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index a DAY in pictures It happened overnight South Africa Africa WorlD Business LIFE, ETC Sport

monday – 19 september 2011


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a day in pictures

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


a day in pictures

israel/palestine

Jewish settlers take part in a general drill to protect their unauthorized outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus September 19, 2011. General drills take place on a regular basis in Jewish settlements and outposts throughout the West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that he would push ahead with plans to seek full U.N. membership for a Palestinian state, a move the United States and Israel say could lead to disaster. REUTERS/Nir Elias

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


a day in pictures

bangladesh

A police officer walks through a road as a motorbike burns in Dhaka September 19, 2011. Street marches by members of Bangladesh's biggest Islamic party seeking the release of its leaders from jail turned violent across the country on Monday, with at least 70 people wounded in clashes, witnesses said. Activists belonging to the Jamaat-e-Islami party, many carrying sticks and throwing rocks, fought running battles with steel-helmeted riot police in Dhaka and set at least 30 vehicles on fire. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


a day in pictures

pakistan

Fatima, 12, sits on a bed in a flooded room with her family belongings in the Badin district of Pakistan's Sindh province September 19, 2011. The latest floods, triggered by monsoon rains, have killed more than 230 people, destroyed or damaged 1.2 million houses and flooded 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) since late last month, officials and Western aid groups say. More than 300,000 people have been moved to shelters. Some 800,000 families hit by last year's floods are still homeless. Aid groups have warned of a growing risk of fatal diseases. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


a day in pictures

singapore

An aerial view shows part of the illuminated Marina Bay street circuit of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at dusk September 19, 2011. The Singapore F1 night race will take place on September 25. REUTERS/David Loh

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


a day in pictures

brazil

A woman walks near brooms placed by members of NGO Rio de Paz (Peace Rio) at Copacabana beach as a form of protest in Rio de Janeiro September 19, 2011. A total of 594 brooms, which represent the number of congressmen in the country, were placed at the beach to symbolize the need to 'sweep off' corruption in the Brazilian National Congress. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


IT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


it happened overnight

briefs

Benyamin Netanyahu (Reuters)

Politics South Africa The South African government has made clear it has not scrapped the hated Protection of Information Bill and will have it finalised by the end of the year. ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said further debates with special interest groups would take place. The contentious part of these negotiations encircles a public interest defence, i.e. protecting whistleblowers. Cosatu, the Right2Know campaign, opposition parties and other bodies have been debating the bill with the ANC pretty much since it was dreamt up.

Palestine Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has called for talks between his country and Palestine in New York this week as Palestine pushes ahead with its plans to force a United Nations vote on its own sovereignty on Friday. The US, which will veto the Palestinian resolution, should it succeed, repeated its call for direct negotiations between the two governments for a two-state solution. Country after country has repeated its support for the bid, which most recently includes Latin American powerhouse, Brazil. USA President Barack Obama laid out a deficit-cutting plan on Monday, aided by raising

taxes on America’s wealthiest, which is supposed to cut $3 billion off the US national debt. House Republicans rejected it immediately. These are most likely mere theatrics as election season gets closer and closer. Joseph Padilla, convicted on terrorism charges in 2007, will have his sentence adjusted after an appeals court declared it too low due to his history as a gangster in Chicago, 17 prior arrests and training at an alQaeda camp in Afghanistan. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy ends today, which means, as Barack Obama said in his state of the union speech this year, “no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love”.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


it happened overnight

briefs negotiated. Reuters reported that a government source claimed there wasn’t yet a deal, but he expected an agreement later on Monday. A government crackdown on pro-democracy protestors on Monday killed 26 people. In spite of the agreement, shots and heavy shelling were heard in the capital, Sana'a, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 

Rupiah Banda of Zambia (Reuters)

Turkey US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has urged Turkey not to worsen ties with Israel, as she sought to stem the haemorrhaging relationship between the nations which, if it progresses much more, will further reduce Israel’s diplomatic allies. Turkey has recently become angered by Israel after a refusal to apologise for the flotilla incident last year, and Israel’s ties with Cyprus which Turkey shares its own contentious relationship. In an about-turn from yesterday when it claimed it would recuse itself from European Union membership if Cyprus got the presidency as scheduled in 2012, Turkey has demanded full European Union membership or nothing. This is directly against an

Angela-Merkel suggestion for “privileged partnership” which would centre on trade only. Libya Sabha, about 750km south of Tripoli, is the latest battleground for the war in Libya with the transitional national council forces making ground there, including the airport and other strategic points. The TNC has also warned that troubles for vulnerable civilians in Gaddafi-held areas are getting worse, and this is one of the reasons TNC forces have not yet launched a maximum assault on Bani Walid where battle has raged for a week. Yemen Without releasing specific details, an opposition leader in Yemen said that a ceasefire with government has been

Zambia More than 5 million Zambians head to the polls today for national elections which will see incumbent Rupiah Banda square off against nationalist Michael Sata. Analysts are struggling to predict the outcome of what seems a tight race. Sata, who has accused Banda of allowing major economic growth to benefit foreigners ahead of Zambians, said that if his party wins he will bring back the 25% mining tax which Banda abolished in 2009.

Business Italy Standard & Poor’s lowered Italy’s credit rating from A+ to A with a negative outlook, with the country’s national debt set to increase to a level higher than expected. The agency also revised Italy’s growth from 1.3% to 0.7%. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who also still faces four court cases,

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


it happened overnight

briefs

must be feeling the pressure worse than a South African cricketer in a semi-final. Greece The Greek finance ministry has assured the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank that it remains committed to its austerity plans during a conference telephone call on Monday. The call will resume on Tuesday when the financial bodies will enquire about the specifics of what the Greek finance department is doing and decide whether to proceed with the bailout. Nigeria Nigeria and the EU have signed a $1.6 billion agreement which involves mass power infrastructure, including a gas pipeline, and housing. Vanguard reports a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Nigeria’s minister of trade and investment, Olusegan Aganga, and a consortium from the EU, one of which is the body’s head of international affairs and investments. Said Aganga: “It is the desire of the federal government, through the ministry of trade and investment, to attract foreign direct investments into Nigeria, create jobs, generate wealth and enhance the economic growth of the country.”

S&P cuts Italy's credit rating (Reuters)

Malawi Vodacom is in talks to purchase a stake in Telekom Networks Malawi, according to unidentified sources in a report by the Daily Times, a Malawian paper. TNM officials were not available for comment and Vodacom’s head of international operations, Johan Dennelind, said the company was looking at expansion into the continent, but declined to provide specifics. Vodacom already has some sort of operation or stake in companies in four African countries outside South Africa. South Africa The government is set to clamp down on illegal use of Vaal River water by farmers who pump out 244 million cubic metres a year, said the department of water affairs. The department has set itself

a target to have reduced the illegal consumption by 92% by March 2012. Should we all quickly sing “Shoot the rapid”? Paraguay The Paraguayan government ceased all beef exports for at least 80 days on Monday after foot-and-mouth disease on a farm 400km north of the capital, Asuncion, was discovered. Neighbouring Uruguay has already closed the border to all cattle movements. Beef is Paraguay’s second biggest export and it could take six months to get to a point where the disease has been eradicated, and this will probably result in 5,000 jobs in the meat packing industry being terminated. Argentina/China The whackload of SinoArgentine trade has brought authorities from both countries

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


it happened overnight

briefs

Google Wallet (Reuters)

together who agreed to exchange tax information about any entity “liable of fiscal responsibility” (meaning people and companies) which includes companies listed in Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Shenzen. Under the terms of this agreement authorities from either country can make inspections in the other. In the last year Argentina has exported more than $6 billion worth of goods while China has invested $15 million in Argentina in the last two years. USA Google has released its proposed physical wallet- and credit-card-killing technology in the form of Google Wallet which turns a smartphone into

a payment mechanism. The app will come out this week, but only to people who use a Sprint Nexus 4G phone. Next year will be the biggie as the app is set to spread throughout Android-powered phones. So, how many of you will give your bank account details to Google? A 2% gain on Monday sent Apple’s stock to an all-time high of $411.50, overtaking the $403.61 set in July, which will only fuel more speculation about the iPhone 5.

Sport New Zealand The Springboks have made

five changes to the team to play Namibia on Thursday with Bryan Habana returning from injury in place of Odwa Ndungane and Gio Aplon in for JP Pietersen. Jannie du Plessis will have a rest and have his place taken by CJ van der Linde while Heinrich Brüssow and Fourie du Preez will also sit out. They will be replaced by Willem Alberts and Francois Hougaard. Chilliboy Ralepelle replaces Bismarck du Plessis on the bench. Springbok Team: Springbok team: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger,

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


it happened overnight

6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ Van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Gurthro Steenkamp. Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

Life UK The family of Milly Dowler, the slain schoolgirl whose story became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal, may receive a payment of between $3.1 million and $4.7 million, with some funding to also go to charities, in a settlement with News Corp. Rupert Murdoch has apologised to the Dowlers for one of his papers, News of the World, having listened to Milly’s voicemails and deleted them to make space for more. Denmark A necklace which once belonged to a passenger aboard the Titanic has been stolen from

briefs

Springboks (Reuters)

a museum in Copenhagen. Police have offered a €1,000 reward for its return. The most embarrassing aspect for the exhibitions organisers is that the display case was not damaged, nor did an alarm go off. Luckily the necklace is insured for €14,000 … USA Dolores Hope, widow of comedian Bob Hope, has died of natural causes. The singer was married to Bob Hope for 69 years and lived until the ripe old age of 102, eight years after he died at an even 100 in 2003. Guatemala Three people died and 13 were injured when a series of four earthquakes struck Guatemala within two-and-a-half hours. Four-hundred people were

evacuated and telephones and electricity services were down. Of the three who died, one was killed in a house which collapsed and two were buried in landslides while driving. Authorities do not expect any significant aftershocks. Burundi Thirty-six patrons were killed when raiders attacked a bar near Bujumbura, Burundi. Witnesses claimed dozens of attackers made everyone in the bar lie down and then began shooting in an attack which lasted 20 minutes. The attackers are speculated to come from either the DRC or represent the former Hutu rebel movement National Liberation Forces. Escalating violence in the last few months is raising a resumption of civil war fears.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


SOUTH AFRICA

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


south africa

briefs

Gwede Mantashe (Reuters)

Right2Know proceeds with freedom of expression candlelight vigils Across the country, the Right2Know campaign held candlelight vigils in support of freedom of expression and access to information on what was supposed to be the eve of the Protection of Information Bill’s passage into law. The ANC had withdrawn the Bill earlier in the day, but the campaign went ahead with the vigils because the substance of the Bill has not changed.

Mantashe: ANC membership has grown to almost 1 million The ANC’s Gwede Mantashe

told reporters at a briefing on Monday that the party’s membership had grown by almost 50% since its general conference in Polokwane in 2008. The party has 933,672 members and would like to hit the 1 million mark in time for its centenary celebrations next year. Following ill-discipline at the start of the Julius Malema disciplinary hearing, the party had said it would begin vetting its members to weed out those likely to act violently.

Nxele told Sapa on Monday he had been re-instated and the issues over his suspension resolved amicably. Nxele had been suspended on 8 July for misconduct, the details of which were not made public. He said correctional services minister Tom Moyane announced the lifting of the suspension on Monday.

KZN correctional services regional commissioner suspension lifted

The South African Communist Party on Tuesday joined the National Union of Mineworkers in calling for urgent intervention at the SABC. The “skewed news coverage” and “collaboration

Suspended KwaZulu-Natal correctional services regional commissioner Mnikelwa

SACP: SABC being manipulated for political purposes

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


south africa

with the anti-majoritarian liberal tendency” of SABC news were chief among the SACP’s complaints in a statement released by spokesperson Malesela Maleka. It said the SABC is being manipulated for political purposes and called on government to resolve the issues with the board appointments so the broadcaster is not captured for “sinister agendas”.

Ficksburg protestors in court Fifteen protestors arrested in Meqheleng during the service delivery protests in which Andries Tatane was killed appeared before the Ficksburg magistrate’s court on Monday. The case was postponed to 7 November for further investigation. The 15 were among a group of 40 arrested for public violence during the protests. The charges against the rest were withdrawn.

Burst pipe worsens Bloem water supply problem Following weeks of interruption, Mangaung residents were left without water on Monday after a pipe burst at the Welbedacht Dam. Repairs conducted over the weekend affected supply to a few parts of Bloemfontein,

briefs

which is still operating on water restrictions due to low water levels in most reservoirs. The city announced that the water restrictions imposed on 7 September continue to apply until further notice.

School suicides up in Eastern Cape According to an Eastern Cape provincial department report, 96 students have committed suicide since the beginning of the year. Last year, 109 students took their own lives. The province, along with KwaZulu-Natal, has in the past shown a higher number of student suicides than other provinces. The report cited bullying in schools, peer pressure, HIV and Aids prevalence and poverty as the possible causes of the suicides.

to other contractors to re-do or fix, resulting in further expenditure.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde: Irregularities found in public works tenders worth R3bn Beleaguered public works minister Gwen MahlanguNkabinde said on Monday that her department and the Special Investigating Unit had uncovered irregularities in tenders worth R3 billion. She said she began the investigations when she took over 10 months ago after finding out that the ANC “had been let down by dishonest officials” in her department. MahlanguNkabinde said officials who had been involved and those who had lied to her to hide what was going on would be disciplined and prosecuted.

Health and education departments wasted R2 billion on poor quality infrastructure

Police fire rubber bullets to disperse Thembisa protestors

A report on the performance audit conducted by the auditor general on the delivery of infrastructure by provincial departments of health and education has revealed that poor quality workmanship by contractors cost the taxpayer R2 billion. The projects, some of which were not completed on time, had to be handed over

Police fired rubber bullets on Monday to disperse about 2,000 protestors in Thembisa. The protestors threw bottles and stones when they were told to disperse, according to police. Electricity to Thembisa was also cut off on Monday morning prompting fears that residents would become even angrier.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


south africa

Public Works working well for greedy officials When you’re a minister in trouble, the best strategy is always to blame the guy who fell before you anyway, and suspend someone for good measure. Ask Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who has “uncovered” R3 billion of tender irregularities in her department. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.

