• German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Kerrenbauer (AKK), abruptly quit as head of the center-right Christian Democratic Union party, just days after a national uproar over CDU delegates in eastern Germany defied a party ban on cooperating with far-right Alternative für Deutschland party. The local coalition with the AfD broke a longstanding CDU policy to marginalize the far right party.
(“Demise of AKK throws Merkel’s placid path to retirement off course,” Guardian, Feb. 10, 2020; “Germany: how the far right caused political earthquake,” BBC, Feb. 6, 2020; “Why Angela Merkel’s succession plan failed,” Foreign Policy, Feb. 19, 2020)
• Construction crews building President Trump’s controversial wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, blew up lands sacred to Native Americans in an area called Monument Hill in the Organ Pipe Caucus National Monument in Arizona. Organ Pipe was designated a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve site in 1976.
(”Trump is blowing up a national monument in Ariz., to make way for the border wall,” Intercept, Feb. 6, 2020)
• Before Bernie Sanders declared victory in the New Hampshire primary, Nevada’s powerful Culinary Union Local 226 with 60,000 members who work in hotels around Las Vegas issued a flyer blasting Sanders and Medicare for All. The union local, which chose not to endorse a candidate before the state’s Feb. 22 caucus, issued a leaflet comparing the Democratic candidates on jobs and health care. It claimed Sanders’ single-payer plan would end “Culinary union health care.” The flyer also criticized Elizabeth Warren who supports Medicare for All after a three-year transition period. The Union maintains that its members have fought hard for more than six years to win and protect their health care benefits.
(“Nevada Culinary Union lays into Sanders supporters after healthcare backlash,” Politico, Feb. 12, 2020, “The Culinary union goes after Sanders in Nevada,” The American Prospect, Feb. 12, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Elaine Osowski.