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The Roundup for March 26th, 2014

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May Jonathan Schell rest in peaceThe Nation remembers him and his work.

International Politics


– President Obama: There is no “Cold War” going on between the U.S. and Russia over Crimea; Meanwhile, he’s worried NATO allies are spending less on defense

– Gallup: 50 percent of Americans say the U.S. should focus on Europe rather than 35 percent who say Asia should be focus

– As this interview examines the current back-and-forth between the U.S. and Russia, it seems it has to do with domestic concerns

Looking back at the situation in Serbia 15 years ago involving NATO and other actors.

– John Kerry meets with Mahmoud Abbas to discuss a potential peace deal that will not fail, something he wishes to commit to

– The U.S. wants an “urgent” meeting with North Korea over firing its missiles or something; Again, very useless. What about the crime it commits or the money it launders?

Middle East

– Yes it’s World Water Day celebration this week at the UN, but what about the water apartheid happening in Palestine?

– The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has become more visible in Falluja to show its strength against the Iraqi government

Asia and Oceania

– Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held “first round” talks between his government and the Pakistani Taliban

– The weather and the rough seas have made it difficult to find the missing MH370 plane, but satellites found 122 new objects in the sea


– Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the military chief in Egypt, resigned from his position…to run for president!; The Muslim Brotherhood announces there would be “no stability” with Sisi in charge

– Juan Cole: “Egypt Shocks the World with Plan for Mass Execution of 528 Muslim Brothers


– A new poll found 80 percent of Russians approve of Vladimir Putin’s job and say the country is on the right track

– As a Turkish court ruled Twitter cannot be banned, Twitter told the government how important free speech is

– Pope Francisaccepted the resignation of a bishop in Germany who was heavily criticized for his lifestyle of luxury

– Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, was heard on tape on saying Russians should be “wiped out” in the Crimea

– The Ukrainian government agreed to a 50 percent gas price hike during its talks with the IMF

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A major general strike against privatization plans in Paraguay left streets empty and towns quiet

Surveillance Planet

– Here’s further information on how the decision by President Obama to end NSA data collection isn’t enough

– The bill to reform the NSA will not go through the House judiciary committee, as is usually done, but through the intelligence committee. What gives?

– Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee, three years ago, had a chance to find an alternative to bulk data collection, but decided not to

– Natahsa Lennard reports how a simple spelling error of “Tsarnaev” made the two undetectable by U.S. intelligence

Financial Matters

– Millions in fees to Wall Street is what Los Angeles paid last year according to a new report.

– I would rather wait and see, but I am in hesitant agreement (is that even a thing?) with this article on how libertarians, as a result of yesterday’s decision by the IRS, have lost in promoting Bitcoin as the future

– There is a rumor both DirecTV and Dish will merge, which made their stock jump

$9.3 billion. That’s how much Bank of America will pay both Fannie Mae and Freddic Mac for selling faulty mortgage-backed securities

Labor’s a-Brewing

– The National Labor Relations Board has ruled college athletes can unionize

– Major tech companies, such as Apple and Google, allowed wages of workers to become stagnant or decline as this interview further elaborates

– The battle for $15/hour has now made it to Portland, Oregon, indicating it may be a movement unreported despite growing

– A Dept. of Labor report found young people held an average of six jobs once they turn 26

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: Six-in-10 Americans who are uninsured are unaware when the deadline for the ACA is

– The Houseapproved a useless bill limiting the power of the president to designate new national monuments

– The Transportation Security Administration recommends police officers be at checkpoints during “peak hours.” Are you joking?

– AP/GfK: Americans disapprove of Obama’s job on Crimea and overwhelmingly feel sanctions should be applied

Anytown USA

– A jury in New York found Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law guilty of charges conspiracy to kill Americans and helping to do so

– Gallup: 76 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Pope

Part two of four with Andy Shallal on how Americans should not believe everything they hear and question when necessary

– Pew: A new report details the state of the news media in today’s world. Here are five quick facts if you are on a rush.

– Hundreds in Albuquerque protest against the killing of a homeless person caused by police officers

– Quinnipiac: 57 percent of Virginians feel confident for the next four years with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)

We Don’t Need No Education

A new report found New York schools are the most segregated in the nation with a lot of Latino and black students, but low numbers of white students

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

A new study out found the use of an app on smartphones can help alcoholics stay sober

– 25 pharmaceutical companies announced they will phase out animal antibiotics

– A new report found hospital infections have declined, but one in 25 still get infected

The Second Sex

– Despite a change from the mother-shaming teen pregnancy-prevention campaign in NYC, the new ads succumb to the previous ads’ blame

– The Supreme Court ruled anyone committing even minor domestic violence cannot own any weapon

– The lawyer representing farmers in Ecuador against Chevron has faced two death threats from anonymous sources

Planet Earth

– In addition to the landslides scientists have warned about in Washington state, where rescue workers are still trying to find people (death count at 24), they also warned of grave consequences if logging continued. Maybe we should listen to them?

– The EPA is finally strengthening the Clean Water Act to be tougher on companies who dump into streams that end up feeding major waterways

– The Coast Guard is reporting BP allowed nine out 19 oil barrels go into Lake Michigan; And yet we trust them by giving them contracts. Unbelievable.

An interactive from The Guardian on the consequences of no action against global warming for the Great Barrier Reef

– City Council in New York is proposing a 10 cent tax on plastic and paper bags

Mixed Bag

– Scientists say urinating in a pool can cause potentially damaging health effects

– New research found there are benefits to eating dark chocolate due to the bacteria in our gut

– Throwing food at politicians isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s a very, very old concept.

– New York City has a 24/7 cupcake ATM machineat any time 

– Watch Stephen Colbert’s full interview with Jimmy Carter, which can be found here and here

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.