Jun 09 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on White Supremacist Vegas Shooters, Pakistan’s Airport Attack, and Obama’s Plan to Ease College Debt

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A shooting this weekend in Las Vegas that led to 3 deaths, has been linked to a couple with white supremacist, racist views. The couple, whose names have not yet been released, shot and killed two police officers at a pizzeria, and a bystander at a Walmart store where they fled. They reportedly shouted the words, “This is a revolution,” before shooting the officers. Press reports reveal that the man and woman stripped the shot officers of their weapons and badges before covering them with fabric that read “Don’t Tread on Me,” a civil war era slogan now popular with the right wing extremist, Tea Party elements of the Republican Party. The shooters killed themselves before police could capture them. Click here for a Commondreams article about the story.

Another fatal shooting took place over the weekend, this time on the other side of the world, in Pakistan. A group of 10 armed men stormed Karachi International Airport on Saturday for a 6 hour battle that left 28 people dead. The Pakistani Taliban group, Tehreek-e-Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the attack, as a retaliation for the killing of their leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was assassinated by a US CIA drone strike late last year. The attack on the airport is likely to have jeopardized peace talks that were taking place between the Pakistani government and Tehreek-e-Taliban. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

President Obama is announcing a program aimed at easing student loan debt today, at an event featuring Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The program would preserve a cap on interest rates of student debt, and retroactively extend the program to older debt. Obama is pushing the program at the same time as he has endorsed a new bill in the Senate to help students refinance their loans, paid for by the closure of tax loop holes for millionaires. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell criticized the bill, saying it “doesn’t make college more affordable, reduce the amount of money students will have to borrow, or do anything about the lack of jobs grads face in the Obama economy.” Click here for an Al Jazeera article about the story.

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