This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Dec. 9, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Trump’s sanctions in the Middle East have had little effect
  • Ghana climate activist's Goldman environmental prize
  • Healthcare workers organizing like their lives depend on it

• Since 2017, the Trump regime has imposed sanctions on more than 8,600 officials and other individuals around the world, a far greater number than imposed by the previous Obama and George W. Bush administrations. Many of those sanctioned are linked to Iran and Shia-dominant Arab nations including Syria and Iraq.

(“You’re Sanctioned!” Economist, Nov. 26, 2020;“Iran Passes Law Threatening to Halt Nuclear Inspections and Boost Enrichment,” Reuters, Dec. 3, 2020)

• In the face of chronic power blackouts and an energy shortage, Ghana climate activist Chibeze Ezekiel defeated a plan to build the West African nation’s first coal power plant and shipping port for coal imports, that had been underwritten by a $1.5 billion loan from the China Africa Development Fund. Ezekiel, a winner of the 2020 Goldman Prize for grassroots activism and head of Ghana’s chapter of the climate activist group, led a pr-emptive campaign to undermine support for the coal plant among village elders and community leaders.

(“A Crossroads on Energy Sustainability,” The Goldman Environmental Prize, Nov. 30 2020)

• For the two months before she died of the coronavirus, California registered nurse Sandra Oldfield worked with her fellow nurses to sound the alarm about the dangerous conditions at the Kaiser Per­ma­nente Fres­no Med­ical Cen­ter hospital where she worked for 20 years. Soon after a patient became acutely ill with a respiratory infection and tested positive for COVID-19, Oldfield joined co-work­ers who com­plained to man­age­ment, demand­ing access to N-95 respirator masks and personal protective equipment (PPE).

(“Healthcare Workers Are Organizing Like Their Lives Depend On It,” In These Times, Dec. 1, 2020; “This Strike Is a Fight for Our Lives,” In These Times, Dec. 2, 2020)

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

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