• Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angola’s longest serving President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is facing a criminal corruption probe for her role in fleecing millions of dollars from the state oil company, Sonangol. Dos Santos fled Angola rather than face government investigators.
(“Isabel dos Santos: President’s Daughter Who Became Africa’s Richest Woman,“ The Guardian, Jan. 19, 2020; ” How Angola’s State Oil Company Was Left with Just $309 in Its Account,” The Guardian, Jan. 19, 2020)
• On the eve of the one year anniversary of a deadly dam collapse that killed 275 people, Brazilian prosecutors charged Vale, the world’s largest producer of iron ore and German auditing firm TÜV SÜD and 16 employees for intentional homicide and environmental crimes. Among the accused is Vale’s former CEO, Fabio Schvartsman.
(“Brazil Prosecutors Charge Ex-Vale CEO with Homicide for Dam Collapse,” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2020; “It was Going to Burst: Brazilian Dam Workers Say They Warned of Disaster,” The Guardian, Feb. 6, 2019)
• In one of the largest construction sites in the United States, workers are building a massive petrochemical plant 30 miles outside of Pittsburg. It will convert fracked natural gas into plastic pellets, used in a range of products from plastic bottles to car parts.
(“Fighting the Fossil Fuel Economy in Appalachia,” American Prospect, Jan. 17, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Elaine Osowski.