This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Feb. 17, 2021

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • In term limit dispute, Haiti's leader clings to power
  • Indigenous Americans dying of Covid-19 at faster rate
  • Wind power boom sets off Ecuadorian balsa wood scramble

• The political crisis in Haiti escalated on Feb. 7, the 35th anniversary of the end of the Duvalier dictatorship, when President Jovenel Moise refused to step down in the face of mass protests. Moise, who insists he has another year in office, arrested 23 people for an alleged coup plot, including Haiti Supreme Court Justice Yvickel Dasbresil, who was later released.

(“As Haiti Braces for Unrest, Its Leader Clings to Power,” New York Times, Feb. 7, 2021; “Haiti Police Clash with Protesters as President Targets Judge,” Al Jazeera, Feb. 11, 2021)

• The global boom in wind power led loggers inside the indigenous Ecuadorian Amazon in search of balsa trees, a wood vital to making big wind turbines. At first, villagers welcomed the loggers, but it soon became a free-for-all as loggers drove into indigenous reserves and cut balsa trees without permits or paying local workers.

(A Worrying Windfall,” The Economist, Jan. 30, 2021)

• Native Americans are dying from Covid-19 at twice the rate of white Americans, reports the Guardian. Indigenous communities in Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona and North and South Dakota are among the hardest hit.

( “Indigenous Americans Dying from Covid at Twice the Rate as White Americans,” Guardian, Feb. 4, 2021)

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

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