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Geopolitics

South Africa Mourns Its Dead Miners

MAIL & GUARDIAN (South Africa), BBC NEWS (UK), CNN (USA), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), RFI (France)

Worldcrunch

JOHANNESBURG - Events are taking place across South Africa today to mourn the 44 people killed in recent violence at the northwestern Marikana platinum mine, reports CNN.

Politicians, religious leaders, workers and members of the local community are attending a memorial service at a church near the mine to commemorate the victims, says the BBC News.

At least 70,000 people are expected to take part in the ceremonies but the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma will not be attending the official service, according to The Mail & Guardian.

The clashes started on August 10 during a pay rise strike at the Lonmin mine, explains Al Jazeera.

Police opened fire on the strikers, killing 34 miners. Ten other people, including two policemen, were also killed.

The memorial service comes as two other platinum mines in the nation's mining heartland echoed Lonmin workers, signaling spreading instability and labor discontent, reports CNN.

Mine workers gathered at nearby Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine on Wednesday to voice their discontent.

Visiting the Marikana mine on Wednesday, Zuma told workers that he "felt their pain" and promised a thorough investigation of the shootings, adds BBC News.

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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