The Roundup for June 20th, 2015

Listening to these songs the past two days reminded me of when I played guitar. Gosh, I miss playing it. Not sure I have time to pick it up again

Charleston Shooting, Day 2

– The daughter of one person killed by Dylann Roof said in a bond hearing that she forgives Roof

– Efia Nwangaza, founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, joins The Real News to talk about the attack at the AME church as well as the history of it

– President Barack Obama: Mass shootings must not be the “new normal”

– For blacks across America, they are always under threat as a result of racism along with other factors

– A board member of the NRA blamed Pastor Clementa Pinckney, one of those killed by Roof, for his own death over the latter’s opposition to a bill allowing concealed carry in South Carolina

– Jeb Bush: I am not really sure whether racism was a factor in the shooting

– Rick Perry: What happened in Charleston was an “accident“; His campaign team later said Perry wished to say “incident”

– As noted by a reader yesterday, Jon Stewart comments here over what happened in Charleston

– Glenn Greenwald: “Refusal To Call Charleston Shootings ‘Terrorism’ Again Shows It’s a Meaningless Propaganda Term

International Politics


– Russian President Vladimir Putin: I will push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to commit to reforms

– Moreover, Putin said, in spite of problems with the West, Russia is willing to work with the West over global problems

– The son of Osama bin Laden requested the U.S. for a death certificate of his father

– A U.S. official criticized Russia for aggressive military flights, which pose risks for other flights in the European air space

– Saudi Arabia and Russia signed a deal to work together on nuclear energy

Middle East

– Peace talks for an end to the conflict in Yemen collapsed, although the United Nations believes there will be another opportunity

– The Islamic State blocked the sale of oil to other rebel groups operating in Syria


– With Coptic Christians displaced in Egypt, there are fears that persecution by Egypt might occur


– The European Central Bank provided emergency funding for Greece

– Greeks demonstrated in Athens pressuring their government to reject any austerity measure pushed forth by the troika

– Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said, if a terrible deal is presented by creditors, he will accept responsibility when rejecting it

– Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann defended Greece against creditors

– German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Before our meeting with Greece on Monday, the Greeks and its creditors must have a deal planned before

– Vladimir Putin: We could build a natural gas pipeline to help Greece with its economic woes

– The Greeks, meanwhile, are interested in joining a BRICS-led bank

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa asked for dialogue with those opposed to his call to increase taxes on the super-rich

– Haitians are rightfully scared of the Dominican Republic’s deportations

– Mexican officials criticized Donald Trump’s hateful comments on Mexicans entering the U.S.

Financial Matters

– Michelle Chen: “China Is Building a Massive Railway Across South America—at Significant Human and Environmental Cost

– Economists Jeffrey Sachs and James K. Galbraith both write pieces on the situation in Greece, which can, respectively, be found here and here

– Reforming pensions in Greece won’t solve anything if it involves austerity

– After Russian-owned shares of Yukos, a defunct oil firm, were frozen by Europe, Russia warned it may target foreign firms operating in the country

– Uber said drivers and customers can no longer carry guns when in cars

– Two CEOs of construction companies involved with the Petrobras scandal in Brazil were arrested by Brazilian authorities

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A J.Crew executive laid off 175 workers and then celebrated at a bar

Politics US

Washington USA

Part three of 10 with Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, about the importance of the U.S. Constitution for today

– Martin O’Malley, Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, said climate change will be a major pillar he will work on if elected

– Serco, a controversial security firm, lobbied Democrats to detain immigrant families

– Donors for Rep. Scott Rigell, D-Va., have a chance to win a Maserati at an upcoming fundraiser

– A former doctor for the U.S. Army was sanctioned for his dangerous procedures

A new report found, should the Affordable Care Act be repealed, the budget deficit and number of Americans without health insurance would rise

– FBI Director James Comey: Law enforcement must build a bridge with communities

Anytown USA

– Gallup: Only 52 percent of Americans confide in police, the lowest ever recorded in the past 22 years

– Yesterday was “Juneteenth” and historians Hari Jones and Gerald Horne join The Real News to discuss its origins

– An autopsy found Nicholas Thomas, who is black, was fatally shot through his back by a police officer in Atlanta

– Another person, this time in Ohio, was arrested for, according to the Justice Department, using social media to support the Islamic State

– In Louisville, Ky., the head of a police union criticized activists as “sensationalists, liars and race-baiters”

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Someone in Thailand was diagnosed with the MERS virus, which is worrisome for the country

The Second Sex

A new report found aboriginal women in Canada are four times as likely to be either missing or killed than non-native women

Planet Earth

A new study confirmed the Earth is undergoing a sixth extinction with humans soon to be gone if nothing is done

– Janet Redman, director at Institute for Policy Studies, and Blase Bonplane, director at the Office of the Americas, join The Real News to discuss the Pope’s recent encyclical

