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The Roundup for April 30th, 2014

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Hey folks, it’s Wednesday already. Just half way there. Plus, it’s the last day of the month.

International Politics


– Gallup: 46 percent of Americans support the establishment of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, while 44 percent do not agree. Interestingly, 53 percent of Americans sympathize with Israel over Palestine compared to 11 percent sympathizing with Palestine over Israel.

– State Department: Terrorist attacks throughout the world climbed 46 percent in 2013

– According to leaked reports, the U.S. possesses phone calls out of Russia showing the country wanted to destabilize Ukraine

– Vice President Joe Biden: Russia cannot change Europe through the use of force

Middle East

Further discussion on the significance of the Fatah-Hamas unity government deal and the questions posed to go forward

– Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki claims he is “certain” of victory in elections, despite elections being affected by numerous attacks

A new camp for Syrian refugees was made through the joint efforts of the Jordanian government and the UN, though it may end up one of the largest refugee camps in the world

– A retired U.S. and NATO general states corruption is the biggest problem happening in Afghanistan

– A Syrian fighter jet fired an airstrike at a school in northern Aleppo, Syria, which killed 19 people.


– Judges in Egypt sentenced 683 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death

– Hundreds of protesters in Nigeria pleaded for action to rescue girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants

Asia and Oceania

– North Korea denounced South Korea as a country with human rights violations, which comes after a UN report against North Korea’s history of human rights violations

– I had forgotten to post this hilarious segment by John Oliver on the Indian election, including the recent decision of the media there to become Fox News


– When Sweden promoted gender equality, they wanted to ensure higher birth rates. In the end, the policy worked.

– Golden Dawn, the neo-Nazi party in Greece, decides to run two former generals (with a lot of experience in international institutions like NATO) for seats in European Parliament

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Mark Weisbrot: “The Story of Venezuela’s Protests

Surveillance Planet

– Pew: Nearly 30 percent of internet users say their personal information was at risk as a result of Heartbleed

– A former FBI agent states the NYPD’s spy unit on Muslims was completely useless

– NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden expects he will stay in Russia despite visa expiring in June

Financial Matters

– A very lengthy article on how corporate leaders now have a blank check to get away with major crimes as a result of no governmental action

– In the first quarter of 2014, the U.S. economy grew .1 percent. Dean Baker has more on the abysmal growth.

– The International Monetary Fund agrees to give Ukraine a $17.1 billion loan. Welcome to the neo-liberal order Ukraine!

– A new governmental report found the U.S. lost $11.2 billion in its bailout of GM

– A new report from the OECD found tax reforms could curb income inequality. Would be difficult in the United States of Plutocrats

Labor’s a-Brewing

– In Chicago, Ill., Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) promotes the fiction pensions are ballooning to unsustainable levels, despite having a plethora of wealth among his ultra-wealthy hedge funds allies.

– Some restaurant owners are fighting for a living wage for workers and pointing to their own models as examples of living wages doing benefits

A brief overview of Mondragon cooperative and how it’s championing a non-capitalistic market solution

– The AFL-CIO states the highest worker casualties in the U.S. can be found in North Dakota

Politics US

Washington USA

– A new poll found 23 percent of adults 18 to 29 will be voting in the midterm elections later this year

– With the FCC deciding to support large enterprises with its recent proposed rules on the internet, it also may give more power to monopolies; FCC’s Tom Wheeler: We are not going to make a “slow lane” on the internet

– Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used an erroneous example in his dissent against yesterday’s 6-2 decision to uphold EPA regulate across state lines

– President Obama: When Senate Republicans filibustered a bill to raise the minimum wage, they failed to “give America a raise

– It is tough to say, but it seems Republicans have more of an edge of winning this year’s midterm elections

– One conservative dark money group is suing the IRS after it said it was being unfairly targeted by the IRS, who was investigating them with “extra scrutiny”

Anytown USA

– Gallup: 50 percent of residents in Illinois would move out of their state (the highest out of all states), while 23 percent of Montana residents expressed the same.

– Janet Mock, transgender activist, points out the ridiculousness of the questions asked by interviewers toward trans people

– Oklahoma botches attempt at giving lethal injection with drugs that were told not to be used and the prisoner suffered a torturous death.  Greg Mitchell has more and groups like the White House denounced it as inhumane; So now can we say the death penalty is violating the 8th Amendment?

– With both Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling in the news, it reminds me of a line from Malcolm X: “You can’t have capitalism without racism.” Indeed, the structure we have today can be found in these two racists.

We Don’t Need No Education

– Higher education is becoming more of a battleground each day as neo-liberals attempt to radically take control for their own benefit

Top Gun (Stories)

– Jon Stewart and Jordan Klepper do a phenomenal job on the NRA convention and a new business to defend gun owners who shoot people no matter what

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The World Health Organization called antibiotic-resistant superbugs a serious threat to the world; But, just like climate change, governments in the world will hide this under the rug

– Veteran groups sued the White House over disability benefits being denied to them despite having PTSD related to sexual assault

The Second Sex

– Against the advice of doctors and addiction experts, Tennessee is now the first state that can jail pregnant women if they take drugs that affect the fetus

– Jessica Valenti: “The White House wants to end campus rape. Great. Now what about colleges?

Planet Earth 

Part two of five with Alan Robock on how he first studied the climate and the culprit he found for global warming

– In the first time since 15 years, California is now experiencing a massive drought and water shortage, which will cause the price of commodities to increase

– Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, criticizes the “small but vocal” group of climate change deniers refusing to help. Like the Obama adminstration? I haven’t seen much action by them.

– Large fires are an ecological necessity and without them species can be jeopardized

A new report found nearly half of all Americans live in places with dangerous air pollution

– In a recent search, scientists found garbage on the ocean floor off Europe, with plastic topping the list

– Federal prosecutors want to reinstate a charge against a former BP executive for obstructing to a congressional investigation

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Nearly eight-in-10 Americans say the use of smartphones after hours is a “positive development”

– Researchers found the eldest child in families is usually the most successful

– Glad to hear The Onion will be making a parody site of Upworthy and BuzzzFeed

– Tunisia launches tourist campaign featuring Star Wars characters

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.