• In the days after the launch of the recent siege of Libya’s capital city Tripoli, President Donald Trump called rebel commander General Khalifa Haftar, head of the so-called Libyan National Army in a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy. Up to that point, the U.S. had recognized Libya’s United Nations-backed Government of National Accord and called for a ceasefire in Tripoli.The North African nation has been plagued by violence since the ouster and killing of longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
(“Libyan General Praised by Trump Accused of Possible War Crimes,” CNN, May 15, 2019; “Why Global and Regional Powers Aren’t Standing Up to Haftar’s Offensive,” Al-Monitor May 15, 2019)
• Amid rising violence in the Amazon rainforest, indigenous groups mobilized in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, to protest the destructive policies of extreme right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who rejects the science of climate change. Hundreds of indigenous activists occupied downtown streets and marched on the Ministry of Justice, seeking land rights protections and improved public services.
(“Indigenous Groups in Brazil March for Land Rights,” Al Jazeera, April 26, 2019; “Successive Land Attacks Stroke Fear in Brazil’s Amazon,” Al Jazeera, April 12, 2019)
• Kamala Harris became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for a complete repeal of President Trump’s tax cuts, which largely benefit the rich and big corporations. Harris, a U.S. senator from California wants to redirect the tax cut funds to her LIFT Act, a lower- and middle-class tax credit for families making up to $100,000 per year.
(“How to Replace the Trump Tax Cuts Is the Story of 2020,” American Prospect, May 8, 2019)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Richard Hill.