This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Nov. 8, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Argentine Economy Minister Sérgio Massa heads to runoff election against libertarian Javier Milei
  • Billion of dollars to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells a drop in the bucket
  • Voters in 10 states trying to protect abortion rights as GOP sets up roadblocks

The leader of Argentina’s ruling Peronist party won a surprising victory in the first round of presidential elections on Oct. 22, despite raging inflation, rising poverty and the plummeting value of the nation’s currency. Economy Minister Sergio Massa won 37 percent of the vote, edging out right-wing libertarian Javier Milei, who won 30 percent.  Massa and Milei will now go to a run-off vote on Nov. 19, that will determine who will succeed outgoing center-left Peronist President Alberto Fernandez.

(“Why Massa Outperformed Milie in Argentina,” Foreign Policy, Oct. 27, 2023; “5 Takeaways for Argentina Election,” New York Times, Oct. 23, 2023)

Tens of millions of dollars in funds from the bipartisan federal infrastructure law is now reaching oil-producing states like Louisiana. The Bayou State plans to use the funds to cap 500 abandoned oil and gas wells. That’s twice the number of wells the state could afford to plug on its own. However, the federal funding is not nearly enough to cap the estimated 4,500 abandoned oil and gas wells across Louisiana.

(“Billion of Dollars to Clean Up Oil and Gas Wells Will Only Make a Dent,” Stateline, Oct. 12, 2023)

In several mid-western states, anti-abortion groups are aggressively campaigning to block ballot measures to protect abortion rights. In Ohio, a Republican-run state agency rewrote the language in a ballot question that would guarantee access to abortion in the state constitution. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the language change, despite charges by pro-choice activists that the wording was designed to confuse voters. In Missouri, a Republican official launched a legal challenge that has stalled a citizen-led effort to pass a law guaranteeing reproductive health care.

(“Voters in 10 States are Trying to Protect Abortion Rights. GOP Officials are Throwing Up Roadblocks,” ProPublica, Oct. 24, 2023)

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

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