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Cape Town officials battle effects of severe weather

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The City of Cape Town‘s Disaster Management says technicians are still working to restore electricity in a number of areas across the Cape Metro affected by heavy downpours and flooding.

Trees have been uprooted and power lines damaged in areas including Langa, Parow Valley, Mfuleni and Constantia.

Officials have cleared most roadways and unblocked drains.

The highest recorded rainfall in the City was in Kirstenbosch at 72 millimetres.

The City’s Charlotte Powell says they are still assessing the extent of the damage.

“At this stage, roadways have been cleared and trees have been removed. Community day centres in Ravensmead and Belhar have been flooded and have been referred to nearby communities, electricity has not yet been restored in some areas and technicians are on site.”

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Zimbabwe’s first-time voters will decide election results

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Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s youth and more specifically the first time voters aged between 18 and 25 are viewed by many analysts as the major deciding factors of who will claim victory on July the 30th.

That’s when the Southern African nation heads to the polls.

The country’s electoral commission says more than a million out of the five and half million registered voters fall in this bracket.

The main opposition MDC, led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa appears to be appealing more and more to this group and has been drawing huge crowds.

Incumbent leader and Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa was quick to target this key constituency as well.

The battle lines for the July 30th polls have been drawn. And it’s now down to serious business for the incumbent.

The President took his campaign to his home province and made it clear that unlike his predecessor he is not taking the country’s youth for granted.

“You are the future. Now, if you are the future, you must be empowered now. For you, to be good leaders of tomorrow you have to be empowered.”

Mnangagwa said his administration aims to be a middle-income country by 2030, prioritising business and economics as well.

It aims to create economic opportunities to empower the youths in all sectors reducing the unemployment rate.

Mnangagwa says, “Within the last five to six months, we have attracted in this country around 16 billion dollars in terms of projects alone and this must go towards the creation of employment, the bringing into the country of technology.”

He further called on the nation to remain patient as his administration rebuilds the country and charts the way forward for the country.

Mnangangwa has promised that his government will ensure free and fair elections.

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SABC to rebrand programs

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says South Africans can, from Monday, look forward to reworked and rebranded programming across its television, radio and online platforms.

The public broadcaster says the changes are designed to keep up with the modern broadcast environment and emerging digital opportunities.

The SABC says this includes providing a premium source of news in South Africa and the continent.

The changes will start being implemented from Monday, including a faster paced Morning Live programme on SABC 2.

SABC News on all radio platforms will have a distinct signature tune for news bulletins that will reflect the identity of their premium news source.

Commenting on the repositioning journey, Group Executive of News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni stated, “SABC News is the largest news brand in the country, and there is no better way to affirm our role and impact on South Africans than to reimagine and transform our brand to speak to the soul of the nation in a way that is balanced and unrestrained.”

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Police Commissioner takes crime head on in Cape Flats

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National Police Commissioner  General Kehla Sitole on Friday officially launched an operation to combat gang violence in the Western Cape, at a community meeting in Lavender Hill, on the Cape Flats.

Operation Thunder will see 269 police members from specialised units being deployed to hotspots which have been identified in the province.

Sitole says the aim of Operation Thunder is to stabilise gang ridden areas in the Western Cape where crime is rife. He says they will also be migrating more resources from across South Africa, to the Western Cape, to improve policing in the province.

” There’s quite a lot of resources that will be coming from National Headquarters, Provincial Headquarters, we are pushing them down to police stations so that we make optimal use of the resources and we take the resources where the crime is. So some of these police stations here, they will benefit out of that process which will include even the upgrading of some of the police stations,” says Sitole.

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Limpopo water project faces forensic investigation

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There will be a forensic investigation into the multi-billion rand Nandoni-Nsami Bulk Water Pipeline Project in Limpopo after Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti announced it on Saturday.

The project, which started in 2014, was meant to supply the water-strapped Giyani area in the province’s north-east.

However, construction of the pipeline has been marred by several work stoppages and court cases since inception.

Villages in the Giyani area still do not have running water.

Nkwinti says the investigation will look into where the R3.5 billion spent on the project thus far has gone.

He says: “R3.5 billion is gone and you are telling me you don’t have water, this tells you there is a problem. There will have to be a forensic investigation.”

