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The Weekend Roundup for November 8-9th, 2014

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Hey folks. Looks like a busy week for me with four midterms. Still, I’m confident it won’t affect the Roundup too much.

It’s been 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

International Politics

Overall

– The status of the Islamic State’s head is unclear at the moment after an airstrike may or may not have injured him

– With President Barack Obama visiting China for a summit, Chinese officials will take advantage of Obama’s dwindling power to further their agenda

– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Russian President Vladimir Putin he must have a role in establishing peace in Ukraine

Middle East

– Economist Shir Hever and scholar Phyllis Bennis join The Real News to discuss the political and economics aspects of the U.S.-Israel relationship and why Israel only focuses on the military aid from the U.S.

– The life of fishermen in Gaza is harsh with many in poverty and facing brutal Israeli oppression every day

– An Iraqi Shiite cleric claimed corruption’s the reason the ISIL is able to defeat the Iraqi army

– The Obama administration called more than 1,500 troops heading to Iraq a new “phase” in the war against the ISIL; I’m sure ISIL is shaking in their boots for phase two. Don’t even mention phase three!

Asia and Oceania

This article definitely presents justified criticism of the demonstrators in Hong Kong. Moreover, seeing the comments made by some of the protesters highlights ignorance among some folks there.

Africa

– The U.K. had a program to train soldiers in Libya after the fall of Qaddafi. It failed miserably after scandals plagued the program.

Europe 

– Vladimir Putin told a group of historians the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which established a non-aggressive pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, was not so bad and the West prefers not to talk about the agreement between them and Germany in 1938.

– Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the former Soviet Union, said a new Cold War exists in world politics

– Eastern Ukraine, specifically Donetsk, reportedly experienced the worst shelling in the past month

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Considering the dirty hands of the U.S. in Latin America in the post-World War II period, it is no surprise the CIA is tied with the deaths of indigenous people in Brazil during the dictatorship period

Financial Matters

In part two of five, Professor Karl Alexander explains the importance of race for young students looking for a job

– With the Republicans controlling Congress, the opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty will be used against the Obama administration to further their goals instead of elite unity

– As economist Gar Alperovitz notes, local politics provides more solutions to our problems than national politics

– Matt Taibbi: “The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare

Politics US

Washington USA

– I apologize for the incessant articles on the midterm elections, but I thoroughly enjoyed this piece from Jacobin Magazine on six essential pointers from Tuesday.

– Thomas Frank: “The GOP’s poisonous double-speak: On how Republicans hijacked the midterms

– As Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer, points out on The Real News, the West was able to further reduce tensions with Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. However, they decided not to and NATO expanded further in eastern Europe.

– A new poll found 84 percent of American Jews favor a deal with Iran, which shows the failure of the the reactionary Netanyahu administration

– Republican voters are more pessimistic about the future compared to Democratic voters, who are more optimistic

– Meanwhile, the Democratic Party will review what went wrong for them in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections

Anytown USA

– With the Green Party in New York gaining five percent of the vote in the gubernatorial election, this can help start  a movement to challenge the two-party structure in the state

– A federal judge struck down a law preventing housing discrimination, which is not good news if it goes up to the reactionary Supreme Court

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– A 90-year-old man in Florida vowed to keep feeding the homeless despite police telling him not to; When feeding the homeless is civil disobedience, then the system really is broken

– In Spain, homelessness is significant problem, and unfortunately, it is ignored by the national government

Planet Earth

– The response to climate change should not be calls for authoritarianism; rather, it should focus on championing democracy

– Scientists predict, as a result of global warming, there will be more pollen, which is not good news for those who are allergic

– The U.S. could use oil against Iran and Russia to promote its interests, but risks isolating its shale industry; Decisions, decisions

– After Denton, Texas, banned fracking on Tuesday, lawsuits appeared from companies involved with hydrofracking

Mixed Bag

– If we want to move forward and create effective policies, then we must use the power of empathy to do so.

Break Time

Teli, Teli, Teli [Líber Terán]

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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.

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