Obama in South Africa: We are in 'strange' and 'uncertain' times

Obama in South Africa: We are in 'strange' and 'uncertain' times

"We now see much of the world threatening to return to an older, more unsafe more brutal way of doing business", Obama said.

The former president said such true-bending behavior can be seen in the "growth of state-sponsored propaganda" and "internet-driven fabrications" - things that both Trump and Putin have been accused of propagating.

"If you start (by) saying it is an elaborate hoax. where do we start?"

"I can't find common ground if somebody says that climate change just isn't happening, when nearly all the world's scientists tell us it is".

Obama did not once say President Donald Trump's name during the address, which coincided with what would've been Mandela's 100th birthday.

"I can't find common ground if someone says climate change is just not happening when nearly all the world's scientists tell us it is".

Former Pres. Obama: "Unfortunately, too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth".

"Without facts there is no basis for co-operation", he said at the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in South Africa.

"Look around. Strongman politics are ascendant suddenly, whereby elections and some pretense of democracy are maintained but those in power seek to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning", Obama said Tuesday during a speech in South Africa honoring Nelson Mandela.

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He condemned leaders who engage in "strongman politics" and said leaders who push the "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment" are moving 'at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago'. Chosen from almost 10,000 applications, the participants come from 44 countries, said Bernadette Meehan, the Obama Foundation's executive director of global relations. "It used to be that if you caught them lying, they'd be like, oh man - now they just keep on lying", he said, to laughter in the crowd.

Obama said that in preparing his lecture, he "thought about the American press, and how they often got frustrated in my long-winded answers at press conferences, when my responses didn't conform to two-minute soundbites".

The lecture, which will be delivered by former USA president Barack Obama, has reeled in leaders from all corners of the world.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and Graca Machel, Mandela's widow, introduced Obama to a cricket stadium full of an estimated 14,000 people and even more who tuned into the lecture online.

The visit is Obama's first to Africa since leaving office in early 2017.

"And I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation in pursuits of a common good".

Mandela, who was released from prison in 1990 and became South Africa's first black president four years later, died in 2013, leaving a legacy of reconciliation and diversity along with a resistance to inequality, economic and otherwise.

Before Obama delivers his speech on Tuesday, the former president made a stop in Kenya on Monday to assist in the grand opening of a sports and fitness center.

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