The Guardian • Issue #2097


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2097
Global briefs

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa celebrated the 30th anniversary of the end of the racist system known as apartheid on 27 April. It is marked as Freedom Day, and as President Cyril Ramaphosa said “on that day, the dignity of all the people of South Africa was restored!” President Ramaphosa acknowledged major problems South Africa still has after 3 decades, such as severe poverty and extremely high unemployment, saying, “We have made much progress and we are determined to do much more.”

RUSSIA: Russia is getting ready to celebrate Victory Day on the 9th of May. One of the features this year will be a display of multiple military equipment captured by Russian forces in Ukraine. A German-made Leopard 2 tank, as well as the US-made Abrams were the latest additions to the trophy display. Overall. 30 armoured pieces from 12 countries will be exhibited, including weapons produced or supplied by the US, UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Austria, and Australia. Australia has pledged extra funding for Ukraine of $100 million, bringing our total contribution to more than $1 billion.

ITALY: Italian neo-Nazis marked the 79th anniversary of the execution of Benito Mussolini by marching through north Italian towns where Mussolini was arrested and executed. Dozens of people chanted fascist slogans and performed Nazi salutes.

Also in Italy, while some Italian towns have revoked Mussolini’s honourary citizenship, other towns have conspicuously left it in place, with the mayor of Anzio saying that “History must be respected,” and adding that “fascism no longer exists.”

BOTSWANA: The British government asked Botswana to take refugees off its hands, Foreign Minister Kwape said. “We did not accede to their request. “We have enough problems that we are dealing with, especially immigration problems in the neighbourhood,” he said, adding that to have agreed would have been unfair to Botswana. The offer to Botswana came hours after the Rwanda scheme had been approved by MPs at Westminster. Under the new law, asylum seekers who arrive illegally to Britain will be sent to Rwanda. British Prime Minister Sunak pledged that the first flights will leave as early as July and promised a wave of deportations “come what may” over the summer. “The UK government clearly doesn’t care about the cost of its Rwanda deportation scheme to UK taxpayers any more than it cares about the cruelty it will inflict on asylum seekers,” commented Human Rights Watch representative.

POLAND: Prosecutor-general Adam Bodnar informed Polish MPs that Israeli-developed Pegasus spyware, used to crack mobile phones, had been used on hundreds of people under the former government. Bodnar, who is also the Justice minister, said that it was used by three separate government agencies – the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Military Counterintelligence Service, and the Internal Security Agency. Pegasus was used to spy on 578 people from 2017 to 2022.

SOMALIA: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that about 88,000 people were internally displaced in Somalia in the first three months of 2024. The UNHCR said the displacement was mainly caused by conflict or insecurity and the long-term effects of flooding, which occurred between October and December 2023.

CUBA: Economists, politicians and academics have headed to Havana for the 50th anniversary New International Economic Order Congress, the second time the event has been held in Cuba. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, the forum will promote dialogue around the problems that hinder development and world peace, due to an unbalanced international economic, political, scientific-technological, and military order.

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