News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
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.
Dead Dog on the Left isn’t just a documentary about the use of ecstasy in treating PTSD, it’s a story of the lengths one former marine will go to for friendship. [Tyler] McCourry and [Nigel] Flanigan are the subjects of [the] mini-documentary taken from a forthcoming feature film, MDMA the Movie, which explores the history of the so-called “party drug” more popularly known as ecstasy, its use in therapy, and harm reduction. Both films are directed by Emanuel Sferios. His protagonists may have survived the Iraq war, but only barely. Suicidal thoughts have stalked them both. In May 2012 McCourry did his first [MDMA-assisted psychotherapy] session ... lying in bed, flanked by two therapists. At the beginning of the session he was given a 75mg dose of MDMA. “During those eight hours you’re addressing the most challenging situations in your life,” he says. “It feels very exhausting, like it was some of the most work you’ve ever done in one day.” McCourry calls those trials, now completed, “a transformation of the psyche”. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has “breakthrough therapy” designation by the FDA. “Since the MDMA therapy I’m able to recognise when something comes up that I need to talk about,” [McCourry] says. McCourry hopes that the therapy will be adopted by the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. “If you can cure PTSD after three sessions of MDMA therapy then you don’t have to provide a veteran with medications for the rest of their life and talk therapy once a month.”
Note: A touching 26-documentary on this case is available at the above link. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.
MDMA, the active ingredient of ecstasy pills, makes people more inclined to cooperate on tasks and quicker to rebuild trust, according to researchers investigating its use in treating psychological disorders. Scans reveal it increases activity in parts of the brain linked to empathy and social behaviour that helps interpret other people’s beliefs and intentions, researchers from King’s College London said. This could make it a useful addition to psychotherapy sessions and the drug is currently undergoing medical trials to assess its use in supporting treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Understanding the brain activity underlying social behaviour could help identify what goes wrong in psychiatric conditions,” said Professor Mitul Mehta from the King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). While it is possible that making users more helpful and collaborative could lead to them being exploited, Professor Mehta and his team found the drug did not make users gullible. During the study ... participants on MDMA were less likely to cheat their partners than those on the placebo. Where they had previously been cheated ... subjects on MDMA were as likely to act selfishly as those on a placebo, however they were quicker to trust these partners again after a run of cooperation. This was backed up with patterns of brain activity.
Steve Bannon’s political operation to help rightwing populists triumph in next year’s European parliamentary elections is in disarray after he conceded that his campaign efforts could be illegal in most of the countries in which he planned to intervene. The former chief strategist to Donald Trump has spent months trying to recruit European parties to his Brussels-based group, the Movement, which he promised would operate as kind of a political consultancy for like-minded parties campaigning in the bloc-wide vote in May 2019. But the Guardian has established that Bannon would be barred or prevented from doing any meaningful work in nine of the 13 countries in which he is seeking to campaign. Bannon’s intervention in European politics comes amid heightened sensitivity about foreign involvement in elections. Questions have been mounting over the scale of Russia’s influence over the 2016 US presidential campaign and the UK’s referendum to leave the EU. Bannon ... has pledged to spend millions of dollars to provide nativist and ultra-conservative European parties free access to specialised polling data, analytics, social media advice and help with candidate selection. But officials working on electoral law and independent experts in multiple countries said this kind of assistance would be ... banned in France, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Pragmatism may be a tougher sell in the Donald Trump era, but with the 2020 presidential race just around the corner, moderate Democrats know they are running out of time to reassert themselves. The ["Opportunity 2020" convention] was just that - an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump. The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, co-cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare. The invitation-only gathering brought together about 250 Democratic insiders from key swing states. Third Way unveiled the results of focus groups and polling that it says shows Americans are more receptive to an economic message built on "opportunity" rather than the left's message about inequality. With much of the recent policy innovation on the Democratic side happening on the left, the "Opportunity Agenda" unveiled here tries to equip moderates with their own big ideas. Some of the key initiatives are a massive apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training.
