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The Roundup for November 7th, 2013

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Hello all, hope your day went well

International Developments


Deal between U.S. and Iran close to being finalized More here

– “President Barack Obama says that if Iran halts advances and reverses parts of its nuclear program, the United States would offer “modest relief” to ease the economic squeeze on Tehran.

– “A U.N. diplomat says Jordan will replace Saudi Arabia on the Security Council for a two-year term starting in January after the Saudis unprecedented rejection of the seat hours after they were elected.

– So it begins. “American influence in culture, science and education around the world is facing a high-profile blow Friday as the U.S. is stripped of its voting rights at the world’s cultural agency, UNESCO. And it would cost the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars to win this voice back.

– White House to host King of Morocco Nov. 22. Conservative media ready to draft stories despite not talking about the obvious (we still have kings in the world)

Middle East

– Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train rebel force in Syria

– Syrian rebels, meanwhile, “mulls talks” with government

– Pew: Many Sunnis and Shias worry about religious conflict

Israel is proposing an illegal wall separation as the future border for a Palestinian state

Palestinian officials demand investigation in Arafat’s death after reports from yesterday

– Pakistani Taliban selected person who ordered assassination of Malala Yousafzai as new leader

19 people killed in Iraq military base in dual suicide bombing

Asia & Oceania

– “Maldives officials on Thursday moved up a possible presidential runoff to Sunday, one day after the election in a bid to avoid a potential constitutional crisis.

– China under pressure to change


– “A heavily armed militia roared into Libya’s capital late Thursday, exchanged gunfire in the streets killing one person and others to run for their lives as militiamen fought over the death of their commander.

– “An overview of the Algerian Revolution, on it’s fiftieth anniversary -the Algerian Revolution as something that was itself productive – of repertoires of contestation, of ideas about a “social contract,” of something that could later be “confiscated” – rather than as a historical bookmark.


– “Hours after parliament passed a law handing over the digital airwaves over to a consortium run by the owners of the country’s private TV stations, riot police stormed the headquarters of the former national station ERT in northern Athens in the early hours of Thursday morning, evicting staff who have been pirate broadcasting there since mid-June.

– SYRIZA, in response, tables motion of no confidence in government

– Human rights court states Greece cannot restrict same-sex couples from civil unions

– “The European Central Bank sent a message Thursday with a surprise cut in its benchmark interest rate: It’s prepared to do more to fortify the euro alliance’s economy.

– “Fraud squad launches investigation after wife of former PASOK minister Yiannos Papantoniou appeared on the infamous Lagarde List which identified around 2,000 Greeks with deposits at a Geneva branch of HSBC. Stavroula Kourakou was found to have allegedly deposited about €1.3m

– “Concern for jailed Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova mounted on her 24th birthday Thursday, after her husband said she could not be found in the Russian prison colony where authorities reportedly sent her in October.

Latin America & Canada

– “The Quebec government moved forward Thursday with a proposed law that would ban public employees from wearing overt religious symbols, setting the stage for a showdown over the place of religion in the province.

– Brazilian black models go topless to protest racism in fashion industry

– “Brazil risks missing the deadline for the delivery of its World Cup stadiums because of a court battle over the supplier of seats for Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.”

– “Chile’s government is issuing a health alert for the port of Valparaiso, where thousands of tons of trash have been piling up for nearly three weeks amid a strike by garbage collectors.

– Bit overboard don’t you think? “Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants to install anti-aircraft weapons systems in hillside slums ringing Caracas to dissuade “imperialist” foreign powers from attacking the South American nation.

– Inflation in Venezuela surges above 50 percent

Financial Matters

– “Annual growth of 2.8% in third quarter GDP raises the prospect that the Federal Reserve could start to phase out quantitative easing programme sooner than expected

Economist Dean Baker on latest GDP data release

– White House: New data shows the economy is recovering

– “Furloughing federal workers in last month’s partial federal shutdown cost the government 6.6 million work days, according to a White House budget office report Thursday.

GM extends health benefits to same-sex marriages

– “Wall Street’s nightmare: Here’s how to really expedite the recovery

– “The head of a dietary supplement maker entangled in a political scandal with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will resign amid a securities probe and shareholder lawsuits.

