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The Roundup for April 17th, 2015

By: Friday April 17, 2015 10:02 am

We end on a soothe note with Italy.

International Politics


- Black Lives Matter even throughout Africa, a continent ravaged by imperialism, violence and exploitation

- The United Nations called for $275 million from members to help those living in Yemen

Middle East

- Gareth Porter: “The ‘Possible Military Dimensions’ Bomb That Could Blow Up the Iran Deal

- Officials in Yemen say Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula captured key weapons depot

- A new survey in Israel found surprising results such as more than one in four Israelis deciding to vote the day of elections

- Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, close with Saddam Hussein as an aide, is said to be killed as a result of fighting

- A car bomb outside a U.S. embassy in Iraq killed one person and wounded five others

- The Syrian government blamed Turkish support for allowing the Islamic State to capture a Syrian town


- Economist John Weeks joins The Real News to discuss the elections in the United Kingdom along with the topics on the minds of voters

- Jeremy Scahill: “Germany Is The Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War

- The U.N. warned human rights violations may continue to escalate in Ukraine, where at least 6,000 have been killed

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- Out of all Latin American countries that cut military spending, Venezuela cut the most; B-b-but they’re a national security threat! Obama said so!

- Communities in El Salvador were victorious in pushing back any attempts on mining

- Conservatives in Brazil want to push for right-wing policies not to different than here in the U.S. as evident through a change in lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 16

Financial Matters

- Professor Sanford Schram speaks with The Real News about the cuts and restrictions applied to welfare, which makes recipients even worse off

- Argentina filed lawsuits against British and American companies for drilling near the Falkland Islands

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Pretend-leftist and bourgeois actor Alec Baldwin criticized the Fight for 15 demonstrators in New York City as wrong for interrupting traffic

- In 2013, a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded due to concentration of nitrate. Two years later, a new report finds, it is still not safe to work in such places

- Wal-Mart claimed it closed four stores in different cities because of plumbing problems and would lay off workers as a result

- Turns out prison labor is the “best kept secret” in outsourcing. Who would have known?

Politics US

Washington USA

- How comical is it for Hillary Clinton, the future face of the Democratic Party, to pretend to care about working class issues despite coming from an elite background

- Part two of eight with John Kiriakou on how he joined the CIA during his time in college and his early years as an agent

- Activist Kevin Zeese warns The Real News why the Trans-Pacific Partnership must be stopped

- A conspiratorial right-wing [note: right-wing] activist released information pertaining to where employees of federal agencies live

- The U.S. government spends billions on defense, but fails to stop and overreacts to a drone carrying a message promoting campaign finance reform

- President Barack Obama: It is crazy Loretta Lynch is not yet confirmed as the new attorney general

Anytown USA

- Glen Ford: “Black People Must Police Themselves

- The city of Baltimore is still keen to cut water despite huge public outcry from civilians

- A new report found, for every 1,000 citizens killed by police, only one cop is convicted

- New documents show troops in Ferguson referred to demonstrators as “enemy forces”

We Don’t Need No Education

- Physicians called for Columbia University to end its relationship with Doctor Mehmet Oz, a fraud

- Civility is the new way administrators on college campuses deal with protest they wish to stop

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- An anti-vaccine mother announced she would favor vaccinations after seven of her children came down whooping cough

- Scientists in charge of food safety are sometimes being paid to push for products by the same firms paying them

The Second Sex

- Jessica Valenti: “The fight to put a woman on the $20 bill would be worth the backlash

Planet Earth

- Koch-backed forces now want renewable energy to be killed in North Carolina once again

- A new report found polar bears are being affected by pollution and global warming

- Steve Horn: “‘Carbon Copy’: How Big Oil and King Coal Ghost Write Letters for Public Officials, Business Groups

Mixed Bag

- Despite receiving complaints of abuse for foster children in California, the state agency in charge of investigating often fails to come up with conclusions

Break Time

- Life [Ludovico Einaudi]

The Roundup for April 16th, 2015

By: Thursday April 16, 2015 6:27 pm

Onward to Brazil!

International Politics


- Journalist Reese Erlich explains to The Real News why Russia sent missiles to Iran and how it’s connected to the situation in Yemen

The Real News covers an event that took place in New York City focusing on global slavery reparations

- In his annual address to the Russian public, Russian President Vladimir Putin told audiences things like the economy would get better and how the U.S. was only interested in vassals, not allies

- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: There must be an immediate ceasefire in Yemen

- U.S. General Martin Dempsey said, while the loss of Anbar to the Islamic State would be bad, the more important battle was over a key refinery in Iraq

Middle East

- Journalist Patrick Cockburn deflates the optimism by the Pentagon in what the latter calls victories over ISIL

- The new vice president of Yemen vowed to stop the Saudi-led invasion

- As ISIS advances into the city of Ramadi, thousands of Iraqis fled from the town

- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, in regards to his previous criticism of Saudi Arabia’s intervention, it was not his job to “criticize anybody.”

