The Roundup for May 20th, 2015

Onward to Iceland and onward to the last final.

International Politics

Overall

– Michelle Chen: “EU Officials Are Considering Bombing Libyan Smuggling Boats. That’s the Last Thing Refugees Need“; Damn right

– French authorities say their forces killed two major leaders of al-Qaeda in Mali

– Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will be going to Russia to get more arms to fight the Islamic State

Middle East

Part two of three with Norman Finkelstein who explains the issue of missiles used between Israel and Hamas; Very important analysis I might add

– On second thought, Israel won’t ban Palestinians from boarding buses

– There’s a building built by the U.S. in Afghanistan that’s never been used. A shame since it cost taxpayers $25 million

– The leader of the Houthis in Yemen said the organization supports peace talks sponsored by the United Nations

– If you’re an Iraqi, the best way to make your government is to use social media

– The police chief of Anbar was dismissed by an Iraqi official after the fall of Ramadi (more…)

The Roundup for May 19th, 2015

We move on to Venezuela. Three finals down, two to go!

Happy Birthday to Malcolm X! He would have been 90 if he was alive.

International Politics

Overall

– The United Nations warned at least 2,000 refugees were trapped at sea for weeks off the coast of Myanmar

– At least 170 Islamic State fighters in Syria died as a result of U.S.-led airstrikes

– The United Nations will use “realistic options” to get Israel to speak with Palestinian leaders

Middle East

Part one of two with scholar Norman Finkelstein about Israel’s abilities to use violence in its history

– Syrian rebels captured the Syrian government’s largest military base

– After the expiration of the truce with Yemeni rebels, a large number of airstrikes hit Sana’a

Africa

– Jeremy Scahill: “How Somalia’s Al Shabaab Turned Against Its Own Foreign Fighters

– At least 22 militants tied to ISIS were killed by Algerian forces in Algeria (more…)

The Roundup for May 18th, 2015

Today we move on to Spain!

International Politics

Overall

– Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will accept refugees stranded off the coast of Thailand

– Gareth Porter: “The Misfire in Hersh’s Big Bin Laden Story

– The Vatican said the “angel of peace” comment on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was words of encouragement for peace with Israel

– The U.S. threatened to impose more sanctions against North Korea as they are “not even close” to reducing its nuclear weapons (more…)

The Weekend Roundup for May 16-17th, 2015

In honor of finals, let’s do another week of songs from around the globe. We’ll start in Pakistan.

International Politics

Overall

– Pope Francis I: Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is “an angel of peace“; Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s not get too carried away here

– U.S. commandos killed 32 Islamic State militants and officials, including the head of ISIL’s oil operations. It was approved by the White House

– Journalists are being charged with doing their job, specifically journalists who reported on corporate corruption in Luxembourg involving tax avoidance

Middle East

– In short, youths in Palestine are frustrated, angry and without any strong leadership

– Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the U.S. is only interested in securing the Persian Gulf

– The western Anbar province in Iraq may collapse as a result of ISIS forces

– At least 300 people have died in Syria as a result of fighting between the Syrian government and ISIS forces

Asia and Oceania

– The poor in Nepal need doctors and folks who understand the necessities in the country instead of soldiers; What rational person would even think soldiers are necessary?

– Even the animals stranded in Nepal need lots of love and help

– John Pilger: “Celebrating Real Heroes Like the One We’ve Just Lost

– For migrants seeking refuge, the seas are a place of unspeakable horrors 

Africa

– Mohamed Morsi will be sentenced to death and the White House said they were “deeply concerned

– Also, six men were hanged in Egypt after found guilty of killing soldiers. Not only that, but a court ruled “ultras,” fanatic fan clubs in the country, were no longer welcomed in the country

– Primitive accumulation can best be found in Ethiopia where land grabs occur

Europe 

– Podemos should be careful in moving forward and must re-evaluate what needs to be done as it is losing steam

– Glen Ford: “EU Plans War to Keep Europe White

– Turns out American Christians are supporting a no vote in Ireland on an upcoming referendum on gay marriage. Christian immigrants in Ireland are even being mobilized to vote no

– France opposes any quota system proposed by European Union officials over the migrant crisis

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

In spite of the accomplishments made by the Cuban Revolution, corruption still exists among the old guard of Cuba

– Glen Ford, a journalist, joins The Real News to talk about what Cubans believe about recent changes with the U.S. and what they need going forward

– Thousands of Guatemalans marched in the streets to demand the resignation of the president over a corruption scandal

Surveillance Planet

– Trevor Timm: “Surveillance diehards in the Senate will do anything to stop NSA reform

Part four of seven with journalist Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer, Truthdig editor-in-chief, on what needs to be done about surveillance

– Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Our nation will “go dark” if we do not still have powers to spy on phones

