The Roundup for June 1st, 2015

A new month begins. Funny how one month ago I was looking forward to the end of school.

International Politics


– What is Germany’s role in U.S. drone strikes? According to one court in Europe, nothing to worry about

– Israel criticized the United Nations for recognizing a NGO it says is tied to Hamas

– President Barack Obama: China’s land reclamation projects in the South China Sea should stop

– Meanwhile, Obama said an agreement, not the military, can patch up relations with Iran

Middle East

– There are many Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and too little water to distribute for everyone

– Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will meet with officials from other countries fighting the Islamic State to discuss how to capture Ramadi

– Meanwhile, Iraqis displaced by the fall of Ramadi went to Baghdad to face hostility and discrimination

– At least 41 people died in the Anbar province as a result of suicide bombers tied to ISIS

Asia and Oceania

– Prabir Purkayastha and Seema Mustafa, two journalists, discuss relations between China and India


– U.N. officials said there is growing evidence of Russia’s role in Ukraine

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A trial began in Colombia for a retired army general accused of murdering a presidential candidate

– Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is hesitant to release all of his wealth assets to the public

– Corruption in Honduras led to people to come out in the streets to call for the resignation of the president

Surveillance Planet

– Journalist Marcy Wheeler joins The Real News to discuss what may continue in terms of spying despite expiration of some surveillance powers. Wheeler writes more about it here

– Although, we need to keep our eyes on private contractors who worked with the NSA as they still hold valuable and powerful intelligence

– Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) still will fight to ensure the NSA’s powers are restored

– Professor Craig Forcese talks to The Real News about an anti-terrorism bill in Canada that expands the surveillance powers of the state

Financial Matters

– Economist Shir Hever joins The Real News to explain the extreme levels of inequality in Israel

– Chris Hedges: “Karl Marx Was Right

– For right-wing state governments, cutting welfare is easier thanks to technology

– HSBC announced it would cut up to 20,000 jobs worldwide

– Saudi Arabia said the current strategy by OPEC is working as the “market is stabilizing”

– The head of Malaysia Airlines said the company was “technically bankrupt”

– European leaders, as well as those from the International Monetary Fund, pledged to make a deal with Greece in the next few days

– Premiums of health care companies may rise more than 10 percent over the next year; Hooray! Thanks Obamacare!

Politics US

Washington USA

– Transportation Security Administration employees failed to detect mock explosives 95 percent of the time

– Federal Reserve Vice Chairperson Stanley Fischer said welfare spending is helpful in avoiding the worst of a crisis

– Lee Fang: “Hillary Clinton’s ‘Grassroots Campaign’ Sets $1,000 Minimum for a ‘Conversation‘”

– In a 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled a Muslim woman was discriminated for wearing a hijab when applying to a Abercrombie & Fitch store

Anytown USA

– Kit O’Connell: “Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond Promotes Prison Abolition From Behind Bars

– A Muslim woman who was denied a Diet Coke on a flight for fear of using it as a “weapon” said she experiences discrimination like that on a usual basis

We Don’t Need No Education

– Whenever charter schools feel threatened by lawmakers, they open up their war chest and ensure officials are distracted

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Gallup: Nineteen percent of Americans say suicide is “morally acceptable”

– A U.N. official said the Ebola outbreak will end in Sierre Leone in a few weeks

The Second Sex

– Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, may pretend to care about women’s soccer, but the reality is that he does not even know the major stars

– Bruce Jenner revealed herself on the cover of Vanity Fair as Caitlyn Jenner

Planet Earth

– Scientists are baffled as to why saiga antelope are dying in such large numbers

– If nothing is done about climate change, then our oceans have no future

– An international conference in Bonn this week will determine whether there will be a framework for the Paris meeting in December on climate change

– A French official at the conference said the deal must be worded to ensure the U.S. Congress does not vote on it

– Dahr Jamail: “‘Imminent’ Collapse of the Antarctic Ice Shelf and a ‘New Era’ in the Arctic

– After the victory of the Conservatives in the United Kingdom, applications for hydrofracking rose 

– In Texas, citizens were arrested after demonstrating against fracking sites

Mixed Bag

A nearly two-hour discussion from the Left Forum this past weekend on the way forward for the Black Lives Matter movement featuring figures like Glen Ford and Kshama Sawant

– It was a little over 100 years when the Bronx Zoo displayed an African person; Says a lot about America’s history

Break Time

Here Comes The Sun [George Harrison]

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Spy Planes: FBI Flew Over 100 Secret Missions Over 30 Cities in Recent Months

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
    June 2, 2015 at 10:20 am

    “– Israel criticized the United Nations for recognizing a NGO it says is tied to Hamas” So either the UN did not know about the Hamas ties which is the interpretation Israel wants us to believe…or the UN did know and does not care an interpretation that does not bode well for Israel. The Irish had a political wing of their terror/independence group. If your a government killing civilians your not a terror group if your fighting a government then you are.

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    June 2, 2015 at 10:40 am

    “– There are many Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and too little water to distribute for everyone” As long as Palestine is not recognized as an independent country something Israel does not want to happen then they are responsible for getting Palestine water. America could make that a condition before Israel gets more aid money but Obama don’t have the Stones.

  3. ThingsComeUndone
    June 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

    “– Corruption in Honduras led to people to come out in the streets to call for the resignation of the president” Hilary put this guy into power when she ran the U.S State Dept and he steals from Honduras Social Security. Hilary is aware HER generation is collecting their Social Security benefits now…but if she wins how much longer? “Tell me who you friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” is an old Mexican saying Being a friend to a SS thief does disqualify you from being anywhere near SS funds.

