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President pulls out all the stops

Breaking down President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address

‘You watch this space!’ — Ramaphosa

This was the president’s promising refrain throughout his state of the nation address

Forget Sona, the main act is May

Popular support is crucial for the president in this election. If the ANC loses seats, Cyril Ramaphosa is in peril; if the party gains voters, he’s safe

Idle MPs likely to turn Parliament into battleground

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address marks the official start of the parliamentary year but MPs are not expected to do much for the duration of their term.

Point of order, Madam Speaker!

If there ever was an introduction to Baleka Mbete, it is the ritual during five stormy years in office

Slice of life: I was inspired to be an activist

My father is an activist.
He’s got a car and when people had no water, he would tell me: ‘Go collect the containers of the neighbours, because we are going for water.’

The State of the Nation in numbers

The M&G Data Desk analysed 29 State of the Nation addresses (Sona) since 1994.
A total of 97 530 words were pulled from the government’s website and categorised according to their dates and related speakers.

Students, universities on a collision course

There are structural challenges in the sector that need practical and urgent intervention by the government for the country to move forwards

Unfazed Supra bounces back

The appointment of the provincial task team after the PEC’s disbandment was declared unlawful and the ANC was ordered to pay the legal costs of the two high court bids.

The workers’ struggle for dignity that’s almost won

While the country was fixated on protests that changed the face of higher learning in South Africa, when students initiated the #FeesMustFall movement, workers were fighting for their very survival. The #OutsourcingMustFall movement hardly registered as a blip for most, but the struggle and its outcomes would change lives forever, writes Bongekile Macupe

The mystery of Agent SA71, Jiba and Mdluli on a flight to Durban

The embattled deputy head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Nomgcobo Jiba, was not crime intelligence “Agent SA71”. This is according to testimony by police Colonel Kobus Roelofse at the Mokgoro inquiry last Friday.

More Bosasa arrests still to come

The belief is the Hawks want to get the big fish and are hoping the minnows will bring them in

Colonisation drove Little Ice Age

Disease caused the death of 55-million indigenous Americans, resulting in the reforestation of vast tracts of land

Ambassador spreads fear in Geneva

She locked officials in a boardroom for five hours when some employees didn’t attend a meeting

Big deal for all concerned as small fry vanish

New research in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that climate change is dramatically reducing their numbers, and this advantage.

Jiba’s debut keenly anticipated

Until now, the former national director of public prosecutions has not been cross-examined

Teaching, science grads get jobs

Although youth unemployment remains a problem for the country, more and more graduates are finding jobs

Silence cloaks boy-on-boy sex abuse

What the effect will be is not yet known but the children themselves will never be the same again

Illegal betting syndicates target SA’s newest cricket tournament

Cricket South Africa may have driven out the Hansie Cronje devil but fixers and gangsters still plague the game

The land wars of 2019: Analysing the EFF and ANC manifestos

The ANC proposes to continue working with large agricultural businesses, an approach that has to date marginalised small-scale farmers

HEALTH:

Why fewer women die when giving birth

Pregnancy in South Africa is getting safer, but still not safe enough. Here’s what the health department says they’re doing about it

The woman rewriting Nollywood

The continent’s largest film industry has been getting mental health all wrong with dangerous consequences. Now, that’s changing

AFRICA:

‘Crimes against humanity’ in Zim

Human rights group details abuses in Zimbabwe with further turmoil in store

One peace deal can’t fix CAR

The Central African Republic’s latest conflict flared in 2013 and eight previous deals have failed

Africa’s identity begins at home

After all we have been through, we still don’t get to define our own continent. This holds us back

BUSINESS:

SA rides emerging market wave

The pressure on Eskom bonds has eased and the rand has rallied but global events can change that

US fine bolsters SA’s rand-fixing case

On January 29 this year, British-headquartered banking group Standard Chartered pleaded guilty to charges of foreign currency manipulation

Workers want say in PIC board

Unionists want greater transparency after revelations and allegations about impropriety

It’s mine, all mine

South Africa is open for business and the government is committed to ensuring the mining industry has a stable regulatory and policy environment.

Drink Durban Poison? That’s different

It’s now okay to smoke cannabis, or at least it’s legal as long as you don’t buy your supply. But what about drinking it?

Microplastic pollution on tap in SA

Particulates, prevalent in cosmetic and household products, and are now in our food chain

COMMENT & ANALYSIS:

Exclusion will continue to fuel corruption

The abuse of state resources is devastating for the poor but it opens a door for people who often have no other way of getting ahead

Editorial: The sad fact is the state is ripe for picking

‘One year post-Jacob Zuma and the light of the new dawn is still there but the air is heavily polluted’

Editorial: Oil find a mixed blessing

‘Offshore rigs have made some countries rich. They have also proven to be the feeding ground for corrupt elites’

Letters to the editor: February 8 to 14

Our readers write in about fixing the country’s wetlands, protests, corruption and faith

Fake news: Censorship’s no solution

The public, not private companies or governments, should limit dangerous digital deception

Educate state to use graft for growth

Corruption has gone too far in SA to be eradicated but other nations have used it to their advantage

The rise and fall of Mmusi Maimane

The Democratic Alliance is ‘rudderless’ and its inexperienced leader is unable to navigate the pitfalls of the political landscape

You can’t manipulate us into voting

Choosing not to vote is a democratic choice, which can send a powerful message to those who harp on about those who died to make it possible

Adopt strategies that address plight of ‘invisible’ children

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), the births of about 230-million children under the age of five — about one-third of the world’s total — have never been registered.

FIFTH COLUMN: Life (sort of) begins at 40

‘Having gone over the bill multiple times, I noticed a single decaf coffee ordered as dessert. It frightened me. Why did my friends deprive themselves? Does life not begin at 40?’

Yes, men can be harassed too

The issue of abuse of power, contrary to how it is often tackled, is not just about gender

Calls to close the IEB are uneducated

Varied examination systems only help to better assessment and to ensure that national curriculums are used instead of foreign ones

Critical thinking enhances performance

The ability to think analytically and beyond surface-level information is a skill that brings solutions to the world’s issues

FRIDAY:

SA needs to play catch up with India

Unlike South Africa, India does not tax books unless they are imported. In this way, I was able to buy books by Indian author friends for very low prices

This weekend

Shampoonaiza Comedy Show, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, Anton Karstel 1995–2018

Art and activism become one

About six months ago, long-time friends Bradley Williams and DJ Kenzhero opened up Artivist. In the heart of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, the restaurant-cum-gallery seeks to become a lighthouse of cultural experiences. Zaza Hlalethwa spoke to its owners

Kaliyu-topia: Displacement questioned at the end of days

An epic first solo show attempts to establish a visual vernacular that South African Indians can relate to

A tale of two cultural tastes

Africa and Italy, so similar in so many ways, have shaped a Jo’burg restaurateur

Confessions of bibliophiles

Amassing a hoard of literary treasures is essential for some but so is sharing the love

SPORT:

Safa shows Bantwana the finger

Months after the women’s U-17 World Cup, pleas from the team’s backup staff remain unanswered

The Bayern renaissance: of old friends and new foes

Four semifinal fails in the past five iterations of the competition prove their nearly-there-but-not-quite status.

Midweek bliss at Loftus

Sundowns fans ‘vang gees’ as 3-0 win over Black Leopards on home turf augurs well for the future

Derby: Why this one really matters

Coach Ernst Middendorp’s history with Bucs may bring the winning streak to Amakhosi

It’s do or die for troubled Chiefs’ keeper Vries

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries has this Saturday to prove whether he is the real makoya for the Glamour Boys.

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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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