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Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media

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Dangerous lab leaks happen far more often than the public is aware
2023-05-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:38:55
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/may/30/lab-leaks-shrouded-secrecy

Safety breaches happen every year at labs experimenting with dangerous pathogens. Scientists and other lab workers are bitten by infected animals, stuck by contaminated needles and splashed with infectious fluids. Yet the public rarely learns about these incidents, which tend to be shrouded in secrecy. For example, when a safety breach occurred in 2019 at a University of Wisconsin-Madison lab experimenting with a dangerous and highly controversial lab-created H5N1 avian influenza virus, the university never told the public – or local and state public health officials. In another incident, a pipe burst on a lab waste-holding tank in 2018 at a US army research facility at Fort Detrick, near Washington DC. Workers initially dismissed that any safety breach had occurred. Then army officials belatedly issued public statements that left out key details and created the misleading impression that no dangerous pathogens could have left the base. Yet my reporting has uncovered government documents and even a photo showing the giant tank spewing an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of unsterilized lab wastewater near an open storm drain that feeds into a popular public waterway. Regulation of lab safety in the US and around the world is fragmented and often relies heavily on scientific institutions policing themselves. There is no comprehensive tracking of which labs hold collections of the most dangerous viruses, bacteria and toxins.

Note: Watch our latest Mindful News Brief series on the strong evidence that bioweapons research created COVID-19. 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.


Pentagon’s flawed UFO report demands congressional action
2024-03-15, The Hill
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:36:02
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/4526160-pentagons-flawed-ufo-report-de...

On March 8, the Department of Defense published the most significant report on UFOs in at least two generations — a congressionally mandated historical review of U.S. government involvement with unidentified anomalous phenomena or UAP. Unfortunately, the report from the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) contains an array of striking omissions and one particularly egregious misrepresentation. The result is a misleading report which, like so much government UFO-related propaganda over seven decades, tells the reader just to move on, nothing to see here. AARO has not provided a plausible explanation for naval aviators’ more recent encounters — including one harrowing near-collision — with spherical objects exhibiting extraordinary flight characteristics. Worst of all, AARO’s review misrepresents the most exhaustive, comprehensive historical analysis of UFO incidents, conducted on behalf of the Air Force by the Battelle Memorial Institute in the early 1950s. According to AARO, the resulting report found that “all cases that had enough data were resolved and explainable.” But this is not what Battelle’s analysis found at all, and AARO’s misrepresentation of its conclusions speaks volumes. According to the Battelle analysis ... of the UFO cases considered “Excellent” and with sufficient data to draw a conclusion, 33 percent were categorized as having “unknown” origin.

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 new UFO Information Center.


The 4 Big Questions the Pentagon’s New UFO Report Fails to Answer
2024-03-11, Wired
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:34:08
https://www.wired.com/story/questions-pentagon-ufo-report/

The United States Defense Department announced Friday that it found no evidence that the government is covering up contact with extraterrestrials. The report was issued by the Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO), the unit created and tasked in recent years with studying UAP sightings. The report in its own way raises as many new questions as it answers. AARO investigators, for instance, dug through the claims of witnesses and whistleblowers and successfully traced back the underlying research projects, Special Access Programs (SAPs), and classified compartments. As the report says, “AARO investigated numerous named, and described, but unnamed programs alleged to involve UAP exploitation conveyed to AARO through official interviews,” and ultimately, “conclude[d] many of these programs represent authentic, current and former sensitive, national security programs, but none of these programs have been involved with capturing, recovering, or reverse-engineering off-world technology or material.” What exactly are the secret compartmentalized programs that the whistleblowers and government witnesses misidentified as being related to UAP technology? What, exactly, are the Pentagon, intelligence community, or defense contractors working on that ... looks and sounds like reverse-engineering out-of-this-world technology or even studying so-called “non-human biologics”?

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 new UFO Information Center.


