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The Roundup for December 22nd, 2014

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May Joe Cocker rest in peace.

International Politics


– A German writer said the Islamic State is underestimated by the West and the group aims to take over Europe

Middle East

– Ali Abunimah: “Guardian reports ‘acid attack’ on Israelis that never happened

Asia and Oceania

– Gallup: Fifty-four percent of Pakistani say the government is doing enough to fight terrorism. As noted, however, is this took place before the attack last Tuesday.

– A nuclear power plant in South Korea was hacked, although authorities say it only non-critical information was taken

– Meanwhile, North Korea suffered from cyber-attacks that led to its internet being shut down


At least 26 people were killed and 79 were wounded by explosions in northeastern Nigeria


– Pope Francis I: Any clergy member who prefers power over a religious life suffers from “spiritual Alzheimer’s

At least 17,000 marched in protests against Islam, which was mostly filled by far-right folk

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– It seems clear that, without any embargoes, Cuba can sustain itself with its socialist system

– It is worth examining, in the wake of a police revolt in New York City, how Ecuador dealt with its revolt in 2010

– As Nicaragua begins construction for a canal, which is being funded by a Chinese company, protests began over the environmental damage it can have

Surveillance Planet

– Even with the bountiful data amassed on the attackers who bombed Mumbai in 2008, Indian and British authorities were unable to “connect the dots

Financial Matters

– Gallup: Thirty-six percent of Americans say it is a good time to find a quality job

– Now here’s something: Saudi Arabia criticized Russia, but not outright, as a country that does not deserve high oil prices.

– I previously mentioned some countries suffering from low oil prices. Egypt is one country benefiting from low oil prices; And they are a U.S. ally

– Dean Baker: “The Trade Agreement Pinatas

– A new study found, from between 2003 to 2012, at least $10 billion flowed out from Morocco for illicit activities

– In contrast to the constant hype for privatized infrastructure, there really is little to no benefit for such a plan.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– With something called the “Employee Rights Act” you would expect it to possibly help workers. Au contrair, Newt Gingrich, notorious reactionary, supports this bill providing more power to management over unions.

– For fans of mixed martial arts, Jamie Varner will be retiring. Following his retirement, he will fight for a union for MMA fighters.

– Despite the increasing love for chocolate, it must be known child labor goes into the production of such commodities for countries in the Global North.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Despite all the talk officials gave on the effectiveness of torture, the rise of the Islamic State is just one example of how the War on Terror failed

Back in 2009, the CIA knew a drone strike program would backfire and have dire consequences; Still, they went through with it.

Anytown USA

– Despite New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio saying protests need to be temporarily stopped, he emphasized there needs to be unity; You can’t be neutral on a moving train.

– It certainly says a lot when police are okay with body cameras, but are uncomfortable with being filmed.

– White liberals who are unsure about the topic of race and policing must either change their views or join the reactionaries. There is no other option.

– Dave Zirin: “Athlete-Activists Can’t Be Scared Silent After the Murder of Two NYPD Officers

– Just to make sure, the deaths of the two officers over the weekend does not mean the movement itself is guilty. Rather, what happened was an isolated incident.

– Police say Ismaaiyl Brinsley did not participate at any protest and only recorded; Well, well, well, the anti-protesters all look like idiots. Let’s be honest, they are.

We Don’t Need No Education

– Teacher unions have an important role in providing help for communities of color albeit are limited in providing a guaranteed future. Indeed, that is the role of the government with jobs.

– Chris Hedges: “Banning Dissent in the Name of Civility

The Second Sex

– North Carolina’s ultrasound law was struck down by a federal appeals court as the judges said it was fueled by ideology

– The student at Columbia University accused of rape said the accusations were hurt and called Emma Sulkowicz’s decision to carry a mattress in protest bullying.

– Actress Katherine McKee accused Bill Cosby of raping her in the 1970s, which means she is another person coming forward

Planet Earth

– Eventually, those who cause the worst environment damage (i.e. corporations) must pay for their actions

According to a new study, the hot springs at Yellowstone National Park used to be purely blue; however, as a result of trash thrown in, it changed over time.

Mixed Bag

– Pew: In 1960, 73 percent of children lived with two parents who married for the first time. In 2013, only 46 percent of children faced the same.

Research out of Austria found it is possible to make fungi to break down plastic thrown away and convert it to a snack

Break Time

Frosty the Snowman [The Jackson 5]

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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.