier. The university said it quickly became the most popular course in the school's 317-year history. Given its success, Yale decided to release the course online with the title, "The Science of Well Being." It features lectures by Santos "on things people think will make them happy but don't — and, more importantly, things that do bring lasting life satisfaction." Anyone with an internet connection can sign up for the class for free. The course involves a series of challenges "designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits." The course is fully online and takes about 20 hours to complete. It includes videos, readings, quizzes and "retirement" activities to build happier habits. "The Science of Well Being" isn't the only course that could keep you busy during the coronavirus outbreak. Coursera offers other free courses from the nation's top schools, including "Greek and Roman Mythology" from the University of Pennsylvania, "Imagining other Earths" from Princeton, and "Child Nutrition and Cooking" from Stanford.

Note: Don't miss the incredibly popular course (4.9 stars out of 5) offered free on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Social distancing is so hard because it’s contrary to human nature
2020-03-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-03-30 01:59:55
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/03/17/coronavirus-social-distancing/

Amid a novel coronavirus pandemic, some of us have defied public health officials’ exhortations and headed to bars to be with other members of our species. More of us have stared into the weeks to come and wondered how we will cope without basketball games, book groups, worship services, yoga classes and dinners with friends. Humans are social animals, even what some call “ultra-social.” For millennia, survival has depended on being part of a group. If distancing seems hard, it’s not just you: It’s human nature. “We are the most extreme example of a species that’s decided that collaborating with others is going to be my entire strategy,” said Steve Cole, a professor ... at the University of California. These social skills helped our ancestors fend off predators and more efficiently gather and hunt food and raise offspring. Our emotional dependence on each other can make keeping our distance, even for the public health benefit of “flattening the curve,” feel crummy. Most who are reducing physical contact, of course, are not locking themselves into isolation chambers. They’ve got a few relatives or friends around. Technology and social media ... should now be viewed as a lifeline. “People are going to feel isolated and lonely unless they make an effort to reach out to each other, so what we have to do is make sure that we call people on the phone and Skype with them and send them texts and emails, especially the people who are least proficient on the Internet,” [psychological anthropologist Alan] Fiske said.

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


Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted - by Anthony Fauci, et al
2020-03-26, New England Journal of Medicine - NEJM
Posted: 2020-03-30 00:26:18
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387

The latest threat to global health is the ongoing outbreak of the respiratory disease that was recently given the name Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). The Covid-19 outbreak has posed critical challenges for the public health, research, and medical communities. In their Journal article, Li and colleagues provide a detailed clinical and epidemiologic description of the first 425 cases reported in the epicenter of the outbreak: the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China. A degree of clarity is emerging from this report. The median age of the patients was 59 years, with higher morbidity and mortality among the elderly and among those with coexisting conditions (similar to the situation with influenza). Of note, there were no cases in children younger than 15 years of age. Li et al. report a mean interval of 9.1 to 12.5 days between the onset of illness and hospitalization. On the basis of a case definition requiring a diagnosis of pneumonia, the currently reported case fatality rate is approximately 2%. In another article in the Journal, Guan et al. report mortality of 1.4% among 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19; these patients had a wide spectrum of disease severity. If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

Note: The main author of this article, Anthony S. Fauci, is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Consider the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. Explore also this excellent article which covers key, vitally important aspects of this pandemic that few have considered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


A fiasco in the making? – By Stanford Professor of Medicine John Ioannidis
2020-03-17, boston.com
Posted: 2020-03-30 00:18:34
https://www.boston.com/news/health/2020/03/17/coronavirus-decisions-without-r...

The current coronavirus disease [may] be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco. At a time when everyone needs better information ... no countries have reliable data. This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty. Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date ... we don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the [WHO], cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested ... are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. The Diamond Princess cruise ship [had a] case fatality rate [of] 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population. Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data ... the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. With lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.

Note: John Ioannidis is professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health at Stanford University. To be truly informed, don't miss this entire, very well researched article at the link above. Consider also the research of 12 other experts questioning the coronavirus panic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say? – Stanford Professors Speak Out
2020-03-24, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2020-03-26 03:16:26
https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-1158508...

Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate—2% to 4% ... according to the World Health Organization and others. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. There’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases. The latter rate is misleading because of selection bias in testing. The degree of bias ... could make the difference between an epidemic that kills 20,000 and one that kills two million [in the U.S.]. First, the test used to identify cases doesn’t catch people who were infected and recovered. Second, testing rates were woefully low for a long time and typically reserved for the severely ill. Together, these facts imply that the confirmed cases are likely orders of magnitude less than the true number of infections. Epidemiological modelers haven’t adequately adapted their estimates to account for these factors. This does not make Covid-19 a nonissue. The daily reports from Italy and across the U.S. show real struggles and overwhelmed health systems. But a 20,000- or 40,000-death epidemic is a far less severe problem than one that kills two million. Given the enormous consequences of decisions around Covid-19 response, getting clear data to guide decisions now is critical. We don’t know the true infection rate in the U.S. If we’re right about the limited scale of the epidemic, then measures focused on older populations and hospitals are sensible. A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health.

Note: Authors Dr. Bendavid and Dr. Bhattacharya are professors of medicine at Stanford. The Wall Street Journal charges non-subscribers to read more than the first two paragraphs of this article. You may find it well worth your time to read the entire article free on this webpage. Explore also this excellent article the covers key, vitally important aspects of this pandemic that few have considered. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.


Inside the Military's Top Secret Plans if Coronavirus Cripples the Government
2020-03-18, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:25:52
https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-inside-militarys-top-secret-plans-if-coron...

Even as President Trump says he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that huge swaths of the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, forcing the implementation of "continuity of government" plans. Above-Top Secret contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law. The various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. Under these extraordinary plans, "devolution" could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2006, no emergency has triggered any state to even request federal military aid under these procedures. Part of the reason, the senior officer involved in planning says, is that local police forces have themselves become more capable, acquiring military-grade equipment and training. And part of the reason is that the governors have worked together to strengthen the National Guard, which can enforce domestic law when it is mustered under state control.

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


FDA medical adviser: 'Congress is owned by pharma'
2019-03-13, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:23:36
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/congress-big-pharma-money-123757664.html

Pharmaceutical companies are under the spotlight with congressional hearings on the cost of drug prices and allegations of the industry’s role in the opioid crisis. Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist ... and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA. Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it “because Congress is owned by pharma.” “The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he [said]. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.” OpenSecrets, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics. It ranked the top 20 members of the House and the Senate that have received the most campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. Kevin McCarthy, now the House minority leader after midterms, received ... a total of $380,350 in campaign contributions, with a large sum coming from pharma companies. “Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said. “If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the president is because it’s really about Congress.”

Note: Learn more on how big Pharma controls politicians in this very well researched video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and Big Pharma profiteering from reliable major media sources.


Flu Season That's Sickened 26 Million May Be at Its Peak
2020-02-21, US News & World Report
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:21:31
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-02-21/flu-season-thats-...

It's been overshadowed by the new coronavirus outbreak in China, but this year's flu season could be near its peak. At least 14,000 people have died and 250,000 have already been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 26 million Americans have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms. "There is a deadly respiratory virus that is circulating throughout the United States, and it is at its peak. It is not novel coronavirus," said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic. This flu season ... started early, in October, with an unusual wave of influenza B virus. Influenza B is less likely than other strains to mutate and become more virulent. That means it poses a greater threat to young people than to older folks, who may have gained immunity because they encountered the strain before. There have been 105 flu-related deaths among children this season, a higher total at this point of the year than any season in the past decade. Two-thirds of these deaths were associated with influenza B viruses, the CDC noted. More recently, a second wave of influenza A viruses featuring the H1N1 strain has hit the United States, Tosh noted. "This has been an extended season, and we've certainly been seeing a lot of hospitalizations and bad outcomes from it," Tosh said. "We will likely continue to see high influenza activity for several weeks. We are probably at its peak right now. I sure hope it doesn't get much worse."

Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that between 390,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 23,000 and 59,000 deaths have resulted from seasonal flu so far this season. That's between 150 and 300 deaths every day in the U.S. from the regular flu. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups
2020-03-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:18:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/07/us/politics/erik-prince-project-veritas.html

Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda. One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of ... one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. The next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations. Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide ... appears to have become interested in using former spies to train Project Veritas operatives in espionage tactics sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war. Mr. Prince invited Project Veritas operatives ... to his family’s Wyoming ranch for training in 2017. [They] shared social media photos of taking target practice with guns at the ranch, including one post ... saying that with the training, Project Veritas will be “the next great intelligence agency.”

Note: Mr. Prince's Blackwater operation got caught systematically defrauding the government. Then Blackwater changed its name to Academi and made over $300 million off the Afghan drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Fighting the Good Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse
2019-12-23, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:16:44
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/22/us/child-sex-abuse-websites-sh...

Several websites popular with sexual predators were thwarted last month after a determined campaign by groups dedicated to eliminating the content. It was a rare victory in an unending war. In late November, the moderator of three highly trafficked websites posted a message titled “R.I.P.” It offered a convoluted explanation for why they were left with no choice but to close. The unnamed moderator thanked over 100,000 “brothers” who had visited and contributed to the sites before their demise, blaming an “increasingly intolerant world” that did not allow children to “fully express themselves.” In fact, forums on the sites had been bastions of illegal content almost since their inception in 2012, containing child sexual abuse photos and videos, including violent and explicit imagery of infants and toddlers. In a world exploding with the imagery — 45 million photos and videos of child sexual abuse were reported last year alone — the open web is a freewheeling expanse where the underdog task of confronting the predators falls mainly to a few dozen nonprofits with small budgets. Several of those groups, including a child exploitation hotline in Canada, hunted the three sites across the internet for years but could never quite defeat them. But [a] Canadian hotline developed ... a sophisticated tool to find and report illegal imagery. The three sites were overwhelmed by the Canadian tool, which had sent more than 1 million notices of illegal content to the companies keeping them online. And last month, they were compelled to surrender.

Note: Listen to a disturbing, yet vitally important New York Times podcast showing this huge problem that few are willing to look at. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Loaded Gun Found Smuggled Into Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Killed Himself
2020-03-06, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:14:21
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/06/nyregion/jeffrey-epstein-gun-jail.html

Federal investigators on Thursday found a loaded gun that had been smuggled into the Manhattan jail where the financier Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself last summer while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, officials said. The discovery of the gun at the jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, came amid a weeklong lockdown that began with a tip that a firearm might have been “introduced” into the building, according to a statement from the federal Bureau of Prisons. The gun was found in one of the jail’s housing units, the bureau said. The Metropolitan Correctional Center and other federal prisons across the United States have been dealing with rising levels of violence and other safety problems, including an influx of contraband. The problems have coincided with a push by the Trump administration, in its quest to shrink the federal government, to curtail prison hiring, according to a 2018 investigation by The New York Times. In at least one prison, The Times found, people regularly walked up to the double security fence in broad daylight, and, with no guards in sight, tossed weapons, drugs, cellphones and other items to inmates. But a gun is a rare and unique threat. The lockdown and ensuing search were part of the continuing fallout stemming from the suicide of Mr. Epstein in August. Lawyers for Mr. Epstein have challenged the New York City medical examiner’s finding that his death was a suicide.

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


Trump calls for Sotomayor, Ginsburg to recuse themselves from 'Trump-related' cases as he has a lot at stake before the court
2020-02-25, CNN News
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:12:06
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/25/politics/donald-trump-ruth-bader-ginsburg-soni...

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for two liberal Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves from cases involving him following a scathing dissent issued by one of them, blasting the justices as the court considers a number of cases critical to his presidency. "I just don't know how they can't recuse themselves for anything having to do with Trump or Trump-related," Trump said of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg during a trip to India. "Her statement was so inappropriate when you're a justice of the Supreme Court," he said of Sotomayor, who was appointed to the court by President Barack Obama. Sotomayor castigated the government for repeatedly asking justices on an emergency basis to allow controversial policies to go into effect and charged her conservative colleagues on the court with being too eager to side with the Trump administration on such requests. While Sotomayor's dissent targeted the federal government -- not The Trump administration per se -- she was speaking about the recent uptick in emergency petitions concerning many of the President's policies. And her criticism of her conservative colleagues was pointed. Sotomayor wrote that granting emergency applications often upends "the normal appellate process" while "putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won." Targeting her conservative colleagues, she said "most troublingly, the court's recent behavior" has benefited "one litigant over all others."

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


Zika Virus – Fear is the Key.
2016-02-11, BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:09:47
https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i841/rr

I wonder how many of the readers remember the WHO’s pandemic alert on swine ‘flu some years ago? When the WHO was proactive to announce a pandemic then without any scientific justifications I was the one who wrote that that was a business stunt! People did not believe and the British Medical Journal rejected my paper. After one long year what I had predicted came true. Council of Europe Health Committee Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg said that the declaration of a swine flu pandemic was a false alarm. “There are many signs that there is close cooperation between the WHO and pharmaceutical companies. We have to find out whether there was pressure or whether there was money given as an incentive to the WHO to have this pandemic declared,” Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg adds. To give a simple example of the swine flu drug Tamiflu when given to a million people, 45,000 will experience vomiting, 31,000 will experience headache and 11,000 will have psychiatric side-effects. These figures might be insignificant if Tamiflu cures swine flu. That is not the case. Raising the fear levels in society is the surest way of depressing their immune system! This is good for business. With people’s immune system depressed they are prone to all kinds of infections. What follows next is the usual history. Greedy drug companies will now vie with each other to produce a vaccine. Vaccination is big business. This pattern goes on and on as long as money and medicine are related.

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


Patents Secured for Revolutionary Nuclear Fusion Technology
2020-02-24, Popular Mechanics
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:07:32
https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a31080902/fusion-energy-hydrogen-boron/

Scientists in Australia are making some astonishing claims about a new nuclear reactor technology. Startup HB11, which spun out of the University of New South Wales, has applied for and received patents in the U.S., Japan, and China so far. The company's technology uses lasers to trigger a nuclear fusion reaction in hydrogen and boron—purportedly with no radioactive fuel required. The laser doesn’t heat the materials. Instead, it speeds up the hydrogen to the point where it (hopefully) collides with the boron to begin a reaction. “You could say we're using the hydrogen as a dart, and hoping to hit a boron, and if we hit one, we can start a fusion reaction,” managing director Warren McKenzie [said]. He says HB11's approach is “more precise” than designs that use heat to approach fusion because in those reactors, everything is heated in the hope that something will collide. When the lucky hydrogen does fuse with a boron particle, the reaction throws off helium atoms whose lack of electrons means they’re positively charged. It’s this charge that the device gathers as electricity. The overall idea was developed by UNSW emeritus professor Heinrich Hora. Hora’s design seeks to not just compete with, but replace entirely the extremely high-temperature current technologies to achieve fusion. These include fussy and volatile designs like the tokamak or stellarator, which can take months to get up to functionality and still spin out of working order in a matter of microseconds.

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


Second patient cured of HIV, say doctors
2020-03-10, BBC News
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:05:24
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51804454

A man from London has become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, doctors say. Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy. He was not cured by the HIV drugs, however, but by a stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer he also had, the Lancet HIV journal reports. The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV. In 2011, Timothy Brown, the "Berlin Patient" became the first person reported as cured of HIV, three and half years after having similar treatment. Stem-cell transplants appear to stop the virus being able to replicate inside the body by replacing the patient's own immune cells with donor ones that resist HIV infection. Adam Castillejo - the now 40-year-old "London Patient" who has decided to go public with his identity - has no detectable active HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues, his doctors say. It is now a year after they first announced he was clear of the virus and he still remains free of HIV. Lead researcher Prof Ravindra Kumar Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News: "This represents HIV cure with almost certainty. "We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission. "Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin Patient, can be replicated."

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


Rats avoid harming other rats. The finding may help us understand sociopaths.
2020-03-05, National Geographic
Posted: 2020-03-23 19:03:56
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/03/rats-empathy-brains-harm-a...

Humans and rodents have similar brain structures that regulate empathy, suggesting the behavior is deeply rooted in mammal evolution. Previous research has shown the much-maligned rodents assist comrades in need, as well as remember individual rats that have helped them—and return the favor. Now, a new study builds on this evidence of empathy, revealing that domestic rats will avoid harming other rats. In the study, published ... in the journal Current Biology, rats were trained to pull levers to get a tasty sugar pellet. If the lever delivered a mild shock to a neighbor, several of the rats stopped pulling that lever and switched to another. Harm aversion, as it's known, is a well-known human trait regulated by a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Further experiments showed the ACC controls this behavior in rats, too. This is the first time scientists have found the ACC is necessary for harm aversion in a non-human species. The finding could have a real impact on people suffering from psychiatric disorders such as psychopathy and sociopathy, whose anterior cingulate cortexes are impaired. “We currently have no effective drugs to reduce violence in antisocial populations,” [study co-author Christian] Keysers says, and figuring out how to increase such patients’ aversion to hurting others could be a powerful tool. Whatever the motivation ... it’s fascinating that the impulse to avoid hurting others is at least 93 million years old, which is when humans and rats diverged on the evolutionary tree.

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


Federal Reserve to lend additional $1 trillion a day to large banks
2020-03-20, PBS News Hour
Posted: 2020-03-21 22:53:31
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/federal-reserve-to-lend-additional-1-tri...

The Federal Reserve moved with unprecedented force and speed Friday to pump huge amounts of cash into the financial system to ease disruptions that have escalated since the viral outbreak. The New York Federal Reserve Bank said it will offer $1 trillion of overnight loans a day through the end of this month to large banks. That is in addition to $1 trillion in 14-day loans it is offering every week. Wall Street analysts say the huge number is intended to calm markets by demonstrating that the Fed’s ability to lend short-term is nearly unlimited. The Fed is also buying Treasury bonds at a furious pace, and will soon run through the $500 billion in purchases it announced on Sunday. It is also accelerating its purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Most analysts expect they will buy more. All the Fed’s emergency steps are intended to pump cash into a financial system that has seen a spike in demand for dollars. Steven Friedman, a former economist at the New York Fed, [said] “The Fed is trying to play the role of shock absorber.” “They’ve effectively thrown the kitchen sink at the markets and the economy,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior U.S. rates strategist for TD Securities. Also Friday, the Fed said it would expand its currency exchanges with five central banks. The Fed provides dollars to overseas central banks because some business is conducted overseas in dollars and foreign banks also provide dollar-denominated loans to their customers.

Note: Take $1 trillion and divide it by the U.S. population of 330 million and you find that this amount is equivalent to $3,000 for every man, woman, and child in the US. And that is what the Fed is lending every day. Where is all this money coming from, and why is it going to the banks? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Information Center.


View from Italy's coronavirus frontline
2020-03-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-21 20:01:13
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/this-is-like-a-war-view-from-it...

Among the 2,158 people to have been killed by the coronavirus pandemic in Italy as of Monday, the oldest was 95 and the two youngest were 39. Silvio Brusaferro, the president of Italy’s Higher Institute of Health, said on Friday that the average age of coronavirus victims was 80.3, with the majority having suffered underlying illnesses. The most common additional health issue was arterial hypertension followed by chronic heart disease, atrial fibrillation and cancer. More than 70% of those who have died were men. The two 39-year-old victims were a man with diabetes and a woman with cancer.

Note: Yet very strangely in Italy's neighbor France, "half the severe cases were people aged under 60," according to this report. For two other excellent articles which put the Coronavirus in perspective, see this compilation of data and this excellent essay on how the virus is being used to promote the surveillance state. Lots more from reliable sources on selling fear during virus scares is available here. And for how fear is used to control us and what we can do about it, don't miss this excellent essay.


99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says
2020-03-18, MSN/Bloomberg
Posted: 2020-03-21 19:39:01
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/99-25-of-those-who-died-from-virus-had-o...

More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority. After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease. Italy has more than 31,500 confirmed cases of the illness. The new study could provide insight into why Italy’s death rate, at about 8% of total infected people, is higher than in other countries. The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions. More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease. The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions. According to the GIMBE Foundation, about 100,000 Italians have contracted the virus, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported. That would bring back the country’s death rate closer to the global average of about 2%.

Note: Yet very strangely in Italy's neighbor France, "half the severe cases were people aged under 60," according to this report. For two other excellent articles which put the Coronavirus in perspective, see this compilation of data and this excellent essay on how the virus is being used to promote the surveillance state. Lots more from reliable sources on selling fear during virus scares is available here. And for how fear is used to control us and what we can do about it, don't miss this excellent essay.


Why The WHO Faked A Pandemic
2010-02-05, Forbes magazine
Posted: 2020-03-17 05:15:40
https://www.forbes.com/2010/02/05/world-health-organization-swine-flu-pandemi...

The World Health Organization [is facing] charges that the agency deliberately fomented swine flu hysteria. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ... is publicly investigating the WHO's motives in declaring a pandemic. The chairman of its influential health committee, epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, has declared that the "false pandemic" is "one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century." Even within the agency, the director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology ... Dr. Ulrich Kiel, has essentially labeled the pandemic a hoax. "We are witnessing a gigantic misallocation of resources [$18 billion so far] in terms of public health," he said. The pandemic declaration [reflects] sheer dishonesty motivated not by medical concerns but political ones. Unquestionably, swine flu has proved to be vastly milder than ordinary seasonal flu. It kills at a third to a tenth the rate, according to [CDC] estimates. Did the WHO have any indicators of this mildness when it declared the pandemic in June? Absolutely. We were then fully 11 weeks into the outbreak and swine flu had only killed 144 people worldwide--the same number who die of seasonal flu worldwide every few hours. (An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 per year by the WHO's own numbers.) The agency was losing credibility over the refusal of avian flu H5N1 to go pandemic and kill as many as 150 million people worldwide, as its "flu czar" had predicted in 2005. Around the world nations heeded the warnings and spent vast sums developing vaccines and making other preparations. So when swine flu conveniently trotted in, the WHO essentially crossed out "avian," inserted "swine."

Note: In this intriguing 11-minute video, epidemiologist Dr. Wodarg questions the validity of the Coronavirus numbers and explains how fear and manipulation have greatly exaggerated the fear around this virus. Explore extensive, eye-opening coverage from reliable sources revealing how the swine and avian flu "pandemics" were designed for corporate profit.


For decades, the CIA read the encrypted communications of allies and adversaries.
2020-02-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:54:18
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/national-security/cia-cryp...

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. The company, Crypto AG ... made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages. The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project. The company always made at least two versions of its products — secure models that would be sold to friendly governments, and rigged systems for the rest of the world. Throughout the 1980s, the list of Crypto’s leading clients read like a catalogue of global trouble spots. In 1981, Saudi Arabia was Crypto’s biggest customer, followed by Iran, Italy, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Jordan and South Korea. To protect its market position, Crypto and its secret owners engaged in subtle smear campaigns against rival companies ... and plied government officials with bribes.

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


Child Abusers Run Rampant as Tech Companies Look the Other Way
2019-11-09, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:52:32
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/09/us/internet-child-sex-abuse.html

The two sisters live in fear of being recognized. Ten years ago, their father did the unthinkable: He posted explicit photos and videos on the internet of them, just 7 and 11 at the time. Many captured violent assaults in their Midwestern home, including him and another man drugging and raping the 7-year-old. The men are now in prison, but in a cruel consequence of the digital era, their crimes are finding new audiences. This year alone, photos and videos of the sisters were found in over 130 child sexual abuse investigations involving mobile phones, computers and cloud storage accounts. The digital trail of abuse — often stored on Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive — haunts the sisters relentlessly, they say, as does the fear of a predator recognizing them from the images. The scope of the problem is only starting to be understood because the tech industry has been more diligent in recent years in identifying online child sexual abuse material, with a record 45 million photos and videos flagged last year. But the same industry has consistently failed to take aggressive steps to shut it down, an investigation by The New York Times found. Approaches by tech companies are inconsistent, largely unilateral and pursued in secret, often leaving pedophiles and other criminals who traffic in the material with the upper hand. There is no common standard for identifying illegal video content, and many major platforms — including AOL, Snapchat and Yahoo — do not even scan for it.

Note: Listen to a disturbing, yet vitally important New York Times podcast showing this huge problem that few are willing to look at. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


U.S. peach grower awarded $265 million from Bayer, BASF in weedkiller lawsuit
2020-02-16, Reuters
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:50:32
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-dicamba-lawsuit/us-peach-grower-awar...

A Missouri jury’s $265 million award to peach grower Bill Bader in his lawsuit against herbicide providers Bayer and BASF has raised the stakes for the two companies as at least 140 similar cases head to U.S. courts. A jury in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, handed Bader, the state’s largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. He sued the companies saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed by herbicide that they produce, which drifted onto its trees from nearby farms. The three-week trial was the first case in the United States to rule on the use of dicamba-based herbicides alleged to have damaged tens of thousands of acres of U.S. cropland. The herbicide can become a vapor and drift for miles when used in certain weather, farmers have claimed. Bayer faces separate multi-billion-dollar litigation over the Roundup weedkiller made by Monsanto, the U.S. firm it took over for $63 billion in 2018. Monsanto made Roundup and dicamba, and Bayer is being sued over both products. Bader Farms, in southern Missouri near the Arkansas border, said it lost many trees when the herbicide containing dicamba was used on nearby soybean and cotton farms and drifted onto its property. The farm said repeated dicamba exposure beginning in 2015 killed or weakened the fruit trees. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposed restrictions on the use of dicamba in November 2018 over concerns about potential damage to nearby crops.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.


We Tried to Find the Most Equal Place in America. It Got Complicated
2020-02-20, Time
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:48:37
https://time.com/5783981/most-equal-place-united-states/

For nearly 20 years, Dolores Acevedo-Garcia has been collecting data on the access—and lack thereof—that children in neighborhoods across the U.S. have to necessities like healthy food and a good education. She and her team ... manage diversitydatakids.org, a data project designed to guide the high-level policy decisions that affect childhood and equality. In January, Acevedo-Garcia and her team published the latest edition of the Child Opportunity Index, an ambitious project that takes a deep look at 47,000 neighborhoods across the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, scoring them from 1 to 100, where a higher number means more childhood opportunity based on 29 key measures. Many of the more diverse metro areas in the U.S., especially cities with large black populations, have enormous opportunity gaps; the few diverse cities with small gaps tend to have low opportunity scores overall. “It’s hard to find a place that is equitable and racially diverse,” says Acevedo-Garcia. In all 100 metro areas ... combined, white children live in neighborhoods with a median score of 73, compared with neighborhood scores of 72 for Asian children, 33 for Hispanic children and 24 for black children. Black and Hispanic kids live with less opportunity than their white and Asian peers almost without exception. Milwaukee and its surrounding area has the widest racial disparity in the U.S.. A white child there lives ... with a median opportunity score of 85. For a black child, the median neighborhood score is 6.

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


Education Dept. to Cut Off Federal Funding for Some Rural Schools
2020-02-28, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:46:19
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/28/us/politics/rural-schools-funding-cut.html

A bookkeeping change at the Education Department will kick hundreds of rural school districts out of a federal program that for nearly two decades has funneled funding to some of the most geographically isolated and cash-strapped schools in the United States. More than 800 schools stand to lose thousands of dollars from the Rural and Low-Income School Program because the department has abruptly changed how districts are to report how many of their students live in poverty. The change ... comes after the Education Department said a review of the program revealed that districts had “erroneously” received funding because they had not met eligibility requirements outlined in the federal education law since 2002. The department said it was simply following the law, which requires that in order to get funding, districts must use data from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates to determine whether 20 percent of their area’s school-age children live below the poverty line. For about 17 years though, the department has allowed schools to use the percentage of students who qualify for federally subsidized free and reduced-price meals, a common proxy for school poverty rates. In its latest report, “Why Rural Matters,” the Rural School and Community Trust found that ... nearly one in six students living in rural areas lives below the poverty line, one in seven qualifies for special education services, and one in nine has changed residence in the previous 12 months.

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


More than a third of U.S. healthcare costs go to bureaucracy
2020-01-06, Yahoo! News/Reuters
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:44:34
https://news.yahoo.com/more-third-u-healthcare-costs-222257777.html

U.S. insurers and providers spent more than $800 billion in 2017 on administration, or nearly $2,500 per person - more than four times the per-capita administrative costs in Canada's single-payer system, a new study finds. Over one third of all healthcare costs in the U.S. were due to insurance company overhead and provider time spent on billing, versus about 17% spent on administration in Canada, researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. Cutting U.S. administrative costs to the $550 per capita (in 2017 U.S. dollars) level in Canada could save more than $600 billion, the researchers say. "The average American is paying more than $2,000 a year for useless bureaucracy," said lead author Dr. David Himmelstein, a distinguished professor of public health at the City University of New York. "That money could be spent for care if we had a 'Medicare for all program'," Himmelstein said. Why are administrative costs so high in the U.S.? It's because the insurance companies and health care providers are engaged in a tug of war, each trying in its own way to game the system. "Some folks estimate that the U.S. would save $628 billion if administrative costs were as low as they are in Canada," said Jamie Daw, an assistant professor ... at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "That's a staggering amount," Daw said. "It's more than enough to pay for all of Medicaid spending or nearly enough to cover all out-of-pocket and prescription drug spending by Americans."

Note: The study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


Trump administration's family separations at Mexico border are torture, doctors find
2020-02-25, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:40:58
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-family-se...

A new NGO report has found that the treatment suffered by families forcibly separated at the US-Mexico border meets the definition of torture. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) says its report “provides the first medical and psychological evidence of the long-lasting harm associated with family separation”. The report, “‘You Will Never See Your Child Again’: The Persistent Psychological Effects of Family Separation” ... describes findings from in-depth psychological evaluations of 26 asylum seekers, nine of them children and 17 parents. All the children and all but two of the adults showed the symptoms of various psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The policy of separating children and parents who crossed the Mexican border without documents – including asylum seekers – began after the Trump administration moved to a “zero-tolerance” approach to border crossings. Donald Trump signed an executive order to end the practice in June 2018. However, the administration has continued to pursue hardline immigration policies since then, including ones that would affect families, and the separations continued after Trump signed his order. More than 1,110 families have been separated since then. In September 2019, a federal judge rejected new regulations that would have allowed the government to detain children and their parents indefinitely.

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


Trump's pardons of Rod Blagojevich and others meant to convince America corruption is OK
2020-02-20, NBC News
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:38:39
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-pardons-rod-blagojevich-others-...

If actions speak louder than words, then President Donald Trump's granting of pardons Tuesday was deafening. The list of 11 lucky Americans granted clemency read like a who's who of the rich and the famous — former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Wall Street financier Michael Milken and former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik among them. Many of the offenders who received pardons or commutations of their sentences were convicted of crimes relating to fraud and corruption. The message Trump is sending seems loud and clear: Fraud and corruption are not serious crimes. And as such, these types of white-collar crimes can be ignored. Predators of all types — from criminals who engage in fraud to those who commit sexual exploitation — often groom their victims for action they want to take in the future. Trump may be using his pardon power in the same way. By inuring the public to the harm of fraud and corruption, the president can convince his base of supporters that these are not serious crimes. Clearly, Trump is using pardons to undermine public faith in the government and the criminal justice system. If, at some point, he does decide to pardon [Roger] Stone and other allies, such as former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the outrage will have been defused.

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


Carbon emissions fall as electricity producers move away from coal
2020-03-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:35:26
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/09/carbon-emissions-fall-as-...

