This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Aug. 23, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Climate crisis hitting minority communities harder
  • Some cities pushing to overcome rent control obstacles
  • Brazil’s former president accused of trying to sell official gifts

As the United States enters the Atlantic Hurricane season, a recent scientific study found that people of color are the main victims of storms like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Matthew in Florida. The study which examined death records in the U.S. found 20,000 excess deaths from 179 named storms from 1988 to 2019. The loss of life among communities of color in the American South has increased as the climate crisis has intensified.

(“Tropical Storms Killing Americans as Climate Crisis Deepens,” Guardian, Aug. 16, 2023)

After a surge in rental prices triggered by the Covid pandemic, an increasing number of cities and counties across the U.S. are looking to adopt rent stabilization laws to protect tenants from massive rent increases. However, many of these cities face obstacles due to widespread state laws banning localities from imposing rent control regulations. The Stateline News Service reports that 200 local governments currently have rent control or rent stabilization policies in place.

(“Some Cities are Pushing for Rent Control. They’re Meeting Resistance,”, Aug. 3, 2023)

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is under investigation for his attempt to profit from the sale of expensive watches and jewelry which were gifts given to him by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. As part of the probe Brazilian police recently sought access to Bolsonaro’s bank accounts citing suspicions that members of his inner circle had been selling off official gifts, after spiriting some of them out of Brazil on the presidential jet.

(“Brazil Inquiry into Alleged Bolsonaro Pilfering of Official Gifts Widens,” Guardian, Aug. 16, 2023; “Brazil’s Bolsonaro Accused by Ex-Aide’s Lawyer of Ordering Sale of Jewelry Given as an Official Gift,” Associated Press, Aug. 18 2023)

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

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