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The Roundup for December 12th, 2014

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Hey folks, how are you this Friday? Thankfully the weekend is here, right?

International Politics


– As a result of new nuclear power plants to be constructed in Turkey, Russia’s relationship with Turkey will be strengthened; Yemen is another country Russia would like to improve ties with

– A former president of OPEC said the organization was “powerless” to stop the drop in prices and needed to have a meeting with other countries to talk about production;

Middle East

– An official from the United Nations warned Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria, risks slipping into chaos again if there is no truce

– Another U.N. official called for Israel to investigate injuries and deaths of Palestinians due to recent events in the country; Why call for the murderer to investigate their crime?


– Egypt is working in Libya to ensure the country becomes stable again although it is difficult to say what their role is


– Meanwhile, the European Union barred all Libyan airlines from entering into EU air space

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– An informative article on Uruguay, a country challenging large corporations like Phillip Morris and being told by bankers to switch to neoliberalism.

– The U.S. is likely to impose sanctions on Venezuela in response to their reaction to the protests over the summer

– In Mexico, another official was found to purchase a home from a firm that later received government support for a project; The government becoming more illegitimate in the eyes of the citizens there

– Petrobras, the state-run energy company in Brazil, was warned in 2009 its kickback scheme would be considered corrupt

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Fifty-eight percent of Americans say their standard of living is “getting better.”

A new report found residents in Maryland do not favor the market-based health care system and prefer a universal health care system.

– More males between the age of 25 to 34 are unemployed than before and jobs offering low-wages will not be enough for them

– Pew: Wealth inequality grew since 2007 among different races with, for example, the net worth of whites 13 times more than blacks

– According to the Federal Reserve, the net worth of Americans, in general, dropped since 2009

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Graduate students in the University of Oregon went on strike and successfully won gains for themselves from the administration.

– The National Labor Relations Board delivered victories to workers such as allowing them to use company email to organize a union

Politics US

Washington USA

– In 2001, the Bush tax cuts for large corporations were first passed by Congress. Recently, they were renewed again, which questions why these cuts are accepted so quickly.

– The “Cromibus” bill, that tainted bill, passed the House yesterday and will head to the Senate. It made major changes such as the quasi-reforms of the Dodd-Frank bill were cut for the benefit of Wall Street banks.

– Now get this: Jaime Dimon actually called members of the House for them to vote on the bill; I can’t. I just can’t.

– Some lawmakers in the Senate will be stopping any dissent to the bill and get it through as quickly as possible; It just passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which would allocate billions to fight the Islamic State

– President Barack Obama: The Senate must pass the compromise bill as it would be best for the nation

– Jonathan Landay of McClatchy joins The Real News to discuss John Brennan, director of the CIA, and how the elites in Washington are dealing with the aftermath of the torture report

– While focus is on the Bush administration for continuing torture, the Obama administration must be included in the discussion considering they are continuing it as well

Anytown USA

– Ferguson is facing a short-fall in terms of revenue. What could it do to make up for it? Increase ticketing of course.

– In Benton Harbor, Mich., a black man was convicted by an all-white jury for tampering with data for a recall election. Here’s the thing: No evidence was brought that this happened.

– The FBI announced it would investigate the death of a 17-year-old black male found hanging from a swing set in North Carolina. The mother of the teen writes a powerful piece here.

We Don’t Need No Education

– The Real News covers a protest by students of Loyola University when they demonstrated against police brutality

– David Sirota: “Charter Schools Accused of Segregating America’s Education System

A new study argued higher education is not really getting more expensive

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– It is disturbing how big pharmaceutical companies can create disorders in order to sell products designed to hurt people

The Second Sex

– President Obama said there were positives and negatives with the NFL’s reaction to domestic violence

– An “anti-prostitution” law in Canada is concerning sex workers living there as it, according to one person quoted in the article, was “much worse” than expected

Planet Earth

– Naomi Klein: “Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Transform the Climate Debate

– It is great to hear activists are pressuring folks in Lima, Peru for the COP 20 conference to act on climate change; Talks will be extended, by the way, because the poor countries are frustrated with the lack of progress

– Meanwhile, companies at the conference may say they are for reforms, but will ensure such reforms are quietly stopped

– A Brazilian scientist warned, should nothing be done about the rainforests in the Amazon, the planet will experience far more destruction than what World War II caused

– Colleges that already divested from fossil fuel companies are doing fine in terms of their endowments

Mixed Bag

– Dave Zirin: “The Power of Political Athletes to Puncture Privilege

– Some images that may be not safe for work, but these are drawings that reflect the state of our society. A society, I must note, that is broken.

A new study found men are more likely to die from doing some dumb than women.

– The prime minister in Hungary called for drug testing for journalists and politicians to combat the threat of drug use

Break Time

Merry Christmas Baby [Ray Charles]

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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.