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The Special Roundup for February 10-13th, 2015

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As noted here, it’s a super roundup of the the days we were down. Quite a lot to digest, but it may be helpful.

International Politics

Overall

– U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: We must do something in Yemen, which is “collapsing before our eyes.

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Yes, I am in “profound disagreement” with President Barack Obama, but we are still supportive of one another

– President Obama: Russia must be aware it cannot continue its “aggressive actions” in Ukraine as consequences will erupt

– Glenn Greenwald: “The U.S. Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a U.S. Drone

– Pew: Among developing and emerging countries, 52 percent of citizens are disatisfied with their government and blame the rich for having too much power.

– The U.S. notes it is cautious about the latest peace deal in Ukraine as fighting continues in the country. The European Union, meanwhile, warned Russia not to stop the ceasefire or else face sanctions.

Middle East

– A UN official warned there may be more fighting in Gaza due to poor conditions

– An investigation by the Associated Press found at least 60 percent of individuals in their homes in Gaza killed by Israeli air strikes last summer were civilians.

– At least 20,000 people have joined the Islamic State with at least 3,000 coming from Western countries.

– Some tribes in Iraq can be described as “state within a state,” which does not bode well for a state already facing numerous problems

– Sunni tribes, meanwhile, say they killed a leader of ISIS in the Anbar province in Iraq.

– Moreover, a spokesperson for Shiite militias say they are playing an essential role in fighting against ISIL forces

– As a result of the changing political situation in Yemen, the U.S., along with Italy and Germany, announced its embassy would close down. The rebels took the abandoned vehicles of the embassy as their own.

– Meanwhile, thousands protested in the capital of Yemen against the Houthi government

– Ali Abunimah: “Obama pays tribute to Palestine solidarity activist killed in Islamic State captivity

– A new publication released by the Islamic State features a piece where they praise their efforts into making the argument into a clash of civilizations.

– Doctors Without Borders say, as a result of bombings, hospitals in Syria are “beyond [the] breaking point” in treating patients

– A tragic piece in The Nation dealing with the voyages of Syrian refugees to Europe, which sometimes become fatal

– An Iranian general said the days of ISIS were “nearing the end

– Sam Knight: “Fearmonger’s Delight: Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan downplays Islamic State reports

– Meanwhile, the U.S. may say is out of Afghanistan, but reality says otherwise

– A new survey found residents in Aleppo, Syria preferred a “freeze” of fighting, but doubt it may happen

– Has any U.S. installation in Afghanistan ever complied with laws in disposing waste? No.

Africa

– Terrorist is still rising in the Sinai province of Egypt despite the army attempting to stop it through different tactics

– What does Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi believe to be the issue with protesters dying as a result of the police? Such demonstrators are not civilized.

– The rest of the Al-Jazeera journalist are free; Great news

– Boko Haram militants attacked a village in Chad and a few individuals before soldiers made them turn back

Europe 

– Professor Costas Panayotakis explains the failure of capitalism in Greece and what socialism can do going forward.

– Becquer Seguin explains, in part two of two, the rising popularity of Podemos in Spain

– Low birth rates in Italy is worrying lawmakers in the country as it holds consequences for demographics in the future

– Attorney Dimitr Lascaris joins The Real News to talk about Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his first address to Greek parliament

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Investigators discovered DNA evidence of a second person at the home of deceased Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

– To understand the case surrounding Nisman, it is essential to understand the history of governments lying in Argentina.

– Argentinian President Cristina Kirschner is under investigation for an alleged cover-up of Iran’s role in the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994

– Excellent article highlighting a Cuban perspective on recent U.S-Cuba diplomatic changes and the state of Cuban society

– Venezuela announced it would create a new foreign exchange system but did not say how much its currency would be devalued.

– Meanwhile, 14 individuals, including a retired general, were arrested in Venezuela by authorities after plotting to overthrow the government

– A very vital article detailing how reactionary Uruguayan presence is in Haiti when the military there does not bring anything good.

– At least one person was killed and 22 were injured by police who stopped an anti-oil demonstration in Peru

– A former Guantanamo Bay detainee said Argentina should look into receiving detainees from Guantanano

– An interview with Salvadorean lawmaker Estela Hernandez about the role people hold in the country

Surveillance Planet

– A judge in California ruled in favor of the NSA in a case surrounding the ability of the government to obtain information without a warrant.

– Ola Bini, a researcher, talks to The Real News on what Anonymous’ declaration to hack anything related to ISIS means

– Oops. Jeb Bush accidentally released more than 12,000 Social Security numbers in an email.

