This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Sept. 8, 2021

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • What's next for Germany after Angela Merkel?
  • Court case could end the mining industry’s dominance of the west
  • Contract miners are dying to make a living

• In the aftermath of massive floods across Germany, the Social Democratic party candidate Olaf Scholz, the nation’s finance minister, has surged in recent polls to succeed retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel. Scholz won support for being a trusted hand as German voters contemplate change for the first time in 16 years. Christian Democratic Union candidate Armin Laschet stumbled — and Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock, who caught on fire in the spring, has now fallen back. Going into the Sept 26th election Scholz is showing strength the center left hasn’t seen in a decade.

(“What a Time To Be Olaf,” Economist, Aug. 28, 2021; “Germany’s Election Is a Postwar Watershed,” Bloomberg, Aug. 19, 2021)

• Southeast of Tucson, Arizona lies the site of the proposed Rosemont Copper mine, inside the Coronado National Forest. First approved by the US Forest Service in 2017 under Donald Trump, the open pit mine would extract 600 million tons of rich ore. If allowed to start operations the mine, a subsidiary of the Canada-based Hudbay Minerals, is projected to produce 1.2 billion tons of waste rock and another 700 million tons of toxic tailings.

(“No Deposit, No Return,” Mother Jones, Aug. 2, 2021)

• Working in coal mines has become increasingly dangerous as the industry increasingly hires contract workers in recent decades. These non-union workers are forced to work longer hours and are fearful of speaking out about dangerous conditions without protection from a union. According to In These Times, the proportion of deaths among mining contractors has surged between 2007 and 2015.

(“Dying To Make a Living,” In These Times, Aug. 18, 2021)

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

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