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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.


Investors are starting to bet big on psychedelic medicine
2019-03-23, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:12:01
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/27/psychedelic-medicine-start-ups-vet-ketamine-p...

Psychedelic medicine is having a moment. Just weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, a group of European technology investors ... got together for the largest-ever private financing round for a psychedelic medicine biotech company, ATAI. Psychedelic medicine involves research and investigations into mind-altering substances to treat mental illnesses including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. After recreational use of psychedelics became popular in the 1960s, the U.S. government classified most of them “drugs of abuse” with no real medical value. However, recent clinical studies show mounting evidence that some psychedelics can help patients with certain mental illnesses, either in combination with traditional therapies or in cases where nothing else has worked. Now health and technology investors are paying attention. German company ATAI Life Sciences announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $40 million in new financing. The round valued the company at $240 million, according to a person familiar, making it both the biggest round and the most valuable company in the young space. ATAI is currently funding clinical trials for what it refers to as “formerly stigmatized compounds,” including psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms, and arketamine, a different variant of ketamine from the one Johnson & Johnson researched, as potential treatments for depression.

Note: Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Moon landing tapes got erased, NASA admits
2009-07-16, Reuters
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:09:28
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nasa-tapes/moon-landing-tapes-got-erased-n...

The original recordings of the first humans landing on the moon 40 years ago were erased ... NASA officials said. NASA released the first glimpses of a complete digital make-over of the original landing footage that clarifies the blurry and grainy images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the surface of the moon. The full set of recordings [is] being cleaned up by Burbank, California-based Lowry Digital. NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the July 20, 1969, landing. Since then, Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who oversaw television processing at the ground-tracking sites during the Apollo 11 mission, has been looking for them. The good news is he found where they went. The bad news is they were part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed - magnetically erased - and re-used to save money. “We should have had a historian running around saying ‘I don’t care if you are ever going to use them - we are going to keep them’,” he said. They found good copies in the archives of CBS news and some recordings ... in film vaults at Johnson Space Center. Lowry, best known for restoring old Hollywood films, has been digitizing these ... to make a new rendering of the original landing. And there may be some unofficial copies of the original broadcast out there somewhere that were taken from a NASA video switching center in Sydney, Australia.

Note: Explore lots more verifiable information about the strange disappearance of the original moon landing tapes.


A suburbia for the homeless exists and they can live there forever
2019-03-28, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:07:05
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/us/iyw-town-for-the-homeless-trnd/index.html

The world looks a little brighter from the front porch of your own home. It's a sight more than 200 formerly homeless people are waking up to each morning at the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. And they can take their time getting used to it; residents are invited to stay for the rest of their lives. Community First! Village is built and run by the nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes to lift the most chronically homeless off the streets and into a place they can call home. They live in about 100 RVs and 125 micro homes arranged on streets with names like "Peaceful Path" and "Goodness Way." Heavy machinery has broken ground on the neighboring 24 acres to add another 310 housing units. When complete, Mobile Loaves and Fishes believes it will be able to provide permanent homes for approximately 40% of the chronically homeless in Austin. The 51-acre planned village was designed to create a sense of community. The homes are "micro" on purpose, providing just enough comfort and privacy but small enough to encourage the owners to step outside. There they find front porches dotted along stone-paved paths that lead to community kitchens, laundry and wash rooms, meeting halls, playgrounds, a dog park, a barber shop, an outdoor movie theater, a medical facility and a community market. New residents might initially keep to themselves, but it is hard to resist the smell of Texas barbecue on the grill, or the sight of fresh vegetables grown on site and being sliced for the community potluck dinner.

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


The Healing Power of Gardens
2019-04-18, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:04:58
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/18/opinion/sunday/oliver-sacks-gardens.html

All of us have had the experience of wandering through a lush garden or a timeless desert, walking by a river or an ocean, or climbing a mountain and finding ourselves simultaneously calmed and reinvigorated. The importance of these physiological states on individual and community health is fundamental and wide-ranging. In 40 years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutical “therapy” to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens. I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication. My friend Lowell has moderately severe Tourette’s syndrome. In his usual busy, city environment, he has hundreds of tics and verbal ejaculations each day - grunting, jumping, touching things compulsively. I was therefore amazed one day when we were hiking in a desert to realize that his tics had completely disappeared. The remoteness and uncrowdedness of the scene, combined with some ineffable calming effect of nature, served to defuse his ticcing, to “normalize” his neurological state. The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure.