While the attention was on the Protection of Information Bill in Parliament on Monday, Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde quietly released a statement from her Cape Town office announcing that a departmental investigation with the Special Investigating Unit has found R3 billion of “serious irregularities in the award of certain tenders granted by the department”.

corruption

The minister, who was appointed ten months ago in the place of Geoff Doidge, now claimed she was “inadvertently handed a poisoned chalice” because the conniving officials have done nothing but lie to her so that they could “line their own pockets”. Poor minister. “I inherited a situation where serious irregularities had occurred. It was extraordinarily difficult to get to the truth of what had been taking place because some officials did everything they could to obstruct my investigations,” she said. “We know of more than 40 cases where tenders were awarded improperly, where proper procedures were not followed and dishonesty took place.” She neglected to say whether the R1.6 billion of questionable police leases in the Pretoria CBD and Durban were included in these tenders or not. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has found that the department, under Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s watch, deviated from the tender process on these deals, and Madonsela has recommended action against Mahlangu-Nkabinde. Meanwhile DA MP John Steenhuisen put out his own statement on Monday claiming that the acting Public Works director-general Sam Vukela has now also been suspended. The one before him, Siviwe Dongwana, was suspended in December last year about the police lease saga, and still remains so – on full pay. Public Works spokesman Sam Mkhwanazi, however, appeared surprised when asked about it, and Steenhuisen couldn’t be reached.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

tembisa

Tembisa protests and the shadow 0f things to come On Monday thousands of residents in Tembisa took to the streets to demonstrate primarily against the high price of electricity. They were swiftly dealt with, forcefully, politically and temporarily, but not before giving us some insight into what promises to be a long, hot summer of service-delivery protests. By PHILLIP DE WET. It takes three data points to show the beginning of a trend, and Tembisa this week provided the third major service delivery protest in Gauteng in as many weeks. The direction is pointing towards “uncomfortable� at best: an increase in the number of such protests in coming months with a good chance for escalation.

Residents of the township took to the streets in their thousands early on Monday morning, blocking tens of kilometres of roads with rubble ranging from paving stones to entire trees and threatening to stone police to Photo: Phillip de Wet for iMaverick

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

keep the roads closed; whether or not there was any actual stone-throwing is a matter of some contention. Though children went to school, much of the rest of Tembisa ground to a halt, with those who are employed being strenuously advised not to go to work, shops remaining closed and even a municipal service centre closed for part of the day. By early evening the protest was halted, for the time being, even though vast sections remained largely impassable to traffic. Although it far outstripped them in sheer scope, the Tembisa protest was not all that different from similar community uprisings last week in Chiawelo, Soweto, and nearby Themb'elihle in Lenasia. The major underlying complaint is the high cost of electricity, with a laundry list of other complaints (sanitation,

tembisa

housing, healthcare) added as something as an afterthought. Much of the community believes its letters and memorandums and queries have been ignored by an unfeeling local government, that it has been failed by its representatives, and that causing a ruckus is the only way to get noticed. Notably, though, many of the people we spoke to also believe the government, whether local, provincial or national, can relatively easily improve their lives should it apply its mind to the problem. That is perhaps the most telling difference between communities that try their hand at such protests and their neighbours that do not; where apathy has trumped hope, people Photo: Phillip de Wet for iMaverick

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

tembisa

In Tembisa, residents officially agreed to wait on a response from the city before planning their next move, but some of the more militant and perhaps less political young men muttered darkly about petrol bombs and the ease of targeting state infrastructure as a lesson in the power of the people.

still grumble but do little else. Faith that a government that could, for example, turn back the clock on electricity prices by five years is a prerequisite for politics to spill out into the street. That makes for a large number of contenders, however. The increasing spread between social grants and administered prices is universal. Towns and townships were mobilised ahead of both national and local government elections with promises of change and improvement. Anecdotal evidence is showing even those who don't closely watch labour statistics that the odds of a DIY improvement in economic circumstances aren't great. So we wouldn't bet against further sporadic and, eventually, long-running service-delivery protests everywhere from Gauteng and Cape Town to the rural reaches. In Tembisa, residents officially agreed to wait on a response from the city before planning their next move, but some of the more militant and perhaps less political young men muttered darkly about petrol bombs and

the ease of targeting state infrastructure as a lesson in the power of the people. They were joined by a new crop of radicalised citizens, not so youn, but incensed by heavy-handed police tactics in breaking up small groups of people quietly talking on street corners on the basis that these constituted illegal gatherings. That approach did get major roads and business nodes reopened on the quick, but the bill may come due the next time people decide to stand up to authority. Organisers in Themb'elihle, Chiawelo and Tembisa have all promised they will not rest until their demands (mostly for electricity, or cheaper electricity) have been met. In all three communities they hope to do that through negotiations spurred by their attentiongetting tactics. In all three they are likely to be frustrated and again grow impatient. In all three they have at least the tacit support of the majority of residents for protest action – without a great deal of concern about keeping such action entirely peaceful. It could be a long, hot summer.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

secrecy bill

ANC makes U-turn on secrecy bill and lives to tell the tale “Tell us another one” was the response from everyone when ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said the party’s reason for pulling the Protection of State Information Bill on the eve of its tabling at the national assembly was because the ANC cares about what its constituency has to say. But despite the derision, Motshekga did not change his tune. He’s adamant the ANC is listening. And cares. By OSIAME MOLEFE. It beggars belief that SA's democratic process may actually have prevailed (for now). After one year and 20 or so days, has a grassroots civil society movement succeeded where opposition parties have failed? Frankly, no. The bill being pulled at the 11th hour has more to do with

internal ANC squabbles than civil society pressure. And that theory may have merit. Before the ANC parliamentary caucus met on Monday at 14:00 to debate whether the bill Photo: Osiame Molefe for iMaverick.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

“The protection of information bill will go through many changes (in Parliament). That’s how democracy works. If you want it cheap, go for a dictatorship. It’s dirt cheap.” - Pallo Jordan

should be withdrawn, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had all but announced that the bill would be withdrawn. And by the time the caucus meeting began, it was confirmed that the bill would be withdrawn, reinforcing the idea that the decision had been made over the weekend at the ANC’s national executive committee and that the caucus’s function was to rubber-stamp it. This left Motshekga with just one question to answer. Why? “There are still interested parties who need further hearing as well as other parties who have made late submissions. The ANC is of the view that these voices should be heard,” Motshekga said reading his prepared statement. He added that ANC MPs wanted to take the bill to their constituencies and that the further debates sought by the party were to improve the quality of a bill with which

secrecy bill

everybody within the party was perfectly happy. But we know that was not entirely true. From within its alliance ranks, Cosatu – spurred by info bill committee chairman Cecil Burgess’s insistence on clause-byclause voting on the bill – released a statement that could have easily come from the Right2Know campaign. It was this that the Right2Know credits as the tipping point in its battle against the draconian elements of the bill. Other senior and respected party voices, too, began to speak out publicly from this point. Former state security minister Ronnie Kasrils has been warning for a long time now that the haste to complete the bill would lead to disaster in the future. And two weeks before his death, former minister education minister Kader Asmal penned a letter calling on all South Africans to reject the bill in its entirety. It is also apparent that others on the NEC had adopted Pallo Jordan’s wait-andsee approach in Parliament. Speaking at an open ANC branch meeting in Cape Town debating the media appeals tribunal, Jordan emphasised the need for a bill to regulate information that would compromise national security, but hastened to add that the bill was of such importance it should be debated until it was ready to be enacted without regard for deadlines or cost. “The protection of information bill will go through many changes (in Parliament). That’s how democracy works. If you want it cheap, go for a dictatorship. It’s dirt cheap,” Jordan said. But give credit where it’s due, Cosatu, Kasrils, Asmal and others echoed wide support garnered by the Right2Know

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south africa

secrecy bill

But there’s been a massive change in the last 20 or so years as humanity has shifted toward that next frontier: the human mind and the capacity to augmentintelligence. This has led some intellectuals to wonder whether humans are now more android or even on the verge of becoming “techno-sapiens”.

campaign, so it cannot be said that the pressure from within that led to Monday’s developments existed in a vacuum. Part of it may also have been what Motshekga called a “revolutionary conscience” gnawing away at members of the NEC and the ANC caucus. The bill’s withdrawal, though, is temporary. Motshekga said it would be finalised by the end of the year, but was unclear what will happen between now and then. Now that the ad hoc committee on the bill had fulfilled its function, it ceases to exist, leaving the bill in limbo. Opposition parties hope that sense continues to prevail and that the bill will be returned for parliamentary debate. The Right2Know campaign has been cautiously optimistic, saying that the further engagement promised “has the potential -- if fully implemented -- to meet the key Right2Know demand that the bill in its current form be scrapped and referred back to the people”. However, Burgess and fellow ANC MP Luwellyn Landers – who sat flanking Motshekga at Monday’s briefing in a bad

cop-good cop-bad cop formation – said they see nothing else in the bill that should be changed. In between Motshekga’s assurances that the bill is the culmination of the democratic process and that further debate is its crescendo, Burgess defended the lack of a public interest defence while Landers said the bill’s jail terms were genteel by international norms. As for who else needs to make or has made further submissions, Motshekga was non-committal. He tried several times to say it is “the people”, but the media wasn’t going to let him get away with something so vague. He relented saying he did not yet have names. And with the yet-to-bedetermined process that will follow, there are still many unknowns in this U-turn. It may eventually redraft the bill, as demanded by the Cosatu, Right2Know and other voices, or it could, at a more opportune moment, be voted on and passed unchanged. One thing is certain, though: SA's civil society remains vehemently opposed to the bill and will not relent.

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south africa

African Platform on Access to Information declaration adopted in Cape Town Access to information is a crucial issue right now, not least in South Africa, and the adoption of the Apai declaration on Monday was both timeous and geographically apt. Like the Windhoek Declaration 20 years ago, it could be one of those conference declarations that actually has a real-world impact. We certainly hope so. By THERESA MALLINSON.

media freedom

The several media-related conferences that have taken place in Cape Town over the last three days culminated in the African Information and Media Summit on Monday afternoon. At the summit, delegates overwhelmingly voted to adopt the African Platform on Access to Information declaration, which will be presented to the both the AU Commission and the UN. The declaration petitions Unesco to proclaim 28 September as International Right to Information Day. It's worth remembering that World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, was adopted after the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press proposed the idea 20 years ago. The Apai declaration's key principle is that access to information is a fundamental human right, and it calls on governments of AU member states to “adopt or revise existing comprehensive laws on access to information in line with the principles in this declaration, and the proposed AU model law, and fully implement them”. To date, only ten of the 53 AU member states have access-to-information laws – and not all of them comply with regional and international standards. As the Apai declaration was being adopted, on the other side of central Cape Town, a press conference was held in Parliament officially announcing the ANC's withdrawal of the Protection of State Information Bill, to allow for further consultation. We hope the party takes time to read the declaration as part of its consultative processes, particularly the sections on limited exemptions, oversight bodies and whistleblower protection. The fight for access to information is far from over.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


south africa

dalai lama

Dalai Lama’s visit:

Sa's real integrity test Tuesday - 20 September 2011


south africa

dalai lama

Outside of China, there is little doubt the Dalai Lama is the epitome of integrity, humility, leadership and kindness. The question now is whether South Africa’s rulers have the integrity and moral fortitude to aspire to the same lofty standards – or bend the knee, yet again, to the power-rattling of communist China. By GUY LIEBERMAN. In mid-August of 1996 I sat across from the Dalai Lama in a suite at Johannesburg International Airport’s VIP lounge, as we reviewed his first-ever visit to South Africa. I learnt over the years that followed, and during the next two visits of the Tibetan leader, that this was standard practice. As his entourage went through the departure procedures, the Dalai Lama would take the opportunity to sit with his hosts and reflect on the trip. He would ask questions of us to get final clarity on certain issues, and in turn share his thoughts on anything we might want to understand from his perspective. For us it established the Dalai Lama’s take on his experiences of South Africa, and also provided a close-up opportunity to get a better grasp of his worldview. The highpoint of the ’96 visit was the first meeting between the Tibetan leader and then president Nelson Mandela. I asked the Dalai Lama if he would comment on that encounter. He was silent for a few moments, considering the question, and then responded by saying that he had had the good fortune to meet some of the world’s greatest leaders; kings, spiritual notables, presidents, social icons, his fellow Nobel Peace Laureates, luminaries from the sciences, as well as captains of industry Photo: REUTERS

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south africa

dalai lama

Photo: A Tibetan exile shouts slogans during a protest to mark the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against China, in New Delhi March 10, 2011. The Dalai Lama said he would step down as Tibet's political leader, a move seen as transforming the government-in-exile into a more assertive and democratic body in the face of Chinese pressure. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

and human rights activists. In preparing to meet with all of these people, he would study their stories in-depth and take into account the nature of their reputations. “In most cases, the reputation of that leader would always be very large. However, every time I would meet the individual, I noted that the reputation was always far bigger than the person. Now, as I was preparing to meet Nelson Mandela, I considered that his reputation was in fact larger than anyone else’s. But in only this case, was the individual much larger than his reputation.” I have often wondered what it was about Nelson Mandela that the Dalai Lama had witnessed. Was it that Madiba is simply unique

among men, above his peers and beyond fault? Did he stand out from his comrades as someone entirely different from them? Or, as it’s been said, is Madiba essentially an African leader who holds to a certain moral code, one that is drawn deeply from the culture of his birth? The giant who is Nelson Mandela is in fact a man who expressed an intrinsically African integrity through his political will. My sense is that it was this aspect of Mandela that the Dalai Lama had perceived. In preparing for the ’96 visit, I had presented the case for Tibetan freedom to the then deputy director general of the Asia desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She happened to be sensitive to the plight of the Tibetan people, and came at it from the perspective of having lived for

Tuesday - 20 September 2011


south africa

The question now is whether our leaders can stand up in the way Mandela did, and welcome the Tibetan leader. Can they grasp that whether the Dalai Lama comes or not, little will change in the relationship between Africa and China. years in exile as an ANC activist. Although not government policy, she, among more than a few other ANC comrades, resonated closely with the Dalai Lama and his open call for autonomy, and for the long-overdue relief from the brutal Chinese oppression in his country. In her mind, she saw political parallels with her president and the Dalai Lama. Preceding the ‘96 visit, the Chinese applied heavy pressure on Mandela’s government. They instructed the president to deny the Dalai Lama a visa. Mandela made it clear to the Chinese that he was welcoming the Dalai Lama to South Africa as a friend and spiritual leader. But whatever the case, as president, he had the right to say who could and couldn’t visit his country. South Africans had experienced decades of their own oppressive regime telling them what they could and couldn’t do – the decision to grant the Dalai Lama a visa was South Africa’s. There was little the Chinese could do but threaten that it would weaken political and economic ties, but even more interesting, there was little the Chinese actually did once the visit took place.

