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The Roundup for March 17th, 2015

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We now head to Mexico to listen to Los De Abajo, one of my favorite bands of all time. The live version is so darn good though!

International Politics


– In a conversation with The Real News, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, stressed how Bashar al-Assad will still be a major force in Syria, whether the U.S. likes it or not

– Attorney Michael Ratner talks to The Real News in regards to the latest news of Swedish prosecutors heading to the United Kingdom to talk with Julian Assange

– Which country is the greatest threat to peace worldwide? Not Iran, not North Korea, not Russia, but the U.S.

– The White House say there is a 50 percent chance of having a deal with Iran, while Iranian official say both the U.S. and Iran agree on 90 percent of the technical aspects

Middle East

– The Syrian military said they shot down a U.S. drone flying over the country

– Iran is having more success than the U.S. in terms of influence and command in Iraq

– Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: Even though there are sanctions against us, it does not mean Iran can’t grow

– The Islamic State beheaded four men in Iraq it alleged were recruiters for the national government

– More militant groups in the Middle East are undergoing internal conflict with different groups vying for power

– Arab voters in Israel are coming out in droves to ensure the status quo is removed

– The status quo, by the way, may be upheld in Israel as Netanyahu is still doing well

An insightful interview with a former member of ISIS, who explains why he left and what it was like

– Journalist Max Blumenthal joins The Real News to talk about the Israeli elections and how the Zionist Union may take a gentler form of what the Likud Party did in terms of foreign policy and on Palestine


– Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu: Starting talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is like “shaking hands with Hitler

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– The Workers Party in Brazil is struggling not only on keeping its party base mobilized, but getting trust from Brazilians

– Venezuela published an advertisement in The New York Times calling for the U.S. to stop labeling the country as a threat

A short interview with Felix Cardenas, vice minister of Decolonization in Bolivia, on the history of the country and its role in the world

Surveillance Planet

– Now the Department of Justice operates with more powers to snoop on users, even those using Tor; Hooray!

– Glenn Greenwald: “What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?

Financial Matters

– It was thanks to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that major Wall Street banks were able to profit off of schools in the city

– The Germans need to be honest with themselves when it comes to economic policy as their current focus on accepting austerity is causing severe consequences throughout Europe

– With Russian President Vladimir Putin signing off on the creation of the New Development Bank, supported by the BRICS, the bank will be operational by the end of the year

– Corporations originating in the Gulf states saw their earnings grow by 10 percent last year

– Groups like AFL-CIO and Demos sent a letter to the Security and Exchange Commission to limit bonuses on Wall Street

– The Obama administration warned its allies not to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a Chinese-led international institution countering the World Bank

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Starbucks announced it would start a conversation on race with baristas talking to customers about it; Shouldn’t you, uh, well, pay baristas way more instead of doing this?

– Michelle Chen: “Immigrant Workers Are Being Deported for Getting Injured on the Job

– The electronics industry needs to listen to activists when they point out the toxic substances affecting workers

– Due to a recent court decision in Florida, the Department of Labor froze its H-2B guestworker program

 Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Not only are Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush the most well-known among their party base, but also the most favored

– Sam Knight: “In Budget, House GOP heavily leans on ‘Pentagon Slush Fund’ To Sidestep Sequestration Caps on Defense

– Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) will be resigning from his position after the controversy surrounding his purchases with taxpayer money

– Jeb Bush: I am opposed to a federal hike in the minimum wage as states and businesses should have say

– In testimony to a House panel, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew revealed how the Obama administration intends to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership to progressives

– Rep. Steve King (R-IA): After touring Egypt, I must say it is a country we must defend considering it upholds freedom

Anytown USA

– Journalist Glen Ford joins The Real News to discuss the mainstream narrative on the shootings in Ferguson and the Black Lives Movement in general

– The Real News finishes its coverage of the Jewish Voice for Peace and its focus on stopping Israeli occupation

– Here are 10 issues blacks face in modern America, although there are certainly more problems they face throughout the country

– Remember when New York Police Department officers edited pages on Wikipedia related to cases like Eric Garner? Well Commissioner William Bratton knows who did it, but won’t do anything

– Natasha Lennard: “The NYPD’s subtle changes to Wikipedia entries make black victims seem more threatening

Keep your eye on the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial in Boston as it is such a major case that even the money for the transcripts of the case are in the thousands

– Simply putting it, Al Sharpton is an opportunist who truly does not care about people of color

– An officer in Kenosha, Wis., who was on leave from shooting a man, returned on his first day and fatally shot a man who was armed

We Don’t Need No Education

– Too often mainstream journalists and outlets refuse to talk with educators and prefer to highlight those advocating for education “reform

– A fraternity at Penn State University was suspended after it was found they posted photos of unconscious women

– Henry A. Giroux: “Higher Education and the Politics of Disruption

The Second Sex

– Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at SXSW in a panel about diversity in tech. In what signifies the overall tech industry, Schmidt frequently interrupted a female moderator

Planet Earth

It is sad how Mohamed Nasheed, former president of Maldives, went from a major figure in making a plan to stop climate change to being charged in his country as a terrorist

– Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) rightfully focused on the role organizations like ALEC play in climate change denial

– California, as a result of the drought in the state, implemented new, strict regulations on water use

– Even now radiation can be found in Japanese green tea, which signifies the legacy of Fukushima persists in Japan

Mixed Bag

– Pew: It is St. Patrick’s Day, but the number of Americans with Irish ancestry is on the decline

– In spite of the bad news, it is very positive to hear about Bronson Koenig, a basketball player for the University of Wisconsin, and his recent calls for respecting indigenous Americans in sports

– Data journalism is not a new innovation in the field as it could even be found in the 1800s

– In not The Onion news, Clint Eastwood said “American Sniper” is actually an anti-war movie

Break Time

Cabanas [Los De Abajo]

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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.