Hello folks, hope you are well this day.

International Developments

Overall

- Throughout the world, the craze of security has led to a militarization of U.S. foreign policy.

- Good news, first shipment of Syrian chemical weapons has left the country

Middle East

- With the situation in Fallujah, it seems the U.S. is lost upon why it occurs and puts Obama in a dilemma. Isolationism, however, may be helpful for foreign events.

- Iraq has moved up more of its tanks and guns for the Fallujah battle. At the same time, Kurds have realized the instability of Iraq and are moving to become more autonomous.

- The Iraq government will delay its attack on Fallujah for fear of civilian casualties as 29 die in Ramadi. Sunni tribesmen have pledged to oust al-Qaeda in Anbar

- A look within Afghanistan to the struggle families go through with underdeveloped and neglected houses.

- African refugees are on a three-day (and might I add as the article mentions “historic”) strike against extremely unfair discrimination against them in Israel

- Why do Eritrean and North Sudan refugees come to Israel anyway?

- Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) promises to crush rebels in Syria who ousted them

- President Hassan Rouhani defends the international agreement Iran participated in against his critics saying it provides modest sanction relief

Asia and Oceania

- The U.S. will send both 800 troops and 40 tanks to South Korea in an effort to refocus attention in East Asia.

- China will allow private banks and allow for video game consoles, both for “reforming” the country

Africa

- Peace talks for South Sudan government officials and rebels have begun in Ethiopia

- Aid workers have gotten food to 100,000+ refugees at an airport in Central African Republic

- “The week-long strike by power engineers in the south of the country ended yesterday after a visit by [General Electricity Company of Libya] top brass, who met and talked to the strikers.

- Tunisian farmers have protested the government’s tax increases on agricultural licenses and products

Europe

- Pope Francis talks about the working class and its struggles frequently, meriting analysis on the significance of his words in a world in crisis.

- “Hundreds of Turkish police officers have been dismissed from their posts overnight and some moved to traffic duties, local media reported, further undermining a corruption investigation which the prime minister says is a covert attempt by a rival to usurp state power.

- Four people have died in a U.S. “low-level” helicopter training exercise that became a crash in Norfolk, England

- Russia has increased security in Sochi to high alert and increased restrictions to the Black Sea as the Olympic games are just one month away

- This makes me quite irate. “Greek authorities imposed an 18-hour ban on protests across the center of Athens during events planned Wednesday to mark the inauguration of the nation’s six-month presidency of the European Union.

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- The Dominican Republic has made it law that citizens with Haitian heritage are not citizens of DR, but why did it occur? This article presents the historical background of DR with Haiti and the effects of the decision. Both countries met to discuss this further and have a solution.

- Looks like a deal will soon be reached between Panama and a Spanish company on expanding the Panama Canal

- To save energy, Nicaraguan government will cut hours for public officials

- Honduran farmers have been harassed and threatened by U.S. backed security forces over palm oil company disputes 

Surveillance Planet

- Obama is inviting both intelligence officials and lawmakers to the White House to discuss changes he will make to the NSA

- In this “revolution,” King George is now the NSA. Where does that leave us?

- Bonnie Raines: “Democracy needs whistleblowers. That’s why I broke into the FBI in 1971

- Emptywheel: “Sucky Assessments of the Phone Dragnet Reveal How Much They’re Keeping “Secret”

Financial Matters

- According to Gallup measures, economic confidence in the U.S. has increased last month to -19 on the index

- Here is a map detailing which jobs are leading (and failing) in job creations. Number one is, no surprise, North Dakota due to their oil boom.

- Pew: Here are five facts upon income inequality in the U.S. you may or may not have known.

- From BRIC to MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), the latter of which may experience growing growth rates with a growing population of workers compared to those who will not.

- Viewing the historical background of Google as a tax dodger.

- The War on Poverty turns 50. That’s very difficult to write considering it implies poverty is winning.

- The IMF is reporting it will raise its global growth rate 

- The U.S. trade deficit has shrank more than was expected in November

Labor’s a-Brewing

- Pew: More older Americans will participate in the labor market according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report by 2022. The youth, interestingly, will see a drop in participation.

- A recent Federal Reserve of New York study has found college graduates are having a difficult time finding “good jobs,” though students majoring in majors growing in the economy are fairing better than those who aren’t.

- Boeing takes its employees hostage with putting their retirement at risk in order for them to approve a contract. Classic.

- In the Senate, a bill died giving protection to workers overseas after the Bangladesh disaster. The major outlets and companies behind such destruction were the ones to kill the bill.

- The public sector unions will win once they begin to talk about taxing the rich in society.

Politics USA

Washington USA

- The Senate has voted to revive unemployment benefits in a 60-37 vote. It now beings in the House with extreme resistance.