Financial Matters

An interview with Spanish professor Vincent Navarro, a member of Podemos, about changes needed in Spain and the overall economics profession

– There’s money to be made off tensions among Gulf states. Just ask companies like Raytheon or Lockheed Martin

Part six of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang about the importance of understanding different economic schools of thought and teaching citizens how to use economics

– How much are the Obamas worth? At least 1.9 to 6.9 million dollars; Hooray! Democracy represented by millionaires

– Iran announced it would cut interest rates in order to boost its economy

– China and India signed economic agreements with each other worth $22 billion

Labor’s a-Brewing

At least 72 people were killed after a fire broke out in a manufacturing factory in the Philippines. The fire occurred as a result of the ignition of chemicals at the factory

– JanSport operates in Bangladesh for workers to make their cheap and still refuses to sign any agreement to protect them

– Larry Hanley, an experienced union leader, joins The Real News to discuss lack of funding for Amtrak and why the current “military junta” refuses to do anything for the working class

– Incredible and great to hear U.S. Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders defend the Fight for 15 movement and call President Obama to join

Politics US

Washington USA

Let’s hear it for liberal apologists on behalf of a failed Obama administration that’s accomplished very little since 2009 for the American working class

– Looks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be President Obama’s biggest accomplishment if passed; What a fraud

– What should you do if you want to push forward a overzealous and patriotic Israeli narrative in the mainstream press? Call The New York Times of course!

– Keep your eye on Martin O’Malley, another reactionary Democrat pretending to act like left alternative to Hillary Clinton. He’s just another liberal

– Speaking of the bourgeoisie, both Hillary and Bill Clinton together made more than $30 million in their speaker fees and book royalties; I’m Ready for Hillary then!

– Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): I actually like Hillary Clinton and don’t want to be a spoiler for her; It’s all for show then. He’s just creating illusions

– Sen. Paul Ryan (R-WI): I don’t think funding has anything to do with the Amtrak crash

Anytown USA

– Uh-oh. Rail superhighways in the country are breaking down despite transporting more folks than ever

– All black officials and leaders must come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would negatively affect the black community

– In light of the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, let’s not be another snobbish liberal who loves the death penalty when it’s applied to “monsters

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Michelle Chen: “90 Percent of the Over 10,000 Chemicals in Nail Products Haven’t Been Evaluated For Safety

– Cannabis is already here making money in some U.S. states and it looks like it’ll continue to expand

Planet Earth

– The U.S. government admitted a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico can last for another decade if nothing is done about it

– Good news as global warming is slowing down because the land and air is absorbing more carbon emissions than expected

– The second part of an interview with author and professor Christian Parenti on Marxism, nature and why capitalism is unsustainable

– Agroecological farming can be an alternative to our current and unsustainable farming system

– Now the state of Washington is in a drought crisis and are feeling the pain

– Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, is shrinking as a result of climate change

– Beneath the drought crisis in California is class tensions, especially against the rich

– There were demonstrations and protests in Seattle against Shell’s presence to drill

Mixed Bag

The Onion: “Tsarnaev Death Penalty A Warning To Any Other Religious Fanatics Hoping To Be Martyred

Inspiring to see community rebuilding in a neighborhood in Baltimore where a basketball hoop wasbuilt

– In just one day, volunteers in Ecuador planted 647,250 trees, which is a new world record

– Ali Abunimah: “NY Times public editor criticizes reporter’s “unacceptable” questions to Palestine activist

Break Time

– Jhoot Ka Uncha Sar [Laal]

The Roundup for May 15th, 2015

Rest in peace B.B. King.

International Politics

Overall

– Jamal Abdi, policy director at the National Iranian American Council, talks to The Real News about the current relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

– With at least $2 billion in Afghanistan, the U.S. military can spend on a lot of useless things

– FIFA President Sepp Blatter believes a vote suspending Israel may set a dangerous precedent

– The United Nations called for the Saudi-led coalition to simplify trade rules through Yemen

– A Iranian negotiator said Iran is prepared for all scenarios should no finalized deal come in July

Middle East

– On the day of the “Nakba,” which means “catastrophe” for Palestinians as it deals with the founding of the Israeli state, at least 21 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces

– The Islamic State successfully captured the main government building in Ramadi, which means they control Anbar in Iraq

– A former British colonel said it should be alright for Israel to kill more civilians

– In spite of a ceasefire, at least 10 people were killed after fighting in a Yemeni city

Asia and Oceania

– A missing U.S. helicopter was found in Nepal and it is feared all eight Americans died

Africa

– The UN warn “war crimes” are being committed in Libya by militant groups

– Burundi’s president was almost overthrown in a coup, although the military saved the day

– Through a deal with the United Nations, armed groups in the Central African Republic agreed to release thousands of youths

