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WND Scoops 2007

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 04/11/2008 @ 8:53 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

Throughout 2007, WND led the investigation into the high-profile prosecutions and convictions of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who received 11- and 12-year sentences for slightly wounding an illegal alien drug smuggler with a gunshot while in pursuit and in the line of duty. A federal prosecutor gave the drug smuggler full immunity to testify against the agents.

WND’s coverage included a report on how the Mexican Consulate played a previously undisclosed role in the events.

  • A report by a Department of Homeland Security agent confirms the drug smuggler given immunity to testify against imprisoned border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean committed a second offense, which was hidden by prosecutors, and identifies the smuggler’s accomplice.
  • Investigators had no plans to bring charges against a Texas sheriff’s deputy who shot an illegal alien until the Mexican government intervened and demanded it, the officer’s supervisor told WND.

In early 2007, concerns about imports from China began with a pet food crisis that killed or maimed up to 39,000 American cats and dogs.

  • In May, while Americans were still recovering from that scandal, WND sparked a wildfire of coverage by other media when it broke the news to the world that tainted food imports from China are being rejected with increasing frequency by Food and Drug Administration inspectors because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs.
  • That stunning news was followed by a report on how the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S. is raising most of its fish products in water contaminated with raw sewage and compensating by using dangerous drugs and chemicals, many of which are banned by the FDA.
  • In the wake of scandals involving tainted food and toothpaste from China came word of a new concern from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the FDA – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead.
  • WND’s series of explosive investigative reports into threats to life and limb from Chinese products got enough attention from U.S. lawmakers to begin the process of developing standards and increasing inspections.
  • Members of Congress specifically referenced statistics gathered in WND’s investigation of product recalls from China. WND found most of the consumer product safety recalls involved imports from China. Imports from China were recalled by the CPSC twice as often as products made everywhere else in the world, including the U.S., the study of government reports showed.
  • And amid consumer safety recalls of Christmas products made in China, WND revealed how the average Chinese worker making toys is paid a meager 36 cents an hour – just 2.5 percent of what U.S. toy manufacturers pay domestically.

WND’s reporting on China’s toxic trade was so powerful, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua blamed the news site for overhyping the safety issues about food and consumer goods exported from the Asian giant.

  • WND was also the first news organization to alert consumers of the mercury disposal hazards of the compact fluorescent light bulbs being pushed by government officials, environmentalists and retailers like Wal-Mart. While CFLs arguably use less energy and last longer than incandescents, there is one serious environmental drawback – the presence of small amounts of highly toxic mercury in each and every bulb.
  • In a follow-up story, WND reported how the government-enviro push to ban incandescent light bulbs conceals the truth about what will become mandatory, fine-imposed handling requirements for CFLs by homeowners and businesses.
  • The nation’s homeschooling advocates were shocked when WND broke the story of how a California court ruled that several children in one homeschool family must be enrolled in a public school or “legally qualified” private school, and must attend that school.
  • WND blew the covers off Paris Hilton’s past, exposing her background as a wobbly teenage hockey player who was asked to leave her New England boarding school for calling limousines to depart campus at will.
  • President Bush commemorated America’s 400th anniversary during a ceremony at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, but made no specific mention of the Christian faith, the spread of which was the primary purpose for creation of the settlement. 
  • A retired Air Force pilot sparked a national UFO frenzy when he photographed bright, colorful lights hovering in skies over western Arkansas. “I believe these lights were not of this world, and I feel a duty and responsibility to come forward,” Col. Brian Fields said.
  • A week after WND broke the story of the mysterious lights, it exclusively reported how the Air Force took responsibility, claiming the lights were from parachute flares used to help train pilots for nighttime combat.
  • The most extensive study of the effects of a nuclear attack in four major U.S. cities paints a grim picture of millions of deaths, overwhelmed hospitals and loss of command-and-control capability by government, reported WND.
  • With the nation facing an increased threat from nuclear terrorism, WND told the story of how Huntsville, Alabama was rebuilding a public fallout shelter program like those abandoned in the 1970s when Americans began believing surviving a nuclear event was not possible or not worthwhile.
  • WND broke the story of how a new, lavishly illustrated book – described by its marketer as a “postmodern” edition of the “Bible for skeptics, seekers, and people of different faiths” – took Darwin’s theory of evolution as gospel and presented Jesus as being born, “not to a virgin, but to a gorilla.”
  • WND reported on an Arizona lawmaker’s bill to revise the state’s statutes on organized crime and fraud by defining “domestic terrorism” in such a way that members of the Minuteman Project and  other border-patrol groups “who patrolled in search of illegal activity while armed” could beprosecuted and forced to serve a minimum six-month jail term.
  • When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Minnesota freshman Rep. Keith Ellison for his historic swearing-in ceremony, the controversy over his taking the oath of office on the Quran overshadowed his earlier role in supporting a domestic terrorist whose group tried to kill policemen and allegedly twice tried to murder Pelosi’s fellow San Francisco lawmaker Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
  • When a group of Christian ministers traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla., to protest at the city’s homosexual festival, WND broke the news of how they were arrested by the police because their signs were “wider than their torsos” – the skinnier you were, the cops said, the smaller your sign must be.

