This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Aug. 2, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Putin to miss BRICS summit to evade International Criminal Court warrant
  • EPA closes civil rights investigation into Cancer Alley
  • Right-wing activists challenge 100,000 Georgia voter registrations

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be skipping the BRICS summit meeting in South Africa in late August. The bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, brings together the world’s major developing nations. Putin’s announcement ends a months-long controversy regarding Putin’s visit, since charges were filed against Russia’s head of state by the International Criminal Court in March relating to the abduction and transportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

“Putin to Miss Upcoming BRICS Summit to Evade ICC Warrant,” Foreign Policy, July 19, 2023; “Inside the Desperate Attempt to Salvage Us-South African Ties,” Foreign Policy, July 17, 2023)

In late June, the US Environmental Protection Agency ended investigations into three of its highest-profile Title VI civil rights cases in “Cancer Alley,” an 85-mile corridor in Louisiana. It was a major disappointment for activists in the region’s predominantly black communities. The investigation into two state agencies was facing growing resistance from state officials, and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sued the EPA, asserting the agency had overstepped its authority.

“The EPA Was at the Cusp of Cleaning Up Cancer Alley, Then It Backed Down,” Grist, July 27, 2023; “EPA Closes Civil Rights Investigation Into Louisiana Pollution,” Washington Post, June 27, 2023

A handful of right-wing extremist activists in the state of Georgia challenged the voter registrations of nearly 100,000 people, under a new section of Georgia election law SB 202 passed by the state’s Republican legislature. While most of the challenges were rejected, the law allowed political activists to target low-income voters, predominantly in communities of color.

“Close to 100,000 Voter Registrations Were Challenged in Georgia, Almost All by Six Right-Wing Activists,” ProPublica, July 13, 2023

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

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