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Tough times as fuel price goes up

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South African motorists have expressed mixed feelings after the price of fuel rose again on Wednesday.

Prices at the pumps have increased five times since the beginning of the year.

The price of petrol and diesel has increased by around 26 cents a litre, paraffin by 22 cents a litre and LP-Gas by 37 cents a kilogramm.

Times are tough for most South Africans, but not everyone is willing to change their lifestyle. Not even the increases in fuel prices can deter South Africans from driving their cars.

“I bought the car and I want to use it every day to come to work so why should I use a public transport; it’s costing me but this is my car… I have to use it.”

Fuel retailers say they have seen more motorists spending smaller amounts to refill their tanks. But they say, the volume of fuel sold hasn’t changed.

Some say they will have to bite the bullet and hope that government will eventually do something.

The hike is expected to hit small business hard as not all are able to pass on the increases to their customers. Taxi drivers say the increase will make difficult to keep up with the high maintenance of their vehicles.

 

 

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England beat Colombia on penalties to reach quarterfinals

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England finally ended their penalties curse when they beat Colombia 4-3 in a shootout after drawing their World Cup last-16 clash 1-1 following extra time after the South Americans equalised in the 93rd minute.

England had previously lost all three World Cup shootouts and three of four in the European Championship but prevailed on Tuesday when Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca failed to convert, leaving Eric Dier to win the game for England

It was the first time Colombia had been involved in a World Cup shootout and they took first blood when Jordan Henderson missed his spot kick – but for once fortune smiled on England.

Earlier Harry Kane smashed in a 57th-minute penalty, his sixth goal of the tournament, and England looked to be through until Yerry Mina headed an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time.

It was England’s first win in a knockout game since 2006 and earns them a quarter-final with Sweden, who were far from impressive in beating Switzerland 1-0 earlier on Tuesday.

Then comes a potential semi-final against hosts Russia or Croatia with Tuesday’s win appearing to vindicate – just – coach Gareth Southgate’s decision to field a second-string side in the the final group game loss to Belgium to secure an easier route.

Colombia’s hopes suffered a huge setback before kickoff when key playmaker James Rodriguez was ruled out with a calf injury and without him they took a defensive approach and never rarely threatened.

England were always the more purposeful side but they lacked the key final ball and needed a gift to take the lead.

The South Americans had been getting away with blatant holding and wrestling at each of England’s many corners and the referee’s patience finally snapped when Carlos Sanchez hauled down tournament leading scorer Kane once too often.

After four minutes of mayhem as the Colombians protested, Kane kept his cool and smashed in his third spot kick of Russia 2018.

When Juan Cuadrado blazed horribly over the bar with the goal gaping 10 minutes from time with Colombia’s first chance of the match it looked all over for them but there was a fiery sting in the tail of normal time.

England keeper Jordan Pickford made a superb save to touch wide a furious long shot by Uribe but from the following corner – Colombia’s first of the match – giant defender Mina rose highest to head in the equaliser and send the massed Colombian fans into a frenzy.

England substitute Dier missed the best chance of the extra period when he headed over the bar but he made up for it in emphatic fashion with the winning penalty in the shootout.

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Temperatures expected to drop even further

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With the icy cold weather gripping the country, temperatures are expected to drop on Tuesday night below zero degrees celsius.

Motorists have been advised to drive with caution in the regions where recent snow had fallen and could now be melting.

Temperatures are expected to remain low for the rest of the week.

Several passes had also been closed due to heavy snow falls.

Meteorologist Azwi Tuwani says, “Tonight we are expecting sub-zero temperatures for the interior and mountainous areas. The lowest high temperature is Sutherland at 8, the highest temperature been 24 for Phalaborwa. For the rest of the week, the temperatures remain very low in the mid-teens for the interior, but will see a little bit of a pick-up going to the weekend. Maybe some areas starting to be at 20.”

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Analysis: Swedes steam into last eight with big names in their wake

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Sweden’s brand of football may not be easy on the eye but on Tuesday they added Switzerland to a list already including the Netherlands, Italy and Germany as they marched into the World Cup quarterfinals.

Had results in qualifying, the playoffs and the group stage gone another way, it might be any one of that illustrious trio preparing to face Colombia or England in the last eight on Saturday.

Much as it might offend the purists, however, it is Janne Andersson’s no-name outfit who will make the trip to Samara after a typically rugged 1-0 victory over Switzerland in St Petersburg.

The Dutch, third in Brazil four years ago, were barged out of the way in qualifying when Sweden edged the three-times World Cup finalists on goal difference to finish second in a group that France won.

