CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for January 29th, 2015

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Good day everyone! My first week of classes is over. Round two is next week.

International Politics


– Human Rights Watch said abuse of rights often leads to the formation of terror groups like the Islamic State; Quick, someone call the Obama administration before they abuse rights overseas.

– Who else is thrilled with the victory of SYRIZA in Greece? The Palestinian Authority.

Middle East

– Kurdish soldiers around the city of Kobane in Syria killed 22 ISIS fighters

– Sunni Arabs in Iraq are unhappy with Iraqi Kurds capturing land in the country, which another problem Iraq must deal with (but certainly won’t)

– The Iraqi government said it would investigate claims made by Sunni villagers who say other villagers were massacred by Shiite militias. A member of Iraqi parliament actually spoke about it, which you can find here.

– King Salman of Saudi Arabia changed his cabinet and fired two sons of the late King Abdullah


Part two of three with Irvin Jim, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa, who explains why NUMSA separated from the African National Congress two years ago.

– Twenty-six people, mostly soldiers, were killed in Sinai, Egypt. The Egypt section of the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

– Women demonstrated against the Egyptian police for killing a female demonstrator last Saturday


Part two of two with Serhiy Kudelia who explains the consequences of the Kiev government’s decision to use military in eastern Ukraine

– There was an anti-Islam protest in Denmark, yet a lot more people came out against that very protest.

– An official from Scotland Yard said the media should not broadcast when officers or soldiers storm into places held by extremists; No.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Mexico City, Mexico, a gas tank at a hospital exploded and two people died.

– The kickback scheme in Brazil involving Petrobras, the state-run energy company, involves at least $800 million perhaps even more.

Surveillance Planet

A new study found it is easy, even if the data is anonymous, for people to find your personal information through your credit card

– In case you were wondering, the NSA is still collecting data on us as little is being done by the government

– According to documents by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Canadian intelligence collected massive amounts of information about user downloads

Financial Matters

– Certainly the problems in Greece stem from austerity, but austerity stems from the implementation of the euro

– The International Monetary Fund say the war in Gaza (their wording) was the cause of the recession in Gaza

– Iraq cut its budget due to the continuing decline of oil prices, which may not be the last.

– In a meeting with Senate Democrats, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the economy was doing great

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Gallup: It looks like youths are emigrating to countries whose populations are getting older

– Thing like Airbnb or Uber pretend to give autonomy to all parties involved, but that is just a joke. Doug Henwood writes a great piece on how much of a joke that is under our capitalist system.

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Barack Obama: We must end “mindless austerity” and start spending more; You’re right, whoever pushed for this in the first place is very mindless. They must be very incompetent.

– In a vote of 62 to 36, the Senate passed a bill supporting construction of Keystone XL. It now goes to President Obama.

– Gallup: Sixty percent of Americans are not satisfied with the level of immigration into the U.S as most want less.

– Journalist Bruce Dixon talks with The Real News about Loretta Lynch and what she represents should she be confirmed as the new attorney general

– Trevor Timm: “Will the Obama administration finally bring the CIA’s torturers to justice?

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill into Congress a bill to spend $1 trillion to improve infrastructure and create jobs. The GOP, however, have other plans.

– Jason Leopold: “The Military Admitted Force-Feeding Gitmo Detainees Violates International Law and Medical Ethics

– CODEPINK demonstrated against Henry Kissinger during his testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to which Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called them “low-life scum” and kicked them out; Wait, don’t you mean Kissinger is low-life scum? John, are you feeling well?

Anytown USA

– In Denver, Col., a 17-year-old girl was killed by police after they claimed she hit a cop with her car. Trouble is video of what happened does not show that.

– Gallup: Baby boomers are likely to identify as conservative rather than liberal. Interestingly enough, each generation, starting from the 1900s, is becoming more liberal.

– Pew: Sixty percent of Americans say Charlie Hebdo was right in publishing cartoons of Muhammad

– How does former Texas Governor Rick Perry face charges relating to abuse of power? As a “badge of honor.”

– The New York Police Department will make a unit equipped with machine guns and rifles to prepare for terror attacks

– Meanwhile, the family of Akai Gurley, killed while unarmed by an officer, will sue the NYPD for $50 million

A new study on the justice system in Texas for juveniles found emphasizing their place in the community works

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Eating insects may sound gross to most Americans, but it is better than the food typically consumed in the U.S.

– Good news as Australian researchers may have found a potential cure to peanut allergies

The Second Sex

– Michelle Chen: “Canada’s New Law Is Forcing Sex Workers Onto the Streets and Into Harm’s Way

– To stop sexual assaults on campus, Dartmouth College announced it would ban hard liquor on campus

Newsweek writes a piece on sexism in Silicon Valley and, well, you might want to look at the cover.

Planet Earth

– A new poll found 45 percent of Americans support lifting the ban on crude oil exports

– Marine ecologist Douglas McCauley joins The Real News to talk about how problematic it is for President Obama to expand offshore drilling considering the risks to the environment

– Shell Oil, definitely responsible when it comes to drilling, will drill in the Arctic; What can go wrong?

– Sure, the rain in California was helpful, but the state needs a lot more (and I mean A LOT) rain to stop the drought there

– Pew: The public differs with scientists on issues including climate change, animal research, eating genetically modified foods, evolution and more.

– The state of Pennsylvania will no longer issue leases for oil and gas after Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order

– Two children, age 10 and seven, cannot talk about hydrofracking for the rest of their lives as a result of a gag order. You think I’m joking, but I’m not.

– President Obama is a hypocrite when he claims to defend the environment but advocates for natural gas; I actually wanted to write a piece like this, but I’m glad it was already written.

Mixed Bag

– Amy Goodman: “Civil Rights: From Sundance, to Selma, to South Carolina

– Strange to hear Evangelicals setting up shop in Silicon Valley for “hipster churches

– I don’t usually refer to far-left articles (ironically) but this one made me laugh as a member of the Community Party of the USA calls for involvement in the Democratic Party circle for change; Not even one mention of socialist lawmaker Kshama Sawant in Seattle. Honestly, you wonder why most socialist groups are irrelevant nowadays.

Break Time

Tijuana Makes Me Happy [Nortec Collective]

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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.