Hey folks. Since I have just one more final tomorrow, I’ve decided to abridge the Roundup for today. In addition, I was worried I’ve stacked the Roundup over the previous days so if feel it has been like that, I guess you could catch up with the previous days.
- As you may have heard earlier today, the U.S. and Cuba announced a dramatic shift in diplomatic relations with each other. You can read Raul Castro’s speech on it here. So funny to watch the Cuban exiles get angry and grumpy.
- Jason Leopold: “Will Cuba Now Cash 55 Years’ Worth of Guantanamo Rent Checks?”
- Gallup: The most support for police can be found in both Iceland and Switzerland, both tied at 91 percent. The least support is in Mexico with 46 support.
- The U.S. led more than 60 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq since Dec. 15, a Monday.
- An organization following events in Syria said there were Afghanis fighting with the Syrian government
Asia and Oceania
- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: I will vow to take down every member of the Taliban in response to the massacre they cause yesterday
- Gallup: Here’s something interesting. Just 10 percent of Ukrainians say the country should reclaim Crimea. 34 percent say the country should not even bother.
- After a court in Europe ruled the status of Hamas a terrorist group should be re-evaluated, the U.S. recommended keeping sanctions as is against the group. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said European “learned nothing” from the Holocaust.
- The EU, meanwhile, voted to recognize Palestine, which I am certain Israel will also not be happy about but whatever
- A far-right politician in Sweden said Jews cannot be Swedes unless they renounce their Jewish identity; In the liberal paradise of Sweden no less. Just goes to show how even the most reactionary can exist in very liberal places
Latin America, Caribbean and Canada
- After decades of fighting, FARC rebels in Colombia announced a indefinite ceasefire with the government; Let’s see if this holds up
- A U.S. official admitted the hackers behind the attack on Sony may never be caught due to the difficulty of finding them
- Iraq asked if it could defer reparations for destroyed oil facilities in Kuwait during the Gulf War because of declining oil prices.
- The Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen said interest rates will still be near zero percent for the first quarter of 2015, perhaps even longer
- Gallup: Twenty-seven percent of federal employees in the U.S. are engaged in their job compared to 31 percent non-federal employees
- A new report found the U.S. trade deficit with China was to blame for 3.2 millions jobs in the U.S. lost
- As cities across California raise the minimum wage, Sacramento is unable to do so because Mayor Kevin Johnson, a Democrat, prefers getting a task force before making any decision.
- Gareth Porter: “How the CIA Covered Up Its Lie on Torture and bin Laden”
- The last disputed race in the House finished as a Republican in Arizona scored a seat for the GOP
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): The problems in the U.S. are too numerous and we need a “political revolution“; And to get there we need what?
- Henry Giroux: “America’s Addiction to Torture”
- A great, yet short article on six different possibilities for reforming communities without the use of cops
Health, Hunger and Homelessness
- J.K. Rowling: “Isn’t it time we left orphanages to fairytales?”
- Huge news out of New York as Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration decided to ban hydrofracking
- A potential thriller film about life in North Korea was scrapped over “The Interview” fiasco
- A new study found, when in relationships, women are more empathetic than men
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) [Darlene Love]