The Roundup for May 29th, 2015

How was this week for you folks? Hope it went well. See you at the Left Forum (if you live in New York City.

Come to think of it, today’s roundup is very New York City-centric.

International Politics


– Vice President Joseph Biden: We will not accept any nation using their “sphere of influence”

– A United Nations special envoy to Libya warned the country was on the brink of collapse

– Sepp Blatter was re-elected as president of FIFA for his fifth term

– Quite shameful for President Barack Obama to refer to the Civil Rights Movement as an example why Israel should be defended

Middle East

– The Islamic State seized phosphate mines in Syria, major revenue source for the Assad government

– Foreigners trying to join ISIS are using alternative strategies when heading to Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, Interpol warns extremist groups around the globe are increasingly supporting ISIL

– Israel is glad the “absurd situation” of expulsion from FIFA is over

– Houthi rebels killed the governor of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen

– A fighter for ISIL was beheaded in Syria by a Christian soldier for revenge

– Another attack by an ISIS militant in Saudi Arabia led to the deaths of four people

Asia and Oceania

– Folks living in Okinawa, Japan, want their land without the U.S. military there. It is a simple demand

– The U.S. unsuccessfully attempted to use a Stuxnet-like virus to hack into North Korea’s nuclear weapons program


– ISIS militants captured an airport in Sirte, a city in Libya


– A paper in Turkey accused the government of sending arms to Syrian rebels

– German Chancellor Angela Merkel: I pledge to work with the United Kingdom and integrate them in the European Union

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Cuba is no longer a state sponsor of terrorism as the U.S. dropped the country

Surveillance Planet

– President Barack Obama: We cannot allow our intelligence community to go “dark

– Scarier than the thought of money in data collection is that there are no regulators overseeing it

– Encryption is a human right as found in a report by the UN

Financial Matters

– Revised number found U.S. GDP in the first quarter shrank by 0.7 percent

– Jack Lew, treasury secretary for the U.S., criticized the lack of an agreement between Greece and its creditors

– Bank of America was fined $30 million for violating consumer protections; Slap on the wrist

– Foreigners really like the real estate in Turkey so much so that they are purchasing more than ever before

– International Monetary Fund head Christina Laguarde: Well, a Grexit is certainly a possibility at this point

– Dean Baker: “Pro-TPP arguments show desperation“; Moreover, Baker writes on Sanders and his recent efforts to create a financial transaction tax

– Billions from Gulf states is not enough for Egypt and it will turn to the IMF to get even more money

– Monsanto wants to purchase Syngenta, another agrochemical firm, which would make Monsanto even larger than it is now

– It is easy to expose the wrongdoings of government, but not of corporations

– The electric power industry want air pollution permits so bad that they’ll meet with regulators to do so

– Ross Ulbricht, founder of Silk Road, was sentenced to two life sentences in prison and found guilty on seven counts including drug trafficking

– Bitcoin may provide a way for universal basic income

Labor’s a-Brewing

– The Real News talks with two editors of $pread, a magazine by sex workers and on sex work 

– Connecticut is toying with the idea of forcing corporations for welfare programs who paid low-wages as their workers end up on welfare

– Nail salons operating in New York will be forced to display banners including the rights of workers

Politics US

Washington USA

Part three of five with author Christian Appy on why the U.S. decided to go to war in Vietnam

– David Sirota: “Hillary Clinton’s State Department Authorized Billions in Arms Sales to Foundation Donors

– The filibuster on May 20 by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was definitely the right to do. Meanwhile, Paul noted he will filibuster the next NSA reform bill as it is insufficient

– The Pentagon said it under-estimated how much anthrax was shipped to laboratories

– A federal appeals court declined to block force-feeding videos conducted at Guantanamo Bay

– Lee Fang: “Emails Reveal Dairy Lobbyist Crafted “Ag-Gag” Legislation Outlawing Pictures of Farms”

– Former Attorney General Eric Holder will best be known for his massive failures of prosection, especially on Wall Street

– The artist who made the “Hope” poster for Obama believes the president failed in his job

– Glenn Greenwald: “Denny Hastert Is Contemptible, but His Indictment Exemplifies America’s Over-Criminalization Pathology

– Bill Clinton: The Clinton Foundation is and will always be non-partisan

Anytown USA

– Glen Ford: “Cops Continued ‘Coon Huntin’’ in Cleveland Despite 2004 Federal Consent Decree

– A teacher in Connecticut was fired after reading a poem by poet Allen Ginsberg

– Ever wonder what former New York Police Department officers do on their time? If you answered mock the death of a 14-year-old killed, then you are right!

