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Yusuf Alli –  Cii News |  November 2013 /14 Muharram 1435

MONDAY

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines are in desperate need of food and water as rescue workers struggled to reach ravaged towns and villages to deliver aid to survivors after the typhoon killed an estimated 10 000 people and displaced more than 600 000.

Relief operations were hampered because roads, airports and bridges have been destroyed.

President Benigno Aquino deployed soldiers to the devastated city of Tacloban to stop looting and said he might impose martial law.

Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path.

Huge waves from one of the strongest storms ever recorded swept away coastal villages.

Some officials likened the destruction to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

It pushed sustained winds of 313km/h with gusts of up to 378km/h. Although it has weakened it is now heading towards Vietnam.

—–

Another Lenasia resident, RiyaadhMaalik, succumbed to a fatal shooting incident on Sunday night.

Maalik was travelling in a vehicle along Hudson Street in Lenasia, Extension 10 with his wife and son at 10:30 pm.

The family was suddenly accosted by six males carrying at least one firearm.

They shot the deceased in an attempt to hijack the car. His wife sustained gunshot wounds was admitted to hospital. The boy escaped injury.

The muslim Response units Faizel Alli who was at the scene highlighted the lack of response from neighbouring homes

The suspects were arrested in Extension 8. Police are now investigating a case of murder, attempted murder and hijacking.

The suspects will appear in court soon.

—–

The South African Hajj and Umrah Council called on all returning Hujjaaj for the Ismalic year 1434 to submit any grievance or complaint that they have.

This needs to be sent to SAHUC by no later than the 30th November 2013.

All Complaints should be in writing and must be accompanied by contracts and supporting documents.

Submissions may be e-mailed to:

The Secretary General, Hassan Choonara on: sahucsg@sahuc.org.za

It could be dropped off at any of the SAHUC offices:

Fordsburg, the NMJ Islamic Centre in KZN and Belgravia road in Athlone for people in the Western Cape.

SAHUC said it would not be taking in any complaints after the above date.
——

The Syrian political opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva, but only if certain preconditions are met.This included the need for a guarantee that relief agencies be allowed access to besieged areas, the release of political prisoners and the demand that any conference should result in a political transition.

They also seeked an end to the fighting and withdrawal of Syrian armed forces from major cities.

Up until now the main problem has been the role of Bashar al-Assad, with the opposition demanding that Syria’s president not have any part in Syria’s future.

Rebel fighters voiced opposition inside Syria have voiced opposition to the talks.

—–

Even while standing in the dock, a wife, a pastor and fellow church members insisted they could resurrect a corpse they kept in a shack for months.

They all said that rotting Isac Tance of Zimbabwe was only sleeping, after his corpse was found salted and wrapped in sheets in a shack.

This emerged at the Simons Town Magistrates’ Court o where self-proclaimed prophet Rector Ndlovu, and 4 others made their first court appearance.

The group was arrested last weekinside a shack with the rotting body of Isac in Overcome Heights informal settlement.

—–

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa urged Limpopo residents to vote, saying or else the “Boers” will come back to power.

The Star newspaper reported that he was speaking to disgruntled resident, Johanna Phala, who had vowed not to vote in next year’s elections because the ANC had disappointed her.

The unemployed single mother of three blamed the high unemployment rate on the ANC and said she had lost hope in the party.

Ramaphosa’s remarks echoed a study released in April by consumer insights company Pondering Panda which found that 46% of youth respondents of all races believed the DA would bring back apartheid if it won next year’s elections.

——

According to Irans state news agency, An unidentified gunman has shot and killed Iran’s deputy industries minister.

Safdar Rahmatabadi, who was also the minister for mines and trade, was shot twice in his head and chest in an eastern neighbourhood of Tehran.

Police say they believed that the deputy minister had been shot by someone who had been travelling with him in his vehicle, as bullet shells had been found inside the car,

—–

Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Vietnam, days after leaving thousands feared dead and widespread devastation in the Philippines.

