This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Feb. 1, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • South Korea could “acquire its own nukes”
  • Canada settles residential school lawsuit for $2.8 Billion
  • Extreme inequality and gentrification rising in Montana

• South Korea’ conservative President Yoon Suk-yeol shocked western observers when, during a speech on  Jan. 11, he speculated that a day may come when the threat from North Korea requires America to deploy nuclear weapons back to the peninsula. Failing that, the president said, South Korea could “acquire its own nukes.”

(“Why South Korea is Talking of Getting its Own Nukes,” Economist, Jan. 19, 2023; “Washington May Let South Korea Have the Bomb,” Foreign Policy, Jan. 17, 2023)

• On Jan. 21, Canada settled a $2.8 billion lawsuit with 325 First Nations and indigenous communities over abuses inflicted at Indian residential schools. The new settlement, which must still be approved by a court, resolves a class action suit first brought in 2012 by 325 First Nations that sought compensation for the erosion of their cultures and languages by government-supported residential schools.

(“Canada Settled $2 Billion Dollar Suit over ‘Cultural Genocide’ at Residential Schools,”  New York Times, Jan. 21, 2023; “Canada Settles Residential School Lawsuit for $2.8 Billion,” BBC, Jan. 22, 2023)

• Since the onset of the COVID pandemic three years ago, Montana has attracted more than 20,000 new full-time wealthy residents, many fleeing big cities, searching for a better quality of life. The boom in ski resorts and outdoor recreation areas in Montana has produced extreme inequality and gentrification in the state amid sky-rocketing housing prices. Many construction workers employed to build million-dollar homes nestled in the Rocky Mountains for wealthy out-of-staters are forced to live in homeless shelters in the nearby city of Bozeman.

(“No Home on the Range” In These Times, Jan/Feb 2023 issue (not posted))

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

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