– Glenn Greenwald: “NSA Claims Iran learned from Western Cyberattacks“; What can you say? They learn from the best.

– The U.S. is 49th in the world for press freedoms, which is the lowest ever record under President Obama’s tenure.

– The Obama administration warned tech companies in Silicon Valley hacks as experienced by Sony two months ago may become the norm unless they provide information to the government

Financial Matters

– Pew: Forty-seven percent of Americans say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy.

– Russia announced a deal with Egypt to build a nuclear power plant in the latter country.

– Koch-backed groups and lawmakers: Nice Medicaid expansion. Be a shame if someone stopped it.

– Venture capitalists say they are looking to the Middle East and North Africa as a potential place where venture capital will grow exponentially

– The International Monetary Fund said it would provide support to Egypt’s policies. In addition, it would offer $17.5 billion to Ukraine.

– The International Energy Agency said low oil prices would recover slightly, yet would do very little to economic growth or U.S. shale gas production.

– Speaking of low oil prices, Libya said it was able to stop a strike at an oil port as production levels continue to drop.

– The New York Federal Reserve say the salary youths make in their 20s predicts their future income

– Again speaking of low oil prices, Halliburton announced it would lay off 8,000 workers as a result of the drop in oil prices.

– The Argentinian state-run firm YPF boosted oil production last year, but it did not exceed as much as it could before.

– The Government Accountability Office said there were “high-risk” problems taxpayers face in terms of veterans’ health care needing to be addressed by the U.S. government

– There are at least 3,500 cases of rich Greeks evading taxes in the country, according to Greek minister tasked with fighting corruption Panagiotis Nikoloudis.

– Economist James Henry joins The Real News to talk about the more than $100 billion stored offshore thanks to the efforts of HSBC

– Some of the rich who were able to avoid paying taxes thanks to HSBC also donated to the Clinton Foundation; Remember this when Hillary Clinton says she cares about income inequality.

– Did British Prime Minister David Cameron know one of his ministers used HSBC to avoid taxes? Well…

– Gallup: Forty-nine percent of Americans are confident with the amount of money they spend

– A Mexican drug cartel used a bank in Kansas to money launder at least $2 million 

– ISIS opened up a new bank in Mosul, Iraq that will provide loans for anyone needing it

Labor’s a-Brewing

– In These Times talks to a German lawmaker on the implementation of a minimum wage including workers and interns in the country.

– Michelle Chen: “How a Migrant Worker’s Torture Exposed Hong Kong’s Underground Economy

– Labor scarcity, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is at a seven-year high, which means Americans might as well get a raise at this point.

– The governor of Illinois, a Republican, signed an executive order barring unions from getting benefits from workers who are not represented from a union.

– Unsure as to why oil workers in the U.S. are on strike? This interview with a union representative may help out.

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Obama: Give me the ability to send troops to the Middle East to face ISIS as it “will lose“; It should noted Iraq did not ask for any troops

– There’s always that anti-war libertarian-progressive alliance to stop this, right? Uh…you see…the thing is…

– In a vote of 93 to 5, the Senate confirmed Ashton Carter as the next Secretary of Defense.

– With some lawmakers in Congress having experience as lobbyists or in the private sector, it may spell trouble for the millions of Americans in the future

– Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, joins The Real News to discuss Western disagreements on what to do in Ukraine.

– The Obama administration will look for support to send to troops to Iraq and Syria due to ISIS; If only there could have been a way to avoid this like not support the conditions leading to the rise of ISIS…

– Speaker of the House John Boehner: Senate Democrats should “get off their ass” to pass a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security and restricting immigration changes by President Obama

– Rick Perry hopes to be a  presidential contender in 2016, yet his decision to join a company building a pipeline through the Bakken may hurt his chances (also will hurt the planet if it is constructed)

– James Comey, the director of the FBI, admitted there was a racial problem connected to the instances of police violence across the U.S.

– Trevor Timm: “When would an anti-war activist back arms sales? When he’s secretary of state

– Tim Shurrock: “How Does the Pentagon Keep Fooling Reporters About Its Tech Research Agency?

– President Obama has not even said anything about the Chapel Hill shootings. But he will host a summit on stopping domestic terrorists!

– Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention next year after the Democrats chose it over Brooklyn and Columbus, Ohio.

Anytown USA

– Three University of North Carolina students, all Muslims, were killed over what appears to be a parking lot spot dispute by a white individual. The family of the deceased say it should be classified as a “hate crime.”

– The shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, was described by his ex-wife as someone with “no compassion” and someone who is constantly angry.

