Top 25 Censored Stories of 2016

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25. NYPD Editing Wikipedia on Police Brutality
In March 2015, Kelly Weill reported in Capital New York that computers operating at One Police Plaza, the headquarters of the New York Police Department (NYPD), had been used “to alter Wikipedia pages containing details of alleged police brutality,” including the entries for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. As Mother Jones subsequently reported..continue

24. India’s Solar Plans Blocked by US Interests, WTO
The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, held in December 2015 in Paris, featured lofty rhetoric about international cooperation to tackle climate change, including overtures by the US and other nations to include India. Anticipating the Paris summit, World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Roberto Azevêdo wrote, “The challenge is not to stop trading but to ….continue

 

 

 

23. Modern-Day Child Slavery: Sex Trafficking of Underage Girls in the US
In December 2015, D. Parvaz published “Selling American Girls,” a seven-part investigative report for Al Jazeera America that documented sex trafficking in the US. Each part of her report examined a different role in the sex trafficking trade and its enforcement, from the prostitutes and their buyers, pimps, and advocates, to law enforcement officers and….continue

 

 

 

 

22. Department of Education Cooperates with ALEC to Privatize Education
The Department of Education and school districts throughout the US are working with billionaire families such as the Waltons and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to undermine public education, Dustin Beilke reported for PR Watch in January 2016. Instead of defending public education in pursuit of equity for all students, the Department of Education (DoE) is…continue

 

 

 

 

21. Little Guantanamos: Secretive “Communication Management Units” in the US
In March 2016, inmates from two highly secretive US prisons, known as Communication Management Units (CMUs), appealed a previous summary judgment for the government in their case against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In March 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled against the prisoners, asserting that CMUs did not..continue

 

 

 
20. The Walmarting of American Education
In January 2016, Walmart publicized a plan to close 269 of its retail stores. As Jeff Bryant reported for AlterNet, the announcement was significant news in small towns and suburban communities directly affected by the closures, but otherwise it did not garner prominent media attention. “Stories about local communities being devastated by business decisions made….continue

 

 

 
19. Global Epidemic of Electronic Waste
Consumers in the US generate an estimated 3.14 million tons of electronic waste annually, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, and about 40 percent of this—50,000 dump trucks a year—goes to be recycled. A 2016 study by the Basel Action Network (BAN), a nonprofit that aims to end the global trade in toxic electronic …continue

 

 

 
18. Women’s Movements Offer Global Paradigm Shift toward Social Justice
From LGBTQ movements and indigenous farming struggles to Black Lives Matter and efforts to create sustainable development, women around the world are leading the way toward greater social justice. In YES! Magazine, Rucha Chitnis wrote that, as responses to “corporate power, land grabs, economic injustice, and climate change,” women’s movements offer “a paradigm shift.” Women-led …continue

 

 
17. Deadly Medical Neglect for Immigrants in Privatized US Jails
Over one hundred inmates in privatized, immigrant-only prisons have died, many in disturbing circumstances involving negligent medical and mental health care, Seth Freed Wessler reported for the Nation in January 2016. Wessler’s article documented the deadly consequences of medical neglect in eleven immigrant-only prisons, known as Criminal Alien Requirement facilities. From 1998 to 2014, at …continue

 

 

 

16. Over Three-Quarters of Freedom of Information Act Requests Not Fully Answered
On his election, President Obama promised greater governmental transparency to the American people. In practice, the Obama administration has set a record for failures to find and produce government documents in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. As Ted Bridis and Jack Gillum reported for the Associated Press’s Big Story, in response to …continue

 

 
15. Understanding Climate Change and Gender Inequality
We need to understand climate change through the lens of gender equality, Georgie Johnson reported for Greenpeace’s Energydesk in March 2016. As Johnson’s report showed, climate change has different impacts on men and women, based on preexisting social and economic inequalities. Because most international efforts to address climate change do not include women, the resulting …continue

 

 
14. FBI’s New Plan to Spy on High School Students across the Country
Under new guidelines issued in January 2016, the FBI is instructing high schools across the country to report students who criticize government policies and “western corruption” as potential future terrorists, Sarah Lazare reported for AlterNet. The new guidelines also warn that young people who are poor, are immigrants, or talk about travel to “suspicious” countries …continue

 