Carbon emissions from the global electricity system fell by 2% last year, the biggest drop in almost 30 years, as countries began to turn their backs on coal-fired power plants. A new report on the world’s electricity generation revealed the steepest cut in carbon emissions since 1990 as the US and the EU turned to cleaner energy sources. Overall, power from coal plants fell by 3% last year, even as China’s reliance on coal plants climbed for another year to make up half the world’s coal generation for the first time. Coal generation in the US and Europe has halved since 2007, and last year collapsed by almost a quarter in the EU and by 16% in the US. The report from climate thinktank Ember ... warned that the dent in the world’s coal-fired electricity generation relied on many one-off factors, including milder winters across many countries. Dave Jones, the lead author of the report, said governments must dramatically accelerate the electricity transition so that global coal generation collapses throughout the 2020s. “The cheapest and quickest way to end coal generation is through a rapid rollout of wind and solar,” he said. The report revealed that renewable wind and solar power rose by 15% in 2019 to make up 8% of the world’s electricity. In the EU, wind and solar power made up almost a fifth of the electricity generated last year, ahead of the US which relied on these renewable sources for 11% of its electricity. In China and India, renewable energy made up 8% and 9% of the electricity system, respectively.

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


A couple surprised their Denny's waitress who walked hours to work with a new car
2019-11-29, CNN News
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:33:48
https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/28/us/dennys-waitress-car-surprise-trnd/index.html

A waitress at a Denny's restaurant in Galveston, Texas, has a lot to be thankful for. Almost every day, Adrianna Edwards walks over four hours to and from work. "I have bills to pay," Edwards [said]. "I've got to eat. You've got to do what you've got to do." But her walking days are finally over. A couple she served at the restaurant on Tuesday bought her a new car - just hours after they'd met. Edwards can now start college earlier than she thought. The couple, who wanted to remain anonymous, were at Denny's for breakfast when they found out that Edwards was walking 14 miles just to get to her job and go back home. The waitress, who was saving up money to buy a car to free herself from the long trek, gave the woman extra ice cream. But what she got in return was much sweeter. The Texas couple finished their meal, left the restaurant, and came back with a 2011 Nissan Sentra and handed Edwards the keys. This car will turn what was a five hour walk into a 30 minute commute. "She teared up, which made me happy that she was so moved by that," the woman who bought Edwards the car [said]. All the couple asked in return for the car was for Edwards to simply pay the good deed forward. And that's exactly what she aims to do. "I still feel like I'm dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window and see if there's still a car there. When I see somebody in need, I'll probably be more likely to help them out (and) to do everything that I can to help them out," Edwards said.

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


'It has transformed my life': the restaurant where all staff have a disability
2019-06-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-16 21:31:52
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/10/universo-santi-spanish-restaura...

There is something different, and a little special, about Universo Santi, a restaurant in the southern Spanish city of Jerez. “People don’t come here because the staff are disabled but because it’s the best restaurant in the area. Whatever reason they came for, the talking is about the food,” says Antonio Vila. Vila is the president of the Fundación Universo Accesible, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping people with disabilities join the mainstream workforce. He has also been the driving force behind Universo Santi, the haute cuisine restaurant whose 20 employees all have some form of disability. “I always wanted to show what people with disabilities, given the right training, were capable of,” says Vila. “I feel really lucky to be part of this,” says Gloria Bazán, head of human resources, who has cerebral palsy. “It’s difficult to work when society just sees you as someone with a handicap. This has given me the opportunity to be independent and to participate like any other human being.” Alejandro Giménez, 23, has Down’s syndrome and is a commis chef. “It’s given me the chance to become independent doing something I’ve loved since I was a kid,” says Giménez, who lived with his mother until he was recruited. “Working here has transformed my life. So many things I used to ask my mother to do, I do myself. I didn’t even know how to take a train by myself because I’d just miss my stop.” Since it opened in October 2017, Universo Santi continues to win plaudits for its cuisine.

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


The facts on coronavirus aren't all scary. So why so much fear?
2020-03-12, USA Today
Posted: 2020-03-16 18:47:36
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/12/coronavirus-fear-psycho...

Coronavirus has the world on edge. The outbreak is now a global pandemic. Coast to coast, large public gatherings and major events have been canceled. Employees have been told to work from home, universities have moved all classes online and elementary schools have closed for sanitizing. The stock market has seen meteoric crashes. It's a global event pervading nearly every aspect of people's lives. Psychologists and public health experts say public anxiety is high, and it's largely fueled by a feeling of powerlessness. The spread of the new coronavirus is not just a public health crisis. Part of what drives feelings of anxiety is a lack of information. The virus is new, and there remain many questions. Most people haven't had it, nor do they know someone who has. Experts say that matters. Not everyone reacts to epidemics the same way. When news is mixed, people can choose to focus on the good or the bad. The good news is, for most people, the illness caused by the coronavirus is generally mild and the flu-like symptoms of fever and cough don't last long. The bad news is the virus is novel and highly contagious. Whether people fixate on the good or the bad has a lot to do with who they are. Reports say most people who contract the coronavirus experience symptoms similar to the flu. Then people read stories about the National Guard helping with quarantine containment. A blog post from the Poynter Institute, which trains journalists, noted that saying "deadly virus" can be misleading, because the virus is not deadly for most people. People should also limit their media exposure, experts say. They caution against reading about the outbreak obsessively and recommend getting needed information and moving on.

Note: Read this entire article at the link above to gain a good perspective on the emotional impact of the Coronavirus. Then explore this CDC webpage on the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1), which states, " CDC estimated there were ... 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus. Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died. 80 percent ... occurred in people younger than 65 years of age." These numbers are far below those of the Coronavirus. So why is the whole world shutting down in fear?


The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about
2018-02-28, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-03-16 18:45:24
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-i...

According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, making it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Other studies report much higher figures, claiming the number of deaths from medical error to be as high as 440,000. [The study] defines a death due to medical error as one that is caused by inadequately skilled staff, error in judgment or care, a system defect or a preventable adverse effect. This includes computer breakdowns, mix-ups with the doses or types of medications ... and surgical complications. The U.S. patient-care study, which was released in 2016, explored death-rate data for eight consecutive years. The researchers discovered that based on a total of 35,416,020 hospitalizations, there was a pooled incidence rate of 251,454 deaths per year — or about 9.5 percent of all deaths — that stemmed from medical error. According to Dr. John James, a patient-safety advocate and author of A Sea of Broken Hearts: Patient Rights in a Dangerous, Profit-Driven Health Care System, patients need to take charge. “There needs to be a balance between the provider community and the patients.” James’ site, Patient Safety America, lists the three levels in which patients can protect themselves. These include being a wise consumer of health care by demanding quality, cost-effective care; by participating in patient-safety leadership through boards, panels and commissions that implement policy and laws; and by pushing for laws that favor safer care, transparency and accountability.

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


Big Pharma Prepares to Profit From the Coronavirus
2020-03-13, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-16 18:43:32
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/13/big-pharma-drug-pricing-coronavirus-profits/

As the new Coronavirus spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem ... one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely. “Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity,” said Gerald Posner, author of “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.” The world needs ... treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them. The ability to make money off of pharmaceuticals is already uniquely large in the U.S., which lacks the basic price controls other countries have, giving drug companies more freedom over setting prices for their products than anywhere else in the world. During the current crisis, pharmaceutical makers may have even more leeway than usual because of language industry lobbyists inserted into an $8.3 billion coronavirus spending package, passed last week, to maximize their profits from the pandemic. Initially, some lawmakers had tried to ensure that the federal government would limit how much pharmaceutical companies could reap from vaccines and treatments for the new coronavirus that they developed with the use of public funding. But many Republicans opposed adding language to the bill that would restrict the industry’s ability to profit, arguing that it would stifle research and innovation. The final aid package not only omitted language that would have limited drug makers’ intellectual property rights, it specifically prohibited the federal government from taking any action if it has concerns that the treatments or vaccines developed with public funds are priced too high.

Note: For glaring examples of how big Pharma and select public officials made money hand over fist during previous virus scares, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the avian and swine flu from reliable major media sources.


Tech Companies Detect a Surge in Online Videos of Child Sexual Abuse
2020-02-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:47:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/us/online-child-sexual-abuse.html

The number of reported photos, videos and other materials related to online child sexual abuse grew by more than 50 percent last year. Nearly 70 million images and videos were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a federally designated clearinghouse for the imagery that works with law enforcement agencies. Over 41 million videos were reported; the number five years ago was under 350,000. The center identified ... the companies that had detected the imagery, the first time detailed company information had been released. The companies flagged many of the same images and videos multiple times as they were shared among users. Facebook reported nearly 60 million photos and videos, more than 85 percent of the total. About half of the content was not necessarily illegal, according to the company, and was reported to help law enforcement with investigations. Instagram, owned by Facebook, was responsible for an additional 1.7 million photos and videos. Snapchat, Twitter and other social media companies also submitted reports of imagery. So did ... Google and Microsoft. Apple, Dropbox and the chat platform Discord also detected the illegal content. In all, 164 companies submitted reports. Some companies that made a small number of reports ended up finding a large volume of imagery. Dropbox, for instance, made roughly 5,000 reports last year but found over 250,000 photos and videos.

Note: Listen to a disturbing, yet vitally important New York Times podcast showing this huge problem that few are willing to look at. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, With Red Flags
2020-03-01, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:45:39
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/01/business/china-coronavirus-surveillance.html

As China encourages people to return to work despite the coronavirus outbreak, it has begun a bold mass experiment in using data to regulate citizens’ lives — by requiring them to use software on their smartphones that dictates whether they should be quarantined or allowed into subways, malls and other public spaces. The system does more than decide in real time whether someone poses a contagion risk. It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides. The Alipay Health Code, as China’s official news media has called the system, was first introduced in the eastern city of Hangzhou ... with the help of Ant Financial, a sister company of the e-commerce giant Alibaba. People in China sign up through Ant’s popular wallet app, Alipay, and are assigned a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates their health status. The system is already in use in 200 cities and is being rolled out nationwide, Ant says. As soon as a user grants the software access to personal data, a piece of the program labeled “reportInfoAndLocationToPolice” sends the person’s location, city name and an identifying code number to a server. The software does not make clear to users its connection to the police. In the United States, it would be akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using apps from Amazon and Facebook to track the coronavirus, then quietly sharing user information with the local sheriff’s office.

Note: Learn in this revealing article how China is blacklisting certain citizens using this system and "banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates." Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The new way police are surveilling you: Calculating your threat ‘score’
2016-01-10, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:43:05
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/the-new-way-police-are-sur...

A new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens. But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error. “This is something that’s been building since September 11,” said Jennifer Lynch ... at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “First funding went to the military to develop this technology, and now it has come back to domestic law enforcement. It’s the perfect storm of cheaper and easier-to-use technologies and money from state and federal governments to purchase it.” Perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. The fact that only Intrado — not the police or the public — knows how Beware tallies its scores is disconcerting.

Note: Learn more in this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The coronavirus is giving China cover to expand its surveillance. What happens when the virus is gone?
2020-03-01, Fortune
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:40:58
https://fortune.com/2020/03/01/coronavirus-china-surveillance-tracking/

The outbreak of Covid-19 has been anathema for most of China’s economy but the novel coronavirus was a shot in the arm for the state’s surveillance apparatus, which has expanded rapidly in pursuit of the epidemic’s spread. Facial recognition cameras, phone tracking technology and voluntary registrations have all been deployed to monitor the flow of people and the possible transmission of disease. “The Chinese surveillance systems currently ... has two purposes: the first is to monitor public health and the second is to maintain political control,” says Francis Lee, a professor ... at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Once the outbreak is controlled, however, it’s unclear whether the government will retract its new powers. While facial recognition provides a way to monitor crowds from a distance, governments have deployed close-range means of tracking individuals too. The municipal government of Hangzhou worked with ecommerce giant Alibaba to launch a feature through the company’s mobile wallet app, AliPay, that assesses the user’s risk of infection. The app generates a QR code. Guards at checkpoints in residential buildings and elsewhere can then scan that code to gain details about the user. John Bacon-Shone ... at Hong Kong University thinks that the ongoing threat of outbreaks will provide a constant justification for the new systems. “I am rather pessimistic that there will be full rollback of data collection once it has been implemented,” Bacon-Shone says.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How the Senate Paved the Way for Coronavirus Profiteering, and How Congress Could Undo It
2020-03-02, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:37:30
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-vaccine-price-gouging-senate/

Before a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic is within view, the Trump administration has already walked back its initial refusal to promise that any remedy would be affordable to the general public. “We can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Alex Azar, Health and Human Services secretary and a former drug industry executive, told Congress. After extraordinary blowback, the administration insisted that in the end, any treatment would indeed be affordable. The federal government, though, under the Clinton administration, traded away one of the key tools it could use to make good on the promise of affordability. Gilead Sciences, a drugmaker known for price gouging, has been working with Chinese health authorities to see if the experimental drug remdesivir can treat coronavirus symptoms. But remdesivir, which was previously tested to treat Ebola virus, was developed through research conducted at the University of Alabama ... with funding from the federal government. That’s how much of the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development is funded. The public puts in the money, and private companies keep whatever profits they can. It wasn’t always that way. Before 1995, drug companies were required to sell drugs funded with public money at a reasonable price. Under the Clinton administration, that changed. In April 1995, the Clinton administration capitulated to pharmaceutical industry pressure and rescinded the longstanding “reasonable pricing” rule.

Note: Read an excellent post by an infectious disease doctor saying he's much more concerned about the fear and panic around the Coronavirus than about the virus itself. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


WHO’s malaria vaccine study represents a “serious breach of international ethical standards”
2020-02-26, BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal)
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:35:38
https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m734

A large scale malaria vaccine study led by the World Health Organization has been criticised by a leading bioethicist for committing a “serious breach” of international ethical standards. The cluster randomised study in Africa is already under way in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya, where 720,000 children will receive the RTS,S vaccine, known as Mosquirix, over the next two years. Mosquirix, the world’s first licensed malaria vaccine, was positively reviewed by the European Medicines Agency, but its use is being limited to pilot implementation, in part to evaluate outstanding safety concerns that emerged from previous clinical trials. [Among these concerns] were a rate of meningitis in those receiving Mosquirix 10 times that of those who did not, increased cerebral malaria cases, and a doubling in the risk of death (from any cause) in girls. Charles Weijer, a bioethicist at Western University in Canada, told The BMJ that the failure to obtain informed consent from parents whose children are taking part in the study violates the Ottawa Statement, a consensus statement on the ethics of cluster randomised trials, of which Weijer is the lead author, and the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences’ International Ethical Guidelines. “The failure to require informed consent is a serious breach of international ethical standards,” he said.

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


A dark web tycoon pleads guilty. But how was he caught?
2020-02-08, MIT Technology Review
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:32:53
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615163/a-dark-web-tycoon-pleads-guilty-but...

Cybercriminal Eric Eoin Marques pleaded guilty in an American court this week. Marques faces up to 30 years in jail for running Freedom Hosting, which temporarily existed beyond reach of the law and ended up being used to host drug markets, money-laundering operations, hacking groups, and millions of images of child abuse. Investigators were somehow able to break the layers of anonymity that Marques had constructed, leading them to locate a crucial server in France. This discovery eventually led them to Marques himself. Marques was the first in a line of famous cybercriminals to be caught despite believing that using the privacy-shielding anonymity network Tor would make them safe behind their keyboards. The case demonstrates that government agencies can trace suspects through networks that were designed to be impenetrable. Marques has blamed the American NSA’s world-class hackers, but the FBI has also been building up its efforts since 2002. And, some observers say, they often withhold key details of their investigations from defendants and judges alike—secrecy that could have wide-ranging cybersecurity implications across the internet. The FBI had found a way to break Tor’s anonymity protections, but the technical details of how it happened remain a mystery. “Perhaps the greatest overarching question related to the investigation of this case is how the government was able to pierce Tor’s veil of anonymity,” Marques’s defense lawyers wrote in a recent filing.

Note: For more on this important case, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Boy Scouts bankruptcy bid prompts other sex abuse victims to step forward
2020-02-18, NBC News
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:29:43
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-bid-prompts-other-...

As word came that the Boy Scouts of America had filed for bankruptcy protection, one alleged abuse survivor was moved to come forward. The man told NBC News he was a 14-year-old Boy Scout in Louisiana working on an astronomy merit badge when a scoutmaster invited him to go by the lake to look at the stars. “I was very naďve,” he said. “But when he grabbed my groin, I immediately reacted.” So did the scoutmaster. “He threatened me with a machete,” the 73-year-old said, asking not to be identified. But now that the Boy Scouts are seeking Chapter 11 protection, the alleged abuse survivor said he’s ready to join the more than 3,000 men who are suing the nonprofit for allowing pedophiles inside the organization to prey on the boys. Michael Mertz, a Chicago-based lawyer who has represented Boy Scouts victims, said that by declaring bankruptcy, the organization is trying to limit the damages. Mitchell Garabedian, whose efforts to go after predatory Roman Catholic priests were dramatized in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight” and who also represents Boy Scouts victims, said the move to bankruptcy court could force the organization to open all its so-called “perversion files.” Those files, which were collected by the Boy Scouts and go back to 1944, contain the names of 7,819 Scout leaders who allegedly preyed on boys, as well as the names of 12,254 victims, experts and attorneys involved in the cases have said. So far, only the files from 1965 to 1985 have been made public.

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


The Amish use tech differently than you think. We should emulate them.
2020-02-17, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:27:14
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-learn-how-to-practice-humane-techn...

Technology promised to connect us but divided us instead. As people worry about smartphone addiction and vow to spend less time on their laptops, social media companies are scrambling to placate a world that has caught on to their products’ ability to turn us against one another, tip elections and even incite violence. The growing anxiety about technology has prompted a “humane technology” movement among former Silicon Valley insiders disquieted by what their industry has wrought. But there’s another group, utterly unconnected to Google or Facebook or Apple, that has been practicing humane technology for generations: the Amish. Each church community of about 30 families ... has latitude in setting its technology boundaries. When a church member asks to use a new technology, the families discuss the idea and vote to accept or reject. The conversation centers on how a device will strengthen or weaken relationships within the community and within families. Imagine if the United States had conducted a similar discussion when social media platforms were developing algorithms designed to amplify differences and then pit us against one another, because anger drives traffic and traffic drives profits. Americans will never abandon technology for a horse-and-buggy life, but millions of us have begun weighing the costs of constant connectivity. When pondering how to strike the right balance, we might do well at least to pause and consider taking a personal version of the Amish approach.

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


Musician Plays Her Violin During Brain Surgery
2020-02-19, NPR
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:25:28
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/19/807414527/musician-plays-her-violin-during-bra...

As doctors in London performed surgery on Dagmar Turner's brain, the sound of a violin filled the operating room. The music came from the patient on the operating table. In a video from the surgery, the violinist moves her bow up and down as surgeons behind a plastic sheet work to remove her brain tumor. The King's College Hospital surgeons woke her up in the middle of the operation in order to ensure they did not compromise parts of the brain necessary for playing the violin, such as parts that control precise hand movements and coordination. "We knew how important the violin is to Dagmar, so it was vital that we preserved function in the delicate areas of her brain that allowed her to play," Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King's College Hospital, said in a press release. Prior to Dagmar's operation they spent two hours carefully mapping her brain to identify areas that were active when she played the violin and those responsible for controlling language and movement. Waking her up during surgery then allowed doctors to monitor whether those parts were sustaining damage. "The violin is my passion; I've been playing since I was 10 years old," Turner said in the hospital press release. "The thought of losing my ability to play was heart-breaking but, being a musician himself, Prof. Ashkan understood my concerns." The surgery was a success, Ashkan said: "We managed to remove over 90 percent of the tumour ... while retaining full function of her left hand."

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


Meet the veterinarian walking around the streets of California and treating homeless peoples' animals for free
2020-02-25, CNN News
Posted: 2020-03-09 16:23:27
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/25/us/veterinarian-homeless-animals-californi...

When Kwane Stewart first decided to become a veterinarian, he had no idea his job would become less about the animals he treats and more about the humans who own them. The 49-year-old animal lover spends his free time driving around California and spotting homeless people with animals. His goal [is] to treat them, for no cost at all. Before taking on his role as "The Street Vet," Stewart grew up in New Mexico ... dreaming about trading in deserts for beaches. This dream eventually led him to practice veterinary medicine in California, where he ran an animal hospital before becoming the county veterinarian for Stanislaus County. As the Great Recession drove California's homeless populations higher year after year, so too did it increase the number of animals on the street. So one day in 2011, "on a whim," Stewart set up a table at a soup kitchen with his son and girlfriend. Anytime he spotted someone with an animal, he called them over and offered to give their pet a checkup. "Before I knew it, I had a whole line," Stewart said. "There was something about it that I loved. I decided to just take it to the street and walk to homeless people instead of waiting for them to walk up to me." For animals who need vaccinations, medicine, or food, Stewart pays for the costs out of pocket. However, he often runs into animals with severe issues ... that need treatment at a veterinary hospital. For these cases, Stewart uses his GoFundMe to cover surgeries and invasive procedures.

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


'Fake, Fake': senior Chinese leader heckled by residents on visit to coronavirus city
2020-03-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-09 15:29:26
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/fake-fake-senior-chinese-leader...

Vice-premier Sun Chunlan, one of the most senior government officials to visit the centre of the coronavirus outbreak [was] heckled by residents who yelled “fake, fake, everything is fake” as she inspected the work of a neighbourhood committee charged with taking care of quarantined residents. Videos posted online showed Sun and a delegation walking along the grounds while residents appeared to shout from their apartment windows, “fake, fake,” “it’s all fake,” as well as “we protest”. Since 12 February, all residential compounds in Wuhan have been put under lockdown, barring most residents from leaving their homes. In an unusual turn of events, on Friday various Chinese state media outlets reported the videos showing public discontent. Such videos are frequently censored. Yet, the People’s Daily posted a video subtitled in English showing one person shouting “fake, fake,” which has since been removed. A government-affiliated account on WeChat ... said in an essay posted on Thursday that all the facts of the incident were “basically true”. According to state broadcaster CCTV, Sun held a meeting immediately after the incident to deal with the complaints. Staff have been dispatched to visit the residents one by one. Observers say state media may be trying to co-opt discussion of the videos, which circulated widely online, and provide their own narrative of events. Elsewhere in China, schools in provinces reporting no new cases for a number of days, started to set their opening dates in a sign of the country returning to normal. Wuhan reported 126 new coronavirus cases on Thursday but the wider province of Hubei excluding the capital recorded none for the first time during the outbreak.

Note: Remember all of the privacy and freedoms given up after 9/11? How many of those have been given back? Learn more about the serious risk of the Coronavirus increasing the surveillance state in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


How Healthcare Costs Hurt American Workers and Benefit the Wealthy
2020-02-20, Time
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:06:24
https://time.com/5785945/health-care-problems-america/

The percentage of national income that is absorbed by health care has grown over the past half-century, from 5% in 1960 to 18% in 2017, reducing what is available for anything else from 95% in 1960 to 82% today. The costs of health care contribute to the long-term stagnation in wages; to fewer good jobs, especially for less educated workers; and to rising income inequality. American health care is the most expensive in the world, and yet American health is among the worst among rich countries. The U.S. has lower life expectancy than the other wealthy countries but vastly higher expenditures per person. In 2017, the Swiss lived 5.1 years longer than Americans but spent 30% less per person; other countries achieved a similar length of life for still fewer health dollars. How is it possible that Americans pay so much and get so little? The money is certainly going somewhere. What is waste to a patient is income to a provider. The industry is not very good at promoting health, but it excels at promoting wealth among health care providers. Employer-based coverage is a huge barrier to reform. So is the way that the health care industry is protected in Washington by its lobbyists—five for every member of Congress. Our government is complicit in an extortion that is an important contributor to income inequality. Through pharma companies that get rich by addicting people, and through excessive costs that lower wages and eliminate good jobs, the industry that is supposed to improve our health is undermining it.

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


US ranks lower than 38 other countries when it comes to children's wellbeing, new report says
2020-02-18, CNN News
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:04:08
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/18/health/children-health-rankings-unicef-who-lan...

The United States ranks lower than 38 other countries on measurements of children's survival, health, education and nutrition - and every country in the world has levels of excess carbon emissions that will prevent younger generations from a healthy and sustainable future, according to a new report. The report, published in the medical journal The Lancet ... ranked 180 countries based on a "child flourishing index" and the United States came in at No. 39. Countries also were ranked by levels of excess carbon emissions - specifically researchers took a close look at estimated levels for 2030. Based on that data, the United States ranked No. 173 for sustainability. The year 2030 was selected as the threshold because in 2015 governments around the world adopted "Sustainable Development Goals" created by the United Nations to make improvements for people and the planet by 2030. Norway, South Korea and the Netherlands ranked in the top three, respectively, on current child "flourishing," but those countries were 156th, 166th and 160th, respectively, on the global sustainability index that measured carbon emissions, according to the report. Some countries had lower, yet still high, excess carbon emissions levels, but those countries did not rank well on the "child flourishing index" in the report. For instance, Burundi, Chad and Somalia ranked first, second and third on the sustainability rankings but 156th, 179th and 178th, respectively, on the "flourishing" rankings.

Note: For the full report in the highly respected Lancet, see this webpage. Infographics on this topic are also available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Medicare for All Would Save $450 Billion Annually while Preventing 68,000 Deaths, New Study Shows
2020-02-18, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:02:26
https://www.newsweek.com/medicare-all-would-save-450-billion-annually-while-p...

The Medicare For All plan proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year and would prevent tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, a new study shows. The analysis ... found that transitioning the U.S. to a single-payer health care system would actually save an estimated $450 billion each year, with the average American family seeing about $2,400 in annual savings. The research, which was published Saturday in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Medicare for all would prevent about 68,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Overall, the new research anticipates annual savings of about 13 percent in national health care costs, while providing better health care access to lower-income families. According to the study, about 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, while an additional 41 million people do not have adequate health care coverage. Taken together, about 24 percent of the total population does not have health care coverage that meets their needs. "The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations," the authors wrote in the study. The authors also noted, as [Democratic presidential candidate Bernie] Sanders often does when discussing Medicare for all, that health care expenditures in the U.S. are "higher" per capita "than in any other country."

Note: The incredible amount of corruption in US health care makes it the most costly in the world. Could universal health care help to curb the corruption? The Lancet study described above is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


The Price of Wells Fargo’s Fake Account Scandal Grows by $3 Billion
2020-01-21, New York Times
Posted: 2020-03-03 02:00:28
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/business/wells-fargo-settlement.html

Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3 billion to settle criminal charges and a civil action stemming from its widespread mistreatment of customers in its community bank over a 14-year period, the Justice Department announced on Friday. From 2002 to 2016, employees used fraud to meet impossible sales goals. They opened millions of accounts in customers’ names without their knowledge, signed unwitting account holders up for credit cards and bill payment programs, created fake personal identification numbers, forged signatures and even secretly transferred customers’ money. In court papers, prosecutors described a pressure-cooker environment at the bank, where low-level employees were squeezed tighter and tighter each year by sales goals that senior executives methodically raised, ignoring signs that they were unrealistic. Part of Friday’s deal ... is a deferred prosecution agreement, a pact that could expose the bank to charges if it engages in new criminal activity. During the final five years of abuse, the bank quietly fired thousands of employees for falsifying records in response to customer complaints. The practices covered by the settlement ... are not the only misbehavior the bank has revealed since 2016. The bank has also admitted it charged mortgage customers unnecessary fees and forced auto loan borrowers to buy insurance they did not need. The mortgage and auto loan claims are not part of Friday’s deal. Wells Fargo’s profits last year totaled nearly $20 billion.

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


Saudi Arabia is imprisoning our relatives, while Mike Pompeo and the U.S. cozy up to the king
2020-02-20, NBC News
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:58:50
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/saudi-arabia-imprisoning-our-relatives-...

Last summer, when the American rapper A$AP was tried in a Swedish court on assault charges, President Donald Trump dispatched his special envoy for hostage affairs to Sweden. This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has traveled to Saudi Arabia, where our family members are just some of the U.S. citizens and relatives of U.S. citizens being held by the government on spurious charges, denied due process and even tortured. Why is there no sign the hostage envoy is accompanying Pompeo on his trip to Riyadh? We join Republican and Democratic members of Congress who have urged Pompeo to raise the case of Saudi American physician Walid Fitaihi who — after a brutal detention — has been barred, along with his family, from leaving the kingdom until after his trial on vague charges relating to his obtaining of U.S. citizenship and alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. But we want pressure and attention to be brought to our loved ones, as well. Pompeo has pledged to raise human rights with the Saudis. But the U.S. government has shown little willingness to go beyond lip service for these hostages of the Saudi regime. U.S. officials seem to assume America’s long-term interests are too valuable to risk alienating or weakening the Saudi royal family, which enjoys close ties with Trump’s inner circle. Indulging this autocratic and unstable regime not only punishes the domestic activists who most uphold American values, it also undermines the very reliability of any joint military or business undertakings.

Note: Saudi Arabia's recent attempts to silence its critics have included intimidation and murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Trump administration targeting 'enemy of America' Julian Assange, court told
2020-02-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:56:59
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/24/julian-assange-hearing-journa...

Donald Trump’s administration is targeting Julian Assange as “an enemy of the America who must be brought down” and his very life could be at risk if he is sent to face trial in the US, the first day of the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing has been told. Lawyers for Assange intend to call as a witness a former employee of a Spanish security company who says surveillance was carried out for the US on Assange while he was at Ecuador’s London embassy and that conversations had turned to potentially kidnapping or poisoning him. Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act. They relate to the publication a decade ago of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and files covering areas including US activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Australian, who could face a 175-year prison sentence if found guilty, is accused of working with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents. Key parts of the evidence related to the claim, which emerged last week, that a then US Republican congressman offered Assange a pardon if he denied Russian involvement in the leaking of US Democratic party emails during the 2016 US presidential contest. The court was told that Dana Rohrabacher, who claims to have made the proposal on his own initiative, had presented it as a “win-win” scenario that would allow Assange to leave the embassy and get on with his life.

Note: Read more about the strange prosecution of Assange. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Entrepreneurs At Davos This Week Portrayed Cannabis As A ‘Gateway’ Drug – But In A Good Way – For Mental Health Treatment
2020-01-23, Forbes
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:54:43
https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanoleck/2020/01/23/entrepreneurs-at-davos-this...

At this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where the cannabis industry enjoyed a whole pavilion of its own, the biggest takeaway was where cannabis is headed in terms of human health. Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ... has delivered a TED talk on the future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. And at Davos there was strong interest in the plant-based psychedelic molecules Doblin works with, [pharmacist Saul] Kaye said. “If you look at cannabis as an entryway into the market for botanical-based medicines, you can look at mushrooms, psilocybin,” said Kaye. “You can look at ibogaine, ayahuasca, which are new medicinal models that are breaking out in the world based on botanical medicine that has been illegal for the last 100 years. “Cannabis has elevated access to all kinds of botanical-based medicines, which ultimately can change mental health, physical health; and it’s a fascinating area that we can ... elevate the conversation around.” Other topics at the cannabis forum ... merited an “elevated” conversation of their own. A speaker from StemCell United, for example, addressed the fast expansion of CBD companies in Asia, building on what Kaye termed “a global de-stigmaization” across the Asian markets. The result, he said, has been to begin changing the traditional impression of cannabis from “This is illicit, this is a drug,” to, “This a research drug that is much safer than alcohol and tobacco.”

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


‘You’ve got bad blood’: The horror of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment
2017-05-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:52:53
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/05/16/youve-got-bad-bl...

