Oh, We’ve Seen Fire and Rain and Nuclear Bombs
|IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ|
Trump Sees Fire and He Sees Rain, So Where Are The Sunny Days?: President Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday it would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen” if its leader, Kim Jong-un, keeps threatening the United States. Trump made the remark during a photo op at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on a working vacation. Ironically, the president’s statements, which Democrats slammed as “bombastic” and “unhinged,” come exactly 72 years after the US dropped a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki at the end of WWII.
Despite the president’s dire warnings, or perhaps because of them, North Korea threatened several hours later that it was considering a strike that would create “an enveloping fire” around Guam, a US island territory in the western Pacific Ocean where 160,000 Americans live and a large US military presence exists. At just over 2000 miles from Pyongyang, Guam is well within striking range. Guam’s Democratic Representative Madeleine Bordallo told CNN Tuesday night that she takes the threats from North Korea “very seriously.” She did add that the US military has repeatedly assured her that Guam will be protected.
|NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ|
South African President Jacob Zuma Survives ‘No Confidence’ Vote: On Tuesday, South African president Jacob Zuma barely survived his sixth vote of ‘no confidence’ in Parliament, as the country weathers growing anger over corruption allegations and a struggling economy. This vote, however, was the first to involve a secret ballot. A coalition of opposition parties and “renegade” MPs from Zuma’s party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), fell short (198-177) of the simple majority needed to force Zuma and his cabinet to resign immediately. Zuma has been president since 2009. His current term ends in 2019, and under the South African constitution he cannot run again.
The ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement, has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid, but the no-confidence vote was “closer than anyone expected. The result reveals an ANC that is totally divided against itself. Jacob Zuma has survived, but he has nothing to celebrate,” Mmusi Maimane, leader of the Democratic Alliance, the country’s largest opposition party, said in a statement. A political analyst with Eyewitness News said: “ANC MPs were ordered to vote to retain President Zuma. It looks like at least 25, possibly as many as 30, willingly defied that order. This looks like the first big sign of a possible rebellion against him in the ANC.”
Many predicted that the vote against Zuma would not pass, saying that most ANC members would not make any major leadership changes that are initiated by the opposition. “For me, it’s among the biggest reasons for the failure of African liberation movements is this misplaced loyalty to the end for the sake of holding it together,” said William Gumede, executive chairman of the Johannesburg-based Democracy Works Foundation. “It’s a tragedy in a sense.”
|KEEPING OUR EYE ON|
Earthquake in China Kills At Least 13: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan. China’s National Commission for Disaster Reduction said as many as 100 people may be dead, and 130,000 homes damaged. Photos showed damage to buildings in Jiuzhaigou, which is home to one of China’s most famous nature reserves and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shaking was felt in Chengdu and in Xian, some 430 miles away. In 2008, more than 70,000 people were killed in an earthquake in Sichuan.
A French First Lady? Mais Non!: Brigitte Macron will not henceforth be known as the First Lady of France. Her husband, President Emmanuel Macron, has apparently abandoned his plan to officially recognize her as such. According to the French constitution, the president’s spouse does not enjoy an official position, though he/she does have an office and a number of advisers. More than 280,000 people signed a petition against giving Mrs. Macron an official title, status, and budget. President Macron, elected in May, has publicly stated he is determined to rid the French political system of nepotism. Apparently at least 280,000 of his constituents viewed his plan to make his wife First Lady un peu hypocrite.
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