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The Roundup for December 19th, 2014

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Whoa, it is almost Christmas! This month just went on by.

The Colbert Report ended yesterday as Stephen Colbert will move to CBS to take over Late Night. What’s your fondest memory of the show?

International Politics


– Attorney Michael Ratner explains to The Real News the recent criminal complaint filed by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in Germany against officials in the Bush administration relating to torture.

– Russia invited Kim Jong-un to Moscow next year to commemorate the victory of the Soviets over the Nazis, yet it may deal more with the geo-political game being waged.

– After what happened with “The Interview,” the U.S. is considering to place North Korea back on a list of states supporting terrorism

– The United Nations ordered Israel to pay more than $850 million to Lebanon for causing an oil slick in 2006

Middle East

Part three of three with journalist Lia Tarachansky who talks about the effects of Zionism is having in Israel

– There will be no more ferries going from Syria to Turkey and it is suspected it is due to the relationship between the two countries

– Three Yemeni soldiers were killed and five were wounded in a bomb that is being attributed to a group tied to al-Qaeda

– As a result of two attacks by the Islamic State against cities in Iraq, more than 2,000 Iraqis were said to be missing

Asia and Oceania

– The Constitutional Court in South Korea, in a vote of 8-1, decided to ban the United Progressive Party because they were pushing “North Korea-style socialism.”


– Gallup: On average, using a scale of zero to 10, Ukrainians rate their life as a 4.3

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Natasha Lennard: “Failed Policy Still Looms Over the New ‘Normal’ Between the US and Cuba

An interview with John Ackerman, a professor living in Mexico, who connects the history of the country with contemporary events

Surveillance Planet

– It looks like officers are following protesters involved in demonstrations against police brutality by snooping on their phones

– Trevor Timm: “Enough with the Sony hack. Can we all calm down about cyberwar with North Korea already?

– It seems a sub-agency in the Pentagon focusing on preventing bombings was collecting information not only on Americans but overseas as well; Did they get bored with their job and took spying as a hobby?

– Staples said more than 1 million customers were affected as a result of a security breach

– A new poll found 21 percent of Americans support the use of commercial drones

Financial Matters

– Apache Corporation, a Texas firm, and Shell Egypt signed a $40 million contract with the Egyptian military government to frack in Egypt

– Now eBay announced it would leave ALEC after reviewing its membership in the organization

– David Sirota: “The Treasury Secretary’s Misperceptions About Wealth

– The housing market in the U.S. is now $27.5 trillion after growing by $1.7 trillion this year; I’m sure all of it is due to the rich buying more homes

– Pathetic to see non-profit hospitals sue patients unable to pay for their bills and take their money to pay for their bills

– FIFA announced there will be no change of location for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup as an earthquake would be something that would change it

Labor’s a-Brewing

– At least 60 percent of supplies for Christmas can be traced back to a village in China.

– After a BBC investigation into horrid conditions at factories making products for Apple, the company said it was surprised and will follow-up; Translation: “We didn’t know these factories we work with and profit with had terrible conditions. Shucks.”

Politics US

Washington USA

– After President Barack Obama said Sony Pictures Entertainment made a mistake of not showing “The Interview,” the company said it was looking into other means to release the movie.

– Gallup: Twenty-three percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country

– The Government Accountability Office reported FEMA is not ready if a natural disaster or a nuclear attack strikes

Anytown USA

– The New York Police Department is seeking the ability to arrest a group of protesters from a court. The same NYPD, mind you, that would beat up a 12-year-old black child.

– In St. Louis, Mo., prosecutor Robert McCulloch said some witnesses in the grand jury trial of Darren Wilson were lying

We Don’t Need No Education

– A stellar piece investigating school segregation in St. Louis, and how it affects issues in contemporary society

– After members of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity threw eggs and taunted anti-rape demonstrators at San Diego State University, the university temporarily barred the organization from existing until 2016; Good, kick all of them out too.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Nebraska and Oklahoma sued the state of Colorado for legalizing weed as they are worried it is bringing problems into their states

The Second Sex

– An investigation into the New Orleans Police Department found they were apathetic to incidents of rape and allowed rape kits to accumulate without any follow-up

– A transgender student at Cornell University reported discrimination by a roommate after living at the Telluride House, a co-op semi-affiliated with the university. Both institutions did nothing.

– It is disturbing how El Salvador jails many women for having miscarriages. Indeed, these women are placed behind bars for years.

Planet Earth

– It was a fantastic week for opponents of hydrofracking as provinces in Canada and New York banned it

A new study found food production would fall 18 percent by 2050 as a result of climate change

– The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration reported the Arctic is warming at a higher rate than the rest of the planet

– Going off of that, another report found extreme weather patterns are on the rise across the world as a result of global warming

– The Environmental Protection Agency announced new, yet weak regulations on coal ash

– In a press conference earlier today, President Obama said he was skeptical of the Keystone XL pipeline; So skeptical he allowed the southern half to be built. He just needed to make sure, after allowing it to be built, if it failed.

Mixed Bag

– A woman in Illinois requested to trademark the phrase “I can’t breathe” because money is so, so important in all of this

– A funny segment from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the alleged discrimination against people apart of SantaCon. I say alleged since the people at SantaCon are all white, privileged drunks.

Break Time

Cool Yule [Louis Armstrong and the Commanders]

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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.