Archive | January 18, 2017

JPMorgan Chase Sued for Mortgage Discrimination against Black and Latino Borrowers*

JPMorgan Chase Sued for Mortgage Discrimination against Black and Latino Borrowers*

By Tanasia Kenney


JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $55 million settlement with the government on Wednesday, Jan. 18, the same day a federal lawsuit was filed alleging the financial institution racially discriminated against thousands of African-American and Latino mortgage borrowers between 2006 and 2009.

The suit accused the lending company of charging Black and Latino borrowers higher mortgage interest rates and fees than “similarly situated white borrowers” during that time. Average minority home buyers were alleged to have paid almost $1,000 more than white borrowers with the same risk profile, according to the complaint.

Overall, the U.S. government said the company’s alleged discrimination cost 53,000 mortgage borrowers “tens of millions of dollars in damages.”

Attorneys for JPMorgan Chase denied the claims but filed their response in court the same day the suit was brought.

“We’ve agreed to settle these legacy allegations that relate to pricing set by independent brokers,” the company said in a written statement Wednesday.

“We deny any wrongdoing and remain committed to providing equal access to credit.”

USA Today reported the federal government sought damages for the affected Black and Latino borrowers, civil penalties and an order to prevent further racial discrimination.

The government said Chase failed to require its mortgage brokers to document the reasons for the adjusted rates and report discrimination. Moreover, the company reportedly gave independent brokers leeway to hike customers’ interest rates, which, in turn, boosted brokers’ pay.

As a result, the discrimination continued and African-American home buyers paid an average of $1,126 more for a $191,100 loan over a five-year period than white home buyers, the lawsuit stated. Latino borrowers paid an average of $968 more on a loan for $236,800.

“Chase could have, but failed, to better monitor its wholesale brokers to discourage discrimination against borrowers based on race or national origin,” the complaint read.

The U.S. government has gone after lending companies suspected of racial discrimination in the past, with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division obtaining more than $1.4 billion in relief under fair housing laws between 2010 and 2014, according to an agency report from August. In 2012, The Justice Department sued Wells Fargo for racial discrimination over the bank’s practice of targeting Black and Latino homeowners for subprime loans. The bank and the DOJ ultimately reached a $175 million settlement, Atlanta Black Star reported.


Related Topics:

JPMorgan Chase Fined $264mn for Bribery and Corruption in China*

Indonesia Terminates All Business Relationships with JPMorgan after Downgrade*

Former Head of Morgan Stanley Indicted for Evading $45mn in Taxes*

Federal Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Violates Voting Rights Act, Discriminates Against Blacks and Latinos*

Toyota to Pay Over $20mn Settlement for Charging Black and Asian Customers More Interest for Car Loans*

Divide and Rule: Understanding Race and Class as One Entity, not Two*


Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Security Update Installs Chrome Spyware*

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Security Update Installs Chrome Spyware*

The latest version of the venerable (and oh-so-holey) PDF viewing routine, Acrobat Reader DC 15.023.20053, released this week, looks for information about your Google Chrome surfing habits. Without your knowledge or consent, the security patch installs a Chrome browser extension that’s spyware, pure and simple.

The situation’s a little more complex, but for most people using Adobe Acrobat Reader, Chrome spyware comes along for the ride.

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If you haven’t looked at the Adobe Acrobat Reader lately — I haven’t used it in years, due to security concerns — this latest privacy twist warrants your attention. Unfortunately, there are three distinct versions of Acrobat Reader making the rounds, and this spyware “feature” affects only one of them.

In April 2015, Adobe put Acrobat Reader in the cloud, creating Acrobat DC. Those who haven’t gone to the cloud are still running Reader XI, which will lose support in October 2017. Acrobat DC is split into two branches, the “continuous release track” — the one affected by the spyware this month — and the “classic release track,” which freezes the feature set at 2015 levels.

