Haven't heard about South Africa's gripping protests? 11 quick points will get you up to speed.

An amazing thing happened in South Africa this month when the government tried to raise university tuition.

Students fought back. And they won.


A demonstration against fee hikes in Johannesburg on Oct. 22, 2015. Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images.

Over the past few weeks, thousands of students flooded the streets, voicing their frustration with a proposed hike in tuition fees. The movement gained steam when the hashtag #FeesMustFall started trending on Twitter. Next stop: some serious international attention for their cause.

The student movement became so vocal and widespread that on Oct. 23, 2015, South African President Jacob Zuma agreed to freeze tuition increases at public universities for the next year.

That's right: They fought, and they won. For all of you students in the U.S. (or anywhere in the world) facing a mountain of student-loan debt, this is a pretty inspiring moment.

The protests are about way more than just college costs, though, and we'll get to that in a minute.

Here are the 11 things you need to know about the movement (and why it isn't over yet):

1. It all started at Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand (known as "Wits") after a proposed a tuition hike.

Students were outraged when the government proposed a 10.5% fee increase.

A young woman marches through the Wits campus on Oct. 21. Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Protesters were particularly upset because they felt the higher costs would disproportionately affect black students.

South Africa may have overcome apartheid in 1994, but that didn't lead to economic equality between races. According to South Africa's 2011 census, the average annual income for black households amounted to roughly $8,700, which was about one-sixth of what white households earned.

The New York Times reports that tuition at Wits ranged from $2,400 to $3,500 in 2015. And some other public universities in South Africa are more expensive.

Protesters on the Wits campus. Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

3. There was a serious ripple effect, with classes at several universities canceled due to demonstrations.

The cancellations were especially disruptive because exams were set to begin in the coming weeks. Some universities remained closed at the start of the week.


4. The protests weren't always peaceable.

On Oct. 21, police fired tear gas at students who stormed the gates of the country's parliament in Cape Town. During a rally two days later outside government offices in Pretoria — the country's de facto capital — a small group of demonstrators threw rocks at police, and authorities responded with stun guns and water cannons.

Most recently, police fired stun grenades and arrested a student during a protest at Wits on Oct. 28.

Students from the University of Cape Town clash with police after they forced their way into the South African parliament on Oct. 21. Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Three women are leaders in the protest movement — and are winning admiration.

The incoming student council president at Wits, Nompendulo Mkhatshwa, has been a leading voice of the movement.

"The youth have been saying that a revolution is coming, and indeed we are at the door of it if not in it already," she told Destiny Man, a South African men's magazine.

A series of three mini-profiles in South Africa's City Press highlights the work of Mkhatshwa alongside two other leaders: Shaeera Kalla, the outgoing student council president at Wits, and Jodi Williams, a political science student at Stellenbosch University.

“In social justice movements, most of the time leadership positions are hijacked by men," she told City Press. "We are turning the tables."



6. This is about more than just tuition.

In March, students at the University of Cape Town defaced a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes and went on to protest until it was removed from campus. The goal? Student activists feel it's time to "decolonize" education throughout the country, and the current demonstrations are a part of that movement.

The statue is removed on April 9. Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images.

7. Youth activists want these protests to make history.

Students called the Oct. 23 march on Pretoria "historic." And with more than 10,000 demonstrators attending, they might just be right.

Writing for CNN, Wits graduate Basani Baloyi and researcher Gilad Isaacs compared the action to an apartheid-era youth uprising in Soweto, a black urban enclave in Johannesburg, where students fought a landmark battle for educational rights.

"Not since the Soweto Uprising of 1976 have this many youth arisen to demand the right to quality and accessible education."


8. The economic divide is a big part of the problem.

University fee increases are nothing new in South Africa; BBC reports that annual tuition hikes in South Africa range between 7% and 14%. But broader economic factors could be playing a part in students getting tired of those ongoing increases.

Since the fall of apartheid, the incomes of whites and Asians have grown significantly while black incomes have been "nearly flat," according to Pew Research Center.

Students from Stellenbosch University protest against fee hikes on Oct. 23. Photo by Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images.

9. The protests could provide a boost to opposition political parties.

Since the end of apartheid, the African National Congress has pretty much run the show when it comes to South African politics. Now, opposition groups are hoping to capitalize on the frustrations of protesters and make headway during municipal elections next year.

A sign outside the ACN headquarters on Oct. 22. Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

10. This movement has spread far beyond South Africa.

Supporters of the movement have gathered in London, New York, and even Duke University in North Carolina.




11. The students? They aren't done yet.

President Zuma announced on Oct. 23 that he would freeze fees, which is a major victory for the movement:

"Government understands the difficulty faced by students from poor households and urges all affected to allow the process to unfold to find long-term solutions in order to ensure access to education by all students."

But some students are vowing to continue their activism until the government provides free education to all South Africans.


Even if the #FeesMustFall movement cools down in the days ahead, this doesn't look like the end of youth activism in South Africa.

There is an enormous economic divide along racial lines in South Africa right now. And until that's been addressed in a more comprehensive way, young people will continue to demand justice.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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