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The Roundup for March 12th, 2014

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Howdy folks!

International Politics


– Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web: We need a “Magna Carta” for the web to protect it from government

– America stands besides Ukraine as the Prime Minister of Ukraine arrived in the U.S. earlier today and said Ukraine will “never surrender

– The U.S.: Despite tensions in Ukraine, we will continue to have treaty talks with Russia on reducing nuclear arsenals

– It’s oil, not geopolitical rivalry, historical rivals, neo-Cold War or any other theory, that is driving the current situation in Ukraine

Middle East

– Saudi Arabia to Qatar: Kick out Al-Jazeera, stop supporting Muslim Brotherhood and kick out two think-tanks or you’ll be blockaded

– A U.S. general has said even with Russia’s potential cutting off of supplies, it doesn’t do anything to U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan

– Meanwhile, a NATO commander is warning the withdrawal of U.S. troops will lead to the rise of al-Qaeda

– In a rare public appearance, Bashar-al-Assad visits the displaced Syrians in Adra

Asia and Oceania

– To make Gangnam, South Korea more “tourist-friendly,” thugs evict street vendors while the police just watch. Remember folks, accumulation by dispossession is a feature of capitalism. You take by force to get your profit.

– Possible debris from flight MH370 might have been found in the South China Sea, though, again, little is known about what happened


– The President of Libya has given a two week warning to rebels to either stop or face military action


– Even though one leading rabbi in Ukraine says there hasn’t been a rise of hostility to Jews by nationalists, there may be anti-Semitic threats 

– In Turkey, an officer dies of a heart attack and a protester dies of a head injury amid clashes in the state

– For the first time since the Cold War, the EU agreed on a first set of sanctions on Russia

– This interview features a person who believes Scottish independence is vital 

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Three separate incidents in the central part of Venezuela left three people dead and several wounded

– Is the situation in Venezuela like Occupy? Of course not, that would be silly

– A historical article discussing the 1964 coup in Brazil that installed a dictator

Surveillance Planet

– NSA whistleblower William Binney remarks how Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is “hypocritical” in her remarks against CIA spying

– Drug testing children? It’s a suggestion by a government official that will surely infringe on privacy rights

– Here’s a comforting thought: The NSA is planning to infect “millions” of computers with malware

– The White House confirms the CIA told them about its compliant against the Senate committee on improperly obtained documents

Financial Matters

– Greg Mankiw, America’s worst economist in love with neoliberalism, pens an op-ed in the New York Times defending the rich and Paul Krugman can’t help but wonder why Mankiw is doing this

– Sarah Bloom will be the No. 2 person in the Treasury Department and she is a critic of Wall Street practices

– The U.S. is investigating HerbaLife for running a “pyramid scheme,” probably an allegation from a billionaire who is betting money their stock will fall

– Italy believes tax cuts and focusing on the deficit (neoliberal policies) will save it from financial problems

– Dean Baker: “Obama’s High Unemployment Budget

Labor’s a-Brewing

– President Obama will use an Executive Order to implement overtime pay for employees

– An unfortunate reality in the U.S. is the existence of low-wage jobs that become a “way of life” for employees

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: One in four Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S.

– Emptywheel: “Robert Eatinger and CIA’s Counterterrorism Center Lawyers’ Lies about Torture: A Timeline

A new study found the power of money can get easy access to people in Washington compared with the power of constituents

– Part six of seven with Michael Ratner features Ratner discusses the illegal and barbaric wars Ronald Reagan took during his time in office

– Potential problems erupt in Congress on aid to Ukraine as the bill also includes reforms to the IMF

Anytown USA

– Gallup: Americans worry a lot about the economy, climate change not so much

– Pew: Catholics in the U.S. want the Catholic Church to change its teachings on issues like birth control, same-sex marriage and diversity as well as marriage in priesthood

– It seems both Maryland and New Hampshire will move to decriminalize cannabis

– There’s conflicts in the story presented by “Danny” on the Boston Marathon bombings last year 

– In a culture that fears the marginalized like young Muslim boys, there must be something in order to help them

– Gov. Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona says that this will be her last term in office

– Solitary confinement is brutal practice that does nothing but hurt. Why is this form of torture still used?

– A gas explosion left three people dead in East Harlem, New York and a fire partially collapsed a building in San Francisco

– Support builds for migrant detainees in Washington state who are on hunger strike over poor conditions

We Don’t Need No Education

– Hey who is helping out the education program in Alberta, Canada? Is it more public funding? Heavens no, it’s the oil and natural gas companies!

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Bad news out of New York City as the number of homeless increased in January 2013

– The CDC has said that antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea “appears imminent

The Second Sex

– Despite an increase of women in posts across the globe, there still exists setbacks for better representation in certain continents 

– The sexual assault in the military bill has passed in the Senate but it keeps vicitms in the military unprotected

Planet Earth

Here’s a debate on The Real News on whether the Democratic pledge to focus on climate change is all talk or something serious (my guess is the former)

– As the drought continues in California, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) faces protests over the poor regulation of hydrofracking

– A judge in Italy shut down a coal plant responsible for the death of hundreds due to its toxic emissions

– Fracking has stopped in northeastern Ohio after earthquakes were felt throughout the state

– Interesting to see that near Fukushima, kids are forbidden from playing outside and are told to stay indoors; Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit (righteous) has been made against top electric companies over the Fukushima disaster

– Developed countries are only interested in reducing climate change’s impact, rather than avoiding it altogether

Mixed Bag

– On point! “Obama Spends Afternoon In Garage Restoring Classic Drone

Break Time

Act Nice and Be Gentle

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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.