World Bank Chief Apologizes to Staff for Handling of Child Sex Abuse Scandal
2024-03-14, The Intercept
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:31:56
https://theintercept.com/2024/03/14/world-bank-child-sex-abuse-scandal-bridge...

Over the past year, Neha Wadekar and I unearthed a whistleblower’s shocking claim of a cover-up of a child sex abuse scandal, a who’s who of international do-good financiers, and a for-profit education chain operating mostly in Africa called Bridge International Academies. An investigator working for the World Bank was stymied and retaliated against. We got notes from a critical phone call between World Bank officials and company executives showing a plan to “neutralize Adler” — the lead internal investigator who had uncovered the allegations — and to slow down the process. “Time matters,” as one person on the call put it. “Need to delay until Series F.” (That’s a name for a financing round.) Following our reporting, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., sent multiple letters to the World Bank, warning the new president that how he responded to the scandal would be used by Congress as a proxy for his broader seriousness about reforming the bank. “We view the Bridge case as a litmus test for the conversation currently taking place around IFC’s responsibility to remedy social and environmental harm caused by its projects, especially those where IFC is not following its own policies,” the senators wrote. Bridge International Academies was backed by the World Bank’s IFC, as well as prominent Silicon Valley and venture capital leaders, including private funds linked to Bill Ackman, Mark Zuckerberg, and Pierre Omidyar.

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


A is For Abuse: Two Harvard Grads Saw Big Profits in African Education. Children Paid the Price.
2023-03-23, The Intercept
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:30:03
https://theintercept.com/2023/03/23/bridge-schools-africa-kenya-education/

Bridge International Academies ... grew into a chain of schools providing a homogeneous curriculum developed by researchers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to hundreds of thousands of students in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia, and India. Today, it is the largest for-profit primary education chain in the world. The company is financed today by some of the highest-profile do-good donors in the game — or rather, the for-profit arms of their networks. In March 2022, the World Bank’s financing arm — the International Finance Corporation — quietly divested from NewGlobe, the parent company of Bridge International. A series of abuse and neglect allegations in Kenya ... had caught the eye of a Nairobi-based human rights group, the East African Centre for Human Rights, or EACHRights, as well as the internal watchdog at the World Bank, known as the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, or CAO. “I find it deeply suspect that CAO uncovers explosive child sexual abuse allegations in the course of a compliance investigation and shortly thereafter, the World Bank president unexpectedly terminates the head of the CAO,” said one well-placed civil society representative whose clients have complaints before the CAO. “Meanwhile, three years after the child sexual abuse allegations came to light, the CAO has still not produced an investigation report.” It’s very sad, because the CAO has always been the kind of beacon of accountability of any kind of institution, public or private. No more.

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


Biometrics Giant Accenture Quietly Took Over LA Residents’ Jail Reform Plan
2024-03-12, The Intercept
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:28:30
https://theintercept.com/2024/03/12/los-angeles-jail-accenture-measure-j/

In November 2020 ... a ballot initiative known as Measure J passed with 57 percent support, amending the LA County charter so that jailing people before trial would be treated as a last resort. In June, LA County signed over the handling of changes to pretrial detention under Measure J to the consulting firm Accenture, a behemoth in the world of biometric databases and predictive policing. Accenture has pushed counterterror and policing strategies around the globe: The company built the world’s biggest biometric identification system in India, which has used similar technologies to surveil protesters and conduct crowd control as part of efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to investigate the citizenship of Muslim residents. Accenture ballooned into a giant in federal consulting over the course of the “war on terror,” winning hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative contracts from federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security for projects from a “virtual border” to recruiting and hiring Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol agents. In 2006, Accenture won a $10 million contract for a DHS biometric ID program, the world’s second biggest, to collect and share biometric data on foreign nationals entering or leaving the U.S. Several LA-based advocates told The Intercept that the contract is yet another development that calls into question the county’s commitment to real criminal justice reform.

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.