Adobe Acrobat Reader routinely receives a dozen or more security patches every month. As Lucian Constantin reported in PC World, this month, 29 security holes were plugged. The latest version numbers:

  • Reader DC continuous release track: 15.023.20053
  • Reader DC classic release track: 15.006.30279
  • Reader XI: 11.0.19

As reported by Catalin Cimpanu on BleepingComputer and confirmed by Martin Brinkmann at ghacks, installing the DC continuous release track patch, which is the one that most Acrobat Reader users will install, brings along an extension for Google Chrome only, on Windows only. The Chrome extension is installed without notifying you or asking for permission. It’s called “Adobe Acrobat” and it can:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
  • Manage your downloads
  • Communicate with cooperating native applications

Fortunately, if you’re running Chrome when you install the latest Acrobat security patch, or when you restart Chrome after installing the security patch, Chrome’s smart enough to detect that a new extensions has been added, and to ask your permission before enabling it (screenshot).

Unfortunately, the default action selected is to enable the spyware. Unless you specifically click Remove from Chrome, the extension gets installed and armed. You see this notification:

With this all-new extension, you can:

  • Easily turn web pages into PDF files so they look and act just like the page you converted — keeping original links, layout, and formatting intact
  • Quickly switch from viewing PDFs in Chrome to opening them in Acrobat on your desktop
  • Explore Adobe Document Services to convert and combine files in your browser

Please note: With this release, you can share information with Adobe about how you use the application. This option is turned on by default. The information is anonymous and will help us improve product quality and features. You can change this setting at any time in Options for this Chrome extension.

If you’re curious about this all-new extension/feature, you can read Adobe’s Product Improvement Program explanation:

Adobe Product Improvement Program is designed to understand and anticipate customer needs in order to deliver world-class products and solutions. Participation is voluntary, and no personal information is collected… Since no personally identifiable information is collected, the anonymous data will not be meaningful to anyone outside of Adobe… Can I see the data that is collected before it is sent to Adobe? No, the information cannot be displayed. This program is designed to work for millions of users without affecting their product use, so the data is sent automatically. The data is also encoded so that it can be processed efficiently.

You’re to be forgiven if that sounds a whole lot like Windows 10 data collection method. Apparently Adobe now feels it’s entitled to install spyware without your permission.

Don’t want to send your browsing history to Adobe? Try using a different PDF viewer: PDF X-Change Editor is free for the basic version (which puts a watermark on your pages when certain features are used), $43.50 for full version. I used to recommend Foxit Viewer, but its installer is now riddled with crapware. At least Foxit Viewer makes it possible to dodge the spyware, where Adobe Acrobat Reader does not.

If you installed the spyware by mistake, you can turn it off. In Chrome, click the three dots in the upper right corner, choose More tools > Extensions. To the right of the entry for Adobe Acrobat, click the trash can, then Remove. Restart Chrome and it’s gone.

But why use a PDF viewer?

Chrome already has good PDF viewing capabilities and a solid editor to help you fill out forms. (Tip: To save a filled-out form in Chrome, use Print, then Save as PDF.) If you’re running Windows 10, Edge has a built-in PDF viewer.

Hubris. Sounds like a good name for a new product: Adobe Hubris.


Related Topics:

Microsoft Shifts Spyware Windows 10 to RecommendedUpdate, Automatic Download*

Microsoft Adding Windows 10 Spyware to Windows 7 and 8*

U.S. Computer Makers Lose Markets Courtesy of NSA Spyware*

Apple Records Your Messages from iMessage and Sends the Data to Police*

Microsoft Pitches Technology That Can Read Facial Expressions at Political Rallies*

WhatsApp and Facebook Data Sharing*

Obama Quietly Signs the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act into Law*

E.U.’s Top Court Rules against Mass Surveillance*

FDA Approves New GM Pineapple*

FDA Approves New GM Pineapple*

While more and more people are becoming educated about the true history of Monsanto and genetically engineered foods, most still don’t realize one extremely important piece of information: the FDA’s surprising lack of safety testing.

In regards to GMOs, the FDA’s declaration of “substantial equivalence” means that there is no long-term, independent safety testing of new foods and crops that have been genetically engineered.

When it comes to the forthcoming GMO pineapple that is once again the case: the FDA has said that Del Monte’s proposed creation is “safe” based solely on information submitted by the company itself. There is a distinct lack of information on long-term potential health effects, however.

The new GMO pineapple has been given a rubber stump, and it could be headed to store shelves. Here’s what you need to know about it.

New “Pink” Pineapple to Be Grown in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most diverse and natural paradises in the world, but now the country is expected to be the site of the latest GMO experiment: an “extra sweet pink flesh” pineapple.