In the fall of 1932, the fliers began appearing around Macon County, Ala., promising “colored people” special treatment for “bad blood.” “Free Blood Test; Free Treatment, By County Health Department and Government Doctors,” the black and white signs said. “YOU MAY FEEL WELL AND STILL HAVE BAD BLOOD. COME AND BRING ALL YOUR FAMILY.” Hundreds of men — all black and many of them poor — signed up. What the signs never told them was they would become part of the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” a secret experiment conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the progression of the deadly venereal disease — without treatment. The study recruited 600 black men, of which 399 were diagnosed with syphilis and 201 were a control group without the disease. The researchers never obtained informed consent from the men and never told the men with syphilis that they were not being treated but were simply being watched until they died and their bodies examined for ravages of the disease. Initially, when the study began, treatment for syphilis was not effective, often dangerous and fatal. But even after penicillin was discovered and used as a treatment for the disease, the men in the Tuskegee study were not offered the antibiotic. Although originally projected to last six months, the study extended for 40 years. “Local physicians asked to assist with study and not to treat men,” the Centers for Disease Control reported in a timeline of the experiment.

Note: Read more about the Tuskegee study. This is just one of many known cases of humans being used as guinea pigs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Astonishing' blue whale numbers at South Georgia
2020-02-20, BBC News
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:50:52
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-51553381

Scientists say they have seen a remarkable collection of blue whales in the coastal waters around the UK sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. Their 23-day survey counted 55 animals - a total that is unprecedented in the decades since commercial whaling ended. To witness 55 of them now return to what was once a pre-eminent feeding ground for the population has been described as "truly, truly amazing" by cetacean specialist Dr Trevor Branch. "To think that in a period of 40 or 50 years, I only had records for two sightings of blue whales around South Georgia. So to go from basically nothing to 55 in one year is astonishing," he told BBC News. Blue whales are the most massive creatures ever to roam the Earth, and the Antarctic sub-species contained the very biggest of the big at over 30m. This population was also the most numerous of the 10 or so discrete populations across the globe, carrying perhaps 239,000 individuals prior to the onset of industrial exploitation. But the marine mammals' physical size made them a profitable catch, and around South Georgia more than 33,000 Antarctic blues were documented to have been caught and butchered, most of them between 1904 and 1925. By the time a ban was introduced in 1966, a sighting anywhere in Southern Ocean waters would have been extremely rare indeed. The last official estimate of abundance was made in 1997 and suggested Antarctic blues could have recovered to about 2,280 individuals.

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


The man with no memory: Navy vet wakes up, speaks only Swedish
2017-01-27, CNN News
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:49:28
https://www.cnn.com/2013/07/16/health/amnesia-swedish/

When police found the unconscious man in a Southern California Motel 6, the IDs on him said he was Michael Thomas Boatwright from Florida. But when the man awoke at Desert Regional Medical Center a few days later, he said he'd never heard of Boatwright. He didn't recall serving in the U.S. Navy. Or of being born in Florida. And he didn't speak a word of English. The man said his name was Johan Ek. And he said it in Swedish. Today, the 61-year-old man says he has come to terms with the name "Michael Boatwright," but only because doctors told him he should. He still feels like Johan Ek from Sweden. And he can't explain why. Everything Boatwright knows about his life before February 28 he knows because his social worker [Lisa Hunt-Vasquez] told him or because he read it on websites. He told CNN he learned that in 1987 he operated a consulting company called Kultur Konsult Nykoping. That is somewhat of a Swedish connection. He doesn't have any independent knowledge of his life before he woke up in the hospital. He still feels isolated in the hospital, so Hunt-Vasquez encouraged him to reach out to members of the local Swedish-American community. "They said he was getting depressed because he wasn't able to communicate," said Linda Kosvic, chairman of the Vasa Order of America chapter in San Jacinto, California. "We've been trying to provide him support and make him feel more comfortable." Members visit him in the hospital, bringing him Swedish foods.

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


To Combat Homelessness, Spokane Is Starting To Put Relationships Before Punishments
2020-02-19, NPR
Posted: 2020-03-03 01:47:46
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/19/805262017/to-combat-homelessness-spokane-is-st...

When the icy wind blows off the Spokane River, the temperature can routinely plunge below zero. Trying to survive without shelter out here is almost impossible. By luck, [Mariah] Hodges was connected by a volunteer to a warming center, where she's now staying. It's one of three new makeshift emergency facilities that the city of Spokane, Wash., has paid to open up this winter. Hodges' boyfriend also stays in the shelter. He is addicted to meth, and Hodges is struggling with alcoholism. "Most of the people in this building ... have issues that need to be addressed at a different level," says Julia Garcia, founder of Jewels Helping Hands, a nonprofit contracted to run the warming center that Hodges is staying in. "But ... they are sleeping outside, they don't know how to get out of that." The more traditional approach to dealing with homelessness is tougher enforcement: ticketing people for panhandling or sleeping in doorways. Spokane is trying something different. This was on display in a big way one chilly weekday morning at the city's downtown convention center. Where you might expect to see a trade show or convention ... today it's a "Homeless Connect." Hundreds of the city's most vulnerable are carrying tote bags stuffed with donated food, jackets and health and housing brochures. But this is about more than just giving out free clothes or hepatitis C tests. It's part of a delicate, more long-term plan to build trust in the system and convince people that if they get help, their lives might improve.

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


Coronavirus Brings China's Surveillance State Out of the Shadows
2020-02-07, New York Times/Reuters
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:27:58
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/02/07/technology/07reuters-china-health-...

When the man from Hangzhou returned home from a business trip, the local police got in touch. They had tracked his car by his license plate in nearby Wenzhou, which has had a spate of coronavirus cases. Stay indoors for two weeks, they requested. After around 12 days, he was bored and went out early. This time, not only did the police contact him, so did his boss. He had been spotted ... by a camera with facial recognition technology, and the authorities had alerted his company as a warning. “I was a bit shocked by the ability and efficiency of the mass surveillance network. They can basically trace our movements ... at any time and any place,” said the man, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions. Chinese have long been aware that they are tracked by the world's most sophisticated system of electronic surveillance. The coronavirus emergency has brought some of that technology out of the shadows, providing the authorities with a justification for sweeping methods of high tech social control. Artificial intelligence and security camera companies boast that their systems can scan the streets for people with even low-grade fevers, recognize their faces even if they are wearing masks and report them to the authorities. If a coronavirus patient boards a train, the railway's "real name" system can provide a list of people sitting nearby. Mobile phone apps can tell users if they have been on a flight or a train with a known coronavirus carrier, and maps can show them ... where infected patients live.

Note: The New York Times strangely removed this article. Yet it is also available here. Is there something they don't want us to know? Read an excellent article showing how this virus scare is being used to test China's intense surveillance technologies in very disturbing ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


The Golden Age Of White Collar Crime
2020-02-10, Huffington Post
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:26:02
https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/white-collar-crime/

The criminal justice system has given up all pretense that the crimes of the wealthy are worth taking seriously. In January 2019, white-collar prosecutions fell to their lowest level since researchers started tracking them in 1998. Since 2015, criminal penalties levied by the Justice Department have fallen from $3.6 billion to roughly $110 million. Illicit profits seized by the Securities and Exchange Commission have reportedly dropped by more than half. In 2018, a year when nearly 19,000 people were sentenced in federal court for drug crimes alone, prosecutors convicted just 37 corporate criminals. Tax evasion ... siphons up to 10,000 times more money out of the U.S. economy every year than bank robberies. In 2017, researchers estimated that fraud by America’s largest corporations cost Americans up to $360 billion annually between 1996 and 2004. That’s roughly two decades’ worth of street crime every single year. Over the last four decades, the agencies responsible for investigating elite and white-collar crime ... have seen their enforcement divisions starved into irrelevance. More than a third of the FBI investigators who patrol Wall Street were reassigned between 2001 and 2008. Even though auditing millionaires and billionaires is one of the most cost-effective government activities imaginable—an independent report estimated in 2014 that it yielded up to $4,545 in recovered revenue per hour of staff time—the IRS investigated the returns of just 3 percent of American millionaires in 2017.

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


Taxes 2020: These two groups of taxpayers face the highest audit rates
2020-01-31, USA Today
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:23:56
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/01/31/taxes-2020-audits-most-likely...

Getting audited by the IRS is increasingly less certain. An audit is about half as likely as it was five years ago. Even so, some groups face higher audit rates than others. The tax agency is auditing fewer individual taxpayers not because we’re more honest, but because the IRS is working with fewer employees. The agency’s workforce has dropped from 94,000 workers in 2010 to roughly 78,000 in the most recent fiscal year, according to IRS data. With fewer agents available to perform audits, the agency’s audit rate has been whittled to 0.45% of individual returns in fiscal 2019, the IRS said. That compares with an audit rate of 0.9% in the fiscal 2014. Two types of taxpayers are more likely to draw the attention of the IRS: the rich and the poor, according to IRS data of audits by income range. Poor taxpayers, or those earning less than $25,000 annually, have an audit rate of 0.69% — more than 50% higher than the overall audit rate. Low-income taxpayers are more likely to get audited than any other group, except Americans with incomes of more than $500,000. The least likely group to get audited? That would be upper-middle-class households with an annual income of $100,000 to $200,000. Low-income households are more likely to get audited than some wealthier taxpayers ... due to the IRS checking for fraud and errors related to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Americans with annual incomes of more than $10 million have enjoyed a 75% decline in audit rates since 2013.

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


Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’
2020-02-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:22:14
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-military-drone-nazis-bra...

Brandon Bryant was enlisted in the US Air Force for six years. During his time with the military, he operated Predator drones, remotely firing missiles at targets more than 7,000 miles away from the small room containing his workspace near Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr Bryant says he reached his breaking point with the US military after killing a child in Afghanistan that his superiors told him was “a dog.” Following that incident, Mr Bryant quit the military and began speaking out against the drone program. During his time in the Air Force, Mr Bryant estimates he contributed directly to killing 13 people himself and says his squadron fired on 1,626 targets including women and children. He says he has been left suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Mr Bryant said that despite his misgivings about the program, his superiors used punitive measures and mockery to keep him in line. He has said the US military is “worse than the Nazis” because “we should know better.” Mr Bryant said he and his family have been threatened for speaking out against the drone program and that he has lost friends and been estranged from other members of his family over his whistle-blowing. Ultimately Mr Bryant wants the public to understand the dehumanizing effect of the drone program on the operators and the individuals targeted. “I would want people to know, beyond its existence, the consequences it has on us as a species to delineate our power into something so easily destructive,” Mr Bryant said.

Note: Drones almost always miss their intended targets and create more terrorists than they kill. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


After learning Whitey Bulger was unwitting subject of CIA experiment, juror regrets murder conviction
2020-02-18, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:20:30
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-02-18/whitey-bulger-juror-say...

James “Whitey” Bulger terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking. In 2013, Janet Uhlar was one of 12 jurors who found Bulger guilty in a massive racketeering case, including involvement in 11 murders. But now Uhlar says she regrets voting to convict Bulger on any of the murder charges. Her regret stems from a cache of more than 70 letters Bulger wrote to her from prison, some of which describe his unwitting participation in a secret CIA experiment with LSD. The agency dosed Bulger with the powerful hallucinogen more than 50 times when he was serving his first stretch in prison, in Atlanta. Uhlar has spoken publicly about her regret before but says her belief that the gangster was wrongly convicted on the murder charges was reinforced after reading a new book by Brown University professor Stephen Kinzer: “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” Gottlieb’s secret program, known at MK-ULTRA, enlisted doctors and other subcontractors to administer LSD in large doses to prisoners, addicts and others unlikely to complain. Uhlar reviewed the 1977 hearings by the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence, which was looking into MK-ULTRA, and found testimony where CIA director Stansfield Turner acknowledged evidence showing that the agency had been searching for a drug that could prepare someone for “debilitating an individual or even killing another person.”

Note: Read more about the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.


Trump to create post to focus on solely human trafficking
2020-01-30, Seattle Times/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:18:44
https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/trump-to-create-post-to-focu...

President Donald Trump plans to expand the White House domestic policy office by appointing an individual to focus exclusively on combating human trafficking. Trump is expected to create the position by executive order. A candidate has yet to be identified for the new post on the Domestic Policy Council. A partner in the effort is Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser. During a visit to Atlanta this month, she compared trafficking to “modern-day slavery” and said the White House is committed to ending it. Under the executive order, according to the White House official, the State Department will be tasked with creating a website to serve as a clearinghouse where law enforcement officials, victims, advocates and others can get information on government-wide efforts to combat human trafficking. Federal departments and agencies will also be asked to propose legislative and executive actions to help law enforcement officials track the sharing – in real time – of child sexual abuse material on the internet. The Justice and Homeland Security departments will also be directed to work with the Education Department to fund prevention education programs for the nation’s schools. Some groups criticized the summit. Other groups that have been invited said they will not attend. Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, said in a statement that the Trump administration has pursued policies that endanger trafficking victims by chipping away at their legal protections.

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


How a Chase Bank Chairman Helped the Deposed Shah of Iran Enter the U.S.
2019-12-29, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:16:40
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/world/middleeast/shah-iran-chase-papers.html

40 years ago, a worn-out white Gulfstream II jet descended over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carrying a regal but sickly passenger almost no one was expecting. Aboard were a Republican political operative, a retinue of Iranian military officers ... and Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the newly deposed shah of Iran. The only one waiting to receive the deposed monarch was a senior executive of Chase Manhattan Bank, which had not only lobbied the White House to admit the former shah but had arranged visas for his entourage. Less than two weeks later, on Nov. 4, 1979, vowing revenge for the admission of the shah to the United States, revolutionary Iranian students seized the American Embassy in Tehran and then held more than 50 Americans — and Washington — hostage for 444 days. The shah, Washington’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf, had fled Tehran in January 1979. The shah sought refuge in America. But President Jimmy Carter ... refused him entry for the first 10 months of his exile. Chase Manhattan Bank and its well-connected chairman worked behind the scenes to persuade the Carter administration to admit the shah, one of the bank’s most profitable clients. For Mr. Carter, for the United States and for the Middle East it was an incendiary decision. The ensuing hostage crisis enabled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to consolidate his theocratic rule, started a four-decade conflict between Washington and Tehran ... and helped Ronald Reagan take the White House.

Note: More information is available in this 1991 New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried to Delay Hostage Release
1991-04-15, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:14:40
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/04/15/world/new-reports-say-1980-reagan-campaign...

Persistent but unproven accusations that Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign negotiated a secret deal with Iran to prevent the release of American hostages until after the election are being revived this week with fresh accounts of meetings between campaign officials and an Iranian cleric. One of the accounts is provided by Gary Sick, a Middle East specialist who helped handle the Iranian hostage crisis as a member of the White House staff in the Carter Administration. Mr. Sick ... has heard what he considers to be reliable reports that a secret deal involving the hostages was begun during two meetings between William J. Casey and the Iranian cleric in a Madrid hotel in July 1980. The allegation that there were meetings between Mr. Casey, Mr. Reagan's campaign chairman, who went on be the Director of Central Intelligence, and Hojatolislam Mehdi Karrubi, a representative of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has been reported for the first time by Mr. Sick. The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ... seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter.

Note: Much more information is available in this New York Times article and this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Charity: Water Is Reinventing Philanthropy With Data And Compassion
2018-12-19, Forbes
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:12:31
https://www.forbes.com/sites/afdhelaziz/2018/12/19/the-power-of-purpose-how-c...

Walking into charity: water's Manhattan headquarters is unlike walking into many other nonprofit offices. Outside Founder and CEO Scott Harrison's office is a monitor displaying real-time updates of projects all around the world. Since 2006, the organization has funded 30,000 projects serving an estimated 8.5 million people around the world. "Clean water is life’s most basic need," [said Harrison]. "And yet, 663 million people still live without it. The good news is that it’s a problem we know how to solve. Unlike [many] pressing challenges humans face, when it comes to ending the water crisis, we have the knowledge and the technology to make it a reality. It’s just a matter of getting the right resources to the right people. Charity: water does this by raising awareness, and inspiring a global community of generous supporters to join us in funding sustainable, community-owned water projects around the world. We then work with teams of local partners on the ground to implement the projects, making sure they are culturally relevant and sustainable. We’ve funded more than 30,000 water projects to bring clean water to 8.5 million people in 26 countries so far, and are now changing over 4,000 new lives each day with the gift of clean water. With ... remote sensors, we’re able to monitor hourly flow rates across thousands of communities via data that’s being transmitted from our wells to the cloud, and quickly dispatch mechanics if we spot problems. We’ve installed over 3,000 sensors on wells in Ethiopia already."

Note: Watch an inspiring video on this amazing nonprofit on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Amsterdam to ban petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030
2019-05-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:11:00
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/03/amsterdam-ban-petrol-diesel-car...

Cars and motorbikes running on petrol or diesel will be banned from driving in Amsterdam from 2030. The city’s council plans to phase in the change as part of a drive to clean up air pollution, which the authorities blame for shortening the life expectancy of Amsterdammers by a year. “Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said the councillor responsible for the city’s traffic, Sharon Dijksma, announcing the municipality’s decision. From next year, diesel cars that are 15 years or older will be banned from going within the A10 ring road around the Dutch capital. Public buses and coaches that emit exhaust fumes will no longer enter the city centre from 2022. By 2025, the ban will be extended to pleasure crafts on its waters, mopeds and light mopeds. All traffic within the built-up area must be emission-free by 2030 under the Clean Air Action plan. The city plans to encourage its residents to switch to electric and hydrogen cars by offering charging stations to every buyer of such a vehicle. It is hoped that the second-hand electric car market will blossom in the coming years. There will need to be 16,000 to 23,000 charging stations by 2025 to make the project viable – up from the current 3,000 in the city. In January 2018, the Dutch health council called on the government to devise an ambitious strategy to improve air quality in the Netherlands, warning that the “blanket of pollution” would cause major health problems in the country.

Note: For more on this inspiring news, see this article and this one. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Humble carpenter was a secret millionaire who left fund for 33 strangers to go to college
2019-07-25, USA Today
Posted: 2020-02-23 01:09:18
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/25/iowa-carpenter-paid-stu...

Carpenter Dale Schroeder ... was a frugal man who, over a lifetime without a family of his own, put together a $3 million scholarship fund that has made it possible for 33 people to attend college. "He was that kind of a blue-collar, lunch pail kind of a guy. Went to work every day, worked really hard, was frugal like a lot of Iowans," Steve Nielsen, Schroeder's lawyer who helped arrange the scholarships, told CNN. "I never got the opportunity to go to college and so I'd like to help kids go to college," Schroeder told Nielsen 14 years ago, the lawyer said. "I kinda was curious, I said 'how much are we talking about Dale?' And he said, 'Oh just shy of $3 million' and I nearly fell out of my chair," Nielsen said. Schroeder died in 2005, but he left behind two pairs of jeans, a rusty truck and instructions to allocate the funds to small-town Iowa kids, CNN reported. "I grew up in a single-parent household and I had three older sisters so paying for all four of us was never an option," Kira Conrad, the last of the 33 to have their college tuition paid in full by Schroder's fund, told CNN. "For a man that would never meet me, to give me basically a full ride to college, that's incredible. That doesn't happen." The 33 Iowans Schroeder put through college recently gathered around his old lunch box. They dubbed themselves "Dale's kids." It was a group of doctors, teachers and therapists with no college debt. With Schroeder gone, there's no paying it back. His only wish was they pay it forward.

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


Coronavirus Cases Seemed to Be Leveling Off. Not Anymore.
2020-02-12, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:35:31
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/health/coronavirus-cases-china.html

The number of new coronavirus cases reported in China over the past week suggested that the outbreak might be slowing — that containment efforts were working. But on Thursday, officials added more than 14,840 new cases to the tally of the infected in Hubei Province alone, bringing the total number to 48,206, the largest one-day increase so far recorded. The death toll in the province rose to 1,310, including 242 new deaths. The sharp rise in reported cases illustrates how hard it has been for scientists to grasp the extent and severity of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Confronted by so many people with symptoms and no easy way to test them, authorities appear to have changed the way the illness is identified. Hospitals in Wuhan, China — the largest city in Hubei Province and the center of the epidemic — have struggled to diagnose infections with scarce and complicated tests that detect the virus’s genetic signature directly. Other countries, too, have had such issues. Instead, officials in Hubei now seem to be including infections diagnosed by using lung scans of symptomatic patients. The change ... raises the question whether the province, already struggling, is equipped to deal with the new patients. The few experts to learn of the new numbers ... were startled. Lung scans are an imperfect means to diagnose patients. Even patients with ordinary seasonal flu may develop pneumonia visible on a lung scan.

Note: So now anyone who has regular pneumonia will likely be diagnosed as having Coronavirus. This intriguing article suggests that many of the Coronavirus deaths are pneumonia not associated with the virus. For more showing how the fear around this is being blown way out of proportion, see this well researched essay. Then explore concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Military preparing quarantine centers for coronavirus patients in US, Pentagon says
2020-02-07, Miami Herald
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:33:49
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article240078853.html

Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said. The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement. The Pentagon already agreed to house up to 1,000 people for quarantine after they returned to the United States from areas with the virus, the Associated Press reports. As of Friday, more than 31,400 people have been infected with the 2019 coronavirus worldwide, with most in mainland China, according to the AP. More than 630 people have died from the virus, almost all in China, the AP reports. “These are tertiary locations, and HHS already has primary and secondary locations identified that are not DOD facilities,” the Pentagon said. Each base will be able to house up to 20 patients along with public health personnel and equipment. The agreement lasts until Feb. 22, the DOD said. “DOD personnel will not be in direct contact with the evacuees and will minimize contact with personnel supporting the evacuees,” the Pentagon said. If anyone tests positive for the virus, public health officials with DHHS will move them to a civilian hospital, according to the statement.

Note: Read an excellent article suggesting there is much fear mongering taking place around the Coronavirus. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


The Government Uses ‘Near Perfect Surveillance’ Data on Americans
2020-02-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:31:27
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/opinion/dhs-cell-phone-tracking.html

“When the government tracks the location of a cellphone it achieves near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user,” wrote John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, in a 2018 ruling that prevented the government from obtaining location data from cellphone towers without a warrant. “We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the decision, Carpenter v. United States. With that judicial intent in mind, it is alarming to read a new report in The Wall Street Journal that found the Trump administration “has bought access to a commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones in America and is using it for immigration and border enforcement.” The data used by the government comes not from the phone companies but from a location data company, one of many that are quietly and relentlessly collecting the precise movements of all smartphone-owning Americans through their phone apps. Many apps — weather apps or coupon apps, for instance — gather and record location data without users’ understanding what the code is up to. That data can then be sold to third party buyers including, apparently, the government. The courts are [an] imperfect venue for protecting Fourth Amendment rights. The Carpenter ruling applies only to location data captured by cellphone towers and not to location data streamed from smartphone apps.

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


When the C.I.A. Was Into Mind Control
2019-09-10, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:29:45
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/10/books/review/poisoner-in-chief-stephen-kin...

In 1955, R. Gordon Wasson set off for southern Mexico to experience a sacred Indian ceremony rumored to provide a “pathway to the divine.” Wasson later extolled the mystical effects of what he called the “magic mushroom,” the Mexican plant used in the ceremony, in a 1957 photo-essay for Life magazine. A new biography by Stephen Kinzer ... adds a key detail to this fascinating history. “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control” describes how, unbeknown to Wasson, the spy agency was funding his travel. In fact, Wasson’s trip “would electrify mind control experimenters in Washington whose ambitions were vastly different from his own.” Kinzer’s book traces the life and career of Gottlieb, the man standing in the shadows of this trip. Gottlieb was also the brains behind the eventual C.I.A. program it helped spawn, MK-ULTRA, the notorious research endeavor that employed mind-altering drugs, including LSD. Gottlieb worked with a sadistic narcotics officer in opening a “national security whorehouse” to dose unwitting victims being serviced by prostitutes on the C.I.A. payroll. Drugging johns was easy, but when Gottlieb started dosing unwitting government colleagues the research hit turbulence. In what would give the program its lasting black eye, Frank Olson, an Army scientist working with MK-ULTRA who had been given LSD without his knowledge, jumped, or was possibly pushed, out of a hotel room window in New York in 1953.

Note: Read more about the CIA-connected death of Frank Olson. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.


The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A 'Poisoner In Chief'
2019-09-09, NPR
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:27:50
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/09/758989641/the-cias-secret-quest-for-mind-contr...

During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. In response, the CIA began its own secret program, called MK-ULTRA, to search for a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies. MK-ULTRA, which operated from the 1950s until the early '60s, was created and run by a chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers ... while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD. In the early 1950s, he arranged for the CIA to pay $240,000 to buy the world's entire supply of LSD. He brought this to the United States, and he began spreading it around to hospitals, clinics, prisons and other institutions, asking them, through bogus foundations, to carry out research projects and find out what LSD was, how people reacted to it and how it might be able to be used as a tool for mind control. MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.

Note: Read more about the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.


Judge demands answers from Jeffrey Epstein's estate after millions of dollars flood into his dormant offshore bank in the Virgin Islands in the months following the pedophile's death
2020-02-05, MSN News/Daily Mail
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:25:18
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/judge-demands-answers-from-jeffrey-epste...

Millions of dollars that were sent from the estate of disgraced billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein into a dormant bank he had opened in 2014 has raised questions from a judge overseeing a court case over his remaining assets. In court documents obtained yesterday regarding the billionaire's Virgin Islands assets, a judge found that in August last year, when Epstein was found hanged in his jail cell, the financier's bank in the territory ... had no more than $693,157. In December, Epstein's estate transferred $15.5 million to the bank. The bank sent back $2.6 million, leaving $12.9 million. There was then a withdrawal of almost all funds before the end of the year, leaving the balance at around $500,000. In January, a lawsuit filed by the US Virgin Islands posthumously accused Epstein of sexually abusing and trafficking hundreds of girls and young women on his private Caribbean island as recently as 2018 and had a database to keep track of their availability. The lawsuit, filed against the millionaire pedophile's estate last month claimed Epstein used his two private islands in the U.S. territory to engage in a nearly two-decade conspiracy to traffic and abuse girls as young as 11 or 12. Many of the victims were allegedly aspiring models from South America and he used fake modelling visas to fly them across international borders to his two islands - known as Little Saint James and Great Saint James - the lawsuit claims.

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


DOJ Gave $500K Grant to 'Hookers for Jesus' Instead of Established Anti-Trafficking Groups: Report
2020-02-10, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:23:38
https://www.newsweek.com/doj-gave-500k-grant-hookers-jesus-instead-establishe...

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is under fire after a whistleblower complaint revealed that the department had given over $1 million in anti-human trafficking grants to two groups, Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, rather than highly recommended, established groups. A September 12 internal DOJ memo recommended that the grant money go to the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix. The recommendations were based on reviews from outside contractors. Instead, the grant money went to two organizations the contractors gave lower ratings: Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation. Hookers for Jesus is a Christian organization founded by former sex worker and sex trafficking victim Annie Lobert in 2007. The organization operates Destiny House, a one-year safehouse program for sex-trafficking victims. Lobert's organization, which was given $530,190 over three years, is controversial due to its strict rules in the safehouse, banning "secular magazines with articles, pictures, etc. that portray worldly views/advice on living, sex, clothing, makeup tips," and mandatory attendance of the organization's religious services. Its staff manual also says homosexuality is immoral. The group's policies could violate federal anti-discrimination laws. In addition, reviewers said Hookers for Jesus had little experience with male victims, minors or foreign victims of human trafficking.

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


Merck accused of stonewalling in mumps vaccine antitrust lawsuit
2015-06-04, Reuters
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:21:44
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-vaccine/merck-accused-of-stonewalling-...

Two former Merck & Co Inc scientists accusing the drugmaker of falsifying tests of its exclusive mumps vaccine said in a court filing on Monday that Merck is refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Attorneys at Constantine Cannon, who represent the scientists, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request, which asks the company to give the efficacy of the vaccine as a percentage. Instead of answering the question ... Merck has been consistently evasive, using “cut-and-paste” answers saying it cannot run a new clinical trial to determine the current efficacy, and providing only data from 50 years ago. The two scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed their whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 claiming Merck, the only company licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a mumps vaccine in the United States, skewed tests of the vaccine by adding animal antibodies to blood samples. As a result, they said, Merck was able to produce test results showing that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, even though more accurate tests would have shown a lower success rate. The plaintiffs said these false results kept competitors from trying to produce their own mumps vaccines, since they were unable to match the effectiveness Merck claimed. The case is United States ex rel Krahling et al v. Merck & Co Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 10-4374.

Note: Why didn't this get reported widely? A search reveals no major media other than Reuters and WSJ covered this. This article in a local paper states the two whistleblowers were threatened by Merck with jail if they went public with this. It also says all students in a Syracuse University mumps outbreak had been properly vaccinated. This excellent article gives a 2019 update and reveals how the vaccines caused injury in a very high percentage of cases. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


She fell 150 feet off a cliff while fleeing an attacker. Three years later, she completed her second marathon
2019-11-06, CNN News
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:19:01
https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/06/us/nyc-marathon-runner-spinal-cord-injury-trnd...

Completing two marathons on crutches while partially paralyzed is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Three years after a spinal cord injury that left her without full mobility of her lower body, Hannah Gavios completed her second New York City Marathon - crossing the finish line on crutches in just over 11 hours, 18 minutes faster than last year. The sun had gone down by the time she reached the end of the 26.2-mile course. But achieving that milestone yet another time was a powerful reminder of everything she had overcome. In 2016, Gavios took a vacation to Thailand from her job teaching English in Vietnam. On her way back to her hotel one night, she feared she had gotten lost and asked for directions. But the person who had been guiding her ended up leading her to a dark, wooded area and attacked her, Gavios told CNN. While running away from her attacker, she fell off a cliff, tumbling 150 feet. The fall left her with a spinal cord injury that has affected muscles in her lower body. But it hasn't stopped her from living her life to the fullest. "I always knew I was a strong person," the 26-year-old Queens, New York, resident said. "But I didn't know I was that strong. I also didn't realize how much of a fighter I was." Then she learned about Amanda Sullivan, who had been completing marathons on crutches after an auto accident left her disabled. If someone with a similar condition could finish a marathon, Gavios thought to herself, then she could, too.

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


Chicagoan, 98, donates Walgreens shares he bought decades ago — now worth $2 million
2017-06-03, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:17:29
https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-walgreens-2-million-stock-donation...

Nearly 70 years ago, a young Russ Gremel decided to buy about $1,000 worth of stock in a Chicago-based pharmacy chain. As Gremel grew older, that pharmacy chain, Walgreens, grew exponentially. By the time Gremel hit his late 90s, the stock was worth more than $2 million. Still, he didn't cash out. Instead, the now 98-year-old Chicagoan donated the stock to the Illinois Audubon Society, which is using it to help establish a nearly 400-acre wildlife refuge. Though he never discussed his wealth, those who know Gremel say his donation isn't surprising. He's a man with a "big, open heart," said Jack Henehan, one of the many men who was a Boy Scout during Gremel's more than 60 years as a scoutmaster. Another former Scout turned lifelong friend, Dr. Steven Bujewski, 57, said the stock donation is nice, but not as impressive as the time Gremel spent leading his Boy Scouts. "The gift that he has given to thousands of kids through Scouting and the influence it's had on their lives, I think that's 100 times more valuable," Bujewski said. Though Scouting was a big part of his life, Gremel said he chose to donate to the Illinois Audubon Society because of its relatively low administrative overhead and his love of nature. The society had been keeping an eye on a 395-acre property near Amboy and Dixon for some time, and Gremel said he wanted the money to be used to help people enjoy nature. It proved to be a good fit.

