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Your World – A snapshot of the planet over the last week

 

 

The South African Hajj and Umrah Council asked accredited Hujjaj to defer their pilgrimage to next after a confirmation on the reduction of numbers.

South Africa was supposed to have been given a quota of 2500 but this was officially been reduced to 2000.

A formal letter from the Saudi Hajj ministry was made public by Sahuc.

It stated that the Saudi Arabian government had put in place the biggest construction to extend the Haramain in Makkah-tul-Mukkarama and Madina-tul-Munawarah.

Along with the expansion a network of roads between the cities of hajj were also being constructed.

A major problem with the capacity on the mataaf had however been encountered.

According to the Saudis, the mataaf couldn’t accommodate the amount of Hujjaaj that come from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Hajj period.

Sahuc has therefore appealed to Accredited Hujjaaj to voluntarily defer their accreditation to 2014.

The hajj regulator says that those who defer will be guaranteed of accreditation in 2014 (1435H) insha ALLAH.

If a suitable number of people do not take the step voluntarily, Sahuc will apply the last in first out principle.

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Protesters massed across Brazil to demonstrate against the rising costs of both public transport and the 2014 World Cup to be held in the country, following clashes with police over several days.

Protesters gathered in at least seven cities in what they hoped would be their biggest demonstrations yet against the increase in transit rates.

The protest movement is mainly made up of the middle class and is critical of the government’s decision to increase transit rates by 10 cents.

—–

Former President Nelson Mandela’s daughter had given South Africans more encouraging news on her father’s condition.

On Sunday, President Jacob Zuma announced that the 94-year-old’s condition was steadily improving, however he remains in a serious condition.

Madiba was admitted to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital more than a week ago with a recurring lung infection.

TUESDAY

According to reports, British spy authorities tapped into the phones and emails of South African diplomats as well as a Turkish minister while in the UK.

Now South Africa may call the British high commissioner into explain what they have been up to.

British newspaper, The Guardian, released the news of the ground-breaking intelligence capabilities that were used to monitor communications between South African officials at two meetings, in April and September of 2009.

—–

A former Lebanese singer, Fadhel al-Shaker, gave up his life of music, and joined the ranks of those who actively oppose the Syrian government.

He turned to a life of Islamic practice and put his house up for sale to help fund anti-government Islamic fighters in Syria.

He said in a TV interview that he would rather sleep on the ground for the Syrian revolution’s sake.

—–

A senior Gauteng police officer was found dead near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.

Brigadier Neville Malila confirmed that the senior officer was killed.

He said the officer’s vehicle was found abandoned on the R101 near Hammanskraal.

—–

The government acknowledged that high levels of violent crime in South Africa are having a significant negative impact on the country’s economy.

According to government’s green paper on policing, drawn up by the police civil secretariat and which had just been released, violent crime was preventing South Africans from participating socially and economically in the country.

In addition to the about R68bn in tax money spent annually on the South African Police Service, violent crime was costing the country dearly due to loss of productivity and foreign investment

—–

The Gift of the Givers Foundation decided to intervene and assist in locating the South African hostages following the extensive coverage in the Yemen media two weeks ago.

—–

Police raided addresses across Turkey and detained dozens of people after nearly three weeks of anti-government protests.

State media TRT said 25 people had been detained in the capital Ankara, 13 in Eskisehir to the west and “many” in Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul.

Turkey has been rocked by demonstrations that began in and around Istanbul’s Taksim Square and turned violent after police sought to clear protesters using teargas and water cannon.

Erdogan has struck a defiant tone in the face of the biggest public challenge to his 10-year rule, during which he has overseen an economic boom and enjoyed broad popularity.

—–

At least 15 people were killed in a bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The bomber blew himself up inside the mosque in the eastern al-Qahira district.

Some 30 people were also wounded in the attack.

The attack came a day after bombings near Baghdad killed at least 10 people in the cities of Taji and Fallujah, and included a blast in a roadside restaurant.

—-

The US listed 46 inmates held at its military prison in Guantanamo Bay who it said does not have the evidence to try but are too dangerous to release.

It revealed the men’s names in response to a freedom of information request by the Miami Herald.

Most are from Yemen and Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama vowed last month to renew efforts to shut the prison. Lawyer Clifford Sloan has been appointed to oversee the closure.