Note: The above is excerpted from “Everything in Its Place,” a posthumous collection of writings by Dr. Oliver Sacks. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Shenzhen's silent revolution: world's first fully electric bus fleet quietens Chinese megacity
2018-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-29 16:02:10
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/dec/12/silence-shenzhen-world-first-e...

You have to keep your eyes peeled for the bus at the station in Shenzhen’s Futian central business district these days. The diesel behemoths that once signalled their arrival with a piercing hiss, a rattle of engine and a plume of fumes are no more, replaced with the world’s first and largest 100% electric bus fleet. Shenzhen now has 16,000 electric buses in total and is noticeably quieter for it. “We find that the buses are so quiet that people might not hear them coming,” says Joseph Ma, deputy general manager at Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest of the three main bus companies in the city. The benefits from the switch from diesel buses to electric are not confined to less noise pollution: this fast-growing megacity of 12 million... is also expected to achieve an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions of 48% and cuts in pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Shenzhen Bus Group estimates it has been able to conserve 160,000 tonnes of coal per year and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 440,000 tonnes. Its fuel bill has halved. China’s drive to reduce the choking smog that envelops many of its major cities has propelled a huge investment in electric transport. Although it remains expensive for cities to introduce electric buses – one bus costs around 1.8 million yuan (Ł208,000) – Shenzhen was able to go all-electric thanks to generous subsidies from both central and local government. Typically, more than half of the cost of the bus is subsidised by government,” says Ma.

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


How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation
2018-03-20, The Nation
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:34:02
https://www.thenation.com/article/how-big-wireless-made-us-think-that-cell-ph...

In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A week later, [Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association president Tom] Wheeler announced that his industry would pay for a comprehensive research program. Cell phones were already safe, Wheeler told reporters; the new research would simply “re-validate the findings of the existing studies.” George Carlo seemed like a good bet to fulfill Wheeler’s mission. In 1995, Carlo began directing the industry-financed Wireless Technology Research project (WTR), whose eventual budget of $28.5 million made it the best-funded investigation of cell-phone safety to date. He and Wheeler would eventually clash bitterly over the ... findings, which Carlo presented to wireless-industry leaders on February 9, 1999. By that date, the WTR had commissioned more than 50 original studies and reviewed many more. Those studies raised “serious questions” about cell-phone safety. A livid Tom Wheeler began publicly trashing Carlo to the media. Wheeler’s tactics succeeded in dousing the controversy. In the years to come, the WTR’s cautionary findings would be replicated by numerous other scientists ... leading the World Health Organization in 2011 to classify cell-phone radiation as a “possible” human carcinogen and the governments of Great Britain, France, and Israel to issue strong warnings on cell-phone use by children.

Note: Read the complete article above to learn how far the wireless industry has gone to hide the dangers of its products from the public. Also worthy of attention is a Harvard study titled "How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology
2019-04-03, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:32:17
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/technology/amazon-facial-recognition-techn...

At least 25 prominent artificial-intelligence researchers, including experts at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and a recent winner of the prestigious Turing Award, have signed a letter calling on Amazon to stop selling its facial-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies because it is biased against women and people of color. The letter, which was publicly released Wednesday, reflects growing concern in academia and the tech industry that bias in facial-recognition technology is a systemic problem. Amazon sells a product called Rekognition through its cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services. The company said last year that early customers included the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. In January, two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a peer-reviewed study showing that Amazon Rekognition had more trouble identifying the gender of female and darker-skinned faces in photos than similar services from IBM and Microsoft. It mistook women for men 19 percent of the time, the study showed, and misidentified darker-skinned women for men 31 percent of the time. “There are no laws or required standards to ensure that Rekognition is used in a manner that does not infringe on civil liberties,” the A.I. researchers wrote. “We call on Amazon to stop selling Rekognition to law enforcement.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations
2019-04-11, CNN News
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:30:19
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/tech/amazon-alexa-listening/index.html

Not only is Alexa listening when you speak to an Echo smart speaker, an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too. Amazon (AMZN) employs a global team that transcribes the voice commands captured after the wake word is detected and feeds them back into the software ... Bloomberg reports. Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as "mundane" and even sometimes "possibly criminal," including listening to a potential sexual assault. In a response to the story, Amazon confirmed to CNN Business that it hires people to listen to what customers say to Alexa. Amazon doesn't "explicitly" tell Alexa users that it employs people to listen to the recordings. Amazon said in its frequently asked question section that it uses "requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems." People can opt out of Amazon using their voice recordings to improve the software in the privacy settings section of the Alexa app. Alexa auditors don't have access to the customers' full name or address, but do have the device's serial number and the Amazon account number associated with the device. Amazon previously has been embroiled in controversy for privacy concerns regarding Alexa.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Hormel Lawsuit Reveals What ‘Natural’ Meat Really Means
2019-04-10, Bloomberg
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:28:28
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-10/hormel-advertising-suit-re...

