News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
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Jeffrey Edward Epstein appeared at his sentencing dressed comfortably. At the end of the 68-minute hearing, the 55-year-old silver-haired financier - accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls - was fingerprinted and handcuffed, just like any other criminal sentenced in Florida. But inmate No. W35755 would not be treated like other convicted sex offenders in the state of Florida, which has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the nation. Epstein - who had a long list of powerful, politically connected friends - didn’t go to state prison like most sex offenders in Florida. Instead, the multimillionaire was assigned to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, where he was able to hire his own security detail. Even then, he didn’t spend much time in a cell. He was allowed to go to his downtown West Palm Beach office for work release, up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, records show. [Courtney] Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein, is suing the federal government, alleging that prosecutors kept her and other victims in the dark as part of a conspiracy to give Epstein ... one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history. That lawsuit - and an unrelated state court case scheduled for trial on Dec. 4 - could expose more about Epstein’s crimes, as well as who else was involved and whether there was any undue influence that tainted the federal case. Some of Epstein’s victims will finally have an opportunity to testify for the first time.
Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
In 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz. For Lefkowitz ... the meeting was critical. His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls - with the help of young female recruiters - to coerce into having sex acts ... as often as three times a day. [Epstein] was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show. But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved. The deal ... shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes. Epstein and four of his [named] accomplices ... received immunity from all federal criminal charges. The deal included wording that granted immunity to "any potential co-conspirators" who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement. Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. Court records reveal details of the ... role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation.
Note: Watch a 15-minute news video which asks hard questions around Epstein's pedophile ring and more. The incredibly eye-opening documentary "Imperium" uses major media reporting to show a huge cover-up of child sex trafficking rings which lead to the highest level of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
[Jeffrey] Epstein, a multimillionaire hedge fund manager whose friends included a constellation of entertainers, politicians, business titans and royalty, for years lured teenage girls to his Palm Beach mansion as part of a cult-like sex pyramid scheme, police in the town of Palm Beach found. In 2007, despite ample [evidence], federal prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers quietly put together a remarkable deal for Epstein. He and his accomplices received immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges. After the FBI case was closed in 2008, witnesses and alleged victims testified in civil court that there were hundreds of girls who were brought to Epstein’s homes, including girls from Europe, Latin America and former Soviet Republic countries. There were really just two people willing to risk their careers to go after Epstein: Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter and Detective Joseph Recarey. In their first media interviews about the case, Reiter and Recarey revealed [how they were] pressured by then-Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer to downgrade the case to a misdemeanor or drop it altogether. Police reports show that Epstein’s private investigators attempted to conduct interviews while posing as cops; that they picked through Reiter’s trash in search of dirt to discredit him; and that the private investigators were accused of following the girls and their families. “It became apparent to me that some of our evidence was being leaked to Epstein’s lawyers,” Reiter said.
Note: Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article. Read a collection of major media reports on billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's child sex ring which directly implicate Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and other world leaders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Insects are the vital pollinators and recyclers of ecosystems and the base of food webs everywhere. In the United States, scientists recently found the population of monarch butterflies fell by 90 percent in the last 20 years, a loss of 900 million individuals; the rusty-patched bumblebee, which once lived in 28 states, dropped by 87 percent over the same period. With other, less-studied insect species, one butterfly researcher told me, “all we can do is wave our arms and say, ‘It’s not here anymore!’” The most disquieting thing wasn’t the disappearance of certain species of insects; it was the deeper worry ... that a whole insect world might be quietly going missing, a loss of abundance that could alter the planet in unknowable ways. “We notice the losses,” says [entomologist] David Wagner. “It’s the diminishment that we don’t see.” Because insects are legion, inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, the fear that there might be far fewer than before was more felt than documented. When entomologists began noticing and investigating insect declines, they lamented. Like other species, insects are responding to what Chris Thomas, an insect ecologist at the University of York, has called “the transformation of the world”: not just a changing climate but also the widespread conversion, via urbanization, agricultural intensification and so on, of natural spaces into human ones, with fewer and fewer resources “left over” for nonhuman creatures to live on. What resources remain are often contaminated.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mass animal deaths news articles from reliable major media sources.