Mr Sloan, whose appointment was officially announced on Monday, will be tasked with releasing detainees cleared for transfer.

Of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo in Cuba, 86 have been cleared for transfer if conditions can be met, including 56 from Yemen.

—–

A pregnant Muslim woman who was allegedly attacked in the suburbs of Paris by two ‘skinheads’ for wearing an Islamic face veil has suffered a miscarriage, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to reports in the French media, the woman, who was four months pregnant, was assaulted in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil on June 13th.

The 21-year-old’s lawyer Hosni Maati said that the woman had since suffered a miscarriage.

A police source involved in the investigation also confirmed the miscarriage to AFP but did not confirm that the attack was the cause of her losing the baby.

In reporting the attack to police she described how she was set upon by two men in the middle of the street, just after she had finished talking to her mother on the telephone.

She initially blamed the attack on two “skinheads”, saying the two men “ripped the veil” from her head and tore part of her clothing.

The prosecutor for Pointoise, Yves Jannier, also said the woman had been kicked in the hip before she managed to flee.

The alleged assault on the woman comes just three weeks after another veiled Muslim woman in Argenteuil was targeted in a similar manner.

A contentious law banning the wearing in public of the full Muslim face veil, the niqab, was introduced in France in 2010.

—–

A Somali Muslim allegedly stabbed a policeman and three worshippers at a mosque in Birmingham after screaming: ‘Allah is going to punish you all.’

The 32-year-old was said to have tried to kill the worshippers during an argument over whether they were praying correctly.

It is thought the man, who was not a regular, became upset because the prayers were not being performed in the manner of his denomination.

One witness, who asked not to be named, said he heard shouting behind him as he was praying and saw two men grappling with each other.

Suddenly a man pulled out a knife and stabbed the other man in the leg, near the groin.

Someone tried to intervene but the man just went for him and thrust a knife into his abdomen

Minutes later two police officers, one male and one female, arrived at the Madrasah Qasim-ul-Uloom mosque in Ward End and the man allegedly ran at them with a large combat knife.

Despite the male officer shooting him with a Taser, the man is said to have stabbed him in his chest and stomach.

The suspect, a 32-year-old Somalian man, was being held yesterday in a mental health facility on suspicion of attempted murder.

The attack comes less than a month after soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, south London, allegedly by knifemen boasting they were avenging the death of Muslims by the military.

WEDNESDAY

The Daily maverick apologized on its website for inaccuracies in an article by De Wet Potgieter entitled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa”.

The maverick said it was wrong to say in the article that Farhad Dockrat lost a court case that was brought concerning certain water rights on his farm, Greylock.

It acknowledged that they are not in possession of evidence to show that Farhad Dockrat or Junaid Dockrat are linked to Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization.

The publication also tendered an official apology to the Muslim community and related parties over the earlier article’s suggestion of a strong Al-Qaeeda presence in South Africa.

It regretted the inconvenience and distress it has caused to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat and the Dockrat family.

In an associated article, the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick, Branco Brkic, accepted personal responsibility for the failure.

He said it hurts desperately that they have published a story that ultimately should not pass their own final test

Brkic also pledged to prevent a repeat of the failure.

De Wet Potgieter, the journalist behind the controversial article also used the opportunity to articulate his views on the subject.

He says he was under immense pressure from some of his sources to publish his so called findings,

Potgieter and the Daily Maverick were not immediately available to comment on reports that the investigative journalist had resigned or was fired.

—–

A Retired South African ambassador to Israel has taken a parting shot at the country’s treatment of Palestinians, calling it a “replication of apartheid.”

Ismail Coovadia made the statement in a letter to pro-Palestinian activists.

In the letter, Coovadia explained his decision to reject a symbolic gift from the Israeli government – planting trees in his honor in a national park named after South Africa.

According to Coovadia Israeli policies that discriminate against Palestinians appeared to be reminiscent of his experiences under South Africa’s apartheid system.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman YigalPalmor said Coovadia did not make such complaints during his term. Israel routinely rejects the apartheid comparison.

—-

South African Airways (SAA) was named the best airline in Africa in a global customer satisfaction survey.

The announcement was made during the Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony hosted at the 50th International Paris Air Show on Tuesday.

The awards provide a global benchmark of airline excellence.

This year is SAA’s eleventh consecutive year of winning the best airline in Africa award, making it the most awarded airline on the continent.

