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Hey folks, it’s Friday today. Don’t forget to catch Book Salon over the weekend with Suzanna Danuta Walters on Saturday with her book, The Tolerance Trap, on equality for all. Plus, economist Ha-Joon Chang returns on Sunday with Economics: A User’s Guide. 

International Politics


– The town of Kobani, Syria, is saved thanks to the efforts of Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State. Fighters the ISIL fears because they are women.

– Still, the UN warns people are trapped in Kobani and the U.S. fears it may slip into ISIL control. Certainly this means it is unknown who knows what is happening in the town.

– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an: Bashar al-Assad and his government are waging a “state terror” campaign in Syria not unlike the ISIL

Middle East

– ISIL militants executed nine people in two towns in Iraq for suspicious ties to groups fighting against them

– Yesterday, a suicide bomb blast in Sana’a, Yemen, killed at least 47 people. Today, an al-Qaeda organization claimed responsibility for the blast.

Asia and Oceania

– Pew: 88 percent of Pakistanis think it is important to educate both boys and girls

– Protests still continue in Hong Kong with demonstrators clamoring for change after talks with officials in the local government failed

– Taiwanese officials called for China to allow Hong Kong to gain democratic privileges

– Good news for all, as Kassandra pointed out yesterday, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi both were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yousafzai is from Pakistan and Satyarthi is from India so their new award could boost the relationship between both countries.


– Turkey is hesitant to arm the Kurds against the ISIL, they worry such arms will either be used against Turkey itself or not be used at all to stop the ISIL

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Authorities in Mexico found even more mass graves after suspects in custody led them to the bodies

– After the Cuban government relaxed travel standards, more Cubans are leaving for the U. S.

Surveillance Planet

– Norman Solomon and Marcy Wheeler write about the context of the U.S. government’s war against journalist James Risen and the consequences for journalism today

– David Sirota: “Big Brother Is Watching You—Through Your Metadata

Financial Matters

– Gallup: 88 percent of investors in the U.S. say the current “political discord” in Congress affects the climate for investing

– Pew: 76 percent of respondents from developed countries agree on living under a free market despite the issue of inequality. Respondents from China agreed the most, out of all countries polled; It’s comical how Pew misleads readers to say the government is capitalist. Wonder if they bothered to read anything on China.

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Barack Obama may end up closing Guantanamo Bay through executive action rather than through Congress. However, journalist Jason Leopold writes the White House denies this report.

– Medea Benjamin: “Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

– Good news as the Supreme Court blocked the discriminatory voter ID law in Wisconsin and Texas

Anytown USA

Part one of three with Deepa Kumar on comments made by Bill Maher and explaining the question of politics and Islam. You could read more on liberal Islamophobia by Sonali Kolhatkar here.

– According to ProPublica, young black males are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than young white males.

– With a “Weekend of Resistance” underway in Ferguson, Mo., they are at a point in time where the movement can go forward with massive victories.

– Sarah Jaffe: “‘You see this? You see this?’ Why videos of police misconduct are no panacea

– Perhaps a good video to accompany yesterday’s report on Baltimore, Md., and its investigation into solutions for police brutality is this one on the current state of it in the city.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Big Pharma wants to end the affordable price of generic drugs in India so they can reap the money rewards

– The World Health Organization reports more than 4,000 died in West Africa due to the Ebola virus

– As a UN official warns, if nothing is done about the Ebola virus we may have to live with it “forever

The Second Sex

– The video featuring Sarah Silverman on fixing the wage gap between men and women suggests a sex change to close the gap. However, transgender folks suffer from discrimination in the workplace, which makes the video ignorant of their issues.

– A former General Manager of the Chicago Bears said the organization dealt with hundreds of domestic violence cases internally and did not publicaly reveal them. Dave Zirin has more here.

– Uh-oh. Federal Judge Tom Parker’s writings may threaten Roe v. Wade if his influence extends all the way to the Supreme Court.

– When feminism becomes just something to be associated with celebrities, it turns it into a brand rather than something to fight for

– Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: Women should not be asking for raises in tech industry because the system will do it; And give it up for White Cis Male #105 for talking down to women! Still this guy apologized for his comments, which I’m assuming wasn’t sincere.

Mixed Bag

– The use of artificial turf may be dangerous for players, it may cause illnesses such as lymphoma

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “Vets Win Expansion Of Freedom Of Speech And Right To Assemble

– Eisa Ulen argued Raven-Symoné’s comments on being “American” rather than “African-American” were not wise considering the state of race in the U.S. today.

– Natasha Lennard: “Ebola Is the ISIS of Our Apocalyptic Fantasies

Break Time

Tick Tick Boom [The Hives]

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.