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'News Too Real' news recap: Catch up with last week's world, national and California headlines

Producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the past week's headlines featured during the daily show


By ONME Newswire



News Too Real April 16, 2022: In episode 16 of season 4, producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the world, national and California news with brief commentary.
 

News Too Real Podcast 4-15-22 Headlines:


World

A slow-moving weather system unleashed nearly 2 feet of rain across portions of South Africa from Saturday to Tuesday which prompted devastating flash floods, mudslides and landslides that have left nearly 400 people dead.


The typically bustling port city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province was brought to a standstill due to flooding as images showed shipping containers strewn about by the force of the water and others stacked on top of each other.


"The Province of KwaZulu-Natal experienced what is one of the worst weather storms in the history of our country. The heavy rainfall that has descended on our land over the past few days, has wreaked untold havoc and unleashed massive damage to lives and infrastructure," a statement released by the local government said, adding that more than 240 schools were impacted by the flooding.

The excessive rainfall caused huge chunks of earth to give way, sending mounds of mud, trees and other debris descending into vulnerable communities.

Communication throughout the region has been severely impacted during this critical time of search and recovery, with more than 900 cell phone towers down, BBC News reported.



National

Tax Day: IRS reminds last-minute filers of tax deadline


The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers the deadline to file and pay tax owed for most individual income tax returns is Monday, April 18. The agency wants last-minute filers to know tax help is available to file a tax return, request an extension or make a payment, 24 hours a day on IRS.gov.



California

Fresno considered itself a success story in the fight against homelessness. By 2019, things had changed drastically.

Fresno, the state’s fifth-largest city and one of its most affordable, saw a substantial rise; the number of unhoused people climbed from 1,486 individuals in 2019 to an estimated 4,239 in 2021, according to city data that both officials and advocates acknowledge is likely an undercount.


Local officials had once considered Fresno a success story – by its own count the city managed to reduce homelessness by nearly 60% between 2011 and 2017, the largest decrease anywhere on the west coast – but numbers started climbing again even before the pandemic. In 2019, Fresno had a higher rate of people living on the streets than any other major city in the US.


Now as rents continue to rise, pushing Fresno’s poorest residents into substandard housing or forcing them to leave the area entirely, homelessness in the city has reached unprecedented levels. Officials have said they’re doing everything they can to find solutions, using state and federal funds to expand housing options, but advocates question the city’s approach and argue that Fresno’s leaders are failing to enact policies that will prevent the crisis from worsening.

 

News Too Real Podcast 4-14-22 Headlines:


World

COVID-19 cases in Africa have fallen for the past 16 weeks, and deaths have dropped during the last eight, marking the longest-running decline in infections on the continent since the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Infections have plummeted from over 308,000 cases weekly at the start of the year to less than 20,000 in the week ending 10 April.

Around 18,000 cases and 239 deaths were recorded over the past week, representing respective declines of 29 per cent and 37 per cent when compared to the previous week.

This low level of infection has not been seen since April 2020, WHO said. The previous longest decline was between 1 August and 10 October of last year.

Furthermore, no African country is currently witnessing COVID-19 resurgence, which is when there has been a 20 per cent increase in cases for at least two consecutive weeks, and the week-on-week rise is 30 per cent above the previous highest weekly infection peak.



National

Since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, a renewed emphasis on building wealth has emerged in African-American communities across the United States. The economic “wealth gap” between African-American and White Communities is now an acknowledged fact and a renewed effort is taking place by individuals in Black communities to build wealth from the ground up.


In a recent report issued by the US Federal Reserve, DMV economist Akila Forde Black stated the wealth gap is unfortunately increasing. “Hispanic or Latino households earn about half as much as the average White household and own only about 15 to 20 percent as much net wealth,” she and co-author Aditya Aladangady state in the report on the Racial Wealth Gap.


Seminars, social media posts and corporate and community resources across the nation are connecting with Black communities to change this picture. Most HBCUs have courses in personal finance and are connecting African Americans from all walks of life with options that weren’t available a generation ago to build wealth and strengthen our communities.

“We tend to publicize dramatic successes and dramatic failures,” said Granville Sawyer, Director of the MBA program at Bowie State University and author of “College in Four Years: Making Every Semester Count.”


“The vast majority of us are in between and need practical tools and support to move forward financially,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer and analysts from McKinsey and Company Public and Social Sector emphasize the need for African Americans to be connected to this nation’s financial wealth-building system.



California

SAN FRANCISCO — California's first-in-the-nation reparations task force meets in person Wednesday, the first time members have gathered face-to-face since their inaugural meeting nearly a year ago and mere weeks after the group voted to limit restitution to descendants of enslaved Black people.

The two-day event will be held at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco's historic Fillmore district, a neighborhood once thriving with African American night clubs and shops until government redevelopment forced out residents. Its pastor is Rev. Amos Brown, task force vice chair and president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation creating the two-year reparations task force in 2020, making California the only state to move ahead with a mission to study the institution of slavery, educate the public about its findings and develop remedies. Reparations movement at the federal level has not gone anywhere, but cities and universities across the country are taking up the issue.




