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The Weekend Roundup for April 12-13th, 2014

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Hey folks, hope your week starts off great!

International Politics


– Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, said Russia is to blame for the unrest in eastern Ukraine

– After Russia stated there were Greystone “mercenaries” in Ukraine, the U.S. corporation and U.S. government denied the allegations; I’m sure Samantha Power can explain this

There is pressure on UK to admit it allowed the CIA to use Diego Garcia for torture

– Iran cancelled its plans to put its vessels in the Atlantic after diplomatic talks with the U.S.

Middle East

– Journalist Rania Khalek interviews Ali Abunimah about his new book, “The Struggle for Justice in Palestine” and the lessons from it. A reminder that the FDL Book Salon with Ali Abunimah is on May 18, a Sunday.

– There is still difficulty in providing fair coverage over Israel-Palestine on how the Occupied Territories and abuses there are not being reported in an efficient manner

– Juan Cole: “US sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA overthrew Iran’s Democratic gov’t (US now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)

– Iraqi troops are preparing to eradicate the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) from Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province

– Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah is now in the lead in the Afghanistan presidential election

– Palestinian doctors are now restricted from working in East Jerusalem despite a shortage of doctors in the area

– Car bombs in Dibis, Iraq have killed at least 16 people and wounded 12 people

– A poison gas attack on Saturday in Syria killed two people and wounded at least 100. Both sides in the country blamed each other and the U.S.’ Samantha Power states the claim is “unsubstantiated.

– It seems liberal Zionism is now in a state of crisis that has to make a decision as to where to go

Asia and Oceania

– For anyone interested, Truthout has an audio interview with journalist John Pilger on Aborigine children being abducted in Australia by the government

– Rebels have in the tense region of Kashmir killed four people as the Indian elections continue


– In Libya, the sons of Muammar Gaddafi are now on trial for war crimes and tight security is being formed around the case

– Nigeria Islamists killed 68 people in two different village attacks as instability in the country continues


– In a radio address, Pope Francis asks for “forgiveness” for sex abuse in the history of Catholic Church

– Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov: We will launch anti-terrorism efforts in the east with Russian-supported terrorists

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Quebec, Canada, the separatist party there suffered a huge defeat in a recent election that led its chairperson to resign

– A bus crash in Mexico resulted in the death of 36 people, four people survived

– The Cuban government decided to stick with cooperatives as it allows markets to be less restricted (not capitalism as this author erroneously states, not all markets are capitalist. You would have to be lying to say that.)

– A devastating fire in Chile killed 11 people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes

Surveillance Planet

– Secrecy is not an American exclusive. As a result of pressure from the West, Japan’s Shinzo Abe and his party pushed for a NSA-like agency to be created. There was serious pushback from opposition groups in the country

– Trevor Timm: “Silicon Valley could force NSA reform, tomorrow. What’s taking so long?

Financial Matters

– Thomas Frank: “Let them eat McMansions! The 1 percent, income inequality, and new-fashioned American excess

– This myth of the American Dream has produced so much rhetoric for us to eat up, but the reality is we live in a nation where the American Dream does exist: Low-wage, exploited labor and a class divide permanently featured in American-style democracy.

– With things like “interest-rate swaps,” it is becoming more apparent bankers are playing their own game with our money and agencies like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have decided to sue those banking institutions

– It seems difficult to fathom, but the U.S. is being criticized for not passing reforms in Congress on the IMF. Yet, any reform to an institution in a neoliberal world does not seem like a reform in the first place.

– The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and their subgroups have been defending a Nevada rancher who has refused to remove his animals from public land despite a court order

– Jacob Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary, has called for other countries to financially support Ukraine

– Thomas Piketty’s new book shows that in our history capitalism is not working for all and there are problems ignored by society for a long time

– A great article that debunks the current “half-measures” being presented from economists that ultimately allow the status quo to reign supreme without any change

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Here is some good news. After UPS fired 500 of its workers, unions came to the defense of those workers with community support. After pressure, the company rehired all 500 workers.

– An informative article on how $15/hour can be achieved in Seattle, Wash. through the movement there

– Dave Zirin: “Why Is Northwestern Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald Playing the Union Buster?

Politics US

Washington USA

– An ex-CBS News reporter said the Obama administration is having a “chilling effect” on journalism this day and age

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that despite undocumented immigrants entering the U.S., they are “not bad people,” and the U.S. “can’t invite the whole world.”

Anytown USA

– The son of late Chokwe Lumumba won the primary in Jackson, Mississippi to become the next mayor

– When a student in McDonald, Pennsylvania tried to show with his iPad how a student was bullying him, officers charged the student with “disorderly conduct.” The school administration did not bother to help.

A thoughtful article on how racism persists in American baseball with the Cleveland Indians as one team where it can be found easily

– Richard Wolff: “Why No Sustained Protests (Yet)?

We Don’t Need No Education

– Here’s a brief article on how in President Eisenhower’s speech on the military-industrial complex, he originally wanted to include “academic.” It should have been included judging by the state of higher education today

Top Gun (Stories)

– Near Kansas City, Kansas, a gunmen entered a Jewish community center and a retirement home and shouted Nazi slogans as he killed three people.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Who suffers from unregulated housing markets? With a piece on New Mexico, it can be safe to say residents who believe in the “American Dream”

– An informative article on how garbage in India is becoming as a serious issue with major health consequences for the populace if left unchecked

The Second Sex

– In Morocco, 800 Moroccans marched for gender equality and pressed the government to commit to reform

– At the UN Commission on Population and Development, some nations objected on advocating for women’s rights for fear it might allow same-sex marriages. Talk about closed-minded.

– A private Catholic school in France decided to test the DNA of all staff and students to find the rapist of a 16-year-old student

Planet Earth

– Despite the declining use of coal in the U.S. for electricity, its usage will still persist for decades to come

A report from the IPCC has found avoiding climate change is possible and will not take a chunk from the economic growth

– What is most difficult in getting the message of climate change across is how much misinformation is being presented that includes even liberal reforms

Mixed Bag

– NASA will send a supply ship, as well as Space X, to the International Space Station despite a computer outage on the station

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.