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The Roundup for March 28th, 2014

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Hey folks. Still taking suggestion from readers for the Roundup. So far it seems like the number of links I currently use should be reduced or kept. Let me know if you have any more suggestions in the comment section.

International Politics


– UN’s Ban Ki-Moon: Vladimir Putinpledged not to commit any more actions in Ukraine

– The UN called a polio outbreak in Iraq and Syria the “most challenging in history” as both are faced with internal conflict; The UN has even said millions in Syria “continue to suffer

– The White House said Putin called Obama to discuss a solution to the Ukrainian dilemma; Meanwhile, U.S. officials warn more than 40,000 Russian troops are on the border of Ukraine

– Envoys at the UN said if their country had not voted the right way on Ukrainian resolution, then Russia threatened to retaliate

– Here’s an interesting tidbit from the vote though, Israel abstained from voting whatsoever on the issue

– Pakistan brought up a resolution in the UN on using drones consistent with international law and the UN supports it

Middle East

– Pew: Most countries throughout the world say Saudi Arabia does not respect the freedom of its citizens

– President Obama, meanwhile, visits Saudi Arabia to strengthen relations between the two countries

– Two people were killed and five were injured in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan

Asia and Oceania

– North Korea heard and read the report by the UN on crimes occurring in the country. Its response? “Mind your own business

– In the search for the missing MH370 airline, Australian authorities were able to find “objects” in the Indian Ocean


– In Tunisia, the country has become a “kleptocracy” where capitalism has been used by the state for its own nefarious purposes

– In Egypt, detainees experience brutal abuse such as sexual abuse and routine beatings. Some are even teenagers (not sure why BBC thought “teenage children” was an appropriate term since it makes no sense)

– After General Sisi announced he will seek the presidency, hundreds in Egypt went into the streets to protest the decision


– Human rights organization denounced police violence in Greece and clamored for immigrant groups to be protected from the police

– Cyprus announced it has ended the limited cash withdrawals it put in place as economic confidence has risen, say officials

– While Ukraine may have new rulers, it is still the same oligarch class in charge of the state’s affairs

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Here’s some analysis of the elections in Quebec with one major issues involving the construction of a pipeline

Surveillance Planet

– There is a petition going around with more than 100,000 signatures supporting reinstatement of Edward Snowden’s passport

– Microsoft announces it will strengthen privacy for customers after it was revealed they searched a blogger’s email

– NSA chief Keith Alexander has now officially retired, but did not mention Edward Snowden’s name in his goodbye speech

Financial Matters

– Despite Citigroup having fraud reported in its Mexican division, their response is to cut (not that large mind you) the CEO’s salary; Yeah! Free market!

– David Sirota confronts the inane bet by billionaire Warren Buffett on paying out $1 billion to the perfect NCAA bracket

– Wal-Mart sued Visa for fixing transaction card fees and colluding with big banks to do so

– In New Zealand, protesters came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and demanded the government refuse to sign it

– A review on economist Thomas Piketty’s book on inequality throughout history and extending his findings to the role of inequality in capitalism

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Sarah Jaffe: “Teachers’ Strikes, Catching Fire

– Northwestern Universitycritiqued the NLRB’s approval of college players to unionize and promised to appeal

– The lack of MSNBC support for its workers is sad as it is the least watched cable news network. The hosts feel the pressure of their corporate overloads, while the workers suffer without support

Politics US

Washington USA

– An investigation of transportation officials regarding the faulty GM vehicles found regulators had not been doing their jobs properly

– Gallup: Based on political beliefs, the uninsured will either choose to get insurance or pay the fine under ACA

– To defend from cyber attacks, the Pentagonannounced it will triple its staff in the next few years

– AP/GfK: Only 26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act

Anytown USA

– David Samson, head of the NY/NJ Port Authority and embroiled in the Chris Christie scandalannounced his resignation

– Part four of four with Andy Shallal on creating a change with the power of the people

– Pew: Support for the death penalty has declined over the past few years. It is currently at 55 percent (supporting) versus 37 percent (opposing)

– There was a firestorm over a joke by Stephen Colbert that led to #CancelColbert on Twitter. Some support #CancelColbert as Colbert made a joke against the Asian community, but it was a satire of the Washington Redskins and their program to help the indigenous. Thus, others were against it or suggested hiring people of color

– In a detention center in Texas detainees commit to a hunger strike against unjust policies, but the staff has retaliated against them

We Don’t Need No Education

– The Koch brothers have extended their reach to higher education, even funding positions in administration

– Currently in NYC, charter schools are challenging Bill de Blasio by taking space from public schools

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: Alabama has nearly one in four residents struggling to get medicine/healthcare (the worst in the nation), while Iowa has the least worst with more than one in 10

– With all of this talk on health care coverage, dental care coverage is still one of the worst processes for Americans and least talked about issues

– Despite autism rates increasing by 30 percent, the CDC states it is not “very common

The Second Sex

A new report found women in North Africa face the most discrimination and least support

– Kristen Schaal of The Daily Show mocks the “Princeton Mom” and her inane advice for women to marry young

Planet Earth

– One person analyzing the new UN report on climate change states how climate change is already here, but we can do a lot to stop it

– Another casualty of the drought in California has been the nut industry (including almonds, my daily food) as lack of water is hurting farmers

– The Obama administration announces it will study how to cut methane emissions from things like hydrofracking; Here’s a low-cost, quick method: ban it completely

– Transportation officials, meanwhile, criticized the oil industry for not providing necessary information for regulatory purposes; Another reason for the complete ban of literal primitive accumulation

– I absolutely love this investigative piece by Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show on one town affected by Chevron’s hydrofracking and Chevron’s decision to give pizzas as compensation for the ill effects of fracking

Mixed Bag

– Jars and jars (we’re talking millions) of uncontaminated peanut butter were thrown into a landfill in New Mexico

– “4 Senators Mauled During Congressional Tiger Show

A new study found married couples suffer from fewer heart problems

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.