In the playoffs the Swedes were paired with four-times world champions Italy and sensationally saw them off over two legs to keep the Azzurri out of the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

On seeding, defending champions Germany would have expected to be in Samara on Saturday but they finished bottom of Group F in Russia, an ignominious exit that would have come sooner had Sweden held out for a few seconds more to draw their clash in Sochi.

And on Tuesday, Sweden proved that once again that dogged defending and huge collective effort can be very effective, even in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Sure, they were helped by the fact that Switzerland were toothless up front but no team is going to find it easy to break down the Swedes.

Ranged across the pitch in a traditional 4-4-2 formation, they are happy to cede possession – Switzerland enjoyed 63 percent on Tuesday – confident that by working indefatigably for each other they would get it back.

In attack, they lack the world-class edge that Zlatan Ibrahimovic once brought but they are big and strong and keep pumping balls into the box until one falls right for them.

In St Petersburg, their goal came with an element of luck when Emil Forsberg’s shot from the edge of the area took a huge deflection off defender Manuel Akanji and spun into the net.

The yellow-shirted hordes in the stands cheered it just as loudly as they once would an Ibrahimovic wonder-strike and, like the fans, Andersson does not really care what outsiders think about the way his team plays their football.

“We know that we are a good team, we’ve earned our successes, we know how we’ve got this far,” he told a post-match news conference.

“What other teams and countries think about that, you’ll have to ask them.”

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Facebook shares drop on report of widened probe on data scandal

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Shares of Facebook Inc fell 2 percent on Tuesday, after a report that a federal probe on the data breach linked to Cambridge Analytica had been broadened and would include more government agencies.

Facebook shares were down 2 percent at $193.36 in early trading on the Nasdaq, erasing nearly $12 billion from the company’s market valuation. The stock lost about 18 percent of its value in the seven trading days after the data scandal broke, but has since gained about 27 percent to date.

Facebook has faced intense scrutiny around the Cambridge scandal, which saw millions of users’ data improperly accessed by the political consultancy.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have joined the Department of Justice in its inquiries about the two companies and the sharing of personal information of 71 million Americans, the Washington Post reported citing five people.

A Facebook spokesperson told Reuters late on Monday that it is cooperating with officials in the US, UK and beyond.

“We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues,” the spokesperson said. The questioning from federal investigators centers on what Facebook knew three years ago and why the company did not reveal it at the time to its users or investors, the Washington Post said.

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Men should be gender activists to fight patriarchy: Mlambo-Ngcuka

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The only way to bring an end to patriarchy is mobilise men who will become gender activists, this according to Executive Director of UN Women, Doctor Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Speaking during the Thabo Mbeki Foundation ninth annual Africa Day lecture at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria, Mlambo-Ngcuka stressed that it is important that more men become gender activists.

“All over the world not enough men have been mobilised to become gender activists and dismantle patriarchy where they project where they project positive masculinity and fight and defeat the dominant toxic masculinity which expects a man to beat up somebody in order to look strong. It is not about fixing the woman. Fix the system, change the paradigm.”

Mlambo-Ngcuka who is also the United Nations Under-Secretary-General, delivered the lecture under the theme “Gender Equality and Women Empowerment: A Necessary Paradigm Shift in Africa’s Quest for Democratisation, Development and Poverty Eradication.”

WATCH: Video below 

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King Zwelithini urges males to undergo circumcision

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Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has reiterated his call for all males to undergo medical male circumcision. He was addressing hundreds of people gathered at MaMaqadini in Inanda north of Durban during the launch of the millionth man to be circumcised in KwaZulu-Natal.

Television actor Melusi Yeni became the millionth man. The procedure was performed by Health MEC Sbonginseni Dhlomo  at the Sivananda Clinic in the Ohlange area north of Durban.

King Zwelithini started a campaign with the aim that all men in the province should be circumcised to help prevent HIV transmission.

41-year old Malusi Yeni has become an ambassador for the campaign, and is planning to visit various communities. “We are here in Inanda, it is a proud moment for myself to be the one millionth man. The initiative is to say to men let’s get into the clinic, hospitals and circumcise. It’s for our health benefit, 60 percent chance of getting STIs reduced and all other diseases , lets chase this two million,  together we can.”

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo, who performed the surgery on Yeni, says all men should be circumcised even those who are HIV positive. Dhlomo says the campaign is targeting males between the ages of 13 and 75, which research has shown to be sexually active.

“What we are excited about is that he is number 1 million to be circumcised and there are no deaths in this province since the circumcision started. His task as a celebrity is that he must go out there and motivate other million people to circumcise. It’s not just a practice of circumcision that is an issue but it’s the consequences and the benefit.”