The Vietnamese national weather forecast agency said Haiyan made landfall in the northern province of Quang Ninh, as a tropical storm and was moving towards southern China.

A disaster official in Quang Ninh province said several hundred houses had their roofs ripped off, and thousands of trees in the province were uprooted

National disaster officials said no deaths had been reported at the time, although state media said five people had died during preparations for the typhoon.

——

At least six people died after Typhoon Haiyan slashed across China’s south coast and damaged hundreds of homes.

A local newspaper said three pedestrians were hit by falling walls or advertising hoardings in the southern island province of Hainan.

The official Xinhua news agency says One drowned in the neighbouring Guangxi Zhuang region, andTwo sailors were found dead after their cargo ship was cast adrift in the storm.

Nearly 600 houses were damaged and 51 collapsed in the downpours and strong winds brought by the typhoon, the civil affairs ministry said in a statement, and 39 000 people were evacuated in Hainan.

—–

A 6-month-old baby’s mutilated body was found in Diepsloot.

The baby’s mother reported the death to police on Sunday, claiming that her child had been eaten by rats, but when police arrived on the scene the mother had disappeared.

Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng reportedly told the star newspaper initially that police were investigating a case of murder.

He later said that a pathologist’s observation report indicated that the child was killed by rats.

Local residents, however, reportedly said they believed the killing was a muti murder, as several body parts were missing.

—–

Human Rights Watch says Egypt detained more than 1 500 refugees from Syria, including Palestinians and 250 children, before forcing most to leave the country.

The New York-based watchdog said the refugees were detained for weeks and even months, and that some of the children were only two months old.

HRW said that most of the refugees who were arrested had been trying to migrate to Europe on smugglers’ boat.

It said Palestinians fleeing war-hit Syria were especially targeted.

It accused Egyptian authorities of preventing them “from seeking protection” from the UN refugee agency UNHCR and telling them to leave or face “indefinite detention”.

—–

Three men were sentenced to life in prison and a fourth to 10 years for their roles in the 2011 bombing of a Moscow airport, which killed 37 people.

The bombing in January 2011 was carried out by a man who walked into the arrivals hall of Domodedovo International Airport, Russia’s largest airport, and blew himself up.

The explosion injured 172 people.

——

A senior leader of the Haqqani network, one of the most feared groups fighting US troops in Afghanistan, was shot dead on the outskirts of Islamabad,

Naseer Haqqani was gunned down on Sunday night in a residential area of Islamabad called Bhara Kahu, only a few kilometres from the US embassy.

The Haqqani network is a key ally of the Afghan Taliban and has pledged allegiance to its leader, Mullah Omar, though it operates fairly independently.

US officials have accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of supporting the Haqqani network as a key proxy in the Afghan war, an allegation denied by Islamabad.

His death will also likely raise questions in Pakistan since he was wanted by the Americans, and the US is often accused of running an elaborate spy network across the country.

—–

TUESDAY

A national state of calamity was declared in the Phillipines as the country reels from the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan.

The president, Benigno Aquino, declared emergency measures to get aid to the many millions of people left destitute by the superstorm, and promised them that help will reach them faster

An international relief effort began with a host of countries and organisations pledging relief to the Philippines.

The Philippine military confirmed 942 dead, but shattered communications, transportation links and local governments suggest the final toll is days away.

The UN humanitarian chief says 10,000 people are feared dead in the city of Tacloban alone.

Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon.

—–

Diepsloot residents in Gauteng called for the local police station’s construction to be completed, with hopes that policing in the area would improve.

In the latest murder a seven-month-old baby’s mutilated body was found in a shack in Diepsloot on Sunday.

The baby’s death came weeks after the body of another baby was found,  having been thrown into a stream.

——-

The ANC welcomed back 18 DA members in Ladysmith in KZN over the weekend.

KZN spokesman SenzoMkhize said the ANC is encouraged that these new members have realised their earlier mistake of joining the DA.

The defectors, led by Democratic Alliance’s former chairman in Ezakheni Township, Samuel Mtolo, claim to have realised that the official opposition does not represent their interests.

