CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for November 14th, 2013

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Hey everyone, hope you are doing well.

International Developments


– “Muslim holiday of Ashura brings into focus Shia-Sunni differences

– Trita Parsi: “Hawkish Groups Mobilize to Sink Iran Nuclear Deal

– “10 Surprising and Counterintuitive Facts About Child Sex Trafficking

– “Faisal bin Ali Jaber, a Yemeni engineer whose nephew and brother-in-law were killed in a US drone strike in Yemen last year, has requested a meeting with President Obama during his visit to Washington, DC, this week.

– “Egypt says improving ties with Russia is not a snub to US

– “A 20-year program to convert highly enriched uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into fuel for U.S. power plants ended Thursday, with the final shipment loaded onto a vessel in St. Petersburg’s port.”

– “Estonia says it will extradite to the United States three men accused of hijacking millions of computers in a cyber-fraud scheme.

Middle East

– “The presidents of Syria and Russia discussed a proposed peace conference to end Syria’s nearly three-year civil war and Damascus’ efforts to put its chemical weapons under international supervision, the Kremlin said Thursday.

– “Attacks targeting Shia Muslims on the festival of Ashura have killed at least 41 people across Iraq.

– On the US atrocities in Afghanistan

– “Iran’s new government has significantly slowed down expansion of its nuclear programme in an apparent attempt to give more time for negotiations.

Asia & Oceania

– “China’s market enigma

Censorship on China’s Twitter

– “North Korea denied it was sending military aid to the Syrian government, one of its few close allies, in its battle against rebel forces after media reports said that Pyongyang had sent advisors and helicopter pilots.

– “Asian share markets found reassurance in the prospect of extended U.S. monetary stimulus on Friday, while a falling yen had Japanese stocks gunning for their biggest weekly increase in almost four years.

– Hedge funds managers are betting big as they return to Japan

– “A senior U.S. envoy will travel next week to China, South Korea and Japan to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.


– “Authorities moved Egypt’s ousted president from a hospital room to solitary confinement in a massive prison complex Thursday, a security official said, as his son claimed officials denied a family visitation request after lawyers delivered a message from the leader.

– “A security official in Libya says separate attacks have killed a Muslim cleric and a former police officer in the eastern city of Benghazi.

– “The Nigerian government gave nearly $200,000 (30 million Naira) to families of slain polio vaccinators Thursday, after rights groups across the country called for reparations for victims of suspected Islamic militants.

– Poll: 67 percent of Kenyans surveyed want their President, Uguru Kenyatta, to be in court to face charges of war crimes

– “UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow says the Central African Republic is a failed state on the verge of genocide, and she is calling for an expanded U.N.-authorized peacekeeping force.”


– “The husband of jailed Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has told the BBC that he has spoken to her for the first time since she went missing 26 days ago.

– Greek MPs have voted to keep their own salaries and expenses at existing levels

– “Council of State rules measure that will see Athens University lose almost 40% of its non-teaching staff is in line with the country’s obligations under its loan and austerity memorandum with the troika

– Unemployment in Greece is over 27 percent

– “Madrid’s rotting rubbish mounds spark political finger pointing

– “European Union officials welcomed the end of bailout support for Spain and Ireland, saying that showed the effectiveness of more than four years of efforts to cut excessive government debt.

– “Budapest’s city council has banned the homeless from living in many public areas of the city, including playgrounds, train stations, cemeteries, and the Hungarian capital’s largest park.

Latin America, Carribean & Canada

– “Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is being sued by the family of Gregory Faull, his neighbour in Belize who was found shot dead last November.

Financial Matters

– “The U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped. The wider gap suggests growth was somewhat slower over the summer than previously estimated.

– Pew: Home values fell the most in in the biggest and most expensive metro areas

– “How the media fell hook, line and sinker for the propagandist, respectable-sounding “Employment Policies Institute”

– JPMorgan looks like idiots on Twitter

– “Barclays bank plans to cut 1,700 jobs from its network of British branches, about 5 percent of the total workforce.

– “New York Times profiles rich people who make their nannies take quinoa-cooking classes” Beats me what quinoa is.

