Zuma’s ghosts return to haunt him | Opinion | M&G

President Jacob Zuma’s political survival, increasingly threatened by dissension in his own party — as demonstrated by an unprecedented splintering of the ANC caucus during the vote of no confidence in Parliament this week — will be further tested in the coming months as court cases questioning his fitness to hold office pile up.

How the courts will rule in three separate cases involving the embattled Zuma will go some way towards establishing whether he will see out his second term in office or be impeached — with the possibility of a prison term also looming over his head.

Source: Zuma’s ghosts return to haunt him | Opinion | M&G

Analysis: Even as he wins his 8th no confidence vote, Zuma appears weak | Daily Maverick

On Tuesday afternoon President Jacob Zuma survived his 8th vote of no confidence in Parliament. Despite the massed forces of the opposition to his rule, both outside and inside the ANC, he is still the President of the Republic of South Africa. On the face of it, he has reason to swagger. There was a secret ballot, and he survived. But beneath that, the story is much more complicated. The group of ANC MPs, who owe their political allegiance, their salaries and their careers to the African National Congress,


Read more: Daily Maverick

Bishop calls homosexuality ‘gift from God,’ seeks to end ‘prejudices that kill’

A Brazilian bishop said on July 30 that homosexuality is a “gift from God.” After the reactions generated by his homily, Bishop Antônio Carlos Cruz Santos, appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, sent out a statement saying that he wanted to “save lives,” after learning about the high statistics of suicide among transgender people.


A Brazilian bishop said July 30 that homosexuality is a “gift from God.” Seeing the reaction his homily generated, Bishop Antônio Carlos Cruz Santos of Caicó then released a statement saying that his only scope was to “save lives,” after learning about the high statistics of suicide among the LGBT community.

“If it is not a choice, if it is not a disease, in the perspective of faith it can only be a gift,” the bishop of Caicó in the Rio Grande do Norte state said during his homily at a Mass closing feast of Santana de Caicó, always marked on the Sunday following the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne.

“The gospel par excellence is the gospel of inclusion,” said the bishop. “The gospel is a narrow door, yes, it is a demanding love, but it is a door that is always open.

Read more: Crux

Editorial: Time for dialogue on sexual ethics | National Catholic Reporter

There is good precedent for development of the church’s sexual ethics, particularly in the last 50 years. For centuries, Catholic doctrine insisted that procreation was the sole justification for sexual acts and that sexuality was fundamentally disordered. These teachings were questioned and modified in the mid-20th century in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (“On Human Life”). Today, the church recognizes that sex between a man and a woman within the bond of sacramental marriage can be a source of joy and pleasure in both body and spirit.

The institutional church’s vocal objections to same-sex marriage often mask the fact that church teaching is fundamentally opposed to sexual acts that a majority of human beings participate in. The church condemns any sex acts — including those engaged in by married couples — that do not respect the procreative norm. Therefore, in reality, few Catholics ever live up to the church’s moral norms governing sexual activity.

Read more: Editorial:  National Catholic Reporter

From state capture to party fracture | News | Politics | M&G

How long can President Jacob Zuma survive, especially as the results of Tuesday’s vote of no confidence against the president in parliament confirmed only a narrow victory for those supporting his presidency?

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema believes not for much long. Malema said Tuesday’s outcome marked the beginning of the ANC’s destruction where, for the first time, the party’s MPs had defied its official line.

“They are done, they are finished. Anyone who doubted that the ANC is divided, anyone who doubted that the ANC has got people who are seriously not happy with what is happening in the movement, now you’ve got material evidence of such,” Malema said.

Read more: M&G

Motion of No Confidence: The ANC wins the battle but what about the electoral war of 2019? | Daily Maverick

The ANC on Tuesday evening celebrated the defeat of the constitutional motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma despite the narrowing margin of 198 against, 177 for, and nine abstentions, in a secret ballot. But in clinching this victory in the political battles, both inside and outside the governing party, has the ANC lost the war as the 2019 election looms? By MARIANNE MERTEN.

What deals were made behind the scenes will only become clearer in the coming days and months, but with a secret ballot there’s always plausible deniability, an important ingredient in the politics of this time. ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu indicated it was not important right now who may have voted for the motion or abstained from the ANC ranks. “That’s not our main focus right now. The focus is: the motion was defeated,” he told reporters after the vote outcome announcement.

But already on the night emerged a train of thinking that may have persuaded those with misgivings to throw their lot behind Zuma. According to at least two ANC insiders the thinking goes something like this: the no confidence motion was too close to the December ANC national elective conference where new leaders are set to be elected. Once that’s done, this new unencumbered leadership will criss-cross the country, interacting with communities to persuade them, again, to back the governing party in the 2019 election.

Read more: Daily Maverick

Surprising Sources of Sexual Satisfaction | Psychology Today

Sexual satisfaction promotes relationship satisfaction, as well as life happiness, and is vital to the maintenance of intimate romantic relationships (Fisher et al., 2015; Heiman et al., 2011). But a satisfying sexlife is about more than just one’s frequency of intercourse or achieving orgasm. Some other surprising qualities can enhance our sexual satisfaction.

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Intriguing research (Rudman and Phelan, 2007) shows that both men and women who have feminist partners report increased sexual satisfaction as well as more stable relationships.

Read more: Psychology Today

German president signs gay marriage bill into law |  Deutsche Welle 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the country. The change in legislation will take effect as of October 1 at the earliest.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the “marriage for all” bill into law on Thursday, his office announced.

The final step in the process to legalize gay and lesbian marriage comes three weeks after the country’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, approved the legislation at the end of June.

Source: DW | 21.07.2017

Man wins equal pension rights for husband at supreme court | Society | The Guardian

A gay former cavalry officer has won a legal battle to provide his husband with equal pension rights in a landmark discrimination case at the supreme court.

The unanimous judgment, which could benefit thousands of couples, will ensure that should John Walker die first, his partner will have access to an income of about £45,000 a year for life. It may also impose unexpected liabilities on pension funds.

Lawyers for the human rights organisation Liberty, which represented Walker, argued that a same-sex husband should enjoy the same pension rights as a widow. Under current law, Walker’s husband would receive only about £1,000 a year.

Read more: The Guardian

Like it or not, Rwanda is Africa’s future | News | Africa | M&G

Must Africa’s future be a trade-off between “development/prosperity” and democracy/human rights?

You probably don’t know much about Rwanda. Gorillas. Genocide. Don Cheadle. Maybe you’ve heard of Paul Kagame, the president. Maybe you’ve come across the phrase “Africa’s Singapore”, although what exactly that looks like, or what it means, is a mystery.

You need to know more about Rwanda.

In the grand scheme of African development, Rwanda is an experiment, a trial run, a test case for a new type of society. And the experiment is about to be repeated in a country near you.

Rwanda is your future, whether you like it or not.

Read more: M&G