On Sunday, presidential opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai quit the race ending all hopes of a Mugabe-free Zimbabwe in the near future. Tsvangirai said that with the rising violence, he could not in good conscience ask his supporters to turn out to vote knowing that they might very well be going to their death. Sound dramatic? Well, considering that over 80 of his supporters have been killed by pro-Mugabe mobs since the beginning of April, and that one of his campaign aides is currently facing the death penalty on treason charges, and that Tsvangirai himself has been arrested 5 times in the past several weeks, sadly, he’s right.
He told reporters on Sunday that a free and fair election is impossible, stating, “We in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate … sham of an election process.”
On Monday, Tsvangirai fled to the Dutch embassy in Hare, Zimbabwe’s capital, seeking refuge from the violent mobs. A Dutch official told Reuters that Tsvangirai asked to spend the night, but had not requested asylum. Also on Monday, over 60 opposition supporters were arrested in a police raid on Tsvangirai’s headquarters.
In Other News:
Also on Sunday, comedian George Carlin died of heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 71. Carlin made headlines with his drug-referenced filled stand-up comedy including a routine entitled, “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television.” In 1978, the US Supreme Court ruled that Carlin’s routine contained indecent words and that the Federal Communications Commission could ban the from being aired at times when children might be listening. In 2005 he told Playboy that he was looking “forward to an afterlife where he could watch the decline of civilization on a ‘heavenly CNN’”.
On Monday, the European Union agreed to impose new sanctions against Iran over its refusal to meet demands to curb its nuclear program. The sanctions include an asset freeze on its biggest bank, Bank Melli, and visa bans targeting “very senior experts” inside Iran’s nuclear and ballistic programs.
And Now For Something Completely Different:
Lifestyle for Sale—for the right price you can become Ian Usher, complete with house, friends and job. Seriously. Following a split from his wife, Mr. Usher decided to auction off his “entire life” on, where else, ebay. So far he’s attracted 70 bids.
“Everything that I have – the furniture in the house – all has memories attached to it. It’s time to shed the old, and in with the new. On the day it’s all sold and settled, I intend to walk out of my front door with my wallet in one pocket and my passport in the other, nothing else at all. My current thoughts are to then head to the airport and ask at the flight desk where the next flight with an available seat goes to, and to get on that and see where life takes me from there.”
While that sounds awesomely bohemian and existential, at the same time the whole thing reeks of arrogance. What’s so great about Usher’s life? He’s a shop assistant at a rug store for crying out loud! And what’s so great about his friends that its’ necessary to spend money to get to meet them? And—who the hell are those 70 bidders? They need to have their head’s examined.
That’s the News.