– Americans are trimming their spending plans for the holiday

– “Google has defeated a legal action mounted to stop it scanning and uploading millions of books.

– “Hedge funds took a liking to online music company Pandora Media Inc (P.N) in the third quarter but soured on Apple Inc (AAPL.O), according to regulatory filings published Thursday.

– Dean Baker: How the super-rich get richer through trade pacts

– “Retailer J.C. Penney drew three prominent new institutional shoppers during the third quarter, while a fourth investor significantly increased its stake, even as an ambitious overhaul fizzled and its stock price dropped.

– “McDonald’s has an idea for speeding up service at the drive-thru: add another window.

– “Eurozone economic recovery falters in third quarter

– “Incoming Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen launched a staunch defence of the Fed’s massive economic stimulus programme at her confirmation hearing Thursday.” Doesn’t she have to be confirmed to be incoming?

– After Yellen’s comments, the price of gold rose. Oil too (if only an Onion article came out today)

The ultimate guide on the Federal Reserve

“U.S. mobility for young adults has fallen to the lowest level in more than 50 years as cash-strapped 20-somethings shun home-buying and refrain from major moves in a weak job market.

“Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.”

Surveillance Planet

– Chris Hedges: “Jeremy Hammond Exposed State’s Plan to Criminalize Democratic Dissent

– Stephen Colbert on drones 

– A whistleblower speaks out

– The State Department has blocked a report to be released on the path to Iraq War

– “What’s more important: Security or freedom?

– “Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked as many as 200,000 classified U.S. documents to the media, according to little-noticed public remarks by the eavesdropping agency’s chief late last month.

– Emptywheel: “DiFi’s Circular Defense of the Phone Dragnet’s Legality Proves It Is Illegal

– “A former FBI explosives expert was sentenced on Thursday to more than three years in prison for possessing and disclosing secret information, which he has said included intelligence he gave to the Associated Press for a story about a US operation in Yemen in 2012.

– “Cyber-attacks eclipsing terrorism as gravest domestic threat – FBI

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “The Victimization of the International Longshoremen’s Association

– “New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and municipal unions have a major problem. After going 4 years without a contract under Mayor Bloomberg the question of a new contract and how much retroactive pay is included is front and center for the incoming Mayor and the municipal unions.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Gallup: 40 percent of Americans approve of health care law

– “Democrats’ new mantra in budget talks is to close tax loopholes for certain businesses, investors and professionals as a way to raise more revenue to help ease autopilot spending cuts that soon are to become more painful.

– John Boehner: No budget deal if there are tax increases involved

– Gallup: More Americans are viewing health care as a problem

– “The Obama administration wants Congress to extend emergency jobless benefits for long-term unemployed workers into 2014.

– How Chris Christie is just like War Criminal Dick Cheney

– Obama: We’ve “fumbled” with health care over website woes and dropped coverage and will promise cancelled policies to return to normal

– “The health insurance industry says the president’s offer to fend off millions of cancellations comes too late — and may raise premiums.

– John Boehner: Only way to fix Obamacare is to scrap it

– “If your health insurance carrier has canceled your plan in anticipation of the launch of the Affordable Care Act, the administrative fix President Obama announced Thursday doesn’t guarantee you can get it back.

– Audience laughs at Ted Cruz for saying he did not “want a shutdown

– “When liberals red-bait conservatives

– “The government is speeding up research on safety systems that automatically prevent drivers from operating their cars if they are drunk or aren’t properly buckled in.

– Jim White: “Pentagon Finally Surrenders, Cancels New Purchase of Russian Helicopters Through Dealer Supplying Syria

– “How low will health care enrollments be?

– Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to speak in front of an anti-gay group named Florida Family Policy Council with headline speech

– “Some of America’s largest technology and telecoms companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and AT&T, are backing a network of self-styled “free-market thinktanks” promoting a radical rightwing agenda in states across the nation, according to a new report by a lobbying watchdog.

– “FBI Director James Comey told senators Thursday he is not opposed to Congress speaking with the survivors of the 2012 attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. That contradicts the Obama administration’s position that such discussions would jeopardize the FBI’s criminal case.