Here’s how the new pineapple was created according to the FDA:

“Del Monte’s new pineapple has been genetically engineered to produce lower levels of the enzymes already in conventional pineapple that convert the pink pigment lycopene to the yellow pigment beta carotene. Lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed.”

According to the company’s information the product is “safe,” but the process itself has many questioning it, wondering if perhaps any unintended consequences will come from “playing God” with such a widely consumed food.

While genetic engineering can be explained simply in a surface way, it also can create unseen changes at a cellular level that the everyday person is not aware of, critics say. When GMOs were originally approved, the FDA ignored its own scientists’ warnings about potential allergens and long-term health concerns.

The FDA and GMO companies disagree with critics on the need for long-term independent safety testing, however.

“(Del Monte) submitted information to the agency to demonstrate that the pink flesh pineapple is as safe and nutritious as its conventional counterparts,” the FDA said according to this report from NBC News.

According to the NBC report, the pineapple will simply be labeled “extra sweet pink flesh pineapple,” suggesting that no special labels showing that it is genetically engineered will be required.

For more on the pineapple, check out the full NBC News report by clicking here.


Related Topics:

Do You Like Pineapples?

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pineapples (Ananas comosus)

Monsanto Was Put on Trial for Ecocide at the Hague*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

Canada’s New Food Labels won’t Include GMO Info.*

GM Foods and Fertility

The GMO Agenda is Planned Sterilization of Humanity*

Monsanto’s GMO Bt Toxins Found in 93% of Pregnant Women*

GM Toxins Found in Human Blood


‘nothing short of the nation’s first paedophile protection act’*

‘nothing short of the nation’s first paedophile protection act’*

By Chris White

A piece of proposed legislation in New Hampshire was reportedly introduced with the intention of protecting against wrongful convictions, but opponents are saying it will protect paedophiles and sexual predators.

According to local news reports, lawmakers held a hearing on Tuesday on a proposed bill that was designed to protect against wrongful convictions in sexual assault cases.  The bill requires victims of sexual assault to corroborate their allegations if the accused has no prior convictions.  However, the bill does provide a definition of corroboration.

The bill was introduced in the aftermath of the conviction of Foad Afshar, a New Hampshire psychotherapist who a jury found guilty of molesting an underage client during an appointment. Afshar claims he was wrongfully convicted.

Opponents of the bill appeared at the hearing and denounced the proposal.  The harshest criticism appears to have come from a police sergeant from a department in Concord, NH.

“It’s really nothing short of the nation’s first paedophile protection act,” Sgt. Sean Ford told lawmakers.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. William Marsh, and other supporters of the proposal believe it is necessary to enable doctors, teachers and others who work with children to perform their work without fear of wrongful accusations.

“If the person charged is innocent, they will have little ability to defend themselves, as the only testimony is that of a young child who may not be able to provide a reliable story,” Marsh said.

Opponents, including prosecutors and police, generally oppose the change because they believe it will make it more difficult to obtain convictions and cause already reluctant victims to come forward.


Related Topics:

U.S. Legalizing Paedophilia and Bestiality

California Bill of Rights for Children Claim New Powers over Your Kids*

The Real Number of Child Victims Will Shock You*

E.U. Making Paedophilia Legal Across Europe*

Normalizing Paedophilia through Sex for Children*

Normalizing the Rampant Barbaric Crime of Pedophilia*

Planned Parenthood was Caught Covering up Child Sex Trafficking*

The Resurrection of Mother

DHS Snatches Girl from Mother, Places Child with a Paedophile*

Army Colonel Sobs in Court as he’s Sentenced to 12 years in Child Pornography Case*

Uncle Sam Wants Your Children*

She was a Sex Slave to Europe’s Elite at Age 6*

FBI to Release Evidence on Clinton Child Sex Scandal*

Nearly 400 Children Rescued and 348 Adults Arrested in Canadian Child Pornography Bust*

Arrests Taking Place against Hollywood and Washington D.C. Paedophile Rings*

Children in Scotland Murdered in Paedophile Snuff Movies*

Dakota Access Company Seeks to Block Pipeline Environmental Study*

Dakota Access Company Seeks to Block Pipeline Environmental Study*

By Black Nicholson

The company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline wants a federal judge to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from launching a full environmental study of the $3.8 billion pipeline’s disputed crossing of a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners asked U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Tuesday to stop the Corps from publishing a notice in the Federal Register announcing the study. Boasberg scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

ETP wants any further study put on hold until Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., rules on whether ETP already has the necessary permission to lay pipe under Lake Oahe — the reservoir that’s the water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

ETP wants to block further study so that the decision on the permitting, which is likely weeks away, will be “free from the risk that its ruling will be frustrated or thwarted by new governmental actions.” The Corps did not immediately respond to ETP’s request.