Europe 

– Russia may ban any foreign non-governmental organization it considered “undesirable

– After the most recent election, the victory of the Tories means an uncertain future for Britain

– British Prime Minister David Cameron may offer more powers to Scotland

– Podemos, once a growing political party in Spain, is now struggling to recapture the magic it once held

– Poland agreed to pay $250,000 to two victims of torture by the CIA in the country

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– In Mexico, gangs are killing politicians from all sides weeks ahead of elections

– In spite of new vice president chosen, Guatemala may face a major political crisis

Surveillance Planet

Part three of seven with Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, about capitalism, what to do about surveillance and even what the Founding Fathers intended

– A watchdog group in Belgium accused Facebook of tracking people and declining to answer any privacy-related questions

– The former inspector general for the NSA admitted it was a mistake keeping all recorded phone calls

– Emptywheel: “How the Second Circuit, FISC, and the Telecoms Might Respond to McConnell’s USA F-ReDux Gambit

Financial Matters

Part five of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang who continues to explain the different, heterodox schools of economics

– Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if someone wanted to build a mall at the Grand Canyon? Would it be more ridiculous if someone actually held this idea?

– The Ukrainian economy contracted by 17.6 percent in the first quarter

Labor’s a-Brewing

– The Real News covers protests by postal workers to protect their jobs and stop privatization

– Farmers in Baja California will no longer strike for higher wages as they agreed with a new deal with their employer that will see major benefits

Politics US

Washington USA

– Gallup: Americans cite the economy and the the way government functions as more than important than foreign policy

– A few weeks before the Amtrak train crash, lawmakers had the opportunity to bolster safety rules but decided not to

– Lee Fang: “Wall Street Analyst Encouraged Rail Company to Lobby Against Train Safety Rules

– Sure, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) may be good in terms of economic policy, but his foreign policy is really questionable

– Meanwhile, other Democratic leaders do not care about Sanders’ run and believe Hillary Clinton is running, essentially, unopposed

– Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): The GOP will “rue the day” should the Supreme Court cut vital parts of Affordable Care Act

– Watchdog groups want the Internal Revenue Service to investigate companies involved in tax fraud, especially through ALEC

Anytown USA

– Baltimore’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby defends her decision to indict the six officers as just “doing her job

– Looks like there may be no gay marriage ban in Texas after all!

– An internal investigation in the Miami Beach police department found officers sharing porn and racist comments with each other

We Don’t Need No Education

– The University of Washington agreed to divest from coal companies

The Second Sex

A new study found men and women in prehistoric times were equal with each other

– If anti-abortion lawmakers believe it will be easy to push through their agenda, then they have another thing coming

Planet Earth

– Rebecca Solnit: “One magical politician won’t stop climate change. It’s up to all of us

– NASA warned a major ice shelf in the Antarctic may completely melt, which means sea levels will rise even higher

– Canada announced it would its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030

Mixed Bag

– Oops. The office of New Jersey’s attorney general accidentally recommended a sex hotline for residents needing help for over-billing

– Dave Zirin: “It’s Not Tom Brady We Should Be Worried About—It’s Roger Goodell

Break Time

Why I Sing The Blues [B.B. King]

The Roundup for May 14th, 2015

Fitting song as I finish my last day of class for this semester. Now I enter into the following week with five finals. I think I can do it.

International Politics

Overall

– Gallup: Fifty-nine percent of Africans approve of American leadership, while 39 percent of Asians say the same; These are based on averages

– For migrants traveling to Europe, they are simply doing so out of desperation

Middle East

– President Barack Obama: We are committed to working with our allies in the Gulf and will use force to protect them

– Meanwhile, Obama criticized some members of the new Israeli government as not committed to a two-state solution

Asia and Oceania

– A U.S. government watchdog said the Afghan government will still need to rely on U.S. for support

– It’s not just European countries facing a migrant crisis on their shores as south-east Asian countries too face the dilemma

Europe 

– NATO vowed to counter the new “hybrid warfare” created by Russia

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– An army lieutenant who killed Victor Jara, the famous Chilean musicians killed on Sept. 11, 1973 in Chile, will be on trial in Florida for the murder

– Mexico announced it would pay $3.3 million in total for the families of 15 individuals killed by soldiers last year

– In Guatemala, lawmakers chose another vice president after the last one resigned over corruption

Surveillance Planet

– NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe joins The Real News to talk about the passage of the USA Freedom Act and what it includes

Financial Matters

– It’s not that things are bad in Brazil. Rather, things are bad in Brazil

– Greece will not turn to a referendum to solve its problems, but will seek compromise with lenders

– What is so outrageous about our ruling class is not only they are determined to keep the status quo, but can effectively manage it well

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Looks like there’s a leading politician in New York State supporting the Fight for 15—Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo

– After protesting sexual harassment at a Mazda assembly plant in Mexico, 20 workers were fired

Politics US

Washington USA

– Dave Zirin: “Why Are We Paying the NFL to Help the Pentagon Recruit Troops?

