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Kiev’s Military Campaign In East Ukraine Collapses

By: Thursday April 17, 2014 5:30 am

The interim government in Kiev’s military operation against “terrorists” in East Ukraine has collapsed. Local people stopped the military convoy and disarmed the soldiers even taking their vehicles and parading them as trophies. The effort to root out the pro-Russian forces in East Ukraine is proving to be near impossible.

The humiliation comes after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced US support for the “anti-terrorist” operation and CIA Director John Brennan met with Ukrainian government officials.

A military operation that the Ukrainian government said would confront pro-Russian militants in the east of the country unraveled in disarray on Wednesday with the entire contingent of 21 armored vehicles that had separated into two columns surrendering or pulling back before nightfall. It was a glaring humiliation for the new government in Kiev.

The gang in Kiev may be talented at orchestrating street demonstrations and hurling rocks at police officers but it seems they have a lot to learn about military strategy.

It appears East Ukraine is genuinely not interested in being lorded over by Kiev nor are the soldiers working for Kiev sanguine to attack “terrorists.”

One of the armored columns stopped when a crowd of men drinking beer and women yelling taunts and insults gathered on the road before them, and later in the day its commander agreed to hand over the soldiers’ assault rifles to the very separatists they were sent to fight.

Another column from the same ostensibly elite unit, the 25th Dnipropetrovsk paratrooper brigade, surrendered not only its weapons but also the tracked and armored vehicles it had arrived in, letting militants park them as trophies, under a Russian flag, in a central square here.

So now the people Kiev opposes in East Ukraine have more guns and armored vehicles. Whatever the purpose of this “anti-terrorist” action was it is hard to imagine this was the intended results.

The question remains, if Ukraine breaks apart where will the line of separation be?

The Roundup for April 16th, 2014

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 6:40 pm

Hey folks, how are you today?

International Politics


- The Ukrainian government is losing its influence in the east as soldiers become “demoralized,” pro-Russian militants seizing vehicles and NATO is attempting to help bolster its presence near the Russian border. Here is a list of cities in eastern Ukraine where clashes have been reported.

- The Western countries on the UN Security Council have criticized the Russian “fantasy narrative” on Ukrainian crisis

Middle East

- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai condemned a U.S. air strike that killed a woman and two of her children in the east

- The country of Jordan has been targeting vehicles coming from Syria into the country

- Opposition groups have said the Assad government is the source of the poison gas attack with video footage they say is proof

Asia and Oceania

- Tragic news. A ferry sank in South Korea and four are confirmed dead and 284 people are deemed missing.

- The Pakistani Taliban have announced it will end its truce with the Pakistan government due to the government ignoring it

- Israeli Zionists have come to deny the Israel lobby’s force in Australia during different administrations


- The then-President of the UN Security Council apologized for not acknowledging the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and not helping at all

- Female students who were kidnapped yesterday by Boko Haram Islamic militants have been released today


- Turkey is now accusing Twitter of “tax evasion,” which has led Turkish officials to meet with Twitter executives

- The Greek government removed the word “austerity” from its reports of Angela Merkel’s visit to Athens

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Picking up from yesterday, in part five of nine of this interview with Edgardo Lander, the positive and negative consequences from the Bolivarian Revolution help provide an essential frame of reference for the protests in the country

- A World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo has been handed back to the owners but it is not finished yet

Surveillance Planet

- A federal appeals court ruled against Lavabit for refusing to hand over encryption keys to the federal government and put them in contempt

- A 19-year-old Canadian is the first person arrested over Heartbleed

- Emptywheel: “Dangerous Censored Documents, in Soviet Russia and War on Terror America

Financial Matters

- In Q1 of 2014, China experienced an 18-month low in terms of economic growth with just 7.4 percent

- Oftentimes, neoliberals promote markets as a solution to our problems, but they are really problems to our solutions

- The Federal Reserve released a survey showing growth increasing throughout the United States

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Terrible news. The Oklahoma Republican Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law barring minimum wage hikes because letting people suffer is a sure way to get the votes

Politics US

Washington USA

- Gallup: The uninsured rate fell at a greater rate in states that had both Medicaid expansion and marketplace exchanges compared to states with only marketplace exchanges

- John Yoo was asked for his opinion on the recent Pulitzer Prize to the journalists who reported on NSA wrongdoing. Why?

