29 December 2017   Leave a comment

Last week the African National Congress (ANC) elected Cyril Ramaphosa as its leader, replacing Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa.  That moved paved the way for the country’s Supreme Court to issue a ruling that the Parliament had not held Zuma responsible for using government funds for personal use.  Zuma has been President since 2009 and South Africa was plagued by corruption and economic decline during his rule.  The ruling opens the door to Zuma’s impeachment and perhaps an end to the poor governance of a potentially very rich and vibrant country.

 

China has responded to US President Trump’s tweet charging China with secretly supplying oil to North Korea.  An editorial in Global Times, which serves as an official mouthpiece for the Beijing government, asserts that

“If Washington wants to accuse Beijing, it should hand out tangible evidence. It should point out which shipping company those vessels belong to and with which Chinese authority they are associated. If the US finds illegal acts by anyone from the Chinese mainland, Beijing welcomes the tipoffs and will punish the lawbreakers. “

The editorial points out the necessary evidence to support Mr. Trump’s accusation has not been made public and that the photographs released by the South Korean government are hardly conclusive.  Most tellingly, the editorial simply describes the tweet as beneath the dignity of the US President: “This is not how a US president should behave.

 

There are reports of protests in several Iranian cities.  The protests seem to focus on rising prices in the country and on the government’s emphasis on foreign policy at the expense of domestic issues.  Protests are not usual in Iran and the reports suggests that many of the protesters were arrested.  There will be increased pressure on Iran in the next few weeks, as US President Trump will need to decide a course of action on the Iranian nuclear deal if Congress does not act on Mr. Trump’s de-certification.  The US has been working with closely with Israel to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Posted December 29, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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