– Journalist Matt Taibbi joins The Real News to discuss the Amtrak derailment and the consequences of reduced funding for Amtrak

– The driver, meanwhile, does not remember the crash at all

– An official from the Department of Veterans Affairs said the agency improperly spent $5 billion each year for medical costs

An official who lied about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq believes Seymour Hersh is lying about his story

– Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): I do not think the House will pass fast track

Anytown USA

– Kit O’Connell: “Police at the Freddie Gray Protest in Austin Proved Just How Much They Love Pepper Spray

– An organization representing black officers in Baltimore defended one of the six officers charged in the murder of Freddie Gray

– Ali Abunimah: “Student troubled by New York Times reporter’s ‘Jewish litmus test’

Newly released video of a police shooting in North Carolina raises questions on the police’s version of what happened to Nijza Lamar Hagans

Incredible and true quotes from folks in Baltimore explaining the Baltimore uprising

– Amy Goodman: “KPFT Houston, 45 Years After Domestic Terrorist Bombings, Plays On

Very chilling piece of one detainee held at a Chicago black site and will now sue the city

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– With diplomatic changes between the U.S. and Cuba, a lung cancer vaccine may be coming to numerous Americans

A new study found folks over 50 who suffer from long-term depression are more at risk of a stroke

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “The only thing shameful about ‘revealing’ prom dresses are adults who obsess over them

– Reddit will institute new policies against any type of harassment against users

Planet Earth

– Members of an indigenous tribe in Canada declined millions of dollars for construction of a pipeline through their land

– Private water companies believe it is time to raise water bills

– President Obama: Shell can drill in the Arctic as they have quality safeguards; Environ-what?

– What can reduce cocaine production in Colombia? Caterpillars

– Turns out $470 million supporting climate change denying groups is dark money, which means it cannot be traced

– Environmentalists in California will sue the state over the injection of oil wastewater into aquifers

– The CEO of Nestle refused to halt production of water bottles in California despite the drought and actually said he wants more

Mixed Bag

– The Real News speaks with journalist Seymour Hersh in this nearly 40 minute interview

– The Onion: “Shell Assures Nation Most Arctic Wildlife To Go Extinct Well Before Next Spill“; Phew, that reassures me

Break Time

I Think I Can [the pillows]

The Roundup for May 13th, 2015

Good day folks!

International Politics

Overall

– The Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthi rebels in Yemen of violating the ceasefire

– The Vatican will sign a treaty with the state of Palestine, which is unprecedented

Middle East

Things are so bad in the Gaza Strip that some folks are forced to go to garbage dumps, find leftover food to eat and recyclable goods to sell; For heaven’s sake, it’s an ongoing human rights catastrophic

– Meanwhile, an Israeli official warned there was a high chance of conflict with neighbors like Lebanon

– The Food and Agriculture Organization warned of a “catastrophic” situation in Yemen due to lack of food for everyone

Asia and Oceania

– At a meeting full of diplomats in Afghanistan, gunmen stormed where they met and killed one American. More are presumed to be killed although no word about their deaths

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Puerto Rico announced water rations as a result of lack of sufficient rainfall

– For Mexicans living under the drug war, the authorities are not people to trust when crimes occur

– Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa admitted former President Jose Mujica did not fully know what to do when transferring the six Guantanamo Bay detainees to Uruguay

Surveillance Planet 

– Whoa, the British government will soon make anyone with “extreme” views to check-in with authorities when posting things on social media and even allow the latter to spy even more on folks. Glenn Greenwald writes more here

– Natasha Lennard: “Whatever happens to the Patriot Act, we’ll still be fed to the surveillance beast

Part two of seven with Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, who explains the origins of modern surveillance tools and when the state decided to use it

– Will the House of Representatives allow any changes to the USA Freedom Act to protect our privacy? Nah

– Trevor Timm: “NSA reform is unavoidable. But it can be undermined if we aren’t careful

– In a vote of 338-88, the House passed the bill after just an hour of debate

Financial Matters

Part four of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang about the different economic schools of thought; Highly recommended for all those interested in economics

– Not all charities can be trusted as a new report finds some organizations lose money in costly fundraisers

– Poor Chicago will suffer the consequences of Illinois’ decision to borrow to fund public pensions just exploded in its face

– Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, joins The Real News to talk about Verizon’s purchase of AOL and what it means for The Huffington Post as well as focusing on Verizon itself

– Nissan and Toyota both announced at least six million cars would be recalled over faulty airbags

Politics US

Washington USA

– Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): The current movement against Israel’s actions in Palestine is the same type of hate found during Nazi Germany

