Siphokazi Magadla - From Malema to Mngxitama, the male leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are known to have larger than life personalities. Their escapades may be turning parliament into a site of political theatre, but their loud antics are also directing public attention to important debates. They have captured the media and the public's attention with their audacious approach. But what about the EFF's female leaders? They are unusually quiet in comparison and their shrinking flower posture does seem at odds with the generally bold flavour of their party. Is the EFF's commitment to gender equality genuine?
Leonard Gentle - Vladimir Putin's decision to trade Russia's energy supplies to China in Yuan and Roubles is being viewed as the death of the "free market" new world order. Meanwhile in Britain, the heartland of privatisation, Network Rail has quietly been re-nationalised. At the same time, Argentina has just defaulted on its debt throwing scorn at the idea of being downgraded by ratings agencies. To top it all, Thomas Piketty turned his back on what economics, as a discipline, has been concerned about for more than 30 years - the behaviour of markets. As mainstream economics is turned on its head, is it not time for us all to be questioning the discipline and its purveyors?
Nile Bowie - Six months have passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March, which took off from Kuala Lumpur carrying 239 people en route to Beijing. Despite the largest multinational search and rescue effort ever conducted, not a trace of debris from the aircraft has been found, nor has the cause of the aircraft's erratic change of trajectory and disappearance been established. The case of MH370 has proven to be the most baffling incident in commercial aviation history and one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. But months later, questions still remain unanswered about vulnerabilities in the aircraft's autopilot control system, which its manufacturer, Boeing, refuses to comment on.
Binoy Kampmark - The politics of the body, those irreverent observations about her vagina, and, well, everything else associated with the district of flesh - that was something Joan Rivers was rather good at. She claimed she wasn't ever political and with respect to her own material attempted to veer away from politics, claiming that "every moron is doing it", though she did carefully exempt Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. They, at least, were on to something. Nevertheless, Rivers has been described as "politically conservative" -- somehow she did manage to "snipe erratically" on issues of social policy to sympathies for Israel.
Nick Turse - The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa. But a Pentagon investigation suggests that those mystery projects somewhere out there on the African continent may well be orphaned, ill-planned, and undocumented failures-in-the-making. This evidence of failure in the earliest stages of the U.S. military's hearts-and-minds campaign should have an eerie resonance for anyone who has followed its previous efforts to use humanitarian aid and infrastructure projects to sway local populations in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. In each case, the operations failed in spectacular ways, but were only fully acknowledged after years of futility and billions of dollars in waste.
Watch - They are important drivers of the South African economy, yet domestic workers are still amongst the lowest paid workers today. Their fate was sealed during the apartheid era when "kitchen girls" were just servants with no workplace rights. Little has changed in post-apartheid South Africa we learn from Myrtle Witbooi, the general secretary of South Africa’s domestic workers' union. Domestic work is still not considered decent work. Poor enforcement of regulations and regressive employer attitudes mean that domestic workers' rights are being quietly violated every day by people who would never accept similar working conditions themselves.
Watch - Argentinian president, Cristina Kirchner, is fighting to get her story across in the domestic and international news media. She is pitching Argentina as the underdog standing up to US vulture funds and the people who buy them and hold developing countries hostage for the sake of financial gain. When Argentina made headlines around the world on July 31st after defaulting on its debt, the international media defaulted as well. The coverage could be summed up in four words, "here we go again". But this time the story is different and it's turned into an all out propaganda war.
Watch - This is a special Rap News summary of the past months' remarkable series of events. From Gaza to Syria, ISIS to Ukraine, Sinkholes to Ebola, Ferguson to Robin Williams, the world has been experiencing a seemingly endless series of events befitting of a Ronald Emmerich movie. How do we manage to deal with all the painful ironies and bloody tragedies of these times? To find out, Juice Rap News tunes into the mainstream media. In this superb parody, the comedic team brings you world headlines or as they like to put it, world "head-lies".
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