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The Roundup for March 5th, 2014

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Hey everyone, how are you this day?

International Politics


– What’s the one consistent thing we’ve seen throughout the Ukraine? Shale oil.

– John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov have agreed the country of Ukraine should uphold an agreement signed by ex-President Yanukovich and the opposition on new government. Other than that, they reached no agreement today and will restart tomorrow

– Katrina vanden Heuvel: “The Ukraine Crisis Calls for Less Neocon Bluster, More Common Sense

Middle East

– Israel has halted a “weapons shipment” from Iran that apparently was heading to Gaza; Interesting U.S. and Israel shared this intelligence

21 people have been killed by bombs in Baghdad, Iraq at security checkpoints and other parts of the capital

– In related news, troops in Iraq battled with the ISIS in the northern part of Iraq in Mosul. 449 suspects were arrested and 74 militants were killed

Asia and Oceania

– The questions surrounding the 2014 Indian election feature major players like the U.S. and China hoping to get some leeway there

– The attack on Kunming by militants was waged because they weren’t allowed to leave China and decided to wage jihad


– Last August, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed in a clash between demonstrators and security forces. The fault of that, according to an Egyptian panel, was Mohamed Morsi.

– Meanwhile, the three al-Jazeera journalists say they have been tortured by the military junta 


– All of these new events in Ukraine might make things a bit difficult to follow. Luckily, this article gives a chronology of what happened.

– A new poll found a majority in Ukraine and Russia want friendly relations between the two countries without any restriction, but don’t want a unified state

– Here is an interview with two international experts on if the Russian intervention into Ukraine was illegal 

– Liz Wahl of RT decided to resign from the station due to the “whitewashing” of Putin’s actions

– Here’s something worth thinking about: Turkey is dependent upon Russian oil through the Ukraine.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– It has been exactly one year since Hugo Chavez passed away. Here’s an interview on his legacy and what can be learned from his time

– Mark Weisbrot: “The Class Conflict in Venezuela

Surveillance Planet

– It seems the CIA was spying on interns working with a Senate committee that was investigating the use of torture; Obama allegedly knew about this

– In Britain, immigrant students have been unfairly targeted to fulfill the reasons of having a surveillance state

Financial Matters

– Japan will probably be the first country to regulate Bitcoin deals occurring in their country; Meanwhile, Flexcoin, a Bitcoin bank, shut down after it lost bitcoins in an cyberattack

– Researchers are saying banks are rigging the price of gold; That line between licit and illicit organized crime just keeps getting narrower

– A new report out found the rich are getting even richer, while spending for their own interest; So pathetic

– Gallup: The Job Creation Index for Gallup reports it increased, in the month of February, to 21

– More discussion on Richmond, Calif.’s decision to use eminent domain to save foreclosed home-owners

– The Federal Reserve noted that due to the cold weather, consumer spending has not been as strong as forecast

– Jon Stewart jokes on the overzealous nature the right has when it comes to food stamp recipients

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Unions in California don’t have (should be “unwilling to use”) funds to help promote a measure in the state to increase the minimum wage to $12/hour

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Believe it or not, Americans approve of John Kerry’s role as Secretary of State with a 55 percent approval rate

– Pew: Even with 68 percent of Americans seeking someone else to vote for this midterm season, incumbents are mostly safe this year. Why?

– The Senate rejected Obama’s nominee for a civil rights post in the Justice Department because of his history defending a black activist involved in a murder of an officer

Anytown USA

– A new poll found only 54 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Chris Christie, which is down from 69 in January

– The court case for Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law is underway in NYC as prosecutors accuse him of recruitment

– Bill de Blasio dropped a lawsuit against a law that made it easy to charge cops engaged in racial profiling 

We Don’t Need No Education

– The tutors working for the for-profit education company Kaplan are allowed to unionize. Here’s what one teacher had to endure during his time

– The essay section for the SATs has been dropped and other such radical changes have been implemented by the College Board

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– A new report out found diets that are rich in animal protein may be similar in risk to smoking cigarettes

– With genetically modified cells, HIV gene therapy was hailed as a success in testing; meanwhile, a nine-month old baby was probably cured of HIV according to U.S. scientists

– The World Health Organization is recommending that sugar intake be halved

The Second Sex

– The Alabama House of Representatives passed not one, not two, not three, but four anti-choice measures in one day

– A new report out of the EU found one quarter of Greek women have been affected by physical of sexual violence since they were 15 

– Meanwhile, one in 10 women in the EU have been victims of sexual assault, half have been raped

Planet Earth

– Yes, LA moving to ban fracking is all fine, but there must be federal intervention not only to discuss the question of hydrofracking but also to provide a national framework of alternative energy

– John Skvarla, the head of North Carolina’s environmental state agency is a businessman. He doesn’t trust environmentalists and doesn’t believe climate change exists. Also, he’s prevented lawsuits against Duke Energy from going through.

– A new report out found one fifth of the 720 World Heritage sites will be damaged as a result of rising sea levels. 

– Solar energy is becoming more and more popular, perhaps one day becoming a part of the mainstream, according to this report. More can be found here.

– San Francisco is almost set to ban all plastic water bottles (good news) for its environmental damage

– The U.S.S. Reagan is an unfortunate victim in the lack of accountability by countries protecting the health of citizens

– Clerics in Indonesia issued a fatwa to ban hunting and trade in endangered animals in country

– Liberal darling Warren Buffett states it’s a good idea to vote for Keystone; The left has to cut all ties to this oligarch liar

Mixed Bag

– All the poodle mixes are certainly adorable, but the ethics involved, with media hype for instance, isn’t easy to discuss

– So much for innovation. The proposed NASA budget from President Obama is unchanged from the previous year

Break Time

Psycho Killer

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Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan is a freelance journalist in Queens, NY and written for publications such as The Nation, In These Times, Truthout and more.