• Two years after George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the nation’s president at the time President Hamid Karzai cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the rebuilt Kabul to Kandahar Highway. Opening the road project was a critical priority of President Bush, who insisted the 300-mile highway be opened before winter set in. However, over time the U.S. funded highway has been crushed by heavy traffic it was never designed to carry, cracked by explosions from roadside bombs, with many of its bridges and culverts blown up by the Taliban.
(“Kansas in Middle East? How US Has – and Hasn’t – Changed Afghanistan,” Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 3, 2019)
• In the early days of 2019, a hundred people waited for work visas outside the US Embassy in Guatemala City, only to discover they were victims of a scam. The Guatemalan nationals had spent a year meeting with job recruiters with the promise of farm jobs in the United States. The workers invested thousands of dollars and traveled to the capital city to pursue their dreams for better paying jobs. In the end the workers lost their savings.
(“The Cost of a Guest Worker Visa? For Some Scam Victims, Years of Debt.” Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 11, 2019)
• Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has surged to the top of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. But Buttigieg, who currently serves as mayor of South Bend, Indiana has very little support among African-American voters, which will likely hurt the 37-year-old gay candidate in South Carolina and other primary states. This past June, in the middle of his campaign, Buttigieg returned home after a police officer gunned down a black man in South Bend. Anger at the police shooting and Mayor Pete’s response in the city’s black community has dogged his campaign ever since.
(“Pete Buttigieg Touted Three Major Supporters for His Douglas Plan for Black America,” Intercept, Nov. 15, 2019; “Surging in Iowa, Buttigieg Struggles to Connect With Black Voters,” New York Times, Nov. 21, 2019)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.