The Roundup for June 4th, 2015

Enjoy today’s roundup folks!

International Politics


– A former FIFA official admitted he accepted bribes for the 1998 and 2010 FIFA World Cup

– Kit O’Connell: “Republican Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Takes On Growing Movement To Boycott Israel

– Russia noted it will figure out who is behind chlorine attacks in Syria

– United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon ordered an independent panel to investigate the other investigation over French peacekeepers allegedly abusing children in the Central African Republic

Middle East

– Bilal Ahmed, an associate editor, joins The Real News to explain the consequences of neoliberalism and sectarianism in Yemen

– Meanwhile, peace talks to end the conflict in Yemen will commence June 14; Not tomorrow? The following day? Anytime soon?

– Iran sent 15,000 troops to Syria to counter the gains of rebels there

– The head of al-Qaeda’s Syria section said the Islamic State was not legitimate

Asia and Oceania

– An international group warned Afghanistan is relying on unstable and sometimes rogue government militias

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– A court in Costa Rica recognized a same-sex civil union, unprecedented in Central America

– Forced evictions of people in Rio for the 2016 Olympics led to clashes between the displaced and police

– The president of Honduras admitted corruption took place with his candidacy, but denied he was involved

Surveillance Planet

– Trevor Timm: “Snowden’s leaks forced NSA reform on Congress. The US would still jail him

– Sam Sacks: “Congressman Warns of Encrypted ‘Dark Spaces’; Another Says: ‘Ooooh It Sounds Really Scary‘”

Financial Matters

– President Barack Obama: China is possibly interested in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

– ALEC is playing damage control after a local Atlanta station caught the Koch-backed organization red-handed when crafting potential bills

– The Red Cross, in spite of raising millions of dollars, built only six homes in Haiti

– Sam Knight: “With TPP and Fast Track in Limbo, Wikileaks Reveals US Deregulatory Trade Agenda in Less Prominent TISA

– Apparently, the economy in the most recent two months expanded, says the Federal Reserve; How does it contract then grow?

– The governor of Puerto Rico supports privatization of electricity production


Labor’s a-Brewing

– Michelle Chen: “$1,000 for a Dead Family Member—Is That Justice for Bangladesh’s Garment Workers?

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Forty-two percent of Republicans cite themselves as both socially and fiscally conservative, the lowest percentage recorded since 2005

– The House passed a bill that restricts the power of both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Justice Department in handling marijuana and hemp

– Was mass incarceration due to the Republicans? The Democrats? It was both

A new poll found George W. Bush more popular than Barack Obama

– Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) criticized Democrats for giving Wall Street a “big, wet kiss” by supporting the Export-Import Bank

– Lincoln Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island, announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on the Democratic ticket

– It is very revealing how elites in Washington defend Dennis Halbert like the Vatican defended pedophile priests

– Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the threat of driving under the influence of pot was exaggerated

– Glen Ford: “Rand Paul Makes More Sense than the Democrats’ ‘Left’ Champion

– The “sheepdog” of the Democrats, Bernie Sanders, will only lead us astray

– The Pentagon is still unsure how anthrax was sent out to laboratories around the world

– The Most Transparent Administration Ever is still accumulating a large FOIA backlog

Anytown USA

– The Guardian placed a thorough, in-depth look into all the people killed this year by police

– A black family in Mississippi was fined $500 by police. For what? Cheering at a high school graduation

– When Bernie Sanders was the Mayor of Burlington, Vt., there were a lot of great, progressive decisions made

– Glenn Greenwald: “In Boston, Media Again Trash a Police Shooting Victim by Uncritically ‘Reporting’ Police Accusations

– The FBI claim the person was planning to behead police officers

– Cops in Missouri are stopping and arresting black people at higher rates than ever before

– A terrorism case in Chicago features prosecutors who do not want Edward Snowden to be referenced once

We Don’t Need No Education

– In Sao Paulo, Brazil, teachers there voted to continue their strike for two months

– Meanwhile, teachers in Washington state decided to walk out over large class sizes and little pay

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

Awesome news out of Baltimore where every child attending school will get free breakfast and lunch

– The trial of a cancer drug led to “spectacular” results and could, potentially, let patients live longer, healthier lives

– There are methods to speak with people who are mentally ill

– Turns out the “most powerful coach in U.S. track” pressures runners to use drugs

The Second Sex

– Sarah Jaffe: “Why Feminism Needs Punk

– A bill in Wisconsin would, now hold on to your seats, allow men to sue abortion doctors for “personal injury and emotional and psychological distress”; That’s what was needed. A way for men to speak out about their distress over abortion

– In New Zealand, a doctor created an abortion hotline to provide women quick and easy access to abortion

