The “war on drugs” is failing; a teen in China sells his kidney for an iPad 2; and “Sesame Street” admits to spreading propaganda. These discoveries and more, below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Global Commission Calls ‘War on Drugs’ a Failure The Global Commission says countries should look to legalization and other more progressive policies.

What Will He Do When IPad 3 Appears? A 17-year-old in China sold his kidney for an iPad 2.

Eddie Long Punks Out Last September, megachurch preacher Bishop Eddie Long stood before his congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church a week after gay sex allegations surfaced between him and four teenage boys, and he told members he was going to fight the allegations.

Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain A study links life-changing religious experiences, like being born again, with atrophy in the hippocampus.

Get Out of Jail Unfree Dominique Strauss-Kahn traded jail for GPS tracking. Why not let other defendants do the same?

Why Don’t We Expand VA Health System? The Des Moines Register recently editorialized that it doesn’t make sense to operate a multibillion [dollar] VA health care system that runs parallel to the nation’s vast private health care system of hospitals and clinics.

Egyptian Businessman Accused of Sexual Abuse at NYC Hotel Accusations against a former bank chairman echo those levied against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history.

‘Sesame Street’ Spreads Secret Political Messages, Insiders Admit In his new book “Primetime Propaganda,” conservative writer and columnist Ben Shapiro called the seemingly innocuous show “Sesame Street” a vehicle for spreading left-wing propaganda.

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