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The Roundup for January 13th, 2014

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Hey folks, hope you are doing well this Monday.

International Developments


– The U.N. has criticized the E.U. for not being more open to Syrian refugees and states they must open their doors for the catastrophe to end

– Russia and the U.S. have both stated Syria will probably be open to humanitarian aid to enter and enforce local ceasefire

Middle East

– Both Britain and the U.S. have stated they will reconsider Syrian opposition support if the rebels refuse to join the peace process

– After Sharon’s burial, Biden held a meeting with Israeli officials and remarked the moment for peace with Palestinians was now

– Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri al-Maliki states he will cut the budget for the Kurds if they go through with an oil pipeline to Turkey

– Numerous countries are waiting for a war in Iraq with ammo, supplies, technologies and training.

– Human Rights Watch has stated that Ariel Sharon should have been tried for war crimes.

At least 21 people have died as a result of car bombs in Baghdad, Iraq

– Juan Cole: “Did Ariel Sharon get a pass on War Crimes because he was White?

Asia and Oceania

– Protesters have occupied the financial center of Thailand and have called for the government to step down

– Due to the lack of agreements, Southeast and East Asia are building their military forces and are heading into a confrontation with other countries if they don’t stop


– A bill criminalizing same-sex marriages in Nigeria has passed and those breaking the law will go to jail.

– Bodies reported in the streets of Bentiu, South Sudan as talks are resuming between government and rebels

– Numerous journalists from international media outlets have called for Egypt to release jailed al-Jazeera journalists

– In Senegal, a five-day conference with numerous young Africans are focusing on the unemployment “time-bomb” in Africa


– A bit lost on the Turkish crisis? The Real News has an interview with a scholar discussing Turkey’s entry into neoliberalism and how a split caused the current crisis

– Russia has expelled a U.S. journalist for the first time since the Cold War due to his presence being “not desirable

– Three more Golden Dawn MPs in Greece have been sent to jail for participating in a criminal organization

– Discrimination against transgender people has been raised in Greek Parliament after a student faced heavy physical and verbal discrimination

– A former finance minister in Greece has stood trial for trying to remove relatives names from the Lagarde list, a list of Greeks who have evaded taxes by placing their money in Swiss banks

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– The U.S. government has been working with the Sinaloa cartel since 2000 to get informants in exchange for immunity and continued drug smuggling

– Vigilantes in Mexico have engaged in a gun battle with cartel groups over the weekend, but only one person was reported injured

– Four years later, Haiti is still suffering from problems that have made people organize for protests over food prices, living conditions and direction

– A group of Cuban students will, in a rare move, go to the largest college in Miami, Florida in the country’s first academic trip

Surveillance Planet

Analyzing the preference for metadata of numerous Americans by law enforcement and the NSA

– The White House states the Justice Department will be its venue where Obama will announce his “changes” to the NSA. Hmmm…

– Emptywheel: “Robert Litt and Mike Rogers KNOW Congress Hasn’t Ratified the Phone Dragnet

Financial Matters

– Despite problems not being structurally addressed, the War on Poverty is perhaps the most effective system made to make sudden changes to people’s lives

– Rather than abolishing the corporate tax rate, it should be doubled due to their actions over the past few decades

A map with the states with the most Bitcoin purchases per capita. The number one state is New Hampshire

– Dean Baker: “Medical Travel: If Bill Gates Wanted to Do Something Good for the World

– Target has stated it will improve its security in order to prevent another breach as House Democrats request a probe into the breach

– Henry Giroux: “Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism’s Punishing Factories

Labor’s a-Brewing

– In Wisconsin, due to decreasing revenue, membership and power, two teacher unions are thinking of merging together to form a new union called Wisconsin Together.

– Employees in a Wal-Mart in Indiana stopped working due to “Polar Vortex” and a state of emergency, despite their boss requesting they work

– The labor movement could get a much-needed boost and re-direction with women at the forefront

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Pew: Obama has made 32 recess appointments over his two terms, the lowest amount out of the past five presidents. The Supreme Court seems willing to restrict the power of recess appointments by the Presidents.

– Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) has history with right-wing Zionist forces and seeks to defend Israel at every turn, even going against the Iranian international agreement

– In response to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Obama has called him a “good friend” and said he did a great job

– The federal government is investigating whether Chris Christie used funds intended for Sandy relief for Jersey Shore tourism ads

– The Justice Department is (finally) investigating rape and sexual abuse in prisons and juvenile detention centers that was first talked about in 2003.

– A new report shows that youth participation in Obamacare was not as expected and was only 24 percent of 2.2 million people who signed up.

– Justice Department providing $8.3 million to Boston Marathon victims, witnesses and first responders

Anytown USA

– Chris Hedges: “The Trouble with Chris Christie

– Democrats in New Jersey have called for probes and investigations into an abuse of power by Chris Christie

– Gallup: Only 23 percent of Americans are currently satisfied with the direction America is going.

Part 4 of Marisela Gomez interview on what Baltimore really needs to move forward with emphasis on community

– Pew: 60 percent of Americans have not changed their viewpoint on Chris Christie after the scandal

– Federal regulators could have prevented the West Virginia chemical spill, but they didn’t. So…yeah… Good news is, some West Virginia counties are regaining their tap water

– According to a lawsuit in New Jersey, police sent a bomb squad to a disabled tudent’s home after finding his drawings of a superhero with a flaming glove.

– Bill de Blasio is taking a page from Rahm Emanuel’s book (probably a whole chapter or two) by listening to his consultants.

– Great news as CeCe McDonald has been released from prison after defending herself from a racist, sexist individual.

We Don’t Need no Education

– Gallup: Young students (grades five through eight) and minority students are more inclined to become an entrepreneur

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Pew Research discusses poverty through graphs and maps in the United States since the “War on Poverty” was declared 50 years ago.

– After their heat was cut off, three children died as a result of the “Polar Vortex” in Indiana

– Due to current problems with antidepressants that can lead to thoughts of suicide for instance, a new test is being developed to make them more effective

– The World Health Organization will soon declare India as “polio-free

The Second Sex

– The U.S., according to a new report, has gotten a “C-“ in reproductive health

– A new bill is promoting “Dad Rights” (not an Onion article) is Wisconsin and its real author is a person who doesn’t want to pay child support

– The Supreme Court refuses to hear Arizona appeal case on abortion restrictions, giving a much-needed defeat to pro-lifers

Planet Earth

– Scientists are saying that not only are seas rising in the East Coast, but that the land is sinking.

– Scientists are warning, well saying, that Europe will be 5 degrees C warmer by 2100.

– What does the situation tell us about the nation’s future? Lack of regulation, constant fear and bottled water for life.

– More on the sailors affected significantly by the Fukushima-tainted water on their ship and the effect it has had 

– Steve Lipsky, a victim of the fracking industry’s hand over his land, is still not satisfied and demands further action despite a report clearing the EPA from any wrongdoing in drinking water contamination. Good for him.

Mixed Bag

– Journalism isn’t objective, it’s a method of bringing analysis and development to the world so it can contribute to the hopefully inevitable radical change in society

– The Onion gives a summary through photos of Ariel Sharon’s life

– A new study has found something that Pfizer’s lawyers can easily take care of

– Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup: “Wait, What If We Try Giving People Home Loans They Can’t Actually Afford To Pay Off?

Break Time

–  Hello, Dolly!

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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.