CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for January 31st, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you? I decided to do some special changes for next month. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting special artists from the black community from different genres. Hope it goes over well.

International Politics


– Pew: As Russia prepares for the Sochi Winter Olympics, most countries have a mixed or unfavorable view of Russia 

– On Feb. 18, Iran and P5+1 will be meeting to continue the nuclear talks with Iran

Middle East

– With peace talks in Geneva II failing to resolve anything, the U.S. is accusing Syria of having a “starve or surrender” policy against civilians

– U.S. Vice President Joe Biden tries to mediate oil revenue conflict between Iraq government and the Kurds

– In Iraq, a suicide car bomb has killed five soldiers and destroyed a bridge.

– In Yemen, militants have killed at least 17 soldiers in a surprise attack.

Asia and Oceania

– China is experiencing a decline and slowing down. Why? What’s happening and how has the state responded to this?

– China, meanwhile, is denying it ever deported a NYT journalist


– Experts suggest a new al-Qaeda tied terror group in Egypt may be a threat for the state and its security


– Gallup: While many Russians feel confident over the Olympic Games, they still are concerned on security and the environment.

– Democracy Now! discusses whether the protests in the Ukraine are democratic or a right-wing front.

– In Ukraine, meanwhile, medical workers have blocked police to arrest a person who has said he was abducted and tortured. Also, the opposition has called for Western help against the government and John Kerry says the Ukrainian President’s reforms don’t go far enough

Latin America, Carribean and Canada

– The vigilante groups in Mexico are quite the force against the cartels. What do they bring to the table and why are they controversial? The Real News has it here.

– Part one of a four-part series on the overthrow of the President of Haiti 11 years ago, whom was elected

– Venezuelan students are leaving the country for Ireland, a country they think is recovering

Surveillance Planet

– Natasha Lennard talks about the shift at the NSA with new leaders and what to expect (perhaps very little) as a result of it.

– Obama has defend James Clapper and his fault to be “more careful” when telling the Senate the NSA doesn’t engage in bulk collection

– John Kerry states that recent NSA disclosures had an effect on German-U.S. relations and states the episode can be behind both countries

– Canada states the Glenn Greenwald is a “porn spy” for his NSA disclosures and journalism

Financial Matters

– It’s difficult to imagine, but the reality is that it can be expensive to be a poor person in the U.S. 

– I agree with this article on how capitalism can’t save our most urgent problems and we need an alternative to truly make things better

– The IMF will give $506 million loan to Tunisia to “support the brittle economy.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Workers fill the state capitol in Pennsylvania to defend their rights to say they won’t let anyone infringe on their worker rights

– In Illinois, professors are protesting over clocking in hours, a rare and unworkable part of their profession

Politics US

Washington USA

– Whatever pseudo-news states on the chances of a Hillary Clinton nomination, she is still a privileged member of the elite and will be against the majority of working Americans, including women.

– Even more analysis on Obama’s SOTU speech that played the centrist card with weak reforms attached and populist rhetoric.

– The Senate Democrats last year  raised $53 million and has more than $12 million to use this year. RNC raised $81 million last year and has $9 million in the bank for this year.

– Obama is considering appointing a Citigroup economist, another person from Wall Street, to a Treasury position on international relations

– The President seems to have stepped back on immigration reform by not talking about citizenship for immigrants and saying things similar to the GOP. Also he said the he “cares deeply” on the issue of net neutrality and will work to fix it

– Obama, meanwhile, is telling Americans that security at Sochi should be “safe

– Air Force officials state a “culture of fear” to be perfect led to cheating standards in scandal

Anytown USA

– Pew: 55 percent of Americans are looking forward to the Super Bowl (or as Colbert says it, Superb Owl) this Sunday

– Firefighters in one town in Washington refused to help an elderly man get help after a heart attack unless the people he was with called 911 EVEN THOUGH HE WAS RIGHT NEAR THEM (Apologies to Roundup readers, but I use caps to signify outrage sometimes)

– Rania Khalek: “Chicago Cops Strip Searched Three People In Public” She also reports on the fight by poor D.C. residents against gentrification

– An interview with socialist Seattle Council-Member Kshama Sawant and the way forward for the Left

– Refusal to expand Medicaid by Republican governors will end in more than thousands of people dying

– In Maine, a court ruled a school can’t bar a transgender student from entering a girls’ bathroom

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Research out of Germany has found that children begin to feel hatred for outsiders of their clique at the age of seven

The Second Sex

– A new bill in Minnesota wishes to give an increased minimum wage to $9.50 (not sure why anyone would cheer for such a low wage) and expand access to high-quality childcare that is affordable.

– A review of a book on cybersexism in online culture and how it was originally created and why it exists.

– In Spain, activists are marching against a proposed law to restrict abortion access

Planet Earth

– State Dept. releases report saying northern half of Keystone XL seems unlikely to affect anything, seems okay, planet will even die, yada, yada, yada. Steve Horn explains this in greater detail here. White House plays damage control and states the State Dept. report isn’t the final say on Keystone, while Canada praises the report and states a decision will soon come to build it.

– The tropics are becoming more sensitive at a quicker pace to the effects of climate change.

– A seismologist has found that fracking injections have been linked to earthquakes.

– State officials in California remarked they can’t give water to drought-plagued places due to lack of water

– In what is an idiotic decision, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was appointed as a U.N. envoy on climate change

Mixed Bag

It seems that the origin of our modern-day diseases were from the pre-historic Neanderthals and them having sex

– “Al-Qaeda Operative Can’t Believe How Expensive Super Bowl Tickets Are

Break Time

Tokyo, Tokyo

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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.