- Families of 9/11 victims accused the FBI of “sabotage” with the current 9/11 case and the defense, who have requested FBI officials’ testimonies over spying

- It is shameful the American media did not follow through with extensive reports on leaked segments from the Senate torture report, but here are five examples of what profound things were found in it

- Gallup: Americans who received insurance this year represent just four percent of U.S. adults; Meanwhile, Americans would get insurance if higher fines were applied

- Here is a good article referencing the history of the FBI with its risky informants who do not have a good history

Anytown USA

- A new poll has found 73 percent of New Jersey residents believe the state has not been quick in offering financial help to victims of Hurricane Sandy

- A lawsuit accused an off-duty cop in San Antonio, Texas of killing an unarmed black man by shooting him in his back

We Don’t Need No Education

- Students and faculty at Washington University have been protesting the university’s connection with Peabody Energy, one of the largest coal mining enterprises in the world

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- What happened a few weeks ago at Fort Hood shows how essential it is to assist soldiers who have psychological scars of war or else we will suffer more consequences

- It seems Vermont will be the first state in the nation requiring GMO labeling on all foods

- The UN said more than one million South Sudanese face famine as violent conflict continues in the area

The Second Sex

- President Obama signed directives to end the gender pay gap, but it does not address low-pay versus high-pay problems persisting in our society

- A federal judge struck down North Dakota’s fierce abortion restrictions that bar it when a fetal heartbeat is detected

- A report found sexual violence in Egypt “goes unpunished.” Very troubling.

Planet Earth

- A Field Research poll found 88 percent of California voters see the water shortage in the state as a serious issue.

- Religious groups urged Pope Francis to come out for divestment of fossil fuels companies

- Former President Jimmy Carter came out against the construction of (the northern half of) Keystone XL and asked President Obama to reject it (the northern half that is)

- Natural gas wells throughout Pennsylvania are leaking 1,000 higher than EPA estimates

- A new report found the costs as a result of climate change “may prove much higher” than originally expected

- If you go to Louisiana, you could still find oil spills caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP disaster

Mixed Bag

- Two days in row! The Onion is on a roll! “George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him Everywhere

- A new filtration station on the International Space System is able to convert urine into both water and electricity

Break Time

- Bittersweet Symphony

The Neocon Money Machine

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 11:20 am

In 2003 writer Eli Lake declared that the neoconservatives were the “most influential wing in the current administration,” and that those empowered neoconservatives were chiefly responsible for the expedited time table to launch what would become the disastrous Iraq War. A war that would, among other things, bring Barack Obama to power as the American [...]

Top Ten At Ten 4/16/2014

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 8:52 am

Some of the stories from today’s Top Ten At Ten. * Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Carriers Back Anti-Theft Measures for Smartphones (Recode) * Unsettling video shows large al Qaeda meeting in Yemen (CNN) * Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower (The Independent) * New York Drops Unit That Spied on [...]

Bloomberg Plans To Spend $50 Million To Fight NRA

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 8:42 am

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to take on the National Rifle Association in his first post-office political contest. Bloomberg is pledging to spend $50 million to build a cross-country gun control activist organization. Bloomberg says he plans to use the same tactics he believes the NRA uses. “They say, ‘We don’t care. [...]

Russia Condemns Kiev’s Military Action In East Ukraine As ‘Anti-Constitutional’

By: Wednesday April 16, 2014 6:09 am

The crisis in Ukraine is taking some interesting twists and turns. After the interim government in Kiev launched what it called “anti-terrorist” operations in East Ukraine to force out pro-Russian demonstrators, Russian President Vladimir Putin has labeled the moves “anti-constitutional acts” in a phone call with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. So while both sides [...]

The Roundup for April 15th, 2014

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 3:01 pm

Hey folks, it’s Tax Day today. Not a favorite day for some (and a great one for the rich who avoid taxes) International Politics Overall – Pew: Research was conducted throughout 40 countries on what is deemed “morally acceptable.” The issue mostly seen as morally unacceptable was infidelity – extramarital affairs, with 78 percent saying [...]

Study: US Is An Oligarchy Not Democracy

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 10:57 am

From the department of No Duh, a study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities supports the thesis that the United States of America is not a republic in substance but rather an oligarchy where the rich rule and the majority are irrelevant to policy decisions. Studying policy changes between 1981 and 2002 and comparing the different [...]

Top Ten At Ten 4/15/2014

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 8:58 am

Some of the stories from today’s Top Ten At Ten. * Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations (Guardian) * Bundy Ranch ‘Militia’ Considered Using Women As Human Shield (TPM) * As Taxes Rise, Half in U.S. Say Middle-Income Pay Too Much (Gallup) * Oligarchy, not democracy: Americans have ‘near-zero’ input on [...]

Military Action Breaks Out In Eastern Ukraine

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 8:06 am

The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated further as the interim president in Kiev, Oleksandr Turchynov, has ordered an “anti-terrorist” operation against political opponents in Eastern Ukraine. The terrorism charge is targeted at groups in Eastern Ukraine that have seized public buildings claiming allegiance to the Russian Federation. Turchnynov had given pro-Russian protesters a Monday morning [...]