This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – July 21, 2021

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • East Germany a bastion of far-right, anti-immigrant politics
  • Joe Biden launches an anti-trust revolution
  • Amazon centillionaire Jeff Bezos' ex-wife a big buzz in philanthropy

• More than 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, eastern Germany has become a bastion of far right, anti-immigrant politics. The far-right Alternative for Germany party, or (AfD), has a strong base in five eastern states where it challenges the mainstream conservative Christian Democratic Union coalition of outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

(“East Germany Is Still a Country of Its Own,” Foreign Policy, July 7, 2021)

• In early July, President Joe Biden launched an aggressive anti-trust campaign focusing on highly concentrated industries like high tech’s impacts on workers and consumers. Biden signed a sweeping executive order with 72 provisions stretching across the American economy, affecting a large number of industries from health care to agriculture.

(“Biden’s Anti-Trust Revolution,” New Yorker, July 12, 2021; “A Lack of Competition and a Plan to Fix It,” New York Times, July 9, 2021)

• Billionaire MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has quickly become the buzz of big philanthropy. Over the last 11 months, she’s given over $8 billion in “no strings attached” gifts to non-profit groups across the country. Scott announced a new round of $2.74 billion in gifts in June to “historically underfunded groups.”

(“Meet MacKenzie Scott, Our New Good Billionaire,” The Nation, July 9, 2021; MacKenzie Scott Gives Away Another $2.74 Billion Even As Her Wealth Grows,” New York Times, June 15, 2021)

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