The mysterious flying object that one man saw looked like a "40-foot-long Tic Tac" and was maneuvering and shifting directions rapidly. That claim ... comes from retired Cmdr. David Fravor and bears the Pentagon's stamp of approval. And it was one of many confounding examples of unidentified flying objects the Pentagon investigated in the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. "There is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone," Luis Elizondo, a former Pentagon official, told CNN. The belief in alien encounters has long been a prominent feature of American life. A 1997 poll ... found that 80% of Americans think the government is hiding knowledge of the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. Many of the best known alien claims come from Project Blue Book, the name for the US government program tasked with investigating reports of UFOs from 1948 to 1969. In that time, Air Force personnel looked at 12,618 reported UFO sightings and said that 701 remain "unidentified." In 2010, seven former US Air Force personnel described their personal encounters with UFO sightings over nuclear weapons facilities in incidents in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Three of the former Air Force officers said UFOs hovered over nuclear missile silos around Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967, causing problems with the military base. Former Air Force Capt. Robert Salas said one of his guards told him about a red, glowing object about 30 feet in diameter hovering above the front gate.
Note: Read more on the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program in this 2017 New York Times, article. 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.
The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press. At a time when President Obama’s administration is under renewed scrutiny for an unprecedented number of leak investigations, the Kim case provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one such probe. Court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist - and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010. The case also raises new concerns among critics of government secrecy about the possible stifling effect of these investigations on a critical element of press freedom: the exchange of information between reporters and their sources. “The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique,” said attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim on federal charges filed in 2010 that he disclosed national defense information. “Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.” The Obama administration has pursued more such cases than all previous administrations combined.
Some scientists, including the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson, have concluded that at least half the planet needs to be protected to save a large majority of plant and wildlife species from extinction. Indeed, the food, clean water and air we need to survive and prosper depends on our ability to protect the planet’s biological diversity. In other words, we have to protect half to save the whole. Every one of us - citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders - should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. For my part, I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target. I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished. Indigenous peoples, local leaders and conservation groups around the world are already busy setting aside protected areas that reflect the conservation, economic and cultural values of nearby communities. Financial support from philanthropists and governments is critical to helping these leaders conserve places like the coral reefs of the Caribbean, the glaciers of Argentina and what is known as the “place of many elephants” in Zimbabwe.
Every month, a new cycle of training begins with yet another class of veterans in a program run by the northern Florida K9s for Warriors. The seven-year-old nonprofit is one of dozens of private organizations that offer “psychiatric service” dogs to address the military's mental health crisis. “The numbers are startling on veteran suicides, and this is working,” said Rory Diamond, a former federal prosecutor who quit to become chief executive of K9s for Warriors. A recent [Purdue University] study ... used standard questionnaires to assess PTSD symptoms and other aspects of mental health among 141 K9s for Warriors applicants, half teamed with a service dog and half on a wait list. Those with dogs showed significantly lower levels of post-traumatic stress, depression and social isolation, with higher levels of psychological well-being. Dogs have provided services to humans for millennia, often as hunting and herding partners. But not until World War I were they systematically trained to assist people with disabilities, as guides for the blind. Service dogs now prompt deaf people when a doorbell rings, retrieve pills for people in wheelchairs and alert people with diabetes to blood sugar spikes. Psychiatric service dogs [blend the missions of] of task-oriented service canines and animals seen as providing emotional support. While the dogs paired with veterans with PTSD are commonly trained to wake them from nightmares ... advocates also laud their ability to soothe a panicking vet and provide companionship.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Psychologists at the University of Sussex, after analyzing the brain scans of over 1000 people who made kind decisions, are now able to say for sure that the warm glow of kindness is real. In fact, it exists in a particular place within your brain. For the first time, researchers were able to bring together previous studies that suggested generosity activates the brain's reward network. These scientists were able to differentiate between two types of kindness: altruistic (when there is nothing to be gained from being kind) and strategic (when an act of kindness can lead to something gained). The study's findings revealed ... something unique about altruistic acts of kindness. Being kind with no intent of personal gain not only activates the brain's reward areas, it also activates other brain regions (in the subgenal anterior cingulate cortex) as well. This means that when you act kind with no hope of gaining something in return, your brain will activate more and in different ways than when you are strategically kind. Acting strategically kind can even make you feel worse, and diminish your glow. Co-author of the study and PhD student Jo Cutler explains, "...if after a long day helping a friend move house, they hand you a fiver, you could end up feeling undervalued and less likely to help again. A hug and kind words however might spark a warm glow and make you feel appreciated." Ultimately, it does matter what the intent is behind kindness.
