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The Roundup for June 3, 2015

Argh, this rainy weather in New York City is not good for the summer.

International Politics

Overall

– FIFA President Sepp Blatter resigned from his position. Former U.S. soccer player Jules Boykoff talks it about it here and Dave Zirin writes about it here

Enough is enough when it comes to drone strikes as it should not decide whose life should be terminated

– The United Nations is, once again, pushing for pause in the Yemeni conflict

Middle East

– The U.S. accused the Syrian government of supporting the Islamic State through air strikes

– Rebels in Syria prefer to give up their arms than fight ISIL at the request of the U.S.

– President Barack Obama: Due to Benjamin Netanyahu’s position on Palestinian statehood, Israel risks losing credibility 

– An Israeli lawmaker from Likud called the BDS movement a “form of terrorism”

– Ali Abunimah: “Why BDS is replacing Iran as Israel’s biggest ‘existential threat‘”

– In the West Bank, drug dealing and trafficking are becoming more frequent

Asia and Oceania

Part four of five with author Christian Appy about the Vietnam War and how the myth that America was a victim of the war got started

– At least 400 people are missing after a passenger boat in China sank due to a cyclone

Africa

– The internationally recognized government in Libya asked for help to block ISIS from capturing oil fields

– A U.N. official reaffirmed there is no military solution to the problems in Libya

– Boko Haram militants bombed a city in Nigeria where at least 20 people died

Europe 

A new poll found six out of 10 Greeks believe a memorandum between the Greek government and its creditors will be signed

– Some SYRIZA members are furious a former PASOK official, who later resigned, was chosen as the representative to the International Monetary Fund

– In a poll of six European Union members, at least 61 percent of respondents favored the EU

– Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to go after the journalists who exposed Turkish trucks sending arms to Syria

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A new study found Canada underwent a “cultural genocide” that affect indigenous people in the 20th century

– It is suspected an indigenous leader in Ecuador was murdered due to his opposition to a mine

– The Dominican Republic is toying with the idea of two terms for presidents

– Another mayoral candidate was found killed in Mexico as thousands of electoral ballots, in another part of Mexico, were found burned

Surveillance Planet

– In a vote of 67-32, the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act and President Obama signed it. Don’t forget it includes major flaws

– Marcy Wheeler: “ACLU’s Poker Face  [on PATRIOT Act changes]”

– Ever clear your browser information? For Khairullozhon Matanov, tied to the Boston Bombers, it was a mistake that led to federal charges against him

– If the Internal Revenue Service made necessary security upgrades, then there may have not been a severe breach of information in the first place

Financial Matters

– Iraq is set to export even more crude oil, which certainly will not stabilize the market

– Greek Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis: I expect a deal in the next few days

– To audit all tax evaders in Greece, the government would need 30 years to do so

– Meanwhile, Greek private deposits were at their lowest level since 2004

– The Bureau of Labor Statistics created an informative series of inequality in the U.S., which can be found here

– Who wins if Monsanto and Syngenta merge? Wall Street of course!

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Michelle Chen: “How the Retail Industry Keeps People of Color in Poverty

Politics US

Washington USA

– Wall Street is not happy with Martin O’Malley, a Democratic presidential contender, as his comments against them may push Hillary Clinton to the left

– Thank goodness the Run Warren Run campaign is officially over

– Lawmakers want to remove the last set of restrictions preventing full aid to Egypt

– Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) criticized Mary Jo White, head of the Security and Exchange Commission, for misleading her during a private meeting

– The White House prefers not to talk about its record with FOIA records and would rather criticize Congress for its lack of transparency

– Glenn Greenwald: “For Terrorist Fearmongers, It’s Always the Scariest Time Ever

– We all know Daniel Ellsberg well as a whistleblower, although we must also remember the contributions of Anthony Russo, another whistleblower who helped inspire Ellsberg’s actions

– The CEO of Amtrak admitted to lawmakers Amtrak caused the crash through neglect

Anytown USA

– Baltimore uses a faulty and expensive speed camera system, yet city officials want to restart the program

An interview with activist Opal Tometi, a founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, on the movement itself

– Corizon will no longer be running New York City’s health care in jails by the end of this year

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Good to hear Latin America reduced hunger in the past in the past two decades, although it is still a major problem

The Second Sex

– There needs to be more done for transgender people as the discussion must be both safe and comfortable for transgender folks often facing horrific problems and conditions

Planet Earth

– Steve Horn: “Appeals Court Rules Keystone XL South Approval Was Legal, Lifting Cloud Over TransCanada

– The Obama administration is converting lots of public land for coal mining

– To protect animals, we must also protect those who expose animal abuse and are targeted as a result

– Thanks to Pat Mulroy, Las Vegas was able to obtain lots of water in spite of the potential problem of water shortages

– Arun Gupta: “The Politics of the California Drought

– Meanwhile, a study found California’s drought will cost agriculture $1.8 billion

– Environmental groups sued the federal agency that approved Shell’s permit to drill in the Arctic

Mixed Bag

– Even U2 is sympathetic to the plight of the Greeks as a result of troika-led austerity

– Gallup: Seventy-two percent of Americans say America’s moral values are getting worse; To be fair, this is not new

– The military is still hoping for an Iron Man-like suit to be ready to go

Break Time

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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.

