May 30 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on An Alarming Species Extinction, Shinseki Under Fire, And NSA Vs. Snowden

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:

A new study has found that the world is on the brink of another great extinction as species are disappearing faster than ever. A study published in Science, has found that plant and animal species are disappearing much faster than they did before humans appeared on the planet. Duke University’s Stuart Pimm, who led the study, estimated the rate of species extinction per million species, was about 1 or less before humans. Now, species are being extinguished at the rate of between 100 and 1000 per million. Scientists know that 5 times in the earth’s pre-human history, there have been wipeouts of species because of meteor strikes. According to Pimm, “We are on the verge of the sixth extinction…Whether we avoid it or not will depend on our actions.” Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

The controversy over medical care for Veterans continues to boil over, with Eric Shinseki scheduled to meet with President Obama today. Shinseki, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, is facing intense criticism for lengthy wait times that may be leading to deaths of veterans. The Wall Street Journal explained it like this: under Shinseki’s watch, “scheduling protocols for patient appointments were widely ignored, and many veterans were kept off official waiting lists to make wait times appear shorter than they were.” Some veterans groups and Republicans have been unrelenting in calling for his resignation. Click here for a Wall Street Journal article about the story. *BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Eric Shinseki has resigned on Friday morning.*

In the same week that US Secretary of State John Kerry told NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden to “man up” and return to the US, a new war of words has broken out. This time, it is over whether Snowden attempted to call attention to government overreach through the “proper channels” before leaking documents to journalists. In an interview with NBC this week Snowden claimed he had raised concerns to his superiors several times. The NSA responded by releasing an email exchange originating from Snowden asking about an unrelated training course to prove no such concerns were raised. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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