Mtolo is a former member of the ANC who defected to the DA two years ago.

Yesterday the DA confirmed that Mtolo had left the organisation, but disputed the ANC’s assertion that the move could trigger an exodus.

—–

Various universities in the UK cancelled an event to host Zimbabwean scholar Mufti Ismail Menk or say there was no official invitation, because Mufti Menk has denounced gay people as filthy.

The tour was cancelled after every other university refused to take part.

A poster circulated by the Tayyibun Institute listed Menk’s planned appearance at six universities this month, including Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Leicester, Cardiff and Oxford.

Liverpool University however says it would play host to the cleric, after the Islamic Society invited him, saying its not the role of the university to censor people’s views.

Mufti Menks topic was supposed about what young people can gain from a University experience.

After the majority of the universities refused to be affiliated with the tour, Tayyibun and Mufti Menk issued a joint statement announcing the cancellation of the event until further notice.

——–

A rights organisation based in Israel has accused the government of promoting “racist” policies with its decision to establish a Jewish town in the place of a Bedouin village.

The Israeli cabinet on Sunday approved the establishment of two new communities in the Negev desert in southern Israel, naming them as Kesif and Hiran.

According to Suhad Bishara, director of the land and planning unit at Israeli Arab rights group Adalah, in order to build Hiran, it will accelerate the demolition of the Umm el-Hieran village in the Negev and evict its residents.

Bishara charged that establishing new Jewish towns in the Negev while evicting the Bedouin residents showed that the government was motivated primarily by “racist policies” against Arab Bedouin citizens.

A bill calling for the relocation of 30,000-40,000 Bedouin, the demolition of about 40 villages and confiscation of more than 70,000 hectares of Negev land was approved by the government in January and by parliament in a first reading in June.

—–

Fourteen people were injured, one seriously, in a crash between a taxi and a truck on the N3 near Key Ridge in Durban.

ER24 Spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said there were 14 people in the taxi at the time and both vehicles were travelling in the same direction when they collided.

The crash came amid Transport Minister Dipuo Peters issuing orders for a high-level investigation into a bus accident that killed 29 people last night.

Twenty-nine people were killed when a bus collided with a truck on Moloto Road near Kwaggafontein.

——

Victims of domestic violence have a new weapon with which to fight back with the launch of a prisoner e-tagging monitoring system.

The GPS device, which has a solar charger, keeps Correctional Service aware of the movements of parolees and remand prisoners.

It also acts as a cellphone, enabling officials to contact the prisoner.

Victims of domestic violence can be given a receiver that alerts them when the perpetrator comes within a set distance of them.

The device acts as a panic button that can be used to alert officials of impending danger.

It will enable the police to know whether a tagged prisoner was near the scene of a crime.

Tampering with the gadget sends an alert to the control room.

—–

Throngs of Venezuelans stood in lines outside appliance stores for a fourth day yesteday after President Nicolas Maduro deployed the army to force retailers to slash prices.

After taking control of several appliance stores last week, Maduro vowed to step up inspections of businesses selling shoes, clothes, automobiles and other goods to make sure they aren’t gouging consumers.

He also said he will impose limits on profits as the government tries to curb inflation running at 54 percent.

—–

Syria’s international recognised opposition group has approved nine “ministers” for an interim government charged with running Syrian territory that is in rebel hands.

The move by the National Coalition late followed its announcement earlier in the day that it planned to attend proposed peace talks with the Syrian government, if certain conditions were met.

——-

EWN reported that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) warned of criminals trying to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers.

SARS’s Adrian Lackay said taxpayers should be aware of emails that ask for personal information such as tax, banking and e-filing details.

He said SARS would not request such information over the phone or via email.

He requested Taxpayers to ignore such requests, alling on suspiscions to be reported on their website.

—–

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in different parts of Egypt, calling for an end to the military rule, as well as the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The rallies were staged in different cities in the country, including Shubra, Matreh, and Almenia.

During the demonstrations, protesters expressed support for the ousted president and called for his return to power.

