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The Roundup for January 23rd, 2014

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Sorry for the delay folks. Went to The Daily Show today, so that’s why I was late.

International Developments


– Pew Research has the top 10 global risks that the World Economic Forum have stated in Davos, Switzerland. Interesting read.’

– Is Geneva II a way to bring change to Syria or (and perhaps this is the more realistic route) will it keep Assad and just work to counter al-Qaeda-tied forces in the area without any real change? It seems war of words went under-way at Geneva II

It’s been five years since the first drone strike under Obama. Civilians have been killed. Skepticism has grown. Questions remain.

Middle East

– Never heard of an “open prison” in Israel before? The Real News covers this and how African refugees are sent there that has led many to protest its existence

– At Davos, Iran states they are ready for the world to talk with them and wish to engage

– Syrian opposition has called for a state without Assad as a major demand and want a transition for them to be ruled with consent.

– In Pakistan, 50 licenses were awarded to company to explore for oil and gas. Because’s that sure what Pakistan needs now…

Asia and Oceania

– To quiet down anti-corruption activists, China puts two more activists on trial from the New Citizens Movement.

– North Korea sends a letter to South Korea calling for “reconciliation” as both the U.S. and South Korea express deep skepticism.

– In Myanmar, 48 Muslims were killed by a mob of Buddhists as a report by the U.N. states, but the government denies it ever occurred.


Good news out of Morocco as rapists can’t marry the victim to avoid prosecution.

– South Sudan is a battlefield with the major powers between U.S. and China. The ceasefire for the conflict there has been signed.

– The situation in Libya is one where it’s a war between the NATO-installed government and alliances between black ethnic groups and pro-Gaddafi forces in the area under the “Green resistance

– One professor in Egyptian is defending himself from the military junta and their charges they he participated in “grand espionage.” Read his statement here.


– The left-wing party in Greece, SYRIZA, has succeeded in challenging the status quo of social democrats in Europe

– Mark Weisbrot of CEPR discusses how neo-liberalism has failed Greece and the potential of construction projects to help the economy of Greece.

– A Ukrainian journalist has cleared up the situation in Ukraine with 10 valuable things to know. Necessary for those interested in Ukraine as an eight-hour truce holds in the Ukraine for talks to begin.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Argentina, an economic crisis is occurring as the peso now goes into “freefall.

– In Quebec, Canada, five are dead and at least 30 are missing in a fire at an elderly fire home

Surveillance Planet

– The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has found in a new report that the NSA program is illegal. Still, interesting read with the full report here.

– Attorney General Eric Holder hints that a plea bargain may be given to Snowden, but cites clemency as too far

– The Justice Department have brought up fraud charges to U.S. Investigations Services, which verified Edward Snowden for his job, of milking the gov’t for millions of dollars with improper background checks.

– Snowden hosts a Q&A session and states more protections to whistleblowers must be given, not all spying is that bad and rejects he tricked colleagues when working at Booz.

Financial Matters

– Pew: 65 percent of Americans state there is major inequality going on. 54 percent of Americans believe there should be taxation of the rich in society.

– What happens when Wall Street gets involved with assisted living? Part one of ProPublica‘s investigation to this matter concludes: profoundly terrible things.

– The Google bus is a symbol that Corporate America wants to do to our way of life. Privatization above all.

– Imagine a scorecard when it comes with NAFTA. If workers were included on the scorecard, then they’ll be losing significantly.

– An “activist (really?) investor” in PayPal states that a spin-off is needed as eBay stocks are soaring.

– In fourth quarter, McDonald’s has its earnings decline as few people were going to the fast-food chain.

Labor’s a-Brewing

Here are 11 jobs that feature low-pay and would greatly benefit from a significant minimum wage increase

Politics USA

Washington USA

– Gallup: The uninsured rate for the beginning of this year had a sharp drop to 16.1 percent from Dec. 2013’s 17.3 percent. Those mainly affected were both the unemployed and nonwhite.

– Gen. Stanley McChrystal discuss that the downside to drones is that wars are determined in the “minds of the population.”

– A Justice Dept. study has found that guards are responsible for half of prison sexual assaults.

– FBI states to expect more cyber-attacks on retail sites.

A new Pentagon report has criticized the F-35 for its poor reliability and software

– Defense secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a full review of the nuclear force staff for their recent events featuring drugs and cheating

– Eric Holder has announced the government will soon institute regulations for banks to do deals with cannabis shops

Anytown USA

– Pew: Hispanics prefer removing the threat of deportation for undocumented immigrants compared to giving them full citizenship

Part one of five with Gar Alperovitz and how understanding the imperialist system changed the way he thought.

– In North Carolina, a police officer shot a man 10 times and killed who asked for help after his car crash. The officer’s punishment? Well the jury found him not guilty so he’s scot-free!

– Here’s an idea. Citizens showing up to prisons and seeing prisons conditions as they come unannounced. Giving reports and suggesting reforms. This concept is vital in our pathetic justice system.

– Dinesh D’Souza, yes that Dinesh D’Souza, has been indicated by federal government over violating campaign contribution laws.

– Larry Wilmore of The Daily Show gives great analysis over black culture and racism in the U.S.

We Don’t Need No Education

– A new report has found that liberal arts degree may actually pay off in the long-run

Top Gun (Stories)

– In the past 14 school days, there have been seven school shootings. Terrifying.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

A new study has found that heating may make us fatter and if we keep a room at a cool 66 degrees then we’ll be promoting weight loss for ourselves.

– The FDA is considering to revise food nutritional labels on food packaging to update them.

– The FDA is now investigating the use of caramel coloring after research found it’s a potential carcinogen. The caveat here is that they’ve said it’s been normal for decades, but want to double-check.

– Homelessness in Hawaii is on the rise. What’s the specific root cause of it? How are people reacting to it? What efforts are happening to help them?

The Second Sex

A report from the White House has found that seven percent of college men state they have committed forcible rape and have done it multiple times.

– Perhaps a great question from this article is why cervical cancer, which can be prevented, is killing women in the U.S.

– In Texas, State Senator Wendy Davis (D) has faced sexism from the media and opponents and it shows you how low her opponents are.

Planet Earth

– Awesome to hear as a federal appeals court has ruled the sale of land to an oil company was made illegally and without consideration of the environment.

– A new study has found that more crude oil was spilled in 2013 than the previous 37 years combined. GEE I WONDER IF THE GOVERNMENT WILL SAY “MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T DO THIS”

– Colorado has its governor enter a deal with major oil companies to reduce pollutants in the air, but gets absolutely nothing as more environment damage is expected to follow these fracking companies.

At least 20 whales have been found dead on Florida beaches and scientists are puzzled as to why

– A joint report between transportation boards in the U.S. and Canada found “major risks” can happen if a crude oil train wreck occurs and urge immediate reforms

Mixed Bag

– Pew has analysis over the 50th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (the anti-poll tax)

– “Study Finds Marine Life Now Global Leader In Oil Imports

– I agree with this piece on the value of napping as it’s very valuable and needed for mental breaks

– “Report: Most Americans Can’t Even Name Their State’s Shadow Lord” Come on America, get it together.

Break Time

For Whom the Bells Toll

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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.