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The Weekend Roundup for April 19-20th, 2014

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Hey folks, it’s Easter today and 4/20!

International Politics


– A campaign is underway by lawyers and activists on the international stage to get justice for war crimes committed in Iraq

– France announced it has information Syria used chemical weapons against rebels

– The UN Security Council stated as a result of the massacre of 58 civilians in South Sudan it may be a war crime

– The U.S. is toying with the idea of having military exercises in both Poland and Estonia

Middle East

– 50 years ago, Israel stole bomb-grade uranium from the U.S. and why is this hidden from the public

– Juan Cole: “Thousands of Palestinians Rally for Release of 5,000 in Israeli Jails, Including 200 Children

– Kurds in Iraq said they will not give up the right to develop and export oil

– Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is considering giving up control of the West Bank to Israel

– Airstrikes killed 25 probable Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, the second airstrike in two days

– A court in Kuwait suspended operations of two independent news organization after their articles investigated a secret coup in the country

– A number of attacks hit Iraq on Sunday and 18 people died as a result

Asia and Oceania

– Australian officials say the search for the flight recorders of the missing MH370 flight could be over within five to seven days

– The factory owner, whose factory collapsed killing more than 1,000 Bangladesh workers, will be charged with murder and may get the death penalty

– An road accident in Pakistan left 36 people dead and 20 people injured


– Ever since the 2012 Marikana massacre in South Africa that killed miners, politics in South Africa has seen a rise of action against the establishment with numerous protests

– 30 Morsi supporters were sentenced by an Egyptian judge to prison for three years for violent protests

– Islamic insurgents killed at least 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush, just two days after a recent presidential election

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu saya Central African Republic is “on the brink of genocide


– Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk: “President Vladimir Putin has a dream to restore the Soviet Union“; This is by far one of the most hilariously uninformed comments I have ever read

– Meanwhile, Yatsenyuk asked for “real support” from the U.S. against Russia

– Turkey announced it will make prisons exclusively for gay people for their “protection

– After two separatists were killed in eastern Ukraine, separatists called for Russian “peacekeepers” to help out against the Kiev government; Russia has expressed outrage over the incident

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Vigilante groups in Mexico decided to take things into their own hands over the cartels

Surveillance Planet

– Trevor Timm: “The mentality of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI undergirds today’s surveillance state

– In what shows vulnerability on the federal level, users are being told they should change their passwords after Heartbleed bug

– Journalist Glenn Greenwald states more new NSA stories will be found in his upcoming book

– Emptywheel: “Yet More Cell Phones IDed in Program that Purportedly Doesn’t Get Cell Phones

Financial Matters

– Robert Reich: “We’re living in a new Gilded Age of wealth and power

– A favorite author of mine, David Harvey, has an excerpt from a book just released titled “Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism” on how austerity economics focuses on raising profits for bond holders, who are already rich

– Jeff Madrick: “An Indictment of the Invisible Hand“; A review of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” Piketty will be here for FDL’s Book Salon Sunday May 11.

– Apple, a company not interested in providing low-cost products, is threatening the market for low-cost phones based on a current lawsuit with Samsung

– Both the G-20, but mainly the U.S., have asked Japan to stop with its quantitative easing efforts immediately as it could “take a toll” on the global economy

– General Mills decided to scrap their idea for the consumer not to have a right to sue the company if they “like” their company on Facebook, for instance

Labor’s a-Brewing

– It has been 100 years since the Ludlow Massacre—where Rockefeller-hired guards and the Colorado National Guard killed striking miners and their families—and the situation revolving around coal miners still is full of exploitationreflecting the state of labor in the U.S.

– Auto parts workers in Toledo, Ohio successfully got their demands to recognize their union—United Auto Workers—after going on strike

Politics US

Washington USA

– An informative piece on how the Clive Bundy situation in Nevada highlights a joint effort between the far right and corporations to defend Bundy

– Forget about the entire Bundy event as there is another, more powerful story about ranchers and the federal government with the ranchers owning their land before the founding of the U.S.

– The federal governmentmade the immigration process for people seeking asylum much tougher than before

– From LBJ to Obama, the ruling elite in society have gotten stricter, harsher and worse for the population at large.

Anytown USA

– Thomas Frank: “Straight into the Fox News buzzsaw: Why elite, billionaire liberalism always backfires

– Salon interviews author Reza Aslan about the right-wing media and how he celebrates being targeted by them, in addition to what Jesus would do today, like raise the minimum wage

– Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the militant neoconservative atheists, was honored by Brandeis University for her anti-Islamic rhetoric that is no different from the likes of Dick Cheney

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– International groups are warning that if aid does not reach South Sudan, then after two months the country will experience famine

The Second Sex

– Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: Women here in Iran are not second-class citizens 

Planet Earth

– A new environmental regulator arrived on the scene and it has jurisdiction everywhere as it is a satellite (funded by the EU and the European Space Agency of course)

– I had not thought of this before, but this is a very interesting article on how sunlight should be treated as a commodity we should be entitled to as we block it off in urbanized areas

– “Uncertainty” is a major threat to action on climate change and helps explain why the issue is not a top priority for many governments across the globe

– The ongoing drought in Syria threatening the population is a result of regional climate change

– Here is a cool concept brought to life as a solar-powered bread maker can go on for the entire day without using any other non-renewable energy source

– By 2050, we may have wars over food states one scientisti from the U.S. Agency for International Development

A new study found, contrary to Obama administration claims, fuel derived from corn is worse compared to oil for global warming

– Anti-fracking activists are now worried as benefits experienced by the fracking boom is going to unions, a much-needed ally in the struggle

Mixed Bag

– A lovely piece on how we are losing the essence of spirit when we are taught art

– Where did 4/20 originate and what is true and not? This article goes over it all.

– A new study found exposure to sunlight in the morning can reduce both appetite and body weight, regardless of your sleeping pattern

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.