CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for May 20th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you today?

International Politics


– Research found more than 2.7 billion people live in countries where it is a crime for being gay

– Vladimir Putin heads to China to better relations between the two countries to counter the West, specifically the U.S.

– The Pentagon announced it saw no evidence Russia is pulling back troops on the Ukrainian border

Middle East

– Juan Cole: “Sunnis Big Losers in Iraq Elections, PM al-Maliki has Largest Party

– A few attacks in Iraq left 13 people dead with no one claiming responsibility for the attack


– Glen Ford discusses how the kidnapped girls in Nigeria were used to advance the agenda of Western imperialists

– Patrick Cockburn reports on civil order collapsing in Libya and how the country is close to entering civil war

– Nigeria, a few years ago, obtained drones from Israel, yet as a result of poor maintenance, could not be used to find the more than 200 kidnapped girls

– Meanwhile, car bombings in Jos, Nigeria left at least 46 people and wounded dozens. Reuters is reporting 118 were killed and 45 were wounded

Asia and Oceania

– Jason Jones of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart reports on the different voting system in India compared to the U.S.

– An Islamic extremist group released a video calling for attacks against India after the election of Narendra Modi

– The U.S.: Despite the Thailand government instituting martial law, we will not implement sanctions against them


– On Sunday, in Ukraine, elections for the presidency will happen and a billionaire oligarch invested in chocolate factories seems the most likely to win (Not Willy Wonka)

– A Turkish miner explains the “climate of fear,” lax regulators and devious actions by government officials and owners at the Soma mines

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Dave Zirin talks about Brazilian soccer legend Pele and his comments that support, up to an extent, the protesters in Brazil against the World Cup

– In Venezuela, the postal service asserted it will temporarily suspend international mail into the countries as a result of disputes with international airlines on currency controls

Surveillance Planet

– Privacy rights are deteriorating in the U.S. as the private sector continues to grow with its infringement on privacy rights for profit

– The founder of Lavabit goes over the history of Lavabit, how it came to the eye of the FBI and what resulted from the government’s pursuit

– After The Intercept reported on the NSA collecting every call in the Bahamas, the Bahamas asked the U.S. why the NSA did this

– Marcy Wheeler: “The NSA reform bill now shuts down a secret database. Will that fix anything?

– The USA Freedom Bill seems to be finalized with restrictions on the NSA with a compromise between Obama administration officials and lawmakers

Financial Matters

– Gallup: 84 percent of small-business owners in the U.S. agree with the statement they would be a small-business owner again if they had the chance

– New reports on both housing and jobs in the U.S. show, six years after the 2007-08 crisis, Americans still struggle with their finances

– After protests occurred in Greece on privatization of beaches, a state fund will not go ahead with its decision

– David Harvey offers his critique of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital”

Labor’s a-Brewing

A fascinating article on the energy within the fast food minimum wage movement in the U.S.

– A new report from the UN found 21 million are forced into work and produce $150 billion a year

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: Republicans prefer a presidential candidate with previous military experience, yet Democrats also do with previous experience as a governor and being a woman also as important factors

– Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) declared his opposition to the nomination of Michael Boggs, a controversial judicial nominee by President Obama, by stating Boggs was “in direct opposition to everything I have stood for during my career.

– The Roberts Court allowed for corporations to get more rights and power than the public, which we can see the consequences today

– Two U.S. Senators who were on the committee leading the investigation into Credit Suisse state the fine is appropriate but more should have been done

– The Justice Department announced it will release its secret memo authorizing drone strikes against U.S. citizens as a result of a court order and a Senate vote on a nominee who co-wrote it

Anytown USA

– Pew: Conservative Republicans closely followed Benghazi and the Ukrainian crisis, while Liberal Democrats followed the Nigerian kidnapping and Donald Sterling’s comments more

– Allison Kilkenny: “Cecily McMillan didn’t get off easy. Her case is a threat to the future of protest

– A lawsuit in Chicago charged a police officer for shooting a puppy eight times as a five-year-old girl watched, ticketed a father for having the dog off leash and made his teen daughter clean up the blood.

– A good article on the anti-black racism that exists among white Hispanics, something I, unfortunately, know all too well

– Cameras on cops can make a difference as it can provide a check on brutal police officers as seen in Dallas, Texas where a mentally ill man was shot by officers

– A federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban the day after a judge struck down Oregon’s gay marriage ban

– Part one of five with Danny Glover and James Early on where the mainstream media is at when it comes to reporting important issues

We Don’t Need No Education

– 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, there is an effort to segregate based on race with wealth involved

A new CEPR study found black college graduates are not doing well as a result of this economy

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield states the U.S. is experiencing a “nationwide heroin crisis

– A new report warned experiments on mutated viruses is dangerous as it could spread globally

The Second Sex

– In response to the lack of action by colleges against sexual assaults, some Senators suggest removing federal funds until universities act

– Author Rebecca Solnit discusses her new book with Salon on gender, “mansplaining,” rape culture and more on feminism

Planet Earth 

– A new study found sea turtles, as a result of climate change, increasingly have more females than males, which could lead it to extinction

– A debate on The Real News on whether President Obama has done enough so far for the climate

– An energy executive admitted on television hydrofracking wastes methane

– On the coast of Louisiana, climate change is having an impact and government agencies do not seem to be make a serious effort to stop it

– A new report found 90 percent of Japanese workers fled from the Fukushima power plant in 2011

Mixed Bag

– Study: Most High School Graduates Woefully Unprepared For High School

– NPR announced it will end “Tell Me More” and cut 28 people to save up money

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.