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


Adorable moment a beluga plays rugby with a group of South African supporters just days after their World Cup win
2019-11-07, Daily Mail (One of the UK's most popular newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-18 01:15:53
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7662865/Beluga-whale-spotted-playing...

A beluga whale has been filmed passing a rugby ball back and forth with crew on a passing boat. The whale was filmed approaching the South African Gemini Craft boat in the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole. A member of the boat's crew threw a rugby ball out the to the whale. The animal grabbed the ball in its mouth before swimming back to the boat. The video has been viewed more than one million times since it was uploaded to Facebook and the footage has spread like wildfire across numerous sites such as Reddit. A number of amazed people have left comments in disbelief of the beluga whale's skills. 'I can't believe what I'm seeing,' one person said. Another one commented: 'How many people can say they've played fetch with a beluga?' The Gemini Crew had earlier been sailing near the Norwegian town of Hammer fest, which recently gained media attention about a possible Russian spy whale swimming in its waters. Russia is understood to have moved a pod of beluga whales to a secret Arctic base before one of the sea creatures reportedly swam to Norway. A beluga was found wearing a harness marked 'equipment of St Petersburg' around the area in April. The sea creature, which had the harness for a camera, was hanging around the port performing tricks for locals in return for food, with many residents joking he had 'defected'. Russia has dismissed claims its 'spy whale' was caught snooping on the fishing vessels of a NATO country.

Note: Don't miss the video of this amazing event at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


U.S. Taxpayers Each Spent More Than $8,000 on Iraq War, for $2 Trillion Total
2020-02-05, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:26:56
https://www.newsweek.com/iraq-war-cost-taxpayers-2-trillion-1485784

The War in Iraq cost nearly $2 trillion, roughly $8,000 per U.S. taxpayer, representing 9 percent of the national debt. The current cost to the federal government for conflict zone operations in Iraq is an estimated $1.922 billion ... according to an analysis and a January report from The Cost of Wars project. Without a war tax and few war bonds, direct war spending on post-9/11 wars by the Pentagon resulted in interest payments of about $444 billion, the report estimated. The author warns even if the fighting stopped today, and the Trump Administration pulled out of all ongoing fights in the "Global War on Terror," those cumulative interest payments would continue to rise. If all war spending stopped today the existing war debt would "rise ... to $6.5 trillion by 2050," according to the report's estimates. Over the last 18 years of engagements in South Asia and the Middle East, the American "government has financed this war by borrowing funds," writes Heidi Peltier, the author of the report. War is more costly than just boots on the ground and equipment brought to the theaters of conflict. The physical and emotional trauma incurred by soldiers and those living in war zones is oftentimes incalculable. 4.1 million veterans who served in wars post-9/11 are receiving medical benefits, among other compensation nearing $199 billion, according to reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Note: Read the summary of a highly decorated US general's important book "War is a Racket." He makes clear that the reason we have so much war has little to do with national security and everything to do with padding the pockets of those in the military-industrial complex. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


Is overuse of antibiotics on farms worsening the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
2020-01-05, CBS News
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:24:37
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-overuse-of-antibiotics-on-farms-worsening-the...

More than 12 million pounds of medically important antibiotics sold in this country are not for use in humans; they're for livestock. And the antibiotics are driving the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in the animals that can get passed on to us through food. Yet it's almost impossible to get on the farms to conduct inspections and stop infection outbreaks from spreading, even for public health officials. In 2015, Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist investigated an outbreak of antibiotic resistant salmonella tied to roaster pigs. The salmonella was resistant to antibiotics. Lindquist traced the cause of the outbreak to a slaughterhouse. "We come in and we find the bacteria, essentially everywhere," [said Lindquist]. "So I want to go back to the farms and I wanna sample the pigs at the farm." But to his surprise, Lindquist, who was conducting the investigation, was flatly turned down. Thwarted, he says, by the National Pork Producers Council, the lead lobbying group for the $23 billion pork industry. They sent Lindquist a letter denying him access to the farms. Even federal inspectors have trouble getting on farms. They are not allowed on a farm to look for bacteria that make people sick without the farmer's permission. Farmers started using antibiotics decades ago ... to make animals grow faster with less food. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration told farmers to stop using antibiotics in animals for growth purposes, but ... they are permitted to use them for disease prevention, and there are no reporting requirements.

Note: For lots more, see this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


America’s Radioactive Secret
2020-01-21, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:22:33
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radi...

In a squat rig fitted with a 5,000-gallon tank, Peter crisscrosses the expanse of farms and woods near the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania border, the heart of a region that produces close to one-third of America’s natural gas. He hauls a salty substance called “brine,” a naturally occurring waste product that gushes out of America’s oil-and-gas wells to the tune of nearly 1 trillion gallons a year. At most wells, far more brine is produced than oil or gas, as much as 10 times more. It collects in tanks, and like an oil-and-gas garbage man, Peter picks it up and hauls it off to treatment plants or injection wells, where it’s disposed of by being shot back into the earth. Through a grassroots network of Ohio activists, Peter was able to transfer 11 samples of brine to the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, which had them tested in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. The results were striking. Radium ... is so dangerous it’s subject to tight restrictions even at hazardous-waste sites. The most common isotopes are radium-226 and radium-228, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires industrial discharges to remain below 60 for each. Four of Peter’s samples registered combined radium levels above 3,500, and one was more than 8,500. Peter’s samples are just a drop in the bucket. Oil fields across the country — from the Bakken in North Dakota to the Permian in Texas — have been found to produce brine that is highly radioactive.

Note: In addition to producing this radioactive waste, fracking employs secret chemical mixtures and poisons drinking water. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


How the Environmental Lawyer Who Won a Massive Judgment Against Chevron Lost Everything
2020-01-29, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:20:05
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/29/chevron-ecuador-lawsuit-steven-donziger/

Few news outlets covered the detention of [attorney] Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region. On August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse ... with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Despite Donziger’s current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. An Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world. But ... Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country.

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


Trump extends travel ban to 6 countries — but is OK with selling arms to those same places
2020-01-31, NBC News
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:17:42
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-extends-travel-ban-6-countries-ok...

The Trump administration announced Friday that it is adding six new countries to the existing travel ban, joining the seven already on the list. The administration’s rationale for the ban is that conditions in those countries, especially the level of terrorism, raised the risk of allowing their citizens into the U.S. to an unacceptable level. But if the administration is correct about the risks posed from the countries on the newly expanded list, why does it continue to allow the U.S. government and companies to sell weapons to more than half of them? During the Trump administration alone, the U.S. has sold Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania (the last five of which are new additions to the travel ban) everything from handguns and automatic weapons to light attack aircraft. Since 2002 the U.S. has sold roughly $409 million worth of these weapons to 10 of these 13 nations despite their troubled political systems, poor human rights records, high levels of corruption and their participation in a range of conflicts. In these places, U.S. arms have not brought stability, much less peace. Instead, in many cases they have led to increased homicide rates and fed state-sponsored violence, and may have exacerbated rather than ameliorated terrorism and civil conflicts. The U.S., for instance, has delivered millions of dollars in weapons to Nigeria since Trump took office and the country is notorious for losing these weapons to Boko Haram - the exact group the weapons are being sold to fight.

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


Why the land mine, a persistent killer of civilians, is coming back under Trump
2020-02-01, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:15:44
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/02/01/land-mines-trump/

The Trump administration’s decision this week to expand the use of land mines has baffled and angered humans rights and arms control groups, which say the decision further imperils anyone who may encounter the weapons. In 2018, nearly 20 civilians were killed or injured every day by land mines and other unexploded ordnance remnants, such as cluster munitions. Children represented 40 percent of the casualties. Land mine use and production are banned by 164 countries. The United States is not one of them, but Obama-era restrictions only allowed anti-personnel land mines to be used in defense of the Korean Peninsula. The new Trump policy reverses those regulations. Most land mines that menace civilians are “dumb” or persistent. They can remain dangerous indefinitely until someone — commonly a child or farmer — encounters one. The United States does not have any of these land mines in its inventory, defense officials said. In recent decades, the United States has produced “smart” or nonpersistent mines that can be set to self-destruct in a certain number of minutes, hours or days after they are deployed. Nearly 120,000 “smart,” nonpersistent mines were used in the Gulf War. Even though the Pentagon suggested a low dud rate, anti-personnel and antitank weapons that failed to self-detonate littered Kuwait, a 2002 Government Accountability Office report said. Nearly 2,000 duds were uncovered by contractors working in one sector alone out of seven, the GAO report concluded.

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


Trump is the most polarizing president on record — and almost nobody’s opinion of him is changing
2019-01-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:13:35
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/16/trump-is-most-polarizing-p...

Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones put things succinctly. “Extreme partisan views of presidents are the new norm in politics,” he wrote in presenting new data on the partisan gulf in approval of President Trump. “The past 15 presidential years account for 14 of the top 15 most polarized years since Gallup began regularly measuring both job approval and party identification in the 1950s.” Since 2010, the average presidential approval rating from an opposing party in a year hasn’t topped 13 percent — and that was in 2010, when President Barack Obama’s approval rating was still slipping from his post-inauguration high. Unlike Obama, Trump didn’t enjoy a period of broader support at the time of his inauguration. Views of Trump have been remarkably consistent by party since he took office. There’s some movement, but not a lot. Data released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University make that clear. In Quinnipiac’s first poll of Trump’s favorability ... about a fifth of Americans had no opinion of his job performance. In the next poll, taken in early February 2017, 42 percent approved of his performance (including 88 percent of Republicans), and 51 percent disapproved (including 90 percent of Democrats). In Tuesday’s poll? Forty-one percent approve (including 86 percent of Republicans), and 55 percent disapprove (including 93 percent of Democrats). This is another interesting aspect of Trump’s approval ratings: More poll respondents have strong views of his presidency, positive or negative, relative to any recent president.

Note: Read an inspiring essay showing how the 1% benefit from polarization around both Trump and Obama. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable major media sources.


In Washington Speak, Censorship Is Called “Transparency”
2018-01-10, Scientific American
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:11:10
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-washington-speak-censorship-is-...

Senior officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told staffers to avoid using seven words such as “science-based” and “fetus” in budget-related documents. The backlash was swift and strident; headlines accused the CDC of censoring scientific ideas. Documents recently obtained via two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests indicate the CDC and other executive branch agencies ... quietly implement organized strategies to control the flow and tone of scientific information to the press and the public. Moreover, these practices have been in place under both the Trump and Obama administrations. The techniques being used are much more subtle ... than mere censorship. Two agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services’ umbrella have erected obstacles to reporters’ access to federal scientists. And by striking backroom deals with favored journalists, press officers try to get reporters to cleave to an official narrative. Meanwhile government workers at the FDA, are also portraying a ... press-restraining practice as a boon to journalists. In a so-called “close-hold” embargo - exposed by Scientific American in 2016 - a few select journalists are given early access to information; in return they agree to hold off on publishing until the agency gives the go-ahead, and to let officials choose whom the reporter may speak with before the embargo expires. Collectively, these practices at the FDA and CDC are staunching the flow of important science and policy decisions to the public.

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


How an Indianapolis-area church erased $2 million in medical debt for Hoosier families
2019-06-17, Indianapolis Star/USA Today
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:08:51
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/health/2019/06/17/indiana-northview-churc...

Four times a year, Northview Church asks its members to chip in to a Dollar Club as an object lesson in the power of community. This weekend the Dollar Club also delivered a lesson in the wacky world of medical billing. Using an organization called RIP Medical Debt, the church was able to leverage $20,000 in donations to wipe out $2 million of unpaid medical bills for 2,500 Hoosier families. Founded five years ago, the New York-based organization has eliminated more than $675 million in medical debt for more than 200,000 people. RIP Medical Debt targets families most in need, those who are twice the federal poverty level or who carry debts that are 5% or more of their annual income. The process works in large part because of the structure of medical debt, experts say. “Medical debt has fairly low recovery rates and the amount of money that collectors are willing to sell this debt for is pennies on the dollar,” said Neale Mahoney, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. The high cost of health care has led to rampant medical debt. About 43 million Americans owe about $75 billion in medical debt, according to RIP Medical Debt, and medical debt plays a role in more than 60 percent of all bankruptcies. As a member of Northview Church, Lisa Sole has been on both the giving and receiving side of the Dollar Club. Sole, now 53, never hesitated to donate when asked. Having gone through a medical crisis herself, Sole said she can only imagine what erasing someone’s medical debt could mean.

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


Amsterdam to buy out young people's debt to offer 'new start'
2020-01-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:06:54
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/17/amsterdam-young-people-debt-cre...

The city of Amsterdam is taking over the debts of its young adults as part of a drive to liberate people who are struggling to get into work or education. A growth in borrowing among young Dutch adults – a trend echoed elsewhere in Europe, including the UK – is said to be standing in the way of them joining the marketplace or completing higher education courses. Under the city’s trial project, a municipal credit bank will negotiate with creditors to buy out the debts. Those on the scheme will then be issued with a loan to repay according to their means. The creditors will be given €750 as an incentive to pass the debt on to the municipality’s bank. The young people will have more of the debt cancelled if they successfully engage in training or an educational programme. “Debts cause a lot of stress. And in the case of young people, debts often determine their future,” said Amsterdam’s deputy mayor, Marjolein Moorman. “The majority of these young people started out in arrears and, due to bad luck or ignorance, found themselves in a situation where they could not get out without help. That is why we are now going to help them so that they can make a new start.” The debt-transfer project will start in February. Each person on the scheme will be given a coach with whom they will prepare a “guidance plan”. More than a third (34%) of Amsterdammers aged between 18 and 34 have debts, according to the official figures.

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


Nigerian neurosurgeon takes pay cut to perform free operations
2019-10-04, CNN News
Posted: 2020-02-09 18:05:23
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/03/africa/dr-sulaiman-free-surgeries-intl/index.html

Dr. Olawale Sulaiman, 49, is a professor of neurosurgery and spinal surgery and chairman for the neurosurgery department and back and spine center at the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute in New Orleans. He lives in Louisiana, but splits his time between the US and Nigeria, spending up to 12 days each month providing healthcare in the country of his birth - sometimes for free. Born in Lagos Island, Lagos, Sulaiman says his motivation comes from growing up in a relatively poor region. "I am one of 10 children born into a polygamous family. My siblings and I shared one room where we often found ourselves sleeping on a mat on the floor," he told CNN. According to a report by the Global Health Workforce Alliance, Nigeria's healthcare system does not have enough personnel to effectively deliver essential health services to the country's large population. Sulaiman says he wants to use his knowledge to improve the healthcare system. In 2010, Sulaiman established RNZ Global, a healthcare development company with his wife, Patricia. The company provides medical services including neuro and spinal surgery, and offers health courses like first aid CPR in Nigeria and the US. RNZ Global has treated more than 500 patients and provided preventative medicine to up to 5,000 people in the US and Nigeria. RNZ Global also has a not-for-profit arm called RNZ foundation. The foundation, registered in 2019, focuses on managing patients with neurological diseases for free.

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


Mobile Phones Cause Heat Tumors, Court Rules
2020-01-15, Newsweek
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:16:39
https://www.newsweek.com/mobile-phones-cause-head-tumors-court-rules-despite-...

On Wednesday, a Turin, Italy court of appeals agreed with a 2017 lower court ruling stating that excessive mobile phone usage causes brain tumors. "There are solid elements to affirm a causal role between the exposure of the person to radio frequencies from mobile phones and the disease that arose," read the ruling in part, translation from Italian provided by The Guardian. The case in question was filed by former Telecom Italia worker Roberto Romeo, 59, against Italy's National Institute for Insurance Against Workplace Accidents (INAIL), a national insurance provider. Romeo testified that he used cell phones for four to five hours daily during the average work week. He was employed by Telecom Italia for 15 years before he was diagnosed with a benign tumor, neurinoma of the acoustic nerve. He contracted meningitis after the removal of the nerve, as well as suffering damage to 23 percent of his other bodily functions. In the initial ruling, INAIL was ordered to compensate Romeo €500 ($557.42 in U.S. dollars) monthly for the rest of his life. INAIL appealed the decision. The court did not allow lawyers for INAIL to submit studies to the court which were financially supported by telecom companies. Two court-appointed doctors subsequently provided testimony for Romeo's case during the appeals process, producing studies which declared that individuals who spoke on their phones for an average of 30 minutes a day ... increased their risk of developing head tumors. The ruling from the appeals court ordered INAIL to compensate Romeo.

Note: For more information, see this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the dangers of wireless technologies from reliable major media sources.


Tamiflu Fraud Bilked $1.5 Billion from Government, Alleges Whistleblower
2020-01-23, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:14:44
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/tamiflu-fraud-bilked-1-5-163100939.html

Drug company Hoffmann-La Roche ... bilked U.S. federal and state governments out of $1.5 billion by misrepresenting clinical studies and falsely claiming that its well-known influenza medicine Tamiflu was effective at containing potential pandemics, according to a recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the drugmaker's scheme involved publishing misleading articles falsely stating that Tamiflu reduces complications, severity, hospitalizations, mortality and transmission of influenza. The company then used those articles to aggressively market the drug to the government for pandemic use. Relying on the supposed truthfulness of Roche's claims, federal and state governments spent about $1.5 billion to stockpile Tamiflu to combat influenza pandemics, according to the complaint. The lawsuit brings claims under the False Claims Act, which allows individuals to bring claims on behalf of the government. Whistleblower Dr. Thomas Jefferson, a physician and public health researcher affiliated with the respected global Cochrane Collaboration research network, has researched neuraminidase inhibitors like Tamiflu for more than two decades. He began questioning Tamiflu's efficacy in 2009 and spearheaded efforts to have the company release the underlying clinical study data. When he finally received the data in 2013, Dr. Jefferson analyzed it and concluded that the clinical data does not support Roche's claims about Tamiflu's effectiveness for use in an influenza pandemic.

Note: Though the major media is ignoring this major allegation, it was reported on the website of the highly respected British Medical Journal. Note also that Former U.S. Sect. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made $5 million from the sales of Tamiflu. More details are available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on pharmaceutical industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Reporters Face New Threats From the Governments They Cover
2020-01-26, New York Times
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:12:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/opinion/greenwald-brazil-reporter.html

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was charged last year by the Trump administration in connection with the publication of secret United States government documents. On Tuesday, Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist living and working in Brazil, was charged, in a criminal complaint brought by Brazilian prosecutors, with cybercrimes in connection with his stories on private messages among Brazilian officials that revealed corruption and abuses at the highest levels of the government. The case against Mr. Greenwald is eerily similar to the Trump administration’s case against Mr. Assange. Last April, the Justice Department charged Mr. Assange with aiding a source, the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, to gain access to a United States military computer database. In May 2019, the charges against him were broadened, and he was indicted under the Espionage Act in connection with the publication of American military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks. Both cases are based in part on a new prosecutorial concept — that journalism can be proved to be a crime through a focus on interactions between reporters and their sources. Prosecutors are now scrutinizing the processes by which sources obtain classified or private information and then provide it to journalists. Since those interactions today are largely electronic, prosecutors are seeking to criminalize journalism by turning to anti-hacking laws to implicate reporters in the purported criminal activity of their sources.

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


Epstein’s alleged quadruple murderer cellmate: I tried to save him, not kill him
2020-01-22, Miami Herald
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:09:46
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article239494813.html

Jeffrey Epstein’s name was uttered just once in the federal courtroom but his memory hovered like a cloud over Wednesday’s hearing for an ex-cop who shared a cell with him on the day last July when the accused sex trafficker allegedly tried to kill himself. Nicholas Tartaglione faces a possible death penalty if convicted of the gangland-style killing of four men in a soured drug deal. He has become entangled in the Epstein saga — because many found it curious that the most high-profile inmate in the nation would be kept in the same jail cell as an alleged quadruple killer. As Epstein’s cellmate at the time of the July incident ... Tartaglione [is] requesting the surveillance video from outside the jail cell, to prove that he helped save Epstein during the financier’s abortive suicide try. Defense lawyer Bruce Barket said video of the incident would back up Tartaglione’s story that he alerted guards to Epstein’s plight. That fact could be used before a judge and jury. The problem is that the Bureau of Prisons says it no longer has the video. It was accidentally destroyed. The fact that the video is gone, which was reported earlier this month to great consternation, was yet another embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons. Epstein died weeks later, on Aug. 10, in what was classified as a suicide by hanging, although some, including Epstein’s brother, have suggested it could have been murder. By the time of his death, Epstein had no cellmate and was inexplicably no longer on suicide watch despite the earlier incident.

Note: This New York magazine report has a wealth of information on Jeffrey Epstein's very strange death. Explore a complex yet very informative timeline of Epstein and his relationship to the Mossad and much more. Many links are made here with verifiable information that the major media has failed to report. A drone video also explores the island owned by Epstein and a strange "temple" found there. Lots more available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Prince Andrew gives 'zero cooperation' over Epstein inquiry, US prosecutor says
2020-01-27, BBC News
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:07:26
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51271871

The Duke of York has provided "zero co-operation" to an inquiry into late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation has said. Prosecutors and the FBI have contacted his lawyers but have received no reply, said US attorney Geoffrey Berman. Prince Andrew says he did not see, or suspect, any suspicious behaviour when visiting homes of his then friend. Buckingham Palace said the prince's legal team was dealing with the issue. It said it would not be commenting further. Mr Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the FBI and Southern District of New York had requested to interview the duke as part of their inquiry into Epstein's crimes, but "to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero co-operation". Prince Andrew has come under fire for his friendship with the US financier, who was jailed in Florida in 2008 for procuring a minor for prostitution. He told BBC Newsnight in November that he first met Epstein in 1999 and did not regret their friendship - which led to Epstein attending events at Windsor Castle and Sandringham - because it had "some seriously beneficial outcomes". Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers, says she was trafficked to London by Epstein in 2001, when she was 17, and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team titled "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Ghislaine Maxwell's secret emails hacked by cyber criminals in potential new blow for Prince Andrew
2020-01-22, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:05:29
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/22/revealed-ghislaine-maxwells-secre...

Ghislaine Maxwell’s private emails have been hacked by cyber criminals in a new twist in the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with a convicted paedophile. The British heiress was targeted after she was publicly accused of procuring young girls for Jeffrey Epstein, legal papers seen by The Telegraph reveal. The security breach raises the prospect that emails between Ms Maxwell and prominent individuals including the Duke of York could be made public, or sold to the highest bidder. Ms Maxwell has barely been seen in public since August, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unsealed allegations that she conspired with Epstein to recruit and groom underage girls. Her US lawyers are currently battling the release of around 8,600 further documents from the same civil case, said to contain damaging new sex claims about Epstein’s vast network of celebrity friends. In December it was revealed that Ms Maxwell exchanged emails with Prince Andrew in 2015 about Virginia Giuffre, who accuses the Duke of having sex with her three times when she was aged 17. He has always emphatically denied the allegations. A US judge will decide in the coming weeks whether to unseal the new evidence about Epstein’s alleged crimes. The documents include depositions from 29 people, including a number of new witnesses and reportedly Epstein himself. The Duke of York’s name appears in the evidence along with a number of prominent politicians and businessmen.

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


Former Wells Fargo CEO fined $17.5 million for sales scandal
2020-01-23, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:03:45
https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Former-Wells-Fargo-CEO-fined-17-...

Federal regulators have slapped former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf with a $17.5 million fine for his role in the bank’s sales practices scandal. Stumpf also accepted a lifetime ban from the banking industry. Along with its fine against Stumpf, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Thursday it is suing five other former Wells Fargo executives for a combined total of $37.5 million. This is the first time regulators have punitively punished individual executives for Wells Fargo’s wrongdoing. The San Francisco-based bank has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and penalties for encouraging employees to open up millions of fake accounts in order to meet unrealistic sales goals. As part of their settlements and lawsuits against these Wells’ executives, regulators seek to ban all of them from ever working in the banking industry again. “The root cause of the sales practices misconduct problem was the Community Bank’s business model, which imposed intentionally unreasonable sales goals and unreasonable pressure on its employees to meet those goals and fostered an atmosphere that perpetuated improper and illegal conduct,” the OCC said in its complaint. “Community Bank management intimidated and badgered employees to meet unattainable sales goals year after year, including by monitoring employees daily or hourly and reporting their sales performance to their managers, subjecting employees to hazing-like abuse, and ... terminating employees for failure to meet the goals.”

Note: Though it's great that someone has finally been fined at Wells Fargo, a small time robber gets locked up in jail for years. Why aren't these people who were the cause of huge white collar crime being jailed? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet
2020-01-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-04 02:01:57
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/lab-grown-food-destroy-...

Through a porthole in a metal tank, I could see a yellow froth churning. It’s a primordial soup of bacteria, taken from the soil and multiplied in the laboratory, using hydrogen extracted from water as its energy source. When the froth was siphoned through a tangle of pipes and squirted on to heated rollers, it turned into a rich yellow flour. This flour is not yet licensed for sale. But the scientists, working for a company called Solar Foods, were allowed to give me some while filming our documentary Apocalypse Cow. Such flours are likely soon to become the feedstock for almost everything. In their raw state, they can replace the fillers now used in thousands of food products. When the bacteria are modified they will create the specific proteins needed for lab-grown meat, milk and eggs. The carbohydrates that remain when proteins and fats have been extracted could replace everything from pasta flour to potato crisps. Research by the thinktank RethinkX suggests that proteins from precision fermentation will be around 10 times cheaper than animal protein by 2035. The result, it says, will be the near-complete collapse of the livestock industry. The new food economy will “replace an extravagantly inefficient system that requires enormous quantities of inputs and produces huge amounts of waste with one that is precise, targeted, and tractable”. Using tiny areas of land, with a massively reduced requirement for water and nutrients, it “presents the greatest opportunity for environmental restoration in human history”.

Note: The above article was written by George Monbiot. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Do Art Lovers Live Longer?
2019-12-23, Psychology Today
Posted: 2020-02-04 01:58:58
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201912/do-art-lovers...

People who engage in arts-related cultural activities such as going to museums or musical concerts may have a lower risk of dying prematurely, according to a new study by researchers from University College London (UCL). The UCL researchers found a substantial reduction in early mortality among older adults who engaged in cultural activities. After a variety of confounding factors (e.g., socioeconomics, occupational status) were taken into account, those who participated in cultural activities "every few months or more" had a 31 percent lower risk of premature death. This "arts engagement and mortality" analysis spanned 14 years and involved nearly 7,000 older adults. Study participants self-reported the frequency of their arts engagement and cultural activities such as going to museums, art galleries, concerts, and the theater. Daisy Fancourt and Andrew Steptoe co-authored this paper. Part of the link between longevity and arts engagement is attributable to the socioeconomic advantages of those who have the leisure time and financial resources to engage in cultural activities regularly. That said, Fancourt and Steptoe report that arts engagement may have a protective association with longevity that transcends socioeconomics or occupational status. According to the authors, "This association might be partly explained by differences in cognition, mental health, and physical activity among those who do and do not engage in the arts, but remains even when the model is adjusted for these factors."

Note: See the BMJ study on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Virtual reality helps cure real-life fear of heights, study finds
2018-07-11, NBC News
Posted: 2020-02-04 01:57:26
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/virtual-reality-helps-cure-real-li...

Virtual reality can help act as a do-it-yourself therapist, helping people overcome their fear of heights without a professional at their side, British researchers reported. A half dozen virtual reality sessions over two weeks significantly reduced the fear of heights for more than two-thirds of people who tried it, the team at the University of Oxford reported. Some even ventured onto rope bridges and mountainsides. “The outcome results are brilliant. They are better than I expected,” [said] Daniel Freeman, the University of Oxford clinical psychologist who led the study team. The team tested 100 volunteers, 49 of whom were given six virtual reality sessions over two weeks. The rest got no treatment. On average, the volunteers had been afraid of heights for 30 years. After six weeks, those who got no treatment remained just as afraid of heights as they had always been. But 34 of the 49 volunteers who did the virtual reality found they were no longer afraid of heights. Real-life exposure to heights has verified this. “Afterwards, people even found they could go to places that they wouldn’t have imagined possible, such as walk up a steep mountain, go with their children on a rope bridge, or simply use an escalator in a shopping center without fear,” [Freeman said]. The software can be whimsical, offering scenarios from walking across a virtual rope bridge to rescuing a cat from a limb. Freeman said the experiences are meant to strongly immerse people in a sensation of height and then encourage them to challenge their reluctance to take part.

Note: Read another inspiring article showing how virtual reality is helping patients deal with many different fears and phobias. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Germany is turning 62 military bases into wildlife sanctuaries
2015-06-19, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-02-04 01:56:01
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-is-turning-62-militar...

The German government has announced plans to convert 62 disused military bases just west of the Iron Curtain into nature reserves for eagles, woodpeckers, bats, and beetles. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said: "We are seizing a historic opportunity with this conversion — many areas that were once no-go zones are no longer needed for military purposes. “We are fortunate that we can now give these places back to nature." Together the bases are 31,000 hectares — that's equivalent to 40,000 football pitches. The conversion will see Germany's total area of protected wildlife increase by a quarter. After toying with the idea of selling the land off as real estate, the government opted instead to make a grand environmental gesture. It will become another addition to what is now known as the European Green Belt. A spokesperson from The European Green Belt told The Independent: "In the remoteness of the inhuman border fortifications of the Iron Curtain nature was able to develop nearly undisturbed. "Today the European Green Belt is an ecological network and memorial landscape running from the Barents to the Black Sea."

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


Why the Flu Is Still a Bigger Threat to Americans Than Coronavirus
2020-01-30, U.S. News & World Report
Posted: 2020-02-04 01:18:00
https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-01-30/why-the-flu-is-a-...

The Coronavirus outbreak that started in China has spread concerns across the world. With more than 8,000 confirmed cases and at least 170 deaths, the virus is a global public health emergency, the World Health Organization declared Thursday. But the vast majority of the cases and all of the deaths are in China.  Despite repeated statements from the CDC declaring the general risk to the American public to be low, fear in the U.S. has spread across social media. After news that a plane carrying roughly 200 Americans out of China would land in the U.S., some questioned whether they should be let back into the country, regardless of repeated screenings from health officials. "There's a lot of hysteria right now about that," says Brandon Brown, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Riverside, school of medicine. Their concerns are better focused elsewhere, he says. More than 8,000 people in the U.S. have died from the flu this season, which peaks between December and February, according to CDC estimates. During the 2018-2019 season, the CDC estimates 16.5 million people went to a health care provider for the flu and more than 34,000 people died in the U.S. The prior season saw 61,000 deaths. Brown says, "We need to be much more afraid of the thing that's been killing us for years, which is the seasonal influenza." Good health practices can prevent both the flu and the coronavirus.

Note: Lots more excellent information on fear-mongering around the Coronavirus is available on this webpage and this one. An excellent video interview features a scientist who specializes in genetics. He has examined the genome released by the Chinese government in search of the origins of the Coronavirus. Watch the first 10 minutes at this link. His solid investigation strongly suggests "this particular virus has a laboratory origin." For a detailed analysis of the science, see this webpage.


The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined
2020-01-20, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:46:02
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/20/oxfam-worlds-billionaires-richer-than-a-combi...

