CommunityThe Bullpen

The Weekend Roundup for November 30th-December 1st

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May Paul Walker rest in peace

Hey everyone, hope you are well

International Developments


Division in the U.N. over global drug war and tactics to use in new document leaked to the public

Part 3 of interview ex-Sen. Graham over why Saudi Arabia would support 9/11 conspirators, why U.S. would cover it up and more.

– “David Cameron has promised to create a “partnership for growth and reform” as he visits China on a trade mission with more than 100 UK business leaders.

– Al Qaeda states the U.S. committed “act of piracy” by kidnapping Abu Anas al-Liby

– “Pentagon Approves Record Sale of Advanced Arms to Countries at War

Middle East

– “Syrian government helicopters dropped barrels full of explosives on a rebel-held town near the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 50 people in two separate attacks over the weekend, activists said Sunday.”

– Press freedoms for journalists in Iran is still restrictive

– “Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says his successor has severely damaged the country’s relations with the United States.

– NATO is now investigating the Helmond drone strike

– The U.S. offers assistance to destroy Syrian chemical weapons

– Authorities in Israel issued an arrest warrant for Muhammad al-Majid, a Palestinian…who is 4 years old.

– Graffiti and poetry — two channels of art — used to protest drones in Yemen by Yemeni artists

52 people have been killed in Iraq, bringing this month’s (Nov.) total to 600+ dead

– Gets worse. “A triple bombing struck the funeral of the son of an anti-al-Qaida tribal leader north-east of Baghdad on Sunday, one of several attacks across the country that left a total of 14 people dead, Iraqi officials said.

– “Organizers of Afghanistan’s make-or-break presidential election next year say poor security, a shortage of monitors and funding holes are undermining their ability to safeguard the process from the widespread fraud that marred the last poll in 2009.

– Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai: U.S. is withholding military supplies to pressure me into signing agreement

– Syrian violence spills into Lebanon as 10 are now reported dead

Asia & Oceania

– The White House is pushing North Korea to release a U.S. Korean War veteran; North Korea states veteran has admitted to “hostile acts

– “Troops have been deployed in the Thai capital Bangkok to support riot police shielding official buildings from anti-government protesters.Two have died so far

– Thai protesters seek the Prime Minister to resign

– “The Thai government has urged residents of Bangkok to stay indoors after about 30,000 protesters took to the streets in a violent “people’s coup” that saw at least four killed and more than 100 injured.

– “Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday there was no change to Japan’s policy of not notifying Chinese authorities when its commercial aircraft fly through China’s new air defense identification zone.

– Labor camps in China are also “drug detox centers”

– “China will encourage people who wish to lodge petitions about perceived injustices to do so online rather than taking their grievances directly to officials, as the government seeks to bring order to an often chaotic and abusive system.


– “A Mozambique Airlines plane carrying 33 people has crashed in a remote border area, killing everyone on board.

After the massacre in South Africa more than a year ago


– “At least seven people have died and two are badly injured after fire swept through a Chinese-owned clothing factory in the Italian town of Prato.

At least eight people have died in a terrible helicopter crash in Glasgow, Scotland at a pub. Updates by The Guardian on this can be found here

– “Poll of France, Germany, Poland and the UK shows British hostile to EU, and other nations hostile to Britain

– Due to Ukraine’s crackdown on protesters, there have been calls for sanctions

– Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych: I am “deeply outraged” by protests

– Croatia holds its referendum on same-sex marriage ban with 65 percent approving it as it is soon to be ratified

– Opposition in Ukraine calls for President Viktor Yanukovich and his cabinet to resign at a rally for Europe attended by 350,000+ people, though they “distance” themselves from violent protests that have occurred

– “Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich pledged to do all he could to accelerate moves closer to the European Union while tens of thousands of protesters readied to rally on Sunday against what they called his broken promise to integrate with Europe.

– A hike in sales tax against working class folk has drawn criticism and protests against French President Hollande

– “French MPs have voted to impose punitive fines on prostitutes’ customers as part of a controversial new law going through parliament aimed at helping sex workers throw off the shackles of pimps and organised criminal gangs.

– Golden Dawn has a rally in Greece  to get their leader freed

– “A growing spat between Greece and its lenders has taken the shine off the first good report card the debt-laden country has received from an international rating agency in years, amid mounting concerns over Athens’s deteriorating relations with the bodies keeping its economy afloat.

– Spain cracks down on protests with new law fining those who engage in any unruly conduct

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– “Nicaraguan President Ortega’s Power Grab

– “The opposition presidential candidate in last week’s elections inHonduras has demanded a recount, claiming tally sheets were altered, ballots were cast by dead or absent people and polling stations were inadequately monitored.

