This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Oct. 28, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Rising tensions over access to water in the Rio Grande Valley
  • Progressive "Squad" getting House reinforcements
  • Pennsylvania's little-tested mail ballot system could help Trump wreak havoc

• Rising tensions over access to water in the Rio Grande Valley exploded in September when angry farmers in Mexico’s northern state of Chihuahua seized La Boquilla Dam.  Mexico faced a late October deadline to divert 500 million cubic meters of water to the Rio Grande River on the Texas border, as part of their obligation in a 1944 water-sharing agreement. In exchange, Mexico is given access to Colorado River water.

(“Mexican Water Wars: Dam Seized, Troops Deployed in Protest About Sharing With the US,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 11, 2020; “A Water Treaty Has Aided Mexican Farmers and US Farmers for Decades, This Year’s Its Wreaking Havoc,” Texas Monthly, Oct. 2, 2020)

• A group of progressive activists that includes U.S. Reps. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez of New York, Ayan­na Press­ley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashi­da Tlaib of Michigan ran for Congress as Democratic candidates in 2018, and won stunning victories. This band of orga­niz­ers-turned-legislators, known as the “Squad,” have helped re-en­er­gize left-wing elec­toral pol­i­tics. Now, they’re get­ting reinforcements.

(“The Squad Is Growing: A New Crew of Left Challengers Is Bringing Movement Politics to Congress,” In These Times, Oct. 15 2020)

• In a split 4 to 4 decision, the US Supreme Court let a Pennsylvania rule that allows for the counting of absentee ballots up to three days after election day. With its new, untested mail-in voting system, Pennsylvania could be the last critical swing states to announce the winner of the state’s 20 electoral votes in the 2020 Presidential contest.

(Nearly 1.2 Million Voters in Penn Have Returned Mail Ballots, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 21, 2020; “It’s Going to Be Hell: How Penn Is on Track to Election Chaos,” Mother Jones, Oct. 20, 2020; “Voters Remain in Line As Pa. Deadline for Mail Ballots Passes,” Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 27, 2020)

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

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