- Meanwhile, al-Abadi welcomed the presence of Iran in the fight against ISIL, yet warned Iraq’s sovereignty could not be violated. Still, he warned ISIS, if unchecked, would be unstoppable.

- Speaking of ISIS, Syrian rebels are now focusing on building their ranks to counter the militant group

- An official with Hamas called for the abduction of Israelis to swap for Palestinians held by Israel

- An interesting look into divorces in the Gaza Strip, especially for us Americans here


- Ethiopians are angry at land forcibly taken away to foreign investors through violent means

- The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is unsure as to what position to take in regards to the intervention in Saudi Arabia

- Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told the United Nations to help victims instead of sending a force


- Most European countries are interested in labeling products coming from the Israeli-occupied West Bank

- Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said a compromise could be reached over a bailout

Surveillance Planet

- Sony is very angry with Wikileaks leaking emails and document to the point where they called it a “criminal act

- A compromise could be made to extend the PATRIOT Act’s parts to extend surveillance with some reforms

- Booz Allen Hamilton released a report offering advice to the NSA on how to keep its power

Financial Matters

- Gallup: Fifty-two percent of Americans say their finances are getting better

- William Black explains to The Real News why problems would develop should the estate tax be repealed

- Looks like corporations like Wal-Mart are actively seeking to eliminate workers’ compensation

- In terms of the Black Lives Matter movement, there needs to be emphasis on finance justice for blacks

- There probably is a revival in jobs for youths, although it will be slow; I’m not holding my breath

Labor’s a-Brewing

The Real News covers the Fight for 15 protest on April 15 in Baltimore and Washington D.C.

- Michelle Chen: “Yesterday’s #FightFor15 Protests Were Big—and the Movement Is Only Growing

- From adjuncts to security guards to construction workers, workers demonstrated in at least 200 cities nationwide on April 15

- Arun Gupta: “Wage Gains Won’t Last, Unless Fight for 15 Builds Worker Power

Politics US

Washington USA

- Part one of eight with John Kiriakou, who explains his history living in the U.S. and his youth where he was a hawk; Really fascinating

- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): Thank you Koch brothers for your contributions to society

- Committees in Congress passed the Trans-Pacific Partnership fast track, that catastrophic agreement, so it now goes to the House and Senate

- Meanwhile, the Obama administration pledged to address concerns over TPP secrecy; Suuuuurrrrreeeee

- Lee Fang: “Agency Overseeing Obama Trade Deals Filled With Former Trade Lobbyists

- President Barack Obama: Democrats should embrace the trade plan to create American jobs; Suuuurrreee

- If Iowa is a major player for 2016, then, according to the citizens there, working class politics will be on the agenda

- Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, implied Hillary Clinton was a flip-flopper on issues

- Internal documents from the Bureau of Land Management found the agency warning employees, during the Bundy Ranch situation, not to identify as BLM employees for risk of attacks

- Thank you TSA for training Disney and SeaWorld how to look out for terrorists because it’s a small world after all and something something terrorism, America, USA

Unnamed corporate stooge, Sadly a lawmaker, Man chosen from a hat and now representative Rep. Ben Sasse (R-NE) criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in front of mortgage banking lobbyists or, as they are now called, his potential supporters

- Glenn Greenwald: “NBC’S conduct in Engel kidnapping story is more troubling than the Brian Williams scandal

Anytown USA

- Pew: Fifty-six percent of Americans support the death penalty, which is the latest in the past 40 years

- Safe Streets is a successful, non-violent approach to solving the problem of violence in Baltimore. Yet, it is under attack from cuts

- Officers in Grand Rapids, Mich., are using the charge of trespassing to unjustly arrest blacks in the city

- A neo-Nazi man who killed a 44-year-old gay man refused a lawyer and had no remorse for his actions

- Kit O’Connell: “Police Brutality Activists #ShutdownA14 Nationwide To Oppose Extrajudicial Murder

We Don’t Need No Education

- Gallup: Seventy-nine percent of Americans say higher education is not affordable

- Some religious groups in Egypt are angry the Egyptian government removed religious texts from school textbooks

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Despite cigarette use among youths falling, e-cigarettes are becoming very popular among them

The Second Sex

- A new study revealed methods of women, like avoidingareas, who feel uncomfortable due to street harassment