In 2009 Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini made an appeal for all males to get circumcised. Zwelithini has thanked traditional leaders for ensuring they encourage people to circumcise.

“As the Zulu-King I would like to thank Amakhosi who have taken this campaign to their areas. Let’s not stop but get more males to be circumcised. People should listen to the advices given by the adults, the traditional leaders and medical practitioners to live long. Let’s continue with this campaign.”

According to medical research circumcision reduces chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases by up to sixty percent.

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WHO hopes to use Ebola vaccine to stem outbreak in remote area of Congo

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The World Health Organization said on Friday it hopes to deploy an experimental Ebola vaccine to tackle an outbreak in a remote area of Congo to prevent it spreading, particularly to the provincial capital of 1 million people.

Congo reported the outbreak on Tuesday, with 32 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the disease since April 4, including 18 deaths. A new suspected case was reported on Friday.

The WHO is moving quickly, having been criticised for bungling its response to a 2014-2016 outbreak that killed more than 11 300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“We are very concerned and planning for all scenarios,including the worst case scenario,” Peter Salama, WHO’s Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, told a regular UN briefing in Geneva.

The outbreak area is 15 hours by motorbike from the closest town and has “absolutely dire” infrastructure, Salama said, so the WHO wants to send in 20-40 experts by helicopter this weekend and then clear an airstrip for more supplies.

“This is going to be tough and it’s going to be costly to stamp out this outbreak,” he said.

The immediate risk was to the provincial capital Mbandaka,with about 1 million inhabitants, but Congo’s nine neighbours have also been put on high alert in case the disease crosses a border, especially by river to the Republic of Congo or Central African Republic.

Gambia, Guinea and Nigeria have already said they are taking steps to ensure the virus does not spread, and Kenya’s Health Ministry said on Friday it would bolster screening of travellers with thermo scanners at airports.

Normally a remote setting would reduce the chance of the disease spreading. But already there are three separate locations covering 60 km or more, and some of the victims were healthcare workers, potentially “an amplification factor” for outbreaks, Salama said.

The local culture, with traditional healers and communal burials where there was close contact with the deceased, could cause “super-spreading” of Ebola, which kills up to 90% of sufferers, he said.

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North Korea details plans to dismantle nuclear bomb test site

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North Korea has scheduled the dismantlement of its nuclear bomb test site for sometime between May 23 and 25 in order to uphold its pledge to discontinue nuclear tests, the country’s state media reported on Saturday a month ahead of a historic summit.

The official Korean Central New Agency said dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test ground would involve collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.

“The Nuclear Weapon Institute and other concerned institutions are taking technical measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the nuclear test,” KCNA said.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold talks in Singapore on June 12, the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that North Korea can look forward to “a future brimming with peace and prosperity” if it agrees to quickly give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump welcomed the North Korean announcement.

“North Korea has announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month, ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June12th,” he tweeted. “Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture! Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!”

South Korea’s presidential office echoed the sentiment on Sunday, saying it shows Pyongyang’s willingness to denuclearise through actions beyond words.

However, in spite of its pledge to stop testing, North Korea has given no indication it is willing to go beyond statements of broad conceptual support for denuclearization by unilaterally abandoning a nuclear weapons program its ruling family has seenas crucial to its survival.

In announcing the plan to shut Punggye-ri last month, Kimsaid North Korea no longer needed to conduct tests because it had completed its goal of developing nuclear weapons.

KCNA said journalists, including from the United States and South Korea, would be invited to cover the event, to “show in a transparent manner the dismantlement of the northern nuclear test ground to be carried out”. The exact date of the closure will depend on weather conditions, the agency said.

To accommodate the travelling journalists, North Korea said various measures would be taken including “opening territorial air space”.

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Ekurhuleni residents threaten protests over housing issues

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Residents in the south of Johannesburg have warned they may resume their protests, citing disappointment with Saturday’s feedback provided by Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Uhuru Moiloa on their housing demands.

Moiloa says the province has identified portions of land where close to 60 000 housing units will be built in the area.

He addressed residents of Eldorado Park, Freedom Park, Finetown, Ennerdale and other nearby townships at the Eldorado Park Stadium on Saturday.

The MEC said the province was now waiting for the City of Johannesburg Mayor to sign the power of attorney before the process of building houses could commence.

However the community was not impressed.

One of the community leaders says: “We’re tired of waiting, if they want us to go back to the streets, that’s what we’re going to do. We will go back to the streets. There will be a meeting most probably to decide on the way forward.”

“It seems like the only time the government will ever listen to you, it’s when you burn down infrastructure.”

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