This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Jan. 31, 2024

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Brutal Sudan paramilitary leader visits Rwanda holocaust memorial
  • US corporate profit a main driver of consumer inflation
  • Thermal energy networks could create union jobs

In a sign of supreme irony, Sudan rebel leader Muhammed Hamdan Degalo ,better known as Hemedti, visited the genocide memorial in Rwanda. Hemedti, who leads the Rapid Support Forces, or RSF militia group in Sudan, is accused of mass atrocities in Darfur and currently controls the capital city of Khartoum and the second largest city Wad Madani. His troops have killed thousands of civilians, seized property, plundered aid, robbed banks and used rape as a weapon of war.

(“Sudan’s Hemedti Embraced Abroad as He Terrifies Civilians at Home,” Al-Jazeera, Jan. 24, 2024; “The Worst Warlord is Winning,” Economist, Jan. 17, 2024)

The Guardian reports that new research finds there’s “resounding evidence” showing that high corporate profits in the U.S. are a main driver of ongoing inflation in consumer prices, and companies continue to keep prices high even as their inflationary costs drop.

(“Half of Recent Inflation Due to High Corporate Profits,” Guardian, Jan. 19, 2024)

Thermal energy networks, also known as networked geothermal, provide a way to scale up the energy transition away from fossil fuels. The networks are a series of water pipes that rely initially on heat collected from narrow shafts known as boreholes dug hundreds of feet into the ground, where the ambient temperature remains a relatively stable 55 degrees. Their innovation, however, lies in the way they link together the heating and cooling systems of nearby buildings — forgoing the need to dig a borehole for every building and, crucially, providing the opportunity to transition multiple buildings to green energy.

(“This Emerging Green Technology Could Decarbonize Buildings and Provide Good Union Jobs,” In These Times, Jan. 9, 2024)

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

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