• Fifteen of 47 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists charged with subversion have been granted bail after a marathon hearing, but the entire group remains in custody pending an appeal. Under a new Beijing-imposed security law, they were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion for organizing an impromptu primary election to pick opposition candidates for upcoming Hong Kong elections. China passed the law last year, saying it was required to bring stability after months of militant anti-Beijing street protests.
(“Hong Kong Protest Held As 47 Activists Appear in Court,” BBC News, March 1, 2021;“China NPC: Beijing To Overhaul Hong Kong Election System,” BBC News, March 5, 2021; “Time for Some Holistic Love,” Economist, Feb. 27, 2021)
• Facing an increase of migrant crossings at the U.S. southern border, President Biden is hoping Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, will become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America. Despite campaigning against Trump’s policies, Biden wants one of the same things from the Mexican president that his predecessor did: Help in keeping Central American migrants from surging north toward the U.S. through Mexico. AMLO offered little resistance to Trump’s harsh immigration policies when they were first imposed.
(“Mexico’s President Has Yet To Make People’s Lives Better,” Economist, Feb. 20, 2021; “Biden Seeks Help on Border From Mexican President,” New York Times, March 1, 2021)
• A year and half ago, activists from West Virginia traveled to Copenhagen to protest the Denmark-based Rockwool company’s plan to build a mineral wool insulation plant in their state, that melts basalt rocks into molten lava, which is spun into a cotton-candy-like fiber, used in building insulation. Activists say the siting of the plant in coal-reliant West Virginia is a direct result of the state’s weak environmental standards.
(“The Factory Next Door,” In These Times, March 16, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.