This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Aug. 12, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Dictator who brutalized Darfur is in jail, but killing goes on
  • China wields its security law to crush Hong Kong dissent
  • Unemployment aid expiring, urban activists mobilize for renters

• In Darfur in western Sudan, dozens of Arab militiamen arrived on camels in mid-July and attacked a remote African village. Nine people were killed during that attack with another 20 wounded in the remote hamlet of Feta Bournu. Several weeks later another attack was staged by hundreds of Janjaweed militiamen, which led to 60 villagers being killed.  United Nations peacekeepers were unable to stop the attacks.  Prior to the attack on Feta Bournu, villagers led a protest, demanding the resignation of the local governor. Suddenly, security was withdrawn from the village — and the Janjaweed attacked the next day.

(“Dictator Who Waged War on Darfur Is Gone, but the Killing Goes On,” New York Times, July 31, 2020)

• After the imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong, Beijing has waged a fierce attack on pro- democracy activists including the cancellation of planned legislative elections, citing the territory’s spike in coronavirus cases. Chinese security forces in Hong Kong are seeking the arrest of six exiled Hong Kong activists including Simon Cheung, a former employee of the UK’s Hong Kong consulate, who claims he was beaten while in Chinese custody.

(“With Security Law as Cudgel, Beijing Cracks Down on Honk Kong,” New York Times, July 31, 2020; “Many Hong Kongers Are Considering Emigration,” Economist, Aug. 1, 2020)

• With the expiration of the $600 dollar supplemental federal unemployment benefits and the end of Covid19 eviction protections millions of tenants are facing the loss of their homes in the weeks ahead. While Congress is deadlocked over extending vital pandemic assistance, housing activists are reviving depression-era tactics to protect poor and working-class tenants from abusive landlords.

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.

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