American shoppers are reaching for healthier, more environmentally and animal-friendly meat products, with 39 percent saying “all-natural” is the most important claim when purchasing red meat. But there’s one problem: The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that when it comes to meat and poultry, the term “natural” means only that the product has no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed. It doesn’t mean anything when it comes to antibiotics, hormones or preservatives. Companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Hormel Foods Corp. have been snapping up smaller, outwardly progressive competitors. At the same time, however, some of the major meat companies have been offering their own products as “natural,” replete with labels featuring blue skies and green fields. On April 8, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia - a jurisdiction with stringent consumer protection laws - dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. The court held that as long as manufacturer labels are approved by the USDA, the advertising can use the “natural” claims. In statements disclosed in the filing, a company executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. “It’s a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer,” said David Muraskin, a food project attorney.

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


American billionaires call for upgrades to capitalism, starting with higher taxes on themselves
2019-04-08, CNBC News
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:26:37
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/08/american-billionaires-call-for-upgrades-to-ca...

American billionaires are calling for changes to the system that enabled them to get rich. Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, Ray Dalio, Bill Gates and a list of others say that capitalism in its current form simply doesn’t work for the rest of the United States. Some of their remedies involve higher taxes. Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio is the most recent to criticize the current economic system. On Monday, the Bridgewater founder told CNBC that while it doesn’t need to be destroyed, capitalism does need to present an equal opportunity, which Dalio said he received through public education. The issue chafing billionaires and politicians alike is a growing income gap. The inequality between rich and poor Americans is as high as it was in late 1930s, Dalio pointed out in a paper posted online. The wealth of the top 1 percent of the population is now more than that of the bottom 90 percent of the population combined. Dalio called growing inequality and lack of investment in public education “an existential risk for the U.S.” Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett - third on Forbe’s 2019 billionaires list - has repeatedly said the wealthy should be taxed more. In 2006, the CEO committed to give all of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. He and Bill and Melinda Gates have asked hundreds of wealthy Americans to pledge at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity in the so-called “the Giving Pledge.” There are now 190 people signed on, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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


Wall Street loves socialism for bankers – but not for ordinary people
2019-04-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:24:03
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/08/wall-street-socialism-j...

In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling. According to the Justice Department, JPMorgan acknowledged it had regularly and knowingly sold mortgages that should have never been sold. To state it another way, Dimon and other Wall Street CEOs helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis when the dangerous and irresponsible loans their banks were peddling – on which they made big money – finally went bust. But instead of letting the market punish the banks (which is what capitalism is supposed to do) the government bailed them out and eventually levied paltry fines which the banks treated as the cost of doing business. Call it socialism for rich bankers. America’s five biggest banks, including Dimon’s, now control 46% of all deposits, up from 12% in the early 1990s. But, of course, Dimon isn’t really ... concerned about socialism. Dimon’s real concern is that America may end the kind of socialism he and other denizens of the Street depend on – bailouts, regulatory loopholes, and tax breaks.

Note: The above was written by former US secretary of labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Citizen Trump was right about the Saudis; President Trump, not so much
2017-05-02, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:21:14
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wenar-saudi-arms-deal-20170522-st...

"It's the world's biggest funder of terrorism. Saudi Arabia funnels our petrodollars, our very own money, to fund the terrorists that seek to destroy our people." So said Donald Trump, private citizen. But then President Trump made Saudi Arabia his very first foreign destination. Trump rode in a golf cart with King Salman, did a traditional sword dance and speechified about America's great friendship with "the Magnificent Kingdom." What changed Trump's mind? Apparently, $110 billion. That's how much the Saudis announced Saturday that they'll spend to buy advanced American weaponry - one of the biggest arms deals in history. This weapons deal, the president said, is all about U.S. jobs. Yet how many Americans want to work to arm the country that, as Citizen Trump said, "blew up the World Trade Center"? Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis. The 9/11 Commission report found that Saudi society "was a place where al Qaeda raised money directly from individuals and through charities," and that it was likely that "charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda." Massive amounts of funding still go from Saudi Arabia to extremist groups. The main force behind the weekend's arms deal is King Salman's son, Mohammed bin Salman. This young prince is leading Saudi's war in Yemen, where Saudi attacks on civilians have been flagrant enough to make the United Nations warn of war crimes.