– Dave Zirin: “The Olympic Bravery of Caitlyn Jenner

Planet Earth

– Lawmakers in Denton, Texas will not repeal a law banning hydrofracking

– The Middle East won’t be fighting for oil in the future, but over water

– Meanwhile, water crises will be the major global problem in the future

– Journalist Steve Horn joins The Real News to talk about an appeals court dismissing a suit against TransCanada over the southern half of Keystone XL

– Scientists are concerned the loss of glaciers may also spell doom for water supplies

More than 40 percent of bee colonies are gone. Heck, for some beekeepers they are losing more in the summer than winter

– The Salton Sea, out in California, is in danger of shrinking due to water transfers

– Federal regulators say the pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of oil last month occurred due to a section that was corroded

Mixed Bag

More people are working at Fusion than those who read the most popular post on the site

– Godzilla will be given official citizenship in Japan. That’s it, there’s nothing else to it

– Eric Snowden is quite a popular guy as he is referenced by U.S. lawmakers and shares the same last name as Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower. I mean, it can’t be an erroneous way to say Edward Snowden, right? Right?

Break Time

Blue Flower [Mazzy Star]

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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
    June 4, 2015 at 10:27 am

    “– Kit O’Connell: “Republican Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Takes On Growing Movement To Boycott Israel”” Click the link just to see Sheldon’s picture red eyes, red nose, red blotch on cheek, pale circular depression on forehead about the size of a silver dollar. Medical conditions can effect the mind as can disease or even abuse.

  2. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 10:36 am

    “Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul and frequent big-dollar donor to conservative political candidates, called for the private summit at the Venetian, Adelson’s luxury hotel on the Vegas Strip, to gather top donors and pro-Israeli organizations to plan better ways to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, particularly its growing support among college and university students.

    Supporters of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine are alarmed that a record number of college campuses — 15, up from 13 in the previous year —”

    Sheldon is holding a meeting of the wealthiest Right Wing Israel nuts because he is worried that 15 colleges might grow to 17 this year? Or that Israel expects to do something soon that would cause the number of colleges to divest in Israel to skyrocket? Or are we missing numbers of private divestment from Israel and private boycotts of Israel?

  3. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 10:43 am

    “– A bill in Wisconsin would, now hold on to your seats, allow men to sue abortion doctors for “personal injury and emotional and psychological distress”; That’s what was needed. A way for men to speak out about their distress over abortion” This is stupid and opens the door for the much larger number of men who suffer emotional distress because a woman does not get an abortion to sue. Women can’t control their bodies and are subject to slavery just because they sleep with a guy once is not what autonamous beings do. Since when does emotional distress trump an other person’s free will?

  4. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    “Jesus’s silence on abortion is telling. Its not like he was unaware of the practice Greek, and Roman medicine was quite aware of birth control and abortion. (facts listed at end of article)”–Sunday-Preaching-The-Silence-of-Jesus-on-abortion#

  5. parsley
    June 4, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Yes, the pictures are great on Kit O’Connell’s article… but the article is not at all edited, to put it nicely. Iran has the second largest population of Jews after Israel?
    Uh, no… try the U.S. (which by some measures has more than Israel), England, France, Germany, Russia, Argentina, Australia, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Mexico… and the list goes on.
    I’m not sure what the point of that ridiculous claim is–to show that Iran is not at all anti-semitic? Let us say it does suffer from anti-semitism. What does that have to do with Adelson’s support of anti-bds propaganda or organizations? Would anyone change his mind about criticizing or supporting Adelson because there were very many (or, as it is, not very many) Jews in Iran?

    It is seems manipulative. Bad journalism–for an important story, perhaps–but still bad journalism.

  6. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

    “– A terrorism case in Chicago features prosecutors who do not want Edward Snowden to be referenced once” Just how popular is Snowden if Prosecutor’s in Chicago not exactly a Lefty Town think the mere mention of his name can sway a trial?

  7. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Maybe the numbers are per capita? The claim not to show that Iran is not anti Semitic it is to show Jews live in Iran today so the claim that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel is false. The McLaughlin Group on PBS makes that claim about Iran almost every other week. This claim is why America claims that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons.

  8. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I’ve been looking not sure where Kit got those numbers about Iran’s Jewish population.

  9. parsley
    June 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Fair enough, ThingsCU.
    There are reasons not to think that Iran is not a nuclear threat to Israel, though I don’t really see how Iran having several thousand Jews means Iran would not want bomb Israel–or that they would…

  10. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

    If Iran really hated Jews they could get rid of them in their own country quite easily Spain did, Germany did etc. Iran does have problems with Israel over Palestine and other issues. I don’t support Iran or Israel when they get all racist and conspiracy theory both sides have idoits, I am not familiar enough with either country to say who’s idiots have more political power. . Either we find a peaceful solution or there will be war one day. If Israel makes a fair peace with Palestine and Iran, Saudi Arabia etc still hate Israel then fine we should do something about it. But I hope that after a fair peace with Palestine Iran, Saudi Arabia etc make peace with Israel.

