This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – March 15, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • European rush for clean power
  • Historic deal to protect international waters
  • Court case threatens tribal sovereignty

• The scramble to tap into new clean energy sources after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is focusing attention on North Africa. Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco are rapidly building new solar farms to meet Europe’s need to replace fossil fuel supplies once imported from Russia. Yet, the push for solar power is endangering the nomadic people of North Africa, whose access to traditional grazing land is threatened.

(“In Scramble for Clean Energy, Europe is Turning to North Africa,” Yale e-360, Feb. 16, 2023)

• After nearly 20 years of international negotiations, diplomats finally approved the framework of a new United Nations treaty to protect the high seas on March 4.  The treaty would protect two-thirds of the oceans outside of national boundaries, which often are seen as the “wild west” of the open seas.

(“High Seas Treaty: Historic Deal to Protect International Waters Finally Reached at the UN,”  Guardian, March 5, 2023; “The Most Important Talks No One Has Heard Of: Why the High Seas Treaty Matters,” Guardian, Feb. 28, 2023)

• In January, Montana Republican State Sen. Keith Rieger drafted a resolution calling on Congress to change the tribal reservation system, created under treaty in 1851. The right- wing senator claimed the reservations were not governed in the best interest of Native peoples or Montana citizens. The resolution was withdrawn after objections were raised by the Montana American Indian Caucus, who saw the legislation as deeply offensive and a threat to tribal sovereignty.

(“A Looming Court Case Threatens Native Sovereignty,” In These Times, Feb. 22, 2023)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.

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