The Washington Post – March 28, 2012
The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments about whether the Obama health-care law, in particular the individual mandate which requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, should be judged unconstitutional. Many believe that the constitutional issues surrounding the health-care law highlight the ideological issues, which currently divide the Supreme Court. But, it is not yet clear that the court will decide to strike the entire law even if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional. A decision is likely to come in June before this year’s session ends.
The New York Times – March 29, 2012
The White House must make a difficult choice about whether or not to appear willing to take military action as American and European diplomats prepare for negotiations with Iran of its nuclear program. While the threat of military action may appease criticism from the Republican Party and pressures from Israel, it may also make war with Iran inevitable if other means fail to do so. The White House and Pentagon remain worried that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities either by Israel alone, or with US aid, may provoke a round of counterattacks drawing the US into another war after years of fighting in the Middle East.
The Guardian – March 27, 2012
The border fence between Israel and Egypt is being erected at high speed, stretching along a 150-mile boundary. The construction was accelerated due to last summer’s attack in which eight Israelis were killed and to discourage the alarming amount of refugees crossing into the Jewish state. The Israeli government says the fences are necessary deterrents against terrorism and illegal infiltration. However, respected Israeli journalism Alex Fishman says that Israel is huddled terrified and hiding behind fences.
Al Jazeera English – March 27, 2012
Al Jazeera received a video showing three shooting attacks against three soldiers, three Jewish children, and a rabbi in southern France this month. The network said that it wouldn’t air the video as it does not add any information and does not meet the code of ethics for broadcast. Confessed murderer, Mohammed Morah, claims to have been inspired by al-Qaeda and boasted of filming his killings with a video camera strapped in a chest harness. The video was sent on a USB memory stick to Al Jazeera’s office in Paris.
The Guardian – March 29, 2012
A general strike has broken out across Spain on Thursday in response to one of the most stringent budgets in European history, labor reform, and austerity measures initiated by Prime Minister Rajoy and his conservative People’s Party. The majority of the protests have been peaceful, but the police and protesters have clashed in a few areas, and the protesters have set fire to the streets of Madrid and Barcelona.
Al Jazeera – March 31, 2012
Spain has announced a $36 billion cuts in its budget in hopes that it will convince the European Union that a financial bailout is unnecessary. The cuts will result in a freezing of civil servant wages, ministerial spending cuts, and a new corporate tax. However, economists fear that the cuts will pull money away from the Spanish economy and that Spain’s borrowing cost will rise which could scare away the crucial investors that Spain needs for an economic turnaround.
Activists: No signs Syria carrying out peace plan
CNN – March 28, 2012
It is clear that after a slaughter of at least 26 people in Syria on Wednesday that their initial peace plan is not being carried out. They have not taken any of the steps of the six-point plan to peace that was mapped out by Kofi Annan. The Syrian government has regularly blamed “armed terrorist groups” for the continuing violence; however, many reports from within Syria suggest that it is the act of the government to wipe out rebellious citizens. U.S Senators, as well as representatives from the Arab League and the UN, are attempting to put an end to this unnecessary violence by proposing new peace plans.
CNN – March 28, 2012
On Tuesday, March 27, forty-nine year old JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon displayed extremely erratic behavior on a flight from New York to Las Vegas. Witnesses described him as speaking about religion, 9/11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists throughout his rampage after being locked out of the cockpit by his co-pilot. The reasoning behind this meltdown is unknown, but it is believed that Osbon underwent a psychotic breakdown. Osbon worked as a JetBlue pilot for 12 years and has been currently taken off duty with pay.
The Guardian – March 29, 2012
A district judge in Oklahoma struck down a state law requiring women who are seeking abortions to view an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before the procedure is performed. The judge ruled the statute to be unconstitutional because it only applies to patients, doctors, and sonographers dealing with abortions. Oklahoma is one of a handful of states that are considering passing similar measures.
The LA Times – March 29, 2012
An investigation of Apple product factories in China found “significant issues with working conditions.” Prompted by worker deaths and injuries in factories, the report found excessive issues with overtime, compensation, several safety risks. Furthermore, large communication gaps between management have led to unsafe working conditions. The foreign factory owners said it would work with authorities to bring all of its factories into compliance with Chinese regulations and legal limits by July of 2013.