CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for January 6th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you today?

International Developments


– World War I never ended, there are still casualties today.

– With Gitmo prisoners, the U.S. should ensure they are safe upon their release.

– Pentagon states U.S.-trained Iraq forces are on their own for the Fallujah battle. White House states this isn’t about violence.

– Iran rejects helping “from the sidelines” offer by the U.S., saying it disrespect their dignity. Meanwhile, UN states they are not among the invited for the Syrian peace conference, but would favor so.

– U.S. to Afghanistan: We want you to sign the security agreement in “weeks, not months

– “A terror group active in West Africa has threatened to target the interests of “France and her allies” in retaliation for France’s military intervention in Mali last year, according to a Mauritanian website frequently used by local jihadists to communicate with the outside world.”

– U.S. invokes a rare order to stop a foreign company’s transfer of goods to Iran

Middle East

Tensions are rising in Lebanon will numerous car bombings and deaths.

Violence is breaking out in the Iraq with numerous civilians dying in Iraq and disarray occurs.

– If a war with Iran ever breaks out, the top one percent should pay for all of it, since we wouldn’t ever accept such terms.

– More analysis regarding the Fallujah situation in Iraq between governmental forces and al-Qaeda.

– Afghanistan will free 88 “dangerous prisoners,” something the U.S. does not want.

– Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki states Fallujah should oust al-Qaeda from the city. If only it were that easy.

– Juan Cole: “Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State

– In Afghanistan, a young girl with a suicide vest has been detained. It did not go off.

– al-Qaeda’s resurgence can be attributed to the situation currently in the Syrian civil war.

– The U.S. is refusing to send weapons to Iraq, for fear the country will give them to Syria or Iran. Meanwhile, they are increasing drones and missile deliveries to Iraq.

Asia and Oceania

– Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina states only a fresh poll will be given for new elections if the opposition end all violence in country.

– A Japanese diplomat has warned China not to be “Asia’s Voldemort.” That’s a serious quote.

– South Korea will resume reuniting war-divided families


– Nelson Mandela was only removed from the State Dept. terrorist list in 2008 and more in an interview with journalist Danny Schechter

– The current situation in Russia features both terror of future terrorist attacks and heavy surveillance. This doesn’t help with the Sochi Olympics coming close.

– Gunmen in Nigeria have killed 30 people in a village through shootings and burning of houses.

– “In Egypt, it no longer appears to be a question of if, but when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will declare his candidacy for president. For the second time in three days, local media reported on Monday that Sisi had finally made up his mind.

– China wants the conflict in South Sudan to end immediately. That’s interesting, you don’t typically hear them.

– U.N.: Half of Central African Republic needs aid as the country is close to collapse

– “The Libyan Navy intercepted a Maltese-flagged oil tanker trying to illegally enter Libyan waters near Sidra oil port in the early hours of this morning.


– John Pilger talks on how Britons have been misled on the deaths of Iraqis and the entire Iraq War from the beginning.

– Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, a French comedian who had his show banned, is now suing the French government for their recent actions.

– Angela Merkel has canceled meetings for the next three weeks as she injured her pelvis in a skiing accident.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– To fight against inflation, Argentina will place price controls over goods.

– Foreign firms want to open up labs in Uruguay to study medicinal cannabis since it’s legal there.

– Uruguay states they want to re-establish trade relations with Argentina, but one minister remarks it “will never be the same” again

Surveillance Planet

– Glenn Greenwald states there are even more secrets on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel to be exposed

– In California, lawmakers have introduced a bill to prohibit state agencies from working with the NSA

– Chris Hedges discusses the “last gasp of American democracy” if NSA programs are not stopped

– Emptywheel: “Did the Hospital Confrontation Shut Down an Illegal Dragnet against Iraq War Critics?”

Financial Matters

– Pew: Nearly four-in-10 Americans who are unemployed have been unemployed for more than six months

– Even more on the exploitation of older Americans, who are faced with a decreased amount for their pensions and even their salaries if they are working.

– According to Gallup, Americans report they have spent $96 per day on average last month, which is the same (and highest) as they spent in Sept. 2008

– Matt Taibbi remarks the terrible HSBC settlement proves the entire drug war is a “joke.” Indeed it is.

– JPMorgan will pay $2 million to get rid of Madoff case where they knew he was running a Ponzi scheme, but didn’t do anything.

– With the recent push for the TPP, it’s NAFTA all over again, but even worse. I can’t imagine the repercussions considering the damage NAFTA has caused.