“When I look at the budget spent and the what it has done in terms of value for money there is a disjuncture,” adds Nkwinti.

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‘Don’t cry for me,’ says injured Alves who promises to be back

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A day after he was ruled out the World Cup with a knee injury, Brazil’s Dani Alves sent an inspiring double message to his fans: Don’t Cry for Me, and I’ll be Back.

Alves, who plays for Paris St Germain, limped off near the end of Tuesday’s French Cup Final win over Les Herbiers and doctors said he could be out for as long as six months with an injury to his right anterior cruciate ligament.

But Alves, who has won three Champions Leagues, a Copa America and league titles in Spain, Italy, and France, was not dwelling on his misfortune.

“I don’t want anybody to cry for me. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. I have lived my dreams,” he said.
In an upbeat piece penned for The Players Tribune, the famously irreverent former Barcelona and Juventus right back said he believes Brazil can win the World Cup for an unprecedented sixth time in Russia. And the 35-year old warned against anyone ruling him out of the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

“I don’t consider myself a veteran. As you can see, my spirit is about 13 years old. Who knows, maybe when the 2022 World Cup comes around, I will still be competing for a place on the team. My body will be 39, but my spirit will have only turned 17.”
Brazil kick off the World Cup on June 17 with a game against Switzerland before facing Costa Rica and Serbia.

National team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters on Saturday that Neymar should be back in time for the first of Brazil’s two warm-up friendlies on June 3.

The PSG player has been out since February with an injured foot but was back in training this week.

Lasmar said Neymar should be fit to face Croatia in Liverpool on June 3 and Austria in Vienna a week later, according to the Globo Esporte web site.

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Andile Lungisa denied leave to appeal assault sentence

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ANC councillor, Andile Lungisa‘s application for leave to appeal both his conviction and sentence have been dismissed by Port Elizabeth magistrate, Morne Cannon.

Lungisa was sentenced to three years imprisonment with one year suspended for the attack on DA councillor, Rano Kayser during a heated council meeting in 2016.

Lungisa pleaded not guilty to the charges during the trial. Video footage of Lungisa as the attacker was admitted as evidence. The court found there was no reason for him to hit Kayser.

The magistrate labelled Lungisa’s version of events as evasive, with inconsistencies and contradictions.

In handing down sentence, magistrate Cannon said it was evident that Lungisa showed no remorse for his actions.

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Found: lone asteroid expelled from early Solar System

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An asteroid ejected from our infant Solar System found refuge billions of kilometres away, beyond the orbit of Neptune, where it has now been spotted, astronomers said Wednesday.

The curious loner is the first carbon-rich asteroid ever observed in the far-flung region called the Kuiper belt, which is filled with frozen objects, a team reported in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Its composition suggests the asteroid must have been formed in the inner Solar System, likely in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, before migrating to its outer reaches, said the team.

This makes it “a relic of the primordial Solar System”, they added.

Theoretical models of our early Solar System describe a tempestuous time with gas giant planets on the rampage, ejecting small rocky bodies from its the system’s centre to far-flung orbits.

Such models suggest the Kuiper Belt should contain a small number of rocky bodies, perhaps also carbon-rich asteroids.

The new observation, using telescopes of the European Southern Observatory in Chile, provides “strong support for these theoretical models of our Solar System’s troubled youth,” said an ESO statement.

The asteroid was spotted partly because it reflects light differently than other objects in the Kuiper Belt, which are icy while asteroids are rocky.

“It looked enough of a weirdo for us to take a closer look,” said study lead author Tom Seccull of Queen’s University Belfast.

It is, nevertheless, very difficult to study.

The 300 kilometre-wide (186 mile) space rock is four billion kilometres from Earth, and dark.

“It’s like observing a giant mountain of coal against the pitch-black canvas of the night sky,” said co-author Thomas Puzia of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Dubbed 2004 EW95, the asteroid is moving, and feint.

“We had to use a pretty advanced data processing technique to get as much out of the data as possible,” said Seccull.

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ICC seeks UN help in arresting 3 Libyan fugitives

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The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requested help from the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to arrest three fugitives in Libya, including military strongman Khalifa Haftar and a son of the late leader Moamer Kadhafi.

