CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 18th, 2015

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We travel back in time to the Soviet Union to hear some jazz!

International Politics

Overall

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will still hold his position. So don’t expect him to be out of the U.S. picture anytime soon

– President Barack Obama, meanwhile, did not call Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election victory. In fact, the White House criticized Netanyahu’s “divisive rhetoric”

– The U.S. admitted a drone flying over Syria was shot down, but refuse to discuss more on it

Middle East

– Journalist Ali Abunimah joins The Real News to talk about the Israeli elections and what it means for Palestinians

– Scholar Phyllis Bennis talks to The Real News on how Israeli foreign policy would have not changed if Netanyahu was not re-elected

– Indeed, Isaac Herzog and the Zionist Union represented a friendly face on Israeli oppression

Africa

– Through a drone strike, the U.S. killed a key leader of the militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia

– Seventeen tourists and two Tunisians were killed by gunmen dressed up as soldiers in Tunisia and the government pledged “no mercy” for any terror group

– In Libya, 12 militants were killed after the army clashed with militias tied to ISIS

– A Libyan official stressed the solution to Libya’s current woes is supporting the country’s army

– Twenty-two supporters of Mohamed Morsi were sentenced to death by a court in Egypt

Europe 

– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras: It is the EU, not Greece, that should stop “unilateral actions“; This was in response to EU criticism of an anti-poverty law in the country

– German lawmakers admit the nation should pay World War II-related reparations for Greece

– Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a comedian, was found guilty in a French court for condoning terrorism. All he said was a joke

– The “Christian Taliban” in Ukraine hopes to drive Russia out of the country, although it seems nationalism, not religion, plays a vital role in that

– Russian President Vladimir Putin: The sanctions applied against us after what happened in Crimea was “not fatal, but naturally damage[d] our ongoing work.” Still, Crimea regained its “historical roots.”

– Sweden accused Russia of having one-third of its diplomats in Sweden of being spies

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Vice President Joseph Biden’s plan to supposedly help Central America only serves neoliberal interests

– Now Argentine officials accuse Alberto Nisman of being involved in a kickback scheme before his death

– In light of recent denials by the State Department of the U.S. not launching coups, it is worth examining the U.S. role in launching coups in Latin America

Surveillance Planet

– Pearson spies on students whenever they talk about of a standardized test; Talk about paranoia

– Deepa Kumar and Arun Kundnani: “Race, surveillance and empire

– It turns out security at the Mall of America spied on Black Lives Matter protesters and befriended them on social media through fake accounts to obtain their personal information

– Trevor Timm: “Obama wants us to believe he’s been transparent. But don’t look behind the curtain

Financial Matters

– In France and South Korea, authorities raided the offices of Uber and, in the case of South Korea, arrested employees

An interview with John Hilary, executive director with War on War, on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and why it will be harmful

More than 10 million Americans qualify as millionaires; Great, a new base to tax from to help the working class

– While the Federal Reserve will no long be patient when the time comes to increase interest rates, they certainly are not impatient ; A Catch-22

– Fraud is now a way for Palestinians to survive in the Gaza Strip and escape from poverty

– A scam involving Bitcoin left the swindlers with $12 million worth of Bitcoin 

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Gallup: The most engaged workers can be found in the southern U.S., while the least engaged workers can be found in the northeast

– Target announced it would raise its minimum wage for workers. To how much? $9.00 per hour

Why would Starbucks believe it is a good idea to make their workers solve racial issues instead of giving employees a raise?

Politics US

Washington USA

– President Obama: I should have closed Guantanamo Bay when I first entered office

One in three FOIA requests were improperly rejected last year by the Obama administration

– Gallup: Americans cite terrorism and race relations as “great deals” of concerns for the future

– Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): It is wrong for the Air Force to continue relying on Russian rocket engines

– Glen Ford: “No Justice, No Peace, Without Black Community Control of Police

Anytown USA

Part two of two with Lisa Mitchell Sennaar about her uncle Parren Mitchell on the last few decades of his life

– Oregon is a model other states should follow in registering voters to vote in elections

– Washington D.C. will reform its police force in response to sexual assaults of youths

– Leave it to a corporate-tied left (more appropriately corporate left) candidate to decide to run against the only socialist in Seattle

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– A church in San Francisco installed a special water system to drive homeless away; They do know a drought is happening, right?

A new study found diet soda, for those over 65, leads to weight gain

– Dave Zirin: “Chris Borland and the Revenge of History

– Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates announced a new fund to assist developing countries challenge tobacco companies

The Second Sex

– Technology may come in handy in helping women getting some sense of justice against those who commit sexual assault

Something needs to be done on unwanted pregnancies in the U.S. or else a caste system may develop

– Former Arizona representative Gabby Giffords said women are a key part in ensuring gun violence falls

Planet Earth

– The Arctic ice is melting, which is causing such weird weather across the globe. Of course, thank global warming for that!

– There are major risks for the country of Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam destroyed the nation’s crops

– Offshore drilling is now the next frontier between environmentalists and oil and gas companies.

Mixed Bag

– Iraqi architecture is now in jeopardy as there is a mix of demolitions and Iraqis lacking skills to restore such things

Break Time

Caravan [Eddie Rosner]

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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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