• President Joe Biden has staked his international reputation on ending atrocities in Ethiopia’s civil war in northern Tigray. The region, now engulfed in violence with troops from neighboring Eritrea and rival ethnic militias, is also now facing the prospect of mass starvation.
(“Biden’s Comments a Sign of Fraying US-Ethiopian Relations,” BBC, May 27, 2021; “Ethiopia’s Tigray Crisis: Warnings of genocide and famine,” BBC, May 30, 2021; “Ethiopian War Leaders to Ethnic Cleansing in Tigray Region,” New York Times, Feb. 26, 2021)
• After years of budget cuts to the Internal Revenue Service, giant U.S.-based corporations like Apple, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Walmart continue to exploit weak enforcement in declaring dubious tax write-offs likely to be challenged by the IRS. But due to the statute of limitations on so-called “uncertain tax benefits,” many profitable corporations annually enjoy millions of dollars in questionable tax rebates.
(“IRS Runs Out the Clock, Saving 14 Large Corporations,” ITEP blog, May 18, 2021)
• In New Orleans, the coronavirus pandemic hit hotel and hospitality workers hard. Many hotel, restaurant and convention center workers have been unemployed for over a year, or scrambled to get lower-paying jobs at Walmart and Amazon.
(“The Dream of a Unionized New Orleans is Coming True,” In These Times, May 26, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.