Week #6 (15-21/07/2019)

A screenshot of Zimparks’ home page.


To improve its shambling economy, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration put (15/07) Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks) up for sale. The government had indicated it was to dispose of its shareholding in most state entities. As written in its website, Zimparks manages one of the largest estates in Zimbabwe—about 5 million hectares of land or 13 percent of Zimbabwe’s total area. In South Africa, the country’s corruption watchdog has accused (19/07) President Cyril Ramaphosa of misleading parliament and potential money laundering over a campaign donation. The allegations against the president are said to be a power battle for control of the African National Congress (ANC) and South Africa itself.


Thousands of people continued to march in San Juan (16/07), Puerto Rico’s capital city, and demanded the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló following the leak of sexist and homophobic private chat messages. Rosselló has called women politicians “whore” and “daughter of a bitch”, and made anti-gay remarks about Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. In the United States, Megan Rapinoe, the US Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain, called (20/07) President Donald Trump’s racist tweets on the four progressive US congresswomen known as The Squad “disgusting”. She added, “[…] it’s time for us as a country to just embrace a woman as president.”


Thota Vennela, 18, was one of 23 teenagers in Telangana, India who committed suicide (18/07) following a controversial school-leaving exam results announcement back in April. More than 320,000 students in Telangana failed their school-leaving exams which shocked and sparked protests from students and parents. After a child rights group filed a petition, the state high court ordered the board to re-mark the answers of all those who have failed. Meanwhile in Hong Kong (21/07), the protests that started over the now-suspended extradition bill have grown into a wider democracy movement as Beijing’s influence is growing in the city. A clash between police and demonstrators broke out after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters defied police orders to restrict the boundaries of their rally.


Australia’s famous footballer Israel Folau’s view on Christianity is considered to deviate far from mainstream Christianity (20/07). His belief that any Christian who wasn't baptized in the way of the Folaus would go to hell is regarded so outside Christian beliefs, hence is believed to be a sect. Notwithstanding that, although many feared his views would damage Christianity, they still backed his right to express them.


Alan Turing, the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, has been chosen (15/07) to be the new face of the Bank of England’s £50 note. The Bank stated that Turing’s legacy continued to have impacts on science and society today. Still in the United Kingdom (15/07), the Extinction Rebellion protesters have blocked some roads in Cardiff, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds, and London. They demanded the government to declare a climate emergency and to take more actions regarding the climate change issues. In Russia (19/07), the head of the beekeepers’ union, Arnold Butov, reported that 20 regions in the central and southern Russia have seen mass bee deaths. A large fall in bee populations is feared to decrease honey production by 20% and thus affecting not just the honey price but also other popular foods.

Co-author: Aldrin Sampeliling