Musk's SpaceX is building spy satellite network for US intelligence agency, sources say
2024-03-16, Reuters
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:26:34
https://www.reuters.com/technology/space/musks-spacex-is-building-spy-satelli...

SpaceX is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified contract with a U.S. intelligence agency, five sources familiar with the program said. The network is being built by SpaceX's Starshield business unit under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an intelligence agency that manages spy satellites. The plans show the extent of SpaceX's involvement in U.S. intelligence and military projects and illustrate a deeper Pentagon investment into vast, low-Earth orbiting satellite systems aimed at supporting ground forces. If successful, the sources said the program would significantly advance the ability of the U.S. government and military to quickly spot potential targets almost anywhere on the globe. Reuters reporting discloses for the first time that the SpaceX contract is for a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites bearing Earth-imaging capabilities that can operate as a swarm in low orbits. The planned Starshield network is separate from Starlink, SpaceX's growing commercial broadband constellation that has about 5,500 satellites in space. The classified constellation of spy satellites represents one of the U.S. government’s most sought-after capabilities in space because it is designed to offer the most persistent, pervasive and rapid coverage of activities on Earth. "No one can hide," one of the sources said of the system’s potential capability, when describing the network's reach.

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


Pentagon UAP Report Says No Evidence U.S. Has Collected Exotic Technology, Kept Programs Hidden From Congress
2024-03-09, The Debrief
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:24:26
https://thedebrief.org/pentagon-uap-report-says-no-evidence-u-s-has-collected...

A historical report issued by the Pentagon’s office tasked with the investigation of unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), commonly referred to as UFOs, says it found no evidence that sightings of mysterious aerial objects represent extraterrestrial technology, or that secret programs related to the recovery of crashed exotic vehicles have been hidden from Congress. The report is the first installment in a two-volume series produced by the Defense Department’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). “To date, AARO has not discovered any empirical evidence that any sighting of a UAP represented off-world technology or the existence a classified program that had not been properly reported to Congress,” the report said. Citing investigations that revealed most sightings to result from the “misidentification of ordinary objects and phenomena,” the report acknowledged that “many UAP reports remain unsolved.” Following the release of AARO’s report ... few mainstream outlets discussed the numerous intriguing allusions to legitimate advanced capabilities the U.S. possesses that are peppered throughout the report—many of which, in likelihood, actually have contributed to UAP sightings over the years. These seemingly went unnoticed, as well as several factual errors that appear throughout the new report that, for some, potentially undermine the level of rigor AARO appears to have applied in its investigations.

Note: In our UFO Information Center, we reveal significant evidence of top-secret UFO government programs that not even most presidents and Congressional members have access to.


AARO Report Unearths Odd Claims Involving U.S. Recovery Of Material From 1952 UFO Incident
2024-03-12, The Debrief
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:22:23
https://thedebrief.org/fragmented-facts-aaro-report-unearths-odd-claims-invol...

During the summer of 1952, the United States was on high alert as UFO sightings over the nation’s capital were making frequent headlines. One of the objects—a small, glowing disc—was pursued and shot at by a military aircraft, blasting off a fragment that fell into a field near Washington D.C., which a naval officer later retrieved. Last week, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) released a long-awaited historical report on its findings involving the United States government’s involvement with UAP and related programs since the end of World War II. In the report, AARO investigators maintained the U.S. federal government’s longstanding position that it has never found any convincing evidence of extraterrestrial technologies operating near Earth, nor of any secret programs involving the acquisition or reverse engineering of crashed exotic technologies that have remained hidden from Congress. Although the recent AARO historical report only provides a cursory summary of the alleged 1952 incident ... there is still more to this bizarre story of alleged UAP debris. Much of this involves the Canadian engineer and UFO researcher Wilbert Smith, who eventually received the alleged flying saucer fragment. “Smith assessed that UFOs were of extraterrestrial origin and that they flew by magnetism,” the recent AARO historical report states. “Smith believed he was in personal contact with extraterrestrial beings through telepathy,” AARO’s investigators add.