– Gallup: Nineteen percent of Americans approve of Congress’ job

– David Swanson, friend of FDL and activist, joins The Real News to talk about the role of the CIA involved with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling

– Gallup: Meanwhile, more Americans say they do not favor Hillary Clinton

– An Amtrak train derailed outside of Philadelphia after traveling more than 100 miles per hour, which led to the deaths of a few individuals and hundreds injured

– Such a derailment reinforces how important it is to reinvest in American infrastructure. Although, Congress is debating whether to keep funding Amtrak at all

– Federal judges are not so eager anymore to follow the federal government’s guidelines in sentencing those who “harm” America

– Those affected by former President Bill Clinton’s damaging prison “reform” bill are not paying attention to whatever Hillary is saying, they are still fighting to ensure there is fairness, at least some, in the current system

– Well the Senate will vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in three separate measures; DAMNIT DAMNIT DAMNIT

– Jeb Bush is running for president…just not officially

Anytown USA

– Turns out the uprising in Baltimore led to $9 million worth of damage; Boo hoo, money is not more than lives

– Radicals should use the Democratic Party in order to run for office; Incredibly dumb

– New York City police officers shot an individual wielding a hammer at people

We Don’t Need No Education

– Of course right-wing college students would cry “reverse racism” over the opinions of one Boston University professor on race

– A judge in California ruled abstinence-only education is not sex education

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Activists in Hawaii are challenging Syngenta, a agrichemical firm involved in GMO production and pesticides

– Ethics? In the American Psychological Association? Ha, that’s a good one

The Second Sex

– Jessica Valenti: “Feminism isn’t a label Republicans can slap on when it’s convenient

– Women are working and earning more today than before, yet there’s still more needed

– Sure Podemos is rising as a force in Spain, but so are feminists

– The Obama administration announced all health care companies must cover birth control

– In a vote of 242-184, the House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks; Free-dumb!

Planet Earth

– The American Petroleum Institute praised the Department of Energy’s approval of exporting liquefied natural gas, yet sued the Department of Transportation over rules for trains carrying crude oil

– Allowing fossil fuel companies to drill in the Arctic is incredibly reckless and stupid

– Vancouver, that city up in Canada, is planning to depend solely on alternative energy by 2020

– Beekeepers lost nearly 42 percent of its colonies in one year, alarmingly high

– Looks like drilling will occur in the Gulf of Mexico nearby the Deepwater Horizon disaster

– Duke Energy pledged to provide water bottles to North Carolina residents affected by coal-tainted water well

Mixed Bag

– The Real News provides a nearly hour long video featuring scholar Cornel West on Baltimore, race, class and a whole lot more

A wonderful review of a terrific book detailing gentrification in New York; Definitely something I’ll probably check out

Break Time

Bongo Bong [Manu Chao]

The Roundup for May 12th, 2015

Good day folks! Almost done with classes! Just three days and then finals next week.

International Politics

Overall

– The West is worried about a conflict brewing over Libya’s natural resources; I wonder how we could have avoided this…

– Neither the U.S. and Russia have been able to agree on major global problems

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world

– Turkey called for its NATO partners to deal with the threat of the Islamic State

– Meanwhile, an official of the International Criminal Court vowed to investigate crimes committed by ISIS in Libya

Middle East

A new report shows how chilling and inhumane the bombings in Gaza was last year with testimony from IDF soldiers

– Civilians in Aleppo, Syria, were killed as a result of bombings and fighting. How many? No one truly knows

– The death of a Canadian soldier by a Kurdish soldier was, according to Canadian officials, an accident

– Since 2014, nearly three million Iraqis have been displaced as a result of the chaos; Whoa

– The opposition in Syria are arguing over a revolutionary flag because some do not want to alienate Syrians

– It now seems possible, after a sufficient amount of documents were smuggled out of Syria, to prosecute Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Asia and Oceania

– Malaysia announced it would turn away any boats full of migrants, unless the boat is sinking

– Damn it. Another earthquake, 7.8 to be specific, hit Nepal and dozens were killed as a result

Europe 

A new report by a foundation in Russia reveals use of torture by Ukrainian forces

Another report by Russian opposition found 220 Russian soldiers died in Ukraine

– The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations called for Israel be punished for its treatment of detained Palestinian children

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

One tragedy of the migrant crisis is how the U.S. is okay with state violence being used in Mexico for those passing through

Surveillance Planet

Part one of seven with Robert Scheer, editor-in-chief of Truthdig, on his new book about surveillance

– It is definitely important to ask, after the purchase of AOL by Verizon, what may happen to The Huffington Post

– Turns out most of the supporters of NSA surveillance are tied to contractors working with the NSA

Financial Matters

Part three of seven with economist Ha-Joon Chang about how economics and politics can never be divorced, even if neoclassical economists say they can

– Lillie Harden was paraded by the Clinton administration as evidence for why welfare should be reformed. Turns out, however, the system failed Harden

– Guess what? The social safety net actually works!; Someone call the GOP and let them know

– Middle-class? In the U.S.? In the present day? Yeah, that’s very hard to imagine

– Now let me understand this. I cannot read the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. You cannot read it. But corporations can

– President Barack Obama played up the class rhetoric and called for hedge funds managers to remember about helping the little people; What a communist

Labor’s a-Brewing

– A woman in California sued her former employer after being fired for removing an app from her phone detailing her every move

– A court in Egypt ruled workers do not hold the right to strike; What?

