This Week’s Under-reported News Summary April 17, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Former Gaddafi militia commander blindsides world powers with advance on Tripoli
  • Climate change is fueling the U.S. border crisis
  • New era of cancer lawsuits threaten Monsanto

• A surprise assault on Tripoli, Libya by a militia commanded by a former loyalist to Moammar Gaddafi scuttled a United Nations peace initiative in the war-weary North African nation. At the time of the attack, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was in in Libya mediating talks, with the hope that it would lead to a peace summit meeting.

(“How Libya’s Haftar Blindsided World Powers With Advance on Tripoli,” Reuters, April 10, 2019; “Haftar’s Advance Leaves Un Hopes for Libyan Settlement in Tatters,” Guardian, April 6, 2019; “What Does the Battle for Tripoli Mean for Libya and the Region?” Guardian, April 8, 2019)

Villages and towns in the highlands of Guatemala have emptied out as farmers hurt by climate change and dire poverty have migrated to the United States. These villages, largely populated by indigenous people, depended on only a few basic crops, including maize, to feed their families. But, according to the New Yorker magazine, with rising temperatures and extreme weather linked to climate change, Guatemalans from the Highlands are fleeing in increasing numbers.

(“How Climate Change Is Fueling the US Border Crisis,” New Yorker, April 3, 2019)

Monsanto, maker of the herbicide Roundup, is being held accountable for its corporate misconduct as two juries in California ruled the active chemical in Roundup causes cancer. A federal jury in California unanimously decided that the weedkiller Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing the lymphoma of 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who had used Roundup on his property for many years, and awarded him $80 million in damages. Earlier, in August 2018 another jury concluded that groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson developed cancer due to his exposure to Roundup, and ordered Monsanto to pay Johnson nearly $300 million in damages.

(“The Family That Took On Monsanto,” Guardian, April 10, 2019; “The World Is Against Them: New Era of Cancer Lawsuits Threaten Monsanto,” Guardian, Oct. 8, 2018

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Elaine Osowski.

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