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Curated top stories
- Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe defied expectations that he would resign after 37 years in power, instead vowing to preside over his party’s congress. This televised speech comes after meeting with the country’s military chiefs and the ruling ZANU-PF party fired him as leader. The party had given the 93-year-old less that 24 hours to quit or face impeachment. Mugabe has largely been confined to his house since the army took over on Wednesday. Thousands of Zimbabweans marched throughout the capital city of Harare in support of President Robert Mugabe stepping down. The military and the ruling Zanu-PF party, which Mugabe belongs to, backed the protest. The BBC reports that Emmerson Mnangagwa has been appointed as the new head of the ruling ZANU-PF party.
- The border between Egypt and Gaza opened for the first time since 2007 under the control of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Haaretz reports that the border will remain open for three days for humanitarian cases, as well as for Egyptian citizens and students. The border was initially closed in 2006 because of national security concerns when the Hamas political party took control of the border after being elected. Hamas claims that 30,000 Gazans have already applied for permission to cross into Egypt, according to the Washington Post.
- President Donald J. Trump will halt his administration’s decision to allow the import of elephant hunting trophies. On the evening of November 17, President Trump sent a tweet: “Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke.” (Full Story Here). The ban had been implemented under the Obama Administration in 2014 to boost conservation and anti-poaching efforts, which explicitly mentioned the elephant population of Zimbabwe as a concern.
What we’re reading
- Der Spiegel reports how German Chancellor Angela Merkel is struggling to form coalition government between her centrist Christian Democratic along with the Christian Social Union parties, the pro-business Free Democratic Party and the Green Party. After losses in the September elections, such a coalition is key for Chancellor Merkel to remain as the leader of the country, but among others the issue of climate change and refugee issues have held up talks. The Green Party wants stricter emission standards, while the other two parties are concerned of the economic impact. The Christian Social Union and the Green Party are at issue on the right of refugees with asylum status to bring family members to Germany. — Charles Turner
- How could the breadbasket of Africa have deteriorated so quickly into the continent’s basket case? The answer, this Atlantic piece from 2003 posits, is Robert Mugabe, who by his actions has compiled something of a “how-to” manual for national destruction. Here Samantha Power lays bare that manual. “The Zimbabwe case offers some important insights,” she writes. “It illustrates the prime importance of accountability as an antidote to idiocy and excess. It highlights the lasting effects of decolonization—limited Western influence on the continent and a reluctance by African leaders to criticize their own. And it offers a warning about how much damage one man can do, very quickly.” — Charles Anderson
What the WikiTribune community’s up to
- Astronomers working at an observatory in Chile have discovered a new world that could potentially be able to sustain human life. As WikiTribune member Dan Marsh reports, the planet presents the best-known chance of habitability.