From: The Stream

Will Ethiopia’s elections be free and fair?

On Monday, June 21 at 19:30GMT:
Ethiopia elections
Ethiopians will next week vote in an election that takes place against a backdrop of civil conflict and warnings of looming famine. Voters will elect members of the federal parliament with the leader of the winning party becoming prime minister. It presents the first electoral test for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who came to power in 2018 when elected leader of the then ruling party. There is widespread concern about how free and fair the elections will be despite assurances from Abiy. Voting will not take place in the war-wracked Tigray region and it has also been postponed in other constituencies due to defects in ballots, logistical issues and security challenges. In this segment, we’ll preview the election and ask what might happen next.

Delta variant
COVID-19’s Delta variant, which was originally discovered in India, is now spreading across the world and on track to become the most dominant strain of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization this week said the variant had been detected in more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads. Studies have shown the variant is more transmissible than other strains but studies also suggest vaccinations work well in protecting people against it. In this segment, we ask: in the race between vaccines and the delta variant, who’s winning?

Havana Syndrome
In 2016, a US State Department official in Cuba heard a piercing sound that was so loud he felt intense pressure to the face. Pain, nausea, and dizziness followed and the symptoms didn’t go away. More than 130 people have been affected since then, many report lingering health effects and some are unable to work. They face bureaucracy in getting treatment and find their symptoms are often dismissed.  Earlier this month, the US Senate voted unanimously to pass legislation that would provide additional resources for officials suffering from what has become known as the “Havana Syndrome”. In this segment, we speak to a retired CIA officer about his experience.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Zecharias Zelalem, @ZekuZelalem

Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, @mvankerkhove
COVID-19 Technical Lead, WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Marc Polymeropoulous, @Mpolymer
Retired CIA officer
Author, Clarity in Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the CIA