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Newsflash: Greece Deadline Looms, Confederate Flag Wars, Texas Defiant on Gay Marriage

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Greek banks have closed down and limited cash withdrawals in the latest chapter in Greece’s bailout discussions a day ahead of the deadline for a deal. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras of the anti-austerity Syriza Party lambasted the bank closures as “impeding the democratic expression of the Greek people.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel chided Tspiras saying that he needed to compromise and that “no one can get 100 percent.” She added that the troika of creditors made a “generous offer” that, “was our contribution to a compromise.” The German Parliament has scheduled a debate on Greece this Wednesday. Greeks will be voting in a referendum on whether to remain in the Eurozone next Sunday. Meanwhile, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz speculated that a Greek exit from the Eurozone could prompt a serious geopolitical crisis for Europe and proposed that the only way forward would be to write off Greece’s debt or not require payment for more than a decade. Click here for a Financial Times article, here for a Time article, and here for a New York Times post about the story.

Here in the US, a battle over the confederate flag continued over the weekend, most notably when a young African American activist named Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia and took down the offensive symbol. Newsome inspired massive support online and more than $100,000 in donations toward her legal fees when she and her fellow activist were arrested. She is a filmmaker and musician, and the daughter of Clarence G. Newsome, who was a dean at Howard University. Meanwhile, NASCAR Chairman Brian France just announced that all confederate flag symbols will now be banned from the racecar sporting event that is quite popular in the Southern states. And, last night, a Boston civil war memorial paying tribute to the first all-black regiments fighting for the Union, was desecrated when someone hung a confederate flag on it. Click here for a Washington Post article, here for a Boston Globe article, and here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

And finally, Texas state Attorney General Ken Paxton has decided to defy Friday’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage in all 50 states. Mr. Paxton called it “a lawless ruling,” and said that while Texas clerks could be fined for refusing to issue marriage licenses, his office would defend them in court pro-bono. Some gay couples in Texas were able to get married over the weekend. But others in Mississippi and Louisiana were barred from doing so. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who just announced his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, said that while the ruling was clear, there was no mandate to begin issuing licenses immediately. Like others among the Christian right, he insisted that the ruling was an affront to religious freedom. Pride parades around the world on Sunday celebrated the US decision. Click here for a Time article, and here for a BBC report about the story.