The Roundup for June 17th, 2015

A good song to listen to if you had a long day.

Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s piece on crude oil! Hoping to do more pieces like that in the future in spite of my limited time.

International Politics


– Secretary of State John Kerry: We are “absolutely certain” the Syrian government used chemical weapons

– Meanwhile, Kerry said a nuclear deal with Iran does not require looking into the country’s past with nuclear weapons research

Middle East

– So much soccer going on now, although it is worth exploring soccer in the Gaza Strip

– Rania Khalek: “Why has Israel embraced al-Qaida’s branch in Syria?

A bill in Israel would allow force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike

– Israel and Hamas are indirectly communicating with one another for a truce in the Gaza Strip

– Gallup: Fifty-seven percent of Yemenis say they feel safe when they walk alone at night, the lowest in the past eight yearsAfrica

– NGOs criticized the Egyptian government for its crackdown against them


– With no deal in sight for Greece, both sides blame one another for the lack of one

– A SYRIZA spokesperson said the coalition’s job is paying workers first

– Greek Financial Minister Yanis Varoufakis: I must rule out a Grexit as there is still a chance for debt restructuring

– Attorney Dimitri Lascaris and scholar Leo Panitch join The Real News to talk about the growing possibility of a Grexit from the euro

– A “military Disneyland” opened up in Russia where President Vladimir Putin announced an expansion of nuclear arms

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Ecuador just auctioned off parts of the Amazon to Chinese firms over oil

– I highly recommend this Harper’s piece, no longer behind a paywall, analyzing racism in the Dominican Republic against anyone suspected of being Haitian in light of recent events. Indeed, it is barely talked about as is

– Federal prosecutors in Brazil recommend families in Belo Monte not be displaced because of a dam

At least seven people were killed in an ambush in Mexico

Surveillance Planet

– Former NSA director Michael Hayden dismissed worries about the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on the agency

– Privacy advocates protested a facial recognition code of the Commerce Department that is extremely instrusive

Financial Matters

– Thirty-seven percent of Brazilians struggle with debt amid an economic crisis

– Kit O’Connell: “White Phosphorous War Crimes Connect Israel To Monsanto

– A former government contractor is now bankrupt. Interestingly, it owes money to the National Rifle Association

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Live in China? An independent contractor with Uber? Want to go to a taxi protest? Great! Uber is spying on, then firing, you!

– The Fight for 15 movement is winning across the U.S. with more gains obtained every so often

– Michelle Chen: “Is Gawker’s Unionization a Sign That Creative Workers Are Finally Realizing Their Worth?

– The International Labour Organization asked for Qatar Airways to end its discriminatory policy against pregnant employees

Politics US

Washington USA

– Donald Trump is officially running for president on the Republican ticket

– Funny how the media automatically assumes Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lost at this point of the campaign; Truth is stranger than fiction

– The crowds Sanders gets should really show journalists how serious he is

– What do major oil companies all share in common? Lobbying Congress with millions of dollars to get their goals accomplished

– The head of the Office of Personnel Management said the most recent hack was “decades in the making”

– Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was forced out of a hearing on the events in Benghazi; Hilarious

– It is not that Hillary Clinton is a progressive. Rather she is using a lot of populist rhetoric to create illusion

– Ken Ivory is good at his job? What job is that? Scamming local governments of money!

– The Senate passed, in a 78-21 vote, a bill banning torture, although it’s already banned; It’s a waste of time. Just prosecute those who committed torture

– Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Penn., wants air traffic control under a non-profit corporation instead of the government

Anytown USA

Part two of two with journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates about the topic of reparations along with the Black Lives Matter movement today

– Journalist Glen Ford joins The Real News to discuss the latest with the case of the officers who shot Tamir Rice in Cleveland

– Natasha Lennard: “Why we don’t need to ‘discuss’ Tamir Rice’s death by cop bullet

– Long-term care for seniors in California needs to be changed in order to really give care

We Don’t Need No Education

– In Chicago, Oakton Community College interpreted an email from a professor as a threat to administration; It wasn’t

– The Real News covers efforts in the Baltimore community resisting the closure of an elementary school

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– The Food and Drug Administration announced trans fats are no longer safe for consumption

The Second Sex

– Serious individuals who identify as men’s rights activists are defending a man who murdered a woman over the latter’s sexual harassment complaints against the former

– Dave Zirin: “Soccer’s Enduring Sexism and the Magnificence of Marta

New research finds half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended

Planet Earth

– Pew: Seven-one percent of U.S. Catholics say they believe in global warming; Interestingly, Catholic Republicans do not believe it is a major problem

By looking at the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, it is easy to understand why there is a drought out West

– Jeb Bush: Pope Francis I must stay away from climate change talk

A new study found one-third of the world’s groundwater basins are overused

Mixed Bag

– Curious about journalist Max Blumenthal’s upcoming book on the bombings of Gaza last summer? This book review provides a sneak preview of it; I still gotta read Goliath

Excellent article about the myths associated with generations and why it needs to end

– Researcher John Potash joins The Real News to talk about the life of Tupac Shukur, whose birthday was yesterday

– NASA scientists said it will be difficult to find life in outer space

Break Time

Plainsong [Sidewinder]

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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. dubinsky
    June 17, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Indirect communication between Israel and Hamas is nothing new….only when they sit together in a room will it be novel and hopeful.

  2. Alice X
    June 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you Brandon.

    It should be noted by everyone that the Real News Network is having a funding drive and they have a matching donor, but the time is almost up. They are a national treasure, donate if you can. I am hoping to though I will run out of money for food by the end of the month.

    Follow any of the links above to one of their stories and you will find details.

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

    Mainline reporters don’t take Sanders’ run seriously because they know he’s going to fold like he always does, and throw his support to Hillary. I mean this is Sanders’ own announced plan. The crowds he is attracting show that a lot of people don’t want Hillary but also show how easy it is to lead progressives down a deadend.

    I can’t remember a single instance where Hillary Clinton has taken a stand on a specific issue. So far her campaign has been completely vacuous, something on the order that she is for good things (no specifics) and against bad things (no specifics). Oh wait, she did say that we don’t mind that she’s so f*cking rich and she got that way by pandering to the rich. And then there is the triangulation. If one side said we are on Earth and the other said we were standing on the sun, Hillary would say we were somewhere in between.

    It looks like the options are that Greece will be pushed out of the euro on the worst possible terms for it or that it will be left an impoverished hole in the ground if it stays. And a lot of the blame for this will lie with Tsipras, Varoufakis, and Syriza. They have chosen the second option and are negotiating, without any success, the size of the hole.

    I saw your oil post. I agree removing the oil ban makes no sense. Oil is fungible, that is its source is unimportant. Weight, sulfur content, and transportation are all workable variables. And it makes no sense exporting into a glut.

  4. dubinsky
    June 17, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    they’re not taking Sanders seriously because they doubt that he could raise any money if he really was making a serious run…rather than running to show the party someone well to the left.