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The Roundup for April 13th, 2015

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May Eduardo Galeano rest in peace. He’s an inspiration whose work Open Veins of Latin America really influenced me as a journalist, Marxist and person, especially on the topic of Latin America in general. Like D’Alessio says, there are things changing in Latin America.

Dave Zirin writes a fitting tribute here.

International Politics


– Saudi Arabia may be extending its hands to other Western powers to get more allies than the U.S.

– Turkey is not happy with Pope Francis I describing the Armenian massacre as a genocide

A new report by the United Nations found the Islamic State and Boko Haram use rape as a tactic in warfare

– The U.S. is not happy Russia lifted its defense missile ban to Iran

Middle East 

Part three of three with Daniel Varisco, president of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, who explains the history of Yemen after the 1970s until the Saudi-led intervention today

A new report found, thanks to the U.S. occupation, at least one million Iraqis were killed since 2001

– Former Blackwater guards were given tough sentences for their role in killing Iraqis in 2007

– The Pentagon reported ISIS lost some ground in Iraq, but gained in Syria


– According to a new report, at least 800,000 children in Nigerian were displaced by fighting in Nigeria

– Meanwhile, there are reports the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria are still alive


– A new law passed in Ukraine, yet not signed by the president, would block and restrict anything relating to communism or else there is jail time. It is fair to say this draconian law is against dissenters or critics of the Kiev government

– Good news as a region in Portugal saw gains for the Left Bloc, a leftist-party

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he had a “cordial” meeting with President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas

– The Bolivian ambassador to Russia asked for Julian Assange to apologize for putting Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, at risk in July 2013 when his plane was stopped; What a moron

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Only 11.9 percent of Americans remain uninsured in the first quarter of 2015

– Dean Baker: “Bonanza for the Super-Rich: The Fund Managers’ Tax Break

– China refused to accept Taiwan as a member of its new Chinese-led bank and said it would enter under another name in the future

A new report found employees of large banks are told to exploit their customers and are given incentives to do so

– David Sirota: “Companies’ Pro-Equality Rhetoric Belied by Their Campaign Donations

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Michelle Chen: “Can Labor Bring Wall Street Back to Main Street?

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Fifty-four percent of Jewish-Americans approve of President Barack Obama

– Chris Hedges: “For Nader, Defiance Is a Way of Life

– Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced his campaign for the 2016 presidential election

– In light of Hillary Clinton’s announcement, it’s important to remember the policies on prisons pushed forth by Bill Clinton that led to our current quagmires

– A right-wing Tea Party Republican in the House is seeking to weaken banking regulations even more with Democratic support

– Juan Cole: “Hillary Clinton’s Middle East Policy: Interventions, Wars, More of Same

– President Obama will not endorse Hillary Clinton as other folks might run

Anytown USA

– Bernadette Rabuy, an associate with Prison Policy, joins The Real News to talk about video visitation in private prisons, not a topic often discussed

– In Oklahoma, a wealthy donor to a police force accidentally killed Eric Harris, an unarmed black man, while on duty. He’s been charged with manslaughter

– The New York Police Foundation received at least one million dollars from the United Arab Emirates, which helped “investigations”

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Australia announced it would withhold government benefits for any family refusing to vaccinate their children; Good. Do the same here

– What do governments and private entities want from African agriculture? Seeds.

The Second Sex

– An anti-rape organization at Columbia University demonstrated at the college only to experience some pushback by administrators

– It would be great to have a female president but Hillary Clinton should not be that person

– Oklahoma is now the second state after Kansas to ban second-trimester abortion

Planet Earth

– The U.S. Forest Service announced it would investigate Nestle for using expired permits in California for its water bottle operations

– Opposition is now increasing against unsafe and unfinished nuclear plants in Europe

– As the Gulf Stream slows down, major consequences for the planet follow and they aren’t good

– A large water supplier in California announced it would reduce deliveries of water

A new study found more folks are likely to survive a tsunami if they quickly get to higher ground

Mixed Bag

– The Real News reports on a community center in east Baltimore that just re-opened and its impact in the community

– I recommend Doug Henwood’s excellent piece on Hillary Clinton in Harper‘s October issue that deals with her faults

Break Time

Actitud Calle [Los de Abajo featuring Malena D’Alessio]

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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.