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June 16, 2017

Gaza’s power supply is reduced to three hours a day

This week the Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis broke a new record, and it’s not good. On Sunday Israel granted the Palestinian Authority’s request to cut down its electricity supply in Gaza from four hours a day to three. Solar panels provide respite for the few who can afford them, while most people must use far less appealing alternatives: candles, which have caused burns and even deaths, and money-sucking generators.

The power cuts present an even greater challenge for those observing Ramadan, as many Gazans use electric water pumps.

Zimbabwe’s presidential candidates seek youth vote

Comprising more than 60 percent of their country’s population, Zimbabwe’s youth are underrepresented at the polls. According to opposition leader and presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, only five percent of people between age 18 and 35 turned out to vote in the last election. Ahead of the 2018 elections, both Tsvangirai and current president Robert Mugabe hope to leverage high unemployment rates and gaps in social services to garner the youth vote.

Meanwhile, a group of young leaders have launched Activista Zimbabwe, a chapter of ActionAid’s global youth network, and are working to promote “meaningful youth participation” during the presidential campaign season.

Local officials in Indonesia remove permits of palm oil plantations

Last week the people of Merauke in Papua, Indonesia, celebrated a victory in the global fight of indigenous land rights: their government revoked the licenses of 11 palm oil and sugarcane plantations, because “their presence were of little benefit to local people.” Land that had been leased to the companies will also be returned to the people. While local residents of Merauke look forward to having their land back, much of it had been destroyed to make way for the palm plantations. Nevertheless, this decision has been seen as a move in the right direction to protect indigenous land rights.