While many Americans were uninsured, others were being forced to undergo a series of unnecessary tests that hurt both them and the medical system; the creator of the TV program “The Wire” calls America a “horror show”; and, despite what many believe, technology will not save us from the apocalypse. 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.

You’re Getting Too Much Healthcare Extraneous tests and referrals increasingly set back the U.S. medical system, and our health.

Modern Capitalism’s Roots in Slavery When the New York City banker James Brown tallied his wealth in 1842, he had to look far below Wall Street to trace its origins.

Peres Secretly Talks with 29 Arab Foreign Ministers In a rare event two weeks ago, President Shimon Peres appeared before 29 foreign ministers from the Gulf States, Arab League countries and other Muslim nations. The king of Saudi Arabia’s son was also among those present.

The Iran Case Proves It: Sanctions Will Get Israel to End the Occupation It appears that international sanctions work and that a boycott is a tool like no other.

Former Shin Bet Chief: Ending Internal Conflict Key for Israel An unbridled public debate erupted this week on Dec. 4 in Israel between two main approaches dividing the Israeli public in connection with the peace process, diplomatic isolation and the Jewish state’s other geostrategic struggles.

Vladimir Putin Just Replaced Russia’s Best State-Run News Outlet With a State-Run PR Firm Of all the state-owned media outlets in Russia, RIA Novosti stood largely alone in its willingness to challenge the Kremlin.

Colin Powell Calls for Universal Health Care in U.S. Former Secretary of State and longtime Republican Colin Powell is calling for a universal health care solution in the U.S.

Creator of ‘The Wire’ Says ‘There Are Now Two Americas. My Country Is a Horror Show.’ America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics.

Why Elizabeth Warren Baffles Pundits: ‘Economic Populism’ Isn’t Just a Campaign Slogan The point of economic populism and pushing Democrats to the left is to push them to the left, not to beat Hillary.

We are Deluding Ourselves: The Apocalypse is Coming — and Technology Can’t Save Us Long-term human survival is at risk, and some are convinced technology will somehow save us.

China’s Government Is Scaring Foreign Journalists Into Censoring Themselves “The visa question has insidious ways of sowing the seeds of self-censorship,” Dorinda Elliott, the global affairs editor at Condé Nast Traveler, wrote on ChinaFile last month.

TPP Conflicts Exposed: Many Areas Of Dispute, Negotiations In Crisis WikiLeaks has released two more secret TPP documents that show the state of negotiations as the twelve TPP countries began supposedly final negotiations at a trade ministers’ meeting in Singapore this week.

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