Note: Wilbert Smith was the head of the Canadian government’s first study on UFOs. He concluded in a declassified 1950 memo that US authorities consider UFO phenomena to be “of tremendous significance,” and that UFOs are the “most highly classified subject in the US government.” In our UFO Information Center, we reveal significant evidence of top-secret UFO government programs that not even most presidents and Congressional members have access to.


Penguin Becomes ‘Guide Bird’ Companion For Zoo Pal Suffering with Cataracts: Waddle I do Without You?
2024-02-10, Good News Network
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:19:36
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/penguin-becomes-guide-bird-companion-for-his-...

A penguin has become a ‘guide-bird’ for a fellow African Penguin with poor eyesight, escorting her around their enclosure to get food and build confidence. The animal helper named ‘Penguin’ has bonded with ‘Squid’ the three-year-old that suffers from cataracts, a debilitating condition that clouds the lens of the eye. Squid is often disoriented during busy feeding times and relies on Penguin’s “unwavering calmness”. Penguin has become Squid’s beacon, guiding her around the enclosure and acting as her ‘eyes’. The hand-reared birds are now inseparable—to the delight of their human keepers at Birdworld who are sharing their remarkable relationship. “The intuitive behavior observed between Penguin and Squid has revealed a remarkable level of empathy and understanding, showcasing the profound connections that can form within the animal kingdom,” said Polly Branham a spokesperson for the aviary in Surrey, England. Having been nurtured within the colony, Squid honed her skills alongside her peers—learning the essence of being a penguin—but she used to be quite anxious about approaching the fish bucket at feeding time. “The excitement of the other penguins created a more unpredictable environment, and she would shy away from this for fear of getting caught in the crossfire of beaks,” explained Branham. “That is how Penguin has been such an enormous help to her. “His stability was something she could rely on.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Need to track animals around the world? Tap into the 'spider-verse,' scientists say
2024-02-01, NPR
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:17:59
https://www.npr.org/2024/02/01/1228141523/track-animals-edna-spiderweb

The rich tapestry of life on Earth is fraying, due in large part to human-caused habitat loss and climate change. As more species disappear, researchers are racing to track this global decline in biodiversity to understand its consequences and counteract it through conservation initiatives. Those efforts rely on accurate animal monitoring, which can be difficult, time-consuming and costly. Now, in new research published in the journal iScience, researchers present evidence for a new low-cost, noninvasive tool that can be used to monitor animals: spiderwebs. They're using environmental DNA, or eDNA, which is simply different creatures' DNA just lying around in the environment. Previous work showed that webs are good sources of insect DNA, including what spiders are gorging on. But [evolutionary biologist Morton] Allentoft and [student Josh] Newton wanted to see whether the webs were also trapping DNA from vertebrate animals. So Newton ... collected spiderwebs. Back in the lab, Newton amplified the small amounts of DNA from the webs. They were filled with genetic material from animals. "It was wonderful," says Allentoft. "We could see these kangaroos [and] wallabies." There were nine other mammals, 13 species of birds, the motorbike frog and the snake-eyed skink. In other words, the technique worked. It represents a new way of tracking animal biodiversity and alerting us when we should intervene to conserve native species.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A Guantanamo Guard And His Detainee Reunite
2018-08-12, NPR
Posted: 2024-03-25 20:16:06
https://www.npr.org/2018/08/12/637932193/a-guantanamo-guard-and-a-detainee-re...

Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Steve Wood met in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2004. At the time, Slahi had been in captivity for two years, accused of acts of terrorism. Wood, then a member of the National Guard, was assigned to watch the Mauritania native. For nine months, they spent their days together. After more than a decade, the two saw each other once again this spring, when Wood traveled to Slahi's home in Mauritania to see his old friend. The two became fast friends. They bonded over the movie The Big Lebowski. Slahi related to the main character, "The Dude," a victim of mistaken identity. The U.S. government detained Slahi in Guantanamo for 14 years, but never charged him with an offense. In 2010, a federal judge ruled that Mohamedou should be released from Guantanamo. Wood reached out to Slahi's legal team, telling them that he'd like to help in any way he could. He wrote a letter supporting Slahi's release. While Slahi was still in prison, his 2015 memoir, Guantanamo Diary, became a bestseller. The next year, the Department of Defense finally allowed Slahi to return to his home. Wood ... flew there in May to see the man he once guarded. "We never believed in this war," Slahi said. "There is no war between Muslims and Americans. There is no war between Americans and the poor people in the world. There is only a war between people on the top who have their own agenda. People are people no matter what ... When we die it doesn't matter what passport we hold."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


In Brazil, prisons without guards offer inmates path to recovery
2023-05-16, AlJazeera
Posted: 2024-03-25 11:22:12
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/16/in-brazil-prisons-without-guards-off...

APAC, a Brazilian non-profit that advocates for better treatment of prisoners, has a unique model in the dozens of facilities it manages across the country. Inmates oversee security and discipline, make their own food and wear their own clothes. Referred to as "recovering persons", prisoners are called by their name rather than by a number. The more than 400 inmates in the Sao Joao del-Rei APAC facility have the keys to their own cells - and unlike in a typical prison, there are no armed guards monitoring their movements. This is a far cry from the norm in Brazil, where the total prison population exceeds 800,000. The country's human rights ministry has cited inhumane conditions, including rotten food and torture, inside prisons in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. In 2021, a report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said that across Brazil, inmates were "often held in overcrowded and structurally deficient prisons, maltreated, and frequently subjected to torture". In APAC prisons, cells appear clean, food is fresh and education is part of the rehabilitation programme. In terms of recidivism, while the Brazilian state reports its national average at 39 percent after five years - a number much lower than the 80 percent cited by international observers - APAC says its facilities have a rate of around 14 percent. New inmates entering the Sao Joao del-Rei facility are greeted by a sign bearing the words: "Here the man enters, the crime stays outside."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Is it long COVID or long vax? Does the government want to know?
2024-03-06, The Hill
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:48:31
https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/4512451-is-it-long-covid-or-long-vax-d...

Long COVID as it’s commonly known is a serious and poorly understood problem. But there is also growing evidence that the COVID vaccine could cause a similar disease. We are critical care physicians with the FLCCC Alliance (the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance) who have treated COVID patients throughout the pandemic. One of us recently opened a private practice focused on patients with long COVID. In two years, the practice has evaluated and treated over 1,000 individuals. Approximately 70 percent of these patients said their reported symptoms occurred in the minutes, hours, days and weeks after COVID vaccination, as opposed to after COVID infection. This could be tied to a new condition that’s flown under the radar until recently. This syndrome, dubbed “long vax,” is just starting to make its way into the medical literature. Dr. Harlan Krumholz at the Yale School of Medicine published a survey of 241 patients who described post-COVID vaccination symptoms of exercise intolerance, excessive fatigue, numbness, brain fog and neuropathy, a nervous system disorder that can cause pain, tingling sensations, numbness or weakness. Long COVID patients were excluded from the study. The concern is that our findings, Krumholz’s study, and any reports of adverse events from COVID-19 vaccination, will be subject to the same institutional censorship we saw throughout the pandemic.

Note: We've documented the growing public backlash against the COVID vaccine, including landmark lawsuits. Vaccine adverse event numbers are made publically available through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and currently show 1,630,913 COVID vaccine injury reports, 37,231 COVID Vaccine Reported Deaths, and 214,906 COVID Vaccine Reported Hospitalizations.