– Yikes. Prosecuting black gay man with HIV as potential murderers is not only baffling, but discriminatory

– Gentrification expands at the expense of poor, black communities and, for real estate developers, they are okay with that

We Don’t Need No Education

– A charter school in Colorado refused to allow a valedictorian to come out as gay in his speech

The Second Sex

– Gallup: Forty-six percent of Americans say abortion is an important issue they take into account. Meanwhile, 50 percent of Americans cite themselves as “pro-choice”

– Natasha Lennard: “#SayHerName: How black liberation history teaches us to forget black women

– A House committee recommended the Justice Department seriously consider investigating Gamergate-like attacks against women

– Is there such thing as conservative feminism? Let us hope not

– Quite a lengthy, but important read on utter neglect at the women’s jail on Rikers Island

Planet Earth

– DeSmogBlog revealed the name of a person who offered two teen sex workers to an Iowa farmer in return for the person’s land to build a pipeline

– Remember yesterday when I wrote Norway divested from coal? That may have not been accurate

– Colombian authorities charged BP with the death of a trade union leader

– Anjali Appadurai, an activist, and D. Raghunandan, an expert on climate change, join The Real News to explain why there is a heat wave in India and what are the causes for it

– For European firms involved in nuclear power, their future is up in the air

– The snowpack in California is gone and that does not bode well

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Sixty-one percent of Americans say having a child outside of marriage is “morally acceptable”

– New York City! Human Rights Watch is hosting documentaries, which can be found here, as part of its Human Rights Film Festival from June 11 to 21. Yours truly may be going to one on June 20 about Colombia. Figure it may interest anyone

– John Kiriakou did an interview for KPFA, which you can find here

Break Time

Sometimes [Heems]

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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. ThingsComeUndone
    May 30, 2015 at 11:29 am

    “– Israel is glad the “absurd situation” of expulsion from FIFA is over” No mention of Israel rallying International support to stay in FIFA, no mention of laws or rules used to block Palestine from having a vote to expel Israel from FIFA….so Israel paid Palestine under the table to make this go away maybe a hostage exchange in 6-9 months, an agreement to let more food and goods pass through Israeli check points to rebuild Palestine after the bombing. Diplomats are so funny they pretend that we don’t see what is obvious to any onlooker, imaginary pretense to keep imaginary dignity.

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    May 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    “– The snowpack in California is gone and that does not bode well”

    Most of our food comes from there and without water people will have to move imagine millions of the most Liberal Democrats forced to move to other states which have more representation in Congress per capita than California. I’m speculating but a 1/2 million in Idaho might turn the State Blue, 5 million in Utah and the Mormon State might suddenly have the most liberal Gay Marriage and Abortion laws. …hmmm the Lord does work in mysterious ways

  3. Alice X
    May 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you!

  4. Hugh
    May 31, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    It is interesting how negative economic news like the drop in First Quarter GDP, while creating a brief drop in stock prices, is immediately discounted. At the same time, positive economic news even if it is prospective in nature is taken as rock solid. So the recovery that never happened for most Americans goes rolling along even when it doesn’t. A second point is that increasing GDP is a terrible measure of the health of the country. Could be they are just producing more Soylent Green.

    ISIS recruits may be using alternate strategies to get to Turkey, but Turkey is still tacitly allowing them to freely transit its territory. You would think the media would be covering this as much as a missing white girl story, but they are largely giving it a pass. And while we are hearing about “pressure” on Turkey from the US and Europe to stop recruits, there has not been a single official statement from any of them.

    On the intelligence community going dark, first, this is a lie. Second, the Obama Presidency has been a continuation and extension of the Bush Administration.

    Along these lines, at the same time Obama has been the police state President, he has also been the President for the rich and corporations. Holder was just doing Obama’s bidding in prosecuting whistleblowers, protecting the police state, and refusing to investigate the largest frauds in human history. If Holder had had any scruples, Obama would not have nominated him.

    Egypt is, despite having a formidable security apparatus, a failing state. It is overpopulated and its population is growing. In the Middle East, we have two kinds of states: those that are imploding now, like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, and those that will implode at some point like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt.

    You have to understand Bill Clinton’s definition of “non-partisan”. He and his family will take money from anybody. Have I told you recently about how much the Clinton’s like money? It’s about hundred times what you were just thinking.

    Norway’s wealth is based on hydrocarbons. It is unlikely that they are going to give that up.