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The Roundup for April 11th, 2014

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Hey folks, today is LGBT Day of Silence.

International Politics


– Gallup: More on the poll I linked yesterday on 46 percent approving of the job by the U.S. as a world leader. Basically, it seems the U.S. is the nation with the highest approval rating as Germany was second at 42 percent, the EU third at 38 percent, China fourth at 29 percent and Russia last at 24 percent.

– The Secretary General of NATO states the acts of Russia are “illegitimate” on the situation in Crimea and should remove troops on the border of Ukraine

Middle East

– Iraqi Airways is asking the U.S. for a $2 billion loan in order to purchase 40 Boeing planes

– The White House refused to issue a visa for the Iranian envoy to the UN due to his involvement in 1979 crisis

– Instability in Iraq continues as the deputy Prime Minister of Iraq had his convoy clash with Iraqi soldiers

– Rebel infighting in Syria has led to the deaths of 68 rebels in a town in the eastern Syria

Asia and Oceania

– An army chief for Pakistan said “multidimensional threats” to Pakistan exist and the country must be prepared

– A suicide bomber killed a tribal elder and wounded three others in Pakistan. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Dozens were killed in Pakistan as factions within the Taliban fought with one another in a power struggle


– The government in Libya said its fuel crisis is a result of protests in the country blocking roads to oil terminals


– Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk failed to solve the issue of pro-Russian Ukrainians demonstrators in the east. He mentioned there should be more power given to local government

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Part two of four with a Venezuelan professor on how Hugo Chávez was able to become a leader in Venezuela

– A Mexican drug lord may be freed if his information on other cartels is deemed sufficient for the U.S.

– Squatters in Brazil clashed with police officers after a court ruled they would have to be evicted from the occupied buildings

Surveillance Planet

– Not only did the NSA know about Heartbleed for two years, but they actually used it to collect intelligence on people. Utterly outrageous.

– Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras arrived in the U.S. to accept the Polk Award and did not face any problems when they landed

Financial Matters

– It seems JPMorgan CEO Jaime Dimon got a raise. Wait, no it was a pay cut. Well, to be honest, it could be reported as both. Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s profits fell in the previous quarter

– Michael Lewis, known for his book on the illicit high-speed trading on Wall Street, explains it has been a big month in many ways

– The Justice Department charged nine Ukrainians with hacking accounts to steal financial information

– An appeals court upheld a fine on SeaWorld over the death of one of their killer whale trainers

– As America moves to a “rental society” rather than an “ownership society,” Wall Street sees it as a profit-making opportunity so it probably will not end up well for the rest of us

Labor’s a-Brewing

– It seems the GOP actively interfered with the union vote at the Volkswagon planet in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Very enjoyable Jon Stewart segment on the unionization efforts from students in NCAA and the harsh response from NCAA officials

– The Supreme Court in Puerto Rico ruled the Puerto Rican government’s change to the pension system for teachers is unconstitutional

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Obama: The GOP is suppressing the right to vote in ways not seen for 50 years

– A doctor, who is in support of single payer health care, points out the ACA does not do enough for the under-insured in the U.S.

– President Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to be the new Health and Human Services director

– Leaks of part of the Senate torture report show torture by the CIA was “brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.” Very scary and difficult to imagine.

– Michael Ratner talks with The Real News on the recent dismissal of a case involving the Obama administration using drone strikes to kill American citizens

– Documents by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on General Motors and the faulty ignition switch found GM had a very slow response to the matter

Anytown USA

– Gallup: 94.9 percent of residents in Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado are satisfied with their city (the highest), while 72.8 percent of residents in Rockford, Illinois say the same (the lowest)

– Gentrification has allowed private interest to deceive public interests as more profits are send to those advocating for privatization

– David Sirota: “In Chicago, You Have to Pay to Play With Public Money

– I am wondering the question as well, can Al-Jazeera American restore confidence in the media? Although it is a tough job when the number one station in the U.S. is Fox News (land of cartoon journalism) and the number two station is CNN (land of pointless news). Still, I would indeed love to see the station have a new role.

– If there is any public employee who makes an insane amount of money and is known for their abuse, then it is police officers

– The “real racists” are not suddenly those in suits in Washington since it has historically been them. It is a viewpoint I agree with and makes a whole lot of sense.

– The trial for activist Cecily McMillan started today and the prosecution argued McMillan intended to elbow the police officer who grabbed her (which is completely false)

10 people died in California after a FedEx truck collided with a bus full of high school students

– In Los Angeles, Calif., an officer killed a production assistant on Tosh.O after mistaking him for a knife-wielding suspect

Interesting interview with Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Councilmember and socialist, on the $15/hour movement and how to spread the movement beyond Seattle

We Don’t Need No Education

– Gallup: Just 33 percent of students from fifth to 12th grade are deemed “success-ready.”

– Eurostat reports 37 percent of adults aged 30 to 34 have completed college, which is up from 24 percent in 2002

– Gallup: 37 percent of parents do not know what Common Core is, while 35 percent give a positive view on it

– Gallup: 89 percent of residents in Wyoming say their teachers are “well-respected,” the highest throughout the nation. On the opposite end of the scale, 62 percent of Nevada residents say the same.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Here are four foods that contain an unusual and unhealthy amount of estrogen that could significantly affect our behavior and health

– Subway announced it will remove the “yoga mat” ingredient in its bread next week, but it still does not present Subway as a healthy option

– Stephen Colbert does a special report on depression in America and the unorthodox methods to alleviate it

The Second Sex

– India’s Samajwadi Party (translated to Socialist Party) leader Abu Azmi said women who have sex outside of marriage “should be hanged.

– A transgender and women’s activist (as well as an engineer for Twitter) has been charged with the rape of her wife

Planet Earth

– Ohio has announced hydrofracking permits for companies will be more strict after a correlation was found between fracking and seismic activity

– An economist and environmentalist tells Salon there is still a “window of opportunity” to do something on climate change

– Climate change has now affected the chirps of Coqui frogs, making them shorter and higher pitched, thereby it affecting their mating

A draft report by the IPCC has found cities at risk of climate change have the ball in their court

– A summary of an article (which I cannot link to) regarding the Fukushima fallout that affected sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan

– To stop poaching, the Kenyan government will take control of protecting its wildlife

Mixed Bag

– You’ve heard musicians play for Israel, but here is something I’m sure we can appreciate. John McLaughlin, one of the best jazz artists, played in Palestine on Wednesday.

– Interesting point made in this article on how animal activists are just reactionaries, rather than revolutionaries

– Despite a UN human rights expert stating the name of the Washington Redskins was a “hurtful reminder” of discrimination against Native Americans, he did not ask for its name to changed

– Women prefer having dogs to having children as the CDC found in a latest report

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.