Chemical in Water Bottles Linked to Child Obesity
2024-03-01, Newsweek
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:45:30
https://www.newsweek.com/chemical-water-bottles-child-obesity-1875069

A chemical found in water bottles has been linked to child obesity, according to a new study. The synthetic chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, was found in a variety of widely used products, such as plastic water bottles and eyewear. But it is also a chemical known to disrupt the body's hormones. The chemical, which can make its way into other avenues, such as food and the soil, accumulates in the body's tissues and organs when ingested. It is known to affect weight and can affect certain cells. A new study published in mSystems found that this chemical could be playing a role in causing different bacteria groups in children of normal weight than those who were overweight. "We found that the gut microbial community responds differently to BPA exposure depending on the BMI (body-mass index) of the individual," [said] microbiologist Margarita Aguilera of the University of Granada. "[Those connections] underscore the intricate interplay between gut microbiota and potential human pathophysiology resulting from cumulative BPA exposure." Researchers ... found overall that there were more unique bacteria groups in the children of a normal weight. This strongly suggests that the bacteria in those children may be able to fight off harmful chemicals like BPA. This study, and future studies into the effects of BPA, "could point to future interventions and policy changes that may reduce the risk of childhood obesity worldwide," Aguilera said.

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


Cancer-causing chemical found in skincare brands including Target, Proactive, Clearasil
2024-03-11, USA Today
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:43:34
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2024/03/11/carcinogen-linked-popular-acn...

High levels of a chemical known to cause cancer have been found at "unacceptably high levels" in popular acne products from brands like Proactive, Target's Up & Up, Clinique, and Clearasil, according to a recent report by independent laboratory Valisure. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, was found to develop in products with benzoyl peroxide, a chemical used to treat acne, at a level of over 800 times the concentration limit of 2 parts per million set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the March 6 report said. The drug product was found to be "fundamentally unstable" especially when stored at high temperatures. The report found a Proactiv product left in 158 degrees Fahrenheit of a hot compact car resulted in the detection of benzene at around 1,270 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s calculated threshold for increased cancer risk. "There is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in any skin care product, over the counter or prescription," Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, said in a statement for Valisure. The report also found that benzene can leak out of packaging and "pose a potential inhalation risk" to consumers, according to the report. The company sent a citizen petition to the FDA on Tuesday describing its report and requesting "recalls and a suspension of sales for products containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient benzoyl peroxide."

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


US Lawmaker Cited NYC Protests in a Defense of Warrantless Spying
2024-03-12, Wired
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:41:30
https://www.wired.com/story/hpsci-us-protests-section-702-presentation/

Last year, the Republican chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) presented an image of Americans protesting the war in Gaza while implying possible ties between the protesters and Hamas, an allegation that was used to illustrate why surveillance reforms may prove detrimental to national security. In December, as many as 200 Republican staffers gathered behind closed doors to hear a presentation ... aimed at shoring up support for a US surveillance program known as Section 702. Section 702 authorizes the government to surveil foreigners located physically overseas ... but not Americans or individuals on US soil. While eavesdropping on foreigners is permitted, doing so for the explicit purpose of gaining access to an American’s communications—a practice commonly referred to as “reverse targeting”—is strictly forbidden. “Yes, it’s true, you cannot ‘target’ protesters under 702,” one aide, a legislative director for a Republican lawmaker, says. “But that doesn’t mean the FBI doesn't still have the power to access those emails or listen to their calls if it wants.” Between 2020 and early 2021, the FBI conducted “tens of thousands” of queries related to “civil unrest” in the United States. “Political protest is literally how America was founded. It’s in our DNA,” says Jason Pye, senior policy analyst at the nonprofit FreedomWorks. “Whether you agree with these protesters or not is irrelevant.”

Note: The FBI has a long history of spying on political activists. 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.


Biden’s Big Brother teams are now watching what you buy
2024-01-19, New York Post
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:39:10
https://nypost.com/2024/01/19/news/bidens-big-brother-teams-are-now-watching-...

