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The Roundup for October 31st, 2013

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Happy Halloween! (or as I saw it in a terrible horror movie, Happy Hallow’s Eve)

International Developments


– Chris Hedges: Our invisible revolution

– The State Department will support free education in over 30 countries 

– Aung San Suu Kyi: Complicity With Tyranny?

– UN calls for Syrian ceasefire to deal with polio

– “Iran and six world powers ended an expert-level meeting over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities on Thursday, but there was no immediate word on whether they had come any closer to an elusive breakthrough deal.”

– CIA WaPo leaks are aimed to silence drone critiques

– “Top Ten Reasons the US should Stay out of Iraq and put Conditions on Arms Sales

Middle East

Syrian chemical weapons destroyed

– Watchdog: More than 120,000 Syrians have died in civil war

– “How we lost in Iraq

– “A bloody resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq is prompting Baghdad to ask the U.S. for more weapons, training and manpower, two years after pushing American troops out of the country.

– Rebels and Islamists clash in Yemen leaving 30 dead


– “The African Union says its members will introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council to delay the International Criminal Court trial of Kenya’s leaders for a year.


– “A month-long investigation into [Greek] police links with Golden Dawn has found only limited links with the Neo-Nazi organisation, police claimed on Wednesday.” Better double check to make sure.

– Yeah, capitalism! “The economy may be in recession for the sixth year running, but the 500 most profitable businesses and the 200 most profitable groups of companies [in Greece] increased their turnover and dramatically improved their profitability in 2012, data published on Thursday has shown.”

– “Two decades after Serb soldiers conducted house-to-house searches in a campaign of ethnic killings in Bosnia, forensic scientists are digging up what could turn out to be the largest mass grave from the 1992-95 war.

– “Retirees, the disabled and high school teachers were among thousands of protesters who clogged the Greek capital’s streets Thursday to demonstrate against a new property tax and other austerity measures. The show of anger disrupted traffic for more than eight hours.

Part 4 of interview with Blumenthal over architect of apartheid who stated death must occur to survive

Latin America

– Pew: View of the United States in Mexico, since 2010, has risen 22 points to 66 percent.

Financial Matters

– “Goldman Sachs tries to look small-business friendly, but it’s all image

– “International inspectors are set to put on hold a trip to Athens because they have been unable to bridge differences withGreece over how to close a 2 billion euro ($2.7 billion) hole in its 2014 budget, euro zone officials said.

– “The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a sign that employers are laying off very few workers.

– “Facing a sluggish economy, Obama on Thursday announced an expanded government role to draw foreign companies to the United States, arguing that the American workforce, cheaper energy costs and an improving economy make the U.S. an attractive home for investments.” Come back exploitation! We need you!

– “The European Union is in advanced discussions with the International Monetary Fund on providing standby financing to Ukraine should the country come under economic pressure fromRussia later this year, senior EU officials have told Reuters.

– “Bill Gross, manager of the world’s largest bond fund, urged fellow members of the “privileged 1 percent,” earning the highest incomes, to support higher U.S. taxes on carried interest and capital gains to help the economy.

– Canada and EU are about to sign a “free trade agreement,” largest since NAFTA so that is something

– The Guardian discusses Greece now an “emerging state,” Italy’s unemployment increasing and more here

Surveillance Planet

Live MPs debate over the oversight of intelligence services

– “Sandy’s hidden toll: Thousands of FBI files

– Edward Snowden has a new job in technical support

– “China and Southeast Asian governments demanded an explanation from the U.S. and its allies on Thursday following media reports that American and Australian embassies in the region were being used as hubs for Washington’s secret electronic data collection program.

– Tory MP Dominic Raab defends Guardian from criticism

– Union of German journalists tells others not to use Google and Yahoo! because of surveillance

– Jon Stewart discusses more on surveillance

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “Dr. Ana Maria Fores Tamayo, a New Faculty Majority Board Member, describes her treatment as an adjunct and why they must fight back.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Rep. Daniel Issa “subpoenaed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for documents related to the troubled launch of the Obamacare website,, his office said on Thursday.

– Gallup: Uninsured Americans more aware of requirement, majority will get exchanges, no change in those familiar with exchanges.

– “Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s nominees to an influential federal court and a housing agency on Thursday, despite Democratic warnings of a return to last summer’s partisan brawl over who wields power in the Senate.

– Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has been sworn in 

Amy Dacey is now the DNC’s CEO

– Stephen Colbert’s hilarious segment on the GOP’s wish to recast votes in government shutdown bill

Everything Else USA

– John Carpenter’s Prophetic Visions of an American Police State

– Gallup: US crime is up, but Americans less likely to believe it is 

– War Criminal Dick Cheney is a “one man zombie apocalypse

– Lawsuit against Arkansas cops after one cop tased a woman for not showing her breasts

– “I spent five years in solitary for non-violent, absurd infractions like having too many postage stamps

– Poll: One in four would buy pot if legal

–  Four states are weakening child labor laws because free market

– 12 year old slams NC government for voter suppression laws

– “Testimonies on public misconceptions of life in prison — and how the system runs counter to rehabilitation

Marriage equality passes state Senate in Hawaii, now moves to the House

– Elderly family’s eviction in San Fran fuels a growing movement related to housing rights

– Hillary Clinton rakes in big money from two Goldman Sachs speeches

– “Brennan Center report says early voting has numerous benefits and courts should try to resist Republican attempts to curtail it

– Marissa Alexander to get a retrial

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Have you ever heard of ractopamine? Neither have most US food consumers though it is  used in 80 percent of US pig and cattle operations.” Did I mention it’s banned in many countries for health reasons such as cancer and kidney failure?

– ” The Food and Drug Administration announced a new proposal Thursday to try and head off more shortages of crucial medications that have disrupted care at hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The War on Women

– Fox News’ John Stossel: Women should pay more in health care because they go to the doctor more and are “hypochondriacs” 

– Abortion access in Oklahoma has gotten so bad that women now go to Texas

– Kenyans march in the street for gang rape justice

Planet Earth

– Report: Japan is hunting dolphins and whales to “extinction”

– The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want Orangutans to die

– Dept. of Energy secretary Ernest Moniz: US has an interest in cleaning up Fukushima

– “The nation’s largest landfill [in California], where 130 million tons of garbage has been dumped, is closing Thursday after more than a half-century of service.

Mixed Bag

Boss came into work today dressed up as guy who fired Sean

– Orson Scott Card won’t profit from hhis movie Ender’s Game

– FAA has “ok’d” certain gadgets to use on planes

– “Avocados should be extinct

– “A blowtorch powered by water

– Soccer players show signs of brain damage when doing headers

Lovely experiment in NYC with MTA workers

Break Time


– or for a frightening song: River Twygz Bed

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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.