CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 25th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you this day?

International Politics


– President Obama: Russia is nothing more than a “regional power” who is weak rather than strong; Real strong rhetoric

– Gallup: 43 percent of Americans view Russia as “a serious problem” rather than an adversary, which 26 percent of Americans believe

– John Kerry tried to salvage the Israel-Palestine peace talks by attempting to form a new agreement between the two

– The UN is reporting an alarming trend where the killings of journalists have risen in the past few years, particularly “in part of the Arab region

Middle East

– Foreign Minister of Israel states it would be legal for Israel to transfer Arab-Israelis to a new Palestinian state

– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s home village in Syria was under attack by Syrian rebels, that led to skirmishes between the government forces and rebels

– There were deaths reported in Afghanistan as a result of Taliban attackers, including suicide bombers who were near a presidential candidate’s home

29 people have been killed throughout Iraq through a wave of attacks

Asia and Oceania

– The Malaysian government is promising, by all means, to find the Flight MH370 wreckage as relatives of the Chinese passengers have been protesting in China to get a straight answer


– Here’s an addition to the link I pointed to yesterday on the over 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt sentenced to death. It’s an interview on how due process in the country is “impossible.

– Meanwhile 683 people, all Muslim Brotherhood supporters, have been tried in a mass trial for multiple charges, such as murder

– Unrest is growing in the country of Sudan with the IMF as a major cause

10 people in northeastern Nigeria died as a result of two car bombs by Islamic militants


– It seems back in 2011, half of young adults (18-29) living in Europe were living with their parents.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Oliver Stone and Mark Weisbrot: “Obama Administration Faces Diplomatic Isolation in Latin America on Venezuela

– Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro states three generals were plotting to overthrow him and are now arrested

Surveillance Planet

– Natasha Lennard reports despite Obama’s pledge to move bulk of phone records collection out of the NSA, it still doesn’t solve the main issue of our privacy under attack

– President Obama: We must “win back the trust of ordinary citizens” after this move; Edward Snowden calls it a “turning point

– Trevor Timm: “The House’s NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

– Musician David Byrne criticizes both the NSA and tech companies for allowing this surveillance to happen

Financial Matters

– It’s been 30 years since miners in the UK went on strike. Today, we’re seeing the consequences of a lack of unionism as well as neoliberal state violence. Capitalism is undoubtedly in crisis, but it’s a unique crisis not imagined.

– As if Wall Street didn’t get the memo on not interfering more in society, they have a profit-incentive plan to get prisoners out of Rikers Island in New York

– The IRS announced new rules to tax Bitcoins as property people own rather than as currency

– In what is another indication of how inflation isn’t the biggest threat, the U.K. announces its inflation is at a four-year low

Labor’s a-Brewing

– One manager of a Wal-Mart exposes the dark side we are acquainted with, but this goes into specific detail on the life of workers

– Interested to read on the history of collective bargaining rights and where it might be in a few years? Here’s the article on it.

– In Germany, a main union there called for a strike at airports for a pay hike for workers

Politics US

Washington USA

– Careful in supporting the legislation protecting journalists by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). It does not apply to bloggers or people on social media.

– Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): President Obama should apologize to Pope Francis I for Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate

– In Congress, former natural gas lobbyists organized a hearing on natural gas. Certainly there’s no conflict of interest there.

Here’s an article from ProPublica for anyone unaware on what is going on with the Hobby Lobby case in the Supreme Court who may favor Hobby Lobby

– 100 tobacco smokers in New Hampshire experienced an Obamacare “glitch” when they were charged non-smokers rates and had their plans canceled

– Watch out, billionaire Sheldon Adelson has a new tactic in spending on elections: only go for the electable ones.

Anytown USA

– Gallup: What community in the U.S. is reporting the best in terms of well-being? It is Provo-Orem, UT at 71.4

– Andy Shallal, a candidate for the Mayoral elections in Washington D.C., talks to The Real News in part one of a four-part series on being the “other” in the 1950s and 1960s

– Great to see Jon Stewart back and seriously criticizing the awful pseudo-journalism by the establishment on the missing Flight MH370

– Stephen Colbert interviews Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) of the first district in North Carolina that is hilarious to watch

– You may not believe me at first, but a man in North Carolina was arrested by an police officer for refusing to show his iced tea (I wish I were kidding)

– The FCC is stating thousands of hotels do not offer direct 911 services and wants it to be changed

We Don’t Need No Education

Great news out of the University of Southern Maine as students and faculty are occupying buildings to protest budget cuts significantly affecting education.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The World Health Organization reports globally one in eight people die from air pollution; Absolutely alarming

– What’s the best diet to go on? According to scientists, it’s one with real food involved

– A feature piece in Greece on the struggles of one family to escape food insecurity

The Second Sex

– A woman with multiple sclerosis claims New Jersey police refused to take her rape report seriously saying it was a “big joke and a waste of time.”

– A federal appeals court ruled the state of Kansas is able to strip funds from Planned Parenthood

Planet Earth

– Scientists have been studying art to survey the effects of climate change over time. Sounds really interesting to do.

– A new study (which has also made me angry) found that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill (caused by BP negligence) causes heart deformities in fish and may lead to a decline in commercial fishing; Hey another oil spill occurred in Lake Michigan and BP is behind it

– What is occurring in Washington state is sad, but it will occur more frequently as global warming continues to harm our planet; Side note, one scientist warned 15 years ago the mudslide would happen

– Great to hear a court in New Jersey determined the Christie administration in New Jersey acted illegally by refusing to uphold greenhouse gas rules

– One casualty from the oil spill in Galveston Bay will be the migrating birds passing through

– Lithuania is asking the U.S. to send natural gas supplies since Russian gas is not being delivered to the country

Mixed Bag

– A new study found “mentally challenging” jobs which make you stressed now, make you sharper when you retire

– “College Senior Already Has Grueling 14-Month Employment Search Lined Up After Graduation

– Probably one of the best stories I’ve read. One town in Texas is paying Ted Nugent to not perform there

– Some studies found knitting is healthy for your brain. Should pick it up then in the future.

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.