• In a split screen spectacle on Israeli television, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat in court surrounded by his lawyers as testimony began in his corruption and fraud trial. Supporters and opponents could be heard yelling outside the court in this first criminal trial of a sitting Israeli prime minister.
(“Netanyahu’s Favors Were Currency, Prosecutors Say As Corruption Trial Starts,” Reuters, April 5, 2021; “On 2nd Day of Testimony, Yeshua Describes Efforts To Hide PM Alleged Quid Pro Quo,” Times of Israel, April 6, 2021)
• The COVID-19 pandemic that spread across the world last March is responsible for more than 560,000 deaths in the U.S. and some 2.9 million fatalities worldwide. Yet, this nightmarish year was a boom time for tech moguls and billionaires across the globe. An annual Forbes listing counted 30 percent more billionaires with 86 percent of them boosting their net worth in the midst of lock downs and massive unemployment.
(“The Number of Billionaires Grew by 30 Percent During Pandemic,” Vox, April 6, 2021; “Why Can’t We Stop Talking About Billionaires?” Recode, March 30, 2021)
• With nearly 100,000 members, the Democratic Socialists of America has crafted a compelling agenda which grew out of the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. The DSA, which was formed in a merger between two groups during the 1980s, has four members currently serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Alexandra Ocasio Cortez and Cori Bush, plus scores of local and state-elected officials. With its pragmatic approach to electoral politics within the Democratic Party, DSA is the most dynamic socialist organization in the U.S. in decades.
(“Dangers in Factionalism in the DSA,” In These Times, March 30, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.