Politics US

Washington USA

– Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, talks with The Real News to discuss who’s who with Jeb Bush. Spoiler alert: They are neoconservatives

– Bush since admitted the Iraq War had its share of mistakes

– A lawyer for Hillary Clinton sued the state of Ohio over restrictive policies that would affect the Clinton campaign’s chances in 2016

– The FBI worked with foreign firms to spy on activists opposing the Keystone XL pipeline

– A right-wing think tank, tied to Wall Street, advocated for more de-regulation and to gut the Dodd-Frank law in a new report

– Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) criticized the secrecy behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Senate vote where fast-track was shot down

– The Obama administration and White House press pool would be more interested in talking about Tom Brady than the explosive piece on Osama bin Laden

– Good news as Stephen Kim, a former State Department official, was released from prison; Readers may remember him as someone prosecuted for a leak

– The U.S. government announced its biggest budget surplus in years

Anytown USA

– Retired Baltimore detective Stephen Tabeling joins The Real News to stress the importance of following the rules for police officers working

– So wait, after more than 170 days, the investigation into the death of Tamir Rice is still going?

– The officer who killed Tony Robinson, an unarmed black youth, in Madison, Wis., will not face any charges

– Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) may hate “hyphenated Americans” terms, but he used them in his political career

We Don’t Need No Education

– A dean of the University of Virginia announced she would sue Rolling Stone for defamation

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

A new study found nearly 95 percent of parents with overweight children believe their weight is normal

The Second Sex

– Funny how Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will not defend the privacy of women when it comes to abortions; In fact, he’ll probably run away

Planet Earth

– Journalist Paul DeRienzo joins The Real News to talk about the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York State and its history

– The waste of food is a known characteristic of restaurants, something that happens to ensure high-quality food

– One externality of consumption for tech products can best be seen at a lake in Mongolia where toxic sludge is constantly dumped into

– Juan Cole: “Hawaii Goes Green and Other Big Renewables Stories

– Just because California is suffering from a drought does not mean public ownership of food in out of the question

An interview with Susana de Anda, an activist in California dealing with the issue of the drought and water distribution

Another interview, the first part actually, with journalist and author Christian Parenti on capitalism and climate change

– An investigation found American taxpayers are, essentially, subsidizing fossil fuel projects

Mixed Bag

– Pew: Among Hispanics living in the U.S., they are more likely today to be speaking English and a little less likely to be speaking Spanish

– Funny how some journalists would call journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest piece “conspiracy“; Have they actually looked that word up or did they think the cool kids down the block would look at what they had to say?

– Pew: Far more folks in the U.S. identify as unaffiliated when it comes to religion. Millennials are the ones most likely to identify as unaffiliated

– Elon Musk, a darling for supporters of capitalism, is really harsh when dealing with workers and does not care about important life events they have

Break Time

The Inkwell [Blue Scholars]

The Roundup for May 11th, 2015

Made two different cakes today! Quite proud of my baking ability. You can be find what I made, for both, here.

International Politics

Overall

– The U.S. is scrambling to reassure its allies in the Gulf things are fine

– As a result of bombardment from Yemen, a Pakistan and a Saudi were killed

Middle East

– Dave Zirin: “Israel and Palestine Agree: Keep Politics Out of Soccer

– In Hamas, the military section of the organization is successfully pushing its demands forward

– Four individuals, assumed to be suspects tied to al-Qaeda, were killed in a U.S. drone strike

Asia and Oceania

– The West supports Libyan “national unity,” which is really vague five years after

Europe 

– In a 4-1 decision, a Swedish court declined to hear Julian Assange’s appeal over his arrest warrant

– Wait, Nigel Farage won’t really resign from his position in the UK Independence Party

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Glenn Greenwald: “Canadian Government Says Free Speech is for Offending Muslims — Not Opposing Israel“; O Canada!

