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Powder Keg: FDA bowed to industry for decades as alarms were sounded over talc

FDA headquarters
© REUTERS/Jason Reed
The headquarters of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seen in Silver Spring, Maryland November 4, 2009.
At an invitation-only gathering late last year, U.S. regulators and their guests huddled at a hotel near Washington, D.C., to discuss the best way to detect cancer-causing asbestos in talc powders and cosmetics.

The "Asbestos in Talc Symposium," sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration, was dominated by industry hands: Most of the 21 non-government participants had done work for talc companies, such as testing and serving as expert witnesses and consultants, symposium documents and other records show.

Key sessions were led by witnesses for Johnson & Johnson in lawsuits alleging the company failed to warn customers that its Baby Powder was tainted with cancer-causing asbestos, the records show. Others who sought invitations were turned away, including a physician who had testified against J&J in trials that resulted in billions of dollars in damage awards against the company.

Comment: See also:


2 + 2 = 4

How dumb have we become? Chinese students are 4 grade levels ahead of US students in math

Chinese girl
How in the world is America supposed to remain "the greatest country on Earth" when other nations are absolutely running circles around us when it comes to education? As you will see below, one survey found that 15-year-old students in China are almost four full grade levels ahead of 15-year-old students in the United States in mathematics. This is one of the most damning indictments of our education system that I have ever come across, and it is yet another clear indication that what we are doing is simply not working. Our children are not being given the tools that they need to compete in our modern society, and we have only ourselves to blame.

Perhaps you are thinking that the survey must be flawed somehow.

Well, this wasn't some fluky survey that was only given to a handful of students. Every three years, the Program for International Student Assessment evaluates 15-year-old students all over the world in a variety of subject areas, and in 2018 approximately 32 million students participated...
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a survey given to 15-year-old students around the world every three years, which tests the core subjects of reading, mathematics, and science. In 2018, 79 countries and economies participated, representing about 32 million 15-year-olds.

Monkey Wrench

Jeffrey Epstein's private banker at Deutsche & Citi found swinging from a rope; executive 'suicide' just before FBI was to question him

Thomas Bowers

Thomas Bowers
Jeffrey Epstein's private wealth banker, who brokered and signed off on untold multiple millions of dollars in controversial Deutsche Bank and Citibank loans spanning two decades for the convicted pedophile, has died from a reported suicide.

The news of yet another mysterious Epstein-linked death comes shortly after the FBI was seeking to interview the bank executive about loans he approved for Epstein and the indicted child trafficker's labyrinth of US-based and offshore companies.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner confirmed Thomas Bowers died by an apparent suicide by hanging at his home before Thanksgiving.

Epstein likewise died from a reported suicide by hanging, according to the New York City Medical Examiner.

Bowers headed the private wealth banking division for Deutsche Bank and signed off on millions in loans to Epstein. Bowers, prior to taking over the private banking arm at Deutsche Bank, served in the same top position at Citibank, as the head of the bank's private wealth arm. Citigroup also made massive loans to Epstein, according to records and banking sources who spoke to True Pundit.

Comment: We're sure that Bowers' suicide has nothing whatsoever to do with all the illegal financial connections Epstein likely had with those in high places.


Piggy Bank

Study: UK's six richest people control as much wealth as poorest 13 million

Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn
© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn
'Extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks,' says the Equality Trust

The UK's six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million, according to research into the gaping inequality in British society.

Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn, which, according to analysis by the Equality Trust, is roughly equal to the assets of 13.2 million Britons.

The richest six are: the Indian brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja, who control a conglomerate of businesses, including cars and banks, and top the table with a £12.8bn fortune; Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and chief executive of the chemicals company Ineos, with £9.2bn; the hedge fund manager Michael Platt, who has an estimated £6.1bn; and the property developer brothers David and Simon Reuben, whose net worth is estimated at £5.7bn each. The estimates are based on wealth reports produced by Forbes magazine and Credit Suisse.

Comment: More on the vast and growing gap of wealth between the elite few - and the majority of people living in the West:


Ambulance

21 killed, including police officers, near Texas - Mexico border

The City Hall of Villa Union
© AP Photo/Gerardo Sanchez
The City Hall of Villa Union is riddled with bullet holes after a gun battle between Mexican security forces and suspected cartel gunmen, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.
At least 21 people were killed, including four police officers, during a gun battle between suspected Mexican drug cartel members and security forces near the U.S-Mexico border, it was reported.

The shootout occurred on Nov. 30 in Villa Union in Coahuila state, about an hour from the Texas border.

"These groups won't be allowed to enter state territory," the government of Coahuila said in a statement, Fox News reported. The death toll was revised up from 14, according to several news reports early on Dec. 1.