dalai lama

The empty threats issued by the Chinese have never been acknowledged as being just that: empty. They have not once acted on their intimidations in South Africa, which preceded each of the three visits of the Dalai Lama (’96, ’99 and ’04). The Chinese understand that they need economic ties with Africa as much as Africa needs these links to China. There is too much at stake for the Chinese to interfere with the continued strengthening of this relationship. The question now is whether our leaders can stand up in the way Mandela did, and welcome the Tibetan leader. Can they grasp that whether the Dalai Lama comes or not, little will change in the relationship between Africa and China. There is yet another angle here, from the Dalai Lama’s position. The Chinese have always accused the Tibetan leader of being a stooge of the West. As a young activist who always wished to be more of a firebrand, I would elect to update my activities to Dharamsala (the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile and home of the Dalai Lama), and hoped time and again for some sort of signal to heat up the campaign for Tibetan freedom. On one occasion, early in my career as an activist for Tibet, I travelled to India to brief the Dalai Lama on my efforts. I was proud to report that, when having recently presented to said deputy director general of the Asia desk and her staff in Pretoria, she had become very agitated about the Chinese embassy officials who had stormed into her office, uninvited, and issued their demands to deny the Dalai Lama a visa. “Yes, exactly, they will do just that!” I had exclaimed, which only caused further agitation on her part. I considered this exchange a successful

Tuesday - 20 September 2011


south africa

dalai lama Photo: A woman prays as townsmen gather for the swearingin ceremony of Lobsang Sangay, the elected prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in the courtyard of the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharamsala August 8, 2011. Sangay, a Harvard graduate, replaced the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan movement's political leader. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Tuesday - 20 September 2011


south africa

step on the path to South African support of the Tibetan liberation movement. The Dalai Lama listened quietly and closely to my entire account and responded simply by saying: “No use making people angry. No use.” When the Tibetan Nobel Laureate and Buddhist Master says it’s no use making people angry, it extends to the full spectrum of human dignity. Throughout the years of my activism, I received the same message from the Tibetan leadership and the local representative in Pretoria: we will do all we can to avoid embarrassing the South African government. The Dalai Lama will not come to South Africa if it is going to be overly complicated politically. He will accept an invitation from a host, but unless a visa is granted, which is considered an expression of welcome by the South African government, he will make no demands from his side. He comes as a guest, and only if he is welcome. When seeking his endorsement of campaigns to boycott Chinese goods, the Dalai Lama often disagrees with Tibetan and Chinese human rights activists around the world. His view is that countries should rather fully engage China, welcome her into the family of nations, and bring her fully to her senses. While his method might not feed the fires of the activists, his view is broad, deep and patient. The Dalai Lama’s political stance on China is clear, and has been for decades. He does not seek secession from China. He seeks a genuine autonomy where Tibetans can live freely in Tibet, without intimidation from the Chinese, practicing their religion and culture within the borders of a larger China. Being inspired by the democratic process, the Tibetans in exile (and

dalai lama

via various channels within Tibet), have been through referendums regarding the political track they should follow. The Dalai Lama’s position, among his own people, is the MiddleWay Approach, which embodies his view of an autonomous Tibet within a unified China. If this is how he honestly and openly presents his case to his own people, why would the Chinese not believe him? Does this dynamic sound at all familiar to those South Africans old enough to remember our own political transition? What this is, in effect, is the wisdom of His Holiness. His largesse is too close in form and character to that of Mandela. We have to allow ourselves to see this obvious comparison, and all the related associations regarding the freedom struggles of both Tibet and South Africa. On the current issue of whether or not to provide the Dalai Lama with a visa to visit South Africa next month, our leadership has a clear choice: to look deep into the African soul and emulate Mandela’s actions by extending a hand of friendship, while at the same time understanding that it won’t, in fact, have any real impact on our relations with China. Or, once again to yield as the people who will submit to the will of another nation, to constrict our spirit and our standing as a moral society, and close our doors on a genuine man of peace and the justified hopes of his people.

Guy Lieberman has served as local liaison for the visits of the Dalai Lama to South Africa, and between 1995 and 2000 was a full-time activist for the Tibetan freedom movement.

Tuesday - 20 September 2011


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AFRICA

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


africa

briefs

NTC denies systemic abuse of blacks in Libya The National Transitional Council has denied involvement in the systemic abuse of blacks following confirmation by a UN commission of inquiry on Libya that it had received complaints of ill-treatment of black Africans and darkskinned Libyans in the country. The NTC has been accused of not only abusing black African mercenaries hired by Gaddafi, but also black migrant workers and black Libyans, like those who lived in the nowabandoned town of Tawergha. The tensions that existed between Arabs and blacks in the country from before the revolt against Gaddafi’s government, worsened after the former Libyan dictator hired African mercenaries to help quash the rebellion.

Gunmen kill 36 in Burundi bar At least 36 people were killed on Sunday in Burundi when gunmen, some of whom were dressed as policemen, stormed and open fire on a bar frequented by ruling party supporters. Attacks against civilians have intensified since the elections last year were boycotted by the opposition, according to a Reuters report. No

Marc Ravalomana, the former President of Madagascar (Reuters)

group has claimed responsibility and the attack has sparked fears that Burundi could fall again into ethnically charged rebellion.

Police director: Uganda could face chemical or biological attacks soon According to reports, Uganda’s police director of counterterrorism, Abbas Byakagaba, has warned that the country could face a biological or chemical attack in the immediate future. Byakagaba was speaking at the conclusion of one-week chemical, biological and nuclear weapons awareness programme conducted by US government officials in Uganda. The country has in recent times been targeted by al-Shabaab for sending troops

into Somalia as part of the AU’s peacekeeping mission in the country.

Exiled Madagascar president faces arrest on return Exiled Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana faces arrest if he is to return to the island, according to justice minister Christine Razanamahasoa. She told Reuters on Sunday – the day after the country had signed an AUbrokered elections roadmap that granted Ravalomanana the right of unconditional return – that the former president would be arrested on a 2010 warrant for the deaths of demonstrators shortly before he was overthrown. Ravalomanana has been in exile in South

tuesday - 20 september 2011


africa Africa and has called plans to arrest and prosecute him “illegal” as his being president means he cannot be judged by an ordinary court.

Reward for Nigerian UN building bomb attack suspect Nigeria has put a $160,000 bounty on the head of the man suspected to be the mastermind of last month’s bombing of the UN buildings in the country. The man, Mamman Nur, is a suspected member of Islamist radical group Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed 23 people. Four suspects have been arrested so far, but the country’s police have said they were just operatives and not the brains behind the attack.

West African countries to deploy troops to Ivory Coast-Liberia border The Ivorian army and the UN mission in the Ivory Coast has increased number of troops deployed in towns near the Liberian border following attacks, according to a Reuters report. The report also said that the governments of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone would also be deploying troops in a bid to maintain stability in the region. The most recent attacks killed 23 people last week

briefs and are thought to be the result of ethnic tensions over land and last year’s disputed election result.

port behind them but have been unsuccessful so far in positing themselves as strong challengers to Kabila.

Sudan and South Sudan sign border deal

Ugandan President to declare cows as gift

Sudan and South Sudan have signed a deal mediated by former South African President Thabo Mbeki that will see ten border crossings opened between the two countries. The two have disagreed on oil sharing agreements, fighting in the South Kordofan region and border demarcations following South Sudan’s independence. Announcing the deal, Sudan’s defence minister downplayed the disagreements between the neighbouring states and said the border crossings would improve the movement of people and communication between the two countries.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame donated ten longhorned cattle to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni during the latter’s visit to Rwanda last month. The spokesman for the inspectorate of government told the Daily Monitor that Museveni would declare the animals as gifts under the country’s Leadership Code Act, which bars public representatives for accepting gifts in their private capacity.

Eleven presidential candidates for DRC president strengthen Kabila’s re-election bid None of the 11 candidates registered so far for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s presidential election on 28 November are women. The large field has also split support and is thought to have strengthened President Joseph Kabila’s chances for re-election. Some of the leading candidates have tried to rally opposition sup-

Al-Shabaab on a campaign to recruit Kenyan youths Following a confession by a captured al-Shabaab operative, Kenyan police have launched a campaign to capture the group’s recruiters operating in the country. The confession detailed that nationals from Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan were smuggled into Kenya earlier this year to recruit and conduct training in Mombasa, Lamu and the South Coast counties. Earlier this year, a Yemeni and a Syrian were arrested in the country and were suspected to be part of an attempt by the group to recruit Kenyan youths.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


africa

Mswati stalls on SA loan King Mswati III has been so busy tapping up other institutions for cash that he hasn’t found the time to sign the papers necessary to finalise the huge loan from South Africa. Or maybe he’s just looking for a new source of income, one that won’t make him change his ways. By SIMON ALLISON

Read more: 1. Swaziland’s King Mswati III has no clothes in the Zimbabwe Independent 2. Swazi King wants bailout from IMF, World Bank on AFP

swaziland

Swaziland was meant to be grateful. The nearbankrupt country was supposed to prostrate itself in the face of South Africa’s generosity – R2.4 billion worth of generosity – and its government was supposed to sheepishly agree to change its authoritarian and spendthrift ways. Instead, it’s been nearly two months since the grand and controversial announcement that South Africa was going to bail out its debtstricken neighbours, and nothing’s happened. The South African treasury confirmed on Monday that although it was ready and waiting to transfer the first tranche of the loan, it couldn’t actually do so until the necessary papers had been signed by the Swazi government. They seemed confused by the hold-up; after all, the money was pledged in response to an economic emergency. Swaziland’s High Commission seems just as confused; the first secretary, Thomas Mavulo, said he didn’t know anything about it. It’s almost as if King Mswati III doesn’t want our money. In the time he has not been signing the loan papers, he’s been lobbying other institutions such as the IMF and World Bank to provide a Greek-style bailout, perhaps hoping to get some cash without those very delicate strings attached by South Africa to the loan agreement. In the meantime, Swaziland is barely functioning. Schools and universities are shut, and public sector workers aren’t getting paid. Every week, the government is having to deal with new protests from civil society groups, or educators, or – as on Monday – taxi operators, who were dispersed with tear gas, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


world

Zambia: Put down that machete, it’s election time Campaigning has ceased, a holiday declared and police have banned the selling of machetes and beer. It’s election day in Zambia and it’s gonna be close. By GREG NICOLSON.

Even as accusations of vote rigging were slung in his direction, Zambia’s incumbent President Rupiah Banda used his final address before Tuesday’s presidential election to urge voters to turn out for peaceful elections and issued a warning to those thinking of disrupting the process. “To those who may be contemplating any illegal acts or intimida-

Photo: President Rupiah Banda. (REUTERS)

zambia

tion or, even worse, physical violence, I have this message for you: I have ordered the police to arrest and prosecute all those who offend. Expect no mercy, expect no favour, expect only the full force of the law to come down on you,” said the Movement for Multiparty Democracy leader. Once again Banda will face his main rival, Michael “King Cobra” Sata, after claiming a narrow victory against the Patriotic Front leader in 2008. Polls (depending on which you read) suggest Banda has the edge going into the country’s fifth multiparty elections, but Sata, with the confidence of an opposition leader, has mobilised voters by positioning himself as a champion of the poor. On paper it looks as though Zambians have little reason to complain about the current government. Growth averaged 6% a year over the last five years and Banda was able to court Chinese investment when recession-hit western investors left the economy high and dry in 2009. But, despite the skyrocketing Chinese investment, almost two-thirds of Zambia’s 13 million citizens live on less than $1.25 a day. And so, central election issues like service delivery and good governance have coalesced into the “China question”: does foreign investment boost state coffers, create jobs and improve services? Or does it exploit the country’s resources and sacrifice sovereignty? We’ll get an idea when polls close tonight.

Read more: 1. President Banda addresses the nation in Lusaka Times 2. Why Zambia’s elections will be all about China in TIME 3. Cobra v codger in The Economist

tuesday - 20 september 2011


africa

Mubarak’s political elite look to regain power in parliamentary elections Egypt’s military government has finally set a date for parliamentary elections, after months of procrastination. But the new political parties are worried the electoral system might just let Mubarak’s goons back into power. By SIMON ALLISON.

Photo: A protester attends Friday prayers at Tahrir Square in Cairo September 16, 2011. After the activation of emergency law, the Union of Revolutionary Youth called for a "Friday with no Emergency" and protested against military trials in Tahrir Square and other main squares nationwide, also warning of further demonstrations, local media said. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

egypt

Egypt’s political parties across almost the entire political spectrum have been calling for the military-led interim government to announce election dates to start the process of handing over power to civilian rule that will be a truer ref lection of the goals of the revolution. But even as parliamentary election dates are announced (they’ll begin on 21 November), no one can agree on what the goals are. The young activists want a liberal, secular democracy; the big Islamist movements want a state based on the principles of Islam, if not necessarily a theocracy and the country’s professional political class, most of whom are old hands from Mubarak’s party, just want a way back into power. It’s this last group that’s causing the most problems, with everyone else worried that former ruling party members will use their historic political clout and know-how, along with a bit of old-fashioned patronage, to gain a foothold in the new parliament. This is not an unlikely scenario. The old ruling elite has splintered into new political parties, most prominently the 6,000-member strong Egyptian Citizen party and the 8,000-member Horreya party. And given the current system for parliamentary elections – which sees people vote for individuals rather than parties – they could well use their old tricks (especially the distribution of cash, favours and promises) to get elected. To prevent this, other parties are calling for this system to be changed to one in which citizens vote for a party, and MPs are chosen from a party list.

Read more: 1. Return of the NDP: Mubarak-regime diehards retrench ahead of Egypt’s parliamentary elections in Egypt’s Al Ahram 2. Egypt groups try to block Mubarak loyalists from vote on Reuters Africa

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


africa

libya

Oil be back, says Total SA to Libya Total SA (“Société Anonyme”, not “South Africa”) has plans to get into Libya. Christophe de Margerie chief executive officer told German daily newspaper Handelsblatt, “We want to cooperate with the Libyans on an industrial development plan to develop their oil and gas production.” He said Total had already written to the president of the Libyan rebel council, had a positive response and was working on a list of proposals to submit to them before the end of the year. “We have good reason to believe that our production facilities are in good shape despite the conflict. So we should be able to resume oil production quite quickly," De Margerie said. Many countries and oil companies had oil deals with Muammar Gaddafi’s government, and have now been forced to quickly renegotiate with the NTC. France, Italy, the UK and Switzerland have all been linked to new oil deals with the rebel government. China recently recognised the NTC, only after the Libyan rebels promised to honour all commercial agreements signed with Gaddafi’s regime. There are also various construction firms vying for influence, where the reconstruction process of Libya will make some people very rich.

