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The Weekend Roundup for April 5-6th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you this day? It’s the first Monday of April (and still not sunny here in the Northeast)

International Politics


– In Pakistan, artists made a large poster of a child to make drone operators aware of the victims of drone warfare

– The U.S. sends two destroyers to Japan to, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated, counter the threat of North Korea. I believe it is to apply pressure to China rather than a weak country.

Middle East

– In Iraq, the U.S. embassy there warned Americans not to travel through the Baghdad airport as an alleged security threat has been identified

– Meanwhile, gunmen have killed at least 15 people near the capital, kidnapping to kill some

– Despite warnings from the Taliban of attacks during Afghan elections, more than seven million votes were cast. Juan Cole has more on this election with good news

– Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu states Israel may take a course of “unilateral action” as a result of Palestine talking to the UN for recogniton

Asia and Oceania

– It seems Australian authorities may have detected signals from the black boxes of missing MH370 flight

– In southern Thailand, one person was killed and 24 people were injured by bomb explosions


– After the Libyan government and rebels had agreed on a peace deal, two oil refineries will be reopened

– In northern Nigeria, 79 people were killed by gunmen as the group of people have been talking about focusing on how to stop robberies

– In southern Egypt, a feud between families restarted leading to the deaths of two people with four wounded in the clash


– In the Netherlands, people marched against strong racism present in their society, specifically against the Moroccan community

– It seems a “gas war” may start between Ukraine and Russia as the former declined to purchase gas with the inflated price of the latter

– Meanwhile, pro-Russian demonstrators stormed into government buildings in eastern Ukraine to demand independence

– In Hungary, the far-right opposition gained one in five voters there in the recent election and more seats in parliament

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A new poll in Brazil found only 36 percent of Brazilians rate President Dilma Rousseff as “great/good,” which is down five percent from previous poll

Surveillance Planet

– Glenn Greenwald reports the NSA uses cartoon journalists and pseudo-journalists as their own tools to spread pro-NSA propaganda

– Both Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald appeared in Chicago via video to further discuss U.S. infringement on privacy and efforts to protect such privacy

– With some of the coverage on the NSA’s faults, there also must be a lens over the role of the CIA involved with all of this

Financial Matters

– Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen did acknowledge a problem with the way the Fed handled the economy, but, as this interview on The Real News examines, Yellen still has a lot to prove to match her rhetoric.

– In Africa, the country with the highest GDP is Nigeria after it “rebased” its figures, but it may not be enough to be true

– The U.S. has given approval to Boeing to sell spare commercial parts to Iran

– The Central Bank in Libya stated they have enough funds for “three years” for the country without oil sales

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Workers in Benghazi, Libya have gone on strike to highlight the issue of security and on the parliament

– In Morocco, workers went on strike to protest the austerity by the government and demanded democracy in the monarch-led country

– Mark Emmert, NCAA President: Efforts for unionization after NLRB’s ruling are “grossly inappropriate” as it does not solve problems

– Mike Elk: “Emails Show Sen. Corker’s Chief of Staff Coordinated with Network of Anti-UAW Union Busters

Politics US

Washington USA

– Joshua Holland: “Can We Safeguard Our Democracy After McCutcheon?

– Robert Reich: “McCutcheon took us back in time, but it might just birth the next Occupy“; I’m not sure he understands what Occupy was all about

– Michael Hayden states Sen. Dianne Feldstein is too “emotional” for a fair report on torture to be made; What a sexist pig

– Meanwhile, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blames torture in the CIA on Dick Cheney as he was “proud of it.”; And yet Pelosi, you stood there in the beginning when debriefed on the use of torture by Bush and co.

– Emptywheel: “The Neverending CIA Drone Story Actually about Outsourced Intelligence

– Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) states General Motors should compensate families affected by the defective switches in their cars

– “A political loser.” That’s what one White House adviser said about Republican efforts to repeal the ACA

– President Obama: The latest budget from the Republicans would make it harder on working Americans

– On Saturday, there were a number of rallies across the U.S. demanding action by President Obama on immigration reform; More on deportations by President Obama and its consequences can be found here

Anytown USA

– In Baltimore, Maryland, low-income residents, together with community groups, in the eastern part of the city called for better affordable housing

– Thomas Frank interviews author Barbara Ehrenreich about religion, minimum wage, her writing and more.

– The use of “risk assessment” to reform our prison system is not enough to address the serious problems made as a result of the system

– New Hampshire, efforts are underway to abolish capital punishment with the ball in the court of lawmakers there

We Don’t Need No Education

– At Northwestern University, Chris Hedges defends Students for Justice in Palestine and notes how groups in support of Palestine are attacked by pro-Israel groups

– Higher education is under attack with an agenda of “completion” and its goals are now jeopardized in favor of what neoliberals want

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Here is a well-written piece on the increasing use of heroin and its consequences throughout the U.S.

The Second Sex

– Mormon women were denied entry to a Mormon men’s-only meeting and want to gain equal representation in the church as priests

– Anne Hidalgo was sworn in as mayor of Paris, she is the first female mayor in the history of the city

– This Tuesday, President Obama will take two executive actions to promote equal pay for women

Planet Earth

– It is shameful for the media to allow such inaction on climate change as this is the most serious issue in the history of the world and lack of action means certain death

– A leaked part of the new IPCC report states drastic measures must be taken to avoid climate change or else we will suffer the consequences

A new report from the London School of Economics states suburban housing uses more heat than does urban housing

– Juan Cole: “Dear America: Climate Change is threatening Water, Plants, Animals & doesn’t care what Party you belong To

– A Salon interview with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal mainly discusses how hydrofracking can be made safe and efficient

– It is troubling to see there are businesses that claim there are more opportunities to make money off climate change than realize the dangers of it

– ExxonMobil agreed to disclose the risks of hydrofracking after pressure from its investors on it

Mixed Bag

– “Top Of Mt. Everest Pulling Away Majority Of Hollywood Films With Generous Tax Credit Program

Break Time

Soup Boys

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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.