CommunityThe Bullpen

The Weekend Roundup for March 29-30th, 2014

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Hello everyone, hope your week starts well!

International Politics


– Both John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov agree diplomatic results are needed over Ukraine, but Russia demanded ethnic Russians in Ukraine be given independence from Kiev as a solution

– The geo-political issue of Arab revolt is a worry for Saudi Arabia, yet the U.S. wants to use it to its own advantage

– Juan Cole: “Saudi King channels John McCain, demands Obama Take Hard Line on Iran, Syria, Muslim Brotherhood

Middle East

– 16 people have died in Iraq from both a car bomb and a shootout that occurred at a security checkpoint

– U.S. General Martin Dempsey has been sent to Israel to help strengthen relations between both countries

Asia and Oceania

– Piracy has exploded in Southeast Asia as it seems they are forming into organized crime groups. I suspect economic deprivation is the cause of this considering the same thing happened in Somalia

– China seized millions in terms of assets from family members and associates of a former official and known spy now the subject of a corruption inquiry

– Chinese relatives of those who died on the Flight MH370 disaster demand an apology from Malaysia over its handling of the situation

– A gay man in China sued the government to recognize his LGBT organization and be more tolerant of the community

– Thousands marched in protests against the government in Thailand to force the resignation of the prime minister


– In Egypt, the electoral commission announced th election will take place in late May, General Sisi is the favorite to win

21 people were killed in a shootout in Nigeria at the State Security Services headquarters

– In the Central African Republic, more than 30 people have been killed by Chadian peacekeeping soldiers (a contradiction) and nine people were killed in an attack on a funeral


– The situation in Ukraine is a situation where the far-right there, supported by both the U.S. and Europe, have taken command of protests that originally aimed at corruption in government

– A massive bank heist of $1.2 billion of the Vatican Bank was foiled

– In Turkey, local elections have gone in favor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, who has said his enemies will “pay the price“; But the local elections may not matter as this article argues

– Socialists in France have been losing in elections to other parties, including the far-right party, which has captured 11 towns

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Rio de Janiero, Brazil, more than 1,400 officer and marines entered the favelas ahead of both the World Cup in June and the 2016 Summer Olympics for security reasons

– It seems victory is close in Chile as it stops a bill allowing corporations, like Monsanto, to patent seeds

– Mark Weisbrot: “Venezuela: When Some of the Most Important News Comes in the Form of Corrections

– It seems pro-government militias in Venezuela have been seen killing people

– Lawmakers in Cuba approved a plan to attract foreign investment (i.e. capitalist enterprises) to the island to help the struggling economy

– Officials in Mexico said they have found hundreds of children abandoned by smugglers on the way to the U.S.

Surveillance Planet

– Arun Kundnani writes this great piece on how simple NSA reform will not be enough to stop the combination of Islamophobia and surveillance as seen in the U.S.; I should note he is currently a professor of a course I take

– Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) urges President Obama to end the NSA’s program immediately

Financial Matters

– Thomas Frank: “Plutocracy without end: Why the 1 percent always defeats the middle class

– One economist discusses how “Too-Big-To-Fail” has remained with the largest banks in the U.S. and will be re-invoked in future crises

– European Union officials will be pushing for large banks to use both taxpayer and depositor funds, which is illegal under EU rules. Yet, they are trying to change that.

– Thom Hartmann: “Outsourcing and Privatization are Killing America

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A construction worker at the stadium that will open the World Cup fell to his death, it is the seventh death so far in potential venues

– Membership for the United Auto Workers last year has grown with more than 9,000 new members last year

Politics US

Washington USA

A second debate featuring Margaret Flowers and Dean Baker on whether Obamacare is interested in helping people

– Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) requests more security at new World Trade Center after recent incidents with daredevils

Anytown USA

– Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese: “Waves of Nationwide Actions Planned at Key Historic Moment

– Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will try to put most of the blame on his deceased older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev in effort to avoid the death penalty

We Don’t Need No Education

– Diane Ravitch and Bill Moyers discuss how the idea of privatization and profit has jeopardized public education

– It’s 2014 right? I am just checking since all-white sororities in the University of Alabama successfully blocked integration into their sororities

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The World Health Organization certified a few nations in Asia as being “polio-free,” with India as one example. Others, like Pakistan, still required work

– The FDA established rules to reduce antibiotics in animals for consumption, but it is being criticized for being too weak

– Here is a story that is positive as it reports on a 12-year-old homeless girl who helps out other homeless families and individuals in New York City

– NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he will focus next on promoting affordable housing for city residents

– Regulations in Birmingham, Alabama now restricted churches from feeding the homeless

The Second Sex

– Wall Street has a very, very deep history of sexism that cannot be eliminated in just a few years. It is far too institutionalized.

– Here is a review (as well as analysis) of book examining the icon of Wonder Woman as one of the greatest superheroes in history

Planet Earth

– Great news, ocean warming in the Antarctic seems to be slowing down. What’s the cause? Sperm whale feces.

– The drought in California is horrific, perhaps one of the worst in recent history. Could it be the “wake-up call” for the U.S. on global warming?

– Birds usually found in Britain are now declining in numbers with the culprit being climate change, scientists say. Climate change is also threatening coffee grown in Latin American

– Seismologists warn a deadly earthquake could strike LA from the fault that caused mild earthquake recently

– Despite 18 victims found in the debris of the Oso Washington mudslide, officials fear others missing may not be found at all

– Federal officials are considering a plan to make artificial islands to stop strength of future storms after the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy (My suggestion is to *ahem* MAKE A PLAN TO AVOID CLIMATE CHANGE)

– Scientists at the UN made a list of eight reasons why to worry about climate change. They can be found here.

– What’s troubling the wildlife reserve in Africa this time? It’s the ever-so-constant love of oil of course!

Mixed Bag

– For a writer to be well-known, it involves a lot of factors, but one of the biggest is wealth.

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.