CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for May 18th, 2015

Today we move on to Spain!

International Politics


– Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will accept refugees stranded off the coast of Thailand

– Gareth Porter: “The Misfire in Hersh’s Big Bin Laden Story

– The Vatican said the “angel of peace” comment on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was words of encouragement for peace with Israel

– The U.S. threatened to impose more sanctions against North Korea as they are “not even close” to reducing its nuclear weapons

Middle East

– Despite the loss of Ramadi to the Islamic State, the White House pledged to retake it

– Meanwhile, ISIS said a German national was behind their suicide bombing mission against Iraqi forces

– The Israeli army declined to allow women to use tanks

– Unemployed in Saudi Arabia? Become an executioner!

– For journalists working in Jordan, they self-censor themselves in fear of offending the government

Asia and Oceania

– Turns out 10 U.S. Senators received money from the state-owned oil company in Azerbaijan


– Juan Cole: “Egypt’s Junta Takes Another Step Toward Being North Korea“; If I may add something, in the past few months a lot of business leaders and firms have really enjoyed the economic changes in Egypt. That speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

– Even the United Nations is concerned over the death sentence of Mohamed Morsi

– Journalist Nick Turse reports on the use of arms, provided by the U.S. of course, in South Sudan, including for teens, and the impact that holds

– Libya rejected any plan by the European Union involving the military in the country, although the EU insists it will target vessels used by human traffickers


– The ruling party in Turkey is losing its audiences in terms of television and movies

– Ukraine announced it would prosecute any Russian soldier it captures for “terrorist acts

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A three-day general strike hit a region in Peru where there is a controversial mining project

– A mudslide in Colombia killed at least 49 people in a western town

– One cannot deny it is difficult for leftists in Latin America to work today in the same way they did during the 2000s

Surveillance Planet

Part five of seven with journalist Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, about surveillance in the 20th and 21st century on figures like Martin Luther King Junior

A new poll found most Americans, regardless of their political affiliations, are opposed to mass surveillance. Not Chris Christie though

– RadioShack, which went bankrupt a few months ago, will sell all of its information on the millions of its customers

– Glenn Greenwald: “GCHQ’S Rainbow Lights: Exploiting Social Issues for Militarism and Imperialism

– Wonder whether the files by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden include anything about Hersh’s story? Wonder no more with all the information here

Financial Matters

– Leonce Ndikumana, director of the African Policy Program at the Political Economy Research Institute, joins The Real News to talk about fragile states in Africa along with the issue of poverty

An investigation found the top .01 percent are increasing their spending in elections and are more likely to give it to conservative folks

– Spain’s economic minister believed the country could strongly grow this year

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Michelle Chen: “Bosses Are Turning Poverty-Wage Workers Into ‘Managers’—and Barring Them From Overtime in the Process

– The International Trade Union Confederation called for sponsors of FIFA to take actions over labor abuses in Qatar

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Twenty-six percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the U.S., down from 32 percent earlier this year

– The White House announced it would limit police departments across the nation from purchasing militarized equipment

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will join the 2016 presidential race

– Alexa O’Brien: “Key details about the ‘bin Laden evidence’ in Chelsea Manning’s court-martial

– Just an FYI for any fossil fuel company: Don’t ruin democracy with your money because there will be pushback

– The office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released a report on the failures of free trade agreements involving the U.S., no doubt a dig at the White House

– Lee Fang: “Mitch McConnell’s policy chief previously lobbied for Koch Industries

– Even the elites love talking about their cocktail parties, especially the media elite

– Hillary Clinton accepted money for speaking on behalf of a for-profit education company where Jeb Bush holds a stake; Hilariously depressing

– Speaking of Bush, he recently said he is opposed to gay marriage

Anytown USA

A nearly hour long discussion on The Real News featuring Cornel West, Eddie Conway and Reverend Sekou on a movement in our time

– Artists Jay-Z and Beyonce both provided bail for jailed protesters in Baltimore

– In Waco, Texas, nine people were killed and 18 injured after a shootout between two biker gangs

– It certainly is a case study of the media using different narratives compared to its coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement

– In addition, at least 170 people were arrested in connection to the shooting

– In Baltimore, meanwhile, you can usually find public defenders with a lot of cases to work on and little time to do it

– A consequence of gentrification in San Francisco is the rise in police brutality

– Natasha Lennard: “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence is dangerous for making life in prison look merciful

We Don’t Need No Education

– Josh Hoxie, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and Mayra Guizar, an undergraduate student, join The Real News to discuss the growing student debt crisis in the U.S.

– A professor at Duke University believes his comments on blacks not being as good as Asians was not out-of-line

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The World Trade Organization doesn’t think it’s important for consumers to know where their meat comes from; Market efficiency!

A new report found an increase of suicides in young black children despite an overall decline for young children

The Second Sex

A new report found soldiers that report sexual assaults often experience retaliation and are ignroed

Planet Earth

New research found extreme weather is due to global warming and is more frequent

A new study found California will face an electricity shortage as a result of climate change

– In Seattle, demonstrators blocked the entrance of a port to stop Seattle’s drill rig

– Al Gore: I believe an agreement will be reached in Paris over climate change

Mixed Bag

– Chris Hedges: “The Pathology of the Rich White Family

– Feeling down? Need a good laugh? Comedian Eric Andre can help out in his encounter with Tea Party folk; Excellent comedian might I add

– It was raining spiders in Australia. No, I’m serious

Break Time

Crece La Voz [Macaco]

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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.


  1. Alice X
    May 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

    – One cannot deny it is difficult for leftists in Latin America to work today in the same way they did during the 2000s

    It can be denied, just don’t ask a right winger.

    The protests in Venezuela and Brazil are by small right wing elites who want their privileges restored.

    Those special privileges which make them exceptional and everyone else poverty stricken.

    The few who want to take from the many.

    It is the same everywhere.

    The troubles that leftist regimes have are the direct work of the International Plutocrats, and the CIA.

    They are determined that no government that works for the many shall long survive on this earth.

  2. Hugh
    May 19, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    What is Al Gore smoking? Or what is he trying to get us to smoke? Any climate change agreement coming out of Paris, that is if there is one, will be cosmetic and largely ignored. Any reduction of greenhouse gasses would require major changes in industrial policies and consumer habits planet-wide, none of which we are seeing. I expect any agreement would resemble Obama’s meaningless one with China to peak its carbon emissions by 2030, you know so far down the road that the damage will have already been done.

    It didn’t take a rocket science to guess that bin Laden was most likely hiding out someplace close to Kashmir in the shadow of the Pakistan military or that Pakistan’s intelligence service the ISI knew where he was and probably even helped place him there. Pakistan is another of these countries with friends like these who needs enemies. On the one hand, they are touted along with Saudi Arabia as one of our biggest allies in the War on Terror. But much like 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers being Saudi, the Taliban was a creation of the ISI. bin Ladin alive and uncaptured served Pakistan’s interests. It kept billions in American aid flowing and American involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan served as a shield against India.

    As for the raid on bin Laden, a multiplicity of stories is sort of standard spycraft to cover one’s tracks. I suppose you could posit a rule of thumb that the most hyped one (torture) is also the least likely. It’s not just misdirection but serves to justify a failed and blatantly criminal policy, so a twofer.