30 July 2018   Leave a comment

For the first time as an independent nation-state, Zimbabwe held an election without the possibility of Robert Mugabe being elected.  Mugabe led an independence movement in the British colony once know as Southern Rhodesia and succeeded after a 15-year war of national independence in 1980.  He was overthrown in a coup d’etat in November of 2017, leaving the country much the poorer because of corruption and miserable economic policies.  The election held today was between Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Nelson Chamisa.  Turnout for the national election was about 75% and electoral observers have suggested that the election was run smoothly.  We should know the results in 5 days.


India has issued a National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state of Assam and the list does not contain the names of about 4 million residents who are believed to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.  All the unregistered people are Muslim and those whose names have been omitted do not know what the next steps may be.  Human rights activist Suhas Chakma described the situation:

“The National Register of Citizens is the biggest exercise for disenfranchisement in human history. This NRC has few parallels such as expulsion of 300,000 Indian origins persons by General Ne Win of Myanmar in 1960s, expulsion of over 80,000 Indian origin people by Idi Amin of Uganda, the denial of citizenship to over 500,000 Indian origin Tamils by successive governments of Sri Lanka and in the last three decades, the expulsions of the Rohingyas by Myanmar.”

The uncertainty has created a security problem.  Assam has invoked tighter security measures after the publication of the list: “Security has been put on high alert, with section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code imposed in seven of the state’s 33 districts. Under section 144, the assembly of more than four people is prohibited.”  The move is consistent with other moves against “foreigners” made by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Europe does a better job of addressing income and wealth inequality than the US.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has evidence that income and wealth inequality cannot be addressed through normal market mechanisms but only through direct fiscal intervention by the state.  In all states, however, inequality of both metrics is increasing, not decreasing.  In the US, inequality is worse now than in 1928, the year before the economic collapse that brought on the Great Depression.


Posted July 30, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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