12 July 2016   Leave a comment

The international court at the Hague has rejected China’s claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea (点击查看本文中文版).  In fact, the court has rejected virtually every aspect of the Chinese claims.  For its part, China refused to participate in the proceedings and openly announced that it would not be bound by the judgment.   China’s Foreign Ministry said the following: “The award is invalid and has no binding force. China does not accept or recognize it.”  We do not know what the Chinese government will do in response to the decision, but we should look to how the government decides to present the matter to the people of China.  If it decides to provoke a nationalist response to the decision, it will likely mean that it will also contest the decision militarily.

Egypt has ruled that all Muslim preachers must deliver the same, pre-written weekly sermons.  The decree is designed to control what the preachers say in order to avoid incendiary or anti-government sermons.   The sermons will be written by scholars in the 1,000 year-old center of Islamic learning, Al-Azhar.   It is not the first time that the Egyptian state has tried to control the preachers in order to solidify the power of the state.   One should expect that there will be protests against the decree.

Al-Azhar

Zimbabweans are protesting the policies of President Mugabe by conducting a “stay away”, a stoppage of normal activities.  The situation in Zimbabwe is nearly intolerable:  the economy is at a standstill, inflation is rampant, and there are no freedoms for the opposition political parties.  But social media is being rallied under three different movements:  #ThisFlag#tajamuka, and a new political party, Viva Zimbabwe.  For the first time in decades, real change may come to Zimbabwe.

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Posted July 13, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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