Everyone wants Libya’s oil. Presumably the national transitional council will not be recognising deals struck by the Gaddafi regime, which would explain the rush to renegotiate with the new bosses in Tripoli. The latest to join the rush is French oil company, Total SA. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

Read more: 1. Total CEO eyes Libya business expansion in Reuters Africa

tuesday - 20 september 2011


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africa

libya

Libya's NTC indefinitely postpone forming new government All is not rosy in the new Libya. Gaddafi remains elusive and forces loyal to him continue to take the battle to the National Transitional Council (NTC)’s forces. After widespread expectation that a transitional government would be formed last weekend, the NTC announced on Monday that it had decided to postpone the formation of an interim government – indefinitely. The NTC is clearly not as united as previously claimed. Infighting will severely damage efforts to reconstruct Libya. By KHADIJA PATEL Just one day after the United Nations recognised the NTC as Libya’s interim government, interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril revealed that his proposal for a new Cabinet did not receive unanimous backing from council members. Jibril, former head of Gaddafi’s National Economic

Development Board, is widely believed to be part of the problem. A post by a disgruntled Libyan in British Photo: Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdel Jalil speaks during a news conference with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Rixos Hotel in Tripoli September 16, 2011. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

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africa

publication The Telegraph relates how some Libyans view Jibril as the American choice for Libyan leadership. This particular Libyan voice argues that some rebels “(object) to become subservient to Western installed appointees who sat in plush desks in Benghazi and are pushed now to top positions in a post-Gaddafi Libya”. Embittered NTC officials accuse Jibril of failing to consult with the “grassroots” of the opposition movement, but the official NTC position insists that disagreements over the assignment of portfolios have delayed the formation of the government. Jibril has himself smoothed over reports of dissension in the NTC ranks saying “much has been achieved to mete out several portfolios”. The African Union’s requirement that a transitional government be fully representative of all the varying factions that make up Libya is not likely to be easily realised. The formation of a government is the first step in assuring all Libyans feel adequately represented in their

libya

Photo: An anti-Gaddafi fighter fires a multiple-rocket launcher near Sirte, the hometown of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, September 17, 2011. NTC forces advanced on Sirte on Libya's central Mediterranean coast but Gaddafi loyalists are holding out, a day after NTC forces captured the city's airport on its outskirts. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

leadership. As well as tribes that may have once boasted loyalty to Gaddafi, the position of Islamists in the new Libya is also a touchy issue. Much to the chagrin of Western leaders, the NTC has been under pressure to appoint Islamist figures in the Cabinet to reflect their role in the revolution. Shelving plans for the government indefinitely may take the pressure off Jibril for now, but it will have to be addressed eventually – one way, or another.

Read more: 1. Libya stalls on interim cabinet line-up in The Sydney Morning Herald 2. Libya’s Islamists bide their time, build their strength in The Globe and Mail 3. Libya transitional government gets UN seat in News24 4. Libyan Islamist says NTC executive committee should resign in Al Arabiya News

tuesday - 20 september 2011


africa

libya

Finishing off Gaddafi: What’s taking the rebels so long? Gaddafi’s last stands have been standing for quite a while now. It’s been four weeks since Tripoli fell to the rebels, but the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte remain under the control of pro-Gaddafi forces, with Brother Leader himself suspected to be holed up in one or the other of them. According to rebel commanders, it’s just a “matter of days” before the towns fall, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard these claims. Just how long can the old regime hold out? By SIMON ALLISON Let it never be said that the Libyan rebels lack confidence. Saturday was a prime example. “Sirte will be completely cleared today,” said a spokesman. It wasn’t. Nearly three weeks ago, another spokesman was even more confident, telling reporters that Bani Walid, the other major town held by Gaddafi forces, would fall “within a matter of hours”. It didn’t. Just yesterday, yet another spokesman – there are a proliferation of them – claimed that it would be a a “matter of days” before the two towns are cleared. We’re not holding our breath. But what’s taking them so long? The Libyan revolution took months to make the major breakthrough, but the fall of the regime, when it came, was precipitous; Tripoli was in

rebel hands within days of their first attack, and few expected them to still be fighting four weeks on. That, perhaps, is part of the problem. Regardless of their hold on a couple of minor towns, Gaddafi’s regime has been comprehensively ejected from power, and the rebels are already getting on with the serious business of governing. They’ve arranged for sanctioned international funds to be released, they’ve opened the Tripoli port for business and they’re about to announce an interim Cabinet to govern the country. For the men who find themselves still on the frontline, it might be a little dispiriting to still be dodging bullets Photo: REUTERS

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africa

It’s not about how big your gun is, it’s about how you use it. And on this front, the rebels could do with a bit of training while their leaders wine and dine certain visiting European presidents. It’s one thing to martyr yourself in the life-and-death cause of overthrowing an evil dictator, it’s quite another to die once victory’s already assured and the rest of the country is in party mode. But their lack of success is more puzzling given their overwhelming numerical advantage, combined with far superior weaponry. Reports the New York Times: “By most accounts, the attackers greatly outnumber the defenders; they have apparently limitless ammunition, hundreds of pickup trucks with heavy weapons mounted on the back, and even Russian-made main battle tanks like the T-72. The defenders have Grad multiple rocket launchers, mortars and RPG-7s — all weapons portable enough to hide from the air — but whenever Gaddafi forces wheel out any vehicles or heavy weapons, Nato promptly destroys them in airstrikes”. But it’s not about how big your gun is, it’s about how you use it. And on this front, the rebels could do with a bit of training. At least ten have been killed by their own firearms after accidents, and their proclivity for firing in the air to celebrate every minor victory has taken its

libya

own toll; statistics aren’t available for the areas still fighting, but falling bullets have killed 20 people in Tripoli alone. And the heavy weapons mounted on the back of their Landcruisers, while looking very impressive, are often antiaircraft guns, which are great for taking out fighter jets but rather irrelevant when the only fighter jets in the sky belong to Nato. When fired horizontally, they’re extremely inaccurate and tend to exponentially increase the risk of civilian casualties, something the rebels are desperate to avoid and another factor making it very hard for them to advance. Meanwhile, the pro-Gaddafi forces are wellarmed and well-trained. Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim says they’ve still got months of ammunition left. He also said the goal of avoiding civilian casualties has been comprehensively missed, claiming that Nato bombings had killed 354 people in Sirte on Friday night (a claim not confirmed by Nato, which sidestepped the question by saying that previously such reports were false). The Gaddafi forces are suspected to be protecting the regime’s high profile figures, including some of Gaddafi’s sons and maybe even the Colonel himself; this could account for their tenacity in the face of what seems an ultimately unwinnable situation. So expect the rebels’ optimistic timeline for the final resolution of the conflict – just “a matter of days” – to drag on for quite a bit longer as Gaddafi’s regime reveals the sting in its tail.

Read more: 1. Anti-Gaddafi forces capture, then lose, last redoubts in The New York Times 2. Gaddafi forces offer stiff Libya resistance on Al Jazeera

Tuesday - 20 september 2011


WORLD

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


world

SYRIA Syrian protestors are rapidly becoming an endangered species. Campaign group Avaaz, who have also been busily petitioning against our own Secrecy Bill, released a report on Monday which says that they have verified the names of 3,004 people killed since March, with a further 2,356 people recorded as killed, but whose names are not yet known. The Syrian government continues to claim that only 1,400 people have died, with – conveniently – exactly half of those being civilians and half of those being members of the security forces. A likely story. YEMEN It's becoming hard to distinguish Syrian and Yemeni news. The UN Human Rights Council on Monday issued a condemnation of the crackdown on dissent in Yemen. Trouble has been building in the capital, Sana'a, with at least 26 protestors killed on Sunday by Yemeni security forces. Despite this, the country's foreign minister rejected claims of excessive force, saying these were "baseless". Oddly, despite them being so baseless, he still felt compelled to issue a statement of "sorrow and condemnation" for

briefs

Syrain demonstations (Reuters)

Sunday's bloodshed in Sana'a. USA On Monday Barack Obama released his $1,5 trillion tax plan, and as we reported yesterday, it includes the controversial "Buffett tax" on the wealthy. The $1.5 trillion increase in taxes comes half from eliminating the Bush tax cut for households making more than $250,000 annually, and half from limiting deductions from the same households and closing other loopholes that have been allowing the wealthy to pay less tax than they probably should. The plan is being alternately labelled as a "Fair Share" measure or "class warfare", depending where you sit.

LIBYA It's not quite all over yet in Libya. The rebels suffered a setback on Sunday when more than 20 fighters were killed and another 31 injured in the northern city of Sirte. All casualties were the result of rocket-propelled grenades fired by Gaddafi loyalists, the National Transitional Council said on Monday. In Bani Walid, the rebels are also facing losses. The NTC claims that on Sunday, 18 civilians were captured by pro-Gaddafi fighters and 12 of them executed. The NTC says that some of the fighters are mercenaries from other African countries, but we're not sure if we trust that – the rebel council has revealed itself to have a bit of a xenophobic streak.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


world

briefs

casualty attack in England. Six were men arrested under counter-terrorism laws and a woman was arrested on charges of failing to disclose information. The plot is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda, though police have released no details yet. They have not raised the UK's terrorist threat level yet, which has been sitting at "substantial" (an improvement on the previous "severe") since July. Martin McGuiness (Reuters)

PALESTINE Sometimes global politics is enough to drive you to drink. Israel has an unlikely ally in its opposition to Palestine's bid for statehood: its archenemy Hamas. Admittedly, it's for very different reasons to Israel. Hamas worries that Palestine will sacrifice "fundamental Palestinian rights" by only seeking recognition for the state that existed before the 1967 Six Day War. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said that Hamas rejects the kind of concessions Palestine is willing to make. They have said they will not disrupt the bid, however. Hamas wants the UN to strip Israel of statehood, but because they won't acknowledge Israel by name, they have to resort to circumlocutions like "the entity that took the decision to establish itself on the land of another".

MOROCCO Morocco is back on the protest wagon. On Sunday thousands of Moroccans took to the streets of Casablanca to protest against government corruption. Influenced by the Arab Spring, Morocco first experienced pro-democracy protests in February, but momentum has been lost in recent months, partly because King Mohammed VI has made certain cosmetic reforms that appeased some quarters. Activists say nothing meaningful has changed however. "Head of the army, it's too much; head of the religion, it's too much," the crowd chanted on Sunday.

IRELAND Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is running for president – of the Republic of Ireland. He will have to gain the approval of the Sinn Fein executive, but this is unlikely to present problems. The nomination has raised eyebrows because McGuiness was once an IRA commander and a witness in the Bloody Sunday Tribunal. The BBC suggested McGuiness was "the personification of republicanism's transition from violent paramilitarism to constitutional politics". McGuinness said that if elected, he would work for the reunification of Ireland.

UK Police have arrested seven people in Birmingham under suspicion of planning a mass-

CHINA China has called on regional powers to revive nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


world

briefs

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Reuters)

Speaking at a forum in Beijing, foreign minister Yang Jiechi told diplomats that it was time to restart talks which had fizzled out. A six-party agreement struck in 2005 offered North Korea economic and energy aid in exchange for dismantling its nuclear programme, but nothing came of it. Yang says it is time for the parties involved to restart the talks. MEXICO A missing Mexican politician has been found shot dead with his driver. Federal congressman Moises Villaneuva and his driver, Erick Estrada Vazquez, have been missing since 4 September, when the pair left a party held by a colleague in the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The motive behind the

murders is not yet known but Villanueva's party believes that drug gangs are to blame. NEPAL An earthquake in the Himalayas has killed at least 53 people and damaged more than 100,000 homes. North-eastern India, Nepal and Tibet were affected by the quake. On Monday rescue workers struggled to reach thousands of newly homeless villagers cut off by mudslides. Paramilitary helicopters dropped food to villages and evacuated the injured. Structural damage is substantial with buildings buckled, pavements cracked and roads collapsed. Two men and a child died in Nepal's capital, Katmandu, when a wall collapsed outside the British embassy.

TURKEY Turkey is turning its back on former friends Israel and Syria in favour of shacking up with Egypt, the foreign minister announced on Monday. Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday that he hoped Turkey and Egypt would establish a "true axis of democracy". He also told the New York Times that Israel had nobody but themselves to blame, saying that it was "the government's decision to isolate themselves". FRANCE Finally some words of remorse from Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The former IMF chief said in his first TV interview after his rape charges that his liaison with hotel chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo was "inappropriate". In fact, he went further with the self-chastisement, saying it was a “moral failing�. Strauss-Kahn also took advantage of the platform to put to bed rumours that he might still contest the next election, saying that he would play no part in it, and now needed time to reflect on his future. We know what's in his immediate future: dealing with the rape charges brought by author Tristane Banon.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


World

Zuma in the running for Chinese peace prize After the Nobel Foundation dared to award the vaunted peace prize to imprisoned Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo last year, a group of Chinese scholars linked to the Chinese Culture Ministry responded with an announcement of the victor in the inaugural Confucius Peace Prize. Not quite as rich as its Nobel rival that is worth a handsome US$1.4 million, winners of the Confucius prize win 100,000-yuan, which translates to approximately US$16,000. South African President Jacob Zuma may not crack a nod in Oslo but in Beijing, he’s made the short list for two years running. KHADIJA PATEL explores who else has earned the approbation of the Chinese.

