It’s 2am and this bedraggled header writer woke up beyond bright and early to compose this midweek world news roundup. Toonces take the wheel!
Chile writes a woke constitution. Are Chileans ready for it?
Chileans are set to vote Sept. 4 on the document, which would enshrine many of the priorities of the social movements led by the younger generations: Gender equality, environmental protections, Indigenous rights, and guaranteed access to education. The constitution is one of the first in the world to be drafted in the context of a climate crisis, and to be written by a convention with gender parity. It recognizes the sentience of animals, and their “right to live a life free from abuse.”
China Tries to Censor What Could Be Biggest Data Hack in History
The Chinese government has not made any official mention about the hack to reporters, in public, or online. Further reports have displayed just how much Beijing doesn’t want its citizens talking about the breach. The Financial Times reported that government censors have taken down posts on Chinese social media that dared even mention the alleged leak.
Italy’s River Po drought: Rome declares a state of emergency in five northern regions
The valley of the River Po, which produces around 40% of the country’s food, including wheat and rice, has barely seen any rainfall for around four months. The river, Italy’s longest, is seven metres below the average. This year, Italy has received only half the average rainfall of the past 30 years, according to state-run research body CNR.
Another consequence of the drought is that hydroelectric power production has fallen sharply. Hydroelectric installations, located for the most part in the mountainous regions of northern Italy, produce nearly 20% of the country’s energy.
Federal government, AFN reach $40B settlement to compensate for harm caused by Canada’s child welfare system
The federal government and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have reached a multi-billion dollar settlement agreement to compensate Indigenous people who have been harmed by discriminatory practices in Canada’s child welfare system (CFS), and that compensation money is now expected to start flowing to First Nations across the country, and here in Manitoba sometime next year.
The settlement comes after AFN and the First Nations Children and Family Caring Society first filed a complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act back in 2007, arguing that chronic and systemic underfunding of on-reserve child-welfare services was discriminatory, when compared to services provided by provincial governments to children in other communities.
In Kashmir, ‘conscious music’ tests India’s limits on speech
Kashmir has a centuries-old tradition of spoken poetry that is heavily influenced by Islam, with mystical, rhapsodic verses often used when making supplications at mosques and shrines. After rebellion against Indian rule broke out in 1989, poetic renditions about liberation poured out from mosque loudspeakers and elegies inspired by historical Islamic events were sung at the funerals of fallen rebels.
Two decades of fighting left Kashmir and its people scarred with tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces dead before the armed struggle withered, paving the way for unarmed mass demonstrations that shook the region in 2008 and 2010. Around that time Kashmir also saw the rise of protest music in English-language hip-hop and rap, a new anthem of resistance.
Ethiopia says Sudan agrees to border dispute ‘dialogue’
The longtime dispute between the two countries over the fertile border region of al-Fashqa. The region, which lies close to Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray, has long been cultivated by Ethiopian farmers but is claimed by Sudan, fueling a surge in tensions that has sometimes turned violent.
Most recently, Sudan said that seven of its soldiers and a civilian were killed on June 22 after Ethiopian forces took them captive on the Sudanese side of the border and then brought them back into Ethiopia. Ahmed’s government has denied responsibility, blaming the killings on a local militia.
Promised land: how South Africa’s black farmers were set up to fail
Both black and white South Africans often sounded surprised when I described white farmers’ failure. The stubborn narrative remains that the white-built agricultural sector was a jewel that black people are in the process of destroying. In 2010, the chief of staff to the land-reform minister wondered bitterly whether it wasn’t true that black people innately “can’t farm”. Land is “a liberation tool”, he declared. Yet it seemed black people were “using it to add to their poverty”.
You’re a winner, baby! Africa’s drag scene is on the rise, with South Africa’s drag artists leading the way
Drag artistry is on the rise on the African continent, and South Africa’s drag artists are paving the way, taking up space and moving ‘purse first’ to shine a light on one of the oldest forms of art in the world.
Patrice Lumumba’s tooth represents plunder, resilience and reparation
Patrice Lumumba is the hero of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s truncated bid for complete independence. He was assassinated by local counter-revolutionary forces with the help of the CIA and Belgian authorities in 1961. Since then, all over the developing world, Lumumba’s name has come to stand for defiance against colonialism and imperialism.
The return of Lumumba’s tooth after 61 years leaves many questions unanswered and threatens to open a can of worms. This inordinately belated gesture came without a formal apology for the damage caused by Belgian colonialism or a pledge of wide-ranging reparations.
Happy Wednesday Politicados. As always, please resist the urge to put clams from the clampost pile back on the menu, under no circumstances threaten those who plead with you to “drop the clam” (or anyone else for that matter), and of course no nog hogging and what have you.