If the reasons for the discontent varied from place to place, they all pointed to problems in South African society, in government and in the way the ANC functions at local level.
"These protests also highlight weaknesses in government institutions. There is no doubt that residents in some of these areas have genuine grievances. There may indeed be corruption and incompetence in the structures that are supposed to manage their areas."
"It is also clear that residents in many areas are frustrated by the lack of information coming forth from their elected representatives, and have a strong sense that their representatives are not listening to them."
"These protests also highlight weaknesses within the ANC structures and the broader democratic movement. The ANC is a people’s organisation, and is supposed to be with and among the people.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Another study, also published by Eurosurveillance, found that more than half of 85 children in three London schools had side-effects when given the drug as a preventative measure after a classmate was diagnosed.
Of the 45 children who suffered side-effects, 40% reported gastrointestinal problems including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain and cramps, while 18% reported a "neuropsychiatric side-effect" such as poor concentration, inability to think clearly, problems sleeping, feeling dazed or confused, bad dreams or nightmares and "behaving strangely".
SHOOT: Feeling dazed and confused... Wonder where this drug actually works? In the neurotransmitters? In the brain?
“There’s this assumption that everyone [on Wall Street] was like drunken sailors passing out money without regard to the consequences or without giving it any thought,” Mr. Profusek said. “That wasn’t the case.”
SHOOT: Actually, it was. It was a swindle, and the crazy thing is, Wall Street thinks everyone else is stupid, and that they're immune to the ire of the masses. Big mistake on both counts.
Kudos to Patricia de Lille for getting ICASA to re-examine South Africa's 'highest cellphone rates in the world'
SHOOT: In the USA and UK they have such low rates that virtually no one sends text messages. It is an absolute skande that a country where 40% live below the poverty line, you actually have state sanctioned costs like these. But it's no wonder South Africa is one of the most profitable markets. Margins must be huge.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa on Thursday agreed that there was a need to look into high cellphone rates, said Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille.
SHOOT: South Africa needed to invest in this technology, heavily, about 10 years ago. The idea that we might start now and come online ten years from now, in 2018, in these financial and energy predicament conditions, is fanciful. I am a supporter of nuclear, but with one condition - you need to guarantee that the facility can be maintained and serviced, and that it is secure. I'm not sure if South Africa can say this. Our record in almost every area is poor, or deteriorating, with the possible exception of the finance sector.
Hogan is right to see Nuclear as a solution, but we've missed the boat. France got it right, China has also invested fairly heavily in it.
JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) - South Africa sees nuclear
"There is a lot of controversy about nuclear in the world...
South Africa is one of the pioneers in developing a power
Jaco Kriek, chief executive of the technology firm
Thursday, July 30, 2009
BEWARE: Facebook boyfriend stabs model girlfriend - Judge says: You are an evil man with nothing to commend you
“For the past seven months Ric’s been hitting me, locking me in rooms with him so I can’t get out. Putting knives to my throat telling me he’s going to kill me, putting pillows over my face, covering my nose and mouth with his hands and just staring at me while I’m struggling to breathe. Says if I leave him he’ll kill me and himself. He proposes to me and tries to get me to have a baby with him. He tells me if I go out with friends I’ll get raped.”
The tape begins with piercing screams and cries from Amy, before she says "I've been stabbed".
Operator: "Emergency, which service do you require?"
Loud screaming is followed by Amy saying: "I can't breathe! I've been stabbed! Please help me! Please help me!"
Operator: "She says she's been stabbed."
Amy: "I've been stabbed. I'm dying. Please help me!"
Operator: "Where are you?"
Amy Leigh Barnes
The 19-year-old was a model
Amy: "26, Moss Street, Farnworth."
Amy: "Moss Street, Farnworth."
Operator: "What's happened?"
Amy: "I'm dying! He's stabbed me to death. I'm dying! Please help me!"
Amy: "My boyfriend...I'm going...I can't see."
Operator: "Where are you stabbed love?"
Amy: "All over my body. I need help. Please help me."
As the life drains out of her, the victim's speech became more and more slurred and she appears to lose consciousness.
The phone line stayed open with the handset at the side of her body.
Over the chatter of the phone operators sending police and ambulance services to the address Amy can be heard groaning and whimpering.
Her audible breathing becomes laboured and the silence grows between each sob.
The operator tells Amy to take gentle breaths and tries to keep her conscious by asking her to speak her name and reassuring her emergency services are on the way - but there is no response.
In the background during the 999 call her mother, Mrs Killiner, can be heard leaving two phone messages on the house phone.
Both starting with the words "Hiya love!" and ask her daughter to ring her urgently.
Andrew Barnes, her father, who had been summoned to the house by her worried family, then arrives to find his daughter on the floor in a pool of blood.
With the phone line still open he is heard to say: "Amy! Amy! Amy! What's happened Amy? Are you all right? Amy what have you done?"