Note: Read more on the Saudi role in Sept. 11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


U.S. court pays $6 million to Gardasil victims
2014-12-31, Washington Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:18:02
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/31/us-court-pays-6-million-gard...

Gardasil, the vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus), may not be as safe as backers claim. Judicial Watch announced it has received documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated. “This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded. Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. The CDC recommends the Gardasil vaccine, made by Merck Pharmaceuticals, for all females between 9 and 26 years to protect against HPV. The facts appear to contradict the FDA’s safety statements. The adverse reaction reports detail 26 new deaths reported between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011 as well as incidents of seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short term memory loss and Guillain-Barré Syndrome. While it is not clear exactly what is causing so many adverse reactions, Gardasil does contain genetically engineered virus-like protein particles as well as aluminum, which can affect immune function. Merck studied the Gardasil vaccine in fewer than 1,200 girls under 16 prior to it being released to the market under a fast-tracked road to licensure.

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


Inventor Makes ‘Music Memory Box’ So Dementia Patients Can Reconnect With Their Loved Ones
2019-04-11, Good News Network
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:15:29
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dementia-patients-reconnect-with-family-thank...

The Music Memory Box was created as a means of using photographs, objects, and music to help people with dementia to remember their past. The box is programmed to play certain songs that are associated with the various possessions and photos. When one of the objects is placed in the center of the box, a sensor triggers box’s speakers so that it plays the song that corresponds with the object. 28-year-old designer Chloe Meineck says that her great-grandmother’s experience with dementia served as the inspiration for the box. Whenever Meineck when to visit the senior at her nursing home, the woman always failed to recognize her. Upon hearing certain songs, however, Meineck’s great-grandmother would suddenly begin to recall heartfelt stories from her past. 74-year-old Monica Garrity [said] she and her husband Steve, who has dementia, began using the box in 2017 as a means of helping him to remember events from their marriage – and they’ve been regularly using the box ever since. “We have been able to connect again, it is wonderful,” says Monica. “He doesn’t usually communicate with me but when the music plays, he hums along and even holds out his hand to grab mine. It takes us back to when we got married.” In addition to receiving dozens of awards for her design, Meineck recently held a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the manufacturing of the first batch of Music Memory Boxes. Within two weeks, she was able to raise the necessary funds.

Note: Don't miss a video of the Music Memory Box in action at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison
2015-03-26, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:13:45
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/magazine/the-radical-humaneness-of-norways...

The turnoff to Norway’s newest prison was marked by a modest sign. There were no signs warning against picking up hitchhikers, no visible fences. Halden Fengsel ... is often called the world’s most humane maximum-security prison. To anyone familiar with the American correctional system, Halden seems alien. Its modern, cheerful and well-­appointed facilities, the relative freedom of movement it offers, its quiet and peaceful atmosphere — these qualities are so out of sync with the forms of imprisonment found in the United States that you could be forgiven for doubting whether Halden is a prison at all. It is, of course, but it is also ... the physical expression of an entire national philosophy about the relative merits of punishment and forgiveness. The treatment of inmates at Halden is wholly focused on helping to prepare them for a life after they get out. Not only is there no death penalty in Norway; there are no life sentences. Norwegian Correctional Service ... works with other government agencies to secure a home, a job and access to a supportive social network for each inmate before release; Norway’s social safety net also provides health care, education and a pension to all citizens. If inmates are having problems with one another, an officer or prison chaplain brings them together for a mediation session that continues until they have agreed to maintain peace and have shaken hands. Even members of rival gangs agree not to fight inside.

Note: Watch a great, short video on this model prison.


Why Finland comes out on top on happiness and more
2019-04-07, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2019-04-22 02:12:07
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-ollila-finland-happiness-20190407...

When the U.N.’s 2019 World Happiness Report came out last month, Finland ranked on top for the second year in a row. Small Finland — about 75% the size of California with just 5.5 million people — consistently trounces the United States and other developed nations on ratings of life satisfaction, health, safety, governance, community and social progress. The underlying reason Finns are faring so well is because we have a different mindset about success — one that’s based on equity and community. In the United States, happiness and success are perceived as individual pursuits, indeed, even competitive ones. In Finland, success is a team sport. While Finland is by no means struggling financially, its GDP per capita is lower than those of its neighboring Nordic countries, and much lower than that of the U.S. The difference is, in the words of Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, “the Finns are good at converting wealth into well-being.” The more equal a society is, the happier its citizens are. Finland is ranked among the most equal of all the 36 OECD countries. This ... helps support overall high levels of trust. Finns trust one another and, perhaps more impressively, they trust their government. And although Finns pay some of the highest taxes worldwide, there is a transparency to the Finnish system that many other countries lack. Every year the government makes public the tax data of all its citizens and corporations on what has come to be called National Envy Day.

