It is Thursday folks so enjoy the desert rock feel of Queens of the Stone Age!

International Politics

Overall

- Here is something that will definitely make you angry: The U.S. is sending taxpayer money to support an Israeli group defending the killers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. The group in question constantly defends Israelis who assault Palestinians, yet they are giving financial support by the U.S. government.

- Ban Ki-Moon: There must be a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine; French President Francois Hollande also echoed his call

- The International Atomic Energy Agency stated the materials held by Islamic State in Iraq and Levant militants are “low-grade

Middle East

- Part two of five with economist Shir Hever who explains the structure in Israel that creates an upper class and lower class based on status

- Iraq now faces another problem amid its crisis with militants: water shortages

- The latest violent acts by Israel may be seen as the norm for the government and may change perspectives on Israel

- As 81 Palestinians have died so far, the U.S. says it will offer to be a mediator for a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine

Africa 

- China spends over $14 billion in foreign aid, half of which is sent to Africa. They deny there are strings attached, but you never know…

Asia and Oceania

- As Secretary of State John Kerry left China for Afghanistan, it was reported Chinese hackers broke into a database of U.S. government employees applying for security clearances

- As China’s economy starts to decline, the rich in China still are experiencing gains

Europe

- With Greek elites offering privatization of essential resources to private interests, civilians in the country want to take a stand and oppose such robbery

- Germany told the head of U.S. intelligence there to leave the country as U.S.-German relations continue to sour

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Jason Leopold: “By Asking For His Wallet Back, a Gitmo Detainee May Have Revealed US War Crimes

Surveillance Planet

- Former NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe and William Binney explain to The Real News how the NSA collects data on ordinary Americans

- Just downloading the privacy software Tor in 2011 would have made the NSA spy on you; What a pleasant thing to know

- Marcy Wheeler: “First Amendment’s racial tumult: Why Greenwald’s latest revelation matters

Labor’s a-Brewing

- At John Hopkins University, workers were offered a new contract by the hospital that does not include all benefits, including $15/hour, that they deserve

- An independent bookstore in Manhattan, N.Y., fired five members for wanting to unionize despite the bookstore claiming to be progressive. They were since re-hired but there are a few issues that remain

- The SEIU still persists in unionizing, despite Harris v. Quinn, and is seeking to unionize more than 25,000 home care workers in Minnesota

- Despite Chicago, Ill., proposing a $13/hour minimum wage for workers there, which Mayor Rahm Emaneul is pushing for, workers state it is not enough and $15/hour is a better proposal

Politics US

Washington USA

- Gallup: The uninsured rate in the U.S. dropped to 13.4 percent, the lowest in the past five years

- It’s official: Speaker of the House John Boehner sued President Barack Obama for misusing his powers; So I expect nothing on serious issues, just a bunch of reactionary points

- In what seems difficult to believe, U.S. General John Campbell stated there was “good news” coming out of Afghanistan

Anytown USA

- Pew: 47 percent of journalists report full-time on state government, although the number is on the decline

- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law to offer municipal cards to immigrants, even those who are undocumented; Then he got Bill Bratton to arrest anyone near a building with broken windows, right?

- Rania Khalek: “ABC News tells viewers that scenes of destruction in Gaza are in Israel“; Oh that mainstream media!

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide was linked to a deadly kidney disease appearing in different parts of the world

The Second Sex

- Gallup: While 20 percent of male veterans know a soldier or veteran affected by sexual harassment or assault, 60 percent of women said the same

- The Hobby Lobby ruling last week definitely affects women, but men are also affected as some women use it for their partners

- One group excluded from discussion, but must be included, on feminist issues is transgender women

Planet Earth

- Pope Francis stated the destruction of the environment constituted as a modern form of sin

- The growth in tourism to Thailand is being blamed for the decline in the elephant population there

- We know the U.S. will see hotter days years later, but how much hotter? A new interactive map shows how hotter it will get.

- In Queensland, Australia, coal plants are losing so badly to solar energy companies that they are giving away free electricity

- With the situation in California getting worse due to the drought, the state may levy daily fines of $500 for wasting water

Mixed Bag

- Gallup: 58 percent of Americans are comfortable with their physical appearance with the elderly most comfortable

- Amy Goodman: “Nomads of the Digital Age

Obama Always Freaked Out By People Standing Above Him Smiling Whenever He Signs Bill; I thought I was the only one

Break Time

- No One Knows [Queens of the Stone Age]