South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 5 March 2018

By John Stupart 5 March 2018

Stars shine bright in post-Weinstein Oscars, suspect arrested in Burkina Faso attack, and nobody spared from Trump tariffs deal.

Monday, 5 March 2018

“A society can be Pareto optimal and still perfectly disgusting.” 
Amartya Sen

Perhaps the most important decision announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week was the appointment of David Mabuza as Deputy President. Mabuza’s track record and the way he has parlayed a support base in one province into the second most important job in the country has led to fears that he may one day be able to succeed Ramaphosa. In the world of realpolitik, Mabuza’s position appears to be particularly complicated. He has no real legal power now, and surely cannot rely on a national support base. And to make matters even more difficult for him, he must have angered significant sections of the ANC through his actions at Nasrec last year. 



Oscar fever sweeps across the world

The Oscars this year have seen plenty of stellar movies gain the highest awards in the industry. While host Jimmy Kimmel threw more shade at Jimmy Kimmel than Bathabile Dlamini at a parliamentary inquiry, Dunkirk had swept up at least three Academy Awards by the time of writing. Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney both scooped awards for best-supporting actor/actress respectively, with Icarus receiving one for best documentary. 


Arrest made in Burkina Faso attacks

A key figure in the deadly Burkina Faso attacks has been arrested. Government sources indicated that the suspect may be one of the “brains” behind the Ouagadougou attack claimed by an al-Qaeda affiliate, GSIM. Friday’s attacks saw a string of gunmen attempt to assault various key sites across the capital, including a military barracks. At least nine assailants were killed and 80 people injured during the attacks.


No country spared from Trump tariffs

Move aside gun control debate, this week will bear witness to a universal steel and aluminium tariff increase by the United States. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that no country, allied or otherwise, would be exempt from the new tariffs. The UK and Canada have expressed their misgivings about the new plan, and the EU is already drafting plans for commercial countermeasures against brands such as Levi’s jeans and Harley-Davidson. 


Shell and Eni go on trial over Nigeria deal

Oil behemoths Shell and Eni will go on trial in Milan today. They two companies are facing charges of bribery and corruption related to the purchase of an offshore oil field in Nigeria. An email chain involving Shell alleged that at least $1.1 billion was funnelled to the ex-oil minister Dan Etete’s London bank account, with an additional $210 going to the government. The oil companies naturally deny all the charges.




The number of summers Anderson Cooper spent as an intern at the CIA. The experience was a large part of what inspired him to pursue journalism.



Today in 1953 Joseph Stalin dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

The Cure once played a 50-song, four-hour concert in Mexico.



Op-Ed: Leaders need to study what has worked in Africa





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Foreign Perfidy: Ramaphosa, smiling enabler of African autocracy

By Richard Poplak