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The Roundup for June 7-8th, 2015

Another week, another time to post sounds from around the world. Today we start in Cuba.

International Politics

Overall

– A former Egyptian official said Jack Warner, a former FIFA official, asked for a $7 million bribe from Egypt

– Russia and Qatar may be stripped of the World Cup if evidence of bribery is found

Middle East

– Israel invited the CEO of Orange, the French telecom company recently deciding to not work there anymore, to the country to resolve the dispute

– At least 45 people in Sana’a, Yemen, died because of Saudi-led bombings

– Nafeez Ahmed: “George Monbiot and the Iraq War bullshit brigade: Why the ‘liberal’ defence of the Iraq Body Count falls flat on its face

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: We must wonder why the world is silent over rockets fired from the Gaza Strip; Later he added, “This will all be cleared up if you just send us more money”

Asia and Oceania

– Fifty years ago the left in Indonesia suffered a major crackdown by the military government, supported by the West

 

Europe 

– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras: “Time is running out for us, time is running out for everyone”

– European Commission President Jean-Claude Jacques: Tsipras failed to uphold his promises

– Keep in mind SYRIZA is not considered leftist in some places as seen in Piraeus where workers go on strike over austerity

– Journalist Dalia Mortada joins The Real News to discuss elections in Turkey and what the ruling party hopes to do once in power; Short answer: Get more power

– Although, the ruling party fell short of its goal and the Kurdish party received enough votes to be in parliament

– An Islamophobic party in Germany achieved a surprising result in the most recent mayoral election

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In spite of a corruption scandal, the Honduran government continues to find an ally in the U.S.

 

Financial Matters

A new poll found 75 percent of Greeks wish to stay in the euro. Meanwhile, another poll found nearly 50 percent of Greeks wish for the government to agree to a deal with lenders

– Michael Roberts: “Ten minutes past midnight

– The refusal of the troika to accept SYRIZA’s demand may lead the Greeks to their only option: Leave the euro

– Meanwhile, 26 major economists wrote a letter demanding an end to troika-imposed austerity in Greece and to allow SYRIZA’s demands to be met

– The abandonment of Detroit reveals how damaging capitalism can be when capital flees from a city

– Professor Francois Pierre-Louis and economist Jake Johnston join The Real News to discuss an investigation into the Red Cross and its failure to rebuild in Haiti

– It’s very revealing for The Most Transparent Administration Ever to block access to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

– Galesberg, Ill., is an example of what happens when free trade agreements are implemented. It never ends up well for the citizenry who experience the worst parts

– With America’s trade deficit in the billions of dollars, it is time to establish a sane and practical economic policy

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Labor is weaker than it was many decades ago, although organizing and mobilizing is still possible

– Chipotle announced it would offer paid vacation, sick days and even tuition reimbursement for employees

Politics US

– CIA director John Brennan: Our foreign policy may “stimulate and spur additional threats to our national security”

– Every Republican candidate for the presidency shares something: They are insane

– Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX): I believe China was behind the hack that led to informaiton on federal employees to be stolen

– For the families of those black men killed by police it is difficult to grieve when no justice is given

– Kalief Browder, a black youth jailed at Rikers Island without a conviction, committed suicide; As Brian Sonenstein said on Twitter, “The NYPD and the NYCDOC killed Khalief Browder, make no mistake about it.”

 

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Poverty and austerity can cause serious long-term problems for young children lasting even in their adulthood

– New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R): If I was president, I would uphold laws to make marijuana illegal in all states

The Second Sex

– We may look to Latin America where women are resisting against problems such as climate change

An investigation found abortion rates in the U.S. have fallen since 2010

– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Caitlin Jenner is always welcomed in the Republican Party

Planet Earth

– Thanks to global warming, air pollution is getting worse in Mexico City

– Federal regulators restricted use of another pipeline of the company that allowed an oil spill to happen in California. Meanwhile, the firm believed such a leak was “extremely unlikely

– State regulators, on the other hand, will tighten air quality regulations

A new report found it is possible to depend less on the use of coal without affecting the world economy

– The CEO of ExxonMobil believes hydrofracking can do wonders for Europe, despite opposing it in his own backyard

A new report found China’s greenhouse gas emissions may decline in the next 10 years

– Arizona may face a water crisis, although it may not be as bad as California’s

Mixed Bag

– Louis Proyect: “The Topless Dancer, Slavery and the Origins of Capitalism

– Masculinity is the cause for problems with men in this day of age. The violence, struggles with identity and more highlight this

Break Time

Besame [Mongo Santamaria]

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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.

  • starrynight

    ouie, love the cow bell

  • Screwtape

    Regarding Greece, BBC link. . .

