This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Nov. 11, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Ethiopian prime minister brings his country closer to civil war
  • Myanmar Elections Commission lacks transparency
  • California sets more progressive path on criminal justice reform

• Ethiopia, Africa’s second largest nation, may be moving toward a civil war. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military response to an “attack” on a camp housing federal troops by the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front of the restive Tigray region. (“Fighting Reported in Ethiopia After PM Responds to ‘Attack’ by Regional Ruling Party,” Guardian, Nov. 4, 2020; “Ethiopian Government Moves to Replace Leadership of Tigray Region,” Guardian, Nov. 7, 2020)

• More than 1.5 million people in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden areas have been politically disenfranchised after the country’s election commission cancelled the Nov. 9 general election, deepening concerns about the credibility of the country’s first poll since Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (or NLD) won a  landslide victory in 2015.  Since that election, the NLD has failed to pursue an aggressive peace initiative with ethnic communities to end long-running insurgencies dating back decades.

(“Myanmar: Election Commission Lacks Transparency,” Human Rights Watch, Oct. 28 2020; “Vote Cancellations Trigger Outrage Among Myanmar Minority Voters,” Al-Jazeera, Oct. 28, 2020)

• On Election Day, voters across California approved sweeping criminal justice reforms and supported limits on the size of urban police departments. In a shocker, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey was ousted by an insurgent candidate seeking to rein in the power of police unions. Voters in Los Angeles backed Measure J requiring county government to spend millions of dollars on social services and outreach instead of law enforcement.

(“California Goes Big on Criminal Justice Reform, Setting a More Progressive Path,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 5, 2020)

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

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