—–

The PAC distanced itself from a statement by Pan Africanist Youth Congress spokesperson SelloTladi calling former president Nelson Mandela a “sell-out”.

General Secretary NariusMoloto said The PAC is distancing itself from the reckless statement issued on the Youth Day, by what it called some cranks parading themselves as youth leaders of the PAC..

In their statement, the Youth league reportedly wished that the former president should die.

Moloto said the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania did not know the source of the statement and said Tladi was not part of the youth leadership.

—–

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of several Brazilian cities for a second night of largely peaceful protests over poor public services, high prices and corruption.

In Sao Paulo an estimated 50,000 people participated in a demonstration lasting hours and concentrated along Avenida Paulista in the centre of the city of 11 million.

Thousands of people also demonstrated in Sao Goncalo near Rio de Janeiro, as well as in Belo Horizonte, amid a large police presence.

Protests a day earlier saw an estimated 200,000 people in the streets across the country, around half of them in its second-largest city of Rio de Janeiro.

—–

Colleagues of murdered Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi believe his death was a hit.

The top cop’s colleagues at the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said there were no other explanations for his killing.

Maswanganyi had reportedly been working on cases surrounding corrupt police officers.

A Pretoria news source said he was ruthless about corruption, adding that one couldn’t find a cleaner cop.

—–

The Afghan government said it will boycott talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha until the process is Afghan-led.

The announcement came hours after Afghanistan, upset over United States’ “inconsistent statement and action” over the Taliban peace process, said it was suspending security negotiations with Washington.

In a statement President Hamid Karzai said As long as the peace process is not Afghan-led, the High Peace Council will not participate in the talks in Qatar.

——
Police searched for a suspected arsonist who may have set fire to himself while trying to burn down a mosque in Gloucester.

The man was believed to have been engulfed in flames when he set light to petrol that he had thrown over the door of the Masjid-E-Noor mosque.

This was latest in a series of attacks on Muslims and Islamic buildings in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder in Woolwich.

CCTV footage showed a man pouring petrol around the door, then setting a rag on fire and using it to ignite the fuel.

The door of the mosque was damaged but there were no injuries.

Dep Chief Insp Steve Bean, of Gloucestershire Police, said: “We think the man who did this would have been engulfed in flames when he set light to the door.”

—–

Chief Inspector Richard Burge said Gloucester has a wonderfully diverse and welcoming community and I know people will be upset and angry about this.

—-

Zimbabwe based company Greenfuel had reportedly intensified the roll out of E-85, a blend of ethanol and unleaded fuel, by increasing the number of fuel stations selling the product in the country.

The fuel was being sold at around R11 against nearly R15 for unleaded fuel.

The use of E-85 has several advantages which include significant savings on fuel bills while ethanol is environmentally friendly.

Greenfuel is already in talks with Zambia to supply that country with ethanol for blending.

The introduction of E-85 in Zimbabwe comes at a time consumers across the globe rates fuel efficiency as an extremely important or very important issue when purchasing a vehicle.

According to the KPMG Global Auto Executive Survey 2013 report, 92% of consumer rank fuel efficiency as the most important issue when purchasing a vehicle.

THURSDAY

A father who spent 10 years behind bars after being accused of rape by his eight-year-old daughter was released from Westville Prison after his daughter admitted she had lied.

41 year old Cedric Shezi, said he forgave his daughter, Pinky Dube, who owned up three years ago when the lie became too much to bear.

Dube claimed her mother, who died in 2007, coached her to lie to have her father sent to prison.

Shezi was given a life sentence of 20 years but always maintained his innocence.

—–

Families of British troops killed by roadside bombs in Iraq have won the right to sue the government.

The Supreme Court has ruled that British troops serving in battle are covered by domestic and European human rights laws.

Relatives whose loved ones died while travelling in lightly armoured vehicles can now take their cases to trial.

—–

A coalition of South African organisations announced plans to hold two demonstrations against the visit of US president Barack Obama to South Africa.

The South African Communist Party, the Young Communist League, the South African Students Congress (SASCO), the Muslim Students Association(MSA), the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union(NEHAWU), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Friend of Cuba Society (FOCUS), Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South African), and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), have rejected the visit of Obama to the country.

It will be Obama’s first trip to South Africa as elected head of state.