- Pew: 51 percent of Americans are looking forward to the midterm elections this year. How many are actually actively looking forward?

- In his new memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates states Obama doubted the Afghanistan surge would work and doubt Joe Biden is adequate to handle foreign policy.

- The White House had pushed back on the latter saying Joe Biden has experience and confidence when it came to foreign policy.

- The sequester cuts Congress said a-O.K. to have left low-income homes without heating during the “Polar Vortex”

- A leaked memo by the U.S. Navy shows the government wants to distract and ensure reporters don’t get the information they want.

- A journalist goes deep into the secrets of the secret military of the U.S. military to uncover what they do.

- The IRS uses its tax code power for political purposes and there’s evidence showing how much they’ll do.

- Jon Stewart jokes on the clash between nuns and the Obama administration over birth control

- Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief, opposes sending more troops into Iraq, despite recent increased activity of al-Qaeda

- Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg gives $2.5 million to Democrats, while Republicans start flooding numerous states with ads ahead of the midterm elections

- Senators have stated they are okay with taking more Syrian refugees into the U.S.

Anytown USA

- In Virginia, there was an idea for a public bank for the entire state, but Bank of America and Wells Fargo came in, knowing they would be threatened, and established who the ruler really is.

- Get ready for this. A new report has found that half of black males under 23 in the U.S. have been arrested. Just wow.

- With the recent victory of Kshama Sawant in Seattle, Washington, it is imperative socialists need to achieve victory in elections.

- Noam Chomsky speaks about the common goal, what it is and how it can propel us forward.

- With Bill de Blasio, there has been a lot of progressive talk, but is he a real, serious leftist?

- In Minnesota, the Farmer-Labor Party has a history of fighting against both the Democrats and the Republicans and it’s needed considering the tight hold they have across the U.S.

- “Dozens of US former emergency service workers have been arrested in a sweeping fraud investigation involving federal disability benefits, New York authorities say.”

- The family of an unarmed man killed in Baltimore by police have spoken up on the dropped charges against the officers in question

- Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit has stated he needs six months in order to prove himself.

- “Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr refused Tuesday to resign over ethics violations tied to his campaign and office spending despite repeated calls from the state’s top officials to quit, prompting a key member of his own party to declare Darr’s impeachment by the state House “inevitable.”

- Good news. Animal cruelty may be made into a felony in South Dakota

- Obama is backing New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu’s campaign for re-election. Unsure on the latter’s history.

Top Gun (Stories)

- A federal judge has ruled banning gun sales, a law of Chicago, is unconstitutional

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- McDonald’s announces it will change to “sustainable beef,” which implies they been endangering customers with unsustainable beef from unsustainable cows grown on an unsustainable farm. I know their games.

- The homeless are in extreme danger due to the “Polar Vortex” and its low temperature

- Meditation can help with anxiety, depression and even pain according to a new study

- Medicare now wants the power to bar doctors who prescribe harmful drugs, making oversight tougher

- A new study has found anti-smoking efforts have saved millions of lives 

- Racism kills as a new study has found black men who experience racism age quicker 

- A new poll has found 86 percent of Americans support the government to fight poverty

The Second Sex

- A Maryville teen rape victim attempted suicide, but thankfully she is alright. She attempted suicide due to cyber-bulling she had experienced.

- One judge in Texas hearing a case on abortion restrictions remarks women should find it easy to drive to far away abortion clinics if they go extremely fast on highways.

- Ma’lik Richmond’s apology is another instance of the person not learning the lesson and acting like they are the victim.

- Republicans still have a major problem they haven’t addressed: more women

Planet Earth

- Curious on this “Polar Vortex” winter storm situation? Here is an article giving background over the origin and its severe effects.

- Eight have died as a result of this extreme weather as temperatures are being broken. It’s insane.

- Despite what the jesters of the court are saying, this cold weather pattern can be related back to climate change.

- If we look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lessons of how another world can be possible to live in, he provides lessons for environmentalists in the climate change movement

- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper states he is “confident” the Keystone XL pipeline will go ahead. Game over for sure.

- Juan Cole: “Spain, Portugal show that 50%, even 70% Power from Renewables is Possible Right now

- American oil companies want to lift export crude oil ban that has been in place for 40 years

Mixed Bag

- Former Miss Venezuela and her ex-husband were killed by robbers on the side of the road after their car broke down

- What should the U.S. do about illegal immigration?

- Hilarious. Even so-called officials fall for the smallest of tricks. “Sweden’s justice minister is facing ridicule for posting a spoof article about marijuana-linked deaths on her Facebook page along with comments about her zero-tolerance against drugs.

Break Time

- The World At Large