The world's 2,153 billionaires have more wealth between them than a combined 4.6 billion people, new research has claimed. In a study published Monday, international charity Oxfam called on governments to implement policies that may help to reduce wealth inequality. The report comes as delegates gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum conference. Oxfam's report noted that someone who saved $10,000 a day since the construction of the Egyptian pyramids would still be 80% less wealthy than the world's five richest billionaires. Oxfam urged policymakers to increase taxes on the world's wealthiest by 0.5% over the next decade in a bid to reduce wealth inequality. A 0.5% increase in taxes on the wealthy would generate enough funding to create 117 million jobs in sectors like education and health, according to the researchers. Other suggestions made by Oxfam to help mitigate inequality included investing in national care systems, challenging sexism, introducing laws to protect carers' rights, and ending extreme wealth. "Extreme wealth is a sign of a failing economic system," the report said. "Governments must take steps to radically reduce the gap between the rich and the rest of society and prioritize the wellbeing of all citizens over unsustainable growth and profit." The call for a tax overhaul reinforces the charity's message ahead of last year's WEF summit, when Oxfam urged governments to hike tax rates for corporations and society's richest to reduce wealth disparity.

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


PG&E: Monopoly Power and Disasters by the Rich 1%
2020-01-21, Project Censored
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:43:59
https://www.projectcensored.org/pge-monopoly-power-and-disasters-by-the-rich-1/

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has diverted over $100 million from safety and maintenance programs to executive compensation at the same time it has caused an average of more than one fire a day for the past six years killing over 100 people. PG&E is the largest privately held public utility in the United States. A new research report shows that 91% of PG&E stocks are held by huge international investment management firms, including BlackRock and Vanguard Group. PG&E is an ideal investment for global capital management firms with monopoly control over five million households paying $16 billion for gas and electric in California. Between 2006 and the end of 2017, PG&E made $13.5 billion in net profits. Over those years, they paid nearly $10 billion in dividends to shareholders, but found little money to maintain safety on their electricity lines. A 2013 Liberty Consulting report showed that 60% of PG&E’s power lines were at risk of failure due to obsolete equipment and 75% of the lines lacked in-line grounding. Between 2008 and 2015, the CPUC found PG&E late on thousands of repair violations. A 2012 report further revealed that PG&E illegally diverted $100 million from safety to executive compensation and bonuses over a 15-year period. In November, 2018, the PG&E caused Camp fire burned 153,336 acres, killing 86 people, and destroying 18,804 homes, business, and structures. PG&E has caused some $50 billion in damages from massive fires started by their failed power lines.

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


In the Face of Rising White Supremacist Violence, Police Continue to Investigate Victims and Activists
2020-01-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:41:41
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/20/political-surveillance-police-activists-t...

As white supremacists have carried out a growing number of deadly attacks in recent years, the FBI has come under mounting criticism for its failure to address the threat posed by far-right extremist ideologies, whose adherents account for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. At the same time, the bureau has also been heavily criticized for devoting large resources to surveilling political dissent by groups and individuals, often of color, who pose no threat but are critical of the government because they oppose official immigration policies or demand police accountability. The FBI’s preoccupation with policing nonviolent critical ideologies while neglecting to investigate ideologies tied to real, and increasing, violence was perhaps best captured in an infamous 2017 threat assessment report warning law enforcement agencies of the supposed rise of a “black identity extremist” movement targeting police. The black identity extremism category was a product of the FBI’s imagination. Last year ... bureau officials told legislators that they were doing away with a set of earlier domestic terrorism categories in favor of four larger ones. The FBI’s fictional black identity extremists would now be lumped together with white supremacists under a new “racially motivated violent extremism” category. That false equivalence made it virtually impossible for the public to know whether the FBI was devoting resources to investigating real threats of racist violence or social and racial justice groups critical of government.

Note: Read a revealing essay on COINTELPRO, the FBI program that targeted civil rights and anti-war activists from 1965-1975. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


The great dismantling of America's national parks is under way
2020-01-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:35:34
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/10/us-national-parks-dismant...

For more than 100 years, professional management of our national parks has been respected under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Yes, they have different priorities. But the career public servants of the National Park Service (NPS), charged with stewarding America’s most important places, such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Statue of Liberty, were left to do their jobs. Even in the dark days of interior secretaries James Watt and Gail Norton, both former attorneys with the anti-environmental Mountain States Legal Foundation, the National Park Service (NPS) was generally left untouched. This time is different. The change began within 24 hours of the inauguration when Donald Trump complained that the NPS was reporting smaller crowds on the National Mall than Obama had drawn. Soon the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, attempted to double the entrance fees, rescinded climate policies and moved seasoned senior national park superintendents around to force their retirements. After Zinke’s abrupt resignation, secretary David Bernhardt populated too much of the department’s political leadership with unconfirmed, anti-public land sycophants, and announced a reorganization to install his own lieutenants to oversee super regions. Senior career park managers are likely to be replaced with unqualified political hacks. These are not random actions. This is a systematic dismantling of a beloved institution, like pulling blocks from a Jenga tower, until it collapses.

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


Fisheries management is actually working, global analysis shows
2020-01-13, University of Washington News
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:33:46
https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-w...

Nearly half of the fish caught worldwide are from stocks that are scientifically monitored and, on average, are increasing in abundance. Effective management appears to be the main reason these stocks are at sustainable levels or successfully rebuilding. That is the main finding of an international project led by the University of Washington to compile and analyze data from fisheries around the world. The results were published Jan. 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “There is a narrative that fish stocks are declining around the world, that fisheries management is failing and we need new solutions — and it’s totally wrong,” said lead author Ray Hilborn. “Fish stocks are ... increasing in many places, and we already know how to solve problems through effective fisheries management.” The team’s database includes information on nearly half of the world’s fish catch, up from about 20% represented in the last compilation in 2009. Still, most of the fish stocks in South Asia and Southeast Asia do not have scientific estimates of health and status available. Fisheries in India, Indonesia and China alone represent 30% to 40% of the world’s fish catch that is essentially unassessed. This analysis found that more intense management led to healthy or improving fish stocks, while little to no management led to overfishing and poor stock status.

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


Strippers, surveillance and assassination plots: The wildest JFK Files
2017-10-27, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:31:33
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/10/27/strippers-survei...

President Trump ordered the release of more than 2,800 records related to the John F. Kennedy assassination on Thursday, but bowed to pressure from the CIA, FBI and other agencies to delay disclosing some of the most sensitive documents. Even so, the thousands of pages that were published online by the National Archives ... describe decades of spies and surveillance, informants and assassination plots. In an internal FBI report from May 1964, an informant told the FBI that the Ku Klux Klan said it “had documented proof that President Johnson was formerly a member of the Klan in Texas during the early days of his political career.” The records also reveal a deposition given before the presidential Commission on CIA Activities in 1975 by Richard Helms, who had served as the agency’s director. After a discussion of Vietnam, David Belin, an attorney for the commission, turned to whether the CIA was involved in Kennedy’s killing. “Well, now, the final area of my investigation relates to charges that the CIA was in some way conspiratorially involved with the assassination of President Kennedy. During the time of the Warren Commission, you were Deputy Director of Plans, is that correct?” Belin asked. After Helms replied that he was, Belin then asked: “Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any way shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or agent…” Then, suddenly, the document cuts off.

Note: Watch the banned final segment of a History Channel series titled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations from reliable major media sources.


Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes
2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:29:30
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non...

[Timothy] Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159. Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools. “It has been very hard for me,” Jackson wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of its new report on life without parole for non-violent offenders. The ACLU's report, A Living Death, chronicles the thousands of lives ruined and families destroyed by the modern phenomenon of sentencing people to die behind bars for non-violent offences. Most of those ... inmates held on life without parole sentences were given their punishments by the federal government. More than 2,000 of the 3,281 individuals tracked down on these sentences by the ACLU are being held in the federal system. Taxpayers pay an additional $1.8bn to keep the prisoners locked up for the rest of their lives. About 65% of the prisoners identified nationwide by the ACLU are African American. Of the prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent offences nationwide, the ACLU estimates that almost 80% were for drug-related crimes.

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


FBI lab botched Oklahoma bombing evidence
1997-03-22, CNN News
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:27:14
http://www.cnn.com/US/9703/22/okc.fbi.report/

The Justice Department inspector general's office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory working on the Oklahoma City bombing case made "scientifically unsound" conclusions that were "biased in favor of the prosecution," The Los Angeles Times reported. The still-secret draft report ... also concludes that supervisors approved lab reports that they "cannot support" and that FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast, the amount of explosives involved and the type of explosives used in the bombing. The draft report shows that FBI examiners could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was detonated. It also indicates that a poorly maintained lab environment could have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence. The investigation into the crime lab practices began in 1996 following complaints from FBI chemist and whistle-blower Frederic Whitehurst. The draft report's harshest criticism was of David Williams, a supervisory agent in the explosives unit. "We are deeply troubled by Williams' report, which contains several serious flaws," the report said. "These errors are all tilted in favor of the prosecution's theory of the case. We conclude that Williams failed to present an objective, unbiased, competent report." Those flaws reportedly include the basis of his determination that the main charge of the explosion was ammonium nitrate. The inspector general called such a determination "inappropriate," the Times said.

Note: For lots more undeniable evidence the official story of the Oklahoma City bombing is seriously flawed, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.


The City with no Homeless on its Streets
2019-01-31, BBC News
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:24:52
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-46891392

Emerging from Helsinki's grandiose central railway station on a bitterly cold evening, it does not take long before you notice something unusual. There are no rough sleepers and no-one is begging. For the past 30 years, tackling homelessness has been a focus for successive governments in Finland. In 1987, there were more than 18,000 homeless people there. The latest figures from the end of 2017 show there were about 6,600 people classified as without a home. The vast majority are living with friends or family, or are housed in temporary accommodation. So how have the Finns managed it? Since 2007, their government has built homeless policies on the foundations of the "Housing First" principle. Put simply, it gives rough sleepers or people who become homeless a stable and permanent home of their own as soon as possible. It then provides them with the help and support they need. That may be supporting someone trying to tackle an addiction, assisting them to learn new skills, or helping them get into training, education or work. Under Housing First, the offer of a home is unconditional. Even if someone is still taking drugs or abusing alcohol they still get to stay in the house or flat, so long as they are interacting with support workers. In Helsinki, deputy mayor Ms Vesikansa believes tackling homelessness and ending rough sleeping is not only a moral obligation but may also save money in the long-run. "We know already that it pays back because we have expenses elsewhere if people are homeless," [she said].

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


Philly powerlifter, 69, overcame blindness, homelessness, addiction, cancer, and the death of his daughter to become a champion
2019-08-14, Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:22:43
https://www.inquirer.com/news/blind-powerlifting-champion-lifted-himself-out-...

When Charles King went blind at 39, he gave up — on life, on his pregnant girlfriend, and on himself. “I said ‘OK God, that’s it. I quit.’ I literally quit and just went out on the streets and joined the homeless,” he said. “I hoped that because I was blind, someone on the streets would kill me.” But going blind and becoming homeless wasn’t the toughest battle King would have to face. In 2000, after he got clean and was reunited with his family, King’s 14-year-old daughter died. Five years after that, he was diagnosed with cancer. And yet, somehow he’s lifted himself up — both mentally and physically. Today, the 69-year-old Philadelphian is one of the oldest blind powerlifters in the world, having finished first in his weight and age class last month at the United States Association of Blind Athletes National Powerlifting Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., with a 248-pound squat, a 236-pound bench press, and a 341-pound dead lift. Now, King is inspiring other blind senior citizens. These days, when King feels the depression kicking in, he goes to the gym. Recently ... a student approached and asked if he could join him. After their workout was over, the young man confessed that he’d seen King around campus before but for some reason, was moved to approach him that day. “He says, ‘Mr. Charles, I thank God for meeting you today because I was ready to give up on my classes and goals because it’s too hard, but after watching you, I’m regenerated,’” King recalled. “I said, ‘Son, God blessed both of us today.’ ”

Note: Watch a moving video of this inspiring man talking about his profound transformation. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring disabled persons news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


This 5-year-old paid off the lunch balances for 123 students by selling cocoa and cookies
2019-12-17, CNN News
Posted: 2020-01-27 02:20:51
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/17/us/5-year-old-negative-lunch-balances-trnd/ind...

A 5-year-old student at an elementary school in Vista, California, collected enough money to pay off the negative lunch balances of 123 students at her school. Katelynn Hardee, a kindergartner at Breeze Hill Elementary School, overheard a parent say she was having difficulty paying for an after school program. So Katelynn decided to set up a stand on December 8, spending her Sunday selling hot cocoa, cider, and cookies. Katelynn and her mom donated the $80 collected, which went towards paying off the negative lunch balances of over 100 students at her elementary school. By doing this, the youngster hopes that other students "can have a snack and lunch. If they don't, their tummies grumble," Katelynn said. Katelynn's next goal is to raise enough money to pay off not only all the negative lunch balances at Breeze Hill, but the "thousands of negative accounts" at schools in the Vista Unified School District, Hardee said. To help in her new mission, which she calls #KikisKindnessProject, other students and staff at Breeze Hill will host a hot cocoa and baked goods stand on Saturday to raise more money to pay off negative school lunch accounts at the school. After all the accounts in the entire district have been paid off, Katelynn will then use the money raised to help support school programs which will be removed due to budget cuts. "It's all about kindness. With everything that's going on in the world, we just need a little bit more kindness out there," Hardee said.

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


Surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein's first apparent suicide attempt 'no longer exists'
2020-01-09, NBC News
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:36:39
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/surveillance-video-jeffrey-epstein-s-fir...

The surveillance video taken from outside Jeffrey Epstein's jail cell on the day of his first apparent suicide attempt has been permanently deleted, federal prosecutors said. Epstein, the disgraced financier who was facing federal sex-trafficking charges, was found semiconscious in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, in New York around 1:27 a.m. on July 23. But that video is now gone because MCC officials mistakenly saved video from a different floor of the federal detention facility. The FBI made the discovery last week while reviewing a copy of the video provided by MCC officials. "After reviewing the video, it appeared to the government that the footage contained on the preserved video was for the correct date and time, but captured a different tier than the one where [the cell housing Epstein and his cellmate] was located.” The filing was made in a case involving Nicholas Tartaglione ... who was Epstein's cellmate on the day of the incident. The July incident was investigated as a possible suicide attempt, assault or ruse by Epstein to get himself transferred to a different facility. Tartaglione's attorney, as part of an effort to exonerate his client, asked the jail to preserve video from outside the cell. The MCC agreed, but "the MCC computer system listed a different, incorrect cell for Tartaglione," prosecutors said in the court filing. A backup video system was in place, but the requested video wasn't available because of unspecified "technical errors," the court filing says.

Note: Just a little bit suspicious... For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


‘A long time to wait’: Virginia passes Equal Rights Amendment in historic vote
2020-01-15, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:34:43
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/2020/01/15/0475d51a-36...

Both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly passed the Equal Rights Amendment Wednesday, fulfilling a promise that helped Democrats seize control of the legislature and marking a watershed moment in the nearly century-long effort to add protections for women to the U.S. Constitution. Numerous legal hurdles still have to be cleared before the ERA, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, would become part of the Constitution. First proposed in 1923, the ERA was reintroduced in every session of Congress until it passed in 1972. U.S. lawmakers set a deadline of March 22, 1979, for three-quarters of the states to ratify the amendment, a measure ERA supporters now say is unconstitutional because it was not included in the amendment text. As that deadline approached, Congress extended it to June 30, 1982. Because only 35 of the needed 38 state legislatures ratified the ERA by that time, the amendment was declared a failure. Subsequently, legislatures in Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee and South Dakota rescinded their ratifications. ERA supporters say there is no provision for rescissions in the Constitution, and therefore they do not count. No federal court has conclusively ruled on that question. Since 2017, Nevada and Illinois have ratified the ERA, which put Virginia in place as the final state needed for ratification, if the five withdrawals are not counted. But the U.S. Justice Department last week issued a finding that the amendment ... could no longer be ratified.

Note: For those who don't know, the text of the ERA amendment reads simply "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’
2020-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:32:46
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/04/cambridge-analytica-data-leak...

An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” are set to be released over the next months. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Kaiser ... decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year.” Kaiser said the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people. The unpublished documents contain material that suggests the firm was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017 even while under investigation as part of Mueller’s inquiry and emails that Kaiser says describe how the firm helped develop a “sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics”.

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


US listed climate activist group as ‘extremists’ alongside mass killers
2020-01-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:28:22
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/us-listed-climate-activis...

A group of US environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The group have been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October 2016. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing. The five climate activists ... cut their way through fencing and turned the valves. The activists notified the energy companies whose pipelines were being disrupted and posted videos of their protest online and waited patiently to be arrested. The group’s actions attracted the attention of the DHS. In a recent intelligence bulletin evaluating domestic terrorism threats between 2018 and 2020, the department included the Valve Turners and described the group as “suspected environmental rights extremists”. The document points to an uptick in “sabotage attacks” conducted ... against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016. In addition to providing an overview of domestic terrorism threats the document includes an appendix summarizing select incidents. Two of the Valve Turners are listed alongside violent white supremacists such as Dylann Roof and James Fields, who have both been convicted of murdering innocent civilians.

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


TV Pundits Praising Suleimani Assassination Neglect to Disclose Ties to Arms Industry
2020-01-06, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:26:35
https://theintercept.com/2020/01/06/iran-suleimani-tv-pundits-weapons-industr...

A loud chorus of voices has appeared in the media to celebrate President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a move that has sparked renewed tension in the Middle East, a new deployment of U.S. forces, and predictions of increased military spending. Many of the pundits who appeared on national television or were quoted in major publications to praise the president’s actions have undisclosed ties to the defense industry — the only domestic industry that stands to gain from increased violence. Jack Keane, a retired Army general, appeared on Fox News and NPR over the last three days to praise Trump for the strike on Suleimani. Keane has worked for military companies, including General Dynamics and Blackwater, and currently serves as a partner at SCP Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in defense contractors. David Petraeus, the retired general who once commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was quoted by multiple outlets in support of the slaying. Petraeus, notably, works for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co., the investment firm with holdings in several major defense contractors that is reportedly moving to “build up its defense portfolio.” “It is imperative that viewers are aware when their news commentary is coming from someone with a financial incentive tied to the topic they’re commenting on, especially when so many lives hang in the balance,” says Gin Armstrong, a senior researcher with the Public Accountability Initiative.

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


A Victim’s Account Fuels a Reckoning Over Abuse of Children in France
2020-01-07, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:24:36
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/07/world/europe/france-pedophilia-gabriel-mat...

The French writer Gabriel Matzneff never hid the fact that he engaged in sex with girls and boys in their early teens or even younger. He wrote countless books detailing his insatiable pursuits and appeared on television boasting about them. “Under 16 Years Old,” was the title of an early book that left no ambiguity. Still, he never spent a day in jail for his actions or suffered any repercussion. Instead, he won acclaim again and again. Much of France’s literary and journalism elite celebrated him and his work for decades. But the publication, last Thursday, of an account by one of his victims, Vanessa Springora, has suddenly fueled an intense debate in France over its historically lax attitude toward sex with minors. It has also shone a particularly harsh light on a period during which some of France’s leading literary figures and newspapers — names as big as Foucault, Sartre, Libération and Le Monde — aggressively promoted the practice as a form of human liberation, or at least defended it. A day after the publication of Ms. Springora’s book, “Le Consentement,” or “Consent,” ... the fallout continued. Prosecutors in Paris announced that after “analyzing” its contents, they had opened an investigation into the case and would also look for other victims in and out of France. In “Le Consentement,” Ms. Springora recounts being seduced at the age of 14 by the famous writer. She also relates the depression and other psychological problems she suffered from the relationship, and the years it took her to recover.

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


War Without End
2018-08-08, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:22:23
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/magazine/war-afghanistan-iraq-soldiers.html

Time eases only so much doubt. Six years after leaving the Army, [Robert] Soto still spent nights awake, trying to come to terms with his Korengal tour. It was not regret or the trauma of combat that drained him. It was the memories of lost soldiers, an indelible grief blended with a fuller understanding that could feel like a curse. He tread as if a balance might exist between respecting the sacrifice and pain of others and speaking forthrightly about the fatal misjudgments of those who managed America’s wars. “I try to be respectful; I don’t want to say that people died for nothing,” he said. “I could never make the families who lost someone think their loved one died in vain.” Still he wondered: Was there no accountability for the senior officer class? The war was turning 17, and the services and the Pentagon seemed to have been given passes on all the failures and the drift. Even if the Taliban were to sign a peace deal tomorrow, there would be no rousing sense of victory, no parade. In Iraq, the Islamic State metastasized in the wreckage of the war to spread terror around the world. The human costs were past counting, and the whitewash was both institutional and personal, extended to one general after another, including many of the same officers whose plans and orders had either fizzled or failed to create lasting success, and yet who kept rising. Soto watched some of them as they were revered and celebrated in Washington and by members of the press, even after past plans were discredited and enemies retrenched.

Note: Read an essay by one of the most highly decorated U.S. generals titled "War is a Racket." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


F.B.I. Lab Practices Faulted In Oklahoma Bomb Inquiry
1997-01-31, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:20:10
https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/31/us/fbi-lab-practices-faulted-in-oklahoma-b...

An internal Justice Department investigation into the F.B.I. crime laboratory has uncovered numerous complaints by laboratory employees about the handling of forensic evidence in one of the Government's most important criminal cases, against two men charged with the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in April 1995. The criticism of the F.B.I.'s conduct emerged in a series of interviews conducted by investigators from the inspector general's office. Laboratory examiners in Oklahoma shipped critical items to the laboratory, like the faded black jeans worn by Timothy J. McVeigh ... in a brown paper sack instead of a sealed plastic evidence bags, one employee said. At one point, visitors to the laboratory placed travel cases that were potentially contaminated with residue of the explosion in an area where bomb debris had been stored awaiting testing, another employee said. As a result, none of the material could be tested. Mr. Williams, the chief laboratory examiner in Oklahoma City, was transferred from his job and was withdrawn as a prosecution witness in Oklahoma City. Mr. Williams had been responsible for conclusions about several major issues in the case, like the size of the bomb that tore the front off the Federal Building. His opinion that the bomb contained 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate was an estimate based not on scientific studies but in part on searches of the defendants' houses. Two laboratory workers said Mr. Williams had changed their dictated reports, in violation of F.B.I. policy.

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


U.S. cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop
2020-01-08, CBS News
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:17:23
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cancer-death-rate-sees-largest-ever-single-year-...

The death rate from cancer in the United States saw the largest ever single-year decline between 2016 and 2017 since rates began declining in 1992, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. [A] deceleration in lung cancer deaths spurred an overall drop in cancer mortality of 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, according to the report. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, accounting for about 27% of all cancer deaths — more than breast, prostate, colorectal, and brain cancers combined. Lung cancer is also the most common cause of death due to cancer among men age 40 and older and women age 60 and older. The decline in mortality from melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, was also dramatic. Dr. William Cance, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, attributed [decreased] mortality from lung cancer and melanoma to treatment advances made in the past 10 years. "They are a profound reminder of how rapidly this area of research is expanding, and now leading to real hope for cancer patients," Cance said. As of 2017, cancer deaths have dropped 29% from 1992 numbers — meaning an estimated 2,902,200 fewer cancer deaths, according to the ACS report. "This steady progress is largely due to reductions in smoking and subsequent declines in lung cancer mortality, which have accelerated in recent years," reads the report.

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Heisman winner's speech leads to over $370,000 in donations for families in poverty
2019-12-17, CNN News
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:15:40
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/16/us/joe-burrow-heisman-speech-athens-county-fun...

As he accepted the coveted Heisman trophy, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow addressed the children in his hometown of Athens, Ohio, where thousands of residents live in poverty. Burrow struggled to speak, holding back tears as he spoke about the children in his community who go hungry. "Coming from southeast Ohio, it's a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average," he said in his acceptance speech. "There's so many people there that don't have a lot. And I'm up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school." In a matter of hours, the unassuming Appalachian town ... was launched to national attention, inspiring Athens resident Will Drabold to create a fundraiser for the thousands of residents living under the poverty line. In just a day, the fundraiser was inundated with donations and quickly shot past its original $50,000 goal. The organizer later updated the goal to $100,000, which was met within hours. The goal had reached $400,000 by Tuesday afternoon. The donations will go to the Athens County Food Pantry, which says it serves over 3,400 meals a week to residents in need. The pantry also gives bags and boxes of food to Athens families, including non-perishables such as pasta, beans, and canned vegetables, and it hands out fresh produce when it can. About 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line, according to an Ohio poverty report released in February.

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Tennis Player Roger Federer Provides Schooling and Food for a Million Children
2019-10-26, The Mind Unleashed
Posted: 2020-01-20 21:13:54
https://themindunleashed.com/2019/10/roger-federer-provides-schooling-food-mi...

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer has been involved with numerous philanthropic efforts since forming his foundation in 2004. His primary focus with the foundation is to improve education for children, especially in places where they have extremely limited access. In the past 15 years, Federer has opened schools all over the world. In Malawi, in Southern Africa, Federer has already built over 50 preschools. In 2015, the Roger Federer Foundation said that they hoped to be feeding and teaching one million kids by 2018. The goal seemed incredible, but the foundation was able to make it happen by the time that they promised. In a statement after the goal was completed, Roger Federer Foundation CEO Janine Händel said that it took a lot of hard work to see their task through. “There are one million children which benefits from the major quality of education in the school, pre-school, kindergarten. One million children have now a better chance to make their way in life, to get a job, to exit from poverty... Roger believes in the empowerment of the people and their potential. That’s a fundamental value in our every-day work. We strongly believe early education is one of the most powerful weapons to empower children exiting from poverty. It’s actually proven that education makes people better citizen, be more prepared when it comes to dealing with issues, and they have more instruments to manage their life,” Händel said.

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In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.
2019-12-27, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:52:12
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/27/upshot/expensive-health-care-world-compari...

The International Federation of Health Plans, a group representing the C.E.O.s of health insurers worldwide, publishes a guide every few years on the international cost for common medical services. Its newest report, on 2017 prices, came out this month. Every time, the upshot is vivid and similar: For almost everything on the list, there is a large divergence between the United States and everyone else. Patients and insurance companies in the United States pay higher prices for medications, imaging tests, basic health visits and common operations. Those high prices make health care in the U.S. extremely expensive, and they also finance a robust and politically powerful health care industry, which means lowering prices will always be hard. For a typical angioplasty, a procedure that opens a blocked blood vessel to the heart, the average U.S. price is $32,200, compared with $6,400 in the Netherlands, or $7,400 in Switzerland, the survey finds. A typical M.R.I. scan costs $1,420 in the United States, but around $450 in Britain. An injection of Herceptin, an important breast cancer treatment, costs $211 in the United States, compared with $44 in South Africa. These examples aren’t outliers. Researchers at Harvard conducted an exhaustive study last year of things that make health systems in developed countries different from one another. The clear finding of those researchers was that it’s this huge gap in prices ... that helps explain why the United States is such an expensive place to be sick.

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


More Drugmakers Hike U.S. Prices as New Year Begins
2020-01-01, US News & World Report/Reuters
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:50:21
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-01-01/more-drugmakers-hike...

Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Gilead Sciences Inc, and Biogen Inc hiked U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs on Wednesday, bringing total New Year's Day drug price increases to more than 250, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors. Reuters reported on Tuesday that drugmakers including Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Sanofi SA were planning to increase prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States on Jan. 1. More early year price increases could still be announced. Many branded drugmakers have pledged to keep their U.S. list price increases below 10% a year, under pressure from politicians and patients. The United States, which leaves drug pricing to market competition, has higher prices than in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control the costs, making it the world's most lucrative market for manufacturers. Soaring U.S. prescription drug prices are expected to again be a central issue in the presidential election.

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


Cyber attacks and electronic voting errors threaten 2020 outcome, experts warn
2020-01-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:48:39
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/02/elections-2020-cyber-attacks-...

Seven top agency officials, including the heads of the FBI and CIA, issued a joint statement predicting Russia, and other countries intend to meddle in the 2020 elections via cyber attacks or social media. “Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions,” the joint statement said. The threat of more cyber attacks, plus disinformation and social media operations to sway public opinion, has prompted the federal government to work closely with officials in all 50 states, the statement said. A Senate intelligence committee report in mid-2019 concluded that Kremlin hackers manipulated election systems in all 50 states, and succeeded in breaching systems in two Florida counties and another state. New questions are being raised about the safety of some electronic voting equipment given problems in 2019 and 2018, respectively, in Pennsylvania and Georgia. A lawsuit was filed last month to block Pennsylvania from certifying electronic voting equipment that Philadelphia has purchased, after the same machines encountered significant problems in November in undercounting votes. The equipment was made by ... ES&S, which boasts about 50% of the national voting machine market and has been cited before for malfunctions. In Georgia in the 2018 elections, for instance, old voting machines made by ES&S were involved in counting votes in a race where reportedly about 80,000 votes were strangely not cast.

Note: There have been serious problems with electronic voting in the US for decades. There is little doubt powerful factions within the US have taken advantage of this. Only now that the Russians are being accused is anyone talking about this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.


Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons
2019-12-31, NBC News
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:46:42
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/many-families-struggle-pay-phone-calls-l...

“You have 60 more seconds." "You have 30 more seconds.” The female voice interrupted each time Maria Marshall talked on the phone with her son in prison. But the chance to make contact for three or four minutes a day, a few days a week, came with a cost. Marshall spent $120 in just two weeks in July for her son to call her and other relatives and friends. Many states make millions each year in commission off phone calls that families like Marshall’s struggle to pay for. Inmate calling services are controlled by two main telecommunications companies, but the Federal Communications Commission says it does not have authority to set price caps on intrastate calls, which account for a majority of prisoner phone calls. Some are now pushing for change. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and five other senators have introduced a bill calling for “just and reasonable charges” for intrastate and interstate calling that would give the FCC authority to address inmate calling rates. “This allows the FCC to regulate and say you can’t have predatory pricing,” Duckworth said. “Cause that’s what’s happening — predatory pricing.” A typical 15-minute prison phone call within Washington costs around $1.65. On the other end of the spectrum, such a call in Kentucky costs around $5.70. Paul Wright, director of the Human Rights Defense Center ... said the system gives prisoners no options. “The alternative is they don’t talk to their family,” Wright, who was incarcerated in Washington from 1987 to 2003, said.

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


Hundreds of Accused Priests, Clergy Members Left Off Catholic Church's Sex Abuse Lists
2019-12-29, Time/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:44:14
https://time.com/5756420/priests-left-off-catholic-sex-abuse-lists/

Richard J. Poster served time for possessing child pornography, violated his probation by having contact with children, admitted masturbating in the bushes near a church school and in 2005 was put on a sex offender registry. And yet the former Catholic priest was only just this month added to a list of clergy members credibly accused of child sexual abuse — after The Associated Press asked why he was not included. Victims advocates had long criticized the Roman Catholic Church for not making public the names of credibly accused priests. Now, despite the dioceses’ release of nearly 5,300 names, most in the last two years, critics say the lists are far from complete. An AP analysis found more than 900 clergy members accused of child sexual abuse who were missing from lists released by the dioceses and religious orders where they served. Of the 900 unlisted accused clergy members, more than a tenth had been charged with a sex-related crime — a higher percentage than those named publicly by dioceses and orders, the AP found.

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


60 Minutes investigates the death of Jeffrey Epstein
2020-01-05, CBS News
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:41:30
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-jeffrey-epstein-kill-himself-60-minutes-inve...

