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The Roundup for May 2nd, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you on this Friday? The week really flew by (not for me though).

International Politics


– Gallup: Throughout the world, 63 percent (the median) of people state the press has freedom in their country

– The United Nations condemned the botched execution of Clayton Lockett by calling it “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.” The family of Lockett will sue Oklahoma for the botched execution.

– An official with the UN spoke on torture conducted in Mexico by different parts of the government there was common

– Noam Chomsky: “Red Lines in Ukraine and Elsewhere

Middle East

– Journalist Alex Kane argues Secretary of State should not have apologized for calling Israel close to an apartheid state as its history of being one has damaged the peace process

– Tragic news out of Afghanistan as at least 350 people were killed and hundreds are missing in a landslide

– The Oil and Energy Commission in Iraq reports, as a result of attacks on pipelines in the country, oil exports are declining with most revenue generated by pipelines in the Gulf

– Palestine adopted five UN treaties, which include banning torture, ending racial discrimination and protecting the rights of women, children and the disabled.

– Despite joining with Fatah for a new government, Hamas affirmed it would not dissolve its military arm

– In a ceasefire deal, Syrian rebels agree to leave Homs, which allows for the military to take control

– FBI: The number of foreign civilians entering Syria to fight is growing


– The U.S. government tells Nigeria it will aid in its search for the 234 missing Nigeria girls taken by Boko Haram

– In Egypt, two suicide bombers killed four people and it is  not known who is behind the attacks. The Associated Press reports five are dead.

– In Libya, gunmen shot at security forces killing nine people and wounded 24

– In violent clashes with police, 11 students in Ethiopia were killed

Asia and Oceania

– Indian rebels in the northeast killed 10 Muslims and wounded four in two villages

– How do North Koreans go to work? Journalist Paul French explores the daily life of a worker in North Korea from morning to night.

– In India, corruption is not only by officials, but also by corporations


– With the Kiev government following the West with their economic agenda, the neo-liberal plans will be a disaster for Ukrainians in the west

– After a fire in Odessa, Ukraine, clashes erupted between pro-Russia rebels and the military, which led to the deaths of more than 30 people. The military is on the offensive against the rebels.

– A judge in the U.K. ruled detention by U.K. forces in Afghanistan is lawful

– Sweden, often argued by liberals as a country to emulate, now begins to turn in favor for the West’s aggressive militarism as it follows the command of NATO

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– When free trade is ever implemented, such as in Colombia, then violence and poverty follow

– Uruguayan President Jose Mujica: The law in Colorado on marijuana will not be as strong as Uruguay’s law. Moreover, with medical marijuana laws, it allows people to fake their illness to get cannabis.

– A prisoner in Guantanamo Bay boycotts attending a hearing as he does not want to undergo an intrusive body search

Surveillance Planet

– It seems the British GCHQ wanted in on the information the NSA had, according to documents by Edward Snowden

– In India, users were tricked into hacking their own profile by a scam to hack their own friends’ profile

– The White House wants Congress to enact legislation to provide legal immunity for telecommunication companies giving the government customer data

Financial Matters

– Last month, 288,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent. Dean Baker has more. Yet, it may not all be good news as the household survey found 73,000 jobs were lost last month. George Zornick explains more about this conflict and its significance.

– In France, the conflict over the national industry “jewel” is a microcosm of the battle between economic nationalism and economic liberalism

A great investigative article on what Bitcoin is, how it is treated and what the future holds for it

Labor’s a-Brewing

– The Real News goes over the thousands of people who came out for May Day yesterday throughout the world

Part two of two on the history of labor in Baltimore and problems facing the movement today

– In Chicago, Jorge Mujica, a labor activist, running in the local election was sponsored by Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant. For Chicago’s sake, let’s hope Mujica wins.

Part two of two on the contemporary labor movement and what is needed to advance the conditions of workers

– New York, construction has risen, but accidents involving workers have also risen, which is becoming a problem workers want addressed

– More on yesterday’s announcement out of Seattle for the minimum wage to be raised to $15/hour, which some activists have reservations about

– The National Labor Relations Board recently had three decisions in cases that fell in favor of the workers

Politics US

Washington USA

– Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): I would “probably” change the name of the the Washington football team, though I am not offended

– David Sirota: “We’re All Just Grenades in the Partisan Wars

– As German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in the U.S. for a visit with President Obama, tensions between the two countries continue to be high over U.S. surveillance

– After the FBI lost a case over surveillance, their covert informants might have to be revealed 

Anytown USA

– In Los Angeles, Calif., a homeless grandmother was arrested 59 times by the LAPD for sitting on the sidewalk, which has cost the city a quarter of a million dollars.

– Here is an article discussing four reasons how the private prison system is so powerful in the U.S.

– It seems New York, specifically the Cuomo administration, was aware of the Bridgegate situation and this new information may lead to investigations into the Governor’s office

– A lovely segment from Stephen Colbert on the downward spiral that is known as CNN when they report on the missing MH370 airliner. Moreover, a spoof of a segment on The O’Reilly Factor was also a great one to watch.

– In New York, a train—the “F” train for New York City readers—derailed and injured 19 people. Very scary since I have been on it a few times, and the state of the train, which is not the most perfect of all the trains.

We Don’t Need No Education

– 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, public schools still suffer from the issue of segregation

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The deadly MERS virus officially arrived in the United States with the first case reported in Indiana. However, the risk to the general population is very low.

A study found the benefits of medical marijuana for chronic conditions are still unknown, aside from multiple sclerosis

The Second Sex

– A judge in Texas originally ruled a convicted rapist should serve 250 hours in a rape crisis center — without the center’s consent. The judge will now review the decision to do so after the center protested

Jon Stewart and Jessica Williams talk about the recent fascination of Bill O’Reilly for Beyonce and what Beyonce represents

A powerful article on how the issue of reproductive rights is also an issue affecting women of color

– Last month was Sexual Assault Awareness Month and featured numerous stories on rape and sexual assault. Why does rape happen and what causes it in the first place? These basic questions are answered by this article.

A short, yet great article with Hari Kondabolu by journalist Jessica Valenti about comedy, rape jokes and feminism

Planet Earth 

– Mark Reynolds of the Citizens Climate Lobby states the recent ruling by SCOTUS allowing the EPA to regulate interstate air pollution does not constitute as a full victory for environmentalists as it does not allow for a carbon tax

– An oil company tells the Canadian government, despite the negatives with oil spills, there are positive results to look forward to such as the jobs to clean up the spill (I’m serious)

– Journalist David Sirota shows how politicians in Colorado are worried about hydrofracking for election reasons 

– Federal officials warn the government it may not have the necessary funds to battle wildfires this summer

– After the U.S. government decided to give a loan to ExxonMobil to go into Papua New Guinea for oil, what resulted was environmental and social destruction“The world’s third largest company by revenue” needed a loan?

– With more wetland emitting methane due to climate change, this faster climate change

– Subsidies for fossil fuels, according to the International Monetary Fund, cost $2 trillion a year

– Right-wing lobbyists are on the offensive against plans by the Obama administration to cut carbon emissions from power plants

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Heavy users of email also state they experience “a lot” of stress in their job

– Saul Williams performed an amazing poem last night on The Colbert Report. Watch it here.

– “Woman A Leading Authority On What Shouldn’t Be In Poor People’s Grocery Carts“; How upper-class whites decide the lifestyle of the poor

Break Time

Into the Ocean

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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.