The stretch under Lake Oahe is the last big chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline. The Corps wants to look at alternate routes, the potential for a pipeline leak and tribal treaty rights in the wake of opposition by the Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters who believe a pipeline leak would contaminate the tribe’s drinking water.

Goldman Sachs Upgrades Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to Buy

ETP maintains the pipeline is safe and that the Corps gave it permission in July to proceed with the Lake Oahe stretch, but the Corps says all of the necessary steps have not yet been completed — including an easement to work on federal land and the notification of Congress.

An environmental assessment conducted by the Corps last year determined that the Oahe crossing would not have a significant impact on the environment. However, Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in December that a broader environmental impact statement was warranted. Such a statement can take up to two years to complete, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been urging people to lobby the Corps to start the environmental impact study before President-Elect Donald Trump, an energy supporter, takes office Friday. The tribe in a statement Tuesday said it’s confident that a full environmental study would be “the best way to analyze the alternative routes.”

The MAIN Coalition, made up of agriculture, business and labor entities that benefit from Midwest infrastructure projects, issued a statement saying it’s “optimistic that the incoming Trump administration will soon issue the final easement for the Dakota Access pipeline.”

ETP has already drilled entry and exit holes for the Oahe crossing, all on private property, and has already put oil in the pipeline leading up to the lake in anticipation of finishing the project, ETP executive vice president Joey Mahmoud said in court documents.


Related Topics:

Cops at DAPL Now Have Missile Launchers*

Indigenous-Led Pipeline Resistance Camps Spread Across the U.S.*

North Dakota Republicans Want to Protect Drivers Who Hit DAPL Protesters*

U.K. Financiers Bankrolling Dakota Access Pipeline Builder*

DAPL’s Energy Transfer Partners Restructures to Avoid Junk Rating*

Trumps Seems to be Doing the Cabals Bidding with Goldman Sachs Heavily Entrenched in his Administration*

Chippewa Tribe Calls for Pipeline Removal from all Tribal Land, Refuses Right-of-way Renewal*

Last Two Oil and Gas Leases for Sacred Badger-Two Medicine Cancelled*

Canadian First Nations Sue the Government to Protect Land*

One Way for U.S. to Keep More than an Eye on Guyana’s Oil*

Indonesia’s President Grants First-ever Indigenous Land Rights to 9 Communities*

Muslims in Florida Open Free Health Clinic for the Poor and Uninsured*

Muslims in Florida Open Free Health Clinic for the Poor and Uninsured*

Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel

Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel

Muslim leaders in Florida have opened a new free health clinic that will serve the poor and uninsured from all backgrounds, an initiative they hope will counter negative stereotypes about Islam, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The “American Muslim Community Centers Clinic” (AMCC) in Longwood, Central Florida, started seeing patients this week and will only be open on Fridays.

But officials said it would grow to two or three days a week in a month, and eventually to five days a week.

AMCC’s chairman, Atif Fareed told the Orlando Sentinel: “Our goal is to serve humanity — no strings attached. Everyone is welcome.

“We have over 40 physicians who come to our mosque, and we have 11 of them signed up to volunteer here. So we are very, very blessed.”

The clinic will offer general health care to anyone in Orange, Osceola or Seminole counties who is uninsured and earning below 200% of the federal poverty line, which works out to be $23,760 (£19,700) a year for an individual and $48,600 ($40,400) for a family of four.

Patients can make appointments online at and Longwood Pharmacy has also agreed to fill many common prescriptions for free, Fareed said.

Moazzam Adnan Raja, a spokesman for the clinic, said there are no official projections on how many people the clinic could end up serving but based on turnout at public health fairs the community centre has sponsored, the number would easily be in the hundreds.

