Last Roundup of the year and previews changes that will continue. Thanks for all of those who have supported me these past four months and given me the opportunity to learn a lot. Here’s to the following year!

International Developments

Overall

- The last three Chinese Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, who are innocent along with the other 19, are now all free

- A helicopter will be used to rescue trapped individuals in Antarctica, finally saving these souls

- Despite deaths from drone strikes decreasing this year (compared to last year), people still died. Innocent civilians might I add.

- Iran remarks the nuclear deal will be implemented in late Jan. for the country

- Mahmoud Abbas vows that he will get the U.N. to go after the settlement “cancer

- The Vatican will host a workshop on Jan. 13 on how to help Syria in terms of aid

Middle East

- Regarding the power of Zionism and of how Israel can do no wrong with Jews in the U.S.

- Chemical weapons deadline has been missed in Syria, due to numerous reasons. No solution has been presented as a result of the delay.

- “Rightwing Israeli government ministers have stepped up their opposition to a peace deal with the Palestinians before US secretary of state John Kerry’s visit to the region this week by backing a parliamentary bill to annex a strategically significant swath of the West Bank.”

- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Death toll in Syrian civil war surpasses 130,000

- The government in Iraq is collapsing as 44 MPs have withdrew from Parliament. The legacy of “Mission Accomplished” sure does fill the air. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister calls for them not to resign

- The Associated Press has its count of at least 2,162 U.S. soldiers as deceased in the Afghanistan war since 2001. The age-old question of “For What?” springs to mind.

Asia and Oceania

- More on the amazing strike in South Korea and how the image of neoliberalism and free markets in the country is recognized as a fraud

- Great news as factory owners of the Bangladesh garment building fire that killed 100 will face homicide charges. Let’s go after the major corporations next.

Africa

- Central African Republic refugees are blocking the runway of an international airport in an effort to protest the current government and requesting more aid

- The South Sudan government and rebels have remarked they will start talks on New Year’s Day

- “Suspected militants in Egypt’s Sinai on Tuesday blew up a gas pipeline that feeds an industrial area in the restive peninsula, security officials said.

- Son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader has been arrested by the Egyptian military junta as they confiscate assets of the organizations

- “Egypt’s top prosecutor on Tuesday ordered five people — including four journalists working for satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera English — held for 15 days on suspicion of joining a terrorist organization and spreading false news harmful to the state security.

Europe

- Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta states that his anti-gay sermon is supported by Pope Francis, whom finds gay adoption “shocking

- Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan states that the current graft scandal in Turkey is a “mini coup” attempt against Tayyip Erdogan

- Northern Ireland peace talks have broken down

- “Britain and the European Court of Human Rights

- Putin: I will hunt down all of those involved with these bombings over the past few days and will rebuild and help those affected

- “Latvia celebrated the new year as the 18th member of the eurozone, which for all its dents and bruises still represents stability and security to the Baltic country’s leaders.” Not very assuring considering Greece and France has fascists running around

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada 

- “Argentina ends 2013 with a heat wave that has sparked protests over electricity shortages, taking another chunk out of President Cristina Fernandez’s popularity as she faces a rocky final two years in power.Seven have died in that heatwave

- “Mexican sales tax hike seen as boon on US border

- “Uruguayan President Jose Mujica says Brazil will fund 80 percent of a new deep-water port that will get around Argentine efforts to control shipping in the South Atlantic.”

Surveillance Planet

- Glenn Greenwald goes on Democracy Now! to talk about the NSA and how they can “literally watch every keystroke you make.” Very difficult to grasp such a scary concept.

- “If we are so smart why are we so dumb?” More specifically, if we have an “intelligence” agency, why is it that we create situations like Benghazi? Shouldn’t our power ensure such things never happen?

- One notable thing about 2013 is that it will be known as the year of the “leaker

- Julian Assange states that hackers must unite against the NSA and its surveillance tentacles

- Trevor Timm: “President Obama claims the NSA has never abused its authority. That’s false

- Ray Kelly defends his stop-and-frisk policy as expected and critiques the FBI’s handling of the Boston Bombing case

- Apple states it didn’t work with NSA on any iPhone “backdoor” program

Financial Matters

- Gallup: Despite economic confidence rising in the U.S. economy, it’s still negative as a good portion of Americans still view the economy as “poor

- NAFTA turns 20: With its age, it’s cost jobs across North America for the interest of big business and increased income inequality. At the same time, we’ve seen a revolt in Mexico, for instance, with the Zapatista movement as a result of its effects

- With numerous corporations in the news paying millions of dollars in fines, you might as well wonder if they work (They don’t)

- A Chinese recycling “magnate” is seeking to bid on NYT’s shares. Should be interesting.