Surveillance Planet

– New document: Australian spy agencies gave information on its citizens willingly to other Five Eyes

– There are more than 700,000 individuals on the no-fly list

– “U.S. Border Officials Often Profile Us When Traveling — And It’s Not Making Anyone Safer

The growing private intelligence industry — the other police state

– Canada has charged a man allegedly on submitting secrets to China

– “Major Corporations Employ Former U.S. Intelligence Agents As Spies

– QUICK! HIDE UNDER YOUR DESKS! “The terrorism threat against the United States is increasing and Americans are not as safe as they were a year or two ago, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said on Sunday.

The eight common excuses for mass spying and why they are wrong

Financial Matters

Black Friday sales down from a year ago at a large rate as Thanksgiving opening sales increase. Yet, online sales increases and so do retail sales

– “A class action suit filed against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), one of Australia’s big four banks, is set to begin on Monday.

– However, discounts backfired as sales fell compared to last year

– Thom Hartmann: Corporations should pay either a living wage or face the death penalty

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “Corporate Elites Are Witnessing a Growing Wave of Resistance to the ‘Walmartization’ of Our Economy

– Study: Inequality is caused by greed, not technology

– Documents in the JPMorgan settlement finds the ways how every large bank in the U.S. committed mortgage fraud

The fate of the WTO will be decided this week with talks in Bali

– “Asian shares edged lower and the dollar gave up some of its recent gains against the yen on Monday, as investors cautiously awaited key U.S. data this week and took heart from a decent reading on China manufacturing.

– “Peter Buffett: Big Philanthropy and Philanthro-Feudalism

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Actions on Black Friday have empowered Wal-Mart workers

– Thinking about turkey plant workers

– “What Life Is Like in the Economic Trenches

– “I Tried to See Where My T-Shirt Was Made, and the Factory Sent Thugs After Me

Politics USA

Washington USA

– “Two months after the disastrous launch of a website that is a key component of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, administration officials said on Sunday they had met their goal of getting the site running smoothly but warned that it needs more fixes.

– On privatization and ACA

– Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH): GOP in Ohio are attempting to “suppress the voting rights of African Americans

The real story of the 2012 elections

– Supreme Court “on the verge” of giving more power to corporations

– “A $100 million charity fraud that a former Army intelligence officer and Harvard Law graduate almost pulled off underscores the criminal enrichment opportunities that weakened oversight bureaus offer clever thieves.

Everything Else USA 

– Russell Brand rightfully attacks Rupert Murdoch’s marketing empire. You know what they say about marketing.

– “Are Americans abandoning their TVs?

– “A man ate cleanser that he apparently collected slowly while in custody and died while awaiting trial in the killings of four homeless men and two others, his lawyer said.

Four people were killed and six injured in a plane crash in Alaska

– Rania Khalek: U.S. prisoners are fighting wildfires for 50 cents per hour

– “Misled by the mainstream media

– ““White Girls” author Hilton Als: “People aren’t telling the 150 percent truth — they tell 80 percent”

– Noam Chomsky: American hates its poor

– Latest derailment in the Bronx kills four and injures at least 63; with Metro-North exposes more faults and causes delays and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo states he will investigate

– On Occupy, a discussion has been raised at In These Times over the direction and lessons from it based on this article. Here are a few of the responses for your viewing pleasure.

– Leaving the airport now requires security measures

We Don’t Need No Education

– “Teachers were never part of the problem”

– Questions on Common Core? AP has it covered

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

An excerpt from Ann Jones’ new book on returning veterans

– LA considering proposal to ban feeding homeless people 

The Second Sex

– “A Letter To All Women Who Have Been Told To Quieten Down, Speak Softer and Be Less Angry

– “Your Boss May Get to Veto Your Birth Control and Other News

– Audio-only: “Conquest: Sexual Violence and Native American Genocide

– Health of women in Texas affected because of abortion restrictions

– “How I found my voice as a feminist of color

– The problem with “brogrammers”  in Silicon Valley

Planet Earth

– Obama: Millennials can contribute to stop climate change

– “Anaerobic digestion uses microbes to devour organic waste. Could it become a major power supply?

– “The Fascinating Ways the Global Recycling Industry Really Works

– Is it possible to waterproof airports?

– “TEPCO Downplays Huge Risks Involved in Removing Fukushima Fuel Rods

Mixed Bag

– “How art can make us happier” I can agree to that

– Why science needs both imagination and beauty

– In Europe, straw houses are making a comeback

Dogs can eavesdrop on human conversations. In other words, they do a better job than the NSA

– Superheroes are a bunch of fascists. Where’s the left-wing superhero?; Personally, I need more of Batgirl, Rogue and Deadpool.

– New poll finds “faithful Catholics” difficult to come by

– How your brain can tell time

– “Behaviour can be affected by events in previous generations which have been passed on through a form of genetic memory, animal studies suggest.”

Break Time

Black Magic Woman

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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.