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The Roundup for April 7th, 2014

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May Mickey Rooney rest in peace

International Politics


– Patrick Cockburn writes how the failure of the establishment on the issue of religious terrorism was exactly what would happen since they were obsessed with state power over security

– Tony Blair in his usual style defends decision to invade Iraq and argues Syria should be invaded before serious consequences of inaction erupt

– Sergei Lavrov: “It’s not Russia that is destabilising Ukraine

Middle East

– Avidgor Lieberman, current Foreign Minister of Israel, seems to be a favorite for becoming the next Prime Minister. Side note, he is, as you may expect, very right-wing

– Chris Hedges: “The Crucible of Iraq

– In Syria, rebels have claimed they have taken over Aleppo and Qunaitra from the government

– In part four of five in this interview, Saudi Arabia has as one of its geo-political goals of forcing the U.S. to attack Iran for its own benefit

– Juan Cole: “Top Ten Ways in which it was Actually the Israeli Gov’t that Derailed the Peace Talks

– The Iraqi government cites the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant as a “threat” to Baghdad as a result of power grabbing

Asia and Oceania

– The best lead to get the missing Flight MH370 is from Australian authorities who believe they may have actually found the black boxes west of Australia


– After two UN workers arrived in Somalia, they were killed by someone wearing a police uniform in the airport where they arrived in

– In a tourist city in Egypt, local ethnic groups have clashed with each other and left 25 people dead as a result.


– The decision between the IMF and the Ukrainian government on a loan agreement mirrors the agreement between Greece and the IMF in which austerity was pushed forward 

– A new report found the judiciary branch in Greece has a lot of ultra-right wing influence, along with other major Greek institutions

– In Ukraine, demonstrators declared Donetsk as independent from Kiev and declared it for the “people’s republic“; For Ukraine to say they want to break from Russia to be independent, they sure are doing a poor job at uniting people

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Interesting and informative interview on The Real News on the situation in Canada over voting, activism and pipelines

– After Spain suspended exports of anti-riot gear to Venezuela, the latter criticized Spain for its “moral judgment” on the situation inside of Venezuela

– There’s a lime shortage in the U.S. and the catalyst for it is a current cartel war in Mexico

A new study found the number of people traveling to Cuba has increased despite the embargo still in place; Meanwhile the country has cut more than 100,000 health care jobs

Surveillance Planet

– Thom Hartmann: “Seven Places PayPal Sends Your Personal Financial Info That You Probably Don’t Want It to Go

Financial Matters

– Gallup: In March, consumer spending averaged $87 based on Gallup estimates, which is the same as in February

– Dean Baker: “Obamacare: First Fruits for Workers?

Great interview with Nomi Prins on her new book and the lessons the book has on our history between politicians and bankers. Nomi Prins will be here for the FDL Book Salon on April 26, a Saturday

– As neoliberalism commits to austerity in contemporary times, our economic rights—recognized by the elite for their convenience before—are now considered expendable

– The World Bank cut the growth outlook for China as a result of “bumpy starts in the year

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Trade associations against minimum wage increases talk big, but they spend millions on preventing it, which is money wasted as it could have helped their workers

– In a strike at the University of California – Santa Cruz, 22 students and staff members were arrested as they demonstrated against unfair labor conditions for teaching assistants. What was interesting was the lack of faculty there. More can be found here.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: In the first quarter of 2014, just 15.4 percent of Americans were uninsured, the lowest since 2008

– It speaks volumes on how the most unequal (in terms of income) districts in the U.S. are under Democratic representation

– Despite Obama stating he wants to make deportations more “humane,” currently people with minor offenses like traffic violations are deported; The White House defends deportation as them just doing their job

– Salon interviews Maine Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, who is cited as the most progressive candidate running on the Democratic ticket this year

– After the McCutcheon decision, it may just be fair to say the Roberts court is a corrupt court that cannot decide issues of importance impartially

– Emptywheel goes more in depth on the recent case recently dismissed by Judge Rosemary Collyer that dealt with the death by drone of three American citizens

Anytown USA

– A brief, yet good article on eight stories the mainstream news organizations fail to report on effectively

– Meanwhile, after McCutcheon, corporations who control mass media stations will be the benefactors of the decision. So much for watchdog journalism…

– A very great piece by Natasha Lennard on activist Cecily McMillan and dissent in present society

– The U.S. will be honoring an annual “Educational and Sharing Day,” which seems harmless. Who can complain about education and sharing? But its history is dark, full of racism and discrimination

– Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals may need an update based on present events in our system, something Alinsky would have definitely supported

We Don’t Need No Education

– Gallup: 74 percent of Americans say getting a college degree leads to a better life for graduates

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Good news! Stanford University researchers were able to make a blood test that could identify solid cancers

– Jarrett Murphy reports the next goal of the de Blasio administration in NYC: affordable housing

– The legalization of cannabis in Colorado may entice people who have never used it before to take risks

The Second Sex

– In California, an ex-cop was sentenced to 205 years for raping women while on duty during his career

Planet Earth

– Rebecca Solnit: “Call climate change what it is: violence

– Environmental groups in the UK said subsidies for nuclear power would discriminate against other renewable energy sources

– The death toll from the mudslide in Washington state has risen to 33 and the missing toll has dropped to 10

Mixed Bag

– It is frustrating to see all of these dog shows leading some people to breed their dogs into the perfect dog, so much so that it causes abnormalities and makes them suffer

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.