Pass the parcel, recounts and a singing PM
Its Thursday. So it must be Zimbabwe. To the naked eye (and ear) the news filtering out of Harare looks relatively positive.There was the aborted pass-the-parcel game with a shipload of arms from China destined for the land-locked country, which may have been used in the further repression of the local populace as we pointed out yesterday.However, the dockworkers of South Africa, Angola and just about everyone else on the African continent refused to play ball. So, the boat is now heading back to China in a huff as reported by the BBC. If that wasnt enough, then there was also the remarkably call in the Zimbabwean daily newspaper, The Herald, for a government of national unity. The paper has been viewed as a mouthpiece for President Mugabe, and this editorial has been widely interpreted as huge break with that tradition at least by The Daily Mail and in Chris McGreals video piece on the Guardian website today.But before we get all dewy-eyed over the future prospects for Zimbabwe, its worthwhile remembering that the recent elections remember them? The ones that took place nearly four weeks ago and we still havent had the final results for are in the midst of recounts. And the prospects that they will be fair are looking pretty bleak as reported in The Telegraph. Apparently seals have been broken on the ballot boxes and election officers are also being harassed by pro-Mugabe forces. Somehow, I cant help thinking that by some miracle Mugabes Zanu-PF might emerge victorious.Now while Zimbabwe is taking all the headlines, sadly there is the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka that seems to be slipping under everyones radar. There is renewed fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tigers with around 90 people killed yesterday. The Independent thought it worthy of only a nib, while The Guardian and the BBC at least had some online coverage. How bad does it need to get before it reaches the front pages?Moving onto the internet, a couple of stories have caught my eye this week. Firstly, our fantastic new campaigning film the Stuff of Life on waterboarding has caused quite a stir on YouTube. The regular user 4951WEDDEL stepped into defend the use of this cruel practice and well since then all hell has broken out. You can read the debate here.And finally, and purely for my own entertainment, the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudds now famous apology for the treatment of aborigines has been set to music. You can view the GetUp Mobs masterpiece by clicking here.Until next time.
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