– Americans cutting back on credit card use

– “Government-run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s biggest providers of housing finance, will send $39.0 billion to the U.S. Treasury in December, leaving them within a hair of covering the cost of their 2008 bailout.

Twitter Related

– Twitter prices IPO at $26 per share then shares for Twiter jump to nearly $50 a share

– “We are not one nation under Twitter

– The Twitter IPO is already a huge success…for Goldman Sachs

Surveillance Planet

– “Brazil and Germany formally presented a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday urging all countries to extend internationally guaranteed rights to privacy to the Internet and other electronic communications.”

– “The White House is considering a proposal to split the work of the single military commander who now oversees both the National Security Agency and cybersecurity operations, presenting an opportunity to reshape the spy agency in the wake of harsh criticism of its sweeping surveillance programs.

– MI6 chief on Snowden leaks: UK’s enemies are “rubbing their hands with glee” Is this a James Bond movie?

– MI5 chief: 34 UK terror attacks disrupted since July 7th, 2005 attacks in London

The CIA paid million for AT&T call data. Kevin has more.

– “Do you approve of the NSA spying on citizens?”

Anonymous hacks and defaces Singapore prime minister’s website

– Silk Road 2.0 resurrects online drug place

– Emptywheel: “Red-Teaming Abdulrahman al-Awlaki’s Assassination?

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “The United Auto Workers has nominated a longtime union organizer as its next president — Dennis Williams

– “Hard work, low pay: What it’s like to be an undocumented farm worker

Wal-Mart workers anonymously call for more strikes in LA

Seattle suburb passes highest minimum wage increase to $15/hour in the country

Barneys workers reveal systemic racism 

– “Federal safety regulators on Thursday proposed major changes in workplace reporting rules that would require large companies to file injury and illness reports electronically so they can be posted online and made available to the public.

– “Las Vegas workers, stage sit-in on casino floor of the Cosmopolitan, demanding the Vegas resort recognize their union. For two years the $4 billion casino has refused to negotiate with their workers, and their union – Culinary Workers Union or UNITE HERE local 226.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– I swear I feel like I’ve posted this twice before. “Reflecting Americans’ increasing acceptance of gays, the Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

– Obama: I’m sorry Americans are losing their insurance. It’s like he didn’t even think this would occur. That’s the scary part.

– “Why two Obama loyalists lost their health policies

– “Canceled policies could be a plus for new markets

– “The country’s top military officers warned Congress Thursday that continued automatic cuts in the armed services’ budgets will force reductions in manpower, training and weapons purchases that reduce the nation’s ability to defend itself and could cause higher U.S. casualties.” Yes! Cut away! The army is bloated as it is. Any lies commander say are, well, lies.

– Republican Rep. Ted Yoho: We’re going to impeach Eric Holder by the end of this year

– “The panel of U.S. lawmakers seeking to craft a bipartisan budget deal is deadlocked over tax revenue early in its deliberations, a Senate member said on Thursday, reinforcing fears that a December 13 deadline could pass with no agreement.

– Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): We had to shut down the government or else people would die from Obamacare

– “U.S. officials who helped develop or oversee the rollout of the flawed Obamacare website will appear before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee next week, the panel’s Republican chairman said on Thursday.

Who is Chris Christie?

– Study: Narcissism may help Presidents

– Even as McCain pushes for ratification of UN disability-rights treaty, Senate conservatives disagree

– “Rand Paul is sinking fast

– Despite Democrats gaining edge, third parties across the United States gaining a lot with both the socialist and Green label

– Get ready for this. Joe Biden called the wrong person to congratulate for his victory as mayor No, this isn’t an Onion article

– Barack Obama: I wouldn’t have run without Biden

– “The Department of Veterans Affairs will temporarily suspend a program that requires more than 10,000 disability claims processors to work at least 20 hours of overtime per month with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki saying Thursday he had to be careful not to burn out his workforce.

– Jon Stewart and co. mocking media for 2016 predications

– “Federal accident investigators called on Thursday for a probe of the government agency charged with ensuring the safety of commercial vehicles, saying their own look into four tour bus and truck crashes that killed 25 people raises “serious questions” about how well the agency is doing its job.

Janet Yellen hearing next week Senate confirms

– “The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general’s report released Thursday.

