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The Weekend Roundup for October 26-27th, 2013

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May Lou Reed and Marcia Wallace rest in peace

Hope your weekend went well

International Developments


– “Key members of the United Nations – including some of Washington’s closest allies – broke with a decade of tradition on Friday when they endorsed calls for greater transparency over drone civilian deaths.

– The Israeli-Saudi Alliance against the US-Iran talks

Is Arab World turning back to Russia?

Middle East

– “The Syrian government has submitted a formal declaration of the chemical weapons in its possession and a plan for their removal, a crucial step in an international agreement to destroy or remove its stockpiles and weapons.”

– “A roadside bomb attack in Ghazni province, south of the Afghan capital Kabul, has killed 18 people on their way to a wedding, officials say.

Several car bombs have exploded around Iraq’s Baghdad, killing 39; AP says 66 killed

– Death toll in Iraq from bombings since April is over 5,000

– “Israel’s tunnel hit by cyber attack

– Israel agrees to release 26 Palestinian prisoners 

– “A roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed 18 people, including at least five women, who were travelling to a wedding party by minibus, a local government official said on Sunday.

– Anti-US billboards ordered to be taken down in Iran


– Madagascar’s elections “free and fair” state international observers


– “At least five people have been killed and dozens more injured after  a series of low-intensity blasts were detonated at the site of a political rally shortly before India’s most controversial politician was due to speak.

Other reports say six have been killed in eight explosions


– “Poor Bulgaria. Once again the Germans are headed her way—this time armed with nothing more than a change of currency and the policies of austerity that go along with it.

– “Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front (FN) party, became the latest target of a trademark topless protest by feminist group Femen during a visit to the town of Fougères in Brittany on Saturday.

Latin America

“Colombia’s FARC rebels have freed a US hostage, former Marine Kevin Scott, after several months in captivity.”

– Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez expects a midterm loss

Financial Matters

– America’s Wealthy are richer and have a new name — Point Seveners

– Trial run of Twitter IPO a “success”

– Dark money groups, linked with Koch brothers, pay $1 million in fines

– Study: Nine in 10 elderly workers over 50 are “very or somewhat satisfied” with their job

Surveillance Planet

– “An analysis of 2012 campaign contributions show that the surveillance industry backs Dems equally or more than Republicans 

– Keith Alexander: We need to stop reporters from reporting on leaks

– Glenn Greenwald: Press freedom is at stake

– Merkel’s phone may have been spied on for 10 years; Meanwhile, the White House is under pressure after surveillance released on Merkel’s phone

– Obama was aware of spying on her phone since 2010

PRISM is pushing Germany for a more local internet

– Thousands gather in Washington for anti-spying rally titled “Stop Watching Us”

– Emptywheel: “The spooks will never have their software self-spying working

– “Two Republican congressmen on Sunday defended Washington’s surveillance programs abroad in reaction to protests from allies, after the wide scope of the eavesdropping was revealed this year by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

– War criminal Dick Cheney: NSA spying is nothing new and needs to be preserved; Also, he’s a war criminal that should be in jail

– Ex-NSA chief states Twitter story is a lie

– “Today is day one of Urban Shield, an annual gathering of SWAT teams, law enforcement agencies and military contractors from around the world. The three-day long event, hosted by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, includes a trade show, competitions and training exercises involving simulations of SWAT team raids and mock protests to test out suppression techniques, all in the name of “disaster preparedness” to fight terrorism.”

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “Uniting to Build a National Networked Culture of Resistance

10 things to know if you’re moving to North Dakota

Politics USA

Government USA

– Obama, in weekly address, once again defends

– Reagan’s Southern Strategy gave rise to the Tea Party

A tax increase Republicans support

– ” Republicans said Sunday they intend to press Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obama administration’s troubled launch of, the online portal to buy insurance, and concerns about the privacy of information that applicants submit under the new system.”

– Immigration: The next issue to make a schism in the GOP?

– HA! I can’t deal with this. Welcome to the club then Justin. “A small conservative group has labelled a libertarian-leaning congressman a Marxist ‘fellow traveler’ for speaking out against the U.S. National Security Agency.”

Everything Else USA

– “My nightmare Confederate town

– The shady ties between de Blasio and the Clintons

– How Joe Lhota could benefit from NY’s Citizen United

– CUNY takes over community center in City College, students fight back

– Baltimore protesters hit the streets for universal health care

– “Hawaii, which had a pioneering role in the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the United States two decades ago, could become the 15th state to extend marriage rights to gay couples when state lawmakers meet this week for a special session.

We Don’t Need No Education 

– “The Great Voucher Fraud

– The teacher gap: Student rates are up, teacher rates are down

Top Gun! (Stories)

– Handguns account for 500 children to be killed, 7,500 injured each year

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Why Obamacare will fail to solve our health care crisis”

– Study: Paying kidney donors could save money

– “Boston Salads and Provisions Company is recalling about 222,959 pounds of chicken salad products due to possible contamination with Listeria, officials say.”

– “Type “homeless” into stock photos — a regular task for journalists and photo editors — and what turns up is oftentimes offensive or just plain ol’ absurd (Read: hot models with strategically placed dirt on their faces).”

– New York Post blames homelessness on “lack of stop and frisk”

The War on Women

– “How We Can End the Sale of Cancer-Causing Products

More than 60 Saudi women defied the government and drove

– Fighting sexism with cross-stitch

– How to write about rape — rules for journalists

– Dave Zirin: “How jock culture supports rape culture”

– “Don’t be fooled: Flexible scheduling is no cure for workplace gender divide

Planet Earth

– California Governor Jerry Brown’s 10 Worst Environmental Policies

– “Decades of government subsidy have cost taxpayers, wrecked the environment and could burn even more carbon than the Keystone pipeline project.

– More than 15 million Americans live within one mile of a fracking well

– “James Hansen: How We Can Stop Big Oil in its Tracks and Keep Dirty Energy in the Ground

– What we still don’t understand about natural disasters

– How Sandy went from boring to killer superstorm

“Greenland’s parliament voted on Thursday to end a decades-long prohibition on mining for radioactive materials like uranium, further opening up the country to investors from Australia to China eager to tap its vast mineral resources.”

– “The trial of HudBay Minerals marks a first-time legal precedent of a Canadian company being held to account in Canadian courts for alleged shootings and gang rapes in Guatemala ”

– Chicago communities fight back against Koch “Petcoke” pollution

Worst storm in a decade with 80 mph winds in Britain

– Arctic Temperatures highest in at least 44,000 years

Mixed Bag

– “Omar Souleyman’s music started as part of Syrian tradition, but he has made his name in the US indie music scene.

– Pearl Jam: The new “Grateful Dead”?

– “The Strange Ways We’ve Tried to Stop Pregnancies

Five video games for those who do not play video games

Five questions that keep physicists up at night

– Watching TV makes you a better person — if it makes you reflect

– “Friends and family” political cartoon

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.