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The Roundup for February 25th, 2014

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Hello folks, hope you’re doing well.

International Politics


– Trans-Pacific Partnership has moved onto the next round despite a final agreement not yet made. Within the talks, it seems there is “progress,” which isn’t good for any of us.

– Gallup: 57 percent of Americans rate the United Nations as doing a “poor job.”

– Gareth Porter discusses whether pressure by the U.S. to get Iran to discuss its ballistic missile program may be jeopardizing the entire peace process

Middle East

– Obama to Karzai: If you don’t sign the agreement, then all U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn before the year’s end

– Syrians are the largest refugee population in the world now, according to the United Nations

– Petrochemical companies in Iraq, once flourishing, have come to a halt due to a lack a fuel

Asia and Oceania

– Pakistan launched air strikes on Waziristan hideouts killing 25 militants, officials have said

– In the Philippines, protesters demonstrated against the upcoming visit of President Obama aswell as the U.S. military presence in the country


– After a new law passed in Uganda basically criminalizing being gay, a newspaper in the country released the names of 200 people claiming they were gay. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warns the country to repeal the law

– The military junta in Egypt named Ibrahim Mahlab as its new Prime Minister (in name only from my perspective) and he has pledged to crush terrorism and other stuff

– In a boarding school attack, Islamists in Nigeria killed 59 students 


– Think the Queen has no power? It’s been found that both the Queen of England and Prince Charles have used their veto power on 30 bills in the U.K.

– Interim President Olexander Turchynov is warning the threat of deep divisions and separatism still loom in the Ukraine

– Wonderful Jason Jones piece fromThe Daily Show of a real event in which the Russian government cut the feed for a dissenter during an interview

– Leaked tapes with the Turkish Prime Minister find he asked his son to dispose of evidence of hidden money as corruption investigation continues. Erdogan responds it’s all fake.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Gallup: Venezuelans rated the conditions in their country and the progress of the economy as negative. Jimmy Carter said, meanwhile, he will go go Venezuela to meet with people of the opposition and the government to help work out something

– The informants who helped the U.S. capture El Chapo said they haven’t been paid in return. Mexico, meanwhile, will hold El Chapo in their country

– The United States expelled three Venezuelan diplomats in response to Venezuela doing the same to three U.S. diplomats

– Recommended piece on how violence is plaguing Brazil in its football (soccer) matches ahead of the World Cup in June

Surveillance Planet

– To go around the snooping of the NSA, both Brazil and the EU government decided to use an underwater communication cable between the two

– Oakland Privacy Working Group releases a statement against the proposed construction of an Oakland Spy Center

– Emptywheel: “Confirmed: DOJ Uses Section 702 to Get Title I FISA Warrants

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Majority of business leaders rate the knowledge a job candidate has as more important than whether they have a college degree

– There is a rumor going around that Bitcoin site MtGox is gone because of theft and more than 750,000 Bitcoins are missing

– According to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Credit Suisse helped 22,000 Americans millionaires transfer money into offshore tax-free accounts

– JPMorgan Chase will be cutting 8,000 jobs from its mortgage and retail section

– A cybersecurity firm warned 360 million new stolen credentials have been found on the cyber black market with no way of figuring out where they came from

Labor’s a-Brewing

– I’m in agreement that a workers’ movement in the South can radically change the discussion of living standards in the U.S.

– Democrats in the Senate once again delayed voting to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 because Republicans or something like that. I’m unsure what excuses they have left

Politics US

Washington USA

– A federal district judge will hear arguments on whether Michigan can restrict marriage to a man and a woman

– In what is not a link from The Onion, a candidate running for the Senate in Louisiana said Viagra is made out of his own blood. This is a person who was jailed for corruption.

– President Obama: Now health insurance enrollment has reached nearly four million people 

– Attorney General Eric Holder announces discriminatory laws don’t need to be defended by states

Anytown USA

– In the U.S., while driving on a highway, you may be stopped for “driving while black” as blacks are more than likely than whites to be stopped by patrol officers

– You’ve definitely heard this before: “Post-racial America.” It’s dangerous as it is far from reality and neglects the issues of race still existing in the U.S.

– In Florida, a police officer jailed one teenager on child rape charges and sent him to jail for 35 days before it was found it was the wrong person

– Larry Wilmore of The Daily Show brilliantly shows how Andrew Napolitano’s incorrect statement on the Civil War is basically him caring more for profit than humans

– Missouri has ran out of its lethal drug to execute a prisoner, but will go ahead with the execution using a new drug 

We Don’t Need No Education

– We can also explore the problems of income inequality on our college campuses, where there is a lot of evidence

– Colleges across the U.S. who give out financial aid don’t say how the process is done, but a new proposal might change that

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– America has another crisis within the realm of health and it’s sugar intake. The World Health Organization recommends less than a can of soda per day, and judging by our ever-so-present corporate overlords, that isn’t easy to do.

– Great news. A new report found the obesity rate among pre-school children has fallen by 43 percent.

– The White House announced efforts to remove images of ads promoting junk food in public schools.

The Second Sex

– A new study found women aren’t as published as men in the literary world in certain journals

– Hillary Clinton: The fight for Women’s Rights isn’t just exclusive to women, but men also have a duty to fight for it

– This is utterly sickening and insane. At the University of California – Santa Barbara, there have been two gang rapes in the last two months. 

– After an 89-year-old woman was raped by her caretaker, she was denied any help and was called a “flirt” after being sent to a psychiatric ward

– A new AP report found that while women in the U.S. Army would love to enlist, few want to go on the frontlines

Planet Earth

– While radiation from Fukushima will soon be approaching the West Coast, there is no major worries for people living there as this article explains. Meanwhile, Japan states they still need to rely on nuclear power for electricity production

– In what is certainly a first (and won’t be the last), a man in China decided to sue the country due to the vast amount of smog

– TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, has not followed federal safety regulations, further proving how corrupt a company they are

– Researchers used a drone to help estimate 35 million gallons of coal ash spilled into a river in North Carolina.

Mixed Bag

– Artists speak to on how the rights of artists are in jeopardy due to the popularity of things like Spotify

Break Time

– Dream A Little Dream of Me

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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.