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The Roundup for December 30th, 2014

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This year is almost ending. Wow, I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

International Politics


– Lawrence Wilkerson explains to The Real News the blunders the U.S. took in terms of Syria and how they are currently limited as a result of Israel when facing the Islamic State

– William Blum: “American Exceptionalism and American Torture

– The United Nations Security Council rejected a resolution denouncing Israeli occupation of Palestine

Middle East

– In Israel, authorities found two burnt bodies of Palestinians, who were brothers, and believe it to be a murder

– In Jerusalem, Arab bus drivers experience discrimination from reactionary Israelis with vile comments

– A former Hamas official blamed the Palestinian government for failing to protect Gaza

– Nine mass graves of Yazidis were found in northern Iraq and ISIS were blamed as the ones who killed them

– Speaking of ISIS, a magazine of theirs includes an interview with the captured Jordanian pilot who believes he will be killed


– Egypt is struggling as a result of a decline in economic aid from countries in the Gulf

– The Somalian government said a U.S. airstrike killed an intelligence official of al-Shabaab


– After defying a house arrest to go to a protest, Russian critic Alexei Navalny was arrested by authorities. He was not specifically chosen, just arrested along with others at the protest.

– The U.S. next year will be placing more armored vehicles in eastern European countries for training

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Part two with Sujatha Fernandes, a professor, and James Early, a director at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, about the Cuban Five along with the USAID program in Cuba

– Assata Shakur: “I Am A 20th Century Escaped Slave

– Venezuela admitted it experienced a recession in the first half of the year, but blamed its enemies

Surveillance Planet

– Documents by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals some methods to best avoid the NSA’s snooping capabilities

– Lizard Squad, the group who originally took down the servers of the Playstation Network and Xbox Live, is offering their services for a price

Financial Matters

– With privatization of oil guaranteed by the Mexican state, it will only bring disaster for the citizens of the country

– Due to the decline in oil prices, a plan to create a terminal for liquefied natural gas in the U.S. is on hold

– Oil, by the way, fell to $57-per-barrel, which is a five and half year low

– New Jersey bailed out its failing tobacco bonds to save face with investors, which led to one hedge fund to make a lot of money

– Creative Associates International Inc., which failed to ruin hip-hop in Cuba through a USAID scheme, is quite the popular contractor among government agencies

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A good sum-up of nine major victories this year for labor in the U.S.; Of course, there are many more

– In definite agreement the Howie Hawkins campaign provided a boost for labor in New York State

Politics US

Washington USA

– Pew: For the first time in history, more undocumented immigrants caught passing the U.S. border were from the countries in Central America than from Mexico

– Jeb Lund: “If you’re a politician and your chummy past with neo-Nazis resurfaces, don’t worry. Ask Ron Paul

– Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) changed his mind and will be stepping down from his position

Anytown USA

Part two of five with Norman Finkelstein on his upbringing and how he began defending the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s

– Max Blumenthal: “Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio

– Meanwhile the NYPD is currently slowing down work, which means less arrests and ticketing

– Talk of community-orientated policing as a solution to our problems is just another problem in disguise

Very disturbing to see the rape threats and calls of violence directed at journalist Rania Khalek for her criticism of Chris Kyle

– Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man, was shot three times by LAPD, including once in the back

We Don’t Need No Education

– Henry A. Giroux: “Barbarians at the Gates: Authoritarianism and the Assault on Public Education

– A fraternity at Quinnipiac University was shut down after the college investigated it for hazing

The Second Sex

– A transgender teenage girl committed suicide after feeling frustrated her parents did not accept she was transgender; A very sad story

– Rebecca Solnit: “Listen up, women are telling their story now

A government investigation found Harvard Law School failed to help students suffering from sexual assault and harassment

Mixed Bag

– Kind of news, but there’s a fundraising campaign now for more than 60 Greeks living in the U.S. to vote in the upcoming Greek elections

– Quite a long read, yet informative about burgers made by a company that is environmentally-friendly and provides a lot of health benefits

– Good news! The ex-girlfriend of Ismaaiyl Brinsley was released from the hospital after being shot by Brinsley

Break Time

Nightbirds [Labelle]

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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.