  • Jeff Cavner

    ‘The United States has accused the Syrian military of carrying out air strikes to help Islamic State fighters advance around the northern city of Aleppo, messages posted on the U.S. Embassy Syria official Twitter feed said.

    “Reports indicate that the regime is making air strikes in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population,” a post on the U.S. Embassy Syria Twitter account said late on Monday, using an acronym for Islamic State.

    But the U.S. Twitter feed said Damascus had a hand in promoting Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot which has seized land in Syria and Iraq.

    “With these latest reports, (the military) is not only avoiding ISIL lines, but, actively seeking to bolster their position,” it said. Syria has accused its regional enemies of backing hardline insurgent groups.’ from ZH

    Syria has denied this of course, because well…” The Islamic State of Iraq called on “the Sunnis in Iraq to wage
    war against the Syrian regime regarding Syria as an infidel regime for
    its support of the infidel army Hezbollah and other regimes he considers
    dissenters like Iran and Iraq.” this from the recent DIA FOIA document.

    So in other words the dick wipes that pass for leadership in this country want to use this as an excuse for what has been the end goal all along, take out Assad. I wonder how important the Tartus naval base is to Russia?

  • Hugh

    Each September the BLS releases a report on income and poverty for the previous year. (Healthcare was split off into a separate report last year.) Anyway I first generated a graph 3 years ago using the report’s data on real (i.e. inflation adjusted) household income which looks pretty much like the graph in the current BLS report on pay which apparently is using individual worker’s weekly income. I criticized the BLS at the time (and since) because while its report on poverty and income were full of graphs, this one which I considered the most important was absent and could only be generated using data from the indices. So it is good that the BLS has finally gotten around to doing something like this. While government does suppress information, more often it misleads or buries important data so that A) you have to know where it is and B) be able to rework it and/or put into a usable format, a graph as opposed to a table, for example.

    As I keep saying, Tsipras and Varoufakis aren’t really fighting the troika. They buy into 90% of the troika’s position on Greece. They are just trying to negotiate better terms of surrender at the margins. That’s it. I see Tsipras and Varoufakis a lot like Obama. Obama came into office on the slogan of “Change we can believe in.” He then proceeded to do Wall Street’s bidding, much like Tsipras and Varoufakis with the troika.

  • Hugh

    Turkey’s Erdogan is a corrupt authoritarian. So his going after journalists should surprise no one. More than this, we need to keep hammering away at the point that he is allowing free transit for foreign fighters through Turkey to ISIS. I think the Pentagon and Administration have given Turkey a pass on this because they are afraid of losing the big US airbase in Incirlik, but seeing as how the Turks have restricted the use of this base for years with regard to both Syria and Iraq, I don’t think losing a base you can’t use is that big a loss.

    Re Syria, most civil wars are multi-sided. So it is not unusual for temporary tactical alliances and truces to occur between the most implacable of enemies or for them to stab each other in the back at the first opportunity.

    I mean seriously, Warren expected Mary Jo White, the former high-powered (i.e. unscrupulous) corporate lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton and current head of the SEC to tell her the truth???

    Shows how systemically corrupt FIFA is that Blatter was re-elected. He left because he knew that these scandals weren’t going away and he was a target if he stayed. So he got out while the getting was good.

    The Freedom Act leaves virtually all of our police state structures intact. This was all political theater.

    We have seen a lot of monopolistic, anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions lately among airlines, pharmaceuticals, chip makers, cable operators, and ag companies. The issue of competitiveness is only raised, of course, with regard to workers and the need to keep their wages low.

  • Brandon Jordan

    Syria, at this point, is territory to experiment with puzzling strategies at the risk of lives there. Very shameful.

  • Brandon Jordan

    Oh yes, the EIA does the same in terms of its data too.

    I’m not sure I would agree. SYRIZA has its flaws, but it’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Plus, it’s not like left forces in Greece have a solution. KKE are a lost, sectarian bunch at this point.