 
13. US “Vaccine Court” Has Paid over Three Billion Dollars to Vaccine-Injured Families
Since 1988, the US government has paid $3.2 billion to 4,150 individuals and families for injuries and deaths attributed to shots for flu, diphtheria, whooping cough, and other conditions. Though vaccines “remain one of the greatest success stories in public health,” Tracy Seipel reported, “for some Americans, rare side effects of inoculations have led to …continue

 

 
12. Why Our Lives Depend on Keeping 80 Percent of Fossil Fuels in the Ground
The Spring 2016 issue of YES! Magazine featured articles on the theme “After Oil.” Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, wrote that, when it comes to climate change, the essential problem is not “industry versus environmentalists, or Republicans against Democrats. It’s people against physics.” For that reason, the compromises and trade-offs typical of most public …continue

 

 

 

11. CIA Warned Bush Administration of Terrorist Attack Prior to 9/11
Based on new interviews with Cofer Black, the former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and George Tenet, the former director of the CIA, Chris Whipple reported in Politico that the George W. Bush administration ignored CIA warnings in the months before 9/11. Noting that neither Black nor Tenet has spoken about the warnings “in…continue

 

 
10. CISA: The Internet Surveillance Act No One is Discussing
On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) into law as part of a 2,000 page omnibus spending bill. As drafted, CISA was intended to “improve cybersecurity in the United States through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity threats, and for other purposes.” The act authorized the creation of a …continue

 

 
9. Big Pharma Political Lobbying Not Limited to Presidential Campaigns
Pharmaceutical companies have been among the biggest political spenders for years, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. As Mike Ludwig of Truthout reported, based on CRP data, large pharmaceutical companies made over $51 million in campaign donations during the 2012 presidential election, nearly $32 million in the 2014 elections, and, as of …continue

 

 
8. Syria’s War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism
At least four years into the crisis in Syria, “most people have no idea how this war even got started,” Mnar Muhawesh reported for MintPress News in September 2015. In 2011–12, after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad refused to cooperate with Turkey’s proposal to create a natural gas pipeline between Qatar and Turkey through Syria, Turkey …continue

 

 
7. No End in Sight for Fukushima Disaster
Five years after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Dahr Jamail reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) officials in charge of the plant continue to release large quantities of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean. Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, called Fukushima …continue

 

 

 

6. Over 1.5 Million American Families Live on Two Dollars Per Person Per Day
According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, sociologists and authors of the book $2.00 per Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, in 2011 more than 1.5 million US families—including three million children—lived on as little as two dollars per person per day in any given month. Edin and Shaefer determined this figure …continue

 

 
5. Corporate Exploitation of Global Refugee Crisis Masked as Humanitarianism
According to a June 2015 United Nations report, sixty million people worldwide are now refugees due to conflict in their home nations. The UN report indicated that during 2014 one out of every 122 people was a refugee, internally displaced, or an asylum seeker; and over half of these refugees were children…continue

 

 
4. Search Engine Algorithms and Electronic Voting Machines Could Swing 2016 Election
From search engine algorithms to electronic voting machines, technology provides opportunities for manipulation of voters and their votes in ways that could profoundly affect the results of the 2016 election. In the US, the 2012 presidential election was won by a margin of just 3.9 percent; and, historically, half of US presidential elections have been …continue

 

 
3. Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Threaten to Permanently Disrupt Vital Ocean Bacteria
Imagine a car heading toward a cliff’s edge with its gas pedal stuck to the floor. That, Robert Perkins wrote, is a metaphor for “what climate change will do to the key group of ocean bacteria known as Trichodesmium,” according to a study published in the September 2015 issue of Nature Communications by researchers at …continue

 

 
2. Crisis in Evidence-Based Medicine
In April 2015, the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, wrote, “Something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.” Describing the upshot of a UK symposium held that month on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, Horton summarized the “case against science”: “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be …continue

 

 

 

1. US Military Forces Deployed in Seventy Percent of World’s Nations
If you throw a dart at a world map and do not hit water, Nick Turse reported for TomDispatch, the odds are that US Special Operations Forces “have been there sometime in 2015.” According to a spokesperson for Special Operations Command (SOCOM), in 2015 Special Operations Forces (SOF) deployed in 147 of the world’s 195 …continue

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