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The Roundup for April 18th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you today?

International Politics


– Very interesting and informative interview on the situation in eastern Ukraine and what is actually happening in the area

– Arundhati Roy: “Another World Is Not Only Possible, She Is on Her Way

– The psychologist who helped make torture possible in Guantanamo Bay and other black sites defends the program and admits he conducted torture as well; How sick

– The U.S. threatens more economic sanctions if Russia does not follow the recently agreed international agreement

– A former Colonel writes on the rabid pro-war feeling among Western officials to respond to Russia over eastern Ukraine

Middle East

– Opposition groups in Iran said officials use extreme violence against political dissenters in prisons

– Again, I would rarely do this compared to older Roundups, but I think this statement speaks for itself: “Why Jews must oppose muzzling of Palestine solidarity activists“; I find it interesting the author is a former executive of Northeastern University’s Hillel Foundation

– State-run Syrian news reported 14 people died and at least 50 were wounded in Homs after a car bomb exploded

– A bomb exploded in a shopping area of Baghdad, Iraq killing three people

Asia and Oceania

– At Mount Everest, 12 people died and four went missing after an avalanche

– The captain who escaped from a ferry that sank in South Korea and led to the deaths of hundreds has been arrested; A transcript found the captain delayed efforts to save passengers


– A bomb exploded in central Cairo, Egypt, which left one police officer dead and four people injured

– An education official in Nigeria said 24 school girls were released by Boko Haram, but 84 are still being held

– An anti-corruption watchdog figure in Egypt said his job has gotten fierce attacks by those in the establishement for doing his job


– Pro-Russian separatists announced they will not leave buildings in eastern Ukraine and stated the Kiev government violated an international agreement

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

In part seven of nine, Edgardo Lander explains the Chavez and Maduro administration’s efforts to curb violent crime rates in Venezuela

– Here is a powerful video from Valparaiso in Chile after fires destroyed numerous houses in the country

Surveillance Planet

– Edward Snowden: “Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

– White House updated its private policy in order to clarify any misunderstandings 

– Even as we find government surveillance outrageous, what is even more outrageous is private companies like Google selling our information even if we do not use their service

Financial Matters

– Gallup: More than four in 10 Americans would face “significant financial hardship” if they lost their job

– David Sirota: “Michael Lewis is right: Our trading system is broken

– A federal judge restricted American Airlines from cutting retiree benefits to its workers

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Here is part two of two on whether Johns Hopkins University is able to pay a living wage for its employees

– Nevada will ban any attempt by companies to check on the criminal history of applicants. Good news.

– Inmates in a prison in Alabama decided to go on strike over being exploited for their labor with no compensation

– In a lawsuit regarding no hire agreements in Silicon Valley, tech companies are trying to restrict access to documents of Steve Jobs because they do not want him to be seen as a “bully.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Joshua Holland: “The plot to overthrow FDR: How the New Deal sent conservatives into a rage

– Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): The armed supporters of Cliven Bundy are just “domestic terrorists

– President Obama signed a law that restricts any UN ambassador who the U.S. feels has a history in terrorism from entering the country; So national law usurps international law?

– An audit found more than $12 million from Medicaid was paid to deceased residents in Illinois, but the government says it has gotten most of the funding back

Anytown USA

– Thom Hartmann: “How America Killed Its Middle Class

– A new report found more than 100 hate crime murders can be linked back to the far-right, white supremacist Stormfront website

– In what seems too difficult to be real, a mentally disabled man imprisoned for 34 years (and was innocent) cannot be freed because he wanted to stay in prison to avoid being retried

– David Sirota reports Chris Christie’s attempt to give pensions to a hedge fund was illegal based on anti-corruption laws

– A mayor in South Carolina fired a female police chief—the first openly gay police chief in the town—and some residents question the mayor’s reasons

– Katrina vandel Heuvel: “This Week in ‘Nation’ History: Here’s the Backstory on Marx and Marxism in Our Pages

– Sarah Jaffe: “The Rise of the Digital Proletariat

A very lengthy article in The Nation reviewing what seems to be a revival of Marxism and anti-capitalism through different books and news organizations

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Despite a faulty study on cannabis’ effects on people, the media decided it was a good story to promote fear of the drug

– Here is a list of the top five cities—in no particular order—in the U.S. that are the worst areas for renting

– There is a shortage of condoms in Cuba which risks an increase of HIV in the country if the situation persists

A new study found half of 16 to 18-year-olds who go to jail had a traumatic brain injury prior to arrest

– The USDA announced farms have to report the fatal pig virus that is killing numerous pigs across the U.S.

The Second Sex

– Pew: On the weekends, fathers are able to have more leisure time compared to mothers

– A hospital in Texas revoked the admitting privileges of doctors who perform abortions due to the hospital’s image

– An absolutely powerful piece on how men who commit sexual violence against women are not the insane villains we say to comfort ourselves, but the reflection of what society shaped them to be. They are normal individuals who follow the norms in society

Planet Earth

– After a 7.2 earthquake hit near Acapulco, Mexico City reports little damage and no deaths

– The Obama administration announced it will delay its decision on Keystone XL until after the elections citing a court case in Nebraska; Remember, the southern half is already built

– A Chinese governmental study found one fifth of soil in the country is contaminated with heavy metals; And so accumulation by dispossession claims its next victim

– A lengthy article on the consequences of environment destruction by Texaco (now incorporated into Chevron) in Lago Agrio in Ecuador

Mixed Bag

– Pew: Around Christmas and Easter, Americans often search “church” on search engines

– “Report: 14% Of Americans Now Intolerant To Word ‘Gluten

16 percent of Americans who die in traffic crashes were on bicycles or pedestrians

– If there is anything Gabriel García Márquez has in his legacy, it is the journalism he produced 

Break Time

Melancholy Morning

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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.