– Extreme weather is becoming the new normal in Alaska, thanks to global warming

– All the heatwave deaths in India can be blamed on climate change

– Chevron found its own wastewater, tainted, is used to irrigate crops in California

A new study found gas leaks can happen because of “avoidable” damage

– There might be a major “environmental disaster” involving a power station in Lebanon and the country cannot really do much

– New studies find the health of bees are in jeopardy if feed on fungicide-dosed flowers

– The Obama administration announced new fuel efficiency standards for trucks

Mixed Bag

– Folks, John Kiriakou is taking pledges at the current moment, which can be found here, to help fund his work

– “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens“; An old one, but good one

– “Global warming is totally a lie liberals tell to distract us from their commie agendas“; Quite a funny title. Should note this article is from The Guardian and is light-hearted

Break Time

Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues [Buddy Guy]

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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. Screwtape
    June 20, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Still plenty more on Greece about pensions already cut, possible ELA cutoff, grinding worry, etc.

    Greek pensions have already been cut, but lenders still want more cuts

    Weekend of fear for depositor left holding a bank check drawn on a Greek bank — salvation or ruin Monday

    How would capital controls work in Greece? How ELA might stop. (need to scroll down)

    What Tsipras can/can’t deliver on

  2. Bluedot
    June 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    In addition to South America, China is also building railroads into Eurasia with the same objective: access to resources. And they have expanded into the South China Sea. They will be the next empire, with a population of well over a billion. And since we no longer want to work with Russia, guess what?

  3. Bluedot
    June 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Those pensions and taxes have been in dispute for years. I know little more about either than a year or more ago. So spending is down 13% on old age. From what to what? Spending is said to be too high to GDP. Heh. That could happen to us in years to come. It is not reason by itself to cut pensions. It could mean there are not enough resources to support the elderly. That is a different problem. So what we have is a shouting match going on. But since Greece does not control its currency, they are on the short end of the stick here.

    Taxes are another shouting match with little detail to ecaluate.

    These issues suggest a Grexit by themselves, since they are sovereign concerns in most circumstances. But there are plenty of other considerations.

  4. stella blue
    June 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Saw Buddy a couple of months ago in Carmel. He’s still got it.

  5. Bluedot
    June 20, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Kinda doubtful anyone will loan them money for pensions. I think Greece and Russia are going to build a pipeline, but I don’t know the terms. Greece is between a rock and hard place.

  6. June 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    “it would be really good if the rich and powerful outside Greece and the Greek government could find a way to deliver that help.”

    You mean that it would be nice if some of the thieves gave back some of the wealth they stole?

    That’s some impressive, 1st grade level, deep shit analysis there, dub. You should run for clown-car chief clown.

  7. Alice X
    June 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Ok so The Real News Network made their fundraising goal. Good News

    Bad News from Public Citizen

    I am totally tapped. If you have two quarters to rub together maybe you can help them out.


    I wish I had different news.

    The corporate lawsuit against Public Citizen may be going to trial.

    We’ve been ordered to proceed with the case in a state court located in the same small Ohio town where the company suing us is headquartered.

    To refresh your memory:

    Last summer, a powerful coal company called Murray Energy sued us after we ran radio ads pointing out its opposition to new worker safety and clean air protections.

    We’ve tried to have the suit dismissed or at least heard in a neutrally located federal court.

    But instead, we will be required to spend time and resources responding to demands from Murray Energy for documents and depositions.

    And Public Citizen staff will have to divert attention away from the vital work they do every day to protect consumers and safeguard democracy.

    It’s an outrage that this meritless legal attack could end up distracting from the real work we need to do.

    I won’t sugarcoat it — we need help to get through this.

    Can you donate right now — $20, $50, maybe even $100 or more — to help us stand up to this corporate attack?

    Thank you for whatever you can chip in today.


    Robert Weissman
    President, Public Citizen

  8. Screwtape
    June 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Pipeline, from where to where? I just looked at the map of what’s in between. A rock and a hard place throughout. Doesn’t make sense beyond a there-you-see gesture.

  9. Bluedot
    June 20, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    See CNN Money or Google it. Russia and Greece on in a deal to bring gas through Greece. Russia will spend the money up front and Greece will pay it back later. Could be gesture I suppose but for now, there is an agreement. I actually saw it on Bloomberg tv the other day. Many dignitaries on stage including Putin and Tsipras.

  10. Bluedot
    June 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Not a loan. Russia is looking for ways to bypass the Ukraine. They can expand the northern route for Germany and use one through Belarus. The other option is the southern route through Turkey and Greece.

  11. jane24
    June 21, 2015 at 1:13 am

    And plenty of disturbing news on the environment too. (Mass extinction/demise of bees/global warming.) If the ptb, (and others), continue to disregard, doesn’t almost every other issue become…irrelevant?