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The Roundup for February 20th, 2015

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End of the week already? Well, at least we’re back.

May Leslie Gore rest in peace.

International Politics

Overall

– Western media was eager to report on an Israeli journalist walking in Paris for 10 hours facing “discrimination” by Muslims. Turns out it was all fabricated.

– Russian President Vladimir Putin: Despite other nations assume they can match our military might, we are still superior

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is actively trying to stop P5+1-Iranian negotiations

Middle East

– In contrast to the lazy Western mainstream analysis of the Islamic State (looking at you The Atlantic), the Islamic State operates with a top-down structure with a council making most of the decisions. A consequence of this is defection among some leaders who do not like certain decisions.

– Officials at the United Nations said they were prepared to release a report on war criminals in Syria

– A Muslim preacher told Al-Monitor military efforts against ISIL would not work and it would best to help out the youth

– U.S. officials want to launch an offensive to capture Mosul from the ISIS

– Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for laws making it legal to execute Palestinian political prisoners

Asia and Oceania

– The past year was the worst year for civilian causalities in Afghanistan with at least 10,500 killed, according to the United Nations.

Africa

– Militias tied to the ISIS killed at least 40 people in Libya through suicide bombers

At least 30 people were killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria after the latter attacked two villages

Europe 

Another interview with professor Tarik Cyril Amar on how the Kiev government under-reports the civilian death toll in the conflict and the humanitarian crisis in the country

– Attorney Dimitri Lascaris joins The Real News to talk about the latest negotiations occurring in Europe with Greece and what may the Greek government may do next

– A Polish official said Europe will look to counter propaganda from Russia on issues like Ukraine

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Can American aid to Central America address major issues like violence? Short answer: No.

– The mayor of Caracas in Venezuela was arrested for his efforts in creating unrest

– The Argentinian government is facing a major crisis over the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman

– Prosecutors in Brazil seek $1.55 billion from companies involved in the Petrobras kickback scandal

Surveillance Planet

– Google’s new CAPTCHA system may actually collect more information on users

Financial Matters

– David Sirota: “Just Taxing the 1 Percent as Much as We Tax the Poor Would Yield Billions for Cash-Strapped States

– Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis is an interesting figure as he describes himself as an “erratic Marxist.” In fact, you can read his personal politics that he wrote himself here.

– The White House said it wrongly sent tax information to at least 800,000 Affordable Care Act users

– Officials at the Federal Reserve are hoping the auditing bill by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) fails and are actively lobbying lawmakers to stop it

Labor’s a-Brewing

– There is real positive news associated with the increase in minimum wage, along with other benefits, for Wal-Mart workers

Politics US

– Gallup: Thirty-four percent of Americans say we spend too little on defense spending compared to 32 percent who say we spend too much.

– For politicians in the U.S., they wish to focus more on changing the government in Iran than actually focusing on nuclear negotiations

– David Swanson joins The Real News to talk about Jeb Bush and his first speech on foreign policy advocating militarism

– To paraphrase and alter a Megadeth album, prison is my business and business is good.

– Emptywheel: “Reminder: Jay Bybee Was Too Busy Protecting Big Oil to Oversee Torture

– Former CIA director Leon Panetta believed the Obama administration committed mistakes in their fight against the Islamic State

We Don’t Need No Education

– Loyalists of charter school may believe them to be effective yet insight into regulators in charge of them reveal inept and confused overseers

– Good news as Northwestern University passed a resolution to divest from companies tied to Israeli occupation

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– It is troubling how under-valued psychological exams of potential police recruits are throughout the U.S.

– Ebola was catastrophic for the affected states in Africa, yet outbreaks like it could become more frequent thanks to climate change

– Counterfeit drugs are on the rise in Egypt, which jeopardizes the health of Egyptians who use it

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “If a woman isn’t interested in sex, the problem quite possibly isn’t with her

– While El Salvador pardoned a woman in prison for miscarriage, other women in prison for getting an abortion or suffering from miscarriage will not be pardoned

Planet Earth

– The recent oil-by-train explosions reveal the consequences of a profit-first model oil and gas companies uphold

– Sardines are swimming north due to warming warms, which result from climate change. Consequently, this is making fishing less profitable in the Mediterranean

– Speaking of climate change consequences, farming yields in Europe will decrease thanks to global warming

Mixed Bag

Another short and funny clip by Redacted Tonight on Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show

Break Time

Rhythm A Ning [Thelonious Monk]

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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.

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