CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 6th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you doing today?

International Politics


– Crimea will soon vote on whether to be a part of Russia and President Obama called it illegal under international law

– Both the U.S. and the EU have placed sanctions on Russia and said Russia should stop; Russia wants the IMF to move on its loan to Ukraine without the U.S.

– Could tensions in Ukraine be solved with diplomacy? This professor lays out an argument that it can. Still, it’s a country that needs to take a side with no real benefit

Here’s a long list of countries (35) that have been supported by the U.S. and engaged in crime

– With a water dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia, Egypt has one country to turn to for help: Saudi Arabia

– Rania Khalek: “Hypocrisy of US Elites Over Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Out Of Control

Middle East

– NATO fired a drone strike in Afghanistan killing five Afghan soldiers and wounding eight others; And we wonder why Karzai is angry

– Danny Postel and David Swanson engage in a debate on whether military intervention is needed in Syria

– Meanwhile, car bombs exploded in government-held towns killing at least 17 people

– Juan Cole: “Obama to Netanyahu: Israel faces Int’l Sanctions over ‘Permanent Occupation of West Bank’

– In what is surely very, very frustrating for me to continually report, 42 people have died near Fallujah, Iraq as a result of bombs in a shopping area

Asia and Oceania

– Interesting news out of Japan as the number of people in the Yakuza has dropped to below 60,000


– The son of Moammar Qaddafi was extradited to Libya from Niger and Human Rights Watch is concerned

– Haunting to hear from the U.N. that the western half of the Central African Republic has been “cleansed” of Muslims


– Gallup: Only 28 percent of Ukrainians think a Western-style democracy would be best for the country

– Last December the unemployment rate in Greece was 27.5 percent

– Russian hacktivists have released more than 1,000 documents from the agency overseeing exports of Russian arms

– Meanwhile, two members of Pussy Riot were attacked with rubbish and paint by a group of men

– Interpol got a request from Ukraine for the arrest of Viktor Yanukovych for murder and abuse of power

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Is there anything the U.S. can learn about from Venezuela? How about its democracy.

– One Venezuelan soldier and one motorcyclist were killed in opposition protests in Venezuela

Surveillance Planet

– A security company can track where you’ve been and even share that information with the police. Seriously. states are slowly countering that however

– The top spy agency in the U.S. requests Americans better protect themselves with encryption tools

– Gen. Martin Dempsey: It will take us two years (and lots of money) to overcome the Snowden fiasco

– John Brennan of the CIA denies the agency ever spied on the Senate in its torture investigation

Financial Matters

– The CEO of BP had his salary, get ready for this, triple in 2013. Triple. 

– If the U.S. wants to have a better economy, Wall Street needs to downsize and become less influential (or gone) in the world

– The IMF is finally admitting that huge income inequality means reduced growth

– We’ve heard a lot on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but what will the Trans-Atlantic Partnership do? (Nothing good, that’s for sure)

– With shoppers moving online and in-store sales down, Staples announced plans to ax 225 stores

– Three executives of a failed company have been on trial for falsifying what was happening in their company 

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Gallup: The Gallup-made payroll-to-population index reported a rate of 43.1 percent in February

– For people not working, 70 percent of those people are under 55

– It seems the founder of Bitcoin may have been discovered and there are some interesting tidbits on him

A new Center for Economic and Policy Research report analyzed a paid sick leave law in Connecticut and found it had little to no negative effect on businesses. Press release can be found here.

– Oh great, it seems Boeing decided to freeze nonunion workers’ wages starting 2016

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: 23 percent of Americans state the ACA has hurt them compared to 10 percent who say it has helped them

– With failure to get sanctions on Iran and action in Syria, AIPAC may be losing its hold in the U.S. Congress

– Some crazy things at CPAC this year include Marco Rubio  lying on how Iran and North Korea will destroy the U.S., Paul Ryan complaining the left talks on income inequality and Ted Cruz saying the IRS will go after everyone at CPAC

– In other news, the Tea Party turns five years old

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he is ready to run in 2016, but it isn’t a formal announcement

Anytown USA

– ALEC, notorious for its right-wing tactics, will be making a front group to target small towns and city councils

– Pew: 71 percent of Catholics in the U.S. say Pope Francis has been a change in the Catholic Church. 68 percent say it’s for the better

– Part three of six with Michael Ratner on the radical King and the instances of radicalism in U.S. history

– Amy Goodman: “44 Years a Prisoner: The Case of Eddie Conway

– Natasha Lennard discusses how NYPD Police Chief Bill Bratton has come back to discriminating the marginalized. More here.

– New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is a troubling figure who promotes austerity as a Democrat

We Don’t Need No Education

– Pew: Women across all racial lines are surpassing men in college attendance 

– A new report found half of public schools in the U.S. need dire repair 

A new survey found more first-year students are not going to first-choice colleges as cost is a key issue

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: Only 63.8 percent of Americans ate healthy during 2013, which is down from 2012

The Second Sex

– A new CNN poll has found over half of Americans say abortion should be legal – in certain circumstances 

– A court in Massachusetts ruled that pictures up skirts is legal because if it doesn’t include nudity then it’s okay; Massachusetts writes a new law barring it

– Due to sexual assault allegations, the Army’s top sexual assault prosecutor has been suspended

– Rio Grande Valley, Texas is one of the poorest parts in the U.S. and had its last abortion clinic closed 

– A judge in Georgia decided to overturn a sexual assault case because they victim wasn’t behaving like a victim

Planet Earth

– The left in this country needs to understand the problem of the 21st century (to take a page from W.E.B. DuBois) is the environment (arguably) and it’s essential in overthrowing capitalism

– MSNBC host Ed Schultz admits he was wrong in supporting Keystone XL and decides to go against it; Meanwhile, you can catch an ad for it on the White House website

– Because of climate change, the currents going through the four major oceans will be slowing 

– An agency in Canada reported that crude oil is just as explosive as gas is

Mixed Bag

It seems there was a chimp Patient Zero hundreds of thousands of years ago, says one HIV/AIDS researcher

– Getty Images will be releasing their 35m images for free in an effort to control their copyrights in the age of social media

– Bad news. The daughter of MLK, Jr has agreed to hand over King’s Bible and Nobel Peace Prize according to a court order, but she pleads with her brothers not to sell them

Break Time

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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.