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The Roundup for April 15th, 2014

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Hey folks, it’s Tax Day today. Not a favorite day for some (and a great one for the rich who avoid taxes)

International Politics


– Pew: Research was conducted throughout 40 countries on what is deemed “morally acceptable.” The issue mostly seen as morally unacceptable was infidelity – extramarital affairs, with 78 percent saying it was “morally unacceptable.” The interactive for the poll can be found here.

A Marist-McClatchy poll found 55 percent of Americans believe Ukraine is important for the U.S., however just 7 percent prefer a military option in response to the situation in Crimea

A new poll out found the youth in Western countries are not looking to the future, but youths in other parts of the world have a higher level of hope

– Members of the UN Security Council will examine photos of tortured and killed Syrians that the Assad government was responsible for

– Defense ministers in the EU pledged to work closely with NATO in response to Russia and Ukraine

Middle East

– The Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIS) has occupied stretches of the oil pipeline going to Turkey in Iraq, which is a major issue for the Iraqi government

– Iran has said the barring of its ambassador to the UN by the U.S. creates a “dangerous precedent” and demands it be overturned

– After a major breakout last year at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi government closed down the infamous prison

Asia and Oceania

– The Supreme Court of India ruled transgender people are a third gender and in their statement called it a “right


– With all of this talk about the military junta in Egypt, what has been overlooked are the strategies carried out by large multinational corporations when dealing with the situation in Egypt

– Meanwhile, a homemade bomb exploded in Cairo, Egypt but only three people were wounded.

– In an attack on a school in Nigeria, gunmen from Boko Haram abducted 100 girls 


– As the Ukrainian interim government sends tanks to the territory held by the rebels in the east and clashes with them, candidates from across the political spectrum get ready to run in the Ukrainian presidential elections

– The Ukrainian government said the military was able to repel an attack by 30 gunmen at an airport in eastern Ukraine

– A Golden Dawn MP went on Australian television and said Adolf Hitler was a “great personality” who did what needed to be done in his time

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Here is the next part of the interview with Edgardo Lander focusing on Venezuela from 1973 (the start of global neoliberalism) and up to the beginning of Hugo Chávez coming into the mainstream

– An informative article on the 1964 coup in Brazil that led to a military dictatorship which fueled state terrorism against the public

Opposition in Colombia is treated as a threat by the federal government there and is criminalized, along with social movements, harshly through major governmental institutions

Surveillance Planet

Kade Crockford of the ACLU talks to The Real News on how even a growing surveillance state cannot prevent another disaster like the Boston Bombing

– A WaPo/ABC News poll found 67 percent of Americans approved of the way the federal government handled the Boston Bombing investigation

– Julia Angwin: “The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It.”  Anqwin was featured in last Sunday’s Book Salon.

– The British spy agency GCHQ named a Foreign Office official as its next chief of operations 

– Rep. Peter King (R-NY) believes journalists who won Pulitzer Prize for their NSA reporting are a “disgrace.” What is disgraceful are the number of right-wing whites in his district who continue to elect this member of the elite

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Just 49 percent of Americans say the middle-income bracket pay “too much” in terms of taxes. 42 percent say it is a “fair share.”

– “Substantial public interest benefits.” That is what both Time Warner Cable and Comcast have said about their merger, but the reality is these companies seek to strangle the populace for more money for worse service

– Robert Reich: “Happy Tax Day and why the top one percent pay a much lower tax rate than you

– The Russian Financial Minister stated, due to the situation in Ukraine, economic growth in Russia this year may be zero

– As a result of increasing food and housing costs, U.S. inflation rose in March

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Great news. Faculty at the University of Maine who were originally fired by the administration to save money have gotten their jobs back after strong protests by faculty and students

– A group of college administrators stated the NCAA model has to change in order for it to survive and it needs to allow students the ability to be viewed as workers with rights

Politics US

Washington USA

– The rich have the highest voter turnout according to this poll, which may explain why our government is pro-rich

– Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr, the man accused of murdering three people near Kansas City, claims he was previously an FBI informant. In other news, he may face the death penalty.

– As some Americans finish submitting their taxes to the federal government, here are seven (comforting) facts on our inane tax system

– A judge in charge of a Guantanamo case has adjourned hearings to allow the defense to investigate whether any of their members were secretly contacted by law enforcement

Anytown USA

– Gallup: 48.5 percent of residents in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas feel safe in their town (lowest in the nation), while 85.7 percent of residents in Holland-Grand Haven, Michigan feel safe (highest in the nation).

– There still exists racial prejudice in juries that taints the idea of justice in our judicial system and leads to innocent people being harshly jailed

– ABC News just hired Laura Ingraham in a sequence of new hires that are all right-wing, which speaks volumes about what direction the media organization is heading

We Don’t Need No Education

– A new report found charter school students make up just 4.2 percent of students nationwide, but it is on a rise

– George Mason University does not only have financial support from the Koch Brothers as Google joins in with substantial funds

– Dean Baker: “Education is Not the Answer

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– A myth presented about the poor is that they cannot afford organic food. However, the reality is organic food is on the minds of the poor and the topic is one different income groups make serious decisions about when going to buy food.

– The “HIV of banana plantations” is spreading and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization is warning it is threatening the world’s supply of bananas

– Attorney General Eric Holder: I am “cautiously optimistic” about the effects of legalized cannabis in both Washington and Colorado

– Organizations and individuals have decided to help out Americans who suffer from chronic health conditions and food insecurity, which are serious issues that affect one third of Americans.

– As this op-ed shows, the elites in society have deemed homelessness as a major problem and decided to just ban sleeping in the streets.

– A U.S. government report found U.S. spending on building houses in Haiti has not been sufficient for a number of reasons

– The World Health Organization reports 121 people have died as a result of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a number that will continue to rise

The Second Sex

– It seems the introduction of women into the armed forces has gone smoothly, but there is still worry among military officials about the culture in the military

A new study found young girls view sexual violence and harassment as “normal” and “routine.”; It is really shameful nothing is done by major figures to prevent this or show it is not normal

– A new Center for Economic and Policy Research report found an increased number of hours worked by women has added $1.7 trillion to the GDP over the past three decades

Planet Earth

– Two authors with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talk about the recent report from the IPCC and say it should have done more to go after large carbon emitting countries like the U.S.

– In the past year, 80 percent of wind energy in the U.S. came from just 12 states, with Texas topping the list

A new report found an increase of deaths of environment activists worldwide, which causes alarm within the fight against climate change

– Bad news. Scientists have discovered there is another hole in the ozone layer. This time it is above the Pacific Ocean and could have dire consequences for climate change.

– In what is certainly true about most Western nations, scientists have remarked the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbat is an “environmental train wreck.

– Research found fish exposed to acidic oceans lost their sense of smell and are easier for predators to catch, jeopardizing several species

– A new report out found large oil companies have successfully lobbied many officials in California, and therefore get power over what is passed and what is not passed

Mixed Bag

– Domino’s decides it is a good idea to replace its pizza crust with fried chicken because why not?

– Bill Nye the Science Guy states in an essay creationism is “bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind

– “FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States“; Good thing the FBI had help from the NSA to find this out

– Data shows 50 million Android phones are at risk as a result of Heartbleed

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.