Wow. Just wow. This new year isn’t wasting any time is it? The htxt.africa doors only opened yesterday on January the 4th and already we feel like we started 2018 way behind the curve.
In the day’s since 2017 rolled over into 2018, the news has been dominated by one trash fire after another, and a lot of it occurred on our beat. If you’ve been blissfully unaware of how insane this year has been so far step right this way.
Then again, you could always close your browser and enjoy the last day of your festive leave. We understand. Hey, the sun’s out.
For the rest of you still reading, here’s the juice.
Donald Trump’s Big Button
It only took the president of the United States of America a mere two days into the new year to send out a tweet that sent a lot of the world into a cold sweat.
In response to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un allegedly stating that a nuclear button was on his desk, Trump decided to let the world now that he too had a button. A great button. The most fabulous button. A button so awesome it would blow your mind. All the buttons. The best bu… you get the idea.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Happy New Year everyone! The leader of the first world started 2018 toying with the idea of nuclear war. Quite frankly it would be better for all concerned if Trump and Un just got up on a stage, had a battle rap and got it over with.
Logan Paul receives a well-deserved slap
If you’d never heard of YouTuber Logan Paul prior to 2018, it’s likely the last few days changed this. If not, Paul is a former Vine star and one of YouTube’s golden boys, who generates millions of dollars for the platform and even stars in two of YouTube Red’s productions, The Thinning and Thinning 2. Paul’s 2017 was a pretty profitable year for him, as evidenced by one of his videos calling it the best year of his life.
But while most of 2017 was brilliant for Paul, things took a turn for the worse on the last day of the year, when he filmed himself wandering through Japan’s Aokigahara forest (known as the suicide forest due to the amount of suicides that occur there).
After posting a video in which he and some mates were standing around a cadaver giggling and cracking jokes, Paul found himself at buried under a mountain of condemnation.
The incident not only landed Paul in very hot water – the Telegraph’s currently reporting that his empire may be under threat because of the scandal – but it also placed YouTube squarely in the crosshairs, and raised questions about the moral compass of both social media stars and their fans (a lot of whom defended Paul).
EFF calls on matrics to register for free education
When president Jacob Zuma pledged free education to the underprivileged and poor ahead of the ANC conference in December, a lot of pundits saw the move as inherently cynical.
Leaving aside the questions about how such an initiative would be paid for, a lot of talking heads were of the opinion that the announcement was Zuma hedging his bets by placing a millstone around political rival Cyril Rhamaposa’s neck, should he be elected ANC leader.
Another politician waiting in the wings to pounce on this news turned out to be EFF leader Julius Malema, who ended the year by calling on all matrics who couldn’t afford tertiary education to register for free education this month. Depending on how many would-be students heed his call, registration day at tertiary education institutions could be interesting. The EFF says they’ll be there to ensure there’s no chaos, so maybe everything will go smoothly.
North Korea places a call to South Korea
On January 3rd, North Korea made a 20 minute call to its southern neighbour for the first time since February of last year. While details of the call made on a hotline based in the demilitarised zone between the two countries are sketchy, the reopening of communications between the two countries is a step in the right direction.
Naturally, Donald Trump was on hand to take credit for the whole incident.
With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2018
News we arrived back in time for: