The news digest on what’s happening around the world from politics, to disasters, and more.
Supreme Court Court of Appeal Upholds High Court Judgement
In March, the decision to place the municipality of Tshwane under administration to fill a leadership vacuum by the African National Congress was declared null and void when the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a High Court Judgement. The municipality has no clear majority. After a 2016 vote, The Democratic Alliance took control of Tshwane from the ANC, which was done after they entered into a loose partnership with the Economic Freedom Fighters. The alliance unraveled. When the split happened, the Gauteng provincial government declared the appointment of an administrator to run the municipality until a new council was chosen via elections. This was to occur in 90 days. The courts had blocked a precious maneuver to seize power. This block was due to a motion to object by The Democratic Alliance, who asserted that the proper steps were not taken to fill the void legally. The Democratic Alliance agreed with the motion as they called the original move a “power grab”. They welcome the SCA’s ruling which stated the original “administration and councilors should be reinstated”. The provincial government took note of the ruling. They will discuss the next steps they should take in a meeting on Wednesday. Local government elections in South Africa will not take place until 2021.
“Foreign Mercenaries” in Karabakh Sparks Armenian Probe
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, pictured above visiting a military hospital, called for an international probe into possible “foreign mercenaries” in Nagorno-Karabakh after two after Armenian forces reported capturing two mercenaries from Syria. Nagorno-Karabakh is seen as a part of Azerbaijan, but its population is majority ethnic Armenian. This is a new discovery in a string of battles in the mountain enclave and the regions around it which have had an excess of 1,000 people die in relation to the conflict. This has brought more tension in the region as Turkey is an ally to Azerbaijan while Russia has a defense pact with Armenia and has ties to Syria. The fighting was first reported on September 27 of this year and the three countries involved have yet to uphold any ceasefires that had been previously enacted.
NHS Bigwigs Accused of “Putting Politics Before Patient Safety”: Liverpool University Hospitals in Crossfire
As the UK is under the grips of a new lockdown, there are allegations coming out that NHS England’s bosses have been playing politics with the lives of the patients in the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust. The care watchdog, Care Quality Commission issued a warning to the aforementioned trust of a pending action after fears were raised with the regulator. It was discovered that an excess of 30% of the beds in the Trust was being occupied by coronavirus patients with 476 admitted on Friday. There were more than 2,660 patients reported in the hospital with Covid-19, a number which included those on ventilators. Tristan Cope, LUH Trust medical director, had warned that the standard of care could not be maintained due it being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. He pointed a finger at NHS England saying the Trust had been abandoned as cases of the virus spiked. He was quoted as saying, “LUH is now essentially overwhelmed by the demand. We cannot maintain patient flow and usual standards of care. We have put forward a proposal to further reduce elective [planned] activity, but maintaining the capacity for the most urgent cases that would suffer a 2-4 week delay.”Cope went on to say, “There has been no meaningful support from the acute cell or NHS England. In fact, they are blocking us from acting in a rational way that would help us to manage these acute pressures.”Liverpool University Hospital Trust is at the epicenter of the second wave of the virus. Merseyside cases spiked in September and November with 700 reported deaths being linked to coronavirus. An NHS Eng lad Spokesperson had this to say, “The NHS in Liverpool is now treating more Covid patients than at the peak of the first wave and the NHS has rightly been doing everything possible to sustain services for other patients, too. We have also been providing the trust external clinical support from elsewhere in the region including asking them to introduce asymptomatic staff testing to promote staff and patient safety.”
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Bloomberg-South Africa Opposition Wins Court Battle for Control of Capital
Reuters-Armenia calls for probe into ‘foreign mercenaries’ in Karabakh
NHS England story
The Independent– NHS bosses accused of ‘putting politics before patient safety’ as leading hospital struggles to cope with second wave