On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest single cost center - the Pentagon receives two of every three federal tax dollars collected - after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however ... that a reliable audit was simply impossible. Now, a Nation investigation has uncovered an explanation for the Pentagon’s foot-dragging: For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress - representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions - knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget.
Note: Other than the above article, and weak Bloomberg and Reuters articles, the major media blatantly failed to report on the Pentagon's outrageous accounting failure. CNN posted one article not about the problem, but how the Pentagon claims they are fixing the problem. This demonstrates the military-industrial complex's strangle hold over media reporting. To understand just how serious and deep this problem is, see our carefully researched article using reliable sources to show how trillions are missing and reveal rampant deception and outright lying on the part of the Pentagon.
Deutsche Bank's head office and other locations in Frankfurt were raided by 170 police officers and tax investigators on Thursday. The German bank is suspected of helping clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said. Investigators are also looking at whether Deutsche Bank failed to report suspicious transactions. Both the lender and prosecutors said the probe is related to the Panama Papers, a 2016 investigation into money laundering networks and shell companies set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The investigation is yet another headache for Deutsche Bank. The lender struck a $7.2 billion deal with the US government in January 2017 to settle claims that it packaged and sold toxic mortgages. It was fined $630 million the same month over a Russian money laundering scheme. In September, Deutsche Bank was ordered by German regulators to tighten its controls. Other European lenders have also come under scrutiny for potential money laundering. HSBC (HBCYF) and ING (ING) have both settled money-laundering allegations in recent years. Danske Bank (DNKEY), the largest bank in Denmark, said in September that an internal investigation had uncovered a large number of suspicious accounts and transactions at its branch in Estonia. [Former US Treasury] Jimmy Gurulé ... said that stronger deterrents are needed. "Even in the most egregious cases, banks are often only required to pay a monetary penalty for engaging in criminal activity," he said.
Note: For lots more on the shady dealings of this bank, read this New Yorker article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Dozens of local and federal law enforcement officers conducted a surprise search of the offices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on Wednesday, looking for evidence in a clergy sexual abuse case that has ensnared the local archbishop, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, who also serves as president of the United States Catholic bishops’ conference. The raid in Houston is the latest sign of crisis in the church, with prosecutors growing more aggressive ... and the bishops - led by Cardinal DiNardo - hamstrung by the Vatican in their efforts to carry out reforms. Attorneys general in at least a dozen states have opened inquiries, and the Justice Department has told bishops not to destroy any documents that could relate to sex abuse cases. The attorney general in Michigan executed search warrants on all seven Catholic dioceses in that state. The assistant district attorney in charge of the [Galveston-Houston] investigation said that a search of the church offices was necessary because the Archdiocese ... had turned over only a portion of the evidence. Investigators were searching ... records on the Rev. Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, who was arrested in September on four felony counts of indecency with a child. Cardinal DiNardo had assigned [Father LaRosa-Lopez] to work in a parish and appointed him as the vicar for Hispanics ... despite knowing that Father LaRosa-Lopez had been accused in 2001 of molesting a teenage girl. The priest was arrested after a second alleged victim - a man - came forward.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
It's no secret that computers are insecure. The risks are about to get worse, because computers are being embedded into physical devices and will affect lives, not just our data. Many of today’s new computers are not just screens that we stare at, but objects in our world with which we interact. A refrigerator is now a computer that keeps things cold; a car is now a computer with four wheels and an engine. These computers sense us and our environment, and they affect us and our environment. They talk to each other over networks ... and they have physical agency. They drive our cars, pilot our planes, and run our power plants. They control traffic, administer drugs ... and dispatch emergency services. These connected computers and the network that connects them - collectively known as “the internet of things” - affect the world in a direct physical manner. Computers fail differently than most other machines: It's not just that they can be attacked remotely - they can be attacked all at once. It’s impossible to take an old refrigerator and infect it with a virus or recruit it into a denial-of-service botnet, and a car without an internet connection simply can’t be hacked remotely. But that computer with four wheels and an engine? It - along with all other cars of the same make and model - can be made to run off the road, all at the same time. Do we want to allow vulnerable automobiles on the streets and highways during the weeks before a new security patch is written, tested, and distributed?
