Hey folks, today is Thursday. What are you doing this day? It’s been a bit insane in terms of weather here in NYC.

International Politics

Overall

- Ray McGovern on the dangerous path the Obama administration is taking in Ukraine

- Nick Clegg, British deputy prime minister, says increased airport security to the U.S. may be permanent

Middle East

- Ali Abunimah and Lia Tarachansky explain on The Real News how after the murder of three Israeli teenagers, Israel is set to go for more settlements and destruction in Gaza; and increasing the number of soldiers around Gaza

- U.S. General Martin Dempsey: Iraq is hopeless against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant without help

- Meanwhile, ISIS militants took over an oil field in Syria considered very important by th government

- Juan Cole: “Can Tony Blair Mess up Egypt even Worse?

- After ISIS militants took over Mosul, Iraqis living there had their salaries frozen or cut as financial difficulties arose

Africa 

- Gallup: 70 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa stated they did not follow Arab Spring at all

- In Alexandria, Egypt, a bomb exploded on a train wounding five people

Asia and Oceania

- Japan decided to lift some sanctions against North Korea after the latter pledged to review what happened to Japanese spies in its country

Europe

- Amy Goodman: “Almedalen: A Swedish Export the U.S. Could Use

- Germany approved legislation to establish a national minimum wage at 8.50 euros or. $11.60 per hour

- As a result of a declining number of contributions, allowances for families in Greece will be cut dramatically.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- What the Zapatistas achieved was another life is possible and this is something we can be inspired by when creating our own destinies

- At least two people were killed when an unfinished overpass collapsed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Surveillance Planet

- Emptywheel: “NSA’s Kafka-esque darkness: Secrets in plain sight newly revealed

- Despite Microsoft pledge to bolster encryption, there are still problems that make their efforts suspicious

ProPublica has three recommended add-ons for users interested in blocking online tracking

- A new report found the NSA spied on prominent privacy advocates including a German politician

- Journalist Sonali Kolhatkar and Glenn Greenwald discuss the NSA and the writings of George Orwell

Financial Matters

- The June jobs report showed 288,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate declining to 6.1 percent. Dean Baker has more. President Obama said the U.S. was “making progress

- Economic growth may be appealing, but it represents an unrealistic goal that profits off our planet

- European Central Bank: We will be more transparent and work to assist the economy

- Worker co-ops gained a victory in New York City when the City Council passed a resolution offering $1.2 million to assist them

- Corporate tax evasion is not just a rare exception or a case of a few bad apples. It is what constitutes as normal for these entities.

Labor’s a-Brewing

- A veteran writes on how his time spent at Wal-Mart was horrific for him as he did not feel appreciated despite Wal-Mart incessantly saying it rewards veterans

- Workers in Greece go on strike to protes the potential privatization of electricity

Politics US

Washington USA

- Defense contractors are getting billions from the federal government’s effort to secure the border, which brings into question the ethics of the Obama administration’s immigration policy

- As Robert Reich argues, the latest decisions by the Supreme Court are viewed as moving toward “freedom,” which is code-word for giving more power to the powerful

Anytown USA

- Gallup: 78 percent of veterans are “very satisfied/satisfied” with the educational benefits of the GI Bill

- Texas Governor Rick Perry (R): What we need on the U.S.-Mexico border is American soldiers

- A court ruled a 15-year-old Mexican had Fifth Amendment rights and should not have been killed even if he was standing in Mexico and the border agent who killed him was standing in the U.S.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Chikungunya [chicken-gun-ya] is a painful yet typically non-fatal mosquito-borne disease, but it is invading the U. S. as a result of climate change and other factors

Planet Earth

- The Ecuadorean government claims it wanted to protect the environment, but leaked documents reveal that in 2010 the government had plans to buikd a power plant exploiting oil

- The organization that represents doctors in the UK voted to divest from fossil fuel companies

- Current extinction rates have not been seen since the age of dinosaurs extinction, 65 million years ago, which is saying a lot

- Another study found an increase in earthquakes due to hydrofracking

Mixed Bag

- Humorously, Nazi Germany promoted its propaganda of an ideal Aryan baby and was unaware the image was of a Jewish baby

- A series of photographs of the rich and poor in 1970s and 1980s San Francisco

Break Time

- Wild International