Mar 17 2014

Daily News Flash with Courtney Morris on Crimea Vote, Obama Censorship, and Boycotts of St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Uprising’s guest expert Courtney Morris, assistant professor of African American and women’s Studies at Penn State University and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Crimeans overwhelmingly vote to join Russia in a popular referendum. More than 95% of Crimeans voted yesterday in favor of seceding from Ukraine and becoming a part of Russia. The Crimean parliament followed by formally declaring its independence from Ukraine this morning. President Obama told Russian President Putin that the vote “would never be recognized” by the US. The EU has joined the US in calling the vote “illegal and illegitimate.” President Obama is in the middle of giving a major speech about Ukraine as we speak and has just announced sanctions against Russia. Click here to read a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

The Associated Press has released a new analysis of federal data showing that the Obama administration has, more than any other government before it, “censored government files or outright denied access to them,” in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said he was “concerned [that] the growing trend toward relying upon FOIA exemptions to withhold large swaths of government information is hindering the public’s right to know.” President Obama vowed his administration would be the most transparent in history when he first took office. Click here to read the AP analysis.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. The long-standing tradition of prohibiting gays and lesbians from openly marching in parades marking this day may be in its final days. A number of prominent beer companies including Sam Adams, Heineken, and Guinness have dropped their sponsorships of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. And, Mayor Bill De Blasio and the entire New York City Council have decided to boycott their own city’s parade. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will also be skipping his city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for the same reason. Click here to read a Think Progress report about the story.

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