News Too Real Podcast 4-13-22 Headlines:


World

After more than two years of countless updates to its entry requirements and travel warnings, Jamaica is fully reopening to all travelers without restrictions.

Set to come into effect on Friday, April 15, 2022, Jamaica has decided to lift its pre-departure Covid test requirements for travelers. The pre-departure test was the last remaining Covid-related entry requirement in place for international arrivals to Jamaica.


As a result, the Caribbean Island nation will be the latest country to lift all of its Covid health-related entry restrictions for international tourists.

Jamaica’s current travel restrictions state that all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative Covid test result (antigen or PCR) no later than 3 days from travel prior to boarding their flight. This requirement will be dropped for all travelers on April 15th, regardless of vaccination status.


National

CEO of State Chamber wants to ensure Black business community is never again left behind


Every person of color knows what it’s like to be the only one of your kind in a room. It takes courage to stand out and maintain composure and grace while establishing to the room that you belong there. It’s something white people, and in particular white men, rarely have to experience.

Tom Bracken, CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, appears to get it.


That’s why Bracken put himself in the uncomfortable seat when sealing the deal for an initiative with the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey two years ago.

It was predictably intimidating – and eye-opening, he said.


Bracken was asked very in-depth and detailed questions about how the initiative was going to be measured and handled, why he was interested in it, and how he would ensure that it reaped any benefits for the AACCNJ and its members.

“I realized that I couldn’t be the one to lead,” he said. “Because I can read about this stuff, I can hear about this stuff, I can talk to people, they can tell me their stories, but I never lived it.”



California

Black Student Success Week returns April 25-29, 2022, inviting administrators, faculty, staff, and students from across the California Community College system to examine the resources and programs that support Black student success. This year’s theme is A Vision for Black Student Success: Creating a New Landscape to Succeed. The 2022 Black Student Success Week will focus on new approaches to ensure Black and African American students succeed at California Community Colleges as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The week will kick off with remarks from U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona.


Webinars will be held via Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube. Webinar registration is now open.


Go to ONMENews.com where the links are provided to the webinars.



News Too Real Podcast 4-11-22 Headlines:


World


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) produces 70% of the world’s Cobalt. While there is no shortage of environmental issues with its Cobalt mining, the overriding problem here is human rights: dangerous working conditions and the use of child labor. Cobalt is a toxic metal. Prolonged exposure and inhalation of Cobalt dust can lead to health issues of the eyes, skin, and lungs. Because Cobalt can be easily extracted from the ground by hand, small scale, bare-bones “artisanal” mines are common. The simplicity of the operation discourages/negates the need for occupational safety measures and encourages the use of child labor.


According to the Wilson Center, “small-scale mining in the DRC involves people of all ages, including children, obligated to work under harsh conditions. Of the 255,000 Congolese mining for cobalt, 40,000 are children, some as young as six years.”


Amnesty International has also made similar comments. “Thousands of children mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite the potentially fatal health effects of prolonged exposure to cobalt, adult and child miners work without even the most basic protective equipment.”

The “suspect” (bad) Cobalt is mixed in with the “legitimate” (good) Cobalt that comes from the large-scale mines that have the required safety standards and employ only adults. This co-mingling of “good” and “bad” Cobalt serves to mask the human rights abuses in the country’s mining operations.



National


Electric cars still cost much more than their gasoline-fueled counterparts, but that may change as automakers around the globe pour resources into developing new vehicles and producing them at scale.


General Motors and Honda are working to develop a series of "affordable" electric vehicles, the companies announced on Tuesday. The carmakers expect to begin selling millions of the cheaper models including compact SUVs starting in 2027.


GM executives said the partnership would yield a new electric model for North America priced lower than the company's upcoming $30,000 Chevrolet Equinox EV.

Tesla, by far the largest producer of electric cars on the planet, promised to start selling a $25,000 vehicle by 2023. But the company said in January that it is not working on the project.


California


The second school year under COVID restrictions saw another big drop in the number of students in California public schools, dipping below 6 million for the first time in more than 20 years, new figures released Monday show.


The state Department of Education’s new 2021-2022 school year data shows student enrollment dropped by 110,000 students, a 1.8% dip from last year, but less than the 161,000 decrease the year before.


Enrollment had been steadily declining in the state’s public school system before the COVID-19 pandemic due to skyrocketing living costs, declining birth rates and migration patterns, a Bay Area News Group analysis found. But the drop accelerated in the last two years when parents grew frustrated with distance learning. Many of them stuck with the new options they turned to while classes were online.


And in a dramatic turn, charter school enrollment fell 1.8% statewide last year. Enrollment in the independently operated public schools had been on the rise for years, and now account for nearly 12% of all public school students.


Large urban districts across the state account for close to one-third of the drop in the current year, according to the California Department of Education. In contrast, private school enrollment rose 1.7% in the last year.

 

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