  4. ThingsComeUndone
    June 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

    “Meanwhile, sea level rise is now happening much faster than anyone had expected, according to a recently published study from climate scientists in Australia. The study showed that sea level rise has been accelerating over the last two decades.”

    Climate Change has been happening much faster than anyone expected every year since I was in in earth science class in the mid 1980’s. I don’t think the word climate change estimate means what scientists think it means 🙂 But ever notice the worse the estimates get the more people try and deny climate change?

  5. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Search for

    WikiLeaks Launches Campaign to Offer $100,000 “Bounty” for Leaked Drafts of Secret TPP Chapters

    I pasted the link but youtube links are not working for me.

  6. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 2, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Just saw this comment about Bernie “Folds Like A Cheap Suit” Sanders. had to share it on a site that I got the term “Veal Pen” from. It is too horrifyingly funny and accurate to not share.

    “A leader of the Georgia Greens has called Sanders ‘a sheep dog for the Democrats.’ This is unfair—to German Shepherds. The dogs defend the sheep—sometimes giving up their own life in fighting predators. A more appropriate animal metaphor would be the goat traditionally employed at packinghouses to lead the sheep up the ramp to their final destination. If you think this is too harsh then you clearly don’t know much about the history of the Democrats.”

  7. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t see a link!

  8. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm


    Working on finding it. I believe it was in the comment section of a very good article about Bernie Sanders at the Dandelion site. Not sure. I will continue to work for it. I just copied and pasted the comment as it was so frigging “good.” Or maybe it was on a comment at a Facebook site of Uniting Independent left groups.

  9. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I found it and listening.

    Anyone else search for

    Gary Null Show with Chris Hedges – May 6, 2015

    Or VulgarTrader channel

    I haven’t determined yet why my youtube links spin their wheels.

  10. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    This interview with Chris Hedges nails in perfectly for me.

    Especialy relevant is the section that start at around the 24 minute mark

  11. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 2, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Here is the Facebook group link where I found the comment itself

  12. jane24
    June 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Agreeing with Chris Hedges in that Karl Marx was right…

  13. Hugh
    June 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Obama and McConnell, the bipartisan supporters of our police state have talked about the intelligence community going dark. This is, of course, a lie. The problem with intelligence programs is that, once started, they are nearly impossible to kill. They either just change their names, get done in different ways, or shifted somewhere else. Bulk collection of telephone data looks like it will be transferred to the telecoms. And it’s not like the telecoms haven’t been in bed with the government on surveillance or been extremely well paid for it. So with bulk collection, it will still happen. It just will be privatized and more expensive. And as Marcy Wheeler points out, the intelligence community still has several other bulk programs and parts of the programs that expired are still grandfathered in. So a lot of the angst we are seeing from Obama, McConnell, and the intelligence complex is really just posturing.

    That the TSA failed to detect explosives and weapons 95% of the time, well, they don’t call it security theater for nothing.

    If the troika is confident about making a deal with Greece, it sounds like they have Tsipras exactly where they want him. With Greece a basket case and Tsipras and Varoufakis unwilling to fight the troika, any deal can only be short term. So we will likely see this crisis repeated in a few months.

    Re Hillary Clinton, a “grassroots” get together at $1000 a pop is pure Clintons at their best or worst, depending on your sense of humor. First, because have I told you how much the Clintons like money? Second, because nobody is better at faking sincerity, or grassrootiness, I’m just like you, ordinary American-ness, than they are. Third, it does take a lot of money to run for President, especially when you wouldn’t know populism if it kicked you in the ass.

    You know, Stanley, what is really helpful is having a well regulated financial system that serves the interests of society. Did I mention that the Fed of which you are vicechair is the most important regulator? or that if the Fed did not treat any rise in workers’ wages as something to be combatted as inflationary or promote the transfer of wealth from the nation’s workers to the rich, maybe ordinary Americans wouldn’t need that much welfare, and maybe there wouldn’t be so many and such large crises.

    And in support of Michael Cavlan, while we can debate whether Bernie folds up like a cheap suit or a cheap lawn chair, we still agree he’s a fake.

  14. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    It’s that point in the day when I either need a pint of brandy in me, which I don’t do anymore, or…

    Frustrated NSA Now Forced To Rely On Mass Surveillance Programs That Haven’t Come To Light Yet

  15. Brandon Jordan
    June 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Oh yes, although Hedges is not the first to say so.

  16. Brandon Jordan
    June 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Now that’s something scientists should look into.

  17. jane24
    June 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Indeed not! Just one of the most recent.

  18. Michael Cavlan RN
    June 2, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Alice BTW dandelion is another stellar progressive site. You should check it out more. IMHO

  19. dreamjoehill
    June 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    That’s a great metaphor!

  20. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you. I bookmarked them.

    I’ve followed Chomsky and Nader since the sixties. I traveled to Chile in ’71 to see Allende’s work. It’s been a long slog on a long hill down since then.

    But I still I voted for Bill Clinton in ’92. What an eye opener that was. He Democrat I voted for. My friends are all smarter than me, that is why they are my friends, but not even all of them saw that coming.

    There was no active internet then.

    I have followed Chris Hedges for a long time. What a treasure.

    The Gary Null segment is illustrative of the homework that is needed (which I always try to do but can’t sometimes manage).

    I’m also trying to find the language to slip under the tent of those that might mean well enough but are stubbornly misled. They need help, I wish I were always eloquent enough to provide it.

  21. Alice X
    June 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I listened to the entire thing.