While you were sleeping: 31 May 2016

By John Stupart 31 May 2016

North Korea's missile test a giant failure, Haiti's election should be scrapped, and Djokovic in for a rough week at Roland Garros.

Tuesday, 31st May
“Money can’t buy love, but it improves your bargaining position.” 

 Christopher Marlowe

Story of the Day

Al-Maite Fail: When the hole in your head just won’t quit 

We tend not to pay too much attention to the International Relations portfolio. With the Presidency, National Treasury, the Police, Education and others preoccupying the news, we are inclined to think that matters like foreign relations are hunky-dory because, well, we are not at war and Donald Trump would probably have about 23 other countries to bomb first. Judging by Al Jazeera’s interview with International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, clearly our cocksureness is misplaced. If the interview was any reflection on how our diplomatic relations are handled, South Africa is in serious peril. It is Nkoana-Mashabane rather than scenes of violence of social upheaval that needs to be banned from television screens. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Read more

While you were sleeping

North Korean missile launch a failure

South Korean officials have reported a launch on Tuesday of a ballistic missile by the North has failed. Believed to have been a medium-range Musudan missile, with a range of over 2,000km, the North has yet to successfully test the thing. Perhaps they haven’t tried switching it off and on again. Read more

Germany to vote on Armenian Genocide

Germany’s parliament will vote on Thursday to decide whether the Armenian Genocide really was, well, a genocide. This spectacular waste of resources for the sake of political semantics has raised the ire of Turkey, who warned Germany on Monday of “destroying” its relationship. Read more

Commission recommends scrapping Haiti election

An independent commission announced on Monday that Haiti’s election results be scrapped. Corruption and general idiocy were to blame for the failed October elections. In a stunning example of fraud, the commission noted, “the number of votes that could not be traced almost exceeded the number of legitimate votes obtained by politicians”.  Read more

Djokovic faces hectic schedule

Assuming rain does not cause another washout at Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic has got one hell of a schedule ahead of him this week. He will face his last-16 tie on Wednesday, quarter-final on Thursday and semi-final on Friday – if there are more delays on Tuesday. “Cramp management” would not even begin to describe Djokovic’s week ahead. Read more

In Numbers


The amount of potatoes, in tonnes, required to create enough fuel for a German V2 rocket.

Facts of the Day

Today in 1902 the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed that ended the Boer War, gave the British control of South Africa and left bitter resentment all round.

Fact of the day: You can have high blood pressure just in the doctor’s office. This condition is called ‘white coat syndrome’. 

Weather & Financial Data

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PMB: min: 7° max: 26°, sunny
PKN: min: 6° max: 21°, sunny
PE: min: 17° max: 27°, cloudy
PTA: min: 6° max: 22°, sunny

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Now on Daily Maverick


Photo: A frame-grab from International Relations and Co-operation
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Al Jazeera interview. Al-Maite Fail: When the hole in your head just won’t quit 
By Ranjeni Munusamy
Photo: Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson delivers her speech
during the State of the Nation Address speech debate in the National
assembly in Parliament, Cape Town, 16-18 February 2016. (Photo: GCIS) Crude shenanigans: Was the sale of strategic fuel reserve a fire-pool of a transaction? 
By Marianne Thamm
Main photo: Screenshot of an Islamic State video circulated on social
media on 4 March 2016. Footage includes training of ‘cubs’,
children jihadists, seen performing different kinds of exercises in the
name of the Caliphate: from singing nasheeds to reading the Qur’an
and handling different kinds of weapons. Born to Terror: A glimpse into the future of jihadism 
By Jasmine Opperman
Photo: President Jacob Zuma is seen during a visit to the Kwanyamazane
township  with the ANC's 102nd birthday celebrations in Nelspruit,
Mpumalanga, Wednesday, 8 January 2014. Picture: SAPA stringer Op-Ed: Singing Kumbaya to avoid a ratings downgrade? No, Mr President. 
By Stephen Grootes
Photo: Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo. His sister,
Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them. (Sam Nzima) The Soweto Uprising: Share your experiences, pictures and perspectives 
By The Guardian
Photo: Hlaudi Motsoeneng, chief operating officer of the SABC, holds
the corporation’s first quarterly media briefing in Johannesburg on
Wednesday, 28 January 2015.  Picture: SAPA stringer Cosatu: SABC protest policy assumes we’re imbeciles 
By Greg Nicolson
Main photo: Snake oil. (Jeremy Weate via Wikipedia) GroundUp Op-Ed: Complementary medicine companies are destroying consumer protection 
By GroundUp
Photo: Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre (C) is escorted in to stand
trial at the Palais de Justice in Dakar, Senegal, 20 July 2015. EPA/STR Habré’s historic conviction sends mixed messages to African dictators 
By Simon Allison
Photo: A young girl cries outside her family shack after a violent
service delivery riot near Soweto, Johannesburg,  South Africa, 11
September 2013. Dozens of people were arrested outside Johannesburg as a
protest against the government's provision of services turned violent.
Millions of poor South Africans are still living in shacks without running
water and lights decades after the end of Apartheid.  EPA/KIM LUDBROOK Is it time to rethink local government? 
By Marianne Merten
Photo: Protesters run to attack the media vehicle on a road linking to
Islamabad, as they protest the execution of former police guard Mumtaz
Qadri, after he was hanged to death in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, 29 February
2016. Pakistan on 29 February hanged the ex-police guard who killed a
former governor for opposing the country’s controversial blasphemy
laws, which impose the death penalty in some cases, officials said. An
anti-terror court handed Qadri the death penalty, and his appeal was
rejected by the Supreme Court and the president of Pakistan. EPA/SOHAIL
SHAHZAD ICG: Pakistan’s Jihadist Heartland, the Southern Punjab 
By International Crisis Group
Photo: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (2-R) meets with rescued
girl Amina Ali Nkeki and baby (L) with Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno
State (C) at the presidential villa in Abuja, Nigeria, 19 May 2016. Amina
Ali Nkeki was found in the Sambisa Forest near the border of Cameroon.
Nigerian Military found her carrying a baby and with a suspected member of
the Boko Haram Islamist group. 218 girls remain missing after their
abduction from Chibok secondary school in north-east Nigeria in 2014.
EPA/STRINGER ICG: In Buhari’s Nigeria, Boko Haram is off balance but other troubles surge 
By International Crisis Group
French President Francois Hollande (R) holds an umbrella as he walks
beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the German military cemetery at
Consenvoye, France, 29 May 2016, to commemorate victims of the First World
War on the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Verdun. The Battle of
Verdun in World War I between German and French troops lasted over 300 days
and saw the deaths of more than 300,000 soldiers on both sides in 1916. The
town in the northeast of France became the epitome of brutal trench warfare
during the First World War. EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN While you were sleeping: 30 May 2016 
By John Stupart
Lightning over the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 23 May 2016.
EPA/PAUL ZINKEN Weekly Wrap: 28 May 


IvoVegterBW We love to be afraid of the future 
By Ivo Vegter
Michael-King.jpg Union Capture: Would the real elephant in the room blink 
By Michael Kahn
Melanie-Boehi.jpg Remembering apartheid’s botanical diplomacy at the Chelsea Flower Show 
By Melanie Boehi
John-Matisonn.jpg Age of Uncertainty, 2016: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique… and the US 
By John Matisonn

Lerato Pillay Uncovered

Xenophobic Twitter campaigns orchestrated by a former South African soldier

By Jean le Roux for DFRLab

General Tso's Chicken was not made popular in China until chefs brought the recipe over from the United States.