Planet Earth

- Keith Stewart, coordinator of Greenpeace Canada, talks to The Real News about cap-and-trade plans in Canada and the role of oil

- Scientists discovered a massive extinction was due to acidification of global oceans

- Residents of the Jordan Downs housing in Watts, Calif., believe the federal government’s response to industrial pollution in their area is not enough

- Believe it or not, there’s a fight involved with drug reform—animal rights

- Environmentalists need to establish their identity with communities of color or else suffer without moving on to the next stage of revolution

- A great story of indigenous resistance in Brazil to deforestation and the success from it

Mixed Bag

- A new study found the human-dog relationship found so well in society may be due to oxytocin, a “love” hormone, released in the brain

- A look into a police blog where racism and hate is a constant problem for the NYPD and some officers who object to it; Just find their IP addresses, fire them and ban them from ever taking power again

- Julian Assange was set to speak at a conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Some British judges, as a result, refused to attend.

Break Time

- Agribore [MPB4]

The Roundup for April 15th, 2015

By: Wednesday April 15, 2015 6:08 pm

We went from Mexico to Japan and now Germany!

Also it’s tax day so…yeah.

International Politics


- Iran pledged to sign a nuclear deal should all sanctions against it immediately drop

- Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. said the Saudi-led offensive in Yemen is “very successful

Middle East

- Turns out Saudi Arabia increased its military spending by 17 percent last year; It’s fair to say we’re seeing why

- The Islamic State launched a successful offensive in Iraq where three towns were gained

- The Israeli government may not be a right-wing coalition government, but a center-left one; Is center-left even appropriate?

- There may or may not be a 15 year truce in the works between Hamas and Israel; I’m not holding my breath


- A suicide bomber in Mali killed at least three people and wounded 16


- An interview with scholar Francis Fox Piven about SYRIZA in Greece and the way forward for the Greeks

- Billions in foreign reserves were given to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party before the election. Foreign support for the party? It won’t say

- An ally of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was found dead with bullet wounds

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

Historian Aviva Chomsky talks to The Real News about the obstacles President Barack Obama would face to remove Cuba off the state terrorism list

- Meanwhile, President Obama’ decision to push for Cuba’s removal of supporting terrorism means rogue states are a bygone concept

- Cuba is open to talking about American fugitives like Assata Shakur with the U.S.

- Once again foreign companies and institutions are entering in Guatemala for their latest projects at the expense of indigenous folk, yet the latter will not back down

- In Colombia, at least 10 soldiers were killed and 17 were wounded by FARC rebels. The truce put in December is now lifted

Surveillance Planet

- Both the FBI and the NSA are pulling out all the stops to ensure parts of the PATRIOT Act to keep up surveillance are kept

- Human rights abusers in Bangladesh must give credit to New Zealand intelligence for helping them

Financial Matters

- Based on a report from the United Nations, world gambling on sports is worth at least three trillion dollars with most of it being illegal

- Joao Vaccari, treasurer of the Workers’ Party in Brazil, was arrested in connection with the Petrobras scandal

- Who now holds the most in terms of U.S. Treasury debt? It’s Japan

- The head of a credit card processing firm in Seattle announced a pay cut for himself and increasing the salary of its employees to $70,000 per year

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Funny how the hotel industry loathes any minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, yet loves to shower its executives with millions

- Speaking of $15/hour, today is April 15 and means the Fight for 15 movement launches out with massive demonstration. Take a look at a personal essay from a worker about the fight

- Both a union and $15 per hour is no laughing matter. They are serious demands raised by workers that need to be heard

Politics US

Washington USA

- Gallup: Forty-five percent of Americans say the poor pay too much in taxes and 62 percent say the rich pay too little

- In spite of the talk by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on being a true libertarian, he strayed away from some libertarian positions in terms of foreign policy

- Trevor Timm: “The shroud of secrecy around US drone strikes abroad must be lifted

- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said following Ronald Reagan’s policies would not be wise in this day and age

- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): The money seized by the U.S. Marshals are used for “cavalier spending

- Glenn Greenwald: “Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans’ Support for Israel

Anytown USA

- Professor Gerald Horne explains to The Real News why Abraham Lincoln was not a “great emancipator” as the mainstream narrative assumes

- Dave Zirin: “A Police Story Unravels: How Did the NYPD Break an NBA Player’s Leg?

