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Vicious crackdown in Zimbabwe

Experts say the harsh reaction is a symptom of a bankrupt and desperate government

Agrizzi: ‘I was caught in a cult of bribes’

Bosasa’s former chief operating officer implicates politicians, government officials in his testimony

‘Boys’ club’ sex fiefdom exposed

Investigators have been scathing about how Housing Development Agency executives allegedly abused their power

Down and out in the Mother City

Homeless people and addicts have moved to the city centre because it’s safer and they are not harassed as much

Safe spaces increase the chances of recovery

Being an addict on the street is hard, the two men say. But trying to break the habit is the hardest.

No rush to fast-track expropriation Bill

The MP responsible for oversight of parliamentary committees, the ANC’s Cedric Frolick, said there was no rush to push through legislation before Parliament rose before the elections.

Another scandal hits water affairs

A former senior official is being investigated by the Hawks for a suspect R64-million tender.

Trouble brews as coffee faces extinction

New research from the UK’s Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, warns that 60% of the world’s 124 coffee species are threatened with extinction.

Police trainees skip DNA testing

What was meant to be a sure-fire way to prevent criminals from sneaking into the force has been thwarted

University is not right for everyone

Young people see technical colleges as dumping sites instead of places to acquire sought-after skills

Political parties tie their promises to lampposts

“For white people there was lots of fear when Mbeki came in, this Africanist who was different to Mandela”

Justice for Cradock Four delayed

Despite an assurance last year that the case was proceeding, the son of one of the four men who were assassinated believes the ANC is blocking it

Rich estate’s dirty, smelly secret

Blair Atholl has not only violated its water-use licence, but has also been pumping its untreated waste downstream

Vigilantes face-off with sex workers

Tasers, rubber bullets, pangas, dogs and snakes are used to rid a Jo’burg suburb of its ‘immoral’ sex workers

Slice of life: They called Jo’burg ‘varsity’

“In my days, other sex workers believed you must go to “varsity” — they called Jo’burg “varsity” at the time.
You had to go and do sex work there and come back.”

WORLD:

In limbo: ‘Isis children’ in prison

Iraq grapples with how to handle an unprecedented number of minors, many of whom were beaten into confession.

HEALTH:

Gaming pain: the quest for a better life may be going virtual

Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore.
It’s revolutionising medicine, including the way we manage one of the biggest concerns for patients across the world: pain.

AFRICA:

Voting data points to fraud in DRC presidential election

Martin Fayulu is the winner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) December presidential election, according to an investigation by the Financial Times.

A voice inside me said ‘Run!’

Fearing for her life, outspoken tweeter Thandekile Moyo fled Zimbabwe this week with little more than the change in her pocket

Kenya suffers Somalia blowback

Kenya said it invaded Somalia to protect its citizens, but the attack in Nairobi this week shows this has failed

Activist poets on the frontline

As he speaks, with an easy flow, the crowd snaps their fingers and hiss in accompaniment.

Victims can’t rely on ICC for justice

Meant to tackle international crimes, the court has only convicted three individuals in 20 years.

BUSINESS:

Not on to use pensions to bail out state

The suggestion in the ANC’s election manifesto on prescribed assets has drawn fire.

Kganyago calls out ANC manifesto on the Reserve Bank

An independent central bank was one of the underpinnings of the Constitution, Kganyago said, and to change its mandate would require a change to the Constitution.

Headaches on wage front

The exemption process threatens to undermine the new minimum income criteria

G&T’s will never be the same again

The South African gin industry has taken off and consumers are now spoilt for choice

Ramaphosa talks up SA Inc ahead of World Economic Forum

At a meeting on Wednesday with the South African delegation going to the World Economic Forum, he reminded participants of the work the government has done to stabilise government institutions and to get to the bottom of state capture.

The battle of the banks

Several new entrants will spark a war of attrition rather than a full frontal assault and customers will be the winners

COMMENT & ANALYSIS:

ANC haunted by failure but opposition can’t relax

As South Africa prepares to go to the polls later this year, the political temperature is set to rise.

Editorial: Corruption in politics and business kills people

‘When people are corrupt, other people die. This is not how politicians and companies like to talk’

Letters to the editor: January 18 to 24

Our readers write in about how unions must fight the Companies Bill, saying farewell to former Weekly mail receptionist Seipati, and hope

Doused in black, green and gold

Ramaphosa and his eggshell dance vies with Msholozi’s shuffle on the KZN political stage

DA to petition president on rights of voters abroad

The DA has written a petition to the president asking that he consider remitting the Bill back to Parliament based on procedural irregularities.

Mine standoff is a licence to rethink laws

Government needs to respect the court ruling and the Xolobeni residents’ resistance to mining.

Online nude, offline problem

Send the pic, but take measures to prevent more exposure than you wanted.

Fifth column: Can you spell ‘man bun’ in Futhark?

‘In fact, combs are among the most frequently discovered relic of Viking society, indicating that they paid a lot of attention to their hair’

Shaping cities goes beyond student beds

Sustainable urban development requires the collaboration of municipalities and the universities to advance social integration.

