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The Roundup for February 27th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you today? Made some banana cupcakes with walnuts in them. They smell great!

International Politics


– Throughout the world, numerous media organizations today protested the wrongful jailing of the three Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt by the military junta.

– The U.S. is warning Russia not to conduct military exercises near the Ukraine border, it could “lead to miscalculation

– A human rights report by the U.S. government (I know, ironic) found the civil war in Syria as a tragedy “stands apart in its scope and human cost.

Middle East

– Gallup: Only 33 percent of Americans said, in 2013, there was a chance for peace in the Middle East. Also, a new Pew poll found the U.S. is “about right” in its support for Israel, but one in four believe it should more supportive

– It’s been 35 years since the Iranian revolution in 1979. What happened and what lessons can be learned for contemporary times?

– Amnesty International accused the Israeli armed forces of committing war crimes with violence against Palestinians. You know, Israel’s state monopoly on violence is extraordinary as it faces apathy or support from other states

– The Syrian government is saying there were two attempted attacks on convoys transporting chemical weapons, but the Pentagon says to move it on the transportation of weapons

– Attacks throughout Iraq left 52 people dead earlier today in mostly Shi’ite places

– The Iraqi government is denying it ever signed an agreement with Iran over arms trading

– In Doha, Qatar, 12 people were killed after a gas explosion near a restaurant

Asia and Oceania

– North Korea fired four short-range missiles into the sea in response to the South Korean-U.S. military exercise


– Soldiers fled from Islamic militants in Nigeria who killed 33 people in a village and firebombed a school

– The government of Sudan resumed talks with its rebels after original talks were suspended


– More discussion on how neo-Nazis have been infiltrating the opposition protests in the Ukraine and what that means. The interim government, meanwhile, will try to find $37 billion that went missing under Yanukovich

– Meanwhile, major crisis in Ukraine as Crimea (eastern side) faced pro-Russia sentiment with armed men taking over an airport there

– What’re the elites in the British society to do when they need votes? Pander to the working class of course!

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– The opposition protestors in Venezuela are demonstrating against a peace conference made by Nicolas Maduro. Yet, the protestors are having a tough time getting appeals from the public

Surveillance Planet

– Webcam images of millions of users were intercepted by the GCHQ [UK] and stored, along with the NSA’s help of course

– Keith Alexander: I would be open to any reforms to the NSA; Suuuuuuuurrrrrrreeeeeeee

Financial Matters

– Credit Suisse, who helped the rich in society avoid taxes through offshore tax havens, will not  face any punishment for their illicit activities.

– Wall Street has a history in the dark practices of the South, with slavery for instance

– Thomas Frank: “Paul Krugman won’t save us: We need a new conversation about inequality

– A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found health care reform can decrease financial problems

– Janet Yellen: We have no authority over Bitcoin whatsoever; Japan, meanwhile, says Bitcoin regulation should go global

Labor’s a-Brewing

– There are jobs typically called “good jobs,” but as this article shows, they pay very little despite a lot of training

– Ever wonder where all those Wal-Mart managers ever come from and if they have at least a sense of realization? Fret no more as this article goes behind the scenes at a proposal to get managers in college through Wal-Mart’s campus group

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: 37 percent of Americans say we spend too much, 35 percent say we spend the right amount and 28 percent say we spend way too little

– Pew: Americans are split evenly on whether deportations are a good thing or a bad thing

– Colbert takes down the argument from the right that Hillary can’t run because of her age. (The right propelled Ronald Reagan, a war criminal, with his old age and all and now this to a neo-liberal?)

– President Obama decided to nominate Robert Holleyman for deputy trade representative (i.e. push TPP representative). Holleyman has experience as a lobbyist who pushed for SOPA

– The Senate blocked a proposed bill providing financial benefits and opportunities for U.S. veterans

Anytown USA

– Governor Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona vetoes the anti-gay discrimination bill

– In King City, Calif., police officers were arrested for selling the impounded cars of Latinos

– Amy Goodman: “Mayor Chokwe Lumumba: A Life of Struggle, a Legacy of Progress

– In Columbia, South Carolina, a 70 year-old man was stopped by a police officer for an expired license tag. When the man tried to get his cane as he got out of the vehicle, the officer thought it was a rifle (cause they totally look alike!) and shot the man to death. The officer is now under investigation.

– Disney cut ties with the Boy Scouts for its ban on troop leaders from the LGBTQ community

– Another person from the “Cuban Five” was released from prison 

– A federal judge ordered Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from other states 

– In Colorado, a federal Supermax prison is force-feeding prisoners who are on a hunger strike over poor prison conditions

We Don’t Need No Education

Three charter schools were blocked from using public space by the de Blasio administration in New York City

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: The obesity rate in the U.S. rose to 27.1 percent in 2013. Careful, if I remember correctly, the BMI isn’t a good measure of obesity.

– What’ll happen when the USDA cuts its food inspectors? The foods Americans consume everyday become a game of Russian Roulette 

– With Subway coming under fire for using yoga mat ingredients in its bread, here’s an article discussing other foods with that. How much you ask? 500.

– The new nutrition fact label from the FDA changed and can be viewed here. Significant change here is serving size and the percentages on the left rather than right.

– The FDA announced a review of  regulation for over-the-counter drugs

The Second Sex

– Troubling news out of Spain as it appears legislation there will ban abortion in most cases 

– Bill O’Reilly is thinking of something negative when a woman is elected President because what else is there

– Due to criticism on how Google Doodles were mostly men last year, Google pledged to achieve a balance 

Planet Earth

– Both England and Wales experienced the wettest winter in the past 250 years

– A new report out found that we waste up to one-third of the globe’s food supply

– Uh-oh. 13 workers at a nuclear waste facility tested positive for radiation after a leak occurred at the site

– Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) both said the construction of Keystone XL will endanger the health of Americans

– The U.S. is urging other nations to have a fishing ban in the Arctic as it warms up 

– Here’s an interview with actor Mark Ruffalo on why hydrofracking is dangerous and what can be done to stop its proliferation

– Scientists in both the U.S. and the U.K. said even with the global warming slowdown, climate change is still happening 

– What’s the worst U.S. state for CO2 emissions per person? Wyoming.

Mixed Bag

– Stephen Colbert goes after the criminals in our society who have the nerve to go after private property. In this case, a Gumby replica.

– NASA found more than 700 planets and states some may have life on them

– A corporation in Italy made an amusement park full of food 

– Here is a chart of the 50 states and each of their favorite artists. Here’s the most unpopular ones.

Break Time

I Wish

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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.