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The Roundup

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Hi folks! We’re almost approaching the end of the year! How do you feel?

International Politics

Overall

– Lawyer Stanley Cohen blames the U.S. government for refusing to negotiate for the release of hostages like Peter Kassig because of political reasons

Middle East

– Juan Cole: “After Cuba, Obama Can Make History by Recognizing Palestine

– It seems it was a technical failure rather than fire by the Islamic State that brought a F-16 fighter down leading to a Jordanian pilot to be captured

– According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, air strikes by the Syrian government killed at least 52 people

– The challenge of the modern Iraqi army is making it an united force as it is more like a collection of different sectarian groups

Asia and Oceania

– U.S. drone strikes killed at least seven people, suspected to be militants, in Pakistan

Africa

– Egyptians are unhappy with the lack of a serious effort by the Ministry of Health in the country to combat diseases and virus aggressively

Europe 

– In Israel, members of a far-right party were arrested by police after it was found they were allegedly providing public funds to groups working with them

– In Eskilstuna, Sweden, five people were injured in an arson attack against a mosque; Funny how American liberals love to believe Sweden is the perfect democracy despite its issues

– The Kiev government and the rebels in the east switched captives with each other in a deal

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Yesterday, the families of the 42 missing students demonstrated outside the home of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to demand the government find the remains

– Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, joins The Real News to discuss the right choice in changing relations with Cuba, but cautions on how too much U.S. presence can be detrimental

Surveillance Planet

– The National Security Agency released a huge report on abuses caused by NSA employees yesterday (due to FOIAs); It’s a Christmas miracle!

– Emptywheel: “The Phone Dragnet Classified Appendix

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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.