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The Roundup for December 17th, 2014

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Hey folks. Since I have just one more final tomorrow, I’ve decided to abridge the Roundup for today. In addition, I was worried I’ve stacked the Roundup over the previous days so if feel it has been like that, I guess you could catch up with the previous days.

Happy Birthday Chelsea Manning!

International Politics


– As you may have heard earlier today, the U.S. and Cuba announced a dramatic shift in diplomatic relations with each other. You can read Raul Castro’s speech on it here. So funny to watch the Cuban exiles get angry and grumpy.

– Jason Leopold: “Will Cuba Now Cash 55 Years’ Worth of Guantanamo Rent Checks?

– Gallup: The most support for police can be found in both Iceland and Switzerland, both tied at 91 percent. The least support is in Mexico with 46 support.

Middle East

– The U.S. led more than 60 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq since Dec. 15, a Monday.

– An organization following events in Syria said there were Afghanis fighting with the Syrian government

Asia and Oceania

– Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: I will vow to take down every member of the Taliban in response to the massacre they cause yesterday


– Gallup: Here’s something interesting. Just 10 percent of Ukrainians say the country should reclaim Crimea. 34 percent say the country should not even bother.

– After a court in Europe ruled the status of Hamas a terrorist group should be re-evaluated, the U.S. recommended keeping sanctions as is against the group. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said European “learned nothing” from the Holocaust.

– The EU, meanwhile, voted to recognize Palestine, which I am certain Israel will also not be happy about but whatever

– A far-right politician in Sweden said Jews cannot be Swedes unless they renounce their Jewish identity; In the liberal paradise of Sweden no less. Just goes to show how even the most reactionary can exist in very liberal places

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– After decades of fighting, FARC rebels in Colombia announced a indefinite ceasefire with the government; Let’s see if this holds up

Surveillance Planet

– A U.S. official admitted the hackers behind the attack on Sony may never be caught due to the difficulty of finding them

– North Korea may not actually be behind the attack nor is “The Interview” their target. However, some U.S. officials say North Korea is behind the attack.

Financial Matters

– Due to low oil prices, Nigeria and Canada are just two examples of countries whose currency is suffering.

– Iraq asked if it could defer reparations for destroyed oil facilities in Kuwait during the Gulf War because of declining oil prices.

– The Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen said interest rates will still be near zero percent for the first quarter of 2015, perhaps even longer

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Gallup: Twenty-seven percent of federal employees in the U.S. are engaged in their job compared to 31 percent non-federal employees

A new report found the U.S. trade deficit with China was to blame for 3.2 millions jobs in the U.S. lost

– As cities across California raise the minimum wage, Sacramento is unable to do so because Mayor Kevin Johnson, a Democrat, prefers getting a task force before making any decision.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gareth Porter: “How the CIA Covered Up Its Lie on Torture and bin Laden

– The last disputed race in the House finished as a Republican in Arizona scored a seat for the GOP

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): The problems in the U.S. are too numerous and we need a “political revolution“; And to get there we need what?

– Henry Giroux: “America’s Addiction to Torture

A great, yet short article on six different possibilities for reforming communities without the use of cops

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– J.K. Rowling: “Isn’t it time we left orphanages to fairytales?

Planet Earth

– Huge news out of New York as Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration decided to ban hydrofracking

Mixed Bag

– A potential thriller film about life in North Korea was scrapped over “The Interview” fiasco

– A new study found, when in relationships, women are more empathetic than men

Break Time

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) [Darlene Love]

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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.