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The Roundup for May 25th, 2015

And so begins today.

International Politics

Overall

– For the first time, Japan joined both the U.S. and Australia in military exercises

– An Iranian official said he hoped sanctions against Iran would be lifted by the end of the year

– A United Nations official warned more aid was needed to help those in Nepal

Middle East

– How many houses have been built in the Gaza Strip since the Israeli bombings last summer? Zero

– An Iranian general criticized U.S. presence in Iraq by saying the U.S. had “no will to fight” the Islamic State

– Meanwhile, Vice President Joseph Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to reassure him the U.S. has his back; Don’t you think it’s a little strange Obama didn’t do it? Iraqis are not really happy with the U.S. at all

Asia and Oceania

– For Muslims living in Myanmar, they are being arrested for a joining a non-existent group

Africa

– In Kenya, farmers are resisting developers interested in attaining land

– Boko Haram militants killed at least 10 people in a Nigerian village

Europe 

– Louis Proyect: “The Swedish Model (Part 1)

– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is experiencing conflict with the radicals of SYRIZA

– Moreover, Tsipras organized an emergency meeting with his bailout team

A new poll, meanwhile, finds nearly 49 percent of citizens in Greece supporting SYRIZA out of all major parties

– German lawmakers called for Germany to follow Ireland and legalize gay marriage

– Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is not happy that indigenous communities won big in local elections

– At the expense of Great Britain, France and Germany both agreed to tighten integration in the European Union

– The Russians are interested in using prison labor to make the 2018 FIFA World Cup cheaper

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Mexican authorities dispute killings that led to 42 deaths was a gun battle, not a massacre

Financial Matters

– Charter Communications will purchase Time Warner Cable for $55 billion

– Federal Reserve Vice Chairperson Stanley Fischer: An interest rate hike will be “gradual

– An Israeli official opposed to a monopoly on natural gas in the country resigned

A new report found developed countries must increase their aid to poor countries to eliminate extreme poverty

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A woman in Massachusetts was able to clear medicinal marijuana use with her employer. Yet she was fired for it

– Taxi drivers in Mexico demonstrated against the presence of Uber and called for the service to be banned

– Mexicans, in general, are not confident in any major political party

Politics US

– President Barack Obama: This is the first Memorial Day in 14 years where we aren’t in a major war

– Matt Taibbi: “Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke

– Why should Wall Street worry about Hillary Clinton? She’s their best candidate

– Also, Clinton, in 1990, said she was “proud of Walmart”; I believe people can change, but Clinton is so right-wing that I doubt she changed her mind

– The U.S. Navy does not need any laser weapons and should invest in something else

– Emptywheel: “I’m Shocked, Shocked, to Find that Lying Is Going on in the Senate

Part one on The Real News of understanding the 1985 bombing of the MOVE organization’s building in Philadephia

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The person who pushed for the new French law forcing companies to donate unsold food wants the law to be implemented everywhere

The Second Sex

– Black women need to be involved in conversations on police accountability as they can be victims too

– Eileen Jones: “Actually, Mad Max: Fury Road Isn’t That Feminist; And It Isn’t That Good, Either

Planet Earth

– The construction of a major port in Brazil places the surrounding environment at risk

New research reinforces evidence that there will be fewer, but stronger, hurricanes due to global warming

– The recent oil spill in California invokes memories of a 1960s oil spill, which highlights how old problems can remain

– A scientist in China warned plans for new nuclear power facilities are “insane

– A heatwave in India led to the deaths of at least 500 people

A new study found ragweed pollen levels to grow in the next few decades as a result of climate change

Mixed Bag

– Chris Hedges: “Our Mania for Hope Is a Curse

– Whistleblowers are people that not only deserve protection, but respect for what they do

– America as a Christian nation is just an artificial construct created for a corporate agenda

Break Time

The Fiddle and The Drum [Joni Mitchell]

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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.

  • bsbafflesbrains

    How greedy AND mentally ill do you have to be to work promoting Nuclear Power plant construction? Let’s put all the proponents on a Fukushima fish and rice diet til they die or come to their senses. Call it the Cesium 134 diet.

  • jonathan

    Love those clueless articles about Sweden and socialism.

    1) Swedish Social Democracy is about 1 part Marx and 99 parts Hjalmar Branting who taught that while there were forms of socialism that were necessary, communism would never work.

    2) The link between Sweden’s social democracy and Bismarck’s is actually a lot closer than most realize. It is the point of view that the social welfare state was necessary for “the prevention of Socialist error.” Now if you are a Lutheran this makes sense—otherwise, not so much.

    3) Neoliberalism pretty much destroyed what was left of the Swedish Social Democratic Party by the mid 1990s. So comparing modern Sweden with the glory days of Olaf Palme pretty much misses the point.

    That Louis Proyect post is, at best, sub moronic.

  • Hugh

    jonathan is correct. Our perceptions of Sweden are based mostly on myth. Sweden has gone heavily neoliberal from 1994 onward. It collaborated with the US in its rendition for torture program and continues to do so in its witchhunt of Assange, twisting its justice system like a pretzel in the process.

    ISIS is a regional problem. It is not a US problem no matter how much the usual DC crowd of warmongers like John McCain and Lindsey Graham want to make it one. Iran really doesn’t want US forces in Iraq so it is highly hypocritical for one of their generals to criticize the lack of US force there. Similarly, the Shia dominated government of Iraq would no doubt love for the US to eliminate ISIS for it, but the US did not lose Ramadi. Ramadi fell because the Iraqi army did not defend it, despite being better equipped and having vastly superior numbers.

    ISIS flourishes in the space created by the competing agendas of Syria and Iraq’s neighbors and in the domestic policies of these two governments. Turkey is pro-Sunni and anti-Kurd so it turns a blindeye to those transiting its territory to join ISIS. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates are pro-Sunni, anti-Shia, and anti-Iran. And both Syria and Iraq have pro-Shia, anti-Sunni governments. As long as all the states in the region pursue narrow sectarian policies and regional rivalries ISIS will have a space to operate in.

    Re Tsipras, what has all his kowtowing to the troika gotten Greece? And as always let’s remember that all these charades and angst have been to cover a bailout of Northern European banks. Basically, since 2010, we have seen a gradual shifting of their exposure on to the Greek government and through it on to the IMF and ECB. Why should Tsipras and Syriza abet these banks at the expense of their country? Why aren’t they working on a plan B to exit the euro and dump as much of these debts on to the banks or failing that on to the IMF and ECB? It likely is going to happen anyway so they should try to get as much out of it while they still can. As for the euro, a Greek exit, especially a really messy one, would spell its end. It might continue as a Northern European regional currency. And with the death and or reduction of the EZ , we are likely going to see a reduction in the EU, and possibly NATO as well. That is why Greece is important, and why it still has leverage if it wants to use it.

    FIFA has turned a blindeye to worker deaths and abuse in the Gulf so why would it cavil at Russian prison labor? Somehow I think it fits perfectly with FIFA’s level of corruption.

    Re Charter and Time Warner, keeping American wages low and eliminating benefits are justified because the US must stay competitive, competitive, competitive. But when corporations engage in anti-competitive mergers, it’s called consolidation, and OK.

    When Obama said we weren’t engaged in a major war, all the soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq turned over in their graves and his nose grew four feet. Probably just a coincidence.

    By and large, you don’t get to be a Senator from New York without first being the Senator for Wall Street. Chuck Schumer certainly didn’t. Neither did Hillary Clinton. So much of the Hillary Clinton campaign is based on us not believing our lying eyes and having the memory of a fruit fly.