Hey folks, it’s Wednesday. Half way into the workweek.

International Politics

Overall

- Gallup: 71 percent of adults worldwide reporting a lot of positive emotions in their life

- Ukraine is the first step for the U.S., as envisioned by Zbiginew Brzezinkski, to establish domination as the world superpower

Middle East

- The Syrian government allowed the first food aid distribution in Aleppo from outside groups 

Africa

- An informative article on the origins of Boko Haram, the reaction of the Nigerian government at the first, and how it connects to what is happening today

- The military junta in Egypt is being supplied with arms delivered from the U.S., which shows the U.S. recognizes it as a legitimate state

- The U.S. announced it will send 80 soldiers to Chad to locate the kidnapped girls

- After the attack in Jos where residents became angry at the lack of a strong government response, suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a village and killed 48 people

- Donors from 61 countries pledged $600 million, half of what is suggested to South Sudan to help out

Asia and Oceania

- Pakistan fired air strikes onto suspected militant hideouts and stated 60 suspected militants were killed

- The Thai army called the crisis where it instituted martial law a dispute between two opposition parties

- The Prime Minister of Vietnam, in response to China’s drilling in disputed territory, announced he may consider legal action against the country

Europe

- Part one of eight with Costas Lapavitsas, a professor of economics, explaining how he first got into politics in Greece during the dictatorship in the 1970s

- With the far-right gaining in elections in Europe, both governmental and market elites fail to recognize this growing problem. In the Netherlands, the far-right threatens people of color, especially in immigrant communities.

- A UN official reports the death toll in Ukraine, in these past few weeks, was 127 people.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Secretary of State John Kerry asserts the U.S. is “losing patience” with the Venezuelan government; I lost patience with this government a long time ago; Meanwhile, U.S. firms like Halliburton have not lost their patience as they gave $2 billion to the state oil company in Venezuela

Surveillance Planet

- Emptywheel: “USA Freedumber Appears to Strengthen RuppRoge’s Affirmative Endorsement of an Internet Dragnet

Financial Matters

- James Henry, a tax expert, explains five key points on the recent fine against Credit Suisse and why it is not enough to stop crime committed by banks

- Poverty, as framed in the U.S. through media, is a foreign concept Americans could not understand. Unfortunately, the reality is much different despite this narrative.

- With the Federal Reserve Board slowly stopping quantitative easing, it still does not fix the problem of the giving money to banks rather than to homeowners

- A couple in Montana shares their story of challenging Bank of America on their mortgage

- Behind JPMorgan’s “generous” donation of $100 million to Detroit is an attempt to get something in return – as well as free publicity

- Slavoj Zizek: “Fat-free chocolate and absolutely no smoking: why our guilt about consumption is all-consuming

- Robert Reich: “The Practical Choice: Not American Capitalism or ‘Welfare State Socialism’

- Recently President Obama came under fire for attending an event at a Wal-Mart praising the company. It is indicative, however, of the supporting not only President Obama gave Wal-Mart in the past, but also of Michelle Obama with her previous relationship with the retail chain.

- A new study found health care costs will continue to slow down this year

Labor’s a-Brewing

- A talk on The Real News on why Johns Hopkins Hospital should pay a living wage for its workers

- In the current job market, temporary jobs are increasing as businesses see the potential to profit from it compared to permanent jobs

- Good news. McDonalds executives vacated their headquarters in Oak Brook, IL as protesters and McDonalds workers marched to demand higher wages and the right to unionize for McDonalds workers

- Bus drivers in Brazil entered their second day on strike for better wages, despite a decline in numbers from yesterday

Politics US

Washington USA

- The Interior Department announced farms growing cannabis cannot use federal irrigated water

- President Obama: The current VA scandal is shameful and something “I will not tolerate

- To limit their costs in a settlement over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP appealed to the Supreme Court to rule on the matter

- A federal judge ruled the U.S. government must reveal tapes of force-feedings at Guantanamo Bay

- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declares the Obama administration must display the legality of using drone strikes against U.S. citizens over the nomination of David Barren

Anytown USA

- When Idaho passed an “ag-gag” law, they attempted to stop whistleblowing in agricultural matters. It shows they want to protect the errors of market elites

We Don’t Need No Education

- Glen Ford reports on Molefi Asante, the dean of liberal arts at Temple University who, for political reasons, fired Anthony Monteiro. Ford points out the pushback by students and faculty members on this dismissal.

- Henry Giroux: “Protesting Youth in an Age of Neoliberal Savagery

Top Gun (Stories)

- Gun control groups in New Jersey claim the state is failing to uphold a “smart gun” law in the state. Jon Stewart reviews the “smart gun” law in New Jersey

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- A couple in Florida was not only fined $750 for feeding the homeless, but also threatened with jail time.

- In Oregon, two counties passed ballot measures to ban genetically modified plants despite the opposition by large agricultural corporations

- The UN reported 13 people died as a result of a cholera outbreak in South Sudan

The Second Sex

- At Columbia University, graduates wore red tape representing solidarity with rape victims at the university

Planet Earth 

- A new study from Harvard University verified pesticides was the reason why populations of bees were on the decline

- The operator of the Fukushima power plant poured groundwater into the ocean to manage the radioactive water near the plant

- Once thought to possess a load of potential for the hydrofracking industry, the Monterrey Shale formation in California seems to be overestimated in terms of oil

- Russia announced a 30-year deal worth $400 million to give oil and gas to China

Mixed Bag

Ohio Replaces Lethal Injection With Humane New Head-Ripping-Off Machine

Break Time

- Shake, Rattle and Roll