The coalition seeks to highlight militarization of Africa, guzzling of world resources by the US, support and defence of colonial and oppressive regimes and the American role in maintaining the underdevelopment of the African continent and its imperialistic trade relations with African countries.

A National Day of Action will take place on the 28th of June in the form of a protest march from Union Building to the United States of America Embassy in Pretoria starting at 10am.

A demonstration will also take place at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday the 22 June at 11am. The university has decided to award President Barack Obama an honorary doctorate.

—-

At least three Somali civilians died in the al-Shabaab assault on a UN compound in Mogadishu , bringing the confirmed death toll to 18.

At least four foreigners – including two South African contractors – were killed in the attack, along with four Somali nationals employed at the UN.

The attack was a setback for Somalia, which has been using a period of relative calm in the past nine months to attract international aid organizations back to the war-torn country.

—–

A domestic worker from Pretoria has saved her employer’s elderly mother from a burning granny flat.

Rosina Motaung, saw flames coming out of the flat of 92 year old Malie Immelman.

The fire started in Immelman’s granny flat, which adjoins her daughter’s house in Rietfontein.

Motaung was cleaning the house when she heard her name being called. And ran to the garden flat and saw smoke coming out.

When she went inside, she saw the kitchen was on fire and a confused Immelman coming from the bathroom.

Immelman’s son-in-law Deon de Villiers, said the family was very grateful to Motaung, who had worked for the family for more than 20 years.

—–

Brazilian officials in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro announced the reversal of the 10-cent increase in public transit fares, which prompted widespread protests across the South American nation.

The protests evolved into communal outcries that have moved well beyond the original demand that public transportation fares be lowered.

However some protesters said that the protests now go beyond the transit issue and aim for better public services in the country.

—–

Two police officers who allegedly turned a blind eye to a mob killing in North West could lose their jobs.

The policemen, whose names had been withheld, were filmed on a cellphone driving past a mob justice scene in Majemantsho village near Mafikeng where a person was being attacked.

A report on the matter was given to provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo on Wednesday.

It found the two officers had failed to protect the victim and prevent the attack.

——

The ANC in Parliament recalled its Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga.

The ruling party held an urgent briefing in Cape Town and announced Stone Sizani, a former United Democratic Front member, as his successor.

ANC sec gen Gwede Mantashe said the reason for the change was that Motshekga was not a member of the ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC) – a pre-condition for being chief whip which the ANC set in 2008.

—-

Palestinians Islamic liberation movement, Hamas has called on the Lebanese Shiite militia, Hezbollah, to pull its fighters out of Syria.

Last year, Hamas endorsed the popular revolt in Syria against the tyrannical regime of Bashar El-Assad, depriving the anti-Islam regime of an important Sunni Muslim supporter in the Arab world.

The call marked a further deterioration in relations between Hamas and Hezbollah, two previous allies that have fought the Israeli occupation regime.

Abu Marzouk said Shi’ite Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, where Assad, a member of the heretical and esoteric Shi’ite-rooted Alawite sect, is fighting mainly Sunni freedom fighters, had stoked sectarian conflict.

Hamas has vehemently denied some Lebanese media reports that its fighters were present in Syria to train rebels in weaponry, bomb-making and tunnel digging.

Earlier, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah promised his group would keep fighting alongside Assad’s forces after it spearheaded the recapture of the strategic town of Qusair .

Hezbullah means “Party of God” in Arabic. However, much of the media in the Arab world is now referring to the Shiite militia as “Hezbul Shaytan” or party of Satan.

——

Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and his four co-accused were back in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court today on charges including fraud and racketeering.

The legal team representing Malema and his business associates, argued against the State’s request for a postponement.

Malema is accused of making nearly R4m from corrupt activities.

The court was expected to transfer the matter to the high court and set a date for the trial.

Unlike at earlier appearances, there were no supporters picketing outside the court.

Bystanders seemed surprised at the police presence and closed streets around the court.

—–

India’s military stepped up efforts to reach villages and towns cut off by flash floods and landslides in the country’s north as officials warned at least 1 000 people may have been killed.

Helicopters and close to 10 000 soldiers were deployed to reach tourists and pilgrims stranded after floods caused by torrential monsoon rains hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand at the weekend.

At least 138 people have been killed across Uttarakhand and two neighbouring states also hit by floods and landslides, officials said, but shrine authorities warned the toll was more than 1,000.

