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The Roundup for March 31st, 2014

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Hello everyone, hope you are doing well as we enter into April 1.

International Politics


Here is a map of countries in the UN General Assembly voting on condemning Russia’s intervention in Crimea

– Sure, the U.S. is supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine, but this is not the first time. It started 70 years ago as this interviews shows

– Russia has withdrawn its forces on the Ukrainian border as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits Crimea

Middle East

– Juan Cole: “Pace Sheldon Adelson: Top 5 Signs West Bank is Occupied Territory

Asia and Oceania

– Pew: 70 percent of Indians are dissatisfied with the state of their country and its direction; Pew has more snippets (specifically five) on its polling report in India

– North and South Korea engaged in a skirmish with each other as civilians in South Korea were evacuated to a safer area

– Philippines rejected China’s claims that it owns the South China Sea, which might I add is oil-rich

– The Wall Street Journal frames a story on the Pakistani Army in a positive light, ignoring the crimes it has committed in the country

– In Cambodia, anti-government demonstrators protested for a license for the first opposition TV station despite a ban on demonstrations


– To protect its Nile river interests, Egypt has been courting South Sudan as relations with both Ethiopia and Sudan deteriorate

– Six people have been killed in Kenya by three coordinated explosions. Specifically, the six killed were in “Little Mogadishu,” which represents a Somalian community.


– The costs of hiring labor in Greece has now fallen below the average European cost

– Meanwhile, the Greek government has banned protests occurring at EU minister meeting

– In France, Muslims angered by the failure of the Socialist Party to do something helpful have decided to vote for the far-right Front National, despite anti-immigrant stance

– French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault resigned from his post after the dreadful elections for the Socialist Party and President Hollande announces a tax cut

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Economist William Black discusses with The Real News the growth Ecuador is experiencing amid a global recession as they invested with government into social services

– Dave Zirin: “Brazil’s World Cup Gentrification Through the Barrel of a Gun

Surveillance Planet

A new study has found businesses are now changing the way it stores its own data as a result of Snowden documents

– Researchers have said the NSA was able to infiltrate security company RSA by giving them faulty encryption tools

Financial Matters

– One journalist went on 60 Minutes to show how the “stock market is rigged” based on the high-frequency trading banks do that makes it entirely unfair and illegal

– Gallup: 64 percent of investors prefer security over risk when making an investment

– On Vox, the journalist idea of Ezra Klein, the first article by Klein examines the inefficiency of private internet connection markets and their expense

– Dean Baker: “The Tax Code in Action: Charity Starts at the Top

– U.S. corporations are storing $2 trillion in foreign tax havens for…nothing. Absolutely nothing.

– General Motors is in the news again for a recall of 1.5 million cars over a faulty part making it harder to steer

– Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen defended the “easy-money” policy of the Federal Reserve and markets go up as a result

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A janitorial company highlighted by the cartoon journalists at “Fox and Friends” was reported to being pressured by the government to be unionized. Turns out they coerced their workers to hide safety risks from the government.

– Last year, nearly 260,000 college graduates held a job at minimum wage or even lower

– The International Labor Organization has criticized Qatar for failing to protect migrants as the death toll continues to increase without serious reforms

Politics US

Washington USA

– It seems the Affordable Care Act has covered 9.5 million Americans who were not previously insured as the deadline ends today (the website crashed early today); Charles Ornstein of ProPublica explains what happens next and what deems Obamacare a “success

– Chris Hedges: “Fighting the Militarized State

– Jimmy Carter believes Medicare should have been expanded for everyone, rather than the botched Obamacare rollout

– A new report from the Senate found the construction company Caterpillar has avoided $2.4 billion in taxes over the past decade

– In Congress, Democrats are more likely to be rich compared to Republicans

Anytown USA

– Protests against the Albuquerque police brutality had officers respond with tear gas, which became a “mayhem” as the mayor said

– In what should have been obvious, Occupy Wall Street is not “dead,” but re-made and re-formatted into new movements

– No home affected by Hurricane Sandy has been fully repaired and officials are asking for $1 billion to help the homeowners

We Don’t Need No Education

– In light of the recent NLRB ruling allowing Northwestern University players to unionize, one suggestion by Ralph Nader and an organization is to just de-professionalize college sports altogether by removing athletic scholarships

Top Gun (Stories)

– One boardmember of the NRA criticized the failure of the group to go after people “worried about their safety” as their rhetoric has not been helpful

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Doctors are warning the country of Guinea is experiencing an Ebola outbreak that is “unprecedented” with 78 dead so far

– Great news as soda sales have fallen last year by three percent, which means consumption has been on decline for over a decade

The Second Sex

– A Harvard student who sexual assaulted pens a letter to administrators that states they have “won” as they did nothing to help her

– In Britain, the government has decided to cut funding to protect domestic violence victims and it’s barely been discussed

Planet Earth

– As the recent Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change releases their report stating climate change will lead to catastrophe, a group of climate deniers will be meeting in Las Vegas to deny climate of course

– John Kerry: If we are inactive on the climate change issue, then the results will be “catastrophic“; THEN DO SOMETHING, YOU WORK IN THE GOVERNMENT

– In that report from the IPCC, one alarming part (or perhaps something the military-intelligence apparatus is shaking with glee) is how violence will increase with climate change

– Pew: 54 percent of people worldwide cite “global climate change” as the gravest issue the world faces

– In the U.S., the top five states that produce our crude oil are (from most to least): Texas, North Dakota, California, Alaska and Oklahoma. North Dakota is an interesting case as the boom in fossil fuel energy made it a number two state in a short time

– Dahr Jamail: “The Vanishing Arctic Ice Cap

– The Los Angeles City Council has banned hydrofracking in their town after experiencing the nasty effects of the process

– The International Court of Justice has ruled Japan must halt its killing of whales in the Antarctic as there is no reason for it

– Here’s a look back at the 2009 Copenhagen conference where the U.S. contributed in undermining the entire process

– The Department of Transportation announces regulations for rail safety with the oil industry…then weakens them after nine days

– Both Chevron and a Polish company have agreed to work together to find shale gas in southwest Poland over conflicts with Russia

Mixed Bag

– Darth Vader is running in the Ukrainian elections to make “an empire out of a republic

– “Michelle Obama Introduces Exercise Program To Combat Obesity In Professional Baseball Players

– A camera used by Orson Welles and scripts of “Citizen Kane” will be sold by his daughter to fans

Break Time

Vamo’ Alla Flamenco

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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.