The Weekend Roundup for May 31-June 1st, 2014

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It’s the start of a new month! I’m curious, based on two or three months, if any readers had any comments on the Roundup to improve it or suggestions.

International Politics

Overall

– U.S. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel states China is “destabilizing” the south-east Asian region

– It is being reported a former Qatari official paid $5 million to get Qatar the 2022 World Cup

– With news reported on the Ugandan Foreign Minister—who helped pass the anti-gay law in Uganda—getting the job of the President of the General Assembly, major criticism arose

– It’s “proto-warfare” now between the U.S. and China/Russia as both sides seek to get an edge over one another

– With calls to re-run the vote in FIFA for Qatar in 2022, here are the basics to understand courtesy of the Associated Press

Middle East

– Benjamin Netanyahu says the coalition government in Palestine is set for terror

– The last American held by the Afghan Taliban was released after the U.S. government freed five detainees; Spencer Ackerman explains this shows a new “political battle” while Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it was necessary

– Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban supreme leader, called the deal a “big victory

– Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, asserts Pope Francis’ trip to Palestine shows concern by the Vatican for Palestine

– Juan Cole: “What Does Sgt. Bergdahl’s Release tell us about Afghanistan, Pakistan & the Taliban today?

– The Iraqi government denied reports of barrel bombs used in the Anbar province

– The UN reports nearly 800 people were killed in the month of May in Iraq, which is the deadliest month so far

Africa

– In Sebha, Libya, clashes occurred between communities that led to the deaths of two people and more injured

– A bomb attack in northern Nigeria left at least 14 people dead with no one claiming responsibility

Asia and Oceania

– In a “muscular approach” to Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose a former spy with history with Pakistan as his nation security adviser

– It appears drone strikes in Pakistan by the Obama administration were pulled back with no reported strike for months

– The father of a teenager raped and hanged refuses to accept 500,000 Indian rupees from the government

Europe

– A story about how Russian fighters who participated in Ukraine went into the country to visit some relatives

– President-elect Petro Poroshenko states, in response to separatists shooting down a Ukrainian helicopter, he will punish them

– In Greece, the climate for immigrants living there is horrific as they are subjected to indefinite detention. I am not surprised by a government working side-by-side with neo-Nazis

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– The U.S. embassy in Honduras is trying to free six American detainees accused of violating gun laws

A lengthy piece at The Guardian on an effort by a journalist to see how Brazilians are reacting to the World Cup.

– Oh hey, guess who is training police and military personnel in Brazil? Academi, an American mercenary group, or as they used to be called: Blackwater.

Surveillance Planet

– A new Edward Snowden document reveals the NSA collects millions of photos for its facial recognition database

– Emptywheel: “EFF Accuses the Government of Spoilation of Evidence

Financial Matters

– Part eight of eight with Costas Lapavitsas on the ways to counter the neoliberal agenda of the elites

– Thomas Frank interviews anthropologist David Graeber about Occupy Wall Street, “bullshit jobs” and society at large

– Security regulators in Canada are taking a page out of the U.S. book and going for no-contest settlements

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Teacher unions are now on the rise fighting against cutbacks and austerity in contemporary America

– Michelle Chen explains what local governments are doing to end sweatshop labor with their “purchasing power

– A good piece on how the rise of activity among fast food workers is allowing a resurgence of Labor in the U.S.

Politics US

Washington USA

– In California’s 33rd district—where numerous candidates are running for an empty, yet powerful seat—spying is a major issue since the district includes “Silicon Beach”

– Partisan differences arise over the latest deal to get Bowe Bergdahl back to the U.S.

Anytown USA

– New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) got the ballot for the Working Family Party, which would eliminate a threat from the left in return for left positions on issues; Ah yes, the old “Let’s compromise instead of building seeds for the future” strategy; Jarrett Murphy of City Limits/The Nation talks more about this here

– Natasha Lennard: “Hashtag Movements and the Need for a Diversity of Tactics

– Now it is the time to turn back and face the oppressors engineering our destruction in our life by working together

– Ralph Nader: “The Destructive Momentum of Militaristic Ideology

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– With commercial farming taking more land away from small farmers, it jeopardizes the food security of people worldwide

The Second Sex

– A short piece about four ways there are discriminatory policies against mothers in the U.S.

An in-depth look into the culture in India where gang-rape is a major problem.

– Some good news out of the EU elections where a party in Sweden—called the Feminist Initiative—gained a seat in European Parliament after getting more than five percent of the vote

– Despite stories of misogyny appearing daily or nearly daily, feminists “can still be hopeful”

Planet Earth 

– While some Democrats are challenging new environmental standards by the Obama administration to get elected, an official from the UN said it could move global discussions forward

– It seems the oil industry, at the current moment, will experience more costs when producing oil and less of it as well

– In Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto decided to privatize the oil industry and may get the chance if it passes, which will certainly result in massive accumulation by dispossession by capitalists

– Researchers found light-colored insects thrive as a result of climate change due to warmer weather

Water: Now it’s a resource major financial institutions are buying for themselves.

– It seems global warming will cause major problems as high sea level rise threatens Florida

– Shell’s chief executive will head to Nigeria to promote the Shell company after the oil spills in Delta

Mixed Bag

– In New York City, a street was named after legendary artist Miles Davis and is called “Miles Davis Way

– Henry Giroux and Brad Evans talk about “disposable futures” and alternative to the current life style

– Today (June 1) is National Cancer Survivor Day. For those interested, there are more than 14.5 million cancer survivors.

Break Time

Glory Box

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