This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Oct. 14, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Kyrgyzstan unrest: ex-president rearrested as power struggle deepens
  • Kushner’s Freddie Mac loans wasn’t just massive
  • Ohio could be another battleground state

• A week after discredited parliamentary elections, Kyrgyzstan’s embattled pro-Russian President Sooronbai Jeenbekov declared a state of emergency after demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Bishkek and stormed government buildings on Tuesday, demanding a new vote and his resignation. More than 1,200 people have been injured and one person has been killed in street clashes since protests erupted. Police have reportedly used water cannons, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse protesters.

(“Kyrgyzstan Unrest: Ex-President Rearrested As Power Struggle Deepens,” BBC News, Oct. 10, 2020)

• Jared Kushner’s family-owned business, Kushner Companies won $786 million in loans to purchase hundreds of apartments in Maryland and Virginia from government-backed lending agency Freddie Mac in 2019. Disclosure of the mortgage loans prompted Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tom Carper of Delaware to ask if the family real estate firm, formerly led by the president’s son-in-law and top adviser, had received special treatment. Freddie Mac approved the loans after its parent agency came under the leadership  Trump appointee, Mark Calabria, Vice President Mike Pence’s former chief economist.

(“Kushner’s Freddie Mac Loans Wasn’t Just Massive,” ProPublica, Oct. 1, 2020)

• Ohio in recent months had drifted off the list of Midwestern battleground states. Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton by eight percentage points in 2016 and won over blue-collar workers, many of whom had been plagued by layoffs. But the American Prospect reports that 2020 in Ohio is a different story, with a sinking economy, COVID-19 and the registration of new voters that is giving Ohio Democrats hope they can carry the state.

(“Why Trump will lose Ohio,” American Prospect, Sept. 30, 2020; “Federal Judge Issues Scathing Decision to Allow More Ballot Drop Boxes in Ohio,” CNN, Oct. 8, 2020)

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

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