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The Roundup for March 17th, 2014

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day today.

International Politics


– The United States sanctioned Russian officials over the vote in Crimea to join Russia, which Russia calls “toothless“; Russia, meanwhile, recognizes Crimea as a separate country

– John Kerry: If Russia pulls back its troops in the Crimea region, then we will discuss reforms for the minority in Ukraine

– In part two of three, Gareth Porter discusses the international narrative that Iran has nuclear weapons, a myth created by U.S.-Israeli interests to keep an enemy post-Cold War

– The tragic part of the Ukrainian crisis is that it’s a game of who wins and who loses between major state actors, rather than the bourgeoisie being overthrown and the fascists kicked out in Ukraine

Middle East

– Roger Waters: “Why I must speak out on Israel, Palestine and BDS

– President Obama tells Mahmoud Abbas to take “tough political risks” over the Israel-Palestine issue; Says the guy who can’t even go after banks or people going after torture.

– The Kurdish region of Iraq warned the government that if they persist in not sharing oil revenues, then “unspecified measures” will be made

Asia and Oceania

– In China, a “baby hatch,” where parents can leave their child safely and anonymously, has been suspended by the government due to the overwhelming number of babies left

– A video report on the totalitarian North Korean state and how the U.N. recommends its leaders to be sent to the International Criminal Court


– The International Criminal Court convicted a warlord from the Congo, but what are the steps the African community can take?

– U.S. Navy Seals have now boarded a tanker in Libya full of oil taken from a rebel-held port


– The car ban in Paris, France was stopped after its first day by the government after it seems to be a success

– It’s awesome to see Greeks in London confront a health minister for his acceptance of austerity measures at a university talk

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– John Pilger discusses how the current situation in Ukraine is similar to a coup launched by the U.S. government in Australia in 1945

– The history of slavery merits reparations for the people in the Caribbean, who are suffering in economic problems as a result

– Troops in Venezuela stormed a Caracas stronghold full of anti-government protesters 

Surveillance Planet

– Emptywheel: “The Clear Precedent for Carrie Cordero’s “Uncharted Territory” of Destruction of Evidence

Financial Matters

– New Jersey banned Tesla cars under pressure from the auto industry, and New York, if nothing is done to stop it, will be next

– Nomi Prins discusses why income inequality will devastate the entire American system if nothing is done to eliminate it

– Here are five reasons—from revenue to correcting myths—on why a financial transaction tax would be a blessing to our system

– Dean Baker: “Money in Hyping the Generational War Story

– It seems the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow global patents for medical procedures (I’m not joking)

– NJ Gov. Chris Christie (R) gave contracts on “pension reform” (neoliberal term for austerity) to hedge fund managers who donated to his campaign

– Ralph Nader: “What A Destructive Wall Street Owes Young Americans

– New January data from the Dept. of Labor found the unemployment rate dropped in 43 states and rose in one —Iowa

Labor’s a-Brewing

– In Brooklyn, NY, demonstrators speak about the $15/hour demand and why it’s relevant in today’s world

– More on how, for low-wage workers, the prospect of a full-time job still doesn’t make them escape from poverty

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: 66 percent of Americans are currently satisfied with how the healthcare system is working for them

– Bob Graham, a former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, states President Obama should be transparent on CIA’s role in torture after 9/11

Utterly horrifying to hear how debt collectors, when getting money from soldiers, will go to their superiors to threaten them with demotion or court-martial if they don’t pay

– University of Southern California professor Ange-Marie Hancock discusses the dog-whistle tactics used by the GOP for decades

– In the trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, defense lawyers had an interview with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who said al-Qaeda was in a “war of attrition” against the U.S.; Federal prosecutors tried to stop it from being divulged

– Rania Khalek: “US Media Ignores 7 US Drone Strikes On Yemen In First 12 Days Of March

Anytown USA

– Pew: It seems among black Protestants support for gay marriage has risen, while among white Protestants it’s stagnant

– Latinos will make up 39 percent of the population in California this month, but there still is the challenge of them actually affecting the system in the state

– The power of the Koch brothers’ propaganda empire is in the hands of limited liabilities companies, which are difficult to find out 

A piece criticized “The White Man March” on March 15, while discussing the importance of getting the whites in the working class on the side of the left rather than being manipulated by the right

We Don’t Need No Education

– A school in North Carolina got word of a 9-year-old boy being bullied for his “My Little Pony” lunchbox. They decided to ban the lunchbox as if it were a problem to put under the rug.

– Chris Hedges: “Israel’s War on American Universities

A new study found eight NCAA teams in the upcoming tournament fall below the graduation standards

Top Gun (Stories)

– It seems a potential pick by the White House for surgeon general is now being reconsidered after fierce opposition by the NRA

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Now Idaho’s ag-gag law is being challenged in federal court by civil rights groups, media organizations and animal activists

The Second Sex

– A former employee of GitHub discusses the sexism she faced in Silicon Valley from male employees

– In India, the Supreme Court there granted a stay for two gang-rapists who were sentenced to death

Planet Earth

– Gallup: 42 percent of Americans say global warming is “generally exaggerated,” while 33 percent say it’s “generally underestimated.”

– Guess what? The FBI met with TransCanada on Keystone. Over what? Potential for TransCanada to ruin the environment for millions? Engaging in fraud when reporting on Keystone’s benefits? How about the worry of opposition protests

– Another reason we should legalize cannabis is to eliminate the environmental problems occurring in California’s forests due to the black market

– It just gets worse to hear. In Fukushima, it’s the unskilled workers with little in their wallets who are cleaning up. Utterly disgusting.

– A study sponsored by NASA has found human civilization could collapse due to “unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

– Dahr Jamail discusses how problems in the environment—from GMOs to water—has gotten worse in just one month

A 4.4 earthquake hit near L.A., but thankfully no one was killed or critically injured

Mixed Bag

– A Delta Boeing plane that was flying from Florida had to make a stop in Georgia because it was missing a part on its wing

– It’s Plan B according to CIA documents. “John Kerry Poses As Masseuse To Get Few Minutes With Putin

Break Time

To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)

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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.