- Khadija Patel
In December 2015, President Nicolás Maduro immediately recognised the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition’s resounding legislative election victory. For the first time in over sixteen years, the prospect arose of political cohabitation between the alliance led by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and its opponents, and with it a unique opportunity to resolve the protracted political crisis by peaceful and democratic means. The government, however, has chosen confrontation, using control of the judiciary and other nominally autonomous branches of state to neutralise the opposition’s control of the National Assembly. The battle lines are drawn. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Readers could be forgiven for not paying enough attention to the upcoming British Brexit vote over its membership in the EU, what with the seeming chaos of the impending American presidential election, South Africa’s own upcoming local elections, continuing warfare in many parts of the Middle East, and a host of other global concerns. Nevertheless, the Brexit vote will take place this week, and, if one listens to those who advocate staying in the EU, a vote to leave will unleash a great wave of economic danger and disaster. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look.
Around noon on Friday, MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) announced that it would not be accepting new funding offers from the EU, owing to its "shameful" policies on the migration crisis. Is MSF cutting off its nose to spite its face? Or can it afford to give the EU the proverbial finger? And who, at the end of the day, will feel the burn? By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
In yet another senseless shooting spree, the biggest in US history, 49 people have lost their lives in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In the early hours of Sunday morning Omar Mateen opened fire on those who were dancing the night away. IS claimed responsibility for the killing. In the aftermath of the killing a number of religious people took to social media to condemn homosexuality. Appallingly, one called it “good news”. Guns and terrorism will, no doubt, be debated in the coming days and weeks. But what role does religion play in the persecution and suffering of gay people? By RUSSELL POLLITT.
The latest massacre, the worst-ever in America carried out by a single person, occurred late on Saturday evening in an Orlando, Florida nightclub. The true motives of the man who carried out these killings remain a tangle of dire possibilities and dark suppositions. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look at how this disaster is playing out in the current presidential election campaign.