Mar 06 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Crimea’s Vote, CIA Spying, and Obamacare

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The Crimean Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. The Crimean peninsula is an autonomous region of Ukraine which has been occupied by Russian forces since later February. A majority of the Crimean population is ethnic Russian. The Parliamentary vote will need to be ratified by voters in 10 days before taking effect. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has just announced that it will restrict visas to Crimeans and Russians who it believes are “threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Click here for an RT article and here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

The Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee is in a public dispute with the head of the agency it is meant to oversee. CIA Director John Brennan issued an angry statement yesterday denying that his staff spied on committee members. This spate is the latest in a battle over a highly classified report investigating the CIA’s use of torture techniques in interrogations after the 9/11 attacks. Senator Mark Udall who sits on the committee, has turned to the White House for intervention. Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

In their 50th attempt to block aspects of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans voted yesterday to delay the penalty that uninsured Americans will have to pay if they do not purchase health insurance plans by the March 31st deadline. Even though the measure passed and attracted some Democratic votes, it is more than likely to fail in the Senate and will almost certainly be vetoed by President Obama if it reaches his desk. So far about 4 million Americans have bought health insurance plans. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

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