In July 2019, Jeffrey Epstein, already a convicted sex offender, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors. On August 10, Epstein was found dead in his federal jail cell at Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC). The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging, but a forensic pathologist who observed the four-hour autopsy ... tells 60 Minutes the evidence released so far points more to murder than suicide in his view. Dr. Michael Baden's key reason: the unusual fractures he saw in Epstein's neck."There were fractures of the left, the right thyroid cartilage and the left hyoid bone," Baden said. "I have never seen three fractures like this in a suicidal hanging." The night before his death, Epstein's cellmate was released. According to court documents, "no new cellmate was assigned" before he died, even though he was required to have one. That night, federal prosecutors say, "Epstein was escorted into his cell by Tova Noel at approximately 7:49 p.m." Noel and Michael Thomas, the two guards who were working the overnight shift in Epstein's unit, allegedly didn't check on him again until "shortly after 6:30 a.m." the next morning. "So Epstein's taken off suicide watch, the day before he kills himself, his roommate is removed from the cell. The cameras on his tier are not working. The guards fell asleep. It seems almost impossible to think all of those things could happen in that way," [60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn] Alfonsi said.

Note: Not mentioned is that surveillance video from Epstein's first suicide attempt was "accidentally" erased, as reported on NBC News. A revealing five-minute 60 minutes video is available here or at the link above. More photos and information are available on this CBS News webpage. An even deeper analysis can be found on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


MDMA, Or Ecstasy, Shows Promise As A PTSD Treatment
2019-08-04, NPR
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:39:29
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/14/746614170/mdma-aka-ecsta...

MDMA is the main ingredient in club drugs ecstasy or molly. But [Lori] Tipton wasn't taking pills sold on the street to get high at a party. She was trying to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, with the help of licensed therapists. Two specially-trained psychotherapists ... sat next to Tipton as she recalled some of her deepest traumas, like discovering her mother's body after a murder-suicide. "I was able to find such empathy for myself. I realized how much I was thinking this was my fault," she says. The synthetic psychoactive chemical MDMA is emerging as a promising — if unconventional — treatment for PTSD. Scientists are testing how pharmaceutical-grade MDMA can be used in combination with psychotherapy to help patients who have a severe form of PTSD that has not responded to other treatments. It's not yet available as a treatment for PTSD outside of clinical trials, but the success of early trials has proponents hopeful that the therapy could be available to more people in coming years. They're aiming for approval by the The Food and Drug Administration, which granted breakthrough therapy status to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 2017. After the Phase 2 trials of MDMA-assisted treatments concluded in 2017, researchers found 54% of the patients who took MDMA had improved to the point that they no longer fit the diagnosis for PTSD (compared to 23% in the control group). A year later, the number who no longer had PTSD had risen to 68% percent.

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


Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro
2019-12-30, Washington Post
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:37:17
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyer-and-the-venezuelan-pres...

The international call came in September 2018. On one end of the line was Venezuela’s socialist president, the pariah leader of a disintegrating economy whom President Trump’s administration was seeking to isolate. On the other end: the U.S. president’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and then-Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.). Both were part of a shadow diplomatic effort, backed in part by private interests, aimed at engineering a negotiated exit to ease President Nicolás Maduro from power and reopen resource-rich Venezuela to business. Sessions had served as emissary in the back-channel effort, visiting Maduro in Caracas that spring. The phone call, which Giuliani joined, was a follow-up to that visit. The phone conversation ... provides another example of how Giuliani used his private role to insert himself into foreign diplomacy, alarming administration officials confused about whose interests he was representing. Giuliani operated a similar campaign this year in Ukraine, where he pressured officials to announce investigations to benefit Trump — an endeavor that led to the president’s impeachment this month. The impeachment inquiry pushed into the spotlight consulting work Giuliani has undertaken around the globe even as he has been representing Trump at no charge. Giuliani’s willingness to talk with Maduro in late 2018 flew in the face of the official policy of the White House, which, under national security adviser John Bolton, was then ... taking a harder line against the Venezuelan government.

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


The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world
2019-05-13, BBC News
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:34:46
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190513-it-only-takes-35-of-people-to-cha...

In 1986, millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protest and prayer in the People Power movement. The Marcos regime folded on the fourth day. In 2003, the people of Georgia ousted Eduard Shevardnadze through the bloodless Rose Revolution, in which protestors stormed the parliament building holding the flowers in their hands. Earlier this year, the presidents of Sudan and Algeria both announced they would step aside after decades in office, thanks to peaceful campaigns of resistance. In each case, civil resistance by ordinary members of the public trumped the political elite to achieve radical change. There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics. Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that ... it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change. Overall, nonviolent campaigns were twice as likely to succeed as violent campaigns: they led to political change 53% of the time compared to 26% for the violent protests. Of the 25 largest campaigns that they studied, 20 were nonviolent, and 14 of these were outright successes. Overall, the nonviolent campaigns attracted around four times as many participants (200,000) as the average violent campaign (50,000).

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


This Has Been the Best Year Ever
2019-12-28, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:32:57
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/28/opinion/sunday/2019-best-year-poverty.html

If you’re depressed by the state of the world, let me toss out an idea: In the long arc of human history, 2019 has been the best year ever. The bad things that you fret about are true. But it’s also true that since modern humans emerged about 200,000 years ago, 2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases. Perhaps the greatest calamity for anyone is to lose a child. That used to be common: Historically, almost half of all humans died in childhood. As recently as 1950, 27 percent of all children still died by age 15. Now that figure has dropped to about 4 percent. The news media and the humanitarian world focus so relentlessly on the bad news that we leave the public believing that every trend is going in the wrong direction. A majority of Americans say in polls that the share of the world population living in poverty is increasing — yet one of the trends of the last 50 years has been a huge reduction in global poverty. The proportion of the world’s population subsisting on about $2 a day or less has dropped by more than 75 percent in less than four decades. Every day for a decade, newspapers could have carried the headline “Another 170,000 Moved Out of Extreme Poverty Yesterday.” Or if one uses a higher threshold, the headline could have been: “The Number of People Living on More Than $10 a Day Increased by 245,000 Yesterday.”

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


A humpback whale population has come back from the brink
2019-10-16, USA Today
Posted: 2020-01-13 16:31:03
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/16/good-news-humpback-whal...

After being almost wiped out by whaling in the 20th century, a humpback whale population off the coast of South America has come back from the brink of extinction. In the late 1950s there were only 440 western South Atlantic humpbacks left. Protections were put in place in the 1960s. At first they didn't seem to be rebounding, but a study published Wednesday finds that to the surprise of scientists the population is now up to an estimated 25,000 whales. That's almost as many as researchers estimate there were before whaling began in the 1700s. Scientists were thrilled to realize how fast and how well the population has recovered after whaling finally stopped for good in the 1970s. “This is a clear example that if we do the right thing then the population will recover,” said Alexandre Zerbini, a whale expert with the Seattle Marine Mammal Laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service. The scientists estimate the humpbacks are at about 93% of their pre-whaling population. The research was published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. There are 16 populations of humpbacks around the world. Four of them are considered endangered and one is threatened. The global population has been rebounding since whaling was banned in the 1970s. It's estimated there are currently between 120,000 and 150,000 humpbacks.

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


The reason Qassem Soleimani was in Baghdad shows how complex the Iran crisis is
2020-01-06, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2020-01-06 23:42:03
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/qassem-soleimani-death-iran-baghdad-midd...

As part of the incendiary and escalating crisis surrounding the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, there has come an explanation of why the Iranian commander was actually in Baghdad. The commander is said to have been in Iraq to discuss moves to ease tensions between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s prime minister revealed that he was due to be meeting the Iranian commander to discuss moves being made to ease the confrontation between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. Adil Abdul-Mahdi was quite clear: “I was supposed to meet him in the morning the day he was killed.” The prime minister also disclosed that Donald Trump had called him to ask him to mediate following the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad. According to Iraqi officials ... the siege of the embassy was lifted and the US president personally thanked Abdul-Mahdi for his help. There was nothing to suggest to the Iraqis that it was unsafe for Soleimani to travel to Baghdad. This suggests that Trump helped lure the Iranian commander to a place where he could be killed. It is possible that the president was unaware of the crucial role that Soleimani was playing in the attempted rapprochement with the Saudis. Or that he knew but did not care. One may even say that it is not in the interest of a president ... whose first official trip after coming to office was a weapons-selling trip to Saudi Arabia ... to have peace break out between the Iranians and the kingdom. The Trump administration continues to insist that Soleimani was killed because he was about to launch an imminent terror campaign, without providing any evidence for the assertion.

Note: Read an excellent analysis of the deeper reasons behind this brazen provocation. Learn more in this New York Times article. A Washington Post article titled "The White House has formally notified Congress of the Soleimani strike" shows steps are being taken for declaring. war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US
2019-12-22, USA Today
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:16:36
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/nation/2019/12/19/ice-asylum-under-tru...

On Oct. 15, a guard at the Richwood Correctional Center noticed an odd smell coming from one of the isolation cells. He opened the door, stepped inside and found the lifeless body of Roylan Hernandez-Diaz. The 43-year-old Cuban man had spent five months in immigration detention waiting for a judge to hear his asylum claim. The day after his death, 20 other detainees carried out what they say was a peaceful protest. Guards swooped in and attacked, beating one of them so severely he was taken to a hospital. The USA TODAY Network uncovered the Richwood episode during an investigation of the rapidly growing network of detention centers used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The investigation revealed more than 400 allegations of sexual assault or abuse, inadequate medical care, regular hunger strikes, frequent use of solitary confinement, more than 800 instances of physical force against detainees, nearly 20,000 grievances filed by detainees and at least 29 fatalities, including seven suicides, since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017 and launched an overhaul of U.S. immigration policies. Combined with an analysis by a government watchdog, the USA TODAY Network analyzed inspection reports since 2015 and identified 15,821 violations of detention standards. Yet more than 90% of those facilities received passing grades by government inspectors. Every detainee interviewed by the USA TODAY Network alleged mistreatment by guards.

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


Immigration is Part of Mass Incarceration
2019-12-18, The Intercept
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:14:00
https://theintercept.com/2019/12/28/book-review-immigration-detention-history...

Immigration-related crimes now make up the majority of all federal criminal prosecutions. While laws criminalizing entry have existed since 1929, they “were largely ignored for a century,” the lawyer and scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández reminds us in a new book, “Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants.” In 1975, he noted “a mere 575 people” were charged with an immigration crime; in 1993, only 2,487. Contrast that with fiscal year 2018, when prosecutors brought 105,692 federal immigration charges. The criminalization of immigration, especially the scale at which it happens now, is a relatively recent trend, Hernández argues. And it ought to be reversed. In the 1980s and ’90s, legislation introduced new levels of criminality for immigrants, which in turn expanded the population of imprisoned people. As Hernández writes, “Congress denied immigration judges the discretion to release anyone convicted of an aggravated felony,” which includes serious offenses like murder but also shoplifting and tax fraud. Detention and deportation, once decided with considerable discretion, became mandatory for all sorts of offenses. The link between mass incarceration and immigrant incarceration is clear in the legislative history: The same 1986 law that created mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine created “detainers,” requests to local police to hold someone in jail until they can be picked up by immigration.

Note: Detaining immigrants has become a huge industry bringing major profits to those involved. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the court system from reliable major media sources.


How The Oral Polio Vaccine Can Cause Polio
2019-11-16, NPR
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:12:25
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/16/780068006/how-the-oral-polio-vaccine-can-cause...

Just last month, the World Health Organization announced that two of three strains of polio had been eradicated. It's been one of the great success stories of modern medicine. The disease, which, of course, can lead to paralysis, has been reduced to just a handful of cases around the world. But now scientists say there's been a troubling setback. One of the vaccines used to prevent polio has actually been causing some people to get polio. The problem begins with what's called a live vaccine, which has little bits of weakened polio virus in it, given to children around the world. What seems to have gone wrong? The oral polio vaccine that's used primarily in low- and middle-income countries - it's been the workhorse of this global effort to eradicate polio. But it is a live vaccine. It's cheap. It's easy to administer. However, this live vaccine is continued to be used worldwide. And while you're doing that, some of that vaccine has gotten out into the world. And it's mutated. It starts circulating again, just like regular polio. But early on, it's just - it's still a vaccine. It's not dangerous. And then slowly, it sort of regains strength. And they're finding they can actually genetically see this - that scientists can actually trace it back directly to the vaccine. And now these vaccine-linked cases are actually causing more cases of paralysis each year than actual traditional - what scientists call wild polio. In the United States and in Europe ... we're using an injectable vaccine, which is a dead vaccine. It is not a live virus, and it cannot cause polio.

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


A new name for a new agenda: One of the food industry’s biggest trade groups rebrands itself
2019-09-25, CNBC News
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:10:16
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/25/grocery-manufacturers-association-rebrands-it...

One of the most powerful Big Food lobbyists wants to change its image. The Grocery Manufacturers Association ... is planning to change its name to the Consumer Brands Association in 2020, a sign the group is trying to distance itself from past troubles. In the past two years, food companies like Campbell, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Hershey and Unilever have left the GMA, amid disputes. Among the issues that were fiercely debated were how and when to disclose the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The organization says each of the former members left for individual reasons, but the common thread was a failure by the organization to adapt as consumer sentiments and trends were evolving. “Gone are the days when we could have one face to policymakers and a different one to consumers,” said GMA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. ″Policymakers have little to no influence on the decisions consumers make,” he said. The organization’s agenda is based on the industry’s realization that it must react to consumers’ demands, rather than fight them, Freeman said. The new name more clearly identifies the companies in its membership: branded names in food, beverage, personal care and household products. GMA wants to fix what it believes is a broken system to help address the country’s recycling crisis. The U.S. does not have uniform recycling laws, which has led to contamination of shipments meant for recycling. Exacerbating this issue, China ... has begun to refuse America’s garbage.

Note: In 2016, the Grocery Manufacturers Association was forced to pay $18 million in damages for violating Washington State law in its opposition to a GMO labeling initiative. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Japan Wants to Dump Nuclear Plant’s Tainted Water. Fishermen Fear the Worst.
2019-12-23, New York Times
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:08:24
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-water.html

The overpowering earthquake and tsunami that ripped through northern Japan in March 2011 took so much from Tatsuo Niitsuma, a commercial fisherman in this coastal city in Fukushima Prefecture. Now, nearly nine years after the disaster, Mr. Niitsuma, 77, is at risk of losing his entire livelihood, too, as the government considers releasing tainted water from a nuclear power plant destroyed by the tsunami’s waves. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet and the Tokyo Electric Power Company — the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where a triple meltdown led to the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl — must decide what to do with more than one million tons of contaminated water stored in about 1,000 giant tanks on the plant site. On Monday, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry proposed gradually releasing the water into the ocean or allowing it to evaporate. For years, the power company, known as Tepco, said that treatment of the water ... was making it safe to release. But it is actually more radioactive than the authorities have previously publicized. Officials say that it will be treated again, and that it will then be safe for release. Regardless of government assurances, if the water is discharged into the sea, it will most likely destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen like Mr. Niitsuma. Consumers are already worried about the safety of Fukushima seafood, and dumping the water would compound the fears.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster from reliable major media sources.


Another Housing Crisis Ahead? New Book, 'Homewreckers,' Says It Could Happen
2019-10-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:06:08
https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Another-Housing-Crisis-Ahead-New-Bo...

More than 10 years after the housing crash that devastated the economy, people are still debating just what happened. Although the economy and the housing market have made a comeback, homeownership remains low. Aaron Glantz, a prize-winning investigative journalist ... set out to explain why, in "Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream." Eight million Americans lost their homes in the bust. Where did those homes go? Those houses didn’t just disappear. Who won, when everyone else lost? The people who won - a small group of businessmen who pounced to seize thousands of homes and made billions of dollars - they’re the “homewreckers.” But even though the housing bust is over, the nation’s homeownership rate is at its lowest in 50 years, and continues to go down. It helps explain why people feel so uneasy. As long as the unemployment rate is low and people have jobs and they can afford rents, the financial market is secure. If people lose their jobs, what’s going to happen? We could be back in another housing bust. Right now there’s a real crisis of affordability. People think we don’t have enough inventory because we haven’t built enough houses. Only 10 years ago, our country was awash in real estate. We have to ask ourselves if we really have a housing shortage, or if we have rigged the market so it only benefits a few of the players.

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


Psilocybin Sessions: Psychedelics could help people with addiction and anxiety
2019-12-29, CBS News
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:03:59
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/psychedelic-drugs-lsd-active-agent-in-magic-mush...

For most, psychedelic drugs conjure up images of the 1960's, hippies tripping out on LSD or magic mushrooms. But ... these powerful, mind-altering substances are now being studied seriously by scientists inside some of the country's foremost medical research centers. They're being used to treat depression, anxiety and addiction. The early results are impressive, as are the experiences of the studies' volunteers who go on a six-hour, sometimes terrifying, but often life-changing psychedelic journey. For nearly two decades now, [scientist Roland Griffiths] and his colleague Matthew Johnson have been giving what they call "heroic doses" of psilocybin to more than 350 volunteers, many struggling with addiction, depression and anxiety. Carine McLaughlin was a smoker for 46 years and said she tried everything to quit before being given psilocybin at Johns Hopkins last year. That was more than a year ago; she says she hasn't smoked since. The study she took part in is still ongoing, but in an earlier, small study of just 15 long-term smokers, 80% had quit six months after taking psilocybin. That's double the rate of any over-the-counter smoking cessation product. Jon Kostakopoulos was drinking a staggering 20 cocktails a night ... when he decided to enroll in another psilocybin trial at New York University. During one psilocybin session, he was flooded with powerful feelings and images from his past. He took psilocybin in 2016. He says he hasn't had a drink since.

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


Trump top adviser: 'Traditionally, it's always been Republicans suppressing votes'
2019-12-20, NBC/Associated Press
Posted: 2020-01-06 18:01:35
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-top-adviser-traditionall...

One of President Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states but will be able to “start playing offense” in 2020 due to relaxed Election Day rules, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press. “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s re-election campaign, said at the event. Republican officials publicly signaled plans to step up their Election Day monitoring after a judge in 2018 lifted a consent degree in place since 1982 that barred the Republican National Committee from voter verification and other “ballot security” efforts. Critics have argued the tactics amount to voter intimidation. The consent decree was put in place after the Democratic National Committee sued its Republican counterpart, alleging the RNC helped intimidate black voters in New Jersey's election for governor. The federal lawsuit claimed the RNC and the state GOP had off-duty police stand at polling places in urban areas wearing armbands that read "National Ballot Security Task Force," with guns visible on some. Mike Browne, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, said Clark's comments suggest the Trump campaign plans to engage in “underhanded tactics” to win the election.

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


Man pays utility bills for 36 families about to lose heat over the holidays
2019-12-19, Today.com
Posted: 2020-01-06 17:59:16
https://www.today.com/news/florida-man-pays-utility-bills-36-families-about-l...

Decades ago when Mike Esmond was raising his young family, they struggled to pay their heating bill. Decades later, he was reminded of that very cold Christmas as he opened his gas and water bill earlier this month. He noticed the due date was Dec. 26. “That made something pop into my mind, that people have to pay these bills by Dec. 26,” he said. “If they don’t pay them, they’re going to be disconnected, and they’re not going have gas or water for the holidays.” As that realization dawned on him, Esmond decided to take action. Now a 73-year-old successful business owner, he was in a comfortable position to help. He went to the city of Gulf Breeze, Florida — where he lives — and asked them to put together a list of all the people that were slated to have their gas and water shut off by that Dec. 26 date. Esmond said they told him a total of 36 families needed his help, so he decided to pay off their bills for around $4,600. “When I did this, I didn’t even know that the city was going to do what they did!” he laughed. “The ladies in the billing department actually used their computers to make up a Christmas card and they sent it out to all the people that were expecting their gas to be disconnected.” The card wished folks a “happy holidays” on the front in cheerful red and green, but it was the note on the inside that has struck a chord: “It is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past due utility bill has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas. You can rest easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay.”

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


2019 wasn't ALL bad. Here are all the good things that happened
2019-12-25, CNN News
Posted: 2020-01-06 17:57:28
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/25/world/good-news-stories-of-2019-trnd/index.html

Here's a list of some of the good things that happened this year. The Indian Navy welcomed its first-ever woman pilot. People around the world united to save a 2-year-old's life. Austria named its first female chancellor. The European Commission elected its first female President. Women now lead five of the major parties in Finland's parliament. For the first time, all major pageants were won by women of color. Macedonia was renamed, bringing an end to a decades-long dispute with Greece. President Donald Trump made history as the first sitting US leader to set foot in North Korea. Pope Francis became the first pontiff to visit an Arab Gulf state. The 116th Congress became the most diverse in US history. Chicago elected its first African-American female mayor. Animal cruelty is officially a federal felony. California is now the first state to offer health insurance to some undocumented immigrants. Montgomery, Alabama, elected its first black mayor in 200 years. New York banned the so-called gay and trans "panic" defense. The largest mass commutation in US history took place. The Little Shell Tribe became the newest Native American tribe to receive federal recognition. Indonesia raised [the] minimum age for brides to end child marriage. Saudi Arabian women are finally allowed to travel independently. Taiwan became the first place in Asia to pass a same-sex marriage legislation. Botswana ruled to decriminalize consensual same-sex relations. Northern Ireland legalized same-sex marriage.

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


The Antarctic ozone hole is the smallest since it was discovered
2019-10-21, CNN News
Posted: 2020-01-06 17:55:36
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/21/world/antarctic-ozone-hole-shrinks-scn-trnd/in...

While the ozone hole over Antarctica typically grows in September and October, scientists observed the smallest ozone hole since they first began observing it in 1982, according to a joint release by NASA and NOAA. Unusual weather patterns in the upper atmosphere limited depletion of ozone, the layer in our atmosphere that acts like sunscreen and protects us from ultraviolet radiation. On September 8, the ozone hole reached a peak of 6.3 million square miles and then shrank to less than 3.9 million square miles, according to the report. Usually, the hole would grow to reach 8 million square miles. The annual ozone hole forms when rays from the sun interact with the ozone and man-made compounds such as chlorine and bromine to deplete the ozone. This occurs during late winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Cloud particles in the cold stratosphere lead to reactions that destroy ozone molecules, which are made of three oxygen atoms. But when temperatures are warmer, these clouds don't form, which limits ozone destruction. This is only the third time in 40 years when warm temperatures caused by weather systems have actually helped limit the ozone hole. This also occurred in 1988 and 2002. But the scientists say there is no connection they've identified to link the patterns with climate change. The ozone layer over the Antarctic is expected to recover by 2070 as compounds used as coolants, called chlorofluorocarbons, decline. They were regulated 32 years ago by the Montreal Protocol.

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


Suleimani killing the latest in a long, grim line of US assassination efforts
2020-01-04, MSN/The Guardian
Posted: 2020-01-05 21:59:07
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/suleimani-killing-the-latest-in-a-long-g...

The US government is no stranger to the dark arts of political assassinations. Over the decades it has deployed elaborate techniques against its foes, from dispatching a chemist armed with lethal poison to try to take out Congo’s Patrice Lumumba in the 1960s to planting poison pills ... in the Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s food. But the killing of General Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite military Quds Force, was in in a class all its own. Its uniqueness lay ... in the brazenness of its execution and the apparently total disregard for either legal niceties or human consequences. “The US simply isn’t in the practice of assassinating senior state officials out in the open,” said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington. Donald Trump’s gloating tweets over the killing combined with a sparse effort to justify the action in either domestic or international law has led to the US being accused of the very crimes it normally pins on its enemies. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, denounced the assassination as an “act of international terrorism”. Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, draws a direct line between earlier US administrations and the convention-shredding unpredictability of Trump. “Since Obama there has been a steady dilution of international law,” O’Connell said. “Suleimani’s death marks the next dilution – we are moving down a slope towards a completely lawless situation.” O’Connell added that there was only one step left for the US now to take. “To completely ignore the law. Frankly, I think President Trump is there already – his only argument has been that Suleimani was a bad guy and so he had to be killed.”

Note: Learn more about this brazen provocation in this New York Times article. A Washington Post article titled "The White House has formally notified Congress of the Soleimani strike" shows steps are being taken for declaring. war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Missing stars could point to alien civilizations, scientists say
2019-12-18, CNET.com
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:47:09
https://www.cnet.com/news/missing-stars-could-point-to-alien-civilizations-sc...

On March 16, 1950, astronomers at the US Naval Observatory pointed a telescope roughly in the direction of the constellation Lupus the wolf and took a picture. When scientists look at that same patch of sky today, something is missing. Back in 2016, researchers in Sweden reported that a star had been lost. One of the roiling distant suns visible in that USNO image from the previous century could no longer be seen. The team published a paper on the discovery, but called it "very uncertain" at the time, resolving to do more follow-up work and to continue scouring old USNO observations for other celestial objects that seem to have gone missing. Three years later, it's still unclear what happened to that star spotted in 1950, but the team behind the "Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations" (Vasco) project now says they've found a hundred more missing stars like it by comparing old and new observations. While they've seen no signs of aliens just yet, they say parts of space where multiple stars seem to disappear could be the best places to look for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). "Unless a star directly collapses into a black hole, there is no known physical process by which it could physically vanish," explains a new study published in the Astronomical Journal. "The implications of finding such objects extend from traditional astrophysics fields to the more exotic searches for evidence of technologically advanced civilizations."

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


Why are there so few prisoners in the Netherlands?
2019-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:45:38
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/12/why-are-there-so-few-prisoners-...

When Stefan Koning, who has a history of psychosis, was found guilty of threatening a stranger with a knife, a long custodial sentence might have felt like the only answer. In fact, after a short spell in jail, he is back at his home in Amsterdam. Koning is a beneficiary of a growing tendency in the Netherlands to avoid jailing people unless it is necessary. One key aspect of this is a prodigious programme of care in the community for people with psychiatric problems. “We work on two aims: number one, preventing another crime, and then on psychiatric suffering and the social problems that come with it,” says Hommo Folkerts, [an] outreach worker who helps Koning. Today plummeting prison sentences have left the Netherlands with an unusual problem: it doesn’t have enough inmates to fill its prisons. Since 2014, 23 prisons have been shut, turning into temporary asylum centres, housing and hotels. The country has Europe’s third-lowest incarceration rate, at 54.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the justice ministry’s WODC Research and Documentation Centre, the number of prison sentences imposed fell from 42,000 in 2008 to 31,000 in 2018 – along with a two-thirds drop in jail terms for young offenders. Registered crimes plummeted by 40% in the same period, to 785,000 in 2018. There is also a ... rehabilitation programme known as TBS. There were 1,300 people detained with a TBS ruling in 2018: people stay in a treatment centre, sometimes after a jail term, and are treated for ... psychological conditions.

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


‘A Cesspool of a Dungeon’: The Surging Population in Rural Jails
2019-12-13, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:43:34
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/us/rural-jails.html

The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a dangerously overcrowded “cesspool of a dungeon,” with inmates sleeping on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a supply closet and the people inside subjected to “horrible conditions” every day. Since 2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties such as Hamblen has skyrocketed. Like a lot of Appalachia, Morristown, Tenn. ... has been devastated by methamphetamine and opioid use. Residents who commit crimes to support their addiction pack the 255-bed jail, which had 439 inmates at the end of October. While jail populations have dropped 18 percent in urban areas since 2013, they have climbed 27 percent in rural areas during that same period. Almost everyone in the county jail is there because of charges related to addiction, said the sheriff, Esco Jarnagin. Defense lawyers have proposed other options to address the crisis, including a pilot program [that] would have allowed some low-risk defendants to avoid having to post bail. But judges rejected the proposal because of fears that defendants would flee, said Willie Santana ... who is now one of four lawyers in the Hamblen County public defender’s office. “The whole system is geared toward generating pleas and putting people in jail,” he said. For many inmates, that means the jail has been a revolving door. More than three-quarters of the 850 new cases that Mr. Santana handled in the past year involved a client who had previously been incarcerated.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the courts and in the prison system.


‘It is beyond cruel’: Ice refuses to reunite girl with the only family she has left
2019-12-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:41:34
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/21/it-is-beyond-cruel-ice-refuse...

For more than nine months, María, 23, has been waiting in an immigration detention center in Arizona hoping to reunite with the six-year-old niece she raised as a daughter. When the two asked for asylum at the border last March because they feared for their lives in Guatemala, border officials detained María in the Eloy detention center and sent the girl to foster care in New York, 2,400 miles away. Lawmakers and more than 200 clergy asked US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) to grant María parole so she can leave detention and reunite with the girl. A woman in New York volunteered to house them both while María awaits a decision on her appeal for asylum. But despite that public support, Ice denied María’s application for parole in mid-December. Parole was once the norm for arriving asylum seekers, but in recent years approvals have become increasingly rare. On a standardized form, Ice officers indicated María failed to prove she was “not a flight risk” or that her “continued detention was not in the public interest”. After a federal judge in 2018 ordered most family separations to end, attorneys have been scrambling to reunite families. There are currently about 5,500 known cases of children separated from parents during the Trump administration. But no one has tracked how many children have been split from non-parent relatives. The logistics of how and when María will see her niece again if she is not paroled are unclear. María’s asylum appeal could take up to two years.

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


As prosecutors go after Epstein's alleged co-conspirators, the line between accomplice and victim may be blurred
2019-09-27, CNN News
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:39:19
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/us/jeffrey-epstein-alleged-co-conspirators/ind...

After Jeffrey Epstein's death, federal prosecutors in Manhattan pledged to continue investigating his alleged sex-trafficking ring, suggesting they would pursue his co-conspirators. But ... prosecutors have struggled with the question of whether some of those alleged co-conspirators were themselves victims of Epstein. Atop the alleged pyramid of Epstein associates was his ex-girlfriend turned social companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, a contemporary of Epstein's. Allegedly reporting to her and to Epstein was a coterie of assistants in their early 20s, and prosecutors are examining whether their experience with the accused predator should categorize them as an accomplice or as one of the abused. According to police reports, civil lawsuits and other court filings, these women approached girls in various places including near their schools, offering them the opportunity to make money by giving what they described as massages to an older man. The starkest example appears to be Nadia Marcinkova, an Epstein assistant who is accused in civil lawsuits of having perpetrated abuse alongside Epstein, aiding him to "satisfy his criminal sexual desires by, on occasion, directly participating in sexual abuse and prostitution of the minor girls," according to one of the lawsuits. One victim who alleged she was forced to have sex with Marcinkova told police Epstein bragged that he had "purchased" Marcinkova and brought her to the US to be his "Yugoslavian sex slave."

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


Ed Dwight Was Set to Be the First Black Astronaut. Here’s Why That Never Happened.
2019-07-16, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:37:37
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/16/us/ed-dwight-was-set-to-be-the-first-black...

The bone-rattling trip to the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere used to require a steady hand, a powerful jet and the precision of an airman ready to dodge enemy fire. It was just the sort of challenge that a chiseled 29-year-old aspiring astronaut named Ed Dwight was after. In 1962, he piloted an F-104 Starfighter, essentially a chrome javelin ... designed to go very fast and very high. A massive engine took up one end; the other was occupied by the pilot. Dwight only made a handful of flights like this, but all told he spent 9,000 hours in the air. A former altar boy turned airman, he was among the pilots training to become astronauts at the Aerospace Research Pilot School, helmed by Chuck Yeager at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Unlike every other pilot in the program, he was black. From Day 1, Dwight said, Yeager wanted him gone. Dwight said he immediately felt he was not welcome, that he was not of the group. “Every week, right on the dot,” Dwight recalled, “he’d call me into his office and say, ‘Are you ready to quit? This is too much for you and you’re going to kill yourself, boy.’ Calling me a boy and I’m an officer in the Air Force.” Dwight ... felt his treatment was so unfair that he later took bias charges to higher-ups. Yeager ultimately graduated him. In October 1963, the agency held a news conference in Houston to announce the astronauts selected for the next class. The 14 chosen men, including the future moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, filed onstage. Dwight was not there. He was not among the chosen.

