The Independent (UK). He was given the same brutal treatment as his victims
Let us start off today’s press review in South Africa with the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki after nine years in power. The Independent says he has “finally staggered out of the wring after a bloody fight for power with his nemesis Jacob Zuma.” In a comment piece, William Gumede says his demise was as cold, calculated and brutal as his own reputation for discarding his political enemies. Mbeke was ousted in the end not because of his failings on domestic policies but because of a personal vendetta from those he had wronged in the past. Another article focuses on who will replace Mbeke. Firm favourite is parliamentary speaker and ANC chairman Baleka Mbete who, is she gets appointed, would be the country’s first female leader.
The Times (South Africa). New opposition on the cards
The editorial in South African daily The Times concentrates on what Mbeki’s departure means for the ANC ruling party, - Africa’s oldest and most powerful liberation party-. Mbeki's sacking by the Zuma - led ANC leadership has underlined the extent of the party split. The Times says what makes this most exciting is the possibility of a new opposition party springing up from within the ruling party. Many ministers are heading towards a “political wilderness”. The Times argues that the emergence of a strong opposition party would be great news for SA but ponders whether it would be credible without Mbeki.
Dawn (Pakistan). Waziristan link seen in attack on Marriott
Pakistani newspaper Dawn says that fingers are already pointing at Waziristan to find Saturday’s terrorist attackers. The newspaper asks how such a huge quantity of highly explosive material could have entered the capital and passed high security unnoticed.
The Indian Express (India). Expats in Pak ask if it’s time to say goodbye
Indian newspaper The Indian Express has a photo showing the depth of the crater left by the bomb attack outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. The article reads “Expats in Pak ask if it’s time to say goodbye”. The article says the “sheer sound of the massive explosion left foreigners living in Islamabad shaken to their core – and for some of them it could be a tipping point.” The death toll includes two Americans; one Vietnamese and the Czech Ambassador. For many expats who frequented the Marriott, this latest terrorist attack has hit too close to home.
Le Figaro (France). New York se reveille avec la gueule de bois
French daily newspaper Le Figaro has a portrait about what life is like for New Yorkers living under the shadow of the economic crisis. One Lehman Brothers employee says he still doesn’t know whether or not his department will be among those taken over by Barclays. Others have already been laid off in the past few months and had to accept pay cuts of up to 50 percent. But when you consider that most financial sector employees take home around 270,000 euros a year, they are hardly on the breadline. The crisis is also having a knock on effect on consumer goods as high flyers have to tighten their belts. Car manufacturers and jewelers are among those expected to feel the shockwaves.
Liberation (France). Heureux comme un danois
Staying with the French press but on an entirely different subject, Liberation has an article about why the Danish are so happy. They come top of a study which takes into consideration various factors, including health, wealth and education. Apparently eating lots of sugary foods and drinking lots helps.