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Botswana To Resume The Hunting Of Elephants : NPR

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Elephants eat foliage at Botswana’s Mashatu game reserve in 2010.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images


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Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Elephants eat foliage at Botswana’s Mashatu game reserve in 2010.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Botswana’s government is lifting a ban that protected its elephants from being hunted, part of a series of decisions that could have lasting impacts on the country’s conservation efforts.

In a letter to reporters, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism referred to elephants as predators and said their numbers “appear to have increased.” It said a subcommittee found that conflicts between humans and elephants had risen, harming livestock and the livelihoods of Botswana’s people.

The announcement marked a sharp departure from the policies of former President Ian Khama, who suspended elephant hunting after data showed the population in decline. The ban took effect in 2014 but did not stop hunting in registered game ranches.

In May, Botswana’s newly elected president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, made international headlines for giving three African leaders stools made of elephant feet.

In June, he requested a review of the ban on hunting elephants.

His study group recommended “regular but limited elephant culling,” in addition to establishing elephant meat canning for pet food and other products. Among other conclusions, it recommended the government expand Botswana’s safari hunting industry.

Authorities said Thursday that the government accepted all recommendations except the regular culling of elephants and the establishment of meat canning. “This was rejected because culling is not considered acceptable given the overall continental status of elephants. Rather, a more sustainable method such as selective cropping should be employed,” the government said.

Conservationists around the world took to social media to denounce the government’s reversal on elephant hunting.

“Horrific beyond imagination,” said Paula Kahumbu, CEO of the Kenya-based WildlifeDirect. She said hunting was an archaic way to address the problems of living with mega fauna. “Africa, we are better than this,” she tweeted.

German organization Pro Wildlife wrote that hunting was a bloody sport, “#cruel, outdated, unethical and often undermining” conservation.

Other groups celebrated Botswana’s announcement, including Safari Club International, a U.S.-based organization that supports regulated trophy hunting.

President Paul Babaz called it “heartening” in a statement. “These findings clearly show that hunting bans actually hurt wildlife conservation; hunting is the key to providing the necessary revenue to fund anti-poaching efforts and on-the-ground conservation research,” he said.

Fewer than 400 elephant licenses will be granted annually, the government of Botswana announced on Twitter Thursday. It said it was planning for “strategically placed human wildlife conflict fences” and compensation for damage caused by wildlife. All migratory routes for animals that are not considered “beneficial” to Botswana’s conservation efforts will be closed, including an antelope route to South Africa.

Northern Botswana is home to Africa’s largest elephant population, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The population grew steadily from 80,000 in 1996 to 129,000 in 2014.

It happened as habitat loss and poaching devastated elephant populations across Africa. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, poachers slaughtered 100,000 African elephants, National Geographic reported.

Last September, the carcasses of 87 elephants were found close to a protected sanctuary in Botswana. They had been killed for their tusks.

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SAA: Unions’ demands on Jarana’s reinstatement fall within govt purview

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Former SAA group chief executive Vuyani Jarana. File photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – South African Airways (SAA) said that it was engaging with workers unions over their demands, but said that some of the union’s grievances should be addressed by government. 

On Friday, workers’ unions said the state-owned airline had requested one week to deal with their demands of reinstating Vuyani Jarana as group chief executive and a complete overhaul of the board.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) had on Thursday met the SAA board over the workers’ grievances following Jarana’s resignation two weeks ago. 

The union’s key demand is that Jarana must be reinstated immediately for having produced a turnaround strategy which won the support of government, the board and the unions. 

SAA’s cabin crew members are represented in SACCA while NUMSA members work at SAA Technical and at the country’s airports.

In email correspondence with ANA over the weekend, SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali confirmed that the airline was in receipt of the memorandum received from two unions.

Tlali said they have noted that the unions have allowed SAA seven days within which to respond to the matters they raised in their memoranda. 

“Some of these matters fall within the purview of the shareholder while others should be addressed by the board and the executive management,” Tlali said.

“We have already initiated some engagements with the unions on these matters and held a meeting with the employee unions on Thursday.”

Tlali said it would be improper and amount to undermining an arranged process with the unions if SAA were to comment in the media on the substantive matters or demands raised by the unions. 

“Fairness dictate that we respond to the unions first and directly so before they could read about our responses in the media,” he said.

On Friday last week, SAA announced long-standing executive Zuks Ramasia as the interim group chief executive and Adam Vos as the new CEO of SAA Technical. 

Ramasia, who was previously general manager for operations at SAA, began her term as CEO on Monday.

Members of the unions picketed and protested at all the country’s major airports to protest against what they called a “myriad of issues” at SAA and SAA Technical. 

They initially gave the SAA board 48 hours to rescind their decision to accept Jarana’s resignation and reinstate him with immediate effect. SAA was not immediately available for comment.

But the City Press newspaper on Sunday quoted spokesperson for the department of public enterprises, Adrian Lackay, saying there was no chance Jarana was coming back to head SAA. 

“The former SAA CEO resigned of his own accord. He will not be reinstated. The manner in which he resigned, despite the board’s requests to conduct himself in a responsible manner with regards to his resignation, exposed the airline to considerable risk among lenders and suppliers,” Lackay told the newspaper.  

African News Agency (ANA)

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All Blacks prop swaps Highlanders for Hurricanes

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2019-06-17 12:14

Cape Town – Rising young New Zealand tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax has
signed a four-year contract with the Hurricanes through until at least
2023.

Lomax, who has strong ties to Wellington with extended
family living in Wainuiomata, will join the ‘Canes from the Highlanders
ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby competition.

After making his Super Rugby debut for the Melbourne Rebels in 2017,
the 23-year-old joined Tasman in the 2017 Mitre 10 Cup and quickly
established himself as first choice tighthead which earned selection in
the Highlanders Super Rugby squad in 2018.

He was selected in the All Blacks last November where he made his
debut against Japan after a number of strong performances in Super
Rugby.

Lomax also impressed for the Maori All Blacks when he represented the side on its end of year tour of Canada and France in 2017.

Head coach John Plumtree was naturally delighted to have secured Lomax on a long-term deal.

“His potential is obvious for everyone to see. He’s a very impressive
young man who is developing his game at a rapid rate. He is a powerful
player, has a strong skill set and we are really excited about working
with him,” he said.

“It’s great to be able to bring Tyrel back to the Wellington region
where we know he will receive a lot of support and quickly establish
himself in the Hurricanes club.”

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WRAP: U20 World Championship | Sport24

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Cape Town – Dates, kick-off times and results for the playoff and semi-finals of World Rugby U20 Championship.

MONDAY, JUNE 17

9th-place
Semi-final 1: Scotland v Italy – 15:30            

5th-place Semi-final 1: New Zealand v Wales – 15:30
           

9th-place Semi-final 2: Georgia v Fiji – 18:00           

Semi-final 1: Argentina v Australia – 18:00           

5th-place Semi-final 2: Ireland v England – 20:30            

Semi-final 2: South Africa v France – 20:30


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