This Week’s Under-reported News Summary Oct. 9, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • China quietly doubles troop levels in Hong Kong
  • How have health workers won improvements on patient care? Strikes.
  • CFPB summoning zombie debt back to life

• Weeks before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, Beijing authorities deployed military reinforcements to Hong Kong. According to Reuters, soldiers from the People’s Armed Police – a Chinese paramilitary, antiriot security force – quietly arrived in big numbers in Hong Kong in September, the scene of mass protests since June. Sources estimate the number of military personnel now in Hong Kong is between 10,000 and 12,000, up from 3, 000 to 5,000 in the months before the deployment.

(“China Quietly Doubles Troop Levels in Hong Kong,” Reuters, Sept. 30, 2019; “Hong Kong Protests Led a Student to Activism, Then to a Point of a Gun,” New York Times, Oct. 2, 2019)

• Over 2,000 nurses, members of National Nurses United union, went on a one strike on Sept. 20, against the University of Chicago Medical Center. Nurses and staff were protesting stalled contract negotiations over unsafe working conditions and forced overtime. The strike comes after the Medical Center had invested nearly $270 million dollars on expanding its facilities. In response the one-day strike, the Medical Center, on the Southside of Chicago locked out the nurses for four straight days.

(“How have health workers won improvements on patient care? Strikes.” In These Times, Sept. 30, 2019)

• For many Americans, debt keeps piling up. The average American now owes $38,000 dollars in personal debt, excluding mortgage debt. Only 23 percent of Americans are debt free, while nationwide consumer debt totals over $13 trillion.

(“CFPB Summoning Zombie Debt Back to Life,” American Prospect, Sept. 17, 2019)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Richard Hill.

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