This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – June 8, 2022

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Hunger spreads in Afghanistan due to U.S.-led freeze on government assets
  • Environmentalists urge reform to 150-year-old mining law
  • Fair lending advocates urge overhaul of 1977 Community Reinvestment Act

• While the world’s attention is focused on the brutal war in the Ukraine, hunger is spreading through Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, hit by western sanctions. The Afghan economy is deteriorating under a US-led freeze of its assets. This comes after 20 years of failed US and NATO counterinsurgency and nation-building projects.

(“The West has a Hand in Afghanistan’s Bleak State,” Washington Post World View, June 1, 2022; “Afghanistan: Nearly 20 Million go Hungry,” UN News, May 9, 2022)

• Closed mines in the Nevada territory of the Western Shoshone people scar the landscape. Hundreds of abandoned gold, silver and copper mines have torn up the tribe’s ancestral lands.  According to In These Times magazine, these hardrock mines that extract metals and minerals are a major source of toxic waste, utilizing cyanide, arsenic, mercury and acids that can seep into aquifers and rivers. The General Mining Law of 1872 created this environmental disaster by allowing hardrock miners, individual or corporate, to pay minimal fees to stake a claim, pay no royalties and require little or no cleanup.

( “Mining Companies Strike Gold by Destroying Public Lands,” In These Times, May 22, 2022)

• Fair lending advocates are calling for an overhaul of the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 law which requires banks to serve the credit needs of its low- and moderate-income customers. Community advocates and lenders, who have leveraged the CRA to direct investment into affordable housing and local small businesses say the law is ineffective in protecting the interests of communities of color.

(“Rethinking What Fair Banking Means,” Center for Public Integrity, May 27, 2022)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo

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