Ganesh Godiyal, chairman of a trust in charge of several shrines in the pilgrimage towns of Kedarnath and Badrinath estimated more than 1,000 people have died as unattended bodies are scattered all around.

—–

Six ancient sites in Syria have been added to a UN list of endangered World Heritage sites because of the threat from the conflict there.

The sites were placed on the list by the UN’s cultural organisation, Unesco at its annual meeting in Cambodia.

Unesco said It hoped the decision will rally support for safeguarding the sites

The fighting and security situation had left Syria’s archaeological sites susceptible to damage and looting.

Aleppo’s old city, in particular, had “witnessed some of the conflict’s most brutal destruction”, it said, adding that the old citadel had been “caught in the line of fire”.

In April, the 11th-Century minaret of the Umayyad Mosque – one of Syria’s most famous – was destroyed during clashes in Aleppo.

The other sites to be added are the ancient cities of Damascus and Bosra, the oasis of Palmyra, the castles of Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din – also known as the Fortress of Saladin – and the ancient villages of northern Syria.

FRIDAY

A security guard shot and killed an Israeli man at one of Judaism’s holiest sites in Jerusalem, the Western Wall.

The wall was immediately shut to visitors.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the guard opened fire after the man, in an adjacent restroom, was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is greatest”.

Rosenfeld said the guard opened fire with his pistol because he suspected the man was a Palestinian fighter.

The fact he shouted Allahu Akbar, seemed to be why the security guard drew his weapon and fired a number of shots at him

The incident occurred in one of Jerusalem’s most sensitive areas, where thousands of people worship each week.

The plaza where the wall is located is next to the Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the place where two biblical temples stood, and the site of Islam’s third holiest mosque, al-Aqsa.

———

A bomber attacked a Shia Muslim mosque in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 14 people.

The mosque and madrassa complex is located in Gulshan Colony, a Shia-dominated area on the edge of Peshawar, a city which abuts fighter strongholds in the northwestern tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Senior police officer Abdul Hamid Khan said the bombing in the city of Peshawar also wounded 30 people.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack which took place during jummah prayers.

Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan said that according to sources, a gunman also walked into the mosque’s prayer room and opened fire.

Local TV video showed blood splattered on the floor and walls of the mosque

Broken glass littered the floor, and there were holes in the walls and ceiling caused by ball bearings packed in with the bomber’s explosives.

Rescue workers were seen wheeling wounded victims into a local hospital.

—–

Flamboyant businessman Kenny Kunene lambasted President Jacob Zuma in an open letter published on The Star’s website, calling him a “monster” and a “tyrant”.

In the letter, addressed to Zuma, Kunene said: “In public you smile and laugh, but in truth you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies ruthlessly, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly.”

Kunene wrote that he had supported Zuma before he ascended to the presidency, but was now disillusioned with his leadership.

He said Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family and the recent wedding scandal, and controversy surrounding spending on Zuma’s lavish household at Nkandla, detracted from the president’s credibility.

According to the businessman, many people within the ANC were “terrified” to speak out against Zuma because they feared him.

Kunene defended his own lavish lifestyle, saying that the money he spent was not taxpayers money.
——

Thousands of supporters of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi gathered in Cairo to show solidarity with the elected head of state, ahead of planned national protests his opponents hope can force him from office.

Crowds converged on after Friday prayers in the suburb of Nasser City, many waving the national flag, , in what is intended to demonstrate strength of numbers ahead of opposition rallies set for June 30.

The strength of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood had won it successive elections since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Secular groups say they have gathered some 13 million signatures – almost equal to the number of votes that elected Morsi a year ago – on a petition calling on him to step down.

——-

A report on the contentious multi-million rand upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home had been classified as top secret.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the document would not be made public.

He told Parliament this means he would not be able to give copies of the report to the Auditor General or the Public Protector, who are also meant to be investigating the upgrades to Zuma’s home.

Nxesi’s letter to Sisulu said the report was top secret in terms of the Minimum Information Security Standards policy.

The Democratic Alliance has cried foul over the move, saying the top secret classification was invalid and part of a bid to shield the president from accountability.

Speaking to Talk Radio, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he hoped the details of the spending on Zuma’s Nkandla homestead would be released to the public soon.

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Tags: Your world this week, Yusuf Alli

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