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The Roundup for December 15th, 2014

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Almost there to the end in terms of finals. How about you?

International Politics


– Chris Hedges: “ISIS—the New Israel

– President Barack Obama: We will ensure the Islamic State will not find a safe haven and they will be eradicated

Middle East

– Five Palestinians were arrested by Israeli authorities after allegedly planning attacks in the country.

– In Syria, a group tied to al-Qaeda seized control of two vital bases from the country’s military

Asia and Oceania

– An Iranian man died after a stand-off with Australian police in a cafe. Two Australians victims were killed. Iran, by the way, condemned it.

– An American marine was charged by Philippine authorities for murdering a trans woman


– Gallup: Last year, 43 percent of Ukrainians approved of Russia’s leadership. This year, only five percent say the same.

– Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk: We need NATO and EU’s help to fight against rebels in the east

– Remember the xenophobic German protesters gaining popularity? They held a march where more than 15,000 came out to support the “pinstriped Nazis“; Chancellor Angela Merkel warned citizens not to fall for their tricks

– In response to the European Union’s criticism of shutting down a Turkish media station, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the EU should keep things to themselves

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Just 6.8 percent of crimes were investigated by authorities in Mexico. Understanding this percentage helps provide a perspective on why citizens there distrust the authorities so much.

– At least 21 people were injured in Mexico after clashing with police officers at a concert for the 43 missing students

– In response to the sanctions approved by Congress, thousands of Venezuelans marched in the streets to go against such sanctions

Surveillance Planet

– Tech companies joined Microsoft in stopping the U.S. government from requesting emails from its data system

Financial Matters

– During the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, Uber raised its prices for customers. Not a bright idea.

– Dean Baker: “Economic Policy Myths of 2014: Dead and Enduring

– As the recession hit the U.S. in 2008, it causes things in society to change. For example, violence increased and divorce rates decreased.

– The wealthy in the U.S. will be spending more this year for products and for charity. In fact, nearly half will be spending the most since 2008.

– Russia announced it would raise interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent due to the decline in the ruble

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Speaking of Uber, there is something that might work out for the benefit of workers: making it into a worker-owned cooperative.

– In San Francisco, workers at the Yank Sing restaurant will be paid $4 million in total for back pay

– While works councils, which are commitments where worker-elected employees negotiate with the employer(s) on wages and benefits, may be good, there are flaws associated with them that cannot be ignored

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Eighty-four percent of black Americans in the U.S. approve of President Obama’s job

Part one of three with Naomi Murakawa, a professor who explains why federal guidelines on racial profiling will not work.

– The Senate torture report revealed the heinous acts of the Bush administration and, thus, they must be held accountable; Still, it’s not like the Obama administration hasn’t done it either

– Pew: Fifty-one percent of Americans say the use of torture by the CIA was justified; Word of warning, Pew phrased it not as torture, but as interrogation method. It is difficult to say whether this is accurate.

– James Mitchell, one of the psychologists who was heavily involved with torture, admitted he water-boarded and is proud of it. Journalist Jason Leopold writes more on it here.

– The Senate voted 51-43 to approve Vivek Murthy as the new surgeon general of the U.S.

Anytown USA

– If we talk a step back from the marches across the U.S. against police brutality, we see the youth playing a vital role in all of this

– Natasha Lennard: “Mass Protests Over Police Killings Spur Congress to Pass 14-Year-Old Legislation

Top Gun (Stories) 

– It is revealing when the National Rifle Association is hesitant to join with people of color oppressed by police; In fact, it just shows the NRA is part of the elites in the U.S.

– Six people were killed in south-east Pennsylvania as authorities say the gunmen is on the loose

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– With warnings about abuse of prescriptive drugs in Medicare, you would figure doctors would be more cautious in giving them out to patients. Well…

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “You don’t need to be a feminist to help stop rape. You can even be a frat boy!

– The woman wrongly cited as “Jackie” by Charles Johnson, allegedly a journalist but we’ll see, will sue the guy; Good, leave him broke

– Dave Zirin: “In the Spirit of Wyomia Tyus, Women Athletes Say #BlackLivesMatter

– A new report found the right in the U.S. are using deceptive means to go after not only abortion rights but birth control too

– In response to a fine by Columbia University administrators for apparently damaging mattresses, anti-rape activists at the college offered a mock check on mattress to the college

– A discriminatory law passed in Tennessee early this year allowed officers to arrest woman who give birth while on drugs. So far, at least nine women were arrested and all were poor.

– President of American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten: “Rape Is Part of My Truth, and the Truth of Many Other Women

Planet Earth

– Tragically, a white rhino passed away at a zoo in San Diego, Calif., leaving only five remaining in the world.

– Dahr Jamail: “Documents Show Navy’s Electromagnetic Warfare Training Would Harm Humans and Wildlife

– The Kennedy Space Center will be threatened by climate change due to rising sea levels; Ask not what your country can do for you…wait, no just ask them because this is ridiculous

– In spite of the incessant warning of keeping 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground, oil and natural gas companies are too obsessed with profits to listen

– Denmark claimed it held a stake in the Arctic because Greenland is near so they want the natural resources I mean recognition. Yeah, that’s it.

– A federal appeals court threw out a case where Occidental Petroleum Corporation was accused of helping right-wing paramilitary groups in Colombia kill union leaders

– A former Bangladeshi official said as climate change speeds up, so does terrorism and immigration to the U.K.

– A new study found all-electric cars are not really green as they can contribute to carbon emissions

Mixed Bag

– All piercings and placing tattoos on pets will be banned in New York City; Yes, it exists

– The wife of Bill Cosby asked “who is the victim” when referring to the rape allegations; To quote a lyric from “Bound for the Floor” by Local H, “And you just don’t get it/You’re so pathetic”

Break Time

Joy To The World [Johnny Cash]

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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.