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


A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy
2019-04-06, New York Times
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:12:09
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/health/drug-resistant-candida-auris.html

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.” C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections. For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened life spans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. But lately, there has been an explosion of resistant fungi as well. Yet as the problem grows, it is little understood by the public — in part because the very existence of resistant infections is often cloaked in secrecy. With bacteria and fungi alike, hospitals and local governments are reluctant to disclose outbreaks for fear of being seen as infection hubs. Even the C.D.C., under its agreement with states, is not allowed to make public the location or name of hospitals involved in outbreaks.

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


You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead.
2019-04-03, USA Today
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:10:16
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/03/abortion-gun...

Each year, state lawmakers across the U.S. introduce thousands of bills dreamed up and written by corporations, industry groups and think tanks. Disguised as the work of lawmakers, these so-called “model” bills get copied in one state Capitol after another, quietly advancing the agenda of the people who write them. A two-year investigation by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity reveals for the first time the extent to which special interests have infiltrated state legislatures using model legislation. USA TODAY and the Republic found at least 10,000 bills almost entirely copied from model legislation were introduced nationwide in the past eight years, and more than 2,100 of those bills were signed into law. In a separate analysis, the Center for Public Integrity identified tens of thousands of bills with identical phrases, then traced the origins of that language. Model bills passed into law have ... limited access to abortion and restricted the rights of protesters. In all, these copycat bills amount to the nation’s largest, unreported special-interest campaign, driving agendas in every statehouse and touching nearly every area of public policy. USA TODAY found more than 4,000 bills benefiting industry were introduced nationwide during the eight years it reviewed. More than 80 of those bills limit the public's ability to sue corporations, including limiting class-action lawsuits, a plaintiff's ability to offer expert testimony, and cap punitive damages for corporate wrongdoing.

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


Five myths about whistleblowers
2019-04-05, Washington Post
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:08:04
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-whistleblo...

Despite the essential role whistleblowers play in illuminating the truth and protecting the public interest, several myths persist about them. The overwhelming majority of employees who see problems want to blow the whistle internally first. Understanding this can - and should - encourage employers to respond appropriately when workers report problems. Similarly, employees who understand that they are in fact whistleblowers when they raise concerns inside the workplace will be better prepared to navigate their rights, risks and options. While many employees who witness wrongdoing in the workplace stay silent, fearing reprisal or futility, those who do raise concerns ... demonstrate faith that their employers are committed to compliance and that they can make a difference. Whistleblowers who report externally typically do so because the problem is significant and their employers have failed to address it or engaged in reprisal (or both). Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional mass collection of telephone metadata, and Reality Winner’s disclosures about Russian efforts to hack state elections as the Trump campaign was denying Russian involvement, clearly meet this standard of significance. While reporters may use the term “leak” to describe information received from anonymous insiders, the failure to distinguish between leaking and anonymous whistleblowing risks undermining the legitimacy and importance of disclosures that clearly advance the public’s interest.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age
2019-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2019-04-15 20:06:07
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/04/chernobyl-nuclear-power...

In 1986, the Soviet minister of hydrometeorology, Yuri Izrael, had a regrettable decision to make. It was his job to track radioactivity blowing from the smoking Chernobyl reactor in the hours after the 26 April explosion and deal with it. If the slow-moving mass of radioactive clouds reached Moscow, where a spring storm front was piling up, millions could be harmed. Soviet air force pilots ... made the easy one-hour flight to Chernobyl, where the reactor burned. When they caught up with a cloud, they shot jets of silver iodide into it. Wherever pilots shot silver iodide, rain fell, along with a toxic brew of a dozen radioactive elements. No one told the Belarusians that the southern half of the republic had been sacrificed to protect Russian cities. The Chernobyl explosions issued 45m curies of radioactive iodine into the atmosphere. Emissions from Soviet and US bomb tests amounted to 20bn curies of radioactive iodine, 500 times more. When the Chernobyl accident occurred, experts in radiation medicine called for a long-term epidemiological study on Chernobyl-exposed people. That study never occurred. Fortunately, Chernobyl health records are now available to the public. They show that people living in the radioactive traces fell ill from cancers, respiratory illness, anaemia, auto-immune disorders, birth defects, and fertility problems two to three times more frequently in the years after the accident than before.

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