• After a decade of civil war, a path towards peace and power sharing has emerged in oil-rich Libya. A new interim executive team was approved in United Nations talks in Geneva. The new interim government pledged to unify unify rival governments in Tripoli and Benghazi and hold democratic elections by the end of the year.
(“Libya Update #4,” International Crisis Group, Feb. 15, 2021; “After a Decade of Chaos, Can a Splintered Libya Be Made Whole?” New York Times, Feb. 17, 2021)
• China has recently unveiled plans to build the world largest dam on a sacred river in Tibet. The project is seen as an effort to produce more hydropower in order to transition to a zero carbon economy by 2060. The huge dam would provide three times the hydropower of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, which forced the relocation of 1.4 million people.
(“China To Build the World’s Biggest Dam on Sacred Tibetan River,” Al Jazeera, Feb. 8, 2021; Al Jazeera, “China to Build the World’s Biggest Dam on Sacred Tibetan River,” Feb. 8, 2021)
• On Feb. 1, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize personal use of hard drugs such as heroin, LSD, methamphetamine and oxycodone. Substance abuse treatment will be funded by the state’s tax on legal marijuana. The drug reform measure was approved last fall by Oregon voters by a 58 percent margin, a measure opposed by state prosecutors.
( “Oregon Decriminalises Drugs for Personal Use,” Economist, Feb. 13, 2021; “Oregon First State To Decriminalize Possession of Hard Drugs,” Associated Press, Feb. 1, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.