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The Roundup for April 1st, 2015

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Today’s roundup is brought you in part by Americans for Prosperity, funded by my good friends Charles and David Koch. Go Ronald Reagan! Go capitalism! Down with progressives!

Maybe I did it too much there. Still, enjoy today’s April Fools edition, although all the news is 100 percent true. Wouldn’t go that far in providing fake news links.

International Politics


– Journalist Glen Ford talks to The Real News about why Saudi intervention in Yemen might not actually work out in U.S. favor

– Russia is now interested in the Western Sahara, which certainly means they mean business in the Middle East

– Meanwhile, countries in the Middle East want Russia to stop sending arms to Yemen

– The U.S. recommended China follow early Cold War U.S. politics in creating multinational institutions for its own benefit

– Gareth Porter: “Iran, Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks

– The United Nations reported at least 25,000 foreigners currently fight with terrorist groups worldwide

Middle East

– Journalist Patrick Cockburn joins The Real News to discuss the hullabaloo in the Middle East and why things will become more chaotic in the future

– William Hartung, a member of the Center for International Policy, explains to The Real News why Arab states buying more weapons will lead to further turmoil in the region

– Islamic State militants took over a suburb of Damascus, where mostly Palestinians live, in Syria

– Israel criticized the Palestinians as being hypocrites and cynics after the latter’s decision to join the International Criminal Court

– At Yemen’s Hodaida port, at least 25 people were killed as a result of an explosion


– The Algerian government must decide what to do as tourists are under threat from terrorist groups

– Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi praised the decision by the U.S. in releasing foreign aid to Egypt

– Nigerian President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari said he would “spare no effort” in defeating Boko Haram


– Police in Turkey killed a woman carrying a bomb, who may have wanted to attack a police station

– Jose Manuel Barroso, former president of the European Commission, said Syriza made “completely unrealistic promises” to voters and failed to go through with them

– Thirteen U.S. Senators requested FIFA move the World Cup in Russia to somewhere else as a result of what is happening in Ukraine

– In Greece, pensioners held a rally warning the government not to cut their pensions

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Fantastic to hear it was a grassroots effort in preventing water privatization in Mexico

– Now the parents of the 43 missing students in Mexico called for a local drug gang to help them find their children

– Residents in Rio de Janeiro demonstrated against the Olympic games and the government’s efforts to evict them for the games

Surveillance Planet

– The Nation explains why it decided to join the ACLU’s lawsuit against the federal government over mass surveillance

– Lee Fang: “How Big Business Is Helping Expand NSA Surveillance, Snowden Be Damned

Financial Matters

– Income inequality is worse than we can imagine and worst part is that folks underestimate that

– A case against AT&T over its deceptive marketing tactics on unlimited speeds was allowed to proceed by a judge

– Federal regulators accused Kraft of manipulating the price of wheat; Something to keep in mind due to the Kraft-Heinz deal

– The Office for National Statistics reported labor productivity in the United Kingdom fell by 0.2 percent, which is unprecedented

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Gallup: Despite a Pennsylvania court ruling Wal-Mart must pay its workers, the company is actively avoiding doing so

– Michelle Chen: “A Higher Minimum Wage Could Pump $5.9 Billion Into LA’s Economy

– McDonald’s announced it would raise the wages of its workers by 10 percent and offer paid vacations days too; however, this does not apply to franchisee-owned places. In other words, only 10 percent of staff will see such benefits

Politics US

Washington USA

– Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is now officially indicted on corruption charges by federal authorities. He later told reporters such authorities were “dead wrong

– Rather than throw weight behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for a presidential run, such individuals should recognize the value in creating change through themselves

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced it would support the candidacy of Jesus Garcia in the upcoming Chicago elections

– A defense contractor for the U.S. government said it would stop intimidating potential whistleblowers

– President Barack Obama signed a new executive order sanctioning anyone engaged in cyber-activities (*cough*Wikileaks*cough*) harming the interests of the U.S.

Anytown USA

– Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R): I will not sign the “religious freedom” bill should it not be changed

– Turns out, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on the Time Warner Cable-Comcast merger, Comcast helped ghostwrite it!

– Yikes, those who die alone in New York City are buried at Hart Island by Rikers Island inmates

– In 2005, Henry Glover, an unarmed individual, was killed by an officer after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Recently, it was said to be a murder

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: In West Virginia, 28.1 percent of residents use drugs or medications every day, which is the highest reported in the nation. In Alaska, 13.5 percent of residents say the same, which is the lowest in the nation

A new study found low quality of semen is correlated with consumption of fruits and vegetables featuring high levels of pesticide

Another study warned antibiotic-resistant bacteria can travel long distances through the air thanks to the wind

– Lawmakers in Indiana should blame themselves over the increase of HIV rates in the state after closing down valuable health centers

The Second Sex

– What an abortion law in Ireland reveals is the stigma persisting in Irish society on abortion along with many questions on what motherhood is based on social, political and economics factors

– Jessica Valenti: “Don’t stress out. Our kids are just fine when their mothers work late

Planet Earth

– With the drought still devastating for Californians, Governor Jerry Brown announced water restrictions for the entire state. I mean, for goodness sake, no snow was reported in the state

– The Environmental Protection Agency announced it would regulate glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup

– Thanks to climate change, it is a chaotic mess through Chile with storms and droughts throughout the country

A very good question with the use of wind power not really going for the citizenry in Kenya

– At an oil platform under Pemex control in the Gulf of Mexico, four workers were killed and at least 16 were injured

Mixed Bag

– Pew: Sixty-five percent of Americans say they use a smartphone and is higher among the youth

A new study found mice use their vocal chords to sing to potential mates; Interesting

Break Time

Capitalism [Oingo Boingo]

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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.