They also chanted slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

——

Opposition parties spoke out against Cyril Ramaphosas use of the term “boer” when speaking to disgruntled resident.

Ramaphosa apparently said “If you don’t vote, the boers will come back to control us.”

Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota said it showed shameful disregard for the Constitution.

The Democratic Alliance said the comment showed how much Ramaphosa was stuck in the dark ages.

The Freedom Front Plus said the comment was racist.

—–

WEDNESDAY

The PAC said Moloto Road, where 29 people were killed and 30 injured when a bus and truck collided in Mpumalanga, was totally inadequate for use by buses on Tuesday.

Tshwane regional chairperson Sbusiso Xaba said there was negligence in not applying norms and standards on guidelines for human settlement planning and design, with workers having to live 40km from their workplace.

The collision occurred on Monday night along the Moloto road near Kwaggafontein.

He said the current regime has no desire to change apartheid orientation of spatial planning and exploitation relations with labour reserves.

——

According to a report, The ANC has quietly paid its former chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe R1.7 million earlier this year for loss of income.

The Sowetan said he lost his job following his suspension in November 2007, after he was found guilty of sexual harassment by a party-appointed disciplinary committee.

Goniwe was charged on October 25, 2006 with abuse of office by trying to obtain sexual favours from Parliament intern Nomawele Njongo.

Goniwe took the ruling party to court in 2011 and the High Court in Johannesburg ordered the ANC to pay him R1.2 million plus interest of about R800 000 for loss of income.

Smit said the ANC failed to pay on time; hence they had to pay R1.7 million.

——-

President Benigno Aquino said expected death toll from Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage through the Philippines is much lower than the 10,000 previously estimated,

Aquino said an initial UN estimate of 10,000 people killed in in the city of Tacloban was “too much”, five days after one of the strongest tropical storms on record destroyed tens of thousands of houses.

He said the current figure they had was 2,000, and 2,000 to 2,500 is the figure they would work on

The president added that the death toll could still rise.

The latest official government death toll stood at 2,275, although authorities said they have not come close to accurately assessing the number of bodies lying amid the rubble or swept out to sea.

International aid groups said they fear what is known now is just the tip of the iceberg.

—–

Syrian troops of Bashar al Assad made progress against the rebel fighters in several areas around the country this week.

They clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo.

Activists said President Bashar al-Assad’s troops are backed by Shia fighters from Iran, Iraq and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

Russia has also been supplying arm to the Syrian government.

The opposition on the ground on the other hand are receving limited support from private Arab and Gulf donors.

After 32 months of the conflict, More than 120,000 people have been killed, according to the UN and opposition activists, and more than two million people have fled to neighbouring countries.

—–

A woman hospitalised in a Sao Paulo suburb with gunshot wounds inflicted by a man who killed her daughter and husband woke up to find herself next to her assailant.

The murder was recorded by security cameras aboard a bus, outside which security guard Jose Cosme Barros was gunned down.

Barros and his daughter were fatally shot while the wife, 28-year-old Naircleide Duarte, was rushed to a local hospital in serious condition.

A few hours later, the assailant, identified as 27-year-old Lucas Ribeiro do Nascimento, was caught up in a brawl outside a nightclub and sustained gunshot wounds.

By sheer coincidence, Ribeiro was hospitalised in the same facility and in the same room as Duarte.

According to police, they had a big file on the suspect, notably for robberies and murders.

—–

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela filed opposing papers in the North Gauteng High in response to government’s application to interdict her from releasing the Nkandla report.

Madonsela believed the interdict was unlawful, unconstitutional and a violation of the independence of her office.

She planned to make the report public, but the state said if she did so, she would be breaking the law.

In a statement released by Madonsela’s office on Monday, the Public Protector hit back at government’s claims.

Meanwhile Suspended Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said he had no doubt the price of the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home were massively inflated to benefit private companies.

—-

Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, said he was kidnapped by the Republican Guard and then held at a naval base the day before the military formally ousted him in July

Few details had previously emerged on Mursi’s whereabouts since army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew him and announced plans for elections.

