• After a decade of a brutal civil war and over 400,000 killed, daily life in Syria today is marred by food shortages and a “frozen conflict” with troops from Turkey, Russia, Iran and the U.S. remaining inside the country.
(“A Country Divided,” Economist, March 13, 2021; “Syria, After 10 Years of Conflict: No War and No Peace,” Christian Science Monitor, March 3, 2021; “UN Warns of Another Decade of Desperation in Syria,” Al-Jazeera, March 16, 2021)
• One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, three governors from the nation’s most populous states are in political trouble. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, criticized for his handling of the pandemic, will likely face voters in a recall election this fall. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, accused of sexual harassment by a growing number current and former female staffers – and a coronavirus nursing home scandal – is resisting calls for his resignation and/or impeachment. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, too, faces calls to resign after 3 million Texans suffered power outages because the state’s electric utility was woefully unprepared to deal with a severe winter storm.
(“The Crisis in State Governments Isn’t the Budgets, It’s the Governance,” American Prospect, March 11, 2021; “Virus Did Not Bring Financial Rout That Many States Feared,” New York Times, March 1, 2021)
• During the heat of Black Lives Matter protests in New York City last summer, New York police officers penned in hundreds of peaceful protesters in the Bronx as cops used pepper spray, kicked and punched activists. Sixty protesters were injured, reports Human Rights Watch.
(“Over 700 Complaints About NYPD Officers Abusing Black Lives Matter Protesters, Then Silence,” ProPublica, March 10, 2021; “Only Two NYPD Officers Face Serious Discipline From a Watchdog’s Investigations Into Abuse of Black Lives Matter Protesters,” ProPublica, March 17, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.