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The Roundup for March 16th, 2015

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We travel from Japan to Iceland for the sounds of Sigur Ros!

International Politics

Overall

– All the focus, if you believe the Israeli narrative, should be on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapon program. However, this is a red herring considering Israel’s nuclear weapons and how insane the leadership is

– More drones are being traded across the world with Israel as the leading exporter

– Spain recommended, should EU discussions with Libya fail, an oil embargo and freezing assets of Libya’s central bank as a replacement. Meanwhile, the EU is preparing for a security mission in the country.

– The U.S. denied Tony Blair was being removed from his position as an envoy to the Middle East as Blair will soon leave his post

– Despite the letter sent by the 47 Senators, international talks are still ongoing between P5+1 and Iran. Still, little is being accomplished

– Both officials at the United Nations and Russia believe the Islamic State now is in Afghanistan, which is troublesome

Middle East

– In all honesty, there does not seem to be a serious alternative to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That isn’t good

– Benjamin Netanyahu: If you elect me, then I will ensure no Palestinian state is created

– Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would wait for U.S. “actions” after conflicting statements from U.S. officials on regime change

– The Houthi government in Yemen released the former prime minister and his cabinet from their homes

– At least 90 percent of Iranian MPs say sanctions must be removed should an international deal be made

– Officials from the justice system in Saudi Arabia said there does exist “justice for all” in the country

– A court in the Gaza Strip sentenced a Palestinian to 15 years of hard labor after it was found he spied for Israel

Africa

– The Real News hosts a panel of guests to talk about current efforts against the Congolese government and how the youth play into the resistance

– With Boko Haram still thriving in Nigeria, it threatens to pull apart the state into northern and southern halves

– Civilians escaping to Europe from instability in North Africa often face a rough journey and, if they do make it, they face hostility in European countries

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Professor William Black joins The Real News to talk about corruption in Chile and how whistleblowers are not really protected.

– Twenty-seven people, including a treasurer for the Workers Party, were arrested in Brazil over the Petrobras scandal

– Plan Colombia is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to U.S. presence in Colombia

Surveillance Planet

– Gallup: Thirty-four percent of Americans, as a result of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations on the nation’s mass surveillance programs, changed the way they protect their privacy

Financial Matters

– Jeff Madrick : “Free-Market Boosters Just Don’t Get It: Why Do They Cling to Discredited Ideas?

– There are major wealth gaps between races in the U.S. and the time is now, not tomorrow, to achieve equality.

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Dean Baker: “Scott Walker Ends Freedom of Contract in Wisconsin

– Good news as California announced it would investigate a case covered by ProPublica/NPR on a disabled man whose home aide was removed

– When workers at fast-food restaurants are burned on the job, management often tells them to apply some mustard

– Oil workers believe the six-week strike led to benefits for workers as their union starts to implement a new contract

– Labor should, instead of licking their wounds from Wisconsin, put their best foot forward and organize, organize, organize.

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Less than 40 percent of have a favorable opinion of Democratic and the same goes for Republicans.

– Gareth Porter: “The Real Story Behind the Republicans’ Iran Letter

– Lost with all of these Iranian hawks? Too much to count, but too little time? Well fret no more as this infographic can help show who’s who in Congress.

– Oops. The U.S. government improperly spent $125 billion last year, according to the Government Accountability Office

A new poll found 51 percent of Americans thinking Hillary Clinton faces “somewhat serious” problems after her latest scandal involving her private email

– Democratic activists supporting Elizabeth Warren for president are now shifting their focus to making her vice president; INSTEAD OF PUTTING ENERGY INTO A WORTHLESS EFFORT GO OUT AND SUPPORT LOCAL PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES. Goodness gracious, these activists are short-sighted

– As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than one-third of Americans without health insurance now have it; But the question is: Is it good coverage?

– The U.S. government is now consulting David Petraeus, yes that David Petraeus, on what to do against the Islamic State

– President Barack Obama: I will challenge Republicans head on when it comes to education policy than backdown

– The State Department is unaware of any Senate probe into the department’s alleged interference in Israeli elections

– The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government for information on the White House’s secret kill list

– It’s lights, camera, terrorism in this case where FBI agents made a civilian into their terrorist to go after

Anytown USA

– Chris Hedges: “The Most Dangerous Woman in America

Part one of two with Lisa Mitchell Sennaar on her uncle Parren Mitchell, an important figure in Baltimore politics during the 1960s who was anti-war and championed civil rights

– Cops in Denver were given body cameras to wear and use. Although, they mostly do not turn them on

– In San Francisco, four officers are under investigation for sending each other racist and homophobic texts

– Even Portland, seen as a city where progressive politics can be found, struggles with reforming its police force

– Dahr Jamail: “US Judge Sentences US Citizen Based on Israeli Military Documents

– A man in Oregon now surpassed 900 days in jail. What did he do, you ask? No charges have been filed yet against him.

We Don’t Need No Education

– The Real News covers college students who discuss opposition from their campuses on Israeli divestment campaigns

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Despite a change in government, Uruguayan President Tabare Vasquez is serious about combating not only cigarette companies, but alcoholic ones as well

– Coca-Cola paid nutrition experts to push its drinks as a healthy snack for consumers

– Sam Sacks: “As 9/11 First Responder Death Toll Mount, EPA Considers New Rules on Toxic Dust”

The Second Sex

– A feminist movement is growing in Syria to empower women by openly talking about their sexuality

– Vice President Joseph Biden said new federal funds can clear rape kit backlogs across the U.S.

Planet Earth

– There needs to be more done to dwindle a $20 billion wildlife black market that will certainly cause major problems in the future to ecosystems

– As a result of global warming, it is best for countries to be warned of natural disasters to better prepare for the devastation that may follow

– A growing number of sea lion pups washed ashore in California this year, which is worrying environmentalists and officials

– As a result of Cyclone Pam, 24 people were killed and at least 3,300 are displaced in Vanuatu

– The world’s coal boom is now slowing down, according to a new a report

Mixed Bag

– The U.S. returned treasures to Iraq as ISIS continues to destroy more ancient artifacts in Iraq

– Remember that time The Washington Post published a piece saying war with Iran wouldn’t so bad? Yeah, not a good idea to publish that

– French authorities say Yassar Arafay was not poisoned, according to their investigation

Break Time

Olson Olson [Sigur Ros]

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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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