- Joe Arpaio, so-called America’s Sheriff, is now supported by PETA for only giving a full vegetarian diet to inmates; What a bunch of upper-class snobs

- Chicago’s city council paid five million dollars to the family of Laquan McDonald, a teen fatally shot 16 times by an officer

- Turns out it’s not hard to hack into some voting machines in the state of Virginia

We Don’t Need No Education

- In some districts of New York State, at least 50 percent of students are boycotting Common Core

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Wait, it turns out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie actually supports mandatory vaccination

- Scientists may have found the way Alzheimer’s disease forms in the brain, although they found it in rats

The Second Sex

- In New York City, groups are setting up “No Catcalling Zone” signs in the five boroughs

- Jessica Valenti: “Dealing with trolls will make young women sympathetic to Hillary Clinton“; I disagree here. It’s preposterous to assume working class women can identify with bourgeois women. For goodness sake, Clinton allies with the GOP and takes money from Wall Street

Planet Earth

- Egypt announced it would import $3.6 billion worth of liquefied natural gas from countries like Russia

- It will not bode well for humanity should the permafrost go as it would only speed up concentration of carbon in the atmosphere

- A large gas pipeline will be going through land near a power plant in New York State with a history of accidents. It’s a disaster in the making

- Indigenous Americans wrote to the Obama administration to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, which the government covered up

- Lobbyists for the hydrofracking firms are forcing the European Union to write pro-fracking rules

- Climate change is serious. Terrorism is not. Climate change is more important than terrorism so let’s get our priorities straight

- ExxonMobil felt $8.9 billion sought by the state of New Jersey in a case revolving around pollution was unreal

Mixed Bag

- Pew: There was a massive surge in the number of Africans using a cell phone

- A new report from the World Bank found millions more folks around the world use a bank account

- A new study found one in six NFL players go bankrupt after 12 years of retiring

Break Time

- Engel [Rammstein]

The Roundup for April 14th, 2015

By: Tuesday April 14, 2015 3:27 pm

May Percy Sledge rest in peace. International Politics Overall – Nick Turse: “Military Missions Reach Record Levels After US Inks Deal to Remain in Africa for Decades” – With Turkey obviously supporting the Islamic State, what is the U.S. to do? Well, uh, they’ll get back to you on that – After the United Nations [...]

Reviewing The Life of Eduardo Galeano Who Passed Away At 74

By: Tuesday April 14, 2015 7:05 am

Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan journalist and author, passed away on April 13 at the age of 74 due to lung cancer. He is most well-known for writing “Open Veins of Latin America,” a best-selling book detailing the history of the Europe’s exploitation of Latin America since the days of Columbus, along with other classics. Galeano [...]

The Roundup for April 13th, 2015

By: Monday April 13, 2015 4:04 pm

May Eduardo Galeano rest in peace. He’s an inspiration whose work Open Veins of Latin America really influenced me as a journalist, Marxist and person, especially on the topic of Latin America in general. Like D’Alessio says, there are things changing in Latin America. Dave Zirin writes a fitting tribute here. International Politics Overall – Saudi [...]

The Weekend Roundup for April 11-12th, 2015

By: Sunday April 12, 2015 1:05 pm

We return to another week of songs from around the globe with our first stop to Ghana. Enjoy! International Politics Overall – The United Nations will provide housing for the six refugees from Guantanamo Bay now living in Uruguay – Attorney Michael Ratner joins The Real News to talk about what’s happening with torture prosecution – U.N. [...]

The Roundup for April 10th, 2015

By: Friday April 10, 2015 10:35 am

In the comment section, I posted an article from The Wall Street Journal titled “The Case For Letting Greece Go.” No capitalist will hold me back with a paywall! International Politics Overall – A Russian official warned the Islamic State may be operating in Russia, specifically in the North Caucasus region where Muslims live Middle East [...]

The Roundup for April 9th, 2015

By: Thursday April 9, 2015 3:46 pm

Long day, but at least there’s no snow anymore! International Politics Overall – Sweden announced it would join the U.S.-led coalition to fight the Islamic State with 120 troops – Juan Cole: “Can the Arab World Live With the US-Iran Nuclear Deal?” – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, said he was indifferent to [...]

The Roundup for April 8th, 2015

By: Wednesday April 8, 2015 3:52 pm

Another wonderful day full of news! International Politics Overall – The U.S. government is supporting efforts for expanding the invasion of Yemen – A new French government report found half of Europeans heading to join the Islamic State are French – Thanks to technology and American firms, Saudi Arabia is doing well with lobbying – [...]

The Roundup for April 7th, 2015

By: Tuesday April 7, 2015 1:54 pm

How are you doing today? International Politics Overall – Pew: Citizens in both the U.S. and Japan say they trust each other and both do not trust China – In a joint press conference, the leaders of Iran and Turkey called for fighting to end in Yemen – The Red Cross warned a “catastrophic” situation [...]

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