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The Roundup for January 17th, 2014

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Hey folks, hope you had a great week.

International Developments


What can American history tell Obama on how the Iraq War will be for him as it is become more unstable?

– Israel has summoned European envoys over their support for Palestinians and said it is a “one-sided” attempt to help Palestinians.

– The White House has released a summary of the Iranian agreement as calls for transparency were calling for knowledge of the document. Iran has called it as “one-sided” version of events.

– The IAEA has stated it will cost $6 million to monitor Iran and its compliance with the new nuclear deal.

– John Kerry has said that Syria must accept the peace terms placed in the Geneva confidence.

Middle East

– Who speaks for America in Yemen? Politicians? Citizens? Celebrities? It’s drones.

– Syria is preparing a ceasefire offer in Aleppo with the rebels and offering a prisoner swap before the Geneva talks.

– Russia is increasing its military supplies to Syria as rebels are getting weaker in the civil war.

At least 13 people have died in Kabul, Afghanistan after suicide bombers attacked a restaurant.

Five people were killed in Anbar of Iraq by a suicide bomber who attacked an anti-al-Qaeda gorup.

More than 200,000 people have fled the Anbar province in Iraq due to the huge amounts of fighting there.

Asia and Oceania

– Here’s some information for those interested in what is occurring in Cambodia where workers are taking a stand not for living wages only, but to radically do away with the political system and make a new one for the needs of the worker.


– The approval of yesterday’s constitution has been noted as being an approval of the Egyptian military junta as they were the creators of the document to keep the status quo as is.

– South Korea has refused to stop its military drills with the U.S. at North Korea’s request

– As Central African Republic slowly descends into bloodshed, it has accepted information for candidates for the next President of the country.

– The U.N. has said “human rights disasters” have occurred in South Sudan with both sides using child soldiers and committing mass atrocities 


– Documents have shown that Pope Benedict XVI defrocked (remove chaplain rights) nearly 400 priests for molesting children

– In Greece, police were instructed not to intervene in the murder of a Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas

– In the Ukraine, the President has signed into law a bill that would significantly restrict anti-government protests very reminiscent of what the ruling class wanted to do here (and eventually did) for Occupy.

– The New Party has been founded in Greece on justice, equal rights, more economic rights for the masses and even more tenets they hope to work for in the electoral arena.

– Putin has said the LGBT community is welcome in Russia for the Sochi Olympics, but warns they should stay away from children.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– As Panama Canal expansion disputes continue, the deadline for it to be extended will soon come up for a project continually talked about for months.

– Across Latin America, there is a surge of women being jailed with the most common reason being “drugs

Surveillance Planet

– What are politicians and groups saying about Obama’s speech on the NSA? The AP has that all here.

– Canada’s spy agency hasn’t said a word after Obama’s speech with his “reforms” of the NSA.

– Stephen Colbert gives his (sarcastic) defense of the NSA after the new report showing it doesn’t prevent terrorist attacks.

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has stated that Obama had poor content in his speech today on keeping essential NSA programs and states he never had the intention of significantly changing the NSA.

– U.S. tech giants have said they are uneasy about the reforms Obama has offered and didn’t like they were “forced to retain customers’ metadata.

– The Supreme Court is considering two cases that deal with warrantless cellphone data searches. Should be interesting if picked.

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Despite the stock market increasing so far this year, 50 percent of Americans, if given the chance, would not invest in the stock market.

– With class action lawsuits and a Justice Department investigation, Freedom Industries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

– One Wall Street group lobbied a federal agency to stop eminent domain plans on foreclosed houses as the foreclosure crisis continues for Americans.

– A cybercrime firm has found six instances of attacks on U.S. merchants and have alerted authorities over the findings.

– After the JPMorgan settlement, banks are now putting aside money for legal funds if they are ever brought to court.

– Despite New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abandoning efforts for monetary payments from Bank of America over its purchase of Merrill Lynch, but will still go on with the case. So what, are you going for a letter of ‘I’m sorry’ or something?

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Wickedly amazing interview with Colbert and a fast food worker that talks a lot on the challenges and goals of the fast food worker.

– Often times, the “best companies to work for” are just companies that exploit their workers and get called out for it, making such “best” claims as ludicrous.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Gallup: In the U.S., the uninsured rate has fallen from 18.1 percent to 17.2 percent by the end of 2013, still higher than the beginning of 2013.

– It’s time for Washington to implement a new system similar to the Works Program Administration

– Obama has signed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill that extends government opening to Sept. 30.

Anytown USA

– Pew: Only 45 percent of Americans state that the U.S. has made a lot of effort on racial equality in the past century

– The ruling on net neutrality has significant consequences, one of which includes restrictions communities of color by internet providers.

– A stop and frisk in Philly turned into a sexual assault as cops made a 16-year-old boy go to the hospital for genital reconstructive surgery.

– As MLK Day comes near, we remember the real Martin Luther King Junior rather than the fictional MLK hero paraded in the media.

– A judge in Pennsylvania has struck down a Voter ID in the state as it infringes on the “free and fair election” process in the state.

– Bill de Blasio has signed into law an expansion of paid sick leave in New York City for workers.

Top Gun (Stories)

– In Utah, a police officer committed murder-suicide with his wife, children and mother-in-law. Police said there were “no warning signs.”

– In Detroit, a four-year-old girl picked up a loaded rifle and accidentally shot her five-year-old cousin who died as a result of his wounds.

– In Philadelphia, a boy shot and wounded two students before being captured near his home by police.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The Surgeon General of the U.S. has warned that cigarettes can cause more problems than lung cancer with liver cancer, diabetes and blindness as examples as they are more dangerous than ever.

– The UK is being blamed for worsening global hunger crisis by blocking EU reforms to stop food speculations

– According to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, nearly 50,000 Afghan and Iraq veterans were at risk for homelessness last year

The Second Sex

– Both Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal had a humorous take on the recent increase of women in the public eye

– As Harry Belafonte states, ending violence against women isn’t only going to take a movement from women, but also a significant change of the lifestyle of men toward women when they commit such violence.

– A federal court has blocked North Carolina’s ultrasound law for being an “impermissible attempt” to stop women from accessing abortion.

– The drought in northern California has now been declared by Governor Jerry Brown as a “state of emergency.

Planet Earth

– With new EPA rules to limit carbon at power plants, it’s a move to give fracking companies more of an edge against the coal industry.

– The Polar Vortex, a media darling, will soon return as the current hasn’t not converted into anything and may move south.

A new study has found the main culprits of emitting significant CO2 emissions, the U.S. is on the list with other countries deemed strong economies (China, India, Germany).

– It will get worse for East Asia as new cyclones (even worse ones) will continue to hit it in the near future according to scientists.

– The IPCC is warning in its new report that time is act is now. Not tomorrow, not election time, not during a new Presidency, It’s N-O-W.

– John Kerry states there is no rush for Keystone XL pipeline to be decided now.

Mixed Bag

– “‘And Yet, Is Not Beef Itself An Expression Of Wanton Lust?’ Bizarre New McDonald’s Ad Asks

– A new study has found that chimpanzees use gestures in order to communicate common goals

Break Time

Hey Jude

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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.