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The Roundup for March 21st, 2014

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Hey folks, it’s Friday. Hope your week has been great!

International Politics


– The White House has added meetings with China and Japan, hoping to isolate Russia and apply pressure as a result

– Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has fully completed the annexation of Crimea into Russia

– The U.S. is urging Turkey to restore access to Twitter as it has “serious concerns” over the block of the social media site

Middle East

– The situation in the Middle East seems like conditions found in Marxism for a revolt, could it be possible?

– Gunmen from the Taliban killed nine people in a hotel and injured others

– In Tripoli, Lebanon, 11 people died in clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

– The Syrian government announced it killed 93 rebels in a skirmish and others fled from a castle

Asia and Oceania

– Officials in Australia are worried debris from Flight MH370 may have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, but investigations will still continue

– In Thailand, the constitutional court ruled the general election was invalid by a six to three decision. A new vote would have to take place in this politically volatile country.

– North Korea test-fired 30 short-range rockets and suddenly it’s a big issue, despite it not being significant in geo-political terms


– A bomb exploded on the runway of the main airport in Libya, however no one was killed

– Peacekeepers in Central African Republic fired on a crowd to stop anti-Muslim violence


– With the case of Greece, brutal neoliberal policies have destroyed the livelihoods of Greek civilians 

– Pope Francis warns mafia members to stop or else they will go to Hell for their evil practices

– Juan Cole: “Top attempts by Dictators to Shut down Twitter in Mideast (including Turkey’s PM Erdogan)

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Mark Weisbrot: “John Kerry Doubles Down on Venezuela, Despite Being Alone

– Uruguayan President Jose Mujica suggested, in exchange for taking five Gitmo prisoners, the U.S. should free three Cuban prisoners

Surveillance Planet

– A former Church Committee staff member says an independent review of CIA and NSA program is needed as current regulators have been captured by the subjects they need to regulate

– Microsoft announces it will strengthen its privacy policy after it admitted to reading a journalist’s emails

– Meanwhile, in a private meeting with President Obama, executives from major tech companies want action to be taken on spying

Financial Matters

– Gallup: In certain countries, like Italy and Greece, nearly all citizens there say the government restricts the ability of entrepreneurship 

– A new report found 36 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in their retirement accounts

– If the question is who will benefit from an IMF bailout in Ukraine, then the answer is definitely not the working class in the country as the logistics feature cuts to pensions

– MtGox, known for going “losing” Bitcoins, now found Bitcoins in a wallet they thought was empty

– The IRS admitted that in 2013 it audited more Americans at the bottom than at the top

Labor’s a-Brewing

A piece discusses the wage theft that corporations commit and why lawsuits, like against McDonalds, are significant in this day and age

– Great news as truckers hauling for companies like Forever 21 and Costco are successfully fighting back against wage theft and being an “independent contractor” 

– Voters in Chicago backed, with 87 percent in favor, a $15/hour minimum wage 

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: While Gallup reports the most distinguishable characteristic of Hillary Clinton, if she ran, would be her gender as 18 percent of Americans said, 27 percent of Americans replied “nothing.

– One Vietnam War veteran writes how the war was unnecessary arevealing the conflicting opinions he held at the time

As this piece notes, it seems wrong that some mainstream journalists are unaware of what exactly is in the Affordable Care Act when reporting on it

– Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): We have necessary Senate votes, along with Obama administration-backing, of bill to protect media from revealing sources

Anytown USA

– A new NBC News/WSJ poll found 53 percent of Americans do not support employers should be exempted from the ACA contraceptive requirement

– Police in Hawaii don’t want restrictions on officers that bar them from having sex with the sex workers they are targeting

– A district judge ruled Michigan’s ban on same-sex unions is unconstitutional

– Awesome article that brilliantly criticizes the so-called intellectuals in the social sciences for having little grasp of what they are analyzing 

– Cuba announces a rise in salaries for nurses and doctors, both in the country and overseas

We Don’t Need No Education

A new report found black pre-schoolers are suspended at a higher rate than white pre-schoolers, Pre-K!

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: One in four people in Mississippi struggle to buy food, the worst state in the nation. Meanwhile, on the opposite side, only one in 11 people in Alaska struggle to afford food.

– With our consumption of burgers, it’s also threatening other wildlife species apart from cows

The Second Sex

– A woman who worked in the U.S. Army writes how the military is still a “man’s world.

A lawsuit alleges an LAPD officer raped a woman, and the LAPD allowed the case to fall through the cracks and then threatened her with jail time for asking them to ensure justice

– A military judge acquitted a former Naval Academy football player of sexual assault, drawing criticism from both the defense and prosecution

Planet Earth

– An academic journal, under pressure from right-wing climate deniers, decided not to publish a report linking climate change denial to conspiracy theories

– The UN reported our growing reliance on hydrofracking and biofuels is unstable, aggravating water shortages

– Regulators in North Carolina claim Duke Energy intentionally dumped coal ash into the rivers

Mixed Bag

– What’s a growing economy these days? Marijuana? Bitcoin? Privacy? How about cat videos?

– Vladimir Putin: “Thanks For Being So Cool About Everything

Break Time


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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.