Lawyer Mohamed Damati read on television what he said was a letter from the Islamist leader, who is still being detained, to the Egyptian people.

For the first time, Mursi indicated that he was held against his will as early as July 2, a day before the army announced his removal following mass protests against his rule.

He said that the people should know that he was kidnapped forcibly and against his will since July 2 and until July 5 in a Republican Guard house until he and his aide were moved again forcibly to a naval base belonging to the armed forces for four full months.

The Republican Guard is an elite military unit which protects the presidential palace and other government sites.

——

Several people have been killed in Iraq in bomb attacks targeting police and pilgrims

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the’s attacks, which coincided with the ritual of Ashura, when Shias commemorate Imam Hussein who died more than 1,000 years ago.

The AFP news agency reported 23 deaths while Reuters put the figure at 19 citing its own sources.

In the deadliest attack, 10 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove a lorry packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in al-Alam, a town near Tikrit.

Near the city of Baquba, three roadside bombs exploded near a group of Shia pilgrims, leaving nine people dead

In past years, pilgrims have been targeted by bombings, including serial attacks the day before Ashura in 2011 that killed 28 people.

As a result, security measures are stepped up, with more than 35,000 soldiers and policemen currently deployed to Karbala and surrounding areas.

——

As many as 300 people were feared dead after a cyclone and heavy floods in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.

Puntland’s government described the situation as a “disaster”, with entire villages destroyed, and said it was appealing for emergency  international aid.

In a statement it said Torrential rains, high wind speeds and flooding has created a state of  emergency, with 300 persons feared dead, hundreds others unaccounted for, and countless livestock lost.

Many fishermen are missing and feared dead, the storm has destroyed entire villages, homes, buildings, and boats.

The death toll could not be independently verified, but weather experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirmed flooding was severe.

——

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has ordered a reassessment of plans to build nearly 24,000 settler homes,

He said he feared an international outcry that would divert attention from Israel’s lobbying against a nuclear deal with Iran.

The right-wing Israeli leader announced the reversal in the face of stiff US opposition to settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian anger that threatens three-month-old peace talks brokered by Washington.

Before news of Netanyahu’s change of course, President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly ordered the Palestinian leadership to hold an urgent emergency meeting in the coming hours, with all options on the table.

Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity on occupied land Palestinians seek for a state, said the Housing Ministry had issued tenders late last month for drawing up construction plans, but that no building work was imminent.

—–

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has implicated President Jacob Zuma directly in her report on the state’s spending of R206m at Zuma’s private Nkandla estate.

Zuma had to date denied that the state had paid for the new homes on his estate.

In an affidavit filed in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Madonsela for the first time said Zuma privately appointed the architect of the whole project.

This meant that Minenhle Makhanya Architects from Durban, who earned more than R18m from the Nkandla project, were not appointed after a tender process conducted by the department of public works, but by Zuma himself.

The ministers of police, state security, public works and defence were trying to prevent Madonsela from making public her report because they allege it will compromise Zuma’s safety if Madonsela releases the provisional report without state comment.

—–

Government departments and other public entities reportedly wasted almost R31-billion in unauthorised, irregular and fruitless spending during the financial year to the end of March.

According to a consolidated general audit report for the 2012-2013 financial year by outgoing auditor-general Terence Nombembe,Government departments awarded R233-million in tenders to companies in which public servants or their close family members had an interest

The report found:

  • That 32 government departments incurred R2.3-billion in unauthorised expenditure;
  • That 294 departments and public entities irregularly spent R26.4-billion; and
  • That 227 entities and departments incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R2.1-billion, with four provincial departments being responsible for half that amount.

Nombembe said most of the improper expenditure was in provincial departments of health, education, and public works “right across the country”.

——

A passenger train killed seven elephants and injured another 10 of a herd crossing railroad tracks in eastern India.

West Bengal state Forestry Minister Hiten Burman said that the train travelling at 80 kilometres per hour ploughed into a herd of nearly 40 elephants in Chapramari forest in Jalpaiguri district.