- “Bank Corruption Down Under

- “Walgreens has become the latest healthcare-related company to make concessions to its customers who have fallen victim to the bungled rollout of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Labor’s a-Brewing

- A former employee at Lululemon reflects on her work life at the store with an interesting introduction to the job and the knowledge of a murder of an employee by another co-worker at another store

- Working until you’re dead, rather than when you’re retired — the cruel part of U.S. life and the blame goes to our politicians interested in their own power

Politics USA

Washington USA

- Pew: 83 percent of Americans cite “protecting the U.S. from foreign terrorist attacks” as our most important long-term foreign policy goal. Other strongly supported responses include “protecting jobs in the U.S.,” “reducing dependence on imported energy” and “preventing the spread of WMDs.” Interestingly (or unfortunately), “dealing with climate change” only has 37 percent.

- This year we saw a Congress that barely did their job and actually led numerous acts like 1.3 million losing their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, people across the country held their power and got success along the way.

- “Just before Christmas, GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) wrapped up a largely secretive week-long congressional delegation or CODEL trip that included stops in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, and Israel.” That sounds just lovely, you know?

- Catholic organization ask the Supreme Court to halt sections in ACA to cover birth control and health insurance for students.

Everything Else USA 

- U.S. population rate at its slowest since the 1930s

- Pew: From Colorado’s new cannabis law to states increasing the minimum wage, here are a few new state laws starting tomorrow

- Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: “Major Social Transformation Is a Lot Closer Than You May Realize — How Do We Finish the Job?

- In Harvey, Illinois, police allegedly shot a man in the leg. When a witness was starting to tape this, police threatened the witness by saying they will “shoot the shit out of” her. They then shot the witness’ puppy. Yeah! Protect and serve…not the people!

- What can Occupy, South Africa and previous activism in de Blasio’s life teach him? Quite a lot on governing actually.

- A judge in Florida has struck down the utterly dumb law requesting welfare recipients take drug tests

We Don’t Need No Education

- Here’s some good news in the fight for public education with 10 stories

- Can New York City be a leader on free pre-school education?

Top Gun (Stories)

- “A federal judge upheld most of New York’s new gun control law on Tuesday, rejecting arguments that its bans on large-capacity magazines and the sale of some semi-automatic rifles violate Second Amendment rights.

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- Calls for a drug policy to help veterans with PTSD relate to the treatment of MDMA, the active ingredient of ecstasy, as numerous supporters from researchers to therapists advocate for its use.

- Alcohol is regulated with different standard pours. However, fast-food, a cause in obesity, is not standardized and it might be time to do just that.

The Second Sex

- Uganda, notorious for its anti-gay laws that throw human rights out the window, is also a country where women are discriminated against if they at all go against the traditional view of women

- Air Canada refuses to give voucher to a woman who didn’t change her last name when married

- Japan lags with the rest of the developed world with women as leaders

Planet Earth

- “It’s ruined me.” remarks one U.S. navy sailor, and 70 more, suing TEPCO for Fukushima radioactive fallout that was in their water while they were on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (I’m sure there’s some irony there) and have either “thyroid cancer, Leukemia, brain tumors” and more.

- In the Philippines, class warfare occurs despite natural disasters occurring and the enemies are not the rebels, but a government refusing to acknowledge or even help those most affected by disasters: the poor.

- Throughout the northeast part of the U.S. and Canada, the ice storm has brought the reality of climate change and the reaction by major officials on the matter is one of denial there is a significant climate crisis occurring.

- Scientists warn the planet will warm by four degrees Celsius by 2100.

- Residents told they can go to their homes in North Dakota after a train collision and explosion. Because everyone’s learned their lesson right?

Mixed Bag

- Pew: 44 percent of Americans have stated they are promising to make a New Year’s Resolution

- Here are seven things that didn’t occur this year (however it’s a sarcastic piece so they did occur). But there’s always the future, right? (Also Edward Snowden is presented as cat)

- Scientists: Have a drink this New Year’s, it’ll boost your immune system! (Plus, a good distraction from everything)

- Perhaps a lot of intelligence may not be good after all

- Deprivation of sleep can have a lot of impacts, such as depression, weight gain and numerous other problems that questions why it occurs

- “Michael Schumacher shows ‘slight improvement’ but remains critical

Break Time

- Stairway to Heaven