    It’s a curious link showing the lenders having backed off, ever so slightly, on their budget surplus demands for Greece. . . i.e., 1% this year, 2% next year, etc. Whatever surplus figures are used do not account for interest payments on outstanding debt. (Athen’s lower proposed numbers don’t either). They’re still digging a hole.

    So my hunch is that the lenders’ proposal is a distraction to make it appear they are actually giving up something, which they aren’t. That is, they’re expecting Athens to reject. The stage is set.

    The big issue seems to be pensions, benefits, jobs, where there’s no movement at all.

  • starrynight

    mongo santamaria. it’s the little things that make it interesting

  • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

    “Meanwhile, the firm believed such a leak was “extremely unlikely”” BS.

  • dubinsky

    Orange boss says ‘radically opposed’ to Israel boycott

    Agence France Presse

    Paris: The head of French telecoms group Orange, Stephane Richard, said Monday he was “radically opposed” to any trade boycott of Israel after he sparked a row by saying he would review ties with the country.

    “It was never the question for a second that Orange would withdraw from Israel,” he told French TV station BFMTV, confirming that he would travel in the coming days to the country following an invite from the Israeli government.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Jun-08/301128-orange-boss-says-radically-opposed-to-israel-boycott.ashx

  • Hugh

    When Tsipras says time is running out, I have to wonder if this is a last minute bargaining ploy. I just have a lot of problems taking it at face value. You see if he really meant it, he should be working hard on his Plan B. Printing and coining drachmas, currency controls, criminalizing most foreign held bank accounts, setting up a parallel euro/drachma pricing system, outlawing renunciation of citizenship, and deciding which loans (all or non-IMF or non-IMF and non-ECB) Greece using its sovereign power would convert from euro to drachma based. For this last, the drachma would be pegged one for one to the euro at the point of its launch, and then allowed to float. If the drachma fell 50% against the euro, the value of the original loans would fall by the same amount.

    As I have said before, this is an excellent time of the year for an exit. The weather is warm, food crops are coming in, and new ones can still be planted.

    What is needed is education: letting Greeks know how the conversion would take place and reasons behind it.

    It is important to understand that the troika would try to be as punitive toward Greece as possible to prevent other countries taking a similar approach. What this means is that Tsipras has zero reason to play nice with the troika and some real incentive to making a Grexit as messy as possible. The messiness would further destabilize the euro, encourage others to leave, and the more who leave the less Greece would be targeted.

    However, I doubt things will happen this way because I doubt Tsipras and Varoufakis. It is far more likely that Greece will not so much exit as be pushed out of the euro on the worst terms for it and the best ones, under the circumstance, for the troika.

  • Hugh

    I should add that’s an excellent post by Michael Roberts.

    And is the difference between the Republicans and Hillary, that while they are insane, she is infinitely cynical?

  • Brandon Jordan

    Glad you liked it! He’s an excellent economist.

    Oh no, Hillary runs with the blue team. That’s the difference.

  • Brandon Jordan

    The lenders are acting very weird and irrational. Even Varoufakis said, from a capitalist standpoint, a deal with Greece would work well.

    The European bourgeoisie are really incompetent and they don’t know that.

  • Brandon Jordan

    Ah-ha, I knew something was up after reading Ali Abunimah.

  • Screwtape

    I’m not certain Greece could get by, paying back euro based loans with deflated drachmas, as you indicate. But if they’re in default anyway, it may be moot. They can make fiat declarations galore which might not stick at all, but satisfy at home.

    One problem is weaker than expected support from other beleaguered European countries, which are still far better off than Greece. That is, they may not be as close to a tipping point as one might hope, notwithstanding some rhetoric.

    But the worst part of a Grexit must be the lack of an orderly plan. Or, if there is a plan, it must be secret. Converting to the euro years ago was a phased public process which took years to think through, precoordinate, before it even began.

    Greece, unlike Brussels, does not have its own capacity to print currency with up to date security features. I’ve wondered which source would get (or even agree to) a drachma contract that way. By around 2009 printing currency with up to date security features would be done in Belgium, UK, or US. Maybe the list is longer now, but I really doubt Greece has the means to do it.

    The problems with all of this make me think a Grexit is out of the question. Lacking more leverage, Tsipras will probably cave, but it will get cloaked a bit. New elections there, maybe. Unrest for sure.

  • jane24

    Brian Sonenstein on Twitter:
    “The NYPD and the NYCDOC killed Khalief Browder, make no mistake about it.”

    The truth. Horrific circumstances leading up to this death. People should take notice. Thanks, Brandon, for mentioning.

  • Hugh

    You convert euro based loans to drachma based loans and then pay them back in drachma. If the value of the drachma goes down (and it will), well, that’s life, and the Greek government with its fiat power of money creation will always have drachma to pay them.
    I’m seeing no plan B orderly or otherwise.
    Unsure but I thought the Swiss had printing abilities. I would think Russia did too, and might have an interest in stirring the pot.