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The Roundup For September 24th, 2013

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Good day y’all.

Breaking News of the Day

– Obama talks today at the UN on Syria and other related issues. Claims that he was “always for diplomacy.”

– “Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, declared that “peace is within reach” on Tuesday, in a hotly anticipated speech at the United Nations in which he offered immediate negotiations aimed at removing any “reasonable concerns” over his country’s nuclear programme.

– Meanwhile, Netanyahu remarked that Iran should not be trusted as they are hypocrites.

– He loves me, he loves me not. Despite the numerous posts over the past two weeks of their meeting, Rouhani did not meet with Obama. 

International Developments

– President of Kenya remarks that attack is over and three floors of the mall have been destroyed. Meanwhile, one of the attackers remarked that we “are not monsters” after handing a chocolate bar to a four year old child.

Timeline of events in Kenya. 10 things to know about the extremist group, al-Shabaab.

– Unsure on who al-Shabaab is and what is occurring in Kenya? Jeremy Scahill gives an explanation.

– Updated analysis of Angela Merkel’s win with a lack of a majority by five seats.

“Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer challenging US-led drone warfare in Pakistan, has been blocked by the U.S. Department of State from appearing before a Congressional ad hoc hearing with his clients who have survived drone strikes in their town. Rafiq ur Rehman – a teacher in a primary school in North Waziristan – lost his mother in the same October 2012 drone attack that hospitalized his children Nabila and Zubair. “

– Inspiring. Rival hip-hop bands in Greece have come together to denounce the attack by Golden Dawn and against them as well.

“US Secretary of State John Kerry will this week sign the first global treaty to regulate the $80 billion annual trade in conventional arms, seeking to stem the flow of weapons used in war crimes and genocide.”

– Pakistan experiences a 7.7 earthquake that leaves 46 dead and a new island.

– Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pussy Riot member who went on a hunger strike, sent to isolation unit.

Financial Matters

– “Wall Street is speculating on ethanol credits, prompting a 20-fold spike in only six months.” That means higher gas prices. 

– No surprise here. Food stamps are “an effective economic stimulus.”

– BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are experiencing the effects of the global recession still, with “slow growth and inflation.”

– Welcome home, neoliberalism: “China will on Sunday open its first free trade zone, an ambitious effort to transform its commercial centre of Shanghai into a global hub, state media reported on Tuesday.”

– Can you imagine federal elections as horseraces? Now imagine a person betting on a candidate on, let’s say, $7 million. One trader lost that amount by betting on Mitt Romney to win.

Wal-Mart has been making bad business decisions one after the other. They’ve been forced to hire staff after firing a good chunk of them. 

– Unsurprising: 401(k)s have made the rich richer and the rest of us poorer. 

– JP Morgan Chase to DoJ: “We’ll give you $3 billion if you stop these probes.” How much did JP make last year in total revenue? 93 billion dollars.

Labor’s a-Brewing

“Cleaning and concessions workers plan to walk off their jobs in federal buildings Wednesday and march on the White House, where they’ll demand President Obama wield his executive authority to raise the labor standards for their taxpayer-funded jobs. Organizers expect turnout for the work stoppage to outstrip the fledgling union-backed group’s first strike May 21, which drew just over a hundred Washington, DC workers.”

– Factors ablazed, 150 injured as protests in Bangladesh continue in their third day. 

Minimum wage law in Egypt disappoints workers.

Surveillance Planet

– Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian: “NSA surveillance goes beyond Orwell’s imagination.”

Politics USA

– Bill Maher: Atheism will be “the new gay marriage.” I didn’t know I couldn’t marry or get fired for being an atheist.

– Great person to listen to. “Why are the Republicans cutting food stamps? That’s morally obscene and spiritually profane. Four million poor people may be pushed into poverty.” asks Cornel West.

NCAA will restore Penn State scholarships.

– Wait, what? CEO of AIG believes outrage of bonuses is just like “what we did in the Deep South [decades ago].”

– To get security clearance, Aaron Alexis lied about his “record” from his previous debts to his charges.

Four men charged over shooting last week that injured 13 in Chicago.

– Income inequality is worse now than it was in Roman Empire times. That’s right. Roman Empire times.

The US has stopped updating on the Gitmo hunger strike.

We Don’t Need No Education

Communities are fighting back in DC as school closures continue to cause problems for the educational system them.

Health, Homelessness, and Hunger

Burger King’s new invention: “Satisfries”

The War on Women

– On TV, the “men have conviction and women have issues.”

Planet Earth

– Russia will file a “piracy” lawsuit against Greenpeace activists.

Good News

– Here’s something good to hear. 200 homeless individuals fed by Atlanta family after daughter’s wedding canceled.

Kenyans donate blood during entire situation in the mall.

Mixed Bag

– Despite saying they don’t need the money, creators of the movie series “Atlas Struggled” beg for money on Kickstarter. The total needed? $250,000.

Can you take the 1918 Army test? 

Break Time

International Love

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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.