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The Roundup for December 29th, 2014

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Hey there folks! Still taking criticism to improve the Roundup.

International Politics

Overall

– Another segment with Lawrence Wilkerson who explains to The Real News on Russia’s strategy going forward when engaging with the U.S.

– The Taliban in Afghanistan said they won after NATO announced it would cease its active military missions

Middle East

– The Islamic State said they were responsible for the death of an Iranian officer although did not provide information on how they did

– Gaza is facing a significant economic crisis and the only one who can provide a major change is Israel; Not a good sign with the current reactionaries in charge

– Meanwhile, Palestinians, specifically young men, are turning to jobs like bird breeding to get some income

– Also, a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces after throwing stones at them; Don’t they have protective gear? I mean, it’s just rocks.

– At least nine people in Homs, Syria, were killed after a car bomb exploded near a gas plant

– Ali Abunimah: “Revealed: Gaza orphans Israel trip was government-backed PR stunt

– An Iraqi official asked for civilians living in ISIS-controlled territory to escape before the government attacks

– Sam Knight: “Unlike E.U., U.S. doesn’t mildly rebuke Israel for jailing Palestinian ‘prisoner of conscience’

Asia and Oceania

– Constant U.S. military presence in the Philippines is making residents frustrated, but the Philippine government prefers its presence for geo-political reasons

– Will the U.S. open an embassy in Iran after announcing it will open one in Cuba? The short answer: no.

– It is now assumed the missing AirAsia flight is at the bottom of the sea, according to Indonesian officials

Africa

– Now the U.S. government is launching air strikes in Somalia to target the leader of al-Shabaab

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Part one with Sujatha Fernandes, a professor, and James Early, a director at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, on the culture in Cuba and what may happen with it after the recent accord with the U.S.

Surveillance Planet

– Gmail was down in China, reportedly due to the Chinese government blocking the site

Financial Matters

– What is bothersome is not only how the rich in society refuse to pay their share, but how they constantly justify it

– Robert Reich: “The Republican’s Magical Mystery Tour (Starting Next Week)

– The Russian economy contracted in its last quarter and the last time that happened was five years ago

– Health care in the U.S. must be reformed to provide assistance only to Americans, not to corporations.

– The vice president of Iran claimed oil prices will increase to $80 rather than decrease; It’s all a guessing game at this point

– Dean Baker: “New Year’s Resolutions: Ten Ways to Combat Upward Redistribution of Income

– What may happen in the new year for oil companies? Potential mergers and takeovers.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– As expected, neoliberalism in India is not being accepted by workers in the country as tech workers at a Foxconn plant are fighting against cutbacks

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: The 113th Congress would have been the “least productive in modern history,” yet avoided that by passing a lot of bills in the past few week; The better question is, do lawmakers know that?

– President Barack Obama warned the 114th Congress, which will be dominated with Republicans, he will use his veto power to block any reactionary bills; Yeah! He showed them when he vetoed the Cromibus bi-Wait a minute…

– He also claimed race relations in the U.S. were better now than when he first took office in 2009; Wait, what?

– Former lawmaker Mike Gravel: “The law will protect any member of Congress who releases the full torture report. Someone needs to step up

Anytown USA

– In New London, N.H., a police chief said to a teen he would drop charges of underage drinking against her if she took nude photos. Despite being removed from the police force, he will face no charges.

– Chris Hedges: “The Prison State of America

– Despite the city council in Berkeley, Mo., hearing community members on the excessive force used by police officers, they declined to make reforms; Hiding it under the rug

– The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the top police union, operates on its own and challenges the mayor in NYC regardless of their political affiliation

– Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio was booed and heckled by some at a graduation ceremony for NYPD cadets

– Natasha Lennard: “The Cops Who Turned Their Backs at the NYPD Officer’s Funeral Are the Most Threatening Protesters Of All

An interview with journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates about his story on reparations for black Americans and what it may take to get it

– Yesterday I had posted a link on “selling” peace groups for war and Louis Proyect provides a response to that article.

We Don’t Need No Education

A nice re-cap of the victories students in the U.S. achieved this year for Palestine

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– In Aleppo, Syria, diseases such as scabies are on the rise as the trash in the town rises and continues to go uncollected

Planet Earth

– In Alberta, Canada, a train carrying coal waste derailed and a creek was filled with the waste

– Brazil, with its eyes on profit overseas, is exploiting lands of indigenous people, who are resisting such efforts

– How many gallons of water does California need to end its drought? Eleven trillion.

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: The most admired woman in the U.S. is Hillary Clinton, while the most admired man is President Obama

– Apparently, Argentinian President Cristina Kirshner adopted a Jewish baby to ensure he does not become a werewolf. Outlets reported it as fact, but it’s all a myth; Slow news days, huh?

– Also, it was alleged employees at a Chipotle raised their hands and said “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” when NYPD officers entered the joint. They left and some supporters became angry; Hilarious if true. What’s next? The ice cream truck driver is public enemy number one now?

Break Time

Rude Boy Rock [Lionrock]

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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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