Rest in Peace Pete Seeger

International Developments

Overall

- Max Baucus, Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to China, criticizes China by calling them a large power and regularly abusing human rights

- AP-GfK poll: While 60 percent of Americans approve of the P5+1-Iran deal, 47 percent say it will work

Middle East

- How did Scarlett Johansson get involved in SodaStream and what message does it convey by her standing besides it?

- A new report on Afghan troop literacy programs by the West has found poor accountability and oversight.

- President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestinian Authority states he would compromise with Israel on a limited Israeli presence in the area

- In Iraq, two attacks have left seven officers and soldiers dead

- Turkey’s Erdogan visits Iran to expand and strengthen ties on oil and gas

Asia and Oceania

- The Indian Supreme Court has refused to review its decision to criminalize same-sex relations despite pushback in the country

- Stand-off between China and Japan over disputed territories is giving the U.S. a headache as they can’t get both to listen 

- Despite numerous people protesting in the streets, the Thailand government has said they will move on with the Feb. 2 election

- Sri Lanka, meanwhile, is facing thousands in the streets for protesting corruption in the government

Africa

- Mohamed Morsi has been charged with jailbreak and conspiracy charges by the military junta in Egypt, but he remains determined

- The new government in Tunisia, after passing their new constitution, will be focusing on both jobs and restoring security to the country

Europe

- By letting the banks fail and taking an unorthodox approach, Iceland is on course to have only two percent unemployment.

- The Prime Minister of Ukraine has resigned as the country scraps its anti-protest law

- EU has demanded that Croatia commit to neo-liberalism and adopt austerity

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

- At CELAC in Cuba, President Raul Castro calls for the region to address problems through the two hemispheres without Canadian and U.S. interference

Surveillance Planet

- The U.S. Army will be testing out blimps (really?) on the East Coast to see if it’s perfect to surveil on the populace 

- The developers of “Angry Birds” have stated they will “re-evaluate” their relationship with ad networks after recent revelations of NSA spying

- Those who work for the security apparatus (NSA, CIA) are just the “secret police of capitalism

- Top EU justice chief criticizes European countries and say they are “hypocritical” on not defending their citizens’ privacy, even while attack the U.S/U.K.

Financial Matters

- When privatization occurs, the costs aren’t usually seen outright and are hidden for us to continue to be in that system 

- There’s panic in the air as financial problems are occurring throughout the world and that is making some worried

- Part five of five with Gar Alperovitz on what he would do and what’s next for a future better than the one we currently have 

- Vice President of Bitcoin Foundation has resigned over allegations that he money laundered with cash from Silk Road

- The company Ford is reporting that in 2013 they got $7.2 billion in their net income, one of their “best years

- Gallup: The data for U.S. economic confidence has declined to -17 after a recent dip in the stock market

Labor’s a-Brewing

- It seems that for his SOTU speech, Obama will announce a minimum wage increase for thousands of federal workers

Politics US

Washington USA

- Making money off the justice system. A difficult concept to grasp as justice is not for profit motive, but for ensuring righteousness. The tragic story is that elected officials care little or nothing about the private profit made off our system

- How the focus on “opportunity” rather than “inequality” in tonight’s SOTU speech by Obama is a shame

- The hypocrisy of Eric Holder for giving deals to major financial heads that do little to punish them, while being strict on Snowden

- While Republicans acknowledge they can’t stop minimum wage increase, they promise to find options to stop Obama going around Congress

- Congress seeking to return to cost-of-living-adjustment cuts for military retirees.

- New DHS chief Jeh Johnson states he would be O.K. with an earned path to citizenship idea

- For tonight’s SOTU speech, his approval rating stands at 43 percent. It’s near his lowest during his two-terms.

Anytown USA

- On Democracy Now!, Bill Moyers discusses how “dark money” is turning North Carolina more to the right

- Pew: While Republican voters disagree with citizenship on the immigration issue, they accept a path to be a documented citizen

- The U.S. Marines will retry a sergeant who has been tried twice in the military court for killing a retired Iraqi policeman

- A police officer in North Carolina is charged with manslaughter and faces 11 years in prison for killing a football player asking for help after a car crash

- Gallup: For holidays and weekends, Americans feel generally happy despite stress being steady 

- Gallup: Republican and Democratic voters both agree that economy is key issue, but disagree after that with the former preferring security and terrorism and the latter saying education and poverty.

Top Gun (Stories)

- In North Carolina, a gunman opened fire at a church playground injuring four youths and critically injuring a 12-year-old boy. Whereabouts of gunman is unknown

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

- With illnesses, men and women are different as the flu season strikes men more than it strikes women.

- A new report has found that the FDA has really “dropped the ball” on antibiotic resistance by letting harmful drugs go into feed anyway

- Legal experts have stated food companies statements that GMO is unconstitutional is wrong and that’s it all perfectly legal

The Second Sex

- At a panel in Missouri, a state where there’s an increase of abortion restrictions, women testify and turn the hearing into a protest of the policy

- New “emergency“ regulations in Louisiana have forced women to wait 30 days for an abortion if they request one

- Penn State is under federal investigation by the Department of Education over their sexual assault cases and how they are handling it

Planet Earth

- Even with China’s attempts to divert from coal into new alternative energy sources, they still are expanding fossil fuel output are a higher rate 

- With extraordinary heat in Australia and extraordinary cold in the U.S., it seems the planet is telling us something starting with a “C” is happening. Unsure on what it is.

- Shortage of propane has led to a “state of emergency” in at least 30 states.

- Obama will perhaps have a climate plan for his SOTU speech tonight, but it’s Year Six. Waiting six years is not a climate plan.

Mixed Bag

- Stephen Colbert brilliantly goes around the “Super Bowl” copyright problem by stating “Superb Owl” on TV.

- It’s the fifth anniversary of the passing of Howard Zinn. Here’s a few interviews he did with The Real News 

- Viewerships for local TV channels have been on the rise with the most watching the morning time slot

Break Time

- Where Have All the Flowers Gone?