Jun 12 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on Iraq Violence, Cantor’s Electoral Loss, Court Ruling on Warrantless Cell Phone Tapping

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:

Iraqi militants have taken over the northern city of Tikrit, just a day after claiming Mosul, while Kurdish rebels have occupied the city of Kirkuk. Mosul and Tikrit were overrun by fighters from the Sunni group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who apparently streamed over the border of Syria, while the Kurdish army, which has taken over Kirkuk, claimed that they did so because the Iraqi National Army simply fled. Iraq’s central government under the rule of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, is struggling to respond, promising to send special forces in a counter-offensive. Meanwhile the New York Times is reporting that Al Maliki secretly asked the US to conduct air strikes against the militants in the North but were rebuffed by President Obama. Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Washington DC is reeling with the electoral loss this week of Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor to a little known Tea Party candidate named David Brat in Virginia’s primary. The upset was apparently the result of ultra right wing Virginians upset over what they saw as Cantor’s soft position on immigration reform. Immigrant rights activists are worried that this jeopardizes even further any hope for reform at the federal level. Despite the fact that Cantor represented a relentless blocking of any and all legislative efforts led by Obama, the White House too is unhappy with the development. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

A panel of three judges from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that cell phone tracking without a warrant is in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The ACLU, which led the legal effort to block the practice, lauded the ruling saying, “The court soundly repudiates the government’s argument that merely by using a cellphone, people somehow surrender their privacy rights.” This is not the last word on the issue as the case may end up at the Supreme Court. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

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