If you’ve ever felt that your green credentials have gone unrewarded, it might be worth considering a move to the Italian city of Bologna. For six months a year, an initiative called Bella Mossa (“Good Job”) operates within the city, which rewards users of sustainable forms of transport with free beer, ice cream or film tickets. The programme ... aims to reduce pollution and offers residents and visitors an incentive to walk, cycle or take public transport, rather than travel by car. Participants simply download the Better Points app on their phone, where they can log up to four journeys per day. Over 100 businesses in Bologna have signed up to the scheme to offer benefits for points accrued. Points are awarded for the number of trips taken, rather than the distance covered. Whether you travel one kilometre or 10, the points will remain the same. To avoid any abuse of the system, a GPS tracker makes sure people are being honest about the journeys they log and the method of transport used. The app also tells users how much CO2 was saved on each journey. Urban planner Marco Amdori devised the scheme in 2017; it’s funded by the EU and Bologna’s local government. Last year, [Bella Mossa] recorded 3.7 million kilometres of sustainable journeys in the city. This isn’t the first time Bologna has led the way when it comes ethical living. In 2008, the Festival of Responsible Travel was established in the city and has continued to run annually ever since.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
China is launching the world's largest weather-control machine. China's state-owned Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is implementing a plan to send thousands of rain-inducing machines across the Tibetan Plateau to increase rainfall along the region. The Tibetan Plateau is the source of much of China's water. The practice of artificially inducing rainfall in China is not new, the country manipulated the weather over Beijing just before and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics to ensure a rain-free event. The practice has only grown in scale as part of the Sky River Project aimed at increasing China's water resources. Tens of thousands of ... machines will produce very fine silver iodide particles that are then lifted into the atmosphere. By artificially "seeding" the Tibetan Plateau with silver iodide particles the Chinese government is inducing the formation of clouds where there weren't any before. Once the clouds become unstable, this leads to artificially induced rainfall. Each rain machine (chamber) is expected to create a 3-mile long strip of billowing clouds. When multiplied by the thousands of chambers China is installing along the Tibetan Plateau, it is estimated that China will be artificially controlling the weather over an area similar to the size of Alaska. China plans to monitor the system through weather satellites and supplement with silver iodide particles deployed from planes and shot out of ground artillery.
Note: If you are skeptical of claims that the weather can be manipulated on a mass scale, see this excellent article. The technology is also being used for military applications.
The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show. Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products. But ... reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week. Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical. Disposal of chemicals - leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance - will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them. The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.
