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How Positive Thinking Can Backfire

The secret to success, we are sometimes told, is the power of positive thinking. In fact, there’s a famous book devoted to that idea called, appropriately, The Power of Positive Thinking, and there’s a similarly themed book called The Secret. But there’s another secret, according to new research: Fantasizing about a wonderful, happy future may actually make depression symptoms worse in the long …

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Gilbert Doctorow – A Look at Ukraine’s Dark Side

A new French documentary depicts a long-denied truth – that Ukraine is in the grip of extreme right-wing nationalists who seek to impose what the British scholar Richard Sakwa has called a monist view of nationhood, one which does not accept minorities or heterogeneity. Rainbow politics is not what the Maidan uprising was all about. Like the Communism which held …

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In Besieged Middle East, Food Becomes Weapon of War

As crises in the Middle East escalate, food has become a weapon of war. A new Associated Press analysis published Friday looks at the way food supply and access is controlled by all sides in conflict and the devastating impact this tactic has on civilian populations struggling to survive behind blockades in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. The AP reports: The biggest humanitarian catastrophe by far …

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Is obesity more deadly than science suggests?

Experts say prior studies that examined the link between obesity and death are flawed because they rely on one-time measures of body mass index (BMI) that obscure the effects of weight change over time. Studies that fail to distinguish between people who never exceeded normal weight and people of normal weight who were formerly overweight or obese are misleading because …

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Rishma Parpia – New Law Aims to Expose Big Pharma Influence on Physicians

Story Highlights Financial relationships between physicians and drug companies have existed for decades. Ties between doctors and the pharmaceutical industry have raised conflicts of interest concerns. The Physicians Payment Sunshine Act has stirred controversy around conflict of interest policies. It is no secret that the medical field is heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. For many decades, health care professionals and …

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Ben Schreiner – 2016: A Year of Financial Barbarism?

With New Year celebrations barely in the rear view mirror, foreboding storm clouds are once again forming along the horizon.  The blackening skies are casting a dour mood over 2016, which in its mere infancy seems all but assured to see deepening global tumult, conflict, and crisis. At the root of this palpable disquiet lies the still fragile state of …

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Monsanto Offered $10M to Prove GMO Safety: Monsanto Never Shows…

On Monday December 21, students from Livingston High School joined Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an American scientist with a PhD in systems biology from MIT, to debate the ‘safety’ of GMO crops. Monsanto was invited to come and prove that there are indeed GMO safety assessment standards, and was even offered a $10 million enticement to send representatives to argue its side. But the …

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Barry Grey – IMF head warns of slow growth and economic “shocks” in 2016

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde offered a bleak economic forecast for 2016 and beyond in a guest column published Wednesday in the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt . The IMF head wrote that global economic growth next year would be “disappointing” and the outlook for the medium term had also deteriorated. Lagarde pointed to the continuing slowdown in China …

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Peter Schwartz – The fracturing of the European Union

It is 70 years since large parts of Europe lay in ruins. Great power aspirations, nationalism and fascism made the continent the focus of two world wars, which together claimed nearly 100 million victims. Now, these same tendencies are spreading once again. Everywhere in Europe, the ruling elites are moving sharply to the right. They are boosting military spending, taking …

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Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins – U.S. Should Join French and Civil Society in Initiative to Solve Global Warming with Regenerative Farming Plan

France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the U.K., Germany and Mexico are among the more than two dozen countries that have so far signed on to what one day will likely be recognized as the most significant climate initiative in history. France’s 4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate puts regenerative food and farming front and center in the climate solutions conversation. …