While you were sleeping: 16 May 2017

Trump leaks sensitive ISIS information to Russia, while a Picasso fetches huge sum at auction.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.”
L Frank Baum


After almost 10 hours of legal arguments, the Constitutional Court reserved judgment on the United Democratic Movement’s application to direct National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to hold a secret ballot on a motion of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma. The matter boiled down to Mbete’s discretion to allow a secret ballot. Advocates representing opposition parties argued the secret ballot was required in this matter, while Mbete and Zuma’s advocates conceded it was permissible. As fascinating as the legal arguments were, this case is about politics. Therefore, the courts can only go so far in dealing with South Africa’s big political dilemma: the disastrous Zuma Presidency. 


Trump sends messages to Russia with love

Another week, another Trump fiasco. This time President Donald Trump has been accused of leaking classified information on Islamic State to Russia’s Foreign Minister. According to a close US ally, President Trump went “off script” during a meeting with Sergei Lavrov, divulging sensitive information on the terrorist group. If any American media had been invited to the event perhaps someone would have noticed earlier.


Clinton launches anti-Trump campaign

If you thought Hillary Clinton was done, think again. The Democrat’s former Chosen One-who-wasn’t-chosen has launched a new organisation aimed at resisting President Donald Trump. Talking on Twitter on Monday, Clinton quipped: “We’re launching Onwards Together to encourage people to get involved, organise, and even run for office.” Bernie Sanders probably was not invited to join.


Sharapova out the gate swinging

Maria Sharapova has defeated her first opponent at the Rome Masters handily. Sharapova won against Christina McHale 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round. In addition, the former world number one will also hear today whether she will receive a wild card entry for Roland Garros.


Picasso fetches millions at auction

Picasso’s portrait of his mistress, Dora Maar, called “Femme assise, robe bleue,” has sold for $45-million. The Christie’s auction also bore witness to a Romanian-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi sculpture fetching a princely $57.37-million. The Picasso had formerly been seized by Nazis before ultimately coming into the possession of a wealthy US industrialist.




The IQ limit under which Nobel Laureate William Shockley suggested people be paid to undergo voluntary sterilisation.



Today in 1997 Mobutu Sese Seko fled the then Zaire.

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.




Dreams in a time of war

A column by MARK HEYWOOD


The Tower of Babel 2017

A column by MIKE ABEL


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