Dr Death and Prime Evil

Eugene de Kock TWO decades into South Africa’s democracy, several of its most notorious apartheid-era killers are bidding for freedom. As The Economist went to press, Michael Masutha, the country’s justice and correctional services minister, was due to announce whether to grant parole to several notable white convicts. One is Ferdi Barnard, who was sentenced in 1998 to two life terms and a further 63 years in jail for the murder of David Webster, an anti-apartheid campaigner whom he shot dead at close range

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Saudi Arabia: Keeping it in the family

RARELY has one of Saudi Arabia’s ageing rulers moved so nimbly. No sooner had King Salman taken the crown on January 23rd after the death of his half-brother, Abdullah, than he immediately settled one of the most pressing questions of his rule: who would be the next king and, crucially, who would be the king after that. “The king did 90% of his job in just one day!” jokes one Saudi.The problem of the succession has long unsettled the Saudi monarchy.

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Silent Tahrir Square: Birdshot in Cairo

A SMALL peaceful protest was all demonstrators could muster near to Tahrir Square to mark the fourth anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, and even that faced lethal force. Before it could reach the hub of Cairo’s bygone uprising, Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, a 32-year-old activist from a new left-wing party, had been fatally shot in the back with birdshot. A few of her colleagues were arrested and released the next day.Egypt’s police say they had nothing to do with her death.

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David Landau: Seeker of truth and peace

Courageous and insightful DAVID LANDAU was an outstanding editor of Israel’s leading liberal daily newspaper, Haaretz, and was a valued, courageous and insightful correspondent for many years for The Economist.Born and educated in Britain, he emigrated in 1970 to Israel, where he quickly made a mark as a journalist, in time becoming managing editor of the Jerusalem Post. But in 1990, dismayed by the hawkishness of the new owners, he led a walk-out of staff. In 1997, four years after joining Haaretz, he founded its English-language edition: still respected throughout the world, including in many Arab capitals, as the voice of liberal, secular, peace-seeking Israel

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Nigeria: Elections ‘Too Close to Call’ in Nigeria, Says Major Survey

[allAfrica]Nigeria’s upcoming elections are likely to be the most competitive in the country’s history, with the parties running neck-and-neck and the outcome “too close to call”, according to a major survey of public opinion published in Lagos on Tuesday.

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