Scientists have discovered why only a small percentage of babies contract HIV when breastfed by mothers who have been infected with the virus; Taiwan’s new police uniforms are extremely frightening; and David Petraeus is using his new position in academia to promote profiteering health care and fracking industries. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have 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.

Discovered: A Natural Protein in Breast Milk That Fights HIV For decades, public health officials have puzzled over a surprising fact about HIV: Only about 10-20 percent of infants who are breastfed by infected mothers catch the virus.

Taiwan’s New Army Uniforms are Downright Scary! Forget Halloween, these might be the scariest costumes you see this fall.

Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Boys, State-by-State There will always be people out there picking weird names for their kids, but when you look at the choices that make their way to the top you’ll see that Americans tend to play it safe.

Does Uri Avnery Know So Little About Israel? A concern about Uri Avnery is that, whatever the good work he has done as a journalist and peace activist, especially in regard to the occupied territories, he still has an ability to write utter nonsense when it comes to what is happening inside Israel.

Repubs and Dems Unite For Austerity Once again the people need to stop more counterproductive austerity that will hurt the economy, but especially will hurt the American people.

Who is Jeh Johnson, and Why Should Black People Be Hanging Our Heads in Shame? Remember the scary Obama administration lawyer who claimed in sworn testimony before Congress in 2009 that his bosses had the intended to imprison anybody they imagined was a terrorist even after those persons were acquitted of any and all offenses by a civilian court?

What Is the Exactly Perfect Time to Drink Your Coffee? Most people drink coffee first thing in the morning.

Fuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenario An operation with potentially “apocalyptic” consequences is expected to begin in a little over two weeks from now – “as early as November 8” – at Fukushima’s damaged and sinking Reactor 4, when plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel storage tank perched on the reactor’s upper floor.

Petraeus Uses Academia To Push Profiteering From Healthcare & Fracking In April, David Petraeus, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and leader of coalition forces during the war in Iraq, took an adjunct professorship at Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York.

Rupert Murdoch’s Rules In his new book, “Murdoch’s World,” NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik takes on Rupert Murdoch, the Australian business magnate who is probably the most powerful media figure ever.

How Independent Stores are Thriving — Even in the Age of Amazon So we all know that the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon are killing Main Street businesses, right?

Russell Brand And The Resonance Of Revolution That this epic interview went viral speaks volumes about the desire for radical change that still simmers just below the surface of our everyday normalcy.

Tea Party, ALEC Prescribe CPR to Kill Pensions What do you call a proposal that breaks promises to city workers, destroys their families’ hard-earned retirement security, lowers the city’s tax base, harms our fragile economy, and actually requires the city of Cincinnati to pay out more in retiree funds?

Hollywood & Homophobia: How Far Have We Come? Last Friday writer Davina Kotulski attended a taping of 2 ½ Men on the Warner Brother’s lot.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.