Everything Else USA 

– Pew: News use on social media – Largest is Reddit

– Yesterday on the Daily Show, Racist or Not Racist? More with Key & Peele

– “Historian Thaddeus Russell argues the respectable vs. renegade divide is ignored in American history.

– “This Man Was Sentenced to Die in Prison for Shoplifting a $159 Jacket: This Happens More Than You Think

– Study: Only 3 percent of the 2.4 million stopped and frisked are convicted

– CUNY administration has teamed with the NYPD and NY District Attorney to charge two students with protesting on public grounds. Considering I know a good deal of what is occurring, I’ll have an upcoming post on it.

– “Most Americans Don’t Think Employees Should Be Fired For Off-the-Job Pot Use

– “Have You Been Smoking Pot? Denver Police Have a New Way to Tell: The ‘Nasal Ranger’

– ““Totally Biased”: The show that actually looked like America

– “Arizona prison horror: “Critically ill” inmates told to “pray” for healing

– Thinking on stop and frisk after Bloomberg

– “The sheriff of Houston’s Harris County has adopted a sweeping policy designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates, including allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex.

We Don’t Need No Education

– “Stifling activism on campus

– Some states think students should learn cursive

Top Gun (Stories)

Gunshots were fired at a Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, but no one was injured

– “Sandy Hook families launch ‘cultural change’ campaign on gun violence

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Most popular diets of 2013

– “Philly children’s hospital bans herbs and supplements

– “US soldier: My sons won’t serve. “Before that happens, I’ll shoot them myself”

“Boys are slightly more likely to be born premature than girls, and they tend to fare worse, too, says a new report on the health of the world’s newborns.”

The War on Women

– “Women who find lumps in their breasts delay going to the doctor due to financial cost

– “Two Secret Service Agents Cut from Duty Over Alleged Sexual Misconduct

– “High school brings in Christian misogynist to lecture students about dating, students shut him down” Wait liberals! Don’t say this is a violation of his free speech! I nearly forgot about that fictitious belief you hold in Fantasia.

– “Indian leader’s terrible rape remark has a long history

Planet Earth

Typhoon Haiyan

– “More Than 1,500 Nurses Sign Up in 24 Hours to Be the First Team Sent to the Philippines

– “The relief operation in the central Philippines to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan is making progress following the arrival of a US aircraft carrier and its escort of two cruisers.

– David Swanson: “Let’s take advantage of suffering Filipinos!”

– “Frustration spreads in Philippines at slow pace of post-typhoon relief effort

– “Typhoon Haiyan: China gives less aid to Philippines than Ikea

– “Mass burial held in Philippine city hit by Typhoon.”

– “Authorities in the Philippines say the official death toll from the typhoon has risen by three to 2,360.

– UN: 4,460 people confirmed dead

The Rest

– “Fossil Fuel Corporations Dominating the UN Climate Change Conference

– Paul McCartney writes a letter to Putin to release Arctic 30 

– The 10 most toxic cities in the world

– Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has made 50 speeches in the past 50 weeks on climate change

– “U.S. puts $1 million bounty on wildlife traffickers

– “Brazil says the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 28% between August 2012 and last July, after years of decline.

– Our future. “The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate” and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years.

– “A drilling crew punctured a gas pipeline in North Texas on Thursday and triggered an explosion that led emergency personnel to evacuate a nearby town, according to the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.”

– Steve Horn: Public Citizen reveals dents and holes in Keystone XL

– “The first trickle of fuels made from agricultural waste is finally winding its way into the nation’s energy supply, after years of broken promises and hype promoting a next-generation fuel source cleaner than oil.

Mixed Bag

– More from Colbert with a person who has a plan to take down drones: Drone hunting licenses

10 reasons why we dream during sleep

– John Oliver to get his own weekly satirical show next year on HBO

– Spongebob Squarepants is a Marxist

– The world’s most beautiful libraries 

“Longtime music writer and Rolling Stone critic Anthony DeCurtis is writing a biography of Lou Reed.

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.