– Natasha Lennard: “Should the Chapel Hill killings be called terrorism?

– If you are looking for a quality piece about the overall state of American Muslims in the U.S., here is one.

– Part one of three with retired officer Kelvin Sewell and journalist Stephen Janis explaining how they met in Baltimore and why they decided to write a book on violence in the city. Part two, featuring more on the book, can be found herePart three explains the role of the system at large based on two Baltimore cases.

– A new report found around 4,000 blacks were lynched by whites between 1877 and 1950 down in the South.

– Gallup: Fifty-three percent of Americans are satisfied with the influence of organized religion

– A new report found prisoners in South Carolina were placed in solitary confinement because they used social media. Seriously.

– A chilling read on the prison-industry complex where money can be made at every corner at the expense of prisoners and their families

– Gallup: Eighty-four percent of Americans say international terrorists (and extremists like ISIS) are a “critical threat.”

– A federal judge ruled judges in Alabama must give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples or face consequences

– Part four of four of the town hall made by The Real News features the classic question: What is the way forward?

– The New York Police Department officer who killed Akai Gurley late last year was indicted. Glen Ford talks more about it here and Natasha Lennard writes about it here.

– Amy Goodman: “The Flame of Intolerance Still Flickers in Alabama

– Glen Ford joins The Real News to talk about the class action lawsuit raised by residents in two Missouri towns on discrimination by city officials.

– In St. Paul, Minn. a 101-year-old woman was killed after a police vehicle hit her. Both the police and the city say it was her fault; Yes! Indeed! Very believable story!

We Don’t Need No Education 

– Very disturbing to see white supremacist groups appear on college campus to recruit students for their hate-fueled actions

– A new report found how deep the use of restraint is in Connecticut schools

– Students in Myanmar, defying the state’s threats against them, are marching for freedom to organize politically

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Lawmakers in Virginia passed a bill to restrict schools from using restraints on students. It only requires the signature of the governor to be fully enacted into law.

– Thousands of San Francisco BART riders are at risk of possibly developing measles after an infected passenger took BART. That passenger is now in isolation.

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “Finally dealing with campus rape means that some men will have it tougher

– At a Columbia University meeting on new school rules, anti-rape activists demonstrated for better policies against sexual harassment.

– Very few hospitals in the state of Alabama are able to help women deliver children, which was not the case back in the 1980s.

– A new survey from FIFA showed less than one in four federations provide dedicated support for women’s soccer

– In the first five weeks of 2015, five transgender women, all women of color, were murdered; Very scary.

Planet Earth

– Bad news, water will be pritized in New Jersey thanks to Governor Chris Christie

– Scientists say geo-engineer cannot be a “silver bullet” to climate change and the best thing to do is reduce carbon emissions now.

– In California, some lawmakers want pension funds to divest from fossil fuels, specifically from a declining coal industry.

– As the famous phrase goes, “Don’t Mess with Texas.” Indeed, activists in Arlington Texas are telling fracking companies not to frack to prevent harm to their communities.

– The land mass in Iceland is rising and this might mean more volcanic eruptions

– A new report found deforestation around the world will not end by 2030 based on current efforts preventing it

– Thanks to hydrofracking, Oklahoma is the state in the U.S. with the most earthquakes

– 2014 was the hottest year on record and, once again, the focus should be on stopping carbon emissions

– A poor economy and, perhaps more importantly, a drought ended or restricted Carnival in certain parts of Brazil

– A report on fossil fuel divestment said it would hurt investors’ portfolio; however, the report was funded by the fossil fuel industry.

– Good news out of Ecuador where indigenous folks are successfully pushing back against oil companies nosing around

– A new study found at least eight million tons of plastic is in dumped each year and it is predicted it will get worse.

– Meanwhile, according to another study, it is likely the West will face a mega-drought by the end of the 21st century.

Mixed Bag

– Yes! Chelsea Manning will be writing for The Guardian! Also good to hear she will be receiving hormone therapy.

– Meanwhile, as 40 percent of Americans say Brian Williams should resign from his job, NBC suspends Brian Williams for six months without pay.

– Also, Jon Stewart announced he would resign later this year from The Daily Show.

– Looks like the Big Bang Theory is just that–a theory. New research found the universe just began as is.

– Dave Zirin: “Gentrification Is the Real Scandal Surrounding Jackie Robinson West

– Indigenous Americans were blocked from using Facebook because the site believed were using fake names.

– The elderly in the U.S., unfortunately, are sometimes viewed with disdain and given the status of the “other”

Break Time

– Foxy Lady [Jimi Hendrix]

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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.