Lèse-majesté is the ‘crime’ of offending the dignity of the king, and these days it has gone out of fashion. In Britain, you can say anything you like about King Charles the Turd (as an Irish friend calls him), and no one turns a hair. But if you insult King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, you’re in deep trouble.
By Gwynne Dyer – September 4, 2023
Thailand’s Lèse-majesté law decrees specifies a jail term of up to fifteen years for insulting the king, and it is vigorously enforced. Every insult attracts a separate punishment, so the penalties pile up fast.
AP News: A CIA-backed 1953 coup in Iran haunts the country with people still trying to make sense of it
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Seventy years after a CIA–orchestrated coup toppled Iran’s prime minister, its legacy remains both contentious and complicated for the Islamic Republic as tensions stay high with the United States.
While highlighted as a symbol of Western imperialism by Iran’s theocracy, the coup unseating Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh — over America’s fears about a possible tilt toward the Soviet Union and the loss of Iranian crude oil — appeared backed at the time by the country’s leading Shiite clergy.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was re–elected for a second and final five–year term late Saturday in results announced much earlier than expected following another troubled vote in the southern African country with a history of violent and disputed elections.
An opposition party spokesperson said within minutes of Mnangagwa being declared the winner that they would reject the results as “hastily assembled without proper verification.”
Mnangagwa’s victory meant the ZANU–PF party retained the governmental leadership it has held for all 43 years of Zimbabwe’s history since the nation was re–named following independence from white minority rule in 1980.
Zimbabwe has had just two leaders in that time, long–ruling autocrat Robert Mugabe and Mnangagwa.
Gwynne Dyer — August 21 2023
“No-one will stop us from ruling this country. You will be lost if you don’t vote for ZANU-PF,” said President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe. A bit more arrogant than the usual election pitch in most parts of the world, perhaps, but not unusual in Zimbabwe, one of the southern African countries suffering from ‘ruling party syndrome’. Continue reading Dyer: Zimbabwe Election (With Updates)