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The Roundup for April 2nd, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you today?

McCutcheon v FEC Decision

– By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down limits to how much an individual can donate (i.e. restrict money in politics). This means the rich can freely spend as much as they want now.

– What exactly is in the decision? How does it affect you? Curious on what was the old system? All of that can be answered here thanks to the Associated Press.

– The White House: We are “disappointed” with this ruling, but will still be reviewing the decision

– Interested in reading segments from the decision? The words of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas (both supporting) and Justice Stephen Breyer (dissenting) can be found here.

International Politics


– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad states Russia is re-establishing a “multipolar world

– Journalist Steve Horn also offers his own well-made analysis “Whose Propaganda” with Liz Wahl, RT and the reaction in the American media

– I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing and quality post by journalist Nathan Fuller on leftists asking for intervention in Syria. Great and necessary read.

– The U.S. is troubled by Iran’s choice of ambassador to the UN, who was a former hostage taker in 1979

– A NATO American general warned Russia has the ability to make a quick attack with its troops on Ukrainian border

Middle East

– Gallup: 70 percent of Afghans do not believe elections in the country will be honest; Interesting to report too on how the U.S. will not be involved in this election

– Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed six police officers and injured one person at the ministry of interior

– The BDS campaign seems to be picking up momentum with potential actions for corporations to divest and even government sanctions to be made

– Juan Cole: “Palestine’s Abbas finally says will Go to UN over Israeli Squatters“; The U.S., meanwhile, will attempt to salvage talks between both Israel and Palestine

– It might not be found in the media today, but in Saudi Arabian society there is discontent raging and the elites are scrambling to get control

– Eight people have been killed by militants in Yemen after the militants attacked an army complex

– The Syrian state news agency reported rebel-fired mortals killed five civilians in the capital of Syria

Asia and Oceania

– One police chief in Malaysia said it may never be known why the plane disappeared. I agree, it seems too difficult of a venture. The U.S., meanwhile, will double its budget for the effort

– The Pakistani Taliban leadership is divided on whether to continue their ceasefire with the Pakistan government, but the Pakistani Taliban are open to continuing discussion

– It seems there may be signs of discontent and clamor for independence in Taiwan now


– In Egypt, a bombing outside of Cairo University has killed an Egyptian police brigadier-general. No one has taken responsibility for the attack.

– UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asked for international efforts to be increased to prevent violence in Central African Republic

– As the presidential election in South Africa nears, issues such as poverty and corruption are plaguing a country that months ago said goodbye to Nelson Mandela


– A close aide to Greek Prime Minister Antonio Samaras was found to be in contact with neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. The aide has since resigned.

– Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanokovych regrets inviting Russia into his country and calls capture of Crimea a “major tragedy.

– The National Front, a far-right party in France, decided to focus on getting seats in the European Parliament with a broad coalition

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A Brazilian jury sentenced 15 police officers each to 48 years in jail for killing four inmates during a 1992 riot

– Roman Catholic bishops criticized Venezuela for acting as if they were a totalitarian regime

Surveillance Planet

– Journalists who reported on the NSA story mention they used Tails and hope there could be funding to help support it

– Emptywheel: “James Clapper Continues to Cover Up FBI’s Back Door Searches on US Targets

Financial Matters

– Gallup: The Gallup Job Creation Index has gone up for the month of March with more jobs created in the private sector than in the public sector

– IMF head Christine Laguarde called for the developed nations to use “bold” policies in order to speed recovery

– Michael Moore: “The Criminals at GM Should Pay the Ultimate Penalty

– It merits repeating that Social Security will not be bankrupted due to the elderly as it is a ruse used to trick the youth (and others) into believe in austerity

– A few years ago there was a case against the CEO of Bank of America that ended with a small fine. What happened in that?

– Coca-Cola announced it will soften their marketing if protests continue in Brazil right before the World Cup; Interesting major companies are aware of the power of protest

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art talks with The Real News on unionization and the lives of adjunct professors

– It is surprising to hear how models under 18 are exploited and abused in their workplaces and are powerless

– The Department of Labor considered cheerleaders in the NFL as “seasonal amusement,” not as workers who deserve decent wages

– It is absolutely troubling, as an investigative report out of Oregon shows, to see teenage workers accepting sexual harassment for fear of losing of their job

– OSHA has announced it will track what company subcontractors were working for if workers die on the job while working on cell tower sites

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: In midterm elections, the Hispanic turnout has been low compared to other races like whites (who hold first) and blacks

– A new bill in the House has requested more transparency from the executive branch when it comes to the deaths due to drone strikes

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “How Sheldon Adelson and the American Oligarchs Are Ruining Democracy

– The Department of Homeland Security released a report on Occupy Sandy and praised it, but the problem is that it is the Department of Homeland Security

– An investigation found the Environmental Protection Agency failed to tell human test subjects it would face the risk of cancer and perhaps death in experiments

Anytown USA

– Sarah Palin criticized Rep. Paul Ryan (D-WI) for his “insane” budget plan for not doing enough in terms of cutting spending; I went back and forth in deciding to post this since Palin’s views are nothing to me, but it could be something important

– Pacifica Radio is perhaps a good model for journalism to replicate, but it is currently in need of funding as it faces cuts

– In Mississippi, the state legislature has passed a law that potentially can ban gay people from attending hotels, restaurants and even pharmacies. It is all in the name of religious freedom.

– A college student fell to his death after ingesting a cannabis-laced cookie. While it is being reported as the drug causing the death, it seems too far-fetched for a drug to do this.

Top Gun (Stories)

– At this time of this writing, there are reports of a shooter at Fort Hood who has injured personnel there.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Pew: A new thorough report found 67 percent of Americans would rather provide treatment to drug users compared to 26 percent who favor prosecution

– UN officials has said there is severe hunger in South Sudan, which could be linked to the civil war there

The Second Sex

– Pew: A new report has found when women start to work, it can increase chances of economic mobility for their family

– A clinic escort pens a much-needed letter to legislators on protecting women when they enter clinics

– A great report on how women in Tunisia still face problems in terms of rape and violence in the country despite changes

Planet Earth

– Gallup: 57 percent of Americans prefer more energy conservation rather than more energy production

– With such an extreme drought plaguing California, the wildfires there may end up horrific as conditions are ripe

– Amazon delivers with giving consumers their products, but they rely a lot (and I mean a lot) on fossil fuels, making their environmental record dirty

– At least five people were killed in Chile after an 8.2 earthquake struck near the coast. Scientists warn it could get worse.

– Now the threat of smog has reached the UK, specifically the southern portion, and it has raised alarms

– The death toll for the Washington mudslide has risen to 29 people, but 20 people are still missing

Mixed Bag

– A new report found U.S. cellphone data speed is dreadful compared to other places, but T-Mobile is the best one currently

– Funny story out of Los Angeles where an artist put his CD on fake Justin Bieber albums and put them on store shelves

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.