The Week in Brief

Babylon Radio’s weekly column is here to provide you with a quick insight into some of the world’s most pressing issues.

A revolutionary man, a polarising figure. Regardless of one’s opinion, a historical presence has left our midst this week. As one of the 20th century’s longest-serving heads of state, Fidel Castro had a significant impact on world affairs. Whilst Cubans mourned the loss of their former leader, French police were able to foil a terrorist attack planned for next Thursday. In South Korea, state officials were also concerned, but for very different reasons. The pressure mounting on South Korea’s president is showing little sign of waning, with nearly two million people protesting against her rule.  

Elsewhere, the week has been marred by allegations of child abuse in English football. Allegations initially surfaced back on 16th November, but the past few days have witnessed a flurry of claims being made, which suggests that the issue in football is far more pervasive than initially thought.      

Despite being elected as the next president of America over two weeks ago, Donald J. Trump continues to make headline news. A growing number of calls have been made for voting to be recounted in key states, as Hillary Clinton adds her weight to the demands. Finally, in remarks that some may associate with Trump himself, a long-running political show in Kenya has been cancelled after a guest made a despicable rape remark about a female who was also participating in the show.  

Cuba’s Revolutionary Leader Passes at the Age of 90

Late on Friday night, Raul Castro triggered nine days of mourning as he announced the death of his older brother, and political predecessor, Fidel Castro. Cuba’s communist revolutionary captured the hearts and minds of political sympathisers throughout the world, during his ninety-year life. Considered to be one the greatest communist leaders in history, Castro was able to make marked improvements in the country’s healthcare and education systems. Yet, life wasn’t always great under Castro, with economic stagnation and American isolation having a detrimental impact upon ordinary Cubans. To be loved by all is a feat that most human beings fail to achieve, and in this respect Castro was no different. Described by president-elect Trump as a ‘brutal dictator’, Castro had fonder allies in other states, with Canada’s, China’s and Russia’s heads of state bestowing praise upon the late leader. Cuba’s nine days of mourning will act as a period of reflection for a political actor that divided opinion, but cemented his mark on politics throughout the world.   

More Details Revealed about Failed Terror Plot in Paris

The ripple effect from police raids in Marseille and Strasbourg last weekend continues to be felt in the days following the operation. Worrying facts about France’s terrorist threat paint a stark picture for the French republic. As well as finding automatic weapons, police discovered that the five men arrested were receiving orders from an ISIS commander. Details of the raid continue to emerge, but Paris’s chief prosecutor confirmed that Disneyland, Christmas markets and judicial courts were some of the targets the suspects had considered. Whilst the months-long operation was ultimately a success, this incident shows that although security has tightened in France since last year’s devastating attacks, the threat still remains very real.

President Park Guen-hye is Feeling the Heat as Protesters Hit the Streets of Seoul

Unconfirmed reports have claimed that 1.5 million South Koreans took to the streets of Seoul on Saturday, to voice their anger at president Park Guen-hye. There has been little to suggest that the five weeks of protests will waver, and Saturday’s mass-demonstrations further emphasised that point. Facing the prospect of being impeached for her role in a political scandal, president Guen-hye’s approval rating floats around the five per cent mark. Accused of giving undue influence to an unelected, unaccountable, personal friend, president Guen-hye faces an anxious wait to see whether she can hold on to her political office.

Revelations about Abuse in Football Gather Pace

Football in England has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse over the past week. Ex-player Andy Woodward’s claim that he had been sexually abused as a child has inspired further survivors to come to the fore. Steve Walters, Chris Unsworth and Jason Dunford all revealed how they were subjected to abuse by a former Crewe Alexandra coach, whilst they were young boys at the football club. An NSPCC hotline, as well as a Football Association investigation, has been setup to learn the true extent of abuse in the game, with more survivors expected to come forward in the near future. For now, it appears that football, and perhaps other sports too, are at the beginning of a long, painful but necessary process in their bid to expose the suffering experienced by children in their care.      

I Demand A Recount!

Many people have been left shocked and confused by Trump’s victory in the presidential elections, with none more so than Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the recent elections. Noting ‘statistical anomalies’ in key, closely fought states, Stein has demanded that votes are recounted in the areas concerned.  Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania have all been earmarked as states where recounting should be initiated. If the results were to be reversed in those states, then president-elect Trump may find himself out of a job. Hillary Clinton’s campaign have thrown their backing behind the demand, as six million dollars has been raised so far in order to finance the recounting process. Watch this space.

That’s All She Wrote: The End of Kenya’s Leading Political TV Show

Kenya’s leading political TV show has been cancelled following outrageous remarks by one of its guests. The show, which is hosted by former CNN journalist Jeff Koinange, featured two candidates in the upcoming elections for Nairobi’s next governor. However, in an off-air comment that came to light, the male guest, Miguna Miguna, is heard making crass and insulting remarks about his female rival, Esther Passaris. Miguna’s statement decreed that his opponent’s beauty meant that ‘everyone wanted to rape her’. Koinange’s failure to intervene has been subjected to fierce criticism, and the subsequent end of the show ten days after the comments were first made.  

Simone Ferreira
Simone Ferreira

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