Industry 4.0 is being taken seriously

A pilot project is being run at several primary schools to establish the curriculum challenges.

FRIDAY:

The Portfolio: Bonile Bam

After I got the shot, all the others wanted to be photographed. I took them to the beach and took a few frames of all of them together there.

Albinism in art is unsettling

Artists’ stated motives do not always tie neatly in with the perceptions and feelings of those being portrayed.

The Weekend Guide

For good vibes and an arts fix, don’t miss this.

On our Lists this week: Bernie Worrell, Ian McDonald, and Njabulo Ndebele

In between working on Friday copy, this is what the team reads, listens to and watches

JAG exhibition sparks new discussion on all your faves

New in-house show re-engages gallery’s diverse collection

Msholozi desperately tries for another (political) hit

With a libidinous hip swivel Zuma relents and breaks into his signature song, Mshini Wami. Teenage girls shriek and swoon. Gogos cheer. Men and boys sing along.

Madjozi a village girl for real?

The singer has brought Xitsonga pop to the fore, but she draws from a long line of celebrated artists.

Motswakolistas left their mark beyond Mahikeng

The area was a mecca for talented artists, but the collapse of Bophuthatswana and the chaos of the transition to to democracy in 1994 left a generation starved for platforms of expression.

Psychology of colour, texture

There is much more to the way Jody Paulsen uses his palette in ‘Water Me’

Rapacious miners unmasked

This coffee-table book exposes the ugly face of so-called socially responsible corporates

SPORT:

Taking on Africa, Sundowns’ style

Uncompromising Brazilians stick to their football guns as they prepare for awkward summit on continent

Mighty Masinga’s final whistle

All power and honour and noble fury, he carried his team deep into enemy territory. He was a snorting, galloping thoroughbred of a centre-forward.

Bloodlust is just cricket

Even in the cheap seats Pakistan couldn’t have looked more helpless— and the fans loved it.

Banyana’s payment woes continue

Some players are owed about R75 000 and repeated promises to start a women’s football league are yet to be fulfilled.

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Riot police squads intervene as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters clash in Montreal

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People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.


People wave flags atop cars in traffic during a demonstration to voice support for the people of Palestine, at Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 May 2021.

  • Violence
    between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters in Montreal was condemned by
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • Montreal’s
    city police force intervened and declared the protests illegal after tensions
    heightened and clashes broke out.
  • Israeli
    strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
    toll in almost a week of clashes.

Montreal
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday condemned the violence and
“despicable rhetoric” that marked several weekend protests throughout
the country, after clashes between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in
Montreal.

The
worst violence in years, sparked by unrest in Jerusalem, is raging between the
Jewish state and Islamist militants.

Israeli
strikes killed 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily
toll in almost a week of deadly clashes.

Speaking
after protests in Montreal, Trudeau condemned what he said was “despicable
rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend”.

While
insisting on the “right to assemble peacefully and express themselves
freely in Canada”, Trudeau stressed in a tweet that there was no tolerance
for “antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind”.

Earlier
on Sunday, Montreal police used tear gas following clashes between pro-Israel
and pro-Palestinian protesters.

Several
hundred demonstrators, draped in Israeli flags, had gathered in a central
Montreal square to express solidarity with the Jewish state.

‘Protesting is a right’

Although
the protest started peacefully, tensions ratcheted up with the arrival of
pro-Palestinian demonstrators and clashes soon broke out.

The
SPVM, Montreal’s city police force, declared the protests illegal, and squads
of riot police intervened, using tear gas to separate and disperse the two
groups, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The
police spent much of the afternoon in pursuit of the pro-Palestinian
protesters, who spread out and regrouped in commercial streets in the city centre.

Following
the clashes, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said on Twitter that
“protesting is a right”, but that “intolerance, violence and
anti-Semitism have no place here”.

She said:

Montreal is a city of peace.

Several
thousand pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered on Saturday in central
Montreal to denounce what they said were Israeli repression and “war
crimes” in Gaza.

“Terrorist
Israel”, some protesters chanted, while others held up a banner that read,
“Stop the genocide of Palestinian children”.

Pro-Palestinian
protests happened the same day in multiple Canadian cities, including Toronto,
Ottawa and Vancouver.


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Peter Thiel Helps Fund an App That Tells You What to Do

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“How would you feel about being able to pay to control multiple aspects of another person’s life?” asks the BBC.

“A new app is offering you the chance to do just that.”