Mr Raja said: “We’ll do what we can to serve as many as possible. Our mercy should not be constrained.”

Many of the Muslim doctors at the AMCC already volunteer for other non-profit healthcare clinics in Central Florida, whilst others volunteer as front desk staff and various clinic positions elsewhere.

The community centres raised $250,000 (£207,000) to buy and refurbish the building, which was a former doctor’s office. It has at least two exam rooms and space for lab work.


Related Topics:

U.K. GPs to Gather Info on Sick Patients for the State*

Politics as Therapy: They want us to be just Sick Enough not to Fight Back*

Thousands Set to Die of Fuel Poverty this Winter, while Tories Makes a Killing from U.K.’s Energy Supply*

Hospitals across England Declare ‘black alert’ as NHS Crisis Worsens*

How a Battle over Affordable Medicine Helped Kill the TPP*

One Hospital Uses Organic Food as Medicine*

Medical Mafia Gunning for the Medicine that Works Against their Interest*

Deadline to Keep Homeopathy as a Health Choice*

The Real History of U.S. Modern Healthcare*

Federation of State Medical Boards Seeks to Eliminate Alternative Medicine*

Retail Collapsing as Americans too Poor to Shop*

Alternative Cancer Clinic in Arizona Uses Natural Therapies with High Success Rate*

Cuban Medical Internationalism*

Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse…*

Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse…*


By Julie Wilson

The tables are finally starting to turn in regard to the perception that the world has of water fluoridation following the release of at least two reputable studies over the past three years documenting the adverse health effects caused by the chemical.

Researchers from the University of Kent, a public research university based in the United Kingdom, conducted the latest and considerably groundbreaking study on the health effects potentially caused by adding fluoride to the public’s water.

After studying data obtained from nearly every medical practice in England, scientists found that fluoride may be increasing the risk for hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study included the largest population ever analyzed in relation to the adverse health effects caused by water fluoridation.

Recent U.K. study includes the “largest population ever studied in regard to adverse effects of elevated fluoride exposure”

After collecting data from 99% of England’s 8,020 general medical practices, researchers found that the locations with fluoridated water were 30% more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low, natural levels of the chemical in the water.

This means that up to 15,000 people could be suffering from depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles, all of which could theoretically be prevented if fluoride were removed from the water, according to The Telegraph.

“Overall, there were 9% more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places,” reports Newsweek, which also notes that 10% of England’s water is fluoridated compared with nearly 70% of America’s.

The science paper also compared the fluoridated city of Birmingham with the city of Manchester, which refrains from fluoridating, and found that doctor’s offices in Birmingham were nearly twice as likely to report high levels of hypothyroidism.

The new report has some experts questioning their stance on water fluoridation.

“The study is an important one because it is large enough to detect differences of potential significance to the health of the population,” said Trevor Sheldon, a medical researcher and dean of the Hill York Medical School who has published numerous studies in this field.

Sheldon, who in the past supported fluoride, admits that the “case for general water fluoridation” is no longer clear.

New fluoride study contradicts last year’s report by Public Health England that states fluoride is “safe and effective” for improving dental health

Released in March of last year, Public Health England’s report states that “there is no evidence of harm to health in fluoridated areas,” and no differences were found between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas in regard to rates of hip fractures, osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer), cancers overall, Down’s syndrome births and all other recorded causes of death.

New research, however, suggests that the spike in the number of cases of hypothyroidism in areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England is “concerning for people living in those areas.”

“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking. There were nearly double the number of cases in Manchester,” said the study’s lead author Stephen Peckham.

Women 15 times more likely to develop underactive thyroid

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”

Hypothyroidism is particularly a cause for concern for women, as they’re 15 times more likely than men to develop the condition. Previous studies suggest that fluoride inhibits the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, which is an essential mineral for a healthy thyroid, the master gland in the human body.


Related Topics:

U.K. to Put Fluoride in Milk for School Children*

The Dangers of Fluoride in Water*

The Public Awareness about Fluoride, has our ‘Betters’ Looking to Adding Lithium to our Drinking Water*

Fluoridation Stopped in Dallas*

Poisoning the Next Generation: Fluoride Plan in School Milk*

The Fluoride Call is Being Heard!

Social Engineering and an Inconvenient Tooth