This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – May 10, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Climate change drives East Africa drought, famine risk
  • Justice Thomas' patron Crow purchased citizenship in St. Kitts, Nevis
  • Immigrants working to unionize meatpacking workers

• Climate change in the Horn of Africa is driving the worst drought in 40 years, which has pushed the politically fragile region into a crisis as a million people face the risk of a famine. Rising global temperatures are largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels and poor regions like East Africa are bearing the brunt of the damage from extreme weather conditions.

(“Climate Change Caused Catastrophic East Africa Drought,” Washington Post, April 27, 2023)

• Billionaire Harlan Crow, the Republican super donor and patron to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a dual citizen of the United States and the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis. The island nation is a tax haven for the super-rich known for its impenetrable financial secrecy. In 2012, Crow and his family were granted passports to St. Kitts and Nevis through a cash-for-citizenship scheme. In documents reviewed by the Intercept and the Project on Government Oversight, Crow and his brother Trammell paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain the passports.

(“Clarence Thomas Billionaire Benefactor Harlan Crow Bought Citizenship in Island Tax Haven,” Intercept, April 25, 2023)

• In the 1980s, Tyson Foods and other major meatpacking companies began a project to vertically integrate their operations to control the whole supply chain, from the farmers who raise animals to the workers who kill livestock and package the meat. Companies then closed down their plants in union strongholds like Chicago and moved to so-called “right to work” anti-union states like Iowa. Companies recruited immigrants, mostly undocumented, to work the nonunion plants. Wages and benefits plummeted while injuries soared.

(“Can Meatpackers Workers Take on Tyson?” In These Times,  April 24, 2023)

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

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