Hey folks, it’s Friday. I have my last week of classes before finals.

International Politics

Overall

- A new report out of a British parliament committee found the country should restrict emigration from Syria for fear of increasing terrorist activity

- Ecuador told USAID program it will not renew its services in the country; Good news

- The UN Security Council called for Boko Haram to face justice for its crimes against humanity

- The State Department wants Syrian chemical sites to be destroyed in addition to the chemical weapons now in the process of being eliminated

Middle East

- A former Israeli official cites the “godless” settlers in the West Bank as a problem as they act like terrorists

- In Sana’a, Yemen, militants engaged in a gunfight with soldiers at the presidential palace, killing four soldiers 

- Syrian residents were able to return to their homes in Homs, yet witnessed their homes crumbling after two years of war

Africa

- The U.S. provides financial and political support for the regimes in Uganda and Nigeria even if human rights abuses are committed

- If the Obama administration wants to play up an image it wants to be humanitarian in Africa, then why won’t it increase the budget to help combat AIDS in the continent?

- A new report found the Nigerian government was aware of the threat to kidnap 273 girls but did nothing; Tell me again why the U.S. thinks it’s a good idea to work with this government (or enter the country?)

- A U.S. citizen jailed by the military junta in Egypt went on a hunger strike over his arrest. Currently, he is struggling to get up and has lost one-third of his body weight.

- In South Sudan, a peace deal was reached with new elections to be held alongside a truce

Asia and Oceania

- Protesters in Thailand come out against the interim government after Yingluck Shinawatra resigned as they want a government free from corrupt politicians like her

Europe

- With a number of migrant deaths reported in the Mediterranean Sea, it has become known as a “graveyard” for them

- In Mariupol, Ukraine, clashes between separatists and police officers led to the deaths of five people and 40 were injured (Associated Press states seven were killed). Meanwhile, Putin visits Crimea, and this is denounced by the West.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- The victory of ANC in South Africa’s elections shows how, despite growing anger at the party’s rule, there is still nothing to effectively combat their power

- A quick review of journalist Dave Zirin’s book on the World Cup’s
(as well as the Olympics’) presence in Brazil and its consequences for the populace

Surveillance Planet

- The war on whistleblowers continues as the Obama administration is reportedly threatening current and former officials from using leak-based reports; How inane. Kevin Gosztola has more.

- British MPs say NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s documents show the intelligence agencies are an “embarrassing indictment” of spying in Britian

- More on the corporations assisting the NSA with their mass surveillance programs without any pushback; Capitalism cannot solve the issue of surveillance

- A federal appeals court rules the Justice Department does not have to give its information on cases with warantless cellphone tracking if the decision for the defendant was not guilty

Financial Matters

- Gallup: 50 percent of Americans expect they will have enough money to retire with, which is the first time since mid-2008 where Americans were confident

- Amazon applies pressure on a book company by delaying their books to be sent to customers after the company’s stock fell

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Labor in the U.S. experiences fierce attacks from the business elite together with anti-union political forces, which makes it difficult for labor to spring back up

- Workers in the U.S. face the prospects of a “gig” economy where temporary labor is on the rise

- The protests occurring in less than one week may produce positive consequences leading to a $15/hour minimum wage in New York City

Politics US

Washington USA

- Pew: If you were to compare the approval rating of Obama’s second term with Bush’s, then it would be higher. However, Clinton still has a way higher approval rating.

- Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson asserts America’s foreign policy plan is devised by the elites in power, in the first part of this three part interview

- The Federal Election Commission ruled Americans can donate Bitcoin to politicians, however it has to be public

- The House voted on having a committee investigating Benghazi (all for show) and Democrats are considering joining or going against it

Anytown USA

- Members of Pussy Riot visited Cecily McMillan in prison and spoke on her case

- A state judge in Arkansas struck down the state’s anti-gay marriage law stating it is unconstitutional

We Don’t Need No Education

- Wyoming’s Board of Education announces it will not add global warming to science curricula after pressure from climate change denying groups

- In Philadelphia, charter school teachers plead with their employer to focus on giving them better conditions before getting more schools

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Gallup: 20 percent of Americans are insured through either themselves or through a family member. Moreover, nine percent are insured through Medicaid

- A new lawsuit against Heinz alleges the company sold dog food containing rubber and they knew all about it

- The World Health Organization fears the MERS virus may spread to Syria, which would make it spread more rapidly

The Second Sex

- Gallup: Women in India do not feel as comfortable as men walking out in the street for fear of being attacked, with more discomfort reported in the north

- An informative article on Palestinian women promoting the power of women in motorsports through driving themselves

- Officials in West Virginia launch a lawsuit against a middle school for failing to investigate sexual assaults due to corruption

Planet Earth 

- The EPA is starting new rules to make oil companies disclose chemicals they use in the hydrofracking process

- A new report found many projects by oil companies were questionable in terms of profit even when climate change was taken out of the equation

- A new study from Harvard found insecticides are tied to the declining population of honeybees

- As the White House starts its solar panels on the roof, President Obama allows for expansion of solar panel investment

- A report from a government watchdog found states are failing to effectively regulate pipeline safety

Mixed Bag

- Little changes as Dick Parsons, a former Citigroup and Time Warner Cable chair, becomes the interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers

- Larry Wilmore will replace Stephen Colbert in 2015 when Colbert moves to CBS. Good to hear!

Break Time

- Got to Be Real