Note: Don't miss the excellent 13-minute NY Times documentary on this great man. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.


Santa and Magic Mushrooms: Was the Christmas Icon Derived from Trippy Fungi?
2017-12-24, Newsweek
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:35:43
https://www.newsweek.com/santa-and-magic-mushrooms-was-christmas-icon-derived...

According to one theory, jolly old St. Nick might have been so jolly because he was derived from shamans who went from hut to hut handing out hallucinatory mushrooms in Siberia and the Arctic during the Winter Solstice, right around the same time as Christmas. "As the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collect Amanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them, and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice," [said] anthropologist John Rush. The festive deep red and white mushrooms were eaten by the humans and reindeer who roamed the region, sending both of them on well ... a tinsel-turvy trip. "This idea [is] that reindeer go berserk because they're eating Amanita muscaria. Reindeers flying — are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?" Harvard biology professor Donald Pfister told NPR. Reindeer were also considered "spirit animals" and the Siberian shamans wore red deer pelts as tributes, according to scholars. Even more, shamans dressed up like the mushrooms, which explains Santa's cozy red and white suit. Another scholar told NBC that the idea of Rudolph's flashy red nose likely originated from the color of the mushrooms, noting how remarkable it was that the tripping beast was put in charge of directions. "It's amazing that a reindeer with a red-mushroom nose is at the head, leading the others," Boston College classics professor Carl Ruck mused.

Note: See a 7-minute New York Times video on this intriguing hypothesis. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Drug-Company Payments Mirror Doctors' Brand-Name Prescribing
2016-03-17, NPR
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:34:03
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/17/470679452/drug-company-p...

A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe. [They] matched records on payments from pharmaceutical and medical device makers in 2014 with corresponding data on doctors' medication choices in Medicare's prescription drug program. Doctors who got money from drug and device makers prescribed a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who didn't. Even those who simply got meals from companies prescribed more brand-name drugs, on average. Doctors who received more than $5,000 from companies in 2014 typically had the highest brand-name prescribing percentages. Among internists who received no payments, for example, the average brand-name prescribing rate was about 20 percent, compared to about 30 percent for those who received more than $5,000. ProPublica has been tracking drug company payments to doctors since 2010 through a project known as Dollars for Docs. The tool now covers every drug and device company, thanks to the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Separately, ProPublica has tracked patterns in Medicare's prescription drug program ... which covers more than 39 million people. This new analysis ... looked at doctors who wrote at least 1,000 prescriptions.

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


These former gang rivals are helping Dallas youth escape gang violence
2019-12-24, Optimist Daily
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:32:06
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2019/12/these-former-gang-rivals-are-helping-da...

Antong Lucky and Def D had nearly identical childhoods: both were raised in underprivileged neighborhoods in Dallas, both experienced gang violence at an early age, and both had family members who were in gangs. There was, however, one notable difference: they were raised one mile apart, in different neighborhoods. This mile meant the difference between friend and foe: Antong was in the Bloods’ territory, and Def D was in the Crips’. In prison, both came to recognize the devastation that gang violence was wreaking on young people and their families. After both men were released from prison, the former enemies met together to create OGU (Original Gangsters United), an organization that tries to help young people in Dallas from falling into the same cycle of gang violence that Antong and Def D experienced growing up. OGU, which now has more mentors than the original duo, spend their days hanging out with Dallas youth, looking for kids at risk of gang violence — or, rather, those most in need of a positive relationship in their lives. Just this year, OGU mentors have reached 470 youth. There are many organizations that try to help at-risk teenagers escape gang violence, but what makes OGU so unique is the relationship that Antong and Def D share. They’re a real-life example of how two people from different neighborhoods can forge a meaningful relationship and use their common experiences to do good for others.

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


News got you down? Fear not, Harvard professor tells U.N., the world really is getting better
2019-05-22, CBS News
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:30:34
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/harvard-steven-pinker-says-world-getting-better-...

Diplomats at the United Nations got a dose of data-driven positivity this week from Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, who delivered a history lesson to prove the human condition is actually more peaceful and more prosperous than ever before. The world, Pinker told the gathering of officials ... is a better place than ever, but our perspective - and the way the news media convey events - needs to change. Pinker's most recent book, "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress," presents facts that demonstrate how life around the globe, statistically, is improving. The psychologist measures a range of qualities to define progress; life, health, sustenance, prosperity, peace, freedom, safety, knowledge, leisure, happiness. As those have increased over time on aggregate, Pinker argues, humanity is making progress. His data paint a clear picture, over the course of centuries, of life expectancy increasing, deaths by famine falling, the world's gross earnings rising and extreme poverty falling. Pinker said the world has become freer, too, with dictatorships and autocracies decreasing in number. Pinker concluded in his remarks that we are collectively depressing ourselves for lack of a complete, fact-based view with full appreciation for what came before. He said the media and intelligentsia have been complicit in the depiction of modern Western nations as unjust and dysfunctional.

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


Renewable capacity set for 50% growth over next few years, IEA says
2019-10-21, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-12-31 02:29:06
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/21/renewable-capacity-set-for-50percent-growth-o...

Renewable power capacity is forecast to increase by 50% between 2019 and 2024, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. According to its “Renewables 2019” market report, the increase will amount to 1,200 gigawatts (GW) and be driven by drops in cost and what the IEA described as “concerted government policy efforts.” Capacity refers to the maximum amount that installations can produce, not what they are currently generating. In 2018, renewable capacity hit just over 2,500 GW. If the IEA’s forecast plays out, it would bring total renewable capacity to approximately 3,700 GW by 2024. Solar photovoltaics (PV) are due to make up nearly 60% of the expected rise, with the onshore wind sector accounting for 25% and offshore wind responsible for 4%. Photovoltaic refers to a way of directly converting light from the sun into electricity. The IEA said that distributed solar PV – systems installed on commercial buildings, homes and in industry – would make up nearly half of the increase in the solar PV market. Overall, renewables’ share in worldwide power generation is seen growing from 26% now to 30% in 2024. For 2019, renewable power capacity additions are seen increasing by 12% following a stall last year. Growth this year is being driven by solar PV, which has benefited from “rapid expansion in the European Union”, a stronger Indian market and an “installation boom” in Vietnam. Growth in the onshore wind sector is also cited as a contributing factor.

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


Corporations paid 11.3 percent tax rate last year, in steep drop under Trump’s law
2019-12-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:24:44
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/16/corporations-paid-percent-...

400 of America’s largest corporations paid an average federal tax rate of about 11 percent on their profits last year, roughly half the official rate established under President Trump’s 2017 tax law. The 2017 tax law lowered the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but in practice large companies often pay far less than that because of deductions, tax breaks and other loopholes. In the first year of the law, the amount corporations paid in federal taxes on their incomes — their “effective rate” — was 11.3 percent on average ... according to a report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. From 2008 to 2015, under the previous tax code, the corporations’ effective rate was about 21 percent. The report also found that 91 corporations in the Fortune 500, many worth billions of dollars, paid no federal taxes last year. The findings come amid an explosion in the federal deficit, which this year rose to almost $1 trillion. Corporate tax revenue fell markedly during the first year of the tax law, from about $300 billion in 2017 to $204 billion in 2018. “When drafting the tax law, lawmakers could have eliminated special breaks and loopholes in the corporate tax to offset the cost of reducing the statutory rate,” the report says. “Instead, the new law introduced many new breaks and loopholes, though it eliminated some old ones.” The 91 profitable Fortune 500 corporations that paid no federal tax in 2018 earned a combined $101 billion last year. As a group, their effective federal tax rate was -5.9 percent.

Note: How is it that 91 of the biggest corporations in the U.S. get away with paying no taxes? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


3 books focus on America’s income inequality, and why it’s getting worse
2019-11-18, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:22:52
https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/review-3-books-focus-on-americas-incom...

Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman say we’re coddling “a tiny minority of ultra-rich” Americans, and they’d like to put a stop to it. “The Triumph of Injustice” demonstrates how small sets of wealthy, white, well-connected citizens command inordinate financial and political clout. This, it seems, is the season for such books. Investigative reporter Aaron Glantz’s “Homewreckers” focuses on billionaires who cash in when the middle class struggles. Anne Nelson’s “Shadow Network” is about a coterie of influential far-right operatives. Taken together, these smart, engrossing titles paint a stark picture of the power wielded by a handful of plutocrats and religious hard-liners. There’s always been economic inequality, but it’s worse today than just decades ago. According to Saez and Zucman, America’s richest 1% own 37% of the nation’s wealth (“housing, pension funds, and all financial assets”), up from 22% at the end of the 1970s. “Conversely, the wealth share of the bottom 90% of adults has declined from 40% to 27%.” Counting all forms of taxation, Saez and Zucman say that the great majority of Americans pay 25% to 30% of their income in taxes into the public coffers. By contrast, America’s 400 richest people “barely pay 20%.” This disparity is the result of many factors. These include ... access to “offshore bank accounts, exotic trusts (and) hidden shell corporations,” Saez and Zucman write. Corporations use similar tactics. Facebook, for one, “has dodged billions in corporate taxes” by establishing a presence in the Cayman Islands.

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


Deficit hawks once again show their hypocrisy on military spending
2019-12-16, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:20:40
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/16/bernie-sanders-deficit-haw...

The Senate will be voting this week on the Trump military budget, which calls for a massive increase in defense spending. I strongly oppose this legislation. At a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality; when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck; when more than 500,000 Americans are homeless; and when public schools throughout the country are struggling to pay their teachers a livable salary, it is time to change our national priorities. I find it ironic that when I and other progressive members of Congress propose legislation to address the many unmet needs of workers, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, we are invariably asked, “How will we pay for it?” Yet we rarely hear that question with regard to huge increases in military spending, tax breaks for billionaires or massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion — even more money than it requested — there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford. When I talk about changing national priorities, I’m talking about the fact that the $120 billion increase in Pentagon spending — compared with the final year of the Obama administration — could have made every public college, university, trade school and apprenticeship program in the United States tuition free, eliminated homelessness and provided universal school meals to every kid in our nation’s public schools.

Note: The above article was written by Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


I helped write the official lies to sell the Afghanistan war
2019-12-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:18:27
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-helped-write-the-official-lies-to-se...

This past week, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception. But The Afghanistan Papers were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers. From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my team’s information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. But my job wasn’t only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself. I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). I wrote broadcast news copy for the team’s interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of “non-lethal targeting.” As accusations of fraud, ballot tampering and voter intimidation circulated around the presidential election, I followed my supervisors’ directives to “aggressively pursue” interviews ... “highlighting the transparency and legitimacy of the election process.” Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktia’s then-governor and chief of police.

Note: Listen to a 30-minute NY Times newscast showing the blatant lies behind the Afghanistan war. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


What the C.I.A.’s Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured
2019-12-04, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:16:25
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/cia-torture-drawings.html

One shows the prisoner nude and strapped to a crude gurney, his entire body clenched as he is waterboarded by an unseen interrogator. Another shows him with his wrists cuffed to bars so high above his head he is forced on to his tiptoes. They are sketches drawn in captivity by the Guantánamo Bay prisoner known as Abu Zubaydah, self-portraits of the torture he was subjected to during the four years he was held in secret prisons by the C.I.A.. In each illustration, Mr. Zubaydah ... portrays the particular techniques as he says they were used on him at a C.I.A. black site in Thailand in August 2002. They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written. Mr. Zubaydah, 48, drew them this year at Guantánamo for inclusion in a 61-page report, “How America Tortures,” by his lawyer, Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, and some of Mr. Denbeaux’s students. The report uses firsthand accounts, internal Bush administration memos, prisoners’ memories and the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report to analyze the interrogation program. The program was initially set up for Mr. Zubaydah, who was mistakenly believed to be a top Qaeda lieutenant. He has never been charged with a crime.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Our dangerous fear of pain
2019-11-27, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:14:31
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/11/27/our-dangerous-fear-pain/?ar...

One of the first things I learned about pain was its value. I was a third-year medical student in 1976. We were ... encouraged to listen carefully to the patient’s experience of pain, the timing, the duration and any factors that made it better or worse. Forty years later, our concept of pain couldn’t be more different. Instead of learning from pain, we now regard it as an illness in and of itself. Insurance companies, health-care providers and drugmakers have all worked to increase the public’s fear of pain, leading us to see it as something to be treated, eliminated, banished — never lived with or accommodated or managed — lest it destroy us. They turned our natural fear into big business; our fee-for-service system has multiplied treatments based primarily on the financial rewards for pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospitals. That attitude shift is perhaps the most overlooked explanation for an opioid crisis that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. A healthy fear of pain ... protects us from injury and reminds us to allow time for healing. But otherwise, the fear of pain, and the belief that a pain-free existence is optimal or even possible, has been a catastrophe for patients. Before the opioid revolution, doctors understood that pain was important to keeping us safe, to be lived with and managed. Even if this meant we bore frequent episodes of discomfort, that was better than the nationwide crisis America faces today. Life isn’t “pain free.” If we want to end the epidemic of addiction, we need to relearn that lesson.

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


Prince Andrew email surfaces as American woman alleges "disgusting" sexual assault
2019-12-03, CBS News
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:12:07
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/prince-andrew-interview-epstein-sexual-allegatio...

Britain's royal family was reeling from yet another damning interview. This time it was an American woman who accuses the queen's son, Prince Andrew, of having sex with her when she was just 17 years old. Virginia Roberts Giuffre spoke out in the interview with the BBC about what she says the prince did to her, and what he may know about Jeffrey Epstein. The American woman described being forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, three times while she was still a teenager. "It didn't last very long. It was disgusting. He wasn't mean or anything, but he got up and he said, 'thanks,' and walked out," she told the BBC. Roberts Giuffre said she met Prince Andrew at properties owned by Epstein, the American financier and convicted sex offender who was found dead in his New York jail cell earlier this year. She said she was made to dance with the duke at a London nightclub. "It was horrible, and this guy was sweating all over me, his sweat was like it was raining," she said. Last month Prince Andrew denied ever meeting Roberts Giuffre — despite being photographed with her — and claimed that due to a "peculiar medical condition" he was physically unable to sweat "at the time." He did admit to spending time at Epstein's homes. Now, five more American women have said Prince Andrew witnessed abuse at Epstein's home. Meanwhile, an email has emerged this week ... that was sent by the prince in January 2015 to his long-time friend Ghislaine Maxwell... "Let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts."

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse rings reach to the highest levels of government. Then watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which also leads directly to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein’s Charity: An Image Boost Built on Deception
2019-11-26, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:08:22
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/business/jeffrey-epstein-charity.html

Jeffrey Epstein’s foundation looked for all the world like a charitable powerhouse: On its websites and in its press releases, the foundation was described as a patron of hospitals, universities and film festivals, run by a global philanthropist. The organization — known by various names, but usually called the J. Epstein Virgin Islands Foundation — wasn’t officially a charity for much of its existence, having lost its tax-exempt status in 2008 ... the same year Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor. In the years between that case and his suicide in August as he faced federal sex-trafficking charges, Mr. Epstein was unshackled from the rigorous financial disclosures that charities are supposed to file every year with the government — allowing him to exaggerate his philanthropy as he sought to rebuild his reputation. The most glaring exaggeration appeared on Wikipedia. A user name apparently connected to Mr. Epstein edited the page for the foundation and put its annual outlay at $200 million a year. In reality, the foundation was worth a small fraction of that amount, according to documents obtained by The New York Times through a public records lawsuit in the Virgin Islands. Eighteen years of financial statements show that just under $20 million flowed into the foundation since it was founded in 2000. Roughly $16.6 million was spent on donations and grants; most of the rest paid unspecified “general and administrative” expenses and $1.5 million in interest for what appears to be an undisclosed debt.

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


Kansas City Makes All Public Transit Free to Ride
2019-12-06, Newsweek
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:06:39
https://www.newsweek.com/kansas-city-makes-all-public-transit-free-ride-while...

Kansas City, Missouri city council members voted unanimously to abolish bus fares Thursday. Residents will soon be able to ride buses in the city for free, in a move that will cost around $8 million per year. Lawmakers expect the change will improve the lives of residents and believe it is well worth the cost. The vote makes Kansas City the first major U.S. to offer free public transportation. Fare-free travel was already available on the city's light rail. The change to buses will require the city manager to allocate funds to the project, which is expected to be implemented in 2020. While arguments against free public transportation often cite the potentially large costs involved, advocates insist the practice has a multitude of benefits for society at large. One advantage is claimed to be a positive impact on the environment. Encouraging people to travel in buses or trains instead of cars could result in cities substantially reducing their carbon footprint. Proponents also say that quality of life for individuals could be improved by eliminating fares on public transportation. A 2018 report in the journal Metropolitics studied the free system in Dunkirk, France and noted the benefits of increased mobility for young and elderly people, who may feel an improved sense of freedom and autonomy as a result. In addition to Kansas City, a number of other U.S. cities are said to be considering making the move to free public transportation.

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


Don't Panic - The Truth About Population
2013-11-07, BBC News
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:05:02
https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/45/this-world-hans-rosling.html

With the world’s population at 7 billion and still growing we often look at the future with dread. In Don’t Panic - The Truth About Population, world famous Swedish statistical showman Professor Hans Rosling presents a different view. We face huge challenges in terms of food, resources and climate change but at the heart of Rosling’s statistical tour-de-force is the message that the world of tomorrow is a much better place than we might imagine. Professor Rosling reveals that the global challenge of rapid population growth, the so-called population explosion, has already been overcome. In just 50 years the average number of children born per woman has plummeted from 5 to just 2.5 and is still falling fast. This means that in a few generations’ time, world population growth will level off completely. In Bangladesh ... families of two children are now the norm. We meet Taslima Khan who travels through rural villages dispensing contraceptives and advice on how to deal with difficult husbands. Deep in rural Mozambique – one of the poorest countries in the world – we meet subsistence farmers Andre and Olivia who’ve been saving for two years to buy a piece of life-transforming technology – a bicycle. Even in these countries, economic growth, investment in healthcare and infrastructure are paving the way to huge improvements in living standards. Globally, the proportion of people in extreme poverty is at its lowest ever, and now the United Nations is setting itself the goal of eradicating extreme poverty completely.

Note: Don't miss this awesome 5-minute video by author Hans Rosling showing the detailed statistics in a most entertaining way. For more see the many TED talks he gave.


Remembering Hans Rosling, the visualization pioneer who made data dance
2017-02-08, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-23 03:03:26
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/08/remembering-hans-rosli...

Professor Hans Rosling, the statistician and epidemiologist who brought dramatic flair to animated visualizations of dry public health data, has died. For much of the public not steeped in the arcana of epidemiological data sets or data visualization techniques (a.k.a. normal people), Rosling burst onto the scene in 2010 as part of the BBC special “The Joy of Stats.” “Hans Rosling's famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport's commentator's style to reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development,” the BBC wrote at the time. Rosling's work was a driver of some of the explosion of interest in data visualization in the news and nonprofit sectors starting in the early 2000s. His BBC special and TED Talks sparked an interest in “storytelling with data,” rather than just with words. Not every data set tells as clear or compelling a story as Rosling's wealth and life expectancy numbers. Rosling's genius wasn't just in the flashy presentations he gave. It also derived from knowing exactly what type of data would lend itself to such flair. The other thing Rosling's moving chart did incredibly well was to allow viewers to grapple with multiple dimensions simultaneously, with ease. The loss of Rosling hurts especially in this moment, as politicians and media outlets wrestle over what's fake and what's real. Above all Rosling was an advocate for a “fact-based worldview,” one which his family says they'll carry on at the foundation he started.

Note: Don't miss this awesome 5-minute video by author Hans Rosling showing the detailed statistics in a most entertaining way. For more see the many TED talks he gave.


At War With the Truth
2019-12-09, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-16 03:09:10
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-paper...

A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. The documents ... include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the war. Since 2001, more than 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly. Of those, 2,300 died there and 20,589 were wounded. The interviews ... underscore how three presidents — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and their military commanders have been unable to deliver on their promises to prevail in Afghanistan. The interviews also highlight the U.S. government’s botched attempts to curtail runaway corruption, build a competent Afghan army and police force, and put a dent in Afghanistan’s thriving opium trade. With judges and police chiefs and bureaucrats extorting bribes, many Afghans soured on democracy. Meanwhile, as U.S. hopes for the Afghan security forces failed to materialize, Afghanistan became the world’s leading source of a growing scourge: opium. The United States has spent about $9 billion to fight the problem ... but Afghan farmers are cultivating more opium poppies than ever. Last year, Afghanistan was responsible for 82 percent of global opium production.

Note: How is it that Afghanistan became the leading opium producer in the world under the watch of the US, when the Taliban had all but eradicated opium in 2001? Read how Afghan officials and US contractors profited handsomely from the opium boom. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on war from reliable major media sources.


'Cannot be trusted ... causing harm': Top medical journal takes on big pharma
2019-12-04, Sydney Morning Herald
Posted: 2019-12-16 03:07:30
https://www.smh.com.au/national/cannot-be-trusted-causing-harm-top-medical-jo...

A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma. The BMJ [British Medical Journal] says doctors are being unduly influenced by industry-sponsored education events and industry-funded trials for major drugs. Those trials cannot be trusted, the journal's editor and a team of global healthcare leaders write in a scathing editorial. The "endemic financial entanglement with industry is distorting the production and use of healthcare evidence, causing harm to individuals and waste for health systems", they write. They are calling for governments to start funding independent trials of new drugs and medical devices, rather than relying on industry-funded studies. Sponsored research is more likely to find a favourable result compared to independent research. And they want medical associations to discourage doctors from going to industry-funded education events. Assistant Professor Ray Moynihan, a ... researcher studying the link between money and medicine, and is one of the leaders of The BMJ's campaign. “When we want to decide on a medicine or a surgery, a lot of the evidence we used to inform that decision is biased," he says. "It cannot be trusted. Because so much of that has been produced and funded by the manufacturers of those healthcare products." Dr Moynihan points to ... Johnson & Johnson, which sold pelvic mesh to thousands of Australian women. It knew the mesh could cause serious harm, but never properly warned women of the risks.

Note: Read the highly revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the medical industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


Two Histories of Financiers Profiting From Real Estate While Homeowners Go Belly Up
2019-10-31, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-16 03:05:19
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/books/review-homewreckers-aaron-glantz-rac...

In “Homewreckers,” his new book about the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, [Aaron] Glantz skillfully tells a bigger story about American housing that’s tortuous, confounding and ultimately enraging. Along with “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership,” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “Homewreckers” shows what happens when private speculators get buoyed by government largess while non-tycoons are largely left to fend for themselves. After the housing bubble burst, the government was desperate to get lending banks off its books, and so it offered a sweet deal to prospective buyers of the banks: Those private investors could keep the gains on any loans held by the bank, but if the loans lost money, the government would bear most of the cost. It was like a mutant version of the subprime bubble that led to the financial crisis: Rather than renegotiate the loans, the new owners of these lending banks found there was more money to be made in foreclosing on the properties and becoming “a class of landlord that had never been seen before,” charging rent and fees to tenants — not infrequently the previous owners who were foreclosed on — while hoarding the equity for themselves. Corporate landlords ... are also more likely to buy properties in neighborhoods with large concentrations of African-American and Latino residents, who end up paying “higher and higher rents that ultimately transfer wealth from their communities to investors far away.”

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


Jeffrey Epstein accuser says his house had cameras "monitoring private moments"
2019-11-18, CBS News
Posted: 2019-12-16 03:03:11
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-accuser-maria-farmer-says-his-ho...

One of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers is providing chilling new insight into his alleged sex trafficking operation. Maria Farmer told "CBS This Morning" that Epstein sexually assaulted her more than 20 years ago. She is now suing the Epstein estate. In her first TV interview, Farmer alleges that Epstein had extensive surveillance inside his home, including tiny pinhole cameras. Farmer [said] that Epstein showed her cameras throughout his house. "The main thing he did when I walked in, and I thought was interesting, he showed me where the cameras, the men monitoring everything, were. So, if you're facing the house, there's a window on the right that's barred. That's the media room, is what he called it. And so, there was a door that looked like an invisible door with all this limestone and everything. And you push it, and you go in. And I saw, all the cameras, it was, like, old televisions basically, like, stacked." "They were monitors inside this cabinet. And there were men sitting here. And I looked on the cameras, and I saw toilet, toilet, bed, bed, toilet, bed. I'm like, 'I am never gonna use the restroom here and I'm never gonna sleep here,' you know what I mean? It was very obvious that they were, like, monitoring private moments." She believes there are tapes - the question is, who has them?

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse rings reach to the highest levels of government. Then watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which also leads directly to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein from reliable major media sources.


Investigators scrutinizing video outside Epstein’s cell find some footage unusable, according to people familiar with the inquiry
2019-08-26, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-16 03:01:26
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/investigators-scrutinizing-video-outs...

At least one camera in the hallway outside the cell where authorities say registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself earlier this month had footage that is unusable, although other, clearer footage was captured in the area. The incident is being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which are attempting to determine what happened and how to assess whether any policies were violated or crimes committed. The revelation of an unusable recording is yet another of the apparent failures inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the short-staffed Bureau of Prisons facility in downtown Manhattan that held Epstein. Meanwhile, there has been intense scrutiny of the federal facility where he was held, which did not follow its protocol in the handling of Epstein in several ways, officials have said. Epstein should have been checked on every 30 minutes. Investigators are exploring whether logs were falsified to indicate checks had occurred when they had not. Epstein also was supposed to have a roommate, following a July 23 incident in which he was found on the floor of his cell with marks on his neck. Authorities suspected he had attempted suicide; Epstein said he believed he had been attacked. He was placed on suicide watch for about a week after that. For a time, [he] had a new roommate. But that person was transferred ... and a new roommate was not assigned — despite the fact that at least eight jail officials knew Epstein was not to be left alone in cell.

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse rings reach to the highest levels of government. Then watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which also leads directly to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Do Microdoses of LSD Change Your Mind?
2019-04-16, Scientific American
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:59:38
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-microdoses-of-lsd-change-your-m...

You’ve probably heard about microdosing, the “productivity hack” popular among Silicon Valley engineers and business leaders. Microdosers take regular small doses of LSD or magic mushrooms. At these doses, they don’t experience mind-bending, hallucinatory trips, but they say they get a jolt in creativity and focus that can elevate work performance, help relationships, and generally improve a stressful and demanding daily life. Late last year, the first placebo-controlled microdose trial was published. The study concluded that microdoses of LSD appreciably altered subjects’ sense of time, allowing them to more accurately reproduce lapsed spans of time. Does a microdose change brain function? There’s a myriad of ways to test this, but [Devin] Terhune looked specifically at the way the subjects perceive time. When shown a blue dot on a screen for a specific length of time, the subjects were asked to recreate that length of time by pressing a key. Typically, with longer time intervals, people underrepresent time (i.e. hold the key down for a shorter period of time than reality). In the study, those who received microdoses held the key longer, better representing the actual time interval. Does this mean microdosing makes you smarter? Terhune and his co-authors were cautious in overinterpreting their finding. For one, it’s not clear that perceiving time more accurately is preferable. The brain seems to favor underrepresenting time for reasons that are unclear. The finding does show that microdoses changed brain function.

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


Reassessing Flu Shots as the Season Draws Near
2012-11-05, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:57:16
https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/reassessing-flu-shots-as-the-season...

It’s flu-shot season, and public health officials are urging everyone over 6 months of age to get one. For vaccine manufacturers, it’s a bonanza: Influenza shots ... are a multibillion-dollar global business. But how good are they? Last month, in a step tantamount to heresy in the public health world, scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota released a report saying that influenza vaccinations provide only modest protection for healthy young and middle-age adults, and little if any protection for those 65 and older. Moreover, the report’s authors concluded, federal vaccination recommendations ... are based on inadequate evidence and poorly executed studies. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [stated,] “It does not protect as promoted. It’s all a sales job: it’s all public relations.” While researching the report ... the authors discovered a recurring error in influenza vaccine studies that led to an exaggeration of the vaccine’s effectiveness. They also discovered 30 inaccuracies in the statement on influenza vaccines put forth by the expert panel that develops vaccine recommendations, all of which favor the vaccine. The new report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy is not the first to point out the shortcomings of influenza vaccines, however. The Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of experts that evaluates medical research, concluded in a 2010 review that the vaccines ... have minimal impact in seasons when vaccines and viruses are mismatched.

Note: A 2020 study on the annual flu vaccine in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that "no evidence indicated that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.


The real Men in Black, Hollywood and the great UFO cover-up
2014-08-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:55:26
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/aug/14/men-in-black-ufo-sightings-mirag...

If there really is a UFO conspiracy, it's surely the worst-kept secret in history. Roswell, Area 51, flashing lights, little green men, abductions – it's all been fed through the pop culture mill to the point of fatigue. Even the supposed enforcers of the secret, the "men in black", have their own movie franchise. But a new documentary, Mirage Men, unearths compelling evidence that UFO folklore was actually fabricated by the US government. Mirage Men's chief coup is to land an actual man in black: a former Air Force special investigations officer named Richard Doty, who admits to having infiltrated UFO circles. Doty and his colleagues fed credulous ufologists lies and half-truths, knowing their fertile imaginations would do the rest. In return, they were apprised of chatter from the community, thus alerting the military when anyone was getting to close to their top-secret technology. What if the lies and hoaxes Mirage Men reveals are simply a smokescreen for the fact that the authorities really do know secrets about extraterrestrials? What better way to conceal them than by getting "found out" in their disinformation tactics? What better way of throwing sceptics off the scent than disseminating the confessions of an ex-man in black like Richard Doty, in documentaries, and articles in respectable new organisations – like this one. Perhaps we're no closer to knowing if the truth really is out there, but we can be sure the lies are.

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


Giving Machines Expand 2019 Footprint, Raise Millions For Global Charities
2019-12-03, Forbes
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:52:36
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisstrub/2019/12/03/givingmachines/

Pedestrians in 10 cities worldwide this holiday season have a chance to give in a whole new way, thanks to a set of innovative “Giving Machines” placed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The rollout of the machines has been staggered since mid-November, with the final two machines set to be revealed today in New York City (Manhattan New York Temple) and London (Hyde Park Visitors’ Center). ‘Items’ in the machine range from $2 to $320, and include food, clothing, medicine, hygiene supplies, sporting equipment and livestock. According to a press release from the church, items will be supplied through partner charities such as UNICEF, Church World Service, WaterAid, Water For People, and International Medical Corps. This is the third year for the giving machines; in 2018, they raised more than $2.3 million for local and global charities. The church’s website includes a live running total of donations, which have already exceeded $650,000 at press time. The machines are the focus of the church’s #LightTheWorld social media campaign, “encouraging people to perform instant acts of service that make a difference in others’ lives.” The machines do not take any fees—all donations go directly to partner charities for the purchased item, or for items or services of greater need based on their discretion. “These Giving Machines are an example of the big things that can happen when many people give just a little,” [said] Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president.

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


Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think
2018-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:50:53
https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/good-news-at-last...