Read more: 1. Obama Passed Up For Chinese Version Of Peace Prize in Forbes 2. Award jury member slams early release of Chinese peace prize list in People’s Daily Online

china

The award is an unabashed rival of the Nobel peace prize, created because “China is a symbol of peace…it owns the absolute power to uphold peace…Norway is only a small country with scarce land area and population…it must be in the minority…concerning the conception of freedom and democracy”. Critics may argue that China has no moral authority to judge such ideals as freedom and democracy when it continues to shackle even the slightest intimation of dissent in the country, but the prize is a clever attempt by Beijing to win over its critics – or at the very least, fool them. A frontrunner on the shortlist this year is the Panchen Lama. The position held by the Panchen Lama is second only to the Dalai Lama in the hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, but in 1995, the Chinese rejected the Panchen Lama chosen by the exiled Dalai Lama, and took him and his family into “protective custody”. He has not been seen since. In his place, the Chinese selected their own Panchen Lama – someone who advocated for national unity. He’s clearly a favourite with Beijing so his nomination comes as no surprise. More curious though are the other names on the shortlist. President Zuma is being rewarded, no doubt, for pursuing South Africa’s peculiar brand of foreign policy. Along with Zuma is Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Yuan Longping, a Chinese agricultural scientist known as the father of hybrid rice. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan are also on the list. After they awarded the prize to Lien Chan, a Taiwanese politician who has championed peace with China last year, members of the jury vehemently denied any links to the Chinese government.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


world

Yemen hurtles towards civil war As Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Riyadh on Monday, reports began to circulate that Saudi Arabia, had mimicked its intervention in Bahrain by staging a military intervention in Yemen. The reports remain unconfirmed but accounts of Saudi tanks in Yemen continue to circulate, fuelling speculation that despite statements to the contrary, the diplomatic negotiations over Yemen’s future may now be in vain. By KHADIJA PATEL

Photo: Anti-government protesters demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Saleh flee after security forces fired tear gas grenades at them during clashes in the southern city of Taiz September 19, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

yemen

On Monday Oxfam painted a grim picture of the effects of the political stalemate in Yemen. As the economy is pushed further to the verge of collapse, and the embattled Yemeni government towards total paralysis, one in every three Yemenis goes hungry. A total of 7.5 million Yemenis have been going hungry as the country battles to regain stability after months of protests and an armed insurrection against the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Yemen however is being pushed further towards a full scale civil war as renewed violence claims scores of lives, leaves hundreds injured and on Monday, ominously sparked army on army violence. Thousands of protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade First Armoured Division, stormed a military base in the capital on Monday without resistance. The capture of the base has signalled to protesters a possible collapse of President Saleh’s regim,e but elsewhere in the capital gunfire continued to rain down on protesters. Mortar rounds and automatic rifle fire were reported to have continued late into the night on Monday, forcing the airport to remain closed and confining many residents to their homes. Demonstrators are growing increasingly wary of the ceaseless diplomatic negotiations and many have begun to call for a Libyan-style intervention to get rid of Saleh. The violence of the past two days may prove a turning point in the impasse. Saudi Arabia and the United States will seek to speed up the negotiations as a civil war in a heavily armed and deeply unstable nation could prove devastating.

Read more: 1. Saudi Arabia sending tanks to Yemen in Bikya Masr 2. The costs of ignoring Yemen in Foreign Policy 3. Yemeni anger rises as peaceful protests fail to end nine-month standoff in The Guardian (UK)

DAY - 00 month 2011


world

civets

Civets on the global economic prowl Twenty years ago, Harvard professor Ezra Vogel popularised the terms “the four little dragons” or “the four little tigers” to describe the rapidly growing economies of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. Then came all-known Bric. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome “Civets”. By J BROOKS SPECTOR. Following the earlier Japanese example, these four carefully managed economies were riding a rapid rise in high quality exports, strong government leadership in economic guidance and serious attention to high-tech educational and training skills of their populations. On the other hand – as economists love to say – some argued these economies really

come from the same litter at all. Hong Kong’s laissez faire economy was entirely different from Singapore’s carefully controlled one; and Taiwan’s high tech industries like computer Photo: A coffee grower picks coffee fruits in a plantation near Montenegro in Quindio province August 12, 2011. Colombia, the world's largest producer of high-quality Arabica beans, expects to produce around 9 million 60-kg bags this year, slightly higher than the year before but below historical averages. Picture taken August 12, 2011. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

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world

civets

HSBC launched its HSBC GIF Civets fund earlier this year to take advantage of what it argues is a group of nations with rising levels of foreign direct investment, generally low levels of public debt (save for Turkey) and sovereign credit ratings that are moving toward investment grade even as other economies are going the other way. screens and peripherals were very different from Korea’s smokestack industries like shipbuilding, steel and automobiles – but this debate will wait for a different article. Ten years later, Jim O’Neill at Goldman Sachs came up the “Bric” – clustering the Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese economies in a package Goldman Sachs used to market investments in those four economies. To many economists, the beauty of Bric was that it really did describe an important aspect of the emerging-markets universe in a new way. Then, in a clever political move the four Bric nations added an ‘s’ when South Africa joined the pack. Now, the newest investment animals are the Civets, bringing together Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – punted as the newest generation of little tiger economies, although the civet cat has less muscle than its bigger feline cousin. These nations do share youthful populations – average age of just 27 years. The concept’s sponsor, HSBC Global Asset Management, argues that these countries are poised to benefit from fast-rising domestic consumption in their relatively diverse economies. Moreover, says HSBC, they should

be less dependent on external demand for their growth than the Brics. HSBC launched its HSBC GIF Civets fund earlier this year to take advantage of what it argues is a group of nations with rising levels of foreign direct investment, generally low levels of public debt (save for Turkey) and sovereign credit ratings that are moving toward investment grade even as other economies are going the other way. Critics of this newest animal investment metaphor retort that the Civets really share nothing except lots and lots of young people. Moreover, their economies’ liquidity and corporate governance are patchy, and political risk remains a real factor in virtually all of them – Egypt’s a member after all. Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, argues, “This sounds like a gimmick to me. What does Egypt have in common with Vietnam? At least the Bric countries were the four biggest emerging economies, so there was some rationale for grouping them together. A general emerging-markets fund would be a less risky way to get similar exposure.” Still, The Wall Street Journal says “The S&P Civets 60 index, established in 2007, is ahead of two

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world

Columbia, once the topic of shoot ‘em up “drugs and thugs” movies, is becoming an attractive destination for investors as security improves. other emerging-markets indexes – the S&P BRIC 40 and S&P Emerging BMI – over one and three years.” For example, Columbia, once the topic of shoot ‘em up “drugs and thugs” movies, is becoming an attractive destination for investors as security improves. Per-capita GDP has doubled since 2002 and its sovereign debt moved up to investment grade in 2011. And Indonesia is the globe’s fourth mostpopulous nation. It grew by 6% last year and its sovereign debt rating has risen to one notch below investment grade in the last year. Meanwhile, Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for the past 20 years, and the World Bank projects 6% growth this year – rising to 7.2% in 2013. Given its communist government, some cynics insist it was included just to make the acronym work. Egypt’s revolution may have put the brakes on the economy but analysts expect it to

civets

regain its growth trajectory when political stability returns. And its many assets include fast-growing ports on the Mediterranean and Red Sea linked by the Suez Canal and its vast untapped natural-gas resources. Then there is Turkey. “Turkey is a dynamic economy that has trading links with the European Union, but without the constraints of the eurozone or EU membership,” says Phil Poole of HSBC Global Asset Management. And the World Bank is predicting growth of 6.1% this year. Go out to buy a refrigerator, as this writer did the other day, and you may well find that the well-known brand you’ve purchased was actually made in Turkey – not China or Germany. South Africa rounds out the grouping – or marketing gimmick, depending on your cynicism. But The Wall Street Journal notes that SA has already rebounded into positive growth after the global economic downturn. And despite competition from Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, many analysts still see it as the best gateway to investment into the rest of the continent. HSBC is telling its clients there is still long-term growth potential here in the mining, energy and chemical sectors. So, after the tigers, dragons and Civets, what new bestiary awaits the investor – marmosets, sifakas, lemurs? The iMaverick can hardly wait.

Read more: 1. After Brics, Civets? In the Wall Street Journal 2. The Four Little Dragons: The Spread Of Industrialisation In East Asia in Foreign Affairs 3. Market.view - Another BRIC in the wall - The perils of overestimating emerging markets in the Economist 4. The Myth of Asia's Miracle in the Financial Times

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


world

Major oil slick hits Swedish coast A big oil spill has hit Sweden’s southwest coast after two ships collided in the Kattegat, the stretch of sea between Denmark and Sweden. Authorities calculate that it will take weeks to clean up. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

Photo: A small Swedish Coast Guard vessel navigates a thick oil spill at Tjorn, Sweden September 17, 2011. The extent of damage to wildlife after one of the largest oil spills in Sweden in several years is still uncertain. Picture taken September 17, 2011. REUTERS/Erik Abel

sweden

Crews were working on Sunday to clean up a major oil spill off the south-west coast of Sweden following a collision at sea. Coast guard officials weren’t saying how the collision happened, but had recovered about 130,000 litres of oil so far. The crash itself happened on 10 September in the Kattegat, but the resultant oil slick only hit the coast of Sweden a few days later. “The accidental oil spill, on which the coast guard is working day and night in the Bohuslan archipelago, is the most substantial in the southwest of Sweden in many years,” a statement from Swedish authorities said. The worst-hit area is around Tjörn, about 66km to the north of the coastal city of Göteborg, which sits on the very edge of the scattering of tiny islands known as the Bohuslan archipelago. “The clean-up operation began on Thursday night and will continue for several weeks, but most of the work will be completed in the coming days,” coast guard official Birgitta Andersson said. She added the decontamination of the surrounding beaches is where the real schlep would be. Bird rescue services had picked up about 15 stricken birds already.

Read more: 1. Sweden hit by substantial oil spill: coastguard in AFP 2. Oil spill clean-up underway off Sweden in UPI

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


www.vwcommercial.co.za OGILVY CAPE TOWN 43221/AGRI © VWSA

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world

palestine/israel

Palestinian statehood bid: The view from South Africa New York: diplomats are preparing for what one US Department of State employee is quoted as describing as a “week of hell”. International attention is focused on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he continued to defy international pressure, insisting that the Palestinian bid will not be thwarted. The outcome of the bid remains unknown – even informed speculation is ill-equipped to predict exactly what will happen in New York this week. But whatever the outcome, the Middle East conflict has returned to the top of the world agenda. KHADIJA PATEL spoke to South African-based activists on both sides of the conflict to draw their opinions on the planned statehood bid. When the last of the Wikileaks cables were unceremoniously prised open for all the world to see, one cable leaked from the American embassy in Pretoria detailed the testy relationship between Israel and South Africa. In February last year, US Ambassador Gips met Israeli Ambassador Dov Segev-Steinberg

and discussed Israel's relationship with South Africa. The Israeli Ambassador SegevSteinberg told his American counterpart that he did “not see much chance for substantial Photo: Palestinian school children hold flags and a poster depicting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally supporting Abbas' bid to seek full United Nations membership for a Palestinian state, in the West Bank town of Tulkarm September 19, 2011. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

tuesday - 20 september 2011


world

palestine/israel

Essentially however, last ditch attempts by American, European and Israeli diplomats to scupper the bid may well prove fruitful. The bid is after all, an elaborate publicity stunt by the Palestinian Authority to draw attention to the tenuousness of the status quo in Israel. change in the relationship in the near future”. The Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, will certainly prove a further challenge for strained ties between Tel Aviv and Pretoria. South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) continued to stall on revealing its stance on the Palestinian bid, but a well placed source within Dirco reiterated to the Daily Maverick that South Africa would definitely vote in favour of the Palestinian statehood bid. An Israeli publication revealed on Saturday that the United States was working to gather enough United Nations Security Council members to resist the planned statehood bid in order to avoid having to use its veto power. South Africa, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, is not likely to be swayed by American persuasion. Outside of government, South Africans are preparing to articulate their varying perspectives on the bid. Trade union federation Cosatu was still busy penning its opinion on the matter on Monday but as avowed supporters of the Palestinian cause, it is unlikely to oppose the planned bid. Cosatu may, however, have a few choice words for the likes of US President

Barack Obama for standing in the way of the Palestinian bid to be recognised as a state. Essentially however, last ditch attempts by American, European and Israeli diplomats to scupper the bid may well prove fruitful. The bid is after all, an elaborate publicity stunt by the Palestinian Authority to draw attention to the tenuousness of the status quo in Israel. Vice Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, Ben Swartz, believes it would do all parties an injustice to comment on the bid as it is currently planned. “The situation is very fluid,” Swartz said, making it difficult, he believes, to offer an adequate response. Swartz did however indicate that “any unilateral movements in the context of the conflict would prove unhealthy.” He stressed a need for dialogue and negotiations between both sides to end the impasse. Joshua Schewitz, the director of the South African Union of Jewish Students strongly denied the planned statehood bid by the Palestinians would act as impetus back to the negotiation tables. “The Israeli government,” he says, “has been ready to negotiate for years”. In Abbas, Schewitz says, the Israelis have found a dishonest negotiator, but added that intra-Palestinian politics does severely stymie the Palestinian President’s efforts towards

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world

Schewitz was careful, however, to stress that the formation of a Palestinian state was in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians achieving a lasting solution to the conflict. “For some reason,” Schewitz says, “negotiations have never gotten anywhere.” Schewitz was careful, however, to stress that the formation of a Palestinian state was in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. It is the timing of this bid, without addressing other contentious issues like the fate of Palestinian refugees, that he believes will prove detrimental to the conflict. “A lot must happen before statehood can be achieved,” he says but adds later, “We want a Palestinian state to be created.” On the Palestinian side of the fence in South Africa, Muhammed Desai from the South African arm of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel and the Coalition for a Free Palestine was reticent to express his support for the bid. “As civil society in South Africa, we take our lead from Civil Society in Palestine,” he said. “Any initiative to the UN,” he says, “must be supported but most importantly the question of whether this (bid)

palestine/israel

represents the views of the Palestinian people needs to be addressed.” Desai stresses the need to differentiate between the Palestinian Authority (PA), of which Mahmoud Abbas is President, and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The PA as the result of the Oslo accords, Desai believes, has failed to live up to its official billing as representatives of the Palestinian people. Desai points out that the PLO, as a body representing Palestinians living within the occupied territories as well as those in the diaspora, are already recognised by the UN. A nod of approval to the PA will ultimately come at the cost of the Palestinian diaspora. Late on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, through his Twitter account, implored Palestinians to return to negotiations. “I call upon the #Palestinian president to meet with me in NY to resume immediately direct negotiations for peace,” he tweeted. The Palestinians however have their eyes set on an audience with the UN General Assembly. But it remains to be seen whether the diplomatic wrestling will actually enact any tangible change on the grounds of the contested territory.

