This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – May 1, 2024

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Zuma's comeback in South African elections
  • Republicans eye cutting climate funding that mostly benefits red state farmers
  • Native Americans receive longer prison sentences than non-Natives

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is facing its most difficult election since the end of apartheid. The ANC, marred by corruption and mass unemployment may be forced to negotiate a coalition government if the party fails to win a majority in the May 29th election.

(“How South Africa’s Former Leader Zuma Turned on His Allies and Became a Surprise Election Foe,” AP News, April 18, 2024; “Jacob Zuma’s MK—The Wildcard in South Africa’s Election,” BBC News, March 14, 2024)

Amid ongoing gridlock on Capitol Hill, progress on passing the annual farm bill has all but stopped, with a Sept. 30 expiration date looming and the November election just 6 months away. The major obstacle is disagreement between Republicans, who support expensive farm commodity payments and crop insurance expansions, and Democrats who are fighting to preserve funding for critical nutrition assistance and farm conservation programs.

(“Conservation Programs are Popular with Farmers. Why Does the GOP Want to Defund Them?” Barn Raising Media, April 15, 2024)

Native Americans frequently find themselves in U.S. federal court to face a broad range of criminal charges, not just serious crimes, such as murder, but lesser offenses, like burglary. Once in federal court, Native Americans face sentencing guidelines far harsher than in most state courts. Diversion, probation and other mitigation programs are less common in federal courts, than in state courts, as is a jury that includes their Native citizen peers.

(“Unequal Before the Law,” In These Times, March 11, 2024)

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

Subscribe to our Weekly Summary