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The Roundup for September 18th, 2013

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Good day to everyone. Hope your day was full of sunshine.

International Politics

– Russia will present evidence that Syrian rebels were the ones to use chemical weapons. “We will discuss all this in the security council, together with the report which was submitted by UN experts and which confirms that chemical weapons were used. We will have to find out who did it.” remarked foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

– Mohammed Morsi, former Egyptian President who was ousted, had a conversation with his family recently on how he was.

– Iran has released 11 political prisoners. Unsure whether this is related to Rouhani’s visit to the UN or change in relations.

Leftist Greek rapper was killed by a Golden Dawn member who was stabbing him outside a cafe with other Golden Dawn thugs surrounding him. Protests have occurred in Greece against Golden Dawn stabbing, yet were being broken up by police (who by the way have half voting for Golden Dawn).

Edward Snowden considered for human rights award.

Financial Matters

“US stock markets hit record highs Wednesday as investors cheered the Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to keep its economic stimulus program in place.” Key word here is “investors.” It’s like winning finally in a casino as a rich person.

– Hilarious Colbert bit on how the rich are being pitted against the rich. Poor rich folk, how they can’t even get a break today.

– In the City University of New York, Coke loses a major hotspot as Pepsi now gets a contract in for $21 million. Neither are saints, let me say that much.

Having a job or two in New York doesn’t guarantee you a home.

Surveillance Planet

– “The phone companies are continuing to guard their silence over the controversial gathering of metadata by the NSA, despite the increasingly open approach by those at the center of the bulk surveillance programme. On Tuesday the secretive foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court declassified its legal reasoning for approving the NSA telephone metadata program periodically over the past six years.” Companies have their lips sealed over all of this spying.

– “The National Security Agency’s collection of phone records complies with the Constitution, and the government has shown it’s necessary to efforts to prevent terrorism, a U.S. court said in an opinion released yesterday.” Isn’t this a secret court that upheld it? How can they rule on this when no one knows they exist (or shouldn’t know)?

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Blackberry has announced that 40% (5,000) of its workforce will be cut to “bring costs under control.”

– Wal-Mart gets what it wants as DC City Council rejects bill that allows “a living wage” of $12.50.

Politics USA

– Thomas Friedman or Maureen Dowd: Who Wrote the Worst Column? Is this a trick question?

– Wish to send a FOIA request to the Pentagon? Wait until October. “About two weeks ago, MuckRock reports, the fax machine stopped working and won’t be back up any time soon. “We would hope that it is back up sometime in October, but could extend into November,” a spokesman said.” The weakness of the Pentagon: Fax Machines!

Leaving New York: Cari Luna talks about why she left New York and the burdens she faced while there.

– A deaf man in Oregon has sued police for refusing to give him an interpreter and “laughing” at his request.

– Jon Stewart’s bit yesterday on “Wrongnado” or how the media got a news story wrong…again.

– Quick! What’s obesity and guns have to do with each other? If you are Louie Gohmert (R-TX), then you’ll know the answer.

– “That’s right, the government is cutting services and laying off hundreds upon hundreds of thousands in the name of cutting deficits, while handing more than $1 trillion a year to the wealthiest. The rest of us pay taxes and suffer cuts in jobs and services to make up this lost money” The government, for some strange reason (i.e. capitalism) hands over $1 trillion to the wealthiest in America.

– Why the youth shouldn’t be quiet about their disillusioned feeling with society and the problem with the system today.

– The Navy Yard shooter collected VA benefits and was “30% disabled.” Mother of shooter: “My heart is broken”. “Better off this way” and “My ELF weapon” were phrases written on guns by shooter.

Health, Homelessness, and Hunger

– “Here’s my thesis: Obamacare causes cancer” remarked Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt. I don’t know whether it would be a good dissertation.

24.6% and 1 million+. The former? How many Texans are without health care. The latter? How many of them are children.

– A whopping 94% of Uruguay’s rivers are contaminated with waste.

The War on Women

– Check out what a feminist group did against Playboy’s “annual college party list”. Genius and amazing!

“The racist reaction to a South Asian Miss America is a disgrace, but so is the Miss America pageant.” I couldn’t agree more.

Planet Earth

– Naomi Klein has been accused by the Environmental Defense Fund for creating an “ideological war.” Apparently, the EDF have more time creating slander than, you know, helping the environment.

– Farm subsidies are rising in many developed economies according to the OECD.

– In unsurprising news, sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk “to sixth-lowest extent on record” making an “ice-free” summer in the Arctic possible.

80 now confirmed dead at a resort as floods and storms hit Mexico. Officials remark that landslides could increase that number.

– Floods now being reported in Uruguay where 600 were evacuated and one confirmed dead.

Puppets Corporate Funded Politicians Officials in Colorado have been playing damage control over concerns of drilling and related activities during the floods.

– Facing destruction in their own environment and way of life, Native American tribes are appealing to the World Court and the UN for help.

Mixed Bag

– Go ahead, laugh. A woman has been charged by NJ police for hurling feces at a parking ticket officer.

-A plane from Glasgow, Scotland to Ibiza, Spain had to stop in France not because of any damage to the plane, nor because of an attacks but because “a group of drunk passengers started dancing in the aisles.”

“Holy water at religious shrines and churches in Austria is often contaminated with faecal matter and bacteria, researchers have found, advising the faithful not to drink it, especially in hospital chapels.” I thought Jesus brought the wine and bread. I guess he had something else to bring.

– A man in Spain is seeking the winner of a multi-million euro ticket as he would not be able to sleep with a guilty conscience if he cashed it in.

“What if American College Abolished Football?”

Break Time


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Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan is a freelance journalist in Queens, NY and written for publications such as The Nation, In These Times, Truthout and more.