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The Roundup for April 24th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you this day?

International Politics


– As this interviews shows, major media outlets like The New York Times were given photos by the U.S. government asserting Russian soldiers took over buildings in eastern Ukraine only to find out later it was all fake. This highlights the poor job journalists have done in covering the situation in Ukraine.

– In Ukraine, the interim government launched a military offensive against the separatists in the east and killed either two or five rebels in a skirmish; Russia warns of “consequences” as it orders 40,000 Russian troops near the border to undergo military exercises

– John Kerry: If Russia does not cool down the situation in Ukraine, then it would be an “expensive mistake

– An FBI informant was found to be behind a number of cyber attacks against foreign governments like Pakistan, Brazil, Iran and Syria

– The U.N. envoy to Yemen said both the government and rebels have agreed to talks for the latter to be disarmed

Middle East

– In the Gaza Strip, residents there are skeptical of the recent unified governance between Fatah and Hamas for the upcoming elections; Meanwhile, Israel suspended the U.S.-led peace talks

– The Syrian Observation for Human Rights, a Syrian opposition group, stated the Syrian government fired missiles into a rebel-held town and killed 30 people

– In a shooting at a hospital in Kabul, three Americans were killed by an Afghan police officer

– UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: We require vital necessities for those affected by war in Syria as blocks currently or at any time is a violation of international law

Asia and Oceania

– Australian officials remark debris found that was alleged to be from Flight MH370 is not in fact from it. Moreover, they state they have not yet found the missing plane.

– With recent visits by Japanese officials to the Yasukuni shrine, it indicates top level members of government—including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—support expansion of militarism in the country and will still honor war crimes to this day


– In France, Socialist MPs are pushing back against Francois Hollande and his administration’s austerity plans

– According to a report by Amnesty International, Spain is attempting to stop any protest in the country with fines, harassment or outright banning

– Simon Ostrovsky, the Vice News journalist who was kidnapped by the pro-Russian rebels, has now been released.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Activists in Ecuador have overcome obstacles to get a petition with a lot of signatures to the government to protect the Yasuni tribe

– Bolivian military leaders have called for “dismissal for sedition” for 702 soldiers who went on strike over the firing of four military officers and wanting to rise up in rank

Surveillance Planet

– Google is attempting to figure out how to make encrypted emails easier for its Gmail users

– Despite the NYPD announcing it will disband its unit known for spying on Muslims, there is still a (justified) fear the system of surveillance is still in place

– President Vladimir Putin said the internet was a “CIA project” and hinted at creating an alternative

Financial Matters

– Gallup: 56 percent of Americans expect home prices in their local area to rise in the upcoming year versus 10 percent who expect a decrease

– Get ready to pay more money for internet use! The FCC has new rules in place to allow companies like Verizon to charge different companies different prices, thereby eliminating net neutrality

– Both Facebook and Apple get a large amount of their sales through phone-related expenses

– Japan has said there is still no deal with the U.S. over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, though they acknowledged progress was made in talks

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A new research poll by the Eurobarometer, a series of surveys conducted by the European Commission, found 53 percent of Europeans feel working conditions to be “very good/fairly good”; Moreover, Greek workers reportedly were the unhappiest with 82 percent of respondents stating working conditions were “bad”

– With all of this talk on raising minimum wages in the U.S., there is also some thought of instituting a global minimum wage

– Despite progress in terms of labor in Bangladesh, there is still a lot to do as only a few garment factories have allowed trade unions

– Postal workers demonstrated in front of Staples stores to go against a proposed idea for USPS counters with retail employees

Politics US

Washington USA

– Further discussion on the consequences of the recent Supreme Court decision on upholding Michigan’s ban of affirmative action for other states considering the same type of law

– According to Rolling Stone, President Obama is close to deciding to reject the construction of Keystone XL

– A brief article on how Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his new budget is just another budget pushing for austerity against the working class

– A district court judge ruled a Federal Reserve Bank of New York bank examiner’s claim she was fired for investigating Goldman Sachs is not valid and dismissed her retaliation lawsuit

Anytown USA

– In great news for New York, a federal judge struck down campaign finance laws in New York limiting how much donors can give to independent PACs, thereby creating those ever-so-lovable Super PACs!

– Pew: Among the Hispanic population, foreign-born mothers are more likely than other groups to be stay-at-home moms and believe it helps their children; I currently have this experience so I cannot say I am surprised by this

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “Fighting for a Legitimate Democracy, by and for the People

– Gallup: 77 percent of residents in both Montana and Alaska describe their state as the best possible place to live (the highest in the nation), which contrasts with just 18 percent of Rhode Island residents (the lowest in the nation)

– Amy Goodman: “Race Matters: Resegregation and the Rollback of Affirmative Action

We Don’t Need No Education

– Pew: Despite more Hispanics and blacks attending college, they still are lagging in attaining a bachelor’s degree

Top Gun (Stories)

– In Georgia, the state passed new gun measures that loosen gun restrictions so much that Gabrielle Giffords called it “the most extreme gun bill in America.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– A data brief from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found seven and a half percent of children/teenagers aged six to 17 used medication for emotional or behavioral problems

– The microbes in your stomach have a lot of influence on you so much so that it could affect your mood

– The “silent pandemic” of increasing autism rates in the U.S. has its origin in the toxins located in our environment

– The European Union has banned the import of apples from the U.S. after finding unknown chemicals in them

– Vermont is now officially the first state that requires food to be labeled if it is genetically modified 

– The Food and Drug Administration is proposing a ban on e-cigarettes to minors and displaying warnings about it

The Second Sex

– Brown University shows where they stand as they allow a rapist who choked his victim to return for the fall semester after being suspended

– 23 students at Columbia University filed a federal complaint against the college for mismanaging rape cases

– In society today, what is called rape is replaced by other words to reduce the impact of the word. Why?

Planet Earth 

A new study found Manhattan is at risk for being underwater every one in four years due to climate change

– The explosion of a natural gas processing plant in Wyoming led to a nearby town to be evacuated for fear of fire spreading

– Texas pulled funding from a group dealing with air quality after they reported on the environmental damage produced by the oil and natural gas industry

– Scientists are puzzled as to why Lapland moths in Finland have not declined in population rates as a result of climate change

Mixed Bag

– “Disney CEO Figures They’ve Built Up Enough Goodwill To Do A Real Sexist One

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.