Read more: 1. Palestinians seek a state but the problem of statelessness is not easily solved in The Daily Maverick 2. Analysis: Why Democrats fear losing the Jewish vote in The Daily Maverick 3. Palestinians' U.N. recognition bid met with apathy on Facebook in Los Angeles Times 4. Debating the UN bid for Palestinian statehood in Al Jazeera

tuesday - 20 september 2011


world

ken starr vs bill clinton

Public disinfectant or witch hunt: Lessons for the Arms Deal Commission tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


world

ken starr vs bill clinton

With the announcement of a judicial commission of inquiry under Judge Sandile Ngcobo into the vexed Arms Deal scandal, there are valuable lessons to be learnt from similar exercises – called investigations by special prosecutors – in the US. J BROOKS SPECTOR analyses the case of the Clintons. While we don’t really know what the commission of inquiry into the arms deal, under Judge Sandile Ngcobo, will be allowed to examine, its terms of reference and mandate give it serious gravitas. Presumably it will examine the initial call to supply South Africa with new weapons systems, the way those tenders were evaluated and who actually had the final decision-making, the terms of the orders, payments and how those elusive local offsets were determined. If it’s real credibility, it will have to follow the apocryphal advice of Watergate’s famous “Deep Throat” to “follow the money” - identifying all the intermediaries, payments and agreements. And almost inevitably, that’s where the real troubles will begin. What’s the point of a special commission, anyway? These special commissions are what governments usually arrange when they don’t know what else to do. Sometimes they’re appointed to investigate a difficult issue where all the choices are unpalatable. Sometimes they address a daunting policy challenge. Sometimes, too, they must assess blame or exonerate the politically well-connected. Photo: Independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who spent more than five years and $47 million investigating President Bill Clinton, will leave his post next week and be replaced by one of his prosecutors, sources close to Starr said October 15. Starr will reportedly formally resign after heading the investigation that led to Clinton's historic impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives and then acquittal in the Senate in the Monica Lewinsky affair. 19 November 1998. REUTERS

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world

In a democracy with traditions of strong opposition politics, special commissions come into being – usually after lots of foot-dragging – as a concession to the opposition. And sometimes these mechanisms help those in power shift responsibility for a mess to their political foes. In a democracy with traditions of strong opposition politics, special commissions come into being – usually after lots of foot-dragging – as a concession to the opposition. And sometimes these mechanisms help those in power shift responsibility for a mess to their political foes. As South Africa girds itself for the whole tawdry public washing of the dirty linen, it may be helpful to look back at Kenneth Starr’s performance as the special prosecutor who sifted through the life of then-president Bill Clinton. When he was first appointed to investigate the suicide of White House senior staffer Vince Foster and the ambiguous real estate investments of the Clintons, Republican Kenneth Starr was seen as a star – a conservative one - but a true high flier. He

ken starr vs bill clinton

had already served as a federal judge and he had been solicitor general of the justice department in George Bush’s administration. Authorised under a three-judge panel appointed by Clinton’s own attorney general, Starr’s investigation eventually took on the prosecutorial equivalent of metastasising mission creep. Over time, Starr sought authority to carry out a raft of additional investigations, each one theoretically linked to the one before it, but eventually including the firing of some White House travel office personnel, potential political abuse in the handling of confidential FBI files, the finances of an investment bank, the operations of the Rose Law Firm, Paula Jones’ law suit against Bill Clinton and, then, most notoriously, charges of perjury and obstruction of justice to cover up Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The Lewinsky investigation eventually ended up with the secret taping of conversations between Lewinsky and a co-worker, requests by Starr to tape Lewinsky's conversations with Clinton, and finally, requests by Starr to compel Secret Service agents to testify about what they might have seen while guarding Clinton. By the time Starr was investigating Clinton's possible adulterous behaviour and Clinton’s infamous “whatever ‘is’ is” comment, Starr’s growing list of critics were charging he had crossed the line – a big one. The charge was that he was acting more like a political hitman, acting on his own sense of appropriate sexual behaviour, rather than his ostensible task as a special prosecutor – investigating issues only remotely connected to his original mandate. By the time it was all over, the evening TV news

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


world

ken starr vs bill clinton

Photo: Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gestures to stop a crowd during a presentation of her book in Munich, March 29. The book "Monica's Story" spoke about her affair with U.S. President Bill Clinton.

had become the kind of programme parents felt they had to monitor carefully for ageappropriate content and language. After years of investigation and millions of dollars, Starr and his staff generated a report that Clinton had lied about his affair with a White House intern, rather than somehow engineering the death of Vince Foster or subverting the country’s real estate investment universe. CNN said, “The [Starr] report refutes claims

by conservative political organizations that Foster was the victim of a murder plot and cover-up…[but] despite those findings, rightwing political groups continue to allege darkly that – somehow, some way - there was more to his death” and that the president and first lady had tried to cover it all up, rather than simply acknowledging Vince Foster’s undiagnosed depression as the real root cause of his death. Moreover, by the time Starr’s investigations had been wrapped up, he now stood accused of his

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own collection of some significant violations of conflict of interest rules. Nonetheless, the Lewinsky charge was the trigger for Clinton’s impeachment by a Republican-led House of Representatives – although not a conviction in the Senate. But it also led to the restoration of the Democrats’ control of the House, Kenneth Starr’s moving out of Washington to head, first the socially conservative Pepperdine University Law School in California and then, more recently, the equally conservative Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, finished his second term of office to almost global popularity and the start of a career as a philanthropist, sage-author, world-traveller and international motivational speaker. And so, can we draw any lessons from this rather squalid episode in American politics that may help a putative Ngcobo Commission? Perhaps there are four big ones. First of all, a commission must keep its eye firmly on the key issue. If the task is to winkle out the money trail of an arms deal pointing to illegal transactions, they must resist the urge to dig into the fun bits like those lavish parties the companies bidding for contracts undoubtedly hosted. Secondly, they must resist the urge to dribble out the juicy bits to the media piecemeal – the resulting pre-publicity will only compound the difficulties of successful potential prosecutions down the line, once the whole investigation is wrapped up. Thirdly, the investigation must let the chips fall where they will and follow the leads where they lead. But this task will not be made easier by developing what law yers call “a theory

ken starr vs bill clinton

And so, can we draw any lessons from this rather squalid episode in American politics that may help a putative Ngcobo Commission?

of the crime” that avoids uncomfortable facts, connections and the role of powerful individuals. Finally, keep the investigation out of the clutches of any one political party or faction. The investigation is on behalf of the public, not in partisan service. American Supreme Court Justice Louis D Brandeis was almost certainly right when he said, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

Read more: 1. Kenneth Winston "Ken" Starr in Wikipedia 2. Kenneth W. Starr at CNN 3. Imagine; This is a Job for Ken Starr at The New York Times

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


BUSINESS

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


business

South Africa The JSE All Share Index ended down 0.3% to close at 30,960. Airline service operator, Comair Ltd gained 8.5% while the gold counters all recorded impressive gains. Anglogold Ashanti, the continent’s largest producer of bullion, closed at its highest level since June 1998, up 5%. The gold price surged 3.2% as demand was rejuvenated on the back of renewed concerns over the European financial crisis. Goldfields gained 6% with Harmony Gold up 3.3%. Combined Motor Holdings, the Fiat/Renault/ Toyota franchise holders, lost 9% in trading. The National Union of Mineworkers accused resources giants Rio Tinto and Anglo American of bowing out of Palabora Mining Company, without having "concluded any meaningful black economic empowerment transaction". Condemning the companies' plans to sell their combined 74.5% stake in the South African copper miner, the trade union said it was concerned that the decision to sell was “a pure reaction to its demand for a proper employee share ownership programme at Palabora”.

briefs

Copper (Reuters)

Avusa’s AGM unveiled a few surprises when group chairman advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza and two non-executive directors resigned from the board. The resignations were a result of meddling by shareholders in the day-to-day running of the company, with CEO Prakesh Desai also rumoured to be leaving.

UK The FTSE 100 fell 2.03%, ending a four-day rally on the London bourse. The index closed at 5,259 as renewed European debt crisis fears rocked equity markets. Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking group lost more than 5% as financial stocks bore the brunt of the market‘s wrath.

As investors flock to perceived secure assets, the rand took a beating in trading, losing 3.6% to the USD to its worst level in a year. Investors dumped emerging market assets on fears that the eurozone crisis was worsening. Commodity prices, led by copper, fell to lowest levels in months after European policy makers failed to announce a plan to stem the regions financial woes.

London property sellers raised prices the most in seven months as lack of housing stock and a bias to safer assets caused prices to rise. Asking prices rose 2.4% after a 3.4% decline in August. The average house value rose 0.7% as low interest rates supported property values and cash buyers scooped up bricks and mortar assets in the face of financial turmoil on the equity markets.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


business

briefs

flationary measures may not be the best course of action, given the economic challenges the world finds itself in. US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, may follow his British counterpart by tolerating low interests rates for inflation levels under 3%, thereby challenging central bank orthodoxy. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (Reuters)

The Bank of England said that its programme of bond purchasing had a significant impact on the financial system of the UK. In purchasing over £200 billion worth of securities, in so-called quantitative easing, GDP was raised 1.5% and inflation increased by up to the same amount as a direct result. The long-term effect of further planned purchases may differ, according to the country’s central bank. Europe Greece’s ability to avoid default hangs in the balance as international monitors assess whether the government can meet obligations of any further bailout packages. Deutsche Bank led German

stocks lower as investors speculated that Greece would not receive a further bailout payment that would help it avoid a sovereign debt default situation. Bonuses at Switzerland’s largest investment bank, UBS, are at risk after uncovering a $2.3 billion loss from rouge trading activities. A loss that size is expected to wipe out any profits for the third quarter and coupled with the continuing job cuts already underway, bonus pool awards look highly unlikely. USA As global growth struggles, the usual reaction to higher inflation may not materialise for the USA. Raising interest rates in the face of rapidly rising in-

AT&T is approaching smaller rivals in a bid to sell spectrum and subscribers in order to save its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile. Regulators are currently evaluating the bid that has attracted negative motions from several states claiming that competition would be diminished and prices raised if the deal went through. As part of its attempt to fight the justice department, AT&T is trying to shed assets to prove the anti-competitive claims as unfounded. A leading hedge fund manager has reported that gold, platinum and Brent crude oil will lead commodity gains in the next six months. Estimates for gold could see gains of up to 21% reaching $2,200, with platinum expecting a 10% rise and Brent crude oil expected to rise 25% to $140 per barrel.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


business

diamonds

De Beers takes trading to Botswana For years the government of Botswana and De Beers have shared ownership of the world’s most valuable diamond mines. The profits helped the country become a paragon of democracy and development, but as long as the rocks were auctioned in London, Botswana would be missing out. The new 10-year deal will shift the sorting and trading of the gems to Gaborone by the end of 2013. About 100 workers will be transferred from the De Beers London office to the Botswanan capital and the agreement is predicted to provide a significant fillip to the local economy by attracting diamond traders from around the world. In the first half of 2011, De Beers sold $3.5 billion in uncut diamonds from its English auction house. The government will also move beyond mineral extraction as it will start to independently sell diamonds from the co-owned mines, 10% of output at first and then 15% by 2013. “This agreement, and the tangible outcomes it will deliver, will enable Botswana to achieve its aspiration to be a major diamond centre engaged in all aspects of the diamond business," said mines minister Ponatshego Kedikilwe. Analysts are viewing the concessions as a neutral outcome for De Beers. "De Beers should benefit from a longer agreement as it removes the periodic disruption in having to wrestle with a new pact every five years," Des Kilalea from RBC Capital Markets told Bloomberg. "In a world with looming tightness in rough diamond supply, the certainty of a long-term agreement over the world's largest source of rough is welcome."

After 120 years of trading from London, De Beers has signed a deal to move its rough diamond sales to Botswana, who will finally get a slice of value-added profits. By GREG NICOLSON.

Read more:

1. De Beers to deal in Botswana in The Wall Street Journal

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


business

Apple fights to keep the bugs at bay Apple recently took on more security staff. There’s no comment on whether this has anything to do with the iPhone 5 prototype that went missing in a pub a few weeks ago. The company is far more worried about corporate espionage, it said. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

Photo: REUTERS

apple

“A day after a recent report surfaced that an Apple employee had lost a prototype for a new but unreleased iPhone at a Northern California watering hole, two job listings appeared on Apple's website for managers of ‘new product security’,” AFP reported. “Such workers would join a team at the $350 billion company that has included ex-FBI agents and other highly trained pros with backgrounds in intelligence and law enforcement.” In late August, a prototype of the iPhone 5 went missing in a northern California bar due to the negligence of an employee entrusted with the device. It was the second such incident in so many years. The company wouldn’t say whether the new positions that opened had anything to do with their prototypes that keep go missing. “Corporate espionage, that's big money. Billion-dollar money. The paranoia is justified,” said Jim Stickley, co-founder of corporate security consulting firm TraceSecurity. “Whatever they're trying to do, their competitors want to know. Everybody wants to know.” Apple has also beefed up security in Asia, where a new security unit has been established in Hong Kong to chase down counterfeiters of Apple’s products. The team was reportedly bought from Pfizer, where their job was tracing manufacturers and sellers of fake Viagra. Entire fake Apple stores have begun springing up all over China of late.

Read more: 1. Lost iPhone just one problem for Apple security in USA Today

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


business

Cape Town and digital are big hits at Loeries Riaan Cruywagen was in a jacuzzi. Patricia de Lille was at a table with David Hasselhoff. It could only have been in aid of the 33rd annual Loeries, South Africa's festival of advertising. By REBECCA DAVIS.

Cape Town-based agency FoxP2 took home the title of best overall agency, success attributable to the splash it made with its controversial “Pappie wag vir jou” campaign for Brandhouse (message: drunk-driving will land you in prison, where a selection of unsavoury characters are waiting to rape you). The ad was slammed by prison advocacy groups who said it exploited sexual violence and presented rape as an acceptable part of prison life. Perhaps the debate around the ad’s acceptability explains why it missed out on one of the three Grand Prix awards, the Loeries’ top honours. These were won by Ogilvy Cape Town's Marching Band video for Volkswagen, a flashmob-like online campaign which features a marching band walking along Sea Point's promenade soundlessly playing their instruments while onlookers watch in confusion (message: the new VW is so quiet, you won’t understand it). Net#Work BBDO nabbed one for their ra-

advertising

dio ad for Mercedes, “New Friends”, another comic-sinister ad in the vein of “Pappie wag vir jou” which warns that driving an unsafe (nonMercedes) car and crashing is likely to win you some unwanted “friends”. The agency won a Cannes Grand Lion this year for the same campaign. The final Grand Prix was awarded to digital agency Hellocomputer, which created a “Flo Browser” for Musica building off Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect which enabled Musica shoppers to interact with Musica’s online catalogue on a screen in-store without having to touch it. What do these awards tell us? Firstly, the judges aren’t afraid to reward cuttingedge stuff. But more importantly, they are a reminder that an ad judged to be the most creatively impressive may be far from the most “successful” in terms of what manages to shift products off shelves. The awards given at the Loeries reflect industry members high-fiving each other for cleverness more than what actually gets the average South African out to the shops to buy something. Ididthatad.com’s Julie Maunder suggested to iMaverick that the shifting emphasis towards rewarding digital content shows that these campaigns are increasingly valued more highly than the tired old domains of print, TV and radio. In reality South African ad spend is still heavily dominated by TV, however, rising by 28% last year. Ads for Joshua Doore are unlikely to be wreathed with the Grand Prix any time soon, but you can bet they’re getting a fair few lounge suites sold.