When writer Brandon Wong recently couldn’t decide what takeaway to order one evening, he asked his followers on social media app NewNew to choose for him. Those that wanted to get involved in the 24-year-old’s dinner dilemma paid $5 (£3.50) to vote in a poll, and the majority verdict was that he should go for Korean food, so that was what he bought…

NewNew is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Courtne Smith. The app, which is still in its “beta” or pre-full release stage, describes itself as “a human stock market where you buy shares in the lives of real people, in order to control their decisions and watch the outcome”. For many of us that sounds a bit ominous, but the reality is actually far less alarming. It is aimed at what it calls “creators” — writers, painters, musicians, fashion designers, bloggers etc. It is designed as a way for them to connect far more closely with their fans or followers than on other social media services and, importantly, monetise that connection…

Whenever a vote is cast the creator gets the money minus NewNew’s undisclosed commission… In addition to voting, followers can also pay extra — from $20 — to ask a NewNew creator to do something of their choosing, such as naming a character in a book after them. But the creator can reject all of these “bids”, and if they do so then the follower doesn’t have to part with the money…

Co-founder and chief executive Ms Smith, a 33-year-old Canadian, has big plans for NewNew, and has some heavyweight backers. Investors include Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the first outside person to put money into Facebook. Others with a stake in the business include leading US tech investment fund Andreessen Horowitz, and Hollywood actor Will Smith (no relation to Courtne). Snapchat has also given technical support.

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Sandpapergate will haunt Australia cricket forever: ex-bowling coach

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Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach - Gallo Images/Getty Images)


Cameron Bancroft. (Photo by Brenton Geach – Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The 2018 ball-tampering scandal will haunt Australian cricket forever, much like the infamous underarm delivery of 40 years ago, the team’s former bowling coach David Saker said on Monday.

Saker was responding to opening batsman Cameron Bancroft suggesting that Australia’s bowlers knew about the plan in Cape Town to alter the ball which earned him a nine-month ban and rocked the game.

Saker was Australia’s bowling coach when Bancroft was caught trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.

While refusing to be drawn on who knew what, Saker said “the finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on”.

“It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away,” he told Fairfax Media, referring to a 1981 incident when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to ensure New Zealand lost a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The notorious delivery is still cited in New Zealand and in cricketing circles as a prime example of unsporting conduct.

However, the ball-tampering scandal – dubbed “sandpapergate” – had a greater impact on Australian cricket, with the then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended for a year from all cricket and stripped of their leadership roles.

Darren Lehmann also quit as coach and all the top brass from Cricket Australia left after a scathing review blasted their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture.

No one else among the team or coaching staff was held to account but Bancroft’s remarks in an interview with The Guardian newspaper hinted that the team’s bowlers at least knew about the plan.

“Obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” he said.

Saker added: “There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate.

“Cameron’s a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last.”

In response, Cricket Australia said that if anyone had new information, they would look into it.

Saker said he was not opposed to a fresh investigation but added “I just don’t know what they’re going to find out.”

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Mexico’s Andrea Meza crowned Miss Universe

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Miss Universe Andrea Meza


Miss Universe Andrea Meza

UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 IS ANDREA MEZA FROM MEXICO:


UPDATE:

THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 5:

1. Mexico

2. India

3. Brazil

4. Dominican Republic

5. Peru


UPDATE:

HERE ARE THE MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021 TOP 10 CONTESTANTS:

1. Jamaica 

2. Dominican Republic 

3. India

4. Peru 

5. Australia 

6. Puerto Rico

7. Thailand

8. Costa Rica

9. Mexico

10. Brazil


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21 IN SWIMWEAR:


UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE TOP 21: 

1. Columbia

2. Peru 

3. Australia 

4. France

5. Myanmar

6. Jamaica 

7. Mexico 

8. Dominican Republic 

9. USA

10. Indonesia 

11. Argentina 

12. India

13. Curaçao

14. Puerto Rico

15. Phillipines 

16. Brazil

17. Great Britain

18. Nicaragua

19. Thailand 

20. Costa Rica

21. Vietnam


 UPDATE:

MISS UNIVERSE SOUTH AFRICA NATASHA JOUBERT WALKS THE STAGE AT MISS UNIVERSE 2020/2021:


74 contestants will compete for the title of Miss Universe on 16 May in Hollywood, Florida. 

The Miss Universe pageant takes place on 16 May in the US (02:00 to 05:00 on 17 May SA time). The show will be broadcast live on 1 Magic (DStv Channel 103) with a repeat at 21:30. 

Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa will crown her successor at the end of the event.

Representing South Africa is Natasha Joubert, and South Africans are hoping for the “magic double” – back-to-back consecutive wins, which has only happened once before in the pageant’s history.

Natasha wowed crowds at the national costume competition last week and on Friday impressed during the preliminary round

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Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe 2021

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By AFP Time of article published 16m ago

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Washington – Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country.

Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition’s return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo.

Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner.

Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors.

Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. “Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar.”

Natasha Joubert, Miss Universe South Africa 2020 competes on stage in Ema Savahl swimwear during the MISS UNIVERSE® Preliminary Competition.

She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, “Pray for Myanmar.”

Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4 000 people are behind bars.

Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong – who did not make the top 21 – also used the national costume portion to make a political statement.

Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape – in the colours of the Singaporean flag – was painted with the words “Stop Asian Hate.”

“What is this platform for if I can’t use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?” she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit.

The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the “China virus.”

The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants.

In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.

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