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Hey folks, it is Friday today. It feels like this week just flew right on by.

International Politics

Overall

– Juan Cole: “Is Russia Replacing US in Iraq?

– The UN Human Rights Office questioned the methods of Israe searching for the three missing teenagers in West Bank

– Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of advancing his business interests in the Middle East amid the crisis

– The U.S. announced it will not purchase or sell any more landmines and will work to ban them worldwide

Middle East

– Gallup: In areas where the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant took control, there are low approval ratings of the national government

– Iraqi officials are criticizing the Kurdish region for not assisting the country as much as possible and being interested primarily in independence

– An official with the Pentagon said armed drones were flying throughout Iraq to protect U.S. citizens and interests

– The alliance among Sunni groups and ISIS is ready to break and could lead to more warfare

– Ayad Allawi, the former prime minister of Iraq, says the current Iraqi government is hopeless and the U.S. is operating in Iraq “without a compass

– Both the militants on the Sunni side and the army on the Shi’ite side are conducting brutal attacks; Meanwhile, an execution site of ISIS was uncovered by Human Rights Watch

– In Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani’s campaign staff claimed victory for the presidential election although Abdullah Abdullah asserts fraud

Africa 

– A mixture of environmental problems, government involvement, and private interests led families in Zimbabwe to be relocated

– Egyptian President al-Sisi was in Sudan to create a regional alliance against Islamic terrorism; I would suspect geo-politics is also a factor

– Libya is still on edge after a prominent human rights activist was killed in her home

Asia and Oceania

– Ridiculous is too weak of a word for what the Thailand military is doing in the country criminalizing dissent

– In China, Hillary Clinton’s new book was banned because of criticism of the government

Europe

– France passed a law, called the “anti-Amazon” law, to assist small bookstores and restrict the power of Amazon.com

– Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia did little to prevent more conflicts from erupting in eastern Ukraine

– Meanwhile, an adviser for Vladimir Putin called Poroshenko a “Nazi” for signing a deal with the EU

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Authorities in Venezuela attempted to restore electricity to residents after a blackout

– The Supreme Court in Canada ruled Wal-Mart must pay fired workers who successfully voted to unionize before the store closed down

Surveillance Planet

– The decision on Wednesday by the Supreme Court ruling for privacy advocates show how powerful a win is from a government branch

– Even though it collected a lot of data on the phone calls of Americans, just 243 Americans were investigated thoroughly by the NSA last year

Financial Matters

– Economist Robert Pollin explains to The Real News how austerity is the culprit for a poor first quarter this year for the U.S.

– A federal judge ruled Argentina can talk with hedge funds on what to pay in the ongoing dispute

Labor’s a-Brewing

– In Qatar, Nepal workers are struggling to survive in unbearable heat, some even die

– Activists in Chicago, Ill., are trying to get residents in public housing job opportuniities despite forces aligned against them

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Obama: Republicans who filed a lawsuit against me are seeking retribution

– Gallup: Just 22 percent of Americans favor more immigration compared to 41 percent who prefer less immigration.

– Despite ruling buffer zones outside abortion clinics are unconstitutional, there is an even larger buffer zone around the Supreme Court

– “A corrosive culture” is what a review from the White House on the Department of Veterans Affairs found

– In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled President Obama did misuse his powers to appoint nominees during Congressional recesses although they did rule he had some legitimacy

Anytown USA

A panel discussion moderated by The Real News’ Jaisal Noor on how violence in the community is caused by poverty

– A look into an event sponsored by the Koch Brothers featuring both governmental and market elites

– Despite problems among the left working together, there is still hope out there and actions can potentially turn the tide

– Journalist Lee Fang reports on how CNBC, the financial news network, attempted to obtain an op-ed showing global warming as a hoax; Yeah! Journalism!

– David Sirota: “Why Tennessee is the most corrupt state in the union

– Tennessee may be the most corrupt, but Indiana is also a state promoting austerity and anti-working class policies

– A great insight into newspapers from prisons and how the handful of them left are still going strong

We Don’t Need No Education

– Brooklyn College, a college of the City University of New York system, rejected $4.3 million from a Koch foundation; Great news!

– Two students at the University of Las Vegas asked Hillary Clinton to return hte $225,000 fee for speaking

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Totally out of control” That is what the World Health Organization called the ebola outbreak in West Africa

A collection of studies conducted into how money changes our mind and how we respond to it.

– The number of stories women told about men masturbating in front of them in public  reveal a broken society

The Second Sex

– Salon speaks with doctors and health care providers about buffer zones outside abortion clinics and the latest ruling’s effects; Boston, Mass., decided to provide police protection to abortion clinics around the city

72 percent of workers who make the tipped minimum wage ($2.13 per hour) are women and they frequently face sexual harassment at their workplace

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: 57 percent of Americans say religion can solve many contemporary problems

– Research found when we listen to music it can influence our thinking

Break Time

Irish Blood, English Heart

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.

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