Thursday, February 21, 2019
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This Week’s Under-reported News Summary Jan. 16, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Congo election: Tshisekedi’s surprise victory rejected as ’electoral coup’
  • VA’s private care program gave companies billions and vets longer waits
  • Push for money bail phaseout may mean jail by an algorithm

• The long-delayed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo fell into confusion as the national elections commission named Felix Tshisekedi the winner, who was trailing by double digits in pre-election polls.  The candidate who took second place, former oil executive Martin Fayulu, challenged the credibility of the election results in court.

(“Congo Election: Tshisekedi’s Surprise Victory Rejected As ‘Electoral Coup’,” Guardian, Jan. 10, 2019; “How Does Tshisekedi’s Poll Victory Add Up,” The BBC, Jan. 11, 2019)

• An investigation by ProPublica over the last four years, found that U.S. veterans seeking health care from private physicians have endured longer wait times and higher costs than standard Veterans Administration care.

(“The VA’s Private Care Program Gave Companies Billions and Vets Longer Waits, ProPublica, Dec. 18, 2018)

• Two years ago, New Jersey approved the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which used a risk assessment algorithm to determine if a defendant should be jailed without bail pending trial.  According to In These Times magazine, the goal of the legislation is to phase out money bail which has resulted in tens of thousands of low-income defendants sitting in jail for extended perios of time.

(“Jailed by an Algorithm,” In These Times, Dec. 18, 2018)

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