CommunityThe Bullpen

The Weekend Roundup for May 3-4th, 2014

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Hey, how are you today? It’s the start of a brand new week.

International Politics


– It seems the FBI and the CIA are helping out the interim government in Ukraine against outside threats

– The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit Iran to inspect two sites as part of an international agreement

Middle East

– The death toll for the landslide in Afghanistan surpassed 2,100 and authorities in the country are still attempting to help out families

– Right-wing opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticize him for bowing to the West’s orders on an international agreement and for not promoting Iran

– Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to change laws to say Israel is “the nation state of one people only – the Jewish people – and of no other people.” Talk about draconian.

– More than 60,000 Syrians fled their town in response to rebel infighting

– The Yemen military report 43 militants killed in their campaign against the militants


– Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan issued a directive to find 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram

– The Congress in Libya rejected the new interim prime minister, which is claimed as evidence of a volatile country

– In Nairobi, Kenya, homemade bombs killed three people and wounded 62

– The U.S. offers Congo $30 million for its elections, but stated the current president must step down after his term

Asia and Oceania

– A train in India derailed, which left 19 people dead and more than 100 injured

– Police in China are trying to find the family of a terrorist bomber who blew up a train station last week which killed three people

– Narendra Modi, a candidate in the prime minister elections in India, went after undocumented immigrants following sectarian deaths in northeastern India

– Meanwhile, the Indian government is calling for calm after 32 Muslims, mostly women and children, were shot in their sleep by separatists


– In Ukraine, pro-Russia separatists clashed with police in Odessa freeing scores prisoners at police HQ after a fire set by pro-Ukraine activists killed more than 30 rebels

– Portugal’s Prime Minister Passos Coelho: We do not need another loan as we exit credit program

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Brazil, activists called for laws barring discrimination against gays as one of the largest gay pride parades occurred in Sao Paulo

Surveillance Planet

– It seems Apple removed encryption for its email attachments without any announcement

– What Edward Snowden did was act as whistleblower, which is the apex of being a citizen when participating in government

– Edward Snowden: Everyone is under surveillance, not just particular people

Financial Matters

– For the Millennial generation, social mobility is out there, but just not in the United States

– Greece will start talks with its creditors on the issue of debt relief

– Thomas Frank with Lewis Lapham: “Our sad “Mad Men” revolution: How consumerism co-opted rebellion

Labor’s a-Brewing

Reporting on the tactics used by privatization advocates against the USPS by breaking up their responsibilities

– The tragedy of workers in Amazon company warehouses is that they are not as rich as the media would want them to be. They suffer from financial insecurity and can wind up homeless

Politics US

Washington USA

– I agree with the premise of this article criticizing Ralph Nader for calling on the left to join with right-wing libertarians on issues like civil liberties

– If history is any judge, then Obamacare will be viewed positively in the future; I would strongly disagree on that assessment considering the different schools of thought in history

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): If we continue with Benghazi, then we will “get burned

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “If We Act Now, We Can Stop The FCC’s Horrific Proposal to End Net Neutrality

Anytown USA

A discussion on the recent mayoral race in Jackson, Mississippi where Chukwe Lumumba’s son ran and lost

– Despite the 2014 midterm elections still months away, the amount spent in the primary races speaks volumes on what it may be like onto November

– Dave Zirin: “Whitewash: How the ‘NY Times’ Just Rewrote the History of Sports

– Who do governors give a state supreme court seat to? Their friends and financial supporters of course!

We Don’t Need No Education

– Two educators respond on The Real News to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ comments advocating for charter schools and abolishing elected school boards for the former to grow

– After protests erupted over her upcomig commencement address, Condoleezza Rice stated she will not be speaking at Rutgers University; Great to hear

Top Gun (Stories)

– Gary Younge argues, rightfully if I might add, tighter gun control laws will not be enough to stop gun violence

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– With Wal-Mart deciding to turn to organic food, it may threaten the organic food market with low prices

A new study found type 1 and type 2 diabetes are exponentially rising among the youth in the U.S. since 2001

– With the U.S. wondering whether to approve more herbicide-resistant crops, it holds major consequences to how food will be raised throughout the globel

– Coca-Cola removes brominated vegetable oil from its Powerade brand after controversy arose over its use in rival Gatorade

A study out of Sweden found autism is partially influenced by genes and partially influenced by the environment

The Second Sex

– As someone who enjoys reading comic books, this article is right to point out the sexism and misogyny in the industry

– A transgender woman in Texas sues Salvation Army after her housing request was denied since she did not have her gender reassignment surgery

Planet Earth 

– A debate on The Real News as to whether hydrofracking can be a viable alternative fuel source to natural gas and oil

– I should note hydrofracking allows for radiation to accumulate in our water and food supply, even if we do not live close to it

– The soil is perhaps absorbing less CO2 than originally thought, which does not help against climate change

– UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: We must do more for action against climate change

– Part three of five with scientist Alan Robock on countering claims made by skeptics of global warming

– Corals are adapting at a faster pace to warmer water than scientists had first expected

Mixed Bag

– After one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ bookstores closed, it made the LGBTQ industry nervous about the future

A study found children in the U.K. become unhappier after they turn 11, with biological and external factors, like technology, to blame

– Which bird has the best song? It’s the Nightingale due to its complex brain scientists say

Break Time

Too Many Puppies

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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.