Burman said railway authorities have ignored requests from his department to have trains travel at slower speeds in the elephant corridor.

Dozens of elephants have died in India in recent years after being struck while crossing railroad tracks that run through national parks and forests.

India’s wild elephant population was recently estimated at about 26 000.

——

The US State Department had designated Nigeria’s Boko Haram and a splinter group named Ansaru as foreign terrorist organisations.

The US said Boko Haram had links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and was responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria over the last several years.

It added that Ansaru had earlier in 2013 kidnapped and executed seven international construction workers.

Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is sinful”, has since 2009 been fighting to create an Islamic state in the country’s mainly Muslim north.

The statement urged Nigeria to continue protecting civilians and to ensure human rights are respected, an apparent reference to accusations by rights groups that government efforts to rein in the group have led to violations of human rights.

—-

Two near-simultaneous bombings targeting a Shia religious procession tent south of the Iraqi capital killed at least eight people and wounded dozens.

The violence near Baghdad comes during the peak of Ashura commemoration rituals that mark the death of a key figure in Shiasm, the grandson of Nabi Muhammed (SAW).

The attacks struck in the town of Hafriyah, in Wasit province, south of Baghdad, on Thursday.

Worshippers were gathering inside a tent where Shias were performing rituals to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein.

Regional authorities expect two million pilgrims, including 200,000 from outside Iraq, will have visited the city of Karbala in the 10 days leading up to Ashura, with all of the city’s hotels fully booked.

—–

Egypt’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, said those who removed him from power committed treason against the whole nation.

A group of volunteer lawyers, read the message from Morsi at a news conference on Wednesday, a day after they met him in prison.

Morsi said he intended to sue the army-installed authorities,

He said there can be no stability in Egypt unless the military coup is eliminated and those responsible for shedding Egyptians’ blood are held accountable.

In the letter, Morsi said he was kidnapped and held by the Republican Guard on July 2 – a day before he was formally removed by the military.

—–

The entire Palestinian negotiating team had resigned due to what they say is continued Israeli settlement building and frustrations over the lack of progress in US-brokered peace talks.

Mohamed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian negotiator, said President Mahmoud Abbas had yet to accept the team’s resignation.

He says Israel is completely responsible for the failure of negotiations, because of the continuation and escalation of settlement-building.

In an interview with Egypt’s CBC television, Abbas said negotiations towards a peace agreement with Israel would continue even without the current negotiating team.

Direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began in July, but have been plagued by problems and have made little headway.

Palestinians say Israeli settlements impede efforts to create a viable, Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

——

Two brothers, one a lawyer and another a baker, have been acquitted of involvement in one of the South Africa’s biggest armed heists involving R100m.

Cape Town lawyer Rooshdeen Rudolph and his brother Shaheed were facing several charges including attempted murder and robbery related to the 2006 heist.

They were acquitted on all charges in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.

The brothers plan to claim R30m damages each from the State.

The brothers were implicated in a 25 March 2006 robbery at the then Johannesburg International Airport.

Twenty four men held up guards and police on board a South African Airways plane at the airport and stole money bags that had been flown from the UK.

Seven men were tried and sentenced for their involvement in the heist.

Six are serving jail terms between eight to 22 years

—–

The mother of a 7-month-old baby who was found dead in a shack in Diepsloot was arrested along with her boyfriend.

The mother was arrested at a tavern in Randburg on Tuesday night and the boyfriend was arrested yesterday in Diepsloot.

The 23-year-old woman has been charged with child neglect and murder.

The boyfriend aged 30, has been charged with murder and will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

The baby boy was found dead and mutilated in a shack in Diepsloot on Sunday.

The woman has been on the run since her baby was found dead.

———

Security ministers habandoned a bid to stop Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing her draft report on upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

Eyewitness News and eNCA reported the government felt it had already obtained an extension through the court process. Taking the matter any further would be an academic exercise.

The State’s application was set to have been heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria tomorrow.