While it is easy to be aware of all the bad things happening in the world, it’s harder to know about the good things. The silent miracle of human progress is too slow and too fragmented to ever qualify as news. Over the past 20 years, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has almost halved. But in online polls, in most countries, fewer than 10% of people knew this. Our instinct to notice the bad more than the good is related to three things: the misremembering of the past; selective reporting by journalists and activists; and the feeling that as long as things are bad, it’s heartless to say they are getting better. Stories about gradual improvements rarely make the front page even when they occur on a dramatic scale and affect millions of people. And thanks to increasing press freedom and improving technology, we hear about more disasters than ever before. This improved reporting is itself a sign of human progress, but it creates the impression of the exact opposite. How can we help our brains to realise that things are getting better? Think of the world as a very sick premature baby in an incubator. After a week, she is improving, but ... her health is still critical. Does it make sense to say that the infant’s situation is improving? Yes. Does it make sense to say it is bad? Yes, absolutely. Does saying “things are improving” imply that everything is fine, and we should all not worry? Not at all: it’s both bad and better. That is how we must think about the current state of the world.

Note: Don't miss this awesome 5-minute video by author Hans Rosling showing the detailed statistics in a most entertaining way. For more see the many TED talks he gave.


The world is doing much better than the bad news makes us think
2019-12-02, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-12-16 02:49:09
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-world-is-doing-much-better-than-t...

There is a natural human bias toward bad news. The title of a 1998 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology sums it up: “Negative Information Weighs More Heavily on the Brain.” Negative stimuli get our attention much more than positive stimuli — which makes evolutionary sense for survival. Nice things are enjoyable; bad things can be deadly, so focus on them. And given that, in the news media, attention equals money, we can see the commercial reason for a lack of headlines such as “Millions not going to bed hungry tonight.” Frequently, however, the bad-news bias gives us a highly inaccurate picture of the world. For example, according to a 2013 survey, 67% of Americans think global poverty is on the rise, and 68% believe it is impossible to solve extreme poverty in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, starvation-level poverty has decreased by 80% since 1970, according to economists at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The truth is that while there is plenty to worry about on any given day, the world is generally getting better. Fresh, comprehensive evidence of progress comes in the new Legatum Prosperity Index, based on data from 167 countries ... on 300 social and economic indicators of well-being. Across those dimensions, from 2009 to 2019, 148 of the 167 countries have seen net progress — much of it dramatic, and especially so among the poorest countries in the world.

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


US taxpayers spent almost $1 billion incarcerating innocent black people
2019-11-20, Yahoo! News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:57:13
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-taxpayers-spent-over-4-billion-incarceratin...

Over the last few weeks, the Rodney Reed case has ignited a firestorm of interest, as celebrities, activists, and politicians worked to delay his Nov. 20 execution on the basis that he might be innocent. According to the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), since 1989, 2,515 men and women have been exonerated after proving their innocence. In total, among all known exonerees, Americans have shelled out a staggering $4.12 billion to incarcerate innocent men and women since 1989. That’s largely money spent on trials, and the cost of housing inmates in prison. According to the Bureau of Prisons, in the fiscal year 2017, the average cost to house a prisoner was over $36,000 a year in federal facilities. But black men make up the majority of those wrongfully convicted — approximately 49%. And since 1989, taxpayers have wasted $944 million to incarcerate black men and women that were later found to be innocent. That number climbs to $1.2 billion when including Hispanic men and women. On average, from the time a person enters the criminal justice system until they are exonerated, $1.26 million is spent per inmate who is facing the death penalty. The total sum — $4.12 billion spent on all known exonerees — also includes $2.2 billion that taxpayers have paid the innocent in compensation since 1989 for the time they were imprisoned, according to a 2018 NRE study. But while a large sum, only 44% of exonerees have ever received compensation.

Note: Read also how thousands have been sentenced to life in prison for non-violent crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Afghanistan paedophile ring may be responsible for abuse of over 500 boys
2019-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:55:30
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/nov/13/afghanistan-paedop...

A paedophile ring involved in the abuse of at least 546 boys from six schools has been discovered in Afghanistan’s Logar province. Some of the victims of the abuse have since been murdered according to the campaigners who first discovered videos of abuse posted to a Facebook page. Civil society organisation, The Logar Youth, Social and Civil Institution, which has been working in the region for 16 years, revealed the extent of the abuse after discovering more than 100 videos on the social media site. The institution is investigating other high schools in the region, believing thousands more children may have been abused. Mohammed Mussa, a lead social worker at the institution, alleges that teachers, headteachers and local authority officials are implicated in the abuse ring. According to Mussa, some of the teachers were reported to the police but were released shortly after and have not been charged. “The rapists are teachers, older students, authority figures and even extended family members,” he said. He and his team have received death threats since exposing the abuse. He added that many of the abused boys have also been threatened. “Many of the victims are blackmailed. They are forced to sell drugs or engage in illegal activities in exchange for their rape videos to not be released,” Mussa said. Patricia Gossman ... at Human Rights Watch, added: “There is impunity for child rape because very often the perpetrators are powerful men in the military, police, or other official institutions.”

Note: The Afghani secret service detained the whistleblowers who revealed this abuse. What's up with that? The Afghani president has even rebuked his own intelligence service around this. The truth is coming out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Judge in Jeffrey Epstein case says jail death was ‘unthinkable’
2019-11-26, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:53:12
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/26/judge-in-jeffrey-epstein-case-calls-for-priso...

The federal judge who oversaw Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking case says “it is unthinkable” that any jail inmate — let alone one with such a high profile as Epstein — would die in custody, as the wealthy investor did this summer. Judge Richard Berman also is calling for reforms to be carried out in the U.S. prison system in light of Epstein’s death in a Manhattan federal jail. Berman, in a letter to The New York Times, said the indictment last week of two guards there for allegedly covering up their failure to check on Epstein in his cell in the hours before he died Aug. 10 “is not the full accounting to which Mr. Epstein’s family, his alleged victims and the public are entitled.” “We all agree that it is unthinkable that any detainee, let alone a high-profile detainee like Mr. Epstein, would die unnoticed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Berman wrote in his letter to the Times. Berman added, “There is at the very least anecdotal evidence that chronic understaffing, subpar living conditions, violence, gang activity, racial tension and the prevalence of drugs and contraband are the norms in many of our prisons.” Federal prosecutors last week said that two M.C.C. guards, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, failed to conduct scheduled head counts on all inmates in that special housing unit or do other required rounds for up to eight hours before Epstein was found dead. Instead, prosecutors charged, Thomas and Noel browsed the Internet, strolled around a common area in the unit and appeared to sleep for about two hours.

Note: How is it that the lawyer defending some of Jeffrey Epstein's victims, David Boies, was also the lawyer defending convicted sexual offender Harvey Weinstein, as mentioned in this NY Times article? Does it make sense for the lawyer of a major sex offender to be defending Epstein's victims? Is this a way for power elite to control the situation? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein and prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Jeffrey Epstein accuser Maria Farmer says Ghislaine Maxwell threatened her life, FBI "failed" her
2019-11-19, CBS News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:51:24
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-accuser-maria-farmer-says-ghisla...

Maria Farmer, who has accused Jeffrey Epstein and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell of assaulting her in 1996, said Maxwell threatened her life after the assault. Farmer ... was a young artist when she met Epstein and Maxwell at an art show in New York City in 1995. Epstein had bought one of Farmer's paintings ... and eventually offered her a job. The 26-year old soon found herself working the front desk in his palatial New York City townhouse. "All day long. I saw Ghislaine going to get the women. She went to places like Central Park. I was with her a couple of times in the car ... She would say ,'Stop the car.' And she would dash out and get a child." Epstein ultimately led her to his bathroom. "And there was a marble, like, altar thing over here, and he said that's where he gets his massages," Farmer said. Epstein told her the whole house was wired with pinhole cameras and took her into the media room where they were monitored. In the summer of 1996, Farmer said Epstein sent her to ... the vast estate of Les Wexner, the CEO of L Brands, which owns "Victoria's Secret." Farmer alleges in her complaint that Maxwell and Epstein sexually assaulted her there. When she tried to flee the following day, she wasn't allowed to leave. She claims a member of Wexner's staff warned her. "His exact words were: 'You're not going anywhere. You are never leaving,'" she said. Farmer reported the assault to the FBI, but it wasn't for another decade, just before Epstein's first arrest in 2006, that an agent finally appeared at her door, she said.

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


Jeffrey Epstein's 'madam' Ghislaine Maxwell is pictured just days after secretly meeting Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace in June
2019-11-25, MSN News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:49:08
https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/jeffrey-epsteins-madam-ghislaine-maxwell...

Pictures have emerged of Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman who introduced Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein, just days after her most recent meeting with the beleaguered royal. Ms Maxwell, the woman accused of procuring underage girls for Epstein, was pictured hobnobbing at a high-class social event in Geneva on June 8. Just two days earlier, she had visited Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace in what sources have claimed was a meeting to discuss the case against Epstein. Ms Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, has gone off the radar since the scandal emerged. She denies being Epstein's 'madam'. Prince Andrew, 59, met up with Maxwell, 57, who is an old friend of his, on June 6 inside the Prince's private Palace quarters. She then set off on the Cash & Rocket charity motoring rally from London to Monaco. She was conspicuously absent from publicity photographs taken during the high-profile event, and all reference to her was later deleted from the rally's website. Maxwell's involvement in the rally is thought to be the last time she visited the UK, before her disappearance from public view amid the FBI inquiry into her links with Epstein. During his disastrous BBC interview last week, Andrew was asked when he last saw Ms Maxwell. 'It was earlier this year funnily enough, in the summer, in the spring, summer… She was here doing some rally,' he replied. It was later reported she was one of five people who visited the Prince.

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


The Family: inside the sinister sect that has infected western democracy
2019-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:47:00
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/aug/15/the-family-netflix-power...

A clandestine religious sect secretly controls the US government! It is an unbeatable premise for a non-fiction Netflix five-parter. The series profiles an American evangelical Christian organisation, sometimes dubbed “the Family” but more often known as the Fellowship. For decades, the Fellowship was overseen by the mysterious Doug Coe: a series of amusingly Zelig-esque photographs of him lurking smoothly behind US presidents and foreign leaders confirms Coe ... as the most powerful guy you never heard of. The Fellowship has two signature moves. Its main gig is the National Prayer Breakfast (NPB), an annual invitation-only festival of speeches and meetings that has been addressed by every president since Dwight D Eisenhower. The Family’s star witness is Jeff Sharlet, the author of two books about his brief period as a resident of the pillared mansion in Virginia where the Fellowship hosts ... young men. Sharlet undergoes a slightly violent initiation rite. Then an elder visits and holds a disturbing seminar that sets out what is really at play. It is made clear to Sharlet that the gang he has joined is all about power, based on a Bible reading that sees Jesus – and, in the Fellowship’s reading of its favorite scripture story, murderous home-wrecker David – as a sort of original alpha male, lending legitimacy to men who believe they have been chosen to be in charge. The faith and devotion are perfunctory, a means to an end, an excuse.

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


Secretive Christian group at heart of D.C. politics ready for its close-up in Netflix docuseries
2019-08-09, NBC News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:44:17
https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/tv/secretive-christian-group-heart-d-c-po...

A secretive organization that has courted political leaders and built international influence while undermining the constitutional division of the church and the state in the process is at the center of a new five-episode documentary series called “The Family.” Since 1953, the National Prayer Breakfast has remained a fixture in American politics. While the annual event is purportedly hosted by members of Congress, it is actually organized and run by an evangelical Christian organization called The Fellowship Foundation, or "The Family," as it is referred to internally. The series ... takes a look at the group that operates with its own higher purpose — quietly building its influence on global politics "in the name of Jesus." "The Fellowship isn't about faith. It's about power," said Jeff Sharlet, whose books, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power," and "C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy," inspired the Netflix series. "Internally, it is spoken of primarily as a 'recruiting device' with which to draw 'key men' into smaller prayer cells” according to Sharlet. "Practically, the Prayer Breakfast has functioned from the very beginning as an unregistered lobbying festival." The reach of the Fellowship has extended well beyond the confines of Washington. Politicians and businessmen affiliated with the group have met to pray and parlay with the likes of the late Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, Indonesian despot Suharto and Haitian dictator Papa Doc Duvalier, Sharlet said.

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


Taking Ayahuasca When You’re a Senior Citizen
2019-10-17, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:42:27
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/style/ayahuasca-senior-citizen.html

At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo’s close friend, a doctor, told him about ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, native to the Amazon. Used for centuries in sacred healing traditions throughout Central and South America, ayahuasca is now gaining popularity around the world. [It] is mostly illegal in the United States. Notably, ayahuasca’s increasing popularity knows no age limits: many of those now showing interest are squarely in Mr. Sarlo’s own demographic. Mr. Sarlo himself was initially skeptical. Taking ayahuasca would entail a potentially distressing night of hallucinations, and excretions of all kind, especially vomiting. But he still decided to head to Yelapa, a small village in Mexico, and swallow down the bitter brew. Mr. Sarlo said that afterward, something shifted. “It changed my life completely.” He realized that his life had been “absolutely full of miracles,” he said. As Michael Pollan put it, “psychedelics might be wasted on the young.” Mr. Pollan, the author of the recent best seller “How To Change Your Mind,” a history of psychedelics and a chronicle of his own experiences trying them, said ... he was surprised by the number of people he encountered when writing his book in their 70s and 80s expressing interest in trying psychedelics. Though perhaps he shouldn’t have been: as he himself has written, one of the reasons to come to psychedelics later in life is to tangle with one’s own mortality.

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


New technique uses ultrasound to kill prostate cancer with no surgery and 80% success rate
2019-12-02, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:40:07
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/prostate-cancer-surgery-ultrasound-...

Doctors have used ultrasound to successfully treat prostate cancer in a new study promising a new alternative to surgery. Prostate is the second most deadly type of cancer in men, with lung cancer the only variant to claim more lives. Treatment is challenging because surgery and radiation can leave men incontinent or impotent. However, a pioneering new technique avoids the risks by using a rod-shaped device inserted into the urethra while guided by magnetic resonance to administer precise bursts of ultrasound. The sound waves heat and destroy the tumour, leaving surrounding areas unharmed. The new study was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America and involved 115 men with localised prostate cancer. After treatment with ultrasound, clinically significant cancer was eliminated in 80 per cent of the group, with 65 per cent having no signs of cancer after one year. Most of the men also saw reduced blood-antigen markers for prostate cancer, and overall no bowel complications were reported. Study co-author Steven Raman, professor of radiology and urology at the University of California at Los Angeles, said: “It’s an outpatient procedure with minimal recovery time. “We saw very good results in the patients, with a dramatic reduction of over 90 per cent in prostate volume and low rates of impotence with almost no incontinence.” The process, called Tulsa-Pro, has been approved for clinical use in Europe.

Note: Why isn't this exciting new development approved or even reported in the US? And learn about a man who developed a similar treatment almost a century ago only to have it quashed by the medical establishment.


Better Angels group puts Democrats and Republicans, Trump supporters and immigrants, in the same room to listen to each other
2018-07-25, ABC News
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:38:10
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/angels-group-puts-democrats-republicans-trump...

Greg Smith and Kouhyar Mostashfi are perhaps two of the strangest political bedfellows imaginable. Smith, a retired police chief and construction worker from rural southwest Ohio, is a devout evangelical Christian and ardent Trump supporter. Mostashfi, on the other hand, is an Iranian immigrant who works as a computer engineer in suburban Dayton and is an active member of the local Democratic Party. And yet, these two men with seemingly irreconcilable differences became friends through a group called Better Angels, which brings Republicans, Democrats and independents together with the goal of depolarizing America. The group got its name from President Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address. Delivered in the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln told his fellow Americans: "We are not enemies but friends" and appealed to the "better angels of our nature." That appeal for national unity resonated with Smith and Mostashfi when they met at their first Better Angels gathering. "When you get past the stereotype part of everything, you've got it beat," Smith said. "It was nice to also see this other side [and] that he wants to listen to me and learn about my background," Mostashfi said. The founder of Better Angels said the group was growing faster than he'd anticipated. In the 18 months since it started, the group says it has 3,100 members nationwide and is adding more.

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


Better-Angels.org bridging the political divide
2019-04-10, CBS (Charlottesville affiliate)
Posted: 2019-12-09 22:36:17
https://www.cbs19news.com/content/news/Better-Angelsorg-bridging-the-politica...

Better Angels is a citizens' organization that aims to unite red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. We try to understand the other side's point of view, even if we don't agree with it. We engage those we disagree with, looking for common ground and ways to work together. We support principles that bring us together rather than divide us. Meetings frequently include five to eight Republican-leaning citizens ("Reds") and five to eight Democratic-leaning citizens ("Blues") who gather together for a half-day or full-day of structured conversations. Independents are also welcome to attend. We only ask that for the purposes of the workshop they identify as leaning either Red or Blue or attend as observers. There are two types of Red/Blue workshops: three-hour workshops that cover two exercises, and six-hour plus lunch workshops that cover all four exercises. Two moderators, trained by Better Angels, lead the workshop, ensuring that ground rules are followed and that everyone is treated respectfully. The stereotypes exercise has red and blue groups generate, discuss, and report back on the most common false stereotypes or misconceptions of their side, why these stereotypes are wrong, what is true instead, and whether there is a kernel of truth in the stereotype. Red/Blue workshops [are held] so that citizens of different political beliefs and different backgrounds can get to know each other as individuals and begin to heal the divisions that are endangering our country.

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


America has spent $6.4 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, a new study says
2019-11-20, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-12-02 22:00:44
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/us-spent-6point4-trillion-on-middle-east-wars...

American taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion on post-9/11 wars and military action in the Middle East and Asia, according to a new study. The report, from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, also finds that more than 801,000 people have died as a direct result of fighting. Of those, more than 335,000 have been civilians. Another 21 million people have been displaced due to violence. The $6.4 trillion figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of America’s wars is not borne by the Defense Department alone, according to Neta Crawford, who authored the study. Crawford explains that the post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria have expanded to more than 80 countries — “becoming a truly global war on terror.” The longer wars drag on, more and more service members will ultimately claim veterans benefits and disability payments. “Even if the United States withdraws completely from the major war zones by the end of FY2020 and halts its other Global War on Terror operations, in the Philippines and Africa for example, the total budgetary burden of the post-9/11 wars will continue to rise as the U.S. pays the on-going costs of veterans’ care and for interest on borrowing to pay for the wars,” Crawford writes. In March, the Pentagon estimated that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost each taxpayer $7,623 through fiscal 2018.

Note: Note that $6.4 trillion divided by the 320 million in the U.S. equals $20,000 spent for every man, woman, and child over the past two decades. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Google's secret cache of medical data includes names and full details of millions – whistleblower
2019-11-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:58:42
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/12/google-medical-data-projec...

A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale, the secret transfer of the personal medical data of up to 50 million Americans from one of the largest healthcare providers in the US to Google, has expressed anger to the Guardian that patients are being kept in the dark about the massive deal. The anonymous whistleblower has posted a video on the social media platform Daily Motion that contains a document dump of hundreds of images of confidential files relating to Project Nightingale. The secret scheme ... involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second-largest healthcare provider in the US. The data is being transferred with full personal details including name and medical history and can be accessed by Google staff. Unlike other similar efforts it has not been made anonymous through a process of ... de-identification. The disclosed documents include highly confidential outlines of Project Nightingale, laying out the four stages or “pillars” of the secret project. By the time the transfer is completed next March, it will have passed the personal data of 50 million or more patients in 21 states to Google, with 10 million or so files already having moved across – with no warning having been given to patients or doctors. Google has entered into similar partnerships on a much smaller scale with clients such as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. But in that case all the data handed over to the search giant was encrypted, with keys being held only on the medical side.

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


Breakthrough as scientists create a new cowpox-style virus that can kill EVERY type of cancer
2019-09-11, MSN/Daily Mail
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:56:30
https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/techandscience/breakthrough-as-scientists-crea...

Scientists have created a new cowpox-style virus in a bid to cure cancer. The treatment, called CF33, can kill every type of cancer in a petrie dish and has shrunk tumours in mice, The Daily Telegraph reported. US cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong is engineering the treatment, which is being developed by Australia biotech company Imugene. They are hoping the treatment will be tested on breast cancer patients, among other cancer sufferers, next year. Professor Fong is currently in Australia to organise the clinical trials, which will also be run overseas. Patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer would be tested in the 'basket study'. The virus, which causes the common cold, was turned into a treatment for brain cancer by scientists in the US. The cancer in some patients disappeared for years before it came back, while others saw tumours shrink considerably. Similarly, a form of the cold sore virus called Imlygic or T-Vec was found to be able to treat melanoma, as it helped the body's immune system recognise and destroy tumours and melanoma cells in the body. Cancer patients would have the engineered virus injected directly into their tumours for the breakthrough treatment. It's hoped the virus would infect the cancer calls and make them explode. The immune system is then expected to be alerted about other cancer cells in the body, prompting the diseased cells to be killed.

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


NBC News Is Facing Internal Rebellion Over Mishandling Sexual Misconduct
2019-11-02, Huffington Post
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:54:29
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nbc-news-weinstein-ronan-farrow-oppenheim-me-t...

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and his boss NBC News Chairman Andy Lack are still running the show. They remain at the helm despite the explosive reporting in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” which reveals how Oppenheim and Lack not only shut down the investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory and abusive treatment of women, but how NBC News silenced or ignored multiple allegations of sexual misconduct inside the company ― including overlooking the behavior of “Today” show host Matt Lauer for years before finally firing him in 2017. In an article for Vanity Fair in October, Rich McHugh, the NBC producer who worked with Farrow on the Weinstein investigation, called out Oppenheim and Lack’s handling of the story. “They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news,” he writes. MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes have criticized NBC management on-air. Current and former employees say they want a true independent investigation of what happened at NBC News regarding Lauer, the Weinstein story, and any other incidents of internal sexual misconduct. The Weinstein story wasn’t the only time Oppenheim’s news organization declined to air a story about a powerful man preying on women. NBC famously sat on the “Access Hollywood” tape in which now-President Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women.

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


‘The Report’ and the Untold Story of a Senate-C.I.A. Conflict
2019-11-15, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:52:41
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/movies/the-report-adam-driver.html

A voluminous Senate report documenting the C.I.A.’s use of torture in secret prisons — set for release days later — could lead to riots, attacks on American embassies and the killing of American hostages overseas, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during a conference call in December 2014, citing a classified assessment. This episode is omitted from a new film treatment of the labyrinthine saga involving the Senate report — making a rare case of real life sometimes being more dramatic than the Hollywood portrayal. But the film, “The Report” ... is the first effort at a popular recounting of the tumultuous events surrounding the congressional investigation into the C.I.A. program and the inquiry’s conclusions, which found that the agency’s brutal interrogation methods — sometimes including torture — produced little or no intelligence of value. The senators believed that the intelligence assessment Clapper was quoting flagrantly distorted what the Senate report had said, predicting dire consequences from the release of information that wasn’t even in the report. In their anger, they decided to push ahead and release the report. Only the 528-page executive summary of the 6,000-page volume has been made public. Yet it is the closest thing to date to a public accounting for the C.I.A. interrogation program, the first time in history the government authorized the use of methods the United States had long considered to be illegal torture.

Note: Read an article titled, "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


CIA risks sliding back into illegal torture methods, warns real-life star of The Report
2019-11-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:50:55
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/15/cia-risks-sliding-back-into-i...

As chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee, Daniel Jones spent five years poring over internal CIA accounts of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” programme adopted in the “war on terror”, which Congress demanded to see after it emerged that agency officials had destroyed videotapes of the brutal questioning of terrorist suspects. The Amazon movie, The Report, tells the story of what Jones ... and his colleagues found out about the torture programme: the systematic use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and “stress positions”, and the extraordinary fact that the CIA itself had conducted a review that showed none of it was working. The programme did not provide useful intelligence – and yet the CIA hid that conclusion. None of the officials responsible for the torture or the cover-up had been held accountable. Gina Haspel, who ran one of the CIA’s black sites and who wrote a cable calling for the destruction of the torture videotapes, is now director of the CIA. When Obama was elected, he called an end to the torture, but stopped short of confronting the intelligence community. In a famously oddly worded admission in 2014, Obama said: “We tortured some folks.” The 44th president went on to say: “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.” The line still infuriates Jones, who says the real patriots were the CIA whistleblowers.

Note: A former CIA counterterrorism officer who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA torture referred to CIA director Gina Haspel's actions as "war crimes, crimes against humanity". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.


Alabama Power fees on solar challenged
2019-11-16, Miami Herald/Associated Press
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:48:48
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article237436404.html

When Jim Bankston installed solar panels on his Tuscaloosa home, he estimated it would trim his electricity bill, and the savings would eventually offset the cost of the hefty investment. After it was running, he noticed fees on his Alabama Power bill that he didn’t understand and learned there was a $5-per-kilowatt capacity charge on customers who use solar panels to produce a portion of their own electricity. “I am having to pay them just to use the photons that are hitting my own roof,” Bankston said. He had estimated the system would eventually pay for itself in 20 years. With the fees included, he said it could be twice that. “It’s discouraging the use of solar,” said Keith Johnston, managing attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Birmingham office. “We call it a solar tax.” The fee is based on the size of the solar system, so a five kilowatt system would have a monthly fee of $25. The average solar panel setup for a home costs about $10,000, according to the environmental law center. The fees add another $9,000 over the 30-year-lifespan of a system, dramatically increasing a homeowner’s cost and reducing any financial benefit they see from solar, the law group said. The issue of fees has arisen in New Mexico, Arizona and other states, causing clashes between renewable energy proponents and utilities. A power company in Iowa unsuccessfully pushed lawmakers to approve a fee that would require a homeowner with an average solar array to pay about $27 a month.

Note: Unlike many countries which are subsidizing solar power as a clean energy source, some places in the US are discouraging solar by taxes like this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


U.S. Lags in Toxicity Data, Report Says
2000-05-03, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:47:00
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-may-03-mn-25998-story.html

The nation’s health experts are unable to gauge the effect of many potentially toxic chemicals on humans because the federal government has failed to study such exposure and has “a long way to go” before remedying the situation, according to a report released Tuesday. The study by the General Accounting Office was begun nearly two years ago. The study reviewed more than 1,400 chemicals that pose potential threats to human health and found that only 6% are being tracked by HHS and the EPA. And only a small percentage of the chemicals known or thought to be carcinogenic are being tracked by the government. In some situations where medical experts wanted to collect “human exposure” data - from blood, hair or urine, for example - and examine it for chemicals, they were constrained by financial resources. Such situations included suspected “cancer clusters” or contact with toxic chemicals. State and federal environmental health officials said that current budgets allow them to collect or use such data in less than half the cases where they thought it to be necessary. Even when laboratories have the capacity to collect the data, no laboratory method has been developed for assessing exposure levels in human tissue for many of the 1,400 chemicals known to pose a threat to human health. Data on how environmental toxins affect children are particularly lacking, according to physicians and public health officials who testified at Tuesday’s hearing

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


Violence Vanquished
2011-09-24, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:44:56
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111904106704576583203589408180

Evidence of our bloody history is not hard to find. Consider the genocides in the Old Testament and the crucifictions in the New, the gory mutilations in Shakespeare's tragedies and Grimm's fairy tales, the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals. Today, the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. A look at the numbers shows that over the course of our history, humanity has been blessed with ... major declines of violence. The first was a process of pacification: the transition from the anarchy of the hunting, gathering, and horticultural societies in which our species spent most of its evolutionary history to the first agricultural civilizations, with cities and governments, starting about 5,000 years ago. On average, about 15% of people in prestate eras died violently, compared to about 3% of the citizens of the earliest states. Centuries ago, the great powers were almost always at war, and until quite recently. Western European countries tended to initiate two or three new wars every year. The cliche that the 20th century was "the most violent in history" ignores the second half of the century. Though it's tempting to attribute the Long Peace to nuclear deterrence, non-nuclear developed states have stopped fighting each other as well. Political scientists point instead to the growth of democracy, trade and international organizations - all of which, the statistical evidence shows, reduce the liklihood of conflict.

Note: The WSJ requires a subscription to read this article. You can find it free on the website of the author, Steven Pinker. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker – review
2012-11-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:42:41
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/nov/19/better-angels-nature-steven-p...

The Better Angels of Our Nature takes a thesis I would love to believe; indeed, have casually believed for most of my life. It is that humans have grown less horrible with time. The 20th century, the century of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, of Mao in China and Mobutu in the Congo, was appalling, but the number of deaths by violence as a proportion of the total population remained modest compared with the ferocious cruelties of the wars of religion in the 17th century. The modern nation state – the Leviathan of the philosopher Hobbes – has had a civilising effect almost everywhere. Education has helped, as has the empowerment of women, and the idea, too, of human rights. Within the epic sweep of history from ice age hunter gatherers to modern suburban householders, [author Steven] Pinker examines both the big picture and the fine detail, with surprises on every page. Overall ... he finds examples of falling murder rates everywhere (including among male English aristocrats 1330-1829). Murder rates as a percentage of population were far higher among the supposedly peace-loving and cooperative hunter-gatherer communities – the Inuit of the Arctic, for instance, the !Kung of the Kalahari and the Semai of Malaysia – than in the trigger-happy US in its most violent decade. Unexpectedly, deaths in warfare, once again as a percentage of total population, were far higher among the Gran Valley Dani of New Guinea, or in Fiji in the 1860s, than in Germany in the whole of the 20th century.

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


How to Get Trump Voters and Liberals to Talk: Don’t Make Anyone Sit in a Circle
2019-11-03, New York Times
Posted: 2019-12-02 21:41:12
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/us/trump-voters-liberals.html

When four Republicans and five Democrats got together at a high-end condominium complex to talk for seven hours in San Francisco this fall it was such a curiosity that a crowd of more than a dozen gathered just to watch. The host was a nonprofit called Better Angels, which is putting on half a dozen events around the country every week through the election. The polarized were at a square table supervised by two moderators, a therapist and a retired psychiatrist. They were mostly in their 50s and 60s, and wore red and blue name tags to correspond with their political leanings. The moderators referred to them as the reds and the blues. The conservatives were surprised the liberals thought at all about religion. The liberals were surprised the conservatives were so anxious about being seen as racist. Over a lunch break ... the two groups stayed largely separate. Many of the blue side said they came just for the opportunity to meet and question someone who disagreed with them politically. “Outside of this group, I’ve got no Republican friends,” said Monty Worth. People on the red side said they came to the workshop to be in a safe space where they could be open about their politics and argue their case. After the 2016 election, [David Blankenhorn] and two friends got together and led the first Better Angels workshop in Ohio. Now more than 15,000 people have gone through one of their programs (8,000 have joined as dues-paying members), and the group has trained more than 620 volunteer workshop moderators.

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


After Disastrous Epstein Interview, Prince Andrew Steps Down From Public Duties
2019-11-20, New York Times
Posted: 2019-11-24 18:57:47
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/world/europe/prince-andrew-quits-epstein.html

Prince Andrew announced on Wednesday that he would step back from public life, seeking to contain a firestorm over his ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. “It has become clear to me over the past few days that my association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” Prince Andrew said in a statement. “Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I can step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission,” said the prince, who is also known as the Duke of York. The duke, 59, had hoped that the interview, broadcast Saturday by the BBC, would put to rest lingering questions about his ties to Mr. Epstein, as well as accusations that he had sex with a teenage girl who had been supplied to him by his friend. Instead, after the duke submitted to 50 minutes of pol