With the global coronavirus pandemic dramatically reducing demand for energy, plunging the price of fossil fuels, oil states in the Middle East are struggling. According to the Economist, no Arab state, other than Qatar, is making a profit pumping out oil at the current price of $41 dollars a barrel.
(“Twilight of the Petrostates,” Economist, July 16, 2020)
New Delhi activist Natasha Narwal, who led protests against India’s divisive Citizenship Amendment Act, won release from jail in May. But the activist, who proclaimed her innocence, quickly faced new criminal charges that included murder, terrorism and fomenting religious violence, and was returned to her cell.
(“India Rounds Up Critics Under Shadow of Virus Crisis, Activists Say,” New York Times, July 20, 2020)
Senate Democrats are asking a top bank regulator, at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to explain how the agency handled several investigations into redlining and discriminating against African-Americans in the U.S. banking industry.
(“Senate Dems Ask Bank Regulator to Explain Handing of Redlining Investigations,” ProPublica, July 20, 2020; “Trump Financial Regulator Quietly Shelved Discrimination Probes,” ProPublica, July 13, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.