This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – May 3, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Somalia on the brink of famine
  • 4-day workweek could be closer than realized
  • Fear renewed after informant infiltrated Black Lives Matter

• More than 30 years ago in December 1992, U.S. soldiers were deployed to Somalia, where they quickly captured the capital city’s airport. The American forces’ mission was to feed thousands of starving Somalis and address chronic insecurity that had plagued the country for more than a year.

The famine was ultimately stemmed. But what looms larger in most Americans’ memory is the infamous early October 1993 street battle, “Black Hawk Down,” that left 18 Americans and more than 300 Somalis dead. Forces under the command of Somali warlord Mohammad Farah Aidid shot down two American helicopters and dragged the bodies of several fallen U.S. troops through the streets.

(“A 4-Day Work Week Could Be Closer Than You Think,” In These Times, March 13, 2023; “A Four-Day Work Week Pilot Was So Successful Most Firms Say They Won’t Go Back,” Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2023)

• As the American economy emerges from the COVID pandemic, where many employees vacated offices to work from home, an increasing number of white-collar workers favor a four-day workweek, with more flex time for family, childcare and elder care.

(“Somalia’s Peril and Promise:  A Reporter Returns After 30 Years,” Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 27, 2023; “Somalia: $2.6 Billion Appeal to Aid Millions on the Brink of Famine,” UN News, April 25, 2023)

• The FBI’s use of an informant to infiltrate a Black Lives Matter group in Denver, Colorado during the wave of protests after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd, has prompted concern in Congress that the federal agency is once again abusing its powers to spy on First Amendment-protected activity and harass and intimidate minority groups.

(“Fear of Renewed FBI Abuse of Power After Informant Infiltrated BLM Protests,” Guardian,  Feb. 14, 2023)

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

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