This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Sept. 9, 2020

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Explosive allegations of Mexican corruption
  • Fossil fuel companies push dumping plastic in Africa
  • Labor must organize in stronger than ever tech companies

• Charges of high-profile government corruption has a long history in Mexico. Four presidents since the early 1980s have sought to put high ranking officials from previous administrations in prison. The Economist magazine reports that officials in the administration of former President Enrique Pena Nieto, who left office in late 2018, was seen as the most corrupt in the nation’s history.

(“Mexico: Bombshells on Board,” Economist, Aug. 28, 2020)

• In the face of the worldwide decline in demand for oil, fossil fuel and petrochemical companies are pushing to expand their export of plastics to the developing world. An early target is Kenya, which is now in negotiations for a bilateral U.S. trade deal, a first for a nation in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Kenya passed a ban on the manufacture, sale and distribution of plastic bags, and eco-activists now fear it may be rolled back during trade negotiations with the Trump regime.

(“A Pivot to Plastics Could Turn Africa Into a Dumping Ground,” New York Times, Aug. 30, 2020; “Oil Companies Accused of Wanting to Dump Plastics in Africa,”Associated Press, Sept. 2, 2020)

• As the coronavirus pandemic destroyed large swaths of the U.S. economy, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have only gotten richer during the crisis.  These companies collectively boosted their stock price a third this year. The personal wealth of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos have soared, becoming the new symbols of the digital gilded age of monopoly wealth.

(“Failure to Organize the Tech Industry Will Eat the Labor Movement Alive,” In These Times, Aug. 26, 2020)

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

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