This Week’s Under-reported News Summary May 20, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Massive bombardment hits Tripoli as water supplies threatened
  • Ignoring Trump and right-wing think tanks, red states expand vote by mail
  • Is a housing crash coming to Florida?

Libya’s brutal civil war reached a new threshold when on May 10th forces loyal to rebel General Khalifa Haftar bombarded key areas in the nation’s capital Tripoli, including the international airport and the waterworks. The bombing signaled a new offensive by Haftar, who is backed by Russia, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Haftar’s troops were also blamed for shelling Tripoli’s main hospital injuring 14 people. Aid groups called for a ceasefire to allow health workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The images of long lines of voters outside polling stations in Wisconsin’s primary during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to haunt the upcoming 2020 presidential election.  Wisconsin’s Republican legislature, backed by the state’s Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court forced voters to choose between risking their health and lives to the coronavirus, and casting an in-person ballot.  Alarmed by the GOP’s brazen attempt at voter suppression in Wisconsin, and the threat posed by the coronavirus, voting rights activists have launched a campaign calling for state’s to permit massive mail-in and absentee voting in the November election.

Surging unemployment in Florida’s most important tourism industry make the southern state a prime candidate for a new housing foreclosure crisis. Homeowners have gotten temporary relief from mortgage payments, but face large lump sum payments this summer. Banks and mortgage services may offer extended relief or forbearance, but it does not stop mortgages from coming due.

(“Is a Housing Crash Coming to Florida?” American Prospect, May 11, 2020; “Cancel Rent,” Atlantic, May 1, 2020; “Mortgage Relief Could Come at a High Price,” New York Times, May 15, 2020)

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

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