The Roundup for June 18th, 2015

Heard this on the radio on Tuesday. Liked it.

International Politics


– FIFA President Sepp Blatter hired a former U.S. federal prosecutor to deal with a corruption probe

– A United Nations official pledged the UN would help Lebanon repel any militant attacks

– The U.S. said it is not giving concessions to Iran over the international deal

– Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, criticized a plan by the Obama administration to fight against the Islamic State

Middle East

– The U.S. denied it abandoned Israel, a claim made by a former U.S. ambassador to Israel

– Professor Vijay Prashad joins The Real News to talk about Israel’s report exonerating Israel in last year’s bombings of Gaza

– Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter criticized Iraq for not sending enough soldiers to U.S.-led training camps

– Palestinians do not believe talks with Israel will move anyway should the latter continue with settlementsAsia and Oceania

– Activist Harsh Mander joins The Real News to talk about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his first year in office


– Juan Cole: “Is the Death Sentence on Egypt’s Morsi a Death Sentence on Egypt?

– Human Rights Watch criticized the Libyan government, the internationally recognized one, for torturing prisoners


– The Greeks told the troika the ball is in their court

– Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis: We “will not sign an extension of the crisis”

– The troika may implement capital controls on Greece if the next meeting goes nowhere; Should have done that immediately

– A Russian dissident and oligarch said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s confrontation with the West is all artificial and just done to protect the Russian elite

– An official with NATO criticized Russia’s plans to build more nuclear weapons as “not responsible behavior”

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a meeting of Latin American states over concerns of a potential coup in Ecuador

– Anonymous successfully took down some Canadian government websites over the passage of an anti-terrorism law

– After a government scandal involving medicines, the Honduran government seized all hospitals and warehouses to provide drugs to patients

– Good news as a court in Mexico ruled same-sex marriage is legal

Surveillance Planet

– Nearly 600 million Samsung Galaxy users may be compromised because of hackers

– The future of drones in the U.S. may be a “nightmare scenario for civil liberties”

Financial Matters

– A new report found Wal-Mart hid billions of dollars overseas in a tax dodging scheme

– The Federal Communications Commission fined AT&T $100 million for slowing down speed for customers despite offering unlimited speed

– Goldman Sachs reduced the hours its interns work after the death of an overworked Bank of America intern

– While the Federal Reserve believes the U.S. economy is still somewhat strong, they will hold off an interest rate hike until the end of the year

– Interestingly, the number of millionaires in India rose 26 percent over the past year

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A labor agency in California found an Uber driver is actually an employee of the company, which does not make Uber happy

– Michelle Chen: “What Fast-Food Workers Are Fighting For

Politics US

Washington USA

– Chris Hedges: “America’s Electoral Farce

– In New York City, the two major newspapers covered Donald Trump’s presidential announcement. Comically, they both featured viewpoints opposite one another

– Meanwhile, Trump paid actors to be his supporters

– Kit O’Connell: “Bush Vs. Clinton 2016: The Oligarchical Dynasties No One Asked For

– Rick Santorum: An end to marriage equality is needed to protect our children

– Ali Abunimah: “Sole Palestinian dropped from ‘Holy Land’ conference under Israel lobby pressure

– A government watchdog group criticized the State Department for delaying reports to Congress over sanctions against Iran

– Trevor Timm: “Torture is a war crime the government treats like a policy debate

Anytown USA

– Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) denied clemency for a prisoner serving 13 years. What did the prisoner do, you ask? Possessing two joints of marijuana

– A white woman involved with police brutality seen at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, said she did not use any racial slurs despite witnesses saying the opposite

– New York City lawmakers believe bail reform is needed after the death of Kalief Browder at Rikers Island


The Second Sex

A new study found IUDs helped reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies for Millennial women

Good news as a law in Arizona requiring doctors to say abortion can be “reversible” is now blocked

A new report found women who work can have major benefits for their children; I’m not sure, isn’t there issues if they hold two or three jobs?

Planet Earth

A new report found the growth of renewable energy outgrew that of fossil fuels for electricity

– Professor James Boyce joins The Real News to discuss the problem of air pollution in Delhi and potential solutions

– Amy Goodman: “The New Battle of Seattle

An interview with activist Marina Sitrin, who explains the “water wars” in the early 2000s of Bolivia and key lessons from then for now

– Take Kenya, as an example, where water is growing more scarce every year

– Lee Fang: “Solar Rooftop Energy Harms Minorities, Claims News Outlet Tied to Utility Industry

– Ever wonder who is criticizing Pope Francis I for his upcoming encyclical on climate change? Wonder no more with this quick roundup

– Under intense pressure, Denton, Texas, repealed a law banning fracking

Mixed Bag

– Gallup: Fifty-nine percent of Americans identify as sports fan

New research finds anxiety may cause people to feel less empathy for others

– Gallup: Forty-two percent of Americans greatly confide in the Catholic Church

Break Time

1984 [David Bowie]

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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. Alice X
    June 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you Brandon.

