FSRN Weekly Edition – February 13, 2015
- Deadline looming on the future of austerity measures in Greece
- Overflow crowd packs Federal Election Commission hearing on campaign finance limits
- 300 people assumed dead in mass drowning while trying to reach Europe from Africa
- Independent, international experts question Mexico’s handling of missing students case
- Scientists examine apparent increase in mass mortality events among non-human species
- Education reform bills before Wisconsin Assembly could lead to more for-profit education
Greece’s newly elected left-wing government is facing a Monday deadline to find agreement with its creditors or face default and possible exit from Europe’s common currency.
Talks between Greek leaders and European finance ministers progressed through the week in what has been the first real political challenge to the European Union’s imposed austerity policies that brought deep cuts to public investment and skyrocketing unemployment across southern Europe. Jacob Resneck has more.
The Federal Election Commission held a rare public hearing this week. The all-day, standing-room-only event came after the FEC received 32,000 comments about potential changes to federal campaign finance laws following the Supreme Court’s controversial McCutcheon decision. But as Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, D.C., at the end of the hearing there was little consensus on what action the FEC should take.
As many as 300 people are presumed dead this week, lost at sea while trying to cross the Mediterranean from north Africa bound for Europe. On Saturday, four overcrowded inflatable boats took off in rough seas from Libya. The Italian Coast Guard rescued about 100 passengers on one boat, but almost all aboard the other three vessels are missing and believed to have drowned. Joel Millman is press officer for the International Organization for Migration and joins us to discuss this tragedy and what’s already looking like what could be the worst year on record for migrant deaths on the high seas.
In Mexico, a non-governmental team of forensic anthropologists brought in as independent experts to investigate the fate of 43 abducted students has publicly distanced themselves from the official story about the case. Shannon Young has the details.
Mass mortality events, or large-scale die-offs, appear to be on the rise among various species of birds, fish and marine invertebrates. A study by scientists from the University of San Diego, Yale University and UC-Berkeley looked at die-offs – sometimes involving millions of individuals of a species – and noted an increase of one per year over the past 70 years. FSRN’s Melinda Tuhus spoke with co-author Samuel Fey, a post-doctoral fellow in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Yale University.
Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature is discussing two bills that would alter the state’s public school system. For many, these changes open the door to for-profit education. Zoe Sullivan reports from Madison.