• As Syria’s nine year civil war drags on, Syrian government troops entered the strategic town of Saraqeb, the country’s last rebel stronghold on Feb. 6 after fierce clashes with opposition fighters, as Turkey deployed reinforcements seeking to halt the offensive. Saraqeb on the Turkish border, is located at the intersection of two major highways, one linking the capital Damascus to the north and another connecting the country’s west and east.
(“Syrian Army Enters Key Towns As Turkey Beefs Up Its Troops,” Associated Press, Feb. 6, 2020; “Turkey Launches Deadly Airstrikes Against Syrian Forces,” New York Times, Feb. 3, 2020; “500,000 Flee Syrian Regimes Deadly Offensive in Idlib,”The Guardian, Feb. 5, 2020)
• Human Rights Watch reports that more than 200 immigrants and asylum seekers who the Trump regime deported back to El Salvador, were killed or tortured. The rights monitor tracked 138 Salvadorans who were killed by gang members, police, soldiers, death squads or ex-partners between 2013 to 2019. Most were killed within two years of being deported, by the same perpetrators who they had tried to escape from by seeking refuge in the United States.
(“Hundreds of Salvadorans Deported by US Were Killed or Abused, Report Reveals,” The Guardian, Feb. 5, 2020; “Deported to Danger,” Human Rights Watch, Feb 5, 2020)
• Far away from expensive high-tech boomtowns in California, New York or Boston, Minneapolis is now the scene of what may be the nation’s most ambitious urban experiment in working to address the crisis in a nationwide shortage of affordable housing. The city has launched an initiative that ends “single-family zoning,” which has long reserved large sections of the city – like others around the United States – for detached one-family homes. To promote affordable housing, the city is now encouraging encouraging the conversion of single-family homes to multi-family dwellings.
(“Beyond the Picket Fence: How One City Creates Affordable Housing,” Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 3, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Leslie Rudden.