CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for February 17th, 2015

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Good day folks!

International Politics


– Gallup: Eighteen percent of Americans say Russia is the one country that is the enemy of the U.S.

– The State Department announced a joint program between the U.S. and Turkey to train Syrian rebels.

– Argentina requested the U.S. bring up the 1994 Jewish community center bombing in the P5+1-Iran negotations

– The Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations said there was evidence the Islamic State is engaging in organ harvesting

– The U.S. is still launching airstrikes against the Islamic State, specifically against its oil fields. The thing is, due to low oil prices, they are making less money.

Middle East

– The United States announced another $125 million in food aid would be sent to Syria

– An investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lifestyle found “excessive spending” while in office

– At least 100 people were killed in fighting between Syrian forces and rebels in Aleppo

Asia and Oceania

– To improve the fitness of their soldiers, China said soldiers would need to be fit in order to be promoted

– In Afghanistan, 22 people, all officers, were killed by four suicide bombers. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.


Part one of two with professor Vijay Prashad explains the conditions in Libya and the conflict currently happening in the country

– Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called for a U.N.-backed coalition to fight in Libya.

– Yet Egyptian calls for the military may place Egypt in an endless and bloody war in Libya


– Russian President Vladimir Putin: Kiev’s troops should forget of the town of Debaltseve to rebels.

– Meanwhile, Putin said they already have evidence the U.S. is delivering to Ukraine

– Investigative journalists said they found evidence of Russian shelling in Ukraine. Meanwhile, a Russian drone was shot down over Ukraine.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A top notch article focusing on the protests in Brazil, which is run by a government favoring neo-liberal policies.

An interview with journalist John Pilger about the role of Venezuela in Latin America and why the U.S. is interested in it

– Lucas Koerner, a Caracas-based journalist, explains to The Real News the reality on the ground in Venezuela

– It is the youth in Mexico who are facing the brutal force of the state. However, they can organize and fight back against the corrupt government.

– The last day of Carnival in Haiti was cancelled after at least 16 people were killed after an accident

Essential insight on a mother of one of the 42 missing students in the state of Guerrero in Mexico

Surveillance Planet

– Public comments for a new change to a Justice Department rule is now closed. The rule change you ask? It allows the DoJ to hack into computers concealing its location.

– American researchers say cyber attacks to steal data from Israel originate from Gaza

– Attorney General Eric Holder: Look, we could have prosecuted more whistleblowers if we wanted to.

Financial Matters

– Both Iran and Iraq announced a new deal together to improve security and trade between the two nations

– Robert Reich: “How Trade Deals Boost the Top 1 percent and Bust the Rest

– A sub-agency of the Treasury Department found JPMorgan to be the riskiest bank in the U.S. with Citigroup in second place

– With the Syrian pound depreciating against the dollar, the American dollar seems to be more used in the country

– The U.S. government gave the a-okay to the sale of armed drones worldwide; Now everyone can spread their own version of democracy!

– The Greek government accused European Union officials of “blackmail” and pledged not to compromise

– Michelle Chen: “Is Welfare Reform Causing Earlier Deaths?

– A journalist with The Daily Telegraph resigned from the outlet and criticized its lack of coverage on the HSBC tax evasion scandal

– Eric Holder, just before he leaves, is looking into possible criminal charges; This is a good idea…that could have been done in 2009

Politics US

Washington USA

Part three of three with Jill Stein, former presidential candidate for the Green Party, on the way forward for the Green Party in a new political era

– A judge in Texas placed halted President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration, which the administration noted it would appeal

Part one of two on the rich American families supporting not only Benjamin Netanyahu but lawmakers in the U.S.

– A Guantanamo Bay whistleblower said guards were told how to act when reporters stopped by along with a comical story about Bill O’Reilly; In general, a great interview by journalist Ken Klippenstein

– Hillary Clinton sat down at her home with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to talk about policy suggestions and support for Hillary’s presidential campaign

– Vice President Joseph Biden opened the three-day summit on countering extremism by highlighting America’s place as a melting pot; Nothing on Chapel Hill

– Rania Khalek: “Why can’t media describe Chapel Hill murders as terrorism?

– At least 11 million Americans have registered through the Affordable Care Act and may continue to rise

– In 2012, a former lawmaker was charged for corruption after using a Super PAC with his campaign. Today, he helps Super PACs of other Republican lawmakers.

Anytown USA

– Glen Ford joins The Real News to highlight lessons from anti-austerity parties in Europe for young activists in the U.S. today

– It is not difficult to find evidence Sarah Palin promoted the hateful and reactionary thoughts of Chris Kyle at every turn

– For folks in Illinois, one does not have to look far to see politicians opposed to the working class. Thus, some sort party or coalition, like Syriza, would be needed.

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “Why is bearing children seen as more important than surviving pregnancy?

A new study found, even though women comprise most of the journalism majors, they are often looked over for men

– Tragic news out of Ohio where a father murdered his transgender daughter and then blamed it on the trans community or, as he called them, “a cult.”

Planet Earth

A new report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change warned of rising sea levels, heat waves, flooding and more thanks to climate change.

Another report focused on the impact of noise pollution and how prevalent it is throughout the United States

– Remember when counties in Ohio banned hydrofracking? The Ohio Supreme Court ruled they do not have the power to do so, only the state can ban hydrofracking; And justice for all!

– Milky white rain in Washington state left scientists puzzled as they could not find an explanation

– Canadian authorities are worried about “violent anti-petroleum extremists” that may affect the nation’s security and economy; From “Blame Canada” to “Blame Environmentalists”

– Environmental group filed a FOIA request to obtain information into the quiet lifting by U.S. officials of crude oil exports

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Fifty-one percent of residents in Utah frequently attend church (highest in the nation), while 17 percent of resident in Vermont frequently attend church (lowest in the nation)

– Dave Zirin: “It Matters: Steph Curry Honors Victim of Chapel Hill Murders

– Some scientists recommend the planet should actively seek out extraterrestrial life in space; Do they have oil?

Break Time

Take You There [Pete Rock & CL Smooth]

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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.