This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – March 8, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Tunisian dictator incites violence against migrants
  • War and subsidies turbocharge green transition
  • Railworkers told to stop tagging railcars for broken bearings

• Tunisia’s authoritarian President Kais Saied has unleashed a wave of attacks targeting black African migrants. In a Feb. 21 speech at the nation’s National Security Council, Saied in power since 2019, declared undocumented migrants from sub-Saharan Africa “are arriving with all the violence, crime and unacceptable behavior that entails.” Foreign Policy magazine reports that Saied’s rhetoric unleashed a wave of violence against African migrants that included attacks with machetes, knives, arson and employers withholding of wages.

(“Tunisians Protest Crackdown on African Migrants,” Foreign Policy, March 1, 2023; “Tunisia Forces Arrest Senior Opposition Figures as Crackdown Escalates,” Agence France-Presse, Feb. 24, 2023)

• Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago raised fears that Europe would abandon its commitments to combat climate change, especially in phasing out the use of coal. Activists in Germany led protests after the center-left government permitted the mining of lignite, the dirtiest form of coal.

(“War and Subsidies Have Turbocharged the Green Transition,”  Economist, Feb. 13, 2023)

• Long before the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, powerful freight railroad companies put pressure on workers to ignore train safety issues. A leaked audio recording obtained by the Guardian newspaper reveals a manager for Union Pacific railway urging a carman, now retired, to stop tagging rail cars for broken wheel bearings. The manager complained that the call for repairs would delay cargo deliveries.

(“Leaked Audio Reveals US Rail Workers Were Told to Skip Inspections as Ohio Crash Prompts Scrutiny to the Industry,” Guardian, March 3, 2023)

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

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