• Thirty-five years ago, a radioactive plume fell over Europe after the nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear complex in Ukraine. The 1986 accident and loss of life was one of many factors that contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union.
(“Could Ukraine’s Nuclear Industry Face Another Chernobyl?” Al Jazeera, April 26, 2021)
• Infighting within South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party boiled over as party leaders moved to suspend ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule over his indictment on 21 graft charges last November, linked to a $23.5 million contract to remove hazardous asbestos roofing, work that was never carried out. The suspension was ordered by the majority of the ANC leadership council loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Magashule is an ally of former President Jacob Zuma who was tied to multiple corruption scandals.
(“The ANC’s Attempt at Accountability Leads to Chaos,” Foreign Policy May 14, 2021; “Arrest of Ace Magashule Is a Good Thing,” Economist, Nov. 12, 2020; “What Defiant Magashule Had To Say About Split ANC: ‘The Soul and Character of the ANC Have Changed,'” News24, May 18, 2021)
• During his divisive four years as president, Donald Trump recruited a new generation of mega-donors to the Republican party who shared his extremist views and fondness for conspiracy theories. Julia Jenkins Fancelli, heir to the Publix Supermarket chain fortune, was the prime donor supporting the Jan. 6 rally, the prelude to the terrorist insurrection on Capitol Hill. Fancelli is a fan of far right conspiracy promoter Alex Jones, and pledged $300,000 to bankroll the rally.
(“Trump Spawned a New Group of Megadonors, Who Now Hold Sway Over the GOP’s Future,” ProPublica, May 6, 2021)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.