Venezuela is having a democratic crisis, as they are seeing their voices as citizens become marginalized in light of President Marudo’s radical attempts to solidify his power. First, the Venezuelan Supreme Court was packed with judges loyal to the president and the same judges overturned laws the president opposed. Also, several opposition politicians have not been allowed to take their seats, and gubernatorial elections have been suddenly suspended. Then the court ruled to dissolve the Venezuelan legislature entirely, a move so immediately reviled both within the nation and abroad that the move was quickly reversed. Now, according to The Independent, President Nicolas Marudo, is attempting to solidify his hold on the government by creating a political body with the power to rewrite the country’s constitution and reshuffle – or dismantle – any branch of government seen as disloyal. Citizens rightfully fear that this could spell the end of the country’s democracy.
The AIDS death toll in sub-saharan Africa “unacceptable” according to aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres. Sub-saharan Africa, where up to 10 percent of the population suffers from the disease “remains left out of the global AIDS response,” according to The Independent. The aid group states that a lack of awareness and information, coupled with a decline in international funding to help fight the disease are amongst reasons that have exacerbated the problem. According to the MSF, countries like Guinea, Kenya, DRC and Malawi, the mortality rate in MSF hospitals was currently as high as 30 to 40 per cent. The MSF said that awareness of the disease had to be raised within the community, but also that medicine needs to be more accessible, and part of that comes from the importance of governmental donors. In 2016, donor government funding was the lowest since 2010, decreasing $0.5 billion from 2015. In his latest budget proposal President Donald Trump suggested cutting $1 billion from its global AIDS programmes.
Reince Priebus was forced out of his position as White House Chief of Staff, with General John Kelly set to take on the duties of the office. Mr. Priebus is the shortest serving Chief of Staff in recent political history, as his tenure was rife with feuds within the White House. According to The Independent, the former, Republican National Committee chairman had failed to make it into the president’s good graces, after encouraging then Mr. Trump, to drop out of the race for the presidency. This new personnel shift comes just on the heels of new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, attacking Mr. Priebus in a rant to the New Yorker, calling him a ****ing paranoid schizophrenic. John Kelly is a Four-Star General, whom, according to the Daily Beast, President Trump had come to rely on during cabinet meetings to “bring discipline” to the conversation.
President Trump seemingly endorsed police brutality while speaking to law enforcement officials on Long Island, New York. According to The Independent, during his remarks, the president suggested that police shouldn’t protect suspects heads while they are being taken into custody, and that police should not “be too nice” to criminals, who the president called “thugs.” The president’s comments were met with laughter and applause, as the president railed against what he deems to be unfair practices that law enforcement must adhere to when arresting suspects. “These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.” Perhaps the President should look again at the Constitution he famously swore to protect, to find the Sixth Amendment, which affords suspects due process, including the assumption that they are innocent until a guilty verdict is passed.