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Manic Monday Markup 5/5/14…

…And the World:

We begin today in Nigeria, where President Goodluck Jonathan is facing withering criticism for the government’s response to the abduction of 276 schoolgirls. Jonathan held a rare press conference to address the issue head on while the Islamist terrorist organization, Boko Haram, admits responsibility for the kidnappings.

The World Health Organization is sounding the alarm about a dangerous uptick in Polio, a disease once thought to have been defeated.

Ukraine tries to find an alternative source of gas and is looking to Slovakia, but that nation seems hesitant to take on Russian gas gian Gazprom. Meanwhile, clashed continue in Eastern Ukraine as the government in Kiev attempt to tame the separatist militias there.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is released after days of questioning by Northern Ireland police. He has returned to the campaign trail.

The Panamanian Vice-Presient Juan Carlos Varela, a member of an opposition party, has won the Presidency of Panama, defeating incumbent Ricard Martinelli.

Portugal exits its bailout from the European Union.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was in South Sudan, urging the government and rebels to find a peaceful solution to the conflict there. At the same time, government forces took a key rebel stronghold.

The Feds:

Uh-oh! The actual Feds are snooping around Springfield City Hall. Speaking of investigations, Speaker John Boehner says the House will appoint a committee to investigate Benghazi, based off an email that was a smoking gun…or not.

Greg Sargent has got it right. Republicans have boxed themselves into an immigration policy that favors the maximum number of deportations possible.

The Washington Post investigates the big budget in the battlefield. Also in the Post today, Obama’s plans to address climate change.

Connecticut’s budget, rocked by disappointing revenue estimates, was approved on Saturday.

Scott McKay at Rhode Island Public Radio suggests that Little Rhody’s leaders may be wise to look north, Massachusetts that is, to fix their still sick economy.

The Supreme Court says prayer is town councils is okay.

Seattle to raise its minimum wage to $15.

The State of Things:

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments today about whether or not an initiative repealing the measure could go to the ballot. Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is running for governor, defended her decision to not put it on the ballot. The justices questioned whether repeal would cost the state. Meanwhile, The Boston Herald suggests Coakley’s opposition to the ballot question could come back to haunt her.

Elsewhere from The Boston Globe today, the paper’s series on student overcrowding is a must-read (hear WBUR’s interview with the spotlight editor). Also a profile of the man between Gov. Deval Patrick and former DCF Secretary Olga Roche.

The trial of former Probation head John O’Brien has begun.

Alex Morse goes national again, this time defending President Obama and the support of young voters.

We weren’t there, sadly, but some brief points via Masslive from the 1st Hampden & Hampshire Senate forum on Saturday.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Gulluni formally launched his campaign for District Attorney. Agawam attorney Shawn Ally, who announced last month, held his kickoff on Thursday. Also running are Hal Etkin of Longmeadow and Brett Vottero of Springfield.

City Slickers:

Mayor Domenic Sarno will present a few more collective bargaining agreements to the City Council tonight.

The School Committee approves a $440 million budget.

Twitter Chatter:

It seems fitting after our discussion of LGBT progress in the Pioneer Valley to recognize the diversity and inclusion of an annual event that continues to serve as a draw for Western Massachusetts. Today we award the tweet prize to Hampshire Registrar of Deed Mary Olberding for her tweets from Northampton Pride. In the tweet selected below Olberding is pictured with Congressman James McGovern, who represents Northampton as well, and Easthampton Democratic Chair Ray Drewnowski. A number of LGBT pols like Alex Morse and Drewnowski and those not, like McGovern and Olberding, participated, offering an assuring sign of diversity, equality and progress (even if there is political capital to collect, too).