Apr 17 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Ukraine Talks, Lavabit Court Case, and Detroit Pensions

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:

Three pro-Russian protesters were killed today in a battle in Eastern Ukraine as tensions continue to mount. Dozens of people being labeled ‘Russian separatist militants’ are being detained by Ukraine. Meanwhile in the highest level talks between the US, Ukraine and Russia in Geneva that started today, there may be some glimmer of hope. According to the New York Times, Ukraine’s fledgling government has “plans to decentralize power and to de-escalate tensions” in the Eastern and more pro-Russian parts of its country. It is being reported that Russia wants more – autonomy for those regions, which in the past several weeks have witnessed the takeover of government buildings. The US and EU have accused Russia of orchestrating those actions. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

In the latest legal battle resulting from Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA spying, a court has ordered a company called Lavabit to turn over encryption keys to its email service. Lavabit’s email services were apparently used by Snowden and the company’s head Ladar Levison faces an accusation of being in contempt of court for refusing to turn over the information. According to the Guardian newspaper, which just won a Pulitzer prize for its NSA reporting, “Levison said the government forced him to provide SSL encryption keys to his secure emailing service as part of its investigation into Snowden, leading him to close his business because he and his users rely on its secure messaging capabilities.” Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

The city of Detroit has tentatively reached a deal on pension cuts for public workers. First proposed in February, these cuts are actually smaller than originally expected. While many retired city workers will still lose their cost of living increases the reduction in benefits is significantly smaller. According to CNN, “The biggest liability on Detroit’s books is the cost of health care for current and future retirees and their families. And retirees are likely to see deeper cuts in their original coverage as part of this deal.” Click here for a CNN.com article about the story.

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