US 

How healthcare is hampering the GOP

After having kept negotiations and talks behind closed doors, Senate Republicans publicly released their version of the Obamacare repeal and replace on Thursday, following days of criticism from both sides of the aisle on the secretive, clandestine nature of the Bill’s drafting. The 142 page Bill, dubbed as the Better Care Reconciliation Act differs slightly to the House version, the American Health Care Act that was passed in the lower chamber last month.  The BCRA will see cuts to spending for low-income and middle-income Americans and consequently uses the savings…

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US 

Democrats are still making the 2016 mistake

A highly spectated special election in Georgia’s 6th on June 22nd saw Karen Handel became the first Republican woman from the state to be elected to the US Congress, defeating her Democratic opponent Jon Ossof with a 3.8 percent margin victory. In a House race that saw both parties pour millions of dollars into a single Congressional seat ended in an absolute humiliation for the Democratic party, having outspent the Handel campaign $23.6 million to $4.5 million. Georgia’s 6th Congressional seat was up for election since it was vacated by…

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South Africa 

Baleka Mbete’s dilemma

Our interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the rules makes it clear that the speaker does have the power to authorise a vote by secret ballot in motion of no confidence proceedings against the president, in appropriate circumstances. – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. The final segment of the ruling from the Constitutional Court’s chief Justice on Thursday briefly echoed through the chamber only to have then been disintegrated by the cheers of the opposition parties and other members of the gallery, celebrating a victory after weeks of…

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South Africa 

ABSA and SARB saga will either be Mkhwebane’s own Nkandla report or her own smoking gun

Monday was a busy day for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane when her office released a report that ABSA pay back the R1.125bn that was awarded to Bankorp between 1985 and 1995 by the South African Reserve Bank. While ABSA acquired Bankorp in April 1992, investigations conducted by the Public Protector reveal that the loan awarded to Bankorp was irregular and did not comply with the South African Reserve Bank Act. Along with SARB, Mkhwebane found the South African government to have failed to adhere to the law. “In the circumstances the…

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South Africa 

The BLF’s success at political radicalisation

A movement born out of a power struggle conflict within Julius Malema’s EFF, Black First Land First’s (BLF) success at mobilizing a far left-wing populist cohort of the South African electorate has established the movement’s credibility as a possible threat for other left leaning parties by placing the call for absolute land redistribution without compensation as their catalyst ideology. Founded in October 2015 by expelled EFF member, Andile Mngxitama, BLF adopted such ideologies as Pan-Africanism, Black Consciousness and Revolutionary Socialism – a mildly more radical left-wing flame of the EFF.…

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International South Africa 

ICC exit will damage SA’s global perception

During a press conference on Sunday, Edna Molewa, the head of ANC’s subcommittee on international relations stated that the decision for South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court still stands, but consultations with the concerned parties remain active. In June 2015, South African authorities failed to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who was facing charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, among others from the ICC. At the time, al-Bashir was attending an AU summit in Johannesburg and despite requests from the ICC, South African authorities allowed the Sudanese…

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GE2017 International 

Theresa May’s political gambles and her wounded leadership

In an election that she hoped would secure her party an even greater majority, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan backfired when the the Tories lost their majority in the House of Commons after Thursday’s election, forcing May to form a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party. With confidence and the polls on her side, Theresa May called for a snap election in April, citing her desire to secure a larger majority for her party and a clear mandate from voters as her government heads towards the much anticipated…

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US 

Comey strikes back

Former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday was a much anticipated event that confirmed what we all suspected. Facing several questions from members of the committee, Comey was able to answer much needed queries on his interactions with President Trump, including a late January dinner at the White House where the President asked Comey for his loyalty and an Oval Office encounter that saw the President ask the Director to let go of the investigation into Michael Flynn. In his testimony, Comey expressed concern…

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South Africa 

How Helen Zille will not go down without a fight

Like every other politician in the world, Helen Zille will do what is needed to protect her brand.  But her pledge to not go down without a fight will result in a fierce power struggle between the Premier and the DA that will only lead both parties down a irrevocably damaging road. While Zille is to remain suspended within the DA until the outcome of her disciplinary hearing that is set to continue on June 30th, the official ruling comes after DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane announced her suspension, despite no final…

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US 

Comey: Trump White House lied

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign. “It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in explosive testimony that threatened to undermine Trump’s presidency. “I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted,” Comey testified under oath. “That is…

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