Pravin Gordhan speaks with Daily Maverick, Trump speaks with Putin, and the French voter speaks with no one.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
A month ago, South Africa was shaken to the core by President Jacob Zuma’s late-night Cabinet shake-up, which included the axing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. The events of that week triggered mass public protests, an explosion of the divisions within the ANC and the alliance, and the intensification of efforts by opposition parties and civil society to remove Zuma from office. In an extensive interview at his Pretoria home, Gordhan spoke to RANJENI MUNUSAMY about the events of that fateful week, his relationship with Zuma and his former Cabinet colleagues, the impact of the reshuffle on the National Treasury and why he supports the call for a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.
Trump and Putin’s ‘very good’ phone call
A ceasefire in Syria was the focal point of President Donald Trump’s most recent phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Whether the call was about forming a genuine ceasefire or simply saying the words to make a nice press release is another matter entirely. The duo did, however, also agree to meet at the next G20 summit.
Mysterious illness spreads through Liberia
An unknown illness has claimed at least 12 lives in Liberia, with reports of it now reaching the capital. The World Health Organisation has confirmed that it is not a resurgence of ebola, nor is it Lassa fever. Despite sharing some of the symptoms, tests have thus far proven inconclusive.
French voters dissatisfied with their choice
Sunday’s vote in France will be conducted amidst a cloud of thoroughly dejected voters. A local survey has shown that one in four French voters plan to abstain, while one in seven were unhappy with their two choices. The results are disturbing, given the importance of voter attendance in elections worldwide.
Antarctica’s ice not melting as fast as thought
Ice loss in the Antarctic may not be as drastic as previously thought, a new British study has shown. Published in Geophysical Research Letters, the report indicated that just a third of the current loss estimate proved accurate. Researchers studied loss in 30 glaciers since 1992 in Western Palmer Land. Make no mistake, however, the loss remained significant and was unequivocally due to climate change.
The number of days a 400-pound Scotsman went without eating. He weighed 180 pounds at the end.
FACTS OF THE DAY
Today is World Press Freedom Day. A day not celebrated worldwide, funnily enough.
Reindeer can see UV light.
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