In it, she said the state made several attempts to stop her investigation.

—–

Aid and supplies have begun to arrive in the Philippinnes devastated Tacloban as the airport opened, giving a boost to relief efforts.

However UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said distribution is still a challenge.

The first C-130 transport planes arrived six days after Typhoon Haiyan rampaged through the city, destroying almost everything in its path.

Emergency supplies of food, water and medical kits are ready to be delivered but they remain frustratingly out of survivors’ reach.

Last night, Philippine Special Forces held back hundreds of people, many of whom had walked for hours to reach the airport and then waited for days with little or no food or water.

The city government remains paralysed, with just 70 workers compared to 2,500 normally.

Many were killed or injured, had lost family or were simply too overcome with grief to work.

Outside Taclaban, burials began for about 300 bodies, and a larger grave will be dug for another 1,000.

—–

The South African National Editors’ Forum has appealed to President Jacob Zuma not to sign the Protection of State Information Bill into law in its current form.

In a statement it said it was concerned about the provisions that allow for broad classification of information, including that which has nothing to do with security of the state,

Concerns about the delegation of authority to undefined state officials the power to classify information were also raised

The bill criminalises the possession and dissemination of classified state information, even if such information is in the public interest.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly gave the bill the green light, despite protest from the opposition benches.

The highly contentious bill will now go back to Zuma for signature after 225 MPs voted in favour of the proposed law, and 88 voted against.

——

The United Nation says At least 460,000 people in Sudan’s Darfur region have been displaced this year as a result of tribal violence and rebel-government battles.

Citing humanitarian organisations, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that so far in 2013 at least 460,000 people have fled their homes in Darfur.

This was a result of inter-tribal fighting and clashes between the Sudanese army and armed movements.

The UN said this is more than the number of people internally displaced in Darfur in 2011 and 2012 combined.

The latest figure marks a jump from the 300,000 who had been displaced during the first five months of the year

—-

The group’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Shi’ite militants from Hezbollah will keep fighting in Syria’s civil war alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces as long as necessary.

Hezbollah helped turn the tide in Assad’s favour this year, leading the recapture of the town of Qusair and fighting alongside his forces south of Damascus and in the northern city of Aleppo.

Nasrallah was speaking in front of tens of thousands of Lebanese Shi’ites marking the ceremony of Ashoura in southern Beirut.

The 2-1/2 year-old civil war has polarised the Middle East between Sunni Muslim powers such as Turkey and the Gulf Arab states, who support the Sunni rebels, and Shi’i’te Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, who back Assad.

The president belongs to the Alawite faith, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

—–

FRIDAY

Officials said the number of people in the Philippines confirmed dead from Typhoon Haiyan now stands at over 3600.

UN and local agencies have issued conflicting tolls, and the final figure is likely to rise still higher.

One week after the storm, food and supplies are now beginning to reach survivors, but aid agencies say the logistics of distribution are enormous.

The Philippine government has defended its response to the disaster, one of the strongest storms ever on land.

The latest death toll of 3,621 issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council was up from the figure of around 3,400the interior secretary had given the BBC a few hours before.

The UN put the number of dead at 4,460.

Officials say it is likely more bodies would be found as aid teams reached outlying areas.

—–

At least 12 migrants including four children have died after their inflatable boat sank off a western Greek island in the Ionian Sea

The Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said the incident occurred off the coast of Lefkada, an island in the Ionian Sea, and the migrants were presumed to have been headed to nearby Italy.

The migrants were travelling in an eight-metre inflatable dinghy that was found in the area.

Greece is one of the main ports of entry into the European Union for migrants and refugees fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Refugee traffic has risen over the past year, because of the ongoing war in Syria, with arrivals by sea increasing owing to stricter controls on the Greek-Turkish northern land border.

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Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland had declared a state of emergency.

It was appealing for international aid after floods triggered by a cyclone killed at least 300 people and left hundreds missing.

The UN says some 30,000 people were in need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

Puntland’s government has described the situation as a “disaster”.