During a UN Security Council meeting, Fatou Bensouda noted that ICC investigators had traveled to Libya in March for the first time since June 2012 to help advance investigations on alleged war crimes.

“I repeat my call to this council to engage with my office and lend your support in assisting with strategies for the arrest and surrender of ICC fugitives in Libya,” she said about the fugitives.

“Greater deterrence can only be assured through the arrest and surrender of suspects to the ICC so that they may answer the charges against them.”

The prosecutor warned she “will not hesitate” to request new arrest warrants to hold the suspects responsible.

Among those targeted is Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, whose whereabouts have been unknown since June 2014. Bensouda said she was unsure whether he was being held.

Warrants are also out for the arrests of former security chief Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, accused of war crimes committed in 2011, and Busayf Al-Werfalli, a commander of the Al-Saiqa brigade wanted for the cold-blooded execution of 33 people and other war crimes.

Werfalli has been accused of more crimes since an August 2017 arrest warrant against him, according to Bensouda.
Bensouda has appealed directly to Haftar to ensure Werfalli’s arrest.

Libya has been wracked by chaos since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed its longtime dictator Kadhafi, with two rival authorities vying for control.

Haftar supports an administration based in the east of the country. A UN-backed unity government based in the capital has struggled to assert its authority outside the west.

Werfalli’s “immediate arrest and surrender is now more important than ever,” Bensouda said.

In addition to accountability, his arrest would “send a clear message to would-be perpetrators that such reprehensible crimes will not be tolerated and that there will be real consequences for the commission of such crimes,” the prosecutor added.

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Spain court rules proposed Catalan leader must stay in jail

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Spain’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by Catalonia’s pro-independence presidential candidate Jordi Sanchez to be let out of jail and sworn in as regional head.

The Catalan parliament had been scheduled to hold a debate and vote on Sanchez’s candidacy on Friday, but after the court’s ruling Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent announced on Twitter he had suspended the session indefinitely.

Sanchez was remanded in custody in October pending charges over his role in last year’s failed Catalan independence bid.

An attempt to appoint him as president failed last month after Spain’s Supreme Court turned down a request for his release from jail.

But Torrent put Sanchez’s name forward as a candidate again earlier this month after the United Nations Human Rights Committee defended his political rights.

In letters sent last month to Spanish authorities and Sanchez’s lawyers, the UN committee requested the state take all steps to ensure he is allowed to exercise his political rights.

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena once again turned down Sanchez’s request, arguing there were signs that he could “move in the direction of a rupture of the constitutional order”.

The judge argues it was justified in limiting Sanchez’s political rights given the risk that his release would pose to the collective rights “of the rest of the community”.

Torrent had appealed earlier on Thursday for the judge to agree to let Sanchez, a former leader of influential grassroots independence group ANC who was elected to the Catalan parliament in snap polls in December, leave jail to be sworn in.

“The court has the opportunity to take note of international law and the protection of political rights or write another dark chapter in the history of the Supreme Court,” he said in an interview to news radio station Cadena Ser.

The court ruling comes as Barcelona is gearing up for a huge protest on Sunday to mark the six month anniversary of the jailing of Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the leader of another separatist organisation.

Catalonia in political limbo

Catalonia has been in political limbo since Spain’s conservative central government imposed direct rule on the region after it unilaterally declared independence in October.

Fresh regional elections will be triggered if a new leader is not elected by May 22.

Separately, the National Court, which handles terrorism and other top criminal cases, released a woman who was arrested on Tuesday for “rebellion” and “terrorism” in a probe of pro-independence activists in Catalonia.

National Court judge Diego de Egea dismissed those two charges against her, saying she should instead be prosecuted for the lesser crime of causing public disorder, which carries a possible jail sentence of between six months and six years.

The woman is allegedly a member of the radical pro-independence activist groups called the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) which formed last year before an independence referendum on October 1.

In recent weeks, the groups have protested against the jailing of pro-independence Catalan leaders and the detention of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in Germany by blocking major roads in Catalonia, sometimes with burning tires.

At the end of March, the protesters blocked major roads in Catalonia and tried to occupy the central government’s representative office, heavily guarded by police, on several occasions. The resulting clashes left dozens injured.

 

The post Spain court rules proposed Catalan leader must stay in jail appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

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