Read more: 1. Cape Town shines at 33rd annual Loeries, on Bizcommunity

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


business

Thinking we’ll get on top of our work by multitasking or working harder for longer is both nonsensical and scientifically incorrect. experiences. But why isn’t a 40-hour week ever long enough to do everything that needs to be done? The short answer is humanity is buckling under a data deluge. The Global Information Industry Centre at the University of California, San Diego, did a research survey three years ago in which they discovered that people in the US consumed an average of 12 hours of information every day. The “How Much Information” research stated: “Consumption totalled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is ten to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and internet video). Information at work is not included.” Given that data growth is exponential, it is

productivity

safe to say we are all chowing down on a hell of a lot more data now, than we did in 2008. But is the answer to dealing with all this data to be found in working longer hours in the hope of achieving more? Au contraire. Thinking we’ll get on top of our work by multi-tasking or working harder for longer is both nonsensical and scientifically incorrect. The big shift that needs to be made is a move away from managing time to managing energy and attention. To achieve better productivity, science is telling us that we need to revolt against linear, factory type work attitudes and become fit, alert and enlivened. Managing data overload isn’t a matter of time failure, but rather filter failure which speaks to an inability to pick out the most relevant information. The National University of Singapore did an experiment where they gave groups of students books to go through as part of an attentiveness and filtering test. The task required a high level of attentiveness to ensure varsity students filtered the correct information. The results showed that students that didn’t take any breaks during the task showed a marked drop off in performance, while those who took short breaks and simply surfed online were energised and did really well. However doing work during breaks, like attending to email, was disastrous and significantly hampered productivity. But productivity isn’t just a matter of watching time. Increases in output are greatly influenced by energy. Industrial machinery can carry on unabated as long as

tuesday - 20 september 2011


business

productivity

But there’s been a massive change in the last 20 or so years as humanity has shifted toward that next frontier: the human mind and the capacity to augmentintelligence. This has led some intellectuals to wonder whether humans are now more android or even on the verge of becoming “techno-sapiens”.

the plug is in the socket, but humans need to manage their health a lot more carefully. Sadly physical fitness has become less, rather than more, important despite the fact that we’ve moved from a mechanical to a digital age. For the past 20,000 years or so, human development was all about augmenting physical capabilities. Cars to help humans go faster and further, planes to enable people to cross oceans of water, factories to speed up production. But there’s been a massive change in the last 20 or so years as humanity has shifted toward that next frontier: the human mind and the capacity to augment intelligence. This has led some intellectuals to wonder whether humans are now more android or even on the verge of becoming “technosapiens”. The focus shift from body to mind brings its own challenges, because our physical and cultural practices haven’t developed at the same pace as technology. People have got centuries worth of wisdom about physical health, but there’s very little insight to deal with email overload, data expansiveness or the merits of surfing for productivity.

Undoubtedly your mother will have told you to eat green cruciferous vegetables, but it’s unlikely she’d have given you a recipe for handling your bloated inbox. In the whir of today’s information technology enriched offices, people are doing more mentally, while physically doing less. In the strain of trying to fit more in from sunrise to sunset, healthy habits have succumbed to convenience food, snacking on the go, remaining static, not chewing properly and forgetting basic bodily functions (how to fill your lungs with air). Richard Branson was lunching at that lush little resort he owns in the British Virgin Islands called Necker Island when he was asked how he manages to live the good life. You know Sir Richard – the business icon, founder of the Virgin empire and intrepid explorer who is still rocking after all these years. Branson contemplated and answered that the reason he’s able to do so much is because exercise gives him an extra four hours of productivity a day. Tim Ferris the man Wired Magazine calls “The Superman of Silicon” valley says that Branson’s “secret” is the billionaires’

tuesday - 20 september 2011


business

productivity principle. The author of The New York Times’ best-selling books “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “The 4-Hour Body”, Ferris became famous for showing people how to live more and work less by adopting an efficient mobile manifesto. Ferriss’ body book is a life hack that looks at how people can become super fit by making small life changes. This makes absolute sense because if you’re running a global empire, you can hardly do it efficiently with “dead batteries” or by being half charged. Too often the first thing people do after the alarm bell rings is to switch on their mobile, crank up their computer, switch on the espresso machine and head into the day. It’s not a bad way to start out but if you’re forsaking exercise, it could be a big mistake. Physical fitness may be the most important part of your day if you’re serious about productivity, your ability to concentrate and maintain of energy levels at work. In summary, the biggest lesson from the new productivity principles is to reorient thinking. Instead of starting your day with how much time you need in the office, begin with what you need to get done, what your priorities are and what your purpose is. Don’t do long static stretches without taking breaks, even if it’s just to stand up and breathe, or take a quick stroll around your cubicle. And if you think you don’t have time to exercise, perhaps you need it more than you think but won’t find the time unless you make the time.

productivity

Instead of starting your day with how much time you need in the office, begin with what you need to get done, what your priorities are and what your purpose is.

The bottom line? Just do it. Your body will love you for it, but more importantly, so will your mind. This is part of an ongoing series by Dave Duarte and Mandy de Waal on Nomadic Leadership.

Read more: 1. Tim Ferriss Wants to Hack Your Body in Wired Magazine 2. Three Self-Delusions That Influence Your Decisions And Productivity in Fast Company 3. Web surfing is good for office workers, study says in Digital Trends

RESOURCE: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Tim Ferriss’ blog The Four Hour Body McKinsey’s ‘Big Data’ Report How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers

tuesday - 20 september 2011


business

media

Huff, puff and blow the majors down: Ariana and company get into the e-book publishing game MagazinE-book! Phat-E-Zine! What do we call the brand new phenomenon of major magazines and internet sites getting into the publishing game by producing mid-size e-books? Regardless of nomenclature, the practice has the majors very, very worried. By RICHARD POPLAK Photo: Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of Huffington Post Media Group takes a question during a Women and Media 3.0 panel discussion at the Women in the World conference in New York March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi REUTERS

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


business

media

Are the majors worried? You bet they are. And that’s why Random House and Politico have been working on a collaboration for a series of four e-books detailing the 2012 Presidential election. What is an e-book? This question is one part Kantian, one part Hegelian, and four parts straight ontological querying. Is it merely the electronic rendering of an opus that, before the era of the Kindle or the iPad, would have showed up at your local Exclusive Books, and subsequently gathered dust on the shelves? Is it a volume specifically developed for an e-reader, assembled from bits and bytes rather than tree trunks? Alternatively, is it some hybrid of the two, a sort of poly-media creature, neither fish nor fowl, easily adapted to publishing’s new rules of expediency? Answer: No one really knows. But plenty of players, new media and old, are trying to figure it out. Consider a phenomenon that is currently being stress-tested by the likes of The New Yorker, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair and Politico. They have started bundling articles, reformatting slews of previously published pieces, or outright repackaging thematically consistent writing (on 9/11, say, or the 2008 US Presidential election), and have started selling them independently as e-books. On one hand, this is a means for these companies to repurpose their archives, in the sort of Greatest Hits volumes that The New Yorker has been particularly adept at

producing over the years. But it’s also a way for magazines to start thinking outside the article. As any long form writer will tell you, the only difference between researching a book and a 6,000-word article is the size of the advance. So much material hits the cutting room floor that it makes good sense to try and package that into something longer, easily delivered to the e-book platform. Are the majors worried? You bet they are. And that’s why Random House and Politico have been working on a collaboration for a series of four e-books detailing the 2012 Presidential election. As the furiously nonpartisan, go-to site for all things American politics, no other outlet has the same credibility and insider status as Politico. Naturally, they have two seasoned vets covering the race, in Mike Allen and Evan Thomas. Each piece will run 30,000 or so words, roughly the same length as Lawrence Wright’s recent Scientology mini-opus for The New Yorker. In other words, Allen and Thomas are essentially repackaging their investigative work for Politico as a series of big, fat articles. Or e-books, as the case may be. Random House, along with other major publishing companies, understands that the e-book format poses a massive existential threat. Why bother with stodgy bricks-and-

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


business

Indeed, that $30 price differential - almost R200 by local standards - may well be the saving grace of the publishing industry. As hardcover books become fetish objects, read by a dying breed of stalwarts, the cheap e-book may become the industry’s financial mainstay. mortar publishing companies when you can run a great idea through the e-book digi-mill, quickly and with minimum bureaucracy? The answer to that question lies with the music industry. While labels have certainly lost much of their influence over the years, iTunes poses a problem of depth. Put another way, how is a consumer to know that a particular record has made it to the e-storefront, without a marketing push? Yes, iTunes has remodeled the music industry. No, it has not negated the need for labels and their marketing departments. It is a question of scale, and everything has been duly downsized. Random House and their peers face daunting competition from the likes of

media

Huffington Post and The New York Times, two publications that have well established online brands, and hundreds of thousands of repeat visitors a day. Their sites double not only as possible portals to storefronts like Amazon or iBooks, but also as advertising billboards. The Huff is preparing to release “How We Won”, an e-book detailing the collapse of the US military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, written by Aaron Belkin. While Belkin may never get see his book in glorious, sensuous hardcover on a table-top in Barnes and Noble, he would never otherwise have the tome announced to one million readers on the day of it’s publication. And at a very reasonable $3,99, it doesn’t hit consumers’ pocketbooks the way a fat hardcover does. Indeed, that $30 price differential—almost R200 by local standards—may well be the saving grace of the publishing industry. As hardcover books become fetish objects, read by a dying breed of stalwarts, the cheap e-book may become the industry’s financial mainstay. Easy to produce, topical in a way books cannot be, and drawing on the resources already at a publication’s disposal, the neo e-book could be a terminal threat to the major houses. That said, there will always be a need for the definitive tome, the last word on a subject that demands hindsight, years of research, and Herculean commitment. The ideal format for that will always be hundreds of thousands of words meticulously assembled in the correct order, regardless of the format in which it is published. A newspaper editor is not a book editor, and a newspaper journalist is not necessarily an author. The neo e-book is an answer, but not the answer.

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


LIFE, ETC

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


life, etc

CHINA Chinese officials have decided that musical talent shows are not suitable viewing for the populace. The hugely popular “Super Girl” TV show, which is the Chinese equivalent of Idols, has been scrapped by the state broadcasting watchdog. It's thought that the reasons behind the show's dismissal are twofold: firstly, it's too popular for a show that doesn't air on the state broadcaster; and secondly, the public's voting for the winners sets a dangerous democratic precedent. It has ordered the network which screens the show to replace it with "programmes that promote moral ethics and public safety, and provide practical information for housework". Makes all those “Style by Jury” repeats on e.tv look quite thrilling. USA A Tennessee vegetarian has learned the hard way that there is no place for ambiguous vanity number-plates in her state. Whitney Calk ordered a number-plate which reads “ILVTOFU”, to express her love of tofu. I-LV-TOFU, in other words. But those perverts at the Tennessee number-plate authority chose to read it as I-LV-TO-FU, and thus rejected it on the basis of "vulgarity". Now the perennial

briefs

Super Girl China (Reuters)

attention-seekers and animal rights organisation Peta has climbed on board, defending Whitney's right to express her vegetarian fervour. ISRAEL Spencer Tunick, a photographer who is known for taking naked pictures of people at famous landmarks (nice work if you can get it), has photographed over a thousand nude Israelis bobbing in the Dead Sea. The aim of the piece (other than giving media outlets around the world a semi-legitimate reason to print a picture of nude people) was to draw attention to the fact the water levels in the Red Sea are dropping at the rate of four feet a year. The group of naked floaters was aged from 18 to 77.

CHINA It is not often that you get to use the phrase "heroic pig", unless you are a screenwriter pitching the “Babe: Pig in the City” plot. But in this case it seems apt. Scientists in China have cloned a pig which survived more than a month buried under rubble after the 2008 earthquake, and produced six heroic little piglets. Actually, it's unclear if they have inherited the hero gene, but they do have DNA identical to their dad, so here's hoping. USA Disney has re-released “The Lion King” in three glorious dimensions. “The Lion King 3D” is proving a roaring success so far, devouring $29.3 million at the box office in its opening

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


life, etc

briefs

Ginger McCain (Reuters)

weekend. Its success is attributed partly to nostalgia and partly to young parents keen to introduce their kiddies to the wonders of Simba and the gang for the first time on the big screen. Disney is also hoping to make a killing on the Blue-ray version, which debuts in October. Hakuna matata on the financial front at Disney. USA Don't panic, but you may want to consider digging an underground bunker immediately. A Nasa satellite the size of a school bus is going to fall out of the sky on Thursday, or maybe Friday, or perhaps Saturday. This is not a joke. Nobody's quite sure when it will happen, which it is awfully reassuring. Nasa says it will hit earth somewhere between 57 degrees north latitude and 57 degrees south latitude, which is a territory so vast that it covers the entire inhabited planet. Not

to worry though, Nasa seems very confident it will fall in the water. Phew. USA As if you needed another reason to hate the recession: it's been found that incidents of child abuse increase in times of economic crisis. The results come out of America, where a study in Pittsburgh found that within a group of 422 abused children, there were around 65 cases a year prior to the recession, and 108 yearly during it. Some paediatrics criticised the findings, though, saying it would be necessary to study more middle-class families to determine whether the recession actually was a root cause. PHILIPPINES A group of women in a violence-plagued area in the Philippines have brought peace to their region by embarking on

a sex strike until men stopped fighting. No, really. Women on the island of Mindanao, which has been the site of a separatist rebellion since the 1970s, were fed up of not being able to deliver their sewing products for sale due to violence, and agreed to withhold sex from their husbands until the fighting stopped. The fighting stopped within a week. Surely this idea has wider application? UK The racing world is in mourning with the news of the death of legendary horse trainer Ginger McCain, aged 80. McCain trained famous racing horse Red Rum, who won England's premier race, the Grand National, in 1973, 1974 and 1977. McCain was originally a taxi driver before striking it big with Red Rum, and was known on the racing circuit as a character who was always good for a controversial quote after a race.

tuesdAY - 20 september 2011


life, etc

Could this book make you feel sorry for Sarah Palin? Spare a thought for former US VP Dick Cheney, whose memoirs hit the shelves a few weeks ago. It received a few days in the spotlight, but now there's only one book that America's politicos are talking about: Joe McGinniss's controversial new biography of Sarah Palin. By REBECCA DAVIS.

sarah palin

The controversy surrounding McGinniss's book began in May 2010, when he rented the house next door to Palin's in order to get a feel for her environment (or, in Palin's account, spy on her family). But if Palin resented the author back then, one can only imagine her feelings now that “The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin” has actually been released. Actually, you don’t have to imagine her feelings: her husband Todd has released a statement rebutting the book’s allegations, denouncing them as “disgusting lies”. The Palins aren’t the only ones saying that the book is a load of nonsense, in fairness. The NY Times trashed it, saying that its content was largely “caustic, unsubstantiated gossip”. The book’s claims are, admittedly, pretty wild. McGinniss says that on a snowmobiling trip with her husband, Palin snorted lines of cocaine off an oil drum. He also claims she had a one-night stand with professional basketball player Glen Rice, and then boasted to friends about bedding a black man. The aspect of “The Rogue” which has attracted most opprobrium is the fact that McGinniss speculates at length that Palin's baby Trig is not Todd's daughter – without any apparent proof. In fact, “The Rogue” is said to be so unfair to Palin that it risks engendering new sympathy for her – a suggestion McGinniss has rejected. Regardless, we have to admit that the book sounds like a cracking good read.

