After four days of late-night announcements, angry press conferences, furious statements, and leaked speeches, it was time for the first major ANC structure to meet to discuss President Jacob Zuma, and the reaction to his factional reshuffle and removal of Pravin Gordhan from the Finance Ministry. In the end, the National Working Committee, surprising no one, simply resolved to “discuss” with Cosatu and the SACP their calls for Zuma to leave. At first glance it looks almost as if nothing has changed, that Zuma is still the MacDaddy of our politics, and the game goes on the same way as it has for many years. But look a little deeper, and it’s possible that the rules of the game have actually changed quite dramatically.
By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The ANC is nothing if not predictable. Zuma does something. There is righteous fury and furious anger. Society gets moving, people mutter darkly about Parliament passing a vote of no confidence. After a climax of press conferences, eventually a top ANC structure meets and glosses over it all.
Zuma stays on to giggle another day.
Source: Daily Maverick
It’s time to admit the truth. The ANC’s biggest “smallanyana” skeleton is that it did not liberate the country but was positioned to take credit for the end of apartheid because this would do more to unify us than the uninspiring non-story of that time’s financial realities.
Our country’s regression into Old Testament territory calls for Ezekiel’s unveiling of a similarly deluded nation’s origins:
“On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.”
Source: Daily Maverick
A disproportionate number of queer youth, particular lesbians and bisexual girls, end up in jail or prison in the United States, according to a study released today by researchers at UCLA. Worse, those youth are considerably more likely to be raped during their time in custody.
“The findings support calls by policymakers and advocates for the need to pay attention to the unique needs of LGBT youth in state systems,” says Dr. Bianca D.M. Wilson, lead author on the report, released Tuesday by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
CATHOLIC WOMEN CONFRONT THEIR CHURCH: STORIES OF HURT AND HOPE
By Celia Viggo Wexler Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 216 pages, $34
The central question explored in Celia Viggo Wexler‘s engaging and thought-provoking book is one that no doubt many millions of women have struggled with: Is it possible for a woman to be both a feminist and a Catholic?
For Wexler, an award-winning journalist and Huffington Post blogger, this is not an academic question. She had reached a juncture in which she had to “find a way to stay Catholic that made sense to me and respected my intellect and feminism, or I would have to leave the church.”
Source: National Catholic Reporter
Against some expectations, Theresa May has kept her promise not to seek an early general election. The Prime Minister prides herself on sticking to her word and a campaign would cost valuable Brexit negotiating time. But one factor has received little attention: the increasing threat posed to the Tories by the Liberal Democrats.
Last month, Conservative MPs from Cornwall and Devon urged May not to go to the country for fear they would lose their seats. In Richmond, Tim Farron’s party overturned Zac Goldsmith’s 23,015 majority by attracting Remain voters and the Lib Dems have won 34 council seats from the Tories since May 2015.
The MPs’ fears, I can reveal, were later reinforced by private Conservative polling. According to multiple sources, a survey conducted by Crosby Textor showed the party would lose most of the 27 gains they made from the Lib Dems in 2015, including all those in south London, all those in Cornwall and most of those in Devon.
Source: New Statesman
The European parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of a tough negotiating stance towards the British government in the Brexit negotiations.
MEPs in Strasbourg approved a resolution setting out the parliament’s red lines in the coming talks by 516 votes to 133, with 50 abstentions, comfortably exceeding the two-thirds majority sought by parliament leaders to show unity behind their approach.
The resolution backs “phased negotiations” in the divorce proceedings, going against the wishes of Theresa May’s government, which would like exit talks and discussions of a future trade arrangement to happen in parallel. Talks on such a deal can also only occur once London has come to a settlement with the EU on its financial liabilities and the rights of citizens.
The parliament leaves open the possibility that UK citizens might be able to individually apply to keep the rights they currently enjoy, and suggests Ukraine’s association agreement might be a future model for an EU-UK trade deal.
Source: The Guardian
MEPs have voted in favour of a tough line on Brexit negotiations following a debate in Strasbourg in which Nigel Farage was heckled and rebuked for accusing the European Parliament of “behaving like the mafia”.
The former Ukip leader was told to retract his “unacceptable” remark by the parliament’s president, Italian Antonio Tajani, and said that, in respect of his national sensitivities, he would instead brand them “gangsters”.
But Mr Tajani responded: “There are no mafia or gangsters here. There are representatives of the people. This is nothing to do with national sensitivities, it is to do with being civil and democratic.”
In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against gay employees, foreshadowing a likely showdown at the Supreme Court. Michael Tarm writes:
The case stems from a lawsuit by Indiana teacher Kimberly Hively alleging that the Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn’t hire her full time because she is a lesbian.
Hively said she agreed to bring the case because she felt she was being “bullied.”
She told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the time has come “to stop punishing people for being gay, being lesbian, being transgender.”
The Chicago ruling followed a so-called en banc hearing of all the judges in the appeals court, with eight agreeing that the civil rights law prohibits discrimination because of sexual orientation, and three dissenting. The vote is notable because the 7th Circuit is considered a relatively conservative appeals court. Eight out of the 11 judges were appointed by Republican presidents.
The Hively ruling represented a circuit split with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel ruled last month that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act doesn’t prohibit workplace bias based on “sexual orientation.”
Source: Daily Ko
Some studies suggest that as many as 58% of our Catholic priest are gay – but it’s difficult to know for certain. The difficulty stems from an atmosphere of “silence and shame” which I speak about in my book; “Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay Catholic Priest.” This atmosphere is created by a hierarchy that has consistently fired gay employees and some priests. In addition, the hierarchy teaches that homosexuality is intrinsically evil, disordered, defective, or diseased. All this creates an atmosphere that keeps gay priests in the closet. To come out as a gay priest means you must be willing to risk everything – income, housing, health and retirement benefits, just to name a few.
At the same time in our church, over 70% of Catholics support LGBTQ equality! That’s incredible! Over 70% – of those in the pews – support LGBTQ equality! The people in the ‘pews’ are doing what those in the ‘pulpit’ have not been willing to do. They are supporting and affirming the equality of all people regardless of who they love.
Source: The Huffington Post
According to a recent survey, 61% of Flemings agree that “everyone should have the right to a guaranteed basic income”. About a quarter say that, if guaranteed this right, they would start their own business, and women in particular would be more entrepreneurial.
The questions about a basic income guarantee formed part of a larger survey on the economy, conducted by Trendhuis (“Trend House”), a research group that has been following trends in public opinion in Belgium since 2005. For its survey on the economy, which was released in January 2017, it polled 1,028 members of the Flemish population (Dutch-speaking Belgians) over the age of 18.
In the web-based survey, Trendhuis asked respondents whether they support a basic income, defined as a fixed (monthly) income provided by the government to all citizens, without means test or work requirement. As seen in the table below, a majority in each demographic group analyzed — young and old, male and female, “short-” and “long-” educated — supported the idea. The greatest support came from the 51-65 age group, in which 67% of respondents favored basic income.
These results are roughly consistent with those found in Dalia Research’s EU-wide study of attitudes about basic income, conducted in April 2016.
Source: Basic Income News