– “The One Mortgage Fix Washington isn’t Talking About

Everything Else USA 

– Pew: Close to 45 percent of those who consume news on Twitter are 18 to 29 year old

Newly naturalized citizens taken around the US for orientation

– “Ms. Marvel and the Rise of the Muslim Superhero in America

– “This is America? Men tortured in Solitary for having the wrong tattoo or political books

– “Police say they are seeking charges against the Dearborn Heights, Michigan resident who shot a young African-American woman dead after she knocked on his door for help after a car accident. But since Michigan has a “Stand-your-ground” law, many wonder if charges, even if filed, will stick, since the law gives wide latitude to homeowners who claim they felt threatened.

– Talking about wounded soldiers and the real cost of war

– Fox News contributor Erik Rush: Obama is set to make a “false-flag” operation to stir up more racial unrest

Brown University could punish students who disrupted lecture by NYPD Commission Ray Kelly

– Jimmy Carter’s grandson is running in Georgia for Governor

– Larry Wilmore on Jay-Z and Barneys

Stephen Colbert with Tip/Wag on numerous strories from Toys’R Us against nature, John Pike getting contribution and “shroom tombs”

– “Hundreds of American Indians and their supporters in Minneapolis are calling for the Washington Redskins to change the team’s name.

– “Police unions asked a federal appeals court Thursday to let them continue stop-and-frisk litigation if New York City drops its appeal of rulings following the election of a new mayor who has advocated changing the police tactic to address concerns that it unfairly targets minorities.

– Philly voters elected a Whig to be an election judge for the first time in nearly 160 years. Important question, does he have the muttonchops?

– ” A police union leader who was the last witness in a trial to determine Detroit’s next step in bankruptcy testified Thursday that city officials were not interested in give-and-take negotiations before the historic filing.

We Don’t Need No Education

“Sometimes the best isn’t good enough: Most American fourth- and eighth-graders still lack basic skills in math and reading despite record high scores on a national exam.

Top Gun! (Stories)

“Guns and Ammo” bow to conservative reader press in response to a pro-regulation article and fire such editor of story

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

Smartphones are killing us and destroying public life

– “A growing body of research suggests that we are a nation divided not only by partisanship or how we view various issues, but also by dramatically different cognitive styles. Sociologists and psychologists are getting a better understanding about the ways that deep seated emotional responses effect our ideological viewpoints.

– Study: 4.2 million tonnes of food thrown out in Britain a week

FDA takes first steps to ban trans fat

After a 6th grader couldn’t pay 30 cents for his breakfast, a Texas school threw it out

– A new study detects signs of autism

The War on Women

– Pentagon: Sexual assaults rise sharply

– “What the company marketing ‘anti-rape underwear’ gets wrong about rape

– “Florida Deputy Paul Martin, who came under fire for his questionable handling of a sexual assault case, was officially fired early this week after it was reported that he sexually harassed and intentionally intimidated a 17-year-old rape victim while handling her case. ”

Sweden to implement a gender based system for films

– Rush Limbaugh: Women are nothing “but abortion machines” Reminds me of a joke by Bill Hicks

– What’s happening with the New Zealand rape case? Nothing.

Planet Earth

– Tim DeChristopher “shows us the real path to change through civil disobedience

Fukushima plant gets ready for the removal of fuel rods

– “New York City violated laws designed to protect the disabled because its otherwise laudable evacuation plans for emergencies such as Superstorm Sandy or 9/11 fall short of adequately caring for about 11 percent of the city’s population, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

– The world’s most powerful typhoon will soon hit the Philippines where 12 million are at risk

Exxon “disappointed” with $2.7 million fine for Arkansas pipeline spill. Darn, we don’t want to accept responsibility for destroying our planet.

– “Grand Canyon uranium mine placed on hold

– “Emission levels of greenhouse gases in Latin America’s biggest country fell last year to their lowest in two decades, a Brazilian network of environmental groups said in a report released Thursday.

– “The Energy Department said Thursday it has awarded $84 million to 18 projects across the country to help limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Mixed Bag

Four lies we tell ourselves about our health as we age

Music lessons can help keep you sharp in old age. Great to know, all instruments are fantastic to enjoy and lose yourself in.

– Copy of Gettysburg Address to go on display at the Library of Congress

– Star Wars Episode VII set to be released Dec. 2015. No talk on Spaceballs 2 release date

Break Time

For A Fool

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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.