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The Roundup for December 9th, 2014

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Howdy there folks. How is your day today?

International Politics


– A U.N. official said there were “constructive” talks with Syrian rebels to stop fighting in Aleppo, Syria

Middle East

– Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel more airstrikes against the Islamic State are needed; Meanwhile, seven people were killed by mortar fire

– Despite an agreement between the Iraqi government and Kurdish regional government on shares of oil profits, it is still unknown what will be done with extra oil the Kurds have

– Kurdish officials told the Iraqi government it needs to give more control to Sunnis to fight against ISIS

Asia and Oceania

– Despite U.S. and NATO forces leaving Afghanistan yesterday, a U.S. commander said he was not confident problems in the country would be solved


– With Turkey becoming more distant from the West, they look to Russia to create strong ties over a number of issues

Financial Matters

– The failure of a Freedom Budget to pass during the Civil Rights Movement is something that should be addressed in the contemporary age considering old problems rising up again

– Economist Richard Wolff joins The Real News to talk about the flight of capital during the 1970s to third-world countries and how it affects wages worldwide

A new report found Arab countries need to add 17 million jobs by 2020 to prevent it from growing.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Considering unemployment among blacks is much higher than whites, the status quo prefers to push for reforms with a happy face instead of questioning the system causing such rates.

– In Germany, Amazon workers at two warehouses went on strike to demand higher wages

– The Supreme Court ruled Amazon does not have to pay workers on security check lines in, get this, a 9-0 decision.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Leaders of both parties agreed to a compromise to avoid a government shutdown

– Kevin Gosztola wrote up a post on the Senate torture report over at The Dissenter. In the meantime, here are just 20 examples of what was found in the report and here’s a summary of it.

– Emptywheel: “The Debate about Torture We’re Not Having: Exploitation

– Director of the CIA John Brennan said, while mistakes were made, torture worked at the end of the day; Does having no soul count as being CIA director?

– Jason Leopold: “Torture Report: What $300 Million Bought the CIA’s ‘Detention and Interrogation’ Program

– President Barack Obama: While the report revealed the brutality of torture, we must find hope that, as a result of the report, things like this will never happen again; So does he believe that or what?

– Juan Cole: “Why the Founding Fathers thought banning torture was foundational to the US Constitution

– After it passed the House earlier this year, the Senate passed a resolution calling for sanctions against Venezuela for its conduct against anti-government protesters. This is not the finalized bill as it needs to be combined with the House one.

– MIT economist Jonathan Gruber apologized for his remark on calling Americans stupid and how it easy it was to pass the Affordable Care Act as a result of that

Anytown USA

– Journalist Max Blumenthal joins The Real News to discuss his latest story on the police force in Albuquerque, N.M., and the “sociopathic characters” in the force

– Here is a quick report on the demonstrations outside of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., to protest against the lack of an indictment on the Eric Garner case

– Journalist Nathan Fuller interviews Omar Figueroa, the lawyer for the Paypal 14, about the case, what the point of it was and what’s next for it

We Don’t Need No Education

– The community in Baltimore, Md., is striving to ensure quality public schools with proper funding as some schools are closing down

– Sarah Jaffe: “‘This victory belongs to all of us’: How teacher Agustin Morales got his job back

The Second Sex

– A new study verified abortion procedures in the U.S. were safe and only .2 percent of cases had “major complications

– Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): I will make sure the story in Rolling Stone will be used to implement reform to prevent more rapes

– Megan Carpentier: “I’m a victim of sexual assault and the law failed. How many of us must speak out for you to believe?

A new study found students, when evaluating professors, are biased against female professors compared to male professors

Planet Earth

Part two of two with Dr. Thomas O’Donnell who explains Russia’s interests in bringing its natural gas to Asia, an emerging market

– Gary Southern, former president of Freedom Industries (you may recall they dumped chemicals in a West Virginia river), was arrested by the FBI for fraud and lying

– Would an international agreement based on a legal framework help curb climate change? Not really.

– The Department of Energy estimates gas will lower to $2.60 a gallon next year; Meanwhile, ExxonMobil believes the U.S. will be a key exporter of oil and natural gas in the future

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Countries with more disengaged workers are less likely to donate money compared to countries with more engaged workers

– In Annapolis, Md., a student was charged for giving a professor a pot brownie, despite the professor being unaware it contained cannabis; I guess this student won’t be getting high marks

Break Time

Rock and Roll Christmas [George Thorogood and the Destroyers]

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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.