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Ramaphosa seeks cabinet with “great competence”

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President Cyril Ramaphosa is confident his new smaller cabinet will have the power to move South Africa forward.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is expected to review the list of designated Members of Parliament and provincial legislatures that the Independent Electoral Commission hands over.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa has backing to shrink cabinet

Ramaphosa was speaking at a meeting with investors in Westcliffe.

“We’re going to be focusing more on ways that are going to be generating more economic growth, creating jobs, so the structure that we’ve of government is going to speak to that,” he told EWN.

“And we’ll be seeking to get people, men and women, who have great competence, the great capability to serve the needs of the people of South Africa. We want to not only change the gear. We want to get into top gear.

“We now have the sixth administration and a new presidential term to clean up. All those things will propel us and move us forward.”
An issue that needs attention is the dire state of affairs at Eskom, which Ramaphosa confirmed.
“One of the steps we’ll embark on is restructuring Eskom,” he added.

“It has been broadly accepted that in order to improve, we need to restructure.”

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Andy Murray’s Olympic gold post box hit by car in Dunblane

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Gold post box knocked downImage copyright
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The gold post box that commemorates Andy Murray’s Olympic medal win has been knocked down by a car.

It appeared a silver Mercedes rolled down the hill into the post box, according to local resident Graham Fleming, who saw the aftermath.

He added the car appeared to have just missed a group of teenagers sitting on a bench less than a metre away.

The post box, in Dunblane, was painted after the Olympic tennis champion’s singles win over Roger Federer in 2012.

Police Scotland confirmed they attended the “low speed collision” and that the female driver of the car had sustained a minor injury but did not require medical treatment.

It was unclear whether the woman was in the car at the time or not.

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Graham Fleming, the owner of Dunblane’s Bennet’s Butchers, lives next to the post box. He heard the crash from his lounge, and went to look from his window.

He told the BBC Scotland news website: “I heard a massive thud… I looked out the window and there was a load of kids there who had been sitting on the chair beside the post box.

“Literally the park bench they were sitting on was less than one metre away from post box.”

He added that he thought they would have seen the car coming and that none of the people on the pavement appeared to have been hurt.

Mr Fleming added: “A woman came down and drove the car away about a minute later… I think she was a bit embarrassed.

“She parked the car a few metres away and waited for the police.”

The tennis star’s mother Judy Murray tweeted her reaction in two words: “Oh no”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed they had been called to the scene on Dunblane’s High Street at about 19:50 and that they were making inquiries into the circumstances of the collision.

Mr Fleming added that Royal Mail had been to the scene and that they had emptied the letters from the post box.

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Trial opens for Philippine journalist critical of Duterte | News | World

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High-profile Philippine journalist Maria Ressa’s libel trial opened on Tuesday in a case that she and press freedom advocates see as government retaliation for her news site’s critical reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ressa, who leads online outlet Rappler and was named a Time Magazine “Person of the Year” in 2018 for her journalism, is out on bail and faces years in prison if convicted under the criminal cyber-libel law.

The news portal has written extensively and often critically on Duterte’s policies, including his deadly drugs war that rights groups say may be a crime against humanity.

Besides the libel case, Ressa and Rappler have been hit with 10 other criminal charges over the past year, prompting allegations that authorities are targeting her and her team for their work.

“The government hopes to intimidate us by syphoning both my personal time, our resources,” Ressa, who was not in court, told AFP.

“I won’t be intimidated. We continue to do our jobs.
The mission of journalism has never been as important as it is today in the Philippines,” she added.

Tuesday’s brief hearing ended after testimony from one minor witness, with the case set to resume on July 30. 

The case centres on a Rappler report from 2012 about a businessman’s alleged ties to a then-judge of the nation’s top court.

Government investigators initially dismissed the businessman’s 2017 complaint about the article, but state prosecutors later decided to file charges.

The legal foundation of the case is a controversial “cybercrime law” aimed at online offences ranging from hacking and internet fraud to child pornography.

‘Not exempted from assassination’

Ressa, 55, argues the law did not take effect until months after the story was published.

Government lawyers say it is effectively a new article since Rappler had updated it in 2014 to fix a typographical error.

Because the law allows the filing of charges up to 12 years after libel is committed, Ressa said it will have far-ranging implications on constitutionally protected freedom of expression as well as the way Filipinos use social media.

Ressa, who has been arrested twice this year, also faces tax and corporate fraud cases, as does Rappler.

The libel case has drawn international attention, with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright expressing concern over democratic rights.

Prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who joined Ressa’s legal team this month, said the case echoed a recurring theme in her work, where “journalists who expose abuses face arrest while those who commit the abuses do so with impunity”.

Duterte, who denies being behind the case, has singled out Rappler for criticism, also banning it from covering his public events and forbidding government officials from talking to Rappler reporters.

Shortly before being sworn into office in 2016, then president-elect Duterte declared: “Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch.”

Rights monitor Reporters Without Borders ranked the Philippines at 134 out of 178 countries on its annual “World Press Freedom” index this year, when at least three journalists were killed “most likely by agents working for local politicians”.

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Lakers gain rights to Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Bucks star Giannis – SABC Sport

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The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Monday they have gained the rights to Kostas Antetokounmpo, younger brother of Milwaukee’s NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis.

Kostas Antetokounmpo, 21, was signed to a two-way contract by the Lakers. He appeared in two games for the Dallas Mavericks last season and played 40 games for the Texas Legends in the NBA’s developmental G League.

Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 60th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Antetokounmpo was acquired by the Mavericks in a draft-night trade.

Kostas is one of three Antetokounmpo brothers to play in the NBA. The eldest, 27-year-old Thanasis, has played in Greece, the G League and signed with the Bucks this off season.

That puts him on the team where Giannis has emerged as a superstar, leading Milwaukee to the best record in the NBA last season.

The Bucks fell to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals.

When Giannis collected his MVP award, he thanked his brothers and his parents – Nigerian immigrants to Greece – in his speech.

Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas have all been named in Greece’s squad for the basketball World Cup that tips off in China on August 31.

There’s one more Antetokounmpo brother in the NBA pipeline, with teenager Alex hoping to make it there one day.

The post Lakers gain rights to Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Bucks star Giannis 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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