Anything you purchase can be used against you. After the Jan. 6 Capitol clash, the Biden administration vastly expanded federal surveillance of average Americans. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) stretched its “suspicious behavior” definition, warning banks to track “‘extremism’ indicators that include ‘transportation charges, such as bus tickets, rental cars, or plane tickets, for travel to areas with no apparent purpose,’ or ‘the purchase of books (including religious texts),’” the House committee reported. If you bought a gun or ammo since 2021, Team Biden bureaucrats may have automatically classified you as a “potential active shooter.” FinCEN encouraged banks to use terms including “TRUMP” and “MAGA” for “identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement,” the House Judiciary Committee reports. Rep. Jordan is seeking sworn testimony about the FBI’s “mass accumulation and use of Americans’ private information without legal process.” Jordan complained that the FBI “prepared an official report that broadly characterized certain political beliefs as indicative of domestic violent extremism.” The Canadian government used emergency decrees to freeze the bank accounts of anyone suspected of being tied to COVID “Freedom Convoy” protests in 2022.

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.


US Court Sides With Apple, Tesla, Other Tech Companies Over Child Labor in Africa
2024-03-05, US News & World Report/Reuters
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:36:46
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2024-03-05/us-appeals-court-dis...

A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to hold five major technology companies liable over their alleged support for the use of child labor in cobalt mining operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Google parent Alphabet, Apple, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and Tesla, rejecting an appeal by former child miners and their representatives. The plaintiffs accused the five companies of joining suppliers in a "forced labor" venture by purchasing cobalt, which is used to make lithium-ion batteries. Nearly two-thirds of the world's cobalt comes from the DRC. According to the complaint, the companies "deliberately obscured" their dependence on child labor, including many children pressured into work by hunger and extreme poverty, to ensure their growing need for the metal would be met. The 16 plaintiffs included representatives of five children who were killed in cobalt mining operations. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao said the plaintiffs had legal standing to seek damages, but did not show the five companies had anything more than a buyer-seller relationship with suppliers. Terry Collingsworth, a lawyer for the plaintiffs ... said his clients may appeal further. The decision provides "a strong incentive to avoid any transparency with their suppliers, even as they promise the public they have 'zero tolerance' policies against child labor," he said. "We are far from finished seeking accountability."

Note: Unreported deaths of children, devastating diseases, toxic environments, and sexual assault are just some of the tragedies within the hidden world of cobalt mining in the DRC. Furthermore, entire communities have been forced to leave their homes to make way for new mining operations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Emotion-tracking AI on the job: Workers fear being watched – and misunderstood
2024-03-06, Yahoo News
Posted: 2024-03-18 19:33:53
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/emotion-tracking-ai-job-workers-133506859.html

Emotion artificial intelligence uses biological signals such as vocal tone, facial expressions and data from wearable devices as well as text and how people use their computers, promising to detect and predict how someone is feeling. Over 50% of large employers in the U.S. use emotion AI aiming to infer employees’ internal states, a practice that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, call centers monitor what their operators say and their tone of voice. We wondered what workers think about these technologies. My collaborators Shanley Corvite, Kat Roemmich, Tillie Ilana Rosenberg and I conducted a survey. 51% of participants expressed concerns about privacy, 36% noted the potential for incorrect inferences employers would accept at face value, and 33% expressed concern that emotion AI-generated inferences could be used to make unjust employment decisions. Despite emotion AI’s claimed goals to infer and improve workers’ well-being in the workplace, its use can lead to the opposite effect: well-being diminished due to a loss of privacy. On concerns that emotional surveillance could jeopardize their job, a participant with a diagnosed mental health condition said: “They could decide that I am no longer a good fit at work and fire me. Decide I’m not capable enough and not give a raise, or think I’m not working enough.” Participants ... said they were afraid of the dynamic they would have with employers if emotion AI were integrated into their workplace.

Note: The above article was written by Nazanin Andalibi at the University of Michigan. 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.


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