The Weekend Roundup for February 15-16th, 2014

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Good day folks. Hope you’re doing well.

International Politics

Overall

– Talks at Geneva II are breaking down with no progress being made as Syria is accusing the U.S. of creating a “negative climate” at the talks

– During his Asia tour, Secretary of State John Kerry has refused to answer any questions over the latest reports of NSA spying on lawyers working with Indonesian government

– Meanwhile, he has called Assad supporters to force the regime to change or be liable for any damage Assad’s government causes

– President Obama has criticized the anti-gay law in Uganda by calling it a huge-step backwards

– Mitt Romney now is criticizing Russia for spending so much for its Olympic games 

Middle East

– Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tells young Israeli activists visiting that he has no plans of sending Palestinian refugees to Israel

Asia and Oceania

More than 400 Nepal workers have died to prepare for the Qatar World Cup according to a report yet to be released

Africa

– Egypt has undergone a population explosion as tensions continue to rise and the economy is sluggish 

– Meanwhile, an Egyptian driver and three South Korean tourists died in a bus blast earlier today. Major figures in Egypt have denounced the attack.

– Suspected militants in Nigeria have killed dozens in a village after raiding it. 90 is the figure being reported on

– Lawyers for Mohamed Morsi have withdrew from his trial in protest of not hearing their client in the trial

– 11 miners in South Africa who were trapped in an illegal gold mine operation have been rescued

Europe

– Protesters in Kiev have left city hall in return for the release of prisoners arrested by the state

– European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso: If Scotland becomes independent, then I don’t think they could join the EU

– Turkish Parliament passed a bill that allows the government to have a stronger hold over the judiciary branch. The vote left one lawmaker with a broken nose after a fight erupted. 

Latin America, Caribbean and Canada

– Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro holds a rally of his own to bring peace to the country in response to the opposition protests 

Surveillance Planet

Snowden document: Lawyers hired by the Indonesia government were spied upon by the NSA. Does that mean lawyers in general can be spied on? Emptywheel has more on this.

– Rania Khalek writes on how the LAPD went to Israel to discover the wonders of drone and surveillance technology to use back home

Financial Matters

– Part three of three with John Weeks on how neo-liberalism has created a culture contrary to principles of democracy for the rest of the working class

– Kickstarter was hacked with customer data being stolen; It seems Target was warned two months before the security breach that it could be hacked and they “brushed off” the information

Labor’s a-Brewing

– Richard Eskow of Campaign for America’s Future lists 10 reasons to why the $10.10 minimum wage idea is not enough for workers

– A victory occurred in Oregon when workers decided not to merge into a top-down union structure 

– In Tennessee, workers at the Volkswagon plant have decided not to join the United Auto Workers union in a close vote

Politics US

Washington USA

– 18 members of Congress have created and signed a letter to President Obama asking him to reschedule cannabis

– How can one debate killing a U.S. citizen in a calm manner when they are deciding to kill a U.S. citizen?

– The number of U.S. soldiers who have committed crimes or faced misconduct and been forced out of the Army due to those reasons has soared in recent years 

Anytown USA

– Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin talks to The Real News on why she became an activist and her upbringing in the first part of this four-part interview

– If a conversation about race would happen in this country, then, as this article highlights, the issue of black radicals in our history must be brought up

– Here is a tragic piece on how those in the LGBTQ community are left out of the discussion on undocumented immigrants

– Local TV news, a place where Americans typically get their information on the world from, is a pathetic place of where the capitalist ensures his or her voice is heard often times verbatim as this piece and video shows.

– A mistrial on first-degree murder charge for Michael Dunn occurred in his trial for murdering Jordan Davis. Yet, he was guilty on second-degree murder. Let’s hope it comes out guilty. The family of Davis, however, view this as a serious setback and a mistake when children are viewed as “collateral damage”

– With the arrival of the upper-class in San Francisco, it might be time to say the city will be losing its liberal status 

– From Harper’s Magazine, it’s the Feb. 2014 Harper’s Index 

We Don’t Need No Education

– In the U.S., one-third of high school students are drug tested. Here’s the question: Why?

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– Now, loneliness is considered more dangerous to the health of the elderly in the U.S. than obesity is since those lonely are more likely to die than those who are overweight

– In this excerpt of Jonathan Rottenberg’s book on depression, he exposes on how self-books are just another fraud in the system designed to crush our souls

The Second Sex

– President Obama talks a lot of game (he might even be all game, but I digress), but when discussing the issue of equal pay for women there must be serious and aggressive action taken

Planet Earth

– Scientists have found that, even without global warming, atmospheric temperatures will rise due to the expansion of cities 

– There is probably a radiation leak at a military nuclear site in New Mexico when uncommonly high levels of radioactive particles were discovered

Mixed Bag

– Which animal was the first to have two nostrils? A jawless fish.

– “NFL Camera Operators Prepare For Challenging Year Of Avoiding Offensive Michael Sam Signs

Break Time

Purple Haze

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