Standing outside the Villa Union mayor's bullet-riddled offices, Coahuila Gov. Miguel Angel Riquelme told Reuters that the fighting went on for an hour.

"I don't think that Mexico needs intervention. I think Mexico needs collaboration and cooperation," Riquelme said.

"We're convinced that the state has the power to overcome the criminals," he said, referring to President Donald Trump's recent statement that he would designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he wouldn't accept any foreign intervention in Mexico to deal with the violent drug cartels.

Black Magic

Failed Exorcism attempt? Sect member arrested in Russia over gruesome murder of his own son

burning bible
© Getty Images / Arman Zhenikeyev
A gruesome murder of a child rocked the Russian Urals city of Ekaterinburg. The prime suspect is the boy's father, who turned out to be a sect member indulging in violent practices in a quest for "salvation" and "demons" fighting.

The body of a 9-year-old boy was discovered in a shallow grave in one of the city's parks last week, after the authorities received a tip-off from one of the victim's distant relatives. Investigators concluded that the victim was asphyxiated, detaining two suspects shortly afterwards.

One of them is the boy's father, identified as 40-year-old Ivan Kazantsev, who recently moved to the city from Russia's neighboring country of Belarus with his family - his wife and two sons. Kazantsev's wife reportedly fled back to Belarus after the murder, and for now she's being treated as a murder witness by investigators.

Kazantsev's accomplice is a Russian citizen, 48-year-old Zemfira Gaynullina. Both suspects fled the city but they were nabbed by law enforcement in Russia's Republic of Bashkiria, adjacent to the Ekaterinburg region. The two were detained by a Russian court for two months on Monday to prevent them from escaping while the investigation is ongoing.

The murder took place in the apartment that the Kazantsev family rented. The investigators thoroughly examined the flat and have already secured vital evidence there.

Newspaper

More than 100 Jewish graves desecrated near Strasbourg

desecrated jew cemetary
© AFP / Prefecture du Bas-Rhin
As many as 107 graves out of a total of 700 have been desecrated in the small village of Westhoffen, a home for just 1,600 people, located 25 kilometers west of Strasbourg. The tombstones were covered with swastika and anti-Jewish symbols. The number '14' considered to be a white supremacist symbol was also found on one of the graves.

"It's a shock," Maurice Dahan, the president of the Jewish consistory for the Bas-Rhin region, where Strasbourg is located, told AFP. Meanwhile, the local public prosecutor's office said that the incident was part of a series of similar acts of vandalism, adding that anti-Semitic graffiti were found in another local village of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn shortly before that.

Comment: The desecration that happened last year, as noted in the article, occurred right before the false flag attack on the Strasbourg Christmas market: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Bizarro Earth

Third South Korean pop star dies in two months: Actor Cha In Ha found dead aged 27

Cha In Ha
© Newscom/Alamy Stock Photo
Cha In Ha was a member of the K-pop group Surprise U and also had a fledgling acting career.
South Korean pop star and actor Cha In Ha has been found dead at the age of 27, the third young Korean star to die in the space of two months.

Cha, who was a member of the K-pop group Surprise U and also had a fledgling acting career, was found at his home. His South Korean talent agency Fantagio saying it was "filled with grief at this news that is still hard to believe".

A spokesperson said: "We earnestly ask for rumours not to be spread, and for speculative reports not to be released in order for his family - who are experiencing great sadness due to the sudden news - to be able to send him away peacefully."

Comment: Regardless of wherever it is in the world, the entertainment industry is riddled with sexual abuse, suicide, corruption, drug abuse and stalkers - to name but a few of its problems - which is probably reflective of just how unhealthy the cult of celebrity really is:


Attention

Video shows Russian driver dodge death as bridge collapses in front of his vehicle

bridge collapse Russia
© YouTube / Russia's Investigative Committee
The chilling moment of an overpass collapse has been captured on dash camera by a lucky Russian driver who managed to narrowly dodge the falling concrete. While he escaped in one piece, two other people were injured.

The freak incident occurred in Orenburg, in the Russian Urals, late on Monday. The massive car overpass, measuring more than 100 meters (328 feet) in length, abruptly fell to its side, plummeting onto the road below.

The driver owes his miraculous salvation to another motorist who made an emergency stop under the overpass and, as a law-abiding citizen, placed a warning triangle on the road. The time the driver spent passing the sign meant he dodged almost certain death.

Comment: See also:


Fire

Sudan factory explosion leaves scores of people dead & injured

Khartoum factory
© AFP / Ebrahim HAMID
A huge fire has erupted in Bahri City's industrial zone, north of the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) declared a citywide emergency, and the number of dead is expected to rise.

The incident happened mid-morning local time on Tuesday and forced mass evacuations as huge explosions ripped through the area. Raging fires sent vast plumes of smoke skyward, which were visible across the city.