The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey in Syria has claimed over 40,000 lives, and that number is expected to continue climbing.

Amid this incomprehensible tragedy, many ordinary people have raised funds and donated to support relief efforts. This week in OtherWords, Syrian American columnist Farrah Hassen writes that governments need to do their part, too.

In particular, Farrah argues, they need to lift sanctions on Syria, which have contributed to the country’s 90 percent poverty rate and are complicating earthquake relief — all while failing to dislodge the country’s dictator. “Tragedy should transcend political divisions, not reinforce them,” she writes.

Also this week, Evette Clemons, a hardworking mom of three, explains how to protect Americans who get food assistance from having their benefits stolen. Jim Hightower warns against the Wall Street takeover of nursing homes. And cartoonist Khalil Bendib imagines an all too plausible announcement from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

New This Week

How the World Can Help After the Middle East Earthquake | Farrah Hassen
For Syrians, the quake is the latest crisis after years of suffering. It’s time to end sanctions and send aid.

Credit Card Holders Get Protection from Fraud. Shouldn’t EBT Users, Too? | Evette Clemons
My kids and I deserve the same consumer financial protections that higher-income Americans get.

Don’t Trust Wall Street with Nursing Homes | Jim Hightower
Make no mistake, they’d kill your granny to make a buck.

Cartoon: February in Florida | Khalil Bendib
Would anyone be surprised if DeSantis banned Black History Month?

In Case You Missed It….

Biden Presented a Bold Agenda. Can He Back It Up? | Karen Dolan
The president had much to celebrate in his State of the Union address.But to finish the job, he needs to take executive action.

Biden Is Right: You Shouldn’t Pay a Higher Tax Rate Than Billionaires | Rebekah Entralgo
The president has renewed his call for a “billionaire minimum tax.” If Congress won’t listen, states should.

The GOP’s Culture Wars Would Be Laughable If They Weren’t So Deadly | Sonali Kolhatkar
The party has no agenda for working people, only cruel attacks on people who deserve better.

Teach Black History — Don’t Ban It | Tracey L. Rogers
Politicians fire teachers and ban books, but more and more Americans are standing up against this effort to erase our history.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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