CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for February 12th, 2014

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Hello folks, how are you?

International Politics


– Both the U.N. and Amnesty International are calling the exodus of Muslims from Central African Republic an “ethnic cleansing”

Middle East

– 35 years after the 1979 Iranian revolution, Western media still gets parts of it wrong. What really occurred in the build up to it and what were the results?

– In Peshawar, Pakistan, a group of 25 militants have killed eight anti-Taliban militia soldiers 

– Aid workers in Syria are waiting to return to Homs after a stay by the U.N. over “logistical difficulties

– Another “green-on-blue” attack occurring in Afghanistan when Afghan army soldiers fired on U.S. soldiers and killed two of them 

– In Iraq, at least 17 civilians and soldiers were killed by car and roadside bombs. Meanwhile, rice yields in the country barely cover 20 days worth of domestic consumption

– It seems that a boycott of Israeli products would be more severe for the Palestinian economy than the Israel economy. Meanwhile, there is a growing boycott occurring inside of Israel

Asia and Oceania

A great article discussing the Vietnam War from the perspective of a Vietnamese-American

– Both North and South Korea had agreed to hold talks at the border to discuss relations between the two


Part two of three with Danny Schechter on Nelson Mandela and facing neoliberalism inside the economic realm


– Journalist Alex Kane goes over on how there are more problems in Russia than meets the eye when watching the media

– Speaking of Russia, an environmental activist was jailed for three years for spray painting a fence.

– For releasing “military secrets,” a journalist in Athens was arrested by Greek police. This is a country that plummeted to 99th place on press freedom.

– Meanwhile, it has been found that two in five apartments in Athens, Greece lack any heat whatsoever.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– At anti-government protests in Caracas, Venezuela, at least two people —a Maduro supporter and another person—were killed by gunshots 

Surveillance Planet

Furthering investigating the role of the NSA on spying in international conferences and in foreign fossil fuel companies

– The American Petroleum Institute had a contract with Stratfor in order to spy on environmentalists and activists in numerous organizations 

– The Committee to Protect Journalists has said the actions by the NSA is a “direct threat to journalism

– A European commission has criticized the U.S. for making the internet under their control with the NSA

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has sued the Obama administration over the collection of Americans’ phone records by the NSA

Financial Matters

– A new paper from Center for Economic Policy and Research finds that after 20 years, the NAFTA agreement for Mexico has absolutely failed the country. The press release can be found here.

– Gallup: For the fifth year in a row, North Dakota has produced the most jobs out of any U.S. state. Rhode Island, on the other hand, did the least.

– Economist Robert Reich explains that the U.S. is forgetting three fundamental principles it used before: high taxes, focusing on consumers and allowing the rich to have a smaller share of the economy

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Imagine getting a visa to enter the U.S., gain a job with the Labor Department and experience culture. The cruel twist of that story is that the program for non-citizens is used by companies to get cheap labor to exploit.

– President Obama has signed an executive order to raise the wages of federal contractors and called on Congress to do the same for the rest of the U.S.

–  What do you think “Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity” want? A group filled with capitalists who are among the top one percent is urging the government to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. It seems the elites will allow the raise to happen if it quells any unrest.

A paper from CEPR has found unionization positively affects the livelihood of black workers. The press release can be found here

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: 55 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for murderers, down from 78 percent in 1996. Less Americans are in support of it.

– New Orleans is lacking much-needed justice by federal prosecutors on murders committed by police officers, for instance.

– A judge rules the DEA needs a warrant in order to get the Oregon drug database 

– The White House is offering to help small business thwart any cyber attackers 

– Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is stating she can’t accept Obama’s fast-track of the TPP

Anytown USA

– Gallup: The insurance rate continues to drop with the latest report showing 16 percent of Americans.

– In Maryland, protesters are going against Citizen United and wanting a change with money in politics.

– A BART officer tasers a black man for doing absolutely nothing. Fire all the BART cops and send these people to an island isolated from society.

– In Maine, due to austerity from the state government, state troopers live without heat and have to get roadkill to eat with their family. I’m serious.

– Digging deeper into NYPD’s William Bratton, the Police Commission under Mayor Bill de Blasio, and his role after the unpopularity of the NYPD and its policies.

– The prosecutor in the murder of Jordan Davis case remarks Michael Dunn “lost it” and wasn’t acting in self-defense 

– A group advocating for same-sex marriage has vowed to challenge Louisiana’s same-sex marriage ban 

– In Damage Control 101, capitalist clown Governor Chris Christie mocks the Democrats for advocating on challenging income inequality

Top Gun (Stories)

– A study has reported that, since Newtown, 28 have been killed in 44 school shootings

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

Here are quotes from heroin addicts on both being addicted to the drug and trying to stay sober

– It’s the industry going against the movement of people as the GMO battle continues to heat up across the globe at the same time corporate agreements are being agreed upon

The Second Sex

– Pew: Among couples, there are now more women who are college-educated than men.

– After an eight-grader was sexually assaulted during a bus ride, the school did nothing even with videotaped evidence

Recommended article discussing the Human Rights Watch report on abuse carried out on Iraqi women that is reminiscent of Abu Ghraib

Planet Earth

– Farmers in California are approaching the farming season as the utterly horrific drought continues

Another coal spill is happening in West Virginia with 100,000 gallons of sludge in rivers

– The winter storm coming up the East Coast has been blamed for nine deaths 

– The federal government has approved three permits for fracking off the coast of California

Mixed Bag

– “Compromising Company’s Values For Advertising Revenue Referred To As ‘Partnering’

– The censorship yesterday by Bing for Chinese-language users in the U.S. was a “system error

– Scientists have found a breakthrough in nuclear fusion by recreating the conditions inside of the sun

Break Time

I Used to Love H.E.R. 

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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.