  11. parsley
    June 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    O.k., now I see what you’re saying. I don’t think I buy that argument for either side. (Vast majority of the Jews in Iran left with the revolution; vs. there are still several thousand in Iran.)
    But it does seem to me Iran’s enmity with Israel is exaggerated (for political gain by Israel’s right wing–and others). I think the bright light (and one of the few + ‘s about Obama administration) is that the U.S. is at least looking at that possibility. It might be the gutsiest thing Obama has done.

  12. parsley
    June 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I would add: I suspect grossly exaggerated if we are talking about typical Iranian citizens…

  13. Alice X
    June 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    So the TPP hits the House this week and the call is out to contact your congress critter.

    Where is Killary?

    She could stop it in tracks if she came out with over my dead body.

    The Plutocrats could certainly accommodate, after they got their campaign money back of course.

  14. dubinsky
    June 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    ” Iran sent 15,000 troops to Syria to counter the gains of rebels there”

    Iran seems to be getting desperate as the Assad dictatorship’s hold on Syria continues to slip and the Assad’s money and men dwindle.

  15. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Avoiding war with Iran might be the smartest thing Obama has ever done.

  16. ThingsComeUndone
    June 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Mazzy Star good choice never understood why they never got to be big stars.

  17. Hugh
    June 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Actually, that’s quite funny that Obama says China might be interested in the TPP, seeing as the strategic reason behind the US pushing the TPP was to create a trading zone as a counterweight to China.

    The Red Cross is a corrupt, top heavy, ineffective organization surviving off an image many of us have of it from 40 years ago. It is a black box where millions go in to it and little or nothing comes out. Various of its blood donor programs have been under consent decrees for decades because they have been so sloppy in safeguarding the nation’s blood supply.

    “al-Qaeda’s Syria section said the Islamic State was not legitimate” sounds like a headline from the Onion. By the way, Chaffee has said he was open to talking to ISIS, showing a scary and profound lack of understanding of totalitarian ideology.

    Hastert not Halbert.

    Re Rand Paul, file his advocacy under sad to say. There is a superficial congruence between libertarians and progressives on certain issues like surveillance, the Fed, foreign involvements, and recreational drugs. The problem is that their positions on these issues are part of larger ideas which are really batshit and completely opposed to any sense of social justice or fairness, which is, of course, why multi-billionaires like the Koch brothers and a lot Silicon Valley are such big time libertarians.

    We should understand that the police act like an occupying army killing us “civilians” because they are an occupying army. They are isolated from their communities in their large cruisers, by a closed culture which splits the world into police and “civilians”, and by their training which teaches them to control all situations and react to any real or perceived challenge to their authority with maximal force. Substitute US troops in Afghanistan for police and you see how closely the one mentality reflects the other.

  18. dubinsky
    June 4, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    no, she couldn’t. it’ll take far more than an expression of opposition

  19. dubinsky
    June 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Things, there were between 80,000 and 100,000 Iranian Jews when Khomeini came to power and made hatred of Israel Iranian state policy. when Khomeini started having Jews executed as Israeli spies…………. 60,000 of the Jews left Iran.

  20. jane24
    June 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Disturbing to read of the continued decline in bee colonies. The House or Representatives’ refusal to act on neonicotinoids, though not surprising, is extremely short sighted. This is a huge environmental issue which receives no where near the attention it should and if not addressed will undoubtedly have catastrophic impact. Thanks, Brandon, for posting that link.

  21. Brandon Jordan
    June 5, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Indeed, it’s an issue that well deserves the attention considering its consequences.

    No problem!

  22. Brandon Jordan
    June 5, 2015 at 2:28 am

    The good folks at The Struggle Bus podcast gave me the idea. All credit to them.

  23. Brandon Jordan
    June 5, 2015 at 2:29 am

    I wish I was able to forecast what may happen to Syria, but it seems every state is about clueless and desperate for their own win, for lack of a better word.

  24. Screwtape
    June 5, 2015 at 5:32 am

    In beleaguered Greece, there are 1.7 billion euros in payments to IMF coming due in June, scheduled throughout the month. Athens has decided to “bundle” these into a single payment at the end of the month. It’s technically a non-default, and permissible late payment method under IMF rules. It has been done just once before, by Zambia in the 1980s.

    It seems a strategy to all-or-nothing the situation near the end of June, and might give Athens a bit more leverage with the big stuff — pensions, labor rules, which the creditor vultures won’t budge on. . . Yet.