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Zimbabwe hopes for change

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Zimbabwe’s financial crises worsens, inflation on the rise again as the country reaches its largest political crises since independence.

Zimbabwe’s economic crises can be traced back to 1980 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement. The programmes intent was to alter the ethnic balance of land ownership in Zimbabwe.

The inflationary crises began shortly after the confiscation of private farms from land owners throughout the late 1990’s , towards the end of Zimbabwean involvement in the Second Congo War.

During the height of inflation from 2008 to 2009, it was difficult to measure Zimbabwe’s inflation rates because the government stopped filing official inflation statistics.

However inflation reached a peak of 79.6 billion percent at one point in mid-November 2008.

Zimbabwe’s government was forced to abolish the country’s currency in 2009 due to extreme hyperinflation, and introduced the US dollar as a more stable foreign currency for the country’s economy.

With a weakening economy, many Zimbabweans have started warming to the idea of the military’s move to take control of Zimbabwe from President Robert Mugabe.

“The military has done a good thing,” says one bookseller. “They will ensure we get a transitional government.”

He and many other Zimbabweans are convinced that Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule is coming to an end.

There is a growing loss of collective enthusiasm for Zimbabwe’s government, many Zimbabweans are hoping for change in leadership.

At the market, traders hope this means their businesses may pick up. In today’s present economy shop owners constantly watch shoppers walk past their stores.

One shop-owner states, “You see, people don’t want to spend money on thing like these; the economy is doing badly.”

The president still commands a lot of respect as an independence icon. The same respect does not seem to be extended to his wife, Grace, who was thought to be his preferred successor.

Her openly extravagant lifestyle has been widely criticised by all Zimbabweans, as many feel it is very unprofessional especially during the country’s current circumstances.

Whatever the current situation, many Zimbabweans still insist that change is coming in one way or another, in whatever form. ■

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World

UK Tories set to win majority, confirming Brexit

The Conservative Party wants to leave the EU.

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The future of Brexit was practically confirmed as key exit polls from British broadcasters on Thursday showed that the United Kingdom voted in a Conservative Party majority government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decimating liberal parties and handing London a clear mandate to depart the European Union.

The Tories have been projected to win 368 ridings, giving Johnson a majority of 86 seats, a comfortable lead in the 650-seat parliament that will allow his government to pass legislation with ease, including leaving the EU by Jan. 31.

The exit polls are considered reliable and Johnson’s win is outside the margin of error. The prime minister called the snap election, the first during the December holiday season in nearly a century, so that he could solidify political support for the Brexit movement. 

The exit poll was produced by three broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Sky – who teamed up to jointly produce similar surveys in the last three elections, held in 2010, 2015 and 2017. They predicted the correct election outcome with the exception of 2015, when 14 seats gave the Tories a majority instead of a hung parliament. ■

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Canada

Quebec's religious symbols ban survives ruling

The Court of Appeal would not suspend the law.

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Quebec’s contentious law banning religious symbols for public employees survived a key ruling on Thursday by the province’s Court of Appeal, however, it is not the final say on Bill 21 as more legal challenges await.

The court refused a motion by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the National Council of Canadian Muslims to suspend the law. The CCLA and NCCM argued the law was outside Quebec’s jurisdiction, was vague and violated rights guaranteed in the constitution. 

Quebec’s government claims the law aims to preserve secularism in the Francophone-dominated province. It specifically bans civil workers such as teachers and government service workers from wearing crosses, hijabs and other religious attire while working.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the bill claiming discrimination and that it is unconstitutional. Thursday’s 2-1 decision does not legally impact four separate lawsuits filed on a similar basis.

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh came under fire during the federal election campaign for refusing to say he would intervene on the legislation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not certain either, and said his government “might” intervene.

All three of the justices wrote in their decision that the law is causing “irreparable harm” to those impacted, particularly women, CBC reported.

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World

Greta Thunberg Time Person of the Year

She is the youngest ever.

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Greta Thunberg has inspired protests the world over. Photo by Ethan Wilkinson from Pexels.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was announced as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019 on Wednesday after gaining global fame for her environmental advocacy and high-level meetings with premiers from around the world.

At age 16, Thunberg is the youngest ever to be bestowed with the prestigious title. Time’s editor-in-chief told NBC’s Today show that the Swede “became the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet this year”.

Thunberg launched her advocacy alone and without fame when she protested with a sign reading “school strike for the climate” outside the Swedish parliament during school hours on Fridays at the age of 15.

Her efforts grew into a movement that spread across Europe and quickly the world as well under the “Fridays For Future” movement. Millions in 150 countries were stirred to action and still now protests continue globally and in Canadian cities.

Notably, Thunberg arrived in New York earlier this year by boat and addressed the United Nations General Assembly, chastising world leaders for inaction on climate change and declaring “how dare you”.

Thunberg is currently attending a U.N. climate change summit in Spain’s Madrid where world leaders are discussing the implementation of the 2015 Paris climate accords. Canada is a signatory on the agreement but Thunberg has been critical of Ottawa over fossil fuels. ■

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