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The Roundup for December 11th, 2014

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Hey there folks, how are you? It’s been 14 years since Bush v. Gore

International Politics


– Germany announced it would send 100 troops to the Kurdish region of Iraq to train those fighters against the Islamic State; NATO, meanwhile, said they will review Iraq’s request to improve their military

– An Iranian official called for a United Nations-led investigation into the torture committed by the U.S. after the Senate torture report

– In 2003, Bush administration officials claimed a leader of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks met with an Iraqi official. Officials did not really believe that in 2003.

Middle East

A new study found militant extremists in the Middle East are “stronger than ever” with nearly 6,000 deaths last month due to them

– How are citizens doing in Aleppo, Syria? Currently residents are planting vegetables and raising animals.

– Why did Israel strike within Syria? According to some Syrian officials, they took out Iranian weapons being sent to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

– The U.S. was given the opportunity to negotiate the release of photojournalist Luke Somers, killed in a botched raid, but it was rejected

Asia and Oceania

– India is slowly accepting the neo-liberal capitalist lifestyle that will certainly ruin them

– Despite a main site of Occupy Central in Hong Kong dispersed by officers, demonstrators pledge they will return


– Ireland looks likely to recognize to Palestine, making it the next country in Europe to recognize the Palestinians

– British citizens should not look to the U.S. as a separate universe considering similar racial problems exist there

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Venezuela, 41 prisoners died after being poisoned with the story on how it happened disputed

– An informative piece about a disgusting right-wing politician in Brazil who finds rape funny and is, in general, a horrible person

– One of the Guantanamo prisoners says he is happy to be released and in Uruguay

Financial Matters

– Quakers held demonstrations across the U.S. against PNC Bank for supporting companies causing damage to the environment. It should be noted PNC Bank is often called the Quaker bank and, in addition, a green bank.

– The Bank of England will investigate whether it is risky to invest in fossil fuel companies; Here’s your answer: it is risky.

An interview with economist Ha-Joon Chang who explains problems in the European Union as well as creating another type of capitalism considering there are no viable post-capitalist alternatives

– After Hurricane Sandy hit, Occupy Sandy was able to effectively respond and performed a better job than the American Red Cross. The Red Cross was aware of Occupy Sandy, but members were told by higher-ups not to work with them because of their connection to Occupy.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– UAW Local 2865, a union representing student workers, voted to support the BDS movement with 65 percent in favor.

Politics US

Washington USA

– The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-8 to support President Obama’s campaign against the Islamic State; If you’re curious, Democrats supported it

– Pew: Eighty-one percent of Americans say the country is more politically divided than before

– Funny how federal spending for the military for operations overseas are rarely cut, but domestic programs are first on the chopping block

– Pew: Fifty percent of Americans approve of President Barack Obama’s immigration plan

– The anger on police brutality or the new torture report is all connected to the theme of a system gone off the rails

– Jason Leopold: “Psychologist Not Named In Torture Report Confirms His Role in CIA Interrogation Program

– Lawyer Michael Ratner joins The Real News to discuss what was found in the “grim” torture report, what was omitted and the possibility of using international courts for justice; Glenn Greenwald offers his analysis here.

– CIA Director John Brennan: Sure there were “abhorrent” tactics used, but what we did was right

– The $1.1 trillion compromise bill is being pushed by the White House and Republicans in the House. Democrats are refusing to pass the bill as only a few hours remain before the government is shutdown again.

– After it was found a USAID contractor attempted to infiltrate hip-hop in Cuba to topple the government, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VA) called the operation “stupid“; I swear the USAID must be filled with people like Boris and Natasha. Next thing you know we’re contracting out to Wily E. Coyote with Acme supplies.

Anytown USA

– Glen Ford: “It’s Not the Law, But Prosecutors, That Give Immunity to Killer Cops

– During protests in Oakland, Calif., an undercover cop pulled out his weapon on some protesters after they found out he was an undercover; The photo is very chilling

– Black staffers at Capitol Hill walked out in protest to the lack of indictments in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases

– In terms of criminal justice reforms for prisons, there must be focus on religious prisons as well

– Al Sharpton is someone that should not be trusted as his past makes him very suspicious

– A woman in Ferguson sued the police department for using brutal force the night of the lack of indictment

We Don’t Need No Education

– The role of Teach For America in the protests nationwide on police brutality is suspicious as well considering their role in harming black communities

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– An economist warned antibiotic-resistant superbugs will be a leading killer by 2050 should nothing be done to prevent it spreading

The Second Sex

Very inspirational to see Mothers Against Police Brutality go to Congress to demand action and prevent more abuses by cops

A very helpful article dispelling myths surrounding rape after the fiasco around the story by Rolling Stone

– It certainly says a lot when young black girls in school are suspended at a higher rate than young white girls

– A woman in London, England, said an Uber driver requested her perform oral sex.

Planet Earth

– The negotiations taking place in Lima, Peru, for a solution to climate change seem more like a way for countries to one-up each other. It would be catastrophic should developed countries take such a strategy.

– Amy Goodman: “Fighting for the Climate in the Heart of the World

A new report from the Center for Economic Policy and Research found a slow population growth rate can reduce carbon emissions. The press release can be found here.

– Mexico announced it would begin the bidding process for oil exploration; And so the capitalists walk, not run, to victory at the expense of our planet

– While Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at Lima to talk about the urgency of action, he did not say a word about Keystone

– North Dakota implemented regulations on trains carrying crude oil, but these regulations are really bad

– In Canada, lawyers asked for a court to enforce a $9.5 billion fine first ruled in Ecuador against Chevron for polluting the rain-forest

Mixed Bag

– Pew: Sixty percent of civilians across the world view Pope Francis I positively compared 11 percent who view him unfavorably

– In terms of the situation with the story in Rolling Stone, reporting on rape is not easy job for journalists 

– Can you blame the Black Panther Party for its methods? Considering a climate similar to the one to today, you really can’t.

– After accidentally defacing a historical earth markings from centuries ago in Peru, Greenpeace apologized to the government

A new study found gay canvassers who revealed they were gay were able to change people’s attitudes compared to straight canvassers

Break Time

The Christmas Waltz [Johnny Mathis]

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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.