Read more: 1. 2. 3. 4. Photo: REUTERS

Sarah’s Nosy Neighbour, on the Daily Beast The political provocateur, in the NY Times McGinniss book on Palin comes out, NY Times Todd Palin says McGinniss book filled with "disgusting lies", on CBS News 5. McGinniss book about Palin yet another attack on America, American Thinker

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


SPORT

tuesDAY – 20 september 2011


sport

South Africa Orlando Pirates have been boosted by the return to training of Benni McCarthy ahead of Saturday's mouth-watering PSL clash against Mamelodi Sundowns. The former West Ham and Blackburn striker injured his hamstring during a practice match almost a fortnight ago, but he returned to training with his team-mates on Monday. Kaizer Chiefs have named Zimbabwe duo Ebson Muguyo and Knowledge Musona as two of the greatest ever non-South African players to have donned the famous gold and black jersey. Muguyo, who signed for Amakhosi from Zimbabwe Saints in 1976, was prolific for the club, and had an appetite for scoring against Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates. He netted nine times against their bitter rivals and also became the first player to score a hat-trick against Pirates in a 1975 BP Top 16 semi-final replay. The Blue Bulls have announced that former South African U20 playmaker Lionel CronjĂŠ will join the Pretoria-based side from Western Province in a two-year deal. The 22-yearold fly-half/full-back has been playing for Western Province in the Currie Cup and the Storm-

briefs

Victor Matfield and John Smit (Reuters)

ers in Super Rugby for the last two seasons, but is currently recovering from knee surgery. New Zealand Springbok lock Victor Matfield is on track to recover from a hamstring strain in time for the business end of the pool stages. Matfield missed the Springboks 49-3 win over Fiji after being forced off the field during his side's opening clash against Wales. However, news from the South African camp is positive, with team doctor Craig Roberts revealing that he is "very happy" with the veteran's progress. Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu is likely to find himself in hot water after hurling a tirade of abuse at the IRB via his Twitter page. In the wake of Samoa's 17-10 loss at the hands of Wales, Fuimaono-Sapolu took exception to the fact that Samoa were playing their second game in four days while Wales had

enjoyed a week's break since their opening game against South Africa. "IRB, Stop exploiting my people. Please, all we ask is fairness. If they get a week, give us a week. Simple. Equity & Justice," the centre tweeted. Japan coach John Kirwan has named a full-strength line-up for his side's Pool A clash with Tonga on Wednesday. Having seen his charges put up a superb effort in their 47-21 loss to France first up in the competition, Kirwan made ten changes to the team for last Friday's mauling at the hands of New Zealand. As such, it comes as no surprise that the Kiwi has once again overhauled his starting XV for the game against Tonga, a match the Cherry Blossoms believe they can win. Argentina prop Martin Scelzo believes it is crucial that Felipe

tuesday - 20 september 2011


sport

briefs

Contepomi is fit for Sunday's Pool B clash against Scotland in Wellington. Contepomi, who is Argentina's captain, was forced off the field in their opening 13-9 defeat against England and did not play in his team's 43-8 win over Romania. Rob Horne and Tatafu PolotaNau have warned the USA that Australia will come out with all guns blazing when the two teams meet on Friday. The Australians are licking their wounds after their shock 15-6 loss to Ireland and with the Eagles next on their radar, the Wallabies will be looking to ease the pain with a barnstorming performance. England's selectors face a dilemma about whether to play Jonny Wilkinson or Toby Flood at flyhalf for the big matches at the RWC. That is the word from back-line coach Brian Smith who reckons England are fortunate to have two genuine international-class players vying for the position. All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has admitted that he is dealing with a drinking problem and apologised for breaking an agreement he had with the All Blacks management. The 21-year-old faced the media on Monday to address the situation and conceded that "there is a drinking issue" but that he is taking steps to address the problem.

down a £40million offer from the Blues for the player.

Harry Redknapp (Reuters)

US Despite just making the Presidents Cup team, Jim Furyk has missed out on an opportunity to defend his title at the Tour Championship next week. It was a case of taking the good with the bad for the 41-yearold American in Sunday's final round at the BMW Championship in Lemont, Illinois. UK Harry Redknapp says Tottenham will offer Luka Modric a new contract in the coming weeks with the midfielder's attentions now firmly focused on helping Spurs get their season back on track. Modric was back to his best following an indifferent start to the season as he scored a spectacular opener in Sunday's 4-0 win over nineman Liverpool. The Croatian's head had been turned by Chelsea in the summer but Spurs remained defiant in their bid to keep Modric, even turning

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that it was on Jose Mourinho's advice he made the move to White Hart Lane. With three goals in two games for Spurs following his transfer deadline loan switch from Manchester City, the Togolese striker has lived up to his star billing. But the 27-year-old believes that if it hadn't been for the support of “The Special One”, he might've continued to push for a permanent deal at Real Madrid. Norwegian Tippeligaen side Molde FK insist that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be leaving the club after he was linked with Blackburn Rovers. The Lancashire side are struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table and recorded their first win of the season at home to Arsenal on Saturday. India The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday removed the Kochi Tuskers Kerala from the Indian Premier League. Kochi was one of two new teams added to the lucrative Twenty20 tournament for its fourth edition this year and was sold to Rendezvous Sports World for $333 million. Reports suggested that Kochi's problems are related to defaults on their payments, leading to the BCCI's decision to revoke the franchise's license.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


sport

davis cup

Having gone up 2-0 in Friday's singles rubbers, Argentina were pegged back by Serbia in the doubles rubber on Saturday to take the tie to 2-1 ahead of Sunday's singles. And with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic back on the court, Serbia had hoped to make it through to the finals, but it wasn't to be. Having lost the opening set and going down 0-3 in the second, Djokovic went down with a scream and had to be carried off the court, giving Argentina an 3-1 lead with one

Argentina to face Spain in Davis Cup final Argentina will face Spain in the finals of the Davis Cup after winning their respective semi-final ties against Serbia and France.

Photo: Novak Djokovic (C) of Serbia clasps hands with Argentina's team coach Tito Vasquez (L) as Juan Martin Del Potro (R) applauds after their Davis Cup World Group tennis semi-final match in Belgrade September 18, 2011. Djokovic retired due to injury in the second set against Del Potro. REUTERS/Novak Djurovic

rubber remaining. "I feel very disappointed to end the tie in this way," said the 24 year old. "I tried although I was only 60% fit and I got into the match knowing there was a risk of aggravating the injury which I first felt at the US Open. "We knew my condition was not good, but we believed that even so I would have a better chance against Del Potro than my teammate Viktor Troicki. At the end of the day it was my decision and it backfired. "I am not saying I would have won if I had been 100% fit because Del Potro played at a very high level today and never in my professional career did I struggle with my return of serve as I did today.� Janko Tipsarevic narrowed the final deficit for Serbia when he won the first set against Juan Monaco who subsequently retired. However, it was Argentina that progressed through to the finals 3-2. They will face Spain after the four-time Davis Cup Champions beat France 4-1 in Cordoba. With a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday's singles, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco claimed straight-sets wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. Spain captain Albert Costa said he was thrilled he was through to another final.

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sport

golf

Tiger’s fall from grace continues Tiger Woods has tumbled to No. 49 on the latest World Rankings list, but it looks as if he might just squeeze into his own Chevron World Challenge by the skin of his teeth. By Golf365.com That's because only the top 50 in the world are allowed to play in the end of season event which he has hosted since its inception several years ago and which is taking place from 1 to 4 December at Thousand Oaks in California.

At his current rate descent down the rankings, the long-time former World No. 1 would have had the red-faced task of asking for an invitation to his own tournament. But with Photo: REUTERS

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


sport

At his current rate descent down the rankings, the long-time former World No. 1 would have had the red-faced task of asking for an invitation to his own tournament. the cut-off point for the event coming up today (20 September), he'll only just make it - and with a huge sigh of relief both by himself and the organisers. Woods, who was sidelined for several weeks earlier this year and saw his last hope of qualifying for US golf's end-of-season FedEx Cup play-offs fall away when he missed the cut at the final major of the year, the PGA Championship, has intimated that his next tournament will be the Frys.com Open at the start of October. A few weeks back when Woods's chances of qualifying for the Chevron World Challenge were already looking questionable, its tournament director Greg McLaughlin said he was confident the 21st century's richest sportsman would be in the top 50 when the time came, saying the organisers hadn't considered taking any steps to ensure he gains entry, like for example throwing out the world ranking requirement. Phil Mickelson, who for a spell seemed the only man capable of reeling in Woods and

golf

taking over the rankings crown, is also on the slide. On Monday he had fallen to No. 49 and now sits behind Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, Northern Ireland's Rory McIloy, Germany's Martin Kaymer, the leading Americans, Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson, who are at Nos. 5 and 6, Australian Jason Day and fellow American Matt Kuchar. The week's big movers, after the BMW Championship, was winner Justin Rose who rocketed from 40th to a top 20 spot at No. 17 and Geoff Ogilvy, whose third place at the same event saw him move from 50th to 39th and earned him a qualifying spot in the International team for the Presidents Cup. THIS WEEK'S TOP 20 ON THE RANKINGS LADDER:

1 Luke Donald (Eng) 10.52 2 Lee Westwood (Eng) 8.06 3 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 6.97 4 Martin Kaymer (Den) 6.66 5 Steve Stricker (USA) 6.64 6 Dustin Johnson (USA) 6.59 7 Jason Day (Aus) 6.00 8 Matt Kuchar (USA) 5.72 9 Phil Mickelson (USA) 5.64 10 Adam Scott (Aus) 5.62 11 Nick Watney (USA) 5.29 12 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 4.99 13 Webb Simpson (USA) 4.91 14 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 4.57 15 Bubba Watson (USA) 4.55 16 K J Choi (Kor) 4.53 17 Justin Rose (Eng) 4.27 18 David Toms (USA) 4.16 19 Ian Poulter (Eng) 3.93 20 Paul Casey (Eng) 3.77

tuesDAY - 20 september 2011


sport

cricket

Skewed Champions League losing credibility Two years ago the Champions League Twenty20 started with a bang. On a balmy night in Bangalore, JP Duminy played one of the knocks of the tournament to silence a capacity crowd as the Cape Cobras won the sort of match which makes Twenty20 undeniably enjoyable. It set the tone for the tournament, which went on to produce plenty of moments that should theoretically have made it a success. By Cricket365.com Unknown youngsters such as Rilee Rossouw and Adrian Barath sprang to prominence, old hands such as Glenn McGrath enjoyed a final fling and a new superstar was born in the shape of Kieron Pollard. There were close matches and a few proper upsets, none more spectacular than Trinidad and Tobago's out-of-nowhere victory over New South Wales as the West Indians established themselves as the darlings of the show. And yet, truth be told, nobody really cared. The people of Sydney did not pour on to the city's streets to celebrate when New South Wales won the final. In fact, they were probably all sleeping. Meanwhile, stadiums for most of the matches were half-full at best, and television ratings in Twenty20-mad India were poor. There was little appetite for matches that

didn't involve Indian teams, which became a huge problem when none of the IPL sides made the last four. The second edition of the Champions League, held in South Africa last year, showed a small improvement, but it wasn't enough to stop Airtel from bailing out of their five-year, $40 million title sponsorship after just two years. A tournament which was meant to be like the IPL except better has failed to even live up to the Indian tournament. The organisers have, therefore, decided the answer is quite simple: just make the Champions League more like the IPL. A fourth Indian team has been squeezed in via a new qualifying system, which adds six matches to Photo: Kleinz1

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sport

Whether all of this will make it a success is debatable. The first edition, in Twenty20 terms, was a success from a cricketing perspective, but then Twenty20 success has always been measured in dollars and cents by the organisers.

the programme to pacify ESPN Star Sports whose 10-year, $1 billion broadcast deal was an incredible steal for the Champions League organisers - and also gets rid of some of the riffraff (i.e. teams from countries who don't have a share in tournament profits) early on. In theory, TV ratings in India should improve, and more prize money should channel into the teams from the three founding boards - India, Australia and South Africa - since only one out of their eight representatives has to qualify. Just to decrease the chance of Indian teams slipping up against the others, the rule over players who qualified for the tournament with two teams has also changed since that first year. In 2009 the home team (non-Indian team) had the choice of whether they wanted to retain that player. Now the decision rests with the players, who are unlikely to put sentiment ahead of a fat contract with their IPL franchise. The Indian sides will be at full strength,

cricket

while, for example, New South Wales will be without Brett Lee, Doug Bollinger and Brad Haddin. Even if the home teams pocket $150,000 a player that turns out for an IPL franchise, on the playing field the dice are loaded. It would be a real surprise if a foreign team was to win the third edition over the next two weeks. Whether all of this will make it a success is debatable. The first edition, in Twenty20 terms, was a success from a cricketing perspective, but then Twenty20 success has always been measured in dollars and cents by the organisers. After all, it's a form of the game with little cricketing value that was actually created to prop up the other forms financially. The changes to the Champions League have shifted that relationship even further, eroding its legitimacy in cricket terms for a little bit more financial success. The idea of the tournament is to crown the best domestic Twenty20 franchise in the world. But that becomes skewed when franchises from one country are not only allowed to field more foreigners than everyone else, but are given first choice on their opponents' players. It also seems devalued when the qualifying process is set up so that eight of the 10 teams in the tournament proper are likely to come from only three countries. Whether it at least brings in more punters remains to be seen, particularly with the IPL losing ground this year. Having marginalised several countries and taken away some of the Champions League's global appeal, the organisers need the Indian public to justify the direction in which the tournament has been taken.

tuesday - 20 september 2011


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iMaverick 20th September