Mr Barnes then speaks to the police call handler: "I need an ambulance. She's bleeding There's blood everywhere. Amy, are you OK?
Wilks accused of destroying evidence
"She's 19. She's bleeding very badly. Amy! She's not acknowledging anything. She's breathing, yes."
Miss Barnes was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment but was pronounced dead two-and-a-half hours later.
Dr Mark Thomas, UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment, says: "When we think of how we came to be the sophisticated creatures we are, we often imagine some sudden critical change, a bit like when the black monolith appears in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In reality, there is no evidence of a big change in our biological makeup when we started behaving in an intelligent way. Our model can explain this even if our mental capacities are the same today as they were when we first originated as a species some 200,000 years ago.
A 12-week closure of schools could wipe 6 per cent off Britain’s gross domestic product, as working parents would have to make alternative childcare arrangements, adding to absenteeism.
SHOOT: It may come down to cost. And sacrifice. Are we prepared to save lives and lose money? In a pandemic scenario, the sooner schools close the better the spread can be curbed, but they may need to remain closed for up to year, possibly two. There is an argument to be made that symptoms are currently mild. I think what's more important is slowing this virus down, whatever way is possible, to buy time. Homeschooling is an option for wealthy parents. Swine flu is probably going to wipe out the poor.
Computerised models predict that school closures would significantly slow the spread of the virus, reducing the numbers falling ill at the pandemic’s peak by between 39 to 45 per cent.
Retrospective studies of the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million worldwide, suggest that closing schools in American and Australian cities might have reduced mortality by between 10 and 30 per cent, with larger reductions in deaths at the peak — up to 50 per cent in some cities.
John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that closing schools would be an extreme measure not justified by the mild symptoms experienced by most people infected with the virus.
In swimming, legendary Hawaiian champion Duke Kahanamoku set the world record in 1912 with a time of 61.6 seconds with a calculated slenderness of 7.88. Some 96 years later, Eamon Sullivan lowered the world mark to 47.05 seconds at a slenderness factor of 8.29.
As the athletes' slenderness factor has risen over the years, the winning times have dropped.
In 1929, Eddie Tolan's world-record 100 meter sprint of 10.4 seconds was achieved with a slenderness factor of 7.61. When Usain Bolt ran 9.69 seconds in the 2008 Olympics, his slenderness was also 8.29 while also being the tallest champion in history at 6-feet 5-inches.
Bolt puts his prediction to the test next month at the track and field world championships in Berlin. His main competition is Asafa Powell, the previous world record holder, who is shorter and has a slenderness factor of 7.85. My money is on the Lightning Bolt.
SHOOT: Britain is about to release their latest stats for infections.
Doctors have said that Tamiflu, the main antiviral drug being used to treat symptoms, could be overprescribed by staff at the telephone service, who are not medically trained.
“We know that for people to be treated in the first 24 to 48 hours makes a real difference,” he said.
Officially, nearly one in four South Africans is now jobless; the real number is probably nearer one in three. Inflation is running at 8%. The cost of food and fuel has risen particularly fast. It is harder than ever for the poor majority to get by.
It is now winter in South Africa. In the shanty towns around the big cities, people are cold as well as hungry. Their president promised that the drive to eradicate poverty would be the cornerstone of his new government’s policies. The millions who live in leaky shacks without electricity or running water, surrounded by unlit streets rife with crime, know that these conditions cannot change overnight. But many are impatient. This week police in Johannesburg’s Thokoza township had to fire rubber bullets and squirt tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters railing against unemployment and the government’s failure to deliver services.
After expanding by 3.1% last year and by an average of 5% over the preceding four years, the economy is expected to shrink this year by around 2%, a far cry from the 1.2% growth on which the government based its budget in February.
Some of the ANC’s election pledges have already fallen by the wayside. No more has been heard of its promise to extend child-support grants to the age of 18 instead of just 14. Plans for national health insurance seem to have been shelved, at least temporarily. At the same time, many more South Africans are joining the 40% who already live below the poverty line, as struggling companies lay off workers.
SHOOT: Read the rest beneath the fold.
President Jacob Zuma always knew he could not expect much of a honeymoon, despite the landslide victory of his ruling African National Congress (ANC) in April’s general election. His costly campaign pledges had raised expectations high, just as South Africa was sinking into its first recession in 17 years.
SHOOT: It's a bit like expecting to hold a candle and keep the flame flickering under a waterfall. You just can't maintain growth or increased property markets with an economy shedding jobs.
FIN24.com: He said the poor employment figures seriously harm households' confidence levels and they don't see their way to spending much at this point.
Householders remain under financial pressure owing to high indebtedness, despite the interest-rate cuts amounting to 4.5% points since December 2008.
Although he does not expect the figure to turn negative on an annual basis, it will still trend towards lower levels in the second half of this year.