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We went from Mexico to Japan and now Germany!

Also it’s tax day so…yeah.

International Politics

Overall

– 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

Africa

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

Europe 

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]

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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