Note: A 2015 New York Times article called the Internet of Things a "train wreck in privacy and security". Read how a hacked vehicle may have resulted in journalist Michael Hastings' death in 2013. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the disappearance of privacy and the risks of wireless technologies.
Professor Lord Martin Rees has revealed the "worst case scenario" for particle accelerators - and they could mean the end of Earth as we know it. He warns that if things went wrong, they could result in a black hole being formed, or the Earth being turned into a "hyperdense sphere". Particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout. While they have led to massive breakthroughs ... they also carry a high risk, Rees says in his new book On The Future: Prospects for Humanity. "Maybe a black hole could form," he writes. "The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets. Under some hypotheses a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth. Many of us are inclined to dismiss these risks as science fiction, but give the stakes they could not be ignored." Cern writes on their website "The LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) reaffirms and extends the conclusions of the 2003 report that LHC collisions present no danger and that there are no reasons for concern. Whatever the LHC will do, nature has already done many times over during the lifetime of the Earth and other astronomical bodies."
Note: Why aren't any other media reporting on this vitally important topic? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the nature of reality.
Today the UN security council will debate a UK-drafted resolution containing a rather gentle entreaty to the warring parties in Yemen. It will ask them to take “constant care to spare civilian objects, including those necessary for food production, distribution, processing and storage”. If that sounds like the safety instructions for a new vacuum cleaner, then welcome to the world of UN resolutions. But what it actually reveals is a far darker, more shameful truth.The truth of a Saudi-led coalition, armed by Britain and the United States, which from the very start of the conflict in 2015 has sought to use starvation as a weapon of war. Their on-off blockades of any ports and airports controlled by the Houthi rebels have drastically cut supplies of food to a Yemeni population that relies on imports to eat. But far more insidiously, and in the absence of imports, the Saudi air force has systematically and deliberately destroyed the domestic means of producing and distributing food inside Yemen. Their bombs have constantly targeted agricultural land, dairy farms, food processing factories, and the markets where food is sold. these are no mistakes. These are medieval tactics with modern weapons deliberately employed by the architect of the Yemen war – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – in an attempt to bring the rebel-held areas of the country to their knees. He could not care less about the impact on Yemen’s civilian population, any more than he cared about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested. The object, nicknamed 'Oumuamua, meaning "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian, was discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of "interstellar objects." A new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might ... be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization. The theory is based on the object's "excess acceleration," or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January. "Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that 'Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment," wrote the paper's authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard, has been known to take provocative positions. He has argued that women are intrinsically different from men, that we are more driven by our genes than academics like to acknowledge, and that society is getting less violent over time — despite the mass shootings and other atrocities we hear about daily. The thesis of his latest book, “Enlightenment Now,” is that life on Earth is improving. By every major measure of human well-being, from personal safety to longevity to economic security to happiness, people everywhere are far better off today than they were before the start of the Enlightenment in the 17th century. "I stumbled across data showing that violence had declined over the course of history. The homicide rate in England was 50 times higher in the 14th century than it is today," [said Pinker]. "Like any other news reader, I just assumed that there was as much mayhem as ever. It’s only when you plot it over time ... that you can see the trends. It’s not just in violence that one sees progress, but in poverty, in illiteracy, in access to small luxuries. The percentage of the world getting an education, in gender parity in education - girls are going to school all over the world. Even in ... the world’s most retrograde countries, the rate of female education has increased. It was an epiphany from seeing graphs of human improvement that changed my view of the overall course of history: that progress is a demonstrable fact.