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World in brief: 4th June 2018

SOUTH AFRICA: The Communist Party (SACP) called yesterday for a renewed push to dismantle “the networks of parasitic looting … that flourished under the patronage of former president Jacob Zuma.”

New President Cyril Ramaphosa “addressed and engaged extensively” with the SACP’s central committee on Saturday, and the party noted “important progress” in ongoing corruption investigations and reforms.

The committee also said it was “encouraged” by Mr Ramaphosa’s “active willingness” to join discussions about reconfiguring the Tripartite Alliance between the ANC, SACP and union confederation Cosatu.

SYRIA: The government has extended the period of time for citizens to prove property ownership before it is seized from 30 days to one year.

Fears had been raised that Law 10 would be used to take property from people who had been forced to leave their homes and had little chance of returning with paperwork to secure their homes or other property.

More than five million Syrians have been forced to flee the country during its seven-year civil war, and another six million are internally displaced.

UNITED STATES: A UN expert has condemned the US for “punishing and imprisoning the poor,” whose lives are “shorter and sicker compared to those living in all other rich democracies.”

Special rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston said US policies towards its own citizens since the 1960s had been “neglectful at best.”

Mr Alston is due to present a report on US poverty to the UN human rights council this month, having visited a slum in Los Angeles, rural Alabama and the US colony of Puerto Rico.

EGYPT: Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in for his second term as president on Saturday.

Authorities have conducted a sweeping crackdown on activists since his March re-election.

The British government has strongly supported Mr Sissi and the UK accounted for 40 per cent of foreign investment in 2016-17.

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