• In recent months, Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union party has adopted a hardline, anti-immigrant platform under its new right-wing leader Friedrich Merz, who took over after the formerly centrist party lost the last election to the Social Democrats. The CDU surprised many political observers by taking first place in Berlin’s city-state election, long dominated by a coalition of the Social Democrats and the Green Party.
(“Germany’s Conservatives are Ready for a Culture War,” Foreign Policy, March 17, 2023 )
• Insurgent candidate Shawn Fain narrowly won the 400,000-member United Auto Workers’ election for president, the first direct-election of a UAW president in the union’s 88-year history. Fain beat incumbent Ray Curry by 500 votes, the first time a reformer has emerged victorious over the UAW’s dominant “administrative caucus” which has run the union since the 1940s.
(“President is Ousted in United Auto Worker Election,” New York Times, March 25, 2023; “United Auto Workers Union Elected Reform Candidate as Next President,” Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2023)
• The New York Police Department has settled a civil liberties case for violating the rights of protesters during major demonstrations against the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. During a street protest in June 2020, NYPD officers illegally “kettled” and then violently arrested 300 protesters in the Bronx. In an out-of-court settlement, the NYPD agreed to pay each protester $21,500, for a total payout costing taxpayers up to $6 million dollars.
(“As New York Pays Out Millions in Police Misconduct Settlements, Lawmakers Ask Why They Keep Happening,” ProPublica, March 21, 2023)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.