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The rule of thumb for folks walking around Boston is to not look anyone in the eyes. The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment held on Saturday challenged people in the city and across the world to break down their walls and to actually make full eye contact with another human being for a full minute. It was a sunny day ... as participants invited others to have meaningful staring sessions. Sixty full seconds looking into a stranger’s eyes without conversation or facial expressions to hide behind. It sounds easy enough, but silently sharing eye contact with a stranger can be a foreign feeling for many people more used to being connected to technology than humans. Deborah Knight, who organized Boston’s event, said that eye contact is actually more important than most people think. When you actually look at someone’s eyes, you actually bypass everything and you get into their soul. It is an unspoken language of love. The global social experiment is organized each year by The Liberators International, an Australian-based group that aims to empower people with love and compassion through events and media. Boston was just one of the hundreds of locations participating this year. Dozens of people just sitting silently and staring, but most would talk and laugh right after the exercise. “People are really hesitant,” [said one participant]. “Maybe thirty seconds into it, people relax and their eyes just open up.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
For a long time entrepreneurs, investors and advocates of sustainable investing have spoken longingly about the $2 trillion of institutional investor dollars that have been reputed to be sitting skeptically on the sidelines, teasing everyone with the prospect of finally putting their sizeable investment muscle to work to scale the sector. Throughout this period, institutional investors have argued that they have withheld their dollars over sound investment concerns with the sector. For a number of years, innovative entrepreneurs in growth sectors like food, energy, water and waster have been doing the heavy lifting to demonstrate that some of these smaller-scale projects can provide attractive investment returns for those investors willing to step in and pioneer these structures. Institutional investors are taking notice. Now a new investor survey and report issued by Bright Harbor Advisors, a private fund advisor, provides some compelling evidence that institutional investors are warming to sustainable investing. 81% now have some type of sustainability, impact, or ESG [Environment, Social, and Governance] mandate as part of their formal investment policy. And an increasing number are allocating internal resources to implement these policies. About a third of respondents have someone on their team dedicated to the space and nearly 20% have sustainable private fund managers in a dedicated investment bucket.
Note: See this Forbes article for more on these inspiring shifts in investing. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
France has opened what it claims to be the world’s first solar panel road, in a Normandy village. A 1km (0.6-mile) route in the small village of Tourouvre-au-Perche covered with 2,800 sq m of electricity-generating panels, was inaugurated on Thursday by the ecology minister, Ségolčne Royal. It cost €5m (Ł4.2m) to construct and will be used by about 2,000 motorists a day during a two-year test period to establish if it can generate enough energy to power street lighting in the village of 3,400 residents. In 2014, a solar-powered cycle path opened in Krommenie in the Netherlands and ... has generated 3,000kWh of energy – enough to power an average family home for a year. The cost of building the cycle path, however, could have paid for 520,000kWh. Before the solar-powered road – called Wattway – was opened on the RD5 road, the panels were tested at four car parks across France. Normandy is not known for its surfeit of sunshine: Caen, the region’s political capital, enjoys just 44 days of strong sunshine a year compared with 170 in Marseilles. Royal has said she would like to see solar panels installed on one in every 1,000km of French highway – France has a total of 1m km of roads – but panels laid on flat surfaces have been found to be less efficient than those installed on sloping areas such as roofs. The company says it hopes to reduce the costs of producing the solar panels and has about 100 other projects for solar-panelled roads – half in France and half abroad.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve. Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters within the Pentagon. “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan added. The U.S. defense budget for the 2018 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30 was about $700 billion. He did not provide a figure detailing how much money was unaccounted for in the audit. “Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me,” Shanahan added. A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December. Defense officials and outside experts have said it may be years before the Pentagon is able to fix its accounting gaps and errors and pass an audit.
