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The Roundup for December 16th, 2014

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What’s going on folks? Can you believe it’s less than 10 days until Christmas Day?

International Politics

Overall

– The Physicians for Human Rights called for those physicians involved with the torture program in the U.S. to be investigated for war crimes

– Juan Cole: “Enter the Dragon: China offers Iraq aerial strikes on the Islamic State

– With a resolution set to be debated in the United Nations for Israel to withdraw its forces in the West Bank, the U.S. noted it would veto it

Middle East

– The fight between Syrian government forces and militants associated with al-Qaeda ended with two bases in the latter’s control and more than 200 casualties

– A school bus in Yemen was attacked by suicide bomber, who intended to attack a Shiite militia leader. Twenty-five people were killed as a result.

A new report found Syria was the most lethal place for journalists followed by Israel.

Asia and Oceania

At least 151 people were killed by the Pakistani Taliban at a school run by the army in Pakistan. The government launched airstrikes against the Taliban in response.

– Man Haron Monis, who was killed after taking hostages in Sydney, Australia, was wanted by Iran, but Australian authorities refused to help

– Funny how Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted strict anti-terrorism laws in Australia failed

Africa

– In Egypt, as a result of ISIS sending back its Egyptian members, Western countries closed down its embassies

– Some leaders across Africa called for the West to intervene in Libya to stabilize the country; They did that three years ago and look what happened now

Europe 

– Gallup: Forty-three percent of Ukrainians say it would be important to have close ties to the European Union even if it hurts the country’s relations with Russia. 27 percent say the country should be close with both.

– After choking a deportee on a British Airways flight in Britain, three private security guards were found not guilty of manslaughter despite the man screaming out “I can’t breathe”

A new report found minorities in Hungary are facing more discrimination than before

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Uruguayan President Jose Mujica: The six Guantanamo detainees are not terrorists, but prisoners

Surveillance Planet

– The Guardians of Peace, the hackers who took data from Sony Pictures Entertainment, told employees of Sony that will not publish their information if they are told by the employees

Financial Matters

– Pew: Forty-five percent and 63 percent of Americans are hearing a mix of good and bad news on jobs and the economy, respectively.

– When focusing on police killings in the U.S., the discussion should link the wealth inequality considering how both relate to each other

– India is on a dangerous path with neoliberalism controlling its future as seen through Arundhati Roy’s book “Capitalism: A Love Story”

– The oil minister of Kuwait noted OPEC will not interfere in the oil market in spite of declining oil prices

– Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say the exchange rate of Iraq’s dinar will not be affected by the decline too much. Still, austerity is guaranteed as a result of the drop.

– With the ruble in Russia falling as well due to declining oil prices, it jeopardizes the country’s economy; No doubt there’s some partying in Washington

Labor’s a-Brewing

– New York Governor Andrew Cuomo notified state employees they would no longer be a part of a union; For the last time, he is not a “centrist Democrat,” he is a reactionary. That’s it.

Politics US

Washington USA

Part two of three with Naomi Murakawa who explains why local police departments would gladly go along with a national commission on policing and a systemic change to policing

– The Transportation Security Administration asked the federal government for an exemption of a new law barring racial profiling; Yes because their plan totally works out

– Hearing how Americans are accepting of torture in the U.S. reflects a victory of the elites to cascade such norms into society.

– Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) said he would support Hillary Clinton as president; And show the faux-progressives show their true colors

– Glen Ford joins The Real News to discuss a renewed law passed by Congress for states to record all instances where people are killed by police.

– Glenn Greenwald: “U.S. TV provides ample platform for American torturers, but none to their victims

– Jeb Bush said he is “actively considering” to run in the 2016 presidential elections; How do you spell democracy? D-Y-N-A-S-T-Y

– Dennis Kucinich: “Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

– A federal judge ruled the immigration plan by President Barack Obama is unconstitutional in a case involving an undocumented immigrant

– In a vote of 55-39, the Senate confirmed Sarah Saldana, an Dallas, Texas-based attorney, as the leader of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency

Anytown USA

– In Pocatello, Idaho, a cow escaped from a slaughterhouse and, after police chased after the cow, was killed by officers; What? Did the cow shoot out milk from its udder?

– Arizona opened a $50 million maximum-security prison. Is it useful? Actually no.

– The city of Rockford, Ill., settled with a family after the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of two white officers

We Don’t Need No Education

– A new report found 26 percent of undergraduates in the U.S. have children; Whoa, that’s a lot. A surprising figure.

– Pete Grannis, a New York State comptroller, found audits that are “questionable at best, illegal at worst” at charter schools

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Up above in “Financial Matters,” I spoke about connecting the police shootings with inequality. I should also note mental illness is another thing to link with these issues.

– Nearly 10,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in California, which is the worst since the 1940s

A new report found teenagers prefer using e-cigarettes than cigarettes. In fact, teen use of cigarettes is dropping.

The Second Sex

– While women in developing countries are the most at risk due to climate change, they have the most control in averting the worst should they mobilize

– Bill Cosby will not face any charges for a raping a woman in 1974 in Los Angeles, according to prosecutors.

Planet Earth

The first part of an interview with Jamie Henn, a member of 350.org, on the COP 20 conference in Lima, Peru, and how the conference in Paris next year will be the most important.

– “There’s a war on coal!” warn the newspapers in the U.S., yet the truth is the coal industry’s power is a threat to the planet; And you wonder why newspapers are on the decline

Mixed Bag

– Now the daughter of Bill Cosby called for all of the women accusing Cosby of rape to be jailed; “And you just don’t get it/You’re so pathetic”

– McDonald’s in Japan announced it would sell only a small portion of fries due to shortage

Break Time

Christmas in Hollis [Run DMC]

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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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