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The Roundup for May 5th, 2015

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Good day folks! It’s Marx’s birthday!

International Politics

Overall

– Gareth Porter: “Why Iran Must Remain a US Enemy

– The United Nations envoy to Yemen will once again attempt peace talks involving Saudi Arabia and Yemen

– The Obama administration is committed to standing with a unified and democratic Iraq

Middle East

– At least two Saudi Arabian civilians died and five soldiers were captured due to of Yemeni rebels

– Palestinians do not trust the Palestinian Authority and believe corruption is increasing under PA rule

– Glenn Greenwald: “Samples of Israeli Horrific Brutality and War Criminality in Gaza

Africa

– For South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation,” xenophobia is rising as a major issue in society and it is worth following what the consequences of this will be

Europe 

– The Irish are saying “enough” to the powers at the top in Ireland over the introduction of a water tax

– It is fair to say racism and ignorance fuel support for the UK Independence Party

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

As was found in Bolivia and Peru, communities will not accept privatization without a fight and it is one worth supporting

– The U.S. government approved of a new ferry system moving between Florida and Cuba

Surveillance Planet

An interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald about the surveillance state and how events in Baltimore are connected to it

– Documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal the NSA uses software to convert text from phone calls and store such material

– Legislation designed to limit the surveillance state is still limited as it will keep essentials of the state’s tools

– It is likely France will expand its surveillance powers as lawmakers there gave the a-okay to a bill doing so

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Sixty-three percent of Americans say wealth should be more evenly distributed

– While hedge fund managers are worried they aren’t making even more money, they are still earning billions of dollars

– The European Union will investigate McDonald’s for apparently avoiding at least $1 billion in taxes

– If it wasn’t for a surge in services (although problematic in itself), the economy would have contracted in the first quarter

– Libya is spending its foreign reserves to offset a fall from oil revenues

– With the exemption of oil, Egyptian companies contracted for the fourth month in a row

– Yet, the International Monetary Fund said Egyptian economic policies are working

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Unions in Baltimore are calling for a change of economic policies for residents as it is clear the status quo is failure

Politics US

Washington USA

– There’s money in the presidential election system. In fact, there’s too much to the point where it’s the only thing that matters when running

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will introduce a bill to break up the big banks

– The Drug Enforcement Agency cannot answer questions from Senators on how a detained college student was forced to drink his urine during custody

– Turns out the husband of Sen. Dianne Feldstein (D-CA) is overcharging the U.S. Postal Service through his real estate company

– Hillary Clinton believed there should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

– Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee tossed his hat into the presidential campaign on the Republican ticket

– Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, while in Baltimore, she will work on ensuring police reform

– Daniel Donovan, the district attorney who failed to bring charges against the officer who killed Eric Garner, won a special election and will be a Representative from New York

– A watchdog report found the Internal Revenue Service issued $5.6 billion of potentially fake education tax credits

Anytown USA

– A police officer in Florida fired for saying black people are monkeys said what he said wasn’t racist

– Cities like Ferguson and Baltimore are not isolated cases of failed economic policies; rather, they are just examples of numerous cities also facing similar conditions

– One of the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray tried to not only kill himself, but the husband of his ex-wife too

We Don’t Need No Education

– Traditional colleges and for-profit ones are standing side-by-side to stop strict rules by the government to prevent private colleges from taking advantage of an abundance of federal money

– Inspiration to see students wage a hunger strike to protest layoffs of janitors

– Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit college system that just closed down, secretly paid think tans and lobbying groups

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Panera Bread announced it would no longer use hundreds of artificial ingredients and will stick with natural ones

– Among Hispanics living in the U.S., Puerto Ricans have the worst health problems

– Meanwhile, Puerto Rico announced it would not allow medicinal marijuana to be smoked, although it can be consumed by other means

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “To make a 10-year-old give birth isn’t just horrifying – it’s life threatening

A new study found male workers at large firms are more likely to take shortcuts than women when it came to working and become successful as a result

– It’s not just a pay gap that affects women living in the U.S., it’s also poverty and graduation from schools as well as colleges

Planet Earth

– It was thanks to the generosity of ExxonMobil that two climate change deniers set up a think-tank to spread their vicious message

– Regulators in California say there is not enough water being conserved in the state

– Among the energy-rich states in the U.S., lawmakers are preventing local initiatives to block hydrofracking

Mixed Bag

An investigation found the Germanwings pilot who intentionally crashed a plane in March previously tried the same maneuver on another flight

– Actually, says a new study, the Beatles really did not revolutionize music 

Break Time

It’s All Been Done [Barenaked Ladies]

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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.

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