How are you doing today, folks? It’s Earth Day!

International Politics

Overall

- Egypt has announced it is close to purchasing 24 fighters jets from Russia; Interesting deal amid Western-Russian tensions

- The UN said the massacre in Bentiu, South Sudan caused by rebels was a “game-changer” in the civil war

- A committee in the U.N. has decided not to bring the recent decision to bar the Iranian ambassador to the U.N. to other U.N. members to discuss if it is right to do

- The entire situation in Ukraine is an interesting game of chess between the West and Russia and for Russia it is becoming more advantageous as the West becomes desperate to get something

Middle East

- An anonymous Iraqi official blamed Turkey for attempting to pressure the Iraqi government for political ends

- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian government has handed over 86.5 percent of its chemical weapons

- In Iraq, militants were disguised as the military and attacked a ballot office as well as killing 10 officers guarding it

- The recent decision of the U.S. to fire drone strikes in Yemen reveals a division among the elite in Yemen on how to handle such a volatile policy

Asia and Oceania

- Interesting article on North Koreans who have decided not to follow through with the elites in the countries; Meanwhile, this article highlights one North Korean defector who wants to return to the country after realizing life in capitalist South Korea is hard for defectors

- South Korea announces North Korea is probably getting ready to have its fourth nuclear test; I don’t understand why South Korea wants to emphasize this since North Korea has little to no power in international politics

- In contrast to statements of governmental officials against the crew on the South Korean ferry disaster, some passengers who survived said crew members were brave

- In the disputed region of Kashmir, militants killed three people and warned citizens not to vote in the Indian elections

Africa

- Mozambique is more than likely becoming the next “narco-state” as cocaine becomes a central tenet in the political economy

Europe

- Four years after the start of the financial crisis and of austerity as well in Greece, the country now has a leftist organization that could push back against the banker-driven government. However, it would require focusing on key issues and pushing back against the collusion between the far-right and the government in charge.

- Ukrainian interim President Oleksandr Turchynov has called to resume military action against pro-Russian separatists after finding two party members “tortured to death

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Part eight of nine with Edgardo Lander on how current protests in Venezuela are not the way to address democratic concerns in the country

- Valparaiso, Chile, which was devastated by a major fire for two weeks, has declared bankruptcy

- The Mexican government arrested 46 criminals who posed as vigilantes, but were really working for criminal organizations

Surveillance Planet

- “It is the latest Obama administration effort to try to limit interactions between reporters and government officials.” That is what the Associated Press thought of the recent decision to restrict employees from talking with the media, which is another decision by an administration visibly hostile to speaking with journalists.

Financial Matters

- Gallup: 59 percent of Americans are “very worried/moderately worried” about not having enough money for retirement, which is their top financial concern; At number two, 53 percent express the same when it comes to medical costs after an accident

- Now Samsung is going after Apple over a copyright claim as the company claims Apple copied a video calling feature it made

- Vermonters have organized for Ben & Jerry’s to stop associating themselves with Israeli apartheid in Palestine

Labor’s a-Brewing

- It is hypocrisy at its finest when CEOs of large food companies want their pay to be subsidized and augmented, but refuse to allow any pay raises for their employees

- Pilots at JetBlue voted to unionize and have successfully joined a union

Politics US

Washington USA

- In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on using race as a way to admit students into college; For those wondering why it totals to 8 rather than 9, Justice Elena Kagan excused herself the decision.

- In her new book, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) states President Obama told her Warren’s desire to help run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau effectively made bankers “nervous

Anytown USA

- Rania Khalek: “Jersey City Man Shot in the Face and Blinded by Police Faces 30 Years in Prison

- Jon Stewart jokes on the ridiculousness of the entire Cliven Bundy situation and the surprises involved

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Ft. Launderdale, Florida is close to passing a law allowing officers to confiscate property of homeless people because why not ruin a homeless person’s life so much more?

- A new study found there is a link between austerity conducted in Greece and the suicide rate among men there

We Don’t Need No Education

- Pew: 63 percent of Americans believe affirmative action has been good in promoting diversity on campuses

- An interview with author Henry Giroux on neoliberalism and its efforts to take over educaton

- If college sports produces so much in terms of wasted potential in higher education, then, as this article argues, why should it not be discontinued permanently?

The Second Sex

- Pew: 90 percent of Indians state rape is a “very big problem” in the country and a majority state law enforcement has not done enough

- In order to reverse the falling birth rates in the country, an Iranian official announced the country will not provide free birth control

Planet Earth (Day Edition)

- Curious who started Earth Day? It was Gaylord Nelson, a former Democratic Senator from Wisconsin, and more about him can be found here.

- Here is a map showing the increase of climate change since the first Earth Day in each U.S. state

- Naomi Klein: “Capitalism vs. the Climate“; Why radicalism is necessary for the climate movement

- Gallup: 25 percent of Americans are skeptical of global warming and do not feel it will be significant

- The Energy Information Administration states U.S. petroleum exports have increased by 10 percent last year

- Awesome article on how the liberal environmentalism will not solve our climate problems and we require real radical action in order to stop climate change

- Investigative journalist Greg Palast explains to The Real News how BP uses bribes to avoid regulation and trouble

- In honor of Earth Day, here is an article that debunks five major talking points in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline

The Nation interviews journalist Elizabeth Kolbert on the next extinction (which involves us) and climate change

- Apple announces it will be more aggressive in preventing climate change and acknowledges it is a real problem; Oh great another company that contributes to the problem admits it exists

- A new report found men are quoted 85 percent of the time when it comes to stories on climate change

- Dave Zirin: “Brazil’s World Cup Will Kick the Environment in the Teeth

- Here is some good news on the environment front: a town in Canada stood up successfully to Big Oil (specifically tar sands)

- Bill McKibben: “A Movement for a New Planet

- Oil companies in North Dakota are fighting against proposed ideas to curb production in order to reduce emissions and wasted gas

- Business leaders throughout the world, with the exception of North America, cite climate change as a major issue that needs to be addressed

- A quick article on California environmentalists who decided to protect the environment at the expense of immigrants

Mixed Bag

Obama Spends Another Night Searching Behind White House Paintings For Safes

- Stephen Colbert reports on the new way churches are trying to get members: MMA

Break Time

- Dark Night of the Soul