The unstated goal of most company-sponsored studies is to increase the bottom line. “It’s marketing research, not science,” [New York University professor Dr. Marion Nestle] said. Noting that nutrition research, especially that funded by industry, “requires careful interpretation,” she suggests an approach that all consumers would be wise to follow: “Whenever I see studies claiming benefits for a single food, I want to know three things: whether the results are biologically plausible; whether the study controlled for other dietary, behavioral, or lifestyle factors that could have influenced its result; and who sponsored it.” “Fifty years of research has demonstrated the influence of pharmaceutical companies on physicians’ behavior — even giving doctors pads or pens printed with the brand name of a drug can prompt doctors to ignore a generic or competing brand,” Dr. Nestle [said]. However ... while there have been thousands of studies of conflicts of interest among physicians who publish drug studies and those who prescribe industry-touted medications, she could identify only 11 such studies of the influence of industry funding on the outcome of food and beverage research in relation to health. Consumers who are not scientifically savvy can be easily misled by the findings of studies, especially when they emanate from a prestigious institution or professional association. Dr. Nestle says such organizations need to pay closer attention to both blatant and potential conflicts of interest lest they be caught touting sloppy science.
Note: Dr. Marion Nestle recently published a book on this topic titled, "Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat." Read more about the bias in industry-funded nutrition research in this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system.
Catholic Church leaders in Los Angeles for years shuffled predator priests into non-English-speaking immigrant communities. That pattern was revealed in personnel documents released in a decades-old legal settlement between victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Now clergy sex abuse victims throughout California are calling on the state's attorney general to investigate clergy abuse. [In] 2002 ... California had just removed the statute of limitations for child abuse victims. [Manuel] Barragan joined a lawsuit against the L.A. Archdiocese that eventually resulted in a $660 million settlement involving more than 500 abuse cases. "Not many regions around the country have had that," says attorney Tony DeMarco, who represented Barragan and has been representing clergy sex abuse survivors since. DeMarco says that settlement forced local Catholic officials to turn over thousands of pages of personnel files on accused priests. Those files showed how higher-ups repeatedly sent predators into communities where they knew people were less likely to speak up. "Blatant statements as to 'there is no need to take corrective action, because folks who were undocumented won't report,'" DeMarco says. "That's in some of these files." There are dozens of examples of immigrant communities thrown under the bus. "This is complete pattern," says Patrick Wall, a legal advocate who coined the term 'the geographic solution' to describe the church's actions.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
A British paedophile is being sued for damages by five young men who allege they were sexually abused by him when he lived in the Philippines. Douglas Slade’s accusers will give evidence to the High Court in London by video link during a case thought to be the first of its kind. Slade, a founding member of a group which campaigned to legalise sex with children, was jailed for 24 years in 2016 for abusing five boys in the UK between 1965 and 1980. He had been extradited the previous year from the Philippines, where he moved in 1985. During three decades living in the country, he is alleged to have repeatedly enticed young people into his home and sexually abused them. The 77-year-old denies the allegations. Slade’s civil trial ... is believed to be the first time alleged victims from overseas have brought legal action against a British national in UK courts over abuse said to have been committed abroad. Four young men and one boy at the centre of the case are suing Slade for "personal injuries arising out of sexual abuse". The youngest was 10 at the time the abuse allegedly began. One accuser told the BBC: "Many people avoid me and think that I have a disease because of what I did. I'm teased. I am too embarrassed to get out of the house." Slade, formerly of Bristol, was investigated by Filipino police but never faced charges. He was expelled from the country in 2015, and charged with 13 counts of child abuse and rape upon his return to the UK.
Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. It includes a segment on the Pedophile Information Network. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
An observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that is dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of the sun has found itself at the center of a mystery that is creating a buzz here on earth. Authorities [say] only that an undisclosed security concern was behind the decision to abruptly vacate and lock up the remote facility on Sept 6. The Sunspot Solar Observatory has been closed for more than a week. The FBI referred all questions to the group that manages the site, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The vagueness continued to fuel speculation. The telescope at Sunspot was originally built by the U.S. Air Force. After several years of operation, it was transferred to the National Solar Observatory, which is part of the National Science Foundation. Sunspot's one-of-a-kind telescope produces some of the sharpest images of the sun available in the world, officials said.
Note: Watch NASA footage showing very strange objects occluding the sun at exactly the time this solar observatory was closed and evacuated. What did someone not want us to know for "security" reasons? The official explanation leaves many questions unanswered.
Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University have walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change. In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60% more than outlined by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper. “A quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results,” [Lewis wrote]. Coauthor Ralph Keeling, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame. Keeling said he and his colleagues have redone the calculations, finding the ocean is still likely warmer than the estimate used by the IPCC. A correction has been submitted to the journal Nature.
Note: Climate change is possibly the most politicized topic out there. Both sides have exaggerated their claims so much that it's hard to know what is really true, other than that global warming is a reality in most parts of the planet. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Center for Safer Wireless is claiming that Pepco's smart meters are emitting wireless radiation far more frequently than the power company admits. This comes one week after several Pepco customers told WUSA9 that they've been experiencing irregular heartbeats and headaches after a smart meter was installed at their home. Smart meters communicate with utility companies using wireless technology, which means they emit radio frequency radiation. The debate over the safety of smart meters is similar to the debate over cell phones and cancer. However, you can choose how often you use your cell phone. But with smart meters, you don't have a choice. Pepco customers in D.C. are not allowed to opt-out of the smart meter program. Therefore, the frequency with which those customers are exposed to this radiation is determined by Pepco. Desiree Jaworski, the interim director of the Center for Safer Wireless, believes it's happening far more frequently than the power company claims. This week, WUSA9 filmed Jaworski as she tested the radiation being emitted from three Pepco customers' smart meters. Pepco says that smart meter communications take place every four to six hours. But Jaworski says, "What I found at all three locations is that these smart meters are communicating - or emitting radiation - about four to six times a minute if not more." Jaworski's findings did not sit well with one of the homeowners, Lisa Crecelius. "It just comes across as very dishonest," said Crecelius.
The plan to introduce smart meters into every home across Britain is a "waste of money", MPs have been told. The units are designed to show people exactly how much energy they are using at any time, but the project has been delayed by a year because of problems. Energy analyst Alex Henney said people could be given live information on their energy use via weblinks or smartphone apps much more cheaply. The original plan to require energy firms to offer smart meters with in-home displays to every home in Britain was announced by Ed Miliband when he was Climate Change Secretary in the last Labour government. The coalition has continued with the plan. Under this plan, the energy suppliers will pay to install and maintain the meters, and they will pass on this cost to their customers. The hope is that in the long run the energy companies and customers will save more than the displays cost. But in evidence to the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee Mr Henney said that they would cost around Ł600m to introduce nationwide, and predicted that "around half" of them would never be used. Dr Martyn Thomas, from the Institution of Engineering and Technology ... criticised the government for beginning the large-scale trial of the project before a final specification for the smart meters had been agreed, and said that this could cause serious problems. He added that "a typical IT project of this complexity over-runs its declared timescale and cost by 100%".
Note: While this article from 2013 describes the delays and costly miscalculations of the UK's push to install 'smart meters', it does not mention the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.
There were historic firsts across the country on Tuesday night, as voters chose from a set of candidates that was among the most diverse ever to run in the United States. Native American, Muslim and African-American women, and L.G.B.T. candidates, were among those who broke barriers. In next year’s session of Congress, there will be at least 100 women in the House for the first time in history. Sharice Davids [is] the first lesbian Native American to be elected to the House and part of “a rainbow wave” of L.G.B.T. candidates in this year’s election. She has criticized the Republican tax bill and called for “a true tax cut for the middle class.” Ilhan Omar, a Democratic state legislator in Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, a Democratic former state legislator in Michigan, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress after winning their House races. Ms. Omar will also be the first Somali-American to serve in Congress. Ms. Tlaib, a Palestinian-American attorney, has championed Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ayanna Pressley will become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. She beat a 10-term incumbent in the Democratic primary and vowed to pursue “activist leadership” to advance a progressive agenda. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, became the youngest woman elected to Congress. Like Ms. Pressley, she defeated a white male incumbent who had served 10 terms in a Democratic primary.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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.