Puntland forms the tip of the Horn of Africa and has its own government, but unlike neighbouring Somaliland, it has not declared independence from Somalia, which has been unstable since 1991 when President Siad Barre was overthrown.

—–

One person was killed and 34 were injured when a bus rear-ended a truck.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said the bus appeared to have crashed into the back of the truck and overturned on the N3 near the Winterton off-ramp.

Two passengers were trapped in the wreckage when paramedics arrived.

One of them had lost their life as a result of the injuries that they had sustained.

Two of the 34 were critically injured and expected to be airlifted to Mediclinic in Pietermaritzburg.

The other 32 were treated for minor injuries on the scene before they were transported to hospital.

Police would investigate the cause of the accident.

——-

The state has agreed to pay Public Protector Thuli Madonselas costs following its bid to prevent her from releasing a draft report into the upgrade at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

eNCA reported that the state had abandoned its costs battle with Madonsela.

According to Sapa, the cost application in the North Gauteng High Court came after a cluster of ministers filed an urgent application last week to prevent Madonsela from releasing the draft report, citing security concerns.

Madonsela opposed the interdict, and released her court documents challenging the application.

The ministers then abandoned their action, saying they had secured the time extension they required.

—–

 

Government says it is convinced that despite a controversial court battle over the Nkandla report it can continue working well with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Ministers in the security cluster officially withdrew their interdict application against the protector.

Officials claimed they wanted more time to respond to her interim investigation into R200 million security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

The state on Friday abandoned any attempt to force Madonsela to pay the legal fees associated with the interdict application.

Speaking on behalf of the security cluster, Mthunzi Mhaga says the relationship is not broken.

During the court battle, Madonsela claimed ministers tried to shut down her investigation and obstructed her team.

Meanwhile Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has condemned the security cluster for taking Madonsela to court.

——-

Disastert management centre director Schalk Carstens said the Western Cape was on high alert for heavy rainfall at the weekend.

The SA Weather Service said heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding was expected on tonight and Saturday.

The areas at risk were the southern parts of the West Coast, western parts of the central Karoo, the Cape Metropole, Overberg, Cape Winelands and Eden districts.

Gale-force winds, with speeds of up to 70km/h, were expected between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas and off-shore areas of the south coast.

Carstens said the National Sea Rescue Institute would also be on standby.

——-

North Korea denied it was sending military aid to the Syrian government, after media reports said that Pyongyang had sent advisers and helicopter pilots.

the North’s state run KCNA news agency says Some foreign media are floating misinformation that the the country supplied war equipment to Syria, and thatits airmen are directly involved in air-raids on Syrian Rebels

The Jerusalem Post reported in October that 15 North Korean helicopter pilots were operating in Syria on behalf of President Bashar Assad’s regime” and said the report had been confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Japanese media reports in August said Turkey had intercepted a shipment of gas masks and small arms from North Korea to Syria.

North Korea has long-standing ties with Syria and constructed a plutonium reactor there that was destroyed by an Israeli strike in 2007.

—-

——

The Egyptian authorities have transferred ousted President Mohammed Morsi from a hospital room to solitary confinement in the Borg Al-Arab Prison.

According to Assistant Interior Minister Ahmed Helmi, Morsi, has completed the 10-day quarantine period and will now be transferred from the hospital in accordance with prison regulations.

Morsi is being remanded in custody pending his trial on charges related to the so-called “Ittihadia” case.

Al-Shorouk newspaper quoted Helmi on Thursday as saying that there is no discrimination in the treatment of the president; his health is good and the transfer is routine.

It was carried out on the instructions of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. All prisoners, Helmi insisted, are treated in the same way.

The Criminal Court of North Cairo headed by Judge Ahmed Sabri Yusef, postponed Morsi’s trial, and that of 14 other defendants, until January 8 to give the defence time to study the case.

The prosecution alleges that Morsi instigated the killing of two demonstrators outside the Ittihadia Palace.

 It ignores the fact that security forces killed at least eight members of the Muslim Brotherhood and wounded many others in the same incident.

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