CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for February 2nd, 2015

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Good day folks!

International Politics


– The editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a major German newspaper, admitted he wrote stories for the CIA and other journalists in West do the exact same thing to push for war.

– Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel could be a mediator in talks between Ukraine and Russia

– An interview with Elisabeth Guigou, a French lawmaker, who explains the role of France in the Iran-P5+1 negotiations

Middle East

– Some Sunni Arab groups in Iraq prefer the Islamic State as allies as they do not believe the Iraqi government will protect them

– Juan Cole: “Ironies of Empire: US now Allied with Shiites Trained by Assassinated Hizbullah Leader

– Using fake, but attractive female picturs, hackers were able to get battle plans of Syrian rebels through their computers

– Gareth Porter: “Netanyahu’s Phony War

– The bodies of 25 Yazidis were found in northern Iraq as officials say they were killed by Islamic State fighters

– The United Nations said it was unable to send aid to a refugee camp near the Syrian capital as a result of government forces

Asia and Oceania

Very stellar interview with Shin Eun-mi, a Korean-American woman, who was deported from South Korea for allegedly favoring North Korea despite the national government there acting very suspiciously on the whole matter.


Thousands are escaping from the Central African Republic, plagued with violence for months, into the Congo.

– An Egyptian court sentenced 183 supporters of Muslim Brotherhood to death in a trial involving their role in the deaths of 16 officers

– Libya lifted a law that restricted officials who worked under Muammar Qaddafi from participating in the new government


– Gallup: Thirty-five percent of Greeks approve of Russia’s leadership, while 23 percent of Greeks approve of the European Union’s leadership

– With Syriza’s victory in Greece, the elites in Ireland are afraid such an inspirational victory can happen in Ireland

– Turkey’s recent moves against the West derive more from Western efforts in the country rather than the imperialist policies of Western countries; Remember, all politics is local

– Germany says it would not offer weapons to the Kiev government and prefer a diplomatic solution to the crisis

– Meanwhile, rebels in eastern Ukraine pledged to increase their size by 100,000

A new poll of citizens in the United Kingdom found 35 percent hold an unfavorable view of Israel, which is the second-most disliked country behind North Korea; Israel is almost there to the gold!

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Eva Golinger: “Venezuela: Coup in Real Time

– The U.S. denied Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s claim Vice President Joseph Biden was conspiring against Venezuela; Misleading headline from The Guardian.

– Meanwhile, the U.S. extended visa restrictions on Venezuelan officials coming to the U.S.

– There’s money to made in growing opium in Mexico due to heroin demand coming from the U.S.

– Mexican officials told folks at the United Nations it pledged to improve its system of those who disappear after being questioned on the 43 missing students

Surveillance Planet

– Emptywheel: “Caesars Palace Not Held to Same Standard Lavabit Is

Financial Matters

– Companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron will boost production despite low oil prices

– Gallup: Spending from December to January fell by $17 with all households reducing consumption

– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras: Turkey must respect the decision of Cyprus to search for offshore gas

– Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “The ‘Movement of Movements’ Against Fast Tracking the TPP Has the Power to Win

– When there is profit to be made off phone calls with prisoners, then we realize the prison system is unfair and geared to corporations.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Economist Jeannette Wicks-Lim talks with The Real News on how the effects of $15 per hour for the minimum wage can help the economy

– In Haiti, bus drivers went on a two-day strike to protest against the government’s decision not to lower gas prices even more

Politics US

Washington USA

– Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, joins The Real News to talk about Guantanamo Bay and why it should be given to Cuba

– Wondering what the Obama administration’s new budget will focus on? They say for the middle-class. The reality is the budget will mostly help our defense.

– Still, President Barack Obama hopes to create a new government agency in charge of food safety standards

– The Federal Communications Commission may uphold net neutrality and make it into a public utility

– Another uplifting story about a former Bush official who left his position at the Department of Homeland Security and was able to purchase a million-dollar home after working in the private sector

Anytown USA

Part two of four in The Real News‘ series of a community meetings in Baltimore to discuss the Black Lives Matter protests

We Don’t Need No Education

– Howard Dean: “Neoliberal corporate education reform?: [O]n Teach for America, teachers’ unions and the politics of false choices

A new poll in the United Kingdom found more than a majority of college students view pornography as a supplement to sexual education

– In Iraq, at least 90 percent of schools under the control of the ISIS are not fit for teaching

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Pew: Sixty-nine percent of Americans say children should be vaccinated with younger folks less likely to say it should be required.

– Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said it would be alright if restaurant employees did not wash their hands; I can’t think of anything witty. I just can’t.

The Second Sex

– Femicide is a major problem in Latin America, a region where men are considering dominant and the authority in a relationship

– Jessica Valenti: “Women should worry less about being liked and more about being effective

Planet Earth

– Arun Gupta: “Why the Crash in Oil Prices Should Bury ‘Peak Oil’ Once and for All

– Fracking companies in California injected waste-water into clean water reservoirs. Shouldn’t the regulators be making sure that doesn’t happen? Apparently, their strategy is, during a drought, look the other way.

– Ski resorts are just one example of consequences as a result of the drought in California.

– Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, companies engaging in hydrofracking violate regulations on a daily basis.

– Asia pushes ahead with investments in renewable energy, specifically in solar power

– Dahr Jamail: “Species Extinctions, Human Chronic Disease on the Rise, as Climate Disruption Mounts

– Environmentalists must realize, at this point, change within the system will do nothing. Instead, constructing a new one must be their goal.

– Let us be honest. We may have reached abrupt climate change at this point, which will cause catastrophic (too light of a word by the way) changes in the world.

Mixed Bag

– The Super Bowl on Sunday was the most watched in the history of television; How much of that was due to the commercials?

– Chris Hedges: “Malcolm X Was Right About America

– Every Feb. 2 will be “Chris Kyle Day” in Texas because why not says Republican Governor Greg Abbott

Break Time

Aquarius [Mary Lou Williams]

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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.