WND’s extensive coverage of the Middle East features exclusive stories by Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria – in which she called for dialogue with Damascus – was “brave” and “very appreciated” and could bring about “important changes” to America’s foreign policy, including talks with “Middle East resistance groups,” according to members of terror organizations whose top leaders live in Syria.
  • Former President Jimmy Carter once complained there were “too many Jews” on the government’s Holocaust Memorial Council, Monroe Freedman, the council’s former executive director, told WND in an exclusive interview.
  • While Jerusalem serves as Israel’s capital, and the Temple Mount is located within Israeli sovereignty, the popular satellite map program Google Earth divides the city and places the Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – within Palestinian territory. 
  • Members of the most active West Bank terror organization, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, participated in the security force being deployed to protect President Bush during his visit to the Palestinian territories, WND revealed.
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “wants to die a martyr so he should be sent to heaven,” Meir Amit, a former director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, advocated in an exclusive interview with WND.
  • The United States, aided by Israel, provided 7,000 assault rifles and more than 1 million rounds of ammunition to militias associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, senior Fatah militants told WND.
  • In a speech commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah party, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinian factions to put an end to weeks of infighting and instead “raise rifles against the Israeli occupation.” 
  • Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.  
  • Palestinians in the northern West Bank have named a major street after late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein that was funded – along with the surrounding municipality – by the United States Agency for International Development.
  • In May, a longtime wanted terrorist was arrested while having car sex just a few hundred feet from late PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s gravesite. 
  • Hamas leaders told WND about plans for a takeover of the West Bank similar to the coup in which the terror group seized control of the Gaza Strip.
  • Gaza-based militants attacked secular Palestinian youth for wearing hair gel in the Hamas-controlled territory, WND reported. 
  • Muslims using heavy machinery to dig on the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – were caught red-handed destroying Temple-era antiquities and what’s believed to be a section of an outer wall of the Second Jewish Temple.
  • A Palestinian university that receives U.S. funding counts among its students senior members of the Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror groups, WND reported.
  • A U.S.-financed and trained Fatah force in the northern Gaza Strip that surrendered to Hamas consisted primarily of members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group, the declared “military wing” of Fatah, WND reported.
  • Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations in the Gaza Strip seized and used American and international weapons to attack the Jewish state, top terror leaders claimed to WND.
  • Terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees, have seized large quantities of CIA security files stored at major compounds of militias associated with the U.S.-backed Fatah organization of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, terror leaders told WND.

In 2007, WND continued its aggressive reporting on plans to create a North American Union and reported when the first Mexican truck authorized by a Bush administration program opening U.S. highways to trucking companies from south of the border crossed into the U.S. at Laredo, Texas, headed for North Carolina.

  • WND reported on a Washington state pilot project to introduce a driver’s license “enhanced” with a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip that would encode personal information and possibly serve as a passport-alternative if approved by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • WND was first to reveal the U.S. has built nine navigation systems for Mexico and Canada under the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in an apparent first step toward establishing the satellite infrastructure needed to create a North American air traffic control system.
  • Parody coin designer Daniel Carr launched production of an “amero” coin which he is marketing to coin dealers and collectors.
  • The endorsement by a major city mayor of a document described as “The Declaration of North American Integration” represents a long-term effort by local governments to bypass state and federal governments and work directly with Mexico and Canada to create agreements that integrate the continent below the radar screen, an activist told WND.
  • Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett repudiated his signing in 2004 of a document described as “The Declaration of North American Integration” following exposure in an exclusive WND report.
  • Radio sensing stations to track traffic and cargo up and down the I-35 NAFTA Superhighway corridor are being installed by Communist China, revealed WND.
  • WND was first to report the Port of New Orleans is positioning itself to receive containers from China through the Panama Canal, taking advantage of links to emerging NAFTA superhighways.
  • Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul fired back at Newsweek for an article labeling the NAFTA Superhighway a baseless conspiracy theory.
  • WND broke the news of a plan that establishes U.N. law along with regulations by the World Trade Organization and World Health Organization as supreme over U.S. law during a pandemic and sets the stage for militarizing the management of continental health emergencies.
  • The architect of the “Republican Revolution” of 1994, Newt Gingrich, told WND in an exclusive interview he’s still considering a run for president but, meanwhile, planned to “re-launch the movement of Goldwater, Reagan and the Contract with America.” In the run-up to Labor Day, when would decide whether to vie for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, the former House speaker planned a kind of anti-campaign, vowing to eschew 30-second sound-bites in favor of a grass-roots, locally focused effort to apply conservative solutions to problems, and, ultimately, “force change” on Washington.
  • Officials quickly sought in public to rule out terrorism as a motive in the Salt Lake City mall shooting, but a police spokeswoman told WND investigators were still exploring the jihad angle. A counter-terrorism expert said it’s “almost a joke” in his circles “that within half a day of most unexplained incidents the FBI comes out and says it isn’t terrorism. They’ll come out with a conclusion based on no information.”
  • WND sat down with Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, regarded as one of the nation’s most influential leaders, discussing in part one of a three-part series, criticism he received from fellow evangelicals. In part two he talked about how he handles fame, his unconventional approach to ministry and his visit with Syrian leader Bashar Assad. In part three, he responded to concerns about the pitfalls of partnering with government and his massive AIDS initiative.
  • WND was one of the first media organizations to report on the coming weakness of the dollar and the attack on the dollar from Islamic countries like Iran.
  • The Social Security payments Americans receive in the mail are roughly half of what they would be if the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Consumer Price Index honestly, a veteran econometrician told WND.

WND led the investigation into the Texas juvenile justice sexual abuse scandal. The scandal – in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton are accused of failing to take action – is a broader scandal that was covered up for two years, involving hundreds of serious complaints and investigations against dozens of staff members, according to officials.

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