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The Roundup for February 21st, 2014

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It’s Friday. How has your week been?

It has been 49 years since Malcolm X was assassinated.

International Politics


– At the International Criminal Court, lawyers with Reprieve, a human rights organization, filed a complaint against NATO allies for war crimes involving drone strikes

– A coalition of human rights groups called for the International Olympic Committee to force nations hosting the Olympics to not have any discriminatory laws

Middle East

– One of the top clerics in Iran warned if the United States attacks Iran, then the country will strike back

– Arab Sunni tribes in Iraq decided to unite to defeat al-Qaeda by protecting their areas

– The Syrian Air Force increased bombardment in southern area of Syria

Asia and Oceania

– China is warning the United States for Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama as it would impact Sino-American relations


– In Egypt, history is providing lessons that are repeating in the country as turmoil continues

– The United Nations is reporting that civilians in South Sudan are the main victims of the violence there due to ethnicity

– 9 al-Shabaab militants died as they were attacking the Presidential place in Somalia


– Good news out of Ukraine as both sidesagreed to a deal that will have a new elections and a new government along with a few other provisions but people are still protesting in the streetsThe Guardian has full details of today’s events and the full text of the agreement here

– The Sochi Olympic Games are represented in a negative light by Western media, almost meriting something in return 

The last Buddy Cole segment on The Colbert Report on the situation in Sochi and the gay community there

– IMF head Christine Lagarde pretty much says “Let them eat cake” when remarking there was enough of a social safety net in place in Greece to help Greeks (thanks to your imperial bourgeois antics, you’ve let the neo-Nazis come out throughout Europe as millions suffer in poverty)

– In related news, an article remarks that both the troika and the Greek government have been “in denial” on the effects of austerity

– A proposal has arisen in Spain to bar companies from donating money to political parties; Interesting development

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Who is Leopoldo López? Where did he come from and what’s his motive for coming out now? Max Blumenthal talks about this here.

– The drug war plaguing Mexico for years has its origin within the neoliberal policies conducted by the elites

– The opposition in Venezuela is using this opportunity to overthrow the government to ensure a society of capitalism with haves and have-nots

– The poor in Venezuela joined the protests, a significant sign, as the country sends troops to the border to stop protests and revokes CNN journalists’ credentials from covering the situation.

Surveillance Planet

– Emptywheel: “GAP, POGO, Experience Break-Ins

Financial Matters

– It seems the independent film industry may be heading into a place of exploitation and lots of subsidies, a worrying sign

– Gallup: 54 percent of Americans view foreign trade as an “opportunity” rather than a “threat”

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Here’s an interview by The Real News on whether $10.10 in minimum wage would be significant to her livelihood

– With all this talk about state pensions being a major problem for states, there is little in discussionrelative to corporate subsidies given 

– Ralph Nader further discusses the problems within the CBO report on a minimum wage increase

– UAW has filed a complaint with the National Labor Review Board on union vote in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Natasha Lennard discusses a new plan by the FCC to put government agents in the news to observe how news is collected. Are…are you serious?

– In serious news, hard-hitting testimony to be remembered years from now will be delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Congo by self-proclaimed expert Ben Affleck

– The American Psychological Association rejected a call to ban any assistance for the military on interrogation

– The Justice Dept. revised rules on leak investigations by saying it will notify news organization about obtaining records beforehand to allow news organization to challenge subpoenas or search warrants

– The federal government will pay less to private health insurers in Medicare Advantage plans in the future

– President Obama barred the media from attending his meeting with the Dalai Lama because why not?

Anytown USA

– A Democratic state senator in California was charged with corruption for accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and trips

– Pew: 51 percent of victims in hate crime cases report their ethnicity was the reason for the attack

– So a bill passed the Senate in Arizona and seems to be cruising to be a law. It features the provision of allowing businesses to not serve same-sex couples

– It seems, according to a report, private prisons still want to live in a place of secrecy even with public funds supporting them

We Don’t Need No Education

– In Oakland, CA there is an organization that focuses on helping at-risk students rather than the utterly inane use of punishment

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– We have been told that there are foods that aren’t good for us (in my case chocolate), but the reality is way different than this fiction

– Jon Stewart jokes about the different amount of food safety problems that companies are dealing with from Subway to Hot Pockets

– Mayor Bill de Blasio relaxed shelter entrance rules for the homeless in New York City

The Second Sex

– A new survey reported by Telegraph found 27 percent of flight attendants reported sexual harassment in the past year

Planet Earth

– The CEO of Exxon joined a lawsuit on fracking. No, not the side for it, but against it as he realized drilling will be lowering the property value of his house. Priorities!

– One industry that will be severely affected by this drought in California will be the beer industry

– Idaho throws its hands in the air and decides the sky is pink by declaring the EPA shouldn’t be allowed to conduct regulations in the state

– The alternative of geo-engineering to stop climate change might very well lead to more heat

– So a top lobbyist for Chevron is now a “senior staff member” for the House Committee for Science (that revolving door just keeps spinning!)

– A tragedy is unfolding in California for farmers as little to no water will be available for them during this tough time

Mixed Bag

– Research out of Hungary found that dogs seem to tell a happy voice apart from a sad voice

– Unable to watch the Lego Movie? Here’s a remake with kittens rather than Legos

– Oh jeez. Steve Jobs will be appearing on a USPS stamp soon

Break Time

Remind Me Soul

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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.