– Boeing reports record orders and deliveries last year, showing they can definitely pay their workers more.

– The U.S. hits the fourth year of slowing health care costs.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A ruling in the Supreme Court may make every public worker in the U.S. have “right to work” laws in their workplace

– Boeing has won the first round against Seattle workers, but there’s still more time to fight back. Interesting the Obama administration has not even said a word over this.

– Temp jobs have been on the rise and that’s worrisome considering the disproportional power they hold over their contracts and livelihoods.

42 miners died last year on the job, which is up from 36 the year before.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Justice Sonia Sotomayor has issued a stay on same-sex marriages in Utah until 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides to uphold or strike down District judge Robert Shelby’s ruling.

– “A Republican senator on Monday sued to stop the government from paying most of the medical insurance premiums for members of Congress and their aides who are now required to obtain coverage through the new health care law’s state exchanges.

– One Republican and Tea Party-affiliated candidate has called for the U.S. capitol to be moved to Nebraska to avoid lobbyists

– Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has remarked Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) should not be in the Senate, once again, due to his lawsuit over NSA programs

– Tea Party groups are calling for unemployment benefit extensions to be abandoned

– Meanwhile, Congress will delay the vote on the jobless bill until tomorrow. So much for urgency.

– Janet Yellen confirmed as Fed chair by the Senate through a 56-26 vote. Obama remarks she will be a “fierce champion” for Americans.

– After the failure of Obamacare, what can the left do in this country to provide a better life for millions of Americans?

Anytown USA

– U.S. defense experts cite cyber-attacks as the most dangerous threat facing the U.S.

– Journalist Alyssa Rohricht goes over John Kiriakou’s case from the beginning and the lessons drawn upon it. Don’t forget to read the latest post and what you can do for Kiriakou here.

– Colleen LaRose, or “Jihad Jane,” has been sentenced to 10 years in a failed al-Qaeda plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist.

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “2014 Is the Year for a People Powered Movement

– This is no joke. Only one percent of police brutality reports in central New Jersey are actually followed upon.

– “Bronx Community Wins Big on Development Project Committed to Living Wages and Local Economy

– Economist Dean Baker discusses Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York City and his significance as a progressive.

– Could 2014 also be the year of immigration rights?

We Don’t Need No Education

– On both sides of the Atlantic, student rights are being curtailed by administration purposes and, thankfully, students are fighting back.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

A map where Americans get enough exercise

– A new study has found doctors only spend about, on average, 36 seconds talking with teenagers about sex

– USDA will place even more meat and grains into school lunches.

– Here’s a heartwarming, good vibration story. A nonprofit group in NYC gives free plastic surgery to kids who were bullied for their deformities.

The Second Sex

– Women in states where abortion is severely restricted are using ulcer medication as a form of aborting the fetus. It is harmful for their health.

– A Federal appeals court will review Texas’ abortion law, but expect more battles

– Once again, 60 Minutes is losing integrity as a news station as they produce a hit job over the death of cleantech, despite having errors throughout the report.

– One of the Steubenville football players accused of rape has been released 

– “New Campus Rape Bill Written With Help From Sexual Assault Survivors” Good news.

Planet Earth

– NOAA remarks millions of Americans are at risk due to the severely cold weather. Thanks ineffective governments!

– The oil company behind the North Dakota train explosion knew it was carrying explosive chemicals. Not again.

– Could the Keystone XL pipeline be ditched due to Kerry’s want for a global climate agreement? Perhaps, but don’t put any bets.

– A Japanese ship has been caught, through photos, catching whales in protected waters

– Next year, Toyota will sell a hydrogen car throughout the world.

– Scientists can turn algae into crude oil in less than one hour.

– The Lubicon Lake Nation in Canada will continue its anti-fracking campaign and will appeal a court injunction in favor of oil companies.

– “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a report years in the making about options for keeping Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

– Garbage boats in Brazil will clean waters in Rio in preparation for World Cup and Olympics.

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Americans are now purchasing more internet-connected and advanced technology, while reporting they have less of the older technology (VCRs, basic cellphones, etc)

– “Big, Sloppy Chicken Parm Hovers Alluringly Above Nation

– What’s Congress agenda for 2013?

– Pew: Eight-in-10 African Americans, meanwhile, use the internet in this extensive study of African-Americans and technological use

– “Epilepsy drug turns out to help adults acquire perfect pitch and learn language like kids

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.