South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 7 February 2018

By John Stupart 7 February 2018

Battle stations in the wake of last-minute SONA delay, SpaceX makes historic Falcon Heavy launch, and Trump wants a parade.

“As it turns out, Mount Kilimanjaro is not wifi enabled, so I had to spend two weeks in Tanzania talking to the people on my trip.” 
Nancy Bonds

 
 

STORY OF THE DAY

Analysis: Jacob Zuma’s exit, a political hyper-drama

By MARIANNE MERTEN

President Jacob Zuma is under pressure. That it’s not quite going his way emerged strongly when Parliament, in an unprecedented move, postponed the State of the Nation Address with only a day to go. But it’s politics, and nothing is straightforward. And so Wednesday’s urgent special ANC National Executive Committee meeting set to discuss Zuma’s future was cancelled late on Tuesday evening. It’s a political Mexican stand-off. 

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Possible end days for Zuma’s Presidency

It may seem as if the ANC cannot figure out who and when it wants to give the SONA address, but there are rumblings of Zuma’s imminent exit underneath the initial face of current affairs. With SONA and today’s NEC postponed, and with Cyril Ramaphosa quite likely discussing the terms of Zuma’s departure, South Africans might finally be nearing the end of his Presidency.

 

Stellar success for SpaceX Falcon Heavy

The launch of the world’s most powerful rocket went off “as well as can be expected”. Its 27 engines launched Elon Musk’s red Tesla, a mannequin strapped inside, and the complete works of Isaac Asimov towards Mars. Both of the Falcon’s side boosters managed a near-perfect synchronised landing back on Earth, with the main booster missing its platform by just 100 metres. Musk called it “probably the most exciting thing I have seen literally ever”.

 

Trump pushes for military parade

After getting jealous at the French Bastille Day parade, President Donald Trump wants his own display of military might. The idea has been widely panned as an expensive waste of money for a country that neither needs to display its prowess as a fighting force nor holds any historical tradition of it. One Democrat Senator and Vietnam veteran was quoted as saying: “I swore an oath — in the military and in the Senate — to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap.”

 

US regulators consider tougher cryptocurrency laws

Concerns over the “deceiving” nature of cryptocurrency markets has sparked a renewed interest by US lawmakers in enforcing stricter regulations. US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton alleged that the proponents of the currency were not being entirely open about how their exchanges did not offer the same protections as the conventional stock market. The wild and unregulated nature of Bitcoin and friends, however, is precisely part of its allure.

 
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IN NUMBERS

72%

The percentage of South Africans who do not feel that the President is performing.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today in 1940 Walt Disney’s second film, Pinocchio, is released.

Foxes can see the Earth’s magnetic fields.

 

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OPINIONISTAS

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Financial Data
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Gallery

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine

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