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The Roundup for December 2nd, 2013

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Hey everyone, hope you are well this day.

International Developments


Part 4 with Sen. Graham over 9/11 and control

– “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will seek a delicate balance between calming military tensions with China and backing ally Japan against Beijing on a trip to Asia this week that is being overshadowed by a territorial row in the East China Sea.

– Netanyahu will go to Rome to talk with Pope Francis

– “Europol says American and European authorities have taken control of 690 websites that were selling counterfeit merchandise.

– NATO: If Karzai doesn’t sign the pact, the Afghan mission is over

– “The U.S. and other Western countries have admitted Israel into an informal group in Geneva that will provide it with some influence before the U.N. top human rights body, officials said Monday.

– U.N.  charges Bashar al-Assad with war crimes

– “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is reporting progress toward the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons but says meeting the mid-2014 deadline under the “volatile” security conditions in the war-torn country requires an “unprecedented effort” by the international community.

– “US calls on China to rescind air defence zone to avoid Japan confrontation

Middle East

– In Israel, a tiny minority of families control the wealth

– “Thousands Protest Forced Urbanization of Israel’s Bedouin

– Saudi Arabia states OPEC will not change output ceiling

– Juan Cole: “Israel to Ethnically Cleanse 70,000 Palestinians in Massive Negev Land Grab

–  Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Around 126,000 people have died in Syrian Civil War

– Iran sees rise in HIV infections

– Taliban to Karzai: Reject the deal

Asia & Oceania

– Pew: How China, Japan and South Korea civilians view each other

– Leader in Thai protests to PM: You have two days to resign; however she has refused to 

– Because of 3-D printing, entrepreneurs in Japan are growing


– Once again, a secular activist has been arrested in Egypt after day freed from another case

– Juan Cole discusses the new Egyptian constitution

– Prime Minister in Somalia voted out by lawmakers due to poor performance


– Gallup: The highest rate of “suffering” is in Bulgaria and Armenia

– In Kiev, there is footage that police used violent tactics against protesters

– “US singer and song writer Bob Dylan has been placed under judicial investigation in France for allegedly provoking ethnic hatred of Croats.

– To protest accidents and unsafe road conditions, cyclists in London have a “die-in

– “The survivors of a drowning disaster that cost 12 Syrian refugees their lives last month speak about how police confiscated whatever money they had and how they are living in fear in Greece

– Documentary of HIV-positive women who were shamed and persecuted in Greece is now available online

– “A 13-year-old girl has died as the result of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, after inhaling fumes from a brazier in her home.

– In Ukraine, protests threaten Ukraine’s currency as the President heads to China to get investment and loans, yet warns of a coup in the works

– “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said protests in Ukraine against its decision to abandon a European Union integration pact were an attempt to shake its legitimate rulers.

– It seems Icelandic police have killed someone for the first time in their history

– The danger of the media is seen here. What should occur is the immediate jailing and barring such pseudo-journalists from ever doing reporting again. “A litter of puppies wrapped in a blanket and set on fire. A dog roaming the streets with its jaw hacked off. Cats found at the bottom of an apartment block, spines snapped. It’s part of a catalog of cruelty in recent months that has gone barely noticed in Romania.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– “Some 40,000 teachers, union members and anarchist activists took to Mexico City’s streets Sunday in a demonstration on the first anniversary of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s inauguration.

– FARC rebels in Columbia agree to a “peace” football (not the American kind) match as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos states he is “optimistic” as he heads to the U.S. to meet with Obama

– “Honduras’ electoral authority said on Monday it would review polling booth tallies from last month’s presidential election after the second-place leftist candidate called the result fraudulent.

– “U.S. prosecutors in Texas announced Monday that they’ve charged the former governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas for allegedly accepting bribes from a drug cartel and taking part in drug trafficking.

Surveillance Planet

– Snowden files have made a U.N. investigation into US-UK surveillance

A guide to 21st “spyspeak”

– After the Snowden revelations, how do both work and surveillance change?

– The tech landscape is now changing due to Snowden files

– On the “Five Eyes” and how they eroded trust

– Greg Mitchell: “Glenn Greenwald Responds to Critics as Attacks Continue

– China to Canada: Alleged spy in Canada giving secrets to us is “groundless

– “From Turing to Snowden: How a WWII intelligence pact between the U.S. and UK forged modern surveillance

– The U.S. Navy has deployed a new surveillance aircraft to Japan

– A Wisconsin man was sentenced to jail after he admitted to hacking a Koch Industries website with Anonymous

Facts and figures on the Snowden files from the Guardian

– Emptywheel: “January 8, 2007 and NSA’s Sloppy Bureaucracy

What’s next for Edward Snowden?

– “An eight-year legal odyssey by a Malaysian university professor to clear her name from the U.S. government’s no-fly list went to trial on Monday in federal court in San Francisco.

Financial Matters

– “Sales over the Thanksgiving weekend dropped for the first time since 2009 despite longer opening hours and a record number of sales, according to the retail industry’s main trade group.”

– Gallup: U.S. consumer spending has increased in the month of November

– Sales for “Cyber Monday” are expected to hit $2 billion

– “A gauge of U.S. factory activity hit a 2-1/2-year high in November and construction spending increased solidly in October, brightening the economic outlook as the year winds down.

– Drones being developed by Amazon to drop off packages

The six signs our culture is tired of greed

Where would the minimum wage be if it kept pace with the earnings of the top 1 percent?