  2. Screwtape
    June 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    According to Reuters Greece is circling the drain. It’s regardless of histrionics from all directions. Behind that opera on stage, there must be some hidden agenda I think, from the ECB. Multiple scenarios are plausible. Yet I wonder if it might be pre-coordinated among all parties.

    On Thursday ECB announced Greek banks may not open Monday. So smart. Announce that on Thurs, instead of late Friday, so that the depositors would have notice to get more serious about withdrawing all their remaining money within a day or so. Hence, there will be photo ops from early tomorrow of depositors forming lines in front of local banks.

    Emptying the funds might be some part of an ECB goal, perhaps a pressure point against Athens.

  3. AshenLight
    June 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    And in other news, the US House narrowly passed Fast Track Authority, exactly as predicted by everyone who understands how this kind of theater works. Who needs sovereignty, anyway?

  4. Brandon Jordan
    June 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Anytime! Been tough managing time these past two weeks due to stories and work, but I’m glad the roundup is still going well.

    Excited for next month though. A good amount of articles will go up although I can’t say more.

  5. Brandon Jordan
    June 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm


  6. Hugh
    June 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    The current corporate business model is to run scam after scam and call it service. AT&T’s offer of unlimited service was just a marketing ploy. All it meant was that the company would cut your download speed so that your downloads, far from being unlimited, weren’t anything more, and sometimes much less, than what you were already receiving. Shows that it isn’t just Goldman who considers us all “muppets”.

    The US ambassadorship to Israel is pretty much an extension of AIPAC. So nuttily pro-Israel statements from former and current ambassadors are to be expected.

    Blatter’s attorney is Richard Cullen. He was only a USA for a couple of years in the early 90s. He has been at McGuireWoods, one of those large practices that caters to the rich and powerful, for nearly 40 years. Cullen was Tom DeLay’s attorney and also Tiger Woods ex’s. So he knows both sports and corruption.

    More stumbling and bumbling from Syriza and the troika.

    The CW on the Fed raising interest rates is that it won’t happen before September. Stock markets, nevertheless, bounced up anyway because when were they ever reality-based. Speaking of reality, economic activity despite the hoopla and cheerleading has not been all that strong this year.

    Why should Iraq send troops to get trained if they can get rube Americans to fight their battles for them?

  7. Alice X
    June 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Why should Iraq send troops to get trained if they can get rube Americans to fight their battles for them?

    Rubes is not a term I ever use. I try never to blame the victims for the crimes of the Empire. The MIICC is a class war. The MIICC sucks up almost all programs of social uplift leaving non college bound youths with very limited prospects. The nation is propagandized and militarized. The youths sign on to have a job and maybe future perks, unless of course they are slaughtered or mangled.

    Mangled either mentally or physically. In which case they are discarded.

    Meanwhile the Military is completely hollowed out so that its ranks are only combat troops. Supply and support are privatized to the often non bid privateers. Though even some of combat roles are privatized.

    There are no Privates first class doing KP duty. The privates there are private contractors making three times what an enlistee makes.

  8. Alice X
    June 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    They passed as a standalone. Now it goes back to the Senate where there are said to be 5 solid Republlican noes.

    The Corporate Coup plotters did not want it to work that way.

    Therefore they need 11 Democrats. It could be more difficult this time. Last time Ron Wyden voted yes but part of the deal was the inclusion of Menendez’s poison pill anti-human trafficking provision (as in anti slavery).

    They tried to take it out but an anonymous lone Republican stopped it.

    That won’t be in the standalone to start. If it is not in the standalone to finish, if it finishes, some headlines will write themselves.

    It takes a score card to know who the heroes are, if there are any.

    It could be that Wyden thought it was something that might get some traction.

  9. iseeit
    June 18, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I’m profoundly disturbed to learn of the fact that 42% of the people living in America have confidence in the catholic church.
    I got excited when I first saw the number..But then followed up and was shocked to discover that President Obama was only at 32% (or something close).
    Until Progressives are able to convince most “folk’s” that their teachings are viable alternatives to slavery..

    We won’t get very far.

    The Pope is helping though so hopefully having him on board will prove advantageous. If nothing else it will definitely ‘out’ the skeptics and make it much easier to target them for elimination.