94-year old apartheid legend and ex-president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela seems to be regaining his health after a hopefully fleeting lung infection. After spending his second night in the hospital, the South African president’s office reassured the public that Mr. Mandela was in good spirits and that he enjoyed a full breakfast this morning (TMI, much?). Anyway, the Nobel Laureate was overwhelmed with loving gestures from all over the world following his admission to the hospital. From Barack Obama’s
“best wishes”, to South African love and voices of concern all over the streets and Good Friday prayers for Mandela’s health in South African Churches. “I hope this time God will have mercy on him to give him the strength and courage to continue to be an icon for our country,” Father Benedict Mahlangu said at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, as it held services in the Soweto township outside Johannesburg where Mandela once lived. Amen to that one!
In Baghdad, an awfully violent incident involving 4 bombings near Shia mosques during Friday prayers killed at least 18 people and wounded over a 100 others. Although no one claimed the attack, attacking Shia mosques is mostly attributed to Sunni groups related to Al-Qaeda. This aggressive act comes amid the preparations for the first ever elections in Iraq, since the death of Saddam Hussein and US invasion which is scheduled to take place on April 20th.
The BRICS association of emerging economies wanted to launch a development bank in a similar fashion as that of the World Bank. Following a meeting in Durban, South Africa, a preliminary agreement was reached about establishing a joint infrastructure lender worth $50bn. The idea of the bank came up as a way of lubricating world influence, to counter the blistering euro zone crisis, and to finance the medium-term infrastructure needs of the BRICS countries. Well, good luck with that, BRICS!
On a lighter note, millions of Hindus were witnessed welcoming the spring season by smearing one another with colorful paints. Despite the variations from one city to another, all Hindus were greeting spring season appearing soaked in fiery reds, royal purples, electric blues and pale yellows! Despite the drought concerns – Mumbai is battling the toughest drought it’s been through since 1972 – Hindus have not abandoned their colorfully pretty and joyful traditional of celebrating the color festival!
Some would say that the world nowadays seems to be going backwards. After all, who would have guessed that the sophisticated offspring of the land of the Tour Eiffel and the delicate croissant are capable of making death threats? Recently, Jean-Michel Gentil, the French Judge who formally placed former President Nicolas Sarkozy under investigations for allegations of breach of trust, has received a written death threat along with a bullet in the mail. Talk about not pressuring the judiciary!
Moving on to the east, Russia blatantly told its people that it will not be compensating their cash losses in the Cyprus banking crisis. Cyprus is known to attract Russian savers into its banks with its tempting rates, but when the banking system in the country collapsed, the savings of the Russians simply have gone with the wind. The savers are now left to grieve their losses, with their government unwilling to help them out of their own financial hell.
This week a new air of doubt seems to be sweeping through the Nation. Recently, skeptics have been scrutinizing the Osama Bin Laden execution of May 2nd, 2011. They claim that the stories told by witnesses of the killing “Do not add up”. The shooter from the designated operation came forward and told Esquire magazine what happened the day of the shooting, painting the event to be merciful and courageous. A responsible member for the operation recently came forward and shockingly revealed to CNN that the shooter’s account of how he only shot Bin Laden in self-defence is completely fabricated! The witness revealed that even after Bin Laden had been shot limp on the floor of his bedroom; they proceeded to shoot him with multiple bullets to the chest. And this new revelation put a rather horrific spin on the allegedly heroic tale.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has been busy scheduling a visit to neighboring Mexico in May. The visit is said to be aimed at “strengthening the brotherly cultural and economic” ties between the two nations. Well at least that is one form of brotherhood we will not have to worry about.
Going a bit further down on the map, the president of the small island of Cuba has recently vowed that he will leave office in 2018. The recently elected Raul Castro, the younger brother of the revolutionary Fidel Castro, said in a national speech that he will not seek to be president after his second term has ended. He expressed that no official should be in office for more than two concurrent terms. How considerate of you, Mr Raul!
Not too far away, Venezuela seems to be putting together a team of investigative scientists to examine the death of the great Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. The government has recently dropped down the bomb claiming that while the esteemed president has lost his life battling cancer, they have strong reasons to believe he has been deliberately infected with the illness! A team of experts will very soon be looking into the possibility of that shocking claim.
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