– Pensions under attack by “Enron’s revenge

Infographic of how much Americans will spend this Christmas

– “Bank of America said on Monday it will pay mortgage financier Freddie Mac $404 million to resolve claims over subprime loans the bank sold before the housing crisis.

– The Japanese government will double its inflation-linked bond issue in the next two years

– Blackberry sales have dropped near zero in some countries

A race to the bottom with corporate tax rates

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Fast food workers will organize strikes in more than 100 cities

– “My years at Wal-Mart

Politics USA

Washington USA

– New poll: Only six percent of Americans approve of Congress

– “Is working?

– The Obamacare repeal train has stopped 

– The GOP’s battle with its own base

– “Obama’s Anti-Politics and the Affordable Care Act

– Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY): The Tea Party is “utter nonsense” and we must stand up against them

Part 1 and Part 2 of Obamacare’s rollout and relevance of universal health care

– The Supreme Court upholds New York’s sales tax on Amazon goods and reject to hear another Obamacare case

– Juan Cole discusses the latest excuse by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers on the new threat of terrorism

– Despite increase traffic on health care website, problems still remain

In the life of a corporate lobbyist

– “Can Jeh Johnson Fix the Department of Homeland Security?

– FBI looking for ways to ease Chicago violence

– “Democrats running for re-election in Arkansas, Louisiana and other Republican-leaning states faced enough problems before President Barack Obama’s popularity swooned in November. Now they are awkwardly distancing themselves from him a year before the election, seeking the right balance between independence and betrayal.

Everything Else USA 

– Henry Giroux: “Hope in the Age of Looming Authoritarianism

The five ways our life are violated by corporate greed

– Mass transit in America, where politicians refuse to improve it, may be doomed

– The GOP references Rosa Parks on its Twitter feed, only to remove it when they are shown as idiots

– Virginia will force same-sex couples to file as single people for taxes

– “Breast cancer victim Marsha Kilgore lost her home in Fresno, California and died soon after she was foreclosed on by Wells Fargo, which had promised a loan modification but later reneged.

– In LA, the County Sheriff Department has hired officers with history of misconduct, such as sexual abuse

– “A private prison company allegedly put an elderly woman in solitary confinement and prevented her from taking her medication, according to a lawsuit filed last month.

Peculiar study states Occupy Wall Street was affected because liberals were too much with the thought of uniqueness

– At an Obamacare protest, a cop in Florida was arrested after refusing to take off his V for Vendetta mask

– The New York train surpassed the speeding limit before it crashed, but a full investigation will take 10 days

– Florida school states black student should cut her hair or get expelled

– “Native Americans face casino limits as supreme court weighs Michigan case

– Contraceptive for men “a step closer

– “For the second time in three years, a federal jury is being chosen to hear the Justice Department’s case against a former New Orleans police officer who shot and killed a man outside a strip mall after Hurricane Katrina.

– Awesome! “The American Civil Liberties Union is taking aim at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its ethical guidelines for Catholic hospitals.

– Chris Hedges: The Saboteurs

– “Russell Brand, the Posh Left and the Politics of Class

We Don’t Need No Education

– “Should First Graders Take a Test? Teachers Say No

The devastating effect of the myriad number of school closure in Philadelphia

– Study: With online courses, rich kids are reaping the benefits 

– “Critics are relentless in warning about what they see as the folly of the new Common Core academic standards, designed to prepare students for college or a job by the time they graduate from high school.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– By ditching “junk food,” our lives can be better

– Study: Pesticides on cannabis can transfer to the inhaled smoke

New study finds more arsenic in daily food

– Red wine has numerous benefits, though can it help against different cancers?

– “Hong Kong on Tuesday confirmed its first human case of the deadly H7N9 bird flu, according to a report, in the latest sign of the virus spreading beyond mainland China.

Top Gun! (Stories)

– “Victorious campaign manager says gun safety support helped his candidate win

– Newtown will release 911 tapes from Sandy Hook shooting

The Second Sex

Interview with G. Willow Wilson, the creator of the Ms. Marvel reboot as a young Muslim woman

– Women in Egypt arrested for peaceful protest given appeal 

– Sen. Kristen Gilibrand (D-NY): Chuck Hagel “has not shown leadership” over sexual assaults

Study finds women’s brains good for memory and social skills, while men’s brains good for perception and coordination

Planet Earth

– By saving the ozone, warming rate may be slowed

– “The world as we know it is ending, and the indifference by Americans, politicians and mainstream press is maddening

Rotten trees are threatening both farmers in U.S. and Christmas

– “‘Apocalyptic’ island of waste in the Maldives

– Study: Europe can expect more droughts and heatwaves

– “Invasion of the pine beetles: The ecological disaster that New Jersey’s allowing to happen

– A NASA map has a great wind map

– Video shows GOP members referencing the Bible to justify their doubt against climate change

– Study: Africa risks losing 20 percent of elephant population in 10 years if nothing is done to stop poaching

– Michelle Chen: The U.S.-Mexico border is a site of environmental and humanitarian disaster

– “Brazil on Monday signed an agreement with a consortium of five oil companies to develop a huge offshore field under the so-called production-sharing regime that gives the federal, state and municipal governments a 75 percent stake of the oil extracted.

– Chevron will still look for shale oil in Romania

Mixed Bag

– What happens, after death, to someone’s digital life?

– Android bans words for bizarre reasons

– Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy on a local news station in North Dakota

– New study on cats find they recognize owners’ voice, but do not care as much as dogs

Small black holes are deadlier than previously thought

Break Time

Black and Blue

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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.