Note: Read a 2017 article documenting an investigation which found $21 Trillion missing from government coffers. Then read summaries of several major media articles showing the Pentagon's blatant lies and disregard for accounting. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nearly four times as many Sunni Islamic militants are operating around the world today as on Sept. 11, 2001, despite nearly two decades of American-led campaigns to combat Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, a new independent study concludes. That amounts to as many as 230,000 Salafi jihadist fighters in nearly 70 countries, with the largest numbers in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. The report’s conclusions ... underscore the resiliency of these terrorist groups, and the policy failures by the United States and its allies in responding. The findings also highlight the continuing potency of the groups’ ideology and social-media branding in raising money and attracting new recruits as they pivot from battlefield defeats in strongholds like Iraq and Syria to direct guerrilla-style attacks there and in other hot spots. The West has largely failed to address the root causes of terrorism that perpetuate seemingly endless waves of fighters who are increasingly turning to armed drones, artificial intelligence and encrypted communications to foil the allies’ conventional military superiority, the report said. Last week, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs released its annual report, the Costs of War study, in which it calculated that the United States will have spent $5.9 trillion on activities related to the global counterterrorism campaign by October 2019.
Note: According to a top US general, wars are created and fostered to fill the coffers of the big bankers and corporations. Read an excellent essay on how the US helped to create and foster ISIS. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and terrorism.
The Department of Homeland Security is gathering intelligence from paid undercover informants inside the migrant caravan that is now reaching the California-Mexico border as well as monitoring the text messages of migrants, according to two DHS officials. The 4,000 migrants, mainly from Honduras, have used WhatsApp text message groups as a way to organize and communicate along their journey to the California border, and DHS personnel have joined those groups to gather that information. The intelligence gathering techniques are combined with reports from DHS personnel working in Mexico. Paying informants, placing officers in the region or monitoring the communications of non-U.S. citizens is not illegal, said John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence for DHS, but it does raise some concerns about the allocation of resources. "Those resources have to come from some place. They are not being devoted to thwarting terrorist threats, mass shootings, mailed fentanyl coming into the country or cyberattacks," said Cohen. Cohen said the caravan presents a logistical and humanitarian issue, but because the vast majority of its members want to present themselves legally to claim asylum, it is not wise to devote a significant amount of intelligence resources to it. "I find it hard to believe that the highest risk facing this nation comes from this caravan," Cohen said.
One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the C.I.A. was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again. Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism. We don’t call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are “targeted killings,” most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America’s go-to weapon in the war on terror. There have been many who have objected, claiming that the killings inspire more attacks on the United States, complicate our diplomacy and undermine our moral authority in the world. Yet the targeted killings drone on with no end in sight. Just counting the campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Bush administration conducted at least 47 targeted killings by drones, while under the Obama administration that number rose to 542. America’s difficult relationship with targeted killing and the dilemmas we may face in the future are beautifully illuminated by the longer story of Israel’s experiences with assassination in its own endless war against terrorism. Israel has always been just a bit farther down this slippery slope than the United States. Americans now have a terrific new introduction to that story with the publication of Ronen Bergman’s “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.”
In January 2010 Israeli agents converged on a luxury hotel in Dubai: their target was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, an arms supplier for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip. The mission involved 27 operatives of the Mossad secret service who were posing as tourists or tennis players. The hit team and their watchers flew in from different European airports using false passports. Communications were routed via Austria to avoid surveillance. Mabhouh was killed in his room using a paralysing drug and his body left to be discovered by hotel staff the next day. The snag was that the killing exposed the Mossad to global scrutiny – and angered an Arab country with a record of quiet cooperation with Israel. CCTV caught the agents changing disguises and stalking their prey – seen as a legitimate candidate for extrajudicial execution as he had killed an Israeli soldier and, more importantly, was a logistical link with Iran, sworn enemy of the Jewish state. Ronen Bergman’s account of his country’s targeted assassinations contains a wealth of detail about this and other killings. In recent years Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the western world. Bergman’s long view sharpens understanding of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict – and of the limits of force. Bergman’s style tends to the sensational but that does not mask a critical strand that questions the morality and effectiveness of Israel’s approach to dealing with the enemy in its own backyard.
Important Note: 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.