Surveillance Planet

– Gallup: Millennials are most trusting out of all generations when it comes to giving personal information to private businesses

– Kit O’Connell: “Why The Media Ignores Jeremy Hammond While Praising Edward Snowden

– Ever hear of Scitor? It’s heard of you. No, seriously, they spy on you

– If it’s not Scitor, it’s probably the NSA spying on you by storing all the speech you say into your phone

– Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): It is wrong to reauthorize surveillance tools for the NSA when it is illegal

Financial Matters

– Part one and two of six with economist Ha-Joon Chang about neoclassical economics; Personally recommended as Chang is one of my top five economists

– The elephant in the room, especially with the release of the April jobs report, is income inequality

About one-fifth of all Americans do not have a credit history

– As a result of the Israeli bombings, production of honey in the Gaza Strip has been on the decline

– Mexico opened up bidding for oil and gas drilling to foreign companies

– Greece paid $535 million to the International Monetary Fund hours before it was due; Just like me, a true procrastinator

– Greek Financial Minister Vanis Varoufakis: We are quickly running out of money and, possibly, we will face a major crisis

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Pew: Not only are one-in-third American workers Millennials, but they comprise the largest share of the workforce

– Michelle Chen: “How Can You Get an Ethical Manicure? Support Worker Organizing

– Nurses in New York City vow to strike should their grievances not be addressed

Politics US

Washington USA

– Jason Leopold: “The CIA Did Not Drug Detainees Before Interrogations, Says the CIA

– Marcy Wheeler provides her insight on the latest conviction of Jeffrey Sterling, which you may have heard about through Kevin’s post

– Another person, in 2011, reported a similar story close to journalist Seymour Hersh’s story; Mainstream media just jealous

Good news as migrant families held under federal custody may be able to leave should the U.S. not intervene with a judge’s decision

– Michelle Obama: I was held back due to my race and such problems still exist; So if she can say it, why can’t Barack Obama? I mean, there is obviously a resurgence in racial tensions

Anytown USA

– Lauren Taylor, an organizer with We Charge Genocide, and Darrell Cannon, a torture survivor, explain to The Real News what the reparations given by the city of Chicago mean and why it’s still important to fight

Another debate on The Real News on whether Freddie Gray should have run from the police on the fateful day

– Thanks New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) for spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on snacks at NFL games!

– Here’s an idea: Eliminate bail; It’s discrimination against the poor

– So let me get this straight: White people think cops are fair to all races. Are they nuts?

We Don’t Need No Education

– The Department of Education gave more than $3.3 billion to charter schools in the past decades. Spent for what? I dunno

The Second Sex

– United Nations officials said Paraguay failed in the case of an 10-year-old girl who wanted an abortion after being raped and was denied

Planet Earth

New research found the sea level rose at a quicker pace than expected

– Jamie Henn, a co-founder of 350.org, speaks with The Real News about how we have surpassed 400 parts per million, which means bad news if it continues to rise

– Now it’s Wal-Mart taking advantage of the drought in California and selling bottled water

A new report found the Atlantic Ocean can be used to power new renewable energies for European countries

– Not only is it inspiring, but right to see labor work with climate activists 

A new report found fossil fuels from federal lands contribute one-fourth of all U.S. carbon emissions

– Shell was given the a-okay from the Obama administration to drill in the Arctic; Thanks Obama!

– Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz needs help from oil companies. For what? Drilling in the Arctic for oil

– Bank of America will begin to reduce funding for coal companies worldwide

Mixed Bag

A new study found couples having more sex did not lead to more happiness

– Chris Hedges: “A Nation of Snitches

– Jessica Valenti: “It’s great to have a vacation. And even better when you leave kids at home

Break Time

Strangelove [Depeche Mode]

The Weekend Roundup for May 9-10th, 2015

Happy Mother’s Day!/Feliz Dia de Madre!

International Politics
Overall

– The U.S., in spite of a Conservative victory in Britain, is a little hesitant to join with British Prime Minister David Cameron over the latter’s refusal to deal with foreign policy

– The rebels in Yemen agreed to a five-day ceasefire with the Saudi-led coalition, but pledged to respond should attacks occur

– Saudi Arabian King Salman will pass on a U.S.-organized summit with Gulf states

– Despite pledging not to use the military, the European Union will create plans to attack targets in Libya to slow migrants . Moreover, they will institute migrant quotas

Middle East

– Professor Vijay Prashad joins The Real News to explain the victories of al-Qaeda in Syria and what’s happening with Bashar al-Assad’s government

– Journalist Lia Tarachansky speaks with The Real News about the demeaning role of Ethiopian Jews in Israeli society

– Ayelet Shaked, an Israeli politician, believes Palestinians should be killed as they are “the enemy.” She is also the new Minister of Justice and even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hates her

– The Palestinian Football Authority wants FIFA to ban Israel until it recognizes Palestine as an equal

Africa

– Attorney Michael Ratner joins The Real News to talk about the Sahawari people in the Western Sahara and their livelihoods in refugee camps

