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The Roundup for February 14th, 2014

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It’s the end of the week. How has it been for you?

International Politics


– The U.N. has found North Korea has committed crimes against humanity and will be seeking a criminal investigation into the matter

It seems once again that Syria will fail to be on track to destroy its chemical weapons

– Iran is calling for an end to any foreign support for extremist elements in Syria

Middle East

– For Saudi Arabia and Iran, they both share a common interest in Syria: stopping revolutions from spreading to their region

– Kareem Khan has been released after facing brutal torture from his kidnappers over his activism against drone strikes. He still will testify.

– In Iraq, ISIS militants have captured more territory in Iraq and are not stopping

– Dozens were killed and others were wounded in a car bomb explosion outside of a mosque in Yadouda, Syria

– The U.S. is warning that due to the release of prisoners by Afghanistan, they could be targeted by SpecOps if they return to the battlefield

– On the third anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, the country faces fierce clashes between police forces and anti-government protesters

Asia and Oceania

– An article by John Pilger describing the importance of discussing history with a look at the Korean War and beyond

– John Kerry: Both the U.S. and China are committed to having a de-nuclearized North Korea 


– The U.N. is reporting that arms in the hands of the Somalian government were given to al-Shabaab

– Juan Cole: “Putinism in Cairo? The Rise of the Russian Model”

– Riot police and protesters clashed in Egypt that has left two people dead.


– The Eurozone GDP has grown by .3 percent in the last three months of 2013, which is up from .1 percent the quarter before

– An agricultural minister in Angela Merkel’s government has resigned over allegations of submitting evidence of possession of child pornography by another German lawmaker

– Here’s a shocking statistic, thousands of zoo animals are killed yearly in European zoos 

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

A good article discussing what is happening overall in Panama over the Panama Canal and whether it’s worth it in the end

– Uruguayan President Jose Mujica: The world must re-evaluate stance on drugs in a manner like we have done with legalization of cannabis

– After a bank pulls out of Cuba, the country has suspended U.S. consular services unless it finds an alternative

– Anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela but the turnout is much lower than before. Yet, in the interest in not following the bourgeois media, here’s a piece analyzing three different perspectives on the protests there

Surveillance Planet

– So much for privacy by Silicon Valley. Major companies seek to take user information for their own benefit.

– Ron Paul has announced a petition to give Edward Snowden clemency and to force the Obama administration to do so

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Washington D.C. leads the nation with the highest payroll-to-population rate, while West Virginia is at the bottom of the list

– It seems Fed chair Janet Yellen’s “tapering of quantitative easing” is disrupting markets here and overseas; Meanwhile, Yellen’s husband resigns from an institution funded by a Swiss banking institution to avoid any conflict

– Alternet discusses 10 more things about the Comcast purchase of Time Warner that make it a terrible choice for consumers

Labor’s a-Brewing

– GOP Politicians and anti-union activists are working together to stop the brave vote of workers at the Volkswagon plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Obama, meanwhile, accuses Republicans of siding with German share-owners than the workers

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: 52 percent of Americans state America has failed in its goal in Afghanistan

– Obama to Congress: Please help us fund a $1 billion program to help community adapt to climate change and disasters resulting from it; Meanwhile, farmers in California are (rightfully) criticizing Barack Obama for not doing enough

– Obama: Our job for this year is to increase the minimum wage and to better the immigration system and the elections this year might complicate it; Joe Biden, meanwhile, states Democrats should stand by their values even in re-election

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): I want to spark a “transformation” of the GOP; Reforming inside of a capitalist party is just exposing yourself as a fraud

– The U.S Army has a new job it wants to fill. Analyzing social media for evidence of “extremist influence”

– What’s been going on with the Supreme Court? This article gives an overview of their 2013-14 court case season 

– Doctor Milton Wolf is running for Senate in Kansas and equated President Obama treatment of the rich to Hitler’s treatment to Jews. Did I mention Wolf is Obama’s cousin?

Anytown USA

– Gallup: Adults aged 24 to 34 who live at home with their parents are less likely to be “thriving

A great investigative piece on the Koch brothers and how one man led them to pour “dark money” into politics. Here’s an interactive map of what groups out there have such “dark money”

– The LA Sheriff’s Department is facing a lawsuit. On what you ask? Shooting an 80-year-old man in his bed with a submachine gun.

– For the NATO 3 trial, it is shameful for the Chicago Tribune to go against the right of dissent and stand with the overzealous prosecutors of the case

– In Kansas, Republicans in the Senate are irate over a new bill allowing religious groups the right to deny services to anyone who is gay

– A federal judge in Virginia has struck down a law that bans gay marriage

We Don’t Need No Education

– Part two of two with University of California-AFT President and how colleges exploit part-time labor for their benefit

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

What we’re seeing is the ill effects of income inequality in things like marriage and how loneliness can exist in a system today

The Second Sex

– “One Billion Rising” is a movement seeking to stop violence against women that is so excessive in our society

A tragic part (and a legit criticism) of the media is how they refuse to show indigenous women who have gone missing., They are often forgotten as a result of little exposure.

Planet Earth

– Environmentalists are clamoring for a stop to plants that ruin ecosystems of bees considering the declining rate of bees

– Here’s five points on the drought in California leading water to be scarce and the state facing a “mega-drought”

– After the snowstorm passed in South Carolina and Georgia, thousands faced devastation and lack of power 

Mixed Bag

– Pew has five facts over love and marriage in the U.S., including 50.5 percent of Americans married and reason for marriage

– U.S. researchers have found that being gay is particularly due to genes, but other factors do play a role.

Break Time

I Put A Spell On You 

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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.