The mainstream media failed to cover several important and game-changing stories while focusing attention on the US Presidential Debates.
The mainstream media has been abuzz about the first US Presidential debates for days as they work to refocus public attention on the Democrat-Republican circus that has polarized much of the country. Constant press coverage of slip-ups, misstatements, and fact-checking will likely consume mainstream media coverage for several more days, ensuring that much of the American population is conveniently distracted from other major issues taking place. This is a tactic commonly employed by the corporate media in order to distract from meaningful issues that highlight government corruption, environmental degradation, and an impending economic collapse.
For the current power structure, keeping the majority of people ignorant of the issues is paramount in allowing them to maintain control of the narrative. Here are 5 stories that the mainstream media intentionally skipped over while trying to keep you focused on the left/right dichotomy.
1. Germany’s Largest Bank is Collapsing and Could Start the Next Banking Crisis
Deutsche Bank, one of Europe’s largest banks, is on the brink of collapse and could spark a financial disaster at least 5 times larger than the 2008 banker-led economic crisis. The banking behemoth never even recovered from the last crash, instead resorting to fraud to boost its performance.
The IMF called Deutsche Bank the “world’s most dangerous bank” this past July due to its failing financial strength and ability to bring the entire financial system crashing down with it. Deutsche Bank was also one of two banks that failed financial stress tests conducted by the US Federal Reserve this past summer. Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has also called Germany’s largest bank for being insolvent, echoing what independent financial journalists have been saying for years including RT’s Max Keiser and Zerohedge. Allegations of insolvency have been supported by the fact that, earlier this month, Deutsche bank refused to deliver its physical gold holdings upon request. Deutsche Bank also has over €54.7 trillion ($75.7 trillion) in exposure to derivatives and only has an estimated €522 billion in deposits to back it up in 2014. That number is likely much higher now and is a true recipe for disaster.
The bank’s numerous problems have resulted in many comparisons between Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers, a failed bank whose collapse precipitated the 2008 financial crisis. However, Deutsche Bank is
significantly larger with over €1.8 trillion in assets compared to Lehman’s €537 billion at the time of its collapse, meaning that such an event would cause a crisis significantly larger and more global than what happened in 2008. With Deutsche Bank’s stock prices crashing to record lows of $10.22/share, withdrawing their holdings in the bank and the number of investors buying risk protection is spiking.
A collapse of Deutsche Bank could cause a domino effect considering its deep connection to several of the world’s most important banks. On the right is the IMF’s chart showing key linkages between Deutsche Bank and others. It seems that sooner rather than later, we’ll see either a major banking collapse or another massive taxpayer-funded bank bailout.
2. Violent Escalation in Syria – Russia says peace is “almost impossible now”
Syria once again threatens to explode into a full-blown global war as tensions between the US and Russia have flared significantly in recent weeks. Last week, the US demanded that Russia and Syria ground its warplanes after the US killed 62 Syrian soldiers, eventually ending a tenuous ceasefire agreement.
The US also accused Russia of having bombed a UN aid convoy, despite scant evidence, and has since accused them of “barbarism.” Russia responded by saying the real “barbarism” was the US’ foreign interventions in Libya and Iraq. Russia also added that the US is arming Al-Nusra front, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Al-Nusra themselves backed up these claims as their commander recently told German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer that the US directly supports the terror group and that they frequently work with officers and experts from the US, Israel, and Turkey.
The most controversial comment of the Al-Nusra front commander was his assertion that the commanders of the Islamic State are led by Western intelligence. Based on the US’ recent and past actions, as well as their arming of Al-Nusra, Russia has now said that ending the war “is almost an impossible task now,” implying that the war will only expand in the coming months.
3. Largest Prison Strike in US History is Fighting for an End to Forced Labor
Prisoners in 24 states have organized via the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) to carry out the largest prison strike in US history. Since September 9th, over 24,000 prisoners in 40 prisons across the US are striking and refusing to follow orders until their demands are met. These demands include an end to low-wage or unpaid prison labor and deplorable working conditions, as well as the use of violent punishments if prisoners don’t perform in the way that their overseers expect. Some are also demanding access to clean water and an end to solitary confinement.
Many of those striking have been threatened with bodily harm, transfer to higher security or facilities, or long-term stays in solitary confinement. All prisoners in the US are forced to work if medically able and are paid between 12 to 40 cents an hour. Some states pay no wages at all. Numerous corporations such as Starbucks, Nintendo, McDonald’s, and Whole Foods have made tremendous profits by using prisoner labor. Prisoners were motivated to move forward with the strike, despite threats, as they have “reached their breaking point.”
4. The World’s Wilderness will Disappear Entirely in less than 85 Years
A new study published in Current Biology shows that attempts to protect remaining wilderness areas have been able to counter the effects of wilderness loss, which occurs at nearly double the rate of wilderness protection. In less than two decades, the amount of wilderness lost measures 3.3 million kilometers, an area twice the size of Alaska that accounts for one-tenth of the world’s entire cultivated land. The study blamed logging and timber companies, livestock grazing, corporate exploitation, industrial pollution, conventional agriculture, irresponsible land clearing, and other damaging practices that have continued unabated despite the immense damage they cause to the planet.
Wilderness areas are refuges for important ecological and evolutionary processes that can function without human intervention, strongholds for endangered biodiversity, buffers for regulating local climates, world oxygen production, and the lifeline for many of the world’s indigenous communities. Losing wilderness represents what is arguably the largest threat to life on this planet as its ecological functions are essential to all life and its damage is usually considered to be irreversible.
5. Largest Land Grab in 100 Years Seeks to Turn Over Native Lands to Corporate Interests
Two US Congressmen are seeking to convert 18 million acres of public lands in Eastern Utah, including an area known as Bears Ear, into oil and natural gas zones that would be exempted from environmental protections. Of those 18 million acres, more than 100,000 are located on the Ute reservation, which would be taken from the natives and given to private interests against their will. The Ute were not even consulted while the bill was being drafted, despite occupying more than 25% of the land mentioned. Bears Ear and the other parts of southeastern Utah cited in the bill have been inhabited for at least 11,000 years.
Many of the southwestern tribes have a connection to the area, including the Navajo, Ute, and Paiute. Currently, the area is an unprotected culturally-significant site which is filled with an estimated 100,000 Native American archaeological sites, as well as rock paintings and petroglyphs. As the area is not protected, these sites are often prey for looters. The Public Lands Initiative, if passed, would eliminate the possibility of naming Bears Ear a protected site. However, the area is also rich in mining deposits , as well as tar sands. The areas surrounding Bears Ear and the two national parks it adjoins are already lined with oil rigs. The bill, if passed, would be the largest land grab from Native Americans in over 100 years.
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