Protests in Honduras: A country primed for a change
May 14, 2019
On 26 April, Honduras was again shaken by growing strikes and protests that are becoming increasingly more frequent. The latest were in response to legislation that accelerates budget cuts and the privatization of public education and the healthcare system. The protest was called by teacher unions and the Honduran Medical Association. Tens of thousands hit the streets in what is widely seen as growing discontent against the government of Juan Orlando Hernández (known as JOH). JOH leads the…
Self-Destructive Syringes: A Solution for the Hepatitis Epidemic?
May 13, 2019
Recently, the Egyptian health ministry stated it would ban regular syringes, moving to use self-destructive syringes, or ‘smart’ syringes, exclusively. Health minister Hala Zayed stated that the ban on regular syringes will take effect in June 2020, aligned with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2015 call for a transition from regular syringes and move exclusively to smart syringes by 2020 and Egypt’s own bid to eliminate hepatitis C by 2022. Could the Egyptian ministry’s decision set a…
Guatemala’s Elections: Uncertainty in a country of corruption
May 8, 2019
Guatemala cannot seem to shake its legacy of corrupt presidents with links to organized crime. General elections will be held on 16 June for President and Congress. No fewer than nine former Guatemalan presidents have been accused of misconduct, prosecuted or sentenced to prison terms. The official campaign period kicked off on 18 March. Already, the three frontrunners all face legal battles and could be removed from the ballot, or even be put behind bars. Iduvina Hernandez…
Mozambique: In the eye of the storm
May 7, 2019
Over the last two months, Mozambique was pummeled by two massive tropical cyclones. It has left the country decimated, with large-scale destruction to infrastructure and a catastrophic death toll. Mozambique's low-lying 1,500-mile Indian Ocean coastline makes the country one of the world's most vulnerable to climate change. Cyclone Idai made landfall on 14 March. The U.N. called Idai "one of the deadliest storms on record in the southern hemisphere.”Less than 6 weeks later, the stronger cyclone Kenneth followed…
South Africa: A country at the crossroads?
May 6, 2019
South Africa is on the heels of its general elections that will mark 25 years since the end of apartheid. The country rose from five decades of white minority rule under a repulsive system of racial segregation. The first open elections in 1994 were the first in which black South Africans participated, who at the time represented no less than 77% of the country’s population. The African National Congress (ANC) won and its renowned leader, Nobel peace…
Venezuela: Another Syria in the making?
May 1, 2019
Venezuela will not become "another Syria" for Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a Russian state newspaper. This comes after a several tense weeks between the US and Russia as both countries exert their muscle for geopolitical control over the country. The U.S., along with dozens of other countries, back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the former leader of the National Assembly. Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president and was recently recognized by the Organization of…