– Residents who escaped from the clutches of Boko Haram now return to their livelihoods with another problem: hunger

Europe

– Some Turkish citizens and lawmakers fear Turkey will be dragged into the Syrian conflict

– Hooray! Five more years of Tories in government! I’m sure they’ll know what to do to help the working class; On second thought…

– Demonstrators against the re-election of Cameron in the United Kingdom were confronted and clashed with riot police

– Natasha Lennard: “UK election is a reminder that we need to get out of the ballot box and into the streets

– Russian President Vladimir Putin: Peace in Ukraine is moving well, although problems remain

– German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for Putin to pressure Ukrainian rebels to uphold the ceasefire in Ukraine

– Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army over the situation in Ukraine

– In Switzerland, a man killed four people, including three family members, in his village before committing suicide

– Macedonian authorities said they killed at least 14 Albanian “terrorists” in a raid, although there’s some doubt with the official word

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Just imagine a victory in Alberta with the New Democracy Party reciprocated across Canada. Now that’s something to fight for

– Due to a corruption scandal involving a secretary, the vice president of Guatemala announced his resignation

– We must not forget the members of the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil, where some were killed in 1996 by Brazilian police. Indeed, there are lessons to learn for today

– The Peruvian government sent troops to locations where there have been anti-mining demonstrations, they deem violent

Surveillance Planet

– Had Edward Snowden not come forward, the system we live under may have been deemed a failure; It still is though

– So desperate are pro-surveillance lawmakers that they will take the incident at Garland to defend the NSA

Financial Matters

– Some states are considering dealing with their budget deficits, which may result in austerity

– China announced it cut its interest rate to 5.1 percent to help the economy

– It’s so inspiring to see Oprah Winfrey, another capitalist who pretends to care for everyone. The reality is she is okay with upholding our structure

Labor’s a-Brewing

– If the minimum wage went up to $12 per hour, then one in four working mothers would receive a raise

– Teachers in Oakland are ready to go on strike if they don’t get the contract they deserve

– If any nail salon think it is fair to abuse workers to make ends meet for themselves, then that’s utterly disgusting and they shouldn’t be in business

A vital history lesson for anyone interested in understanding labor during the 1960s and 1970s in New York City, especially around the time of the bankruptcy crisis

Politics US
Washington USA

A new poll found only one in 10 Americans believe the Supreme Court can rule fairly on a case involving the Affordable Care Act

– Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ): China under President Xi Jinping does not engage with the U.S. as it did before; Keep in mind Salmon is on the House’s committee on foreign relations

– Jesselyn Radack: “The shocking court case that proves the government’s shameful Petraeus hypocrisy

Resistance is growing against efforts at the Department of Agriculture where scientists studying the deaths of bees and use of pesticides are harassed by higher-ups

– President Barack Obama: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is wrong when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

– Who wants to remind presidential candidates about war? Military contractors of course!

Anytown USA

– Neil Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, speaks with The Real News to discuss necessary changes to the police department in Baltimore, including removing the non-serious officers

Stop and frisk is not a new concept as it origins begin in the 1950s and 1960s where police departments adopted similar tactics to use in urban communities against people of color

– Hundreds of demonstrators marched in New York City to demand tougher gun control

– Rania Khalek: “PolitiFact denies Israeli ties to Baltimore police despite evidence“; Hooray! Journalism!

– Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R): President Obama is dividing us when talking about race; Ha!

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Turns out the Food and Drug Administration never knew there was an outbreak of listeria at a Blue Bell factory

– Colombia will no longer use glyphosate, a herbicide, to prevent the growth of coca crops

– Did you know talcum powder may increase the likelihood of ovarian cancer? Companies behind the powder sure don’t want you to know

The Second Sex

– Yikes, this personal story of a poor single mother jailed for leaving her children in the back of the car while going for a job interview is really depressing. It is a necessary read

– Paraguay is now dealing with the question of abortion after a 10-year-old girl was denied one

Planet Earth

– French President Francois Hollande called for a fund made by the United Nations to help Caribbean nations with the woes of climate change; Or, or, now hear me out, stop with the status quo!

– Australia will lose billions in terms of productivity as a result of global warming, based on a new study

– As a result of an explosion at the Indian Point nuclear reactor in New York, oil leaked into the Hudson River

– Belize wants to allow offshore drilling, which would greatly affect the marine life and ecosystem. Indeed, the Great Blue Hole would definitely be affeted

Don’t forget the whales in the Gulf of Mexico should offshore drilling come true!

Mixed Bag

– It is a major problem to see capital still dominating the music scene through draconian policies

A new study found one in four gay men were discriminated against when playing sports

– How about we not protest over cops killed? Because that’s dumb

– We would need 136 billion sheets of paper to print out everything on the Internet

Break Time

Amor De Madre [Victor Manuelle]