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The Roundup for April 15th, 2015

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We went from Mexico to Japan and now Germany!

Also it’s tax day so…yeah.

International Politics


– Iran pledged to sign a nuclear deal should all sanctions against it immediately drop

– Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. said the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen is “very successful

Middle East

Turns out Saudi Arabia increased its military spending by 17 percent last year; It’s fair to say we’re seeing why

– The Islamic State launched a successful offensive in Iraq where three towns were gained

– The Israeli government may not be a right-wing coalition government, but a center-left one; Is center-left even appropriate?

– There may or may not be a 15 year truce in the works between Hamas and Israel; I’m not holding my breath


– A suicide bomber in Mali killed at least three people and wounded 16


An interview with scholar Francis Fox Piven about SYRIZA in Greece and the way forward for the Greeks

– Billions in foreign reserves were given to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party before the election. Foreign support for the party? It won’t say

– An ally of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was found dead with bullet wounds

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Historian Aviva Chomsky talks to The Real News about the obstacles President Barack Obama would face to remove Cuba off the state terrorism list

– Meanwhile, President Obama’ decision to push for Cuba’s removal of supporting terrorism means rogue states are a bygone concept

– Cuba is open to talking about American fugitives like Assata Shakur with the U.S.

– Once again foreign companies and institutions are entering in Guatemala for their latest projects at the expense of indigenous folk, yet the latter will not back down

– In Colombia, at least 10 soldiers were killed and 17 were wounded by FARC rebels. The truce put in December is now lifted

Surveillance Planet

– Both the FBI and the NSA are pulling out all the stops to ensure parts of the PATRIOT Act to keep up surveillance are kept

– Human rights abusers in Bangladesh must give credit to New Zealand intelligence for helping them

Financial Matters

– Based on a report from the United Nations, world gambling on sports is worth at least three trillion dollars with most of it being illegal

– Joao Vaccari, treasurer of the Workers’ Party in Brazil, was arrested in connection with the Petrobras scandal

– Who now holds the most in terms of U.S. Treasury debt? It’s Japan

– The head of a credit card processing firm in Seattle announced a pay cut for himself and increasing the salary of its employees to $70,000 per year

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Funny how the hotel industry loathes any minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, yet loves to shower its executives with millions

– Speaking of $15/hour, today is April 15 and means the Fight for 15 movement launches out with massive demonstration. Take a look at a personal essay from a worker about the fight

– Both a union and $15 per hour is no laughing matter. They are serious demands raised by workers that need to be heard

Politics US

Washington USA

Gallup: Forty-five percent of Americans say the poor pay too much in taxes and 62 percent say the rich pay too little

– In spite of the talk by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on being a true libertarian, he strayed away from some libertarian positions in terms of foreign policy

– Trevor Timm: “The shroud of secrecy around US drone strikes abroad must be lifted

– Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said following Ronald Reagan’s policies would not be wise in this day and age

– Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): The money seized by the U.S. Marshals are used for “cavalier spending

– Glenn Greenwald: “Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans’ Support for Israel

Anytown USA

– Professor Gerald Horne explains to The Real News why Abraham Lincoln was not a “great emancipator” as the mainstream narrative assumes

– Dave Zirin: “A Police Story Unravels: How Did the NYPD Break an NBA Player’s Leg?

– Joe Arpaio, so-called America’s Sheriff, is now supported by PETA for only giving a full vegetarian diet to inmates; What a bunch of upper-class snobs

– Chicago’s city council paid five million dollars to the family of Laquan McDonald, a teen fatally shot 16 times by an officer

– Turns out it’s not hard to hack into some voting machines in the state of Virginia

We Don’t Need No Education

– In some districts of New York State, at least 50 percent of students are boycotting Common Core

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Wait, it turns out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie actually supports mandatory vaccination

– Scientists may have found the way Alzheimer’s disease forms in the brain, although they found it in rats

The Second Sex

– In New York City, groups are setting up “No Catcalling Zone” signs in the five boroughs

– Jessica Valenti: “Dealing with trolls will make young women sympathetic to Hillary Clinton“; I disagree here. It’s preposterous to assume working class women can identify with bourgeois women. For goodness sake, Clinton allies with the GOP and takes money from Wall Street

Planet Earth

– Egypt announced it would import $3.6 billion worth of liquefied natural gas from countries like Russia

– It will not bode well for humanity should the permafrost go as it would only speed up concentration of carbon in the atmosphere

– A large gas pipeline will be going through land near a power plant in New York State with a history of accidents. It’s a disaster in the making

– Indigenous Americans wrote to the Obama administration to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which the government covered up

– Lobbyists for the hydrofracking firms are forcing the European Union to write pro-fracking rules

– Climate change is serious. Terrorism is not. Climate change is more important than terrorism so let’s get our priorities straight

– ExxonMobil felt $8.9 billion sought by the state of New Jersey in a case revolving around pollution was unreal

Mixed Bag

– Pew: There was a massive surge in the number of Africans using a cell phone

– A new report from the World Bank found millions more folks around the world use a bank account

A new study found one in six NFL players go bankrupt after 12 years of retiring

Break Time

Engel [Rammstein]

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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.